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Ray Hollar-Gregory

Black Lives Matter

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Everything seems so incidental after seeing the heartbreaking Facebook video posted by Diamond Reynolds as her boyfriend Philandro Castile, is dying after execution by a Minneapolis police officer because of a broken taillight. Compounding the tragedy is the sympathetic voice of their four-year-old daughter who witnessed his brutal slaying. Day’s prior a similar horrific depiction in New Orleans ((Alton Sterling). The pattern is statistically unavoidable---minor traffic infractions, selling looseys or CDs, wearing a hoodie, are a pretext to stop, frisk, searches and shoot black people, see http://mappingpoliceviolence.org/unarmed/. Profiling of African Americans is sanctioned for government control, historical/contemporary oppression and revenue. We must candidly face the systematic devaluation of black lives in all our institutions, not just criminal justice system. When all else has failed the courts and prison become societies response to racism, disparities, poverty, unemployment and hopelessness. The prison removes the reality from view and is the least capable institution to resolve the racial chasm. Maybe the visual of Philandro’s death at the hands of state action will awaken the self-denial of the majority. I have to assume humanity, empathy and truth will prevail. But I recall saying the same thing after witnessing Rodney King’s brutal beating, Trayvon Martin, Walter Scott, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Freddie Gray, Tamir Rice and seeing in Jet magazine the open casket of Emmet Till. To the African American spirit that has suffered for so long, this must end. Hearts and minds, in a just society, can no longer accept the inhumanity and ugliness including the police assassinations in Dallas that we all witnessed this week. 

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I recall all of the incidents you mention from the past also, and over the years, i have witnessed the ups and downs of  law enforcement reform, an exercise in vacillation that never seems permanent. Now, we can't be sure that those encouraged by the "black lives matter" protest movement won't tend to take more risks, thinking they will survive and get justice. Meanwhile, what's to keep white cops from believing that blacks are out to get them, and that they have no choice but to overreact to this aggression, secure in the knowledge that The System will exonerate them.  Looks like a no-win situation.  Nothing seems to work.  

America's experiment in democracy has failed.  Being a nation of immigrants with a history of slavery has proven that diversity is not all it's cracked up to be. Human beings aren't sophisticated and liberal enough to overcome their innate xenophobia. The pettiness of prejudices persists. When a population is monolithic, all it's country has to worry about is class division which is not without opportunities to move up.  When color and religion and culture and language are different, things don't mesh well.    

The USA seems destined to be strife-torn because it doesn't really have a national character, and is a "house divided against itself".  But maybe change will come and things will improve with the passage of more time...

 

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The following observation from the linked article was interesting:

"Rates of violent crime in cities did not make it any more or less likely for police departments to kill people. For example, Buffalo and Newark police departments had low rates of police violence despite high crime rates while Spokane and Bakersfield had relatively low crime rates and high rates of police violence."

I'm sure some would argue the rate of police violence is why homicides are low in Spokane and high in Newark....

Man's inhumanity to one another knows no bounds.  

Welcome to the forums @Ray Hollar-Gregory

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Spoiler Alert! Skip this post if you don't want to hear anything negative... As Donald Trump continues to win over voters because Hillary Clinton can't disentangle herself form her missteps of the past, the term "just society" inspires anxiety because his presidency would represent regression rather than progress. Will black Americans ever "overcome"?  None of their strategies have produced long term results and that includes thinking positive and praying. It's futile to keep doing the same things over and over again and expecting different results.  

Unfortunately what's becoming increasingly obvious is that just because blacks deserve justice and equality doesn't mean they will get it. What's right does not always prevail. Life is not fair. In reality, "might makes right" an axiom that is synonymous with the situation in America where a strong, mighty, racist power structure remains in tact. Expecting whites to experience an epiphany wherein they will be exorcised of the privileges their skin color guarantees, is wishful thinking.      

Children are the future, and all classes of blacks need to do what it takes to groom and prepare their kids to adjust and survive in a cruel world, and this includes exercising good judgement when it comes to giving birth to them. Every child deserves to be born into a stable family unit. The consequences of fatherless children  continues to be a stumbling block for the black race... 

 

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You don't know whether negativity ever solved a problem or not.  What we do know is that if positiveness was that potent, then 60 years later, people wouldn't still be demonstrating against police brutality, and racism would've dissipated.  Reality is the bottom line. 

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Trump's "negativity" earned him millions of supporters and the nomination for president, because he became the spokesman for their grievances  and "positive" hopes of "making America great again", so positivity is in the eye of the beholder   Simon Cowell of American Idol was accused of being negative because he told the truth about positive, untalented Pollyannas who thought they could sing.  Positivity is little more than thinking you are right and others are wrong, and it can be the anti-thesis of reality and pragmatism.  Again I say, get real.

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Puleeze. What is your reference for what Simon Cowell was accused of? His critiques were called any number of things, all of which, like "heartless", were synonymouss for being "negative".   And  although YOU don't like Donald Trump's rallying cry to "make America great again",  this phrase can stand alone as being "positive" especially by his millions of supporters. It has nothing to do with spinning, and has everything to do with your inability to be objective..  

Furthermore, since concepts of negative and positive technically have nothing to do with right or wrong, my comments about the black state of affairs in America which you consider negative, are not wrong, and your reprimands are just hot air, fueled by your delusion that your positivity makes you right.  

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I go waaay back with the 1960s liberal, Gore Vidal, and in my world he was a brilliant, respected writer,  a renaissance man with a cynical wit and an endearing quality of not taking himself too seriously. Gore was also an astute political pundit and I, along with great numbers of others, had no problem with his opinion of the caustic, racist, arch-conservative, William F. Buckley.  And many other high-profile figures feuded with the volatile, erratic Norman Mahler as well as the malicious, capricious gossip-mongering, Truman Capote. They were all colorful controversial characters, typical of their and my era.  Was Gore flawed? Of course.  And I see little relevance to your including the opinion piece about him except to expose how much you have in common with him when it comes to old people and grudges. SMH  

In the overview which is something your pontificating seems oblivious to, the Existential and Relativism schools of thought  imply that right and wrong should be proceeded by the phrase "as compared to what" and are really just words in a universe that has no rhyme or reason, - as opposed to the little cookie cutter world you're confined in.  And in your permanent state of vacillation, you apparently don't find it inconsistent to inject the words negative and positive into your attempts to portray your views as being preferable to mine. (And where would you be without the words of others and the links to references and the quotes from google that hamper your ability to be an abstract thinker instead of a didactic pedant with a childish penchant for silly emoticons.  (Quick! Trot out your favorite "ad hominem" accusation to soothe your vanity.)

 I'm all about the truth and seek it because it is the light. But I am also about the whole truth, not just how it is exemplified in the old fable about the 3 blind men who came in contact with an elephant, after which one described it as having rough skin, while the other said it had a trunk, and the last one insisted it possessed a little tail. Each one of their conclusion was truthful but not the whole truth because they could not see the elephant.  The nature of truth and reality are among my favorite things to ponder, and are mind-boggling subjects which you, of all people,  are not qualified to speak about.  SMH  

 I am not a unique person to those who don't surround themselves with ass-kissers who humor them and think like they do. Besides "bitch", there is another word to describe individuals like me. We have always been around to keep people grounded.  The word is "polemicist".  I am unapologetic for whom and what I am, and guess who doesn't give a fuck if this doesn't meet your approval?  Go somewhere and sit down!  LMAO.

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Who said you wrote the piece? I didn't, and I was amused rather than offended by it because all this ploy amounted to was an opportunity for you to make your repetitive,  sanctimonious declarations.  And, of course, there was no overview because you aren't capable of taking one.(How many times do I have to chide you about having tunnel vision  and not being able to see past your nose when issuing your opinions?) SMH

You're perfectly free to stand by your statement since that's what you believe.  But your believing it is not an anointment, and doesn't make it true - or right.  It's just words.  

 

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Oh, Puleeze.. What do I have to be bitter and vindictive about? Certainly not anything involving you and your delusions. And what is your source that Vidal died a bitter old man?  The last interview I saw him in on HBO shortly before his death, he seemed anything but bitter. In fact, he was quite smug, seeming to have few regrets.    

 For somebody who combed the archives looking for dirt about me, and engaged  in a petty campaign to discredit all of my personal reminiscences, and fumed with indignation at any hint that I might pose a threat to your being the resident authority on the subject on Chicago, all the while stooping to the depths of ageism with your vitriolic remarks, not to mention your ongoing practice of lying and distorted the words of others, I find your ridiculous attempts to ennoble yourself by assuming a mantel of positivity to be hilarious! :lol: 

If you could shed your narcissism long enough you could benefit from some self-examination and maybe learn to acknowledge your imperfections like I have done with mine. Although on second thought, you are a native born citizen in the state of denial. That's why you are myopic about the racist dominance of White America and all the happy perks this includes, and how the reality of this continues to thwart the high hopes of the black race,  - all of which make your little platitude about negativity ring hollow.  :wacko:

SMH. How could I be bitter when, in the twilight of my years, you have provided me with so many occasions to laugh and be grateful that I am the opposite of a pretentious  person like you?  :D  

 

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It also helps to be an original, critical thinker, - something that's not your strong suit, since all you do is parrot the words of others. while hiding behind your anonymity.   

The hope of the race is to deal with reality instead of false rationales, something which continues to prevent us from saving us.  

BTW, my last post was mostly about you.  ;)

 

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