Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Culture of Violence

"Violence is as American as Apple Pie" - H.Rap Brown, 1967

It seems as though this statement made by a Black Activist 45 years ago still holds true and whether we want to believe it or not..is more true now than ever.  I want to talk about two incidents...One...the killing of a young African-American man while in police custody that looks even worse than the early senseless murder of Trayvonn Martin and yet another mass shooting in the midwest....

First we'll start with Chavis Carter-

A 21-year-old African American man was shot in the head and killed while handcuffed in the back of a patrol car this past Saturday night. Now police have launched an investigation to determine what happened.

Chavis Carter was a passenger in a pickup truck that was Stopped by the police in Jonesboro, Arkansas, Saturday night, according to KAIT, an ABC-affiliated television station. An officer reportedly found some marijuana, and ran Carter's information. He was wanted on a warrant out of Mississippi, so officers placed him in a patrol car.

"As protocol, he was handcuffed behind his back, double-locked and searched," said Jonesboro Police Department Sgt. Lyle Waterworth in an interview with  WREG-TV
Just minutes later, police said they heard a thumping noise, turned around and found Carter shot in the head.

Waterworth said he thinks Carter pulled out a hidden gun and shot himself. “Any given officer has missed something on a search, you know, be it drugs, be it knives, be it razor blades," he said. "This instance, it happened to be a gun." This sounds more than a little suspect!

His mother, Teresa Carter, disagrees. "I think they killed him," she said. "My son wasn't suicidal."
Teresa Carter said she was also told her son was shot in the right temple, although he was left-handed.

Of course, because this young man had a rap sheet and was caught with marijuana...All of the mean spirited (and racist) apologist who usually post on MSN news sites will justify his being dead and will find absolutely nothing suspicious about this...

The fact that semingly nobody in the blogosphere or on Facebook or twitter is screaming bloody murder about this the way they did about the Trayvonn Martin case has me a bit puzzled too. Maybe we are all just shell shocked or emotionally drained.

"I mean, I just want to know what really happened," she told WREG-TV. "That's all I want to know."

The two officers who were present when Carter was found shot were placed on administrative leave.


You know...we are still reeling from the Aurora ,Colorado massacre at the showing of Batman-"The Dark Knight Rises" and here , just Sunday afternoon I get news of yet another mass shooting! A Sikh temple was shot up by a deranged mad man... Seven people ,including the shooter were shot and killed and several were injured...Including the heroic police officer who shot the killer to death!

Oak Creek, Wisconsin Police Chief John Edwards told a news conference yesterday that the gunman, who was shot dead by police at the scene on Sunday, was named Wade Michael Page, a former U.S. soldier who served from 1992 to 1998.
The gunman shot dead six people and seriously wounded three, including a police officer, at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin as worshippers prepared for religious services. One group of people were shot at the movies...These poor folk were preparing for church! Are we safe anywhere?

The victims were five men and one woman, aged between 39 and 84.
Authorities said they were treating the attack as an act of domestic terrorism.

American Sikhs said they have often been singled out for harassment, and occasionally violent assault, since the September 11, 2001, attacks because they are mistaken as Muslims or Arabs due to their colorful turbans and beards.

U.S. military sources said Wade Page had been discharged from the Army in 1998 for "patterns of misconduct" and had been cited for being drunk on duty.

Wade Page had served in the military for six years but was never posted overseas. He was a psychological operations specialist and missile repairman who was last stationed at Fort Bragg. Frightening isn't it? This clown was a psychological ops specialist???

In June 1998 he was disciplined for being drunk on duty and had his rank reduced to specialist from sergeant. He was not eligible to re-enlist.

Wade Page had been a member of the racist skinhead band called  End Apathy, based in Fayetteville, North Carolina, in 2010, said Heidi Beirich, director of the intelligence project at the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) in Montgomery, Alabama.

He also tried to buy goods from the National Alliance, a neo-Nazi group, in 2000, she said. The Southern Poverty Law Center describes the National Alliance on its website as "perhaps the most dangerous and best organized neo-Nazi formation in America."

In a 2010 online interview with End Apathy's record label Label56, Page said he had founded the band in 2005 because "I realized ... that if we could figure out how to end people's apathetic ways, it would be the start towards moving forward."Enough about this racist scumbag..Who cares about him?

Police searched an apartment at a duplex in the Cudahy neighborhood near Milwaukee, presumed to be the residence of the gunman. Generators and floodlights were set up along the street and a bomb squad was on the scene.

Members of the Sikh community said the president of the congregation and a priest were among the victims.

Describing how the events unfolded, Chief Edwards told reporters the first officer on the scene found a victim in the temple parking lot and went to render assistance. The officer was then shot eight or nine times at very close range with a handgun, Edwards said.

The gunman then fired on a police car, ignoring officers' commands to drop his weapon, and was shot and killed by police.

The wounded officer was being treated in a hospital, Edwards said.
Bernard Zapor, special agent in charge for the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, said the weapon used in the shooting was a 9mm hand gun that had been legally purchased. Naturally...and Naturally the NRA and gun zealots will find nothing wrong with this type of fellow having access to high powered handguns.

Wisconsin has some of the most permissive gun laws in the country. It passed a law in 2011 allowing citizens to carry a concealed weapon. I'm shaking my head here..Are they serious??

A search of a nationwide public data base showed that Page had lived at some 20 addresses in Wisconsin, North Carolina, Colorado, California and Texas.

Jagjit Singh Kaleka, the brother of the president of the temple who was among the six Sikhs killed, said he had no idea what the motive was for the attack.

The shooting was yet another in a too-frequent series of U.S. mass killings, coming just over two weeks after a gunman killed 12 people at a theater in Aurora, Colorado, where they were watching a screening of new Batman movie "The Dark Knight Rises."

The September 11 attacks were carried out by Muslims linked to the al Qaeda militant group led by Osama bin Laden. Sikhs are not Muslim, but many Americans do not know the difference, members of the Sikh community said.

There are 500,000 or more Sikhs in the United States but the community in Wisconsin is small, about 2,500 to 3,000 families, said local Sikhs. The temple in Oak Creek was founded in October 1997 and has a congregation of 350 to 400 people.
The Sikh faith is the fifth-largest in the world, with more than 30 million followers. It includes belief in one God and that the goal of life is to lead an exemplary existence.

It may not have even mattered to this bonehead that the Sikhs aren't Muslim...They don't look like him..That might have been all that mattered.

I went to CNN thinking that this was going to be covered the way the Aurora massacre was covered....It wasn't...They were running their regular programs on Sunday Night...
I found this odd and I wondered why one mass killing gets more coverage than others...Could it be the race or nationality of the victims?? I'm just asking...

My real point here is that we have a culture of violence and hatred in this country that makes both of these cases relevant and shockingly normal...Seems like there is a mass killing every other year...That's not good...Seems like there is a shockingly curious killing of a young black male a few times a year...

We can pretend that this is okay because it's not at our front door..At least not yet!! But my question is...How long will we be desenitized to this madness?? How long before we really ,seriously not only start being sensible about gun laws and background checks....but also about changing the very culture of this nation...a culture that desensitizes so many of us to the next man's pain and suffering!


A Free Spirit Butterfly said...

In spite of the tragedy in this world, I still have to say Happy Tuesday Keith.

I stay in prayer over these issues and many, many more. If it weren't for JESUS I don't know what my state of mind would be. In my line of work, I tend to take the quickest route home.

I am forced to know how many people were shot, stabbed, carjacked and raped and assualted in the City. Not to mention how many suicides and deaths by natural causes.

When I get home, I do not watch the news. I don't have cable and just maybe 2-3 channels.

I did not know about the YOUNG Man killed in the back of the police car. I am in total agreement with his parents. JUST investigate the TRUTH and tell what REALLY Happened.

Maybe in my profession, I've become a bit "use" to the violence but I am and will always be for JUSTICE, especially when the COPS were out right WRONG!

Thanks for giving me one more thing to pray about tonight. That the peace and the comfort of the Lord will be with the Carter family through this terrible ordeal.


BluJewel said...

I do not watch the news with any frequency and hardly read a newspaper anymore. Stories of violence, killings, and such take up entirely more space and time than they deserve and equally horrific to the disturbing stories, is how often it's played and retold. It's almost as if they want to desensitive us by making that kind of news as generic and bland as white bread.

Images of war are played on tv ad nauseum; people playing Black Ops and the like create fantasy worlds filled with graphic depictions of anger and violence; even many of the kids cartoons are filled with violence disguised as suitable animation, and children take it all in and it becomes commonplace and the norm. These are the things that are creating apathy and not empathy.

I don't get up in arms when I hear our youths being killed anymore because we're sadly fast moving trains with a lot of energy and momentum, but then fade out once the novelty has worn off. Right now it's Trayvon who? The Chavis Carter story is mind boggling at best, but little more will be heard about it; save for in passing. We're already over the movie theater massacre, and the massacre at the Sikh temple has been little spoken of since Sunday.

Keith, I don't know where we're heading, but it seems like it's nowhere good. Those who do good get little or no praise or necognition, which is egregiously sad, but unless we as a nation and people (black community) start being proactive instead of reactive, we're doomed to fail.

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