The Underside of Rocks

To our national shame, it is becoming the norm to see a weekly police killing of an African American, with Sam Dubose and Sandra Bland the most recent victims. The targeting of African Americans has been made more than obvious in the way the criminal justice system is set up: from street arrest, to violent confrontation, to inhumane and deadly treatment during or on the way to incarceration.

Sam Dubose’s killer, university police officer Raymond Tensing, had a look of outraged disbelief as he watched the video footage of his encounter with Dubose — disbelief that his own arrest, for killing Dubose, was even happening. Even though his own body camera betrayed his lies about his actions and about being dragged by Dubose’s car, the man pleaded not guilty to the crime of first degree murder.

I hope to be wrong on this, but it would not surprise me at all if we find Tensing at minimum a racist, perhaps even a white supremacist. And even if he isn’t, he has on his side a criminal justice system that will find cause for his defense based on a tradition of police bias and racial profiling. Tensing is now out on bail and, unfortunately, that is no surprise.

If there is truth to Raymond Tensing being a racist, he joins others who have found a home in police departments, where racial profiling against African-Americans is institutionalized. And regardless of their fellow officers’ guilt or innocence, they still protect their own.

Homeland Security Newswire reported that in 2009, Department of Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano updated FBI reports on domestic terrorism from 2004, 2006 and 2007 alerting Congress of the local threat from right-wing extremists and other hate groups. These reports were met with criticism from conservative members of Congress and the media, who called Napolitano’s warnings “politicizing.” The article goes on to report:

The FBI notes that since then, most of the extremist groups have been using secretive tactics in order to keep themselves under the radar. One such maneuver is to go to various police stations and offer information in order to gauge the agency’s interest in an organization.

Another tactic is called “ghost skins.” This involves members of neo-Nazi and other white supremacist groups hiding all or part of their affiliation in order to join the military as well as other areas of law enforcement for the purpose of receiving training.

The FBI had it right in 2006. The greatest threat to the country’s security does not come from Islamic extremists threatening to take out a city using a hijacked airplane. It comes from extremists who are home-grown.

From Ruby Ridge to Waco, Oklahoma City and onward, white extremists and other hate groups have never gone away. They went underground, finding safe havens formed under the radar using the Internet like any other political group, as an organizing and recruitment tool. Sept. 11, 2001, was the best thing that happened to the extremist movement because it eased the heat the government had been putting on them for nearly a decade — from the 1990s on. This allowed enough time for these groups to organize militias and stockpile weaponry from lax gun control laws abetted by a Congress that reflexively cowers before the National Rifle Association.

It was difficult to broach the subject of Sam Dubose’s murder on the heels of the death of Sandra Bland, Freddie Grey, Tamir Rice, Eric Garner and Walter Scott without first finding and looking at a larger picture, which we now have, minute by minute and provided in stunning detail from police cameras.

African Americans are targeted. They aren’t the only target of hate groups under police guise, but they are certainly the largest. If racist and homophobic police can be found in uber-liberal San Francisco, they can be found anywhere.

Until we root out the worst offenders within police ranks — people with racist agendas, anti-Muslim vigilantes, homophobes — armed with deadly weapons and using them indiscriminately, and until there is actual police reform across the nation, the police are suspect. And these deaths will continue.

This is why the Black Lives Matter movement is both timely and important for African Americans and for all of us. This is why the work of the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups since the FBI can’t (because that would be politicizing), needs to be supported at every level possible. We need more sunshine to blast the underside of rocks where these vermin live, undetected.

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About Fe Bongolan

Planet Waves writer Fe Bongolan lives in Oakland, California. Her column, "Fe-911," has been featured on Planet Waves since 2008. As an actor and dramaturge, Fe is a core member of Cultural Odyssey's "The Medea Project -- Theater for Incarcerated Women," producing work that empowers the voices of all women in trouble, from ex-offenders, women with HIV-AIDS, to young girls and women at risk. A Planet Waves fan from almost the beginning of Eric's astrology career, Fe is a public sector employee who describes herself as a "mystical public servant." When it comes to art, culture and politics, she loves reading between the lines.

9 thoughts on “The Underside of Rocks

  1. Fe Bongolan Post author

    The problem is, this has been going on for longer than the internet. The cell phone, the internet and the body cam has just made the obvious more publicly apparent.

  2. Barbara Koehler

    It’s all so true Fe, the home-grown killers are pretty adept at hiding under rocks and in the cracks and crevices of society. Thanks for widening the understanding of how the Hate mindset proliferates and spreads. It would be easy to just say it’s futile to suppose we could ever wipe them out, that they will always be with us. But we know better don’t we? This is 3rd dimensional thinking.

    I’m not the 1st to try and zero in on the signs and symbols that get to the roots of these disturbing behaviors in human beings, there’s Pluto, Saturn, Neptune and of course Chiron, and ultimately all the planets offer some negative interpretation to their energies.

    For example, look at the chart for when the conjunction between Saturn and Neptune took place, since they will be making a transiting exact square this November. Venus and Uranus were sextile when Neptune and Saturn met in 1989, and so when the Jupiter-Mercury conjunction of 2014 happened it created a yod, effective for 1 year, to the Venus-Uranus sextile in the Saturn/Neptune chart.

    We could say that the two planets that symbolize life seen from totally different perspectives (Saturn and Neptune) came together and produced a form of energy (their chart’s sextile between Uranus “revolutionary change” and Venus “love,comfort and values”) that, when combined with the start of a cycle between Jupiter (expand) and Mercury (thinking and expression of that thinking), would lead to a way of seeing those two totally different perspectives of life from a new (higher) vantage point. That year is almost up and when Mercury and Jupiter make a new conjunction this Friday, a new set of symbols will take over the process.

    And here you are Fe, trying to do just that. Raise people’s sights. Neptune and Saturn’s conjunction chart also held supporting growth through it’s placement of Nessus, the symbol of abuse of power, at 22+ Virgo, the same degree as the U.S. birth chart (Sibly version) Neptune. And now transiting Eris is returning to that spot, 22+ Aries, where she spent so much time in this last year or so, exactly quincunx the U.S. Neptune. Those quincunxes are annoying at best and can wreak havoc if ignored. Eris will quincunx the U.S Neptune (and the Saturn-Neptune chart’s Nessus) as transiting Saturn squares transiting Neptune on Nov. 26th. At best it’s an opportunity, at worst another tragedy.

    Neptune and Pluto met in 1891, in the same degree as the U.S Uranus, 8+ Gemini. They were sextile Mars and Chiron at 8+ Leo. On Saturday, August 22nd, transiting Mars at 8+ Leo will be quincunx transiting Neptune at 8+ Pisces. This will activate the 1891 conjunction between Neptune and Pluto as well as the U.S. natal Uranus. That 1891 chart held an extraordinary plethora of energy around the degree of the U.S. Moon in Aquarius. Here’s the symbolic power that could affect the U.S. People (U.S. Moon) that day, via the Neptune-Pluto cycle: Juno, Ceres, Magdalena, Hades, Nessus. These bodies in Aquarius were trine Uranus in Libra in the Neptune-Pluto chart. They were quincunx Venus in Cancer in that same chart. They were sextile Vesta in Sagittarius in that same chart. It sounds like another opportunity for growth doesn’t it? Does it mean another senseless killing of a black man? It could. It’s got it’s roots in the energies of Pluto, Mars, Neptune, Uranus and Chiron. And this will go on and on until we can – humanity as a whole – raise our sites and see a better world in a higher dimension than the one we are locked into now, with its polarized perceptions. Symbols, like the Confederate flag, are powerful and they can be positive and negative. So can words. Keep them coming Fe.

    1. Fe Bongolan Post author

      Neptune and Pluto met in 1891, in the same degree as the U.S Uranus, 8+ Gemini. They were sextile Mars and Chiron at 8+ Leo. On Saturday, August 22nd, transiting Mars at 8+ Leo will be quincunx transiting Neptune at 8+ Pisces. This will activate the 1891 conjunction between Neptune and Pluto as well as the U.S. natal Uranus. That 1891 chart held an extraordinary plethora of energy around the degree of the U.S. Moon in Aquarius…Vesta in Sagittarius in that same chart. It sounds like another opportunity for growth doesn’t it?


      Check this out based on your ‘graph about 1891, I did a quick check at wikipedia on US history, 1891. There I found a link to a remarkable page of its own:

      Progressive Era

      Presidents Theodore Roosevelt, 1901-09 (left), William Howard Taft, 1909-13 (center), and Woodrow Wilson, 1913-21 (right) are often referred to as the “Progressive Presidents”; their administrations saw intense social and political change in American society.

      The Progressive Era was a period of widespread social activism and political reform across the United States, from the 1890s to 1920s .[1] The main objective of the Progressive movement was eliminating corruption in government. The movement primarily targeted political machines and their bosses. By taking down these corrupt representatives in office a further means of direct democracy would be established. They also sought regulation of monopolies (Trust Busting) and corporations through antitrust laws. These antitrust laws were seen as a way to promote equal competition for the advantage of consumers.

      Many (but not all) Progressives supported Prohibition in the United States in order to destroy the political power of local bosses based in saloons.[2] At the same time, women’s suffrage was promoted to bring a “purer” female vote into the arena.[3] A second theme was building an Efficiency Movement in every sector that could identify old ways that needed modernizing, and bring to bear scientific, medical and engineering solutions; a key part of the efficiency movement was scientific management, or “Taylorism”.

      Many activists joined efforts to reform local government, public education, medicine, finance, insurance, industry, railroads, churches, and many other areas. Progressives transformed, professionalized and made “scientific” the social sciences, especially history,[4] economics,[5] and political science.[6] In academic fields the day of the amateur author gave way to the research professor who published in the new scholarly journals and presses. The national political leaders included Theodore Roosevelt, Robert M. La Follette, Sr., and Charles Evans Hughes on the Republican side, and William Jennings Bryan, Woodrow Wilson and Al Smith on the Democratic side.

      Initially the movement operated chiefly at local levels; later, it expanded to state and national levels. Progressives drew support from the middle class, and supporters included many lawyers, teachers, physicians, ministers and business people.[7] The Progressives strongly supported scientific methods as applied to economics, government, industry, finance, medicine, schooling, theology, education, and even the family. They closely followed advances underway at the time in Western Europe[8] and adopted numerous policies, such as a major transformation of the banking system by creating the Federal Reserve System in 1913.[9] Reformers felt that old-fashioned ways meant waste and inefficiency, and eagerly sought out the “one best system.”

  3. Barbara Koehler

    Bless you Fe, thanks for the lowdown on the Progressive Era in the USA. I guess we can thank Pluto and Neptune for stimulating a lot of that (conjunct the US Uranus in Gemini) new age growth. Still, we’ve see the best laid plans can fall to corruption. Look at what happened to the Federal Reserve a century later. We’ve seen it happen in other areas too, where kids aren’t taught this or that in school anymore because some influential ($$$) people think it’s a waste of time. Slowly but surely the stop-gap preventative measures are eroded over time and we find ourselves, like now, starting all over again. I guess that’s why Neptune and Pluto take so long to get through a cycle; maybe because we need a refresher course every 4 or 5 generations?

  4. marilyn

    The 1890’s is when Indians and whites faced off. If Indians lived on the reservations, the Supremist of White Army Generals came in and totally wiped them all away within a few moments. Without an act of Congress to declare war just hatred of one’s own prejudices and finding themselves ABOVE the law. Wars like “Little Big Horn”, Custer’s last stand, and Wounded Knee all were inacted out of prejudices of white against black. Same as today only difference was we didn’t walk the streets to be searched and questioned, they came to us with no questions asked, just opened fire. New laws have been enacted, you must ASK FIRST then you can decide whether to open fire or not.

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