[South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham\Jacob Blake]
Benjamin: Let’s be clear on this: Senator Lindsey Graham is a dishonest fuc&ing liar. He is indicative of the deep deceit which exemplifies the current swampy Trumpian Republican Party which uses race-baiting and fearmongering of the “other.”
According to South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, Jacob Blake caused himself to be shot by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin because he didn’t “yield” to police.
Graham insinuates Blake’s behavior was wrong, and that he presumably committed a criminal act, by walking away from police. Therefore, the conduct of trigger-happy cop Rusten Sheskey, who shot Blake seven times in the back—in front of his three sons—may be justifiable.
This is the despicable implication this southern senator has suggested for this horrendous act of state violence.
Graham, like many Republicans, and a sizable percentage of their white conservative constituency, always revert to blaming Black people for getting brutalized and murdered by America’s white police killers.
Racial policing must never ever be blamed for these shootings or murders of Black Americans by brutal killer-cops. It’s always some supposed criminal “cultural” flaw in our people. Republicans like to lecture Blacks about “taking personal responsibility,” but, somehow, these frauds always make asinine excuses for these murderous thugs just because they wear badges.
Let’s be clear on this: Senator Lindsey Graham is a dishonest fuc&ing liar. He is indicative of the deep deceit which exemplifies the current swampy Trumpian Republican Party which uses race-baiting and fearmongering of the “other” to gain votes and support from the country’s most bigoted citizenry.
On Tuesday, in response to a question about the shooting of Jacob Blake, Graham said “I don’t know what happened there. Let’s find out. It’s dangerous being a cop. I don’t know why the gentleman didn’t yield when he was asked to yield. I don’t know what the facts are.”
Recognize the racism and devaluing of Black life in the way Graham words his statement.
Even as he says he doesn’t know the facts notice how he immediately takes the side of police by saying immediately “It’s dangerous being a cop.” What does the dangers of being a cop have to do with a man getting shot at point-blank range seven times in the back?
Graham’s comments mirror the take-no-responsibility excuses we always get from police when they kill innocent Blacks. And it should be noted here that a lawyer for Thomas Lane—one of the officers who held George Floyd down, while Derek Chauvin squeezed the breath of life from his body, with his knee—recently said George Floyd “killed himself.”
Think about that for a minute.
A similar claim was made in regard to Eric Garner. NYPD, and their apologists, actually blamed Garner’s health for his death—not the deadly lynch-hold applied by Daniel Pantaleo that caused Garner to repeatedly say “I can’t breathe.”
Somehow, the dangers of being a police officer are supposed to justify these unjustifiable shootings and murders of Black people by police. Basically, what they are telling us is we are nothing more than expendable sacrificial lambs to be abused whenever it suits police. So, assaulting and killing us is a sort of relief valve for police—a way for them to let off steam whenever they need to. Who cares if Blacks die in the process?
Of course, while Graham quickly talked about the dangers of policing, he also tells us “I don’t know the facts.” Why then is Graham talking as if he knows for a fact that Blake didn’t “yield?” And does a person deserve to be shot in the back because they didn’t yield to the police?
Graham surely knows the recording of Blake being shot seven times is a crime. Moreover, more than most, he also knows exactly the very criminal statutes that would have officer Rusten Sheskey sitting in a jail cell now if no one was indeed above the law.
Senator Graham knows this because he is also a lawyer—and was a prosecutor.
Graham not only graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law—but he was commissioned soon after to be a JAG officer in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps in the United States Air Force in 1982. From 1984 to 88, he was the Air Force’s chief prosecutor in Europe. Around 1989, he also entered private law practice—before returning as an Air Force lawyer in 1990. He remained in this capacity until around 2006.
So, Graham knows more than a little about the law. So why is he pretending he doesn’t see an act of wanton lawlessness and attempted murder in the recording we all saw?
Well, that is because Graham was responding to a question about Blake’s shooting after he had just received an endorsement from the South Carolina Fraternal Order of Police. For political expedience, Senator Graham, and his phony GOP “law and order” party, always excuse racist police violence.
Because of this, the hands of Republican politicians–like Mitch McConnell, who is sitting on the George Floyd policing legislation–are stained with the dying blood of Black people who have been murdered by racist policing. But because Republicans can parade some sellout, Step-and-Fetchit, Uncle Tom types, like Senator Tim Scott, this purportedly proves they aren’t a party that coddles racists and white supremacists.
During this week’s Republican National Convention, Republicans’ main message to white America is: be afraid of those “other” Americans who don’t look, think, pray, etc. as you. Many of these divisive opportunists, give scary speeches about police protests and the need for “law and order.” But they say nothing about the police murder of people like George Floyd.
Even worse, they act as if Jacob Blake’s shooting didn’t happen. And they have been silent about the white vigilante murders that were committed by 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse—who left his home in Antioch, Illinois to go to Wisconsin to kill two people.
Think of this: people protesting racist violent policing get lectures about protesting peacefully. But an underage white kid can fire an assault rifle and gun down those same protesters—apparently with some level of solidarity from police. However, Graham and his Republican rascals don’t say one word about white supremacist vigilante violence while they make mendacious claims about left-wing violence from Antifa.
We’ve often heard Graham and Republicans talk about “law and order” and the “rule of law.” But the evidence couldn’t be clearer that this is all rhetorical pretense. If the Republican Party cared about these things they would be leading the charge for racial justice.
Republicans should stop pretending they are still the party of Abraham Lincoln.
Senator Lindsey Graham is the best example of the corrupt nature of today’s Republican Party. A few short years ago, he was considered one of the most honest and principled Republicans. That all looks like just a bad joke now.
When Donald Trump was running for president, Graham said Trump “shouldn’t be commander in chief” and called him “a jackass.” What happened to that Lindsey Graham?
For insight into this, let’s listen to what his former South Carolina law partner, Larry Brandt, had to say in a Rolling Stone article entitled “How Lindsey Graham Lost His Way.”
In the article, Brandt said this about visiting Graham just before Trump was elected “We were talking about politics, and he looked at me and said, ‘Larry, you’re too honest to be in politics,’ ” Brandt recalls. “He said, ‘Eighty-five percent of the people in Washington, elected officials and bureaucrats, would sell their mothers to keep their jobs.”
Brandt also said, “Lindsey, in my opinion, has sold his mother to keep his job.”
The depth of Senator Graham’s moral bankruptcy is also evident by him blaming Jacob Blake for getting shot seven times in the back by police officer Rusten Sheskey.