We must hold white supremacy accountable and, in doing so, take a hard look in the mirror as white Americans.
Representative Maxine Waters‘s (D-Calif.) statements ahead of Derek Chauvin’s conviction for the murder of George Floyd were not unlike the intimidation tactics employed by the Ku Klux Klan, says attorney and conservative firebrand Alan Dershowitz.
“Her message was clearly intended to get to the jury,” Dershowitz said
during an interview with Newsmax. “‘If you acquit or you find the charge anything less than murder, we will burn down your buildings, we will burn down your businesses, we will attack you.'”
The George Floyd murder brought forth a wave of activism across the country. Millions of Americans took to the streets to demand justice.
The murder also affected the world of sports. Players used their power to cancel games so the importance of the situation could be recognized. And many players of color spoke passionately about how they were affected by police brutality.
The players who held Conservative views mostly stayed silent. But today, Brett Favre gave his opinion on the Chauvin verdict. The Packers legend said that he didn’t think the police officer meant to kill George Floyd.
The Hall of Fame quarterback made the comments on his weekly podcast. He told listeners:
“I find it hard to believe – and I’m not defending Derek Chauvin in any way – I find it hard to believe, first of all, that he intentionally meant to kill George Floyd. That being said, his actions were uncalled for. I don’t care what color the person is on the street. You do not … I don’t know what led to that video that we saw where his knee is on his neck, but the man had thrown in the towel.”
Attorney General Merrick Garland is expected to announce that the Department of Justice (DOJ) will launch an investigation into the policing practices of law enforcement in Minneapolis.
The investigation will examine practices used by police, including the use of force, and whether the department engages in discriminatory practices, according to the person. It will also look into the department’s handling of misconduct allegations
Representative Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) refused to back down amid criticism from her Republican colleagues after she addressed protesters following the police shooting of Daunte Wright in Minneapolis, Minnesota as the nation waits for the murder trial of Derek Chauvin for the death of George Floyd to conclude.
Waters had said
that if Chauvin is not found guilty, “we’ve got to stay on the street, and we’ve got to get more active. We’ve got to get more confrontational. We’ve got to make sure that they know that we mean business.”
Since the January 6th insurrection, Fox News has fallen deeper into the gutter. On any given day, viewers can hear from disgraced former Trump aide Stephen Miller or alt-right talking head Tomi Lahren.
Surprisingly, Geraldo Rivera has become somewhat of a voice of reason on the show. The former talk show host got into a wild debate this weekend with Dan Bongino where he called the pundit a “son of a b*tch” during a debate about police brutality.
Rivera was brought onto Martha MacCallum’s Monday show to again talk about police brutality. This time he was debating Lahren and took her down a peg after attempted to blame George Floyd for his own death.
Lahren remarked, “
Now the left wants to make everything with regards to officer involved shootings about race. It’s not about race, it’s about compliance.”
On Monday, the hosts of The View addressed both the Derek Chauvin trial and recent comments by Maxine Waters. The California congresswoman said that if the officer was acquitted, protesters need to, “make sure they know that we mean busines.”
Meghan McCain, the Conservative talking head on the show, took umbrage with the comments. Last summer, McCain was caught lying about violent protests outside of her New York City apartment.
That did not stop her, however, from claiming that last year’s demonstrations, “didn’t play well with Democrats among suburban women.” McCain continued, “[I believe in] peaceful protesting all day every day, it’s an integral part of an American pastime, I think the second it becomes violent, you lose a lot of people on the message that is really really important right now.”
Whoopi Golberg countered the comments, saying:
“Right, well 99 percent of the people who protest out there are not violent. We do find that there are people who are burning and looting stuff, people need to be very aware of who they are and where they are at any given time. I personally would prefer that we didn’t have oodles and oodles of videotape of officers getting ready to go out and fight the protestors, because I feel like people want it to happen. I don’t feel like people in power – if they really cared about all of this, they would have come to the aid of the protestors and said let’s work on this before it got as far as it did last summer.”
What we need to recognize is that when returned these verdicts will not just tell us about these individual cases; they will foretell whether we are moving toward a political culture of accountability to the nation’s stated ideals.
On May 25th of 2020, George Floyd died of injuries he suffered during an arrest. And the arrest was caught on video. Officer Derek Chauvin became infamous as America saw video of him casually kneeling on Floyd’s neck with his hand in his pocket.
The killing led to mass protests around the country. And Americans have waited to see Chauvin face trial. Monday saw the start of that trial and coverage of it has dominated cable news.
Fox News‘ coverage of the event has largely focused on defending the officers and slamming Floyd. Tucker Carlson took it to an entirely new level on Monday night.
Carlson claimed that
There was a reason why George Floyd’s death became a transformative moment in American history. The video of the killing left no ambiguity about how he died.
The trial of the police officers involved in the incident is looming. And now a light has again be shined on the incident. Not surprisingly, Fox News is attempting to smear Floyd and blame him for his death. Tucker Carlson took that tack on Wednesday night when he blamed the man for his own death.
The Fox host began, “According to the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office, George Floyd wasn’t simply high, he had a lethal amount of fentanyl in his system. He also had methamphetamines.”
Carlson continued, “
Well, Mr. Floyd was having trouble breathing, of course, the most noted part of the tape. What explains that? Why was George Floyd telling officers, ‘I can’t breathe?'”
Amid the national debate about the militarization of law enforcement, House Democrats have introduced a bill to limit the transfer of military-grade gear to police officers.
The bill is sponsored by Representative Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) and
“goes after the items that destroy trust and endanger communities while allowing support equipment transfers to continue,” according to a summary shared with The Hill.
Haaland and Buttigieg, as just two examples from Biden’s Cabinet choices, aren’t looking for apologies necessarily; when they speak, they are diagnosing what holds us all back so we can move beyond these past and persistent repressions to give full life, to create an optimal society and economy, for all Americans.
Candace Owens has had quite a meteoric rise in the last 5 years. She claims that before Donald Trump, she was a Democrat. But after the Gamergate controversy, Owens says that she became a conservative overnight.
And she’s become a big time favorite of Conservatives. Owens missives are frequently retweeted by the Trump family. She did not, however, receive an invitation to speak at the Republican National Convention.
The conservative activist is now working for the Daily Wire and recently appeared on The Alex Jones Show. Conspiracy theorist Paul Joseph Watson was filling in for Jones.
When the topic of vaccines came up, Owens told Watson, “What does every society in the world that has had slaves had in common? And the answer is that there was always more slaves than there were masters.”
The Right Wing pundit continued, “There is always going to be more of us than them. You know, if we say no, it’s a no.”
While these comments are certainly controversial, they are mostly par for the course when it comes to Owens.
During the summer’s George Floyd protests, she said on her Facebook Live:
“We are being sold a lot of lies at the detriment to the black community, at the detriment to the white community and at the detriment to America as a whole. So, I want to come out and say that I do not support George Floyd and the media’s depiction of him as a martyr for black America.”
At one point, Megyn Kelly was Fox News shining star. She was paid well and had huge ratings. She decided to leave Fox, however, to host her own show on NBC News.
That decision turned out to be an unmitigated disaster. Kelly failed to connect to viewers outside the Fox audience. And she was cancelled after making offensive comments about Halloween costumes that included blackface.
After the cancellation, she disappeared for a while. She has returned to Twitter, however, and her posts were frequently even farther to the right than usual.
The former Fox host has also started her own podcast. And in the most recent episode of her show, she claimed that she was leaving New York City over Liberals response to the George Floyd killing.
Kelly said she was most concerned about the effect on her children. She told listeners:
“After years of resisting it, we’re going to leave the city. The schools have always been far-left, which doesn’t align with my own ideology, but I didn’t really care, most of my friends are liberals, it’s fine. I come from a Democrat family, I’m not offended at all by the ideology, and I lean center-left on some things. But theyu’ve gone around the bend. I mean, they have gone off the deep end.”
The former Fox host was most offended by a letter that asked parents of white students to allies to the black community.
Um. A source close to Megyn Kelly told The Daily Beast that she has “received multiple 7-figure offers to return to TV” and has “turned them all down” because, in the end, she wishes not to answer to bosses. https://t.co/mvNudxO2la
On May 25th of this year, George Floyd was killed by police officers in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Since that moment, protests calling for racial justice have been taking place all over the countries.
Those protests grew again this week after the Sunday shooting of Kenosha, Wisconsin man Jacob Blake. According to Donald Trump, however, the protests have nothing to do with George Floyd and everything to do with violent anarchy.
The President made the comments during a Friday night event in Manchester, New Hampshire. Trump told his supporters, “They’re not protesters, those aren’t protestors.”
“They’re anarchists, they’re agitators, they’re rioters. They’re looters. You know you say that. Some of the people, not all of them. The people back there, ‘you know, how dare you, these are friendly protesters. They’re just looking for trouble. It has nothing to do with George Floyd. It has nothing to with anything.”
The President closed his comments, “They don’t even know who George Floyd is. They don’t know who George Floyd is. They have no idea. If you ask them, who’s George Floyd, they couldn’t even tell you. This is just bad people, troublemakers. And they shouldn’t be representing our country at important events. And we’ve got to stop it.”
Watch a clip of Trump’s comments below:
Trump: They’re not protesters… Has nothing to with George Floyd. Has nothing to do with anything. They don’t even know who George Floyd is. pic.twitter.com/fLUuxQq0qP
— Acyn Torabi (@Acyn) August 28, 2020
The Black Lives Matter movement, in demanding that we reconsider how Black lives have been valued, or rather de-valued, in U.S. culture, society, and political economy, essentially asks us as well to interrogate our entire system of economic and cultural values.
On what basis do we in our socio-economic system and culture assign different values to people’s lives?
Such a question really brings us to the heart of our class society that we really tend not just to take for granted but to see as absolutely justified. Of course the CEO, the doctor, the manager, or the lawyer make more than the agricultural worker in the field, the grocery store clerk, the bus driver, or the mail carrier.
The U.S. dominant culture doesn’t ask us to question this state of affairs, and so most people don’t. Even if we argue over the degree of income inequality, few argue for full and outright economic equality and for an end to this differential valuation. Our cultural value system tends to justify this differential valuation of work and thus by extension the differential valuation of the lives of the workers. And we know, of course, that often the work of devalued because of who is doing it. Women and people of color have historically received less pay for the same work white men are doing.
Based on their wages, people have different access to healthcare, to education, to housing—to basic means of survival. They may have no access at all. The story we are told is that this arrangement is a meritocracy, so people get what they deserve. In other words, some lives deserve less—and thus they matter less.
We also like to say in our culture that “we,” or “people,” aren’t making these decisions, but rather an indifferent market is determining the economic value of work—and hence the human value of workers’ lives.
But it really isn’t the market. Gains in benefits and pay and improvements in working conditions have historically been the result of the collective organizing and protest of workers, often far more violent and deadly for workers than the protests we are witnessing today. Maybe you’ve seen the bumper sticker: “The Weekend: Brought to You by the Labor Movement.” This is why we see wages and benefits are invariably lower for non-unionized workers and why the right wing continues to undermine the power of labor unions.
The market isn’t determining the value of people’s lives; people through brute political will and force are.
We see “essential workers” these days–upon whom, it should now be crystal clear, we all vitally depend for our food and survival—being effectively forced to work, and this recognition in our culture of their “essential value” has not translated into an elevation in their economic value, in the mattering of their lives as registered in the resources, the money, they have to take care of their lives.
The police murder of George Floyd, just one in a long string of murders of African Americans at the hands of police for which there had been little to no accountability, constituted a tipping point, triggering widespread protests by American finally declaring, “Enough.” What America on the whole had willfully denied—the reality of racism—it has seemed to admit, on the whole.
What will it take to reach this tipping point on the injustice of class inequality?
Millions of Americans are suffering.
Recent statistics show 26 million Americans cannot afford to pay for adequate food for their families and are going hungry.
Keep in mind that millions of Americans lost their health insurance when they lost their jobs. This July 32% of U.S. households could not make their full housing payment, making the fourth month in a row of “historically high” numbers of Americans unable to meet these payments.
This past week another 1.4 million Americans filed for unemployment.
And yet the Republican Senate is loath to extend enhanced unemployment benefits or approve another relief package for the average American wanting work.
Meanwhile, millions, nay billions, of dollars are being distributed to the wealthiest among us who are doing just fine. Nicholas Kristoff reported in The New York Times that last relief package provided $135 billion dollars in “relief” for real estate developers, offering retroactive tax breaks for periods that preceded the coronavirus outbreak. As Jason Easley has reported for PoliticusUsa.com, businesses connected to the families of Donald Trump and Jared Kushner have also received millions, as have businesses of families connected to Mitch McConnell.
But it’s not about these individuals. It’s about the wealthiest class in America using its power to raid the nation’s coffers we taxpayers fill, supposedly to serve us all in democratic fashion.
We see class inequality isn’t just about income inequality. It’s about the unequal power in the key political processes of decision-making.
How much is enough?
Remember Trump’s tax cuts?
These tax cuts benefited the wealthy and did not trickle down, despite Trump’s promises that companies would invest in workers and not cut jobs. Companies like AT&T, Wells Fargo, and General Motors lobbied for them, promising to re-invest their tax savings in their workers and companies to the benefit off the nation as a whole. And yet all of these companies have engaged in massive layoffs or plant closings. AT&T has eliminated over 23,000 jobs since the tax cuts went into effect, despite receiving a $21 billion windfall from the tax cuts with the prospect of cashing in an additional $3 billion annually in tax savings. In November 2018, GM announced it would be closing five plants, eliminating 14,000 jobs in communities across Ohio, Maryland, Michigan, and Ontario, Canada, while buying back $10 billion in stock and earning a net profit of $8 billion on which the company paid no federal tax. Wells Fargo did raise the minimum wage of its employees, though the tax savings for the company were 47 times larger than the cost of that pay raise to the company; and the company announced its plans in September 2018 to eliminate 26,000 jobs, at the same time that it has raised health insurance costs for its employees.
There may be no one George Floyd to push us over the edge, to bring us to the tipping point.
But there are whole classes of people suffering en masse.
When will we tip?
Philadelphia’s District Attorney has warned that he’ll charge any federal officer sent into the city by the Trump administration if they commit a crime such as kidnapping.
Larry Krasner issued the stark warning as President Donald Trump has threatened to deploy federal law enforcement to various Democratically-controlled cities.
“My dad volunteered and served in World War II to fight fascism, like most of my uncles,” Krasner said in a statement.
“So we would not have an American president brutalizing and kidnapping Americans for exercising their constitutional rights and trying to make America a better place, which is what patriots do.”
“Anyone, including federal law enforcement, who unlawfully assaults and kidnaps people will face criminal charges from my office.”
Krasner’s comments raise the possibility of a clash between federal and local law enforcement officers. This kid of conflict hasn’t been directly addressed either by the Trump administration or local leaders opposed to federal forces.
However, recent events in Portland, Oregon have heightened tensions as federal agents without proper identification carried out arrests and others engaged in what’s been called “occupation”.
“This is flat-out urban warfare. And it’s being wrought on the people of this country by the president of the United States and it’s got to stop,” said Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler.
The issue is likely to escalate as President Donald Trump pursues a “law and order” reelection agenda and protests continue following the death of George Floyd.
William Barr has branded protests in the wake of George Floyd’s death “extreme” as protests continue throughout the country and federal agents teargas civilians.
The Attorney General won almost instant scorn for his remarks on Thursday, including from one conservative critic opposed to President Donald Trump. He did acknowledge the tragedy of Floyd’s death, however.
“We had that terrible death in Minneapolis,” Barr said
“But then we had this extreme reaction that has demonized police and called for the defunding of police departments.”
You know what’s “extreme”? Begging for your life while a cop murders you by kneeling on your fucking throat for eight minutes.
I’ve got my “Fuck That Guy” for tomorrow’s podcast. https://t.co/ypCFeGI7hc
Tom Cotton compared protesters to the traitors who rebelled against the United States and formed the Confederacy on Tuesday. The comments come as the President threatens to deploy federal officers to cities.
The Republican spoke to Fox News about ongoing protests following the death of George Floyd. The Arkansas senator compared recent events to the notorious event that sparked the Civil War.
“These insurrectionists in the streets of Portland are little different from the insurrectionists who seceded from the union in 1861 in South Carolina, and tried to take over Fort Sumter,” Cotton said.
Watch the video:
On Fox & Friends, Sen. Tom Cotton compares protesters to the Confederacy: "These insurrectionists in the streets of Portland are little different from the insurrectionists who seceded from the union in 1861 in South Carolina, and tried to take over Fort Sumter." pic.twitter.com/7ylYh3N1dB
A clear majority of American voters now believe U.S. society is racist. This represents a significant trend as protests against the treatment of African Americans continue.
A Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll finds that 56% of Americans think the country is racist, while a staggering 71% believe race relations are bad at the moment.
Brenda Lee is a pollster who worked on the poll. She thinks George Floyd’s death has affected public attitudes.
“Americans are concerned about issues of inequality, and George Floyd’s death helped contribute to that,” Lee said.
“We’ve moved the needle a great deal in terms of just clearly identifying that we, as Americans, have an issue with racism in this society.”
However, there are major partisan differences on the issue of race – a fact that’s been evident in many similar polls.
While 90% of Democrats believe African Americans are discriminated against, just 26% of Republicans agree.
Republicans are also far less likely to think the country is racist. Just 30% believe that it is, compared to 82% of Democratic respondents.
The survey also showed that a majority of voters – 57% – support the protests sparked by Floyd’s death. These numbers will not be welcome news to President Donald Trump’s campaign.