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So Much for the Promised Land

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Posted on Aug 3, 2009
AP / LM Otero

By Chris Hedges

(Page 2)

“The only difference between the world of high finance and drug dealers are the commodities they deal,” he added. “The mentality is the same.”

The most prominent faces of color, such as Obama and his attorney general, Eric Holder, mask an insidious new racism that, in essence, tells blacks they have enough, that progress has been made and that it is up to them to take advantage of what society offers them. And black politicians and intellectuals, including Obama and Gates, are the delivery systems for the message. We blame the victims, those for whom jobs and opportunities do not exist, while we orchestrate the largest transfer of wealth upward in American history. We sustain with taxpayer dollars a power elite and oligarchy that is responsible for dismantling the manufacturing base and social service programs which once gave workers and their families hope. Apologists for the system call their demands for black personal responsibility “tough love.” But the stance, music to the ears of the white elite, is to Baker and Jones morally indefensible. It ignores the harsh reality visited on the poor by the cruelty of unfettered capitalism. It ignores the institutional racism that makes sure the poor remain poor.

“The most published and publicized blacks on the American public scene today are well-dressed, comfortably educated, sagaciously articulate, avowedly new age, and resolutely middle class … , ” Baker wrote. “The evolution of their relationship to the black majority during the past three decades can be summed up in a single word: good-bye!”

“Things are deteriorating,” Jones said of the inner city. “There are no natural relationships because of the decentralization of the street gangs. You don’t have a leadership structure that can be talked to by members of the community to bring peace. You have basically guerrilla warfare going on in the inner city of Chicago. There is no structure or hierarchy where you can go talk to one person in the neighborhood that can then go down the pecking order to bring peace. You have different groups that have different motivations, and that factionalism is at the base of the violence. But there is no alternative when you don’t have jobs, when you have an educational system that has failed and bad home environments.”

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Jones said Obama’s silence was illustrated during a recent fundraising trip to Chicago. The president called Chicago White Sox pitcher Mark Buehrle to congratulate him for pitching a perfect game. Obama made no comment, however, about the shooting of nine people in Chicago, including a 9-year-old girl, a few days earlier.

“When Barack Obama does not speak to these issues, it is almost a double devastation to a certain degree,” he said. “It is different if President Bush doesn’t say anything or Bill Clinton doesn’t say anything. But when Barack Obama can’t say the obvious, it does a double devastation to those young men who wanted to hope and wanted to believe in the system to redress these issues.”

August Wilson wrote his last play, “Radio Golf,” about the black elite that sold out the African-American community in exchange for personal power and wealth. He portrayed them as tools and puppets of the white mainstream. It was the final salvo from one of the country’s most courageous playwrights on behalf of the forgotten. The show, despite being named best American play by the New York Drama Critics Circle and earning a Tony nomination for best play, was one of the least attended shows on Broadway and closed after less than two months. There are African-American leaders and writers with Wilson’s integrity who have refused to accommodate an economic and political system that increasingly punishes the poor, especially the poor of color, but you do not see them on CNN or writing Op-Ed pieces in The New York Times. Dick Gregory, James Cone of Union Theological Seminary, Thulani Davis, Komunyakaa, Angela Davis, Baker and Ishmael Reed still harbor the radical fire of our greatest civil rights leaders.

And, of course, there is Harry Belafonte, whose invitation to speak at the funeral of Coretta Scott King was withdrawn so President George W. Bush, whom Belafonte had called a “terrorist,” would not be offended when he spoke there. This last slight illustrates how craven many in the black elite, including some of Dr. King’s children, have become and how hard it is to hear the anguished cries of those being beaten down in the age of Obama.

Courtiers come in different colors in America but their function is the same. They are hedonists of power. They are invited into the inner circles of the elite, including the White House and Harvard University, as long as they faithfully serve the system. They are offered comfort and privilege, but they pay with their souls.

“Loose and easy language about equality, resonant resolutions about brotherhood fall pleasantly on the ear,” Dr. Martin Luther King once said, “but for the Negro, there is a credibility gap he cannot overlook. He remembers that with each modest advance, the white population promptly raises the argument that the Negro has come far enough. Each step forward accents an ever-present tendency to backlash.”


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By Inherit The Wind, August 9, 2009 at 12:37 pm Link to this comment

which is why I think concentrating on his supposed racism distracts everyone from the certain and important problem of police power.
***********************************************

YES! Anarcissie you have hit the salient point.

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By ardee, August 9, 2009 at 10:54 am Link to this comment

Inherit The Wind, August 9 at 10:14 am #

I certainly don’t deny that racism is still a virulent poison in our society—All I have to do is see how people look funny at me with my little 4 year old, who is NOT Caucasian.  The decent ones sort of do a double-take, then smile when they realize it’s STILL just a father and a son (and a very adorable little boy)—and maybe inside are a little ashamed to be shocked. 

.....................................

I completely understand your experience, having married a “raging Cajun” and fathered two children with her. My eldest daughter, a close resemblance to her mother, in turn married a Chippewa and had a son with him.

After my wife died, rather too soon sadly, I eventually remarried , to a woman of Japanese and Norwegian parenting. We had a daughter as well.

Our family gatherings and outings always bring curious stares and sometimes questions too…..

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By Folktruther, August 9, 2009 at 9:54 am Link to this comment

Anarcissie’s point is the salient one.  It doesn’t matter if one cop is racist, it is THE INSTITUTIONAL RACISM that is important here.  Police institutional authority demanda a polite servility when addressing cops and the tension between cops and minorities breach this descretion much more often than when both the cop and suspect are White.

Whether Crowley was PERSONALLY racist, or conscious of being racist,  is largely irrelevant to the general repitition of the Gates incident.  as Ardee says, we live in a racist society and unless we are conscious of it and conterbalance it, our actions tend to be routinely racist.

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By Anarcissie, August 9, 2009 at 8:39 am Link to this comment

Inherit The Wind:
’... But I AM saying that I KNOW Crowley acted like an asshole. ...’

My guess is that Crowley was simply following orders, regulations, police protocol.  The overall theory is that one must always treat the police respectfully and do as they say.  A more diplomatic, politically hip, perhaps smarter cop would have bent protocol a little and walked away from Gates (which is why Mr. O said the police had acted stupidly) but Crowley is probably the punctilious type —an asshole, if you will.  Sounds like it, anyway.  We don’t really know that he’s a racist, except in the universal sense, which is why I think concentrating on his supposed racism distracts everyone from the certain and important problem of police power.

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By Inherit The Wind, August 9, 2009 at 7:14 am Link to this comment

I certainly don’t deny that racism is still a virulent poison in our society—All I have to do is see how people look funny at me with my little 4 year old, who is NOT Caucasian.  The decent ones sort of do a double-take, then smile when they realize it’s STILL just a father and a son (and a very adorable little boy)—and maybe inside are a little ashamed to be shocked. 

The not-so decent ones (inevitably White) scowl—like the guy at Home Depot yesterday.  I guess I’m imposing enough that NOBODY ever says anything negative.  Which is wise.

But I AM saying that I KNOW Crowley acted like an asshole.  I do NOT know that he was acting as a racist.  I do know his fellow cops, especially the non-White ones, were quick to step forward to defend him against charges of racism.

I’m GUESSING that Gates was acting a bit like an asshole, too.

However I’m NOT guessing when I assert that the entire birther movement is fundamentally racist, that the GOP is now the COP (Caucasian-Only Party), and that the old Jim Crow assholes are on the rise again.

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By ardee, August 9, 2009 at 6:25 am Link to this comment

If I may,ITW, re: your statement:

“Here FT returns to truth and sanity.  But, FT, you need to realize: While every racist is an asshole, not every asshole is a racist.  I think Crowley was being simply an asshole, and maybe Gates was being a bit of one, too”

Clever, witty and somewhat accurate. The fact remains, however, that we are a racist society and those of us who find this
abhorrent, as I am certain you yourself do as well, are driven to speak to this as a pertinent and all too common example of that racism. Even if there is the small chance that it was not such.

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By Folktruther, August 9, 2009 at 12:07 am Link to this comment

Oh no, Elisa, I was implying the exact opposite, that your demonstrations helped produce a less polluting form of energy.  Livermore’s radiation leaks, and I’ve know chemists who developed leukemia from it.

It’s very difficult to change a country’s weapon systems by small militant demonstrations. But there is honor in trying.

Inherit, I suggest to you to Ardee’s comments on the raccism in the Gates incident.

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By elisalouisa, August 8, 2009 at 9:53 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther:Your demonstrations at Livermore produced an enormous nmuber of windmills that increase everytime we drive past.  A public relations effort to still the protest against the bombs and radiation they produce.
******************************
Actually, I never put the two together. If you are intimating that our demonstrations did no good, I cannot say we managed to stop production of the bomb or other horrendous weapons. However, when you protest an injustice or weapons of mass destruction you do not go into it weighing the odds of success, chances of failure or safety. You do so because that is where you are.

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By Inherit The Wind, August 8, 2009 at 8:42 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther, August 4 at 12:58 pm #

You can’t talk about class in the US, Anarcissie,without talking about race.  Race not only promotes social cohesion, more specificlly it promotes INTERCLASS cohesion, allying the White ru.ing class with the White population against non-Whites and Foreigners.

the US has been a highly racist nation throughout history, and racism has probably been the most effective ideological tool of the ruling class to divide and rule the American population.  Racism is currently being used to unite the American population agaist dark-skinned Muslims in the War on Terrorism.
***************************************************

As I read this first part I think “Uh-oh, FT’s into his linguistic gobble-de-gook.  Then I realized that not only can I actually translate it into normal English, I actually agree with it 100%.

Until he spoils it with another set of his usual lies….

***************************************************
I was amazed at the number of TD Progressives who sided with the cops against Gates.  It’s understandable in the case of Sepharad and Inherit, ziofascist Zionism being a racist ideology, but liberals like Elisa also approved the police action.  Apparently their idea of Freedom of Speech is servility in the presence of authority.  But Gore Vidal focused on the central aspect of police power in the oppression of class power.
*****************************************************

Unfortunately, FT has descended into making up bullshit lies again.  I NEVER sided with Crowley against Gates—I never took sides.  While FT ASSUMED it was racism on Crowley’s part, I, instead, wondered if it was an excess of testosterone and Gates’ frustration at arriving home from China and having to break into his own house in the middle of the night, and having to deal with a cop who got his balls in a knot at not being kow-towed to.

Occam’s Razor: The simplest solution that fits the facts is the solution.  Racism on Crowley’s part is not indicated by the facts.  Cop-Testosterone-dominance is.

But FT’s supernatural mind-reading ability tells HIM Crowley was being a racist, and not just an asshole.

**************************************************
Your equating the moral superioty of feeling racist to feeling anti-racist ignores the need of poltical morality for a society to function effectively, justly and freely.
*************************************************

Here FT returns to truth and sanity.  But, FT, you need to realize: While every racist is an asshole, not every asshole is a racist.  I think Crowley was being simply an asshole, and maybe Gates was being a bit of one, too.

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By Folktruther, August 8, 2009 at 8:35 pm Link to this comment

It is quite true, Anarcissie, that I am referring to unconscious racism, of the kind characterized as I Am Not Racist But.  But I didn’t mean to appear self-rightous. It was just Ardee’s experience that was a revelation to me.  He has organized against racism, but I never have except incidentally, usually organizing around class, against war, etc.  I’ve underestimated the problem in the US.

Elisa, the policeman is not your friend.  They’re function is to subjugate you, just as it is the military’s to subjugate the people they bomb at home, funerals and weddings.  I have never said there is nothing to fear; on the contrary, the immediate future is full of threat.  but the power structure that the police protect makes people fear each other so that power can divide and rule.  Racism is a key element of this fear in the US.

I used to play tennis with the chief of police of a liberal suburb.  If you are expecting the police to protect you from gangs, those expectations are unrealistic.  I would suggest a shotgun.

Your demonstrations at Livermore produced an enormous nmuber of windmills that increase everytime we drive past.  A public relations effort to still the protest against the bombs and radiation they produce.

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By Anarcissie, August 8, 2009 at 7:55 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther—many years ago I witnessed part of a complex incident in which a (White) professor was indeed dragged from a church where he was minding his own business and beaten by police.  It was probably a case of mistaken identity.  The entire incident was hushed up.  Possibly a beating today would get some attention in the news, but without the racial tripwire, I have my doubts.  Certainly a mere arrest would pass without notice.

As for racism and quote-racism-end-of-quote, I don’t like the way the term is slung around promiscuously and indifferently, like fascist.  Originally, racism was supposed to be a conscious political ideology which included specific ideas about the existence of races, their relative values, and what ought to be done about the difference.  Now, it seems to include vague and even unconscious prejudices, in which case everyone’s a racist.  Muddying the term in this way makes it more difficult to deal with what it represents, to the point where rightists can feel comfortable criticizing Affirmative Action as “racist”.

Another, related thing I dislike is the apparent belief of many people that they need do nothing but write “racist, racist” in an Internet forum, and point a moralistic finger at somebody.  I would be genuinely interested to know what people are doing to mitigate or eliminate racial and other divides among the people, which are constantly being exploited by people whose aims I don’t like, but that’s not what I see around here (or most other venues of discussion).  Mostly what I get is a lot of moralization about how someone else is evil, or how “we” are evil, which usually amounts to the same thing, the we being a cheap rhetorical mask.

Really, I’m involved in activism where communities are divided and exploited by race, sex, class, and everything else that can be used for that purpose, because it serves power to divide and rule.  People are struggling with these problems.  Name-calling is not the answer, gratifying though it may seem at the time.

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By elisalouisa, August 8, 2009 at 7:20 pm Link to this comment

Ardee thank you for joining the march from Selma to Montgomery. That does take courage. My closest thing to a protest was at Lawrence Livemore Lab. It was a peaceful protest with signs, no breaking of laws. I had friends who laid down on the road to prevent trucks with supplies from entering. They were arrested.

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By elisalouisa, August 8, 2009 at 6:36 pm Link to this comment

Thank you Ardee and thank you Folktruther for your posts. Such intoxicating words and so true. My comments will only sound trite after that. Make them I will because I feel my words are also true.
Folktruther,  racism aside,  one would be a fool to say that there is nothing to fear, this just is not true. That is what you have not addressed.  I do not know where you live in that you do not feel the need for police protection. Please do not say because the situation would then alter and you would be invaded by all sorts of people who long for such a utopia.
Your comments tell me that you feel deeply for the state of America and the world as it is now. Soul searching, opening the door for transformation of the soul, can provide some answers however, our leaders must also be held accountable. Each day when I read about drones killing people and bombs being dropped far from our country I cannot help but feel pain.
elisa

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By ardee, August 8, 2009 at 3:54 pm Link to this comment

I am much appreciative of the acknowledgment of my position on this important subject by FT. I feel I have been beating my head against a wall but the refusal of some to see the blatancy of our racist society is worth a little head pounding, just as it was worth accompanying Doctor King and a few hundred brave and real Americans that day in ‘65 in that march from Selma to Montgomery and getting a bit bloody that day.

FT’s mention of James Baldwin struck a chord and I will post this, a letter from him to his nephew on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. I would urge those like Anarcissie to pay special attention:

“This is the crime of which I accuse my country and my countrymen, and for which neither I nor time nor history will ever forgive them; that they have destroyed and are destroying hundreds of thousands of lives and do not know it and do not want to know it.”

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By Folktruther, August 8, 2009 at 10:40 am Link to this comment

Anarcissie- I disagree strongly with your last post.  I will go further: I think it contains elements of racism.

It is quite true that homicidal racism in the US is largely the product of the neoliberal ruling class to unite across class boundaries to implement economic exploitation.  In the South racism was used to butress slavery and to keep the White and Black pooor from uniting.  It is pandered to in the US truth system in the north to keep the population from uniting against capitalism. 

So it is quite true, and I agree with you, that the central element here is the police power of the state, controlled by the ruling class, the racism being a power instrument to drive it.

But the racism in this incident, which Ardee has argued consistently, is in no way a diversion from the main point.  Your statement that this happesn to
White people all the time ignores the fact that this does not happen to professors at Harvard.  If it happened to a White professsor of Harvard under similar conditions, I have no doubt that the shock to White people would have been greater, especially in the professional class.  The class you and I, and most truthdiggers belong to.

And if Gates were White, Croley would not be a Hero now to the Conservative population as are other police are who oppress minorities.  The racism, which you doubt exists in this case, is, in fact,  central to it, and drives the American respect for the police and military.  And for the War on Terrorism, and the hundreds of thousands of non-Whites killed by them.

The souls of Americans, including non-White Americans, have been perverted obscenely by racism, as Ardee has argued.  That historical perversion that has been instilled by centuries of indoctrination, and does not exclude you and me. 

Especially you.  It strengthens my point that when honest and decent truthers like TD3 and Elisa display racist leanings, and you, in my opinion join them, that the central American problem with identifying with oppression, brutality and barbarism is driven by racism.

James Baldwin said so, in effect, decades ago, eloguently.  (Vidal, incidentally, helped give his career a push.)  The problem however was more general than the racism against African-Americans and involved all ethnic groupings and Foreigners.  It drives the War on Terrorism, conducted by a black man raised by White forebears.

I assumed with everyone else that Obama was a racial step forward.  This may have to be qualified by his policies.  American imperialism is a form of homicidal racism, conducted against non-White populatins.  And in the age of nuclear weapons, the dangers emenate from the consciousness of most Americans, since all foreign policy is buttressed by the consciousness of the people.

That consciousness is racist, especially when regressed by fear. The racist fear leads people to childishly identify with a Leader, with Authority,
as occurred in Nazi Germany.  And now occurs in Israel.  And most significantly and destructively, occurs in the US at the present time.

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By ardee, August 8, 2009 at 5:49 am Link to this comment

ardee,

“I will think deep and hard about the points raised by you and Folktruther.”

Thank you TD3 That is all anyone could ask.

Anarcissie, August 7 at 11:08 pm #

“The reason racism, sexism, and other forms of bigotry persist is because they are tools of power.  If you want to get rid of them, you have to recognize and deal with the force behind them.”

Absolutely! But as someone once noted, the longest journey begins with but a single step. You display great insight and an ability to see what many fail to understand with this comment. That is the rub, that so very many of us are truly lacking in the ability or desire to see what diminishes us and our nation.

If one is driven to attempt to make things better, and I assume that those who post here, at least those who post with honesty and sincerity, are motivated to do then the question remains how does one begin?

I believe that education must start the process. Incidents such as we discuss here are certainly symptomatic of a great illness in our culture and our governance and thus must be opposed by every thinking human being. If this arrest has any value it is as a tool to educate or at least make us aware of what needs to be done.

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By truedigger3, August 8, 2009 at 4:52 am Link to this comment

anarcissie wrote:
“The reason racism, sexism, and other forms of bigotry persist is because they are tools of power.  If you want to get rid of them, you have to recognize and deal with the force behind them.”
________________________________________________

But there are many powerless white people who are as poor as dirt and still are very racist to the bone marrow.
I think racism is a homosapien affliction and it encompass all races and socioeconomic levels but the weaker group always suffer and the stronger
group should shouder the responsibility to combat and alleviate the effect of racism
You raised many good points in your post.

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By Anarcissie, August 7, 2009 at 8:08 pm Link to this comment

The drift of the conversation here seems to indicate that as long as people can say “racism, racism” and point fingers at the authorities, the police, the people, and each other, there is no other problem.

I beg to differ.  If Gates had been a White man, the police could have arrested him without anyone noticing.  It would hardly have made the national news and occasioned a public debate involving the president of the United States.  It would probably not have even made the local news.  In fact, the police could probably have done much worse things without occasioning much notice.  They could have beaten Gates and dragged him from the house, and so forth, and yet occasioned little or no comment.  It happens all the time.

The reason this business became a national issue is precisely because anti-racism is alive and well and provided a trip-wire which the bad behavior of the police set off.  That is as it should be.  There is certainly plenty of racism in the country to be concerned about.

What is not as it should be is the assumption that the only problem present in this case is the quite possibly non-existent racism of Officer Crowley and his superiors.  The attention which should have been paid to the inordinate, unconstitutional growth of police power which underlies this event has been deflected onto issues of race and class which may not even be present in this case; and that attention has largely degenerated into name-calling.

The reason racism, sexism, and other forms of bigotry persist is because they are tools of power.  If you want to get rid of them, you have to recognize and deal with the force behind them.

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By truedigger3, August 7, 2009 at 6:01 pm Link to this comment

Re: ardee, August 7 at 8:14 pm #
___________________________

ardee,

I will think deep and hard about the points raised by you and Folktruther.

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By ardee, August 7, 2009 at 5:14 pm Link to this comment

truedigger3, August 7 at 12:18 pm #

_______

I agree with you that many times the police is prejudicial towards minorities and that racism will stay with us for a long time to come.

at least until good people stand up and express outrage at each and every instance thereof

I am not passionately defending police methodology but not siding with most of truthdig posters against crowley in THIS case.
Yes, the woman expressed doubt, but is that enough for the police to forget the matter or he has to investigate it further.
What would have happened if Professor gates explained the matter and showed identifications and send Crowely off with “thank you officer for your concern” instead of losing his temper or pretending to lose his temper and bad mouth and insult Crowely and his “mama”??!!.

What would have happened is that racism would have continued, both within and without the police dept. “This case” as you put it, is a mirror of our society, our police relations with the african american community and the unconscious racism , as Folktruther notes, that is within many of us.

This was a 58 years old well connected college professor. He is a friend of of the president. Couldn’t he handled the situation better than this??!!

This is a black man, first and foremost, and one who knows full well his history of race in this country. Sgt Crowley supposedly runs classes on race relations for the Dept. yet walks uninvited into a home, and, after seeing the Professor’s ID, invites him outside and then arrests him. Couldnt Crowley have handled this better?

This incident happened in Cambridge, Massachusetts and not in a small-town, Mississippi or Alabam.
Yes, I am sure there are some racist cops, even in Cambride, Massachusetts but this a college liberal town and full of students and professors of all colors and shades both domestic and foreign and I am sure the police is very mindful of this situation and on guard not to ruffle any feathers needlessl

You certainly have sense of the ironic, dont you? That racism exists, even in college towns, even among college educated, students and professors alike, policemen, firemen, dog catchers and surgeons is the damn point of this!

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By Raymond Carnation, August 7, 2009 at 1:27 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Police racism needs national attention

http://www.counter punch.org/washington05162008.html

 


Racism in Police Departments Must Be on the National Agenda

By Keith Rushing
I hope that the U.S. Department of Justice in the Barack Obama administration on will he do what none have done before: take serious measures to end the rampant racism and abuse of power in police departments across America. Of course, we can expect miracles in the span of…
URL to article: http://www .justdemocracy blog. org/?p=791

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By Folktruther, August 7, 2009 at 10:58 am Link to this comment

ardee, tbe difficulty you have had in getting Progressive truthers to accept the obvious racism in this Gates incident has strongly influenced my perception of American reality.  I had no idea that the professional-managerial class, not from the South, was so unscousciously racist.  Possibly you didn’t either.  there is a Counterpunch piece by the African-american playright Ismael Reed who goes into this in more detail.

the US was founded in racist ethnic cleansing and slavery, and has demonstrated a racist policy throughout its history.  This has evolved at the present time in the War on Terrorism, the war against dark skinned Muslims to steal their oil.  Apparently this obvious agression and robbery is supported by the racist attitude of the American people.

apparently people unconsciously rely on the police and military to defend them against the oppressed races.  And Israel is supported by Americans because they are on the same side with their ethnic cleansing.  Ultimately there is really no Foreign policy, all policy is, in the end, domestic. So the bi-partisan aggression and robbery supported by both the Dem and Gop parties are legitimated by the emotional attitudes of the American population’s consciousness or unconsciousness.

Conseqauently, it is not enough to change the mind of the American people, it is necessary to transform our souls.  this is not as easy as it sounds. 

But many people are COUNSCIOUSLY anti-racist while being unconsciously racist.  Therefore it is perhaps posible to make their unsconscious racism conscious,  to the point where they will reject it.  This is the suggestion of a number of pscyhologists, notably Drew Weston in THE POLITICAL BRAIN.

But I see from your efforts that this is going to be a difficult task.  But unless the races can unite, it is not possible to mobilize the people against the powerful.  And until this is done, class inequaluty with continue to increase even while the economy continues to be richer.  As marxists have been saying for a century and a half.

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By truedigger3, August 7, 2009 at 9:18 am Link to this comment

ardee wrote:
“I fail to understand the reason for your passionate defense of police methodology, which has been proven, time and again, to be prejudicial towards minorities, as well as your lack of understanding that racism will always be with us”
_____________________________________________________

I agree with you that many times the police is prejudicial towards minorities and that racism will stay with us for a long time to come.
I am not passionately defending police methodology but not siding with most of truthdig posters against crowley in THIS case.
Yes, the woman expressed doubt, but is that enough for the police to forget the matter or he has to investigate it further.
What would have happened if Professor gates explained the matter and showed identifications and send Crowely off with “thank you officer for your concern” instead of losing his temper or pretending to lose his temper and bad mouth and insult Crowely and his “mama”??!!.
This was a 58 years old well connected college professor. He is a friend of of the president. Couldn’t he handled the situation better than this??!!
This incident happened in Cambridge, Massachusetts and not in a small-town, Mississippi or Alabam.
Yes, I am sure there are some racist cops, even in Cambride, Massachusetts but this a college liberal town and full of students and professors of all colors and shades both domestic and foreign and I am sure the police is very mindful of this situation and on guard not to ruffle any feathers needlessly.

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By elisalouisa, August 7, 2009 at 6:43 am Link to this comment

A member of the Press on a talk show the week before commented that Obama not only hand picked reporters that would attend his press conferences as had other Presidents in recent years, but his people fed them questions on topics Obama wished to bring to the foreground. It was no accident that the Gates/Crosley question was the last. Obama wished to help his friend who undoubtedly had other connections to people in high places.  A President should not speak, especially will millions of his constituents watching, unless he has looked into the matter and been more thoroughly briefed.

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By ardee, August 7, 2009 at 3:49 am Link to this comment

truedigger3, August 6 at 11:17 am #

ardee wrote about professor Gates incident:
“This incident is one of the most publicized events of the year”
_____________________________________________________

The incident is so publicized not because it is that important but because a black president made a rash stupid comment before he knew all the facts , and more important because it is an excellent distraction for the public away from the theft of trillions of dolloars from the economy by the super rich which is going right now in broad day light.
Someone saw two persons “breaking into a house”, don’t you think the police has the right to ask questions to clarify the matter??!!
.............................
I do not wish to engage in an argument with you,TD3, but this event is a very important one if only because it shatters the myth we Americans hold of our nation being one of equal opportunity and freedom for all.

The statement by Obama came well after the uproar had begun, thus you make an invalid point as to the reasons for the publicity surrounding it. Obama’s statement came after a question regarding it came at a press conference about health care, if you will remember.

I urge you to find and listen to the tape of that 911 call by the witness. She expressed doubt as to whether a break in was actually occurring, in fact, and only noted her opinion of the race of the men ( identifying one as possibly Hispanic in fact) after prodded to do so by the 911 operator.

I fail to understand the reason for your passionate defense of police methodology, which has been proven, time and again, to be prejudicial towards minorities, as well as your lack of understanding that racism will always be with us until good people stand up at every opportunity to denounce it.

Why not join us in doing so?

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By elisalouisa, August 6, 2009 at 9:17 pm Link to this comment

I shall keep your comments in mind Folktruther.  If only we had someone who could articulate our concerns in Washington. For more than one reason, the caliber of our representatives is not what it once was.Considering some past events that is readily understandable.
Concerning Stud Terkal, PBS recently had a special on his life with clips of his talks, what he stood for and the good work he did. Perhaps PBS will show it again. I am sorry I did not record it.
elisa

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By Folktruther, August 6, 2009 at 8:08 pm Link to this comment

Elisa, I am sorry to hear that Studs Terkal is dead.  I used to listen to his program in Chicago, THE MIDNIGHT HOUR, years ago.  A big point in his favor is that he got a law degree from the U of Chicago but never practiced.

I am not against the American people, Lisa, or against you.  I am against their racism, and yours.  As a good or not so good Christian, you must be familiar with the doctrine of loving the sinner and hating the sin.  I’m big on sin hating, Elisa, but I like most people.  Even ones from New Jersey.

The financial looting of the American people, Lisa, could not go on without policeman like Crowley to keep people in line.  What you say is quite true about paying off legislators but the rich could not steal in plain sight unless they knew that the police were there to protect Law and Order.  And that is primarily WHY they are there, lisa, the Street Gangs come in a definite second.

Since the ruling class owns the media corporations, and controls the other truth organs, they instill power delusions that legitimate their power.  And delude the population that the police and power structure are there to defend the interests of the people. We are miseducated, misinformed and misentertained from childhood with this institutionalized deception.  Religion being the classic example of legitimating Divine and earthly power and demeaning and denigrating the people ruled by power.

Racism has been used in the US by the White ruling class to ally with the White population across class boundaries.  Since they largely control the truth organs, and the US has been founded on racist ethnic cleansing and slavery, and have slaughter millions of non-White people through imperialism, implicit
racism has been one of the ways of justifying it.
The ruling class under the Bushites-Obama have now turned more directly against the American people.
And although gutter racism is dying out, professional racism appears to be going strong.

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By elisalouisa, August 6, 2009 at 6:34 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther: Do you really believe what you say in your diatribe against the American people?. If you condemn “racist” Americans, then you must condemn all Americans, black, white, brown.
The looting of America cannot be blamed on the American people being “servile” to the police. The looting of America took place while America slept, servile to the financial advisors, banks and elected representatives in Washington whatever their race, creed or color. CEO’s are still receiving obscene bonuses even while they again request bail out money. Some of this bonus money most likely goes back to our representatives in the way of financial contributions. Could this be the reason there has been no change in the laws governing these financial institutions?The same people who brought about and gained from the financial fiasco are at it again with the same regulations or lack thereof.
The Crosley/Gates incident is now entertainment. Do you think all that talk really can lead to a solution? Too bad Studs Terkel did not live long enough to comment on Cosley/Gates or the financial meltdown. Two subjects he knew thoroughly.

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By monte letourneau aka geanark, August 6, 2009 at 5:00 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

the real and gritty what is
gp.org

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By Folktruther, August 6, 2009 at 4:51 pm Link to this comment

That is exactly right, truthdigger, racism is an excellent distraction by the ruling class stealing trillions of dollars. 

And it has worked very well in the US, because Americans are so racist.  They identify with racist authority to keep them Secure, say, from the horrible street gangs that might attack them at any moment.  The identifcation with racist violence is no longer the gutter mentality of the Klu Klux Klan, by the fears of the White professional class losing power in a sea of non-White people.

People strongly suspect that there are street gangs undeer their beds, each member black as sin and all wearing turbans.  O they’re horrible!  We have to kill them under there to avoid killing them out here.  And it is the police, and the military fighting the War on Terrorism against dark-skinned Muslims, both of whom are highly respected by the American people, who commit the racist violence that the media sanitized under the delusive categorization of Defense.

But the monstrious economic inequality resulting from the looting of American could not be Defended were the American people not so servile to the police.  And were not so racist that they immediately take the police side when they hassle minorities in their own home.

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By truedigger3, August 6, 2009 at 8:17 am Link to this comment

ardee wrote about professor Gates incident:
“This incident is one of the most publicized events of the year”
_____________________________________________________

The incident is so publicized not because it is that important but because a black president made a rash stupid comment before he knew all the facts , and more important because it is an excellent distraction for the public away from the theft of trillions of dolloars from the economy by the super rich which is going right now in broad day light.
Someone saw two persons “breaking into a house”, don’t you think the police has the right to ask questions to clarify the matter??!!

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By Anarcissie, August 5, 2009 at 8:07 pm Link to this comment

bogi666:
‘Annarcisse, there is a Supreme Court ruling that addressing a police officer in protest is protected by the Constitution. It was probably the Burger court.’

Apparently Officer Crowley’s superiors had not been informed.

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By ardee, August 5, 2009 at 6:20 pm Link to this comment

truedigger3, August 5 at 1:43 pm #

It might be what I wrote is one version of the story that I read, including previous uncontested posts in truthdig, and I don’t watch “faux news”.

Making assumptions based upon the criteria you outline above seems rash and doomed to lead to false deductions I fear. Who said anything about Fox News I wonder…Red herring much?

So, it boils down to “he said and he said” and I might got my facts wrong. Who knows and not even you?!
The main thrust of my post is that this incident is not a good example to scream “police state is rising” but there are more egregious incidents and laws to point to and mention.

I wonder what would be a good enough example of out of control police action coupled with selective and obviously discriminatory policies towards persons of color. Thank goodness others, including the late Reverend Doctor King, didnt have to wait for you.

This incident is one of the most publicized events of the year. While you are correct in that versions of the story abound, here and elsewhere, one interested enough could have sifted easily through the recorded calls of the original 9/11 call, the recorded calls of Sgt. Crowley and the various reports and sifted enough information to have at least gotten the events and their order correct.

You respond to me as if we are discussing a triviality and excuse yourself for drawing a conclusion based upon false information as if it mattered not. It mattered.

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By bobbycotter1, August 5, 2009 at 4:37 pm Link to this comment

I so wish someone with any kind of sense would run for ANY office here in Detroit.

I wish the controversy here had to do with how a politician felt about civil rights and racial issues, instead of text messages and cheating, and stealing TOILET PAPER FROM THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS!!!

Adventure Travel

Travel jobs

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By patahnu, August 5, 2009 at 3:57 pm Link to this comment

Good evening,...I’m not going to speak on black leaders,...but here’s another brand of law enforcement via our tax dollars at work aginst people of color. And this is about youth being targed….thanks to the village voice.


http://www.villagevoice.com/mobile/2009-07-28/news/school-arrest-training-ended-up-giving-bushwick-community-high-school-a-black-eye/

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By bogi666, August 5, 2009 at 1:16 pm Link to this comment

Annarcisse, there is a Supreme Court ruling that addressing a police officer in protest is protected by the Constitution. It was probably the Burger court.

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By Rontruth, August 5, 2009 at 11:27 am Link to this comment

Truedigger,
It all depends on the interpretation of the events, and the truthfulness not only of Gates, but also of Crowley, the cop.

It just sounds to me like one would need to understand two things:

A. The fact that, in terms of how to “manage” the situation, the cop, however old he is, is in far greater position to “manage” the situation than was the older man who had obviously done nothing wrong, had his ID asked for by a young white cop, resembling, no doubt, officers Gates may well have encountered, or seen other people encountering, in his past.

2. That, Gates might also have been, and I can at least begin to understand why, scared as well as insulted that someone had the nerve to call the police to come to his property. And, who knows what the “young cop’s real attitude toward Gates and other African-Americans might have been. I wonder if Gates’ attitude toward the cop may have been brought on by the attitude of the cop.

That’s why I said that the cop might have tried to take a different tack than the one he says he took when he arrested Gates. I wonder also, if the officer when he put handcuffs on Gates, as happens so many times with others under arrest, the person calms down, and the officer has not yet completed the arrest paperwork, and even if he has, he has the right to simply annull it because the person is cooperating, then takes the cuffs off, and let’s the otherwise innocent person go back to his house.

The whole point here is how best to change police operations in such a way that all the political hoopla could easily have been avoided. This way, bad attitudes on both sides are not expressed, which by the way, can lead to other acts of real lawbreaking.

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By truedigger3, August 5, 2009 at 11:02 am Link to this comment

Rontruth wrote:
“Somehow I wonder if, had the young cop understood more of the actual historical background of Gates (call it profiling of a sort if you must), if he (the cop) might have tried to take into account what an educated man like himself in the area of police-race relations claims to have studied”
_____________________________________________________

Who has the knowledge and wisdom to assess and manage the situation better, a fifty eight years old college professor whose speciality is black studies and history or a young cop??!!

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By truedigger3, August 5, 2009 at 10:43 am Link to this comment

ardee wrote:
“it would be nice if you accurately described the events that led to the arrest of Professor Gates.It has been so publicized that I must wonder at your distortions of those events.”
_____________________________________________________

It might be what I wrote is one version of the story that I read, including previous uncontested posts in truthdig, and I don’t watch “faux news”.
So, it boils down to “he said and he said” and I might got my facts wrong. Who knows and not even you?!
The main thrust of my post is that this incident is not a good example to scream “police state is rising” but there are more egregious incidents and laws to point to and mention.

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By Anarcissie, August 5, 2009 at 10:34 am Link to this comment

Jonathan5052:
’... But a citizen’s respect for and cooperation with law enforcement is a given, except when the officer(s) would be in violation of the law. ...

I don’t see why.  Taking the Gates case as an example, I don’t see why Gates should not have been at liberty to criticize, indeed, abuse Officer Crowley at length if he wished to, as long as he allowed Crowley to depart from his presence so that he didn’t have to listen to it.

Of course, there are several sides or aspects of this issue.  Crowley has no doubt been instructed by his superiors at the Police Department that he must not permit disrespect of the uniform, or something like that.  The uniform, which represents state authority, is held to defeat the right of free expressi0n (and many other rights) wherever it appears, except under highly formalized circumstances, for example a public meeting, surveilled of course by the police.  I suppose the police would argue that anything else would lead to “anarchy”, i.e. the proles running wild in the streets.  Within the framework of police ideology, Crowley did the right thing.  The police ideology is created or at least condoned by the liberal state within which it is embedded.

So as far as I can see, any business about Crowley being a racist, or working-class, is simply a diversion from the central issue in this story, which is the extent of police power and the acceptance of a police-state mentality by a large portion of the population.  Had Gates not been prominent and Black, this story would have passed without comment; indeed, it probably would not have even made it into local commercial media (“the news”), because people accept so totally the notion that one must be submissive to the police.

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By Ivan hentschel, August 5, 2009 at 10:32 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“The most prominent faces of color, such as President Obama or Harvard’s Henry Louis Gates Jr., mask an insidious new racism that, in essence, tells blacks they have enough, that progress has been made and that it is up to them to take advantage of what society offers them.”

This is simply untrue. The ugly and hard to admit reality is that the majority of the people who live in this country, who are NOT of color, believe that anyone who is not white, male and can claim causasian ancestry, is INFERIOR, racially, ethnically and intellectually to anyone who does not meet those criteria of “whiteness”.

Anyone who believes otherwise is delusionary, naive and /or stupid. And I am white,male caucasian.

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By Virginia777, August 5, 2009 at 9:16 am Link to this comment

This is such an important article, thanks so much Chris Hedges (my hero!) for addressing this issue.

We are turning into a police state that intentionally sets up a police-heavy society, which hunts down the poor and locks them in jail,

in order to supposedly keep white/upper class society “Safe”,

but much more importantly for them, leaves them in charge and in command of ALL the resources.

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By Folktruther, August 5, 2009 at 9:10 am Link to this comment

Interesting point, Rontruth, that organized crime has been incorporated into the American power structure.  this would explain why Wall Street and government portected Madoff so long, and is still protecting him from revealing where ihe invested the money.  The financial expert who exposed him long ago stated that he was investing partially in drugs.  the power structure silence is possibly a protection of the connection.

That would also explain why the War on Drugs is still in effect, and penalities still imposed on grass.  It keeps the price of heroin and cocaine high, and the US has two narco states producing it, Afghanistan and Columbia.  And it increases addiction enormously, fueling the prison industry.

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By Jonathan5052, August 5, 2009 at 8:59 am Link to this comment

From Folktruther:

“No effective opposition against the power structure is possible by a population indoctrinated to want to respect and obey their police and military.”


From Rontruth:

“I rather think this whole uproar over race and law enforcement might well have been avoided.”


Very good points from both of you, indeed.  But a citizen’s respect for and cooperation with law enforcement is a given, except when the officer(s) would be in violation of the law.  From what I have read, Officer Crowley seems to be dealing with his own attitudes of race and class, if it is true that he had padded the police reports and added documentation that was an exaggeration of the truth.  Professor Gates was on his own turf, and I say again, Sgt. Crowley should have walked off the Professor’s front porch without attracting media attention and creating a nightly-news story.  The fact that he did not apologize to either Professor Gates or the public clearly shows that he had no qualms about his own brand of racism, and I believe that he would do the same thing a second time, when and if the opportunity arose.  From my standpoint, when we deny the element of race in situations like this, we are continuing to support and maintain the status quo.  We are only 45 years into the future from the most-active days of the civil-rights era, when police officers in the South would shoot and kill innocent black men without justification, when black and African-American protesters met racist cops who released biting dogs into the crowds to silence them, when officers arrested blacks and other minorities at any time without due process, and the list goes on and on.  It is only YESTERDAY when whites fought against government-mandated school integration and elimination of racial barriers in public transportation and facilities, such as restrooms and water fountains.  It was only YESTERDAY.  So how can all of this racism and prejudice leave us so soon in 2009?  The hate lives beside us as you read this, and the election of a black President has exposed this hate even more.  May we all please take off the rose-colored “colorblind” glasses and return to the real world?

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By Rontruth, August 5, 2009 at 8:52 am Link to this comment

Folktruther, I appreciate your comment about Obama’s having to “back down.” But, I think that once any man gets into the White House, regardless of his race or ethnicity, he becomes subject to the “handlers.” They are representatives of wealthy, vested corporate interests who supported a president’s candidacy.

Then, of course, there were those four young teenaged thug types who threatened Obama at the time of the Democratic Convention. They were arrested, then soon released, though one assumes that their rifles with telescopic sights on them would have been confiscated. Who were they connected to in fact?

Then, there was the time when candidate Obama, not yet declared the winner of the Democratic presidential primary election, was supposed to be in a particular place in the upper midwest, but ended up in some southern state, leaving the media personalilties and other politicians behind. Where was candidate Obama then? Some have said he was secretly taken to a meeting with members of the “Bilderberg Group.”

They meet in secret once per year, and because their members include many world leaders, they make decisions about how they will treat various governments around the world.

When one considers these things, one wonders who really owns the presidency. And then you have the Obama backs down scenario. The cops are involved in the person of the young cop who arrested Gates. It must be extremely difficult and delicate, being president of the United States.

Obama and Ted Kennedy took a motorcade trip through Dealey Plaza during the Texas primaries. Obama’s limousine took the same route through the plaza that President John F. Kennedy’s limousine took on Nov. 22, 1963. They drove past the grassy knoll from which the shot that killed President Kennedy was fired.

Kennedy faced some of the same evil forces that Obama faces today. Racists among them. And the military. And the large corporations that felt he had betrayed them, especially in the businesses they were involved with that included organized crime.

The difference between now and then is that back then, organized crime, per se, was supposedly separate from our sacrosanct government. Hoover’s FBI, however, said thit the line between government and organized crime was becoming ever more blurred.
Today, it is apparent that the relationship between these two is now about complete. They have essentially merged. That is why you rarely ever hear the words, “organized crime” anymore.

Look at what has transpired over the past 8 or ten years in our name and with out tax monies and our sons and daughters’ lives in overseas wars.

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By Folktruther, August 5, 2009 at 8:01 am Link to this comment

It is obvious from the comments of Progressive truthers that a police state mentality has already been created in the American people.  a strong fraction, perhaps a majority,  side with the police arresting a person for talking back to a cop in his own home.  They obviously identify with their own oppression and the oppression of other people.  Including other Americans.

I have friends that are black professionals. They all maintain the formula that their are ‘two sides’ to the question.  I suggested that that would be the right side and the wrong side.  No, both sides were right and wrong.  So there is not opposition to this police state mentality among the African-American affluent, one of the causes of Obama backing down.


Both Vidal and Anarcissie argue that the identification with police power is WORSE than the obvious racism in this case.  and they are quite right. No effective opposition against the power structure is possible by a population indoctrinated to want to respect and obey their police and military. 

The robbery of the popultion by the rich can occur in plain sight, as Obama’s money transfer to the banks did, and as long as the population identify with the police-prison system, they are powerless to do anything about it. The powerful are lawless but as long as the people obey their laws, they are safe from retribution.

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By Rontruth, August 5, 2009 at 7:37 am Link to this comment

Somehow I thought this article was about African-American leaders who, along with their educational and financial success, have “lifted” only themselves out of poverty and the violence that goes along with it. I am white, Jewish, and native American. I had the privelege of studying a graduate-level course under a professor who had studied under W. E. B. Dubois.

Dubois was not only a great historian, but, in my humble opinion, also a great prophet whose prescient vision of the future of African-Americans and their collective experience(s) really did foretell the current disconnect between the, even at that time, growing African-American political/economic “upper-class” and African-Americans who are the “left-behind,” fending for themselves on the street.

The process of aculturation into the “mainstream” of American society as blacks moved into urban, then suburban areas, would carry along with it attitudinal and philosophical changes that would produce a multi-racial, multi-ethnic society. The problem became one in which the same rout of success for some would become the same rout for the disconnect between the haves and the have-nots.

Thus, you have today’s situation between the proud professor, Gates, and the younger, white cop.

The cop likely never realized, fully at least, that Gates was responding in the same way that educated African-American, and some white leaders who joined with them in the civil rights marches and demonstrations that were led by Dr. King, Evers, Malcom X, and others. That was back when cops stopped and often harrassed young African-American men, just because they stood talking with others on a city sidewalk, doing exactly nothing. But, they were African-American. Just that.

Somehow I wonder if, had the young cop understood more of the actual historical background of Gates (call it profiling of a sort if you must), if he (the cop) might have tried to take into account what an educated man like himself in the area of police-race relations claims to have studied. The cop might have elected to tell the older professor something like, “Look. I know this is humiliating to someone of your stature in the community. You are a highly educated, highly respected citizen. I know of that past that you may have come from. But, this is also embarrassing to me….”

I rather think this whole uproar over race and law enforcement might well have been avoided.

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By anarchris, August 5, 2009 at 7:18 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

i like that this article makes issue of the fact that there are blacks(and women for that matter) that he calls ‘elites’ who get into power who feel no obligation to behave better than ‘the old boys network’ or ‘whitey’ and see no hypocrisy or betrayal in that. they don’t see themselves as members of their race or sex with a heroic mandate to prove that they will practice what they preach.unless of course they have a grievance in which case suddenly they are a member of an historically abused identity group all over again which obligates whites and males. which just goes to show that people are hypocrites regardless of race or sex. the issue isn’t what happened to Gates but what our reaction including Obama says about where we’re at. my opinion, exactly where we were thousands of years ago-nobody’s better than their enemy but everyone expects to live with a better reputation.

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By Anarcissie, August 5, 2009 at 6:04 am Link to this comment

truedigger3:
’... The cop, finally understood the situation and left. The owner followed him to OUTSIDE THE HOUSE and continued his insults with a loud voice. The cop arrested the owner for disturbing the peace,  which is in my humble opinion, is justified.’

I don’t understand the justification.  If we have freedom of speech, then Gates has the right to say anything he wants.

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By bogi666, August 5, 2009 at 4:46 am Link to this comment

hippie4ever, Bob Marley has a song, “The Redemption Song” in which he sings “emancipate yourself from mental slavery, non but yourself can free your mind” one of the greatest lines in music history, in my opinion. The message applies to all of us and ascribes personal responsibility of our mental and emotional being to ourselves. _Felicity, your brother is just a fool who’s been duped by the pretend christian doctrine of “I’m not responsible god told me to do it or Satan made me do it” but I’m not responsible. This is the appeal of the phony Christians and the allure of their false doctrines to their congregations of fools who they insult, demean and call foul names and in the same breath beg for money from these said same fools. It’s on TV daily.

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By ardee, August 5, 2009 at 3:26 am Link to this comment

truedigger3, August 5 at 5:11 am #

it would be nice if you accurately described the events that led to the arrest of Professor Gates.It has been so publicized that I must wonder at your distortions of those events.

The officer entered Gates’ house uninvited when Gates went to get his ID. The officer invited Gates to step outside and he complied, he was then arrested. As to the anger expressed, I wasnt there so I cannot testify to the demeanor of the cop or the “suspect”. All I can do is get the facts straight, but at least I can do that.

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By truedigger3, August 5, 2009 at 2:11 am Link to this comment

Many posters in this thread used the Gates’ affair as an example of the rise of the police state. But this is , may I say, is the wrong example.
A correct example will be throwing someone in “preventive”  indefinite detention without charges or barging into houses or listening and recording phone conversations without a warrant.
In the case of professor Gates, someone saw two persons breaking into a house and called the police, which is justifiable. The police came to ivestigate.
The owner of the house instead of explaining that he forgot the keys and show the officer identifications, he bad mouth and insult the cop.
The cop, finally understood the situation and left.
The owner followed him to OUTSIDE THE HOUSE and continued his insults with a loud voice. The cop arrested the owner for disturbing the peace,  which is in my humble opinion, is justified.

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By elisalouisa, August 4, 2009 at 8:37 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther: The subject is not completely closed in my mind. Police power must be watched closely and I understand where you are coming from. In my decision to side with Crowley I did not see police power as a threat. However, that could be my weakness.

elisa

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By DBM, August 4, 2009 at 8:15 pm Link to this comment

It would seem that we live a world of DECREASING violence (http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/steven_pinker_on_the_myth_of_violence.html) and increasing corporate white collar criminality (when lobbying efforts fail to get regulations changed to make their actions “legal”).  You wouldn’t know it from the media.

But I’m with Anarcissie on this one.  The media reports violent crime because it’s easier to understand (hence it sells better) and it happens to suit the corporations the media is a part of (so no complaints from management).

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By Folktruther, August 4, 2009 at 8:12 pm Link to this comment

Well, anti-racism can Anarcissie, in the sense that if the police weren’t racist, than class oppression would be fine.  But Vidal focused on the opppressive aspect of oppression, rather than racism,

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By Anarcissie, August 4, 2009 at 6:50 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther—I was quite impressed with the way accusations of racism deflected a discussion of the Gates affair away from the growth of police power, which to me is its proper subject.  In effect, anti-racism served the purpose of defending the state just as racism often does.  It may be moral, but in this case the morality seems rather superficial.

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By elisalouisa, August 4, 2009 at 6:16 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther:

You can keep talking about the Gates/Crosley incident all you want. You know my viewpoint and I have tried to be explicit as to why I reached the conclusion that I did. You do not agree, I know that and I respect that. I only ask that you do the same.

elisa

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By Liliane Silva, August 4, 2009 at 4:52 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I feel sorry when people say the right thing in the right moment as Presidente Obama said,but they have to regret because true must be hidden.

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By Folktruther, August 4, 2009 at 1:48 pm Link to this comment

elisa maintains, quite correctly, that our newspapers have constnat references to street crime. So she is in favor of arresting an elderly black, man in his own home for ‘disorderly conduct.’  Because of the street gangs. So shut up.

The logic here doesn’t appear to be airtight.  One could ask, for example,  were one permitted to question it, WHY there is so much emphasis on street crime in the media. 

In a recent book by Bryant Welch, STATE OF CONVUSION, details how the US power system manipulates the American people.  One of the studies quoted was how Fox News ran a series of programs on street crimes over a sezquence of time.  At the end of this time, viewers naturally expressed the view on polls that street crime had gone up.

When police statisics indicated that in fact street crime had gone down during this period.

But apparently the simple reality-based truth has little to do with the emotional predispositions of Americans, who are highly racist.  In today’s NYTimes an editorial piece by their black colunmist details how the police harass the black students and faculty of Harvard.

It must be because of all those street gangs, you know.  You can’t be too careful.

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By cognitis, August 4, 2009 at 12:33 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Fictions Race and Class are divisive instruments used by Rulers to contain and suppress aliens: Rulers divide alien part of the populace in order to direct various aliens’ suppressed rage against each other, and Rulers thereby contain the populace. Rulers have long defined “Races” or “Classes” to have had interests opposed to their own, so various aliens in conceding such definitions injure their own interests and support those of the Rulers. To those here who credit differences among “Race” and “Class” remember this: “White Race” was created in its present form for the most part only after Europe invented steam engines; Cicero and Aristotle never referred to themselves as “White Males”, and both estimated Celts and Germans to be subhuman; most Scotch-Irish and Irish-Catholics migrants in 17th century were exported to American colonies as chattel, which status explains John Calhoun’s insistence on universal suffrage for “white men” (evidently, no presumption was of suffrage for Scotch-Irish slaves). Europe’s Rulers created “White Race” fiction, only when superior technology like steam engines required them to enfranchise various aliens for cause of conquering other aliens in Africa and Asia and Latin America. Ignore any Rulers’ distinction among “Race” and “Class”, since such a fiction was created to injure your interests and favor theirs.

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By Anarcissie, August 4, 2009 at 12:32 pm Link to this comment

Well, again, in talking about gangs, if we want to say anything beyond “Ain’t it awful” we have to look at how gangs function.  Obviously, they do something for their adherents.  They are apparently like little statelets, and I suppose they offer their constituents a sense of security and a position in life.  The existence of gangs strongly implies that their members cannot find a reasonable place in what we think of as the normal, non-gang social order.

“Law enforcement”, which is more properly called police power since it often ignores the laws, and the social order which it imposes, is really the context of gang formation, not its opposition.  It is largely through “law enforcement” that class and race war are directly applied to the populations that produce gangs.

The idea that one’s liberty, property and freedom of speech disappear in the presence of a police officer is part of the police power ideology, and this is what was applied to Gates, although it is completely unconstitutional and opposed to our ostensible political principles.  Applied to Gates, it caused a stir because Gates is a big man in the larger community.  It has different results when applied to slum-dwellers, one of which is gang formation.

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By elisalouisa, August 4, 2009 at 11:30 am Link to this comment

Folktruther, our newspaper has daily articles on home invasions, drive by shootings and other happenings by street gangs. When I say street gangs I don’t mean your everyday kids who get together and thus constitute a gang. I mean gangs with heavy weapons, drugs, etc. engaged in illegal activities and fighting each other for “turf”. Citizens cannot stand up against such sinister organizations without law enforcement. There must be a balance. No, I do not want a police state where citizens have no rights. Then again, I do not want crime to take over as it has in some cities south of the border.
Remember these gangs do not operate independently. They are organized and they are gaining in power and turf.
It requires all that law enforcement has to combat such gangs. Many deputies and policemen put their lives on the line everyday.. One wrong split second decision can cost them their lives or livelihood. Therefore, in a situation such as the Gates/ Crosley incident I give the law enforcement officer the benefit of the doubt.
Now enough already!

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By Folktruther, August 4, 2009 at 9:58 am Link to this comment

You can’t talk about class in the US, Anarcissie,without talking about race.  Race not only promotes social cohesion, more specificlly it promotes INTERCLASS cohesion, allying the White ru.ing class with the White population against non-Whites and Foreigners. 

the US has been a highly racist nation throughout history, and racism has probably been the most effective ideological tool of the ruling class to divide and rule the American population.  Racism is currently being used to unite the American population agaist dark-skinned Muslims in the War on Terrorism.

I was amazed at the number of TD Progressives who sided with the cops against Gates.  It’s understandable in the case of Sepharad and Inherit, ziofascist Zionism being a racist ideology, but liberals like Elisa also approved the police action.  Apparently their idea of Freedom of Speech is servility in the presence of authority.  But Gore Vidal focused on the central aspect of police power in the oppression of class power.

Your equating the moral superioty of feeling racist to feeling anti-racist ignores the need of poltical morality for a society to function effectively, justly and freely.

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By AnthroLady, August 4, 2009 at 8:20 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

In all the post Louis-Gate commentary that includes references to prominent or public African-American intellectuals, why do we not see mention of some of our prominent African American intellectual-sisters (who have had plenty of important things to say about race, gender, and class in America)?

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By cognitis, August 4, 2009 at 7:25 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

How much Hedges “excoriates” venal African-American agents, so much could he do venal Scotch-Irish Southern Baptists and Fundamentalists.

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By Anarcissie, August 4, 2009 at 6:43 am Link to this comment

If we’re going to deal with race, we have to figure out what it does, what function it performs, which will explain why it’s replicated.  In general, race probably serves to promote social cohesion.  In the case of individuals, it serves to help them feel superior to other individuals: racists feel superior to others whom they categorize as belonging to other races, and anti-racists feel superior to racists.  There are a lot of payoffs.

In the case of the recent Gates-Crowley-Obama fandango, race served to obscure class issues.  When attention to class did arise anyway, it was diverted from the issue of police power into irrelevancies about hereditary social class.  Thus, what might have been a stimulus to question police (state) power was deflected into the far more comfortable pleasures of idle moralization and pop sociology.  We must do this, we must do that, we must get another cup of coffee.  One can now go on reading the New York Times indefinitely.

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By prole, August 4, 2009 at 1:21 am Link to this comment

“If we swap dope for derivatives there wouldn’t be a Wall Street because they would be behind bars. If we prosecute derivatives the same way you prosecute dope, which is not different in how it undermines a family, Wall Street wouldn’t exist.”  This, of course, is looking at everything ass backwards. It almost amounts to an establishment critique of the establishment. If instead, we swap derivatives for dope there wouldn’t be a prison-industrial complex “with huge numbers of impoverished and unemployed removed from society and locked up” and all the rest of the misery that goes with it. If we didn’t prosecute dope the same way you don’t prosecute derivatives, America’s phoney war on drugs, “which is not different in how it undermines a family”, wouldn’t exist. “If we are asking them to stop crime, what incentive are we providing them to do that?”...the incentive of stopping the criminalization of something that shouldn’t be criminalized in the first place. The guiding principles of the U. S. set forth by the founding fathers in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, protect our basic civil liberties in “the pursuit happiness” as long as it doesn’t infringe on others’ rights to life and property. With drug prohibition, this constitutional right is negated. We no longer control our own bodies. This is a basic principle that both Left and Right libertarians agree upon. Our irrational drug laws, and accompanying strip-searches, urine tests, locker searches, etc., constitute a new de-facto form of partial slavery. And fiscally speaking, “How much money did the American economy lose because”...of the criminalization of drugs? Not only the staggering costs of draconic drug enforcement and incarceration but the lost tax revenues and economic stimulus of legal, regulated sales of drugs would dwarf the scope of the losses from the financial meltdown. So one obvious solution, at least in part, to America’s implosion is at hand, if anyone has the political courage to advocate for the legalization of drugs. Political courage certainly is not something Obama is known for, but the Green Party should at least have it figured. ‘A bunch of drug laws have done more to devastate American community than any Wall St. derivitives man ever could’ - not that the financiers should get off scot free, but the druggies should. America’s insane ‘war on drugs’ has not only devastated American communities but even worse in many ways, it’s truly devastated large parts of Columbia, Mexico, Afghanistan and other violated nations. There’s all the difference in the world between “high finance and drug dealers”. “The commodities they deal” are an important part of many peasant economies and a matter of free choice for consenting adults and are in no way comprable to insider financial shenanigans. “We sustain with taxpayer dollars” repressive drug eradication programs at home and abroad. “But the stance, music to the ears of the white elite, is… morally indefensible. It ignores the harsh reality visited on the poor by the cruelty of” - tightly fettered drug laws. The “shooting of nine people in Chicago, including a 9-year-old girl” is tragucally similar to what goes on in Mexico and Columbia and Afghanistan every day. Ir’s also similar to what went on in Chicago in the 30’s during the last Prohibition on alcahol. The New Prohibition on drugs is no more defensible in practice or principle.

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By DBM, August 3, 2009 at 8:37 pm Link to this comment

Some good thoughts in this thread about race, inequality and class distinctions.  I certainly adhere to the view that “race” is an artificial construct scientifically speaking.  However, there are real differences in the experiences of communities of people which do matter.  Similarly, language barriers are a very real distinction.

What I took from Hedges’ article was that there is very little prospective change for the poor and disenfranchised despite the election of a president who many of them identify with on the basis of his skin colour.  It should be the job of everyone in a civilised society to ensure that there is social/economic mobility (to provide real hope) and that the lives of the poor are tolerable.  This was as true of George W Bush as it is for Barack Obama.  The difference is the potential for disappointment among people who identify as “black” or “African American”.

I also have to support LeAlan Jones’ contention that the magnitude of the impact of while collar crime should result in the proportionate punishment by society.  There should be a queue of Wall Street managers and policy makers in the dock awaiting trials ... Not only is the impact of their crimes so great, but they have committed them purely through greed as opposed to desperation.  Surely these are the more egregious crimes.

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By Folktruther, August 3, 2009 at 8:21 pm Link to this comment

I; agree with you, Elisa, that CONSTANTINE’S SWORD is an amazing, and brilliant, argument by an ex-priest and believing catholic.  Very courageous.

As to class, it is the central problem, class inequality producing a neoliberal police state in the US to maintain it.  And it will get worse historically.

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By mike112769, August 3, 2009 at 8:16 pm Link to this comment

Racism is bullshit. Every one ofe us, regardless of color, is in this together. Keep harping about race and we all lose. The real racism is the rich hating on the poor. The MSM keeps telling us how bad race is, even TD’s getting in on it. That’s just a distraction from the class (not race) warfare that is going on now. Keep the whites and blacks fighting each other, and they won’t have time to stand up to Washington. There will always be cowards that are afraid of somebody that is different from them. As a society, we should not pander to their hate-mongering. Make your own judgments, based on personality, on who to dislike. Keep your racism to yourself.

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By elisalouisa, August 3, 2009 at 5:23 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther: You bring out many good points in your comments as to the class problem in America, You state that the ruling class, the owners of the means of production, including truth production consists of 1% or so of the population. This is supplemented by the professional-managerial class, perhaps another 10%. You also mention that most of TD truthers are of the professional class. Assuming this is true, then one would assume that TD truthers could band together and form s coalition of all classes for the common purpose of better economic conditions and also working toward a crime free society. The biggest problem facing this country is unemployment. Yet, Chris does not really zero in on this. If people do not have a livelihood chaos may well follow. More of the stimulus money should have been used in job training, especially for those whose work was phased out. Somehow, government could throw billions of dollars at Wall Street, but not get into the job business because that would interfere with private enterprise.
Remember the saying a few years back, “The one with the most toys wins.” In this case, toys are weapons which more than a few countries are working to perfect. The more weapons some countries perfect and stockpile the more paranoid they become. Money, through the misdeeds on Wall Street, has helped some people become enormously wealthy without for the most part having to pay for their misdeeds. Not true of those less fortunate. Flaunt the law and you will be hounded.
It may be too late to alter the path that has been taken. For the ruling class there is no problem, they have the money and the power. Why should they attempt to solve problems their greed created. Ah yes, as they would say, “Greed is good.” However, those TD professionals could work on solving unemployment problems just a bit more.
I agree with you that some of James Carroll’s writing could benefit from condensation. If you wish to really delve as to the subject matter, “Constantine’s Sword” is as David Van Biema says “A masterly history, fascinating, brave.”

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By elisalouisa, August 3, 2009 at 5:23 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther: You bring out many good points in your comments as to the class problem in America, You state that the ruling class, the owners of the means of production, including truth production consists of 1% or so of the population. This is supplemented by the professional-managerial class, perhaps another 10%. You also mention that most of TD truthers are of the professional class. Assuming this is true, then one would assume that TD truthers could band together and form s coalition of all classes for the common purpose of better economic conditions and also working toward a crime free society. The biggest problem facing this country is unemployment. Yet, Chris does not really zero in on this. If people do not have a livelihood chaos may well follow. More of the stimulus money should have been used in job training, especially for those whose work was phased out. Somehow, government could throw billions of dollars at Wall Street, but not get into the job business because that would interfere with private enterprise.
Remember the saying a few years back, “The one with the most toys wins.” In this case, toys are weapons which more than a few countries are working to perfect. The more weapons some countries perfect and stockpile the more paranoid they become. Money, through the misdeeds on Wall Street, has helped some people become enormously wealthy without for the most part having to pay for their misdeeds. Not true of those less fortunate. Flaunt the law and you will be hounded.
It may be too late to alter the path that has been taken. For the ruling class there is no problem, they have the money and the power. Why should they attempt to solve problems their greed created. Ah yes, as they would say, “Greed is good.” However, those TD professionals could work on solving unemployment problems just a bit more.
I agree with you that some of James Carroll’s writing could benefit from condensation. If you wish to really delve as to the subject matter, “Constantine’s Sword” is as David Van Biema says “A masterly history, fascinating, brave.”

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By Jonathan5052, August 3, 2009 at 4:19 pm Link to this comment

I believe the point of this column is that race is just as crisp as the money we spend, it is not going away because we live in a country (U.S.) where race has always mattered, and will always matter.  We are simply fooling ourselves by trying to convince ourselves and everyone else that this is not the case.  Our national media are still mainly controlled by lighter skins, as well as our financial institutions, halls of justice and legislative bodies.  The exclusive gated communities and swanky golf clubs still exist, and there are still many places in these 50 States that continue to be off-limits (or protected from plain view) to women and ethnic minorities.  Until all of us face the music and own up to the truth, we will always have a “race problem” that will never go away.

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By phreedom, August 3, 2009 at 3:28 pm Link to this comment

Part 3(comment was too long to include in one entry, sorry for the long winded-ness, I’m done)

I sense that the media, well, it has come time for it to dispel myths of the human condition. Reporting from two or even three perspectives of the same myth does not get at truth. Enabling myths of human nature, especially when it comes to the one that claims humans are naturally objective, and can be so, if one only tires to be, well does not begin a road back to restarting civilization, starting it out on the firm footing that humans and all they conjure up, has always been and will
always be a subjective exercise. With truths firmly revealed by the media, as to origins of human identity development, it’s completely subjective nature, with that truth firmly planted & regularly fertilized, and raked through, so called human history, as it has been contrived up to now, well an accurate rewrite, as if we were astronomers who just found out that the earth was not the center of the universe, (imagine all the re-calculations we would need to make?) These immense astronomical
recalculations would not be unlike the work that must be started to rid our society of the “objective identity” beliefs, catonized and reified throughout our hideous systems and institutions, that support and reinforce this delusion.

Well, Chris, guess we will need to wait until my book on the subject above is ready, so much ground to cover, maybe tried to compress to much here, but in a nutshell, promoting one false sense of objectivity over another, will not address the underlying problem. The origin of human suffering, that we are strongly compelled to substantiate self,
at what seems any cost(to others), yes, and the best way to do that is keep claiming “I” can be objective. This leads it to the idea that I have a right to be happy at the cost of your misery. The positive psychology stuff you mentioned,and the positive economics references that can be believed in through it, well, is a short cut doctrine
or system, a short term fix or deterrent that seems to have a deliberate motive of distracting people from recognizing their subjective role in this modern rip off scheme of things.

All I can say is , “how can it be me”. Does that sound like the ultimate statement of irresponsibility? We need a bit of a revolution in human identity theory, lets get the society back out in front of the citizen, since they are both made up, would that order not be more fruitful. Maybe that’s what governments do, they decide what
the order of delusions will be.

Thanks for your piece, though “land of opportunity” as a title to your piece, might have better disguised your religious bent or answer to this problem mentioned in your piece.

Some day I would like to discuss with you how the treatment of “forgiveness"and the treatment of “righteousness” in the religions of islam, christianity(though delineating between catholicism
and post reformation christianity) and judism, well, influences, to what extent the treatment of these concepts reduce the propensity of their followers to believe in an “subjective identity”. Once you figure out how each treats and implements the concepts or traditions of “righteousness” and “forgiveness” the political, legal and economic systems that they
support and/or create are quite predictable.

Rhuen Phreed,
11 Marlborough Street
Boston, MA

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By phreedom, August 3, 2009 at 3:26 pm Link to this comment

Part 2(comment was too long to include in one entry, 1 more parts may be coming)

The egregiously unjust momentum of our legal system, under which laws are “created” from a constitution
with “scriptural status/standing”, enforced by people that blindly believe that human beings can act or think objectively, well,this combination has been a recipe for disaster from the get-go.

This has formulated a place where on the one hand, it is obvious that citizens are truly subjective beings, but on the other hand, those same citizens believe that the consequences, they are required to suffer from, can only be of their own making. Furthermore, that they have a responsibility to endure pain/punishment they are subjected to, “alone”, as somehow, “individuals” solely responsible for their circumstances. The law is designed, currently, to isolate a citizen, of the subjective citizenry, to the unsustainable & false position of the individual. Violently ripping the state away from the responsibility it had in making a citizen capable, circumstantially so, subjectively so, of violating the laws of that state.

So then, both the victim(eaten) and the perpetrator(eater) must somehow become motivated to end their mutual belief in a “willful, objective self/identity”, since what causes our particular system of injustice to continue and get reinforced
is a shared ambition to be the implement-or of one’s(group) brand of objectivity over their competitor’s brand. It seems that it is so compelling, to be able to claim one-self, or your group, as “top objective-izer”, that the memory of being horribly subjected immediately beforehand, well, is completely erased.

It may be that we are entering the dawn of “enough is enough” for human kind, and importantly for the United States citizenry. And if so, pointing out the differences between snobby, out of touch colored leaders, and those colored leaders nearer
to some approximation of the “conditions on the ground”, well, this is always important and needed, since all groups end up having this divide in a system based on divisiveness. But, even these insightful & delicate distinctions are part
of the same closed cycle, with no innocent participants, each vying for the right to claim their righteous objectivity and subject
their competitors to the material consequences of that claim.

(part 3 of my comment to this article on its way)


Rhuen Phreed,
11 Marlborough Street
Boston, MA

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By phreedom, August 3, 2009 at 3:19 pm Link to this comment

Part 1(comment was too long to include in one entry, 2 more parts may be coming)

My Dear Chris,

Obviously you do provoke me, and it may cause me to put some things out much earlier than I planned.

Well, since your vein of late travels closer and closer to the seemingly impenetrable surface, this iron skin of injustice, which keeps everything comfortably safe within a circular demonstration of hopelessness & greed, well you got me near bursting out.

I think the brutal controversies of hopelessness(impotence) and greed eat themselves, digesting their positions away from effectiveness because the eater and the eaten share the same ideology, ultimately, both believe in the impossible case for an “objective self”, that there is a material and concrete identity like a piece of rock or iron, posited somewhere in the organ we call mind or brain.

A consequence of this misguided, but firmly entrenched, “(religious)human identity theory”, is a fostering of activity toward unreachable goals & impossible responsibilities, perpetually supposing that a current eater or eaten can make decisions
in the best interest of the other, and most certainly in the best interests of themselves despite human connective-ness.

It does not matter who the eater is or who is eaten, even if both predicaments seem to conjure up desire to be the eater and not the eaten, since both positions always work together to stall civilized progress and human evolution. Both positions assume, and covet, a mistaken view that objective results can be manifested from subjective means
and subjective actors.

If each share the false premise that “I think therefore I can be objective”, then whatever issues forth will be delusional and “falsely self-centered”, and both parties will continue to be united in the suffering they are “willing” to impose on the other. To be aware of one’s existence does not mean one is certain of a state of objectivity.(that add on delusion is taught/learned) 

Our whole political & corporate system rewards, immensely, this dangerous reliance on the delusion of a “perfectly objective person”(or people/group) and thus unquestioned faith in the systems and choices of such dangerously mis-perceived people.
Power and wealth is not dangerous, but rather what is dangerous is imperfect and subjective person’s acting from the position that they can be perfectly objective about implementing the influence their power and wealth will allow. (afford them)

We got “trickle down objective-ized subjectivity” resulting from a feedback loop of a misguided & incorrect human identity theory. Sadly, the plight of the colored man in the United States, in terms of the disproportionate number of them being held in prison, well, it seems horrific to me that it is the result of such “vulgar certainty” in this “I” of utter delusion.

I’m afraid that as long as those that are eating and those that are being eaten share the same premise, that their exists a “material & objective” state called human identity, well, a system that contends that if all pursue their most selfish ends/desires the least of us will benefit, well, will continue to devastate society.

Many believe that that a “revolution” is out of the question, since that always presupposes violence. But violence to a widely held, delusional, “theory of objective human identity development, is exactly what is needed. But this sort of violence will leave us all casualties, non will go unscathed. Out with the violent consequences of ego’s, or “I’s”
attempts to substantiate “it-self”, in with a shared subjectivity, a shared responsibility to the true human condition. 

(conclusion & part 2 & possibly 3 of this comment to this article forthcoming)


Rhuen Phreed,
11 Marlborough Street
Boston, MA

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By joe, August 3, 2009 at 3:06 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“ziofascists” - that’s a new one

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By hippie4ever, August 3, 2009 at 2:57 pm Link to this comment

Only a capitalist could conceive that a successful individual owes nothing to the least fortunate. Such impoverishment of the heart, and such shallowness of intellect. And Americans, who always want to “follow the leader” are unhappy with the POTUS they tried to turn into a mirror image of themselves. Surprise! Obama’s not the guy who can free us from ourselves. Only we can do that, and surprise again! The majority of Americans don’t want change: they want their money back so they can roll the dice again in the Monopoly Economy. Slavery was never abolished—it became economic and now is so pervasive that people cannot think outside the box. They either lack the education or the motivation to solve our festering national debacles.

It’s like W.B. Yeats penned long ago: “The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity. The centre cannot hold.”

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By pamrider, August 3, 2009 at 2:53 pm Link to this comment

Quite honestly, I am pretty much horrified if a person of any ethnic background is arrested for not going along with a police officer.

I believe such assumption of power by people we provide with deadly force is a matter that is very much “on message” about much of the USA mindset.

I also mourn the “everybody knows” black males—especially young men—need to behave especially differentially to authority figures.

Even a mild brother such as Barak Obama sends the most virulent black haters into a lather. What the majority forgets is their automatic privilege. Just because they might no choose to have more privilege does not mean it continues to be active and they epect the fruits of their privilege.

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By BlueEagle, August 3, 2009 at 2:35 pm Link to this comment

I recommend the movie “Bloods and Crips: Made in America.” It will help to understand the situation. You can rent it on Netflix.

The same people that are responsible for the deaths of Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King are the powers behind this racial divide.

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By tom kelso, August 3, 2009 at 2:00 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

President Obama said in effect: All that is good about me I owe to my mother.

Clinton followed by W were the first Hippie generation Presidents and Obama first President of the Me. It remains to be seen if Obama will be antithecal of his, but is near impossible to think he would.

By being responsible and Me like, Obama inherited an old world network of political corporate corruption and treason, a world where the Safety Net gets holier everyday and more expensive to mend.
How many of us know people that struggled in life and are fortuntate enough to live in a parent or grandparent home, otherwise they too would be homeless.
All races, with a larger percentage of Blacks and Latinos are losing homes to foreclosure that destroyed a safety net for generations to follow.

It has been said that Latino sucess in the US will be measured by their ability to reverse their migration. What wasn’t said that poverty, gangs, crime and loss would be the driving factors. 

For example The Cities and Counties of San Bernardino and Riverside Ca, saw 100’s of thousands of Latino’s move in, just like the gold miners seeking their fortunes before them. The City and County of San Bernardino Ca, a nation leader in political corruption, unemployment, violent and property crime, with The City of San Bernardino now seeing hundreds of returning African Americans and others released on probation from prison, after serving 5-10-15 and longer prison sentences, some released early to prison overcrowding and others gentrified out of LA County seeking refuge in the eastern Inland Empire.
Like others the City of Riverside is experiencing and epidemic proportion of suicides, averaging 7 a day,  some most heinous, where the patriach murders his wife, children and then himself. Like Michael Jackson some overdose and others take thatlonely stroll to oblivion onto the 10 freeway and into a passing motorist. 

We are continually reminded that as a Nation our diversity is much greater then our differences and it is that which truly makes us great. A blood in the water mantra for the politically deviant, lobbied and monied interests. A world that can’t discriminate, obliged to exploit us all equally and to skim the proceeds from the top and then disappear.

Obama is a tool in that box of thinking, left to play an out the box game of winner takes all and the victor left unaccountable, never admitting or paying penace for it’s sins, a sin that blames the loser and rewards the victor for creating the spoil.

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By felicity, August 3, 2009 at 1:58 pm Link to this comment

bogi666 - my ex-son-in-law attributes all his failures, AND the present economic mess of the country to two things.  According to him, white American males, he’s one, are the discriminated against species in today’s America, AND unions are solely responsible for our economic mess.

When I point out to him that white males are basically running the country right now - so it’s odd that one would ‘discrimate’ against his own kind - AND America’s so-called Golden Age was a time when unions were large and powerful, he changes the subject.

Obviously he, much like the rest of us, has found a comfort zone and no amount of reality will ever threaten its survival.  Very common human behavior.

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By mcthorogood, August 3, 2009 at 1:55 pm Link to this comment

Tim Wise, a noted anti-racist lecturer, conjectures that the oligarchy condones racism between the poor white and black, in order to keep society divided.  It’s much easier to control a fractured society, than one that’s united by a common purpose.

Obama is not the salve that will mend racism in America.  It’s up to each citizen to say no to hate. This needs to start at a local level.

Tim Wise on White Privilege

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By M Currey, August 3, 2009 at 1:46 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Putting black males in jail is a mean to control the population, less children means that the race is mixed with Haspanic and Asian blood.

Even Prof. Gates is married to a white woman, therefore his children are less than half black, because Prof. Gates says that he is (by his DNA) half white.

Just as Asian girls are drawn to white men, black woman go with white men, especially educated black women.

We have a black scientist who has a white mother so there is a gradual watering down of the race.  Of course this is the United States and in another generation or two the white race will be less than 50% and maybe that will be a good thing.

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By doublestandards/glasshoues, August 3, 2009 at 12:35 pm Link to this comment

The only color that matters to the ruling class is green.  They never did care what color their servants were.  Racism is for the lower orders so that they will forget who their real enemies are.

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By bogi666, August 3, 2009 at 12:32 pm Link to this comment

felicity, don’t forget the victim mentality of white racists. Racism gives whites an excuse to deflect responsibility for their favored prospects in society.Thjey can blame it on affirmative action.They just don’t know, the whites, that they are victims. Bob Dylan has a song “A Pawn in the Game” about the assassin of Medgar Evers.

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By diamond, August 3, 2009 at 12:28 pm Link to this comment

Aren’t you forgetting something? Two of the selfless black leaders you refer to were executed by the power elite. Is this a model for Obama? I don’t think so. Many others you haven’t named were also executed. Remember a little operation where the ‘clandestine services’ went on a rampage shooting black leaders as they slept in their beds? And if Obama was to act only as a black leader he would not be governing America for everyone, and that’s his job. He could be a little preoccupied at the moment saving the financial system from itself and trying to end two wars without destroying the west. Only someone who grew up largely outside of America’s racist system could be the sane, well-balanced person that he appears to be. This is a plus not a minus. Of all the complaints that are regularly trotted out about Obama on this site, (most of them hysterical and even comical) the idea that Obama is not black enough was always going to appear. It was only a matter of time.

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By thebeerdoctor, August 3, 2009 at 12:01 pm Link to this comment

It is not surprising that class differences are never mentioned. The liberal establishment, like the conservative establishment, will use all kinds of tricks and ruses to keep in place the inhuman system of corporate monetary oppression that is euphemistically called free markets, continually in place. The owners of this world and the minions who service their needs, absolutely depend upon a superstitious, uneducated populace, to ensure that the robbery of the vast majority of beings on this planet continues unabated. Like Henry Adams over a century ago, who observed, sailing down the Ohio river, the nameless hordes of immigrants who supplied the labour for what was then the industrial revolution (what he called the politics of the dynamo), and noticed that “the only thing they have in common is the pressure”. A condition that remains, despite living in a post-industrial society, where consumerist demands are incessant, impatient and never fulfilled.
The so-called race card is a very convenient diversion. A mean cosy trick used by both “major” parties for different purposes, directed at different audiences. But the outcome is identical. It provides an opaque screen to prevent the billions of have-nots from seeing who is robbing them. Not only their money and resources are stolen, but also the idea that people can think independently, without corporate control.
This is not a pessimistic observation, despite the gloomy forecast. It is simply a call to witness the ownership class, without their symbolic altruism, who keep demanding that the masses participate in their shell games. Politicians claim they care about the poor, which is an outright lie. So becoming conscious of the fact that those in charge do not care about us. Why in the world do we have to care about them?

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By Raymond Carnation, August 3, 2009 at 9:45 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Dear Staff,
  My name is Raymond Carnation I along with two other white Philadelphia Police Officers that opposed racism
against African Americans were fired in 1999 for doing so.
In May of 2008 our law suite set precedent in federal court, Myrna Moore vs. The City of Philadelphia.
Below are articles on our story and we want to ask President Obama to place police racism on our national agenda. In order for this to happen we need as much support
as possible. I hope you can join this campaign and do a blog or a story on the wide spread problem of police racism in our country. Feel free to contact me if you wish. Thank you and God Bless.
                                            Warmest Regards,
                                            Raymond Carnation
                                              Philadelphia Pa.

                                                                                                                                                                                   

  http://www.counterpunch.org/washington05162008.html

http://www.officer.com/web/online/Top-News-Stories/3-Former-Philadelphia-Officers-Win-10-Million-Lawsuit-Against-City/1$41422

http://www.wongfleming.com/blog/blog.php?id=49&nid=27

http://glendale.injuryboard.com/workplace-discrimination/-Philadelphia-police-officers-win-10-m-judgement.aspx?googleid=239622

http://www.citypaper.net/article s/060399/news.cb.unfortunate. shtml

 


Racism in Police Departments Must Be on the National Agenda

By Keith Rushing
I hope that the U.S. Department of Justice in the Barack Obama administration on will he do what no ne have done before: take serious measures to end the rampant racism and abuse of power in police departments across America. OF if course, we can’t expect miracles in the span of…
URL to article: http://www .justdemocracy blog. org/?p=791

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By truedigger3, August 3, 2009 at 9:34 am Link to this comment

Obama, then they are in for a very rude awakening. Obama is black in the color of the skin only. He has nothing in common whatsoever with the black experience. His father was a kenyan scholar who left the family when Obama was a toddler and so Obama was raised by his white mother and the rest of his white relatives in upper middle class white communities.
Add to that the obvious glaring fact that Obama is the moneyed class guy and he doesn’t give a damn about the common folks whether black or white and all the shades and colors in between.

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By truedigger3, August 3, 2009 at 9:31 am Link to this comment

If the black people are pinning their hopes on Obama, then they are in for a very rude awakening. Obama is black in the color of the skin only. He has nothing in common whatsoever with the black experience. His father was a kenyan scholar who left the family when Obama was a toddler and so Obama was raised by his white mother and the rest of his white relatives in upper middle class white communities.
Add to that the obvious glaring fact that Obama is the moneyed class guy and he doesn’t give a damn about the common folks whether black or white and all the shades and colors in between.

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By felicity, August 3, 2009 at 9:13 am Link to this comment

boggi666 - you mention ‘victim mentality.’  A study was done a number of years ago on just that - what it is, how it manifests itself and, most interestingly when it usually disappears in a population. 

Beginning from the time when a victimized population is in a sense set free, it takes 3 generations for the mentality to die out - naturally, according to the study.  Marking 1954, Brown vs Board of Education, as the ‘beginning’ of the 3 generations, if the study is correct by 2014 it should die out.

As an aside, we should also be talking about the whole issue of ‘race.’  Science long ago discredited the biological underpinninge of the notion of race saying in essence that the notion is a myth.  If one must use the term ‘race’ there are as many ‘races’ in the world as there are people - in other words, each of us is a race unto himself.  (Strange that this gets little or no attention.)

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By Anarcissie, August 3, 2009 at 9:12 am Link to this comment

A few years ago I watched a major hip-hop video—some sort of awards thing—with many different individuals and groups presenting segments.  The show as a whole seemed to be themed on prison.  That is, various performers were seen in cells; they would come out dressed in jail garb, do their number, and then return, and the next would come out.  In short, the universality of the prison experience of young males at least had not only been accepted and condoned, as it is among poor White people, but was actually being appropriated and used as a defining cultural framework.  One hears also of “gangsta” or “thug” culture.  Of course all this is passed through various media filters, or anecdotally through various non-participating observers, so I have my doubts about its complete veracity, but to the extent it’s real, it looks like a fairly rational attempt to deal with inescapable social facts.  That is, if one is an outlaw or criminal by definition, one might as well try to make the most of it.

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By DMFD, August 3, 2009 at 8:56 am Link to this comment

“But if we are asking them to stop crime, what incentive are we providing them to do that?”  How about the incentive of not going back to jail?!  How about teaching “their sons and nephews and their immediate families that are being the provocateurs of that violence.” to make the right choices.  And don’t start with the b.s. that they never had a chance.  That is a defeatist attitude and I don’t believe a majority of my african-american brothers are willing to don that cap.  Peace

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By Folktruther, August 3, 2009 at 8:47 am Link to this comment

What Hedges complains about, the selling out of the Black population by the professional-managerial class, is a general phenomena in the US, occurring in the other minorities as well, and, especially, in the White population.  The oppression of the ruling class could not be conducted so effectively without the complicit colaboration of most of the professional class.  the class of most of TD truthers.

The ruling class, the owners of the means of production, including truth production, consists of only 1% or so of the population.  It is supplemented by the professional-managerial class, perhaps another 10%. These Educated classes control both parties, the learned and mass media, the Entertainment industry, the churches, and are the public intellectuals. 

They control and produce the truth of the US truth system.  Systematically deluding the population and neutralizing them as a power force against the class oppression and inequality that are driving the Aermerican people into the dirt.  Since Jews are a much larger fraction of the professional class, their Zionism, which has been hijacked by ziofascists, is prevalent in both parties, as neocons and neolibs, and is largely supported by the Educated. 

Nost of the Educated are Gops, the tendency of college graduates being Conservative.  But they dominate the Dems as well, the Elitist illusion of the Educated dominating the reality-based truth about class power.  It is true that the the Black professional class sells out the Black population, but this is only the tip of the class problem. It is generalized in the US and may well be generalized in the world.

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By Dave Schwab, August 3, 2009 at 8:43 am Link to this comment

Want a fair economy that works for everyone, not just Wall Street and oil companies? Take a cue from LeAlan Jones and get active with the Green Party. Greens don’t take corporate money, so they’re accountable only to voters.

Nonviolence, social justice, grassroots democracy, sustainability - if these are your values, register Green and help us build a better world. http://www.gp.org

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By thebeerdoctor, August 3, 2009 at 8:23 am Link to this comment

The insensitive nature of my comment is simply that so many refuse to acknowledge the sheer brutality of the American capitalist system. Saying that in the United States only those with money count for anything, is not about approval, but simply stating a very obvious fact. President Obama’s legitimacy is reinforced by the moneyed interests of the ownership class who contributed lavishly, and were handsomely rewarded by obtaining key cabinet posts in his administration. If you believe these champions of the ownership society actually care about the have-nots, other than as a campaign vehicle, well good luck!

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By grumppynyker, August 3, 2009 at 7:25 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What does the Mulatto-in-chief owe the descendants of slavery/Jim Crow segregation?  Since he cynically exploited working poor black Americans’ hopes/dreams by running to become “the first black President” although he was raised by his white family in Hawaii/Malaysia.  I expected the black political/intellectual classes to cash in on his victory,while the Tan One does nothing to alleviate the discrimination in education/employment/housing/healthcare/ of blacks earning under $30k/year.  In fact, he takes pains to chastize blacks for the same stereotypes one hears on Fox or the fake white liberal/progessive outlets.  Fuck him and his white handlers; one term president.

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By ardee, August 3, 2009 at 6:36 am Link to this comment

President Obama owes nothing to people trapped in the poverty of the ghetto, he was raised in Hawaii by a mother who worked in a bank.”

I find that comment disturbing and even insensitve to a fault. perhaps I am misinterpreting the intent of the statement to indicate that the President of the USA owes nothing to the neediest and most discriminated against people in this nation. I believe he owes the most to them.

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By bogi666, August 3, 2009 at 5:40 am Link to this comment

Obama is a Kenyan American and morphing him into an African American is misleading. His family has no heritage of slavery as in the case for those who are from or whose ancestors are from the West Indies or Africa. They have no victim mentality as many African Americans do. The black community that criticizes Obama for not being a victim don’t even understand the diversity of those descendants of Africans who don’t have a victim attitude. For instance, Limbaugh accuses Obama of planning reparations. With his history Obama wouldn’t even qualify for reparations so it’s totally insane to even mention reparations and Obama in the same breath, he simply has no dog in the reparations fight.

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