Wednesday, March 22, 2017


 --Orangina vintage advert, 
Bernard Villemot

 If they say,
Why, why, tell 'em that it's human nature
Why, why does he do me that way 
--Human Nature,
Michael Jackson

{This event is so absurd, pathetic, tragic and needless, 
we are going with a graphic neither black or white, 
a visual with a lot of holes,
as it is unknown whether race is a culprit.}

A day after we began our Black History month here at RAW, the November 2016 shooting of the murdered black Florida cop beater 53-year-old Edward Strother was back in the news (the shooter had been cleared by prosecutors).

It is not exactly a race story, but it is, sort of.

To wit: 53 year old Edward Strother is seen in a witness's phone footage in November (2016) whaling on Deputy Dean Bardes as he sits astride the deputy in the road. Ashad Russel, 35, happens along, strapped and possessing a concealed carry permit. Bardes, in extremis, calls to Ashad, "Shoot him! Shoot him!"

[Note: several witnesses are on the sidelines, watching and filming, but not calling 911 for assistance.]

Composed, Mr. Russel warns Strother, "Stop, or I will shoot." When Strother fails to cease beating the policeman, Russel fires three shots, killing Strother. Both the assailant and his killer were black; the policeman, white.

Following firing the shots, Mr. Russel throws the gun on the ground and walks away a la the film "High Noon", when the Sheriff throws his badge in the dirt with utter disgust for his fellows and his society.

So what prompted this absurd, violent event? Some backstory:

Both the assailant and his victim shared a job history -- both had been security guards in the Northeast; Strother in Connecticut, Bardes in New Jersey. Strother worked in the field for 22 years; Bardes left after five and became a Deputy in 2005

The only personal data on Strother are reports from his neighbors that odd and loud sounds had been reported coming from his residence late at night over the last few months.

On the day of the incident, Strother was reportedly traveling over 100 mph on Interstate 75 in Estero, Florida, when he almost struck patrolman Bardes' vehicle as the deputy was assisting in a separate incident.

News reports state that Bardes felt targeted when Strother almost hit his vehicle, and he then gave chase.

Strother pulled off on an exit ramp and as the two men approached, Strother reportedly punched Bardes, who then landed on the pavement. It was then that Strother straddled the officer and began "raining down punches" on him according to a witness, also slamming the officer's head on the pavement.

So what triggered Strother?
If his 22-year history as a security guard was a fairly consistent and uneventful one, what changed to make him violently target an officer of the law?

Emergent mental illness? Drug use? Personal trauma? A combination thereof? Whatever the cause, Mr. Strothers was killed in a pathetic, tawdry and sorry event.

Liberals will cry "gun control", but the man whaling on the cop did not use a gun, nor did the cop use a gun on Mr. Strothers.

Others will cry, "It is the paramilitary police", but Deputy Bardes did nothing untoward. The only way in which this is racial would be if the assailant had targeted the white policemen for his race, alone. This is unknown.

But if that is so, then what predicated this episode of racial rage?

The media was awash in news of racial violence prior to Strother's attack. The events spooling out in Ferguson, MO, was a fairly regular presence on the evening news. Then there was Freddie Gray, the youth in Cleveland, and the Charleston church shootings, among other incidents.

Also, what predicated Mr. Strother's release from his security job? Did he retire in good standing?

My construction of events is as good as any, and until further data is revealed, my diagnosis is:

Mental illness, exacerbated by an incessantly inflammatory press. Why else would a black man beating a white cop not cease his actions when a large and younger black man is standing in front of him in a full Weaver stance shouting at him to stop?

Mr. Strother must have suffered some extreme mental duress (possibly situational, possibly resulting from an organic mental illness, possibly, a combination of the two.) He may have suffered some personal affront from either a policeman or a white person.

After several years of exposure to incessant and salacious media coverage of prior racial events involving the police, Mr. Strother became vicariously, personally involved as a Person of Color (write large).

Possibly, he was on Molly or bath salts; if performed, a toxicology report was not printed. Possibly, there was no predicating event.

In what became a sad case of death-by-cop (sort of), Mr. Strothers lost his life after deciding that policeman Bardes was his enemy and beginning his brutal assault on the officer.

I contend that the two primary culprits in this pathetic and tragic event were severe mental distress or illness on Mr. Strother's part, and a complicit media organization which exploited racial events beyond their usefulness for their gratuitous ratings hunt.

Untreated mental illness and a media circus which promises fifteen minutes of fame, dead or alive. It is a toxic but heady combination in our frontier world lived on the flashy ground of social media.

Whenever acute distress meets with mediocre capabilities, tragedy is often the result. Mr. Strother was violating the law, and Deputy Bardes had demonstrated weakness with the issue of criminal containment (he had undergone remediation after a suspect once fled his patrol car.)

We can expect more Strother's and Cho's Adam Lanza's and James Holmes, until we figure out how to identify and treat vulnerable people, and how to live sanely in a world in which the itchy trigger finger is occupied scrolling through endless media feeds, and the mind attached to that finger can be roused to an immediate and visceral violence.

Moreover, the individual now lives in a vicarious relationship to those viewed events, being installed as he is in the immediate commentary (feed) to the viewed events. If you are one of the Twitterers, your shock and rush to commentary after such predictable events is disingenuous.

In this tragic event, as in most which preceded it, mental illness is the probable primary and proximal causative factor.

A fatted and goading media is the distal one.

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Anonymous Nikolay Levin said...

College will cut short my participation (seriously this time) but I believe this article illuminates a lot more about this than many care to admit.


Despite cries and crocodile tears by self-aggrandizing police chiefs of a "Ferguson Effect" of increased crime rates linked to media portrayal of black shootings, the black community- on the other hand- were willing to write off Michael Brown's brutal shooting as someone that might have just been dangerous. There was that widely seen video of Brown apparently robbing a store even though a documentary now shows the store and Brown were more probably involved in a mutual drug-dealing operation that stained all hands.


The shooting didn't spike crime rates then. The particularly brazen murder of Freddie Gray on the other hand and the indignant riots that followed... did.


The problem is, too many police officers have been used to harassing, maiming and killing defenseless black men under the slightest pretext for decades. Long suppressed data that activists have long been campaigning to receive has now concluded that.

"Official data on the number of people killed by the police turns out to be remarkably unreliable.

'We can't have an informed discussion, because we don't have data,' FBI Director James Comey said in the House of Representatives in October.

'People have data about who went to a movie last weekend, or how many books were sold, or how many cases of the flu walked into an emergency room. And I cannot tell you how many people were shot by police in the United States last month, last year, or anything about the demographics. And that's a very bad place to be.'

He had previously said it was 'unacceptable' that the leading sources of this information were newspapers, the Washington Post and the Guardian.

Although the FBI does gather some data on fatal shootings, police forces are not obliged to provide it, and only some of them do. This led the Washington Post to start tracking civilian deaths itself after the shooting of Michael Brown by police in Ferguson in August 2014, by monitoring reports in the media.

'We looked at the FBI database, since that was the official government accounting for things. And saw that over the past decade, the average number of shootings that they counted was about 400. By the end of last year, we had almost 1,000 fatal shootings that we had captured,' says Kimberly Kindy, an investigative reporter at the newspaper."


Infact, the biggest story here is corporate "journalists"- used to being stenographers of power rather than actual reporters- have to now compete with the independent journalism of a person with a cellphone camera doing the work they should of been doing before they were bought out by financial parasites.

Friday, March 24, 2017 at 7:15:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Nikolay Levin said...

I forgot to say, I could of sworn I heard Buffy's music before but I never knew who sung it. Until now. Thanks again for the tip.

Friday, March 24, 2017 at 7:22:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger NaRong said...

He had previously said it was 'unacceptable' that the leading sources of this information were newspapers, the Washington Post and the Guardian.
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Tuesday, June 13, 2017 at 7:56:00 AM GMT-5  

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