Obama in Selma

On March 7, 1965, about 600 people gathered to march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala.

This is what happened:

It’s important to remember the history to fully appreciate Obama’s words. Some of us are old enough to remember when this happened. A lot of us weren’t even alive then and see it as ancient history.

Fifty years is a lifetime. But for some of us who watched the persecution and the beatings on television that night a half century ago, it really was only yesterday.

Fox News in France

OK, so you don’t speak French, but if you stick with this, you’ll understand the reaction the people in Europe have to Fox News’s reports that there are places in Europe that are “no-go zones” because they’ve been taken over by Islamists.

The Parisians have come to the same realization that many of us in America have had for years.

Fox News makes you stupid.

Target practice

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In case you’re wondering why some cops have no problem shooting at unarmed black men:

A South Florida family is outraged at North Miami Beach Police after mug shots of African American men were used at a shooting range for police training.

It was an ordinary Saturday morning last month when Sgt. Valerie Deant arrived at the shooting range in Medley, or so she thought.

Deant, who plays clarinet with the Florida Army National Guard’s 13th Army Band, and her fellow soldiers were at the shooting range for their annual weapons qualifications training.

What the soldiers discovered when they entered the range made them angry: mug shots of African American men apparently used as targets by North Miami Beach Police snipers, who had used the range before the guardsmen.

Even more startling for Deant, one of the images was her brother. It was Woody Deant’s mug shot that taken 15 years ago, after he was arrested in connection to a drag race in 2000 that left two people dead. His mug shot was among the pictures of five minorities used as targets by North Miami Beach police, all of them riddled by bullets.

Police around the country say you should always respect their authority. On Los Angeles cop penned an editorial in the Washington Post that said:

Even though it might sound harsh and impolitic, here is the bottom line: if you don’t want to get shot, tased, pepper-sprayed, struck with a baton or thrown to the ground, just do what I tell you. Don’t argue with me, don’t call me names, don’t tell me that I can’t stop you, don’t say I’m a racist pig, don’t threaten that you’ll sue me and take away my badge. Don’t scream at me that you pay my salary, and don’t even think of aggressively walking towards me. Most field stops are complete in minutes. How difficult is it to cooperate for that long?

There’s this demand to respect authority, but when they’re criticized by an authority figure, this happens:

Believing City Hall has betrayed them, cops demonstrated their anger Saturday by turning their backs on Mayor de Blasio as he entered a Brooklyn hospital to pay his respects to two murdered officers.

A startling video shows a hallway at Woodhull Hospital filled with officers silently facing away from de Blasio as he walks a blue gantlet.

What did the mayor do?

Well, one of the things the cops were pissed off at was that the mayor said he told his mixed race son to be careful around police because they tended to get medieval when they dealt with young black men. And de Blasio raised questions about police behavior after one strangled an unarmed black guy to death for selling loose cigarettes on the street. So you see, there are cops who say respect authority when they question you, but don’t respect authority when they themselves are questioned.

And now, we have North Miami cops using mug shots of black guys for target practice.

Respect is earned, not blindly given.

The dispossession of Native Americans

Bill Moyers has retired and ended his run on PBS last week with a discussion on the plight of Native Americans.

I never realized that the Declaration of Independence made a blatantly racist reference to “merciless Indian savages.” When the document that launches a country includes that language, nothing but horror will follow.

Go to the top floor of the Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. and take a look at the exhibit on treaties. It details the holocaust that took place on this continent.