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What To Do When You're Stopped By Police - The ACLU & Elon James White

What To Do When You're Stopped By Police - The ACLU & Elon James White

Know Anyone Who Thinks Racial Profiling Is Exaggerated? Watch This, And Tell Me When Your Jaw Drops.

This video clearly demonstrates how racist America is as a country and how far we have to go to become a country that is civilized and actually values equal justice. We must not rest until this goal is achieved. I do not want my great grandchildren to live in a country like we have today. I wish for them to live in a country where differences of race and culture are not ignored but valued as a part of what makes America great.

Monday, August 31, 2020

Opinion | It’s time to challenge the cockeyed reaction to violence - The Washington Post

Opinion by 

"Donald Trump has incited racist fears since he came down the gold escalator in 2015 to announce his presidential campaign. He had peaceful protesters gassed and deployed camouflaged troops to Portland, Ore., to grab protesters off the street without probable cause. He has used pictures of mayhem and violence (either from scenes playing out under his own administration or from foreign events) to instill fear in White Americans. He vowed to keep suburbs (read: White suburbs) safe from integrated housing (read: Black people). He encouraged police not to be “too nice” in handling suspects. He denies systemic racism and instead paints all protesters as anarchists, socialists and violent extremists. He has refused to condemn police officers who kill unarmed Black men and women or White armed groups engaged in violence. He invited to the Republican National Convention a couple charged with a felony for brandishing weapons at Black Lives Matter marchers. President Trump’s senior adviser Kellyanne Conway confesses the more violence in the streets, the better for him.

This phenomenon — reveling in violence from racial divisions they stoke — is part of the white supremacist playbook, specifically the phenomenon known as “accelerationism.” The Brookings Institution reports:
Some white supremacists already see the riots and broader polarization as vindication of this idea, and law enforcement and civil society activists concerned about the growth of extremism should watch to see if this idea takes further hold within white supremacist groups and organizations in the coming weeks and months.
Accelerationism is the idea that white supremacists should try to increase civil disorder — accelerate it — in order to foster polarization that will tear apart the current political order. … Accelerationists hope to set off a series of chain reactions, with violence fomenting violence, and in the ensuing cycle more and more people join the fray. When confronted with extremes, so the theory goes, those in the middle will be forced off the fence and go to the side of the white supremacists.
Trump amplifies White fears. Brookings explains: “His efforts to claim that the legitimate protesters are all Antifa, blame ‘liberal Governors and Mayors’ for the unrest, and declare that ‘when the looting starts, the shooting starts’ all exacerbate tensions. Such statements are likely to provoke strong and divergent reactions from across the political spectrum rather than bring Americans together in outrage over George Floyd’s murder and the need to reject violence in favor of genuine reform.”
Republican elected officials feel comfortable reverting to the Southern Strategy, portraying themselves as the only thing standing between White people and violent Black people. It is a tune they have been singing since 1968.
Naturally then, the news media is holding Trump accountable for violence, insisting that he condemn police excesses and … no, that is not happening. Instead, they amplify Trump’s demand that Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden do something about the violence. Biden’s weak-kneed supporters (playing into Trump’s hands) blame Biden for not denouncing violence — which Biden has repeatedly done. That in turn generates a spate of “Democrats worried violence hurts Biden” articles. The media focus on the same few incidents of violence drowns out reports (mostly in print, rarely on TV news) explaining White instigators’ role in these events. (When the role of White provocateurs does make the news, there is rarely video to accompany the brief reference to White agitators.) And you wonder how Trump gets away with rabid race-baiting?
A few Democrats have figured out what is going on. Appearing on CNN, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.) observed, “They believe the violence is helpful to them. And the president is only motivated by one thing: ‘What is in it for him?’ He sees this violence — and his ability to agitate more of it — as useful to his campaign.” He added, “What it does to the country, the loss of life, he doesn’t care.”
Biden is now planning to travel on Monday (not clear where he will go) to — again — denounce the violence. But he should also go on offense. Trump incites violence. Trump encourages vigilantism. Trump refuses to acknowledge that slogans such as Blue Lives Matter can encourage vigilantes. (The White suspect who allegedly killed two people in Kenosha, Wis., apparently attended a Trump rally and brandished the Blue Lives Matter slogan.) Biden should demand Trump denounce shootings of unarmed Black men, stop Republican obstruction to police reform, cease veneration of symbols of white supremacy such as the Confederate flag and decry White armed groups.
Democrats will not win by cowering in fear that Trump will blame them for the violence he provoked. They win by making the case that Trump has made America more violent and increased racial tension for his own political benefit."
Opinion | It’s time to challenge the cockeyed reaction to violence - The Washington Post


RNC 2020 & Kenosha: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)

Portland Shooting Amplifies Tensions in Presidential Race

Portland Shooting Amplifies Tensions in Presidential Race

A fatal shooting after clashes in Portland came on the heels of the shooting deaths of two people during confrontations in Kenosha, Wis., earlier in the week.

Mason Trinca for The New York Times
PORTLAND, Ore. — A fatal shooting in Portland, Ore., over the weekend led President Trump to unleash a torrent of tweets and attacks on Sunday, capping a volatile week of street violence that is becoming a major theme in the final weeks of the 2020 campaign.
On Saturday, a man affiliated with a right-wing group was shot and killed as a large caravan of supporters of Mr. Trump drove through downtown Portland, where nightly protests have unfolded for three consecutive months. No suspect has been publicly identified and the victim’s name has not been released.

The shooting came in the same week that a 17-year-old armed with a military-style weapon was charged with homicide in connection with shootings during a protest in Kenosha, Wis., that left two people dead and one injured.

The pro-Trump rally in Portland drew hundreds of trucks filled with supporters and adorned with Trump flags into the city. At times, Trump supporters and counterprotesters clashed in the streets, with fistfights occurring and Trump supporters shooting paintball guns from the beds of pickup trucks as protesters threw objects at them.
Mr. Trump on Sunday morning posted or reposted a barrage of tweets about the clashes in Portland, with many of them assailing the city’s Democratic mayor, Ted Wheeler. The president retweeted a video showing his supporters shooting paintballs and using pepper spray on crowds in Portland before the fatal shooting. Mr. Trump wrote that “the big backlash going on in Portland cannot be unexpected,” a remarkable instance of a president seeming to support confrontation rather than calming a volatile situation.
Mason Trinca for The New York Times
The shooting immediately reverberated in a presidential campaign now entering its most intense period, and came on the heels of a Republican National Convention in which the president had sought to reframe the 2020 race as a “law and order” election.
Over the weekend, officials with Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s campaign were inundated with concern and unsolicited advice from supporters and allies suggesting the need for a forceful and frontal response. Mr. Biden issued a statement on Sunday accusing Mr. Trump of “recklessly encouraging violence,” while condemning “violence unequivocally” himself.
“I condemn violence of every kind by anyone, whether on the left or the right,” Mr. Biden said. “And I challenge Donald Trump to do the same.”

Mr. Biden will follow up with a speech in Pittsburgh on Monday, and discussions are underway for a possible trip to Kenosha soon. But the Biden campaign wants to avoid being drawn into a prolonged period of focus on unrest in the streets that campaign officials see as an effort by the Trump campaign to distract from the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting economic downturn, which has forced millions into unemployment.
At the same time, Chad F. Wolf, the acting secretary of homeland security, on Sunday left open the potential of sending federal law enforcement to quell the unrest in Portland.
During an interview on ABC’s “This Week,” Mr. Wolf said “all options continue to be on the table” to deploy more federal agents to Portland despite the strong opposition of local leaders, who say such tactical teams have only heightened tensions.

Mr. Wheeler, at an afternoon news conference at City Hall, said the shooting had left his heart heavy, and he denounced violence. But he pointed to Mr. Trump’s combative and unyielding message as a generator of the nation’s escalating polarization and violence, and he called on the president to work with him and others to help de-escalate tensions.
Mason Trinca for The New York Times
“Do you seriously wonder, Mr. President,” he said, “why this is the first time in decades that America has seen this level of violence? It’s you who have created the hate and the division.”

He added: “We need to reset. The president needs to reset. I need to reset. This community needs to reset. And America needs to reset. And it’s going to take his leadership in the White House and it’s going to take my leadership here in City Hall to get it done.”

Mr. Trump responded quickly to the mayor’s remarks, mocking Mr. Wheeler and calling him “wacky” and a “dummy.”

“He would like to blame me and the Federal Government for going in, but he hasn’t seen anything yet,” the president wrote on Twitter.

Mr. Trump is planning to visit Kenosha on Tuesday, though both the governor of Wisconsin, Tony Evers, a Democrat, and the mayor of Kenosha, John Antaramian, also a Democrat, urged him to reconsider. “I am concerned your presence will only hinder our healing,” Mr. Evers said.

Judd Deere, a White House spokesman, said: “The White House has been humbled by the outreach of individuals from Kenosha who have welcomed the president’s visit and are longing for leadership to support local law enforcement and businesses that have been vandalized. President Trump looks forward to visiting on Tuesday and helping this great city heal and rebuild.” 

The shooting in Portland ended a week of upheaval that began when a white police officer in Kenosha repeatedly shot a Black man, Jacob Blake, leaving him paralyzed below the waist, his family said. The shooting prompted a new wave of protests against racism and police brutality that included the postponement of professional sports games.

During the unrest after the shooting of Mr. Blake, Kyle Rittenhouse, a 17-year-old Illinois resident, was charged in connection with the fatal shootings of two protesters.
The escalating tensions and violence over the past week came three months after the killing of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis. Mr. Floyd’s death prompted a national outcry over policing and racial injustice, spurring protests in cities across the country, some of which have been accompanied by looting and violence.

For now, the Biden campaign is trying to focus on what it says is the irony that Mr. Trump is the current president, yet is trying to blame his challenger for the scenes of violence during his tenure.

“He keeps talking about what Biden’s America would look like — well, this is Trump’s America,” Representative Cedric L. Richmond, Democrat of Louisiana and a national co-chair of the Biden campaign, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

But violence and unrest in the streets is an issue Mr. Trump is eager to embrace.
On “Meet the Press,” Mark Meadows, the White House chief of staff, described Mr. Trump as being “on the side of law enforcement and the rule of law” and spoke of violence in “Democrat cities.”
Mason Trinca for The New York Times
“Most of Donald Trump’s America is peaceful,” Mr. Meadows said. “It is a Democrat-led city in Portland that we’re talking about this morning who just yesterday denied help once again from the federal government.”

A video that purports to capture the Saturday night shooting in Portland, taken from the far side of the street, showed a small group of people in the road outside what appears to be a parking garage. Gunfire erupts, and a man collapses in the street.

The man who was shot and killed was wearing a hat with the insignia of Patriot Prayer, a far-right group based in the Portland area that has clashed with protesters in the past. Joey Gibson, the head of the group, said Sunday he could not share many details but could confirm the man was a good friend and supporter of Patriot Prayer.

During some of Portland’s nightly demonstrations since the killing of Mr. Floyd, protesters have smashed windows, lit fires and thrown fireworks at law enforcement officers who have struggled to maintain control. In recent days, right-wing demonstrations have also sprung up in the city, and Mr. Trump has repeatedly highlighted the unrest in Portland as evidence of the need for a tougher response to the chaotic protests in many American cities.

Patriot Prayer, which says it promotes Christianity and smaller government, has repeatedly clashed with activists in Portland. The group has sometimes operated alongside militia groups, and the Southern Poverty Law Center has reported that some Patriot Prayer events have drawn white supremacists. Last year, Mr. Gibson, the group’s leader, was charged along with others with rioting after a brawl in the city.
Mason Trinca for The New York Times
While protests in Portland have persisted, their size has changed over time. The nightly events began with mass demonstrations after Mr. Floyd’s death, then shrank to smaller numbers of people who repeatedly clashed with the police. In July, when the federal government sent camouflaged agents into the city, the number of protesters grew drastically once again.
In more recent days, the protest crowd has typically numbered just a few hundred people. On Friday, after a peaceful demonstration in front of Mayor Wheeler’s residence, a crowd went to a police association building, where some of the protesters set fire to the front of the building before the police dispersed the crowd.

The police have made dozens of arrests in recent days as they have chased protesters through the streets, at times knocking them to the ground. The police said they had made 10 arrests Saturday night, although it was not immediately clear how many were participants in the pro-Trump rally and how many were countering the event."

Portland Shooting Amplifies Tensions in Presidential Race

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Black Homeowners Face Discrimination in Appraisals - The New York Times

"Companies that value homes for sale or refinancing are bound by law not to discriminate. Black homeowners say it happens anyway.
A second appraisal valued Abena and Alex Horton’s Jacksonville home 40 percent higher than the first appraisal, after Ms. Horton removed all signs of Blackness.
A second appraisal valued Abena and Alex Horton’s Jacksonville home 40 percent higher than the first appraisal, after Ms. Horton removed all signs of Blackness.
Abena and Alex Horton wanted to take advantage of low home-refinance rates brought on by the coronavirus crisis. So in June, they took the first step in that process, welcoming a home appraiser into their four-bedroom, four-bath ranch-style house in Jacksonville, Fla.
The Hortons live just minutes from the Ortega River, in a predominantly white neighborhood of 1950s homes that tend to sell for $350,000 to $550,000. They had expected their home to appraise for around $450,000, but the appraiser felt differently, assigning a value of $330,000. Ms. Horton, who is Black, immediately suspected discrimination.
The couple’s bank agreed that the value was off and ordered a second appraisal. But before the new appraiser could arrive, Ms. Horton, a lawyer, began an experiment: She took all family photos off the mantle. Instead, she hung up a series of oil paintings of Mr. Horton, who is white, and his grandparents that had been in storage. Books by Zora Neale Hurston and Toni Morrison were taken off the shelves, and holiday photo cards sent by friends were edited so that only those showing white families were left on display. On the day of the appraisal, Ms. Horton took the couple’s 6-year-old son on a shopping trip to Target, and left Mr. Horton alone at home to answer the door.
The new appraiser gave their home a value of $465,000 — a more than 40 percent increase from the first appraisal.
Race and housing policy have long been intertwined in the United States. Black Americans consistently struggle more than their white counterparts to be approved for home loans, and the specter of redlining — a practice that denied mortgages to people of color in certain neighborhoods — continues to drive down home values in Black neighborhoods.
Even in mixed-race and predominantly white neighborhoods, Black homeowners say, their homes are consistently appraised for less than those of their neighbors, stymying their path toward building equity and further perpetuating income equality in the United States.
Home appraisers are bound by the Fair Housing Act of 1968 to not discriminate based on race, religion, national origin or gender. Appraisers can lose their license or even face prison time if they’re found to produce discriminatory appraisals. Title XI of the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act, enacted in 1989, also binds appraisers to a standard of unbiased ethics and performance.
“My heart kind of broke,” Ms. Horton said. “I know what the issue was. And I knew what we needed to do to fix it, because in the Black community, it’s just common knowledge that you take your pictures down when you’re selling the house. But I didn’t think I had to worry about that with an appraisal.”
Appraisals, by nature, are subjective. And discrimination, particularly the subconscious biases and microaggressions that have risen to the fore in white America this summer following the death of George Floyd, is notoriously difficult to pinpoint.
Ms. Horton shared her experiment in a widely circulated Facebook post, earning 25,000 shares and more than 2,000 comments, many of which came from Black homeowners and carried the same message: This also happened to me.
In each comment, a repeated theme: Home appraisers, who work under codes of ethics but with little regulation and oversight, are often all that stands between the accumulation of home equity and the destruction of it for Black Americans.
Credit...Monica Jorge for The New York Times
After the first appraisal came up short on his house in an affluent, racially mixed suburb of Hartford, Conn., Stephen Richmond, an aerospace engineer, took down family photos and posters for Black movies and had a white neighbor stand in for him on a second appraisal. He was hoping to refinance; with the second report, he saw his home’s value go up $40,000 from the initial appraisal just a few weeks earlier.
In 2000, the American actor and comedian D.L. Hughley had an appraisal on his home in the Montevista Estates neighborhood of West Hills, a primarily white area in the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles. Despite a steady uptick in the housing market and the addition of a pool and new hardwood floors, the house was appraised for nearly what he had bought it for three years earlier — $500,000.
In Mr. Hughley’s case, his bank flagged the report.
“They were like, this has to be some kind of mistake because in order for your house to have come in this low, it would have to be in some level of disrepair,” Mr. Hughley said.
The bank ordered a new appraisal, which came back $160,000 higher, and Mr. Hughley went on to sell the home for $770,000.
Mr. Hughley talks about the experience in his book, “Surrender, White People!”, a satirical look at white supremacy, which was published in June by Harper Collins and examines racial inequality in the United States across education, health care and the housing market.
“People always tell us to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps. But what if you remove the straps?” he said. “You’re invested in the American dream, you have capital, you have a chip in the game. And the fact that somebody could summarily minimize my wealth just because of a bias, it seemed crazy to me.”
In response to the coronavirus pandemic, a federal ruling issued in March allowed appraisals for homes that were being sold to be done remotely in certain circumstances, temporarily pausing the need for interior home inspections. Those looking to refinance, however, still must complete an in-person appraisal.
In Mr. Hughley’s case, the appraiser was fired. Ms. Horton has filed a complaint with the Department of Housing and Urban Development; when contacted about her case, HUD said it had been assigned to the Jacksonville Human Rights Commission. The agency added that it receives a handful of similar complaints each year.
In 2018, researchers from Gallup and the Brookings Institution published a report on the widespread devaluation of Black-owned property in the United States, which they discussed in a 2019 hearing before the House Financial Services Subcommittee. The report found that a home in a majority Black neighborhood is likely to be valued for 23 percent less than a near-identical home in a majority-white neighborhood; it also determined this devaluation costs Black homeowners $156 billion in cumulative losses.
Many appraisers, both during the hearing and in the weeks after, defended their practice, noting that it’s their job to report on local market conditions, not set them.
“Is there a problem with poor and underserved communities in the United States? Yes. Is it the appraisal profession’s fault? No,” wrote Maureen Sweeney, a Chicago-based appraiser in a letter to the house subcommittee following the hearing. “It’s like blaming the canary for the bad air in the coal mine, or blaming the mirror for your bad hair day. Appraisers reflect the market; we do not create it.”
But what about a Black homeowner in a white neighborhood whose property is appraised for less than his neighbor’s? Whether appraisers are devaluing Black homes or entire Black neighborhoods, the core issue is the same, said Andre Perry, one of the writers of the Brookings Institution report and the author of “Know Your Price: Valuing Black Lives and Property in America’s Black Cities.”
“We still see Black people as risky,” Mr. Perry said. “White appraisers carry the same attitudes and beliefs of white America — the same attitudes that compelled Derek Chauvin to kneel casually on the neck of George Floyd are shared by other professionals in other fields. How does that choking out of America look in the appraisal industry? Through very low appraisals,” he said."
Black Homeowners Face Discrimination in Appraisals - The New York Times

‘Dangerous’: Right-wing defends teenage Trump fan who killed 2 protesters

‘Dangerous’: Right-wing defends teenage Trump fan who killed 2 protesters

Trump supporters square off with protesters in Portland. Trump's Brownshirts.

Office of the DNI to stop in-person briefings to Congress on election interference

Office of the DNI to stop in-person briefings to Congress on election interference

Opinion | College Football During Covid-19 Teaches the Wrong Lessons - The New York Times

"Why are some schools pressuring student-athletes to play a game that could expose them to the coronavirus?

The editorial board is a group of opinion journalists whose views are informed by expertise, research, debate and certain longstanding values. It is separate from the newsroom.
For more than six months now, many workers deemed essential have had to strap on face masks for shifts at meatpacking plants, Walmarts, grocery stores, hardware stores and restaurants. It is a necessary sacrifice for the nation’s well-being. But at universities across the country, while scores of professors, staff and students start the academic year remotely to curb the spread of the coronavirus, another class of worker will be asked to strap on protective gear to do their job — without the face coverings: college football players.
Never has the inaccuracy of the term “student-athlete” been put in starker relief than in the misguided and dangerous attempt by the Big 12, Atlantic Coast Conference and Southeastern Conference to press forward with a nearly full season of football games beginning next month —  as nonathlete classmates are sent home for their safety. For many college competitors, but for football in particular, the demands of practice and travel can exceed those of a full-time job. The players do it all, however, for no pay —  while schools, coaches, television networks and the conferences profit.
Saturday afternoon college football is a way of life for millions of Americans. But the players — and make no mistake, the young people who play for these teams are workers, helping to generate billions in revenue collectively for their universities — are not essential in the middle of a pandemic that has already taken nearly 200,000 lives in the United States. The health and future of college players deserve far more consideration than they’ve gotten thus far from their coaches, their fans and the presidents of their universities.
The Big Ten and Pac-12 conferences, whose members include powerhouses like the University of Michigan and the University of Southern California, this month decided to suspend their coming football seasons until it is prudent for players to return to a sport that is impossible to play while staying six feet apart.
Until there is such a thing as a socially distanced quarterback sack, the other three so-called Power 5 conferences ought to follow suit. The National Collegiate Athletic Association’s own physicians raised concerns about the potential for the virus to spread in a contact sport like football. Putting affected players under quarantine for two weeks doesn’t account for the potential lingering effects of the virus to the heart and brain well after symptoms have abated. One survey by an Ohio State cardiologist, for instance, found a high rate of myocarditis among athletes who had otherwise recovered from the virus.
Schools are also devising their own testing schedules, which could further put players at risk. While some campuses are testing athletes for the coronavirus multiple times per week, others are testing only players who exhibit symptoms. The University of Alabama, the national champion in two of the past five years, tests once a week, but under SEC protocol it will move to three times a week once the season starts — similar to the Big 12 and the ACC.
Players aren’t going to catch the virus “on the football field,” the Alabama head coach, Nick Saban, told ESPN. “They’re going to catch it on campus. The argument then should probably be, ‘We shouldn’t be having school.’”
Greg Sankey, the SEC commissioner, told this editorial board that the conference’s move to delay the season start by three weeks would give schools additional time to evaluate athletes’ safety and testing protocols, and noted that a number of athletes had opted out of the season in exchange for an additional year of eligibility.
“There aren’t absolutes; we’re working to provide a healthy environment,” he said. “There’s no group of college students that’s known more about a virus at any point in history than our college students know right now.”
The governors of Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Texas and other states that are home to the three conferences rushed to reopen their economies and universities even as coronavirus cases have spiked in their states. Among colleges and universities with the largest coronavirus outbreaks, schools from those conferences account for eight of the top 10, according to New York Times data.
President Trump and a number of lawmakers, including Senators Marco Rubio and Ben Sasse and Representative Jim Jordan, have called for college football to return in the face of overwhelming evidence that doing so is a bad idea. The SEC’s University of Alabama, for example, sent more than 500 students home for testing positive just days into the semester’s start.
“The clear advice from our medical professionals made the choice obvious to us that we couldn’t hold a football season,” Larry Scott, the Pac-12 commissioner, said. “We have a responsibility to protect our players, and given what we still don’t know about the spread of the virus, we simply couldn’t play football and look parents in the eye and say, ‘We’ve got your kids’ best interests in mind.’”
A different scene has played out at schools like the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where administrators quickly reversed course on in-person instruction after hundreds of students and staff contracted the virus. While many of the university’s 30,000 students were sent home, athletes were instructed to remain on campus if they wanted to play, despite the risks. North Carolina’s head coach, Mack Brown, compared the move to professional basketball’s enforced safety bubbles. “We’ve got three months here where we cannot go outside for social reasons or to eat or anything else if we want to have our season,” he said. Student-athletes indeed.
Canceling or suspending the college football season and other fall sports is no small decision. Billions of dollars in television and ticket sales are at stake, not to mention alumni donations, merchandise sales, athlete eligibility and even next year’s applicant pool. But it is a far more dangerous game to invite the virus’s spread among vulnerable athletes during what the Big 12 commissioner, Bob Bowlsby, called the “petri dish” of the first few months of school, while advocating for a football season.
Charging forward, heads down, some schools have sought waivers from football players who might contract the coronavirus during the season — an absurd demand. Fortunately, the N.C.A.A. has offered to extend by a year scholarships and eligibility to play for athletes who opt out of the season over coronavirus concerns.
“It’s not complicated; you can’t socially distance in football. We’re not going to put students in a bubble,” said Michael Schill, president of the University of Oregon, in an interview. Teams would also have to give players regular MRIs to ensure they don’t have heart issues brought about by symptomatic or asymptomatic coronavirus, he said.
The excitement of the football season (not to mention countless other aspects of pre-pandemic American life) would be welcome after months of shelter-in-place orders. But with the U.S. death toll continuing to rise and infections exceeding 5.7 million, players and other students contracting the virus as a result of an ill-advised college football season is not a likelihood — it’s a certainty.
As the nation faces a reckoning over longstanding racial inequities, administrators shouldn’t turn a blind eye to how the coronavirus has disproportionately impacted Black and other minority communities. Black and Latino players make up about 60 percent of college football rosters, more than double their representation among the entire United States.
Before the Pac-12 pulled the plug on all fall sports, a group of athletes threatened to sit out the season, citing, among other things, Black and other minorities’ marginalization. Their list of demands included some long overdue measures — such as profit-sharing and rights to their own likenesses — that would help ease the racial disparities of college sports.
As Jevon Holland, a University of Oregon football player, told Sports Illustrated, “We’re not your entertainment, we’re human beings.”
The governing N.C.A.A.’s mission statement states, “The educational experience of the student-athlete is paramount.” What message does it send to athletes and their families that they must stay on campus if they want to play football — and bring in dollars for their school — while other students can more safely attend classes via their home computers?"
Opinion | College Football During Covid-19 Teaches the Wrong Lessons - The New York Times

Saturday, August 29, 2020

The Truth About Voting By Mail & Election Fraud | LegalEagle’s Real Law ...

The Truth About Voting By Mail & Election Fraud | LegalEagle’s Real Law ...

Jacob Blake unshackled from hospital bed after father says he was restrained for a week | US news | The Guardian

Jacob Blake Sr

Racism is at the core of American policing. It is not just a few bad apples. It is the structure of policing, the society from which police are hired and the fact police departments are an employer of last resort for many poorly educated and not very intelligent White working-class families. They have always been the pawns, the peons, who enforce America's class and caste hierarchy.

"Jacob Blake, the 29-year-old who was shot seven times by a Kenosha, Wisconsin, police officer on Sunday, is shackled to his hospital bed despite being unable to walk and being heavily medicated, with no clarity on whether or why he might be under investigation, his father revealed on Friday.

“There was the cold steel on his ankle. He is shackled to the bed, but he cannot get up, he could not get up, he is paralyzed,” Jacob Blake Sr, father of Jacob Blake Jr, said on CNN in an interview, describing a hospital visit he had with his son two days ago.
“He grabbed my hands and began to weep and he told me that he was having hallucinations. He said ‘Daddy, Daddy, I love you. Why did they shoot me so many times?’ I said, ‘Baby, they were not supposed to shoot you at all,” Blake Sr said.
He wept intermittently as he was giving the live interview on Friday morning.
“I lay on the bed close to him. We talked about him being paralyzed from the waist down. He wanted a dog and I said, ‘We will get you a dog, Baby’.”
Lawyers acting for the Blake family have said Jacob Blake has damaged spinal cord, spine, stomach, kidneys and liver, has lost most of his colon and has no bowel or genital function.
Blake said he did not know why his son was shackled, saying: “I guess he is in custody, I don’t know.”
The family’s lawyer, Ben Crump, said: “There is no explanation for this.”
The description of Blake’s condition by his father came after the fifth night of protests in Kenosha, which were peaceful on Thursday night for the second night after a fatal shooting when agitators attacked protesters on Tuesday night.
Late on Tuesday, a 17-year-old gunman fatally shot two protesters and wounded another, police said. Before the slayings, some who did not appear to be linked to the main, peaceful protest groups engaged in looting.
The Kenosha News reported that there were no incidents of fire or vandalism as of 10.30pm on Thursday.
At Civic Center Park, some protesters sang along to religious music. Black Lives Activists of Kenosha, a major protest group, walked with flags to the sprawling local law enforcement complex. Several calmly spoke with two police officers to discuss the release of at least one detained demonstrator, the newspaper said.
Although protests appear to have calmed, with fierce emotions but no violence, additional national guard members are expected to arrive in Kenosha on Friday.
Wisconsin’s governor, Tony Evers, who first announced the deployment of state national guard members on Monday, has on several occasions authorized more troops. On Thursday, Evers said that national guard members from Alabama, Arizona and Michigan would be deployed to Kenosha, USA Today reported.
As the ranks of national guards members are poised to increase, law enforcement response to protests – which has included some use of teargas and flash-bangs – has come under scrutiny.
Activists have said that some demonstrators who were arrested in Kenosha this week were “snatched up” by federal law enforcement officers in unmarked vehicles, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. On Wednesday night, three area activists were arrested while walking to their vehicle, and then whisked away in an unmarked sports utility vehicle, organizers said.
Video on social media appears to show law enforcement agents smashing the windows of a minivan with Oregon license plates and forcibly removing the people inside. Those people were subsequently driven away in an SUV.
Police in Kenosha claimed that this group had been stopped after federal US Marshals spotted them allegedly filling gas cans at a gas station, reports said.
Authorities claim that they used force because the driver didn’t stop when ordered to do so. These arrestees were part of the group Riot Kitchen, a Seattle-based non-profit that gives food to homeless persons and protesters, the newspaper said.
Meanwhile, Kyle Rittenhouse – the teenager charged in relation to Tuesday’s deadly shootings – is expected to appear in an Illinois court on Friday.
Rittenhouse, who surrendered to authorities in his home town of Antioch, Illinois, about 15 miles from Kenosha, is charged with six criminal counts in Kenosha, including first-degree intentional homicide, attempted homicide and reckless endangerment.
Rittenhouse, who will be defended by the law firm whose high-profile clients include Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, and ex-adviser Carter Page, appears poised to claim self-defense in the shooting.
Lin Wood, another lawyer defending Rittenhouse, reportedly said: “He was not there to create trouble, but he found himself with his life threatened, and he had the right to protect himself.”
One man was killed while trying to disarm Rittenhouse after he had apparently earlier shot another demonstrator and appeared to be walking away while others attempted to give the victim first aid.
On Friday, more details emerged about police involved in Blake’s shooting. The Wisconsin department of justice, which previously named Rusten Sheskey as the officer who shot Blake in the back, identified two more officers present during the encounter: Vincent Arenas and Brittany Meronek.
The officers allege that Sheskey and Arenas used their Taser stun guns on Blake when their attempt “to stop” him during his arrest failed. Investigators said that Sheskey was the only officer who fired a weapon and that Blake had told the police he had a knife.
“There is no explanation for this,” Crump, the family lawyer, said of the police shooting Blake and of the report of Blake being shackled in hospital. “It’s such an outrageous thing. That he was shot seven times, this adds insult to injury. It’s why we are marching in Washington DC today.”

He was referring to the Get Your Knee Off Our Necks march, a protest demanding criminal justice reform that is expected to draw tens of thousands to Washington on Friday and coincides with the anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech in 1963 calling for racial equality."
Jacob Blake unshackled from hospital bed after father says he was restrained for a week | US news | The Guardian