Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Protests over police killing of unarmed black males spreads: "Movement or Moment?"

The protests over the Ferguson MO and NYPD Garner killings are continuing in Ferguson and New York and other places, and spreading to more cities, even conservative Salt Lake City Utah. More whites and older people are getting involved.  Many of the protesters are novices.  Every city has its questionable uses of force by police, many of them relatively recent (e.g. Cleveland, Albuquerque).  The crucial question is will the protests become a movement and result in real change?  "Is this a movement or just a moment?" said Marshall Ganz who participated in the 1964 civil rights movement in Mississippi.  One of the things that led to victories for the Civil Rights movement in the 1960's was increased involvement by whites and celebrities.  Whites viewing abuse by police in Selam AL and elsewhere  helped get more support.  The video from the Garner killing has caused widespread outrage, even among conservatives. Let's hope the similarities to the 1960's successes result in successes now.  Let's also hope it doesn't take widespread rioting, fires etc. as occurred in the 1960's for Americans to start asking questions.  Let's hope it becomes a real movement that results in real change. 

After the "Rodney King" riots, there were a lot of reform efforts and studies.  After awhile, things returned to the same old unsatisfactory status quo.  We need REAL reform and commitment from the various levels of government.

A movement needs a name for media, group and personal purposes.  A number of names have emerged. Among them are "Black Lives Matter" and "Hands up, Don't Shoot."  Hopefully, a common, unifying name will emerge.  Personally  I like BLM.

I don't know how we can insure the movement continues and has fruitful results. Perhaps, the feds need to start a national dialogue with a National or Presidential commission on the problem. The closest example is probably Pres. Johnson's National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders, established in 1967.  It pointed out the problem of excessive use of force by police. The entire problem and possible solutions can be aired and reports made. However, this cannot be just an attempt to buy time. An alternative is a full scale Congressional investigation and report.  Any suggestions?
 We cannot afford to waste this opportunity!


  1. I vaguely recall "104 mph" as a speed that Rodney King achieved with his car in the police chase. Note that neither of his two passengers were beaten; they did not resist or fight with the police. What the video did not show was that King fought before being beaten down.

    Ferguson? The perp had just robbed a store and was strutting down the street, impeding traffic. The initial confrontation was certainly justified. If he did indeed strike the cop and attempt to take the gun, well, tough stuff.

    In the "I can't breathe" deal, have you checked as to the autopsy report that he didn't die from strangulation?

    I for one am fed up with "He was a good boy" commentary and then discover that this good boy had a lengthy rap sheet going back for years.

    I'm far more concerned about the kid in Georgia, wounded by the flash-bang grenade and the arrogant behavior of the cop-shop thereafter.


    1. Garner apparently died of positional asphyxia. This sometimes happens to obese suspects who are lying prone and are struggling or have people or weight on top of them. Cops should know this. When an obese suspect says he can't breathe, It's time to back off. He's not armed, not charged with a violent crime. Why not back off?

  2. Justice is never served when personal agendas circumvent the facts like using the race card. Liberals are infamous for throwing such irrelevant mishmash into a case.