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“Tell Me Again”

Tell me again why we should forget
I see that you haven’t forgotten Pearl Harbor yet
Tell me again why you say you can’t
You paid everyone else for their time in the camps

Tell me again why we should ignore
The many times you said “you’re mama’s a whore”
Tell me again why because we fail to see
The reasons you hung all our men from a tree

Tell me again why our history you choked
For chaining us, killing us, suppressing our vote
Tell me again why we should share your terror
Our enemy’s long been who you see in the mirror

Tell me again why you wouldn’t relent
From calling our ancestors niggers and wench
Tell me again why so we’ll understand
And please with a straight face if you think you can

Tell me again why those little girls died
For once tell the truth not another ‘white lie’
Tell me again why now that you live in fear
It’s about time you felt what we felt all those years

Tell me again why because we’re not insane
We know no one’s cornered the market on pain
Tell me again why is it you find?
When you cry your tears they are wet just like mine

Tell me again why, we pray that you tell
Why when we made your heaven you gave us pure hell
Tell me again why what is your excuse
Why you won’t compensate us for all your abuse

Tell me again why because our ancestors need
To hear that you’re sorry for your hate and greed
Tell me again why, why should we forgive
The ones who detest the mere fact that we live

I’ll tell you why if I may be so bold
We have to forgive you to save our own souls.

From the gospel musical “Reaching For Freedom” by Jay Arrington


In 1981 the trial of Josephus Andersonan, an African American charged with the murder of a white policeman, took place in Mobile. At the end of the case the jury was unable to reach a verdict. This upset members of the Ku Klux Klan who believed that the reason for this was that some members of the jury were African Americans. At a meeting held after the trial, Bennie Hays, the second-highest ranking official in the Klan in Alabama said: “If a black man can get away with killing a white man, we ought to be able to get away with killing a black man.”

Nineteen-year-old Michael Donald was on his way to the store in 1981 when two members of the United Klans of America ( Bennie Hays’s son, Henry Hays, and James Knowles) abducted him, beat him, cut his throat and hung his body from a tree on a residential street in Mobile, Ala.

A short investigation took place with the local police claiming that Donald had been murdered over a disagreement with a drugs deal. Donald’s mother, Beulah Mae Donald, knowing her son didn’t involve himself with drugs, was determined to get justice. She contacted Jessie Jackson who came to Mobile and led a protest march about the failed police investigation.



Compton School Board Approves AR-15 Rifles for Campus Police | The Atlantic 

The school board in Compton, California, has voted to arm campus police officers with AR-15 rifles, according to the Los Angeles public radio station KPPC. Some parents and students are expressing discomfort, citing the same sorts of concerns sparked by the militarized police force of Ferguson, Missouri. In Compton, the local police union says its officers are hardly alone in seeking such weapons:

Currently, the following School Districts authorize their Police Officers to deploy these weapons; Los Angeles School PD, Baldwin Park School PD, Santa Ana School PD, Fontana School PD, San Bernandino School PD.

The police union goes on to defend the semi-automatic rifle for campus police officers:

If we encounter an active mass murderer on campus with a rifle or body armor, our officers may not adequately be prepared to stop that suspect. School Police Officers will undergo a training course, followed by a shooting proficiency test on a firing range and a written exam. The rifles are designed for increased accuracy and use rifled ammunition than can pierce body armor. The safety of our Students, Staff, and Parents are very important to us.

In a recent New York Times item, Ross Douthat rebutted just that sort of argument.

He says of school shootings:

…the evidence that such sprees are sharply increasing is shaky and debatable, and the evidence that a more militarized police is necessarily crucial to stopping such killers seems thin as well. In Sandy Hook, for instance, the killer committed suicide about ninety seconds after the cops arrived; in Aurora, the killer surrendered to police; at Virginia Tech, the killer shot himself rather than engage with police. (At Columbine, things were more complicated: there were cops surrounding the school who didn’t fully engage until the SWAT teams arrived, which could be a case that the average cop should be trained more like a SWAT member … except that then the SWAT teams moved extremely slowly through the school as well, because even heavily armed and armored cops can be—understandably—loath to rush in without knowing how many active shooters they’re facing.)

From the D.C. sniper (picked up at a rest stop) to the Isla Vista killer (dead by suicide after a car chase), there just aren’t that many recent cases where a spree killer has gone down, Symbionese Liberation Army-style, after a long siege or in a hail of bullets that only a militarized police unit could deliver, or where specialized equipment has made all the difference to the cops. It’s much more common for such killers to either take their own lives or surrender, and when they’ve been stopped by return fire from cops, it’s usually been regular police units rather than SWAT teams that have done the necessary work.

None of this means, again, that SWAT teams shouldn’t exist; it should just cast doubt on the idea that every police department needs SWAT equipment and lots of it, and that arming them accordingly will make all the difference when a psychopath comes calling. 

The campus officers in Compton are expected to be trained and have the new weapons within a month. And the nationwide trend of militarized police officers continues, even in schools with heavily armed city and county police agencies nearby. It’s easy to imagine a lot of areas where extra training would benefit Compton’s school resource officers—and hard to imagine AR-15 training is high on the list. 

(Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons/AmericaWakieWakie)

Furthermore, only white kids shoot up schools.

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