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Michael Brelo

michael-brelo

Michael Brelo (1984?- ), a White American police officer in Cleveland, Ohio, was cleared of all charges in the police killing of Malissa Williams and Timothy Russell in 2012, both Black, both unarmed.

malissa-williams-timothy-russell

Malissa Williams and Timothy Russell.

On November 29th 2012, Russell and Williams drove by a Cleveland police station in their old 1979 Chevy Malibu when it backfired. The police thought it was gunfire and gave chase: 100 police officers in 62 cars for 20 minutes and 22 miles (35 km), hitting speeds of up to 100mph (160kph). It ended in a shoot-out: 137 bullets in 18 seconds by 13 officers. For the last 7.4 seconds, Brelo jumped up onto the hood of the car and fired the last 15 bullets down on them through the windshield.

chevy-malibu-windshield

Williams’s and Russell’s car after the police shoot-out in 2012.

Russell was hit 23 times, four of the bullets fatal. Williams was hit 24 times, seven of which would have killed her.

So many bullets were fired that police said they thought Williams and Russell were firing on them. Brelo shot the most bullets: 49. Reloading twice.

Only Brelo was charged with a crime: two counts of voluntary manslaughter and a lesser count of felonious assault. He faced up to 22 years in prison.

Brelo requested not to have a jury trial. Cleveland is 53% Black. Some see the police as an army of occupation.

Judge John O'DonnellJudge John O’Donnell said he would not “sacrifice” Brelo to an angry public.

He ruled that it was impossible to tell if Brelo’s own bullets had in fact killed either Williams or Russell. He said Brelo acted reasonably in the belief that Williams and Russell were shooting at him and other officers.

The judge said the last 15 shots were:

“Not conforming to the training, and maybe not appropriate for the circumstances, but not illegal.”

The US Justice Department will review the case.

The judge waited three weeks for a Saturday morning (May 23rd 2015) on a holiday weekend to announce his decision – to give police time to prepare for a riot and limit the effect on city traffic.

cleveland-protests-2015-05-23

Hundreds protested into the night, blocking roads, holding mock funerals, clashing with police and asking “Will I be next?” Dozens were arrested. Some marched from the Cuyahoga County Justice Center to the park where Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old boy, was gunned down by police six months ago (which the police are still investigating, his body still not laid to rest).

The Brelo shooting pushed the mayor to call for a US Justice Department patterns and practices investigation, the kind that Baltimore just asked for. It was completed in December 2014.

The Justice Department found that Cleveland police are “chaotic and dangerous”, that they are badly trained, out of control and trigger happy. Citizens rightly fear for their life in their presence. One police station had a sign that said, “forward operating base” – as if it were an outpost in a war.

The mayor and the Justice Department agreed to a set of reforms that are now being carried out.

Meanwhile, the city waits to see if Tamir Rice’s killer will be charged with a crime.

– Abagond, 2015.

tamir-rice

Tamir Rice

See also:

545

Black Eyed Peas: Bebot

Remarks:

This song came out in 2006 in the Philippines, Australia and some Asian countries, but not in their native US. The song is in Tagalog (scroll down for the English translation). “Bebot” means babe or hot woman. They shot two videos for it, both with a largely Filipino American cast:

  • Generation One, shown above, is set in 1936 in Stockton, California.
  • Generation Two, shown below, is set in 2006 in Los Angeles.

Generation One features a dance hall where Filipino men could dance with White women. One such dance hall set off the Watsonville Riot.

Apl.de.ap, who does the rap, used his own money to make the two videos. He was born in the Philippines, moving to the US at age 14. His mother is Filipino, his father was a Black American airman at the Clark Air Base in the Philippines (a US base from 1903 to 1991). His father left the family shortly after his birth.

Thanks to Jefe for suggesting this post and his help with it.

Lyrics:

Bebot bebot bet
Bebot bebot bet
Bebot bebot bet
Ikaw ang aking

Bebot bebot bet
Bebot bebot bet
Bebot bebot bet
Ikaw ang aking

Bebot bebot bet
Bebot bebot bet
Bebot bebot bet
Ikaw ay

Filipino, Filipino
Filipino, Filipino

Hoy pare, pakinggan nyo ako
Heto na ang tunay na Pilipino
Galing sa baryo, Sapang Bato
Pumunta ng L.A., nagtrabaho

Para makatulong sa Nanay
Dahil sa hirap ng buhay
Pero masaya pa rin ang kulay
Pag kumain, nagkakamay

Yung kanin, chicken adobo
Yung balut, binibenta sa kanto
Tagay mo na nga ang baso
Pare ko, inuman na tayo

Filipino, Filipino
Filipino, Filipino

Bebot bebot bet
Bebot bebot bet
Bebot bebot bet
Ikaw ang aking

Bebot bebot bet
Bebot bebot bet
Bebot bebot bet
Ikaw ang aking

Bebot bebot bet
Bebot bebot bet
Bebot bebot bet
Ikaw ay

Filipino, Filipino
Filipino, Filipino

Masdan mo ang magagandang dalaga
Nakakagigil ang beauty mo talaga
Lambing na hindi nakakasawa
Ikaw lang and gustong makasama

Yung bahay o kubo
Pag-ibig mo ay tutoo
Puso koy laging kumikibo
Wala kang katulad sa mundo

Pinoy ka, sigaw na, sige
Kung maganda ka, sigaw na, sige
Kung buhay moy mahalaga, sige
Salamat sa yong suporta

Filipino, Filipino
Filipino, Filipino
Filipino, Filipino
Filipino, Filipino

Bebot bebot bet
Bebot bebot bet
Bebot bebot bet
Ikaw ang aking

Bebot bebot bet
Bebot bebot bet
Bebot bebot bet
Ikaw ay

Pinoy ka, sigaw na, sige
Kung maganda ka, sigaw na, sige
Kung buhay moy mahalaga, sige
Salamat sa yong suporta, sige

Pinoy ka, sigaw na, sige
Kung maganda ka, sigaw na, sige
Kung buhay moy mahalaga, sige
Salamat sa yong suporta

Filipino, Filipino
Filipino, Filipino

English translation:

Bebot bebot bet
Bebot bebot bet
Bebot bebot bet
You are my
Bebot bebot bet
Bebot bebot bet
Bebot bebot bet
You are my
Bebot bebot bet
Bebot bebot bet
Bebot bebot bet
You are!

Filipino! Filipino! Filipino! Filipino!

Hey man, all of you listen to me
Here comes the real Filipino
Came from the barrio – Sapang Bato
Went to L.A. and labored
In order to help my mother
Because life is so hard
But the disposition’s still bright
When eating – we use our hands
What we eat – chicken adobo
The balut – being sold at the corner
Share the glass already
My friend, let’s start drinking

Filipino! Filipino! Filipino! Filipino!

Bebot bebot bet
Bebot bebot bet
Bebot bebot bet
You are my
Bebot bebot bet
You are my
Bebot bebot bet
Bebot bebot bet
Bebot bebot bet
You are

Filipino! Filipino! Filipino! Filipino!

Observe all the beautiful girls
Your beauty really drives me crazy
The sweetness that is never tiresome
You’re the only one I want to be with
The house or nipa hut
Your love is for real
My heart always speaks
There is no one else in the world like you!

You’re Filipino, shout it out c’mmon!
If you’re beautiful, shout it out, c’mmon!
If your life is valuable, c’mmon!
Thank you for your support:

Filipino! Filipino! Filipino! Filipino!
Filipino! Filipino! Filipino! Filipino!

Bebot bebot bet
Bebot bebot bet
Bebot bebot bet
You are my
Bebot bebot bet
Bebot bebot bet
Bebot bebot bet
You are my
Bebot bebot bet
Bebot bebot bet
Bebot bebot bet
You are my:
Bebot bebot bet
Bebot bebot bet
Bebot bebot bet
You are my:
Bebot bebot bet
Bebot bebot bet
Bebot bebot bet
You are my:
Bebot bebot bet
Bebot bebot bet
Bebot bebot bet
You are!

You’re Filipino, shout it out, c’mmon!
If you’re beautiful, shout it out, c’mmon
If your life is valuable, c’mmon!
Thank you for your support

You’re Filipino, shout it out, c’mmon!
If you’re beautiful, shout it out, c’mmon
If your life is valuable, c’mmon!
Thank you for your support

Filipino Filipino Filipino Filipino…

La la la la la la la…
la la lo…
La la la la la la la…
la la lo…

Mao

MaoMáo Zédōng (1893-1976), also known as Mao Tse-tung or 毛澤東, was a guerrilla leader married to a film star. By 1949 he ruled a fifth of mankind: China. As a young soldier he helped to overthrow the last emperor of China in 1911. In middle age, he led the Chinese communist revolution to victory in 1949. He ruled China from 1949 to 1976.

One of the most printed books of the 1900s was his “Quotations from Chairman Mao Tsetung” (1966), better known as the Little Red Book. It had stuff like this:

“People of the world, unite and defeat the U.S. aggressors and all their running dogs! People of the world, be courageous, dare to fight, defy difficulties and advance wave upon wave. Then the whole world will belong to the people. Monsters of all kinds shall be destroyed.”

Mao freed China from imperialism, both Japanese and Western. That made him a hero to many, inside and outside of China. He united China and made it a world power.

He greatly increased quality of life in China:

  • Literacy: When he took power, only 20% of the people over 15 could read. By 1982, 66% could.
  • Life expectancy: In 1950, half of those born were expected to die by age 35. By 1982, life expectancy had risen to 66.

But all this came at a terrible cost: Somewhere between 30 million to 40 million people died:

  • When he took power in 1949, he had hundreds of thousands if not millions killed. He sent at least 1.5 million to labour camps.
  • At least 20 million died during his ill-conceived Great Leap Forward (1958-1961), made worse by famine and flood.
  • Millions died during the reign of terror known as the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976).

In short, he would get rid of people who disagreed with him – and then try out his imaginative but half-baked and unproven ideas on hundreds of millions of people!

He was himself an imperialist when it came to Tibet and East Turkestan (Xinjiang). And, many would regard him as a monster too.

In 1918 communists in Russia overthrew the tsar. Mao, then a librarian at the University of Peking, started to read Marx. In 1921 he became one of the 53 founders of the Chinese Communist Party.

By 1927 he found that what worked in Russia would not work in China: repeated attempts to get unarmed working-class people in cities to rise up failed.

China had sunk into warlordism. The most powerful warlord was Chiang Kai-shek of the Kuomintang (KMT). By 1927 he had kicked the communists out of the KMT and based his power on the rich, especially in the cities. The communists fought Chiang. They worked out a model of guerrilla warfare based on the poor in the countryside.

It worked:

  1. Way more people lived in the countryside.
  2. From 1937 to 1946, Japan took over many of the cities, weakening the KMT.
  3. The city needed the countryside more than the other way round: that allowed Mao to take cities by cutting them off from the countryside.

Mao and Chiang fought Japan together, but once Japan left, the civil war resumed. In 1949, Mao won and Chiang fled to Taiwan.

– Abagond, 2015.

See also:

529

The Watsonville Riot

get-rid-of-all-filipinosThe Watsonville Riot (1930) was an anti-Filipino riot in Watsonville, California. The violence lasted five days and led to violence in nearby Stockton, Salinas, Gilroy and San Francisco. There were protests in the Philippines. The body of Fermin Tobera, who was killed during the riot, was sent back to the Philippines for his funeral, where he became a martyr. The Philippines was then under US rule.

By 1909 California grew half the fruits and vegetables in the US. With refrigerated railway cars crossing the nation, California growers stood to make a ton of money.

California news editors and politicians, on the other hand, found they could sell newspapers or win votes by fanning the flames of White hatred against Asians, hatred that often turned violent. They were so successful that by 1882 Congress had all but shut off immigration from China and, in 1917, from the rest of Asia – with one exception: the Philippines.

The US had taken over the Philippines in the Philippine American War (1899-1902). Congress was too racist to make the Philippines into states or its people into citizens, but Filipinos did become US nationals. While they could not vote or serve on juries, they could live and work anywhere in the US and its territories.

So by the 1920s, Filipinos had become the cheapest farm workers in California. Growers used them as strikebreakers. White people (aka voters) were being thrown out of work. Then in 1929 the stock market crashed in New York and the country sank into the Great Depression.

It gets worse: Most Filipinos in California were young, single men. That put them in direct competition with White men for White women. California had outlawed marriage between Whites and “negros”, “mulattos”, or “Mongolians”, but it was not clear to everyone whether Filipinos counted as “Mongolians”. Some said they were “Malay” instead.

calSome Filipino men went to taxi dance halls where, for ten cents, they could get a dance with a White woman. A dance hall like that with nine White women opened in Watsonville. On January 18th 1930, hundreds of White men gathered and threatened to take the White women and burn down the dance hall. The owner shot on them. A fight broke out. The police restored order.

Two days later hundreds of men met at the Pajaro River bridge: Filipino men on one side, White and Mexican men on the other. Five days of violence followed. Over 200 White men ranged through Watsonville looking for Filipinos to beat up, dragging them out of their homes or labour camps. They shot up houses and destroyed the Filipino part of town. One person was killed: Fermin Tobera.

At least some of the police tried to protect Filipinos, but they did not restore order till five days later.

In 1933, California outlawed marriage between Whites and Malays.

In 1934, the US, in the Tydings-McDuffie Act, limited the number of Filipinos who could move to the mainland US to 50 a year. That made Mexicans the cheapest farm workers.

In 2011, after 81 years, California apologized for the riot.

– Abagond, 2015.

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534

Ferguson Brown Memorial-2

(AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) (The Associated Press)

Michael Brown (May 20th 1996 – August 9th 2014) would now be 19 years old.

waco-twin-peaks

Waco after 8 people were killed.

The biker gang shoot-out in Waco (May 17th 2015) took place outside a Twin Peaks restaurant in the middle of Texas. At least 9 were killed, 18 injured and 170 arrested. There was blood everywhere. It put the restaurant out of business, throwing 150 or so people out of work.

It started as a fist fight in the bathroom of the restaurant. The fight spread. People used clubs and chains and knives and guns. By one estimate, there were 30 people shooting. At least five gangs took part – six, if you count the police.

Amazingly, no bystanders were hurt or killed, even though it took place at a shopping centre on a Sunday afternoon where people were shopping and celebrating graduations.

baltimore

Baltimore after rioters killed 0 people.

This comes when the Baltimore riot on April 27th over the death of Freddie Gray at the hands of police is still fresh in everyone’s mind. The difference in how the police and the press have acted is striking.

For example, if you look at the story the New York Times ran on the day of the two events:

  • It uses the word “violence” 12 times for Baltimore and only 2 times for Waco – even though Waco left 9 people dead and Baltimore left 0 people dead!
  • It uses the words “thugs” 3 times in the Baltimore story – and 0 times in the Waco one. Why?
  • It uses the word “black” 9 times in the Baltimore story, the word “white” 0 times in the Waco story, even though the bikers were mostly White.
  • It listed the names of gangs in the Baltimore story, but does not name those that took part in the Waco shoot-out, even though they have blood on their hands.

Because of how the US press racializes crime, you would have little idea that:

  1. The FBI says that outlaw motorcycle gangs (OMGs) “pose a serious national domestic threat.”
  2. The Texas Department of Public Safety says that Tier 2 gangs, like those that took part in the Waco shoot-out, were “responsible for a disproportionate amount of crime across urban, suburban and rural areas of Texas.”
  3. Most gang-related murders are committed by Whites.

These so-called “biker gangs” are drug gangs, but no one seems to call them that. They smuggle drugs from Mexico and move meth and marijuana. They also make money from human trafficking and prostitution.

Despite the fact that these gangs are mostly White, Juan Williams is not talking about the breakdown of the White family. President Obama is not scolding White fathers.

Despite being a “serious national domestic threat”, no one seems to be looking for the causes in White pathologies.

Despite advance warning and threats, the police did not use riot gear or tear gas or tanks or the National Guard.

Despite 150 or so people being thrown out of work, no crocodile tears are being shed over biker gangs “destroying their own community”.

No revered figure of White history is rolling in his grave or crying or being quoted. Not Washington. Not Jefferson. Not Kennedy. Not Reagan.

Because “biker gangs”, unlike Black gangs, are seen as a strange subculture. They are not seen as “what White people are like.”

– Abagond, 2015.

Sources: Huffington Post, Mic, The New York Times articles on Baltimore and Waco.

See also:

581

Qian Xuesen

QianXuesen_normal

Qián Xuésēn (1911-2009), also known as Tsien Hsue-shen or H.S. Tsien or 钱学森, was a top rocket scientist in the US in the 1940s and then, after the US deported him in 1955, a top rocket scientist in China. He helped to found the Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL) in the US and China’s aerospace industry.

That decision to deport him has affected the balance of power between China and the US ever since.

Roger Tsien, the American Nobel Prize winner for chemistry in 2008, is his cousin once removed.

qian02

In China he is credited with the country’s:

  • 1964: first successful atom bomb test
  • 1966: first missile to carry an atom bomb
  • 1970: first satellite
  • 1980: first transcontinental ballistic missile
  • 2003: first manned spacecraft

He retired at age 80 in 1991 but kept working. He promised his wife they would travel after he retired – they never did.

In 1935, he came to the US on a Boxer Rebellion scholarship. He studied at MIT and Caltech. He became one of the country’s top rocket scientists. After the fall of Hitler he helped to bring Werner von Braun to the US.

In 1949, Mao overthrew Chiang Kai-shek in the Chinese communist revolution. Chiang was a US ally. Qian was married to the daughter of one of his top military advisors. That year Qian applied for US citizenship and became a professor at JPL.

In 1950, the US government accused him of being a communist – because back in the 1930s he went to parties where there were leftists. They blocked him from working on secret projects.

Qian found this unforgivable considering all he had done for the US military. He took a leave of absence from JPL to go to China with his family. The government arrested him. The Los Angeles newspapers ran headlines like:

“SECRET DATA SEIZED IN CHINA SHIPMENT”

The “secret data” they found Qian with were books of – logarithm tables, a common thing for engineers to have back then. The newspapers never printed a correction, but he was let out of jail after two weeks.

The US government did not know what to do with him:

  • The immigration service wanted to deport him to China as a communist – yet could never produce any solid proof.
  • The US defence department was completely against that – Qian knew too much. Militarily they said he was worth five army divisions (at least 50,000 soldiers).

It took the government five years to come to a decision. Qian was not allowed to leave Los Angeles. The FBI listened to his telephone calls, read his mail, followed his family.

In the end, the government deported him in exchange for 11 prisoners of war that China had from the Korean War.

On September 17th 1955 he boarded the Grover Cleveland in San Francisco, bound for Hong Kong.

He never returned.

He crossed from Hong Kong into China with a guitar in one hand and holding his son’s hand in the other. He was not allowed to bring any papers – just what was in his head. With that he brought China into the space age.

– Abagond, 2015.

See also:

527

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