Sunday Matinee: Michelle Alexander – The New Jim Crow

Hey folks,

In light of recent events, I really felt this vid apropos today.  And my bad about the prolonged absence also, but the word dealer’s been in one of those stingy moods again. Go figure. While our Sundays are usually defined by an open invitation to join me on a journey to shed the shroud that shields the Splendor from which all things spring, the vibe dictated a slight shift today.  Contemplating the Divinity that underpins the turning of strawberries into symphonies is still a luxury ill afforded certain sub-groups in the society as the story of their lives remains a sole function of skin color.  This stains us all.

Before I leave you to your own devices, I wanna share a little anecdote from the Hyd3 side.

Coming of age in the Empire, I was in a unique position to visit haunts on either side of the track and try different brews at different watering holes without making the respective tavern regulars restless. Some nights I’d chill with guys drinking Mickey’s or Michelob, while on others, Shlitz Bull or Cisco wine were the order of the day. I tended to follow custom as you know what they say, when in Rome right? This allowed for certain observations that were ordinarily denied other members of my peer group that tended towards more provincial tastes. Now all young men who err on the side of rambunctiousness inevitably have encounters with law enforcement during the process of maturation. For some reason however, it seemed that these interactions with the Velites invariably tended to be more frequent and antagonistic on the nights I was drinking Shlitz Bull versus the nights spent chuggin’ Mickey’s.

This troubled me for many years as the “luck of the Irish” didn’t strike me as a meritorious enough explanation for this anomalous statistic. Naiveté however, would prevent any lucid apprehension of the reasons for my “bad luck” on these particular nights for quite a while. Eventually I came to understand why the attitude of the Gestapo was so cordial when I brandished a bottle with the Michelob drinkers and so condescending when I clutched a quart of Shlitz.  With the passage of time and tide, it became evident that the reason lay not in the brand labeling the clutched bottle, but instead the color of the hands doing the clutching.

There is a profound difference in the manner in which law enforcement officials are trained to approach a group of young white fellas versus the attitudes adopted by these same officers when encountering a group of black or Hispanic males. It’s been my experience that police behavior is defined by marked increases in aggression and hostility in minority interactions. Anyways, I’ll get out of your hair and let you get to the lecture. Michelle is a lovely and delightful speaker.

One love,

HJ

P.S. Here’s Van’s homage to The Mystery as a bonus after that. These talks tend to evoke certain angry sentiments and holding on to anger is akin to clutching hot coals amigos, you’re the one getting burned.

When they attack…

When they came...

First the social justice proponents were assaulted,
I remained silent;
I was no such proponent.

When the G20 demonstrators were beaten,
I did not speak out,
I was no demonstrator.

When they locked up the anti-war protesters,
I remained silent;
I was not an anti-war protester.

When they arrested the environmentalists,
I did not speak out;
I was not an environmentalist.

When they attacked for the labor unionists,
I remained silent;
I was no labor unionist.

When they attacked me,
There was no one left to speak out.*

Though the pen is mightier than the sword, it is not as effective in absentia. Its power must be continuously exercised to retain its positional supremacy.

*The original is credited to Martin Niemoller, a German theologian who commented on the apathy of intellectuals during the Third Reich.

One love,

HJ

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