Sunday, June 14, 2020

Critical Hour Discussion of Protests, Provocateurs, and Elections (6/12/2020)

Minnesota Government Asks Whether Outsiders, White Supremacists Lit Fires in Twin Cities

It’s Friday, so that means it’s panel time.

A very interesting article ran Friday in the Wall Street Journal, entitled "Who Set the Fires in the Twin Cities?" It reads, "Ever since protesters flooded the streets following the killing of George Floyd in police custody, residents here have wondered: Who burned down so many businesses in the Twin Cities, and why? While a few arrests have been made so far, the question continues to go largely unanswered. ... The ATF [US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives] has released photos and videos, asking for the public’s help in identifying suspects caught on security cameras lighting fires, pouring accelerants and throwing an apparent Molotov cocktail. ... Minnesota state officials have pointed to unspecified and unconnected outsiders, including white supremacists, anarchists and drug cartels for turning peaceful demonstrations into violent riots that left scores of businesses looted, damaged or destroyed by flames." That’s an interesting narrative to me. US President Donald Trump has described protestors as thugs, playing into a racist stereotype from what’s been displayed in the media.
[Related article: Over the Rainbow: Paths of Resistance after George Floyd]

"The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 321 points, or 1.3%, paring gains of as much as 837 points shortly after the opening bell," the Wall Street Journal reported Friday. "The index slid 6.9% on Thursday on concerns about an uptick in coronavirus cases and the pace of the economic recovery. The S&P 500 climbed 1% Friday, while the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.8%. All three indexes are poised to close the week down at least 2.5%, snapping a three-week winning streak." Do these numbers tell us anything substantive?

"Trump in recent weeks has repeatedly signaled that his sympathies lie with the police over the protesters, whom he has broadly portrayed as members of a loosely affiliated anti-fascist movement known as antifa, though the vast majority of the demonstrators across the country have been peaceful," the Washington Post reported Thursday. "Since [George] Floyd’s death, he has tweeted about 'LAW & ORDER!' more than a dozen times. In a roundtable Thursday in Dallas, Trump proclaimed that the nation’s problems with racism will be solved 'very easily. It will go quickly, and it will go very easily.'”

"Trump's decision to hold a Tulsa rally on Juneteenth is no coincidence," read the headline of a Friday op-ed by Frida Ghitis for CNN. She writes that the event "will be held in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the site of a race massacre 99 years ago that remains one of the worst acts of racial violence in US history. In 1921, hundreds of African Americans were killed when white mobs looted and burned what had been a thriving neighborhood known as 'Black Wall Street.'" Juneteenth, or June 19, is the day honoring what happened on June 19, 1865: Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, arrived in Galveston, Texas with orders that all slaves in Texas were free in accordance with the Emancipation Proclamation, issued on January 1, 1863.

"The Democratic National Committee (DNC) and two allied groups sued the Arizona Secretary of State to allow voters five business days after federal elections to correct ballots that may otherwise have been rejected for not having a signature," Reuters reported Thursday. "Currently, such ballots are not counted."

"The combination of limited training on new voting machines and reduced polling locations due to the novel coronavirus could produce crushingly long lines and severely hamper voting access," Georgia election officials and voting rights advocates had warned, the Washington Post reported Wednesday. "Yet none of those in charge of Georgia’s elections were able to head off what all agreed was a breakdown of the voting system. Residents waited for hours to cast ballots, some past midnight. Workers struggled to operate new touch-screen machines. Some polling places in suburban Atlanta opened with no equipment at all."


Caleb Maupin - Collaborator with major news outlets and author of "City Builders and Vandals in Our Age."
Dr. Jack Rasmus - Teaches economics and politics at St. Mary’s College in California and is the author of the book "The Scourge of Neoliberalism: US Economic Policy from Reagan to Trump."
Jim Kavanagh - Political analyst and commentator and editor of The Polemicist.
Dr. Colin Campbell - TV news reporter for more than 20 years. As a senior Washington, DC correspondent since 2008, he has been a reporter-at-large covering two presidencies, Congress and the State Department.

[My segment begins ~35:30]
Listen to "Minnesota Government Asks Whether Outsiders, White Supremacists Lit Fires in Twin Cities" on Spreaker.

The Critical Hour is a daily 60-minute news analysis and talk radio program on Radio Sputnik hosted by Dr. Wilmer Leon. Introduction above is theirs, with related articles of mine referenced in brackets.

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