Late Night RNC Open Thread: Shuck’n’ARRGGH

Ghostwriter for Art of the Deal:

Open Thread: Chris Hayes Has Apologized for Steve King

sorry about steve king tshirt raygunsite via iowa old lady

(Raygun Products via commentor Iowa Old Lady)

Rep. Steve “The Dumb One” King could not bear to let a whole week of Repub arseholery go on wide broadcast without contributing his own special blend of xenophobia and ignorance to the mix. Per Gawker:

During a discussion of the Republican party’s overwhelmingly white leadership on MSNBC, birther congressman Steve King chimed in on Monday to remind everyone that white people are very good (perhaps even better??) compared to “other sub-groups of people.”

“This whole ‘white people’ business does get a little tired,” said King. “I’d ask you to go back through history and figure out where these contributions that have been made by these categories of people that you’re talking about—where did any other sub-group of people contribute more to civilization?”…

I can see Hayes — not a battler by nature — being too dumbfounded to respond to a statement so wrong on so many levels. But he could have let the other panel members point out how wrong King was, in the moment. That’s how the modern GOP has succeeded so far: by screaming out lies faster than the sane people can rebut them.

Donald “Racially Divisive” Trump: Oh Look There Is An Elephant in the Room!

The Grey Lady goes… as close to there as its recurrent fulminating BothSides fever will permit (and no sooner than time):

[A]mid gloom about Republican prospects in November, Mr. Trump may have endangered the party in a more lasting way: by forging a coalition of white voters driven primarily by themes of hard-right nationalism and cultural identity.

Republicans have wrestled for years with the push and pull of seeking to win over new groups of voters while tending to their overwhelmingly white and conservative base. Now, Mr. Trump’s candidacy may force them into making a fateful choice: whether to fully embrace the Trump model and become, effectively, a party of white identity politics, or to pursue a broader political coalition by repudiating Mr. Trump’s ideas — and many of the voters he has gathered behind his campaign.

In order to build a winning party again, some Republican leaders say, the party will have to disavow Mr. Trump’s exclusionary message, even at the price of driving away voters at the core of the Republican base — perhaps a third or more of the party.

This approach would amount to a highly risky lurch away from the faction that made Mr. Trump the Republican nominee, and toward a community of female, Latino and Asian voters who have never been reliable Republicans. Should the effort falter, and Republicans fail to win a second look from these Democratic-leaning groups, they could find themselves stranded with virtually no base at all.

If they are divided over the proper course forward, Republican leaders agree that a wrenching struggle is coming.

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan predicted that the aftermath of the election would bring “a fight for the soul of our party,” and said Republicans would have to reject the politics of racial resentment, which he called “a loser.”

“Our job is not to preach to a shrinking choir; it’s to win converts,” said Mr. Ryan, who has endorsed Mr. Trump but criticizes his pronouncements with regularity…

The appeal of a Trump-like message may go beyond even the share of primary voters that Mr. Trump captured: Exit polls found solid majorities of Republican primary voters supportive of his pledge to block Muslims from entering the country. In the general election, polls show most voters oppose that plan…

Mr. Trump’s approach is an alluring path to prominence on the right: Already, a handful of up-and-coming Republicans from the party’s conservative wing have moved to court his core voters. Some have argued his message could be more potent in the hands of a less flawed messenger.

Mr. Pence, who sharply criticized some of Mr. Trump’s proposals in the Republican primary race, campaigned hard to join his ticket in the general election.

Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas, a first-term lawmaker who has taken steps toward a future presidential race, argued that the party should be prepared to go further than Mr. Trump and propose new restrictions on even legal immigration…

Speaking of Speaker Ryan:

Mourning in America

Here’s your daily episode of racist, violent, lying, dishonest cops:

Gore Vidal, many years ago- “It is no secret that American police rarely observe the laws of the land when out wilding with each other, and as any candid criminal judge will tell you, perjury is often their native tongue in court. “

Unconscious Bias and the “Oh Shit” Moment

Valued commenter CMM, a former police officer, published an article at Raw Story on the role unconscious bias plays in the split-second decisions cops make to use deadly force — the “oh shit” moment where life and death can hang in the balance. With her permission, here’s an excerpt:

[T]he incidents of the last week have been incredibly traumatic and painful for all “sides,” and I have been in plenty of deep conversations with people trying to think through and understand everything that has happened.

One person asked a seemingly simple question: Is it possible that these shootings are not caused by racism, but by a moment of fear and panic? My answer is that I believe that most of the shootings have happened in a moment of fear and panic — but that panic is driven by underlying racism.

One of my nerdy friends recently described humans as “pattern-matching machines.” The ability to rapidly take in a series of cues — appearance, body language, tone of voice, and more — is a survival trait that goes back to caveman times. We see a set of cues that read “friendly” and we react one way. We see a set of cues that read “danger” and we react another. Some of those cues are hard wired and some are learned.

Here’s where I think all of us who came of age in the United States in the last 50 years can be unconsciously racially biased, without being “racist” in the traditional sense. We have all been steeped since birth in a culture full of racially-driven signifiers…

So yes, it is possible to react out of fear and panic. Most of the shootings of black suspects are not done by officers with KKK-style racism in their hearts. But the fact that black people end up dead in encounters more often than white people IS a product of racism.

As responsible citizens, we can’t just shrug and say, my bad, can’t help it, it’s my subconscious programming. We have to fight it, we have to double check our gut reactions, and we have to understand the conditioning that we have all received. It’s still racism and it is still killing people.

The whole thing is well worth a read, IMO. CMM is absolutely correct that the onus is on us to be aware of and fight our subconscious biases. That’s especially important for people who are walking around with guns strapped to their hips. I’m not sure how that filters into police training, though. Is it just left up to individuals to work this out for themselves? God, I hope not.

Anyway, Vox published a statistic the other day that points a big red blinking neon arrow to at least part of the problem, IMO: Police academies spend 110 hours on firearms and self-defense and 8 hours on conflict management. Seems that cops with better training in de-escalation techniques would be less subject to operating in the “oh shit” moment, when minority citizens might be at risk of dying due to implicit bias.

Maybe that’s a start, anyway. What say you?

Monday Evening Open Thread: Speaking Truth


Somebody‘s having a good week, and it’s not Donald Trump.

Apart from rolling our eyes at the GOP’s Last Worst Hope, what’s on the agenda for the evening?

Another Summary Execution

And the hits keep coming:

It’s happened again.

Chilling cell phone video surfaced Tuesday of two Louisiana cops killing a 37-year-old man selling music outside a Baton Rouge convenience store after an anonymous caller claimed he had a gun.

The police gunfire sparked impassioned protests that continued past midnight outside the store — 24 hours after authorities shot Alton Sterling during a fatal 12:35 a.m. encounter. More than 100 demonstrators shouting “no justice, no peace” clogged the street, setting off fireworks and blocking an intersection to protest Sterling’s death.

The grim 48-second cell phone video of the killing outside Triple S Food Mart shows two police officers tackling and wrestling a heavy-set man in a red shirt against the hood of a car before throwing him to the pavement.

“He’s got a gun,” one officer cries while the pair pinned Sterling to the ground.

“You f—–g move, I swear to God,” the other cop yells, before the two draw their weapons. The terrified bystander turns the camera phone away as five shots ring out — two of which a coroner said struck Sterling in the chest and back.

According to multiple witnesses, they pulled a gun from his pocket after he was dead.

Conveniently, both cops were not wearing their body cams, and they took the convenient store’s surveillance video. The owner of the store was a witness, Alton’s good friend, and allowed him to sell cd’s there, so I don’t even know why the police were there in the first place.