The Black Therapist and the Autistic Man

After I read this article, and watched the video, and blew my nose, I thought to myself, “If this ever happened to my autistic son’s African American therapist–if he were ever popped by a, ‘I don’t know why I shot him’ law officer, I wouldn’t be able to forgive him. I still feel that way. Especially because these officers added insult to injury by flipping Kinsey over and cuffing him–while he was bleeding. If they’d hit an artery and he had bled out and died, they would have to stand trial for what, second degree murder? Negligent homicide? Hopefully, but probably, not anything. He had his hands up in the air for God’s sake. The lack of understanding and respect in this country–on every level–has me thinking that society’s gone f___ing crazy. I wrote My Son almost TEN years ago. It was prescient, and now it’s dated. Life matters. Whether you’re black, white, disabled, LGBT, a veteran, a senior, a cop, or a child. A little Kumbaya would be nice, I just hope we don’t wipe each other out.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2016/07/21/south-florida-police-shoot-autistic-mans-caretaker-as-lies-in-street.html

South Florida Police Shoot Autistic Man’s Caretaker as He Lies in Street

Police in South Florida Thursday said they were investigating an officer who shot and wounded an autistic man’s caretaker, as video emerged apparently showing the caretaker lying down with his arms raised before being shot.

Police were responding to reports of a man threatening to shoot himself on Monday, North Miami Assistant Police Chief Neal Cuevas told The Miami Herald.

Officers arrived to find 47-year-old Charles Kinsey, a therapist who works with people with disabilities, according to WSVN-TV. His 27-year-old patient reportedly ran away from a group home. The therapist claimed he was trying to return his patient to the facility.

Police ordered Kinsey and the patient, who was sitting in the street playing with a toy truck, to lie on the ground. The video shows Kinsey lying down and putting his hands up while trying to get his patient to comply.

An officer then fired three times, striking Kinsey in the leg, Cuevas said. No weapon was found.

The latest shooting comes amid weeks of violence involving police. Three law enforcement officers were fatally shot and three others wounded Sunday in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, by a shooter whom police also gunned down. Two weeks earlier, two white officers in Baton Rouge killed a black man, Alton Sterling, 37, on July 5 during a scuffle at a convenience store. That shooting, captured on cellphone video, provoked widespread protests about police treatment of the black community.

On July 6, another black man, 32-year-old Philando Castile, was killed in Minnesota when a police officer pulled him over. The next day, a sniper killed five Dallas police officers as they guarded a peaceful protest.

In Florida, Kinsey’s attorney, Hilton Napoleon, provided a cellphone video to the Herald on Wednesday taken moments before the shooting. It shows Kinsey lying in the middle of the street with his hands up, asking the officers not to shoot him, while the autistic man sits next to him, yelling at him to “shut up.”

“Sir, there’s no need for firearms,” Kinsey said he told police before he was shot, according to WSVN. “It was so surprising. It was like a mosquito bite.”

Kinsey is black. Police haven’t released the name or race of the officer who shot him but said he’s been placed on administrative leave, which is standard.

The investigation has been turned over to the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office, Cuevas said.

In an interview with the TV station, Kinsey said he was more worried about his patient than himself during the incident.

“As long as I’ve got my hands up, they’re not going to shoot me. This is what I’m thinking. They’re not going to shoot me,” he said. “Wow, was I wrong.”

 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

 

Hug Your Daughter

My daughter is nineteen, and I treasure her, cherish her, adore her, and so on. All I want to do right now is hug her. I don’t understand this story, or this woman. My chest still hurts after reading about these killings. Of course she had a gun. That made it easier to carry out a solid plan. I guess they’ll make a movie about this family. What a shame.

What to Know About Christy Sheats and the 2 Daughters She Shot Dead

Just Like Tofu Trump, I Can’t Help Myself

I almost nearly swore when I started this blog a year ago I wouldn’t discuss politics or religion. How ludicrous. I’ve broken my promise several times with zeal. I can’t help it. This is an election year. And a buffoon is running for president.  And my blog is about, “Dumbfounding Human Behavior.” Trump fits both the dumb, and the behavior, if the behavior is “very, very bad.” Or a “disgrace” or unterrific.

In Trump fashion I’ve come up with several monikers for the presumptive nominee: Bozo Donald, after my favorite unevolved, carrot-haired clown, Fascist Donald, (which has no ring to it but makes perfect sense) even Narcissist Donald. Of course branding him is a waste of time, it’s not like he’ll ever see or appreciate my extreme wit. And he wouldn’t care anyway. He’d brag that I’ve copied the way he sophomorically labels people. I don’t care, I can’t help myself.

I have a new one: Tofu Trump. (Yes, I know it sounds cheesy.) But just like tofu, The Donald is full of holes and boring. (He says the same thing over and over and over and over again. And bragging about yourself constantly is dull.) But more importantly, he doesn’t have a solid, inner core. He takes on the flavors around him and TRUMPets what people are desperate to hear at the time. A few weeks ago when he met with establishment Republicans like Paul Ryan and others, he was on his best behavior and cheerfully repeated the party’s platform. (Pardon the alliteration.) What a relief. He was going to deliver the health benefits of tofu. You know, what is healthy for the party. “Yes, Yes, Yes! Our man is “Presidential!” Yes, he was all-consuming for a thirty-minute period.

But then a day later, at one of his infamous rallies, he delivered the unhealthy side of Tofu Trump. He took on the flavor of the bigotry around him—the intense, primitive hunger from people craving change in any form—and became the dangerous man he truly was, and is. The puffed up Grand Insulter, the race baiter, the liar. He can’t help himself. He has to blast anyone, whether they be a judge, journalist, or opponent, who questions his power and authority. The irony is that the more shots he fires off at his supposed enemies, the more holes he’s blasting into himself. (Just look at his poll numbers. Pity he can’t boast about them today.) Instead of soaking up knowledge or positivity he doubles down on his rhetoric—on his spongy self–and comes up dry.

Wow, I’ve really enjoyed my metaphors today. I wish I had more time to opine, but I’m reluctant to give over my power and energy to such a spongy, coreless individual. Sometimes I just can’t help myself, though. Sometimes I wish I could just fire off some good old fashioned ridicule in his ever expanding, tangerine face. It’s frightening that he’s running for the highest office in the land. It’s frightening that he got past better qualified candidates who foolishly cross cut themselves. Power-addled candidates with stars in their eyes, who simply couldn’t give up their quest, even at the expense of the nation they purported to love. The media is even more frightening. They practically handed Trump the nomination with millions of dollars of free coverage. And a free pass. We the People need to call him on his bullshit. I’m sure I will break my promise yet again, and complain about him very soon. I just can’t help myself.

Trump Is A Phony, And It Just Might Work

I’ve been echoing these sentiments to my husband for months but it’s scary to see it in black and white. I pray that Dilbert is wrong.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/comic-riffs/wp/2016/03/21/donald-trump-will-win-in-a-landslide-the-mind-behind-dilbert-explains-why/?tid=hybrid_experimentrandom_3_na

I Want to be a Pundit When I Grow Up

One of my guilty pleasures throughout the day, the evening, and in the wee hours is to retread the political news.  I record all of my favorite news programs, or “shows” in the morning so that I may consume them conveniently all day long.  I never get tired of watching.  How sad.

I used to think it was because I was addicted to the election, but now I’m beginning to realize that what I’m addicted to are the pundits. (Yes, that is sad.) They are comfortably middle-aged, for the most part, and very very wise. I know all of the talking heads by name on my favorite networks and several more on my least favorite networks.  I don’t discriminate, I watch and listen to everyone.  Even if I end up throwing my bagel at the TV.

In fact, there are a few people I can’t wait to see, and when they appear I get excited.  “Oh look!  So and So, my favorite political contributor is on!”  Or, “Isn’t that So and So, the former strategist?”  I want to be a So and So.  I used to think I wanted to be a movie star, but I believe my true calling is to be a pundit.

Do I need any special training for this?  I don’t think so.  Yes, I realize that most pundits are former strategists, or politicians, or legal analysts, or political historians.  But can’t I just rely on my big mouth and big opinions?  Not to sound grandiose, but I know more than most of these people, and that’s just the plain truth.  Ask anyone in my family or anyone unfortunate enough to sit next to me at my kitchen table.  I know what’s going to come out of a pundit’s mouth before they do.

Sometimes I picture myself sitting up there at one of those round tables, or on one of those uncomfortable stools adjusting my skirt–just sitting there, laughing with the other guests, waiting to be called on.  I could do it, I just know I could.  And if I contributed something truly witty or keen I would beam on the inside with pride.

Of course, the flip side is uttering something that’s not intelligent or original.  The kind of tripe that’s not worthy of a cable news program.  I know the worst offenders and I hate it when they come on.  “Oh God, not So and So again, she’s such an idiot!” Or “Why do they keep asking him to come on?  He’s a relic.  And an idiot.”

Of course, that’s the sticking point.  Looking like an idiot.  You don’t have to necessarily be an idiot to look like one.  And in true narcissistic, movie star form I would loathe looking like an idiot.  I would make damn sure I knew the issues inside and out.  I mean, who would actually appear on a news program and not be prepared, prepped, or informed? Who would have the nerve to go on the air before the American people and not know anything?  Would anyone be immature enough to think they could rely simply on their charm or bluster to fool the American electorate?

But I digress.  I don’t think being a pundit is in the stars for me.  I believe that ship has sailed.  I’ll have to content myself with chatting to my TV screen only.  To keeping my righteous indignation to myself.  To depriving the public of my wisdom.  To swallowing my factual opinions, only to regurgitate them later when my husband comes home.  What a shame.  Anderson, I am a grown up, (for the most part) but you’ll just have to do without me for now.

Just Hold Your Nose and Vote

This has been an unpresidented campaign season. We the People still have no idea who will be occupying the oval office next January. No one has hit their delegate count yet, and political fervor and favor morph every day. It’s still true that a candidate will say and do just about anything for a vote, but the pandering has hit a new level. I’ve seen hyperbole on both sides of the aisle, and enough locker room vulgarity to last me until the next election cycle. Nothing is shocking anymore, nothing is surprising. Except for maybe the fact that this year is unknowable and unpredictable. Even the polls are getting everything—including us—wrong. I yearn for the days when you could walk down the streets of your town and profile your fellow citizens perfectly. You could nail them—what their religion was, where they liked to eat, what their hobbies were, where they liked to shop, what music they enjoyed, and so on, by their political yard sign.

I remember what I said to my daughter years ago when she asked me why I didn’t park closer to a convenience store way off the highway in the North Carolina countryside. I rolled my foreign car into an obscure spot under about 32 trees. It was an election year and I told her I didn’t want to offend anyone with my bumper stickers. In reality, I didn’t want anyone to key scratch my car when we were inside the store.

Now, you can’t presume anything about an individual based on the candidate they’re supporting. Even if it seems obvious. As a nation most of us have been forced to settle a bit when it comes to our current crop of candidates. You might vote for someone in a primary just because they are the lesser of two, three, or four evils. You might vote for one candidate simply to negate another. There are exceptions of course. I’ve already spotted a few unapologetic Bernie signs around town. They’ve been mounted by the young, the idealistic, and the vegan. Okay, that’s not fair, but I like to stereotype. (However, my teenage daughter is a relentless Feel the Bern fan and she’s been a vegetarian for over five years now.)

The great irony of all this is that I’m old enough to remember wearing Nehru collars, maxi dresses, and elephant bell pants. I listened to the Cowsills, collected Aquarius posters, and filled my room with incense and peppermints. And I’m still not 100% sure of my vote. Is it because I also own a pair of cowboy boots, enjoy skeet shooting, and was born in Houston, Texas? This has been a crazy election year so far for We the People. One filled with bemusement, soul-searching, and ambivalence. Some of us won’t be able to cast our ballots with the same enthusiasm as in years past. Maybe because we’re confused about our own political yard sign. In most cases—at least in the primaries—we might be forced to just hold our noses and pull the lever.

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