(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 only bulldoze and bully unarmed citizens exercising their first-amendment rights to protest the modern-day lynching of Black bodies, and whom, even after an annual budget of more than a billion dollars for weapons and training for those forces, still needs Governor Newsom’s support to smother free speech and the right to assembly in Los Angeles.
Let there be no mistake about it: 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 bodies.
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 label of the so-called “ANTIFA” (aka known as the 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 citizens in calling for an end to Jim Crow policies for Black and Brown bodies, or stand against them in support only of the extension of those same policies. Just one of these choices historically costs Black and Brown bodies 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 governments to stop supporting the killing of unarmed Black people?
Additionally, I encourage every reader to ask these questions: exactly what gives Garcetti the right to escalate police forces at this time? And why is L.A. City Council not convening at these hours to veto the mayor’s baseless invitations to the national guard on our city? What expertise for crisis management has Garcetti shown during 7 years spent shoving & arresting our unhoused instead of sheltering them? Or during the last two months in which he’s failed to house even two-tenths of our 15,000 most vulnerable unhoused residents? Or are these failures precisely what qualify him to play top cop?
L.A. City Council’s failure to convene at this time also exposes that the body is weak outside the realm of green lights for real estate tycoons, with its council-members sitting separately at this time and apparently with no prior knowledge of any of Mayor Eric Garcetti’s orders. That’s a clear example of what democracy DOES NOT look like.
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