Category Archives: International Relations

Deconstructing the Tragedy/Tangle of Black Lives Matter


(Same ‘ol, same ‘ol racism is not the whole story. It’s much more complex. Ironically, ascendant culture of a group left behind puts that group and others at risk.)

Joshua Beal. 25 year old shot and killed by an off-duty (White) Chicago police officer, 11/5/2016.

19-year-old shot and killed by Chicago police during foot pursuit in West Englewood neighborhood, 11/23/2016.

Black Lives Matter Flag flying on Northwestern University campus in Evanston, IL, just north of Chicago.

1/5/2016. Northwestern University in a Chicago suburb announces two weeks of “student-organized, administration-backed programs” addressing Black Lives Matter. In Chicago, in 2016 there were over 4,000 shootings. Most were of young Black men in poor Black areas. 762 shootings were fatal. Only a few shootings were by police. The great majority were by young Black men. Per Don Babwin (Associated Press, Minneapolis Star Tribune), this was an increase over 2015 of over 1,100 shootings, nearly 300 deaths, more than Los Angeles and NYC combined. The bulk of homicides “were in five of the city’s poorest [Black] neighborhoods on the South and West sides [5 of 22 Chicago police districts], where violent street gangs are most active.”

Young Black males in the United States (14-19) are 21 times more likely to be killed by a police officer than White males of comparable age.
—ProPublica analysis of federally collected data on fatal police shootings, 2010-2012

Although 62 percent of the American population (of some 330 million), whites were only 49 percent of fatal police shootings in the period Jan. 1, 2015 to July 11, 2016. Although only 13 percent of the population, blacks constituted 24 percent of fatal police shootings in the same time period. (2.5x more likely to be shot and killed.) In that time period young black and white men(18-29) were shot and killed in roughly equal numbers—175 vs. 172. Of these, 24 black men were unarmed, 18 whites. Given vastly unequal overall population numbers, young black men were much more likely to be shot and killed by police. Although just 6 percent of the overall population, black men constituted 40 percent of fatal police shootings of unarmed persons during the period. 13 percent of blacks shot during the period were unarmed, versus 7 percent of whites.
—Wesley Lowery article, Washington Post, July 11, 2016

Of 45 police officer-involved shootings in Oakland, CA, 2004-2008, 37 were black, none white. 1/3 of shootings resulted in fatalities. Although no weapons were found in 40 percent of cases, no officers were charged.
—Oakland NAACP reportage

After wallet and cell phone were taken at gunpoint by a young black man he noticed loitering outside his apartment building, [studious-appearing, Wolf notes] Jerry Ford, Jr., University of Houston grad Student and leader in local Black Lives Matter movement, is “suddenly all for police patrolling, protecting his neighborhood.” —September, 2016 news report

They only kill us because of our skin color and our race.”—Ashley Beasley, young Philadelphia woman re police, 9/22/2016

12/12/2016: Two police officers were shot during a highway traffic stop in Georgia Monday night, officials said, the third such incident in two weeks. (22 year old [Black] suspect held.)

“How cheap is black life in these United States of America? This is why the Black Lives Matter movement is so necessary. It will remain so until black lives do, in fact, matter.”—December, 2016, remarks of Black Washington Post reporter, Eugene Robinson, following hung South Carolina jury (11 Whites, 1 Black) in the trial of White police officer, Michael Slager. Following a [broken taillight] stop of Black motorist, Walter Scott, Slager, as evidenced in a video taken by a bystander, calmly from a distance of 8 feet, shot the 50 year old “pudgy” motorist five times in the back, once in the buttock, as he “slowly” ran away, killing him. Slager then dropped his gun by the body to bolster his story that they struggled over it, and he “feared for his life.”

“There’s too much violence in the black community.”… “If you want to deal with this on the black side, you’ve got to teach your children to be respectful to the police, and you’ve got to teach your children that the real danger to them is not the police; the real danger to them, 99 out of 100 times, 9,900 out of 10,000 times, are other black kids who are going to kill them. That’s the way they’re gonna die.”—Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani on Face The Nation, summer 2016.

[Note. FBI statistics show the Black-on-Black murder rate (since 2014) to be approximately 90 percent. White-on-White murder rate for the same period is 82 percent.]

Rodney King, Trayvon Martin, Philando Castille (Black male passenger shot by Hispanic police officer in Minneapolis suburb)… Black male Tulsa motorist shot by White female officer while walking away w/ hands up, Black man selling items on street in Baton Rouge shot by White male officer, Black woman motorist in Texas shot by White male officer, Black motorist in Charlotte, NC (waiting for child at school) shot by Black male officer, ex NFL player Joe McKnight shot by White male in road rage situation, etc. etc.

“Deconstruct” means break it down, sort it out. (So as, hopefully, to better understand.)

After many, many months of pondering, reading, hearing little more insightful than “cops are killing young Black men because they are racist and we all need to self-examine, blah, blah blah,” The Wolf proposes in characteristic fashion to bring rationality, originality, experience, knowledge, research, and unique insight to bear on the tangle of emotions, the as yet unexplained (to anyone’s satisfaction) tragic dynamic giving rise to the Black Lives Matter movement (BLM). I.e., cops (male, female, Black, White, Latino, Asian) shooting Blacks, some unarmed, some walking or running away, having hands up, seeming in no wise deserving of being shot.

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In leaders of nations, as well as families, honesty, fairness, wisdom, forthright brave, correct thinking is to be hoped for as plans are laid, decisions made, action commenced. Insofar as leaders are insecure, fearful, incompetent (the latter a factor in uncertainty and fear), in varying degrees plans, decisions, and actions fall short of ideal.

The topic of this Yowl is grievous outcome when those in positions of highest leadership—president and leadership of the United States—fall short in wisdom, honesty, particularly courage and bravery. 9/11 and its aftermath are the focus. The point made is that incompetence coupled with “wuss” is a formula for disaster in times of crisis.

It may be noted that courage and bravery is never mere reaction, however bold, bad-ass, admirable reaction may be or appear to be. Mere reaction—instinctive fight/flight—is the mode of beasts, not brave, courageous behavior.* Bravery and courage occurs only when there is awareness of danger, threat, one’s fear, and that fear is suppressed.

What transpires when fear cannot be overcome, when one lacks courage, bravery, and competence, when, in sum, one is a bumbling wuss, is explored in this Yowl.

When the leader and leadership group of the modern Free World are bumbling wusses, consequences are dire.

Hang with The Yowling Wolf! Continue reading


YA-O-O-O-W-L! …

(American exceptionalism and misguided [W.] Bush, Obama-aided foreign policy)

A combination of two Greek words—demos (common people, people, the masses), and kratia (rule). Thus, rule by people. More specifically, rule by the common people or masses.

At even a tribal level it is rare that all persons will be allowed to vote. Rather, the demos (voting group) will be all adult males, all adults, or a variation, depending upon who or what is being voted on. Always there are age restrictions. Women are sometimes excluded altogether. Excepting in a family vote, and even then rarely, the demos is never everyone.

The Greek city state of Athens, hailed as the “cradle of democracy,” and later Rome, also a model for modern democracy, never for an instant conceived of all people, the complete masses voting. Women could not vote, nor children. Nor slaves, who vastly outnumbered Roman citizens. Ownership of property was often a voting prerequisite.

The ideal has always been that a thoughtful, informed, deserving demos make up the voting block. Which makes sense.

It did not occur to the Founding Fathers of the new nation of America, extolled to this day for their wisdom and foresight, to allow all adults to vote at the national level. Women were disenfranchised. So were non-property owning adult white males. Notoriously enshrined in the American Constitution, property-owning male African-American freemen were accorded but 2/3rds the vote of white males. Continue reading