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'An Inability to Meet the Moment'

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  • G David Bock
    Trump signs executive order urging police reform, says cops need more funding

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  • ljadw
    The communist rollingstone is nor a serious source there were no law-abiding demonstrators at La Fayette square,but people who violated the curfew.
    Besides, there is no proof that the death of Floyd was a murder, and if so, that it was racially motivated .The police officer responsible for the death of Floyd ( better : co responsible ) was married to a Laotian woman.

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  • bill shack
    Donald Trump’s astounding incompetence in recent months — worsening the effects of the lethal COVID-19 pandemic, mishandling the ensuing economic disaster, and maliciously inflaming racial tensions — has affirmed that he is without question the worst president in American history. None of the other contenders for the dishonor, including James Buchanan and most recently George W. Bush, can match Trump’s record of bringing on or aggravating three devastating crises at the same time, any one of which might have ruined another president’s reputation. And two incidents amid the turmoil suggest that Trump, having made a career out of shafting justice, might finally pay the price.
    The murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25th, recorded on an anguished teenager’s cellphone, may prove the equivalent, for this generation, of the pictures from a half-century ago of police dogs attacking peaceful black protesters in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1963, or of the tear-gassing and beating of black voting-rights marchers at the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, two years later. Trump has skillfully exploited the bitterness and despair of the nation’s racial divide, thrilling his supporters with his undisguised invective, but after that grotesque incident went viral, public consciousness snapped. The nationwide demonstrations that followed, to say nothing of those abroad, have amounted to the largest such protest of American racial injustice ever, far surpassing the protest gatherings of the abolitionists before the Civil War or the civil-rights movement in the 1960s.


    Ben Carson Ignores Trump Lie About Being Better Than Lincoln, Says 'Grow Up' About Historical Injustices

    Jake Tapper: 'Trump Stands With Dead, Racist Losers' by Honoring Confederate Commanders

    Then, a second event, the battle of Lafayette Square on June 1st, dramatized the authoritarian essence of Trump’s presidency, and may well be a turning point that leads to his downfall and repudiation. Besieged by the protests over Floyd’s killing, removed to his White House bunker, and publicly accused of cowardice, Trump would not permit his humiliation to stand. To “dominate,” as he put it, he assembled the press corps in the White House Rose Garden and threatened to unleash the entire U.S. military.
    Then, he and his entourage — Attorney General William Barr, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley (dressed in battle fatigues), and national security adviser Robert O’Brien — marched across the street to pose for a photo-op in front of St. John’s Church. Ivanka Trump pulled a Bible out of her Max Mara handbag and gave the prop to her father, who awkwardly held it up for the cameras. After this performance, workers constructed tall fences around Lafayette Square and the White House. Trump finally had his wall — and Mexico still hadn’t paid for it.
    The political calculation behind Trump’s latest reality-TV display had historical overtones, dating back to the white-backlash “law and order” demagogy that helped elect Richard Nixon in 1968. In the Rose Garden, Trump proclaimed, “I am your president of law and order,” at the very minute that police cleared the way for his arrival in Lafayette Square by attacking law-abiding demonstrators with tear gas and sting-ball grenades. Having appropriated Nixon’s tag line, Trump then tried to one-up him with his Bible-toting God-and-country theatrics. Politics receded back into pathology.

    Trump badly misjudged the moment. Nixon proclaimed “law and order” in 1968 to challenge the beleaguered incumbent administration of Lyndon Johnson and Hubert Humphrey, and he was able to sustain himself in office as the law-and-order president until his own lawlessness in the Watergate scandal brought him down. Nixon also encased his rougher rhetoric in appeals to national unity, promising to end the divisions under his responsible leadership, distinguishing himself from the arch-segregationist third-party candidate, former Alabama Gov. George C. Wallace. Trump, however, is himself the beleaguered incumbent president, trying, with spectacular viciousness, to distract the public from the colossal catastrophes of his own making. And Trump dispenses with themes of unity, content to intensify social hatreds for his own political benefit, and winds up sounding less like Nixon and more like Wallace.

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  • Drusus Nero
    Look, you can do anything with statistics....

    The very fact that more Afro-Americans are in jail is not the fault of anybody but the individual perpetrators themselves.

    What are we to do? Say that because coloured people represent 10% o0f the population that only ten percent of people in jail should be coloured?

    That doesn't make any sense at all.

    Similarly, you cannot apply proportional representation to other sections of society that aren't reliant to begin with on proportionality.

    Not enough cloured kids going to school? Yes, that's proportional and should be acted upon.
    Not enough coloured kids graduating from college? That's dependant on the individuals and their motivation to succeed, nothing more, you cant change that with a law.

    Not enough coloured people in representative politics?
    Again, this is not somerhing you can just "allocate" to based on population figures. Individuals that rise to that level are entirely dependant on their own personal record, how much money they have to spend, and what type of message thwey are touting.

    Its the same for women. If not enough women are getting politically active, and spending their hard earned dollars to become representative, then it follows that less women are going to be elected.

    All the quotas in the world will not change that.

    When I went to the United Styates for three months, some of the downright best people to talk to about America and Americans were COLOURED.
    Bright, breezy, intelligent, open, honest...and God-darnnit, every one of them were PROUD to be Americans. Would have laid down their lives for America, would have sacrificed it all for the good of the United States.

    Most white Americans I talked to were exactly the same.

    People that have only met American tourists tend to trash Americans and American values.

    Don't they realise that America has sacrificed lots of its people and lots of its money and resources to guarantee the freedom of much of the free world.

    Stop pulling yourselves apart, America! Wake up and reakise that you live in the Greatest Nation on earth.

    Try and treat eachother kindly....I''ll leave you with the words of the great American satarist, Tom Lehrer, from his song, "National Brotherhood Week"

    All the white folks, hate the black folks,
    and the black folks, hate the white folks.
    All of my folks hate all of your folks,
    Its American as apple pie....but during

    National brotherhood week,
    National brotherhood week,
    Lena Horne and Sherrif Clark are dancing cheek to cheek,
    Step up and shake the hand of,
    someone you cant stand
    you can tolerate them if you try

    All the protestants, hate the catholics,
    and the catholics, hate the protestants,
    and the Hindus hate the Moslems,
    And everybody hates the Jews

    but during, national brotherhood week,
    national brotherhood week,
    New Yorkers love the Puerto Ricans cause its very chic.....

    Love Tome Afro-Americans...Love America spite of itself...

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  • Johan Banér
    Originally posted by G David Bock View Post

    Far more at the hands of their fellow black people than any other race-ethnic-police
    Well yes, that IS also at the very heart of the argument that what's really working them over are the effects of "structural racism" – people shoved to the bottom of the crab-bucket, and anyone trying to escape gets pulled down to the level of everyone else in the bucket.

    That is after all the most effective way of suppressing any group – create an actual architecture of society that ends up forcing them to do the keeping-in-place to themselves.

    But the US was formed on official principles clearly stating that to NOT be the case. But then people notice the discrepancies – so something is not right.

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  • G David Bock
    Washington State Governor Jay Inslee far more clueless and better at the tyrant-dictator than Trump;
    Inslee claimed Wednesday that he was unaware of the situation in Seattle, although it has been the subject of national news reports for days.

    "Well, that's news to me," Inslee said. "So, I'll have to reserve any comment about it. I have not, I have not heard anything about that from a credible source, not that you're not credible, it's just like before I espouse an opinion, I should know of which I speak."

    HOWEVER ... Idiot governor Inslee knew enough three months ago to shut down over half the state's economy, throwing thousands of businesses into the abyss of bankruptcy and their employees into the throughs of unemployment to deal with a disease we are still trying to know and understand.

    If the stupidity of the Left as shown by dictator Inslee weren't so lethal it might be humorous. Unfortunately;
    "Leftist lie, people die".

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  • G David Bock
    Originally posted by Johan Banér View Post
    That is the underlying principle the US is formally dedicated to, and has been for a very long time.

    The problem is that black people then still end up dead in a curious and disproportionate fashion. Leads to questions about whether those nice declarations were just words and might not quite be worth the paper they are printed on? The protesters clearly pick up from that.
    Far more at the hands of their fellow black people than any other race-ethnic-police

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  • Johan Banér
    Originally posted by Drusus Nero View Post
    I don't understand why Black Lives Matter don't protest when someone white dies in custody as well.

    Shouldn't the slogan be ALL Lives Matter?
    That is the underlying principle the US is formally dedicated to, and has been for a very long time.

    The problem is that black people then still end up dead in a curious and disproportionate fashion. Leads to questions about whether those nice declarations were just words and might not quite be worth the paper they are printed on? The protesters clearly pick up from that.

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  • Drusus Nero
    I don't understand why Black Lives Matter don't protest when someone white dies in custody as well.

    Shouldn't the slogan be ALL Lives Matter?

    For that matter, why dont people in the multi-ethnic United States of America simply see themselves as "Americans" rather than "African Americans or "German Americans" or "Italian Americans" etc etc.

    The day is surely coming when Afro America demands to have an afro American on the Moon as well, simply for the political correctness of it.

    Didn't Martin Luther King not say...."I have a dream, that people will be able to live in a society where they are not judged by the colour of their skin...."

    Well, doent that work both ways?

    Can America live in a society that eliminates references to colour when it comes to achievement as well?

    That is, "The First Afro-American" to do something,like walking on the moon be simply described as "The next man/woman to walk on the moon" rather than "First Afro-American to walk on the moon."

    Seems to me that being human and achieving things is quite enough. You don't have to be an ethnic or racial minority for achievements to be significant.

    I woiuld say that the first afro American on the moon has no reason to claim this as an achievement just for "the colour of his skin".

    Martin L. King was a great man. Stop trampling all over his words by putting people up on an achievement pedestal and have them judged, favourably or unfavourably "according to the colour of their skin..."


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  • Massena
    started a topic 'An Inability to Meet the Moment'

    'An Inability to Meet the Moment'

    Trump does nothing but pile error upon error:
    President Trump, besieged by a long season of crisis, wanted to create an iconic moment.

    Less than one hour after federal authorities forcibly removed peaceful protesters from Lafayette Square, the president emerged with military leaders from the fortified White House — the air still thick with the acrid smell of tear gas — to pose for pictures holding a Bible in front of a historical church.

    The moment was indeed iconic. But it spawned yet another crisis for the president.

    The succession of images from Lafayette Square on June 1 has reverberated for nearly two weeks — a harrowing cable news split-screen that now has enduring consequences for Trump and outsize symbolism for a nation broken after yet another black man died in the custody of police.

    So indelible were the pictures that night outside the White House that Lafayette Square has come to represent Trump’s inability to meet the moment. The layers of black fencing erected to close the park and surrounding streets became Fortress White House — a physical manifestation of the president’s distance from Americans’ cries for racial justice. The bold, yellow “BLACK LIVES MATTER” lettering on 16th Street became a declaration of resistance visible from the sky. And the name Lafayette Square itself became a shorthand for so much of what many see as wrong in America.

    “History picks these moments. It picked the march on Selma. It picked Bull Connor sending dogs against children. It picked the burning child from Vietnam,” said Stuart Stevens, a longtime Republican strategist and ad maker who works with the Lincoln Project, an anti-Trump group.

    With his triumphal stride through the square to historical St. John’s Episcopal Church, Trump had hoped to appear strong and dominant, and to dispel the narrative of him hiding in the secured White House bunker during evening protests outside. Demanding a show of force, he sought to make the nation’s capital a shining example of how to control the streets amid racial unrest.

    Instead, the photo op proved calamitous.

    The episode caused an extraordinary breach between the commander in chief and the military. The Pentagon’s top general, Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Mark A. Milley, and Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper, both of whom flanked Trump that day, scrambled to distance themselves from the spectacle. And a succession of former officers, including Jim Mattis, Trump’s first defense secretary, excoriated the president.

    The outrage was similar within religious communities. Washington’s top episcopal and Catholic bishops each condemned Trump for using the Bible as a prop in what they described as an incendiary display outside a house of worship.

    The episode magnified many characteristics of the Trump presidency. At a period of national turmoil, Trump appeared self-indulgent and overtly political as he posed for photos that his aides quickly turned into a propaganda-style montage.

    The event itself was slapdash and haphazard. No remarks were prepared for the president to deliver. He did not tour the damage the church sustained to its basement during riots the night before. When a reporter asked if he was holding a family Bible, he described it only as “a Bible.” He offered no prayer or moment of silence to honor the life of George Floyd, whose May 25 death in the custody of Minneapolis police sparked the nationwide protests for racial justice.

    “What happened was symptomatic of so many things,” said a senior White House official, speaking anonymously to share a candid assessment. “The gulf between what happened and what could have happened was so great. If you’re going to go, then go — but plan it.”

    Trump’s standing in public opinion polls, already weak amid the coronavirus pandemic, has dropped further since the Lafayette Square episode. The smoky images of largely peaceful protesters choking on chemical irritants juxtaposed with the president’s photo op prompted the opposite of his intended effect, generating widespread sympathy for the protesters.

    Eddie Glaude, the chair of the department of African American studies at Princeton University, said that in two short weeks Lafayette Square has come to represent “the theater of dictatorial power.”

    “People saw it clearly for what it was, and to conscript the military into that performance made concrete the feeling that not only are we seeing the erosion of democratic norms, but the very institutions of the country are in jeopardy,” Glaude said.

    Retired Army general Wesley Clark, who served as supreme allied commander of NATO, recalled watching the clash at Lafayette Square on television: “My wife and I looked at these young people demonstrating. They were wearing Patagonia shirts. These were not the Rodney King riots of 1992. And suddenly, they were moved against viciously. I don’t care if it was tear gas or pepper spray. It was really shocking and outrageous. There was no reason for it. Then to see the president come across with the military leadership, oh, it looked ugly.”

    Inside Trump’s orbit, the reaction was mixed. Some worried the president’s desire for an immediate display of strength had backfired, making it look like the president personally had ordered the use of tear gas against Americans. The spectacle underscored the lack of any substantive planning or communications forethought behind the sojourn through the square, according to a current senior administration official and a former senior administration official.

    “This was a colossal staff failure,” said the former official, who has been briefed on internal deliberations and spoke on the condition of anonymity to be frank. “I’m sure that it was well-intentioned by people who were aware that there was a need and desire for the president to project strength and to counter the hiding-in-the-bunker narrative that was so frustrating to him. . . . But it was very poorly executed, and as a result clearly did more harm than good, for the president and for the country.”

    Nevertheless, Trump has celebrated the images of himself standing in front of St. John’s and holding the Bible aloft.

    “I think it was a beautiful picture,” Trump said in a Fox News interview that aired Friday. “I’ll tell you, I think Christians think it was a beautiful picture.”

    Inside the West Wing, the impulse was largely to spin the event as a success. Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter and a senior White House adviser, had encouraged the idea and transported the Bible in her designer Max Mara purse, and a cadre of aides had accompanied Trump on his walk to the church. In the aftermath, aides tried to reassure the president that the damaging story line was just more “fake news” and that he had, in fact, pulled off a historic moment.

    In an interview with CBS News Radio on Friday, Vice President Pence — who was absent from the photo op — said that he had been encouraged to remain at the White House “out of an abundance of caution.”

    “But I would have been happy to walk shoulder-to-shoulder with President Trump,” Pence said. He added, “We don’t allow places of worship to be burned in this country. We don’t stand by while churches or synagogues or mosques are vandalized. The president made that very clear in his walk.”

    Trump’s five years as a presidential candidate and president are littered with controversies that spark outrage in the moment, only to be largely forgotten and fail to sway public sentiment. But some episodes, such as his impeachment earlier this year and his handling of the deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville in 2017, are more definitional — and Lafayette Square has the potential to join that category.

    Terry McAuliffe served as the Democratic governor of Virginia during the Charlottesville incident, when the president heralded “very fine people on both sides” of the rally. McAuliffe said that, as with Charlottesville, the Lafayette Square photo op revealed that “the man has no moral compass, no moral core.”

    “Charlottesville and the Bible incident are the two biggest moral failures of this president on display,” McAuliffe said. “Each time, we wanted the president to rise above it and say we’re better than this, and both times he did nothing but fan the flames and create more division.”

    The campaign of former vice president Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, released a video Friday that sought to use the Lafayette Square moment against Trump. Against the backdrop of images of violent chaos from that evening, a narrator intones, “He’s afraid he looks too weak. So he has tear gas and flash grenades used on peaceful protesters just for a photo op.”

    The video concludes: “Where is Donald Trump? Too scared to face the people. Too small to meet the moment. Too weak to lead.”

    Trump’s critics say his instinct to produce powerful imagery backfired in this instance, forcing Americans to evaluate his character — and not in a way that necessarily accrues for the president.

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