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iemanja's Journal
iemanja's Journal
July 29, 2013

Gun Death Tally: Faces of the Dead

This Facebook page posts photos of victims of gun violence.

Here are a few of their faces. Statistics cannot capture the devastation of gun violence. These are human beings, whose deaths leave deep loss in the hearts of their family and loved ones.

Kyle Arrington was shot by a former marine who thought he was talking bad about him in a facebook comment. Said comment could not be found, but the ex-marine did stop by to shoot Kyle Arrington.

Kyle struggled in the hospital for a month, but eventually succumbed to his injuries.

Jason Haley (5) was accidentally shot in the head by his 8-year-old friend. He was pronounced dead at 12:05 p.m. Monday, Denton police said. Haley was shot with a .22-caliber rifle inside a bedroom at the home. Obituary:


Jerrica Johnson appeared to have been shot in the hip. Her six-year-old daughter was in the next room, according to the police report.


Many more at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Gun-Death-Tally-Faces-of-the-Dead/552514904768968

July 28, 2013

Colorblind Ideology is a Form of Racism

Interesting article and it's worth reading the whole thing. I chose four paragraphs that get at the crux of the argument. It shows the idea that we can do away with racism by ignoring it is false.

What is racial colorblindness?

Racial issues are often uncomfortable to discuss and rife with stress and controversy. Many ideas have been advanced to address this sore spot in the American psyche. Currently, the most pervasive approach is known as colorblindness. Colorblindness is the racial ideology that posits the best way to end discrimination is by treating individuals as equally as possible, without regard to race, culture, or ethnicity.
. . .

Racism? Strong words, yes, but let's look the issue straight in its partially unseeing eye. In a colorblind society, White people, who are unlikely to experience disadvantages due to race, can effectively ignore racism in American life, justify the current social order, and feel more comfortable with their relatively privileged standing in society (Fryberg, 2010). Most minorities, however, who regularly encounter difficulties due to race, experience colorblind ideologies quite differently. Colorblindness creates a society that denies their negative racial experiences, rejects their cultural heritage, and invalidates their unique perspectives.

Let's break it down into simple terms: Color-Blind = "People of color — we don't see you (at least not that bad ‘colored' part)." As a person of color, I like who I am, and I don't want any aspect of that to be unseen or invisible. The need for colorblindness implies there is something shameful about the way God made me and the culture I was born into that we shouldn't talk about. Thus, colorblindness has helped make race into a taboo topic that polite people cannot openly discuss. And if you can't talk about it, you can't understand it, much less fix the racial problems that plague our society. . . .

The alternative to colorblindness is multiculturalism, an ideology that acknowledges, highlights, and celebrates ethnoracial differences. It recognizes that each tradition has something valuable to offer. It is not afraid to see how others have suffered as a result of racial conflict or differences.

July 27, 2013

You're complaining about Nukes and fear?

Seems a contradiction. You are constantly saying guns are nothing more than inanimate objects and that they don't kill. The ill will in people's hearts kill.
We're supposed to find a cure for the darkness in people's hearts while making sure they have every lethal weapon they can possibly stockpile. (Why anyone who doesn't have ill intent even wants weapons like assault rifles, you of course never contemplate). You again make that very point in this thread, but someone nukes are different. The fact is nukes also require someone to set them off. By your argument, it is entirely illogical to worry about nukes, chemical or biological weapons, or any WMD, since they are merely inanimate objects. So much for ideological consistency.

Your entire argument lacks coherence. You complain that society cultivates fear, when in fact the greatest fear is perpetrated by pro-gun elements. The NRA and their lackeys deliberately cultivate fear of black criminals, of home invaders, of attackers in the shadows who can only be combated with scores of expensive weaponry. Most of us aren't afraid of our fellow citizens. Normal people don't go around in fear. They don't give much thought to terrorists, and know that their chances of being hit by a terrorist attack pale in comparison to being shot by a killer with a gun. In fact, we Americans have a higher homicide rate than do Palestinians in the West Bank living under Israel occupation. Such is life in the world's foremost gun culture. Even considering the US's disproportionately high homicide rate, most of us don't go around in fear. That falls to paranoids too terrified to go to the grocery store or coffee shop without a gun. All you have to do is read posts by gun proponents to realize that they exist in a constant state of fear that simply does not occur to rational human beings.

You insist we have no business being afraid of loaded, lethal weapons, yet have never once suggested to a gunner that he doesn't need to be fearful of physical attack from an unarmed assailant. Again, ideological consistency doesn't seem to matter. How bizarre that you would insist it is irrational to be afraid of a gun but not an unarmed teenager.

Tying to use "shooting deaths to pimp an agenda,"an agenda of human life over guns, killing, and corporate profits: Yep, count me guilty. I care much more about the lives of innocent victims that guns. I always will. Naturally you would suppress all notice of crime and gun violence to ensure no one question the sanctity of guns above all else. How morally corrupt of us "pimps" to actually care about human life. We should aspire to disdain our fellow citizens, to see them as only potential assailants or targets, just as the gun lobby teaches. How dare we care about innocent children and adults killed by gun totters, while their apologists work relentlessly to insist discussing such crimes is unacceptable.

I, and many like me, simply do not have the coldness of heart necessary to become what you think is acceptable. I will not refuse to care about human life because you find it inconvenient. Many of us remain human beings committed to social justice and human rights over the machinery of death and corporate profits. That is what being a socially conscious, morally responsible human being is about.

July 23, 2013

Stop pretending racism is confined to Florida

I find it astounding that people have decided that Florida alone is responsible for the kind of racism in the American judicial system evident in the Zimmerman case. There is a bizarre myopia happening where too many want to imagine that the factors that led to Trayvon Martin's death and George Zimmerman's acquittal can all be blamed on Florida alone. Racial profiling, gun proliferation, Stand Your Ground laws, and racism in the judicial system exist throughout the country. Black males are pathologized from Alaska to Rhode Island, from California to Minnesota--in each and every one of these United States.

The focus on Florida is an effort to externalize racism, to pretend it is the product of a limited, other location. The fact is racism is all around us. Black men are profiled and killed in every state in this country, and their killers too often get off because many Americans consciously or unconsciously view African Americans as worth less than whites. This is as much about our own towns, cities, and states as it is Florida. If Florida fell off the map tomorrow, we would continue to have more Trayvon Martins and George Zimmermans. Stop looking for easy scapegoats. Racism, gun violence, and unequal justice exist in all of our communities. Pretending otherwise ignores just how serious inequality and injustice really are.

July 18, 2013

Breastfeeding Mother Stunned by Note on Receipt

I love that the Pizza place is called Fong's.

A breastfeeding mother at a pizza restaurant got the surprise of her life when she received a free pizza and a kind note on her receipt from a waitress.

Jackie Johnson-Smith, 33, a stay-at-home mother from Ankeny, Iowa was celebrating her 33rd birthday on Sunday at Fong’s Pizza in Des Moines with her husband and their three kids, ages 4, 3, and 12 months, when her youngest started fussing. “I usually don’t go downtown for dinner because lots of places aren’t family-friendly but I had heard good things about Fong’s,” Johnson-Smith told Yahoo! Shine. “It was chaotic—I had one kid licking the honey container on the table, another standing on his chair, and my baby was fussing.”

So Johnson-Smith threw on a nursing cover and began discreetly breastfeeding her 12-month-old. “I usually don’t like to breastfeed in public because people can be judgmental,” she says. “The waitress kept walking by, and I was worried she didn’t want me nursing in the restaurant.” Eventually, worried that her baby would continue crying, Johnson-Smith left the restaurant and finished nursing in the car.

Shortly after, Johnson-Smith’s husband walked out with a huge smile on his face. “He handed me the dinner receipt and at first I was confused—why is he showing me how much my birthday dinner cost?” said Johnson-Smith. To her surprise, there was a handwritten note on the paper: ‘I bought one of your pizzas. Please thank your wife for breastfeeding!’

July 18, 2013

No need

I just like to keep track of all the examples that expose the lie of the law abiding gun owner.

July 17, 2013

One-eyed justice bound by race.

I came across this image that I think captures well the nature of the American Justice system. Justice is not blind. Racism permeates all aspects of the justice system, from sentencing guidelines (crack vs. rock cocaine) to the death penalty. Putting Trayvon Martin on trial for his own murder is just the latest chapter in the racist application of "justice." Our society treats black manhood as pathology. The notion that a black male could be in fear rather than threaten others seems inconceivable to many like juror B37.

Black women, for their part, can also be pathologized. The jury took only 12 minutes to find Marissa Alexander guilty.

July 15, 2013

Searching for Blame

I've observed an impulse to find explanations for Zimmerman's acquittal by placing blame on the jurors, judge, prosecutors, the omission of a single jury instruction, or another single factor. While it's natural to seek answers for something that seems so unjust, I believe the explanation is not nearly so simple as the jurors being scumbags or that the judge set Zimmerman free through the omission of a jury instruction. A series of factors led to Trayvon's murder and Zimmerman's acquittal, foremost among them the racism that pervades American society. The problem is not simply that Zimmerman was motivated by irrational fear of African American males, but that American culture teaches all of us that black men are dangerous. We are imbued with such cultural messages through the media from an early age, and we must work to overcome them. There is no question Zimmerman singled out Trayvon for suspicion because he was African American, but the influence of racism did not stop there. The police didn't arrest Zimmerman because they too share the image of the dangerous black male. Race likely played a role in the jurors's perceptions that Zimmerman had reason to fear Trayvon, and race has certainly framed the public reaction to this event. Other factors, however, also played a role. Gun culture encouraged Zimmerman to carry a gun with him as he did his neighborhood watch. The spread of shall issue concealed carry and Stand Your Ground laws influence the actions of gun owners who are empowered by laws that allow them to "defend" themselves even when they are the first aggressor. While Zimmerman's lawyers didn't invoke SYG in his defense, the law is a central part of contemporary gun culture and emboldens concealed carry holders in acting aggressively.

The blame for Zimmerman's acquittal can't be placed on the judge, the jury, or any other single factor. Trayvon's murder and Zimmerman's acquittal is a product of an American society characterized by racism and gun proliferation. Ours is a society where gun culture emboldens gun carriers to act out on racial fears, even and especially when they are not aware of how ideas of race influence their actions. Race prompts police to place blame on African Americans and excuse whites or non-blacks who act with lethal force in response to imagined threats posed by the image of the black criminal that looms in their minds more than in reality. To allocate blame for the death of Trayvon and the acquittal of Zimmerman, we must examine our own role in perpetuating racial stereotypes and how we contribute to a predatory gun culture. Blame does not lie with one individual or a group of people. It resides in all of us--in the fabric of American society.

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