It's Friday: that means it's panel time!
US President Donald Trump spoke about both George Floyd's death and the latest American employment data during Friday remarks in the White House's Rose Garden. "We all saw what happened last week. We can't let that happen," Trump said. "Hopefully, George is looking down right now and saying, 'This is a great thing that's happening for our country.' It's a great day for him. It's a great day for everybody. This is a great, great day in terms of equality. It's what our Constitution requires, and it's what our country is all about." Meanwhile, Washington, DC, residents have been besieged by "a number of heavily armed law enforcement officers who share an unexpected characteristic: Neither their affiliation nor their personal identities are discernible," the Washington Post reported Thursday. How concerned should we be, and what does this indicate?
Another black man who said "I can’t breathe" died in police custody, and an official autopsy has ruled his death a homicide. Manuel Ellis, 33, who called out “I can’t breathe” before dying in police custody in Tacoma, Washington, "was killed as a result of oxygen deprivation and the physical restraint that was used on him, according to details of a medical examiner’s report released on Wednesday," the New York Times reported Wednesday. “Mr. Ellis was physically restrained as he continued to be combative,” the Tacoma Police Department said in a Wednesday statement on the matter. The police officers were not wearing body cameras.
"A week ago in Minneapolis, for all the world to see, a black man, George Floyd, was murdered by a policeman, Derek Chauvin," Dr. Jack Rasmus wrote in a Wednesday piece published on his personal website and at CounterPunch. "Murders of black men by police in America are not new. They are endemic. ... What angers those who observed the murder most is the lack of mercy shown by Chauvin and his three complicit partner officers. What they showed was clearly an intention to kill. Chauvin appeared almost to take pleasure in keeping his knee on Floyd’s neck for three minutes more after he lay motionless. That made it a particularly sadistic murder. It suggested to observers of the video, especially to black folks, that the police in 2020 will show you no mercy."
"The job market unexpectedly reversed its free fall in May as employers brought back millions of workers after pandemic-induced layoffs and the unemployment rate declined," the New York Times reported Friday. "Tens of millions remain out of work, and the unemployment rate, which fell to 13.3 percent from 14.7 percent in April, remains higher than in any previous post-war recession. But employers added 2.5 million jobs in May, the Labor Department said Friday, defying economists’ expectations of further losses and offering hope that the rebound from the pandemic-induced economic crisis could be faster than forecast."
Democratic Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has announced that the state will remove a monument to Confederate General Robert E. Lee from the capital of Richmond. "The 60-foot monument that has towered over Richmond for 130 years will topple into history as soon the state can line up contractors and make space in a warehouse, Northam announced Thursday, the seventh straight day of mass protests over police violence against African Americans," the Washington Post reported Thursday.
Caleb Maupin — Journalist and political analyst who focuses his coverage on US foreign policy.
Dr. Jack Rasmus — Professor of economics at Saint Mary's College of California and author of "Central Bankers at the End of Their Ropes: Monetary Policy and the Coming Depression."
Dr. Linwood Tauheed — Associate professor of economics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
Jim Kavanagh — Political analyst and commentator and editor of The Polemicist.
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