Tag Archives: black

Fuck you, Eddie Vedder.

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Fuck you, Eddie Vedder.

Fuck you, Eddie Vedder, for being my main boy/man archetype since I was 12.

Fuck you, Eddie Vedder, for giving me hope. Hope that angry young men who hate their mothers and miss their fathers could grow up to be sensibly deep and poetic souls.

Fuck you, Eddie Vedder, for narrating my youth and adolescence.

Fuck you, Eddie Vedder, for giving me a voice and a growl to match my self-imposed angst.

Fuck you, Eddie Vedder, for making me think that all angry young surfer/skater/artist boys would grow up to be passionate and well-adjusted adults.

Fuck you, Eddie Vedder, for making me obsess over Matt Miller for years.

Fuck you, Eddie Vedder, for having your lovingly familiar brow furrow.

Fuck you, Eddie Vedder, for being my jokingly “8th ex husband” as I inch closer and closer to number 8.

Fuck you, Eddie Vedder, for cutting your hair. It made Chris Cornell cut his! You bastard. Chris Cornell has the voice of an ANGEL.

Fuck you, Eddie Vedder, for marrying a goddamn model and having a baby with her and having it be glorious.

Fuck you, Eddie Vedder, for the soundtrack of Into the Wild, further complicating what I thought was a pivotal moment in my growth by proving that you angry boys could become men and could snap out of your melancholy to write something so provocative and insightful.

Fuck you, Eddie Vedder, for influencing that vote of mine for Nader.

Fuck you, Eddie Vedder, for making me love greasy rat men from Singles.

Fuck you, Eddie Vedder, for all your mind opening documentaries and eye-opening activism.

Fuck you, Eddie Vedder, for performing with Johnny Depp, which was a wet dream.

Fuck you, Eddie Vedder, for Ukelele Songs, which made me love you even more.

Fuck you, Eddie Vedder, for my wedding song.

Sigh. Fuck you, Eddie Vedder.

I still love you.

Fuck you, Eddie Vedder, because I would probably still marry you; if you and Jill don’t work out. Even though you are the same age as my mother. It’s not as weird, now that I am practically middle-aged.

But whatever.

Fuck you, Eddie Vedder.

Happy early fucking birthday, freaking Capricorns.

The death penalty is a hate crime. Yeah. I said that.

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The death penalty is a hate crime. Yeah. I said that.

My entire life, I had always been a believer in retributive justice. As I began my bachelor’s program (Criminal Justice) with a focus on Constitutional Law, I believed that the only problem with the death penalty was that it was applied yet never used; thus rendering any deterrent effect null and void. It was not a diversion for other people.

Ha.

Now mind you, I have come to different thoughts over the years and no longer believe in the death penalty (except in a very few specific types of DNA verified cases/convictions that I won’t go into now). As a MSW student, there was a discussion today in a class that really made me scratch my head. I have processed and researched my way through the notes I took today and offer this: the students at my school are very keen on discussing the prison industrial complex. They have a particularly different insight into it, from a social work perspective as I do, with a criminology perspective. Obviously, we now have different lenses, but I am coming around to some thoughts that are more in line with my true feelings and theirs, I think…

I digress. Damnit.

The point is the case: McCleskey v. Kemp, 481 U.S. 279 (1987) was brought up and I had never heard of it. The 25th anniversary of this ruling just passed. Which I think is interesting given all the media attention of the Trayvon Martin case and what will surely be a pivotal case in the years to come regarding George Zimmerman. In all my classes, in all my laborious years in law offices and school, not once did I hear of McCleskey v. Kemp. WTF

Is it because I went to school in Idaho? I am not sure, but probably.

In case you too, have never heard of it, here is the gist:

Warren McCleskey was a black man who was convicted of killing a white police officer. After being sentenced to death, McCleskey brought to the attention of the court the Baldus study, which showed that black “criminals” with white “victims” were sentenced to death in Georgia 4x more often than black on black criminals.  Some results: (CP= Capital Punishment, B = black, W= white)

Defendants who kill W get CP in 11% of cases

Defendants who kill B get CP in 1% of cases

CP in 22% cases of B defendant, W victim

CP in 8% cases of W defendant and W victim

CP in 1% of cases of B defendant and B victim

CP in 3% of cases of W defendant and B victim

So black defendants who kill whites have greatest chance of getting CP.

He implied that this meant that his conviction and sentence violated both the Eighth Amendment and the “equal protection” clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The Supreme Court basically stated that while they were skeptical of the Baldus study, they would apply the findings as rule of law and further stated that they must dismiss evidence of general racial disparities in sentencing, as “an inevitable part of our criminal justice system.”

What?

Government sanctioned racial inequities?

No.

Not in 1987.

Not in 2005, not in New Orleans.

I bet we couldn’t find 10 examples at least everyday in the last 150 years.

Especially not today.

No.

The US is a “magical place” with roads paved with equality and fairness, intersecting justice.

Boo. Mr. McKleskey was executed by electrocution in 1991. Justice Lewis Powell, Junior, who wrote the opinion in his case wrote later that he regretted his decision and every death penalty opinion after that. Too late for Mr. McKleskey. Investigations later revealed enough evidence to have gotten his case retried, as the confidential informant was a police plant with non-eyewitness information. Too late.

Too many cases are realized wrong, too late. According to the Innocence Project: 

There have been 289 post-conviction DNA exonerations in the United States, since 1989.

Races of those 289 exonerees:

180 African Americans
82 Caucasians
21 Latinos
2 Asian American
4 whose race is unknown

I am not insinuating that Warren McKleskey was innocent or that DNA would have exonerated him. I do not know. I am merely using those stats to further illustrate the racial inequities in the judicial system.  I could write a blog everyday about judicial inequities.

Capital punishment is not reparative. It is not restorative. It is punitive and retributive. It is revenge.

It is Code of Hammurabi. Eye for an eye. Tooth for a tooth. Life for a life.

Hate Crimes are defined by the FBI as:

“A hate crime is a traditional offense like murder, arson, or vandalism with an added element of bias. For the purposes of collecting statistics, Congress has defined a hate crime as a “criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, ethnic origin or sexual orientation.” Hate itself is not a crime—and the FBI is mindful of protecting freedom of speech and other civil liberties.”

I think a definite case could be made that as far as the FBI is concerned, sentencing courts could be guilty of hate crimes. The “supreme” court says racial disparities are “…an inevitable part of our criminal justice system.” The death penalty is not restorative justice. It is revenge. It is 4,000 year old bullshit.

Fuck.