Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

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You can talk about whatever is on your mind – quality of life issues, a beautiful tree you spotted, scuttlebutt, or any random questions/thoughts you may have. But please no personal attacks and no need to correct people’s grammar. This is a place to vent and/or celebrate things about daily life in DC.

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146 Comment

  • To all the MPD police officers who read this blog, especially those from 4D: thank you for parking your police cruiser on that god-forsaken drug corner at 8:00 p.m. so I can feel safe walking home from the CVS, thank you for the bike patrols, for striking up conversations with my two year old, for helping the lady the other day with a flat tire, for being out in the pouring rain when a traffic light is out, and so much else I couldn’t possibly put here. We appreciate it.

  • Rave: Finally found a doctor in the area to transfer to. Super nice, got me in an out and I was still at work before most people in my office. Muahahaha.
    Rave: Pokemon GO is here! Going to try it out at lunchtime.
    Rave: It’s almost the weekend! Weekends are so nice without homework!
    Rant: Still feeling pretty terrible about all the recent news, including the police deaths in Dallas. There is no justice served in killing cops who have done nothing wrong, and supporting both black lives and these policemen is possible. After some great discussions with friends the past few days, I think it’s important that we take some time to reflect on how we can be better allies for our friends of color in the days ahead, and how we can be more active in advocating for change. The killing needs to stop.

    • Also does anyone know if there are more rallies planned for this weekend? I couldn’t make it to the one last night.

    • Sorry you couldn’t make it and I hope you get the chance to protest too!

    • How about a rally to end violence in all forms as opposed to one directed at law enforcement? Violence begets violence and as long as there are thousands upon thousands of murders across the US every year, there will be police problems.

      • How about a walk to end all cancers? Or just all death in general? As long as people die, people will be so sad.. all illnesses matter? Right now, we are fighting the violence caused by a long history of systemic violence against people of color. We are not fighting law enforcement. Law enforcement is more than welcome to hold their peers accountable and call for fair punishment of those officers that give law enforcement a bad name. Justice is in everyone’s best interest. If you don’t understand that then be quiet and listen until you do.

        • +100

        • Thank you for this response, alot of my “friends” need to hear this.

        • Great post. After the Orlando shootings, Steven Petrow of the Post did a great article about how many in the gay community felt many people in society were straightwashing the shootings. It was a really good read about how when an act of violence happens to a particular community, but the larger society acts as if it happened to everyone and doesn’t mention that a specific community was targeted, people within that community feel erased. The article was specific about the Orlando shooting and the LGBT community, but could equally apply to the African American community.

        • Ugh THANK YOU for this. If you don’t mind I’m going to use parts of this in the future, it’s very much what I’ve been trying to express.

      • Because law enforcement has taken an oath to serve and protect all lives, yet they continue to murder unarmed or legally armed black men who are not threatening them at insanely higher rates than whites? To start.
        But yes, I would support a rally that unites both law enforcement that understands this oath and condemns racist actions of their brothers and sisters in uniform AND supports the BLM movement.
        I do not believe a rally to “end violence in all forms” would be productive. There is so much violence in this world that a singular rally would not serve any benefit, but would only dilute the issues at hand.

        • “yet they continue to murder unarmed or legally armed black men who are not threatening them at insanely higher rates than whites”
          that’s actually not true:
          you think it’s true because the media is promoting this storyline. Did you hear about the unarmed white kid shot in Fresno in late June? It was caught on video which was recently released but isn’t receiving any publicity because it doesn’t fit the narrative. Google Dylan Noble.
          I’m not saying there aren’t major problems with violence and the police and racism in this country, but the narrative we are being sold isn’t aligned with reality.

          • Let me rephrase, taking the actual circumstance out of it and just using police shootings of African Americans overall, quoting your source: “The data is unequivocal. Police killings are a race problem: African-Americans are being killed disproportionately and by a wide margin.”
            Additionally, President Obama’s statement yesterday: “According to various studies — not just one, but a wide range of studies that have been carried out over a number of years — African Americans are 30 percent more likely than whites to be pulled over. After being pulled over, African Americans and Hispanics are three times more likely to be searched. Last year, African Americans were shot by police at more than twice the rate of whites. African Americans are arrested at twice the rate of whites. African American defendants are 75 percent more likely to be charged with offenses carrying mandatory minimums. They receive sentences that are almost 10 percent longer than comparable whites arrested for the same crime.

            So that if you add it all up, the African American and Hispanic population, who make up only 30 percent of the general population, make up more than half of the incarcerated population.

            Now, these are facts. And when incidents like this occur, there’s a big chunk of our fellow citizenry that feels as if because of the color of their skin, they are not being treated the same. And that hurts. And that should trouble all of us. This is not just a black issue. It’s not just a Hispanic issue. This is an American issue that we should all care about. All fair-minded people should be concerned.”

          • I totally agree that there are huge issues with the law relative to african americans, chiefly the war on drugs but also the huge numbers of minor quality of life crimes (walking in the street etc) that have been criminalized as revenue generators in many towns and cities across the country (Ferguson being a prime example), privatization of prisons and many other issues. But the narrative of “racist cops out to murder black people” is incredibly corrosive and is going to lead to a spiral of incidents like the Dallas attacks, the riots in Baltimore, police pulling back and declining to enforce the law when they are really needed, etc.

          • Well then police who stand with these communities, and white supporters of policemen, need to become allies of these communities, rather than continually arguing “but we’re not racist.” I agree it’s corrosive but I also think that just saying “well it wasn’t me” and trying to argue against a phenomenon that is so obviously happening is not the way to achieve any kind of unity.

          • Tom’s River, NJ police shot a white man during a traffic stop last night. Google Timothy Sauers.

          • truth – you don’t get it and you don’t want to get it, I don’t think. Yeah, it sucks that anyone was shot. But the death of a white person at a traffic stop does not, in any way, justify or make up for hundreds of years of systematic oppression of blacks in this country. and i’d also like to refer you to stacksp’s comment below.

          • actually, i used a poor choice of words in my last comment. perhaps “offset” would have been a better word (than “justify or make up for” which is not the point and no one said it was).

          • Right, I agree. My point is that perpetuating a narrative based on “racist cops” deflects attention from the real, major, systemic issues of our justice system. Focusing on evil racist police allows these institutions to escape scrutiny.

      • As far as I can tell, there are at least three issues here:
        1) Police abuse of power / use of deadly force as a first response rather than a last resort
        2) Racism in how police treat black people and other minorities
        3) The prevalence of guns in the United States
        Most police in the UK aren’t armed. They don’t need to be, because guns are much more tightly restricted there.

        • Yes, once again I am so heartbroken watching this all unfold. GUNS. They are a disease in the US. And both sides just shout at each other. It’s really disheartening. We could never ban them, and shouldn’t, but man…the US has way too many guns.

        • Those are the 3 issues here, huh? All those people who are committing millions of viscous acts of violence across the country are a non-issue. OK, got it.

          • I don’t think you get it. But I also think you don’t want to either. Sigh

          • That type of response is the perfect way to invalidate black voices. No one ever said other issues are non-issues but it is unacceptable to use other issues as a tool to invalidate and dismiss the the concerns of marginalized groups.

          • Other countries have violence too. The reason that violence is way more lethal in the U.S. than in other developed countries is because we have guns. So we have disproportionately more suicides, homicides, gun-involved robberies, gun-involved assaults, etc., etc. And we have an armed police force. Police without guns (if we had a citizenry without guns) could still abuse their power, but with less deadly results.
            Sadly, guns and shootings are so common here that they don’t typically make the news unless 1) there’s video of police brutality or 2) they’re mass shootings.

          • My only and I do mean only response to when people like to mention other crime is that those crimes are often prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. That is the major difference. You can not necessarily stop people from killing one another. That has been going on since the beginning of time.

            People are fed up with the lack of prosecution and conviction of individuals that they feel have killed without merit.

            You can cite all of your crime stats but one thing for sure is that once apprehended, these individuals are arrested, tried and sentenced. That is the justice that everyone is seeking across the board.

        • HaileUnlikely

          I think another problem that we have, and quite honestly don’t even have a clue regarding its extent because our data are so lamentably poor (another very serious problem in itself), is the hiring as police officers of people who are unfit to ever be police officers for various reasons (temperament, personality, cognitive abilities, etc), as well as generally qualified officers who are in the field despite being unfit for duty at the moment. Many of the past high-profile fatal police shootings have involved one or both of these factors. For example, officers hired by one department after having previously been fired from other departments and regarded by their previous supervisors as altogether incapable of performing the duties of a police officer for personal reasons not remediable by training–the one who killed Tamir Rice is a salient example of this – he probably never should have been given the powers of a police officer. Or an officer who has been awake for 24 hours straight or is going through stressful personal stuff that renders the individual temporarily unfit to do the job – the officer who killed John Geer (the [white] guy shot by police on his porch in Fairfax is a salient example of this). There are, without a doubt, instances of malevolent racist police officers murdering citizens in cold blood, but assuming that to be the case every unjustifiable police-involved shooting distracts us from seeing fixable flaws in systems that could potentially make a big difference.

          • +1. There have been some New Yorker articles addressing this; will see if I can find the links.
            Sometimes police departments are ordered to increase their numbers, and a single-minded focus on hiring warm bodies (at the expense of hiring qualified personnel) means that those warm bodies may be ill-suited for the job.

          • HaileUnlikely

            p.s. In my honest opinion the killing of Alton Sterling looked a whole lot like cold-blooded murder. But the search for answers needs to go deeper than that if we ever want to change anything.

          • I think you hit the nail on the head, Haile. I read an article yesterday about a border patrol agent now charged with beheading. He was completely wrapped up in the cartel, and a decent background check should have revealed enough clues about this to prohibit him from employment. I simply don’t get it; I work in healthcare and the hoops providers have to jump through to get licensed seems to be far stricter than cops. I know this isn’t the case everywhere, but why is it lenient anywhere?

          • New Yorker article on the Albuquerque police force:
            Some key excerpts re. hiring and police qualifications (or lack thereof):
            “[The officer who shot Christopher Brown, a 27-year-old with schizophrenia] [. . .] had been an officer with the department for four years, since 2007. At the time, the department had been ordered by Mayor Martin Chávez to expand by at least a hundred officers, to bring the total number up to more than a thousand. [. . .]
            The department accepted officers from other police forces, even if they had been disciplined or fired, and it sometimes waived the psychological exam. Steve Tate, the director of training at the Albuquerque Police Academy, said that, after the hiring push, he noticed new cadets ‘exhibiting some characteristics that I thought were a little strange.’ ‘They were not in charge of their emotions,’ he told me. “’People were breaking down into tears.’ He spoke with the head of the department’s psychological unit, and asked why so many officers seemed psychologically unstable. ‘I could pick up a sense of worry from her,’ he said. ‘She described to me feeling as though they were strong-armed into seating people that they didn’t feel were ready.’ Peter DiVasto, a contract psychologist for the department, said in a deposition that psychologists felt that they were supposed to ‘err on the side of acceptance.’ He testified that ‘deputy chiefs had been threatened with firing unless those numbers went up.’
            “At meetings with the police chief and his deputies, Tate said he pleaded to reject applicants who seemed erratic. He said that a ‘common phrase was “Well, we got seats open, so let’s give them a try.” ‘ The department began accepting candidates ‘whose backgrounds were so bad it was just, like, wow,’ he said. There were cadets who had admitted to crimes and had been repeatedly disciplined in previous jobs. Of the sixty-three officers who joined the Albuquerque police force in 2007, ten eventually shot people.”

          • From a New Yorker article about Darren Wilson, the police officer who shot Michael Brown:
            “McCarthy [a field-training officer in one of Wilson’s previous jobs] wasn’t surprised that Wilson had difficulty interacting with residents. Police officers are rigorously trained in firing weapons and apprehending suspects but not in establishing common ground with people who have had different experiences. [. . .] A recent survey by the Police Executive Research Forum revealed that cadets usually receive fifty-eight hours of training in firearms, forty-nine in defensive tactics, ten in communication skills, and eight in de-escalation tactics.”

          • Oops — I forgot the link for the article about Darren Wilson:

  • Question for dog owners….my fiance is out of town. I am picking up the dog from my future mother in laws house and spending time with him all weekend. We had the Orkin guy come into our future home this past Tuesday. I am planning on mopping the kitchen area and floors today, but just wanted to see if it was safe enough for our dog? He’s a 7.5 pound chihuahua. I could just spend the weekend at my mother in laws, but it’s cramped and I would prefer to stay at our house. Just don’t want anything to happen to him.

    • That’s a good question for Orkin to answer. They should know what was applied and how toxic or animal safe it may be.

      • Yeah I will call during my break and see, I don’t want to risk it.

      • Maybe I’m being cynical, but I’m not entirely sure they’ll give you a healthy answer. I expect they have some kind of all-purpose, @ss-covering response like “People and pets should avoid exposure/contact.”
        Assuming they sprayed your baseboards, I’d imagine the treatment is more effective the longer it stays on. If it were me and my pet, I’d want not only to mop, but also to wipe down the baseboards.
        So it might make sense to spend the weekend at your MIL’s to give the spray maximum time to take effect, and then mop/wipe it off before letting the dog in the house.

        • I have no idea why I typed “healthy” above. I think I meant “honest.”
          Apparently I need caffeine more urgently than I thought.

  • Rant: It appears we are reliving the 60’s. Once again as humans we should be past this. And the fact that people are going to use the Dallas incident as justification for the shootings earlier this week. Or denounce Black Lives Matter as a terrorist group. Or use this as another excuse to be opening hostile to people of color. Once again I’m afraid this will give Trump a boost. These are scary, scary times.

    Rant: Still sick. Going to the Doctor later this morning.

    • +100 to everything you said.

      I hope you feel better.

    • Feel better soon! and I agree completely with your first rant – these are scary times. But then, I don’t think there’s ever been a “not-scary” time on the planet. Ever.

      • You’re right. Most of history has been worlds worse than now. And most of the planet is worse off than we are here and now.
        Doesn’t make it easier to watch the backslide, though.

        • yup. It’s just one of those things I think about when I’m tempted to get “nostalgic” about a “safer” time. but yeah, still sucks monkey balls to watch the world spin out of control.

      • Oh I agree, compared to the rest of history. There has always been miserable events of humans mistreating humans. I guess it’s just so amplified these days with non stop news and social media. There are times when I think people today are more empathetic than those of the past. We just get bad news at a faster pace.

  • The world has gone crazy.

    • +1
      Absolutely insane, at least in the U.S.
      Guns make otherwise fragile people feel empowered. We know what needs to be done, but our leaders do not have the political will to take those steps.

      • +1. I’d add that we should all vote them out of office if they don’t have the political will. We should. But I also don’t have much faith in much of America that they will actually vote people out of office who won’t take those steps.

  • Rant: Really hard not to give into despair this morning.

  • Bear

    Rant: I have an incredibly heavy heart today. That is all.

    • Bear

      …and if it wasn’t already bad, I just found out a friend from high school died last night. Knowing his history, probably an OD or related heart issue. F*cking sad.

  • Rant: getting into ridiculous arguments with my “all lives matter” friend from high school.
    Rant: four days into summer vacation in DC and I’m bored to death
    Rebel: met with the lyft guy yesterday, I should be good to go soon

  • As a black person, I pray that my white peers, coworkers, friends, strangers know that all black people are in a state mourning, confusion, fear and anger. I hope that white people know that 99% of black people think that that violence against police officers is not the solution and we are saddened by Dallas… because we value human lives.. all of them. I hope that those that comment that they are sad and heavy hearted today were also sad and heavy hearted yesterday, and the day before that, and any day that results in the tragic of a human loss. If you only felt or started to pay attention once the officers were slain ask yourself, why is that, why didn’t I care before, why do I not feel connected to the people of color slain as much as the officers? As a black person I feel it all. I think about the officers’ families, I think about Alton Sterling’s family, I think about Philando Castile’s family and I pray you all do too.

    • Speaking only for my white self: I’ve been sad and scared for over a year. Sad for the lives taken, and scared of the breaking point which is coming.
      And I hope you know that most white folks think that violence against persons of color is appalling and unacceptable and we are horrified and helpless.
      I voted to decriminalize marijuana principally because enforcement of drug laws is massively racially biased and I am not on board with different standards for different populations. But that’s just one tiny piece. And I can’t see the other pieces. I can’t. I fear for my black friends and neighbors and family members. I fear for my whole city and indirectly for myself. I’m afraid, and I know that my fear doesn’t come close to what many of my neighbors have lived with their whole lives.
      If only my privilege extended to having some power over this situation.

    • Well Said. I cant even begin to say much of anything. Just numb.

    • +1000. I am so angry at the shooters. They have probably destroyed the movement. This will be what people will think of when they hear Black Lives Matter, and it is so far from what the group represents.

    • Bear

      Yes, I was sad long before I read the news this morning. Sad for those who have lost so much: their lives, the lives of loved ones, their dignity, and any sense that there is justice, all the result of pervasive, institutionalized racism. I’m also sad for the police officers who lost their lives last night, because more senseless violence won’t solve anything – it will only make things worse.
      I’m also sad for all the times my mixed race husband has been harassed (and beaten) by police unnecessarily, from the time he was a teenager right up until very recently. I’m sad for my mixed race stepson, who is innocent and curious and wonderful, but who is about to be a teenager and will have to start dealing with the same kind of profiling his father has dealt with. And I’m sad for my unborn son, who will grow up to be a man of color. I hope that by the time he’s a teenager things will have gotten better, but I’m not sure things are any better now than they were when I was a teenager, so I’m having a hard time being optimistic.
      I can say that as a white person, it’s pretty easy to feel helpless when faced with such an immense problem that for many of us is completely unfamiliar in terms of having any personal experience with it. It’s easy to deal with it by or posting some comments online and then going about your day as if nothing happened, or by just sticking your head in the sand. It’s easy because it doesn’t affect us the way it affects others, so we can put blinders on and pretend like it doesn’t really exist. But it does, and we can be part of the solution. I think it’s near impossible to change an individual’s mind when racism/bigotry/sexism/etc are deeply ingrained, but we can build stronger institutions by fighting for effective policy change, starting in our own communities. It’s an uphill battle for sure, and change will most likely be achieved through incremental steps over the long term, but all of us need to come together in that fight in order to see any real movement.
      A few friends have shared this today, and I think it’s the best thing I’ve seen as far as proposing evidence-based policy solutions: http://www.joincampaignzero.org/solutions/#solutionsoverview. Start in your community. Engage your councilmen and women, your representatives. Participate. And don’t give up, change takes continued effort.

      • +1000. This is eloquent and so spot-on.

        Just echoing these thoughts and adding that as white people we *have* to be part of the solution. We benefit from institutionalized racism in this country, and we must be part of dismantling that system.

      • I really appreciate all the replies that express solidarity and understanding and an interest in doing more, and learning more. And recognizing the blind spots in that understanding. Thank you.

      • Just wanted to second all of this. I feel so hopeless, helpless, so totally inadequate, and yet I want to try to be better, to do better, to use what privilege I do have as a white person to drive out the racism that has permeated every inch of this country. Thank you, caphillnative, for helping hold us accountable to our better selves and each other.

    • +1 Thanks for expressing your sentiments

  • Rant: Echoing others in feeling overwhelmed with sadness and discouragement.
    Rant: wishing I had a quiet office where I could close the door, instead of being surrounded by people in cubes, and stuck sharing one with the loudest, most frequent sigh-er in the world.
    Rave: At least it’s Friday already

    • Forgotten Rave: The beautiful picture from last night’s Black Lives Matter rally – it was heartening to see many beautiful faces coming together in peaceful protest. I needed to have that be the first thing I saw when I got online. And I spied one of my yoga teachers in one of the shots!

      • +1
        With that many people from that many backgrounds in agreement on one thing, it seems like we should be able to move the needle a bit, doesn’t it?

  • Rant: Childhood friend’s mom passed away overnight. Her mom hated doctors and only told her daughter on Tuesday that it was late stage cancer. Friend is an only child, so left to do all the things that happen at this point. Trying to help as much as I can and be there for her.
    Rave: Her mom’s boyfriend/partner was so loving. I’ve never seen anyone treated that way in real life. They were lucky to have each other.

    • Oh my gosh, as an only child myself, your first rant is my worst fear. I am so sorry for your friend and I’m glad she has you for support. Sending hugs.

  • Rant – Feeling so much sadness and avoiding social media today.
    Rave – Tomorrow I’m leaving for vacation with my family and I’m so looking forward to unplugging and spending time with people I love.
    Rant – Work has been so slow all week then the day before I leave for vacation I get dumped with a pile of *priority* assignments. This always seems to happen to me.

  • I have a nagging discomfort with the black lives matter movement. While I know that the “all lives matter” thing is barely veiled racism promoted by trump supporters and white supremacists, I do worry that blm is rooted in a very narrow view of the problem. We have too much violence in our society. The most violent developed country. There’s too much violent crime, too much police brutality, too many guns meant for “protection”, and too much fear. Black people are 3.5 times more likely to get shot by police. But even if no black people were ever shot by police again, we would still have an incredibly violent, angry, and fearful society. How do we fix that AND fix the ongoing broken system experienced by black America (and being a target of state sponsored violence is a big part, but certainly not the most disabling part of the broken system)?

    Not being black, i can’t understand the fear and anger that this broken system creates – but I also don’t understand why there is such a massive leadership vacuum among the political elite in realizing that something really big is broken… Mental health, guns, race issues, criminal justice, education, and more are all in need of attention but political, media, and activist attention hop from one issue to the next as if all of these problems occur in silos.

    I am all for ending police violence against blacks – but I’m not sure how that is supposed to happen without some significant changes across the board. Racism is part of the issue, but focusing on that while excluding the other issues isn’t the answer.

    • Here’s where you should have stopped:

      “Not being black, i can’t understand “

      • Correction, here’s where you should have started and stopped:
        “Not being black, i can’t understand “

      • If you think that sort of attitude isn’t part of the problem, you’re sorely mistaken.

        • If you think that racism isn’t a major enough problem to deal with alone and forcefully, then you are part of the problem. Telling people of color that they can not focus on racism is insulting and frankly dismissive of the lives that people are living every day. Listen to people who are telling you what they experience. You don’t get to dismiss people’s lived experience as “too narrow” when you don’t live that life.

          • HaileUnlikely

            I agree with what you say here, but you are refuting something that Anon X did not say and I don’t think he intended to imply either.

          • You’re delusional if you think that’s what I said. I didn’t say “can’t” nor was I even saying anything about what black people should or shouldn’t do. As far as I can tell, BLM isn’t just black people. And if you took the time to understand what I said and not have a knee jerk reaction, you’d understand that my concerns are more about the lack of political leadership on these issues and a failure to understand the interconnectedness of all of the problems we are facing.

            Sorry, I just don’t believe it’s physically possible to address racism, particularly police violence disproportionately targeting one population, without addressing these other, related but different, issues.

            I realize the attractiveness for latching onto simple answers. But these are really complex problems and I really don’t think our society and our political leadership is grasping that.

          • These are 2 sentences that I have a real issue with. Mostly because it feels like someone who is choosing not to listen to people’s experience.

            ” I do worry that blm is rooted in a very narrow view of the problem.”
            “Racism is part of the issue, but focusing on that while excluding the other issues isn’t the answer.”

          • I had a very different interpretation of Anon X post – not at all that s/he was “telling people of color that focusing on racism doesn’t matter”

          • @Colhi. “Listen to people who are telling you what they experience.” Cuts both ways, ColHi. You might do well to at least hear people out on what they have to say instead of yelling “Shut up, you’re wrong!” If he or she is off, then tell him or her why without demeaning the person.

          • its my hope, and my world view, that if we ended the health and education disparities, integrated communities (which is a multifaceted complicated issue by itself) and truly gave everyone equal opportunity to succeed that racism would be diminished and that it’s the only real way to effectively end it.

            Racism is, at its core, ignorance. Sure it can be amplified or engendered by fear of losing power or being surpassed on the social pecking order, but that fear is rooted in ignorance.

            The more equality and integration there is, the less ignorance will exist. Those are the complicated questions that really don’t have easy/simple answers.

      • Dan, if you’re going to delete follow up comments from both colheights and me, just delete my original comment and be done with it. You can’t censor your way to a well-curated discussion that fits in your box.

        • Sorry for that, Dan. For some reason the comments from colheights and my follow up didn’t appear. Now I see they’re there. Perhaps some computer error that I over reacted to. My apologies.

      • makes a ton of sense to attack people of good will who are trying to understand and improve the underlying problems.

        • I don’t think Colhi meant to “attack” anyone. She is allowed to be angry. I’m white, but my black friends are exhausted from having to keep re-explaining and re-educating people who don’t get it. Are there lots of reforms that should be made across the board? Yes. Should these reforms detract or distract or dismiss the BLM movement? No. As a white person myself, I realize that the argument Anon X made above is not my argument to make. This whole thing is not about Anon X… or I. We need to stop shifting the conversation to make it about us and learn to listen instead.

          • @FridayGirl. “Race relations” by definition implicates all races. EVERYONE has a right to respectfully and thoughtfully express their opinions, as Anon X did, without snarky and disrespectful responses like ColHi’s. Also, just a thought experiment: if it’s true that your “black friends are exhausted from having to keep re-explaining and re-educating people who don’t get it,” could it also be possible that there are nuggets of truth in what others are saying that your black friends refuse to accept? We all have a lot to learn from each other. Let’s just listen instead of setting up stupid ground rules as to who’s allowed to say what and when and where. As long as it’s done respectfully, all opinions should matter.

          • @Uh nuggets of truth aren’t why we are exhausting of re-explaining. We are exhausted because the opinions of the uneducated deal with nitpicking at the facts instead of trying to understand the overall issue. We don’t care about “nuggets of truth” if the point isn’t “This country has a systemic issue when it comes to how we handle the murder of black deaths at the hands of government sanctioned ‘protectors’ and it should be fixed”. Too many people like to dance around that, bringing up all the other nuggets instead. That is exhausting. FridayGirl had it right, just LISTEN!

          • It’s surprising to me that you can read my post and with a shred of intellectual honesty say that I am “not seeing the big picture” or that I’m uneducated. But, if that works for you – go for it.

      • I think this is an unfair response. Promoting the notion that Anon X can’t have an opinion on BLM and what it represents within the context of violence in our country because he or she is not black is not the path to restoration. Acknowledging the systemic issues, including racism, in our country that promote such violence does not lessen the need for and impact of BLM. Rather, it allows for holistic remediation.

        • Can we really remediate it all at once with the same effort or efficacy, though? It seems like getting police to de-escalate and stop shooting people — especially black people — _might_ be the easiest aspect to resolve within a short period of time.
          As for “Mental health, guns, race issues, criminal justice, education, and more are all in need of attention but political, media, and activist attention hop from one issue to the next as if all of these problems occur in silos.” :
          – Mental health – As far as I can tell, the new attention on mental health seems to be from Republicans who want to believe that the only problem with guns is when mentally ill people have guns.
          – Guns – Guns are the BIG BIG BIG problem here. If guns suddenly disappeared in America overnight, even if all of the other factors were the same, there would be fewer people dying from (say) police beatings than from police shootings.
          – Race issues – There are some fundamental differences in perception; see the recent Pew report. I don’t know what the best way is to resolve that, particularly since “race issues” covers things like educational opportunities, job opportunities, implicit bias in hiring, etc., etc.
          – Criminal justice – I think there’s starting to be some movement in this area, but the trial of Brock Turner certainly reminded us just how much it matters when a suspect/defendant is white and well-to-do.
          – Education – Sometimes this seems like an intractable issue and a vicious circle.

          • How do we get the police to de-escalate and stop shooting black people? Unfortunately I see too many police and police families posting about their fear and about this thin blue line that they’re holding for all of us against evil. There is a cultural deficiency that exists within the minds of a lot officers, and their intellectual and political allies, that can’t just be fixed by finger wagging and telling them they aren’t sensitive enough. but, I don’t have the answer… I just can observe that America is having two different conversations.

          • “How do we get the police to de-escalate and stop shooting black people?” Shift the balance of training for new officers, and get current officers to take de-escalation training ASAP. (I suspect that unfortunately, this will be implemented on a municipality-by-municipality basis, even though we need it nationwide.)
            Not sure if you saw in my post above, quoting from a New Yorker article: “A recent survey by the Police Executive Research Forum revealed that cadets usually receive fifty-eight hours of training in firearms, forty-nine in defensive tactics, ten in communication skills, and eight in de-escalation tactics.”

          • So more training is an answer? Is that low hanging fruit that will have a big impact or is it the fluffy sort of reform that will say “we did something” without having an impact?

            I really don’t know.

            But, and I’m probably assuming too much here, that the cops who shoot people are acting less on their training and more on the conditioning.

          • Thought provoking response as usual, texdoc. To answer your question, I really don’t think so, but I do think it’s important to view things holistically and understand how these “silos” interact with each other. We have to start somewhere, and stopping police violence against the black community is well past its due.

      • If you write things on the internet, people will interpret them (whether it was “knee jerk” or not is up for you to decide.) I have highlighted the statements that I felt were truly problematic. People can interpret things in multiple ways.

    • and once again it seems that someone needs to be explained what “Black Lives Matters” means. It doesn’t mean Black Lives are more important than others. It means they matter at all. For example we have moments for Breast Cancer awareness. Should these charities start focusing on Pet Adoptions as well? Both are worthy causes, but may have nothing to do with each other. All Lives Matters ignores the bigger issue, there is systematic racisism in the country that needs to be addressed.

      • So help me understand- Was the BLM movement existence created strictly to protest against police and justice system? I ask because I only see BLM protest when there’s a police injustice against a black person and not for other situations where black lives were taken by the hands of others within their own community. I ask this as a black man, who has had my share of profiling- but who also witness the day to day senseless killings of black/black crime that doesn’t get the PEOPLE out in the streets marching and protesting and seeking justice for the countless of murdered victims.

        • Maybe you should look around because there are countless meetings, marches, etc all over the country to stop violence generally. More importantly, why is this response never directed at non-Black ppl? Black on black crime is only SLIGHTLY (in the 2-4% range) higher than other intraracial crime likely do in part to the fact that Blacks stay put more often than others.
          When yet another white guy shoots up something, there is no call to arms for all that white on white crime….why is that?

        • I am so tired of this black on black violence canard being used as an excuse for people to negate or not pay attention to the issue of police brutality. People of color die at the hands of the police because of their skin color. That is the issue, and it is not acceptable.

    • HaileUnlikely

      Dan – please don’t delete any of this. There are no personal attacks or anything going on. It’s a tense, nasty, honest, necessary discussion.
      Anon X – I don’t see how any thinking person could refute any of your points. However, in all seriousness, this was probably about the third least opportune time in the past decade to raise those points.

      • +1 to “It’s a tense, nasty, honest, necessary discussion.”

      • I don’t agree. I have a Facebook feed full of gratuitous sorrow for police from people who didn’t say a thing about the two videographed shootings this week.

        Look, if I had my way everything would be perfect. It would track closely with John lennons imagine.

        I have personally worked, and I like to think in a meaningful and impactful way, to help end disparities in access to healthcare and education.

        I cannot grasp how we get to the point that I think blm aspires to be at without addressing these systemic issues.

        when black people are 3.5 times more likely to be shot by police, that’s a symptom. You need to treat the disease.

        • HaileUnlikely

          I agree with you. And in time, I think you will find people to be broadly receptive of this message. Today just ain’t the day if you want people to actually listen. People are busy grieving right now, which is legitimate. It’s just not the time.

          • I get that. But, I wish people with actual power, and not just an ability to post anonymously like me, would be more reasonable and pragmatic during times of crisis. Maybe then we wouldn’t be where we are…

    • I don’t understand people that if Black Lives Matter exist it some how takes away from any other issues. Think o Black Lives Matter as a plea for a “priority* status, an “urgent” stamp, a memo on red paper. It doesn’t mean we deleted the rest of the inbox, burned the other memos, or ignore the other issues. Its not JUST that we are being murdered, its that we are being murdered LEGALLY. That’s a problem that we need addressed right away. It is inhumane for this many people to die and not suffer any consequences it means that our lives deserve no justice, our lives can legally be taken. An ANIMALS life is under more legal protection than ours. We can not fix everything at once, but we are pleading that we at least start here.

      • Also, no one is stopping anyone from creating a “Stop the Violence” movement. Please do it. Do it in concert with gun control groups, BLM, and others. Why does BLM have to change to conform to someone else’s analysis of what is going on?

        • I think its internalized generational racism that causes Americans to have a knee-jerk, “Black people are getting out of hand, they are congregating, they aren’t staying in the place we think they should be”. I think it is so deeply rooted that they don’t even realize that that is why they feel that way. But I TRY not to go there, I try to focus on the micro issues, the macro ones are too complicated to tackle why we’re dying.

          • *while we’re dying

          • We live in different worlds, though probably more closely adjacent than some. I’m not seeing blm as a black-only movement because I am surrounded by white people and a huge number of them are blm supporters, actively or passively. (obviously they’re not the same ones that are silent about police brutality but up-in-arms about the Dallas shootings)

            My comments weren’t really about what I thought black people should be spending their time doing or how they should respond… I’m having a hard enough time figuring out how I should respond or how I should feel about all of this.

            My points were more about the political and social system that exists around all of us and probably my overall cynicism/pessimism that it can change.

            As a white person, I’ve gotten a good look at institutionalized white racism aimed at blacks from the inside. It’s truly shocking what many populations of white people say when they assume their audience is as primitive as they are. I’m not in denial about it. And I fully understand the “all lives matter” is an almost weaponized version of “well if there’s a BET why isn’t there a WET” which was a popular argument 20 years ago.

            And, I also think it’s possible for people to agree but still not identify with a movement.

            Like I said, all of this is very complicated and I am always frustrated with the pursuit of seemingly simple answers.

        • Except that Black Lives Matters followers explicitly slandered and harassed the Citizens for a Safe Capitol Hill group last year, causing it to disband. They went so far as to compare the liberal Democrat woman who used extensive social justice messaging in every communication to the community about the new group to a Klansman.

          So, in one of the specific communities that this site deals with, BLM explicitly DID act to stop the creation of a “Stop the Violence” movement. BLM explicitly DID take away from an important issue in my community. And that was when it lost all credibility with me.

          • Isn’t Black Lives Matters pretty loosely organized, though? Does the entire group/mission have to be blamed for what a particular group of adherents did? (Or allegedly did? I’m having trouble finding much online other than that the Citizens for a Safe Capitol Hill group was started and later disbanded.)

      • It is pretty ridiculous that if a white person is shot people say “what a horrible mistake” but if a black person is shot the reaction is “well what was he doing wrong?”

        I think my original post is being pretty misunderstood. My “nagging concern” with BLM is what is the end game and is this the path to getting to where they want to be.

        • The best solution to satisfy your “nagging concern” is to be a part of the movement. Criticism from people who aren’t actively helping the situation is distracting and counterproductive. Its like a Monday morning quarterback. Amplify (our voices) and educate (yourself). The educate part will help answer your questions without them being a distraction to our continued focus on our lives being at risk. There are so many online resources that it is not the responsibility of black people to stop and catch you up. We are too busy fighting for our lives.

  • I Dont Get It

    Midwestern Nice Rant: Small children who cry at the dinner table just because Uncle IDGI explained Elsa of “Frozen”‘s false feminism and her long term economic and ecological impact to Arendelle every time she throws another ice tantrum.
    Midwestern Nice Rant : Picked up IDGI SR at the local airport where TSA screening seems to involve whether or not they knew you from high school.
    Midwestern Nice Rave: Daily big thunderstorms!

  • Rave: I found temporary renters for my condo! This means that I will be able to afford the temporary apartment I’ve leased in Colorado for the next few months.
    Rave: The renters seem like good people, however . . .
    Question: For small-time renters, do you run background checks on your tenants? I’ve only ever rented to friends and friends-of-friends before, so this is uncharted territory for me. My first idea was to just check their social media accounts (they are young professional millennials, so they’ll have them), but maybe I should do a formal check? What’s your process and what service do you use?
    Rant: Orlando, Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, and now four police officers who were protecting protesters: My heart hurts and my anger burns. I’m so tired of the violence.

    • For screening tenants: Many PoPvillagers have recommended SmartMove.com.
      This was the most recent thread about tenant screening:

    • Question: do you have your business license to rent out the apartment? If not, please get it ASAP. If you don’t have the license and you end up having unscrupulous tenants, you will end up in a world of pain. Not only will you be fined by the city, but you will end up losing a lot of money as you would be forced to re-pay your tenants the rent that they paid to you.
      Also, I would draw up a lease stating the start and end dates. I would also notify the tenants via registered mail that you intend to take the possession of the property on XX date (I believe you need to give 60 days’ notice).

  • Leaving in two weeks for 4 months. I am SO not ready. Still need to get a few things I forgot, haven’t found a place to store my car, and need to finish up a lot of projects.

    Rave – no matter what, I’m leaving in two weeks, so it’ll either get done or it won’t

    Rave – I think I’ve figured out that I’ve gotten over the person I was interested in. So, that’s good. 🙂

  • FridayGirl, LittleBluePenguin, I just found a link to a call to action/prayer vigil on Sunday at 5 at the African American Civil War Memorial. I’ll be there. https://www.facebook.com/events/608758909300235/

  • topscallop

    Does anyone have tips/recommendations for what to do with 24 hours in Amsterdam? I’m already planning to visit the Rijksmuseum, eat falafel and fries and hot stroopwaffels, and walk around the 9 streets area. Other suggestions are welcome!

    • How about the Van Gogh museum and/or the Anne Frank House? (Have you been to Amsterdam before, or is this your first visit?)

      • If you only have 24 hours, I might skip the Anne Frank house. Don’t get me wrong, it is really interesting and I’m glad I went, but you might end up spending a lot of your precious time waiting in line. If you do want to go, get there EARLY to get in line.

        I’d do the Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh museum. Check the day your going to be there to see if any of the museums are open late or closed to maximize your time.

        • Thanks for adding this — I should have clarified: Van Gogh Museum > Anne Frank House.

          • topscallop

            Thanks, I’ve been once before and went to the Van Gogh Museum. I loved it- it was amazing how detailed his sketches were before he painted, almost like photographs! I haven’t been to the Anne Frank house but I think I will do that another time when I have more than a day – I’m maximizing a layover and want to squeeze in as much as possible.

  • Guess the comments are closed in the BLM photos post – but that top photo is hauntingly beautiful. Just wow – major props to the photog.

  • Macro Rant: All the news from past two weeks. Terror, violence, and injustice abroad and at home.

    Micro Rant: Metrobus drivers who don’t know the route they are driving.
    Related Micro Rant: Passengers who don’t help the driver and correct/direct him.

    • re your micro rant: one time a bus driver asked the entire bus “Um, passengers, do I turn left or right on 16th?” UGH HOW. I feel you.

  • anonymouse_dianne

    The Guardian (US version) has very good coverage of Dallas including some graphic video.

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