(Pandemic in Los Angeles: Day 73)
History now records that every injury inflicted on defenseless protestors in L.A. this week comes from a mayor whose billion-dollar police force could bulldoze and bully unarmed citizens protesting the modern-day lynching of Black bodies only so much. Even after an annual budget of more than a billion dollars for weapons and training for this force, to still call for Governor Newsom’s support to smother free speech and the right to assembly in Los Angeles says a lot.
At this critical moment in our nation’s history, by calling the National Guard to intimidate and arrest defenseless protestors, Mayor Garcetti is now the first white supremacist mayor of L.A. in the 21st century, no better than a “Proud Boy” thug in Atwater Village claiming “defense” of white supremacy as his uniform glorifies blood spewed from Black & Brown skin.
If that sounds like an exaggeration, consider that the mayor’s curfew and call for the national guard on Saturday night comes less than 12 hours before the president’s designation of the so-called “ANTIFA” (abbreviated from ANTIFASCIST) association as a “terrorist group,” despite providing no evidence to support the claim that the group, which is known as a loose coalition of anti-racist activists, engages in anything related to terrorism.
That is, unless the official policy of the state is that any movement against white supremacy is so offensive to whiteness it must be deemed “terrorist.” The open-air prison is now in plain sight. Enter prison warden Garcetti.
But the mayor’s decision to escalate police reinforcements rather than deescalate their numbers doesn’t just place him in the company of Donald Trump. It also comes at a time when mayors across urban cities in the United States have a choice to either stand with their fellow citizens in calling for an end to Jim Crow policies for Black and Brown bodies, or stand against them, supporting only an extension of those same policies. Just one of these choices historically costs Black and Brown civilians in the United States their lives. Garcetti has chosen the latter.
Consider also that the mayor, like Governor Newsom, certainly calls on the federal government to support the state and L.A.’s economic shortcomings this year due to reduced tax revenue. So why can’t they stand with L.A. calling on the state and federal government to stop sanctioning the killing of unarmed Black people?
Additionally, I encourage every reader in Los Angeles to consider the following:
Exactly what gives Garcetti the right to escalate police forces at this time? And why is L.A. City Council not convening during these hours to veto the mayor’s invitation of the national guard to our city? What expertise for crisis management has Garcetti shown during seven years of shoving & arresting unhoused citizens instead of sheltering them? And how competently has his team performed during just the last two months in which they’ve failed to house even 3,000 of L.A.’s 15,000 most vulnerable unhoused residents?
Moreover, L.A. City Council’s failure to convene at this time also reveals the body is weak outside the realm of green lights for real estate tycoons, with its council-members sitting disparately at this time and apparently without prior knowledge of any of Mayor Eric Garcetti’s orders. This is a clear example of what democracy does not look like.
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