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Convention Tension: RNC 2020

On this episode of democracy-ish, Danielle and Toure dig into the news of the week, including the 2020 Republican National Convention in all its unhinged glory.

  • In the wake of yet another shooting of an unarmed Black man by police, protests erupted across the nation. In Kenosha, violence ensued –– perpetrated by a teenage gunman.

  • Republicans mounted their own unconventional convention this week. But it was just plain weird, and not because of the pandemic.

  • The RNC featured a number of Black speakers, a whole lot of lies and even some things that are probably illegal.

This week, Danielle is back from vacation, but because the Trump-era shitshow never takes a day off, she’s not exactly well-rested.

“I'm fucking tired. You're fucking tired. Black America is tired,” she says to Toure.

Last Sunday, police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, shot 29-year-old Black man Jacob Blake in the back seven times, leaving him paralyzed. The incident reignited demonstrations nationwide, including in Kenosha itself. On the third night of unrest there, a 17-year-old gunman shot three people, two of whom died. And the protests go on.

“The Blake family is calling on folks to stop with the destruction of property,” Danielle says. “Here's what I say about that. Fuck your property, which is capitalism which is steeped in white supremacy and built on our backs.”

We’re living in an America where many people care more about property than human lives. And that was made abundantly clear at the Republican National Convention.

“Even though we heard they aren’t into ‘cancel culture,’ the right has deep, serious hatred toward left-wing protesters,” Toure says.

And that’s where we begin this week. Take a deep breath, and let’s get into it.

Episode Highlights –– RNC Madness

Another killing … this time, in Kenosha

Jacob Blake is now another on a long list of names we wish we didn’t know by heart.

“I have at least 25 videos of Black people being murdered in my head that I can call up at a moment's notice,” says Toure. “Even more than great dunks from the NBA. And I'm sure every Black person who's listening can say the same.”

Even though Jake isn’t dead, his life and his family’s life is irrevocably changed. And there's not much difference between this case and the countless murders of Black Americans by police, “because they shot him seven times in the back,” Toure adds. “They weren't just trying to harm him. They were trying to kill him.”

That's an important point, one that we haven’t heard in media coverage, says Danielle.

“Who fires seven shots and expects somebody to survive?”

Dystopian MAGA-land

What we did hear from the media was a lot of “vague, Orwellian police talk that’s meant to obfuscate and confuse,” Toure notes.

“If I hear one more newscaster, like Brian Williams, call it an officer-involved shooting, I will leap through the screen and strangle a motherfucker.”

That kind of phrasing is deliberately vague, he adds. It could mean that an officer was shot, or that an officer did the shooting.

“The 'involved' sounds almost serendipitous, like the officer just happened to be there when there was a shooting.”

At the RNC, Jake Blake, George Floyd and Breonna Taylor didn’t seem to exist. But the gun-wielding mansion-defenders the McCloskeys got their time to shine.

As did “the little piece of shit Catholic high-schooler,” who harassed an indiginous protester on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, Danielle points out. “He gets center stage to talk about how lambasted he was in the media. Gimme a break.”

Said teen claimed that he wore a MAGA hat because he liked Trump's policies and that the media leapt to conclusions about him.