James's blog

Day 90

It's been three months since I started counting quarantine days, but who's counting?

From the outset, I was certain we'd be in this for the long haul. But little did I know that a small army of ignorant American greeders would make matters worse by disregarding advice from public health professionals. Topping the list of self-obsessed cult members is Lt. Governor Dan Forest, who debases himself with conspiracy collusion day after day after day. When he's not whining about Governor Cooper, he's hooked up with "Reopen NC," a group of fetishists who want to burn masks to protest government and business policies requiring the face coverings.

More bullshit from the GOP-controlled legislature

Via email from my representative:

Yesterday, we successfully defeated (for now) a bill to open bars in North Carolina. This comes at a time when our state's COVID-19 case numbers are rising, hospitalizations are at record highs, and public health experts say we shouldn't rush to reopen bars.

Democrats won by showing up to vote. I am doing my job as your representative by attending committee meetings, filing bills, and voting on legislation -- all by remote means. To protect our health and the health of others, most of my colleagues are doing that as well.

Day 84

I've been spending my time deeply exploring what's going on with law enforcement in America. Of the hundred or so articles I've read, however, one stands out for its raw power and comprehensive coverage. It's called Confessions of a Former Bastard Cop and it's a brutal assessment of how bad things are and how much needs to change. I encourage you to read every word.

Some highlights:

American policing is a thick blue tumor strangling the life from our communities and if you don’t believe it when the poor and the marginalized say it, if you don’t believe it when you see cops across the country shooting journalists with less-lethal bullets and caustic chemicals, maybe you’ll believe it when you hear it straight from the pig’s mouth.
...
I believe that if everyone understood how we’re trained and brought up in the profession, it would inform the demands our communities should be making of a new way of community safety. If I tell you how we were made, I hope it will empower you to unmake us.

We have another language problem

In case it's not obvious to anyone reading this, the phrase "defund the police" is ten kinds of stupid and needs to be banned from everywhere. It's not even accurate and it implies actions that will alienate people who don't or won't bother to think it through.

Alternative language is critically important, so let's hear some possibilities. Please, please, please, jump in with ideas before this train gets too far out of the station. Here's a short list of top-of-mind possibilities.

Day 82

It's been a week since I wrote a "day" post. Not only have I not much to say, I've also taken a personal pledge to shut up and listen. That's not because of the virus, but because of the other epidemic we're facing: violence against black people.

Marcia Morey on criminal justice reform

A great representative and a good friend, Marcia Morey also has served for 18 years as a judge. Her perspective about reforms is invaluable. Here's an excerpt:

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is the text of a letter state Rep. Marcia Morey, D-Durham -- who spent 18 years as a District Court Judge in Durham County – has sent to constituents and others who have contacted her office concerning the death of North Carolina native George Floyd and issues of racism and discrimination in law enforcement.

Gov. Cooper to Resident Trump: We're waiting for answers.

Looks like Governor Cooper is holding firm on hosting a safe convention. Very glad to see this clear, solid letter to the RNC.

Day 74

Pitting people against one another has long been part of the GOP playbook.

Day 73

One of three scenarios will emerge as the dominant race-war narrative over the next few weeks.

1. Violence and destruction is mostly the result of white people trying to stir up a race war.

2. Violence and destruction is mostly the result of black people who are fed up from being terrorized by white people and, especially, police departments.

3. Both sides are equally guilty of causing violence and destruction.

Which do you think it will be?

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