This is why they kneel

There’s been another shooting of a black man by white police and it’s as hideous and outrageous as all the others

For many there are no words to justify what happened to Jacob Blake, Jr. Being shot 7 times in the back by one of three police officers on the scene is simply inexplicable but just like being shot while fleeing, as in the case of Rashard Brooks in Atlanta earlier this summer the faucet of death that flows over black male bodies seems to have been turned on full blast and too many Americans are clueless about the reason for black outrage and frustration.

A New York Mets baseball player, Dominic Smith seems to have embodied that frustration while talking to media the day of a scheduled baseball game that was cancelled by his team. Barely able to keep it together he talks about what has motivated him after seeing another man who looks like him victimized by police.

I struggled to find the beauty in his response. I applaud him for both giving in to and keeping his emotions in check. At the same time I am raging that a man has been forced to yield to those emotions in the face of hostility to his existence. People should not take Smith’s reaction as a kind of weakness because it’s not. It’s a fatigue that comes from realizing this threat will follow him and others like him around all their lives. No matter how good they are some white police officer will always question in ways that may turn out to be fatal, why he is at that place at that time.

However I am overjoyed that others have not given in to their fatigue just yet and have found other ways to express their anger and strive for substantive solutions. Players from the NBA have turned their frustration into positive political action in extraordinary ways.

The (NBA) has committed to create a social justice coalition, work with elections officials to convert NBA arenas into polling places for the 2020 election and create advertising spots to promote “greater civic engagement in national and local elections.”

The league has committed to create a social justice coalition, work with elections officials to convert NBA arenas into polling places for the 2020 election and create advertising spots to promote “greater civic engagement in national and local elections.”

“These commitments follow months of close collaboration around designing a safe and healthy environment to restart the NBA season, providing a platform to promote social justice, as well as creating an NBA foundation focused on economic empowerment in the Black community,” (a) statement said.

Using arenas as polling places will provide a safe in-person voting option for communities vulnerable to COVID-19, according to the statement. The plan, which applies to arenas that the franchise owns and controls, also includes using some facilities for voter registration and ballot receiving boards if the deadline to establish a polling place has passed.

Three teams already offered their spaces as polling places in July as election officials across the country scramble to find rooms large enough to allow for adequate social distancing. The Atlanta Hawks, Detroit Pistons and the Bucks have committed their arenas to be voting sites.

With just over two months before the elections athletes, like LeBron James, who was once told to shut up and dribble, have managed to come up with solutions that will enhance political participation in far better ways than Mr. Trump could ever imagine.

The disrespect of Donald Trump

It’s important to respect the office of the President of the United States but time has long since passed that people should respect Donald Trump.  I don’t understand why in this DAY people still have a modicum of civility towards a man in this highest office who has no appreciation for civil discourse and respect.

What draws me to post today is Trump’s latest faux pas which highlights just how disrespectful he treats the country and American citizens.  Appearing at an event in the White House to talk about a conservation bill which supposedly had bipartisan support by members of Congress Trump had prepared remarks to READ and among them this

When young Americans experience the breathtaking beauty of the Grand Canyon, when their eyes widen in amazement as Old Faithful bursts into the sky, when they gaze upon Yosemite’sYosemite’s towering sequoias, their love of country grows stronger and they know that every American has truly a duty to preserve this wondrous inheritance

Trump, however,  didn’t even come prepared. I no longer give him the benefit of the doubt. I know he wasn’t prepared and I don’t think for a minute he knows what Yosemite is or even where it is and more importantly I don’t think he cares. He just showed up and thought, correctly it appears today, there is something about himself that makes his appearances magical and that’s enough.  No need to be prepared, to know why he is doing what he’s doing or why he’s there, or even where he is; all he has to do is show up, shake a few hands and start reading.   If you didn’t know before you should know now that Donald Trump can’t read.  Don’t believe me? Watch

I’ve come to expect this from the man.  He’s a mental midget and more and more people who know him say that about him.  Apparently, not enough people know this about him and that’s extremely troublesome.  What bothers me about Trump’s remarks which I say occur every day and are quite common is this:

50% of White Americans Would Vote for Trump If Election Were Held Today

Trump’s issues with literacy and the English language are obvious for all to see. It’s no longer the “deplorables” who seem to inhabit Trump land as evidenced from this quote

the two political rivals ran very closely when paired among three demographics in particular. Biden led Trump by only one percentage point among Southern regional voters, voters over the age of 65 and voters with more than four years of college education

I expect the South would be pro-Trump. He can scare the hell out of white voters with his racist bullhorns, even though it doesn’t take much for that demographic to respond to the call to anyone’s racist dog whistle, their ears are so finely tuned. Senior citizens and the college-educated as groups that think there’s anything redeeming about Trump or if they had to choose between him and Biden, however, is simply mind-boggling.  What it suggests is idiocy is quite ok.  That not knowing why you are in a space to commemorate a national treasure and totally ruining it is ok.  It says it’s ok to talk openly about reducing social security and health benefits during a worldwide pandemic that has cost over 100,00 American lives and counting. It says Donald Trump only has to show up for over half of white America to approve of whatever else he does is ok. This is NOT ok America but this today’s America.  How far the mighty have fallen is yet to be determined. There’s still time to go even deeper or to save ourselves. I’m not optimistic Americans know how to make good choices.