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Wednesday, April 8, 2015

G is for Git 'Er Done


I had to change my G today, too. My mind goes where it goes.


Our society seems to be gradually losing its soul. Power seems to hold more value these days than human lives. Over the last couple of years it almost seems that we have come to not only expect that killers will be sent free, but many people have determined that they should. Society is being conditioned to believe that life is so invaluable as to willingly accept its loss over a loose cigarette or an unpaid child support order. We seem to have a growing number of people who first seek control and then exploit it with an enthusiasm that a reasoned person could never comprehend. It is as if there is a joy or a pride in the excitement of wielding power over another person. I won't go into the myriad of possible causes because it is too complex for a simple piece, but the representations are all around us.

The video released last night of Walter Scott being shot and killed was a horror to me. As a woman who never received child support, I would have loved for someone to have taken the warrants for my back pay seriously. But I wouldn't expect anyone to die over it. I held myself as I watched the video and became nauseous. I felt the fear of this man running from gunshots. I watched the cop and couldn't imagine what he could have been thinking, "I don't want to chase after this man who I pulled over for a simple driving infraction, I'll just shoot him until he's dead." Git 'Er done, motherfucker.

We saw Eric Garner strangled to death last year and I have not been able to shake that vision. I am haunted by it and, I imagine, I will now be haunted by the Walter Scott video, as well. Mr. Garner never posed a threat to anyone. He was a single man surrounded by police officers. He begged for them to stop and there was no moment of reflection where the officer realized the man had been subdued and he needed to step away. One of the commonalities between the Walter Scott murder and that of Eric Garner is the fact that after they were both clearly dead, they were put into handcuffs. Was it to make it look like they were alive for anyone who was watching or was it still part of their need to dominate? Who gives a shit? Git 'Er done, motherfucker.

The list of murders by those in power lately seems endless. Trayvon Martin was murdered by a man who should have had no power but who claimed his power by stalking a boy who was coming home from the store, starting shit with him, getting in a fight with him, losing a fight with him and then killing him because he was losing the fight that he started. And because the state of Florida gives Zimmerman the power to "stand his ground," he was afforded a (completely bullshit) defense and given his freedom. He saw a black kid in a neighborhood he thought he had no business being in and decided it was his responsibility to take care of it. Git 'Er done, motherfucker.

In Cleveland last year a 12 year old boy, Tamir Rice, was in the park with no one around. The police pulled up and shot him. There was no warning given. This child had not even had an opportunity to register what was going on and they killed him. These police officers get a call about a "young man" in the park with a gun and they drove in with an immediate instinct to shoot him. That is not how they were trained to deal with this situation. There were several steps in the middle that they completely surpassed where they would have determined that #1 he was a child #2 the gun was a toy #3 he was a threat to no one. They decided to forego all of the training they were given and just drove up to murder this child. Git 'Er done, motherfucker.

I truly don't give a shit whether or not Michael Brown was disrespectful to the cop in Ferguson. He was unarmed. He was being harassed for having walked in the street instead of the sidewalk. I personally don't believe that the officer felt threatened, I believe he felt disrespected. I believe that he had a genuine sense of entitlement to his power and position and would not accept anyone refusing to treat him with the cowering respect he believed himself worthy of. And if I'm wrong, I'm still right. No offense Michael Brown is reported to have made warranted a death sentence. But the officer felt completely justified in killing him just the same. Git 'Er done, motherfucker.

When does society demand it be the responsibility of the police officers to treat their citizenry with respect until they are given a reason not to? When do we demand that they offer respect to both the power and the weapons they are given in their job of protecting and serving our communities? These officers are, at present, protecting and serving their own egos. Period.

And don't get me started on our "representatives" in Washington who think diplomacy is for the weak and demand that we got to war. Like Louie Gohmert said last week, "Its time to bomb Iran." Indeed. Git 'Er done, motherfucker.




8 comments:

  1. Hello Angie, I discovered your blog yesterday and appreciate very much your sensitive and insightful commentary. My political views are on the opposite side of the spectrum from yours, but I find your writing a joy to read. You have strong views, but you resist the impulse to become strident in expressing them. I look forward to seeing your future essays.

    Congratulations on the Little Girl Found. It is often difficult to make changes. We tend to follow the easy and comfortable path. Your decision was an excellent one with life-changing and life extending effects. Even making small changes... can provide a great feeling of self-actualization.

    I recently (due to a tax issue in Canada that I discovered in late November) made a move 1200 miles away to Nevada, changed my business model and bought a new home - on December 29! Things fell into place very nicely. If we do not make decisions and take action, it is unlikely that things will just happen!

    I agree with some of what you have said in this article. Some police are not out to serve the people, some would have had great career upward mobility in a fascist state. But I beg to differ on the Michael Brown case. I just had a look at the DOJ report. Michael Brown had an advocate in the person of Mr Holder and the DOJ.

    http://www.justice.gov/sites/default/files/opa/press-releases/attachments/2015/03/04/doj_report_on_shooting_of_michael_brown_1.pdf

    Anyway, in the case of Michael Brown it appears that he escalated the situation to the point of assaulting the officer and going for his gun. The report seems very conclusive - a short excerpt:

    Wilson attempted to open the driver’s door of the SUV to exit his vehicle, but as he swung it open, the door came into contact with Brown’s body and either rebounded closed or Brown pushed it closed.

    Wilson and other witnesses stated that Brown then reached into the SUV through the open driver’s window and punched and grabbed Wilson. This is corroborated by bruising on Wilson’s jaw and scratches on his neck, the presence of Brown’s DNA on Wilson’s collar, shirt, and pants, and Wilson’s DNA on Brown’s palm. While there are other individuals who stated that Wilson reached out of the SUV and grabbed Brown by the neck, prosecutors could not credit their accounts because they were inconsistent with physical and forensic evidence, as detailed throughout this report. Wilson told prosecutors and investigators that he responded to Brown reaching into the SUV and punching him by withdrawing his gun because he could not access less lethal weapons while seated inside the SUV.

    Brown then grabbed the weapon and struggled with Wilson to gain control of it. Wilson fired, striking Brown in the hand. Autopsy results and bullet trajectory, skin from Brown’s palm on the outside of the SUV door as well as Brown’s DNA on the inside of the driver’s door corroborate Wilson’s account that during the struggle, Brown used his right hand to grab and attempt to control Wilson’s gun. According to three autopsies, Brown sustained a close range gunshot wound to the fleshy portion of his right hand at the base of his right thumb. Soot from the muzzle of the gun found embedded in the tissue of this wound
    coupled with indicia of thermal change from the heat of the muzzle indicate that Brown’s hand was within inches of the muzzle of Wilson’s gun when it was fired.

    The location of the recovered bullet in the side panel of the driver’s door, just above Wilson’s lap, also corroborates Wilson’s account of the struggle over the gun and when the gun was fired, as do witness
    accounts that Wilson fired at least one shot from inside the SUV.

    mike

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    1. Thank you, Mike. I appreciate your support. I know about the DOJ report, but as a human being who know that the officer had not been told about any altercation at a convenience store and that the young man was initially doing nothing wrong I will continue to maintain that the officers ego was out to be nasty to a kid who was walking in the street. Just as Zimmerman wouldn't have had to "stand his ground" if he hadn't messed w the child in the first place, officer Wilson wouldn't gave shot anyone if he would've not been a bully to begin with. I'm white. I've never been racially profiled, but I assume those who gave can only take so much of it.

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    2. Racial profiling is corrosive... and lazy. I do not know the officer's personality or motivations. There are bullies out there. I am also white and obviously privileged by that. On a visit to Delhi a few years ago I saw amazing discrimination largely based on caste which tends to correlate with skin darkness. I talked to my friend and business associate in India about discrimination and speculated that the advantage of fair skin was a result of colonization - looking more like the British overlords. In fact he said that dark skin was cause (?) for negative discrimination since the earliest history of the area. I saw many advertisements in newspapers in India for skin whitening ointments. How strange.

      PS: So - is your snow gone? No snow here in the Nevada desert, but 37 last night. 87F last week in the afternoon!

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    3. Snow is gone in Ohio. Lots of rain storms. We've had the windows open and getting lots of fresh air. It sure can make things look nicer when Mother Nature gives us our springtime.

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  2. A strong post, Angie. So so much of the sad news in our world today could be changed if people would think with a mindset of kindness. Stop, and be conscious of the bigger picture, of a world where we should be brothers not enemies, in our own country, especially.

    And while Mike has a point, the whole Michael Brown situation and others that make the news also bring to light many situations where there is no cause and people react rather than respond. I'm sad that my non-white friends have to constantly be worried that they will face questions and suspicions just because of their color.

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    1. It's so easy to just not care these days. People seem to look for reasons to get out of caring about others and blame victims. Sadly, the color of someone's skin is enough for someone to dismiss support or credibility. It's sick.

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  3. It is truly mind boggling and so unjust, I could not bring myself to watch the video, but that fact that it exists is so important. Maybe it will be a warning to the police that they are being observed and cannot continue to get away with such actions and attitudes. Hopefully anyway.

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    1. I wish I hadn't seen it. Hopefully they will all start wearing body cameras now.

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