Wednesday, July 27, 2016
Almost every presidential election in my lifetime has been a choice between the lesser of two basically undesirable candidates. Nixon v. Humphrey, Reagan v. whomever; the Bushes, Clinton, and a chorus of mediocre candidates from both major parties usually meant supporting some third party candidate with no real chance of winning. However, this election will be different. One candidate is a racist, xenophobe, homophobe, and neo-facist. This is a new development and raises the stakes in this election to a whole new level. It's not a choice between the lesser of two undesirables. Rather, it's the absolute necessity of stopping a truly dangerous person from becoming president.
Saturday, July 23, 2016
Tuesday, July 12, 2016
Monday, July 11, 2016
Thursday, July 7, 2016
What was the crime that cost 32 year old Philando Castille his life? Was it the broken tail light on his automobile that prompted the police to stop him? Why would an officer fire his weapon repeatedly at a man in a car sitting next to his girl friend with her 4 year old daughter in the back seat? One can only assume that because Castille was black, he was murdered. What kind of training did this police officer get on how to handle traffic stops without having it escalate to such a horrible conclusion? This killing, the second by police of a black man in as many days, is not an isolated incident. Rather, it's just the latest in a series of killings of black men by police caught on cameras in recent years. As one commentator noted, the police violence against black Americans is not new, the cameras are. This outrageous police violence must stop. It is a systemic problem with police culture. As Al Sharpton writes, we must have a ststemic solution:
the problem is not isolated; it’s not a Louisiana problem; it’s not a Minnesota problem; it’s not a Staten Island problem — it’s a national problem that requires national reform of police culture and the criminal justice system itself. Nothing short of that will turn this calamity around. We must have independent investigations and prosecutions so that police are held accountable by an objective neutral entity, and the community is assured that there isn’t even an appearance of a conflict of interest. Officers cannot be investigated by those that they interact with on a daily or regular basis — that is common sense. Secondly, there must be extensive training and residency requirements that police live in the cities that they serve. That is the only way that they will respect and treat that community fairly.