Thursday, November 19, 2009

Heather Ellis Update for Nov 19

The Heather Ellis Trial entered day 2, with surveillance video being shown to jurors by both attorneys. Each has said the video will show the jurors their side of the story.

Prosecutor Morley Swingle says the video proves his point that Ellis “went ballistic” and went on a “profane tirade.” The video shows Ellis pushing another customers merchandise into the floor.

Defense attorney Scott Rosenbloom says the video simply shows Ellis joining in line with her cousin, and no where does it show Ellis assaulting police. Another video shows Ellis being escorted from Wal-Mart by police.

Wal-Mart employees also were called to the stand this afternoon, and a police officer also took the stand.

This evening Dr. Boyce Watkins said "When I held the rally for Heather Ellis last week, the woman facing up to 15-years in prison after allegedly cutting line at a Wal-Mart, I was hoping that one day the rest of the world could see what I saw nearly two weeks ago. In spite of the prosecutor's contention that the video tape would prove his case beyond a reasonable doubt, the truth is that the video is highly inconclusive.

I find it incredibly interesting that police say that Heather refused to leave the store, when in fact, she was leaving and the officers were following her out the door. Also, given that the alleged assault can't be proven and in the words of the prosecutor "There was no serious injury," why in the world is she facing 15-years in prison?

We await the verdict tomorrow. If justice is not served, then I plan to get on an airplane tomorrow. This kind of justice should not be acceptable to any of us."

See more news and video at this link

Meanwhile I've noticed lots of folks talking about the race card, after all, they say the girl was belligerent .

We all know if she was white she would have been indignant, priviledge card.

Tim Wise speaks on white priviledge

Shinin' the Lite on White Privilege

by Sharon Martinas

� Sharon Martinas, 1998.
Defining the Problem
Why Can't We Just Get It Together?
In 1996, progressive activists in California waged a massive, multi-racial and militant struggle to save affirmative action. Though we raised the consciousness of millions of people, voters and non-voters, we lost at the ballot box. Fifty-six percent of California's electorate voted "Yes" on Proposition 209, thus wiping out affirmative action in the public sector: in education, employment and contracting.

What happened? There were many analyses among activists, all of which held important kernels of truth:

* The electoral arena in California is a stacked deck when the Right uses racist initiatives. Though 47% of the population is people of color, 83% of the voters are white.
* The left was out spent by the right, and the Clinton campaign failed to keep its commitment to provide millions of dollars to wage an effective media campaign against the initiative.
* The wording of the initiative, billed as a "civil rights" policy, deliberately confused many well-meaning voters who would be expected to support equality in government programs.
* To wage a comprehensive grassroots organizing electoral campaign, in a state the size of California, activists should have started in 1995 and coordinated their efforts much more effectively.

These are important points. But something is missing. The organizers in communities of color reached their electoral objectives: hundreds of thousands of new voters went to the polls, and the NO on 209 votes looked like this:

Asian Americans 61%, African Americans 74%, and Latinos 76%! But the groups organizing among white feminists did not reach their goals. To defeat 209, 55% of white women needed to vote NO. Instead, 57% of white women voted YES!

What happened? Most feminists know that white women have been the major beneficiaries of affirmative action in all its spheres. So why did we white women vote overwhelmingly against our own interest as well as against social justice for people of color?

To begin to analyze this problem, I believe we have to understand the history and role of white privilege in this country.

"White" is . . . "White" isn't

What does "white" mean to you, as it refers to people? Here are some questions to think about:

* Is "white" a skin color?
* What does your dictionary and thesaurus say about "white" as referring to people?
* Are "white" people a race?
* Is "white" an ethnicity (like Norwegian, Irish, Jewish, Russian)?
* Are white people who live in the USA "Americans?"
* Is there such a thing as "the white community" in the U.S.?
* If you are a person of color, what do you call people whose ancestors came from Europe?
* If your ancestors came from Europe, what do you call yourself?

White is -- White Privilege
Webster's New World (sic) Dictionary defines privilege as "a right, advantage, favor, or immunity specially granted to one; esp., a right held by a certain individual, group, or class, and withheld from certain others or all others.' (Emphasis added. Third College Edition of Webster's, 1988)

The CWS Workshop defines white privilege this way:

"U.S. institutions and culture give preferential treatment to people whose ancestors came from Europe over peoples whose ancestors are from the Americas, Africa, Asia and the Arab world; and exempt European Americans -- white people -- from the forms of racial and national oppression inflicted upon peoples from the Americas, Africa, Asia and the Arab world.

This web of institutional and cultural preferential treatment is called white privilege. In a white supremacy system, white privilege and racial oppression are two sides of the same coin."

Non-ruling class white people are both oppressed and privileged. They are oppressed most significantly on the basis of class, gender and sexuality, and also on the basis of religion, culture, ethnicity, age, physical abilities and politics. At the same time, they are privileged in relation to peoples of color.
Historical Origins of White Privilege

In the early 1600's, 50 wealthy Englishmen bought stock in the Virginia Company of London. Their stock options included large parcels of (indigenous) land in the new colony of Virginia, as well as the right to govern the colony.

These English gentlemen did not intend to work their lands in Virginia. To get workers, they contracted with English merchants who delivered impoverished English teenagers and kidnapped African people. By the second decade of colonization, working servants, both English and African, outnumbered "gentlemen" by perhaps 100 to 1.

Living and working conditions for African and English laborers were horrendous. Workers were regularly whipped, nearly starved to death, denied days of rest, and were refused permission to marry. English servants, who were supposedly protected under English poor laws, had limited times of servitude, but owners disregarded the laws. Those servants who were freed as required, usually died within a few years.

Under these conditions, African and English servants struggled to survive and resist their common oppression. They traded together, they made love together, and they made war together against their masters. Most servants were armed, since the wealthy used their servants to protect the frontiers against "hostile Indians."

Virginia records document ten servant revolts in the mid-1600's, culminating in the famous Bacon's Rebellion of 1676. African and English servants, free workers and farmers, demanded land and pay for their labor. They burned down Jamestown, the colony's capital. Colonial rulers had to call in the British army to subdue the rebellion.

Colonial land-owning legislators responded with a series of Slave Codes, enacted from 1680 through 1705. These codes legalized chattel slavery (the child of an enslaved woman would be enslaved for a lifetime) and severely restricted the rights of free Africans. The codes equated the terms "slave" and "Negro," thus institutionalizing the world's first system of racialized slavery.

The codes also set out the "rights" of and restrictions for "servants." At first, "servants" referred ambiguously to both Africans and English. But as "slave" became synonymous with "Negro," (the Spanish word for "Black,") "servant" came to mean "white," the term which replaced "English," "Christian" or "wench" to refer to poor or indentured Europeans.
(read more)

No comments: