Purple and Black
Taking Independent and Unofficial Back


Wasn't sure where to put this article, because it touches on a key point that I'd like to share here, but is mainly about the Republican efforts to overturn the election and the Jan. 6 committee. This statement stood out to me:
Republican political operative Stephen K. Bannon told Politico that enflaming racism was how Republicans would take back Congress. “I see 50 [House Republican] seats in 2022. Keep this up,” he said. “I think you’re going to see a lot more emphasis from Trump on [CRT] and DeSantis and others. People who are serious in 2024 and beyond are going to focus on it.” https://heathercoxrichardson.substack.com/p/february-9-2022
Race has always been a tool used by Conservatives to rally their base. Minorities are made into objects of fear and hatred. This CRT nonsense is just the latest iteration of their playbook
The New York Times

The hate-crime trial of the men who killed Ahmaud Arbery has started. Its focus on race will set it apart from past trials for similar crimes.

Monday, February 14, 2022 1:13 PM EST
Most hate-crime cases prosecuted by the U.S. Department of Justice do not go to trial — they usually end with defendants pleading guilty. In the Arbery case, however, a judge rejected a proposed plea deal for two of the defendants in late January after Mr. Arbery’s family objected.

They are heading to the big house, and it will not be pretty.
Another one last week. This is what the police dispatcher said when he tried to report it.

He eventually was able to get away from the pickup truck and called police to report what happened. He said a dispatcher interrupted him and asked whether he had been on Junior Trail. "I said, 'Yes,'" Gibson said. "He was like, 'Well, I just got a call of a suspicious person at this address." He told the dispatcher he was not a "suspicious person" and that he was just doing his job and had been shot at...
^^ Not even - "Due to the fact that Potter has already served 58 days, she will serve 16 months in prison and the remainder of her sentence on supervised release."

Katie Wright, Daunte’s mother, slammed the judge for not reacting to her victim impact statement on Friday. Wright said, “to not get a response out of the judge at all, but then when it came down convicting — or to sentencing Kim Potter, she broke out in tears.”

The 12 jurors -- four men and eight women -- found Lane, Kueng and Thao guilty of depriving Floyd of his civil rights by showing deliberate indifference to his medical needs as former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on Floyd for more than 9 minutes on May 25, 2020 -- ultimately killing him. The jurors also found Thao and Kueng guilty of an additional charge for failing to intervene to stop Chauvin. Lane, who did not face the extra charge, testified that he asked Chauvin twice to reposition Floyd while restraining him but was denied both times.
'black lives matter' as a movement has acquired some complicated associations. Anyway, I think of it as a phrase, since I don't know so much about the movement, only that there have been some questions about its leadership and money. That was a while ago, I think.

I found this article, by Jeffrey Henson Scales, in the NYTimes opinion section. Its an interesting story of a young person who found himself the photographer for the Black Panthers.

My Teenage Years with the Black Panthers [NYTimes; 10.29.22]
January 2023 is almost over. At the beginning of the month, in the space of a few days, there were three incidents in which black men died at the hands of police, these being only the ones in Los Angeles.

A man, Keenan Anderson, who had been in some sort of car accident, called the police for assistance. They came and killed him.

In another incident, a woman called the police because her ex, who was under a restraining order, had come to her house. She asked for help, describing him as in the midst of a psychotic episode. While on the phone asking for assistance, she begged the police not to kill him. The police came and killed Takar Smith.

In the third, a homeless man, Oscar Leon Sanchez, threw something at a passing vehicle. He was known to the police. The police tracked him to an abandoned building and did a SWAT team-style swarming of the location. He was killed.

I'm not sure about the exact details of these incidents. I'd meant to write about them here, earlier.

The Uprising That Ran Out: The death of Keenan Anderson marks the end of an era. [New York Intelligencer:1.25.23]

Amid concerns over three deaths, LAPD releases video [yahoo!news; 1.11.23]

Now, in Memphis, in this past week, the murder of Tyre Nichols at the hands of 5 police, and release of video from body cams and a surveillance camera. How many others have been killed in the intervening weeks, around the U.S.?

The author of the following article refers to fascination with the video footage as 'snuff porn'. Tyre Nichols' family had wanted it released, with similar intention to the open casket after the murder of Emmett Till, in 1955, to show the depravity and violence, for all to see.

Some thought on the Tyre Nichols beating and murder [DailyKos;1.27.23]

Tyre Nichols remembered as 'a wonderful son' who loved skating and sunsets [WaPo; 1.28.23]

Another opinion writer at the Washington Post encourages watching the video.

Tyre Nichols video shows policing must be done with a community - not to it [WaPo;1.28.23]

I haven't watched it yet. I will, eventually.

A couple of other perspectives:
Tyre Nichols's Death Is America's Shame [NYTimes;1.27.23]

Violent History Echoes in the Killing of Tyre Nichols [NYTimes;1.28.23]

The NY magazine article laments the politics that have caused the issue of police violence to disappear from the national conversation. Obama had attempted to install policies, consent agreements, that would initiate whenever there were issues with violence in police departments. T---- reversed these measures and used the issue of police reform to drive a wedge, stir up dissent and division and anger. A 'police flag' emerged, a version of the American flag, only without color, all in black, with one line in blue. Searching articles of this most recent death, I shouldn't be surprised to see odd comments after articles or on social media that imply these police killings are the victim's fault, to the tune 'they shouldn't have run away..." Of course, there's lots of outrage as well. But the issue is useful to Republicans who use an abundance of outrage to imply that dems want to defund the police. Race has been elevated as a political issue and the gop is quite shameless in framing the issue as gop vs dem. It's far more useful to them than attempting any change in the status quo.

A fresh look at Trump reversing Obama's police investigations policy: Obama's Justice Department played a constructive role in holding police departments accountable for abuses. Trump's DOJ changed direction. [MSNBC; 6.1.20]
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The video of Tyre is terrifying. The kid did nothing to deserve this. Something has got to be done with these cops.
Nashville Councilwoman Faces Down GOP Lawmakers Who Want To Rename John Lewis Way After Trump [TPM; 2.15.2023]

Trump and Lewis also have their own turbulent history. Lewis pointedly boycotted Trump’s inauguration in 2017. Trump repeatedly attacked Lewis for the move — including after the congressman’s death. In light of that history, Suara — echoing sentiments from one of Lewis’ cousins — called the proposed legislation “a slap in the face.”

“That’s the way that a lot of us are looking at it. The family has come out to say as much,” Suara said. “It’s so uncalled for, so unnecessary, and not needed here in Nashville.”

The two legislators behind the proposal do not represent the Nashville area. Their proposal would not rename the entire street; instead, it would focus on an area that includes the state office building. When asked if she felt the proposal was racist, Suara declined to say.

“I cannot speak for the intent of the sponsors, but what I can infer … is that, since it’s only affecting their office building, then it’s because probably at least one of the sponsors doesn’t want the address on their card,” Suara said.
not sure where to put this (thought 'hate crimes, fraught times') but settled on here.
I haven't kept up with posting here as atrocities continue to accumulate.

Here's an opinion piece from the NYTimes on the recent shooting at a Dollar General in Florida. By a white man with swastika symbols on the gun he used. Targeting Black people at the store, after he tried to enter but was turned away by security at a historically Black college in the area.

An American Tragedy at the Dollar General [NYTimes;8.29.23]]

Meanwhile in Tennessee, Justin Jones is silenced by Tennessee gop in the state house. What was he doing? Drawing attention to the need for gun control rather than more police officers in schools:

Tennessee G.O.P. Again Silences Democratic Lawmaker Justin Jones [NYTimes; 8.28.23]

The confrontation occurred during a special session dedicated to improving public safety, an effort sharply curtailed by a resistance to any form of gun control in the legislature’s deeply conservative Republican supermajority.

Meanwhile, don junior makes noise comparing his dad's arrest at the Fulton County courthouse to MLK having been in the jail there. The shameless nerve. t---- has given harbor to white supremacists b/c they are part of his 'base' but also wants to be seen as a martyr and will exploit any situation toward that end.

Trump and Supporters Have COMPLETE MELTDOWN After Trump Surrender [Meidas Touch;8.28.23]

Segment begins at 4 m 58 s and ends at 5 m 40 s.

Thought I’d add this insightful ‘hot take’ by Michael Popok, in which he speaks about the Jacksonville shooting and, most pointedly, to the way that t---- has obliquely given license to these sorts of acts:

Trump statements lead to DISASTROUS consequences yet again

And, an article from the NYTimes about the 3 people whose lives were taken:

The Lives Lost to the Jacksonville Gunman [NYTimes;8.29.23]
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Haven't posted in this forum for months. You and I both know that there have been likely many incidents that could have been posted here during that time.

I'm posting about this incident just because it was on the front page of the NYTimes when I looked at it today. It is sad and awful.

A Mother's Search for Her Son Leads to a Pauper's Grave and More Questions [NYTimes;11.19.23]

In Mississippi. Dexter Wade is the deceased's name.

Officials in Jackson, a city of 150,000, have described Mr. Wade’s burial and the long delay in informing his mother of his death as regrettable but honest mistakes, a matter of miscommunication within an overburdened police department.

But Ms. Wade was not inclined to give the police the benefit of the doubt. Four years ago, three officers had been charged with murder after they pulled her brother from his car and slammed him to the ground.
The only redeeming factor I can find:
Ms. Wade kept calling the missing persons investigators at the Police Department. Over the summer, the detective handling the case retired and a new investigator took over. Within two weeks, an officer showed up at Ms. Wade’s home, telling her that her son had died.
The incident involving Ms. Wade's brother is similarly disturbing. There's a link in the article. According to the various sources I have only shallowly explored, a local pastor had been murdered earlier that day. There was an ongoing search for the murderer. Looking into that story I came across a photo of the church where the pastor officiated.
From Wikipedia entry ['Killing of George Robinson', listing as current on 11.19.23],
According to prosecutors, on January 13, 2019, Barney, Lampley, and Fox were canvassing in a predominantly Black neighborhood in Jackson, Mississippi, looking for suspects in the fatal robbery of a pastor hours earlier.[1][2][3] The officers saw Robinson sitting in his car in front of his house[4] and approached him because they thought they had seen him dealing drugs earlier.[1] They ordered him to exit his vehicle, but Robinson, a stroke victim, was slow to comply.[1][3][4] According to the indictment, the officers pulled Robinson from his car, threw him headfirst onto the pavement, and struck and kicked him multiple times in the head and chest.[1][2][3] The responding ambulance treated Robinson at the scene and released him.[1] The officers arrested Robinson on misdemeanor charges of failing to obey a police officer and resisting arrest[3] before releasing him with instructions to appear at a future court date.[4] Within hours,[1] Robinson's girlfriend saw him losing consciousness and called for another ambulance.[3] Robinson died at a hospital on January 15.[1][3]

The state coroner ruled the death a homicide.[4] The coroner's report and other medical reports stated that Robinson died from blunt force trauma to the head and bleeding from the brain, and that he had several broken ribs.[1][2]

Two other men were later arrested for the pastor's murder.[4]
Here's a picture of the church. I don't mean to be confusing. This has to do with the death of Dexter Wade's uncle, George Robinson. And, the brother of Bettersten Wade who is Dexter Wade's mother. Once I realized there was another police-involved killing in Ms. Wade's family, I looked into that and all manner of other thoughts intruded.

Mississippi. So much poverty. Also, very rural. Also, a large African American population, compared to much of the country. Population and demographics by race where I live (Massachusetts): Land area in square miles: 7801; Population ~ 7 million; white: 79%; Black or African American: 10%; Asian: 8%; Latino or Hispanic: 13%. Mississippi: Land area in square miles: 46923; Population ~ 3 million; white: 59%; Black or African American: 38%; Asian: 1%; Latino or Hispanic: 4%.

I drove through on a trip through the US with a friend, once, many years ago. It opened my eyes because I just hadn't thought concretely about the dramatic differences across the country.

At least, there is an African American mayor, Chokwe Antar Lumumba. He is the 7th African American mayor of the city.

Back to Dexter Wade and the NYTimes article I linked to above.
What happened to Mr. Wade drew national attention when NBC News reported on the case on Oct. 25. The next day, Mr. Wade’s family retained Ben Crump, the civil rights lawyer who handles high-profile cases of police misconduct across the country.
We wouldn't be hearing about this case if it weren't for the high profile lawyer, Ben Crump. I often see his name attached to cases that receive national attention.

I do tend to jump around when trying to understand a situation. Different questions bound into my head. So, I wanted to look into who is governor of Mississippi. It's a t---- - endorsed Republican, but he only won narrowly. I know, I shouldn't distract from the original reason for this post but I'll just say he was challenged by a Democrat who is a 2nd cousin to Elvis Presley.

If Democrat Brandon Presley wins in Mississippi it would buck 20 years of precedent [NPR;11.8.23]

Some more seemingly irrelevant point about Mississippi. However, read on...

Data Dive: Which states tax groceries? [Mississippi Today; 9.24.2022]]

Mississippi is one of only 13 states that tax groceries, and at 7%, the state’s tax is the highest in the nation.
Grocery taxes only continue to burden low-income people, which compounds another problem of food insecurity: Mississippi has the highest food insecurity rate in the country, according to 2020 data provided by Feeding America.

Mississippi, the poorest state, also has one of the highest sales tax rates across the board, matching Indiana, Rhode Island and Tennessee. California has the highest sales tax of 7.25%.

The debate on whether or not to cut Mississippi's grocery tax has persisted for years, with late politician Alan Nunnelee calling the 7% tax "the most cruel tax any government can impose" as far back as 2007.
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A few of us have been talking over in the 'US elections - 2024' about the Black vote and that African Americans, more and more as a group, have had enough with both political parties as they watch people of other identities and nationalities get US funds for all manner of things, but not them.

I decided to post this opinion piece over here, because it doesn't strictly have to do with elections. Maura Cheeks mentions state- and city-level efforts at reparations. She also addresses whether the US can afford the expense and the ongoing nature of discrimination.

What Do We Owe Black Americans? [NYTimes Opinion-guest essay; 2.13.24]
A few of us have been talking over in the 'US elections - 2024' about the Black vote and that African Americans, more and more as a group, have had enough with both political parties as they watch people of other identities and nationalities get US funds for all manner of things, but not them.

I decided to post this opinion piece over here, because it doesn't strictly have to do with elections. Maura Cheeks mentions state- and city-level efforts at reparations. She also addresses whether the US can afford the expense and the ongoing nature of discrimination.

What Do We Owe Black Americans? [NYTimes Opinion-guest essay; 2.13.24]

The frustration has been building for years, and it's come to a head the past several years.

I'm starting to rethink my position on cash reparations. I like the idea of tax-exempt status for Black Americans and their heirs.

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