Humanity Lifted Up By Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey

The news from Minneapolis is simply dreadful.  Simply nauseating to witness.  In 2020 this should not be happening.  That it does happen, over and over in America, alerts us all to the unfinished work we have to do with fundamental issues in the nation.  There is no way to not understand why there is collective trauma within the black community today.

The Minneapolis police statement was a sick joke.  It was not honest.  With their short and overly sanitized wording the department looks detached from humanity.  The report speaks of a man, who was wanted for suspicion of trying to pass a fake $20 bill at a convenience store.  The report stated he seemed to be “under the influence,” and “physically resisted officers” and he appeared to be “suffering medical distress.”

But then there is that pesky damn video that shows so much of the report to be false.  And thank God folks have the ability to record such news events so to demonstrate to the nation what is happening with these cases.

The video is sickening in both the scope of the behavior of the police officers at the scene but also as it undermined the brazen lies in the report about the death of a citizen.  A death caused by an officer who pressed his knee into the neck of someone alleged to have passed a fake denomination.  As the victim lay on the ground stating  “I can’t breathe” again and again the officers did nothing.

George Floyd later died at a hospital.  The shocking and deplorable actions of these officers, and the department trying to sanitize their report, is another reminder of how some seriously flawed individuals work in some police departments in our nation.

The Minneapolis Police Department fired the officer as well as three others who were at the scene.

But what stands out tonight is the leadership from Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey.  It was a tough day for him.  But what he demonstrated was what lacks so much in our nation when it comes to our elected class.  Emotion and honesty and courage and conviction and mid-western sensibilities in his words and eyes.  He was not reciting some trite response but what he said clearly came from his gut.

Frey allowed our nation to find some humanity today with not only words but his demeanor which spoke louder than anything he said.  We do not see that from those politicians who make the headlines over the past years.

“Being black in America should not be a death sentence. For five minutes, we watched a white officer press his knee into a black man’s neck. Five minutes. When you hear someone calling for help, you’re supposed to help. This officer failed in the most basic, human sense.”

I firmly believe most police officers in this nation are of the character of which we all can be proud.  But there are also too many in the profession who are not wedded to the code of conduct their job demands.  As we see in the video not all in uniform appreciate the gravity of their actions.  One of the fired officers stood by as witnesses pleaded with the police to let Floyd up and to check his pulse.

The full legal implications of the actions taken, and not taken, by these officers must be fully exercised by the city and family. These despicable officers absolutely must be held accountable to the full extent of the law.

Twitter Showing Facts Matter, Treats Trump Like Man-Child He Is

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This is precisely what those of us who live in a fact-based society requested.

Twitter on Tuesday slapped a fact-check label on Donald Trump’s over-the-top, false, incendiary, and ridiculous tweets.  This was the first time Twitter found its way forward in dealing with the blatant misinformation and lies from Trump.  They are to be applauded for their first step.  More steps will be required. 

While there are many examples of Trump pushing rubbish, along with the absence of facts in each tweet, it was two tweets in particular that falsely claimed mail-in ballots are fraudulent which caused for action today.  There is ZERO proof of Trump’s claims, and that is what caused Twitter to label those tweets with  “Get the facts about mail-in ballots,” and redirects users to news articles about Trump’s unsubstantiated claims.

This must be but the first step toward reigning in an autocrat who purposefully uses lies and smears to further his political aims.   As I posted earlier today the widower of a former staffer to then-Rep. Joe Scarborough asked Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey to delete tweets by Trump furthering a baseless conspiracy theory about the staffer’s wife’s death.

America waits for the only logical response Twitter can take regarding those mean-spirited tweets.  They must be removed.

Donald Trump Is Skid Mark On America, Causing Pain To Bereaved Husband

For everyone who read The New York Times today, whether the printed copy that arrived on your doorstep, or online, there was no missing the weight of a column written by Kara Swisher. When it comes to being perfectly toned with facts and perspective this column, which underscored the rot that is Donald  Trump, is exceptional.

Namely, because the writing was so in touch with the emotional angst of a husband who wrote powerful words about his deceased wife, and spoke candidly about a deplorable president who again proved he has not an ounce of empathy or any ability to contain his worst instincts as a human being.

I read my copy in the sunshine today with the breeze making for a comfortable afternoon.  The weather was the only thing that tempered my mood while reading another truly despicable action of Donald Trump.

“Please delete those tweets,” the widower begged in a letter last week to Twitter’s chief executive, Jack Dorsey. “My wife deserves better.”

These paragraphs from that letter.

The frequency, intensity, ugliness, and promulgation of these horrifying lies ever increases on the internet. These conspiracy theorists, including most recently the President of the United States, continue to spread their bile and misinformation on your platform disparaging the memory of my wife and our marriage. President Trump on Tuesday tweeted to his nearly 80 million followers alluding to the repeatedly debunked falsehood that my wife was murdered by her boss, former U.S. Rep. Joe Scarborough. The son of the president followed and more directly attacked my wife by tweeting to his followers as the means of spreading this vicious lie.

I’m asking you to intervene in this instance because the President of the United States has taken something that does not belong to him — the memory of my dead wife — and perverted it for perceived political gain. I would also ask that you consider Lori’s niece and two nephews who will eventually come across this filth in the future. They have never met their Aunt and it pains me to think they would ever have to “learn” about her this way.

My wife deserves better.

 

Yes, Twitter, Lori Klausutis certainly does deserve better, nearly two decades after she died in a tragic accident that has morphed into a macabre and continuing nightmare for her husband, Timothy Klausutis.

The boogeyman plunging him and the family of his late wife into the very worst of memory holes is a conspiracy-theory-loving, twitchy-fingered and often shameless tweeter who also happens to be the president of the United States, Donald J. Trump.

“President Trump on Tuesday tweeted to his nearly 80 million followers alluding to the repeatedly debunked falsehood that my wife was murdered by her boss, former U.S. Rep. Joe Scarborough. The son of the president followed and more directly attacked my wife by tweeting to his followers as the means of spreading this vicious lie,” wrote Mr. Klausutis, in a letter sent to Mr. Dorsey on Thursday that I obtained over the weekend.

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Another solution being discussed inside Twitter is to label the tweets as false and link to myriad high-quality information and reporting that refute the tweets’ sinister insinuations. Sources told me that after initial hesitance in dealing with Mr. Trump’s tweets about Ms. Klausutis, the company has accelerated work on a more robust rubric around labeling and dealing with such falsehoods.

Again, top company executives hope that this placement of truth against lies will serve to cleanse the stain. I think this is both naïve and will be ineffective — most people’s experience tracks with that old axiom: A lie can travel halfway around the world while truth is still getting its shoes on.

In the digital age, that would be to the moon and back 347 times, of course, which is why I am supportive of the suggestion Mr. Klausutis makes in his letter to simply remove the offending tweets.

While the always thoughtful Mr. Dorsey has said previously that he has to hew to Twitter’s principles and rules, and that the company cannot spend all of its time reacting, its approach up until now results only in Twitter’s governance getting gamed by players like Mr. Trump, in ways that are both shameless and totally expected.

Donald Trump is the skid mark on this nation.  He remains an affront to decency and common sense.  He must be removed from office.