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Even atheists have sacred cows

Wow! I haven’t been sent so much hate mail since I mangled a cracker. It seems that one of the great American holies is celebrity culture: don’t you dare say anything that comes across as callous about a beloved comedian. My favorite so far was an email that accused me of being a “Jew ghoul”, and then went into detail about the autopsy report because it showed that Robin Williams “suffered like Christ.” That’s the problem, really: it’s fine that you liked and respected the man — I did, too — but the obsessive fascination of our media with every detail of a celebrity’s pain is disturbing. There are helicopters flying over Williams’ house and media vans parked outside it, as if something important will happen there any time, while Ferguson, Missouri is under a police-ordered blackout. There are other celebrities lining up in front of cameras to talk about how wonderful Robin Williams was, while police in body armor, carrying shotguns and batons, are lining up to march down the streets of Ferguson. And damn few people seem to be able to see the stark contrast, much less care about it.

Here are a few intelligent comments on the subject. First is carlie.

I am reacting really strongly to this particular subject, I think, because I watched it play out on twitter last night. I follow a lot of people who are really up on the news as it happens, and the juxtaposition of people giving heartfelt tributes to Williams, people giving legitimately important information about depression, and people showing the absolute breakdown in Ferguson, was incredibly disconcerting. When you see a tweet that’s a freaking animated picture of a genie hugging Aladdin, and you genuinely tear up over it, and then the next thing you see is a picture taken an hour prior of policemen with dogs and riot gear ganging up on one unarmed young man begging for peace and justice, well, it kind of puts things in perspective in a really stark way.

Unfortunately, where you’ll see the real drama playing out is on twitter, with residents sharing the nightmare. When I just checked CNN, the stories were about the aforementioned Williams autopsy report (WHY? Also, why is Williams insta-autopsied and the full report released to the press, while the official Mike Brown autopsy report is suppressed, so the parents will have to get a second, independent autopsy done?), and a long video of a string of Famous People (Mel freakin’ Gibson!) queuing up to talk about how much they loved Robin Williams. Press priorities, you know.

And here’sTony! The Queer Shoop. You might be able to tell that he’s a little bit angry.

This country is starting to scare me to a greater level than it had before. I live in Florida, home of George Fucking Zimmerman. Do you see my gravatar? I’m a man of color. I’m just they type of person that Zimmerman would probably distrust. I’m just the type of person that the police would probably not be terribly nice to. I’m the kind of person people would be suspicious of. I’m the kind of person who the justice system typically treats horrifically.

For the first time in fucking I don’t know how long, I’ve met a guy who is pretty cool. He lives 10 minutes from me. I’ve been single for so fucking long that I have forgotten what it’s like to date or even be in a relationship. I’d pretty much given up hope of ever having the chance to fall in love with someone.

What does this have to do with this thread?

I don’t have a car.

I walk to his house. Often in the evening.

When I leave at night, IT’S FUCKING AT NIGHT. In fucking Florida. The fucking bible belt. Where they already don’t like black people. Then I’m gay on top of that. And an atheist? That’s a fucking trifecta for some people.

The first night we hung out, I walked home. That was before I knew about Mike Brown. I read about that after I got home that night actually. That kinda freaked me out, but I did the same thing a lot of people in this country did, and treated it like an isolated incident. As I thought about it more, I realized that it’s not isolated. Yes, it’s one incident, but it’s part of something bigger, far worse, and a great deal scarier.

Trayvon Martin was just walking home with skittles and a fucking iced tea. He was killed for nothing, bc of a racist scumbag who should be in prison. I’ve walked to the store at night before. I’ve worn a brightly colored tee shirt, and shorts. I’ve carried my cellphone and wallet at all times. Why? Because in the back of my mind, I have to worry about the possibility that someone will want to shoot me because I’m a person of color. Nevermind that I don’t own a gun, and don’t want to. Nevermind that I’ve never been in a fight in my life. Nevermind that I’m not an aggressive person prone to violence. Nevermind that I have a hard time hurting a roach, let alone another human being. No, nevermind all that. There are people out there that wish I were dead, or would take the opportunity to kill me for nothing.

And you know what? That scares me. That horrifies me. Not so much that it’s going to paralyze me, bc dammit I’m not going to live my life frozen by fear, unable to do anything.

But I should be able to live my life and not worry about the possibility of being shot and killed. I should be able to have the same equal opportunity to go through life with the same possibility of a fulfilling existence as white people.

But I can’t.

I can’t because I was born a different color.

And now, in this country, this land of supposed freedom and equality…this land that says everyone was born equal and free, we have a police state that is brutalizing black people. Young and old. We have a government that looks the other way at this ongoting civil rights travesty. We have media that doesn’t want to even tackle stories like this, and when they do, they treat them like isolated incidents. They don’t treat them like symptoms of a deeper problem…when they even document them.

So that brings us to Mike Brown and Robin Williams. I’ve said it so many fucking times in this thread and I’ll say it again:

I’m sorry Robin Williams died. I’m sorry his family and friends are grieving. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone, no matter how much I despise them. I wish our mental healthcare system were significantly better. I wish there were no stigma attached to mental illness. Do you get this people? Do you understand that I’m not minimizing what happened to Robin Williams? I hope to fucking god you do because I’m sick and fucking tired of saying it.

But, compare his death, and how it is treated in the media. Compare that to how black people across this country feel. FOR FUCKS SAKE, COMPARE IT TO WHAT I’VE JUST DESCRIBED.

I’m fucking shaking right now and crying because I can’t believe people have so spectacularly missed the point of this post, and it has really hit home tonight, the third day in a row that I’ve gotten to go on a date with the same guy. He drove me home bc even he realizes that it can be dangerous out there at night for certain people with a certain skin color. I appreciate that he chose to do that, even though I would never ask him to do it. I don’t want to be an imposition on anyone.

Don’t I deserve to be able to walk home at night without the worry of being harassed or worry about facing threats from racist assholes? Doesn’t every black person? Doesn’t every single person who is oppressed or discriminated against?

IF SO, THEN WHY WON’T THE MEDIA GIVE A FUCKING SHIT ABOUT WHAT IS GOING ON?

Why is my life…why are the lives of black and brown people across the US..across the planet even…why are they treated like they aren’t of worth? Why are we dehumanized and treated like second class citizens?

Why?

And why can’t we have a discussion in this country about this?

Can someone, one you people who are berating PZ for bringing this up…can one of you explain that to me?

GODFUCKING DAMMIT!

Yes I’m crying and shaking still. I guess it doesn’t matter to some people, because I’m just a person of color. Fuck.

Reality should be more important to atheists than some fantasy on the screen. It doesn’t seem to be working out that way.

ceesays is also rather unhappy.

You’re all sitting here talking about mike brown, but I’ve got some more fuckign names for you while you’re all booing the derailing nitwit with the tone argument. Sit all your asses down. Open your ears, and hear me.

Mike Brown was a 17 black boy who was killed by police while he was unarmed. I’m aware that most of you had heard about him before this post.

He died two days ago.

John Crawford was an unarmed 22 year old black man who was killed by police while shopping in a wal-mart, a hotspot for white people to slouch around wearing the latest all american fashion – assault rifles. Perhaps you heard of him. Perhaps the name is fuzzily familiar.

He died on August the 8th.

Perhaps you’ve even heard of Ezell Ford, a 24 year old black man who was killed by police while he was walking along 65th street, some TWO HUNDRED blocks north of where a shooting had been reported. He was lying on the ground and obeying police orders when he was killed by police.

He died on August the 13th. oh look.

That’s today.

you all going to be paying attention when the next unarmed black man dies to police on the 15th? you gonna remember their names when there’s another black person lying dead in the street, killed by police on the 17th? are you going to remember eric garner’s name? you wondering who eric garner is?

It’s not just mike brown. It’s name after name after name, and it’s been going on for years. YEARS. somebody black is KILLED by police in america once every 28 hours, and you’re upset because you have depression and how could anyone dare point out that the media grabbing onto Robin William’s suicide is a political move rooted deep into anti-blackness.

Well. I have mental illnesses too. And Robin Williams – he was famous. He was rich. He had treatment. More treatment than I could ever obtain for my comorbid bipolar disorder and PTSD. And if he couldn’t beat it, why should I even bother?

And if I did beat it, what kind of a life do I get with this skin? because black women get murdered by police. did you hear about the black grandmother who was nearly beaten to death by a cop? did you hear about that? Did you hear about the young pregnant woman in ferguson who was bodyslammed?

Did you hear that it’s so bad that black people don’t want to have children, because look at the world they’d be bring their kids into? Did you hear any of that?

Look, I’m sorry Robin Williams is dead. I admired him a great deal. I loved his HBO improv performance. I watched Mork and Mindy. I watched The Dead Poets Society and Patch Adams and Death to Smoochy. I’m sorry he killed himself, both because I can’t stop imagining how deep the pain has to go to actually go through with it. Williams’s death has conviced me that I have a terminal disease from which there is no cure, and I will die from it. Maybe not today. But I know how I’m going to die. It got him, it’ll get me too. That’s just how it is.

But PZ is right. News media is using his death as a way to turn a blind eye to Mike brown and all the other dead black people they ignore or blame for their deaths.

Oh, and you thought the If I was gunned down photo meme was funny?

Oh.

Would you mind terribly if I don’t feel safe around you at all? because that photo meme made me want to smash things and weep, because that’s the joke, you see. We’re never allowed to be human. Not even when we’re innocent. Not even when we’re murder victims, because we are not human.

Comments

  1. says

    All of you Pharyngulites who have been following the evil in Ferguson and reporting it here, thank you. I’m horrified that it’s necessary, but I appreciate all that you’re doing.

    Inaji, I hope you can get some respite, and I’m glad Amelia is there to provide ratty comforting.

  2. Pteryxx says

    Video of the Al Jazeera journalists being teargassed off their equipment is playing on MSNBC this morning.

  3. says

    Anne, Old Gumble Cat @!1 — Seconded. I was just about to post a similar thought; thanks for saying it so well.

    A lead article at The Atlantic this morning:

    Turning Policemen Into Soldiers, the Culmination of a Long Trend
    Another poisoned fruit of the post-9/11 sensibility
    James Fallows
    Aug 14 2014, 12:52 AM ET
    http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2014/08/turning-policemen-into-soldiers-the-culmination-of-a-long-trend/376052/
    “The images from Missouri of stormtrooper-looking police confronting their citizens naturally raises the question: how the hell did we get to this point? When did the normal cops become Navy SEALs? What country is this, anyway?….”

  4. Ewan R says

    Antonio French was interviewed on the local news this morning before I headed out for work.

    “Our constitutional rights don’t expire at 9 o’clock”

    was one of his quotes.

    He was arrested for not listening as far as he knows, there were no charges and he was given no paperwork. One assumes had he not been an alderman for the city of St. Louis he’d still be sitting in a cell for being black while cops were scared.

  5. Pteryxx says

    MSNBC’s Chuck Todd just asked why witnesses are reluctant to come forward and speak to police. [*cough*] Benjamin Crump, the Browns’ family attorney, says they’re encouraging witnesses to cooperate with the FBI investigation. (It would be nice if they mentioned that on Sunday and Monday, witnesses were *begging* police to take their statements and were refused.)

  6. Pteryxx says

    From the KSDK report: (Link)

    From there, the KSDK crew says police approached them with “guns drawn.” Matthews says she and one photojournalist were in the SUV with their hands up and the third member of their crew got down on his knees in front of the SUV and raised his hand – telling police he was with the press.

    Matthews says police told them they received a call that members of the media were in danger and in need of assistance. All three members of the KSDK crew say they were never in danger and never asked for assistance.

    At this point, the video shows still photographers gathered around the KSDK crew. Police tell the journalists to follow them out of the neighborhood when one person is heard saying “We’re OK here.” Another voice says “We don’t want you here. Somebody’s going to get hurt. We don’t want to see you guys get hurt.” The KSDK crew says that is the voice of a police officer.

    The KSDK crew says the officers directed them out of the neighborhood and they complied.

    KSDK has called the St. Louis County police for comment, which has not yet been returned.

  7. Pteryxx says

    KSDK on the arrest of Antonio French. (The interview footage doesn’t appear to be up yet.) (Link)

    French was arrested for unlawful assembly and was released shortly after 7 a.m.

    Following his release, he said that he went into his car to escape tear gas and smoke bombs being thrown by police. While in his car, police approached him, dragged him out of the car and arrested him.

    French said that he had not been given documentation as to why he was arrested, and he said he didn’t have to post any bond.

    He also said that he didn’t receive mistreatment by police, but rights of protesters are being violated.

  8. Island Adolescent says

    Stories on multiple sites about Anonymous releasing the name of the alleged killer of Michael Brown.

    With practically a war waged on the citizens of Ferguson… I legitimately fear this may end up horrifically bloody.

  9. says

    I walked past the news today heading to breakfast and saw the images of the tear gas and police in riot gear and thought “oh great, there’s another revolution in Ukraine”

    I was stunned to see that it was Ferguson.

    These cops are ready for all out war. They’re not here to help protect the civilians of Ferguson. They’re not here to ensure security. They’re there to fight and shoot someone.

  10. Pteryxx says

    via Newseum, this morning’s St. Louis Dispatch front page. (Link) (Direct image link)

    [Image of full front-page spread, headed by: A CITY ON EDGE
    Nightly standoffs continue as Ferguson begins cleanup
    Tear gas used to break up protesters - Officer still not named - Reporters arrested

    Followed by a roughly half-page photo of a single protester on their knees in the street, ducking and covering their head with their arms, surrounded and partially obscured by clouds of tear gas.

    Lower-page headlines:
    Sweeping the streets: Ferguson residents take to the streets to help clean up.
    Officials make plea: Authorities ask for patience as investigation unfolds.
    Rancor continues: Protesters remain defiant before police.
    No details coming soon
    Witness talks to police
    Naming officers not routine]

  11. says

    I’ve not been able to keep up with this thread, but I want to express my deep appreciation for you folks keeping it up to date. I can’t do Twitter – too much abuse for my fragile self atm – so having people I respect and admire reposting important stuff means a lot to me, and I really deeply appreciate your dedication to the story. Thank you all.

    Fuck fascism, up the people!

  12. Pteryxx says

    via Twitter: a condemning statement from the OSCE. (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe) (OSCE link)

    VIENNA, 14 August 2014 – OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatović said today that the arrest of two reporters covering civil disturbances in Ferguson, a suburb of St. Louis, Missouri, was unacceptable and a clear violation of the right of media to cover news.

  13. Pteryxx says

    MSNBC segments from last night are now up, including:

    Rachel Maddow covering the Ferguson police chief’s press conference Wednesday afternoon, the “daylight hours” message, the crackdown and Wesley Lowery’s arrest. (Link)

    Much more on MSNBC’s playlist, which I can’t seem to link individually – Chris Hayes speaking to reporter Trymaine Lee about being targeted with tear gas, and Lawrence O’Donnell and Sherrilyn Ifill of the NAACP: ” ‘We have silence’ coming from Ferguson officials”.

    Text article from Trymaine Lee: (Link)

    FERGUSON, Missouri – A peaceful demonstration over the killing of an unarmed black teenager turned violent Wednesday as police in paramilitary fatigues and riot gear tear-gassed dozens of protesters, fired stun grenades into a crowd and arrested reporters in a third night of chaos in the aftermath of the police shooting of Michael Brown.

    Young black men and women protesters, with their hands held high in the air, had refused to heed police orders to disperse as the sun set on this St. Louis suburb of 20,000. While there had been some taunts from the crowd, no one appeared armed and there was no evident threat to police. But as darkness descended, forces moved in, announcing on a bullhorn that the gathering was no longer peaceful and began firing tear gas and stun grenades, choking protesters lined along a main thoroughfare in Ferguson.

  14. Pteryxx says

    MSNBC still has live coverage today. Now interviewing a community organizer who’s talking about bringing social services door-to-door to Ferguson residents, such as milk for a parent without a car, and psychologists to help deal with trauma.

  15. numerobis says

    Pteryxx: some video of the protest:
    http://new.livestream.com/accounts/9035483/events/3271930/videos/59155583

    Skip to 1:27:30. People are just standing around protesting, then suddenly a few people run, the police declare it no longer peaceful, and they start shooting.

    In a sense, it’s true: the protest was no longer peaceful as soon as the police started shooting.

    In a later video on that same stream, you see some protesters throwing things back at the police. This is after they’ve been shot and gassed twice.

  16. Pteryxx says

    MSNBC now interviewing Ferguson’s mayor, who’s talking about how darned difficult it is to distinguish between peaceful protesters and violent troublemakers after dark. *gag*

  17. Pteryxx says

    …He just claimed that the SWAT teams were surrounding the protests in broad daylight because “what your cameras didn’t show was that gunfire was erupting all around”. The mayor said that. (I’m transcribing what I heard but I’m fairly sure that’s accurate.)

    He says – hundreds of police officers out there and only 50 or so are his so he can’t account for how all of them behave. He says the NAACP’s filing is against the St Louis County police, not the Ferguson police – that’s a “completely different department”.

    OH FFS.

  18. Pteryxx says

    Right – the mayor is being interviewed on NewsNation with Tamron Hall. I’m sure video will be up before long.

    Now he’s saying there’s no history of racial tension in the area and some reporter from the Washington Post has no idea what he’s talking about.

    I think this mayor has forgotten which network he’s speaking with.

  19. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    He says the NAACP’s filing is against the St Louis County police, not the Ferguson police – that’s a “completely different department”.

    Well, on the upside, if he ends up getting fired, he’ll have a bright future as a customer service call center operator. Jesus fuck.

  20. Island Adolescent says

    Looking at some of the older comments Knowles made.

    “”I don’t know any of the facts of the case, but it seemed like everybody else did within a couple of hours and that was all on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.”

    “I never saw the frustration or the anger between the races. We are a very cohesive group. You just feel like we went in peace and harmony for the most part and to see racial violence occur that’s just completely a new phenomenon here.”

    What an utterly incompetent and ignorant asshat.

  21. Pteryxx says

    Obama will be making a public statement at 11:15 Eastern time; nothing about the content or topic of this statement. (It’s likely to be about Iraq, but who knows.)

  22. Pteryxx says

    Bah – 12:15 Eastern time, 11:15 Central time – in about 45 minutes from now. My bad.

  23. yazikus says

    Looks like to governor just confirmed that state & federal authorities will be relieving the local PD of their duties. I wonder what Obama is going to say to all of this.

  24. numerobis says

    Travis: don’t hold Canada up too high on that pedestal. We had the Toronto G20 in 2010; their chief of police is still around, and only Nobody has gotten any justice so far. Lots of cases pending; it takes minutes to violate someone’s rights, but years to see any recourse through the courts.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_G-20_Toronto_summit_protests

    We also had the Maple Spring protests in Quebec in 2012; the government in power noticed that they were getting good press everywhere that they had a chance to win seats, so they just kept beating the protesters harder. Then they called an election, hoping that police brutality (which was a positive) would drown out a corruption scandal (which was a negative). Didn’t quite work for them, but they were only out of power for a year and a half.
    http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gr%C3%A8ve_%C3%A9tudiante_qu%C3%A9b%C3%A9coise_de_2012

    That wikpedia page is particularly interesting: the French version details everything that happened. The English version is the anglo mass media version: the students are wrong about everything, and they’re horrible vandals. Almost none of the protesters are hurt except one guy whose eye got blown out by either a projectile thrown by protesters (who were throwing snowballs) or a police flash-bang — nobody can prove it either way (!) — and two others. Dozens of police are injured . The chronology stops in late may, which is when the protests widened to the general population. Pretty much what the US right wing is doing about the Ferguson protests: minimize and denigrate.

  25. Xaivius (Formerly Robpowell, Acolyte of His Majesty Lord Niel DeGrasse Tyson I) says

    What I’d like to hear Obama say:

    “This is a disgrace and a travesty of Justice. The handling of this situation is intolerable and will stop immediately”

    What will probably happen:

    “We condemn the violence against the police even in these situations….”

  26. says

    Maybe this should go in the other thread, and maybe someone else has brought it up (I haven’t read the 1000+ comments between the two posts) if so sorry, but I have to mention this. My problem with the first post by Professor Myers’ isn’t tone or anything like that, it’s that Myers is guilty of the same damn “crime” (error, whatever) that the media allegedly was. Michael Brown was killed on Aug. 9th. Prior to post exploiting Williams’ death, the following topics were covered on the blog:

    God of vapor, yet another post chided liberal believers
    Hard chairs, and how uncomfortable they were to listen to talks
    How do you rating humans in terms of ethics? you really can’t!
    The younger Myer’s future wedding
    Pastor/dog sex story.
    Yet another post demonstrating that Wade is full of shit. (note: this would have been a perfect segue into the shooting of Michael Brown)
    Infighting about outrage culture in the atheist movement
    Dawkins’s latest nonsense
    Bulldog, literal.
    Conference.
    Moors
    Mocking Palin

    and….freaken’ roller derby

    Quite clearly if the media should be focused on the events in Ferguson, then the blog should have mentioned them…prior to complaining that the media wasn’t talking about it while exploiting a man’s death to make the point.

    I consider this strike one.

  27. yazikus says

    I consider this strike one.

    Duh, Duh, Duhn! It was nice of you to let us know that you didn’t take the time to read the comments, perhaps if you had then you wouldn’t have felt the need to drop this comment on a thread where people are trying to talk about what is going on in Ferguson.

  28. Pteryxx says

    From Shakesville:

    @BobbyRobertsPDX tweeted:

    “Can you imagine what would have happened without the internet watching?” “Sure. It’s called the last 240 years of American History.”

    Which is exactly right. This isn’t happening for the first time. It’s just that a lot of not-black people are seeing it for the first time. Part of the reason the police are harassing and arresting reporters.

    The police acting in Ferguson are totally out of control, and they are being extremely provocative. If the town wanted to set a curfew, they could set a curfew, but instead they’re telling people it’s okay to protest, then corralling and chasing them (while referring to them as “animals”) with assault rifles pointed at them, and looking for any excuse to start launching tear gas and firing rubber bullets.

    Meanwhile, the Missouri governor, the senators, the President are all totally AWOL. That sort of sustained, comprehensive absence, and lack of urgency, isn’t by accident; it’s by design. No one can seriously defend this on the basis of maintaining public safety. This is a colossal affront to public safety.

  29. Pteryxx says

    MSNBC is now discussing the lack of accountability and transparency – whose cops are these? What precincts are they from? Where did all this military hardware come from and who trained them to use it against civilians? No badge numbers, no names given, no leaders speaking publicly except the ones who say “they’re not ours”.

  30. Island Adolescent says

    I consider this strike one.

    I consider you a fucking moron who can’t comprehend that people don’t always get news in a timely manner, especially when that news is nearly non-existent.

    Consider this strike three for you. Get the fuck out.

  31. Xaivius (Formerly Robpowell, Acolyte of His Majesty Lord Niel DeGrasse Tyson I) says

    Hoo boy. Almost half my social circle:

    “Well they started looting so they’re getting what they deserve”
    me: “what about tear-gassing non-violent protesters and arresting journalists”
    “shouldn’t have pissed off the cops”

    My social circle just got smaller. By about half, actually >.>

    Fuck racists. Don’t need that in my life

  32. Island Adolescent says

    Fuck racists. Don’t need that in my life.

    Good for you! It may be hard to ditch friends who otherwise seem “fine” and “respectable”, but then of course you’d be ignoring the “otherwise”.

    I’m honestly ashamed I still have Republican friends, but at least those that I’ve stayed friends with are the types who never bring up or engage in political talk (at least when I’m around them).

  33. mildlymagnificent says

    Oh. Further to Mellow Monkey’s link to a few soldiers scathing assessments of police attitudes, here’s one from an individual soldier. http://pecunium.wordpress.com/2014/08/14/ferguson/ He did some arithmetic on how many rounds the cops are carrying. As well as some other observations.

    … the cops are being over-equipped. I was a soldier. I was in an invading army. The cops are often more heavily armed than I was. Yeah, I had access to a lot more in the way of support. … but on my person I had 7 magazines, for a total of 270 rds of ammunition.

    Some of the cops in the pictures in the #Ferguson photostream they seem to have at least that many mags, as well as a second weapon. Think about that; every one of those cops seems to have at least 270 rounds of ammunition. If you have only the twelve cops in this photo that’s 3,240 rds of ammunition. How many people do they think they will need to shoot?

    That’s not a rhetorical question. We had that much firepower because we expected people to be using the same sort of equipment to try to kill us. We didn’t have the level of body armor cops routinely wear. So they are better protected, and as powerfully armed. Why?

  34. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    michael kellymiecielica @ 33

    Except that PZ remedied the oversight by *le gasp* blogging about it.

    I consider this strike one.

    Oh dear me. Someone direct me to the fainting couch.

  35. Gregory Greenwood says

    michael kellymiecielica @ 33;

    I consider this strike one.

    And I am sure PZ is just terrified – terrified I say! – that you have started counting imaginary ‘strikes’. No really, that kind of thing haunts a body.

    Do I need a sarcasm tag? Oh, go on then…

    /Sarcasm

    Just a heads up; this is not the kind of place to say self important things that practically beg to be mocked. The commenters here include many dietary vegetarians, but we are all metaphorical meat eaters.

    Welcome to the Pharyngula piranha tank. For your own good you might want to try to stop bleeding into the water…

  36. says

    @Island Adolescent

    “I consider you a fucking moron who can’t comprehend that people don’t always get news in a timely manner, especially when that news is nearly non-existent.”

    Myers knew of the situation in Ferguson prior to making the Williams post. Otherwise, Myers would not have known to include it in the Williams’ post. This means he could have posted about Ferguson directly prior to complaining about the media not covering it. I don’t know when Myers learned of the Michael Brown’s murder, but I heard about it on Aug. 10 via online news, so I think one can reasonable expect a day of knowledge. But regardless of that, the entire post is breathtaking in its hypocrisy in that it comes across as basically “the media are such assholes for not talking about this thing I just started to talk about two seconds ago!” It would have annoyed me regardless if Myers’ exploited Williams’ death or not, but by shoehorning Williams in there does piss me off a great deal.

  37. Pteryxx says

    Also from mildlymagnificent’s link at #41. This is important context and the news should be mentioning this whenever they talk about a police shooting.

    Because cops kill people, esp. black people with impunity. In 2011 cops shot almost more than 1,100 people in the US. 607 of them died. In 95 percent of those shootings, it was determined the cops were “justified”. Out of 1,146 shootings, 1,088 were deemed to be, “good shoots”.

    The remaining 58… just sort of disappeared. It’s almost impossible to prosecute cops for misconduct. From about 8,000 credible reports of police misconduct (against about 11,000 officers, in a 21 month period) there were only 3, 200 prosecutions, and 2/3rds of them were acquitted. For run of the mill criminal cases the conviction rate (at trial) is about 70 percent.

    Even when they are convicted, they tend to be charged with lesser crimes, and get lighter sentences (Look at how Oscar Grant was shot and what happened to the cop convicted of killing him). So cops get away with murder. That, sad to say, is the general background of life in the US. It’s worse if one isn’t white. In the past couple of weeks I know of at least four such shootings of black men. Last month a pizza guy was shot by a pair of plainclothes cops. What is the police response? “At this time it just appears to be unfortunate for both the officers and this person,” said Deputy Police Commissioner Richard Ross”.

  38. says

    @Gregory

    “And I am sure PZ is just terrified – terrified I say! – that you have started counting imaginary ‘strikes’. No really, that kind of thing haunts a body.”

    I’m sure he is not, and all I mean is I give people three chances before I stop reading their blog. Given that I have read this blog, almost daily, for 3 years I hope I can keep reading it.

    @Seven of Mine

    “xcept that PZ remedied the oversight by *le gasp* blogging about it.”

    No, the post in question is not about Ferguson, it’s about how the media is not covering Ferguson enough.

  39. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    @ michael kellymiecielica

    You’ll have to forgive me if I doubt you give a shit about Ferguson as you just helicoptered into a 1000+ comment thread which is being regularly updated with the goings on in Ferguson and are, instead, whining about PZ’s timing and tone.

  40. Pteryxx says

    Obama would like us all to take a step back and consider how to move forward. Consulting with the governor, the DOJ involved… and important to remember how all this started, with the death of a young man.

    Whoof… this is going to need a proper transcript with the balance he seems to be trying to strike.

  41. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    Obama: “We lost a young man”

    Yep. Just a thing that happened. Not anybody’s fault. Nope. Rawr.

  42. Pteryxx says

    Basically it’s a call for calm and to let the DOJ work with local officials. Also a mention to let journalists do their jobs without harassment. I note there’s no mention about the DOJ consulting or working with *the community*.

    Also, MSNBC’s correspondents are noting the lack of any mention of intervening with the National Guard or martial law.

    That’s my impression; it was too fast for me to transcribe without losing the nuance of the statements.

  43. Pteryxx says

    Here’s video from NBC: (Link with video)

    President Barack Obama on Thursday ordered the FBI and Justice Department to investigate the police killing of an unarmed black teenager in Missouri and declared that there is “no excuse for police to use excessive force against peaceful protesters.”

  44. says

    @Seven of Mine
    I have actually been reading the thread on and off since it started for any tidbits of information because I am concerned about everything that Ferguson has happening . And I think some of the coverage by Reason (see here: http://reason.com/archives/2014/08/14/some-thoughts-on-ferguson-newark-state-v ) has been insightful and how it connects to the ever deepening militarization of the police. I have also been following Radley Balko (https://twitter.com/radleybalko ) as I find his commentary to be great when it comes to this sort of issue. I don’t comment a lot on this site because I generally don’t comment. Do not take my lack of commentary as not engaging with the issues. Sometimes it is better for a person like me to shut and listen as people on this site like to say.

    And it’s not “tone” and “timing,” it’s Myers didn’t do what he chastised others for not doing. It’s galling in its obvious hypocrisy.

  45. Island Adolescent says

    Welcome to the Pharyngula piranha tank. For your own good you might want to try to stop bleeding into the water…

    No, just fuck that idiotic sack of meat. It’s best to ignore it. We’ve had enough of this bullshit in the first thread and I’m already two posts into being sucked back in to the troll diversion. The Thunderdome exists. I don’t want to continue to divert attention to these fucking numbskulls who can’t reason their way out of a paper bag.

    Pteryxx thanks for the link. Really appreciated.

  46. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    You’re still moaning about something tangential which we’ve already chewed over and spit out multiple times in order to interrupt people actually talking about Ferguson. Go the fuck away.

  47. says

    michael @33:

    Quite clearly if the media should be focused on the events in Ferguson, then the blog should have mentioned them…prior to complaining that the media wasn’t talking about it while exploiting a man’s death to make the point.

    How about ‘PZ blogged about it when he learned about Ferguson’?
    How about ‘PZ is in another country where it may take a little while to hear about events in the US’?
    How about ‘PZ isn’t the media’?
    How about you don’t tell a blogger what they should report on, when and how?
    Strike 3, you’re out.

  48. Pteryxx says

    Ferguson police chief now in press conference asking “everybody to tone it down”.

    “What I’m satisfied with is that we haven’t hurt anybody.” and that’s why they’re rolling with nonlethal rounds.

    *headdesk*

  49. Pteryxx says

    Also said they will have plenty of porta-potties so protesters can protest as long as they want.

  50. Pteryxx says

    Chief says, we can’t go into a crowd and ask the individuals excuse me sir are you peacefully protesting?

    Last I heard there was *training* for this sort of thing.

  51. nich says

    michael kellymiecielica says@33

    I consider this strike one.

    Oh noes PZ! Another bad Yelp review! You’re gonna lose ANOTHER customer! I told you to keep the Belgian waffles on the menu! Wait? This isn’t a restaurant review? Oh, this is a fucking blog? Nobody gives a shit if another wanker decides to flounce? Sorry, flounce IF you swing and miss two more times? Oh…fucking…noes.

  52. Island Adolescent says

    “Chief says, we can’t go into a crowd and ask the individuals excuse me sir are you peacefully protesting?
    Last I heard there was *training* for this sort of thing.”

    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAUUUUUUUUGH!!

    “What I’m satisfied with is that we haven’t hurt anybody.”
    Except those fist-sized rubber bullet wounds. And the damage from tear gas. And that one man that was apparently detained and screaming for help while the police realized they bagged a reporter.

  53. Pteryxx says

    Ronan Farrow on MSNBC is now discussing the surplus property 1033 program and the flow of military equipment to local police departments nationwide.

  54. says

    This is going to be my last comment on this line of thought because I don’t want to derail any more than I have, but:

    @Tony

    “How about ‘PZ blogged about it when he learned about Ferguson’?
    How about ‘PZ is in another country where it may take a little while to hear about events in the US’?”

    I have already addressed this. Myers must have known about Ferguson prior to complaining about how the media was treating Ferguson vs Williams, otherwise the complaint would have no basis. Regardless of when Myers learned of Ferguson, if he thought it was so important to talk about (and it is!) he should have brought it up, then complained about the media was ignoring it. Not, mind you, complaining about how the media was not talking about this event(s) and the issues it brings up that Myers himself was not talking about it.

    “How about ‘PZ isn’t the media’?”

    I think “Pharyngula” and FreeThought blogs, generally, would have to be included under any reasonable definition of media. I certainly treat this network as a news source for certain things. This blog is far more substantial then tumblr-diary thing, and it has a thriving community that shares news. I think it’s media. I’m willing to argue about this point in thunderdrome if you want.

    “How about you don’t tell a blogger what they should report on, when and how?”

    Oh sure, as long as Myers (and bloggers!) don’t tell reporters ‘what they should report on, when and how.’ But what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

  55. Pteryxx says

    Transcript of Obama’s complete remarks from the Washington Post. (Link)

    Of course, it’s important to remember how this started. We lost a young man, Michael Brown, in heartbreaking and tragic circumstances. He was 18 years old, and his family will never hold Michael in their arms again. And when something like this happens, the local authorities, including the police, have a responsibility to be open and transparent about how they are investigating that death and how they are protecting the people in their communities. There is never an excuse for violence against police or for those who would use this tragedy as a cover for vandalism or looting. There’s also no excuse for police to use excessive force against peaceful protests or to throw protesters in jail for lawfully exercising their First Amendment rights. And here in the United States of America, police should not be bullying or arresting journalists who are just trying to do their jobs and report to the American people on what they see on the ground.

    Put simply, we all need to hold ourselves to a high standard, particularly those of us in positions of authority. I know that emotions are raw right now in Ferguson and there are certainly passionate differences about what has happened. There are going to be different accounts of how this tragedy occurred. There are going to be differences in terms of what needs to happen going forward. That’s part of our democracy. But let’s remember that we’re all part of one American family. We are united in common values, and that includes belief in equality under the law, basic respect for public order and the right to peaceful public protest, a reverence for the dignity of every single man, woman and child among us, and the need for accountability when it comes to our government.

    That’s two of the six paragraphs addressing Ferguson.

  56. Island Adolescent says

    “otherwise the complaint would have no basis”

    Or you know, you find out about the story several days late while finding out about Robin Williams immediately and wonder “What the fuck?”

    How much of a fucking idjit can you be? Just fuck off already.

  57. Crimson Clupeidae says

    Ichthyic , some of us might be requesting asylum in NZ….you got a big couch?

    (And I’m only half-joking.)

  58. nich says

    This is going to be my last comment on this line of thought because I don’t want to derail any more than I have, but:

    Dear god, PZ. Will you please whiff the next two pitches? We’ll call it a sacrifice strikeout…

  59. says

    We lost a young man, Michael Brown, in heartbreaking and tragic circumstances.

    Maybe he fell down the well, quick someone call lassie, we lost a young man.

    Fucking hell, Obama. Say it as it is. Ferguson police gunned down an innocent young man because he was black and race relations in this country fucking suck.

  60. says

    According to testimony by a Canfield Green resident during an emergency meeting with the Clergy Coalition, a hate group has come from Chicago and setting trash cans on fire there.

    The resident said the anarchist group is also throwing Molotov cocktails within apartment complex and inciting violent reactions from protestors in the area.

    This news comes as Missouri Governor Jay Nixon plans to relieve St. Louis County law enforcement from its duties in Ferguson due to rampant claims of excessive force from area residents, protesters and journalists who have come to report on the unrest in the wake of the senseless killing of unarmed teen Michael Brown in Ferguson on Saturday.

    “Media should be free to report,” Nixon said at Christ the King Church during a meeting with Clergy Coalition.

    He also said that protests don’t have to be respectful, but only peaceful.

    Nixon told those in attendance that the chain of command is still being reframed and will announce details later this afternoon (3 p.m. CST).

    Source

  61. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    His OP on this was insensitive, and while you may not care or think so, it is the response of any of us in the atheist community.

    Two things, 1) what was insensitive, and 2) where do you speak for the entire atheist community, and not just your corner of one?

  62. says

    1967:

    Also, I just saw that Politifact found the picture from PZ’s OP is fake and its claims completely false.

    What is false is that the woman is not the Chief’s wife, which came out in the midst of all the horrible things happening last night. Y’know, a decent person might be more concerned by the people arrested last night, wondering if they would ever be heard from again. Or the horrible wounds sustained by people shot with rubber bullets. Or a journalist who was arrested reporting that there was a man screaming for medical help, and was mocked, then ignored by police. Or the use of mass amounts of gas, stun grenades, rubber bullets, blinding lights, and LDAP sirens on people last night. Or that a small town in Missouri looked like a war zone. Or that people from Gaza were tweeting in solidarity with people in Ferguson, and giving them tips on how to deal with being gassed.

    Your pettiness does you no credit, and a handful of people have been desperately trying to keep focus on what matters for days now. You aren’t helping, so I suggest that if you simply must carp and whine some more about how awful PZ is, please take it to thunderdome, where the people in this thread at least, won’t be subjected to your small mind and overwhelming insensitivity. Thanks.

  63. says

    Pteryxx:

    there is “no excuse for police to use excessive force against peaceful protesters.”

    ‘Excessive force’ doesn’t cover it. It’s also a phrase that has become hackneyed, so people don’t pay much attention to it anymore. I think ‘declared war’ would be more apt in this case.

  64. Ewan R says

    There is never an excuse for violence against police

    Depends on how you read the second amendment surely?

  65. says

    The Prez:

    There are going to be different accounts of how this tragedy occurred.

    Uh huh. It would be nice if all the people who witnessed the tragedy murder were listened to, and it would have been great if anyone bothered to get their statements in a timely manner. Then there’s the constant coverage from people on twitter. I wonder if those accounts will be paid any attention.

  66. says

    There is never an excuse for violence against police

    Oh? How about if a police officer is trying to murder you? Supposed to just obey then, too?

  67. says

    ‘His OP on this was insensitive, and while you may not care or think so, it is the response of [m]any of us in the atheist community.’

    “Two things, 1) what was insensitive, and 2) where do you speak for the entire atheist community, and not just your corner of one?

    1. This was insensitive: “…thank God that we have a tragedy involving a wealthy white man to drag us away from the depressing news about brown people. . . Boy, I hate to say it, but it sure was nice of Robin Williams to create such a spectacular distraction.”

    2. I don’t speak for the entire atheist community, obviously. Where did I claim that I did?

    “Y’know, a decent person might be more concerned by the people arrested last night, wondering if they would ever be heard from again….”

    Seriously? Because I reported an inaccuracy in PZ’s OP, I am now not a decent person. You know nothing about me, but thanks for the ad hominem.

  68. caesar says

    SMH. Another day, more rioting, looting, tear gas, etc. Wake me when everyone comes to their senses and decides to calm the fuck down so this situation can finally get resolved.

  69. says

    From #Ferguson:

    I had no idea this was happening, now I’m in tears and have a sick feeling. This isn’t freedom or equality. #Ferguson

    I wonder how many people still don’t have any idea of what has happened. Those of with blogs need to be very noisy, I think.

  70. says

    One Nation Under SWAT

    Being the Police Means Never Having to Say You’re Sorry

    Report by report, evidence is mounting that America’s militarized police are a threat to public safety. But in a country where the cops increasingly look upon themselves as soldiers doing battle day in, day out, there’s no need for public accountability or even an apology when things go grievously wrong.

    If community policing rests on mutual trust between the police and the people, militarized policing operates on the assumption of “officer safety” at all costs and contempt for anyone who sees things differently. The result is an “us versus them” mentality.

  71. numerobis says

    Caesar @90: nice of you to generically decry rioting and looting. But I haven’t heard any reports of such except on the first night of protests. Do you have news to the contrary?

  72. Anthony K says

    Wake me when everyone comes to their senses and decides to calm the fuck down so this situation can finally get resolved.

    Eh, why? You’re pretty much useless to the world, aside from the taxes you pay. Sleep forever. Who cares?

    Everyone else, thanks for the updates and links.

  73. says

    “no excuse for police to use excessive force against peaceful protesters.”

    FTFY, Mr. President.

    Chief says, we can’t go into a crowd and ask the individuals excuse me sir are you peacefully protesting?

    Well, let’s see: are they hurling brickbats and molotov cocktails at you? They aren’t? Are you being mobbed and bludgeoned to the ground by people with clubs and rocks? You aren’t?(Not that it wouldn’t be pure self defence if the demonstraters were doing that at this point, but they aren’t). Then I guess they’re doing the other thing, what’s it called… oh, right, peacefully protesting. It’s actually pretty easy to tell the difference.

  74. says

    numerobis @93, please, don’t give Caesar any reason at all to keep posting. You may not be familiar with them, but the rest of us are, and to use Tony’s words, they are a vile shitstain, and their continual river of shit isn’t needed in this thread (or any other), especially as so many of us are heartworn and rather broken over the events of this last week.

  75. says

    Dalillama:

    It’s actually pretty easy to tell the difference.

    Yes, it is. It’s even easy to tell just by looking. Downright amazing a chief of police doesn’t seem to know that. sarcasm

  76. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    1967 @ 89

    Seriously? Because I reported an inaccuracy in PZ’s OP, I am now not a decent person. You know nothing about me, but thanks for the ad hominem.

    1) No, because of your choice to continue carping on a trivial detail in the midst of people trying to maintain focus on atrocities being committed.
    2) Will someone please teach these fuckwits what ad hominem fucking means? Nobody said you’re wrong because you’re an asshole. They said you’re wrong and an asshole. See the difference?

    caesar @ 90

    Wake me when everyone comes to their senses and decides to calm the fuck down so this situation can finally get resolved.

    How about no? Does no work for you?

  77. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    Oopsie, sorry Inaji I didn’t see your request not to continue trying to respond to caesar til after I posted. I shall refrain in the future.

  78. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    and whoa, where’d that closing bold tag run off to. Yikes…

  79. says

    I am always amazed how often looting, rioting, and of course since last night, Molotov cocktails are used to excuse just about any bad behaviour on the part of the police. On Imgur the photos of the Al Jazeera crew being tear gassed, and the police turning their cameras down after they left made it to the front page, and as always cries came out calling it biased, that we should remember people were rioting, as though that somehow explains this and makes it acceptable.

  80. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Seriously? Because I reported an inaccuracy in PZ’s OP, I am now not a decent person. You know nothing about me, but thanks for the ad hominem.

    No, you report what you think is an inaccuracy. How did I dismiss what you said because of who you are? That is what ad hominem means. It doesn’t mean just an insult, if it is shown why you are being insulted. Since you don’t understand basic definitions, it is correct to be skeptical of what you say, and how you look at things.

  81. says

    Travis:

    that we should remember people were rioting, as though that somehow explains this and makes it acceptable.

    I’m pretty sure a lot of the media will paint it that way, but throughout this situation, there was very little rioting, and there were a whole lot of photos showing the people of Ferguson out helping to clean up afterwards, there were constant calls for peace and protest instead, which is the way those people turned, and still, look what happened.

  82. says

    I honestly don’t see how anyone is going to be able to trust cops anywhere in the States. Almost every force has been militarized, and from listening to the stories people have related, like Magistramarla @68, where militarized SWAT teams are automatically shooting peoples’ dogs. And yes, I know there are there are good people out there who happen to be cops, those who are more interested in community than playing soldier, but there aren’t enough of them, nowhere near enough to force a change. I think we in the U.S. will be seeing more of this, and I am terrified of the day that people become blasé about that happening, too.

  83. dianne says

    This seems maybe hopeful: link. I notice McCaskill is calling for a demilitarization of the police response. Very glad Missouri went with her instead of “pro-life” Akin who’d probably be calling for martial law by now if he’d been senator.

  84. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @Obama:

    a reverence for the dignity of every single man, woman and child among us,

    fucking bigot.

  85. dianne says

    @107: Wow. When Rand Paul notices something’s wrong, it’s either turned the corner and about to get better a la McCarthy imploding over the communists in the military (wrong target, guy: stick with Hollywood next time) or the country’s about to go full blown fascist. I’m hoping the former and think it’s probably the former, but am keeping an eye on escape routes. Just in case.

  86. says

    The Gov. Nixon has relieved the St. Louis County PD and has called in the MO Highway Patrol. #Ferguson #MikeBrown #DONTSHOOT

  87. says

    Lisa Bloom ‏@LisaBloom 1h
    So tired of patronizing appeals to “calm” #Ferguson “emotions” as if all that’s needed is a Valium to forget about raging injustices.

  88. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    Call me a cynic but that Rand Paul article is just opportunistic shit. He’s jumping at the chance to push the usual libertarian anti-government message while seeming to come out against racism.

  89. David Marjanović says

    Well here’s a thing. When even Rand fucking Paul can spot the problem…

    Worse: Paul quotes someone from the Cato Institute saying the same thing.

    Anyway: Petition to the US Attorney General, the MO Attorney General and the police chief of Ferguson “to complete a rigorous investigation of the Ferguson Police Department’s racially discriminatory policing, prosecute said officers to the fullest extent of the law, and begin the firing process for all involved officers”.

  90. David Marjanović says

    I do think that Paul is against the kinds of racism he recognizes. He just has blind spots about others.

  91. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @Inaji, #115:

    So, fucking true. Calm behavior? Calm demeanor? Those can help highlight the fucking ridiculousness of the police mindset, the injustice of the police actions. But calm emotions?

    Hell no. It takes a powerful motivation to stand, unarmed, in front of a tank. And we need people to stand in front of the Ferguson armored vehicles. Most especially we need white people to stand in front of the Ferguson armored vehicles, and **not enough** white people are outraged yet.

    Calming emotions comes across to me as the nice, white, middle-class response:

    Hey, it’s tragic that a kid died, but let’s not lose perspective. It’s horrible that there’s been looting, but let’s not lose perspective. I don’t like the idea that reporters are arrested for sitting in a McDonald’s typing, but let’s not lose perspective.

    If we lose perspective, well, the violence could spread wide enough to harm our property values, maybe even scare us with bricks through our front windows! We must not lose perspective, because nothing could be worse than scary, rampaging hordes of brown bodies! So brown people: calm down! Don’t rampage! Police: I support you, and I don’t want you to suffer any consequences for shooting kids, but you’re supposed to keep me safe from hordes of brown bodies. Can’t you see you’re whipping up a mob? New tactics please.

    What if my baby, my poor, 18 year old baby, was startled out of his Arrow-watching trance by a brick through my window and was so scared he actually missed 7 minutes of the program, maybe with a crucial plot twist!

    Won’t someone think of the children? Please, oh, please, calm down!

  92. says

    Missouri state troopers are taking over security in the town of Ferguson, Missouri, which has been roiled by clashes and tough police response since the shooting of an unarmed teenager last week.

    “Immediate security will be directed by the Missouri State Highway Patrol,” Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon said today.

    The governor said the streets of Ferguson, a suburb of St. Louis, have “looked like a war zone and that’s not acceptable. … Literally, the eyes of the nation are upon us.”

    [...]

    Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson said today that there have been some minor injuries during recent protests, including a police officer who was hit with a brick, but he added, “Right now, I’m at least happy that nobody’s gotten seriously injured.”

    He confirmed this morning that there will be discussions throughout the day about changes to police protocols during the rest of the protests.

    “The tactical units will be out there if firebombs start getting thrown, property is being destroyed, shots are being fired. We have to respond to deadly force,” Jackson said.

    Source.
     
    Democrat Plans Police Anti-militarization Bill In Response To Ferguson

    Two More Unarmed Young Black Men Have Been Shot by Police Since Michael Brown’s Death

    http://www.dailydot.com/opinion/11-worst-dumbest-responses-ferguson-michael-brown-shooting/

    Alice Speri ‏@alicesperi 11m
    Asked Highway Patrol if #Ferguson should expect tear gas tonight “I had all my troopers take their tear gas masks off their belts”

    Ann ‏@annn_bb 18m
    white people living the amerian dream. black people suffering from the american nightmare #Ferguson

  93. says

    CD @ 119:

    But calm emotions?

    Yeah, it’s beyond tiresome, and it is infuriating, how often the people of Ferguson have been told to “calm down”. It would have been nice if even one-tenth of those calm downs were aimed at the cops.

  94. Ichthyic says

    yet another day where the governor could send in a troop of nat guard and send the cops home to defuse the situation.

    think he will consider the idea?

    naww… too fucking stupid.

  95. Ichthyic says

    oh, wait, didn’t see this:

    Missouri state troopers are taking over security in the town of Ferguson,

    well, that’s better than the local cops ramping up tensions anyway.

  96. Ichthyic says

    Ichthyic , some of us might be requesting asylum in NZ….you got a big couch?

    Couch is more of a love seat really; we’re renting cheap to save money for a house, but there’s plenty of space overall in NZ. You just have to make it past immigration, which is a bit of a nightmare, to be sure.

  97. numerobis says

    Frankly, state troopers sound better than the national guard to my ears: the former are police, the latter are army. Of course, it turns out that small-town police are army too these days.

  98. says

    Can’t say it’s comfortable, but I’ve got a couch here in Canada, 100mi the other side of the border from Buffalo, as well as an inflatable bed. There are so many USan expats here in town, not least because it’s a high-tech centre (home of the Blackberry, and we have big offices for Google and other tech giants), but also just generally, or maybe it’s that I know so many of them it seems like a huge number.

    Of course, fleeing the fascistizing US for Harper’s fascist lite (tastes great, and also less killing!) Canada may well be like fleeing Nazi Germany in 1937 and thinking, “Wow, now I’m safe, here in Austria!”, but…

  99. says

    From Antonio French:
    A military man upset about the militarization of #Ferguson

    Happening right now in #Ferguson

    F. ‏@Palestinianism 32m
    My name is Farah, I am from #Gaza and I support the steadfast comrades in #Ferguson. Keep resisting.

    Did Anyone Actually Yell “Kill the Police”?

    http://www.aclu-mo.org/files/3414/0804/0291/08-14-14_Videotaping_Complaint.pdf

    Sakita Holley ‏@MissSuccess 56m
    Can we also talk abt the fact that many mainstream broadcast outlets didn’t get “really” concerned until journos got arrested? #ferguson

  100. dianne says

    You just have to make it past immigration, which is a bit of a nightmare, to be sure.

    Are you still short of oncologists? Because I can work in East Sheep if need be. (And I can cut the New Zealand stereotypes out too if they get annoying.)

  101. Ichthyic says

    Hoo boy. Almost half my social circle:

    “Well they started looting so they’re getting what they deserve”
    me: “what about tear-gassing non-violent protesters and arresting journalists”
    “shouldn’t have pissed off the cops”

    My social circle just got smaller. By about half, actually >.>

    Fuck racists. Don’t need that in my life

    I dropped half my circle after 9/11. for the same reasons.

    then I dropped the other half when W got re-elected.

    Then I just dropped the entire field of play.

  102. says

    Daz @107:
    I can’t believe that was written by Rand Paul (I know it was obviously, it’s just rather shocking).

    ****

    Seven of Mine:

    Call me a cynic but that Rand Paul article is just opportunistic shit. He’s jumping at the chance to push the usual libertarian anti-government message while seeming to come out against racism.

    Normally I’d agree with you, but here I get the feeling he may actually not be pushing that typical libertarian tripe. His acknowledgment of racial disparity in the justice system is something I am unaccustomed to hearing from libertarians. Plus, he’s not wrong about the militarization of our police forces. That’s a legitimate argument against the US government (it fits with his other beliefs, but at the least, this article doesn’t play up his normal anti-government rhetoric).

    Given these developments, it is almost impossible for many Americans not to feel like their government is targeting them. Given the racial disparities in our criminal justice system, it is impossible for African-Americans not to feel like their government is particularly targeting them.
    This is part of the anguish we are seeing in the tragic events outside of St. Louis, Missouri. It is what the citizens of Ferguson feel when there is an unfortunate and heartbreaking shooting like the incident with Michael Brown.

    Anyone who thinks that race does not still, even if inadvertently, skew the application of criminal justice in this country is just not paying close enough attention. Our prisons are full of black and brown men and women who are serving inappropriately long and harsh sentences for non-violent mistakes in their youth.

    The militarization of our law enforcement is due to an unprecedented expansion of government power in this realm. It is one thing for federal officials to work in conjunction with local authorities to reduce or solve crime. It is quite another for them to subsidize it.

  103. Ichthyic says

    Are you still short of oncologists? Because I can work in East Sheep if need be. (And I can cut the New Zealand stereotypes out too if they get annoying.)

    they have a great sense of humor here. sheep jokes are welcome.

    I’d say medical is VERY short on personnel here, as most go on to Australia or the US when they get their degrees. OZ pays about 30% better than here, and the US about 60% better for medicos.

    frankly, you’re going to get less pay for work here, no matter what you do. It’s a very small country. I decided it was well worth it though. This place rocks in so many ways.

  104. Ichthyic says

    Frankly, state troopers sound better than the national guard to my ears: the former are police, the latter are army. Of course, it turns out that small-town police are army too these days.

    the point to my mind was to start disconnecting the local police force from violently suppressing the local community, and thus perpetuating the animosity between residents and police.

    if you have an entirely different unit in there to “keep order”, I thought it might help break the association between cops and violence even further.

    not like the nat guard is gonna stick around there indefinitely.

    Mixed bag with the nat guard though; on the side of good during the civil rights era in the south, but I also recall them being used to bust protestors in Berkeley in the 60s as well.

    *shrug*

  105. A. Noyd says

    numerobis (#120)

    oly hell that’s a disgusting wound.

    Looks like a volcano. She should name it Mt. Fuckthepolice.

  106. Ichthyic says

    I’m sure he is not, and all I mean is I give people three chances before I stop reading their blog

    Michael.

    Please stop reading this blog. Do not wait for 3 chances. Do not pass go. do not collect 200 dollars. just fuck off.

  107. Ichthyic says

    Ferguson police chief now in press conference asking “everybody to tone it down”.

    “What I’m satisfied with is that we haven’t hurt anybody.” and that’s why they’re rolling with nonlethal rounds.

    In the previous page of comments, someone posted a picture from Ferguson of a woman who got hit with a rubber bullet.

    that wound was penetrative and bordering on serious.

    the fucker is lying. They HAVE HURT PEOPLE (post having flat out murdered Brown I mean).

  108. says

    Ichthyic:

    In the previous page of comments, someone posted a picture from Ferguson of a woman who got hit with a rubber bullet.

    This page, too. There are additional photos of people who have been wounded by rubber bullets, but you need a twitter account to see them (they were protected by the poster, for graphic violence), one of them is a woman who was hit in the face, and now has a crater just like the Pastor who was hit in the abdomen. Another man was wounded in the neck. Those rubber bullets can kill people.

  109. Ichthyic says

    Worse: Paul quotes someone from the Cato Institute saying the same thing.

    Odd he didn’t quote the report on the militarization of police put out by the ACLU….

    which is actually what the CATO inst used to make its commentary I am willing to bet.

  110. Ichthyic says

    Those rubber bullets can kill people.

    like I posted on the previous page… they were banned in the UK over 40 years ago for just that reason.

    wonder why the US is still using them…

  111. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    From Rand Paul, as quoted by Tony!:

    It is one thing for federal officials to work in conjunction with local authorities to reduce or solve crime. It is quite another for them to subsidize it.

    Oh, if only Paul knew what he just said here…and meant it!

  112. says

    MSNBC just ran an ad for All In, Chris Hayes’ show, saying that he will be reporting from Ferguson. And now he’s on Rev Al’s show right now, live from Ferguson. Stay safe, Chris.

  113. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    From the twitter conversation about the 8 arrests mentioned by Inaji in 141:

    @Dreamdefenders You sent autistic children into the Attorney Generals office to protest? That's weak.— HeinleinWasRight (@GnTExecutive) August 14, 2014

    Let’s celebrate actions promoting justice by…promoting injustice. Nice job, HeinleinWasRight.

  114. Ichthyic says

    Oh, if only Paul knew what he just said here…and meant it!

    I’ll believe libertarians really want smaller government when people like Rand Paul talk hard about dismantling the Department of Homeland Security, which is by far and away the biggest spending of public monies on a non military project that has EVER HAPPENED IN THE HISTORY OF MAN. No, instead you get these fuckers talking about dismantling public education. anyone who thinks that’s a good thing is a complete idiot.

    The media seem to entirely ignore the issue of Homeland Security though (excluding Rachel Maddow…. probably). I wonder why (not really).

  115. Ichthyic says

    A photo out of Ferguson to make you feel all warm and cuddly. Or not.

    frankly, if I was a local cop forced to go out on duty there, I might think to cover my face too.

    not just out of embarrassment, but out of fear of reprisals because I KNOW what I’m doing is wrong.

  116. says

    Ichthyic:

    frankly, if I was a local cop forced to go out on duty there, I might think to cover my face too.

    not just out of embarrassment, but out of fear of reprisals because I KNOW what I’m doing is wrong.

    That ran through my mind too, but if I saw that person running at me, or aiming anything at me…

  117. says

    http://janeewoods.com/2014/08/14/becoming-a-white-ally-to-black-people-in-the-aftermath-of-the-michael-brown-murder/

    But then I realized something.

    For the first couple of days, almost all of the status updates expressing anger and grief about yet another extrajudicial killing of an unarmed black boy, the news articles about the militarized police altercations with community members and the horrifying pictures of his dead body on the city concrete were posted by people of color. Outpourings of rage and demands for justice were voiced by black people, Latinos, Asian Americans, Arab American Muslims. But posts by white people were few at first and those that I saw were posted mostly by my white activist or academic friends who are committed to putting themselves on the frontlines of any conversation about racial or economic injustice in America. And almost nothing, silence practically, by the majority of my nonactivist, nonacademic white friends- those same people who gleefully jumped on the bandwagon to dump buckets of ice over their heads to raise money for ALS and those same people who immediately wrote heartfelt messages about reaching out to loved ones suffering from depression following the suicide of the extraordinary Robin Williams, may he rest in peace. But an unarmed black teenager minding his own business walking down the street in broad daylight gets harassed and murdered by a white police officer and those same people seem to have nothing urgent to say about pervasive, systemic, deadly racism in America?

    They have nothing to say?

  118. Menyambal says

    Al Sharpton was showing the police chief talking. The cheif put his foot in it several times.

  119. says

    Here’s the police presence for the march.

    Wesley Lowery ‏@WesleyLowery 1h
    immediate change in police tone (march is still early) now that highway patrol overseeing things #ferguson

    Wesley Lowery ‏@WesleyLowery 1h
    Cpt. Johnson of Highway Patrol hugging residents as they pass during march. “I grew up here!” he notes. #ferguson

    Wesley Lowery ‏@WesleyLowery 54m
    Johnson says they are going to provide media staging areas. This is night and day from every other night this week. Night and day #ferguson

    #Ferguson largest crowd I’ve seen so far marching, at least several thousand, peaceful

  120. says

    Inaji @161:
    Finally!
    Things never should have taken the turn they did. Hopefully now protesters can continue exercising their Constitutional rights and the media can safely cover this story.

  121. says

    Tony:

    Finally!

    Finally is right! Captain Johnson is leading the march, he’s talking with people. One of his officers is on record of saying about the march “it’s a good cause, I’d be here even if I wasn’t working”.

  122. says

    From Inaji’s link at #164:

    According to Mitchell, Brown, Jr, began to run away after the first shot was fired.
    “After the shot, the kid just breaks away. The cop follows him, kept shooting, the kid’s body jerked as if he was hit. After his body jerked he turns around, puts his hands up, and the cop continues to walk up on him and continues to shoot until he goes all the way down,” Mitchell said.

  123. says

    Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm
    14 August 2014 at 2:47 pm
    “1967 @ 89
    1) No, because of your choice to continue carping on a trivial detail in the midst of people trying to maintain focus on atrocities being committed.
    2) Will someone please teach these fuckwits what ad hominem fucking means? Nobody said you’re wrong because you’re an asshole. They said you’re wrong and an asshole. See the difference?”

    What is happening in Ferguson is horrible. I’m glad you have this blog to share your thoughts and feelings… to “maintain focus.” How horrible that other readers are bothered by being told we have “sacred cows.” I’ve been a reader of all the Freethought blogs, but apparently, this blog has its own fan club thought police in which readers aren’t allowed to speak up against callousness for they might derail the all too important dialogue of blog commentary.

    Thanks for calling me an asshole and a fuckwit. If this is the kind of blog PZ wants, then have at it.

  124. says

    Hundreds of people marching through Manhattan right now #Ferguson

    “There will be no tear gas tonight” -Capt. Ronald Johnson in #Ferguson

    As things are getting a bit better in Ferguson, though, the assholes are pouring out of the woodwork, and we’re going to hearing a fucktonne of shit:

    “Those thugs, looters can forget about a @Walmart, or any brand name store staying in STL.

    Dear #Ferguson protesters – human rights are for humans only. When you behave like animals, you get treated as such.

  125. says

    What is happening in Ferguson is horrible. I’m glad you have this blog to share your thoughts and feelings… to “maintain focus.” How horrible that other readers are bothered by being told we have “sacred cows.”

    Yeah, totes the same thing, dude. Fuck off, 1967. Thanks.

  126. says

    “After the shot, the kid just breaks away. The cop follows him, kept shooting, the kid’s body jerked as if he was hit. After his body jerked he turns around, puts his hands up, and the cop continues to walk up on him and continues to shoot until he goes all the way down,” Mitchell said.

    I’ve been wondering how they are going to spin this, because I’d bet anything that if the cop is convicted, it will be on a manslaughter charge, not murder. And I wish to fuck I wasn’t so damn cynical about the murder of an 18 year old, going to visit his grandma.

  127. Ichthyic says

    Thanks for calling me an asshole and a fuckwit.

    AT LAST!! a fuckwit that is just smart enough to realize we’re doing them a favor by highlighting their fuckwittery to them.

  128. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    The Ustream from RealAlexJones has been up for about an hour at least. I caught a bit of marching before getting Little One and now they’re at the church.

    Just crying over it. Been following this since PZ’s first post, thank you all for the updates and links. And pushing back against the fuckwits. I’ve been too upset to even try.

  129. says

    1967:

    How horrible that other readers are bothered by being told we have “sacred cows.” I’ve been a reader of all the Freethought blogs, but apparently, this blog has its own fan club thought police in which readers aren’t allowed to speak up against callousness for they might derail the all too important dialogue of blog commentary.

    You’re really that bent out of shape being told that you have a ‘sacred cow’?
    More to the point, this whining from various corners about Pharyngula (or FtB) having a thought police is ridiculous. No one is telling you what you can think or how you can think. People who whine about the so-called “thought police” are complaining about being told to not discuss certain things in a particular thread, to not engage in a derail, that their words portray them as a shitty human being, or that this community does not approve of the use of certain words (like bigoted or sexist slurs). In no way is anyone policing your thoughts. In no way *CAN* anyone police your thoughts. What people (such as myself) would like to see is for people to police their own DAMN thoughts. I’d like to see people think more about what they say, how they say it, and when they say it*. Just because you have the right to say what you want doesn’t mean you should speak whatever comes to mind. Nor does your right to say what you want mean that you’re free from being criticized for your words.
    Freedom of speech does not mean freedom from the consequences of your speech, and that’s what most people whining about the “thought police” are really complaining about.
    Another problem with your fucking whining in this thread is that a HUGE focus of this thread has been on bringing facts to light about the events in Ferguson. This is very important. Is it too much to ask that you table your concerns for another thread? Are your concerns that much more important than discussing the horrible situation in Ferguson? Again, think about what and when you speak your mind.

    Going back to your comment upthread:

    Sorry, PZ apologists. His OP on this was insensitive, and while you may not care or think so, it is the response of any of us in the atheist community.

    If you’d read the threads surrounding the shitstorm in Ferguson, you’d see that several of the regulars-myself included-felt that PZs words read as insensitive. I know, after reading this blog for years, that PZ was not trying to belittle those suffering from depression or with suicidal thoughts. However, not everyone was able to recognize that. He didn’t give enough thought to whether or not his sarcasm would be received by readers, and yes, he stepped in it.
    My big problem though, is that so many people-just like you-want to focus on that misstep, rather than the bigger picture. Despite the fact that it’s been pointed out that he was being sarcastic, despite people agreeing that he was insensitive at points in the original thread on Robin Williams, far too many people are whining about that, while the civil rights of Americans are being violated. Like the media, I think the priorities of some of PZs detractors (note, I didn’t say *ALL*) are out of whack. You’ve expressed your criticism. Now do you have anything to add about the murder of Michael Brown? How about the status of race relations in this country? Anything about the disproportionate number of black people incarcerated? Perhaps you’d like to speak about white privilege? Maybe you want to say something about the militarization of the police in the US? How about the justified fear that many black people have of the police? Maybe the tyrannical actions of the police and SWAT in Ferguson? Perhaps you could address the celebrity culture in the US and how celebrities seem to be more important to a great many people than the civil rights violations of American citizens. Oh, I know, how about the suppression of the media in Ferguson? Unlawful arrest? Howzabout criticizing the media for overstating the looting and rioting in Ferguson?
    There’s a host of other things you could talk about that directly relate to the OP.

    *yes, I include myself in this. I’ve fucked up in the past. Recently in fact. I anticipate that I’ll fuck up again. I strive to ensure that I’ve given thought to the words that I post and that they reflect my values. I attempt to minimize the potential for misunderstanding by making every effort to convey my intent clearly. I aim to ensure that what I say is appropriate, and that when I say things is appropriate. I don’t always get it right, but it’s something to strive for.

  130. says

    Tony:

    Is it too much to ask that you table your concerns for another thread?

    Especially when a link was provided to thunderdome, where they were free to rant away about whatever they liked.

  131. Ichthyic says

    The contrast is stunning: contrast 1 contrast 2

    Ferguson needs to fire their entire police, including their training division, and start over again, from scratch.

    otherwise, it will be an entire generation before the community feels they can work with the police again.

  132. says

    Ichthyic:

    Ferguson needs to fire their entire police, including their training division, and start over again, from scratch.

    otherwise, it will be an entire generation before the community feels they can work with the police again.

    I agree. I wish those contrast photos were being plastered everywhere. They need to be plastered everywhere.

  133. says

    Forgive me if this has already been posted:
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/08/14/1321504/-Ferguson-Police-Tear-Gas-Reporters-then-Disassemble-Their-TV-Equipment

    It appears as though the Ferguson police department has a real problem with reporters covering the actions police are taking against the civilians living in Ferguson, MO. The other day they prevent media coverage via helicopter by getting a “No Fly Zone” over Ferguson and now they have resorted to targeting journalists with tear gas so they can disassemble their television equipment.
    Sounds 3rd world, huh?

    It gets even more 3rd world when you include the fact that Ferguson, MO police are also arresting St. Louis City Alderman, Antonio French, who was sitting in his car, because he didn’t listen” to them.

    I didn’t know that they were disassembling the media equipment.

  134. Ichthyic says

    they also need to politely refuse advice and materials from the pentagon….

    I can only imagine this is an ongoing experiment by the people who fund the pentagon to see what effect completely militarizing the police will have.

    well, mission accomplished.

  135. says

    Look at this shit Steve King said about the protesters in Ferguson:

    King appeared on Newsmax TV on Wednesday where host J.D. Hayworth asked him about the escalating conflict in Ferguson. When asked about the concerns raised by members of the Congressional Black Caucus about the possibility of racial profiling, King said those were unsubstantiated.
    “This idea of no racial profiling,” King said, “I’ve seen the video. It looks to me like you don’t need to bother with that particular factor because they all appear to be of a single, you know, of a single origin, I should say, a continental origin might be the way to phrase that.”

  136. Ichthyic says

    I didn’t know that they were disassembling the media equipment.

    happened after they drove off the Al Jazeera folks. At first, they just pointed the cameras down to the ground. But evidently they then completely dismantled the rigs.

    there is a lot more to answer in Ferguson than Mike Brown. Like I said, something went horribly wrong there, and the entire police department needs to be burned down and rebuilt from scratch to fix it. They need to reconnect to the community they are supposed to be protecting.

    whether that will happen? All I can say is that they said the same thing after Rodney King and the resulting riots/police misconduct. And they at first looked like they were trying to do that…. never really got too far though. Now? pretty much the same as it ever was.

  137. says

    Oh my fucking god:
    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/08/14/kkk-raising-money-for-hero-ferguson-cop-who-shot-jewish-controlled-black-thug/

    The Ku Klux Klan is soliciting funds for the police officer in Ferguson, Missouri who shot and killed unarmed teenager Michael Brown, 18.

    The Southern Poverty Law Center’s Hate Watch blog reported that the South Carolina-based New Empire Knights of the Ku Klux Klan boasted that its Missouri chapter is raising money as a “reward” for the officer.

    “We are setting up a reward/fund for the police officer who shot this thug,” said an email from the Klan group. “He is a hero! We need more white cops who are anti-Zog and willing to put Jewish controlled black thugs in their place. Most cops are cowards and do nothing while 90 percent of interracial crime is black (and non-white) on white.”

    An Arizona Klan chapter wrote on its blog, “We know that Michael Brown was nothing more than a punk. The media and others are painting him out to be a ‘good son’ and ‘great kid.’ The blacks of Missouri are showing their love of him by rioting, attacking and shooting people. Nothing new.”

    I thought they were claiming to not be a racist organization anymore.

  138. says

    Tony @ 186, that story has been surfacing on twitter feeds, too. It’s not just klan. All over twitter, right wing authoritarians are spreading stories about militant black hate groups, trying to twist the narrative of Ferguson, faked photos, and then there are libertarians who are content with scoffing and repeating things like “hey, animals.”. Then there are people like Matt Walsh, who wrote such egregious shit, it pains me to link it: themattwalshblog.com (I used do not link.)

    There’s gonna be a backlash, and it will be bad. It’s already a very, very bad situation that the officer who shot Mike Brown has not been arrested, not been questioned, and not had his name released. There may be peace tonight in Ferguson, but this situation is far from over, and it doesn’t even begin to address the wider problem of systemic racism in the U.S., or how often bigots get away with horrible crimes.

  139. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    My thanks to the tireless (it seems) efforts of Tony, Inaji, Ichthyic, and many others (you know how you are, the Pullet Patrol™ has noticed and has paid for your drinks for the rest of the year), for keeping Pharyngula up to date on the latest from Ferguson. A world of difference from last night so far, but tonight’s so far correct response should have been the response from the beginning. *Sigh*

  140. The Mellow Monkey says

    Inaji

    And I wish to fuck I wasn’t so damn cynical about the murder of an 18 year old, going to visit his grandma.

    This just absolutely breaks my heart. My nephew turns sixteen in a few days and he’s a big kid. Already over six feet and heavy, with the potential to be physically intimidating if he wasn’t such a quiet and easily cowed person. But he also has paler skin than his mother and so he will be safe walking down the street to visit his grandma. The police will look at over two hundred pounds of young man and be able to recognize that this is a child still, because he’s so pale.

    How can anyone not have their fucking heart break over that nightmarish privilege denied to others? How can anyone see pictures of a smiling young man about to go out and start his life and not breakdown goddamn sobbing that his life was robbed simply because of the color of his skin? How can they look at a picture of Mike Brown and not recognize on a deep, emotional, gut-level that this is a travesty beyond measure?

    In this entire cold universe, there is nothing else more like you than another human being. These young Black people killed were human beings. How can anyone not weep for that kinship, for that lost piece of humanity? How can anyone–I don’t care how fucking white they are–not collapse into a quivering mass of empathy, recognizing that our fellow human beings are being hunted and murdered?

    Racism isn’t something that white people should be opposing because, gosh, it’s not very nice. They should be sickened down to their cores by it. They should be enraged. This isn’t happening to abstract ideas, to some nebulous “other” that it would be a swell idea to stop hurting. This is happening to our fellow humans. Our people. Our blood.

    How can skin color get in the way of people mourning these murdered young people as their own blood?

  141. Pteryxx says

    Passing by to drop some notes about MSNBC tonight. First, Chris Hayes made good on his tweet yesterday and did his entire hour’s show live from the midst of the peaceful Ferguson crowd. He gave his mic to person after person to talk about their experiences with the protests, with police and traffic stops, about being ignored by their governor, and about the changes they want to see in the police departments and having the community’s needs addressed and voices heard. Random people got in the camera and waved signs, kids were everywhere, and it was disorganized and friendly and glorious. Chris Hayes is still there and will be broadcasting a second hour starting at 11PM Eastern (in slightly over one hour).

    Maddow’s show has been multiple segments about sundown towns, about police militarization, about the nationwide protests going on in solidarity, and especially about the history of proper police response and de-escalation, starting out with a lead segment on Kent State and Madison, Wisconsin before it.

  142. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    They should be sickened down to their cores by it. They should be enraged. This isn’t happening to abstract ideas, to some nebulous “other” that it would be a swell idea to stop hurting. This is happening to our fellow humans. Our people. Our blood.

    I grew up in the fifties when institutional racism was prevalent, but I didn’t know it. My mother was from Tennessee, and my father still uses the “n” word. It took several incidents, like on vacation in the south and actually seeing the “separate but equal” drinking fountains in a department store, where we stopped for a bio-break. It is hard to break the habit of such ingrained institutionalized racism. While I could intellectually see such racism, it really took me about 15 years to begin to feel it at the gut level when exposed to it. I think a lot of folks feel that “true racism” died a couple of decades ago. Boy, are they wrong. But it is easier to bury one’s head in the sands of ignorance, than to argue against the rich and powerful bigots.

  143. says

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/08/14/michael-brown-ferguson-and-the-indifference-towards-the-lives-of-young-black-men/

    Many Americans share president Barack Obama’s sentiment regarding the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. This is clearly indicated in the deeply felt hurt experienced by so many and the massive swell of moral support people of all backgrounds offered to the young man’s parents in recent days.

    But to suggest that all, or even most, Americans feel the same would be severely misleading. Some citizens, drawing on media-fed imagery and timeworn stereotypes of young black men, have gone so far as to suggest that the unarmed teenager’s tragic death at the hands of a Ferguson police officer was self-inflicted, of his own doing, deserved and the result of his defiance of state authority.

    A young man with a promising future notwithstanding, too many in the United States view the disputed events that led to Brown’s death as the reasonable, albeit unfortunate, consequence of his errant behaviour.

    These views are not necessarily based on ignorance or even racial animus. However, it must be made clear, these features remain entrenched themes of contemporary American culture and life. The devaluing of Brown’s life is informed by a form of marginalisation that refers to the condition of those whom the broader society chronically excludes from economic networks and networks of care – or what American legal scholar Richard Delgado describes as being “beyond love”.

  144. magistramarla says

    Here’s where the next tragedy will likely happen:
    http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/texas/article/First-National-Guard-troops-at-Texas-Mexico-border-5689738.php
    The troops headed out to the border after a pep talk by our nit-wit governor.
    I’ve been reading the racist comments about Ferguson in the opinion section of our local paper, and they truly make me want to puke. The rednecks here in Texas have absolutely no idea what life is like for the black citizens of St. Louis. I went to college there in the mid 70s and heard a lot from my classmates and friends.
    My husband and i had one good friend in college who was very dark skinned. We were taken by surprise when we met her sister, who was light-skinned and naturally blond. Over drinks, they laughingly told us that their Mom was black and their Dad was white. There were eight children, and every other one was light skinned and every other one was dark skinned. They laughingly told us “Mom told Dad – One for me. One for you.”
    They then proceeded to not-so-laughingly tell us about the strikingly different experiences that the siblings had in school and in life, depending upon the shade of their skin. I will never forget that evening’s conversation. It was the first time that my eyes were opened to blatant racism and white privilege in America.
    It breaks my heart that things have gotten worse, not better after 30 years.

  145. says

    Todd Starnes of FOX News thinks that protesters attacked the media

    This is Starnes. No, he doesn’t think that.
    He thinks saying that lie advances his own particular aims.

  146. Island Adolescent says

    This song seems timely. Too bad we live in a society where it’s never not timely.

  147. Ichthyic says

    there are people like Matt Walsh, who wrote such egregious shit, it pains me to link it: themattwalshblog.com

    There is a very interesting comment in response by “Connie” there tracing the history of racial segregation in St Louis.

    last paragraph:

    In the 70’s, St. Louis County Government colluded with real estate types to move the blacks to North County after the demolishment Pruitt-Igoe and Darst-Webbe housing complexes, using techniques called steering, block-busting and fear-mongering (real estate agents would go into white neighborhoods with the specific intention of triggering white flight by showing on a map where an African-American family had bought a house). At least 6 real estate companies were sued, 2 were Gundaker offices.

    This situation has been created over a very long period of time.

  148. says

    Ichthyic:

    This situation has been created over a very long period of time.

    Yes. I lost count of the amount of times I saw white flight cited on #Ferguson. The people who live there, and in surrounding towns are very aware of what has taken place over a lengthy span of years.

  149. says

    @199, Ichthyic:

    Re: block-busting, etc.:

    That’s how the west side of Chicago was divided up in the 50s and 60s. It was finally stopped… but instead Chicago now operates by redlining instead. If you are black and go to a real estate agent in the Chicago area, you will be shown black neighborhoods. If you are white and go to that same agent, you will be shown white neighborhoods. Since the 1980s, when they switched tactics, this has basically turned Chicago and the suburbs into a checkerboard. Yeah, sure, Chicago is racially integrated… unless you zoom in the map.

    There is seriously no fucking end to the shit the gatekeepers to power and money will pull if they aren’t watched continuously.

    @200, Lofty:

    Hopefully this is just too big to be just swept under the right wing carpet.

    Oh, it is. Which is why they’re switching to plan “B” and telling us how it’s all the citizens’ fault, vide the stuff already being reported above.

    (Besides, since when has American media reported the same stories as the rest of the world?)

  150. tonyatkinson says

    Yes. Well.
    Racism.

    Thing is though. Mr Williams likely died because of severe clinical depression.

    I am a mental health nurse in the uk.

    I see this.

    Shocking deaths like this chill most people to the bone and they should.

    Feels like on this blog, his death is being used as a battering ram. To highlight racism and prejudice

    I just want to say…

    Let the media dissect this one suicide. Some good journalism on it over here in UK
    The next big fight if for the removal of the stigma of mental illness

    http://bit.ly/1q8eKGQ

  151. A. Noyd says

    tonyatkinson (#203)

    I am a mental health nurse in the uk.

    Who doesn’t give a fuck about what racism does to the mental health of people of color, apparently. Shame on you.

  152. Ichthyic says

    Feels like on this blog, his death is being used as a battering ram. To highlight racism and prejudice

    your instincts are terrible. don’t quit your day job.

  153. says

    And because many people are trying to distribute false information about the looting in Ferguson, there is information about the 10 arrested looters here, and none of them were from or lived in Ferguson. One man was from Texas.

  154. A. Noyd says

    Any discussion about mental health that demands people of color’s struggles with racism be set aside is the wrong kind of discussion to have. We don’t need any more non-intersectional advocacy movements.

    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~

    Ichthyic (#[8]07)

    your instincts are terrible. don’t quit your day job.

    Actually, they probably should quit, given what their job is.

  155. says

    tonyatkinson:

    Yes. Well.
    Racism.

    Lovely of you to illustrate why racism is such a terrible, endemic problem, not just in the States, but all over the world.

    Kindly fuck off now, won’t you? Ta.

  156. Pteryxx says

    Glenn Greenwald’s latest on Ferguson and the militarization of police. (Intercept link)

    The report documents how the Drug War and (Clinton/Biden) 1990s crime bills laid the groundwork for police militarization, but the virtually unlimited flow of “homeland security” money after 9/11 all but forced police departments to purchase battlefield equipment and other military paraphernalia whether they wanted them or not. Unsurprisingly, like the War on Drugs and police abuse generally, “the use of paramilitary weapons and tactics primarily impacted people of color.”

    Some police departments eagerly militarize, but many recognize the dangers. Salt Lake City police chief Chris Burbank is quoted in the ACLU report: “We’re not the military. Nor should we look like an invading force coming in.” A 2011 Los Angeles Times article, noting that “federal and state governments are spending about $75 billion a year on domestic security,” described how local police departments receive so much homeland security money from the U.S. government that they end up forced to buy battlefield equipment they know they do not need: from armored vehicles to Zodiac boats with side-scan sonar.

  157. Island Adolescent says

    This goddamn shitstorm has unfortunately created emotional disdain and hatred of Robin Williams for me. I loved the guy, was very upset he died, and particularly saddened that he took his own life several days ago.

    But right fucking now? My current mental response to the thought of Robin Williams is “FUCK Robin Williams.” And that’s not good. And I’m not happy about that. But goddammit fuck fuck fuckity FUCK Robin Williams.

    I will probably regret this rant, but fucking hell…

  158. tonyatkinson says

    Sorry.
    Wrong venue?

    Just wanted to say something about depression and suicide.
    In light of his sad death.

    Stigma. Social exclusion of people with mental illness. Institutional racism in service provision. Attitudes to schizophrenia. Media sensationalism.

    It was the starting point of this whole discussion?

    Thought this was for comments on that as well?

  159. says

    Any discussion about mental health that demands people of color’s struggles with racism be set aside is the wrong kind of discussion to have.

    Sing it. It so way past time that we stop setting aside just how much racism factors into everything, every tiny daily act, moment to moment. Poverty and mental health issues often go hand in hand. Same with racism. I have PTSD, I’ve had it for a very long time. However, I’m able to easily pass for Whitey McWhite White, so I don’t have to live with the day to day suspicions, harassment, microaggressions, and aggressions that POC live with all their lives. I don’t have to live with the knowledge that I, or someone I love will be gunned down in the street by police. Seems to me that living with such things from the moment you arrive on the planet would grind you down to a point that it would feel like you have PTSD squared, to say the least. People who keep trying to keep racism in box, all neat and separate from everything else are a major part of the reason we still struggle with racism so much.

    We don’t need any more non-intersectional advocacy movements.

    No, we don’t. We could seriously use a whole lot less of thoughtless people who can’t be arsed to read the comments in the previous thread, over 700 comments, and can’t be arsed to read the 700+ comments in this one before they decide to weigh in, right, Nurse Atkinson?

  160. tonyatkinson says

    “But right fucking now? My current mental response to the thought of Robin Williams is “FUCK Robin Williams.” And that’s not good. And I’m not happy about that. But goddammit fuck fuck fuckity FUCK Robin Williams.
    I will probably regret this rant, but fucking hell…”

    Maybe there’s an Atlantic divide.
    Big news in the uk is this, Iraq and gaza. Oh, and robin Williams and the illness he had no control over.

    Journalists here are saying things like ” it was a selfish act” really , really misjudging the condition

  161. says

    tonyatkinson:

    Sorry.
    Wrong venue?

    Just wanted to say something about depression and suicide.
    In light of his sad death.

    Stigma. Social exclusion of people with mental illness. Institutional racism in service provision. Attitudes to schizophrenia. Media sensationalism.

    It was the starting point of this whole discussion?

    Thought this was for comments on that as well?

    First, thank you. People have been discussing PZ’s post and mental illness in Thunderdome, an open thread, starting around #360. We have been trying to discuss events in Ferguson and the murder of Mike Brown in this thread. Please feel free to click over to thunderdome, and discuss whatever you like there, and people will be happy to talk with you.

    Also, I’m sorry I jumped. We’ve had an awful lot of assholes showing up, and some of us are heartsick and bone weary from covering events in Ferguson.

  162. tonyatkinson says

    The uk has racism too. It runs deep.
    I don’t think it is as bad here though. I think the civil rights movement here had much more successful much earlier on in our history.
    Our police have institutionalised racism, but we addressed much of that after the Lawrence enquiry.

    Young black boy stabbed by thugs- poor police investigation- mired by racist and lazy investigating

  163. says

    tonyatkinson:

    Journalists here are saying things like ” it was a selfish act” really , really misjudging the condition

    Here, there was non-stop coverage of Williams, and almost none on the murder of Mike Brown, or the takeover of the town by a police force gone rogue military. There were 5 days of mass amounts of teargas (people being teargassed in their own yards), snipers sighting people, rubber bullets being fired into crowds, people wounded, illegal arrests being made, stun grenades lobbed at people, blinding lights and LDAPs being used. That barely begins to cover it, and you want to know where the news was coming from for days? Twitter. Yep, twitter. Because celebrity culture ate the news, and no one thought the murder of an 18 year old man, on the way to see his grandma, was worth covering.

    Back to Mr. Williams though, it’s not just the UK journalists being insensitive, ignorant arses. A Fox news correspondent called him a coward.

    So…we’re all a bit pissy.

  164. says

    tonyatkinson:

    Young black boy stabbed by thugs

    Heh. In the States, pretty much anyone who isn’t white is considered a thug.

  165. tonyatkinson says

    Thankyou inaji

    Sorry everyone. I seem to have stumbled upon and then intruded on an understandably emotive and frightening event in the US -that has coincided with the death of a celebrity.
    I’ll have a look in thunderdome.

    I will look up ferguson though……Over here ferguson was the manager of Manchester United football club.

  166. says

    tonyatkinson:

    I will look up ferguson though

    Just stroll through the comments in this thread (there are two pages) – all the stuff in red text is a link.

  167. tonyatkinson says

    Fucking hell inaji.

    I’m sorry I didn’t know. Honestly. I mean if it wasn’t reported there then u can imagine how little we get over here. Thank god for the internet.

    It’s fucking mad over there. What’s Obama doing? Surely he’s not burying his head is he? Of all people .

  168. says

    Inaji #222

    Heh. In the States, pretty much anyone who isn’t white is considered a thug.

    Oddly, in the UK, the most common adjective placed before “thug” seems to be “racist.” So much so that even without the adjective, it brings to mind an image of a skinhead. I’m so used to that combination that I was actually quite shocked when I found out that it was something of a racist euphemism for “black” in the states.

    (Sorry, kinda OT I know, but sort of not, too.)

  169. tonyatkinson says

    Just read obamas statement.

    Described over here as “carefully measured”

    You need an inquiry after this. Over here very, very senior police officers would , eventually be held to account

    Government might fall over here if that happened. I hope.

  170. says

    tonyatkinson:

    What’s Obama doing? Surely he’s not burying his head is he?

    Our president released a statement about Mike Brown’s murder and the situation in Ferguson, a very long time after he released a statement about Robin Williams death. Apparently, he was briefed last night while attending a birthday party in Martha’s Vineyard. Outside of that, he hasn’t done much. See comment #69 for an excerpt. People haven’t been terribly impressed.

    The best twitter feeds for information are: https://twitter.com/AntonioFrench and https://twitter.com/hashtag/Ferguson?src=hash
    All day to day, there have been protests, vigils, and marches throughout the United States.

  171. tonyatkinson says

    Yes.

    Thug is often, in fact usually prefaced by racist.

    White power thugs and all that.
    Never here black people being referred to as thugs
    Language is weird.

    In UK , nobody says “people of color” or as we would say- colour. It’s black. African black, Afro Caribbean black etc if you want more geographical origins.

    Obama.
    What do democrats think if him?

  172. tonyatkinson says

    It’s not world news thus yet. We still angry re : Israel. And their brutal attack on gaza. And the menace of the horrific ISIS jihadists in Syria/Northern Iraq.

    Oh, and robin fucking Williams .

    I seem to have changed my tune on him

  173. says

    Daz:

    I’m so used to that combination that I was actually quite shocked when I found out that it was something of a racist euphemism for “black” in the states.

    It is a euphemism for black. Hispanic, too. I can imagine your shock. This shit just runs so deep that people don’t even think about it. This is highlighted by the http://iftheygunnedmedown.tumblr.com/ – if a young white man is wearing a hoodie, he’s just a young white guy. If a young black man is wearing a hoodie, he’s a dangerous thug.

  174. A. Noyd says

    So, apparently I can’t add. Ichthyic’s was comment #[7]07. Why the fuck does WordPress or whatever even allow comment numbers to start over like that? Ugh.

    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~

    Daz (#[7]26)

    I’m so used to that combination that I was actually quite shocked when I found out that it was something of a racist euphemism for “black” in the states.

    Interesting history to the word “thug.”

    By the way, you know that “urban” is another of those racist euphemisms for “black,” right?

  175. says

    Um, tonyatkinson, you might want to (in the vernacular) check yourself before you wreck yourself.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_of_Mark_Duggan
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_of_Jean_Charles_de_Menezes
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blair_Peach

    These are just the three I could come up with off the top of my head. If you honestly think police in Britain are less racist than the ones in the UK, then it would be generous to say you’ve had your head in the sand, and not somewhere else rather nastier.

    Note that de Menezes was killed by mistaken identity; Duggan was just plain murdered; Blair Peach was at an anti-racist demonstration.

    http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/sites/default/files/documents/raceinbritain/policeandracism.pdf

    Please do look into it, before you make pronouncements about what is or isn’t going on in racism in Britain. Hell, ask Avicenna, whose blog is right here on FtB, about whether or not there’s any racist problems with the police in Britain. He’s from Manchester, and he’s South Asian.

    How do I know this? Because I’m from there myself. When we moved here to Canada, when I was 10, I spent the first three weeks of my existence being pulled out from under piles of people, because I didn’t know any better yet than to call PoC by the racist names I’d learned growing up in Watford, and which my parents used all the time. Every Asian was a P—, Middle Easterners were all w–s and every Black person was a n—– or a S—- or a s—- or all kinds of other nastiness. I don’t think I need to fill in any of those blanks for you, do I? I learned better, thank fuck, and now I try to open the eyes of other white people to the shit that most of us pull.

    For Canadians, before you start climbing into the saddle of your very tall horse:

    Fact Sheet on Police Violence against the African Community in Canada (Updated in July 2013)

    That the UK and Canadian gun culture doesn’t support the level of lethal violence that the US’ does, please don’t think it’s because we’re morally superior.

    We just don’t have as many easy ways of murdering people.

  176. says

    These are just the three I could come up with off the top of my head. If you honestly think police in Britain are less racist than the ones in the UK US, then it would be generous to say you’ve had your head in the sand, and not somewhere else rather nastier.

    FTFM.

  177. tonyatkinson says

    A black man in a hoodie over here?

    Same thing. Police stop and search him. Shop keepers eye him.

    Actually though. Over here at the moment it’s Eastern European immigrants. Those from Romania, etc who are the victims of bigotry.

    Daily Mail newspaper rants about them taking our jobs and living off social security.

    When actually – immigrants have been proven to contribute more to GDP than they cost in UK

    Misinformation . Misdirection.
    The true enemy is the widening gap of wealth distribution. Bankers. All that.

    We aren’t fighting in the streets just yet though.

    Police are corrupt. But not as twisted as yours it seems

  178. Goodbye Enemy Janine says

    Oh, and robin fucking Williams .

    I seem to have changed my tune on him

    The problem was never with Robin Williams, the person. The problem was how news of his suicide was used to not talk about ongoing news of a very tense situation.

  179. tonyatkinson says

    I doff my cap a. Noyd.

    I stand corrected. To a degree.

    Thank goodness for our firearms control in the UK

    It’s just when I read the extent what’s going on over thee right now….

    This sound big. historically significant? As big as Obama being elected ?

    Teargassing in their own yards? Police gone rogue military?

    Maybe I’m reading it wrong

  180. tonyatkinson says

    Urban.

    Urban is good over here. Musical genre. Music of black origin. But multi-ethnic

  181. A. Noyd says

    Daz (#[7]38)

    though I’m led to believe it’s somewhat context-related as well, and may still be used safely (if that’s the word) in its correct meaning if the context’s clear.

    Well, that deniability is kind of why the racists find it so useful.

    ~*~*~*~*~*~

    tonyatkinson (#[7]40)

    I doff my cap a. Noyd.

    I think you mean to CaitieCat, unless you found the Thuggee article unexpectedly compelling.

  182. tonyatkinson says

    The police here are bad. Poor, very poor race relations. Stop and search laws are the real sticking point for most blacks I know.

    Their cars are stopped. They are stopped when they walk the street. On their way to work.

    Police shootings are rare . Black and other ethnics don’t feel like they are. There’s a legitimate mistrust of the police.

    Young black men die in police cells than any other race in the uk.

    But this thing over there…

    And the right ring media you have reporting it? Or not reporting it? Or even condoning it
    It just wouldn’t pan out like this in the uk .

  183. tonyatkinson says

    I echo inaji

    Another American revolution?

    And while your at it…
    Sort out your ( and be default the uk’s) abysmal foreign policies

  184. says

    Well, that deniability is kind of why the racists find it so useful.

    Umm. I get what you mean. I was thinking more along the lines of description of infrastructure as urban as opposed to rural; that kind of thing. That the word hadn’t become so tainted it was impossible to use in any context. Maybe I’m wrong. I tend to avoid it on US-dominated blogs etc anyway, in a kinda better safe than sorry way.

    Back on the main topic, does anyone feel up to explaining how it took so long for outside police forces to be brought into Ferguson. I’m assuming it’s some sort of jurisdictional thing, like states Vs federal, etc?

  185. says

    tonyatkinson #245

    And the right ring media you have reporting it? Or not reporting it? Or even condoning it
    It just wouldn’t pan out like this in the uk .

    You don’t read our vaunted printed press then, I take it? Here’s a good place to begin.

    Seriously, I see this a lot from fellow Brits, and it drives me up the wall. We may be a bit quieter or euphemistic about it, and not have the guns to make it so obvious (nothing’s quite as obvious as a corpse) but we have much the same problems.

  186. tonyatkinson says

    It’s now. 6.30 am here and I’m still up. I have in mind to watch some US news on this . so I can get some balanced perspective. Some gravitas regards the historical significance of these events on the state of current US race relations in the US in 2014
    FOX news any good?

  187. A. Noyd says

    Daz (#[7]46)

    I was thinking more along the lines of description of infrastructure as urban as opposed to rural; that kind of thing. That the word hadn’t become so tainted it was impossible to use in any context. Maybe I’m wrong.

    Ahhh, gotcha. I think it’s pretty safe to use for things related to cities. Highly questionable when used in relation to groups of people. There are terms like “urban fiction” (not to be confused with “urban fantasy“) that might be exceptions. (Granted, since I don’t know, I’m leery to use it. The n-word is hardly the only thing that can significantly change meaning coming out of a white person’s mouth.)

  188. says

    @252, tonyatkinson:

    FOX news is targeted at the sort of person who sees the coverage of Ferguson and feels sympathetic towards the cops. Many (most?) of the viewers probably would, if answering honestly, say that they think not enough black people were shot. All of them would complain that not being able to express that preference in public without being viewed as racist is a sign of some sort of moral failing in modern culture.

    Some of the people who work for FOX news are possibly mere cynics making a buck off of the hatred of the ignorant. Some of them probably share in the ignorant hatred themselves. All of them, however, are the sorts of people who, if a genie offered them a choice between curing cancer worldwide and having really perfect hair for the rest of their lives, would choose the hair.

    Find some other coverage. Almost ANYTHING will be better.

  189. Ichthyic says

    watching fox news as representative of the States is like reading Pravda as representative of the real Russia.

  190. tonyatkinson says

    Thanks for info, vicar . Insight I didn’t entirely know but I was kinda using sarcastic humour.

  191. Ichthyic says

    Apparently the STL prosecutor is upset:

    add another one who just raised his hand to be replaced.

    I swear, STL might be even more fucked up than central L.A.

  192. tonyatkinson says

    Before you get back to business at hand-

    Re; 254. Urban.

    There is no risky use if urban in UK I don’t think. Not mainstream.

    Infrastructure, cities, images of graffiti are conjured. As is urban music- rap etc. black origin

    No negative usages. Not used as a slur generally.

  193. says

    Nerd

    think a lot of folks feel that “true racism” died a couple of decades ago. Boy, are they wrong.

    Oh, yeah. My first time through university, studying community development, was like that; these are progressive people who care deeply about poverty, urban design, and so forth, and it was still like pulling goddamned teeth to get them to actually discuss institutional racism in a present-day context.

  194. gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet says

    Watching ‘The Drum’ (on ABC again) – they actually did a story on Ferguson that was going… OK… Until one of the commentators *had* to mention ‘what about black people shooting black people?’ And intimated that was the real problem in the US.

    Sigh.

  195. Maureen Brian says

    tonyatkinson,

    The vocabulary of racism in the UK shifts depending upon who you are and where you are. In an inner-city and totally mixed community where all shop at the same shops and go to the same school, the word urban just has its dictionary meaning and can be applied happily to music, style of dress, traffic problems.

    In a mixed but classically hierarchical set-up, the white people at the top will be mightily careful with their language but less so with their attitudes. So no Black person makes it past the lowest rank of management. They would only use urban of town planning questions.

    It’s when you get out into chocolate-box-cottage-land that urban takes on a wholly negative cast. It isn’t simply city versus country because this is not true of the places undoubtedly rural – see PZ’s adventures in Yorkshire – but which have long and strong traditions of trades unionism, self-organisation in co-ops (and going off to build a new church when they have a theological ruckus with the minister) and uppity, working women it’s different again so what racism there may be is subliminal. I don’t say it doesn’t exist.

  196. Daniel Schealler says

    I think a lot of folks feel that “true racism” died a couple of decades ago.

    I always wonder about people who say things like ‘true racism’ without the scare quotes.

    Like… What would ‘untrue racism’ look like, and do they actually think that would somehow be morally acceptable?

  197. Ichthyic says

    that was going… OK… Until one of the commentators *had* to mention ‘what about black people shooting black people?’

    What about white people shooting white people? that’s the REAL problem in the US…

    or maybe it’s all just a fucking red herring and those stats are simply due to the fact that most violence in ALL countries is domestic.

  198. Menyambal says

    One of the first TV bits that I saw about Ferguson (a couple days into it), was white folks buying guns. The shop owner said that they were “taking personal responsibility”.

    It looked like standard gun fondlers, at least what I saw.

    One picture somewhere showed a line of those militarized cops in the night. One of them had his hands up — it looked like he was mocking the protestors’ “hands up, don’t shoot” gesture.

  199. says

    OMG. Just heard on NPR (Fri 8/15/14 7:57am EST) – the lead sentence in a shamefully brief story on the militarization of local police departments:

    “Ferguson has been dominating the news this week,”

    I kid you not.

    I also note and agree with what other commenters poiunted out, that the media in general began paying more attention when journalists became police targets. And now that the Williams story is several days old, interest has tapered off and there’s room in the news stream for other stories.

    I generally get my news from NPR (National Public Radio), and i have been bitterly disappointed at their shamefully thin coverage of events in Ferguson over the past week. I dont watch TV (very vulnerable to nightmares from horrific images) so I listen to radio and read online.

    I wonder if the lack of media coverage, especially in the first few days of the brutal police response to the grief and outrage in that community, was interpreted by the Ferguson police leadership [spits!] as a tacet endorsment of what they were doing, Now that I’ve typed that, yep, that seems about right.

    The tardy, “measured” response of high-level officials is shameful. President Obama should have called Gov. Nixon on the first day to request that the Governor take action to get that police department under control.The President cannot command a Governor, but certainly a call from the White House would get the Governor’s attention, especially if the President had made the fact of that call public. To let that horrible situation fester and devolve over several days — without using the authority of their offices to influence events — is tantamount to endorsing the police brutality.

    I am indebted to so many people in this thread who provided all the updates and links and showed enormous resolve and perseverence and integrity and strength in sharing expriences and explaining what should be obvious to people who are committed to their state of denial. You all help me retain a little faith in humanity.

  200. The Mellow Monkey says

    magistramarla @ 196 [696]

    They then proceeded to not-so-laughingly tell us about the strikingly different experiences that the siblings had in school and in life, depending upon the shade of their skin. I will never forget that evening’s conversation. It was the first time that my eyes were opened to blatant racism and white privilege in America.

    My sister and I inherited very different looks as far as ethnic background goes, too. I knew that I had privilege because of how pale I am, but it hit me like a suckerpunch a few years ago when my sister was trying to get public assistance and she was repeatedly asked for proof of American citizenship. They kept giving her the runaround about it and refusing copies of birth certificates, to the point that she was incapable of getting assistance for months. Her kids didn’t have healthcare and barely had food for months because some racist fucks figured someone who looked like her couldn’t be American.

    A. Noyd @ 209 [709]

    Any discussion about mental health that demands people of color’s struggles with racism be set aside is the wrong kind of discussion to have. We don’t need any more non-intersectional advocacy movements.

    QFT. Mental health is also an issue of racial justice. When chronic illnesses and traumatic/stressful events are risk factors for developing depression and are the result of racial inequality, the two cannot be separated without being blatantly racist.

    Inaji @ 244 [744]

    Some people get it. Crowd of 200 at #mikebrown vigil swelled to 1000. Wearing red armbands to show we’re all ‘cut from the same cloth’

    Thank you for sharing that link. I needed it.

  201. dianne says

    One of the first TV bits that I saw about Ferguson (a couple days into it), was white folks buying guns. The shop owner said that they were “taking personal responsibility”.

    Oh. Fuck.

  202. The Mellow Monkey says

    Ten Things White People Can Do About Ferguson Besides Tweet

    If you live in an urban environment, you’re in a position to bear witness and document inappropriate and abusive police behavior. If you see an African-American neighbor being detained by police, wait to see what happens. Get your phone out. Download the ACLU’s “Police Tape” app, and if you see something that looks off, take a video that will upload directly to their servers, in case your phone is confiscated. Whatever police may tell you, this is your legal right.

    I did not know that about the ACLU app. That is a fantastic idea.

  203. numerobis says

    Police have just released the name of the officer who murdered Brown.

    Nothing much going on, then the mainstream media show up and get gassed and arrested, and suddenly, thing start to start to start to improve.

  204. says

    Just wanted to provide a citation for my comment about NPR at #272 above. It was in the intro to the Marketplace Morning Report on NPR’s Morning Edition program. Here is a link to the story:

    http://www.marketplace.org/topics/economy/swat-teams-are-growing-presence-law-enforcement

    The text version includes only the reporter’s story, and not the host’s spoken intro. But if you listen to the audio version, you will hear the quote (“Ferguson, Missouri, has been dominating the news this week”) — it’s the first sentence in the audio link.

  205. mildlymagnificent says

    gobi’s sockpuppet’s meatpuppet

    Long before they got into the discussion, the introduction, and the brief promo during the afternoon news service, was basically equating looting and tear gas. My teeth were almost ground to powder before the damn discussion even started.

  206. Menyambal says

    I had read about the military equipment flooding into police departments a few weeks before this happened, and damn if it didn’t play out like the worried ones were worried about. Armored vehicles and guns pointed at citizens. Dammit, it was foreseeable.

    Last night was a good night, though. I hope it becomes clear that some of the protests were against the militarized police presence. The citzens who stood up to that desrve all honor.

    The looting aspect needs to be cleared up well. I understand that it was out-of-town opportunists, and was not the immediate response of the neighborhood, but it is what the YouTube commentariat takes away from the situation. They talk as if a burnt business can’t be cleaned up and replaced, and as if a dead man means less than material goods.

    Obama should be ashamed of himself and his actions and lack thereof.

  207. magistramarla says

    Mellow Monkey @273
    I hope that your sister and her kids got the help that they needed! It’s sad that women and children have to deal with the assholes just to get basic necessities.
    My beautiful daughter-in-law is from Mexico and she deals with the same attitudes here in Texas.
    Her baby looks just like his Dad, my son, except that he has very curly hair from his Mom. People stare at her and can’t believe that the white baby that she is carrying is really hers.
    My son accompanies her to doctor appointments, etc. since no one will take her seriously.
    I’ve heard her say that she’s glad that the baby looks so much like his father, since that will make his life so much easier. That simply breaks my heart. I want my grandson to grow up being very proud of both of his parents and both of the cultures that make up his background. I don’t want him to have to hide his Mexican heritage just to get along in life.
    I’m also hoping that they will later have a little girl, and that she will look just like her gorgeous mother.
    For the sakes of my grandchildren, your nieces and nephews and all of the next generation of every background, I hope that things get better! We are all going to need to work to make things better.

  208. Crimson Clupeidae says

    Thanks for the link, Tony.
    Sez the KKK:

    “We are setting up a reward/fund for the police officer who shot this thug,” said an email from the Klan group. “He is a hero! We need more white cops who are anti-Zog and willing to put Jewish controlled black thugs in their place. Most cops are cowards and do nothing while 90 percent of interracial crime is black (and non-white) on white.”

    As if we needed any more proof that ‘thug’ is just the new code word for ‘nigger’.

    But, what’s Zog? I’m not familiar with that term. (I probably don’t wanna know, but unfortunately, ignorance isn’t bliss, it’s just…ignorance.)

  209. The Mellow Monkey says

    Ferguson police claim Michael Brown was a robbery suspect.

    Police received a call at 11:51 a.m. on Aug. 9 of a “strong-arm” robbery at an area convenience store. A box of cigars had been stolen, according to the police report.

    One minute later, police were given details of the suspects. Jackson did not provide those details to reporters.

    Wilson responded to the call. He encountered Brown at 12:01 p.m. Within minutes, Brown was dead and Ferguson was engulfed in turmoil that grew as police, citing fears for the officer’s security, withheld his name from the public.

  210. dianne says

    Is it just me or does the alleged robber in the security camera pics released by the police look absolutely nothing like Brown?

  211. The Mellow Monkey says

    dianne, I had the same thought. I’ve seen reports that Johnson told the FBI about shoplifting some cigarillos, though.

  212. Goodbye Enemy Janine says

    Observer15, even if it were true that Micheal Brown did just shoplifted, how does that justify the cop shooting him and leaving him to bleed out on the street?

  213. lochaber says

    I don’t buy it.

    It took them 5 days to cobble together some story, in an attempt to justify murdering Brown.

    If this was actually the case, we would have been hearing about it earlier.

  214. anteprepro says

    dianne, you aren’t the only one: https://twitter.com/ART_TheGOD/status/500314979846094848/photo/1

    Also: I was unaware that stealing one fucking box of cigars, unarmed, was an offense so heinous in this country that it warrants immediate capital punishment. The things you learn.

    In other words, for all bringing up the “robbery” angle: take your “robbery” handwaving and shove it right up your ass.

  215. nich says

    lochbaber@289

    It took them 5 days to cobble together some story, in an attempt to justify murdering Brown.

    The fact they think it does pisses me off very badly.

  216. LicoriceAllsort says

    Stealing the cigarillos is only kinda-sorta relevant if the police officer knew about the theft and thought Brown & Johnson were suspects when he approached them. Even then, it only explains why the police would have had reason to interact with them. It in no way justifies shooting Brown, leaving his body exposed for so long, or using unnecessary force against protesters/mourners. It’s a great red herring, though—I’m sure the PD loves that.

  217. says

    observer15:

    I think it is best to wait for more information before drawing conclusions about the events in Ferguson, MO.

    We should wait on more information before we condemn a police officer for shooting an unarmed teen?

  218. anteprepro says

    He was shot unarmed, with his hands in the air. Even if he had just walked away from a fucking mass murder , he still wasn’t dangerous and the police weren’t justified to turning an arrest into an extrajudicial killing. I mean, fucking seriously. We have police who have properly arrested and detained spree shooters, serial killers, and bombers. But apparently “he stole cigars from a convenience store and pushed the clerk to get away” technically qualifies as “robbery” so people will bleat out “robbery” to excuse for the police, hoping people will imagine that he just stole thousands of dollars at gunpoint or something, without at all bothering to acknowledge that even if THAT were true, it still wouldn’t justify what fucking happened.

    So again, fuck everyone who brings up “robbery” like it excuses a fucking thing about this. Fuck your dishonesty and fuck your utter lack of empathy and moral standards.

  219. dianne says

    If the police officers were thinking of Brown as a suspect in a robbery, why did they just yell at him to get on the sidewalk from the car instead of pulling over, getting out of the car, and confronting him with the suspicion? The initial story doesn’t match police looking for a robbery suspect at all.

  220. The Mellow Monkey says

    Trigger warning on anteprepro’s link in #290. There’s an image of Michael Brown’s body in the street.

    I was unaware that stealing one fucking box of cigars, unarmed, was an offense so heinous in this country that it warrants immediate capital punishment.

    An immediate, public execution, sans trial. Under $10 worth of property is apparently worth more than this young man’s life to some people.

  221. lochaber says

    I hope the DOJ is actually doing a decent investigation, including separating and questioning everyone in that damned police department.

    The whole department should burn. Be completely dismantled, and the officer be facing serious murder charges.

    Not that I’m going to hold my breath…

  222. anteprepro says

    Thank you Mellow Monkey. I was careless and forgot to provide a trigger warning myself. Because holy fucking damn, does it need one.

    Also, not only is this tactic from the police classic victim blaming, it seems incredibly contrived that they are just bringing out this excuse now. In addition, the Ferguson PD’s credibility is damn near zero right now. I almost hope they are proven to be fabricating this excuse and it will be one more reason for every single one of them to be fired.

  223. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Observer15, try reading this book, Black Like Me, where a white reporter darkened his skin and lived for a while as a black in the south prior to the civil rights acts in the 60’s. You might gain some perspective on what it is to be institutionally discriminated against.

  224. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    observer15

    It appears that Michael Brown and Dorian Johnson were identified as the robbers in surveillance videos of the convenience store robbery. IMO, this casts doubt on Dorian Johnson’s credibility as a witness. I think it is best to wait for more information before drawing conclusions about the events in Ferguson, MO.

    Because lifting some cheap convenience store cigars, unarmed, totes justifies the use of lethal force. Fuck off back to whatever rock you crawled out from under.

  225. Menyambal says

    Yeah, the timing on the “robbery” excuse is just rancid. And, as has been said, would justify nothing, if true. The cop should have been calling for backup if the situation in any way justified the shooting. I once saw some kids leaving a convenience store, realized they had just stolen something, and did not shoot them.

    The situation in Ferguson was soon about the militarized police, no matter the original cause of the protests. The very fact that large numbers of heavily armed and armored police were pointing guns at people who were just walking down the street is well documented, and good evidence that the original officer probably did exactly that — went into a peaceful situation with a bad attitude and a big gun.

    Yeah, the friend might be lying. That is the problem with eyewitness accounts. The facts are that a young black man was killed by a white police officer, and his body left in the street for four hours, and the rest of the police force came in like an invading army, guns and attitudes and armored cars, firing tear gas and inflicting harm to those who would not obey their unreasonable demands. Which is pretty much what the friend says the original officer was doing. The police are convicted by their own action.

    Notice that the police just released the officer’s name. (And say that he is devastated.) They kept it secret for reasons that add up to them having the idea that the crazy black folks would do something wrong. It was disrespectful, again, to not release it.

    Back to the robbery excuse to say that some white folks seem to think that a box of cigars is of greater value than a black man’s life. And that they think that black folks should be doing what they are told.

  226. dianne says

    I once saw some kids leaving a convenience store, realized they had just stolen something, and did not shoot them.

    I was sitting on a subway car one day that was empty except for me and a teenager. The kid started scratching graffiti in the window right in front of me. I gave her a “give me a fucking break” look and she stopped. I am a completely unintimidating chubby middle aged woman. In short, the least threatening looking person imaginable. If my looking at a kid can stop them from committing a (minor) crime, then how can it be that the police, with their institutional backup and presumed training in how to stop criminal activity can’t stop (minor) crimes without shooting teenagers?

  227. Crimson Clupeidae says

    I’ve not completely caught up on this thread yet, but someone linked to this on another forum:
    Trigger warning: This a police forum where they are talking about the Ferguson situation. Think of the worst rightwing authoritarian circle jerk you can imagine. Now, make them all active or former police. Now make it at least ten times worse than you thought.

    http://forums.officer.com/t195139/

  228. observer15 says

    Goodbye Enemy Janine #288-
    “Observer15, even if it were true that Micheal Brown did just shoplifted, how does that justify the cop shooting him and leaving him to bleed out on the street?”

    It wouldn’t by itself. But the police report shows that the police were looking for two people who fit a specific description including the clothes they wearing. That would seem to rule out racial profiling as the reason for the stop.

    Dianne #295-

    “If the police officers were thinking of Brown as a suspect in a robbery, why did they just yell at him to get on the sidewalk from the car instead of pulling over, getting out of the car, and confronting him with the suspicion? The initial story doesn’t match police looking for a robbery suspect at all.”

    That is Dorian Johnson’s story. We don’t know what actually happened and Dorian Johnson could be lying since he was a suspect in the robbery. I would like more information.

    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls #295-

    “Observer15, try reading this book, Black Like Me, where a white reporter darkened his skin and lived for a while as a black in the south prior to the civil rights acts in the 60′s. You might gain some perspective on what it is to be institutionally discriminated against.”

    I hear you. I know that police misconduct occurs and that it most often is directed toward minorities. But that doesn’t tell us what happened in Ferguson, MO.

  229. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    But that doesn’t tell us what happened in Ferguson, MO.

    What more do you need to know about what happened in Ferguson? If you find out that Mike Brown did, in fact, steal some cigars, what then? Does that mean Darren Wilson was justified in killing him? This faux neutrality is not going to fool anyone here.

  230. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    But that doesn’t tell us what happened in Ferguson, MO.

    Nor do you, presenting the “official line” of bullshit from RW sources.

  231. dianne says

    That is Dorian Johnson’s story.

    That’s multiple people’s “story” and if Johnson is a suspect in a robbery, why wasn’t he arrested or at least questioned at the time of the initial confrontation? Why doesn’t the man in the picture look anything like Brown? And even if I’m totally wrong, how does that justify shooting an unarmed man who had his hands in the air in surrender? Not to mention several other unarmed people in the next few days? And why do you believe Wilson’s story? We know that Wilson shot an unarmed man, he even admits it. Doesn’t that make him an unreliable witness?

  232. says

    @306, observer15:

    It wouldn’t by itself. But the police report shows that the police were looking for two people who fit a specific description including the clothes they wearing. That would seem to rule out racial profiling as the reason for the stop.

    This doesn’t pass Occam’s razor:

    1. Why didn’t the cops say anything about it at the time of the initial confrontation with Brown?
    2. Why did the cops believe that shoplifting validated shooting an unarmed man in the back?
    3. Why didn’t the police release this report immediately on the first day?
    4. Why didn’t the police release this report when the press began to call for comments?
    5. Why didn’t the police release this report in an attempt to stop the protestors?
    6. Why didn’t the police shout this report from bullhorns when the press was watching?

    If you seriously believe that a bunch of thugs who were teargassing people in their own fucking yards are being honest about this now, you are, frankly, a cretin.

  233. ceesays says

    the clothes don’t match, though. in one photo there is a young man wearing sandals, and in another the young man wore running shoes.

    seperate eyewitness accounts all say that Darren Wilson didn’t even get out of the car before he shot mike brown. And then he got out of the car, walked toward mike brown, and shot him four. more. times.

    so seriously, fuck off with this nonsense. There is no circumstance where anyone deserved to get shot over swisher sweets. The damn cop didn’t even get out of the car. come on now. this willful confusion isn’t a good look.

  234. anteprepro says

    Intriguing:
    http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/ferguson-police-name-michael-brown

    The officer who stopped Brown wasn’t aware that the teenager was a suspect in the robbery, Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson said Friday afternoon. He initially stopped Brown and his friend, Dorian Johnson, because the pair was blocking traffic as they walked in the middle of the street, he said.

    Brown’s family and the representing attorneys expressed their anger over the police department’s decision to release only an account of the alleged robbery, and not details from the shooting….

    “Michael Brown’s family is beyond outraged at the devious way the police chief has chosen to disseminate piecemeal information in a manner intended to assassinate the character of their son,” his relatives said in a statement. “It is no way transparent to release the still photographs alleged to be Michael Brown, and refuse to release the photographs of the officer that executed him.”

    The report released Friday does not appear to shed light on the details of Brown’s death, and it is unclear how the officer could have been certain of Brown’s involvement in the robbery earlier that morning.

  235. anteprepro says

    UPDATE

    “This robbery does not relate to the initial contact between the officer and Michael Brown,” he said.

    “It had nothing to do with the stop” that led to the shooting, Jackson said.

    Asked why Officer Wilson stopped Brown, the police chief said because Brown and his friend “were walking down the middle of the street blocking traffic.”

    Jackson said he had gotten numerous Freedom of Information Act requests from the media to release the video. “I had to release it,” he said.

    “I had been sitting on it and too many people put in FOIA requests for it and I had to release it,” he said.

    “We needed to release that at the same time we released the name of the officer,” he said. </blockquote cite?

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/08/15/340594634/ferguson-police-release-name-of-officer-who-shot-michael-brown

  236. numerobis says

    NYT, which was previously studiously burying the news, now reports a top headline that directly assassinates Brown’s character. Fuck them.

  237. says

    White St. Louis Has Some Awful Things to Say About Ferguson

    “The protesters like seeing themselves on TV,” her friend added.

    “It’s just a small group of people making trouble,” said another.

    “The kid wasn’t really innocent,” chimed in a woman at the other end of the table (they all declined to give their names). “He was struggling with the cop, and he’s got a rap sheet already, so he’s not that innocent.” (While the first point is in dispute, the second isn’t: The police have said that Michael Brown had no criminal record.)

    If anything, the people here were disdainful and, mostly, scared—of the protesters, and, implicitly, of black people.

    “I don’t think it’s about justice for Michael Brown’s family,” said the teenage boy. “It’s just an excuse for people to do whatever they want to do.”

  238. chimera says

    Michael Brown is front page and headlines today in France on Le Monde. They even sent a reporter to Ferguson. But the reporter can’t speak English very well, is making some dumb mistakes like thinking “police officer” means a policeman with a special status, you know, like an officer in the army.

    They’ve got an article on the role of Anonymous in getting officials to give the name of the cop that killed Brown.

    As for the shoplifting that the press is calling a “robbery”, if it did even happen, it’s beside the point. If M.B. were white and he shoplifted before getting shot and killed by the police, what would be apparent to all is the disproportion between the alleged offense and police response. But as M.B. was black, the shoplifting detail doesn’t appear for what it is: inconsequential. Instead, it feeds into and activates a stereotype of young black men as dangerous out-of-control criminals who don’t deserve the same basic human rights the rest of us are supposed to enjoy. Black people shouldn’t have to be innocent angels to deserve rights.

    As for the video from the store, it’s too blurry for me to make much of it. But if somebody faked that video, they deserve to get the book thrown at them.

  239. numerobis says

    Meanwhile, Vox:
    http://www.vox.com/2014/8/15/6005587/ferguson-satire-another-country-russia-china

    Xi’s comments were widely taken as an indication that China would begin arming moderate factions in Missouri, in the hopes of overpowering rogue regime forces and preventing extremism from taking root. An unknown number of Kurdish peshmerga military “advisers” have traveled to the region to help provide security. Gun sales have been spiking in the US since the crisis began.

  240. says

    observer15:

    But that doesn’t tell us what happened in Ferguson, MO.

    We KNOW what happened in Ferguson, Mo. An 18 year old unarmed young man, on the way to see his grandma, was gunned down, because a cop didn’t like him walking in the street. Then, a police force went military rogue and swallowed a town for 5 fucking days.

    What is it you observe, observer15? Your own navel?

  241. observer15 says

    @antenepro #312-

    That’s the reason why we should wait for more information. Too many unanswered questions and discrepancies in the stories. The police still haven’t explained how it was that an unarmed man was killed 35 feet from the car or what justified the killing. I think the Federal authorities will sort all of this out in due time.

  242. says

    One more time, for the idiots in the room (lookin’ at you, observer15), from the link in Anteprepro’s @313:

    “This robbery does not relate to the initial contact between the officer and Michael Brown,” he said.
    “It had nothing to do with the stop” that led to the shooting, Jackson said.
    Asked why Officer Wilson stopped Brown, the police chief said because Brown and his friend “were walking down the middle of the street blocking traffic.”

  243. says

    observer15:

    or what justified the killing.

    What in the fuck makes you think anything justified this murder? It is not justified, that’s kind of the point, you fuckwitted dipshit.

  244. says

    Zerlina Maxwell ‏@ZerlinaMaxwell 1h
    Why release the report about the robbery if it’s not related to the contact with the cop who shot him? This all stinks. #Ferguson

    Big Boi ‏@BigBoi 1h
    WOW RT @themarkberman: “The initial contact between the officer and Mr. Brown was not related to the robbery,” #Ferguson police chief says

    Lawrence O’Donnell ‏@Lawrence 1h
    Chief seems to make it very clear that shooter did NOT write an incident report. 5th Amendment. #Ferguson

    Amanda Terkel ‏@aterkel 1h
    The officer who shot #MikeBrown did NOT know he was a suspect in a robbery, according to #Ferguson police chief. They were not related.

    Joe Briggs, Esq. ‏@JoeBriggsEsq 1h
    This #Ferguson PD chief press conference is AMAZING… he just ADMITTED Darren Wilson stopped him bc of the jaywalking.

    Gabe Gutierrez ‏@gabegutierrez 1h
    Police chief said officer who shot Brown didn’t know about any robbery #ferguson

    Zerlina Maxwell ‏@ZerlinaMaxwell 1h
    Exactly. Why release the video if stopping Mike Brown was not related to the robbery? JESUS CHRIST THIS IS BAD. #Ferguson

    Lawrence O’Donnell ‏@Lawrence 1h
    Lawyers for police in bad shootings often advise shooters not to write reports or even speak to commanders or investigators. #Ferguson

    James Fortune ‏@MrJamesFortune 1h
    Wow! What was the point of bring out the robbery footage today if it had nothing to do with Michael Brown being stopped? #Ferguson

    James Fortune ‏@MrJamesFortune 58m
    Ferguson PD now admits that Darren Wilson didn’t know anything about the store robbery when he stopped Mike Brown! This is bad! #Ferguson

    Nathan Z. ‏@TheThirdPew 52m
    This is what is ALWAYS said. Praise the white officer’s character, smear the unarmed black teenager. #Ferguson

    Zerlina Maxwell ‏@ZerlinaMaxwell 52m
    What’s so frustrating is that now we are talking about a robbery and not the killing of an unarmed kid. #ferguson

    Elon James White ‏@elonjames 48m
    Are we supposed to be cool & remain calm when the police after MURDERING a teenager SLANDER him to hide the killing behind racism? #Ferguson

  245. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    observer15

    Please answer my question from #307. I’ll even be helpful and quote it for you:

    What more do you need to know about what happened in Ferguson? If you find out that Mike Brown did, in fact, steal some cigars, what then? Does that mean Darren Wilson was justified in killing him?

    What possible information could come to light that would justify any of this?

  246. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    As for the shoplifting that the press is calling a “robbery”,

    It is reasonably called a robbery. Physical force is used in the course of the theft. We know it’s in the course of the theft because the thief, whoever that thief may be, used the force inside the store and the items weren’t technically stolen until the thief left the store without paying.

    I’m fine with robbery. I don’t want to erase the assault that someone suffered by calling it shoplifting.

    It still had nothing to do with the Brown stop or Wilson’s shooting of Brown.

  247. says

    Charles Richter ‏@richterscale 19m
    #Ferguson PD statement isn’t meant for anyone upset with the shooting. It’s a performance for those predisposed to think of Brown as a thug.

    TwoBallKane ‏@mrneely357 21m
    WTF!!! RT @LisaBloom Local prosecutor deciding whether to charge killer cop thinks #Ferguson cops were doing a great job this week. DANGER

  248. chimera says

    Crip Dyke,

    I thought you might correct me on that one. I typed it wondering if my complaint was legit. You do admit though that the words conjure significantly different scenarios in the minds of the public?

  249. says

    In the you are not fucking helping department:

    Blair Reynolds ‏@Blair_Loves 23m
    Im reading a book that gives infallible instruction for social & racial reconciliation,but most people find it too archaic #Bible #Ferguson

  250. rq says

    Inaji
    Oops, I had a bunch of tabs and forgot which came from where. :P Sorry! (Better posted than not, I suppose…)

  251. Menyambal says

    Observer15, you are so badly missing the points, and so badly pretending to be the calm and reasonable one, that you are sounding like a troll.

    The facts of Ferguson are that a man was killed in a manner quite consisent with patterns of bad police behavior, and the rest of the police force then began behaving very, very badly. The trigger incident is almost trivial now, the big issue is that militarized cops invaded a town, threatening and attacking Amercan citizens. Our country is in peril, and you are ignoring that to pretend that the tyrants have right and reason on their side.

    Yes, I said the initial shooting is almost trivial. Sadly, it was just another cop murdering a man of color. Sickeningly wrong, but routine in this country. Even the protest being shut down and misconstrued is all too common.

    What was horrifyingly new was militarized police in combat gear invading an American town and pointing assault rifles at the citizens they were supposed to protect and to serve, attacking peaceful protestors and acting as tyrants who demand obedience, attacking and arresting journalists, roughing them up and shutting them down.

    The people did not deserve that treatment, and they stood up to the tyranny. They showed decent response to decent police, and all Americans should be proud and grateful to them.

    Now, if you take that entire mess, and extrapolate back to one citizen and one policeman, you have no reason to wait for or to trust the police. But even if you choose to, and even if it were true that the man was a robber and the cop was a righteous shooter, it doesn’t change the scenes of the past week, nor does it change the fact that men of color are so routinely killed that innocent-man-and-murderous-cop is the reasonable assumption, not your faux-reasonable dismissal of reasonable people.

  252. The Mellow Monkey says

    Police: Michael Brown stopped because he blocked traffic
    And here’s the statement I’d seen reference to about Johnson speaking to the FBI:

    In an interview with msnbc shortly after the report was released, Johnson’s lawyer confirmed that Brown had taken cigars from the store.

    “We see that there’s tape, that they claim they got a tape that shows there was some sort of strong-armed robbery,” said Freeman Bosley, Johnson’s attorney. “We need to see that tape, my client did tell us and told the FBI that they went into the store. He told the FBI that [Brown] did take cigarillos. He told that to the DOJ and the St. Louis County Police.”

  253. Maureen Brian says

    observer15,

    If the truth is of any interest to you, look at the timeline which rq links at 329. Look at the pictures! The “highway” which Michael Brown was supposedly obstructing is barely a road at all. It is the concrete pathway, wide enough to drive a car along, which leads from somewhere – perhaps the street? – to the parking area between two housing blocks in a landscaped housing estate.

    Look at it again. There are no road marking. It is paved with the sort of concrete which cannot stand up to much traffic and could well be used as a footpath when not actually being used by a car. As a “highway” it is so very insignificant that I wonder whether it is not on private property. In that case, obstructing the highway would not apply. Would it?

  254. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @chimera:

    I’m not exactly correcting you. I’m disagreeing that the use of robbery is inappropriate.

    One could call this shoplifting, I agree. I don’t want to erase the violence done to someone.

    But yes, I also agree with you that they conjure very different images. Robbery as a word could be used in a highly inappropriate way to suggest that Brown, were it discovered he was the person caught on camera stealing the swisher sweets, deserved to be shot.

    I’m okay with the use of robbery in general, but I wouldn’t be fine with just **any** use of robbery. I wouldn’t use shoplifting myself, but I likely wouldn’t argue about the use of the word (unless someone else first brought up a question about which wording was appropriate, then I’d happily contribute to that discussion, but it doesn’t seem important enough to me to raise as a point on its own).

    Please don’t feel that I’m asserting my view is correct. There’s a right answer as to the legal question of, “What is the most serious charge for which a prima facie case can be made, based on that video?” There is no right answer to, “What words may or may not be used to best convey context relevant to understanding the story of the Wilson shooting/Brown death?”

  255. says

    A fave idiot meme popping up all over:

    Mike ‏@By_the_PPL 43m
    Character matters. You folks defending #MikeBrown sound like idiots. #ferguson

  256. chimera says

    I wasn’t complaining about you correcting me CD. You are a lawyer or something from what I’ve been able to gather. Your technicalities are often enlightening and always welcome.

  257. says

    Z ‏@BrazenBlueZ 47m
    I want proof that #Ferguson police received any (let alone many) FOIA requests for video of #MikeBrown store incident.

    Deb Vermaas ‏@debv219 47m
    If nobody knew the video of the robbery even existed, then I want to know exactly who was demanding the release of it. #Ferguson

  258. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Law student.

    Glad to help.

  259. says

    The conservatives, libertarians, racists, and other idiots are now making a big deal over unarmed does not mean innocent, and the phrase “massive riots” is being seen more and more, along with the statement that people *destroyed* the town of Ferguson defending a criminal.

  260. says

    Just fuck everything. Fuck it. We can’t even have a day of rest after the brutal fascism before the ignorant and authoritarian re-write history to create a narrative where the cold blooded murder of an eighteen year old for jaywalking is rendered necessary for the protection of society.

    fuck
    it
    all

  261. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    The conservatives, libertarians, racists, and other idiots are now making a big deal over unarmed does not mean innocent,

    Fuck, do these people think we’re protesting a jury decision?

    how about,

    “Guilty” does not mean “worthy of assassination”?

  262. Goodbye Enemy Janine says

    The conservatives, libertarians, racists, and other idiots are now making a big deal over unarmed does not mean innocent, and the phrase “massive riots” is being seen more and more, along with the statement that people *destroyed* the town of Ferguson defending a criminal.

    This shows that some people are actively looking for any lie to justify their toxic opinions. Even if Micheal Brown was a shoplifter, how does that justify shooting him, leave him there to bleed to death and leaving his corpse there for hours.

    And that riot was a Police riot. And the police were defending a murderer, one who has left town..

    Too many people in the US are embracing our authoritarian overlords.

  263. says

    Inaji @333:

    Blair Reynolds ‏@Blair_Loves 23m
    Im reading a book that gives infallible instruction for social & racial reconciliation,but most people find it too archaic #Bible #Ferguson

    I wonder which verses give these infallible instructions…

  264. says

    CD:

    Fuck, do these people think we’re protesting a jury decision?

    Nah, they don’t think that. They are tossing mass buckets of white wash all over the place, driving home the assumption that most white people are comfortable with, black equals guilty. Of something, somewhere, at any time. Y’know, just another thug.

  265. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    What is that even suppose to mean? Character matters? If your character doesn’t suit some random cop’s arbitrary standards they’re justified in pumping you full of bullets? What the fuck is the matter with people?

  266. says

    Tony:

    I wonder which verses give these infallible instructions…

    Well, wherever they are hiding, they have never worked. Since the old testament is so keen on slavery, though, I hate to think about what kind of reconciliation the poster had in mind.

  267. says

    Tony @351, I expect it’s one of the ones about How to Genocide in Five Easy Steps, which are somewhat numerous in the Bible. I mean, that’s the main path by which the Abrahamics usually attempt to achieve interracial peace (cf. Crusades, pogroms, Holocaust, jihads, et c.), isn’t it?

  268. says

    Seven of Mine:

    What is that even suppose to mean? Character matters?

    In this case, it means something like “all black people are thugs, criminals, drug dealers, etc., unless it can proved beyond any doubt that the person was, in fact, so much a saint they were almost white!”

  269. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Nah, they don’t think that. They are tossing mass buckets of white wash all over the place, driving home the assumption that most white people are comfortable with, black equals guilty. Of something, somewhere, at any time. Y’know, just another thug.

    Except that guilty wouldn’t matter if guilty meant, “deserves to be taken before a jury, and if the charges proved beyond a reasonable doubt without violation of constitutional rights in the process, hit with the fine and incarceration statutorily and juridically appropriate.”

    The only way that this is even possibly relevant is if guilty = worthy of assassination. And with the

    black equals guilty

    portion of your statement, that’s tantamount to the death penalty for living while brown. Worse – the death penalty would have to follow an actual charge and a chance to defend oneself.

    I really don’t know why this just hit me differently. I’ve been saying for years that the lack of accountability creates an open hunting season for cops on certain persons – especially but not only men and boys of color from around 18 to 40. But fuck! This isn’t talking about the existence of a de facto license to kill certain socially despised people. This is arguing that a license to kill anyone from a despised group at any time is justified and a positive thing.

    Fuck, this is straight out of Radio-Television Libre des Mille Collines.

  270. says

    Charles Clymer ‏@cmclymer 1h
    White male goes on shooting spree: “troubled nice guy needed help” Black male, unarmed, gunned down: “felon, thug, asking for it”

    Charles Clymer ‏@cmclymer 1h
    And let’s be honest: if an unarmed white male was gunned down by police, the NRA and Tea Party would be marching on Washington. #Ferguson

  271. says

    CD:

    This is arguing that a license to kill anyone from a despised group at any time is justified and a positive thing.

    Oh yes, and that is being spun out all over the media and the ‘net, as we speak.

  272. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @Inaji:

    :shudder:

    I really shouldn’t be surprised by that, but I thought the nice, white, middle-class way was at least to shrug and pretend to regret the necessity of shooting all the Black boys.

    I suddenly feel the need to be back in the states. What the hell can I do from here that’s as valuable as standing in front of the tanks in the US?

    Grrrr. There are few things worth being a trans person in a US prison, but standing up to the Ferguson bullies/assassins and a US adaptation of the rhetoric of R/TLdMC is more than sufficient for me to volunteer.

  273. says

    @JustConservativ: #Ferguson: case closed….time to move on…distracting from stories that need coverage.

    P E A C H E S ‏@kudipeaches 5m
    Many white ppl in my inbox&notes on Twitter&Tumblr genuinely believe #MikeBrown was a thug based on pics shown by mainstream media #Ferguson

    Kevin Grüssing ‏@KevDGrussing 10m
    Welp… RT @MistyPrest: Attorney of #Ferguson Market owners never called the police. Said police came TODAY to get their footage. Hm.

    Just Because I’m Black

  274. says

    Fox News taking heads are going on and on about how black people should just learn to comply with police and stop being so “uptight.”

    They slightly changed the word there, figuring now nobody will see it as racist.

    Can we just start calling them the KKK Channel and get it over with?

  275. says

    CD:

    What the hell can I do from here that’s as valuable as standing in front of the tanks in the US?

    I know. If we didn’t have animals to take care of, we would have been in a car on the way to Missouri days ago. What’s worse is that I seem to be about the only person in all of ND, SD, and MT to be talking about this.* No vigil here, nothing. I know it’s rather pointless, but I’ve been signing every single petition coming up, and there are more, because if nothing else, my voice has to be added to the rest calling for justice and change.
     
    *I know I’m not alone, but it sure feels that way.

  276. Ichthyic says

    Is it just me or does the alleged robber in the security camera pics released by the police look absolutely nothing like Brown?

    Haven’t caught up in thread yet, but just wanted to say that this morning, the Jackson PC said that the officer who shot Brown had not considered him a suspect in the “robbery” (which, btw, amounted to someone running out of a store with a box of cigars).

    So, whoever is thinking that the cop stopped Brown for being a possible suspect? Nope. even the Police Chief disavows that.

    But, hypothetically, say the cop DID think Brown was a suspect in that robbery. No report of any weapons was made, the store owner only told the cops two youths walked out with a cigar box and pushed him so they could get away.

    that’s it.

    no, there was no excuse for shooting Brown.

    Plus, for those thinking that it makes his buddy an unreliable witness. AGAIN…. the cop had no idea that Brown was a suspect in a robbery. PLUS, there is another witness WHO FILMED THE FINAL TAKEDOWN, and described in gory detail what happened.

    She was not connected to the two boys at all.

    so, just stop it.

    this was NOT a good shoot, regardless of what the outcome of the investigation is.

  277. The Mellow Monkey says

    Crip Dyke

    This is arguing that a license to kill anyone from a despised group at any time is justified and a positive thing.

    Yes. Racism in America has a whole lot of genocidal impulse behind it. Most of it is under the surface, unexamined and unvoiced, but “black = guilty = deserves death penalty = I can kill you in the street” is a thought process brewing away all the time.

  278. says

    Jafafa Hots:

    Can we just start calling them the KKK Channel and get it over with?

    It’s not just Fox, though. It would be easier to dismiss if it was. CNN, MSNBC, and other major media are reporting the spin lies side, too. Speaking of the klan, this was posted today, with the comment “Wait, why aren’t the cops pointing assault rifles at these protestors?”

  279. Ichthyic says

    …catching up I see Antepro posted the links to the relevant statements by the Jackson PC.

  280. Ichthyic says

    Obama’s Ferguson remarks diss black folks one more time

    Obama… not progressive, not black, next we find out he’s actually a woman posing as a man?

    The only consolation really isn’t one; that if it wasn’t him it would have been *shudder*…. can’t even consider it.

    again, I tell you, DON’T rely on the democratic party to pick your primary candidates for you. you tell THEM who you want to see as a candidate. There really are very good progressive candidates out there, but everyone just ignores them. You don’t have to ignore them, really!

  281. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    I’m happy to read a statement by Wilson, but someone unidentified calling in and insisting that she knows Wilson’s Significant Other and therefore has the real scoop? When not even the broadcaster whose show she called has any info legitimizing this 2nd hand relationship, much less that her info actually came through that relationship?

    Useless. If the broadcaster vouched that the relationship was established, then it would be worth something – a confidential source rather than an anonymous one. Right now I treat it with the same respect I would treat anyone showing up on the internet saying, “I know Wilson. Let me tell you what **really** went down.”

  282. magistramarla says

    Character matters, huh?
    How many of us, as young kids or teens, have done something that we were later ashamed of?
    I know that I was guilty of taking candy from the local grocery store and then running for my bus when I was a kid.
    That didn’t stop me from graduating second in my class, earning a great scholarship and becoming a teacher.
    My own daughter once joined some friends shoplifting makeup and candy from a drug store and were caught.
    We punished her, and it didn’t stop her from graduating first in her class, earning several degrees, including a PHD, and becoming a well-respected neurobiologist.
    For those of us who are white and privileged, youthful transgressions can be overlooked. The point that so many people are making is that just because this young man was a man of color, a youthful transgression paints him as a guilty thug.
    No teen of any color deserves to die for shoplifting.

  283. observer15 says

    Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm #324-

    “Please answer my question from #307. I’ll even be helpful and quote it for you:
    What more do you need to know about what happened in Ferguson? If you find out that Mike Brown did, in fact, steal some cigars, what then? Does that mean Darren Wilson was justified in killing him?

    What possible information could come to light that would justify any of this?”

    For one, we need the police explanation for how it was that Michael Brown died 35 feet from the car and what the police say justified the killing. I want to hear their explanations. Because they haven’t given one doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t have one.

    I have already answered your last question: No.

    What information do we need to justify the killing? I don’t know, but I will know it if I see it.

    Also, note that I haven’t said that the killing was justified. I don’t know if it was justified or not. Could the police be lying? Sure! But there is not enough information right now to know.

  284. says

    this stands out: “He chuckled”? No, these people are not serious. #Ferguson

    toni smith ‏@palmaceiahome1 33m
    Is it the Cops fault that blacks are 15% of population and commit 50% of murders in America? #Ferguson

    Paulsy ‏@paulsyy01 35m
    Can’t wait for the toxicology report on Brown that his protectors will ignore. #Ferguson

    FakeMikeBusch ‏@MykeBusch 2m
    1) Stole Swishers 2) Beat up Customer 3) Struggled with Cop for Weapon Blame everyone else for this but Mike Brown. Stay classy #Ferguson

  285. Ichthyic says

    Racism in America has a whole lot of genocidal impulse behind it.

    indeed it does, but the shooting of unarmed black people is just the tiniest tip of that iceberg.

    It’s the entire white infrastructure, from politicians, to real estate salesmen, that consciously or semi-consciously have continuously worked to segregate people “not like them” into substandard communities, and then the narrative is plastered onto those communities that they are a “drain on society”, further reducing opportunity and funding. It’s an endless cycle in the States that you will find within EVERY major city in the country. Not just in the South, mind you, but EVERYWHERE. You see it in Los Angeles, Detroit, New York, Phoenix…. everywhere.

    Just a little digging will give you the history of how neighborhoods have become segregated in the big cities, and hasn’t slowed after the Civil Rights movement. Many whites have come to not even consider it racism, because they have come to be taught they are “colorblind”, without even realize they are still “othering”. We’re still racists in the purest sense of the word.

    We failed as a society to really integrate.

    The greatest strength, and weakness, of European Caucasians is their tendency towards strong authoritarian personalities. The near natural use of “othering” that manages to, over generations, give them unearned advantages wherever they set up shop.

    I really believe this is the single, biggest historic factor in how whites have come to dominate in so many areas. Authoritarianism leads to excellent team building skills.

    manifest destiny baby. Hell, I’m old enough to recall when they taught us that in elementary school, it was NOT considered a negative thing, but a positive one. Really, underneath, it still is. Maybe increasing recognition of this personality trend will force people to finally start seeing the long long history of authoritarianism that has been the cause of our failure to integrate and play nice with others. I doubt it will happen in my lifetime though.

  286. says

    CD:

    Right now I treat it with the same respect I would treat anyone showing up on the internet saying, “I know Wilson. Let me tell you what **really** went down.”

    Yep, same here. It’s being tweeted on #Ferguson now that the police chief has said that “Darren Wilson is devastated”, however, he has been allowed to skip town, his whereabouts have not been released, he hasn’t been questioned, he hasn’t been arrested, and the truck he was driving at the time of the shooting has not been taken in for forensic analysis. Of course, we don’t know whether or not Mike Brown would be ‘feeling devastated’ because he’s dead.

  287. Ichthyic says

    Because they haven’t given one doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t have one.

    there is NOTHING to suggest there is even a possible explanation to justify it. Not even my imagination could justify it.

    they specifically asked YOU what you could even imagine would justify it.

    you failed.

    bye.

  288. observer15 says

    Ninaji #321-

    “observer15:
    or what justified the killing.

    What in the fuck makes you think anything justified this murder? It is not justified, that’s kind of the point, you fuckwitted dipshit.”

    Try quoting, reading and comprehending the entire sentence. I was talking about why the police might think it justified. I haven’t made up my mind about it and am awaiting further information.

  289. says

    Ichthyic:

    It’s the entire white infrastructure, from politicians, to real estate salesmen, that consciously or semi-consciously have continuously worked to segregate people “not like them” into substandard communities, and then the narrative is plastered onto those communities that they are a “drain on society”, further reducing opportunity and funding.

    I still remember my grandparents being all fucking upset over a black family moving in, two blocks away, and how terrible it was and how it was gonna fuck up housing values, all that. This would have been in ’68 or ’69. Of course, my grandfather was bigot to his core, a proud Bircher.

  290. says

    observer15:

    Try quoting

    Why don’t you, dipshit? Here’s a thought: shut the fuck up and go away until you figure out how to actually quote someone in a post.

  291. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    the police chief has said that “Darren Wilson is devastated”

    Oh, bullshit. Darren Wilson feels devastated.

    Mike Brown is devastated.

    @Azzy, #374

    Obama… not progressive, not black

    Oh, please, Azzy. Don’t go there. It doesn’t lead anywhere good.

    … next we find out he’s actually a woman posing as a man?

    Yeah. Like I said. WTF, Azzy?

  292. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    observer15

    I don’t know if it was justified or not.

    I’m asking you to explain how it could possibly be justified. What do you think justifies escalating to the use of lethal force when you’re dealing with an unarmed person? What would you accept as a justification from the police? If your answer is more inane waffling and evasion, just ooze the fuck back on out of here.

  293. says

    navelgazer:

    I don’t know if it was justified or not.

    Unarmed. Running. Hands Up. On Knees. SHOT NINE TIMES. Yeah, there’s just gotta be a justification in there somewhere, eh?

  294. The Mellow Monkey says

    Seven of Mine

    What do you think justifies escalating to the use of lethal force when you’re dealing with an unarmed person?

    Judging by the frequent use of lethal force in these situations followed by claims of self-defense, unarmed minorities must be capable of laser vision or creating explosions with their mind powers. /sarcasm

  295. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    I’m thinking there’s super sekrit evidence of those flocks of assault copters that black people have been amassing which were thwarted in the nick of time by the no fly zone over Ferguson. Brown was probably on his way to give the order to deploy them.

  296. says

    This has been started: https://twitter.com/hashtag/MyBlackLifeMattersBecause?src=hash

    I’m with the man who said:

    Patrick ‏@PresidentPat Aug 14
    I don’t need to JUSTIFY why my life matters. It matters. This is just silly @blackvoices #myblacklifemattersbecause

    However, it is obviously necessary, in the States, for black people to make the point that yes, their lives matter. I’m back to feeling awfully damn sick.

  297. says

    jamalbryant ‏@jamalhbryant 1h
    It doesn’t take my 8 year old twins 6 days to come with a story…#Ferguson police chief not smarter than 5th grader!

  298. says

    observer15:

    Try quoting, reading and comprehending the entire sentence. I was talking about why the police might think it justified. I haven’t made up my mind about it and am awaiting further information whether the murder of an unarmed teen is justified.

    Fixed That For You.

  299. anteprepro says

    Observer15, you are bordering on denialism. Want “more information”? Really? What “more information” is gonna make any of the shit we already know any better? And why the fuck, considering the utter and demonstrable failure of the media during the early phases of this very same news story, are you waiting on faith to hear the Full Story from them?

    Here is what you are really saying: You want to shut us up. You want to barter in excuses and plausible deniability. You want to take the stance of Troo Skeptic to dismiss the information we already have with the assumption that it will somehow be less worthy of outrage later on. You see an obvious and stark injustice and want to come up with every ridiculous rationalizations you can to tell everyone to just sit down, shut up, grin and bear it. Well, fuck you.

  300. Rob Grigjanis says

    Ichthyic @380:

    The greatest strength, and weakness, of European Caucasians is their tendency towards strong authoritarian personalities.

    I’d love to see something to back this up. Do non-(European Caucasians) really have less of a tendency towards authoritarian personalities? China? Japan? India? An ancient butterfly flaps its wings a bit differently, and we’re all speaking Hunnish, Mongolian, Turkish, isiZulu, Arabic or Quechuan.

  301. says

    scurvytooth ‏@scurvytooth 27m
    #Ferguson PD basically said, ‘this video is unrelated to the shooting but we’re just going to leave it right here.”

    C ‏@LastQueennss 22m
    i wish cnn would stop saying the robbery was filmed moments before, when it clearly states june 9th on the tape. #Ferguson

  302. Tigger_the_Wing, asking "Where's the justice?" says

    Thanks, ceesays, I’d been trying to find out what percentage he was getting.

    0% isn’t nearly enough, in my opinion.

    Inaji, like you I have been following this on Twitter – unlike you, I am far too slow to get the information over here. Thank you – everything I’ve wanted to say, each and every time, you’ve already said and then some. I don’t know how you do it – my hat goes off to you, thank you again. And *snuffles* from my little rat Bailey to Amelia for taking care of you.

    (I was also going to ask Azyroth why they were so thoughtless at 374, but they seem to have vanished along with the comment.)

  303. observer15 says

    The MSNBC story pretty much tells it as it is at this time:
    http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/why-did-ferguson-police-release-the-convenience-store-video

    Like the media, I would like to see the incident report to get the police officer’s side of the story. I would also like to hear about any forensic evidence from the scene which might indicate where Michael Brown was shot (at the car, 35 feet from the car, both?). Dorian Johnson’s credibility as a witness seems to be improved by the Ferguson police chief’s admission that the initial contact and shooting was unrelated to the robbery and by their admission that Dorian Johnson did not participate in the robbery. Releasing the unrelated robbery information in my estimation damages the credibility of the police. That two other witnesses tell the same story as Dorian Johnson for events after the initial contact also improve Dorian Johnson’s credibility. But I’ll wait for sufficient information before deciding what to think.

  304. speed0spank says

    I don’t have anything to say that hasn’t already been said. I just want to thank Inaji for all the links and updates. I’ve been putting in a lot of hours at work the past couple days and not had much time to myself. Just following this one thread has really kept me informed on what has been going on. I really really appreciate it and I’m sure there are other people lurking who do as well.

  305. ceesays says

    you’re full of shit, observer15. you’re completely fucking despicable. There is absolutely no justification for this child being murdered by a cop, and you fucking sit there and act like there is? fuck you. get mud on your best clothes because you stepped on a lego.

  306. observer15 says

    Observer15, you are bordering on denialism. Want “more information”? Really? What “more information” is gonna make any of the shit we already know any better? And why the fuck, considering the utter and demonstrable failure of the media during the early phases of this very same news story, are you waiting on faith to hear the Full Story from them?

    Here is what you are really saying: You want to shut us up. You want to barter in excuses and plausible deniability. You want to take the stance of Troo Skeptic to dismiss the information we already have with the assumption that it will somehow be less worthy of outrage later on. You see an obvious and stark injustice and want to come up with every ridiculous rationalizations you can to tell everyone to just sit down, shut up, grin and bear it. Well, fuck you.

    No, I just want to know the truth.

  307. says

    Tigger:

    And *snuffles* from my little rat Bailey to Amelia for taking care of you.

    Aaaaw, I shall pass them on. Amelia has been keeping a close eye on me.

  308. says

    navelgazer:

    No, I just want to know the truth.

    No, you don’t. You just want to justify your racism, the ugly bigotry you carry around as if it were an important truth.

  309. alkaloid says

    @Crip Dyke, #363

    I suddenly feel the need to be back in the states. What the hell can I do from here that’s as valuable as standing in front of the tanks in the US?

    Grrrr. There are few things worth being a trans person in a US prison, but standing up to the Ferguson bullies/assassins and a US adaptation of the rhetoric of R/TLdMC is more than sufficient for me to volunteer.

    I don’t know what country you’re from but couldn’t you encourage people wherever you are to petition for a UN investigation of racism in the United States? If nothing else, this could be seriously embarassing with regards to a lot of the hypocritical rhetoric our government uses about preventing genocide in Iraq while arming police departments for doing it here.

  310. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    observer15

    No, I just want to know the truth.

    Bullshit. You know enough to conclude that there is no justification for Brown’s murder or the ensuing terrorizing of Ferguson by the local police. You’re waiting on the edge of your seat for whatever feeble excuse the police make so you can accept it uncritically and go back to being a racist shit in peace.

  311. says

  312. observer15 says

    Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm @ #414

    “Bullshit. You know enough to conclude that there is no justification for Brown’s murder or the ensuing terrorizing of Ferguson by the local police. You’re waiting on the edge of your seat for whatever feeble excuse the police make so you can accept it uncritically and go back to being a racist shit in peace.”

    We don’t have the full story until we have the police officer’s version. The rest of your post is BS.

  313. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I would like to see the incident report to get the police officer’s side of the story.

    I don’t want to see what lies he puts down to avoid a murder one charge. It will all be made up. That is how one does skepticism. Goes for the why something was said too. To hide his bigotry and mistake as a cop.

  314. says

    I have been in a position twice to personally know the TRUTH, first-hand, about police officers’ version of a story.
    Both times they were utter bullshit.

    One was when I was false-arrested, the other was when I was assaulted by a cop and threatened with false arrest.
    Lucky for me I’m white – all it cost me was a few hours locked up and a few hundred dollars for a lawyer.

    You are waiting for THE SHOOTERS version. That shows you already have a bias.

  315. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    We don’t have the full story until we have the police officer’s version.

    He has no version of the truth, just his feeble excuses for a cold blooded murder of an unarmed man. Unless his statement admits that mistake and he pleads guilty of murder, it is cover-up lies and bullshit. Like you are trying to present, and you appear stupid, ignorant, and biased by doing so. Your presuppositional thinking to find an excuse where the is none is acting like a bigot would. Stop doing that.

  316. says

    Jafafa Hots:

    I have been in a position twice to personally know the TRUTH, first-hand, about police officers’ version of a story.
    Both times they were utter bullshit.

    Been there, done that, got the t-shirt. In one case I learned something real valuable – if you look white, and you have a relative on the same force that arrested you, it’s a great way to get all the charges dropped and get a ride home.

    I really have to go now. ‘night.

  317. Island Adolescent says

    Checking #Ferguson on facebook is fucking awful. The vast majority of comments on those pages are from flaming racists who are making up things on the spot to suit their own narrative.
    If anything, going by facebook alone shows that racism isn’t just alive in America, it predominates America.
    Fucking heartbreaking.

    Also, if anybody still isn’t sure about using the word pigs to describe cops, here’s a blast from the recent past (2006).
    Watch 0:50 if nothing else:

  318. A. Noyd says

    I have the video of the events leading up to my own arrest. I also have the arrest report giving the cop’s side of the story. They have nothing in common. And my arrest was just over two misdemeanors the cop invented because he was mad he couldn’t intimidate me into backing down from exercising my constitutional rights fast enough for his liking. Meaning, there was very little at stake on the cop’s end for my arrest.

    Anyone who thinks they could trust the tale a murdering cop like Wilson would spin over the confrontation where he killed an unarmed young man is a total fucking moron.

  319. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    observant15

    We don’t have the full story until we have the police officer’s version.

    Do you actually think this contradicts me? We know for a fact that Brown was unarmed. We know he was shot what? 9 times? From 35 feet away. We know the officer who shot him had no idea about any robbery he might have been suspected of. We know the police have been terrorizing the town more heavily armed than actual military in actual warzones. We know people have been illegally arrested. But you won’t know enough until the murderer has made his excuse. Tell me why I should think you won’t believe the shooter when all of the horrific things we already know isn’t enough to get you off your fucking fence? The only possible reason you could have to wait for his version is if you think there’s something he could say that would justify all of this.

  320. Island Adolescent says

    Let us ignore EVERYTHING about what happened except that the pig fired his fun 7 – 9 times, with one of those being at least 35 feet away.

    I don’t care what the rest of the story happened to be. That there, that’s fucking murder. How do you possibly justify this in your head?

  321. says

    Let’s not forget that cops are not only legally allowed to… they are TRAINED to LIE to suspects.
    Lying to suspects “we have video of you, we know you did it…” “Your buddy is ready to testify against you unless you testify against him first…” “we have six eyewitnesses saying it was you, you don’t stand a chance in court… do yourself a favor, confess and we can help make it easier for you…” is THEIR JOB.

    When lying to those arrested is standard protocol, part of their training, and officially blessed by the courts as good policework, how can you expect cops NOT to become liars?

  322. Ichthyic says

    Let us ignore EVERYTHING about what happened except that the pig fired his fun 7 – 9 times, with one of those being at least 35 feet away.

    yup. The robbery is a red herring, and even though the police chief himself ADMITS THIS LITERALLY… it still it will lead the narrative on this in the media. This was as it was intended to be. And you can’t even blame the PC, since he openly stated that the robbery had nothing to do with the interaction between Williams and Brown. He knew, however, what the media would do with it. THAT you can blame him for.

    people like Observer15 (and way too many others most likely) are waiting with baited breath to embrace the rhetoric that will be used to link the red herring to the actual event that was the shooting of Mike Brown.

    There will be pastors and preachers already feverishly working on painting the entire thing as a reaction of a fearful police department to rampant thuggery. They will use the “robbery” and the “looting” to justify their false rhetoric, even though the robbery is a red herring and the looting was done by people who don’t even live in Ferguson (one of them was even from Texas).

    History suggests most Americans will happily swallow the story that comes out of all this, and the cycle will repeat. History suggests nothing will be done to fix the underlying problems that lead to a police officer shooting an unarmed teen. History suggests nothing will be done to stop the demonization of non – white communities in America.

    History tells a fucking tragic story.

  323. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @alkaloid, #412:

    I don’t know what country you’re from but couldn’t you encourage people wherever you are to petition for a UN investigation of racism in the United States?

    I’m from the US, but I live in Canada. I’ve been trained in the procedures of the OAS:IACHR and I’m perfectly competent to file a complaint myself – and I know enough to know that the OAS is a more effective entity in matters like this than the UN and that the IAC has a better track record than the UN HRC, and a longer track record (presuming we discount the track record of the UNCHR which preceded the UNHRC and which the UNHRC would **like** us to discount since the HRC was formed and the CHR was dissolved precisely because the CHR had no credibility), which hasn’t even as broad a mandate as the IAC, at least as applied to the US because of the US’s greater submission to the IAC than to the UN. The treaties involved are much more useful and give much more leverage and the IAC has much more credibility.

    So, yes, I have plenty I could do from here. But not having something to do from here wasn’t the source of my frustration. The source of my frustration was:

    What the hell can I do from here that’s as valuable as standing in front of the tanks in the US?

    Frankly, since I don’t have a personal complaint of any significance, and since no one with a personal complaint of any significance has asked me to act on their behalf in planning, writing, and/or submitting a complaint, I don’t even have the opportunity to do the thing for which I am trained that would have the most leverage. I want to use all my skills, all my passion, all my power and privilege, but none of it will be as valuable as I could be as one white person standing between a pointed gun and a person of color.

  324. yazikus says

    Tonight will be telling. I can’t believe the police chief got away with the character assassination. Thanks to all for the excellent coverage. The #Ferguson feed gets plugged up with some awful racist shit and pictures without TW’s. So I appreciate all that you are doing. It was weird, I headed to the store a few minutes ago, and was listening to the coverage on Ferguson on NPR, and when I pulled into the store parking lot there was a police SUV in the alley with a loud dog barking (not sure it was in the police car, but I normally don’t hear loud barking there). I quickly turned off my radio wondering if they could hear what I was listening to, and was quickly afraid. They had their window down and were scanning the parking lot, not smiling just parked there in the alley watching. It was unsettling. And I’m not even a demographic that police would normally target, I was one of those privilege check moment, where I realized some people feel that fear every day, and it is very real for them.

  325. asdfjkl says

    Indite “The Police” for a single act and the world is united.
    Indite “The Looters” for multiple acts and the world is outraged.
    #phony #online morality #herd mentality

  326. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    “The Police” for a single act and the world is united.

    How many nights of police riots before the state police took over? Not a single act, so you don’t tell the truth in your first sentence. It goes downhill from there.

  327. asdfjkl says

    #online morality
    #look how not racist I am
    #I’m really, really not
    #look how outraged I am

  328. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @asdfjkl:

    This isn’t twitter.

    Make an argument or haul your thoughtless, useless pile of electrons elsewhere.

  329. asdfjkl says

    don’t know about horsey. just making a point with the hashtags. it’s a big shitshow for sure, but everybody pretending to care makes me ill. i don’t want anyone to have a wrongful death, but everyday I read about horrible things that humans do to humans. this is just another day.

  330. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Yawn, another stupid bigot trying to make a point, and only appearing stupid, ignorant, and bigoted.
    Why bother, unless you like to show the world just why they shouldn’t hire you?

  331. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    just making a point with the hashtags.

    Yep, making the point you are stupid.

    i don’t want anyone to have a wrongful death, but everyday I read about horrible things that humans do to humans. this is just another day.

    Ah, the pseudo Muslima defense. As I said, stupid…

  332. Morgan!? Militant Pacifist says

    asdfjkl,

    You get killed tomorrow. Doesn’t matter how. But this is not important, right? You are just collateral damage.
    Fuck off.

  333. asdfjkl says

    so why are you such a great human specimen? because you say the things that pz wants to hear, hoping he’ll acknowledge you? what exactly makes me a bigot, by your definition?

    [Bye, Chris. Also, stop making sock accounts to get past your ban. --pzm]

  334. anteprepro says

    observer15, do you actually have a point that doesn’t translate into you just saying “nope” over and over?

    And random letter nym, hashtag dropping troll: Please, elaborate on these “The Looters” that you speak of. Because, as has already been mentioned before, there were ten cases of looting in this story, and all of them were from out of town i.e. not representative of the protestors. What is your fucking point, aside from being yet another Militant Apathist who would rather we not talk about racism or care about anything at all?

  335. asdfjkl says

    You are making my point for me. Just the mention of looters brings outrage, but calling “the police” out as a whole is encouraged.

  336. anteprepro says

    Also, Morgan!?, I feel like your comment at 440 is out of line. Dangerously balanced on the fence of seeming like a threat.

  337. Arawhon, So Tired of Everything says

    asdfjkl @437

    it’s a big shitshow for sure, but everybody pretending to care makes me ill. i don’t want anyone to have a wrongful death, but everyday I read about horrible things that humans do to humans. this is just another day.

    Shorter version:
    I’ve turned off my empathy, why haven’t you people?

    We arent pretending to care, we are genuinely disgusted with the actions of the police, we are heart-broken that another black kid has been murdered. You’re extremely bad at reading minds.

  338. anteprepro says

    Gibbering Idiot sez:

    Just the mention of looters brings outrage, but calling “the police” out as a whole is encouraged.

    And? What is the problem here? The police fucking killed an unarmed 18 year old, instituted a no fly zone, cracked down on media coverage and started outright arresting reporters for frivolous charges. They assaulted protestors with tear gas and rubber bullets for no reason and came out in full force to stifle protests on several occasions. And then ten looters stole things. The outrage is justified and your priorities are utter shit. But you are just a troll, so I doubt you give a fuck. Just feeling like you are getting some sort of irritation out of us is your entire goal. Well guess what? You are a minor nuisance. You aren’t smart or clever enough to actually get under our skin. Buzz off, you pest.

  339. Morgan!? Militant Pacifist says

    anteprepro,
    Oh for craps sake. Just positing an OBVIOUS hypothetical.

  340. says

    i don’t want anyone to have a wrongful death, but everyday I read about horrible things that humans do to humans. this is just another day.

    That’s nice shitty.
    Now that you’re said your useless piece, buh bye.

  341. says

    “There will be pastors and preachers already feverishly working on painting the entire thing as a reaction of a fearful police department to rampant thuggery. They will use the “robbery” and the “looting” to justify their false rhetoric, even though the robbery is a red herring and the looting was done by people who don’t even live in Ferguson (one of them was even from Texas).”

    You mean like this on Fox?:
    http://crooksandliars.com/2014/08/fox-and-friends-find-their-uncle-ruckus

  342. says

    “calling “the police” out as a whole is encouraged.”

    Question Authority.

    (Or “just follow orders” – there’s you choice.)

  343. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    jafafa Hots

    Question Authority.

    (Or “just follow orders” – there’s you choice.)

    I hear you. They wanted to draft me and send us poor draftees (no Quayles or Bushes) to ‘Nam back in the day. Part of the whole question/be very skeptical of AUTHORITY.

  344. CJO says

    All of it, especially “releasing” the video and letting the media concoct the apologia reads so much like twiddling the knobs on the mid-21st century security state.

    Kudos (and hugs, should they be of comfort) to those providing insight here, specially Inaji. I really can’t bear the standard media coverage so it helps. Lurking, but I’m here.

    Also:
    #asshole

  345. yazikus says

    Question Authority.

    Jafafa, your comment reminded me of a book I got my niece a while back, A Rule is to Break: A Child’s Guide to Anarchy. (It is a super cute book). My favorite line might have been, “If someone says work, ask why!”. I can’t even imagine having had that idea as a child. Heck, I was raised singing the “Obedience” song (Oh, be, ee, de, eye, ee, en, ce, ee!) Has anyone else read this book? I thought it was pretty great.

  346. Ichthyic says

    everybody pretending to care makes me ill.

    you pretending to be ill makes me ill.

    fuck off.

  347. says

    Per Jafafa Hots’ link @ 452:

    Hasselbeck and the two stooges find the one minister who disagrees with the entire NAACP and sides with the cops. Why? Because, Samuel 15:23 “Rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft.” Black people need to quit being “so uptight” about officer stops.

    Hey, Tony! Looks like someone answered your question.

    Oy, I really need to get back to work, but it’s difficult paying attention to anything other than Ferguson.

  348. Menyambal says

    Really, observer15? You are going to take the officer’s account into account? How are you going to test its truth? How are you going to trust a person who you know nothing about?

    Seriously, the cops could have presented the shooter’s account with his identity secret at any time these last few days. Instead, they kept him quiet and hidden — something that would be said to reek of guilt if the circumstances were reversed.

    Fact, the cops say the incident started because Mike Brown was blocking traffic. They blocked traffic for over four hours while his body lay in the street — what were they doing all that time? We have video of the police doing nothing much, except covering the body. The body was far from any vehicle, at least the 35 feet or more that has been mentioned. If the shooter’s vehicle was moved, the evidence was compromised. The video does not show any effort to avoid stepping on ejected cartridge cases, BTW.

    The police did armor up and did try to shut down any protests, disobedience and journalism. They did roll into the neighborhood and assume the worst about the residents. They did mock and insult the citizens, they did point guns, they did shoot flashbangs, tear gas and rubber bullets. They did threaten to shoot real bullets into free citizens standing up for their rights. They did block traffic and disrupt the town. They did tell people to go home, and fired teargas into their homes.

    The police come off as racist tyrants, and would be roundly condemned as such by all, except some people still haven’t seen the corruption for what it is. Fact, the chief says the shooter had never had any disciplinary acts against him — which would mean nothing if the whole department was corrupt and racist, and wouldn’t need to be said if the organization was healthy (it reeks of red herring).

    I live in southwest Missouri, and should have got up to Ferguson (despite the broke and inflamed aspects of my life). Racism is rampant, and the police are not pure and holy. Let’s see … the sheriff’s son selling dope that his dad confiscated, the cop that pulled us over in Ash Grove because he didn’t like our bumperstickers and who flat lied about a duplicate license plate, the guy who came sirening down on me because I was walking along a road in the dark and had shaded my eyes from the headlights, and the guy who just let me go with no proof of insurance just because I gave him an excuse. Oh, and the cop who insisted that I give him my name when I turned over a wallet that I had found in an alley — I said that the previous time it had happened (I walk a lot), that cop had passed my name on to the owner, but he assured me that would never happen with him, but damn if my phone didn’t ring the next day (when I later found a cell phone in that area, I dropped it off at the store). That’s all in southwest Missouri, though.

    Up near Ferguson, about twenty miles north of it, I tangled with two St. Charles county deputies. They pulled up, I waved, smiled and walked over. They screamed orders, cuffed me (too damn tight), questioned me and accused me. I stayed calm and continued being of their favored race. They gradually let off, but then told me where to go and what to do for my own safety, despite it being obvious that I had been managing fine without their advice, and it being obvious to me that their advice was not safe. I pretended to comply, then turned around and headed out of the county. The joke and the point of the story is that I was actually guilty (of something fairly harmless), and they totally overlooked the evidence despite a deliberate search for it. They didn’t see it, which convinced them that I was innocent, because they couldn’t have been wrong. I don’t know that those two went to Ferguson, but I would not be a damn bit surprised.

    I would most emphatically not assume that the Ferguson cops were innocent or competent. I like the idea of cameras on all policemen. I suggest an oversight board of some sort that actually and transparently evaluates and investigates all police forces, and holds them accountable to the people. The president should not have to order investigations, nor the governor appoint someone after an incident. We should have a standard for police that we, the people, can trust and respect.

    Again, there is every indication that the Ferguson and St Louis police are entirely corrupted by racism, and there is nothing to show that they are not, and there is no way to find out whether or not they are.

    (Seriously, in this day and age you are going to trust a videotape? At very easiest, they riffle through their files until they find a tape of a guy who looks vaguely like the man they are trying to frame, at medium they re-enact the whole thing, and gods know what they could do in six days with everybody distracted by the riot they were putting on.)

  349. says

    http://thinkprogress.org/culture/2014/08/15/3471765/i-am-mike-brown-game-changer/
    (excerpt)

    But last night, the tide changed when ‘I Am Mike Brown,’ penned and performed by G.A.G.E., leaked online. Unlike a Kanye West, known for his controversial commentary on social and political discourse, G.A.G.E. isn’t as famous, and is an unlikely character in an ongoing fight to understand Ferguson — and other instances like it. But he may be the voice we need to revamp political messaging in popular music.

    [...]
    Featuring sound bites from Brown’s distraught mother, it’s a reflective song with the potential to reintroduce political messaging to national radio audiences. I talked to the rapper about the origins of the song and its overwhelmingly positive perception.
    What inspired you to write this song at this particular moment? Why not after Trayvon or Oscar Grant?

    We actually did a video for Trayvon Martin; we directed a video for some other artists. And when Travyon was murdered it seemed like everybody was jumping on it, and making songs and posting on it. I never want to feel like I’m doing it just to get some shine or some light. We didn’t put it on iTunes or anything; we’re not trying to make money off of it. Soon we’ll open a link so people can donate to the family. But as of right now, I’m not trying to get any money off of anybody. I really just felt the story. I am really Mike Brown. I walk these streets. I get harassed by police at least once a week. I just felt it so much.
    When I heard his mother talking about it, I really came to tears. I really wasn’t even going to release the song. A friend of mine actually leaked it. I was just going to vent that day. I recorded it in my house to vent, and I didn’t know it was going to get the response it was going to get.
    Let’s talk about the popularity of the song. Usually songs with lyrics like these don’t get radio time, but this song is gaining momentum. On the part of the radio stations, do you think there’s a genuine interest to get this message out there, or are folks just capitalizing on a current event?

    I actually have someone in the radio station who fought for this song. People were turning the radio stations down. Program directors and everything were turning it down. So these actual hosts went around their producers and program directors. I just think a lot of radio stations are tired of the same music that keeps coming out with no message. Everyone is reiterating the same thing — saying the same things, talking about the same subjects. This was a light to a lot of djs and radio shows that can say, “Ok, we actually have some music that we can play with some content and a message, so let’s run this.” I think a lot of people are affected by this. A lot of these radio station hosts have kids; they have a Mike Brown at home. That’s why I put it out: I am Mike Brown. We all are Mike Brown in some way.

  350. anteprepro says

    Oh for crap’s sake Morgan!?, it doesn’t matter. Hypothetical or not, it still could be an interpretted as that kind of threat. I didn’t, but I could see it being interpreted that way. Take that criticism or don’t, but don’t get huffy with me about it.

  351. anteprepro says

    Wow, Tony!, G.A.G.E. sounds like a real class act. I will have to find that song once I have the time.

  352. Morgan!? Militant Pacifist says

    anteprepro,

    don’t get huffy with me

    Why not? Subtlety, how does it work? Breath deeply, m’dear.

  353. observer15 says

    Menyambal @ #461-

    Really, observer15? You are going to take the officer’s account into account? How are you going to test its truth? How are you going to trust a person who you know nothing about?

    Yes, I want to hear what the police officer has to say. That doesn’t mean that I’ll trust him or believe him. I just want to know if he has a plausible explanation for what we know.

    Seriously, the cops could have presented the shooter’s account with his identity secret at any time these last few days. Instead, they kept him quiet and hidden — something that would be said to reek of guilt if the circumstances were reversed.

    Yes, they could and I think it looks bad for them that they have been reticent. In fact, everything I’ve seen so far looks bad for the police. The police have so far offered nothing by way justification for the killing. No details at all. That looks really bad. But looking bad doesn’t prove guilt. Everything could change if exculpatory new information came to light. That’s really all I am saying. If charges were brought against the police officer and the jury was selected from among the people here, there would be no way that he could get a fair trail.

    I agree with you on the rest of your post. I haven’t lived in southern Missouri, so I don’t know what the police are like there. I did live in a conservative part of California when I was a teenager and was subjected to harassment by the police because I didn’t have a car and walked everywhere I went. I was stopped walking to and from school, walking to the library, walking to the theater, you name it. They sometimes filled out reports on me. My crime was being a teenager without a car. I also once witnessed police misconduct when a policeman tried to provoke a friend of mine into taking a swing at him so he could beat him up just for some minor comment my friend made that the policeman didn’t like. I read several years later in our local newspaper that the same police department got caught fabricating evidence on someone. So I know all of those things happen and I know they tend to happen more often in some communities than others. But I’m not discussing general police behavior. I’m discussing this incident. And all of the information on it is not yet in. The facts are disputed.

  354. says

    @467, observer15

    Everything could change if exculpatory new information came to light.

    WHAT? What possible “exculpatory new information” could there possibly be? The officer shot him nine times, in the back, when he was unarmed. Can you imagine any scenario where that could ever be justified? If he was unarmed the “in the back” part is irrelevant — there is NO justification! Hell and little fishes, nine shots is necessarily too many — even if the guy were fucking threatening the cops with a rifle, that’s way more than necessary to deal with the threats.

    Beyond that, EVERY SINGLE FUCKING THING the police did after that was as wrong as it could possibly be. Leaving the body out for 5 hours? Refusing to give out information? Threatening and falsely arresting the press? Hiding their badges to keep reporters from being able to say who was harassing them? TEARGASSING PEOPLE IN THEIR OWN BACK YARDS? Even had Brown been a modern-day Al Capone, armed to the teeth and willing to shoot it out, the cops of Ferguson proved themselves to be uniformly unfit for duty from the way they handled this — and that applies to all of them, from the shooter to the chief.

    You are a fucking racist apologist asshole. May your barefoot path be ever strewn with Lego bricks, and may you spend every waking moment feeling like you’re going to sneeze. You deserve far worse, but this board frowns on ill-wishing so I’ll forebear.

  355. says

    If charges were brought against the police officer and the jury was selected from among the people here, there would be no way that he could get a fair trail.

    You do realize that the court of public opinion isn’t actually a courtroom, no?

  356. lochaber says

    And you could take pretty much any minority, and charge them with pretty much any crime, like illegal possession of magical jovian unicorns, and as long as you selected the jury from yahoo commenters, you could pretty much be guaranteed a conviction.

    Your a fucking idiot, and a racist authoritarian apologist to boot, observer.

  357. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    observer15

    I just want to know if he has a plausible explanation for what we know.

    Are you, at some point, going to get it through your head that the problem we have with you right now is that you apparently think a plausible explanation could exist which would make this all OK? You can say you’re not necessarily going to believe the cop all you want; you’re still, of necessity, admitting that you’ll be willing to let his word override everything else you know about the situation if it strikes you as plausible. As Vicar pointed out, there is no fact which could come to light at this point which would make this anything other than murder followed by state sanctioned terrorism. Which leaves you looking like an extremely fucking repulsive human being and not the steadfastly neutral twoo skeptic you imagine yourself to be.

  358. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    @ Tony!

    This particular tweet near the bottom:

    “when ur turn comes, please listen” – my mom on the police.

    i don’t think it’s fair she has to feel that way.

    *wibble*

  359. lochaber says

    Granted, I’m sorta curious as to what the cop is going to say. Not that I’m going to give it much consideration, but out of some morbid/masochistic sort of curiosity, I want to hear how an armored, armed, privileged part of a highly coordinated team of other armored, armed, and privileged individuals (who were all part of a much larger armored, armed, and privileged institution), felt that some random unarmed, unarmored, distinctively not privileged, kid was such a threat to his existence that he had to shoot him. And then shoot him again as he fled. And shot him yet again as he put his hands in the air, was on his knees, and pleading for mercy. And then shot him a few more times as he lay bleeding out on the pavement.

    That wasn’t self defense. It wasn’t even rage or adrenaline, that was straight-up, cold-blooded murder of an unarmed citizen.

    Short of the kid being some sort of superpowered vampire or something, I really can’t imagine any situation where that cop’s actions would be at all justified. And if that cop thought random black kids were superpowered vampires, they clearly aren’t in the right state of mind to either possess a weapon, be in a position of authority, or interacting with the public.

    We already have a really good idea of what went down that afternoon, we’ve heard at least a couple eyewitness reports (all of which line up remarkably well). We’ve also heard a handful of disparate police accounts of what happened, all of which were contradictory not only with the other eyewitness reports, but with each other as well. Taken in consideration with the illegal refusal to release any information that could have benefited the deceased (anything about the incident, anything about the autopsy, who the fuck murdered him, any video/cam footage of anything about the time he was murdered) , the well-known inaccuracy (and, often, even completely fabricated) or police statements, on top of the multiple incompatible, if not contradictory police statements… I think it’s fairly obvious the police force or Ferguson is not being straightforward, is trying to cover up what happened through obscuring/hiding/restricting information, as well as releasing anything they can that could possibly cast the murder victim in a bad light.

    If there was any legitimate information/explanation/excuse/whateverthefuckyouwannacallit for murdering this kid, it would have been front and center from the very beginning. This whole week has been an all-too-typical exercise of force by the authorities to try and demand fear, obedience and compliance, without any regard to truth or justice. That’s why in the subsequent invasion and terrorism of the neighborhood, the cops were targeting news crews, journalists, and people filming them. They knew their (and their colleague’s) actions were inexcusable and indefensible, and were attempting to simply beat the entire neighborhood into compliance and submission.

    These sadistic bullies don’t deserve to live unrestricted in any civilized society, let alone bear arms or authority over any other human.

  360. Maureen Brian says

    observer15,

    Interestingly it is the Guardian – a newspaper based in the UK – which comes up with the standards set by the US Supreme Court for the use of lethal forces. The whole thing is worth reading but here is the key section

    David Klinger, an associate professor in the department of criminology and criminal justice at the University of Missouri–St Louis and a former officer with the Los Angeles police department, said there are two permissible circumstances in which an officer can use lethal force.

    Constitutionally, a police officer can shoot a suspect who is threatening the life of the officer, a fellow officer or a member of the public, said Klinger, a use-of-force expert. This is known as the “defence of life” standard.
    An officer can also shoot a fleeing suspect if the officer believes the suspect has committed a violent felony and his or her escape would pose a significant and serious threat, he said.
    The US constitution does not allow a police officer to shoot an unarmed, non-violent suspect in flight who does not pose a serious risk to public safety.

    Humanely it allows the test to be the situation as perceived by the officer in the heat of the moment and not the facts as later understood when everyone is calm.

    Now, I am prepared to bet that an infinite number of philosophy professors could not come up with a fact or a perception on anyone’s part which causes this shooting to fall within those guidelines.

    What is it that you imagine the police officer could say which might count as “exculpatory new information” given those rules? You’d better start thinking quick about that one for you have already painted yourself into a corner.

  361. Al Dente says

    Observer15

    If there was a “plausible explanation” for the shooting then the Ferguson police chief would have given it at his news conference. Instead we got a story about shoplifting and acknowledgement that Wilson didn’t even know about it when he shot Brown.

  362. Ichthyic says

    Short of the kid being some sort of superpowered vampire or something,

    you at least have some imagination. Observer15 was asked the same question repeatedly, and couldn’t even understand what was being asked of them.

    frankly though, having been a buffy fan, and even spent time watching true blood, I still don’t think even this fantasy scenario would justify murder.

    show me the bite marks!

    :)

  363. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Observer15

    I just want to know if he has a plausible explanation for what we know.

    In other words, you will swallow obvious lies if it meets your presupposition that the cold-blooded murder was justified in the any way. That isn’t skepticism.
    Same old lies and bullshit from day 1. Believe the perp, not the victim and witnesses.
    There is no legitimate “excuse” for the shooting.

  364. says

    Going to add my agreement to the notion that the officer’s explanation won’t be able to affect the situation very much. A teenager was shot down while unarmed, hands in the air, and without the murderer being aware of any potential suspect-status. That, alongside everything else that followed is more than enough evidence that the police involved was far far out of bounds and that there are serious problems with how racism and police brutality is viewed in the media and treated in general. I live on the other side of the Atlantic and it’s still pretty clear to me that the shooter’s story won’t excuse gunning down someone like this, and shooting peaceful protesters with rubber bullets and tear gas. It’s a terrible situation and it really highlights that there is a systemic problem with racial profiling and serious injustice. Mike Brown could have been running from a bank robbery and it still wouldn’t make sense to claim that we need the officer’s story.

    As an aside, I looked up if police had shot and killed anyone over here. Apparently, in my home country, it has happened 11 times in the last decade. In all those cases, the victim seem to have been armed and threatening or attacking (in one case having shot an officer first, in another attacking police with a sabre) and yet the police were still criticised in several cases for having used excessive force. In other words, even when someone is waving a knife and threatening the police they don’t necessarily have justification to shoot at all, let alone shooting someone fatally, so I am very very sceptical of the claim that it’s still possible that Mike Brown’s murder was justified when Brown was unarmed and all evidence point to him doing nothing to necessitate even the least bit of force.

  365. says

    Protesters tried to keep looters out of stores

    Wesley Lowery @WesleyLowery · 7h
    Cops nowhere near. Crowd policing ITSELF. Community leaders and NIO/Panthers PREVENTING LOOTING

    Also being protected by line of community members: McDonalds

    Tor Ekeland ‏@TorEkelandPC 2m
    Police are not disputing that 1) Brown was shot in the back 2) he was also shot when he put his hands up and sank to his knees. #Ferguson

    INDIA MOREL ‏@SEXYINDIA 18m
    A PROTESTER SAID ON CAMERA THAT SOME OF THE LOOTERS WERE NOT EVEN FROM #FERGUSON

    Ferguson Protesters Guard Stores From Looters

    Missouri ACLU, authorities reach agreement on recording of police

  366. says

    Via #AntonioFrench:

    I 1st left the area around 11:30. Things were peaceful & rainy. I took my wife home & was hoping for a good night’s sleep. Then got a text.

    The text said, “Uh I think something popped off at the liquor store in ferguson”. I put back on my clothes and raced down W. Florisant.

    By the time I arrived, the police were gone, as were the tear gas and smoke. Based on previous nights, that seemed strange.

    A photojournalist friend told me what they saw a few minutes before…

    They said after a tense standoff following an individual throwing a bottle at an officer, police were pulling back…

    They said as police and the tanks were DRIVING AWAY they shot tear gas into the crowd, “Like a big fuck you,” they said.

    Based on later conversations, I don’t know if that use of tear gas was authorized. But sure did make getting ppl calmed down more difficult.

    When I arrived, I saw the men-to-boy ratio was not favorable. There wasn’t the same number of leaders on the scene as the night before.

    Then another standoff. Myself and others tried to hold back the crowd. I pleaded for both sides to stand down.

    “We appreciate you, but we don’t need you,” one of the young men told me. He said they were ready for war. “We sick of this shit.”

    I really was about to lose hope of being able to keep the two sides apart. Then Anthony Shahid arrived. His presence helped redirect them.

    Shahid said something to 1 of the men who I saw as being a real instigator of escalation. Whatever he said, he was on our team immediately.

    Shahid then got the crowd to agree to hold their position while he and I went over to see Captain Johnson.

    We agreed that another violent confrontation could be avoided if we got the crowd to move away from the police line back to Ferguson Ave.

    Shahid also got police to agree to stop shouting instructions on the loudspeaker, which agitated the crowd, making our task more difficult.

    We went back. It took some speeches, 1-on-1 conversations, some hugs, some gentle pushes, even a line of interlocked arms to move them back.

    Others helping to push back the crowd included @Patricialicious and some strong young people determined to keep the peace.

    The line did get back to Ferguson Ave, where it stayed the rest of the night. Objective #1: Avoiding another violent confrontation ☑️

  367. says

    Jessica ‏@JessicaGoldstei 6m
    TY for that “but” @MHarrisPerry – important to know the #ferguson residents protected property that the police would not.

    Yamiche Alcindor @Yamiche · 8h
    Police have remained in armored truck as citizens have convinced looters to stop breaking into stories. #Ferguson

    “Truth is We Are All One Bullet Away From Being A #Hashtag” #Ferguson

    Is Race An Issue In Ferguson? Depends On Whom You Ask

    Brown’s death and fiery rallies exposed two cities that exist in one. Some residents say, “It’s one of the most racist places there is.” But the mayor insists, “There’s not a black-white divide in Ferguson.”

    Regardless of the geographic region, the community response follows a predictable script: White residents almost always find themselves surprised by the simmering discontent of their black neighbors. And why wouldn’t they be? They usually live in a different part of town, no longer segregated by law but by history, custom, and sometimes policy. What’s more, the police and other arms of government treat them with respect. Many white residents don’t think there’s much racial discontent because they just don’t see it.

    Ferguson sprouted to life in the mid-nineteenth century as a hub for freight and passenger rail traffic in a nominally Confederate state. After the Civil War, a small parcel of land, inside what is today Ferguson, was set aside for former slaves to build small cabins. The area was called “Little Africa,” according to Ferguson: A City and Its People, which was published by the Ferguson Historical Society in 1976.

    In that book and a follow-up edition that focused on life in town after the 1920s, the black contributions to Ferguson receive only a few passing mentions: slaves freed by merciful plantation owners, a Baptist church founded by former slaves in 1880, and a school that opened for black students in 1885 — though high school-aged children were forced to travel nearly 20 miles because the local high school wouldn’t accept blacks.

    Mostly, the books are a tribute to the prominent white families and business owners in town: the Schmidt Bros Confectionary on Church Street, Bindbeutel’s Market, Kienstra Coal and Feed Company, to name a few. Only three black people, none of them identified, none of them women, can be found on the pages of those books.

    The town’s white majority didn’t begin to dwindle until the 1970s, when white residents fled St. Louis and its inner suburbs, including Ferguson. By 2000, blacks made up half of the city’s population, and whites had dropped to 44 percent. Those trends continued through the 2010 Census, which found that more than two-thirds of the city was black and that whites made up less than 30 percent.

    “I grew up here, and it’s always been a very diverse community,” said James Knowles, mayor of Ferguson since 2011, who is white. “So for people to come out and say that there’s some long-standing anger or there’s a history of racial tension is absolutely ridiculous,” he said. “There’s not a black-white divide in Ferguson.”

  368. says

    Chimera:

    Good morning Inaji, hope you slept well.

    ‘Morning, Chimera. By the looks of it, I got more sleep than the townspeople of Ferguson.

  369. carlie says

    I was away from media yesterday and missed it all, but after reading through my twitter feed from last night (I’ve been following a lot of people on the ground in Ferguson), this article from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch seems to get the basic facts of what happened correct. Protesters were peaceful until police showed up in riot gear again, they got agitated, a few broke off and started looting, and then the rest of the protesters protected the businesses from the looters. According to Antonio French’s tweets in particular, there was a lot higher proportion of teens to adults out last night, which meant a lot more young upset people without as many older people to calm them down, which may have contributed to the small group deciding to break off and start breaking into stores. What I don’t get is why police showed up in riot gear AGAIN, after how badly that went last time.

  370. says

    Nelly Preaches Peace In #Ferguson, Announces Scholarship

    Dr. Marcia Chatelain ‏@DrMChatelain 10m
    Eric Garner’s loosies.LaTasha Harlins’s orange juice.Mike Brown’s cigars.’Break-ins in’ Trayvon’s neighborhood.Property vs. life. #nerdland

    MKW ‏@rugcernie 9m
    It shouldn’t matter that police often aren’t from communities they patrol, but it does; all cops should respect all citizens. #nerdland

    LocdDoc ‏@locd_doc 11m
    BAM! That’s it. Law enforcement no longer required to live in the communities that they police. It makes a difference! #nerdland

    Caleph Wilson ‏@HeyDrWilson 10m
    Former detective just said “boys and their toys” on why militarized police/equipment is deployed in communities. #nerdland #Ferguson

  371. says

    Continuing from 484, via #AntonioFrench:

    But then some of the troublemakers, no longer supported by the crowd, started gathering separately on a nearby parking lot.

    Next thing you hear is glass break. Some run through the busted door of a beauty supply store. Immediately, some ppl run to block them.

    I’m really proud of those who ran to block looters. They tried to redirect back to the chant “Hands up! Don’t shoot!” pic.twitter.com/dARQl1xTyx

    After peace had been restored there, another ruckus on the lot of Ferguson Market. Looters pulled off the plywood and entered.

    Again, protestors quickly arrived and block the entrance. I got in the middle. “We are better than this,” I told them. This isn’t protest.

    Protestors secured Ferguson Market for that time. Most of the crowd of troublemakers moved further down West Florissant, towards the QT.

    I reconnected w/Shahid to discuss strategy. We knew, given the mood, even a small group of police coming to secure stores would lead to riot

    We heard about guys w/guns and large Molotov cocktails ready. So to avoid violence, the ppl here had secure the businesses as best we could.

    With the beauty supply and Ferguson market secured for the moment, the troublemakers moved down towards Sam’s Market.

    By the time I arrived, looters were already in the building.

    I’m not going to lie. This sight really broke my heart. I was so disappointed in these people. And I got out my car and told them as much.

    Soon some protestors arrived and tried to secure Sam’s Market too.

    By this time it was just around 2AM. Still too many troublemakers. Still too much anger. Still too many weapons. Still too few grown men.

    Now it was kind of a waiting game. How long before the troublemakers just go home? We knew it was going to be a long night.

    Quick note: I think Shahid is close to 60. I know he’d been awake since 5AM when he wakes up for prayer. This wouldn’t be over till after 4.

    I want to be clear: Police not coming in at this point — even with the looting — was a good thing. It would’ve gotten very violent.

    I began hearing reports of threats to some of the journalists who were trying to record the troublemakers. Also some plans to set fires.

  372. says

    Cleaning up Sam’s meat market

    T.J. Holmes ‏@tjholmes 43m
    Sharpton: “how does a gun even get into the discussion of why you’re walking in the street and not on the sidewalk?” #MikeBrown #Ferguson

    zellie ‏@zellieimani 54m
    I saw many white looters and agitators last night but saw no white people guarding businesses from entry from looters. #Ferguson

    Elon James White ‏@elonjames 1h
    We’re flying out momentarily. Keep your eyes on #Ferguson. Don’t let a problematic few color the legitimate frustrations of the many.

  373. chimera says

    I just went and explored St. Louis and Ferguson a little bit using the street views of Google earth. Even in the “best” neighborhoods (according to real estate agent descriptions) there are lots of empty lots, looks like houses have been razed. There must not be a lot of work in that city.

  374. says

    Continuing from 484 and 493, via #AntonioFrench:

    I heard that they were really determined to set Sam’s Market and Ferguson Market on fire.

    It became so clear the awfulness of the situation. Communities need police. But here & now, the slightest police presence enrages people.

    Soon looters overran the group guarding Sam’s. Soon after that we heard they started to set it on fire. The young guy with me ran towards.

    That young man ran top speed into the broken glass opening into Sam’s Market, where some smoke and a small flame could be seen.

    When I arrived he had an armful of grape soda 2-litter bottles & was pouring it on the small flame. I grabbed one of the bottles and helped.

    Still not fully satisfied, the troublemakers hopped in their cars & started doing donuts in the now completely empty lanes of W. Florissant.

    Others started taking license plates off their cars. “They’re going to Walmart,” someone said. And soon, after more car tricks, they left.

  375. says

    More from the Atlantic, this time William Powell, senior editor at St.Louis magazine:

    One particularly appalling incident came in 2009, when Ferguson police picked up a 52-year-old named Henry Davis, as recently reported by The Daily Beast. He was arrested by mistake. The warrant had been for another man with the same last name. But rather than police setting him free, Davis was charged with “property damage” because he had bled on an officer’s uniform.

    This is the police department you’re waiting for “more information” from, observer15. They pick up the wrong man, and instead of letting him go and apologizing, they charge him for bleeding on them. How fucking egregious is that? I’m honestly surprised they don’t just write Black people up as “suspect was observed moving through the neighbourhood while suspiciously dark-skinned; recommended charge is ‘threat to public order through Blackness'”.

    At some point, it should become obvious that the null hypothesis, when dealing with US police (and UK and Canadian and so on), is that if they’re dealing with someone who isn’t white, racism is involved. There’s just too much accumulated evidence that the entire ‘justice’ system is stacked heavily against POC to have “it’s not racist” as a null.

  376. says

    (ง’̀-‘́)ง ™ ‏@ZakariaSnow 7m
    DOJ told #Ferguson police not to release video as it would further increase tensions. via @CNN #MikeBrown

    HispanosUnidos.us ‏@_HispanosUnidos 9m
    MT @goldietaylor: Robbery video was released over the objections of DOJ. Told #Ferguson PD it was inflammatory + non responsive to FOIA.

    MariaChappelleNadal @MariaChappelleN · 4h
    Protestors are cleaning up after the looters. Looters are not from Ferguson! Police are allowing them to clean up.

    the conversation i’m seeing concerning #ferguson is a perfect example of how racism and anti-blackness grows.

    And so we don’t forget the spin lies or all the people looking to change the narrative, especially with Respectability Politics:

    Robert J Foster ‏@mayorrjfoster 14m
    Has anyone else noticed that all the people in #Ferguson that are protesting are BLACK THUGS, not people in regular clothes

  377. says

    CaitieCat:

    they charge him for bleeding on them.

    Let’s not forget that it was the cops that caused the bleeding in the first place. Honestly, the article about Henry Davis and the circus known as FPD was linked at least twice, and I’m pretty sure ‘observer15′ has not been clicking on the wealth of links or reading any articles. To do that would interfere with the justification they are looking for so intently.

  378. says

    Continuing from 484, 493 and 496, via #AntonioFrench:

    The police w/their assault weapons, tank-like vehicles, and gas bombs, held their line and had not left yet. Only a few people remained.

    Then out of nowhere a white Suburban with all it windows down sped quickly up W. Florissant past our line and towards the police…

    Police raised their rifles and trained them on the vehicle as it quickly approached and then suddenly stopped just a few yards from police.

    “Hey! Hey! Hey! WTF?!” and “Brother, what are you doing?!” could be heard from the crowd. The vehicle began to back up slowly.

    As he backed up past me and then began making a U-turn to go back where he came from, I could see a shiny silver handgun in his right hand.

    Quick note: My out-of-town followers should know that in the State of Missouri it is legal to drive around with your handgun.

    It was nearing 4AM. The street was bare and I had heard a report that indeed they did go to Walmart. Soon police began to leave the area.

    I was exhausted. A lot of us exchanged handshakes and hugs. Then I hopped in my car and drove home, saddened by the lost #PeaceInFerguson.