Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Thursday, August 21, 2014

Lanre Akinsiku, Gawker: To be black and interact with the police is a scary thing. The fear doesn't have to come from any kind of historical antagonism, which, trust me, would be enough; it can also come from many data points of personal experience, collected over time. Almost all black men have these close-call-style stories, and we collect and mostly keep them to ourselves until one of us is killed. You know how the stories go: I was pulled over one day and the cop drew his gun as he approached my window; I was stopped on the street, handcuffed and made to sit on the sidewalk because the cop said I looked like a suspect; I had four squad cars pull up on me for jaywalking. We trade them like currency. And it almost goes without saying that these stops are de facto violent, because even when the officer doesn't physically harm you, you can feel that you've been robbed of something.

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tonyroma

 

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The thing to remember is that each of these experiences compounds the last, like interest, so that at a certain point just seeing a police officer becomes nauseating. That feeling is fear.

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What I've seen of the Ferguson Police Department and their tanks, AR15's, flash-bang grenades, tear gas, laser sights, helicopters, and military-style detachment makes me believe Michael Brown was tired. Maybe he'd been harassed by a police officer before, maybe he was tired of being tired. So when Darren Wilson tried to bully him, Michael Brown said no. And maybe it was the "no" of someone who's been pushed around, which is a more beautiful "no," since it is so clear and absolute. That a police officer then shot him dead and left his body in the street is, historically, the kind of thing police officers do when black men stand up for themselves.

And so for the last week I've been feeling that helpless feeling. All that's left after helplessness is fatigue, right? Aren't we all tired yet? We know that what happened to Michael Brown was not a unique incident but part of a larger phenomenon -- and that it will happen again, soon. Which means we know an even deeper truth: that to be black in this country means constantly paying a tax on your life. Some of us pay in dignity, some of us pay in blood. What I'm trying to say is this: Never again will I pay with my dignity.


This isn't a long article, but it chronicles things that most every black man in America could recite without much prompting. The innocent pay for the guilty every single day in millions of ways that go largely unnoticed and unremarked upon. Attorney General Holder has been subjected to profiling in his younger days as I'm sure President Obama has as well. It just doesn't matter when you're a black male in America. The only saving grace can be the people surrounding you when encounters happen (ie. with above reproach white people) or are avoided (because of those people), and that cannot be controlled 24/7/365.

#1 | Posted by tonyroma at 2014-08-21 01:17 PM | Reply | Flag:

Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed . . . Herman Melville

#2 | Posted by oldwhiskeysour at 2014-08-21 01:20 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 2

Often I'd see a squad car following me and just pull to the curb to get it over with. An officer would walk up to the car, one hand on that little button that secures the strap over his gun. He'd ask for my license and registration. Some inner voice would remind me that this was the time to point out I'd done nothing wrong; I'd ask for a badge number, I'd take a stand. But black boys are supposed to know better.

So what I would do was: I would slip my college ID over my driver's license. The officer's eyes would light up. Not your college ID, he would say, amused. Then he would go back to his car and dally a little, pretending to check on things, before handing my license back with some mock-heroic advice about staying out of trouble. The story ends right there. I remember feeling vague anger afterwards, although I was probably feeling something a lot closer to despair.

Every time I used the college ID trick, it bred in me a kind of survivor's guilt, a guilt about a life that feels as if it's being protected weakly, through cowardice. Because what I was really doing was saying, Yes, some of us deserve to be shot in the street, but this ID proves that I'm not one of them. I used the little plastic card to secure my status as One Of The Good Ones[1], and I always drove away ashamed, always. At best, I was reducing my humanity -- my right to not get shot by a police officer -- to a giveaway received during freshman orientation. At worst, I was just delaying what is now starting to feel inevitable.

#3 | Posted by tonyroma at 2014-08-21 01:28 PM | Reply | Flag:

"I used the little plastic card to secure my status as One Of The Good Ones"

His card counteracted his color, which had enhanced the likelihood of his status as poor, which indicated the likelihood of his being a, "criminal"
in the eyes of society as represented by the police.

Like Kareem said, the race war won't be about race.

time.com

#4 | Posted by Corky at 2014-08-21 01:38 PM | Reply | Flag:

Among the many relevant facts for any African-American negotiating their relationship with the police the following stands out: The police departments of America are endowed by the state with dominion over your body. This summer in Ferguson and Staten Island we have seen that dominion employed to the maximum ends -- destruction of the body. This is neither new nor extraordinary. It does not matter if the destruction of your body was an overreaction. It does not matter if the destruction of your body resulted from a misunderstanding. It does not matter if the destruction of your body springs from foolish policy. Sell cigarettes without proper authority and your body can be destroyed. Resent the people trying to entrap your body and it can be be destroyed. Protect the home of your mother and your body can be destroyed. Visit the home of your young daughter and your body will be destroyed. The destroyers of your body will rarely be held accountable. Mostly they will receive pensions. http:// dish.andrewsullivan.com/2014/ 08/21/living-in-fear-of-the- police/

#5 | Posted by tonyroma at 2014-08-21 01:45 PM | Reply | Flag:

I grew up poor and I have more than my share of these stories to tell you about, such as the time my little brother got a speeding ticket on his bicycle, or two police cars pulling up behind me , and searching me and my passengers, because someone told there where devil-worshipers in the area. No ----, that actually happened.

I once got pulled over, and one of my passengers taken to jail, because cops where looking for "four men in a brown sedan". The jailed passenger sued for false arrest, but died of a brain tumor before the case could be heard.

I have more.

So these stories are very familiar to me.

#6 | Posted by HeliumRat at 2014-08-21 04:27 PM | Reply | Flag:

The Chinese were brought over here in droves, treated like ---- and paid a slaves wage and discriminated against.

But, we never hear about them or deal with any trouble from them.

What's the deal?

The Japanese were imprisoned during WWII, their property taken and lives uprooted.

Why no issues with them?

rwd

#7 | Posted by rightwingdon at 2014-08-21 06:46 PM | Reply | Flag:

#7-#8

Neither group was forced into America in chains and considered the property of white Americans. Neither group was forced to compete against others of their tribe in brutal fighting to the death for the amusement of white people. Neither group had laws passed authorizing their status as sub-citizens compared to white people. Neither group had regional hate groups formed to make sure their status as second class citizens remained a fabric of the white community for over a century after the Civil War. Neither group has been relegated to ghettos and forced by housing covenants to be excluded from growing the wealth that fuels the rest of the middle class as families sought better housing, schools and opportunities for their children but were denied by illegal and unconstitutional impediments.

WWII lasted 5+ years, the exploitation of Chinese maybe a few decades. The enslavement of Africans within America lasted over 200 years give or take, and still reverberates today. You figure it out.

#9 | Posted by tonyroma at 2014-08-21 07:11 PM | Reply | Flag:

And it is not like those groups are in such great shape themselves in a lot of ways: almost no representation, politically and very little, economically and socially. Low poverty rates do not necessarily mean that all is well.

#10 | Posted by DirkStruan at 2014-08-21 07:42 PM | Reply | Flag:

#11 Actually Asians are over-represented when it comes to social privilege. 40% got to college, for example, compared to 30% of whites.

Asians make 10% more than whites, income wise. Asians have also been snapping up the Nobel prizes.

#11 | Posted by HeliumRat at 2014-08-21 08:18 PM | Reply | Flag:

My point stands. How many Asians hold national office in the US? How many hold high positions in industry or the judiciary or major social and religious institutions? An Asian-American congressman is unusual, an Asian-American senator a striking rarity, and an Asian-American president is virtually unthinkable.

#12 | Posted by DirkStruan at 2014-08-21 08:29 PM | Reply | Flag:

Asians are small business owners. they don't seem to be much into working for the govt or large companies.

That pretty much covers all of those areas of representation you listed.

#13 | Posted by eberly at 2014-08-21 08:31 PM | Reply | Flag:

#12 That's because Asians make up 3% of the US population.

#14 | Posted by HeliumRat at 2014-08-21 08:34 PM | Reply | Flag:

Asians are small business owners. they don't seem to be much into working for the govt or large companies.
That pretty much covers all of those areas of representation you listed.

#13 | POSTED BY EBERLY AT 2014-08-21 08:31 PM | FLAG:

Just like Jews "weren't that into" a wide range of professions until very recently.... This is a charitable way of saying that they are kept out of a wide range of professions. The fact that they do well in the professions into which they are artificially funneled does not change the oppressive character of this situation any more than it did with the Jews.

#15 | Posted by DirkStruan at 2014-08-21 08:38 PM | Reply | Flag:

#12 That's because Asians make up 3% of the US population.

#14 | POSTED BY HELIUMRAT AT 2014-08-21 08:34 PM | FLAG:

What a telling response. In other words, whites will not support their entry into these areas, so they have to either become a larger (exploitable) block or accept marginalization.

And, come to that, I would be very surprised if Asians even had representation relative to their population size in the areas I mentioned.

And all this ignores less tangible ways in which tear groups are oppressed...

#16 | Posted by DirkStruan at 2014-08-21 08:42 PM | Reply | Flag:

" In other words, whites will not support their entry into these areas,"

Just because representation isn't perfect doesn't mean whites are blocking it.

#17 | Posted by eberly at 2014-08-21 08:47 PM | Reply | Flag:

#16 Asians are not underepresented. You just never hear about Asians because they represent 3% of society.

Asian Americans in government and politics:
en.wikipedia.org

Stop being a deranged paranoid about Asians.

#18 | Posted by HeliumRat at 2014-08-21 08:51 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

Scratch that, they are over-represented:


Currently there are seven Asian Americans in the House and two in the Senate. Representatives Mike Honda, Doris Matsui, Mazie Hirono, and Colleen Hanabusa are all Japanese Americans. Senator Daniel Akaka is part Native Hawaiian and part Chinese American. Representative Judy Chu is Chinese American. There are two Filipino Americans, Representatives Bobby Scott and Steve Austria, both of whom are Multiracial Americans. There is one South Asian American, a Bangladeshi American Representative Hansen Clarke, in Congress, he is also a Multiracial American.

From the same article.

#19 | Posted by HeliumRat at 2014-08-21 08:53 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

The numbers you give mean that they are underrepresented. Do the math: 3% of the population should produce 3 senators, not two. In the house, Asian-Americans are a fraction of a percent of the total members, nowhere near 3%. I note your silence with respect to my other points.

#20 | Posted by DirkStruan at 2014-08-21 09:26 PM | Reply | Flag:

Just because representation isn't perfect doesn't mean whites are blocking it.
#17 | POSTED BY EBERLY AT 2014-08-21 08:47 PM | FLAG:

It depends on what you mean by blocking. Cultural prejudice can be just as effective as law in promoting these sorts of discriminatory social arrangements.

#21 | Posted by DirkStruan at 2014-08-21 09:28 PM | Reply | Flag:

Is it really that bad? And is it that way all over the U.S? Perception is reality in many circles.

#22 | Posted by Donald at 2014-08-21 09:35 PM | Reply | Flag:

#20 Hey genius, the same article said Asians account for only 1% of the vote, because they aren't politically active enough. So 1.6% of the House and 2% of the Senate sounds about right.

#23 | Posted by HeliumRat at 2014-08-21 09:44 PM | Reply | Flag:

"Cultural prejudice"

Okay. Fair enough. Asians appear to be a superior culture however.

Do Asians believe they are of a superior culture?

#24 | Posted by eberly at 2014-08-21 09:45 PM | Reply | Flag:

#20 OK, I looked for the other points you where trying to make, and couldn't find any.

What where they again? Be succinct.

#25 | Posted by HeliumRat at 2014-08-21 09:49 PM | Reply | Flag:

Do Asians believe they are of a superior culture?
#24 | Posted by eberly

Do Zionists?
Seriously, who cares?

#26 | Posted by snoofy at 2014-08-21 10:16 PM | Reply | Flag:

What where they again? Be succinct.

#25 | POSTED BY HELIUMRAT AT 2014-08-21 09:49 PM | FLAG:

Or you could learn to read.

#27 | Posted by DirkStruan at 2014-08-21 10:20 PM | Reply | Flag:

#20 Hey genius, the same article said Asians account for only 1% of the vote, because they aren't politically active enough. So 1.6% of the House and 2% of the Senate sounds about right.

#23 | POSTED BY HELIUMRAT AT 2014-08-21 09:44 PM | FLAG:

Thank you for conceding that, while Asians are about 3% of the population, they have nowhere near that level of representation. Your attempt to move the goalposts is noted and dismissed.

Incidentally, low rates of political participation prove my point: Asians are unwilling or unable to participate in the political process to anywhere near an extent that reflects their numbers.

#28 | Posted by DirkStruan at 2014-08-21 10:24 PM | Reply | Flag:

#28 it's not they are being suppressed. Be realistic.

#29 | Posted by HeliumRat at 2014-08-21 10:31 PM | Reply | Flag:

Classic conservative methodology: if you can prove that Asians are not victimized by descrimination, this will somehow prove that blacks/Hispanics/etc could succeed in society but don't because they are lazy/undisciplined.

#30 | Posted by DirkStruan at 2014-08-21 10:31 PM | Reply | Flag:

#28 it's not they are being suppressed. Be realistic.

#29 | POSTED BY HELIUMRAT AT 2014-08-21 10:31 PM | FLAG:

Depends on what you mean by surpressed.

#31 | Posted by DirkStruan at 2014-08-21 10:32 PM | Reply | Flag:

The black vote, on the other hand, is being actively suppressed by the Republican party. See the difference?

#32 | Posted by HeliumRat at 2014-08-21 10:32 PM | Reply | Flag:

I certainly do. I never claimed the situations of these groups were the same. I merely think it is a disservice to Asian Americans to pretend that they too are not subject to forms of oppression.

#33 | Posted by DirkStruan at 2014-08-21 10:36 PM | Reply | Flag:

#30 3rd generation Hispanics make the same amount of money as white Americans. Because they are fully assimilated. I read that in an immigration study a long time ago. So there goes half your argument.

#34 | Posted by HeliumRat at 2014-08-21 10:37 PM | Reply | Flag:

Are the white Americans also third generation? How would you score someone like me, half first-generation?

I still remember that proud day when my mom earned her citizenship in New York City by correctly naming the first President of the United States: George Washington Bridge.

#35 | Posted by snoofy at 2014-08-21 10:41 PM | Reply | Flag:

#35 You should be deported for stealing American jobs.

#36 | Posted by HeliumRat at 2014-08-21 10:51 PM | Reply | Flag:

I have a job?

#37 | Posted by snoofy at 2014-08-21 11:00 PM | Reply | Flag:

OK, the other immigrants can stay, but Snoofy still gets deported.

#38 | Posted by HeliumRat at 2014-08-21 11:03 PM | Reply | Flag: | Funny: 1

#30 3rd generation Hispanics make the same amount of money as white Americans. Because they are fully assimilated. I read that in an immigration study a long time ago. So there goes half your argument.

#34 | POSTED BY HELIUMRAT AT 2014-08-21 10:37 PM | FLAG:

I'm afraid that there is more to equality than equal income (even if you can produce this phantom study of yours), even if we are limiting the discussion to economics.

I am not sure what you are trying to demonstrate here.

#39 | Posted by DirkStruan at 2014-08-21 11:36 PM | Reply | Flag:

Black males murder at a VASTLY disproportionate rate to their percentage of the population. And not just for killing other black males.

That data ====IS pertinent==== to how they are perceived in a possibly threatening situation.

Want that to change? Change that murder rate.

#40 | Posted by USAF242 at 2014-08-22 08:19 AM | Reply | Flag:

"Seriously, who cares?"

Asians, of course. that is, if they believe they are superior.

just asking....doesn't matter really.

#41 | Posted by eberly at 2014-08-22 08:57 AM | Reply | Flag:

"How would you score someone like me, half first-generation?"

which half of you is first generation?

your bottom half came over on a boat and the top half came later?

Snoofy, if one of your parents is 1st generation and the other one isn't....then you have to go with the other parent.

IOW, if your father is 3rd generation American....you are a 4th generation American.

I'm a 4th generation American. My roots go back to German immigrants in the late 1800s.

#42 | Posted by eberly at 2014-08-22 09:04 AM | Reply | Flag:

That data ====IS pertinent==== to how they are perceived in a possibly threatening situation.
Want that to change? Change that murder rate.
#40 | Posted by USAF242

So it seems sensible to you that you're a police officer, you see one of "them" in the middle of the street, you know they have a much greater propensity to than a white person does... and you address them with profanity?

That doesn't make even the tiniest bit of sense. Unless of course you were hoping to provoke a response so that you might gun them down and make the world a better place by taking out the trash. They are trash, after all, what with their extremely high murder rate. Right?

#43 | Posted by snoofy at 2014-08-22 12:26 PM | Reply | Flag:

Unless of course you were hoping to provoke a response so that you might gun them down and make the world a better place by taking out the trash. They are trash, after all, what with their extremely high murder rate. Right?

#43 | Posted by snoofy

When taking out the "trash" is dangerous I usually call for backup. In fact, my job has what is known as the Two-man rule. If a job can be considered dangerous or unsafe (especially if death or serious injury can result) then we have to have 2 men on the job. It is our policy to prevent unsafe conditions from causing unnecessary death. Especially my own.

Why didn't he wait for backup? oh yeah... that's right, I forget, the kid was charging at him like an enraged bull full of bullet holes.

What a load of malarky. The cop should be fired and the entire force should be stood down and retrained on proper protocol to prevent the unnecessary death and destruction of property that he caused.

#44 | Posted by donnerboy at 2014-08-22 06:19 PM | Reply | Flag:

Um. People of different races can represent, in Congress (either house), people of... different races. Just sayin'. There could be 15 Japanese-American senators, and they could be representing ------- just fine.

#45 | Posted by pragmatist at 2014-08-22 07:14 PM | Reply | Flag:

but it chronicles things that most every black man in America could recite without much prompting.

The hottest myth, lie and playbook narrative. Complete fabrication.

#46 | Posted by RobThomas at 2014-08-23 04:40 PM | Reply | Flag:

#9 | POSTED BY TONYROMA AT 2014-08-21 07:11 PM | REPLY | FLAG:

It's all about the 'group'. More excuses for the failed black culture embraced by losers. This has ZERO to due with the color of someones skin and everything to do with their culture and behavior.

Keep pushing your narrative, it's all you got. Excuses.

#47 | Posted by RobThomas at 2014-08-23 04:43 PM | Reply | Flag:

More excuses for the failed black culture

Followed by

This has ZERO to due with the color of someones skin and everything to do with their culture and behavior.

If it has nothing to do with color, then why'd you call it "failed black culture?"

#48 | Posted by snoofy at 2014-08-23 06:38 PM | Reply | Flag:

Keep pushing your narrative, it's all you got. Excuses.

Yeah, history is a [female dog] especially when you're on the receiving end of the whipping.

#49 | Posted by tonyroma at 2014-08-23 06:53 PM | Reply | Flag:

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