Posts Tagged ‘Black Lives Matter’

In The Heat Of The Night

December 9, 2020

            Not! Some of the news of the past week reinforces why the more things change, the more they stay the same. In The Heat Of The Night romantically tried to suggest change, or the mechanics of inevitable change. But this week’s news, taken together, gives a totally different and more sobering portrait. President elect Biden has proffered retired General Lloyd Austin as incoming Secretary of Defense. Upon retiring Austin gladly joined the board of Raytheon, a major defense department contractor and proud member of the military industrial complex. Now Austin will leave the “selling” side and be on the “buying” side of the equation. The revolving door continues to spin with the transition of power. Closer to home preliminary autopsy results indicate Casey Goodson Jr. suffered a homicide at the hands of Franklin County SWAT deputy Jason Meade. Meade shot Goodson multiple times in the torso at the doorstep of Goodson’s residence. Goodson was not under any investigation or warrant for arrest, etc. What the motive for shooting multiple rounds into an innocent man remains to be manipulated though “the deputy feared for his life” whispers in the bushes. Indeed, in the midst of the BLM protests re-elected Columbus mayor Andrew Ginther painted an equally romantic portrait of change for Columbus city administration as well as policing. Double indeed, this rhetoric of change within the department of policing was mouthed by Ginther when the new chief was hired to replace outgoing chief Kim Jacobs in 2019. The new chief, Tom Quinlan, was specifically chosen over his out of state contender because Quinlan had risen through the ranks of the Cols. PD and was therefore more “familiar” with the workings of the department, as well as the city. The Dispatch reports that Ginther had directed Quinlan to have the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation run the Goodson homicide investigation (rather than the Cols. PD). OBCI (under the direction of Ohio’s Attorney General Dave Yost) deferred, claiming they were asked to take over too late (3 days in). So much for being “familiar” with how the city and department of policing works. Even closer to home, Newark, this week’s news is a BOGO. We have the revolving door AND the “familiar” raison d’etre combined! Headlined “Mayor appoints former police sergeant to Newark safety director” Victor Black reports on the transition of power (Advocate,12-8-20). “Newark Mayor Jeff Hall announced Monday the appointment of [Tim] Hickman to replace Steve Baum, who became police chief in July. Hickman spent 32 years in the police department before his retirement and the last two years with the Department of Development, primarily supporting property maintenance.” “The new safety director, who was sworn in on Monday, said he does not plan on making any major changes to the position.” “”Tim brings years of experience with our wonderful city and displays great leadership skills and enthusiasm,” [Newark mayor Jeff] Hall said. “I congratulate Tim on his new position and look forward to working with him as we continue to move the city of Newark forward.”” Folks, you can’t make this stuff up. Put away your fictional reality of change presented by a book, movie or TV series. The mechanics of inevitable change, not!, is present, front and center, everyday. Just follow the news!

What Will Newark Do If Trump Doesn’t Leave?

September 6, 2020

            David Brooks is a writer. He has written several books as well as a weekly op-ed column for the New York Times, part of the Times “both side-ism” approach to covering the news. On a political spectrum he would be somewhere around conservative/centrist/moderate. He also appears as a foil to the liberal Mark Shields on the PBS Friday Newshour commentary (as well as on election coverage, etc.). So it came as a bit of a surprise to read the title of his 9-3-20 Times’ op-ed: What Will You Do If Trump Doesn’t Leave? Sure, Bernie Sanders can broach the same topic eliciting “That’s Bernie” yawns. But Brooks? In his essay, Brooks assumes his paper’s both side-ism coverage of the various street demonstrations around the country and that they are increasingly actively involving both sides (the truth being that the Proud Boys and Prayer Patriots have been actively agitating in Portland for years, not just the past 100 days). White supremacy aside, and the affinity of these groups to side with and be embraced by law enforcement (after all, like the police, they are carrying firearms), none of this will go away with the election of a new president. Brooks’ point is will you choose a side? His response was to point to the outrage and mass street gatherings in Belarus (as well as Ukraine, Chile, etc.). Would you be willing to go to the streets for the sake of democracy, the Constitution and country (and not just one side)? What is striking about Brooks, and Sanders, and so many others recent concern about what will occur if our Dear Leader questions the legitimacy of the outcome (which he has been continuously laying the groundwork for just such a response), relies on his paramilitary (which he has continuously been instigating and affirming), and decides to change the Constitutional interpretation of what is the legitimate transfer of power (which he has been collaborating with his attorney general to reset what was previously assumed as lawful) is that most Americans are totally oblivious of this evolution, this development in American history. It has only been recently, in the last half year, that the media will immediately call out misinformation, disinformation as a lie, untrue, not backed up by facts and actuality. The word “fascist” still elides the lexicon. Speaking of fascism, what will Newark do if Trump doesn’t leave?

Imagine

July 26, 2020

“Systemic”, “structural” these are two words increasingly used today, especially in light of the Black Lives Matter movement and racism. Most people don’t “see” it. Recent news reporting by Kent Mallett for the Newark Advocate (7-25-20) gives a thumbnail totality of the terms, almost like a little snow globe – a complete environment. Entitled “Fraizer says he’d won Ohio House seat without Householder’s money”, it is accompanied by a photo of Mark Fraizer (and family) being sworn in by Larry Householder as the new 71stDistrict House Representative (why, there’s Bill Seitz in the background!). Householder (and others) are now caught up in Federal charges of a huge bribery scheme with regards to HB6 and the nuclear/coal energy bailout; an involved scheme complicated by money being moved around through PACs and lobbies to fund primary races of candidates who would ultimately support Householder as chair of the Ohio House and thereby insure passage of HB6, et al. Hence Fraizer’s pontificating on eschewing Householder’s monetary support as well as claiming the need for a repeal of HB6 in a separate op ed (7-26-20, Newark Advocate). But that’s the whole point, Mark. The money was spent on getting you elected, which you barely managed to do. Analysis finds context is needed to realize the entire snow globe environment (when you shake it, money appears to float down on the appropriate candidates). Fraizer can self righteously point out that little Licking County Republican funding propelled his candidacy. It was, after all, a GOP primary. But as the convoluted bribery scheme manifests through performance, that’s not the way the system works. The structure of “party funding”, for both parties, involves marginal local funding expenditure with the bulk of money contributed to the local party being forwarded to the central Ohio party. In turn this central party can match the funds with private interests (or PACs, undisclosed “dark money”, etc.) to cherry pick which races and candidates are vital to furthering the party’s interest (and which should be denied for being uppity populists). In turn these enhanced funds can be used to purchase negative ads, directly or indirectly assaulting the favored candidate’s primary opponent. All of which Mark Fraizer can sanctimoniously deny, the negative ads, as being funded by his candidacy. “They come from outside the district.” (hand washing optional) Which ultimately leads up to being sworn in by the House Speaker, who’s bidding the newly elected candidate won’t bother to challenge. That’s the legitimate version which ultimately corrupts into the pay to play scheme Larry Householder is accused of benefitting from. It is systemic, structural in the way it displaces ownership (accountability) of funding and power in order to manage who and what represents citizens through party control. Troy Balderson’s election would be another snow globe structure of displaced power and campaign financing. Now imagine all this as a system or structure to maintain racial supremacy…

Invasives

July 20, 2020

Early 2014 witnessed the Ukrainian Revolution with a change of central government in Kyiv and the subsequent separation of the eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions by pro Russian paramilitary. This was quickly followed by the Russian occupation of Crimea, and its eventual annexation. Originally Russia denied any involvement in the military activities. Local reports at the time centered on the presence of “little green men”, armed and dressed in military camou without insignias as to rank or allegiance. Americans primarily associate the entire episode with Donald Trump’s “thing” about Ukraine with its desire to undermine Joe Biden and eventual impeachment outcome. But what happened to the “little green men”? Apparently now, after 6 years (the last 4 of which are under the Trump administration), they have migrated to the northwestern part of the continental US. Little green men, armed and dressed in military camou without insignia as to rank or allegiance, have been active and spotted in the cities of Portland Oregon and Seattle Washington. And they’ve brought their unmarked vehicles with them too! Akin to Ukraine 2014, both cities are currently embroiled in ongoing Black Lives Matter demonstrations. Analysis wonders when the American people will finally make the real connection of Donald Trump, his “thing” about Ukraine, and what went on there in 2014.

Lest We Forget

September 9, 2016

The international news this week is of the outrage expressed by a Norwegian newspaper (Aftenposten) blasting Facebook head Mark Zuckerberg. The newspaper had been running an inquiry into the impact that images have on war utilizing this online platform. Zuckerberg had censored the Nick Ut photo image of a naked Vietnamese girl running terrified from the napalm bombing that had burned off her clothes. Facebook defends the decision by saying the platform cannot distinguish between images of naked juveniles. They are all considered equal. The paper’s front page editorial finds such carte blanche treatment of images to be frightening. Analysis finds the entire matter to be analogous, if not a reenactment, to considerations of race here in the US, specifically policies of affirmative action and Black Lives Matter. The response to Black Lives Matter is the knee jerk “All Lives Matter” while to affirmative action policies it is that to be considered equally requires a disregard of difference. The similarities and resemblances are uncanny. Approximately 100 years ago a European named Walter Benjamin addressed this question in a rather oblique manner, but what he had to say definitely bears on this. In an essay entitled “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction” Benjamin considered the difference between an original and the various printed copies that were immensely popular at the time. The Columbus Museum of Art recently ran a show of Picasso’s work from this time. In its little gallery store are many incredible reproductions (copies) of artworks that people buy and hang up at home. All the reproductions are “equally” saleable, one no better than another. Benjamin alludes to aura in his attempt to differentiate the material images (one original, one a copy). The copies have no aura, or only that of a mechanically (technically) reproduced material while the aura of an original is its history and nuance found in the work having been expressly (and intimately) created by the artist, and the object’s continued material involvements after that (provenance). That was a hundred years ago. And yet today we have Facebook acting without regard to what an image is about, its “aura” (digital or otherwise). “All Lives Matter” likewise categorically dismisses the nuance of history and the “provenance” of a people. The algorithms that Facebook relies on to make its determinations treat all zero’s and one’s as equal (to zero’s and one’s). What Analysis finds frightening is that this form of “equality” (the equality of mathematics found with algorithms) is embraced and has gained acceptance by so many Americans who likewise value and insist that history not be dismissed. Does 9/11 possess an “aura” or is it best described by an algorithm?