Tag Archives: whites

White Man Arrested In Deaths Of Two Black Men, Firing On Family In Louisiana

A 23-year-old white man was arrested Tuesday and accused of cold-bloodedly killing two black men and shooting up a black family’s home in a string of attacks last week that police say may have been racially motivated.

A law enforcement official said authorities found a handwritten copy of an Adolf Hitler speech at Kenneth James Gleason’s home, and investigators said surveillance footage and DNA on a shell casing link him to the crimes.

Authorities said he would be charged with first-degree murder in the shooting deaths of a homeless man and a dishwasher who was walking to work. In each case, the killer opened fire from his car, then walked up to the victim as he lay on the ground and fired again repeatedly, police said.

“I feel confident that this killer would have killed again,” interim Police Chief Jonny Dunnam said.

Gleason’s attorney, J. Christopher Alexander, said his client “vehemently denies guilt, and we look forward to complete vindication.”

Authorities found the Hitler speech during a search over the weekend, according to the law enforcement official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation was still going on.

Asked whether police suspect the shootings were motivated by race, Sgt. L’Jean McKneely said: “We’re not completely closed off to that. We’re looking at all possibilities at this time, so we’re not going to just pinpoint that.”

District Attorney Hillar Moore said he may seek the death penalty.

“It appears to be cold, calculated, planned (against) people who were unarmed and defenseless,” he said.

Authorities also said that just after midnight on Sept. 10, Gleason fired into the home of a black family who lived three houses down from Gleason and his parents.

More from Talking Points Memo

Posted by Libergirl

Advertisements

Black People Ask: Can You Hear Us Now? The American Police State Finally Hits White People

Normally, I do not chide political opponents with the derisive, “I told you so” charge –  even when they suffer harm after repeated warnings of predictable danger ahead.  Normally, that isBut in the following three cases…sorry, I simply cannot resist.   Schadenfreude, anyone?

The Nurse and the Cop

The viral video of a white, middle-class University of Utah Hospital Head Nurse, one Alex Wubbels, being manhandled and thrown into the back of a police car because she refused to comply with a Salt Lake City Utah cop’s unlawful order is only the latest confirmation of black peoples’ centuries-long complaints of police brutality.  This incident demonstrates that police misconduct is now an equal opportunity phenomenon; that police abuse applies to anyone who dares cross America’s Finest for even the slightest of reasons.  Legality be damned.  Civil or human rights be damned:  The lesson here is that when a police officer orders you to do something – anything and for any or no reason – do it or the full force of the state will instantly fall upon your head like the proverbial ton of bricks.

Nurse Wubbels was ordered by Detective Jeff Payne to draw blood from an unconscious victim of an automobile accident.  The unresponsive condition of the patient is the linchpin of this story because both hospital and police policy (as well as the US Constitution) forbade the taking of blood from such people.  That policy allowed the drawing of blood, if and only if, the patient was under arrest, a signed-by-a-judge warrant (electronic or paper) had been issued, or that the patient him- or herself had given explicit consent for the procedure.

As Nurse Wubbels calmly, politely but determinedly, and most importantly, respectfully, explained to our intrepid Officer Payne, none of these conditions were obtained in the instant case.  Therefore, she told him, she could not and would not comply with his demand (order).  Following the orders of his boss, the Chief of Police,  Detective Payne refused to take Nurse Wubbels’ “no” for an answer, and promptly, violently, grabbed her, forced her arms behind her back, handcuffed her, and quite literally dragged her, kicking and screaming, to his patrol car.

Interestingly, as the video shows, two other police officers were on the scene but did little to intervene, beyond barely uttering weak words of concern:  “Payne…..Payne,” they implored.  This puts to the lie the defense of bad police behavior as the result of infection in their departments by only “a few bad apples.” Black people, the usual and default victims of police misconduct, are asking, therefore, that if the so-called good-apple cops don’t or won’t stop the bad-apple cops from their perfidy, then is it safe to assume that the whole  orchard is rotten to the core?

“We Only Kill Black People”

The Nurse Wubbels-cop imbroglio followed hard on the heels of the release of a now viral year-old dashcam video of yet another uniformed protector and server of the public, this time in Cobb County (Atlanta), Georgia, who quite openly, calmly, explained to the passenger of a car he had pulled over for a minor traffic violation that she had had nothing to fear from him because, well, police only kill black people.

There is some question as to whether the officer was merely making a bad joke, or perhaps he was making a crude attempt at sarcasm…or was he deadly serious in admitting out loud something that black people have not just suspected but have endured for untold generations?

Specifically, this particular white woman refused this particular cop’s suggestion (order? demand?) that she remove her cellphone from her lap.  She told him that in light of a then two-day old video of a Minnesota cop’s  cold-blooded murder of a clearly innocent motorist, she was not only reluctant but afraid to reach for anything with her hands in his presence.  Again, not to worry, the cop assured her:  “We only kill black people,” he repeated.  And, to make certain she understood what he was telling her, he added, “You’re not black.”  He was letting her know that her recognized whiteness,  her privilege as a universally and identifiable “white” person, immunized, shielded and fully protected her from his otherwise usual, unrestrained and state-sanctioned violent proclivities.

After being threatened with termination, Lt. Abbott,  a 28-year veteran of the force, has been allowed to retire – with full benefits, of course.

On its face, this case would appear to contradict the proposition that all citizens – people – are at risk of unwarranted police violence.  Lt. Abbott specifically, publicly, made a white privilege exception here.  But, as with everything else, it is the exception that proves the rule.  The exception is the reason for the rule in the first place.  That is, there would be no reason for the rule, the principle, the modus operandi, without setting up and recognizing the occasional exception (whiteness) to the rule (social control, even destruction of black people).

There is Real Danger in Asking Cops for Help

Finally, there is the matter of the pajama-clad, white, female, Australian ex-pat in Minnesota (again) who called police because she thought she heard an in-progress sexual assault outside her home.  The cops showed up quickly enough all right, and promptly shot her in the abdomen, killing her instantly as she approached their patrol car to explain the situation.  The killer-cop in this case was a relatively new officer of African descent (Somali), who has since employed the “fear for my life” defense to support, explain and, ultimately, excuse his deadly action.

The outrage at this “senseless” killing among white Minnesotans was immediate and universal.  Black people, there and nationwide, (again) see it slightly differently, though:  This police killing is simply an extension of police brutality to all citizens and, in this case, non-citizens – regardless of “race.”  It proves that the “race,” ethnicity and color of any particular killer-cop is only incidental to police officers true color – blue.

Whatever Happened to Officer Friendly?

I grew up in a small (36,000) midwestern town at the tip of Lake Michigan in Indiana (fifty miles east of Chicago) – Michigan City, Indiana.  MC was never officially racially segregated.  But its 2,000 black families were de facto relegated to two small areas on the city’s north and east sides.

Directly across the street from my family’s home lived MC’s only black policeman, Officer Clarence Kemp (now deceased).  Officer Kemp’s son, Clarence Kemp, Jr.,  and I were best buds throughout our formative years.  Officer Kemp and the entire (small) MC police department were always looked upon as our friends, even confidants.

My understanding now is that the MCPD has changed dramatically.  The police department, for example, has eagerly sought and embraced surplus war equipment from the feds, including everything from night vision goggles and automatic rifles to armored personnel carriers.  Why is this material needed to police my small hometown wherein everybody knows everybody else?

Because we all now live in a bona fide police state.

By Herb Dyer/DissidentVoice

Posted by The NON-Conformist

Black Dallas Group, Condoleezza Rice Thinks Confederate Monuments Should Be Preserved

With the recent unrest in Charlottesville, Va., spurring efforts to bring down Confederate monuments across the nation, a group of mostly Black Dallas locals have teamed up to ensure that the city’s Confederate statues remain standing.

For Former Dallas city council member Sandra Crenshaw, removing the controversial statues isn’t the solution to combating racism.

“I’m not intimidated by Robert E. Lee’s statue. I’m not intimidated by it,” Crenshaw told CBS Dallas. “It doesn’t scare me.”

“We don’t want America to think that all African-Americans are supportive of this,” she added.

Crenshaw, along with Buffalo Soldier historians and members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, have banded together to prevent the city’s Confederate markers from toppling over, CBS Dallas reported. The group believes that such monuments, like the Freedman’s cemetery, tell an important part of history and help heal racial wounds.

“Some people think that by taking a statue down, that’s going to erase racism,” Crenshaw said. “Misguided.”

More from Atlanta Black Star

Posted by The NON-Conformist

Opinion: Charlottesville… What White America Should Do About Trump

Saturday, August 12th, will go down as a dark day for America. A coalition of white nationalists attempted to rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Young and old donned swastikas. White militia in full camouflage and many openly carrying weapons set out to “protect” the demonstrators. Angry men and women screamed vile and racist slogans. Violence broke out with counter-protesters. Then James Alex Fields, Jr., a 20-year-old from Ohio, decided to plow his car into a peaceful crowd protesting the racist spectacle. Heather Heyer of Charlottesville was killed and at least 19 people were injured. Cornel West, who joined the counter protests with a group of clergy, witnessed it all and told me, “I have never seen this kind of hatred.”

If these were normal times, even if you believed a press conference to be typical American racial theater, you would expect the President of the United States to condemn unequivocally the hatred and bigotry of the white nationalists gathered in Charlottesville. But these aren’t normal times.

 Instead, Donald Trump offered a mealy-mouthed response. “We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides.”

More from Time Magazine

Posted by Libergirl

Most Of America’s Terrorists Are White, And Not Muslim

Right-wing terror is real, and it’s a problem.

When it comes to domestic terrorism in America, the numbers don’t lie: Far-right extremists are behind far more plots and attacks than Islamist extremists.

There were almost twice as many terrorist incidents by right-wing extremists as by Islamist extremists in the U.S. from 2008 to 2016, according to a new report from The Nation Institute’s Investigative Fund and The Center for Investigative Reporting’s Reveal.

Looking at both plots and attacks carried out, the group tracked 201 terrorist incidents on U.S. soil from January 2008 to the end of 2016. The database shows 115 cases by right-wing extremists ― from white supremacists to militias to “sovereign citizens” ― compared to 63 cases by Islamist extremists. Incidents from left-wing extremists, which include ecoterrorists and animal rights militants, were comparatively rare, with 19 incidents.

When it comes to right-wing extremism, attackers are also ‘mostly men’ and ‘almost purely white.’Reporter David Neiwert

While the database makes a point of distinguishing between different groups within right-wing extremism, lead reporter David Neiwert told HuffPost that “those are all gradations of white supremacy, variations on the same thing.” When it comes to right-wing extremism, attackers are also “mostly men” and “almost purely white,” Neiwert said.

Attacks by right-wing extremists were also more often deadly, with nearly a third of right-wing extremist incidents resulting in deaths compared with 13 percent of Islamist extremist cases resulting in deaths. However, the sheer number of people killed by Islamist extremists ― a total of 90 people killed ― was higher than the death toll at the hands of right-wing extremists ― 79 people killed.

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump has focused his rhetoric and policies almost entirely on countering Islamist extremism, and not white supremacist extremism.

“As with a lot of things related to Trump and the Islamophobic right, the reality is viewed through an upside-down looking glass,” Neiwert said. The reality is the most significant domestic terror threat we have is right-wing extremism.

The Investigative Fund’s findings reflect those of previous studies of domestic terrorism. The New America Foundation, for instance, which has been tracking deadly terror incidents on U.S. soil since the Sept. 11 attacks, also finds an almost two-to-one ratio of attacks by far-right extremists to Islamist extremists, with 21 deadly attacks by far-right extremists, compared to 11 by Islamist extremists.

Despite the facts, many Americans still associate terror attacks with Islamist extremistsrather than far-right extremists, Neiwart noted.

“I think the larger perception in the public ― and this includes many progressives and liberals ― is the inversion of the reality: that the greatest threat we face is Islamist radicals,” Neiwert said. “And it’s reflected in the way the press report upon various kinds of domestic terror attacks: When it’s a white domestic terrorist, they underplay it, write it off to mental illness.”

The reality is the most significant domestic terror threat we have is right-wing extremism.Reporter David Neiwert

The media has a long history of double standards when it comes to covering terrorism ― starting with how slow mainstream media is to label attacks by white perpetrators as “terrorism,” and quick to label them as such when attackers are perceived as nonwhite or “other” ― and specifically, Muslim.

Part of problem is the complex nature of how officials choose to categorize attacks as terrorism. The FBI has specific criteria its uses to classify terrorist incidents ― but the public doesn’t always agree with officials’ labels. For instance, many people condemned the government for not labeling Dylann Roof a terrorist after he killed nine black churchgoers in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2015, even though he specifically said he was there “to shoot black people,” according to witnesses.

“There’s actually a debate over whether what Dylann Roof did was domestic terrorism, when it so plainly is domestic terrorism,” Neiwert told HuffPost. “A lot of this has to do with embedded judgements about where these threats come from ― and that has to do with fear-mongering around Islamophobia.”

Investigative Fund’s interactive map showing terrorism incidents by ideology since 2008. 

The solution, according to Neiwert, lies with the government first acknowledging the scale of the problem of far-right extremism, and then dedicating resources to fighting it.

So far Trump has shown a clear double standard in his response to terrorism: After Islamist extremists attacked London on June 3, for instance, Trump condemned the violence on Twitter the same day ― but after an attack in Portland, Oregon, by a white supremacist on May 26, Trump waited more than two days before tweeting about it. After the London attack, Trump also called on the courts to reinstate his travel ban on certain Muslim-majority countries ― which was roundly criticized. After the Portland attack, Trump made no calls to change policy to prevent future attacks.

The Trump administration also reportedly just dropped funding for nonprofit Life After Hate, a group that helps people leave the white supremacist movement.

Trump administration has dropped funding for a group dedicated to de-radicalizing neo-Nazis and stopping white extremism. via @playbookplus

But it’s not just Trump that’s the problem. The Fund’s database goes back to 2008 and shows clearly how government resources have been disproportionately dedicated to tackling Islamist extremism over right-wing extremism. The government succeeded in interrupting the vast majority of Islamist extremist terror cases since 2008, for instance: 76 percent of incidents tracked were “foiled plots,” which the group noted showed “a significant investment of law enforcement resources.” When it came to right-wing extremism, only about a third of incidents were interrupted ― 35 percent ― and the majority of the cases included acts of violence that led to deaths, injuries or damaged property.

At the end of the day, it’s not only on the government to acknowledge the reality of the growing threat of far-right extremism, according to Neiwert, it’s on everyone from members of the media to average Americans.

“First thing we need to do is recognize that it’s there, it’s a problem, it’s a threat ― as great a threat as Islamists,” Neiwert said. “And it needs to be taken seriously.”

By Sarah Ruiz-Grossman/HuffPost

Posted by The NON-Conformist

History Channel Portrays Hannibal as Black, White People Cry Foul Over ‘Historical Revisionism’

History Channel‘s newest documentary series, Barbarians Rising, tackles the fall of Rome over the course of 700 years of invasions. However, the most recent episode that aired Monday depicts Hannibal of Carthage as a Black man, and many white history buffs are crying foul over the “historical inaccuracy.”

Image result for barbarians rising

In the series, Hannibal is portrayed by Black British actor Nicholas Pinnock. The famous Carthaginian was a thorn in the empire’s side. He became a general at the age of 26 and managed to unite barbarian tribes to stop Rome’s imperial rise. The military genius was famous for climbing the Alps with war elephants whose sole purpose was to stomp the Roman army.

2016-06-07_1425_001-min

More from Atlanta Black Star

Posted by the NON-Conformist

Former Neo-Nazi Says It’s On White People To Fight White Supremacy

“White people need to solve the problem of white supremacy.”

CHRISTIAN PICCIOLINI
Christian Picciolini doing a Nazi salute outside the gates of Dachau, a former concentration camp in Nazi Germany, in 1992

As a 14-year-old in 1980s Chicago, Christian Picciolini was ripe for recruitment into a hate group: He was bullied, didn’t have a lot of friends and felt “abandoned” by his Italian immigrant parents who worked long hours.

One day, when he was standing in an alley smoking a joint, a car pulled up, and a man with a shaved head came out, pulled the joint out of his mouth and said:

“Don’t you know that’s what the Jews and the Communists want you to do to keep you docile?”

That man was Clark Martell, a national leader of the white supremacist skinhead movement. Martell’s history of violence, according to a 1989 Chicago Tribune article, included targeting LGBTQ people and people of color. He once attempted to burn down the house of a Latino family.

Picciolini was recruited into Martell’s neo-Nazi skinhead group in 1987, and when Martell ended up in prison a couple of years later, Picciolini took the helm.

“He made me feel powerful when I felt powerless, gave me family and a sense of purpose,” Picciolini told HuffPost. “I was a nobody kid people picked on for having a funny name ― and [a few years later] I was respected and powerful.”

“False power and false respect,” Picciolini added.

After having children, which Picciolini says challenged his “notions of identity, community and purpose,” he left the hate group in 1995.

Over a decade later, in 2009, he co-founded Life After Hate, a small nonprofit run entirely by former members of America’s radical far-right, dedicated to supporting those who have left, or are seeking to leave, hate groups in the U.S.

It’s the only organization of its kind in the country ― and it’s up against a growing problem: The number of hate groups in the U.S. has doubled in the last 10 to 15 years, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, and around 80 percent of those groups advocate white supremacist beliefs.

“People come to us because they know that we won’t judge them.”

Leaving a hate group isn’t easy. When a woman left his neo-Nazi group in 1989, Martell viciously beat her, according to the Tribune. He reportedly kicked her in the face and drew a swastika on the wall of her home in her blood. He was later arrested and sent to prison.

Life After Hate helps those who have left or are trying to leave extremism behind by providing them with an array of support services. The main tool of the Chicago-based group is a private online network, set up by and for former extremists, to provide them with a new, supportive community.

“People come to us because they know that we won’t judge them,” Picciolini told HuffPost. “As someone who understands their past, we give them a helping hand ― not focused on yesterday, but focused on today and tomorrow.”

Picciolini and his colleagues ― some of whom are social workers, all of whom are former extremists and have worked with psychologists to craft their nonprofit’s approach ― also travel the country to meet with members in person, to provide individualized support. They help connect members to local service providers, including therapy, job training and tattoo removal, to try to tackle the underlying drivers of their hate.

Picciolini says most people who come to them have experienced one of three things: trauma, unemployment or mental health issues.

“I listen for potholes ― or what deviated them from their normal path and led them down this one ― and try to find them services to help,” Picciolini said. “When you make people more resilient, self-sufficient and self-confident, they don’t have anyone to blame, and the ‘us against them’ ideology goes away.”

Privacy is paramount, so before they let anyone into their online group, they spend months chatting with them to make sure they’ve truly left extremism.

“We want to protect the people in the network,” Picciolini said. “It’s a safe place, not for someone vulnerable to going back ― and taking names with them.”

Life After Hate’s reach is relatively small: Its online group currently has 60 members. Some had already left extremism before they joined and were looking for community. Others are actively exiting hate groups.

For Picciolini, who recognizes their group is small compared with the problem of white supremacist hate, it’s all about helping people one by one.

“We reach one person at a time ― we know we can’t solve racism,” he said. “What I do know is I can affect the people closest to me. If everybody thinks that way ― with your coworkers, your friends ― it can change the world.”

“What changed us is when we received compassion from the people we least deserved it from.”

One key strategy the group uses to help people leave extremism behind is to facilitate in-person meetings between former extremists and members of groups they once discriminated against ― for instance, having a former Islamophobe meet an imam, or letting a onetime Holocaust denier talk with a survivor.

“As former extremists from the far right, what changed us is when we received compassion from the people we least deserved it from,” Picciolini said. “Often times they’ve never met a black person or had a meaningful conversation with a Muslim or Jewish person. I get them into a situation where they can sit and talk, and realize there are more things in common than differences.”

The strategy derives from “contact theory,” or the well-researched idea that contact with groups from different backgrounds can increase tolerance. It seems to have worked for certain high-profile extremists, such as former white nationalist Derek Black, who began leaving the movement after being invited to a series of Shabbat dinners by a Jewish fellow college student, and Life After Hate Deputy Director Angela King, who left the skinhead movement after being befriended by a group of Jamaican women in prison.

“That’s how most people get out,” expert Heidi Beirich of the Southern Poverty Law Center told HuffPost last month, adding that the work of reaching out to people from different backgrounds should not fall on people from marginalized groups.

“It shouldn’t be on the groups facing this,” Beirich said. “It’s on the rest of us.”

“We still don’t call it terrorism when it’s white extremism.”

Part of the reason there aren’t more groups like Life After Hate in the U.S. ― while other forms of organized violence, such as gangs and Islamist extremism, have long had programs and funding dedicated to tackling them ― is because Americans tend to ignore the realities of white supremacist violence, according to Beirich.

“There has been a general reluctance in this country to see white people as responsible for terrorism in some sort of organized way,” Beirich told HuffPost last month. “When people talk about white supremacist terrorism, they want to call it a one-off. He’s a crazy person. It’s like white people can’t handle the idea that there are devils in our midst.”

Since September 11, 2001, there have been 85 deadly extremist attacks in the United States, according to a recent Government Accountability Office report — 73 percent of the attacks were carried out by far-right extremist groups, compared to 27 percent by radical Islamist extremists.

Just a couple of months ago, Reuters reported that the Trump administration may alter the government’s counter-extremism program to focus solely on Islamist extremism. As a result, Life After Hate may lose $400,000 in funding that it had been awarded through the program in January under President Barack Obama, said Picciolini. The group hasn’t received the funds yet and doesn’t know if it will.

“We’re concerned about the policies of the new administration [indicating] that white extremism may not be an issue,” Picciolini said. “There really is no difference between what happened in Charleston with Dylann Roof and what happened in San Bernardino. They’re both terror attacks based on ideologies of extremism ― yet we still don’t call it terrorism when it’s white extremism.”

“The only difference between alt-right and what I was in then is packaging.”

Picciolini says that the recent rise of the so-called alt-right movement ― a white supremacist movement with young leadership, branding meant to appeal to millennials and a large online presence ― makes Life After Hate’s job harder.

“In the old days you could spot a skinhead a mile away ― now it’s harder in a virtual world. And they made the message more palatable, wear suits and ties, don’t shave their heads.

“The only difference between alt-right and what I was in then is packaging. It’s a marketing strategy: They just soften the edges.”

Since President Donald Trump’s election, Picciolini says, the number of requests that have come in to Life After Hate for support have grown ― from one to three requests per week to one to three per day. Most of these come from friends or family concerned that a loved one might be involved in extremism.

“White people need to solve the problem of white supremacy.”

It is not clear how well exit programs like Life After Hate work. Older exit programs in Europe, such as those developed for white supremacists in Sweden in the 1990s, have been criticized at times for “glorifying former extremists as ‘experts’” and not eliminating participants’ racism, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

But experts who have weighed in on Life After Hate consider it a useful contribution to the larger fight against white supremacism.

“Everything always has to be considered part of a larger toolbox,” Pete Simi, an author and expert on far-right extremists, said in an interview last year. “There’s never any program that’s ever going to be your catchall. But I think it is an important tool.”

SPLC’s Beirich, who has been studying white supremacism since 1999, told HuffPost last month that she sees Life After Hate as a solution.

“I don’t have anywhere to send a white supremacist if they come to me and start questioning the movement they’re involved in,” Beirich said. “Once you become a hard-core white supremacist, you lose all links to family and friends, there isn’t really a place for you to turn if you leave. I’m not trying to give anyone a pass, but if someone wants to get out of something bad, I want to help.”

A Life After Hate member echoed the need for more groups like it.

“There were years I was looking for a way out, and I didn’t have anywhere to turn,” former skinhead Logan Stewart told HuffPost. “It’s great support. Anything you need to talk about you can do that with them.”

For Picciolini, if there’s one thing that holds true when thinking of how to best tackle white supremacist hate, it’s this: The responsibility falls on white people.

“White people need to solve the problem of white supremacy,” Picciolini said. “It’s white people’s problem, we created it, and it’s a problem we need to fix.”

By Sarah Ruiz-Grossman

Posted by The NON-Conformist