morning in ameriKKKa

Presidents live within a protective cocoon built and continually fortified for one purpose: keeping them alive. But inside the White House compound these days, Donald Trump seems rattled by what’s transpiring outside the windows of his historic residence.

When Marine One deposited Trump on the South Lawn last night after his day trip to Florida, the president walked toward the entrance of the White House amid a cacophony of car horns and chanting protesters who flung themselves against barricades in an hours-long clash with police.

Trump hasn’t seen demonstrations on this kind since he assumed office in January 2017.

Protesters breached an outer checkpoint at 17th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue at one point yesterday afternoon. All day long, cars streamed toward the White House, with passengers leaning out the windows and chanting…

“Black Lives Matter!”

As one car passed a White House gate at 15th and E Streets, a group of men shouted at the guards: “Fuck you.”

On sidewalks littered with soiled masks and empty water bottles, demonstrators pumped their fists in solidarity and demanded respect for African Americans—a community whom Trump says he loves.

Violent demonstrations across the United States bring out a particular weakness in the 45th president.

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SAVE US COLIN KAEPERNICK

Saturday was a time of mourning and a time of reverence for the black lives lost at the hands of law enforcement, more recently the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Organized by Santa Cruz resident Joy Flynn, it took a simple text to a women’s group called Black Girl Magic Santa Cruz to get the ball rolling.

“We’re all sheltering in place, I know I don’t have someone at home to talk to about this,” she said. “This was too much too soon. I was still processing the death of Ahmaud Arbery. It was another injury on top of an injury.”

“I thought, why am I waiting for someone else to say something,” Flynn explained. “I know I needed it. We’re feeling alone and isolated right now. People needed permission to grieve together in a safe and peaceful environment.”

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THE POWER OF BEARING WITNESS

If you haven’t watched the video of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin killing George Floyd by jamming his knee into Floyd’s cervical spine for nearly nine minutes until he loses consciousness, you really should.

And if you can’t understand why large swaths of urban America have been in flames these last few nights, do two more things…

(1)

Instead of George Floyd, who you probably don’t know, imagine the person pinned under Chauvin’s knee—prone, handcuffed, unresisting, and begging for mercy—was someone you love.

(2)

Listen to conservative pundits dissecting Chauvin’s merciless assault on Floyd with all the sangfroid of a referee performing an instant replay review to see whether the runner’s knee was down when the ball came loose.

No wonder it seems as though the country is coming apart at the seams.

CORNEL WEST ON THE DEEPER CRISIS FACING US

What we’re seeing here is the ways in which the vicious legacy of white supremacy manifests in organized hatred, greed and corruption. We’re witnessing the collapse of the legitimacy of leadership, the political class, the economic class, the professional class, that’s the deeper crisis.

The beautiful thing is we’re seeing citizens who are caring and concerned hitting the streets. The problem is we have a system that’s not responding and seems to be unable to respond.

If we’re more concerned about the property and spillover than the poverty, decrepit school systems, dilapidated housing, massive unemployment and underemployment, we’re going to be doing this every five, every 10, every 20 years.

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GEORGE FLOYD PROTESTS: Noticing Your Reaction

What was your first reaction when you saw the video of the white cop kneeling on George Floyd’s neck while Floyd croaked, “I can’t breathe”?

If you’re white, you probably muttered a horrified, “Oh, my God” while shaking your head at the cruel injustice. If you’re black, you probably leapt to your feet, cursed, maybe threw something (certainly wanted to throw something), while shouting, “Not @#$%! again!”

Then you remember the two white vigilantes accused of murdering Ahmaud Arbery as he jogged through their neighborhood in February, and how if it wasn’t for that video emerging a few weeks ago, they would have gotten away with it.

And how those Minneapolis cops claimed Floyd was resisting arrest but a store’s video showed he wasn’t.

And how the cop on Floyd’s neck wasn’t an enraged redneck stereotype, but a sworn officer who looked calm and entitled and devoid of pity: the banality of evil incarnate.

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BEYONCE DEMANDS JUSTICE FOR GEORGE FLOYD

“We need justice for George Floyd. We all witnessed his murder in broad daylight. We’re broken and we’re disgusted. We cannot normalize this pain,” Beyoncé said.

“I’m not only speaking to people of color; if you’re white, black, brown or anything in-between, I’m sure you feel hopeless by the racism going on in America right now. No more senseless killing of human beings, no more seeing people of color as less than human. We can no longer look away. George is all of our family in humanity. He’s our family because he’s a fellow American.”

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CURFEWS ARE FOR CHILDREN. WE ARE NOT CHILDREN.

Thousands of protesters participated in dozens of demonstrations nationwide Saturday, a day after a Minneapolis police officer was arrested and charged with the third-degree murder and manslaughter of George Floyd.

Hundreds of protesters walked against traffic in Manhattan on Saturday afternoon, temporarily stalling vehicles on 7th Ave. The group chanted…

“No justice, no peace.”

“Whose streets? Our streets.”

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced a curfew.

Earlier, hundreds of protesters gathered downtown at Federal Plaza on Saturday afternoon for a demonstration organized by Black Lives Matter.

Protesters chanted…

“Say his name, George Floyd.”

“Say her name, Breonna Taylor.”

Drivers honked their horns. Some held signs saying Black Lives Matter and Liberty And Justice For All.

Protesters clashed with police outside the White House Saturday, as tensions flared there for a second day.

Protesters marched and chanted…

“No justice! No peace!”

“I can’t breathe!”

In Lafayette Square, across the street from the White House and along surrounding streets, Kamala Harris stood with protesters outside the White House.

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OHIO CONGRESSWOMAN PEPPER SPRAYED

Democratic Rep. Joyce Beatty, an African-American congresswoman from Ohio, was sprayed with pepper spray in downtown Columbus on Saturday while talking to people protesting the death of George Floyd.

“I was there because I wanted the young protesters to know that in solidarity, that I stand with them. You know, I’m a grandmother, I’m an elected official, but I’m a black woman first and I felt the pain,” she said.

“We came out there to support them and be with them. It was just something in my heart thinking about George Floyd, thinking about all of the injustices.” Beatty said.

COVID-19: COMPASSION CRISIS

The COVID-19 crisis provides an opportunity to change the terms of the discussion about incarcerated people — by humanizing them.

This transformation could thereby enable the acceleration of a broader and deeper process of long-term decarceration based on rational principles involving public safety, cost and genuine justice.

Are we ready to see and consider them as us?

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AMERICA IS HEARTBROKEN, FURIOUS

Angry protests nationwide on Friday followed the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis.

Clashes erupted between activists and law enforcement in many locations, and at least two people were dead by Saturday morning.

Demonstrators nationwide have taken to the streets after Floyd died while being arrested in Minneapolis. A video shows a police officer kneeling on his neck for at least seven minutes; Floyd is heard begging for the police to stop and saying he cannot breathe. That police officer has been arrested and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.

Three other officers were present but have not been charged. All four were fired earlier in the week.

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