The daily show aired a great episode last night about the grand jury’s decision in the Eric Holden case against officer Daniel Pantaleo back in July. Jon Stewart was very surprised at the decision because it goes against the very thing that the Ferguson case of Darren Wilson and Michael Brown dealt with – an assault of a white police officer on a black individual with conflicting witness testimony. In both cases the black individual had broken the law, one by stealing from a convenience store and the other selling illegal loose cigarette’s, both crimes in each case but it was the means used to end the situation that resulted in the same outcomes for both, each individual died.
The situation that caught my attention enough to write about this is the social and economic impact these two decisions will have on public behavior. The Ferguson case showed that more officers need to be equipped with body cameras in order to prevent conflicting witness testimony. In many cases where race is an issue between both parties, conflicting witness accounts are higher, but in the case of the officer using a chokehold to try and subdue the individual, the whole thing was recorded. The president has said he has called for $263 million to be spent on body cameras, and as Jon Stewart, and many others afterwards have said, it seems that when the whole thing is recorded and everyone can see the injustice that is being done, not to mention that it is illegal to use such a move to take down an individual in the state of New York, it wasn’t enough to bring a charge against the officer.
So if the whole thing is recorded and using an illegal move is not enough to bring proper charges, then spending all that money is a waste. The other problem also has to do with how the justice system handles information. Remember, a lawyer is not paid to find justice, they have to pay their bills too, so it is in their best interest to bend the truth as much as possible, even if it means preventing certain evidence from being used, in order for them to win their case. For anyone that has ever viewed a lawyer as someone that fights for justice really does not understand how the legal system works. Remember as Upton Sinclair put it perfectly, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”
The other issue now is the social influence this is having on people. It is now almost the norm that if there is a case between two people of difference race and it favors anyone but the black person, then it is ok to riot and protest in the streets. Again, Jon Stewart was great in saying that this does not look like a post racial society. Rioting and Protest has a huge economic impact on America because it keeps businesses from operating (people need to work still to get a paycheck, schools need to be open so children can learn) but people think that but stopping normal life that they are going a good, but the real problem is the impact it has on the community. If a business owner can not operate then they can’t pay their employees and if they can’t pay their employees then they have to let them go. These protest and rioting groups cite hate as a reason for injustice.
What strikes me is that hate is very prevalent and many groups use it often but disguise it in order to get away with it and mask it under Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Religious Expression. Remember it used to be the case back before the Civil Rights movement when Religious Conservatives thought it was ok to teach their kids that black people were bad (doesn’t seem like that is over with it) and that interracial marriages were not ok either, by showing support of Anti-miscegenation laws, similar to the ones they passed on gay marriage but are getting repealed now, to prevent black people from marrying white people, it counted for other races too, but they focused more on blacks.
Incase you are not aware of just how far back in time the bible belt states are living here is a good example to show what time period they are in. There was a high school in the bible belt states that had it’s first integrated prom recently for white and black students and guess what? The White people were not happy about that decision at all and felt that what happens outside of school should be kept separate but equal. I remember watching interviews of people in the community, when asked what they thought of the high school integrating prom, saying that they did not like the idea one bit with majority of the interviewees saying this being white.
It seems common today for many religious individuals of households to think that it is important to teach their kids that marriage should only be between a man and a woman and that homosexuality is a choice, regardless of the research that has proven over and over (even Jon Stewart had an episode that showed homosexuality is not a choice because of what Texans did) that it is not a choice and that people are born that way. So much for all those millions of dollars spent on research. So what is the point of all that money spent if people are just going to keep thinking the wrong thing? I point this out because those kids who are taught the wrong thing grow up thinking that it is ok to bully those different from them. Then they go and vote for laws that prevent people who are different from them from living the lives they want. That is still another form of bullying.
So when you watch documentaries like, Bully, it shows that no matter how many anti-bullying campaigns schools put on to prevent bullying, it all starts in the home from what the parents are teaching their kids, especially in the bible belt states. That is the root cause of where hate and bullying comes from because when you think about it, kids just want to make friends with more kids but it’s not until the parent starts putting ideas into their head that they begin to be afraid of certain people or they think they are above certain groups of people.
In the case of the grand jury not finding enough evidence to hold officer Daniel Pantaleo guilty, you’d have to be pretty blind not to see what was going on in the video. But the day after, Jon Stewart talked about a surprising twist of events in that someone in the situation was indicted, watch the second link to learn who it was.
Please make sure you watch this and share it with others. It’s more important about learning how to get along with others than living in closed off ignorant worlds. Lets start teaching kids the right way, not the intolerant way.
Read The Social Atom to understand why segregation happens