Death and taxes used to be the only two certainties in life. But no matter how much progress it feels like we’re making sometimes, the sad fact is you can probably slide racism into that list. Are we in a moment of uprising that feels like it has the potential to create real, systemic change? Yes. Do people and organizations still show their ass on a daily basis? Oh, most definitely. And to keep tabs on all that ass-showing, we created a weekly racism surveillance machine. If you already get our newsletter, Minority Report, you’ve likely seen this — but now the rest of the internet can get a taste.
🗑 Kid Rock, we’re gonna need you to come get your people
We already knew the Michigan branch of MAGA Nation was on some other shit entirely — see: openly trying to disenfranchise a whole-ass city — but after last week’s voting hearing, we’re gonna need to designate a new level of certifiable delusion and hatred. We’re not talking about this seven-hour hearing of GOP “poll challengers” making all manner of baseless accusations, or future Karen Hall of Fame inductee Melissa Carone going absolutely scorched-earth with concepts like “truth.” No, we’re talking about people leaving voicemails for Cynthia Johnson, the Democratic chair of the state’s House Oversight Committee, that say things like “Dems are going down, especially fuckin’ big-lipped n*****s like you.” Johnson, a Black woman, forwarded the voicemails to her colleagues in the state legislature, only to receive a response from a Republican Mary Whiteford that began with “I don’t understand why you would share this with me.” Mary Whiteford, you say? Sounds about right. (Local 4 News)
🗑 Speaking of Michigan, have we found our new Diamond and Silk there?
One of the people to speak at Michigan’s Senate hearings about vote counting last week — if a seven-hour video sounds like a slog, here’s a handy Twitter thread delivering the greatest hits — was Linda Lee Tarver. Tarver, whose bio highlights include serving as an advisory board member on the national Black Voices for Trump coalition, claimed that Republican poll challengers were subjected to harassment. Okay, fine, if that’s your affidavit, that’s your affidavit. Let’s see what else she said [riffling through transcripts]… oh. Here’s something: “The larger the jurisdiction which are people of color, people who look like me, the more fraud that can be inserted into stealing an election.” So predominantly Black voting districts are more likely to be fraudulent? Got it. All of a sudden, the Twitter name “Linda Lee Tarver — Notable Exception” and the avatar photo that’s been lightened to damn near Powder levels start to make a lot more sense. Anyway, it looks like everyone’s as delighted with Tarver’s claims as we are; Lansing’s city council president has asked her to resign from a scholarship advisory board. For more, we’ll just have to stay tuned to whatever Parler account or YouTube talk show she pops up on next. Here we go! (Lansing City Pulse)
🗑 Don’t worry, Michigan’s not the only state on the 85th parallel with racism!
Another week, another official being exposed as racistus wildicus. This time, it’s Courtney Rogers, commissioner of Tennessee’s Department of Veterans Services. Before being appointed to that position, Rogers was elected as a state legislator a few years back, during which she described her vision of diversity as “recruiting the best, from light meat to dark meat, across the entire spectrum.” Not a great sign — and she reportedly doubled down on her predilections during her stint at DVS, referring to someone as “another Black guy looking for a free ride” and using a racial slur in the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder. If you’re wondering about the judgment of the man who put her there, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee, all you really need to know is this: Homie dressed up as a Confederate soldier when he was in college. Say no more, fam! (The Tennessean)