The Watering Hole, Saturday, July 9, 2016: The Lies About Dallas

I was once a terrorist in the BLA, but it’s not what you’re thinking. I’ll explain later.

When large scale tragedy strikes we depend on our media for information about what happened, what’s still happening, and what’s going to happen. But the media isn’t usually the source of the information we get. That’s usually some government officials at either the local, state or federal level, depending on the geographic scope of the tragedy in question. When it’s confined to a single city, especially a large metropolitan one, it’s usually the local police who give out the information that the media gives us. So when lives may be at stake, it’s important that this information be reliable. When such a tragedy struck Dallas, TX, this past Thursday, the government officials giving out the information upon which we relied was the Dallas Police Department. And they failed utterly to give us accurate information, and thus failed to keep the public safe.

Although Micah Xavier Johnson’s motivations can generally be traced back further, what happened Thursday in Dallas essentially began early Tuesday morning in Baton Rouge, LA. Police responding to a call about a black man pointing a gun at passersby and threatening them encountered Anton Sterling, a 37-year-old man who sold CDs outside a convenience store. Though Sterling did have a gun on him, at no time did he reach for it or threaten anyone with it. Still, only after pinning him down on the ground and discovering the gun on him did one police officer step forward and fire 4-6 shots into Sterling’s chest. [Warning: Contains video with graphic and disturbing footage.] Though Sterling did have a criminal record, none of that played any part in Sterling’s murder. And I do call it a murder, which is why the DOJ has been asked to investigate it. Late Wednesday night in Falcon Heights, MN, 32-year-old Philando Castile was shot to death (murdered, actually) by a police officer during a routine traffic stop. [Warning: Contains video with graphic and disturbing footage.] Castile, too, was armed but he announced this fact to the officer along with the fact that he had a permit to carry it. As he reached for his license (as requested) the officer apparently freaked out and told Castile to freeze. Castile made the fatal mistake of trying to raise his weaponless hands back up when the officer fired four shots in to him. As Castile’s girlfriend sat in the front seat next to him. And his daughter in the back seat behind him. President Obama released a statement about the two shootings which was part of the problem with what happened in Dallas according to some people with no apparent connection to reality. And various chapters of the Black Lives Matter movement organized protests in several US cities Thursday night, including Dallas, TX.

Johnson had reached his tipping point about the time he posted a long rant on a Black Panthers Mississippi Facebook page denouncing certain (not all) white people for their crimes against black people. Johnson’s own FB page “included images of a Black Power symbol and a red, black and green flag associated with the Black Liberation Army.” In September 1981 some of us Bouton Hall college dormitory friends decided to form our own terrorist organization called the Bouton Liberation Army. We would ambush people and shoot them – with water pistols. We had white t-shirts with “BLA” painted on them, and we would go around yellowing “Blahhhh…” as we shot and wetted people. It was a lot of fun. Then the other BLA went and shot two cops during a Brink’s robbery, and we decided to disband the group. But the Black Liberation Army was an influence on Johnson, and he decided he wanted to kill as many white people, white police officers in particular, as he could. (He was not as careful about that as he might have wanted to be.) He chose the Dallas BLM protest to act upon his grievances. Almost from the time he started shooting, the misinformation came out.

As the story broke I was seeing tweets saying a team of snipers, in a coordinated attack, had started shooting police officers in Dallas following the protest. The falsehood that it was more than one shooter was spread around by media even after it was finally announced that it was only one shooter. The reports also said the shooter was blaming the Black Lives Matter movement, but the truth was he was upset about the number of black men being unnecessarily shot by police officers, most of whom were white. This meme was being attributed to anonymous police sources, and it led to further speculation in the right-wing not-quite-real-media that armies of black men would be opening fire on white people everywhere, and that, of course, President Barack Obama, Attorney General Loretta Lynch, the entire Black Lives Matter movement, and Private Citizen Billionaire George Soros were behind it. The inaccurate reports of casualties is understandable, but the almost immediate release of such wrong information is not. And as a result of the falsehoods fed to the media, the right wing had cover to spew much of their ridiculous nonsense about Black Lives Matter. which has had a great relationship with the Dallas Police, who were providing security for the protest while wearing their normal police uniforms, as opposed to the riot gear we often see police use which further exacerbates the problem. Not to mention taking the conversation away from the ease with which people can get deadly weapons and kill multiple people at once. Nor will it help us discuss the highly unusual way the Dallas Police ended the situation, by using a robot to deliver a bomb and exploding it to kill him. Was that really necessary? Did he have enough food and water to hold out for a long time? I doubt it, so all the police had to do was wait him out. They had him surrounded. He would have had to come out to get something to eat or drink. So they were “impatient.” Did that give them the right to decide he didn’t deserve a trial, or a verdict, or a sentence from a judge, and they could proceed straight to execution? Because that’s what it was – an execution, and a cruel and unusual one at that.

Open thread. Have fun.

19 thoughts on “The Watering Hole, Saturday, July 9, 2016: The Lies About Dallas

  1. I’ve paid fairly close attention to the media reaction to the whole thing, also to the RW verbal assaults that blamed Obama, Hillary, Lynch, BLM, Soros, and (today) even Beyonce. My conclusion is singular: deport each and every wingnut in the country to wherever we can sneak them in, also send each and all Republican elected officials (and candidates!) to Gitmo, and make sure their respective tribunals get on the docket before two decades have passed. Waterboard lots of them, including Drumpf. Meanwhile, the rest of us can start over and maybe create a civilization worth living in. Maybe.

    I know, eternal optimist here.

  2. Great synopsis Wayne. The reichwingnuttia feed off the misinformation to bolster their claim that if only every white person in Dallas had been armed with high powered assault weapons and Rocket Propelled Grenade launchers to defend the white women from the bungle junnies, all would have been fine.

  3. Going to have a wet start at Silverstone this morning. I hope they don’t run a few laps behind the safety car and then red flag it.

  4. Hats off to Thom Hartmann who continues to spread the word, who hopes to educate people on the why? behind the 2A. Madison’s 2A had nothing to do with allowing everyone to carry a Glock or an AR-15, nothing to do with protecting ‘We the people’ from the gubmint.

    The Second Amendment was ratified to preserve slavery

    It’s a fact of life: the White v. Black bullshit was enshrined in the 1787 Constitution (see also the three-fifths of a person clause Article I. Section 2. Clause 3.)

  5. I spaced out the Sunday Roast again, cuz my brain has turned into Swiss cheese — so to make up for it, here’s a cool animation that was a collaboration between Salvador Dali and Walt Disney.

    • I saw that one – but when I first glanced at the headline, with my eyesight, I swear it said “Oklahoma Governor Says Trump Is Trying To Be A ‘Racist Hater.'”

      While my version of the headline is, IMHO, more reflective of reality, I REALLY need new glasses.

      • 🙂 I need new glasses too, but apparently not quite as bad as you! I do admit, however, that I had to look twice, squint a little and get close to the screen to make sure it wasn’t, as you note, the more OBVIOUS choice. OTOH, it was Mary Fallin’ speakin’.

  6. 2 Campers Arrested For Arson in Cold Springs Fire

    Two out-of-state campers have been arrested for arson in the Cold Springs Fire, according to the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office.

    The suspects, identified as 28-year-old Jimmy Suggs and 26-year-old Zackary Kuykendall, both hail from Vinemont, Alabama.

    Both men face charges for fourth-degree arson, according to the sheriff’s office, and have been booked into the Boulder County Jail.

    Investigators say they were able to determine that the origin of the fire was a campsite near the Peak-to-Peak Highway and Cold Springs Road.

    Idjits.

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