Tag Archives: Ferguson

Racial Baiting – An Ugly Situation Promoted by the Media

What came first?  The chicken or the egg?  That has always been a question that has intrigued us for generations.  If you know the definite answer, I would really like to hear it.

Here is an easier question.  What came first?  The crime or the arrest?  Ahhhh, this one should be an easy answer, but that darn answer just seems to get in the way of our media when it comes to reporting.

Let me ask another, more delicate question.  Do you feel more or less racially biased since Barack Obama became POTUS?

I need to explain a little of my background before I go further.  I was raised in a household that was somewhat bigoted.  Not to the point of being zealots about the matter, but certainly there were some non-flattering things said about people of other racial extractions.  In many respects we were an equal opportunity household….we didn’t target one race or nationality, we pretty much targeted them all!  For example, my uncle fought in the Pacific during WWII.  His opponents were therefore Japs.  My grandfather fought in WWI.  Germans were Krauts.  We called native Americans, Indians.  (Why can Florida State be the Seminoles, but North Dakota could not be the Fighting Sioux?)  As you can imagine, we had more non-flattering names for people of other extractions.  Our family was not unique in this regard.  I believe it was pretty darn common.

While I was in late grade school, we had two or three black families that moved into our school district.  One of these black students was in my class.  One day, an incident occurred at the school.  There was a fight, and the fight got out of hand.  I became a witness to that fight after three black males were surrounded by about 50 older, bigger, white boys.  I didn’t see the start, but one of the black males had a folded knife hidden in his hand.  Not a switch blade or anything that exotic, but a work knife like many of us carried on the farm.  (Yes – many of us carried knives in our pockets to school.  No one thought a thing about it.  Especially when the teacher would ask, “does anyone have a knife I can borrow?”  There would be 8-10 available to choose from.)  It got very, very tense.  But luckily, the buses were leaving to take students home, and no one wanted to miss their bus, as many students lived 20 miles away.  The fight dissolved like a lump of sugar in coffee.  No hits, no runs, and luckily no errors.  That occurred in late spring right before summer vacation.  The next fall, all of the black families had moved out of our school area.  This did not happen in the deep south, this happened in the shallow Midwest.

I went to college and earned a commission as a lieutenant upon graduation in the Army.  The Army was the first organization to fully integrate in 1948.  The one thing that the Army did for me was to make me colorblind.  I knew that to reach a particular rank, regardless of race or sex, everyone had to obtain the same milestones.  One of the best sergeants I ever knew was a Hispanic by the name of CSM Mendoza.  He had the distinction of having fought in WWII, Korea and Viet Nam.  How many people can say that?  I had the opportunity of meeting fantastic, dedicated soldiers of many different ethnic backgrounds.  I also had the privilege of working with outstanding female officers and NCOs (non-commissioned officers).

Now I am retired.  What concerns me is the events that occurred in New York surrounding the death of Eric Garner (I can’t breathe), and the riots in Ferguson, Missouri following the grand jury decision not to prosecute Darren Wilson for the shooting death of Michael Brown.  I find the subsequent shooting of police officers in New York and elsewhere, and the destruction done by supposed ‘protesters’ in Ferguson to be appalling.

This gets back to one of my earlier questions, ‘what came first, the arrest or the crime?’

Did you know that Eric Garner had 34 arrests in the previous 30 years?  Some of these arrests were for assault and larceny.  He was on probation at the time of his ordered arrest.  Who ordered the arrest?  Why, it was ordered by the captain of the police precinct—the black captain of the police precinct!  Who supervised the arrest?  That would be the black female sergeant ordered to oversee the arrest.  Did you not hear those details during all that media coverage?  All that was seen and reported was the white guys wrestling with and strangling this innocent black guy.  An innocent black guy very much resisting arrest as he was already on probation!

Michael Brown is another enigma.  There is much discussion and debate about what type of person the 6’4″ Brown actually was, other than he was big.  But here it is.  Previous to his death, he just robbed a convenience store with his friend.  Once confronted, he pushed the clerk into a display case.  The clerk calls the police, and Darren Wilson responds to the call.  Brown is killed.  After deliberating for months, meticulously examining evidence and interviewing witnesses,  the grand jury decided not to pursue a court trial for Officer Wilson.  Then the fun begins.

I, being a person of common sense, am having the most difficult time of my life equating how the tragic death of a robber of a convenience store justifies pillaging, looting and vandalism.

I am also equally appalled that the unfortunate death of a habitual law-breaker justifies opening a hunting season on law enforcement officers.

In a prior blog, I discussed our available news sources while Grandma P and I were cruising.  I pointed out that our only two news sources, while on ship, were FOX and the BBC.  We were sailing around the Caribbean when the Ferguson, Missouri riots erupted.  I witnessed something on one of those news sources that I had assumed to be common knowledge.  It was funny and appalling at the same time, if that is possible.  Someone had made a video of one of the ‘protesters’ lighting a Molotov cocktail.  I assumed everyone in the US had seen this, but apparently not.  A Molotov cocktail is a bottle filled with gasoline, that once lighted, was going to be thrown at the police line that was seen in the distance.  This is a simple weapon designed to kill, in this case, the police.  The funny part is that this video showed this moron lighting his arm on fire!  Yup, Mr. Smart ‘protester’ apparently got some gasoline on the sleeve of his jacket.  When he lit the wick on the bomb, he lit his arm as well.  Unfortunately, the video did not show how this ended.  It did show Mr. Smart ‘protester’ attempting to stamp out his flaming sleeve while he was still holding the lit Molotov cocktail.  This brings up another question.  What comes first, extinguishing the sleeve or the ‘boom?’

How many of you saw this video?  When does a ‘protester’ become a terrorist?  This ‘protester’ was deliberately trying to kill the police!

I blame the media and selected individuals that would do anything to be in the forefront of the media,for all of the violence.

The media will deliberately leave out information to sell their services or papers.  They do not need to lie, they just don’t need to tell all the facts.  I have given examples in the paragraphs preceding.  Riots cause a media frenzy – which results in media dollars.

The Reverend Al Sharpton comes to mind as one who craves media attention.  He is the self-proclaimed advisor to our POTUS on racial affairs.  Really?  You have a black President and a black Attorney General and you need the guy that said, ” Who defines terrorists?  Today’s terrorist is tomorrow’s friend,” as your advisor?  What does that say about the quality of the advisor?  What does it say about the quality of the people that selected the advisor?

The Reverend Al Sharpton is a Baptist minister.  Aren’t ministers purportedly men of peace and men of God?  Then why is this racial baiter getting all this media attention while practically sanctioning violence caused by the black community.  This guy does nothing but stirs the black community into doing stupid, destructive behavior.  He comes into a town, ie Ferguson, Missouri; Sanford, Florida (Trayvon Martin), Wappinger Falls, NY (Tawana Brawley), and NY, NY (Eric Garner), throws a racial grenade into an already racially charged crowd, and then sets himself up as the black savior.  He has done more harm for the black race than good.  He never stays in one place long enough to see the full effect of his racial baiting.  He appears to be on the brink of being a bigoted racial terrorist with all the dissention he has created, but is yet welcomed into the White House.

I blame the White House for racial baiting, also.  The POTUS, or his Attorney General have either injected themselves or their opinions in most of the same situations as the Reverend Sharpton.  They were in Sanford, Ferguson and New York.  Rather than defending the court system, or praising our law enforcement for the dangerous jobs they are required to perform, they, through indecisiveness and lack of clarity and direction have unwittingly sanctioned the illegal activity of the black community.  Never mind the fact that laws were broken.

So back to my original question.  Do you feel more or less rationally biased since Barack Obama, the ‘unification president,’ took office?  Its a tough question.  I know my racial tachometer is wavering.  My tachometer for intolerance of law breakers and terrorists has not wavered.  It is still pegged out!

Afterthought:  All of the families of the slain black men were contacted by the White House expressing condolences for their deaths.  The widow of Chris Kyle, Taya Kyle, was never contacted by the White House.  He was a Navy Seal that served four tours of duty in Iraq in the defense of his country.  He was the author and inspiration for the book and movie titled, American Sniper.  He was shot by a Marine he was attempting to help.  He was a true hero.

American Media Goes Hog Wild

I have often said, “Retiring is tiring.”  So being a man of resolve, I, along with Grandma P, have just returned from a 20-day Caribbean cruise.  After all, when the going gets tough, the tough go cruising!  (I should copyright that as a bumper sticker.  It can’t be as bad as some of the other crappy bumper stickers that I have seen!)

We always have a wonderful time in all our little adventures.  This cruise was notable for two reasons:  Firstly, I again had to struggle with my BACON!!! addiction.  Secondly, I met some really great people from other countries.  It is interesting to converse with a non-American on their opinions about the United States.

First the addiction.

I blame Princess Cruise Lines for enabling my bacon-aholic addiction!  While going through the breakfast line, the first thing you do after washing your hands is take a plate.  So far, so good.  Then you let your senses kick into warp drive!  The first sense would be smell.  And what is the first thing you smell?  Bacon!  Next, the visual senses are stimulated.  Looking two feet past the plate pile, I see  a  large pan filled of corned beef hash.  I love corned beef hash, but I can pass it up.  So far, so good.  The next  large pan contains fried potatoes.  I love potatoes, but I can pass it up.  So far, so good. At this point, I am feeling good about my ability to resist calorie-laden, carbohydrate-driven temptations.   Maybe I won’t gain any weight on this cruise after all?  And then…….and then………..there it is.  The dreaded, yet highly anticipated third large pan.  Three feet past the plate pile.  Mounds and pounds of bacon!  I’m screwed.  So much for resisting carbohydrate-caloric temptation!  Any thoughts of maintaining or losing weight on this cruise just went out the door along with the next largest hole in my expanding belt.  This must be the reason for the expression ‘hog wild’!  How could Princess Cruise Lines be so cruel?

But wait!  Isn’t this America?  I can’t possibly be held accountable for my bacon-aholic addiction.  It must be someone else’s fault.  Where is that government program when I need it?  The government is not readily available on a cruise ship in the Caribbean.  Then who is to blame?  Whom can I hold accountable?  My intellectual acuteness finally adjusts to the real culprit.  Princess Cruise Lines!  It has to be their fault!  So my next step was to use my persuasive powers to coerce Princess to take responsibility for my addiction.

Here is how the conversation unfolded at the passenger assistance desk.

“Hi.  My name is Grandpa T, and I am a bacon-aholic.”

“What can we do for you, Grandpa T”

“Could you burn the bacon a little, so that it does not smell as good?” (I thought this to be a reasonable request.)

“No.”

“Can you relocate the large pan containing the mounds and pounds of bacon at least six decks away just prior to me coming to the buffet?  It would be out of my way in the library, as no one uses that room anyway.”

“No.”

“Could you organize a chapter of ‘bacon-aholic anonymous’ on the ship?”

“What would be anonymous about people who are 60 pounds overweight, drooling over a pile of bacon?  They are pretty easy to differentiate from the slender yogurt-and-fruit-junkies.”

Damn it.  Foiled again by sound reasoning.  I hate it when that happens!  OK.  I did not have a conversation with Princess Cruise Lines about my bacon-aholic addiction – but if I did, I suspect it would have gone down just like that.

Australians, Canadians and the Welsh.

I met some really interesting and intelligent people from other countries on this cruise.  David and Petra were from Australia.  Catherine and Keith were from Wales.  Jeffrey and Claire currently live in Canada, but they have lived all over the world.  This made for a great trivia team, as well as for interesting conversation.  Gail was from Illinois.  This, too, made for some interesting conversation.

What we had available on our ship for outside information was an in-room TV that had two financial channels, two ESPN channels, the BBC, and Fox News.  There were also some other shopping/travel/shipboard channels.  That was it.  The one thing we were missing was any local  TV channel.  These are the channels that give you the good news taking place in your area or in the country.  Apparently, it is against media ethics to show positive things happening in the world in general, and in the US, in particular. (OK.  Fox News does televise some feel-good news items, but those were certainly overshadowed by other events.)

So what did our foreign friends observe on the TV?

Well, when we first got on the ship in mid-November, the two big news topics were the Ferguson grand jury still being in deliberation and the fact that the POTUS just announced that he was circumventing an inert Congress and was going to use executive order to grant amnesty to 1.5 million illegal aliens.  Add to this mix the story about one economist, Jonathan Gruber.  You remember Jon-Boy?  He was the Obamacare consultant that stated that Obamacare would not have been passed if it were not for the “stupidity of the American voter.”

So there you have it.  The dominating new headlines were: Ferguson grand jury, illegal immigration Executive order, and a government consultant calling the American electorate stupid.  Do you see anything positive for the good ole US of A concerning any of these news items?  What would you have thought if you were a non-American.  I can only surmise that they were quietly happy that they were not Americans.  After all, Australia, Canada and Wales were not experiencing such disasters and embarrassment in in their countries.

Now we are a little further into the cruise.  Obama is being fried over his executive order.  As was poignantly pointed out, he had overstepped his presidential authority.  He said he had not overstepped his authority.  The Ping-Pong game of blame begins.

(As an aside, I pointed out in my last blog that I was fearful as to what both the POTUS and Congress would do before the Republican-controlled Congress was seated on January 5.  I did not think any action such as this executive order would take place so quickly.)

Jonathan Gruber becomes a media sensation.  The White House denies knowing him, even though he received about $500,000 for consulting on the proposed Affordable Health Care Act.  There is documentation that he visited the White House 19 times.  Nancy Pelosi denies knowing him even though there are pictures of her and Gruber together.  Gruber’s name is specifically mentioned by Obama and Pelosi during speeches, but they still deny knowing him.  He is videotaped making the statement about the ‘stupidity of the American voter.’

The tar pots are being heated!  There are chickens being plucked all over America to assure we don’t run out of feathers and KFC doesn’t run out of chicken!  So what happens next as we are further into our cruise?  There was only one salvation that took Jonathan Gruber and the Illegal immigration executive order off the front page of the news networks – the timely Ferguson, Missouri grand jury decision!

There it was.  In all its blazing (no pun intended) glory.  A good, old fashioned burning and looting demonstration conducted by some of America’s finest citizens.  How convenient for the POTUS to have this occur as the heat was being turned up both on his executive order and his association with Jonathan Gruber.

America’s democratic and judicial systems were laid bare for the entire world to see.  According to the POTUS himself, we are a nation of laws.  Apparently that does not apply if you disagree with the law.  It must not apply when you don’t want to support the people that enforce our laws.

Who, in their right mind thought for one second that there was not going to be rioting/looting in Ferguson regardless of the decision?  That is called civil disobedience.  I certainly assumed there would  be.  Apparently the POTUS did not.  Because much as Nero fiddled while Rome burned, the POTUS really did nothing to alleviate the building tensions in Ferguson.  Hasn’t he claimed to be the ‘unification’ president?  I believe this country is more racist now than it has been for the last 50 years.  (Gruber may be on to something about American stupidity.  We conveniently forget about what comes first – the crime or the arrest!)

Here is what our leader should have said: “The loss of any young life is a tragedy.  But, we are a nation of laws, and we must let these laws work to preserve our great society.  In this instance, a grand jury has been diligently working to assure that justice is being served.  Regardless of the outcome, all Americans can be assured that all evidence was evaluated, all witnesses have testified, and all professional authorities have been heard regarding this case.  Therefore, I call on all Americans to maintain peace and civility during these emotional times.  Civil disobedience, terrorism, looting, rioting and the destruction of property are uncalled for and will not be tolerated.” (The reason I mention terrorism, is that some idiot burnt his hand while trying to light and throw a Molotov cocktail!  That pretty much moves this event from a demonstration to terrorism!)

Did you hear anything from our President that sounded anything like what I just wrote?  Unfortunately, I did not, either.

Now the end of the cruise is nearing.  The destructive scenes of the damage done in Ferguson are shown on BBC and FOX.  There are scenes of lesser destruction in other US cities.  Most of this additional destruction was sanctioned by agitators, such as Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and even by our POTUS due to his convenient inaction and lack of law enforcement support following the initial Ferguson events.

What did my foreign friends think as we got off the ship in Florida?  I can only surmise that they were happy to be returning to their own respective countries.  Y’all come back now, ya hear?  Things can only get better.