JOINING THE DEPORTATION MACHINE
In what one source describes as “an end-run around the bail process,” Barnstable County Sheriff James Cummings has plans to enter into an agreement with Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) to hold accused criminals past the time ordered by the courts or regardless of bail, reports DigBoston. The program, known as a 287(g) cooperation agreement, which the sheriff applied for of his own volition, has been widely criticized by advocates and is likely to face a legal challenge. Though the sheriff admitted he’d like to completely eliminate bail for serious crimes, he doesn’t understand how this presents a due process issue, and called criticisms of his plan “overstated.”
In Sheriff Cummings’ ideal world, all undocumented immigrants accused of crimes—guilty or not and regardless of their potential legal grounds for adjusting immigration status, such as asylum, human trafficking, etc.—will remain incarcerated until they’re given a one-way ticket out of America.
To which we must say, that’s some DB you’ve got there, DB.
DISMANTLING THE CONFEDERACY
Not so very far away from two cities that wish they’d never heard the words “Confederate monuments debate” and another that thinks it’s possible to re-contextualize the Confederate flag—looking at you Jacksonville, Fernandina and St. Augustine—our sisters by a different mister in Orlando are considering changing the name of Stonewall Jackson Middle School, according to Orlando Weekly. The school district in Orange County is currently surveying the populous to gauge feelings on the issue.
Last year, OW (unfortunate acronym, friends) notes, the district did the same for Robert E. Lee Middle School, which the school board subsequently voted nearly unanimously to change to College Park Middle School. If this survey leads to a name change, Orange County could at long last declare itself free of junior highs named for Confederate leaders. Meanwhile, here in Northeast Florida, the participation trophies for traitors remain in place, with the sole exception being the school that was named for the founder of the KKK. So at least there’s that.
DEATH BY TASER
Once touted as a non-lethal way to subdue suspects, due to the steady parade of deaths, Amnesty International has called on law enforcement to suspend the user of tasers until a thorough analysis is conducted, reports Flagpole Magazine. These weapons jolt suspects with electricity, in rare cases causing heart attacks, cardiac arrests and asphyxiation. As is so often the case concerning police actions against civilians, minorities are disproportionately affected. In 2017, nearly half of the 44 people killed by police tasers were minorities.
Cross-referencing several private organizations’ tallies, FM concluded that police have most likely killed at least 1,000 people with tasers since 2000. The article penned by University of Georgia law professor Donald E. Wilkes, who established the website Fatal Police Taserings in 2013, concludes by urging for tasers to be reclassified as deadly, arguing that if police had clubbed 1,000 people to death since 2000, no one would argue that police batons were anything but deadly.
CUE THE ACCORDIONS!
In a hilarious editorial, Chronogram’s Larry Beinhart reimagines the America from the president’s fantasies, as implied by his “blurts” about people from “shithole countries.” Specifically, America remade in the image of Norway, where Trump seems to believe the better people live. (Nope, just whiter.) Gone would be our fast-food faves like Wendy’s, McDonald’s, Arby’s and *gasp* Taco Bell. In place of the burger, we’d eat delights like fermented trout, dried fish steeped in lye, and a mixture of poached fish, roe and liver. Yum!
In sports, forget about football, basketball and baseball, which are replete with blacks and Latinos. Instead, we’d have curling! And bandy—“ice hockey with a ball instead of a puck.” And Skijoring—similar to water-skiing except with a horse or dogs and on snow instead of water. Sounds kinda fun, actually. Without rap, jazz, the blues, rock ’n’ roll or mariachi, we’d fill our ears with the lilting strains of the accordion, which is almost worth the sacrifice for “a democratic socialist state, with real national healthcare, far better education, a progressive criminal justice system and social security.” Almost.
Beinhart closes with a delightful parody of Emma Lazarus’ poem, part of which appears near the base of the Statue of Liberty. An excerpt: “Here we stand with wide-open invitations / to all but Africans, Muslims, Mexes and Haitians / Give us your whiter, cleaner and richer peoples / who worship at churches that have steeples.” Zing.