(Pandemic in Los Angeles: Day 77)
The mayor must really miss Dodger baseball, because he actually thought he could pull a fast-one on Los Angeles in his press conference earlier today.
For starters, if anyone thinks mayor Garcetti’s “$100 – 150 million in cuts” for LAPD are even likely to be honored, just remember that this is the same guy who two months ago said along with LAHSA that the city would get 15,000 of our most vulnerable unhoused into hotels ASAP. But two months later, there are no more than 3,200 of those most vulnerable unhoused residents indoors. And that’s with the city and county “re-opening” now.
To place that into perspective, consider it took only two days for mayor Garcetti to get 10,000 LAPD officers and the National Guard to beat back unarmed protesters in Los Angeles. Ten years from now, when people are reading about these events, these two single discrepancies will say all they need to about the mayor’s actual priorities during his tenure.
But for now, consider that the mayor’s bright new idea after six days of protest against police violence in Los Angeles is to create more departments at L.A. City Hall, apparently to make it a friendlier place for Black & Latino kids in Los Angeles sometime in the near future, even while neglecting to mention that L.A. City Hall at its current capacity is under investigation and apparently accountable strictly to the FBI, but not accountable to us, the people who elected L.A. City reps to oversee the expenditure of our tax-dollars. Sidenote: Jose Huizar still hasn’t resigned, Los Angeles. That is, seven days after being asked to do so by L.A. City Council president Nury Martinez due to a bribery case building up against him.
But make no mistake about it: by coming down with the batons on peaceful protesters in L.A., the one thing the mayor has been successful at has been turning a generation of young people who may have otherwise stayed home watching Netflix documentaries on social justice into full-fledged newfound activists.
Unlike with sheltering our unhoused, the mayor mobilized the next generation in less than a week, and in numbers not seen in Los Angeles since the marches for Immigrant Rights in 2006, and before then, maybe since the marches against Lyndon B. Johnson’s War in Vietnam in 1967. So way to go, Mr. Mayor. L.A. will now definitely remember you and your police mob for decades to come.
Speaking of which, during the conference mayor Garcetti noted, almost with laughter, that the LAPD hasn’t actually used the real rubber bullets against protesters, which, according to his expertise, are “much more dangerous.” However, after making this discrepancy he didn’t say which kinds of bullets LAPD has blasted at unarmed civilians, including on journalists from the L.A. Times, which is still going out of its way to publish the mayor’s photo-ops.
All in all, even forgetting for a moment the mayor’s lip service about more cops “working with communities” during his latest press conference–despite not specifying as to how police can actually serve the community going forward–just know this: as long as Garcetti stands at his podium surrounded by no one except for the supporting cast of his coup at City Hall this last week, instead of by leaders and families from Black Lives Matter – Los Angeles, which has called on him for years to act like a leader over the LAPD, the mayor is lying.
Even an earthquake couldn’t distract us from it. What a strike-out.
Because no, it is not alright to settle for piecemeal “reforms” at this point, Los Angeles.
In 1964 Lyndon B. Johnson himself knew as much when he signed his name to not just make a show of an audience, but to actually invest in a great society. That is, to transform it.
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