Sunday, August 17, 2014

Some Call It "Justice," I Just Call It "Looting"

The events surrounding the shooting incident between adult Michael Brown (he was 18--a man in the eyes of the law--but media outlets insist on calling him a "teen") and Ferguson police officer Darren Williams have made it very clear that there is still a race problem in America.

I don't believe that anyone thought for a second that racism had vanished from the hearts and minds of all Americans, but let's face it: America has come a long way since segregation.  As far as we've come, race tensions still hold fast.  However, the race issues of the 21st century are not your grandma's race issues.  The problem today is that any time a non-black person kills a black person, the immediate assumption is that the killing was racially motivated.

Allow me to illustrate my point.  It's pretty safe to assume that just about everyone is aware of the Trayvon Martin - George Zimmerman case; and now it's likely that most Americans are aware of the Michael Brown and Darren Williams case.  But how many people know about the case of Robert Arnold and James Whitehead?

I never heard about it until today.  Apparently, it was not a big deal, because when I attempted to conduct research on this incident, I couldn't find any information about it on any of the major news outlets.  Low-hanging fruit I suppose.

At any rate, Robert Arnold was an Orange County Police captain who shot James Whitehead, an Iraq War veteran, in an O'Reilly's Autoparts parking lot.  Arnold is black, Whitehead is white.  Arnold was off duty, and was at the store.  Whitehead was getting into a verbal altercation with a store employee because the part he bought didn't work.  Arnold attempted to stop the altercation, and he asked Whitehead to step outside.  A verbal altercation ensues, and Whitehead is physical enough without actually attacking Arnold that Arnold felt the need to draw his off-duty gun.

Long story short, Arnold shoots Whitehead.  All accounts indicate that Whitehead was an asshole, but all accounts indicate that Whitehead was trying to leave while Arnold prevented him from leaving.

My point is, a black, off-duty, police officer shoots and kills an unarmed white man, and the nation does not hear so much as a peep about it.  Where were the race riots?  Where was the burning and looting of businesses?  Where was the civil rights investigation?

The race problem in America is that whenever a black person is shot by a non-black, the African American community surrounding that particular victim attempts to pain the victim as some sort of saintly angel who was just innocently strolling down the street until an evil, sadistic, racist white guy rode up to brutally execute the victim.  Nevermind that in both of these cases--Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown--that both victims had a history of violence and social deviance.

Hell, there is a video showing Michael Brown robbing a convenience store the same day he the incident with Officer Williams took place.  Are we honestly supposed to believe that an officer with no prior record of violence--with no complaints against him at all, and who had just recently received a medal for exemplary service in the line of duty--just got mad at a kid that punked him and decided to execute him in full view of "witnesses"?  Or is it more plausible that Michael Brown--a man who had just violently robbed a convenience store that same day--engaged in a physical altercation with an officer of the law?

Regardless of what happened, many African Americans in Ferguson felt the need to start burning and looting local businesses.  Some report that it's out-of-towners doing all of the damage, but the crowds of rioters--by all reports--are predominantly black.  The same people calling for "justice" think that justice comes in the form of committing crimes against innocent citizens.

They call for justice, they call for greater equality, and non-blacks are left asking them "how much more equality do you want?!"  Non-blacks are already passed over for job offers and promotions because of Affirmative Action.  Being white does not get you preferential treatment for college acceptance, but being not-white can get you to the head of the line.  Whenever a black person kills a white person, we don't hear so much as a peep.  But when a white person kills a black person, it makes national headlines.

The race problem is that all whites--whenever they make a decision that adversely affects a person of color--are accused of being racist.  Well guess what: that is racist.  If I stated that "every black male is a gangsta thug niggah," I would immediately be branded a racist.  If a black person says that "every white male is a racist cracka," everyone just agrees and moves on.

The riots and the looting should be evidence that many calling for justice and equality don't even really understand those concepts.  They're using events like the Michael Brown shooting as an excuse to literally do as they please under the guise of "peaceful protest."  As if it couldn't be any more ridiculous, they then complain about being tear gassed as they burn down the convenience store that Michael Brown robbed.  A man gets robbed, and so his store gets burned down.

Yeah, that's justice alright!

5 comments:

Joe Markowitz said...

First of all, let's try not to lump all the protesters together. Yes, there are some looters among them. There are always opportunists taking advantage of a situation. But when you use the word "they" without making clear who you are referring to, you are engaged in guilt by association, and you are tarnishing all of the protesters with the actions of the looters. Among the protesters, there were also many who were actually helping guard stores against looters. Why not mention that?

Second of all, the obvious reason why events like this one, as problematical as it might be, and as similar to any other police shooting as it might be, resonate with the black community is that they do feel victimized and discriminated against in countless ways. Whether you think those feelings are justified or not, you still have to recognize that they exist. The shooting of a Michael Brown is just the trigger for a wave of resentment and anger. Those feelings need to be dealt with, not mocked.

Jack Camwell said...

Joe,

The problem is that many in the African American community use every instance of white on black violence as an example of white racists. And the sad part is that they will believe any number of lies to perpetuate those feelings they have.

Take Trayvon Martin for example. This was a kid who was, by all objective accounts, a trouble maker. He dressed like one, he acted like one. Yet, when he was shot, despite the fact that many witnesses saw Trayvon Martin beating the shit out of Zimmerman, the African Americans in Martin's community tried to paint the kid as some innocent little saint. You never saw pictures of him with his grill piece in mainstream media outlets. You rarely heard how he refers to white people as "cracka's." All you heard and saw was that some sweet, innocent child was mercilessly gunned down by some crazed white (although he is Hispanic) lunatic.

Same deal here. Michael Brown's family try to say that he is just some good kid who was so excited to go to college . . . and then we see a video of him fucking ROBBING A CONVENIENCE STORE on the same damn day he was shot. And then people get mad that the video of Michael Brown COMMITTING A CRIME was released.

I will ask again, what is more plausible? Is it more plausible that an officer of the law ordered a man to the ground in the middle of a street and proceeded to execute the man IN PLAIN VIEW OF EVERYONE AROUND? Or is it more plausible that man who, earlier that day, demonstrated his propensity for violent crime actually initiated violence against the cop, making the cop feel as though he had no choice but to open fire?

Mind you, the cop does not have a history of violence or complaints against him.

Just because they all feel like white people are racist doesn't mean that their feelings are valid. This is a result of generations of inculcation from their families and fellow African American "leaders" that whenever a white person does something to a black person, it's always racial.

Joe Markowitz said...

There you go again. When you use the word "they" without making clear who you are referring to, you are engaged in stereotyping and then you are defeating whatever point you are trying to make. Worse than stereotyping. What you're doing when you talk about "they," is you are saying that "they" are different from "us." What you have to remember, if you don't want people to think you are a racist, is that there is no "they." There is only "us." We are all in this together.

Jack Camwell said...

C'mon Joe, I know you are capable of using context. When I say "they" you know that I don't mean every single black person in America.

When I say "they" I mean the ignorant fools that use false claims of racism in order to perpetuate their victim status.

I'm not stereotyping, because the "they" that I'm talking about are the people starting the riots and calling Darren Williams a racist.

The "they" that I am referring to ARE different from me. Not because of their skin color, but because of their ridiculous insistance that I am racist because I'm white.

"They" are different from me because I will not start a god damned riot and commit a crime out of some asinine purported sense of "justice."

"They" are different from me because "they" only care when a white cop shoots an unarmed black man, but they don't give two shits when a black cop shoots an unarmed white man.

Joe, you know damn well that I'm no racist. Calling me out for my use of the word "they" is a ridiculous sidestep of the issue at hand considering when I use the personal pronoun "they", you know that I am referring to specific groups of people, not African Americans as a whole.

AHB said...

I present a fraction of my personal moral code, a quote from Star Trek:

"With the first link, the chain is forged. The first speech censored...the first thought forbidden...the first freedom denied – chains us all, irrevocably."

I have problems with things both of you have said:

Jackie, along the lines of what Joe said and admittedly a small grievance and probably misunderstood but here goes: <95% of the protesters are peaceful. Only a small handful of fucks are doing the looting, taunting, and asshat things.

You are right, there are a lot of people coming from out of town to "capitalize" as it were, there were reports of gangs from as far as oakland showing up and starting shit last night, and that is where the shit is brewing, these people who showed up for the sole purpose of tearing shit up.

I agree that it is dumbass clownshoes shit they are doing, however I don't think it's the locals stoking the flames of violence, it's the opportunistic fucks who literally have nothing better to do.

Joe, I wholeheartedly disagree with you on the whole "us" thing, because the truth of the matter is Jackie is right, it's only racist when the "victim" is a minority.

I keep going back to Channon Christian, because that shit is disturbing as fuck and has stuck with me.

Tell me, how in the fuck is what happened to Brown, Martin, or even Garner in any sane world remotely close to what happened to Channon Christian and Chris Newsom?

Until that version of "Us" is heard, I am afraid you are just spinning your wheels on this issue Joe.

If I was grand arbiter, I would eliminate hate crimes as a thing. I would change a lot about our Justice system, and that would be pretty much near the top of the list. Actually treating everyone as equal in the eyes of the law will go a long way towards equality.

Ok, on more of a general note:

Where I live in Columbus, there are PLENTY of black people around, of all different varieties. Most of them are decent people who aren't on the dole, keep their family unit together, and aren't out peddling crack or some other shit.

Now, in other parts of Columbus, that shit is rampant... and it only occurs for the most part in the minority dominated areas, like Weber Rd. You have the gun crazy asian people, the weed and stereo boosting mexican crowd, and your typical black gang bullshit drug pusher and armed robbery shenanigans.

I am not saying whitey don't do the same shit, because I know some who do, what I am saying is, there is a reason the stereotype exists, it wasn't just pulled out of the air.

Black families that stay together with both parents do better than all other minorities and in most cases better than whites... so don't feel too sorry for them. IF they get their shit together, there are no boundaries or limits on what they can do.

What is dooming black people is their culture and it's effect on destroying their family unit, plain and simple. It isn't whitey, it's THEM. (Yes I used that word)

Now, I am not going to sit here and say there isn't some racism, because I know better, but that is a two-way fucking street, and until that shit is acknowledged we will continue to have a fucking problem.