Tag Archives: Twitter

Here’s The History Of NYPD Abuse That Turned Its PR Campaign Into A Twitter Assault

NYPDFrisk

CREDIT: PHOTO POSTED BY OCCUPY WALL STREET’S TWITTER ACCOUNT.

Apparently, it was not the response the NYPD was expecting.  Well done Twitterverse, well done…

Think Progress

The New York Police Department may be showing early signs of reforming its practices, but it still hasn’t come to terms with its image. In a PR gaffe that was seemingly predictable to everyone but the NYPD, the Department put out a call on Twitter for constituents to send positive photos about the Department’s work under the hashtag #myNYPD.

Tweeters documented a litany of alleged encounters that ended with detached retinas, a young black boy with a scarred face, and countless instances of beatings caught on camera:

The campaign had gone so awry by morning that the New York Daily News splashed the headline “Bash Tag” across its front page Wednesday morning.

But even now that Mayor Bill de Blasio has cut back on the rampant stop-and-frisks, Muslim spying, and brutality that became synonymous with former Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s NYPD, the department doesn’t seem to have shed the attitude that prompted NYPD Chief Ray Kelly to declare last year, “You might read something snarky on Twitter, but I could take you right now to 125th Street in Harlem and young men will stop me for my picture and give me a very favorable and friendly greeting.”

And while one of the NYPD’s biggest mistakes was failing to realize that Twitter is an inherently inhospitable forum for glowing public relations, it’s worth taking a look back at the patterns of systemic abuse that underlie the outrage:

Targeting young black and Hispanic men. The NYPD’s systematic campaign against the city’s young minority men is not just evidenced by statistics that show they stopped more young black men in 2011 than there are young black men in the city. The federal judge who ruled the police department’s stop-and-frisk program unconstitutional also found that the department explicitly targeted Hispanic and black men between the ages of 14 and 20 as “the right people,” and established de facto stop quotas that fueled the pervasive tactic.

Aiming to “instill fear” in residents. The administration that thought stop-and-frisk was the answer to everything developed its reputation in part through a campaign of fear. One state senator testified at the trial on NYPD’s stop-and-frisk program that New York Police Department Commissioner Raymond Kelly said his goal was to “instill fear” in young minority men. In one incident, an officer admitted during the trial that he told a 13-year-old to stop “crying like a girl” as he handcuffed and detained him.

Inflicting disproportionate violence. In September, NYPD officers shot two innocent bystanders when they were aiming for a mentally ill man, who they were purportedly intending to subdue with gunshots. Prosecutors later charged the mentally ill man for the injuries to the bystanders. In January, an 84-year-old man was left bloodied and hospitalizedafter he was allegedly beaten by police over a jaywalking stop. And during Occupy Wall Street Protests, officers reportedly used violence “without apparent need or justification” 130 times.

Labeling entire mosques terror cells so it could spy on abuse. One of the greatest reforms of the new NYPD under Mayor Bill de Blasio was disbanding the NYPD’s Demographics Unit, which engaged in pervasive spying of the Muslim community after 9/11. But the unit existed until just six days ago, and among its major accomplishments werelabeling entire mosques terror cells without any evidence of wrongdoing, and paying a 19-year-old informant to “bait” Muslims into criminal activity.

Over-zealous policing. While the vast majority of the rampant police stops under the Bloomberg administration resulted in no arrest at all, the most common reason for arrest was for marijuana, even though public possession of marijuana was already decriminalized in New York. The program intended to thwart gun violence snagged very few guns. And other prominent arrests included a 7-year-old who alleged stole $5 from an elementary school classmate, a street artist thrown to the ground for touching the sidewalk, and a real estate broker arrested for being a “smart ass.”

Arrest for documenting abuse. As evidenced by the most recent campaign, the only reason the public knows about many of the most egregious NYPD incidents is because they were documented by photos or recordings. But many individuals have reported arrests and even beatings by NYPD officer for trying to exercise their First Amendment right to record the police. The department even circulated a “wanted” poster for a couple that was legally recording stop-and-frisks.

4 Comments

Filed under NYPD Police Abuse, Twitter

10 things you need to know today: April 3, 2014

A soldier watches over media before a press conference about a shooting at Fort Hood Military Base in Texas.

A soldier watches over media before a press conference about a shooting at Fort Hood Military Base in Texas. (Drew Anthony Smith/Getty Images)

 

The Week

Another tragic shooting devastates Fort Hood, the U.S. secretly tried to build a “Cuban Twitter,” and more

1. Four dead and 16 injured in Fort Hood shooting
Four people, including the gunman, died in a shooting rampage at Ft. Hood Army base in Texas on Wednesday. Sixteen people — three of whom remain in critical condition — were also injured. Army officials say the shooting spree lasted 20 minutes before Specialist Ivan Lopez turned his privately owned weapon, a .45 caliber Smith and Wesson, on himself. An Iraq war veteran, Lopez was undergoing diagnosis for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder at the time of the shooting. [CNN]

………………………………………………………………………………

2. Egypt vows to pass anti-terrorism laws after bombings
Just a few hours after three explosions killed two people in Cairo, government officials in Egypt said the country would pass legislation aimed at confronting terrorism. The announcement was made by a high-level security committee that included the prime minister. Details on the new law were scant, but Egyptian cabinet members will have a chance to weigh in on the bill. [Reuters]

………………………………………………………………………………

3. AP: U.S. built ‘Cuban Twitter’ to stir political unrest
The United States government built a Twitter-like service in Cuba to stir political unrest and help uncap the country’s strict control of information, according to the Associated Press. The text messaging service, called ZunZuneo, started in 2010 and amassed a following of 40,000 Cubans, who had no idea it was “created by the U.S. government, or that American contractors were gathering their private data in the hope that it might be used for political purposes.” The Americans behind ZunZeneo hoped to inject political messages that would produce protests and create a “Cuban Spring.” ZunZuneo suddenly disappeared in mid-2012 when funding ran out. [Associated Press]

………………………………………………………………………………

4. Ebola virus spreads in Guinea
An unprecedented Ebola epidemic continues to cause widespread panic in the West African country of Guinea, where foreign mining companies have shut down operations and pulled out international staff. More than 80 people have died and 134 have been infected by the hemorrhagic fever so far. Health officials say the lethal infectious disease has reached Guinea’s densely populated capital, Conakry, where more than two million people live. [Reuters]

………………………………………………………………………………

5. Court denies Sandusky sex abuse appeal
Jerry Sandusky, the former Penn State assistant football coach convicted of sexually abusing at least 10 boys, lost his appeal to have his 45-count conviction overturned. The Pennsylvania State Supreme Court rejected Sandusky’s claims that his lawyers weren’t given enough time to prepare, and that prosecutors improperly referenced his decision not to testify at his 2012 trial. The 70-year-old is serving a sentence of at least 30 years. [TIME]

………………………………………………………………………………

6. Los Alamos restarts nuclear-waste shipments
With the peak of wildfire season nearly upon us, Los Alamos National Laboratory has started shipping nuclear waste to a commercial dump site in west Texas. The waste shipments had stopped in February after a truck fire and radiation leak shut down the federal government’s storage facility in southeastern New Mexico. [Fox News]

………………………………………………………………………………

7. Mississippi passes ‘religious freedom bill’
Lawmakers in Mississippi passed a bill that would allow its citizens to dispute laws that they say are in direct conflict with their religious beliefs. Proponents argue that the bill is narrow in focus and won’t result in any discrimination, but detractors say the measure would make it easier to undermine anti-discrimination statutes. The bill would also add “In God we trust” to the state seal. [Los Angeles Times]

………………………………………………………………………………

8. Putins finalize divorce after 30 years of marriage
Russian President Vladimir Putin and his wife, Lyudmila, are officially divorced. The pair was married for 30 years before deciding to call it quits last June. The Putins, who have two adult daughters, say the split is a mutual decision. [USA Today]

………………………………………………………………………………

9. Washington state mudslide death toll climbs
Recovery workers scouring the wreckage left in the wake of the Washington state mudslide have been able to expand their search area now that the floodwaters have receded. The crews have uncovered more remains, bringing the official death toll up to 29. Twenty people are still missing. [The Guardian]

………………………………………………………………………………

10. Amazon wades into the television market
After years of dominating the online retail space, Amazon has now set its sights on a new goal: cornering the television market. The internet behemoth announced that it will be selling a device called Amazon Fire TV, which will allow users to watch Amazon’s video library on their TVs. The move puts the company in direct competition with Roku, Google, and Apple. [New York Times]

7 Comments

Filed under 10 things you need to know today

10 things you need to know today: March 21, 2014

Pro-Russia soldiers march outside a Ukrainian military base in Crimea. 

Pro-Russia soldiers march outside a Ukrainian military base in Crimea. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

The Week

Obama slaps tougher sanctions on Russia, Turkey bans Twitter, and more

1. U.S. strengthens sanctions against Russia over Crimea crisis
President Obama on Thursday announced new economic sanctions against Russian leaders. Obama threatened stiffer penalties if the government of President Vladimir Putin does not stop escalating the crisis in Crimea by massing troops on Ukraine’s border. The Putin administration responded by banning nine American officials, including House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, from entering Russia. [Los Angeles TimesNBC News]
………………………………………………………………………………

2. Turkish leader declares war on Twitter
Twitter users in Turkey ran into widespread disruptions on Thursday after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed to “eradicate” the microblogging site. Erdogan has been trying to block embarrassing social media leaks on a corruption investigation involving four former cabinet ministers. Hashtags such as “#DictatorErdogan” and “#TurkeyBlockedTwitter” promptly became the site’s top trends worldwide. [CNN]
………………………………………………………………………………

3. Military court spares general prison in sexual misconduct case
Army Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair avoided prison time in his sexual assault case and got a $20,000 fine instead. As part of a plea deal, Sinclair admitted to an affair with one subordinate and inappropriate relationships with two others. In exchange, prosecutors dropped the charge that he sexual assaulted a former lover. “The system worked,” Sinclair said. The accuser’s attorney, Jamie Barnett, called the light sentence a “travesty.” [The Washington Post]
………………………………………………………………………………

4. Westboro Baptist Church founder Fred Phelps dies
Pastor Fred Phelps — founder of the virulently anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church — has died of natural causes at age 84, the church said Thursday. The small church has become notorious for picketing military funerals and other public events and calling the deaths of soldiers and even children killed in school shootings punishment for the nation’s acceptance of homosexuality. The church accused the media of “gleefully anticipating” Phelps’ death. [CNN]
………………………………………………………………………………

5. Study paints a bleak picture for the long-term unemployed
Only 11 percent of the long-term unemployed will ever find another steady full-time job, according to a new report by three Princeton University economists. There are now 3.8 million Americans who have been out of work six months or more. That number has tripled since the recession began in late 2007, but has fallen since peaking at 6.8 million in 2010 as many stopped looking and left the labor force. [The Associated Press]
………………………………………………………………………………

6. Nearly every major bank weathers Fed stress tests
Just one of the nation’s 30 biggest banks would be in danger of going under in a severe recession, according to the first round of the Federal Reserve’s annual stress tests. Zions Bancorporation of Salt Lake City was identified as the lone institution that might wind up on the brink, but only under the most extreme of three economic scenarios. Collectively, the banks are in better shape than five years ago. [Los Angeles Times]
………………………………………………………………………………

7. Pistorius is selling his house to pay his lawyers
Oscar Pistorius’ lawyer said Thursday that the Paralympian sprinter is raising money to pay his legal bills by selling the Pretoria house where he shot and killed his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp. The double-amputee track star reportedly is paying his legal team $9,000 a day to defend him against a murder charge for the Valentine’s Day 2013 shooting. Bidding on the house is starting at $459,000. [Agence France-Presse]
………………………………………………………………………………

8. Former Naval Academy athlete found not guilty of sexual assault
A military judge acquitted former United States Naval Academy football player Joshua Tate on charges that he sexually assaulted a fellow midshipman when she was too drunk to consent. Both defense and prosecution lawyers said the case showed the military justice system for handling rape cases was broken. Tate resigned from the Naval Academy late Thursday to avoid expulsion on a lesser charge of making false statements. [The New York Times]
………………………………………………………………………………

9. New photos do not change the story of Kurt Cobain’s death
Seattle police on Thursday released new photos of the scene of Kurt Cobain’s death nearly 20 years ago, but the previously unseen pictures didn’t change the conclusion that the Nirvana frontman committed suicide. The images, showing mostly drug paraphernalia, contained “nothing Earth-shattering,” a police spokeswoman said. The pictures came from several rolls of undeveloped film found by a cold-case detective. [SeattlePI.com]
………………………………………………………………………………

10. NCAA upset eliminates most contenders for Buffett’s $1 billion prize
A flurry of upsets on the first full day of March Madness knocked out 95 percent of the people hoping to win $1 billion from investing genius Warren Buffett for picking a perfect bracket in this year’s NCAA men’s basketball tournament. Dayton’s upset of No. 6 seed Ohio State knocked out 83 percent. Then Harvard upset Cincinnati, and North Dakota State shocked Oklahoma, leaving about five percent of picks still perfect. [The Associated Press]

2 Comments

Filed under 10 things you need to know today

Cracker Barrel Comes To Its Senses And Remembers Who Eats There

I love Wonkette’s posts but this one is EXCEPTIONALLY funny…

Wonkette

Handling the fallout from a celebrity kerfuffle is supposed to be sort of predictable. A sportsball player has an affair or announces he’s in favor of death camps, and all the product licensing deals vanish overnight. That’s how the script is supposed to go. But the poor corporate overlords at Cracker Barrel badly misjudged just how much their clientele would respond to the homophobic, racist comments of Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson. Instead of being put off by his announcement that homosexuals are hellbound and the blacks were much happier under Jim Crow, they ate that shit up, and turned the guy into a bona fide Culture Wars martyr. Hickmerica therefore did not care for Cracker Barrel’s decision Friday to remove some Duck Dynasty products from its stores, and so an instant Twitter shitstorm ensued, and a “Boycott Cracker Barrel” page on faceplace got thousands of “likes” within hours, which is how Americans vote today. Cracker Barrel’s initial statement that it operates “within the ideals of fairness, mutual respect and equal treatment of all people” but acknowledging that it had “removed selected products which we were concerned might offend some of our guests” simply proved that Cracker Barrel, as one discussion thread on Ann Coulter’s official website put it, chose “gays over Christians.”

Great American Mike Huckabee called for a boycott, because Jesus:

“Cracker Barrel has decided it wanted to be the first big corporate sponsor to distance itself from Phil Robertson and in doing so, it has decided it doesn’t want ‘his kind,’ in their stores,” Huckabee said on Facebook. “Well, I’m ‘his kind,’ so they won’t be seeing me at their tables in the future.”

He added: “If it’s his Christian beliefs that make them uncomfortable, then we all need to know.”

Happily, the honchos at the BarrelPlex quickly recognized the error of their ways, and returned all the merch to the shelves, issuing an apology to the butthurt masses to make it absolutely clear that they can continue to stuff their gullets with lard without worrying that the corporation didn’t share their prejudices.

“When we made the decision to remove and evaluate certain Duck Dynasty items, we offended many of our loyal customers. Our intent was to avoid offending, but that’s just what we’ve done.

“You told us we made a mistake. And, you weren’t shy about it. You wrote, you called and you took to social media to express your thoughts and feelings. You flat out told us we were wrong.”

Still, the company’s willingness to briefly treat Robinson as if he’d said something offensive left some good Christians wary, such as this nice lady quoted in a story on Christian Post:

“Cracker Barrel. Was it the almighty dollar that changed your mind? Because now that you opened this can of worms, most Christians want to know exactly where you stand on the issue of homosexuality.”

It is expected that the possibility of backlash is slim, since any potential gay boycott of Cracker Barrel is likely to have as much impact on the company’s bottom line as a tea party boycott of Ebony magazine.

[Fox News / USA Today / Daily Caller]

 

1 Comment

Filed under "Duck Dynasty"

Politicians’ 11 dumbest tweets of 2013

Sen. John McCain holds up his phone to prove he’s not playing poker during a meeting. Hopefully he wasn’t tweeting either. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

The Week

Twitter is one of the few places where the public can get an unadulterated dose of a politician’s true personality. That’s not always a good thing.

In a political world where elected officials’ every statement seems scripted and predictable, it’s almost inexplicable that PR staff and political consultants allow their bosses to run around with cell phones that can immediately blast their innermost musings to the world via social media. But they do. And we’re oh so glad.

These days, Twitter is one of the few places where the public can get an unadulterated dose of a politician’s true personality. And they consistently deliver — often with tweets that stand as towering monuments to their own poor judgment.

Herewith, we present, Politicians’ Dumbest Tweets of 2013.

(Disclaimer: The reservoir of stupid political musings on Twitter by elected officials is broad and deep, so by necessity, this list has been limited to pols doing business in Washington, D.C.)

1. Rep. Raul R. Labrador (R-Idaho)

Moments after a worldwide television audience watched the two stars of the CBS sitcom 2 Broke Girls tear off their waitress uniforms and gyrate on a stripper pole during a Superbowl ad, Rep. Raul Labrador’s Twitter followers were treated to this observation:

“Me likey Broke Girls.”

In Labrador’s defense, it was later reported that the tweet was mistakenly posted by an aide who thought he was posting it to his personal account. Still, if you’re handing over your Twitter account to someone who watches 2 Broke Girls, that’s a bad sign in the first place.

2. Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa)

When the Ohio State Buckeyes bounced the Iowa State Cyclones from the NCAA basketball tournament last March, Rep. Bruce Braley quickly jumped onto his Twitter account to vent his frustration. A bit too quickly, as it turns out.
“It’s official. Ohio State is the luckiest team in the tournament. #TrailOfTears”

The actual Trail of Tears, of course, refers to the forced relocation of tens of thousands of American Indians from their homeland — a shameful episode in American history that left thousands of innocents dead of exposure. Braley would later delete the tweet and say in an apology that he was referring to the “tears of Cyclone fans.”

3. Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas)

So, what’s the best thing about planet Earth? The best the firebrand conservative from Texas could come up with when considering the blessing of the planet last March was this:

“The best thing about the earth is if you poke holes in it oil and gas come out.”

To be honest, Stockman’s Twitter feed is a veritable goldmine of unfiltered musings about whatever happens to be crossing his mind at the moment. This one isn’t too hard to explain, given that his official House website brags that Stockman’s district “contains the highest number per capita of oil and gas refineries and downstream petrochemical plants in the world.”

4. Rep. Yvette D. Clarke (D-N.Y.)

Abraham Lincoln was born on April 12, 1809. And April 12 of this year, Rep. Clarke must have been racking her brain for something to tweet about. Well, how about something simple and factual about one of our nation’s most beloved former presidents? Can’t go wrong there, right?

Abraham #Lincoln was the 14th President of the United States.”

Okay, Rep. Clarke. First of all, nobody is interested in reading the answers to your fourth grader’s history test in their Twitter feed. Add a little value, okay? Second, if you are going to post simple statements of historical fact to Twitter — get the facts right. Lincoln was the 16th president.

5. Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas)

This fall, Secretary of State John Kerry, following a set of marathon meetings that pulled in major figures from some of the most powerful nations on the planet, announced that a preliminary deal had been reached to rein in Iran’s enrichment of uranium. Cornyn, who had frequently spoken out about the dangers of a nuclear-armed Iran, had this to say in a November 23 tweet:

“Amazing what the WH will do to distract attention from O-care.”

Okay, we’ve long ago given up on the idea that politics stops at the water’s edge. But really? Do we need U.S. senators implying that some of our closest allies were hoodwinked into a major deal with Iran in order to provide cover for a botched health care rollout?

6. Valerie Jarrett (D)

Technically, White House advisor Valerie Jarrett was right when she posted the following in October:

“FACT: Nothing in #Obamacare forces people out of their health plans. No change is required unless insurance companies change existing plans.”

But here’s a hint: If defending the accuracy of your statements requires a sentence that begins with the word “Technically,” you’re already in trouble. Jarrett neglected to mention that ObamaCare effectively made many existing health care plans illegal, which meant the insurers didn’t have much choice about changing plans. In the middle of a fight over whether the president had been honest with Americans when he told them “if you like your health plan, you can keep it,” disingenuous tweeting probably isn’t helpful.

7. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.)

The man who thought it would be great if Sarah Palin were one heartbeat away from the presidency should probably have had his cell phone taken away years ago. But McCain apparently still has his, and on February 4, when he heard that Iran’s then-president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad jokingly said he wanted to be the first Iranian in space, the senator got busy tweeting.

“So Ahmadinejad wants to be the first Iranian in space – wasn’t he just there last week?”

Seems pretty harmless, if a bit random, until you see that McCain linked the tweet to a news article headlined “Iran Launches Monkey into Space.” Did we mention that McCain is a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee?

8. Republican National Committee

On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks took a seat on a bus, and then refused to give it up when another woman told her to. Parks was black and the woman who wanted the seat was white, and the rest of the story is civil rights history. This year, the Republican National Committee honored the anniversary of Parks’ refusal on its Twitter feed with a picture of Parks and a quoted her saying, “You must never be fearful about what you are doing when it is right.” The RNC added:

Today we remember Rosa Parks’ bold stand and her role in ending racism.”

The news that racism had ended came as a shock to the Twitter community. But rather than responding with joy and celebration, the Twitterverse heaped ridicule on the RNC in thousands of posts to the ironic hashtag #racismendedwhen.

9. Rep. Juan Vargas (D-Calif.)

Everybody makes a typo sometimes, but what Rep. Vargas posted to his Twitter feed about an event he attended last fall was so cringe-inducingly awful it must have made him consider hiring a full-time copyeditor:

“Providing the open remarks at my briefing that brought awareness of the sexual exploration of our children”

The kicker here is that the tweet remained live on the congressman’s feed for eight weeks before someone decided it might be a good idea to erase it.

10. Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa)

The tweet coming out of the office of Iowan Steve King on June 13 sounded like a call for help:

“20 brazen self-professed illegal aliens have just invaded my DC office. Obama’s lawless order gives them de facto immunity from U.S. law.”

Anyone who rushed to King’s office to try to rescue the endangered congressman would have been justly puzzled on arrival to find that rather than a violent mob, his office was filled with high school students — many proudly wearing their graduation robes — who were seeking to speak with King about his stand on the immigration bill.

11. Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas)

Yes, Stockman again. You really can’t go to the well too often with an account as prolific as his. This one came out early this year, from his reelection account, and touted the wording of his new campaign bumper sticker:

“Our campaign bumper sticker: If babies had guns, they wouldn’t be aborted.”

Set aside the fact that doctors have been shot and killed for performing legal abortions for a moment and marvel at the sheer weirdness of the image Stockman is creating here. Is this really a dumb tweet, or is Stockman some sort of undercover performance artist, gleefully trolling the Twitterverse? It remains to be seen, but he’ll surely provide more material to judge by in 2014.

 

4 Comments

Filed under Politicians' Tweets

Racist Tea Partiers Claim African Americans Take Advantage of Slavery

racism-builtit

Politicus USA

Human beings like to commemorate or celebrate a past important event that occurred on the same date of the year as the initial event to either remind themselves of something they never want to repeat, or fondly recall a better time in their lives. This past week an anniversary came and went that should be a reminder of a shameful practice that lingered in America 89 years after Founding Father Thomas Jefferson wrote that “all men are created equal,” and the day should have celebrated that slavery finally came to an official end. The 13th Amendment ended slavery in America in 1865, and the day was remembered by a teabag leader who admonished African Americans to stop complaining their ancestors were indentured servants.

Americans are typically not welcoming to immigrants to this country, and many different groups who came seeking a better life were discriminated against whether they were Italians, Asians, Russians, Hispanics, Germans, or Irish, but they were never bought and sold, kept as property, or treated like Africans who did not come to this country of their own accord or to seek a better life. Despite historical records documenting the horrid treatment of Africans captured in their native lands, shipped to America, and sold to Americans who literally treated them worse than draft animals, there has always been a segment of the population attempting to delegitimize the horrors of slavery. Indeed, there are still racists in America who regard African Americans as inferior, and they celebrate and mourn their loss in the  Civil War the Confederacy fought to preserve their right to keep other human beings to buy, sell, and toil to increase the wealth of white people.

Last Wednesday, on the anniversary of the official end of slavery in America, a teabag leader from New Mexico sparked a minorcontroversy when she suggested that African Americans take advantage of the horrid legacy of slavery to garner some kind of benefits from the rest of America, probably the government as if it is owed to them. The teabagger, Glynis Racine of the Lincoln County Tea Party Patriots took to social media outlet Twitter to send a message via an image suggesting that African Americans “bitch and moan about how the world owes them a living” because their ancestors were slaves. She also had the temerity to state Irish immigrants’ experience in America was worse than African slaves. The Tweet read, “American history month. Forgotten facts,” and was accompanied with an image that read, “White Irish slaves were treated worse than any other race in the U.S.,” and then “When is the last time you heard an Irishman bitching and moaning about how the world owes them a living?”

Racine deleted the Tweet fairly soon after posting it, but the damage was already done and exposed her as a racist. The implication that African Americans, all African Americans, “bitch and moan” about the world owing them a living is as outrageous as it is racist and infuriating. To make matters worse, Racine responded to her detractors and reiterated that Irish immigrants were treated worse than African slaves and said, “It’s time to move on.” Sadly, her sentiment is not isolated to racist teabaggers and is the kind of fear-mongering and race-baiting Fox News and every Republican candidate for president parroted throughout the primary season in 2012.

Continue reading here…

 

3 Comments

Filed under U.S. Politics

So, What Happened To The PR Exec Who Tweeted White People Can’t Get AIDS?

Post image for So, What Happened To The PR Exec Who Tweeted White People Can’t Get AIDS?

Using Twitter can sometimes get you in a heap of trouble…if you are a caricature of a ding-bat…

The New Civil Rights Movement

Justine Sacco sent a horrific tweet from London just before boarding a plane to Cape Town, South Africa yesterday. By the time her flight was over, so was her career. Yes, Justine Sacco has been sacked.

Sacco, at the time the head of Public Relations for IAC, one of the world’s largest internet companies, tweeted:

“Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just kidding. I’m white!”

IAC is home to major corporations, including Match.com, Vimeo, HomeAdvisor, Chemistry.com, the Daily Beast, OK Cupid, Dictionary.com. UrbanSpoon, Ask.com, and  dozens of others.

Sacco even described herself as a “troublemaker on the side” in her own Twitter bio — an account that has since been deleted.

Justine Sacco (JustineSacco) on Twitter-1

 

Once her tweet was seen by some of the internet’s most powerful, like Buzzfeed’s Andrew Kaczynski, it was only a matter of minutes for it to literally be seen around the world.

Sacco’s name was quickly scrubbed from her employer’s website, even before her plane landed. An Archive.org cached copy of the page from September clearly shows her name used to appear on that page.

In a statement to The New Civil Rights Movement, IAC this afternoon wrote:

The offensive comment does not reflect the views and values of IAC. We take this issue very seriously, and we have parted ways with the employee in question.

There is no excuse for the hateful statements that have been made and we condemn them unequivocally. We hope, however, that time and action, and the forgiving human spirit, will not result in the wholesale condemnation of an individual who we have otherwise known to be a decent person at core.

One enterprising individual in Cape Town who goes by the name of @Zac_R on Twitter, decided to actually meet Sacco when she landed. He even spoke with her father, whom he says reminds him “of the many (often racist) South Africans I met while living in Australia, who couldn’t embrace change.”

Here are a few more insightful tweets he sent last night:

 

 

And indeed, JustineSacco.com has been registered to Aid for Africa, “a unique partnership of some 85 select charities, all dedicated to solving the complex, inter-related challenges facing Sub Saharan Africa.”

So, at least something good has come of what was deemed the worst tweet of all time.

 

1 Comment

Filed under Racism, Twitter Jerks

10 things you need to know today: December 13, 2013

Kim Jong Un's uncle was accused of being a "traitor for all ages."

Kim Jong Un’s uncle was accused of being a “traitor for all ages.” (AP Photo/Ahn Young-Joon)

The Week

The House passes a two-year budget truce, North Korea says it executed Kim Jong Un’s uncle, and more

1. House approves budget compromise
The House passed a two-year bipartisan budget deal on Thursday as Congress wrapped up its business for the year. The bill, which passed 332-94, is intended to serve as a truce between Republicans and Democrats in their ongoing war over taxes and spending, which has led to government shutdowns and bitter fighting for three years. The vote exposed a GOP rift, with mainstream Republicans slamming Tea Party groups for fighting the compromise. [New York Times]
………………………………………………………………………………

2. Kim Jong Un’s uncle reportedly executed
North Korea announced Friday that Kim Jong Un’s once powerful uncle, Jang Song Thaek, had been executed, days after being purged from the government. State media said Jang had plotted against his nephew, calling him a traitor and “worse than a dog.” Jang helped the untested Kim consolidate power after inheriting it from his late father, Kim Jong Il. Experts differed on whether the execution showed Kim was growing confident, or desperate. [Associated Press]
………………………………………………………………………………

3. American who disappeared in Iran was on rogue CIA trip
Intelligence officials say an American man, Bob Levinson, who disappeared in Iran more than six years ago had been working in a rogue CIA operation. The CIA had said that Levinson, an ex-FBI agent and CIA contractor, wasn’t working for the U.S. when he disappeared in 2007, but emails and documents later surfaced suggesting he had gone to the country while working for the CIA, under the direction of analysts who lacked the authority to send him overseas. [Washington Post]
………………………………………………………………………………

4. Mandela memorial organizers admit error in hiring interpreter
South African officials admitted Thursday they made a mistake and will investigate the hiring of a mentally ill man, Thamsanqa Jantjie, as a sign-language interpreter at Nelson Mandela’s memorial. Jantjie, who waved his arms in meaningless gestures, said he was hallucinating on stage, and that he had been violent in similar episodes in the past. At one point he stood next to President Obama, but was never screened by the Secret Service. [ABC News]
………………………………………………………………………………

5. U.N. reports several chemical weapons attacks in Syria
Chemical weapons have been used in Syria, and not just in the infamous Aug. 21 attack near Damascus that led to a deal to destroy the government’s stockpile, according to a United Nations report released Thursday. Inspectors confirmed four other cases, two of which targeted government soldiers. The report was based on interviews and samples collected despite continued fighting, in the most extensive examination of the evidence of chemical weapons use in Syria to date. [New York Times]
………………………………………………………………………………

6. Newlywed pleads guilty to pushing her husband to his death
A newlywed bride, Jordan Graham, unexpectedly pled guilty Thursday to pushing her husband, Cody Johnson, off a cliff to his death on a trip to Glacier National Park just eight days after their wedding. In exchange for the plea to second-degree murder, prosecutors dropped a first-degree murder charge as well as one count of lying to police. Graham, 22, said she wasn’t thinking about where she was when she pushed Johnson during an argument. [Associated Press]
………………………………………………………………………………

7. Twitter reverses a change to its blocking feature after uproar
Twitter caved to an outcry from users late Thursday, and scrapped a change to its “block” feature. The change briefly allowed people to still see and respond to tweets by users who had blocked them. Opponents to the change complained that it empowered online abusers at their expense. Twitter has reinstated the policy that allows users to prevent people from following them or interacting with their tweets in any way. [Reuters]
………………………………………………………………………………

8. Bangladesh puts Islamist leader to death
Four people were killed in Bangladesh Friday in an outburst of violence over the execution of Islamist leader Abdul Kader Mullah, who was convicted of committing atrocities in the country’s 1971 war of independence from Pakistan. Prosecutors at Mullah’s trial earlier this year accused him of massacring unarmed civilians, calling him the Butcher of Mirpur, a Dhaka suburb. Mullah denied the crimes. [ReutersBBC News]
………………………………………………………………………………

9. Judge orders war memorial cross removed from federal property
A federal judge on Thursday ordered a cross, part of a war memorial, to be removed from federal property on top of San Diego’s Mount Soledad. U.S. District Judge Larry Burns said it was “time for finality,” 22 years after a judge first ordered the 43-foot cross taken down. An appeals court ruled in 2011 that the cross violated the constitutional separation of church and state. The Supreme Court declined to review the case. [Associated Press]
………………………………………………………………………………

10. Beyonce releases surprise album
With no advance notice, Beyonce released a new album overnight. Consumers woke up Friday to find the self-titled “visual album,” with 14 new tracks and 17 music videos, available on iTunes. Beyonce worked on the project secretly with Jay Z, Timbaland, Justin Timberlake, and several other artists, but never said it was in the works. “I didn’t want to release my music the way I’ve done it,” she said. “I am bored with that.” [Los Angeles Times]

3 Comments

Filed under 10 things you need to know today

Selfie-Gate? I think not…

Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron pose for a selfie photo with Denmark’s Prime Minister Helle Thorning Schmidt (center) as First Lady Michelle watches the memorial service
|Getty Images

 

My own opinion to these photos is reserved.  None of the following pictures can tell the true story of an event…

Click here to see  MSNBC’s Chris Hayes’ video discussing the “incident”.

<><><>

Other photos of the Mandela Memorial from the United Kingdom’s Mail One:

First Lady Michelle Obama did not look too pleased as her husband laughed and joked with the Danish PM Helle Thorning-Schmidt

First Lady Michelle Obama did not look too pleased as her husband laughed and joked with the Danish PM Helle Thorning-Schmidt at the memorial service

First Lady Michelle Obama did not look too pleased as her husband laughed and joked with the Danish PM Helle Thorning-Schmidt at the memorial service
Obama waves as he arrives to speak to crowds attending the memorial service for former South African president Nelson Mandela at the FNB Stadium in Soweto near Johannesburg
Obama waves as he arrives to speak to crowds attending the memorial service for former South African president Nelson Mandela at the FNB Stadium in Soweto near Johannesburg

Front-row seats: Chelsea Clinton sits with her parents former president Bill and Hillary Clinton at the memorial service in Johannesburg as George W and Laura Bush look on

Front-row seats: Chelsea Clinton sits with her parents former president Bill and Hillary Clinton at the memorial service in Johannesburg as George W and Laura Bush look on

Former U.S. president Jimmy Carter (far right) sat separately from the other former presidents at the official memorial service in Johannesburg, South Africa

Former U.S. president Jimmy Carter (far right) sat separately from the other former presidents at the official memorial service in Johannesburg, South Africa

Obama and his wife, first lady Michelle look at the official program booklet during the memorial service

Obama and First Lady Michelle look at the official program booklet during the memorial service in Johannesburg

14 Comments

Filed under Mandela Memorial Service

Someone Needed To Say This…

Not everyone feels bad about the Martin Bashir firing, but everyone should read the following piece.  It goes far beyond one person being fired for saying something negative against right-wingers…

Fox News and other networks have gone farther than anything Bashir has said in terms of insults to and about the POTUS, FLOTUS and even Malia Obama.  Not to mention their disdain for the “other”, period.  The following piece says everything I’m thinking and does so in a cohesive and formidable way:

Steve Marmel

So, Martin Bashir is off MSNBC. Because that’s what we on the left do. We love to pride ourselves on taking the high road.

All the while Fox News, or the militant right, or the gun thugs say and do whatever they want to push for things that damage the country or the people within it. Classless things. Bullying behavior. Below the belt shots. Flat out lies. And here we are, patting ourselves for being “better than that.” It’s time to stop.

Martin Bashir quit yesterday. Or was fired. Or resigned willingly. Or was pressured out. I don’t know the specifics and I don’t care. All I see is a strong, furious voice for the left being taken off the air. All I see is the left being told one more time: Be upset, but don’t get TOO upset. It’s time to stop rolling over whenever some harsh, vicious, shallow half-term grifter cries crocodile tears. Because the next day, she’s going to remain horrible and keep doing and pushing for horrible things, as one more person on the left is silent.

Martin Bashir, for all his ham-handedness, was not afraid to throw a forceful punch to make a point. And when he did, it resonated. But because he crossed some imaginary line we make for ourselves – because we have to worry about the feelings of people who accuse the President of “Pallin’ around the terrorists” or using racialist terms like “Blood Libel” – we silence ourselves. Why? Am I supposed to care about the feelings of the Palins, Bachmanns, Goehmerts, Ryans, Pauls and Cruzes of this world? I will not. What they want and what they are doing is far, far worse than anything a Martin Bashir said.Stupid Fox News Quotes

He had every right to be angry. We all do. It’s been five years since the right decided this President didn’t deserve his vision – elected by a landslide TWICE – to be executed. So the right jumped in the mud and started throwing it by the buckets. We have GOT to stop being afraid to be angry. Let our policies be the high road. But let’s stop fighting bad guys with one hand tied behind our back.

You know what’s uglier than what Martin Bashir said?

Cutting SNAP benefits from people who can’t afford it.

Demonizing 47 percent of America as lazy and moochers.

Turning our backs on our veterans and the homeless and the unemployed.

Suppressing votes.

It’s time to accept the inelegant and imperfect messenger in return for a powerful and fierce message that can resonate. We are debating people who – when they scream “You Lie” during the “State of the Union” speech, or point an angry bony finger at the President like he’s some sort of petulant child… they become heroes.

We are debating who – when George Zimmerman shot an unarmed black kid – practically gave him a crown, a cape and a scepter and made him their king.

They should be demonized. Daily. Hourly. Viciously. And we don’t. Why? Because we’re “better than that?”

Stop pretending there’s some advantage to muzzling just how pissed we are, and muzzling just how hard a punch that can be thrown. It’s not just seen as weakness, it is exploited as one. If we don’t want to continue losing ground on issues that matter, we have to stop ceding it.

There will be another Martin Bashir. He will saying something vicious. And some person on the right will boo-hoo about it. And then, that voice of left-wing fury needs to say “Don’t like it? Tough.” And then they need to keep on speaking.

It’s time to stop being afraid to get our hands dirty. It’s time to get angry. Stay Angry. Fight fiercely. And never forget it’s a fight. Because the minute you do… …you’ve lost. - Steve Marmel

9 Comments

Filed under Fox News Distortions, Martin Bashir