This is how the NYPD Responds to Allegations of Racial Insensitivity

By now many of you will have read the story of the NYPD officers patrolling the streets of Park Slope, Brooklyn, who told a roving band of dangerous thugs (read: black kids) to get out of the neighborhood:

Cops protecting tony Park Slope, Brooklyn, tailed a group of black teens in their patrol car and ordered them to “get out of the neighborhood,” a stunned witness claimed.

Sara Bennett said five teens were walking along Ninth St. between Sixth and Seventh Aves. at 2:45 p.m. on Sept. 22 when she saw an NYPD patrol car following the youths with its lights and sirens on.

Then, over the loudspeakers, a cop told the teens to leave the area, Bennett said.

“I was upset by (the) police behavior,” Bennett wrote on her Facebook page Wednesday. “I notified my city council person (Brad Lander) about what I had witnessed. His office told me I should voice my concern at a precinct council meeting, so I did.”

At the meeting, Bennett said she “was really, really upset and disturbed” by what happened.

“Not by the kids, but by the way the police were yelling at them to get out of the neighborhood,” Bennett said. “They were just walking down the street.”

(full article available at New York Daily News, original story reported by DNAInfo)

Totally reasonable behavior, right? I mean, there have been reports of fighting, troublemaking teens outside of Atlantic Center Mall, and these dangerous looking street terrorists were ONLY 1.5 miles from that mall. Can’t let them get too close.

So today, less than 24 hours after these reports started going viral, I received an interesting photo from a loyal reader who happens to live in Park Slope (read: my wife).

For those of you who don’t know much about Park Slope, there’s practically never any stationary police presence. Ever. Park Slope is still very Brooklyn in some ways, but it’s so white washed and gentrified you could probably go to bed at night with your door wide open and still wake up with all your belongings. I should know: I’ve done it. Twice (not intentionally, I’m just real dumb). I’ve had friends tell me they’ve left their car windows open all week (also unintentionally and out of dumbness) and come back to find everything intact. It’s not like my old neighborhood (West Harlem) where cops were just cold chillin on the corner all the live long day.

So to see a couple of cops posted up on the corner like this in Park Slope is not typical, at all. But hey, there’s something different about these cops too. I’ll let her describe it herself:

HER
two black cops whose only job today appears to be standing on the corner being black cops
wonder why that is….

ME
Rofl
Where is that

HER
5th ave and 7th st
they were there at 1130, 225 and 245
so I assume they’ve been there all day
harlem style

ME
NOT SNEAKY

HER
and just to appease the extra progressive among us
they included a black FEMALE cop
she’s got to be like 1 of, what?, 5 in the whole NYPD?

This is like the 78th Precinct equivalent of, “I’m not racist. How can I be racist? SOME OF MY BEST FRIENDS ARE BLACK!” This isn’t the first time they’ve put on a show like this (happened after the Eric Garner incident too) and based on the response of the police chief, this won’t be the last.

Maybe they need to replace that “Courtesy Professionalism Respect” on the side of their cars with “Corral Punish Relocate” or “Can’t Possibly be Racist.”

Why St. Louis is the Most Unwelcoming Place I’ve Ever Lived

A friend of mine just posted a story on Facebook about a Washington Post journalist who was illegally detained by Ferguson police while he and a colleague were in town to cover the chaos surrounding the Michael Brown incident. Here’s an excerpt:

During this time, we asked the officers for badge numbers. We asked to speak to a supervising officer. We asked why we were being detained. We were told: trespassing in a McDonald’s.

“I hope you’re happy with yourself,” one officer told me. And I responded: “This story’s going to get out there. It’s going to be on the front page of The Washington Post tomorrow.”

And he said, “Yeah, well, you’re going to be in my jail cell tonight.”

Once at the station, we were processed, our pockets emptied. No mug shots. They removed our restraints and put us in a holding cell. Ryan was able to get ahold of his dad. I called my mom, but I couldn’t get through. I couldn’t remember any phone numbers.

We were in there for what felt like 10 or 15 minutes. Then the processing officer came in.

“Who’s media?” he asked.

We said we were. And the officer said we were both free to go. We asked to speak to a commanding officer. We asked to see an arrest report. No report, the officer told us, and no, they wouldn’t provide any names.

It may shock some of you to hear this, but this type of abuse of power by police is in no way uncommon. Or unexpected. Disappointing? Yes. Unexpected? Not for some of us.

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This Page is the Single Whitest Thing on the Internet

Behold: a Kickstarter campaign asking for $10. To make potato salad. What was (probably) supposed to be a cute lil gag at first has blowuptuated into a $20,000-plus monster.

Pictured above: twenty-plus stacks worth of food

From the horse’s mouth:

I’m making potato salad.

Basically I’m just making potato salad. I haven’t decided what kind yet.

UPDATE: WE DID IT

Stretch Goals:

$35 – I will make 4x as much Potato Salad. I know $40 isn’t 4x $10, but you guys have earned it.

$75 – Pizza Party!

$100 – I will try two different Potato Salad recipes.

UPDATE #2: ALL THE POTATO THAT’S FIT TO PRINT

We made the news. Let’s keep up the good work! New stretch goals coming soon!

http://www.cnet.com/news/guys-kickstarter-dream-making-potato-salad-possibly-with-dill/

UPDATE #3: WOW YOU GUYS

We’re making a lot of great progress. I think it’s time for us to think about getting hats made. I added a new donor level for people who want hats. For those who are interested the hats could look like this: http://www.zazzle.com/i_love_potato_salad_mesh_hat-148005376484063142

Stretch goals:

$250 – Better mayonnaise (from the natural foods section)

$300 – Call a chef to get a better recipe

$350 – Make way more potato salad and probably do a third recipe.

WE MADE THE NEWS!

http://www.abc6onyourside.com/news/features/top-stories/stories/mans-potato-salad-plea-takes-off-kickstarter-33010.shtml

NEW STRETCH GOALS:

$1000: I’ll do a live stream of the potato salad making

$1200: I’ll pay someone to film a thank-you video for all of my backers!

A BIG STRETCH GOAL:

We’re really tearing through these stretch goals. I honestly don’t know what is realistic anymore. So, I thought maybe we try to double the current number?

$3000: My kitchen is too small! I will rent out a party hall and invite the whole internet to the potato salad party (only $10 and above will be allowed in the kitchen)! The internet loves potato salad! Let’s show them that potato salad loves the internet!!

Now let me make a few things clear.

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Untangling FIFA’s Complicated World Cup Tiebreakers

Following a thrilling, soul-crushing, last-minute goal by Portugal to salvage a draw against the United States, Group G sits with two teams tied for first place (Germany, USA) and two teams tied for last place (Portugal, Ghana). Soccer fans, being no different from fans of any other sport, have of course been getting ahead of themselves and spent a good portion of Sunday evening trying to figure out what it would take for the United States to advance to the knockout stage. Unfortunately, given the number of ties in the group, figuring out all the scenarios hasn’t been that simple. Across the land many fans have discovered the complexities of World Cup tiebreakers.

Now, I was taking a look at the literature and as many of you (now) know, head-to-head victory is NOT the first tiebreaker. The phrase “head-to-head” isn’t even anywhere on the list. How un-American is that?! Instead, this what the internet has to say about FIFA/World Cup tiebreakers, with my explanations thrown in.

Tiebreaker #1
Goal difference in the group matches

Simple enough: goals for your team subtracted from goals against your team in all games played so far. Note that despite what you and I think, goals scored off your junk do NOT count extra. There’s no justice in this game. Sorry, Deuce Single.

Tiebreaker #2
Greatest number of goals scored in the group matches

In other words, run up the score ALL THE TIME. Nick Saban probably loves this tiebreaker.

Tiebreaker #3
Greatest number of points obtained in the group matches between the teams concerned

This is the part where FIFA decided to to make the concept of head-to-head tiebreakers as complicated as possible by using the most awkward phrasing it could come up with. Thanks guys, ‘preesh.

Tiebreaker #4
Goal difference resulting from the group matches between the teams concerned

This is the same as Tiebreaker #1 but only taking into account the tied teams. The creativity FIFA has shown in crafting these tiebreakers is staggering.

Tiebreaker #5
Greater number of goals scored in all group matches between the teams concerned

SHOW NO MERCY FOR THINE FELLOW SPORTSMAN. NAY, TO LAY CLAIM TO THE HALLOWED OFFSPRING OF JULES RIMET YOU MUST CRUSH HIM TO SMITHEREENS WITH A VENGEFUL HAIL OF CALLOUSNESS AND SHOTS ON GOAL.

Tiebreaker #6
Drawing of lots by the FIFA Organizing Committee

“Drawing of lots” is how they used to say “by lottery” back in like 1066. That’s approximately how current FIFA’s rule book is.

Now interestingly enough, this is where most websites end when they discuss tiebreakers. But being the crack journalist that I am (i.e., I journal crack) I discovered that “drawing of lots” isn’t supposed to be the sixth tiebreaker, it’s the SIXTEENTH tiebreaker. Here are the missing ten:

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Need Proof College Athletes Should Be Paid? Look No Further.

“My stomach hurts so I’m looking for a purse to snatch.” – Tupac Shakur, “Changes”

I had a story pointed out to me today about four UGA football players getting caught stealing tuition checks and my immediate reaction was, literally, “womp womp.” Such is the nature of my intense hatred for all things University(sic) of Georgia.

But then I actually delved into the article from Athens Banner-Herald and one little sentence hit me with an overwhelming sense of sadness:

The checks were each in the amount of $71.50 and the total loss is valued at $786.50.

(link to onlineathens.com article)

The obvious, easy stance is obvious and easy: stealing is wrong. These guys are idiots. I can’t believe they’d jeopardize their futures for a few measly dollars. MORONS!

See? Easy.

But that’s not how I received that bit of news. So forgive me for what may be an unpopular stance, but it goes something like this: how desperate were these kids that they’d steal $70 checks?? They have to know what would happen to them if they ever got caught, and it’s not like it’s a life-changing amount of money that would make it worth the repercussions. Maybe – MAYBE – if they got even a small stipend, they wouldn’t have found themselves in a situation where stealing $70 checks seemed like a worthwhile endeavor.

Time and time again we hear stories of college athletes – FAMOUS college athletes – who don’t even have enough money in their pockets to take their girlfriends to the movies. Athletes who get caught taking a hundred bucks from somebody because they can’t afford to buy groceries for the week. They’re quite literally living out the famous lyrics from Tupac: stomachs hurting, looking for purses to snatch.

I’m not trying to say stealing is the solution. What I’m saying is what are we doing when we’re sitting idly by, watching old rich dudes get older and richer off the bodes of young, poor kids? Mark Richt is going to make almost $3 million this year. Half the UGA fan base DOESN’T EVEN LIKE HIM. Meanwhile, Tray Matthews, Jonathan Taylor, James DeLoach, and Uriah LeMay are about to have their lives changed because they tried to steal $786.50.

Pay them already.

This is Atlanta’s Idea of a Black Out

The ATL just got hit with a big ice storm. Almost a million folks lost power and a day or so later a lot of people are still in the dark.

In the dark. Pun intended?

Take a look the following screencap of a power outage map taken from the Georgia Power website:

And now take a look at this map of 2010 census data:

Seriously, Atlanta? Seriously?

Go ahead. Tell me it’s a coincidence. Tell me this doesn’t mean anything. Accuse me of playing the race card if you want. It’s not like I WANT everything to fall along racial lines. I would LOVE to find out that there’s a legit reason that these two maps line up the way they do. But if it turns out that there’s no other viable explanation, ya got damn right I’m going to bring up race. This is the south. Race plays a part in EVERYTHING. You can play the ostrich if you want but eventually you’re going to have to pick your head up out the sand and face facts. This is disgusting and shameful. I don’t know how else to call it.

Share this map with your friends. Plese: let me know if anyone comes up with a more plausible explanation. I’d love to hear it. Don’t worry, I’ll wait.

The Disturbing Trend in How People View Richard Sherman, Summed Up in 140 Characters

This happened after tonight’s NFC Championship game between the 49ers and the Seahawks:

Fox’s Erin Andrews: “Take me through it (the interception) …”

Sherman (screaming): “Well, I’m the best corner in the game. When you try me with a sorry receiver like (Michael) Crabtree, that’s the result you are going to get. Don’t you even talk about me.”

Andrews: “Who was talking about you?”

Sherman: “Crabtree. Don’t open your mouth about the best or I’m going to shut it for you real quick. “LOB!” (That’s the abbreviation for “Legion of Boom,” the nickname of the Seahawks’ defense.)

(NJ.com)

The reaction by the internets was swift, and unfortunately, a pattern emerged:

Funny, sad, and accurate.

The pattern is so unbelievably predictable. In my heart of hearts I knew how Sherman’s post-game interview would be received the moment it was complete, but I couldn’t help but hope I was wrong. Alas and alack, I wasn’t wrong.

Lame.

The Whitest Team in Baseball is Fleeing Atlanta

…for Cobb County:

Turner Field is a facility that was built for three weeks of use for the Olympics, but has now served us well for nearly 20 years. The issue isn’t the Turner Field we play in today, but instead whether or not the venue can remain viable for another 20 to 30 years.

Turner Field has served the Braves well since 1997, but it is in need of major infrastructure work, which will cost around $150 million. These upgrades are functional ones, such as replacing worn-out seats or upgrading the stadium’s lighting, and they would do little to significantly enhance the fan experience. If the Braves were to pay for additional projects focused on improving the fan experience, the additional costs could exceed $200 million.

Those upgrades still wouldn’t address the logistical challenges outside the stadium – lack of consistent mass transit options, inadequate number of parking spaces and limited access to major highways.

(link to Deadspin article)

Here’s the proposed new location:

I can’t really fault a team in a salary-cap-less sport like baseball for wanting to own its own house. Braves ain’t doing much with a middle-of-the-road payroll, and writing all them big checks on the first of the month to Ted Turner wasn’t helping matters. Side note: do you think they actually pay rent monthly like the rest of us normal folk? I wonder if they get a five-day grace period too, followed by threatening letters from the leasing office. Hmmm.

The complaints will be plentiful on this one though. Traffic will be worse, there still won’t be good public transportation, you’re leaving Atlanta for NOT Atlanta, taxpayers are being forced to foot most of the bill (thanks for that btw, Cobb County suckers, glad Fulton County gets to avoid pulling a Marlins), etc. One of the commenters on that Deadspin article pointed out another viewpoint though:

The only “logistical challenge” that this new stadium solves is moving the stadium closer to its white suburban fan base and away from the scary black folks who live around the stadium that the white suburban fan base complains about at every opportunity.

Not to make everything about race (do I do that?? nahhhh…) but, I mean, he’s sort of right. Check out this lovely map of 2012 Braves game ticket purchasers:

What’s that called again? Something something flight?

That walk to Turner Field isn’t exactly a picnic for most Braves fans. That area will probably continue to gentrify between now and 2017 (the proposed opening of the new ballpark). Some may even view this move as short-sighted as that area could in fact be pretty hot in four years’ time.

As of right now, though, the walk to a Braves game from the closest MARTA station is like a Bizzaro universe Trail of Tears where white people clutch their babies and their purses, shifting their eyes from side to side in hopes of avoiding a rogue “local” who might be up to no good. Given the demo of the typical Braves fan and the makeup of the neighborhood surrounding Turner Field, I’d venture to say this particular walk ranks amongst the most dreaded in all of American sports commutes. Indeed, one could view this move to Cobb County as a giant metaphorical crossing the street in the middle of the night because a Big Scary Black Guy is walking in your direction. I mean, some people might view it that way. Ahem.

Personally, like I said, I can’t fault a team for wanting a bigger share of the revenue it generates. This is still way down the line, so I’ll reserve my pissed off-ness for the time being and instead I’ll continue to needlessly and recklessly stoke the racial fires this is sure to ignite.

Here’s My Takeaway From This Whole Richie Incognito-Jonathan Martin Fiasco

Post-racial America? LAWL.

How is anyone actually surprised? I mean, have you SEEN Richie Incognito?? All y’all do know he plays football, right? How exactly were you expecting him to act behind closed doors? Bob Griese he is not.

Not trying to excuse bad behavior, just wondering how on earth this story has gotten to be as big as it has. Football players, on occasion, tend to be meatheads. Imagine that!