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Blog - Category: Commentary

Mandatory college football practices at time of pandemic are nuts

June 29, 2020

The NCAA has just ruled that mandatory football practices can begin in July, anticipating a full season of college football. This is nuts. The pandemic isn’t going away; it’s surging in more than 29 states, with seven reporting new records for cases in a day. States that opened early without adequate safeguards — Texas, Florida, Arizona — now face a spread of the pandemic that may soon exhaust the supply of hospital beds. Deaths are now over 125,000.

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College football amid a pandemic is not worth the risk to young men’s lives

June 22, 2020

How many lives of young men and women should be sacrificed for entertainment — and for billions in profit? That question can’t be ducked as the NCAA allows colleges to begin “voluntary” football practices, and other college teams begin to practice.

Colleges are desperate to open the full football season, a source of millions in profits for colleges and universities. Donald Trump, who pretends that COVID-19 is behind us, wants a return to normal, with stadiums filled with fans cheering their heroes. Players are eager to compete and to display their skills.

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Too many African American children are born in shackles

June 15, 2020

“I can’t breathe,” pled George Floyd in Minneapolis and Erik Garner in New York City and Javier Ambler in Austin, Texas, before police killed them.

Amid the protests against brutality, Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta, whom police found asleep in his car, was shot twice in the back and killed.

In Austin, Justin Howell lies in critical condition in the hospital, shot during a protest by a policeman using a “less-lethal weapon.” His mistake? He stood next to the demonstrator the policeman was shooting at.

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Police reform was never going to be easy — but now’s the time

June 8, 2020

As the worldwide demonstrations continue two weeks after the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis policeman, the question is whether outrage will lead to real reforms?

Fundamental reforms would begin with ending the “qualified immunity” of police, curbing the militarization of police forces, transferring funds and functions to social agencies, imposing residency requirements and finally making lynching a hate crime.

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The signs say Black Lives Matter. Yet the very people who are supposed to protect us too often, in too many places, don’t seem to agree.

June 1, 2020

The murder of George Floyd was a lynching in broad daylight.

Three police officers stood and watched as a fourth, Derek Chauvin, knelt on Floyd’s neck. They watched for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, with Floyd unresponsive for 2 minutes and 53 seconds of that, according to the criminal complaint against Chauvin. They did nothing to stop the murder.

Their silence was as much an act of violence as Chauvin’s knee. And if there were no video recording of the murder, they likely would have upheld the Code Blue loyalty, and lied about what happened.

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Americans have united before to defeat an external enemy and we can again

May 25, 2020

We live in a time of bitter divisions. Today, even the wearing of masks has become a partisan question.

Yet, as this Memorial Day weekend reminds us, this country has united before to meet external threats. The calamity that has been wrought by the coronavirus is the result of an external attack — this time by a virus rather than an armed enemy. It too should be a time of national unity, of rallying together to share the sacrifices, to help one another through the crisis, and to rebuild the country afterwards.

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We must protect the right to vote in the November elections

May 4, 2020

The coronavirus does not discriminate, but people do. The coronavirus is not partisan, but politicians are. When we should be coming together to address a shared crisis, some are intent on driving us apart and exacting partisan advantage in the midst of the crisis.

Across the country, Republicans are intensifying their efforts to make it harder to vote, with particular focus on suppressing the votes of African Americans and other minorities.

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Let prisoners go during COVID-19 pandemic

April 27, 2020

Across the United States and across the world, prisoners are among the most vulnerable to the coronavirus. Overcrowded facilities, shortages of food and medicine, and totally inadequate testing expose prisoners who are disproportionately poor and afflicted with prior conditions that render them vulnerable to the disease.

Prisoners increasingly are protesting their conditions, objecting to being sentenced to die in prison.

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