We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Monday, July 11. 2016
A powerful heart-felt comment from police officer Jay Stalien:
Suspect- Black/ Male, Victim-Black /Male.
I remember the countless times I canvassed the area afterwards, and asked everyone “did you see who did it”, and the popular response from the very same family members was always, “Fuck the Police, I ain't no snitch, Im gonna take care of this myself". This happened every single time, every single homicide, black on black, and then my realization became clearer.
I woke up every morning, put my freshly pressed uniform on, shined my badge, functioned checked my weapon, kissed my wife and kid, and waited for my wife to say the same thing she always does before I leave, “Make sure you come back home to us”. I always replied, “I will”, but the truth was I was never sure if I would. I almost lost my life on this job, and every call, every stop, every moment that I had this uniform on, was another possibility for me to almost lose my life again. I was a target in the very community I swore to protect, the very community I wanted to help. As a matter of fact, they hated my very presence. They called me “Uncle Tom”, and “wanna be white boy”, and I couldn’t understand why. My own fellow black men and women attacking me, wishing for my death, wishing for the death of my family. I was so confused, so torn, I couldn’t understand why my own black people would turn against me, when every time they called …I was there. Every time someone died….I was there. Every time they were going through one of the worst moments in their lives…I was there. So why was I the enemy? I dove deep into that question…Why was I the enemy? Then my realization became clearer.
I spoke to members of the community and listened to some of the complaints as to why they hated cops. I then did research on the facts. I also presented facts to these members of the community, and listened to their complaints in response. This is what I learned:
Complaint: Police always targeting us, they always messing with the black man.
Fact: A city where the majority of citizens are black (Baltimore for example) …will ALWAYS have a higher rate of black people getting arrested, it will ALWAYS have a higher rate of blacks getting stopped, and will ALWAYS have a higher rate of blacks getting killed, and the reason why is because a city with those characteristics will ALWAYS have a higher rate of blacks committing crime. The statistics will follow the same trend for Asians if you go to China, for Hispanics if you go to Puerto Rico, for whites if you go to Russia, and the list goes on. It’s called Demographics
Complaint: More black people get arrested than white boys.
Fact: Black People commit a grossly disproportionate amount of crime. Data from the FBI shows that Nationwide, Blacks committed 5,173 homicides in 2014, whites committed 4,367. Chicago’s death toll is almost equal to that of both wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, combined. Chicago’s death toll from 2001–November, 26 2015 stands at 7,401. The combined total deaths during Operation Iraqi Freedom (2003-2015: 4,815) and Operation Enduring Freedom/Afghanistan (2001-2015: 3,506), total 8,321.
Complaint: Blacks are the only ones getting killed by police, or they are killed more.
Fact: As of July 2016, the breakdown of the number of US Citizens killed by Police this year is, 238 White people killed, 123 Black people killed, 79 Hispanics, 69 other/or unknown race.
Fact: Black people kill more other blacks than Police do, and there are only protest and outrage when a cop kills a black man. University of Toledo criminologist Dr. Richard R. Johnson examined the latest crime data from the FBI’s Supplementary Homicide Reports and Centers for Disease Control and found that an average of 4,472 black men were killed by other black men annually between Jan. 1, 2009, and Dec. 31, 2012. Professor Johnson’s research further concluded that 112 black men died from both justified and unjustified police-involved killings annually during this same period.
Complaint: Well we already doing a good job of killing ourselves, we don’t need the Police to do it. Besides they should know better.
The more I listened, the more I realized. The more I researched, the more I realized. I would ask questions, and would only get emotional responses & inferences based on no facts at all. The more killing I saw, the more tragedy, the more savagery, the more violence, the more loss of life of a black man at the hands of another black man….the more I realized.
I haven’t slept well in the past few nights. Heartbreak weighs me down, rage flows through my veins, and tears fills my eyes. I watched my fellow officers assassinated on live television, and the images of them laying on the ground are seared into my brain forever. I couldn’t help but wonder if it had been me, a black man, a black cop, on TV, assassinated, laying on the ground dead,..would my friends and family still think black lives mattered? Would my life have mattered? Would they make t-shirts in remembrance of me? Would they go on tv and protest violence? Would they even make a Facebook post, or share a post in reference to my death?
All of my realizations came to this conclusion. Black Lives do not matter to most black people. Only the lives that make the national news matter to them. Only the lives that are taken at the hands of cops or white people, matter. The other thousands of lives lost, the other black souls that I along with every cop, have seen taken at the hands of other blacks, do not matter. Their deaths are unnoticed, accepted as the “norm”, and swept underneath the rug by the very people who claim and post “black lives matter”. I realized that this country is full of ignorance, where an educated individual will watch the ratings-driven news media, and watch a couple YouTube video clips, and then come to the conclusion that they have all the knowledge they need to have in order to know what it feels like to have a bullet proof vest as part of your office equipment, “Stay Alive” as part of your daily to do list, and having insurance for your health insurance because of the high rate of death in your profession. They watch a couple videos and then they magically know in 2 minutes 35 seconds, how you are supposed to handle a violent encounter, which took you 6 months of Academy training, 2 – 3 months of field training, and countless years of blood, sweat, tears and broken bones experiencing violent encounters and fine tuning your execution of the Use of Force Continuum. I realized that there are even cops, COPS, duly sworn law enforcement officers, who are supposed to be decent investigators, who will publicly go on the media and call other white cops racist and KKK, based on a video clip that they watched thousands of miles away, which was filmed after the fact, based on a case where the details aren’t even known yet and the investigation hasn’t even begun. I realized that most in the African American community refuse to look at solving the bigger problem that I see and deal with every day, which is black on black crime taking hundreds of innocent black lives each year, and instead focus on the 9 questionable deaths of black men, where some were in the act of committing crimes. I realized that they value the life of a Sex Offender and Convicted Felon, [who was in the act of committing multiple felonies: felon in possession of a firearm-FELONY, brandishing and threatening a homeless man with a gun-Aggravated Assault in Florida: FELONY, who resisted officers who first tried to taze him, and WAS NOT RESTRAINED, who can be clearly seen in one of the videos raising his right shoulder, then shooting it down towards the right side of his body exactly where the firearm was located and recovered] more than the lives of the innocent cops who were assassinated in Dallas protecting the very people that hated them the most. I realized that they refuse to believe that most cops acknowledge that there are Bad cops who should have never been given a badge & gun, who are chicken shit and will shoot a cockroach if it crawls at them too fast, who never worked in the hood and may be intimidated. That most cops dread the thought of having to shoot someone, and never see the turmoil and mental anguish that a cop goes through after having to kill someone to save his own life. Instead they believe that we are all blood thirsty killers, because the media says so, even though the numbers prove otherwise. I realize that they truly feel as if the death of cops will help people realize the false narrative that Black Lives Matter, when all it will do is take their movement two steps backwards and label them domestic terrorist. I realized that some of these people, who say Black Lives Matter, are full of hate and racism. Hate for cops, because of the false narrative that more black people are targeted and killed. Racism against white people, for a tragedy that began 100’s of years ago, when most of the white people today weren’t even born yet. I realized that some in the African American community’s idea of “Justice” is the prosecution of ANY and EVERY cop or white man that kills or is believed to have killed a black man, no matter what the circumstances are. I realized the African American community refuses to look within to solve its major issues, and instead makes excuses and looks outside for solutions. I realized that a lot of people in the African American community lead with hate, instead of love. Division instead of Unity. Turmoil and rioting, instead of Peace. I realized that they have become the very entity that they claim they are fighting against.
I realized that the very reasons I became a cop, are the very reasons my own people hate me, and now in this toxic hateful racially charged political climate, I am now more likely to die,... and it is still hard for me to understand…. to this day.
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I pray that God keep this man safe, that he may come home every night to his devoted wife, and that together they will see their child grow into the young man or woman that every loving parent prays to God their child will become.
As for his profoundly moving words, I hope and pray that the Black community will learn from them...
But I'm not holding my breath on that count.
From watching the 1967 Detroit riots, sufficiently close that we were concerned about spill over into our community, up to the current time -I have given up any hope of the Black Subculture fixing itself. Living in Detroit for a few years after I got out of the service cured me of any illusions about the ghetto.
These people involved in this movement need to stop drinking the Kool Aid. They're like crabs in a barrel.
We had a fellow black law student from a middle class background who lived in the law dorm with us and was part of our group of friends. Nice guy, good looking and he dressed nicely, so his joshing nickname in our group was "Mr. GQ." One night one of us received a terrified call from him from a public phone booth. His car had broken down as he was driving through Oakland, and he was begging for us to come rescue him (which we all did in two cars of folks). He knew that because he was black and not from the "hood" he stood out and was an easy and likely target for local blacks who saw him as being on their turf.
This was 35 years ago. I suspect the reality has not changed at all since that time.
From my perspective the BLM movement/ideology is rapidly becoming a shibboleth unto itself, without any outside assistance.
This good and decent man confirms my theory that policemen are born not made. All the hate he feel everyday as a policeman and yet he never says he will quit.
I will pray for he and his family.
Not Al Sharpton, not Jesse Jackson, not Barack Obama, THIS MAN!!!
To all of you members of the thin blue line who put your lives on the line every day to keep the rest of us safe we say "Hold your head up with pride. We've got your back"
This must be painful on many levels, and hard to know how to share it with his children and his friends.
This goes right to the reason why I believe Obama, the NAACP, the black caucus, BLM, Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton are responsible for the hate. They do it for personal or political gain and they know it hurts their people but couldn't care less. The worst possible thing that could happen to these race baiters is for blacks to succeed and do well.
Most of the people in the inner city only know what they see and what is going on in their community. BUT they do follow the hype and propaganda and they do believe it. These people really believe that the cops are out to kill them because they are black. Every slight, every assumed disrespect, every look, everything to them is proof of racism. They hear it their mothers knee as babies, from friends and family all their lives and everything bad that happens to them is the result of racism. Most of them have never read a book or learned a skill but they still are sure the reason they aren't successful in life is racism. I don't see this changing any time soon. The summer before a tight presidential race is going to be a dangerous one. Paid activists and instigators are out in force. Stay away from crowds and the bad part of town. This will probably blow up and that is exactly what the race baiters want.
Thanks for putting into words what I was feeling but didn't know how to express.
Yesterday I watched Dallas Police Chief Brown's press conference and then turned to another news channel and saw President Obama speaking in Warsaw. The honesty and directness of Chief Brown was somewhat more impressive. A whole lot of somewhat more.
Superb Mr Stalien, quite superb.
Thank you. There remains hope.
"Stay away from crowds and the bad part of town"
Excellent advice - it's going to be a long, hot summer. When I used to live in Central Africa, the US embassy had an email list for all the Americans in the country, and we would be routinely warned to stay away from political demonstrations that were happening. Sad to see this happening now in my own country.
Here in Atlanta, they were already worried about violent crime even before the awful events of last week -- the mayor two weeks ago held a press conference saying that SWAT team members were going to be reassigned to directing traffic in SW Atlanta for the summer because of the large numbers of criminals that police encounter that way.
I just pray that we can make it through the summer without Trump getting assassinated.
Atlanta is really, really good at keeping negative information out of the national media, but the truth is that violent crime in the city is up by 30% compared to last year.