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Meanwhile, in Iceland...

Yesterday, 04:20 PM

Iceland grieves after first police-shooting death in the history of the country's existence

It was an unprecedented headline in Iceland this week — a man shot to death by police.


"The nation was in shock. This does not happen in our country," said Thora Arnorsdottir, news editor at RUV, the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service. 


She was referring to a 59-year old man who was shot by police on Monday. The man, who started shooting at police when they entered his building, had a history of mental illness. 


It's the first time someone has been killed by armed police in Iceland since it became an independent republic in 1944. Police don't even carry weapons, usually. Violent crime in Iceland is almost non-existent.


"The nation does not want its police force to carry weapons because it's dangerous, it's threatening," Arnorsdottir says. "It's a part of the culture. Guns are used to go hunting as a sport, but you never see a gun."


In fact, Iceland isn't anti-gun. In terms of per-capita gun ownership, Iceland ranks 15th in the world. Still, this incident was so rare that neighbors of the man shot were comparing the shooting to a scene from an American film. 


The Icelandic police department said officers involved will go through grief counseling. And the police department has already apologized to the family of the man who died — though not necessarily because they did anything wrong.

"I think it's respectful," Arnorsdottir says, "because no one wants to take another person's life. "


There are still a number of questions to be answered, including why police didn't first try to negotiate with man before entering his building.


"A part of the great thing of living in this country is that you can enter parliament and the only thing they ask you to do is to turn off your cellphone, so you don't disturb the parliamentarians while they're talking. We do not have armed guards following our prime minister or president. That's a part of the great thing of living in a peaceful society. We do not want to change that. "




maybe we should stop yapping about human rights records of other countries and start realizing where we stand in relation to the rest of the western world

two additional readings that inform how we approach the problems that give rise to inci...

19 August 2014 - 09:59 AM

Not sure how many people will read these, but I found them useful. I've been cautious about publicly spewing opinions on this whole debacle; I've spent enough time in LEO programs to identify knee-jerk public reaction when I see it, but I've spent enough time observing social currents to recognize underlying structural racism when I see it, too. Anyway the two have kind of muddled for me and I've been mostly a passive observer, reading as many opinion pieces as I can and weighing the various angles this whole things takes.


Aside from the article on the necessity of external reviews of shootings by police, the following two articles strike me as critical in understanding what's really going on here.


The first one is "A Mother's White Privilege." The name alone will piss off half of you, because nobody gave you NUTHIN growing up, so you didn't experience any kind of privilege. I invite you to read the article.


As the ongoing events in Ferguson, Missouri show us, America’s racial tensions didn’t disappear when George Wallace backed down from the schoolhouse door. Dr. King didn’t wave a magic wand, and we never got together to feel all right. White America remembers this at ugly flashpoints: the Rodney King beatings, the OJ Simpson trial, the Jena Six, Trayvon Martin’s death. White America recoils in horror not at the crimes – though the crimes are certainly horrible. It’s not the teenagers gunned down, the police abuse, the corrupt trials. It’s this: at these sudden, raw moments, in these riots and demonstrations and travesties of justice, White America is forced to gaze upon the emotional roil of oppression, the anger and fear and deep grief endemic to the Black American experience. Black America holds up a mirror for us.


And white America is terrified to look.



^ first two paragraphs from the article. finish reading plz and then:


Read this article entitled "I Don't Know How to Talk to White People About Ferguson" which is a powerful window into how different life experiences yield different results and perceptions.


Witnessing racial violence feels more personal when you’re black. I couldn’t watch the video of Eric Garner being strangled by the NYPD because his large frame and dark skin reminded me of my father and my uncle. Trayvon Martin was killed as I was teaching black teens on the west side of Chicago who wore hoodies to class every day. The first time I had seen women with bodies like mine (full soft bellies and pendulous breasts) on screen was in the film "12 Years a Slave" as they bathed to prepare for auction.


The ongoing tragedy of police brutality, media manipulation, and injustice in Ferguson, MO, is unbearable to watch but I can’t tear my eyes away. I’m consuming every piece of news and every editorial that emerges from the tear gas and no-fly zone. Seeing images of black people like me lying dead or injured in the street is creating chaos and turmoil inside me.

But as a black woman in a mostly white social circle, I don’t know who to turn to and how to talk to them.


How do I talk to white people about this!? How can I possibly explain the rage, fear, sadness, and every other emotion I don’t have a name for yet as I watch these events unfold?




Finish that one too. Being able to see an issue through someone else's eyes, through a lens other than your own, is both a critical skill in 21st century communication and one of the solutions to social inequalities like the ones reflected by police brutality in Missouri.

"What I did after the Police Killed my Son" -- article on outside reviews of LE...

18 August 2014 - 01:43 PM

Someone posted this very interesting Politico article on social media. Entitled "What I did after Police Killed my Son," it's a very digestible two-page story of the death of an affluent white USAF Lieutenant Colonel's 21-year-old son at the hands of a police officer.


First couple paragraphs:


After police in Kenosha, Wis., shot my 21-year-old son to death outside his house ten years ago — and then immediately cleared themselves of all wrongdoing — an African-American man approached me and said: “If they can shoot a white boy like a dog, imagine what we’ve been going through.”


I could imagine it all too easily, just as the rest of the country has been seeing it all too clearly in the terrible images coming from Ferguson, Mo., in the aftermath of the killing of Michael Brown. On Friday, after a week of angry protests, the police in Ferguson finally identified the officer implicated in Brown's shooting, although the circumstances still remain unclear.


I have known the name of the policeman who killed my son, Michael, for ten years. And he is still working on the force in Kenosha.


Yes, there is good reason to think that many of these unjustifiable homicides by police across the country are racially motivated. But there is a lot more than that going on here. Our country is simply not paying enough attention to the terrible lack of accountability of police departments and the way it affects all of us—regardless of race or ethnicity. Because if a blond-haired, blue-eyed boy — that was my son, Michael — can be shot in the head under a street light with his hands cuffed behind his back, in front of five eyewitnesses (including his mother and sister), and his father was a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel who flew in three wars for his country — that’s me — and I still couldn’t get anything done about it, then Joe the plumber and Javier the roofer aren’t going to be able to do anything about it either.



The premise of the article (which you should read) is that a police force reviewing itself internally after shootings is not sufficient, as officers being found wrong is an utter rarity. The author suggests that if an external review of shootings were more like FAA investigations of disasters, the incidence rate of wrongful deaths by LEOs would plunge, and briefly explains his crusade for independent investigation in the state of Wisconsin (which appears to have been successful.)


Two things I take from this:


1) As noted by the author, this is a bipartisan movement. Republicans and Democrats alike got behind him and the bill. It's a move that demands accountability from governmental forces (a popular GOP/tea party talking point) and could help curb police violence against minorities based on wrongful race-based perceptions woven into American society, a decidedly left-wing crusade.


2) To continue on that last point, it's evident (based on the simple fact that public reaction to the MO shootings has betrayed a difference in the way we appropriate race, class, and delinquency) that the black community and the police force have a shaky relationship (one that cyclically perpetuates the problem, IMO.) Measures like the author's above-proposed should help alleviate this problem. Conservative talking heads like to disseminate propaganda like "black people kill white people every day but you won't Nancy Grace crying about that" and simply dismiss out of hand the notion that a white cop killing an unarmed black man in the street could speak to an underlying social problem, but let's ignore them. This is not a construct of the evil liberal mainstream lamestream media; white cops shoot black people all the time and it's not a big deal. The reason this is a big deal is because a white cop shot an unarmed black man.


But I digress. The point is, if LEO shootings are externally reviewed, and the process curbs trigger-happy LEOs the way the author seems to think will happen, you'll almost certainly see a dramatic decrease in these types of incidents, which will mean less explosions of these things in the news, which will lead to less polarization of factions on either side (and believe me it is happening) and, ta-da! an improvement in race relations and social progress in a society where we're doing our best to foster equal perceptions for all people as a strategy to eliminate complexes like "scary black guy" that are arguably the underlying problem in shootings like this.

tell other huddlers your problems

12 August 2014 - 06:53 PM

Robin Williams's death has propelled depression into the front of the nation's mind. It's particularly compelling because depression is such a sneaky bitch - it's not just externally sad people walking around with frowns, but often the funniest, most outgoing, happy-seeming people who deal with it the deepest.


I think the answer to that is community. When you look at societies with the highest numbers of depressed and suicidal people, it tends to be the ones that are the most disconnected in one way or another. Sometimes it's physical, sometimes it's technological, sometimes it's cultural. Whatever the case may be, it seems like one fact emerges every time we mourn the loss of a suicide: nobody knew they were suffering.


Even though it's just a message board, we are a community, and I think it's worth putting out there in a public way that we as a community should be - and ARE, i think - willing to listen to anyone. If anyone's suffering through some kind of difficult poo I hope they'll be willing to approach someone, through a thread or even a PM, as weird as that may seem. I've gotten PMs from various people concerned about my well-being, offering me advice and even just a listening ear… hell, one guy even offered to let me call him if I wanted to talk about some issues I'd posted about. I was touched by that.


So at risk of coming across as over-dramatic... let this be a notice. If poo sucks and you want to talk to someone about it, forget stupid boundaries and barriers and imposing and whatever else seems like it's inappropriate. Hit one of us up, or all of us, or this thread, or another thread. We are a community and no one should be alone.

What games do you plan on attending at BOA this season?

12 August 2014 - 05:26 PM

I always try to make it to at least two games a year. i lucked out last year and landed free tickets to the bucs game courtesy of a friend and the 49ers playoff game courtesy of jeremy & the huddle, but barring a sudden financial boost i'll only be able to squeeze in one this year. More than likely it'll be the Chicago Bears game on October 5, partly because it fits my schedule well but mostly because Il Macchio is supposedly going to be there cooking up that kickass chili again.


Anyone else got target games?





edit: stahp bragging PSL bastards

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