The drug war wins again

Mayor McFarlane made some good points in her State of the City address yesterday. Raleigh has come together after Officer Twiddy shot Akiel Denkins last week, but the city is not better yet. A mother has lost her son. Two children have lost their father. A cop has taken a life, which is certainly traumatic for him and probably for all of the force. No, on balance, Raleigh will not be better than it would be if this hadn’t happened at all.

This is a tragedy for two families, and it’s a predictable one. A pernicious, malicious force caused this homicide (have I been listening to too much Hamilton?). That force is the drug war. That force is the same one that entraps young black and brown men in jail or leaves them dead in the streets while white men and women go freely about their business. It’s the same force that is brought to bear on city street corners across this country while doctors openly run pill mills and never got shot by the police, though the evidence is good that they’re the root of some of the drug trade’s worst public health effects in decades. I’ve yet to hear that a chipper young drug – sorry, pharmaceutical – rep has been spotted and chased by a cop while she hung around a doctor’s office shilling oxy. Why is that?

The drug war.

The drug war pays the Raleigh police, and all the departments like it, to bring in drugs, dealers, and money. It pays them to jack people up for misdemeanors, or, perhaps, minor felonies, even when those people aren’t violent. Instead of paying cops to develop good information about the violent criminals who terrorize the same neighborhoods that are already suffering, left out of economic progress and opportunity, the drug war pays them to make drug arrests that don’t stick and have never stopped the flow of drugs in any community in this country. Instead of overtime to attend community events in order to build relationships, we pay overtime for court appearances behind arrests that don’t make people safer.

And who suffers the most? Read more


Cooper’s…sigh…copycat statement on Syrian refugees

Dear Roy,

I don’t want to leave you out of the party. I kind of counted on you staying out, more fool me. Sigh. What’s with you talking smack about Syrians? Don’t you even read this blog?!

I have to ask, how could you? I notice that you sent your cockamamie statement on Syrian refugees from your campaign, not from your “Top Law Enforcement Officer” (TLEO) office, so at least we’re all clear on what you’re really about with the giant foam middle finger you’re waving at these desperate and downtrodden people. Who are mostly children.

I hate to break it to you, Roysie, but when you send a get tough message (however nonsensical), you don’t look tough if you’re just piling on. Too bad you waited so long to see which way the wind was blowing. Think how Dirty Harry it could’ve been if you’d opened up Saturday morning! Oooh, talk about a mastermind! If you’d known right away to start pounding on the rootless women and children trying desperately to find peace and real homes, you could’ve been so boss. So Walking Tall even – the Joe Don Baker version, obviously, not the one with The Rock – but riding the coattails of a guy who actually thinks every checkpoint is named Charlie is just kinda sad. Seriously, you heard the guv on Diane Rehm and thought, “He is so cool, I gotta get me some of that”? I guess I didn’t know you were a McCrory fanboy. You’re going to be so conflicted during this campaign, buddy! Read more


Hey Guv, if you’re really serious about excluding potential terrorists…

Pat McCrory 2Dear Pat,

Regarding your recent pronouncement that we will no longer accept Syrian refugees, all I can say is, WOOOH! Yeah! Sing it, girl! Speaking truth to the powerless, that’s my guv! I mean, I don’t think it sounds terribly legal, but you were so brave and forthright, telling traumatized families to continue to wander the earth because you’re all about the safety of North Carolinians. Babe. That is so … potent. So virile.

Which brings me to a point you may not have considered. Now that you can tell people they can’t live in the state (cool superpower, bro!), you have an opportunity to exclude a truly dangerous class of people. It includes 100% of the Paris terrorists, 100% of the 9/11 hijackers, approximately 99% of all mass shooters, and roughly 90% of all murderers everywhere. Can you guess who it is? Can you, Pat? Hint: They’re not all Syrians. They’re not even all Muslims.

Violence doesn’t have a religion, a nationality, a color, or a creed, but it does have a kickstand. Do you get it now? Men. They’re all men. As soon as we stop accepting men, we will be exponentially safer. Won’t that be righteous? Everyone shall know of your commitment to the security of our citizens. Think how strong you’ll look when you make this stand for the old North State. You’ll represent the future, Patty Mac. Isn’t that what every governor wants?

The establishment of the Matriarchy in North Carolina could be your legacy. We’ll have to work out the rules, of course, about what it means when you say that certain people can’t come to the state, but there’s plenty of time for all that. (I know you’re thinking we’ll need all that time and more because the ladies can take a good long while making up their minds, amirite?) I don’t want you to worry that there will be no place for you, Pat, there will be exemptions and exceptions, and anyone who has been neutered by the Legislature should be a shoo-in. Read more


A Mother’s Plea for Its Child(ren)

Truth: I stole that from Tina Fey, my college classmate and friend. Further truth: I did not know her at all, which has only occasionally stopped me from telling people we were friends. She’s so funny! Can’t I wish we were friends and convince myself that it’s true? That sort of thing works at the General Assembly everyday. For instance, the House will take up a bill today that will allow people with concealed carry permits to bring their guns onto campuses across the state as long as they store the guns in their vehicles. If our reps pass it, it will be over the university system head’s objections as well as those of the heads of public safety at the state’s two largest campuses. Experts?! What do they know? Some members of the House want to do it, so it must be a good idea! I know we went over this last week, but I thought I’d offer some fun anecdotal evidence about college hijinks and our gun culture. Read more


Is it disgusting or mind-boggling? Or both?

How can it possibly be that on the same day the NC House votes overwhelmingly to institute roadblocks to voting a House committee approves a bill to expand gun rights? I mean it, how can that be? The Second Amendment to the US Constitution is the only amendment that includes the words “well regulated” and yet it is the only one House Republicans treat as inviolate. This is an outrage. If this bill passes the full House and the Senate, every single person who votes for it will have deliberately endangered every single person on every single public campus in this state. Read more