Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Street Harassment in Detroit and Confederate Thuggery in Georgia

There have been many words written about street harassment, which is usually defined as a man looking at a woman in a way she doesn't like or saying something to her that she doesn't appreciate. For what it's worth I think that for some this is a real problem though I don't think it warrants the heavy hand of state intervention. There are just some people who don't know how to act because they weren't raised right at home. Absent them putting hands on someone or making actual threats to harm a person I think that the police should have more important things to do than arrest men who use bad or insulting pickup lines. Free speech and all that, yada, yada, yada. Well recently in the city of Detroit a woman apparently felt she was street harassed because someone remarked on the size of her posterior. This lady evidently took offense. But rather than engage in a short frank discussion of why she didn't appreciate the remarks or simply remove herself from the area where such untoward language was in use, this lady and/or her friend allegedly decided to take the law into their own hands. And in her world the penalty for such disrespect for her gluteus maximus was death. The only issue, well beside the whole "I'm going to kill you because I don't like what you said to me" thingie, was that the shooters apparently killed a child (teenager) who didn't make the comment in the first place. Reginald Rose-Robinson just happened to have the bad luck to be in the general area. He may or may not have laughed. And now he's dead. Michigan doesn't have a death penalty. And even in states that still have the death penalty I don't think you can receive the death penalty for laughing at a bad joke or ugly comment that someone else makes. 

Detroit police are looking for a female suspect who shot a teenager to death Friday night on Detroit's west side. The woman thought the 17-year-old made a comment about her backside inside a party store. A car she was in pulled up to Robinson and his friends outside and fatally shot him in the head at 6:30 p.m. across from the Zoom gas station at Plymouth and Meyers. Two women walked into the store when a man they didn't know, made his remark. Somebody said 'Damn, she has a big booty' and we all started laughing," said Christopher, a friend of Robinson's. "That person (left), she looked and I guess she thought it was us."

The two women drove up to the boys in a dark sedan a block away and opened fire.

The alleged shooters have since been arrested though at the time of this writing their identities are not public. But Robinson is still dead. And he's dead because some people have such outrageously sensitive egos that anyone who insults them is apparently worthy of the ultimate sanction. That's insane. But apparently there's a lot of insanity going around. We've discussed the ongoing cultural war over the Confederate Battle Flag. When I see someone who wraps themselves in that flag I pretty much know where I stand with them. I do think that they have every right under the First Amendment to make asinine arguments about how they aren't really white supremacists or to wear their loser's flag or to put it on their pickup bumper or to fly it from the highest point on their house. What they don't have the right to do is to put into action the thoughts that flag obviously signals. Two particularly pathetic and dangerous Confederate flag supporters recently discovered that the law really does make a distinction between words and thoughts on the one hand and actions on the other.

A Georgia couple who rode with a Confederate flag-waving group that made armed threats against African-Americans at a child's birthday party were sentenced to prison Monday. Jose "Joe" Torres, was sentenced to 20 years, with 13 years in prison, after a jury convicted him on three counts of aggravated assault, one count of making terroristic threats and one count of violating of Georgia's Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act. Kayla Norton was sentenced to 15 years, with six years in prison. She was convicted on one count of making terroristic threats and one count of violation of the Street Gang Act.

"Many people tried to make the case about simply flying the Confederate Battle Flag," Douglas County District Attorney Brian Fortner said in a statement. "This case was about a group of people riding around our community, drinking alcohol, harassing and intimidating our citizens because of the color of their skin." "The convoy of trucks passed by the victim's residence where the victims were grilling hot dogs and hamburgers while hosting a child's birthday party featuring a bouncy castle, snow-cone machines, and a DJ," the district attorney's office posted on its official Facebook page.

The party-goers said the people in the trucks yelled racial slurs as they passed, the statement said.

The drivers parked the trucks near the house, prosecutors said. Torres was part of a smaller group that "threatened to kill the party goers while repeatedly using derogatory racial slurs against them," said the statement. "Torres, who had retrieved a shotgun from his vehicle, pointed his shotgun at the group of African American party-goers and stated he was going to kill them while his co-defendants (Norton) stated that 'the little ones can get one too,' referring to the young children at the party," the statement said
Video of Monday's sentencing shot by WSB-TV, a CNN affiliate, showed both Torres and Norton breaking down in court as Judge William McClain handed down the sentence.

Norton apologized for her role in the incident saying, "I want you all to know that is not me. That is not me, that is not him. I would never walk up to you and say those words to you. I'm so sorry that happened to you. I am so sorry."

I think that Torres and Norton put on a pretty good show of pretending to be sorry for their actions. I think that they are only sorry they got caught. I would bet good money that those tears stopped abruptly as soon as they were out of court. I can't imagine someone pointing a gun at me and mine and threatening to kill us and later having the sheer unmitigated audacity to look at me and sob that that's not who they are. No. That is exactly who you are. And that is what the Civil War and the next hundred years after the Civil War was all about. White supremacy up to and including murder. What sort of sickos attack a child's birthday party? White supremacists, that's who. In prison, Torres and Norton will no doubt rise up the ranks of white supremacist gangs. When they are released is the time to watch them. Because the next time they have some black people in front of their guns, those black people may not survive.
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