There’s a certain liberal optimism about race in the United States, and last night’s Ferguson grand jury verdict unmasked the complacency that lies underneath it. For decades we’ve watched as the legacy of anti-racist movements has been channeled towards the economic and political advancement of individuals like Barack Obama and Bill Cosby. And we’ve watched such individuals lead the attack against social movements and marginalized communities – today, they are the ones urging restraint.
No serious challenge has yet arisen to this co-opting of the anti-racist legacy. Within the academy and within social movements, intellectuals and activists have rendered ourselves totally impotent. We’ve reduced politics to the policing of our language, to the questionable satisfaction of provoking white guilt. And we have allowed our present to become the age of Oscar Grant, Troy Davis, Trayvon Martin, and Mike Brown.
There is a rebellion taking place in Ferguson, which has spread to Chicago, Philadelphia, New York, and Oakland, and this rebellion shows that it’s time for us to wake up. Once upon a time, movements against racism came to understand that it was not enough to make space for black and brown people in the American dream of social mobility; it was necessary to make a demand for power – Black Power, and all the militant movements of Chicano/a and Asian-American communities which emerged alongside it. The action that took place in the streets last night should remind us of the universal and ongoing significance of this historical rupture.
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I truly believe that to be a good teacher, a decent writer or a perfunctory scholar one has to concede the limits of evidence, reason, and rationality.
It is no wonder I believe that. Evidence, reason and rationality can rarely explain my place in this world. I know the limits even as I try to stretch them. It is either futile or the human experience or, I suspect, it is both.
For months I have participated and supported the ground work of activists, scholars, teachers, preachers, parents, young people, old people, and people people in Ferguson, MO. My contribution amounts to little more than nil on the grand scale of things. Mostly, I have hoped that people would persist.
It is an unreasonable hope.
Representatives of the State, of a public that includes black people who are also a public, were defiant when they announced the grand jury results of Michael Brown’s murder in Ferguson this week. If I accept the argument of every person who thinks it was a good clean kill, there is still little to explain the anger of those who, by all accounts, won. Why are police advocates, prosecutors, white people in online comments, the white guy who yelled at me to get a job as I crossed the street last night so angry? They won.
Mike Brown was a pest, exterminated by the police.
The officer is uninjured, married, employed and un-charged.
People who believe that these things are right and just and proper won. Yet, I find they are still angry.
It stretches the bounds of reason.
Unless, of course, nothing about this is reasonable.
We were basic. We’d earned archery badges. We played piano. We threw I-Ching. The townspeople were little Pharisees. We saw the facts under their Izod vestments.
Who doesn’t finally emerge armed from the creek bed, antediluvian, robust?
Who will ever forget what we did at the railroad interchange, the alleyway, the grain elevator, main street, or on one of two hills?
The first hill was named after a conqueror: the second after the conquered. This was a site on the small patch of the conquistador’s chain mill. This was a rock drenched with indigenous blood. Later in both places generations of fleeing evacuees carved these numbers:
Generations of evacuees carved out these numbers, but this was a museum in which we the peasant girls had long planned to live: the new mall. We went long risk on belly trenches beside the aquamarine fountain. There were defaults among shop rotations where we could realize. Either in the mall or seventeen miles apart, approximately, we could stand without family on the two hills and signal victory over the sign-light of Dairy Queen.
I’m panicked. I don’t sleep that night. It was like my worst nightmare is happening. The next morning, I rush to the set and plead my case. And Ivan basically says, “The studio felt that they had Bill Murray, so they wanted to give him more stuff to do.” I go, “Okay, I understand that, but can I even be there when they’re established?” And of course, he said no, there’s nothing to do about it. It was kind of awkward, and it became sort of the elephant in the room.
I see this differently now—and I don’t mean any kind of animosity or anything towards anyone, certainly not towards Ivan or the guys. I was a single dad, and we were struggling to kind of hold on and pay the rent. I still needed to do this job. 30 years later, I look back at the movie and it works very well the way it is. I think the character works with what he has to work with. But I’ve always felt like, “Man, if I could’ve played that original character…”
Winston wasn’t included in the movie poster or the trailer and all that stuff. I felt, had the original character been in play at the beginning, that would’ve been different because it would’ve clearly been four guys. It would’ve sent a signal to the studios and very likely impacted my career in a different way. I think the fans see the Ghostbusters as four characters. I do some of the conventions, and I’ve met thousands of people, and I deputize kids as Little Ghostbusters. And the question I always used to get was, “Where does Winston go?” That’s the thing with Winston: He will pop up and then disappear.
Read More | “The painful what-if that haunts ‘Ghostbuster’ Ernie Hudson” | Ernie Hudson | Entertainment Weekly
The Coast Guard first encountered Baluchi on Wednesday after receiving a report about a man in a bubble off the coast of Miami, disoriented and asking for directions to Bermuda, a Coast Guard press release said. It was not clear when he started his quest.
A Coast Guard cutter found Baluchi. Officials described the craft as a “hydro pod bubble” and a man in a 2013 YouTube video called a Baluchi bubble “a big hamster wheel.” It moved along the ground as Baluchi ran inside.
In the press release, the Coast Guard said Baluchi had protein bars, bottled water, a GPS and a satellite phone. The Coast Guard conveyed the voyage’s dangers and asked Baluchi to quit his journey because he didn’t have enough supplies. But he wouldn’t leave his vessel, officials said.
Read More | “Man running in inflatable bubble rescued off coast of Florida” | Ralph Ellis | CNN