August 2019

There are social penalties to being black in America. Increased difficulty in getting a job. Petty insults accrued while swimming, barbequing or selling water. And greater jeopardy in the criminal justice system. Consider the case of Cedric Mitchell.

Mitchell is a black man, married to a white woman, Tiffany, who brought kids to the marriage before she had three more with Cedric. A happy, blended family in Twin Falls, Idaho. 

While driving on June 7th, Mitchell ran into the back of Dwayne Steiner’s 1997 Dodge Ram, which had stopped at an intersection. According to the affidavit of probable cause, he was going between 75 and 79 miles an hour in a 30 mile an hour zone. The vehicles ended up in oncoming traffic.

In the collisions that ensued Dwayne’s wife Maryann was severely injured and died in hospital two days later. The lead prosecutor, Grant Loebs, charged Mitchell with one count of first-degree murder and seven counts of felony aggravated battery.

Loebs says he hasn’t yet decided whether to pursue this as a death penalty case or settle for life behind bars.

In fairness, Mitchell has a record. He was charged with four felonies in Arizona, including assaults on two police officers. He was charged with an assault on medical personnel for an incident on the way from the wreck to hospital.

And he has faced multiple vehicle-related charges in the past six years, including failure to provide proof of insurance, driving without privileges, failure to register a vehicle, and driving with a suspended or invalid license.

But what reason could the prosecutor possibly have for pursuing this as a deliberate killing? No ‘evidence’ has been offered except for Loeb’s statement in response to whether he will seek capital punishment: “I don’t know, it’s too early to think about the death penalty.” He claims that there’s no way it was an accident. “It’s not like ‘Oops, I was texting. Nobody believes that.”

Really? Why not? Is there a confession? Did Mitchell leave a note to explain his behavior? He didn’t know the Steiners, so it’s not personal. And there was no theft or other crime involved. His previous traffic incidents had all been documentary rather than accidents.

And let’s, for argument’s sake, say that Mitchell was having a mental breakdown how does that justify a first-degree murder charge?

The state is arguing that Mitchell hadn’t tried to brake or swerve before the collision. That would seem to be an equally good proof of distracted driving. Perhaps he fell asleep? As evidence of murder, it seems thin.

Perhaps this overcharging is standard in Idaho? Hardly. A pick-up driver in Blane, Idaho, killed three little girls while driving drunk last Saturday. He’s been hit with three felony charges of vehicular manslaughter and two charges of aggravated DUI, reports the Idaho Statesman.

Another fatal car crash in August led to the death of a man’s wife. A search found meth and heroin in the car. So far he’s been charged with drug possession.

So why the difference in crimes charged? In the other cases, the drivers were white. Proof positive of racism? No. But consider the community’s reaction, while bearing in mind that Loebs is up for re-election.

Lisa Sallee Bratt, who is married to a deputy sheriff in Twin Falls, offered this: “just take him out and hang him. That’s what he deserves.” It’s lynching language, pure and simple.

Shelley G Worchester chimed in: “If convicted of murder let the family of the loved ones watch his ass hang!!! Why do we wast [sic] our money on these low life losers when they kill people!!!!!”

At least Worchester wants Mitchell to have the benefit of a trial. But has she been so vocal about white ‘low life losers’? On a side note, fiscal prudence demands life in prison as it costs less than executing someone. Also, in Idaho, the sole method of execution is lethal injection.

Larry Allred offered to “put the rope around his neck.” Fred Ochsner opined that “public hanging will do”. Axel Anderson was more specific “He should be linched [sic] at main and Shoshone at high noon!!”

I don’t know what was in Cedric Mitchell’s heart. It seems that punishment is warranted, perhaps even extensive time in prison. But first-degree murder? That’s grandstanding. He can’t be the only driver with a record who has been involved in a fatal crash in Idaho.

Every criminal deserves to suffer the consequences of his actions. But the consequences of his actions shouldn’t depend on the color of his skin.


How the Rest of The World Sees the Decline & Fall of Brexit Britain.

August 15, 2019

(This diary is in large part a distillation of a more extensive article published in the Guardian (UK) (8/4/19) ‘Something resembling hell’: how does the rest of the world view the UK?) Brexit is shaping up to be one of the most monumentally stupid, self-inflicted injuries a country has ever perpetrated on itself. Even at the […]

Read the full article →

Christian Leaders Warn against ‘Christian Nationalism’ and its Merger with White Supremacy

August 15, 2019

A group of 17 Christan church leaders under the banner of ‘Christians Against Christian Nationalism’ have issued an official statement. It condemns the Christian Right’s constant attacks on other faiths and their efforts to bring about a Christian fundamentalist theocracy in the United States.  Their warning is clear: “Christian nationalism provides cover for white supremacy and racial subjugation.” Adding that it goes […]

Read the full article →

Anti-Crime Republican Running Against Ilhan Omar Is Charged with Felony Theft.

August 6, 2019

Trump-loving, conspiracy theorist, Danielle Stella is challenging Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) in Minnesota’s 5th District. Part of her platform is a robust anti-crime stance. Stella described Minneapolis this week as “the crime capital of our country”. She has in the past complained that local police were “overworked and overburdened” and said that, if elected, she would work to reduce crime.  Two […]

Read the full article →

Nike Manager Accuses Black Family of Shoplifting a $12 Basketball They Had Paid For.

August 5, 2019

A father takes his family to a Nike store to buy his 18-month-old son his first basketball. They pick it out, pay for it, and leave. The child is ecstatic. Then a manager chases them down, accuses them of stealing the ball and demands its return. She even summons the police. Question: Is there enough evidence […]

Read the full article →

Trump Acts Like a Complete Racist Ass and Greg Gutfeld Covers for Him.

August 5, 2019

Greg Gutfeld distanced Trump from the chanting fanatics at his North Carolina rally yesterday. Somehow in Gutfeld’s mind, the puppets were independent of the puppet master. They were free agents in their mob behavior, and Trump had no influence on their hysteria. “He did not say this,” Gutfeld claimed. “The chanters there are like the media. In that they took his […]

Read the full article →

Teacher Gets 20 Years for Abusing a Minor. Her Lawyer Blames the Kid.

August 5, 2019

Brittany Zamora is a 28-year-old teacher, who today received a 20-year sentence in Maricopa County (AZ) Superior Court for sexually abusing a 13-year-old boy. This sentence — the lowest possible in the face of the charges — was the result of a plea deal. Her lawyer, Belen Olmedo Guerra, says that the whole thing is terribly unfair because it was the boy’s […]

Read the full article →

Chris McDonald Says Refugees Should Go Home for Soap.

August 5, 2019

People raised in mainstream Christianity believe that for one, it’s a good idea not to sin because it can hurt other people — and there are some unpleasant long-term consequences for the sinner. And for two, the Christian takes care of those who, by birth or circumstances, haven’t got the resources available to those more fortunate. Conservative, evangelical Christians, […]

Read the full article →

Duncan Hunter’s Lawyers Claim Adultery Was a Business Trip.

August 5, 2019

Prosecutors of the embattled campaign cash abuser Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) have revealed him to be a cheat. This week they laid out five instances of unfaithful behavior with five different women. Hunter’s lawyers have admitted the truth of the accusations — but have also offered a defense that only a drunk in his cups could think […]

Read the full article →