The Jokes Over, No More Laughing – Or I Will Light You Up!!!!!


At around 9.00 on the Morning of Friday, July 10, 2015 an Sandra Bland, a 28 year old African American woman was driving to work to finish her first week in a new job. In thirty minutes time, a perverse set of circumstances ensured that Sandra wouldn’t make it to work that day. In fact Sandra would never make it to work anywhere, ever again.

Sandra was not killed in a traffic accident, nor gunned down as an innocent bystander in one of America’s increasingly popular mass shootings. What started the chain of events that ultimately led to Sandra losing her life was her failure to signal. I’ll write that again, her failure to signal. No matter how you say it, write it, or read it, it never makes any sense. She failed to signal, and three days later, she died, while still in police custody. The story being, she failed to signal and now she is dead.

statue of liberty
The Statue of Liberty promoting Sandra Bland’s right to smoke in her car.

Now of course the legalistic pedants among us will jump up and down screaming foul play, they’ll say “but Sandra wasn’t in jail for failing to signal, she was in jail for resisting arrest,” and this is of course true, (although wasn’t she protected by the 4th amendment against unreasonable search and seizures?). But, why was she being arrested, for failing to extinguish a cigarette in her own car? Surely in the home of Lady Liberty, and “the land of the free”, citizens can’t be arrested for smoking a cigarette in their own car. Why did officer Brian Encinia demand Sandra to exit her car? Shouldn’t he have issued the ticket, tipped his hat and sent Ms. Bland on her way? As soon as officer Encinia ordered Sandra Bland to step out of her car he acted as a catalyst in the escalation of a fractious situation. Another way of saying it is he poured fuel onto the fire. All Officer Encinia needed to do, all he had the right to do was to have issued the warning or ticket relevant to her traffic infraction. What did the officer see to prolong detaining Sandra Bland?

In an article on criminal defense attorney John Hamasaki ( provides his interpretation of the events and legal implications, as witnessed from the dashcam of the police car.

there’s a term we hear in the criminal law field– “somebody failed the attitude test.” And when somebody fails the attitude test, things escalate. Again, there is no “attitude test” that’s permissible as a basis for police encounters, meaning police officers don’t get to harass you because you have a bad attitude, or you don’t show them the proper deference.

Hamasaki continues by saying:

Once the investigative detention relating to the traffic stop was complete, he had no basis to detain her, no basis to order her to put out her cigarette, and no lawful basis to order her out of her vehicle.- Hamasaki

For the full article follow the link:

While Hamasaki’s comments are both interesting and enlightening, I’m an old fashioned, simple sort of a person. All this legal interference, interpretation of the law and so on, only serves the needs of sustaining an over developed legal system. The law is there to protect the citizens, by their nature laws should be reasonable and have an element of common sense. Those empowered to enforce the laws should only be asked to uphold reasonable laws, and have received the training necessary to do the job. The point I am laboring towards is that had the officer used what some might call discretion, but what I’ll refer to as common sense, today Sandra Bland is alive.

Upon entering the Waller County Jail, Sandra Bland was asked some standard questions. These revealed that earlier this year she had taken a drug overdose following a miscarriage. To most human beings she had suffered significant emotional trauma in the past year. Also, if someone answers yes to that question, doesn’t that triggersomething happening, otherwise what is the purpose of asking it?  What we’ve seen is a woman admitting to those detaining her that she had tried to kill herself in the previous 6 months, then killing herself with material supplied by the custodians, whilst under their care. While Waller County Jail might not have directly killed Sandra, dereliction of duty bordering on complete incompetence seems highly likely.

Now an appeal to pathos; when looking at the circumstances of this shameful and unnecessary death what I find most saddening is how Sandra’s life might have played out had fate been more benevolent, had luck gone her way, had she been white. Had circumstances been different, it is conceivable that today she would be the mother of a young baby. Where there could have been joy and so much life celebrate,  instead became story of tragedy and death.

I quit
Sadly for Sandra she didn’t even have the view to appreciate.






Now an appeal to anger; I’m tired of hearing about people dying unnecessarily, and what happened to Ms. Bland was as unacceptable as circumstances get. In the past I have watched the news, felt pissed, shrugged my shoulders and got on with my life, but enough’s enough. Below is the link to the Waller County Sheriff’s complaints and compliments webpage (compliments?) I know most of you are too busy, or too tired, or just don’t care enough, but if some of you could drop them a line expressing your thoughts, keeping the pressure on the murderous swine, it’s a legitimate reason to rant at fascist law enforcement, and maybe you’re doing something that just might help prevent this from happening again.

The employees of the Sheriff’s Office are proud to serve this community.  We strive to always provide professional and courteous service to every citizen who requires our assistance.  Sheriff Smith values all feedback from citizens, be it positive or negative.

Compliments for a job well done may be emailed to  Complaints or concerns regarding an employee should be sent to the same email.  In order to file a formal complaint against a deputy, you may be asked to come to the Sheriff’s Office in person.


A Letter to America

There really isn’t a pretty side to the idea of white supremacy.

Following the most recent shootings and police brutality in America, I asked a grade 11 student to write a letter to the American people. What they produced shocked me.

Dear America,

It would appear that your history and circumstance has played a pivotal role in your birth as a nation. Paradoxically, two of these circumstances are now responsible in what might undermine the states from ever becoming united. Guns and racism are two pathological illnesses your nation was  born with, the two scary issues that ‘the land of the brave’ seem too afraid to deal with.

It is somewhat ironic that as your first black president’s administration is in the autumn of its office, America appears more racially divided than at any other time in recent history. Many of us thought that the election of Barrack Obama would mean that you had finally reached Martin Luther King’s ‘promised land’. In recent years it has become obvious that this was a false dawn, today you are as far from that ‘promised land’ as you have perhaps ever been.

Why is it that racism is only talked about following the police shooting an unarmed black youth, or police brutality against black, bikini clad teenage girls, or when a white supremacist executes 9 black people in a church? Surely none of those actions have a place in ‘the land of the free’. And that’s part of the problem, it’s all this ‘land of the free, and home of the brave,’ the huge effort you go to to convince yourselves that you have created a Utopia. What kind of sick minded people pledge their allegiance to a flag? It’s nothing more than a symbolic yoke used to control the nation’s citizens, an arbitrarily colored piece of cloth, I would rather pledge allegiance to my toilet paper, after all it has a far more functional purpose and I know which one I couldn’t live without. The incessant patriotic pageantry has misled you into thinking that somehow you are the moral compass setting a course for the rest of the world. Sadly the rest of the world can see right through it and sees you for the wayward child you are. It’s time that you wake up and acknowledge that this country that you sing about, pledge allegiance to, doesn’t, and indeed has never existed. As George Carlin once said ‘it’s called the American Dream because you’ve got to be asleep to believe it’. You have to ask yourself why any country requires so many institutionalized methods of reinforcing patriotism, if the country is so great people will acknowledge it as being so without the need for all this mindless, systematic pageantry.

Put away the bunting for a while and turn off the ball game, have the courage to face up to your responsibilities. Start tackling the issues that as a nation you have ignored for far too long. Look yourself in the mirror and recognize that America’s most dangerous enemy isn’t Islamic extremism, ebola or even Russians, but yourselves. It’s always easy to put the blame onto someone else’s shoulders, but your society is the problem, it’s your mess and only you can clean it up.

People around the world are at a loss to explain your disparate responses to when foreigners kill Americans compared to when Americans kill each other. America has justified the torture and rendition of foreigners for the reason of protecting Americans whilst being only too happy to provide its citizens with the weapons to openly slaughter one another on a daily basis. One can only wonder, how as a country you would have reacted had the gunman been a follower of ISIS. But, because he is a white supremacist your response is markedly more restrained, more measured, you can’t find anyone to invade on this one. The fact is America far prefers its citizens to kill one another than to allow foreigners to do it and your constitution’s second amendment facilitates this. You have to ask yourselves some tough questions, you have to question some of the historical factors that gave birth to your nation, and to be strong enough to acknowledge some of them just might have been wrong. One thing you must be certain of though, now is not the time for ticker tape parades, apple pie, bunting and songs.

Yours sincerely

A Korean student