Abbreviated pundit roundup: Chauvin trial, the damage of Trumpism, and more

Abbreviated pundit roundup: Chauvin trial, the damage of Trumpism, and more

We begin today’s roundup with analysis of the Derek Chauvin trial. Ibram Kendi, writing at The Atlantic:

Black and brown people are told in endless ways by fraternal orders of police and their powerful enablers: Comply and survive. The defense attorney for Chauvin has said this in countless ways during Chauvin’s trial, and will likely say it again during his closing statement today: Floyd would have survived if he had complied. […]

Enslaved people were habitually told to remember (and obey) the “good” masters. Violently policed people today are constantly told to remember (and obey) the good cops, as a writer in Forbes urged after Floyd’s death last year. “The vast majority of law-enforcement officers are heroes,” Senator Mitch McConnell said in September. Weeks later, the then–presidential candidate Joe Biden said, “I have worked with police in this country for many years. I know most cops are good, decent people. I know how they risk their lives every time they put that shield on.”

Police officers do risk their lives. But do risk my life every time I pull over for an armed police officer? When I don’t have my documents in my hand on the steering wheel and I comply and reach for them, an officer can shoot me dead like one did Philando Castile. Compliance is not a lifesaver. When I comply completely, like Toledo did, I feel lucky to survive police encounters.

At The Daily Beast, Kali Holloway writes about the violence that plagues Black lives:

Never let it be called a coincidence that Daunte Wright, a Black 20-year-old who was killed by a Minnesota police officer, was once a student of a woman who dated George Floyd, who was also killed by a Minnesota police officer. Similarly, do not chalk up to inexplicable chance that a Black Army lieutenant whom police held at gunpoint and roughed up in December, Caron Nazario, was a relative of Eric Garner, who was choked to death by a cop in 2014. And don’t consider it a fluke that the mother of Fred Hampton, killed at age 21 by state-backed police executioners in 1969, had babysat Emmett Till, a Black child lynched in 1955.

Whether it’s state agents or self-deputized vigilantes, there are no isolated incidents where white American violence against Black folks is concerned, and the historical ubiquity of white terror is evidenced by the devastation and loss it has wreaked in Black families otherwise separated by time and distance. A staggering number of Black American family trees have branches that have been abruptly severed by brutal white terror—a forest of Black lives splintered by white American violence. Nearly every Black person in America knows the danger of weaponized whiteness intimately, through personal experience or its impact on friends and relatives, in the form of years stolen, trauma inflicted, lives taken.

Damon Linker at The Week writes about the lasting damage Trumpism is doing to our democracy:

[W]hat happens when this most fundamental liberal democratic presumption [of the legitimacy of transfer of power] fades away and disappears?

When one side becomes convinced that its political opponents represent a genuine threat to country, it finds itself tempted to change the rules of the game to advantage itself and disadvantage those opponents. And when that happens, the other side receives confirmation that itsopponents are manipulating the system in their own favor, jeopardizing the legitimacy and trustworthiness of future contests for power.

And Charles Pierce adds his reflection on a party that has “lost its mind”:

Our politics can never truly move forward on anything until there is a final and complete reckoning of the only organized mob coup d’etat in the country’s history. The longer that reckoning is delayed, the harder it’s going to be for the country and its politicians to recover public confidence in the government’s institutions, without which self-government itself is a limping, spavined farce. If the Democratic congressional majorities have to go it alone, then they should. If Merrick Garland’s Department of Justice needs to be the venue for that reckoning, then so be it. It’s too important to be hostage to a party that has lost its mind, and that’s funding its operation on the public’s mania.

In other news, Jane Mayer remembers Walter Mondale:

Two seminal moments capture Walter Mondale’s long-shot 1984 Presidential bid, which I covered as a neophyte reporter for the Wall Street Journal. The first was his effect on a cavernous campus gym in the Midwest filled with cheering supporters. The place was crammed to the rafters with college students who had been raucously awaiting Mondale’s arrival and were primed for excitement. The crowd applauded wildly as the former Vice-President strode onto a stage festooned with festive bunting and balloons. But, when Mondale launched into his stump speech, he told the eager young students that not all of them would go out into the world and succeed. Many of them, he warned, would find that life could be hard, and that they might have setbacks. He predicted that some members of the audience would someday need the help of government services, and that, in the future, many would rely on Social Security. When I looked out across the room, it was as if a field of wildflowers was wilting before my eyes. One could feel the crowd’s optimism plummet, as soon-to-be college grads pictured themselves as needy old folks waiting for their government checks. Everything Mondale said was true. But it was not what American voters wanted to hear.

On a final note, Marina Koren at The Atlantic reflects on a helicopter on Mars:

For the first time in history, humankind has taken flight on another planet. Millions of miles from Earth, on an alien world with a wisp-thin atmosphere, a tiny helicopter rose into the air, hovered for 39 seconds, and then gently touched back down on the surface of Mars. […]

As with other robotic missions, NASA maintains a Twitter account for Perseverance, the rover that brought Ingenuity to Mars in February, and dispatches are written from the perspective of the machine. “I love rocks,” Perseverance tweeted in February to its followers, who currently number 2.7 million. “I’m on the move!” it exclaimed in March as it took its first drive. “I’ve taken my first selfie,” the rover said earlier this month, showing us a picture of its robotic frame, with Ingenuity in the background. NASA has already shared imagery of Ingenuity’s flight—from Percy, stationed nearby, and from the helicopter itself, which captured its shadow flitting across the surface of Mars.

From Daily Kos at Read More. This article is republished from DailyKos under an open content license. Read the original article at DailyKos.

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