by John Walters
Toxic Cop Syndrome
It isn’t easy being a police officer. Sure, it looks glamorous on Blue Bloods, but not every cop’s dad is the police commissioner and they never show you the paper work and now that I’ve been subjected to a few episodes, I’ve noticed a disproportionately low number of African-American offenders on the series.
It isn’t easy being a cop. The pay’s not great, firefighters get the girls (women wonder, rightly, if you have anger-management issues), and you see the very worst of society day in and day out. You learn to not trust people, to assume the worst and yeah, a disproportionately high number of offenders you deal with are African-American (because when a CEO of a failing company takes $274,000 a month in retirement that’s not robbery but when a teenager lifts a pack of Skittles and a Squirt, that is).
It ain’t easy being the po po. But that’s the job. That’s what you signed up for. At every moment you must be better than your worst instincts. You must protect and serve. And too often cops release their aggression on black men.
People are protesting and rioting all over the country because of the murder of George Floyd. But only because it was caught on camera. This has been going on for more than a century . As someone wrote in graffiti near the White House this weekend, “How many times do we have to remind you that black lives matter?”
Delete Your Presidency
A pandemic that has already killed more than 100,000 Americans since the Super Bowl (and which any one reading this would have acted more promptly to stem and reduced the number of deaths by at least one-third). Roughly 75 cities enflamed and/or inflamed by riots and protesters—they looted Scottsdale Fashion Square, which is the whitest thing for 250 miles in any direction. Massive unemployment, the likes of which we have not seen in nearly 100 years.
And yet the president is tweeting out to his presidential rival that other nations are laughing at us because of him. Even when he’s in the Oval Office, Donald Trump tries to shift the blame. This is all on you, Donnie.
In Sunday’s New York Times Maureen Dowd had an excellent suggestion for Jack Dorsey which we full-heartedly endorse: block Donald Trump from Twitter. Forget about the possible legal ramifications or the stock market drop and put on the big boy pants: Do the right thing, Jack.
No one is abridging Donald Trump’s free speech. He’s the most powerful man on the planet. He can literally give the networks a few hours’ notice and be given a prime-time TV audience. Whenever he appears on camera, cable news will be there. And Twitter is a private company masquerading as a public service. It is not the latter, not legally.
But Twitter, where he can provoke and troll without really making it a soundbyte for the camera, where he can behave like the coward he is, is his preferred medium. Take it away, Jack. Just do it.
Mask Not What Your Country Can Do For You…
When the history of the demise of this country is finally written (from a cave somewhere in southern Arizona), historians will note that when the coronavirus was not even yet contained, hundreds of thousands of Americans assembled all over the country on the final weekend of May, 2020, to give the virus its own new booster shot.
Expect to see a surge in Covid-19 cases two to three weeks from now. No one’s saying people shouldn’t protest. We’ve never been in the “This isn’t the time to debate gun control/police brutality/” camp. It’s just an unfortunate concatenation of circumstances.
Two Holocaust jokes (it will always be too soon) from Ricky Gervais. The second one is quite profound.
Sports Year 1901
The American League repudiates its minor status and declares itself a “Major” league. Kind of like when I told that St. Mary’s junior in 1985 that “I’m kind of a big deal.” Anyway, it loses franchises in Minneapolis, Kansas City, Buffalo and Indianapolis and adds them in Baltimore, Boston, Philadelphia (the A’s) and Washington. Closer to what we now have. The Yankees do not yet exist.
Swede Ulrich Salchow wins the first of his 10 World Figure Skating Championships in the next 11 years. He also is the first to try, in competition, a jump in which he leaped off the back inside edge of one foot and landed on the back outside edge of the other. The leap has since been named after him.
Jim Caffrey shaves 10 minutes off his own record time in the Boston Marathon, winning in 2:29. Distance still at 25 miles.
In their first American League game ever, the Detroit Tigers trail 13-4 entering the bottom of the 9th versus Milwaukee. Of course the Tigers exploded for 10 runs to win 14-13.
The Tigers, by the way, found a creative way to obviate the city ordinance against playing on Sundays: owner James Burns built a small park on his own property just outside Detroit city limits, which is where the Tigers played home Sunday games for two years. It was known as Burns Park (no photos or diagrams are known to exist or else I’d have posted), which sat about 1,200.
The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that Baltimore manager John McGraw has signed a Cherokee Indian named Chief Tokohoma, but that he is actually an African-American player named Charlie Grant (who’d played on a minor league team in Cincy). When Chicago White Sox owner Charles Comiskey got wind of the ruse, he threatened serious repercussions if the Orioles put Grant into a game. McGraw backed down and America would wait 46 years for Jackie Robinson.
On December 14 the first table tennis tournament is held at the Royal London Aquarium. But, in case you were wondering, not under water.
We only caught the last 15 minutes of the Lance Armstrong doc last night, but what we saw was incredible. We’ll get to it tomorrow, Susie B. The question about why he visited Jan Ullrich and the interviewer smartly keeping quiet and allowing Lance to roil himself into a slow furor, wow, that was perfect. It took a minute or so but the real Lance revealed himself. A more telling answer than the Floyd Landis quip that ESPN.com is hyping this morning.