Since I don’t really feel like typing any significant fresh content today, I’m going to repost this blog entry from the original Blogspot OH. This post appeared April 19, 2015. It’s been retitled and edited somewhat, because there was dated and irrelevant content in the original post.
Last night, I shared this photo, which randomly popped up on my Facebook feed. A woman I knew in school had posted it with the comment “You’ve been warned. No excuses.” I knew the photo would generate discussion, and it did. Most of my friends were horrified by the photo, although “Papa Smurf” was a notable and predictable outlier. [Papa Smurf is a former friend now… he was a mansplaining pain in my ass one too many times, and I finally advised him to fuck off. I call him Papa Smurf because he was very sanctimonious and enjoyed trying to act like everybody’s daddy.]
I understand the idea behind this sign and I comprehend why a lot of people are behind its sentiment. However, while I get why people agree with it, I think it’s counterproductive to threaten patients before they’ve even been seen. All a sign like this does is tell the pregnant mom who might be using drugs that the doctor would prefer them to go somewhere else for their prenatal care. Indeed, that could be why the sign was posted. OB-GYNs typically pay a lot in malpractice insurance, and a pregnant person with drug issues could potentially have a riskier pregnancy. Of course, a drug abusing mom who is really bad off probably wouldn’t bother with prenatal care anyway.
Those who use drugs recreationally might see a doctor, but if the doctor flat out tells them they will call the law on them, they will very likely avoid medical care. That may be fine and dandy for the doctor who doesn’t have to deal with them, but what about the unborn child? The sign seems to be advocating for the welfare of the unborn baby, but if the doctor scares off the mother, what good does that do? And doesn’t that sort of conflict with what doctors are supposed to be doing, which is providing healthcare to people who need it?
I happen to be pro-choice, but I couldn’t help but notice. As long as abortion is legal in the United States [remember, this was written in 2015], it seems kind of ridiculous to take this sort of attitude, anyway. I mean, the mother to be can terminate her pregnancy if she chooses. Using illegal drugs is against the law, anyway. Why turn it into a crime against the unborn? Why does the fact that the mom to be is pregnant even come into it? She’s breaking the law, so deal with her.
At this point, we don’t force people to see their doctors. People have a hard enough time accessing appropriate medical care for reasons other than being threatened and alienated. This attitude of needing to police private citizens is creepy to me [I really had no idea what was coming, eight years ago, did I?], and in the long run, I don’t think it makes things better for anybody. Of course a pregnant woman shouldn’t be using drugs, and something should be done if she comes up positive on a drug screen. I think the attitude toward her should be more supportive and helpful, not threatening.
Besides… a woman whose newborn baby comes up positive on a drug screen at the hospital is going to be referred to CPS anyway. All that sign does is encourage the mother to avoid seeing doctors and give birth outside of a medical setting.
Here’s another thought. For most medical procedures, physicians must get informed consent before they go ahead with it. I suppose a sign like this informs patients that the doctor(s) at this practice will do random drug screens, and gives them the option of going elsewhere for their prenatal care. But what about health care professionals that do screenings without the patient’s knowledge or consent? Isn’t that a violation of their rights?
I know there have been cases in which mothers have been arrested for having positive drug screens and have gone to court. In South Carolina, there was a big case involving pregnant women, Ferguson v. City of Charleston, who were tested for drugs without their knowledge or consent. It went all the way to the Supreme Court, which ruled that the search in question was unreasonable, especially since the searches had the potential to land someone in jail.
In any case, while I certainly wouldn’t condone a pregnant woman using drugs, and I agree something should be done to help or dissuade drug abuse in pregnant women, I don’t think taking an adversarial, threatening attitude is in the best interest of patients. The goal shouldn’t be to sell mom down the river; it should be to get her appropriate help so she can successfully raise her child. I think it would be hard to do that by threatening patients with getting the police and child protective services involved before they’ve even been seen.
Edited to add in 2023: I don’t know if the photo is real or fake. I just thought the discussion it generated was interesting. You can see the original post here.
Yesterday, I read a sad news story in the Washington Post about a 60 year old woman named Lisa Edwards. Accompanying the story was a picture of Edwards, who in recent years, had been confined to a wheelchair. She had the appearance of a homeless person, with stringy hair and an overall unkempt appearance. I’m sure it was easy for the police who had arrived to forcibly remove her from Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center in Knoxville, Tennessee, where she had just received medical treatment and was released.
Edwards had refused to leave the hospital because she claimed she still felt unwell. Hospital security had called the Knoxville police and asked them to “trespass” her. The police accused Edwards of faking, as she refused to leave under her own power. She told them she couldn’t breathe. They didn’t believe her; one officer accused her of putting on “an act”, saying that all he wanted was some coffee and oatmeal. When she asked for her inhaler, an officer looked in her purse to find it, and offered her a cigarette instead.
Edwards was unable to step into the police van. The cops said they couldn’t lift her, because she was “dead weight”. They didn’t know how true that comment would turn out to be, as Lisa Edwards soon after her encounter with them.
Still, one officer peevishly said, “Listen, I’m not doin’ this today. This is the ‘Lord’s Day’… all I want is some coffee and oatmeal. I’m NOT gonna deal with your mess this morning. We’ve already spent too much time on you. You’re gonna get up here in this van and you’re gonna go to jail. We’re DONE with you.”
When Ms. Edwards said she was going to pass out, the same officer said, “You’re not gonna pass out.”
The cops continued talking among themselves. One of them seemed to be more cautious, and said something along the lines of, “Unfortunately, if she goes over and can’t breathe…” The video footage then shows Ms. Edwards lying on the street in what appear to be hospital scrubs. She begs the police to help her up.
The cops finally manage to get Edwards into a police cruiser. As they were headed to the police department, the officer who was driving noticed that Edwards was unresponsive. Video shows one of them pulling her head back and saying, “I don’t know if she’s fakin’ it or what, but she’s not answering.”
The cop then calls an ambulance for Lisa Edwards. She’s taken back to Fort Sanders Medical Center, where she was placed on life support. The woman later died of the stroke she had repeatedly warned the cops she was about to have, as they accused her of “faking” and ordered her to stop with her “mess”.
Below is video footage of the arrest, which was shared by Inside Edition.
Amazingly enough, even though it’s very clear that the police officers involved in this case were unprofessional and inhumane, the Knox County district attorney general’s office announced Monday that it would not be filing criminal charges against the officers involved. An autopsy revealed that Ms. Edwards died of “natural causes”. Apparently, video surveillance did not show that the cops who were trying to take Edwards into custody did anything to hasten her death.
The district attorney’s office specifically stated “Ms. Edwards was not beaten by the police, she was never subdued, there was no physical struggle between law enforcement and Ms. Edwards, and there was no restraint asphyxia…” I suppose that’s technically true, based on the footage. Still, those cops showed no humanity or mercy toward a fellow human being. They should be deeply ashamed of themselves for their conduct. As of this writing, the four police officers involved with this incident are on paid administrative leave pending an internal investigation.
I don’t know anything about autopsies, nor do I know anything about Lisa Edwards that hasn’t been in the press. However, I do think it’s absolutely heartbreaking that this woman’s life ended in the completely undignified and cruel way it did. She was obviously in distress and needed help. The cops let her down and treated her like an animal. But the cops aren’t the only ones responsible for Lisa Edwards’ horrifying exit from the mortal coil. She was also let down by the medical staff at the hospital.
Naturally, the powers that be at the hospital are covering their asses with the statement that is shown in today’s featured photo. Looks to me like they just wanted to “turf” Lisa Edwards… kick her out of the hospital and make her someone else’s problem.
But Edwards wasn’t just some anonymous stray on the streets of Knoxville. She had a loving family and friends. In fact, she was in the process of moving back to Tennessee from Rhode Island to live with her friends. She wasn’t in good health, having had a stroke in 2019 that left her needing a wheelchair. Still, she had a son, and lived with him and his family until she decided she’d rather live in Tennessee. She had grandchildren she loved, and who loved her. This was not the way Lisa Edward’s last days in life should have been spent.
This isn’t the only outrageous story about callous treatment at the hands of U.S. based emergency services I’ve read of lately. Recently, I’ve been watching a lot of bodycam footage of police and emergency interactions with people in the United States. I’ve seen at least two more videos about police officers and emergency services workers treating people with cruelty and utter contempt.
In December, EMTs in Saginaw County, Illinois were caught being negligent, cruel, and callous to Earl Moore Jr., a man in Illinois who was experiencing alcohol withdrawal needed their help. In this case, the workers were eventually charged with first degree murder, as Mr. Moore died of asphyxia due to being strapped prone to the stretcher.
In another sad case from three years ago, a 26 year old man named Paul Tarashuk died after he was basically dumped by cops and emergency workers who desperately needed their help. Tarashuk suffered from schizoaffective disorder, and was experiencing a psychotic episode when he encountered the police near Orangeburg, South Carolina. A trucker saw a naked Mr. Tarashuk walking toward him, then later realized the man was riding on his rig. He called 911.
The police officer who responded thought Tarashuk was high or drunk. First responders were caught on camera treating Mr. Tarashuk with contempt, demanding his name and saying they were “sleepy”. One of the crew members waved an ammonia capsule under his nose. Finally, the deputy puts Tarashuk in his cruiser and dumps him at a closed gas station, with no shoes or phone. A few hours later, the same ambulance crew picked up Mr. Tarashuk. He was dead.
The above link is a news report, but I actually saw the whole video of raw bodycam footage. The mind boggles as to what has caused these emergency workers to become so completely uncaring and inhumane. The fact that Mr. Tarashuk was naked and disoriented should have been a clue that he was potentially dealing with an organic mental illness that he couldn’t help. But even if he had been high or drunk, this was still no way to treat another human being!
I haven’t had any dealings with police recently. I only had one experience with EMTs, but that was about 30 years ago. I didn’t let them take me to the hospital after I fainted at the Olive Garden in Roanoke, Virginia. These cases definitely make me not want to have anything to do with emergency workers or the police, even if I know they aren’t all like this.
Consider, too, that an ambulance ride in the United States isn’t free of charge. Depending on the town and the mileage, a ride in an ambulance, after insurance pays out, can cost several hundred to thousands of dollars. To be clear, even if the ambulance service in the US was completely free of charge, I’d still expect much more professional conduct from emergency services personnel. But the fact that people pay a lot of money for this kind of treatment is just outrageous.
My heart goes out to the family members and friends of the people in these recent cases who have spent their last hours of life in the care of people who apparently need to find new work. I don’t understand why a person would be attracted to find a job in emergency services if they can’t be moved to care for people, even when it’s the middle of the night or the “Lord’s Day”. It certainly doesn’t make me want to trust that I might find help when I need it, next time I’m in the USA.
I don’t know if things are like this in Germany, although having seen some of them in action, I tend to think not. From what I’ve seen, German emergency personnel are very serious about their jobs. At least it costs a lot less to be medically treated here… whether with respect or contempt.
The featured photo is pretty much a description of how I feel today…
Greetings, blog fans. Happy hump day to you. Today’s big project was originally going to be taking Arran to the vet. I made a morning appointment last week, because I was the one who took him in for his chemo. Because his lymph nodes are swelling again, the vet wants to see him today. I hate going to the vet in the late afternoon. I feel like it spoils the whole day.
Bill was going to drive my Mini to work today, because it’s hard to get Arran in the backseat of the Mini, now that he’s an old man. The car definitely needs to be driven more than it is. Unfortunately, the Mini has been sitting in the garage for too long. The battery died. So now he has to come home later this morning, and I guess that means he’ll be taking Arran to the vet. That suits me fine. I hate going to the vet. I’ll do it, because I love my dogs, but it’s not one of my favorite chores. Especially when the dog has cancer. I guess Arran will get chemo today. Hopefully, it won’t affect him like it did last week.
It’s just as well, anyway, since it means I’ll be home to collect any deliveries that show up today. We are expecting a lightbulb for the oven, new contact lenses for me, and I have also ordered cheese from The Netherlands and my new computer, which is supposed to arrive Friday, but could realistically get here whenever. I look forward to having the new machine.
Yesterday’s music post was surprisingly successful. I probably should do more music instead of writing, but again, my computer is giving me some pretty big issues lately. Sometimes, I think big companies like Apple make their products so they fall apart after a specific period of time. My computers tend to die after four years. I’ve now owned three Mac desktops, not including the one on its way to me. All three basically turned to barely usable crap after four years. And all three are sitting in my office, because we need to dispose of them legally.
My current computer is now at a point at which it really can’t handle multiple tasks. I just spent several idle minutes waiting for the colorful spinning ball to quit spinning. Yesterday, I couldn’t make a decent video to go with my vocal track, because Photo Booth refused to work properly. It appeared to be videoing me, but then there was no video at the end of the song. So I had to use my newer laptop to get the job done, and then I couldn’t get the video to sync properly with the audio.
Anyway… it will be good to have a new computer. This one I’ve been using hasn’t been beaten as hard as my others have been. I actually use my iPad for a lot of things. But when it comes to writing blog posts or anything else, I much prefer to use a desktop computer. I also like to do my recordings on the big computer. So my new “blue” machine needs to get here, pronto. I see it’s just departed Hong Kong, where Apple has a big factory.
Lately, I’ve been hooked on the Audit the Audit videos on YouTube. Unlike Code Blue Cam, which seems to focus on good cops, the Audit the Audit videos seem more geared toward bad ones. They do, on occasion, feature good police officers, but it seems like the videos I’ve seen lately have shown cops who are on power trips.
I think it’s scary how easy it is to get in trouble with the police in the United States. Yesterday, I watched a video involving a 19 year old man who was harassed by the cops for suspected truancy because he had a backpack and was near a school. The guy didn’t want to show the police his identification, so they eventually transported him against his will to a local school, where it was determined that he wasn’t a student there.
Here’s another video I just discovered as I’m writing this… The cops arrested this young man for walking in the street, but then had to let him go.
And now, I’m going to segue into an inappropriate discussion about Ex…
As I watch these crazy ass videos of cops who go too far or just far enough, I wonder how it is that Ex is still on the loose. She’s always looking for “help”, especially of the financial kind. A few days ago, she was back to swooning over Outlander, and she posted this…
Ordinarily, I might just have a giggle at Ex’s assertion that she “needs” to learn to speak Gaelic to her “ancestral relatives”. I’ve been to Scotland several times now, and I have yet to encounter a single Scot who speaks Gaelic exclusively. I did notice, when we were in Ireland, that there were parts of Ireland where some signs were in Gaelic. But I never saw that in Scotland. Maybe she might encounter a Gaelic speaker in the hinterlands of Scotland, where very few people live. I doubt she would ever get to those places, though.
I’m not saying Ex shouldn’t try to learn Gaelic if she wants to do that. Scotland is apparently officially trying to preserve the language. As Ex’s Twitter friend points out, she could even learn some Gaelic for free on Duolingo. Bill uses that app every day for German practice. However, I do think learning Gaelic just so she can “speak to the natives”, is kind of stupid and pretentious. And it’s also something she’s just throwing out there for show, because I highly doubt that even if she ever became fluent in Gaelic, she’d ever use it, even in Scotland.
I probably wouldn’t have posted about this interaction today, save for the last bit of Ex’s second comment. Note where she writes, “Now all I need is a rich sponsor to pay for my trip; I have to bring my three autistic children!!!”
None of her “children” could be described as actual children. She has one son who is now 16 years old and evidently has severe autism. The other four are all legal adults, aged 35, 31, 29, and almost 20. Moreover, while older daughter supposedly has been diagnosed with being “on the spectrum”, it’s not like Ex did anything at all about that until older daughter was herself an adult. The first we heard of her supposed autism/Asperger’s Syndrome was when she was 20 years old. Prior to that, Ex basically described her as “dumb” or “weird”.
I am not kidding. When older daughter was a child, Ex once sent Bill an email that read something along the lines of, “I don’t know what we’re going to do with that girl. She’s just dumb.” Now, she’s acting like her very reason for being is championing all of her children’s hopes and dreams. Her actions don’t match what she says.
I’m not sure who she’s claiming as the third “child” with autism. Maybe it’s her daughter with #3. Who knows? I get the sense that she sees mothering a child with autism as some kind of special badge of honor. If one is “good”, three must be better, right? But even if she has two other adult “children” with autism, they are highly functional. She doesn’t need to label them in a way that implies that they are abnormal, even if technically, they are. One of them is apparently attending graduate school, and the other is reportedly a college student.
As for Ex going anywhere with her “three autistic children”, I don’t see it happening. A year ago, she was moaning about how her youngest child runs away and needs a securely fenced in area so he can be outside without constant supervision. She was trying to crowdfund that project. And she has a habit of buying stuff when she can’t pay her bills. So, I doubt she will ever manage to take this “dream trip” of hers. But she still dreams of finding that “rich uncle” to help her achieve her elusive dreams.
I’d like to know why a “rich sponsor” would give Ex money for a trip to Scotland. What would be the purpose? No one should feel sorry for Ex, though. She makes it sound like she has her hands full with “three autistic children”, but two of the children aren’t actually kids anymore. The other is an older teenager whom, she says, runs away. If that’s the case, then maybe traveling with him isn’t a great idea. Or, perhaps she is exaggerating his condition. At this point, who knows?
I think what is most interesting about Ex’s latest tweets is that, once again, she’s outwardly and openly asking strangers for money. Sure, she does it in sort of a joking, dreaming way, but there’s truth in jest, right? And she has a history of getting people to feel sorry for her, or acting like she’s helping them, when she’s really just trying to make them feel like they have to reciprocate her “kindness”… which isn’t actually kindness at all. She likes it when people “owe” her, even though she isn’t very good about repaying the debts she owes.
So where are the overreaching police where Ex is? I don’t like to see the cops abusing their power, but Ex has been getting away with her shit for so many years. Isn’t it time she got busted for her obvious deceit? Well, I can dream, can’t I?
Anyway… I suppose it’s time to wrap up this post and practice guitar. This slow computer is bringing me down. Hopefully, Arran will have a good vet check. He’s not any worse off this week than he was last week. He just has bigger lymph nodes. I hate canine cancer.
A few days ago, I read articles in both the Washington Post and The New York Timesabout 9 year old Bobbi Wilson, a brilliant and community minded Black girl who lives in New Jersey. Last summer, Bobbi had heard about how lanternflies, an invasive species, were threatening the environment. The lanternflies, which came to the United States via China, ruin crops and damage trees.
Bobbi decided she wanted to help. So she mixed a solution of dish soap, apple cider vinegar, and water, then went out into her Caldwell, New Jersey neighborhood, resolved to spray as many of the insects as she could. The goal was to disarm them, so she could collect them in a jar, or with her mother and sister, stomp on them. Scientists and state authorities had launched a campaign, urging people to stomp on the bugs when they see them, and if possible, destroy their eggs.
Bobbi was hard at work when she was confronted by a police officer. Her next door neighbor, reportedly a White, Republican, former local councilman by the name of Gordon Lawshe, had called the non-emergency line at the local police department to report that a “real tiny Black woman” was in the neighborhood, spraying things. He said she was wearing a hood, adding, “I don’t know what the hell she’s doing,” he said. “Scares me though.”
The cop who spoke to Bobbi asked her what she was doing. She showed him her jug of solution and explained her project. The officer quickly realized that she wasn’t a threat. Bobbi’s mother, Monique Joseph, asked the police officer why he had come, and he told her that a neighbor had called about the child. Bobbi asked if she was in trouble, and the officer said, in a kind voice, “No, you’re not in trouble.”
Bobbi has recently been honored by Yale University for her work. The Yale School of Public Health also thanked Bobbi for donating her personal lanternfly collection to the university’s Peabody Museum. Dr. Ijeomi Opara, an assistant professor at Yale’s School of Public Health invited Bobbi and her family to visit Yale for a campus tour and to see Yale’s laboratories and meet other Black female scientists. Dr. Opara explained that Black children are often described as older than they are.
From The New York Times article:
Ijeoma Opara, an assistant professor of public health at Yale who also directs its Substance Abuse and Sexual Health Lab, said she found Bobbi’s story especially compelling. It closely aligned with her research interests — the impact of racism on Black girls and other children of color. It represented a phenomenon that she and other researchers have called the “adultification” of Black girls, who, they say, are more likely to be seen as more criminal and less innocent than white children.
“Often our society, we don’t view Black children as children,” Dr. Opara said. “We view them as much older than what they are. They end up getting less protected; they end up getting judged more. They end up not being forgiven for mistakes.”
Dr. Opara asked her Twitter followers to help her find Bobbi in November after watching a video of her mother and older sister, Hayden, 13, speaking about Bobbi’s experience during a borough council meeting. She offered to give the family a campus tour so she could visit Yale’s labs and meet other Black female scientists — a small group on campus whose members now call themselves Bobbi’s “Yale Aunties.”
In addition to the honor from Yale, Princeton, the American Museum of Natural History and a host of other universities and state and local officials have recognized Bobbi for her lanternfly solution. In July, both Wilson sisters will attend a summer research program at the New Jersey Institute of Technology on scholarships in science, technology, engineering and mathematics for young scientists.
Although this situation could have turned out tragically, Lawshe’s call to the authorities has turned into something potentially very positive and life changing, not just for Bobbi, but for other kids like her. I was very touched when I read this story. I literally had a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes. I honestly feel very happy and proud of Bobbi, and I know she’ll go far.
But then I read some of the comments from people… I know. I know… big mistake!
The first thing I noticed was the assumption that the person who called the police must have been a “Karen”. If you read this blog regularly, you might already know how much I hate that particular pejorative. People trot it out anytime someone does something they consider overly entitled, and generally speaking, it implies that the person who’s done it is a privileged, White, middle-aged woman.
I find the term “Karen” to be pretty offensive on many levels. I mainly dislike it, though, because there are many fabulous people named Karen– male and female (Karen is a masculine name in Armenia)– who don’t deserve to have their name hijacked and turned into a catch-all synonym for a clueless, racist, entitled asshole. As we all know, people who behave in that way are not necessarily always White women of a certain age. Moreover, because it’s kind of a “quaint” name that has fallen out of fashion, its use as an insult is also kind of ageist.
The second thing I noticed was the attitude that the person who called should be “properly shamed” and harassed for calling the police. Now… don’t get me wrong. It’s pretty obvious, in this case, that Gordon Lawshe had no business calling the cops on Bobbi. She certainly wasn’t a threat to him. She clearly isn’t a “tiny woman”, either. She is a child who was doing a great thing. Moreover, Lawshe’s comments about Bobbi are very offensive. By all rights, Lawshe should be very embarrassed about his actions, but he probably isn’t. He should also be formally reprimanded in some way. I might even support a large fine for him for wasting the police officer’s time and resources.
However… I do think people should be allowed to call the police if they legitimately think they need help. The police are supposed to protect and serve. I know it doesn’t always turn out that way, particularly in situations involving people of color. But when it comes down to it, it is the role of the police to investigate when people feel like they are in danger. There should not be any shame in asking for police assistance. And police officers should not behave in a way that make the public distrust them.
I do understand that regaining the public’s trust is a big problem facing the police today, especially since a lot of them have proven they aren’t worthy. I also understand that policing is a very difficult and dangerous job. We live in a world where even children can threaten people. I noticed many people in the comment section suggesting that Mr. Lawshe should have just come outside and spoken to Bobbi himself. Many people asked, “Who’s afraid of a nine year old?”
Police officers see violence every day. I don’t personally know a lot of police officers, but I would imagine that repeatedly being exposed to the criminal elements of society might make them less trusting and, perhaps, even hostile toward the public. Cops have a very dangerous job. It seems natural to me that being exposed to that kind of stress on a daily basis might change who a person fundamentally is… or perhaps have a negative psychological effect on them.
I think, instead of shaming citizens for calling the police, we should be doing more to make police work safer, so that fewer police officers feel compelled to react so violently. The goal should be to reduce the number of deaths and injuries suffered by people when they encounter the police, not to stop people from asking for help when they need it. And yes, there’s also a lot of work to be done to dispel racism, too. That is a huge part of the problem.
Finally, it is never justified to send death threats to people, no matter what they’ve done. Gordon Lawshe was absolutely wrong to summon the police over what Bobbi Wilson was doing. The fact that he was an elected public official is very dismaying. Personally, I think we must hold our leaders to a much higher standard than some of us do. Both major political parties have issues with this, but lately it seems like Republican elected officials, overall, behave with less humanity than Democrats do. We should choose better leaders, and not allow people like Lawshe to get in power. His conduct, along with that of people affiliated with Donald Trump, is one reason why I don’t plan to ever cast another vote for Republicans in my lifetime.
I do think that people who feel okay about calling random folks “Karens” when they disagree with them are the worst kinds of hypocrites. Because, as they are on their moral high ground, using a proper name as an insult and encouraging shaming, they are basically stereotyping others. In this specific situation, most of the people condemning the police call by using the term “Karen” are assuming that it was a certain type of White woman “of a certain age” who harassed this child. That turned out to be untrue. So, instead of addressing the behavior, they’re busy trying to come up with a similar pejorative name for a man (some use Ken or Kevin). Since when does name calling serve a real purpose, or do anything to solve a problem?
I am absolutely delighted that Bobbi Wilson’s police encounter turned out to be so positive. She is getting the recognition she richly deserves for wanting to be helpful and caring about her community. And it’s a great thing that she is being encouraged to study science and will be mentored by high achieving Black women who work at one of the world’s most prestigious universities. I hope Bobbi never loses her drive to learn new things and be genuinely helpful to others.
I also want to commend the police officer in this situation for being kind, courteous, and extremely professional… although that should be expected of ALL police officers at all times. The cop who spoke to Bobbi Wilson is clearly a credit to his profession. Based on the huge number of police related videos I’ve been watching on YouTube, I’ve come to learn that some cops aren’t much better than the people they arrest. Cops are human, of course, but we should be striving to make all of them worthy of the trust the public puts in them. Society depends on it.
So, to recap…
People should be allowed to call the police if and when they feel they need help. The police should be expected not to hurt or kill people as they carry out their duties, unless a situation is life threatening. There is no use in having a police force if people don’t feel comfortable calling them because they might go viral.
Recent history has shown that children are not inherently safe to approach, just because they are young and small. Yes, we all should be able to talk to a child who is doing something “strange”, but if someone doesn’t feel safe in doing so, they shouldn’t be shamed for asking for help. There are a lot of guns in the United States, and some children are, sadly, getting their hands on them.
The pejorative term “Karen” is ageist and sexist, and people who use it are usually being very hypocritical, especially when they are complaining about racism. Calling someone a “Karen” is negative stereotyping, which is pretty much the crux of what makes racism such a cancer on society. It’s also lazy, uncreative, rude, and disrespectful.
Sending death threats is NEVER okay. It’s acting as judge, jury, and potentially executioner. People who send death threats should face legal consequences.
People should never use the police to harass their neighbors. Those who do should face legal consequences.
True racists or other offensive “ists” are not going to be “properly shamed” by random people on the Internet. It’s not really up to the public to do that, anyway. They should be handled by the criminal justice system, not private citizen vigilantes.
I’m really happy for Bobbi Wilson and the extraordinary opportunities she’s getting because of this disgraceful incident with her neighbor. She absolutely deserves the recognition and the honors. But I also think that it should be a given that Bobbi, or anyone else, would be basically safe in any encounter with the police. That is a goal we, as society members, should strive to achieve.
Happy Tuesday, everybody. Bill got online last night and told me that, happily, he expects to be back in Wiesbaden at around noon on Thursday. He won’t be HOME at that time, of course. He has to turn in his rental car and check in at the office. But it does look like he won’t be stuck hanging out in Bavaria all day. I, of course, will be at the vet’s office on Thursday morning, sitting with Arran as he gets chemo infusion number two. Hopefully, it will continue to cause very minimal side effects for him. The difference in him between this week and last week is incredible. Too bad human chemo isn’t like this. He’s getting enough drugs to make him feel better, rather than trying to eradicate the lymphoma. This will make his glide to the Rainbow Bridge much easier, I hope…
Other than doing my usual chores and taking care of the dogs, life continues to plod along for me, here in Germany. I spent yesterday watching some disturbing raw body cam footage taken during arrests. I don’t know why I’m so fascinated by the cop videos. I think it’s because they offer a look at real life in America… stuff we don’t usually see ourselves every day, but have seen dramatized on TV. Body cams are a game changer in law enforcement. Watching the videos allows me to see the frailties of people– not just the people being arrested, but the cops as well.
I was raised to respect the police, even though I grew up in a place where the cops weren’t necessarily much better than the people they were arresting. Now that we have technology, though, cops are somewhat more accountable for their behavior than they used to be. And it’s kind of disturbing to see and read about cops who do bad things and get busted because they were on video. Case in point, yesterday I watched a video out of Jacksonville, Florida involving Brittany Williams Moore, a young Black woman who got very angry at a cop who had parked his cruiser in her driveway to check emails. She threw a spoon at him. It had a green substance on it, later determined to be face cream.
The cop then proceeded to arrest her for assault. The whole thing blew up to the point at which the woman, who weighed maybe 95 pounds soaking wet, was manhandled into handcuffs. Somehow, in the violence of her arrest, she got hit in the mouth and broke some teeth. The May 2020 incident happened during daylight hours, and it was nightfall before she was finally taken to jail. The poor woman was cuffed the whole time. The charges against her were eventually dropped; and now she’s suing the police department. Alejandro Carmona, the cop she originally had the altercation with turned out to be a pretty bad dude, too. He was later arrested for selling sexually explicit pictures of a minor.
Now… I don’t necessarily approve of the way Moore behaved. Instead of speaking calmly to the cops, she screamed at them, threw a spoon, and at one point, kicked one of the officers. However, I can understand why she was frightened, given what happened to George Floyd in 2020, and Ahmaud Arbery, which I believe Carmona even made reference to as he was explaining himself to Brittany’s relatives. I heard the cops call Moore misogynistic names like “bitch”. I get that the cops have stressful jobs, but that kind of language is not acceptable, professional, or necessary.
In another video, I watched a much more professional police officer deal with a young woman who was not very cooperative at all, as she was stopped for riding her bike the wrong way down a road. She was similarly arrested, but as far as I know, she wasn’t injured. I didn’t hear the cop use filthy language, and her teeth survived the situation intact. That situation happened in Oregon, though, and I think there’s a lot less stupidity in the Pacific Northwest than in the Deep South. Not that I don’t love my southern heritage, mind you. I just think a lot of people down there are still living in the early 20th century.
Watching these videos shows me how easy it is to get arrested in the United States, the so-called land of the free. Also, it reminds me that the longer I stay in Europe, the more insufferable Americans seem to me. It just seems like so many people are uncooperative, unpleasant, and just flat out uncivilized. You can see it in any comment section, particularly when they involve politics. It seems like there are two sides of America that hate each other. It’s sad to me, because it wasn’t always like that. Or… maybe I just didn’t notice it because I lived there.
I think the body cams show “real” America, and it ain’t a flattering picture to me. But then, I’m sure that only the most extreme videos wind up on YouTube. On the other hand, there are a whole lot of body cam channels, meaning there are a lot of videos. And they show people at their worst. I don’t envy what cops have to deal with on a daily basis, but I also think that cops can turn into Olympic class assholes after too much time on the job. Check out this dude from Arkansas. Actually, Bill and I had a good laugh at this guy, even though he called the guy he was chasing a “motherfucker”.
I did have a laugh. I admit it. He’s not very professional, but damn, he’s funny! I don’t think I’d feel that way if he was arresting me, though. Another thing these videos do is remind me that the United States is lacking charm in a lot of areas.
I know I vented about Ex yesterday, but she keeps giving me more material to work with, to include today’s featured photo, which she retweeted (and by the way, she ain’t it). I mentioned yesterday that she presents a “false self” to the world, right? And I come to that conclusion, because the shit she puts on Twitter is so opposite to what people who have actually had to deal with her in person have experienced and reported. But she’s always smoothing the edges of her facade with fake bullshit, and today is no exception. Behold:
Here’s the funny thing. Maybe I’m unusual, but I don’t have crushes anymore. I don’t want to be with anyone but my husband. I’m not comparing other men to Bill. He gives me all I need and then some. I mean, yes, I notice when someone is attractive, but I’m not interested in them sexually… not even for a hug and a dance. But, that’s just me… I may just be very lucky. Again, as much as I despise Ex, I am glad she dumped Bill. He’s just the right guy for me. She did me a huge favor. I think “real people” should stay away from Ex. She damages them with her lies.
Last night, I was about to post a comment on Facebook, when I got an automated message from a bot warning me that my comment looked like ones that had been removed for violating their community standards. It was a comment directed at Marjorie Taylor (Greene), who is a highly divisive, obnoxious, and polarizing political candidate and public figure who would never deign to read the comments about her on Facebook. Meanwhile, they have no problem allowing people to offend the rank and file with all manner of insults. Once again, I am shocked that I’m at a point in my life at which I allow myself to be “disciplined by bots”. I really do need to find another outlet for my angst. But that’s why I blog, right?
Well, it’s time to strip the bed and do another household chore. Have a nice Tuesday. I’ll probably see y’all tomorrow.
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