Archive for July, 2010

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Alvin Greene Conundrum

alvin The Alvin Greene Conundrum

My love-hate relationship with Alvin…

On Monday, the Manning Branch of the South Carolina NAACP sat anxiously as they waited for Democratic Senatorial candidate Alvin Greene to make his first public remarks. The organization invited Greene to speak so its members could get to know him better.

Meanwhile African Americans all over the country secretly prayed that he would not embarrass the race too badly. After his surprising, OK let’s face it, bizarre, primary win, Greene gave the first speech of his non-campaign. After doing several awkward, bumbling and downright strange interviewswith various media outlets, the South Carolina Democratic electorate now watched their miracle candidate nervously, hoping that, at the very least, all his subjects and verbs would agree.

So, how did he do in his first campaign appearance? Alvin Greene probably did better than most people thought he would. He didn’t make any major errors, didn’t use profanity and did not show pornography to the audience. He stayed on-topic (for the most part), focusing on his three major themes of jobs, education and justice. He talked about the fact that the country lost 125,000 jobs just last month.

Greene wants to focus on infrastructure projects, such as building roads, which he says the state needs to put South Carolinians back to work. Education would also be a priority if Greene is elected. He pointed out that South Carolina was 49th in high school drop-out rates and standardized test scores. Greene challenged parents of under-performing children to be more involved in their education. So far, so good.

Next, Greene hit the criminal justice system. This is when it got a little weird.

Greene declared, “We need justice in the justice system. South Carolina spends twice as much on inmates than on students.” OK, we’re with you…. He talks about how first-time offenders should be offered alternatives to jail through programs like pre-trial intervention. So far so good. Then he starts to go off the rails.

He tells some bizarre story about “a guy” who got tangled up in the criminal justice system – we all know that when someone talks about “a guy” or “friend” he or she is probably talking about him or herself.

Anyway, this “guy” got in trouble, and although he qualified for pre-trial intervention, he was denied and the trial was delayed.

“But,” he says, suddenly looking off-kilter, as if he forgot where he was for a moment, “Moving on….”

You could almost hear the crowd’s collective “WTF?”

All in all, it wasn’t the utter and complete disaster we all have come to expect when Greene opens his mouth. He nervously read his notes from a black spiral notebook, wiped his brow and did his best to sound authoritative. Senatorial even.

He made a little quip in the beginning about being a perfect candidate for the NAACP Image Awards, although I have a sneaky suspicion that he didn’t write that joke and didn’t seem to know what it meant. Frankly, it didn’t sound like he wrote any of it.

It sounded like a bunch of policy positions that had been cut and pasted from different websites the night before. Unfortunately, the only part that sounded genuine was that creepy part about his “friend.” The 6 – 12 minute elocutionary extravaganza ended with Greene timidly waving, looking unsure of what he was supposed to do next.

I know you’re not supposed to say this anymore, but what the hell, he looked kind of retarded.  Ok, maybe not full-retard, but like whatever Forrest Gump had.

He cracked a child-like smile as he got a standing ovation before an audience of more than 400 in his hometown of Manning. Greene took no questions from the audience and hustled past a group of reporters on his way out of the building without stopping to talk.

Pamela Clavon Brunson, who attended the speech, said we should be proud of a young black man following his dream of becoming a U.S. Senator, even if he doesn’t give an amazing speech like other longtime politicians.

Another onlooker, Jerry Johnson, said Greene looked much better giving his speech than he has in interviews. “I wasn’t blown away, but he didn’t do bad,” Johnson said. “Considering I didn’t know anything about him coming in, that’s not so bad.”

OK, if no one else is going to say it, I will:

He was absolutely terrible. Did the fact that he wasn’t as bad as we thought he was going be, make him less terrible? No. It was violently bad. Face it, it was awful and horrible and stinky. I will admit, though, I’m conflicted. On one hand, I want to support this brother who is a legitimate candidate (like it or not) in following his dream of becoming a senator.

However, should my affinity for the underdog story and my desire to see another African-American senator force me to abandon all my standards with regards to my elected officials? I mean, this guy is clearly not right in the head. I’m not asking for Obama, but couldn’t he at least be average? What are we saying about ourselves if we accept and support someone who is clearly incompetent just because he’s black?

Or, to many South Carolinians, is a thumb in the eye of Jim de Mint worth lowering the bar of expectations? I just don’t know. This dude is embarrassingly bad and I don’t know what we accomplish by not holding him to the standards all our leaders should be held to, like forming a cohesive thought without having to read it, but on the other hand, the Republicans have Sarah Palin….

Alvin Greene 2010!!!!!!

Watch Greene in action.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Seattle Police Officer Punches Girl in Face: I Would Have Punched Her Too

100614 arrest punch Seattle Police Officer Punches Girl in Face: I Would Have Punched Her Too

Watch video here…

The South Seattle Police Department is investigating what they’re calling “an assault of an officer” today, and the video of the incident is fast becoming an object of controversy.

KOMO News of Seattle reports that the incident took place on Monday, when the officer witnessed four teenage girls jaywalking across Martin Luther King, Jr. Way (gotta love it). According to police officials, the young women became “verbally antagonistic” when the officer asked them to step over to his patrol car.

Apparently, the officer approached one woman who started to walk away. He then attempted to physically escort her to the vehicle. The woman resisted and an altercation ensued. Shortly thereafter, a second young lady intervened to try to help her friend. According to Seattle police, the officer believed “she was attempting to physically affect the first subject’s escape.”

As seen in the video, the second young lady shoved the officer, who then punched the girl in the face (very awesome). Police backup soon arrived, and the women were taken in to custody.

Sgt. Sean Whitcomb allegedly told reporters that punching is a trained tactic and the department defends the officer’s actions.

Okay, I know I’m supposed to be all outraged and whatever because I’m black and stuff like that, HOWEVER, I don’t know whether it’s because I’m a jaded ’80s baby tired of young people’s lack of respect for authority or I’m just an insensitive bitch, but I think the girls in this video absolutely deserve what they got.

Therefore, I’m not upset, nor appalled, nor preparing my picket sign for the sure-to-come NAACP rally.

Of course, jaywalking is a bogus offense that most cops don’t acknowledge, let alone enforce, but when will this generation realize that they need to show respect for adults? Maybe your mom wants to be your best friend, and your teacher is just waiting on her retirement date and your dad (if he’s around) just wants you to not be mad at him, but it’s time young people grasped the concept of authority.

Maybe it was a ridiculous waste of time for an officer to cite this young woman for jaywalking, but what happened to the day and time when we respected the authority of policeman? I am older than the girl and probably the policeman, but I will tell you that if an officer told me I was being arrested for having nappy hair and to put my hands behind my back, my hands are going behind my back and I am going to STFU. 

Why did this woman continue to resist this officer once given an official command? Life is not a game.

Is there any doubt that if they had just done what they were told in the first place this would not have happened? I don’t know about you, but I was told that when it came to interacting with the police all I should be saying is “yes sir” and “no sir.” If these women had responded in an appropriate manner when they were approached would we be watching any of this?

And don’t get me started on her idiot friend. I’m very sorry she got punched in the face (not really), but you have a lone cop faced with a growing mob, and then her friend, a citizen interfering with an arrest, actually puts her hands on him? I would have popped the shit out of her, too.

You see she fell back once he got her in the mouf one good time. And she will likely think twice before putting her hands on a police officer again.

Frankly, I think this video says more about these young ladies and their view of authority than it does about a policeman acting inappropriately. We are so used to cops behaving badly and kicking ass and killing black people for no reason that we sit back and all but encourage young people to challenge them. You can see the anxious bystanders just hoping to get a shot of the latest YouTube sensation, salivating for a juicy clip of police brutality.

I will never support police brutality, and there have been actions of police against the citizens that are inexcusable, but this ain’t one of them.

This video falls in the “you-get-what-you-asked-for” category for me. Perhaps next time an officer approaches these ladies, they will respect his authority and do what the hell he tells them to do instead of cursing him out.

Somewhere along the way, someone sent the message that young people can treat adults any way they want to (including police). And it’s high time someone had a counter point.

Too bad it had to be a counterpunch. I’ll save my tears for real victims.

Look at it this way: Just think of all those times when you encountered a group of rowdy young people on a bus or subway or walking down the street and thought to yourself, “Someone needs to whip their asses.” Consider it done. Courtesy of the Seattle Police.