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LEVEL
Higher Learning. A publication from Medium for the interested man.

Justice

In LEVEL. More on Medium.

President Biden and the Department of Justice made a statement — but there’s still more work to be done

Photo: Melina Mara/Getty Images

You’d be hard-pressed to find two weeks of American history more honorable to the civil rights and lives of Black people than the last 14 days. The 2020 murders of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd didn’t slow the rate of police killing Blacks; more than 200 have lost their lives to “bad apples” since former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin suffocated Floyd last May, according to data from research group Mapping Police Violence. That figure includes the six Black people killed by law enforcement since Chauvin’s second-degree murder and manslaughter conviction on April 20.


A White man’s bad day is never victimless. A White man’s bad day is terror.

Captain Jay Baker, of the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office, speaks at a press conference on March 17, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia.
Captain Jay Baker, of the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office, speaks at a press conference on March 17, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia.
Photo: Megan Varner/Stringer/Getty Images

Last Wednesday, Captain Jay Baker of the Cherokee Sheriff’s department in Cherokee County, Georgia, stood in front of reporters to explain why Robert Aaron Long had killed eight people — six of them Asian women. “He was pretty much fed up,” Baker said, “and kind of at [the] end of his rope, and yesterday was a really bad day for him and this is what he did.”


Music stars and activists alike have exploited Black death and protest imagery for profit

Lil Baby performs at the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards on March 14, 2021. Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

A James Baldwin quote plays. Two White male police officers confront and question a Black man sleeping in his car, quickly pinning him to the ground. The man (played by actor Kendrick Sampson) breaks free, flees, and is shot down. This recreation of the June 2020 killing of Rayshard Brooks by Atlanta police was all a setup for Lil Baby’s performance of his song “The Bigger Picture” at Sunday night’s Grammys — but it wasn’t the end of the theatrics. …


Yes, Amy Cooper is a genuinely awful person — but hear me out

Photo: Christian Cooper

Last week, Amy Cooper, the infamous “Central Park Karen,” had charges against her dropped after completing a “restorative justice” alternative.


This Week in Racism

It’s an embarrassment of riches in our weekly roundup of the world’s most preventable disease!

Death and taxes used to be the only two certainties in life. But no matter how much progress it feels like we’re making sometimes, the sad fact is you can probably slide racism into that list. Are we in a moment of uprising that feels like it has the potential to create real, systemic change? Yes. Do people and organizations still show their ass on a daily basis? Oh, most definitely. And to keep tabs on all that ass-showing, we created a weekly racism surveillance machine. …


Executive orders are well and good, but it’s time to get serious

By all accounts, Joseph Biden is going to push through a dozen executive orders before his bags are even unpacked — part of a weeklong blitz set to kick off directly after the presidential inauguration. As a means of undoing some of Trump’s more spiteful policies, executive orders have their use, but most of the issues plaguing this country will take more finessing and time, which is to say they’ll likely end up on the battlefield that is Congress.


Tomorrow, Donald Trump will vacate his post as president of the United States. And in the wake of his departure, he leaves not only a national mess to be cleaned up by the incoming administration but also his own unresolved controversy—namely, the fallout from the insurrection attempt at the Capitol that he incited earlier this month. Trump has been impeached for a second time, and LEVEL columnist Michael Arceneaux doesn’t want to see his fellow politicians or the (in)justice system go easy on him.


Why mince words? If he’s not going to own up to what he’s done, he doesn’t deserve leniency.

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

In his first comments to the press since inciting an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, President Donald Trump did not offer any words of contrition. Instead, he reminded us for the billionth time that he is a spiteful bitch incapable of feeling shame about anything. Yes, even when it comes to the attempted murder of his vice president and members of Congress for the sake of trying to overturn the 2020 presidential election.


His race isn’t the issue — it’s the fact that he ignores racism

Photo: Francesco Carta fotografo

These days, there are plenty of reasons to yell at the TV screen.


Getting hit by a police car isn’t justifiable

Photo courtesy of the author

The son of a friend of our family, Christopher, is Black. A couple of nights ago, his car was hit while he was driving it. The police arrived and determined that Christopher’s car had to be towed. They also determined it was important to give our friend’s son a citation because he was driving with an out-of-state license. When it rains, it — well, just wait.

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