WATCH Jay Smooth: Ferguson, riots and human limits



One thing - it’s not even getting to be a year in between these fucking travesties of justice. I am constantly surprised, amazed even, that the black people of America haven’t gone all French Revolution yet.

Plus ça change, I guess.


Not sure ‘they’ can, minority and all; despite 60s whitebread fears of a race war. American blacks have no real homeland to run to, they have no unassailable safe enclave, there is no true Liberia in Africa. African-Americans ultimately live in a land locked majority white people colonized and cleansed continent and are easily detected by their visible light albedo.


This was incredibly, and wonderfully, well-stated.


Maybe we need a hip-hop staging of Les Mis?

Nah … we are clearly in need of concrete courses of action which offer greater promise than yet another Disney Broadway Experience (a Magical Extravaganza for the whole family).

One of the critical keys is the “We” aspect of the equation. A particular maxim declares something along the lines of “Until all of us live within a societal system that is just, then none of us live in a just society.” (That’s a paraphrase, but I think it gets the general point across).

It would, of course, be an abject denial of reality, & absurd to phenomenally epic orders of magnitude, were it suggested that race is not one of the critical factors that is driving this national crisis. I believe it to be painfully clear that the issue of race is, in fact, The SINGLE Greatest factor in this crisis.

None-the-less, I’m of the opinion that progress toward resolution might well be possible more rapidly were we somehow able to relegate the racial component to a status of secondary importance. I don’t suggest this in order to gloss over, de-emphasize, or discount, in any conceivable manner, the severity & unsustainably flawed, even broken, nature of the role that race plays in society.

Rather, I believe it behooves everyone to view this tragic, truly nationwide crisis, within the context of it being 1st & foremost a question of human rights.

It’s frankly unrealistic to hope that we might somehow “fix the race thing”; (maybe through a Disney Extravaganza?). Indeed, Ron White offers up the classically comic observation that “You can’t fix stupid!”

We can’t fix stupid, but we can strive to correct for it. We can insist that it is egregious, unconscionable and criminally actionable when police, police wannabes, pissed off neighbors or whoever it may be, gun down unarmed civilians.

When murders are committed, tried & adjudicated, we can insist on Equal treatment under under the law wrt sentencing , regardless of whatever inane, arbitrary, “identifying characteristic de jour” happens to be trending.

In contemporary society there exist 3 (at least) separate & distinct “justice systems”; 1.) the clearing house system through which most who are disadvantaged must past; 2.) the sometimes reasonable/sometimes not system that is navigated by those who benefit from more substantial means; 3.) the system of indulgences - restricted membership. Our country is similarly broken at any number of other levels & across a host of different disciplines.

We as a nation really have no choice other than to join in a loud, incessant, unyielding insistence upon 1 standard for 1 people who occupy our 1 nation. Barriers between us need to be broken down & differences between us need to be considered as distant second considerations.

We’ll never force change in anyone’s heart or mind. We can demand a change in behavior that is enforceable through statute.

I guess what I’m really advocating for is a resurrection & rebirth of The Civil Rights Movement. Not a small undertaking in the best of times & one that I’m afraid is made even more difficult due to the success of various well-placed, very influential elements in our society. They’ve had great luck in glamorizing & promoting a public posture which celebrates the angry, the solipsistic & the intransigent. I’ts It’s almost like gleeful obstructionism is “the new little black dress”, now fully accessorized with a “True Dark Heart as well”


Why is BB calling Jay Smooth “Jay Smoove”?


I am astounded.
This is an partisan video rant that actually, genuinely, did make me change my mind and my attitude.

This week I’d seen pictures of burning cars, buildings, homes and livelihoods. And in my own mind I formulated arguments as to why rioters who lashed out blindly at other humans and families who were totally unrelated to whatever their current beef was were doing their own cause a serious injustice. That method of making your point still sorta sucks a lot, and works against your cause.

I had written off this mess as just an illustration of irredeemable individuals digging a community deeper into hopelessness.
BUT. Having watched this video plea, I can actually sympathize that acting like an asshole is sometimes the last action available to the truly disenfranchished and desperate.

It’s hard for me to now say “I see where you are coming from” without sounding condescending and blasé BUT … I am making this post now to say:
I did dismiss some of the concerns because both sides were not without blame.
This video, and this video alone made me re-assess my opinions. And change them.
Thank you.


While the photo-link does load the correct URL, but the text-link is missing the final ‘w’.

Too bad it’s so hard to do that. But it seems like whenever somebody is really good at changing peoples’ hearts about racism, we shoot them too.


Please make the correction toTHIS GUY’S NAME!

It’s Jay Smooth, AKA John Randolph

J -Smoove is someone else entirely; his real name is Josh Smith and he plays for the NBA. Check the Google.


Seriously, it’s embarrassing.


Jay Smooth has been an amazing Go-to on such matters for years now – respect!

ETA: I’ve sent this video to various people in need of it at least a dozen times:


“That child”?? The more that we learn about this case, the more we become convinced that rants like this is pure BS. That child was over 6 foot tall and had reached through the window of the police car in an attempt to wrest away the officer’s gun. If that child had been successful, the police officer would be in a cemetery, and the only people mourning his passing would have been his immediate family. No riots, no cars burning.

That’s all you took from that video?!

You clearly are one sad, sad example of a human being.


I most decidedly don’t want to be on your side in this matter, because it appears, As @milliefink notes above that this is the only thing you took from that video. At the least, it’s the only thing you felt compelled to comment about.

But you are factually correct that “child” is a poor word choice. It galls me to agree with you about anything, but if you said 3 = 3, I would have to admit you were correct.

“Child” is an emotionally loaded term that - when applied to him at the time of his killing - only correctly describes the relationship between Michael Brown and his parents. I believe it weakens the message of the video, but only in that people like you will seize upon it as a reason to ignore the entire rest of the message.

If you can’t hear past a few emotionally laden words, you have no business in public discourse.

The above is pure, speculative bullshit, filled with emotionally laden imagery.

IF Michael Brown had obtained control of Darren Wilson’s pistol, we can only guess what he might have done with it. I know what your guess is, but we’ll never know the truth.

IF Darren Wilson had been killed, he would most assuredly have received a hero’s funeral. There would have been hundreds of LEOs from the entire St. Louis Metro area in attendance. His colleagues would have received grief counseling. His family would have been the beneficiary of a gigantic donation fund.

IF Darren Wilson had been killed, there would have been a manhunt the likes of which we have not seen since Michael Dorner, and we all know how that turned out for several members of the community.

So, if you’re going to come here and whine about the use of the word “child” please have the decency to leave similar, emotionally-laden, ideologically-driven claptrap out of your post.


How does “child” only describe the relationship between his adult parents and their … child? He was a child. He wasn’t a man. He was a child. That said, I agree with most of what you wrote here.

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Will people listen to Jay Smooth? We do have one person here who says their mind was changed, but it appears that they were already mostly on our side anyway – just not so sure about the rioting aspect of it all. But they didn’t think that this black child’s life didn’t matter, and they didn’t consider him a thug (I don’t think).

I adore Jay Smooth, but will people who NEED to listen, listen? Likely, they won’t. They will continue to think the murdered child was a thug and therefore deserved death. They will continue to think that cops don’t kill black people (mostly men, might I add) more often than any other race – and if they do accept that, they will just come back with, “Well, black people are more violent! What about black and black crime? This kid deserved it. He should have (done this, or that, or this thing here…it doesn’t matter).”

Will they listen? I just don’t think they will. But I shared it on my Facebook wall, anyway, and I hope that someone does listen.

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Such a great video! I’ve used it in my classes whenever we are covering one of the “isms”.


wow! i go to my mom’s for three days for thanksgiving and when i come back i find that at least 2 assholes have joined boingboing today just to demonstrate that the lives of young black men have no value to them. although i’m a middle-aged white guy my grandsons are both young black men and if some dipstick of a cop or a “neighborhood watch commander” leaves them dead in the street it’s not just the people like them, holding the gun, with blood on their hands, it’s also the people like you. the blood of michael brown and trayvon martin and all the other young black men gunned down by authorities this year and every year are on your hands because you make it clear, crystal clear, that those are disposable lives.


Just wanted to do something more than merely :heart: your comment.

There was another thing that I discovered through Boing Boing that completely blew me away.

It’s the Implicit Association Test, and to their credit, on their disclaimer page, they include this warning:

I took the one for Race, and spent the next several days resolving my cognitive dissonance.

I had thought that I was fairly virtuous with regard to racism; that I was effectively “color blind.”

I was wrong.

The test did not cure me (that’s my responsibility), but it surely opened my eyes to an aspect of my personality that half a century of life experience had not.