Tag: George Floyd

Teri has finally dragged the original Smart Girl, Stacy Mott, back into the fold. Stacy explains where she’s been the last six years, and the girls reminisce about the past — including their funny weekend with Andrew Breitbart. They also talk about how tea party rallies compare to today’s rally-riots and how we get past the divide.

This week on “The Learning Curve,” Cara and Gerard open with commentary on the George Floyd tragedy and K-12 education’s role in addressing racial injustice. Then, they are joined by Jeffrey Riley, the Massachusetts Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education, to talk about the unprecedented challenges of COVID-19. Commissioner Riley walks them through the remote learning guidance he issued, the timeline since the closures in March, and efforts to meet financial and technological obstacles in different parts of the state. He discusses work to acclimate teachers to online learning platforms, and options for re-opening in the fall. He also shares an innovative program that he launched in Lawrence that is now available in other parts of the state to respond to the growing demand for vocational education. Lastly, they delve into how to improve the Boston Public Schools, the subject of a recent audit warning about graduation rates, facilities, and academic performance, with 30 of the district’s schools ranking in the bottom 10 percent statewide.

Story of the Week: Cara and Gerard reflect on the George Floyd murder, police brutality, and racial injustice across America, and the important role of school leaders and teachers in facilitating constructive dialogue. How can education policymaking help with this ongoing crisis? They discuss the benefits of increasing access to high-quality educational opportunities and early literacy programs; engaging in conversations about our broken criminal justice system; improving the preparation of police officer candidates; and ensuring that people of all races feel empowered to speak up in support of human dignity and against injustice.

Coach Tea is back for a frank conversation with Bridget about George Floyd, the protests, the riots, the looting, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the concept of white privilege. They discuss the frustration that a real issue has become a Trojan horse for all sorts of other agendas, how the movement has been co-opted, why solutions need to be personal and not legislated, and the problem with the argument “if you’re silent, you’re part of the problem.” They cover how capitalism fights racism, why the phrase “for the greater good” is so terrifying, how insanity is always louder than sanity, and the underlying insult inherent in white people apologizing for their privilege.

**Warning** This episode is not for the easily offended and is more explicit than usual. Full transcript available here: WiW82-CoachTea-Transcript

The Media Wants Division, the People Want Peace

 

Cable news is in the business of division. For decades, they have sown discord whether Republican vs. Democrat, Black vs. White, Civilian vs. Cop. I stopped watching their nonsense years ago, saving me from endless hours of people screaming at each other over lurid B-roll.

When I interview a guest or meet someone new, I find areas of mutual agreement and build from there. I no longer try to score cheap points or emphasize flaws to judge. I have enough flaws of my own; once I correct all of those, perhaps I’ll have time to judge others. Don’t think I’ll get there for a while.

Apologies to my media betters, but I will not hate police officers and I will not hate victims of police brutality. I won’t hate the protestors or the security trying to keep the peace.

It Didn’t Have to Be This Bad

 

Martin Luther King Jr. would be heartbroken. The apostle of nonviolence who did so much to lift up black Americans has been succeeded by a thugocracy that expresses grievances through violence and criminal behavior. The dreamer who yearned for an America where his children would be judged not by their skin color but by the “content of their character” has been replaced by leaders aggressively promoting “identity politics.”

I remember an America of the 1950s that nobody thought was perfect, but where conditions were ceaselessly improving. America was owning up to its legacy of slavery and Jim Crow and determined to change it.

Economic conditions for black families were rapidly improving. Barriers to education, voting, and professional advancement were being swept aside. I thought myself fortunate to undoubtedly be a member of the first generation ever where race just wouldn’t matter that much.

City Journal contributing editors Coleman Hughes and Rafael Mangual discuss the protests and riots across the United States—including attacks on police officers—and the dispiriting state of American racial politics. The unrest began last week, in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death in police custody in Minneapolis.

The disorder should not be surprising, Mangual notes, because “police have been the targets of a poisonous, decades-long campaign to paint law enforcement as a violent cog in the machine of a racially oppressive criminal-justice system.” Hughes wonders whether fixing the perception that police are unfair to black Americans is even achievable.

James Mattis Compares Donald Trump to Nazis in Statement to The Atlantic

 

In a statement given to the Leftist magazine The Atlantic, former Secretary of Defense James Mattis compared his former boss President Donald Trump to Nazis. Mattis wrote:

Instructions given by the military departments to our troops before the Normandy invasion reminded soldiers that “The Nazi slogan for destroying us…was ‘Divide and Conquer.’ Our American answer is ‘In Union there is Strength.’” We must summon that unity to surmount this crisis—confident that we are better than our politics.

Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people—does not even pretend to try. Instead he tries to divide us. We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort. We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership.

Black Lives Matter: The Ideological Heir to Black Power

 

It’s become customary to refer to the Black Lives Matter movement, without much challenge, as one of the civil rights movements of our time. In other instances, it’s suggested that it’s the progeny of the civil rights movement itself.

But to say or imply that Black Lives Matter is the offspring of the civil rights movement of the 1960s is to misunderstand the history and character of that great moral revolution. It is to also misunderstand, or outright ignore, the intentions of Black Lives Matter while disregarding or rationalizing its tactics, agenda, and its aims. Black Lives Matter is in no way a civil rights movement and it’s certainly not an heir to the civil rights movement. The conduct consistently displayed and condoned by far too many Black Lives Matter members, in combination with the agenda expressed by its leaders, disqualifies Black Lives Matter from any consideration of being an extension of the civil rights movement.

The civil rights movement, all things considered, had a moral authority that the Black Lives Matter movement demonstrably lacks. The civil rights movement was centered in, and had the backing of a considerable portion of, the black church. Despite the lack of religious unification and support by both black and white churches, the activists in the civil rights movement were determined to appeal to the moral conscience of the nation by showing the world the egregious reality of segregation by exposing the violent actions of its defenders. This was successfully accomplished through a program of nonviolence, redemptive suffering, and civil disobedience. These direct actions applied Christian principles on one hand, and the aspirations of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution on the other. Civil rights activists deliberately refused to respond in kind to the treatment they received by those who opposed their mission. This meant that taunting and aggressively confronting the police, characteristic of Black Lives Matter militants, weren’t permitted.

It’s something when there is worse news than over 100K people dying of a virus and 40 million people filing for unemployment in the last several months. Add protests, both peaceful and violent to the mix resulting in millions of dollars in property damage, injuries, and death. The guys take a 50,000 view of the protests and also discuss what stands out the most and good, if any, will come of it.

They also discuss news items that aren’t getting covered due to the protests.

It’s Always Easier. . .

 

When I joined in 1981, the Albuquerque Police Department had a technique for restraining unruly suspects called “Total Appendage Restraint Procedure” or TARP. Despite the grandiose name, it simply meant cuffing one ankle with a set of leg irons, looping the chain around the chain of the handcuffs the arrestee had on (behind their back, of course) and cuffing the other ankle. The prisoner was thus trussed with bent knees, unable punch or kick and with limited mobility to bite or head-butt. We were taught how to do this in the police academy, but I don’t recall any instruction on the policy for monitoring the person so restrained. We were told to call it TARP and not “hogtie” or “suitcase.”

All was well until the late ’90s. An officer put a TARPed prisoner into the back of his car, face-down. When he got to the jail, the suspect was dead. It turns out that if you lay someone prone who has vascular or lung problems or is obese, is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and/or is agitated, they may die. The cause is something called “positional asphyxia.”

Seth Barron and Nicole Gelinas discuss the eruption of lawlessness in Midtown Manhattan and other parts of New York City and the inability of Mayor de Blasio and the NYPD to quell the worst criminal violence.

In the wake of George Floyd’s death in police custody in Minneapolis, cities across the nation have seen large demonstrations in the last week. Many have degenerated into urban riots, with violence, looting, and property destruction, in a wholesale collapse of public order. In New York City, clashes between protesters and police in Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan turned violent over the weekend, followed by fires and looting in midtown and the Bronx on Monday night. Meantime, the city’s elected officials refuse to tell demonstrators to stay home amid the escalating violence and a still-active coronavirus pandemic.

Tweeting vs. Rioting

 

The explosive video of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, a white male, with his knee firmly planted on the neck of local, black resident George Floyd for nearly nine minutes, brings to public attention two forms of immunity from liability.

The first is a police officer’s broad level of qualified immunity. Floyd, who was detained under suspicion of passing a counterfeit $20 bill, became non-responsive and died shortly thereafter. Several days later, Office Chauvin was charged with murder on the correct ground that he lost his qualified immunity from prosecution because his actions so manifestly violated established norms of police behavior. That charging decision was met with universal approbation across the political spectrum, but was preceded by widespread acts of violence in Minneapolis and around the nation, bringing massive destruction to the property of innocent residents, which only intensified even after the prosecution was announced.

There are many urgent and cogent calls today to reduce the burdens needed to overcome the qualified immunity for police officers, calls that are long overdue. But just as police officers must be held accountable for the damage they cause, so too must the rioters who have opportunistically used Floyd’s killing to inflict further harm on innocent bystanders. The First Amendment’s right of the people “peaceably to assemble” provides no immunity to such acts of violence.

Confronting Uncomfortable Realities

 

In over 37 years of writing and commenting on current events, I don’t think I’ve ever struggled with whether or not to write on any particular topic as much as I have this one. The problem isn’t that it’s difficult to condemn murderers. On the contrary, what happened to Mr. George Floyd is unimaginable, and yet we saw it happen right in front of us. I can’t fathom what this gentleman went through, begging for mercy, crying while trying to simply breathe before ultimately losing consciousness and dying. A nation watched as that gentleman was killed, begging for his very life under the suffocating weight of a cop who was as passively disinterested in his victim as a predator in the wild waiting for the death of its prey. Likewise, hunting down and killing a black man out on a jog, as that stupid little posse of murderers did to Ahmad Aubrey, is equally infuriating and incomprehensibly vile. It’s inhuman. It’s depraved. And it is inexcusable. Period. Full stop.

Under those circumstances, uniting the country really wasn’t difficult at all. From the White House to practically every house, every church, every business and social gathering in the country, all were horrified, angered, and continue to demand justice for George Floyd, Ahmad Aubrey, as well as their families and friends. That nationwide anguish and anger undoubtedly helped bring about the firing of all the officers involved, murder charges against the officer with his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck, the likelihood of charges against the other officers, and brought murder charges against those who savagely killed Ahmad Aubrey.

However, those actions have been deemed insufficient by the mob, which expects us to sit passively by and watch cities burn, see lives and livelihoods destroyed, and genuflect deeply to miscreants who take yet more lives and beat up innocent people. You see, I had meant to write a more conciliatory piece, but after multiple nights of mindless destruction, I don’t much feel like appeasing anarchists anymore. I’m told we must confront some uncomfortable realities. Fair enough:

Member Post

 

The death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin has sparked nationwide protests, largely because Floyd was a black man and it is claimed that he was the victim of racially motivated mistreatment. The case has parallels to the Boston Massacre that occurred just 250 years ago on March 25, […]

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When the Fight Is Over, It’s Over

 

Since I’ve been in the arena, for what it’s worth I’ll comment on the George Floyd incident in Minneapolis. This is the second major incident that indicates there is something wrong with the training model and the hiring model of the Minneapolis Police Department. Every police department and sheriff’s office in the United States should be looking at this incident and assessing their training and hiring model. They should be asking themselves; “Could this happen to us?”

Training is expensive and it should not stop after an officer graduates from the academy. In-service training should continue on a regular basis for officers and supervisors. In-service training is expensive, but the lack of in-service training could cost lives, not just dollars. In-service training also allows trainers to assess a department’s officers on a regular basis.

It’s all bad martinis today! After a brief commentary on the CDC still not getting its coronavirus guidelines straight, Jim and Greg groan for the First Amendment as Twitter starts meddling with free speech and President Trump starts threatening government regulation of social media.  They also shudder at the death of George Floyd at the hands of four Minneapolis police officers, which was caught on video. And they discuss the story of the “Central Park Karen” and whether being cooped up for months has some people itching for confrontations.