Some of the stories which have slipped through the cracks over the last week or so….
A popular history professor at George Washington University, Jessica Krug, admitted that she is not black earlier this month. She had spent her adult life claiming ancestry from North Africa, the Caribbean and African-Americans… none of which was true. She is a specialist in colonialism, imperialism and the black experience in America, and has been a finalist for the Harriet Tubman prize (awarded to books chronicling slavery in America) and the Frederick Douglas prize (awarded to books chronicling slavery worldwide, but historically with a strong slant toward American slavery).
The 38 year old apologized for her lifetime of lies and explained it happened due to unaddressed mental health issues. A vocal proponent of “cancel culture” for years, she stated that she should be cancelled. She has since lost her teaching position. There is no indication she has donated any of the wealth she accrued over her years as a professor, from her book contracts or speaking fees; she does appear to be very apologetic about the success and wealth which followed her deception.
Two police were ambushed while sitting in their vehicle in Compton. A man walked beside the parked car, then turned and shot at both officers, firing repeatedly. Both officers, one a 31 year old mother of a 6 year old boy and one a 24 year old man, were struck in the head. They are recovering after surgery, with the extent of damage as yet unreported. A 100,000 reward has been issued for the shooter.
Both President Trump and Presidential nominee have condemned the attack and the violence. Outside the hospital where the police were being treated, anti-police protesters gathered, chanting slogans encouraging the killing of officers, blocking the entryways and on multiple occasions trying to reach the operating rooms. A handful of arrests followed, including of one radio reporter who walked up to a few officers who were trying to arrest a violent protester (a dispute exists over whether she was showing her press credentials at the time.)
In Georgia, a deputy has been fired after being filmed punching a black man, Roderick Walker, in the head. On Friday, the officers pulled over a car which had a broken tail light. Walker, present in the car with his family, was asked for identification and refused to provide it to the officers… because he didn’t have it with him. As Walker was a passenger and the vehicle was a ride share service, he did not need to be carrying a driver’s license.
In response to his refusal to produce identification, Walker was first challenged, then threatened, and eventually tazed, thrown to the ground, and pummeled, requiring a trip to the hospital. The beating took place in front of the man’s girlfriend, stepson, and five month old child. The girlfriend started recording after Walker, 26, was wrestled to the ground with two men atop him. In the video, she is seen screaming warnings to the officer that he has said he can’t breathe and that he is bleeding from his nose, but one of the deputies repeatedly punches him in the back of the head anyway, as Walker’s face is pressed into the tarmac.
It should be evident that the sort of incidents above are unusual; the United States has more than 800,000 law enforcement officers. Fewer than a hundred were killed in the line of duty in 2019, and in the midst of heightened nationwide recording of police there have been only a few dozen incidents of obvious abuse. The rarity of the events provides no salve for the families of the two officers or men like Roderick Walker.