Tag Archives: Racism

Ferguson Missouri – Thoughts

Wife of Feguson Police Chief, on the Protestors of Ferguson, MO.

Wife of Ferguson Police Chief, on the Protesters of Ferguson, MO.

Try as I might, there is no sleeping or writing tonight. What’s happening in Ferguson, Missouri is just too important to sleep through.

Years ago when I first started blogging (at a long since decommissioned URL) everything I wrote was about the outrageous polarization and militarization of the United States in the wake of 911. I wrote about the loss (back then it was an erosion, that’s the word I used) of our Civil Rights. I wrote about a foreign policy that was a War Crime in action, and a domestic policy that was the birth pangs of an emerging Fascist nation.

That was a long time ago.

When the Boston Bombing happened I was completely unplugged, off the grid, and out of touch. The news I got was from one really underfunded public radio station with a scratchy signal, and a really worse Fox Network radio station pushing a gaji-jillion watts of sheer insanity at me every time I turned on the little black box trying to get an updated weather report. And even then, listening to the coverage of the police action (Martial Law) after the bombing, I thought to myself “Well, that was a really successful test run, to see if a municipal police department can effectively intimidate an entire city into quiet, cooperation, trembling in fear behind locked doors.” The answer was yes, they can. A nice test run.

Since then we’ve had nothing except more violence. More divide and conquer. More of the Neo-Corp-Kleptocracy taking over our country and justifying itself with a bought out Supreme Court and tax breaks for the wealthy while we incarcerate young black men and starve working people, telling them they do not deserve a living wage, health care, safe roads, or adequate schools for their kids – even as CEO’s of failing company’s get millions is performance bonuses, the wealthy get tax breaks, the oil and gas companies frack our ground water, and the government steals our future from us.

And now we have Ferguson, Missouri.

The Powers That Be want YOU and ME to FEAR Black People. They want us to HATE brown people and turn them away, even if they are homeless children. They want us to suspect our neighbors and teach our children about “Stranger Danger”. They want us to trust no one except who they tell us to trust, and think nothing except what they tell us to think.

But you know what, sometimes they just screw up.

Ferguson, Missouri is one humongous screw up. Because almost everyone in America can look at what’s happened there, at the absolutely criminal actions of the Ferguson Police Department, lack of oversight and silence from the elected officials of that town, and the silence from the Missouri Justice Department, the US Justice Department, and the deafening sound of crickets from the White House, and we can see with our own eyes that something has gone horribly wrong in our country.

In fact, something has been horribly wrong for a very long time.

Some of us are afraid of Black People. The Ferguson’s Police Chief’s wife certainly falls into that category.

I’ll tell you who I am afraid of. I’m afraid of calling 911. I’m afraid of an army of Mutant Ninja Turtle guys showing up with sniper rifles and AR-15’s when I do. I am afraid of my city officials, right on up to the Federal Government and everything in between.

And you know what, when the people are afraid of their government, there is no Constitution or Bill of Rights that we can fall back on. Tyranny has already won.

Rest in Peace Lady Liberty. Keep Trayvon Martin and Mike Brown company. We’ll be with you soon. Cause they are coming for the rest of us soon.

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All Over But the Shoutin’, by Rick Bragg – Review

All Over But The Shoutin', a memoir of life in the American South that few writers as gifted as Bragg have ever even visited, much less survived.

All Over But The Shoutin’, a memoir of life in the American South that few writers as gifted as Bragg have ever even visited, much less survived.

All Over But the Shoutin’, by Rick Bragg

Pantheon Books, New York, 1997

For his memoir, Rick Bragg reveals the raw bone of dirt poverty in which he grew up. The culture of violence, abuse in every medium, and the grinding pain and humiliation of inequity – as a blow-by-blow assault the poor-white-classes in the South endure every day. Bragg’s South is not the South I grew up in; but I could sure see it from my grandmother’s back porch steps.

This book is so well written, the time, place and people so familiar, I simply couldn’t put it down. It made me ask – how do people manage to survive this life? But moreover, how do people like Rick Bragg not only survive it, but actually use this broken, unsteady foundation as a springboard to fantastic success on a global level? (Bragg won the Pulitzer Prize in 1996 for journalism, while reporting for the New York Times.)

This is a must read, for everyone who thinks they “get” the south. Bragg will give it to you straight up, with a bloody lip if you’re not careful.

I wrote a follow-up, after my second reading, which you can see here.


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