“It’s A Different Time, It’s A Different Season.”
— Rev. Al Sharpton’s George Floyd Eulogy (6/4/20)
By Dan Peak
The Commoner Call (6/10/20)
Dear Fellow Readers,
News Summary: Protests, Pandemic, Voter Disenfranchisement – Trump Touts Stock Market Gains.
How does Rev. Al Sharpton, after all he has seen and experienced, find the resolve to be optimistic in the face of systemic racism and injustice?
“Years ago, I went to march. Now I remember a young white lady looked me right in the face and said, “N*****, go home.” But when I was here last Thursday and Ms. Carr and I was headed back to the airport I stopped near the police station, and as I was talking to a reporter, a young white girl, she didn’t look no older than 11 years old. She tagged my suit jacket and I looked around and I braced myself, and she looked at me and said, “No justice, no peace.” It’s a different time. It’s a different season, and if my Bible carrying guy in front of that boarded up church, if I got him to open up the Bible, I want you to remember something.”
I want Rev. Al Sharpton to be right. He underscored the challenge for the disenfranchised to be heard:
“…I want us to be real cognizant of is there’s a difference between those calling for peace and those calling for quiet. Some of y’all don’t want peace, you just want quiet. You just want us to shut up and suffer in silence. The overwhelming majority of the people marching wasn’t breaking windows, they were trying to break barriers. They weren’t trying to steal nothing, they were trying to get back the justice you stole from us. Those that broke the law should pay for whatever law they broke, but so should the four policemen that caused this funeral today. We don’t have a problem denouncing violence, Mr. Governor, we don’t have a problem, Mr. Mayor, denouncing looting, but it seems like some in the criminal justice system have a problem looking at a tape and knowing there’s probable cause and it takes a long time for you to go and do what you see that you need to do.”
We add our voices for progress, we are up against the upside down that is hostile to the idea that George Floyd might be seen as a martyr. These voices are louder, angry and threatening — and so often accompanied by automatic weapons. Fair or not, I lump the quiet complicity of hatred with the angry demonstrations. Imagine raging over a professional football player taking a knee and channeling anger into acts like armed protest disrupting legitimate democratic legislative sessions while decrying their victimization for imagined Constitutional affronts while flying a Confederate war flag. I’m not painting ‘all’ with a broad brush, but where Trump sees Antifa where they ‘are not’, he never sees white racists when they ‘are’.
Racist and threatening voices have a champion in Trump. They have many champions, like the top law enforcement official of the United States, Trump’s personal lawyer and attorney general Billy Barr. Or for that matter much of the Republican Senate and House.
Trump’s Law and Order slogan lasted a few hours before he ripped off his sheep’s clothing to remind us yet again he is the racist wolf. It was so fast we hardly had time to hear the voices pleading again to see a Trump ‘presidential’ moment following a promised unifying speech on race being penned by anti-immigrant advisor Stephen Miller.
Trump accused a 75-year old protester in Buffalo who was knocked to the ground and left to bleed from a serious head injury as … part of a “set up”. Trump retweeted a message the protester “fell harder than was pushed” and embraced a view that he “could be an ANTIFA provocateur”. The victim is a long-time peaceful protester for human rights, part of the Catholic Worker Movement. Trump’s garbage tweet originated from One America News Network (OANN), a virtually non-existent news outlet fully committed to being Trump’s newest favorite sycophantic outlet. The OANN tweet was posted by a Serbian who also writes for the Russian state news outlet Sputnik.
Trump lives in a bifurcated world – you’re either 110% with him or you are the enemy and must be destroyed. Imagine someone who sits in the White House citing a Russian propagandist’s lies about a peaceful American protester. But Trump and his apologists will have no remorse for anyone who fuels Trump’s inclination to do ‘crazy’. Crazy is not the problem, the victim ‘provocateur’ is the problem.
We know the routine – Trump does ‘crazy’, the media fans out at the Capitol in search of comments from Republican Senators who perform amazing bursts of speed and creative denials to avoid the cameras. With this latest, dodgy Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) “hadn’t seen the tweet… would rather not hear it”.
A very Johnson-like headline results: Republicans fear Trump’s weakened standing jeopardizes the party in November Republicans aren’t angry or insulted, just inconvenienced.
It’s a safe bet that more Republicans saw Trump tweeting about the performance of the US stock markets than watched George Floyd’s brother speak at the funeral on Wednesday.
So let’s just vote them out of office. Not so easy, in a prelude of what to expect in November…
Voters at some precincts were met with “long lines and malfunctioning voting machines”, a “full-scale meltdown”. It wasn’t only new voting machines that “went missing”.
Former candidate for governor Stacy Abrams (D-GA) called this a “preventable problem”. But Georgia history is one of repeated ‘preventable’ voting problems including likely leading to the election of Gov. Kemp (R-GA) who served as the Georgia Sec. State overseeing his own election over Abrams.
It wasn’t just the voting machines, vote-by-mail ballots also went missing contributing to the long lines as people made every effort to have their vote counted.
Once again we see a clear difference – states that resist voting and states that make it easy and have already perfected vote-by-mail. If you hear voices that have you fear the safety of vote-by-mail elections, fear not – Minuscule number of potentially fraudulent ballots in states with universal mail voting undercuts Trump claims about election risks.
There is vote-by-mail fraud – Trump used the wrong address to register to vote in Florida. Trump’s White House spokesperson Kayleigh McEnany illegally using her mother’s address in Florida to do the same. Even accused Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin is “accused of fraudulently voting in Florida” in both 2016 and 2018, a third-degree felony.
Just because the Coronavirus is off the front page, it has not gone away: Coronavirus hospitalizations rise sharply in several states following Memorial Day
“Texas has reported 75,616 cases since the pandemic began and in 10 of the past 15 days, the state’s average new case number has hit a new high.
“Arkansas has reported 10,080 cases, and in 11 of the past 15 days the state’s average new case number has hit a high. It has had an 88 percent increase in new hospitalizations since Memorial Day.”
Another state with an increasing number of daily cases is Florida – which will now host, in Jacksonville, Trump’s GOP convention.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, who has been largely out of the public eye after Trump judged that beating a pandemic was not his best reelection strategy, is reminding us the pandemic is not over, “Where is it going to end? We’re still at the beginning of it…while many easily transmissible diseases take six months to a year to span the globe, COVID-19 took just a month.”
Countries like Peru, Chile, Brazil, Mexico, India, Pakistan and more, are now hotspots even as the US ‘slows’ to just under 20,000 new cases daily and 1,000 daily deaths due to the virus. Fauci says of a possible vaccine, “There’s going to be more than one winner in the vaccine field because we’re going to need vaccines for the entire world. Billions and billions of doses. So I’m almost certain that we’re going to have multiple candidates that make it to the goal line get approved and get widely used.”
We now have over 7,000,000 cases confirmed globally, but this is a drop in the bucket compared to reaching the 60-70% level to have herd immunity. And that is with a virus estimated at a death rate of 1% of cases with 400,000 dead globally to date.
It turns out that following science had a good outcome. While earlier news reports were that the US and the world could have saved lives by acting to isolate sooner, there is this news: Shutdowns prevented 60 million coronavirus infections in the U.S., study finds.
It is always hard to prove the negative, but modeling was used to estimate the benefit of ‘flattening the curve’ an we dodged an initial ‘epidemic’ bullet.
Some bad science news: The beleaguered World Health Organization embarrassed themselves offering misleading comments — hastily walked back — claiming asymptomatic transmission of the virus was very rare. The scientific community jumped on this immediately noting it was horribly inaccurate. And remember, asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic are indistinguishable, which is why we all need to WEAR A MASK.
More news for us in Wisconsin – virus tracing data shows that outdoor transmission of infected persons infecting others, is far lower than indoor transmission. But keep in mind, this also confirms that the virus is transmissible outdoors — so, again, wear a mask and maintain social distancing.
Trump: Protests and Pandemic.
Last week Barr and Trump were criticized by 89 former defense officials over their handling of the Washington, DC protests. This week 1,250 former Justice Department officials called for a watchdog probe of Barr’s role in clearing Lafayette Square. Meanwhile the Wall protecting Trump from US citizens remains in place.
Intercept columnist Mehdi Hasan reminds us, “…the most powerful man on earth watches crazy stuff on TV (Fox, OANN), reads crazy stuff online (Infowars), believes that stuff, acts on that stuff. There has never been a president like this. It’s not about left vs right, it’s about batshit crazy vs non-batshit crazy.”
Does Trump even comment on the pandemic lately? No matter the issue, Trump is dangerous.
P.S. Breaking: In the conviction of former Trump national security advisor Michael Flynn, a court-appointed counsel, former federal Judge Gleeson, recommended Judge Sullivan proceed with sentencing calling Barr’s attempt to undo the conviction “a gross abuse of prosecutorial power”. A US Court of Appeals will hear arguments over Sullivan’s refusal to dismiss the Flynn case on Friday.