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In These Tweets is a weekly cultural dive into trending topics on Twitter. A collection of snapshot analyses on a variety of moments impacting our world. Sometimes serious, sometimes light, always substantive. We outchea, #InTheseTweets.
In a filmed incident of police violence eerily similar to Eric Garner, Minneapolis police are under fire for the death of a Black man who pleaded that he could not breathe after being apprehended. George Floyd, the man identified in a recorded video of the incident, later died. According to a report by CityPages, a crowd of witnesses gathered on the scene of the incident begging the officer in question to get off Floyd who was pinned on the ground behind a patrol car. Early reports indicate that the reason for Floyd being apprehended was his alleged writing of a bad check to a local grocer.
I know we will hear many more details in the coming days and weeks regarding this case, but what is horrid and persistent even in this time of pandemic is the abusive treatment of American law enforcement to Black citizens. This could have been resolved in a court of law if the officer wanted to avoid the use of excessive force. But once again, we are forced to reckon with what can happen to us in this country when our suspicion of guilt is punishable by death.
In a story of stellar humanity being displayed, the Los Angeles Times featured a report about Cuban doctors who are currently seeking asylum serving as caregivers for hundreds of people at the Matamoros refugee camp in Mexico. Per the LA Times, the clinic that is servicing the asylum seekers is run by U.S. volunteers along with the Florida-based nonprofit Global Response Management, which has been staffed since it opened last fall almost entirely by Cuban asylum seekers. The migrants who work at the clinic receive $15-$30 a day and are paid out in a weekly stipend. Their mission is to prevent the spread of coronavirus while awaiting their immigration hearings in the U.S.
According to the report, no one who was housed at the camp has tested positive for COVID-19 thus far, and three migrants who did display symptoms at the beginning of May were isolated in tents just outside the confines of the camp. At a time when those doctors could be solely focused on the fate of their refuge, they are doing the critical work of keeping other migrants safe and healthy. This is grace and compassion personified.
The ACLU boasted a triumphant tweet in the fight for voter safety in the state of South Carolina. Per their message, all voters in the state have the option to vote by mail and will not need a witness to sign their ballot during the pandemic.
We know that the worst fear of an oppressive regime is a lack of voting restrictions, particularly in marginalized communities. Ahead of the coming election season and while the nation (and world) is still grappling with the coronavirus, it is to the benefit of public health and a fair democracy to allow all U.S. citizens the opportunity to vote by mail. Undoubtedly, there will be complications and tampering/suppression in the mailing option just like there is when we stand in line at the polls, but there has to be consideration of the time we are in to allow maximum opportunity for participation.
Hopefully, this win will result in a ripple effect in any state that currently has a barrier around mail-in voting.
The “Show Me” state of Missouri needs to be better at showing some good sense regarding its seriousness about the pandemic. First, there were reports from the Memorial Day weekend of thousands of Missourians doing everything except best practices of social distancing
and now multiple media outlets are reporting that as many as 140 customers in Springfield Missouri have been exposed to COVID-19 from TWO hair stylists who tested positive for the virus at a local salon.
My questions are simple: Why were stylists who were experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 actively working in a shop? Was there any signage about wearing masks or adhering to social distancing norms? How will the state respond moving forward now that there has been two widely circulated stories of negligent behavior by its citizens?
Shit is real and the more we act like it’s not, it shows us it absolutely is.
Atlanta rapper and star of the reality series Waka & Tammy: What the Flocka, Waka Flocka, tweeted about wanting to be of service to those suffering with suicide ideation and their mental health. The “No Hands” emcee’s proclamation was liked on Twitter over 360,000 times and swarmed with comments of appreciation. Flocka has been a vocal proponent of therapy for quite some time now, as a significant portion of his reality show displays he and Tammy going through marital counseling. It is refreshing to see an artist who has made some of the most high energy, hyper-masculine hip-hop of the 21s century, lend himself to such a vulnerable cause!