Tag Archives: racism

Join the Conservative Fusion Party’s “Police Brutality PAC”

27 Aug

Carl Paladino is shilling for the NYS Conservative Party, forwarding the email shown below (SFW): 

That’s pretty cool! Register with the Conservative Party, because the cops put a black man in an illegal-since-1993 chokehold and committed homicide! I mean, the NYPD is going to re-train officers as a result of this tragedy, but w/e! I mean, they killed this man and waited a full 7 minutes before trying CPR! He’s black, so he doesn’t count, right, Carl? Right, Conservative Party?  As Paladino so aptly put it in an earlier email

 

DEMOCRATS: STOP ASKING FOR THIS PARTY’S ENDORSEMENT.

IF YOU SEEK THE ENDORSEMENT OF THE CONSERVATIVE FUSION PARTY, YOU ARE EXPLICITLY ENDORSING SHIT LIKE THIS.

Scenes from America

20 Aug

In Ferguson, Missouri, a police officer shot and killed an unarmed Black teenager. The shots were not at close range, indicating no immediate struggle, and there were at least six shots fired. Setting aside the subsequent character assassination of the victim, the police response to popular outrage and demonstrations has been militaristic in nature, and overflowing with issues of race and class in contemporary America. 

No one condones looting or violence, but the ridiculously overwrought police response has quashed the people’s right to demonstrate. 

Hysterical right wing commentators have overwhelmingly sided with the police officer who shot Michael Brown, labeling the dead kid a “thug” who clearly deserved to die. Of course, we still don’t have a copy of the police report surrounding the shooting incident. The people in Ferguson are outraged by the latest homicide of an unarmed Black teenager under questionable circumstances, and their demonstrations have been met with this: 

Some months back, there was a standoff in Nevada over Cliven Bundy and his cows. Back in 1993, Bundy didn’t like a change in policy at the Bureau of Land Management, so he refused to renew his license to permit his cattle to graze on public land. In 1998, a federal court barred Bundy from letting his cattle graze on the “Bunkerville Allotment”. In July 2013, a federal judge further ordered Bundy off of additional lands

It should be noted that, in both court cases, Bundy had an opportunity to be heard, and exercised it.

In 2014, the Bureau of Land Management undertook action to forcibly remove Bundy’s cattle from federal lands pursuant to the court orders. Hundreds of armed, right-wing, so-called “militia” came to Bundy’s aid in the Nevada brush, and the rancher became a right-wing, anti-Obama cause celebre. 

American fascists justify the homicide of Michael Brown, whom they dismiss as nothing more than a thug who got what was coming to him. They deride the outpouring of grief and anger in Ferguson as being nothing more than a subhuman gallery of violent looters. They have nothing whatsoever to say about a military show of force against lawful protests in Ferguson, and ignore the obvious provocation of police snipers and tanks aiming at civilians in middle America. 

But when Cliven Bundy disregarded a lawful order of the court, and declared some sort of idiotic war against a federal government he claims has no legitimacy, hundreds of American fascists came to his aid. The bloodlust against federal agents was shocking, and we had images that contrast with those out of Ferguson in one very salient way: 

In Ferguson, protesters are mostly African-American, and the government’s guns are pointed at them. 

In Nevada, protesters were mostly white, and they pointed their guns at government agents. 

It’s like the anti-Burning Man

 

Cliven Bundy had people aiming guns at federal agents, but we’re supposed to get all upset because some angry demonstrators in Ferguson broke a McDonald’s store windows or stole some TVs? 

The people who support Cliven Bundy’s defiance of legitimate government authority think that the demonstrators in Ferguson have no business protesting questionable government actions. 

Go home, America. You’re drunk. 

Racist Assault at a Cheektowaga Dollar General (Update)

4 Jun

Do you know this woman? 

She’s got some interesting views on race. Put another way, this is on the front page of Reddit as of Wednesday morning. 

My favorite part is when she’s on the phone (depicted above) with, ostensibly, her husband and rhetorically asks, (around 2:30) “oh, he knows the cops? How many cops have I stripped for? “

This woman is not only allowed to walk the streets of Cheektowaga, she’s got two kids in front of whom she’s yelling “ni**er” at a Black man whose only offense was to start his car when her boy was nearby, apparently startling him. 

Maybe we can set aside the facile Buffalo exceptionalism for a moment and revisit the idea that our people are no better or worse, necessarily, than those anywhere else in the United States. Perhaps instead of “everything is awesome”, we can use incidents such as these to identify and treat a racist cancer plaguing a place that has acute resentments borne out of ignorance and economic hardship. 

This woman is a symptom of a much larger problem that our #Buffalove tends too often to brush aside. 

UPDATE: She called in to WBLK to defend herself. We learn: 

1. Her name is “Janelle Ambrosia”; 

2. She’s having a very bad day; 

3. The man who took the video “almost hit” her kid with his car, but did not hit anyone with anything; 

4. The man who took the video allegedly called her a “crackhead cracker”; 

5. She thinks that someone shouldn’t be able to post videos – “ex-specially” of her kids – on YouTube; and

6. She is unapologetic – “what am I supposed to do? Apologize?” 

 

This Post Matters

19 Nov

1. George Zimmerman seems to have a thing for using a firearm to menace innocent, unarmed people. That’s a fetish that’s going to prove to be expensive. At a bare minimum, he seems to have a bizarre fetish whereby he tries to solve everyday interpersonal conflicts with a gun. A bit excessive, and, you know, someone could get hurt. He’s now charged with a felony and, ironically, this could finally enable the government to take this lunatic’s guns away. Even in Florida. This gun matters. 

2. There’s a fine line, I suppose, between a police department enforcing nuisance laws and blatant racism. The owner of Ying’s Wings and Things is accusing the Tonawanda police of targeting his restaurant’s DJ nights because they attract black kids. The police say the crowds are too noisy and rowdy. Like – oh, just about everything – attitudes about race in western New York are rooted firmly in the 50s, to everyone’s detriment. In the meantime, Ying should hire some security to keep his patrons safe, to keep parking lot nonsense and shootings to a minimum, and to document it all. This 18+ DJ night matters. 

3. Kaleida has a plan to redevelop the site of the former Millard Fillmore Gates hospital into a ~$60 million complex of housing, offices, and retail space including a large complex for seniors. It would attract hundreds into a city neighborhood now occupied by a nondescript, empty white box. There’s no damn way this goes smoothly. This lot matters. 

4. Looking for a Christmas gift for your kid? Depending on age-appropriateness, how about a construction kit of the Anne Frank House, showing how the secret Annex was connected to the house and kept hidden from the Nazis for most of the war. With shipping, it costs a little more than $50, but it’s cheaper than airfare to Amsterdam. This house matters. 

5. This idiotic incident will result in a lawsuit being brought against the rail-slider and the Bills and everyone else. Was a Bills Mafia dummy’s reckless tumbling from the 300s into the 200s – and onto another person – foreseeable? When a football spectator buys a ticket and takes his seat, does he assume the risk that someone might fall on top of him – is spectator precipitation a risk inherent in football? This is why we have lawyers and lawsuits. This jurisprudence matters. 

6. Rob Ford is now, effectively, the figurehead mayor of Toronto. Yesterday, the city council voted 37-5 to strip him of practically all his powers. As the drama unfolded, Ford was defiant and managed to, among other things, knock over a council colleague while charging towards a heckler. Of course, the conservative Toronto Sun gave Ford and his brother, Doug, their own TV show. This crack matters. 

Nation Is In Decline Because of Morons

8 Aug

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The Buffalo News gets letters. Every single sentence of this letter, written by a James Costa of Elma, Erie County, New York, USA, is a symphony of stupidity.

Mr. Costa is a retired teacher living in Elma, who once enjoyed hitchhiking, accepting handouts from hardworking Americans while he and his friend hoboed it across the country. He also used to troll the Topix Forum using colorful pen names such as “MILFMan”, and “Brillo Pad Headwhere he enjoyed tearing into librulz. (His posts are deleted, but you can see many of them in others’ blockquotes.) But the person who posted as “Brillo Pad Head” also has fond memories of teaching – in the public school system – and the joy he got from that calling. Weird dichotomy.

Here is the letter from this leech retired hypocrite public pension-receiving teacher:

To fulfill its promise of social and economic justice, liberalism must transfer power from the people to government.

What is the government? What is the government but us – people? We live in a representative democracy, where we are given the franchise to elect people to do what they believe to be in our best interests. If the people do not think the politician is doing this, they are free to elect someone else. The power is the people’s. Always. We just don’t wield it as often as we might.

By selling the concept of redistribution of wealth as “fairness,” social programs are created and expanded to capture new classes of dependents.

Well, any system that taxes people to pay for public things is redistributing wealth. Which is to say, every functioning state taxes people to pay for public things. Social programs? Assuming the retiree here is a Medicare and Social Security recipient, he is directly benefitting from our social safety net. Not only that, but as a retiree from the public school system in New York, he receives a public pension that is completely free from state income taxation. You can’t sit there on top of a pile of public cash and whine about redistributive policies.

Under the pretext of ensuring “clean” air and water, government further enhances its power by destroying industries through crushing environmental regulations, thus swelling unemployment and welfare rolls.

Got that? Potable water and breathable air are no longer goals for which we should aim. It is not the right of the individual to breathe clean air or drink clean water that is paramount – it is the right of “industries” to ruin the air and poison the water that is of primary importance in this person’s addled mind.

Its “man-made” global warming claim is a ploy to boost taxes on all energy.

I think that’s a swipe at “cap and trade” – a conservative-invented, market-based system of reducing emissions and pollution which the conservatives abandoned when Obama decided he thought it was a good idea, too.

When Obamacare is fully implemented, costs will skyrocket, services will be rationed, quality care will nosedive and meddling bureaucrats will gain unprecedented control of our lives.

Says the guy receiving free or massively discounted, taxpayer-provided single-payer public socialized medicine.

Recently the formerly great city of Detroit has declared bankruptcy. This tragedy is a microcosm of a national trend.

Hm. Not really.

Having intentionally created these proliferating economic time bombs, heroic liberalism will magically appear deus ex machina to save the country with loads of fiat money and new regulations.

Someone intentionally created a 60 year decline in the city of Detroit, whereby its population plummeted, abandoning it to move to the suburbs? Also, Mr. Costa seems to be a fan of the gold standard, which we abandoned two generations ago.

For decades liberals have been laying the foundation for a socialist America: They’ve demonized religion, polluted the airwaves, corrupted childhood innocence, sabotaged education and aborted millions of babies.

Polluting the airwaves is bad, but polluting the air is good. I don’t know how liberals have “demonized religion” or “corrupted childhood innocence” or “sabotaged education”, and I’m pretty sure people of all political persuasions have aborted all those babies. I’m guessing this guy has a problem with Hollywood, and maybe some other things perhaps reflected by his “Brillo Pad Head” pseudonym used in other fora.

They’ve weakened and demoralized the military with mixed genders.

Where is the evidence of that? What does he mean “mixed genders”? Women in the military? Gays in the military?

They (with complicit Republicans) have opened our borders to illegal aliens, further burdening our economy.

Immigrants – documented and undocumented – are not as massive a drain on the economy as people suspect.

They’ve promoted class envy and fomented racial hatred.

Says “Brillo Pad Head”.

They’ve smothered free speech with PC, and targeted the Second Amendment.

PC is political correctness – the notion that, e.g., if you say or write something that’s racist, you should be humiliated and criticized for it. PC is the notion that you should be accountable and responsible for what you write – for instance, Mr. Costa enjoyed referring to autistic kids as “retards” in the Topix exchange linked-to, above.

Welcome to the Utopia of “fundamental change.”

James Costa

Elma

You should immediately return your next Social Security check to the government, reject your next pension payment, pay the state taxes on what you’ve already received (that tax benefit is a direct subsidy from the taxpayers of New York), and forevermore pay every medical bill in cash and never submit to Medicare again.

Communication Breakdown

2 May

On April 28th, the Buffalo News’ editorial page offered up its recommendations in the upcoming school board races. One of the most intensely watched races is that of developer and tea party gadfly Carl Paladino. While the News expressed support for Paladino’s proposals for fixing the school board – many of which are totally reasonable – it would not endorse him. 

But we won’t endorse Paladino, either. He insists that he is not racist, but he shows no comprehension that the emails he forwarded not only suggest that – and powerfully – but that they would be painful and insulting to thousands of minority families and students in the district he wishes to serve.

While he is, in some ways, the candidate this district has needed, we cannot lend the weight of this page to a candidate who still insists those vile emails were funny. No one is perfect and it is always necessary to allow people their failings, but in life, there are some bright lines. Paladino crossed this one.

Nevertheless, it seems all but certain that Paladino will win this race; the South Buffalo neighborhood supported him overwhelmingly in his 2010 campaign for governor. If he does win, it will be his chance to prove that he is not racist.

He could go a long way toward showing that by acknowledging the despicable nature of those emails.

These emails (NSFW)

To be clear, I read that editorial very carefully – it’s not condemning Paladino for sending the emails, but instead for not acknowledging that they were disgusting, misogynist, and racist. There’s no question he sent them around, but he can’t just say, it was stupid, it was wrong, I’m deeply embarrassed and sorry. He’s like Otto from A Fish Called Wanda

So, what does Paladino do? He blasts some more emails out calling the News and its editorial page writer Dawn Bracely names. 

That’s not enough, though.  Paladino pal Larry Quinn had to chime in, too. 

Both of these guys need to take some remedial reading comprehension classes. Perhaps a lesson in humility wouldn’t hurt, either. It must be nice to be so righteously indignant over a perceived slight. It’s also easy to see all the answers for Buffalo’s failing schools from atop a mountain of white privilege. 

Banality of Small-Town Evil

11 Apr

After a four month absence, the Buffalo News Comments Tumblr is back online, cataloguing the stupid and the overtly racist comments to which regular people have no problem affixing their real names. 

Dov Hikind’s Masquerade

27 Feb

 

Courtesy Marquil at EmpireWire.com

Ironic Criminal is Ironic

20 Jul

Remember this guy? He was all over Channel 4 and the Shredd & Ragan show: Shredd & Ragan show about a month ago, expounding on how black people were ruining the old First Ward, etc.  How minorities should stay on their own side of town and not “wreck” South Buffalo neighborhoods.  

Turns out, the proud South Buffalo racist guy is William Shanahan, and he’s not only in jail, he’s a convicted felon

“Scheme to defraud” in the 1st degree involves a systematic, ongoing effort to defraud or obtain property under false pretenses from 10 or more people, or fewer depending on the value of the property and the age of the victim. This is a class E felony. 

Robbery in the 3rd degree involves “forcible stealing” through the use or threat of physical force on a person to take his belongings. According to the New York State Penal Law, this is a class D felony.  

Irony is a guy who complains about “the minorities” and their crime ruining neighborhoods, yet is a convict himself. 

Buffalo: Read These

13 Jun
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Photo by Flickr user Sunny Hasija

1. It’s astonishing that racist behavior and actions like those described in this lawsuit could happen in WNY, by adults, in the past decade. If there’s a silver lining here, it’s that a federal court jury in Buffalo found this systematic destruction of a worker’s life absolutely abhorrent, and awarded tens of millions of dollars in punitive damages against the Luxembourg-based steel conglomerate that did very little to stop it, or punish the perpetrators. 

2. Remember that secretive millionaire wunderkind from Cleveland who bought some of the most expensive and exclusive houses in WNY, and was planning to buy and renovate several downtown structures? His name is Michael Wilson. He was a fraud, and his financial “empire” existed only in Wilson’s mind. He even created a phantom financial professional, complete with LinkedIn profile, to help dupe unwitting investors. Wilson has since been indicted by a federal grand jury and fled the country.  His brother is awaiting trial, likely serving to attract Wilson back to WNY to face the music for his own misdeeds. When we talk about enterprise, investigatory journalism, Kevin Purdy’s compelling story should win an award – and it’s published in the Buffalo Spree. Who was Michael Wilson? Yet another carpetbagging huckster – reminiscent of the Simpsons’ monorail developer, Lyle Lanley – coming to western New York to promise us renewed relevance and prospective riches. All we have to do is, e.g., donate millions in money and land to build a Wizard of Oz theme park; or rely on the promises of a quixotic but charismatic Iraqi-Briton to miraculously complete only his second project ever, the renovation of the Statler Towers.  Buffalo’s renaissance, when it comes, will come because of hard work, planning, vision, and good government. Silver bullets don’t work any better than earnest crowdsourcing. 

3. Donnie Burtless from the local food blog Buffalo Eats interviewed retired Buffalo News restaurant critic, Janice Okun. It’s an interesting, short retrospective from someone who was once a pioneer. 

4. I can’t figure out which one is more socially acceptable – being some level of excited about Nik Wallenda’s tightwire walk across Niagara Falls, or to denigrate it altogether. 

5. Hey, folks – a new activist group called Effective NY wants a constitutional convention, and it’s run partly by YNN political host Liz Benjamin’s father.