My beautiful home state of Iowa has an incredible history of supporting and paving the way for equality. Iowa was third to recognize interracial marriage, home to the first state university to offer degrees to men and women equally, second state to prohibit segregated schools, first state to elect a woman (Julia C. Addington) to public office, first state to have a female attorney (Arabella Mansfield), site of the oldest mosque in the United States (Cedar Rapids, holla!), third state to legalize same-sex marriage and home to the nation’s first state university LGBT organization (Iowa City, holla!).
Last Tuesday, 37 year-old Alton Sterling, a black male, was shot point blank by two Baton Rouge police officers while being pinned to the ground. Twenty-four hours later, Philando Castile, also a black male, was shot to death by police during a routine traffic stop. The aftermath of the shooting was live streamed on Facebook by Castile’s girlfriend, Diamond “Lavish” Reynolds, who was a passenger (along with her 4 year-old daughter) in the car when Castile was killed.
On Thursday night, five police officers were killed when a shooter ambushed a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest in Dallas, Texas. Twelve officers and two civilians were also injured.
To say the country just ended a bad week would be one hell of an understatement.
Last Saturday, attendees of the Nevada Democratic State Convention were likely questioning if they accidentally entered a Trump rally as fevered Bernie Sanders supporters collectively lost their shit when a motion for a recount for the state’s delegates was rejected.
The response rippled through social media. Claims of rigging, Clinton dictatorships and the death of the Democratic Party itself were mixed in among links to the latest Youtube cat videos and never-ending Minion memes.
Since last week’s 5-state sweep by Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton on Super Tuesday 3, supporters of Bernie Sanders have reacted on social media in such a way that suggests we may need a stronger word than hyperbole in the national lexicon to describe it.
On June 17, 21 year-old Dylann Storm Roof entered the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in downtown Charleston, South Carolina, and committed the most violent racially motivated attack in the U.S. since the Civil Rights Movement. Using a .45 caliber handgun, the caucasian Roof killed nine and wounded a tenth. All of the victims were black.
“I believe this is a hate crime,” Police Chief Greg Mullen told reporters at a press conference the night of the shooting.
Fox News chose to report the massacre the following morning from a different perspective.