→ When “stand your ground” fails

brb feigning surprise

Look, these laws are literally laws the criteria of which include how scared the defendant was and whether we think that fear is a reasonable one. I am not sure how anyone is supposed to be totally not racist objective about this—regardless of the intentions of the jury*, it seems like a playground for every sub- and half-conscious bias, fear, and expectation anyone has.

* my expectations are not high here.

h/t Midori.

→ President Obama tried to save Troy Davis from execution

lowendtheory:

abaldwin360:

ATLANTA, Sept. 26, 2011, 4 p.m. - President Obama candidly Friday took a little time to explain how he tried to save Troy Davis and why he did not say anything about his controversial execution, two sources told Redding News Review.

Obama’s White House spent “three days” looking at how it could legally get involved in the case on a federal level, one source said. The Obama administration even called the state of Georgia about getting involved and were told “No”. (Updated on Sept. 27 at 3 p.m. ET - The source said the president never called and was only concerned about an injustice, as he would do for any American).

“‘We looked at every possible avenue legally,’” the source reported Obama said. “‘There was not one there.’”

“‘It was a state case and I could not intervene because it wasn’t federal,’” another source reported Obama said.

The two sources told Redding News Review that Obama talked about Davis, during a private lunch meeting of about 10 select black broadcasters.

Obama said the only reason why he spoke about Harvard’s Henry Louis Gates’ case, was because he was asked by a reporter, Obama told one source.

What’s more, Obama also said that the only reason why his administration spoke out about an illegal immigrant’s case, Humberto Leal Garcia Jr., in July was because it was an international issue, where his rights were violated.

Sure, the president could have simply spoken out about Davis, the source said, but it would not have done anything.

“‘I don’t want to make this man’s death political for me,’” Obama told the source.

“Sure, the president could have simply spoken out about Davis, the source said, but it would not have done anything.”

If this story is true, it is a fucking pathetic sham.  It wouldn’t have done anything legally, but it would have conferred a sense of legitimacy at a crucial and decisive political moment from a person who, in addition to having a doctorate in godforsaken jurisprudence, happens to have also been a professor of law and happens—oh yeah—to be the fucking President of the United States.  

There is nothing reassuring for me in the knowledge that the President was working behind the scenes in search of a way to intervene legally in the execution of Troy Davis.  In fact, it makes his silence even more revolting.  What matters, of course, is that we’re learning this after the fact.  We’re learning that one of the least helpless people in the entire world is claiming that he was helpless.  And this should tell us something about President Obama’s very philosophy of what it means to be president, of what it means to occupy the seat of power responsibly, about what it means to do politics.

But should we really be surprised?  There is nothing in his silence in the face of the state-sanctioned murder of a man convicted of a crime he likely didn’t commit that is inconsistent with much that President Obama has done since he’s been in office.  He has, after all, continued wars that and drone strikes that have killed an estimated 132,000 civilians in Afghanistan and Iraq.  What stretch of the imagination would allow us expect him to interrupt the war at home?  He is pro-death penalty, even in spite of having been Senator of a state that had to declare a moratorium on it after learning of a series of wrongful convictions. 

What is remarkable about Obama is not that he is silent in the face of injustice.  What is remarkable, rather, is that people on the left continue to expect that he will behave otherwise.  He’s not the helpless good guy who just doesn’t quite have the power to do what he really wants right now.  He’s the imperialist who works extremely hard to project the fact that, in private, or deep in his heart, he knows better.  That’s the image that articles like this seek to create, and that is precisely what makes his political behavior and choices all the more incorrigible.  

if this is real, this is most unhappy news. #DO BETTER

(Source: reddingnewsreview.com, via abbyjean)

Representative Peter King, a Republican from Long Island, appears to harbor a fierce unhappiness with the Muslim community in the United States. As the chairman of the powerful Homeland Security Committee, Congressman King has all the clout he needs to act on his displeasure. On Thursday, he plans to open the first of a series of committee hearings into the threat of homegrown Islamic terrorism and the bogus allegation that American Muslims have failed to cooperate with law enforcement efforts to foil terrorist plots.

“There is a real threat to the country from the Muslim community,” he said, “and the only way to get to the bottom of it is to investigate what is happening.”

That kind of sweeping statement from a major government official about a religious minority — soon to be backed up by the intimidating aura of Congressional hearings — can only serve to further demonize a group of Americans already being pummeled by bigotry and vicious stereotyping.