Thoughts on Shooting Death of Antonio Martin

Regarding the shooting of ‪#‎AntonioMartin‬ in Berkeley, we need to be careful not to become that which we protest against. One of the biggest problems with the Eric Garner case, for example, was that the evidence was right in front of our faces that he was murdered, and many people chose to ignore what they saw with their own eyes, and villainize Garner in an effort to explain why (they believed) he deserved to die. Everything I’ve seen up to this point says Antonio Martin pulled a gun on a cop. The cop didn’t appear to react inappropriately. He didn’t unload his clip into an unarmed man (a la Mike Brown). He shot 3 times, not 14 (like the cop in Milwaukee did). We cannot ignore the evidence right in front of our faces in an effort to fit our agenda. There is enough wrong with this case- legitimately- that we need to be talking about instead. How did this kid obtain this weapon to begin with? WE HAVE A PROBLEM WITH GUN VIOLENCE. Why aren’t we talking about this? Perhaps more importantly, why did this officer call for crowd control/backup and not an ambulance? By all accounts, he lay bleeding on the asphalt for at least 30 minutes before he died. Could he have been saved? Let’s stop with the conspiracy theories that do nothing but weaken our credibility, and get to work fighting the real injustices. Yes, even this man’s life mattered- or should have- I need to know why no life-saving measures were taken as he lay in the cold, with so many people watching. Let’s have THAT conversation.

Thoughts on Ramos Funeral Protest of de Blasio

I’m the first to say the officers at Ralph Ramos’ funeral had every right to turn their backs on de Blasio while he spoke at the service. They have the right to protest just as the rest of us do. That said, however, I hope anyone who supports the rights of those officers (who were in uniform) also supports the rights of NFL players (who were also in uniform) to show solidarity with the “Hands up don’t shoot” movement, or the rights of other protestors at other venues. These officers chose the funeral of one of their fallen comrades to make a statement- I don’t disagree with the method, as it was powerful. We didn’t call for disciplinary action against those officers, nor did we ask for an apology (nor should we!). Yet, the police union did both of those things when 5 Rams players took the field with their hands up. In the end, it’s all the same, and we’re all expressing our rights. We may not be able to agree on the issues at hand, but let’s all acknowledge that we’re all expressing our patriotism by exercising rights granted to us in the Constitution. In the end, we do it for the same reason: because All Lives Matter.

Low Carb Pizza Casserole!

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So, the last 2 times in a row that I gave in to my pizza cravings and actually ate some, I ended up with a flare-up that took days of total hell to undo. This time, I was smart. When that old, familiar craving came up, I knew just what to do.

This idea is very simple, and quite versatile. You put a whole bunch of your favorite pizza toppings (I browned some sausage with chopped onion and green pepper, and added diced ham, pepperoni and mushrooms) in a casserole dish, top it with some sugar-free marinara or pizza sauce, top that with loads of cheese, put some cute pepperonis on the very top to decorate, and pop it in a 350 degree oven for 40-45 minutes.

This is easy, allows you to use your imagination, is low carb, and tastes FANTASTIC. My kids even adored it.

Date Rape, Nail Polish and Empowering Women

Nail-PolishThere’s been a lot of uproar lately about this new nail polish that can detect whether or not date rape drugs are present in one’s drink. After applying the polish, a person can stir the drink with their finger, and the color will change if drugs are detected.

A lot of women are critical of this, saying the responsibility of whether to rape or not falls squarely on the shoulders of the rapist. Still others hail this as a wonderful invention.

I agree with those who say this nail polish is a wonderful thing. While I also agree that only the rapist bears responsibility for committing the crime of rape, I fully support anything that empowers women, and makes them less likely to be victimized.

No one would tell a homeowner not to bother locking their doors at night, because we all understand that doing so makes us less likely to be the victims of a home invasion. Equally true, if someone neglects to lock their doors, no one is going to blame them for getting robbed. The robber is still fully responsible for committing the crime.

We tell women not to leave their drinks unattended in bars, we tell women to use the buddy system when out partying, and to make sure someone is always aware of their plans. We fully support women who choose to take self-defense classes, and constantly remind them to “trust” their guts, don’t be afraid to walk away from a situation that feels funny, even if the reason for that feeling is not easily identified.

How is the idea of the nail polish any different from any of those things? There is nothing wrong with taking action to make us less likely to be victimized. If, despite the actions we have taken (and even if no action was taken at all), the unthinkable happens, it is not the victim’s fault. That’s not what this nail polish symbolizes, nor is that what supporters are claiming.

Predators use ever-evolving technology to accomplish more and more dastardly deeds. It’s high time technology was used to stop them in their tracks.

Facebook, Racism and the Proof

So, this happened. Recently. As in, five minutes ago, on Facebook.

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What’s it going to take for people to realize that racism is alive and well in this country? This is but one screenshot, but it is nothing close to an anomoly. If people spent half the energy on defeating racism as they spend denying its existence, we’d be in a much better place.

 

John Stewart Goes After Fox in Powerful Ferguson Monologue

I came across this little nugget, and had to share. I’m a long-time fan of John Stewart’s, and this video is exactly the reason why. 

Regarding racism: “You think you’re tired of hearing about it? Think how exhausted the people are who live it.” 

Yes, indeed. 

Al Sharpton, and the Uncomfortable Race Baiter

In the wake of the tragic death of Mike Brown in Ferguson, MO, a lot of things have been happening. Lots of celebrities and activists have descended upon our fair city, with few as controversial as the Rev. Al Sharpton.

First, let me say that I am not on the Al Sharpton bandwagon. I don’t dislike him, but I don’t love him either.

He annoyed the hell out of me when he came to St. Louis to speak to the media on behalf of the Brown family, but didn’t bother actually going to Ferguson. I was not happy, watching him on the courthouse steps in the city of St. Louis (which is decidedly not Ferguson, nor is it even in the same county), flanked by St. Louis city officials, without a single Ferguson official in sight.

I mean, could he not have done just a little research on the area before gracing us with his presence?

I get it, he’s busy.

However, hearing him speak at Brown’s funeral two weeks later made me forget that little geography snafu with a quickness. I mean, wow. What powerful, moving words. He nailed it, and just when I thought he couldn’t possibly say anything better than what he’d already said, he nailed it again…

… And again.

I loved every second of it.

What I do not love, is some of the backlash I’ve heard about him since then. Most of it on social media, people are especially fond of dismissing The Rev as a “race baiter”. What never- and I mean, never– follows that accusation is anything specific, like why these folks believe him to be said “race baiter”.

Hold on- I take that back. One lady did give a specific example as to why she felt that way. She said that while speaking at Mike Brown’s funeral, he accused white people of murdering the young man, and then called the Black Panthers to action.

Do I need to actually tell you how patently, completely false that is? I mean, 100% pile of straight-up horse shit. I have no idea what that lady was watching, but it was not Al Sharpton giving the eulogy at Mike Brown’s funeral service.

Regardless, what I’ve come to believe is that the term “race baiter”, spit out in accusatory tones, really just means  “makes me feel uncomfortable”. Try it, like this:

Al Sharpton is a race baiter makes me feel uncomfortable.

See? It works!

Al Sharpton is like a recovering alcoholic, and the people that think he’s a race baiter are full-fledged, off-the-wagon drunks. No drunk wants to go out to the bar with a recovering alcoholic, because that recovered addict makes the drunk uncomfortable. Why? Because the drunk is forced to look inside, and look at his/her own drinking habits. That’s no fun, which is why drunks don’t like to do it.

Al Sharpton makes people who have race issues uncomfortable, because he forces them to look at their own issues. He shines a spotlight on racial disparity, and then dares people to make a change, prove him wrong, make a difference. Lots of people just aren’t ready to do that yet, which is fine- it just isn’t Al’s fault.

My plea: stop with the Shapton-bashing, and let’s all work towards a better world; a bigger, brighter future for our babies.

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