The 2014 Douchey McDouche Bag of the Year
Â When 2014 ended we had such a wide swath of douchiness that it was almost difficult to choose just one.
Â We had careless parents killing their kids in Â oven-like cars, abusive athletes knocking, Â beating and punching their ways into the Â headlines, a virulent man-killing disease, andÂ staple â€“ gun-toting citizens and police who cut down unarmed black men for any number of reasons.
Although it may be rewarding to poke fun at dictators like Vladimir Putin and racists like Donald Sterling and Cliven Bundy, it was again our concerns for the current state of the justice system which was again in an apparent state of an emergency and need of a good spritzing.
Fatally flawed and unjust for at least one segment of the population, this countryâ€™s use of a secret grand jury system that has whisked away potential indictments like some industrial sized broom became our main focus after killer cops were about to mope out more unarmed youngsters of color and not even catch a charge last year.
So, in 2014 it again became painfully evident that law enforcement, the courts and the grand jury system were flawed. But it became even more obvious that there was a caustic reaction to those in pursuit of justice from those who broken the system in the first place.
Funkier than a bag of Bravos, in 2014 a subjective system was put on display for the use of a mechanism which can decide or not decide whether to bring charges against people who break the law. Convened in secret, we again learned why the grand jury has always caused us to see it less like justice and more like a huddle that circumvents justice when it comes to â€œpeaceâ€ officers, its administrators and judges.
It is for this reason the US Justice System, its secret blue wall of silence snares our top prize. But more importantly it is the collective indignation shown by law enforcement when its uneven application of â€œjusticeâ€ was questioned by the public that earned it the Boom Bap Radio Douchey McDouche Bagâ€™s Douche of the Year for 2014.
You know somethingâ€™s gotta stink, when inequities in the system forces our complacent society and itâ€™s lazy children and citizens to drop their electronic devices and physically take to the streets;Â be it to riot or to launch a movement for Equal Justice.
Itâ€™s disturbing and downright maddening when your hired help turns on you and decides to surreptitiously shoot and choke you out in the street â€“ be it in Missouri, New York, Ohio, Michigan or anywhere else.
In fact, so many unarmed men of color were killed in American streets that the law of averages would dictate at least one of the heavily armed and trained public servants who shot or strangled them to death would have caught a charge.
Well, not so much.
This is the same American justice system that has no problem throwing you in the clink on trumped up charges and then later apologizing for your loss of two or three decades.
As 2014 drew to a close, demonstrators staged weeks of â€œdie-inâ€™sâ€ and Rev. Al Sharpton and the National Action Network pulled together nationwide demonstrations to draw attention to the problem of uneven justice. It became obvious the deaths of unarmed citizens like Michael Brown, Eric Garner, John Crawford III and Akai Gurley had spawned a movement for equal justice.
But at the same time it became abundantly clear that law enforcement and the media simply found it easier to ignore and dismiss the obvious outrage as some kind of publicity stunt.
For our part, we hope a powerful stream of Povidone-Iodine might at least shake loose the funky, douchiness that has defined the way criminal charges arenâ€™t brought forth against murderers, even if you pay for them to protect you.
So hold your collective noses; this is the stink-fest after the stink-fest.
To The Rear March!
On Dec. 13, 2014 television host and national lightening rod, the Rev. Al Sharpton called upon his National Action Network to host the â€œJustice for All Marchâ€ on Washington, D.C.
Held in brisk, 40 degree weather and Â featuring the parents of unarmed Black men slain by police, cold temperatures could not stop a movement that had been born in the streets where so many marched through their neighborhoods proclaiming things like: â€œBlack Lives Matterâ€ and â€œHands Up â€“ Donâ€™t Shoot.â€
The rally brought together an estimated 30,000 people of all races, creeds and colors, who had literally taken to the streets following the deaths of unarmed Black men at the hands of police.
Endorsed by every major Civil Rights organization in the country, Sharpton pooled his resources and organized the demonstrationÂ in just eight days. He arranged for the family members of those slain at the hands of police to ban together with civil rights organizers from across the country for a display barely covered by the media.
Because â€œdouchey is as douchey does,â€œ the significant protest was greeted with the same jaded skepticism that everything that involves Rev. Al receives despite its importance.Â Held shortly after an indictment failed to be reached in the choking death of Eric Garner and following days of national protest, demonstrators were about to present a case for a change in the way police perform their jobs with one cohesive voice â€“ too bad law enforcement was not in the mood to listen.
Afterall, It had been just days since a Staten Island grand jury had decided to not indict officers in the strangulation death of Garner and days after Akai Gurley was laid to rest after being gunned down in a Brooklyn housing project by police for walking around without a weapon and being a man of color.
Sharptonâ€™s rally attracted a cast of mourning family members, protestors and Civil Rights leaders from across the country including the leaders of groups like the NAACP, National Bar Association, Voto Latino and National Urban League to bring a serious, unified front to the event.
Passing the microphone around to speakers ranging from Eric Garnerâ€™s mother, Gwen Carr and his daughter Erica, to Michael Brownâ€™s mother, Lesley McSpadden; to Kadiatou Diallo, the mother of 1999 Police shooting victim Amadou Diallo and even television Judge Greg Mathis heartfelt speeches were the foundation for a serious call for justice that was unjustly obscured by its host.
In the end, media coverage was scant at best as was the understanding that what was being witnessed was the beginnings of a movement to change American grand jury laws and those surrounding officers who kill unarmed suspects.
Despite the lukewarm reception from the media and law enforcement, Sharpton and his invited guests laid out very concrete goals for improving the American justice system during the December rally.
Issues like the required use of police body and dashboard cameras and 21st Century policing standards that encouraged transparent standards on use of lethal force were just two of the issues highlighted during the event.
Protestors also called for the federal government and FBI to set police standards, create a reporting system for the death of unarmed suspects and create a national database of citizen complaints against the police should be established.
A national accreditation for police departments was also called for by demonstrators who ultimately hoped the deaths of their family members would force Congress to create a national anti-racial profiling law.
However, after all of the heartfelt speeches were delivered and as time dwindled away, it was words from the legal community that gave legitimacy and concrete direction to the budding movement.
Pamela Meanes, president of the National Bar Association, solidified the seriousness of the legal system by proclaiming it broken and in need of repair. Meanes called for tighter mental health screening for officers, charges for officers who looked the other way and mandatory diversity training in a speech that moved the crowd.
In the end, the douchey racial undertones of the shootings and the dual justice system also drawn along those same lines remained arrogantly intact and defiant after the march on the nationâ€™s capital.
Itâ€™s a 187
Approximately a week after the throngs of protestors culminated their message of equal justice, the unthinkable occurred.
Â Officers Wenjian Liu, 32, and Rafael Ramos, 40 were killed in the planned assassination. Authorities later accused Ismaaiyl Brinsley of the ambush attack, which occurred in Bedford-Stuyvesant around 3 a.m. in the morning.
The 28-year-old gunman was found moments later with a fatal gunshot wound hours after boasting of putting â€œpigs in the blanketâ€ and avenging the high profile deaths of both Brown and Garner on his Instagram account.
After executing the officers, Brinsley was chased by police into the G-line subway at Myrtle and Willoughby Avenues where he ended his life with a gunshot to the head. Police found a handgun at the scene and transported the shooter to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Brinsley, who was described as a lifelong criminal with ties to Brooklyn, Georgia and Baltimore, Md., began his one man crusade against police and the violence they sometimes commit against unarmed men of color, by shooting his ex-girlfriend and fleeing northward.
This crazy douche obviously missed the whole non-violent approach to the protest thing and misguidedly wrote on Instagram that â€œthey take 1 of ours..letâ€™s take 2 of theirâ€™s.â€ before descending upon Brooklyn in search of policemen he wanted to kill.
Too bad he misinterpreted why most of the protests were non-violent in the first place. It kind of brings attention to the issue when you donâ€™t stoop to the level of your oppressors. Instead Brinsleyâ€™sÂ douchey deathwish did just what law enforcement had hoped it would, divert attention from the real issue of Police violence.
The fallout from the police executions was palpable and the peace officers in the Tri-State used the deeds of a misguided loon to poo-poo the entire movement for equal justice.
In fact, the message from police seemed to be one of douchey proportions: â€œif you question police you might just get killed in the streets and deserve it. Furthermore, any questions of the status quo means you somehow hate all of law enforcement.â€
The new message was shouted from every rooftop and media outlet as police from across the country converged on Manhattan and Brooklyn to pay tribute to the two slain officers in the days leading to their funerals.
This new, galvanized opinion was nothing new for those of us who have consistently drawn the ire of the â€œboys in blue,â€ but it even covered a whole new group of protestors of every hue and age group along with the mayor of New York City.
Turning Their Back on Justice
Following the lack of indictment against the officers who choked and ultimately killed Eric Garner, New York City Mayor Bill deBlasio glibly suggested heâ€™d better go have a conversation with his 18-years son, who is black and who sports an afro that would make Julius Erving envious.
Police reacted to deBlasioâ€™s comments by spending much of the December literally showing him and those rallying for changes in the legal system their collective asses by turning their backs to the mayor when he spoke in public.
DeBlasioâ€™s comment, although off-handed, referenced the same conversation that most young men of color hear from an authority figure around the time of puberty and again at adulthood.
While many are being taught the â€œBirds and the Beesâ€ young men of color are being taught how to survive the inevitable confrontation they will have with law enforcement and how to come out of that encounter alive.
You are usually explained that the world for men of color is different than the one advertised on television and there are unwritten rules that relate to what is tolerated when you come across that police officer that is stopping you for speeding or driving with a â€œbusted tail light.â€
There are many versions of this talk, but deBlasio was undoubtedly going to have to explain how Eric Garner was choked to death by an officer who was charged with homicide, but nonetheless not indicted for what obviously left an unarmed man of color dead.
DeBlasioâ€™s audacity in mentioning â€œthe talkâ€ rubbed the city police officers and their union the wrong way and allowed them to label theyâ€™re mayor as persona non grata and an enemy to all police officers.
The douchfest seemed unending as officers Ramos and Liu were laid to rest and PBA President Patrick Lynch was in front of every camera he could find to continue creating a dialogue that vilified deBlasio for having the nerve to address concerns with city police, but of course missed the need to set up a meaningful dialogue.
Lynch said even questioning police and its use of force shows a lack of support for police officers. The PBA pushed for officers to turn their back on DeBlasio first at the funeral services and then at a police graduation.
Lynch even went as far as to urge all officers to turn their back on the mayor at future events, while demanding an apology from hizzoner.
The Union head questioned why deBlasio would question his officers and essentially called the mayor out for not just blindly support police actions regardless of whether they were just.
â€œWe have to teach our children, our sons and our daughters, no matter what they look like, to respect New York City police officers, teach them to comply with New York City police officers even if they think itâ€™s unjust,â€ Lynch was quoted as saying on the CBS network.
In the end, police and the justice system has done little or nothing to improve the administering of the law and the pursuit of justice for those who were never allowed due process, but instead died on the streets as unarmed suspects in crime for which they were never charged.
In the names of: Amadou Diallo, Eric Bell, Philip Pannell, Eleanor Bumpurs, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, John Crawford III, Akai Gurley, Cary Ball, Jr., DeFarra Gaymon and Levar JonesÂ – we point to the inadequacies in our legal system not just because secret grand juries and the law enforcement community it so often does not indict itself and is therefore douchey, but because black lives matter.
Despite castigating anyone who should dare question the system, the issue of equal justice deserves at least an open and serious discussion between the public and the representatives of the justice system.
So pop some more bubbly law enforcement, you again got off, but take our shiny award with you and know somewhere there is a gleaming, red, rubber douche bag waiting for you. You are the Boom Bap Radio Douchey McDouche Bagâ€™s Douches of the Year for 2014.
Sure, you donâ€™t get to bag another unarmed perp, but at least you can keep your nether regions clean â€“ you secretive, dismissive, getting away with murder – Douche Bags!