looks like racists are showing thier colours in reaction to the murder of unarmed black teenage Trayvon Martin
The New Orleans Police Department has launched an investigation of an officer and suspended him without pay for comments he posted online in response to a WWLTV.com story.
Jason Giroir is the subject of a new probe by the Public Integrity Bureau after a person who identifies himself as an NOPD employee by that name made online comments about the killing of Trayvon Martin.
“A little over two hours ago I learned about internet comments attributed to Officer Jason Giroir, including in those comments was that he was a member of the NOPD, which have caused me great concern concerning his fitness for duty,” said Superintendent Ronal Serpas.
Giroir was suspended indefinitely and without pay, according to Superintendent Ronal Serpas, who added that he asked Chief Arlinda Westbrook of the Public Integrity Bureau to conduct an internal investigation.
Serpas said he was “furious” about the allegations and he said that Giroir has embarrassed the police department. He called the comments “hurtful” and “insensitive.”
“To say that I’m angry is an understatement,” said Serpas. “Let me be clear: the hardworking men and women of the NOPD do not condone such statements.”
Giroir was already assigned to desk duty for a previous investigation of the traffic stop that led to a fatal shootout which left Justin Sipp dead and two officers wounded on Mar. 1 in Mid-City. Giroir pulled over brothers Justin and Earl Sipp for a traffic violation on March 1, and a shootout erupted after two officers were called to the scene to back up Giroir.
The WWLTV.com story about local reaction to the killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Florida at the hands of a neighborhood watchman sparked several incendiary comments – including remarks from a Facebook commenter who is named Jason Giroir.
“Act like a Thug Die like one!” says the comment under name Jason Giroir. The comment refers to the controversy surrounding the hooded sweatshirt Martin was reportedly wearing when he was gunned down. Activists across the nation have taken to wearing hoodies as a sign of solidarity with Martin’s family and against racial profiling.
Jason Giroir’s Facebook profile says that he is from Chalmette, went to Chalmette High School and lives in Covington.
Jason Giroir’s “thug” comment sparked a strong reaction from another commenter, Eddie Johnson, in the story. Johnson tells Giroir: “How the hell you know how he acted? That boy went to school, talked to his girl friend and it was raining so he had his hood over his head… OH YEA He’s Black so he’s automatically a Thug huh? Low down racist always show their true colors.”
Several hours later, Jason Giroir responded to Johnson: “Eddie come on down to our town with a ‘Hoodie’ and you can join Martin in HELL and talk about your racist stories!:-P”
The NOPD has a policy on Internet posts, adopted several years ago, which states:
“Employees shall not post any material on the Internet — including but not limited to photos, videos, word documents etc. — that violates any local, state or federal law and/or embarrasses , humiliates, discredits, or harms the operation and reputation of the police department or any of its members.”
Columbus, Ohio – In 2005, when Florida was considering its insane stand-your-ground-or-perhaps-chase-down-an-innocent-black-teenager-and-shoot-him law, state senator Dan Gelber was a voice of reason. Gelber, when asked what he thought of legislation that would transmogrify many a heat-packing Floridian into a juiced-up Judge Dredd, posed some questions of his own.
When you think someone “looks at your wife” the wrong way or “spills coffee on you”, should the message be “to walk away, or do we tell them that you’re supposed to stand your ground and fight to the death?” According to NRA troll/super-lobbyist Marion Hammer, the supposedly smart Bush who was governor at the time (Jeb) and state senator Dennis Baxley – a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans who likes racial slurs in state songs and wants to remember the great Lost Cause on licence plates – the answer was, of course, shoot – to kill.
But the bigger story here is the alliance of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) – a secretive, corporate-sponsored clearinghouse for ideas that are dopey enough to be purchased by the pound – and the National Rifle Association (NRA). It’s a marriage made in Hades to pass legislation that seemingly anyone with any background in law enforcement or understanding of this nation’s history knew would lead to a predictable outcome: “racially motivated killings”.
Because, you see, this is not a bug, but a feature. Both ALEC and the NRA exist to support the whims and wants of privileged and largely white members of society, while disenfranchising, impoverishing and even allowing people like 17-year-old Trayvon Martin – who was shot and killed last month by George Zimmerman, a neighbourhood watch volunteer – to be gunned down in cold blood. Racism is at their very core.
ALEC is behind a nationwide push to take voting rights away from African Americans and any other group that doesn’t largely vote for creepily religious, corporate Republicans advocating wish-list items such as a creationist, Halliburton-constructed lunar colony or the deregulation of melamine and morphine-based infant formula.
As writer Ari Berman pointed out in a piece called “The GOP’s War On Voting“, there has been “a systematic campaign orchestrated by the American Legislative Exchange Council – and funded in part by David and Charles Koch, the billionaire brothers who bankrolled the Tea Party – 38 states… this year designed to impede voters at every step of the electoral process”. Who are we talking about here? “Millions of students, minorities, immigrants, ex-convicts and the elderly,” according to Berman, or people you might hesitate to call the “Santorum demographic”.
These very same ALECites have been (coincidentally, of course), pushing for tort reform bills in states throughout the country, which have been proven again and again to disproportionately hurt the poor and minorities while protecting corporate bottom lines. Meanwhile, “racial issues” and stereotyping have been used by ALEC to push for tort reform, the very same play on white fear that is the pitch of the NRA to convince anyone, no matter how unstable or criminally inclined, to buy more guns.
Part of this pitch has used the first black President (“Communist-trained!”) to inform their most ardent and paranoid members of secret plots (“massive Obama conspiracy!”) to take away their guns (the ones they can now take into national parks and in luggage on Amtrak, because of bills President Obama signed into law). Their day-to-day coded language about protecting “your way of life” or property from invading hordes has obvious connotations to anyone with a few neurons still firing.
Meanwhile, the NRA’s Board of Directors is filled with people who have made troubling comments on race. There’s intellectual wretch Ted Nugent, who has problems with the “Dark Continent” of Africa because no country there “truly respects freedom or the rule of law”. Then there’s Wayne Anthony Ross, who published an editorial saying an art student who made a statue of a Ku Klux Klan figure deserved an “‘A’ for courage”.
And in September 2011, NRA board member John Sigler spoke at a rally hosted by radio personality Bill Colley, who three days earlier had accused President Obama’s mother of travelling the world “to meet up with ‘savages’ and civilising them in the sack! Her efforts even created a President of the United States”.
These are not the exception, as the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence has made abundantly clear on their “Who Is The NRA Leadership” website.
Nor is Trayvon Martin the exception. He is the rule: collateral damage of a quite open and obvious agenda for anyone willing to take a look.
Cliff Schecter is the President of Libertas, LLC, a progressive public relations firm, and the author of the 2008 bestseller The Real McCain.
Follow him on Twitter: @Cliffschecter
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera’s editorial policy.
Our boys and men are guilty on sight because they are Black.
Unfortunately, as the Sanford Police Department, spearheaded by Chief Bill Lee, continues to make excuses for murderer George Zimmerman, the chorus has taken an ugly turn that needs to be addressed.
Why are self-righteous Black folks using this opportunity to shift the blame to the issues plaguing the African-American community?
For every post of support for Trayvon, there are two that read:
“Well, I’m tired of us killing each other!”
“I don’t know why y’all worried about what the white man is doing, you need to be worrying about what’s going on every day in the hood!”
And I completely agree, but the problem with that train of thought is simple: Shifting blame to crimes that have been committed brother against brother, sister against sister, in a time when we need to come together to foster a sense of solidarity is counter-productive and broadcasts the disconnect that fractures our community to the world. It screams that we don’t care about racism; we don’t care about gun toting white bastards with superiority complexes menacing young Black boys and girls. Shifting the blame away from the racism and focusing the microscope squarely on the evil that is perpetuated in our own communities does nothing but allow racist, violent criminals like George Zimmerman to get away with murder – literally – and allows the Sanford Police Department to be accessory to murder after the fact with no discernible consequences.
Yes, we need to stop killing our own; we needed to stop killing our own long before Trayvon’s death and will need to stop killing our own long after. Where was the outcry, the mobilization efforts to curtail violence in urban slums across the United States the day before Trayvon was murdered?
I’m the first to say that we need to hold ourselves responsible for the state of Black America. By default, we are often our own worst enemy. That does not mitigate the fact that the root of the state of Black America is not of our own making. Pay close attention. I didn’t say the branches of poverty, the un-nurtured flowers of children living in broken homes, nor the weeds of crime.
I said the root.
Racism, classism, bigotry, psychological and physical slavery, still holds power over our communities. Should that fact be minimized because we have picked up the mantle and turned against ourselves? Does one evil outweigh the other? Should we ignore the fact that we can do everything “right” by society’s rules and still be moving targets?
We can stress education, we can move to a predominantly white gated community, but our children can still be lynched while walking to the convenience store. That is the tragedy of Travyon Martin.
More importantly, isn’t there a time for a level of basic respect? Do you think Trayvon’s family is walking around saying, “Yeah, a White man killed our son, but Black men kill each other every day, so what?”
(Sidenote: I couldn’t care less that his mother is Hispanic, he was White until he gunned down a Black child in cold-blood. Now the mainstream media wants to shift this scum-bag to the Hispanic community, which in all actuality doesn’t prevent Zimmerman from being white; people can be both white and Hispanic. As most know, Hispanic is not a race, but nice try media, now tell it to someone stupid.)
The mentality of those who feel that way diminishes the life of a 17-year-old child simply to make a socio-political point that should’ve, could’ve, would’vebeen made on any other day of the year if they weren’t too busy waiting on a crime such as this to come along so they could talk about how it pales in comparison to what we do to each other.
To those people who think they are showing how conscious, how powerful, how pro-Black they are by attempting to commandeer the conversation away from George Zimmerman’s crime and the systemic racism that encapsulates the Sanford Police Department, I say this:
You are a part of the problem and just as guilty of brainwashing and servitude as you claim the people are who wait on White America to commit crime against us before they act.
As Ancestor El Hajj Malik el-Shabazz (Malcolm X) said in his “Message to the Grassroots”:
“You bleed when the white man says bleed; you bite when the white man says bite; and you bark when the white man says bark. I hate to say this about us, but it’s true.”
Whether they admit it to themselves or not, these very people who are complaining are waiting on White America to act before they let their voices be heard. George Zimmerman executes a child in a vigilante-style killing and is still walking free, and for some reason, instead of mobilizing behind that effort, they want to talk about the crime that happens up the block.
Is Trayvon’s death less tragic because another Black man didn’t pull the trigger?
Or are we taking a playbook from this country that says that Black men by nature are animals, while White America’s crimes can be overlooked?
It’s expected for a White man to kill a Black child, right? So we should just brush past it. What’s not acceptable is for us to murder each other?
I get it – but that’s an extremely flawed, narrow philosophy.
As long as we are willing to turn on each other without a real plan of action, then all we’re doing is adding our voices to the litany of charges against the Black community and contributing to its downfall. They know by this point, that in three weeks’ time, this fervor will have died down. They know that the picket signs will be put away and the outrage will have dwindled down to a few head shakes and maybe some tears. They know that if they just hold on, Black America will go back to the business of destroying itself.
I say we surprise them.
Let’s recreate movements like the Detroit 300 to save our communities and still focus, organize and demand justice for Trayvon Martin – by any means necessary. Our children need to understand that they have been placed in a maze, spoon-fed misery and degradation until they look into the eyes of their brothers and see strangers.
We should use these incidents of violent racism as teachable moments, reflective moments, not deflective moments. Now is not the time to point fingers back at the Black community, but to harness our power and solidarity. If it’s open season on Black men in America, then we need to gather our young men together and show them who the real enemy is – and it’s not each other. If we’re going to carry guns, then there needs to be guns trained at strange White men who follow little Black boys on dark, rainy nights just so they can gun them down with 9 millimeter handguns. George Zimmerman should have known that he was being watched and any false move would be to his detriment.
Yes, I said it and I’m not advocating violence, I’m advocating justice.
The next Trayvon Martin’s life depends on it.
Censorship Britain continuing their attack on Press TV. while the racist fox news channel is still allowed to broadcast their racism and incitement of hate in the U.K
Ofcom has also threatened to wind up Press TV’s offices in London upon a seven-day delay in paying the installments. This comes despite Britain’s illegal financial sanctions against Iranian banks. The sanctions are not mandated by the UN and are against international law.
Moreover, Britain has used the illegal sanctions to also close several Press TV bank accounts in the UK. Britain’s so-called media regulatory body Ofcom says the channel has been fined for airing a 10-second news clip of now fugitive Iranian journalist, Maziar Bahari.
On July 1, 2009, Press TV reported on an armed attack on a Basij base in the Iranian capital. The report included a 10-second clip of an interview conducted with Iranian-born Canadian journalist Maziar Bahari while he was in prison.
Bahari said in the interview that “on Monday, June 15, , I sent a report about the attack against the base, a military base of Basij to Channel 4 News.”
Major state-sponsored British media outlets such as the British Broadcasting Corporations (BBC) and Channel 4 had aired the manipulated footage that showed what appeared to be an incident of unrest near Tehran’s Azadi Square, during which a number of Basij forces were shown shooting at what was claimed by the British media to be ‘peaceful protesters’ although it was evidently not clear who and what the targets were.
Press TV later aired a more detailed version of the same report that clearly showed images of rioters attacking a Basij military base with stones and petrol bombs, while the guards were making great efforts to defuse the situation and prevent assailants from accessing the base’s arms cache.
The extended video clearly showed that the earlier reporting of the state-run BBC and Channel 4 had been biased and distorted as they deliberately failed to show attacks by rioters on the military base which prompted the guards at the military base to react.
Bahari was released on bail on October 20, 2009 and fled the country. He later claimed that Press TV conducted and filmed the interview in prison without his consent and that his participation in the interview was under duress. He later launched a complaint against the Iranian broadcaster.
Mr. Bahari did not file his complaint until December 21, 2009, some 166 days after the broadcast. This was in violation of Ofcom’s complaints procedure requiring all complaints “be submitted within 20 working days of the broadcast of the program.”
Ofcom accepted the complaint and ruled that the airing of the clip by the Iranian broadcaster breached the regulator’s rules.
In January, Ofcom revoked Press TV Ltd’s license citing administrative reasons for the largely-criticized decision. Ofcom said Press TV Limited did not control the channel’s broadcast in the UK and that is why its license was revoked.
Press TV argued in a letter to Ofcom that if the channel’s London offices did not control the broadcast, why were they fined and if they controlled the broadcast, why was the license revoked. Ofcom never replied to Press TV’s letter, and instead took the channel of the air.
Press TV has been regarded as a critical voice in the UK. Its coverage of the extravagant Royal wedding, the 2011 unrest and London’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan drew anger from the British government.
Wikileaks cables show British Foreign Office officials and US diplomats have discussed ways of limiting Press TV’s media activities.
Ever notice how Sunday Service can be so depressing? Well, this episode of Slave Sermons features some of the saddest sermons ever. Get plenty of tissue before you watch this one.