Sunday, November 30, 2014

Washington Post notes that African-American boys are denied childhoods; Vox slams depending on eyewitness testimony in any case

The Washington Post Outlook section Sunday November 30, 2014, offers a piece by Stacey Patton, “Black children don’t get to be children”, link here.  The report talks about the pseudo-science of a century ago, but well before the rise of Nazism, that claimed that black children’s brains would not develop fully, but also that black boys developed more quickly than whites, and were a sexual threat to “normal” white men.  The article connects this to a past  justification for lynchings, and that is covered by the clips in the still unfinished film by Gode Davis, “American Lynching”. All of this would be known as scientifically wrong by the early twentieth century, as in fact we are all “black” (descended from an ancestor in Africa, whatever “right wing” creationists claim), and genetic differences are in biological terms almost none.  (We may have been very close, almost identical, to Neanderthals, too, genetically, but that’s another discussion.) 
The Post is also reporting even more conflicts in eyewitness testimony. Joseph Stromberg has a take on this on Vox here. Vox also offers a chart of all the grand jury witnesses.  
The media report that Wilson has resigned from the police department, which means he loses income (CNN says he did not receive a severance package), and he seems to live in hiding. (The media's -- and even Wilson's lawyers' -- sensationalizing of this point seems way over the top; what has happened to the rule of law?  Look at this story on MSNBC, although CNN is more graphic.)  To my reading, what really happened is really unclear. Why did Brown behave so out of character in the convenience store and then on the street?  On the other hand, it's surprising that Wilson characterizes him as a horror movie monster, and that fully armed, could not have defended himself without killing him. Neither side of this mess "adds up".  But what has happened to Wilson shows that the "system" can fail him -- a more "privileged" person -- just as it failed Brown.  If the system failed me, it would end my life, with no memorials.  Call if left-wing or right-wing "purification" if "you" like. 

ABC News notes critical pieces of evidence that the grand jury did see, including damage to the police car, a witness's diary, and Brown's DNA in the police car, here.  This does sound important.

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