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Author Topic: Ferguson: The Political Discussion  (Read 19357 times)

Altair

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Ferguson: The Political Discussion
« on: November 25, 2014, 12:01:08 pm »
(Clarification note: This post was a reply to the 'Ferguson' thread in 'Prayers & Energy Requests, where the quoted post still is. - Sunflower)

Quote from: victoreia;166092
Mine, as well. I have no words for how I feel about this.

I have words.

This is the way our criminal justice system was designed to work. Grand juries are designed so that the authorities--police, prosecutors--have the presumption of being in the right. And police officers are given tremendous leeway in life-or-death situations where split-second decision-making is required, because society wants them to continue to protect us.

"Us" does not include brown-skinned people. Brown-skinned people are presumed to be "them". An entrenched diet of fear has been metabolized by American society, so that we black folk are not perceived first as people, but rather as a likely threat. When that perception is on the part of someone licensed to use deadly force, our unarmed young men end up dead. And because of that tremendous leeway, because of the authority-leaning design of grand juries, and because the jurors share the same "black is menace" fear, there aren't any charges.

Not a single black person was surprised by the lack of grand jury indictment. Not one. It's not that dead unarmed black people is the desired outcome; it's that our dead are written off as acceptable losses to keep "us" safe. Tragic, but hey.

Back to business as usual.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2014, 06:45:45 pm by SunflowerP »
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Re: Ferguson
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2014, 08:06:07 am »
Quote from: Altair;166110
This is the way our criminal justice system was designed to work. Grand juries are designed so that the authorities--police, prosecutors--have the presumption of being in the right.

That's how the system is today, but that was NOT the intention of the grand jury system. It was intended as (and originally was) a check on the power of the government to prosecute whoever they wanted to no matter how flimsy the evidence as well as a way to force the investigation and prosecution of people the government wanted to protect. Unfortunately the system has become a rubber stamp for prosecutors; so much so that when you get a grand jury that actually behaviors like a grand jury was intended to it is called a "rogue grand jury". :(
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Chabas

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Re: Ferguson
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2014, 09:57:59 am »
Quote from: Altair;166110


 
The whole situation's bringing out the Sekhmet kid in me. My response to the violent protests is increasingly "sure, peaceful protest would be nicer. If it were effective.". There's a Dutch saying that gentle healers make for stinking wounds. It's been too long, and it's happening too often - it may be time to just cut out the infection. And yeah, that's not a pretty process.

--Chabas

Valeria Crowe

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Re: Ferguson
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2014, 11:20:28 am »
Quote from: Chabas;166149
The whole situation's bringing out the Sekhmet kid in me. My response to the violent protests is increasingly "sure, peaceful protest would be nicer. If it were effective.". There's a Dutch saying that gentle healers make for stinking wounds. It's been too long, and it's happening too often - it may be time to just cut out the infection. And yeah, that's not a pretty process.

--Chabas

 
People die in violent riots. I can't help but think there's a way to fix social injustice that doesn't injure and kill people.

Paceful protest does work. MLK didn't riot. He didn't speak in favor of violence.

And how, exactly, are you going to determine who is injured or killed to cleanse this wound? It's easy for you, across the seas, to dismiss people hurt in riots as 'rough healing.'
"This is a sorrow-spider. Which end do you hold it by? TRICK QUESTION!"

Valeria Crowe

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Re: Ferguson
« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2014, 11:36:32 am »
Quote from: Cuthwin Crowe;166152



 
Needless to say, I am disgusted by the crime, and can't imagine what his family and friends are going through. I really have no no words that could help.
"This is a sorrow-spider. Which end do you hold it by? TRICK QUESTION!"

veggiewolf

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Re: Ferguson
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2014, 11:48:03 am »
Quote from: Cuthwin Crowe;166152
People die in violent riots. I can't help but think there's a way to fix social injustice that doesn't injure and kill people.

Paceful protest does work. MLK didn't riot. He didn't speak in favor of violence.

And how, exactly, are you going to determine who is injured or killed to cleanse this wound? It's easy for you, across the seas, to dismiss people hurt in riots as 'rough healing.'

 
If one believes, as I do, that ma'at needs to be upheld and balance restored no matter what, if one believes that justice needs to prevail no matter what...then one's outlook about what is acceptable and what isn't changes.

Is violence preferable?  No.  Is is sometimes necessary?  Hell, yes.
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Valeria Crowe

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Re: Ferguson
« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2014, 11:53:25 am »
Quote from: veggiewolf;166155
If one believes, as I do, that ma'at needs to be upheld and balance restored no matter what, if one believes that justice needs to prevail no matter what...then one's outlook about what is acceptable and what isn't changes.

Is violence preferable?  No.  Is is sometimes necessary?  Hell, yes.

Wonderful. Advocating violent crime as retribution.

Who dies for ma'at? Whose home is burned for it?

This isn't abstract philosophy. Riots hurt innocent people. How many innocent people will it take to satisfy you?

Because that's what your're advocating. Justice involves the guilty being punished. Rioting does jack squat to the bloated politicians, does nothing to Mr. Brown's killer, doesn't alter verdicts and convince jury members. Just hurts innocent people. All to sate bloodlust disguised as righteous fury.

onvinced.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2014, 11:54:57 am by Valeria Crowe »
"This is a sorrow-spider. Which end do you hold it by? TRICK QUESTION!"

Redfaery

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Re: Ferguson
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2014, 12:12:45 pm »
Quote from: veggiewolf;166155
If one believes, as I do, that ma'at needs to be upheld and balance restored no matter what, if one believes that justice needs to prevail no matter what...then one's outlook about what is acceptable and what isn't changes.

Is violence preferable?  No.  Is is sometimes necessary?  Hell, yes.

 
And if one believes, as I do, that causing harm to other living creatures is wrong, then one will not agree that violence is ever a form of "justice."

How will the rioting redress any sort of wrong or enact any kind of justice? It's just deepening the racial tensions. The racists who are out there will only come away convinced that those dangerous black people are at fault because they're so violent and all that bullshit they've got ingrained in their head. And of course, the police are going to start shooting people again, and this time there won't be half the media outcry because, you know, angry black people are dangerous. *sarcasm*

Of course, all my thoughts and prayers are with Mike Brown, his family, and all of Ferguson.
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Chabas

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Re: Ferguson
« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2014, 12:14:50 pm »
Quote from: Cuthwin Crowe;166152
People die in violent riots. I can't help but think there's a way to fix social injustice that doesn't injure and kill people.


As I said - Sekhmet kid, and yeah, that brings a fairly specific perspective. As does the fact I am married to a black man and currently pregnant with his child. And from that point of view, right now, it sure seems like there are a lot more innocent people dying from police gunfire right now than there are in these riots.

Quote
Paceful protest does work. MLK didn't riot. He didn't speak in favor of violence.


Sometimes it does. Sometimes it doesn't. Would you say that reverend King achieved his goals? Would you say reverend King's goals have been reached now, decades later? And through how many deaths of innocent young men and children is the black community supposed to sit quiet and peaceful, while military police is sent out to keep them in line?

Reverend King, btw, also explicitly did not condemn riots (quote from here):

Quote
But it is not enough for me to stand before you tonight and condemn riots. It would be morally irresponsible for me to do that without, at the same time, condemning the contingent, intolerable conditions that exist in our society. These conditions are the things that cause individuals to feel that they have no other alternative than to engage in violent rebellions to get attention. And I must say tonight that a riot is the language of the unheard.


I don't say that I *know* that violent revolution (Hey! See how differently that single change of word frames matters!) is the answer. But I am beyond the point where I can dismiss this as simply wrong as well.

Quote
And how, exactly, are you going to determine who is injured or killed to cleanse this wound? It's easy for you, across the seas, to dismiss people hurt in riots as 'rough healing.'

 
I've said the same about the Arab spring in Egypt, where a friend was in the middle. I have a friend in St Louis, whose husband works in Ferguson. Yes, there's distance, but that doesn't mean there's no connection. Tell me - are your children at risk of being shot by police for walking in the wrong neighborhood in the wrong clothes? Are your children being warned to always always go along with anything a police officer asks so they won't get shot? Is your community losing its children to this situation without even the hope of justice being served in court? Because you seem to entirely dismiss the lives of these young men and children in the conversation.

I explicitly said that I would prefer a peaceful solution. I'm just not willing to dismiss the weight of the lives of young black men and boys in this equation, and we're losing them at a far higher rate than we're losing lives in the protests.

--Chabas

Darkhawk

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Re: Ferguson
« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2014, 12:25:26 pm »
Quote from: Cuthwin Crowe;166152
protest does work. MLK didn't riot. He didn't speak in favor of violence.

 
"It is not enough for me to stand before you tonight and condemn riots. It would be morally irresponsible for me to do that without, at the same time, condemning the contingent, intolerable conditions that exist in our society. These conditions are the things that cause individuals to feel that they have no other alternative than to engage in violent rebellions to get attention. And I must say tonight that a riot is the language of the unheard."

-- Martin Luther King, Jr., March, 1968
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veggiewolf

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Re: Ferguson
« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2014, 12:31:55 pm »
Quote from: Cuthwin Crowe;166157
Wonderful. Advocating violent crime as retribution.


Ummm...not what I said.  At all.  

Quote
Who dies for ma'at? Whose home is burned for it?

This isn't abstract philosophy. Riots hurt innocent people. How many innocent people will it take to satisfy you?

Because that's what your're advocating. Justice involves the guilty being punished. Rioting does jack squat to the bloated politicians, does nothing to Mr. Brown's killer, doesn't alter verdicts and convince jury members. Just hurts innocent people. All to sate bloodlust disguised as righteous fury.


Actually, I'm not advocating the deaths of anyone.  However, I'm recognizing that we do not live in a social experiment where peaceful protest is going to stop the victimization of people based on skin color...and that, for many people out there, violence may be the only tool they have access to.  

You, I assume, are in a situation where you can choose not to use violence.  Many others aren't, and judging them for it doesn't change their situation.

In passing, I find it extremely interesting that someone who purports to work with Shub-Niggurath is reminding people to think of the innocents.
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veggiewolf

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Re: Ferguson
« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2014, 12:44:47 pm »
Quote from: Redfaery;166158
And if one believes, as I do, that causing harm to other living creatures is wrong, then one will not agree that violence is ever a form of "justice."


Then, you shouldn't use it.  Everyone gets to set their own set of ethics and morals, and I certainly won't judge you for it.

I think, much like the other person who accused me of encouraging violence, you are missing my point.  Let's try this again - violence is sometimes necessary to restore Order with a capital O.  It's not preferable, but we don't live in a world where everything is resolved peacefully.  Revolutions are rarely (if ever) bloodless.

(I'd love it if someone had examples of non-violent revolutions that brought about lasting change, btw.  I can't think of any right now but based on the vitriol aimed at my post, there must be at least one.  Right?)

Violence as a means to an end is a lot different than violence simply for violence's sake.  You seem to think I'm promoting the latter, but what I am saying is that there are situations where the former is unavoidable.

Quote
How will the rioting redress any sort of wrong or enact any kind of justice? It's just deepening the racial tensions. The racists who are out there will only come away convinced that those dangerous black people are at fault because they're so violent and all that bullshit they've got ingrained in their head. And of course, the police are going to start shooting people again, and this time there won't be half the media outcry because, you know, angry black people are dangerous. *sarcasm*


The police seem to be shooting people anyway, though.  At what point do people get to determine for themselves what needs to be done?  There are a lot of people going on about violence not being the answer without being in the line of fire, and the people who get to decide what should and will happen are the people there on the ground.

Justice is served when people are no longer victimized for being different than other people.  Unfortunately, that's going to take awhile.
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Chabas

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Re: Ferguson
« Reply #12 on: November 26, 2014, 12:45:45 pm »
Quote from: Cuthwin Crowe;166157
Wonderful. Advocating violent crime as retribution.

Who dies for ma'at? Whose home is burned for it?

This isn't abstract philosophy. Riots hurt innocent people. How many innocent people will it take to satisfy you?

Because that's what your're advocating. Justice involves the guilty being punished. Rioting does jack squat to the bloated politicians, does nothing to Mr. Brown's killer, doesn't alter verdicts and convince jury members. Just hurts innocent people. All to sate bloodlust disguised as righteous fury.

onvinced.


I'm pretty sure I can speak for Veggie in that neither of us WANT violent resistance. What I WANT is change. Hell, what the black community in the US NEEDS is change. And I cannot recall a time when I've been aware of US news when there weren't these stories appearing, followed by peaceful protests, endless discussions of problems with the system, and no change.

Ma'at isn't something I want, it's something I think is *needed* to keep the world functioning. And from that perspective, I CANNOT justify prioritizing the safety of bystanders, which might at least lead to change, over the lives of the boys and men who will end up like Mike Brown or Trayvon Martin over the coming years if we do nothing. Because this *isn't* either the victims of the protests or peace. Peaceful protest has been leading nowhere for years, and its price is the life of young black man after young black man. I suggest you start valuing those lives as highly as those victims of the riots you keep speaking so highly of - none of whom, btw, have died in the last nights, to the very best of my knowledge.

To again quote reverend King: True peace is not merely the absence of tension, it is the presence of justice. Regardless of how these protests proceed: this is not peace.
 
--Chabas

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Re: Ferguson
« Reply #13 on: November 26, 2014, 12:51:18 pm »
Quote from: veggiewolf;166161
You, I assume, are in a situation where you can choose not to use violence.  Many others aren't, and judging them for it doesn't change their situation.

 
This Nonviolent Stuff'll Get You Killed: How Guns Made the Civil Rights Movement Possible may be relevant.

(I believe I learned about this book from Chauncey DeVega, to give proper credit.)
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Valeria Crowe

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Re: Ferguson
« Reply #14 on: November 26, 2014, 01:04:45 pm »
Quote from: Chabas;166163
I'm pretty sure I can speak for Veggie in that neither of us WANT violent resistance. What I WANT is change. Hell, what the black community in the US NEEDS is change. And I cannot recall a time when I've been aware of US news when there weren't these stories appearing, followed by peaceful protests, endless discussions of problems with the system, and no change.

Ma'at isn't something I want, it's something I think is *needed* to keep the world functioning. And from that perspective, I CANNOT justify prioritizing the safety of bystanders, which might at least lead to change, over the lives of the boys and men who will end up like Mike Brown or Trayvon Martin over the coming years if we do nothing. Because this *isn't* either the victims of the protests or peace. Peaceful protest has been leading nowhere for years, and its price is the life of young black man after young black man. I suggest you start valuing those lives as highly as those victims of the riots you keep speaking so highly of - none of whom, btw, have died in the last nights, to the very best of my knowledge.

To again quote reverend King: True peace is not merely the absence of tension, it is the presence of justice. Regardless of how these protests proceed: this is not peace.
 
--Chabas

 
Then I misunderstood. Apologies.
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