Signs of Hate: ‘OK’ Hand Gesture and Dylann Roof’s Bowl-Cut Considered New Symbols of White Supremacy
It started out as a way to troll the so-called liberal media, borne out of alt-right posts on message board 4chan. Now, according to Jewish civil rights organization the Anti-Defamation League, the “OK” hand symbol has gone from prank to a hate symbol associated with white supremacy.
The gesture joins 35 other symbols added to the ADL’s “Hate on Display” database, announced on Thursday. Joining it are the logos for new and re-branded far-right and white supremacist groups, as well as Dylann Roof’s bowl-cut.
Mark Pitcavage, a senior fellow at ADL’s Center on Extremism, wrote in a statement (h/t Washington Post) that the added symbols “are the latest calling cards of hate.”
“While some hate symbols are short-lived, others take on a life of their own and become tools for online trolling,” Pitcavage added.
The “OK” hand gesture (which, to be fair, has always meant something else in other cultures) is perhaps the most noteworthy addition, for its origins. Its association with the alt-right and white supremacy began as a group prank—a way to bait the media and thus, show how easy it is to manipulate journalists (and by extension, the larger public).
But, as things tend to go on the internet, what began as an ironic in-joke calcified, morphing from a hoax to a convenient shield.
From The Washington Post:
As BuzzFeed has reported, /pol/ was gleeful when the “okay” hand sign started to get mainstream traction. As the campaign spread, however, the symbol was simultaneously adopted by the alt-right — an umbrella term for those on the far right who embrace white nationalist views — and supporters of President Trump on the Internet. Both seem to use the gesture primarily to “trigger” liberals who believe the hand sign serves as a decoder ring to detect secret Nazis.
“That was what the OK symbol was literally invented to do: Both serve at a white supremacist symbol and also one that is just ordinary-enough looking that when liberals expressed outrage, the white supremacist could play the victim of liberal hysteria,” Amanda Marcotte, a politics writer for Salon, wrote on Twitter in September 2018.
“What we decided was that enough white supremacists were now using it — some trolling, some sincerely — that it was justified including it in the database, albeit with all sorts of explanations,” Pitcavage said, according to the Post.
Among those examples is the white supremacist suspected of killing 51 worshippers at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. Oren Segal, director of the ADL’s Center on Extremism, noted to NPR that the suspected shooter flashed the “OK” hand gesture during an early court appearance.
Mother Emanuel shooter Roof’s haircut has taken a similar journey from ironic fandom to a marker of white supremacist identity and ideology.
Followers of Roof have incorporated the distinctive haircut into screen names such as “Bowltrash” or “The Final Bowlution” or collectively have referred to themselves as the “Bowl Gang,” according to the ADL.
Other new symbols, like the moon man, have similarly innocuous, even bland, origins as the “OK” hand gesture—but this is the point. Logos and symbols from far-right groups like American Identity (formerly Identity Evropa) and the Rise Above Movement (R.A.M.) also made the database.
ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said in a statement to NPR the database helps provide necessary context for symbols that may seem unremarkable to most people, but in fact have new, hateful associations.
“We believe law enforcement and the public needs to be fully informed about the meaning of these images, which can serve as a first warning sign to the presence of haters in a community or school,” said Greenblatt.
Medical Examiner Testifies Botham Jean Was Likely Bent Over or on His Back When Amber Guyger Shot Him
Photo: AP Images
The Dallas County medical examiner who performed Botham Jean’s autopsy told jurors on Wednesday that the bullet that killed him entered in a “downward motion,” indicating that Jean’s body was positioned below former Dallas Police officer’s gun when she fatally shot him.
Dr. Chester Gwin could not say definitively where Guyger or Jean were positioned during the fatal confrontation, but when questioned by prosecutors, the doctor agreed the 26-year-old Jean was likely “bent over in some capacity or even on his back” when Guyger shot him, CNN writes:
[Dr. Gwin] testified the bullet entered above his left nipple and traveled downward through the chest, hit a rib and struck his lung and heart. It moved through the diaphragm, struck the stomach and intestines, stopping in a muscle in the abdominal cavity close to the spine…
Guyger claimed she mistakenly walked into Jean’s apartment, thinking it was her own, and shot him after mistaking him for an intruder. Her lawyers have argued that Jean was coming toward her, and the off-duty cop “had no choice” but to shoot him.
That rationale changes, of course, if Jean were already on his back or incapacitated.
As the prosecution rested its case against Guyger on Thursday, a clear line of argument has emerged: that even if Guyger mistook her upstairs neighbor’s apartment for hers—and subsequently, mistook him for an intruder—she didn’t follow proper protocol in her confrontation with him, nor should she have feared for her life.
Guyger’s lawyers will now be tasked with convincing a jury that the former officer made a reasonable mistake. On Wednesday, part of that argument appeared to be supported by Texas Ranger David Armstrong, who investigated the shooting.
From the Dallas Morning News:
Investigators interviewed 297 residents at the apartment complex, Armstrong said, and many of them told authorities they’d parked on the wrong floor, walked to the wrong apartment or even put their keys in the door of the wrong apartment by mistake. Armstrong parked on the wrong floor himself during the investigation, he said.
The percentage of people who’d experienced such confusion grew when police interviewed residents of the third and fourth floors, where Guyger and Jean lived, he said. For instance, while 32% of residents said they’d parked on the wrong floor, 47% of residents on the third and fourth floors said they had parked on the incorrect level.
But even if Guyger initially mistook Jean’s apartment for hers, prosecutors argued she overlooked clear signs it wasn’t, showing jurors videos of Guyger’s and Jean’s apartments and highlighting the many differences: including Jean’s red welcome mat and a large ottoman. Witnesses also testified that the lights in Jean’s apartment appeared to be on at the time.
Guyger’s lawyers also attempted to argue that Jean was closer to the former cop than he may have been, pointing to the location of his sandals at the crime scene, but state District Judge Tammy Kemp didn’t permit that testimony since Jean’s shoes had been moved by officers when they were trying to resuscitate him.
As the Dallas Morning News reports, Texas Ranger Michael Adcock testified Jean’s body was found 13 to 15 feet from the door.
Prosecutors have also emphasized Guyger’s state of mind before the shooting, sharing steamy texts she had exchanged with a former colleague to convince jurors she was distracted—and therefore negligent—in the moments leading up to Jean’s shooting. Moreover, they also questioned Sgt. Adcock about the presence of blood on her uniform.
Adcock testified that investigators found no traces of blood on her uniform, and blue latex gloves in her uniform also appeared to be unused—signs, Assistant District Attorney Jason Hermus seemed to suggest, that Guyger made no attempt to save Jean’s life after realizing her fatal mistake.
Photo: Scott Olson (Getty Images)
Six decades after a white woman’s murderous lie incited the white supremacist lynching that pushed the civil rights movement into second gear, Department of Justice officials told Congress they were still looking into it.
On Tuesday, the Associated Press reported that the Department of Justice updated Congress on the progress of cold civil rights cases. The report was a requirement of the Emmett Till Civil Rights Crimes Reauthorization Act, which mandates that DOJ officials must update legislators once a year on the progress of unsolved, civil rights-era cold cases. The recent report closed six unsolved murders: Elbert Williams in Brownsville, Tenn. in 1940; Dan Carter Sanders in Johnston Township, N.C., in 1946; Peter Francis in Perry, Maine, in 1965; Lee Culbreath in Portland, Ark., in 1965; John Thomas Jr. in West Point, Miss., in 1970; and Milton Lee Scott in 1973 in Baton Rouge, La. All but one of the victims were black—Peter Francis was Native American.
On Aug. 28, 1955, Carolyn Donham (then known as Carolyn Bryant) told her husband Roy Bryant that 14-year-old Emmett Till had whistled at her in their Money, Miss., store. That night, Roy and his half brother John “J.W.” Milam kidnapped Till, beat him, shot him, tied an industrial fan to the teenager’s body and threw him into a river. During a subsequent grand jury investigation, Carolyn testified that Till had assaulted her. While her husband and Milam admitted to kidnapping Till, they insisted that they let him go later that night.
They were lying.
It took an all-white jury 67 minutes to acquit Milam and Roy Bryant on all charges. One juror stated: “If we hadn’t stopped to drink pop, it wouldn’t have taken that long.”
Milam and Roy Bryant eventually confessed to the killing in Look Magazine. In 2015, Carolyn Donham told a Vanity Fair writer that she was not telling the truth when she testified that Till had grabbed her, verbally threatened her and used an “unprintable” word to explain that he had “done something…with white women before.”
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The FBI reopened the case and former Attorney General Jeff Sessions even met with Till’s relatives in 2017. But, despite knowing who killed Till, that he was killed as a result of a lie and knowing who told the lie, agents can’t seem to make any progress.
“We want them to go ahead and do something,” said the 80-year-old Rev. Wheeler Parker, Till’s uncle, who was with Till the night he was murdered “What is the holdup?”
Till’s family said they have not had contact with Carolyn Bryant Donham but she probably would have just told her husband that Till’s relatives were trying to whistle at her if they did.
Maybe Donald Trump is pressuring Attorney General William Barr to solve this case. If not, one of Till’s family members can file charges against the FBI for lying while in office. I’m sure someone can find evidence of DOJ officials perjuring themselves when they put their hands over their hearts and said:
…With liberty and justice for all.
Malachi Love-Robinson, the teenage scammer imprisoned for impersonating a doctor and defrauding an elderly patient, is now a free man.
Once known as “Dr. Love,” the 22-year-old Florida (where else?) man was released from custody on Monday after serving 20 months of a 3.5-year sentence, NBC News writes.
Love-Robinson made headlines—and, as these things go, inspired memes—for impersonating a doctor multiple times as a teenager. He was arrested in 2016 for illegally practicing medicine out of an office in West Palm Beach, where he treated an undercover officer. Love-Robinson was 18 at the time.
He also defrauded one of his patients, 86-year-old Anita Morrison, who came to him complaining of stomach pains, according to an earlier NBC News report. He sold her natural vitamins and treated her on at least five separate occasions, at his office and in her home, before she noticed her personal checks had gone missing.
Morrison later said Love-Robinson stole her identity, racking up $35,000 in expenses in her name.
But that wasn’t all. Authorities said Love-Robinson masqueraded as a doctor in 2015, though in that instance, he “only wandered a hospital in doctor garb,” according to NBC News. Around the time of his arrest, the young con man, who has no medical training, said he never meant to imply he was a doctor of medicine. He told reporters he was a licensed minister and “took examinations to get certified in holistic health.”
That being said, this is the same young dude who managed, through successfully soliciting investors, to open his own practice. Talk about hustle:
His now-defunct website featured stock images of people and a simple promise: “We work together to serve your entire family for all of your medical needs in all stages of life.”
Love-Robinson’s online biography referred to him as a “well rounded professional” who utilizes “physiological, psychological, and mechanical methods” to treat patients. Those methods range from air to water to phototherapy to “nature’s remedies.”
The biography made no mention of a formal education.
I guess I’m not supposed to root for this man—defrauding the elderly and vulnerable is no joke, after all. But if we wanted to consider the sense of scale a bit, it’s worth remembering that the world’s greatest living con man is none other than the president of the United States, who is, for now, also a free man. With that in mind, a free Dr. Love in 2019 feels just about right.
How Did Cardi B Handle Her #Metoo Incident? / WE tv (YouTube)
“I never told this story before”—six words every journalist loves to hear. Exclusive tea!
Known as “the voice of hip hop radio,” Angie Martinez has a way of pulling off intimate conversations with some of hip-hop’s greatest artists. Now, the veteran radio personality is taking the exclusive chats from the studio and onto the couch, making the environment even more relaxing and comfortable on WEtv’s Untold Stories of Hip Hop.
From the new show’s press release:
From iconic rap verses to historic artist beefs, Untold Stories of Hip Hop puts the stories behind the moments front and center. Each of the six hour-long episodes of this fresh and fast-paced series shines a new light on hip hop’s most influential artists with unforgettable revelations directly from the stars themselves. As a pioneer and one of the most respected legends in hip hop journalism, Host and Executive Producer Angie Martinez has those who are notorious for being guarded, open up to her in ways they have never done before.
In one standout clip from the series, Cardi B opened up to Martinez about a traumatic incident during a magazine photoshoot.
Trigger Warning: The following contains an explicit account of alleged workplace sexual harassment.
“I’ll never forget when I went to shoot for this magazine, and the photographer was trying to get close to me,” Cardi B recalled in an exclusive interview with Martinez. “Like ‘yeah, you want to get in this magazine?’ and he pulled his dick out. I was so fucking mad.”
After Martinez asked how she handled such a disturbing situation, Cardi confirmed she grabbed her things and left. Cardi claims she told the magazine owner about the incident and he responded nonchalantly.
“When I see the #MeToo Movement, there’s girls from the hood… I know they went through the same type of treatment,” Cardi added. “Niggas make you feel like you got to do a certain type of thing for the most bullshit shit.”
The series premiere will jump off with a Snoop Dogg interview and the rest of the debut season will feature chats with Ice Cube, Queen Latifah, DJ Khaled, Fat Joe, MC Lyte, Ice T, Ja Rule, A$AP Rocky, Nelly, Trina and more! I’m intrigued.
Untold Stories of Hip Hop premieres tonight (Sept. 26) at 10:00pm ET/PT on WE tv. The series trailer is below:
Untold Stories of Hip Hop Official Trailer / WE tv (YouTube)
Screenshot: C-SPAN via YouTube
That phrase from the U.S. Constitution doesn’t just encapsulate the Founding Fathers’ goal for this ever-evolving union we now call “America.” Aside from Billy Porter’s awards show wardrobe, “more perfect” also describes the 400 years of structural bigotry on this stolen soil.
While many people consider “white supremacy” to be the superlative form of “racism,” the two closely-related terms have different meanings. Racism is a belief but white supremacy is the structural system founded on that idea. Racism hasn’t changed in 400 years but white supremacy is a shape-shifting polymorph. When this country outlawed the chains of chattel slavery, white supremacy mutated into Jim Crow and transformed the American electoral process into a series of poll taxes and literacy tests. When educational institutions integrated, white supremacy built a school-to-prison pipeline. After the civil rights struggle, it embedded itself into the criminal justice system and started a war on drugs. Year by year, day by day, minute by minute, white supremacy in America increasingly grows more perfect.
Republican strategist and political consultant Thomas Hofeller is the most perfect example of this.
Calling Hofeller a “political strategist” or a “political consultant” is like referring to Satan as an “ex-choir member” or “a former minister of music.” Long before Hofeller died in Aug 2018, he was hailed as the white supremacist Lex Luthor (not to say that Lex isn’t a bigot already; I wouldn’t want to ruin his street cred). Called the “Master of the Modern Gerrymander,” Hofeller pioneered using race to redraw political maps to hand electoral advantages to Republicans.
A few months after the Michael Jordan of gerrymandering descended into the VIP section of Club Hades, a search of Hofeller’s computer files revealed him to be the architect of the Trump administration’s notorious census question that was so racist that even the right-leaning, conservative Supreme Court couldn’t let it slide.
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But a recent examination of files retrieved from that hard drive also revealed Hoefeller’s previously unknown involvement in drawing political maps for states around the country, including one specific map using “sophisticated racial data” that may have caused the reversal of one of the most significant pieces of civil rights legislation in American history.
The Intercept reports:
While Hofeller was known for drawing maps to give Republicans an advantage and to limit the impact of voters of color in North Carolina, Texas, Missouri, and Virginia, the new documents reveal he also participated in the 2010 redistricting cycle in Alabama, Florida, and West Virginia.
And, in those three states, it appears Hofeller and other Republican mapmakers experimented with using race as the primary factor in drawing districts in these states — a tactic ruled unconstitutional under the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause, which requires that people in similar circumstances be treated the same under the law. Among the trove of over 70,000 documents are draft maps with voter data broken down by race, spreadsheets that include the home addresses of members of Congress, travel plans, and legislation marked up by Hofeller himself.
These new documents shed additional light on the coordinated national strategy behind maps that locked in a GOP advantage in Congress and in state legislatures nationwide.
The Alabama Gerrymander
According to the U.S. Census, Alabama’s population is 26.5 percent African American, making it the sixth-blackest state in the country. Census data also reveals that Alabama’s black citizens register and vote more often than whites (In the 2016 election, 72.2 percent of black Alabamians were registered for the 2016 election, compared to 67.3 percent of whites. 60.2 percent of African Americans voted in Alabama’s 2016 elections compared to 55.6 percent of whites). Still, the state legislature is disproportionately white and Republican.
If political maps reflect the voting demographics, then how can this be?
The simple answer is gerrymandering.
The files obtained by the Intercept show that Hofeller was involved in drawing Alabama’s racial maps as early as 2010. But GOP lawmakers didn’t just allow Hofelleerto draw maps using census data to eliminate any hopes of black political power in Alabama, they also let him write the map guidelines and the legislation! This “mastermind” even broke down precincts street-by-street and county-by-county, showing his conservative collaborators estimates of Alabama’s future black population and how the politicians could finesse the school districts and polling places to keep non-whites powerless for years to come. Most of these controversial maps are in use to this day. In November, the Supreme Court will hear a case about one of these racially gerrymandered maps, where Hofeller “cracked” three black congressional districts by packing black voters into one district and distributed the other black voters among majority-white areas.
The fact that Hofeller secretly drew them in 2011 is important for two reasons: The first reason is a clear-cut example of how white supremacy fuels black poverty, which fuels crime, which fuels bad schools, which fuels more poverty, crime and bad schools.
In 2015, the city council in Birmingham, Ala., passed a plan to gradually raise its minimum wage. As soon as the law passed, the state legislature made it illegal for cities in the state to raise their minimum wage. To be clear, besides Birmingham, America’s third-blackest city, no other Alabama city had done this. Local business owners and out-of-state industries considering relocating to Alabama had not objected, mostly because the $10.10 wage was still below what many of these companies already paid their workers.
Noting that the city has two of the five most unequal school borders in America, Edbuild called Birmingham City Schools a “case study in gerrymandering,” adding:
Birmingham is surrounded by 13 other school districts—almost triple the national average—with borders that zigzag through towns and around communities. Six of its borders are among the 50 most segregating in the country.
These schools have no chance to improve without a financial tax base and yet Alabama’s racially gerrymandered, disproportionately white, Republican legislature filled with white men who repeatedly lecture on “small, localized government” and “education,” decided to obstruct the fight against poverty, crime and school underfunding in a city that is 72 percent black. While this may seem putrid to many, you gotta admit—when it comes to white supremacy—this plan is flawlessly executed.
Racism is often physically violent but white supremacy is an odorless, tasteless venom.
But it’s not just Birmingham. Hofeller’s secret white supremacy files may have changed the course of voting rights as we know it.
On June 25, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court’s Shelby v. Holder decision dismantled the most significant parts of the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965, specifically, preclearance—the provision that required historically discriminatory states to get approval from the Department of Justice before states could do any redistricting. The case was originally filed by a group of black voters after redistricting maps eliminated majority-black districts in Shelby County, Alabama.
Part of Shelby County’s legal strategy rested on their contention that there was no evidence of premeditated racism in Alabama. They agreed that the redrawn lines looked partisan, but argued that there was nothing that showed the maps were intentionally racist, even telling the Court that “[b]latantly discriminatory evasions of federal decrees are rare.”
In a 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court essentially gutted the Voting Rights Act’s preclearance provisions, partly because the majority said there wasn’t enough recent and/or compelling evidence showing that Alabama was still racist.
“Nearly 50 years later, things have changed dramatically,” wrote Chief Justice John Roberts. “Today the Nation is no longer divided along those lines, yet the Voting Rights Act continues to treat it as if it were.”
Yep. He basically said racism was dead and that there wasn’t enough evidence that Alabama was purposely using racism to redraw maps. In her dissent, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg tried to explain that, while Alabama’s redistricting efforts might not be intentional, they still discriminated against black people, writing that “racial polarization means that racial minorities are at risk of being systematically outvoted and having their interests underrepresented in legislatures.”
Had I been sitting on the Supreme Court, my dissent would have simply read: “Motherfucker, it’s Alabama!” But, The Notorious RBG and the rest of the Court had no idea that Alabama’s political districts were drawn by a world-renowned white supremacist who made a living disenfranchising voters because of the color of their skin.
This all begs the obvious question: If the justices had known this, would they have kept the Voting Rights Act intact?
Kristen Clarke, President and Executive Director for the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law thinks the new revelations may have made a difference. Clarke, who defended Shelby v. Holder in front of the Supreme Court, explained that that Hofeller’s treasure map to white supremacy might not have changed the outcome of that particular case, but the information “may very well have made it harder for Shelby County to have pursued this case in the first instance.”
“Newly uncovered information about Hofeller’s role leading campaigns to gerrymandered districts should and must be closely examined,” Clarke told The Root, adding: “Litigation should be brought where possible if the evidence shows that officials put in place maps that violate state laws or constitutions.”
According to Elie Mystal, the Harvard-trained lawyer (and 2019 Root 100 honoree) who left corporate America for a lucrative career in calling out white people, the Hofeller files, while damning, are just another example of the long history of white people white people-ing. Mystal’s list includes Chief Justice John Roberts, who Mystal called “a stone-cold racist” whose “whole career has been about taking away the right of black people to vote.”
“There was ample evidence, notwithstanding this new evidence, that racism was alive and well in the South when Roberts decided Shelby country,” Mystal told The Root. “Roberts didn’t care about any of it, declared racism over in the South, and moved on with his merry day. This evidence might have swayed Kennedy. Maybe. Not because Kennedy cared, but Kennedy liked to look like he cared, and if it had just been put in his face like this, maybe…maybe his vote flips and he writes a mewling ‘we should gut the VRA very soon, but not today.’”
So…that sounds like a “maybe.”
A Pristine Example of White Supremacy
While it is easy to connect the dots from Hofeller’s hard drive to the specific manifestations of white supremacy in Alabama, the efforts of one man may have affected black America in an immeasurable number of ways, including:
It made it harder to vote: One of the major consequences of the Shelby v. Holder decision was its impact on black voter disenfranchisement. With the elimination of preclearance, states could now arbitrarily change their voting rules without checking with the DOJ. Literally minutes after the ruling, Texas’ Attorney General announced that a new voter ID law would immediately go into effect. A federal appeals court said North Carolina’s post-Shelby voter ID mandate “targeted African American voters with almost surgical precision.” Other preclearance states began purging millions of black voters from their voter rolls, according to the Brennan Center for Justice.
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It helped elect Donald Trump: Donald Trump won four of the five closest states in the 2016 presidential election. Four of those states changed their voting laws after Shelby v. Holder. Michigan, New Hampshire and Wisconsin passed strict voter ID laws while Florida shortened voting hours. According to the Washington Post, if Clinton had won these three of these close states, she would have become president.
It may have flipped the Senate: In 2016, Richard Burr barely won North Carolina’s Senate seat after Republicans enacted voter ID laws and illegally threw away voter registrations. Unbound by preclearance, Florida purged 10.6 percent of its voters from the rolls between 2016 and 2018 according to the Brennan Center, which paved the way for Republican Rick Scott’s 0.1 percent U.S. Senate seat victory. Even with Hofeller’s gerrymandering and Texas’ strict voting restrictions, Republican Ted Cruz bested Democrat Beto O’Rourke by less than 2 points in their 2018 Senate race. All three of these states were previously under preclearance requirements.
Republicans now hold a three-seat majority in the Senate
Plus, the shenanigans in Hofeller-gerrymandered, preclearance-free Florida and Georgia undoubtedly helped defeat Florida’s Andrew Gillum and Georgia’s Stacey Abrams, who both lost the chance of becoming the Deep South’s first black governors by less than one percent each in the 2018 midterm elections.
“It’s not just a thousand racists pounding on a keyboard and coming up with Shakespeare,” explains Mystal, Executive Editor of Above The Law. “It didn’t just happen. This is our American version of it. And this evidence shows that there are truly evil people, operating behind the scenes, ‘putting in the work’ to make American apartheid a thing. They know white people are about to be a minority in this country, and they have a plan.”
“The Hofeller files are a reminder about the ugly ways in which race and partisanship continue to infect our democracy,” Clarke told The Root. “The 2020 redistricting cycle is one that will require vigilance on the part of communities so that we can expose and uncover the pernicious forces that may be infecting the process behind closed doors.”
“The American fascist would prefer not to use violence. His method is to poison the channels of public information.” – Henry A. Wallace
I do not know if America is a racist country.
Racism is a belief and if— as Ted Kennedy once said—“integrity is the lifeblood of democracy” and “deceit is a poison in its veins,” then America’s historical lack of integrity makes it impossible to know what this country believes. The man who declared that “all men are created equal” believed black people were mentally inferior “pests in society.” Conservatives who claim to be “pro-life” don’t mind extrajudicial police lynchings or the disproportionate racial application of the death penalty.
If a state legislature can quietly collude to keep black people from being represented in government, then integrity does not exist and everything is poison.
Racism is often physically violent but white supremacy is an odorless, tasteless venom. It is too busy improving itself to make the weekly Klan meeting. It refines its algorithms to benefit whiteness and revamp its laws to fit their needs. But let not your heart be troubled by this revelation because democracy is not at risk nor is America a racist country.
It may sound hyperbolic and slanderous, but the only phrase that can accurately describe this 243-year-old union is “white supremacy.”
That is America.
And, despite what you have been led to believe, this country is not getting better.
But it is always becoming more perfect.
Photo: Luca Bruno (AP Photo)
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a death wish as “the conscious or unconscious desire for the death of oneself or of another.” And if a new TMZ report is true, it’s abundantly clear that Tekashi 6ix9ine, better known as corroborating witness Daniel Hernandez, is on the cusp of making a very bad decision.
According to TMZ, as soon as Hernandez is released from prison, he intends to refuse to enter the witness protection program—which is free.99—in favor of hiring a 24/7 security detail—which is expensive as shit. Of additional note, he intends to foot the bill by—wait for it—resuming his flourishing rap career.
Yes, the same Daniel Hernandez who just dimed out Cardi B, Jim Jones, the Nine Trey Gangsta Bloods as a staff, label and a motherfucking crew, Chief Keef, Casanova, Inspector Gadget, the lunch lady, Jack Bauer, Knucklehead #2, Kaavia James Union Wade, and Barack Obama for jaywalking.
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Needless to say, he’s putting himself in extreme danger if he genuinely believes he can point the finger at the entire free world and live to talk about it on a microphone.
To that end, his rap peers haven’t exactly been supportive of Hernandez’s decision to spill every last drop of tea on the stand, but should he opt to forgo witness protection, T.I. believes the “FEFE” rapper will actually be perfectly fine. As he told radio personality Big Boy during a recent interview, “that’s what you don’t understand. It’s a bunch of rats walking around right now.”
I beg to differ.
Hernandez better stop playing, get on this tattoo-free beauty regimen that The Glow Up’s Managing Editor Maiysha Kai broke down on Wednesday, and stick to playing hide and go seek in witness protection. Because at this point, he’s not only endangering himself but his child and family members.
White Girls, 11 and 10, Arrested in Alleged Hate Crime in School Bus Beating of 10-Year-Old Black Girl
Two white girls, ages 10 and 11, are facing assault charges, including one who’s also facing a hate crime charge, after a vicious beating of a 10-year-old black girl on the school bus.
Police in Gouverneur, N.Y., a small town not far from the Canadian border, arrested the two white girls Monday following a two-week probe after the black girl’s parents filed a police report Sept. 10 saying their daughter had been beaten in an assault that involved “racially motivated language,” CNN reports.
According to the New York Times, the black girl’s hair was pulled out, and she suffered a black eye and bruised knee.
After a police investigation the two white girls, ages 10 and 11, were arrested Monday and charged with one count of second-degree aggravated harassment.
The 11-year-old girl also was charged with assault and a third-degree hate crime. The hate crime charge is a felony, Gouverneur police Sgt. Darren Fairbanks said.
“The loss of civility in this world is being played out in the realm of 10- and 11-year-olds,” school Superintendent Lauren French told the Times. “There is no shade of gray in this. This event was wrong on all levels.”
Police also arrested the 28-year-old school bus monitor, charging her with three counts of endangering the welfare of a minor for not interfering in the fight.
The town of Gouverneur is 95 percent white, 1 percent black, according to the Times.
The fight and subsequent charges even drew the attention of New York’s governor, Andrew Cuomo, who issued a statement, per the Times:
“That this was allegedly perpetrated by her own classmates, on a school bus with an adult monitor present, makes this incident even more shocking and troubling,” Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said in a statement.
Mr. Cuomo, who noted in his statement that the episode had lasted 20 minutes, said that he was directing the state Division of Human Rights to open an investigation. He also said he had asked the Hate Crimes Task Force to assist the local authorities.
However, at least one anti-bullying advocate who spoke with the Times warned against overreacting, especially when incidents involve young children.
Ross Ellis, founder and chief executive of Stomp Out Bullying.org, told the Times the arrested girls should get counseling and that everyone needs to sit down together to try to get to the root of the violence.
“Parents are out for blood,” Ellis said. “I had a mother call me who wanted a 3-year-old on the playground arrested. I get that you don’t want your child beaten up, but it’s got to stop on both ends.
“It’s a terrible thing that happened, but make it a teachable moment.”
Police Bodycam Footage of Botham Jean Dying in His Apartment Shared on Emotional 2nd Day of Amber Guyger Trial
Screenshot: CBS This Morning
Prosecutors shared video of Botham Jean’s final breaths with jurors Tuesday, during the second day of former Dallas Police officer Amber Guyger’s trial. Guyger stands accused of murdering Jean, her upstairs neighbor, when she entered his apartment last year and fatally shot him. Off-duty at the time, Guyger claimed she had mistaken his apartment for her own and thought the 26-year-old Saint Lucia native was a burglar.
The footage, taken from multiple body cameras, shows Dallas Police officers sprinting up the steps to the fourth floor of the housing complex to Jean’s apartment the night of Sept. 6, 2018. When they encounter Guyger, she appears frantic: “I thought it was my apartment,” she tells them repeatedly. Jean, bleeding out on the floor of his living room, still had a faint pulse, and cops on the scene took turns applying chest compressions to Jean for more than seven minutes in an attempt to resuscitate him.
Around the officers, and for several days after Jean’s death, the remnants of that night were still exactly as he left them: earbuds laying on the floor—perhaps worn at the time Guyger confronted him—his bowl of melted ice cream still sitting on the ottoman next to a copy of Gucci Mane’s autobiography, an ironing board and iron off to the side.
The footage was so graphic most of Jean’s family couldn’t bear to see it, leaving the courtroom before it started playing, the Dallas Morning News reports. Only Jean’s little brother, Brandt, caught the video, returning to the courtroom as the video showed, again, officers attempting to save his brother’s life.
Afterward, prosecutor Jason Hermus asked Officer Michael Lee, who was on the scene that night, to explain proper police protocol for a hypothetical burglary in progress:
“You have two choices,” Hermus said. “I want you to presume that you can safely … reposition to a position of cover and concealment. You have that option. Or you can just shoot them dead and worry about that later. What do you do?”
“Cover and concealment,” Lee answered.
“Is that because of the sanctity of human life?” Hermus asked him.
“Yes, sir,” Lee said.
The jury also heard a tearful 911 call Guyger made shortly after fatally shooting Jean.
“I didn’t mean to. I’m so sorry,” Guyger tells the dispatcher. As the tape played, the former cop could be seen dabbing her face with tissue paper.
Guyger’s attorney has argued that the former cop was exhausted after finishing a 14-hour shift the night she killed Jean. On Tuesday, the defense argued that Jean’s door was slightly open when Guyger entered, leading her to believe that someone had broken into her apartment.
A brief recess had to be called during Tuesday’s testimonies when one of Botham Jean’s neighbors, Joshua Brown, broke down in tears during his testimony. Brown, who had met Jean for the first time earlier that day, said he came home that night and heard “two people meeting by surprise.”
From the Dallas Morning News:
He testified that he couldn’t make out what they were saying and they were speaking at the same time. The prosecution asked if Brown had heard loud commands like “Hey, put your hands up!” or “Show me your hands!”
He said he had not. The two other neighbors who took the stand said the same.
Prosecutors have argued that Guyger wasn’t exhausted as much as she was distracted, sharing sexually explicit texts she had exchanged with her former police partner, Officer Martin Rivera in the hours leading up to the shooting. Guyger also reached out to Rivera immediately after she shot Jean: “I need you. Hurry.” She followed up with another text reading, “I fucked up.”
Prosecutors say she was on the phone with 911 at the time the texts were sent.
NBC Dallas-Fort Worth reports that day three of the trial will feature testimony from Texas Ranger investigator David Armstrong, who will answer questions about the crime scene.
Department of Homeland Security Prioritizes White Supremacy as a Threat: ‘Has No Place in the United States of America’
Acting U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan delivers remarks at the Council on Foreign Relations Sept. 23, 2019, in Washington, D.C.Photo: Win McNamee (Getty Images)
The Department of Homeland Security has a very specific mission: to ensure the safety of the United States. That means implementing cybersecurity measures, protecting our borders from unlawful entry, and eliminating domestic threats like Arby’s. OK, maybe not eliminating Arby’s, but for the first time since its inception, its list of priorities includes an obvious threat that’s been wreaking havoc on black bodies for centuries: white supremacy.
According to the Washington Post, in a revised counterterrorism strategy unveiled on Friday, the DHS finally called a thing a thing during a speech at the Brookings Institute in Washington.
“The continuing menace of racially-based violent extremism, particularly white supremacist extremism, is an abhorrent affront to our nation, the struggle and unity of its diverse population, and the core values of both our society and our department,” Kevin McAleenan, acting Homeland Secretary, said.
He added that it “has no place in the United States of America, and it never will.”
There are those of us who would argue that America has been racist as hell since it’s inception, but McAleenan asserts that the DHS has “targeted violence” in its crosshairs. Targeted violence meaning incidents in which a racist-ass racist carries out a premeditated attack on a group or individual in order to satisfy their own hatred.
With mass shootings becoming a recurring theme in this country, we’ve seen hatred-fueled attacks on synagogues, black churches, and other public locations populated by marginalized groups. One such incident was the recent mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, in which 22 people lost their lives.
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McAleenan revealed that six of the victims in that shooting were related to DHS employees.
“The majority of our El Paso team, working to protect our nation, uphold the rule of law, and care for vulnerable migrants arriving at our border is Hispanic,” he said, noting that recent mass shootings have “galvanized the Department of Homeland Security to expand its counterterrorism mission focus beyond terrorists operating abroad, to include those radicalized to violence within our borders by violent extremists of any ideology.”
DHS has overhauled its strategy to “better analyze the nature and extent of the domestic terror threat and share information with local law enforcement to help prevent attacks,” according to NBC News. This also includes dissuading tech companies from hosting websites and content that provides a platform for radicalized hate and initiating counter-messaging campaigns to deter violence.
Essentially, the DHS is putting a premium on prevention methods and curtailing extremist messaging.
“This strategic framework is our formal recognition of the emerging threat of targeted violence in the United States,” McAleenan said. “At the same time, this framework is a vision—a vision for how our nation will respond to the evolving threats we face.”