Racism Is Alive And Well …

Of late, we’ve had plenty of reasons to be ashamed of a large portion of the human species.  Every Tuesday night I work hard to pull together a ‘good people’ post to help us all remember that the samples we see on the news every day are not the norm, that there are truly great people out there making the world a better place every day.  And then, I read about things like those I’m about to discuss, and my Wednesday morning smile fades, I wonder if there is hope for the human species or if it even deserves to continue to exist.

If you’ve ever doubted that racism is alive and well in the United States, wonder no more.  On Monday, May 25th, Memorial Day, Mr. George Floyd, a 46-year-old African-American man, died at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer.  Four officers were at the scene, and three stood silent while one kept his knee pressed into Mr. Floyd’s neck for some five minutes, all the while Mr. Floyd was telling the officer he couldn’t breathe.  By the time paramedics finally arrived and the officer removed his knee, Mr. Floyd was near death and died within minutes thereafter.  Bystanders were pleading and begging with the officer to let him up, and at least two bystanders recorded the incident on their cell phones.  There is some question as to what the police initially stopped Mr. Floyd for, and there are more unanswered questions than not, but the one thing that stands out is that the officers involved initially claimed Mr. Floyd was resisting arrest, while video shot during the time police were putting handcuffs on him would indicate he was cooperating with the officers.

One of the videos, that has been viewed by police and federal authorities, has been widely circulated on the internet, as well.  I am not placing the video on this post, for it is heartbreaking and made me first want to throw something, then break down in tears.  If you haven’t seen it, I’m sure you can find it.

The officers have all been fired from their positions, which tells you something right there.  Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey called on the FBI to investigate and posted an official statement on Facebook that begins …

“Being black in America should not be a death sentence.”

No, it certainly should not be, but for Mr. Floyd it surely was, as it was for Mr. Ahmaud Arbery a few weeks ago, and as it has been for so very many black people in the past.

Mr. Floyd worked for Mr. Jovanni Thunstrom, owner of Conga Latin Bistro in Minneapolis, and he also rented an apartment from Mr. Thunstrom.  According to Mr. Thunstrom …

“It’s hard to believe a police officer would do that. He wasn’t a threat to justify excessive force used on him. No one had nothing bad to say about him. They all are shocked he’s dead. He never caused a fight or was rude to people. I hope something changes, because I lost a friend.”

I will follow up on this story when more information is available, or when the FBI finishes their investigation.  As of today, the officers names have not been released.  Minneapolis residents staged a protest at the intersection where Mr. Floyd was murdered, but Minneapolis police used teargas, projectiles and “other means” to break up the crowd.  Funny, isn’t it, that the white supremacists can protest shops being closed while carrying assault weapons and police don’t lift a finger, but when people are protesting the unconscionable murder of a black man, they jump to action.  Welcome to the 21st century in the United States.


And on another front …

Christian-CooperChristian Cooper is an avid birdwatcher.  He lives in New York City and often visits Central Park to … watch the birds.  A crime?  Only if you are black, which Mr. Cooper happens to be. On Monday, again, Memorial Day, Mr. Cooper was in the Park watching olive-sided flycatchers and red-bellied woodpeckers, when nearby a woman was exercising her dog, who was not on a leash.  As they got closer, Mr. Cooper asked her nicely to please put her dog on a leash, for the safety of all.  The woman, whose name is Amy Cooper (no relation to Mr. Cooper) refused and became overly aggressive, walking toward Mr. Cooper shoving her finger in his face.  By this time, Mr. Cooper had his cell phone out and had begun filming the incident while repeatedly saying, “Please don’t come close to me”.

The woman said she was going to “call the cops”, and Mr. Cooper told her to “Please, call the cops”.  It was then that she said she was going to tell them that “An African-American man is threatening my life!”  By this time, Mr. Cooper was, as was obvious from his tone of voice, afraid of what this lunatic would do next, and he told her to tell them whatever she liked, just get them there.  Meanwhile, she is dragging the poor dog around by the collar.  With my near-deafness, I cannot understand what she said to the police on the phone, but I could hear that she was screeching like a banshee.

The police responded, by which time the woman had put the dog on a leash, and no charges were filed, no arrests made.  The next day, however, Amy Cooper returned her dog to the shelter from where she had adopted him two years before and was placed on leave from her job as an insurance portfolio manager.

Mr. Cooper is a Harvard graduate who works in communications, has long been a prominent birder in the city and is on the board of the New York City Audubon Society.  In an interview on Wednesday, he was more than gracious toward Amy Cooper, saying …

“Any of us can make — not necessarily a racist mistake, but a mistake. And to get that kind of tidal wave in such a compressed period of time, it’s got to hurt. It’s got to hurt. I’m not excusing the racism, but I don’t know if her life needed to be torn apart.”

Amy Cooper has since offered a public apology.  Sorry, one can apologize for their actions, but the fact is that this woman is a racist who judged Mr. Cooper’s intentions based on nothing more than his skin colour.  That is who or what she is, plain and simple.  An apology doesn’t change that.


Yep, folks, racism is alive and well, and on the rise in the United States of America today.  Isn’t it a shame that in all these hundreds of years, we haven’t learned a damn thing?

racism-for-dummies

76 thoughts on “Racism Is Alive And Well …

  1. Pingback: Jacob Blake … SAY HIS NAME, DAMMIT! | Filosofa's Word

  2. Had a lovely time trying to reset my CORRECT password ! Ok, ok….😀

    Ok, let’s see, where was i , 9 hrs ago ?
    Hmmmm

    Yeah , the Gop loves to keep the brush fires going , race baiting so libs can respond to boors like Gingrich , palin , Bachman , Louie gohmert, baetz, Trump , Kelly Anne, Roberson , hagee, Frank Graham and their media stooges , and be called “the real racists “ when they call out these hyenas who have made careers out of the fact this country is still stuck at fort Sumter.
    They still ask how come a Black President couldn’t end racism ? Maybe because 40% of the country thinks the wrong side won the civil war and venerates racist murderers , and their grotesque statues , sticking out in public to upset Black Americans !(we still hear “ yeah , slavery was rough , but hell, those Blacks woulda had it worse back in Africa !”)
    Palin runs for VP stating Africa is a country .
    I stood on line at a demonstration against AHCA , talking to a dude who said “Obama could have been like a Sammy Davis ,jr [but he chose to try to change things ]!”
    Boor Gingrich said , “Obama has his basketball [and he should stick with THAT!]”
    Now we have the gop blathering in about BLM and Antifa, as if they were not rational responses to police over aggressiveness , and infiltrated by paid , bussed -in rioters from conservative organizations !
    [

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    • I wish I had an answer for that question, but I don’t. Where did it start? Perhaps it began after the Civil War, when some never accepted that slavery was done and that black people were just as equal as whites. I thought we had mostly ended it during the Civil Rights movement, but instead it just hid under rocks, waiting for the right time to come slithering out.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Very true.
        If you look around, such atrocities are spread all over the world in one form or the other. Casteism, communalism, sectarian conflicts, tribal conflicts, civil wars are widespread.
        As if these weren’t enough, climate change is posing a grave threat and yet nations are busy locked in cold wars and neo-imperialism, serving their own expansionist and hegemonic ideologies.
        On the flip side, it is also encouraging to know that a lot of people are conscious of these developments and are actively trying to oppose it and bring about a change.
        “Satyameva Jayathe”……”Truth always Triumphs”

        Liked by 1 person

  3. how come everyone is blasting the president for calling the rioters thugs but Obama got a pass from the media when, in 2015, he called the Baltimore rioters thugs?

    Doesn’t sound so fair to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We are talking about Trump … not Obama. Two different scenarios, different circumstances, but bottom line is that whatever Obama did in 2015 or 2009 is not what is at issue today. And, Trump calling them thugs is only a small percentage of the damage he has done only in the last 24 hours. They aren’t thugs, or if they are, then so am I. Were it in my power, I would be downtown protesting right along with them, and heaven help any cop who tried to beat me with his club!

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      • but words mean things whether they’re said now or in the past, the rhetoric of the past has an effect on the present.

        this is just the way it is though, people sweeping what their heroes say under the rug as if it doesn’t matter when in fact, it does matter, maybe not in the way people might think right now but it has an effect and it has meaning beyond what we see in the moment.

        The same people now who say that what a president in the past, like Obama or Clinton, said didn’t matter, will, in the future, use every utterance of the past president trump as a cautionary tale of how significant language is and how it shapes perception.

        Try for once, to be objective and consider this analysis as something that is at least a little truthful.

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        • but words mean things whether they’re said now or in the past

          Yes, they do. But what they mean depend very much on context and circumstances. And I don’t think it would be worth the effort for me to go back and examine the circumstances to which Obama was responding at that earlier time.

          Liked by 1 person

            • Relative to everything going on right now, Scott, it isn’t worth the effort because it doesn’t matter today. We don’t have time … I’m already spending 12-14 hours, sometimes more, every day trying to keep up and understand all that is happening. Now, if I had a research assistant … but I don’t. I’m sorry, in the grand scheme of things, it just doesn’t matter to most of us.

              Liked by 1 person

              • just be honest and say it isn’t worth the effort because you really don’t have an answer to an honest question and none of you want to admit that. It’s just crickets as usual with you guys when you’re asked a tough question.

                Liked by 1 person

                • Scott … you’re just about to cross a line here. You are wrong. I don’t know the specifics of the incident you are asking about, however I could find the answer and I’m betting there’s more to it than meets the eye. However, if you really cared about the answer, you could look into it as well as I, and you have more time than I do. I don’t know what bee has gotten in your bonnet lately, my friend, but I’m a little bit tired of being called dishonest. Now, if it’s that important to you, I will sacrifice yet another hour of sleep to find the answer … but first, give me a good reason to. Tell my why it’s so damn important to you. The nation is burning, I sleep 3-4 hours a night if I’m lucky, only find time for one meal a day, and you want me to dig into an irrelevant statement made years ago? Tell me why.

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                • Scott … drop it. Please, until you have a point to make and can state it yourself, without posting links to right-wing outlets, drop it. I’ve not got the energy to fight with a friend, nor should I have to.

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                  • Actually I do have something I’d like to ask about the topic but I’ll save the question for another time. Sadly this isn’t going to be the end to this topic though I won’t say anything else on this particular blog post except for this.

                    the idea that people are treated differently simply because of their skin tone is an abomination to me and an outright offense to my sensibilities as a human on this planet.

                    There is no reason in the world for racism and people who deal in such indefensible practices, whether it be black against white, white against Asian, Asian against black, white against Asian or any other combination thereof ought to be ashamed of themselves for having the nerve to think that they are better than anyone else because of the shade of pigment in their skin.

                    I could add more but I am mentally exhausted from this whole mess and the astronauts who left for the space station last week vacated the planet at the right time. I’m sure they’ll be sad to return.

                    Liked by 2 people

            • In November, I will have to decide how to vote. Trump’s name will be on the ballot. But Obama won’t be. So what Obama may or may not have done several years ago isn’t going to affect my vote. It just doesn’t matter.

              Liked by 1 person

  4. My quick search for statements by Pelosi & Schumer condemning the violence, rioting, looting & arson finds nothing. As best I can tell, not a word. Their silence is shockingly irresponsible. Biden’s staff is donating to a group that funds the release of rioters. Unbelievable.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nobody wants to burn the country down, Scott. People who have been abused for decades … nay, centuries … are tired and trying to make their voices heard. They have tried every peaceful means, so … what do you suggest they do? Just keep letting police kill unarmed black men because they can?

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    • Thank you. Racism in this nation is once again on the rise, as for some reason that I will never understand, some white people think their pale skin makes them superior. The 21st century and we are still living in the Dark Ages in far too many ways. Going to Mars? Hah! We cannot even manage life on Earth. Sigh. Welcome, by the way! I’ve checked out your blog … nice work!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Exactly man! Racism actually makes no sense at all! I mean one even gets tanned if they stay in the sun for too long, will that change others behaviour towards that person? Like seriously, at least show some logic! Thanks you btw.<3

        Liked by 1 person

  5. In the post I put up this afternoon, I go into considerable detail about this latest horror and some of the really crazy legalities that allow so many guilty police officers to go free. I think the burden is on us white folks, especially, to demand changes. I include a video of a black man titled “Before You Call the Cops,” which a friend brought to my attention and I think is tremendously important for white people to see.
    I titled the post “You Broke It; You Fix It.”
    This killing, and the violence that’s ensuing, is the worst possible thing that could happen now. We have a president who would gleefully declare martial law.

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    • Protests by men carrying AR-15s. The virus is back to killing more than 1,000 per day … 1,212 yesterday … as the nation re-opens for business. Keep safe, my friend, and try to find something to smile about today, please? You’ve been in a dark mood for long enough.

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  6. In the scheme of Long History (Consider the time lines of the Roman Empire, or say France, British Isles, etc), the USA has not be around that long. The matter of the Civil War was only settled amongst the two armies, the issues were never settled.
    It can be argued the question of Race is one of a few which are cracks in the edifice of the USA. To name but two others:
    There is the religious issue. For a nation which claims to separate Politics from Religion there is a great deal of weight within the religious groups.
    The political divide between Alt Right / Right / Democrat / Liberal continues to polarise.
    The one which dare not speak it’s name: The US constitution places far too much emphasis on individual rights for a large landmass (ie any wacko (white that is) with a gun and three followers thinks they have more rights than the rest of the community)
    I will keep on hammering this one, but historically no nation with such unresolved internal tensions can survive. At some stage probably decades down the road the states will begin to separate from the federal system, and within the states regions will separate from the states redrawing boundaries.
    And Trump will be looked upon in the same light as Millard Filmore.
    There will come a time when to paraphrase Prime Minister Pitt (The Younger) someone will look at an outline of the USA and say ‘Roll up that map. It will not be needed’

    Liked by 2 people

    • I fully agree with all you say, except one thing … that the destruction of the nation, states breaking away from the federal system, etc., is decades down the road. I think that, especially if Trump is re-elected, but even if he isn’t, we will begin to see this by the end of this decade. The divisiveness that exists today is not sustainable, but neither do I see a resolution to it. The ideologies between right and left are too far apart … any middle ground that once existed has left the room. The nation is fueled today by hate … there is no compromise, no ability to engage in civil discourse, and no empathy or compassion for the other side. The United States that was envisioned by the Founding Fathers no longer exists.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Maybe Jill. I’m on the side of caution because sometimes these things move slower than expected and there will be much unravelling to do…..Although recent events in Minneapolis and around the US might not be just another upsurge in anger which then dies down.
        Of course the creature in the Whitehouse has to inflame the situation.
        The constitution should have read ‘Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness….Except for Assholes’

        Liked by 1 person

  7. isn’t it interesting that no one in the media is screaming at the protesters to socially distance themselves or wear masks for the safety and protection of others?

    It just goes to prove that these protocols foisted upon us were just a political tool, a convenience until the next narrative takes hold to distract the distractible population.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nobody in the media that I’ve seen has applauded the violence. I think, though, that when you have police beating people, the police station burning to the ground, maybe masks take a backseat to trying to restore order.

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  8. I am not playing devil’s advocate. I am half white, half Canadian aboriginal. They call us not people, but Metis.
    I do not condone violence by anyone, but white people DO NOT UNDERSTAND what it means to be a person of colour. Every minute of every day a person of colour, no matter he or she has white blood in them, has to be on guard of being hit, harassed or just heckled by white people, OR WORSE.
    When things like this go down, it is not happening to someone else, it is happening to US. If we don’t respond we are cowards. If we do respond we are criminals. There is no safe place in-between. White people do not have to live in fear the way people of colour do. If you do not understand this, SHUT THE HELL UP! We do not get to live by your rules. You make up rules for us, and force us to be niggers, be we red, yellow, brown or black. Or any shade but white!
    When that protest started in Minneapolis, it was not intended to turn violent. But when the police show up with billy clubs, rubber bullets, tear gas, and helmets, what are we supposed to do? Hang our heads and shuffle on home? Is that what you would do? Bullshit!
    Remember the Watts’ riots? Or Motor City riots? Or a lot of other times and places? You want us to kowtow to our white slave drivers? To the people who put on on reservations, hoping to kill us all so you wouldn’t have to feel guilty about forcing us off OUR LAND!
    Okay, not all whites are like that. But you allow your white brothers and sisters to be like that. You are the cowards, and if you can’t stand the heat stick your head in the ovens! You make laws and then allow them to be flouted! You call your nation the greatest country in the world. Again, bullshit! You really think America is great for people of colour! Go stick your head in a cesspool and find out what you really smell like!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I hear you talking comrade.
      White European. British. Born in Wales (The lumpy bit which sticks out on the west on the Liverpool-Manchester-Birmingham-Bristol line)
      But here’s the thing. A couple of life experiences which gave me an insight, like looking at the subject from miles away insight.
      1. 1970s. Welsh nationalism became fashionable. Those who spoke welsh thought themselves superior to those welsh who could not speak welsh. Woe betide you if you went into a welsh-speaking enclave with a welsh accent and couldn’t ‘talk the talk’. And you got sideways looks if you mentioned your wife was English.
      2. 21st century. The UK had an outbreak of fashionable atheism. Anyone who was of Christian belief was fair game, comments which would be racist were considered simply ‘free-speech’.
      These were minor irritants in the scheme of things. So living with true racism must be something truly hideous.
      I must have been brought up in a very fair-minded household (though as I recall with a lot of what today would be incorrect terms), because from any early age I loathed the concept of discriminating against someone of another race.
      That said my own solutions to Intolerance tend to be the ‘taste of your own medicine’ variety- I tend to worry folk when I explain my answers to the problem.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. If you have a few minutes, i highly recommend everyone watch Ms Nina Turner’s perspective about the plight of being marginalized in America. Not to be taken for granted when voting, citizens should demand something from their politician in return, also hold u’r representative accountable for their promises. Empty words serve no one.

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  10. Dr Rex,you say isn’t it a shame we haven’t learned a damned thing. I disagree,we’ve definitely learned how to hate more and more, and more. I cannot understand such hate especially over something as pathetic as the colour of someone’s skin.
    Hugs

    Liked by 2 people

  11. “Defeating racism, tribalism, intolerance and all forms of discrimination will liberate us all, victim and perpetrator alike.” – Ban Ki-moon, former Secretary-General of the United Nations 2007-2016. “Small is the number of people who see with their eyes and think with their minds.” – Albert Einstein. Until humankind can see and accept that the color of one’s skin in no way differentiates another from themselves, racism will continue and indeed flourish throughout the world. Thank-you!

    Liked by 3 people

  12. In all likelihood, Floyd was probably dead when they picked him up off the asphalt. From the little that I watched, the EMTs were taking their time moving him which would indicate no signs of life were present at that time. EMTs cannot legally pronounce a person dead. It typically has to be a doctor that makes the pronouncement. The way to determine is how the EMTs move. If they’re rushing to get the person to the hospital, then there’s a chance to save their life. If they’re not in a rush, then the person is likely gone. A doctor will pronounce them dead when they get to the hospital unless a medical examiner shows up on scene to do it.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    Alive and well! … I couldn’t have said it any better!! … “Yep, folks, racism is alive and well, and on the rise in the United States of America today. Isn’t it a shame that in all these hundreds of years, we haven’t learned a damn thing?”

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Jill, these are two more sad American stories. “I can’t breathe” should be a new rallying cry, as this is the second choking death of a black man on top of the too many shootings.

    The second story watches a white woman take offense at a black man and inappropriately tells police he. Is threatening to kill her. What if they showed up armed and ready? Cooper showed a lot of class in an interview on The View, accepting her apology and condemning those who made death threats toward her.

    Yet, to watch these stories unfold is troubling. Keith

    Liked by 4 people

    • I too am troubled that there is so much division in our country over immutable unchangeable characteristics of each other.

      As Martin Luther King Jr. said, a man should be judged by the content of his character, not the color of his skin, I think that’s how the phrase goes.

      I call out police brutality all of the time on social media and I also call out the unnecessary violence that accompany some protests.

      Neither one is acceptable but yet, we don’t hear nearly as much outrage over the violence of the protesters as we do about the criminal cops. a criminal is a criminal and the law is the law and no one is above the law, not the president, not a dude in blue who swore to uphold the constitution when he went into service, not a maniac setting fire to a building because he’s outraged at injustice, no matter how valid that outrage is.

      Liked by 4 people

    • The symbolism cannot be ignored – a jackbooted thug kneeling on top of an innocent civilian harken back to the Jim Crow era. That lady threatening to call the cops on a black man is equivalent to a death sentence, she should be charged with calling in a false report. At the very least it calls upon her lack of character and latent racism, she should be ostracized, losing her job, dog, friends and more. Her behavior is unacceptable and should never be tolerated in polite society. She literally threatened this man’s life by calling in the Stasi thugs.

      Liked by 1 person

      • All, violence cannot be condoned or encouraged, no matter who does it. Cooper noted in his interview that people cannot condemn what the woman did and then threaten her. It cannot work like that. The actions and hate speech of white supremacists must be condemned, but so shoulf Antifa folks who feel they should react in kind. It waters down the more righteous arguments for equal rights.

        It is the same with the president as he wants a mudfight. He can win that, it is when he has to discuss issues that he exposes his chin. Keith

        Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, the story reminded me very much of that of Eric Garner in … 2014? 2015? So many of them.

      I agree that Cooper showed a lot of class … far more than I could have mustered. From watching the video, I believe the woman has a mental illness, but still … the racism is very much a part of who she is, and it won’t go away. Yes, it is all very troubling and seems to be on the rise these days.

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  15. these stupid protesters aren’t just protesting an obvious injustice but I call them stupid because they are taking it upon themselves to break out bank windows, destroy cars and burn small businesses to the ground. You say white people with guns can protest but other people can’t? The difference is that when those people were protesting at the capital buildings there weren’t crowds looting, rioting and burning things to the ground.
    The officer who killed that man should be put in jail, no question about that.
    but why is it that you never talk about the unacceptibility of the violence that occurs with all of these protests? You’re only reporting a half truth and that doesn’t do well for the credibility of your blog honestly. It doesn’t make you an objective poster.

    All of those damn idiots using social justice as a flimsy excuse to act like animalistic assholes should also be put in jail for destruction of property.
    two wrong do not make a right.
    think about it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Agree 100%, committing more crimes to protest an injustice is not the right course of action. Rioters and looters undermine their own cause.
      Jill is just reporting the news, I’m sure she doesn’t condone wanton destruction and violence. Calling out injustice and protesting is our right as law abiding citizens. So long as no one’s getting hurt, slandered, inciting violence, most speech is protected under the first amendment.
      There are alot of ignorant racists in the world, be they male, female, black or white. It’s a mindset rooted in intolerance and hatred. We shall overcome by sharing empathy, compassion, reason, LOVE.
      Let’s be above fray, and not add fuel to the fire.

      Liked by 3 people

    • I fully agree that there is nothing to be gained by violence, and now yet another death. I also, though, understand the frustration of an entire race of people who have never been given equality and who, in the past decade, have been brutalized to the point they are afraid to even drive to their local grocery store. Does that justify the violence? No, of course not. But, does it explain why they may feel they have no other way of making their voices heard? Maybe.

      Like

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