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March 21, 2008

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the Jackson State killings occurred about half a week before the day I was born

Two young black men shot dead by police. Quite a number wounded, who were made to wait before being taken to the hospital so the police could pick up their shell casings.

Thanks -

Grey seems to have pulled comments from here, and doesn't believe in links, I guess.

It's an interesting set of quotes to pull.

"The South can't be such a horrible place for black people to live given the population is increasing."

Could you link to whomever you are debating, please?

I'd like to think I'm missing some comments, and you're not arguing solely with voices in your head.

I'd suggest quoting whomever it was here who asserted that the South is "such a horrible place for black people to live."

If I've simply not read closely enough, my apologies.

If not, wtf are you on about?

"Do you find that as unbelievable?"

It might have been more useful if the link you gave wasn't a 500 error. Further references to it don't help, meanwhile.

As russell noted, Jackson State is more or less the most infamous example of pale-skinned, um, overlooking and poor memory, given Kent State.

But it's only a fleeting tip of the berg.

I guess it helps to have a commie mother. She was working on civil rights, and anti-racism, in the Thirties.

(And also took a hitchhiking trip to Alabama, with a female friend, in 1942, to visit her enlisted-in-the-Army brother in training; she got asked if she could show her horns.)

I entirely remember being taken to civil rights, and Vietnam War, protests, since I was so little my father had to lift me up to see anything but people's knees. I'd never seen so many people before as my first large march in NYC (which I was largely carried to). 1966, both March, NYC, and May, D.C. (anti-War) was particularly memorable.

Goodman, Schwerner, and Chaney, was a mantra I grew up with. Then Selma, and so on. Fred Hampton.

I have a lot of complaints about my parents, but lack of awareness of some of what's important isn't one of them.

(Apologies if this sounds self-congratulatory.)

Yet you asserted that there was no evidence for 17 deaths, when the director of the main Fallaja hospital confirmed 13 dead and 30 wounded operated on: you asserted that the demonstrators were armed and opened fire first, when the local witness say no, it was a peaceful demo until the Americans fired on them: you asserted that the demonstrators were shouting pro-Saddam slogans, for which I can find no evidence whatsoever except that you say a WaPo reporter asserted it: and you claim al-Jazeera is "not reliable". So your series of assertions is entirely based on the Iraqis all lying and the truth being only what the US soldiers who fired into the crowd said it was. That strikes me as being pure racism: I somehow doubt you would make the same assertion were US soldiers to have fired into an American demo, that every single oneof the non-Army witnesses is lying about how many were killed: how many wounded: whether the demonstrators fired first: and what the demonstration was about.

But I did not say that the soldiers were motivated by racism: I said that the US military's attitude towards Iraqi deaths was inspired by racism. (If I seemed to imply anything different, well, put it down to trying to explain institutional racism very briefly.) Individual soldiers, for the most part, do their best with the options open to them in the structure they're given. The individual soldiers who fired into an Iraqi crowd of demonstrators had not been given the proper structure to understand that this was one thing they must not do, and did not have sufficient training or experience to be able to stand fast and not fire - which British soldiers admit is the most difficult part of serving in NI.

Still wondering if Bill is going to defend his claim of "overwhelmingly law abiding" Washington, DC citizenry.

trilobite: Anarch, I'm probably going to regret asking this, but why is Judenhass more understandable than American racism?

Just wanted to let you know that I've been busy and haven't been able to marshal my thoughts sufficiently to answer. [Though LJ's guess is a damn good one, as is Gary's.] I'll respond once I have the time to figure out what I'm trying to say :)

Jes: I repeat: I have no absolute conviction that the Iraqis are lying.

It's amazing to me that you will put words in my mouth. Examples:

Yet you asserted that there was no evidence for 17 deaths, I never said that. I questioned your comments on 75 "seriously wounded" (which was not in the article you linked to or anywhere else).

you asserted that the demonstrators were armed and opened fire first, when the local witness say no, it was a peaceful demo until the Americans fired on them:

No, I said that there WAS evidence that the demonstrators were armed. Three witnesses. Remember? That is not the same as saying I asserted it. I said there was evidence. You said there was none.


you asserted that the demonstrators were shouting pro-Saddam slogans, for which I can find no evidence whatsoever except that you say a WaPo reporter asserted it

I did link. It didn't work. I'll try again. Look here

and you claim al-Jazeera is "not reliable".

Where did I say that? I said I was looking for corroboration and found references to Al Jazeera articles that did not mention many apparent facts: that the group had been disbursed twice before going to the school (mayor's office and a military command post); that they had been firing weapons into the air at the mayor's office and command post; that some witnesses DID say there were weapons and they were being fired, etc. I question ALL the accounts because they do not corroborate.


So your series of assertions is entirely based on the Iraqis all lying and the truth being only what the US soldiers who fired into the crowd said it was. That strikes me as being pure racism:

Again,I am not saying the Iraqis are all lying. In fact, three IRAQIS said there were guns. I gave an example how all could be telling the truth. There is also some evidence that there were rooftop gunmen that the soldiers may have mistakenly believed were one and the same with the protesters. This happened at night. Eye witness testimony is notoriously unreliable. Yet while I have left room for doubt, you take the word of the witnesses interviewed in your article as the gospel truth. Who's head is in the sand here?

Put aside the fact that Iraqis are not ethnically all the same (although I assume all of those involved in the protest were Sunni Arabs) and the U.S. Troops were presumably of mixed race. How is my questioning calling all Iraqis liars?

I am not disbelieving Iraqis for the sake of them being Iraqis. I am QUESTIONING. And both sides. But you initially asserted:

but there was no evidence that anyone in the demonstration had carried guns or had fired on the US soldiers.

I point out other evidence which leads you to say that the evidence is akin to U.S. investigations of "white" hate crimes. Really.

The death of the Iraqis was tragic no matter how it happened. My initial purpose was not to defend the incident, but to point out that it was not as clear as you take it.

Now back to the main post-The death of Emmett Till was disgusting, horrifying and something well worth remembering on any day.

Still wondering if Bill is going to defend his claim of "overwhelmingly law abiding" Washington, DC citizenry.

Well now, the city probably has more crime that other places. Certainly the rates seem high compared to state numbers, which of course include varied communities. But the part you quote doesn't actually contradict that. It says the overwhelming majority of DC citizens don't break the law. And while that does seem technically false -- every adult American has broken some law -- the fact remains that the violent crime rate for the most recent year I found equals about 1.5% of the population. Presumably less than 1.5% of the people in DC commit more than their share of crimes.

“The reason incarceration “rates” are so low in Washington DC is because the Citizenry is overwhelmingly law abiding. Nothing to do with a system that is breaking down.”

That was sarcasm Slartibartfast. I saw my first dead guy in Washington DC, shot dead and sprawled on the concrete at a gas station. It left an impression.

The second sentence was meant to suggest a real reason for low conviction rates. The jury system has broken down.

bc: I did link. It didn't work. I'll try again. Look here

This link again does not make any reference to the slogans you claimed the demonstrators were shouting. This reporter says that "three other witnesses" - he does not say who they were, or even whether they were Iraqi or American! - asserted that "several of the protesters were shouting slogans in support of former president Saddam Hussein and firing assault rifles into the air" - but all of the Iraqi witnesses say: the demonstration was about the occupation of the elementary school (and about the US military occupation in general): the demonstration was "boisterous but peaceful": and the US soldiers were firing on unarmed Iraqis, including Iraqis who were attempting to rescue the wounded. Further, you know, you have not, it appears, been able to discover any news story which asserts the demonstrators were firing on the Americans. 17 Iraqi dead, according to a reliable witness: 75 Iraqi wounded: not one US soldier harmed.

You are questioning both the verifiable evidence which says the Iraqis were telling the truth, and the Iraqi witnesses. You are accepting as gospel the evidence of soldiers who need their version of events to be accepted as true. Again, bc: if soldiers had fired into a crowd in the US, killing 17 and wounding 75, if all the eyewitness evidence from the people who were not soldiers was that the crowd had not attacked the soldiers - but the soldiers were telling an unverifiable story that justified their firing into a crowd: would you so quickly assume that the soldiers must be telling the truth and all of the Americans must be lying?

If you think about it for about a minute, the "rooftop gunners" story doesn't work either. In April 2003, Falluja was a peaceful city. The mayor had surrendered to the US occupation without a fight: the Iraqis who lived there thought they could demonstrate on the streets without, as would have happened under Saddam Hussein, being killed for it. They were wrong.

Again: not one American soldier injured or killed. Despite what you see in the movies, when a bullet hits even an armored body, it causes an injury. None of the American soldiers were injured by gunfire. And again: the soldiers did not fire at these gunmen you imagine on the roofs. They were scared and confused and fired into the crowd. And in their fear and confusion, they killed 17 people, and they wounded 75. And your reaction is to argue that the Iraqis testifying to what happened - right down to the hospital director who was interviewed about the wounded and dead - must be lying.

O.k., Jes, don't read the entire article. The link doesn't go to page 1 (for some reason that didn't work).

You're still missing my main point: even if it happened as you say, this in no way is relevant to Emmet Till. At worst, they did exactly what you say: they were scared and confused and fired into a crowd throwing rocks at them. Your reaction is to say that is the equivalent or at least motivated by the same thinking that led to the lynchings and beatings of black Americans. I don't buy it.

Thank you for this. I will add: I represented one (of more than 15,000) African-American farmers in multiple Southern states who were systematically denied equal treatment by local agents of the United States Department in access to operating loans for their farms. They were only allowed to have funds after all the white farmers were taken care of, which caused them various kinds of financial hardship, including, getting their crops into the ground later and risking crop failure. The time period? 1980-1989. No, most white Americans have no idea.

In thinking about this thread yesterday, I realized I have a "past is present" incident to contribute:

I attended a liberal New England college. A young woman there was FORBIDDEN by her family to continue dating a young man she'd met at Christian Fellowship ... because he had Black ancestry. (Not that the alternative would be excusable, but this heritage wasn't obvious -- it made the basis for their racism seem abstract and somehow worse.) I remember how devastated they both were, and how shocked the rest of us were.

In 1995.

Some statistics.

[...] In 1980-82, Dr. Singh said, people in the most affluent group could expect to live 2.8 years longer than people in the most deprived group (75.8 versus 73 years). By 1998-2000, the difference in life expectancy had increased to 4.5 years (79.2 versus 74.7 years), and it continues to grow, he said.

[...]

“If you look at the extremes in 2000,” Dr. Singh said, “men in the most deprived counties had 10 years’ shorter life expectancy than women in the most affluent counties (71.5 years versus 81.3 years).” The difference between poor black men and affluent white women was more than 14 years (66.9 years vs. 81.1 years).

[...]

Under federal law, officials must publish an annual report tracking health disparities. In the fifth annual report, issued this month, the Bush administration said, “Over all, disparities in quality and access for minority groups and poor populations have not been reduced” since the first report, in 2003.

The rate of new AIDS cases is still 10 times as high among blacks as among whites, it said, and the proportion of black children hospitalized for asthma is almost four times the rate for white children.

And so on.

Also.

bc: Jes, don't read the entire article.

I did. Twice through. Evidently, you didn't read it as thoroughly as I did, since you're claiming you've found things in it that aren't there.

You're still missing my main point: even if it happened as you say, this in no way is relevant to Emmet Till.

You think it's not relevant to a discussion of American racism that the US military decided it didn't matter that US soldiers in a peaceful city killed 17 Iraqis and wounded 75? The US military regarded those 17 dead as indifferently as the jury in that Southern town regarded the death of Emmett Till: the soldiers who fired into the crowd were not arrested, questioned separately, charged, and court-martialled. The US military leisurely investigated itself and concluded that the 17 Iraqis killed had all deserved to die (and the wounded didn't matter), just as that Emmett Till had deserved to die.

I've only lurked in the past, but I must note that all of the self-congratulation here on the end of racism in this country, is wildly premature.
We cannot go many many places, still, in the north, south, east, and west. That is to vacation, work, live, or be ill.
As a mixed race black woman of 54 years, one of the hardest tasks I have, is to not despise whites for their petit racisms-- that happen daily. Perhaps I shouldn't try so hard, since you are all so forgiving of yourselves, already.

"I've only lurked in the past, but I must note that all of the self-congratulation here on the end of racism in this country, is wildly premature."

You can't have lurked very much, nor read very much of this thread, obviously.

Megs: welcome.

megs: "I've only lurked in the past, but I must note that all of the self-congratulation here on the end of racism in this country, is wildly premature. We cannot go many many places, still, in the north, south, east, and west."

I sympathize with you, megs. But there's also places I can't go, right here in Los Angeles -- the Englewood area at night, for instance, and parts of South Central, and Compton-- and neither can my Japanese friends, or my Chinese friends, or many of my Hispanic friends.

On the other hand, I don't know any places here in L.A. that a white guy like me, or my Asian pals or Hispanic buddies can go, but Blacks can't -- unless you mean some snooty Beverly Hills restaurant, or exclusive gated community, but of course we get dirty looks from maitre-d's and security guards there too.

But don't let any of this deter you from continuing to despise whites for their petty racisms -- and I'll offer the same complaint for black racism too -- and that way we (you, me, and the reverend Wright) can perpetuate it through another couple of generations.

it is very disturbing to know what happened to that little boy. If he had of lived he probably would have done amazing things in this world today. But it was not in the right for those men to take the life of a little. Who were they to take an innocents life? time flies by so fast and when you see things like that of how bad they beat him it makes you want to think that there is no justice in the world. Only 2 know that someone was killed for saying something to a lady

it is very disturbing to know what happened to that little boy. If he had of lived he probably would have done amazing things in this world today. But it was not in the right for those men to take the life of a little. Who were they to take an innocents life? time flies by so fast and when you see things like that of how bad they beat him it makes you want to think that there is no justice in the world. Only 2 know that someone was killed for saying something to a lady

ohhh mmyyyy ggaahhh!!!
who would dooo osuch a hooorrriiiibblllee thing to such a child?

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