RSS

Monthly Archives: October 2015

The History of “Zombies”

The origination of the concept of the “Walking Dead” came from Haiti, It really only has been adopted into the American lexicon in the past 100 years or so. So, on the night before Halloween – the true tale of Zombies…

The original “zombies” were Haitian slaves, condemned to be trapped inside their bodies as slaves forever.

The Tragic, Forgotten History of Zombies

The horror-movie trope owes its heritage to Haitian slaves, who imagined being imprisoned in their bodies forever.

In the original script for 1968’s Night of the Living Dead, the director George A. Romero refers to his flesh-eating antagonists as “ghouls.” Although the film is widely credited with launching zombies into the cultural zeitgeist, it wasn’t until its follow-up 10 years later, the consumerist nightmare Dawn of the Dead, that Romero would actually use the term. While making the first film, Romero understood zombies instead to be the undead Haitian slaves depicted in the 1932 Bela Lugosi horror film White Zombie.

By the time Dawn of the Dead was released in 1978 the cultural tide had shifted completely, and Romero had essentially reinvented the zombie for American audiences. The last 15 years have seen films and TV shows including Shaun of the Dead, 28 Days Later, World War Z, Zombieland, Life After Beth, iZombie, and even the upcoming Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

But the zombie myth is far older and more rooted in history than the blinkered arc of American pop culture suggests. It first appeared in Haiti in the 17th and 18th centuries, when the country was known as Saint-Domingue and ruled by France, which hauled in African slaves to work on sugar plantations. Slavery in Saint-Domingue under the French was extremely brutal: Half of the slaves brought in from Africa were worked to death within a few years, which only led to the capture and import of more. In the hundreds of years since, the zombie myth has been widely appropriated by American pop culture in a way that whitewashes its origins—and turns the undead into a platform for escapist fantasy.

The original brains-eating fiend was a slave not to the flesh of others but to his own. The zombie archetype, as it appeared in Haiti and mirrored the inhumanity that existed there from 1625 to around 1800, was a projection of the African slaves’ relentless misery and subjugation. Haitian slaves believed that dying would release them back to lan guinée, literally Guinea, or Africa in general, a kind of afterlife where they could be free. Though suicide was common among slaves, those who took their own lives wouldn’t be allowed to return to lan guinée. Instead, they’d be condemned to skulk the Hispaniola plantations for eternity, an undead slave at once denied their own bodies and yet trapped inside them—a soulless zombie.

After the Haitian Revolution in 1804 and the end of French colonialism, the zombie became a part of Haiti’s folklore. The myth evolved slightly and was folded into the Voodoo religion, with Haitians believing zombies were corpses reanimated by shamans and voodoo priests. Sorcerers, known as bokor, used their bewitched undead as free labor or to carry out nefarious tasks. This was the post-colonialism zombie, the emblem of a nation haunted by the legacy of slavery and ever wary of its reinstitution. As the UC Irvine professor Amy Wilentz has pointed out in her writing on zombies, on several occasions after the revolution Haiti teetered on the brink of reinstating slavery. The zombies of the Haitian Voodoo religion were a more fractured representation of the anxieties of slavery, mixed as they were with occult trappings of sorcerers and necromancy. Even then, the zombie’s roots in the horrors of slavery were already facing dilution.
It was in this form—Voodoo bokor and black magic—that the Haitian myth first crossed paths with American culture, in the aforementioned White Zombie. Although the film doesn’t begin to transform the undead in the way that Romero’s films and the subsequent zombie industrial complex would, it’s notable for its introduction of white people as interlopers in the zombie legend. It would take another few decades or so, but eventually the memory of Haiti’s colonialist history and the suffering it wrought—millions of Africans worked into the grave—would be excised from the zombie myth for good…

Which is a shame, because the zombie is such a potent symbol. For example, there’s a clear connection between the zombie of slave-driven Saint-Domingue and Ta-Nehisi Coates’s recent exploration of black disembodiment—the body under constant threat of capture, imprisonment, and murder. For Haitian slaves, the invention of the zombie was proof that the abuse they suffered was in a way more powerful than life itself—they had imagined a scenario in which they continued to be slaves even after death. In Between the World and Me, observing a young boy in front of a 7-Eleven, Coates writes, “This was a war for the possession of his body and that would be the war of his whole life.” The same declaration could be transported 1400 miles and 300 years and still hold true.

Instead American pop culture has used the zombie, fraught as it is with history, as a form of escapism, rather than a vehicle to explore its own past or current fears. Writing for GreenCine, Liz Cole is onto something when she says that, whatever their allegorical shadow, zombies are perhaps “indulging our post-apocalyptic fantasies” above all. Elmo Keep notes in The Awl how pop culture tends to romanticize depictions of the end of the world: In these situations, “Petty frustrations and mundane realities of real life all disappear, as do the complexities.” And so the zombie apocalypse isn’t an outlet for fears but for fantasies, functioning as an escape hatch into a world with higher dramatic stakes, fewer people, and the chance to reinvent oneself, for better or worse….Read the Whole Article Here

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Another Travesty in Texas – Judge Releases Cop From Murder Charge Quoting 1889 Law

It’s like convicting the Klan in Mississippi and Montgomery all over again…

Citing federal immunity, judge tosses manslaughter charge for Texas detective who shot unarmed black man in 2013

On Thursday night, just four days before the former Austin police officer was set to stand trial, a federal judge in Texas dismissed a manslaughter charge against Charles Kleinert in the 2013 shooting death of Larry Jackson Jr., an unarmed black man.

The ruling by U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel cites a little known 1889 case that determined federal agents can be granted immunity from state criminal charges and undoes one of a handful of indictments handed down to police officers out of the thousands of fatal police shootings that have occurred in recent years.

Kleinert was one of 54 officers to be charged in connection with a fatal on-duty shooting from 2005 to 2014, according to a Washington Post analysis published earlier this year. So far in 2015, there have been more than 800 fatal on-duty police shootings that have resulted in charges for just five officers, according to a Post database.

Jackson, 32, was shot to death on July 26, 2013, after he visited his local bank.

The bank was on lockdown after a robbery earlier in the day. Austin Police have said that Jackson returned to the bank a second time, when he was confronted by Kleinert, a detective who was investigating the robbery. After a few minutes, Jackson ran.

Kleinert gave chase, commandeering the vehicle of a woman driving in the area.

“(Kleinert) was breathless and agitated and yelled, ‘Go go go’ and ‘follow him’ multiple times,” the woman, Regina Bethune, told KVUE, a local television station, in February. “He seemed very out of control and highly agitated. I was uncertain if he was really a police officer or not. I realize that either way I needed to remain calm and help him try to calm down. He did not identify himself any further once in the car. He did not tell me his name or offer any explanation as to what was going on.”

Kleinert caught up to Jackson underneath a bridge. The officer said he drew his weapon and that during a violent struggle it accidentally discharged, putting a bullet in the back of Jackson’s neck.

On Thursday night, just four days before the former Austin police officer was set to stand trial, a federal judge in Texas dismissed a manslaughter charge against Charles Kleinert in the 2013 shooting death of Larry Jackson Jr., an unarmed black man.

The ruling by U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel cites a little known 1889 case that determined federal agents can be granted immunity from state criminal charges and undoes one of a handful of indictments handed down to police officers out of the thousands of fatal police shootings that have occurred in recent years.

Kleinert was one of 54 officers to be charged in connection with a fatal on-duty shooting from 2005 to 2014, according to a Washington Post analysis published earlier this year. So far in 2015, there have been more than 800 fatal on-duty police shootings that have resulted in charges for just five officers, according to a Post database.

Jackson, 32, was shot to death on July 26, 2013, after he visited his local bank.

The bank was on lockdown after a robbery earlier in the day. Austin Police have said that Jackson returned to the bank a second time, when he was confronted by Kleinert, a detective who was investigating the robbery. After a few minutes, Jackson ran.

Kleinert gave chase, commandeering the vehicle of a woman driving in the area.

“(Kleinert) was breathless and agitated and yelled, ‘Go go go’ and ‘follow him’ multiple times,” the woman, Regina Bethune, told KVUE, a local television station, in February. “He seemed very out of control and highly agitated. I was uncertain if he was really a police officer or not. I realize that either way I needed to remain calm and help him try to calm down. He did not identify himself any further once in the car. He did not tell me his name or offer any explanation as to what was going on.”

Kleinert caught up to Jackson underneath a bridge. The officer said he drew his weapon and that during a violent struggle it accidentally discharged, putting a bullet in the back of Jackson’s neck.

Kleinert was indicted on manslaughter charges, with a grand jury concluding that Kleinert “did then and there recklessly cause the death of Larry Jackson by striking and by attempting to strike Larry Jackson with [his] hand while holding a loaded firearm.” But Kleinert’s legal team argued that the shooting was accidental and that, because he was a member of an FBI task force that he was entitled to ‘Supremacy Clause immunity’ — a defense that argues that because the Constitution is the supreme law of the land, a federal officer who at the time reasonably believes his actions were necessary to the performance of his federal duties is immune from state criminal prosecution.

Judge Yeakel agreed, ruling that Kleinert was acting in his federal capacity while investigating the bank robbery and therefore has federal immunity.

The federal immunity defense dates back to an 1889 shooting, in which a U.S. marshal assigned to protect Supreme Court Justice Stephen J. Field shot and killed a man who had attacked the judge. The Supreme Court ruled that because the officer was acting in his capacity as a federal agent he could not be tried or found guilty of murder.

Kleinert’s attorney argued that while he was an Austin detective, he was also deputized as an FBI agent, and therefore immune from prosecution.

“The court concludes that from the time Kleinert began his conversations with Jackson until the time Jackson died, Kleinert was acting in his capacity as a federal officer,” Yeakel wrote. “At all times, Kleinert was attempting to detain and arrest Jackson for committing federal offenses in Kleinert’s presence — actions that Kleinert was authorized by federal law to perform.”…The rest of this travesty here

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Jared the ex-Subway Guy Caught on Tape

 
1 Comment

Posted by on October 29, 2015 in Domestic terrorism

 

Tags: , , , ,

CNBC Republican Debate…A Liar’s Conference

Once the neo-nazi slimy POS Ted Cruz opened the gate by using the conservative meme of a “liberal” MSM attacking poor, poor, pitiful conservatives…

The race was on to see who could tell the biggest whopper.

CNBC was woefully unprepared to take on the tidal wave of outright untruths and lies which spewed from the fact free Clown Bus synchopats…

Fact-Checking The CNBC Republican Presidential Debate

There were quite a few questionable claims made during the event.

Summary

The Republican candidates met once again, and we found several claims worthy of fact-checking. Here are some of the highlights from the debate:

  • Former CEO Carly Fiorina claimed that 92 percent of the job losses in President Obama’s first term belonged to women, but women — and men — gained jobs by the end of Obama’s first term.
  • Businessman Donald Trump disputed the idea that he had criticized Sen. Marco Rubio and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg for supporting H-1B visas. In fact, Trump’s immigration plan, posted on his website, is critical of both of them.
  • Trump also claimed his campaign was 100 percent self-funded, but more than half of the money his campaign has raised came from supporters’ contributions.
  • Fiorina blamed the Affordable Care Act for a large disparity in firm closings versus openings every year. But closings outnumbered firm births by the widest margin in 2009, a year before the law was enacted.
  • Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson said it was “total propaganda” to say he was involved with a controversial nutritional supplement company, but he appeared in promotional videos for the company, touting its products.
  • New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said that Social Security would be insolvent in seven to eight years. But even after the trust funds are exhausted — estimated to be in 14 to 19 years — the program can still pay out 73 percent of benefits for several decades.
  • Sen. Ted Cruz said women’s wages have declined under Obama, when in fact the latest figures show their wages have increased.
  • Rubio claimed CNBC’s John Harwood was wrong that a Tax Foundation analysis of his tax plan found those in the top 1 percent of earners would get nearly twice the gain as those in the middle. Harwood was right, and that’s on a percentage basis.
  • In the undercard debate, former New York Gov. George Pataki claimed the Iranians, Russians and Chinese “hacked” the private server Hillary Clinton used as secretary of state and obtained “state secrets.” There’s no evidence of that.
 
Leave a comment

Posted by on October 29, 2015 in The Clown Bus

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Prepay for Breakfast?

Besides the obvious racism…Somebody needs an education on what you can and cannot do. Might save this small franchise company a lot of money. This is quite simply a) stupid management at it’s worst, or b) a failure by the management of the chain to recognize risk. You train your employees to do things like put down a mat by the door, and even the little yellow cones to mitigate the chance of customers falling (and suing), and costing the company tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollar of money…

Racism also costs money which also hurts the bottom line.

Black man says Washington restaurant made him prepay for breakfast — but not white customers

A Black man says he was asked to prepay for his meal at a Washington restaurant — even though white customers were allowed to pay after they had finished eating.

Brian Eason filed a discrimination lawsuit Tuesday against Elmer’s Restaurants and the franchise’s parent company, Karsan, Inc., reported The Oregonian.

The 44-year-old Eason, a Multnomah County, Oregon, sheriff’s deputy and real estate agent, said he went Dec. 16, 2014, to the Vancouver restaurant and ordered breakfast — and the waitress told him he must pay for his food before she would serve him.

“I was kind of curious about it and said, ‘Well, is that new?’ And she said ‘Yes, we had a few walk-aways and my boss asked me to ask for prepayment,” Eason told the newspaper.

Eason said he thought nothing of the request until he ordered another drink and the waitress asked him again to pay first, and he told the woman that he considered the policy “kind of odd.”

“She said, ‘I think it’s discrimination and my boss is here, and she’s forcing me to have me do this,’” Eason said.

He said the waitress was apologetic, and he actually felt bad for her and gave her a big tip and one of the $10 Starbucks gift cards he planned to send to clients.

Eason left the restaurant, but he was troubled by the experience and returned about a half hour later and asked a white couple dining at Elmer’s whether they had been asked to prepay.

The couple said they hadn’t.

Eason asked the pair for their names and phone numbers, which they shared.

He wasn’t sure what he planned to do about the experience, but he couldn’t sleep that night and his family encouraged him to take action, the newspaper reported.

Eason eventually filed a lawsuit in Multnomah County Circuit Court seeking $100,000 in damages for his “feelings of racial stigmatization.”

A spokeswoman for the Elmer’s restaurant chain, which was founded in 1960 and has 25 restaurants in four states, said the company was investigating Eason’s claims.

“At Elmer’s, we are proud to provide a welcoming guest experience to everyone in the communities we serve,” said Jill Ramos, director of restaurant support. “We are disappointed to hear about the complaint which occurred at one of our franchise-operated restaurants.”

Eason said the experience still bothered him.

“My office is right down the street there,” Eason said. “It’s a constant reminder of ‘they don’t want me in there.’”

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on October 29, 2015 in The New Jim Crow

 

Tags: , , , , ,

The Fourth Founding – Civil Rights

One of my favorite, and person I consider one brightest media people is Sherrilyn Ifill. In this article she discusses the evolution of Civil Rights in terms of  America, from the “First Founding”, the emergence of the country, the Second Founding, the 13h, 14th, and 15th Amendments promising freedom and equality under the law, and the Third Founding being the post WWII period mid-Century Civil Rights Movement eliminating post Reconstruction JIm Crow.

I disagree with her belief that the current Civil Rights movement, coalesced around organizations like Black Lives Matter and Color of Change is part of the Third Founding, and would say that is is part of a Fourth. Just as the murder of Emmett Till galvanized the post-war Civil Rights Movement by laying bare the videotaped murders of black people by the Police, and the murders in Charleston have stripped away the coating of yet another teflon coated racist belief system, laying bare systemic, if not always supported by legislative protection, racism in America.

Systemic racism in America has it’s own TV, it’s own publications, and indeed political party built upon the remnants and cultural vein of the Dixiecrats of the late 40’s, and George Wallace of 1968. The Fourth Foundation in my view, not only won’t be televised, it will will be fought across the Internet. Whether in the deconstruction of the New Jim Crow of the carceral state and Voting Suppression – or the denouement of white privilege. Why? Because unlike when King marched across that bridge in Selma, there is no specific geography of systemic racism. And the “black community” is now less descriptive of a location than a shared history, culture, and values.

Freedom Still Awaits

A century and a half after Reconstruction, fights over voter suppression and police brutality reveal that it remains an unfinished project.

The Civil War and the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth amendments to the Constitution that were ratified in its wake created a new America as imaginative and fraught with controversy as the country founded after the Revolutionary War. It is no exaggeration, therefore, to describe this period as America’s “Second Founding.” But neither the enduring power of the Second Founding nor its limitations can be fully understood without an examination of the Third Founding—the civil-rights movement of the mid-20th century.

The extraordinary courage, vision, and commitment of civil-rights lawyers and activists in the period between 1954 and 1968 rooted an America as new and bold as the one forged from the battles of the 18th-century Revolutionary War and 19th-century Civil War. But that the battles of the civil-rights movement continued nearly 100 years after the passage of the Civil War amendments demonstrates the limitations of the rights articulated in the Reconstruction amendments, which proved to be the least self-executing of all of the Constitution’s rights-expanding amendments.

This was not lost on the framers of the Reconstruction amendments. They understood from the outset that the rights of suffrage, equal protection, due process, and freedom from slavery would need to be protected from the actions of the state and enforced by the federal government. This is, in no small measure, the essence of the Second Founding—a fundamental reordering of the relationship between the states and federal government. “States’ rights” were to be tempered and cabined where they undermined black citizenship. The powerful enforcement clauses and unequivocal “no state shall” language of the Reconstruction Amendments is the textual evidence of the framers and the clear intention to recalibrate state power in relationship to blacks.

To protect black citizenship, the Reconstruction Amendments opened a new front in the unfinished battles of the Civil War. The federal courts would do the hard work of securing the victory for newly freed slaves. As the historian Eric Foner notes in his seminal treatment of the Reconstruction period, the protections of the Civil War amendments “placed an unprecedented—and unrealistic—burden of enforcement on the federal courts.” Certainly until the Warren Court in the mid-20th century, the Supreme Court showed itself to be both unprepared and unwilling to take up the full measure of that responsibility. Indeed, the Supreme Court’s devastating 1876 decision in U.S. v. Cruikshank (in which the Court vacated the conviction of three white men who participated in the massacre of 300 blacks protecting the federal courthouse in Louisiana), the widespread white-supremacist violence in the South, and the removal of federal troops from Louisiana and Mississippi are among the leading factors that ended Reconstruction.

A decade later, when in the Civil Rights Cases the Supreme Court exhibited what the scholar Darren Hutchinson calls “racial exhaustion,” it was clear that it was simply not up to the exercise of robust enforcement power contemplated by the architecture of the Reconstruction Amendments.* Just 20 years after the end of slavery and during a period of intense white-supremacist violence, the court declared in the Civil Rights Cases that there must be a time when former slaves “cease to be the special favorite of the laws” and instead “take the rank of mere citizens.”

Ironically, the centerpiece of the Third Founding was also a Supreme Court decision—Brown v. Board of Education. The Court’s decision to strike down racial segregation in public education (and soon in all aspects of public life) began the deconstruction of Jim Crow—the system of legal apartheid that had become the principal means of enforcing 20th-century white supremacy. Brown and the civil-rights movement that followed it, ushered in the promise of a new America—one that included unprecedented opportunities for many African Americans and other racial minorities, a lexicon of equality and racial justice that endured, and black political power not seen since the early days of Reconstruction.

Yet Brown, like the Civil War amendments, faced its own opposition—a concerted movement named “Massive Resistance” by integration opponents. The resistance to Brown from Congress to towns and hamlets in the South was so rabid that counties were willing to close public schools rather than have black children attend school with white children. Black children were spat upon, cursed, and assaulted on the way to school by white teenagers and housewives. The homes of civil-rights lawyers and activists were fire-bombed.  Resistance toBrown became yet another front in the battle over black citizenship. In the courts, the battle became a war of attrition, with the Supreme Court at first robust and then increasingly cautious and timid, and ultimately hostile to the project of integration. By the time the Court decided in Milliken v. Bradley that desegregation plans could not cross city lines into suburban counties to stem the effects of white flight on integration, the project of integrated schools in urban centers was dealt a crushing blow. For good measure, the Supreme Court scuttled even voluntary integration efforts in 2006 in Parents Involved In Community Schools v. Seattle School District, with Chief Justice Roberts’ tautological and tone-deaf instruction that “the way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.”

The decades-long resistance by whites to school integration doomed the full promise of the civil-rights movement. Massive resistance spawned even more deeply entrenched housing segregation, the abandonment of support for public institutions, white flight from U.S. cities, and a renewed hostility to the federal government. The hope held by the most visionary civil-rights leaders and activists for a unified country of racial equality has been put off for future generations, even as the vision articulated by those men and women has become central to America’s public self-narrative….Read the Rest Here

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Black American Seeks Asylum in Canada

Bit of an unusual case…DOubt he will win asylum in this case.

Black American Seeks Asylum in Canada Over Police Brutality

Kyle Canty says blacks are ‘being exterminated at an alarming rate’ and that he’ll only be safe north of the border.

It has been nearly two months since he crossed the border into Canada, fleeing the discrimination and state violence plaguing his home country.

In seeking refugee status before Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Board in Vancouver, Kyle Lydell Canty argued that belongs to a vulnerable minority that is “being exterminated at an alarming rate” in his homeland.

Canty was referring to the United States and police brutality.

“I’m in fear of my life because I’m black,” Canty, 30, told the board during his hearing on Oct. 23, where he cited the killings of Michael Brown in Missouri andEric Garner in New York. “This is a well-founded fear.”

Canty, who was born in New York, has resided in six states over the span of three decades. He traveled to Vancouver early last month as a tourist, but says he decided to apply for refugee status shortly after his arrival. He now resides at a homeless shelter.

“When I see the police coming in the U.S., I cross the street,” he said.

In presenting his case before the IRB, Canty submitted evidence that he claims demonstrates that cops have harassed and profiled him in every state he’s lived in.

“I got bothered because I’m black,” he alleges. “This is a history of false arrest. My name is ruined because of the false arrest.”

In Canada, however, Canty says he does not perceive any existential threat from law enforcement and that he is more than comfortable interacting with Canadian authorities.

During his hearing, Canty also discussed his outstanding criminal charges in the U.S., including ones for disorderly conduct, issuing threats, and resisting arrest.

Melissa Anderson, the IRB spokeswoman for this case, told The Daily Beast that a decision regarding Canty’s application would likely be issued within the next few weeks. When asked if she would characterize this as an unusual case, Anderson demurred, but said that she is “not aware of any” other cases like this in Canada, but couldn’t be sure.

“For us, every case is unique,” she said. “Refugee protection and refugee discrimination, this is a complex issue.”

Canada has accepted American refugees before. In 2013, three U.S. citizens were granted asylum, for instance. In 2010, actor Randy Quaid applied for refugee status, claiming he was being persecuted and possibly marked for death by“Hollywood star whacker” assassins. (He later withdrew his claim.)

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on October 29, 2015 in Domestic terrorism

 

Tags: , , , , ,

 
%d bloggers like this: