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Foreign Lives Matter

Foreign Lives Matter | Upsetment | Scoop.it
American racism at home and abroad only highlights the hypocrisy of U.S. foreign policy. And the rest of the world isn't buying America's message anymore.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

I hope that everybody in the state department, the White House, and on the foreign affairs committees of Congress reads this article; but I doubt they will. It might make them think about how what happens inside the (dis)United States actually plays on the world stage.

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Outside judge to take Ferguson cases

Outside judge to take Ferguson cases | Upsetment | Scoop.it
A state judge will oversee the court in Ferguson, Missouri, after a federal report found that the town's justice system routinely violated residents' constitutional rights.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

So it took Michael Brown's death to make the state of Missouri and the U.S. government aware that there was injustice in Ferguson. Somehow, I don't think this story is over. One resignation? What about that entire police force, that entire city government, and that entire local judicial system? There's a lot of fixing to do and a lot of people to hold accountable.

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The Residents of Ferguson Do Not Have a Police Problem. They Have a Gang Problem.

The Residents of Ferguson Do Not Have a Police Problem. They Have a Gang Problem. | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Darren Wilson is not the first member of a gang to be accused of something he did not do. If only the cops of Ferguson extended to their own citizens the same due process he received.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

The simple fact is that the police of Ferguson have become a gang, and a racist gang at that. Were I a Black man living in that town and unable to move my family elsewhere, I would probably end up grabbing for a gun. It is time for the police and politicians of Ferguson to take personal responsibility for their behavior and the organizations they have created.

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On Rooftops of Ferguson, Volunteers Patrol, With Guns

On Rooftops of Ferguson, Volunteers Patrol, With Guns | Upsetment | Scoop.it
A group called Oath Keepers, regarded by some as an antigovernment militia, is placing sentries atop businesses as tensions continue in Ferguson, Mo.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Nothing bodes worse for America than the appearance of vigilantes and militias. This is IMHO a worse development than the riots. I don't think these men are necessarily racist, but the suppression of black anger in Ferguson sends a message that is racist and destructive. We must not meet lawlessness with more lawlessness. Perhaps, it is time for there to be a real dialogue about race.

 

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Unorthodox police procedures emerge in grand jury documents

Unorthodox police procedures emerge in grand jury documents | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Among the unusual procedures: Darren Wilson placed his gun in an evidence bag himself and the medical examiner didn’t take photos of the scene.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

This is so irresponsible and inept as defy comprehension or else it was intentional to insure that a proper investigation could not take place. I cannot imagine that the people of Ferguson will not take revenge; hopefully not through riots but through court cases and especially elections. Meanwhile, were I a resident, I would be putting my taxes in escrow and file a suit to protect myself and I would do as much of my shopping as possible outside of town to in effect starve the beast. If the current city government knew that it could not govern because of lack of revenue, it might actually motivate them to take proper action. At the very least the police chief has to go and the department be reorganized and the medical examiner, well he should face some kind of disciplinary action. 

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Police Targeted Media With No-Fly Zone Over Ferguson, Tapes Show

Police Targeted Media With No-Fly Zone Over Ferguson, Tapes Show | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Audio recordings reveal that the local authorities acknowledged the purpose of a 37-square-mile no-fly zone was to keep away news helicopters during violent street protests in Ferguson, Mo.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Once again we have evidence from Ferguson that the police are out of control. This was clearly an attack on the freedom of the press and for absolutely no reason. More and more it has become clear that some police in Amerika have become violent and a source of danger to the people. The saddest thing to me is that not one of the decent members of the Ferguson police force (and I'm sure there are some) has come forward to admit and condemn the disease that has taken hold in that community.

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Cornel West was right all along: Why America needs a moment of clarity now

Cornel West was right all along: Why America needs a moment of clarity now | Upsetment | Scoop.it
It’s sad that it's come to this. But social justice in America is officially stunted -- and there's only one answer
Kenneth Weene's insight:

One of the most articulate statements about the current status of race in America I've read in a long time, and that status is seriously out of whack. As long as we continue the delusion of a white race, which was actually the creation of early slave owners wanting to "import" non-slaves to help balance the population in early times, we will never have equality of opportunity or of justice in this country.

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Molotov Cocktails Thrown Through Window of Black Missouri Congressman’s Office

Molotov Cocktails Thrown Through Window of Black Missouri Congressman’s Office | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Police reported this morning that two Molotov cocktails were thrown through the window of Missouri Congressman Emanuel Cleaver's Kansas City office at approximately 2:50 a.m. From the Kansas City Star: Responding officers found a broken window on the northwest side of the building. On the ground below the window were...
Kenneth Weene's insight:

We can only hope that the perpetrators will be found and prosecuted. I only hope that they have no ties to any political party or candidate. This is the kind of home-grown terrorism that needs to be extinguished right off.

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Police Handler Let Dog Urinate on Michael Brown Memorial the Day He Was Killed

Police Handler Let Dog Urinate on Michael Brown Memorial the Day He Was Killed | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Several hours after Michael Brown was shot in Ferguson, Missouri, a police dog handler let his dog urinate on a makeshift memorial that had been created on the street where Brown fell, a Mother Jones piece citing "several sources" says: The incident was related to me separately by three state...
Kenneth Weene's insight:

And there are still some people out there who don't get it. The killing of Michael Brown is only the tip of the iceberg of what is wrong in Ferguson, and it starts with the police.

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George Zimmerman Arrested While Visiting Ferguson - National Report

George Zimmerman Arrested While Visiting Ferguson - National Report | Upsetment | Scoop.it
George Zimmerman was arrested in Ferguson, Missouri after a verbal altercation with two black teenagers, all of which was captured on cell phone.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

If this story is accurate, we have a true menace walking the streets of America and this guy must be considered mentally incompetent and a danger to others. Thanks to sick racist behavior like that described in the story, our nation is in great danger. 

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Police raid Ferguson church for third time. Platoon of cops claim people illegally sleeping there

Police raid Ferguson church for third time. Platoon of cops claim people illegally sleeping there | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Greater St. Mark's Church has seen a lot of cops lately and they haven't come by to pray.

For the third time since the police slaying of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, St. Louis ...
Kenneth Weene's insight:

It seems that the police of Ferguson are determined to show how inept and spiteful they can be.

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Missouri GOP Outraged About Voter Registration Booths In Ferguson

Missouri GOP Outraged About Voter Registration Booths In Ferguson | Upsetment | Scoop.it
It seems that some citizens of Ferguson want to increase the extremely low voter participation rate in Ferguson, and the Missouri GOP (or, at least the leadership) is not happy about that effort ...
Kenneth Weene's insight:

How does it fan racial tensions to suggest that the community register to vote? Why isn't the GOP suggesting that is the correct way to respond to injustice, to take control via the ballot box?

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In Ferguson, Washington Post reporter Wesley Lowery gives account of his arrest

In Ferguson, Washington Post reporter Wesley Lowery gives account of his arrest | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Wesley Lowery, in Missouri covering the aftermath of a teen’s shooting, was detained by police Wednesday.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

This kind of abuse of police power should be a central concern to the people of America. It is becoming more and more apparent that there is a cancer in the Feguson PD. At what point is the governor of Missouri going to step in and demand a proper investigation? At what point is Gov. Jay Nixon going to take the situation in hand? At least he's talking about making a visit to the community, but will that include bringing state police in to oversee?

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Why Ferguson marches even though the police chief is gone

Why Ferguson marches even though the police chief is gone | Upsetment | Scoop.it
DEBRIEF | Police say demonstrators on the front lines seem more angry and confrontational.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

And it appears that the police are more angry and confrontational. So where is the governor of Missouri, who should be using state police or guard troops to police the city of Ferguson while the entire police force is investigated and at the minimum retrained. And why have the city council not offered a special election for their own jobs? Finally, is it not time for the Black leadership in Ferguson to step up and take responsibility for their failure to lead more effectively, their failure to get voters to take action long since? It seems to me that Ferguson is a town in need of serious soul-searching.

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Ferguson Official Who Makes $1,500 an Hour Owes $170,000 in Back Taxes

Ferguson Official Who Makes $1,500 an Hour Owes $170,000 in Back Taxes | Upsetment | Scoop.it
This week the Department of Justice released a highly critical report about Ferguson, Missouri’s criminal justice system, accusing police and officials of perpetrating a racially biased regime that, among other issues, imposes abusive, excessive punishments and fines for trifling violations like jaywalking. The DOJ report was foreshadowed in September 2014...
Kenneth Weene's insight:

The stench of Ferguson and its officials is nauseating. There is something so wrong with this situation as to defy any sense of logic or decency. And all on the back of the Black community. How about the justice system of this despicable town taking some responsibility for itself.

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Police union: Protesters cheered when car hit officers

Police union: Protesters cheered when car hit officers | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Students walked out of class Wednesday to protest the Ferguson grand jury decision.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Why is this on USA Today? That is the real question. At worst a small group, certainly not a significant one, most likely not even part of the actual demonstration, behaved horribly. BUT that is what the media leads with. How about all those young people standing up for what is right? How about the police department of a major city helping to protect that protest. That isn't the news? Well to me it is. Shame on the way this station reported the story. Shame on U.S.A. Today for it's presentation. Could we have responsible media?

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Deep South justice in Ferguson

Deep South justice in Ferguson | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Why Michael Brown’s death strikes a raw nerve.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

I know there are many who will say, "Well, that's not today." But it really is. If you look at the numbers of young black men in jail and the numbers shot by police. If you look at the distribution of power in communities like Ferguson with its huge black majority and white political structure. If you look at the disproportionate part of the town's income that comes from fines against the poor blacks. Yeah, the world has changed a lot less than we want to think,

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Video seems to show Ferguson officer in confrontation

Video seems to show Ferguson officer in confrontation | Upsetment | Scoop.it
In a video posted to YouTube, a police officer tells a man he must stop shooting video.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

I thought police officers had to show identification. Sounds to me like once again there is a discrepancy between the goal of proper police work and the actual functioning of the Ferguson Police force, and that may have something to do with what escalated from a cop asking two young men to not jaywalk into a tragic shooting.

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Report: Brown's blood found in Mo. cop's car

Report: Brown's blood found in Mo. cop's car | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Forensic tests just released in the Ferguson, Mo., police shooting of an unarmed black teenager more than two months ago are shedding new light on the incident.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

If ever evidence sounded planted this is it. This major scuffle should have been obvious right off. For example, where were the fight marks on Brown? They had this ferocious scuffle and there was no bruise or cut? How about on Wilson; Brown attacked him but where are his bruises? Then shot Brown ran; where is the blood trail? This just stinks of lies.

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Police make arrests in Ferguson after chief's apology

Police make arrests in Ferguson after chief's apology | Upsetment | Scoop.it
FERGUSON, Mo. — Hours after the city's police chief issued an apology to Michael Brown's family, tensions flared in the street outside of City Hall.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

When you use a public relations firm to issue your apology, people aren't going to believe you. When it is timed to coincide with a public event, like the parents being in Washington, people aren't going to believe you. It thin it can be safely said that the police chief of Ferguson is not just a symptom of the problem in that city but is an active participant in creating the problem. Maybe he is a decent man in his heart, but his thinking is  just not up to the task.

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Ferguson city council says it plans reforms

Ferguson city council says it plans reforms | Upsetment | Scoop.it
FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — The Ferguson City Council, set to meet Tuesday for the first time since the fatal shooting of an unarmed black 18-year-old by a white police officer, said it plans to establish a review board to help guide the police department and make other changes aimed at improving community relations.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Can we all say, "A dollar short and a day late?" Seems like these reforms are so small and were so obvious that this announcement only makes the problem in Ferguson even more obvious. Of course, the biggest problem is that the citizens of the town haven't been taking part in the voting process which has allowed the current crop of "leaders" to stay in power. Time for a community organizer and a real turn-out-the-vote effort.

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The Price of Blackness

The Price of Blackness | Upsetment | Scoop.it
In undergrad, I drove a '92 Ford Taurus that just hulked, tank-like, up and down the streets of Berkeley. The thing was conspicuous, an ocean liner. I was pulled over all the time, once or twice a week at one point. Often I'd see a squad car following me and just pull to the curb to get it over with. An officer would walk up to the car, one hand on that little button that secures the strap over his gun. He'd ask for my license and registration. Some inner voice would remind me that this was the time to point out I'd done nothing wrong; I'd ask for a badge number, I'd take a stand. But black boys are supposed to know better.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

An excellent short piece on being Black in America. If you like this piece, you may want to check out this Thursday evening's discussion on It Matters Radio; we will be discussing the history of Black resistance to slavery and its effects on the American Revolution. The show website is http://www.itmattersradio.com where you can find the link. The show is live at 9 PM Eastern Time.

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Ferguson Feeds Off the Poor: Three Warrants a Year Per Household

Ferguson Feeds Off the Poor: Three Warrants a Year Per Household | Upsetment | Scoop.it
In the chamber where Officer Wilson received a commendation six months before killing Michael Brown, a minor court generates major money from the city’s poor and working people.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

If you read this article, what becomes apparent is that there is institutionalized racism in Ferguson even though the city is predominantly Black. The bottom line: If Black Americans don't vote, they will never get the boot off their necks. That is why voter registration is so vital and so opposed by the conservatives.

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Different rules apply | MZS | Roger Ebert

Different rules apply | MZS | Roger Ebert | Upsetment | Scoop.it

"I want to tell you a story about the difference between knowing and understanding." With those words, the author begins one of the best pieces I have read about Ferguson and what it means to be white in America. 

Kenneth Weene's insight:

An incredibly powerful personal reflection on white privilege in America.

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Libertarians make their voices heard on police in Ferguson, Mo.

Libertarians make their voices heard on police in Ferguson, Mo. | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown by a police officer in Ferguson, Mo., has produced a rare and surprisingly unified response across the ideological spectrum, with Republicans and Democrats joi...
Kenneth Weene's insight:

While Mr. Paul has articulated the issues quite well, I think this is almost a universal concern in America today. The bureaucratization of government in general and the application of that unthinking bureaucratic dictum -- we must expand the growth of our role -- approach to law enforcement has made this moment, at which American values come into conflict with policing, inevitable. The best side libertarianism is the aversion to bureaucratic thinking. How do we make government more responsive to the people without losing those functions we need? It is time for a new management approach to public administration. Any suggestions for a better paradigm? I wish I had a simple answer. What I do know is that a police force which is measured by the number of arrests it makes will make arrests and the one that is measured by the number of false arrests it corrects will have fewer arrests but perhaps more justice. Funding should be based on performance, but performance has to be properly measured using appropriate metrics.

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