Matt McFarland and Black Lives Matter Front and Center on The Root!

The Root
Screenshot from The Root this morning.

Fire Chief Wears ‘Police Lives Matter’ Pin But Says Firefighter Cannot Wear ‘Black Lives Matter’ Pin

Thank you for what you do Mr. McFarland, and thank you for so eloquently making your points in how you approach the important work you do.


Let’s find a way to help local emergency services understand the difference between political activity and their jobs.  Do you know anyone involved in politics that might be able to help develop and elect representatives that understand the difference and could pass their thoughts along to their employees?

(Answer, for those out of the area or unaware:  Tamara McFarland, Matt’s wife and major force behind the local organization changing the political landscape – the North Coast People’s Alliance.)


Thanks to the tweeter behind Teacher in CA for tweeting this story.  Also, ouch.  That hurt’s, but it ain’t all together wrong.


Did Walter Scott’s Life Matter? Lady Justice: Well…

First of all, justice should not be seen as a zero-sum proposition. By this I mean, a quest for justice for those who are suffering systemic injustice should not be taken as a fight against law enforcement.

We can respect law enforcement and wish fair and equal justice for black lives and for blue lives.

Case in point.  Thank you EPD for the work you did keeping us safe last night from an active shooting situation.  We are all thankful no bystander nor officer one was hurt.

Having said that, let us please review briefly the lack of justice following the death of Mr. Scott.  Walter Scott, a 50 year old black man was pulled over for a broken brake light attempted to flee by vehicle, and then when caught, by foot.

When attempting to run away, very slowly, he was shot 8 times in the back and this was caught on tape by a by-stander.  The video goes on to show the South Carolina officer deliberately dropping something by Mr. Scott’s soon-to-be lifeless body.

Yet on Monday, a jury failed to convicted the South Carolina police officer Michael Slager.

Imagine for a moment this case if there wasn’t a video.  Very simple task right?  I guess for those of us who understand the importance of the simple stand-alone phrase “black lives matter”, not only would we like all of us to consider the injustice of Walter Scott’s death, we’d also like us all to ponder what justice is being served when there are no cameras.

Rest in peace Mr. Scott.  This verdict, not to mention your death were national embarrassments.

From Vox:

The non-verdict of the police officer who killed Walter Scott is a national embarrassment

The South Carolina police shooting of Walter Scott, explained

An important graphic from the latter…



A Reminder of Why it’s BLM not ALM

From Fusion via Ohio State Senator Nina Turner’s Twitter feed.

5 Paragraphs on why it’s Black Lives Matter.  From GeekAesthete of Reddit…

Imagine that you’re sitting down to dinner with your family, and while everyone else gets a serving of the meal, you don’t get any. So you say “I should get my fair share.” And as a direct response to this, your dad corrects you, saying, “everyone should get their fair share.” Now, that’s a wonderful sentiment — indeed, everyone should, and that was kinda your point in the first place: that you should be a part of everyone, and you should get your fair share also. However, dad’s smart-ass comment just dismissed you and didn’t solve the problem that you still haven’t gotten any!

The problem is that the statement “I should get my fair share” had an implicit “too” at the end: “I should get my fair share, too, just like everyone else.” But your dad’s response treated your statement as though you meant “only I should get my fair share”, which clearly was not your intention. As a result, his statement that “everyone should get their fair share,” while true, only served to ignore the problem you were trying to point out.

That’s the situation of the “black lives matter” movement. Culture, laws, the arts, religion, and everyone else repeatedly suggest that all lives should matter. Clearly, that message already abounds in our society.

The problem is that, in practice, the world doesn’t work that way. You see the film Nightcrawler? You know the part where Renee Russo tells Jake Gyllenhal that she doesn’t want footage of a black or latino person dying, she wants news stories about affluent white people being killed? That’s not made up out of whole cloth — there is a news bias toward stories that the majority of the audience (who are white) can identify with. So when a young black man gets killed (prior to the recent police shootings), it’s generally not considered “news”, while a middle-aged white woman being killed is treated as news. And to a large degree, that is accurate — young black men are killed in significantly disproportionate numbers, which is why we don’t treat it as anything new. But the result is that, societally, we don’t pay as much attention to certain people’s deaths as we do to others. So, currently, we don’t treat all lives as though they matter equally.

Just like asking dad for your fair share, the phrase “black lives matter” also has an implicit “too” at the end: it’s saying that black lives should also matter. But responding to this by saying “all lives matter” is willfully going back to ignoring the problem. It’s a way of dismissing the statement by falsely suggesting that it means “only black lives matter,” when that is obviously not the case. And so saying “all lives matter” as a direct response to “black lives matter” is essentially saying that we should just go back to ignoring the problem but racism among prominent Democrats continued “well into the 20th century.” Can you imagine? But we’ve been working feverishly for decades to keep our shameful past swept under the rug, so virtually nobody knows this anymore.

And here is Sean Hannity putting the Black All Lives Matter trope to action.  It’s cringe worthy to hear Sean talking to the reporter through his ear-piece then the reporter having to translate Sean’s questions to people who generally had great answers.  Also, the due process that Sean asked about in one of his questions is exactly what Black Lives Matters is about.  There has been no due process for people like Alton Sterling and Philando Castile


Nina Turner is a State Senator from Ohio.  I began following her on Twitter a couple of months ago and after hearing about the “vicious, calculated, and despicable attack” on police officers I went to her feed to get a little perspective.

It turns out that Nina not only is an African American mother but she is also a mother of a police officer, so she gets this.

12 hours ago (before news of the slain police officers) she was tweeting this.

and this…

Then an hour later, after the murders in Dallas, this…

and this…

2016 will not be the divisive year for Democrats that 1968 was.  We cannot and will not let events that are paralleling 1965 where a racially-charged traffic stop lead to the Watts riots and the indelible images on the relatively new broadcast medium of television fueled the reactionary politics of fear and hate for decades to follow.

We now have a tragically ever increasing volume of mind-numbing videos that continue to prove America’s two tiered justice system and we will get to a place where love trumps hate.

But not yet, not last night.

Remember, we can beat this.  We will find and convict those who killed the officers last night.  We will also fight to find justice for those who should still be alive today such as Philandro Castile and Alton Sterling.

The justice that will eventually come will not be exactly what any of us would like it to be.  We’d all rather, as Nina tweeted, that none of this had to happen at all.  We also have to keep in mind the difference between murder and killing.  Because of whom was wearing the uniforms when people die 100 times out of 100 a slain officer will be murder, and even in the unbearable litany of black deaths in the hands of officers (not to mention white deaths), 99 times out of 100 we will be seeking justice for a killing, not murder.

Understanding the difference between a killing and a murder is critical.  If we can understand this and teach this, then there is hope we can continue to improve on the notion of justice for all in our nation.  And in today’s society, justice for all means focusing with clarity on the fact that black lives matter.

Wave at or salute or thank a peace officer today for the work he or she does.  Let those of us  who can spread the love and respect we all deserve.

Continue reading “#unacceptable”