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.

Wednesday News: Turn off your engines

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GOVERNOR COOPER ISSUES ORDER CLOSING ACE SPEEDWAY: Gov. Roy Cooper ordered an Alamance County speedway that’s violated his executive orders against mass gatherings closed immediately, declaring the venue an imminent hazard. In an order issued Monday night and obtained by The News & Observer, Cooper and Dr. Mandy Cohen said Ace Speedway could open again if it presents a plan to adhere to state guidelines and that plan is approved by the Department of Health and Human Services. “Mass gatherings do spread the virus,” said Cohen, the state’s DHHS secretary who signed the order closing the speedway. “It was irresponsible for them to keep operating in the way they were doing.” The imminent hazard order characterizes Ace Speedway events as “likely to cause an immediate threat to human life, an immediate threat of serious physical injury, an immediate threat of serious adverse health effects.”
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/rebuild/article243392236.html

Tuesday News: Spiking the Curve

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NC FATALITIES ASSOCIATED WITH COVID 19 SURPASS 1,000: At least 36,516 people in North Carolina have tested positive for the coronavirus and 1,041 have died, according to state and county health departments. On Monday, the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services reported an additional 938 cases of the virus, up from 921 reported Sunday. The state was averaging about 1,000 daily cases over the last seven days as of Monday, the highest seven-day rolling average reported so far. State health officials on Monday reported completing about 8,800 new COVID-19 tests for a total of 520,113, about 10% of which have come back positive. At least 739 North Carolinians were hospitalized with COVID-19 on Monday — an all-time daily high since the start of the pandemic. The previous record was 717 hospitalizations reported on Friday.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/coronavirus/article243380661.html

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Keep your eyes on November:

And keep your eyes on your county commissioners, because many are poised to cut funding for boards of elections.

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.

Beware the right-wing misinformation campaigns

Now they've discovered neighborhood chat rooms:

And in Raleigh this week, a message that was posted to neighborhood boards and texted amongst people suggested that “antifa” planned to come into wealthy areas and steal from residents.

“Antifa may be heading into the wealthy neighborhoods tonight to take what should be theirs,” one text said on June 2.

That was in Raleigh, but one that was eerily similar surfaced in Greensboro in the last week, specifically mentioning Old Irving Park as the targeted neighborhood. Mayor Vaughan has been trying to choke this thing for several days, and of course she is being blamed for helping spread the rumor:

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