By Nicole Fisher
What’s happening around the globe is both new and old. While SARS-CoV-2 is new, pandemics and the effects of infectious disease are as old as mankind. And when we think about how to grapple with the situation in front of us, we should be looking to the past for guidance – because this is about far more than a pandemic, it’s about humans. Specifically, human behavior.
One of the greatest challenges facing leaders today is determining just how to control the spread of a virus, while not having control over millions (globally billions) of autonomous individuals. Local, state, and federal government are having to make decisions daily (even hourly) about how many restrictions to place on the American people. And if you’ve been following the news, you know that states and cities are taking very different approaches. But as they consider strong restrictions and forced quarantines, it is important to look back at what has happened in the past when those in power place their constituents on lockdown.
By Maya Rao
Minneapolis Star Tribune
As fire and riots raged around Lake Street and Hiawatha Avenue last week, several employees of an American Indian nonprofit called Migizi stayed behind to guard their building.
They wrote “native youth center” on the window to discourage attacks. Members of the American Indian Movement came to help. But rioters set fire to the block anyway. The inferno forced out the building’s protectors around 3:30 Friday morning.
When the nonprofit’s executive director, Kelly Drummer, returned to the scene a few hours later and saw the destruction, she said, “I knelt down and I just cried.”
Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) joined a group of nearly 1,000 Christians marching toward the White House on Sunday.
What they’re saying: Asked why it was important for him to be out protesting, Romney told NBC News: “We need a voice against racism, we need many voices against racism and against brutality. And we need to stand up and say that black lives matter.”
Todd Lewis is joined by Keith Preston, Right Ruminations and Swithun Dobson to discuss the recent riots in the US.
By Nicky Reid aka Comrade Hermit
Exile in Happy Valley
It always ends this way, you can almost set your watch to it. A glamorous soirée rambling into the wee hours of the morning in an opulent townhouse on a tony tree lined street of any given international city. The kind of event held for some obscure charity to save a species of bird that likely never existed as anything but excuse for a deceptively benevolent orgy like this. Glamorous beautiful people with household names, dressed to the nine in three-piece-suits and silk gowns that cost more than most people will see in a lifetime. Ornate ballrooms echo with the bellowing sounds of the kind of excess that only this kind of downright flammable income can afford. Senators and Wall Street bankers dry hump underage courtesans, slurping Champaign twice their age and snorting Scarface-grade amounts of the same kind of narcotics they have twelve year old children of color locked up for decades for peddling in dime bags. Obnoxious plastic debutantes force theatrical laughter at racist jokes delivered by the direct descendants of Mayflower monsters and slave drivers. The only people of color are token police chiefs dressed like ornate African dictators. The only poor people are servants and the victims of white slavery, but suddenly they become very scarce.
Most likely what will happen is this:
Trump’s incompetence and malevolence will essentially be the end of the GOP’s electoral chances, and Trump will be WASP America’s last stand. Even if Trump wins reelection, the GOP is demographically and culturally doomed. Meanwhile, the state, capitalism, and totalitarian humanism will move to co-opt the insurrection and protests (already happening) with token reforms, more token diversity appointments, and symbolic gestures like monument removals. Modest police reforms may (or may not) be implemented at (some) municipal police levels, with the federal alphabet soup agencies being strengthened, class divisions continuing to widen, the overlords of the Empire working to hold their position, and cable news continuing the fan the Red Tribe/Blue Tribe civil war.
Molly O’Toole, Molly Hennessy-Fiske
The smell — campfire and chemicals — was the first thing that hit Brenda Lenton. Then it was the sight of twisted steel beams and a lone pipe, jutting up from the rubble, gently spilling water like a drinking fountain.
Lenton stared up at blue sky where her children’s bedroom used to be. They’d moved into the upstairs apartment only a week before George Floyd died under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer, one mile up the same street.
Lol, I can’t imagine why people in Waco would be protesting against the police state.
By Anne Helen Petersen
Dorian Miles arrived in Havre, Montana — a windy farm town, population 9,700, along what’s known as Montana’s Hi-Line — just five months ago, a young man from Georgia coming to play football for Montana State University–Northern. “I was nervous about walking around,” he told the Havre Daily News. Like many small towns in Montana, Havre’s population is aging and, generally, friendly. But Miles, who told the paper his uncle had been shot and killed by a police officer in Atlanta, knew that strolling its streets as a young black man with tattoos and dreadlocks could be risky.
On Sunday night, though, he said he felt safe. Over 100 people showed up to a rally in Havre, organized by Melody Bernard, a Chippewa Cree Tribal Member from the nearby Rocky Boy Reservation.
By Sam Dorman
Nearly 300 New York police officers have been injured amid the ongoing protests following George Floyd’s death, Fox News has learned.
The 292 figure provided by police gave some initial context to the fallout of how the protests, lasting over a week, have impacted law enforcement — which has faced threats of violence, defunding and harassment in the streets. Messages like “F–k the police,” acab (all cops are b—ards) and descriptions of cops as “pigs” have been painted across buildings and monuments in U.S. cities, and held up on protesters’ signs.
By Scottie Andrew
The solution to police brutality
and racial inequalities in policing is simple, supporters say: Just defund police.
It’s as straightforward as it sounds: Instead of funding a police department, a sizable chunk of a city’s budget is invested in communities, especially marginalized ones where much of the policing occurs.
The concept’s been a murmur for years, particularly following the protests against police brutality in Ferguson
, Missouri, though it seemed improbable in 2014.
By Hannah Knowles, Brent Griffiths, Miriam Berger, Brittany Shammas, Meryl Kornfield, Candace Buckner, Samantha Pell, Derek Hawkins
The Washington Post
Cities and towns across the United States faced an outpouring of protests Saturday amid the national outrage over law enforcement excess sparked by the killing of George Floyd in police custody. Researchers say these protests, now in their 12th day, are the broadest in U.S. history, having spread to well over 650 cities and towns, across all 50 states.
In Buffalo, two police officers were charged after a widely circulated video appeared to show them shoving a 75-year-old protester, who fell and bled from the head as officers walked past him.
“We’ll invade dozens of countries and kill thousands of people but we’ll be ‘woke’ when we’re doing it!”
By Jenny Gross
The U.S. Marine Corps on Friday issued detailed directives about removing and banning public displays of the Confederate battle flag at Marine installations — an order that extended to such items as mugs, posters and bumper stickers.
Current events are a stark reminder that it is not enough for us to remove symbols that cause division — rather, we also must strive to eliminate division itself,” the commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. David H. Berger, said in a statement on Wednesday.
As protests across the United States have erupted over police brutality, pressure has grown on officials to remove monuments and flags seen as symbols of racism.
One set of scumbags say they might not vote for the Scumbag-in-Chief. Oh well.
By Jonathan Martin
New York Times
WASHINGTON — It was one thing in 2016 for top Republicans to take a stand against Donald J. Trump for president: He wasn’t likely to win anyway, the thinking went, and there was no ongoing conservative governing agenda that would be endangered.
The 2020 campaign is different: Opposing the sitting president of your own party means putting policy priorities at risk, in this case appointing conservative judges, sustaining business-friendly regulations and cutting taxes — as well as incurring the volcanic wrath of Mr. Trump.
The main critique I would have of the liberal/left/BLM approach is not that their perspective is “too radical” but that it is not radical enough. Much of this kind of activism is focused solely on police killings and the racial disparities involved. Fair enough. Murder by cop is a bigger deal than vandalism or perjury by cop. Of course, black folks and the civil rights-oriented left are going to emphasize racial disparities. But the critique of the police state shouldn’t stop there.
People side with their own tribe. It’s what people do.
By Ryan Parry
A Black Lives Matter leader has declared war on the police and plans to release a blueprint for change that involves Black Panther style armed ‘patrols’ monitoring the behavior of officers on the streets, DailyMailTV can reveal.
The murder of George Floyd is a real issue. The police state is a real issue. The racial disparities associated with the police state are real issues. The rebellion against the police state is long overdue. The fact that the ruling class is trying to co-opt the issues and that even dumbasses agree doesn’t negate the legitimacy of the issues. Still, when the oligarchs at least pretend to be on your side, it’s good to keep your guard up.
Tech-oligarchs and sweatshop-mongers for social justice!
Conservatives shouldn’t be in favor of Trump sending out the army to suppress the insurrection because, if for no other reason, it might set a precedent where President Kamala Harris will send out the army to suppress a pro-life demonstration or NRA convention in a few years. Be careful what you wish for. Pat Robertson has always had a large African-American following so it’s not surprising he would be taking this position.
Kyle Kulinski has an interesting rebuttal to Carlson’s Hobbesian-Burkean perspective.
In his more serious and intelligent moments, Carlson is simply making the Hobbesian argument that order must be maintained at all costs in order for civilization to exist with considerations of “justice,” whatever their merit, being a secondary or tertiary concern. A similar argument could have been made to defend the rule of Saddam Hussein or Muammar Qaddafi, particularly given what happened to Iraq and Libya post-US/NATO invasion. Carlson is also making a Burkean argument that whatever the problems with existing institutions, merely burning them down typically makes things even worse. I can respect such arguments even if they’re a bit one-dimensional.
Kulinksi is making the perfectly reasonable observation that the insurrectionists were hardly the ones that started the fight, and that the lumpen violence of the insurrectionists pales in comparison to the institutionalized violence of the power elite. Looting Target is kindergarten compared to killing a million people in the Middle East. But Kyle, unfortunately, falls back on the liberal idealization of the “rule of law.” The law, as anarchists have always pointed out, is primarily an instrument of political, economic, and economic subjugation with the positive benefits of law (like “order”) largely being incidental or geared to serve ruling class interests. OF COURSE, the state is inconsistent in the enforcement of its own laws. Consistency is not the objective. Maintaining power is the objective.
When a pig kills a black person, most (though not all) other blacks take it as a personal threat/affront that is a representation of institutionalized oppression, and correctly so. Even many white liberals and leftists, who view themselves as black allies, take such a position. But when a pig kills a white person like Daniel Shaver or Duncan Lemp, most white people are either indifferent, view it as a case of a bad apple cop gone rogue, or figure the victim must have deserved it. And such incidents are harder for minorities to relate to, even if they disapprove on an abstract level, because they view it as something that happened outside their own community or reference groups (the same way an American of any color views the killing of an Iraqi by the forces of US imperialism).
That’s what needs to change. The killing of a Daniel Shaver or Duncan Lemp should inspire just as many protests by persons of all colors as the killing of a George Floyd or Breonna Taylor. That’s when the pigs will really be in deep shit.
By Ari Shaprio
Before she was a hashtag or a headline, before protesters around the country chanted her name, Breonna Taylor was a 26-year-old woman who played cards with her aunts and fell asleep watching movies with friends.
The discussion between Saager and Max Alvarez on the relationship between class and the uprising is interesting, along with their discussion of ruling class co-optation efforts.
I have long argued that the modern left’s primary emphasis on race, gender, gay, etc. identity politics outside the context of any kind of class or economic analysis, or any kind of critique of the state or imperialism, simply has the effect of promoting tribal warfare. The police state has normally been treated as a peripheral issue that is really only a problem when racial disparities are involved.
The current insurrection is an improvement over the usual norm, because it focuses on the police state as a primary target, although in a way that still emphasizes the race angle, which may be understandable given the disparities involved, but which still creates an opening for co-option by the system by marginalizing or obscuring the class issues. “If only police were less racist…” is no solution at all. Even when you take the racial dimension out of the picture, the police state remains pervasive, as does the system of class oppression behind the police state. And then there is the Empire…