Republican racism

Asheville reparations program sets aside $2.1 million for funding

How that money will be spent is still undecided:

The Asheville City Council approved a budget amendment on Tuesday to pull the money from city land purchased in the 1970s as part of the city’s urban renewal programs that took apart Black communities, the Asheville Citizen Times reported. The city council also adopted a proclamation declaring June 19 as Juneteenth, the date which marks the end of slavery in the U.S.

The City Council has previously said the reparations do not require direct payments but would mandate investments in areas where Black residents face disparities. City Manager Debra Campbell on Tuesday said officials have not yet determined what those investments will entail.

Where they got the money from is just as important as the money itself. It's a tacit admission that the City is responsible for actions taken over a century after the Civil War concluded, and that slavery was only one part of the systemic repression of African-Americans in our state. It's long past time we took a harsh look at redlining and other segregational aspects of the 20th Century. The City is holding a forum today (6 pm) where speakers will discuss the current challenges and take public comments (limited to 2 minutes per). Trying to set up a livestream for later down here:

What the doctor ordered: Richard Besser (MD) on the Hannah-Jones issue

Truer words have never been spoken:

“At the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, we are committed to achieving health and racial equity by dismantling cultural racism, ” Besser wrote. “A growing body of evidence shows the role that structural racism and discrimination play in health disparities for people of color in the United States. A recent New England Journal of Medicine article – which I co-authored with Dr. David Williams, a preeminent scholar on race and health and Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, former RWJF President and CEO – outlined the clear and historic pattern of disparities in the health of Black people and other minority groups as compared with White people in the United States. These findings are not the result of a singular act or policy, rather they stem from historic and systemic racist policies and structures which can be insidious or overt.”

No matter how they try to justify or rationalize the decision to deny tenure to Nikole Hannah-Jones, the practical effect is discrimination and disparate treatment. It is what it is, and not what you want it to be. The same goes for Walter Hussman, and his denial that he tried to intervene. There are e-mails detailing his intervention, FFS. More from Dr. Besser:

Board of Education member wants to teach that America is Great

And we can thank Myers Park Pat for this jewel in the crown:

Several months ago in our discussion about standards, I made a comment from the table about the foundation of our social studies curriculum being anchored in the thought and the premise that America is a great nation.

I really think that a document or a statement underlining that fact that our teachers teaching in the public schools should be making every effort to help our students understand our history as it impacts the socioeconomics, diversity, economic development and future development of this country. It’s important that we undergird that with the idea that we live in a tremendously prosperous land.

One in five school-age children in NC go hungry, and Amy (Bannister) White knows this because she runs a food pantry:

White Supremacy in the ranks: Removing extremists not as easy as it sounds

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Testing the limits of the 1st Amendment:

California is one of four states, including Oregon, Minnesota and Tennessee, along with Washington, D.C., that have proposed new laws to give law enforcement agencies more power to exclude officers with ties to extremism.

Various such efforts have been simmering around the country for years, spurred by F.B.I. reports starting more than 15 years ago that document a concerted effort by white supremacist and other extremist organizations to infiltrate the police.

They actually stumbled across intel in 2004 that pushed them to investigate further, discovering the deployment of "Ghost Skins." These are White Supremacists who don't wear the garb (or tattoos) of neo-nazis, so they can blend in and work from inside police and other organizations. Here's the redacted 2006 report released last year (can't copy and paste, you'll have to read it yourself). Here's more on the rights of racists:

Family will view Andrew Brown shooting video today

But a judge will have to approve the release to the general public:

As community leaders ask for the release of body camera footage to the public, Wayne Kendall, attorney for the family of Andrew Brown, Jr., says the family will be able to view the footage on Monday.

"Family members are allowed to see bodycam recording if the image of a deceased person that is related to that person is on the recording," Kendall explained. "And their attorneys are allowed to see it. That's codified within the statute, so there's no issue there."

Apparently there is an issue, since Brown was shot Wednesday morning and the family has yet to see it. I can see waiting 24 hours to give the department time to analyze the footage, but not six days. As expected, this story went national pretty quickly: Note: the image above shows a stray bullet that struck a neighbor's home. When SWAT shows up, it's time to duck and cover.

Targeted intimidation: Klan flyers show up in advocates' yards

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Solid proof of why these statues need to be removed:

Inside the plastic bag was the homemade KKK flyer -- and a business card from the East Coast Knights of the Invisible Empire. When Houpe looked closely at what her son handed her, at first, she was stunned. Then, she got angry that her son had to see it. “He cried and he asked me, ‘Do we need to move? What should we do?’” Houpe said. “I’m just a woman who wants to see change and her kids to grow up in a community without this kind of hate. That’s all I’m working to do.”

Statesville Police Chief David Addison said the flyers began showing up on Saturday -- four days after county commissioners had voted 4-1 to move the Confederate monument that’s been in front of the courthouse since 1905.

This "Invisible Empire" is probably a baker's dozen of glazed nut-jobs, but the implied threat should be taken very seriously. And this flyer should be included as evidence in the license plate lawsuit, just so Kevin Stone would be forced to explain the difference between targeted intimidation and broad-based intimidation.

Pandemicking while Black: The racial disparity in vaccine distribution is stark

Exposing some deep flaws in our healthcare system:

Communities of color, which have borne the brunt of the Covid-19 pandemic in the United States, have also received a smaller share of available vaccines. The vaccination rate for Black Americans is half that of white people, and the gap for Hispanic people is even larger, according to a New York Times analysis of state-reported race and ethnicity information.

“People of color are getting vaccinated at rates below their representation of the general population,” Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, the chair of President Biden’s coronavirus equity task force, said at a recent forum on the vaccine. “This narrative can be changed. It must be changed."

A quick perusal of the 10 worst states (highest minority populations, largest gaps) shows that 7 of them have not expanded Medicaid. It's not a big surprise, I kind of expected it. But it also demonstrates clearly that African-Americans suffer greatly from Republicans' refusal to expand. And it also goes a long way in explaining "why" they refuse to do so, although they would deny it with their dying breath. Here are some other factors that come into play:

Robinson's anti-semitism earns rebuke from ADL

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Of course no apology is forthcoming:

In a statement to JI, the Anti-Defamation League denounced the lieutenant governor in the group’s first public remarks on the upstart lawmaker. “It is incumbent upon all public leaders to forcefully condemn antisemitism, racism, xenophobia, homophobia and all forms of hate,” Doron Ezickson, vice president of the ADL’s Mid-Atlantic and Midwest division, told JI. “Robinson must apologize.”

But Robinson has refused to do so. “When I made those posts as a private citizen, I was speaking directly to issues that I’m passionate about,” he said at the news conference in early February. “As a public servant, I have to put those opinions behind me and do what’s right for everyone in North Carolina,” he added. “I’m grown enough to do that.”

Dude, when you're "passionate" about attacking Jews, it makes you even more dangerous, not less. And the fact you're too stupid to realize how bad that sounds is just one more item on a long list of disturbing personal quirks. But in the era of Trump, people barely notice it:

Alamance battleground: Sheriff adds felony charges to (peaceful) protest leader

And could land Greg Drumwright in jail for 3-4 years:

Twenty-three people were arrested, including the main march organizers. All of these people initially were charged with misdemeanors.

Now, Drumwright is being charged with felony assault with physical injury on a law enforcement officer and felony obstructing justice in addition to his previous charge of misdemeanor failure to disperse on command.

Here are a couple of truth-bombs: If you aren't allowed to connect your public address sound system to electric outlets at the venue (Courthouse), you will need a stand-alone generator. And that generator will need gasoline to function. It's as simple as that. But law enforcement saw an opportunity to escalate the situation by viewing the gas can as an incendiary device; fuel for a fire that was never going to happen. And in the process, they perfectly symbolized the core issue driving the Black Lives Matter movement itself: Police operating from a "worst case scenario" mindset when dealing with black citizens. An assumption of guilt that must be (somehow) proven wrong by the suspect, often in a matter of seconds before lethal force comes into play. I'll let Reverend Drumwright speak his mind, since Terry Johnson won't allow it in his fiefdom:

COVID winners: Sturm Ruger posts record-breaking profits

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The very last thing we need is more guns in circulation:

Another sharp increase in demand for firearms amid the COVID-19 pandemic and national political tension enabled Sturm, Ruger & Co. to post Wednesday a nearly fivefold hike in third-quarter net income to $24.75 million. The report was a near repeat of Ruger's second-quarter performance, which yielded a threefold profit hike to $18.6 million.

By comparison, net income a year ago was $4.82 million. The third-quarter 2020 profit was offset somewhat by Ruger paying $8.1 million in income taxes, up from $1.5 million a year ago.

That's nearly a six-fold increase in gun sales in one year. This likely has more to do with the social unrest attributed to police killings of black people than the virus itself, but don't write off the quarantine mentality completely. Curbing social interaction has a psychological toll we simply can't predict, but it's definitely not good. We talk about mass shootings in schools and other public venues as the major threat to American children. But 3 out of 4 of them are killed at home:

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