The Associated Press is reporting that five African Americans were shot during a police brutality protest in Minneapolis by a group of white supremacists Nov. 23. This is not a surprise.
The appeal and power of old-fashioned, overt and transparent white racism is growing in the United States. The prime example of this phenomenon is the rise of Donald Trump, but the Republican presidential frontrunner is but one data point in a larger trend.
Since the election of President Barack Obama, white supremacist groups have increased their enrollment of new members. To that end, they have infiltrated Tea Party organizations to recruit racially resentful and angry white people who are beginning to think about politics in terms of “white group interests.”
While anxiety about ISIS dominates the American news, the FBI has in fact identified domestic terrorism from white, right-wing Christians as the greatest domestic terrorism threat to the United States since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
Last weekend, Mercutio Southall Jr., a Black Lives Matter protester, was beaten upon by Donald Trump supporters at a Birmingham, Alabama, rally. At least half a dozen attendees shoved and tackled Southhall, a black man, to the ground as he refused to leave the event.
At least one man punched the protester and a woman kicked him while he was on the ground. All of the attendees who were involved in the physical altercation with the protester were white. Southall appeared to be shouting “black lives matter” and later removed his sweatshirt to reveal a shirt with those words.
At least one attendee shouted “all lives matter.” Southall said he was punched, kicked and called “n****r” while a group of eight or nine people were on top of him. He said people encircled him, and he was being pushed and punched from every direction.
Someone hit him from behind, and the next thing he knew, he was at the bottom of a pile. He was kicked in the stomach, and the chest, by both men and women.
“I got enough people off of me that I was able to get up a little bit,” he said. “Somebody got behind me and started trying to choke me out.”
Southall said he was repeatedly called a “n****r” and “monkey” and told his life doesn’t matter. Southall was eventually led out by police officers on the scene.
Trump later appeared to endorse that brand of thuggery and was proud that his supporters were so spirited.
“Maybe he should have been roughed up, because it was absolutely disgusting what he was doing,” Trump said on the Fox News Channel Nov. 22. “I have a lot of fans, and they were not happy about it. And this was a very obnoxious guy who was a trouble maker who was looking to make trouble.
“Adding to the grotesqueness of Donald Trump’s embrace of political violence, Robert Kiger, a fundraiser aligned with a group backing Trump, made the bizarre suggestion that he, as a white man, would be beaten up if he went into a black church. Therefore, the violent attack on a Black Lives Matter protester at Trump’s rally was expected, understood and reasonable in Kiger’s twisted, demented and profoundly racist imagination.
My take on this recent trend of violence by Trump supporters is that they are cowardly and scared of losing their perceived power. With the election of President Obama as our nation’s first African-American president they felt their protective bubble of white privilege pierced, and that caused many of those racist white folks to respond in extremely negative, hostile and immature ways.
So be careful black folks at any upcoming protests against Trump. When Trump and his supporters tell and show you who they really are, you had best pay close attention.
Meanwhile, back home in L.A. County, on the heels of winning the sought-after support of the New Frontier Democratic Club, locked in his sixth public safety endorsement, this one coming from the Bell Police Officers Association.
After receiving word of the endorsements, former Assemblyman Bradford released the following statement: “Today’s endorsement serves as further evidence of my unyielding commitment to law enforcement and public safety issues. As a local City Councilman and member of the state Assembly, I’ve always strived to ensure that our law enforcement officers have the resources and tools they need to do their job and to do it well, and safely. I really appreciate the Bell Police Officers’ Association support and look forward to having them joining the broad coalition of law enforcement already rallying behind our campaign.”
Bradford’s campaign has been on fire this week, landing numerous endorsements already, including the New Frontier Democratic Club, Rev. Cecil “Chip” Murray, Long Beach Unified School District Board President Felton Williams, retired Long Beach City Councilman Val Lerch, Lawndale City Councilman Dan Reid, and Hawthorne City Councilwoman Angie Reyes English.
Just last week Bradford won endorsements from past Torrance City Councilman Cliff Numark and former Los Angeles City Councilwoman Jan Perry. Some of his other 150 endorsements include: Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom; incumbent state Sen. Isadore Hall; Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León; U.s Reps. Janice Hahn, Karen Bass and Judy Chu; California Democratic Party Vice Chair Alex Rooker; California Democratic Party Vice Chair and Los Angeles County Democratic Party Chair Eric C. Bauman, among countless others.
Beyond endorsements, Bradford has been on a major winning streak, besting his opponent in fundraising with a substantial $614,067 total raised for the June primary election and with $440,987 cash on hand — more than double what his opponent has in the bank.
Bradford has represented portions of the 35th Senate District for 18 years, first as a member of the Gardena City Council and then as a member of the state Assembly. Bradford is clearly the frontrunner in this contest, which took on greater importance with the loss of two African-American elected officials in Hawthorne, Mayor Chris Brown and Councilwoman Olivia Valentine who were both dumped by voters earlier this month.
Having some form of political African-American representation in that area is a must.
Great news in the Antelope Valley for Darren Parker’s campaign for Assembly. Assembly Speaker Emeritus John A. Pérez announced his endorsement of Parker. In announcing his support, Pérez released the following statement:
“As our next Assembly member, we can count on Darren Parker to be a strong advocate for creating family-wage jobs, protecting the rights of workers and prioritizing funding for our schools. Darren is truly committed to making a positive difference for the Antelope Valley, and I urge you to join me in supporting his campaign.”
A former union organizer, Pérez served as Assembly speaker from March 2010 to May 2014. He currently serves as a member of the University of California Board Of Regents. The 36th Assembly District boasts a five percent voter registration advantage for Democrats. Both President Barack Obama and Senator Diane Feinstein carried the district during the last presidential election.
Parker’s long history of community involvement includes having served on: the Quartz Hill Town Council, the Antelope Valley Human Relations Commission, the city of Lancaster’s Architectural Committee, the Antelope Valley College District Citizens Oversight Committee, the Antelope Valley Youth Build Advisory Board, and the Board of the Antelope Valley Hispanic Chamber Commerce.
He was appointed by both Gov. Gray Davis and Gov. Jerry Brown to serve on the Antelope Valley Fairgrounds Board, and his colleagues on the board recently elected him to serve as president. Parker works as a special assistant to Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins. He also owns a small business and serves as the chair of the California Democratic Party’s African American Caucus. He previously worked for AT&T and as a political director for the Communications Workers of America.
Great news for my beloved Los Angeles Dodgers, who’s hiring of Dave Roberts as their new manager sent positive shockwaves throughout the city. Mayor Eric Garcetti even issued a statement.
“We are thrilled to welcome Dave Roberts back to Los Angeles as the new manager of our beloved Dodgers,” Garcetti said. “Dave brings passion and a championship pedigree to an organization that is built to contend for the World Series each year. With Dave in the dugout, the team not only secures a top-notch baseball mind, but it also makes history, bringing the first person of color to this important post.
“It is good to have Dave back home, ready to inspire Angelenos on and off the field.”
Well my time is up for this week, but I want to wish Wave readers a happy and safe holiday.
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