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A moment of faux outrage over Barron Trump.

. Please don’t forget that the youngest Trump got his name from one of the characters Donald created in the 80s when he wanted to call the NY press and plant fake stories about himself. He been bullying that child since before he was a zygote so the GOP can miss me with all the fake outrage.

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Stanford University professor Pamela Karlan testified in the impeachment hearing yesterday and she used Trump’s 13-year-old son to illustrate the limit of the President’s powers in comparison to a king.

Oh no! Leave the kids out of it! Don’t bully that child! How dare she! Wait, what did she say though?

That part has been lost in the midst of all this generated outrage by the GOP. Just so we’re all on the same page, this is the comment that has the Republican Party pretending to clutch their pearls and manufacture a story to distract from what’s really going on.

That’s it. That’s the whole quote. Now everybody from Melania to Kellyanne is pretending that’s the worst thing anyone has ever said about a child.

Remember when Sasha and Malia went on Spring Break and Sean Hannity pitched a fit because “we” had to pay for their security details while they go on vacation?

Remember when the Bush twins spoke out to defend Obama’s daughters because the right wing media brought them up too much?

Remember when America decided keeping kids in cages was the same as summer camp?

But “Trump can’t make his son a baron” is the line in the sand.

Y’all. Please don’t forget that the youngest Trump got his name from one of the characters Donald created in the 80s when he wanted to call the NY press and plant fake stories about himself. The only reason he stopped using “John Barron” as one of his pseudonyms is because he got sued and had to admit to using it in open court. He been bullying that child since before he was a zygote so the GOP can miss me with all the fake outrage.

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Race

Hank Aaron’s Guinness World Record

His record isn’t for what you think it is.

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Baseball great Hank Aaron passed away today and I went into a quick dive into his life after reading this excellent write up by the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

A Hall of Famer, Atlanta’s first professional sports star, and, in a soft-spoken way, an agent of change in the post-Jim Crow South, Aaron came to embody the city as he embodied the Braves.

Baseball’s all-time home run king died Friday at the age of 86, according to Channel 2 Action News and several reports. The Braves have not confirmed Aaron’s death.

“I don’t think too many people got a chance to know me through the years, and that was something that was my own doing, because I’m actually kind of a loner, a guy that has stayed to himself,” Aaron said in a 2006 interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “A lot of people thought they knew me, but they really didn’t.

“They pretend that they know me, but I travel alone. I do just about everything alone. I have associates, but I don’t have many friends. I would just want to be remembered as somebody who just tried to be fair with people.”

(cont. AJC)

I grew up in a basketball and football household, but my dad kept up with baseball and I went to a handful of Braves games growing up. Hank Aaron was just kind of a vague figure in the back of my mind, someone I knew had a lot of home runs, but that’s about all I knew about the man. The AJC paints a vivid picture of a soft-spoken Black man in the Deep South navigating his way through baseball during the Civil Rights Era, and it’s an engaging read from top to bottom. This particular section jumped out at me:

Aaron had eight seasons with 40 or more home runs, the last coming in 1973, when he finished the year with 713 homers and an estimated 930,000 pieces of mail. Much of it was racist. There also were enough death threats for the FBI to get involved. Aaron received personal protection through the off-season.

That’s like 3,000 pieces of mail a day! I did a quick dive into it so let’s set the scene.

Babe Ruth played baseball from 1914 to 1935, and interestingly enough, while I most associate him with the NY Yankees, he started and ended his career in Boston. He set numerous baseball records (two of which still stand today) and in 1936, he was one of the inaugural five members of the Baseball Hall of Fame. He’s one of the greatest sports heroes of all time, Trump gave him a Medal of Freedom in 2018, and the official candy bar of Major League Baseball bears his name (even though it wasn’t created for him, it became inextricably associated with him during the height of his fame). He also hit 714 home runs in his career, a record which stood for almost four decades until Hank Aaron came along.

By the early 70s, Hank Aaron had been quietly chipping away at Babe Ruth’s home run record for twenty years, first with the Milwaukee Braves and then in Atlanta when the team moved to Georgia in 1965. At the end of the 1972 season, Hank had 673 home runs, and for a player who already had eight seasons where he hit 40 or more home runs, it was assumed he would indeed break Babe Ruth’s record of 714 in the very near future. Baseball fans follow the game, so baseball fans were aware of Hank’s hitting stats. Racist America follows notable Black people, and this Black man putting himself within striking distance of a white man’s achievement made the country take note. The amount of hate mail spiked once non fans became aware of Hank’s threat to a record they didn’t even really care about until it was in danger of being broken by a Black player.

On July 21st of 1973, Hank Aaron hit #700 and he was receiving about 3,000 pieces of mail a day. The Braves hired a secretary just to handle Hank’s mail, and team management forbid him from opening his own letters to shield him from the vitriol.

The volume was so great that the Braves assigned secretary Carla Koplin to handle Aaron’s mail. That freed up his time but also shielded the legendary slugger from some of the vile remarks and death threats aimed at him. There were also some congratulatory letters and words of encouragement, but the negative comments heavily outweighed the positive and the Braves gave Aaron his own security detail.

“I was forbidden to open mail for two and a half years. I had a secretary that had to open all my mail and when the games were over with, I had to go out of the back of the baseball parks.”

(cont. Sportscasting)

When the season ended in October, Hank had 713 home runs, one shy of the record. The next six months gave racist America ample time to seethe and write. Hate mail turned to death threats and anyone remotely supportive of Hank was a target.

Lewis Grizzard, then sports editor of the Atlanta Journal, reported receiving numerous phone calls calling journalists “nigger lovers” for covering Aaron’s chase. While preparing the massive coverage of the home run record, he quietly had an obituary written, afraid that Aaron might be murdered.

(cont. Hank Aaron)

Hank Aaron made it to the 1974 season and broke Babe Ruth’s record in Atlanta on April 8th. Between July 1973 and June 1974, Hank Aaron received over 930,000 pieces of mail, the most ever for a private citizen, and a record that still stands today. When I saw that Hank Aaron had a Guinness World Record, I assumed it was for home runs, but his record was broken by Barry Bonds in 2007. Hank has a world record not for baseball, but for racism — America’s other great pastime.

 

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Politics

GOP lawmakers don’t want metal detectors at the Capitol.

People broke into your job with weapons, but you don’t want metal detectors?

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Republican lawmakers are upset they have to wait in line to go through metal detectors at the Capitol.
 
Rep. Louis Gohmert (R-TX): “You can’t stop me; I’m on my way to a vote.”
 
Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-AZ): “For members of Congress to enter the floor of the U.S. House, we now have to go through intense security measures, on top of the security we already go through. These new provisions include searches and being wanded like criminals. We now live in Pelosi’s communist America!”
Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA): It “impedes the ability of members to come and vote. This is our job.”
 
Non-Rep Rafi D’Angelo (D-Sitting On My Bed Right Now): “Are you fucking kidding me?”
 
I have to take my shoes off to get on an airplane because 20 years ago one guy on one plane tried to set off a shoe bomb.
 
Hundreds of terrorists were trying to beat y’all ass LAST WEEK at your job. What’s not clicking?
 
Where’s all this outrage over metal detectors when we want to get rid of guns so our CHILDREN don’t have to go through what you went through last week? Kids all over the country stand in line to go through a metal detector every single day just to get an education and y’all say that’s wonderful because you want zero restrictions on firearms.
 
Where’s all this outrage over standing in line to vote when people all over the country have to wait 7 or 8 hours to cast their ballot? Y’all put those obstacles there by design so you can win elections, but an “obstacle” that delays you 15 minutes and could save your life is a reach too far?
 
I hate them. Hate is such a strong word that I was taught not to use, but it’s really not strong enough at this point. I can’t muster up any other reaction toward people who consistently put this overinflated sense of faux-liberty above all else because it’s on brand for the message they’ve pumped into their followers. This is about their complete and total resistance to being told what to do by people they feel they have the right to boss around.  There’s a very clear thread between Karen yelling at Wal-Mart about being told to wear a mask and a Republican Representative yelling in the Capitol being told to go through a metal detector. Whether it’s because you make minimum wage at the register, you’re a security guard with a high school education, you’re a soyboy liberal whose unmasculine fear of dying makes you unpatriotic, or you’re a person of color asserting authority to enforce a rule, regulation, or mandate, Republicans think you are beneath them and refuse to be told what to do by someone they deem inferior for any reason.
Those metal detectors went up for their own protection, but they were put there by people inferior to them who did not ask their permission, and therefore, the metal detectors are evil and they will yell and stomp and walk around them and refuse to comply.
So…

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Health

The bodega man isn’t wearing a mask anymore.

He just got tired of it.

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I just went to go pick up dinner from an Indian restaurant a few blocks away. I passed by maybe 20 or 30 stores: laundromats, bodegas, 99cent stores, restaurants, bike shops, etc. There wasn’t a single place where everyone was wearing a mask.

I live in Harlem. When Biden won, there was partying in the streets. It’s a liberal neighborhood with an overwhelming majority of non-white people. It’s not an anti-mask, white Republican area that says COVID is a conspiracy.

Masks are no longer a political statement; everyone is just complacent.

I don’t even like going to my favorite bodega anymore, because of the three people who work there, only one wears a mask, and that’s only half the time. They know my breakfast order when I walk in, but I stopped going, because they don’t wear masks.

They’re not showing the overcrowded hospitals on TV anymore. Nobody is really talking about the lack of beds or the exhausted doctors and nurses. Therefore, too many people stopped taking it seriously, and they’re not going to take it seriously, because nobody is forcing them to.

Society in general has a limited capacity for prolonged negativity. Once a story has been terrible and dominating the news cycle for long enough, it becomes the norm, and nobody cares about it anymore. The news has had a steady undercurrent of COVID information for the past 9 months, and now, too many people have tuned out. So many people went home for the holidays this week, rational people who would never have thought of getting on a plane in April or May. We have more daily cases and deaths now than we did in April, but the difference is people don’t care as much, because they’ve maxed out on the negativity and they don’t hear it now. They don’t process it.

So yeah, the anti-mask conspiracy theorists and COVID deniers are terrible. They’ve been terrible this entire time. But now they’re not the only ones without masks. The neighborhood bodega man isn’t wearing one either, because he just got tired of it. And that’s so frustrating.

 

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