What is there left for me to say about the cold blooded killing of Michael Brown and the absolute white wash that has followed? What is there left for me to say that I haven't said a thousand times before? Yes, I was outraged. No, I was not surprised. Well, let me qualify that. I was surprised by how openly blatant the racist and white supremacist this process was. I was surprised by how blatantly that prosecutor, whose name I can't bring myself to say, was in his total disregard for decency, for how clearly he displayed his own racism, for his lack of emotion, for his hypocrisy, for his ability to tell one absurd lie after another, to think that we wouldn't notice. Are you kidding me? We saw a prosecutor who worked as a defense attorney for Darren Wilson before, during, and after the grand jury process. This was a prosecutor who convened a grand jury to slam and vilify Michael Brown and to exonerate a killer. This was a prosecutor so oblivious to reality, so taken with himself, so overcome by his own white supremacism, that he decides to announce the decision during prime time TV. What was that?
It makes me sick, but the system worked just as it is designed to work. It worked to defend white supremacy and white skin privilege, to defend killer cops and a killer State, it did it's work well.
In the post below, Chauncey DeVega will brilliantly, simply, and with a sense of rage destroy the white supremacist, nonsensical testimony of Darren Wilson. I will only add one thing. The simply most ridiculous part of Wilson and the prosecutor's story to me was the notion that following the supposed confrontation at the cop's car, following the wounding of Michael Brown, following the story that Michael Brown then ran off, was obviously out of the reach of this cop, for some unknown reason, stops, turns around, and decides to run toward an armed police officer. Give me a break. That line is not the most racist aspect of the testimony, but to me it is the most absurd.
Anyway, following all that we have seen here and everywhere we are asked by every "responsible" person from the President on down to channel our rage, let the justice system do its work, hold a dialogue on race, work to make things better...blah, blah, blah. Are these people blind?
I will add here just a few short comments I made last night on Facebook as this travesty was brought into my living room.
By the time you read this you will probably know what the grand jury in Ferguson did or did not do. As I write this we are waiting to see. Nothing would surprise me. If they do indict, we should all remember that still doesn't mean a hell of a lot. What will mean something, never enough, but something will be the day this killer cop sees the jail door lock behind him. Until then, nothing. Even if that ever happens, which seems very doubtful to me, justice will, of course, not been done. Mike Brown will still be dead. White supremacy will still continue. Cops will still be shooting down African Americans. In other words, we are a long way from justice.
In the Halls of Justice the only justice is in the halls...
...and there really ain't much justice there either....
The news media, at least CNN, which I have on with no sound while reading THE HALF HAS NEVER BEEN TOLD is treating the GJ decision like it is an upcoming football game. Almost surreal...
The white supremacist system worked as usual..
If you are a white person, ask yourself, "What would John Brown do?"
I was indicted by a federal grand jury way back in 1971 by Nixon's justice department and charged in a bombing conspiracy as an alleged weatherperson. I can guarantee you the process was absolutely the reverse of this one. In this one, the prosecutor acted as the defense attorney for a killer cop. The prosecutor did everything in his power to insure there would be no indictment. There was nothing similar between the grand jury process which was utilized to EXONERATE the man who killed Mike Brown, a young unarmed African American, and the millions of grand juries that have been used to indict African American men and women, not even similar to the vast majority of grand juries used to indict poor and working class whites, not similar to the grand juries used to intimidate and jail activists, not even similar to the grand juries used to indict ham sandwiches. This grand jury process was a parody of all those others.
Hell, truth is, it would be nice if grand juries operated this way for all the rest of us, rather than for killer cops. It would be nice if grand juries for all the rest of us were there to protect us from an unjust system, from the State, from those in power. But that is not how it works. Quite the opposite.
This grand jury process was to insure an unjust, racist, white supremacist outcome.
CNN and friends keep forgetting to mention that the grand jury did not get to hear one bit of important testimony. Mike Brown did not get to appear before the grand jury. Mike Brown did not get to testify about what happened. MIke Brown is dead.
I have one more thing to add before I turn this over to Chauncey DeVega. I picked this up from abagond:
Here is a(very partial) list of unarmed Blacks killed by police in the US. It is extremely incomplete. A complete list for just 2005 to 2012 would have at least 760 killings. I have only 6% of those. This list is just the tip of the iceberg.
Those in bold are linked to posts of their own:
2014: Victor White III (Iberia Parish, LA)
2014: Dante Parker (San Bernardino County, CA)
2014: Ezell Ford (Los Angeles, CA)
2014: Michael Brown (Ferguson, MO)
2014: Tyree Woodson (Baltimore, MD)
2014: John Crawford III (Beavercreek, OH)
2014: Eric Garner (New York, NY)
2014: Yvette Smith (Bastrop, TX)
2014: Jordan Baker (Houston, TX)
2013: Barrington Williams (New York, NY)
2013: Carlos Alcis (New York, NY)
2013: Deion Fludd (New York, NY)
2013: Jonathan Ferrell (Bradfield Farms, NC)
2013: Kimani Gray (New York, NY)
2013: Kyam Livingstone (New York, NY)
2013: Larry Eugene Jackson, Jr. (Austin, TX)
2013: Miriam Carey (Washington, DC)
2012: Chavis Carter (Jonesboro, AR)
2012: Dante Price (Dayton, OH)
2012: Duane Brown (New York, NY)
2012: Ervin Jefferson (Atlanta, GA)
2012: Jersey Green (Aurora, IL)
2012: Johnnnie Kamahi Warren (Dotham, AL)
2012: Justin Slipp (New Orleans, LA)
2012: Kendrec McDade (Pasadena, CA)
2012: Malissa Williams (Cleveland, OH)
2012: Nehemiah Dillard (Gainesville, FL)
2012: Ramarley Graham (New York, NY)
2012: Raymond Allen (Galveston, TX)
2012: Rekia Boyd (Chicago, IL)
2012: Reynaldo Cuevas (New York, NY)
2012: Robert Dumas Jr (Cleveland, OH)
2012: Sgt. Manuel Loggins Jr (Orange County, CA)
2012: Shantel Davis (New York, NY)
2012: Sharmel Edwards (Las Vegas, NV)
2012: Shereese Francis (New York, NY)
2012: Tamon Robinson (New York, NY)
2012: Timothy Russell (Cleveland, OH)
2012: Wendell Allen (New Orleans, LA)
2011: Alonzo Ashley (Denver, CO)
2011: Jimmell Cannon (Chicago, IL)
2011: Kenneth Chamberlain (White Plains, NY)
2011: Kenneth Harding (San Francisco, CA)
2011: Raheim Brown (Oakland, CA)
2011: Reginald Doucet (Los Angeles, CA)
2010: Aaron Campbell (Portland, OR)
2010: Aiyana Jones (Detroit, MI)
2010: Danroy Henry (Thornwood, NY)
2010: Derrick Jones (Oakland, CA)
2010: Steven Eugene Washington (Los Angeles, CA)
2009: Kiwane Carrington (Champaign, IL)
2009: Oscar Grant (Oakland, CA)
2009: Shem Walker (New York, NY)
2009: Victor Steen (Pensacola, FL)
2008: Tarika Wilson (Lima, OH)
2007: DeAunta Terrel Farrow (West Memphis, AR)
2006: Sean Bell (New York, NY)
2005: Henry Glover (New Orleans, LA)
2005: James Brisette (New Orleans, LA)
2005: Ronald Madison (New Orleans, LA)
2004: Timothy Stansbury (New York, NY)
2003: Alberta Spruill (New York, NY)
2003: Orlando Barlow (Las Vegas, NV)
2003: Ousmane Zongo (New York, NY)
2001: Timothy Thomas (Cincinnati, OH)
2000: Earl Murray (Dellwood, MO)
2000: Malcolm Ferguson (New York, NY)
2000: Patrick Dorismond (New York, NY)
2000: Prince Jones (Fairfax County, VA)
2000: Ronald Beasley (Dellwood, MO)
1999: Amadou Diallo (New York, NY)
1994: Nicholas Heyward Jr. (New York, NY)
1992: Malice Green (Detroit, MI)
1985: Edmund Perry (New York, NY)
1984: Eleanor Bumpurs (New York, NY)
1983: Michael Stewart (New York, NY)
1981: Ron Settles (Signal Hill, CA)
1979: Eula Love (Los Angeles, CA)
1969: Mark Clark (Chicago, IL)
1969: Fred Hampton (Chicago, IL)
1964: James Powell (New York, NY)
I did not count people killed during protests, riots, massacres or executions. I did not count those killed by vigilantes or security guards.
Note that “Black”, “unarmed” and “killed” all have grey edges. That said, I apply some common sense to police accounts. Shooting yourself after being handcuffed counts as a police shooting. Weapons seen only by police count as Phantom Negro Weapons.
Do not draw any statistical conclusions from this list. It is heavy on New York and 2012, for example, simply because I know more about them.
The following is from We Are Respectable Negroes.
Shorter Darren Wilson Testimony: Michael Brown was a
'Giant Beast Negro' That Had to Be Killed
If you have not yet read Darren Wilson's testimony to the Ferguson grand jury which decided that he would suffer no ill consequences for his decision to kill Michael Brown, please do so.
Wilson's description of the events on the day that he decided to shoot and kill an unarmed person cannot be adequately relayed to you by a second party.
The absurd, unfathomable, and fantastical story which Wilson spun out of the whole cloth in order to justify killing an unarmed black teenager combines the deepest and ugliest white supremacist stereotypes and fantasies about black folks' humanity such as the "negro fiend", "black beast", and "giant negro", with white racist paranoiac thinking, and dialogue from blaxploitation movies.
Darren Wilson's grand jury testimony purports to be an accurate description of his encounter with Michael Brown. In reality, it is closer to an amateurish summer stock theater production of the movie Birth of the Nation as performed by the KKK and/or Neo-Nazis.
After submitting a blank police report that provided no substantive information about his decision to kill Michael Brown, Darren Wilson was trained by attorneys for the police union (a common procedure when police kill civilians), and had many weeks to prepare his grand jury testimony.
During that time, Wilson was privy to the narrative and witness testimony that he would be confronted by in court.
Wilson was also aided by a prosecutor who was not at all interested in finding sufficient probable cause to proceed with a proper trial for the latter's decision to kill Michael Brown.
Ultimately, Darren Wilson was either 1) coached to recite a profoundly racist and bizarre version of his encounter with Michael Brown; 2) is deeply mired in the White Gaze and White Racial Frame to such a degree that he actually believes the white supremacist fictions he told the grand jury; or 3) some combination of the above.
The American legal system is not separate and apart from the social norms, cultures, values, and beliefs which produced it. Rather, the legal system (as well as schools, prisons, hospitals, etc.) is a crystallization of American society and its hierarchies of power.
Social scientists and others have produced volumes of research which have repeatedly demonstrated how the American legal system reinforces, perpetuates, and reflects disparate racial outcomes and white supremacy. For example, their findings include how black Americans face racial bias and unfair treatment at every level of the criminal justice system from initial police encounters to sentencing and parole decisions. Juries are influenced by implicit racial bias. Juries are also less likely to find black witnesses "credible" or "believable". And perhaps most troubling, white jurors can be subconsciously primed by images of apes and gorillas--this deeply racist association between animals and African-Americans in turn makes white jurors more likely to give black defendants the death penalty.
The empirical evidence for white racial bias in the criminal justice system is the context which produced the Ferguson grand jury's decision in favor of Darren Wilson. White supremacy makes Wilson's testimony an "intelligible" and "legitimate" type of truth claim as understood by the jurors, and the broader white society that supports Wilson's killing of the unarmed black teenager Michael Brown.
White supremacy and white racial paranoiac thinking makes Wilson's following statements about Michael Brown believable and valid--as opposed to utterances and transparent lies that most certainly do not surpass the legal standard of "reasonable doubt".
Wilson told the grand jury the following:
1. Brown possessed super human negro strength as he effortlessly crushed the weak white man's flesh with one hand. "And when I grabbed him, the only way I can describe it is I felt like a five-year-old holding onto Hulk Hogan...Hulk Hogan, that’s just how big he felt and how small I felt just from grasping his arm."
2. Brown is so strong and possessed of giant negro powers that he could attack Wilson with one hand while using the other to give his compatriot Dorian Johnson the box of cigars.
3. Even though he was shot several times by Darren Wilson, Brown let out a bestial grown like a feral monster, seemingly impervious to the threat of bullets and harm, he then charged at the police officer:
"So when he stopped, I stopped. And then he starts to turn around, I tell him to get on the ground, get on the ground. He turns, and when he looked at me, he made like a grunting, like aggravated sound and he starts, he turns and he’s coming back towards me. His first step is coming towards me, he kind of does like a stutter step to start running. When he does that, his left hand goes in a fist and goes to his side, his right one goes under his shirt in his waistband and he starts running at me."
"At this point it looked like he was almost bulking up to run through the shots, like it was making him mad that I’m shooting at him.
And the face that he had was looking straight through me, like I wasn’t even there, I wasn’t even anything in his way."
4. Brown apparently speaks like a blaxploitation movie character: "He grabs my gun, says, 'You are too much of a pussy to shoot me.'"
5. Brown, like other negroes, was irrational and crazed. Wilson was in a state of terror: "The only way I can describe it, it looks like a demon, that’s how angry he looked. He comes back towards me again with his hands up."
6. Brown also has melanin powered super speed. Because blacks are apparently natural athletes with overdeveloped leg muscles, Brown ran away from Wilson so fast that he left a trail of dust at his feet in a manner akin to that of a Looney Tunes cartoon character: "When I look up after that, I see him start to run and I see a cloud of dust behind him."
7. Because Brown is a giant negro he towered over Wilson: "He then grabs my door again and shuts my door. At that time is when I saw him coming into my vehicle. His head was higher than the top of my car. And I see him ducking and as he is ducking, his hands are up and he is coming in my vehicle."
Darren Wilson's testimony to the grand jury mates a cultural script that views black people as inherently criminal with recent empirical research that demonstrates how white folks actually do believe that black people are "super human" and a mysterious type of Other.
Wilson tale is also a reminder of how the near past of Jim and Jane Crow lives in the "post racial" present of the Age of Obama.
A black man is President of the United States of America.
But, a white cop can use language and white racial logic of 19th and early 20th century lynch law--with its fixation on "negro fiends", "imps of the inferno", and "noble" defenders of white society--to avoid going to trial for taking the life of an unarmed black teenager, while also being elevated to hero status (and financially enriched) by those sick and morally deranged white folks who want to live vicariously through the act of killing a black person.
Dred Scott is buried several miles away from where Darren Wilson killed Michael Brown. Scott, in one of the most infamous United States Supreme Court decisions, was deemed to not have any rights that a white man is bound to respect. Almost 150 years later, Darren Wilson used the same white supremacist logic, and in doing so offered a version of events that would have been a perfect fit for a 19th century newspaper article about the lynching, disembowelment, and vivisection of a black victim of spectacular white violence.
"History is a moving train". Ferguson is a reminder of how those historical continuities of white supremacy as enacted through the American legal system (and other cultural and social institutions) are still killing and murdering black and brown folks with impunity.