Tuesday, November 25, 2014

How Darren Wilson Demonized Michael Brown - from the Root

Some excepts I wanted to share.....Read the whole thing at the source.  It's pretty good.

Stereotypes are dangerous. And for Michael Brown, they proved to be deadly.
Of all that we heard Monday night about the St. Louis County grand jury’s decision not to indict Ferguson, Mo., Police Officer Darren Wilson for shooting and killing Brown, what kept me awake for hours after the announcement was made was Wilson’s testimony.

Testimony in which Wilson said that Brown “had the most intense aggressive face. The only way I can describe it, it looks like a demon, that’s how angry he looked.”

It was rife with imagery that dates back hundreds of years as it relates to how white men often perceive black men. His use of vivid language, describing Brown like “Hulk Hogan” while describing himself, in comparison, like a small child holding on for dear life, is troubling. This is the power and danger of racial “stereotypes.”

When we believe that another human being is in fact, not human, we remove ourselves from how we treat, and entreat, them. We justify prejudices. We justify disrespect. We justify dehumanization in ways that can, and often does, lead to tragedy.

The anger and violence that erupted last night in Ferguson is so much bigger than Brown’s tragic death though. It’s not really about whether Wilson was “justified” in taking a life. Or whether Brown robbed a grocery store for cigars, “charged” Wilson or caused the officer to fear for his life. It’s about a community that feels disenfranchised—and assaulted by the very officers sworn to protect them.

This American tragedy is about a longstanding history of “fear” between white law-enforcement officers and young black men (unarmed, in uniform, in suits or driving while black). And until we address that issue, we will continue to see more teens like Trayvon Martin stalked and gunned down by unarmed vigilantes like George Zimmerman. And we will continue to see the use of deadly force to “subdue” black male suspects who have not been given their fundamental rights of due process.

Ferguson Post Part 1

Well, by now, we all know that Officer Darren Wilson was not indicted for killing unarmed teenager, Michael Brown.  The jury believed that the officer acted within the rules of police conduct and that he was right to feel threatened by Brown.  According to prosecutor Bob McCulloch, the jury reached their decision based on the evidence and testimony from Wilson and black witnesses. 

I don’t know about you, but there’s something fishy going on here.  But I'll save that for the next post.  

Let me take a moment to say this. 

I’m sick of those who are on the side of Wilson, painting those who think he was wrong to shoot Brown as only going by emotion; constantly sprouting that blacks who are against Wilson believe that because Michael was black, he's innocent, and that white cops are always in the wrong!  Or those who believe that racism is only about whether someone is gunned down BECAUSE their black.  Or constantly complaining about Jesse Jackson this, Obama that, the mainstream/liberal media also!  These people miss the point entirely.

Could it be that people are against Wilson because what he did was wrong, and that the evidence and witness testimonies leave much to be desired, even straight up questionable (I'll get to that later).  Many white people say that the right decision was made and it was based on evidence, yet it was mostly white people who cried fowl when O. J. Simpson was set free.  The jury found him innocent based on evidence too....   

Racism isn't only about something being done to someone BECAUSE they're black.  It involves the views, feelings, and fear someone has, and stereotypes people hold, of another person that fuels their actions towards them.  Darren didn't kill Brown solely because he was black, but Brown being black influenced Darren to take actions he wouldn't necessarily have taken had Michael been white or even a hefty white woman.  The point is, many cops out right FEAR black people, especially black men, and that fear causes them to be skittish and jumpy.  And you can't be a cop and feel skittish. 

I heard this on the Steve Harvey Morning Show.  Blacks are used to being "the only one" in groups, whether it be in a class or work environment.  But whites, truth be told, aren't used to that.  Add being sent to areas where there are issues with crime and you got some scared white cops.

Another thing, the protesters in Ferguson being seen as ALL violent really upsets me.  I'm not excusing the rioters, but there were rioters and there were protesters.  Apparently, there was indeed peaceful protests in front of the police station, but of course no one mentions that.  And I got to tell you...while watching the live feed on MSNBC, at times it seems as if the cops were overzealous in controlling the citizens.  For example, threatening to arrest people if they didn't get out of the street and onto the sidewalk....really?  Not to mention at one point sending in TRUCKS that shot out teargas/smoke bombs/whichever it was.  The location where that took place, if I recall correctly, I didn't see any outright rioting.  To make it worse, people claim that tear gas was being flown into people's yards.

Again, I'm not excusing the rioters.  I know that bricks were thrown, a couple of cars set on fire, businesses vandalized, etc.  I'm just saying to not combine the rioters and protesters into one group.  And with the rioters being mostly black, people (especially whites) like to base the entire group on the actions of some.   

Up next, my thoughts on the shooting itself.

Thoughts about Rape and Risks

Something I saw over at Youtube under the comments section:

This comment touches on something I've always wondered about.  Is how a woman dress really THAT MUCH of a factor in increasing the risk of a woman being raped?  Does it really play a role?

We all know that women and girls can wear anything from sweats to a cocktail dress and be raped.  So is there truly any validity to the belief that what a woman wears will increase her chances of being raped?

There are those that believe that rape is about power and those that believe it's more about sex, or more perhaps unhealthy sexual urges.  Because of the latter belief, people believe that if a woman dresses a certain way, whatever that may be, that a certain male sect of the population would target her for rape.  Or something like that.

Here's what I think.  If someone's planning on raping you, they're going to do it regardless of what you wear.  With that being said, unlike the belief that rape is only about power, I see it as being both about power and about warped/uncontrolled sexual desires.  So is it possible for a rapist to see someone wearing something sexy/flattering and be turned on to the point of wanting to rape them?  Yeah I think so...but a pair of skinny jeans and a nice shirt can be seen a sexy, so can a professional pencil skirt or a nice turtleneck.  Does this mean that women should not wear cute skinny jeans, a flattering top out in public, or heck wear workout outfits while jogging (or even jog outside), out of fear of attracting the wrong attention?

Absolutely not.  That's like saying that we shouldn't EVER carry around expensive purses or wear expensive jewelry out in public - AT ALL -, out of constant fear of being robbed.  

Something else I want to touch on.

All this talk of how women shouldn't go off with strange men...what makes a guy a "strange man"?  Many rapes and sexual assaults occur by someone the victim knows so I wouldn't think they would be considered "strange".  So what is a "strange man", one you don't know?  In that case any guy you don't know that well or just met is "strange", which is funny considering how much guys around the "man-o-sphere" hate how females (to them) throw around the word "creepy" when referring to guys they aren't attracted to, who tries to hit on them or stare at them a little too long (God forbid, guys are called creepy because they act, well...obviously creepy).

Look, I'm for taking precautions, but there's that and there's this ever ending list of reasons why you were raped or risks of being raped that's brought up time and time again.  You know, those discussions that happen whenever a girl is raped that focus on what she did wrong.  Even worse are those discussions that focus on what she was wearing.  Why even mention what the victim had on or not have on?  All it does is insinuate that the victim was partially to blame in inciting that rapist.  It's saying....he wasn't going to rape her if she was wearing something else.  As if it was solely because of what she was wearing.  It also insinuates that women and girls have to be careful in what we wear because all men have the potential to be rapists, which is a big lie, and it's something MRAs (men's right activists) accuse feminists of believing and teaching to the masses.    

The ONLY time I think it's OK to know what an alledged victim was or was not wearing is in cases of he said/she said.  Like, if the guy being charged claims the sex was consensual and it was found that the alledged victim did go into his bedroom voluntarily, wearing lingerie at the time.  But even then, one shouldn't automatically disbelieve the victim.

Hopefully this post didn't go all over the place.  Sorry if it did...just wanted to share my two cents, or three, or a dollar lol....