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Monthly Archives: September 2015

Cop Tases Man In Back Surrendering

Another day – another Cop abusing his power.  With the fact that a number of people die each year after being tased – it isn’t a weapon which should be used indiscriminately. Unless there is some significant evidence mitigating this, this officer needs to be out of police work as a career.

Fairfax Cop Uses Stun Gun On Man Who Does Not Appear To Be Resisting

Police in Fairfax County, Virginia, have opened an investigation into an officer caught on video using a stun gun on a suspect who does not appear to be resisting.

“He did not try to run or nothing,” an eyewitness told Fox 5 of the suspect. “That was wrong.”

A short clip posted on Facebook by Romario Hercules Lara shows the officer giving instructions to a man the Fairfax County Police Department said was suspected of theft.

What the officer and suspect say to each other as the video begins cannot be heard.

The suspect turns his back to the cop and puts his hands on the hood of the patrol car, as is common for someone about to be frisked. However, the officer then appears to shock the suspect with a stun gun, and the suspect falls to the ground.

At that point, the officer can be heard yelling “get on the ground” and ordering the suspect to “roll over.”

It’s not clear if the officer had ordered the man to the ground before using his weapon, but the person who recorded the footage told Fox 5 he didn’t see any reason for the officer to use the stun gun.

“As soon as he has his back turned toward him, he Tasers him,” the witness, who was not named, told the station. “He didn’t see it coming.”

WUSA reports that the suspect refused treatment and was charged with larceny. Neither he nor the officer have been publicly named.

On Sunday, the department released a statement on Facebook saying it had opened an internal affairs investigation into the incident. The department is asking anyone who has information to call (703) 246-2793.

“Realizing that the video is going to get a lot of attention… folks are working over the weekend to find out what happened and inform the community,” Fairfax police spokesman Capt. Ed O’Carroll told the Washington Post.

The incident comes weeks after prosecutors announced they would not press charges in the death of a mentally ill woman who was repeatedly shocked with a stun gun while being held in the county jail.

 
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Posted by on September 28, 2015 in BlackLivesMatter

 

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The Story of Longtown, Ohio – A Town Where Color Didn’t Matter

There were two sizeable Tri-Racial communities in Ohio – this is the story of one, and efforts to preserve it’s history. Longtown was “Post-racial”…Before anyone else in America came up with the idea.

 

An Ohio town where races have mixed freely for more than 200 years

Amid the corn and soybean fields of western Ohio lies a progressive crossroads where black and white isn’t black and white, where the concept of race has been turned upside down, where interracial marriages have been the norm for nearly two centuries. The heavy boots of Jim Crow have never walked here.

Founded by James Clemens, a freed slave from Virginia who became a prosperous farmer, Longtown was a community far ahead of its time, a bold experiment in integration.

Now that history is in danger of being lost. Longtime Longtown residents are dying, and whites are moving in and buying property. Many historically black-owned buildings have already been torn down or remodeled.

But Clemens’s great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandson is working to save his family’s heritage. Though his eyes are blue and his skin is pale, Connor Keiser, 22, said that his childhood is filled with memories of “cousins of all colors” playing in the pastures at the family farm.

“We were a typical Longtown family. We all looked different, and we were taught that color didn’t matter,” Keiser said. “As long as I have anything to do with it, Longtown won’t die.”

Largely because of Keiser’s efforts, the National Park Service, the National Register of Historic Places and the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center have recognized Longtown as a place noteworthy for its early embrace of racial integration and educational opportunities for blacks. But the town’s institutions are in peril.

Longtown’s former school, the Union Literary Institute, founded in 1845, has a largely forgotten history as one of the nation’s first integrated establishments of higher education. Notable alumni include the first black man to serve in the U.S. Senate, Hiram R. Revels of Mississippi. The school, which closed in 1914, fell into disrepair and until recently was used to store farm equipment.

The original Clemens farmstead is in better shape; the two-story brick farmhouse, built around 1850, still has its original fixtures and woodwork. Although the National Park Service has dispensed $25,000 to restore the property, Keiser estimated that the project will require an additional $100,000.

George Clemens and wife

So Keiser has hit the road to appeal for money. He’s been drawing big crowds to area libraries with his presentation about the racial harmony of Longtown and the desperate need to preserve it.

“I don’t think the public was aware this was here,” Keiser said. “Black history is not talked about a lot in general, and I think [the fact] that we have that kind of history means something to a lot of people.”

The racial harmony of Longtown is the legacy of Clemens, who found his way here in 1818 and purchased 390 acres — probably with the aid of abolitionist Quakers, sympathetic Native Americans and, by some accounts, his former owner in Rockingham County, Va.

Clemens was of a mixed-race ancestry — black,white and Native American. So was his wife, Sophia. They served as a beacon to other integrationists, as well as runaway and freed slaves looking for succor and education during and after the Civil War.

The couple became conductors for the Underground Railroad and — while the rest of the nation endured Reconstruction and Jim Crow laws — built a mixed-race town that numbered close to 1,000 people at its peak in the 1880s.

But Longtown began to falter after World War II, when residents were forced to seek help from bankers to modernize their farms.

“When we began to need machinery and bank loans to expand and grow and become competitive, that’s when there was trouble,” said Carl Westmoreland, a senior historian with the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center who has visited Longtown.

“Banks would not help black farmers purchase new equipment. In Longtown, people gradually had to go to industrial centers for jobs. And if you are not part of the day-to-day energy of the community, it begins to decline.”

Today, only a handful of families remain. But Longtown lasted longer than other integrated rural villages once scattered across the Ohio plains.

Clemens Home, now Abandoned

“Because Longtown’s population was so much larger than others like it, it took longer for it to whittle down,” said Roane Smothers, a distant cousin of Keiser’s and an active Longtown preservationist.

“And because Longtown was so much larger, more structures have survived,” Smothers said. “As these other communities faded away, white folks bought the land and structures, and many times all that was left was the church.”

A junior majoring in international studies at nearby Wright State University, Keiser seems an unlikely savior for this blink of a town. Unfailingly polite, possessing a bright white smile, Keiser looks as Caucasian as the rest of Darke County, which was 97.7 percent white at the last census.

But Keiser doesn’t consider himself white. Nor does he consider himself black. Instead he calls himself by the dated and, to some, offensive term “colored.”

“I know who I am and what I am. I may look white, my appearance is white, but my insides are not. I know I am not white,” Keiser said. He makes it a point to tell anyone who will listen about his black ancestry. “I tell everyone about it, whether they want to hear it or not. I am so proud of it.”

The issue of race has long perplexed America. In the past year, the racial identities of high-profile black activists such as former Spokane NAACP chairman Rachel Dolezal and Black Lives Matter activist Shaun King have come under scrutiny. If birth certificates tell the story, both Dolezal and King are Caucasians trying to pass as black.

From the perspective of his own racial heritage, Keiser finds them “pretty cool. You don’t hear of many white people wanting to be black,” he said.

Alisann Clemens Smookler with Daughters

Not many people anywhere these days want to be called “colored.” But it’s common in Longtown.

Take Edith Perkins, 75, who also looks white. For 30 years, she worked in human resources at Alcoa in nearby Richmond, Ind., where prejudice surfaced as soon as people learned she was from Longtown.

“I was never really accepted by the whites, who viewed me as black. Nor was I really accepted by the blacks, who viewed me as white,” Perkins said. “So I ate lunch by myself for 30 years.”

Patricia Hope, 82, has snow-white hair and a fair complexion and also identifies as “colored.” She said her family has a long mixed-race lineage in Longtown.

“That’s why we worship in this church, to keep our little crossroads alive,” Hope said, referring to the Bethel Long Wesleyan Church, which still holds services every Sunday. This Sunday, the church will celebrate its 159th annual homecoming with a potluck and picnic. Every year, the event becomes larger, as former residents come back to reconnect with their heritage.

“This place is all we know,” Hope said.

Her husband, Thomas, died in 2013. One by one, the repositories of Longtown’s legacy and its stories are passing to the grave. Keiser grew up steeped in the town’s oral history, stories passed down from his great-grandfather, Maze Clemens.

“He was the keeper of Longtown’s history, and my biggest hope is to make him proud by doing the same,” Keiser said.

While Longtown itself was a haven, a refuge from prejudice, sometimes biases from the outside world would creep in. The Ku Klux Klan would visit periodically. Keiser said his great-great-great-great-grandfather was murdered by the Klan. As recently as 2003, racist notes were left on the door of the church, Keiser said. In nearby Hollansburg, Ohio, Confederate flags flutter casually from many front porches.

“If the rest of the world got along as well as we do here in Longtown, there wouldn’t be problems,” said James Jett, 90. His dark skin, smooth despite his age, contrasts with his wife Brenda’s much lighter complexion.

Jett grew wistful remembering Longtown’s heyday, pointing to cornfields that were once filled with houses. And he remembers the Tigers, the town’s semi-professional baseball team, which sent many players to the Negro leagues. The Tigers’ appearance often confounded opponents.

“The Tigers showed up to play a team in Indiana, and they said, ‘Where’s the black team?’ And they responded, ‘We are the black team,’ ” laughed Brenda Jett, who declined to give her age.

 
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Posted by on September 27, 2015 in The Post-Racial Life

 

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Flakka – A Deadly New Street Drug With Potential Epidemic Implications

A new drug has appeared on the streets, which is being consumed because it is far cheaper than either Meth or Heroin. It is a manufactured drug, and has severe health implications. Ground Zero is currently South Florida. (Just as it was for Pablo Escobar’s cocaine back in the early 80’s). With it’s cheap price, and being relatively unknown to Law Enforcement outside of South Florida,  it won’t be long until it moves out to the suburbs and rural America.

The new drug flakka, which comes in the form of pink or white crystals, has grabbed media headlines over the last few months because of the drug’s side effects, which causes users to act in dangerous, even violent, behaviors. But what is flakka and why should we be so worried about it?

Flakka can be snorted, eaten, injected, or vaporized. It is a cousin of “bath salts,” which are an emerging family of drugs containing one or more synthetic chemicals related to cathinone, an amphetamine-like stimulant found naturally in the khat plant. But flakka is considered more addictive. It is also more dangerous than cocaine, and similar to, but cheaper than methamphetamine. Flakka, which gets its name from the Spanish slang for skinny woman, “la flaca,” also goes by the street name gravel.

Flakka’s side effects are concerning. There’s potential for permanent brain and psychological damage, as well as damage to the kidneys. The biggest danger with flakka is its potency. Just 0.003 ounces (0.1 grams) is a typical dose, making it incredibly easy to overdose. Overdosing can lead to symptoms of heart-related problems, violent behavior, spikes in body temperature and paranoia. It can also create feelings of incredible strength; some users even refer to feeling like the Incredible Hulk, which can put the individual into dangerous situations, for example:

  • A man from Florida stormed the Ft. Lauderdale police station in a panic, kicking and throwing rocks at a storm door, in an attempt to break it down and get inside because he thought he was being chased

  • A man was impaled by a fence as he tried to run into a Florida police department because he thought he was being pursued. He miraculously lived

  • Police shot and killed an armed Ft. Lauderdale man who was high on flakka after he took a woman hostage and held a knife to her throat

  • A teenager ran through the streets naked, covered in blood, yelling that she was Satan

  • A woman blacked out on a crowded street and abandoned her baby

A complete guide to flakka, the horrible street drug terrorizing South Florida

This past December, 34-year-old Ft. Lauderdale resident Bobby Henry Jr. posted a video titled “Flocka Is Destroying USA” that shows a young woman getting drenched by the rain, apparently oblivious to her surroundings.

“This is what flakka is doing in our hood,” he says in the clip.

Four months later, the common spelling of the drug has changed, but flakka poses no less of a threat — especially among South Florida’s most impoverished residents.

“A lot of people don’t have anything to live for,” Henry told Fusion. “Crack-heads are out and flakka-heads are in.”

WHAT IS FLAKKA?

The drug, which can produce powerful hallucinogenic effects comparable to those produced by bath salts, has garnered national attention in past week or so, with the Drudge Report linking to three different stories on its apparent newfound prevalence. One man was found running naked through the streets of Ft. Lauderdale, and another tried to break into the streets of police headquarters.

But Henry, who says he sees users in front of his custom jewelry office all the time, says it’s actually been around for “a long time,” and that it’s just another synthetic drug like crystal meth that dealers have given a new name to.

“It’s a cheap drug—it’s a cheap, powerful drug,” he said. “It gives them a high they can’t get from smoking weed or cocaine. They don’t have to spend so much money to get a good high.”

WHY IS IT CALLED “FLAKKA?” DOES IT HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH WAKA FLOCKA FLAME?

There’s no evidence that flakka is named after the Atlanta rapper, but nobody really knows where the name comes from. It could be a variation of “la flaca,” a Spanish slang phrase meaning “skinny girl.” Or it could simply be random.

For what it’s worth, Henry of Ft. Lauderdale says it’s random. “It’s just some crazy name for the way [it] makes you feel,” he says. “There’s no way of telling [where the name came from], they just put a cool name with it, and once it [got] going…today’s youth ran with it.”

WHERE DID IT COME FROM?

One of the first online mentions of the drug appears to have been last August, on the blog of a drug treatment center. Even by then, the writer warns that it has begun “causing havoc on the streets in the southern states, especially Florida” thanks to its cheap price. Flakka can be snorted, injected, smoked, or taken orally…

Today, alpha-PVP is manufactured in overseas pharmaceutical plants (Principally in China) and shipped all over the world. It was only declared a controlled substance in January 2014, and only then on an emergency declarationfrom the Justice Department, so large quantities may have been able to make it to the U.S. without too much precaution…

“We have seen it predominantly in the low income areas of the city which are represented by several races and both genders,” he said. “This drug is not used by any specific race or gender, but its effects are quite dangerous to the user.”

WHAT ARE ITS HEALTH EFFECTS?

In a recent presentation on the drug, John Cunha, an emergency-services physician at Holy Cross hospital in Broward County, said that users consider flakka to be the new crack or heroin, echoing Henry’s remarks. He compared the worst-case after effects of the drug to what can happen, in rare instances, to someone who runs a marathon, wherein muscle tissue starts to decompose and break down into the blood stream. That can lead to kidney failure and death.

“[Users] think they’re getting a combination drug that will allow them to find a happy medium,” he said. “They’ll get enough but not too high, and low enough but not too low, so that it balances out. This is the common myth on the street, that this flakka drug is crack and heroin, or crack and meth, or meth and heroin mixed together. Unfortunately it’s neither.”

Jim Hall, an epidemiologist at the Center for Applied Research on Substance Use and Health Disparities at Nova Southeastern University, told CBS that flakka use leads to a state of “excited delirium.” He added, “The individual becomes psychotic, they often rip off their clothes and run out into the street violently and have an adrenaline-like strength and police are called and it takes four or five officers to restrain them. Then once they are restrained, if they don’t receive immediate medical attention they can die.”

 

 
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Posted by on September 27, 2015 in American Genocide

 

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Native American Children Disproportionate School Punishment

Native Americans are the only group in America who statistically across the board do worse in negative things than black folks…or white folks for that matter. Native Americas suffer higher incarceration rates, higher rates of drug use and alcoholism, and higher rates of domestic violence than any other population. Just like for black children in low income areas – that education starts in schools…

A forced Boarding School for Native American Children

Report: Utah’s American Indian students disciplined almost 4x more than white students

Two American Indian boys at a middle school in Utah entered the faculty lounge looking for a teacher. The boys didn’t find anyone, but there were a couple of Dr. Peppers unattended to. The two boys were caught drinking the sodas, and according to a school disciplinary report, referred to law enforcement for “theft.”

Fifty-five American Indian students in Utah elementary schools were referred to law enforcement in 2011, compared to zero of their white counterparts, according to a new report from the University of Utah Law School’s Public Policy Clinic. Native students were found to be almost four times more likely to receive a disciplinary action.

The report’s authors say it’s the first to look at the way American Indian students are punished in public schools. They used data from the U.S. Department of Education to determine that American Indian students in Utah are disproportionately punished. According to the report, American Indians are the smallest student demographic in Utah, but are most frequently expelled, referred to law enforcements, and arrested for school related incidents.

And it’s not just Utah. American Indian students are reportedly about three times more likely to be expelled and referred to law enforcement than white students nationwide.

The U.S. Department of Education has released data about American public schools since 1968, but according to the report, American Indian students were not analyzed until now (using the most recent data from 2011).

Lower graduation rates and more severe punishments than their white counterparts push American Indians into the school-to-prison pipeline at an alarming rate, the report asserts. Utah’s overall graduation rate is 83 percent, but for American Indian students it’s only 65 percent. According to the report, American Indian students are the single most likely group to be arrested at school and eight times more likely to be referred to law enforcement than their white counterparts. In Utah,American Indians account for just over 5 percent of the prison population and are about 1.5% of the total population in Utah, according to Utah Department of Corrections and the latest census.

The problems facing American Indians in anglo American schools do not exist in a vacuum. Starting in the late 19th century, the report notes that the federal government implemented a set of stringent assimilation policies: Indian American children were removed from their homes and forced to attend schools off the reservations, and eventually to non-Indian home and boarding schools. Students were denied the right to speak their native languages, practice their religions, and wear their native clothes. Students caught “speaking Indian,” were beaten, according to PBS. The report says at least one-third of all American Indian children were take from their families and placed in foster care, adoptive homes or educational institutions as recently as the 1970s.

The University of Utah report joins another analysis recently published by the African American Policy Reform in looking at the over-disciplining of historically marginalized groups. That report found that black girls were six times more likely to be suspended than their white counterparts.

Kimberle Crenshaw, professor of law at UCLA and founder of the African American Policy Reform, sees a connection between the over-disciplining of black girls and violence inflicted upon black women by the state. For Crenshaw, it boils down to one thing: stereotyping. “Girls and black women are seen as are more aggressive and their emotions aren’t read accurately. Hurt and pain and even excitement are misrepresented on black faces,” she says.

“The tendency is to see [violence against black women] as not part of a broader pattern of discrimination,” says Crenshaw. “It’s seen as an individual circumstance. Or it’s just one of those fluke cases.” Her goal, she says, is to lift out enough of these cases to show there are structural and institutional patterns across the crime and punishment industry.

 
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Posted by on September 27, 2015 in American Genocide

 

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Jeb Bush, Black People…And “Free Stuff”

Jeb went full Romney in his recent “outreach” to black voters. He promises that he will buy their votes with more than just “free stuff”…

Jeb Bush Says He’ll Offer Black Voters More Than Just ‘Free Stuff’

Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush said “free stuff” won’t be part of his plan to appeal to black voters, echoing comments Mitt Romney made during the 2012 presidential election.

As The Washington Post first reported, Bush was asked at a Republican dinner on Thursday in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, how he plans to reach out to black voters.

“We have African Americans in our leadership team, I have met with African American ministers and focused on this not just in South Carolina but across the country,” Bush, a former Florida governor, replied. “Latino voters, the same thing.”

Bush noted Republicans’ historic failure to win over black Americans — according to 2012 exit poll data, just 6 percent of black voters sided with Romney in the 2012 general election. But if Republicans made an effort to just double that number in 2016, Bush argued, the party could win critical swing states.

“Our message is one of hope and aspiration,” Bush said. “It isn’t one of division and get in line and we’ll take care of you with free stuff. Our message is one that is uplifting — that says you can achieve earned success. We’re on your side.”

A Bush spokesperson didn’t immediately return a request for comment.

Bush’s remarks raised the memory of comments Romney made in response to getting booed at an NAACP event in 2012 after vowing to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

“I want people to know what I stand for and if I don’t stand for what they want, go vote for someone else, that’s just fine,” Romney said at a fundraiser later that day. “But I hope people understand this, your friends who like Obamacare, you remind them of this, if they want more stuff from government tell them to go vote for the other guy –more free stuff. But don’t forget nothing is really free.”

Months later, after losing the election to President Barack Obama, Romney claimed he lost because his Democratic rival offered “gifts” to black, Hispanic and young voters.

“The president’s campaign focused on giving targeted groups a big gift — so he made a big effort on small things,” Romney told donors on a conference call shortly after the election. “Those small things, by the way, add up to trillions of dollars.”

 
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Posted by on September 27, 2015 in Stupid Republican Tricks, The New Jim Crow

 

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Rev Mack Daddy is Back!

Rev James Manning, AKA Rev Mack Daddy is back at it again. This time due to demonstrations at his family “Church”, ATLAH. He calls himself a “Dr.” The Revered Doctor’s Phd was awarded to himself by himself, though his own “church” – not any accredited College or University, or even a Seminary. He is a former favorite of Sean Hannity’s Lawn Ornament Show…

Pastor Has Epic Freakout When He’s Protested For His Hate

Harlem hate pastor James Manning is back again — this time throwing an epic tantrum on the steps of his religious institution.

On Tuesday, the leader of ATLAH World Missionary Church reportedly interrupted a candlelight vigil put together by Harlem Against Violence, Homophobia, And Transphobia to spew some pretty horrific anti-queer sentiment. According to the Facebook event page, the group organized the vigil after deciding they “can’t sit back and let incitements to violence go unanswered.”

Manning’s speech escalates as the video goes on, spewing anti-LGBT rhetoric and hate in the face of peaceful protestors

“You’re Jesus haters. You are racist as well,” Manning says in the above video. “C’mon you faggots! All you lesbos! All you perverted people! All you dung eaters! Come over here? Do you think your chants are going to stop me? You can no more stop me than you can stop the power of the blood of Jesus. I declare the blood of Jesus against you faggots, you lesbos, you perverts, you sick-minded people. You are sick! You are demon possessed! Stop the demons now! Stop the demons now!”

Manning’s church, which is located in New York’s Harlem neighborhood, first made headlines in February 2014 when he posted a sign in front of his church reading, “Obama has released the homo demons on the black man. Look out black woman. A white homo may take your man.”

The sign has changed a number of times since to display equally offensive statements, including “Jesus would stone homos” and “Harlem is a sodomite free zone. Stop sodomizing our children in schools across America.”

Manning has also made some pretty bizarrely offensive public statements, including that Starbucks uses “sodomites’ semen” in their lattes. 

Our favorite line from this most recent outburst? Apparently not only are we “homos” or something “wretched, unbelievable, despicable, disgrace to humanity,” but also our “breath stinks of another man’s butthole!”

We’re sure Jesus would’ve loved that one.

Not sure what the Rev is all worked up over. After all the Rev spent 3 years in prison, by his own admission. According to Ben Carson – that would make Rev Mack Daddy as “sodomite” and “homo” hisself!

 
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Posted by on September 27, 2015 in Black Conservatives

 

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Pa Republican Invites White Supremacist to Testify

White Supremacist…White Nationalist…Getting so you can’t tell you racists without a scorecard with all that racist Projection thing going on…

PA Rep: Don’t Call My Witness A White Supremacist, He’s A White Nationalist!

Without mentioning Vandervoort’s name, the committee chair Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R) defended the invitation and rebutted the Democrat’s claims.

“The comments that she made about some alleged white supremacist being in our meeting was outrageous,” Metcalfe said Thursday, according to the Patriot News. “It was an email put out alleging that somebody was a white nationalist, which is quite a bit different from a white supremacist. To say somebody is a nationalist and for the independence of their country and a patriot to defending their country, is a lot different from saying somebody is a racist.”

The Southern Poverty Law Center has described Vandervoort as being tied “to white nationalist groups.” But, as the Patriot-News noted, the center characterizes white nationalist groups as espousing “white supremacist or white separatist ideologies.”

Metcalfe also said, “For whoever said the man was white to begin with, that person was actually the racist — tying his skin color to his patriotism and what he stands up for for his country.”

 
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Posted by on September 26, 2015 in The New Jim Crow

 

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Bill Maher’s Anti-Semitism

While in America we commonly confuse the term Anti-Semitism as referring to a hatred of Jewish people, Semitic peoples include Arabs.

Today, the word “Semite” may be used to refer to any member of any of a number of peoples of ancient Middle East including the Akkadians, Assyrians, Arameans, Phoenicians, Hebrews (Jews), Arabs, and their descendants.

Bill Maher has been on a tear recently in a campaign against a Islamic High School kid, Ahmed Mohammed who was arrested at his school for bringing in an electronic clock he had built to show his science teacher. This crusade is a horrific abuse of Maher’s position as a media personality reaching millions – vs a High School kid, with little or no voice at all.

Racism…Pure and simple.

Big bad Bill Maher, vs 13 year old kid

 

Bill Maher lights into 14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed again: “He didn’t invent anything!”

On Friday night’s episode of “Real Time,” host Bill Maher continued to criticize liberal “ninnies” who think 14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed should be lionized for what the comedian characterized as “taking the back off something.”

Maher played a YouTube clip of someone opening up an alarm clock and placing it in a pencil case, and claimed that it looked both exactly like what Ahmed brought with him to school and exactly like a bomb. “This is like pouring milk on a bowl of Cheerios and claiming you invented cereal,” Maher said.

“And then made it look like a bomb!” guest S.E. Cupp added.

School officials “absolutely did the right thing, thinking it looked like a bomb,” Maher said.

“But it didn’t look like a bomb, it looked like a clock,” Ron Reagan replied.

“It looked exactly like a bomb!” Maher shouted.

“Haven’t you seen any of the ‘Die Hard’ movies?” Cupp asked, momentarily confusing Hollywood with reality.

Reagan the audacity to suggest that it looked like an alarm clock, saying that “here’s the thing about bombs, they have the timer — and then those wires that come out are attached to fissile material that explodes.”

“Excuse me, Ron, but I don’t notice all that when I see that hunk of metal,” Maher said. “Try taking that through airport security.”

“An alarm clock? I think I could,” Reagan replied. “It’s a clock!”

“It’s a clock only because we were told it’s a clock,” Maher said, seemingly unaware that’s it is a clock no matter what other people tell you it is — as demonstrated in the very video clip with which he opened this segment.

Maher later accused Ahmed of not being an inventor so much as someone who “takes the back of something” electronic equipment and shows it to people.

And I would have to ask…What exactly has Bill Maher ever invented? I mean – if I link into the US Patent Office Database, would I find Bill Maher’s name under any invention except repeated applications for Patent for “more bullshit”?

I personally produced and have been awarded several US and International Patents. When I was Ahmeds age, I certainly wasn’t inventing things, but I was building things from electronics parts that others had made, and implementing them in sometimes novel ways – for which I was awarded a National Science Award. I think almost all of the people who become inventors have a curiosity and a desire to tinker, which is why they tend to contribute to and participate in social groups called “Makers”. Science doesn’t appear in a vacuum. Almost everything scientist build is based on extending a body of knowledge from a base of that created by predecessors. The first step to extending that knowledge is understanding what has already been done.

So I call Bullshit on Bill.

 
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Posted by on September 26, 2015 in The New Jim Crow, The Post-Racial Life

 

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White Supremacist Celebrate John Boehner Resignation

A few years ago there was a black conservative site on the web called Booker Rising, whose author, Shay – started a discussion on Mr. Boehner’s racial background. Well known for his permanent “man tan”, Mr Boehner came from a region of Ohio known for it’s tri-racial isolate population, referred to as WINs (White, Indian, Negro). The discussion, half in jest, concentrated around Mr Boehner being the first African-American Republican Speaker of the House. Whether such contributed to Mr Boehner’s issues with reigning in his fellow Republicans or not will likely never be publically addressed…

White Supremacists Are Glad Boehner’s Leaving

White Supremacist groups are happy to see John Boehner go. They can’t think of anyone to replace him, but they are glad he is gone, nonetheless.

White supremacist leaders took to social media to celebrate the resignation ofHouse Speaker John Boehner on Friday morning,  a “cuckservative” whose tenure didn’t focus enough on “the replacement of whites by non-whites through immigration and higher birthrates.”

And one prominent white supremacist considers it a big loss for a Republican establishment they believe is “outmoded”—and an even bigger win for the appeal of “instinctive, unconscious (for) white Americans” they say Donald Trump provides.

“Whites are objectively more useful to the country than blacks or Hispanics in terms of crime rates, welfare dependency, labor-force productivity, etc.  This is obviously true but everyone is too terrified to say so,” Jared Taylor, the President of the New Century Foundation, told The Daily Beast.

“Mr. Boehner never talked about these things, but he should have. “

The New Century Foundation is a self-described “white separatist” organization, which publishes a “race realism” journal called American Renaissance. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, “most would describe (Taylor) as crudely white supremacist.”

Taylor believes the “replacement of whites by non-whites” is “the greatest long-term threat to conservatives.”

“Non-whites are like hens’ teeth in the Republican Party, but Republicans are too stupid to realize that an increasingly non-white America will be increasingly hostile to everything they claim to care about,” he said.

“The irony is that nothing conservatives profess to love will survive without whites.”

Many white supremacists pointed to what they perceived to be Boehner’s “weakness” on immigration, and his unwillingness to join those in his party that are insistent on building a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border.

 

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An American Born, Ethnically Indian Doctor and Race

A Doctor of Indian Descent, not the author of this article.

South Asians (India, Pakistan region) in America also experience racial bias based on their brown skin – even when they are born and raised in the USA. They, along with East Asians have been used as the Model Minority wedge against black and HIspanic folks by the racist right. One of the reasons for South Asian “success” in America, is we are stealing the best and brightest with a strong commitment and background in education from the region. When we say we are “a nation of immigrants”, what that really means in no small part is we have been very successful at robbing the brain trusts for over 100 years with people from European countries before 1965, and around the world now. A large portion of the scientists who built the Atomic Bomb, and who later led our development of rockets were immigrants – educated for the most part in high-level European Schools.

America however, has had a complex relationship with racism for the “groups in the middle” – those that aren’t either black or white. Whether in the days of segregation, classifying the miniscule population of East Asians as “white”, and not subjecting them to segregated schools, to conditions which forced the building of separate “Chinatowns” in areas with any significant Asian population geographically segregated from the white community.

How I Deal with Racist Patients

When a patient requested ‘no Indian doctors,’ I expected the hospital higher-ups to stick up for me. But they didn’t.
Despite being born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama, a city infamous for itsformer Jim Crow laws and the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing, the most culturally insensitive conversations I’ve ever found myself in went something like this:

“Where are you from, darling?”

“Birmingham! I was born here.”

“No, no, where are you really from?”

I guess my brown skin has always given me away as not really American, so with a quick smile and a congenial laugh, I have always replied with a simple “Oh, my family is originally from India.” Usually this satisfies whoever I happen to be talking to at the moment, and we move on to discussing their favorite place to grab some chicken tikka masala. You know, the only topic safe to discuss with Indians, apparently.

As a physician, I spend much of my day being a “people person,” if you will. From patients and their families to other members of the medical team, most doctors spend the large majority of their day communicating with other people. So we’re well versed with handling almost everything that comes our way, from the inappropriate to the mundane.

Just the other day in clinic, a patient of mine told me about his travels in South Asia and excitedly asked me where I was born after I told him I’m Indian. Upon hearing that I was actually born in Birmingham, he dejectedly stated, “Oh, please, you’re a fake Indian.” Ouch.

Despite this obvious personal affront, I have coped well with the identity crisis that comes with simultaneously being denied the right to call myself either American or Indian. This unique no-man’s-land has usually been cushioned by an ability to separate these casual conversations from my role in the doctor-patient relationship. Except, of course, in the unique situations whereby my race has precluded me from doing my job—not due to any issue on my end, but due to the patients on the receiving end of my care.

I remember early in my residency, a patient specifically requested that no “foreigners” take care of her. This request was made in passing, one time, to her primary doctor, who happened to be white. It never came up again while she was in the hospital, so nothing was ever really done about it.

Fast forward a year or so later in my residency when a patient’s family explicitly requested, well, actually demanded, that no Indian doctors directly care for their mother. This was a little problematic, from a medical and technical aspect, given that the majority of her primary team of doctors was, in fact, some variety of Indian.

As you can imagine, this situation was also ethically, morally, and personally problematic. I wish I could say that this situation was handled well and all misunderstandings were cleared—but the racism and disrespect of this request were brushed away, and the medical team was told by the powers that be to handle the situation with sensitivity. Excuse me, what?

As a medical community, we are all very aware of the racial biases and healthcare discrimination faced by our patients. In fact, NEJM and JAMA have both recently published perspective pieces on these topics. But very few people have taken a look at the opposite end of that spectrum and how the judgments placed on physicians impact patient care and physician well being.

Instead of ignoring these issues, we should be taking strides within the medical community to break down unfair judgments and racist ideals. Minority doctors all tell stories about these experiences and we usually laugh because that’s what makes us feel a little better, but deep down we all know how unfunny it is.

I really don’t mind casual conversation about the best Indian restaurant in town, or the nostalgic reminiscing about that wonderful Indian neighbor from so long ago, or even that little game I play every time somebody asks me if I know that other Dr. Khan/Patel/Singh/Insert-Brown-Last-Name-Here.

But I do mind being judged by the color of my skin. Of all the things that I had imagined brown could do for me, I never really expected it to make me feel out of place both inside and outside of the hospital.

 

 
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Posted by on September 26, 2015 in The New Jim Crow, The Post-Racial Life

 

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How Bias in Medicine Affects Treatment and Outcome by Race

Google Image “Black Child and Doctor”, and the first 900 images look something like this fantasy –

Now, with only about 2.5% of all doctors being black – what do you think the statistical chance of this is? This is the first lie of many the medical profession tells itself, and the world. It also empowers a dangerous stereotype that patients are treated better racially. You find pretty much the same thing for Asian or Hispanic kids.

We know that the result of such disparate treatment results in the needless deaths of possibly several hundred thousand black patients a year. From Prenatal Mortality rates 1.5 to 2.5 times higher than white or Hispanic populations, to higher death rates among the elderly.

From the Journal of the American Medical Association

A landmark report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) in 2003 documented that from the simplest to the most technologically advanced diagnostic and therapeutic interventions, African American (or black) individuals and those in other minority groups receive fewer procedures and poorer-quality medical care than white individuals.1 These differences existed even after statistical adjustment for variations in health insurance, stage and severity of disease, income or education, comorbid disease, and the type of health care facility. Very limited progress has been made in reducing racial/ethnic disparities in the quality and intensity of care.2

This from the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine.

Bias, Black Lives, and Academic Medicine

At noon Pacific Standard Time on December 10, 2014, thousands of students from 70 medical schools throughout the United States held silent “White Coats for Black Lives” die-ins. These demonstrations, the largest coordinated protests at U.S. medical schools since the Vietnam War era, were initiated by medical students in California and spread across the country in response to the following call to action posted online atthefreethoughtproject.com:

“We feel it is essential to begin a conversation about our role in addressing the explicit and implicit discrimination and racism in our communities and reflect on the systemic biases embedded in our medical education curricula, clinical learning environments, and administrative decision-making. We believe these discussions are needed at academic medical centers nationwide.” Though the stimulus for the die-ins was the nationwide protests in response to the killing of unarmed black men by police officers, the students demanded an examination of racial bias within our country’s academic medical centers.

What are the systemic biases within academic medical centers, and what do they have to do with black lives? Two observations about health care disparities may be relevant.

First, there is evidence that doctors hold stereotypes based on patients’ race that can influence their clinical decisions.1 Implicit bias refers to unconscious racial stereotypes that grow from our personal and cultural experiences. These implicit beliefs may also stem from a lack of day-to-day interracial and intercultural interactions. Although explicit race bias is rare among physicians, an unconscious preference for whites as compared with blacks is commonly revealed on tests of implicit bias.1

Second, despite physicians’ and medical centers’ best intentions of being equitable, black–white disparities persist in patient outcomes, medical education, and faculty recruitment. In the 2002 report Unequal Treatment, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) reviewed hundreds of studies of age, sex, and racial differences in medical diagnoses, treatments, and health care outcomes.2 The IOM’s conclusion was that for almost every disease studied, black Americans received less effective care than white Americans. These disparities persisted despite matching for socioeconomic and insurance status. Minority patients received fewer recommended treatments for diseases ranging from AIDS to cancer to heart disease. And racial gaps in health care outcomes have persisted. For example, gaps in blood pressure, cholesterol, and glycated hemoglobin control between black and white members of Medicare health maintenance organizations were found throughout the period 2006 to 2011.3

The IOM found “strong but circumstantial evidence for the role of bias, stereotyping, and prejudice” in perpetuating racial health disparities.2 The finding that physicians have implicit racial bias does not prove that it affects patient–doctor relationships or changes treatment decisions. But some research suggests that there’s a direct relationship among physicians’ implicit bias, mistrust on the part of black patients, and clinical outcomes.1 Although the causes of health care disparities are certainly multifactorial, implicit bias plays some role.

Implicit bias may also influence administrative decisions at academic medical centers — decisions ranging from what services are provided, to whether to accept insurance plans that serve the most disadvantaged members of minority groups, to which neighborhoods to choose when establishing new physicians’ offices. The likelihood of such influence does not mean that bias is the only explanation for unequal treatment or administrative decisions that favor one group over another. The point is simply that there is potential for making racially biased decisions, and it generally goes unexamined.

Implicit racial bias might contribute to the failure to achieve greater inclusion of black students in medical education. Though there has been progress in the recruitment of some underrepresented minority groups to medical schools, the percentage of black men among all medical school graduates has declined over the past 20 years (see graph Number of U.S. Physicians by Graduation Year, Race, Ethnic Group, and Sex, 1980–2012.). The country’s traditionally black medical colleges — Howard, Meharry, and Morehouse — continue to graduate a disproportionate number of black medical students. In 2012, there were just 517 black men among the more than 20,000 graduating students at U.S. medical schools (see graph). Black medical students are more than twice as likely as white students to express a desire to care for underserved communities of color. Our inability to recruit black men into medicine is alarming, given the urgency of racial health care disparities in the United States.

Recruitment and retention of black faculty members have also long challenged academic medicine. Only 2.9% of all faculty members at U.S. medical schools are black.4 A 2010 study showed that among faculty members who had been hired in 2000, blacks were less likely to have been retained than any other demographic group. Black faculty members are less likely than their white counterparts to be promoted, to hold senior faculty or administrative positions, and to receive research awards from the National Institutes of Health.5 Thirty-one percent of the 84,195 white faculty members at U.S. medical schools were full professors in 2011, as compared with just 11% of the 3952 black faculty members. The paucity of black faculty members contributes to a climate in which black medical students may lack accessible black role models. The IOM has defined the climate for diversity as “the perceptions, attitudes, and expectations that define the institution, particularly as seen from the perspectives of individuals of different racial or ethnic backgrounds.” Though there may be various drivers of poor recruitment, retention, and promotion of black faculty members, the role of institutional bias and the climate for black faculty at academic medical centers deserve scrutiny. By any measure, academic medicine’s persistent difficulty in developing black faculty members is a serious concern.

For the sake of not only black lives but all lives, we should heed our students’ call to examine the implicit biases in our academic medical centers. We can begin by assessing how bias contributes to the persistence of black–white disparities in health care, medical school recruitment, and faculty retention in our own institutions. We can audit the care we deliver to ensure that the right treatments are provided and the best outcomes are achieved regardless of patients’ race, class, or sex. We can assess the climate within our centers and strive to ensure that our recruitment processes, classrooms, clinics, administrations, and boardrooms are inclusive to all. But most important, we should talk about bias, with our students, our faculties, our staff, our administrations, and our patients. Maybe then we’ll have a chance to finally eliminate the racial health care disparities that persist in the United States.

 
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Posted by on September 26, 2015 in American Genocide, The Post-Racial Life

 

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Uncle Ben on Crack! Republicans and Race

I now understand why Uncle Ben had to retire from the Hospital…Drug use.

Ben Carson’s breathtaking delusion: GOP has “done a far superior job than Democrats of getting over racism”

Ben Carson hopes to distract from the hubbub his recent suggestions for a religious test for office have caused by spouting off more controversial opinions. This time, the retired neurosurgeon is arguing that “Republicans have done a far superior job of getting over racism” than Democrats.

Noting the Grand Ole Party’s storied history of fighting for the abolition of slavery during a press conference held at a plaque in Jackson, Michigan, commemorating the birthplace of the Republican Party in 1854, Carson claimed that the “significance of the Republican Party is something that is lost on many.”

“It was founded as an anti-slavery party, an abolitionist party. The Republican Party worked very, very hard to abolish slavery and after it was abolished to try to gain rights for the freedman including the right to bear arms,” he noted.

Signing the praises of modern-day conservatives, Carson argued the GOP was still better on the issue of race than Democrats: “I think the Republicans have done a far superior job of getting over racism.”

“I find black Republicans are treated extremely well in the Republican Party. In fact, I don’t hear much about being a black Republican,” Carson concluded. The one-time Democrat argued his former party is not welcoming to African-Americans like himself.

“If you’re black and you don’t think a certain way as far as they are concerned, you’re an Uncle Tom, you’re a sellout, you’re a traitor, you hate yourself, you hate your race” he said.

“When you look at the philosophies of the two parties now, what I have noticed as a black Republican is that Republicans tend to look more at the character of people. And Democrats tend to look more at the color of their skin,” Carson insisted.

But when an African-American reporter immediately asked Carson how his seemingly incongruent recent comments on a Muslim-American as President jived with his sentiments on race, the neurosurgeon denied any inconsistency and blasted what he called “PC culture”:

We have an American culture and an American constitution, and anybody who’s going to occupy the White House should be living in a pattern that is consistent with our constitution and with our culture .. There is something that is known as the American way, the American dream. Why in the world would we want to give away our principles and values for the sake of political correctness? That would be the biggest mistake we could ever make.

 
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Posted by on September 25, 2015 in Black Conservatives

 

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Making a Wrong Turn At Wesleyan

A white, military veteran student at Wesleyan wrote an Op-Ed critical of Black Lives Matter. That Op-Ed gained national attention not because of it’s content – but the violent reaction to the article by other students and activists at Wesleyan. Now – to be honest I read the article, and there really wasn’t anything new. As a conservative, the writer tried to tie the BLM movement into the number of murders in urban areas. That whole spiel has been debunked countless times in the last year, and he fact that the writer repeated it is more of an ode to conservative groupthink than pithy commentary. In other words, once a conservative gets a meme hammered into their head by conservative propagandist media…

It stays there, no matter the facts.

Shouldn’t be any cause for alarm or excitement – and it is the First Amendment right of every American to say what they think…Even if wrong.

Some activists at Wesleyan have gone way overboard in their denunciation of the said conservative. Proving another conservative meme that on college campuses, liberal groupthink is the only accepted norm. They have attacked the temerity of the School Paper for publishing a contrary view.

Wrong…Wrong…Wrong! Somebody please rein in these little HItler-Stalin-Putin wannabes! A conservative expressing an opinion in opposition to the beliefs of the minority community is in no way “threatening” anyone. I mean, back in my day you would find a death threat tacked to your dorm room door. The Civil Rights era was about courage. Nobody who has ever seen what those college kids endured at the Woolworth lunch counter has any question about that,

The best way to respond is to write a pro-BLM Op-Ed explaining the logical and factual fallacies of the conservative, and laying out what BLM is trying to accomplish..

Why exactly aren’t they doing that?

Chicken?

Activists Want Wesleyan Newspaper To Lose Funding For Running Op-Ed Critiquing Black Lives Matter

A group of activists at Wesleyan University want the school’s student government to defund the campus newspaper for publishing a controversial op-ed that criticized the Black Lives Matter movement.

At least 172 students, staff and recent alumni signed a petition asking that the Wesleyan Argus lose all funding until it meets a number of demands. Signatories pledged to boycott the Argus because it does not “provide a safe space for the voices of students of color and we are doubtful that it will in the future.”

The Sept. 14 op-ed in question was written by Bryan Stascavage, a 30-year-old Iraq war veteran who is a staff writer for the Argus and a member of the class of 2018. Stascavage criticized Black Lives Matter for its role in creating an atmosphere that facilitated and condoned violence, and questioned whether the movement had “the potential for positive change.”

He added, however, that the entire movement should not be stereotyped based on a few extreme members. Stascavage, who says he is a conservative, invoked as an example the “misguided” Kentucky clerk Kim Davis, who refused to hand out marriage licenses to same-sex couples to protest marriage equality. The op-ed argued that Davis, like the members of Black Lives Matter who Stascavage said were causing harm, was a fringe case who did not represent all the members of her cause.

Stascavage told The Huffington Post on Wednesday that he included Davis to show that more mainstream members of a movement may remain silent and allow hard-liners to monopolize the conversation.

“I’m guilty of my own criticism of the movement,” he said, “which is that I haven’t spoken out publicly.”

“I do support a lot of what the [Black Lives Matter] movement does. I was just questioning how they are going about it,” Stascavage continued. “I myself am not 100 percent sure of my own opinions. I write these pieces, put them out into the world and [look forward] to the responses. … On a college campus nuance sort of gets lost, and I realize that now.”

After the op-ed ran, critics demanded that the newspaper issue an apology. Instead, co-editors-in-chief Rebecca Brill and Tess Morgan wrote an editorial on Friday apologizing for the distress the op-ed had caused and the staff’s “carelessness in fact-checking,” but said the newspaper is “open to any writer who wants to share a view, whether or not the Opinion editors and the editors-in-chief agree with it.”

Wesleyan President Michael Roth wrote a blog post over the weekend defending the paper, saying the community should not “demand ideological conformity because people are made uncomfortable.”

The Argus was also planning a “Black Out” issue that would be entirely written by students of color. However, those plans were put to a halt when the staff received a petition Sunday calling for the paper to be boycotted until several demands were met. The organizers who brought the petition accused the newspaper of “supporting institutional racism.” Brill and Morgan declined to identify the organizers.

The petition’s demands include social justice training for all publications and open spaces on campus dedicated to “marginalized groups.”

The Argus covered the petition with a front-page story on Tuesday.…More…

 
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Posted by on September 25, 2015 in BlackLivesMatter

 

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Sandra Bland Investigation Falling Apart

Looks like the investigation into Sandra Bland’s death  has been derailed….

The Sandra Bland Investigation Is In Trouble

Sandra Bland

On July 13, Sandra Bland, a 28-year-old black woman, was found dead in her jail cell in Waller County, Texas, three days after being arrested over a traffic stop gone wrong. Sheriff Glenn Smith, who oversees the county jail and had been fired from a previous job after allegations of racism and police brutality, promised an all-access, top-to-bottom investigation to uncover what happened to Bland. He set up an “independent” commission to review the sheriff’s department. Smith tapped Paul Looney, a local criminal defense lawyer, to lead the probe and to pick the commission’s other members.

“The whole nation, the whole world is looking at us,” the sheriff said.

But from the beginning, Looney’s investigation was beset by a conflict of interest: His law firm had a financial relationship with Carbett “Trey” Duhon III, Waller County’s top elected official — and the man who’d likely have to write the Bland family a large check out of county funds if that inquiry turned up wrongdoing. (Duhon, who referred clients to Looney in exchange for a monthly retainer, has since severed that relationship.)

Now, despite Waller County officials’ vows, Looney says his panel isn’t looking for possible wrongdoing at all and is simply compiling recommendations that Smith can “throw in the trash” if he chooses.

“I am not looking forward to sharing this information with the Reed-Veal and Sandra Bland family at all,” Cannon Lambert, a Bland family attorney, said when told about Looney’s comments. “I am dreading this conversation. It’s stunning.”

Duhon, for his part, clearly recognizes the value to Waller County of a fair investigation by an untainted commission. “To avoid the appearance of impropriety,” he told The Huffington Post, he asked Looney to serve as a nonvoting member of the six-person panel. Duhon cited worries that “somehow I could influence the outcome of that investigation. That’s the insinuation that people have made.”

Looney agreed not to vote on the panel’s recommendations. He’s still running the probe.

Duhon, who was elected county judge in 2014, is relatively new to Waller County. He moved from suburban Houston a decade ago and started a solo law practice, doing a lot of title insurance work. He also began involving himself in the kinds of local groups and governance boards that ingratiate a new guy with the old guard, such as the chamber of commerce, a toll road authority and a sub-regional planning commission.

When the county judge slot opened up, Duhon won the Republican primary and then a gently contested general election last year. In Texas, a county judge, though properly addressed as “judge,” is not a judicial official. He’s the executive officer of county government and presides over the elected commissioners’ court, which is not a court but the county’s legislative body. In other words, Duhon straddles the executive and legislative branches of local government, much like a mayor who votes with the city council.

With the new job, his law practice got squeezed. “There’s only so many hours in a day,” Duhon said. “The county judge position in Waller County just absolutely requires an incredible amount of time, day in and day out.”

So from June 2015 — a month before Bland’s death — until Sept. 1, Duhon was “of counsel” at Looney & Conrad. What that meant, Duhon explained, is that Looney’s firm paid him a fixed amount each month, and in exchange he passed along potential clients he didn’t have time to help.

Despite his wide network in Waller County, Duhon told HuffPost he is “the anti-good ol’ boy.”

 

“I am not about sheltering elected officials or anyone else,” he said. “If people need to be responsible for their actions, they need to be responsible for their actions. I am not about to sacrifice my integrity for another elected official.”

Duhon wanted to be clear that he is not somehow profiting, or helping others profit, from the independent investigation run by Looney. He pointed out that Looney and the others on the panel are not being paid and that, in any case, the monthly retainer he received from the firm was not tied to its revenues. He also expressed hope that Looney serving as a nonvoting member would alleviate any suspicions about deals among political insiders.

The county judge is likely best-known for two ill-conceived tweets that he sent after Bland’s death. The first referred to “high levels of active THC in her system at time of death.” In the second, Duhon tried to explain why he mentioned Bland’s possible marijuana use by writing, “It goes to her mental state. Also relevant if she was self-medicating for depression.” He quickly deleted his Twitter account.

Concerns about potential conflicts posed by the county judge’s recent relationship with the law firm of the man probing the sheriff’s work cannot be so easily erased, for they go beyond private profit. Duhon writes the county budget, including funding for the jail and the sheriff’s department. (The commissioners’ court then votes on it.) Waller County collects about $1.23 million in fines a year — otherwise known as revenue — thanks in large part to the sheriff’s department. And county funds could take a serious hit, in the form of a settlement with the Bland family, if Looney’s investigation turns up civil rights violations, criminality by government employees or other wrongdoing.

Looney told HuffPost last week that Duhon’s ties to his firm posed no conflict of interest. He also said that their arrangement ended as of Sept. 1 because it was scheduled to run just three months.

Duhon has a slightly different take. He told HuffPost he ended the relationship because of an Aug. 3 advisory opinion from the chair of the ethics committee of the State Bar of Texas’ Judicial Section. Evelyn Keyes, who also sits on an appeals court in the Houston area, indicated that a county judge being of counsel to a law firm did indeed pose a conflict for that firm within that county’s courts.

Whatever the reason, Duhon’s departure seems to resolve the appearance of at least one conflict that hung over the Looney-led commission, leaving it free to uncover malfeasance and root out wrongdoing in the sheriff’s department and the Waller County Jail.

Waller County Courthouse

But that still isn’t what the commission is doing.

“We’re not trying to do an exposé,” Looney told HuffPost. “It’s more in the nature of a consultant report for the sheriff to use as he wants.”

Looney emphasized that his independent commission would make its report public at the same time the findings went to the sheriff — but the sheriff has sole discretion over what to do with the report. “He can read it or not read it,” Looney said. “If he wants to throw the whole thing in the trash can, he can.”

Duhon, who said he’s had no involvement with the panel since asking Looney to be a nonvoting member, had a different impression of its mission. “I was told early on that they would be doing a comprehensive review,” he said. “If that’s changed, that’s not anything I would have any knowledge of.”

According to Looney, the voting members of the commission are taking their jobs seriously and pursuing their review earnestly. “It’s kind of cool to see,” he said, although they are mostly just “observing and taking notes” at this point.

There is no deadline for Looney’s panel to finish its work. Meanwhile, local and outside critics have begun calling on the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate potential civil rights violations in Bland’s case.

Unprompted, Duhon raised the possibility that the federal government could conduct its own inquiry.

“Waller County has been open to that since day one,” said Duhon. “We are OK with the Justice Department. We have never been opposed to that.”

 

 
 

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Story Deepens on Texas Football Players Who Hit Ref

This one has taken a strange twist. Shortly after punishment was announced for the two Texas High Schoolers shown in the shocking video below, one or both of them told the authorities that they had been told to hit the ref by a coach!

Texas coach accused of ordering players to hit referee resigns

Mack Breed, the assistant football coach from John Jay High School in San Antonio, Texas, who is accused of directing two players to target a referee during a game, has resigned, Northside Independent School District Superintendent Brian Woods said Thursday.

Head football coach Gary Gutierrez spoke during the University Interscholastic League hearing, both defending Breed and deriding his “poor judgment call.”

“I love coach Breed. He was on staff already when I became head coach. He is an upstanding man, he is a man of integrity,” Gutierrez said, but “he violated the sanctity of what coaches are” by telling the players to hit a game official.

Breed joined the coaching staff in 2010. He played quarterback at John Jay before attending theUniversity of Missouri, where he played safety. On Thursday, Breed’s lawyer issued the coach’s first public statement on the incident, saying “some people are unfairly blaming one man, Mack Breed, for everything that happened at that game.”

According to Breed’s version of events, after a black John Jay wide receiver was ejected from the game, another black player told Breed that umpire Robert Watts had said to the player, “Throw the f***ing ball at me again, n****r.”

Watts, through his attorneys, has repeatedly denied uttering racial slurs toward the players, says he is considering lawsuits and is urging criminal prosecutions of the assistant coach and the two players.

“As a black male, nothing offended Mack Breed more than being called a racial epithet, except someone in a position of authority calling his players racial epithets. The slur was heard by multiple players, some of whom were not involved in the hit,” Breed’s statement said.

The player that reported hearing the slur was later tossed from the game for throwing a punch even though, according to the statement, a white player on the opposing team had allegedly punched the wide receiver multiple times and avoided ejection.

Describing the atmosphere on the John Jay sideline as “a powder keg,” Breed said that another John Jay coach was penalized for yelling at the officials about the alleged racist comments. Gutierrez also notified the officials about the slurs, according to Breed, but was told the officials wouldn’t use such language.

“Succumbing to the racially charged atmosphere, Coach Breed let his anger get the best of him and he made some regrettable comments. Witnesses can’t agree on what the comments were, but they were interpreted by two players to mean ‘hit the referee.’ The witnesses agree that Breed never explicitly told them to hit the referee, except for Michael Moreno, whose story continues to evolve,” the statement said, referring to one of the two players in question.

Singling out the teen, Breed said “Moreno paints himself as a saint on television” when he was actually “out of control” during the game. Not only did Moreno allegedly allow another player to be ejected for Moreno’s hit on Watts, he flagrantly hit a kneeling quarterback — a no-no in football — on the next play, according to the coach.

“His behavior is exactly what one would expect from a rogue player blaming a coach for the player’s actions,” Breed’s statement said.

Breed concluded his statement by saying he “feels that he could have handled the situation better. For that reason, Mack has submitted his resignation and will move forward taking responsibility for his role in the events that occurred. Mack never intended for the kids to hit or hurt the referee, but the result was the same.”

Jay Downs, an attorney for Watts, took the stand, reiterating another Watts attorney’s assertion that the allegations of racism are false. Watts, who has provided a statement to law enforcement, is suffering from post-concussion syndrome and didn’t attend the hearing, the attorney said. Doctors have yet to clear him to return to refereeing.

News of Breed’s resignation came a day after the players, who intentionally hit an official during a game this month and were suspended from school, attended a disciplinary hearing.

Pascual Gonzalez, a spokesman for the Northside Independent School District in San Antonio, said that because Moreno and Victor Rojas are minors, no information about the hearing would be released.

This 1955…or 2015? This racial name calling went on in sports until the late 60’s, when it pretty much ceased due to pressure by the fans, coaches, and leagues who decided not to tolerate it anymore. The only response in the 50’s and early 60’s was to walk away. The coach – in exposing the two boys to punishments is wrong.

 
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Posted by on September 24, 2015 in You Know It's Bad When...

 

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