Sunday blogging against racism #5–I HEART MICHAEL MOORE

Okay. I know that people HATE him and think he’s a liar, blah blah blah. but I KNOW that the things he’s speaking about are true in this particular case. (I lived in NYC during the Amadou Diallo/Abner Louima era)

[never mind that both Diallo and Louima were not only petite (I don’t think either was taller than 5’7″), but also immigrants. The adage, “pick on someone your own size” comes to mind, and it seems to me that you never hear about the police in NYC going after a 6’4″ black man. Which to me is a definite evidence of the subconscious underpinnings of these shootings. not to mention a definite “S.A.Y.P.” moment.]

I found this video almost funny . . . that is, until the part at the end where Moore suggests that all black folks in NYC walk around with their hands up in the air at all times . . . that part made me really sad, remembering one young woman who had such a huge impact on me when I was working at the Gap . . . she came into our store with her cash in her hand, and spent her whole time shopping there with her hand raised high, showing us that she really did have the money to shop there, that she wasn’t there to steal.

It was the saddest thing I have ever seen. I wanted to tell her, “you don’t have to do that . . . we look at suspicious behavior, not at how you dress or the color of your skin” . . . but I knew that I couldn’t tell her that she didn’t have to do what she was doing, because despite all of our training to the contrary, I couldn’t give her any guarantees that she would not be pre-judged in this way. 

and that really sucks.

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3 thoughts on “Sunday blogging against racism #5–I HEART MICHAEL MOORE

  1. the video is funny but misses a lot of points.. namely that police are shot at a lot by black people. What I mean to say while sounding racist the point is that it’s not like police are skittish around black people because of some crazy, irrational kkk style racism. It’s conditioning. Black people should also be mad at the ones who fuck it up for everyone else.

  2. I admit that Moore exaggerates the point–it wouldn’t be funny if he didn’t. And I don’t think Moore is saying that the police shoot blacks because of “crazy, irrational kkk style racism.” They shoot them because of the stereotypes of blacks that they carry around in the heads, what I call silent racism. Unfortunately, we all do that; but when cops do it, people die.

  3. I have to agree with Barbara here.

    And Andy, I think that if you looked at the actual statistics, they might surprise you, but more importantly, I think that what Barbara is saying has a lot more to do with why the police behave as they do.

    And no black person should have to fear for their life just because a police officer is “conditioned”, especially when that “conditioning” isn’t valid to begin with.

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