sharpened edges is a blog about seven people, two houses, a motorcycle, and a locked treatment facility for adolescent boys.
*******, white cis queer man, 21, uk
"The point is never to apologize or accept, neither to reconcile nor to compromise, only to take up whatever obstacles we can find and sharpen their edges." – Evan Calder Williams
That same day white jurors giggled while Mrs. Mary Ruth Reed, a pregnant black sharecropper, testified that Lewis Medlin, a white mechanic, attempted to rape her in front of her five children. In an effort to get help, she scooped up her youngest child and ran across a field. Medlin knocked her down and pummeled her until a neighbor finally heard her screams and called the police. In court, Medlin’s attorney argued that he had been drinking and was “just having a little fun.” Then, turning to the white jurors, the attorney pointed to the woman sitting next to Medlin. “You see this pure white woman, this pure flower of life?” he said. “… This is Medlin’s wife … Do you think he would have left this pure flower, God’s greatest gift,” he asked, “for THAT?” Reed burst into tears as the jury broke for deliberation. Less than ten minutes later they returned a not guilty verdict.
— At the Dark End of the Street; Black Women, Rape, and Resistance — A New History of the Civil Rights Movement from Rosa Parks to the Rise of Black Power, by Danielle L. McGuire, p. 42 (via inlovewiththepractice)
What fucks me up about the Darren Wilson fundraiser is that he hasn’t been charged with a crime. He doesn’t have to hire a lawyer. He’s on paid leave, so he’s not losing wages. This is not covering his expenses, because he doesn’t have any additional expenses. This is a reward. He’s getting a $250,000 reward for murdering an unarmed black kid.
HE HAD TO GO TO THE HOSPITAL. MIKE REACHED FOR HIS GUN. HIS FRIEND THAT WAS WITH HIM EVEN ADMITTED THAT HE LIED ABOUT THE COP JUST RANDOMLY SHOOTING HIM AND CONFIRMED THAT THEY ROBBED THE STORE. SELF DEFESE.
None of this is true. This is how good the Ferguson PD’s smear campaign has been. Not one sentence here is accurate. Let’s break this down:
- "HE HAD TO GO TO THE HOSPITAL." Michael Brown’s autopsy showed no sign of struggle.The picture of the CT scan that’s being passed around to show that Wilson had an orbital blowout fracture is actually from 2008 from the University of Iowa, and a right-wing pundit photoshopped out the date and hospital info.
- "MIKE REACHED FOR HIS GUN." Officer Wilson’s story is that the first shot that went off was an accidental discharge while they were fighting over the gun. However. there was no gunpowder residue on Mike Brown, meaning that he was absolutely not holding the gun when it went off and furthermore that he was not even that close. He was fired on from a distance.
- "HIS FRIEND THAT WAS WITH HIM EVEN ADMITTED THAT HE LIED ABOUT THE COP JUST RANDOMLY SHOOTING HIM AND CONFIRMED THAT THEY ROBBED THE STORE." This is actually a compound lie, which is kind of impressive. His friend, Dorian Johnson, did not say that. His lawyer said they were together in the convenience store, the police said there was a robbery, and the media put those two statements next to each other to imply a statement was made that never was. Johnson isn’t being charged with anything because the Ferguson PD “determined he committed no crime." The Ferguson PD also admitted Officer Wilson didn’t know about the scuffle at the convenience store before he stopped Brown and Johnson. You may be wondering why I say scuffle instead of robbery. That’s because there wasn’t one: the owners of the store didn’t call the police and video shows Brown paying for the cigarillos! The clerk confronted Brown about reaching across the counter instead of waiting for him to hand over the cigarillos, he put his hand on Brown, and Brown pushed him. Yes, he pushed him too hard, but the clerk apparently didn’t care enough to call the police. The police were called by another customer in the store, who apparently didn’t know what was actually happening.
- "SELF DEFESE." The autopsy shows that he was shot on the inside of his arm, meaning his hands were up, and the top of his head, meaning that, since Brown was 6’4”, either he was on his knees or the officer was 8’ tall. The officer was not 8’ tall.
The evidence clearly shows that Officer Wilson, who had no idea of the not-actually-a-robbery, executed the unarmed Mike Brown while he was on his knees with his hands in the air. Just like all of the eyewitnesses said (except for “Josie,” who turned out not to be real).
But the Ferguson PD’s already tainted public opinion. They’ve spread so many lies so effectively that no amount of evidence will bring justice. Your ignorance here is proof of just how effective it’s been.
Just read through ALL of this…these people are INCREDIBLY organized and have collected almost every piece of information out - and they are asking some amazing questions.
The kinder and gentler LAPD, led by [Willie] Williams, will be a real rebuilding with increased emphasis on intelligence and the development of a coordinated riot-and-disturbance control strategy that probably will continue to be closely coordinated with the feds. Unlike in the ’60s, when the National Guard marched back home, this time a staff element remains in the city. The Marines at Camp Pendleton will also remain on alert. I think that we are going to see an institutionalization of that kind of federal presence. While the major internal contradictions about race in the LAPD will remain, I believe that Williams will be fairly efective in cleaning up the surface. The LAPD is, in a sense, in transition to being a multiracial police department. It’s ironic, but you can have a kinder, gentler LAPD that includes more people of color, with fairly effective systems for dealing with the more egregious abuses, and at the same time have a rapidly rising level of repression.
— Mike Davis, “Uprising and Repression in L.A.: An Interview with Mike Davis by the CovertAction Information Bulletin” (in Reading Rodney King/Reading Urban Uprising, edited by Robert Gooding-Williams, 1993, p. 151)
In Los Angeles I think we are beginning to see a repressive context that is literally comparable to Belfast or the West Bank, where policing has been transformed into full-scale counterinsurgency (or “low-intensity warfare,” as the military likes to call it), against an entire social stratum or ethnic group. This means that virtually every member of the “terrorist” population is “managed” by the police in some fashion, whether through literal imprisonment or through new restrictions on freedom of movement and association. The effect is as if a permanent state of martial law were imposed on specific neighborhoods or sections of the city.
— Mike Davis, “Uprising and Repression in L.A.: An Interview with Mike Davis by the CovertAction Information Bulletin” (in Reading Rodney King/Reading Urban Uprising, edited by Robert Gooding-Williams, 1993, p. 149)
The defense attorneys for the police in the Rodney King case made the argument that the policemen were endangered, and that Rodney King was the source of that danger. The argument they made drew from many sources, comments he made, acts he refused to perform on command, and the highly publicized video recording taken on the spot and televised widely before and during the trial. During the trial, the video was shown at the same time that the defense offered a commentary, and so we are left to presume that some convergence of word and picture produced the “evidence” for the jurors in the case. The video shows a man being brutally beaten, repeatedly, and without visible resistance; and so the question is, How could this video be used as evidence that the body being beaten was itself the source of danger, the threat of violence, and, further, that the beaten body of Rodney King bore an intention to injure, and to injure precisely those police who either wielded the baton against him or stood encircling him? In the Simi Valley courtroom, what many took to be incontrovertible evidence against the police was presented instead to establish police vulnerability, that is, to support the contention that Rodney King was endangering the police. Later, a juror reported that she believed that Rodney King was in “total control” of the situation. How was this feat of interpretation achieved? That it was achieved is not the consequence of ignoring the video, but, rather, of reproducing the video within a racially saturated field of visibility.
— Judith Butler, “Endangered/Endangering: Schematic Racism and White Paranoia" (in Reading Rodney King/Reading Urban Uprising, edited by Robert Gooding-Williams, 1993, p. 15)