We need to Talk

To be honest, it’s a conversation I know nothing about… how could I? I am a white man. I don’t know what it’s like, nor will I ever. I’ve never feared Law Enforcement Officers… well, only when I knew I was in the wrong. But even then I never feared for my life. I was taught to follow the Law and respect those who enforce it. It’s their job to ‘Protect and Serve’ us… The People.

That’s not the same story for every American. 

… 

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https://slate.com/human-interest/2020/06/white-parents-the-talk-racism-police-brutality.html 

… 

Here in Kansas City, KS… I’m in the MINORITY.


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It’s not quite as stark as if I were living in The Bahamas, but it is quite obvious. And it becomes even more pronounced when I drive to one of the outlying suburbs, where there are no POC at the shopping centers… where there’s not a pawn shop on every other corner… where there are fresh veggies and sidewalks. 

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https://www.npr.org/2017/05/03/526655831/a-forgotten-history-of-how-the-u-s-government-segregated-america 

… 

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https://www.usinsourcing.com/kc-food-deserts-a-sign-of-economic-decline/ 

If you’ve ever lived in a part of town where the National Pizza Chains won’t deliver to your neighborhood… you’ve been the victim of racism. 

… 

About a month into the quarantine for COVID-19, our refrigerator stopped keeping things cold. It might have been something as simple as cleaning the coils or replacing an internal component, but I’ll never know. No service repair shop would send a technician into Wyandotte County. If I had lived somewhere else though, they were more than happy to help. But here… not so much. 

Instead of a $300 repair bill, we had to buy a brand new refrigerator… all because of a preconceived notion of the community in which I live. 

And where on the map was this ‘line’ drawn, between “Technicians are standing by” and “Sorry you’re outta luck”? I know from experience, the dividing line for a delivery area can end abruptly on ONE SIDE of the street, while the OTHER SIDE is deemed just too far away. 

Back in my day… we were told we should lock our doors when driving down a particular street or driving in a particular neighborhood. But turn a corner, and hook a left at the light… you’re suddenly in a neighborhood filled with fully restored 100 year old mansions. Literally, no less than THREE BLOCKS down the road. 

Who draws these lines? Who decides THIS neighborhood is ‘acceptable’ and THIS neighborhood is NOT… 

And what DATA are they basing those conclusions upon? 

… 

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https://www.axios.com/army-officer-lawsuit-police-afro-latino-virginia-f5aceedf-6efe-4a8f-b4ca-8d8b9c297ea1.html 

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There are no clear lines drawn within our communities. What effects ONE will effect us ALL… because we live SIDE-BY-SIDE. In our schools. In our grocery stores. At work and at home. If the numbers are SKEWED… if the DATA we’re basing our conclusions upon is WRONG… it effects our Laws, our priorities… our very perception of what is “right” and what is “wrong”.

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… 

 

Would it surprise anyone if we found a connecting thread that tied all these deadly encounters together? On the surface… sometimes these officers are white, sometimes they are black. There is no discrimination it seems, when it comes to the origin of the Use of Force… so what is it. 

 

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https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-watch/wp/2017/02/14/a-day-with-killology-police-trainer-dave-grossman/ 

… 

 

Black men are taught from an early age to fear encounters with the police… as I would if I were the father of a black child. Therefore, they are fearful and paranoid when these encounters eventually happen.

It’s a natural, rational, completely understandable… and PREDICTABLE human response to a potentially life-threatening situation.


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Law Enforcement Officers are TRAINED to interpret those actions as a threat. ‘The subject is acting paranoid… they’re hiding something. They’re acting GUILTY.’ 

What FACTS would then flash through an officer’s head in that split-second decision making process… ALL SKEWED, by laws that are tainted with Racial Profiling and a Criminal Justice System that’s based on CASH. 

Did you know police can just take your stuff if they suspect it’s involved in a crime? They can! It’s a shady process called “civil asset forfeiture,” and it would make for a weird episode of Law and Order.

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“The American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota said it had ‘deep concerns that police here appear to have used dangling air fresheners as an excuse for making a pretextual stop, something police do all too often to target Black people.’”

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/daunte-wright-was-stopped-expired-plates-driving-while-black-may-n1263878  

… 

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https://www.aclu.org/report/driving-while-black-racial-profiling-our-nations-highways 

… 

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I’ve tried to teach my kids that they are privileged, and that it’s wrong… and it’s on us to do the work to make things right. We cannot simply STAND SILENT. Use your little white boy shield and SPEAK OUT… someone’s LIFE may depend on it! 

I know it’s a lot to put on the shoulders of a 15 year old boy… but right now? Until we take the necessary steps toward ensuring Law Enforcement Officers protect the rights of every citizen in every State, EQUALLY… that’s all we’ve GOT

That needs to change. 

JC 

STAND UP and SPEAK OUT

To anyone who has ever asked, “What is Systemic Racism?” Or anyone who has ever wondered what Systemic Racism would even LOOK like. Well…

This.  

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This is Systemic Racism. THIS is the injury that’s suffered when we turn a BLIND EYE. As a White Man, I am appalled that this is what Justice would look like to anyone entrusted with the HONOR of presiding over its administration.

Law Enforcement Officers DIED. 

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… yet this man poses no threat to his community? 

Of course! The law was written BY people who look like HIM, FOR people who look like him. That is why he felt he could engage in those activities in the first place… and LOW and BEHOLD! 

The “System” complies.

Due process. Innocent until proven guilty… and all that jazz. 



Yes, some might say that these are only a few cases highlighted by an amped-up media, hungry for divisive stories and starved of a conscious; but do not look away when these stories continue to happen. Not just human interest stories from years ago… but RIGHT NOW. Every day.

Most stories pass unnoticed, like a callus that forms in the palm of your hand while you’re carrying around a heavy load… eventually, that pain is just expected.


And it CONTINUES to this day… even with the LEFT in control of the balance of power. Just as it was when the RIGHT was in control, and when the balance of power shifted before THAT… because who would want to give up such a privilege? ‘To SPEAK OUT might jeopardize MY rights or MY liberties…’

That line of thinking is a FOOL’S ERRAND! 

The simple fact that a separate status even exists makes it possible for systemic bias to someday form against YOU… or people who look like you. Or come from the same PLACE as you… or worship the same god as you. 


Today it’s Mexico.
Yesterday, the Middle East.
Long before that, it was Ireland and Italy…

Who will it be TOMORROW.



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https://www.brookings.edu/research/new-census-data-shows-the-nation-is-diversifying-even-faster-than-predicted/ 

When we defend the rights of OTHERS, we defend those rights for OURSELVES. Equal Justice Under Law. If it is not for ONE of us, then it is not for ALL of us.

Because of Systemic Injustice, citizens who have engaged in an attempted overthrow of The United States Government WALK FREE…

What crime did Philando Castile commit? 

… 

“Had those been Black Lives Matter or Antifa protesters, I might have been a little concerned.”

—Senator Ron Johnson(R), WI.

This is the agenda of the Senate GOP… and this is the agenda of the entire National Republican Party.

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https://thehill.com/homenews/state-watch/542796-arizona-house-republican-says-party-thinks-everybody-shouldnt-be-voting 

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https://blackvotersmatterfund.org/news/g-a-voter-restrictions-are-blatant-voter-suppression-elected-leaders-business-community-must-take-a-stand/ 

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STAND UP and SPEAK OUT! 

Make sure everybody knows exactly where you STAND. Coca-Cola, Home Depot, UPS… will you be supporting DEMOCRACY in the future, or will the American People have to take their business somewhere else? Now is not the time to be silent! 

To be SILENT is to be COMPLICIT. 

The problems we face as a Nation can be solved, but only if we STAND united… as Equals. The MAJORITY of this Nation supports Democracy.

… where do YOU stand? 

-JC 

The Words of Dissent

As we stand at the beginning of Women’s History Month and at the end of Black History Month, we find ourselves facing yet another subject that cannot be put off until tomorrow. Another example of just how high the stakes are, in this situation we find ourselves in.

Another embodiment of one of the fundamental principles, of what it is to be an American… cast aside and dismissed. Determined to be de minimis when weighed against the needs of someone else, with a blatant disregard for the rights and opinions of the MAJORITY.


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https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/09/08/trump-let-saudi-arabia-get-away-with-murder-could-biden-hold-mbs-accountable/
 

Everyday, LIVES are risked to bring us the TRUTH… even if that truth is being delivered with a Partisan Edge. Right now someone is asking questions, about something someone else doesn’t want you to know anything about, and everyday the TRUTH is closer to being revealed.

Without that truth, we don’t have accurate facts upon which to base our decisions, leaving us vulnerable in times of crisis; or leading us to make rash decisions, when all that’s necessary is patient thoughtful contemplation.

There is no thoughtful contemplation necessary when it comes to defending the Free Press. 

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There is no diplomatic strategy we can employ to rationalize or justify the SILENCING of dissent. There is no storied PAST celebrated in our history, of ignoring the murder of a United States journalist. That’s a story filled with outrage and disgust, UNITED in demands for Justice… not diplomacy. 

Show me a country who supports the SILENCING of dissent, and I’ll show you a People who are confused, oppressed, and ISOLATED… cut off and hidden from the TRUTH. 

How many corners can we BEND? How many coffee stains will we allow…

The WORDS may still exist, but everyday that document is filled with MORE HOLES. An add-on, a new policy, a justification for someone else’s inactions. Becoming more of a tedious To-do list, than it is anything one would reasonably associate with something defined as a “constitution”.

The only stories I know, of nations who rise to power by SILENCING dissent, end in terror. They end in horrors seen only in times of WAR. Appeasement is never acceptable. We’ve seen this show before… just go watch the historical NEWS REELS from WWII.

“Pity the thought! … that any American Citizen should have to pay ONE CENT MORE for a gallon of GAS, simply because we held someone accountable for their actions!”

Or is it that the United States might somehow lose credibility because we stood firm in our support for the Rule of Law…? I don’t understand. I must be missing something here. We lead by example. What precedent will this create?

… 

What are we trying to create? What are the ends to the daily means we live as a society? Does this decision bring us any closer to our goals? Racial Inequality. Gender Inequality. Economic Inequality… what example does this set.

These are the faces of dissent…

… to silence one is to silence them ALL. How many more voices will be silenced because of our inaction? The United States defends the rights of others to STAND UP and SPEAK OUT because it’s in our best interest to do so. It’s in the best interest of everyone to be fully informed. No matter the risk involved.

LONG LIVE THE FREE PRESS. 

-JC 

… where did you STAND?

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Well good… now that THAT’S over with. I guess we can all move on.
Now that everything’s settled.
Now that everyone’s reached some kind of definitive conclusion.

Some may see things differently than others. Some may disagree completely on what is FACT and what is not. Unfortunately, no matter how you see things, I think we can all agree that there’s no good news to report from our recent PAST. But, things are looking good for our future… that’s if we are willing to learn from our mistakes.

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Because it’s on full display! Right NOW, upon the World Stage… HYPOCRISY! In the United States Senate. Evidence, if presented in any other Federal Courtroom would lead to conviction… dismissed and IGNORED by our Elected Officials.

It must be nice to have a Senator in your pocket. 

… but that sort of thing doesn’t happen in my daily life.

If I break the law, or one of my friends or a family member were to act in such a way… there’s no special consideration given to that situation. There is no Gang of Eight who will attempt to sway opinion by withholding evidence or testimony in that case… the Wheels of Justice simply turn.


… and oh, isn’t it sad. Isn’t it a shame. Another life wasted, fallen to a life of crime. Another criminal behind BARS, another perp off the street…

Who ARE these people?! Ye, GODS amongst Men? How is this even close to being Representative of our NATION, of our DAILY LIVES?

This is the Vision of Governance they wish to see.
This is Justice, in the eyes of our Elected Officials.

Who’s interests do they REPRESENT. 

… 

This is the road they have paved. Through their actions, by their VOTE. They have affirmed this action. This is not a conclusion to anything… it’s now complete. The Leader of the Republican Party for the foreseeable future will be Donald J. Trump. Everyone needs to understand and prepare for that.

Be it two years, be it four years. Even if it is eight years from now, eventually this question will be raised again. This is not the time to be SILENT. The defense of Democracy means we must act. If we do nothing, THIS is what it will continue to BE!

Fix the gerrymandering, secure the right to vote for ALL Americans, secure our elections from foreign interference, yes to all of it! But at the heart of it all, we’re still securing and defending the same old broken electoral system, that allows us the privilege of choosing between the candidates the DONORS have deemed acceptable.

Government by the dollar. Justice to the highest bidder.

… we all know what the problem is.

It is Self-Evident.

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The state of BEING equal… especially in status, rights, and opportunity. A symbolic expression of a FACT, that two quantities ARE EQUAL.

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The quality of being fair or impartial. The QUALITY of… the VALUE of. The value of WORTH. Ownership. Rights. 

 

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EQUALITY promotes fairness by treating EVERYONE the same, regardless of need. 

 

 

We’ve all been plodding along, believing what was written, that we are ALL created EQUAL. And everyday… we continue to question why it’s not so.

“Certainly the Constitution does not require discrimination on the basis of sex. The only issue is whether it prohibits it… it doesn’t. No one ever voted for that.”

-Justice Antonin Scalia 

… no one ever voted for that. 

 

 

In the beginning, they did not know. It had never been proven before… it had never been done. As new light was being cast upon old paradigms of thought, revelations of a new way forward were forged.

IF they proved to be superior to those that came before, it could break the cycle of enslavement humanity had endured for thousands of years. IF they proved to be wrong… it could lead to the enslavement of the entire globe.


 


They chose to believe in the fundamental laws of nature, as proved by countless minds across thousands of years. That we are ALL created EQUAL. A fact so universally profound, our Founders believed it to be SELF-EVIDENT. It is the foundation upon which our Democratic Experiment is built. A fact so basic, we now take it for granted.

If that which we believe to be FACT becomes a variable, the entire experiment falls apart… that’s why they Declared it to be so from the start.

… 

 

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Our words matter… every one of us. We are united in common cause, our destinies entangled. Our fates dependent upon the actions of others. It is by choice and design that we stand today, not by chance. Some would say it was preordained, as if a gift from the divine.

If that’s the case, we must remember- it is a gift given with FREE WILL… a choice. The ability to see that which is OF divinity, and that which is NOT. It’s up to us to use these gifts we’ve been given, in the way they were intended to be used…

For ALL MANKIND. 

 


And at the heart of it all stands that universal truth… EQUALITY.

Just read the WORDS as they are written. Therein lies our ANSWER! That’s why OURS is to be celebrated! Any path we follow must bring us closer to Equal Justice Under Law for everyone. From the President to the Postmaster, from Senator to Sanitation Worker. It’s what we’ve all pledged to do.

Anyone who stands opposed to EQUALITY, stands opposed to the MAJORITY of the people of the United States of America… and we now have the DATA to back that up.


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STAND UP for the RULE OF LAW!

STAND UP for the CONSTITUTION.

-JC