Thursday Reads: Crazy is the New Red

Good Morning Sky Dancers!

I really tried to watch two court proceedings and the censor vote and discussion on Paul Gosar. The Gun Fetishists have clearly moved into the territory of Vigilantism for all kinds of perceived reasons, and none of them are good.  It was clear that a high schooler with a semi-automatic dropped into a civil rights action gone wrong was a bad move that would only worsen a bad situation.  We’ve got plenty of laws against that and carrying around illegal weapons yet, the right has made a kid with the bad judgement of an immature adolescent into some kind of a marauding hero.  It is evident when you hear most of the responses that led to the murder of 2 people, and the severe injuries to one were based on them thinking he was an active shooter.  He was patrolling the street, basically looking for someone to gun down. Rittenhouse went looking to shoot someone and killed 2 people. Today is the third day of jury deliberations.

Then I saw bits and pieces of the three older vigilantes with some policing experience basically stalk a young black jogger and then claim self-defense when that’s precisely what Aubry was doing.  Figuring a white truck with armed white guys and a confederate flag license plate were likely to kill him, he tried to defend himself, and they killed him.  So, the police training and more mature minds basically led to the same outcomes.  These folks up for murder basically went looking for trouble with guns. Travis McMichael is one of three white men accused of killing Ahmaud Arbery; his defense attorney tried to turn him into a Coast Guard hero.  His primary duties with the USCG were auto mechanic. Arbery was unarmed.

Then, we see the ever-crazy, ever-defiant Paul Gosar retweet the same violent video with him as some kind of anime hero killing his colleague and stabbing the President the morning after he was censured by the House of Representatives.

The last thing I tried to listen to was an interview with Julius Johns, who is scheduled to be executed by the state today for a murder that evidence suggests he did not commit.  One of these things is not like the others above.   Julius is a black man.

 

You could not possibly take all of this in and not be depressed and angry about the state of our criminal justice system.  I also watched interviews with the author of The 1619 Project. This is the basis for all the white angst and fragility over Critical Race Theory, which is basically something that’s taught in Law Schools and not in any primary or secondary public school anywhere.

This is why I am supporting Susan Hutsan for Sheriff of Orleans Parish. Our criminal justice system must be reformed, or our democracy will continue to fail to provide equal justice under the law to all.  Susan has been the New Orleans Independent Police Monitor. She opposes building a new parish jail. We already have an incredible incarceration rate here.

Charles Blow discusses ‘White Men on Trial’ in an Op-Ed for the NYT.  He includes Bannon’s woes in his analysis.

There is quite the convergence at the moment of race and justice as cases featuring white male defendants accused of everything from murder to insurrection dominate news coverage.

There is a virtual pageant of privilege as the country waits to see if our system of justice will deal as severely and unsparingly with these men as it has with others who were not white men.

All the cases are different, of course. Some are being adjudicated in the state courts, others in federal. Some have proceeded to sentencing, while others remain at the charging or trial stage. But the optics are somewhat consistent.

Blow is right. The optics are consistent and hard-to-miss.

Race hangs heavy over all these cases. They involve white vigilantes who stalked and killed a Black man, and a young man who killed two people at a protest that was in solidarity with Black Lives Matter. They involve white men who sought to overturn a fair election in which people of color secured a victory for Biden over a white nationalist president, and a white man who defied Congress to protect those white nationalists. And finally, they involve a man who posted a violent video about killing a woman of color in Congress.

I would like to return to the link at NBC about Nikole Hannah-Jones whose book is subtitled “The Harsh Truths of the Black Experience.:”  The book was released on Tuesday.

In an interview with Trymaine Lee, host of the MSNBC podcast “Into America,” in front of an audience at Harvard University where he is a fellow, Hannah-Jones spoke about the legacy of 1619, and the way Americans’ understanding of historical events can evolve.

“Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; those words are powerful,” she said in the interview, which will be featured in the podcast Thursday. “We just have never lived up to them for a single day. So if you believe in that kind of vaunted 1776 origin story, that’s the comforting origin story. The1619 Project, I would argue, is more truthful, but not comforting. It’s not comforting at all.”

The 1619 Project received harsh criticism for the main conceit of the project, which was that America was not founded in 1776 when it declared its independence from England, but in 1619 when the first African slaves were brought to the colonies and exploited.

Then-President Donald Trump took aim at the narrative last year during a White House press conference, during which he expressed the government’s need to restore patriotic education in schools. Hannah-Jones said she received intimidating emails and voicemails that used racial slurs, as well as threats that her home would be burned down.

She said she thought about the project “all the time” as she was working on the initial magazine feature.

“I also felt a tremendous burden to get it right, to do justice to that suffering, to do justice to our ancestors,” Hannah-Jones said. “And then facing, you know, constant attacks, not just on the work, but on my credibility as a journalist, I became a symbol; and I think we would not be being honest if we didn’t say me being a Black woman in particular, a Black woman who looks and presents the way that I do, that I didn’t get a certain, extremely vicious type of pushback.”

I was  ten years old when Seperate But Equal died in the Supreme Court.  We’re talking only 55 years ago. The south gets the blame for a lot of Jim Crow but it was all over including just tryiing to take a vaction in California or Colorado. Click this link to see the photo exhibit.  This was still in operation when I was a child spending my summers in a Colorado cabin in the Rockies. There were never any black families staying with us at the YMCA Camp of the Rockies.

Lincoln Hills, 1925–1965

Coloradans love the outdoors. But African Americans were once barred from leisure opportunities most whites took for granted. Explore a Rocky Mountain haven where African Americans could hike, fish, and camp—and leave discrimination behind.

A black family that owned a camping and recreation in California had its business taken from it and turned into a public park.It’s finally been given to the grandchildren as a reparation for the theft.  The beach was seized from the family in 1924.  These are the kinds of things that impact intetergenerational wealth. The story is reported by ABC.

A stretch of beachfront land in Southern California that was seized from a Black family 97 years ago is set to be returned to their descendants.

Black couple Willa and Charles Bruce purchased land on Manhattan Beach in 1912, making them among the first Black landowners in the city. But 12 years later they were forced off their property as it was seized by the city.

On Tuesday, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted 5-0 to return the property to the descendants of Willa and Charles Bruce.

The Bruces bought the first of two ocean-view lots for $1,225, a property that could now be worth millions.

They built a resort known as Bruce’s Beach to serve Black residents, making it one of the few beaches Black residents could use due to segregation. The Bruces and their customers were harassed and threatened by their white neighbors, including the Ku Klux Klan, the county board of supervisors said in a news release.

In 1924, the city of Manhattan Beach used eminent domain to force the couple off their land to turn it into a park. The city seized the property in 1929, however, it remained vacant for decades.

Think of this. From the NY:  “NASA Astronaut to Be First Black Woman to Join Space Station Crew. Jessica Watkins, who joined NASA’s astronaut corps in 2017, is scheduled to fly to the orbital outpost in a SpaceX capsule in April.”

All you have to do is open your eyes and seek the truth and it shall free you.  It should not make you feel aggrieved by the feelings of the victims.  There are far too many good firsts that have yet to appear for every one but White Men.  Time to change that!

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?

 


Monday (Bannon’s in Jail) Reads

Good Day Sky Dancers!

Wow! Is there a lot of news today, and it continues to baffle me! Let’s start with a good story.  Bannon is in jail.  He continues to devolve into something less than human.  Take a look at that picture.  Something that lives under a bridge and demands tolls?  Animated spud? Zombie?  Your guess is as good as mine!  The protestor has one appellation correct:  “Coup Plotter.”

We also have some history worth celebrating. Ruby Bridges integrated New Orleans Public Schools 61 years ago. 

And I was just this years old when I found out that Rosa Parks became a practicing Buddhist in her golden years. She practiced the same tradition as Tina Turner.

What would happen if we continue to teach our children what brave women of color do after that one moment they changed history?

So, back to the country’s ugliest spud.

His face continues to make an excellent argument for not using drugs. It’s much better than a fried egg. He’s been arrested. He’s in the custody of Federal Officials. He’s scheduled to appear before a judge later today. Get that TV turned on because I’m sure there will be coverage.

Justice moves slowly sometimes, but it’s moving.  Then, there’s the anti-justice and law and order party. This is from WAPO: “In wake of Bannon indictment, Republicans warn of payback. GOP lawmakers say Democrats, by pursuing contempt charges against a Trump ally, are paving the way for them to go after Biden aides if they retake the House in 2022.”

BENGHAZI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  HER EMAILS!!!!!!!!!!! JUST MAKE SHIT UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Many GOP leaders, however, are seizing on Bannon’s indictment to contend that Democrats are “weaponizing” the Justice Department, warning Democrats that they will go after Biden’s aides for unspecified reasons if they take back the House majority in next year’s midterm elections, as most political analysts expect.

“For years, Democrats baselessly accused President Trump of ‘weaponizing’ the DOJ. In reality, it is the Left that has been weaponizing the DOJ the ENTIRE TIME — from the false Russia Hoax to the Soviet-style prosecution of political opponents,” Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), the third-ranking House Republican, tweeted Saturday.

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) suggested that Republicans would seek payback if the GOP regained control of the House, signaling that in challenging the doctrine of executive privilege, Democrats were making it easier for Republicans to force Biden’s top advisers to testify before a future GOP Congress.

I have a good response for that:

So, let me just shake it off and move on to some more good news about Black Women in Leadership. Mayor Latoya Cantrell has won overwhelming support to serve a second term.  Not everyone agrees with it but they certainly did not show up and vote. The words of disapproval appear to be coming mainly from men. That’s not surprising.  There’s general excitement that Beto O’Rorke is running for Texas governor but not much enthusiasm expressed in the MSM about the barn burner campaign run by Val Demings to unseat little Marco Rubio.  This was what I could find that wasn’t from a month ago.  The site is Sunburn which is basically a Florida Political blog.

Val Demings rips Marco Rubio for skipping 14 Senate hearings amid GOP boycotts” via Steven Lemongello of the Orlando Sentinel — U.S. Sen. Rubio has missed as many as 14 Senate hearings over the past two months, a practice the Republican was criticized for six years ago as he launched a bid for the presidency. But many of his absences since September have been part of either a GOP boycott of the Small Business Committee or a pledge to not vote for any of Biden’s State Department nominees. U.S. Rep. Demings, his likely opponent in next year’s U.S. Senate race, blasted Rubio’s absenteeism. Rubio did not appear at nine Foreign Relations hearings since Sept. 22, most of which focused on Biden nominations. Rubio has so far opposed all of Biden’s nominees to the State Department.

Meanwhile, the MSM is turning its need for drama to our Vice President Kamala Harris.  I like this guy that calls CNN the “Perez Hilton” of the political world. The piece is basically rumor-mongering and not much else.

Here’s the CNN article: “Exasperation and dysfunction: Inside Kamala Harris’ frustrating start as vice president”

Worn out by what they see as entrenched dysfunction and lack of focus, key West Wing aides have largely thrown up their hands at Vice President Kamala Harris and her staff — deciding there simply isn’t time to deal with them right now, especially at a moment when President Joe Biden faces quickly multiplying legislative and political concerns.

The exasperation runs both ways. Interviews with nearly three dozen former and current Harris aides, administration officials, Democratic operatives, donors and outside advisers — who spoke extensively to CNN — reveal a complex reality inside the White House. Many in the vice president’s circle fume that she’s not being adequately prepared or positioned, and instead is being sidelined. The vice president herself has told several confidants she feels constrained in what she’s able to do politically. And those around her remain wary of even hinting at future political ambitions, with Biden’s team highly attuned to signs of disloyalty, particularly from the vice president.

She’s a heartbeat away from the presidency now. She could be just a year away from launching a presidential campaign of her own, given doubts throughout the political world that Biden will actually go through with a reelection bid in 2024, something he’s pledged to do publicly and privately. Or she’ll be a critical validator in three years for a President trying to get the country to reelect him to serve until he’s 86.
Few of the insiders who spoke with CNN think she’s being well-prepared for whichever role it will be. Harris is struggling with a rocky relationship with some parts of the White House, while long-time supporters feel abandoned and see no coherent public sense of what she’s done or been trying to do as vice president. Being the first woman, and first woman of color, in national elected office is historic but has also come with outsized scrutiny and no forgiveness for even small errors, as she’ll often point out.

So, a “few” unnamed people created all this projection.  I call shenanigans!  This is a 3-year-old article from Forbes but I don’t think much has changed.  “Black Women Are Besieged On Social Media, And White Apathy Damns Us All.”  This was written by Janet Burns

In the past year or so, I’ve been particularly disturbed to see members and allies of the current administration lob such undermining and vitriolic slurs at Black women leaders on Twitter and elsewhere (often following cable news’ example) with virtually no backlash, including repeated attacks on two sitting U.S. congresswomen.

Surely a lifetime of undoubtedly backbreaking work and overcoming fierce adversity to become a prominent politician would earn both Representatives Maxine Waters (D-CA) and Frederica Wilson (D-FL) more respect from anyone, as well as an equally fierce outcry and defense from their white colleagues — even despite the various biases and (at best) blind spots in both parties.

After all, when film, stand-up, and Saturday Night Live! comedian Leslie Jones suddenly found her Twitter feed overwhelmed with racist and sexist abuse and extremely violent threats from thousands of users in response to her role in the female-led Ghostbusters remake last year (the worst part of a broader freak out over the film, as many of us will remember), some white fellow cast members and comedy peers quickly joined the Twitter fracas in her defense, or condemned the abuse in no uncertain terms, in the very least.

When it comes to the targeting and demeaning of Black women by prominent white male figures, however, it seems the political community has largely given this abuse a pass on platforms like Facebook and Twitter, as have tech companies themselves, for all intents and purposes.

I’m now working on a campaign to make certain the new sheriff in town is a black woman.  While working to see that our new congressional rep was a black woman I ran into the same kinds of things.   I’m solid of the opinion is that nothing will really change unless women band together to change it because the men all jump to the man when push comes to shove.

“How dare we to dream that we can do something about this system that is punitive, discriminatory, and inequitable,” Hutson said in a speech to ecstatic supporters at her election party at Soule’ Cafe on Banks Street when runoff was called by WWL-TV. “But we are gonna do just that.”

I have a few other bits and pieces of breaking news.

From Roll Call: Leahy, longest-serving sitting senator, to retire.

From NBC NewsJudge dismisses weapons charge in Kyle Rittenhouse homicide trial

From Max Boot, Washington Post: A newly disclosed memo reveals Trump’s plot to turn the military into his personal goon squad

So much crazy still going on that it’s getting easier to turn the TV off with each passing day.

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?