NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana -- As fireworks exploded over the Big Easy on New Year's Eve, 22-year-old Adolph Grimes III pulled up to his grandmother's home near the French Quarter after a five-hour drive from Houston, Texas.
Grimes, who relocated to Texas with his fiancée, Shae Whitfield, after Hurricane Katrina, couldn't wait to get home with their 17-month-old son, Chris, and ring in the new year with friends and family.
"He made it at 12 o'clock exact, with a second to spare," said his father, Adolph Grimes Jr.
Three hours later, Grimes lay dying on the sidewalk half a block from his grandmother's front door, with fireworks giving way to the hue of flashing police lights.
The Orleans Parish coroner said Grimes was shot 14 times, including 12 times in the back.
"Media Plays ‘Make-Up Artist’ for Officer Johannes Mehserle (Oscar Grant’s Killer)" (Tolu Olorunda @ Dissident Voices; h/t: redcatbiker)
Only in a failed media state is an innocent peace-maker, with a knee to his head and palms pressed upon his back, deemed the perpetrator of his own death in an execution. This is the story of Oscar Grant III – the murdered 21-yr-old Oakland father. In a rush to reverse the graphic images, caught on tape, the mainstream media, and its companions, have sought to diminish the credibility of Mr. Grant, and exonerate, before legal trial, Officer Johannes Mehserle of all wrongdoing in the death of Oscar Grant.
Borrowing predictable moves from the old playbook, CNN, MSNBC and FOX News (and their many affiliated siblings) have all reported that Oscar Grant supposedly had a (police) record, and thus, somehow – logic be damned! – culpable in his own death. Those who payed keen attention during the Sean Bell fiasco are well aware of this trend. As Sean Bell’s precious body was riddled by the 50 bullets of four New York police officers on duty that November night (the eve of his wedding), and the inexcusable homicide of Bell was sentenced justly in the court of public opinion, mainstream media channels, with unseemly haste, were swift in reminding viewers that Sean Bell, and his counterparts, possessed a criminal record. It’s a rehashed move to lessen the humanity of the unjustifiably murdered, and diminish the extent of criminality – how logical.
"New study challenges black support for Proposition 8" (Capitol Alert; PDF of new study here)
A new study of voting patterns on Proposition 8, the November ballot measure that would outlaw same-sex marriage, concludes that African American support, reported by exit pollsters at 70 percent, was at least 10 percentage points lower.
The high reported support levels among black and Latino voters for the measure, which won voter approval but is now being challenged in court, led to post-election controversy and conclusions that non-white voters provided the margin of victory for Proposition 8.
The new study, commissioned by the San Francisco-based Evelyn and Walter Hass Jr. Fund and released by a consortium of gay rights groups, was conducted by two New York college researchers. It concludes that party affiliation, political ideology, frequency of attending church and age "were the driving forces behind the measure's passage" rather than ethnicity.
When voting results were adjusted for those factors, the researchers concluded, "support for Proposition 8 among African Americanss and Latinos was not significantly different than other groups." They put overall black support for Proposition 8 at "no more than 59 percent" rather than the 70 percent found in exist polls of voters.
"Mispredicting Affective and Behavioral Responses to Racism" (Kerry Kawakami, et al. @ Science)
Abstract (full PDF article here): Contemporary race relations are marked by an apparent paradox: Overt prejudice is strongly condemned, yet acts of blatant racism still frequently occur. We propose that one reason for this inconsistency is that people misunderstand how they would feel and behave after witnessing racism. The present research demonstrates that although people predicted that they would be very upset by a racist act, when people actually experienced this event they showed relatively little emotional distress. Furthermore, people overestimated the degree to which a racist comment would provoke social rejection of the racist. These findings suggest that racism may persevere in part because people who anticipate feeling upset and believe that they will take action may actually respond with indifference when faced with an act of racism.
"Taking Anti-racist Action: Why Rare for Whites?" (Joe Feagin @ Racism Review)
Even white researchers working on racism issues like this seem to be unaware or unreflective about how fundamental and widespread the white racial framing of North America really is. A great many whites react this way because they in fact do think in blatantly racist terms about black people (but may reserve openly racist comments for white backstage areas) or because they do not find the racist actions of others to be “serious,” especially serious enough for them to intervene in and risk losing a friend or acquaintance.
Leslie Picca and I found this reaction to be commonplace. Nowhere in our 9,000 diary accounts of racial events from 626 white college students at 28 colleges and universities is there even one account of whites, including the student diarists, assertively protesting a case of racial discrimination by white actors and authorities in a frontstage setting. . . .
Our research also suggests that anti-racist action can be (modestly) socially costly even for privileged whites, such as losing friends, which is one likely reason it is rare even for whites who know racism is quite wrong.
"Highly Evolved He-Man Schools World About Sluts" (Anna N. @ Jezebelh/t: Suddy)
Roissy is a proponent of PUA (pickup artistry) or "game," and his raison d'etre is helping hapless men "bang" more chicks while spending less money, thus developing into "alpha males." Since the whole point of his blog is to treat women like prey and men like animals whose worth increases in proportion to their savagery, we're not exactly surprised that his list of "tramp tells" (used to distinguish "wife and mother of your children material" from "stopwatch material. You wonder how fast you can get her from 'Hi' to 'Spread your ass cheeks, I’m going in'") is misogynistic. Still, we thought you "wind-up Jezebel lezbots" would enjoy a few selections:
She suggests kinky sex acts.
Cosmo agrees with this one. Somehow we're not shocked by the similarity.
She *really* seems to know what she’s doing in bed.
All those man-pleasing tips aside, you'd better lie back and think of England lest he assume you're some kind of whore. . . .
And, finally, combining several types of bigotry into one fetid package:
"Britain's Prince Harry apologizes for offensive language" (CNN)
Videos purportedly shot by Britain's Prince Harry and including offensive language prompted an official apology Saturday from the prince and the royal family.
According to the British-based News of the World, which released the videos on its Web site, the videos show British soldiers while a voice presumed to be Harry's calls one solider a "Paki," and in another clip tells soldier wearing a cloth on his head that he looks "like a raghead."
A spokesman for Prince Harry apologized in a statement released by St. James's Palace Saturday after the videos surfaced online. The spokesman said the prince--who is third in line to the British throne--"understands how offensive this term can be, and is extremely sorry for any offense his words might cause."
It is not first apology for offensive behavior by Prince Harry. In 2005, he was photographed wearing a Nazi uniform to a party, for which he said he was sorry.
"I Can Do Whatever, I'm White!"