Could the US Be More Divided? Thoughts on Minneapolis, Fear & Trembling As We Hit June

A knee-buckling month ends and we approach NM’s primary tomorrow. Today we comment on Minneapolis and Black Lives Matter and look ahead with hope that somehow America can unite.

Most of today’s post is a recap of last week’s posts. But these posts are packed with critical information about the election and one moving post on Covid. But before we reflect on the week, some comments on Minneapolis, and after, a poem from Langston Hughes.

But before we being, a reminder that there are seven State Senate races that of critical importance. This weekend, we focused on Martinez-Parra’s challenge of Sen. Smith and Noreen Kelly’s challenge of Sen. Muñoz, but there are five other key State Senate races, each one is likely to be very close, so anything you can do today will be important, perhaps decisive. Every campaign will be using volunteers like you to make last day calls and send texts to try to get every last supporter to the polls. So click here to get to our Fix the Senate page with contact info for all races where you can find out how you can best help. And in another critical race, click here to get to Teresa Leger Fernandez’s volunteer page.

Thoughts on Minneapolis & What Comes Next

We’ve seen the videos. Nine minutes with a knee pressed to a dying George Floyd who pleaded:”I can’t breathe,” while other cops watched the murder.

Where have we heard this before? Oh yes. Eric Garner who famously exclaimed the same plea: “I can’t breathe.” That was July 2014, almost six years ago, and what has changed for black America? Absolutely NOTHING. And so before anyone dare condemn a protester or even someone torching a car or business, imagine what it feels like to be a black mother of sons watching one rerun after another, black boys and black men being murdered. And then there are the cries of concern, the calls for calm. Well, if your children are being butchered and the response is always either a failure to bring charges or an acquittal, “calm” is not a choice and, frankly, it shouldn’t be.

Take a look at how the Mayor of Minneapolis and the Governor of Minnesota have responded, careful to claim that all the protesters are from out of state:

  • St. Paul, Minn., Mayor Melvin Carter (D) on Saturday evening walked back his comments from earlier in the day claiming that “every single person” who was arrested Friday night from protests over the killing of George Floyd was from out of state.
  • Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said the protesters “are coming in largely from outside of the city, from outside of the region, to prey on everything we have built over the last several decades.”
  • “Last night is a mockery of pretending this is about George Floyd’s death or inequities or historical traumas to communities of color,” said Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz on Saturday. He estimated as much as 80 percent of those destroying property in the cities were not locals.

Well first, the issue isn’t who is protesting, it is that your police murdered a black man in full view of cameras and colleagues. That is why there are thousands of people in cities across the nation protesting what happened in Minneapolis. And they aren’t just protesting Minneapolis. It is an unending series of police murders of black men. Endless, with apologies and concerns and no action whatsoever. Every single officer who stood by as Floyd died should be charged as an accomplice to murder.

But the other point worth making is that both Mayors and the Governor were tossing out fake facts as if they were Trump clones. As reported by the sheriff’s department: “The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office provided the following details about arrests from 12:20 a.m. Friday to 11:21 a.m. Saturday, saying 42 of 57 people booked into the jail in connected to protesting gave a Minnesota address.” That is 80% from Minnesota, 20% from elsewhere, but in either case, the focus should be on why people across the country are protesting and why some are so out of patience, so done with excuses, so fed up with politicians who apologize, ask for calm, and do nothing.

But among all this, there is emerging evidence that some dots are being connected and some people are getting the message:

  • Minneapolis unions are backing the protest, and bus drivers are refusing to transport police or those arrested to the county jail.
  • The Houston police chief, bowing to pressure from the police union has offered to escort back to Houston where he is from;
  • A Seattle cop forcibly pulled another officer off of a protester as he was pressing his knee against the protester’s neck. In Minneapolis, officers watched for nine minutes as George Flynn was slowly murdered by a colleague.
  • A Michigan trooper joined the protesters in Flint, Michigan and police unions are taking up the call and standing in unity with protesters.
  • The Governor and Mayors of St. Paul and Minneapolis have retracted their earlier statements.

But while a start, this not even close to enough, not remotely close. I try to imagine what I’d say if I was a black dad to two black sons. In truth, I have no idea.

A Look Back at an Insane Week

Voters Guide on State & Local Races

Tuesday, May 26. This post is dedicated to the 2020 New Mexico primary election tomorrow, June 2. If you’ve got time, we’ve got candidates who could use your support, even today. Click here to read the Voters Guide.

Riveting 1st Person Story of COVID
From a Son with His Dad in the ER

Thursday, May 28. Thursday we focused on one of the most powerful testimonials related to the pandemic. It is a first-person report from a son whose father is in the ER with the virus. Through the eyes of the son, we see how one family manages the unmanageable. We also experience how the ER personnel, those essential workers, take their responsibility so seriously, with each patient’s recovery a source of emotional celebration and each death, a tragedy. It is an unforgettable portrayal. Click here to read the full post.

Two NM State Senate Races in Dead Heat;
Here’s How You Can Help Fix the Senate

Saturday, May 30. June 2 will determine if we fix the Senate, and two key races are neck and neck, with gas & oil pouring in money at the last minute. A few hours of texts and calls from 20-30 of you could push the challengers over the top. In this post, we focus on the crucial primary election just three days away. And we discuss an inspirational new initiative launched by Republicans who voted for Trump in 2016 and now repudiate him.  Click here to read the full post and to get in the game.

Very Promising News on How We Can Fix the Senate

Sunday, May 31, AM. I’ve heard from folks working on the primary & they say we’ve got a real chance to Fix the Senate, that the races are close, and that turnout is through the roof with many new voters, both great signs. YOU can make the difference. This post is brief. We have no time to read; we need to act. We provide links to the campaigns for the key Senate races and for Working Families Party working on two of those races. For inspiration, at the bottom of the post is a video from Republicans Voting Against Trump, the organization that has produced over 100 videos of voters who voted for Trump in 2016 and will vote for Biden in 2020. Time to get out of our comfort zones and call and text for progressives who will fix the Senate. Click here to read the full post.

Wall St. Journal On Plame: “Her duplicity should be disqualifying.” Warren Endorses Leger Fernandez

Sunday, May 31, PM. Washington Post Fact Check gives Plame 3 Pinnocchios. WSJ goes MUCH further. Plus, Sen. Warren just gave Teresa a ringing endorsement. Eighty-three percent of Plame’s contributions are from out of state, just 33% for Teresa, and Teresa’s out-of-state money came from groups like the Latino Victory Fund, End Citizens United, Emily’s List, and the Working Families Party. This is an important piece that needs to be shared with anyone who you think may not have voted yet. Click here to read the full post.

Mother to Son by Langston Hughes

Well, son, I’ll tell you: 
Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
It’s had tacks in it,
And splinters, 
And boards torn up, 
And places with no carpet on the floor—
But all the time
I’se been a-climbin’ on, 
And turnin’ corners,
And sometimes goin’ in the dark
Where there ain’t been no light. 
So boy, don’t you turn back.
Don’t you set down on the steps
’Cause you finds it’s kinder hard.
Don’t you fall now—
For I’se still goin’, honey,
I’se still climbin’,
And life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.

In solidarity,
Paul and Roxanne

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3 replies

  1. At least some of the violence is being started by far-right white supremacists. “Far-Right Extremists Are Hoping to Turn the George Floyd Protests Into a New Civil War”: is known for being factual.

  2. Again Roxanne & Paul, your reporting and reading of the murder in Minneapolis is correct. As to the protesters; if one is from the region, especially smaller communities, where do you go to join a protest — of course the place one is happening. And in our contemporary American society, how else can so many, especially the African-American, express their frustration at, and despair with the existing unfair and oppressive system, but in open anger.

    All 4 police officers were involved in the murder, and all should be charged with 1st degree murder. And the police chief that hired them, charged with 3rd degree murder.


    This was on Saturday, daylight, man dressed all in black, white man, with hammer smashes the windows at AutoZone near the site where George Floyd was murdered. Peaceful protest happening nearby. Who is this man? Some recognize him as a Minneapolis Police officer.

    Another video, taken Sunday night shows cops marching down a residential street in Minneapolis, the Whittier neighborhood near the site of the murder. Residents on their porch just after curfew are ordered inside and then shot at as they race to enter the safety of the home. Neighbors here are policing their own blocks for outsiders. Have not seen any police presence for a week before this. This is the neighborhood where my adult daughter lives. Cops not building trust with citizens.

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