Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Seeds of Mistrust...

"I understand that mistrust," Holder said. "I am the attorney general of the United States. But I am also a black man." The attorney general then described how he was stopped twice on the New Jersey Turnpike and accused of speeding. Police searched his car, going through the trunk and looking under the seats.

"I remember how humiliating that was and how angry I was and the impact it had on me," Holder said.

Holder also described how once, while living in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, he was running to catch a movie with his cousin when a squad car rolled up and flashed its lights at the pair. The officer yelled, "Where are you going? Hold it!" Holder recalled.

His cousin "started mouthing off," and Holder urged him to be quiet.

"We negotiate the whole thing, and we walk to our movie. At the time that he stopped me, I was a federal prosecutor. I wasn't a kid," he said.

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

Attorney General Eric Holder gets his share of flak, often earned. But anyone who is reasonable and rational will understand why the above, taken from FOX News, speaks volumes.

People, regardless of race, ethnicity, or culture are shaped by the realities of their life. For anyone to deny or question that people are affected by circumstances as described above, particularly and especially when such circumstances are pervasive is to deny reason. Yet many continue to do so.

Until America looks at both its past and present acknowledging it's lumps, bumps, and scars we will continue to experience circumstances like Ferguson. But then I guess that's no surprize to anyone. Recognizing what it will take to truly clam the waters of racial tension, well, that is something a bit more difficult for many.

Entire article HERE.

Via: Memeorandum


  1. A new couple moved in next door to me a couple of years ago; two women. We spoke to each other and had conversations from time to time. I have lived in my home for 25 years and I have had my share of new neighbors.

    One weekend I was out in the yard and I heard a blood curdling scream come from next door and I ran over to be met by one woman who had just found her partner sprawled out in the bedroom they shared from an attempted suicide.

    I attempted to calm her down and got her to call 911. The police came (one policeman) and the ambulance came. Once the policeman realized he was dealing with a lesbian couple he became very unprofessional. The EMS team were very professional and quite understanding.

    I witnessed a policeman allow his personal animus to overcome his professionalism and it was quite disturbing; he was rude, vulgar and a total disgrace to his uniform.

    I took my neighbor to the hospital and was surprised, as she is not immediate family, when the hospital allowed her to join her partner in the emergency room and then once she was situated in a room she was afforded all the benefits of a spouse....

    I was PROUD of the hospital staff and the EMS as it is their job to "serve" not to judge. I realize that the hospital staff did not adhere to our state laws but I can forgive them that.

    A few days later I went down to the police department to file a complaint against the policeman.
    THAT was an eye opening experience to say the least.

    It took a year but the police department finally apologized to my next door neighbors and instituted additional training but the policeman in question was never disciplined.....

    If individual policemen can act with such animus and impunity toward two women, hard working, tax paying, home owning white women then I cannot imagine what it feels like to be a young black man....


  2. I'm sure these situations are more frequent than we would wish to believe. This is as sad as it is unfortunate.

    As much as attitudes have changed, and continue to change, it may take several more generations before as a society we treat all with equal respect.

    My father always lived by this creed... "The moment I meet a person for he first time they have my full respect. It rests with them to keep or lose it based on their actions."

  3. Tao you need to comment more often...

  4. Les, if only there were more people in this world like your father.

    My story: I have a son and a step son, a daughter and two step daughters. Of the five children, 4 of them dated African-Americans, two of them came close to marrying, but for various reasons, didn't work out. We got to know the people our children dated, and we got to know their parents. Each and every father of those kids had some horrendous story to tell about being stopped, harassed, bothered for either walking in a neighborhood, their own, BTW, or driving a car. And this was in liberal Massachusetts!!! So it's very apparent to me and those of us who listen to these stories how pervasive and deep racism is in this country. I live in the city in a diverse neighborhood, so I also hear these stories even today. It sickens me, but can you imagine how it must affect the people who face this all the time? I was never one of those who believed for one minute that having a bi-racial president would change anything. In fact I predicted things would get worse, and they have, it seems to me.

  5. Perhaps we need to reexamine the requirements, training, and management of our police forces. We are ending up with too many people who are not qualified to yield the power that the police have.

  6. So, if the prosecutor has to recuse himself because his father was murdered by a black man (some 50 years ago!!), shouldn't Holder be forced to do the same because of his much more experiences?

    1. Giving the benefit of the doubt and hoping for the best, Will, one hopes that Holder uses his past experiences to make sure to investigate all, and be open to everything, as opposed to narrowing his channel of thinking.

      However, my "hope for the best" is blunted some by Holder's past statements that his personal racism takes precedence over his oath of office to defend justice for all.


      "So, if the prosecutor has to recuse himself because his father was murdered by a black man (some 50 years ago!"

      I was not aware of this demand. This demand is itself racist, as it is yet another example equating black with criminal.

    2. You know me. I would have fired Holder long ago and put in a much more honest person like Jim Webb.

  7. The Long and Lingering Lie - "The American criminal justice system is racist." We hear it so frequently that most people assume the authenticity of it. Hell, I assumed that it was true myself - until, that is, I examined the evidence...................................................................a) "Our overall assessment of the available research suggests that factors other than racial discrimination in the sentencing process account for most of the disproportionate representation of black males in U.S. prisons.......No evidence exists of a widespread systematic pattern of discrimination in sentencing." The National Academy of Sciences 1983.............b) "Black incarceration rates for imprisonable crimes are substantially higher than those for whites because black crime rates are substantially higher than those for whites." (Liberal researcher) Michael Tonry, "Malign Neglect" 1995.............c) A Sampson/Lauritsen 1997 study likewise found that "large racial differences in criminal offending", not racism, was the major reason why more blacks were imprisoned more than whites and for longer terms.............d) A 1994 Justice Department survey of felony cases showed that blacks actually had a lower chance of prosecution (66% versus 69%) following a felony than whites did and hat they were also less likely to be found guilty at trial (75% versus 78%).............e) A 1996 analysis (Gerald Reynolds) of 55,000 big city felony cases showed that black defendants were actually convicted at a lower rate than whites in 12 of the 14 federally designated felony categories.............f) In 1993, criminologist Alfred Blumstein found that when comparing black arrests for homicide and the presence of blacks in prison for that offense, African-Americans were significantly underrepresented among incarcerated inmates.............g) A 1991 RAND Corporation study found that a defendant's ethnic and racial background bore little if any relationship to a criminal's conviction rate and that other factors such as evidence and the existence of an eyewitness were significantly more important.............h) As far as the charge that blacks are arrested disproportionately, that, too, has largely been repudiated. According to statistics from the National Crime Victimization Survey, the percentage of blacks that have been accused by the actual victims (a large percentage of who are black themselves!!!!!) of crimes is almost identical to their arrest rate. So, unless these victims are wholesale falsely accusing innocent black folks rather the real perpetrators (which makes absolutely zero sense) you really have to consider it legit.

  8. There are far too many anecdotal accounts of racial profiling, racial stereotyping, and harassment to ignore. One of the esteemed members of the Swash Zone community, a highly paid and highly accomplished lawyer who works for the North Carolina legislature, has recounted numerous such incidents. Whenever she shops in an upscale department store, there are always store security personnel shadowing her - assuming her to be a shoplifter. News accounts of a black athlete shopping in Barneys, an upscale clothing store in Manhattan - stopped and frisked. Any black teen walking the street - treated with fear and suspicion. It is easy to understand pent-up resentments within America's black communities, and a forthright discussion of these anecdotal accounts is necessary and consciousness-raising.

    1. "...and a forthright discussion of these anecdotal accounts is necessary and consciousness-raising"

      Of course, consciousness-raising only occurs in those open to it.

    2. I welcome that, Jerry, as I oppose all racism in all its forms.

    3. Everybody can cite examples of police acting barbarically. But that is not how science advances. It advances via analyzing aggregate data and all of the hard data here says that the criminal justice system, while it is certainly far from perfect, is not a racist system.

    4. And even on the profiling issue there are doubts. According to the Center for Constitutional Rights and the elite law firm of Covington and Burling, African-Americans in New York City commit 73% of all shootings but only comprised 53% of the stops (during New York's stop and frisk policy). Contrast this with Caucasians who commit 2.5% of all shootings and who comprised 9% of the stops. I mean, I know that the ideologues aren't necessarily interested in a fact-based analysis here but this data clearly shows that a) African-Americans were actually stopped at a rate that was LOWER than their violent crime rate, and b) Caucasians were actually stopped at a rate that was HIGHER than their violent crime rate....Doesn't fit the template for sure but at the very least it's interesting.

    5. Will, I checked into your CCR and Covington and Burling claim and I can't find a thing about the linkage between shootings and stop and frisk. Can you provide a link?


    7. - Heather MacDonald, one of the finest social science researchers in the country.

    8. Will, I think "Front Page Magazine" is too far gone to include. It is like that one "source" full of falsehoods that WD presented back when he was whining about the Republicans not rubber-stamping every single steaming pile Obama put in their laps.

    9. “ [B]lacks made up 53 percent of the stop subjects and were 66 percent of the violent crime suspects in 2011... For Hispanics, 34 percent were stop subjects and 26 percent were violent crime suspects.” – NYPD Spokesperson Paul Browne

      FACT: Comparing police stops to violent crime suspects is bad math. Only 11 percent of stops in 2011 were based on a description of a violent crime suspect. On the other hand, from 2002 to 2011, black and Latino residents made up close to 90 percent of people stopped, and about 88 percent of stops – more than 3.8 million – were of innocent New Yorkers. Even in neighborhoods that are predominantly white, black and Latino New Yorkers face the disproportionate brunt. For example, in 2011, Black and Latino New Yorkers made up 24 percent of the population in Park Slope, but 79 percent of stops. This, on its face, is discriminatory."

  9. dmarks said... However, my "hope for the best" is blunted some by Holder's past statements that his personal racism takes precedence over his oath of office to defend justice for all.

    dmarks, please provide reference to your statement, blunted some by Holder's past statements that his personal racism takes precedence over his oath of office... . a link to such statements by Atty General Holder would be perfect. If there are any, which I seriously doubt.

    Statements such as yours in this case serve to intentionally throw mud in the water with the hope that some people buy the line w/o any further research into the accuracy of the allegation.

  10. Refer to:

    Sorry, Les, pointing out a record of ill intent on his part sits does not "muddy the waters". Holder himself did this when he was obstructing justice on the situation of Black Panthers harassing voters. He said he was looking out for his people first and foremost. No swerving: it is valid, an in necessary to point out his racism on such matters in the past.

    I welcome further research into this. You implying that I do not has no basis.

    To an Attorney General who takes his or her oath seriously, all are "his people". To look out only for the interest of one preferred racial group, as he clearly has done, is reprehensible.

  11. Excerpt from linked article... The Attorney General seemed to take personal offense at a comment Culberson read in which former Democratic activist Bartle Bull called the incident the most serious act of voter intimidation he had witnessed in his career.

    "Think about that," Holder said. "When you compare what people endured in the South in the 60s to try to get the right to vote for African Americans, and to compare what people were subjected to there to what happened in Philadelphia—which was inappropriate, certainly that…to describe it in those terms I think does a great disservice to people who put their lives on the line, who risked all, for my people," said Holder, who is black.

    Holder noted that his late sister-in-law, Vivian Malone Jones, helped integrate the University of Alabama.

    "To compare that kind of courage, that kind of action, and to say that the Black Panther incident wrong thought it might be somehow is greater in magnitude or is of greater concern to us, historically, I think just flies in the face of history and the facts.," ...

    Putting Holder's comment in the context I and and an abundance of other people would there is no evidence to support allegations those on the reactionary right would like all to believe.

    I get what you are driving at. I also know that the biases Holder allow to get in the way are no worse than the bias you, I, and everyone else may allow to occasionally get in the way.

    Caucasians in America understanding the realities Holder and many others... including Doctor Martin Luther King Jr.... have spoke to will be paramount if we are to ever eradicate racial bigotry in the USA.

    To continue reading the linked article you can go HERE.

  12. The biases Holder holds have no place in an Attorney General. That is my point. I would hope that he is better than that now. That he has changed. I am more pessemistic than you, though. Not because of Holder's skin color, of course. But because maturing, improving among politicians is the exception rather than the rule.

  13. Funny thing about bias. It's always seem to be okay if it coincides with ones own biases.

  14. Has there been a recent AG zero bias from either party? If so please advise so I can research a bit. It would be fun.


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