Voices from Russia

Saturday, 26 May 2018

NFL Owners Never Voted on the New National Anthem Policy. Wait… What?

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On Wednesday, the National Football League (NFL) announced a new policy regarding player protests during the national anthem… stay in the locker room, stand, or face a fine. Now, it looks like the owners never officially voted for the policy after all. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said during the NFL’s announcement:

Clearly, our objective as a league and to all 32 clubs, which was unanimous, is that we want people to be respectful of the national anthem.

Both President Donald Trump and Vice President Pence applauded the move by the NFL. However, sources reported the owners never held a formal vote, so, who approved it unanimously? According to a report by ESPN’s Seth Wickersham, during two days of meetings on league matters in Atlanta:

The NFL just did a little informal polling and thought everyone would be cool with it.

Sources said league executives polled owners and knew how they’d vote but didn’t hold an official tally, which is atypical for a major resolution. The new policy leaves it to teams to discipline their own players for acts deemed disrespectful during the anthem. However, it also gave the league wide powers to fine teams as well. The NFL Players Association already made a public statement that the league never consulted them on the new anthem policy, also atypical of major changes affecting players. Moreover, not all team owners are singing the new anthem policy’s praises either. Three team owners distanced themselves from this policy as well. San Francisco 49ers owner Jed York announced he abstained from any decision about the policy. Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis also claims to have abstained. Their abstentions contradict Goodell’s claim of a unanimous vote by all 32 owners.

Meanwhile, New York Jets chairman Chris Johnson vowed to pay any fines for his players who demonstrate during the national anthem:

I don’t like imposing any club-specific rules. If somebody [on the Jets] takes a knee, that fine will be borne by the organisation, by me, not the players. I never want to put restrictions on the speech of our players. Do I prefer that they stand? Of course. However, I understand if they felt the need to protest. There are some big complicated issues that we’re all struggling with, and our players are on the front lines. I don’t want to come down on them like a ton of bricks, and I won’t. There’ll be no club fines or suspensions or any sort of repercussions. If the team gets fined, that’s just something I’ll have to bear.

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Johnson’s announcement drew some criticism, but his Twitter post also drew praise. The new anthem policy is catching a lot of flak on social media. Many accused the NFL in general or Roger Goodell in particular of simply pandering to the President and Vice President on the issue, without regard for the players or fans. People also questioned the NFL’s priorities. Whether the new policy stands or not remains to be seen.

24 May 2018

Amelia Mavis Christnot

Second Nexus

https://secondnexus.com/news/nfl-owners-never-voted-anthem/

26 May 2018. Taking A Knee… It Seemed That the NFL Lied About Their New Rule

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It seems that the NFL announced that it was banning taking the knee at the National Anthem because all the teams were behind it… well, that’s a lie. Some ignorant rightwing Republican turd obviously ran it up without really consulting the teams or the players. It looks like Trump’s Reverse Midas Effect is in operation, yet again. Instead of slapping down the uppity niggers and white trash, it’s having the opposite effect. Several teams have already come out against the new rule and the action riled the players association to the max. Trump is increasingly seen to be out of control and flailing about, with no clue on how to move forward. This is dangerous. The man is a wilfully ignorant narcissistic man-child with no inhibitions. He has control of the “nuclear football”… if that doesn’t scare you, nothing will.

The intent behind this was to coerce the players into forced “patriotism”, to show all comers how powerful and strong Trump was. It’s having the opposite effect. Trump’s stupidity and bullying temperament are on display for the whole world to see. However, don’t expect the media to show that… they’re in the pocket of their corporate paymasters. That’s why I don’t believe anything that I read in the media on domestic American politics. Trust me, the people aren’t happy… the Republicans are facing disaster this November (don’t believe the “polls”… the media has to follow what their Big Money bosses tell them to do). After all, Paul Ryan “retired” at the ripe old age of 48… what does he know that the media won’t tell us?

BMD

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

The Absurdity of Saying “White Privilege”

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If you have no confidence in yourself, you’re twice defeated in the race of life.

Marcus Garvey

I’ll admit that I was a part of the same crowd I’m now picking up a pen to speak against. I too once went around foolishly talking about “white privilege” this or “white people are evil” that. This was not too long ago… a time when I used to see justice through coloured binoculars and I was part of the very divisive culture I thought I was speaking against. It took two years of hardship for me to finally shed my blinders and see injustice as it is without putting an adjective in front of it. What I witnessed from South Carolina to Colorado (and countless regions in-between) as I sojourned from state to state and mission to mission is this. Poverty comes for all and it doesn’t discriminate based on the preposterous labels we append to ourselves. These designations of white and black are insidious, but they’ve worked perfectly. Black and white are constructs meant to ghettoise people behind prisons of contempt in order to fracture humanity. There isn’t one person in this world who’s black nor is anyone white; monstrous men who had everything to gain by dividing us imposed these words upon us.

Over generations, we accepted these hateful labels and made them a source of pride. Why do I say the labels are hateful? Go ahead… look up the definition of the word “black” in Webster’s Dictionary. You’ll discover nothing but one slander after another as they use black to describe worthless and insignificant things. At the top of the definition, you’d see that vile label ascribed to “black people”, followed by words like dark, evil, wicked, and (most perniciously) black is those things that don’t have light. People don’t understand that they use the word “black” to dehumanise us and to imply that we don’t have God’s light in us. Now, go ahead, look up the word “white” in the same dictionary. You’d see white described in the most glowing ways. White is the full presence of light and it’s affixed to people who come from Europe. White is pure, clean, of good character, and free from blemish. As we are dehumanised, other groups are elevated, and in the process, the world is shattered into a battle between “black” and “white”. This is how the One Percent can conquer and subjugate the 99 Percent.

Don’t you see what these demonic men were up to in the past when they came up with the constructs of “black” and “white”? They were insulting us to the core and saying that we’re valueless as they elevated themselves to the status of heirlooms. Now, I know some people would try to say, “They don’t get to define what we are, we do”. This is absurdity of the highest magnitude; “they” gave us the word black to define us. Trust me when I tell you this, our ancestors in the continent we now imprudently call Africa didn’t call themselves “black” before foreigners invaded, colonised the continent of Ethiopia, and shipped off her children to live a chattel’s life in chains. By accepting the word “black”, we accept inferiority. Too many people overlook this fact and instead choose to lash out and bang on “white privilege”. However, calling people “white” is the privilege itself! No one is white, the minute you say someone is white, you might as well get on your knees and say “master” for that is the implication of the paradigm of the labels black and white. Black mires us in third-class citizen status and white confers upon people from European descendants the prominence of the preferred tribe. Do you know what the word “negro” means? It’s “black” in another dialect, so is a word less insulting when it’s in English than when you utter it in another language?

The source of our enslavement is within; this is why Bob Marley sang that song “free yourselves from mental slavery”. Accepting our identity through the identification others gave us is nothing more than accepting bondage. Words are super-powerful; nothing in this world matches the potency of the tongue and the words that flow from it. By saying that we’re black, we speak inferiority into existence; calling others white confers superiority unto those who call us black. Sadly, the loudest idiots get the microphones; thus, a herd of unoriginal thinkers lead us, who convince us to get on bended knees and beg for acceptance instead of lifting ourselves. After all, you can make money in race hustling, but actually teaching people to feed themselves takes away future customers. These things have real life consequences; we spend all our time protesting outward while turning to a rhetoric of hatefulness instead of fixing ourselves from within. Like I said, I’ve done this too… I’m not speaking from a point of piousness. Nevertheless, we’ve been following the same playbook for generations; banging our heads into walls won’t knock the walls down, it just leads to migraine headaches. Having pain doesn’t give us the right to pass on pain to others. Blaming the masses of our less-melanised brethren for the sins of a few is no different than when a “white” person says all black people are thugs. Bigotry is bigotry… we don’t get a pass just because we’ve felt a bigger injustice.

If you want to fight injustice, great! However, for God’s sake, stop putting adjectives in front of injustice. Don’t fight for black justice or brown justice, fight for justice on its own for doing anything less makes you part of the very injustice you fight against. This system of oppression that robs hope from the masses and bleeding people the world over thrives only through division. Its weakness is unity. Therefore, when people take to the podium to speak of “white privilege”, “Muslim terrorism”, or “Mexican illegals”, they feed into the divisiveness that fuels the fire of global injustice. In what world is it right to blame the whole for the excesses of a fraction who happen to be of that identity? If it’s wrong when they lump us all together and characterise us as such, it’s equally wrong to do that to anyone else. If you insist on saying “white privilege”, take a drive down to the Appalachians, or failing that, go down to your local homeless shelter. There, you’d find teeming masses of so-called “white” people mired in perpetual hopelessness and indigence that’d shock your conscience. I dare you to go up to a “white” homeless person and tell him he has “white privilege”. The same root of injustice that robs the inner cities of Chicago of hope and hobbles “black” folk into cyclical poverty is what cripples “white” folks into dependency and privation in states like Idaho, Alabama, and Texas.

The way to find the liberation that’s eluded us for centuries, the only way to heal the wounds of generational injustice, is to find love within. The élites loved Malcolm X as long as he preached the divisive language of “white devils” and “white privilege”. Once Malcolm travelled to Mecca and saw the sea of humanity praying together, he realised that we should pursue the quest to end iniquity without exclusion, he stopped speaking of “white devils”, and instead embraced universal justice. That’s when the powerful eliminated Malcolm. So discount every “black” leader and author and every “white” firebrand who preaches from the pulpit of “us versus them” as frauds and see them as only demagogues who work and get paid by the same system they speak against. If you want to know how Donald Trump won the election, look no further than the “us versus them” paradigm that we elected the fraud Obama to eradicate, only he breathed butane into the fire. “White” folk got tired of being made guilty for the endless ways the system of oppression hobbles the masses in America and throughout the world. A culture of endless grievances made them feel aggrieved too. The same way “black folk” turned out in mass to vote for an empty-suit Obama because he spoke our pains, “white folks” did the same as the pugnacious pig that is Donald Trump spoke to their pains too. This is what happens when we let our emotions lead us; dark souls will keep coming around to lead us by the nose. We end up getting the government we deserve.

Enough of the nonsense, stop acting the victim and complaining about what the “white man” did to you and realise that they suffer too. I know some will cite examples of how “white people” stuck in poverty don’t have it as bad as “black folk” stuck in indigence… this is such folly. Poverty is poverty; those stuck in it have minimal chances to escape the clutches of destitution. Once someone is mired in homelessness and is sentenced to a life of concrete mattresses and newspaper blankets, they have little hope to go from that level of despair to finding renewal. Instead of judging who has it worse and turning the suffering of people into abstract philosophical debating points, how about we stop seeing through colour and just help people who suffer as we’re best able? However, first, heal thyself… for you can’t help others before you mend within. Stop tearing others down from without, let’s take a pause, and find a way to fill our hearts with love rather than letting anger be our guiding flame. Loosen from our souls such hateful pejorative words like “black”, “nigger”, and “habehsa” given to our ancestors to dehumanise them and make them the lesser. Lastly, if you really do care about ending injustice and want to fight for equality, here’s a radical proposal. How about we see both humanity and injustice without appending an adjective of colour, class, or ideology in front of it? Be about love for everyone or else count yourself as part of the injustice that takes from all.

14 May 2017

Teodrose Fikre

Ghion Journal

https://ghionjournal.com/white-is-the-privilege/

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Race in America: Blacks More Likely to Be Wrongfully Convicted Than Whites

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A study released on Tuesday indicates that racial bias in the USA makes African-Americans much more likely to be wrongfully convicted of drug crimes, sexual assault, and murder than white defendants are. The National Registry of Exonerations (NRE) examined cases spanning from 1989 to October 2016, and out of 1,900 people convicted and later exonerated of crimes, black Americans made up 47 percent, a figure over three times their share of the population in the USA. African-Americans are also seven times more likely to be wrongfully convicted of murder than whites, according to the study and are 12 times more likely to be convicted of drug crimes than white Americans. The report noted further discrepancies in murder convictions:

African-American prisoners convicted of murder are about 50 percent more likely to be innocent than other convicted murderers. Part of that disparity is tied to the race of the victim. African-Americans imprisoned for murder are more likely to be innocent if they were convicted of killing white victims. Only about 15 percent of murders by African-Americans have white victims, but 31 percent of innocent African-American murder exonerees were convicted of killing white people.

Samuel Gross, University of Michigan Law School professor and senior editor for the group tracking exonerations, said:

In the murder cases we examined, the rate of official misconduct is considerably higher in cases where the defendant is African-American compared to cases where the defendant is white. Unconscious racial bias, overt discrimination, and institutional racism often play a factor in wrongful convictions.

NRE released a separate study noting that 2016 was a record year for exonerations in the USA, with the most since 1989. There were 166 exonerations, an uptick from 2015’s 160 cases. Harris County in Texas, which includes Houston, showed chiefly drug convictions and was the source for most of the exonerations in the state. There were many instances of people pleading guilty to drug possession, only for crime reports to reveal months and years later that there were no controlled substances in the seized material. There were 52 exonerations for murder across the country, along with 73 exonerations of drug possession and other non-violent crimes. Illinois had the most exonerations in 2016 after Texas, with 16. There were 14 exonerations in New York and 9 in California. The “San Antonio Four”, four Latino women convicted of child sex crimes in the 1990s were the highest-profile exoneration of last year. In the majority opinion, Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Judge David Newell wrote:

Those defendants have won the right to proclaim to the citizens of Texas that they didn’t commit a crime. That they’re innocent. That they deserve to be exonerated… these women have carried that burden. They’re innocent. And they’re exonerated.

8 March 2017

Sputnik International

https://sputniknews.com/us/201703081051360908-blacks-more-like-convicted-crime/

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