Monday, June 22, 2020

TexProgBlog Wrangle II: BLM, Juneteenth, and the 'rona

This edition begins with the latest on the societal upheavals produced by the COVID19 pandemic, and the realization that the police aren't exactly serving and protecting Americans unless they have a noticeable lack of skin pigmentation.

Last week, and as posted earlier today, Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff deciphered Governor Greg Abbott's puzzle about requiring masks in the state's local jurisdictions.  Wolff quickly ordered San Antonio and surrounding communities' businesses to command the wearing of face coverings in order to slow the spread of the coronavirus.  Other Texas metros followed suit.

Greg Abbott's presser this afternoon wasn't quite a Category 5 disaster, but he earns a 4 on the basis of continued weak leadership.

At least he didn't say we should be cutting back on testing.  That may be happening anyway.

Here's some news for those who may need it.

Making the segue with these next Tweets:

Perhaps it's best to begin this round-up of the most recent police brutality and abuse developments back where it all began: H-Town.

The depth and scope of HPD Chief Art Acevedo's -- and by extension, Mayor Sylvester Turner's -- problems in this regard have not yet seen the full light of day.

The cases of Chavez and the Harding Street raid, which claimed two lives, begin to converge as the various investigations keep pulling on different strings.  This next Tweet from Keri Blakinger below drops you into the middle of a thread, so if you want the backstory that has transpired over the past few months, links in surrounding Tweets will take you to it.

Recall that Mayor Turner's response to calls for defunding HPD took him in the opposite direction, and that his only gesture to date has been a decree forbidding chokeholds.

"Chokeholds outlawed; problem solved!".  Wanna take another shot, Mr. Mayor or nah?

Turner would rather stand -- or sit -- with Ted Cruz and John Cornyn.

Scott Henson at Grits for Breakfast, whose writing has led the efforts for actual, accountable, law enforcement justice in Texas, has this brief blog post from this Saturday past.

Viewed broadly, America finds itself essentially at the bottom of a thirty-year crime decline. But as police have had less crime to respond to, their budgets and staffing have ballooned, reported Politico (last) week.

Police officials routinely tell the public that cutting their budgets would make us less safe. This is true even at agencies that had their budgets increase and saw crime rise.

Indeed, have you ever noticed that, when it comes to police budgets, there's no version of reality that would justify reduced funding?

If crime is going up, we're told we need more officers to address it.

If crime goes down, it's attributed to past budget increases and we're told cutting budgets would reverse progress.

The whole process resembles a self licking ice cream cone. To hear the police chiefs and city managers tell it, there apparently is no situation that justifies applying budget scrutiny to these agencies.

It's of great concern that there has been an outbreak of hangings of men of color lately, most of which have been deemed 'suicide' by investigating police officers.

I. do not. believe. that these men. are lynching. themselves.

Shifting to the history of Juneteenth, long but not widely known in Texas and even less so throughout the rest of the country (read: Caucasian America), the commemoration of the freeing of slaves announced in Galveston 155 years ago -- and two years after the Emancipation Proclamation -- is receiving highlighted emphasis in our national awakening.

Even less is known -- or acknowledged -- about the role of the fabled Texas Rangers in cleansing South Texas of the brown people who lived there before the whites arrived.

DaLyah Jones wrote in the Texas Observer about how much the Black Lives Matter rallies in East Texas meant for those of us who grew up there.

Even as things change, there remains a contingent who resist.

So as I often do here at the end of these posts, here's a couple of items to make us  -- well, me -- feel a little better.

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