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Charlottesville Reality

Charlottesville Reality

Everyone has seen the awful events that took place in Charlottesville Virginia (8/12/17). Neo-Nazi, anti-semitic, alt-right racist planned an attack on our country and carried it out. Lives were lost, people were injured, and those of us who watched these things happen on the news were horrified. Our president Donald Trump made a statement immediately after the attacks and refused to call these attacks terrorism and refused to denounce the alt-right white supremacists by name. Some people were shocked by his comments, and a lot of people are still hoping he will denounce these hate groups by name. I do not share this hope. I am happy he didn’t denounce these hate groups, and here’s why.

President Trump hired a leader in the alt-right white supremacist movement and made him a senior advisor (Steve Bannon). There are many more like Steve Bannon who work in Trump’s administration with very close ties to hate groups and a well documented history of their racist beliefs. Most of the people who consider themselves a part of Trump’s base are well aware of the people Trump has chosen to surround himself with. They are aware of Trump’s racist well established world view (Central Park 5, housing discrimination, birtherism, Islamophobia, staffing choices in his casinos and hotels, encouraging police brutality, Judge Curiel, etc).

Charlottesville Reality

They got an earful of it at every Trump rally. The nastier the rhetoric, the louder they cheered. He didn’t try to hide his racist views so it always puzzled me why establishment Republicans believed this was an act that would go away after he took the oath of office. As if putting his hand on the Bible would change the ways of a 70 year old man.

This is why I believe his supporters who are holding out hope that he’ll make another statement with a more forceful unequivocal denunciation of the neo-Nazi white supremacist hate groups, aren’t really hoping he has seen the error in his beliefs and the hate in his heart. What they are hoping for is plausible deniability. They want to pretend they are unaware of Trump’s bigoted views. They want to pretend their support of him has nothing to do with him being a racist. They want to continue ignoring the background of his advisors. They want to continue to believe that his win in 2016 had nothing to do with race. They want to continue to believe that political correctness and not race are the real problems we’re facing right now. Events like Charlottesville rips away that cover. President Trump’s non-denouncement of specific hate groups that took the lives of Americans shines a light on something that was there all along. We have a racist president with racist views who will always sympathize with people and groups who have beliefs similar to his own.

That’s why I hope he doesn’t try to walk-back his statement about “hate on both sides”. From this point on, his supporters must be honest about why they thought he would “make America great again”. Or at the very least stop acting surprised and outraged at his behavior whenever that shield of deniability slips and gives us another peek at the bigot behind it. #Charlottesville #altRightWhiteHouse #SociallyUrban

Game Of Thrones Change

HBO’s biggest hit Game of Thrones just debuted the first episode of their 7th season this past Sunday.  I was a huge fan of the show from the very start.  I was hooked from the very beginning way back in 2011.  Before watching that first episode I hadn’t even heard of the book series.  I was a Game of Thrones newbie totally unaware of all the major plot twist, scandalous palace intrigue, and jaw-dropping cliffhangers.  Given how popular the books were I’m shocked I’ve managed to avoid spoilers (knock on wood).  For those who are loyal readers of my blog I’m sure you’re wondering what this has to do with politics.  This isn’t a review of the series and I wouldn’t waste your time by posting a blog just to gush about how great Game of Thrones is.  For me writing helps organize my thoughts flesh out ideas and find meaning within that process.  That’s exactly what I’m doing with this post.

After watching the first episode of season 7 I decided to go back to season one and watch it from the very beginning to see things I missed and to help remember some of the things I had forgotten.

Game of thrones change

King Robert Baratheon and Eddard Stark

When I got to episode 7 of season 1 where King Robert Baratheon gets fatally injured during a hunting trip and names Eddard Stark as his successor, I was shocked at how differently I viewed the actions of Stark now in 2017 than I did in 2011.

Stark was the moral, always do the right thing type of character who believed in honor and fairness. His unflinching morality blinded him to the snakes and backstabbers who we’re all around him. When he was advised to take action immediately and order the detention of the dead King’s son and the king’s conniving wife before they try to grab the throne, nobel intentioned Stark refused to take the advice. He thought a written and signed letter by the recently dead King naming him (Stark) as his successor was good enough to protect him and he’d take the throne with no problems.

Watching it in 2017 I thought to myself, what a naive idiot.  If he wasn’t willing to spill blood and use his power to imprison the conspirators, he doesn’t deserve to sit on the throne and rule the 7 kingdoms.  Then I remembered how much I liked his character when I first watched this episode in 2011. Game of Thrones changeI admired him for doing the right thing and not stooping to the level of the evil Lannisters.  Even though his inaction eventually lead to his death I respected his decisions.  After realizing how much my view of him changed I wanted to know why.  What happened between 2011 and 2017?  What caused such a dramatic shift?  Then it came to me. Politics.

In 2011 Barack Obama was president and I was very optimistic about the President’s agenda and his ability to enact the ideas he campaigned on.  A black family living in the White House was very inspirational to me.  Then 2016 happened and winter finally came.  Trump vs Hillary was the most negative, dirty, and divisive presidential campaign I have ever witnessed.  Trump’s message was ugly, disingenuous, unpresidential, narcissistic and at times blatantly racist.  The lower he sunk Republicans seemed to cheer even louder. I just knew Hillary would win.  I thought there was no way Americans would reward his lies and nastiness by giving him the White House.  After I was proven wrong I think I became a lot more cynical and pessimistic about everything. Not just in politics, I mean everything everything.  When you’re disillusioned in that way you have to rethink your worldview to make sense of it all.  That’s why my opinion of Eddard Stark’s character changed so much.

Who knows how much of this is temporary.  I’m hoping after Trump’s term is up, America will come to it’s senses and elect someone who’s qualified for the job with a working (and frequently consulted) moral compass. I hope it’s enough to restore my faith in humanity.  I’ll let you know in 2020 after I rewatch season 1 episode 7 of Game of Thrones sometime after the election.

…to be continued.

Truth And Patriotism

This truth and patriotism post is a discussion that took place on a forum I participated in. The fact that it took place on Independence Day was purely coincidental, but the unintended relevance of the holiday is the reason I decided to share it with you. This person’s comment I responded to was talking about his dislike of President Obama and what fueled that dislike. The screenshot is his comment and my response to him is below the screenshot.

Truth And Patriotism

I’m not challenging your assertion that President Obama’s race had nothing to do with your disagreements with him on policy. I don’t know you and I can’t see what’s in your head, so I’ll take your word on that. But I do have to challenge your assertion that our country was built on “self-pride, self-support, and self-respect”. That is definitely not true. This country was built on the blood of slaves and kept afloat with the generational subjugation and oppression of the offspring slavery produced. Jim Crow laws and legislation that purposely disenfranchised African-Americans created a system of government where African-Americans were free on paper but oppressed by law. To pretend those facts don’t exist does a disservice to history which dooms us to repeat those atrocities and blinds us to the inequalities that still exist.

I have no problem with displays of patriotism and those who take pride in the greatness of America. But I believe owning up to America’s shortcomings can be a form of patriotism where we can all marvel at and take pride in how far we’ve come. That’s exactly what the founding fathers meant when they wrote about forming a more perfect union in our Constitution. To do that we must acknowledge the past and never ever stop working to make things better for the next generation.

Happy Independence Day Everyone!

Impeach Trump NOW

We’re at the 56 day mark for President Trump’s first term in office. We all knew this wasn’t going to be a traditional presidency and from watching Trump during the campaign I knew he’d make a disastrous president but never in my wildest nightmares did I expect it to be this bad this soon. The incompetence, the secrecy, the mismanagement, the infighting, the irreverent disrespect of norms and tradition, the lack of leadership, the paranoia, the toxic relationship with the press, the nepotism, the staff’s lack of government experience, constant scandal after scandal, and worst of all the avalanche of lies from Trump and his administration that bombards us daily.

Never in our nations history have we had a president who lies so easily and then forces his staff to deal with the aftermath and clean up the mess he made. We’ve seen this play out over and over again with each new lie he tells. This damage control process has become very familiar to us:

When Trump sent that absurd untrue tweet 2 weeks ago accusing President Obama of committing a felony (wire tapping Trump Tower), and insulting President Obama by calling him “a sick guy” that should have been enough to get republicans to start questioning the President’s ability to serve his full term as President. How can they say their party believes in integrity, honesty, and leadership and still support Trump? If those values meant anything to them they would call a meeting with the democrats and hammer out a plan to remove this corrosive cancer who’s a bigger threat to our democracy than terrorism. Each day Trump is allowed to stay in office, he makes us weaker as a country.

We’re only 56 days in and Trump had to fire his National Security Adviser for lieing about his contact with Russian officials during the presidential campaign. His attorney General committed perjury during his Senate confirmation hearing and had to recuse himself from the investigation into the Trump campaign’s possible collusion with Russian officials who hacked the DNC to help Trump win. Trump’s first military mission was a failure that led to the deaths of a US service member and an American little girl. When interviewed about the disastrous mission Trump didn’t take any responsibility at all as commander in chief. Instead he blamed his generals. His executive order that issued a travel ban targeting Muslim majority countries got smacked down by 3 different courts. He lied about winning the popular vote. Has his family sit in on meetings and takes a vacation to Palm Beach every weekend to play golf, which costs US taxpayers $3.5 million for each trip. And his healthcare bill will fail in the Senate.No to trump

I just don’t see how we can live with a president who lies compulsively, who’s under investigation for collusion with a foreign government, and thinks he can take every weekend off. He spends more time speaking at campaign style rallies, flying back and forth between DC and his properties and playing golf than he does in the white house workingfor the American people.

HEY PAUL RYAN AND MITCH MCCONNELL, please put what’s best for our country before your loyalty to your political party and tell Trump to resign or get impeached. We can’t have this kind of cahos and incompetence bringing us down for the next 4 years. The way things have been going is absolutely unsustainable.

Progressive Revolt

Since the election of Donald Trump democrats have found their voice, stiffened their spines and launched an unprecedented progressive revolt. We saw the first signs of how large this movement was during the women’s march in Washington DC on the weekend of Trump’s inauguration. Close to a million people showed up and dwarfed the crowd size of Trump’s inauguration supporters (which drove Trump absolutely crazy). People all over the country decided that Trump and his divisive, misogynistic, racist, Islamophobic, anti-intellectual brand of fascism can not be allowed to destroy this country. So of course the next logical step is to figure out how to successfully oppose him.

Progressive Revolt

Trump did win the electoral vote and therefore won the presidency. But a huge majority of voters voted for Hillary Clinton instead of Trump. She got 3 million more votes than him (which also drives him crazy). This means we are the majority and there are ways to stop his legislative agenda from being enacted. The Tea Party who strongly opposed President Obama was able to grind the gears that produced new legislation and approves presidental appointees to a hault even when democrats held power in both houses. The Tea Party did this with a very small number of activist and with ideas that were very unpopular with a majority of Americans. If they were able to do all of that with small numbers and unpopular beliefs, imagine what progressives can do with huge numbers and mainstream ideas that makes sense.

Two weeks of Trump in office has already produced an unprecedented number of scandals and disasters.

  • Broke his promise to “drain the swamp” and instead filled his cabinet with billionaires, former Goldman Sachs executives, and lobbiest.
  • Lied about the size of his inauguration crowd & ordered the US Parks Dept to produce a photo that makes his crowd look larger than the protest, which of course they couldn’t do because no such photo exist.
  • Made a narcissistic speech in front of a memorial wall that recognized slain CIA operatives.
  • Made ignorant racist comments about civil rights hero John Lewis and belittled his contributions to America.
  • Needlessly combative phone conversations with US allies & spent a large part of the conversations telling them how big his inauguration crowd was and how “bigly” his campaign win over Hilary was.
  • Threatened to send troops into Mexico.
  • Ordered his press secretary to give an angry scolding lecture to the press because they would not report his lie about how many atteneded his inauguration.
  • Barred all government agencies from communicating with the press and the legislature.
  • Launched a disastrous military mission which lead to the deaths of one US soldier, an American 8 year old little girl, a crashed military helicopter and at least 14 other civilian deaths which were mostly women and children. Inspite of all this Trump and his press secretary called the mission a success.
  • Signed an executive order banning entry into the United States for 8 Muslim majority countries without consulting any agency outside of the White House which lead to chaos and confusion at airports and a large number of unconstitutional detainments.
  • Fired acting Attorney General for not defending Trump’s unconstitutional Muslim ban / travel ban.
  • Added political strategist (and white supremacist) Steve Bannon as a permanent member of the National Security Council while removing the director of national intelligence and the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff as permanent members.Trump &white supremacist Steve Bannon
  • Decided to make American tax payers pay for an unnecessary wall on our southern border instead of keeping his campaign promise to make Mexico pay for it.
  • Used his speech at the national prayer breakfast to talk about how huge his ratings were on his former reality tv show The Apprentice compared to the new host Arnold Schwarzenegger’s ratings.
  • Had General Flynn give a press conference to let Iran know we are “putting them on notice”, but did not explain what that meant and did not change our military posture. The White House didn’t even warn our military service members in the region that the “on notice” speech was coming.
  • Yes Donald Trump is President, but we need to recognize that his power as president is directly related to the amount of voices who stay silent.  If the size of the opposition so far is an indicator of the size of the opposition movement ahead, Trump and his party’s hold on power is a lot weaker than any president we’ve seen in recent history.  So don’t sit at home and live in fear of what might come next. Get involved!  Check out the links below and post any information you may have about ways to get involved in the comment section.

    Indivisible Action Guide Video

    http://www.indivisibleguide.com

    www.whatdoidoabouttrump.com

Save The ACA Save My Life

Now that Donald Trump is our new President and republicans have control over the house and the Senate, they are working to get rid of the Affordable Care Act even though they have not presented a replacement to the American people. They had 6 years to create an alternative but chose not to pursue it (which baffles me).

As a person living with a genetic blood disorder known as Sickle Cell I’m very afraid of the repeal of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). Having my life in the hands of Donald Trump and Paul Ryan isn’t a good feeling. Calling it anxiety would be an understatement. Without government run Healthcare there is no way I could afford to see my doctor. With Sickle Cell I have to get blood transfusions, outpatient IV treatments, blood labs every month, hospital stays when I have sickle cell pain crisis (that could last a few days or a few weeks), 4 different prescriptions that I have to fill each month and a lot of other health issues that arise from my weakened immune system. So for me this isn’t a political issue or a republican vs democrat issue. It’s literally a life vs death issue. Of course the ACA is not perfect by any means but I wish they could work on ways to improve it instead of a complete repel.

It seems like those who are in favor of a repel are the people who are lucky enough to have good health and the people who can afford to see a doctor and pay for their prescriptions with or without the ACA. I want those people to think about people like me and ask themselves what is the best solution for our entire population as a whole. Every American should have access to health care and every American deserves that right. Rich, poor, black, white, gay, straight EVERYONE!  No matter who you are, you deserve to have a healthy full life.  What kind of person looks at the sick and the poor as a burden?  That doesn’t sound like an exceptional unified and free country.  

If you agree please call your state representatives and let them know how you feel. Leave a messge if you can’t get an answer. If enough people call, it could save health care, and save millions of lives as well. When is the next time you’ll be able to save a life with a phone call? …Exactly!

Rev Barber Undoing Trumpism

Rev Barber Undoing Trumpism

Like many progressives the election of Donal Trump left me in a very depressed withdrawn and sometimes angry state. I have read and listened to many of our leaders try to give pep talks but all of them were woefully inadequate.  Then I read an article written by Reverend Dr William Barber and found my inspiration.  “Birth Pangs Of A Third Reconstruction” is a brilliant assessment of our current political reality post-election and a diagnosis of Trumpism’s cancer.  Rev Barber traces the roots of our current political situation to America’s first Reconstruction at the end of the 1800’s.

…every stride toward freedom in U.S. history has been met with this same backlash.  We faced it during Reconstruction, in the shadow of slavery and amid the wreckage of the Civil War. African Americans joined hands with whites in the North and in the South who were willing to see one another as allies.

Within four years after the end of the Civil War, white and black alliances controlled every state house in the South. Together, they elected new leaders. Almost all of the southern legislatures were controlled by either a predominantly black alliance or a strong interracial fusion coalition. They hammered out new constitutions from a deeply moral perspective.

These fusion coalitions 150 years ago also built the first public schools and in state constitutions gave all persons a constitutional right to public education — somethingRev Barber Undoing Trumpism

that to this day has not been done in the federal constitution. In the state constitution of North Carolina they stated that “beneficent provision for the poor, the unfortunate, and the orphan is one of the first duties of a civilized and a Christian state.” They included labor rights and the right to “enjoyment of the fruit of your own labor” in 1868, long before the Knights of Labor came south with their first southern campaign.

They knew then — black and white together — from a moral fusion perspective, that labor without living wages is just a different form of slavery. They expanded access to the ballot and wrote a new fairness into criminal justice.

His plan to overcome the current backlash in response to changing demographics and 8 years of a black president, is so simple and left me thinking why I hadn’t heard more of this during our presidential campaign.

First, we must recognize the need for indigenously led, state-based, state-government focused, deeply moral, deeply constitutional, anti-racist, anti-poverty, pro-justice, pro-labor, and transformative movement building. There’s no shortcut around this. We must build a movement from the bottom up. We must build relationships at the state level because that’s where most of the extremism of the current-day deconstructionists are happening.

They see the possibility of a Third Reconstruction, which is why they’re working so hard this time to strangle it in its cradle — and we must know that. We have to recognize that helicopter leadership by so-called national leaders will not sustain a moral movement. What you need are local movements.

Obviously Trump and his supporters have no legitimate moral argument for any of the policies they are pushing just like the pro-slavery faction of the 1800’s, and the anti-civil rights faction in the 1960’s.Undoing Trumpism The lesson to take from that; if you appeal to the civility and inherent sense of fairness in an honest and sincere way, people will begin to open themselves and really listen to what you have to say. That’s how you build a diverse coalition of both democrats and republicans. But one thing progressives must do is make sure the leaders who take on this message have the credibility to say it with conviction. Local organizers, pastors, local social justice leaders, and advocacy group leaders are perfectly poised to take this on.

This new movement isn’t about “taking back America”. That kind of language implies that one party is more American than the other. It also implies that one group is more deserving of America’s promise than the other. That kind of thinking will never advance our ideas.  We’re all Americans. This movement is about restoring America. Restoring it back to the moral leader of the world. Restoring it back to the ideals that made us great. Reverend Barber has not only given us the blueprint, he has proven it can work. Now it’s time to upgrade the “Moral Monday” movement that ousted republican governor Pat McCrory in North Carolina, and replicate it in all 50 states.

Great article, great message, great man, great plan and most importantly, great inspiration. To read Rev Barber’s full article go to https://thinkprogress.org/rev-barber-moral-change-1ad2776df7c#.vn17l4ym7

Why I’m Voting For Hillary

Socially Urban Blog is proud to announce our support and endorsement of Hillary Rodham Clinton for President of the United States of America.

As the founder and editor in chief of Socially Urban, here’s why I trust Hillary and think she’s exactly the kind of president we need. I know some people think this is a bad word but I am not one of those people. The word I want to reclaim as something positive is “politician”. Hillary is an experienced politician who does the duties of that profession very well. A politician listens to the country and her supporters and then decides what direction would satisfy the people most. For example, during her primary with Bernie Sanders she wasn’t talkimg much about trade policy at the beginning. But as that issue became important she listened and adjusted her focus to accommodate this. Some may call it a flip flop, but I think it was a good politican doing what the job required. I think it made her even more suitable for the job as president. We want a president who hears the people. Who looks at polls, who constantly adjust to the will of the people. That is who Hillary is.

I always say activist would make horrible legislators because they aren’t swayed by public opinion and they don’t adjust when an adjustment is needed. They have an ideology that must be adhered to and their actions rationalized as the ends justifying the means. Those are great qualities to have if you’re leading a movement or if you have one specific cause or issue that you’re passionate about, but those are horrible qualities to have when you’re trying to run an entire country and make decisions that are in the best interest of our country as a whole.Socially Urban Blog The job of president is about consensus building, and compromise. Bernie Sanders is a great Senator, and he is passionate about income inequality. But his myopic view wouldn’t have made a good president (in my opinion).

We have all seen how Hillary operates over the past 30 years. We’ve seen her under pressure. We’ve seen her deal with foreign leaders. We’ve seen her listen and change with the times. She’s exactly who we need as president for the next 8 years. If you think she’s not progressive enough, make your case, organize, push her in that direction. That’s our job as citizens, as activist. I promise she will listen just like she listened in the primary. Politicans care about their approval numbers, they care about how they are covered in the media. That is our leverage.

If you sit home on election day because Bernie isn’t on the ballot, you are contributing to the apathy and cynicism that lost the house and Senate in 2010. If you’re a hardcore progressive who thinks Trump and Clinton are just alike, you really need to do some research about Obama’s 2 terms in office. If he didn’t win that first election gay marriage wouldn’t be legal in all 50 states, we wouldn’t have avoided a war with Iran by getting them to shutdown their nuclear program through diplomacy. The economy would have continued to spiral downward. We wouldn’t have the Affordable Care Act that gave 11 million people health insurance who didn’t have any before. The Libbey Ledbetter act for equal pay for women wouldn’t have been signed into law. Osama Bin Laden would still be alive planning new ways to attack our country. Don’t you think this is worth your vote? All of this happened because we elected Barack Obama instead of his republican opponet.

That’s why you need to support Hillary. If she doesn’t win I can guarantee her republican opponent will not do anything to reform our criminal justice system. He wouldn’t do a damn thing about police shooting unarmed black men. He even said he’d punish women for exercising their constitutional right to make decisions about their reproductive health. These two candidates are not the same. The two parties are not the same. Hillary Clinton is the only intelligent choice to make. The ideal candidate you have in your head doesn’t exist. Hillary is the only logical choice and I’m very happy to announce my support for her candidacy. As the editor and creator of Socially Urban Blog and as a private citizen I’m happily announcing my endorsement for President of the United States, Hillary Clinton.

Trump Is a Normal Republican Politician

Contrary to the narrative establishment republicans would like us to believe, Donald Trump’s rhetoric actions and campaign isn’t that different from your average republican politician. If you examine some of his most offensive remarks and tactics you’ll find a lot of other republican politicians who’ve said or done something very similar.

During Trump and Sectary Clinton’s 2nd debate, Trump invited 4 of the women who claimed to have some kind of sexual encounter with former president Bill Clinton. Trump sat them in the audience in an attempt to rattle Secretary Clinton and maybe gain some kind of edge over her. Establishment republicans claimed to be disgusted by this but the hypocrisy is too obvious to ignore.

In 2013 President Obama was set to deliver the first State Of The Union address of his second term.Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump Debate 2016 Republican Congressman Steve Stockman chose to invite 1970’s has-been racist rocker Ted Nugent as his guest. Nugent called the president a “sub-human mongrel” in an interview a few weeks prior to the address. In that same interview he hinted at an assassination attempt if Obama won. In another interview he said Obama and Hillary could “suck the end of his machine gun”. The Secret Service took his comments very seriously and went to interview him in person to see if he planned to put any of his threats into action. Right after the election was over Nugent said “pimps hoes and welfare babies got their president”. ted-nugent-socially-urban-blog Knowing all of this republican congressman Steve Stockman thought it was a good idea to invite Nugent as his special guest. And surprisingly none of Stockman’s republican colleagues came out against this. None of them tried to stop him (which Speaker of the House John Boehner could have done), none of them tried to distance themselves from him or anything like that. It was extremely disheartening to see Republicans treating this as a joke while the people who protect the president with their lives were rightfully concerned.

I know republicans are trying their hardest to distance themselves from Donald Trump right now, but we shouldn’t let this kind of political cowardice and opportunism go without any kind of acknowledgement. Their newfound outrage over Trump making misogynist comments bragging about his ability to sexually assault any woman he wanted, shouldn’t have been a surprise to anyone. He’s been talking like that for decades. ted-nugent-steve-stockman-sociallyurbana In a Howard Stern interview he was asked if he respected women. Trump thought about it for a minute then said probably not. And that’s just one small example out of mountains of public easy to find evidence confirming his disrespect for women.

So when republicans begin to act outraged by the next Trump scandal (and we all know they’ll be another), please look at them with a heavy dose of skepticism.

Where’s The Video Gov McCrory

Gov Pat McCrory

North Carolina’s Governor Pat McCrory and the state’s republican led legislature had a very different way to address the police shootings of unarmed African-American men happening in our state and around the country. The most recent shooting took place in Charlotte just a few days ago. There are conflicting accounts of what happened but here are the basics. Keith Lamont Scott was sitting in his car waiting for his son to get out of school. A Charlotte police officer arrived on the scene to serve a warrant to another man who had no connection to Keith Scott at all. At some point Keith exits his car and a few seconds later the officer shot and killed Keith as his family and neighbors looked on in horror. There are a lot of questions that need to be answered but our governor Pat McCrory and the republican led legislature passed a bill last month that will further inflame the already tense relationship between African Americans and police. And the really sad part about the bill is there was no need for it at all. McCrory is up for reelection and his race became a lot tighter than he expected. To help turn out the republican base he crafted a number of bills just to get his supporters to turn out and vote for him in November.

A month ago they announced, passed, and signed into law a bill that prohibits the release of police body cam and dash cam video to the public. In order to see any of the video from police dash or body cams it has to first be where-is-the-video-gov-mccrory-protest-photoapproved by the governor or adjudicated by a judge. The bill was written to give the governor total discretion over this and there’s no way for a citizen or a journalist to demand a viewing or release of this footage. So Governor McCrory is perfectly fine with police brutality against African-Americans and police killing unarmed African-Americans, he just wants to keep it private. That’s his answer to this problem. That bill is a huge middle finger to the entire African American community and the governor along with his fellow republicans in the state legislature couldn’t care less.

To me it seems as if these guys pine for the days of Jim Crow and have passed a lot of legislation that gives credence to this theory. They want African Americans to suffer in silence while our rights are being trampled over daily. This new law also allows white people to ignore these horrible situations of police brutality, unjust murder, and misconduct perpetrated against African Americans. All they see is the angry protest and violence that follows. Without proper context and video evidence of the incident they may look at the community’s reaction and see it as unreasonable. Of course that was the intention McCrory and NC republican legislators had in mind when they drafted the bill. We’re supposed to ignore the violence andwhere-is-the-video-gov-mccrory-press-conference dehumanization when it’s coming from police, but everyone gets to pay attention to the protest that follows not even acknowledging that it was a response to an unjust shooting and one more life of an African American needlessly taken. Governor McCrory has shown us his character (or lack thereof) throughout his term as governor. He has shown the African American community what he really thinks of us through the bills he signs, the actions he takes, and the constituents he chooses to listen to. He let the extreme right-wing of the state’s legislature turn him into a callous unsympathetic alt-right cliche. I’m not sure why they even bother wasting money on body cams in my state when the public can’t even view the footage. The body cams weren’t going to end these wrongful deaths but they were supposed to bring a sense of accountability so the community could start to build trust with law enforcement.

So I ask myself What is our governor doing with these videos? Maybe McCrory and his fellow republican lawmakers collect these videos to show them when they have movie night at the governor’s mansion… eating popcorn and laughing at African Americans getting stopped by police for no reason, getting stripped searched on the side of a highway as cars slow down to witness the indignity, watching a man get chocked to death by police on a sidewalk while pleading for his life telling them over and over that he can not breath. Watching an 8 year old African American child playing alone in a park get shot by police before he could even see what was coming. Watching an unarmed African American teenager walking away from police then getting shot in the back. Then that same officer walks over to the teen’s lifeless body and decides to unload the rest of his clip into the already dead teen as the young man’s body heaved and convulsed after each shot hit him. Or maybe they are watching the one of the where-is-the-video-gov-mccrory-charlotte-police-shooting-protest13 year old African American girl who got thrown to the ground and manhandled like a rag doll before the officer puts his knee and his full weight into her back while pushing her face into the dirt while she screamed and begged for her mother, all for the crime of attending a pool party in an all white neighborhood thrown by a classmate. I bet Governor McCrory and those far right extremist he tries so hard to impress would get a huge laugh at all of that kind of stuff. Putting those new body cameras to good use.

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