Who Loves America? By Charles Blow

Charles M. Blow is a New York Times columnist

He writes on: Politics, Public Opinion and Social Justice.  In this piece he is addressing the comments made recently by Ruddy Giuliani, the former mayor of New York.  Those comments have generated a significant amount of responses from various people.

In this essay Mr. Blow takes us to task — he wants us to think. What does American  exceptionalism really means and to whom? How does one prove love of country and to whom should such proof be offered? Do those in positions on national leadership have a responsibility to be judicious in their utterances? Is there a price or cost for malicious and irresponsible histrionics? What exactly is “free” speech and for whom? Lastly, there are different types of love – sophomoric (poorly informed, immature, pretentious, overly confident), and committed love: that grows and deepens and strives for a fuller understanding; a love that holds on and strives to evoke the maximum potential as in America being its best self.

“We have arrived at the point where the utter tedium and desperation of personal attacks against the president about his life story and his loyalty are no longer news. The histrionics have shed their ability to shock. Most right-minded Americans — ethically speaking, not ideologically speaking — have moved on. But occasionally the insults prove to be accidentally instructive.

Take for instance what Rudy Giuliani (“America’s mayor”) said about the president last week at a dinner for Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin (a contender for America’s president). At the dinner — attended, according to Politico, by “about 60 right-leaning business executives and conservative media types” — Giuliani said, “I do not believe, and I know this is a horrible thing to say, but I do not believe that the president loves America.” He continued, “He doesn’t love you. And he doesn’t love me. He wasn’t brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up through love of this country.”

“Yes, Mr. Mayor, it was a horrible thing to say, which is why you backpedaled. On Fox, Giuliani gave a meandering, mealy-mouthed defense of this vile statement, claiming, preposterously, that “I’m not questioning his patriotism,” explaining that he hears Obama “criticize America much more often than other American presidents” and questioning the president’s faith in American exceptionalism.

Ah, American exceptionalism again.

This is in part about a fundamental difference in views. It is a definitional difference, not about the meaning of love but about the meaning of America and its place in the world. Does exceptionalism — if one accepts the premise — bestow exemption from critique? Is uniqueness perfection? Does our difference require some sort of arresting of development?

“As the Pew Research Center pointed out in July, “the view that the U.S. is exceptional — standing above all other countries in the world — has declined 10 points since 2011.” At that time last year, 58 percent of Americans believed America is “one of the greatest countries in the world, along with others,” while only 28 percent believed America “stands above all other countries in the world.” (Whether this is truly a measure of exceptionalism or diminished standing isn’t completely clear to me.)

And what does it mean to love the country? We’re not talking about touristic love of the place — not the mountains and the valleys, the cities and the suburbs, the mighty rivers and the shores that kiss the oceans — but a love of the idea of America.

In a way, this is an ideological battle. Conservatism is rooted in preservation; progressivism advances alteration. These are different love languages. These languages turn on your view of change itself: When you think of America, do you see a country struggling to be maintained or one striving to be made better?

The president not only ran for office on the idea of change, but his presence — in both visage and values — is the manifestation of change. He not only represents a very real affront to the status quo and traditional power but is also not shy about pointing out where America can improve.

Our allegiance needn’t — mustn’t — be blind to be true. We must acknowledge our warts if we are to proclaim our beauty. Our aggrandizement must be grounded. We must be willing to laud America where it has soared and rebuke it where it has faltered.

America is a great country in many ways. But it is far from perfect.

America is a living idea. It isn’t only the tenets of its founding, but also the terms of its future. Every day, we make America.

Seeking to preserve and enshrine one vision of this country from one period of its past robs it of what makes it magical: its infinite possibility for adjustment.

“All men are created equal” is an exquisite idea, but one that wasn’t fully embraced when the words were written. We, the American people, have pushed this country to consider that clause in the broadest possible interpretation for hundreds of years.

We are engaged in a constant struggle to force America to “be true to what you said on paper,” as the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. put it.

The concept of forming “a more perfect union” has embedded in it the idea of ambition but not perfection itself. There is room for betterment. America is not static. America is striving.

And sometimes, America requires critique. Jingoism is an avoidance of realism.  

You can simultaneously love and be disappointed in the object of your love, wanting it to be better than it is. In fact, that is a measure of love. Honest critique is a pillar of patriotism.

As James Baldwin put it, “I love America more than any other country in the world, and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually.”

You may visit Charles Blow on: Facebook and follow him on Twitter, or e-mail him at chblow@nytimes.com 

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/23/opinion/charles-blow-who-loves-am…?  All the highlights and colors were added to this essay by N’Zinga Shäni, OneWorld Progressive Institute, Inc.  These were done to draw attention and place emphasis on the highlighted sections.  The link immediately above takes you to the original essay on the NY Times Opinion page. We highly recommend other essays by Charles Blow such as:  A Kaffeeklatsch on Race – Feb. 19, 2015 - http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/16/opinion/charles-blow-a-kaffeeklatsch-on-race.html?

OneWorld Progressive Institute, Inc., is a small group of committed volunteers who produce community information and education television programs on health literacy, education and civic engagement.  We also find good information and post informative blogs about issues we believe shine light and are beneficial to many in our communities.  Learn more about us at our web site: www.oneworldpi.org/  and visit our Civic Engagement section at: http://www.oneworldpi.org/civic_engagement/index.html We are about Civic Engagement & Public Good. 

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White Police Officer Decries Black Racism and Paranoia

A Video In This Blog Shows A Seattle Cop Arresting An Elderly Black Man Who is Using A Golf Club As A Cane. Watch this officer’s behavior and listen to her words.  However, before seeing the video, we invite you to read her Facebook blog post pasted below and linked here: http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2015/01/28/what-facebook-user-cynthia-whitlatch-wrote-about-chronic-black-racism You may also read a comprehensive article about this situation as reported.

Was This Racist Post Written by the Cop Who Arrested an Elderly Man for “Walking in Seattle While Black”? by Ansel HerzJan 28, 2015 at 2:48 pm

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After watch the video of her encounter with Mr. Wingate, a 70-year-old veteran, ask yourself: Is she acting out her expressed resentments toward Blacks?  What protections do black people have against vitriol such as hers? What should citizens do to be adequately and constructively prepared for these encounters? See links below to other vitriolic police Facebook posts.

OneWorld advocates for responsible citizenship; we strongly advise respectful and law-abiding conduct by ALL citizens at all times, and for full cooperation with the police. However, that cooperation should not include having to plea guilty to false and malicious claims made by police officers. 

  1. We think citizens should do all that is possible to remain safe while in police custody. 

  2. Ask for legal representation if arrested; while waiting for legal representation, you can request to have a relative or someone else with you. 

  3. If you have minor children somewhere, you should be allowed to make phone arrangements for the protection of your children.

  4. Do not offer a casual explanation believing that will smooth things over; anything you say can and will most likely be used against you.

  5. Don’t get into a verbal altercation with the police.  Keep mental note of time and occurrences.   Write things down if you can.

Cynthia Whitlatch is a white police officer in Seattle, Washington. See the video of her interactions with Mr. Wingate.

  1. William Wingate had been standing on a busy Seattle street corner in July, leaning on a golf club he uses as a cane, when a police cruiser pulled up and the officer inside yelled at Wingate to “put that down.”

  2. There was no reason under the sun for this officer Whitlatch to approach Mr. Wingate at all. He was not doing anything that required an interaction with police.

  3. Her SLOG post seems to indicate that she was looking for any excuse to throw her ‘police power’ at some poor black person.

  4. If she could do this in the busy street with dozens of other people around, imagine what she would have done if it was on a dark street and he was a young black man?!!!

The resulting exchange — in which the officer claims that Mr. Wingate swung the club at her after she asked him to “shut it down” before she arrested him – was captured on the cruiser’s dashboard camera, the footage of which Seattle Police released this week as it apologized for the 2014 incident.  It is so clear that she was lying and that she was unnecessarily harassing this elderly man; it is clear that he was minding his business and had no idea what she was talking about.

“Seattle police released video of a July 9, 2014 incident in which an officer alleged William Wingate swung a golf club toward her. Wingate was arrested for obstruction and harassment. Seattle police later apologized after receiving an inquiry from former Washington State Rep. Dawn Mason. They released footage of the incident in Jan. 2015. (Seattle Police Department)” http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/01/29/video-shows-seattle-police-officer-arresting-an-elderly-black-man-carrying-a-golf-club/

Thankfully, several other people (regular citizens) started to record the encounter. We invite you to watch the video released by the Seattle police Dept.

  1. The video clearly shows Mr. Wingate standing on the corner; his golf club (cane) is not even visible; yet officer Whitlatch claims he swung the club at her. This is simply vicious, and it is frightening.

  2. This 70 year-old man was harassed, framed and locked up for doing nothing more than standing on the street. How truly frightening!

  3. It’s as if she decided here is one that I can collar and throw in jail.

  4. This woman should not be a police officer. If the police (as a law-enforcement agency nationwide) wants the trust and respect of decent, law-abiding citizens, it needs to weed out its bad apples.

Seattle Police chief O’Toole issued a statement saying: “Until yesterday I was unaware of Officer Whitlatch’s Facebook posts. I was shocked and disappointed to read her comments,” O’Toole said in a statement posted on the department’s Web site. “We are working to reform the Seattle Police Department, and behavior of this nature seriously undermines our efforts.”

Of course, this incident is only one of many in which black citizens are harassed and bullied by police officers in various states. A few days ago we saw a driver pulled out of his car and kicked and beaten by police; one officer pointed out to the others that the camera was rolling. They then turned off the camera; needless to say, they undoubtedly continued to batter that poor man. As far as some of these police officers are concerned black citizens have no rights; they are not even human. 

  1. What can citizens do to protect themselves from police who abuse them and then lie about it? 

  2. The cameras are not always on; and the cameras are now in the custody of the police. This is why it is important that citizens be able to record the conduct of the police.

  3. It is also important that parents constantly have discussions with their children, and that black males in particular take this matter seriously, and have in place effective strategies on how to stay safe during these unpredictable encounters with the police.

  4. Not all police officers behave in a discriminatory manner; however, there is no way of predicting which officers will.

  5. An ounce of prevention could save the life of a black person.

  6. We also think it is very important that parents counsel their children to be law-abiding citizens. 

  7. It is important to teach our children how to conduct themselves, and that all of us as citizens obey the law. 

  8. Unfortunately, there are many people who break the law; there are ways to deal with these people that demonstrate respect for human life and safety, yet hold people accountable in a principled manner. 

  9. When the police behave in ways that are lawless, irresponsible, and malicious they can hardly expect respect and cooperation.

Postings such as those by police officer Cynthia Whitlatch and Sergeant Christopher Hall show clear bias, racism and bigotry. Please see the video of Mr. Wingate’s encounter with officer Whitlatch in Seattle in 2014, and read the complete article in the Washington Post at the link below.

 http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/01/29/video-shows-seattle-police-officer-arresting-an-elderly-black-man-carrying-a-golf-club/

Why a Seattle Cop’s “Embarrassing Facebook Rant” Matters

West Precinct Sergeant Sounds Off on Race, Ferguson, and Police Militarization – by Ansel Herz, Sept 2014

Please bear in mind that these posts are by “Police Officers.” These are people citizens are supposed to rely on to protect them from harm. These are the people the public is supposed to trust with our lives! White Police Officers Display Racism and Bigotry in Posts on Social Media and in their interactions with black citizens. Frightening indeed.

 “After the fatal shooting last month of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown by white police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri, a national furor erupted around race and police militarization. Lots of people jumped into the fray on social media. Among them was Seattle Police Department Sergeant Christopher Hall, a 15-year veteran of the force who supervises beat cops at SPD’s West Precinct.

“Hall rushed to the defense of Wilson, who is now the subject of a grand-jury investigation, on his personal Facebook page, which was open to the public at the time. Witnesses to the shooting have said Brown had his hands up at the time of his death. But Hall suggested Brown deserved to get shot if he robbed a store or punched a police officer.

 “In light of the Ferguson hashtag, DontShoot, I’m starting the hashtag #DontRobStores and #Dontpunchcops,” Hall wrote on August 19. He made his profile picture an “I Support Darren Wilson” badge. In another post, he wrote, “If you don’t like the ‘militarized’ police, then don’t commit crimes,” adding that “regardless of how you feel about the police, the sheepdogs will continue to protect the resentful sheep from the wolves.” And he was infuriated, judging by his Facebook comments, by the Obama administration’s response to the shooting and subsequent protests in Ferguson.   On August 18, he accused President Obama of engaging in “overt racism” for sending condolences to Michael Brown’s family.”

The ignorance displayed by this officer’s writings should be a source of great concern to every responsible police officer in the country, and to every law enforcement administrator.  A family loses a child and he accuses the President of “overt racism” for extending condolences to the family!  And this person has attained the rank of Sergeant and allowed to carry a loaded gun!  Every black citizen should be afraid of ever encountering this type of police officer.

 http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/why-a-seattle-cops-embarrassing-facebook-rant-matters/Content?oid=20547600

At the link below you can see the many images of unarmed black men and women killed– while in the custody of police– between  1999 and 2014: http://gawker.com/unarmed-people-of-color-killed-by-police-1999-201…

You will notice that between July and Dec. 2, 2014, police killed 10 black men under the age of 50; those are only the ones whose deaths made the national news; we suspect there have been dozens more.

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Eddie Murphy Refused to Kick Bill Cosby for Laughs on SNL40

Congratulations to Eddie Murphy; he has proven that he is culturally aware of what is possible in America.  He is also not one who mindlessly has “Obedience to Authority.” Unfortunately, too many of us are not as aware of the history of persecution in destroying lives, especially black lives.  Mr. Murphy’s lack of adherence to media pressure is commendable.

It is rewarding to know that there are those among us whose cultural awareness and INTEGRITY are above ego, greed and the desire for popular recognition. We live in a society where anyone can make charges they do not have to prove or even substantiate. Many of us would be shocked at the malice afoot for reasons that are beyond the normal scope of imagination.

Some of us stand accuse of all types of malicious behaviors because we are perceived by some as being different from how they think we should be.  Or because we will not live our lives according to the dictates of others.  Or simply because there is resentment of our ability to live in the ways we do.

Some of us are publicly abused because we refuse to adhere to the wishes of others, or we simply refuse to see ourselves according to how others see us.  It is always amazing and extremely disturbing to see how easy it can be for some of us to massacre the psychological, emotional and financial lives of others.  Quite often the only reason we do this is because we lack the emotional restraints necessary to not join the crowd of stone-throwers, or because we are plagued by personal insecurities and resentments.

Some of us invite hatred, hostility and resentment because we dare to make contributions to our community; we dare to speak out against certain behaviors that we believe are detrimental to many in our community, particularly to children.

How dare us speak!  What gives us the right to interfere in how some people make their money? How dare us try to prevent exploitation?

How dare us to speak against negative influences!

How dare us try to have a positive impact on those who have no direction?

Some of us endure the scorn of those who have access to resources because we stand for certain principles. Whatever Mr. Cosby is “alleged” to have done– props to Mr. Murphy for not being a part of the media PILE-ON, the FIRING SQUAD. Under Jim Crow, black people were sentenced to Death Row before they had a trial. Under the New Jim Crow it is still happening, but it takes on different manifestations.  Mothers charged with crimes have no prayer if their children are their main accusers. If Mr. Cosby is guilty of the charges, what greater punishment could there be than what has been happening to him for the past several months?

Let us not forget the Milgram Studies on Obedience to Authority (as in public influence) done at Yale in 1962.  This study demonstrated how normally decent and thoughtful people will punish others simply because they are directed (or influenced) to do so by someone they perceive to be in authority.  Even when the command is clearly immoral, some people continue without questioning the order. Very few people had the courage or the integrity to disobey an immoral order given to hurt a fellow human.

http://youtu.be/eTX42lVDwA4 Stanley Milgram, social scientist wanted to know: Why would a human act without any restraints of ethical conduct? This video is 9:53. It explains the experiment.  Milgram was prompted by the fact that millions of decent Germans sat by while millions of German Jews were exterminated by Hitler’s regime.

http://youtu.be/xOYLCy5PVgM – Milgram Experiment – Big History NL, threshold 6  (Another aspect of the same experiment) 5 mins

https://tv.yahoo.com/news/eddie-murphy-rejected-offer-play-cosby-snl-40-033946215.html

As the Milgram Study of Obedience to Authority (at Yale) demonstrated in 1962, many of us will inflict pain on our fellow humans, not because we know they have done something wrong, but because we join the authority figures who have determined that wrong.   We have no way of knowing if Mr. Cosby is guilty of any, part or all of the wrongs he has been accused of; however, being crucified in the media is not a legal trial, but more of a public psychological lynching.  It is extremely disturbing to witness.

Two many young people, teenagers, kill themselves because one malicious person started a vicious story on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter; several others join in until the object of the taunt commits suicide.  Here the media, social, mainstream and tabloid have become the chief propagators of death and destruction. And as a society we say — how sad, but such accounts are not monitored or closed down.   We show the gory details repeatedly. We laud free speech as we sit by and ignore our collective responsibilty in such deaths. It is too late for us to be sad after the fact. 

In Dec. 2014, seventy years after South Carolina executed 14-year-old  George Stinney, Jr., a boy so small he sat on a book in the electric chair, a circuit court judge threw out his murder conviction.  George Tinney was a black teen convicted (without any physical evidence) of beating to death two white girls in 1944.  No member of that jury had the courage to say — this is wrong! http://www.nbcnews.com/news/investigations/exonerated-after-execution-judge-tosses-teens-murder-conviction-n270176

It takes courage and integrity to stand against the “pile-on” grain; those who do so should be applauded.  The evidence from Milgram’s Obedience to Authority experiment is still true today.  Thank you Eddie Murphy for being among the few exceptions.

Bryan Stevenson’s book –  Just Mercy – provides information of the present Jim Crow manifestations: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/19/books/review/just-mercy-by-bryan-stevenson.html  The Equal Justice Initiative – www.eji.org

So does Michelle Alexander’s – “The New Jim Crow”. Learn more at the Center for Law & Justice http://www.cflj.org/new-jim-crow/ 

There are many types of deaths that are worse than a physical death. 

OneWorld Progressive Institute, Inc., is a small group of committed volunteers who produce community information and education television programs on health literacy, education and civic engagement.  We also find good information and post informative blogs about issues we believe shine light and are beneficial to many in our communities.  Learn more about us at our web site: www.oneworldpi.org/  and visit our Civic Engagement section at: http://www.oneworldpi.org/civic_engagement/index.html We are about Civic Engagement & Public Good.

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CT Mental Health Commissioner Resigns – A REAL LOSS

Unfortunately for the Mental Health Community, Connecticut’s Commissionioner of Mental Health and Addiction Services, Patricia Rehmer, Is Stepping Down.  Of course, we cannot speak for the commissioner, but she must be simply exhausted.

She is leaving state service for the private sector.  This is a great loss for the state mental health community.  Understandably, Ms. Rehmer must be drained from having to fight non-stop over the past two years to keep adequate funding for her agency, and provide needed service to those who are so often discriminated against through no fault of their own.  The fact that the governor repeatedly targeted the Dept of Mental Health for reduction in funding is evidence that he either has no real understanding of the needs in this area of health care, or he sees the agency as vulnerable and therefore an easy target.  We know for certain that the governor is very smart; he administered the town od Stamford for many years; he knows that mental health services are important.  So why the constant cuts?

Is it possible that those with mental health and addiction problems are not equally valued in our society?  Either way, it is discouraging and therefore understandable that this commissioner– a caring, proactive, committed professional– would not want to spend her energies in a defensive poster for the next four years. Given her efforts since 2009, and an abundance of evidence, one can safely conclude that Commissioner Rehmer would rather be proactive in solving the problems that her agency faces.  Even the most energetic and committed person gets worn out fighting continually; this is debilitating and saps the energy needed to be productive in other areas vital to the successful administration of a service agency. However,  fighting continuously is exactly what she has had to be doing to keep her agency providing adequate services.

Her departure is a real loss to a community that needs strong advocates; it is also a loss to state government. We hope her replacement will be a vigilant and determined advocate for the mentally ill and the addicted.

Read here what one set of mental health advocates wrote about Patricia Rehmer: http://cga.ct.gov/2015/exndata/tmy/2015SR-00017-R000205-Marcia%20Du…

According to an article in the CT Mirror:   “In recent years, Rehmer has tried to shield the treatment system from budget cuts imposed by lawmakers – in some cases, moving money around in the department’s budget to avoid service cuts.

In January 2013, weeks after the December 14, 2012, shooting at Newtown’s Sandy Hook Elementary School, Rehmer worked with the governor’s budget office to reverse plans to cut more than $7 million in funds from mental health and addiction programs. “We really can’t afford to hit the service system,”she said at the time. “State reversing mental health cuts– for this year, at least.”      

Rehmer’s department also avoided implementing $15.2 million in cuts slated for mental health and substance abuse treatment providers during the 2014 fiscal year, finding funds elsewhere in the agency budget. Last year, Rehmer presented legislators with an analysis showing that the $15.2 million cut, and another $10 million cut slated to take effect this fiscal year, would hurt the treatment system, with many providers unable to recoup the lost state funding. Legislators later restored funds, although not all of the money has come through.”

OneWorld invites you to read more about what has been happening in the Dept of Mental Health and Addiction Services in the CT Mirror article linked below. 

It is important that those of us not directly involved in the mental health community do not consider this “not our problem.” As a society, we are all — directly or indirectly — affected by what happens in such a significant segment of our community.  The health and well-being of many in our community affect the health and well-being of our entire community (maybe except for the one percenters).  Please let us all pay attention; write to our elected representatives so that the Dept of Mental Health and Addiction Services will continue to be adequately funded. http://ctmirror.org/2015/02/15/rehmer-stepping-down-as-mental-healt…

Please bear in mind that a large percentage of the people in prison are people with mental health and addiction disorders.  Many of our prisons have become warehouses for the mentally ill and those who need addiction services.  Our tax dollars are more efficiently spent of prevention and support services than of the expansion of prisons in our state and country. Below are a few facts and figures to help us all to understand how important this is to our pocketbooks and our well-being as a society. 

On a OneWorld Health Literacy television program in 2013, we discussed some of the access issues faced by people with mental health problems.  You can see a segment of that discussion on our YouTube channel linked here:  Mental Health Services, Access & Overcoming Barriers in CT- http://youtu.be/fkLMi8ITVjk  Representatives from Mental Health Administration joined N’Zinga Shäni for this discussion.

1. The Treatment of Persons with Mental Illness in Prisons and Jails: http://www.tacreports.org/storage/documents/treatment-behind-bars/t…

2. Nation’s Prisons Becoming Modern-Day Asylums for Mentally Ill- http://www.newsmax.com/US/prison-mental-health-inmantes/2013/09/26/…

3. NC State Study Shows Why It Costs Less to Treat Mentally Ill Than Incarcerate Them:  http://www.northcarolinahealthnews.org/2013/07/01/nc-state-study-sh…   

4. How the Mentally Ill Are Being Warehoused in Prisons – http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Articles/2014/04/09/How-Mentally-Ill-…

OneWorld Progressive Institute, Inc., is a small group of committed volunteers who produce community information and education television programs on health literacy, education and civic engagement.  We also find good information and post informative blogs about issues we believe shine light and are beneficial to many in our communities.  Learn more about us at our web site: www.oneworldpi.org/  and visit our web health section at: http://www.oneworldpi.org/health/index.html  Please share our information with others.  Watch our informative television programs on your public access channels: Frontier (formerly AT&T), Channel 99, drop down; Charter Communications Chan. 21, and Comcast (Xfinity) Channels 10, 15, 18 & 26.

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Beyond ‘Black Lives Matter’ – By Charles Blow

As we all know, February is Black History month. Beyond ‘Black Lives Matter’ Feb. 9, 2015 – By Charles Blow, is a thoughtful and informative post.  OneWorld invites you to read the complete blog in the NY Times linked below.

In the same way that Occupy Wall Street forever elevated that concept of income inequality, the Black Lives Matter protesters have elevated the idea of inequity in policing as it relates to minority communities.

Protests following the grand jury decisions in the police killings of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and Eric Garner on Staten Island have largely died down. Those stories no longer command front page placement or lead the news. The news machine, hungry for newness, as is its wont, has moved on to measles and back to the Islamic State’s medieval murder tactics.

What was it all for? What came of it? Where do we go from here?

First, the encouraging news.

In December, President Obama signed an executive order establishing the Task Force on 21st Century Policing, which in part aims to “foster strong, collaborative relationships between local law enforcement and the communities they protect.”

The White House has promoted the use of body cameras, and police departments across the country are considering their purchase and use.

 The task force has held listening sessions around the country, and Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. is holding round-table discussions.

The Ferguson Police Department last week began testing a “less lethal” device that attaches to an officer’s gun. According to The Washington Post, “When a bullet fired, it melded with an attached projectile the size of a Ping-Pong ball that flew with enough force to knock a person down, maybe break some ribs, but not kill him, the product’s makers said — even at close range.”  Please click the link below and read all of this post.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/09/opinion/charles-blow-beyond-black-lives-matter.html?

OneWorld Progressive Institute, Inc., is a small group of committed volunteers who produce community information and education television programs on health literacy, education and civic engagement.  We also find good information and post informative blogs about issues we believe shine light and are beneficial to many in our communities.  Learn more about us at our web site: www.oneworldpi.org/  and visit our web health section at: http://www.oneworldpi.org/civic_engagement/index.html We are about Civic Engagement & Public Good.

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