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Leading off today’s weekly issue of Key West the Newspaper – www.thebluepaper.com:

Ferguson Flashpoint?

KKK S.W.A.T.

Could Key West Reach the Ferguson Flashpoint?

“Cartwright began yelling as loud as he could, and almost immediately a large crowd began forming around us […] Within minutes a crowd of at least 50 bystanders surrounded us and Det. Wormington called for additional Officers while I held down Cartwright.”

Police officers were arresting bad boy Ricky Cartwright who had ridden his bicycle through a stop sign while texting, allegedly with a beer in his hand.  They tased him in the back.  He was now screaming in pain in the middle of the road, attracting an angry crowd which, according to Officer Siracuse’s police report, kept “drawing closer and closer… despite numerous commands to stay back.”

No, this is not Ferguson, Missouri.  This is Bahama Village, Key West, May 9, 2014.  Officer Siracuse had just tased a black man on Emma Street and yes this is the same Officer Siracuse who three years ago tased Matthew Murphy into a coma. […full article]

I submitted this reader comment:

SLOAN BASHINSKY YOUR COMMENT IS AWAITING MODERATION.
AUGUST 22, 2014 AT 4:24 AM
Dang, Naja and Arnaud, are you two anti-business, anti-tourism? Are you trying to kill Key West’s economy? Key West is the next Ferguson? I sure hope not, but I was there Tuesday night, I heard Christine Russell’s comments, and I watched and heard Mayor Cates angrily dress her down.

I heard him say Key West is a great place to live, and there are 600 homeless children in the Keys, and there are lots of people working in charities trying to help people and children in need, and she should join some of those organizations and pitch in.

I heard Christine say from her seat, “He just doesn’t get it,” and I walked over to her and said, “He does not accept anything negative about Key West, it’s not in him.” She said, she knew that,but …

“The most disturbing thing is not that much the unnecessary brutality, but the fact that it appears to be systemic, with the City seemingly willing to rubberstamp, disguise, or cover-up what is occurring.”

The City, as in the Police Chief, who is hired by and answers to the City Manager, who is hired by and answers to the City Commission – the mayor and six city commissioners. The buck stops there; they set the tone, the policy.

Just as the City Commission officially made One Human Family the city’s official philosophy, by remaining silent, by doing nothing, in the face of the cries and outcries of the blue paper and its citizen witnesses, in the face of citizens like Christine Russell’s plea during Tuesday night’s city commission meeting, the mayor and city commissioners are setting a very different tone and official philosophy.

Imagine the impact on Key West’s economy, if the city has its own Ferguson event. As far as I know, Ferguson is not an international tourist destination. Key West is.

Back in 2003, a small Key West weekly journal, I think it was Celebrate, asked the mayor candidates what did they say should be done about the acute tension between the KWPD and Bahama Village? I replied that Bahama Village elders should decide which KW police come into Bahama Village.

The journal then reported, of the five candidates in that race, I was the only candidate who answered the question; the other candidates said they didn’t know what to do about Bahama Village and/or they didn’t want to touch the question.

The question, and the reasons for it, didn’t go away. My answer is the same today, as it was in 2003. Bahama Village elders should get to decide which KW police officers come into Bahama Village, and which officers do not get to go in there.

And, because the police issue is not limited to Bahama Village, the mayor and city commissioners, during a public workshop in Old City Hall, have a prayer meeting with Jesus and themselves, and with Jesus and City Manager Jim Scholl and Police Chief Donie Lee.

During which workshop, citizens have 3 minutes each to say whatever they wish to say about city police and those city officials in regard to city police. At the end of citizen comments, those named city officials each then have to respond to the citizen input; they do not get to remain silent.

Meanwhile,

Dennis Cooper

See also the  FOLLOWUP: BLUE WALL OF SILENCE  article by Dennis Reeves Cooper, above, the blue paper’s founder and publisher for many years, before he transferred it to Naja and Arnaud. In his article today, Dennis recounts Key West’s history of police troubles, including previous police chiefs being fired.

Beauty after the beast,

Christine Russell airfieldChristine RussellChristine RussellChristine Russell - Panama

Christine Russell

I bumped into Christine yesterday morning at Arnaud and Naja Girard’s home,

NajaArnaud Girard

Naja and Arnaud, above, publish the blue paper, but for which KWPD and Key West would get away with bad KWPD stuff without the public ever knowing about it.

Christine said we have a powder keg in Bahama Village; what’s going to happen if the Key West police are not reigned in? Bahama Village was settled many years ago by descendants of black Bahamian slaves and still is a mostly black section of Key West. I often have heard Bahama Village called Key West’s red-headed step child.

I said, Bahama Village needs to start raising hell; they need to come to city commission meetings and speak out. Christine said they have given up on doing that, and they have given up on being part of Key West’s social scene. I said I had to agree; they don’t attend Hometown PAC forums; they don’t mix much socially away from Bahama Village.

Christine said Bahama Village’s poor city commissioner, Clayton Lopez

clayton-lopez.jpgclayton-lopez.jpg

stays confused. I said Clayton doesn’t have any balls, he’s wishy-washy. He voted to give the city 4.4 acres of Bahama Village’s 6.6 acres of Truman Waterfront. He should have voted no, regardless. If the city goes to city-wide voting for its city commissioners, Bahama Village will be disenfranchised.

Mayor Cates wants city-wide voting for city commissioners; Margaret Romero wants it to stay the way it is; as do I. I  opposed city-wide voting for city commissioners years before I ever head of Margaret Romero and Craig Cates, because I felt Bahama Village would be disenfranchised.

I told Christine there is only one mayor candidate who has been going after, and if he is elected, will continue going after the KWPD – me. Mayor Cates and Margaret Romero like the KWPD just fine. If I’m not elected, then that tells me Key West is not concerned about its police force. And if she votes for one of them, that tells me she is not concerned about the police force or Bahama Village being a powder keg.

Christine again asked what happens if Bahama Village ignites? I said, then Bahama Village ignites. But why vote for Craig or Margaret? As mayor, I can pick up the phone and call US Attorney General Eric Holder, the FBI, the US Attorney. Mayor Cates and Margaret Romero won’t make that phone call. Christine paused, said she knows someone in the F.B.I. who might be interested in Key West’s police problem.

About then, Naja and Arnaud returned home and the four of us talked a while about all of that, and about the Charles Eimers Grand Jury.  After some what-ifs and hand-wringing and what happens if the Grand Jury comes back with a no-bill, what does Key West then do about its police?

I said it won’t surprise me if the Grand Jury comes back with a no bill. Then what do we do?, they asked.

I said, if I get elected, I will have far more influence than the blue paper. As mayor, I can broadcast at city commission meetings, and everywhere else, that people should stay away from Key West; it’s not safe, we have a rogue police department. Naja said the hotels and lodging industry, and other tourist-dependent industries will not like that; I will be killed. I thought, I should be so lucky.

I had not yet thought of a town hall meeting.

I had thought I first would air it out at a city commission meeting and say the KWPD will need to prove to me in a month’s time, that it has been born again. Failing which, I will start broadcasting that people should steer clear of Key West, unless they are willing to assume the risk of coming here and being killed, maimed and/or tasered into oblivion. As mayor, I must do everything I can to keep people from being injured by the city’s rogue police, and to keep Key West from being sued because of its rogue police.

But it goes deeper than that. The good cops, the hotels and lodging industry, and all other businesses in Key West, and the Chamber of Commerce, and the Tourist Development Council, and the churches and the charities, and everyone in the city should be pushing for the bad cops to be gotten rid of, so the good cops can do their jobs without having to provide the traditional cover for the bad cops.

Speaking of which …

Charles Eimer's take down

blue paper depiction of last moments of Charles Eimers’ life on South Beach last Thanksgiving Day

I told Naja, Arnaud and Christine that the angels had arranged for me to bump into Assistant State Attorney Mark Wilson in Jack Flats the previous night. Mark and Assistant State Attorney Val Winter are handling the Charles Eimers Grand Jury. Mark said he and Val have been there with the Grand Jury for every moment of it. Mark said all of the police officers involved (at least 13, I think) came before the Grand Jury. I told Mark, I knew he couldn’t respond, but I hoped he and Val are steering the Grand Jury to really look at the cover up. I said I told Mark that because I figured, if the Grand Jury only hears from the police officers involved, they will be set free. The cover up tell the true story; it says the police officers knew they did wrong and didn’t want anyone to find out about it. It’s one thing for cops to kill someone; it’s another thing altogether to for them then cover it up.

Eimers coverup

blue paper depiction of the beginning of the cover up

I said I also asked Mark if all the police officers who came before the Grand Jury each had their own lawyer, or did they all have the same lawyer? Mark said I knew he could not answer that question. I told him,  if any of the officers were pointing the finger at other officers, then the same lawyer could not represent them all, it would be a conflict of interest. Mark was mum, as he should be. He can talk about procedure, but not about the substance of what happens in the Grand Jury proceeding. I was hoping he would slip up, but he didn’t.

I told Naja, Arnaud and Christine that I was surprised Mark told me all the police officers came before the Grand Jury.

I said Mark also said the only way for what went on before the Grand Jury to be made public would be for a judge to order it made public – perhaps the federal judge in the civil rights lawsuit filed by the Eimers family in federal court might order the Grand Jury proceedings made public. If, I said, the federal judge doesn’t dismiss that case on Summary Judgment. Yes, Mark said. Also, he said a county judge also could order the Grand Jury proceedings made public. But it would have to be for a compelling reason. And, any person who went before the Grand Jury could say what he/she told the Grand Jury.

I said I didn’t have a great feeling after talking with Mark, but perhaps the Grand Jury will shake some trees hard.

Naja, Arnaud, Christine and I all agreed, the State Attorney pretty well can get a Grand Jury to do whatever the State Attorney wants a Grand Jury to do. If the State Attorney wants to get an indictment, or, a “true bill”, then the State Attorney presents the case to the Grand Jury so the Grand Jury returns an indictment. If the State Attorney does not want to get an indictment, then the case is presented to the Grand Jury so that it returns a “no bill”, no indictment. Mark Wilson and Val Winter are seasoned prosecutors. But I imagine they are taking orders from State Attorney Catherine Vogel, who has never impressed (understatement) me as a State Attorney.

Naja, Arnaud and Christine asked why the Grand Jury next meets, perhaps for the last time, next Wednesday, the day after the primary election? I said the State Attorney’s office doesn’t want the Grand Jury’s report to come out before the mayor election next Tuesday. They don’t want to hurt Mayor Cates and Margaret Romero, and don’t want me to gain votes from what the Grand Jury does. I said the very last thing they want to happen is for me to be elected, and it’s the very last thing I want to happen – laughter – but if I am elected, it’s going to be very different in the mayor’s office. More laughter.

I said, I knew early this year that something strange was going to happen in the mayor’s race, but I didn’t know what it was. I said I told Jenna Stauffer, when she interviewed me as a mayor candidate on her TV show a few months back, that most people would say homeless people were the hot political issue in Key West, but I saw the Charles Eimers case as the hot issue. That was before the blue paper broke even more Key West police brutality cases, and made the police department an even hotter issue.

I said the crushing defeat of last year’s bring in even bigger cruise ships and even more of the cruise ships already calling on Key West referendum was a really loud statement of how most people in Key West felt about cruise ships.  The blue paper made this year’s mayor’s race a referendum on the city’s police department, but compared to the cruise ship referendum, how strong public is public sentiment against the police department? We will find out on Tuesday.

Back to Ferguson, and to what seems to be missing there.

Martin Luther King

Dr. Martin Luther King

Shahdaroba Rodd, aka Hatman, formerly of Key West, now living in Jacksonville, wrote the day before yesterday:

Hatman

Reporting from the far north of FL is Hatman with this thought. I too don’t quite understand the African-American thing. If you stop to think about it, the people in question here shouldn’t even be called black Americans because although some are definitely BLACK, many and perhaps even most are as varied in coloring as a box of crayons. I’m pretty much staying in one of the darker areas of Jax and ride the buses every day so I see a lot of COLORED people. Now I know this harkens back to the days before integration, but their skin color is mostly NOT black. Do I think the terminology will ever come back? NO ! just a thought from an old white guy, who while not actually white (especially when I’ve been seriously tanning), is actually colored too. ;-)

I replied:

Hi, Rodd –

The way I look at it is, people who have what used to be called a Negro bloodline, perhaps very little pure Negro bloodline in the States now, still live with that in a predominantly white US, where white people traditionally have controlled most important positions, and still do. I don’t think there is any way a non-Negro can know what it’s like to be a Negro in America. I certainly don’t know, and I have had lots of close experiences with Negro people in Alabama and in the Caribbean, and to some extent in Key West. I think no white person has standing to judge how Negroes see life in America, just as Kurt Warner wrote the other day, I think no person who has not been homeless, and I mean really homeless, living on the street homeless, has standing to judge someone who lives on the street.

Negro Americans have a long and very different history than Anglo Americans, and even Spanish Americans. Negros did not come to America voluntarily is the difference between them and Anglo and Spanish Americans. That simply cannot be ignored, nor can be ignored the collective Negro experience passed down from slave times to the present. I don’t say that to justify race riots, or reverse KKK behavior by Negro Americans. That is not okay, like KKK behavior is not okay. But looking at this as I do, I can’t say I’m surprised, or shocked, that Negro Americans, I’m speaking in the main here, simply do not feel like they are on the same playing field as Anglo Americans, and they aren’t.

I heard just today from someone that Naja Girard is sitting on considerably more than she hit School Board member John Dick with at Monday night’s candidate forum. I heard, and had heard before, that there is a pattern of Anglo discrimination in the Key West school administrations against Negro children, and perhaps the blue paper will go into that further. I’d heard for years that Bahama Village grade school children were being bused around city schools to Gerald Adams on Stock Island. I can’t imagine Naja telling John Dick of one Bahama Village parent complaining to Naja about that was brand new news to John. But if it was brand new news to him, after serving eight years on the school board, then he’s not been minding the store as far as I’m concerned.

As I published maybe two weeks ago, the reason the angels told me in early 2000 to change my name to Sloan Young was because of the way my father reacted to my telling him that I’d learned I had a half-brother named Travis and would like to meet him, if my father knew how he could be contacted. I did not tell my father that I knew Travis was half-Negro, and that is mother was the daughter of the Negro servants living in the home of my father’s parents. I imagine he figured that out when I told him Travis’ name.

I can’t imagine what it was like for my father to hear how I’d learned about it: dreams I and two of my best friends had, one of them had been one of his most valued employees. They were white. What secrets could I not know about my father, if the supernatural told me and my two best friends about Travis? I know what the angels want me to know about what they have me engage. If I don’t see it, if someone else doesn’t tell me about it, the angels tell me or someone else, who tells me. Scary stuff, even for me; because it’s hell-squared for me being given secrets I’m to bring into the light of day.

That may be a bit of digression, and it may not; but the angels told me during the George Zimmerman trial that Zimman drew on Trayvon Martin and that’s why Martin attacked Zimmerman. Later came the confirmation, when Zimmerman drew on his wife and her father, and even later on a girlfriend. I was not told Zimmerman shot Martin because he was Negro, but he profiled Martin as being a criminal. In the main, Negro people across America viewed it as racial profiling, and I did not blame them.

Fortunately for America, Martin’s mother and father asked that there not be violence after the verdict came in, no matter what the verdict was. That situation in Ferguson, Missouri, someone told me today there are forty black cops on that city’s police force, and about a dozen white cops, and a white cop shot and killed that young black man.

I then found myself wondering if anybody ever ran down the statistics on Anglo cops shooting Negro suspects versus Negro cops shooting Negro suspects, and the statistics on Anglo cops shooting Anglo suspects versus Negro cops shooting Anglo suspects?

Maybe more will come to me later.

Sloan

Rodd replied yesterday:

hi Sloan. I couldn’t agree more about we Anglos knowing anything about being black, or colored, or negro. And yes, I’m glad I was not born that way. I can’t imagine people HATING me simply because I was black or jewish, or whatever. and yes, I fully understand that happens all the time.

I’m looking into buying a house here. went to it 2 weeks ago. saw 2 guys sitting in a truck across the street in the empty lot. turns out one is the next door neighbor, the other his brother. I mentioned I might be his neighbor soon and would be renting a room out to help pay the bills. one guy said, “Oh, man, please do NOT rent to any black people….., we don’t want any niggers around here”. so I fully understand that although many things about black & whites is much better than 50 yrs ago, there is still a LOT of hatred going back and forth.

but as for the police force there, I’ve seen numbers that are WAY different than what you reported. out of 53 cops on the force, only 3 are black. and it showed the number of arrests, etc and the % relative to the population. And you already know they were WAY shewered against blacks. this was in USA Today probably, or maybe the local paper.

Rodd

I replied:

I don’t know where my friend got those Ferguson PD numbers. See USA Today story below. 

Some people hated me because I was homeless. Not many people, but I experienced it. I saw other homeless people experience it. Margart Romero seems to hate homeless people, and City Commissioner Tony Yaniz, too. I mean street people. I see hate the homeless comments in Citizen’s Voice and on bigpinekey.com’s Coconut Telegraph. I heard a long rant of hatred of street people out of Jack Smith when he interviewed me on Pirate Radio. I wondered if he was ever going to stop spewing and let me say something, someone who actually knew something about the subject.

Well, maybe I digress. Tomorrow’s post at goodmorningkeywest.com and the blue paper might be interesting; I think they are covering Ferguson tomorrow, and Mayor Cates rebuking Christine Russell at the end of Tuesday’s city commission meeting, after she had referenced Ferguson and the potential of Key West going in the same direction and that needing to be headed off at the pass. Here’s the USA Today article.

Sloan

 

5 things to know about Ferguson Police Department

 819 79 8LINKEDIN 28COMMENTMORE

Five days after an officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Mo., protesters continue to clash with police. The riots and violence have highlighted the small police department in the St. Louis suburb of about 20,000.

Here’s a look at Ferguson’s police department:

1. The demographics of the Ferguson police do not represent the community

The small city of Ferguson has changed from predominantly white to having a majority black population in the last few decades. In 1970, Ferguson was 99% white; now, the city has a 29% white population and 67% black. The police department, however, does not reflect the demographics of the town’s residents — only three of the 53-officer department are black. The police chief, Thomas Jackson, is white.

2. Black people account for most arrests in Ferguson

Last year, black residents accounted for 86% of the vehicle stops made by Ferguson police and nearly 93% of the arrests made from those stops, according to the state attorney general. FBI statistics show that 85% of the people arrested by Ferguson police are black, and that 92% of people arrested specifically for disorderly conduct are black.

3. Crime has decreased

In 2008, the town’s crime rate was significantly higher than the state average, but since then, violent crime has consistently dropped each year. There were 163 instances of violent crime in Ferguson in 2008 and only 80 in 2012, according FBI data.

4. Ferguson Police Department’s role, compared with other area police

The officer accused of fatally shooting 18-year-old Mike Brown is from the Ferguson Police Department, but the department turned the investigation over to St. Louis County Police. A visible force in confrontations with protesters — wearing riot gear, driving tanks, and using tear gas and stun guns on protesters — the county police have made headlines, including for arresting journalists from the Washington Postand Huffington Post.

On Thursday, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon promised a “different tone” and an “operational shift” by the police armed near the demonstrations, naming Missouri Highway Patrol head of security.

5. The police uses military equipment from the Department of Defense

The Ferguson Police Department is part of the DoD 1033 program, which distributes surplus military equipment, including automatic weapons and heavy armored vehicles such as MRAPS, to local police departments across the United States. Law enforcement agencies in St. Louis County received 12 5.56 millimeter rifles and six .45 caliber pistols from the program between August 2010 and February 2013 and Ferguson is one of those agencies.

An official from the Defense Logistics Agency said the town’s department most recently acquired two vehicles, a trailer and a generator in November. Police Chief Thomas Jackson said, “It’s not a military, it’s tactical operations,” during a press conference on Thursday.Back to Bahama Village …

Bahama VillageBahama Village

Excerpt from my email to Kurt Wagner, reproduced in the August 20 race and other wars in America and Key West post at www.goodmorningkeywest.com:

Sitting just in front of me during last night’s city commission meeting was Tom Milone,

tom-milone.jpg

who several years ago was out for a walk one night near where he lived in Old Town and was jumped by several black teens from Bahama Village and beaten nearly to death. A little while earlier, some of those same black teens had jumped another white man, but he was not nearly beaten to death.

Several years before, I happened upon a race riot just beginning at Coffee Plantation, when it was on the corner of Petronia and Whitehead Streets, at the entrance to Bahama Village. Quite a few black teens were on the veranda. Quite a few more black teens were in the front yard. Other black teens were on the sidewalk and across the street. All were waiting for the school bus to take them to Key West High School.

The riot began when the white owners, Theo and Diane Glorie, asked the black teens to leave the premises, because they were just hanging out, not buying anything. This led to that, and Diane and a female teen swung at each other, and Diane got cold-cocked and I grabbed her and hauled her from the veranda back into the coffee house, even as Theo out on the veranda was hit in the side of the face and his glasses were knocked off and fell to the veranda. I went back out onto the veranda and brought Theo inside, then I went back out to the veranda and got his glasses and brought them to him.

Then, I went back onto the veranda and tried to talk the enraged teens down. I wondered if I was going to be hit next? I kept saying, “You don’t want to be doing this, please stand down.” Finally, the teens left the veranda and the premises. Some walked across the street to the bus stop. I saw three of the young women, who had been in on the attacks, walk the other way, back into Bahama Village.

The police arrived soon after. Mayor Morgan McPherson, who is Anglo, arrived. Bahama Village’s city commissioner, Clayton Lopez, who is African Cuban American, arrived. Clayton had a hard time digesting my report of what happened.

Later, a black fellow I knew somewhat told me the problem was caused by the name of the business: Coffee Plantation. It was insensitive, an affront, an insult to black people. I said I had not considered that, nor probably had the owners, who came to Key West from San Diego and had no history with plantation days in the American south, and elsewhere. I said Theo is Dutch, and I had been in Costa Rica where coffee farms are called coffee plantations. No matter, the fellow said. The Coffee Plantation was an affront to blacks.

He said another problem was the white owners hired no blacks; he had tried to get work there himself, unsuccessfully. I said the white owners hired no one; they were the only two employees. They’d had problems ongoing with young black boys, grammar school age, hanging out on the side veranda and not buying anything; and sneaking in the side door and using the computers without permission. The fellow was not moved.

I asked the fellow to talk to other black elders in Bahama Village about what had happened. He bristled, said he would not. He was a musician, sang nightly on Mallory Pier. You surely have heard him. Every night he speaks of the end of slavery and of the white English slaver who saw the light and composed “Amazing Grace,” which this black musician sings every night he performs at Mallory Pier.

I knew from him that he was religious, had a prayer room in his apartment and prayed long stretches of time daily. I knew he was Rastafarian, and that he was from Jamaica, where that branch of Christianity was very strong. So I asked if he thought Jesus would condone such violence. He paused, said, yes, if it was necessary. I asked if the race riot at Coffee Plantation was necessary? He said, yes.

I gave him “the look.” He seemed to come unglued. He walked over and got onto his bicycle and rode off, wobbling back and forth across Petronia Street into Bahama Village, like he was drunk. The next time I saw him, he tried to make it right without actually really dealing with it.

I know of another very serious black against white racial incident in Bahama Village, which never was resolved satisfactorily. It was over a white woman resident not being able to park her car in front of her home, because blacks were taking up all the parking spaces. When she talked to her black neighbors about it, all hell broke lose. Eventually, she moved out of Bahama Village, she felt she was at risk staying there.

How do such things get resolved? I don’t know, Kurt. But I don’t see telling blacks to go back to Africa, or telling whites to go back to England, or Europe, is productive. Nor do I see telling people to forget their racial origin is productive, when there is so much emotion in their racial origin.

Back in 2003, when I ran for mayor the first time, I recommended Bahama Village elders should decide which Key West police officers could work Bahama Village. Back then there were serious problems between city police and blacks in Bahama Village. Perhaps that was a bad idea. The Rastafarian musician was a black Bahama Village elder. He went haywire when I asked him to speak with other black elders in Bahama Village about what had happened at Coffee Plantation.

It is a fact, Kurt, that blacks in America feel blacks are targeted by police. It is a fact that police sometimes get heavy-handed, and sometimes even go off the grid. It also is a fact that police put their lives on the line and for that reason are permitted to do things private citizens are not permitted to do.

The shooting and killing of that young black man in Ferguson was tragic. I read in the syndicated article in the Citizen today, that a Grand Jury already is investigating that shooting. That’s good, because the worst thing that could happen would be nothing was done quickly; it was handled like the death under Key West cops of Charles Eimers was handled; like the apparent tasering from behind, without warning, by a Key West cop of Matthew Murphy was handled.

Who can say if a Grand Jury would have quickly been convened in Ferguson, if US Attorney General Eric Holder, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton had not gotten involved? Would they have gotten involved if they were were white men? Would the situation in Ferguson be even more severe, if a Grand Jury had not been convened?

Do I wish the situation in Ferguson was calm? For sure. Do I wish people would not react in that way to police killing young black men? For sure. Do I wish police would stop killing young black men? For sure. I’m also thinking of neighborhood watchman Anglo Spanish American George Zimmerman killing African American Trayvon Martin after a police dispatcher told Zimmerman to break off following Martin and let the police handle it.

Am I concerned Ferguson and similar events might herald a coming civil war in America? Yes. Am I wondering how Martin Luther King would feel about such a civil war? No. I know he would not care for it. He would want it not to happen. He would seek the non-violent path. And maybe he would be killed again for seeking it.

I don’t recall Dr. King used the term “African-American”. I think I recall him saying black Americans. Maybe I recall him saying Negroes. There was a reason for that: black Americans were not treated the same as white Americans. I imagine most black Americans today still feel black Americans are not treated the same as white Americans. Even though I was raised by the daughter of an African slave, who loved me as her own, as an Anglo American I can’t possible know what it’s like being an African American. Or a Spanish American. Or an Asian American.

As a human being, I wish we all did get along. If that happened, we would not need police, or weapons, or armies, and a lot of people would have to find something else to do and to worry, write and talk about. Meanwhile, we have many troubles and we have many people trying to do something about it.

_________________________________

As a former practicing attorney in Alabama, and having lived almost 72 years there and in other parts of the US and Key West, and from traveled a bit overseas, I figure it’s going to take more than people trying to do something about it for any real change to happen.

Feather Talk

Right, angels, I’m talking about you. This ain’t just a one-way blue river is it? The river runs both ways, don’t it?

Sloan angel 2

Sloan Bashinsky
keysmyhome@hotmail.com

Political advertisement paid for and approved by Sloan Bashinsky, for Mayor of Key West

 

About Sloan

Darn, that would take a while. Try the autobiographical pages in the header. Ditto for header menu pages at www.goodmorningbirmingham.com. Hatched and raised there, eventually I ran away from home. Here's a short list: Born 1942; male; single; accused of all sorts of imaginable and unimaginable things, perhaps some true. Live on Key West of Weird asteroid. Publish something most days on this website, been at that since July 2007. That's heaps of catch-up reading, probably not recommended.
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