Starbucks’ so called ‘teachable moment’ is as much about how all people treat all other people than balancing the scales of racial justice, correcting the scales’ long history of racial injustice.
Yes the Philadelphia Starbucks manager was white and the barred from the bathroom then told ‘order something or leave’ customers were black, recordings from elsewhere across the country showed again a white Starbucks manager showing preference to a white customer over a customer of color when it came to enforcing the coffee giant’s policy restrooms are for customers, customers defined as those who have already ordered and paid for an item. Yes there is a compelling argument to be made police were used as an arm, extension of white bias, white racism by arresting them once they got there and understood what was going on instead of plainly telling the store employee that’s not what the police are for, pointing out Starbuck’s own business model is built on it being a hangout, real life version of Central Perk on Friends or Sheldon’s favorite bookstore on The Big Bang Theory. Starbucks known for offering then bragging about its perk of free Wi-Fi before entities like McDonald’s followed suit further solidifying the idea you’re encouraged, supposed to bring your computer, tablet, device pull up a seat, order coffee and write that college paper, put together that spreadsheet or PowerPoint presentation for work, the dreaded expense report, put the finishing touches on that marketing campaign, kick back with an audio book, actual book and be around awhile; hopefully ordering cup after cup of specialty coffee, other drinks. Eyewitness also 100% correct what happened to those 2 black men simply waiting for their 3rd party to a business meeting, it might be added, before ordering, in the mean time needed to relieve themselves, wouldn’t have happened to her, more than simply because she’s white, such things don’t happen to white people, though they rarely do; but also, because she is young, thin, attractively cute, someone guys want to flirt with, others don’t mind looking at versus ‘the fat person.’ And well before the May 29th nationwide closing of Starbucks stores for bias training to prevent any such incidents in the future there was yet more evidence of racism when a photo of a customer cup with ‘Beaner’ where the name would be went viral on top of what happened at east coast location; explaining why, contrary to select progressive voices, they closed almost all stores nationwide for this specific training versus firing or dealing with those 2 employees alone, because it held the markers of a systemic problem. But the much bigger questions deserving to be asked are, why we have such policies in the first place, what it says about society we have these types of policies; comprehension Starbucks is just the latest incarnation of negative, bad policies enacted by businesses going well beyond no shoes, no shirt no service, appropriate attire (coat and tie for men, evening dress for women) high end restaurants, exclusive membership clubs. It goes beyond the hot buttons of race, sexuality and gender identity, obvious outward symbols of religion (think Muslim head coverings) in common discrimination situations and goes to society’s growing intolerance of well— everything. Our return to the 1950’s belief our pet peeves suddenly carry the weight of law, legal authority in what we’ve managed to re-ban, ban for the first time on a federal or state level, through public policy/city ordinance reverberating back to the days when Harvey Milk ran for public office talking about dog poop circa the 1970’s and finally culminating in restrictive rules for patrons of restaurants, coffee houses/bars, even vital needs like social services and medical care. The anti-gay adoption bills, the lesbian couple whose newborn daughter didn’t see the doctor they handpicked for her because the doctor ‘prayed on it’ and refused to see the child because of her family’s lifestyle; realization years after it happened and going beyond the legalization of same sex marriage, absent local anti-discrimination laws enfolding sexual orientation and gender identity, such actions are perfectly legal. Hints the beyond I do campaign, a campaign that shouldn’t be necessary yet sadly is because our humanity should tell us no child, particularly an infant, should be forced to negatively pay for their parent’s choices because someone else has a problem with them; humanity that should tell us, as many children as there are waiting to be adopted, who don’t care what race, creed, color, or sexual orientation their perspective parents are, if they can provide a loving, stable home we shouldn’t be preventing that. You see it every year at the start of school when another educational institution, independent yet public school achieves similar negative national headlines for dress codes half a century plus in the past, the petty should be inconsequential stuff getting kids sent home or suspended i.e. boy with a Mohawk age 5, grade kindergarten, equally petty, arbitrary and inconsistent enforcement. Yes it’s usually cracking down on hairstyles common among African Americans, the ‘smelly’ coconut oil in one preschooler’s hair, once telling a native American boy he had to cut his hair (apparently a snafu about documenting his heritage), but they will equally go after white girls for the length of their shorts, a visible bra strap, tops they believe show too much cleavage, are otherwise too revealing including the floor length sun dress of a 5 year old because it had against the rule spaghetti straps and dad forgot; yes it’s routinely young women, girls targeted by dress code policies however boys, young and full grown men are routinely singled out over baggy pants and white males too don baggy pants. You see it return every year at the end of school with graduation season housed in the extreme actions, over reactions of usually adults, supposed to be role models, pillars of wisdom marring the momentous occasion with racist comments, horrible planning blocking some from seeing their loved one graduate for want of a large enough venue, preventing the gay kid from revealing his sexuality of his own accord then going a tactless step further and outing him to his father as school officials called to discuss overall discomfiture with his speech. Barring a valedictorian from his graduation and customary speech for facial hair, another for adding an African cloth to his graduation garb, preventing the trans kid from walking at graduation, though she transitioned to full time female during high school, was using her feminine name, telling the native American graduate he can’t have the eagle feather symbolizing his achievement among his people of graduating high school on his cap because clothing must be neutral putting every student on equal footing.’ You see it in the things cities chose to spend time banning: dirty dancing style dancing in one area, another having to repeal a law about having a dancehall within so many feet of a church in order to have a valentine’s dance raising funds for the renovation of a popular local eatery, banning of thong underwear and see through clothing in a Washington state city, a ban on flip-flops worn by Whitehouse tour guests; ironic then to see Kellyanne Conway with her feet curled up on the oval office couch just shy of a decade later new administration or no. The raise your pants raise your image campaign to get youth to stop wearing baggy pants, the state that instituted fines for such clothing resulting in a man’s death when he was subsequently repeatedly tased, arrested and dumped in a cell on the charge; when, it was supposed to be a simple fine and the original domestic dispute taking place in the gas station parking lot was already over, they had no intention of charging him related to it. 2 high schoolers in a neighboring state jailed for 48 hours for repeatedly violating their schools dress code on same, apparently meant to get them to take the rule seriously; still 3 years later our nation didn’t learn it’s lesson as South Carolina put forth a bill in February this year instituting fines for such clothing touted as just enough to buy that needed belt: $25 first offense, $50 second offense, $75 for third and subsequent offenses. Recurring comments about indecent exposure completely invalid as most wear boxer shorts with said style that look identical to shorts and if you didn’t know they were being used as underwear you couldn’t tell the difference; even in cases of extreme sag where the outer pants are hanging way down, the only thing you ever see 99% of the time is shorts. Just saw this at my local DMV last month and it certainly fit the category of silly, but in a free country you have a right to look silly if that is your choice and silly is not indecent. Identical realities concerning the ban on thongs and see through clothing as opposed to thong bikinis worn at the beach (?), fact you’d see more at said beach than in the accompanying article picture won under outer pants, shorts or skirt; never mind sheer clothing is always worn over a thicker garment preventing the unwanted exposure the law wasted reams of paper purportedly preventing. Interestingly enough people shouting similar thoughts is like the man in the 2013 Anderson Cooper ridicu-list segment commenting when he goes out to eat somewhere ‘he don’t wanna see nobody’s undershorts, just aint nothing pretty about that’ being told he shouldn’t be seen in public with no teeth, should invest in some dentures or not show his face out in his community, let alone speak on camera potentially broadcast on national TV, should have thought to at least shave first before going about his business, not just letting himself again be filmed. How about being told he should learn to speak since he couldn’t pronounce undershorts correctly less due to his lack of pearly whites and more due to his regional ‘choice’ vernacular, English teacher wannabes everywhere positively cringing at his use of a double negative, incredulous at the suggestion, good you should be; and since he can do neither of those things perhaps he should shut his mouth about how others present themselves to the world. Also looking at the fine schedule above it smacks of all too familiar ‘creative’ ways to fill city coffers on the backs or poor people and minorities, denigrating culture; can America honestly call itself the land of the free anymore, if it ever was? Remember the Florida school debating a dress code for parents dropping off, picking up their children and attending school functions; select administrators tired of off color t-shirts, ‘booty’ shorts, pajamas, curlers still in hair citing student embarrassment with a side of how are we supposed to get kids to wear appropriate clothing when their parents go out in public donning the above and ‘far worse,’ seeming to likewise forget they live in a year-round warm climate where shorts and bikini tops are attire for waitressing jobs not to mention comfort in sweltering heat, pajamas probably donned by parents dropping children off at 6am bad practice or school when they work nights. Nevertheless generating a supportive half page rant on an ABC News blog detailing the story yelping about people who dress as frumpy bed pillows or prison thugs as why we need such polices; sparking an equally powerful counterargument; “And for the moms who work in those bars and restaurants that so many men LOVE to go to – the ones with the tight shirts and short shorts uniform – what are they supposed to do? Change their clothes while on break to pick up their kids, put on an overcoat?” Likewise children in public have produced an endless stream of viral rants, countless blogs and enough complaints to account for the number of hair follicles on each American twice over regarding their behavior out in society, what some ‘elder’ had to put up with during their restaurant, movie theater, haircut experience; morphing from genuine unfortunate and uncalled for incidents into a general disdain at simply seeing them out and about no matter how well behaved. Little consideration given to statistics noting one in 88 children are diagnosed today as somewhere on the autism spectrum, correlating that to the ‘bad behavior’ seen in public especially if the child is anything other than white; in the latter case the child needs an ass beating when the child described is ridged in his stroller and screaming while visiting their least favorite store, never mind how many women/girls suffer absent a diagnosis of autism because the symptoms manifest differently, more subtly. Restaurant owners who feel free to yell at toddlers who scream in their establishment, appalling the number of commenters who lauded her for doing so, a neighboring table couple slipped the mother of a 10 month old screaming out of excitement when he saw new people a nasty note about their ruined meal, again appalling the number of people who shouted in comments about controlling your kids. A mother who changed her child’s diaper on the chair at their table where she had other children only after discovering no changing table in the restroom to be kicked out by the owners highlights more about eatery failure to get with modern times than it does about sanitary conditions noting she did so on the chair not to be conflated with the table like so many voicing their opinions did considering it was 2014; people again wrong in calling her a breeder, implying she has a mess of kids, too many kids when she has a total of 3. None of these people willing to answer the question how kids are ever supposed to, going to learn to behave in public if they are never allowed out in public zero to 18, forget how unrealistic aforementioned scenario actually is, forget the coddled, incapable adults you create if you do so and isn’t that another chief complaint of baby boomer, early gen Xer adults? Breastfeeding in public another taboo, yet you know it’s bad when the Texas mother is quoting state law and still gets kicked out of the fitness space housing her older child’s dance class, when a guy, surprise, surprise can saunter up to a breastfeeding mother in a Target, 10 to 1 attached to part of a mall a family community hub, granted where they still exist, thanks to online retailers, but remaining a place far from odd to see women with children, infants who yes might be breastfeeding, verbally attacking her, have her shaking while attempting to feed her child instead of walking away, walking out. Someone might want to ask the man how he’d feel if someone treated his mother, his sister, his aunt, his wife or his daughter that way; store staff surprisingly doing the right thing and escorting the agitated man out rather than telling the mother to either feed her baby elsewhere or cover up. Once more comments exactly what we’ve come to expect from a nation identified as prudes to the rest of the western world saying she got what she deserved for not covering up, fellow mothers who disagreed with her saying when they did so, they cover up, one commenter bristling at the woman’s audaciousness for daring to breastfeed in public at all. Yes we’ve seen viral rants of interracial couples, minority couples accosted in public because they were different races and clearly romantically involved, clearly a couple, married obvious from the observer/bystanders behavior screaming cursing, throwing out epithets and vulgarities said individual didn’t like that; however, we’ve seen people become just as apoplectic about couples showing any affection for each other in public, simply hugging is liable to set this type of person off as demonstrated in the video below. It isn’t just that these things happened 2, 3, 5 or 10 years ago, several decades ago, it’s that, like race motivated instances, they keep happening; the Chicago network charter schools driving away teachers and justifiably accused of dehumanizing students forcing menstruating girls to bleed through their clothes instead of letting them go to the bathroom and take care of their hygiene needs thanks to severely limited bathroom breaks, school’s response to the problem, amending the dress code to allow them to tie sweatshirts around their waists. As if puberty and having a period weren’t stressful enough for young teen girls then you mix in being literally bloody and gross on top of being a minority, story strongly suggesting the majority were, restrictions on hair, self-expression, the obligatory uniform and The Young Turks commentator is 1,000% right in her assessment of what this does to young black/brown girls, further devaluing them. Another commenter spotlighting the strict demerit system how it represented to her the most extreme example she’d seen of preparing kids to be either exploited lower class workers or members of the prison system far more so than their lower class parents’ obedience centered parenting style, admonishments and advice versus middle and upper class parents instilling in their child a right to their opinions and views, and a teacher who finally left the school after realizing she had blithely trained her students to merely close the door when seeing a fellow student perp walked out of the building for disciplinary infractions happening often, the perp walking more than the infractions sounds like. Students too intelligently articulating ‘if you treat us like animals what do you think we’re going to act like,’ another who was good enough academically to get into Harvard turning them down in favor of Brown who said the school still felt like a prison, but they get good results so why do we care is society’s warped mindset. Singular stand out disturbing thing about school dress codes isn’t the racial aspect of denying minority students their culture, expressions of that culture, bad enough to be sure, it’s the compounded upon creepy lengths school personnel will go to, to ensure compliance first talked about on this blog 4 years ago when one high schooler was sent home for her dress on the last day of school then they attempted to give her a detention, to a graduating senior, only for her mother to get ultimate revenge by wearing the same dress to her graduation; student talking about not just the ridiculousness of them doing so on the last day of school when she’d worn the outfit before without mention, trying to punish her for going home and changing per their request but how they went about it: “when a teacher comes to you and says grab your crotch and makes you stand there while they measure it that’s what’s wrong about this.” [Sic] As stated then, ok if I’m a parent I don’t want anyone ever saying that to my child, especially my daughter; neither would I, or any parent come to think of it, want someone putting their hands on my child, putting their 2 fingers somewhere between their hip and their knee to measure skirt, shorts length, shoving a ruler, measuring tape in the vicinity of my teen child’s, my young woman’s crotch solely to prove their point and certainly not in full view of other students. These types of situations should be dealt with in a bathroom, nurse’s office, principal’s office, behind closed doors and always having a female staff member present; better still, amend the dress code to the following single line: are they wearing clothes, then they are allowed to come to class period, no objections, not stipulations, no caveats, no exceptions just education. I am not a parent but I don’t want anyone treating any of society’s women, girls, teens, children in such a way, not singularly because education should be a right not conditioned on your clothing, but also due to the implementation, the precedent it sets not only to administrators giving the green light to manhandle students but conditions young people to normalize the creepy, wrong from an early age. You can guess where this is going, there’s a 2018 case, this time a teen told to first put a t-shit on under the long sleeve shirt, still not happy after being asked to ‘move around’ for the, one tiny grace, female dean, told to put band-aides in her nipples all because somehow school officials found out she wasn’t wearing a bra under her loose-fitting shirt. Unsurprising by now comments yelping she’s in high school where are her parents telling her to wear a bra, be appropriate, what happened to teaching young women and girls to be classy, public respect, it’s a school there’s a dress code. Forging entirely how anyone discovered she wasn’t wearing a bra when contrary to the comments her shirt wasn’t sheer, the second video discussing her story shows her in the shirt and, redundancy setting in, her nipples aren’t poking through, visible through the shirt, something that can happen wearing a bra or no and not the lacy, sexy type but a plain bra facts women should know, particularly a high school dean handling teens all day. So to get there they either had to walk up to her, pull her shirt open and look down or take her into an office, bathroom and do the same, whole different kind of inappropriate; next when media got hold of it telling them and the parent there was a dress code violation, underscoring no disciplinary action was taken against the student, independent the only thing in the dress code related to her situation was a line saying bra straps could not be showing. Even that creates a problem pointed out by a second video commenter “school: I CAN SEE YOUR BRA STRAP! OMG YOU ARE GETTING DRESS CODED. student: ooook I just won’t wear a bra…Also School: OMG YOU ARENT WEARING A BRA! YOUR GETTING DRESS CODED” [Sic], with all the U-neck, exaggerated round neck shirts available in the junior, miss, teens and women’s section of stores across the country, pictures provided here at this blog before of sun dresses, non-spaghetti strap dresses it would be impossible not to see a bra strap wearing sans a strapless, front hook bra few parents would buy for a teen if even available in their size. Identical scenario with too short so called ‘booty’ shorts, those shorts are what is available to buy on the rack for kids/teens in there age and size, problem median age of school administrators featured is about 60 or they’re all taking notes from the movie Middle School is the Worst where the principal tells the student ‘no one needs to see where your chest hair is going to be;’ hypocritically adults go after, teens especially, for putting on a fashion show to come to school but we’re the ones more consumed with what’s on their body than in their minds and hearts, knowledge we impart. The 2018 high school graduate who was barred from giving his valedictorian speech unable to figure out if it was because he is openly gay and goes to a catholic high school or if it’s because he talked about preventing school violence; the other valedictorian girl whose microphone was cut when she veered off script of her preapproved speech to talk about sexual assault, #metoo and reveal her own experience and how she feels the school handled it. Graduation shame on the adults and institutions stories following the college graduates who were physically manhandled off the stage for doing a dance as they received their degrees; already inappropriate, perplexing since the dance they did was part of the black fraternity/sorority they belonged to, a known entity on campus. Public comment exactly where you’d expect it to be denigrating the students for being ‘hooligans,’ for ‘acting like animals’ instead of showing respect at a formal event, for making a mockery of the ceremony; never mind it’s their graduation, without them the institution wouldn’t have a ceremony to conduct, they wouldn’t possess jobs, they wouldn’t be raking in more and more tuition dollars sans graduating increasing numbers of students, without offering diverse degree options. Fervor over transgender people using the bathroom they identify with versus the one matching their physical anatomy was inhumane, ridiculous and insane enough considering LGBT persons pose no threat to cis gender persons (persons whose mental, emotional gender identity matches their physical body), it’s not men who want an excuse to wander into the women’s bathroom and flirt with, harass them, molest, rape or otherwise abuse them changing back the next day; rather, LGBT people who want a safe, comfortable place to use the bathroom when in public sans the harassment, physical, sexual assault they tend to face, but when the bills you craft to ‘handle the problem’ also may force women to wear make-up essentially to identify them as women to the gawking public, you know you’ve gone past, not merely off, the deep end. Upheaval especially asinine and detrimental when schools decided to take their fear out on transgender school children preventing an elementary school 5 year old from using their identifying bathroom; anyone familiar with TLC’s I Am Jazz knows how devastating that can be for the child caught in the middle, actions taken for years but reaching fever pitch in 2016 when North Carolina initially tried to overrule city anti-discrimination laws including transgender persons with state ones that did not spelling a conundrum for lawmakers regarding what to do about trans persons and public toilets, ardent pushback against the president Obama’s guidance to public schools for gender neutral bathrooms or allowing trans students to use their identity corresponding bathroom versus their anatomy corresponding bathroom. Most were genuinely surprised the supreme court sided with the Colorado baker in that state’s wedding cake refused to a gay couple on religious grounds case, though both the court and the media attempted to make clear their ruling was about how Colorado’s civil right commission had behaved essentially forcing the court’s hand and was not a blanket decision to allow businesses to discriminate wholesale against gay people by refusing them services, was not an opening, invitation to disregard other anti-discrimination policies say against African Americans; realities not stopping one establishment from putting up the predictable ‘no gays allowed sign’ in their window. That following the political candidate who verbally attacked a transgender woman using the women’s bathroom at a restaurant, who proceeded to rant about trans persons allowed to use their identity corresponding bathroom, how uncomfortable they were with it when the person never came out of the stall, was clearly never doing anything other than using the toilet. So is the Starbucks series of incidents a surprise, no, just a profound disappointment.
Few asking why there is a key, code for the bathroom in the first place, why they locked it in the first place; CEO saying bathrooms will now be open to everyone additional comment mentioning them not wanting to become a public toilet but… common sense says well you should have done that to begin with and saved yourself the headache, horrifically bad publicity. Controversial policy reversal prompting comments like the following: “umelanin Knight , in most places. They USED TO reserve the restrooms for paying customers. When you sit around talking to a friend and chugging coffee for 30 minutes, you need a place to pee. But now we’ll be waiting in line for passersby and homeless to use it. In a city, that means “get your coffee elsewhere.” Homeless ppl will literally take a 20 minute sink bath once that door is locked. I used to work at a downtown restaurant so I had to ask them to leave. They get the sinks and counters dirty, the floors all wet, and have their stuff laying around. They’ll wash their underwear in the sink. Homeless are more likely to have things like TB and hepatitis. Starbucks already lost my business a while ago, but this is the final nail in the coffin. ” [Sic] Sentiments echoed by Megyn Kelly on her daytime talk show and, of all people in of all places a PBS panelist that has this blog author for one questioning what content they put in PBS and how much I’ll be watching in the future, but I digress; Kelly literally asking, rather insensitively, “And it’s a question about whether a commercial establishment is that place,” the NBC host stated. “For the paying customers who go in with their kids, do you really want to deal with a mass of homeless people or whoever is in there — could be drug addicted, you don’t know when you’re there with your kids paying for the services of the place.” Communicable disease statistics and hepatitis C’s prevalence by age found more in baby boomers, addressing the first comment, compartmentalized momentarily, public objection to the move highlighting something troublingly interesting though not wholly surprising; oh heaven forbid homeless people try to keep themselves and their clothes marginally clean, unto perhaps getting a job, use a space with running water, a sink to brush their teeth unto keeping them, avoiding dental disease, the cost of major dental care, to say nothing of bad breath and general disheveled appearance, body odor and dirt the public loves to hate, no thought given to the homeless person(s) who will come in, buy the cheapest thing on the menu, consume part of it, ask for the bathroom key, go in and do all the things the commenter described, who will panhandle and scrounge the streets for dropped money to do so. Making their ‘prevention,’ ‘solution’ an epic fail assuming it wasn’t a stereotypical trope in the first place; don’t believe me, check out the case of the woman who was acting odd in a Wal-Mart catching the attention of store staff who called the police on suspicion of shoplifting. What police found was the woman pleasuring herself with a sausage in a bathroom stall who continued once found, purposefully oblivious to the officer, arrested for shoplifting; begging the question, what is to stop a similar type of customer from ordering something on the menu, taking the bathroom key and doing the same thing, nothing. We’ve all heard of people having sex in public bathrooms, there’s the mile high club, none of which is new; what is new, barring people from the bathroom then arresting them for attempting to use the bathroom by asking to do so. Chief reason my city bus station has a recurring problem with homeless people is because rumor was it was a warming and cooling station, though it wasn’t, people under the impression, if that status is true, they can’t throw us out leading to people sleeping in the bathrooms, doing drugs in the bathroom and being generally drunk and belligerent throughout the complex, though overwhelmingly not run in on simple loitering until the other issues surface. Nothing said about addressing the homeless problem, not in terms of shoving them out of sight out of mind but getting them housing assistance, mental health and substance abuse treatment to mitigate their personal issues, those being the 2 top factors leading to homelessness; Starbucks racial bias exposure happening parallel to a swath of red state teachers strikes shining a light on teachers with 3 to 5 jobs and barely keeping their heads above water, not counting the ones selling blood to pay bills, using a food pantry to provide their family groceries or depending on church soup kitchens to eat. Just the latest in a line of news exposés chronicling the plight of homeless teachers living in their vehicles and using dry shampoo in their college’s bathroom because they can’t afford their city, county, state’s high cost of living, living situations not limited to teachers in notoriously high cost of living cities, states, working the glutton of minimum and low wage jobs held at least 2 at a time by those who sell blood for a child’s bathing suit and cake for her birthday. It’s the criminalizing of homelessness, and further, the helping of homeless persons; cities trying to criminalize panhandling only to be told it’s unconstitutional, homeless people met with police citations, possibly arrests, trespass warnings for sleeping outside i.e. on park benches, in front of the public library, homeless individuals reporting harassment by city police departments, certain cities using robots to bother homeless persons, a Hawaii lawmaker suggested armed rangers be placed in parks to drive out homeless people. A man told to throw the homeless persons he was sheltering from the cold out or he could have his home seized by the government, people not allowed to feed homeless populations in public parks even though some of those doing the cooking are chefs and restaurant owners well versed in cooking food for the safety of the public, many homeless tent cities and longtime encampments being broken up to make room for high end real-estate developments, bike lanes or adjacently due to homeowner complaints about mess and fears for their safety. Recall video of the police officer viciously slapping a homeless man and telling him no he was not going to go pee accusing him of trespassing because he dared wait in line for his turn at the bus terminal public toilet, persons sitting on a nearby park bench secretively filming the incident via cellphone being so furtive because they feared what the officer might do to them if discovered; fate following so many aggressive cops, though battery and falsifying records charges were filed he was acquitted by a jury, though internal affairs found he used excessive force and falsification of the pertinent documents, his department record shows a history of said force, they gave him a 20 day suspension and put him back on the beat opting to settle the homeless man’s lawsuit to the tune of $50,000 Floridian taxpayer dollars. His behavior reminiscent of officers who wouldn’t hesitate to dole out a public urination fine/court appearance to someone they knew to be homeless rather than connecting them with shelters, YMCA’s, related facilities that can get them off the streets; disappearing in the legal ether, settlements and cases is the sane, humane, expedient thing to do to maintain public order would have been to let the man use the toilet (whole reason he was there) then escorting him elsewhere, attempting to help him or otherwise just leaving him alone. Onus too having to be put on those jurors who saw the video, saw what the officer clearly did to the man including shoving him to the ground causing his head to hit concrete before the unprovoked hard slap, were able to read or have read to them the report he filed shading the truth, leaving out key details in order to justify his actions, coming to an acquittal; where is your humanity? If you can’t muster sympathy, empathy and thought for the homeless you doubtlessly believe brought it on themselves by being drunks and junkies, alternately imagine this, working as a plumber, construction worker or other position where you regularly get dirty at work, driving to a family emergency unable to change clothes, perhaps catching a bus out of town quickly and needing to use the toilet before embarking only to come out and find yourself faced with a cop like that one accusing you of being homeless based on your, worked all day, look—ah; now only if they had come to the same conclusion. Contemplate the story of a homeless man attempting to buy something at Burger King who was arrested after workers there accusing him of trying to use a fake $10 bill to purchase his order now suing for 7 figures because, lo and behold, it wasn’t fake at all; too bad it took 3 months sitting in jail, a revoking of his probation he had not actually violated before someone from the secret service showed up to authenticate the bill, revoking of probation that could have meant years and years behind bars even after determining falsity of the charges due to processing errors, overzealous judges, didn’t we just get through talking about Meek Mill? Again sound policy, the lack thereof rears its ugly head, yes anyone working a register at a retail, eating establishment should be on lookout for fake bills, counterfeit currency, but this screams no or extremely poor training; Emory Ellis’ lawyer asserting what transpired was due to his race and general appearance whereas a white customer would have received an apology, slight contradiction to be put forth it wasn’t his ethnicity it was his appearance wholly and totally, had an ‘obviously homeless’ white person also tried to buy breakfast in a similar fashion they would have done the same, perhaps yet another reason we need to stop relying exclusively on appearances and what stereotypes say about those appearances. Returning to the Starbucks policy dust up specifically MSNBC’s Joy Reid pointing out the Philadelphia Starbucks policy isn’t nationwide knowing for a fact ones in Florida regularly find women in the bathrooms changing their babies; difficult to tell if she mentioned that to highlight the absurdity of the coffee franchise’s policy or how odd she found it women were changing their babies in a bathroom or that particular chain’s ‘high end’ bathroom. Seemingly forgotten is why changing stations were added to bathrooms, because women needed a place to change their infants while out and when in public, they were added to men’s rooms when fathers began to take a more active role in their offspring’s life, life circumstances resulting in more single fathers, primary caregiving fathers, family oriented areas where a daddy child day turns into a need to change their child’s diaper, to say nothing of the unisex, single bathroom that also likely has a changing station too—oh. And we promptly saw what happened when one eating establishment, a diner, not a high end restaurant, didn’t have a bathroom changing table, the parent and her children were thrown out ‘for heath and sanitation reasons’ with staunch public agreement trailing behind them. Never mind the genius of the family restroom (where moms dads and kids can all go into the same bathroom together, stalls cordoned off of course but children and parents don’t have to be separated by gender) was born out of the dangers to young people in public bathrooms; children sexually abused, fondled, raped even killed many times with their opposite sex relatives standing on the opposite side of the door waiting for them to come out. The boy killed in a beachside McDonald’s during a family reunion adult just on the other side of the door, a boy molested by a repeated sex offender at a Dave and Busters; a litany of stories were parents let older children go to their gender appropriate restroom only to find their child running out telling them someone touched them, tried to lure them out of the bathroom and out of the store or restaurant with them using candy, the boy molested in a Wal-Mart bathroom, the surveillance video of a predator trying to lure a 6 year old in a store. Despite efforts to ensure the public safety of children through family restrooms horrid things in bathrooms that have nothing to do with the cleanliness or state of public toilets continue happening, like the caregiver caught molesting a 2 year old in a Chick-Fil-A restroom; he was who was supposed to be taking care of the child, authorized to watch them committing a despicable act. Ratcheting down from the absolute worst instances to happen in a bathroom, lost but worth remembering in all this dust up is using an establishment’s bathroom, whether you’re relieving your bodily needs, washing your hands, primarily for women, adjusting your hair, makeup or ‘taking a sink bath’ because you are homeless is not loitering; how many of us have done this, gone into an establishment to eat, order items to go but use the bathroom first? And, you know what else creates the ‘sink bath effect’ the style of sinks placed in a majority of public bathrooms that regularly collect puddles of water from wet hands coupled with the growing habit, either for economic or environmental reasons, of replacing traditional paper towels with hand dryers usually across the room from said sinks which means dripping water on the floor depending on bathroom traffic, no paper towels to clean up after themselves. Part of this ringing too much of Starbucks employees less disinclined to roust homeless people out of their establishments for unruly behavior, root them out of the public bathroom at closing time or to make room for paying customers to use the facilities and more unwillingness to clean their public toilets regularly enough to compensate for the traffic induced mess generated by the volume of paying customers, road trip goers who needed a toilet on their way to their destination, standard traffic your bathroom is going to get because it is in a business that sells food, a business that encourages you to sit down and consume food/drink on the premises; highlighting the homeless people commenter was also upset at potential passerby toilet users. Curious is where Kelly and her likeminded cohorts got the idea a change in bathroom policy would result in an influx of potential drug addicts as opposed to, compiling the facts on the opioid crisis, the one already sitting next to you who doesn’t fit the picture, your picture of a drug addict; to her other point, trying desperately not to be too repetitive, god forbid a child see the homeless people in their community and it shape their compassion, seeing them treated also as fellow human beings sets an example for them to do that also, lightbulb go off in anyone’s head yet. But it isn’t the first time Starbucks finds itself battling familiar controversies bigger than the holiday cup uproar, the unicorn Frappuccino, building on its success the newest whacky concoction the crystal ball Frappuccino, in addition to this year’s racist cup names in 2016 it was the ‘diabetes here I come’ cup that was highly offensive to a normal weight man who had seen his sisters suffer as type 1 afflicted persons with the disease. Starbucks literally the tip of an emerging iceberg not only in asinine, you can hardly believe it’s real polices that have customers eyes bugging, jaws dropping, and outrage boiling but in racial slurs or otherwise nasty things printed on receipts where customer names/initials should go, a pastor who wrote she gives god 10% why should she give the waitress 18%; compounding insult to injury waitress fired for posting the receipt. The N word printed on the receipt for a group of African American girls ringing in the new year 2015; ape typed next to a male pizza customers name in 2016, you f-ing Mexicans next to and order of Carne Asada spring 2018, explanation for the occurrence as troubling or more troubling than it being found by customers, waitress’ excuse, it was a message for the cook and never meant to be seen by anyone else. Recurring theme where is your humanity you would blithely talk about a group of people, an ethnicity of people that way who have done nothing to you; at least those who are anti-immigrant believe them to be staling American jobs and receiving welfare however misinformed they are. Starbuck’s bathroom policy echoing of something else we shouldn’t be seeing in 21at century America but sadly are, poultry workers mirroring the students in the introduction subjected to extremely limited bathroom breaks to the point of wearing diapers, almost identical to reports from Amazon.com warehouse/delivery workers in order to fulfil coveted 2 day shipping, faster and faster order turnaround times, substituting Depends for empty soda and water bottles; novel idea, maybe we should stop getting so hung up on bathrooms, who can use which one, who can use the bathroom in an establishment with a toilet open to more than employees only. Moving past those confrontations going beyond words, devastating and hurtful though they are, and more to policy even when subtracting the portions that coincide with continuing documentation of ongoing police brutality toward black persons preceding Starbucks came the waffle house incident where when a woman questioned why she was being charged $1.50 for plastic silverware to consume her order, things escalated to establishment personnel calling police. Once they arrive and speak with the woman, despite her trying to cover herself and not be exposed, because her dress strap has been torn, come down in the altercation proceed to yank her from the chair, roughly push her to the ground and slap her in handcuffs. Still the problem here isn’t just police arresting her for questioning and resisting Waffle House’s policy, the aggressive takedown they used in the arrest exposing a woman trying to keep the dignity and modesty we’re forever telling young people and specific ethnicities they don’t exercise, but rather why they were charging a $1.50 for plastic utensils, a practice most had never heard of before or since; easy solve for this either switch to washable silverware for eat in orders or post the new policy on the wall next to the menu, on the drive through board of menu items and let people decide if they want to eat at your restaurant or not if it’s worth that $1.50 or not, then be prepared to lose business. Not only was their approach of reaching for the phone, calling police as inhumane as having those 2 back men perp walked out of the Starbucks post asking to use the bathroom, a complete and utter overreaction by both eateries, it’s bad business practice; how many people, people of color do they think will come to that individual Waffle House now the video has gone viral versus people of color above all who will actively avoid it, others who will deliberately boycott it thanks to what they saw happen. Officers brought down there to defuse the situation at that point had every right to ask Waffle House what they were doing, how to get in contact with the manager, corporate bean counter who thought this was a good revenue stream or cost saving measure to tell them firsthand what it actually lead to. It’s a similar case with another Waffle House in North Carolina and the young man taking his sister out for dinner/breakfast after her high school prom, according to employees he became rowdy and loud whereupon they called the police; responding officer who resorted to the choking seen in video and recurring pleas for the officer to get his hands off of him. By this time readers, followers of these stories should be credibly asking what’s going on at Waffle House, do they, like Starbucks, have a racial bias among their employees problem because both arrested persons were those of color and no, now is not the time to insert the’ black people are more aggressive,’ ‘always acting like hoot rats’ stereotype because it doesn’t fit what happened; being loud and waiting for your adjoining party before ordering is not violence, the latter rather politeness. Violence in the arrests and happening most prominently at Waffle House, not all eateries, not all across the country, so the question is justified. Why not just ask police to escort him and his party out, officer say they have to leave, ban them from that particular Waffle House if they were indeed that disruptive and move on; it’s what one Texas Whataburger did after students initiated a massive food fight in addition to charges for identifiable teens in captured video. Totally ignored if you didn’t ill-treat potential customers based on race, their young age, what stereotype their appearance fills in your head they wouldn’t have had a reason to get loud, belligerent, create a scene. Contrast these scenarios to the California 5 star hotel who recently had a bizarre incident take place in which a white potential hotel guest mascaraed as the health inspector when confronted by an African American mother and daughter justifiably irate at being asked if they’d showered before getting into the pool; now some pools do post such a policy on signs owing to the limits of chorine, how many times they can afford to have their pool cleaned and not putting too many chemicals in the water causing irritation to those with sensitive skin, but no signs were posted, the person asking only asked the black pool goers and was in no way authorized to ask such a question, following in the sane footsteps of that Target store referenced in the introduction, they didn’t buy his health inspector claim, told him to leave the hotel, never to be allowed back, comping her and her daughter’s stay. Good policies mean something; mean it’s generally not a good idea to ban children from your eating establishment when you offer pizza and subsequent menu items, not caviar, particularly when your reason for banning children from your eatery wasn’t the scene they made, the mess they left on the floor, the table they occupied, things they broke but due to one purportedly negligent parent who failed to watch her children outside the establishment facing high traffic. Yet contrary to calling child services and reporting the negligent mom, giving the customer information from their credit or debit car, if used, grabbing your cellphone and snapping a photo to help social services track her down and help these kids, who if she’s incompetent or uncaring enough nor to protect them from whizzing traffic then who knows what else they have been subjected to. Your solution is to ban all children from your place because they might get hit by speeding traffic, not say, going all the way back to the beginning and picking a better location for your pizza parlor knowing kids would be an integral part of your business. Equally superseding popular opinion not every accident, incident involving an unfortunate situation with children spells parental inattention, bad, negligent, incompetent parenting; example the museum style exhibit where a child knocked over a piece of art facility mulling over charging the family for the $132,000 for repair or replacement of the item. Parent upset at the idea because her child could have gotten hurt had the sheer weight of the piece fallen on him; even those who agreed with prevailing comments the parent should be forced to pay because she didn’t effectively supervise her kids had advice for the art holders. A- correcting the misconception it took place at an art gallery, museum where kids shouldn’t be if they can’t behave, held at a community center known for doing birthday parties, baby shows and wedding receptions, B- calling on them to control their even with a guard, roping it off, a starting age to see it, securing their exhibits better: “Why does a “community center” have an unsecured $132k sculpture in what appears to be a glorified waiting room? Who appraised this at $132k? (P.S. this is the Tomahawk Ridge Community Center where wedding receptions, children birthday parties, baby showers…etc are held. NOT a museum.)” [Sic] “Control your event. Maybe have a security guard. Say no one under 12 allowed. Spend some money and mount your pieces better. $132K. What a joke. It’s worth that much and you didn’t protect it? lol Even if parents are stupid they’ll be happy to sue you. All adults are negligent;” [Sic], valid comment and suggestion every one. Ironic it’s these same old school parents who talk of the spankings their parents would give them had they done what her 5 year old did, the woman who “taught her son no and don’t touch,” like it’s that simple why didn’t this mother do the same, another stating their parents would have chopped their hands off if they’d touch something similar (we hope that was hyperbole) who A- couldn’t correctly ascertain which person in the video was his mother B- subscribe to the free range parenting idea who are absolutely bewildered at kids who can’t play in the park alone, walk or ride bikes to school alone, walk to/from a bus stop alone talking about the coddled, fearful, incapable adults we’re creating. Who now in turn act like we should all put those backpack leashes on our toddlers and never let them more than a foot away from us because an art exhibit didn’t insure the traveling pieces, didn’t secure them properly or have them guarded from more than little kids hands; story readers/watchers who are so ‘grown up’ but don’t understand the difference between community center and museum, hints the mothers comments about play, nor do they understand most parents of their own mindset operate on the adage ‘stay where I can see you’ meaning though she was off camera it is possible he was still in her sight line she just couldn’t reach in time to stop him, because little kids do more fast. Nevertheless there are also two tones worth challenging: only poorly parented children and arrogant Americans do these kinds of things both at home or abroad; not true, beyond the accompanying footage of a teen who accidentally demolished an art exhibit trying to take a selfie (but wasn’t forced to pay a dime due to insurance) there was the 91 year old who defaced a crossword puzzle piece of art ‘correcting a mistake,’ the young grammar Nazis who were making their English teacher proud correcting a sign at the Grand Canyon fined for their trouble. Regarding foreigners visiting the U.S. there was the German national tourist who crashed a drone into Yellowstone national park fined $1,500 and banned for a year from the park; the Chinese man fined $1,000 for walking off a designated trail and collecting water from a hot spring also in Yellowstone so maybe we should check our outrage to ‘negligent’ mothers all when their ‘offenses’ consist of the above.
We’ve all heard of shopping while black unfortunately if nothing else than when acclaimed actor Forest Whitaker was accused of stealing, the Barney’s episodes bringing the wrong kind of spotlights to the clothing brand as 2 black shoppers on separate occasions dared buy items with credit cards; the most recent instance of shopping while black involving a group of young men shopping for prom attire at a St. Louis Nordstrom rack outlet only to be asked by a fellow customer if their parents were proud of what they were doing going on to accuse them of casing the place in order to steal; then store staff calling the cops, teen scared when confronted by 3 police cars worth of law enforcement. Fortunately officers heard out the teens and they were allowed to go on their way without incident, no one shot or arrested; before them it was the black women golfer kicked off the course and who had the police called on them for playing golf while making middle aged and old white men mad more than uncomfortable they knew how to play, knew what the rules were when sharing the course with others not in your group. Supposing they didn’t know the ‘rules of golf,’ is it illegal to golf too slow in a space where you pay a membership and they had; continuing, if it is, does it need to be a law, a rule of the establishment, does it require calling the police to manage such a rule breaker, police readily agreeing taking no action? No action extending to the owners of the course/the callers who deigned to waste police time on a frivolous call; seriously, suspending the humanity question for one moment, this is what we have time to do? Shamefully, we’re, at least people who do this regularly and repeatedly judging by compiled video, alert enough to call police believing someone to be burglarizing an apartment in our building, hauling things out of it to steal but not alert enough to know how long the apartment has been vacant without a tenant, when the previous occupants moved out, or engage in sharper focus to see the man in question was bringing things into the apartment, putting things into the apartment strongly suggesting exactly what he was doing; moving in, how a former aide to president Obama upon moving back to the city where he grew up found himself filming a police encounter via his cellphone while justifying his existence in the building. It was the same dynamic with Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman, who liked to puff himself up calling himself neighborhood watch, spent every spare moment nuisance calling 9-1-1 about thugs and punks who always get away but didn’t take notice when 14 year old Trayvon suddenly seemed to move in with his father, there was a new teenager on the block; to the extreme of ignoring 9-1-1 dispatchers saying he didn’t need to follow the ‘suspicious’ kid unto picking a fight with him where he, Zimmerman, pulled a gun on a kid armed with only his fists carrying skittles for his sister and iced tea for himself back to his father’s house. Or the man who cold bloodedly shot the ‘hoodlum’ in his neighborhood except he was just a guy walking back to his mother’s house from a party; the ‘friggin black men’ ‘outside his friggn house’ didn’t have firearms and you did get a life sentence, heartbreakingly it won’t bring back Kouren-Rodney Bernard Thomas. Perplexing isn’t why police questioned and pat down 2 native American twins during the course of verifying their invitations to participate in a college tour at Colorado State University confirming their right to be there, it’s why someone called police on them in the first place; for reportedly laughing, keeping to themselves, lastly seeming disinterested in tour activates plus wearing ‘strange clothing’ making a mother also on the tour feel sick. Also deeply concerned about the left hand one kept in the pocket of his ‘oversized sweatshirt’ the whole time; going so far as to admit it’s probably nothing, I’m probably being paranoid, but with everything that’s happened, they’re probably fine, they’re just creepy kids. Difficult to know where to start unpacking the caller comments, but let’s start with what ‘everything that’s happened,’ name one school shooter, mass violence perpetrator, even person going after a former girlfriend/boyfriend who has done so under the cover of a college tour. Secondly creepy kids for wearing a vibrant t-shirt and a black hoodie with white lettering that could be from the Lord of the Rings, Klingon from Star Trek, though this described mom, probably on a tour with her college age student is, equally probable, so culturally out of touch she wouldn’t understand those 2 iconic cultural references, likely a metal rock band instead. News at 11:00, teens wear things adults often term stupid stuff, bizarre outfits, listen to music often referred to as ‘devil music’ or outright called noise by their parents and elders, prompting them to scream turn it down at the teen but otherwise harmless, usually; causing us to wonder what she had her child dressed in, a polo shirt and shorts complete with pastel sweater tied around their waist, better yet slung over their back sleeves tied at the neck, how millionaire elite fronting of you, not to mention 1980’s. Thirdly when asked if there was a reason why one didn’t want to cooperate, unclear what the officer was referring to, the more vocal twin remarks no he’s just shy; so to recap, arriving late to a college tour (maybe you got lost), wearing a metal band t-shit/hoodie, being shy and therefore more comfortable talking not just to your brother but your twin is now a situation that mandates police intervention? Absent, any complaints from the college tour’s director about their tardiness, their ‘unruly behavior,’ or disinterest, any complaints from fellow tour participants about their behavior, their mannerisms, their laundry, from any fellow parents also attending, apart from the calling mother; thankfully they were able to show officers their invite e-mail on their phone eventually left in peace. Saddest of all has to be, surpassing the frantic tearful call to their mother, now learned fear of police, that one twin has always wanted to attend that school; not anymore. Proactively to prevent anymore middle aged, white panic calls about kids on college tours, he (the responding officer) should have halted the tour and loudly asked who called police on the 2 creepy teens waving the invite in the woman’s face, asking loudly and embarrassingly if this is what she called creepy, gesturing to their shirt and hoodie respectively next asking them what band it was from and reminding her the penalty for false reporting. Turn the tables, what if someone on the tour, a perspective student, called police because she looked too old to be on a college tour, what if she had had to prove she was there with her child, what if she was a perspective student looking to go back to school; how would she feel being put in their position of having to justify her right to do something so ordinary? Regarding the hand he kept in his sweatshirt the whole time, anyone who has seen Earl from the Animal Planet series Pit Bulls and Parolees knows he has a dysfunctional arm due to injury thus he often puts that hand in his pocket so he can move freely sans wearing a sling and not sustain further injury, but because people like her get scared of t-shirts, let’s take the chance of humiliating a person with a disability, the next person we encounter on a related topic call. Dovetailing into the now 4 year old story of 3 women out for a meal suddenly approached by a mumbling man who begins talking to them only for a security guard to usher him away whispering something in the man’s ear, then returning to the women informing them they can have a drink but can’t be here soliciting; at first the women can’t quite figure out what he means initially thinking the man pulled away had been harassing guests, about to thank him until it finally registered what he thought, they were prostitutes trolling for customers. In reality they are 2 teachers and a lawyer and when they asked why they would be soliciting with respectable jobs and educations, his response I don’t care but that’s what you’re doing, manager unwilling to compel his worker to apologize telling the 3 he didn’t want any confrontation, women correct in drawing the parallel they were just confronted and accused of being sex workers in front of a restaurant full of people; perfectly legitimate, one of the teachers among them worrying about if one of her student’s parents had been there, her employers, how the mere accusation could cost her any one of her multiple jobs, tangible consequences to erroneous nonsense. And we’re back to judging people by their clothing, who for their interview looked nothing like hookers, their shock indicating it wasn’t a frequent occurrence due to their default choice attire consisting of ‘skimpy outfits;’ sex worker accusations fairly rampant in certain venues if comments are anything to go by, “I live in Kansas city, my sister lives in LA. We both flew in to Dallas as my sister had tickets to attend the 3 day Tony Robins speaking conference. I didn’t have tickets, but as a married women and mommy I took this as an opportunity to not only see my sister but to get a mini vacation in all to myself. We stayed at the hotel NYLO in Dallas. My sister was off doing Tony Robin’s and I was entertaining myself. We would see each other during her lunch breaks but mostly I was by myself coming and going in the hotel. I’m super friendly and love to hear other people’s stories, I guess that comes from being a curious as a kid. Anyway a guy sat down next to me at the bar top at NYLO and we started talking. We talked about my kid’s and husband and why I was in town and vise versa. I guess while I was in the bathroom a red head waitress told him not to talk to me because I was a prostitute!!! I almost cried the second he told me. I couldn’t believe that a women can’t be by herself at a hotel without someone thinking I was a working girl. I told a manager and they blew me off and didn’t believe me. It’s still heartbreaking and traumatizing to me this very day. #NYLO #nylohotels” [Sic] All too reminiscent of the manifestation of prostitution statute in Arizona that essentially targeted transgender females for being transgender, punting them to a diversionary program the brainchild collaboration of police, ASU school of social work and catholic charities; the latter who view being trans about like they view even the perception of prostitution, very badly. Interviewed victim of the then new statute convicted upon her court appearance to have it thrown out a year later, verdict butt not the charges, still criminalizing walking while trans; shouldn’t we be proud of our humanity and vain attempts to rescue sex workers who aren’t sex workers? Majorly problematic isn’t that when police got a call about people stealing things out of a home they arrived to investigate, it’s that once the occupants, who turned out to be Airbnb renters, users removing their own belongings from the residence, did their best to prove who they were, who included Bob Marley’s granddaughter, why they were there, after appearing to joke with police, officers verifying their statements, 20 minutes in things escalated according to one of the 3 in the car; ending up in people having done nothing wrong who were met with 7 police cars, a police helicopter and entire neighborhood lockdown before being allowed to go on their way. Worsening optics, increasing overall distrust of law enforcement, police purposefully releasing to media only a section of those first 20 minutes and calling out inaccurate depictions and perceptions perpetuated by social media when given video does show a large quantity of police cars for the nature of the call; identifying the whole scene as rotten to the core, the Airbnb host’s defense of her neighbor who kept calling her guests strange people because they didn’t wave at her as they left, not blaming their neighbor for making the call. Cyclical as it is, again it’s difficult to separate out the different facets of what’s wrong with their thinking here, they’re (the Airbnb guests) unfriendly because they didn’t wave to a neighbor in the area where they stayed approximately one night, maybe they didn’t see you loading their things into their car hurrying to make a flight or event, once driving maybe because said driver had their hands at 10 and 2 driving safely in a residential area where people are expected to be as not hit anyone, novel thought. Interesting isn’t that we’ve become a nation of incurable busy bodies, from if you see something say something policies originally meant to root out terrorists, same principles applied to domestic violence, child abuse and mass shootings, it’s that we already were and still we don’t notice when our neighbor decided to rent a spare room in their house, or sublet their dwelling for X amount of time, things the oldest of us can understand even if we’ve never heard of Airbnb. Next to the officers and their supervisors, 1- if you legitimately don’t know what Airbnb is, one of the conflicting statements to come out post the incident, then it’s well past time you learn; 2- you definitely know what swatting is and the danger it poses to both police and civilians, all the more reason to be doubly sure you understand what’s happening, to avoid aptly pointed out exaggerated responses. 2018’s fiasco of mistaken for thug, criminal, thief, gangbanger while having viable reason to be in a neighborhood harkening back to the devastating case of the Indian grandfather thrown to the ground by an officer and left partially paralyzed based on a 9-1-1 call about a strange man wandering the neighborhood, strike 2 he spoke little or no English visiting family from India; question, how would you like to visit a friend, relative living in a foreign country, perhaps for work and find yourself facing down police, thrown around, chance suffering debilitating, permanent injury because locals didn’t think you belonged there? Mystifying isn’t why police had to verify the identity of the Yale student once called to the scene or even the difficulty in confirming her enrollment, residency against school records due to a unique name and possible misspellings; truly baffling part, why officers didn’t insist the school either remit the calling student to mental health screening and help, remove the student from campus or at least charge said student monetarily for their response to such calls, to say nothing of why it took 4 officers to check on, from their perspective, what could have been a homeless vagrant or drunk frat boy. No, it wasn’t enough for them to admonish the student knowing full well had the situation been reversed and a person of color, with an accent however slight, called police on a fellow white student they would have been booked for making a false 9-1-1 call/false police report. As it stands the university has continued to allow the calling student to remain on campus nuisance calling police or campus security on persons napping in the student commons; at least one other person willing to go on camera describing their experience with the student known to do this, being reported to police talking to a friend in the stairwell then approaching her to ask for directions to a location on campus. Too panicked and uncomfortable to comprehend maybe he was new to campus just starting classes, visiting a friend attending classes or perhaps going to an event on campus that’s open to the public. On the other hand we will arrest those who butt-dial 9-1-1 and are constantly confronted with stories of dispatchers who work 9-1-1 switchboards who are regularly caught telling people to deal with serious, life threatening emergencies themselves, “aint nobody got time for this,” or “deal with it yourself” to someone whose friend was literally dying on the other end of the phone, a security guard trying to report a reckless driver before it turns into a deadly situation, both what 9-1-1 is for versus other given examples. Strengthening the humanity element over race in instances spotlighted recently showing overwhelmingly citizens of color doing normal things turned into an ordeal by well-meaning callers to authorities and authorizes whose hands are tied on whether they investigate, the racist lawyer ranting about people speaking Spanish in a coffee shop quickly got smacked by karma when the building housing his law office wanted nothing more to do with him; the white woman using racial slurs and profanity against an Asian nail salon owner is now in a viral video and people flocked to the salon to give her the tip that woman, rating said owner needed to learn to speak English (more articulately English minus her accent), had denied her. As did the Muslim family receive justice from a neighbor who referred to them as dot heads threatening to break windows, burn their f-ing house down sentenced to 8 months in prison and $30,000 restitution for the money the family lost canceling the closing on the house they were intended to buy; simultaneously a white man suspected of hiring a hitman to kill black neighbor is facing charges and his case proceeding though the justice system. But whoever heard of having the cops called on you for barbequing in a city park’s designated barbeque space, certainly not the family confronted by a skittish woman dialing police because she refused to believe it was a designated barbeque site for a charcoal grill, saying aforementioned grill was illegal; escalating things when police had not called her back about her complaint by telling 9-1-1 or the police department the family barbequing was now shoving her, adding they kept following her, except that’s not what’s seen in the video, their hands nowhere near her, they kept filming her not following her and only because she continued to lie into the phone to police, wasn’t barbequing herself but refused to leave having originally come up to them starting the whole thing. Another case of hypervigilance; about barbecues, supposedly where you can and can’t lacking knowledge about the area, basic google research that would tell you if it is or isn’t a grilling site and for what type of grills, research she could have easily done on the giant smartphone she was holding to the side of her face conversing with police. Real-estate investor don’t go inspect that home, or if you do make sure you have all your paperwork proving who you are and why you’re there to show police when they inevitably are called to ascertain the motive for your presence called in by a nosy neighbor. Getting on a plane as a person of color, might want to think twice or be prepared to be harassed as a larger sized person by a skinnier person willing to accuse you of harassment to attempt to get you removed from the plane so small regular carry-ons don’t fit in the overhead bin, be prepared to be put in that helpless position thousands of feet in the air with little recourse. Hard to imagine what’s more humiliating than airline staff demanding you prove your bi-racial child is truthfully yours, airline quick to apologize, say what happened will be used as a ‘coaching opportunity’ for that employee tone suggesting future ones too, but damage done; sidestepping the human decency factor there are serious safety questions in play looking at the exchange, not only should it not have happened because they had their child’s passport and individual ticket, Southwest’s own website saying birth certificates are only needed for children on laps sans a ticket, it shouldn’t have happened because both parents were present at the airport, together, presumably boarding the flight as a family, but whichever the case answering the ethnicity question implied. Raising a huge red flag about training and policy, apart from the racial discrimination elephant in the room, is how the airline employee expected her to prove she was indeed her son’s mother, with a Facebook post; beyond it having no legal standing and being proof of nothing other than you know how to operate Facebook, what if she wasn’t the child’s mother and that was the screening criteria, what if placing such a post endangered a mother and child fleeing domestic violence or other threats? What if the child were traveling with grandparents or other relatives, their adoptive parent? Yes there are things airport personnel can do/look for to prevent the travesty of human trafficking in no way was this one of them; extremely telling that she had flown roughly 50 other times with her child and had never previously encountered such a request, irrepressible theme bad policies, horrible implementation of policy, badly trained employees. Nothing can erase the degradation; of course these are the same airlines who will charge a passenger extra for a long last name on top of bagging frees, boarding fees, ticket change fees all added to the price of your once reasonable ticket, so much so Bill Maher did a segment on his comedy show called Fee Fucking including a whole section on airlines alone, airlines who have shrunk seat sizes even as human bodies have increased in size pertaining to bone structure and height not obesity per se, not to mention making seats to fit living breathing people not dolls. It was bad back when John Candy and Steve Martin teamed up in Planes, Trains and Automobiles; today it’s reached passed ridiculous between eliminated leg room, removed aisle space doing everything to add seats and fill planes to absolute capacity before daring takeoff. Mom humiliation second only to dad humiliation encapsulated in the man who had his own baby in a stroller, walking through a local park still subject to police being called; small blessing the park officer only sought to inform him of the report she received about a suspicious man with a baby. Collective they were luckier than NBA player Sterling Brown who ended up tased by police after being confronted for illegally parking in 2 handicapped spots at a local Walgreens, yet instead of asking him to move his car, issuing him a ticket for his poor parking and wrongly taking up handicapped parking spaces meant for disabled customers with the appropriate tagging, plates on their cars things quickly escalated. In part when Brown was asked to take his hands from his pockets and told offers hold on he had things in his pockets at which time they tackled him and screamed for a Taser, Brown left with visible bruising on his face when he showed up to play a game that next night. Mind boggling he was wrestled to the ground and tased for, recurring theme, the most laughable case of resisting arrest, being aggressive, never uttering the threat officers say he lobbed at them in their report less than the feeble ‘fight’ put up by Eric Garner who was asking police to please not touch him, speaking calmly, moving slowly and complying with 99% of instructions; police chief calling officer’s behavior inappropriate stating they were disciplined, mayor voicing his disquiet with video footage, Brown never charged with anything and given the fine anyway. Subsequent video showing an officer pulling his gun from the holster, Brown’s attorney spot on when he says it could have gone off giving us a whole different story i.e. injury or death for Brown, officers talking about backlash they might receive if they arrest him because he plays basketball for the Milwaukie Bucks proving they knew who he was, knew there would doubtlessly be scrutiny if all they handed him was a citation; facts established, the both humane, sane and expedient thing to do was hand him a ticket/fine he can contest if he chooses, the extremely decent thing to do, often done for white persons in that situation was ask him to move his car, warn him don’t do it again sir or I will have to ticket you. Rapper T.I. encountering similar shenanigans in his gate community when he arrived drunk and minus his keys, but things got weird when he had them buzz his wife to ok his entry, even after she identified him as her husband and said yes he was allowed in they refused him instead opting to charge him with a handful of misdemeanors some applicable (disorderly conduct, public drunkenness) some questionably not (simple assault), but when people who live there vouch for his identity and his ability to be here, let him in end of problem. On the flip side Washington Post writer 1,000% correct saying there needs to be consequences for false reports, seemingly rampant discrimination of people by race via establishments like the Waffle House, the golf course, Southwest airlines and bust their business under civil rights laws state and federal; prosecuting people under the crime of false 9-1-1 call or police reporting identically to people who call 9-1-1 for cigarettes and chicken wings, because they got the wrong pizza order exc., people who clearly lie to 9-1-1 to get police to show up to the scene of black, Hispanic, other ethnicity persons making me uncomfortable like the woman in that park clearly did. Now she seemed to perhaps be autistic or have some other mental health or developmental issue so divert her to help and agree to drop charges, mitigate punishment if she agrees; putting the responsibility on citizens for the falsities they spew rather than expecting officers to be 100% correct in sorting out scenes. Pivotal in how persons like John Crawford III got shot by police standing in the Wal-Mart because the caller inside stated he was shooting, stopping at one point to reload; what he was doing in reality, browsing the store with a for purchase pellet gun making up his mind about buying it. At the same time we can call authorities on people minding and going about their business and see something odd where it frankly doesn’t exist while a former classmate recounts bullying one of the Turpin children (13 total trapped in a house of horrors perpetrated by their religious fanatic abusive parents) describing she smelled like poop, coming to school in clothes looked like they’d been dragged through dirt, told by their 3rd grade teacher to discard a hair scrunchie fashioned out of a Hershey’s bar wrapper, facts adults had to be aware of but did nothing, neighbors who saw them keeping ‘vampire hours bur knew nothing more. Or the father of 10 children arrested for torture after one ran off and his mother called police, post seeing the filthy disarrayed home arrested for neglect herself; children detailing puncture wounds, burns, bruising, allegedly intentionally shot with BB guns, hit with sticks and bats, bitten even water boarded, neighbors the wrong kinds of oblivious. Juxtaposed to the observant restaurant goers who accurately did notice something was wrong leading to the white owner being arrested for keeping a black developmentally delayed worker as a slave, paying him well below minimum wage, forcing him to live in the back of the eatery and systematically keeping him away from his family. Tips that have reunited lost and kidnapped children with their family, helped abused and traffic women and girls escape abuse, captured criminals, prevented rapes; what happed to that?
Police brutality and police excessive force are an endless topic today but it goes deeper to the generally aggressive policing policies, the thuggish behavior caught on camera leading to injury of suspects who it’s worth screaming to the public, haven’t been convicted of anything at that juncture, to finally asking the glaring question from a humanity, humane perspective is it/was it worth it, were the laws they were apprehending, attempting to apprehend individuals for violating worth the heightened potential for death of the suspect, worth the repeated danger posed to bystanders? Judging what’s already been presented here, was it worth it, was it really a matter of public safety to arrest those 2 men in the upper eastern seaboard Starbucks, was it worth it, enhancing public safety, public benefit to manhandle the Waffle House woman unto exposing herself, to grab and tear at a woman’s clothes then toss her around like a ragdoll, tackle her to the ground, throw her on her stomach and wrench her hands behind her back handcuffing her; arresting her because she dared question charging a fee for plastic silverware, for being more than a little incredulous police were called because she dared be upset with their greed mongering policy, watching the video citizens majoritively say no. Was it protecting and serving to squeeze by the neck, literally haul off the ground and choke a teen taking his sister out after prom ultimately angry about how he was being treated by the establishment and standing up for himself as well as her when you are 200-300 pounds and he is, visibly tall, but a buck 20 soaking wet; better yet was it the best way to resolve the situation, to deal with a ‘mouthy, rowdy’ teen, who’s biggest crime was getting loud, to address the problem you were sent their to put an end to? Basic conflict resolution, de-escalation, says no, further, did you first try peace, did you first ask both parties, the business and the unhappy customer can you do this and he’ll do that and I can walk away without arresting anyone, without filling out citations, body cam footage says no; lastly in his case who is the older adult not to mention trained to be professional officer, therefore who is the onus on to display better conduct, young man admitting things, i.e. his behavior, got out of hand, went too far, has the officer done the same, no. Reasonable question for both officers and public so gung-ho for their local law enforcement to take their videoed actions, does the amount of the fine you could have issued Sterling Brown for his admitted illegal parking in a handicap space equal more than he will doubtlessly win in the civil rights case he’s filed against you, more than the city will spend in lawyers defending itself, the settlement we can guess is coming taken from, where have we heard this before, citizen tax dollars; answer a resounding no. Police training expert asking right off the bat why police approached Brown so aggressively without trying a hello, how are you, is there a reason you parked this way, suggested the officer back up a step or 2, however many makes them feel safer if Brown states he already backed up and remained as calm and placid as video shows he did, commenting it shouldn’t be about ego; going down the line of unfortunate communication missteps, expert notes officer asked for 1 car of backup yet there are 4 or 5 making the questioned person feel nervous, apprehensive, more likely to negatively react leading to tragedy. Adjacent sentiments stated by the former police officer who asked viewing body camera footage in the shooting of Paul O’Neal why they were so panicked, out of breath, scrambling around, eagerly willing to fire their guns reminding news persons of the civilians on the residential street; underscoring O’Neal was suspected of stealing a car, not a crime particularly violent or posing exceeding danger to the public, blog author pointing out perhaps the rightful owner wanted it back minus bullet holes. Important due to studies released suggesting police limit or forgo entirely high speed chases that mainly injure and kill civilians on increasingly minor charges. Realities echoed in the officer who shot through his windshield 5 times in pursuit of an alleged armed robber, the reason it was called reckless by both the news and his department, investigation pending, is because he did so in a residential area for a guy, when spotted, who had ordinary items in his hands and was running away; regardless the gun they found between his legs, bizarrely enough officers seeming to strip him to his underwear while searching his deceased person. 20 plus shot fired that could have hit any kid playing on the sidewalk, any person checking their mail, taking out their trash, arriving home from work or running errands; another shocking jolt, stray bullets hitting people inside their homes isn’t relegated solely to the plot line of the latest gritty cable/streaming crime drama crafted in the spirit of Steven Bochco, it happens in drive-by’s alarmingly too often and bullets don’t care who’s holding the gun. For all the things we citizens think, and police are trained to think they are preventing by running every single person in on every single thing they are possibly doing to violate city ordinances to state law, justifying chaotic scenes in streets like the ones exampled here and more, it usually doesn’t stop escalating criminality in the law breakers fitting that description; it didn’t stop Travis Reinking before he appeared at that ill-fated Waffle House pants-less and wielding an assault rifle because police didn’t connect the BMW careening all over city streets to him fast enough, Radee Labeeb Prince had a long low level rap sheet and fully availed himself of legal maneuvers, but was legally free to be out in society, though not permitted to have a gun, when he killed 3 at his machine works job, the Sikh Temple shooter was on the FBI’s radar for the amount of hate groups he belong to not the quantity of guns he owed; frustrating though it is, nothing for police to act upon until he opened fire. Worse here, we’re not talking about an Aaron Alexis, James Holmes, Nikolas Cruz, a James T. Hodgkinson, Kevin Jensen Neil, Devin Kelly, people whose very behavior and history should have raised red flags, meant responding officers, judges viewing totality of criminal past should have remitted to mental health, should have sent them to diversion, should have intervened in some way; polar opposite, we‘re talking about waiting to order and wanting to use the toilet, asking about pricing of menu items and the disposable silverware to consume them, defending self against potential discrimination or at best bad customer service, traffic fines turned harrowing incident, deadly encounter, drinking in public, drunk and trying to get back into your apartment. Weighing potential crime committed against the consequences of actually pressing those charges is the situation with rapper T.I., was hassling a known entity after his wife had said yes that is my husband and I want him allowed up to my/our apartment/ house worth the impending backlash, negative spotlight over something that would have normally ended when the wife confirmed his identity, his ok to be there, proceeding up to his dwelling, not being booked on a half dozen misdemeanor charges that will cost city processing more dollars than it will act as a deterrent to any future such behavior. Further it will fuel negative connotations associated with police now with a famous face attached multiplied exponentially when added to the Sterling Brown video; nor is anyone suggesting officers show favoritism, overly contemplate fame, community standing before enforcing the law, rather defaulting to normal handling versus going in the extreme opposite direction of charging him with everything you can. How was it worth punching a 120 pound woman in the head, manhandling her to the ground and taking serious chance of injuring her arms as she was yanked around on suspicion of underage drinking after she had blown a zero on the breathalyzer proving she had consumed no alcohol, was content to walk away already talking on her cellphone until officers couldn’t decide oops our mistake and move on; they had to insist on dragging her back to them for more questioning, citation, fine and to dump out alcohol never seen on camera? Contrary to generated public opinion they did not ask her for an ID in the footage released to media to determine her age, only asked for her last name without telling her why they need it; whether it was to give her a citation for minor in possession of alcohol or the supposed illegality of having alcohol/open alcohol on the beach, both speculations in video commentary. Neither did they so much as once during the video try to determine the accurate chain of possession for the problem alcohol seeing as she was at the beach with another person likely an adult as he was reported to be her baby’s father, infant/toddler also present; you hear in the video the officer tell his partner to bring her back here after she begins walking off, subsequently saying we’re gunna have them dump this all out a request never formally made to either civilian party because the officer goes chasing after the woman being belligerent himself, her during one segment backing away, asking what are you doing, then she puts her hands out to keep him at a distance for the love of her personal space, belying the shoved him mantra circulating on social media which results in this WWE style wrestling mess. Better training highly in order because, if that was your plan, when she begins to walk away what you say is ma’am we’re not done here I still need your name and/or I.D. and having alcohol and the beach is illegal therefore unfortunately I have to give you a citation instead of what they engaged in; apex of horrible they did this in front of her very young child. Public viewpoint she deserved it for shoving him, she deserved it for spitting on him (though notice said spit was lobbed at him after the manhandling and her hands secured behind her back, him on top of her, her otherwise unable to move), when she faced charges for resisting arrest and assaulting a police officer, though plainly seen perhaps they are the ones who deserve the assault charge. Valid question while dealing with her (a suspected underage drinker who blew a zero on the breathalyzer and maybe an alcohol on the beach violation) what else did officers miss that could spell greater danger to beachgoers; one of the reasons the father cop who ran his daughter’s boyfriend in on nothing other than being with his little girl, among the things his department cited for his dismissal was also the road rage call he missed hassling 2 young people in love, if her assertion she’s 18 is correct, he can legally do nothing and had no cause to threaten the boyfriend let alone blatantly saying he would make something up. Was it worth it, geared toward the public interest to treat a suspect of petty theft, for allegedly stealing items out of a car, like a punching bag or whack a mole county fair attraction when video opens seeing officers hit the man in the head with one of their batons while he’s calmly standing at the side of the patrol car facing officers and they’ve given him no instruction as yet only moving to recoil from the pain, on replay one officer shouts get on the ground but before the man can react to comply he is hit in the head with the baton, reiterated only recoiling from pain, fear of being struck. Repeated actions seen as they strike him in the hip and leg yelling indistinctly as they do so, managing to handcuff him only to hit him again once handcuffs are on and secured; telling when the victim speaks up for the thief saying I didn’t want that, him treated thus strong implication he likely stated I just want my stuff back; officers justifiably suspended. Similar to the officer fired after kicking a handcuffed suspect on the ground like he was making a football touchdown or a soccer goal, another from last year shows 2 since fired officers A- stomping on a man’s head while handcuffed and laying on the ground, and B- the second officer letting it happen; their alleged crimes, driving a stolen car, leading police on a chase, though he surrendered immediately when cops brought out a stun gun, being known as a habitual traffic offender, older case, he was suspected of driving without a license and in possession of a minuscule amount of marijuana. What crime was actually being prevented repeatedly punch a man in the head because he refused to immediately sit down upon law enforcement request, when he wasn’t the person they were looking for in connection with a domestic dispute, he wasn’t being violent, aggressive, and was complying with 99% of instructions before you began wailing on him; from a public image of police standpoint, what does it gain you to slam his head into the elevator door, use handcuffs to essentially hogtie him, use a cloth to cover his eyes, haul him from the building, but he gets charged with a laundry list of charges including disorderly conduct. News reports reminding us this was the same state, same police department who opened fire on a father in his hotel room after someone reported a man with a gun; problem1, it was a pellet gun used in his extermination work that he wasn’t waving around being threatening, just merely had with him. Problem 2, once more here was a man doing everything not to get shot, to cooperate with police, at one section of body cam video begging police not to shoot him and as Cenk Uygur’s panel stated they are playing Simon says with him instead of telling him to lie flat on the floor hands out or get on his knees hands behind his head following the military guidelines on detaining persons no less; argument the cops were the larger threat to public safety than the man with his pellet gun. Jurors able to find an acquittal for the officer who pelted the man with an obscene number of shots after video footage in its entirety was shown; resounding question how, with the confusing instructions, the lack of an actual fire arm and the reality he used his pellet gun on his job as an exterminator, where was their humanity? Arizona being the identical state where an officer was caught on video punching a woman directly in the face for no discernable reason gleaned from bystander cellphone footage; why they were there at all, responding to an eviction notice. The people answered clearly upon seeing the body cam footage of an officer chasing then shooting a man in the back who ran from a group he confronted on a possible drinking in public charge, justifiably asking he was running away on such a piddly charge who cares if he gets away; and yes you do see him toss something away investigators later finding a pistol with an extended magazine however, even the news person stated he pulled it out to throw it away, estimation so he wouldn’t also face a gun charge, movements clearly showing he wasn’t turning back to shoot the officer, aiming to shoot visible members of the unsuspecting public. How about the officer who screamed at a 65 year old woman she wasn’t in charge, to shut the F— up and to get out of the car only to roughly manhandle her, yanking her arm, twisting it behind her back until she screams in either pain or terror, probably both, the moment she has complied, all apparently for asking calmly if the person standing directly in front of her was a supervisor; her pleas for someone in higher authority get louder once handcuffed, she comments she’s been calling him (said supervisor) for 10 minutes. Beginning of the video shows the gray haired grandmother open her car door and pear out to see what exactly is happening once pulled over, officer approaches, can be seen writing what’s likely a ticket suddenly he orders her out of the car thing escalating to the screaming and arrest described. What was this initially a traffic stop to for failure to maintain her lane, screaming cursing cop ultimately resigning; routine readers know this blog will call out older people behaving as badly as we peg young people doing, calls for equal standards and deference, veneration be given on actions not age alone, except there was no bad, over the top behavior here on the part of the elderly citizen apart from knowing the rule there you have the right to ask for a supervisor. Commenter allegations she kicked the door, even if true it was to her own vehicle and presented no danger to the officer making their actions an ego trip about their authoritah, not her ‘non-compliance’ or road safety. Sounds all too close to the 84 year old also spoken about in The Young Turks commentary on the hotel case where a woman called cops on her son posing a threat, warned responders about the fragile geriatric woman who recently suffered a stroke; still they decide to arrest her and left her with a collage of bruises and a blackened eye, or another 84 year old from 2 years ago pepper sprayed and brutally handcuffed in her own home when they burst in looking for a man who initially ran a stop sign, came there and ran inside; except the child was her son either visiting or living there and the cops are the ones never making themselves clear why they were present, what reason they barged into her home unannounced to bellow orders at the rightful resident who had broken no laws. Marline Pinnock who was recorded on passerby video being relentlessly punched in the face by a California highway patrol officer why, because she was being ‘protected’ by him, prevented from walking unsteadily too close to the freeway, opposite how you should handle someone who could be suffering dementia, mental illness, high on substances, thinking critically about the rash of high profile suicides, in suicidal crisis; hold that up to the cops who asked semi-truck drivers to park themselves under a bridge where a man was threatening to jump, officer abusing her eventually fired. At that point, it stops being about petty policing and was it worth it, mammoth waste of resources, time, cost to cities, counties, states and municipalities always kvetching about lack of funds and directly to how you handle encounters with the potentially mentally ill, persons in crisis. But to the allocation of resources, watch a Sacramento officer who goes full on MMA fighter on a jaywalking man who, seeing footage you’d be hard pressed to understand exactly how he jaywalked walking in the residential street, standing in the middle of it responding to the officer’s, let’s be plain, harassment; but, nothing he did warranted the beat down, even shedding his large coat to prove he harbored no weapons, stolen items or other threats, let go with no criminal charges, common occurrence when like videos come to light proving the cop in the wrong, more spent on then needed investigation, legal actions. How about the deaf man who reportedly lead police on a chase to his own front door rather than be pulled over for a speeding ticket, infinitely more plausible he didn’t hear officers behind him, trying to pull him over, didn’t see the flashing lights and officers mistook his ASL (American sign language) for reaching towards a weapon all in the name of traffic violations injuring no one, encompassed in that assessment the errant drivers, that damaged zero property. Returning to present, review footage of the disabled homeless man police manhandle then charge with interfering with a rescue operation, except he wasn’t interfering with anything, he was known to the area as a homeless individual with mental health issues warning people about cougars and special forces military personnel, likely wondering like he did every day; he repeatedly tells officers he’s not resisting and tries to tell them he has a disability seeming to involve his arms and why they couldn’t easily maneuver them behind his back and into handcuffs. Many encompassing Joe Scarborough often remark lately on how senator John McCain was injured in Vietnam unable to lift his arms above his head after returning home, usually when he’s verbally attacked by president Trump and conservatives for petty reasons, relevant here because he’s far from the only person suffering permanent injury, disability that make them differently abled, facts police need to be aware of when interacting with the public. Not a single thought given to his wandering might be an asset to you and whoever/whatever you are looking for if you bothered to ask him if he had seen person X, thing Y as opposed to taking time out of the rescue mission at hand to file paperwork on him, something as basic as asking him to leave because of what you were doing. Or the police probe into an officer tasing a man for being non-compliant when he was plainly confused by conflicting instructions coming from 2 different officers, not knowing how they want him to position his legs while sitting on the cub where they told him to be; why did they stop him, statements he allegedly assaulted someone with a baseball bat nowhere to be seem, not seen by witnesses either, no appearance of blood, indications he’d been in a fight, disheveled clothing nothing. So you either made it up to cover your behind or had the wrong person all along. Inside Edition obtained video of a 20 year old being hauled from the car she was riding in by the hair, why suspicion of being intoxicated in public allegedly because the driver of the vehicle had their head out the sunroof, conflicting info stipulating if it was while driving or as the car was parked; passenger asked for ID then accused of lying because the officer didn’t understand a 2 part, usually hyphenated though perhaps not, last name, news anchor alleging passenger pulled the officers hair. But honestly the only thing clear is the officer’s hands on the passenger’s hair arrested for resisting arrest, suspicion of public intoxication, smiling in her mug shot only adding to the entitled millennial, gen Z persona; regardless what we think of the current generation, if this is what police are charged with doing it’s time to change the law. Particularly if the car was parked, even if it wasn’t the only motorist endangered was the one driving the car and the passenger who willingly got in with them; you can’t legislate away stupid behavior. Plus how about a regulation for police, campus security, which it seems they were, no hair longer than a certain length precisely because of what took place in the video; lastly what instances of public intoxication and other dangers common to college campuses did they miss roughing up this woman who as a passenger didn’t have to give ID, correctly answered to what was on her license, showed signs of rudeness but not necessarily intoxication, rudeness not an arresting offense. Keeping in mind large cities, think New York City ended stop and frisk, broken windows policies, result crime went down as community trust went up spelling cooperation when people see real crime occurring. Seeing what we’ve seen and by now we still have commenting citizens wondering why a 17 year old, if he didn’t do the drive by, if the guns in the car where he was a passenger weren’t his, why did he run; oh I don’t know maybe because Antwon Rose knew the names Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Freddie Gray, who ‘ran’ from cops having no reason to arrest him only to die in a police van, maybe even knew friends who were shot by police. New details and surveillance cameras showing Rose wasn’t the shooter, rather the second person running from the scene wearing a long sleeve black dress shirt, able to flee because the officer, who was sworn into that police force only 90 minutes beforehand but had 8 years in law enforcement elsewhere fired from his previous precinct, was putting 3 into his back after he’d put up his empty hands. The only thing found on Rose, an empty gun clip in his pocket, 2 guns found in the car, unsubstantiated reports he hand gun shot residue on his hands; seeing video of who actually did the shooting it’s entirely possible he was running, not from cops, but the other person he was riding with, he may not have known what they planned to do despite more unsubstantiated reports the driver told police the 2 conspired to do the drive-by, sole reason we can’t ask him, he was shot dead by police. Even if he was guilty, there is so much as a grain of truth to the he and the person in the black shirt conspired to commit a drive-by while the hired car service driver drove them to their destination, the penalty for doing so is arrest and charges for attempted murder, unlawful use of a fire arm, possession of a fire arm, any related charges, not bald face execution in the street by someone supposed to be enforcing the law. If a perceived violent person, higher risk of threat to the community, which what he was suspected of qualifies, runs you chase them, tase them but you don’t shoot them almost execution style 3 times; if you don’t have a taser, can’t run them down on foot, shoot him in the leg, the arm to stop him so you can arrest him, not give witnessing bystanders the impression you were doing target practice against his back, paraphrase of the witness’ words not mine. On the other side of the spectrum, cops collectively need to start pushing back against being used to reinforce bad business practices, bad business policies, bad gated community/ homeowner’s association policies, bad college campus management policies, and we’re not talking protests at UC Berkley; good officers have got to start telling busybody neighbors to mind their own business, try getting to know their neighbors before reporting them for everyday activities because ‘you haven’t seen them before.’ Cops need to stand up to their local officials and say we need more spaces, more help for the homeless, I can’t keep routing them out of the bus station, out from in front of the library when there’s nowhere else for them to go, stop asking me to deal with people who visibly have profound mental health problems who belong in a psychiatric bed, whom I repeatedly take to hospital psych wards only for them to be ‘treated’ and street-ed within 24, 48 or 72 hours to make room for someone deemed sicker, more of a danger to self or others than they are. I did not sign up to protect and serve to hand out jaywalking fines, failing to cross the street at a right angle or take the shortest route fines (part of the 28 laws Floridian pedestrians must observe); one Jacksonville officer threatened to put 2 black pedestrians in jail for improperly crossing at a crosswalk independent ProPublica and Vox, teaming up for a piece on low level policing’s effect on persons of color, found cops doing the exact same thing, tried to ticket one for not having ID on him while walking citing Florida law, forgetting it applied to motorists only and to divers not passengers in vehicles per the other video above. I am not wearing a uniform to dole out traffic fines, peruse traffic violators posing no public threat more than genuinely help people and absolutely not to fill the city coffers by nefarious means ($62 fines, improperly issued fines by cops misunderstanding the type of crosswalk someone used), find another revenue stream. Cops might want to start by ensuring there is reasonable cause to believe someone has truthfully done something wrong, before trying to ticket or arrest them, whether that’s the border agent given jurisdiction over areas 100 miles from the U.S. border who stopped 2 women in Montana for speaking Spanish next to the Canadian border or the off duty officer who saw a man at a convenience store counter place an item in his pocket immediately storming in and accusing the customer of stealing, while pulling his gun, though security video clearly shows the man ask the price of something pull money out to pay pocket the candy and receive change as the cop comes in. Bill Maher is right someone needs to tell cops their body cameras aren’t for loading their beatings (of people they are meant to protect and serve) onto YouTube.
Your humanity should tell you, you don’t order someone to put their pet, small dog in the overhead bin of a plane or get off the flight, but another 8 year old family dog has died; family presented only with a bloody blanket upon learning their beloved pet didn’t survive. The latest in a string of pet deaths by many of the big American airlines to die on routine flights across the country owners paying extra fees to see to the care of their animals; for a French bulldog to lose its life due to being shoved into that overhead bin blamed on an accent and flight attendant who didn’t understand there was a live animal, family dog inside despite the $200 extra dollars to place him under the seat in his carrier. And a springer spaniel cleared by its vet to fly not coming home out of the plane’s cargo hold alive post a flight delay. If people can’t figure out how to treat a dog on a flight, a dog who isn’t aggressive, a dog who isn’t known to have a disease, no history of biting, dogs who are small breed, tiny things that can fit in the overhead bin, in something a little bigger than a purse no wonder this doctor got away with treating patients like what you see in video 5 for who knows how many years before being finally caught in the age of cellphone video, banned from that hospital; patient’s father honing in on she shouldn’t be practicing medicine, race thing or not, treating people that way. Isolated incident— we wish, video 6 blows past bedside manner, doctor patient relationship and goes right to misdiagnosis malpractice blaming a woman’s weight for her health problems over years when in fact she had cancer; video 7 a woman who had painful periods since she began menstruating to finally find out, years later, she had an ovarian tumor with teeth. Videos 8 and 9 comments made by doctors, nursing staff about patients while under anesthesia for surgery; that is when they aren’t yanking out kids’ perfectly healthy teeth to bill often Medicaid, one making millions, when they aren’t sexually abusing their patients for their own sadistic pleasure. Adding up the inhumanity seen on a daily basis, it isn’t any wonder we hardly raise an eyebrow when a jury in a civil case returns a $4 award to a family who lost a father of 3 young children; why, he was playing music in his garage, lady picking up her child from school across the street took issue with the volume and called police to lodge a noise complaint. Police arrive, it takes some time and banging to get the man’s attention, a conversation turns into a confrontation, when the man irritated with the dialog shuts his garage door; moments later they fire through that door, hitting the man 3 times, including one to the head; their justification, the unloaded gun found later in his back pocket could have been put there while he was behind the door where they could not see him, in other words he could have previously been waving it around posing a threat, leaving out the whole how responsive could you be when you’ve been shot. in. the. head! Still all these facts in place, understanding the incident began with something as low level as a noise complaint, the jury found him 90 something percent responsible for his fate citing specifically his blood alcohol level being too intoxicated to dive (never mind at no point was he driving, he was on his own property playing music, the most ‘dangerous’ thing he was likely operating wasn’t even machinery, a kitchen appliance rather potentially a guitar, drum set, perhaps a radio) they returned a $4 verdict; $1 for funeral costs, and a dollar for each of the now fatherless children they were directly asked to consider, judge taking it a heartless step further and based on the percentage of guilt attributed to the victim by the jury reduced it to 4 cents. Verdict and decision screaming where is your humanity, it’s one thing the cops did this, facing no criminal charges as has been the pattern, it is another thing entirely for A- a jury to hear the facts and do this, vicious insanity compounded exponentially when B- not only does a judge uphold the jury verdict per the law but emphatically agrees with it doubling down by lessening the monetary compensation that was a joke to begin with. Gregory Vaughn Hill Jr.’s decision just the latest in the slew of desensitizing, dehumanizing decisions, especially pertaining to persons anything other than white, that goes back to the Rodney King beating and before, goes back to video of Michael Slagger on video shooting Walter Scott in the back 8 times, lying about attempting to give CPR contemptibly rifling his pockets instead, caught on subsequent audio laughing about killing Scott, all over a broken break light, Scott’s fears he would be returned to jail over unpaid child support; jurors hearing/seeing both and remaining unable to come up with a conviction, conviction only secured in a civil rights case before a judge. It’s the juxtaposition of the police union representative who had a job to do, despicable though it turned out, calling what officer Daniel Pantaleo did to Eric Garner a seatbelt maneuver versus the chokehold everyone can distinctly see it is, contributing to the hopelessness are the American citizens who bought that excuse/explanation; worse, saying if he had simply not broken the law, not resisted arrest, he would have been fine. Coming full circle to the question posed in the previous paragraph, was it worth it to remove the fractional quantity of loose cigarettes he was potentially selling; humanity a question reverberating when jurors could come back with a verdict of guilty for car full of teens with loud music shooter Michel Dunn of attempted murder addressing the ones he shot at but not murder on the teen he actually shot to death, no gun, what he says he thought he saw causing him to fire, ever found in the car, along the route they took fleeing the armed civilian pelting their car with bullets. Conviction, on the most obvious charge, that would require a retrial. Humanity called into question when we would need less police, predictably less laws if we invested a little more into people, treated them as people before they became criminals; isn’t that what Ta-Nehisi Coats said about a bored Tamir Rice and his airsoft gun, it is certainly what Princess Bryant states about her brother whose state took it as a personal affront to their pride he was murdered in their streets, but could have cared less about him while he lived classified as just another fatherless boy turned gang member, turned owner of a criminal record despite a duel diagnosis of a behavioral/neurological disorder and a mental illness almost needless to say trapped in a school system with teachers who didn’t, couldn’t understand him and were either too callus or too overworked/underpaid to care, sacrificing kids like him for the ones they can save, honestly heard it all before, tired of the broken record and no basic attempt at minimal effort solutions. Reminds me personally of the song Working Class Hero, older readers will recall the John Lennon version, younger ones the Green Day cover, that lyric that goes ‘when they’ve tortured and scared you for 20 odd years then they expect you to pick a career when you can’t really function you’re so full of fear;’ covering everything from the gantlet of school bullying by students, varying levels of abuse of power by adults, trapped in classrooms with lackluster teaching best exemplified by combination of Ben Stein in Ferris Bueller and the grade school teacher from Charlie Brown. To the abusive, neglectful homes that are more rule than exception, to society’s broader contempt for children in public spaces already discussed; consistent bad treatment never correlated to the ‘bad’ behavior exhibited, general disrespect given back to adults or how many were never respectable to begin with, deserved the respect decades past decorum said was owed to them via their chronological age, noticeably aging features. Speaking of schools, at issue isn’t that a student wanted to dress as a KKK leader for a school history project, it’s that he had the presence of mind to ask the teacher and the teacher ok’d it, an educator responsible for imparting knowledge who ought to know better, who ought to be aware of the nuance required to function in such an environment; school only investigating not handing down disciplinary action for the teacher while a student elsewhere across the country had to remove his slave costume, as an African American, for his history day project. At least the high school age NASA competition participants were subjected to racial slurs and comments only when members of the public were asked to vote online bringing out internet trolls; NASA making the right decision and moving the selection process off line, story made public and the overwhelming response positively condemning said trolls, shameful it was even necessary. Again it should be no surprise considering common sense and an understanding of basic logistics should warn you away from suddenly ripping parents from their children at the U.S. Mexico border as they are presenting themselves for asylum from violence and lawlessness in their own country to shove the parents in jail and take custody of the kids, because it’s an organizational nightmare, republican leaders threw caution to the wind following president Trump and did it regardless. If we didn’t have space for more illegal immigrants, legal immigrants to hear conservative politicians tell it, the next question should be where are we going to put them, who cares? Yet that’s exactly what they are doing and sure enough facilities originally meant to handle the growing problem of unaccompanied minors, usually teens, once more fleeing violence in their home country, are suddenly at maximum capacity and overflowing; tent cities are planned to be built and popping up to handle the roughly 46 children to 70 children per day being rounded up, 2,000 to 2,300 and counting since the policy was announced in April held up alongside powerful images of small children crying as they are herded away from each other at the border. Tearful mothers who tell stories of being in detention for a month or longer, no idea where their child is; whatever your stance on immigration, illegal immigrants, which most of these aren’t they are requesting asylum for which we possess a process, your humanity should say ripping a baby away from its mother as she breast feeds, seizing babies as young as 53 weeks old after a hundreds to thousands of miles journey and asking for the asylum process, asking for mercy is unconscionable. We should all be outraged and none too terrified at the tactics, officials telling parents they were going to give the children a bath only to take them to a separate detention facility with no idea either for the workers, parents or children when they will be reunited; does that ring a bell to anyone, perhaps something learned in school about another time in another country where people were being rounded up, it should it was Nazi Germany where people were lead to the gas chambers and their deaths on the prentice of being given showers and when they were permitted to bathe, to wash themselves of the grit, dirt and filth of work camps it was with soap made from dead fellow prisoners’ fat. Returning to the 21st century child internment camps termed so by a congressman fighting tears asking what country is that; the horrific descriptions of the ice box (a dentition cell border crossers are put into immediately upon capture) named so because it’s so cold, painted picture journalist and politicians report upon seeing these facilities describe kids in cages that look suspiciously like dog kennels, huddled under Mylar space blankets, sleeping on concert floors. On top of the paperwork snafus, parents given a piece of paper with the names of their children, except they weren’t the names of that woman’s children, some parents from remote areas who don’t know how to read or write in any language so they can’t provide the names of their children other than verbally; given a 1-800 number to call to locate their children only to be told any information they give names, phone numbers, locations can and will be used to possibly deport anyone here illegally while failure to give requested information will mean an inability to find your children for sure. Parents in detention who are without legal representation, effective knowledge of how to obtain a lawyer to adequately adjudicate their case; a woman who had been separated from her 14 year old son for 8 months after she only spent a few days in jail for her illegal crossing fleeing an abusive husband and chronic domestic violence in a central American country where police do little about such things, yet not until the ACLU got involved did anything move toward bringing mother and child back together. Their story one of the lucky ones, what’s happening now is parents are expediently going through their judicial process and being deported through DOJ proceedings while health and human services keep the children, their process taking months, possibly years shepherded to foster care, talk of adoptions; realistically children who will never see their parents again because the government agencies meant to do this aren’t set up for it, there was no perpetration for it, there remains no way to track parents in their home country and the kids here, no policy to reunite parent and child. To say nothing of the condition they arrive at their foster placements in barely eating, hardly sleeping, repeatedly asking about or for their parent(s), answers foster parents are unable to give because they haven’t been told anything, don’t have a reliable means of communication with the people who are supposed to know, who regularly don’t either; on top of their physical condition filth covered, having lice, unclear if they got it on their journey or acquired it in the detention facilities crowded conditions, unwilling to use the toilet for those well old enough to know how. Mother’s flight story matching stories of children who were forced to deliver/sell drugs by their father, fleeing gangs; another mother whose 1 son was paralyzed by gang gunfire, another killed, her coming to the U.S. with her remaining living child. Parents who were put in one room who could hear their children crying for them in another room unable to go to them; taking toddlers and pre-teen children away from their parents in the same way then warehousing them in what looks increasingly like prison and incarceration is not only easily seen as inhumane and has sparked protests from American citizens; it has gotten the attention of international human rights groups who say America is now violating human rights on par with third word dictatorial regimes. Parents told they can’t have a measly 5 minutes to console screaming kindergarten age children, agents telling one worker who spoke Portuguese to tell 3 Brazilian siblings 16, 10 and 6 abruptly separated from their parents they cannot hug, as the huddle together absolutely distraught, tears streaming post being taken from their family, also that their parents were lost, which they wrongly interpreted to mean dead, rather than can’t find them. A father separated from his 3 year old daughter who committed suicide while in border patrol custody, fathers begging on their knees not to take their small children; a mother who became so distraught after 2 border agents came into their detention cell and just took her 5 year old son no explanation, no details of next steps, hours later it happening to the rest of the children housed with their accompanying parent, who hardly ate or slept without her child, within days was so upset she had trouble speaking. Facilities so understaffed for what they’ve been tasked to do they don’t have personnel to change diapers, border patrol agents not permitted to do so because they are following the rules on touching outlined for prisons as anti-rape, anti-sex assault parameters while the administration cleverly doesn’t call it prison; only 4 social care workers in a facility with hundreds of kids and when the head of the American academy of pediatrics toured one detention center she reported back workers were being told not to touch, pick up or hold children to comfort them only for utilitarian needs like diaper changes. You don’t need the AMA to tell you that’s the path to psychological detachment disorders; because, we’ve already heard the stories out of eastern bloc European orphanages to say nothing of the continued inflicted trauma’s lasting health effects physically, the sure to be manifest mental health problems following them into adulthood. Trauma already seen in chilling audio of small children begging for their mommies and daddies, one beseeching border agents to call her aunt and trying to give them the memorized number so her relative can pick her up as they jokingly call the crying children an orchestra only missing a conductor, older children in detention spaces teaching their age mates how to change the youngest children’s diapers because no one else will, cringe worthy story of a 4 year old put in charge of much younger children so long she eventually curled up in a ball and stopped talking. Veteran journalists known for their stoicism and professionalism unable to contain their emotions, stop their tears revealing the euphemistic ‘tender age shelters’ housing infants and toddlers announcing breaking news that there was a 4th one being opened to handle the volume; few persons allowed into such facilities even U.S. congressional members who should have every legal right to enter any such facility and see what is going on, press systematically shut out of areas housing older children, handed essentially government sanitized propaganda photos, prompting haunting questions about where are the girls, babies and toddlers, later receiving anonymous reports from those allowed in, like doctors, describing sobbing, wailing toddlers in a playroom, photos seen of babies in these places staff wearing sterile looking outfits. A child with Downs Syndrome reportedly separated from her relatives and put in a cage, another disabled young man separated from his grandmother, cycling back to the humanity question MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow cried giving this news while Trump spokesperson on Fox News Corey Lewandowski responded womp –womp to the developmentally delayed girl’s plight. Inhumanity and insanity coinciding when you have judges presiding over credible fear hearings, asylum determination hearings who think a child 3,4, 5 maybe 6 given a ‘know your rights’ presentation at a detention center are perfectly capable of self advocating without the representation, so much as presence of an attorney; how ignorant, cold and heartless do you have to be to think that, what thought process, forget moral compass, are you using to think that will hold up to court on known to be coming appeals, lawsuits? One of the few solidly predictable things in America, a judge responding to ACLU lawsuits brought by separated parents has order the Trump administration has 14 days to reunite children under 5 and 30 days for those 5 plus, 10 days to establish phone, video conference opportunities for children in the meantime. Sparse legal representation available consisting of non-profit, pro bono lawyers trying to put together asylum cases for those same 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 year olds who don’t know why they fled their country and can’t give needed details, lawyers trying to reunite parents with children young enough they haven’t mastered or barely mastered balancing their own head, months shy of talking unable to tell advocates their parents’ names, anything distinguishingly identifiable about them. Regardless your feelings on immigration, mothers and their babies, toddlers and children begging for asylum wherever they can cross to avoid the coyotes, kidnappers are not lawless miscreants trying to sneak into the country, steal jobs, snatch welfare benefits, separating entirely illegal persons are not eligible for social welfare items like food stamps; they are presenting themselves at the border and asking for the established asylum process, when they do present themselves to a designated port of entry to ask for same they are told literally come back later, no room, not now, huh. Babies, toddlers and children whose ages haven’t reached double digits are not MS-13; teenagers 14-17 years old tell stories of fleeing gangs, parents who had their child threatened by gangs in their home country are why they are here, to avoid that life not join it. Babies, toddlers and children are not the rapists, murders and criminals president Trump spent his campaign saying Mexico was sending us, many of the immigrants though passing through there came from violent Central America, murder capital of the world; these babies, toddlers and children along with their parents are not trying to infest the country with a laundry list of bad things, conversely join it for a better life willing to infuse it with good things their hard work, learn and ply skills to the enrichment of all Americans. None of these babies, toddlers and children are taking any of the jobs immigrants are scapegoated as robbing from willing to work hard citizens; reality, they regularly take jobs no American wants, businesses can’t find born citizens to work, the border town of McAllen Texas sees every business with a help wanted sign, more jobs than people by contrast, thrives because of the immigrants who do come. Ceasing to be ironic is, this from the party, citizens supporting this party to the point of defying common sense, logic, decency or a moral compass of any kind, so pro-life they would outlaw abortion for any reason even nonviable fetuses, the life and health of their mothers, who will then cut domestic programs like food stamps, temporary aide to needy families (TANF) WIC (women infants and children), daycare subsidies for parents actively attempting to work; all effecting children once they are born and as they grow up. Who spent the entirety of the Obama administration fighting implementation of the ACA, then voted over 5 dozen times for its repeal and has spent the year and a half of the Trump administration subjecting it to the legislative variation on death by a thousand cuts, republican governors who should have known their states best who first refused to set up insurance exchanges that work best for their constituents, then rejected the Medicaid expansion that would have doubtlessly let some kids caught in the coverage gap parents making too much for standard Medicaid but not enough to afford health insurance either in the exchanges or through their employer lead healthier lives. Republicans who are always coming down on women for the number of children they have, calling them breeders, accusing them of having children for benefits while systematically cutting off their access to birth control, calling almost all of it abortifacient therefore immoral, concurrently wagging war on Planned Parenthood though no federal money goes to the fractional percentage of abortions they actually do versus the women’s health screenings, monograms or mammogram referrals, STD testing as well as birth control; campaign only succeeding in shutting down the lone woman’s clinic for miles, sometimes the only one in entire states. Meanwhile a congressman angry Sara Huckabee Sanders was asked to leave a restaurant, surprised a restaurant would refuse service to anyone (for the record this blog and author disagrees with the Red Hen’s decision believing people should be permitted to eat wherever they choose, her situation differing from other Trump staff Kirstjen Nielsen, Stephen Miller only protested while eating in a, tactless display, Mexican restaurant) except isn’t that exactly what you support your fervently religious minded persons doing in line with their deeply held beliefs; whether that’s the wedding cake maker, the flower shop owner who declines to provide their products for a same sex wedding or what businesses have expressed a desire to do ban Muslims, blacks and anyone else they don’t like. Shifting back to the border, next contrast the flight attendants, airlines, horrified they might have had something to do with this, announcing their planes will not be used for this, governors saying their national guard forces will not be used for implementation of this policy, ordinary citizens protesting in the streets, sitting in, in their congressional offices making it known they don’t approve of what has been done, the family starting a Facebook page to raise bail and legal representation money for these migrant adults to see freedom as their case is decided, help them track down their children to the self-identified Trump supporters who openly tell reporters they are fine with what the current presidential administration has done because they cost $700 a day and if you break the law and go to prison you are separated from your children. One who said he had no feeling for these children at all, another who instructed the visiting reporter and by extension all press to stop trying to make her and local persons feel teary-eyed, one supporter who did start crying but it wasn’t for the unfortunate kids at the border, their anguished parents who don’t know where they are, multitudes scattered throughout major cities bussed and flown in, in the dead of night, spirited to secret locations, it was for president Trump and how down on him everyone is. While the policy was disbanded 75 days in, short time for a government policy, the signed executive order did not grandfather in, retro-activate to include the 2,300 children already taken and there are no plans, processes to reunite them with their parents, particularly the adults already deported. For the lucky ones who have been reunited with deported family it doesn’t, at the risk of sounding wholly repetitive, erase the trauma, ease the adjustment these kids have to make for the second or third time in very short periods, for proof just watch the tearful goodbye of the young man profiled by ABC news torn between the adoptive family he started to bond with and his biological family in central America, arriving back home dazed and confused. This is the land of the free and the home of the brave not just under president Trump but under the citizens who voted for him, the citizens who stand behind his policies, who find themselves more moved by national anthem protests of football players who’ve clearly articulated their purposes in wanting to end police brutality visited on black and brown persons, appropriate since most of them share an ethnicity, than infants torn from their mothers, more outraged by things said about the Whitehouse press secretary’s appearance than politicians using the bible to justify putting children in cages. Trump loyalist, staunch republicans more wedded to their guns than lifting a finger to stop mass gun violence in the slightest, no the parkland students had to do that directly post their trauma, no time to grieve; remember my own work only called out the effectiveness that wasn’t, suggesting we get to the root of the violence if we want to really stop shooting deaths and other deaths as well, and blog author could go on and on.
What Americans need to start understanding is, just like police shouldn’t be used as an extension of white bias and racism, any bias or racism to be completely factual, they equally shouldn’t be used as the anti-pet peeve brigade; the law and law enforcement does not exist to shield you from benign, innocuous things that make you uncomfortable. Actual police are not the decorum police, the clothing police, do not exist to solve problems exemplified by this half a page apoplectic diatribe responding to dress codes for average adults on their own time: It is a d*&n shame that society feels the need to install a dress code. IF people didn’t dress like prison thugs or frumpy bed pillows then we would need to “require” proper attire. Oh! Wait – I remember that statement – PROPER ATTIRE REQUIRED. We have always had a dress code, the entire world has had a dress code. I for one am tired of seeing men and women displaying their underwear – it is offensive to me and many of my family/friends. Underwear is for underthere! I am also tired of seeing the outline of fat rolls thru ridiculously tight clothing with offensive words. I am very disgusted by the array of butt cracks and fat guts hanging below the shirt. HOW A PERSON DRESES REPRESENTS THE QUALITY OF PERSON – the level of education, self-respect and respect for others. The current array of body piercings and tattoos is equally disgusting yet seeing small boys or young boys with earrings is another disgusting representation of our failing parents in a low class society. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Just because you can fit into a size 3 doesn’t mean you should – grandmothers in miniskirts and haltertops is disgusting. PLEASE INSTALL “DRESS CODES”; PLEASE ENFORCE DRESS POLICYS!! When the sign says suit and tie then don’t let in the pajama queen. EX: cruise ships have dress night – turn away the chic in her PJ bottoms and tub top; tell the goon in his sweat suite to come back when he is properly dressed. CODE IT AND ENFORCE IT!!! Those who are offended because they are asked to dress in a decent, non-offences, self-respecting manner should be turned away at the door – most of us don’t want to see you in your trashy clothes or minimal clothing attire. IF you are that person – TOUGH, LIVE WITH IT, GET WITH THE PROGRAM, YOU SU@$!!!!” [Sic]. Setting aside what age group still uses the word frumpy, what that says about the nature of their commentary or when this, writing exudes stereotypical white person, last saw, has ever seen a prison thug, where she could have possibly learned what they dress like, her response wasn’t to people trying to attend cruise dress night or a suit and tie required 5 star restaurant, it was to a story about a school district trying to impose a dress code for parents dropping off, picking up their kids, attending obligatory parent teacher conferences and parent events. Though she got one thing right, just because you can doesn’t mean you should, utterly failing to apply it to herself and her published views; sure she can support dress codes at the school where they planned to do this, vote in favor of local clothing bans, words smacking of she’s the type to start a petition to put such measures on her local ballot, but is that the best use of her time, best way to convey her message? Wouldn’t she be better off living her example, examining herself to make doubly sure she’s not committing any of the respectability and decency sins she’s chiding others for; Steven Baldwin known for his famous actor family and conversion to evangelical Christianity talked about how he deals with this with his kids challenging them when they see a person wearing objectionable clothing they aren’t doing their walk (with god) very well, question mark causing his children to think regarding how they represent themselves and the faith they are being brought up in— wow, maybe we should all do that. Maybe it’s what D. Watkins, credit where credit is due when he gets it right, said detailing the 5 ways Starbucks could combat racism understanding a hoodie is merely a piece of clothing and sometimes our ears get cold not an indicator of a criminal or gang banger, hair is hair styled the way the person likes it, as do you, because it’s unique, interesting, don’t mean you should touch it, negatively comment on it or, no joke, members of the TSA immediately think there’s a bomb in it— oh that. Black people order complicated coffee orders the same as white people, so please put your eyes back in your head when we do it, jaw back up off the floor. Broadening out related analysis to the larger public, when you call police you are not calling in a bulk trash pickup, to a radio station comment block or the digital age iteration of a gossip column, and your consumption of news tells you the potential societal consequences in people frequently shot by police 2 of 120 reasons the back girl selling water to afford a trip to Disneyland should have been left in peace; the other being your reason for calling, selling already branded and sealed bottled water without a permit, alternating between that and how loud she was hocking her wears, oblivious to you could close your office window and run this little thing called air conditioning before calling police. When you, dubbed ‘permit patty’ were operating a business selling marijuana products for dogs absent a what, permit, until you had to resign thanks to public scrutiny. Followed closely by the boy who began a lawn mowing service for his neighborhood, hired by a lady to mow her grass accidentally getting part the adjoining yard only to be greeted with a 9-1-1 call where police wisely did nothing; both young people getting the ultimate revenge thanks to kind strangers who gave the girl tickets to Disney and the boy new law equipment and $7,000 from a GoFundMe page. Height of asinine the man on the cable car train eating a burrito didn’t mandate a threat to call police rather perhaps a conversation with the driver; better solution might be to remove the signs declaring no eating if people aren’t paying any attention to them anyway and the worst thing happening is the reaction of the man in video below. Reaction stemming less from watching him eat, smelling his pungent food, trash he was leaving on the bus and more because there is a sign, a rule stating ‘no eating on the bus;’ it’s bus lady ranting about a passengers children and food she was eating on steroids elating things exponentially to try bringing in law enforcement. Rule probably started by someone who got on the bus hangry jealous they had to watch someone eat while they had nothing; pointing to the rules instead of asking if the rules work, make sense, enforcing littering rules over no eating rules another option. Also, kids in public are not a scourge, parents are not ‘breeders’ because they have more than one child, because corralling their kids in public makes a scene to your eyes; almost guaranteed, should those people so ready to flay that mother of the boy who knocked over the statue took her kid, all the kids in controversial complaint videos and babysat them for a singular 8 hour work day it wouldn’t be any more productive in the child learning better behavior, in adults better watching kids as they go around town running errands, going out to eat. Instead it would be like what I see every time I venture in public, the stories I get from my friend when taking her children in public; they would do things like answer a child’s question while standing in line for a drink at a mall Starbucks “yes we can do that’ surprised when the child ‘runs off’ to do that and then have to tell them no come back here, wait, as oppose to saying first we need to do this, wait for my drink then we can do that so the child understands. A couple of old ladies who confronted my friend in a store looking at her kids’ whining behavior, demanding things of shelves saying aren’t you going to do something about them, she bit back perfectly with I am doing something ignoring it, or the other time her children began running around the store as she checked out; she immediately acted to correct their behavior, making them stand in a specific area only to be approached by a mother and railed at, again she came back perfectly at least her kids had a personality versus her children, sitting on a bench blankly, who seem afraid of you. Finally the interaction I had with an approximately 12 year old boy who drummed up a conversation while I waited for a cab and he waited for his mother talking to me because of the musician shirt I was wearing; we both saw a mother and father of 2 young children, one on her hip the other walking and as she attempted to walk past us on the bench, she snapped at her child saying ‘people aren’t going to bite you. Once they left the boy said to me if I were an adult I wouldn’t have done that, and he’s maybe 12; I looked at him and agreed with him especially when the child is just scared, oh from the mouths of babes. But if we want to have a legitimate conversation about negative situations new parents, young parents and their children face, and the effect on society then we have to start with giving women agency over their own bodies; which means we voters need to stop voting for republican conservatives who think abortions are happening on the government dime via Planned Parenthood despite legislation keeping government funds from the procedure, enacting impossible restrictions for women’s clinics who perform abortions ultimately closing many who also provide reproductive health services/screenings and, here’s the kicker, birth control, often the only women’s clinic in entire regional areas, instead of sane regulations and inspections (the latter not having been done on one horrific clinic for nearly a decade) that would have closed down clinics like the one of Kermit Gosnell for unsanitary conditions and malpractice. Republican religious conservatives, politicians who only began calling birth control abortifacient when president Obama insisted it be included in all employer provided insurance and provided under marketplace exchanges, local office holders, school boards who push abstinence only sex education, scaling back anatomy and biology in schools to keep student’s chaste i.e. virgins until marriage; we as parents and society need to get away from the myth if we talk to kids about sex it will make them want to have sex, studies proving the opposite, educate ourselves into educating our kids about sexual health, how to have sex safely when they are ready, how to avoid and resist peer and social pressure to have sex, regularly getting tested once you are sexually active to avoid and treat STD’s/STI’s. We have to tell states with our ballot box decisions we are not going to put up with rules for religious beliefs meaning they can’t bake cakes, they can’t make gender including bathroom policies and they pharmacists are allowed to say they can’t fill a woman’s miscarriage medication, even though she relayed her story of trying to have another child, being told by her doctor her baby was nonviable given the option to take medicine and miscarry/grieve in the comfort of her home and not the hospital having been through this at least twice before. We have to tell states with our ballot box choices we are not ok with politicians stipulating restrictions on doctors about when they can tie a women’s tubes; my own state’s guidelines saying a woman mush have 5 kids and be under 25 to have them tied before X age, also make people sign 30 day notices to have the procedure, women who go in to deliver their children and ask to have their tubes tied not met with medical reasons not to do it, told they can set it up only for nothing to happen, if not met with the paperwork barrier (my friend has 5 kids due to these.) Circa 2007 a 32 year old woman, I’ve mentioned before, with a history of mental illness, homelessness finally properly medicated, employed, had a fiancé, had tired standard birth control which exacerbated her mental illness, rejected by a doctor because she had no children. The firefighter in full uniform and doing checks for chimney debris and other fire hazards in tinderbox California was performing an important job considering the state of emergency since declared for, you guessed it wide fires; for people who think they are doing good, these people are doing good, performing some kind of public service look side by side at the airport personnel who made that mother prove her child was hers and the flight attendants who did rescue one girl from a human trafficker and called police on 2 girls trying to fly somewhere to meet a man hey met online offering modeling and appearances in music videos who was likely a predator. Who is it again who needs to get a job, stop being lazy basement dwellers in their parent’s house, millennials, early gen Z 18-21 or these people, minimum in their 40’s; who is it, all these retirees, who need to get a hobby during their golden years other than watching you neighborhood for supposedly suspicious people doing strange tasks like appraising property, moving in, accidentally mowing a part of your law you now don’t have to worry about, renting out a room? Maybe incredulous 15 year olds are asking the right question why are you, the adult, sexualizing me, my clothing on someone you know to be a child, and if you are, I’m 15 and that’s your creepy pervy problem, not mine. Additionally reaching for the sexual explanation, the hood rat, no good criminal explanation as opposed to the simplest one I’m hot blooded and though the air conditioning is on it’s still too hot for me, so in order to focus on the learning and studying I’m here to do I wear skimpy outfits to class, you do realize there’s no air in this school right? It’s cold in the school to me even with the heat on we’re not allowed to wear our coats so I wear a hoodie, or a hoodie is less bulky to wear or carry around all day but I remain warn and able to learn; once upon a time we would have called that problem solving, the problem solving so many want the kids of the helicopter parenting era to learn instead of defaulting to mom and dad to come save them. Schools prone to posting signs like this: “If you are dropping off your son’s forgotten lunch, books, homework, equipment, etc., please TURN AROUND and exit the building,” the sign reads. “Your son will learn to problem-solve in your absence,” then we get mad when they do, go figure. People sworn to protect and serve are not the how dare you try to keep yourself clean police, how dare you breast feed or change your baby’s diaper in public police making the best out of establishments that don’t have long thought standard components such as baby changing tables in their toilets. Perhaps it’s time long past time to reconsider public drinking laws, open container laws, illegality of having liquor on a beach laws and what they truthfully contribute to society, visual evidence presented here alone says don’t contribute to society. Enforcing ant-littering laws in such places, combined with enough trashcans over anti-liquor laws to avoid exactly what we saw and target the problem truly aimed at. Along that line of thinking it’s time to at least ponder the concept Eric Garner died thanks to exorbitant state cigarette taxes and the illegal black market they created which did/does little to curb actual cigarette smoking versus the decades long curtailing and disappearance of ads for cigarettes, education campaigns detailing the effects not to mention the con job big tobacco did in selling them to consumers, not to be left out support groups and medications to help people quit smoking who genuinely want to. In that same vein Michael Brown’s life was worth a little more than Eric Garner’s $4.88 of purportedly stolen mini cigars versus the $2 per loose cigarette, but turns out he might not have stolen anything at all his taking of the mini cigars part of a marijuana exchange ran out of that store where he brought them weed, they gave him cigars. One of a zillion cases in point for legalizing and thus regulating marijuana for those 18 and over, any age for medical use at a federal level, decriminalizing teen use unto diversionary programs paralleling those for alcohol centered on educating them about why it’s bad for them at their young age, how they can do so when they are older. Jaywalking should only be actively enforced in parts of the country with large cities and high traffic certainly not in places planners have noted a stark absence of means to use crosswalks and obey these laws well due to lagging infrastructure; an eye toward pedestrian infrastructure too condensing the latest studies that say pedestrian deaths aren’t due to the clichéd texting and walking, smartphone inattention while walking instead absence of convenient crosswalks or any at all in places where people would be inclined to use them, pedestrians walking at night, poorly lit areas coinciding with research on car and truck headlights, their frankly abysmal performance. And no it’s not boiled down to being lazy, lagging common sense, a failure to do the basic looking both ways when crossing the street so much as the fact it gets dark by 5:30 in the evening, during the winter months, a time when people sans their own vehicle are still commuting home, you really can’t traverse those 3 extra blocks with young children and a single stroller filled with groceries, on hot days you only got out to go to the doctor for trying to get physicals, eye appointments and dental exams completed while out to school; pedestrian even bus service features lacking in many, many American cities not least of which because everyone assumes no later than after college or college age people buy/lease minimum a used car creating transportation deserts impacting everything from getting a job, to accessing healthcare, to being involved in your child’s school. An illegal immigrant shouldn’t find themselves deported for doing his job because he dared deliver a pizza onto a military base when he had a state ID but that wasn’t good enough for military personnel who demanded a military ID from a delivery person and it being obvious someone ordered pizza, no qualms about the pizza itself; particularly when he’s employed and taking a job we can’t get ‘lazy, entitled’ young people to fill. Isn’t that the narrative nevertheless exactly what happened part of a wave of deported illegals who had families, owned businesses, were well liked by their communities. When a US congressman wrote his book of the same title about the vanishing adult and the lack a resiliency he should have focused on his own age bracket, not young people, seeing as adults are continually and shown here once again the culprit in many inhumane lesser evils plaguing society, over 40’s disproportionately causing a different kind of mayhem because they collectively need to learn how to act like they actually did graduate the 3rd grade. That there is something beyond the rules are the rules, no stipulation for situation, emergency or asking why such and such needs to be a rule, if the rule makes sense and does what it was designed to do or does it have larger negative consequences that outweigh any benefits had by leaving it in place; it’s what a fully actualized adult would do, what emerging young people are doing, something to think about.