I believe that the world has now seen what we have been sweeping under the rug for many many years — thinking we were in a post-racial society. … I think that this catalyst shows the world, 1: that it’s a problem, a real problem, that exists in our country; 2: that white extremism should be classified as terrorism, and now that we attached the terrorism word to it, it will get more resources. It will be at the top of people’s minds.
What people need to understand is that since Sept. 11, more Americans have been killed on U.S. soil by white supremacists than by any other foreign or domestic group combined by a factor of two. Yet we don’t really talk about that, nor do we even call these instances, of the shooting at Charleston, S.C., or what happened at Oak Creek, Wis., at the Sikh temple or even what happened in Charlottesville this weekend — as terrorism.
The white nationalist riot in Charlottesville, a city that boasts “diversity makes us stronger,” made a lot of things clear. One of them is that generic solutions to the racial problem — bland affirmations of inclusiveness, tolerance and “free speech” — will no longer work. Indeed, they have never worked, at least not on their own. The problem of discrimination and equality in America has been far more dynamic, operating like an oversized historical game of paper-rock-scissors. And in such a game, throwing the same thing over and over again is never a good idea.
The white families sent their children to college with their home equities; they were able to take care of their parents in old age and not depend on their children. They’re able to bequeath wealth to their children. None of those advantages accrued to African-Americans, who for the most part were prohibited from buying homes in those suburbs.
I remember Bill O’Reilly arguing with Jon Stewart about how African Americans just need to make better choices to get ahead in the world. He grew up in Levittown.
Jordan Edwards spent his last moments in a car driven by his 16-year-old brother in a Dallas suburb. The teens in the car — Jordan, his two brothers and two friends — had no weapons, and they were not drunk. None of them has been charged with any crime.
At first, Balch Springs Police Department Chief Jonathan Haber claimed that one of his officers, later identified as Roy Oliver, fired at the teens’ car because it was backing down the street in an “aggressive manner” toward officers called to break up a teen party.
Hours later, the police chief walked that story back, saying body camera footage showed the car driving away when the officer raised his rifle and began shooting.
“After reviewing the video,” Haber said, “I don’t believe that (the shooting) met our core values.”
The Dallas County medical examiner has ruled Jordan’s death a homicide. Cause of death: gunshot wound to the head. The police officer has been fired. We await further news about what happens next.
Saturday, May 6 update
A police officer in a Dallas suburb was charged with murder on Friday, six days after he fired his rifle into a car full of teenagers leaving a party, killing a black 15-year-old in the front passenger seat.
In early February, after the students won a local robotics challenge — a steppingstone to qualify for a state robotics championship — a couple of competitors from other schools were heard screaming, “You need to go back to Mexico!”
In the summer of 1949, a 17-year-old white girl named Norma Padgett accused four black men of kidnapping her from a dark road in central Florida and then, in the back seat of their car, taking turns raping her.
Within days of Padgett's accusations, three black men from the city of Groveland were in jail and a fourth, Ernest Thomas, was dead, shot and killed by an angry mob — led by [Sheriff] McCall — who had chased him 200 miles into the Panhandle. In Groveland, black-owned homes were shot up and burned, sparking chaos so intense the governor eventually sent in the National Guard.
Based on little evidence, a jury quickly convicted the living three.
Charles Greenlee, just 16 at the time, was sent to prison for life.
Samuel Shepherd and Walter Irvin, friends and Army veterans, were sentenced to death, but the U.S. Supreme Court later overturned their convictions and ordered a retrial. Before that could happen, though, McCall shot them both. Shepherd died at the scene, but Irvin — who played dead — survived, and his sentence was later commuted to life in prison.
Some decades later…
Fear gripped the small town of Denison, Tex., after 18-year-old Breana Harmon Talbott burst into a church on a Wednesday night, bleeding and wearing only a shirt, bra and underwear. She said that three black men in ski masks had kidnapped her.
On Wednesday, nearly two weeks after Talbott burst into the church, police said called her story a “hoax” and the allegations deemed “officially UNFOUNDED.” In a statement, the police chief admonished Talbott for the turmoil she caused in the community and for making offensive claims about African Americans.
“The so-called victim in the case confessed to the hoax last evening (March 21) to a member of the investigative team working the case,” read a news release by the Denison Police Chief Jay Burch. “Talbott’s hoax was also insulting to our community and especially offensive to the African-American community due to her description of the so-called suspects in her hoax.”
Trump said at the meeting that he has yet to attack Flake hard but threatened to begin doing so. Flake stood up to Trump by urging him to stop attacking Mexicans. Trump predicted that Flake would lose his reelection, at which point Flake informed Trump that he was not on the ballot this year, the sources said.
Several lawmakers said questions were raised about derogatory comments Trump has made about minorities and women, as well as his inability to stay on message.
Trump dismissed the issue and insisted he has great support from Hispanics, Dent said.
Sounds about right.
But the durability of Trump's appeal creates a conundrum for many Republicans. For decades, some of us have argued that the liberal stereotype of Republicans as extreme, dim and intolerant is inaccurate and unfair. But here is a candidate for president who fully embodies the liberal stereotype of Republicans — who thinks this is the way a conservative should sound — and has found support from a committed plurality of the party.
You built that.
Trump has also exposed another, equally deep insecurity among right-wing intellectuals: the fear that their movement appeals to rubes.
It must be hard seeing your decades of denial that your party appeals to ignorance exposed as wishful thinking.
In a new poll released by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) on Tuesday, a whopping 43 percent of Americans told researchers that discrimination against whites has become as large a problem as discrimination against blacks and other minority groups.