WAKE UP WHITE PEOPLE

There is a serious problem going on in America today.And if good white people do not realize the issues facing our country today and do not wake up, they will be dooming us to failure.

So what are the urgent problems that caused me to utilize a slogan typically used by white supremacist assholes? The problems are the issue of racism, the existence of multiple systems of justice in this country, ignoring your privilege, and those people who are not seeking to fix those three problems in a meaningful way.

In Charlotte last week another mass murder happened. It was another example of a white person going on a killing spree and getting arrested with no harm done to him. Tamir Rice, a black child waiving a toy gun in a park, was rolled up on and shot immediately without any warning. He had not killed anybody. But he died at the hands of police. John Crawford III was in a Walmart with a pellet gun. The police were called. In the middle of the first warning to drop the weapon, an officer raised his and killed another black man. Again, this was a black man who had killed nobody and had not shown himself to be a threat to anyone. Regardless, he is dead.

Yet the shooter in Charleston proved himself to be a danger to others. When apprehended no harm came to him. In fact, it is now being reported that the police brought Roof to Burger King to get a bit to eat on the way to prison. Granted, some might suggest that such a meal might amount to torture. But Freddie Grey died on his way to Jail in Baltimore. Why shouldn’t we view our system of justice as a fractured one?

Want more examples of multiple systems of justice in this country? Look at the black man who was submitting to arrest peacefully who got a kick in the head for his compliance. White men can openly carry and a police officer asks polite questions of them. Black men cannot. Jimmy Joe Berggren reached into a cop car in a police station and grabbed an AR 15 and was arrested and charged after being told three times to put the gun down. Do you believe a black man doing that would have also been arrested and called a “gentleman” by officers? Or do you believe he would have been shot on sight.

When black people do things that are wrong, we often hear that they need to be introspective on how the black community may have contributed to the actions of one bad actor. However, when white people do wrong, they are allowed to be the only one blamed. Nobody asks white communities to look inward at the harm their actions could cause. Nobody asks white Americans to take any sort of responsibility in how their actions (or inaction) leads to violence by other whites. And I think I have figured out why. Society views whiteness as “good”. And if whiteness is good then it must not be the fault of other whites if something goes wrong with one. It must be an exception. But society views blackness as bad. Black people are considered guilty until proven innocent. So if a black person does wrong, it must be because he is a product of his environment. This is one of the major problems in society that white people need to wake up to .

So what can good white people do to wake up? This is not an exhaustive list but it is a good start.

A) Listen. When someone says that something you, or someone else, said (or did) was hurtful and racist, don’t automatically get defensive. Take a moment and try to understand what the other person is feeling. Recognize that the life experiences of that other person and yours are not likely to match. As such that person may react differently to things that you may find tame. I am not saying you have to agree with the other person all the time. But if you take the time to listen and try to understand, you may find that you get along better. You might also learn something.

B) Accept your privilege and work to fight it. You should not, as a white person, feel guilty for being born white. It is not your fault that you have the privilege of being white (and as such you are less likely to be stopped and frisked because of your race by a police officer, you are less likely to be pulled over for driving while black, and you are less likely in general to be treated as guilty until proven innocent by the police). When someone says you have privilege, it is because other people do not. And while you are not to blame for having privilege or even benefiting from it, you are to blame if you sit back and do nothing. You are to blame if you do not work to fix the system that perpetuates that certain people will have road blocks placed in their way simply because of the nature of their birth.

And finally the last suggestion I have is to make their problem your problem. Our country will never fully be united as long as white people continue to look at problems that happen to minorities as problems that happen to those other people. If another person of color is shot and killed, take it personally. Say “one of my people was shot and killed today” and when people ask what you mean by “your people” say “a human being”. White people are the most capable of effecting this sort of change. Why? Because when persons of color try to move that boulder, they are downhill from that rock. They are pushing that rock uphill. White people who do not work to fix the problem are basically pushing the rock down hill, a much easier task (and one that will roll over all those trying to push). But if those entrenched white people also help pull from their dug in positions, the rock is more easily moved and it enables other people to reach the high ground. So this is why you, good white people, need to take the responsibility and fight for what your country should be, and that is a place where all people are treated equally and fairly.

Signed,

A white guy .

Why run from the cops?

It is a question that many a white person will ask when they see a black person fleeing from the police. I will admit that I used to ask this question myself. Doesn’t running from the police make it worse for the person running? If you just cooperated with the police then you would be treated  justly and fairly because you give the police nothing to act badly on. Right?

Well, if you have thought these things in the last week or so after the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson then you are looking at the situation through your rose colored classes of privilege. As a white person you likely have never been stopped by police for “jaywalking”. In fact you have likely never been stopped and frisked. You have likely never been pulled over in a nice neighborhood and asked if you belonged. As a white person you are likely approached calmly and rationally by a member of law enforcement when you are stopped for routine items like broken taillights, running stop signs and speeding. White people have every reason to cooperate with law enforcement. Getting a ticket may suck but it is not a huge deal in the grand scheme of things.

The treatment of a young black male by many in law enforcement is much different. I cannot know this via my personal experience. I can only open my eyes, remove my privileged glasses, and see what happens to people who are darker complected than myself. What I see is not a pretty picture. And that picture is completed with the recent shooting of Michael Brown. Evidence points to Brown running away from the car and being shot at while 35 feet away. I am not sure where in the police handbook where it states an individual with his back to you 35 feet away is justification to use deadly force. If getting captured by a police officer means that you have the possibility of being beaten up and potentially killed by that police officer and if none of that happens you then have a chance at being railroaded through a judicial system that is biased against you, the question shouldn’t be why run from the cops. The question should be, why wouldn’t you run from the cops?

The bottom line is this, if I had to put myself in the shoes of persons who are black and was then pulled over by the police, I would sure as hell hope that they were running shoes because I would want to get the hell out of there as well.

 

Hobby Lobby and The Food Babe share a “brain”.

I have A LOT of thoughts on the horrible Supreme Court ruling pertaining to the oral contraception mandate. This is just one of many posts on it.

In the past I have discussed my issues with the “Food Babe” and her stances that she takes on food. One of the most egregious items was when she said that Subway sandwiches should eliminate a certain chemical from their bread because that same chemical is found in yoga mats and who wants to eat yoga mats? Seriously, she is that stupid. Well, her argument unfortunately worked and Subway caved.

So how is Hobby Lobby like the “Food Babe”? Well, in their argument they are saying that they are opposed to “their money”* being spent on abortifacients. They then claim that these oral contraceptive measures cause abortions. They provide no proof of this. They offer no scientific evidence that these pills cause abortions, They just believe it to be so, much like the Food Babe believes it to be so that you are eating yoga mats when you ate a Subway Sandwich. Just as the Food Babe didn’t provide evidence that the ingredient in the bread was harmful and instead used beliefs to push her agenda, Hobby Lobby never provided evidence that coverage of these pills harms them under their freedom of religion since they never proved abortions are caused by these pills.

These kinds of nitwit arguments are dumbing down our country and they need to stop.

Liberal Dan Radio June 27th, 2013: SCOTUS Recap, Jindal Veto and…. ENRON?!?!?

Thursday June 27th, 2013 on Liberal Dan Radio

Jeffrey Skilling, former Enron executive, was given a reduced sentence last week. You won’t believe why.

A huge week for the Supreme Court this week. I will go into the issues of voting rights and marriage equality and point out the highs and lows of this week’s rulings.

Also, I will be discussing the line item vetos that Louisiana Governor Jindal made to cut needed funding from Louisiana’s children with special needs. On the show I will have activists from the grassroots organization Override The Veto.

Those issues, headlines, words of redneck wisdom, tweet of the week and more, this week on Liberal Dan Radio: Talk from the left, that’s right.

And please remember the Liberal Dan Radio Kickstarter to help fund the show through the year.

You can’t remain silent in order to invoke your right to remain silent.

Read the title. Twice.

The recent Supreme Court ruling Salinas v Texas ruled that if you are not under arrest and you are voluntarily answering some questions the police are posing to you that you cannot just choose to not answer questions and assume you are protected by the fifth amendment. Not only can your answers be used against you (since you are not under arrest) but your silence can be used against you as well. Part of the testimony that convicted Salinas was the fact that he chose to not answer the question on if the shotgun shells would match his gun. He was silent and he nervously fidgeted. His silence was used as evidence of guilt.

Read that last part again. His silence was used against him in court as evidence of his guilt. Isn’t that absurd? And the Conservative Supreme Court ruled that if you are in custody and wish to invoke your fifth amendment right to remain silent that you must SAY that you are invoking your fifth amendment rights.

YOU ARE REQUIRED TO NOT BE SILENT IN ORDER TO INVOKE YOUR RIGHT TO REMAIN SILENT!

When you are under arrest you are presumed to not know your right to remain silent and as such must be read your rights and told that you have the right to remain silent and that whatever you say can be used against you in a court of law. In Berghuis v. Thompkins a similar requirement to specifically invoke your fifth amendment right to remain silent was ruled on. But at least in that case the person knew that you were under arrest and was read (and understood) the Miranda rights. So why is it that when you are under questioning by police officers while not under arrest that you are all of a sudden assumed to know what your rights are and that in order to invoke those rights you have to state that you are invoking them? People not under arrest perfectly know their rights but people under arrest magically must be told them? That makes no sense.

This is why it is vital that you know what to do if the police want to question you. I have nothing but respect for people who put themselves at risk by serving in law enforcement. However, that doesn’t mean I need to make things easy for them if they believe I may be involved in some sort of crime. If you are being questioned, the only thing you should ask if you are free to go. If you are, just walk away peacefully. If not, you are considered to be under arrest and the only thing you should do is ask to speak to a lawyer. Anything else and you risk incriminating yourself. The “I shot the clerk” scene in My Cousin Vinny should be a good, if comical, look at what might happen if you don’t follow these simple rules.

That advice was sound advice before this ruling though. Now? It is even more vital.

Liberal Dan Radio 06/13/2013: Kickstart My Heart!

Whoa! YEAH!

On tonight’s show of Liberal Dan Radio I will discuss Edward Snowden. Is he a traitor? Is he a hero? Is he even relevant and is there a bigger story here? Is there a difference between Facebook collecting your data and the US Government doing it?

Also, the privatization of prisons is big money. As it turns out, it is also big money for the judges who send the kids there. Find out what (finally) happened to a judge in PA who did just that.

And finally, I will discuss the Liberal Dan Radio Kickstarter. What it means for you and how you can help the show.

All that, headlines, tweet of the week, words of redneck wisdom and more, tonight on Liberal Dan Radio: Talk From the Left, That’s Right!

UPDATE: SCOTUS made a ruling today about the ability to patent DNA. I will definitely be discussing this ruling as well.