Do you have an inherent need for justice? Do you believe equality is an important trait for people in society to have? On the other hand, maybe you know people who are indifferent to financial and psychological struggles. [Read more…]
Welcome to my first interview! I read that bloggers should interview someone important. I have chosen to interview John Olson, a retired parole agent. John has thirty-six years experience as a peace office. His experience includes working as a state parole officer. If someone violated their parole, John would arrest them and return them to prison.
Due to his experience arresting parole violators, I feel he is qualified to voice an opinion on the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner. Both recently got renewed attention (did it ever stop?) when two New York City police officers, Rafael Ramos and Weinjian Liu, were gunned down in their patrol car. The motive was apparently retaliation for police mistreatment of minority suspects which the press has blamed for the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner. (For a full recap of the deaths of Officers Ramos and Liu, see Minimalist’s Guide to Understanding Protests in New York http://wp.me/p5jxvv-ba.) My seventh grade class even weighed in on the situation. (How to Know If Eric Garner and Michael Brown were Victims of Racism http://wp.me/p5jxvv-5H.) [Read more…]
Please consider this post an update to my update on the racial tensions that have been brewing since Michael Brown’s killer Darren Wilson was exonerated. Tensions have not only been building in our country, they have been brewing in the world. December 16 I published “How to Get Rid of Racist Cops” http://wp.me/p5jxvv-8Q. The post wasn’t so much how I felt cops were racist but how other people felt they were and what they were doing about the situation. I now have clarity, and I want my readers to as well. I have modified my opinion on the situation, and by writing this I hope to affect a change in my readers’ views, so that the current situation of protests and the violence that has emerged from it can stop. [Read more…]
Please consider this an update to my posts about police violence toward African-Americans. One hundred and nine people commented on Ferguson: Right or Wrong, (http://mycurrentnewsblog.com/2014/11/25/ferguson-decision-right-or-wrong/) the post I’d written when Officer Darren Wilson shot Michael Brown. In this, one of my most heavily trafficked blogs, I insisted Officer Wilson’s shooting of Michael Brown was racially motivated, and virtually all my commenters disagreed with me. This is the stuff great blogs are made of and exactly the dialogue I was looking for. [Read more…]
One factor of blogging that’s been such a blessing is one tends to make friends. They are virtual friends in the essence that we’ve never actually met each other but friends nonetheless. One such friend is Laurel Regan of the blog Alphabet Soup. Friends help each other, and in that spirit she has been trying to help me link to her site. There’s only been one obstacle: she only has a link up party (that’s blog speak) on Sunday. The sweet girl that she is, she repeatedly sent me the link to her blog party, so bright and early this morning, I tried to link my latest post, my reaction to TIME’s year-end issue, to her site. Little did I know, it was a gratitude link up. I could only link a blog oozing gratitude, certainly not my TIME reaction in which I lambasted their choice of cover stories (http://wp.me/p5jxvv-6v 12-7). [Read more…]
I published a post (Eric Garner and Michael Brown: And Justice For None, http://wp.me/p5jxvv-5t, 12-3) in which I shared my view that just like Ferguson’s Michael Brown, New York’s Eric Garner was a victim of a racist attack by a Caucasian police officer, Daniel Pantaleo.
To recap: Eric Garner, an unarmed African American husband and father of six, was suspected of selling tax-free cigarettes. Caucasian police encircled him, and Office Daniel Pantaleo put Garner in a chokehold. Asthmatic Garner repeatedly screamed, “I can’t breathe.” Office Pantaleo did not release him, and Garner died.
Because this story occurred right on the heels of unarmed African American Michael Brown’s death at the hands of a Caucasian police officer, I felt they were “parallel” situations, both incidents of racism. Because my readers disagreed that Brown was a victim of racism (see Ferguson Decision: Right or Wrong? http://wp.me/p5jxvv-2y, 11-25), I asked them whether or not they thought Garner was in my last blog post.
Today, I asked my students. As my readers found out in Ferguson Decision… I had one lone student who believed Michael Brown had not died at the hands of a racist officer. I believed they would all agree this time that the officer in Eric Garner’s case, Daniel Pantaleo, was indeed racist. I was curious to see if my prediction was right.
I could not have been more wrong. My seventh graders are Magnet students who come from all walks of life. Their academic level of achievement varies. Because they are in a Magnet school, a majority of them are minority. They could not have been more split. It was almost a tie–half voted that they felt Officer Pantaleo was racist and half voted otherwise.
Let’s Ask the Students!
- The system perpetuates the status quo. Whites have always hated blacks. Based on that history, this was a racist attack.
- People in power stay in power. Officer Pantaleo knew Darren Wilson, Michael Brown’s killer, had been exonerated and therefore felt comfortable taking the actions he took. He believed that, like with Wilson, there would be no repercussions.
- The NYPD does not allow the use of chokeholds. Officer Pantaleo used this method of subduing Mr. Garner because he was a racist.
- The officer’s race matters. New Yorkers wouldn’t be protesting if a black cop had killed a black man.
- Whites have not always hated blacks. Blacks have always hated whites. Based on that, Officer Pantaleo was not racist.
- Officer Pantaleo apologized to the family which he didn’t have to do. Obviously, the officer is not a racist.
- The officer had no way of knowing that Eric Garner was an asthmatic when he put him in a chokehold.
- The officer’s race does not matter. The police don’t look at potential criminals as people of color. They see a crime, they react.
- If Officer Pantaleo had released Mr. Garner when he cried that he could not breathe, the officer would be taking the word of a potential criminal, and Eric Garner could have run away.
- If Officer Pantaleo had used a taser instead of a chokehold, and Eric Garner had been armed, he would have reached for his gun when he saw the officer reach for his taser.
There you have it, the seventh-grade jury is in. Their opinion is split, so once again I ask my readers, do you agree with the half of my class that feels Officer Pantaleo was a racist that should have been punished? Or, do you agree with my students who feel that this incident had nothing to do with racism? I look forward to your views.
And Justice For None
This post could also be subtitled, Eric Garner–A parallel post. Last month I penned another blog post called, “Ferguson: Right or Wrong” (http://wp.me/p5jxvv-2y, 11/25/14). I felt an injustice had occurred when it came to Michael Brown’s death. An unarmed teen shot dead at the hands of a white officer smacked of injustice. Approximately 100 people read my post, and my stance was criticized by the overwhelming majority of them.
My readers implied that I was guilty of some kind of reverse racism. I predict that response will run parallel to the lambasting that I believe awaits my position regarding Daniel Pantaleo, the Caucasian officer that put Eric Garner in a chokehold this past summer which killed him. Once again the victim is an unarmed black man with his whole life ahead of him. Mr. Garner was not only relatively young but a husband and father of six. Officer Pantaleo, like Officer Wilson, Michael Brown’s killer, was exonerated.
As a whole my “Ferguson” readers seemed to feel that Michael Brown’s crimes warranted Darren Wilson’s actions. “He stole,” some explained when referring to Brown. “He grabbed Officer Wilson’s gun,” others insisted when defending Wilson. I backed off, somewhat glad that my readers could find a community of like-minded people inside my blog.
So tonight I ask my critics of Ferguson: Right or Wrong do you again feel the victim’s crime fits his punishment? According to CNN’s Legal Analyst Jeffrey Tobin, Mr. Garner’s crime, that cost him his life, was as follows: he was selling cigarettes tax free. [Read more…]