Misfit host Bob Schlehuber and producer Michelle Witte shared firsthand reports from the peaceful protests that were violently broken up in Washington, DC, last night, describing the tactics the police deployed first to clear the way for President Donald Trump’s Bible-toting photo opportunity and then to intimidate protesters after curfew, including hovering over them in military helicopters. Activist and organizer Tracye Redd also shared their on-the-ground experience, during which they got the opportunity to put a Black Lives Matter lawn sign to the test. The three also broke down Joe Biden’s terrible suggestion that the police “shoot them in the leg” when confronted by armed or unarmed people.
Dr. Alex Vitale, sociology professor at Brooklyn College and author of the recent book “The End of Policing,” tells Bob and co-host Jamarl Thomas that the murder of George Floyd has ripped off the bandage that was trying to cover up the plague of police violence. The police do not treat Americans equally: they explicitly uphold the race and class divisions of our society, and no amount of anti-bias training can change that mandate. A solution has to begin with defunding police, he says, but also by simultaneously refunding other social and community services and systems to support problem-solving without the police. In the same way, we can’t invest all of our political energy into electoral politics but must also build community organizations and systems to work toward our goals. Don’t let corporate media and the defenders of this cruel system make you forget this moment, he cautions.
Nathaniel Wallace of RedSpin Sports dropped by to discuss some of the history of activism and politics in sports and how they’re expressed in that industry today. High profile players have real power, which they have leveraged into concessions for their own labor. As sports begin to reopen, we may see them again flex their muscle to protect themselves, and perhaps to support some of the social movements in the streets today.
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