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Thursday, October 27, 2016

When people call for a national “conversation” about race, what they really have in mind is usually a lecture. Sometimes, President Obama is among them. So at the expense of alienating critical race theorists, some heresy: If the president wants to understand why he heard car door locks clicking as he walked down the street, he should study those two appalling homicides in Duncan, Oklahoma and Spokane, Washington that Fox News is beating the drums about.

Yeah, yeah. I know. Fox, Rush Limbaugh and the rest are race-baiting. It’s what they do. “Fox News Desperately Searches For The White Trayvon Martin,” is how Media Matters put it. The ever-reliable Salon informed readers about “The Right’s Black Crime Obsession.

Both publications laid down the liberal party line: that what Salon condescendingly called the “conservative cri de Coeur” about the trio of Oklahoma teenagers who gunned down an Australian baseball player jogging through their neighborhood was essentially phony. Local police saw no racial motive. (Never mind that one of the two African-American perps posted this on twitter: 90% of white ppl are nasty. #HATE THEM.”)

Of course local cops saw no racial motive in the Trayvon Martin killing either, but hold that thought.

There’s also the case of Delbert “Shorty” Belton, an 88 year-old World War II veteran mugged in Spokane by two black teenagers who stole his wallet. The victim’s family has understandably resisted attempts to turn Belton’s death into racial symbolism. No less an authority than the New York TimesTimothy Egan—for whom I have great respect—lamented how quickly the crime “went from an all-too-common tale of urban violence to a politicized narrative and magnet for racists.”

“It is much easier to incite racial fear than to try to examine the mechanics of evil,” Egan explained. “Yes, blacks commit a disproportionate amount of the homicides in this country, and are disproportionate among the victims. Is that because of their race?”

In a word, no.

Me, I’m with Mark Twain: “I have no color prejudices nor caste prejudices nor creed prejudices.  All I care to know is that a man is a human being, and that is enough for me; he can’t be any worse.”

That said, special pleading by adepts of the Trayvon Martin cult strikes me as willful blindness. For more than a year, nearly every “mainstream” news organization in the United States portrayed young Martin’s death as the racial atrocity of the century—based largely on tendentious and erroneous reporting greatly influenced by the Martin family lawyers.

Looking back, some of it continues to amaze. Bob Somerby recently analyzed an appearance by former prosecutor and CNN legal analyst Sunny Hostin in March 2012, as the publicity campaign to make Florida prosecutors charge George Zimmerman with murder neared its crescendo.

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  • Dominick Vila

    While there is no doubt that race relations have improved in the United States since the 1960s, there is also no doubt that there are some who still have the same old prejudices and fears. The sentiment today seems to have evolved from the overt hatred of yesteryear, fueled by a feeling of superiority, to an element of fear and insecurity, particularly among the most ignorant segment of our society.
    The Trayvon Martin trial – and the acquittal of George Zimmerman – was a travesty and an embarrassment. As bad as that was, the worst part was the demonization of a 17-year old by those who desperately tried to justify the indefensible.
    Yes, we have made progress, but much remains to be done before we become the tolerant and inclusive society that should be expected from a nation as diverse as ours is.

    • whodatbob

      The trial was a travesty and National embarrassment. Should have never happened. Both young men made judgmental errors and our divided Nation chose side as to who was in the wrong. Either verdict was only going to add fuel to race fire. Trayvon was neither the angle nor the demon some think him to be. Same is true of George.

      • InsideEye

        True, there were not many witnesses, that saw the entire unfortunate confrontation.

        • Barbara Morgan

          And only one from testimony I saw on television that said there was a person in black clothing was on top a person wearing a light top in court and that was different from the first statements he gave to the police.

          • comanche89

            Light top t shirt or dark hoodie I did not read transcripts of trial and it is now over. Only remaining are Lessons to be learned only.

      • whats really happening

        face it Trayvon the grape drank thug got shot for brutally assaulting someone.

        • whodatbob

          Yes, but had his thought process been to go home, not to confront George it would not have happened. This does not exonerate George, it just points out an error in judgement.

        • Peoples425

          So who’s the thug? The one who’s carrying a gun pretending to be a night watchman or someone coming home from grabbing a drink at the store?

    • Yappy2

      The travesty was that George Zimmerman was charged with anything at all. The race baiters tried to make out that Trayvon Martin was completely innocent of any wrong doing in his whole life.We are told that he had no record. He has no public known record becasue he was a juvenile and those records are sealed. Black peope may have a right of being black and so do white people have the same right. I am proud of my ancestry and have that right.That doesn’t make me a racist.

    • bhaggen

      Your memory is deceiving you. The WORST part was that the media & Afrocentrics tried to lynch a man that was innocent until proven guilty! I thought we outlawed lynchings some time ago. And BTW, self defense is defensible

  • InsideEye

    The media foments racism. It sells to their readers. In NYC it is only acceptable to describe a perpetrator by clothing, not described as white or ” others” . So if there is no description in the narrative then one can make the assumption that the persons in question are Not White……that sounds like profiling to me. You are nuts Alfred. I believe that a few whites fought during the Civil War under a Republican President to also end slavery.

    Now the blacks are slaves to them selves and their keepers like
    ” shackles” Biden. The Blacks were making great strides till they were reminded that it would be better if they were dependents. The Blacks, like Obama, , Susan and Condie Rice, Eric Holder , Ben Carson, M.D., Colin Powell, and Price George’s county , Maryland made it out of dependency. But they are criticized as Uncle Toms by their own. If they try and make remarks about how to lift oneself up to a higher educational level and succeesd as they did. Even President Obama, instead of being a role model of how to be a success, he gives a lame speech that was lacking in passion on how to achieve success. …he was afraid to speak up for fear of not being down for the cause. Obama points out what you can not do, as opposed to what yu can do, and how. What a load!!!!!!

    • dpaano

      I have to agree to some extent. We need to get away from racial profiles, etc. Our president needs to forget that he’s a black man (or a black/white man) and be a role model for each. He’s an awesome speaker, but he needs to speak for both sides. There’s no need for him to fear this…..

      • Allan Richardson

        Every time I have heard President Obama speak about race, he has said positive things about all people, but not necessarily about the way society treats people differently according to color. He understands the way many black people distrust the SYSTEM (hence the slang term, “the Man”) because of the way it has treated them in the past. And even though he is half white, he was treated as black everywhere he lived in the United States. I am not sure about Indonesia, whether there is prejudice against non-Asian dark-skinned people there, but surely he was “profiled” there as a (secularized) Christian among a Muslim majority.

        His statement that “Trayvon could have been me, twenty years ago” has been maliciously twisted by his political enemies into meaning that, as a teenager, he WAS a “gang banger” and a “thug” just like Trayvon, with absolutely no evidence that EITHER young Barack OR Trayvon was a troublemaker, because that is their STEREOTYPE of black teenagers.

        So actually, if you really LISTEN to the President, he IS speaking for both sides. He is telling both sides to be good, get along, and work out our differences with honest dialogue.

        • InsideEye

          Obama was from some privilege more like Zimmerman, in attending private schools and making it out of perdition. Obama does not speak for both sides, he seems to be afraid, looking over his shoulders to see what Chris Matthews would say…..most people knew that Obama was referring to the youthful Black teen and possible problems they may encounter if they act out a bit. But that applies to whites also…hangin out at the olde drug store on Saturday night. The cops would make us move along , so as not to intimidate the real paying customers trying to come In for whatever. A bunch of white guys hangin around is intimidating. I crossed the street myself.
          Profiling, sterotyping is based on fact. That is how we classify poisonous mushrooms, snakes, politicians.

    • Sand_Cat

      Most of your second paragraph is anecdotal and highly questionable. Yes, some blacks accuse those who work hard and succeed as acting “white.” Is this a majority thing? Some blacks, some whites, some women some people of every kind perfectly personify the stereotypes. Does that mean the stereotypes are true?
      When you don’t have enough to eat and everybody around you is beaten down and discouraged, it doesn’t matter what Obama and Joe Biden say. Most of those who need the help, encouragement, and awareness will never hear it (many poor people at any given time don’t know who is president). Trying to blame Obama and Biden instead of those who continue to perpetrate the racism and discrimination in the name of “liberty” and “conservatism” assures that

      • InsideEye

        Yes, stereotypes are true, they are characteristics formed from our experiences. Those that should eliminate racism are the role models that a culture recognizes as valuable….certainly all those that I mentioned

        I would say that someone must have reliable inside information, to make a donation for a cause as you state . As opposed to MSNBC that doctored the tape to slant the incident before they knew the facts. What say you on this.

        I am sure I was discriminated against but did not know it, due to religion perhaps, looks, schooling. I was hired one time because the person thought I was a certain religion. That was funny I thought.

        • Sand_Cat

          The person who doctored the tape was fired. Have any Fox people have been fired for their complete fabrications?
          Regardless, it’s still the black guy who was where he should be and was minding his own business who is dead. Would Zimmerman have even bothered to go after him if he was white? Maybe; based on his actions in this case and his reported previous 911 calls (I see someone’s claiming that was made up, so maybe I’m wrong), he isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed, and may have mental problems. But at the very least the chances are pretty good that he wouldn’t have.
          And one of the members of the jury apparently showed fairly blatant prejudice during questioning and was not excused by the judge.
          So all of that must be Obama’s and Biden’s fault, too, I guess.

          • InsideEye

            You are getting upset, you do not know what the Black guy was up to, or how he may have been slinking about or just walking to get a candy bar. No one saw the incident in full. I do not know of anyone was fired for fabricating news at Fox. The only news program on Fox is Shepard Smith. CNN is the only other News Cable station that used to stick to news, with Wolf, and John Holiman, Bernard Shaw.
            You are using emotion to wish things were different or more clear to justify your position, but no witnesses saw the entire confrontation.
            Is Obama and Biden at fault, yes to some degree since they , like MSNBC wanted the situation to be a racist killing, when nothing showed such. Zimmerman even tutored Blacks as well as took a hot Haitian to the Prom. And Obama gave a lame passionless speech on race.Zimmermans brother gave a truly Great passionate retort to Obama. and should have been Obamas speech . Essentially that Black role models should lead their people , but are afraid to do so for fear of being criticized as Uncle Toms, if they gave suggestions on how to lift yourself out of then ghettos like the other Blacks mentioned previously.

          • Sand_Cat

            You don’t know what happened, either. But it’s still the black guy that’s dead, and the guy who killed him who walks. Want to try a statistical comparison on the results if the killer is not also black?
            And you are using your emotion to wish things stay the same, I guess. And of course Obama and Biden are at fault. No projection or wishful thinking, there, right?

          • InsideEye

            I do not know what happened, and you said what is , a white man walks and a Black man is dead. You say regardless of the facts…..not so I say. My emotion arises when I hear people making statements as if they knew actually what happened that evening…wishful thinking again. Yes I blame Obama and Biden and appropriate role models to show a better way. They are afraid, I say.

    • Charie

      ***I believe that a few whites fought during the Civil War under a Republican President to also end slavery. ***

      Almost 300,000 men in the GAR died in the U.S. Civil War to free the slaves. This includes about 32,000 black men. These are hardly a “few whites”. They didn’t fight to keep the Union together or any such thing, hey fought and died to end slavery in this country.

      Here’s some history:

      • InsideEye

        I agree with you. I said a ” few” to make a point that there were actually many, of course.

      • Barbara Morgan

        Actually Charie they fought to do both and not only did a lot of white men fight to free slaves and to keep the union together a lot of them were from the 11 Confederate states. Also It wasn’t until after the Emaciation Proclamation was signed that there any blacks were allowed to join the Union Army and then most of them were sent out West to fight the Indians because many Northern whites were afraid that they would start killing them when they were armed. Here is another history fact that most of us weren’t taught in school, the Emaciation(not spelled right) Proclamation did not free all the the slaves in the South nor in the Country. In 1863 only slaves freed were the ones that lived in the areas of the 11 Confederate states that the Union army did not have control of., in the areas where there were was no fighting or very little fighting those slaves were not freed nor were any slaves in states that didn’t leave the Union. The law that finally freed all the slaves in the US and its territories was signed into law in December 1865, 8 months after Lincoln was murdered.

      • Sand_Cat

        Let’s not whitewash this: there were riots in NY and other states by people who objected to being drafted to free the slaves, even though Lincoln made clear his object was to preserve the union. I believe Union troops marching through Maryland – a slave state that remained in the union – were booed and in some cases pelted with rocks by those who objected to their supposed fighting for the slaves, and Missouri also had similar problems.
        No doubt many did join the Union armed forces to free slaves as well as preserve the union, but the picture wasn;’t as pretty as you (and I) wish it were.

        • InsideEye

          Damned if you do and damned if you don’t . The Democrats were probably correct in that slaves should not have been freed. After all they were being taken care of Much like today by Democrats with Fairly decent housing, food, no abortion rights though, landowners needed young workers for the future. Well with President Lincoln, a Republican in name only? Took it upon himself to free slaves white and Black to form a more perfect union, unlike Thomas Jeffersons unions with the hired help.

          • Sand_Cat

            So the truth – or is it irony – comes out. Everyone – especially everyone black (the slaves, remember? which ones were white?) – who is unable to support him/herself is simply a lazy freeloader, and those of us who disagree with that diagnosis are actually the racists oppressing the poor, not those of you who plan to prevent them from voting, by starvation if not through “preventing voter fraud.”
            And since the Democratic party was once the more racist of the two, you have to mention that, even though that stance was foresworn years ago, while it’s gotten only stronger among Republicans, and continues to do so today.
            Like to accuse me of using the race card? That’s only to be expected as the standard racist comeback to statements of the truth.
            I expected better.

          • InsideEye

            I do not accuse you of using the race card..where? Racism in either party is not so. People interpret policies as racist or anti this or that, but i t is for viewer consumption. It is media manipulation taught in journalism course…very clever stuff,

            If you choose not to support yourself, yes laziness is there , as a reason. There are some that can not perform due to mental challenges, or lack physical capabilities. But most others have opportunities to improve their lot, by flipping burgers, domestic work giving you time to educate yourself in a trade or useable occupation…not journalism or economics. Not everyone is college eligible. Nor is it necessary. I have done it all, waxing floors, cleaning bakery pots and pans, fork lifts, shoveled cow barns, all fun, met great people,learned something and went on to other things. I could have stayed at each and been happy and done well. So now I pay for all others to be done, and these workers today do well, due to trickle down, from people that can afford these services. I do see more racism today because it is fomented. But in reality, professionally , such things as keeping down women or Blacks or Eskimos is not prevalent, equal pay for Equal work is essentially non existant. except in the media for gain.

  • TheSkalawag929

    Equality is proportional to political awareness and participation.

  • TZToronto

    When I was in college in the late ’60s, I remember my intro sociology professor stating that black-on-white violence was rare and that black-on-black violence was more the norm. (One of the functions of sociology is to debunk conventional wisdom. Conventional wisdom says that black people commit violence against white people, but that’s usually incorrect. Perhaps white people expect black people to be violent against them because white people were, for so very long, violent against black people–and got away with it!) Things haven’t changed much over the years. Why? It appears that the same things that moved black people to commit violent acts against other black people have not changed all that much in 50 years. Of course there’s another issue connected with race (which is a very obscure concept to begin with). Take President Obama, for example. His father was black, and his mother was white. But he considers himself a black man. There are undoubtedly many, many other “black” people with black and white parents, so why do they consider themselves black? The only reason, other than perhaps “racial pride,” is that they are treated as black people by others in society–black, white, and “other.” When a black-and-white teenager kills another black-and-white teenager, why is it always a black-on-black killing? Why isn’t it a white-on-black killing or a white-on-white killing? The only reason is skin color and socio-economics. People who “look” black are considered black and are treated (often badly) as black by others. The reason black or black-and-white people commit murders is due much more to economic and educational deprivation than to characteristics allegedly connected to race per se. Here is Toronto, most murders (very few by U.S. standards) by “black” youth are gang related and are committed against other black youth–whether intentionally or through mistaken identity. Why is it that gang-related violence usually does not involve white youth? Could it be because most white youth are not gang oriented, not needing the “protection” of other gang members in order to live safely in the presence of members of rival gangs? And why are there gangs anyway? There have been books written on the topic, and there’s not enough room here to explain it. Briefly, think money and opportunity–having it and not having it.

    • Canistercook

      As a kid who left full time school at 14, and succeeded in life, I keep wondering why free schooling to 18 is not working for many kids. Is it the quality of the schools, teachers, parenting, or the individuals. All life is an education and it still seems that if one is honest, hard working, diligent, one can make it good, but the question is how and who are the individuals that should be endowing our youth with those attributes. Teaching kids that there is someone else to blame may not be the answer!

      • toncuz

        The schools are not bad…it’s the parents who never protest nor boycott the filth that is considered music today…THE TRUE SCHOOL OF PEER PRESSURE BRAIN-WASHING. Specifically, prison-culture rap that says it’s ok to call women hoes and bitches and gay people fags. The immense hypocrisy in that community is beyond comprehension. No one owns hate speech, but some believe they do…if it doesn’t stop, nothing will change.

        And images also have severe consequences over time. Quentin Tarantino, an immensely over-rated violence peddler to the grossly immature audience, continues unabated to brain-wash his typical fifteen year old viewer to believe that revenge killing is so glamorous and cool. But, it’s ok, the bad guys are Nazi’s and slave-owners, so he makes his fortune on blood-porn to psychotic people like himself who need an excuse to see blood instead of seeking professional help.

        • Canistercook

          Sad you make some sense but we are letting people make big money selling that dirt and we are rewarding people to have children that they cannot raise to become responsible human beings and we criticize china for its one child policy. We sure are a mixed up nation when so many of our young want to be rock stars, actors, basketball players or lawyers and many end up peddling drugs and living off women on welfare programs. Detroit is only the start of our decay.
          Sent from my iPad

      • Barbara Morgan

        Because actually there is no such thing as free schooling now days. Don’t know how long you or your children or grandchildren might have been out of school but in today’s day school, to just have the supplies that their 8th grade son needed to start school My nephew and his ex wife spent out over $125 dollars for their son to just start school plus they had to pay another $ 50 for class room supplies and then they will be paying out more money during the school year for other school expenses not counting his notebook paper,and so. In other words for one child to even start school the parents have spend over $175 and school hadn’t even started. Luckily his school doesn’t demand students wear uniforms like some of the bigger cities public school do. Also when teenagers start working and making their own money many of them think they can live on that kind of money for the rest of their lives or they get mixed up in gangs selling dope and decide that they don’t need an education because look at all the money I have, not realizing it they make it to 20 they are will be lucky,
        Also some schools have dumbed down classes so people that speak English as a second language can keep up in class and the other students get bored, and can’t handle the slow pace of learning and quit school when they can’t transfer to classes that don’t have students that speaks English as a second langugage.

    • Barbara Morgan

      I grow up in the era of segregation and a time when whites could treat blacks any way they wanted,especially in the South and certain areas of the North, and get away with it. White men could rape black children, teenagers, women and grandmothers and nothing be done. But let a white man even think that a black boy, male teenager and so on looked at a white female they got away with either beating them to death or hanging them to the nearest tree or lamppost. Also all a white woman had to say was that she raped by a black male, and whites would destroy a whole town where blacks lived to teach blacks a lesson , it happened to a town in Florida., if I remember correctly it was called Rosewood.
      The only time the race of a person should be reported is they have done a good a deed, the rest of the time race should be left out all news stories and everything else. There is an time when you are going to meet someone say at the airport and have never seen them before race should be given especially if their name is John Smith, Joe Brown or some common name like that so you will know that you are meeting the John Smith you were suppose to.
      Also to me if your parents are two different races, you aren’t white, black, or purple but multiracial,since you get 50 percent of your genes from each parent and they mix making you both races so no matter what color your skin is you are multiracial.

      • whats really happening

        now blacks raped 36,000 white women a year…..

        • Barbara Morgan

          Where did you get that figure? Or did you post it because there many white women married to do or that date black men?

  • idamag

    The difference in crimes committed by Blacks against Whites, is that the Blacks will be charged and found guilty and rightly so, However, Whites against Black crimes should be found guilty, too. I’m with Mark Twain.

    • Allan Richardson

      Excellent point. My take on that case is that BOTH men initially BELIEVED they were in danger and needed protection: George, because he suspected (rightly or not) Trayvon of being the burglar who had hit the neighborhood several times recently, and MIGHT have had a gun to take out a witness; AND Trayvon, because he was being followed by an older man (white or not, it wouldn’t matter) who MIGHT have been a burglar himself, or a sexual predator.

      After the chase started, Trayvon could have gone to his host’s door, but IF George had been a criminal, that would have exposed his family. He could have stepped out and asked George what was happening, but he was probably afraid that a white man following a black boy through the streets at night would shoot him without even trying to talk first (of course, blacks have some stereotypes about how white men will treat them, based upon a few centuries of experience, and it will take a while longer for those stereotypes to go away). Meanwhile, George could have been more convinced than ever that Trayvon was a criminal, because he was trying to evade George AND because he was not making a beeline for any one house.

      What we had here was a tragic misunderstanding, stoked by each man’s beliefs about the other man on the basis of racial stereotypes. But this was compounded by the actions of the police, which seemed to confirm the stereotypes that many black people have about the “white” police institution. The police officer took down George’s story, apparently believing it before starting any investigation. Neither the officer nor the medical examiner tried to call any of the numbers stored in Trayvon’s cell phone, or made any other attempt to contact his next of kin. His father did not know his son was dead until three days after filing a missing person report: “Oh yeah, they brought in a young black punk the other day. Is that your son?” There was no thought that there might be, or SHOULD be a trial, so they put the WET jacket with DNA evidence in a PLASTIC bag, so that when a trial WAS scheduled, the evidence was too degraded to be analyzed.

      The protests were started initially because the police had assumed George’s story without investigation, not because protesters thought George was a truly evil man who enjoyed what Florida bigots once called “coon hunting,” but because they thought the law enforcement community trivialized the lives and deaths of black teenagers. After all, if George had shot a white boy, they feel the Sanford police would have taken the case more seriously (even white-on-white killings, that is, would be investigated more thoroughly than white-on-black).

      The protests DURING the trial were regarding the fact that there was no ATTEMPT to prosecute until media attention was placed on the case, and the suspected strategy of the prosecution to “throw” this case and hurry on to other cases. As a white participant in one march, and part of a mixed-race, but mostly black, group, I can say that not one of the black protesters hate white PEOPLE; they hate the remaining traces of the white Jim Crow justice SYSTEM, which come out in cases like this, both in OFFICIAL behavior, and even more, in the number of counter-protesters who are SURE that Trayvon WAS a thug and DESERVED death. To the best of my knowledge, those who believe he was the burglar whom George was seeking have never asked or answered two critical questions: did the burglaries start BEFORE Trayvon came to visit? and were any additional burglaries AFTER he was killed? If the answer to both questions is NO, then he may have been a suspect, but in that case, he deserved his OWN trial, not vigilante death.

      I cannot see into the hearts of the people involved, including George. If he showed a reckless disregard for Trayvon’s life (and his own) on that night, I hope and pray that he has learned a lesson to be more responsible in the future. And I hope that the Stand Your Ground law is repealed, or amended to require more responsibility of shooters. Regardless of how it was meant, it has been abused to turn EVERY killing without witnesses into a potential Get Out of Jail Free card for the survivor, provided the survivor LOOKS like a sympathetic character with whom the police can identify.

      • charleo1

        Absolutely terrific Allen!

      • Barbara Morgan

        Allen, there was at least one Sanford policeman that wanted to arrest George Zimmerman that night because Zimmerman’s story didn’t ring true to him but was told by the city DA no arrest for Zimmerman. Which gave Zimmerman time to get the story he told clearly in his head to make it seem like the truth. Besides the facts about how the case was handled I never heard anything about Zimmerman being asked why he re holstered his gun before the police got there, it was evidence and even if it was getting wet he should have never put it back in his hostler. That should have at least got him charged with tampering with evidence.

        • Allan Richardson

          I was not aware of those details, but am not surprised. For too many years, black corpses killed by white guns or ropes were considered by the law under Jim Crow as hunting trophies, not worth spending the (white) voters’ money on. Sanford’s police chief and DA either did not get the memo, or are trying to reverse its effect. The entire point of the SYG law seems to have been to put ALL the authority in the first responding officer to believe a shooter’s story or hold the shooter for prosecution. What was unusual about this case was that nobody tried to plant a spare gun in Trayvon’s hand, which was what police usually did when someone was killed that the officer felt “had it coming.”

          • Barbara Morgan

            I don’t know if that was thought of but if it was it didn’t happen probably because one officer doubted Zimmerman’s story. Since I grew up the South during the segregated period, the civil rights movement and the passing of the Civil Rights Acts, I heard of and saw some things done to blacks that I didn’t understand then and still don’t understand. My parents had prejudices and some racism but we were taught to judge people by how they act around you and how they treat you not by the color of their skin as was most of the kids I grew up with from what I hear them say now when I meet them when I go to my small home town.

  • m8lsem

    The Spokane paper identified one of the perps as White. FWIW.

  • JD Mulvey

    These “national conversations” are always a farce.

    I’m still waiting for the one we were supposed to have about news journalists’ complicity in the run-up to the Iraq War. That would be a good one to get on with quickly, given we don’t seem to have learned much.

    • Sand_Cat

      We haven’t had the one about the lying by government officials and fabricated or grossly distorted “intelligence,” either, and it appears we never shall. I guess going after the journalists is easier, and something’s better than nothing, but don’t hold your breath (I’m confident you’re not).

  • charleo1

    A co-worker of mine several years ago now, used to say I’d rather be lucky, than be
    good. He was kind of a jock, so I didn’t think much about it. But then much later on I got to thinking. Looking back at my own career, how many times had the most important things, the best things, happened to me, because I was prepared, educated, on time, sober? And how much of my good fortune was the result of just getting a lucky break? Meeting the right person, at the right time? Knowing the guy that knew the guy, that called in good word on my behalf before my initial interview, that led to my first solid job? I will always remember the morning that same sales manager that had just a few months earlier hired me, almost before I walked in. Was asking his sales team, he said, I have interviewed a fellow I’m thinking of hiring. He’s college educated, a real nice guy. But, I wanted to ask you guys, (there was one woman,) but he said, I wanted to ask you, if any of you would have any problems working with a Black guy? We all assured the Boss, we did not. But, he was not hired. Maybe he got a better offer. I don’t know. But, I do know this fellow was at least as qualified as I was. And I thought about my friend’s favorite saying. That
    he’d rather be lucky, than good. And I wondered, how many truly good breaks does the average person get in a lifetime? Sometimes it all turns on just one. How many breaks does the average Black person get in this Country? The same? One less?
    You can’t quantify these things, of course. There is no mathematical formula to deduce a logical conclusion. Just the other day a Supreme Court Justice offered that these, “racial entitlements,” are hard to do away with legislatively, these voting Rights. So he did away with them by judicial decree. Because he had on his own
    concluded they were no longer necessary. So my White skin is no longer a lucky
    circumstance for me? If we have entered into this post racial era, why am I having a
    hard time believing that? You like Chris Rock? His humor is so funny, often because
    it’s just so darn true! He said, “There’s not a White person in the world that would
    trade places with me, and I’m rich!” And why, do I feel there is more truth in that,
    than the words of a White Supreme Court Justice?

    • Germansmith

      Feeling guilty about being white?
      Well. I will tell you a different story
      As a junior in High School I was the starting strong side safety for our team.
      That was until, during practice a black teammate clip me after the play was over, busting the meniscus in my right knee. This was before arthroscopic surgery and my “potential” football career was over
      Did not find out until later that the clip and the injury was intentional so his cousin could have my job. Found that after he was heard bragging about it. He was suspended for 3 games and I was out of football and a chance for an scholarship (I do not think I was good enough for Division A, but I was looking for at least partial help in paying for college as I was a poor immigrant). Being white or Hispanic did not helped me in this case.
      And by the way…I would trade places with Chris Rock any time and yes, he is funny (maybe a little too hang-up on race, but so was Richard Prior and he was my favorite growing up)
      Life is not fair and in life you play the cards you are given the best you can.
      What Gene Lyons is saying is very true and it is very sad the homicide rate is so high among young AA and Hispanics….but my question is
      Who is doing the killing?….Are we tracking Zimmerman to see if he is going on a rampage?

      • charleo1

        Guilty of being White? Look, I realize it is difficult for you to not be
        ridiculous. Lord knows where you got your outlook. But, no I’m not
        feeling guilty for being White. I’m simply saying it is what it is. My
        personal story is one that I’m sure is repeated every day, thousands
        of times, to thousands of both men, and women of color in this
        Country. Your story, while unfair, speaks to what widespread institutionalized, phenomena, experienced by Whites in this Country?
        It’s one think to say, life is not fair. But the question is, is life
        more inherently unfair to people of color? And, if so, can we completely disassociate that, from other dysfunctions, and break downs in their society? Such as higher poverty numbers, crime, violence, early teen pregnancy, higher drop out rates, and a disproportionate number of young Black, and Hispanic men incarcerated, or otherwise in the criminal justice system? Can we say, the fact that their unemployment percentages in the recession, are still double those of Whites. Or the personal wealth of the Black population has been more negatively impacted by the recession, than any other ethnic group, is not connected in any way to institutionalized prejudice? The obvious answer is no, we cannot make such a claim. So all the claims that the Black Community have all the same opportunities as everyone else. That all their
        problems are somehow due to their own lack of initiative. Or, their
        inclination to live on the dole, and so forth, are either made out ignorance stemming from racism, or racist speech outright.
        To say, well we’re all responsible for playing the hand we are dealt,
        only acknowledges part of the truth. The other being, we are not
        all dealt cards, using the same deck.

        • Barbara Morgan

          Gunsmith didn’t say what year his injury happened but because it happened in desegregated school I would say it was after the Civil Rights Act was passed and he said he was born in a foreign country, he really has no idea what a raw deal blacks got in life before and even since the Civil Rights Act was passed.
          I do and I am white, I grew up in the South and went to school in the 50’s and early 60’s, Schools were still segregated when I graduated high school, the high school I went to desegregated in September 1965 after the only black school in the County burned due to arson destroying the newest school in the County, built in 1935. Everyone in the County white and black believed the school was set on fire to force the black students to go to the white schools, the black students and teachers didn’t want to leave their school,
          After graduating and going to work in Atlanta ,I saw people that were better educated and who did the job better passed over repeatedly for promotions and pay raises because their skin was black so Charleo 1 being white and male was definitely a big help in the 60’s 70’s and probably even now,, In 1980, I got a job that union and no matter your sex, your race or whatever after 6 months everybody made the same amount of money and we all got our raises at the same time. But I still saw the difference between white males promotions and raises in other jobs and blacks and women even when they were doing the same job and in a lot of cases doing it better.

  • bcarreiro

    once a killer always a killer.

  • tax payer

    Before we know it we won’t be able to say a word, if a Afro-American is near us because he may think we are talking about him. Another Freedom of Expression maybe will be gone down the drain.

    • charleo1

      With respect to you on this point. If you are knowledgeable on the subject,
      there are no social rules aganist honesty. Where the trouble starts is when
      one bases some conclusion on one debunked stereotype, or blatantly untrue
      assumption. Such as the election of Barack Obama is proof we are a post
      racial society. Or, that none of the talk about his birth certificate, or religion, had anything to do with racism. That we have always ask our presidents to
      show us their papers. I suggest you read Allan Richardson’s excellent post
      on the Travon Martin case. He explains it as well as any you will read.

      • Barbara Morgan

        Taxpayer is almost another Lana Wood Charleo1 and is very racist also.
        I have several friends that are black and they do not want to be called African American, They all say they nor their parents or grandparents were born in Africa, they are Americans or Black Americans not African American, They have told me not call them African American and I don’t I call them friend.

  • Pamby50

    Wow. Two articles in a week. Cynthia Tucker’s article about MLK. Now Gene Lyons. I wrote that when I brought home my then boyfriend now husband, my mother said I was never to bring him into her home again. He never did nor our children. The bandage was ripped off and all the things I was raised to be true, were not. Now comes President Obama. The right feels he has divided our country along racial lines. It has always been there but now the bandage has been ripped off. It is now out in the open. Do we judge people based on the color of their skin in this country? Yes we do. Someone wrote that President Obama should speak about this issue more. If you listen to some people in the black community, they feel he isn’t black enough. Then you listen to some people in the white community say, he should try to be more white. When you are bi-racial you make a decision to identify more one way than the other. My son identifies more with white people and only dates white girls. As for our daughter, she identifies with black and only dates black guys. We should be judging people based on their character not the color of their skin. As for the violence, whether it is black/black, black/white, white/white or any other kind, it is all deplorable. Bullies come in all shapes and sizes.

    • Barbara Morgan

      Your posting is why even through I know it is not possible,makes me wish that we were all turned inside out that way no race could be seen. We are all the same on the inside, our only differences is on the outside and that shouldn’t matter. We should all treat others like we want to be treated and forget skin colors.
      How do people that do all their judging based on skin color and maybe a head of hair really know that that person is actually the race they think they are seeing? I will be honest when I drove a transit bus I had passengers that if I had tried to describe them and was asked what their race was, I couldn’t have said they were this race or that race. There were people that I thought was white that said they were black but that they had a skin disease that removed all their color pigment from their skin, then there passengers I thought was black or Hispanic that were white and the skin pigment making genes went wild and changed their skin color.
      So stop going by color and go by the actions of people you are around and who knows you might find a new friend

  • whats really happening

    Detroit is a toilet.