scharrison's blog

Kinston police punched black man after he was on the ground

Apparently it's open season for this kind of behavior:

Two North Carolina police officers were placed on leave after at least one of them was shown on video throwing punches at a Black man who was taken to the ground after a foot pursuit.

A roughly 17-second video clip from a bystander's cellphone during the arrest Monday night in Kinston appears to show an officer standing over David Lee Bruton Jr. and throwing multiple punches while he's on the ground. The leader of the local chapter of the NAACP called the video disturbing and the man's mother said she's grateful he's alive.

Bolding mine, because it's a damn shame when simply surviving a police encounter is considered a blessing. A woman called 911 to say she had been threatened by somebody (not even sure if it was him), and I'm very curious to see what that threat actually entailed:

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Cue bigoted Republicans bashing the NCAA in 3...2...1...

No refuge: Transgender youth persecuted by their families first

It's no wonder the suicide rate is so high:

28 – percentage of transgender or nonbinary youth who attempted suicide who reported they had been subjected to so-called “conversion therapy.”

78 – percentage of transgender or nonbinary youth who reported that they were under the age of 18 when they were subjected to “conversion therapy.”

40 – percentage of transgender or nonbinary youth who reported being physically threatened or harmed due to their gender identity.

50 – percentage of transgender or nonbinary youth who reported being kicked out of their homes.

To call those numbers "shameful" is a gross understatement. Children are the greatest responsibility an adult can have, and tossing them out if you can't "fix" them is the height of selfish irresponsibility. It's also criminal, or at least it's supposed to be. Conversion therapy is psychologically abusive and, in many cases, also physically abusive. Of course Republicans know this, but they refuse to stop it. And they also don't care if NC gets negative national exposure for promoting violence against transgender youth:

Protect the NC Constitution: Anti-union amendment needs to be blocked

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It's like déjà vu all over again:

Sens. Carl Ford, R-Rowan, and Jim Burgin, R-Harnett, have introduced a bill — Senate Bill 624 — that would guarantee N.C. workers would not be forced to join a labor union or pay union dues as a condition of employment.

North Carolina has had such a “right-to-work” law in place since 1947, but it could be repealed by a future General Assembly. Putting this language in the state constitution would all but guarantee that North Carolina would remain a right-to-work state for the foreseeable future.

I was afraid this would become a regular thing, slapping 4-6 Constitutional Amendments on the ballot every two years. For those inclined to allow the voters to make these decisions, just remember Amendment One from nine years ago. 61% of the voters chose to block gay marriage. Back then, a lot of people I know weren't worried about it. It wouldn't pass, because we had "outgrown" such bigoted concepts. Aside from the potential hazards of each Amendment voted upon, the more they show up on ballots, the less "important" they become in the eyes of voters. Pretty soon it's like changing socks.

The crushing burden of Voter ID on people of color

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Not everybody lives in the mainstream:

Nearly three dozen states require voters to show identification at the polls. And almost half of those states want photo IDs. But there are millions of eligible voters who don't have them. A 2012 survey estimated that 7 percent of American adults lack a government-issued photo ID.

While some organizations have sued to overturn these laws, a nonprofit organization called Spread The Vote has taken a different tack: It helps people without IDs get them. And people over 50 years of age have presented some of their biggest challenges.

Just a quick personal anecdote: when we had to move my mom into a nursing home, it was right at the beginning of a primary early voting period. When she asked me if I would take her to vote, my brain was pushed into overdrive as I tried to figure out "how" to make it happen. Yes, she could change her voter registration thanks to same-day voting. But her driver's license still had her home (house) address. So I would need to take her to the DMV and get that fixed before doing anything else. When I told her that, she just said, "Forget about it, that's too much." I briefly contemplated just taking her to vote under her old, no-longer-valid registration. But then I remembered pricks like Jay DeLancey and McCrory's goons who challenged voters all over the state, and didn't even mention the idea to my mom. Understand, this is somebody who already had ID and voted regularly. A lot of folks are further behind:

COVID 19 has exacerbated the looming teacher shortage

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Not unlike rubbing salt into a wound:

Few professions have been more upended by the pandemic than teaching, as school districts have vacillated between in-person, remote and hybrid models of learning, leaving teachers concerned for their health and scrambling to do their jobs effectively.

For students considering a profession in turmoil, the disruptions have seeded doubts, which can be seen in declining enrollment numbers.

One thing this pandemic has exposed is the sheer hypocrisy and selfishness of many of the parents out there. Being forced to help their 2-3 children cope with and succeed at online learning during the quarantine should have given them a better understanding of what teachers have to deal with on a daily basis (try to imagine 30 instead of 3). But way too many of those parents have gone in the opposite direction; directing their anger over personal hardship at educators and school districts. Conservatives have gotten especially vicious in that regard, making this even worse:

Corporate irresponsibility has led to our voting rights crisis

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Whether it's an "unintended" consequence or not hardly matters:

State legislators across the country who have pushed for new voting restrictions, and also seized on former President Donald Trump's baseless claims of election fraud, have reaped more than $50 million in corporate donations in recent years, according to a new report by Public Citizen, a Washington-based government watchdog group.

Telecom giant AT&T was the most prolific, donating over $800,000 since 2015 to authors of proposed restrictions, cosponsors of such measures, or those who voted in favor of the bills, the report found. Other top donors during the same period include Comcast, Philip Morris, United Health, Walmart, Verizon, General Motors and Pfizer.

The mentality behind these donations is the same problem that put Trump in office for four years: If you will accomplish what I need to be done, I don't care what else you do, however cruel, inhuman, or undemocratic. Republicans (especially those in North Carolina) have cleverly carved themselves a niche, catering to the desires of wealthy business execs (see doctors subjugating nurse practitioners), which gives them the power to wage their ugly culture wars on minorities and the poor, not to mention LGBTQ+ folks. And it's long past time we ignored this factor:

It's not okay: NC's rape culture perseveres

But he's such a nice young man:

McGill, a senior at Ahop Christian Leadership Academy in Chapel Hill, was initially charged with first-degree statutory rape and statutory sex offense with a child in connection with incidents alleged to have occurred in November with a 12-year-old girl.

Following his arrest, two more girls came forward to investigators to report similar incidents involving McGill. According to the latest arrest warrants, the alleged crimes occurred in September 2019 and last November.

At the risk of turning this conversation into a debate about private school vouchers, just let me say this: When you have a K-12 school, a 12 year-old girl coming into contact with a high school (quarterback) is a daily occurrence. The fact it's a "Christian" school does not make it safer for young girls to be in that situation, and this nonsense should not even be uttered:

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