Saturday, February 28, 2015


I need a caption for this pic.
*Pic from

Friday, February 27, 2015

The strange case of Brandon Tate Brown, and another mass murder in middle America.

Image result for tate brown imagesI have been watching the case of Tate Brown  here in Philly for awhile now.

This case, unlike other cases of police brutality, did not make national headlines.

I think I know why.

I also did not jump into the fray, because, quite frankly, I did not see an Eric Garner, or even a Michael Brown type scenario playing itself out here.

The truth is I represent a lot of people like Tate Brown. They are not angels or choir boys, and, if what is alleged is true, like Tate Brown, they make their living in the streets.    

So when I heard about the shooting death of Tate Brown on a street in Frankford section of Philadelphia, I gave the police officer (or officers) who shot him to death the benefit of the doubt. Although my instincts tell me that as a person of color I should have known better.
Now, sadly, there is a genuine issue as to whether Tate Brown was executed or he was shot to death by police officers following proper police procedures.
There has been no social media outcry or no calls for marches on a national scale, because Tate Brown had a gun in his car, and he had an extensive criminal record.
But does all of this matter? If he was not threatening the lives of the police officers who were arresting him, did he deserve to die?
Now the powers that be are giving us yet another story about what happened that night.
"THEY SAY the devil is in the details. And the details of Brandon Tate-Brown's December death at police hands are getting more devilishly contradictory daily, the lawyer representing the dead man's family said yesterday.

Meanwhile, the head of the Police Advisory Commission yesterday viewed videos pertaining to the incident and provided an account of what they show.

Initially, police said that the officer who shot Tate-Brown during a routine car stop on Dec. 15 in Frankford did so because he lunged for a handgun hidden in the console of his 2014 Dodge Charger as he struggled with two cops outside.

But now, they're saying Tate-Brown also "reached for his waistband" in the skirmish, according to a narrative of the incident police posted on their website.

A police spokesman attributed the discrepancies to the preliminary report issued to the public, which contained information that has since been updated as a result of further investigation.
Attorney Brian Mildenberg said Tate-Brown's autopsy report shows that cops gave the Medical Examiner's Office different details than what police officials have released publicly.

Specifically, police told the Medical Examiner that the officers asked Tate-Brown, 26, to step out of his car because they ran his plates and found they were registered to a different car-rental agency than where Tate-Brown told them he'd gotten the car.

One of the officers noticed the gun, the medical examiner's report notes, after he and his partner approached the car a second time - not upon their initial approach, as police officials have repeatedly said.

Police officials have maintained that the officers pulled Tate-Brown over on Frankford Avenue near Magee because his car headlights were out. However, the police statement made no mention of license-plate discrepancies. Meanwhile, the medical examiner's report makes no mention of the headlights. Instead, investigator Natalie Young notes only the license-plate issue.

Kelvyn Anderson, the executive director of the Police Advisory Commission, viewed footage from the incident yesterday at the behest of Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey.

He also reviewed statements from four witnesses at the scene, as well as other evidence." [Source]

Finally, another mass killing in America and another collective yawn from the citizens of our fine country.

Maybe if the killer had chosen to wear a dress with controversial colors he would have gotten our attention. 


Thursday, February 26, 2015

Sheila Butt has a W problem, and Billo has another lie.

Sheila Butt-Tennessee House of Representatives"White power". *In my best Clayton Bigsby voice*

That is what a leading republican (there is a shock) lawmaker in Tennessee must scream to herself every night before she goes to bed.

"Tennessee's House majority floor leader kicked off a scandal back home by calling for the creation of "a Council of Christian Relations and a NAAWP in this Country." But after the Facebook post came to light, Rep. Sheila Butt (R) said that her critics had it all wrong: "W" doesn't stand for White, it stands for Western!

Why people who live in the Western Hemisphere -- which includes everyone living in the United States -- would need a special-interest group wasn't addressed by Butt.

The comment was first flagged by alternative weekly newspaper Nashville Scene.

Her comment came in response to an open letter from the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the largest Muslim civil liberties organization in the U.S., urging 2016 GOP candidates to engage Muslim voters and reject Islamophobia.

Butt later deleted her comment and replaced it with, “We need groups that will stand for Christians and our Western culture. We don’t have groups dedicated to speaking on our behalf.”

Many criticized Butt for using the acronym NAAWP, which various white supremacy groups have used in the past to mean the National Association for the Advancement of White People. Former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke founded an organization with that name.

Butt has responded to critics by saying her original comment was not intended to be racist and that she meant for NAAWP to stand for National Association for the Advancement of Western Peoples.
In an interview with Nashville-based political blog View From The Hill posted Thursday, Butt said she was not aware that the acronym was racist.

“That was an acronym that at that morning, I simply made up to say, ‘National Association for the Advancement of Western Peoples,'" she said. "I had no idea that had ever been used for that before. So that’s something that just came out of nowhere, actually."

Butt's comments sparked a backlash from CAIR as well as the Tennessee House Black Caucus.
Ibrahim Hooper, CAIR’s national communications director, told The Huffington Post they showcase “the overall level of ... bigotry” acceptable within the Republican Party.

“We’ve unfortunately had too many Republican Party leaders and lawmakers make such statements,” he said. “It’s really time that they address this issue as a party instead of just pretending that Islamophobia doesn’t exist within their ranks.”

He added that Butt's stated goal of advocating for “Western peoples” is not much better than advocating for “white people.”

“You almost end up with the same result even if you believe that explanation,” he said" [Source]

The only thing worse than a racist is a dumb and disingenuous racist.

Look, if you are going to be a racist I would respect you more if you were honest about who you are and what you represent.

Finally, it's another day, so time for another Bill O'Reilly lie.

This one involved nuns...oh wait, that was yesterday. Sorry. This one involves bricks and the LA Riots.

" Bill O'Reilly's recollections of various big events he’s covered continue to be questioned, as a new report out today featured several of his former Inside Edition colleagues disputing how O’Reilly has talked about covering the L.A. riots.

According to The Guardian, O’Reilly has talked on multiple occasions about being in direct danger during those 1992 riots while he was at Inside Edition, saying as recently as this week, “We were attacked by protesters, where bricks were thrown at us.”

However, other people who worked for Inside Edition while O’Reilly did and also covered the riots are not saying the same thing. One of them flatly states, “It didn’t happen.” Another says, “I honestly don’t recall watching or hearing about that. I believe I probably would have remembered something like that.”

There was, however, an incident some of them recall differently:
“It was one person with one rock,” said McCall, the sound man. “Nobody was hit.”
“A man came out of his home,” said Antin, who was operating the camera that was struck. “He picked up a chunk of concrete, and threw it at the camera.” Told of O’Reilly’s description of a bombardment, Antin said: “I don’t think that’s really … No, I mean no, not where we were.” 
“There was no concrete,” said McKeown. “There was a single brick”.
One of these individuals, Robert Kirkham, also said that O’Reilly was “being very insensitive to the situation” and got very confrontational with one resident who was trying to clear the wreckage.
Update — 10:45 p.m. ET: We should note, in the report Inside Edition filed on the riots, reporter Bonnie Strauss said rocks and bottles were thrown at the journalists covering the riots.
We have reached out to Fox News for comment on this story." [Source]

The biggest question I have is why Billo is still trying so hard to pretend to be a real journalist. I mean the guy is still kicking butt in the ratings. And unless he has sex with a sheep on live television while beheading babies with a vey large knife, he will always have his FOX viewers.

I guess he still wants to be accepted by the rest of us sane people. The thing is, though, we know a mad man when we see one, and Billo fits the definition to a tee.

Sorry Bill, we can't believe anything you say anymore. But it's alright. I am sure that those News Corp checks are not bouncing.  

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Smoking legal, and another lie from Bill.

Image result for ganja weed images"Every man got to legalize it, and don't criticize it
Legalize it yeah, yeah, and I will advertise it"

~Peter Tosh~

Some good news came out of Jamaica today.

Jamrock might be the land of the collie weed, but smoking our national plant is actually illegal.

At least it was until now.

"KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) — Marijuana has been pervasive but illegal in Jamaica for decades, consumed as a medicinal herb, puffed as a sacrament by Rastafarians and sung about in the island's famed reggae music.

After many years of dialogue about the culturally entrenched drug, and emboldened by changes to drug laws in U.S. states, Jamaica's Parliament on Tuesday night gave final approval to an act decriminalizing small amounts of pot and establishing a licensing agency to regulate a lawful medical marijuana industry.

The historic amendments pave the way for a "cannabis licensing authority" to be established to deal with regulating the cultivation and distribution of marijuana for medical and scientific purposes. Both houses of Jamaica's legislature have approved the legislation.

And in a victory for religious freedom, adherents of the homegrown Rastafari spiritual movement can now freely use marijuana for sacramental purposes for the first time on the tropical island.

The law makes possession of up to 2 ounces of marijuana a petty offense that could result in a ticket but not in a criminal record. Cultivation of five or fewer plants on any premises would be permitted.
Tourists who are prescribed medical marijuana abroad will soon be able to apply for permits authorizing them to legally buy small amounts of Jamaican weed, or "ganja" as it is known locally." [Source]

There are a lot of local politicians and law enforcement officials in Jamaica who will not be pleased with this new development. This will mean less money in their pockets.

The rest of us, on the other hand, want to just propose a toke.....

Mr. Tosh, you are a prophet.

Speaking of ganja, Bill O' Reilly might wish he had a smoke now after yet another story of him embellishing stories from his days as a reporter.

"Questions over his reporting from the 1982 riot in Buenos Aires may be just the tip of the iceberg for Fox News' Bill O'Reilly. The embattled "O'Reilly Factor" host is facing new allegations of embellishing his connection to a key moment in the investigation of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

A new report from liberal watchdog Media Matters has gathered evidence against O'Reilly's oft-repeated claim that he was present during the suicide of Russian émigré George de Mohrenschildt, a friend of Kennedy's assassin Lee Harvey Oswald.

According to O'Reilly's account of the events of March 29, 1977 in his best-selling non-fiction book "Killing Kennedy," he was at de Mohrenschildt's daughter's home in Florida when the man shot himself with a 20-gauge shotgun.

He writes that a "reporter knocked on the door of de Mohrenschildt's daughter's home, he heard the shotgun blast that marked the suicide of the Russian ... that reporter's name is Bill O'Reilly."
O'Reilly has repeated this story several times over the years while promoting his book and the Fox News movie special based on it.

At the time, O'Reilly was a reporter for WFAA-TV in Dallas, and two of his former colleagues claim that he inserted himself into the story after the fact, and could not have been there at the time.
"He was not up on the porch when he heard the gunshots, he was in Dallas. He wasn't traveling at that time," Tracy Rowlett, a reporter colleague of O'Reilly's at WFAA, told Media Matters. "I don't remember O'Reilly claiming that he was there. That came later, that must have been a brain surge when he was writing the book."

Byron Harris, a reporter at WFAA for the past 40 years, also said O'Reilly was in Dallas at the time, and that if he had been there, WFAA would have reported the story as an exclusive item.
"He stole that article out of the newspaper," Harris said. "I guarantee Channel 8 didn't send him to Florida to do that story because it was a newspaper story, it was broken by the Dallas Morning News."

Aside from the word of two former colleagues, Media Matters report cites a Palm Beach County Sherrif's Office investigation into de Mohrenschildt's suicide which makes no mention of O'Reilly, and an Associated Press report from the time that states the only people at the home beside de Mohrenschildt were two maids, who did not report hearing a gunshot.

Image result for bill oreillyMedia Matters report also refers to the 1993 autobiography of Gaeton Fonzi, an investigative journalist who reported relentlessly on the Kennedy assassination. In the autobiography, Fonzi seems to indicate that O'Reilly had no first hand knowledge of the suicide:
"About 6:30 that evening I received a call from Bill O'Reilly, a friend who was then a television reporter in Dallas. 'Funny thing happened,' he said. 'We just aired a story that came over the wire about a Dutch journalist saying the Assassinations Committee has finally located de Mohrenschildt in South Florida. Now de Mohrenschildt's attorney, a guy named Pat Russel, he calls and says de Mohrenschildt committed suicide this afternoon. Is that true?'"
Further evidence against O'Reilly was collected by Jefferson Morley, a former editor for The Washington Post, in a post on his website" [Source]

Maybe he should change the "no spin zone" to the no lie zone.

Finally, it seems like they found another brother with Harry Houdidni like skills. This time it's in the state of Georgia.

"SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — A police officer who fatally shot a handcuffed man won't face criminal charges after a grand jury concluded Wednesday that the suspect was armed with a handgun police missed while patting him down.

"I believe the decision the grand jury made should lay this to rest," Heap told reporters at a courthouse news conference.

Savannah-Chatham County police officer David Jannot fatally shot Smith last Sept. 18 shortly after he had been handcuffed and placed in the back of the officer's patrol car. Police said that Smith's hands were cuffed behind his back but that he managed to move them to the front of his body. Smith then kicked out a car window and tried to escape. He was able to get out of the car.

The grand jury's four-page report said the officer shot Smith five times after the suspect fled the car with a gun in his hand. Jannot testified Smith "pointed the weapon as if to fire it," the report said, and Smith fell dead with the gun several inches from his hands. Lab tests confirmed Smith's DNA in skin cells were found on the gun's grip and at the base of its ammunition clip.

"Many Grand Jurors were appalled that the police did not find Smith's gun despite the fact at least three officers are seen on video frisking him," the report said. "... When the police are taking someone into custody who is known to carry a weapon, we would expect them to conduct a thorough search to include the crotch and groin."

Grand jurors recommended Savannah-Chatham police consider revising department procedures on searching suspects for weapons and transporting potentially violent suspects. Smith had struggled with several officers during his arrest before he was placed alone into a patrol car with Jannot.
Smith, who was black, was shot by the white officer barely a month after the police shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, ignited a national outcry and raised questions about how race factors into police officers' split-second decisions to use lethal force. If there's a key distinction between the two cases, it's that investigators in Missouri confirmed Brown was unarmed. "[Source]

Carry on folks, nothing to see here.  Just another young Negro with incredible escapability skills.

*Rastaman pic from Atlantablackstar.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

How Hollywood sees us.

Image result for cooning gone with the wind maid imagesJust days after the Oscars I think that this cut and paste job that I am about to drop on you is apropos.

"While working with two black co-workers a few years ago, the topic of black history came up and we decided to challenge each other. Although they were a few years away from graduating from college, I realized they had limited knowledge about the achievements of historically important black Americans.
I was surprised they did not know the answer to questions such as, “Who was the first black female millionaire?" and "Who was Benjamin Banneker?” I was shocked at the answers I received.
After thinking about this I realized their lack of knowledge was certainly not related to intellect but was a result of our culture, where the achievements of historically important blacks are absent.

If you asked them about the latest hip-hop stars, athletes or movie stars, they probably could give brief biographies of several of them. Yet, they were unaware of black Americans who not only prospered in their chosen fields, but helped shape the course of American history.
Movies like The Help, The Butler, Precious, 12 Years a Slave, and Training Day all had black people as central characters. All won some type of award or nomination and/or had actors that were recognized with awards. Sounds good outwardly, right? If you take a second glance, you will notice all of these movies promoted stereotypes of black people.
Unfortunately, it appears a large majority of our awards are presented to blacks when we play roles where we are servants, slaves, ghetto moms, or thugs. The sad part is that many of these actors have been in other movies that have been just as good, yet they went unrecognized when they didn't "fit the description.”
Films and television programs, along with R&B artists and hip-hop stars who are way too numerous to list, all contribute to the negative black stereotypes.
My thoughts? Despite Hollywood's overwhelming Democrat support, which is supposed to be sensitive to our community, Hollywood is more comfortable when we (black people) are in our place.
I can hear the pro-Hollywood crowd now… “But these pictures and others are only reflections of what has happened or what is currently going on in our communities.” True, but so were many other positive black people who are rarely mentioned.
Why not make a major motion picture about George Washington Carver, who was both a brilliant scientist and a man of God? Or Charles Drew, who made amazing medical discoveries with blood plasma that led to the invention of the blood bank? Something uplifting that the black community could look up to as a model of progression.
In the end, we have to ask ourselves: If Black History Month, and black history overall, was truly honored in our schools, homes and our communities, our standards in what we call black entertainment wouldn't be allowed. We as a people would demand better and because money talks above all else in Hollywood, we would get what we asked for.
As long as we demand, and often times accept, lower standards and stereotypical entertainment, then lower standards are what we will get.
And if black Americans refuse to recognize that one of the greatest threats to continued stereotypes in entertainment are elite-minded liberals who claim to be our friends, we will keep getting the short end of the stick.
It's time to honor the memory of those who made Black History Month possible and start telling the true story.
Hollywood, we have enough movies that glorify the ghost of our past. Let's take a chance on introducing movies that highlight the accomplishments that black Americans have made in our country's history.
Maybe then we will inspire more of our people to greater things when they realize how great black history in America really is." [Source]

The field Negro enlightenment series continues.


Monday, February 23, 2015

"American Denial".

Image result for black man arrested imagesI would like to start this post by saying thank you to my African brothers and sisters, who hosted a wonderful program with yours truly yesterday at a church (no it didn't explode) in the Overbrook section of Philadelphia.

Getting knowledge is good.  Bonding with the Diaspora is better.

Now for my post:

"In 1944, Swedish sociologist Gunnar Myrdal, in his famous study An American Dilemma, unpacked the hypocrisy of Jim Crow segregation in a society based on liberty and equality.

The new PBS documentary American Denial picks up this decades-old question and asks it again: how in the world can a country that claims to cherish freedom and fairness treat black people so terribly?

Using Myrdal's work as an entry point, director Llewellyn ("Llew") Smith and producers Christine Herbes-Sommers and Kelly Thomson offer a new answer that's based on a modern, research-grounded understanding of how oppression works. The film makes the case that everything from the racialized police-involved violence that has captured the country's attention in recent months, to educational inequalities, economic disparities, and the incarceration crisis all have a common root: unconscious racism, also known as implicit bias. They pin the blame on a belief — so deeply entrenched that many of us aren't aware that we hold it — that white is better than black.

I had a conversation recently with Herbes-Sommers and Smith, who worked on the film for more than 5 years, about how the topic of unconscious racism has become even more timely since they began the project, and why it's so urgent that all Americans ask themselves two key questions: "Why do I think this?" and "What are the consequences"?

'Jenée Desmond-Harris: What was your inspiration for making this film?

CHS: When it comes to talking about race and bias generally, white people don't want to feel guilty anymore, and black people don't want to feel angry anymore. For us, [the goal] was, what is a way for us to begin to probe the question in a way that everyone could embrace, as both personal and political? We all have biases, but how can we look at those in a way that allows us to change the destructive outcomes of those biases?

LS: In terms of the nature of the film, we were also interested in using history as a way to begin to open up this conversation and a lens through which we could ask some very penetrating questions about how we create racial dynamics.

JDH: How does American Denial explain how implicit racial bias has influenced this country throughout history, and how it works today?

CHS: The narrative spine of the film is Gunnar Myrdal's 1,800-page, multivolume study on the Jim Crow South. He asks a very profound, very difficult question: how can a society that is so devoted to equality, justice, and equal opportunity both allow and enable a system of laws and practices that oppress a significant percentage of the population?

He alludes to idea that there is unconscious bias, but that's not what he identifies. Probably the best way we see unconscious bias in the film is through a test called the Implicit Association Test, which was developed by Mahzarin R. Banaji of Harvard.

And probably the most poignant sections of the film are the black doll/white doll tests of Kenneth and Mamie Clarke [conducted during the 1940s] and a modern iteration of the test in which the results are the same. Young children five, four, six years old, are given two dolls — a black doll and white doll, and the interrogator ask which doll is the nice doll, the smart doll, the dumb doll, the ugly doll, the pretty doll, and the results are horrible: a third of black children are identifying the white dolls as smart, good, healthy, clean, and successful. But when it comes to the question "What doll are you?" the children don't want to identify themselves as bad, stupid, ugly, et cetera, but they're not white. We see this internalized conundrum and the results of historical biases and practices.

LS: What's interesting about that test is it gets to the question of implicit biases — that even people of color can have biases against themselves and that gets internalized because we're all subjected to the same kinds of biases that devalue black skin and black life compared to white skin and white life.

The kind of bias the FBI Director James Corney is talking about when he's talking about police making assumptions about who's more likely to kill and who's not, that's not so different from the kind of bias that's being articulated in the doll study — in one place its being internalized and in one place its being executed in public action.

CHS: These biases are not neutral. They lead to arrests, stereotyping, mass incarceration ... whole communities are being eviscerated by these biases in practice.

JDH: You mentioned arrests and incarceration. What areas outside criminal justice are useful to explore when thinking about implicit bias?

CHS: In the film, we see an extension of implicit bias test into the realm of medicine. A group of doctors are asked how they would prescribe certain blood pressure medications, and there's a huge correlation — blood pressure medication is given much less to black men than to white men with the same symptoms, when everything else is equal.

Another place you see it is in employment and hiring. Legions of studies indicate that identical resumes are treated differently once race is identified. Virtually every realm of human endeavor in US is colored one way or the other by a racial dynamic.

LS: Other research shows that black boys are viewed as older and less innocent than white boys [by teachers and police officers]. It's not that these people are consciously trying to do these things, but they're articulating what is in their unconscious and the unconscious associations they make ... but of course these teachers wouldn't describe themselves as racist, and we wouldn't say they are bad people. We're all drinking the same water, and we're getting the same messages. How these are being articulated in our life is a question we're not asking enough.

JDH: Do you think the film's focus on implicit bias and your emphasis that it's something that affects everyone takes the question of blame out of the equation and makes it easier, or more palatable, for viewers to become open to thinking about modern-day racial inequality?

LS: It's a conversation we haven't tried to have in that way. We keep trying to have these winner-take-all conversations, and we keep winding up in the same place. What we are trying to do [with the film] is invite the viewers into the film to think about this for an hour in a way that is not about apportioning blame. It's about how are we all victimized by the destructive ideas we've internalized ... and how that affects the institutions we depend on.

CHS: Rather than a conversation about blame, it's about collective individual responsibility — to invite viewers to look at themselves without fear, knowing that other people might be doing the same thing. It's a collective exercise in self-examination.

LS: Banaji acknowledges in the film that even when she takes her own test, she can't associate good with black as quickly as she associates good with white.

JDH: There are a lot of people who really resent any discussions of race and racism, and who become very defensive and insist that people who discuss race are creating an issue where there isn't one. Could confessions like Banaji's and those of the other experts in the film, and the emphasis that racial bias is something that affects all of us, be disarming to these types of viewers?

CHS: Overall, we tried to tell the story in a really gentle, inviting, complicated way. Black and white scholars are implicating themselves and each other in this imminently human project of cultivating biases and reevaluating them for their destructive consequences.

[This type of inquiry] always leads to the question, "Why do I think this?" Not just why is there a bias, but "Why don't I want to talk about this anymore?" You end up peeling back layers of resistance and denial — that's an extremely courageous process for human beings to engage in, and we hope that film invites viewers to do that.

LS: I keep thinking about the people who are afraid to have these kinds of conversations, and there's this feeling that if we don't talk about it, it might go away. But we have to talk about it because there are lives at stake. There are people dying in encounters with police. There are African-Americans locked away, in a society that incarcerates people at a higher rates than in any other society in the history of the world. There are real problems that we have to address going forward, and it would be wonderful if these tragedies would lead to a moment where we start to really address some of these issues in ways that we haven't.

CHS: And we think the moment may be closer upon us  ... when was the last time you saw the words "implicit bias" come out of the mouth of an FBI director?

But our capacity for denial as individuals and a culture is rapacious — a lot of it is self-protective, but in the end a lot of the stuff that is self-protective is destructive to others and to society as a whole.

LS: One thing you could say to these people who say they're really sick of this is this is something to explore, even though you may not want to do it. Gently cajole people to actually take the [Implicit Association] test, and see how they feel when they get the results. You don't necessarily have to believe them, but it's something to think about.

JDH: What is the fundamental question the film is trying to get viewers to answer? Is it "Why do I think this?"

LS: It's that, and "Why do I do this?" And "What consequences does it have that these things are being thought by me, and that these thoughts are shared with people who are friends, strangers, and people in institutions we depend on for democracy and justice?"

CHS: Right. It starts with the "why" question and then next question is, "What are the consequences when it's not just me who feels it and acts on it? Because biases are nothing if they have no consequences. If they don't have consequences, then they're just personal opinions and preferences.

JDH: A lot of people think that biases are just harmless and personal.

CHS:  But they're not.  They're not at all.'" [Source]

The field Negro enlightenment  and education series continues.

Thank you for reading.   


Sunday, February 22, 2015

"Racism without racists"?

Image result for white male privilege image*My enlightening and informative cut and paste posts about white privilege and racism continues:

"SUPERMARKET shoppers are more likely to buy French wine when French music is playing, and to buy German wine when they hear German music. That’s true even though only 14 percent of shoppers say they noticed the music, a study finds.
Researchers discovered that candidates for medical school interviewed on sunny days received much higher ratings than those interviewed on rainy days. Being interviewed on a rainy day was a setback equivalent to having an MCAT score 10 percent lower, according to a new book called “Everyday Bias,” by Howard J. Ross.
Those studies are a reminder that we humans are perhaps less rational than we would like to think, and more prone to the buffeting of unconscious influences. That’s something for those of us who are white men to reflect on when we’re accused of “privilege.”
White men sometimes feel besieged and baffled by these suggestions of systematic advantage. When I wrote a series last year, “When Whites Just Don’t Get It,” the reaction from white men was often indignant: It’s an equal playing field now! Get off our case!
Yet the evidence is overwhelming that unconscious bias remains widespread in ways that systematically benefit both whites and men. So white men get a double dividend, a payoff from both racial and gender biases.
Consider a huge interactive exploration of 14 million reviews on that recently suggested that male professors are disproportionately likely to be described as a “star” or “genius.” Female professors are disproportionately described as “nasty,” “ugly,” “bossy” or “disorganized.”
One reaction from men was: Well, maybe women professors are more disorganized!
But researchers at North Carolina State conducted an experiment in which they asked students to rate teachers of an online course (the students never saw the teachers). To some of the students, a male teacher claimed to be female and vice versa.
When students were taking the class from someone they believed to be male, they rated the teacher more highly. The very same teacher, when believed to be female, was rated significantly lower.
Something similar happens with race.
Two scholars, Marianne Bertrand and Sendhil Mullainathan, sent out fictitious résumés in response to help-wanted ads. Each résumé was given a name that either sounded stereotypically African-American or one that sounded white, but the résumés were otherwise basically the same.
The study found that a résumé with a name like Emily or Greg received 50 percent more callbacks than the same résumé with a name like Lakisha or Jamal. Having a white-sounding name was as beneficial as eight years’ work experience.
Then there was the study in which researchers asked professors to evaluate the summary of a supposed applicant for a post as laboratory manager, but, in some cases, the applicant was named John and in others Jennifer. Everything else was the same.
“John” was rated an average of 4.0 on a 7-point scale for competence, “Jennifer” a 3.3. When asked to propose an annual starting salary for the applicant, the professors suggested on average a salary for “John” almost $4,000 higher than for “Jennifer.”
It’s not that we white men are intentionally doing anything wrong, but we do have a penchant for obliviousness about the way we are beneficiaries of systematic unfairness. Maybe that’s because in a race, it’s easy not to notice a tailwind, and white men often go through life with a tailwind, while women and people of color must push against a headwind.
While we don’t notice systematic unfairness, we do observe specific efforts to redress it — such as affirmative action, which often strikes white men as profoundly unjust. Thus a majority of white Americans surveyed in a 2011 study said that there is now more racism against whites than against blacks.
None of these examples mean exactly that society is full of hard-core racists and misogynists. Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, a Duke University sociologist, aptly calls the present situation “racism without racists”; it could equally be called “misogyny without misogynists.” Of course, there are die-hard racists and misogynists out there, but the bigger problem seems to be well-meaning people who believe in equal rights yet make decisions that inadvertently transmit both racism and sexism.
So, come on, white men! Let’s just acknowledge that we’re all flawed, biased and sometimes irrational, and that we can do more to resist unconscious bias. That means trying not to hire people just because they look like us, avoiding telling a young girl she’s “beautiful” while her brother is “smart.” It means acknowledging systematic bias as a step toward correcting it." [Source]
Three cheers for Mr. Kristoff.
*Image from

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Caption Saturday.

I need a caption for this pic.

Friday, February 20, 2015

I bet they love America in the no truth zone.

I am still trying to figure out how the president of a country that had free and democratic elections to make him its leader does not love said country.....*shrug*

Oh those republicans.

O wait, there is a response.

"Rudy Giuliani is not backing down from his comments that President Obama doesn’t love America. And to anyone who might think his comments were racist, Giuliani has a very odd reason why he doesn’t think so.

Now, for the record, it’s unclear how many people were actually calling Giuliani’s words racist (most of the posts about Giuliani and racism today are in reaction to his newer comments). But nevertheless, when speaking with The New York Times yesterday, the former New York mayor completely dismissed the idea that anything he said was about race.
And here’s his explanation why:
'Some people thought it was racist — I thought that was a joke, since he was brought up by a white mother, a white grandfather, went to white schools, and most of this he learned from white people. This isn’t racism. This is socialism or possibly anti-colonialism.”'

Got it!

Speaking of republicans, Bill O'Lie-ly seems to be upset with Mother Jones.

I guess the truth hurts.

"The Bill O’Reilly dispute with Mother Jones just keeps getting more intense.
For those not up to speed, the magazine’s editor David Corn alleged on Thursday that the Fox News host had embellished his experiences as a CBS reporter covering wars in El Salvador and the Falkland Islands. O’Reilly hit back via phone interviews with the media, calling the Mother Jones charges “bullshit,” accusing Corn and others of “gutter-sniping” at him despite O’Reilly’s record of being “absolutely accurate.”

As we reported earlier today, the Factor is set to address the controversy once more, but this time during the “Talking Points Memo” portion of his nightly broadcast. The full transcript has made its way online in advance of the 8 p.m. ET broadcast.

From the outset, O’Reilly throws bombs at Mother Jones (“a far-left magazine” with “low circulation”), David Corn (“liar”), and media outlets that have given favorable coverage to the allegations.

“I’m sorry,” tells his audience. “I have to deal with this garbage tonight.”
He goes on to explain his side of the story:
Basically David Corn, a liar, says that I exaggerated situations in the Falklands War and Salvadoran War. Here’s the truth: Everything I’ve said about my reportorial career — everything — is true. 33 years ago in June, Argentina surrendered to Great Britain, ending the Falklands War. I was covering the conflict from Argentina and Uruguay for CBS News. After learning of the surrender, angry mobs in Buenos Aires stormed the presidential palace — the Casa Rosada — trying to overthrow the government of General Leopoldo Galtieri. I was there on the street with my camera crews. The violence was horrific, as Argentine soldiers fired into the crowd, who were responding with violent acts of their own. My video of the combat led the CBS Evening News with Dan Rather that evening and, later on, I filed a report that ran nationwide. That’s what happened. I never said I was on the Falkland Islands, as Corn purports. I said I covered the Falklands War, which I did.
Image result for bill oreilly images cartoon**O’Reilly will present a CBS internal memo from 33 years ago that praises his coverage abroad. “[D]idn’t have the time last night but would like to say many thanks for the riot piece last night,” the telex reads. “WCBS-TV and WCAU-TV both took the entire piece, instead of stripping it for pix. They called to say thanks for a fine piece. Thanks again. Your piece made the late feed, a winner last night.”

He will also present a letter he wrote in 1982 to CBS News’ then-chief describing how “the riot had been very bad, we were gassed, shot at, and I had the best vantage point in which to report the story.”
O’Reilly will cite these documents as “rock solid proof” that Corn and others have smeared him. “I had to spend hours last night on the phone with various reporters and crawling around my basement covered with dust to find documents from 33 years ago,” he laments. “All because an irresponsible, guttersnipe — a far-left zealot who has attacked Fox News many times before — spit this stuff out on the net.”

He also attacks CNN’s media reporter, Brian Stelter, alleging he’s a “far-left zealot masquerading as a journalist” for having picked up the Mother Jones allegations last night and discussed them on television.

Real journalists knew this story was BS from the jump,” O’Reilly adds." [Source]

And "real journalists" don't make up stories.

**Pic from 


Thursday, February 19, 2015

Brian and Bill's big adventure.

"After NBC News suspended anchor Brian Williams for erroneously claiming that he was nearly shot down in a helicopter while covering the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, Fox News host Bill O'Reilly went on a tear. On his television show, the top-rated cable news anchor declared that the American press isn't "half as responsible as the men who forged the nation." He bemoaned the supposed culture of deception within the liberal media, and he proclaimed that the Williams controversy should prompt questioning of other "distortions" by left-leaning outlets.

Yet for years, O'Reilly has recounted dramatic stories about his own war reporting that don't withstand scrutiny—even claiming he acted heroically in a war zone that he apparently never set foot in.

O'Reilly has repeatedly told his audience that he was a war correspondent during the Falklands war and that he experienced combat during that 1982 conflict between England and Argentina. He has often invoked this experience to emphasize that he understands war as only someone who has witnessed it could. As he once put it, "I've been there. That's really what separates me from most of these other bloviators. I bloviate, but I bloviate about stuff I've seen. They bloviate about stuff that they haven't."
Fox News and O'Reilly did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
Here are instances when O'Reilly touted his time as a war correspondent during the Falklands conflict:
  • In his 2001 book, The No Spin Zone: Confrontations With the Powerful and Famous in America, O'Reilly stated, "You know that I am not easily shocked. I've reported on the ground in active war zones from El Salvador to the Falklands."
  • Conservative journalist Tucker Carlson, in a 2003 book, described how O'Reilly answered a question during a Washington panel discussion about media coverage of the Afghanistan war: "Rather than simply answer the question, O'Reilly began by trying to establish his own bona fides as a war correspondent. 'I've covered wars, okay? I've been there. The Falklands, Northern Ireland, the Middle East. I've almost been killed three times, okay.'"
  • In a 2004 column about US soldiers fighting in Iraq, O'Reilly noted, "Having survived a combat situation in Argentina during the Falklands war, I know that life-and-death decisions are made in a flash."
  • In 2008, he took a shot at journalist Bill Moyers, saying, "I missed Moyers in the war zones of [the] Falkland conflict in Argentina, the Middle East, and Northern Ireland. I looked for Bill, but  April 2013, while discussing the Boston Marathon bombing, O'Reilly shared a heroic tale of his exploits in the Falklands war:
    I was in a situation one time, in a war zone in Argentina, in the Falklands, where my photographer got run down and then hit his head and was bleeding from the ear on the concrete. And the army was chasing us. I had to make a decision. And I dragged him off, you know, but at the same time, I'm looking around and trying to do my job, but I figure I had to get this guy out of there because that was more important.I didn't see him"
    Yet his own account of his time in Argentina in his 2001 book, The No Spin Zone, contains no references to O'Reilly experiencing or covering any combat during the Falklands war. In the book, which in part chronicles his troubled stint as a CBS News reporter, O'Reilly reports that he arrived in Buenos Aires soon before the Argentine junta surrendered to the British, ending the 10-week war over control of two territories far off the coast of Argentina. There is nothing in this memoir indicating that O'Reilly witnessed the fighting between British and Argentine military forces—or that he got anywhere close to the Falkland Islands, which are 300 miles off Argentina's shore and about 1,200 miles south of Buenos Aires.

  • "Nobody from CBS got to the Falklands," says Bob Schieffer. "For us, you were a thousand miles from where the fighting was. So we had some great meals."
    Given the remote location of the war zone—which included the British territory of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, more than 1,400 miles offshore—few reporters were able to witness and report on the combat that claimed the lives of about 900 Argentine and British troops. The government in London only allowed about 30 British journalists to accompany its military forces. As Caroline Wyatt, the BBC's defense correspondent, recently noted, "It was a war in which a small group of correspondents and crews sailing with the Royal Navy were almost entirely dependent upon the military—not only for access to the conflict, but also for the means of reporting it back to the UK." And Robert Fox, one of the embedded British reporters, recalled, "We were, in all, a party of about 32-34 accredited journalists, photographers, television crew members. We were all white, male, and British. There was no embedded reporter from Europe, the Commonwealth or the US (though they tried hard enough), let alone from Latin America."

  • American reporters were not on the ground in this distant war zone. "Nobody got to the war zone during the Falklands war," Susan Zirinsky, a longtime CBS News producer who helped manage the network's coverage of the war from Buenos Aires, tells Mother Jones. She does not remember what O'Reilly did during his time in Argentina. But she notes that the military junta kept US reporters from reaching the islands: "You weren't allowed on by the Argentinians. No CBS person got there."

  • That's how Bob Schieffer, who was CBS News' lead correspondent covering the Falklands war, recalls it: "Nobody from CBS got to the Falklands. I came close. We'd been trying to get somebody down there. It was impossible." He notes that NBC News reporter Robin Lloyd was the only American network correspondent to reach the islands. "I remember because I got my butt scooped on that," Schieffer says. "He got out there and we were all trying to get there." (Lloyd tells Mother Jones that he managed to convince the Argentine military to let him visit Port Stanley, the capital of the Falkland Islands, but he spent only a day there—and this was weeks before the British forces arrived and the fighting began.)

  • Schieffer adds, "For us, you were a thousand miles from where the fighting was. So we had some great meals." [More]
Move over Brian Williams; it looks like you might have some company.