Last week a white, horse-drawn hearse brought poor George Floyd to his final place of rest in Houston, Texas. Floyd led a troubled life which ended when Officer Derek Chauvin put his knee on the handcuffed man’s neck until he stopped breathing. Chauvin is now fired and awaiting trial for murder. Meanwhile, the nation’s political and cultural cracks widen.
In Seattle, a bizarre collection of left-wing agitators has taken control of several blocks of the city’s Capital Hill neighborhood and renamed it the Capital Hill Autonomous Zone or CHAZ. The occupiers expelled the police and created their own force, extorted money from businesses, and harassed citizens living within. Tragically, the CHAZ community invited the homeless into the zone, these people promptly devoured CHAZ’s food supplies, and activists were forced to make an emergency appeal for vegan and soy-based food products. So far, Mayor Jenny Durkin insists there is no occupation of Capital Hill, and compares CHAZ to The Summer of Love. When asked about CHAZ, Washington State governor Jay Inslee feigned ignorance. CHAZ’s list of demands is… comprehensive. A similar autonomous zone was established in Portland, Oregon, itself a progressive city, but police quickly shut it down. Expect to see more of these zone’s spring up in other cities.
In Minneapolis, the City Council voted to disband its police department, unanimously. In truth, this resolution begins a year-long process of, ‘community engagement, research, and structural change to create a transformative new model for cultivating safety,’ whatever that means. The resolution is short on specifics but does make for splashy headlines. Police Reform isn’t enough for many on the left. Television networks have cancelled popular police reality shows like Cops and LivePD at the demand of Black Lives Matter. Activists have even come for Paw Patrol, a children’s show about puppies in which one of the characters is a police dog.
Slowly, the last vestiges of Confederate imagery are being purged from American society. In the State of Mississippi, the legislature is in negotiations about a new state flag. NASCAR, the biggest regional sport in the South, has banned displays of the Confederate flag. Throughout the south, vandals are ripping down Confederate statues. BLM activists are calling for renaming of army bases named for Confederate Generals. President Trump has said no.
Critics wonder where all this stops. Which is a good question as already some BLM activists are calling for statues of Founding Fathers George Washington and Thomas Jefferson to come down. HBO has removed the Civil War classic, Gone with the Wind, from its lineup, while Amazon is threatening to cancel the Dukes of Hazard because the protagonists drive a Dodge Charger named The General Lee atop which is painted a Confederate Flag.
Given the Democrats penchant for annihilating anything related to the Confederacy or the Antebellum South, Joe Biden has a new problem. Biden’s bragged about being mentored by and working with Segregationist Democrats, opposed school integration, and eulogized former Dixie-crat presidential candidate Strom Thurmond. That Biden’s eulogy touched on Thurmond’s evolution on civil rights during the course of his 70 years in politics is no matter. Under the rules of the modern Cancel Culture, Biden is permanently tainted. And Biden’s gaffs do him no favors, ‘Well, I tell you what, if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t Black,’ he declared in May.
While Biden did quite well with African Americans in the Democrat Primary, President Trump has been working very hard for the African American vote. The centerpiece of this effort is the First Step Act which, among other provisions, eases prison sentences for some drug offenders and gives judges more flexibility in sentencing. Various opinion polls put Trump’s approval rating between 20 and 30 percent among African Americans. In a recent Rasmussen Reports poll, 41% of African Americans approved of the president’s job performance. Of course, Joe Biden authored the 1994 Clinton era Crime Bill. The bill provided for 100,000 more police officers, 125,000 more prison cells, and enhanced penalties for 70 different offenses. Activists blame the crime bill for ‘mass incarceration’ of African Americans.
Which makes Biden’s promise to choose a woman of color for his vice president even more important. Failed Gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams seems to have fallen out of favor and claims that no one from the Biden campaign has even contacted her. Now, despite savagely attacking Biden during the Democrat primary, California Senator Kamala Harris seems to be in the lead. But, this creates another problem for Biden. As California Attorney General, Harris was notoriously tough on crime, which is now out of fashion with the Woke Left. Harris didn’t do well among African American voters during the primary and there’s no reason to think she can help Biden win back African American voters he’s losing to Trump.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.