• author
    • Kelvin Wade

      Columnist
    • July 18, 2014 in Columnists

    Bigots, buses and bungling the death penalty

    Attorney General Eric Holder, who is black, went on ABC’s “This Week” program last Sunday and said, “There’s a certain level of vehemence, it seems to me, that’s directed at me (and) directed at the president. You know, people talking about taking their country back… There’s a certain racial component to this for some people. I don’t think this is the thing that is a main driver, but for some there’s a racial animus.”

    The fringe right wing went thermonuclear, distorting Holder’s words for political purposes. From the conservative Washington Times: “Eric Holder: ‘Racial animus’ fuels opposition to Obama and me.” Fox News’ Justin Sink, “Holder: Disagreeing with Obama is racist.” The conservative Washington Examiner “Eric Holder sees racism in criticism of White House….again.”

    Go back and read what Holder said and then reread what Fox News’ Justin Sink claimed he said.

    The reason why Holder said that it was some people and not the main driver is that he knows, obviously, that the main opposition from Republicans to a Democratic president is that he’s a Democrat! They have opposing ideologies. Duh. But he believes that some of the vehemence of the opposition for some is racial. That’s not even controversial. Former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, an African-American, made a similar remark about some of the opposition he faced.

    In Alexandra Pelosi’s 2009 documentary “Right America: Feeling Wronged – Some voices from the Campaign Trail” Pelosi interviews a white male voter in Mississippi who says that in the upcoming Presidential election he’s “voting for the white man…McCain.” When asked why he answers, “’Cause I ain’t votin’ for no nigger.” I wonder if those faux outraged right wing critics would think that man has a racial animus. Hmmm. I bet they’d claim he was the only one.

    By pitching the boldfaced lie that Holder accuses EVERY conservative of being racist if they criticize the president, it actually lets bigots in their midst off the hook.

    It is funny the amount of faux outrage on the right about Holder’s remarks. Sounds like some of them may be protesting a bit much. After all, if John Boehner said that some of the people who oppose him are moronic socialist liberals who’ve never had an original thought in their heads, I wouldn’t be offended at all.

    Because I’d know he wasn’t talking about me.

    ******

    Over 50,000 undocumented immigrants from Central America, mostly children, are currently being warehoused and processed along our southern border. Cue hordes of “Deliverance” rejects with poorly spelled signs and inordinate anger rushing down to protest. If these protestors had even a rudimentary understanding of history they’d see just how horrible an image it is for groups of mostly white protestors screaming at busloads of minorities. Protestors even mistakenly halted a bus carrying kids going to a YMCA camp. You know the train has gone off the tracks when Glenn Beck plans to bring soccer balls, teddy bears, food and water down to the detained children and some of his own supporters respond by cussing him out, declaring him a “fake patriot,” saying he supports evil and threatening him with death.

    I don’t want an open border. A nation has to protect its border security for a wide number of reasons. But the people to be angry with are in Washington D.C. If these protestors lived in Central America, they’d be sending their kids to America. Who wouldn’t? Faced with corruption, violence, drug wars and crime, who wouldn’t want to try to give their children a better, safer life?

    We’ve watched immigration reform be derailed again and again. One of the things I admired about President George W. Bush was his willingness to push for immigration reform. (Did I just write ‘admired’ and ‘Bush’ in the same sentence?) But his party’s base killed it, as it has done ever since. Republican Senator Marco ‘Cotton Mouth’ Rubio even embarrassingly opposed his own bill after his base spanked him on the issue.

    Instead of heading south to verbally harangue children, why not head to Washington D.C.? Why not write or call your Congressman? Write and call the President. Yell at them. March on Washington. Let your voice be heard.

    It takes no balls to yell at children.

    ******

    This week, a United States District Court judge ruled California’s death penalty unconstitutional. He concluded that capital punishment in California is so arbitrary and delayed that it amounts to a violation of the Eighth Amendment prohibition against cruel and unusual punishments. What’s been surprising is the lack of public outcry about the decision.

    Perhaps that’s because Californians long ago realized that our “death penalty” was a sham. We were keenly aware that those being sentenced to death were never going to get the needle. In fact, when Californians voted to affirm the death penalty in a 2012 referendum, the vote was 52 to 48 percent. Hardly a ringing endorsement.

    California’s death penalty has been under a moratorium since 2006 and a federal judge ordered the release of thousands of inmates due to overcrowding. The cost of housing so many criminals has been enormous but the cost of executing an inmate was even more.

    It’s been an expensive sick, perverted joke. Richard Ramirez, the Night Stalker, convicted of 13 murders, died of B-cell lymphoma last year after sitting on death row for 23 years. The leading cause of death on California’s death row since 1978 has been natural causes (63) followed by suicide (22). Only 13 men have been executed. Over 40% of California’s death row inmates have been on the row over 19 years.

    This wasn’t cruel and unusual punishment for them. It was cruel and unusual punishment for the victims and us! It was a sadistic mockery to let these horrible people live and even marry while we supported them.

    I hope when this issue winds its way through the appeals that they uphold the ban. There’s no sense having an expensive sham death penalty on the books.

    By the way, the scumbag whose case prompted this decision, Ernest Dwayne Jones, was convicted of raping and murdering his girlfriend’s mother. He left two knives sticking out of her neck. Lovely fellow.

    So go ahead and end death row. Release those inmates to general population. Save us from a bullshit system and save us money at the same time.


      • Madgew

      • July 18, 2014 at 9:17 am
      • Reply

      All terrific points.



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