Pennsylvania is Shit: Ongoing Series – Voter ID upheld

Pennsylvania is shit. Lets get this straight. And I don’t mean it’s like “oh this is so bad burn this place to the ground”, I mean it like “If God exists, She left here a long time ago because this place is forsaken”.

Philadelphia is the epicenter of this. It’s Golgotha. Working close to the government lets me in a bit on the behind the scenes action.

It’s shit.

For the first installment of “Pennsylvania is Shit”, i’d like to inform you that Judge Robert Simpson, an ambassador of Shit, upheld the voter ID law, stating that “there is no constitutional reason to stop the law from taking effect, despite writing in his decision that he had SYMPATHY for the witnesses.

“At the end of the day, however, I do not have the luxury of deciding this issue based on my sympathy for the witnesses or my esteem for the counsel. Rather, I must analyze the law, and apply it to the evidence of facial unconstitutionality brought forth in the courtroom, tested by our adversarial system,” Simpson wrote.

Here are some facts about the whole voter fraud thing:

4 = number of persons convicted of voter fraud in Pennsylvania since the year 2004, including the time when Gov. Corbett was Attorney General. All 4 cases involved people registering when not eligible.

0 = number of persons convicted of a voter pretending to be someone he or she was not, in other words, the very thing the voter ID law is supposed to prevent, since the year 2004 including the time when Gov. Corbett was Attorney General.

20,000,000 = number of votes cast in Pennsylvania since 2004. That’s 4/20,000,000 votes cast which is 1 in 5,000,000 or 0.00002% of the votes cast. For those readers who are of a betting sort, the odds of winning a state lottery are a much higher 1 in 4,000,000 or 0.00000025.

Once again, minorities are pushed aside and there is nothing we can do about it. The New Jim Crow goes beyond imprisonment, it still exists institutionally within our government.

I leave you with this, which, should have been blasted constantly but the media doesn’t care about minorities or women:

Stop and Frisk Policies Affect Women Too

From the New York Times

Shari Archibald’s black handbag sat at her feet on the sidewalk in front of her Bronx home on a recent summer night. The two male officers crouched over her leather bag and rooted around inside, elbow-deep. One officer fished out a tampon and then a sanitary napkin, crinkling the waxy orange wrapper between his fingers in search of drugs. Next he pulled out a tray of foil-covered pills, Ms. Archibald recalled.

“What’s this?” the officer said, examining the pill packaging stamped “drospirenone/ethinylestradiol.”

“Birth control,” Ms. Archibald remembered saying.

Stop and Frisk is an issue not only in New York City, but in Philadelphia, where I currently reside. Most importantly, despite crime consistently going up in Philadelphia, the police here think the tactic is working.

Philadelphia’s willingness to put police procedures under the microscope has won praise even from the civil rights lawyers who in 2010 filed a class-action lawsuit, accusing police officers of disproportionately stopping African-American and Hispanic men without sufficient cause.

“The city agreed almost immediately after we filed suit to come to the table and discuss an amicable resolution,” said Paul Messing, one of the lawyers, adding that he thought Mayor Michael A. Nutter and other officials “understood that this presented serious constitutional concerns.”

Yet finding the right balance has not been easy. City officials have watched in frustration as homicides have continued to climb. As of late Tuesday, 189 people had been killed in the city this year, compared with 169 at the same time in 2011.

In most cases, Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey said, both victims and perpetrators have been black or Hispanic men. “I think we have to face some realities,” said Mr. Ramsey, who is black. “We certainly do not want to be stopping people without the reasonable suspicion that we need to conduct a stop. But just because someone is complaining, and they want to play the race card, doesn’t mean it’s an inappropriate stop.”

But this isn’t about Philadelphia, it’s about the bolded passage (by the way, having met Commissioner Ramsey, i’m not surprised he said something so terrible). This is about how we’ve made the fact that women of color get frisked invisible, and we need to spread the word that not only is it invasive, but perverse.

Ashanti Galloway, 24, a security guard and day care worker, said she recoiled when an officer recently fumbled through her bag and pulled out a pair of pink Victoria’s Secret underwear and her bra.

“He had my clothes in his hand; it was my panties and my bra,” Ms. Galloway said. “I was upset. I felt violated. Powerless.”

Ms. Galloway, who provided her full name and address but asked The Times to use Ashanti, her middle name, for this article, said she was not frisked on that occasion, though once, last summer, a male officer patted her down.

“A male officer should not have a right to touch me in any sort of manner, even if it’s on the outside of my clothing,” Ms. Galloway said. “We’re girls. They are men. And they are cops. It feels like a way for them to exert power over you.”

or:

Crystal Pope, 22, said she and two female friends were frisked by male officers last year in Harlem Heights. The officers said they were looking for a rapist. It was an early spring evening at about 6:30 p.m. The three women sat talking on a bench near Ms. Pope’s home on 143rd Street when the officers pulled up and asked for identification, she said.

“They tapped around the waistline of my jeans,” Ms. Pope said. “They tapped the back pockets of my jeans, around my buttock. It was kind of disrespectful and degrading. It was uncalled-for. It made no sense. How are you going to stop three females when you are supposedly looking for a male rapist?”

Despite barely finding any guns the  low rate being 0.13% chance of finding one:

The training does not draw a distinction between male and female suspects, Police Inspector Kim Y. Royster said.

“Yes, it’s intrusive, but wherever a weapon can be concealed is where the officer is going to search,” Inspector Royster said. That search is not random; it is based on information provided to an officer, like a detailed description of an armed suspect, or actions that raise an officer’s reasonable suspicion that the woman may be armed, she added.

And although the police stops of women yielded very few guns, they did produce 3,993 arrests last year.

“Safety has no gender,” Inspector Royster said. “When you are talking about the safety of an officer, the first thing he or she is going to do is mitigate that threat.”

Many people, like myself thought a male police officer had to summon a female officer to conduct a frisk, however

That belief, though incorrect, is shared by many women, said Andrea Ritchie, a civil rights lawyer and co-coordinator of Streetwise and Safe, a nonprofit organization that focuses on police practices that affect young lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people who are also members of ethnic minorities.

It is only after a woman is arrested and brought to a police precinct that a female officer is summoned to conduct a “thorough search,” according to the Patrol Guide.

There doesn’t seem to be any end in sight for these horror stories, but maybe by spreading the word, we can start mobilizing some sort of movement to end this practice.

Stop Dehumanizing Our Prisoners: Budget Cuts to Axe Prison Visitations

In efforts to continue being the worst country for human rights, the DC Department of Corrections has

“…moved forward with implementation of a pioneering model for inmate visitation via video conferencing. This technology connects inmates housed at the DC Jail with their visitors via the department’s state-of-the-art Video Visitation Center, located within the DC General Hospital complex.”

You may have read, during Father’s or Mother’s Day, articles about prison visiting programs, such as Get on the Bus, that transport the children of prisoners to facilities so that they may visit their parents.

There is, of course an emotional appeal to this. Watch me do it:

(Photos courtesy of http://www.reuters.com/news/pictures/slideshow?articleId=USRTR31WQP#a=3)

If you have human emotions like the rest of us, you felt some empathy, maybe even cooed a little “aww”. Many people do this, follow it up with a “gosh we should do something about that.” and move on with their lives. By giving the issue 5 seconds of your time, you’ve done “something”, you feel.

Human interest stories are shit, first of all. They don’t accomplish anything. I’ve worked in politics long enough to know that our government officials don’t care. This is what they care about:

See what I highlighted? Costs. I can cut money? Ding, I won. I’m going to be seen as tough on criminals? Cherry on top.

So the DC DOC is doing this, despite the fact that research has shown “prison visitation not only helps improve safety within prisons, but also helps incarcerated people– and their children— have better outcomes when they return home.

Once again, our government takes the short-term “solution” of saving nickels, only to cost them dollars in the future, you know, the dollars that will be spent to quell prison violence, recidivism, and prevent future broken homes.

I can argue on the emotional front. Any normal person would care about this. I CARE about this on the emotional level. I don’t care how much these things will cost. But the language of politicians is the language of money.

Gabby Douglas’ Hair – Enough Already

It’s embarrassing when we decide to hate on a black female role model whom our children (of both genders) should aspire to be like.

After Gabby won her gold medal, us, African-Americans, took to twitter to talk shit about her hair.

Really? If you look at the other gymnasts, they have the same hair-do. In a ponytail and slicked back.

But who cares. Why must we talk down about a positive black role model? She is the first AFRICAN AMERICAN to win a gold medal in gymnastics and we’re talking about her looks. It’s sexist, it’s trifling and it makes others continue to believe that the problem with the black community is ourselves, and not something that’s very complex.

Guess what? We do cause a lot of our problems in our community, and the reaction to Gabby is an example.

If you hated on a 16-year old girl after achieving something you’ll never do, shame on you. Re-evaluate your life.

Fashionista caught up with Gabby’s mom, Natalie Hawkins, in the Olympic Village, and askedher how Gabby felt about it:

She said,”Really?! I won two gold medals and made history and my hair is trending?” So we laughed about it. We made a huge joke out of it and I was quick to try to diffuse that situation. Because I thought, “How ignorant is it of people to comment on her hair and she still has more competitions to go. Are you TRYING to ruin her self confidence? She has to go out there and feel good about herself, and if she feels good about herself on that floor, who are YOU to criticize her? What have YOU done to help contribute to her dream, that you felt it necessary to put it out there so that she could see it.”

But it’s clear that Hawkins, with whom Gabby does not live much of the time, is incredibly (and rightfully) frustrated that her daughter’s hair has sparked discussion:

She gets relaxer but we try not to relax it too much. It’s really been African American women that have come out and attacked her. They don’t know about gymnastics. She has to keep her hair in a ponytail 28-30 hours a week. In gymnastics you’re tumbling around on your hair. You’re falling backwards on it. You’re doing “timers” and your hair is constantly snagging on the mat, and for our hair that’s very detrimental. You’re going into foam pits–and any hair stylist will tell you that foam on African American hair is destructive. It breaks the hair horribly. We had to come up with creative ways to keep [Gabby's] hair looking good. We’ve tried the short hair style, we’ve tried long. We grew her hair out because she preferred long hair. I’m not going to make her cut her hair just to please someone else.

http://jezebel.com/5932579/gabby-douglass-mom-is-fucking-pissed-about-the-hair-critics-are-you-trying-to-ruin-her-self+confidence

Freeh Report Released – Penn State knew about Sandusky

I can’t even bring myself to write a full fledged post about this yet it’s so disgusting. It’s incredibly heart breaking to read this.

Anyway, Penn State hired a law firm of Louis Freeh who is a former FBI director to conduct an independent investigation of what happened during the Sandusky ordeal.

Luckily for us, it really was independent.

From MSNBC:

Penn State football coach Joe Paterno and other university leaders “repeatedly concealed critical facts” relating to Jerry Sandusky’s child sex abuse from authorities, according to Louis Freeh, the former FBI director who conducted an investigation for the university in the Sandusky scandal.

Freeh also found that “although concern to treat the child abuser humanely was expressly stated, no such sentiments were ever expressed” by university officials, including Paterno and the university president, for Sandusky’s victims.

So they felt bad, but didn’t do anything about it. Keep in mind that Sandusky was convicted of 45 counts of child abuse. Who knows how many more children he abused.

But don’t worry, JoePa and the rest of the gang sure felt bad about it!!

It gets worse. Why didn’t they want to stop it?

From MSNBC again:

The report says the main cause of the university’s failure was a desire to avoid bad publicity.

They didn’t want bad publicity. Those children were knowingly abused because the school didn’t want bad publicity…

From the Chronicle:

The most powerful leaders in the university concealed facts and failed to protect children, primarily because they hoped to “avoid bad publicity,” the report finds. But other factors contributed as well, according to the committee. Specifically, the report blames [b]“a culture of reverence for the football program that is ingrained at all levels of the campus community.”

The integrity of their college football program were more important than the lives of these children.

Please let that sit for a minute. Think about that statement for a full 60 seconds.

Goddamn.

It gets worse. From the Chronicle:

Coaches Saw Sandusky Shower With Boys Before 1998
Several Penn State staff members and football coaches regularly saw Sandusky showering with young boys in a Penn State locker building before May 1998, the report says. “None of the individuals interviewed notified their superiors of this behavior,” the report says. One former coach, Richard Anderson, told investigators he often saw Mr. Sandusky with children in the showers, but that he didn’t think the practice was improper.

I bolded everything because holy fucking shit they saw him showering with boys and didn’t do anything about it? Richard Anderson said he didn’t think Sandusky “often showering with children” wasn’t improper?

It gets worse.

  • Mr. Paterno said that “I didn’t know exactly how to handle it and I was afraid to do something that might jeopardize what the university procedure was. So I backed away and turned it over to some other people, people I thought would have a little more expertise than I did. It didn’t work out that way.”
  • Mr. Spanier told the Special Investigative Counsel that he was never told by anyone that the February 2001 incident in the shower involved the sexual abuse of a child but only “horsing around.” He further stated that he never asked what “horsing around” by Sandusky entailed.
  • The evidence shows that these four men also knew about a 1998 criminal investigation of Sandusky relating to suspected sexual misconduct with a young boy in a Penn State football locker room shower. Again, they showed no concern about that victim. The evidence shows that Mr. Paterno was made aware of the 1998 investigation of Sandusky, followed it closely, but failed to take any action, even though Sandusky had been a key member of his coaching staff for almost 30 years, and had an office just steps away from Mr. Paterno’s. [b]At the very least, Mr. Paterno could have alerted the entire football staff, in order to prevent Sandusky from bringing another child into the Lasch Building. Messrs. Spanier, Schultz, Paterno and Curley also failed to alert the Board of Trustees about the 1998 investigation or take any further action against Mr. Sandusky. None of them even spoke to Sandusky about his conduct. In short, nothing was done and Sandusky was allowed to continue with impunity.

These bullet-points all scream the same thing as me, “This could have been stopped.”

If you want to read the rest of the horror, here are the links:

http://chronicle.com/article/A-Guide-to-the-Penn-State/132797/#

http://openchannel.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/07/12/12699159-report-finds-penn-state-president-paterno-concealed-facts-about-sandusky-sex-abuse?lite

Your daily Obama news

Obama is shit, lets get this straight. And so is Romney. But as the election draws near, I’ve been seeing an influx of really bigoted dumb things.

Like this:

http://newsone.com/2024391/obama-utah-fourth-of-july-parade-parody/?omcamp=EMC-CVNL

Obama ‘Crotch-Grabbing’ Parody In Utah Parade Sparks Controversy

An idiot wearing an Obama mask, grabbing his crotch and acting like a stereotype that you see often thanks to sites like Mediatakeout of course. There’s a video included in the link too.

Mediatakeout Update for Today

http://cdn.mediatakeout.com/57144/love-and-hip-hop-drama-the-scrappy-and-stevie-j-fight-scene-was-edited-so-that-scrappy-wouldn-t-violate-his-parole-wanna-know-what-really-happened.html

I unfortunately watch this trainwreck of a show and last night an Atlanta rapper named Scrappy and Stevie J who is some dude that made Pink or someone famous got into a fight over some nonsense. This show sets us back 4000 years. I’m embarrassed for everyone involved.

http://cdn.mediatakeout.com/57139/uh-oh-rihanna-drank-too-much-and-photo-d-throwing-up-while-leaving-the-club-you-gotta-take-it-easy-ma.html

There is also a sick fascination with Rihanna that they have going on too. Let her live her life and stop the misogyny already.

Our Daily “Ratchet” Picture

MTO is also famous for posting black folks looking “ratchet”. We’re setback 1000 more years every time they post things like this. I am really looking for a positive portrayal of black people on this site and in black media in general.

http://cdn.mediatakeout.com/57134/frank-ocean-steps-out-for-the-first-time-since-admitting-he-s-gay-and-he-had-a-good-cover-cause-even-now-he-doesn-t-set-off-our-gaydar.html

This is our daily “We’re really homophobic, y’all” post from them. It’s about Frank Ocean, a rapper who came out recently. Instead of having a positive conversation about homophobia in black and hiphop culture, they just continue to pile it on.

Meh.