I try to keep politics out of PopCult. I realize that my place in the world of journalism is to write about toys and comics and movies and TV and music and not bog down my readers with real-world problems.
I try to provide an escape from the news.
But what I write about is the broad umbrella of Pop Culture, and I really can’t ignore what’s affecting so much of this country. Give me this one post to say some things that need to be said, and then I’ll go back to covering trivial stuff for your distraction.
I believe and support #Black Lives Matter. I hate that race continues to be an issue in this country. We fought a war over this more than 150 years ago, and we made the mistake of reconciling with the cancerous racist forces that tried to destroy this country instead of eradicating them when we had the chance.
We need to set history straight and tell the truth about the Civil War. We need to respect our black citizens and allow them the dignity which is rightfully theirs.
And we need to police the police.
I believe that most police officers are good people who want to protect and serve and preserve law and order for all people.
However, I believe that there are some police officers who joined the force for the wrong reasons. In my life I have encountered sociopaths, psychopaths and obviously racist police officers, and I’m an old white guy who isn’t usually on their radar as a target of abuse.
It’s obvious to anybody who’s watched any of the dozens of videos posted over the last week of blatant examples of police brutality during protests that there are a large number of dangerous armed lunatics out there who are gainfully employed as policemen.
Driving through crowds, pepper-spraying peaceful protesters, firing rubber bullets at the press, shoving 75-year-old men down and threatening anyone who tries to help him—these are not the actions of people who aspire to be public servants. These are the actions of thugs and petty tyrants.
We all know that there’s a problem. I can offer up one solution.
We need to give every police officer in the country a psychological screening. I know that they get screened before they get hired, but it’s clear that the criteria currently in place is woefully inadequate. There are reports that some law enforcement agencies actually reject applicants if they score too high on intelligence tests. That is not what we need to be doing.
We need independent psychologists to evaluate whether or not an officer is worthy of carrying a badge and a gun. It’s the only way to rid the police of the stain of dirty, violent cops. The bad cops have to be purged, and should never be allowed to work in law enforcement again.
Police departments have to be more proactive and recruit more officers of color. We need more equal representation on our police forces.
While we’re at it, we need to do something about the “brotherhood” that causes otherwise good policemen to cover up for their racist and mentally-disturbed fellow officers.
The death of George Floyd was a murder. It was carried out by four police officers. The one who knelt on his neck until he died could not have done so without the assistance of the other three. Had one of those officers pulled his weapon and taken out Floyd’s assailant, he would have been a true hero, but the “blue code” would probably mean that his career in law enforcement was over.
That has to stop. While we’re at it, we need to take away all that riot gear that the federal government gave to local police departments. They have demonstrated that they cannot be trusted to use it in a lawful manner. It’s clear that the people instigating the riots in many places were the police.
It has to change. Being born black should not be a death sentence.
Tuesday was supposed to have been “Blackout Tuesday” for the media. I didn’t get the memo, and for that, I apologize. I have been limiting my social media exposure since the beginning of the pandemic for the sake of my own mental health.
As such, I did not find out about Blackout Tuesday until after I had prepared two radio shows and a post about them for PopCult, and shared the links to those on social media.
It was after I shared those links that I found out about Blackout Tuesday and had my “oh crap” moment. Today’s graphic is me showing up late to the protest.
It’s my bad. I had my head buried in the sand. I will try to do better.
Our governor made a spiteful and hateful joke about our last decent president, Barack Obama the other day. When called on it, he responded by first saying it was a joke, and then spouting lies and nonsense in an attempt to justify it.
The incident demonstrated that our governor is a hateful and spiteful, dishonest man, and the evidence shows that he is probably racist too. He hates President Obama because he hated being fined repeatedly for millions of dollars for the various criminal acts of pollution that his companies have committed over the years.
President Obama didn’t hurt the coal industry. Coal Barons who sold their mines to Russian Mob Bosses only to buy them back for pennies on the dollar hurt the coal industry.
I am ashamed of Jim Justice. West Virginia will continue to lose jobs and it’s brightest young people as long as we are cursed with backwards, hate-filled, corrupt leaders.
I want to take a moment to recommend ProPublica. This is a non-profit investigative reporting organization that is doing work that corporate-controlled media will not support. They recently added former Gazette-Mail reporter Ken Ward Jr. to their ranks, and he’s already producing great work. His article on Jim Justice and the myriad of shell corporations that he employs to welch on his debts should be read by every West Virgina voter.
We need this. We need people to expose the truth.
And that is it for this week’s PopCulteer. I hope you don’t mind me sustaining a little outrage over here in my pop culture blog. It’s been weighing heavily on my mind of late, and it’s pretty much my only public outlet.
I can’t go out and march. I have Myasthenia Gravis, and hot, humid weather destroys me. On top of that, due to my condition, I take some pretty heavy-duty immuno-suppressants, and we are still in the middle of a pandemic.
I’ve been holed up in my home for several months now, and while I do what I can in my role as a ghostwriter, the nature of that job prevents me from saying exactly what that has been. So I took this week’s PopCulteer to vent a bit and show my support to my fellow Americans. It’s pretty much all I could do.
That, and urge you all to vote out ever Republican from the municipal level to the top office in the land. They have proven to have no interest in preserving Democracy.
PopCult will be here with fresh content every day, unless they decide to fire me over this.