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once you start to notice these little turns of phrase you literally can’t unsee them 

'protests turn violent'

'clashes with police'

'violence breaks out'

'rocked by blasts', when referring to gaza bombing 

all the nice vague statements that carefully avoid mentioning an actor, because it sounds worse if you do. this violence just spontaneously started happening, it’s crazy!!!!

i’m really tired of it


This is important. Vague and passive phrasing removes culpability. As is too often intended.

(Source: ursorum)

Police defend tactics during Michael Brown unrest


"Very urban areas"? Ferguson is a fucking suburb, population 21,000. 

Translation: “Military equipment is sometimes necessary to patrol very black areas.”

Charges Dropped Against St. Paul Man Who Was Charged With Sitting While Black



Charges Dropped Against St. Paul Man Who Was Charged With Sitting While Black

Here’s the thing, right? If that was a white man (or woman) sitting there, someone would have approached them and said, “Excuse me, sir, you can’t sit there. That’s for employees only.” And then they would have directed them to a place where they were allowed to sit. But because he was black, the security guard simply assumed he was too dangerous to have a simple conversation with. So he called the cops, and it all went downhill from there. Is this that “Minnesota nice” people keep telling me about?

What the hell is wrong with people?

Christopher Lollie, 28, said he was waiting to pick up his two year-old and four year-old children from New Horizon Academy’s daycare around 9:43 a.m. on Jan. 31, when a security guard from the First National Bank building asked him to leave the area where he was sitting. The guard then called the St. Paul Police Department when Lollie refused to do so, he said.

read more

The video is so very disturbing in that the police are the ones who drove the escalation. Somehow they are trained that is the only method to resolve a situation? For fucks sake…. fire the fuck all of them.

Journalist Gary Webb unearthed the CIA’s dual imperial role in the “War on Drugs.” In his 1996 investigation, Webb found that cocaine was being smuggled into the US and sold in Los Angeles by Contra terrorists fighting a US proxy war against Nicaragua’s Sandinista movement. The smuggled cocaine was sold in its crack form and intentionally distributed in the Black community to provide justification for rampant policing and imprisonment, including the mandatory 100 to 1 difference between crack powder cocaine prison sentences. Profits from the US sponsored drug trade were funneled back to the Contras to help pay for arms from US coffers.​ Both on the domestic and international front, Webb’s findings revealed that the US imperial “War on Drugs” was a dual war on the Black community and the oppressed peoples of the world.
The Road to Ferguson and the Necessity of Anti-Imperialist Spirit (via azspot)

This is why my father-in-law, a staunch Republican, still calls Ronald Reagan the worst and most dishonest president we have ever had.

Because not only is this true, it went straight to the top.

The ostensible purpose of the drug sales (and the also-illegal Iranian weapons sales) was to raise money. Money to arm killers in Nicaragua.. Money that Congress refused to spend.

The Congress’s constitutional role is spending. The executive does not have that power. So they invented a way. A destructive, deadly way. So not only was this an attack on American citizens, it was a subversion of the constitution.

When the CIA’s drug plane crashed, the NYT and WaPo both had stories on it ready to go, and pulled them at the request of the White House. The story still ran in some of the tabloid weeklies and primarily black community newspapers. But as is still true, if NYT and WaPo won’t run a story, most others either avoid it or won’t follow up on their own reporting. A national story generally can’t get traction in mainstream news (network, AP, etc) without the endorsement of those two papers.

Never forget that dishonesty is the price our top news orgs are still eager to pay in order to maintain official access.

Harper Tories: 'Media Elite' Mobilizing Against Us



The GOP in the states has been blaming the “liberal” media for conspiring against them for years, and now it look like the HarperCon’s are doing the same thing.

More and more in Canada, politics is looking more like that of our southern neighbours.  And it’s not just the Conservatives who do this.  The NDP have been using former Obama campaign workers as well.

But if you needed any clarification has to where this move is coming from, I can almost promise you it’s from a Republican playbook.

Pro-tip to Harper and his government: If you don’t want to be painted negatively by the press, address the concerns of the public and the press. Govern competently and in the best interests of your population and people will love you.

Praise is given where it is due.

Pro-tip to Harper: If you keep it up, you can push the media to the right. It works in the US.

Journalist Max Blumenthal believes that examples such as these are only the tip of the iceberg. What he calls the ‘Israelification’ of American policing came into full view with attacks on Occupy Wall Street movement protesters in 2011, but, he asserts, it has taken place ‘at every level of law enforcement, and in areas that have yet to be exposed. The phenomenon has been documented in bits and pieces, through occasional news reports that typically highlight Israel’s national security prowess without examining the problematic nature of working with a country accused of grave human rights abuses’ or the quality of what is being sold. Also unexamined is the fact that ‘former Israeli military officers have been hired to spearhead security operations at American airports and suburban shopping malls, leading to a wave of disturbing incidents of racial profiling, intimidation, and FBI interrogations of innocent, unsuspecting people.’
Ali Abunimah (via readyokaygo)
Why have 20 states refused to take part in Medicaid expansion? It’s not because of how the Affordable Care Act was written. All states currently participate in Medicaid—it is a good deal for a state to do so. The ACA changed Medicaid. But John Roberts rewrote the law from his post on the Supreme Court to give states the option of (a) simply continuing with Medicaid-as-it-exists-in-2013 in addition to the options of (b) participating in Medicaid-as-it-exists-in-2014 and (c) dropping Medicaid entirely. When John Roberts rewrote the ACA from the bench, he did so very badly. The expansion of Medicaid meant that a great many people who used to show up at safety-net hospitals without any insurance at all will now be covered by Medicaid, so the rationale for the Disproportionate Share Payments to safety-net hospitals that treat the uninsured will go away, hence the ACA eliminates the no longer-needed DSP. But in states in which Medicaid isn’t expanded, the need for the DSP remains. When Roberts rewrote the law, did he rewrite the law so that the DSP remains for states that do not accept Medicaid expansion? No. Will safety-net hospitals in non-expanding states close as a result? Some of them, probably, without some other emergency fix.
Reading Reihan Salam’s “Why I signed up for Obamacare”: The Honest Broker for the Week of May 10, 2014 (DeLong: Long Form)

"Limited rulings"

Also known as “dramatically rewriting specific laws to align with my political philosophy.”


Caught On Tape: Fla. Cop Threatens To ‘Put A Round’ In Black Men During Traffic Stop | News One

Within the last two months, Eric Garner, 43, unarmed, was killed on July 17 by NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo who placed him in an illegal chokehold while questioning him for allegedly selling untaxed cigarettes; John Crawford, 22, unarmed, was shot and killed on August 5 by two Ohio police officers, David Darkow and Sean Williams, in Walmart after he was spotted holding a toy rifle; 18-year-old Mike Brown, unarmed, was gunned down by Ferguson, Missouri police officer Darren Wilson while walking with a friend in his neighborhood; and Ezell Ford, 24, who was also unarmed, was shot and killed by unnamed officers in the LAPD on August 12.

In the wake of these tragic events and renewed intense conversations surrounding police brutality against Black men, a video  of police in Boynton Beach, Florida threatening to “put a round” through four Black men during a routine traffic stop has emerged and begun making the rounds on social media.

One of the occupants in the video records the interaction, even after the officer tells him to stop, to which he responds:

No, I have rights. I’m not intimidated. I have rights.

Sir, I’m recording your ass. What the f*ck you going to do?

B**ch, you’re on camera. What the f*cks wrong with you. Stupid ass cracker.

The driver of the car repeatedly asks the officer who stopped them for his badge number. The officer provides his name, but not the number, prompting the driver to attempt to take a picture of his badge. The officer slaps the phone out of his hand, pulls him from the car and places him face down on the ground.

That’s when another officer, presumably his partner or back-up rushes to the window, gun drawn, and says:

“I’ll put a round in your ass so quick,” with his weapon threw the window pointed directly at the men.

(Watch the Video Here) (Photo Credit: AmericaWakieWakie)



"She doesn’t look American": Coca Cola & Re-Branding White Supremacy | AmericaWakieWakie

February 5, 2014 

From his lips came the numbing question, “What are you?” I am human, I thought keeping quiet. He pressed onward, “No, I mean what is in you?” as if my insides varied so remarkably from his. “Are you mixed?” My lips are full. Tan skin. Dark curled hair. Brown eyes. I am half Latino. Standing in silence I peeked around him. He was bigger than me, older. The body in front of me stooped, his head titled level to mine. Curiosity left his throat as condescending bass began drumming my ears. He repeated his question, louder — “What are you?”

Growing up in Mississippi’s rural countryside these questions became coldly mechanical. Little surprise then yesterday during Coca Cola’s now controversial exercise in multiculturalism, as a Muslim woman came on screen, did I hear the inbred cousin of “What are you” — aka, “She doesn’t look American.” Both, the question asked of me and the assumption made about this woman, at their core say something else more sinister than the words actually muttered.

With bravado they say: You are not White.  

Such reminders to black and brown people in America have been a constant thread throughout our history. Yet, yesterday’s Coca Cola advert, what amounted to black and brown faces singing ‘America the Beautiful’ in native tongue, and the uproar thereafter, offers a unique lens into understanding how embedded racism truly is within our culture, even if in gross irony. In essence, literally, before us is the depth and ubiquity of America’s white supremacy.

White Supremacy is American as Apple Pie

Let’s be clear: The only reason folks — white people — are being overtly racist in the wake of Coca Cola’s commercial is because the normalized, yet often unarticulated, conception of white supremacy is almost always white. This culture of whiteness derives from itself the racial identities of its participants, its history and mythology, how they operate in the world, and perhaps most of all, it is by this process of normalization that white supremacy finds itself purposefully the dominant cultural phenomenon in America, dictating too the identities of all Others in proximity to it.

Speaking in 1965 on the ubiquity of whiteness, before a packed Cambridge debate, James Baldwin unleashed the fullness of his lived experience:

 “In the case of the American Negro, from the moment you are born every stick and stone, every face, is white. Since you have not yet seen a mirror, you suppose you are, too. It comes as a great shock around the age of 5, 6, or 7 to discover that the flag to which you have pledged allegiance, along with everybody else, has not pledged allegiance to you. It comes as a great shock to see Gary Cooper killing off the Indians, and although you are rooting for Gary Cooper, that the Indians are you.”

Not much has changed. When Coca Cola aired its commercial, black and brown Americans quickly got thousands, if not millions, of reminders that as people of color, we, like Baldwin realized, are not Gary Cooper — that, therefore, we are not constitutive elements of American culture. Visiting Twitter after the game, the visibility of white supremacy repeated itself ad nauseum:

(Photo Credit: Public Shaming @ Tumblr)

The Irony: Racists Are Offended the Ad’s Racism Wasn’t Racist Enough  

Coca Cola’s commercials, like the one aired at the Super Bowl, are propagandized rhetoric, a mouthpiece peddling systemized oppression as liberation. The racist backlash from Coca Cola’s advertisement, therefore, stems from a branding OF white supremacy which deviates from the white-only narrative. 

Building from the picture Baldwin illustrated, sheets of white opacity blanket us daily whereby, for white Americans, any skirmish away from a white dominated narrative — in this case manifested through media — is an abrupt disjoint in reality. Such an inability, or unwillingness, to deviate from the world of white supremacy speaks to a sort of normalcy that has become, in its subserviating power over individuals’ minds, totalitarian. And like all totalitarianism, a system of constant propaganda is needed to keep people in lockstep.

This is called television.

In 2006 the study Out of The Picture: Minority & Female TV Station Ownership in the United States highlighted the racial disparity, and white supremacy, of American television by analyzing the current status and the effects of FCC policy and media consolidation. Findings were as follows:

  • Minorities comprise 33 percent of the entire U.S. population, but own a total of only 44 stations, or 3.26 percent of all stations.
  • Hispanics or Latinos comprise 14 percent of the entire U.S. population, but only own a total of 15 stations, or 1.11 percent of all stations.
  • Blacks or African Americans comprise 13 percent of the entire U.S. population but only own a total of 18 stations, or 1.3 percent of all stations.
  • Asians comprise 4 percent of the entire U.S. population but only own a total of 6 stations, or 0.44 percent of all stations.

Couple these disparities with the fact that black and brown people in mainstream television often are depicted either as an afterthought, or pandering to racist stereotypes of laziness, self-destructiveness, violence, criminality, and disposability, the paradigm of white conceptions of people of color becomes grossly perverted and hostile. Thus, from within this world looking outward — even in a commercial depicting people of color as the human beings we are —  it registers least of all to the white supremacist that the legal, economic, political, educational, religious, and cultural practices of all Americans might not be those of white Americans.

Economic Imperialism Re-Branded With Black & Brown Faces

"In Guatemala, Coca Cola is a name for murder." 

— Israel Marquez, General Secretary of STEGAC (1979)

Knowing the racial disparities within our culture’s television and the institutions thereof, isn’t Coca Cola just being a good corporate citizen by challenging the white supremacist’s narrative of who ought to or could be considered American? At face value this commercial does seem as if Coca Cola is ‘leading the charge’ toward a post-racial America, but as usual if we use common sense we know corporations are rarely if ever altruistic.

Coca Cola is using the same institutions of white supremacy it has always used to increase market share locally and globally by re-branding its product with black and brown faces, a brand of multiculturalism that to the American mind – especially the white American mind — erases the longstanding history of corporate sponsored repression throughout the world.    

Guatemala has been victim to such erasure. The world’s largest beverage supplier has been bottling in the Central American nation since 1939 through franchise contracts and affiliates, one of which was Embotelladora Guatemalteca S.A., or EGSA (owned by the Flemings, a North American family from Texas). Post the United States backed coup in 1954, Guatemalan unions had been crushed. Union representation plummeted from 27% of the working population to 2%. In this backdrop the Flemings hired John C. Trotter as company President, a feverishly anti-union anti-communist. In the years from 68’ to 87’, under Trotter’s watch EGSA unionists and their families would be marred with intimidation, constant attempts to impede workers’ collaborations, beatings, rape, kidnapping, and murder.

A booklet titled Soft Drink, Hard Labour published in 1987 by the Latin America Bureau in London, England documented the 1979 casualties between April and July as “an avalanche of killings” where at least 32 EGSA associates are beaten, 4 are kidnapped and disappear, 31 are fired, 4 wounded by gunshot, a daughter of a union lawyer is raped and tortured, and 8 are murdered. In the case of Arnulfo Gomez Segura, his lips were slashed with a razor; his tongue cut from his mouth and placed in his shirt pocket. 

Per the usual corporate scapegoat, Coca Cola maintained that it had no responsibility for its affiliates’ actions. But as a campaign to boycott the Atlanta retailer wrote:

By allowing EGSA to use your trade mark, to act as your representative in Guatemala and by deriving financial benefits from your agreement with this company, you have committed your company’s image and interest. If your license holder is seen to be directly responsible for murders and other acts of violence, threats and intimidation committed against the members of the union representing the employees of EGSA, continuing cooperation between your company and this license holder constitutes complicity.”

The multinational corporation has not learned its lesson either. reported: 

“International Rights Advocates, a non-profit human rights organization, and the Conrad and Scherer law firm filed a new civil lawsuit against The Coca-Cola Company. The case was first filed in the State Supreme Court in New York on February 25, 2010, and in April it was moved to the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of New York (Case # 10-CIV-03120).

The case involves a campaign of violence that includes rape, attempted murder and murder against two Guatemalan trade unionists and their families. The two trade unionists are Jose Armando Palacios, who was forced to flee to the U.S. in early 2006, and Jose Alberto Vicente Chavez, whose son and nephew were murdered and whose daughter was gang raped on March 1, 2008.”

An old euphemism tried and true says all there is to know of corporate motive — follow the money. In an interview with NPR, Jimmy Smith, Creative Director at TBWA/CHIAT/DAY, inadvertently — but impeccably — put it:

“[A]dvertisers… definitely… understand that more than just white America is buying their products. So they’re trying to reach all cultures and all races, whether it’s Latino, black, Asian or, you know, Native American. It doesn’t matter. They just see that as another opportunity to sell their product.”

With a shallow motive as unabridged profiteering upon the backs of black and brown laborers, Coca Cola is but an extension of America’s white supremacy and purveyor of its economic imperialism. The sort of exploitation in Guatemala has been documented elsewhere too, in China, Columbia, El Salvador, India, Kenya, Mexico, Pakistan, the Philippines, Tanzania, and Turkey.

A House Divided Can Never Stand: Fighting White Supremacy in Global Context

"The reality is even if we took every white person on Earth and put them on a space ship and sent them to outer space white supremacy wouldn’t miss a beat."

— Junot Diaz | Facing Race (2012)

I never answered that hulking kid in front of me. By the fourth school transfer I already knew 14 year old teens cared less about my racial identity than they did figuring out what made me separate. In no time my interrogator had conjured epithets for me — “beaner,” “nacho,” “wetback,” and the most inane, “the Arabian Night-man.”

Like most multiracial teenagers my “otherness” caused me insecurities. I bought a hair straightener so my hair would appear like the normalized styles around me, long, straight, 70s’ like. School pictures meant sucking in my lips. Dating, no thanks, I just stopped trying. Not until I was 17, away from my legal guardians, starting university, working full time and on my own did I realize never would my identity be founded in what others prescribed me as. I did not know it then, but I was starting to understand what it meant to reject white supremacy, what it meant to be a man of color, even if only partially, in a white supremacist world.

And I began to understand no matter my race I am capable of replicating through my actions and behavior the systemic oppression of white supremacy. In order for us to properly defend ourselves from oppression, we must first wholeheartedly break ourselves from it and support each other in our struggle against it no matter what face it is branded. It is through this lens that we come to understand that our liberation is bound up with the liberation of all oppressed peoples. We cannot separate.

Still one of the best things I’ve ever published on this blog. 

When I watch this video, I don’t see a car full of young men who are behaving in a manner consistent with fear of the police.

Boynton Beach Police Chief Jeffrey Katz in reference to a video where a car of young black men are stopped and harassed, one being pulled from the car and handcuffed, while the others sat under gunpoint. In the video the officer who drew his gun says, “I’ll put a fucking round in your ass so quick,” to one of the young men filming him. 

Clearly, if you do not instantly and totally comply with a police officer’s violation of your rights, if you do not fear the police… you have the right to be made to fear them. 

(via america-wakiewakie)

The police are quick to argue that their use of force is justified, but the real question is not whether something can be justified, but whether it is in fact good. For decades teachers beat children in schools. This was similarly justified, arguing that it was the only way to maintain order in the classroom. Now that the majority of states have passed laws against corporal punishment of children in school, teachers have found other much more effective ways of creating an atmosphere of respect and order without the use of violence. We seem to have learned that lesson with our kids, the lesson that what we once thought was violence “for your own good” was in fact damaging and counter-productive. We seem to have yet to learn that lesson with “good” violence when it comes to the police or guns.
Ferguson and America’s Love Affair with Violence (via azspot)

We allow this. In a modern democracy. For the same reason we don’t have background checks to stop murderers and terrorists from buying guns, or require people to report a lost or stolen gun, or stop people from buying a sniper rifle that can shoot someone from 10 football fields away.

We have allowed our culture to be manhandled by people who have purchased and repackaged our history. They don’t want you to know that as recently as the 1970s concealed carry in public was rare, and we took a similar stance on deadly weapons as many other similar countries. But then the NRA was taken over by a gun nut who had actually shot a kid dead in cold blood when he was younger. He brought with him the radicalized, right-wing mentality of a child, one that devalues human life and proclaims, as he did, that some dead people here, there, and everywhere is just “the price we pay for freedom.”

Cliff Schecter, "9-Year-Old With An Uzi? America Is Tougher On Toys Than Guns"
(via holygoddamnshitballs)
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