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Author Topic: Racism is alive and well, Thanks Trump and his supporters!  (Read 23689 times)
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Athos_131
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« Reply #1605 on: September 01, 2020, 05:43:48 PM »

ON WITNESS AND RESPAIR: A PERSONAL TRAGEDY FOLLOWED BY PANDEMIC

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My Beloved died in January. He was a foot taller than me and had large, beautiful dark eyes and dexterous, kind hands. He fixed me breakfast and pots of loose-leaf tea every morning. He cried at both of our children’s births, silently, tears glazing his face. Before I drove our children to school in the pale dawn light, he would put both hands on the top of his head and dance in the driveway to make the kids laugh. He was funny, quick-witted, and could inspire the kind of laughter that cramped my whole torso. Last fall, he decided it would be best for him and our family if he went back to school. His primary job in our household was to shore us up, to take care of the children, to be a househusband. He traveled with me often on business trips, carried our children in the back of lecture halls, watchful and quietly proud as I spoke to audiences, as I met readers and shook hands and signed books. He indulged my penchant for Christmas movies, for meandering trips through museums, even though he would have much preferred to be in a stadium somewhere, watching football. One of my favorite places in the world was beside him, under his warm arm, the color of deep, dark river water.

In early January, we became ill with what we thought was flu. Five days into our illness, we went to a local urgent care center, where the doctor swabbed us and listened to our chests. The kids and I were diagnosed with flu; my Beloved’s test was inconclusive. At home, I doled out medicine to all of us: Tamiflu and Promethazine. My children and I immediately began to feel better, but my Beloved did not. He burned with fever. He slept and woke to complain that he thought the medicine wasn’t working, that he was in pain. And then he took more medicine and slept again.

Two days after our family doctor visit, I walked into my son’s room where my Beloved lay, and he panted: Can’t. Breathe. I brought him to the emergency room, where after an hour in the waiting room, he was sedated and put on a ventilator. His organs failed: first his kidneys, then his liver. He had a massive infection in his lungs, developed sepsis, and in the end, his great strong heart could no longer support a body that had turned on him. He coded eight times. I witnessed the doctors perform CPR and bring him back four. Within 15 hours of walking into the emergency room of that hospital, he was dead. The official reason: acute respiratory distress syndrome. He was 33 years old.

Without his hold to drape around my shoulders, to shore me up, I sank into hot, wordless grief.

Two months later, I squinted at a video of a gleeful Cardi B chanting in a singsong voice: Coronavirus, she cackled. Coronavirus. I stayed silent while people around me made jokes about COVID, rolled their eyes at the threat of pandemic. Weeks later, my kids’ school was closed. Universities were telling students to vacate the dorms while professors were scrambling to move classes online. There was no bleach, no toilet paper, no paper towels for purchase anywhere. I snagged the last of the disinfectant spray off a pharmacy shelf; the clerk ringing up my purchases asking me wistfully: Where did you find that at, and for one moment, I thought she would challenge me for it, tell me there was some policy in place to prevent my buying it.

Days became weeks, and the weather was strange for south Mississippi, for the swampy, water-ridden part of the state I call home: low humidity, cool temperatures, clear, sun-lanced skies. My children and I awoke at noon to complete homeschooling lessons. As the spring days lengthened into summer, my children ran wild, exploring the forest around my house, picking blackberries, riding bikes and four-wheelers in their underwear. They clung to me, rubbed their faces into my stomach, and cried hysterically: I miss Daddy, they said. Their hair grew tangled and dense. I didn’t eat, except when I did, and then it was tortillas, queso, and tequila.

The absence of my Beloved echoed in every room of our house. Him folding me and the children in his arms on our monstrous fake-suede sofa. Him shredding chicken for enchiladas in the kitchen. Him holding our daughter by the hands and pulling her upwards, higher and higher, so she floated at the top of her leap in a long bed-jumping marathon. Him shaving the walls of the children’s playroom with a sander after an internet recipe for homemade chalkboard paint went wrong: green dust everywhere.

During the pandemic, I couldn’t bring myself to leave the house, terrified I would find myself standing in the doorway of an ICU room, watching the doctors press their whole weight on the chest of my mother, my sisters, my children, terrified of the lurch of their feet, the lurch that accompanies each press that restarts the heart, the jerk of their pale, tender soles, terrified of the frantic prayer without intention that keens through the mind, the prayer for life that one says in the doorway, the prayer I never want to say again, the prayer that dissolves midair when the hush-click-hush-click of the ventilator drowns it, terrified of the terrible commitment at the heart of me that reasons that if the person I love has to endure this, then the least I can do is stand there, the least I can do is witness, the least I can do is tell them over and over again, aloud, I love you. We love you. We ain’t going nowhere.

As the pandemic settled in and stretched, I set my alarms to wake early, and on mornings after nights where I actually slept, I woke and worked on my novel in progress. The novel is about a woman who is even more intimately acquainted with grief than I am, an enslaved woman whose mother is stolen from her and sold south to New Orleans, whose lover is stolen from her and sold south, who herself is sold south and descends into the hell of chattel slavery in the mid-1800s. My loss was a tender second skin. I shrugged against it as I wrote, haltingly, about this woman who speaks to spirits and fights her way across rivers.

My commitment surprised me. Even in a pandemic, even in grief, I found myself commanded to amplify the voices of the dead that sing to me, from their boat to my boat, on the sea of time. On most days, I wrote one sentence. On some days, I wrote 1,000 words. Many days, it and I seemed useless. All of it, misguided endeavor. My grief bloomed as depression, just as it had after my brother died at 19, and I saw little sense, little purpose in this work, this solitary vocation. Me, sightless, wandering the wild, head thrown back, mouth wide open, singing to a star-drenched sky. Like all the speaking, singing women of old, a maligned figure in the wilderness. Few listened in the night.

What resonated back to me: the emptiness between the stars. Dark matter. Cold.

Did you see it? My cousin asked me.

No. I couldn’t bring myself to watch it, I said. Her words began to flicker, to fade in and out. Grief sometimes makes it hard for me to hear. Sound came in snatches.

His knee, she said.

On his neck, she said.

Couldn’t breathe, she said.

He cried for his mama, she said.

I read about Ahmaud, I said. I read about Breonna.

I don’t say, but I thought it: I know their beloveds’ wail. I know their beloveds’ wail. I know their beloveds wander their pandemic rooms, pass through their sudden ghosts. I know their loss burns their beloveds’ throats like acid. Their families will speak, I thought. Ask for justice. And no one will answer, I thought. I know this story: Trayvon, Tamir, Sandra.

Cuz, I said, I think you told me this story before.

I think I wrote it.

I swallowed sour.

In the days after my conversation with my cousin, I woke to people in the streets. I woke to Minneapolis burning. I woke to protests in America’s heartland, Black people blocking the highways. I woke to people doing the haka in New Zealand. I woke to hoodie-wearing teens, to John Boyega raising a fist in the air in London, even as he was afraid he would sink his career, but still, he raised his fist. I woke to droves of people, masses of people in Paris, sidewalk to sidewalk, moving like a river down the boulevards. I knew the Mississippi. I knew the plantations on its shores, the movement of enslaved and cotton up and down its eddies. The people marched, and I had never known that there could be rivers such as this, and as protesters chanted and stomped, as they grimaced and shouted and groaned, tears burned my eyes. They glazed my face.

I sat in my stuffy pandemic bedroom and thought I might never stop crying. The revelation that Black Americans were not alone in this, that others around the world believed that Black Lives Matter broke something in me, some immutable belief I’d carried with me my whole life. This belief beat like another heart—thump—in my chest from the moment I took my first breath as an underweight, two-pound infant after my mother, ravaged by stress, delivered me at 24 weeks. It beat from the moment the doctor told my Black mother her Black baby would die. Thump.

That belief was infused with fresh blood during the girlhood I’d spent in underfunded public school classrooms, cavities eating away at my teeth from government-issued block cheese, powdered milk, and corn flakes. Thump. Fresh blood in the moment I heard the story of how a group of white men, revenue agents, had shot and killed my great-great-grandfather, left him to bleed to death in the woods like an animal, from the second I learned no one was ever held accountable for his death. Thump. Fresh blood in the moment I found out the white drunk driver who killed my brother wouldn’t be charged for my brother’s death, only for leaving the scene of the car accident, the scene of the crime. Thump.

This is the belief that America fed fresh blood into for centuries, this belief that Black lives have the same value as a plow horse or a grizzled donkey. I knew this. My family knew this. My people knew this, and we fought it, but we were convinced we would fight this reality alone, fight until we could no more, until we were in the ground, bones moldering, headstones overgrown above in the world where our children and children’s children still fought, still yanked against the noose, the forearm, the starvation and redlining and rape and enslavement and murder and choked out: I can’t breathe. They would say: I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe.

I cried in wonder each time I saw protest around the world because I recognized the people. I recognized the way they zip their hoodies, the way they raised their fists, the way they walked, the way they shouted. I recognized their action for what it was: witness. Even now, each day, they witness.

They witness injustice.

They witness this America, this country that gaslit us for 400 fucking years.

Witness that my state, Mississippi, waited until 2013 to ratify the 13th Amendment.

Witness that Mississippi didn’t remove the Confederate battle emblem from its state flag until 2020.

Witness Black people, Indigenous people, so many poor brown people, lying on beds in frigid hospitals, gasping our last breaths with COVID-riddled lungs, rendered flat by undiagnosed underlying conditions, triggered by years of food deserts, stress, and poverty, lives spent snatching sweets so we could eat one delicious morsel, savor some sugar on the tongue, oh Lord, because the flavor of our lives is so often bitter.

They witness our fight too, the quick jerk of our feet, see our hearts lurch to beat again in our art and music and work and joy. How revelatory that others witness our battles and stand up. They go out in the middle of a pandemic, and they march.

I sob, and the rivers of people run in the streets.

When my Beloved died, a doctor told me: The last sense to go is hearing. When someone is dying, they lose sight and smell and taste and touch. They even forget who they are. But in the end, they hear you.

I hear you.

I hear you.

You say:

I love you.

We love you.

We ain’t going nowhere.

I hear you say:

We here.

#BlackLivesMatter

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« Reply #1606 on: September 01, 2020, 05:53:24 PM »

sorry for your loss of a loved one from covid, i lost my mother to it too.
all lives matter to those who loved them.
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"The era of Gaslighting"
Athos_131
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« Reply #1607 on: September 01, 2020, 05:59:29 PM »



#BlackLivesMatter

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« Reply #1608 on: September 07, 2020, 02:13:00 AM »

Trump orders crackdown on federal antiracism training, calling it 'anti-American'

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Donald Trump has directed the Office of Management and Budget to crack down on federal agencies’ antiracism training sessions, calling them “divisive, anti-American propaganda”.

The OMB director, Russell Vought, in a letter Friday to executive branch agencies, directed them to identify spending related to any training on “critical race theory”, “white privilege” or any other material that teaches or suggests that the United States or any race or ethnicity is “inherently racist or evil”.

The memo comes as the nation has faced a reckoning this summer over racial injustice in policing and other spheres of American life. Trump has spent much of the summer defending the display of the Confederate battle flag and monuments of civil war rebels from protesters seeking their removal, in what he has called a “culture war” ahead of the 3 November election.

Meanwhile, he has rejected comments from the Democratic nominee, Joe Biden, and others that there is “systemic racism” in policing and American culture that must be addressed.

How did the US's mainstream right end up openly supporting vigilante terror?
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Vought’s memo cites “press reports” as contributing to Trump’s decision, apparently referring to segments on Fox News and other outlets that have stoked conservative outrage about the federal training.

Vought’s memo says additional federal guidance on training sessions is forthcoming, maintaining that “the President, and his Administration, are fully committed to the fair and equal treatment of all individuals in the United States”.

“The President has a proven track record of standing for those whose voice has long been ignored and who have failed to benefit from all our country has to offer, and he intends to continue to support all Americans, regardless of race, religion, or creed,” he added. “The divisive, false, and demeaning propaganda of the critical race theory movement is contrary to all we stand for as Americans and should have no place in the Federal government.”

#BlackLivesMatter

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« Reply #1609 on: September 07, 2020, 02:47:30 PM »

Pollak: Eight Years Later, Andrew Breitbart
Vindicated on Critical Race Theory


JOEL B. POLLAK6 Sep 20203,073

President Donald Trump announced Friday that he had ordered the federal government to stop promoting “Critical Race Theory” in any of its agencies.

The radical theory had been used to train (or indoctrinate) federal employees, who were told during some “diversity” training sessions that the United States is a racist society, and white people are to blame.

The Critical Race Theory training was exposed by Christopher Rufo, a contributing editor for the Manhattan Institute’s City Journal.

Yet the first to sound the alarm was Andrew Breitbart.

In a story that was only published after his death in March 2012, video that Breitbart had teased at the Conservative Political Action Conference just weeks before was finally released. It showed a young Barack Obama speaking at a protest at Harvard Law School in favor of Professor Derrick Bell, who had clashed with the university over the issue of faculty diversity.

More than that, Bell was the founder of the doctrine of Critical Race Theory.

Critical Race Theory holds that the United States is racist by design, because its Constitution and all of its other institutions emerged in a context where slavery was legal. According to the theory, the very institution of private property in the U.S. is corrupt because it was enshrined in a system that saw black people as chattels.

In books like Faces at the Bottom of the Well, Bell developed his theory further, arguing that continued black suppression remained part of America’s cultural identity. He even wrote a science fiction story (later a short film), “The Space Traders,” in which America sold black people to aliens.

To Bell, the civil rights movement was regrettable, in the sense that it misled black Americans into believing that equality before the law was sufficient. The real problem, he believed, was that the legal system itself was fundamentally racist.

Bell saw only one road to salvation: if the U.S. amended the Constitution to include socioeconomic rights — such as health care, housing, education, and the like — it could undo the original sin of slavery by enshrining the redistribution of wealth. Such a constitutional revolution could liberate poor people of every race while also restoring the humanity of black people.

Obama may not have studied directly with Bell at Harvard Law, but he was influenced by his ideas — so much so that the two corresponded after Obama graduated, and Bell blurbed the first edition of Obama’s memoir, Dreams from my Father. As a lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School, Obama also assigned Bell’s work to his students. Obama’s mentor and 2008 campaign debate coach, Professor Charles Ogletree, quipped that they had kept Obama’s connection to Bell hidden.
 
When Breitbart’s video was released, the mainstream media tried to mock it. Others, like the Rolling Stone, minimized the radicalism of Critical Race Theory: “Anyone who thinks power and race don’t figure in how the law is applied or that racism is a thing of the past is not paying attention.”

But it affected how Obama thought about America — racism is “part of our DNA,” he told NPR — and it affected his governance, including his support for the violent Black Lives Matter movement.

Today, Critical Race Theory is everywhere. It is the basis for the idea of “systemic racism” — i.e. that racism is part of the institutional structure of the United States, a theory that has now been embraced by Democratic Party nominee Joe Biden.

Elementary schools teach elements of Critical Race Theory to children; corporations assign readings on “white privilege” to their employees; professional sports leagues encourage fans to support protests against “systemic racism” in our society.

When rioters attack police, tear down statues, or demand submission from patrons in restaurants, they are motivated, in part, by Critical Race Theory. Andrew Breitbart saw it coming; President Trump is the first leader to do anything to fight it.
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« Reply #1610 on: September 07, 2020, 07:51:09 PM »


When rioters attack police, tear down statues, or demand submission from patrons in restaurants, they are motivated, in part, by Critical Race Theory. Andrew Breitbart saw it coming; President Trump is the first leader to do anything to fight it.



Exhibit A.  When one single post proves this 1,610 posts thread’s premise.  Just lock it now.  Nothing more to be said.  

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« Reply #1611 on: September 07, 2020, 11:41:25 PM »

I love the Stephen Fry commentaries about Trump:

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/YIjXmZiznnE&rel=1" target="_blank">https://www.youtube.com/v/YIjXmZiznnE&rel=1</a>
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« Reply #1612 on: September 09, 2020, 12:29:14 PM »



#BlackLivesMatter

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« Reply #1613 on: September 10, 2020, 12:10:10 AM »

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Athos_131
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« Reply #1614 on: September 13, 2020, 04:58:13 PM »

NFL's Cluelessness on BLM Exposes Fake Team Unity & Not Caring a Lick for Players' Communities

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If the NFL owners and front office thought that adding Lift Every Voice and Sing to the pre-game program would mollify more players than it put off fans, they were likely wrong on both counts.

Given the powerful video put together by Dolphins players and their head coach to explain their reluctance to be on field for the cameras for yet more reverence theater, and the Texans’ decision to stay in the locker room before the game, this NFL-opening Sunday arrives with less settled than ever.

Whether players choose to stand or kneel, each gesture will be captured by the cameras, scrutinized and critiqued.

Or, as the Dolphins put it: “Decals and patches, fireworks and trumpets, we’re not puppets.”

This moment is decades in the making. This starts with the inclusion of the national anthem into many sporting events starting in World War I, continues to John Carlos and Tommie Smith raising their fists at the 1968 Olympics, to the original 9/11, when the seventh-inning stretch began to accommodate America the Beautiful.

Then came San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s decision to kneel during the national anthem in order to draw attention to police violence in communities of color, and President Donald Trump’s rallying cry to NFL owners on players who did likewise to “get that sonofabitch off the field.”

Over the years the NFL cornered the market on military displays with all the subtlety of Team America: World Police. They included the pageantry of troops reunited with their families, fireworks and fighter jet flyovers and a side dish of wholesome T&A high-stepping into the stadium on fringed white cowboy boots, where giant American flags were stretched over an entire football field.

No wonder fans in Kansas City booed the Moment of Unity when the Texans and Chiefs came together at midfield on Thursday night. Nothing even exploded!

It’s impossible to imagine fans booing if players had come together after a hurricane or tornado had just ripped through any part of the country. Or for those left homeless after wildfires. But when it comes to Black lives, it seems fans care less about those suffering and more about how it forces them to see the casualties of their privilege.

And now teams are left to debate internally what to do, how to challenge the league, the fans, and each other, and come to some plan that honors the platonic ideal of team unity they’ve been spoon fed — but only when it meets the needs of their employers.

The Dolphins: “Ask the pundits and we shouldn’t have a say. If you speak up for change, then I’ll shut up and play. If we remain silent, that would just be selfish. Since they don’t have a voice, we’re speaking up for the helpless. It’s not enough to act like you care for the troops. Millions get paid for patriotism. You get paid to salute.”

The players were referencing the 2015 revelation that the NFL was paid millions by the Department of Defense to include these displays on gameday. It was a recruiting tool for the military, and the NFL is a business.

Is it patriotic to allow yourself to be part of the financial arrangement set up between the military and the league? Why isn’t it just as patriotic to want the same benefits for Black communities that NFL money affords many of the individuals who play?

Who gets to decide how we define what patriotism is, whether it includes the idea of community building or protecting our elders by wearing masks in a pandemic? These questions are being publicly asked now by the players who have been told for years to stand and be silent.

The most powerful commentary in sports right now continues to come from athletes who have been instructed to shut up and dribble, or catch, or run.

Between the Dolphins’ video and the one released by a number of players, including Super Bowl MVP Pat Mahomes, in the wake of the George Floyd killing imploring commissioner Roger Goodell to listen to them, it’s impressive how effectively these young men are using their collective voices and social media.

It was actually a notable voice in academia, sports and social justice, Dr. Harry Edwards, who suggested Lift Every Voice and Sing should be added to the NFL’s pregame lineup.

It was a suggestion made when the NFL’s solution to Kaepernick was to effectively freeze him out of the league. Kaepernick and teammate Eric Reid eventually settled a lawsuit with the NFL contending just that, but despite starting this conversation the NFL appears willing to have now, it should be noted that neither man has a job in the league this opening weekend.

This moment isn’t without risk. Kaepernick hasn’t taken a snap since 2016, and Black coaches and quarterbacks have historically had fewer opportunities. If those voices lead, they could find temporary support but be similarly frozen out if the mood of these owners shifts.

And so here we are, a pandemic in full flower and the NFL season underway. Who stands, who sits, who jeers, who boycotts — these are as much a question as the winners and losers in the game. It comes from decades of lauding the idea of team, without caring for the communities many players came from.

The Dolphins get the last word. “If we could just right our wrongs we wouldn’t need two songs. We don’t need another publicity parade. So we’ll just stay inside until it’s time to play the game.”

#BlackLivesMatter

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« Reply #1615 on: September 13, 2020, 05:01:54 PM »

Fans at Arrowhead Can Go Kick Rocks

Quote
I don’t know what we expected.

Despite the best efforts of a good chunk of America, everything continues to be a flaming dumpster fire. Why should the NFL’s first Moment of Unity be any different?

In case you missed it, those were fans at the NFL opener in Kansas City booing the Moment of Unity.

While the Chiefs remained on the field, arms linked, for the playing of Lift Every Voice and Sing (also known as the “Black National Anthem”) and the Star-Spangled Banner, the Texans returned to the locker room for the playing of both anthems. Afterwards, both teams met at mid-field for a moment of silence to honor the fight for racial justice. And that’s when the booing started.

Because this is where we are as a country. We can’t even acknowledge that racial equality is a laudable goal without it being somehow controversial. A significant portion of America has swung so far to the right, that people are booing the idea of judging people not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. Of course, they’re happy to cheer for Black players on the field, just not off it.

The portion of the NFL fan base that was appalled by the boos were immediately white-splained by the kind of people who take part in Trump boat rallies that “it’s not about race, it’s about keeping the politics out of sports,” and that “sports have always been an escape from reality.”

So let’s be clear: Sports are not now, and have never been, free of politics. Before it there was Colin Kaepernick, there was Billie Jean King, John Carlos, Tommie Smith, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Muhammad Ali, Althea Gibson, and Jackie Robinson. We have worked through injustices as a nation as much on the field as off. Anyone who says otherwise is ignorant, disingenuous, or both.

Moreover, the only people who have ever had the luxury of viewing sports as an escape are cisgender, heterosexual, white men. The rest of us have always seen the same inequalities in sports we see in society on a daily basis. Be it racial discrimination in hiring coaches and managers, violence against women, or athletes who spout homophobic or bigoted views, the ugliness of the inequities of American life are there in sports for anyone who wants to look.

I’m so sorry, fans at Arrowhead, that players dared to bring up issues that actually affect their lives and the lives of the people they care about. I’m sure you’d much rather have them perform for your pleasure at your command. How dare they remind you that not everyone has the same privileges you do. How unthinkable of them to sully your evening with reality. How absolutely tawdry of them to inject race into a sport played predominantly by Black men. How upsetting that there’s almost nowhere for you to go to escape the fact of racial injustice in America. Maybe try a maskless Trump rally at the bottom of a lake next time.

As for the players, you’re lucky they stayed on the field. I, for one, would have loved it if they had heard the boos, turned around, and marched back to the locker room, refusing to risk their health for fans who can’t even acknowledge their basic humanity.

As for the fans at Arrowhead, somewhere a whole bunch of white villages are missing their (racist) idiots.

#BlackLivesMatter

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« Reply #1616 on: September 17, 2020, 08:46:43 PM »

A National Guard Twitch Streamer Said '6 Million Wasn't Enough' on Stream

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Axel “ZexsOG” Torres, a member of the Army National Guard Twitch stream repeated an antisemitic phrase about the Holocaust while streaming on Twitch on August 27. “Yo, six million wasn’t enough,” Torres said. “Thank you so much for the follow, I appreciate you.”

“Six million wasn’t Enough” is a popular phrase among white supremacists and Neo Nazis. It’s a reference to the number of Jewish people who were killed in the Holcaust. It’s not clear Torres was aware he was spouting an antisemitic phrase. On Twitch, it’s typical for a streamer to say the username of a person who follows them or gives them a big enough donation during the stream.

A Twitch viewer with the username “6millionwasnt_nough” clipped the moment and saved it on Twitch under the title “Army Agreed.” During the stream, Torres was watching teammates play Call of Duty: Warzone and interacting with fans. Just before he shared a antisemitic phrase, he shouted out someone else named Hyper Eagle.

“This was an unfortunate situation and goes against the Army values of fostering inclusiveness and diversity. We are working with our volunteers on the [Army National Guard] Twitch Page to educate them on screen names that may have racial or negative sentiment behind them,” Lieutenant colonel Jamie Alan Davis of the Army National Guard told Motherboard in an email.

“The COVID19 pandemic has forced recruiters to find creative ways to connect with their target audience, which isn't always perfect, and new approaches come with new challenges. We have since deleted the clip and we will no longer announce those types of screen names during live streams.”

On his public Facebook page, which went private yesterday afternoon after Motherboard reached out to the National Guard for comment, Torres shared posts that portrayed Kenosha shooter Kyle Rittenhouse as a hero and said "welfare destroyed black families." In another Facebook post, Torres expressed support for a bill under which "rioters" would lose welfare checks.

Torres did not immediately respond to Motherboard’s request for comment.

This incident is just the latest in a series that shows the U.S. Military had no idea what it was getting into on Twitch. On Saturday night, a member of the U.S. Navy esports team played a game with “close friends” on an official Navy stream. The Sailors' friends used the usernames “Japan 1945,” “Nagasaki,” and “Gamer Word,” which is a known stand in for the n-word.

After the incident was covered on Motherboard and other publications, the Navy removed the Sailor from the U.S. Navy esports team.

"After the events surrounding the stream of Among Us on Saturday night, where three non-Navy affiliated users decided to use extremely inappropriate in-game usernames, we have paused streaming and are re-evaluating how we vet users who are allowed to play with us on stream in an effort to ensure that this does not happen again,” Command Lara Bollinger of the U.S. Navy Public Affairs Office told Motherboard in an email. “We do not condone those usernames and the Navy Goats and Glory team member’s immediate response that night was neither quick nor correct. His reaction to the situation was unbecoming of a member of our team and he will no longer be streaming with us."

The Navy says it doesn't condone this behavior, but it's increasingly obvious that the Pentagon was not prepared for what it meant to be on Twitch. Streaming live video for hours at a time, without a script, improvising and reacting to an onslaught of feedback, is a hard task for anyone. Judging by the performance we've seen across the military's various Twitch channels so far, it's not clear that the people it's choosing to represent it are ready for the job, which many, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, think shouldn't exist in the first place.

It was insidiously easy to get a member of the Army National Guard to repeat antisemitic speech without realizing it. It was also easy for a Guardsman like Torres—who has posted on his Facebook page about how welfare is destroying black families and shares misinformation about LGBTQ people—to become the face of the military. The fact that it was so easy means the military is not prepared for the extremist ideologies that have infiltrated so much of online life, including the gaming community.

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« Reply #1617 on: September 17, 2020, 08:49:38 PM »

A U.S. Navy Twitch Stream Included Jokes About Nagasaki and the N-Word


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Goats & Glory, the U.S. Navy Esports team, played Among Us on Twitch this Saturday night and hosted other players who used the names “Japan 1945,” “Nagasaki,” and “Gamer Word.” Nagasaki and Japan 1945 are references to the U.S. nuclear bombing of Japan at the end of World War II. “Gamer Word” is a reference to the n-word. During the one hour and 17minute long stream, Pepe the Frog Twitch chat emojis covered portions of the screen.

A video of the stream is still up and has been viewed more than 1,000 times, hundreds of more views than a typical U.S. Navy Twitch stream. Personnel Specialist Brandon Chandler was running the stream.

“We’re going to play Among Us with some of my close friends,” Chandler said.

Among Us is a multiplayer game where players take on rolls on a space station. Most of the crew is trying to fix the station but one person is an imposter tasked with killing as many people as possible. Between rounds, the players vote to see who they think is the imposter.

After the first round, the user in the game named Gamer Word hadn’t voted and everyone was waiting on them. “Just waiting on you, uh, individual,” Chandler said, hiding his face from the camera. He laughs.

“Don’t say it,” one of the other players said in a taunting voice while Chandler laughs.

“Don’t say his name, don’t say it,” a second player said.

These weren’t random people playing with Chandler, but people he described as his “close friends.” To join a game of Among Us, players have to input a code that’s on the host’s screen. Chandler gave the code to his friends and hid the image of the code on the public Twitch stream by using a Pepe the Frog emoji to block it out. The legacy of Pepe the Frog is complicated, and he’s a popular character on Twitch. He’s also listed as a hate symbol by the Anti-Defamation League.

An hour into the stream, Chandler paused and switched out the map. When the stream returned, the player’s names had been changed. Gone was “Gamer Word” and the references to Nagasaki and Japan 1945.

“Almost 200 people in here now,” a member of the U.S. Navy esports team who was off camera said after the stream restarted. Viewers flooded into the stream after news of the player names hit Twitter.

“Nice,” Chandler said. “Poggers.”

Chandler played Among Us for a few more minutes before switching to League of Legends. But he abandoned a match during champion selection and got locked out of starting another round for five minutes. “It looks like we’re going to have to end the stream a little early,” Thessa L Reed, another member of Goats & Glory, said, citing technical difficulties and a personal issue.

"After the events surrounding the stream of Among Us on Saturday night, where three non-Navy affiliated users decided to use extremely inappropriate in-game usernames, we have paused streaming and are re-evaluating how we vet users who are allowed to play with us on stream in an effort to ensure that this does not happen again,” Command Lara Bollinger of the U.S. Navy Public Affairs Office told Motherboard in an email. “We do not condone those usernames and the Navy Goats and Glory team member’s immediate response that night was neither quick nor correct. His reaction to the situation was unbecoming of a member of our team and he will no longer be streaming with us."

Twitch did not return our request for comment.

The U.S. Navy, Army, Air Force, and National Guard all maintain a presence on Twitch and other online gaming spaces now. It’s not going well. The Pentagon’s rush into gaming is both a recruitment drive and a branding opportunity. It’s gotten into trouble for possibly violating the first amendment by banning viewers, and drawn the legislative ire of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who attempted to pass legislation that would prevent the Pentagon from using its resources to stream on Twitch.

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« Reply #1618 on: September 17, 2020, 09:44:25 PM »



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« Reply #1619 on: September 18, 2020, 01:25:35 PM »

Dallas school district apologizes for assignment describing Kenosha shooter as 'hero'

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The Dallas Independent School district apologized for an assignment that asked high school students to write an essay about a modern "hero" and suggested Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old charged with killing two people during protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Rittenhouse was suggested as "hero for the modern age" along with the possible subjects of Gandhi, Cesar Chavez, Malcolm X, George Floyd and Joseph Rosenbaum — one of the Rittenhouse's alleged victims.

Rittenhouse, of Antioch, Illinois, was arrested and charged with two counts of first-degree intentional homicide in connection with the Aug. 25 shooting deaths of Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber during protests over the shooting by police of Jacob Blake, a Black man, in Kenosha.

Kristian Hernandez said that her younger brother, a student at W.T. White High School in Dallas, shared details of the assignment with his family.

"My brother was really in disbelief that this was actually an assignment," Hernandez told NBC affiliate KXAS.

"The juxtaposition of George Floyd's name with Kyle's name was just astounding," she said. “The value of Black lives are not up for debate, and that’s what it felt like this was sort of getting at — by way of the names that were included."

The Dallas Independent School District apologized for the "unapproved assignment" and removed it from its online portal, according to NBC affiliate KXAS. Students do not have to complete the assignment.

In a statement provided to KXAS, the school district said the post is under investigation and that it would not provide further comment.

"Racial equity is a top priority in Dallas ISD, and we remain committed to providing a robust teaching environment where all students can learn. It is important that we continue to be culturally sensitive to our diverse populations and provide a space of respect and value," the district said.

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