BLM March 13 June 2020

Downtown Philadelphia
Marchers a few blocks North of Philadelphia's City Hall.

So a major casualty of the culture war that was given renewed vigor by the death of George Floyd has been monuments to slave traders and Confederate military figures. Dallas TX has agreed to take down a 122-year old monument that featured a Confederate soldier surrounded by four Confederate generals. The statues won't be destroyed, but they'll be moved into storage.
NASCAR has also decided to remove all Confederate flags from their racetracks and events. Bubba Wallace is a highly successful race car driver who has gone all-in on supporting Black Lives Matter. He is finding his support is paying off as sponsors flock to finance him.

from edge of crowd
How big is the crowd? There's a traffic light in the center here, followed by three buildings clustered together, a space, then a large building. Believe the middle of the crowd is in that space.

So why are Confederate statues being portrayed as the villains of the moment? Besides the fact that they're easy, visible targets, yes, there's good reason to single them out. We know that by who wasn't generally memorialized during the Jim Crow era. If erecting statues of Confederate generals was supposed to celebrate their military valor and successes, then General James Longstreet should have been prominent among them. "He was, by most accounts, Lee's most trusted general. Lee once termed him 'the staff in my right hand,' and by the end of the war made Longstreet his second-in-command." But Longstreet

spoke out in favor of Reconstruction. He became a Republican. He endorsed Ulysses S. Grant -- who was reviled by Southerners -- for president in 1868. In 1874, he had the temerity to lead a predominantly black force of state militia in pitched gun battles against white supremacists in the streets of New Orleans.
His refusal to support racist and segregationist policies meant that he wasn't considered worthy to be seen as a Confederate hero.

on the march

On Saturday, more fuel was added to the fire of protests against police using force unnecessarily. Rayshard Brooks was drunk and in a tussle, grabbed a police officer's Taser. He was then shot as he was trying to run away. It was highly unlikely that he posed any danger to anyone. The policemen had possession of his car and through their previous interrogation of him, knew exactly who he was. This means "Why did they have to shoot him?"
A blogger reviewed the case of Breonna Taylor and finds that her case also involved completely unnecessary force. As she was an emergency medical technician, it was not impossible that she'd be involved in drug deals (her neighbors down the hall were suspected of dealing drugs), but it was unlikely. Her place could have been searched without her knowledge, nothing suspicious would have been found and her life could have gone on.
America seriously needs to reform the police. Our police are simply far too ready to resort to force when it's not needed. This is the whole point of the call to "Defund the Police." Democrats have lots of questions and concerns about exactly what that means.


The President felt he had to pick a side and so he did. Baffling that he chose to back the legacy of slave-owners, but he has refused to even re-name military bases, something that would be a relatively easy way to win favor with African-Americans. One of our bases is named for the victor of the Battle of Chickamauga, General Braxton Bragg. Problem is, that very bloody victory was followed by catastrophic defeats, so why is Trump defending naming a base after this fellow? My own reading is that Trump's base voters won't hear of it. The piece I linked to contains several references to the President's relationship to the military, which appears to be trying to put some daylight between him and them. "In the past, Trump has embraced 'his generals' but right now there's no love lost." White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany tried to make the rather strained case that soldiers deeply cared about the names of the bases that they were deployed from.

Outside City Hall

The US Surgeon General trying to push for the wider use of face masks, which is a great idea. It'd sure be nice if the President and Vice-President were on that same bandwagaon. The really bad news on that front is that the Trump campaign is expecting up to 19k people at his Tulsa campaign rally and they're just sort of gently suggesting the use of face masks rather than requiring them. The Health Director for the city of Tulsa is less than pleased about the Trump rally because

...COVID-19 “is transmitting very efficiently” in the city. “I think it’s an honor for Tulsa to have a sitting president want to come and visit our community, but not during a pandemic,” Dart said. “I’m concerned about our ability to protect anyone who attends a large, indoor event, and I’m also concerned about our ability to ensure the president stays safe as well.”
Dart is particularly concerned that there has been a sharp increase in cases lately that is not due to increased testing. The seven-day rolling average for COVID-19 cases in Tulsa County has increased from 24.9 on June 7 to 51.4 on Friday.

At the Liberty Bell

The good news is that protesters are showing good sense and caution and the resulting COVID-19 cases only affect about 1% of demonstration participants. Bad news is that for the nation as a whole, cases dropped a bit from 25 May to 10 June, but have gone back up again since then. Most of the decrease was from the NY/NJ/CT area getting better while the rest of the country, particularly the South, was seeing an increase in cases.