dochoc's blog

All Not Well, Orwell, The Oklahoman, C. 1984-2016

(”In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”—Eric Arthur Blair)

I know the term “Orwellian,” which references propagandistic themes in author George Orwell’s novel 1984 and other works, is now overwrought to explain contemporary right-wing media lies, but an editorial in The Oklahoman Wednesday literally cries out for its use.

Here’s the editorial’s headline, for example: “No obvious winner emerged from first Clinton-Trump debate.” Or, maybe, to put it in other words, “Was is peace,” or “Freedom is slavery,” or “Ignorance is strength,” or “The Oklahoman is journalism,” all famous cited quotes from the novel, except for the last one, of course. They reflect not only the tone of yet another goofy, soul-destroying commentary in The Oklahoman for thinking people but also the entirety of Donald Trump’s dystopian presidential campaign.

By all means, click on the link to the editorial I provided but you’re going to find a lot missing from it, mainly any outside evidence supporting the claim that the debate was a draw or that “No obvious winner emerged . . .”. Scientific polling after the debate, not the simple, easily manipulated online polls, showed that a vast majority of people believed Clinton won the debate handily.

A CNN/ORC poll conducted after the debate—this was a real telephone poll with interviews—showed that 62 percent thought Clinton won the debate compared to just 27 percent for Trump. A later Politico/Morning Consult poll showed that 49 percent of people thought Clinton was the winner compared to 26 percent for Trump. A small focus group organized by well-known political manager and operative Frank Luntz gave Clinton a 16-6 edge.

Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight later summed it up this way:

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Racism Prevails In OKC Council 6-3 Vote

The lopsided vote by the Oklahoma City Council yesterday against a proposal to create an Indigenous Peoples’ Day in the city shows us racism and historical misunderstanding still thrive among some local leaders.

The historical record is clear. Christopher Columbus, who doesn’t even come close to being an “American,” was a racist, murdering monster. He and the government he represented killed native people indiscriminately throughout the world, and the holiday some celebrate and many protest in his name in October is a major historical error. Creating an Indigenous Peoples’ Day is a way to help rectify or least mitigate that error.

But the Oklahoma City Council, for the second year in a row, voted down this week the proposal to create an Indigenuous Peoples’ Day. The vote was 6 to 3 against the resolution. To their credit, Councilors Ward 2 Ed Shadid, Ward 4 Pete White and Ward 7 John Pettis voted in favor of it. Shadid, in particular, voiced strong support for the measure, according to media reports.

The right-wing Mayor Mick Cornett, who once ran a political campaign touting his opposition to same-sex marriage, and Councilors Ward 1 James Greiner, Ward 3 Larry McAtee, Ward 5 David Greenwell, Ward 6 Meg Salyer and Ward 8 Mark Stonecipher voted against people who actually live here.

Here’s a little fact you might want to consider telling your children if their elementary school teachers are filling their heads with textbook lies about the “hero” Columbus, who didn’t “discover” the United States in 1492:

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Hands Up. Don’t Shoot.

Image of protest sign at the BLM rally in Tulsa

I’m sure at least some people who came of age during the 1960s like myself have an almost surreal and incredulous feeling when protesting in the streets against police brutality in 2016. I know I do.

Didn’t we, or shouldn’t we, have this figured out by now? Why does the government-sanctioned violence against black people continue?

I participated Saturday afternoon in a Black Lives Matter march and rally in downtown Tulsa in the aftermath of the police killing of 40-year-old Terence Crutcher last week. Police officials released a dash cam video showing Crutcher, a black man, had his arms up in a surrender gesture as he walked around his car. They also confirmed he was not in possession of a weapon.

The police officer who shot him, Betty Shelby, who is white, has been charged with first-degree manslaughter.

I won’t rehash the facts of the case, which I wrote about earlier here and here. What I want to do in this post is deal with the two larger ideas: (1) The history of and lingering racism in the country, and (2) the white silence that continues to allow its existence within our nation’s major institutions, such as police departments.

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