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critical race theory

Critical race theory (1973- ) is a body of scholarship that examines how racism in the US works in practice, at the level of law and beyond, and what might be done about it. It grew out of disappointment with the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s: Jim Crow was overthrown yet racism remained. “Race, Racism, and American Law” (1973) by Derrick Bell was a founding text.

Republican propaganda uses “critical race theory” as an umbrella term for anti-racist thought in general. The Heritage Foundation calls it a “toxic ideology”. Critical race theory is something you might study in graduate school if you go into law or education, but panic-striken Republicans in red states are pushing through vague laws to prevent impressionable schoolchildren from being exposed to its “divisive” ideas:

Ideas: race as a social construct, White privilege, intersectionality, internalized racism, institutional racism, microaggressions, psychological wage, the voice of colour, racial standing, convergence of interests, the Black-White binary, Critical White Studies, and so on, have come out of critical race theory or have become part of it.

People: Derrick Bell, Kimberlé Crenshaw, Lani Guinier (the Quota Queen), Patricia J. Williams, Camara Phyllis Jones, Dorothy Roberts, Mari Matsuda, and so on, are critical race theorists – “crits”.

It started with anti-Black racism but has since branched out to look at the marginalizations of Asian, Latino, Native, disabled, and queer Americans.

Crits look at elite interests and unintended consequences of laws. They are critical of White Liberals, not just Republicans. They think racism is largely institutional not personal. It is baked in, not just a matter of a few bad laws or bigots.

Is it anti-White? Critical race theory is against racism, which only the White elites have an actual material interest in. For most Whites, the wages they get from racism are mainly psychological.

Is it Marxist? It has been affected by Marxist thinkers, particulary Gramsci, but its roots are in critical legal studies and radical feminism. It is much closer to Black Liberalism than Black Marxism. It is more reformist than revolutionary.

Realists and idealists: Realist crits see power as the most important thing – racist ideas merely providing a self-serving cover for elite interests. Idealist crits see ideas as most important, as the cause of racist policies.

Critiques of the Civil Rights Movement:

  • Rights – over time these get whittled away by court cases. And usually put the burden on marginalized people to enforce them. In practice, they require the interest of White elites to maintain them – which Blacks briefly enjoyed during the height of the Cold War in the 1950s and 1960s when the US was trying to win over the hearts and minds of Asia and Africa.
  • Colour-blind laws – in practice these can only strike down the most clear-cut cases of racism, the racism that even White people can see. If a racist tree falls in a forest and no White person heard it, it didn’t make a sound.

– Abagond, 2021.

Sources: Google Images, NBC News, Dr Imani Perry (YouTube video, 9 minutes), “Critical Race Theory” (2001) by Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic.

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Remarks:

My favourite Maxwell song. Ever. So far. This came out in 2002 and went to #16 on the US R&B chart. It appeared two years earlier in the love scene of the film “Love & Basketball” (2000), which has others songs I adore.

This song is a cover of an 1989 Kate Bush song. In 2021 Tank reworked it as “Can’t Let It Show”.

I love the video too. It actually makes the song more powerful instead of distracting from it or treating it like a soundtrack. It was shot in Los Angeles, starting at The King Eddy Saloon at 131 E 5th Street, at the edge of downtown near Skid Row. It is:

  • six and a  half blocks from where Chris Brown will sing “With You” (2007), and
  • seven blocks from where Noel Gourdin will sing “The River” (2008).

The video was directed by Sanji Senaka, who appeared in this space before with Lauryn Hill’s “Everything is Everything” (1998).

See also:

Lyrics:

Ah-hah
Ah-hah-ooo. Ooooooooo….

Pray God you can cope
I stand outside this woman’s work
This woman’s world
Ooh, it’s hard on the man
Now his part is over
Now starts the craft of the father

I know you’ve got a little life in you yet
I know you’ve got a lot of strength left
I know you’ve got a little life in you yet
I know you’ve got a lot of strength left

I should be crying, but I just can’t let it go
I should be hoping, but I can’t stop thinking

Of all the things I should’ve said
That I never said
All the things we should’ve done
Though we never did
All the things I should’ve given
But I didn’t

Oh, darling, make it go, Make it go away

Give me these moments back
Give them back to me
Give me that little kiss
Give me your hand

(I know you have a little life in you yet
I know you have a lot of strength left
I know you have a little life in you yet
I know you have a lot of strength left)

I should be crying, but I just can’t let it go
I should be hoping, but I can’t stop thinking
Of all the things we should’ve said
That we never said
All the things we should’ve done
Though we never did
All the things that you needed from me
All the things that you wanted for me
All the things that I should’ve given
But I didn’t

Oh, darling, make it go away
Just make it go away

Source: AZLyrics.com.

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Anne Spencer

On her wedding day in 1901.

Anne Spencer (1882-1975) was a poet of the Harlem Renaissance. She lived in Lynchburg, Virginia, 671.3 km from Harlem, but her house and garden became a sort of retreat for its great and good. She was friends with Langston Hughes, W.E.B. Du Bois, Sterling Brown and, especially, James Weldon Johnson (he who wrote “Lift Every Voice and Sing”). Maya Angelou, Marian Anderson, Martin Luther King, Jr, etc, also knew her.

Ota Benga: Attentive readers of this blog will remember her as the one who taught English to Ota Benga after he was rescued from the Bronx Zoo. He had been put on display there with an orangutan.

Her garden started as a vegetable garden to feed her family. Then she planted flowers and bushes and in time her garden took over the whole backyard (pictured). Her husband Edward built a garden house called Edankraal. There she wrote poetry. A room of one’s own.

Her poems she wrote for herself. When she got an idea she would write on any available surface, even the wall. Only about 30 of her poems were published in her lifetime – not enough for a book, but enough to be anthologized. She was one of the three Black women to appear in the “Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry” (1973).

Edankraal, where she wrote.

She especially liked to write about nature and love. That set her apart from the Black protest literature of the time. It was not that she did not care:

“I write about the things that I love, but I have no civilized articulation for the things that I hate.”

circa 1923

NAACP: In fact, she was a co-founder the Lynchburg branch of the NAACP. That is how she met James Weldon Johnson – and how her poetry got noticed by him and therefore others back in Harlem. He got her first poem printed in 1920 in Crisis, the NAACP magazine, then edited by Du Bois. When Alain Locke put one of her poems in “The New Negro” (1925), her place in the Harlem Renaissance was assured.

Librarian: She also founded the first public library in Lynchburg that Black people were allowed to go to, becoming Lynchburg’s first Black librarian. She even added her own books. She was a librarian from 1924 to 1945.

She also led protests to make sure that the Black high school in Lynchburg hired Black teachers.

Part of what made her home a haven for Black intellectuals is that the hotels of Jim Crow Virginia turned them away. What first drew Du Bois to her house is that she had a bathtub instead of a tin tub, one of the few Black households in Lynchburg that did. But even better than a bathtub, he found that she was his intellectual equal, someone he could have long conversations with.

Her house and garden are still there, at 1313 Pierce Street, now a museum with a historical plaque out front.

Her papers, including letters and unpublished writings, like “Chattel Slavery or Why I Dislike Booker T”, are in boxes at the University of Virginia.

– Abagond, 2021.

Sources: mainly Google Images and “Anne Spencer” (2015) by Brucella Jordan.

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Stamped from the Beginning

“Stamped from the Beginning” (2016) by Ibram X. Kendi is a history of anti-Black racist ideas from 1453 to 2015, centring on the US and hanging the narrative on five thinkers:

  1. Cotton Mather (1663-1728)
  2. Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)
  3. William Lloyd Garrison (1805-79)
  4. W.E.B. Du Bois (1868-1963)
  5. Angela Davis (1944- )

Be warned, though: it is thin on Angela Davis.

Anyone who likes this blog will probably like this book: it covers many of the same Racist Exhibits – drapetomania, Madison Grant, Birtherism, and so on, becoming the plums in his pie. He has some plums I do not, but will probably do posts on sooner or later, like Exodusters, polygenesis and the Kerner Commission. But, oddly, some plums are missing, like the Tulsa race riot and Cointelpro.

It is written for anti-racists: Kendi’s own study of racism has shown him that the vast majority of racists are beyond the powers of rational persuasion. Racism is not based on facts and logic. It is not even based on hate and ignorance. It is sadder than that:

“In fact, self-interest leads to racist policies, which lead to racist ideas leading to all the ignorance and hate.”

And he does not mean the self-interest of most White people but of straight, rich White Anglo-Saxon Protestant men. The US was founded by and for them. All of the country’s interlocking bigotries, by some not-so-amazing coincidence, intersectionally benefit them and only them.

Racism is not just meant to keep Black people down, but the whole bottom 99%. It has been divide and conquer ever since Bacon’s Rebellion in 1676.

Three schools of thought: Kendi sees the history of anti-Black racist ideas as an interplay between three schools of thought, two racist, one not:

  1. anti-racists: racial inequality is rooted in racist policies. Duh!
  2. segregationists: racial inequality is rooted in inferior Black biology.
  3. assimilationists: racial inequality is rooted in inferior Black culture.

Du Bois moved from assimilationism to anti-racism. Obama is a mix of the two. Kendi is anti-racist.

Three failed ways to end racism: Please avoid the following. They have a long history of repeated failure:

  1. Moral appeals – to racist Whites to sacrifice their own material self-interest for the good of the nation.
  2. Uplift suasion – prove to racist Whites that Blacks can be just as good as Whites by being just as good (or twice as good, according to some parents).
  3. Education – tell racist Whites the facts about racism!

Moral appeals are completely unnecessary – only 1% of Whites truly benefit from racism.

Uplift suasion should have been soundly disproved to anyone who was not in a coma during the Obama presidency. The hideous Trump backlash would not have surprised Kendi’s readers.

As to education:

“Trying to educate these powerful producers or defenders or ignorers of American racism about its harmful effects is like trying to educate a group of business executives about how harmful their products are. They already know, and they don’t care enough to end the harm.”

Protest and gaining political power to change the laws are the only way to make lasting, deep change.

– Abagond, 2021.

See also:

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Beatles: Blackbird

Remarks:

This came out on the White Album in November 1968. It never charted as a single, but is still well known. Paul McCartney has given conflicting accounts of what the song is about – and the lyrics are so generalized that they could be applied to anyone going through a dark time needing hope. But, as the Wikipedia tells it, when the song came out:

“on 22 November 1968, … McCartney played ‘Blackbird’, telling Donovan that he wrote it after having ‘read something in the paper about the riots’ and that he meant the black ‘bird’ to symbolise a black woman.”

In England “bird” is slang for “girl”.

The song was recorded on June 11th 1968, two months after the race riots in the US set off by the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Charles Manson at the time also saw a racial message in it, a much darker one: a call for Black people in the US to “arise” against Whites in a race war, an event he tried to set off.

The melody grew out of McCartney’s failed attempts, as a teenager, to play Bach’s “Bourrée in E minor” on his guitar. Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters, in turn, says that learning to play “Blackbird” made him a better guitar player.

There are various covers, including one by Alicia Keys and even one in Mi’kmaq, the Native American language spoken from Maine to Newfoundland.

Mr Mister says that the inspiration for their 1985 song “Broken Wings” comes from Kahlil Gibran, not Paul McCartney.

See also:

Lyrics:

Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these broken wings and learn to fly
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to arise

Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these sunken eyes and learn to see
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to be free

Blackbird fly, blackbird fly
Into the light of a dark black night

Blackbird fly, blackbird fly
Into the light of a dark black night

Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these broken wings and learn to fly
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to arise
You were only waiting for this moment to arise
You were only waiting for this moment to arise

Source: Songfacts, Wikipedia.

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From the first page of 2 Thessalonians in the first edition of 1611.

The King James Bible (KJV) of 1611, aka the Authorized Version (AV), uses some 12,000 different words. By one count in 2019, about 300 words have become outdated or unclear.

Some of the more common ones (and some others I have wondered about):

  1. Achaia – a Roman province covering southern Greece
  2. Ahasuerus – Xerxes
  3. amazed – terrified, fearful
  4. Armageddon – Greek name for Megiddo, a strategic town on the road between Egypt and Babylonia
  5. array – to clothe; line up for battle
  6. art – are (as in “thou art”)
  7. bowels – the inside of anything – and thus one’s (deep) feelings
  8. brethren – brothers
  9. brimstone – sulphur
  10. careful – full of care, not necessarily caution
  11. Chaldea – southern Mesopotamia, famous for its astrologers.
  12. chapiter – head of a column
  13. charger – a large platter
  14. charity – love, a common translation of the Greek word agape.
  15. cherubim – the second-lowest of the nine kinds of angels
  16. Christ = Messiah
  17. coast – border
  18. concubine – a lesser wife
  19. conversation – behaviour
  20. corn – grain, usually wheat. Never maize.
  21. creature – any created being, not necessarily an animal
  22. cubit – about 18 inches or half a metre
  23. damsel – a young unmarried woman or a girl
  24. divers – diverse, various, different
  25. dost – do
  26. doth – does
  27. ensample – example
  28. ere – before
  29. Ethiopia – the country just south of Ancient Egypt, aka Cush, the Kushite Empire, Nubia.
  30. fain – gladly
  31. faint – lose confidence
  32. Feast of Tabernacles – the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, on 15 Tishri in early autumn.
  33. flux – dysentery
  34. fornication – any sort of sex outside of marriage (adultery, prostitution, homosexuality, etc)
  35. froward – perverse, difficult
  36. furlong – about 180 metres or an eighth of a mile
  37. gat – got
  38. girdle – belt
  39. gopher wood – possibly cedar or cypress wood. Had nothing to do with gophers, unknown to the English-speaking world till 1812.
  40. handmaid – personal female servant
  41. haply – by chance
  42. harlot – whore
  43. heathen – Gentile, goy, not Jewish or Christian
  44. hence – from this time or place
  45. husbandman – farmer
  46. instant – urgent
  47. Israel – the northern kingdom of Israelites, aka Samaria. The Bible is told from the point of view of Judah, the southern kingdom.
  48. issue – flow of blood
  49. Jehovah – Yahweh, the god of the Bible
  50. kine – cows
  51. legion – 3,000 to 5,000
  52. LORD – when in ALL CAPS (or small caps), the Hebrew has YHWH (Yahweh, Jehovah)
  53. manger – trough for feeding animals
  54. meat – food
  55. palsy – paralysis
  56. penny – a denarius, a silver Roman coin of 3.9 grams, worth a day’s pay
  57. peradventure – maybe, perhaps
  58. quicken – bring to life
  59. raiment – clothing
  60. Samaritan – from Samaria, north of Jerusalem. Hated by Jews.
  61. scrip – small travelling bag
  62. savour – taste
  63. sepulchre – tomb, grave
  64. severally – separately
  65. shambles – slaughterhouse
  66. shekel – 11 grams. A silver coin of this weight.
  67. shittim wood – acacia wood.
  68. simple – lacking knowledge, guilt, deceit
  69. stay – support, hold up
  70. suffer – allow
  71. tabernacle – tent, dwelling
  72. talent – 21 kg of silver, a huge amount of money
  73. thee – you (singular)
  74. thence – from that place or time
  75. thine – your
  76. thither – there, to there
  77. thou – you (singular)
  78. thy – your
  79. tresspass – sin, trangress
  80. usury – interest on money
  81. verily – truly, really
  82. victuals – supply of food
  83. want – lacking in
  84. whence – from what place
  85. wise – way or manner
  86. wist – knew
  87. wit – know
  88. withal – therewith or with
  89. without – outside
  90. wot – know
  91. ye – you all, you guys, you (plural)
  92. yea – yes

– Abagond, 2021.

Source: mainly Preserved Words, Etymology Online, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormon).

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Andrew Brown, Jr

Andrew Brown, Jr (c. 1979-2021) was an unarmed Black American man who was shot dead by police in Elizabeth City, North Carolina on April 21st 2021. He was shot in the back of the head while his hands were plainly visible on the steering wheel of his car.

So far it has led to days of protests, curfews, three police officers resigning or retiring, and a state of emergency being declared. It looks set to get worse: the police are not even willing say how many bullets they fired.

The killing took place within 24 hours of Derek Chauvin’s conviction in the 2020 murder of George Floyd.

Video: There are at least six known videos of the shooting: four from the body cameras of police officers, one from a police car, and one from a nearby security camera. The police refuse to make any of their videos public – or even show them to the mayor! After six days, the family and their lawyers were shown only a 20-second snippet, with faces and guns blurred out, leaving out what led up to the shooting. A state judge has ruled the videos must to be made public between 30 to 45 days (= early June).

At least eight police officers were sent to carry out an arrest warrant on drug charges. The security camera video shows four or five officers arriving in the back of the sheriff’s pickup truck (pictured), dressed like soldiers. Brown has no history of violence, but police say he has resisted arrest before.

Rev. William Barber:

“A warrant is not a licence to kill; a warrant doesn’t mean you get executed on the spot; a warrant doesn’t mean you’re guilty.”

Brown had been charged with selling 3 grams of cocaine and 3 grams of meth to undercover officers. That is a felony, but not one that merits execution, even if found guilty.

Autopsy: The family’s private autopsy, according to their lawyers, shows that after police started shooting at him, Brown tried to drive away. Thus the kill shot in the back of his head.

In Tennessee v Garner (1985), the Supreme Court ruled that police cannot shoot fleeing, unarmed suspects. The district attorney says Brown was armed – with his car. None of the officers were injured.

Seven officers have been placed on paid leave. Three others have resigned or retired.

Elizabeth City is in the north-eastern corner of North Carolina, near a big US Coast Guard station. It is a Black-majority town of some 18,683 people, the home town of jazz drummer Max Roach and whistleblower Edward Snowden. The killer cops were from the county, not the town.

The governor wants a special prosecutor to take over the case. News reports are conflicting, but the investigation still seems to be in the hands of the county, which could lead to a cover-up.

The FBI opened a civil rights (not a criminal) investigation. Excuse me if I do not hold my breath.

Brown was the father of seven children, five under age 18.

Elizabeth City, North Carolina, April 27th 2021.

– Abagond, 2021.

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James Baldwin’s record collection

James Baldwin’s record collection – more than 30 hours of music – is now on Spotify at Chez Baldwin! I am not sure if it is complete – but it might be. He did not have a huge record collection. Some of his actual albums are pictured above.

Here are the songs that have appeared both on this blog and in his record collection:

He finished his first novel, “Go Tell It on the Mountain” (1953), armed only with a typewriter and two Bessie Smith records, which he played every day:

“It was Bessie Smith, through her tone and her cadence, who helped me to dig back to the way I myself must have spoken when I was a pickaninny, and to remember the things I had heard and seen and felt. I had buried them very deep.”

I wanted to find out what those two records were. That is how I found this list.

Other artists we have in common (but not specific songs): Donna Summer, Deniece Williams, Patti LaBelle, Aretha Franklin, Randy Crawford, Gladys Knight, Stevie Wonder, Curtis Mayfield, Donny Hathaway, Nancy Wilson, and the Pointer Sisters. That he had a Donna Summer or Pointer Sisters album makes him seem actually human, not just some lofty writer. Kind of like the jolt of running into your English teacher at the grocery store.

Common to James Baldwin and Sade: Nina Simone, Aretha Franklin, Curtis Mayfield, Donny Hathaway and Ray Charles.

Baldwin also had albums by Dinah Washington, Sarah Vaughan, Gloria Lynne, Cissy Houston, Shirley Bassey, Bill Withers, Lou Rawls, the Nightingales, the Trumpeteers, Carmen McRae, Esther Phillips, Stanley Turrentine, and Frank Sinatra.

What most surprised me: no Billie Holiday – even though he has plenty of Sarah Vaughan and Dinah Washington. And an album of Carmen McRae singing Billie Holiday songs.

I expected Baldwin to be a huge fan of Nina Simone and Aretha Franklin, and he was. Simone was a friend of his.

Ikechúkwú Onyewuenyi, a museum curator, created the playlist while researching Baldwin’s last, incomplete play, “The Welcome Table”. The list is based on records Baldwin had at his home in St. Paul De-Vence, where he lived in the south of France for the last 17 years of his life (1970-87).

Missing from the playlist because they are not on Spotify are two albums:

  • Lou Rawls: “When the Night Comes” (1983)
  • Ray Charles: “Sweet & Sour Tears” (1964)

Onyewuenyi:

“The playlist is a balm of sorts when one is writing. Baldwin referred to his office as a ‘torture chamber.’ We’ve all encountered those moments of writers’ block, where the process of putting pen to paper feels like bloodletting. That process of torture for Baldwin was negotiated with these records.”

Bonus: The ambient noise from Cafe de Flore, the cafe in Paris where he wrote much of “Go Tell It on the Mountain”:

– Abagond, 2021.

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Keyshia Cole: Love

Remarks:

In 2006 this went to #3 on the US R&B chart. At the time my sons said this was just the sort of song I would like. Keyshia Cole probably reminds me more of the 2000s, the aughts, than any other singer because the songs of her that I love are all from that time.

The video shows Tyrese as her boyfriend and was partly filmed in Times Square in Manhattan. The song starts 25 seconds in.

I used to think that I wasn’t fine enough
And I used to think that I wasn’t wild enough

She wrote this song at a restaurant after seeing an old boyfriend there with another woman:

“So I was looking at the girl and I was like, ‘What is it about her? You know, like seriously, what are you thinking?’ And I just wrote about it, it came out really quick. After I wrote the song, I went to the studio about 4 in the morning, and by 5 or 6 I was done with the song and that’s what you hear.”

The song got her a record contract and later made her name.

See also:

Lyrics:

I used to think that I wasn’t fine enough
And I used to think that I wasn’t wild enough
But I won’t waste my time tryin’ to figure out why you playin’ games
What’s this all about
And I can’t believe
You’re hurting me
I met your girl, what a difference
What you see in her
You ain’t see in me
But I guess it was all just make believe

Oh, love
Never knew what I was missing
But I knew once we start kissin’
I found, love
Never knew what I was missing
But I knew once we start kissin’
I found you

Now you’re gone, what am I gonna do
So empty
My heart, my soul can’t go on
Go on, baby, without you
My rainy days fade away when you come around please tell me baby
Why you go so far away
Why you go

Oh, love
Never knew what I was missing
But I knew once we start kissin’
I found, love
Never knew what I was missing
But I knew once we start kissin’
I found you

I found you

Now go on, what am I gonna do
So empty
My heart, my soul can’t go on
Go on baby without you
Rainy days fade away
When you come around
Say you’re here to stay
With me, boy
I don’t want you to leave me
I need you

Oh
Never knew what I was missing
But I knew once we start kissin’
I found, love
Never knew what I was missing
But I knew once we start kissin’
I found you
Oh, never knew what I was missing
But I knew once we start kissin’
I found

Source: Songfacts.

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Derek Chauvin found guilty!

Derek Chauvin has been found guilty on all three charges:

  1. Second-degree murder
  2. Third-degree murder
  3. Second-degree manslaughter

He has been arrested and sent to jail. Sentencing will come in eight weeks (June 2021).

Chauvin is the Minneapolis police officer who killed George Floyd last year in 2020 by kneeling on his neck for nine minutes. It was caught on video, setting off the worst civil unrest in the US in over 50 years, leading to protests worldwide. Chauvin is White, Floyd was an unarmed Black man.

The jury had 6 Whites, 4 Blacks and 2 who were multiracial. It took only 10.5 hours for them to come to a unanimous decision after three weeks of trial testimony and, yesterday, a day of closing arguments. While the trial was going on, yet another unarmed Black man, Daunte Wright, was killed by police just miles away.

Killer cops in the US are rarely charged with a crime, much less convicted. And when convicted are generally given light sentences, often getting parole instead of prison time.

– Abagond, 2021.

See also:

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Daunte Wright

Daune Wright with his son.

Daunte Wright (2001?-2021), an unarmed 20-year-old Black American, was gunned down by police “by accident” during a Routine Traffic Stop in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota on Sunday April 11th 2021.

This took place just 16 km north of the trial of Derek Chauvin in Minneapolis, now starting its third week. Chauvin is the police officer who killed George Floyd last year by kneeling on his neck for 9 minutes and 29 seconds. It set off the worst civil unrest the US has seen since the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr in 1968.

And it took place just 16 km north-west from Falcon Heights – where Philando Castile was also killed by police during a traffic stop.

Katie Wright, the mother.

Wright called his mother Katie during the traffic stop. He said he had been pulled over because of “air fresheners hanging from his rear-view mirror”. Then she heard some scuffling and was cut off. Then:

“A minute later, I called and his girlfriend answered, who was the passenger in the car, and said that he’d been shot… and my son was laying there lifeless.”

After police shot him he drove off but then crashed.

Later at the crash scene, his mother said:

“he’s dead on the ground since 1:47. … Nobody will tell us anything. Nobody will talk to us. … I said please take my son off the ground.”

Video: Body camera video of the stop shows Wright being arrested (on a warrant for missing a Zoom court hearing in a misdemeanor case). He resists arrest, trying to twist away. When he gets back into the car, a female officer is heard shouting, “Taser, Taser, Taser!”, warning everyone to stand clear. Then a shot is fired – from a gun, not a Taser! “Holy shit, I shot him.”

Taser: The police carry their Taser (stun gun) on the opposite side of their body from their gun. Tasers are also much lighter than a gun. The same “mistake” led to the death of Oscar Grant in 2009.

The police chief calls it an “accident”. The coroner calls it “homicide”.

The killer cop has not been named, fired, or arrested. The police chief would only say she was a “very senior officer” who deserves due process. A courtesy the police did not extend to Mr Wright and his misdemeanour warrant.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension will carry out the criminal investigation.

Protest: The killing led to protests by hundreds on the first night, chanting, “If we don’t get no justice, they don’t get no peace.” Some lit candles, some wrote on the ground with chalk, some held signs, some threw bricks and frozen cans of pop (soda). The police in riot gear were out in stormtrooper fashion defending the police station, using tear gas and flash-bang stun grenades. There was some looting at a nearby mall. The National Guard (state militia) was not called out – because it had already been called out for the Derek Chauvin trial and its possibly violent aftermath in about two weeks.

– Abagond, 2021.

Update (April 13th): The killer cop is Officer Kim Potter. She has 26 years of experience and has trained other officers. She resigned. So did Police Chief Tim Gannon.

See also:

585

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Sade: Smooth Operator

Remarks:

Through some gross oversight, I have neglected to post this song. The record company did not think it would ever sell – it was too different. They wanted her to sing stuff more like “Head Over Heels” by Tears For Fears. But Sade stuck to her guns, did not change it one bit. It came out in 1984 in the UK, where it went to #19. A year later it came out in the US, where it went to #5 on both the pop and R&B charts and became a staple on smooth jazz radio stations (fl. 1987-2007).

Burned into my brain:

Coast to coast, LA to Key Largo

Which, I find out, is not what she actually sings, but it makes more sense geographically.

See also:

Lyrics:

He’s laughing with another girl
And playing with another heart
Placing high stakes, making hearts ache
He’s loved in seven languages
Diamond nights and ruby lights, high in the sky
Heaven help him, when he falls

Diamond life, lover boy
He move in space with minimum waste and maximum joy
City lights and business nights
When you require streetcar desire for higher heights

No place for beginners or sensitive hearts
When sentiment is left to chance
No place to be ending but somewhere to start

No need to ask
He’s a smooth operator
Smooth operator, smooth operator
Smooth operator

Coast to coast, LA to Chicago, western male
Across the north and south, to Key Largo, love for sale

Face to face, each classic case
We shadow box and double cross
Yet need the chase

A license to love, insurance to hold
Melts all your memories and change into gold
His eyes are like angels but his heart is cold

No need to ask
He’s a smooth operator
Smooth operator, smooth operator
Smooth operator

Coast to coast, LA to Chicago, western male
Across the north and south, to Key Largo, love for sale

Smooth operator, smooth operator
Smooth operator, smooth operator
Smooth operator, smooth operator
Smooth operator, smooth operator
Smooth operator, smooth operator

Source: AZ Lyrics.

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television shows and channels

Last update: Wed Mar 31 21:51:27 UTC 2021.

Some posts on televisions shows and channels – and the episodes, actors, characters, creators, hosts, etc, thereof  – that have appeared on this blog (channels are in bold) :

– Abagond, 2021.

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Black Americans: a brief history

Some posts I have done or want to do:

Suggestions welcomed!

– Abagond, 2021.

See also:

540

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Minnie Riperton: Lovin’ You

Remarks:

In 1975 this went to #3 on the US R&B chart, and was a top-11 hit throughout the Anglosphere. I remember when it was a new song. I was too young to understand how iconic it was. Riperton was a backing singer for Stevie Wonder and mother of Maya Rudolph. She would be dead of cancer just four years later.

I know this song is for the ages, but I wanted to post it here before the BoomBapify version disappears from YouTube.

See also:

Lyrics:

Lovin’ you is easy ’cause you’re beautiful
Makin’ love with you is all I wanna do
Lovin’ you is more than just a dream come true
And everything that I do is out of lovin’ you
La la la la la la la la la la la la la la la
Do do do do do

No one else can make me feel
The colors that you bring
Stay with me while we grow old
And we will live each day in springtime
‘Cause lovin’ you has made my life so beautiful
And every day of my life is filled with lovin’ you

Lovin’ you, I see your soul come shinin’ through
And every time that we, ooh
I’m more in love with you
La la la la la la la la la la la la la la la
Do do do do do

No one else can make me feel
The colors that you bring
Stay with me while we grow old
And we will live each day in springtime
‘Cause lovin’ you is easy ’cause you’re beautiful
And every day of my life is filled with lovin’ you
Lovin’ you, I see your soul come shinin’ through
And every day that we, ooh
I’m more in love with you
La la la la la la la la la la la la la la la
Do do do do do
Na, ooh, la la la la la la la la la
Do do do do do

Source: Songfacts.

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