September 21, 2016
"Making America Safe Again"
Well...it amazes me that the dots did connect. As I thought about last night's post I immediately thought about Malcolm Gladwell's book The Tipping Point. The product of extensive research into numerous industries and fields, Mr. Gladwell's book is a fascinating window into how trends and movements grow - and fade.
At 10pm, Donald Trump will be on Fox News in a prerecorded town hall meeting filmed in Cleveland and hosted by Sean Hannity. Reports detailing the content of this town hall meeting are already circulating, and this closed town hall meeting took place after a "Meeting on African-American Concerns" that took place at the New Spirit Revival Center in Cleveland Heights.
Before I continue, a recap from last night: "...since the events in Ferguson, Missouri, there has been intense discussion about the militarization of the police. Last year in Baltimore we saw it in full force on April 27, 2015 and in the week that followed (which included the National Guard being deployed and a curfew). More and more we are seeing law enforcement coming out in riot gear and riot formation in response to demonstrations. We saw it this past summer in Baton Rouge (and I am so grateful to have been around a wonderful group of friends and colleagues when that took place - cast members of the Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre, the Schubertiade could not have happened at a better time and we did ALL need that!). We're now seeing it again - in less than a few hours after Keith Lamont Scott's death.
The Fraternal Order of Police just endorsed Donald Trump's presidential candidacy. The Philadelphia Police Union also gave Mr. Trump an endorsement. Mr. Trump has said that he is the only person that can "make America safe again", and has been speaking from a very old and if I may TIRED playbook that ignores the legislation and practices that resulted in the creation of America's oh-so-frightening inner cities. We cannot talk about the "decaying inner cities" without talking about the historical practices of redlining and deed restrictions, both of which left Black Americans OUT of the "American Dream" for decades.
That's not the point, though.
For a while, there WAS discussion about the militarization of police. That discussion seems to have died down, only to be replaced with story after story about Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump. Tonight, in Charlotte, North Carolina, we are again getting glimpses at what could turn into extreme police action.We have a candidate who says that he's the only person who can make our nation "safe again". "
WELL....at 10pm this evening, we can all watch Mr. Trump's town hall meeting. Please do. Why? Well, the Washington Post (as well as many other news outlets) have shared a portion of the content of that meeting, during which Mr. Trump "unveiled" one part of his plan to "make America safe again".
That plan? NATIONAL STOP AND FRISK.
That's right. The policy against which New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio campaigned. The policy that was ruled both unconstitutional and a form of racial profiling by a federal judge in 2013.
I am not anti-police. However, consider again these things:
1. Everything mentioned yesterday and highlighted today,
2. Mr. Trump's incendiary comments about Mexicans and Muslims.
3. The incendiary commentary - again by Mr. Trump - that resulted in the wrongful conviction of a group of men who will forever be known as the "Central Park Five."
While I am confident that there are journalists that can write about this with far more finesse than I do, the message is still the same. IT AIN'T FUNNY ANYMORE. We cannot laugh this off anymore. We cannot joke about this anymore.
That's all for today....