Post-Racial America Update

The only thing I’m surprised about when it comes to five Black Lives Matter activists at a vigil in Minneapolis being shot last night by a couple of white men is that it took this long to happen.

Five protesters were shot late Monday night near the Black Lives Matter encampment at the Fourth Precinct police station in north Minneapolis, according to police.

Those who were shot sustained non-life-threatening injuries, said police spokesman John Elder in a statement.

Miski Noor, a media contact for Black Lives Matter, said “a group of white supremacists showed up at the protest, as they have done most nights.”

One of the three counterdemonstrators wore a mask, said Dana Jaehnert, who had been at the protest site since early evening.

When about a dozen protesters attempted to herd the group away from the area, Noor said, they “opened fire on about six protesters,” hitting five of them. Jaehnert said she heard four gunshots.

The shootings occurred at 10:45 p.m. on Morgan Avenue N. about a block north of the precinct station.

The attackers fled. No arrests had been made by midnight Monday. Police said via their Twitter feed that they are searching for three white male suspects.

I used to live in the Twin Cities area and still have friends there.  Minneapolis is a great city, too.  It’s a shame that this happened, and it’s a shame that Jamar Clark had to die to police in the first place, the reason for the vigil.

The protesters, angry over the fatal police shooting of 24-year-old Jamar Clark on Nov. 15, have maintained a presence outside the police station ever since.

Eddie Sutton, Jamar’s brother, issued this statement early Tuesday morning in response to the shootings:

“Thank you to the community for the incredible support you have shown for our family in this difficult time. We appreciate Black Lives Matter for holding it down and keeping the protests peaceful. But in light of tonight’s shootings, the family feels out of imminent concern for the safety of the occupiers, we must get the occupation of the 4th precinct ended and onto the next step.”

I’m thinking the assholes who did this want to go to the “next step” too.

77 replies
  1. 1
    rikyrah says:

    No shock in the least.

  2. 2
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    The only thing I’m surprised about when it comes to five Black Lives Matter activists at a vigil in Minneapolis being shot last night by a couple of white men is that it took this long to happen.

    Let me second that.

  3. 3
    rikyrah says:

    Abuse Charges Against a Former Cop Are Disturbing–as Is the Lack of Media Interest
    By Janine Jackson Nov 22, 2015

    Daniel Holtzclaw is a former Oklahoma City police officer now standing trial on 36 counts, including rape, sexual battery and stalking. Twelve women and one 17-year-old girl have come forward, saying Holtzclaw assaulted them while on patrol. Most of the victims were black, poor and embroiled in the criminal justice system for things like prostitution and drug use—a precarious state Holtzclaw allegedly used to threaten and coerce them.

    As the 17-year-old put it in her testimony, “What am I going to do? Call the cops? He was a cop.”

    The alleged crimes are disturbing; so, too, the evident lack of media interest. Outside of Oklahoma, the case has so far garnered little mainstream attention. A Nexis search indicates neither the New York Times nor Washington Post have printed any original reporting; nor has broadcast network news addressed a story that brings together emergent questions of police violence and rape culture.

  4. 4
    BGinCHI says:

    This will be the only case that a GOP Prez candidate and the NRA spokesweasel do not wish publicly that the protesters had also been armed.

    Because armed black people can’t be Patriots.

  5. 5
    dubo says:

    “Huckabee notes protesters are free, won’t get shot, and jokes “I know there’s some people in the audience that wish they would,” to laughter”

  6. 6
    Betty Cracker says:

    When about a dozen protesters attempted to herd the group away from the area, Noor said, they “opened fire on about six protesters,” hitting five of them. Jaehnert said she heard four gunshots.

    I hope Minnesota doesn’t have a “Stand Your Ground” law. If they do, the attackers might get away with it on the grounds that they felt intimidating during the attempted herding.

  7. 7
    john b says:

    @Betty Cracker: The fact that the victims are still alive (thankfully) I would hope means that they can’t be demonized quite as easily as Trayvon Martin or Michael Brown.

  8. 8
    Rafer Janders says:

    I’m kind of confused by that news article: nowhere does it say this was a terrorist attack. If, say, five participants at a Trump rally had been shot by a group of Muslim men, “Terror in the Heartland” would have been the headline on every cable channel on all week, and we’d be half-way to martial law. But shoot a group of African-Americans at a peaceful political protest? Automatically Not Terrorism.

  9. 9
    NobodySpecial says:

    In the meantime, for the first time in history, a Chicago cop is getting charged with murder over shooting someone on duty. This story doesn’t specify the charges, but today’s Sun-Times says they’re going to indict for first degree murder.

  10. 10
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @john b: You way overestimate how low Limbaugh and company can go.

  11. 11
    Sherparick says:

    Reading the stories, it appears from the initial stories that the police on hand were (un)surprisingly unconcerned about the aggravated assault/attempted murder of the BLM protesters.

    Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, this was happening.

    I read in the comments by one Russian professor that Putin wants to return to a 19th century world of “might make right” and as the Athenians emissary told the Melians ” while the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must.” Of course that all ended so well in 1914.;_ylt=A0LEVvztfVRWI2cAKAEnnIlQ;_ylu=X3oDMTEwNzJpNmJwBGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDBHNlYwNyZWwtYm90?p=the+trench+movie&ei=UTF-8&hsimp=yhs-004&hspart=mozilla&fr2=rs-bottom%2Cp%3As%2Cv%3Aw%2Cm%3Aat-s&fr=yhs-mozilla-004

  12. 12
    BGinCHI says:

    @Rafer Janders: What’s wrong with you?

    You have to have White People shitting their pants and crying for Nazi-style anti-democratic tactics for it to be Terrorism.

    Stay focused.

  13. 13
    MomSense says:


    I wish I could say that I can’t believe a candidate for president would say something so horrible, but this year’s crop of Republican candidates are vile.

  14. 14
    Face says:

    they are searching for three white male suspects.

    3 whiteys in Minny? Why not also look for tan colored pebbles on a beach? Or for racists in Missouri? Or women on a quest to lose weight?

  15. 15
  16. 16
    rikyrah says:


    Only reason why this is going through is because the tape was released. And, the State’s Attorney is up for re-election – that woman is crooked/incompetent. Could have charged him anytime during the past year. But, ONLY decided to charge him once the tape was released.

    UH HUH.
    UH HUH.

  17. 17
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Rafer Janders: It was 5 Great American Patriots ™ defending their FREEDOM!!!!

  18. 18
    Sherparick says:

    @NobodySpecial: The defense, likely to be successful, is that, as he shot him sixteen times, he saw a young black man and was really, really, deep in his heart afraid that he would hurt him and his colleagues, because Blacks are like the undead in zombie movies, apparently. The guy had been the subject of 18 prior complaints about his conduct and racial remarks apparently according to the Sun Times article.

  19. 19
    scav says:

    Chicago’s about to get interesting too, what with the Laquan McDonald case and the possible dismissal of the cop that shot Rekia Boyd. That lovely was aquitted for shooting (over his shoulder?!) while off-duty and intervening in a low-leval dispute. Legally acquitted because he acted more than recklessly and should have been chaged with something graver than involuntary manslaughter. Oh, whee.

  20. 20
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @rikyrah: after the judge forced them to.

  21. 21
    Heliopause says:

    I’ve had an interesting morning. I was awoken at about ten to five by a police siren in the alley behind my house about 50 feet from where I was sleeping. Over two hours later and there’s still a police presence back there and I still don’t know what it’s about, but I figure my day can only get better.

    Then we turn on the TV to some local news and the scroll at the bottom of the screen says that WWIII has broken out in Turkey and race war has broken out in Minneapolis. And a college here in Washington state is shutting down for the day due to an online racist threat. So I guess my problems aren’t so big after all.

  22. 22
    BR says:

    There was a good blog post over at Daily Kos the other day about how we need to start fighting back in the way we frame these incidents (and far more) — equality. I think it’s something BLM gets right and we need more of:

  23. 23
    scav says:

    And I forgot to mention that recent little report about how Chicago cops are rarely disciplined after public complaints.

  24. 24
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Heliopause: I had an interesting morning too. Started at 2:40 with my wife climbing out of bed, mumbling jibberish and trying to sweep the bugs out of the bed. Took me 3 tries but I finally convince her there was nothing there at which point she climbed back into bed and 5 secs later was snoring again (never woke up) while I lay there wide awake for 45 mins until I finally gave up and got up.

  25. 25
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Face: Or GOP Klown Kar Kandidates pandering to pants-shitting xenophobes?

  26. 26
    Julie says:

    @Heliopause: Yes, that is my university that cancelled classes today due to online hate speech. It is quite shocking. In my almost 30 year affiliation with the university, nothing remotely like this has ever happened, that I can recall. And in case anyone is wondering we are located on the “blue” side of the state.

  27. 27
    guachi says:

    We should find out what churches and tv networks radicalized these terrorists and then shut them down.

  28. 28
    Mark B. says:

    Thank god we live in America where a bunch of people wearing ski masks and carrying weapons and trying to incite violence is perfectly OK, if they’re white.

  29. 29
    scav says:

    Switched machines (can theoretically link!). For anyone wishing a slightly less gloomy start on the morning but one still thematically related: DNA study finds London was ethnically diverse from start.

  30. 30
    Steeplejack (phone) says:


    Huckabee actually did say that, at an event he attended where there was some mild protest.

  31. 31
    elmo says:


    We should find out what churches and tv networks radicalized these terrorists and then shut them down.

    ::golf clap::

  32. 32
    MomSense says:

    @Steeplejack (phone):

    He also said that the president’s new plan for dealing with domestic terrorism is to make Americans memorize verses from the Quran. Huckabee is really showing his ample ass in this campaign.

  33. 33
    Cacti says:

    Isolated incident, in no way reflective of all US conservatives or white people, etc.

    It’s only non-whites who carry collective racial guilt in the “land of the free”.

  34. 34
    gene108 says:

    Watched the interview at the top of the link.

    A couple of things stand out.

    1. The Black Lives Matter protesters, who chased away the white supremacists did not figure the white supremacists would start shooting or were armed. I am not sure, if the white supremacists were open carrying or conceal carried. Hard to figure out from the news reports, so far. Basically this is a crossroads, where right-wing gun nuts and non-gun owning liberals intersect and the gun-nuts had no problem shooting up the unarmed people. From the person being interviewed, there’s a real disconnect between expectations. The person interviewed thought the gun-nuts were using “firecrackers”, and did not realize they would have guns. No clue on what the gun-nuts* were expecting from the protesters, but clearly they assumed a more violent probable outcome from the confrontation than what the protesters were planning.

    2. This happened outside a police precinct. Where the hell were the cops, when gun shots went off. And why did they come out to “greet” the protesters in riot gear and said “hello” with pepper spray to the protesters faces? I really would love to know, why the police did not react faster, after gun shots were heard outside their precinct.

    * There’s enough of an overlap between gun-nuts and white supremacists, such as Randy Weaver, that until the non-racist gun-nuts stop providing cover for the racists, there should be little distinction.

  35. 35
    SatanicPanic says:

    If this isn’t terrorism I don’t know what is

  36. 36

    @Betty Cracker:

    The weird quirk of Stand Your Ground laws is that you can only claim immunity if you succeed in killing the other person. If you only injure them, you can be prosecuted for attempted murder.

  37. 37
    gene108 says:


    If this isn’t terrorism I don’t know what is

    If the protesters had not chased off the gun-nuts, none of this would have happened. The gun-nuts were peacefully observing the BLM protest, until BLM protesters told them to get lost.

    The gun-nuts got scared, stood their ground and this is the outcome.

    Self-defense is not terrorism.

    Be prepared to see the above coming out from right-wing sources any minute now.

  38. 38
    japa21 says:

    @MomSense: Maybe if more Americans were familiar with what the Quran actually says rather than isolated snippets taken out of context, they would be so anti-Islam.

    Nah, I think I may be overestimating my fellow Americans.

  39. 39
    JPL says:

    @SatanicPanic: As Baud said earlier this morning, they didn’t yell Allah Akbar.

  40. 40
    Mike in NC says:

    Trump triples down on preposterous claim that thousands of Muslims in NJ partied in the streets on 9/11. He never backs down on the lies, so his popularity will only go up.

  41. 41
    HRA says:


    #2 I do not even want to think about it or write it here.

  42. 42
    scav says:

    @japa21: a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest . . . snippets taken out of context are about all they understand of their own foundational text, so it seems foolish to expect otherwise for the other teams scriptures.

  43. 43
    MomSense says:


    Heaven forbid we memorize something as terrifying as “peace be upon you”.

  44. 44
    Sherparick says:

    According to the Guardian Live Blog, the Russian pilots were shot and at least one killed as they parachuted down by the Syrian Turkmen rebels, who are supported by Turkey. There is a slice of Turkey that extends south of Anatolia along the Mediterranean Sea, the place where the ruins of ancient city of Antioch lie. Across the border with in Syria are Turks (called Turkomen), who were on the wrong side of the line drawn by Sykes-Picot and the Treaties of Sevres and Lausanne. These Turks are in rebellion against Assad and also fighting the Kurds, which Turkey likes. So the Russians are bombing them in support of offensive launched against them by Assad’s forces and Hezbollah, which the Turks don’t like and want it stop with a NATO no fly zone. Basically, Syria has so many sides, with so many factions that we could all be fighting each other for centuries, for which there is plenty of precedent in Syria.

  45. 45
    gwangung says:


    This happened outside a police precinct. Where the hell were the cops, when gun shots went off.

    I’m afraid to think….right there on the scene…..

  46. 46
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Mnemosyne (tablet): Maybe you’re just being sarcastic, in which case, please excuse my obtuseness, but that’s not how it works. You can claim SYG whether you kill the person you shot or not. Of course, it makes it a helluva lot easier to win a case if you’re the only surviving witness. But if you can convince a jury that you were in fear for your life, you can win the case whether the shootee survived or not.

    @Sherparick: Often I wish the US had resigned from NATO the day after the Berlin Wall fell. This is one of those days.

  47. 47
    Betty Cracker says:

    @japa21: I’ve read it and find it just as appalling as the King James Bible.

  48. 48
    Sherparick says:

    @gene108: Well, because I suspect most of the cops, who were the object of the protest, were in sympathy with the guys doing the shooting.

    As for the dark place this country is going, I recommend this little piece from the Washington Monthly and how the Republican plan for 2016 is 1) increase white turnout and 2) the overall Republican share of the white vote by painting Muslim Terrorists as the enemy without, and Blacks, Browns, and God denying Gay hippies as the enemy within. All these incidents and protests are all good for the Cruzs and Trumps of the world. http://www.washingtonmonthly.c.....p#comments

  49. 49
    japa21 says:

    @scav: So true. One of the great tragedies of life.

  50. 50

    @Betty Cracker:

    I’m not being sarcastic. What Stand Your Ground does is provide immunity from prosecution if you kill someone, and that’s determined by a judge. You never go to trial in the first place. Claiming self-defense in front of a jury is different than claiming SYG immunity from prosecution.

    Remember that woman in Florida who (initially) got 25 years in prison for firing her gun into the ceiling to scare off her ex? She was not allowed to claim SYG immunity because no one died, and the judge and jury didn’t buy her self-defense claim.

  51. 51
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Sherparick: It sounds as if the US can plausibly claim they don’t have any obligation to support Turkey’s claim in this. Of course it’d lead to a lot of moaning about Obama’s weakness at home.

  52. 52
    Matt McIrvin says:

    …also does encourage Putin to ramp up the “is this bugging you? I’m not touching you” provocations, but that’s all part of the game, I suppose.

  53. 53

    @Betty Cracker:

    Short update: it looks like about 4 months ago, the Florida Supreme Court decided that the burden of proof in a SYG hearing is on the defendant, not the prosecution, based on a gun-waving case. The SYG hearing determines whether or not a case is prosecuted, so there’s no jury.

    I have to head off to work, but I would be very interested to hear if there’s a SYG case where someone got immunity when the victim survived. I haven’t read one, but I usually rely on the Tampa Bay Times database.

    (Also, prosecutors obviously have discretion and can decide whether or not to file a case at all, but that’s not the same as getting immunity from prosecution after a SYG hearing.)

  54. 54
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Mnemosyne (tablet): Ah, now I get it — immunity vs. acquittal / not guilty verdict at trial. But wouldn’t it be theoretically possible for a judge to grant SYG immunity to a shooter even if the shootee lived, citing evidence that the shooter had reasonable fear? I can’t think of a case where that’s happened, but it seems logical (in the insane framing of the SYG laws, I mean).

    ETA: Never mind, in light of the above comment. I will ask some of the local lawyers I know about it.

  55. 55
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Mnemosyne (tablet):

    The weird quirk of Stand Your Ground laws is that you can only claim immunity if you succeed in killing the other person. If you only injure them, you can be prosecuted for attempted murder.

    That’s logic straight out of the rules for determining witches.

    ETA: Notwithstanding the interesting conversation with Betty C.

  56. 56
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    O/T: waiting to watch Presidents Obama and Hollande hold a press conference. It’s on whitehouse dot gov.

    Was supposed to begin at 11:30. The cameras and mics have been turned on, finally, so just moments away. Should be a particularly interesting presser today. Wonder which Villager will come up with the stupidest and/or most offensive question this time.

  57. 57
    Citizen_X says:

    @Mark B.: Seriously. When, in world history, have masked men parading around with guns ever led to anything good? Northern Ireland? The Balkans in the 90s? The Klan?

  58. 58
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Mnemosyne (tablet): The most maddening thing about the Zimmerman case wasn’t that he got off, it’s that initially he wasn’t even arrested. And while SYG wasn’t used in his defense, I get the impression that it was the initial reason there was no push to prosecute him. This is an encouraging change.

  59. 59
    Goblue72 says:

    Black Panthers were right.

  60. 60
    bemused says:

    Thom Hartmann just played the video of the two white supremacists heading to BLM protest (City Pages) on his show.

  61. 61
    kc says:

    @Mnemosyne (tablet):

    The weird quirk of Stand Your Ground laws is that you can only claim immunity if you succeed in killing the other person.


    ETA: I’m pretty sure that is incorrect.

  62. 62
    RaflW says:

    @Rafer Janders: “shoot a group of African-Americans at a peaceful political protest? Automatically Not Terrorism.”

    Well, yes, of course, since it was white people who did the shooting. They are at most just disgruntled. Probably standing their ground since they, uhhhh, own the alley where they were doing their agitating and provoking before being escorted away?

  63. 63
    Paul in KY says:

    @rikyrah: Probably needs to have his name removed from the Foreign Policy school, but (IMO) he shouldn’t have his name ‘erased’ from the University. For good or ill, he was it’s president & then President of U.S.

    His views should never be celebrated or covered up.

  64. 64
    RaflW says:

    @gene108: “This happened outside a police precinct. Where the hell were the cops, when gun shots went off. And why did they come out to “greet” the protesters in riot gear and said “hello” with pepper spray to the protesters faces? I really would love to know, why the police did not react faster, after gun shots were heard outside their precinct.”

    Our delightful MPD is a mess. They have no idea how to do community policing in this situation and have hunkered down as if they are being oppressed by an occupying force (of peaceful blacks, hippies and progressives, religiously liberal ministers, and young people of various colors and identities).
    Our mayor has been basically AWOL for 4 days after issuing a tone deaf statement. Our Chief thinks her officers are protecting the public.

    This is a clusterfuck of epic proportions. Seeing so-called progressive white liberals in leadership being such dolts is seriously depressing.

  65. 65
    Paul in KY says:

    @Betty Cracker: I was going to mention that. Glad you jumped in there.

  66. 66
    RaflW says:


    Most Americans love isolated snippets taken out of context when it comes the the Old and New Testaments (which they claim is, in its entirety, the inerrant word of g-d). Taking the Quran out of context? Mere piffle.

    So, yeah, don’t misunderestimate your fellows.

  67. 67
    jk says:

    I grew up in Minnesota about a million years ago before the Greensboro massacre. Went home from college one weekend, and to a pub for lunch and put some tunes on the juke box. Prince was a big deal in the Twin Cities back then and when the Prince tune started playing the bubbas at the pool table pulled the plug on the juke box and got all huffy about whatever. Never argue with a bubba when they have a pool cue in their hands. Tales from Lake Woebegone you won’t hear from Garrison Keillor. I got the hell out of Minnesota as soon as I had my last credit.

  68. 68
    goblue72 says:

    @jk: The majority of whites are just racist. Even in “liberal” New York City: Mayor De Blasio Loses Support of White New Yorkers (Because He’s Helping Non-White New Yorkers).

    If only white people voted, we’d currently be in the middle of President Romney’s re-election campaign. And Nancy Pelosi would never have been Speaker of the House.

  69. 69
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @goblue72: If only white people voted, the history of the past 50 years would have been profoundly different. I think the last Democratic presidential candidate to win the white vote was Johnson in 1964.

  70. 70
    goblue72 says:

    @Matt McIrvin: I’m not even going to bother Googling that as I’m sure you are completely correct in that. Sadly.

    Fixed: “We have lost the South white vote for a generation forever.” – LBJ

  71. 71
    goblue72 says:

    @Matt McIrvin: Maybe Democrats need to start focusing on voter suppression tactics against white people in suburban and rural areas.

    Challenge the registration and ID for every white person at the polls over the age of 40.

  72. 72
    D58826 says:

    @japa21: Heck the God-botherers and Bible spouters don’t even know what is in THEIR Bible so why should they have any idea what is in the sacred texts of another faith – Muslim, Hindu, etc.

  73. 73
    Calouste says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    Let me open up the ‘Merican dictionary for you and look up the definitions:

    White man shoots someone = self-defense
    Black man shoots someone = criminal
    Muslim shoots someone = terrorist

  74. 74
    john the don says:

    FTR, Marissa Alexander – the Florida woman that claimed to have fired a warning shot – had a SYG / immunity hearing and her claim for immunity was denied.

  75. 75
  76. 76
    Howlin Wolfe says:

    @Face: stupid comment as there are obviously enough people of color in this metropolitan area with a population of 3+ million to put together a weeks long occupation of the 4th precinct. And no one calls it “Minniy”. But basically I don’t see your point. Are you scoffing at Minneapolis for its lack of black and brown people? Maybe you should just stay away.
    ETA They arrested the shooter/terrorists so I guess we don’t all look alike. Somehow the police managed to find them in this white people warehouse.

  77. 77
    Anonymous says:

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