Just from casual observation and also from having to comb the news and opinion sites, I think people are going nuts, and there are other people in high, powerful and influential places trying to keep them that way, since they will be all the more receptive to irrational ideas.
February 8 is an appropriate date to remember, not just in Black History Month (we should not have months that favor single races, genders and ethnicities, first, because there are only 12, and second, because it is divisive and discriminatory, and therefor unethical), always. This was the date of the Orangeburg Massacre in1968, when police officers in Orangeburg, South Carolina open fire on a mostly black crowd of youths during a protest against racial segregation. Three were killed and about 30 were wounded; one of the dead was a high school student siting on a curb waiting for his mother to pick him up.
It all began when activists in Orangeburg pointed out that Harry Floyd’s bowling alley was segregated despite the 1964 Civil Rights Act making such a policy illegal. Floyd refused to obey the law, and authorities in Orangeburg refused to enforce it. A protest followed and extended into days. After a window was smashed in the bowling alley by protesters, police responded with clubs and arrests. Then the protest spread to South Carolina State University, one of the “historically black colleges.” (These are also an anachronism and inherently hypocritical.) When a report of a fire on campus set by protesters caused the Highway Patrol to respond, one protester threw a piece of wood at the officers, who opened fire. Several investigations failed to back up the Highway Patrol’s claim that the demonstrators had attacked them with fire bombs and sniper fire.
With everything else that happened in 1968, still one of the most cataclysmic years in U.S. history, the Orangeburg Massacre has been relatively neglected in our collective memory. While researching the event today, I noticed this statement on the History Channel site:
Shootings on college and high school campuses continue to plague the United States, as does police violence against African Americans—nearly 1,000 people are killed by police every year, and Black people are 2.5 times more likely to die at the hands of law enforcement than white people.
It is unethical for a history website to spin and distort facts like that. The campus “shootings” referred to are not police shootings. Since 1968, every campus shooting—I count eight— has been at the hands of someone who was mentally ill. Eight in 53 years is not a “plague.” After mentioning “police violence against African Americans,” itself a loaded phrase, the article jumps to the total number killed by police, which includes whites, and the 2.5 number is deceptive without context: blacks are 2.5 times more likely to have confrontations with the police, and not just because they are black.
These are anti-gun, anti-police, Black Lives Matter talking points, not “history.”
1. Of course they will. The New York Times notes that the tactics of Nancy Pelosi’s partisan witch hunt, the Jan. 6 Panel, will guarantee that Republicans will return the criminalization of politics in kind when they are in power. “The House select committee scrutinizing the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol is borrowing techniques from federal prosecutions, employing aggressive tactics typically used against mobsters and terrorists…[to] develop evidence that could prompt a criminal case,” the article begins.
What the article doesn’t say, but what is screamingly obvious, is that the primary objective of the 100% biased investigation is to try to stop Donald Trump and his allies from gaining power in 2024. If they can lock him up, all the better. The Times does say that using the House investigative process this way is unprecedented. Wait! I thought defying “democratic norms” was what made Trump a threat to democracy! I’m so confused!
Seeking to find reasons to imprison political opponents is banana republic-style politics, and while Trump audiences may have chanted to lock Hillary up, it is the Democrats who are actually seeking to prosecute an opponent they hate and fear. They are also using a rigged investigation to do it: it’s bipartisan in name only. Republicans are angry, and should be, as should be anyone who is really interested in protecting democracy. The GOP, however, will not take the ethical course and take steps to prevent future House Star Chambers. You know it won’t. It will take that broken norm, and turn it on the party that broke it. Continue reading