General Question

elbanditoroso's avatar

Does Britney Griner's release matter?

Asked by elbanditoroso (32137points) 1 month ago

Apparently the US and Russia are swapping prisoners, and Griner is going to be back in the US tomorrow.

I think she was always a political pawn connected to the whole Ukraine invasion started by Putin. It wasn’t about Griner, per se, but it was a way to slap the US in the face.

Now that she’s released, she’s no longer a sideshow and a distraction to the bigger picture.

But what, if anything, has changed in the bigger picture? (My answer: nothing.)

Does Griner’s release have any wider importance?

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126 Answers

janbb's avatar

It matters a great deal to her and her loved ones and for that I am very happy. Does it change anything on a larger scale? No, of course not but I doubt anyone was expecting it to.

zenvelo's avatar

It is a lesson for us all to remember that all injustices are wrong and should be resisted, no matter how small.

In the global scheme of things, it’s not much, but it is something, and we should be proud we have a President of everyone, not just his cronies.

janbb's avatar

@zenvelo I agree. Biden may not be a perfect speaker but he and his administration are doing a lot of good things for a lot of people, Griner being only one of them.

Smashley's avatar

To her, I’m sure it matters.

The the victims of Viktor Bout, I’m sure it matters.

To celebrities everywhere, wondering if their privileged legal status was in jeopardy, it matters.

chyna's avatar

It matters. But I still feel bad for Paul Whelan who has sat in a Russian prison for years, unjustly.

mazingerz88's avatar

^^Yes. I can see why Russians would not want to release Whelan so I can only hope we have another Russian in prison that they would deem worthy of an exchange.

Forever_Free's avatar

Yes with a but…....

Washington
CNN

Detained American Paul Whelan told CNN he is “disappointed” the Biden administration has not done more to secure his release, meaning he’s been left behind in Russia after fellow detained American Brittney Griner was freed on Thursday.

“I am greatly disappointed that more has not been done to secure my release, especially as the four year anniversary of my arrest is coming up. I was arrested for a crime that never occurred,” he said in an exclusive phone call from the penal colony where is being held in a remote part of Russia. “I don’t understand why I’m still sitting here.”

Whelan said he was happy that Griner was released but told CNN he “was led to believe that things were moving in the right direction, and that the governments were negotiating and that something would happen fairly soon.”

Smashley's avatar

@Forever_Free – but does he bounce a ball? That’s the key difference here.

Forever_Free's avatar

@Smashley True, there are priorities to consider.

jca2's avatar

I agree that it’s great she’s released, especially for her and her family, but I feel bad for Paul Whelan and I can understand his disappointment, totally. Maybe the Biden administration would have been better to negotiate on behalf of both prisoners.

Forever_Free's avatar

Let’s all add a wish and a prayer for Paul Whelan release soon.

Entropy's avatar

It’s not super-significant. I’ve no idea if Griner was guilty of anything or just a political pawn. If I knew for sure she was guilty, I’d have mixed feelings, but I wouldn’t trust any ‘evidence’ offered by Russia.

And not to victim-blame, but why the hell would any high profile American go to Russia? Even before the Ukraine stuff, you know Russia is hostile with an deeply politicized legal system. If you are at ALL famous, or at ALL connected with government or military stuff, don’t got to places where you can’t rely on being safe!!! It’s not complicated!

But once she was ensnared, the State Dept. has an obligation to try to get her released. A prisoner exchange is not my ideal outcome because now you’ve signalled to Russia “If we have something you want, just take a famous person hostage. We’ll negotiate”, But on the other hand….I do feel for Griner and am glad she’s being released.

Smashley's avatar

@Entropy – it all just smacks of so much entitlement to me. That the “special legal status” I mentioned. Whether or not she violated Russian law, she entered its borders on the eve them instigating the largest war of the 21st century. She figured, what, they’d invade a sovereign state but wouldn’t dare to mess with due process? Then from prison she leveraged her celebrity status for increased visibility over the other victims of this war and basically forced the administration to undermine national security to bring her back home. She might not even miss a whole WNBA season, and her net worth is about to skyrocket. Yay.

jca2's avatar

@Entropy She admitted to having what they accused her of.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@Entropy I agree with your main point – why do to Russia in the first place?

But there’s another issue as well – Griner should have known better than to to travel with cannabis oil internationally. I understand that it can be used medically (and in parts of the US, socially), but why take the chance. It’s hard to believe that she didn’t know it was there.

So there’s some personal judgment/responsibility involved as well.

chyna's avatar

@elbanditoroso I’m wondering the same things that you have brought up. But I also wonder if they could have planted it in her luggage and forced her to say it was hers. Yes, I watch too many crime shows. But I think we will get a better picture of what happened when she gets home. I really don’t want to think that she was stupid enough to take it with her to Russia.

RocketGuy's avatar

@chyna – I thought she had a doctor’s note, and it was CBD (which is not really marijuana). You are right: details when she gets back. Best for her to be quiet until then.

jca2's avatar

@RocketGuy A doctor’s note for something illegal might be ok in the US, but Russia is not so sympathetic to things like that.

RocketGuy's avatar

Nope, I wouldn’t trust the Russians about that. Either she was unwise or feeling overly privileged from being a sports star.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Oh thank God.

seawulf575's avatar

Yes, I believe it does. It sets a really bad example. Russia will feel more empowered to screw with Americans, especially women and/or public figures, knowing we will give in and give them tons of stuff to get them back. I’m pretty sure other countries that don’t like us see the same thing. But then Biden is Putin’s puppet.

janbb's avatar

^^ ROFL

chyna's avatar

trump prisoner swap
Hmm, looks like you forgot about trump doing a prisoner swap in 2019 with Iran @seawulf575. And, again, a female was held captive.

elbanditoroso's avatar

And here I thought our west coast conservative comrade had gone to the happy hunting ground….

I think that if anyone was Putin’s puppet, it was His Trumpiness. But I guess if one’s world view is basic on drinking the Trump Kool-Aid, anything can happen.

HP's avatar

Of course it matters to Griner and those who care about her. And no, nothing changes. The fat rich country will be extorted by the wheezing dictatorship which will always get away with it. Why? Because anyone from the not fat struggling countries will tell you “they can afford it”. Just try arguing with that.

jca2's avatar

On the news, they were talking about Viktor Bout and what a bad guy he is. He was prosecuted by Preet Bharara. After hearing about how awful he is, it doesn’t seem like a fair trade. I heard that Russia is having a hard time obtaining ammunition for the war in Ukraine, and so Bout comes out just in time to help.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viktor_Bout

John Bolton comments on Viktor Bout: https://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/nba/trump-turned-down-viktor-bout-for-paul-whelan-prisoner-swap-john-bolton-says/ar-AA1547di

HP's avatar

You wanna know the great reveal from the struggle in Ukraine? It is simply how incredibly anemic Russia is in fact militarily. Fortunately, China now appears as the excuse legitimizing obscenely overblown “defense” necessities.

gorillapaws's avatar

@seawulf575 ”...But then Biden is Putin’s puppet.”

Let’s be charitable and grant this premise as true for arguments sake. So why would Putin want his puppet to approve $66 billion in aid to Ukraine? Or are you saying that Biden made an error and unintentionally approved $66 billion in aid to Ukraine (betraying his puppet master through incompetence)? Or some other explanation? I’m just hoping you can fill me in on how these seemingly contradictory ideas can both be true.

As for Griner’s release, I actually agree that it’s a crappy deal and that it does matter. She broke the law in a different country and we’re helping her avoid the consequences because she’s a celebrity and trading one of the most monstrous humans alive today to secure her freedom.

JLeslie's avatar

I’m glad she was released, I never wanted her to be in jail, but I never was as empathetic as a lot of people seem to be.

I think she was arrogant, crazy, and stupid, to bring any type of marijuana into Russia. People say it was prescribed. So what?! Medical MJ still isn’t legal in all 50 states. Just playing ball in Russia seems incredibly risky and not worth the risk. People say she did it for money. She was a multimillionaire without playing in Russia.

Are people going to argue she was naive? What about how we are told that Black people are lectured constantly by their parents that they will be targeted by cops? Not to mention Black people are given jail sentences more often than white people. Did she think she was actually safer in Russia than the US? It’s Russia!

I don’t think much of anything has changed. I know some people say she was a famous icon. I don’t agree. People know her now, but plenty of people didn’t know who she was before she was put in prison.

seawulf575's avatar

@chyna Did you read the article you cited? I know you were in a hurry to give a “Whatabout Trump?!?” but there were no women involved. It was a male American student and a male Iranian. But since you want to try comparing this case to the Griner case, let’s do that. The American Student was in his 4th year of his sentence in Iran which means he was actually arrested under Obama who, of course, did nothing. But the student was arrested on “espionage” charges while he was researching the 19th and 20th century Qajar dynasty. He was exchanged for an Iranian stem-cell researcher who was charged (but not tried yet) for attempted violations of sanctions by trying to get protein samples back to Iran. Not a violent criminal.
Now let’s look at the Griner case. A woman who knowingly took drugs into Russia was arrested. She was tried and sentenced in a Russian court, as you would expect with any criminal in a foreign country. You could reasonably argue that she was given a ridiculously harsh punishment for the crime as a political move. But Biden traded for her a notorious Russian Arms dealer who caused more deaths and mayhem than most humans alive. This Russian arms dealer (Victor Bout) was arrested in Thailand in 2008, extradited to the US and convicted in 2012 for a 25 year sentence which was the lightest sentence he could get for his crimes.
I assume you see the similarities and the differences in these two cases, right? Similarities include the fact that both had Americans that were arrested and given particularly harsh sentences by a country that doesn’t like us. These Americans were used as political pawns to get one of their country’s citizens held in the USA back. The differences include that the crime of the Iranian, the case Trump used, was relatively minor and of a non-violent nature. The Iranian citizen had not spent time in jail. While the Biden case used a known violence producer to trade for the political pawn Russia grabbed. Another difference seems to be (according to the article you cited) that the American Trump traded for hadn’t really done anything other wrong and was arrested because he was American and could likely be used as a political pawn. Compared to Griner who knowingly brought drugs into Russia. She had done a crime and was arrested for it.
So whatabout Trump? He traded a non-violent detainee for an American that was apparently arrested on bogus charges. Whatabout Biden? He traded a violent criminal for an American that was arrested on valid charges.

filmfann's avatar

I am not happy, because Bout is such a P.O.S., but I cannot abide someone innocent, or only modestly guilty, being abused with a Russian jail. It’s not equal, but we know who Bout is, and he won’t be able to continue his work so easily.

JLeslie's avatar

Will Ukraine and Europe view giving Bout back to Russia as helping Russia in the war against Ukraine? The guy deals in arms.

ragingloli's avatar

It matters to her.
And besides, that arms dealer has been out of the game for well over a decade. Everyone knows his face. His contacts and sources are either gone, or have all long since moved on, and likely would not reengage with a guy who has been compromised and could be a double agent for the CIA now.
He is of no use to Putin, except for riling up colonials over this “unfair trade”.
And the other guy put up for a trade is a disgraced grunt, that was kicked out of the marines for being a shitbag, and the only reason why people are mad that he was not traded, is because he is a soldier OORAAH! OORAAH!

Honestly, between that guy and the basketball player, clearly the right one was released.

gondwanalon's avatar

Two haters of the USA got released.
There are no winners. Only losers.

chyna's avatar

@gondwanalon Are you saying that Brittney Griner hates America? Why are you saying that? Do you have proof?

ragingloli's avatar

@chyna
She is part of the whole “protesting the anthem because cops continue to murder black people” thing. For reprobates, that is enough to be a “usa hater”.

zenvelo's avatar

@chyna @gondwanalon is parroting Trump.

janbb's avatar

@zenvelo @chyna See my FB post.

gondwanalon's avatar

https://www.outsports.com/2020/7/29/21346824/brittney-griner-national-anthem-breonna-taylor-police-brutality-protest-wnba

@chyna Griner’s protest against the USA’s National Anthem does not make sense. She says it was written by a dead slave owner for a dead USA President who also owned slaves. They’re all long dead. There are no slaves or slave owners in the USA today. She also protests the USA anthem because of ‘institutional racism “. Where is this institutional racism? There are strict laws against racism (including the 1972 Equal Right Amendment).

There’s nothing holding back black people today. We now have a black woman Vice President and a past black US President. There are black military generals, black doctors, black lawyers, black U.S. Congress men/women and black leaders of all sorts.

Since what she says she’s protesting doesn’t make sense then it’s reasonable to question what her real reason for protesting the National Anthem.

chyna's avatar

Ah, I see.

HP's avatar

Well in view of her rescue, let’s watch and see if her regard for that anthem has now been revised.

mazingerz88's avatar

@gondwanalon It’s shallow and hateful to accuse a fellow American who hates racism as hating America.

gondwanalon's avatar

@mazingerz88 I hate racism and I don’t hate anyone. I don’t need anyone to tell me what hate looks like.

seawulf575's avatar

I find it hard to reconcile that she LOVES the USA and yet will not be present for a singing of the national anthem. It’s not that the national anthem kills black people. It’s not that the USA kills black people. But I also find it funny that those that believe these things completely try to avoid the fact that black people kill far more black people than anyone else.

HP's avatar

You can love America very much and yet be good and pissed at it.

seawulf575's avatar

@HP I can love America and dislike what people do to it, but let me ask…if you love your wife, do you smack her because you don’t like someone that wears the same perfume as she? That is the sort of mentality you are pushing. She loves America but doesn’t like what someone in America supposedly does, so she disrespects America.

HP's avatar

She has smacked America? That’s the mentality of someone who cannot grasp that there may be a difference between the country and a tune. I suspect that like myself, Griner loves America, and one reason we both love the place is that we are entitled to snub the tune for whatever reason without fear of retribution. She’s not slapping anything. She simply chooses not to participate. Big deal!

ragingloli's avatar

Just remember that originally, the “pledge of allegiance” was supposed to be accompanied by this salute

seawulf575's avatar

@ragingloli Yes and the German national anthem was supposed to be accompanied by this salute. Your point?

Smashley's avatar

Well… the fact that slavery and white supremacy was a fundamental tenet of the founding of the US, and that laws against certain practices only reshaped the form of slavery, not the color, is something worth reckoning with.

Seriously though, a fifty year old law against “racism” is the only solution to institutional racism we could ever need? I guess wildly divergent incarceration, wealth, maternal mortality, and life expectancy statistics since that time are just a coincidence? It couldn’t possibly be because the system doesn’t deliver the bounties of democracy equitably,,, that would be institutional racism, and as we covered, it doesn’t exist, and neither does gaslighting, it’s just something you made up.

You should just back down from your “hates America” hot take. It’s hurtful and dismissive, as were all your subsequent comments in a flailing attempt to defend it. A protest is a desire to create change, not hate.

@seawulf575 – and people who advocate for the police completely ignore that police kill themselves at far higher rates than accidents or homicide kill them. Blue lives matter, indeed. But no, that doesn’t fit the narrative. January six was a love fest, sure cops killed themselves later, but that’s definitely not related. Give me a fucking break with your monolithic “black people” killing each other. You sound like Reagan. “they” all just need to eat their vegetables, just say no, and start going to church. Poverty kills. Being forgotten by government kills. And to those concerned with the plight of the American police officer, we do ask the impossible of them.

seawulf575's avatar

@Smashley I suspect you need to revisit the garbage you have been fed as facts. Slavery and white supremacy were not actually a fundamental tenet of the founding of the US. This lie has been pushed by the left for a long time. Slavery did exist when we were founded, that is true. But there was quite a bit of debate about slavery concerning the moral aspect of slavery and whether it actually fit into the ideals that the new nation had just fought for when they gained their independence. In the end, they tabled the contentious debate in an effort to get the groundwork laid for the new nation. That doesn’t mean it was accepted or embraced, it means that they had to get other things done initially to ensure the nation would survive. And if you want to get into the founding of the US, it was Britain that were the slavers and pushed slavery into their colonies in North America. And if you really want to get to the root of the problem, you can actually track much of the slave trade back to blacks in Africa selling other blacks in Africa into slavery. You can look at the nations that transported slaves from Africa to other places in the world of which the US was one. But they were behind Portugal, the UK, France, Netherlands and Spain. In fact the US moved about 1/10th as many slaves as either Portugal or UK.. And the US was not the only port for sale of these slaves.

“A fifty year old law against racism is the only solution to the institutional racism we could ever need?” Ummm…yes. That 50 year old law has been reaffirmed numerous times. And institutional racism? Tell me what law favors whites over blacks? Granted, the Democrats have tried to keep blacks down and even tried in the past to pass laws that did push racism. But those laws were outmoded with that 50 year old law you don’t like so much. So which laws today favor only white people? Please tell me. In fact there are more laws that favor blacks (affirmative action for example) over whites than favoring whites at all. And when you use terms like “institutional racism”, you are saying there are laws that push it. Anything other than that from a definition is just twisted, made up opinion that is not backed in facts.

As for people advocating police ignoring their suicide rates, that is nothing but a cheap dodge. When the protests are because police kill blacks, we are looking at a claim against police. I don’t advocate for police to be able to kill blacks with impunity. I don’t advocate for them to be able to kill anyone with impunity. But neither do I buy into the bullshit claim that they are all murderers or that they are never punished. I do advocate that police should be able to use deadly force as a last resort, however. But the claim that America is horrible because police kill blacks is so distorted as to be laughable. And then when it is pointed out that blacks kill more blacks that police do (which is fact by the way…look it up in the FBI statistics) those same people claim that is not the point. So it isn’t the black lives that are lost, it is only that you want to protest against a minor cause of those losses.

HP's avatar

The fact that there was debate over the obvious inconsistency of slavery as fundamental in a land where “all men are created equal” by no means allows the foolish conclusion that said country was not incorporated with slavery as required and ESSENTIAL to that incorpoartion. Both the advocates and opponents of slavery FULLY UNDERSTOOD the institution intrinsically put the lie to the founding documents on which the country was founded. The defense that the issue was so contentious that it was put off to another day is open admission that THE COUNTRY COULD NOT POSSIBLY BE ESTABLISHED OR PERSIST WITHOUT IT. It annoys me no end that we live in a country with its population brainwashed to ignore the glaring contradiction with the sacred Constitution and its systemic denial of its lofty protections and guarantees to so very substantial a percentage of those supposedly under its provenance. It is the fatal, undeniable and inescapable flaw that what is probably the penultimate work on the rights and protections due the individual should be limited to CERTAIN individuals.

seawulf575's avatar

@HP where did I suggest that slavery was not incorporated into the country on its founding? But that is a far cry from “slavery and white supremacy was a fundamental tenet of the foundingof the US”? Slavery existed before the USA did. It was part of the norm for England and was brought here. What the Founding Fathers did was to lay the groundwork for it to go away in their Constitution and Bill of Rights…even in the Declaration of Independence. And when there is as much discussion and dissention on the topic in the beginning it is insane to claim it was a fundamental tenet. Claiming that the country could not possibly be established or persist without it is just as loony. We have seen throughout our history…hell throughout the recorded history of man…where topics were discussed and were so volatile that they were tabled for a time. Those discussions always take a lot of time and it might be time that is needed for something else. In the case of the founding of this nation, that something else was the founding of the nation. You are squawking because they didn’t make the nation 100% perfect and infallible for all time, regardless of changing attitudes or new viewpoints, in the first doctrines they put out. How nutso is that?

jca2's avatar

I think Griner’s release makes American tourists more vulnerable in countries where they may want to arrest someone and use them as a pawn to negotiate to get their prisoner out of US jails (as Russia wanted Bout).

janbb's avatar

@jca2 But this is not the first time this has happened. This kind of thing has been going on for years.

jca2's avatar

@janbb Yes but Viktor Bout is an especially bad guy, so this was an especially high profile swap. If we have other high profile prisoners, we’re potential targets when we travel abroad.

janbb's avatar

@jca2 Well, we can probably take comfort in the fact that we’re not as high a profile target as Griner was. (Said tongue in cheek.)

HP's avatar

Remove your tongue. We may not be as high a target. The downside to that one is that if it happens to us, who’s going to care about it? But the real lesson—the one that counts is that ANY American in Russia is a potential target. We cannot say that Griner did not technically violate Russian law. But the harsh sentence for so petty an offense is a thinly veiled demonstration that ANY American while in Russia can be conveniently converted to a bargaining chip on some pretext or another. It is an unavoidable characteristic distinguishing any autocratic regime including the behavior of our very own mods. Whether or not you are guilty of a crime is simply a matter of convenience. If you are not guilty of a crime, one can always be manufactured as required.

janbb's avatar

^^ Of course. I would never go to Russia at this point; nor would I go to any totalitarian country. Hell, I’m not even sure I should go to Florida in February!

HP's avatar

@seawulf575. I cannot fathom how you manage not to see the fallacy in your argument. For the sake of sanity let us agree that “slavery and white supremacy” were a “FUNDAMENTAL tenet” to Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia. Do you deny this? Then answer the question: was the inclusion of those places necessary to the establishment of the country?

Dutchess_III's avatar

We’re still evolving to come into line with the lofty ideals of the Constitution.

HP's avatar

Yes. But you will notice that in that evolution the document itself was solidly employed toward the perpetuation of slavery and particularly AFTER the issue was supposed to be settled by our Civil War. And by the way, that very war, all by itself would tell a sensible person just how “fundamental” slavery was to the establishment of the country. Face it, he has no leg to stand on.

Dutchess_III's avatar

How was it solidly employed toward the perpetuation of slavery @HP?

HP's avatar

Ok. But first, because otherwise I’ll forget to mention it, it is important to understand that when it comes to slavery, everyone involved including its proponents understood it to be repugnant. This is why great pains are taken by those favoring the practice to avoid the word itself, even in defense of it. Consider that the Constitution accomplished the rather remarkable feat of legalizing and setting forth the regulations regarding slavery without even once mentioning the word itself.

HP's avatar

With this in mind, let’s look at how things have progressed regarding “the peculiar institution” and the struggle to abolish it. It’s important not only because slavery itself is intolerable, but we now witness the methods employed toward perpetuating it deployed with ruthless effectiveness currently on matters from gun control thru women’s autonomy over their own bodies.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I’m listening!

JLeslie's avatar

After talking to several people about this in real life who are also generally liberal minded, I found out I am not alone in not being happy with the swap and not being so empathetic to Griner.

Someone pointed out to me Griner went to Russia, a country where being gay is very risky, and I guess she wasn’t worried about it? She wasn’t worried enough about anything! I don’t know if she is young and naive or just incredibly greedy or what?

Biden in his speech about getting her released mentioned that Americans should check the government website regarding which countries have warnings for US citizens. Maybe I missed it, but I haven’t seen news stations showing that clip over and over again. In my opinion Biden was basically saying don’t do this to yourself or to America.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I’m still listening @HP.

HP's avatar

So slippery and resistant to eradication has been the practice, that even with amendments to the Constitution which unequivocally abolish the practice and render it outlawed (again with the words slave or slavery nowhere to be found) the fight has been to eliminate the incessant dodges, reach arounds and disguises designed to maintain the practice and cement in place its effects.

HP's avatar

@JLeslie Of course she’s naive, as would be any of us in that place where even if you are aware, it is entirely too easy to forget EXACTLY what you are up against. We’re used to HERE, and THAT is what we are conditioned to expect.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Could you copy and paste a portion of the constitution as an example?

HP's avatar

I’m not doing a good job at this, cause there’s a lot going on here now. Think about the dodges in tune with avoiding the “S” word. Involuntary servitude is declared absolutely illegal EXCEPT as punishment for a crime. The workaround? Round up any black man standing on the sidewalk smoking a cigarette, charge him with loitering or vagrancy, sentence him to 90 days hard labor, then assign him to the chain gang building your roads. All of it perfectly legal. Look at them, separate but equal, red lining, poll taxes, enforced segregation of schools and housing. Name a one of them that hasn’t been worked up through the courts to confront in the end—the CONSTITUTION.

seawulf575's avatar

@HP ” let us agree that “slavery and white supremacy” were a “FUNDAMENTAL tenet” to Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia. Do you deny this?” Not necessarily a fundamental tenet. Sorry. Were slaves a big part of their economies? Possibly. But then every colony had slaves. And it wasn’t until after 1776 (closer to 1790) and our independence that slavery actually took off. So the argument that it was a fundamental tenet for the founding of the country is still fallacious. By that time the Constitution was already created and approved by the states. After that, the states set about establishing their own identities and their own economies. And since the industrial revolution had not occurred and farming was a huge part of the developing economies, slavery did play a role. But not all states went that way and somehow they managed to maintain a viable economy.

What we SHOULD agree on is that it was the Democrats that pushed slavery and white supremacy as fundamental tenets…and continued to do so well into the 20th century. When the Republicans finally put it to rest…that blacks had equality…the Dems changed their tactics. But they have always fought to keep the blacks subservient. That is what we SHOULD be agreeing on.

JLeslie's avatar

@HP She is Black. Are you telling me that now Black people aren’t raised to be afraid of the police and justice system in the US? That she was completely clueless that she could wind up in jail for small infractions?

She is gay. Are you telling me she is unaware of violence and hate against gay people, and that she is unaware it was only recently that we legalized gay marriage and gays in the military, and they she is unaware if continuing stories in the US of people objecting to perform gay marriages?

Are you also going to tell me that she thought Russia was at least as good (or bad) as the US, and she didn’t know to assume it was likely worse? This is bullshit. You don’t think anyone warned her “they don’t like gay people in Russia, be careful.”

If my ignorant, naive, greedy daughter wound up stuck in a foreign jail I would want to do everything to get her out of there, but I would not defend her as having done nothing wrong. Not behind closed doors anyway. I would be really pissed off at her for taking such a risk.

Please. It is one thing to be glad she is released, to feel Russia used her as a pawn, and to feel her sentence was overly harsh. I think most people all agree on those three points. It is another to defend her as some innocent woman who did nothing wrong and had no idea of the risk of being in RUSSIA. It’s RUSSIA!

Wasn’t she arrested when Russia was already lining up at the border of Ukraine? WTF were Americans still doing in Russia to begin with, they should have been flooding out of the country to come back home. The US should have done more to implore Americans to return. Maybe it would not have mattered, maybe Russia would have picked her up or someone else even weeks before, because the plan is so smart.

You think it is a coincidence that an American was taken to trade for an arms dealer while Russia was planning their war against Ukraine? Griner might have ruined the chances of Paul Whelan being released. All the publicity around Griner probably helped her and hurt his chances. I am sure Putin and Russians who support him are laughing at the US and think Putin was incredibly clever and a great negotiator. He was a good negotiator.

HP's avatar

@seawulf575 Each of those states and every state that seceded from the Union declared the institution of slavery FUNDAMENTAL to their existence and made a point of stating plainly that infringement on this reality was the direct reason for their defection. Each state without exception. Do we agree on that?

HP's avatar

@JLeslie I am not defending nor excusing Griner’s behavior in any way. Hashish vape cartridges packed in luggage you know subject to Russian customs inspectors is just plain moronic. Gay, black or whatever, she clearly is not the brightest bulb in the chandelier.

JLeslie's avatar

@HP Ok, I apologize for misperceiving your attitude about her and the situation.

Jonsblond's avatar

How can it not matter? A life saved is a life saved.

seawulf575's avatar

@HP Again, that may be what those states morphed into, but not what they were in the very beginning of the country. The statement I originally called out was that slavery and white supremacy were fundamental tenets in the founding of the country. They were not. The facts don’t support that claim. It is likely that after we were a country some of the states decided to go in a direction where slavery would benefit them. This can be seen by the huge uptick in slavery following the establishment of our nation.

Another aspect to your argument is that you aren’t looking at the country as a whole, you are looking at a piece of it and drawing conclusions from that to apply to the whole. Can we at least agree on that?

JLeslie's avatar

@Jonsblond Some people feel letting Bout out will lead to the death of tens of thousands and that Whelan did literally nothing to be held in prison.

jca2's avatar

Now on the news, they’re saying that the US is negotiating to get Whelan out of Russian prison. That’s because of the big criticism about the deal that was already made (Bout in exchange for Griner, leaving Whelan behind, Bout being so much more valuable as far as his crimes go).

In my humble opinion, the time to bargain for Whelan was in combination with Griner. The US should have played hardball. If Russia wanted Bout so bad, they would have done Whelan and Griner in exchange for Bout. Now, they’re probably going to want another Russian criminal out of a US jail in exchange for Whelan. Not saying Whelan shouldn’t get out, I absolutely think he should be let out and should be out right now, on a plane with Griner, but it’s sad that there’s going to be another Russian criminal out in exchange for this, and the Russian criminals are bad news, way worse than Griner or Whelan.

JLeslie's avatar

I saw on Face the Nation a family talking about their Husband/Dad in prison in Iran. The government hasn’t given them the attention they deserve in my opinion. It’s from the episode this past Sunday if you want to see it. Horrible.

Blackberry's avatar

@HP

I’ve been reading and responding to conservative/racist rhetoric for awhile now….probably since 2004….and we just have to realize it’s easier for people like gondwanalon and seawulf to bury their heads in the sand.

As gondawanalon stated…..racism doesn’t exist because some black people make money now and found success.

They have a lot to lose by turning around and admitting racism is still a huge grey area in the US and around the world (europeans throwing banana peels at black soccer players).

They are either intentionally being obtuse by claiming racism isn’t real as long as no one is caught….or legitimately don’t have the empathy or mental capacity to understand the nuance associated with racism.

Most people know racism is deeply ingrained subconsciously into the fabric of America, and it makes it easier for some people to just say it’s all gone because no one has come out and admitted it on video with a written statement.

These are the types of people to say/think “if they got away with it, it didn’t happen.” Which makes arguing with them pointless because their criteria is not logical from the beginning.

seawulf575's avatar

@Blackberry Racism does exist. But it isn’t institutional nor is it as widespread as people like yourself like to make it out to be. However if anyone states something other than what you believe we are just burying our heads in the sand. If your claim is that it is institutional and widespread that sand is awfully thin.

Blackberry's avatar

@seawulf575

Just because men can beat women less doesn’t mean sexism has stopped, either. There’s still work to do to reverse this countries stain on its citizens.

There’s no magical lever that decides the degree of institutional racism. It varies upon many factors.

If a black couple has their house appraised for more money because they had a white person present for a 2nd or 3rd appraisal….what would you call that, then?

Do you have to work with an institution to buy and sell a home? Yes or no?

seawulf575's avatar

@Blackberry “There’s no magical lever that decides the degree of institutional racism. It varies upon many factors.” There is a magical lever that decides this. It’s called rules. For there to be INSTITUTIONAL racism, there have to be policies and laws that specify it. There are no such laws, no such policies.

And your strawman argument makes no sense. If they are selling a house and it is appraised for more money, that isn’t racism…its a good deal for them. I think what you are trying to say is that if a black couple wants to buy a house but that house is appraised higher than for a white person looking to buy the same house. I’d say that what you have in a case like that is racism. But, again, that is nowhere near as prevalent as you would make it seem. To start with there have been organizations that have used racist practices to perform their business. And when called on it, they are almost always caught and have to pay exorbitant penalties…as they should. Especially in this lawsuit-crazy time in our history it is almost impossible to get away with racism as a company. Not to mention all the laws and regulations in place to prevent such behavior.

In the strawman you posed, something like that might be racism from the appraiser on his own, which would not be institutional racism, just a random case of it. It might be that there really was NO difference in the appraisals…just a claim there was.

Blackberry's avatar

@seawulf575

It wasn’t a hypothetical scenario…..the appraisal situation actually happened…..

How is a real situation a strawman?

But like I said before….you’re pretending miraculously that corruption doesn’t exist and laws can’t be broken because it makes it easier for you to believe that an institution can’t affect someone’s life in a negative way.

I’ve already stated multiple times I grew up around racists and conservatives and have heard all bad faith arguments, fallacies and excuses.

I get it, it sucks to confront that America still has issues caused by a few bad white people not confronting their subconscious bias that has been drilled into their heads from childhood.

Things will get better everyday the more it’s exposed. For the same reason people are becoming less religious….you can’t hide from logic.

ragingloli's avatar

Cops are also not allowed to lie on their police reports, but they do it anyway.
Remember that the cop that murdered George Floyd, lied on his report, stating that Floyd died from a “medical incident”. He was only charged and convicted for the murder because people filmed it.
(and naturally, now they are trying to make filming cops illegal.)

Laws are not magical spells. They need to be enforced, and transgressions need to be punished. And the higher you go on the power hierarchy, the less likely it becomes that an offender will be punished.

JLeslie's avatar

@seawulf575 Maybe you are mixing together written down policy and law with things that are done in practice?

Most people don’t overtly say let’s let schools in Black areas fall apart and not give them the same amount of funds as the White schools. There is no law saying make schools in Black areas below par. Rather, what happens is lower income schools get fewer funds because of the tax base and because the parents living there can’t donate as much, and since the history of racism in America put Black people on average are financially behind white people. Because of that Black children too often don’t have the same environment at school as white kids. It’s more dramatic in some parts of the country than others.

To add to it, you have some Republicans trying to draw more funds out of the school system to put into private schools. They fight to have policy on this through vouchers. They also will fight hard to regarding school districting. The average Republican and Libertarian might tell themselves they want vouchers to make schools better through competition, but the people at the head of the movement know what they are really doing, they know what they really want.

Hiring practices might not have company policy or laws telling managers to be racist, but human nature often people hire and promote people who look like themselves. If white men are at the top you get a lot of white oriole in the company. Again, some parts of the country it’s worse than others. Some industries it’s worse than others. Most larger companies evaluate this objectively, but smaller companies are less likely to do it.

I think the majority of Americans aren’t racist, but there is a decent sized portion who are, some have a lot of money and influence. Too many people who aren’t racist support racist policy because they don’t see it. They don’t see why it’s racist in the end. They don’t listen to the experience of minorities and they don’t believe or remember examples they are told.

seawulf575's avatar

@Blackberry I’ve already said that racism still exists. But so far you haven’t shown anything that makes it institutional. Not all institutions, not all people in any given institution…none of it is the institutional racism you like to portray. If I called up a case where a black person got a house that a white person wanted as well and the appraisal was the same, does that prove it to you? And claiming you grew up knowing people that were racist is even more bizarre…almost desperate…that you want to say that makes it institutional. By that logic if I tell you that I know many people that aren’t racists that should prove to you that it doesn’t exist.

seawulf575's avatar

@JLeslie What I am doing is separating written down policy from the claim that there is institutional racism. When someone says this country has institutional racism they are saying that all aspects of this country have rules that consistently push racism. Therefore the challenge sits out there to show the law or policy that pushes this. To try saying “they won’t put it in writing but it is still out there!” is a conspiracy theory. There is zero proof of it, in fact there is proof disproving it, so to believe it is so makes no sense. That is NOT the same as saying racism doesn’t exist, however.

You argued both sides of the school argument saying they both hurt black people. Poorer communities mean less supported schools and therefore a substandard education for blacks. But then you try saying that voucher programs, which are supposed to aid in allowing poorer people to get into better schools, are designed to keep black people down. Your argument makes no sense. AND it negates that there are many other aspects of our society that might be impacting black people, such as their own attitudes toward a solid family or personal responsibility. I’m not saying this to be racist, but as a fact. Black children are more likely than just about every other race to grow up with their mothers only. And not having a father in the home leads to all sorts of developmental and societal issues.

As for hiring practices, it is possible that small businesses with few employees hire within their own racial group. Ma and Pa businesses often hire family and friends which are often in the same ethnical group. Bigger businesses, as you pointed out, are less likely to do this and more likely to hire fairly. That is just another argument against institutional racism.

I think that there are indeed racist people. I just don’t believe it is as prevalent as many make it out to be. I’ve worked in several industries and have been through quite a bit in my years and racism is not usually there. I’ve seen it, but even when it shows up, most people frown upon it.

JLeslie's avatar

@seawulf575 How is an $8,000 voucher going to help a poor kids go to a $20,000 tuition school? How do you feel about college loans? Do you think giving out that money raised tuitions? Why would you think giving vouchers for K-12 private schools won’t raise tuitions? Why not keep the money in the school system and let kids transfer within the public system. Why isn’t that good enough? I’ll tell you why, because white people don’t want to pay for other people’s kids going to school, and they the money for themselves to send their kids to private school. It’s not really some sort of altruistic reason.

I’m all for nepotism in very small business, less than 10 people, but small business is also 30, 50, 100 people.

Forever_Free's avatar

Nobody will remember her name in a years time.

Smashley's avatar

@seawulf575 – Look, I don’t open by insulting you, so let’s keep it civil, eh? Actually, I kinda did, so my bad. I’m really not trying to antagonize because I think you generally have the more thought out incorrect opinions of most people here.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

I also own people and can rape them and sell their children.

Also. Indians are “merciless savages”.

Jefferson wasn’t a psychopath, he was just a white supremacist like a lot of them. He didn’t invent slavery, but he benefited greatly from it. No one likes to believe they are a piece of shit, and being a slaver is a giant piece of shit move. The way these high minded liberals rationalized their hypocrisy was a fundamental belief in white supremacy.

Of course there was some hand wringing and internal debate, but to “table” the issue for later, (and give the power of federal representation for owning said slaves) in favor of the expediencies required to forge a new nation, means that slavery was fundamental to the nation being founded.

Slavery and white supremacy absolutely were fundamental to the creation of the nation. It didn’t even need to be mentioned that black people didn’t count as equal. It was known and assumed. Sure some people hated slavery and wanted it gone, but the bargain that brought the colonies together was that no one would do anything about the slaves. When John Laurens tried to convince slavers to free their slaves to fight for the Union, the response he got was “Long live the King”

The country could not have been founded without slavery as a fundamentally understood right, and white supremacy was the cope that let them sleep at night.

And yes, thank you for reminding us that blacks did slavery too. Slavery has been a part of just about every culture with power over another, but European colonialism plus ready access to capital were required to morph traditional, forced enslavement of others, into the one drop rule and chattel enslavement. The economic opportunity was too great and too many forces demanded it. White supremacy grew up around the economic imperatives.

As far as institutional racism goes, (I know you hate that term, so let’s just say “systemic”) how do you account for the noticeably different rates of poverty, violent crime, incarceration and maternal mortality, without entertaining the idea that the system might be unfair?

seawulf575's avatar

@Smashley You and I have differing views about how important slavery was in the founding of this nation. It was definitely a benefit to some and not so much to others. But it was not a “founding tenet”. I’ve shown plenty of evidence to the contrary, you just don’t want to accept it. Your arguments seem to be that the Founding Fathers wanted to institutionalize slavery, but they did it by not mentioning it. Sorry, that doesn’t wash towards making it a founding tenet.

As for how I account for the noticeably different rates of poverty, violent crime, incarceration and maternal mortality without entertaining the idea that the system might be unfair? Simple. Personal responsibility. If I sit on my ass, suck off the system, commit crimes, abandon my family, etc. is that the system’s fault? There are plenty of people that come from poor beginnings and move on to being law abiding and prosperous. I came from a fairly poor start and have done fine, but it took a lot of effort and drive. I had to make decisions and live by the consequences.

A larger percentage of black families don’t have a father as compared to just about every other ethnicity. And study after study have shown that to be key in the development of children. Without a father, children develop having more learning disorders, they are more likely to commit crimes, they are less likely to grow to be prosperous. Is it the system’s fault that a higher percentage of black families don’t have a father? A higher percentage of blacks are incarcerated. This isn’t because the system is bad, it is because they commit crimes at a higher rate compared to other ethnicities. Are you suggesting that systemically we should just stop arresting black criminals to equalize some warped view of equality? The list goes on and on.

seawulf575's avatar

@RocketGuy How does that apply to today? Were Jim Crow laws racist? Absolutely. Talk to the Democrats…they were the ones that wrote and passed them. But are Jim Crow laws in place today? No. They WERE institutional racism. But there are a lot of negative changes for blacks from those days to now and many of them revolve around the personal choices of the individuals. Single parents in the black community did exist back then, but they exist in far larger percentages today. Children born without a father have gone up from something like 22% in 1960 to 70% today. These things are not institutional. They are poor choices.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I’ve read Black Like Me @RocketGuy.

RocketGuy's avatar

@seawulf575 – to this day in 2022(!), Black teens are given “the talk” by their parents about what not to do if they get pulled over by police. That has got to be an indication of how things are in America.

Dutchess_III's avatar

But we white kids are given the same advice, at least we were in my family.

seawulf575's avatar

@RocketGuy most kids get that talk. But if you are trying to make this a social justice thing I will tell you that there is likely a reason that blacks worry about the cops. It’s called social responsibility. It is the thing that is lacking that leads to the huge increases in fatherless homes, that leads to blacks committing a much higher percentage of crimes than their percentage of the population should dictate.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Also, it was mentioned in Driver’s Ed.

Forever_Free's avatar

@seawulf575 I won’t even go there on your statement of “social responsibility” with a spin towards race.
The point here is that racial profiling is patently illegal, violating the U.S. Constitution’s core promises of equal protection under the law to all and freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures.

If nothing has been learned over the past few years about targeting race during an unjustified stoppage of a driver resulting in unjust violations, treatment, sentencing, and time in jail that results in fatherless households, then it will never result in change to equality.

Blackberry's avatar

@seawulf575

We are aware personal and social responsibility applies to everyone, correct? You are aware there are instances where non-black people make egregiously irresponsible choices, right?

RocketGuy's avatar

@seawulf575 – non-Black kids get told that police will kill them if they don’t comply 100%?

seawulf575's avatar

@Blackberry I absolutely know that. I have the same response when we discuss abortion which I do not view as a racial thing. All races get abortions just as all races make bad choices and refuse to accept responsibility for those choices. But in this discussion, this particular issue was addressing blacks so I responded to it.

seawulf575's avatar

@Forever_Free The only reason “social responsibility” was mentioned about race is because I was addressing a social justice aspect of the conversation that was about blacks.

Forever_Free's avatar

@seawulf575 I beg to differ that it was “The only reason”

seawulf575's avatar

@Forever_Free Ahhh…so you know me? You know my mind better than I do? Or do you just want to read something into it that isn’t there so you can deflect from the truth of what I wrote?

Forever_Free's avatar

@seawulf575 It seems pretty straightforward on your statement. Shall I remind you of your statement ”...a social justice thing I will tell you that there is likely a reason that blacks worry about the cops. It’s called social responsibility. It is the thing that is lacking that leads to the huge increases in fatherless homes,...”

Feel free to clarify if you meant something else.

How does it relate to Brittney Griner? Her parents have been in here life. She is not fatherless. He is a Vietnam vet and very supportive through her life.

seawulf575's avatar

Well, gee….you got me! All you have to do is take it out of context and then YOU can supply any context you like. Because that statement you are so hyped up about was in reference to the statement ” Black teens are given “the talk” by their parents about what not to do if they get pulled over by police. ” Now correct me if I’m wrong, but that statement specifically points to the topic of blacks. So as I am responding in kind with the focus of that statement I’m now suddenly the bad guy for mentioning blacks? Maybe I’m the only sane one that can stay on topic?

Does that apply to Britney Griner? I have no Earthly idea. I made the original comment that I felt that trading her for a notorious arms dealer was a horrible idea because it sends a really bad message to the world. That was not part of the echo chamber that is Fluther on questions like these so I began getting challenged. It started as a WhataboutTrump statement, then moved into how people (I’m sorry, reprobates) hated her because of her protests of the National Anthem. That moved into how the whole world just hates black people and kills them at every chance (a summation of the claims). When I pointed out it was blacks who kill blacks more than any other race did and FAR more than the police ever do, that started the conversation of how the US embraced slavery as a fundamental tenet of the founding of this nation. There was quite a bit of going back and forth on this topic and “Institutional Racism” became the topic of discussion. It was in that discussion that @RocketGuy made the comment about black kids getting “the talk” about how to act when cops pull them over. And that pretty much brings us up to date. How does all that apply to Brittney Griner? Probably because she’s black. I really don’t care about her race. I just thought that she certainly wasn’t worth putting a guy that was responsible for thousands and possibly millions of lives being lost due to his actions back into action. It has nothing to do with her race from my view, but apparently it does to the Democrats who are once again pandering to the left.

Forever_Free's avatar

@seawulf575 Interesting how you spun this into race and politics. Seemed like a humanitarian question.

seawulf575's avatar

@Forever_Free I understand you are obsessed with me, but the problem is…I didn’t spin it this direction. Go back and look. I started with the comment that I thought trading her for one of the biggest arms dealers this world has ever seen was a poor trade. Right in line with the question. All the rest was driven by your fellow lefty jellies. THEY are the ones that turned it political and racist. Or are you like so many other on the left that turn the conversation in a certain direction and then blame others when they respond?

Forever_Free's avatar

^^ get over yourself

Forever_Free's avatar

@seawulf575 what about those references?

seawulf575's avatar

@Forever_Free “Get over yourself”....that sounds like lefty code for “Damn it! He’s right. Better insult him rather than admit I was wrong.”

Forever_Free's avatar

@seawulf575 Thank you for that.

Dutchess_III's avatar

What about those references @seawulf575?

seawulf575's avatar

@Forever_Free and @Dutchess_III Ya got me! I have no idea what you are talking about. References for what?

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Forever_Free…..what references?

seawulf575's avatar

@Dutchess_III You asked too! What references?

Forever_Free's avatar

@seawulf575 interesting how your memory goes after being called out. Go reread the thread.

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