Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Stand Your Ground Against

Stand Your Ground?

I hate this law.  After the first murder of an unarmed black teenager I learned about this law in Florida.  And it felt to me like a justification for killing people we fear.  Basically I feared it meant open season for killing young African American and Latino men.

Am I immune to fear?  Of course not!  Would I be scared if a group of young black men began calling me names and surrounded me?  Of Course.  Would I be scared if a group of young white men began calling me names and surrounded me?  Absolutely!  I'm scared when Any man, or any woman  I don't know approaches me on the street.

In St. Louis there were times when I was afraid.  Once I was spit on and trash was thrown on me by a bus mostly filled with black teenagers.  Once a man who sounded black followed me shouting "Hey honky, hey whitey".  I just kept moving and figured out later that I was receiving a bit of what they had been given.  Did that make it right?  No, but it made such incidents understandable, especially since I was only frightened, not physically harmed.

I was groped by a Latino man I couldn't get away from once.

But my torturers were just like me, white and Native people of mixed heritage.  So shall we play the race card and say it was the Indian blood?  Bullshit.

I still try to treat any stranger respectfully unless they  show me I need to get the hell away from them Now, by verbally or physically threatening me.

In neither of the "Stand Your Ground" cases in Florida did the young black  man killed start a fight by verbally or physically threatening the white man who shot them.

One man on NPR this morning made the point that you can't Expect kids to act like 45 year-old adults.  When I was younger I played music Loud and was called names for it along with my friends.  That music frightened adults.  But this has never been and is not now a reason for killing.  I understand terror and the rage it can provoke too well.  But I Can't understand the social immaturity of either those who would pass a law allowing murder on the basis of fear or of those who kill on such a basis.

Under the right circumstances I and anyone else can be afraid enough to do horrible things.  And That is Exactly why I and everyone Else needs Laws to Protect those we might harm for no reason except our own ignorance and Fear.  "Stand Your Ground" is just the Opposite kind of law!  It says, "Go ahead, give in to your fear, it's a terrible world out there, so kill what you fear if you Feel it Might hurt you."

Neither wearing a hoody nor playing lound music is a reason to lose a young life.  I have had many white neighbors who did Exactly what those kids in Florida are said to have done.  When asked, they turned down their music.  When they thought no one was paying attention, they cranked it back up again.  Some of these neighbors were kids and some were adults.

New Subject:  Have you ever been to a blasted or open pit mining site?  I have.  It feels like death, no birds, no plants, broken rock, I've heard it looks like the moon!  Trees are the lungs of the Earth, giving us oxygen, soaking up carbon dioxide, helping to bring rain.  Animals are often the food poor people depend on when lack of money and our changing climate ruin their gardens or cause them to eat beans two or three times per day, when they have them.  Animals die from the same diseases we do when drinking or wading in poisoned water.  You and I are over 90% water.  We All have to work to Share what is left on Earth, still much beauty.

Mountain Top Removal creates Jobs, so does Building Nuclear Weapons and Smuggling Guns, do any of them make the kind of world we want to live in?

Poisoned rivers are only one partof the coal industry's effects on West Virigina
Coal companies are blowing our mountain to rubble with financing from Wall Street
banks like PNC.
Tell PNC to stop financing extreme forms of mining that wipe away the wilderness
and poison mountain communities.
Sign the Petition

Wall Street banks like PNC are trying to wipe our mountains off the map.
In a desperate rush to squeeze more profit out of dwindling coal seams, coal companies
are turning to an extreme form of mining known as mountaintop removal. It’s exactly
what it sounds like:
Appalachian mountains are being blown to pieces with heavy explosives.
It’s not just wild forests and mountains that are being destroyed.
As heavy metals and arsenic leach into water supplies, communities are being poisoned.
 Children in Appalachian coal mining communities are 42% more likely to be born with
birth defects and have a life expectancy that is almost 5 years lower than the national
PNC says it’s “a leader in eco-friendly development” but it’s financing some of the
worst perpetrators of mountaintop removal and
profiting from the destruction.
Tell PNC to divest from companies that practice mountaintop removal coal mining.
These children, and their communities, are running out of time.
 Every single day, PNC-funded projects are blasting the mountains and contaminating
the water. And every day more people are getting cancer and other illnesses. Junior
Walk, now an adult, tells of the experience of growing up in an affected Appalachian
When they started pumping the liquid coal waste into the abandoned coal mines above
my home when I was a little child, my family’s water soon turned blood-red and smelled
like sulfur. If you ran a bath, you had to step out of the room for a minute or so
before you got in. Of course we didn’t drink it, but we still had to shower in it,
wash our dishes and clothes in it, and sometimes cook with it. We thought if we boiled
it, that it’d be alright because it stopped smelling. But it turns out that ain’t
the case.
We can’t let PNC fund disease and destruction any longer. Ask PNC to stop funding companies that practice mountaintop removal.
In 2010, PNC responded to pressure by introducing a policy of not providing funding
to individual mountaintop removal projects, or providing credit to coal producers
whose primary extraction method is mountaintop removal.
And yet, in 2011, PNC provided loans for 4 of the 5 largest coal companies.
These 4 companies account for 47% of all mountaintop removal coal mining. The policy
amounted to nothing.
But we know that PNC care what the public thinks of it. And we know that the will
is there to change.
In April, a quarter of PNC shareholders voted in favour of a proposal calling on
PNC to evaluate its financial risk of funding carbon intensive practices such as
coal mining.
 In terms of shareholder activism, that is huge. If we put enough pressure on PNC
to divest from mountaintop removal mining projects, we could have a tremendous impact
on the communities and landscapes of Appalachia. Let’s stand up to the big banks
and let them know we put people before profit -- they should too.
Thanks for all that you do,
Hanna, and the rest of us at
More Information:
PNC defends coal business loans, says they help economy
, Triblive, 25 April
PNC Shareholders' Meeting Slammed With Environmental Protests
, Allegheny Front, 26 April
SumOfUs is a worldwide movement of people like you, working together to hold corporations
accountable for their actions and forge a new, sustainable path for our global economy.
Please help keep SumOfUs strong by chipping in $3.


No comments:

Post a Comment