Loss of Privacy

Keeping you informed on recent losses to privacy and civil rights worldwide.

Browsing Posts tagged racism

Jessie Thornton has been stopped ten times and given a ticket four times, simply for being black. The last time he was stopped, it was for “crossing the white line in his lane.”

“He (the officer) walked up and he said ‘I can tell you’re driving DUI by looking in your eyes,’” said Thornton.

The 64-year-old says his eyes could have been red because he had just left LA Fitness where he was in the pool swimming.

“I take my glasses off and he says, ‘You’ve got bloodshot eyes.’ I said, ‘I’ve been swimming at LA Fitness,’ and he says, ‘I think you’re DUI,’” said Thornton. “He (the officer) goes, ‘Well we’re going to do a sobriety test.’ I said, ‘OK, but I got bad knees and a bad hip with surgery in two days.’”

Thornton said two other officers arrived and he conducted the sobriety test.

According to documents provided to ABC15 from the City of Surprise, Thornton was taken to police headquarters where he took a breathalyzer test.

The test, according to the police documents came back with a blood alcohol level of 0.000.

That wasn’t good enough for the police, so they ordered blood tests too.

While in custody, a “DRE” or drug recognition expert is called to test Thornton.

“After he did all the tests, he says, ‘I would never have arrested you, you show no signs of impairment,’” said Thornton.

His tests came back negative. Despite all this, his car was impounded, his license was suspended, and he was told he’d have to take a drinking class.

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Two men were on a flight to Chicago from Boston when federal authorities removed and questioned them, then allowed them back on the plane. One passenger, however, wasn’t happy with that outcome.

The men, aboard early morning United Flight 636, were questioned by authorities and returned to the plane, only to be removed again after at least one passenger complained, passengers said after they arrived at O’Hare International Airport.

Boston Marathon finisher Matt Pomeroy, 34, and his wife Elizabeth, 33, said all seemed calm until a federal agent and a Massachusetts police officer walked onto the plane and removed two male passengers.

“The two men were taken off the plane for about 15 minutes,” said Matt Pomeroy, of Johnson Creek, Wis. “They were then allowed back on but started to act suspicious.”

First, they were questioned and allowed to return to the plane. If they were a threat, they would not have been allowed back on the plane. Second, what does this man consider to be suspicious?

The men, who were rows apart, began talking in a foreign language and using head and hand gestures to communicate, he said.

How is this not normal? You are seated apart from your traveling companion all the time now as airlines have begun charging fees to seat people together. The men had just been pulled off the plane and questioned. Wouldn’t it be more likely that they were cleared by authorities and they were just discussing what happened to them? Using hand gestures is perfectly normal. Hand gestures tend to get larger and more emphatic when a person is agitated. A more likely scenario is that the two were saying something along the lines of, “This is fucking ridiculous,” because of what just happened.

“Everyone was already nervous that they were getting back on because we didn’t know what was going on.”

Because it’s none of your damned business. Whatever happened when the men were off the plane talking to authorities is between the men and the authorities. It’s not your right to know what was discussed. Again, if they were a threat at all, they wouldn’t have been let back onto the plane.

Elizabeth Pomeroy said the two men seemed “jittery and jumpy” and were “acting suspicious.”.

Anyone would be a tad bit jumpy after having an entire plane watch as you disembark with authorities and then come back. What exactly does this woman mean by suspicious? We don’t know and we don’t know if this suspiciousness is a legitimate concern.

“They were talking to each other across the rows — that doesn’t normally happen,” Matt Pomeroy said.
Maybe not on your flights, but it certainly happens on thousands of other flights.

“I told the flight crew, ‘I don’t feel comfortable with this.’ And they felt the same exact way,” Siok said.

So, because you feel uncomfortable with people talking on a plane in another language, you have the authority now to get people kicked off their flight. You don’t even try to understand the situation or know that federal authorities have spoken to the men and allowed them to come back. You trusted the police to do their job after the bombings in town, but not federal law enforcement at the airport. You cannot have it both ways.

At the gate, multiple FBI agents and police officers boarded the plane and escorted the two men off, Matt Pomeroy said. The passengers deplaned for another check.

Pomeroy said he and others felt safer after the additional security sweep of the plane.
Yes, he “felt” safer. He wasn’t actually any safer than before. He just let his unjustified fear and bigotry rule the day.

“I’m glad he hit the call button — absolutely,” Matt Pomeroy said. “There wasn’t much communication, but I think everyone understood what was going on.”

There wasn’t much communication, most likely, because Pomeroy was probably the only one who really felt threatened by people speaking on a plane. If anyone else truly felt this way as well, the flight attendant’s call buttons would have been lit up across the plane.

“Many of the marathon runners on the plane didn’t have places to be today,” Siok said. “You know, it’s better safe than sorry.”

If Siok actually felt this way, then why did he not accept that the federal authorities cleared these men of whatever they were questioned about? Again, if the federal authorities thought these men were even remotely a threat, they would never have allowed the two men to return to the plane.

Yes, Boston was just bombed, but, seriously, people speaking a foreign language doesn’t mean that you’re magically some kind of terrorist. Given the fact that 63% of Arab-Americans are Christian, these bigoted idiots are bashing people who believe just as they do solely because they look and talk funny. While the bombings are over, the racism, hatred, and bigotry from this event will go on for years to come, destroying trust amongst Americans in the process.


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Fascinating video.

“What are you going to do about it?”
“I intend to be a good neighbor.”

More at reddit.

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In the US state of Texas, the board of education is drafting its own version of American history.

The board is changing school textbooks to correct what they say is a “left leaning” bias in education.

But some say the changes have religious and racial overtones.

As Al Jazeera’s Kimberly Halkett reports, the group’s decisions could have a major impact on how history is taught across the US (09 April 2010).

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Last Friday, the Utah legislature passed a resolution stating that there is no climate change and that carbon dioxide is, essentially, harmless to humans and good for plants. Then, over the weekend, they claim that the best way for schools to save money is to get rid of the 12th grade.

Officially the most Republican state in America, its political masters have adopted a resolution condemning “climate alarmists”, and disputing any scientific basis for global warming.

The measure, which passed by 56-17, has no legal force, though it was predictably claimed by climate change sceptics as a great victory in the wake of the controversy caused by a mistake over Himalayan glaciers in the UN’s landmark report on global warming.

It should also be noted that the resolution is not legally binding. It merely expresses someone’s sentiment. In all likelihood, state politicians voted for this as they were “playing politics” to get something more meaningful that they wanted passed and this may have been their only viable option. If you read the resolution, it is very much financially driven.

The fact is, life changes. We are not the same as we were 10,000 years ago, nor 100 years ago. We have weathered ice ages and will again. The major disputes arise from how much man is helping along climate change. Given that an ultra-conservative politician has suggested getting rid of 12th grade, many Utahans would then lack the ability to reason scientific facts and believe whatever it told to them.

Utah is trying to save money on a $700 million budget shortfall. The problem with suggesting eliminating 12th grade or making it an option to graduate early is that it was suggested as a way to save money, forgetting the fact that Utah already has the option for students to graduate early if they’ve finished their requirements.

“We’ve always had an option in place for early graduation,” said Debra Roberts, chairwoman of the Utah Board of Education, adding that it was OK to give students the choice to graduate early, but that they shouldn’t be pushed to leave.

State Senator Chris Buttars is known to be out of touch with what actually happens in the real world. Not only has he suggested eliminating the 12th grade, he has spouted racist epithets and gay bashing. Some statements he has said:

Homosexuality will always be a sexual perversion. And you say that around here now and everybody goes nuts. But I don’t care.”

“Brown v. Board of Education is wrong to begin with.”

Senator Buttars also believes that evolution is a farce and that creationism is factual. Utahans would be best to vote this man out of office so he stops embarrassing the good people of Utah.

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