Maxine Waters Under Fire

The latest variant of the "No Justice, No Peace" threat is unhelpful.

The longtime South Los Angeles Representative is being criticized for inflammatory remarks at a protest outside the Derek Chauvin trial. While most of the reporting is in the right-wing press, the story came to my attention from a report in The Hill (“Marjorie Taylor Greene to introduce resolution to expel Maxine Waters“). Because Greene is a whackjob, I initially dismissed it but was nonetheless curious.

GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (Ga.) announced on Sunday that she plans to introduce a resolution to expel Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters (Calif.) from Congress. Greene in a statement on Sunday said that she will “be introducing a resolution to expel Rep. Maxine Waters from Congress for her continual incitement of violence.”

The Republican lawmaker specifically targeted Waters for speaking to protesters at a demonstration in Brooklyn Center, Minn., on Saturday. Protests broke out in the city last week after police fatally shot 20-year-old Daunte Wright during a traffic stop on April 11.  Waters told reporters on Saturday that she is “going to fight with all of the people who stand for justice,” adding, ”We’ve got to get justice in this country, and we cannot allow these killings to continue,” Fox News reported.

The killing of Daunte Wright comes as former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is on trial on murder charges in the death of George Floyd last year. Floyd died after Chauvin knelt on his neck for several minutes during an arrest.

Asked about Chauvin’s trial, Waters told reporters that if Chauvin is not found guilty, “we’ve got to stay on the street, and we’ve got to get more active. We’ve got to get more confrontational. We’ve got to make sure that they know that we mean business,” according to Fox News, in addition to making other comments on the trial and police brutality in the U.S.

Greene on Sunday claimed that Waters’s comments “led to more violence and a drive by shooting on National Guardsmen in Minnesota early this morning.”

Two guardsman were injured early Sunday morning when a gunman fired at a Minnesota National Guard and Minneapolis Police Department neighborhood security team, the Minnesota National Guard said. However, National Guard officials did not provide any immediate evidence of who fired at the law enforcement officials or a connection to Waters’s comments. 

Obviously, Waters isn’t going to be expelled from Congress but others are joining in the criticism. Business Insider (“Sen. Ted Cruz accused Rep. Maxine Waters of ‘actively encouraging riots and violence’ after she protested the police killing of Daunte Wright“):

Sen. Ted Cruz on Sunday suggested that Rep. Maxine Waters was inciting violence by encouraging demonstrators in Minnesota to continue protesting against police brutality. 

Waters, a California Democrat, attended on Sunday one of the protests against the police killing of 20-year-old Daunte Wright.

[…]

At the protest, Waters said she and the crowd are “looking for a guilty verdict” for Chauvin. “We’ve got to stay in the streets, and we’ve got to demand justice,” she said, according to a video posted on Twitter from the event.  “I am hopeful that we will get a verdict that says, ‘guilty, guilty, guilty,’ and if we don’t, we cannot go away,” she added. “We’ve got to get more confrontational.”

Cruz, a Republican from Texas, blasted those remarks from Waters.  “Democrats actively encouraging riots & violence,” he tweeted in response, along with a Daily Mail article reporting Waters’ comments.

Waters’ remarks have all but been ignored outside outlets like Fox News (“Maxine Waters urges Minnesota protesters to ‘stay on the street’ if Chauvin acquitted in Floyd case“) and the Washington Examiner (“Maxine Waters demands Derek Chauvin be found ‘guilty, guilty, guilty’ or ‘we’ve got to get more confrontational’“). Looking for a neutral report through a Google News search, I found a YahooNews report headlined “Maxine Waters Tells Protesters to ‘Stay in the Street,’ Be ‘More Confrontational’ If Chauvin Acquitted” but, alas, it turned out to be a syndication of a National Review report. Similarly, the MSN headline “Maxine Waters tells BLM protesters ‘get more confrontational’” turned out to be the Daily Mail report cited by Cruz.

I finally found another YahooNews report (“Rep Maxine Waters Calls for Action at Daunte Wright Protest in Brooklyn Center“), syndicated from something called Storyful, that seemed like a neutral take.

Congresswoman Maxine Waters told reporters protesters have to “get more active” and “more confrontational” during an appearance at a protest for Daunte Wright in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, on April 17.

“This is a very difficult time in the history of this country,” Waters said at the protest. “We have to persist in calling for justice. We have to let people know we’re not going to be satisfied unless we get justice in these cases.”

In response to a question from reporters regarding her advice for protesters Waters said, “We’ve got to stay on the streets and we’ve got to get more active. We’ve got to get more confrontational. We’ve got to make sure that they know we mean business.”

Waters said she did not hear the original question, which asked what protesters should do if Derek Chauvin is acquitted in the death of George Floyd, and asked for it to be repeated. The question was shortened to “What should protesters do?”

According to local and state officials, approximately 100 protesters remained on site at 11:30 pm, 30 minutes after the curfew was in effect on Saturday.

“I don’t know what curfew means,” Waters said in response to the city’s curfew. “Curfew means that I want you all to stop talking, I want you to stop leading. I’m hopeful that the protest will continue.”

Waters came to my attention in 1992 during the LA riots, when she defended the spree of murder and looting that followed the acquittal of police in the beating of Rodney King. While I’m more sympathetic to her position now than I was then, having a better understanding of the context of the decades of racial injustice that came before (and has continued since) I’ve judged her since in the context of that initial impression. That she went on to defend nonsense conspiracy theories like the crack epidemic being a CIA plot didn’t help.

In the context of protests that had already devolved into rioting, it’s hard to see calls to get “more confrontational” as anything other than threats of violence. And an 11pm curfew is a perfectly reasonable time, place, and manner restriction on protest that in no way infringes on the expression of ideas. It’s simply irresponsible for an elected official to say otherwise, much less encourage law-breaking.

Still, Waters is now 82 years old. She got a late start but has been in politics in one form or fashion since 1973 and been fighting this fight ever since. While things are indisputably better in all manner of ways now than they were then, the fact that young black men are still afraid of the police and that the community has no confidence in the criminal justice system to right these wrongs is beyond frustrating at this point.

At the same time, I don’t think we can countenance mob rule. As awful a video of Chauvin with his knee on Floyd’s neck for eight minutes, forty-six seconds is, he’s entitled to a fair trial. An angry mob outside the courtroom threatening violence if the jury—which has not been sequestered—doesn’t vote the right way is anything but. And Waters is not the only one egging them on.

Forbes (“Black Leaders Warn Of Fallout If Derek Chauvin Acquitted: ‘We Will Not Go Away’“):

As a verdict nears in the trial of Derek Chauvin amid renewed outrage over police killings, multiple Black leaders involved in calls for reformare emphasizing the necessity that the former Minneapolis Police officer be convicted for George Floyd’s death—and warning of the fallout if he is not. 

Civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump, who is representing the families of Floyd and Daunte Wright, the 20-year-old fatally shot by Minnesota police last week, told ABC News’s “This Week” the American legal system will have “once again … broken our hearts” if Chauvin is acquitted on murder and manslaughter charges. 

“We cannot condone this inhumanity America, we cannot condone this evil that we saw on that video [of Floyd’s arrest],” Crump said during the Sunday morning interview, warning that if the trial’s outcome doesn’t set a new precedent, “people are going to continue having these emotional protests.” 

Also speaking during a Sunday appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.), who has been working on a bipartisan policing reform bill, said she’s anticipating outrage if Chauvin is acquitted on all three counts, adding: “We’ve seen people get off with minimal sentences” in “too many of these cases.” 

“I don’t think anyone in Minneapolis, frankly anyone in the U.S., and over a good part of the world, would understand any verdict other than guilty,” Bass said. 

This comes after fellow Calif. Rep. Maxine Waters (D), speaking at a Saturday night rally in Brooklyn Center, where Wright’s shooting has sparked nearly a week of protests, urged demonstrators to “get more active” and “more confrontational” if Chauvin isn’t found guilty of murder. 

And that’s to say nothing of apparent attempts at witness intimidation.

The bottom line is that the state has the high burden of proving the charges against him beyond a reasonable doubt. That’s a very, very high standard in a case involving a police officer in the performance of his duties. Juries are incredibly reluctant to convict in these cases.

And ironically, if they do so in this case—as I believe they should—Waters, Bass, a company have given Chauvin’s attorneys excellent grounds for appeal.

FILED UNDER: Congress, Race and Politics, US Politics
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Cheryl Rofer says:

    “Others are joining in the criticism…”

    LOL, let me know when a Democrat shows up.

    If you want to be offended by behaviors in Brooklyn Center, check out the cop riots that have been occurring nightly.

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  2. CSK says:

    Interestingly, the same people who feel that Trump said absolutely nothing wrong on January 6 are now calling for Maxine Waters’s head.

    Gee, I wonder why?

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  3. Mikey says:

    Yes, it would be better if Waters et al. stayed quiet until the verdict was rendered. But Trump supporters erected an actual gallows outside the Capitol on January 6 and Greene, Cruz, and the rest of the GOP with few exceptions have had nothing negative to say. Now they want to expel Waters for speaking up? Fuck them.

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  4. Waters has been using inflammatory rhetoric for years and is clearly among the far left wing of the Democratic Party. Her words here though don’t come even close to the incitement we heard from Trump in the weeks between Election Day 2020 and January 6th.

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  5. Jim Brown 32 says:

    As much as Waters is an opportunist politician–she is not calling for anything. She is getting ahead of what is actually going to happen so as to appear a “leader”. Politics 101.

    Had she not uttered a peep–her or any other politician. We all know what’s going to go down if Chauvin is not found guilty. That cake is already baked and no one. NO ONE–is going talk anyone off the ledge.

    I do not like characterization that so and so advocates for violence because I believe is trivializes issues of life and death. Once upon a time, I believed “violence never solves problems”–which may be true but it does fundamentally change the nature of the problem. If you look around the world–dominant groups have no problem keeping their foot on the necks of weaker groups. A minority of these group could probably be shamed or guilted into being better neighbors. The majority will not. Personal risk is likely the only factor that forces recalculation of the status quo.

    That is what is happening here. It can’t be all MLK all the time. There has to be some Brother Malcolm sprinkled into the mix.

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  6. mistermix says:

    While most of the reporting is in the right-wing press, the story came to my attention from a report in The Hill

    Yes, you’ve correctly identified The Hill as a common vector for bullshit Republican talking points get pushed into the mainstream.

    Also, Waters’ CIA conspiracy theory is based on later-debunked reporting in the San Jose Mercury-News. (reference here) Frankly, it’s not nuts to think that some CIA operatives could have been part of moving cocaine to LA. Contrast that with the theory that every major Democrat was part of a pedophile ring operating out of the basement of a pizza shop.

    Finally, perhaps you should take a look at this thread and wonder if what Waters said in Minnesota went too far.

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  7. @mistermix: To add to your point, The Hill was a major source for the “Hunter Biden has a Ukraine problem” stories.

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  8. Cheryl Rofer says:

    The Hill seemed evenhanded for a while, but in the past year or so has fully gone over to Republican.

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  9. Michael Reynolds says:

    It was a stupid thing to say, she shouldn’t have said it. All she’s managed to do is – as mentioned above – create grounds for appeal, feed the right wing some nice, juicy red meat, and as usual with Waters, draw focus to herself.

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  10. James Joyner says:

    @mistermix: @Steven L. Taylor: @Cheryl Rofer: I agree that The Hill (for which I wrote quite a number of opeds in the 2014-15 timeframe) has gone, well, downhill of late. I’m honestly surprised that none of my go-to papers are reporting on this, as it strikes me as a legitimate news story. Waters isn’t some obscure backbencher.

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  11. mistermix says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: Yes, those were columns by John Solomon, who’s now at Fox News and previously at the Washington Times. He’s a right-wing crank, and The Hill’s editors never really retracted them.

    Also, published on 4/3/21 at The Hill: Jonathan Turley: Will the press ever cover the Hunter Biden news fairly? Turley is another right-wing crank.

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  12. Modulo Myself says:

    And that’s to say nothing of apparent attempts at witness intimidation.

    Well, if you read the link even the police department has to go out and say that the defense’s witness doesn’t reflect their values. And what else are they going to say? Derek Chauvin has the right to a free trial, but that doesn’t mean some ‘expert’ who testifies kneeling on a man’s neck for 9 minutes is hardly fatal deserves to be treated well. The guy is a scumbag and a fraud. American justice gives a cop the right to call a scumbag to his defense to testify that necks are not important–at least with black people–but you can’t make people not want to punch this guy out, or worse.

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  13. Cheryl Rofer says:

    @James Joyner: I’m more surprised we’re seeing so little about the cop riots.

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  14. Michael Cain says:

    I know it sounds stupid when I ask it, but doesn’t the Representative from South LA have things to do that are more relevant to the people who elected her to represent them? Like, for example, working with the rest of the California delegation to make sure the infrastructure bill currently being written helps them?

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  15. James Joyner says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: There’s definitely coverage of the massive show of force, although it’s mostly local or in op-eds rather than straight news reporting. I think that, since the riots of the summer, we’ve just come to expect it as the norm. And, indeed, when it doesn’t happen—as with the 6 January riot at the Capitol—then police are criticized for not having been sufficiently mobilized.

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  16. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Michael Cain:
    Nah, she represents part of Los Angeles, where we have no problems of any kind.

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  17. @Cheryl Rofer:

    I’m probably going to regret asking this question, but what “cop riots”?

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  18. James Joyner says:

    @Michael Cain:

    I know it sounds stupid when I ask it, but doesn’t the Representative from South LA have things to do that are more relevant to the people who elected her to represent them?

    She represents a majority-minority district [White (Hispanic) (26.4%), Black or African American (Non-Hispanic) (20.6%), Other (Hispanic) (18.8%), White (Non-Hispanic) (14.4%), and Asian (Non-Hispanic) (13.7%)] so it’s perfectly reasonable for her to be seeking to lead (or, as @Jim Brown 32 has it, be seen as leading) on this issue. I would just prefer that she do it more responsibly but that’s not her style.

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  19. James R Ehrler says:

    @Doug Mataconis: The NYT finally got around to covering the treatment of journalists in Brooklyn Center. The Governor is finally calling out the cops that have been beating and pepper spraying identified journalists.

    NYT story here

    Our local Star Tribune has also had good coverage of this.

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  20. MarkedMan says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: The Hill and Politico have made it clear that their business model is to get readership of political influencers and to do that they must promote the viewpoints of “all sides”.

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  21. mattbernius says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    I’m probably going to regret asking this question, but what “cop riots”?

    I’m pretty sure Cheryl is referring to the way that police, across the county, in protest areas have often radically escalated the level of violence (i.e. responding to plastic water bottles bring thrown at them with tear gas and pepper shot), failed to follow policy in deploying violence (i.e. pepper shot is supposed to be fired at the ground in front of protesters and it’s regularly being fired at head level), chosen tactics that often make the situation more dangerous (i.e. kettling, which even the Daily Caller had to call out), and shown a flagrant disregard for press covering the protests–including violently attacking them (see again the Daily Caller staffer suddenly realizing that the police are willing to violate the rights of even conservative news outlets).

    As to whether or not that constitutes rioting, YMMV.

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  22. Virginiaboy says:

    https://news.gallup.com/poll/317321/believe-protest-actions-aid-black-adults.aspx
    Another poll indicating very little support for violence. I believe this latest attack on Maxine by the Right will only inflame tensions and increase the empty threats of violence. I know many who who constantly explain the reasoning behind the violence publicly but would never participate in a riot and privately condemn it. I have no problem condemning the violence and advocating for peaceful protests. Unfortunately I take criticism from the Left for accommodating the system and from those on the Right who flat out do not believe me.

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  23. R. Dave says:

    I suggest a bipartisan compromise – Democrats agree to expel Waters, and Republicans agree to expel Greene and all the other Reps and Senators who similarly winked at and egged on the Jan. 6th Capitol rioters.

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  24. gVOR08 says:

    Waters is being criticized by Greene and Cruz? She must be doing something right.

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  25. Cheryl Rofer says:

    @mattbernius: Yep, this is what I mean.

    I’ll add that simply showing up to a show of mourning a neighbor with full riot gear and in force is provocative, although not yet a riot. The riot usually follows shortly. There’s a ton of evidence that meeting demonstrations for overwhelming force makes things worse. Some cities in the US are taking note of this, but that kind of news doesn’t make the headlines.

    @James Joyner:

    There’s definitely coverage of the massive show of force, although it’s mostly local or in op-eds rather than straight news reporting.

    Agree that the local papers are doing a good job, but they can be hard to find. I follow a few local reporters on Twitter. I have also seen reports of police brutality toward NYT and CNN reporters. One night last week seemed to be “teach those reporters a lesson” night, when reporters were attacked, rounded up, and photographed. Someone needs to ask the local officials exactly how they think any of this helps.

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  26. Cheryl Rofer says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Eh, that should be “meeting demonstrations with overwhelming force makes things worse.”

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  27. mattbernius says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    I’ll add that simply showing up to a show of mourning a neighbor with full riot gear and in force is provocative, although not yet a riot. The riot usually follows shortly. There’s a ton of evidence that meeting demonstrations for overwhelming force makes things worse. Some cities in the US are taking note of this, but that kind of news doesn’t make the headlines.

    Pretty much this. It is also in keeping with the history of Northern-state policing which was fundamentally tied to the (violent) suppression of labor and progressive movements.

    (Again, this is sadly nothing new, though folks keep pretending that it is.)

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  28. mattbernius says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    that should be “meeting demonstrations with overwhelming force makes things worse.”

    If anyone’s wondering about the point Cheryl is making, see:
    https://www.sciencefriday.com/segments/protests-police-behavior/
    https://projects.propublica.org/protest-police-tactics/
    https://www.themarshallproject.org/2020/06/01/why-so-many-police-are-handling-the-protests-wrong

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  29. Chip Daniels says:

    For all 60 years of my life, conservatives have made a pattern of issuing bloodcurdling threats of violence against their enemies.

    Shortly before his trip to Dallas, the local Birch Society made a “WANTED” poster of JFK.
    When the first gun control laws were enacted in the 70s, they made the slogan “You can take my gun from my cold dead fingers”.

    They routinely talk about “2nd Amendment solutions” and “watering the tree of liberty with the blood of tyrants” and talk about the progression from “Soap Box- Ballot Box- Ammo Box”.

    The right wing has a long and deadly history of murdering police officers and blowing up buildings.

    And of course, they staged an actual armed insurrection aimed at murdering government officials and overturning a fair election.

    But yeah man, an 80 year old woman noting that injustice will provoke riots is a bridge too far.

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  30. Modulo Myself says:

    There’s a ton of evidence that meeting demonstrations for overwhelming force makes things worse.

    Maybe the intention is to make things worse. It’s pretty clear that a great number of Americans wishes black people were burning down cities like animals, and desperately searches for evidence that this is true. In the 60s, conservatives had mental breakdowns when the Kerner Commission explained why there were riots. They had to believe in the violent enemy within. The police are now so hard-wired to think they’re occupying enemy territory. You can’t make things better if you believe everyone is either a predator or at the mercy of predators. That’s not a worldview that leads to betterment. It’s not supposed to, and the people who hold it don’t wish for that to happen.

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  31. Mister Bluster says:

    @Chip Daniels:..When the first gun control laws were enacted in the 70s, they made the slogan “You can take my gun from my cold dead fingers”.

    On a road trip from Southern Illinois to Denver summer of 1970 there was a sticker on the towel dispenser at an Interstate 70 rest stop in Kansas.
    “The crosshairs are on the back of your neck.”
    I had read about that slogan earlier so I wasn’t too surprised to see it.

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  32. mattbernius says:

    @Modulo Myself:

    The police are now so hard-wired to think they’re occupying enemy territory.

    I’m going to call out the use of “now” here. The further I get into the history of policing, the more that I think using terms like “now” are dangerous in so much as they pretend that there was a shiny happy time when this wasn’t the case. While that might be more or less true in more affluent (and White) communities, the reality is that this hasn’t been the case for communities where policing has been historically concentrated in.

    The key thing that’s happened in the last three to four decades has been the militarization of the police. So what was less visible has become increasingly more visible. This also can be tied to a shift in rhetoric due to the emergence of the “War on Crime” beining in the 70’s.

    But the reality is what we are seeing here isn’t anything new and sadly was already happening for decades before I was born (in ’74).

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  33. Michael Reynolds says:

    I don’t have a lot of love for the ‘they’re worse’ arguments. Yes, they are worse, they’re doing something very different from what we are meant to be doing. They are hoping to provoke long-term, irreparable divisions because that’s their only path to power.

    We are meant to be standing for justice, decency and the law, because that’s our path to power. And without power we are just yelling into the void.

    The goal is not tit-for-tat, the goal here is equal justice under the law.

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  34. David S. says:

    @mattbernius: The history of policing has an interesting intersection with the history of journalism: in that both are seen to have a mythical golden age when they were squeaky and clean and principled and forthright, but an actual inspection of history shows that there was never a real period of such. Instead, it’s mostly that it’s easier to ignore the dirty bits when remembering the past as a vague block rather than as distinct periods. But on the flip side, in both cases, these myths help provide ideals for young people joining the business and act as standards for which proper action is measured, and those are valuable and worthwhile things to encourage. Myths are useful in that way.

    (Frankly, I suspect the same is true in just about any field that’s made its way into the public eye.)

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  35. Jax says:

    @R. Dave: I think that sounds like a fair trade. 🙂

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  36. Scott F. says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    The goal is not tit-for-tat, the goal here is equal justice under the law.

    Agreed.

    Of course, what Maxine Waters actually said – “We’ve got to stay on the streets and we’ve got to get more active. We’ve got to get more confrontational. We’ve got to make sure that they know we mean business.” – isn’t tit for rhetorical tat such as “2nd Amendment solutions” and “watering the tree of liberty with the blood of tyrants” and “Soap Box- Ballot Box- Ammo Box” that @Chip Daniels references. “More confrontational” is only inciting of violence to those who are used to not being confronted at all for the abuse of the rule of law.

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  37. Lounsbury says:

    Regardless of Left or rhetoric, I wish to observe that the woman has a rather disturbingly physically large noggin. It’s very strange looking.

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  38. Gustopher says:

    @Lounsbury: It’s called hair. Most mammals have it.

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  39. Gustopher says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    I don’t have a lot of love for the ‘they’re worse’ arguments.

    The focus on Maxine Waters, and Ilhan Omar, is an attempt to turn the focus away from a brutal police force killing and attacking the people they are supposed to be protecting, and put it on “you did not protest exactly right.”

    Fuck that.

    And when it comes from people who supported overturning elections, and storming the capitol, fuck that even more.

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  40. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Gustopher:

    The focus on Maxine Waters, and Ilhan Omar, is an attempt to turn the focus away from a brutal police force killing and attacking the people they are supposed to be protecting, and put it on “you did not protest exactly right.”

    Yes, Gus, I know. And may I add, ‘duh.’

    What ‘they’ are trying to do is not an excuse for us being idiots. Charlie Cook – who knows a thing or two about elections – thinks the idiotic ‘defund’ slogan helped curtail the anticipated blue wave. Don’t know if that’s true or not, but any time you have to patiently explain that your slogan doesn’t mean what it seems to mean, is a time when you’re losing.

    It matters how we protest things because – and I know this will shock you – the point is not to be right on points, or ‘better than those guys,’ or even to feel the warm glow of righteousness, the point is to help people who need help and protect people who need protecting. If we mean to do something real as opposed to performance art, we need to actually win.

    The Left protested to their heart’s content in Portland, Oregon, and what was accomplished in the end? They couldn’t take down the mayor, Ted Wheeler, who was one of the main objects of protest. In Portland. And cops are still killing unarmed people. So maybe we aren’t doing a very good job of making our points, given that we aren’t apparently accomplishing a damn thing on policing.

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  41. mattbernius says:

    @David S.:

    The history of policing has an interesting intersection with the history of journalism: in that both are seen to have a mythical golden age when they were squeaky and clean and principled and forthright, but an actual inspection of history shows that there was never a real period of such.

    My dude, you are speaking my language (my previous academic work was on the history of the American Press and now my focus is increasingly becoming understanding the history of policing). And this is 100% correct. And interestingly both “cleaned up their” images in similar ways.

    Both created training and certification programs (Journalism Schools and Police Academies). Both, in particular policing, also turned to mass media to improve their image. Journalists and cops became popular hero’s across media (cops especially–I think there’s an argument to be made that much of the present trust in the judicial process is thanks to Dick Wolfe and the Law and Order programs–when was the last good program about a heroic defense attorney on?).

    Sidenote: The one place that journalism excelled that policing didn’t was in making its awards a matter of news. The Pulitzer Prize was a critical step in moving journalism from a craft to a profession. Right after the Nobel prizes and major entertainment industry awards, the Pulitzer is probably the best-known professional award. Policing never really developed that.)

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  42. EddieInCA says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Michael Reynolds says:
    Monday, 19 April 2021 at 1012

    @Michael Cain:
    Nah, she represents part of Los Angeles, where we have no problems of any kind.

    Speak for yourself. My pool only got up to 79 degrees yesterday.

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  43. Kathy says:

    @mattbernius:

    when was the last good program about a heroic defense attorney on?

    Classic Perry Mason?

    Perhaps L.A. Law.

    The Practice was a good show, but the lead characters were fundamentally unlikable.

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  44. Scott F. says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    I’m all for liberals not being ‘idiots,’ but if the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result, what’s the argument that staying in the streets and being more confrontational is the stupidest approach?

    Cops have been killing unarmed Black people and we haven’t been accomplishing a damn thing on policing for a very long time. What’s been tried in that time has been the occasional outbursts of sometimes violent protests, but mostly long spells of quiet acquiescence in public accompanied by strongly worded letters, hard-hitting rap songs, and hot air from politicians. If the objective is to have the power to affect progress, we haven’t yet found the right way to protest.

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  45. Northerner says:

    @Scott F.:

    They’ve been killing unarmed white people in large numbers too, and that doesn’t bother conservatives either. The underlying issue is that many conservatives think anyone (seriously, anyone) killed by police deserved to die. I’ve no idea how you change that.

    Conservatives are a very strange bunch. On the one hand they say they’re all for rugged individualism. On the other they want the police to protect them at all costs, shooting innocent people if there’s even a potential threat. Shouldn’t rugged individuals want reduced police powers on the grounds that they can protect themselves without the help of the state? Defunding the police (an amazingly stupid slogan, given that usually defunding means stop all funding) should be what individualists want.

    Though as I’ve said before, I suspect introducing gun control (especially handguns, which kill far more people than assault rifles) will go a long way to reducing police killings. And of course, its the same conservatives who say they love the police who are against such controls, despite the police themselves generally saying they support gun control.

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  46. CSK says:

    @Northerner:
    There are some conservatives who claim they’d be more than happy to pick up their guns and replace the police.

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  47. just am average joe says:

    Instead of comparing her remarks and/or actions to something from the Trump era, try defending her inciteful speech and unlawful behavior on its own. Not as easy, is it…

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  48. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @mattbernius:

    when was the last good program about a heroic defense attorney on?

    I think programs about heroic defense attorneys are difficult. First of all, when all the shouting is over, Perry Mason, for example, isn’t as much about defense as it is a detective story. As I recall, Matlock was as often as not simply getting an acquittal–not necessarily justice. And when it was justice, we’re back primarily to detective story. In the late 50s and early to mid 60s there were one or two crusading lawyers defending the downtrodden, but as I recall, the shows were short lived, and the national zeitgeist, if you will, is even more disinclined to be willing to acknowledge the sorts of injustice that heroic lawyers crusade against. It’s definitely an uphill battle. And in the most recent defense shop show I can recall, the tag line was

    When you’ve got the right lawyer, we have the best justice system in the world.

    Not quite as uplifting a message as we might hope.

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  49. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Northerner: [Aw snap, no link button] Courtesy of Ibrahim X Kenzie (https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2021/04/compliance-will-not-save-my-body/618637/): ” Nearly a quarter of the people killed by police since 2015 had a mental illness. According to a Washington Post database, white Americans accounted for 59 percent of those with a mental illness who were killed, Black Americans 16 percent, and Latino Americans 13 percent.” [Aw snap again, no block quote either 🙁 ] With a significant number of the whites being killed having mental illness, I’m fully expecting that conservatives consider them getting killed an upside because it saves on costly and ineffective treatment protocols. No cognitive dissonance at all–at least, not for me. I get it.

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  50. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: [REALLY Aw snap! No edit button] My apologies for misspelling IBRAM X. KENDI‘s name in the previous post. AARRRRRGGGGHHH!

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  51. JKB says:

    As Judge Cahill opined today, Maxine Waters may have created grounds to appeal, if there is a conviction. That the jury has been given the case while mostly peaceful violent protests are occurring just a few miles away with the state showing they are unwilling to protect the lives and property of citizens could also influence an appeal.

    “I’ll give you that Congresswoman Waters may have given you something on appeal that may result in this whole trial being overturned.”

    “Congresswoman Waters was talking specifically about this trial, and about the unacceptability of anything less than a murder conviction, and talking about being confrontational, but you can submit the press articles about that. This goes back to what I’ve been saying from the beginning: I wish that elected officials would stop talking about this case, especially in a manner that is disrespectful to the rule of law and the judicial branch and our function.

    “I think if they want to give their opinions, they should do so in a respectful, and in a manner that is consistent with their commitment to the constitution, to respect the co-equal branch of government. Their failure to do so is abhorrent, but I don’t think it has prejudiced us with additional material that would prejudice this jury. They have been told not to watch the news and I trust that they are following these instructions and that there is not in any way a prejudice…

    “A congresswoman’s opinion really doesn’t matter a whole lot,” Cahill concluded, and denied the motion for a mistrial.

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  52. Jax says:

    @JKB: So you don’t see….ANY….correlation between January 6th, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, Marjorie Taylor Greene or any of the what, 100+ other traitors to the Constitution?

    I will straight across trade you. Maxine Waters for your Constitutional Traitors. They all get expelled.

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  53. Gustopher says:

    @Michael Reynolds: There’s a difference between Maxine Waters talking, and people burning down a CVS. We need righteous anger, but we also need controlled righteous anger.

    Portland is a fiasco. If the worst thing that happened in Portland was Maxine Waters opening her mouth, it wouldn’t have been.

    I don’t buy the theory the the slogan “defund the police” moved many voters. “Defund the police” during televised chaos… that moved voters.

    And it’s the chaos that’s the problem. People hate chaos, and will choose order. If Maxine Waters stopped in for the ritualistic burning of a CVS, and threw the first torch after a rousing and righteous speech, it would be mostly fine.

    If the networks ran a live feed of Seattle’s Capital Hill Autonomous Zone all day, and America saw that it was basically a badly organized block party, it wouldn’t have had the same frightening effect as the few clips run in succession.

    (Also, I don’t understand why it’s always a CVS… or a Target containing a CVS. If you want to take it to the cops and white america, burn down an Applebee’s)

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  54. Lounsbury says:

    @Gustopher: While leaving aside that most Mammels don’t do bouffant hairstyles, the reference is to the noggin. The skull. Not the bouffant hair. The woman has an oddly big noggin.

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  55. mattbernius says:

    Charlie Sykes in the Bulwark has a take on the situation that I think is worth considering:

    https://morningshots.thebulwark.com/p/a-nation-on-edge?r=2k4r8

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