Thursday, June 25, 2020

Last Call For Black Lives Still Matter, Con't

Our law enforcement agencies and military are full of hateful racists who literally cannot wait for the day when they can start butchering black and brown bodies in the streets. It's why they signed up, to serve and protect not the country, but white supremacy.

Three members of a North Carolina police department have been fired after a department audit of a video recording captured one of the officers saying a civil war was necessary to wipe Black people off the map and that he was ready. 
The Wilmington Police Department took the action on Tuesday against Cpl. Jessie Moore, and officers Kevin Piner and Brian Gilmore. Each was accused of violating standards of conduct, criticism and use of inappropriate jokes and slurs. After conferring with the city council, Wilmington City Manager Sterling Cheatham cleared Police Chief Donny Williams to release the details. 
“When I first learned of these conversations, I was shocked, saddened and disgusted,” Williams said at a news conference on Wednesday. “There is no place for this behavior in our agency or our city and it will not be tolerated.” 
According to documents released by the police department, a sergeant was conducting a video audit as part of a monthly inspection and was reviewing footage from Piner’s car that had been classified as “accidental activation.” After the sergeant listened to the conversation and determined comments made by Piner and Moore were “extremely racist,” she contacted the department administrator for the camera system. 
At the 46-minute mark of the video, Piner and Gilmore began talking from their respective cars, at which time Piner criticized the department, saying its only concern was “kneeling down with the black folks.” About 30 minutes later, Piner received a phone call from Moore, according to the investigation, a segment in which Moore referred to a Black female as a “negro.” He also referred to the woman by using a racial slur. He repeated the use of the slur in describing a Black magistrate, and Moore used a gay slur to describe the magistrate as well. 
Later, according to the investigation, Piner told Moore that he feels a civil war is coming and that he is ready. Piner said he was going to buy a new assault rifle, and soon “we are just going to go out and start slaughtering them (expletive)” Blacks. “I can’t wait. God, I can’t wait.” Moore responded that he wouldn’t do that. 
Piner then told Moore that he felt a civil war was needed to “wipe them off the (expletive) map. That’ll put them back about four or five generations.” Moore told Piner he was “crazy,” and the recording stopped a short time later. 
According to police, the officers admitted it was their voices on the video and didn’t deny any of the content. While the officers denied that they were racists, they blamed their comments on the stress on law enforcement in light of the protests over the death of George Floyd. Floyd, a Black man, died last month after a Minneapolis police officer put his knee on Floyd’s neck for several minutes. 
In addition to being fired, cases involving the Wilmington officers will be reviewed by the district attorney’s office to determine if they committed any crimes or showed bias toward criminal defendants. Williams said he will recommend the three officers not be rehired by notifying the N.C. Criminal Justice Training and Standards Commission about their behavior.

Understand that this exactly what these assholes and thousands, if not millions like them want: open season to kill us, to unleash their fever dreams of slaughter on targets they see as less that human and deserving of only of death.

We are vermin to them. I am vermin to them.  To be exterminated.  Being black in America means every possible interaction with a cop means you could come in contact with someone like any of these three assholes, but especially with someone like Kevin Piner, who obviously became a cop in order to live out his power fantasies of white supremacy and to make them a reality.

Is every cop like Piner?  No.  But is every cop protecting another cop who believes what Piner does, or enabling other cops to protect a cop like Piner from facing the consequences for their hatred of black people? Nearly all of them are.

My life matters. I matter. I use my voice to write and document the atrocities daily, and I'd do so even if nobody read this blog, just for my own sanity. Somebody has to say "this is wrong" because it is wrong.

We need more people to say that.

Particularly in law enforcement and the military. Stop covering for these assholes.

This is wrong.

Black Lives Matter.

West Virginia Goes Viral

Florida and Arizona got caught fudging their COVID-19 numbers earlier this month until they could no longer hide the thousands of new daily cases exploding in their states, and Ohio's public health director was run out of town by hateful anti-Semitic bigots who threatened her family, so it should come as no surprise that West Virginia's GOP Gov Jim Justice has outright fired his state's top public health official and accused her of lying about the virus.

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice forced out the commissioner of his public health bureau on Wednesday, hours after he publicly questioned the accuracy of the state’s coronavirus data and detailed growing outbreaks in about a dozen counties.

The abrupt resignation of Cathy Slemp, who was also a state health officer, came after the Republican governor vented during a news conference that West Virginia’s active virus caseload may have been overstated.

“If we were on our game here, in DHHR (Department of Health and Human Resources) and Dr. Slemp’s office, if we’re on our game and you’re listening to the governor say that there’s six active cases at Huttonsville and you’re looking at the reports that you’re putting together and sending them to me on active cases and your looking at Randolph County and they’re reporting a hundred-and-some-odd cases then you’re not doing your job,” Justice told reporters, without additional explanation.

In a statement Wednesday afternoon, the governor’s office said Justice had expressed his “lack of confidence” in Slemp to Bill Crouch, secretary of the state health department, who then asked for Slemp’s resignation. She resigned immediately, the statement said. In a separate statement, a spokeswoman for the health department said there were discrepancies related to virus caseload data at the Huttonsville Correctional Center in Randolph County.

Slemp, who was a regular feature of the governor’s daily virus news conferences, has decades of public health experience. She was previously the acting state health officer and was the founding director of the state’s public health emergency preparedness and response programs, according to a biography on the state health department website. Slemp is also on the board of scientific counselors at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Justice, a billionaire coal businessman without previous political experience, had showered Slemp with praise as he hosted press conferences about the virus during the outbreak, often stressing that his aggressive plan to lift virus restrictions was guided by his health experts. Slemp did not appear at Wednesday’s news briefing.

Meanwhile, at least 72 cases in 11 counties have been linked to tourism travel to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and about 70 cases have been linked to church services in three counties, the governor said.

So a red state public health official with decades of experience was eliminated for being politically inconvenient, something playing out in dozens of red states across the country as COVID-19 explodes, infecting tens of thousands daily.

It will not end well for these states or the people in them.  A whole lot of people are going to die, deaths that people will realize were avoidable, and they will want answers from these red state governors.

It will be tragic.

Biden, His Time, Con't

With yet another poll showing Joe Biden with a commanding double-digit lead, the pundits have to invent "But Trump will win!" narratives to keep people paying attention and clicking on horse-race stories. 

Joseph R. Biden Jr. has taken a commanding lead over President Trump in the 2020 race, building a wide advantage among women and nonwhite voters and making deep inroads with some traditionally Republican-leaning groups that have shifted away from Mr. Trump following his ineffective response to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new national poll of registered voters by The New York Times and Siena College.

Mr. Biden is currently ahead of Mr. Trump by 14 percentage points, garnering 50 percent of the vote compared with 36 percent for Mr. Trump. That is among the most dismal showings of Mr. Trump’s presidency, and a sign that he is the clear underdog right now in his fight for a second term.

Enter the anecdotal bullshit story, courtesy of Politico's Tim Alberta, as Joshua Holland reports.

In a “letter to Washington” published on Wenesday, Politico’s Chief Political Correspondent, Tim Alberta, provides a master-class on this genre. Alberta visited a cookout in an affluent suburb of Detroit, where he was “dazed” to find a predominantly African-American crowd “who spent Sunday afternoons sipping Mimosas and playing spades.” Patronizingly, he writes that “these were Black people who were going to vote.” (The title of the piece is ‘I’m Tired of Being the Help,’ which is less offensive than the right-wing rhetoric about African -American voters being stuck on a “Democrat plantation,” but not by much.)

After describing the spread–“eggs, chicken wings, potatoes, shrimp and grits, a fine assortment of cookies and cocktails”–Alberta spoke to a number of Black attendees who conveniently gave him just the counterintuitive storyline that he sought, and one that’s guaranteed to cause some hand-wringing among Democrats.

Fifty-five year-old Tonya Griffith told Alberta that she isn’t enthusiastic about voting this fall and, “truth be told, she doesn’t know anyone who is.” Griffith says the African-American community may be fired up over the Movement for Black Lives now, but she doesn’t see that energy lasting.

“I bet our numbers come up, because nobody liked Hillary Clinton, but I don’t think they come up much. And I know they don’t get back to those record numbers from Obama,” Griffith said of Black voter turnout. “We look at Joe Biden and see more of the same. It’s about the era he came up. It’s about his identity—he’s a rich, old white man. What are his credentials to us, other than Obama picking him?

Oddly, every person Alberta spoke to at the cookout shared this sentiment, and all of them predicted Trump would win a second term. “I’m going to vote,” said 53-year-old Ursura Moore. “But Trump’s getting back in office either way.” Alberta writes that this was a “recurring theme of my conversations: a fatalism about defeating Trump this fall. Not a single person I spoke with at the cookout told me they believed Biden would win.” I say that’s odd because as of this writing, Biden leads Trump by double-digits nationally in RealClearPolitics’ average, by 6 points in Florida and an average of 6.2 points in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. Given the numbers, one would think that someone at that cookout would expect him to win.

It’s a repetitive piece, running over 4,000 words in length and all of it with the same theme. “None of what I will relay to you in this letter should be considered predictive,” Alberta writes at the top of the piece to cover his ass. “But make no mistake: If what I heard Sunday in southeast Michigan is at all representative of the Black community across America, Democrats should be disturbed and afraid. Not because they risk losing an election, but because they risk losing the loyalty of an entire class of voters.”

Again, this kind of reportage must never cite any public opinion surveys, and Alberta’s unfortunately landed on the same day as a New York Times/Siena College poll found that a whopping 83 percent of African-Americans say they are “almost certain” (50 percent) or “very likely” (33 percent) to vote this fall. And only 5 percent of them support Donald Trump, three points below the 8 percent of the Black vote that he won in 2016, according to the exit polls.

It is also striking that Politico’s chief political correspondent appears to be unaware of the power of negative partisanship in American elections. Many Democrats, regardless of race, may not be enthusiastic about Joe Biden, but they’re fearful of a second Trump term and virtually every indicator over the past three years suggests they’re going to enthusiastically vote against him. (A Morning Consult poll released early last month found that voters who dislike both candidates breaking for Biden 46-14 in a head-to-head matchup.)

And while Tonya Griffith has every right to her opinion that African-American turnout won’t be much higher for Biden than it was for Clinton, the off-year elections since Trump took office tell a different story. Fifty-one percent of Black voters turned out for the 2018 midterms, according to University of Florida political scientist Michael P. McDonald. That was an all-time high in McDonald’s data set, which goes back to 1986. To put that number into perspective, it was ten percentage points higher than Black turnout for the 2010 midterms and a whopping 15-point improvement over 2014.

Yes, it's important to note that the NY Times poll does have Biden only getting 79% of the black vote, but Trump only gets 5%.  There are undecided black voters, in fact this poll shows a number of undecided voters across the spectrum.  Every voter demographic right now shows at least 10% of voters are looking for someone other than Biden or Trump right now.  Yes, that should worry Biden.

But it also shows Biden already at 50% without the undecideds.  Unless all of them break for Trump, he's toast. And if Biden should be worried, Trump should be absolutely terrified.


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