I have two items today which seem to call for the efforts of the Greek Furies (Erinyes) to come and deal with them. As a reminder, though no one really knows how many there were supposed to be, the three names we have are Alecto, Megaera, and Tisiphone. These roughly translate as "unceasing," "grudging," and "vengeful destruction."
Two weeks ago I assured everyone I was not trying to pick on Oregon. Today I am not trying to pick on Kansas City, MO. Things happen everywhere. Sometimes the Furies are extra needed if an incident happens where someone we care about lives.
So here's the deal. The original incident happened in 2014 (the lawsuit was just filed this month.) Kalyb Wiley Primm was in second grade in a school in Kansas City, Missouri. Kalyb has a hearing impediment, and being thus different, was often on the receiving end of "teasing" or "bullying," whatever you want to call it. On this day, in late April 2014, Kalyb called it "messing with me." He started, in his own description, "screaming." The ACLU, in the complaint, says he "cried out." Walter Einenkel over at Daily Kos says he "began to cry."
Did I mention he was seven years old, barely four feet tall, and weighed less than fifty pounds?
A Kansas City Police officer who was in the building as a security officer evidently heard his cries from the hallway – and I can understand it may have been loud – anyone who has had, or has lived with anyone with, a hearing impairment knows it's not so easy for that person to be certain exactly how loud they are at any given moment. Anyway, the officer decided the boy needed to be taken to the principal's office.
Apparently, however, whatever sound he was making stopped when the officer entered the room. Nevertheless the officer instructed him – more than once (I did mention the hearing impediment, right?) – to accompany him. By the time the child joined the officer in the hall, he was pretty scared. The sound recommenced and the boy attempted to walk away.
At that point, the officer twisted the lad's arms and handuffed his arms behind his back, then led him to the front office. In handcuffs. Where he remained, handcuffed, until his mother could arrive to pick him up.
Now, the Missouri Department of Education has a policy in place against restraints being used except in "emergency" or "crisis" situations. Nevertheless, the school denied any responsibility. Why? Because the Security Officer doesn't work for the school, he works for the KCPD. Can you spell c-o-w-a-r-d-s?
After this incident, Kalyb was so frightened that his mother home schooled him for two years. He is back in school now. But not that school.
Kalyb was seven in the picture, taken from the Free Thought Project. It was taken about a week after the incident. But he doesn't look a whole lot older now that he is ten. Dear ladies, now that the ACLU (which may covertly be the fourth Fury) has committed to this case, your job may be easier. You may just need to have the ACLU's back and make sure the case gets settled right. Or you may want to detour and teach some humility to some bullies along the way. Including the one in uniform.
My other story I saw last week, actually a little before I posted, but I set it aside for a week because I don't want to feature something that everyone's already talking about, and I thought that would happen here. But it didn't. Not exactly. Yes, there have been the usual emails decrying voter suppression, and some of them, and some new petitions, have even mentioned "CROSSCHECK," but I don't feel that the scope of this endeavor has been truly appreciated.
The full name of this system is the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program, and it has been adopted by 28 states, including Ohio, Georgia, Virginia, and North Carolina. You'll recognize these as swing states. It was designed by Kris Kobach (that's him shown with Ted Nugent). The system is designed to detect if a person is registered in more than one state. Now, my opinion is that if it actually did that it would be virtually useless, because, out of all the 28 states using it, they might actually find one or two. Both (if they found two) would be Republicans, because no one else can afford multiple homes.
However, Kobach [romised to foot the bill for compiling the lists, and governors, especially GOP governors, jumped at it. How they think this is going to happen I don't know – Kansas, thanks to Governor Brownback, as abetted by other Republicans, is bankrupt, and selling sex toys to attempt to put the smallest of dents in their deficit. But this is Kris Kobach, whose idea it apparently was for Mexico to pay for "The Wall," so of course he did. (He also wrote Arizona's "Driving while brown" law. He does get around, doesn't he?
The lists are supposed to include first name, last name, date of birth, and Social Security numbers. However, their instruction manual advises that the Social Security numbers "might or might not" match. Match what, you may ask? Well, it doesn't say. You may also notice that list of attributes does not include middle initial/name, or suffix (if any).
So if I live in Georgia and my name is James Brown, and you live in Ohio and your name is James Brown, you might be James A. Brown Jr., and I might be James Cameron Brown – but we are both under suspicion of voting twice. And those lists are not being released, because, since voting twice is a felony, those on the lists are "suspects" in a "criminal investigation." Or, as SemDem at Daily Kos puts it,
In other words, a Trump racist can get your state’s voter information, but a publication [Rolling Stone] that wants to ensure innocent people don't have their fundamental, constitutional right to vote purged was told that exact same information is secret.
To give you an idea of the scope of this, we do know that Virginia's list had 342,556 names of people who were supposedly redistered in Virgina and in another state. Ohio's list has almost 500,000 people. Altogether, there are about 7.2 million names on these lists.
God help you if you live in one of these states and your name is Garcia.
SemDem did a grand job of writing this up, but if anyone wants to go a little deeper, there is the original article in Rolling Stone.
And a site where, regardless where you live, you can use to check whether you are registered, is here.
I have given my email address to my county election department for them to notify me of important dates and things to know. If you can, this might be a good thing to do. I just recently received an email confirming that I am registered and on track to receive a General Election mail ballot.
Treasured Furies, we need help getting out the word and spreading the outrage. But we also need you to educate Kris Kobach. Educating him right our of politics would be just wonderful.
The Furies and I will be back.
Cross posted to Care2 at http://www.care2.com/news/member/101612212/4012307