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Diverse World Coaching

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Month

January 2016

Imagine

 
DJ Schuettewww.djschuette.com

Most of us don’t have to imagine a world in which police are the good guys. Our parents taught us to go to them when we were lost or in trouble. We’ve read thousands of books in which they’re the heroes who save the day. We’ve watched them stop the bad guys on countless TV shows. Our lives may have gone in countless other directions since, but many of us once wanted to be them.

For you and I, police are little more than quiet background noise. They’re the ones who come when we need them. Maybe they pull us over every now and again because we got a little overzealous with the gas pedal or have a busted taillight. 85% of the time we even agree that we should have been pulled over. On those rare occasions that we’ve dealt with them, they’ve largely treated us with dignity, respect, and kindness. For the most part, they’ve done nothing at all to dissuade us from our long-standing belief that they’re the good guys we’ve come to expect them to be.

 

Now I want you to imagine a world where that’s not always true. Where your parents have told you to be wary of, or to altogether avoid the police. A world where you’re surrounded by cops that don’t look like you. It is a place where people you know and love have been beaten or killed by them. Where your communities aren’t always safe, but you can’t even be sure if it would be more perilous to pick up the phone and call for help. Imagine a life where the sound of gunshots just down the street is perceived to be less dangerous than the sound of sirens on the very same block.

Stay there for a minute. Live there. Look out your safe, imaginary window at that place. Think about your kids in that world.

Here, you’re 30% more likely to get pulled over than people with a different skin tone. If you are pulled over, you’re at least twice as likely to be searched. Here, you’re six times more likely to be thrown in jail. And God forbid shit goes down, because you’re then more than twice as likely to be killed by police. Tack on still another 30% if you’re unarmed. You’re also sentenced to death at a rate more than three times your population density. And even if you were still alive to complain about it, you’d find that police would be indicted less than 1% of the time.

That is the world you live in.

 

Now, come back.

Unless we’ve gone there, lived that experience, it’s difficult to conceive of our police as anything but our protectors. The good guys. Our heroes. We therefore find it very hard to reconcile our own experiences with the idea that they might not always be right. That they’re human. That they make mistakes. That they’d ever beat or kill someone without just cause. That occasionally they’re not the good guys at all, but the bad guys dressed up in blue and wearing a badge on their chest. We can’t possibly imagine a world in which the criminals might be telling the truth and where those we trust to serve and protect are lying to us.

So, I want you to watch this. It will be hard. Watch it anyway. Read about how our heroes (allegedly) deleted incriminating footage, and how for more than a year they kept this damning dash-cam video under wraps, until a judge demanded it be released.

And as you do, remember that other place.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of racism, redemption and forgiveness: George Wallace’s daughter tries to right her father’s wrongs

  
 By Jack Morgan

Peggy Wallace Kennedy speks at San Antonio’s Carver Cultural Center. Credit: Jack Morgan/Texas Public Radio
A special guest spoke at this screening of “Selma” in San Antonio. She was close to the man who was an antagonist for many of the events in the film. 

Her father ran for president. Her father shouted: “Segregation now. Segregation tomorrow. Segregation forever!”

And on Monday night, George Wallace’s daughter gave a different message: racial reconciliation. 
“The lines that we must stand in to build a new America are those that lead to the ballot box,” says Peggy Wallace Kennedy.
Her drive for racial harmony comes with an unlikely ally: Representative John Lewis. 
“We have become fast friends and have been friends since 2009, a wonderful experience,” she says of the Georgia Democrat.
The experience she’s talking about is that of walking the Edmund Pettus Bridge at his side during a peaceful re-creation of the original event. I asked her if anything stood out in her memory about the event. She smiles.
“Yes, he asked me if they were going too fast for me. And if they needed to slow down for me, which I thought was very ironic. That he wanted to know all about my comfort, when he was the one who had been viciously beaten at the foot of the bridge. And I kept saying, ‘No sir, everything’s fine for me.'”
Walking that notorious bridge wasn’t the end of her time with Lewis.
“He has taught me a great deal about reconciliation and love and how that can heal the human heart,” she says. 
The daughter of the man ultimately responsible for the beating of John Lewis has learned much about peace and redemption from the man who actually took the beating. Their mutual admiration has transcended all that they went through in the now-distant past.  
“He is always in my heart when I go and speak.”
Redemption found its way to the Alabama Governor too, late in life, when he renounced segregation and asked for forgiveness.

This story was originally published by Texas Public Radio.

January 14, 2016 · 2:45 PM EST
 

Police Brutality

  

 By: DJ Schuette

  Police Brutality

      A man jumped out of the car. He was a big guy, mid-40’s maybe—bald and wearing a white t-shirt and jeans. He was about 25 feet away, and totally amped up. He had a gun pressed against his right temple. His eyes were wild, like a cornered animal. My partner and I pulled our Glocks and took aim. He demanded that we back off or he’d shoot himself.

      “Get out of here,” he screamed. “I’ll do it, I’m serious!”

      I called for him to drop his weapon. From my left, my partner did the same. I noticed that the pitch of her voice was just a bit higher than it had been a few moments before. I don’t think she was in a panic, but it was pretty clear to me that she was nervous. Hell, I was nervous. The guy might blow his own head off, or turn the gun on us at any moment. Neither of us wanted to shoot him.

      Then time slowed down for me. I became hyper-aware, my senses turned up, like someone had jacked my dial to 10. Tunnel vision. My finger pressed harder against the trigger guard. 5.5 pounds of pressure and about a third of a second was all that was keeping me from ending this guy. At eight meters, I wouldn’t miss.

      He grew more agitated. His voice rose and grew more frantic. Then he raised the gun straight up from his temple, pointing it toward the sky. 

      My partner blew his ass away

        Today is October 19th, 2015. As of the moment I write this, 922 people have died at the hands of police in this country, this year alone. In just a handful of hours, that number will almost certainly be 923.

       Last year, 1106 people died at the hands of cops. If we continue at this pace, this year will again top 1100. From May to December of 2013: 748.

        I want you to think about that for a minute…

 In roughly two and a half years, as many people will have died at the hands of police as did in the attacks on 9/11.

  Nearly 3000 lives lost.

   The worst year of US casualties in Iraq: 904. In Afghanistan: 499. That’s right. Our police are killing more people on American soil than die in active war zones. Often, significantly more.

 Consider also:

There have been 47 lethal-force deaths in England over the past 95 years, and only one so far this year.

In Germany: one this year, and one last.

In Australia: just six in 2014

In Norway: there hasn’t been a single police-related killing in nearly ten years

In Iceland: only one in nearly 71 years.

In 2013, police in Finland fired a grand total of 6 bullets. In the US that same year, a single suspect with a rock was fired upon 17 times.

    Contrary to what you may believe from the early content of this post, I am not anti-police. I can’t say enough that the vast majority of cops are some of the bravest and best among us, protecting us from the absolute worst among us. Their jobs are sometimes dangerous. They don their uniforms despite the understanding that they may not make it home to their families. There’s a reason why kids so often want to be cops when they grow up—to them, they’re real-life, honest-to-goodness heroes. Without law enforcement, society would surely collapse into chaos and anarchy. We need them. And they need and deserve our respect and cooperation. 

     But they are also human beings. Prone to all of the same injuries, insecurities, emotions, prejudices and even instabilities and errors in judgment that plague the rest of us. A badge is not a mystical talisman that makes them superhuman. It is not a shield of invulnerability. They are people, just like you and I, sometimes placed in high-intensity scenarios that call for split-second, life-or-death decisions. They make mistakes. And occasionally those mistakes prove fatal.

       Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting deadly force is never justifiable. There are “imminent danger” scenarios, in which I would support an officer’s decision to discharge their weapons. If lives are at grave, immediate risk, then I get it. Truly, I do. That said, shooting an unarmed, fleeing suspect when no one else is around? That’s murder in my book, whether you’re a coked-up thug or an adrenalin-amped cop.

       But what is it that makes our society so much more susceptible to death at the hands of those we trust to serve and protect us? With that question in mind, I decided to see if I could find some answers. What I discovered is that there’s no single, obvious solution—no silver bullet. But there are a handful of factors that seem to play a part.

      Socioeconomics/Income Inequality: Operating under the assumption that less crime equals fewer encounters with law enforcement and thus fewer opportunities for lethal force to be an issue, I took a look at crime rates in other countries. While researching statistics in Iceland, I came across an article (here) about a man whose thesis was on the subject of the lack of violence and crime there (there was only one intentional homicide in 2014). This is despite the fact that nearly a third of its population is armed. One of his conclusions is that the overall economic and social equality in the country is a primary reason—97% of the population considers themselves to be middle income or working class. At first blush, this would suggest that the current economic gap in the U.S. might be partly to blame—but is this indicative of the whole, or merely an aberration?

      I discovered something called the GINI Index, which is a tool used to measure income distribution. In the simplest of terms, the lower the number, the closer that country is to perfect “income equality.” When compared alongside the intentional homicide rates*, there is a very suggestive correlation between the two: the smaller the GINI coefficient, the more likely that country is to have a lower intentional homicide rate. To use the above countries as examples, Iceland’s GINI Index is one of the lowest at 24. Finland is around 28. Norway, 27. Sweden, 26. Germany, 31. Australia and England come in at around 34 and 38, respectively. The U.S. income coefficient is nearly 41. Conversely, countries with extremely high GINI’s like Brazil (53), Honduras (57) and South Africa (63) all have higher intentional homicide rates than we do here in America. Obviously, there are exceptions and outliers, but generally speaking, it certainly appears that there is a parallel between income inequality, unrest and violent crime. And violent crime means more police in positions where they might encounter deadly force situations.

     Arming/Militarization of Police: As one might logically expect, there are far fewer police-involved killings in countries where the police don’t carry guns at all: England, Norway, Iceland, New Zealand and Ireland are among those that don’t (except in exceptional circumstances). But as we’ve seen, violent crime itself is also much lower in those countries as well (our intentional homicide rates are five times higher than those of New Zealand and Ireland, in case you were wondering). But whether those lower violent crime statistics are part of the reason that police don’t need to be armed, or a product of it, is a line of inquiry worth examining. Put another way—is a society less violent when their police don’t carry guns, or is it inherently less violent to begin with?

      With the rise of police killings in America, it seems that there has been a fundamental breakdown in our trust of the police, and respectively, theirs of us. If people are afraid that police might use excessive force against them, might they then be more apt to act aggressively? And if people act more aggressively, does it stand to reason that police, concerned for their own safety, might use more force than necessary? Does being armed, in and of itself, engender a self-perpetuating and self-fulfilling cycle of violence? Does violence (or the very threat of it) beget more violence?

      I’m not necessarily championing the idea that police in the U.S. shouldn’t have firearms, but there is a case to be made for moving in that direction. Since 1997, our government has been issuing surplus military equipment and weapons to our police departments. Unfortunately, FBI statistics are woefully incomplete on the subject, so it’s hard to assess whether or not this has had a direct impact on the amount of violence perpetuated by police, but it certainly seems like it has. Some would argue this “militarization” allows them to be more prepared and able to respond to any situation. Others wonder if it just further perpetuates the mistrust between the public and their police. And it isn’t as if police don’t have a number of (typically) non-lethal weapons and tactics available to them: backup, batons, mace, tasers, flashlights, fists. Most are trained in self-defense, and/or hand to hand combat. Even an uncooperative suspect doesn’t deserve to be brutalized, and certainly not shot and killed. The primary objective should always be to apprehend and subdue first, and then escalate only as much as the situation requires. More on this in a minute.

Gun Culture: There are very nearly as many guns as people now in this country. I’m a gun owner myself. We know from Iceland’s proliferation of firearms (fifteenth in the world) that it’s not simply a matter of the weapons themselves. But Iceland does have extremely strict regulations in place. Most of their guns are used for hunting. Very few people own handguns. This is in stark contrast to gun control policies in the U.S., where there are a variety of ways to skirt background checks, and where proficiency exams, transfer paperwork, and medical/mental health screenings aren’t required in most states.

      The prevalence of guns in America goes right back to the issue of trust. As much as we need to be able to trust police, they too, have to be able to do their jobs without fearing the very citizens they’re tasked to serve and protect. Armed with the knowledge that anyone might have a weapon, police are sure to be more cautious and on edge and they are more likely to act more severely if questioned or challenged.

      I’ve had several people contend that cops must go into every scenario believing that they might be killed. I find this to be not only ludicrous, but also an irresponsible and dangerous mindset. My position is that police must always go into every situation alert, prepared, (and perhaps most importantly) calm. If every officer constantly believes they are about to be shot and their adrenalin is flowing as if they’re taking their last breaths, there are sure to be bad outcomes.
      The screen went dark and the sim ended. My partner had shot the suspect twice, once in the head and once in the chest. My finger had never left the trigger guard.

       Our instructor deemed it a justified shooting. The suspect had made a sudden movement, and my partner was scared. It rang hollow and felt flimsy to me. I mean, I get that she was scared. I was too. But I felt like I had all the time in the world to make that life-or-death decision. The gun never swung toward us at all. He might have been preparing to throw it down on the ground. He might have surrendered. But now we’ll never know. Because that guy is dead. My partner killed him. 

       This story is important to me because I learned a few things during that shoot/don’t shoot simulation. The first is that we are all different and will therefore react to these kinds of high-pressure scenarios differently. While everything came into perfect focus for me, my partner’s fear drove her to a split second reaction that I didn’t have. Part of that is training. I’ve fired a gun many times and consider myself highly proficient at that distance. I was confident that I had plenty of time to make and enact the right decision. She was not as confident. Training—repetitive situational training, until one’s responses and reactions become almost reflexive—might help that to some degree. But when it’s not a laser sensitive screen and the people and guns are real, I’m sure it’s a very different thing. Instinctive survival mechanisms kick in. A conscious effort must be made to combat the flight-or-flight response. You can bet there will be adrenalin flowing. Until you’re put in that scenario, there’s no way to know how you might react. But I suspect, just like with my partner and me, some will act upon action and others will act upon their fear. 

     That’s another thing I learned. In being told that the threshold for a “righteous” shooting was fearing for my life, I realized that threshold sits on a very nebulous and sliding scale. It will be different for all cops, based on their training, experiences, confidence, focus and control. And how can anyone be expected to judge an officer’s level of “fear” in a given situation? We must provide more tangible, measurable criteria as to when use of force is justifiable. I’ve heard many times that cops are “held to a higher standard,” but as it pertains to shootings and brutality, that’s not true at all. If any citizen shot a fleeing, unarmed man in the back after a struggle, they’d almost certainly face Murder Two charges. Police, on the other hand, are rarely indicted (much less prosecuted) as their actions are considered within the realm of their duties. But if we are to judge those actions, there must be some way for us to know the circumstances that led to them. Enter body cams. In my view this is an obvious solution, as it provides protection for both citizens and law enforcement alike. If we were able to see the circumstances that led to an officer’s use of force, then we would be in a much better position to determine whether or not their decisions were justified.

     I was also told that officers are permitted to be one degree of threat beyond that of a suspect at any given time. One. If a perpetrator is holding a knife for example, I can have a projectile Taser, or failing that, a gun. If they have a gun in their waistband, I can have my gun in hand. If they have a gun in hand which is not aimed at me, I can have my weapon trained on them. One degree. If that is indeed true, then I must admit some confusion as to how 187 of this year’s victims were shot while unarmed. How does one man with a rock end up with 200 grams of lead inside of him? How does a teenager with no weapon facing multiple officers wind up shot to death?

      I’ll be the first to admit that I’m armchair quarterbacking here. There’s no way I can comprehend every complexity of every scenario—maybe it’s too much to even say that I can comprehend the complexity of any scenario. I’m not a cop. But I am a human being. A human being without extensive training on how to react to potentially dangerous situations. A human being without a number of non-lethal weapons at my disposal. A human being without self-defense, or hand-to-hand combat training. I’m at a disadvantage in all of those ways. And even so, I can’t see myself shooting an unarmed, fleeing suspect in the back several times. If I’m honest about it, I don’t believe my sim partner should have taken those shots. Our suspect did not pose an immediate threat to either of us or anyone else for that matter. A danger, perhaps—but not an imminent threat. And in my view, that must be the measure of every lethal force scenario—are lives in grave peril right now? This very second? If the answer is no, then there are still other options on the table and it is the responsibility of police to work toward a non-violent resolution.
      This issue is clearly very complex. I believe at its heart lie economic factors that are rooted in our society that will not change easily or quickly. I also think the militarization of law enforcement coupled with a lack of reasonable gun ownership regulations has created an escalating pattern of violent outcomes with police over the past several years. But perhaps most to blame is the profound erosion of trust between police and citizens. Thanks to the media, we forget that the vast majority of police are good people who have a potentially dangerous job to do. And every now and again, they forget that we’re not at war with one another. Our lives don’t matter less or more than theirs, and their job is to preserve life—all life—if at all possible.

      I do think that cops in the U.S. are sometimes too quick to resort to deadly force when there are other alternatives available to them. I feel that there needs to be a tangible hierarchy of police tactics and responses and exhaustive re-training of our law enforcement officers in those procedures. Then someday, if we’re smart enough to endeavor for more equality (in all of its forms) and start reducing our reliance on firepower as a solution, I believe we can begin to restore the kind of trust we see in Norway and Australia and England. Places where police related killings are the rare exception and where cops who don’t even carry guns still feel perfectly safe among the people they serve.

Let’s hope.

*I chose to use intentional homicide rates as a measure here because it is static and means the same thing in all countries, whereas “violent crime” has different definitions in other countries and cannot be compared quite so easily.

 DJ Schuettewww.djschuette.com

Sources:

The Counted (The Guardian)

GINI Index (Quandl)

Crime Statistics (NationMaster)

Police Use of Force: The Impact of Less-Lethal Weapons and Tactics (Philip Bulman, NIJ)

5 Countries Where Police Officers Do Not Carry Firearms—and it Works Well (Rick Noack, Washington Post)
     

 

 
       

 

 

          

 

     

 

 

 

     

 

 

 

 

Black Lives Matter…..Well, they do don’t they?

  

  

  


By: DJ Schuette 

http://www.djschuette.com

 It borders on absurd that it’s even necessary to write this particular post, but there are so, so many people out there incessantly raging against the Black Lives Matter movement that I felt I must. Every day, I see posts calling their members “racists,” emphatic proclamations of “All Lives Matter,” and pictures of police officers with “Their Lives Matter” emblazoned on them in some way, as if it’s become a competition to determine whose lives matter most. I should confess, for the record, that I was—until very recently—one of those “All Lives Matter” guys. But my opinion on the subject has evolved, so I encourage you to at least consider the content of this post before deciding one way or another. Maybe you’ll see things from a different perspective in a few minutes.

My own “aha!” moment came to me while reading a rather brilliant reddit post by user GeekAesthete (which you can read here if you wish). In short, it asks you to imagine that you’re at dinner with your family and your father is dishing everyone’s food, but leaves your plate empty. You say, “Hey Dad, I should get some.” In response, your father corrects you by saying “Everyone should get some.” That sentiment is true, and really, supports your very point—that everyone (including you) should get to enjoy dinner. But Dad’s response utterly rejected your concern without doing anything whatsoever to remedy it. Meanwhile, you’re starving and your still empty plate is a testament to just how little he cares. 

I’ve seen other fine examples floating around on the Internet: if I were to say “Save the Whales,” that in no way implies that I don’t care about dolphins, sharks, and stingrays; but if I were to instead say “Save All Marine Life,” how would you know that the whales are endangered? Another: Your house is burning down and someone is spraying water on a nearby home that isn’t on fire, with the caption “All Houses Matter.” By responding to BLM with “All Lives Matter”, we’re effectively saying that we don’t care if your house burns to the ground, as long as mine doesn’t. We’re refusing to even acknowledge the issue, are (conveniently) dismissing the concerns of people who are plainly in crisis, and who are already being singled out by our society and justice system.

The BLM movement has never stated (nor ever suggested) that other lives don’t matter. It’s not the “No Lives But Black Lives Matter” movement. I have yet to hear anyone chanting “Black lives matter more than yours!” If that were the case, I might understand people taking such exception. Instead, it’s very simply and succinctly stating a fact: black lives matter. And they do, right? If we can’t even agree on that much, then you need to take a good hard look in the mirror, because the person staring back at you is almost certainly a racist.

Some argue that the BLM moniker is itself racist—that it sows further division among us because it segregates one group from the whole. They feel that it would be more acceptable if the name were “Black Lives Matter Too.” Maybe it would seem more inclusive to some if it were stated that way, and BLM and their supporters wouldn’t constantly have to defend such a silly litany of semantic arguments. And they are silly. Do black lives matter? Yes or no? It’s not a trick question. It’s not “do black lives matter more than everyone else’s?” But, but but… No buts. So let me ask you again. Do black lives matter, or do they not?

Perhaps you’d feel better if we used the even more inclusive “All Lives Matter,” though that utterly fails to address the concerns of the black community. Or perhaps you’ll respond with “Cops Lives Matter,” as if those of us that support BLM are not also capable of supporting law enforcement. I’ve recently even heard some suggest that they should start a “White Lives Matter” group to counter the “reverse racism” that BLM perpetuates (this is at it’s core, ridiculous, since protesters of all races are welcomed to join Black Lives Matter rallies). Do white lives matter? Sure. If you want to start a movement based on that, knock yourself out. But white lives have always mattered in this country, so starting a WLM campaign would be petty and pointless and insensitive. Do all lives matter? Absolutely. And guess what? Included in that “all” are black lives. In saying “all lives matter,” you’ve just inherently agreed with the BLM movement. You’re actually on the same team—you’re just refusing to play because you don’t like the team name, and that, quite honestly, is a fine bit of ignorance. And what about cops? Do blue lives matter? Of course they do. But again, how does saying black lives matter suggest that police lives don’t? Why is BLM suddenly a siege on law enforcement? 

Many, including Fox News (that bastion of reporting integrity), point to an admittedly unfortunate chant (“Pigs in a blanket, fry em like bacon”) that took place at a BLM march recently as evidence of the racist, anti-cop, and potentially violent nature of the movement. It was sad to see that side come out of what otherwise amounted to a peaceful display of civil disobedience. I too was disappointed. But then I was reminded that there are bad people in every group—police, the church, protesters, white people—who have their own agendas, and want something that isn’t necessarily compatible with the message the rest are trying to convey. There are pedophile priests; should we therefore condemn the entire Catholic faith? There are a handful of bad cops out there—but that doesn’t mean that the overwhelming majority of them aren’t incredibly brave and kind men and women doing a sometimes dangerous and often thankless job of serving and protecting the public. Sometimes peaceful protests get out of control because an unruly few instigate and fuel riots and looting. (Some people really do just want to watch the world burn). The few—as bad as they may seem—can’t be used as a barometer to judge the whole. So while I freely admit the chant was vile and unfortunate, I have to remember that the content of that chant is not the message that BLM portrays—which is, simply, that black lives matter. Their goal is to create awareness and to attempt to correct a society and justice system that consistently appears to deem black lives as less valuable than those of others. 

Fox News and many police officials have also latched on to the tragic murder of a Texas sheriff’s deputy at the hands of a black man as further evidence of the violent nature of BLM, and have now gone so far as to label them as a “hate group.” It is important to separate fact from fiction here, however. There is absolutely NO evidence that the killing was in any way related to the Black Lives Matter movement. While they would have you believe that BLM is inspiring violence against cops, police deaths have gone DOWN since the inception of BLM in 2013. There is precisely zero correlation between BLM and increased violence against police officers. There has however, been an increase of police lethal force cases the past few years. Last year 1106 deaths came at the hands of police. This year, we’re on track for 1100. There have been 1070 (more than 200 of those unarmed) so far in 2015. Of those, 25% of the victims were black, yet the black population is less than 13%. Without even speculating what the reasons may be, the simple fact is that black people are being killed by the police at a rate DOUBLE their population. If you want to see the live up-to-the-minute information, take a look at The Counted. It’s truly eye opening. Every. Eight. Hours.

Still other detractors use the argument that there are black people who disagree with the BLM campaign in principle. Of course there are. Some southern black people supported the right to fly the confederate flag on government grounds, despite the fact that it was seen as hurtful to millions of others. Some don’t feel that the team name “Redskins” is at all offensive, while others find it racist and insensitive. Nothing will ever have the complete support of any group­—we are all individuals with our own ideas and influences and experiences. But that does not mean that we should ever stop trying to do right by our country’s people, and provide all of them with respect and an equitable chance to succeed.

I agree it’s sad that we still have to have these conversations in 2015. But we do. Nothing will ever change if we don’t acknowledge that there is a problem and damn well do something about it. Saying “All Lives Matter,” doesn’t allow black people to ask why they’re being killed more often by police. It doesn’t allow them to ask for change in their communities. It shuts them down, and makes them feel as if their concerns don’t matter. It suggests that we still place less value on their lives than other lives. And it implies that WE DON’T CARE.

 

So to all of you still saying “All Lives Matter,” stop. Just fucking stop.

And listen.

White Rage: Poll Finds that Whites, Republicans Are the Angriest Americans, while Blacks, the Victims of Racism are Least Angry

  
January 4, 2016

By: David Love

White people are angry, and a poll says they are the angriest in America. It looks as if white America, collectively, is crying white tears.
According to a new NBC News/Survey Monkey/Esquire online poll about outrage in the country, 49 percent of Americans are angry. But not all anger is equally distributed. It turns out that 54 percent of whites are angry, followed by Latinos at 43 percent, and African-Americans at 33 percent. Further, while 73 percent of whites said they get angry at least once a day, 66 percent of Latinos and 56 percent of Blacks responded the same way.
And women (53 percent) are angrier than men (44 percent), with 58 percent of white women saying they are angry, as opposed to 44 percent of Black and Brown women.
Another revealing result of this study is that Republicans are angrier than Democrats, as 61 percent—as opposed to 42 percent of Democrats—say they are angrier than a year ago. According to the poll, Republicans cite Congress and consumer fraud as the issues that set them off the most, while Democrats point to the police shooting of unarmed Black men.
In addition, the poll reveals a sentiment in the loss of the so-called “American dream,” with a majority of people finding it hard to get ahead and saying they are worse off. Middle-aged Americans were found to be the most pessimistic. Not surprisingly, the least angry were those earning higher than $150,000, while the angriest earned below $15,000.
It is curious that those who should be the angriest, however, are the least angry. That, of course, would be Black people. After all, Black folks are the ones who are hunted down, the runaway slaves who pose a constant threat of insurrection in the mind of whites. Black people are the scapegoated and the criminalized, the repository for white insecurity, the personification of white fear, angst, resentment and rage. And as the identified enemy, we pay the price for it in a variety of ways.
At present, we are witnessing white anger playing itself out in the rise of the neo-fascist xenophobe Donald Trump. The rage is rearing its ugly head in all of its grandiosity and dysfunction in Burns, Oregon, where an armed white militia has occupied a federal building, and vows to stay there for years, and kill or be killed. Exactly what is going on here?
It appears there is a confluence of events and circumstances, with the first Black president, and a nation that is becoming increasingly Black and Brown, particularly because Black and Brown people are soon to be a majority. Things were not supposed to be this way, as the idealized, homogeneous America of the 1950s when Black folks were invisible, except when cleaning white folks’ homes or hanging from a tree, is gone.

In the mind of the angry white man, sharing the nation with people of a darker hue, with those whose native language is other than English, and who are not Christian is unacceptable.
Meanwhile, when Black people, who have suffered for the centuries they’ve been in America, receive even a modicum of justice, just a taste of what has been denied to us, whites respond with rage and a feeling something was taken away from them. In comes the white tears, the hurt feelings, the insecurity, an unwarranted feeling of white persecution, of being aggrieved for something Black folks supposedly did.
As Damon Young wrote in The Root, this irrational fear among whites that they lose out when Blacks gain anything has had dangerous, violent consequences for Black people throughout history. For example, the Ku Klux Klan was a direct response to the political and economic gains of Black people following in the post-Civil War reconstruction era.
“It [has] white people so upset that this still relatively small percentage of the population had made some incremental progress, and so threatened by that thought, that they created a terrorist organization to quell it,” Young wrote.
Fareed Zakaria made an excellent point in the Washington Post—whites are in self-destructive mode. They are killing themselves, with mortality rates rising, as rates of death for Blacks and Latinos are declining steadily. The main causes of death among whites, are suicide, alcoholism, and drug overdoses, brought on by depression, despair and stress, particularly among uneducated whites.
Moreover, this is not being experienced in other countries. Zakaria attributes this to the fact that people of color “might not expect that their income, standard of living and social status are destined to steadily improve. They don’t have the same confidence that if they work hard, they will surely get ahead.” He added that “after hundreds of years of slavery, segregation and racism, blacks have developed ways to cope with disappointment and the unfairness of life: through family, art, protest speech and, above all, religion.”
As the poll indicates, white people are angry and they direct their anger against the least angry, those victims of white supremacy who should have the most to be angry about. Welcome to America.

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Atlanta Black Star

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