One newspaper and one news service, they just keep saying, ‘Oh, it’s a disproportionate percentage of a particular ethnic group.’ That may be. But it’s not a disproportionate percentage of those who witnesses and victims describe as committing the murders....
In that case, incidentally, I think, we disproportionately stop whites too much and minorities too little,” the mayor said. “It’s exactly the reverse of what they’re saying. I don’t know where they went to school, but they certainly didn’t take a math course, or a logic course.How tres stupide of us not to have noticed all those Wall Street suits getting rousted by the cops as they strolled over to Club Cipriani for their flutes of post-predatory champagne.
Bloomberg was just erupting in yet another one of his fits of plutocratic pique last week when the City Council voted to rein in Stop & Frisk. Hizzoner is vowing to veto the measures despite the fact that they passed by a large enough majority to be veto-proof. He and his enforcer, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, plan to strong-arm the civil rights advocates on the Council to change their minds and vote against the override of his overreach. One of the measures makes it easier for those stopped and groped for no other reason than their race to sue the police department. The other calls for an Inspector General to oversee the entire department. As Council Member Letitia James put it, "Today, we are striking a blow against a practice which has become a perverse right of passage for all young men of color in the City of New York."
Michael Bloomberg disguises his own racism by going the centrist cult false equivalence route:
In Washington, some elected officials don't have the courage to stand up against special interest groups on the right and pass common-sense gun laws. And in New York City, some don't have the courage to stand up to special interests on the left and support common-sense policing tactics like stop-and-frisk. We don't need extremists on the left or the right running our police department, whether its the NRA or the NYCLU.
The attacks most often come from people who play no constructive role in keeping our city safe, but rather view their jobs as pointing fingers from the steps of City Hall. Some of them scream that they know better than you how to run the department. Some have even sued the NYPD and demanded a federal monitor over NYPD operations. They've also drafted politically driven legislation that is a reaction to two NYPD practices: Stop, Question and Frisk; and counter-terrorism intelligence gathering.The counter-terrorism intelligence gathering to which the Shrillionaire Mayor refers is the police spy operation against Muslims (with the cooperation of the CIA) also subject to a lawsuit in federal court. The New York Times has quite an extensive archive on S&F here.
It's all part and parcel of the demonization of those who dare criticize creeping state totalitarianism at all levels. Complain, demand your civil rights, and you're instantly labeled an anti-American anarchist. Bloomberg's words eerily echo what one of my New York Times comment board stalkers treated me to yesterday when I complained, in response to a Timothy Egan column, about President Obama's abysmal human rights record and the wimpy Democrats. Here's what "Jack - Illinois" told me:
Your kind offers nothing to middle class Americans whose survival depend on the demise of the tea party. Your kind's take down of President Obama does nothing for millions of Americans who look to the reforms of ACA as a start to a better future when they contemplate their medical futures.
If any politician would adopt these extremist views it would be a guaranteed loss for the middle class, as the political reality is that any extremist view dies in America.
I am happy that President Obama stiff arms the extreme left wing. Because if he kowtowed to the extreme left wing it would only mean more suffering for the middle class. I can't remember any instance that the extreme left wing helped the middle class because I believe that there is no instance.
The extreme left wing has done nothing for healthcare reform. The extreme left wing has done nothing for banking and finance reform. The extreme left wing has done nothing for immigration reform. Don't think that someone like Cesar Chavez was some kind of wild eyed radical. He was a worker, farmer, who knew families that were depending on him to bring change into their lives. Chavez had to compromise to achieve his goals, as does Obama.Normally I ignore Jack - Illinois (OFA Truth Squad?), whose sole assignment seems to be to search out all the anti-Obama remarks and go on the pre-approved talking point attack. But I and a few others really got into it with him yesterday. In later remarks, he called me "You People," while ironically claiming ownership of such icons as Martin Luther King Jr. and Cesar Chavez. The smell of centrist cult desperation and the stench of racism hidden under the perfumed miasma of liberalism is getting pretty foul out there.
And of course, no post about racism would be complete without noting an epidemic of concern troll commentary about the star witness in the ongoing George Zimmerman case, a young lady named Rachel Jeantel. I watched her testimony, which I found to be a refreshing marvel of passive-aggressive defiance. But here's a sampling of what the same people who decry the racism of George Zimmerman and the Sanford Police Department are saying about Rachel Jeantel:
She seems to have a cognitive disorder (frequent commenter on a "liberal" news aggregation site that shall not be named.)
Dark-skinned and plus-sized: Headline in Salon.com article that was actually quite supportive of the witness.
We never claimed this was about race.... It’s not about racial profiling. He (Trayvon) was profiled (criminally). George Zimmerman profiled him.” -- Martin family attorney Daryl Park. (reflecting Post-
racial denialism disorder.)
Nor would a post about race be complete without noting once again what a great big ugly piece of "sweeping" legislation the Senate Immigration Bill really is. Despite being almost universally lauded as a sunburst of feel-good bipartisanship because it marks yet another notch in President Obama's legacy belt, it is rife with de facto racism. It's all about the continued exploitation of undocumented workers, and a giant leap forward into neo-feudalism. Presente. Org., the country's largest immigration advocacy group, says that far from being welcoming, this legislation will actually cause people to die. (if the bill itself doesn't die first in the recalcitrant House.)
More than a third of the current population of "illegal" immigrants will not be included in reform. (echoes of ObamaCare!) Border security will cost $40 billion -- money that could be better spent for education, infrastructure and other safety net programs. Deportations (which have already reached record numbers under Obama) will continue, and the private prison system will expand to accommodate those swept up by the draconian "Secure Communities" dragnet. Those granted a path to citizenship will lose their status if they lose their jobs and remain unemployed for more than 60 days. U.S. citizens will no longer be able to petition for their siblings. Mandatory E-verify will eventually sweep everybody up in the security state dragnet.
And last but not least, the outrage over the Supreme Court's gutting of the Voting Rights Act lasted all of 24 hours before being quickly cancelled out by a epidemic of cheers over the victories for gay marriage. New York Times columnist Charles Blow wrote an excellent, albeit measured, piece about the disparity, calling for a joining of forces of the gay rights and civil rights activist communities:
One movement for equality had its spirits lifted and another had them crushed.
But the truth is that these movements are not wholly dissimilar. All combatants for justice are cousins. Jim Crow and Jim Queer are of a kind. So, given what happened on the racial civil rights front this week, the LGBT civil rights movement would be wise to take heed.
I sincerely believe that in my lifetime, gay marriage will be legal in the whole of the country. But it is unlikely that the LGBT community will become more than a minority group. I also know that the changing of laws does not work in tandem with the changing of hearts, which means that minority groups are always vulnerable. When the laws change, some things simply become subterfuge. In striking down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote, “things have changed dramatically.” But I submit that so have certain tactics.
Just ask black civil rights leaders still fighting a huge prison industrial complex, police policies like stop-and-frisk and predatory lending practices. Ask women’s rights leaders still fighting for equal pay, defending a woman’s right to sovereign authority of her own body — including full access to a wide range of reproductive options. Ask pro-immigration groups fighting a wave of anti-immigrant sentiment.As I wrote in response to Charles Blow,
The Court simply delivered the coup de grace to voting rights, which have been under ever-increasing attack wherever growing minority populations are threatening GOP rule. Photo ID requirements, moving polling places without notice, closing them altogether.... the disenfranchisement bag of tricks is bottomless. The Ku Klux Kourt, as Greg Palast calls it, made it a bit easier for the festering right wing to spread its poison until the inevitable day when it succumbs to its own vile infection.
Gay rights, on the other hand, did stand half a chance and barely squeaked by the rabid Catholicism of Antonin Scalia. Marriage equality advocates simply have more political clout than do brown and black people, who have suffered disproportionately during the recession. The people hurt by the trashing of voting rights have no lobbyists, or cable TV political strategists, or fund-raising email lists with which to plead their own cases.
Even the Koch Brothers hopped aboard the marriage rights bandwagon. Gay marriage never would have passed in New York without the blessing of Wall Street, home to many a self-interested plutocrat with gay friends or relatives. When wealthy same-sex couples are allowed to marry, they get to take advantage of a whole slew of tax breaks.
The trashing of voting rights is all about the continued oppression of the poor and working people. The trashing of DOMA, on the other hand, is no skin off the raised elite noses of the people actually running the show.In the end, it's really all about the money. The getting of it, the keeping of it, the making sure that it remains protected from the grasp of common hands. Money begets power begets more money begets more power. It's a Winner Take All world. And it's getting really ugly out there.