racial discrimination

MLK's struggle against white moderates

MLKDAY.jpg

Hypocrisy can be a tough nut to crack:

After the Watts uprising, Dr. King focused on the racial dishonesty of the North which “showered praise on the heroism of Southern Negroes.” But concerning local conditions, “only the language was polite; the rejection was firm and unequivocal.” The uneven attention was clear, he noted: “As the nation, Negro and white, trembled with outrage at police brutality in the South, police misconduct in the North was rationalized, tolerated and usually denied.”

Dr. King also highlighted white people’s illegal behavior that helped produced Northern ghettos: The white man “flagrantly violates building codes and regulations, his police make a mockery of law, and he violates laws on equal employment and education and the provisions for civic services,” he said in an address to the American Psychological Association in 1967.

I hesitated to write about this today, because it's eerily similar to what many Southern apologists have clung to in the past: That Northern racism was/is just as bad (if not worse) than here. But I see many parallels of 1960's New York/New Jersey in North Carolina's suburban and exurban communities today, so taking a closer look won't hurt anything but our feelings:

Murdering Klansman gets parole hearing

No doubt he will have a bible in his hand when he stands before them:

The State Parole Commission is reviewing the case of a former Ku Klux Klan leader convicted of killing a 16-year-old girl with a crossbow in a racially motivated attack. Records show Hinson hit Houston in the chest with a razor-tipped arrow as she walked down a sidewalk.

Under state law, the commission reviews first-degree murder convictions every three years once a convict is eligible for parole. Of 217 cases reviewed last year, parole commissioners approved four.

He got ripped off in a drug deal, tracked the guy down but missed his first shot, then decided to kill a teenage girl because she was also black. The girl was not with the drug dealers, she just happened to walk out an apartment door at the wrong time. And then he and his racist pal got more drunk and celebrated their "brave act." Why isn't he on Death Row, you ask? Because the all-white jury couldn't agree he deserved it. I can't imagine the Parole Commission will actually release this guy, but never underestimate the impact of "I found Jesus" on the faithful.

Greensboro moving in the right direction on police bias

A broken tail light should not land you behind bars:

The police chief in Greensboro, N.C., has ordered his officers to stop pulling over motorists for minor infractions involving vehicle flaws like broken taillights, an action he called a first step toward eliminating “alarming” racial disparities in traffic stops.

The chief also promised to better supervise young officers, a response to data showing that four times as many blacks as whites were charged with the sole offense of resisting, obstructing or delaying an officer after traffic stops and other police encounters. “That, too, is alarming,” he said.

Bolding mine. As a society that is supposed to encourage blind justice, we have failed miserably. We've allowed our law enforcement community to freely exercise discrimination, we've allowed our court system to reject black jurors at an alarming rate, and we've done very little to limit the flow of our school-to-prison pipeline. These biased interactions between cops and random minority drivers are just one aspect of the problem, but fixing it can be a game-changer. Especially for the age range 18-25, where the young person's future is a blank slate. Unfortunately, we also live in a society that has become so self-centered a problem doesn't exist until it affects us individually and directly. Some random facebook comments from said group:

Screw you, McCrory

Our governor is dragging his feet on issuing pardons for Henry Lee McCollum and Leon Brown, two North Carolina men who served 30 years in prison for a crime they did not commit. Each man received a whopping $45 in compensation for the wrongful conviction. The men have been free for seven months, but McCrory can't bring himself to decide what to do. Seven goddamn months and not a peep from the governor.

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