LGBTQ Magazine

Reaping the Whirlwind: America Now Confronts the Reality of Its 2016 Election

Posted on the 31 May 2020 by William Lindsey @wdlindsy
People Can Only Bear So Much Injustice Before Lashing Out via @thenation https://t.co/qevqJ0pvk4— 𝕎𝕚𝕝𝕝𝕚𝕒𝕞 𝔻. 𝕃𝕚𝕟𝕕𝕤𝕖𝕪 🌈 (@wdlindsy) May 30, 2020

Jack Holmes, "This CNN Crew's Arrest in Minneapolis Is More Than a Mistake":
Imagine what they're capable of when they're not live on national television. 

Worth repeating that all of the police violence you see happening right now has been happening for a long time before there were any camera phones to record it. It’s a daily phenomenon in communities across the country. It’s structurally embedded into how these forces operate.— Clint Smith (@ClintSmithIII) May 31, 2020

Straight line from the Presidential podium to this. https://t.co/H3QG6XtTzF— David Plouffe (@davidplouffe) May 30, 2020

David Von Drehle, "The death of George Floyd reveals a sick brotherhood of the badge":

One sadistic cop might be an aberration; four at the same scene of a minor arrest is evidence of systemic cultural rot. 
It's not enough for Minneapolis to fire the four, or even to prosecute them — although they have all been fired, and the kneeling officer has been charged with third-degree murder. The entire department needs to ask why these individuals fit into its culture. Why did Officer Derek Chauvin think that he could be filmed crushing the life out of a man without consequence? Why did three fellow officers think that they’d be better off letting Chauvin do it than if they stopped him? That's one sick brotherhood of the badge.

If you're wondering why so many police officers in different cities fired DIRECTLY at members of the press today ON CAMERA, look no further than Trump's new tweet TODAY once again calling the press "The enemy of the people"— Don Winslow (@donwinslow) May 31, 2020

It blows my mind that so many journalists are quoting police departments in stories about the makeup of anti-police protests. It’s like quoting tobacco companies in stories about whether smoking is a health risk.— Carlos Maza 🌹 (@gaywonk) May 30, 2020

Axios, "Minnesota activates National Guard amid fallout from George Floyd death":
The tale of the tapes
The Minneapolis police didn't tell the truth in their initial press release, claiming Floyd, a black man, resisted arrest. They also omitted that an officer pinned him to the ground by the neck. (He was originally stopped for a nonviolent offense.) 
Two subsequent tapes put an end to those lies. Floyd could be heard on one video saying that his neck hurt and that he couldn't breathe: "They're going to kill me."
The police then treated protesters like insurgents instead of citizens, using flashbangs, tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse protests — which became riots. 
Those riots destroyed property and resulted in another death, but at the beginning of that story is the murder of a black man by police officers. 
"I've wrestled with, more than anything else over the last 36 hours," said Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, "Why is the man who killed George Floyd not in jail?"

They arrested the BLACK man reporting on the murder of another black man before they arrested the WHITE man who MURDERED him.— Mikel Jollett (@Mikel_Jollett) May 29, 2020

when covid came w warning, the US didn’t have enough masks, PPE, or tests. when the peaceful protests came, they were ready with tear gas, rubber bullets, flash guns, and tacticle gear for cops in multiple cities. it really shows where the priorities in this country are.— bean 💕 (@beyabean) May 30, 2020

Elie Mystal, "People Can Only Bear So Much Injustice Before Lashing Out":
Put yourself in the position of a relatively conscious black person in America just since this past March. Black people have seen a pandemic disproportionately rip through their communities while the media continually runs live press conferences of a racist president lying about the disease. We’ve seen layoffs and unemployment ravage our communities while Congress funnels billions of dollars to white-owned businesses. We've seen white people absolutely lose their minds, waving guns and Confederate flags at police officers, pushing them into lakes and gathering in large groups without consequence while we've seen police literally sit on black people for allegedly violating social distancing orders.And then the stories of the killings started. In the past three weeks: Ahmaud Arbery was lynched, on video. Breonna Taylor was killed by police in her own bed, offscreen. And George Floyd was choked out on the street in broad daylight by police while strangers literally begged for his life. 
Imagine you've been black this whole time and watched all of this happen and you show up to protest and, instead of being met with docile, restrained police that the white Confederates get, you are confronted by police in full riot gear who use tear gas and rubber bullets to control your crowd. 
And then you see a rock. And then you see an unguarded white-owned business. And then you see a match. 
The fact that most black people do not pick up the rock in that situation is a miracle. The fact that the overwhelming majority of black people respond to the violence and terrorism practiced against us with words and songs instead of rocks and bricks is altogether supernatural. America should be thankful black and brown people respond to state-sponsored violence with nonviolence. In other times, in other places, the injustice regularly practiced by the white American paramilitary forces known as the local police would be met with rebellion or revolution. Here, black people take to the streets, and almost all of us do so nonviolently. America is the luckiest place on earth…. 
This country could be on fire almost every night in almost every city. It's not, because most black people in this country choose to exercise tremendous restraint. Most black people are still willing to talk this out. Most black people have the courage and fortitude to withstand the violence done against us without lowering ourselves to the level of an American police officer. 
America should be more thankful for that. And it should remember that it's a choice.

This boy had his hands up when an NYPD ofcr pulled his mask down and pepper sprayed him. ⁦@NYPDShea⁩? Mayor ⁦@BilldeBlasio⁩? pic.twitter.com/YtXDOoVckA— Sherrilyn Ifill (@Sifill_LDF) May 31, 2020

So here’s what happened today. The NYPD arrested me at 96th Street and West Side Highway while I was taking photos and video to post to Twitter. I told the police I was with the Press, they walked by me and then turned around and arrested me.— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) May 31, 2020

Wendell Griffen, "The Whirlwind Is Here!":
Have you viewed the ten minute and twelve second video of the May 25, 2020 killing of George Floyd by former members of the Minneapolis Police Department? 
        Why haven’t you?        What are you afraid you will see?        What are you unwilling to see?        What are you unwilling to admit? 
Have the four now former members of the Minneapolis Police Department responsible for killing George Floyd in broad daylight before onlookers who also videotaped their conduct been arrested on suspicion of committing a homicide (causing the death of another person) of George Floyd? 
        Why haven’t they been arrested?        Why have they not been held in custody and required to post bond?        Who decided they should not be arrested?        What message was sent when they were not arrested?  … 
As the prophet Hosea wrote concerning the ancient Hebrew nation of Israel, this society has always sown the wind of white supremacy with its tolerance of state-sponsored terrorism and slaughter of black, brown, red, yellow, and poor white people.  People of color have long known that this society "shall reap the whirlwind."
The whirlwind from the seeds of long pent-up outrage about systemic law enforcement abusive and homicidal conduct has arrived at the same time the nation and world are gripped by the global Covid 19 pandemic which highlights racial disparities in countless areas of life.  The whirlwind from generations of corrupt and racist political leadership now has arrived when the US is led by a vicious idiot, despot, racist, and sociopath named Donald John Trump.  
The whirlwind is here.  The United States cannot, should not, and will not escape.

It’s hard to remain peaceful when the NYPD is doing stuff like this pic.twitter.com/Ue01z5Ckk3— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) May 31, 2020

I cannot believe what I just witnessed. They pulled up onto the square with a police siren on and did this. #Louisville pic.twitter.com/65o2lgZCJh— Natalie Neysa Alund (@nataliealund) May 30, 2020

Josh Marshall, "The Gang Leader as President":
That this all occurred as the country remains gripped in an historic epidemic which has just taken the 100,000th American life and the national economy staggers under the weight of that crisis simply adds to the surreality and crisis of America under Donald Trump. 
In 2016, Will Saletan made an observation I've returned to again and again. "The GOP is a failed state and Donald Trump is its warlord." What was and is true of the GOP is now, in a sense, true of America. A warlord never rules, let alone governs, a party or country. He dominates a chunk of it by force and violence and overawes the rest of it by that example. He pillages the whole and rewards supporters with the pickings to maintain his hold on the political rump that sustains his power. It is the fundamental brokenness or fragmentation of the larger unit that makes this feat possible. 
We see this today on every front.

In today's criminal justice news, a SWAT unit in Salt Lake City UT deploys
And decides one of their top priorities is knocking a gray-haired old man with a cane down to the ground
pic.twitter.com/9Q1PiEJ8LA— T. Greg Doucette (@greg_doucette) May 31, 2020

She says she was walking home with her groceries when police fired some sort of pellet in her face. Says she’s not a protester. #DallasProtests pic.twitter.com/2IyO1S9j6n— Kevin Krause (@KevinRKrause) May 31, 2020

hiding badge numbers so there's no way of identifying officers later in court https://t.co/g2Np5lcYal— lvl 45 covid potus (@thetomzone) May 31, 2020

Jamelle Bouie, "Catching up on the protest news? Keep this in mind":
Second, police aggression is a key ingredient in turning peaceful protests violent. The situation in Minneapolis began with nonviolent demonstrations, but the police responded with tear gas and rubber bullets, and as was true in Ferguson and Baltimore — where police met protesters with military equipment — this changed the dynamic of the confrontation. When crowds feel threatened, they get agitated, and agitation creates the conditions for property damage and other forms of disruption. 
Last, it is impossible not to note the contrast in how the Minneapolis protesters have been treated compared with armed demonstrators protesting lockdowns in Michigan and other states. I wrote earlier this month about how the idea of "freedom" is shaped by race and racism. Here, we have a perfect example of exactly that: how the perceived legitimacy of protest and dissent is shaped by who is doing the protesting. Screaming, gun-toting white people can demonstrate with little resistance. Mourning black people, on the other hand, are liable to face state violence.

Drew Altman, "Coronavirus' unequal economic toll":

Reaping the Whirlwind: America Now Confronts the Reality of Its 2016 Election

Reproduced from Kaiser Family Foundation; Chart: Axios Visuals


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