Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Stuck In My Craw

While watching both the national and local news over the last two days I caught two sound bytes which just about sent me over the edge. Sure, I’m aware crazy, stupid things are said daily, but these two really got stuck in my craw.

The first had to do with a story out of Philly that’s gotten plenty of exposure on the national level because it includes the senseless beating of shooting suspects by officers from Philadelphia’s police department. This beating was caught on tape by the local Fox affiliate and to their credit, the city’s mayor and police commissioner swiftly stepped in and condemned the officers’ actions and launched an internal review. There’s been a public outcry on both sides, those who support and are empathetic to daily charge of the police to protect and serve in communities which are often hostile towards their presence; and those who see this incident through the prism of an endless stream of unchecked police brutality in communities of color. Fortunately, the race card was more of a non-issue in this instance because some of the participating officers were Black, but I assert that when it comes to the police misconduct, black vs. white is often trumped by those living by the code of the fraternity in blue. So, last night it was announced that four of the participating officers have been fired, and four received suspensions and one officer was demoted. The union representing these officers immediately cried foul and said the punishment of these officers is a rush to judgment and the officers weren’t allowed due process. Hmmm… isn’t that exactly what these officers did when they wantonly grabbed these guys from their car beating and kicking them without an ounce of mercy or restraint? It’s no fun when steel toe shoe’s on the other foot, is it?

The second kernel caught in my craw came this morning when watching an interview with Cokie Roberts on Good Morning America. Diane Sawyer was discussing with Cokie and Matthew Dowd Hillary Clinton and some of her female supporters recent rant that sexism has raged throughout this primary season. Towards the end of the interview, Cokie commented that if some of the things written in the blogosphere and the caricatures seen on the op-ed pages at newspapers all over the country, had been as mean-spirited towards Obama, the way, in her opinion, they have been towards Clinton, the country’s African American communities would have been up in arms. Well, Miz Cokie, obviously you’ve missed the news about the ignorant pub owner in Marietta, Georgia, who’s now peddling t-shirts featuring Curious George peeling a phallic-shaped banana, with the words, “Obama 08,” emblazoned below; and a piece in last week’s Washington Post detailing the overt racism projected at many of Obama’s field teams throughout the country. Let’s face it honey, with this year’s historic Democratic primary race, there’s been loads of doo-doo thrown haphazardly and with ferocity at both candidates and as Hillary Clinton has said several times on the campaign trail, “If you can’t stand the heat, then get out of the kitchen!”

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