Thursday, December 01, 2005

Blame, Responsibility & Stupid People

I had told myself I would never post about gov' or thoughts that regard society, didn't want to get too deep but today I am annoyed and it has been building! I will surely get flamed for my opinions as my first question is: When did society become so stupid? Followed by: When did we stop being accountable for our own actions? And When did it become acceptable to pass blame to everyone else?

This mornings thoughts were sparked as I was gently awoke by the morning news on the radio. As I rolled over not wanting to leave the safety and warmth of my bed, the reality of stupid people was yet again brought to light. First on the agenda, Tookie Williams. If you are unaware, he is the founder of the Crips gang and was convicted and sentenced to death for 4 brutal murders. The controversy is the fight to spare his life. Why? Because he now writes children's books. So this will show that he should no longer be held accountable for the 4 brutal murders that he was convicted of. He is now a role model, a great guy, someone to look up to, he "deserves" a second chance. What about those he murdered? They will never get a second chance. Oh and if that argument doesn't work they are falling back on this...there were no African Americans on the jury. WTF! He brutally (I am using this word for dramatic effect) murders 4 people (that we know of) but he didn't get a fare trial because there were no African Americans on his jury. So if there had been some on the jury he wouldn't have been convicted? I am sorry folks but put me on a jury of some white dude who did the same thing and I am not gunna find him innocent cuz his skin color is the same as mine! That is ridiculous! And with that logic that African American or any race would not convict someone if they share that same race, then never let them on the jury! It's a scary thought that the guilty could go free because they share an ethnicity with those on the jury.

So as my annoyance grew I rolled over and pulled the covers taunt around my shoulders. Ah so snuggly, who cares about this Tookie crap, I am warm in my bed with the soft sprinkle of rain drops hitting my window. But it didn't end there. You see the next item was that all movies must now be rated with a smoking warning. Why? Because it is apparently Hollywood's fault for the increase of youth smokers. That is correct. The fault isn't the stupidity of anyone who chooses to smoke in this age of knowledge of it's ill effects. And of course it is not the fault of parents or families that chose not to speak to their children about the dangers of smoking. No. It is all Hollywood's fault. Damn Hollywood, you evil doers!

This of course made me shake my head at what is happening to society and the fear of those who want to lead us. I am middle of the road with government issues. I believe in pro choice but I also believe in a welfare system, just not the ones we have. You see I was at one time dependent on this system back in Canada. I was unable to work and had to fight to prove my disability. Yup despite the fact that you can just look at me and see, that wasn't good enough. I had to prove I had a chronic illness and needed disability. Not only that but every three months I had to go down to the offices and prove I hadn't been miraculously cured, or hadn't just been pretending. What would tick me off the most is waiting in line behind the same group of 19 year old healthy guys, dressed in their designer jeans and $100 sports jerseys, talking about the party they'd be having later, while I was struggling to have enough money after bills to eat. I had to fight to take advantage of a system that was meant for people like me when it is so freely handed to those who were simply taking advantage.

Why is there such a feeling of entitlement today? Why don't people believe in working for what they have? If you can't afford it, you don't get it. That's what we were told as kids. When did it become a right to have cars, cell phones and fancy things? A friend made a comment about some of the Katrina victims. They were interviewed and listed all the things they lost, big screen TV's, fancy electronics etc... but when asks if they had insurance the answer was no. The attitude was, but we're poor, we lost everything. Call me cold hearted but if you could afford that stuff you could afford insurance. I know, I know. What happened was a tragedy, I am not denying that, what angers me is that it is expected from so many that we pay and replace those items that they feel entitled to have. What happened to responsibility?

I have personally dealt with a lack of responsibility by some around me recently, I won't mention what, just that no one would take responsibility for their actions, they just blamed everyone else, to where nothing was resolved. Even I was blamed but actually had the proof that I was in no way at fault.

And what about other news worthy incidents. Stupidity to the highest and yet was taken into consideration by others. This is even stupider and down right scary, what am I talking about? Well getting fat by eating fast food and then suing the restaurants of course. How idiotic to you have to be to get fat from eating the wrong stuff and then blame others. And who and why would other morons encourage this behavior by taking this case and saying this was logical?? This just blows my mind!

Or even the fact that in California, if you were to break into someone's house and get hurt while doing so, you can actually sue the home owners. Regardless if you slipped and hurt yourself, or the home owner clubbed you over the head in an attempt to keep his family safe. This brings me back to Tookie. If you don't want to go to prison or get the death sentence, then don't break the law. You do the crime, you do the time. What is so hard to understand about that? Why do criminals seem to have more rights then victims?

This is my mornings quote by some lady who makes #1 on my Moron List.. "We understand that the death penalty is contributing to violence in society, we need to learn to forgive." I flicked the radio off at that point and as I stepped toward my bedroom door I paused, for I swear I heard the faint sound of laughter and cheers of agreement from all those hardened criminals who also believe that a warm hug and a soft "We forgive you" would change them forever. *wink, wink, nudge, nudge*

16 comments:

Bitchet said...

hmmmmm, you got me thinking with this one. I can't stand stupid people as well, it's unfortunate we live in a society where we are surrounded by them!

Zee said...

LOL....when I saw I had a comment from someone unknown I mildly panicked. I was prepairing for some sort of "How dare you not want to free Tookie"...now if only I could get more people thinking...heck if only more people would actually think...LOL.

wendy said...

how ironic. dh and I were chatting about this over the weekend.

I think I agree with your general point about writing good books not excusing his past crimes. But then again, I'm of the asian karma mentality.

One thing though. About the race thing? I think the point isn't that he wouldn't have been convicted - but that he maybe wouldn't have received the death penalty. African Americans vastly outnumber any other race on death row. Advocates say that statistic reflects some racial issues. I don't know how I feel about it - haven't followed the facts of the case enough to have formed that opinion. You've got me thinking too...

Zee said...

The point you made "African Americans vastly outnumber any other race on death row. Advocates say that statistic reflects some racial issues" is very interesting.

I would love to know the statistics on what voilent crimes and how many of them are commited by each race. Could it not be said that they take up the majority on death row because they are the majority who commits crimes that warrant death row punishments?

I truly don't know the statistics but I think it would be silly to believe the majority are there because of their race. Nor do I believe that white voilent offenders are not getting the death sentance just because they are white. Would love to see statistics though!

But as I said before if you don't want to spend your life in prison, or get the death penalty, be a law abiding citizen. Most of us are and understand that concept.

wendy said...

Do a google search for (Supreme Court) Justice Blackmun before he died (he did a few years ago). He issued a widely published statement on the death penalty that discussed it very well, from a national perspecttive. He decided not to uphold it until they could address the racial issues. That is when I backed off from my previous position on it - (which was exactly as you are posting, so dno't think i'm a tree hugging liberal. I am, but on law and order, i'm pretty old school)

Zee said...

Oh I wasn't thinking that at all Wendy, you brought up a good point and I was just commenting on it. But I wouldn't know the facts without seeing them first. ;) I will check that out.

I am not a tree hugging liberal. I used to be way more liberal until recent years. I just feel that society keeps trying to put blame else where. No one seems accountable for their own actions, or in other words they do stupid things and blame others or make excuses for doing stupid things. You know what they say about excuses.....LOL

Missy said...

I consider myself fiscally conservative but very liberal on social issues. The death penalty is one social issue where my tree hugging roots don't hold up. I am in favor of the death penalty and really wish that it was used more effectively. Of course I don't want to see a racial bias - anyone who commits a crime eligable for death should be treated equally.

I am very lucky that nobody in my immidiate family has been impacted by violent crime. However I almost alway put myself in the victims family shoes. There is nothing anyone can do to bring back their loved ones. I have a hard time justifing why we should forgive someone of their crime even if they have done positive things while in jail.

DH said...

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics website, http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/glance/tables/drracetab.htm, there are 1,851 White persons and 1,390 black persons on death row in 2004. Only 59 were carried out in 2004. There is an obvious difference in proportional representation of the two races on death row. According to the CIA's world factbook, http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/us.html Whites represent 81.7% of the U.S. population and blacks represent 12.9%. Of course there are only a limited number of possibilities to explain the discrepancy. 1. Racism, 2. Actual Guilt.

I have to assume that racism does play a role, but I strongly feel that actual guilt is the strongest factor. There are, of course, infinite shades of gray where both have influence in sentencing. With the assumption that racism occurs, at least in some cases, I still feel that through the nearly endless appeals, (often through the entire remaining life span of the convicted) that if racism had occurred, an appeals court would at some point likely uncover the unfair verdict or sentencing. Therefore I have to assume the majority are probably guilty. The REAL question in my mind is: Why would they dis proportionally commit violent crimes?

"That's easy!!!" cries the liberal public. "It's the result of the white man holding the black man down!!!" I hear it all the time. Somehow I'm responsible for a lack of education in poor communities, which are often occupied by persons of color. Am I responsible for the violence in those communities? Remember that the majority of the violent crime that puts many of America's black youths on death row is black on black violence. GANG VIOLENCE. Something I think Tookie may be familiar with. So is it my fault that the Crips gang was founded?

Are gangs founded to fight the injustice in society to gain equality for the downtrodden, or are they just a way to amass a form of power and presence to compete for territory, which is of course just territorial rights to victimize those who reside within your boundaries? Aren't the gangs the ones who sell the dope and crack and anything contraband to their newly minted citizens? By supplying a substance which destroys ones capability to live a meaningful life and reducing them from an economically viable citizen to a person of little value in society, often showcased by the minor crimes committed to obtain just enough cash to get that next so badly needed high, are the gangs supplying an escape from a reality that was not present before but now must be fed on an ever increasing basis? How long until a substance abuser must resort to violence to get their high? Would they kill their dealer?

It's a terribly violent, perpetual spiral of death. Drug abuse is a cancer that spreads through a community, fed by the local gangs. I don't think we need to even mention the violence of gang rivalry. In these communities, everyone becomes a victim of petty crime. The children are now at risk. They grow up without proper adult role models. They learn the violent ways of the street and may be forced into a gang life just for protection, protection from a rival gang that recruits it's members by promising to protect them from the former. Add on top of that, many victims refuse to snitch on the gang member perpetrator fearing reprisals.

It won't take long for small businesses to decide to leave the violent community behind. Of course jobless rates will rise and the average income will fall. So now where do the tax dollars come from to pave the city streets? How about simply filling the potholes? Who's going to pick up the trash off the sidewalk? What about that lovely grafitti that many liberals call "Art"? Who will pay for all the social services provided by the city? Communities die without the income to sustain them.

Thanks Tookie for your invaluable gift to us all. Just how much responsibility do you accept for the death of countless thousands of youths? What about the deaths of numerous once beautiful communities? What about the billions of dollars spent fighting this cancer? No, you didn't act alone, and no, you weren't convicted of poisoning communities. You were however convicted of viscously killing 4 people with shotgun blasts - execution style.

With gangs going strong long after you authored your anti-gang children's books, and your refusal to admit to the murders, always claiming innocence, I cannot and will not have any sympathy for you.

Anonymous said...

Ok, after reading for awhile, I am delurking. I am mostly at MMM and right now, I cannot remember how I originally got to your blog, lol.

Anyway, I am not against the death penalty. If the survivors of victims find comfort in having the perp pay for the crimes by death, then so be it.

What's sad is that it seems that the justice system is tailored to the criminal and not the victims.

strawberrygirl said...

Great post Danea...you are one deep girl. WE are a lot alike...hmmmm...could we be related????

My blog has been updated your majesty:)

Anonymous said...

Ok, after reading for awhile, I am delurking. I am mostly at MMM and right now, I cannot remember how I originally got to your blog, lol.

Anyway, I am not against the death penalty. If the survivors of victims find comfort in having the perp pay for the crimes by death, then so be it.

What's sad is that it seems that the justice system is tailored to the criminal and not the victims.

(sorry, forgot to post my name)

Genevieve

wendy said...

on the simple question of does race impace sentencing? historically, yes, I think the numbers strongly suggest it. the person of color who commits a crime against a white person is more likely to get a harsher punshment than if the victim was another person of color. Or that mothers tend to get lighter sentencing, even for the strongest crimes. At least that's how it apepars to me.

on the poverty issue? well, that opens up a whole other debate, dh...

I don't know the answers. No one does. or the problem wouldn't exist.

but there is a differential in how communities are treated, which leads to a downward spiral of despair that has very litle exit. People do exit and do tremendous things with their lives. But most don't and/or are unable to. race or social econmic reasons? no one really knows and everyone probably has a different opinion. Katrina laid that debate wide open. One article I read said it best, I think. that even in America in 2005, race and poverty unforutnately do have an unfortunate connection that oftentimes makes them inseperable from each other. There are white kids caught up in that cycle too.

Is all of this your fault b/c you happen to be white? no. I don't think anyone really thinks that, not even the most liberal. But, to say that people of color are more like to commit a violent crime, I think, is as naive as it is to say that all people of color are on death row only BECAUSE of their race. it is much more complex than that. there are differences, innate things that happen to people because of color. for example, people who don't know my DH well enough to know about me (or his own political beliefs) will say the most amazingly ignorant things to him about people of color. It is absolutely shocking. So, yes, I aboslutely believe racists still exist. I see it. On BOTH sides of the color aisle... and it DOES affect how people treat others. I am absolutely convinced of that.

Thanks for an invigorating debate!!

Yer Daddy said...

Are we related?
I think maybe we are.. as we think a like and share the same wit...(cept yours is sharper than mine ) I think you should dethrone Arnie as governor.. and really give them hell.

Zee said...

It sure was nice to see my DH respond to my blog as he is a reader but usually silent.

Glad to see you delurked Genevieve!

Tara...it's about time! LOL.

Wendy, I have enjoyed reading your views here. I had not intended to start a debate with this whole tookie thing but have enjoyed the opionions that have been expressed! :)

Daddy, yup we are related, but I personally am an Arnold fan, lord only know what the media is feeding you guys up there...hehehe...no I I do not want to start an arnold debate...LOL.

DH said...

I certainly agree that racism exists. I have a hunch that it will be around for much longer than most might like to think. I think humans, by their nature tend to stick to their own group. Not just by inherited race, but also by simple choice. A great example would be football fans. Locally, the Oakland Raiders are well known to have some violent fans. Fights and stabbing occur frequently after games. It amazes me how someone can hate someone merely based upon rooting for an opposing team. I find that entirely unacceptable and wonder what happened to friendly competition? Don't get me started on children's sports and their parents going berserk at the slightest disagreement with the ref.

I agree that race issues are so incredibly complex when it comes to poverty, civil rights, equality and any other tangled string in that web, that it may never be completely unknotted. Many books from all sides have been written trying to enlighten the populace, but whatever their impact, the problem persists.

In regards to my previous post, I absolutely believe that gangs are the key cancer that spreads the hate by their violent practices. I realize that the advancement of our society relies on our ability to fight this multi front war on gangs, racism, poverty and general inequality, but living in a democracy where we are free to associate with whomever we like, for better or worse, the fight will be long and hard. In order for the healing to begin, the gangs must be eliminated, along with their leaders.

I think the true political difference between most Americans (who acknowledge these disparities exist) is exactly how and where do we start. The time is obviously now.

wendy said...

I've really enjoyed the debate. And if I may - dh you debate as well as any opposing counsel I've ever had. Just superb.

I realized I never answered your first question. NO, I don't think he should be taken off death row. I thought of you as I read the full page ad in the LA times taken out by the NAACP.

Have a great week everyone. And Zee, many thanks for not getting upset with me for posting such longwinded replies.