Why People Are Angry In Ferguson

Protesters in Ferguson (including plenty of white folks who aren’t being shown as much on the news because white people shouting out for racial justice isn’t as titillating as ‘scary’ black people doing it) are protesting because they are pissed off. They are righteously vexed. They are mad.  They are irked. They are angry.

They are angry about racial inequality. They are angry because all too often black men/boys are shot down by law enforcement even though they were unarmed. They are angry because white criminals are treated with more respect and courtesy by the press than black victims.  They are angry a video of Michael Brown stealing a cigarillo was released to the press even though it is completely irrelevant to the shooting.

Moreover, they are angry because of the disproportionate police response to black protestors. Compare the police response at Ferguson with the response to the Bundy Ranch Standoff.  A group of white “patriots” at the Bundy Ranch Standoff could aim sniper rifles at federal officers and local law enforcement without having teargas shot at them, so why are unarmed black and white protesters met with SWAT teams, tanks, teargas and rubber bullets?

The Ferguson protesters are angry because they have been given a curfew, as if their constitutional and civil rights end after sundown. The Ferguson protesters are angry because they are being teargassed without warning hours before the official “curfew” even begins. They are angry because the media are being threatened and assaulted by law enforcement in an attempt to keep what’s happening in Ferguson from being widely known.

They are angry because they are supposed to shut up and sit down and stop rocking the boat. Why should the trade peaceful protest for peace and quite, when they have no justice?

There is a reason why the rallying cry of Ferguson, MO and the support protests is “No Justice, No Peace”.

Posted in I've been thinking too much, racism, shit I think y'all should know, victim blaming | 1 Comment

Images Shape Reality

On average a black man is shot by a police or security officer every 28 hours . A lot of the time these guys are young and unarmed and had only committed the crime of being “uppity” or something as minor as jaywalking. Moreover, black men are shot by authorities when in the same circumstances white guys aren’t.

WTF? Are cops just that racist? Are we, as a culture, so racist we don’t understand black humanity??

Cynthia Lee of George Washington University Law School suggests:

“Borrowing from Charles Lawrence’s theory of unconscious racism, I suggest that racial stereotypes operate at a subconscious level to influence the police officer’s decision to use deadly force. The police officer may not consciously decide to use deadly force because of the suspect’s race, but the suspect’s race nonetheless influences the officer. Racial stereotypes thus may alter the officer’s perception of danger, threat, and resistance to authority. A simple question, Officer, why am I being stopped? may be perceived as behavior challenging the officer’s authority when asked by someone who is Black. Police officers may also see danger more readily when dealing with a person of color. Just as racial and ethnic stereotypes influence private citizens’ decisions to use force in self-defense, such stereotypes can also influence police officers’ decisions to use force.”

In short, the odds are good that most of the police officers who are filling innocent black men full of lead are not consciously targeting young black men; it’s that they have been told by media messaging all their lives that black men are “dangerous” and that black people are “Other” than white people. Thus, they shoot first before the “monster” gets them.

Racism comes from the enculturation of black people as dangerous aliens on planet Whitey.

This representation of black men as “thugs” continues even after an unarmed teen has been shot. There is currently trending a hashtag on twitter #IfTheyGunnedMeDown. What picture would the media use to represent you? The one where you were goofing off with friends and look like a “thug”, or your graduation picture? Guess which one the media tends to use?

Here are some examples of the same person to explain how context makes the narrative radically different:

iftheygunnedmedown1

iftheygunnedmedown2

Recently an unarmed black teenager was gunned down by a police officer in Ferguson, MO.  His body was left uncovered, in the street, in view of his parents and grandmother for four hours. Here are two of the pictures that the media could chose from to represent the young man, Michael Brown, who was getting ready to start college in just a few days:

good micheal brown bad_Michael_Brown

Guess which one national media went with?

Meanwhile, protesters for Michael Brown have been called an “angry mob” and protests were labeled “riots”. When some people used the protests  to loot stores, police officers used tear gas and rubber bullets on the crowd of protesters who were not looting. Newspapers reported the protesters where shouting “Kill the Police” when they were actually shouting “No Justice, No Peace”.

Here are some lesser seen photos of the protesters at the “riots”:

Ferguson riot 1

They really hate his man-purse?

ferguson riots 2

The rioter mercantile?

ferguson riots 3

Can you believe that they STILL have to point that out?

ferguson riots 4

Uh oh! Some of the rioters are white! I’ll bet he was a “protester” instead.

Ferguson riots 5

They have their hands in the air, but their skin is still dangerously non-white!

In the modern world the media shapes the cultural narrative. If we ever want to see a cessation of the tragic slaughter of unarmed black men by cops then we need to stop having black men and black people displayed as “scary” all over our TV, Movies, and News. Until culture shows cops that fear is not the necessary axiomatic response to black men, they will overreact violently when in even a minor confrontation with black men.

Jesus wept.

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Spinal Trap

My Sweet Babou’s back is healing, but he still isn’t “spry”. We are headed back to the chiropractor’s in a couple of hours so that poking/prodding/flexing/rotation can occur. Most of the jelly seems to be back in the doughnut. The doc is also showing Sweet Babou how to correctly move his body. My husband has been moving “wrong” for decades, apparently. Last week the chiropractor taught Sweet Babou how to sit.

I wonder if today he’ll teach my husband how to stay and roll over.

Flippancy aside, even the simple movement modifications that Sweet Babou has learned thus far have helped his pain tremendously. I am glad of that, because watching someone you love suffer is wretched and I don’t like it a bit.

Posted in health, life as I know it | 1 Comment

GOP led House Committee admits the Benghazi “scandal” is malarkey

Y’all are probably aware that inaccurate reports and articles about Benghazi, many of witch had to resort to lying outright to perpetuate the “scandal”, have driven me batshit crazy. It wasn’t even the politics of the whole thing that got to me; it was the God-forsaken lack of facts.

Halleluiah, there is finally a report than cannot be dismissed as Democratic propaganda by Team Republicans.

“The House Intelligence Committee, led by Republicans, has concluded that there was no deliberate wrongdoing by the Obama administration in the 2012 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans … the report “confirms that no one was deliberately misled, no military assets were withheld and no stand-down order (to U.S. forces) was given.”

The Democrats cannot have skewed or faked this data, because there was a majority of Republicans on the committee who would have screamed blue murder if the Democrats had pulled any such shenanigans. The Republicans would not have skewed or faked this data, because it does them absolutely no good politically to confirm no wrong-doing in Benghazi. One side couldn’t lie and the other side did not benefit from a lie. Thus it is a reasonable facsimile of the TRUTH.

Now, with any luck, myths and distortions about Benghazi will stop popping up on my fokking Facebook page, disseminated by far-right relatives who think Obama is the Antichrist. It’s doubtful, because reality has not been their friend in the past, but hope springs eternal.

Posted in I like this, dammit., poli-ticks, shit I think y'all should know | 2 Comments

Moms Are Sleepy

In a study done by the No Shit, Sherlock Institute of Australia it was discovered that the mothers of newborn babies are shockingly sleep deprived for months after they have had a baby.

Who knew? Well, who knew except every single parent ever.

I know I was so tired after Lilo was born I started to get hallucinations one day and Sweet Babou had to drive home from work so I could crash. Lilo wasn’t a “good” sleeper until she was four, so weary-r-us was the motto of our household. God, I get tired just thinking about it. I look back and think, “How on earth did I mother all three girls when Spock was a newborn/baby?” I suspect I had a cocaine habit I never told myself about.

Do you want to know the scariest thing about the study? They found that while sleep-deprived mothers were unrested to the point of being a danger to themselves and others, those women in Australia were STILL getting more sleep than the average American worker. What does that mean for all the women in America who don’t have decent maternity leave??

I need a nap.

Posted in daughters, health, life as I know it, motherhood, shit I think y'all should know | 2 Comments

Healthy Fatties Run Amok

As my Fokkerites have long known, fat/overweight people live longer than thin/normal people.  Guess what? That same fact has been recently proven yet again in yet another mega-study, reporting “that overweight individuals had a lower risk of premature death than so-called normal weight individuals and there was no relationship between being somewhat obese and the rate of early death. Only among people in the high range of obesity was there a correlation between their weight and a higher risk of premature death.”

Do you know what this means? If the “normal” weight range for American adults was reconfigured back to the range which correlated to HEALTH, then “79% of the people we currently shame for being overweight or obese would be recategorized as perfectly fine. Ideal, even. Pleased to be plump, let’s say, knowing that a body that is a happy balance of soft and strong is the kind of body that will carry them through a lifetime.”

If nothing else, this would be the ultimate evidence that the “obesity epidemic” is baloney by any discernable measurement of health.

The only ‘epidemic’ America has is a metabolic health epidemic which has nothing to do with the circumference of your hips or your lack of thigh-gap. Diabetes, hypertension, hardening of the arteries, kidney disease – all that shit – is much more closely linked to the consumption of sugar and processed food and artificial sweetener than weight. The fast-food burger and diet coke is what’s trying to kill you, not cellulite.

In spite of the messages to the contrary, fat/overweight people don’t axiomatically eat more sugary & processed foods than thin people. You can get fat off of “good” foods too. (I am living proof.) Thin people get diabetes and heart disease. That means fat/overweight people are NOT the locus of the metabolic health crisis.

Health is also effected by how much you shake your groove thang. A fat/overweight person who gets at least some exercise is “healthier” than a thin person who leads a mostly sedentary lifestyle. I have a standing desk and do yoga. I am “metabolically fit” according to all my checkups. I also have a large ass and thighs that flow like pink, squashy lava. My super-size booty and vast upper arms mean that doctors have been surprised or even disappointed to discover that I am physically healthy. I don’t go back to those doctors; they are asshats. I go instead to doctors who don’t treat me like garbage and  encourage me to maintain my healthy behaviors.

Sadly, a lot of us fatties have learned to avoid seeking medical care because no matter what our symptoms – hair falling out, anal leakage, pregnancy, growing an extra limb — the standard answer is that to get well we “need to lose a little weight”. Many of us are too “ashamed” of our bodies to even go to the doctor’s office in the first place. We aren’t just imagining that health care professionals are judging us and finding us ‘unworthy’, either. Studies have found that “over 50% of doctors find fat patients “awkward, ugly, weak-willed and unlikely to comply with treatment” and 28% of nurses said that they were “repulsed” by their obese patients.   Mary Huizinga of Johns Hopkins found that “The higher a patient’s body mass, the less respect doctors express for that patient.  And the less respect a doctor has for a patient the less time they spend with that patient and the less information he or she offers.” 

The revulsion for fat/overweight patients means fat/overweight people are misdiagnosed and undiagnosed an ungodly amount of the time. Don’t think this medical bias would apply to you? Think it only applies to people who roll into the office in an ambulance because they were too big to fit in a car?  Think again, sunshine. A “recent Yale study suggested that weight bias can start when a woman is as little as 13 pounds over her highest healthy weight.” Seriously, you can be in the healthiest cohort of Americans and yet your physician may still judge you as too weak-willed and noncompliant to bother with.

Why do doctors hate fatties? Why don’t they go with the actual facts when assessing health? Because most doctors and nurses and other health care professionals have grown up in the same cultural environment as other Americans, that’s why. Since they could toddle they have been bombarded with overt and sublet messaging that fat is repulsive, that it is visual evidence of sloth and gluttony, and that it denotes an “inferior” specimen of humanity. Is it surprising that they should view fat/overweight patients as repulsive, ugly, and weak-willed? Medical professionals, contrary to their portrayals as being ‘above’ culture and susceptible only to hard facts, are human beings with the same enculturated subconscious assumptions as the rest of the USA.

Meanwhile, hysterical bullshit stories about the “obesity epidemicproliferate. Americans are bombarded with “news” reports that completely ignoring factual data showing that fat itself isn’t deadly and the rise of heart disease and diabetes is more about American food stables and lifestyle than America’s pants size.  This crap is, of course, biasing another generation of future medical students against fatties.

*headdesk*

Posted in fat hating, health, shit I think y'all should know | Leave a comment

Hello Herniated Disk

My Sweet Babou has a herniated disk. Apparently, a “spinal disk is a little like a jelly donut, with a softer center encased within a tougher exterior. Sometimes called a slipped disk or a ruptured disk, a herniated disk occurs when some of the softer “jelly” pushes out through a crack in the tougher exterior”. The jelly from spinal vertebra C6 has leaked it’s goo of horror all over his nerves.

Yes, my Sweet Babou has gotten on his own nerves.

The chiropractor and acupuncturist are both working on him. The main culprit is his posture. He types on his computer all hunched over like a mad scientist in a lab:

mad scientist

This stance squishes jelly out of his doughnut. When I remind him to stand more like Homo erectus and less like an Australopithecus, he get’s grouchy with me.

evolution of humans to computers

He also gets miffed when I point out a standing desk is not called a “slumping desk” for a reason.

Humph. I’m only trying to help.

Posted in health, life as I know it | 3 Comments