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Sun Oct 25, 2015, 11:08 PM

plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

I'm reading Nixon by Rick Perlstein (2008). He discusses the riots that took place back when I was a little kid in the 60's. In every case, the riot was precipitated by an act of police violence. It also seems that in every case, the people killed were people living in the neighborhood shot by criminally careless police officers. It's notable that Mr. Perlstein documents many (most?) whites as complaining that black people had been given Civil Rights, what more did they want?

Sound familiar?

I don't know if police racism is inherent to the institution or merely reflects attitudes in wider white society. All I know is that it's been 50 years and things don't seem to be getting better. I'm sick and tired of this, and I speak from a position of white privilege.

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Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Sun Oct 25, 2015, 11:15 PM

1. It's probably all part of the oligarch's playbook. nt

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Response to valerief (Reply #1)

Sun Oct 25, 2015, 11:30 PM

5. Perlstein's thesis is that Nixon exploited reactions from some white people

to the riots in order to gain the Presidency - what others have called the Southern Strategy. (even though many white Nixon voters came from the North).

I'm reading this trying to figure out where all the white anger was coming from, and wondering if blue collar and low level white collar workers were starting to see their wages get frozen. It may have been masked by the inflation of the late 70's, but people can see what their paycheck bought last year vs what it buys this year. Manufacturing jobs started disappearing by 1970 as well.

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Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Sun Oct 25, 2015, 11:16 PM

2. Past sins cast long shadows

 

Imagine a perfectly non-racist white cop shooting by mistake a black person.

Some in the black community will always harbor a suspicion of racism.

And that suspicion is the tip of an iceberg of accumulated grievances.

The original sin of slavery and its consequence of lower socio-economic status more than one century later will keep spreading that cloud of suspicion for a long time to come, with no easy fix.

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Response to Yorktown (Reply #2)

Sun Oct 25, 2015, 11:24 PM

4. I don't think the problem is that POC are suspicious of police officers,

I think too many police officers are too focused on POC. People of all races get hassled, arrested and shot by police, but POC get a disproportionate amount of this mistreatment.

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Response to hedgehog (Reply #4)

Sun Oct 25, 2015, 11:34 PM

6. Well, it's part of the vicious cycle

 

POC on average are poorer than whites. Poverty is one of the main drivers leading to crime. So POC are statistically more prone to crime which leads to a skewed profiling.

Again, the long shadow of slavery -> lower socioeconomic category.

But, hopefully, it's more an upward spiral than a flat vicious circle.

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Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Sun Oct 25, 2015, 11:19 PM

3. society changes except for police. different social events, same responses nt

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Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Mon Oct 26, 2015, 01:16 AM

7. It's a power issue

They(the police and gov't) feel free to target vulnerable people, assuming(mostly correctly) that nothing will come if it.

The police in my area are better than most, but I've still heard stories of blatant profiling...and I'd never feel safe if they ever had an issue with me. I can't afford a decent lawyer, so I feel like I'm in the same boat with the PoCs who are being abused.

It's long past the time that we rolled this police brutality stuff back, but it's always been a political football, not a mass ground movement. Hopefully that is changing.

We're all in this together.

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Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Mon Oct 26, 2015, 02:21 AM

8. Mais oui! Sure seems that way, doesn't it? nt

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Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Mon Oct 26, 2015, 02:57 AM

9. I'm sick and tired of it too, hedgehog.

Most urban rebellions are triggered by police violence or some miscarriage of justice. Far too many ignore it or want to sweep it under the rug. We need radical reform of our criminal justice system.

How are you enjoying that book? I'm fascinated with that time period.

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Response to lovemydog (Reply #9)

Mon Oct 26, 2015, 12:28 PM

10. It's quite an eye opener - I was just a kid back then -

I never knew about some of the stuff going on. I had no idea opposition to the war in Vietnam was so strong so early. What's missing so far is any mention of women's liberation which must have caused a lot of unease in certain circles.

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Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Mon Oct 26, 2015, 01:34 PM

11. I lived through this era. Most of what has been written

in this thread is dead on. But I think we can link the attitude of the police further back than the 60s. Slave holders were very afraid of a slave uprising and Nat Turner gave it to them. In the end that rebellion only increased fear. It did not end slavery.

I would guess that if we had documentation we could continue to connect police action against black people all the way through Jim Crow to the lynchings and other violence against blacks. The attitude did not change.

By the 60s the black community had enough and it was just luck that students and thinking citizens who were protesting the Vietnam War and other things also had enough. Police riots as they were called because the police started them did not just happen to black people. Almost every non-violent protest of any kind ended up being a police riot. Think about Kent State.

I think one of the posters got to the bottom of the issue. Power. The police are the ones who maintain the power hold for TPTB. It is the City Counsel that hire the police and they do that to protect their businesses and homes from the minority that just happens to be in their area. They hire people who agree with them.

Then let us add the fear and hate that is preached from many pulpits and media sources and the scene is set for what we have happening today. The target is made visible. But it is more than the City Counsel that has caused police violence. It is the attitude of the police themselves. An attitude as far back as the beginnings of this country.

They share the fear even if they do not share the hate. They see themselves as the protectors of the ones who hired them. So they have the POWER. Anyone who threatens that power is the enemy.

If we do not bow down far enough to them then we are the enemy. When a young man does not immediately bow down he must be forced to. God forbid that he should turn and run because he is also afraid. If a young woman should dare ask why she is being arrested she is the enemy. She must be sent to jail for asking why. She is the enemy. If a mentally ill person should dare to act out and not listen he is the enemy. If a little boy plays with a toy gun in a park they do not even take the time to see what he is really doing. He is an enemy. A child.

In the 60s this power struggle also extended to the protesters of all colors. They were standing up to authority - power - and they were the enemy. Remember recently during the Occupy protests when the police gassed the blind girl as she stood in the fenced in cage they had put around the protesters? At that moment she was the enemy. We know she was not but police are not able to see the difference. They see anyone who even dares to question the actions of TPTB including the police as an enemy.

I have no answer regarding changing this but one thing I do know is it is wrong. Nothing will get fixed until TPTB realize that we are no longer in the slave era. Or then again are we?

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Response to jwirr (Reply #11)

Mon Oct 26, 2015, 02:00 PM

12. What is fascinating to me is how little things have changed

since the 60's despite all the apparent progress. Some of the riots triggered by police brutality then occurred days after Civil rights legislation was passed, and many whites reacted as if this proved African Americans were ungrateful and pushy.(Because you have to earn rights you know )Look back at some of the comments about recent riots and you'll hear the same thinking.

I find this history frightening because the author makes a case that Nixon exploited and amplified the fears of white people to obtain the Presidency. I think Reagen did the same thing when his turn came. Trump is no laughing matter as far as i am concerned.

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Response to hedgehog (Reply #12)

Mon Oct 26, 2015, 02:21 PM

13. The use of unfounded fear and hatred in campaigning is

definitely a R quality. But I suspect that it is just more blatant than it was in the past. I have always liven in white areas in the north and did not see that in campaigns back then but I think if I were to talk to someone from some of the southern states they could give me plenty of examples of race baiting being used to win an election.

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