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Public Corruption in Chester County, PA

I believe an unlikely mix of alleged drug trafficking related politicos and alleged white nationalist related politicos united to elect the infamous “Bloc of Four” in the abysmal voter turnout election of 2005. During their four year term the drug business was good again and white nationalists used Coatesville as an example on white supremacist websites like “Stormfront”. Strong community organization and support from law enforcement, in particular Chester County District Attorney Joseph W. Carroll has begun to turn our community around. The Chester County drug trafficking that I believe centers on Coatesville continues and I believe we still have public officials in place that profit from the drug sales. But the people here are amazing and continue to work against the odds to make Coatesville a good place to live.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Watching the trailer for "The Butler"

As I watched the trailer I remembered that President Eisenhower's mother was most likely a light skinned black woman. 
Visitors to Thomas Jefferson's home saw light brown skinned red haired replicas of Jefferson but politely did not acknowledge them. 

The truth is all humans are either all African or part African and part Neanderthal. 

I my favorite painting of Norman Rockwell's is "The Problem We All Live With" It's of 6 year old Ruby Bridges on her way to an all white school in New Orleans on November 14, 1960. She is escorted by U.S. Marshals. 

ArtistNorman Rockwell
TypeOil on canvas
Dimensions91 cm × 150 cm (36 in × 58 in)
LocationNorman Rockwell Museum, Stockbridge, Massachusetts

The white crowd is not visible, as the viewer is looking at the scene from their point of view.[1] “Wikipedia

The Southern States were built with slave labor. Black African slaves that were considered three fifths of a man for political purposes and to excuse the violence of slavery. Slave labor lived on after the Civil War but was not acknowledged for half of the Twentieth Century. The hatred and demeaning of black people lives on to this day:
"There is a difference between blacks and whites — analogous to the difference in intelligence — in psychopathic personality considered as a personality trait. ... For psychopathic personality, the mean and distribution are higher among blacks. The effect of this is that there are more black psychopaths and more psychopathic behavior among blacks."
— Richard Lynn, American Renaissance, 2002

We live in a surreal, very strange country that still has that problem we all live with. 

I recorded Joe Carroll at the Community Information Meeting on Saturday May 8, 2010 at the Second Baptist Church in Coatesville. The occasion was an open discussion between the City of Coatesville community, law enforcement officers, community leaders and church leaders concerning the accidental death of a 13 year old Coatesville youth driving a stolen vehicle and pursued by Coatesville Police the previous Wednesday. I later transcribed what Joe said at that meeting. You can hear it on this post from July 10, 2912 but you're better off reading it as the recording is terrible:

TUESDAY, JULY 10, 2012

Joseph Carroll-"I firmly believe that men of good will speak every language, belong to all races and worship all Gods. We need to replace fear of one another with trust. Hate with understanding. And I believe that the need that precedes that understanding is planted in our souls."

"I think that for the most part most people who meet me feel comfortable with me. Some of you, those who are older than sixty, may remember me as the guy who made pizza in the window of Buddy’s pizza at First and Lincoln Highway back in the seventies. Or coaching basketball and swimming at the YMCA also during the seventies. Many of you have come to my home on Eighth Avenue after I moved here last year or maybe met me on the street since that time. But for many of you all you know about me is that, I'm white and I'm a law enforcement officer and I've been both for a long time. 

But I want to tell you a little bit about how I think. One of the ways I can do that, I think, is by reading a portion of the comments that I made at the dedication ceremony of Zachariah Walker Memorial at 2006. Some of it as I was reading over it last night seems prepared for today.

Here is what I said:
It boggles my mind that race is a problem in our society. The racial differences between us are so insignificant compared to all of the things we share in common that I have trouble figuring out why we care; especially since it has nothing to do with the human spirit, the value of one's life. The things that all of us admire about others like personality, intelligence, love, compassion. But we all know that it’s a problem.

I’m going to give you my ten descriptions of the many different types of prejudice that I have seen and suggest an approach that differs based on different types of prejudice

There is prejudice based on hate and other prejudice based on ignorance. It's all harmful and it can all be hurtful. But it may be more effective to deal with different types of prejudice in different ways.

Even without hate racial prejudice can flow from a simple comfort level with what is familiar. The things in common that people favor organizations and groups to which they feel some connection. How many of us years after we graduate root for out old high school or college team. We might like to see our old high school or the local basketball team win a championship even though we have no connection to it. And even though we have no idea whether the young men and women competing on that team are as deserving as the athletes against which they compete. And if we root for the Eagles, Philly’s or Sixer’s just because they’re from Philadelphia. And as we watch the Olympics hoping that the United States athletes do well just because they are Americans. We don’t know whether they worked as hard as their foreign competitors. We don’t know whether on some absolute basis they are as deserving of the gold metal as someone else. But we would like to believe that the people with whom we have some connection are the best. I think that if you are a student of his work you are more likely to root for an individual regardless of his nationality. But if you know nothing about the athlete you are more likely to support the person who reminds you of you.

It’s a funny quirk of human nature that we look for something of ourselves in others. When we find it we feel more comfortable. Perhaps we’re predisposed to find something we like about that person. Another way to say that, we discriminate based on prejudice. I don’t think too many people would waste time worrying about what sports team people support nor are they likely to find something immoral or evil about that decision making process. But things can get ugly in a hurry when we use the same selection process looking for something of ourselves in others and discriminate in more important matters.

I’m not suggesting that there is anything wrong in feeling comfort with people like ourselves. We all grew up in families were everyone else in the household had a similar background and experiences as our own. In most households there is likely only one race represented, probably only one religion, probably only one language and probably only a few national heritages of significance.

Is there something wrong or immoral about someone of Polish decent wanting to go into a Polish American Club? Is there something inherently evil about an Italian Social Club?  Is a Catholic organization like the Knights of Columbus subversive because it requires you to be Catholic before you can join? Is there something wrong with an organization that wants to promote the welfare of one race or nationality or gender or religion while ignoring the welfare of others who pay the same price? 

Even men and women of good will disagree on exactly where desire to be with people like ourselves flows from innocent pride and simple comfort or something harmful.

Racial prejudice can take many forms. In its simplest and most evil incarnation some people hate others because of their race. I don’t think that’s the natural course that God intended for us but we all know people like that exist. Maybe they hate because they have been taught to do so by people that they trust. Maybe they feel they were mistreated by a member of a different race and assume because people have a similar physical appearance and similarities other members of that race will do likewise given the opportunity. 

I don’t know how to un-teach hate. I think we may have to leave that to God. There are of course many stories where former prejudiced person changes his ways. But it usually takes an event that can’t be staged. An event where certain things are beyond our control, where perhaps the power of God works through someone who shows love and concern when the person expected hate and contempt.

But hate is not the only cause of prejudice. Though not as highly objectionable; people sometimes have a fear for their safety based concern of others prejudiced against them because of their race. I know white men and women who seem to be in their daily lives to be completely color blind. Nationality and race don’t seem to affect their choice of friends or their future lovers. Yet I know that some of them would be apprehensive walking Merchant Street at midnight. They may explain that they read the crime statistics and note that violence is more likely there than in their own neighborhood. But I wonder sometimes if they don’t feel that they are a little less safe in a black neighborhood because they are white.  Not because they have any animosity towards blacks but because they feel a black man will have it against them.

I think that all of us at one time or another might have worried about whether we would be accepted if we were a very small minority in a certain situation.  I can imagine how a job applicant would feel approaching an interview in a company that had no other members of his race on the staff. They might wonder whether there was some racially related reason for the apparent discrepancy between the makeup of the company and the makeup of society as a whole and if someone in that position did not get the job they applied for it’s understandable that they might question whether the interviews reaction to their race conscious or unconscious played a part in their decision.

I know that some people even those who are not prejudiced themselves become apprehensive when someone not of their race is going to make an important decision that affects them. Perhaps a black or Latino defendant would become concerned that they won’t be treated fairly by a white prosecutor or a white judge. Even though that prosecutor or judge has never done or said anything to communicate any type of prejudice and the defendant knows nothing about them. And I asked them, is that a rational reaction to something that had happened to others the past or is a prejudice against that individual based on race. And in the finial analysis, does it matter?

Finally we have the unconscious evaluation based on racial factors. Many people may treat people equally in customary forms of race, yet find members of their own race more attractive or desirable from a dating standpoint. Maybe job interviewers really don’t even realize that they are making evaluations based on fashion or tone of voice or some other factor that really has nothing to do with the job. They might be trying very hard to be fair and would be happy to change if they only realized what they were doing.  But it is very difficult to control or cure that which you cannot see.

In my course of my duties as District Attorney I see all types of prejudice every day. I like to think that I am fair but I am sure I have blind spots I don’t recognize too; although I do what I can to overcome that possibility.

I can tell you I am pleased that race is not a factor in the decisions that I have to make. If there is a claim of excessive force by someone who has been arrested I know that the case will be less emotionally charged if the alleged victim and the police officer are of the same race. Since that isolates that factor, no one will be suspicions of a missing part in the decision making process.

In respect to the decision making in the office generally I don’t ask what race victims or the defendants are. I don’t even ask the names because I think that could be sometimes a clue to what their racial background is. Sometimes I know because I see them in court or maybe they pass me on the street... but to the extent that I can I deliberately avoid racial discrimination. There are situations when I wish that I was black or Latino because it would give me instant credibility, probably because of prejudice that I would have in certain situations.

I must tell you that I don’t think best way to eliminate suspicions of prejudice is to get enough black attorneys in my office that the black community feels they are represented. It’s working out that way because of the way I recruit. But I don’t think that does much to help racial issues. If a member of the black community feels that he needs a black prosecutor to be treated fairly, I have failed. But, if I can demonstrate over a period of time that my prosecutors of every race will treat everyone fairly regardless of race than I might have done something to improve things.

I wonder sometimes why God has created different races.  It seems to be the root of so many problems in our society. So why did he saddle us with this curse?  Then I imagine a world where everyone was the same and I think it would be as dull as an all grey rainbow. We are blessed with diversity. We just have to learn to live with it.

I know that many in our society still make decisions about others based about others based on their color more than their character. We no longer have the obvious racism sanctioned by government which was the embodiment of our segregation laws. But the fact that racism is no longer so obvious above the …does not make it any less real and no less evil.

I firmly believe that men of good will speak every language, belong to all races and worship all Gods. We need to replace fear of one another with trust. Hate with understanding. And I believe that the need that precedes that understanding is planted in our souls. 
President John Kennedy said over forty years ago, ‘So, let us not be blind to our differences--but let us also direct attention to our common interests and to the means by which those differences can be resolved... For, in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children's future. And we are all mortal.’
The world may yet see a time when the weak are safe and the strong are just and everyone is treated fairly without regard of race, creed or color. But don’t wait for somebody else to make that happen.

We are all part of one society with the responsibility to participate in finding solutions to the problems that we encounter."

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