#InTheseTweets | Twenty-Third Edition

Donney Rose
Jul 15, 2020 - 1:14

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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.

Civil Rights lawyer and professor, Sam Bagenstos, shared this article via ProPublica that stopped me in my Twitter tracks as I was scrolling for this week’s content. A 15-year-old Michigan student known as Grace was sentenced to a juvenile detention center for not completing online schoolwork, considered to be a violation of her probation.

“Because of the confidentiality of juvenile court cases, it’s impossible to determine how unusual Grace’s situation is. But attorneys and advocates in Michigan and elsewhere say they are unaware of any other case involving the detention of a child for failing to meet academic requirements after schools closed to help stop the spread of COVID-19,” the article states.

If attorneys and advocates cannot find a precedent for this kind of punishment, the glaring reason is institutional racism. There can legitimately be a variety of factors that hindered Grace from completing her work, but her Blackness is definitely not a factor in empathizing with whatever the circumstances may be. This is how the school to prison pipeline continues to funnel in Black kids for trivial reasons.

Whoever decided that this punitive response to missed homework is either not considering the risk factors of sending a child to a detention center amidst spiking COVID cases, or just does not give a shit about further criminalizing/endangering a Black child to infectious elements.

I’m gonna go with the latter.

The Wall Street Journal recently published an article that examined the scientific miscalculation around the spread of the coronavirus in the summer months. The initial theory of transmission reduction was based on studies that showed the effects simulated sunlight had on inactivating the virus and/or the virus deteriorating more quickly in warmer temperatures than cool temperatures.

The science behind it should have held up, but there is one big problem: Americans refusing to be adequately socially distant and throwing tantrums over wearing masks and face coverings. The summer brought out reopened beaches, pool parties and park gatherings. The reality is many of the folks who were participating in leisure activities were not adhering to protective guidelines.

There were some concerns about transmission levels increasing during protests, but there has not been sufficient data to bring about the correlation between this summer’s uprisings and a spike in virus cases. Probably because protestors and advocates were out in the streets masked up despite being in relative close proximity.

Nah, the summer surge in COVID cases can largely be attributed to “patriots” who occupied public spaces as if there was no further cause for concern. The folks who railed and demonstrated against having their ‘civil liberties’ infringed on when their local officials asked them to wear masks.

These are generally the same folks who just recently saw their president wear a face covering after months of parading about as if he didn’t believe the deaths happening around the nation he presided over.

The scientists could have been right, but the way Americans’ arrogance is set up…

Professor and author of “Eloquent Rage,” Brittney Cooper, recently tweeted a thread stating her position on folks questioning Angela Davis’ public decision to support Joe Biden’s presidential bid. Cooper credited Davis as a pioneer of an abolition movement that was the architect for many of this generation’s younger radicals. 

“Her nuance re: voting for Biden (which all of us progressive-radicals dread doing at this point) is reasonable, sensible and damn worthy of your respect.” Cooper tweeted.

There’s a lot to unpack with this specific commentary. It is true that Angela Davis has not only been an iconic champion of liberatory rights for Black people, but she is still currently in these socio-political streets advocating and teaching in our best interests. It is also of note to point out as Cooper indicated that a vote for Biden is a dreadful one for folks who are seeking radical change that is left of the typical liberal agenda.

If Joe Biden is to win the presidency, it will largely be attributed to Donald Trump’s leadership being cancerous to the American public on multiple fronts. Biden being endorsed or even lukewarmly supported by our heroes would not be the dealbreaker, him not being Trump would be.

Oh hey it’s 2020, and major American brands are still having their first Black someone to do a thing! Beauty and fashion magazine titan, Vanity Fair, has the incomparable Viola Davis as its July/August cover story. For the first time in its history the cover was shot by a Black photographer, Dario Calmese. Calmese was not even aware that a few weeks prior to shooting the cover that he was the first Black photographer to do so.

And who can blame him for not knowing? I mean the magazine has only been actively revived for the past 37 years, so it would not be out of the realm of reasoning to believe that a Black photographer may have shot the cover before now. 

But let some white folks tell it there’s no need for intentional opportunities to be afforded to Black talent because we already get everything handed to us

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