Tag Archives: The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell

“When I Grew Up, Those Things Weren’t Called Racist”: Clint Eastwood On Why He’s Voting For Donald Trump—A Critique

Current Trends by Natasha Sapp

Who could forget last election cycle Clint Eastwood’s, viewed strange, monologue recitation to a chair meant to represent president Obama? Where he, among general observations standing out, mumbled frequently and filled gaps repeating the word uh a lot; impersonated our sitting, then up for reelection (obviously), president interrupting him, telling candidate Romney, our intrepid speaker of the hour both to shut up at several points. Purported the suggestion Mr. Romney go f- himself; imaginings president Obama told Eastwood he too could go f- himself at another juncture, after saying something he wouldn’t like…People back then generating predictable mixed reactions, from viewers, analysts who thought it was republican swill to about time, a larger swath seeing the prolific actor, director, even composer as fragile, senile and out of his depth. Yet, considering Eastwood’s personal politics, shaking off reserved shadows once again sharing his views, it was little surprise he was back this year commenting on, even going so far as to assuage people’s curiosity telling readers he was voting for Donald Trump; however, it was his additional comments on society today that raised eyebrows. In an interview for Esquire he said of Trump and current culture in general, title lines spawning Salon’s piece and subsequently mine: “When I grew up, those things weren’t called racist.” Pontificating everyone was walking on eggshells and how Trump was onto something because people are secretly tried of political correctness, kissing up, calling such actions the kiss-ass generation, elaborating: “we’re really in a pussy generation.” Not included either by Eastwood himself, the Salon or Esquire authors so much as a singular example describing exactly what he alone has been called out for regarding racism, sexism, what he believes are over the top examples of political correctness calling something racist or sexist when it isn’t. We could be talking fan uproar swirling around black Hermione in stage adapted Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which was actually more about author JK Rowling’s character/casting inconsistencies, constant contradicting trickle down information pieces, characters’ background tidbits that don’t match series norms never mind shattering fan generated images accompanying their beloved Potter-verse. Or we could be talking substantive elements, without more information we’ll never know…or doesn’t recognize it, partly due to his age, times he did grow up in, where American once was. Renowned actor breaking down his thoughts on Trump comments voiced disparaging the judge overseeing Trump University lawsuit proceedings, calling attacking said judge’s Mexican heritage and suggesting that renders him unfit to decide outcomes pertaining to his case from a fair, legal-based standpoint merely a stupid thing to say. Directly afterwards highlighting both sides say a lot of them (stupid things); stating everybody, press were making a big hoodoo out of it when they should just f-ing get over it…We can’t just f-ing get over it because, he isn’t you, he isn’t just an actor, a however good one with untold credits to their name and a stellar reputation. He is vying for the highest office in the land, completing job application materials toward hopefully becoming commander in chief demanding a higher standard of conduct, conversation; and he speaks this way about our melting pot country, on countless fundamental topics not simply immigration…. . Unfortunately, we can’t just f-ing get over it; we must repudiate it because, Trump has already gotten as far as he has encountering few stumbling blocks. Because it sounds too much like Phil Robertson, who closed 2013 comparing homosexuality and bestiality, as if they were one in the same, and said he never saw an unhappy black person picking cotton circa the Jim Crow south. His failure to recognize, in his decrying entitlement, welfare, purposefully creating a population of second class citizens, second class human beings with whites only eateries, public restrooms, drinking fountains, public bus seats, schools was, is and always will be wrong. Reiterating, Donald Trump’s comments, satisfying though they may be to his avid listeners, were and always will be wrong as well, regardless who endorses them, supports them, and by extension him, encourages others to do so…. Confronting Eastwood’s asserted assessments, dismal stated descriptions of current American culture, it’s not rampant political correctness gone awry, social sensitivity run amuck hamstringing people so completely they can’t tell the needed, uncomfortable truth to expect people running for public office, particularly our nation’s highest office, reaching bona fide nominee status, certified by voters, to have their facts straight… Nor is it political correctness on steroids, gone horribly wrong, kissing up, walking on eggshells to dare require of political leaders, known names, influential persons understanding their words have increased power, significant weight. To that end, they should be careful with them comprehending; quoting Hillary Clinton, words matter. Following up another Salon piece challenging Republican surrogate Anne Coulter needs a dictionary along with her nominee, exclaiming words mean things. Added to their list ‘sarcasm,’ ‘rape’ and ‘legitimate,’ focusing less on whether Trump confused sarcasm and hyperbole, ‘just kidding,’ ‘obviously I was joking’ and ‘I was being sarcastic’ can’t be excuses for ideas, suggestions he’s put forth publicly talking, however quasi seriously, to America’s citizenry or foreign governments, leaders alike… We are not living in a kiss ass, never mind pussy generation to be taking stock of our wars Afghanistan, Iraq, Libyan intervention and the cost beyond dollars. Thinking maybe we should do something different, maybe if we stopped bombing their country they would stop trying to kill us. Or, on the other hand, seeing on nightly national news evidence supporting chemical weapons attacks on Syrian civilians and we do nothing because it’s too expensive to get involved, we’re weary of the fight? Syrian kids creating their own no-fly zone burning tires while apologizing to environmentalist for global impact saying we abandoned them. Here at home taking stock of our political discourse, social conversation and the divisiveness, unrest it leads to, social injustice it allows to continue festering… Eastwood eerily close to mirroring Trump, synchronized on how they view government function, how to get maximum function out of it; evidenced listening to his monologue 4 years ago Salon link below illustrating quite nicely both are utterly clueless…. Except they correctly explicate what flies over the heads of both Eastwood and Trump, America’s government is not a corporation, a president is not CEO and he can’t wave a magic wand, bombastically declare from a speech podium, floors of congress what he wants done and expect worker bees to scatter in all directions hastily making it happen. That description belongs to a dictatorship al-a Vladimir Putin, Kim Jung Un, government controls in China; although, who exactly did talk about shutting down ‘that internet thing?…. Now this time around Trump his, CEO of a company ideas, is the candidate; Scott Baio and Antonio Sabàto Jr. speaking to their generations, Willie Robertson to his all supporting a guy who doesn’t know how the government works. And, Salon hitting another nail on the head, since people listen to actors, television personalities more than they listen to high school civics, social studies, history, government teachers, we’re poised to elect someone, by choice, who doesn’t know how the government works; scarier than Clint Eastwood’s hair, voice, strange monologue, political persuasions or the reasons for them…
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Dallas was Wrong But Completely Unsurprising

Current Trends by Natasha Sapp

Echoing, Baltimore, Ferguson what did you expect; 2 people gunned down savagely by police with badges and you didn’t think there would be a reaction, a response, predictably a violent one, retaliation aimed at officers? commiserating with citizens over their justifiable anger toward police after a grand jury declined to indict the lead officer responsible for the chokehold ultimately killing Eric Garner. Where we had video showing exactly what the officer did: initiating the pile up atop a man trying to walk away, saying please don’t touch me, asking over and over why police were bothering, harassing him, later smiling and waving to present cameras after seeing the man he arrested carted off in an ambulance unresponsive, exactly what Garner did: passively pulling away, growing agitation not violence, his labored statements repeating 11 times I can’t breathe while officers continued to kneel on him, hold him down, press his head and body into the sidewalk. And again no charges; replacing charges, the unmitigated gall of a police union representative trying to insult everyone’s intelligence by calling what one of their own had done a seatbelt maneuver. Going back a short ways again to Ferguson, when bumbling Mayberry-esque law enforcement top brass couldn’t even get their stories straight on why they stopped Michael Brown, was it jaywalking or was it he fit the description of robbery suspects potentially guilty of stealing $4.88 in mini cigars, let alone why a lone officer pelted him with bullets, the last literally blowing off his forehead. Didn’t stop them from releasing an inflammatory video of a person committing a strong armed robbery speculated to be Brown; then seeming genuinely confused regarding why they had people looting everything that wasn’t nailed down… The only reason Michael Slager was charged in the savage, man with a badge, induced death of Walter Scott was because civilian video shows him running away and Slager lying through his teeth about administering CPR, rifling his pockets instead; the only reason the other South Carolina officer, who shot a man in the hip, was removed from his department and charged is because his own dash cam shows the man non-violent, actually following officer instructions to show license and registration. Both arrests the products of public pressure, intense scrutiny and protest to hold police accountable than an inherent understanding what they did was wrong, should never have happened. Video not always working to bring justice, glaringly obvious in the death of Tamir Rice, independent of a patrol car rolling up on him and within quite literally 3 seconds they open fire, despite 12 year old Tamir being alone in that gazebo, only after video came out did they say they told him to put his hands up, drop his ‘gun’ from the car; one guesses because there was no audio and other people in the public park it gave the grand jury reasonable doubt, translation the redundant no indictment… Speeding us toward right now Baton Rouge Louisiana, Alton Sterling suddenly tackled to the ground by police, held down to the ground by 2 officers, one pointing a gun at his chest yelling, using expletives, threating him not to move until the other officer yells gun, 2 distinct pops and Alton Sterling is now expediently dying on the parking lot pavement…A single day later Philando Castile’s deadly traffic stop live streamed on Facebook by his girlfriend as it happened, as Castile groaned in pain and bled out right there while the officer continues to point his gun at her awaiting backup. Why, because the officer mistook Castile for a possible robbery suspect and panicked when he reached for his ID as instructed all while trying to tell the officer he was licensed to carry and had his legal firearm on his person, in his vehicle; Minnesota, like Ohio, home of Tamir Rice, being an open carry state presence of a gun shouldn’t have ended like that. A day after two more black men succumbed to the looming danger of jittery patrol personnel former Army reserve Micah Johnson takes up multiple sniper positions killing 5 police officers present in solidarity with protesters, wounding 7 other police members and 2 civilians in Dallas Texas…. Compartmentalizing for a moment getting serious about the ongoing wars we fight, waged for years, seeing no end in sight and the toll it takes on good people sent to fight them, scars left on them not erased by returning to their home geography, reentering civilian life, lasting effects we don’t have a process for mitigating, treating or have outlandish expectations as to how well it works….are police always so unprepared; by the time we had gotten to the Eric Garner grand jury decision paralleling the death of New York officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu police retaliation wasn’t new or unheard of in the wake of video gone viral putting on display police brutality, excessive force adding up to needless civilian death? At the same time the named officers were ambushed in their patrol car L.A. had already seen a cop shot at, Ferguson had already erupted once, would again when Darrin Wilson faced zero incitement and a Florida officer was killed under similar circumstance; far from random, New York and Missouri explained, L.A. a direct response to the released autopsy report of one Ezell Ford developmentally delayed, shot by police, medical examination finding one shot was to his back, at close range leaving powder burns in the wound and inciting the public, nation too focused on Michael Brown to string together the pieces… Further Dallas is a huge metropolitan metropolis housing exponential numbers of tall buildings and it took it happening before you look up and think someone might do this, aptly named skyscrapers make ideal, prefect sniper perches; compounding what can only be called police shortsighted stupidity at our reading juncture, you have Dallas police chief David Brown scrutinizing positions of his dead officers calling the landscape adjacent to the shoot out a fatal funnel meaning their sniper took more time analyzing the area than they did when it came to where they should place officers, precautions they should take in the event of a protest disturbance, actual riot or active shooter situation—huh?.. Why are police always so flummoxed when confronted with criminal work arounds to achieve their goals, not necessarily in the heat of the moment believing there was more than one shooter, but in the immediate post analysis, the mistaken idea no one would ever take up a sniper perch at a protest, there aren’t civilians who possess requisite training to pull off such a plan and the persons who hold aforementioned training are not unstable enough to do so, earnest in their assessment nothing like that would happen during a protest scenario? Every assumption utterly false considering the sheer amount of returning soldiers, and all their problems, coming home in the last decade…. And in light of extensively listed facts and practical realties regarding scenarios various police divisions, law enforcement specialties should be fully aware of, the best thing they could do to disarm, neutralize the threat this guy presented to cops, protesters and citizens below was to, for the first time ever in U.S. policing history, send in a robot armed with a bomb to blow him apart?… Reading up to our current paragraph illustrating it goes beyond black lives matter, really incomparable to all lives, blue lives matter because it isn’t just coming to the understanding black, minority lives are also human lives, not the animals they have long been portrayed as, the understanding black, minority lives are important, more so now with them continually under siege…about correctly identifying, to a reasonable standard, what is a threat and what’s not, what is a deadly threat and what is a more moderate type of threat; it is coming full circle reaching the realization when shown a picture of a black person, seeing a black person walking down the street they are not a thug, they are not a gangbanger, drug dealer, shifty criminal about to commit petty theft, simple assault, because they sag their pants, wear oversized clothes, have necklaces around their necks and name brand sneakers. They are not, if female, a prostitute working the corner based solely on her clothing and location, they did not steal it, i.e. the car they’re getting into, because they have nice things, they aren’t necessarily out of place in that neighborhood because it is upscale and they are black, they are just people going about their business like you do when off duty, during a traffic stop, legitimate questioning by police, even situations as deadly as Dallas, they are not an exaggerated, elevated threat because they are black… Alton Sterling wasn’t a thug, a gangbanger, drug dealer, a hood rat, a hardened, habitual criminal; he was just a guy trying to earn money the only way he could, money intended to support his children not buy drugs, get high, spent on booze. Philando Castile had no criminal record absent a sizable collection of traffic stops and citations, half of those 52 amassed in the maximum 16 years he possibly had a driving license dismissed once reaching court…Philando Castile wasn’t violent, a thug, a gangbanger, miscreant, had a job, as a school cafeteria supervisor where students described him as Mr. Rogers with dreads…Prevailing attitude remains, there’s no need to change police culture regardless of we have a man, a civilian putting out video on how to survive a traffic stop, not departments nationwide who have seen this, unfortunate in their eyes, type of shooting happening with alarming frequency….When Senator Tim Scott, singular black republican, must resort to testifying on the Senate floor about times he has been pulled over throughout his life focusing on the 7 times in one year because police did not believe him to be the elected official he was to get his fellow republicans to comprehend then contemplate the clamors for mandatory and immediate criminal justice reform, reigns put back on our policing…Then over the weekend following one thwarted attempt to kill Baton Rouge police a man succeeded in ambushing, killing 3 cops and wounding at least 3 others; president Obama making clear it can’t be open season on police, there is no justification for targeting police and justice on their behalf will be done. Quick rebuttal being why not Mr. president, it’s been open season on us for years going all the way back to Rodney King…
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