[guest post by Dana]
Here are a few news items to chew on. Feel free to include any of your own items in the comments. Please include links.
First news item
Joe Arpaio on Friday was narrowly defeated in his bid to win back the sheriff’s post in metro Phoenix that he held for 24 years before being voted out in 2016 amid voter frustrations over his taxpayer-funded legal bills, his penchant for self-promotion and a defiant streak that led to his now-pardoned criminal conviction.
Arpaio lost the Republican primary for Maricopa County sheriff to his former top aide, Jerry Sheridan. In the Nov. 3 general election, Sheridan will face Democrat Paul Penzone, who unseated Arpaio four years ago.
Second news item
Jerry Falwell Jr. took an indefinite leave of absence Friday as the leader of Liberty University, one of the nation’s top evangelical Christian colleges, days after apologizing for a social media post that caused an uproar even among fellow conservatives.
The private university in Lynchburg, Virginia, gave no reason for Falwell’s departure in a one-sentence announcement Friday afternoon. But it came after Falwell’s apology earlier this week for a since-deleted photo he posted online showing him with his pants unzipped, stomach exposed and his arm around a young woman in a similar pose.
The statement said the executive committee of Liberty’s board of trustees, acting on behalf of the full board, met Friday and requested Falwell take leave as president and chancellor, “to which he has agreed, effective immediately.”
Third news item
Some even call for “abolishing the police” altogether and closing down precincts, which is what happened in Seattle.
That has left small-business owners as lonely voices in progressive areas, arguing that police officers are necessary and that cities cannot function without a robust public safety presence. In Minneapolis, Seattle and Portland, Ore., many of those business owners consider themselves progressive, and in interviews they express support for the Black Lives Matter movement. But they also worry that their businesses, already debilitated by the coronavirus pandemic, will struggle to survive if police departments and city governments cannot protect them.
On Capitol Hill, business crashed as the Seattle police refused to respond to calls to the area. Officers did not retake the region until July 1, after four shootings, including two fatal ones.
Fourth news item
Amid all the preaching, would someone make a peep about a country that commits more human rights abuses in 10 minutes than the U.S. does in 10 years?
Don’t press your ears against the NBA’s bubble waiting for an answer.
The league officially declared it has no soul in October, when Houston general manager Daryl Morey sent one measly tweet supporting the democracy protests in Hong Kong.
The Chinese Communist Party started pulling NBA games off TV and merchandise off shelves. With its multibillion-dollar relationship threatened, the NBA quickly bowed in subservience and sent Morey to re-education camp.
Since then, the NBA has stayed mum as China ransacked all rights in Hong Kong, unleashed COVID-19 on the world and herded countless more Uighur Muslims onto trains bound for slave labor camps.
When asked to explain why its moral outrage ends at the water’s edge, the NBA says it can’t involve itself in every little human rights abuse on the planet. But the entire Basketball-Industrial Complex is eyeball deep in China.
Fifth news item
A student at Stockton University is facing disciplinary charges for a political Facebook post and making his Zoom background a photo of President Donald Trump during class, causing other students to feel “taunted.” Today, with the help of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, he’s fighting back.
Doctoral student Robert Dailyda used a photo of the president as his Zoom background during a July 1 virtual class, prompting complaints from other students in a private GroupMe chat after class. Dailyda removed himself from the chat in order to, as Stockton acknowledged, “avoid continued conflict.” The administration wrote in an incident report that the photo caused students “to feel offended, disrespected, and taunted.”
On July 10, administrators asked him to explain his political views, claiming that students were offended by his Zoom background, comments in the GroupMe chat, and a subsequent Facebook post defending his expression, which the university claimed students found “offensive, threatening, and concerning.” The university also expressed concern about comments others left on the post.
In his post, Dailyda wrote in part, “I’m ready to fight to the death for our county and against those that want to take it down.” (If that, in Stockton’s estimation, is worthy of investigation, wait until they learn about Patrick Henry.)
Sixth news item
Life of a Klansman: A Family History of White Supremacy is the latest book by Edward Ball, whose award-winning 1998 book Slaves in the Family traces the histories of people enslaved by Ball’s own ancestors. In Klansman, Ball tells the story of a racist great-grandfather who joined the Ku Klux Klan.
The New York Times hailed it as “a haunting tapestry of interwoven stories that inform us not just about our past but about the resentment-bred demons that are all too present in our society today,” and the anti-racism scholar Ibram X. Kendi participated in a virtual discussion about it with Ball. Tulane University was slated to host another such event, featuring Ball and Lydia Pelot-Hobbs, an assistant professor of geography and African American studies.
That event was supposed to take place tonight, but the university opted to postpone it following blinkered outrage from students who insisted that the event was “not only inappropriate but violent towards the experience of Black people in the Tulane community and our country.” Other members of the Tulane community called it “harmful and offensive,” and demanded its cancellation. Still others said the university should apologize and take action against whoever approved the event. (I verified that the people who made these kinds of comments were Tulane students, graduates, and employees. I chose not to name most of them in order to prevent individual harassment, though I did identify two student government officials who affixed their names to an appalling demand for censorship.)
Seventh news item
The New York Times cancels prominent women from both sides of the political aisle, and then botch efforts to clean up the mess:
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) August 8, 2020
Correction: An earlier version of this column incorrectly said it had been 36 years since a man and a woman ran on a Democratic Party ticket. It has been that long since a man chose a woman to run as V.P. on the Democratic ticket. We’ve deleted a tweet that repeated the error.
— New York Times Opinion (@nytopinion) August 8, 2020
No comment from Sarah Palin yet.
Eighth news item
California congresswoman Maxine Waters said Joe Biden will have to choose a Black woman as his running mate to win the election.
In a live interview with ESSENCE on Friday, Waters said Biden “can’t go home without a Black woman being VP.”
Citing “the help that [Biden] has already gotten from the Black community,” Democratic Rep. Waters told ESSENCE “we’re going to have a Black woman VP.”
Note: Gov. Whiter flew to Delaware last weekend to meet with Biden…
Have a great weekend.