(05-29-2018, updated 07-16-2018) The history of crime in inner-city black neighborhoods and the response by law enforcement over time have seemingly made it a chicken-egg matter. Seemingly. I explained how inner city black neighborhoods came into being to begin with. From the start cities responded to crime in black neighborhoods differently than in white areas.
(05-27-2018, updated 08-02-2018) So segregation held African Americans back until the Civil Rights Movement. But there has been no institutional racism since, so they have no excuse for being less well off today, do they? And what about poor white people? Well, it just so happens that two recent reports dispute the myths about the wealth gap between whites and people of color.
(05-1-2018, updated 07-08-2018) How Segregated Housing Policies and Redlining Led to Racial Housing Disparity. How did we get to so many impoverished black neighborhoods, especially inner-city neighborhoods? It wasn't inevitable. A brief history of black housing.
American fascism: one fell swoop, or small steps via gradual government centralization? (02-15-2018, updated 07-11-2018) One of the elements of fascism is government consolidation. ICE really wants to join the intelligence community. Such centralization of government would give them access to more information and surveillance in their search for illegal immigrants.
(01-16-2018, updated 07-11-2018) The 13th Amendment Loophole Kept Slavery Alive. The 1800s interstate slave trade between the slave-breeding states and the Deep South was especially lucrative. Slave trader Isaac Franklin (1789 - 1846) became one of the South's richest men and the owner of land in several states. He named one piece of land in Louisiana 'Angola'.
(11-04-2017, updated 07-11-2018) Conversations with Gun Nuts and Homeless Guys. I went to an anti-Trump demonstration at Republic Square Park today. It didn't happen. But I did converse (sort of) with some militia men about the need to protect themselves, Antifa, the U.S. Constitution and the second amendment, and with two homeless guys about racial disparity and how Nigerians should just shut up.
(10-30-2017, updated 07-11-2018) Fascism in America Part 11: Conclusion. Most of you Americans on the left were gobsmacked when Trump won the election. You completely underestimated his allure. So we now have a wanna-be fascist in the White House. Apart from dealing with the matter at hand, you all also have to think about post-Trump America.
(10-24-2017, updated 07-11-2018) Trump's Calls For Violence in Historical Perspective. Fascists don't mind violence, as long as they're meting it out, through violent and intimidating government policies and actions, and by encouraging a militarized citizenry. This post explores America's history of violence and intimidation, Hitler's Nazi Party in Germany, Trump rallies, and his encouragement of violence against his opposition.
(10-21-2017, updated 07-11-2018) Totalitarian governments don't acknowledge individual liberties. Everyone must support the state. No dissent, democratic elections, freedom of speech, or a free press. North Korea is a totalitarian state, as are theocracies like Iran and Pakistan. In a theocracy the leaders' holy book is the supreme authority, not democratically created laws. American Christian extremists want this as well.
(10-20-2017-updated 07-08-2018) Respect: American For Blind Submission to the Authorities. Americans, you sacrifice too many freedoms to institutions. The president should not be an adored god, the police are not heroes (as a collective group) and you pay schools to educate and care for your children, not to police them. It's ridiculous how you let them abuse their powers to the extent that they do. Powers that, half the time, they shouldn't even have,You really need to take a step back and have a good look.
(10-13-2017, updated 07-11-2018) Respect For Authority: The Dutch Learned From WWII. The German occupation (1940-1945) was a watershed moment for us. Before discussing authoritarianism in America, I'll talk about authoritarianism and the police in the Netherlands, so you understand where I'm coning from. And I'll describe 1980s Dutch police training, which focused more on de-escalation training than on using force.
(09-26-2017, updated 07-12-2018) What Are American Values? What Is Patriotism? NFL players kneeling during the National Anthem!They're disrespecting the troops! The country! The flag! You are confused, but I understand. The symbols have become so important to you that you forget what they stand for. Do I need to remind you what your ideals are? Well fine, if you insist. Here's a little refresher, from an immigrant. You're welcome.
(01-30-2017, updated 07-13-2018) Will the legislative branch and the judicial branch hold up against authoritarianism? American democracy the checks and balances, the separation of powers over the three branches of government only work if everyone sticks to the rules. When you elect a president who doesn't play by the rules, he can replace it with a dictatorship.
(06-07-2016, updated 07-13-2018) We are halfway the 2016 presidential election and Trump is the presumptive Republican nominee. When will he become presidential? We see how Trump treats every demographic that isn't white males. And he would silence judges, shut down the press, encourage even more police brutality, and we'd have many armed militias at his beck and call.
(11-01-2015, updated 07-14-2018) Both the police force and the school were okay with letting Ben Fields loose on kids, and so, apparently, are many others. The Spring Valley High School SRO had two lawsuits filed against him, for excessive violence and for targeting black students. Were these the first ever incidents that he was perceived as violent and racist? It's possible. But one his nicknames was Officer Slam.
(10-29-2015, updated 07-14-2018) When and why did it become acceptable to have Officer Slam in school? And why is discipline seen as the be-all, end-all in American public education? If you had asked me last week what a school resource officer was, I wouldn't have known, but my guess would have been someone who was somehow involved in directing students to the appropriate resources for whatever they needed, be it the school library, the counselor, a local college, whatever. But no, SROs--School Resource Officers--are police officers who have been placed in public schools "to keep the students safe".
(10-28-2015, updated 07-14-2018) If you're black in a public high school in South Carolina, using your phone in class can be extremely dangerous. When a sixteen-year-old girl at Spring Valley High School in South Carolina was caught with her phone, the teacher told her to hand it over. She refused. The teacher then ordered her to go to the principal's office. She refused.The teacher called the assistant principal, who then told her to leave the classroom. She refused. So the assistant principal sicced the cop--excuse me, I mean School Resources Officer Ben Fields--on her.
(12-10-2014, updated 07-14-2018) Considering how much emphasis is placed on firearm training, why not train the police to aim for the shoulder or leg? In my opinion, the police policy of allowing officers to use lethal force any time they feel threatened needs to be revisited. The notion that any time someone reaches in their pocket, officers can empty their clips into that person is just ridiculous.
(12-07-2014, updated 07-14-2018) For police accountability and guaranteed quality training that's independent from existing police department cultures, police training must take place on a state level. It seems that in America many police forces do their own training. So the police teach recruits what they think the police should know and how they should act. Where's society's input?
(12-06-2014, updated 07-15-2018) Police in the Netherlands shift from rigidly applying the law to using their discretionary powers in order to adapt to a changing society. The American public calls for changes in police training after the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and the choke hold death of Eric Garner in New York City. This is the first post in a series of suggestions. You're welcome, America.
(08-22-2014, updated 07-15-2018) An untrained police force does not serve the public, it's a danger to the public. Michael Brown, an unarmed African-American teenager, was shot by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. Demonstrations against police violence have been going on since, which the police met with tanks and army gear. They aimed military-grade weapons at the town's citizens.
(04-30-2014, updated 07-15-2018) He got suspended, and one person said "He should have used better judgement." America, when are you going to get angry? Have you seen this video of a Georgetown cop at a high school football game?Georgetown is a smaller town north of Austin.
(05-08-2013, updated 07-15-2018) Are you and American citizen? Hmm, let me think... Earlier I was mad about the liberties police take daily in regular, non-threatening situations, and that nobody has a problem with it. Not enough to say anything. Americans and your endless respect for authority! This, of course, is not completely true. The Rio Grande Valley borders on Mexico in southern Texas.
(05-06-2013, updated 07-15-2018) Reese and the police: this country is a police state and nobody seems to notice. Last week Reese Witherspoon's husband was arrested for driving while intoxicated. Bad. Badbadbadbadbad. You get no argument from me there. But Reese was arrested, too. Why? She got out of her car! That's not all. When the cop ordered her back in the car, she told him she had a right to stand on American soil. Gasp! The horror!