Chris Hayes Extols the Right to be Horrible

horrible_hayes

Ew my gaawd, yinz will never guess what just happened!!! Rightwing racist fruitbat David Horowitz said that, at least where Free Speech is concerned, MSNBC’s Unabashed Man of the Left™,  Chris Hayes “nails it.” Specifically, Horowitz glowingly approved this from a recent Hayes segment about Pam Gellar’s Muhammed cartoon contest, ever so originally entitled, “The Right to Be Horrible.”

If we were going to do a segment that was about someone that was advertising on the network, and I was kind of on the fence about it or actually didn’t even like the segment, right? I thought it was a little unfair maybe. But then someone came to us and said ‘you can’t do that segment because of an advertiser’, I’d be like, well now we have to do the segment. Because it has to be the case that we can do that segment.

Oh har, har, Chris, nice troll, as if we don’t all know how you cringe-makingly groveled to the military establishment after they challenged your patriotism, as if you don’t receive talking points from the President himself, and as if you don’t instinctively come down on the side of conventional wisdom — which is the side of power — in every damn instance. But great hypothetical, though — likening journalism to racist provocation — entirely consistent with professional douchebag absolutists of every political stripe in its elision of power disparities and the harm principle.

Isn’t it just super,  that at a time when a truly inspiring revolt by Black people against White Supremacy predictably elicits civil rights violations by the minute, our intelligentsia has the time to remind us once again that the most sacred right of all is the right to be a racist provocateur, in case there’s any doubt?  For Hayes, under certain conditions, Islamophobic provocation is an obligation:

if the thing you’re worried about is doing an event that will provoke two people rolling up with automatic weapons and body armor trying to murder people, then it actually is really important that you do that.

Well said, Chris! If professional hate-mongers like Pam Gellar can’t calculatedly offend peace-loving Muslims while providing pretexts for terrorist attacks, who knows what’s next?  State agents shooting people in the back as they flee an unjustified traffic stop? Strangling people to death for minor offenses against stupid laws? Assaulting and arresting people for catching police brutality on video?

Oh but wait. Hayes is not talking about the usual slippery slope of state repression, is he?After all, the Islamists that we are told are so bent on suppressing free speech are not, by official reckoning, state agents. So by making things like the shootings in Garland and Paris free speech matters, Hayes and his ilk are breaking from their usual fixation on state speech prohibitions — the ones theoretically barred by the First Amendment — and extolling Free Speech as a general principle. Of course, members of the free speech crowd rarely, if ever, say anything about speech suppression in the private sector — like the routine controls on workers — but apparently coercion by state-designated “terrorists” is a uniquely important exception.

Lest you think that Hayes’ concern is possible state attempts to limit the right to be horrible — so as to prevent incidents like the Garland and Charlie Hebdo shootings — this is what he said in the same segment:

What I don’t like is the notion that there are people who are going to be making calculations, particularly like a venue, like do we want to give our venue over to this thing and the calculation they’re making isn’t a calculation of, do I think the person is bigoted and odious but, is this going to create a security footprint that I’m not comfortable with. Because that to me seems to create a real threat to free speech.

Got that? The real threat to free speech is private entities weighing the benefit of anti-Muslim provocations against the security problems these provocations deliberately create. Since this isn’t the usual First Amendment slippery slope problem that free speech dipshits customarily belabor, and since free speech “maximalist” Hayes surely wouldn’t support a state mandate that venues accept all comers, what can possibly be the point of handwringing over this particular problem? What’s the implicit solution to this “real threat to free speech?” I mean, if it’s really important that murder-provoking events happen, surely measures must be taken to prevent those murders, right? So, what are they?

Since Hayes, like all his Celebrity Left colleagues, is equal parts calculating opportunist and deeply conformist worm, it’s quite likely he hasn’t given solutions much thought. It is enough to simply wring his hands in accordance with elite doctrine, in anticipation of the usual rewards. Seeing that Fox News’ stars such as Bill O’Reilly and Geraldo Rivera have excoriated Gellar, Hayes support from the scare quote Left is particularly useful, conflating right-wing reaction with rebellion, while juicing up a fight that’s running out of steam among the usual suspects.

Though Hayes hasn’t likely considered what he’s implicitly advocating, the people whose approval he seeks, along with his new fan David Horowitz, very much have a solution to this “real threat” in mind. If Islamists are attempting to control speech, of course the state response must be to better control Islamists, by way of Endless War abroad and increased disciplinary power on the home front. So, whether intentionally or not, Hayes is fear-mongering and high dudgeoning on behalf of ends he’ll no doubt show-boatingly lament during other broadcasts, when it serves his interests to do so.

UPDATE (link to this update)

In my darkest moments, I wonder if the kind of free speech purism that gives such a wide berth to white supremacism isn’t, in the end…well…rooted in white supremacism. After all, wouldn’t a system largely dependent on white supremacy tend to reward white supremacists, if only, or perhaps even especially, covert, largely passive ones? At the very least, the kind of free speech absolutism I keep critiquing on this blog, minimizes racism in a way I increasingly find disgusting.

With that in mind, take a look at this video — brought to my attention by reader keatsycamore — of Hayes chatting about basketball with  Zach Lowe on a Grantland podcast. Hayes has put on his “one of the guys” hat and is clearly feeling a lot more relaxed than the eager-to-impress schoolboy he plays on MSNBC. Things get genuinely weird when Lowe introduces the topic of the NYPD’s assault of Black Atlanta Hawks player Thabo Sefolosha, in which the police broke a seemingly compliant Sefolosha’s leg.

I’m not going to transcribe the full discussion which begins around 24:30, but rather note the disquieting flippancy with which both men, particularly a giggly Hayes, address the topic. Hayes actually laughs as he says “They freakin’ broke his leg.” Equally discomfiting is the way in which both men, but particularly Hayes, suggest that there might be a detail not readily apparent from the video of the assault, that might have justified the NYPD’s characteristically excessive use of force against a Black man. Maybe Sefolosha was “drunkenly mouthing off,” Hayes almost says.

Hayes also marvels aloud at the apparent media blackout on the story, as if he doesn’t share any responsibility for it. While he mentions “the context of what’s been going on politically,” at no point does either man mention racism explicitly, and Lowe reminisces about how cops play fast and loose with the rules when they’re in a “bad mood.” I don’t think I’m being hypercritical or dramatic to say it’s really rather fucked up and, as with so much else, seems to vindicate my judgment in ways even I wouldn’t have expected. I encourage you to see for yourself, as well as read keatsycamore’s own assessment.

Related

White Supremacy and Magic Paper

Glenn Greenwald’s First Amendment Absolutism and Twitter’s Foley Ban

The Cable News Heroism of Chris Hayes

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32 Responses to Chris Hayes Extols the Right to be Horrible

  1. forest says:

    either ‘submit or be killed’ or ‘submit or be killed’.

  2. b-psycho says:

    I read a story the other day about a shooting range where the owner openly has a No Muslims Allowed policy. His fear about people being turned away from accommodations because of their beliefs is a bit late.

  3. keatssycamore says:

    Appreciate your efforts on this issue. These defenders of all speech clearly don’t mean what they say. After all, none of the “Je suis so-and-so” people ever seem to discuss, for instance, Sami Al-Arian. And that was actual state action!

    But that’s not what I came here for. I wanted to post a brief Chris Hayes story that, along with the things you mention in that second paragraph, illustrates the dark heart of the careerist Celebrity Left. To set it up, I’m a big NBA fan and I enjoy listening to a podcast by an NBA yakker, Zach Lowe. Yesterday, to my horror, his guest was big NBA fan Chris Hayes (yeah, it’s almost horrible enough to make me turn to soccer). But I listened anyway because that’s what I do when I’m plowing a field.

    Their discussion eventually came around to Thabo Sefolosha, an Atlanta Hawks player who recently had his leg broken outside a Manhattan establishment by an NYPD billy club for, if you watch the TMZ video, standing on the sidewalk. Lowe is wondering why it isn’t a bigger story given A) an important player on the team with the third best record in the league is now out for the playoffs and B) it’s the direct result of NYPD police brutality. I found what Hayes had to say in response revealing (it’s at about minute 26 here – http://grantland.com/the-triangle/the-lowe-post-podcast-chris-hayes-on-the-bulls-and-how-to-make-the-nba-more-watchable/ ). It’s the “gotta learn more, get all the facts” defense. Hayes to Lowe:

    “Now maybe it will turn out that they were completely justified in how they approached him, that he was drunkenly mou …””

    Hayes stops himself before he gets out his full thought which was quite obviously going to be “drunkenly mouthing off”. I assume he stopped himself because he realized his actual audience (or, more likely, the people who criticize him from the left) would seize on this unguarded moment where he’s actually defending a cop SHATTERING A MAN’S TIBIA BECAUSE OF THE MAN’S DRUNKEN SPEECH as another piece of evidence that Hayes is an irredeemable asshole who, despite his bull shittery above, does believe that billy club wielding violence by the state is, in fact, a “justified” response to certain speech.

    He’s not a free speech “absolutist” at heart. He’s a free speech “absolutist” for pay.

  4. Ack Nice says:

    http://ismaelhossein-zadeh.com/why-islamic-reform-is-delayed/
    I think you’ll want to read that, mr. tarzie – pretty sure you’ll like to have more people knowing it

  5. jason says:

    thank you for your work & insights on this “free speech” issue. invaluable. but I think we all should consider in each case of these “terror” attacks (incl. the boston marathon bombing) that elements of the state either 1) know something is up because of their massive surveillance powers or 2) are also actively, covertly assisting the agents of these “terror” attacks. see, for example, this article, among many other credible reports of this nature:
    http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2015/05/09/herm-m09.html

    not to mention the “terror” “plots” that would not have existed without the state’s entrapment of hapless, marginalized muslims here in the US.

    That fraud & opportunist S. Rushdie called those who refused to attend the Charlie Hebdo PEN gala “a bunch of pussies.” just one example of a very, very selective belief in “free speech” these kind of people actually have.

    • Tarzie says:

      I think we all should consider in each case of these “terror” attacks that elements of the state etc.

      It’s certainly reasonable to not rule out state involvement in these incidents, which is why I weasel-worded this passage:

      the Islamists that we are told are so bent on suppressing free speech are not, by official reckoning, state agents.

      However, I don’t think the matter of state involvement is particularly germain to this particular discussion. My concern here is the narrative, which is the same whether the Garland and Hebdo attacks had state support or not. We’ll likely never know the whole story behind these attacks, and speculation doesn’t warrant distraction from the malefaction out in plain sight.

      I like your point about selective free speech. Rushdie’s conduct shows how autocratic these people are when confronted with opposing views.

  6. jason says:

    yes. there’s no doubt people out there willing to do stuff, though very few; we don’t have access generally to “what’s really going on” behind the scenes, and the uses to which these terror scares are put speak volumes all in themselves. to a certain extent, it’s a waste of time to speculate too much without solid info. we may never know the full involvement of elements of the state in, e.g., the 9/11 attacks. but the invasion of iraq, rationalized thru the 9/11 attacks, tells us as plain as day all we really need to know about the kind of people & system we are dealing with.

    none of these celeb free speech warriors ever rallies to defend an official enemy’s (like the late hugo chavez) right of speech. and in certain cases, they gleefully endorse assassinating people for their speech, like the islamic “fundy” preacher in yemen who was droned to death a few years back. no need to belabor the hypocrisy & sycophancy of these free speech zealots.

    • RUKidding says:

      True: we don’t really know what’s going on behind the scenes, as with the Hebdo attack, in particular, but even at Garland TX. We’ll never know for sure these were genuine False Flags (eg set up by some spooks) or they were “genuine” attacks by true Islamic fundies (or whatever). The “deal” for me, however, is HOW such incidents immediately get turned into giant media circuses, and the PTB then use them to push forward their agendas and narratives, as well as utilizing them as Fear cudgels against a dumbed down populace.

      After the Hebdo massacre there was that photo of all those top dog European heads of state – including Top Genocidist Bibi Nettanyahu of all scum – posed to *appear as if* they were marching arm in arm in the “streets” with the rest of the Parisians/French who were doing their Je Suis Charlie schtick. Of course, it was immediately proven that Frau Merkel et al were simply posed together off on some other street far away from the madding crowds, and they never “marched” anywhere. What a load…. but utterly unsurprising. Yet I heard people extoling how fabulous it was that these world “leaders” had shown up to “march” with the serfs, as was heavily “advertised” in all of the M$M outlets… yeah right. duh.

      The whole notion of so-called “Free” Speech/First Amend has been so debased and trivialized and abused by the PTB – and their mouthpieces whether allegedly “representing” so-called “left” or “right” viewpoints – that it’s almost pointless to have even a meaningful discussion about it (as I did try recently with a good friend who lives not in the USA and happens to be an “expert” of sorts on political cartoons).

      Sadly, it’s been my experience that even thoughtful, well educated and somewhat “aware” people out there simply buy the narratives pushed forward by these charlatans, and that’s that.

      And yes, we only see the celebrity talking heads showing up to defend the “free speech” rights of certain carefully chosen individuals or groups who fit into the narratives of the PTB. Show up to defend Hugo Chavez? Ya gotta be kidding me! Hypocrisy knows no bounds.

      • Tarzie says:

        Sadly, it’s been my experience that even thoughtful, well educated and somewhat “aware” people out there simply buy the narratives

        Yeah, it’s so entrenched and impossible to reason with it seems like brainwash. Part of its sticking power is its appeal to vanity. People who stump for Free Speech all the time are very proud of themselves. They think it makes them more open-minded and liberty-loving. It’s an extremely simple-minded doctrine that disobliges people of wrestling with complexity, which is also appealing.

  7. Goldfish Training Institute says:

    But then someone came to us and said ‘you can’t do that segment because of an advertiser’, I’d be like, well now we have to do the segment. Because it has to be the case that we can do that segment.

    Think of the corporations!

    I agree, you can’t divorce these media segments from the dominant ideology of white supremacy. Mouthpieces like Chris Hayes, Greenwald, that Colbert guy, and other bourgeois apologists rely on their denial of the reality of white supremacy and racist ideology. How else could they possibly de-link their racist and Fascist speech from the material conditions to which white supremacy owes its existence. These assholes use their bourgeois platforms as weapons to enforce the status quo of institutionalized racism and cultural genocide.

    This goes hand in hand with their ridiculous assertion of equal opportunity discourse. To avoid discussing the ugly reality of capitalist power, they romanticize and fetishize speech under the guise of personal motivation and individual freedom (or corporate “freedom”), which aids and abets white supremacy and continued cultural oppression and racism. It’s an intentional omission on their part.

    Ward Churchill wrote eloquently on this topic, about the cause-and-effect relationship between the reinforcement of racist propaganda and policy implementation.

    I like your Twitter descriptor of “free speech suppressor.”

  8. Goldfish Training Institute says:

    Attention comrades: If you’re not on establishment talk shows, it’s YOUR fault. Take some personal responsibility here!

    Glenn Greenwald to radical leftists: “Put on a suit,” “make friends with producers,” and “learn to talk in soundbites,” and you’ll be invited to speak on MSM talk shows.

    http://bloggingheads.tv/videos/35012?in=44:31&out=48:59

    I didn’t realize socialists, communists, and anti-imperialist activists can’t get onto “Morning Joe,” Chris Hayes, and NPR because they’re “self-indulgent” and “marginalize themselves.”

    Glad we cleared that up. Could this insufferable asshole be any more of a status quo tool. I feel like I’m back in third grade being lectured by “teacher.”

    • Tarzie says:

      Yeah, that’s too much isn’t it? I couldn’t tell is whether or not he continued to hold that view after further discussion with Chomsky. I’m actually shocked that he admitted there are areas that no one can go near if they want to stay at the table.

      What I find so stunning is that people who should know better take this dweeb seriously. It’s bizarre. Even when I liked him, I thought he was just a uniquely useful liberal. I think I just have yet to get to grips with how *liberal* even radicals in this country are at heart. This horrible new left of managerial class know-nothings.

      • Goldfish Training Institute says:

        I’m actually shocked that he admitted there are areas that no one can go near if they want to stay at the table.

        Yeah I don’t know what to think of that since he continues to this day with his class collaboration and “equal voice” positions on speech, which he doesn’t seem to realize are themselves imperialist and power serving positions. Maybe in his narcissism he really sees himself as exceptional because he’s a “radical” who can go on Morning Joe. But isn’t that the typical bourgeois paternalistic attitude towards the unwashed masses? “I did it, why can’t you?” It’s so patronizing but hey they always know what’s best for us!

        Does this clown truly believe he is threatening the ruling class in some way because he is going on these shows? How narcissistic do you have to be? That’s why his shtick was making me almost physically ill. Just wear a suit my ass.

      • Tarzie says:

        In case you haven’t noticed, I’ve transcribed that section from the Blogging Heads he did in a separate blog post. May blog about it, not sure. Thought it might provoke some interesting discussion.

  9. jason says:

    maybe slightly OT, but re Sy Hersch’s latest in the London Review of Books: this phony story of obl’s demise is handed round, guaranteeing bho’s reelection no less, with these staged photo-ops of the white house team in the situation room (or whatever; how concerned hilary “we came, we saw, he died” clinton is!), etc., etc. then someone from murder, inc. hands kathryn bigelow a script and our leni riefenstahl, with lots of help, makes “zero dark thirty”. (note how prominently women, incl. jessica chastain of course, feature in this feculent heap. not an accident.) besides further innoculating us all to the issue of torture with fake debate about whether torture “works” and making it seem like this propaganda vehicle is somehow about “feminism”, now we’ve also got a “free speech issue” on our hands, framed around bigelow’s “right” to make this movie.

    similarly, to question or oppose charlie hebdo is to be “against free speech.” nice little racket there for controlling people’s thoughts & discourse.

    • Tarzie says:

      nice little racket there for controlling people’s thoughts & discourse.

      Yeah, it’s literally down to a science. Interesting to see the right embracing similar strategies. In defense of the Flat Tax, Rand Paul recently said it’s “condescending” to suggest that the poor don’t want to pay taxes at the same rate as the rich. With any luck the right will kill this kind of rhetoric on the left.

      • jason says:

        yes. doesn’t mean every piece of these psy-ops is thought out/planned beforehand. these are nothing if not opportunistic fucks. viruses are jealous of their marketing campaigns.

        ugh rand paul. poor me will gladly pay the same rate as the rich…if uh…certain uh…other a bit unlikely conditions obtain…

        on a lighter note, i think it was dennis perrin who suggested that if obie really wanted to win in a total rout, they should have plastered all over the news a photo of dead obl with an “obama/biden 2012” bumper sticker taped over his mouth.

        oh yeah, & re 0 dark 30, how concerned, almost tortured, the torturers are over their weighty decisions. it drives a POTUS to read aquinas & augustine on just war theory…can’t you see their concern from the way they furrow their brows?

      • Tarzie says:

        doesn’t mean every piece of these psy-ops is thought out/planned beforehand

        No, one thing I dislike about people who talk endlessly about Psy Ops and particular operatives is how they minimizingly miss how Psy Ops are generated on the fly, via a combo of pre-emptive filtering, ambitious conformist hacks doing what ambitious conformist hacks do, and improvised tweaks from people acting more self-consciously and deviously.

    • RUKidding says:

      Psy Ops whether planned beforehand or jumped upon after the fact. Why Sy Hersch is bringing up the whole phony-baloney ObL “murder” at the alleged hands of US Marines NOW is a Q. My understanding is that Hersch is saying that the truth of ObL murder is not as has been presented to us, ala Zero Dark Bullshit. But otoh, there’s been loads of info out there already stating that was crap. Was ObL even alive anymore when the Marines allegedly stormed that compound in Abbottabad? Who knows? Some say that Benazir Bhutto had to be offed bc she spilled the beans that ObL was long dead from his illnesses, and then it’s been posited that’s why W said he didn’t “think” about ObL anymore.

      Who knows? We’ll never know for sure, other than that all of these Psy Ops become spectacles to push forward various narratives and agendas and mainly Fear so that the hapless US proles will go along with paying through the nose to allegedly be “safe.” It continues to amaze me how many people I still hear talking about being “safe” from Terrorisssssss. I continually tell them that they should be more concerned about the greed of the Alphabets than any alleged Islamic fundie.

  10. RUKidding says:

    Just a final comment re sniveling weasel Chris Hayes – thanks for that post on him weaseling away about this NBA guy who had his tibia fractured. I don’t own a tv, so no surprise that I never heard about that incident, yet it seems like many others didn’t know about it either. Pointing again to the narratives and agendas that, unsurprisingly, are played out in the propaganda media. My guess is that the PTB didn’t want too much daylight shone on how the heavily militarized PDs will go after just about any male of a darker skin pigmentation if they feel like it. Well why not? Certainly, absent the recent indictment in Baltimore, the PDs have been given free reign to murder, maim and torture at will with precious little in the way of consequence, other than their fraternal order of PD “brothers” egging and cheering them on.

    That weasel Hayes would be so accepting of this social order is completely unsurprising. Rather I would be gobsmacked if that little shite had actually, you know, shown some sort of conscience and been truly outraged by that event. No prizes given that this POS horses ass sell out could give a shit about someone being abused by the PD, esp as the abused is of dark skin tone. I’m sure that in Hayes’ little bubble world of rich white male entitlement & privilege, the NBA guy “had it coming.”

    Nice catch, however. Clearly highlights how such leftwing gatekeepers roll…

  11. Oelsen says:

    > Of course, members of the free speech crowd rarely, if ever, say anything about speech suppression in the private sector — like the routine controls on workers — but apparently coercion by state-designated “terrorists” is a uniquely important exception.

    That one is important. If they did extend the concept onto every speech possible, corporations would be reduced to the money machine they are. But they don’t want to be reduced. They want marketing and loyal workers with the right mindset.

    Any corporation would loose their charisma and become nothing.

    • Tarzie says:

      Yeah. That Free Speech doctrine is an instrument of power really shows when they apply it to a non-state “censor.”

      Like you say, branding and marketing require regimentation of all employee expression. If they want you to say something ridiculous or dishonest, you’ll say it or else. Meanwhile, corporate speech has First Amendment protection, thanks to the purists.

  12. Lorenzo says:

    if the thing you’re worried about is doing an event that will provoke two people rolling up with automatic weapons and body armor trying to murder people, then it actually is really important that you do that.

    If doing something that provokes an armed response is inherently worth celebrating, then Chris should tip his cap to ISIS, whom this logic dictates are the bravest, most noble heroes around.

    • Tarzie says:

      It’s bizarre, isn’t it? I always feel like he’s pretending to be a person with coherent principles.

      There’s a lot that’s wrong with that statement, but the way it just trivializes the deliberate offending and marginalizing of rank and file Muslims by a fucking fascist, is genuinely sickening. He’s disgusting.

  13. wendyedavis says:

    For me, listening to Hayes and Lowe laughing as they discuss Mr. Sefolosha’s attack and injury by police was even worse than pure white supremacy. Clearly, Lowe introduced the subject because “a valuable team commodity” was out for the season. Then he laughed while saying, “of course there’ll be a lawsuit”, as though some fooking blood money was such a Big Whoop.

    Dollar $igns are what matter, not black lives. But of course, that’s a good part of what the movement is all about.

    • Tarzie says:

      Yes to your remarks about “valuable team commodity” but I see all of this as “pure white supremacy” rather than something “worse” or different. The greatest expression of white supremacy was the totalizing commodification of black bodies. Sefolosha’s humanness is completely erased in that conversation, as if he has no existence outside entertaining them by playing ball. It’s certainly not money that makes Hayes and the other Free Speech half-wits entirely indifferent to the insults Gellar tirelessly visits upon random Muslims.

      • wendyedavis says:

        I admit I’ve never read or heard Gellar. But yes to the root of white supremacy as the commodification of blacks since slavery (and First Americans since the original occupation and genocide). But what I’m trying to express is that Hayes and Lowe were also showing their *class superiority*, as well, which caused me to hear their remarks as even more caustic (but you’re right, not *worse*). I wouldn’t doubt they’d have been so cavalierly amused had the police broken the modern-day equivalent of Larry Byrd, for instance.

        But my larger point was meant to be that for classists (in this case paid to be in service to the elite), the murder or brutalizing of any in the rabble class is relatively okay, because they in effect deserve it. The current iteration of anti-police brutality and assassination began in ABQ, and iirc, of the 28 murdered by cops since 2012, only one or two were black. The others were brown, homeless, mentally ill, indigent, or those who’d ‘failed to obey’ even if some physical problem prevented them from doing so: Expendable Rabble, in other words.

        In a similar vein, slow death by way of urban gentrification, or land and water decimated by the dumping of toxic wastes is quite okey-dokey for those whose “minds rustle with million dollar bills”, as Buffy Saint Marie put it so well. Of course the Negro-farming for dollars by way of incarceration rates and unpaid misdemeanor fines multiplying to the point of jailing is more prevalent in St. Louis, Baltimore, and such cities, but as Glen Ford implies: they don’t fuck with the Oprahs of the world. Sorry to have gone a bit around Dobbin’s barn; it’s hard for me to convert the images in my mind to words these days.

      • Tarzie says:

        The others were brown, homeless, mentally ill, indigent, or those who’d ‘failed to obey’ even if some physical problem prevented them from doing so

        That’s a really good point. Would be interesting to see how it all breaks down nationwide.

        I agree with the way you describe class superiority’s interplay with racism, very keenly observed.

      • wendyedavis says:

        It would be hard to track, of course, but one of the sister organizations to Killed by Police on Facebook, has been trying to at least identify those victims by race (still hard), although I can’t remember its name just now. For the rest of the Rabble Class, it would take incredible dedication to suss out.

        Tangentially or not is the tired assumption of the white media, and many ‘commissions and studies’ that there need to be more black officers in black communities, when people on the ground are seeing that it doesn’t much matter. When a black cop puts on the uniform, he/she puts on the virtual white skin of the oppressors. I failed to find how many Police Commissioners or Chiefs are black, but look at Batts in Baltimore. The protegé of Billy Bratton in LA and Long Beach.

        Oh, hell, I could go on forever, given that my blogging has experienced some tunnel vision as this as the most key issue here and indeed, around the world over the past year or so. But even freaking reportedly suicidal people are being blown away by cops, and the mentally ill, even those family members swear were known to be so by the po-po. While exploring more radical ideas afoot including Disarm the Police, Black Control of Black Communities, Police-free Zones, and others, one thing remains clear: there must be alternatives to calling 911 for those in need of mental health help of any kind.

        Anyhoo, thanks for grasping my meaning, tarzie.

      • Tarzie says:

        he/she puts on the virtual white skin of the oppressors.

        That’s been really evident here in New York. NYPD is extremely diverse and yet…

        People just don’t get what the limits are of access and representation. It’s such a fake solution.

      • wendyedavis says:

        Exactly. A couple explicit Tweets:

        This site sorts killings and violence by location; quite useful for 2014.
        http://mappingpoliceviolence.org/

        Oh, and I’d meant to say that it was the assassination of homeless and mentally rough James Byrd that led to anti-police brutality activism in ABQ. One of the six has been charged; but it’s turning into to political circus one might just imagine.

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