Enough of Season 2+: No More Black Deaths

A few years ago, every time I looked at the news, there was some new reprehensible death of a Black man, followed by an awareness of the death of Black women who didn’t have to die either. More often than not, these deaths took place at the hands of police.

Here’s the list from 2012 – 2015

February 26, 2012, in Sanford, Florida Trayvon Martin

March 1, 2012 Dante Price, 25, Dayton, Ohio— July 17, 2014

Eric Garner, in New York City

August 9, 2014, Michael Brown, in Ferguson, MO. Injured in the attack, 22-year-old friend Dorian Johnson.

Oct 20, 2014, in Chicago,  Laquan McDonald.

Tamir Rice, 12, Cleveland, Ohio—Nov. 22, 2014

Freddie Gray in Baltimore, On April 19, 2015,

Sandra Bland in Waller County, Texas, July 13, 2015 was a 28-year-old African American woman who was found hanged in a jail cell in, three days after being arrested during a pretextual traffic stop.

This list doesn’t include the man who was shot in his home by his next door neighbor, or the man who was shot 50 times while in his car, or others, or the church in the Carolinas ravaged by a gunman. I believe those came later.

8 high-profile murders that didn’t have to happen to (often) unarmed people was way too much for a three year period.

So here we are again, in 2020…

Ahmaud Arbery, killed while jogging. Police had a video of the killing, but didn’t arrest anyone until the video became public a month later. When the video caused the police to investigate, they arrested two of the men … and the third man, the one who took the video! — was arrested a week or more later.

On April 27, according to the LA Times, “In a 50-second video, two officers can be seen ordering a man to turn around near a fence outside the church. A male officer tells the suspect to “stop fighting,” and the suspect responds, “Ain’t nobody fighting.The officer then begins throwing overhand punches to the back of the suspect’s head while shouting profanities. At one point, the suspect attempts to take a few steps away from the officer, who follows and continues to punch the man in the head and body. A female officer stands by, occasionally reaching her hand out but otherwise not intervening.

On May 8, there was video of a Rancho Cordova policeman slamming a young Black man’s head into the concrete of an alley. Sen Kampala Harris posted about it.

Today, video surfaced of 4 officers in Minneapolis arresting a Black man man. One officer in the video is kneeling on the neck of the man. The man can heard saying “I can’t breathe”. The officers were fired. To my knowledge, no arrests have been made.

Yesterday, while birdwatching in Central Park, a black man saw a woman whose dog was not on a leash, and she appeared to be hurting the dog. When he asked her to leash the dog, she threatened to call the police. He said, “ok”. She called the police and said “There’s an African-American man threatening me”. He videotaped the whole thing. The video was shown on Twitter, the woman was not identified and possibly fired by her company.

THAT IS 5 BLACK MEN INJURED OR KILLER IN AMERICA IN LESS THAN TWO MONTHS BY EIGHT WHITE PEOPLE. NONE OF THOSE PEOPLE WERE ARRESTED IMMEDIATELY WHEN THE POLICE KNEW ABOUT THE CRIME. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. WHEN ARE WE GOING TO DO SOMETHING THAT LOOKS LIKE EQUAL JUSTICE UNDER THE LAW?

The White woman who threatened the Black man yesterday filed a false report. Did she get arrested? No. Her employer held her accountable, not the police. Who could live under such a cloud as Black people do in our country? No one. Jogging is a crime, punishable by death for them. Birdwatching is a crime for them. Standing next to a church is a crime for them. Asking to breathe is a crime for them. Do we get it now? President Obama isn’t making this a focal point which divides the nation, despite what we heard at the time. Police officers or White citizens choking Black men, others beaten or shot is not a “made up issue by the politically correct thought police”, regardless of what you may hear or believe. I never want to do this again, and I will spend every day that I can making sure it never happens again.

Resisting with Peace (barely),

John

Underneath It All

While he sucks all the air out of the news, there are a few things President Trump doesn’t want you to notice:

The Government still is fighting the pandemic with one hand tied behind its back. Who’s twisting that arm? DJT! We need testing for everyone! We need results from everyone! We need tracing! We need PPE! A *good* vaccine will take time. It just will. It doesn’t matter whether we like it or not. We know what to do. The Guy won’t let us! Why?

DJT’s taxes come before the Supreme Court. Did he forget to mention that? I’m shocked that there’s gambling in River City!

America’s healthcare is threatened. How? The Feds, at DJT’s request, are trying to dismantle Obamacare. “Why?”, you may ask. Does it matter why? People will die.

The DOJ under Bill Barr is destroying the rule of law. All of the Russians will be let off, then the American criminals. Why? DJT.

The Postal Service is threatened with being taken out of business. Why? It’s because DJT doesn’t like Jeff Besos. I don’t particularly like Besos either, but I’m not going to destroy his competition to prove it.

Abortion Rights are coming up in the Supreme Court. Why is no one protesting? 1) Because of the pandemic and 2) because idiots are protesting first… for their “right” to get their hair cut, have a beer, go to the beach and threaten a governor with guns.

The economy is destroyed, and won’t be able to get better until we do…testing, tracing, and so on. What’s the plan to fix it? Same as always — give the CEOs money.

Racism is being stoked by DJT and Steven Miller. New deaths in Georgia, more repression of the vote for Blacks in Southern States. Nazi flags show up at “Freedom” riots?

There’s been the release of the Russia Collusion Report by the Senate Intel Committee. Yes, Russia did collude with DJT, no matter what Mr. Barr says. Deal with it.

Given all of this going on, why would DJT want to stop the coronavirus, and let you think about those things? Just saying…

Resisting with Peace,

John

The Revolution Has To Start Here — For New York City Teachers

I received one of those change.org petitions tonight. It said that Bill DiBlasio, the mayor of New York City was proposing a massive and heinous cut to the school department. I don’t know much about New York City or its budget, or even its teachers, though I do know one. What I do know is right from wrong, and national politics, and how things are going in this country I once loved. The bleeding needs to stop. The revolution in how we view each other and how we value each other — the acknowledgment of real heroes — needs to start now. This is not the way to do it.

If there’s one thing that this crisis has made clear is who honestly works hard for society, and who wants to claim America’s wealth via stealing from others — not just money, but power in so many areas of our lives. We have seen that doctors, nurses, EMTs are willing to die to save others in society. Many parents have seen just how hard it is to teach children first hand. We will see social workers and therapists picking up the pieces of it all. Is it too much to ask that their value come in the form of being able to eat, have a place to live, and see their kids in the same day? We need to start valuing the helping professions more than we do those who sell stocks. We need to value the honest and caring more than the corrupt and self-serving, and we need to start now.

I don’t actually blame Mr. DiBlasio for the problem of a budget crisis. I blame that on Mitch McConnell and the Republican establishment in deeply red states. Places in the Deep South that proudly let their people starve so as to not make conglomerates pay taxes, places that don’t educate their children because they don’t believe in science or ‘liberal views”, like equality and rights have the wrong model. It doesn’t work for most people in those states and it has led us here as a country, with its hatred or misunderstanding of science, a love of blind loyalty over critical thinking, and now 70, 000 dead.

Mr. McConnell has made it clear that blue states can suffer as far as he’s concerned. The man who runs the country at this point wants to foment those divisions, and Mr. McConnell’s beliefs about the way things should be go right along with it. The answer is not what we have been trying since “trickle down economics” came to the fore. The answers are not found in less education in those red states or in any state. The answers that we need to survive are found in more education, more belief in science, more critical thought, and more creativity. Education offers all of those things. Just because McConnell doesn’t like it, and That Guy in the White House doesn’t read doesn’t make this any less true.

What I do blame Mr. DiBlasio for is buying into the forced choice that McConnell and his ilk have been pushing for years: we can’t seem to find money for programs that promote kindness or support people who do most of the work on a day-to-day basis, but we can always find money for wars and CEO’s salaries. After the federal government steals PPE and then charges exorbitant rates to hospitals and municipalities in blue states and cities that That Guy doesn’t like is not the time to give up on justice or intelligence.

The answer is to make a stand for justice, and to model kindness and intelligence that comes through conscious decision-making. The answer to this crisis is to return the country to a blue majority where we value people’s lives and the education needed to meet the challenges in life. The money will be returned to the majority of people if we get it back from the thieves who have profited from the pandemic and every other ill-gotten gain of the last 40 years, That will only happen if more of the people are represented in the halls of power. Democrats are working to make that more likely.

In a world where politics, greed and theft determine so much, we are witnessing the last bid of the corrupt and greedy to own it all. We must not let that happen. I believe we won’t let it happen come the fall, but the revolution of kindness and thought needs to start in the city with the most people in it. That, of course,is New York City. We cannot succumb to ignorance and greed. It will only teach people that selfishness is more important than other people, and we have had enough of that lesson to last us a lifetime.

So, Mr. DiBlasio, I beg you to support teachers and students in your fair city. I beg you to make choices for free thought and people’s lives by paying your teachers, your school staff, and others what they are worth. The pandemic has shown us what teachers are worth, and how important education is. Make a stand and fight for it. Thank you for your time.

Resisting with Peace,

John Madsen-Bibeau