Washington States ‘Dollar War’ Over Wolf And Cougar Research

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SEATTLE TIMES NEWS PAPER)

 

A WAR OVER WOLVES

Outspoken researcher says his university and lawmakers silenced and punished him.

Robert Wielgus, director of the Large Carnivore Conservation Lab at Washington State University, lets out a howl last spring, hoping for an answer from deep in the territory of the Profanity Peak pack. (Steve Ringman / The Seattle Times)

By a slow slide of river deep in Washington’s wolf country, Robert Wielgus laughs at the tattoo on his arm of Four Claws, the grizzly that almost killed him.

“I would rather face charging grizzly bears trying to kill me than politicians and university administrators, because it is over quickly,” said Wielgus, director of the Large Carnivore Conservation Lab at Washington State University.

A Harley-riding, self-described adrenaline junkie at home in black motorcycle leathers with a Stetson and a .357 in the pickup, Wielgus, 60, is no tweed-jacket academic. For decades he has traveled North America wrangling bears, cougars and wolves to collar and study their behavior, including collaborations with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

Wielgus now finds himself crosswise with ranchers, lawmakers and WSU administrators — and their lobbyists. He’s lost grant funding for his summer research, has been forbidden from talking to media in his professional role and has been reviewed — and cleared — for scientific misconduct.

To understand why involves a look at state policy concerning a menagerie of animals: cougars, sheep, cattle and wolves. And one more animal: homo sapiens.

A motion-triggered wildlife camera captures an image of members of the Profanity Peak pack July 30, 2016. The state Department of Fish and Wildlife killed six adults and a pup in the pack last summer. (Courtesy of WSU Wolf/Livestock Conflict Research program)

In Washington, it turns out, wolves and livestock are getting along better than the people who manage and study them.

Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), a national nonprofit specializing in government scientist whistleblower protection, in April filed a 12-page complaint against WSU officials, alleging the university punished and silenced Wielgus to placate ranchers and state legislators who objected to his research. WSU officials declined to comment for this story, citing possible litigation.

The conflict started back in 2002, when Wielgus began publishing a series of influential papers that called into question the practice of hunting cougars to reduce livestock losses. His research led to a reversal by Gov. Jay Inslee in October 2015 of Fish and Wildlife Commission policy that would have allowed more hunting.

That was not long after Wielgus published a peer-reviewed paper that just as provocatively questioned killing wolves to protect livestock — a policy used by the WDFW by now to take aim at four wolf packs, including two members of the Smackout Pack killed so far this month.

His wolf study made national news with its finding that culling the predators can lead to more livestock kills, not fewer, because it destabilizes pack dynamics.

Normally for a university, national press for one of its researchers would be a point of pride. But the buzz over the paper alarmed lobbyists for WSU, hearing threats from state lawmakers that it was putting money for a new medical school and other pet projects in jeopardy.

Those legislators in turn were responding to ranchers and local officials seeking more lethal action from the department against wolves that harm livestock.

“ … Highly ranked senators have said that the medical school and wolves are linked. If wolves continue to go poorly, there won’t be a new medical school,” Dan Coyne, lobbyist for WSU, wrote his colleague, Jim Jesernig, another WSU lobbyist, two days after the paper’s publication, state records show.

Jesernig, a well-connected former director of the state Department of Agriculture, and former member of the state House and Senate, agreed with Coyne, his partner at the Coyne, Jesernig lobbying firm. “That’s my assessment as well,” Jesernig wrote in an email copied to WSU Director of State Relations Chris Mulick. “ … We are making the med school not doable.”

Replied Mulick, “We’re looking a wee bit like Sonny on the causeway here,” referring to a mob hit on a character in the movie “The Godfather.” “We’re getting in our own way on the med school enough as it is.”

A magazine story prepared by a writer for the university’s magazine and news service in advance of the wolf paper was spiked, Wielgus said. Just like a news release subsequently written, but never issued, on new cougar research out of Wielgus’ lab.

“WTF? What happened?” wrote Jon Keehner, co-author on that paper, to Wielgus.

Wielgus answered that the university was afraid of angering Republicans in the Legislature. He explained grant funds for his wolf work were now being funneled to his lab through another researcher, to take his name off the grant.

“That’s how bad it got,” John Pierce, chief scientist for WDFW’s wildlife program, said in an interview. Losing so-called principal-investigator status on a grant is a wound in academia, Pierce explained, where the ability to bring in grant money is a coin of the realm. Winning grants attracts top graduate students and helps researchers compete for more grants.

In particular, Wielgus had provoked Rep. Joel Kretz, R-Wauconda, a former Mercer Island resident turned cougar hunter, elected to the Legislature to represent the 7th District in Northeastern Washington.

Rancher Joel Kretz, photographed at his ranch in 2001, displays a dead cougar head on a table while talking to a reporter. Kretz, also shown with his rifle, said cougars were hurting his livestock and that ranchers needed more liberal hunting laws to fight back. He was elected to the Legislature in 2004.(Kevin German / The Seattle Times)

Known for carrying the severed heads of cougars to public meetings — even plucking one for effect from his home freezer to sit, defrosting, on a table between himself and this reporter during an interview at his ranch — Kretz had butted heads with Wielgus from his first cougar papers that had thwarted Kretz’s efforts to increase cougar hunting in Northeastern Washington.

He attacked Wielgus’ wolf research, questioning its scientific validity to WSU officials, and opposed further funding for Wielgus.

Hans Dunshee, a former Snohomish Democrat and top budget writer, confirmed he cut a deal with Kretz in 2015 to sidestep Wielgus from the wolf research grant. “It was our way of sanitizing it while still keeping the money flowing,” said Dunshee, who retired from the Legislature last year. “I thought he was going to be OK.”

But he wasn’t.

2016 spending on wolves

Wolf management is expensive in Washington, costing $973,275 in 2016 alone. That includes $134,999 spent to kill seven wolves, including a pup in the Profanity Peak pack after the wolves killed or injured 15 cattle grazing in the Colville National Forest.

Source: Department of Fish and Wildlife
Emily M. Eng / The Seattle Times

Knocked off the grant, Wielgus lost his summer salary for two years — during the peak season for wolf research — and his travel budget.

In the end, money got tucked in for the medical school, in the same budget that sidestepped the funding for Wielgus. The school will begin its first classes this fall.

Jesernig, in an interview, recalled well the trouble wolves caused as he worked the medical-school issue for WSU.

“It’s not a great secret; it happens to any lobbyist, you have a bill you work and all of a sudden you are in trouble with leadership, same thing here,” Jerserig said. “At the end of the day the good thing about the legislative process is mostly the merits of the issue will win out on the thing you are working on, and that is what happened on the medical school.”

Outrage erupts

Already targeted for his wolf research, Wielgus poured gas on the fire last summer.

As the Profanity Peak pack started killing cows and the state launched a trapper and marksmen on the ground and in helicopters to protect the rancher’s cattle, Wielgus told The Seattle Times and other media outlets that Len McIrvin, a partner in the Diamond M, “chose to put his cattle on top of the den site.”

The implication that the rancher — whose livestock losses in 2012 also led to the state killing the Wedge pack — purposely put his animals in harm’s way to provoke the state’s ensuing kill of the Profanity Peak pack ignited a firestorm.

Thousands of angry emails and phone calls from wolf advocates poured into the offices of the WDFW and the Colville National Forest, home to many ranchers’ grazing allotments. Donny Martorello, the department’s wolf-policy lead, hid his wife in a motel. McIrvin’s family unplugged the phone at the ranch to escape death threats.

Kretz, incensed, demanded an apology from WSU just as public as the remarks Wielgus had made — and got it. The university quickly issued a news release disavowing Wielgus’s statements and asserting that Wielgus had admitted he had no basis in fact for making them.

In a letter of concern written into his personnel file, Wielgus was instructed by Ron Mittelhammer, the dean of the College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Resource Sciences to have no further contact with the media without first clearing his statements with WSU. Wielgus duly went silent as the furor raged.

“He ought to be drawn and quartered and a chunk of him left everywhere in the district,” Kretz said in an interview then with The Seattle Times, saying Wielgus had a vendetta against McIrvin.

“I think he is agenda-driven; it’s incredible damage,” Kretz said. “This is not science, it is advocacy. I would say it’s beyond advocacy, it’s baldfaced lying to the public. I don’t want to see a nickel go through his hands.”

Wielgus says today that he could have been more diplomatic; his public remarks at the time included saying “go ahead and quote me: ‘Wherever McIrvin grazes … dead wolves follow.’ Quote me. He’ll be proud of it!”

Natural migration

Source: Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
Emily M. Eng / The Seattle Times

Wolves are returning to the state on their own from Idaho and Canada, and have surged into Northeastern Washington, where most of the state’s 20 packs live. Diamond M operators had been warning the department about the Profanity pack since 2014, after three confirmed kills of its cattle by the pack. But what Diamond M ranchers and the department didn’t know as the ranchers loaded up their cattle for turnout in 2016 was the pack had moved much closer to the Diamond M’s operations on public grazing lands in the Colville National Forest.

Burned out by the Stickpin fire in 2015, the wolves had moved their den from the previous year to within 5 miles of the Diamond M’s usual turnout site for the C.C. Mountain grazing allotment, and a quarter-mile from the salt lick put out in the same spot every year to draw cows up from lowland pastures to the mountain.Where cattle and the Profanity Peak pack clashed

In 2016 ranchers turned out 8,868 cows and calves on 583,315 acres of the Colville National Forest. The forest is home to many of Washington’s wolf packs, yet overall, there was little conflict between cattle and wolves — except with one pack: the Profanity Peak pack. Those wolves killed five calves and a cow before the pack was killed off by the state to protect ranchers’ cattle.

One ranch in particular, the Diamond M — with nearly 400 cows and calves using their usual allotment and salt lick — suffered the most losses. Scroll down to see how it happened.

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State biologists collared wolves in the Profanity Peak pack on June 9 and 12, 2016. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife knew 11 grazing allotments overlapped the pack’s territory — not unusual or problematic in Washington, where wolves typically share the landscape with livestock without incident.

The McIrvin family and Diamond M Ranch have held their grazing permits in the Colville National Forest for 73 years. But what the ranchers and department did not know was the Profanity Peak pack, burned out of its territory in the 2015 Stickpin Fire, had moved its den in 2016 into the heart of one of the Diamond M allotments.

Shown in orange: Activity of the Profanity Peak wolf pack taken from GPS collars in June 2016

By the end of June, the department, using collar data, knew where the den site was: about 5 miles from where the Diamond M had turned out its cattle June 9, and only a quarter-mile from the salt lick placed to draw them to higher ground on C.C. Mountain.

The ranchers figured out the den site on their own at the same time as the department, because of all the wolf howling, tracks and scat they noticed while checking on their cattle. They also were informed of the den location by the department.

  •  Cattle turnout point
  •  Diamond M salt lick
  •  Profanity Peak pack den site

Wolves range over an average territory of 349 square miles, and the Diamond M cows were soon in the heart of the Profanity Peak pack’s core activity area.

Before long, the wolves were killing calves anywhere from 1 mile to more than 10 miles from the initial turnout location and den site.

  •  Confirmed kill
  •  Probable kill
  •  Confirmed injury

The department didn’t urge Diamond M operators to get more people out watching over their cattle until after the first calf was killed July 8. While the department initially assured the public that the Diamond M was following its recommended protocol of turning out calves at least 200 pounds or larger, it later revealed that some animals were smaller, so more vulnerable.

A range rider for the Diamond M moved the salt block Aug. 8 after being asked to by the department. But that just made the problem of cows hanging around the wolves’ core activity area worse. Cows milled around, looking for the salt that was supposed to be there and licking and pawing salt still in the ground.

  •  Diamond M salt lick
  •  Profanity Peak pack den site

The WDFW carried on most of the summer and into the fall killing wolves, eventually taking the lives of six adults and a pup in the pack. The department confirmed the pack killed five Diamond M calves and one cow from another ranch.

For all the controversy, Wielgus said he is still optimistic wolves will recover from local extinction in Washington. He doesn’t think the same for himself.

The news release disavowing his statements was never shown to him, Wielgus said, and misconstrued a short conversation by phone between him and Mittelhammer.

While he has since attained tenure, Wielgus said he no longer wants to work at the university. “They called me a liar and ruined my career.”

Robert Wielgus gets ready to listen for the radio collar on the sole surviving adult of the Profanity Peak pack, mostly killed off by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife last summer for killing ranchers’ cattle. (Steve Ringman / The Seattle Times)

Confusing message

Wielgus’ conflicts with the university would continue, after he emailed a news release reporting the latest findings from his lab to the state’s Wolf Advisory Group (WAG) and others as the group debated wolf policy for 2017.

Wolf kills of livestock were exceedingly rare, Wielgus reported, occurring in fewer than 1 percent of the livestock tracked by his lab. Only in the case of the Profanity Peak pack, where cattle and a salt block to attract them were milling around the wolves’ activity area, had there been multiple calf kills, more than anywhere else surveyed, Wielgus reported.

Wielgus had sent the release to WSU communications staff and administrators and received preapproval by Mittelhammer before putting it out as his personal opinion and not on behalf of the university, as they requested. But that strategy, intended to create distance between Wielgus and WSU, just created confusion.

In an email to Mulick, the WSU state relations director, Tom Davis, of the Washington Farm Bureau and a WAG member, objected that Wielgus was sending out a press release about his publicly funded research findings but labeling them his personal opinion. He also said he wouldn’t attend the meeting if Wielgus was allowed to speak.

Mittelhammer went into response mode, personally meeting with Kretz and other lawmakers, then attending the advisory group meeting with several WSU officials. He followed up with a letter to lawmakers on April 12 reassuring them “while an irritant, the deliberations of the WAG were fortunately not significantly affected by Dr. Wielgus’ attempt to influence the group’s deliberations through the dissemination of his so-called “press release” document.

“That said, on a more individual and personal basis, it did also appear that Dr. Wielgus’ actions did negatively impact a number of individuals in the room who felt that the document reinvigorated negative feelings toward ranchers by wolf protectionists.”

He assured the lawmakers he had sent Wielgus a second “memo of concern,” and promised to follow up with investigations of whether Wielgus had broken state law by illegal lobbying and sending the press release on his state email account. He also promised an internal review of Wielgus’ 2014 wolf paper.

By May, WSU President Kirk Schulz informed Mittelhammer he was concerned WSU might be branded with an “anti-ranching sentiment.”

In other emails, the university president and Mittelhammer agreed they needed to address the school’s relationship with ranchers in future faculty hires. “I feel that they need an internal champion or person that they can work with,” Schulz wrote.

“No evidence of research misconduct”

By then, WSU had cleared Wielgus of any scientific wrongdoing. On May 29, Christopher Keane, the vice president for research at WSU, wrote Kretz and Senate Majority Leader Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville, thanking them for meeting with him in Olympia to express concern about Wielgus’ research.

However, the result of the subsequent independent review completed by a WSU statistician was clear: “There is no evidence of research misconduct in this matter,” Keane wrote.

But for faculty at WSU, the message nonetheless was clear, said Donna Potts, president of the local chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), the nation’s oldest and largest advocacy group for academic freedom. “It was very disturbing; I had never seen anything like it,” Potts, a member of the English department, said of WSU’s treatment of a senior faculty member.

Robert Wielgus relaxes at his wolf camp, used when trapping and collaring wolves for his work studying the interactions of cattle and wolves. His studies have found most wolves don’t attack livestock and that killing wolves to protect cattle and sheep can be counterproductive, leading to more mayhem by socially destabilized wolf packs. (Steve Ringman / The Seattle Times)

Cary Nelson, former national president of the AAUP, who spoke on the issue at WSU last spring, said pressure from industry and from lawmakers friendly to it is nothing unusual. “But it’s up to a university to protect its faculty.”

Actions by state lawmakers and WSU administrators such as those taken against Wielgus have a “chilling effect” on research that could be perceived as controversial, Nelson said.

Scientists who have worked with Wielgus said they are concerned by what they see.

“It’s not that Rob hasn’t stirred up the hornets’ nest — he can test the limits and some people think he is not very diplomatic,” said Gary Koehler, of Wenatchee, who collaborated with Wielgus on bear and cougar research before retiring from the department after 14 years. “But he is a straight shooter.

“Rob is without a doubt one of the top carnivore ecologists in North America. I think Rob has been thrown under the bus.”

Governments If You Really Want To Stop Heroin And Opiate Deaths: Then Legalize Marijuana Now

 

I know that there are folks who have read this title and had all kinds of different emotions flow over them and this is understandable. Here in the U.S. big government and big media have a long history of distorting what the truth is concerning marijuana. I credit the mainstream media for simply being stupid and running with whatever the federal government tells them. Big government and by big government I do mean from city, county, state and federal organizations where some are just ignorant, some are corrupt, and some are both concerning the concept of making marijuana legal again for the people to consume like a lot of folks do wine, champagne or beer. Yet it has been in the interest of different governments, police agencies and some big lobbyist groups to keep marijuana illegal for their own financial profits they make from such an hypocritical system. Now I know that a lot of folks who read my articles are a bit confused about my stance on legalizing marijuana or even mad at me because the underlying theme on by blog is Christianity. This is true, yet what is the title of my blog site? It is Truth Troubles isn’t it? In my belief system Christianity is Truth so truth troubles is about speaking the truth even if it is something that goes against what we hear in Church, the media, or from the government. Throughout Scripture in the Old Testament and the New Testament we are told many times that wine and alcohol were given to us humans for our enjoyment, but we are also told not to be gluttonous when we are partaking of them. God also gave mankind plants like Mandrake for our enjoyment. Remember back to the founding Fathers of Israel, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, remember Isaac had two wives of which his favorite was Rebecka and how she gave his other wife some of her Mandrake so that she could get to sleep with Isaac that night even though it wasn’t her turn? Mandrake does the same type of things as marijuana does as far as giving a person a ‘buzz’, if it is okay for the founding Fathers of Israel and their wives, you get the picture? Even here in America our own Founding Fathers like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin grew pot in their own personal gardens. Think about this for a moment, the night that Rebecca got to sleep with Isaac when it wasn’t her turn is the night she was impregnated with Jacob, the man who’s 12 sons the 12 tribes of Israel are named after. Remember that the first reported miracle of Jesus was turning water into wine and no it was obviously not ‘grape juice’ or the ‘governor’ of the party would not have referred to it as the best. As Christians we all have to quit acting like hypocrites on these issues.

 

I was born in 1956 and the first time I ever tried ‘pot’ was when I was 17, it was just some cheap homegrown that was so weak that it didn’t do anything to me. I was probably about 22 or 23 before I smoked marijuana again yet I was around lots of folks who did smoke it literally every day  when they could afford to buy it. In fact just about everyone I knew smoked it at least every once in a while. Most all of these people that I have known throughout the years didn’t even drink alcohol and if they did it was just an occasional beer. None of these people used any of the ‘hard drugs’ like Crack, Heroin or were users of pills. A lot of the people that I have known throughout my life who were able to keep smoking a little ‘pot’ in the evenings and on weekends at their homes never ever did go onto other type of drugs, not even alcohol. The Government and the big Media like to call marijuana a “gateway” drug, saying that when most people start off smoking pot that they progress into the harder drugs, the way in which they frame their argument is a lie, period.

 

The people that I know who have gone onto harder drugs like Heroin and opioid pills is because those drugs tend to flush out of a person’s system in about 72 hours. People have always throughout human history have wanted to have something they can have for relaxation and for a gentle ‘buzz’. When the U.S. Government decided to act stupid and classify marijuana a level one drug like Heroin and encouraged all businesses to start doing pre-employment and random drug screens on their workers almost all of the people that I know quit smoking marijuana because it stays in a person’s system for at least 30 days and they could not afford to lose their jobs. Most all of the people that I know who did quit smoking pot started drinking alcohol in place of it. Unfortunately there are millions of people who instead of smoking marijuana did turn to the real hard drugs. So, in a since, yes marijuana did become a ‘gateway’ drug in that people quit using it because it stayed in their systems so long that millions of people who would have never gone onto drugs other than marijuana have done so and the result is thousands of people are dying every year because of these hard drugs. Marijuana has never ever even killed one person! Now let’s look at states like Colorado since they made marijuana legal for adults, checkout the amount of overdose deaths from before they made marijuana legal and then sense they made it legal. I am no computer whiz to say the least so I will leave your investigations up to you, but I do ask you to check out the stats. I remember reading a Colorado newspaper online about two or three months ago concerning this issue and the results were rather stark, the amount of overdose deaths are way down as they are in Washington State.

 

Truth is that all this “war on marijuana” has done is to put a lot of money into drug cartels pockets and cost hundreds of thousands of people their lives. Our Nation’s policies are idiotic, un-Christian and un-Jewish as well as being immoral. If our government was really interested in cutting down on overdose deaths from these hard drugs thus cutting down on the amount of these drugs coming into our country and giving drug cartels billions of dollars each year then they would create a system where pot is treated like beer or wine. Marijuana should be made to be cheaper than Heroin, Morphine or Crack. States who have actually done what the people of their states have voted for (when they have been allowed to vote on the issue, places like here in Kentucky refuse to allow a vote on it) the States have benefited with hundreds of millions in new tax revenue along with creating thousands of new jobs to help spur their economies. When our Government decided to create this “war on drugs” they through their own ignorance and hypocrisy took a benign medically helpful God-given Erb away from the people and have been the driving force behind the reason that millions of people worldwide are now dead. If our Nation was actually serious about stopping thousands of people from dying each year to drug overdoses then they need to get a clue and make marijuana totally legal in Our Country just like beer and wine is.

Ten U.S. States Are Trying To Make Peaceful Protest A Criminal Offence

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF EVAN GREER’S WEBSITE AND FFTF NEWS)

 

Hi,

Ten states have legislation pending to criminalize some peaceful protest. [1]

80,000 of us have already spoken up about a bill in Washington state, in which any protesters deemed “disruptive” could be charged with “economic terrorism.”[2] But the idea is spreading — in Missouri, wearing a hood at a protest would be considered “criminal identity concealment”; in North Dakota, drivers would be allowed to run over and kill a protester with no legal liability, as long as it was done “negligently.”[3]

These bills are an urgent threat to free speech and patriotic dissent. If we speak up now and raise the alarm, we can make them politically toxic and protect the right to protest.

Sign the petition to stop laws that attack our First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and assembly!

No matter what your cause is, we should all have the basic right to speak out — and lots of people have been using it. But powerful and corrupt institutions are threatened by people getting together to make their voices heard, that’s why they want to silence them. So they’re trying to insulate themselves from the public by making it effectively too dangerous to actually use our constitutional right to free speech.

The ten states already considering these bills are Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, North Dakota, Virginia, and Washington [4] — click through for links to each bill. Lawmakers seeing these bills fly under the radar could get the wrong idea. We’ve got to speak up now to make sure our ability to speak up on any issue is not silenced.

Authorities argue that these laws are necessary to protect the public from radical protesters. But these laws are not even written to do that — they’re so vague that they could criminalize completely nonviolent protest, or leave it to local authorities to pick and choose the groups they want to silence. Any one of these laws even getting serious debate in a state house is a threat to our freedom to express ourselves, online and offline, everywhere.

Sign the petition to reject laws that criminalize protest!

Fight for the Future exists to support the Internet’s ability to do good. So let’s come together as Internet users to defend our rights.

Sincerely,
Evan
[1] The Intercept – https://theintercept.com/2017/01/23/lawmakers-in-eight-states-have-proposed-laws-criminalizing-peaceful-protest/

[2] Fight for the Future – https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/urgent-new-law-would-charge-protesters-with-terrorism/

[3] The Intercept – see [1]

[4] NPR – http://www.npr.org/2017/01/31/512636448/bills-across-the-country-could-increase-penalties-for-protesters

 

Do Black Lives Or Any Lives Really Matter In The Society’s Of Today?

 

Here in the States we see and hear of evil everyday on the different news feeds we have at our fingertips. Just this morning I heard of an active shooter in SW Houston Texas where a disgruntled lawyer went on a shooting spree wounding 9 people before the Police shot and killed him. As of the time of this report I do not know if the color of ones skin had anything to do with who was shot this morning or not. Just a couple of days ago an idiot shot and killed 5 people at a mall in Washington State. In that instance it appears to me that gender and the religious beliefs of the shooter had a huge role in those murders. Yet even when there are mass shootings here in the U.S. the mass media focuses most of its airtime whenever a Black person is killed by a Police Officer than on any other of these events. It seems that in our American Media there is always the effort to divide and take sides when this happens. I guess because hatred, racism, ignorance and criminal activities sell more papers and airtime.

 

Do I think that some Police Officers are racist and or just plain punks? Yes of course I do, I have lived 60 years here in the States and I am an eye-witness to such events several times. Do I believe that all Police Officers are racist or punks, no, not at all, that would be bias and quite stupid of me to think that. Yet it is my belief that some people do believe that about all Police Officers and if they do then I believe that they have become exactly what they hate, racist, hate filled punks themselves. Do I believe that the young Black man who was shot and killed by a Black plain clothed Police Officer in Charlotte North Carolina this past week was a racist act? No I don’t unless the Black Officer was a person who is bias against his own race. Also earlier this week there was another case of a young Black man being shot and killed by a White lady Police Officer in Tulsa Oklahoma. Do I believe that race had anything to do with this shooting? Yes I do. Each case of a Police shooting has to be analyzed separately. Every human case is different because the humans involved are different. The lady Officer in Tulsa has been charged with first degree manslaughter but the Officer in Charlotte has not been charged with anything, at least not yet. Personally I believed and still believe that the Officer in Tulsa should have been charged with second degree murder. I have known a lot of Officers in my life and I know that some do always carry a ‘throw down’ gun or a knife just in case they mess up and shoot an unarmed person they can throw down that weapon so that they don’t get charged with shooting an unarmed person. Is this what happened in Charlotte? By what I have

seen on tapes and pictures, it looks to me like this might well be one of those throw down situations.

 

The big issue on these shootings because of the media trying to sell airtime and news papers is when they can bring race into the forefront. There are far more people in this Country that are shot by Police Officers that are not black folks than the cases where they are Black folks. Yet we hear very little in the Nations media unless it is a Black person who got shot. The media and those ignorant enough to believe their bias hype could believe that Police Officers only shot black people. There are plenty of cases though where I do believe the person’s skin color got them executed by a Police Officer like where that young Black kid was shot 16 or 17 times as he lay on the street in Chicago. In my opinion this is a case of first degree murder and the Cop should be charged with first degree murder and nothing less.

 

How much ruckus do you hear in the media when any other race of person is shot by an Officer when the one shot wasn’t Black? How about when a White person is shot by an Officer? Now, when was the last time there were any riots when a Hispanic, Indian or Asian person was shot by an Officer? America’s media play the race card mostly/only when it is a Black person who has been shot. Our society has been groomed to treat Black folks different in almost all issues. Some of these issues are good but many are toward the negative. Before the 1960’s all non White people were treated horribly not just the Black folks. It is true that the only ‘legal’ slaves in this Country were Black people but slavery ended more than  150 years ago. No one in our Country today has ever even known someone who was a ‘legal’ slave nor has anyone ever been one. Slavery of any kind is a sickening thing to even think about and it is nothing to ever joke about. Have you ever watched the movies Roots or Django? How about the TV program on WGN out of Chicago called Underground? If these situations don’t make you sick at your stomach, have you no morality?

 

This ‘movement’ here in America called ‘Black Lives Matter’ in my opinion is nothing not much more than a racist movement of hate. Do Black lives matter? Absolutely they do, but so does every life, equally. Should it be okay for people in this Country to protest peacefully against the Government or against a Police Department’s? Yes, of course it should be okay for everyone in this Country to peacefully protest yet the word Peacefully is the key word. In Charlotte we have seen once again where folks, mostly Black folks have protested with violence and the Nations media has remained very quiet about it because if they spoke the truth they would be accused of being racist towards Black people. Think about it, people riot, burning vehicles, breaking into store and tractor trailers on the interstate and blocking off a major interstate and it is said by some that these rioters were simply ‘street cleaners’, how sickening! The media have created their own monster. The Black Race in this Country has been allowed to be racist in almost all venues. Think about these issues for a moment please. Here in this Country there are such things as the NAACP, the Black Miss America Pageant, the Negro College Fund, Black Colleges, Black Churches, Black Congressional Caucuses, Black Businessmen Associations, Black Lives Matter Movement and the list goes on and on. Now think about it, if there were such things as the National Association of White People, the White Miss America Pageant, the White Peoples College Fund, White Colleges and White Churches, White Congressional Caucuses, White Businessmen Associations, or the White Lives Matter Movements a huge amount of America’s Black folks would be livid, ranting and raving about how racist these groups are and how they had to be stopped from existing? The same thing would happen if there were Associations like this for Asian, Hispanic or Indian folks. There is a group of white folks that most everyone knows of called the KKK and rightfully so, most Americans have no use for their hatred. My question to everyone is, shouldn’t every single thing is this Country that is in any way race based be made illegal? Are they not all hate groups? Are they not all bias?

 

Racism is a huge problem in this country and racism does exist in some people in every race on the planet. Racism is simply another term for hatred of those who aren’t like we, that person is. I am a white guy by birth, I like everyone else ever born had no say so concerning my skin color when I came out of the womb. Skin color does not make me a good person or a bad person. My skin color had nothing to do with me being or not being a racist hate filled person, nor did it you. I have first hand experienced hate because of my white skin. This has happened many times from Black folks, Hispanic folks and from Indian folks. I have also experienced hatred from White people who were mad at me because I was daring to speak with a non-White. Now the question is, do Black Lives Matter? I think you know my answer by now so the question is to you, do Black Lives Matter? The question is also to all of the Black folks reading this article today, are you a racist, do you hate any other race of people, or all the other people who are not Black? Hatred like racism is a disease of the mind and of the Soul. Everyone on this planet are brothers and Jesus made it plain that if we hate our brother without a cause (something they can’t help or do anything about, like skin color) then we are condemning our own selves to Hell. I’m just saying, racism is an individual personal thing, we choose to be or not to be. So now my last question to you is, what have you chosen to be?