Statement Regarding the ANTIFA Terrorist Declaration

Good Evening,

As we reflect upon the anniversary of D-Day (address on that event can be found under Addresses) and the defeat of fascism on the world landscape, I find this to be a prudent time to release a statement regarding the declaration of terroristic intent against ANTIFA. Of course, we have now all overheard a term which has direct correlation with fascism by this point in modern times.

Fascism is defined as a form of far-right, authoritarian ultra nationalism characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition, as well as strong regimentation of society and of the economy. This form of dictatorship came to prominence in early 20th-century Europe. An example of a fascist leader would be the staple head of that movement itself: Italian Prime Minister Benito Mussolini. Mussolini is reflected upon historically as the right-hand of Adolf Hitler in leading the Axis powers. By reflecting upon Mussolini alone, I feel that it is evident that fascism is not acceptable in any sense of the imagination. And so, the target placed upon a group such as ANTIFA for the chaos playing out on our streets today is preposterous. The truth of the matter is that ANTIFA is not a collective group, rather a loose collection of local/regional groups and individuals. This essentially makes the declaration of ANTIFA as a terrorist group ineffective.

The violence is posed by groups which embrace violent tactics to suppress opposition. ANTIFA, while potentially integrated in the fold on the outset, is intended to be a scapegoat for the federal government to place blame upon. This declaration, as previously mentioned, will not lead to the deescalation of riots and vandalism. In principle, all Americans are likely to declare fascism as treacherous and a threat to our democracy itself. And yet, to condemn ANTIFA as a terroristic affiliation when no group formally exists? I cannot express my level of displeasure with this proclamation. Not only is the federal branch looking for an obscure place to assess blame, they also are avoiding the issues we are pressed with all together. I am not one to outright condemn any one person or group for their inability to grasp the gravity of a situation, but in this case, I have no other alternative. This issue is prominent, and will not simply die out. Mr. President, it is time to act. You are the President of the United States of America. You must stop tarnishing the reputation of the office itself by your complete inaction in a time of disaster. I am not talking policy at this point, I am talking outright morals, the intrinsic variance between right and wrong as we know in our consciences. What do you plan to do about this crisis, Mr. President? What reform do you propose we place forward to address the issue of police brutality? What speech will you deliver to put protestors at ease? What symbolic gesture are you willing to preform in order to illustrate that you hear the cries of millions of American citizens? Mr. President, you have had three weeks to show one once of sympathy, to show that you care about the Floyd family, to depict your awareness of the injustices faced by African American communities, to make an appearance at a public gathering which mourns the loss of Mr. Floyd while reflecting upon the issues faced by thousands of communities scattered throughout our great country. Mr. President, in case you have not taken notice of this obvious fact, you have failed to preform any one of those actions.

Let me reflect upon a time in 2015, when incumbent President Obama marched with a large crowd to reflect upon the granting of voting rights to African Americans. Let me reflect upon a time in 2020, when several state governors marched with protestors in an effort to bring awareness to the need of common sense police reform. Let me reflect upon a time in 2020 when the Democratic nominee for President Joe Biden walked the streets of Delaware to access the damage caused riots, and went on to listen to members of the African American community in a nearby church. Policy aside, all of these officials heard the collective cry for help, and stood in solidarity with them. These public servants wished to show solidarity with the protestors. Now let me reflect upon a time in 2020 when the President issued a statement on Twitter, calling protestors “thugs” and uttered the racially-insensitve statement, with history dating back to the Civil War, “when the looting starts, the shooting starts”. The point in this reflection is not necessarily intended to compare which servants present themselves with decorum or ‘act like a President’. The point in this comparison is to illustrate what a public servant is expected to do when holding office: listen to their constituents, regardless of their affiliation or support level. The term public servant indicates that you must be beholden to the interest of the majority of your constituents, not just your political base and donors. I certainly hope that we have not lost sight of that basic, democratic initiative.

I leave you with one final point: when you enter the ballot box on election day, and on any election day to clarify, you will ponder one question to yourself. President Ronald Reagan had conjured up this proposition in his election bid in 1980, and I find this to be a very basic, yet vital consideration that each voter must consider prior to bubbling in your choice as to who best represents the interest of America’s future. President Reagan stated, “Are you better off than you were four years ago? Is there more or less unemployment…than there was four years ago?” I pose those questions to you in this election before you make your choice. Carefully consider every variable which accompanies every candidate. Also give consideration to third party candidates and independents if the ‘lesser of two evils’ argument is unappealing to you. The one thing I encourage every eligible voter to avoid, however, is not voting at all. The easiest way to voice your opinion in this democracy is through your vote, and so at that, why wouldn’t you want your opinion to hold weight. Regardless of whether people appreciate your views, they are meaningful because they show that you care, that you can compose your own, unique opinions on complex matters. Perhaps the greatest accomplishment of voicing your opinion is the very fact that you can form one in a time when the electorate is so easily swayed and buys into every narrative at a whim. Irrespective of whether I personally agree with someone, I respect their view as they know what they stand for and express it openly. I will always respect that, and I hope you all can as well. In a society where name smearing has gone rampant, I find that the value in meaningful conversion and compromise has skyrocketed.

– C. Lewis

Address Reflecting Upon the 76th Anniversary of D-Day

Good Evening,

76 years ago today, June 6th, 1944, the Allied forces embarked upon Normandy Beach. This was a profound event in terms of correlating the direction of our world at that time. The Allied forces had suffered tremendous loss, be it the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, or the constant bombing of London throughout the war, we had suffered significant blows to our stature as the mightiest militaristic force. Yet, on this irreparable day, we make a profound strike which tilted the outcome of the conflict. The landing on Normandy had given Allied forces the ground game which they had been lacking throughout the duration of the war of humanity itself. This single landing provided us with a clear shot towards the Western front, renowned for its disastrous conditions. From this port, we successfully liberated the German-conquered French province and marched onward to topple Germany itself.

Although history rekindles the positive accolades which resulted of this battle, we cannot overlook the unmistakable tragedy which also accompanied it. Although 4,500-9,000 German soldiers were taken out by our forces, we had lost at least 10,000 of our own men in this interminable endeavor. Each of these men had fallen while serving our nations with unmistakable fortitude. Conditions were brutal: the front lines bombarded with barbed wire and stakes. And yet, these men courageously entered combat which would go on for an additional several weeks. Our nation, as well as our allies, owes a profound debt of gratitude for their service, a debt which cannot ever be equitably repaid. While many of these soldiers would go on to earn medals remarking upon their immeasurable commitment, that simply does not suffice when considering the picture at large.

Without success in our effort to capture Normandy, the outcome of World War II could very well be recorded different in the history books. As I reflected upon earlier, we lacked a ground game on the Western front, which was pivotal in toppling the Axis powers. Germany, Italy, and Japan had struck us and our allies with profound impacts, each reflected upon stringently in historical museums and monuments. Words cannot describe just how critical it was for us to succeed in this battle, and in this war concurrently.

World War II was envisioned by analysts and media pundits to be the “war to end all wars.” As it turns out, that was not the case. Unfortunately, war has proceeded to play a role in our reality up to present day. And yet, no war has yet to surpass the level of ferocity, of inhumane stipulations, or of lasting consequences had the opposition been successful in conquest. Had the Third Reich expanded their dominance throughout the Earth, we would have endured the continuation of the most catastrophic genocide known to man, the oppression of citizens by totalitarian government control, the authoritarian stylist style of rule– dominate the voice of resistance, and the perseverance of fascism.

We must always remember this day. It is the very least we can do to pay tribute to the fallen and those who went on to return home in the years following the war. War is an utterly brutal detriment of human existence, and yet we have preserved. We are still a nation, united as one whole union. We are proud to call the United States the land of the free and the home of the brave. And to that end, we are proud to have fostered the brave who have gone on to represent our nation in the most daunting of ways– on the battlefield in order to ensure that those illustrious principles are granted to the next generation.

– C. Lewis

Statement Regarding the Passing of David Dorn

Good Evening,

We have lost many innocent civilians in the past few weeks due, in part, to the violent protests ravaging through our great nation. It is unfortunate that we will never be able to properly commemorate these fine Americans, but we can do our best to promote at least a few stories of the accomplishments of who they were as a person. No, I do not mean any sort of accolades or certificates which show that they successfully graduated from college, or from a training course prior to entering the workforce. I am referring to the true accomplishments one achieves in life, such as being a gleeful son, or a sidekick of a brother, or a proud father. I am talking about the events in life which matter most to you when you know that your life is coming to an end. Or, in the case of these civilians, the moments which flashed before their eyes as their last chapter on Earth concluded without warning. Their lives were taken in cold blood, and we cannot forget who they are, what they stood for, or the loved ones that they leave behind. They had not known that they would never wake to see another day. They did not get the chance, that invaluable ability to call or see their family once more prior to their passing. While this statement is directly addressing the passing of Captain Dorn, we must also take a moment to commemorate our fellow civilians who also have perished as a result of the extensive violence playing out in the streets across America the past few weeks. If you have the ability to do so, I encourage you to seek out donation services to help the families recover from these tragedies and cover the unforeseen expense of a funeral, one which they must conduct far sooner than ever anticipated.

Captain David Dorn, a retired police captain of St. Louis, was brutally shot outside a pawn shop. He was the type of person who actually stood up for the morals that this movement, the Black Lives Matter movement, preached. He wholeheartedly agreed with the basic concept of equality and the ambition this generation has to achieve that premise. He would give his life to stand up for these activists, and he ultimately lost his to looters who diminish the very morals this movement is founded upon. Dorn was working security for this pawn shop, which was owned by his friend. He went to check the alarm when it rang early Tuesday morning, only to find looters at the doorstep. He did his part to attempt to allow the group to walk away peacefully, but they took advantage of the situation, murdered Dorn in cold-blood, and proceeded to rob the shop. Similar instances have played out throughout the nation, to business owners, employees, residents of large apartment buildings, and so on. Not only have these violent rioters destroyed countless properties, effectively depleting the life savings of your average mom-and-pop shop, but they have now resorted to the ruthless killings of innocent bystanders. When have we ever stood for a group of vandals who set an apartment building ablaze while occupied by a little girl and her mother? How do we defend that and their following action of preventing firefighters from entering the building to save the family? We have never stood for such immoral actions, and we haven’t for one simple reason: they defy every principle we have abided by since the dawn of modern humanity. I urge everyone to join with me in condemning the actions of these rioters. They must be held accountable for their crimes just as the officers who murdered Mr. Floyd must be held accountable for theirs. To denounce their actions and go on to praise the violence playing out on the streets is hypocritical and fails to advance the movement that we are all advocating for. Our society is currently unraveling at its seams, and if we allow this to continue, we will not have a democratic society to reform at all. We must commence the layout of reform, as presented in my prior statement, but this violence gets us nowhere close to the exceptional results we seek. These are human beings, and no life is worth losing.

Captain Dorn was an esteemed colleague of his police department. The department mourns his loss, as do we as a nation. We have lost so many priceless lives as a result of reckless actions. Mr. Dorn leaves behind a wife who also serves in the same department which he had retired from. The shock of this event will not subside in our nation for months, but it will likely never leave his loved ones and close friends. We had only known Mr. Dorn for the short five minutes he was recorded on camera, and yet those close to him have a lifetime of memories which they have shared together. Know that we stand with you, in solidarity, in unity, in remembrance of a fine man who lived his life on the basic idea of dedicating service to aid others. We will forever appreciate your commitment to service, even if it cannot be openly expressed at this tumultuous time. Police officers do not get the credit, the recognition, and the respect they deserve for the sheer devotion they give to their communities. Captain Dorn served 38 years for his department, and many other officers dedicate at least 20 years as well. That service will not go unnoticed or underappreciated, rest assured.

Lastly, I would like to comment on the heightened tensions between the public and blue-collared workers. I have already released my plan on how to reform policing to be more accepting, and more equatable to all communities in the 21st century. However, I would like to point out something that, I feel, has gone unsaid for long enough. I believe that the vast majority of police officers are good people at heart, and are guided by the proper moral principles that we would expect them to be. Take Captain Dorn for example, he is a fine gentleman who served for 38 years without notable complaint, and forged a long record of being well-liked by the community and colleagues alike. I understand and wholeheartedly agree that we need drastic reform in the way which we practice our policing tactics, but we cannot completely blame those who don the uniform as comparatively intolerable. The officers must adhere to the policy they are guided by, and there are certainly many policies which are not acceptable and should be eradicated. But by and large, most officers are good people. And I am confident that, once these steps are implemented to reform policing, those who are the negligent members of the pack will become obvious to all and will be dismissed immediately. We, the people, can coexist with blue-collar workers. We, the people, must coexist with blue-collar workers if we are to continue on as a society. We do not need to establish a police state, but we cannot fall into a state of anarchy and nihilism either. It is in our own self-interest that the police continue to hold a place in society, and it is also in our own self-interest that we enact the reform necessary to ensure that minorities are never treated unjustly by officers of the law again, and that impose limits to the control the police hold. Let us learn from prior mistakes while crafting our newfound future. And in that essence, we forge forward and call for action and accountability. But let us not overlook our own credence, either. We must hold ourselves accountable for our own missteps, as it would be vastly insincere to hold oneself to a different standard than others. If we are ever to achieve blanket equality, we must be mindful of our own partialities, and act diligently to overcome them.

Cordially,

– C. Lewis

Reform: Policing (2020)

I would like to offer my personal platform which begins to break the ice of reform on at least one issue: police reform. In my personal opinion, I interpret a lot of this protest referendum is centered around reforming policing in a 21st century approach. I also acknowledge that it focuses upon systemic disadvantages faced by minorities, but I would prefer to release my platform on that at a later time as it is much more detail-intensive and, plainly, covers many industries in one heading, so to speak. With that all being said, I will layout a 10-step, common sense reform strategy on the topic of policing.

First and foremost, I must credit all the content in this plan to Campaign Zero, a sub-movement of the Black Lives Matter Movement. They have done a phenomenal job in their research and I wholeheartedly agree with all of these ten points. They deserve a great amount of praise, and I believe that all of these points will be implemented, hopefully sooner rather than later. With that being said, I will break the strategy down, and you can also follow along in their graphic depicting it here:

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is image.png

Here is my personal interpretation on how this helps advance the goal of racial equality:

  1. “A decades-long focus on policing minor crimes and activities – a practice called Broken Windows policing – has led to the criminalization and over-policing of communities of color and excessive force in otherwise harmless situations. In 2014, police killed at least 287 people who were involved in minor offenses and harmless activities like sleeping in parks, possessing drugs, looking “suspicious” or having a mental health crisis. These activities are often symptoms of underlying issues of drug addiction, homelessness, and mental illness which should be treated by healthcare professionals and social workers rather than the police.” This proposal would effectively end the senseless killings of all peoples, regardless of race, as a result of misdemeanor crimes where rehabilitation or assistance would be provided over prison time. Also reallocates the focus back upon the major crimes committed in society, where it always should have been. Go to https://www.joincampaignzero.org/brokenwindows to find out how we can permanently dismantle this putrid practice.
  2. “Police usually investigate and decide what, if any, consequences their fellow officers should face in cases of police misconduct. Under this system, fewer than 1 in every 12 complaints of police misconduct nationwide results in some kind of disciplinary action against the officer(s) responsible. Communities need an urgent way to ensure police officers are held accountable for police violence.” Oversight is always warranted in major affairs, be it politics or big business. This proposal would provide community oversight of police, a long needed policy. Go to https://www.joincampaignzero.org/oversight to find out how we can establish oversight in every community in America.
  3. “Police should have the skills and cultural competence to protect and serve our communities without killing people – just as police do in England, Germany, Japan and other developed countries. In 2014, police killed at least 253 unarmed people and 91 people who were stopped for mere traffic violations. The following policy solutions can restrict the police from using excessive force in everyday interactions with civilians.” Although this initially seems like the most erroneous and unachievable policy on the list, it can be done. Needless to say, if we implement this policy, we can make significant progress to reduce the number of killings due to police brutality. Go to www.joincampaignzero.org/force to see the specifics.
  4. “Local prosecutors rely on local police departments to gather the evidence and testimony they need to successfully prosecute criminals. This makes it hard for them to investigate and prosecute the same police officers in cases of police violence. These cases should not rely on the police to investigate themselves and should not be prosecuted by someone who has an incentive to protect the police officers involved.” Independent investigations are done on behalf of business leaders. Why can’t we take a similar approach to investigating crooked cops? The truth is we can. Go to https://www.joincampaignzero.org/investigations to find out how.
  5. “While white men represent less than one third of the U.S. population, they comprise about two thirds of U.S. police officers. The police should reflect and be responsive to the cultural, racial and gender diversity of the communities they are supposed to serve. Moreover, research shows police departments with more black officers are less likely to kill black people.” Whilst I do not give any support to identity politics overall, I do believe that representation that reflects the diversity of the community will enhance the trust between these parties. As such, I do support the policies laid out on https://www.joincampaignzero.org/representation.
  6. “While they are not a cure-all, body cameras and cell phone video have illuminated cases of police violence and have shown to be important tools for holding officers accountable. Nearly every case where a police officer was charged with a crime for killing a civilian in 2015 relied on video evidence showing the officer’s actions.” Evidence is not tangible when it is blatantly obvious that a crime has been committed. As such, we must ensure that body cameras are kept on at all points during an officers shift. Go to https://www.joincampaignzero.org/film-the-police to find out how we can ensure all injustices are captured on camera.
  7. “The current training regime for police officers fails to effectively teach them how to interact with our communities in a way that protects and preserves life. For example, police recruits spend 58 hours learning how to shoot firearms and only 8 hours learning how to deescalate situations. An intensive training regime is needed to help police officers learn the behaviors and skills to interact appropriately with communities.” These statistics are absolutely flooring and should not be taken lightly. We must ensure that our next generation of cops are given training in the order that save lives, not taking them. In no world is it sensible to spend 4 times the amount of time training officers how to shoot a gun than how to keep a situation calm. Go to https://www.joincampaignzero.org/train to see how we can right the ship.
  8. ” Police should be working to keep people safe, not contributing to a system that profits from stopping, searching, ticketing, arresting and incarcerating people.” In a similar fashion to the military industrial complex, for profit policing benefits at the cost of citizens. And as it’s been made clear, minorities are often targeted by these officers, who stereotype them as the predominant wrongdoers in society. Go to https://www.joincampaignzero.org/end-policing-for-profit to find out how we can end this abhorrent practice.
  9. “The events in Ferguson have introduced the nation to the ways that local police departments can misuse military weaponry to intimidate and repress communities. In 2014, militarized SWAT teams killed at least 38 people and studies show that more militarized police departments are significantly more likely to kill civilians. The following policies limit police departments from obtaining or using these weapons on our streets.” We got a lot of things dead wrong in the aftermath of Ferguson (2014), and the idea of recycling used military equipment in lower ranking offices such as SWAT teams have not enhanced our position in any way. If military-esque teams are necessary, then deploy military troops themselves, or the National Guard for that matter. Military equipment in your local police department is unnecessary and costs lives. Go to https://www.joincampaignzero.org/demilitarization to find out how we can roll back this procedure.
  10. “Police unions have used their influence to establish unfair protections for police officers in their contracts with local, state and federal government and in statewide Law Enforcement Officers’ Bills of Rights. These provisions create one set of rules for police and another for civilians, and make it difficult for Police Chiefs or civilian oversight structures to punish police officers who are unfit to serve. Learn more about how police union contracts help officers avoid accountability here.” Union rights is an in-depth topic which requires much explanation. What needs no explanation, however, is how to charge a criminal. Just because a person accused of murder is a former police officer does not mean he or she should be granted special privileges. It is time to put an end to these privileges, which undermine our very system. Go to https://www.joincampaignzero.org/contracts to find out how we can ensure all criminals are prosecuted as such.

I cannot explain how instrumental the Campaign Zero initiative was in terms of forming my policy platform in a coherent manner. I encourage all readers to go to their website at https://www.joincampaignzero.org/ and even make a donation if you could to help advance their movement. Their proposals are not radical, they are common sense. I encourage all incumbent politicians to adopt this platform as I have to move closer towards racial equality all while reforming policing in a productive manner.

Statement Regarding the Protests & Riots Over Floyd’s Death & the Civil Unrest in America

Good Evening,

Over the past week, we have observed countless numbers of protests provoked by the unjust killing of George Floyd. While protesting is protected by the First Amendment’s freedom of speech and expression, I do not condone the accompanying violence & uncontrolled rage demonstrated by some protestors. The looting and destruction of private businesses and police properties do not symbolize any semblance of what Mr. Floyd stood for. Floyd’s family even stated that he would be devastated by the violence directed toward blue-collared workers in metropolitan areas. Although I personally agree that peaceful protests regarding the outcome of Mr. Floyd’s death are warranted, any protest which becomes violent directly contradicts the message they are attempting to make. The message of these protests are clear: the police must be held accountable for inhumane acts directed towards minorities. Furthermore, the three other cops must be held accountable for their involvement in Mr. Floyd’s murder. You can read more on my take regarding the charges in my previous post. As a result of these lootings, multiple cities are attempting to rebuild and regain control of the streets. I find that we lack, as a nation, any sense of leadership through this civil outrage. The President seemingly is only pouring gasoline onto a fire which was already quite extensive initially. The truth is the President cannot rectify this situation through words, as some outlets are suggesting. Sure, the phrase “when the looting starts, the shooting starts,” does not help subside tensions in America, but the truth of the matter is no eloquent speech can fully rectify this matter. A speech by this President would be nothing more than a facade, to be quite blunt. The President has the ability to take action and provoke police reform, the very topic which protestors are calling for. This President either cannot comprehend this conclusion, or lacks the willpower to take the drastic action that is necessary.

The President campaigns as a populist, no question. And yet, when it comes to governing, Donald Trump is your typical neo-corporatist Republican we have come to expect. That stereotype also comes with the expectation that he stands for the status quo and deregulation of Wall Street, pandering to big business, and placing their interest above those of the common, working-class American. This is the problem with almost every politician in Washington currently, be it Democrat or Republican. They lack the backbone to promote any provocative policy in fear of public backlash. Most Americans would prefer that you be authentic and honest rather than two-faced however. As such, Donald Trump & his predecessors are not going to be a figurehead of political unity anytime soon.

As for the protest themselves: peaceful is profitable. That motto is the advice that I would spread to anyone wishing to take action in that manner to raise awareness of who George Floyd was and the circumstances of his death. You can profit off peaceful protest by alerting others of the systemic disadvantages faced by different groups of people. This is held evident based on other movements which revolved around protests, such as the Women Suffrage Movement. By and large, these protests involved loud cries for equality in voting rights, not the destruction of private property. And as history plays out, this movement proved successful, as women were granted the right to vote after a long, hard fought revolution. They profited by keeping the matter peaceful. As soon as a protest transforms into a riot, credibility is instantaneously lost, and it becomes much harder to achieve your purpose.

I stand with the PEACEFUL protestors, not those who do not even know why they are protesting to begin with. I stand with those who wish to nationally mourn the loss of a seemingly kind human being, not those who wish to incite violence as soon as they find a reason to do so. It is not wrong to stand with the protestors while denouncing the looters, which seems to have dumbfounded the Democratic Party on a state and national level. We must condemn those who wish to harm others, as it is morally clear as day. It is hypocritical to castigate the cops responsible for Floyd’s death while going on to harm another person or destroy an innocent civilian’s property. I am also going to go on limb and say that many of these destructive protestors do not attend the event to help bring recognition to the actual issue in America, but rather seek to take advantage of a prime opportunity to enrich themselves while police officers are preoccupied. These protestors are outright criminals, and they, too, must be charged for robbery and destruction of property. As a result of their careless action, many business owners are now in a tough position where they must rebuild the structure of their storefront and lay off workers in the meantime, in the middle of an economic depression nonetheless. With my own family running a family business, I cannot fathom the pain that would cause for those in that position. I sincerely hope that you all can land on your feet soon.

With all of this in mind, I would like to offer my personal platform which begins to break the ice of reform on at least one issue: police reform. Please note that as time continues, and more events occur, I will release other policy platforms which address my stance on other topics such as healthcare and education. Additionally, you can view my policy platform alone on a separate page rather than rummaging through my statements for different platforms. In my personal opinion, I interpret a lot of this protest referendum is centered around reforming policing in a 21st century approach. I also acknowledge that it focuses upon systemic disadvantages faced by minorities, but I would prefer to release my platform on that at a later time as it is much more detail-intensive and, plainly, covers many industries in one heading, so to speak. With that all being said, I will layout a 10-step, common sense reform strategy on the topic of policing.

First and foremost, I must credit all the content in this plan to Campaign Zero, a sub-movement of the Black Lives Matter Movement. They have done a phenomenal job in their research and I wholeheartedly agree with all of these ten points. They deserve a great amount of praise, and I believe that all of these points will be implemented, hopefully sooner rather than later. With that being said, I will break the strategy down, and you can also follow along in their graphic depicting it here:

Here is my personal interpretation on how this helps advance the goal of racial equality:

  1. “A decades-long focus on policing minor crimes and activities – a practice called Broken Windows policing – has led to the criminalization and over-policing of communities of color and excessive force in otherwise harmless situations. In 2014, police killed at least 287 people who were involved in minor offenses and harmless activities like sleeping in parks, possessing drugs, looking “suspicious” or having a mental health crisis. These activities are often symptoms of underlying issues of drug addiction, homelessness, and mental illness which should be treated by healthcare professionals and social workers rather than the police.” This proposal would effectively end the senseless killings of all peoples, regardless of race, as a result of misdemeanor crimes where rehabilitation or assistance would be provided over prison time. Also reallocates the focus back upon the major crimes committed in society, where it always should have been. Go to https://www.joincampaignzero.org/brokenwindows to find out how we can permanently dismantle this putrid practice.
  2. “Police usually investigate and decide what, if any, consequences their fellow officers should face in cases of police misconduct. Under this system, fewer than 1 in every 12 complaints of police misconduct nationwide results in some kind of disciplinary action against the officer(s) responsible. Communities need an urgent way to ensure police officers are held accountable for police violence.” Oversight is always warranted in major affairs, be it politics or big business. This proposal would provide community oversight of police, a long needed policy. Go to https://www.joincampaignzero.org/oversight to find out how we can establish oversight in every community in America.
  3. “Police should have the skills and cultural competence to protect and serve our communities without killing people – just as police do in England, Germany, Japan and other developed countries. In 2014, police killed at least 253 unarmed people and 91 people who were stopped for mere traffic violations. The following policy solutions can restrict the police from using excessive force in everyday interactions with civilians.” Although this initially seems like the most erroneous and unachievable policy on the list, it can be done. Needless to say, if we implement this policy, we can make significant progress to reduce the number of killings due to police brutality. Go to www.joincampaignzero.org/force to see the specifics.
  4. “Local prosecutors rely on local police departments to gather the evidence and testimony they need to successfully prosecute criminals. This makes it hard for them to investigate and prosecute the same police officers in cases of police violence. These cases should not rely on the police to investigate themselves and should not be prosecuted by someone who has an incentive to protect the police officers involved.” Independent investigations are done on behalf of business leaders. Why can’t we take a similar approach to investigating crooked cops? The truth is we can. Go to https://www.joincampaignzero.org/investigations to find out how.
  5. “While white men represent less than one third of the U.S. population, they comprise about two thirds of U.S. police officers. The police should reflect and be responsive to the cultural, racial and gender diversity of the communities they are supposed to serve. Moreover, research shows police departments with more black officers are less likely to kill black people.” Whilst I do not give any support to identity politics overall, I do believe that representation that reflects the diversity of the community will enhance the trust between these parties. As such, I do support the policies laid out on https://www.joincampaignzero.org/representation.
  6. “While they are not a cure-all, body cameras and cell phone video have illuminated cases of police violence and have shown to be important tools for holding officers accountable. Nearly every case where a police officer was charged with a crime for killing a civilian in 2015 relied on video evidence showing the officer’s actions.” Evidence is not tangible when it is blatantly obvious that a crime has been committed. As such, we must ensure that body cameras are kept on at all points during an officers shift. Go to https://www.joincampaignzero.org/film-the-police to find out how we can ensure all injustices are captured on camera.
  7. “The current training regime for police officers fails to effectively teach them how to interact with our communities in a way that protects and preserves life. For example, police recruits spend 58 hours learning how to shoot firearms and only 8 hours learning how to deescalate situations. An intensive training regime is needed to help police officers learn the behaviors and skills to interact appropriately with communities.” These statistics are absolutely flooring and should not be taken lightly. We must ensure that our next generation of cops are given training in the order that save lives, not taking them. In no world is it sensible to spend 4 times the amount of time training officers how to shoot a gun than how to keep a situation calm. Go to https://www.joincampaignzero.org/train to see how we can right the ship.
  8. ” Police should be working to keep people safe, not contributing to a system that profits from stopping, searching, ticketing, arresting and incarcerating people.” In a similar fashion to the military industrial complex, for profit policing benefits at the cost of citizens. And as it’s been made clear, minorities are often targeted by these officers, who stereotype them as the predominant wrongdoers in society. Go to https://www.joincampaignzero.org/end-policing-for-profit to find out how we can end this abhorrent practice.
  9. “The events in Ferguson have introduced the nation to the ways that local police departments can misuse military weaponry to intimidate and repress communities. In 2014, militarized SWAT teams killed at least 38 people and studies show that more militarized police departments are significantly more likely to kill civilians. The following policies limit police departments from obtaining or using these weapons on our streets.” We got a lot of things dead wrong in the Ferguson crisis of 2014, and the idea of recycling used military equipment in lower ranking offices such as SWAT teams have not enhanced our position in any way. If military-esque teams are necessary, then deploy military troops themselves, or the National Guard for that matter. Military equipment in your local police department is unnecessary and costs lives. Go to https://www.joincampaignzero.org/demilitarization to find out how we can roll back this procedure.
  10. “Police unions have used their influence to establish unfair protections for police officers in their contracts with local, state and federal government and in statewide Law Enforcement Officers’ Bills of Rights. These provisions create one set of rules for police and another for civilians, and make it difficult for Police Chiefs or civilian oversight structures to punish police officers who are unfit to serve. Learn more about how police union contracts help officers avoid accountability here.” Union rights is an in-depth topic which requires much explanation. What needs no explanation, however, is how to charge a criminal. Just because a person accused of murder is a former police officer does not mean he or she should be granted special privileges. It is time to put an end to these privileges, which undermine our very system. Go to https://www.joincampaignzero.org/contracts to find out how we can ensure all criminals are prosecuted as such.

I cannot explain how instrumental the Campaign Zero initiative was in terms of forming my policy platform in a coherent manner. I encourage all readers to go to their website at https://www.joincampaignzero.org/ and even make a donation if you could to help advance their movement. Their proposals are not radical, they are common sense. I encourage all incumbent politicians to adopt this platform as I have to move closer towards racial equality all while reforming policing in a productive manner. Recall, I once stated that this movement, ‘Active Engagement’, is a two-step process. One must engage with the content at their fingertips in an active way by promoting it and calling for that change to be implemented. Based upon numerous polls, the majority of these policies have widespread support across America. It’s time for our leadership to implement them. And it’s our job to ensure they hear our desires. That is precisely why you must be active in your call for reform, or else they will be ignored, however unfortunate that may be. I can assure you all, I would be fighting for every one of these policies to be implemented if I were in a position to do so. It is the public will and would reduce the widespread devastation we are observing in modern times, so I ask: Why do we fail to right by our people?

I leave you with this, remember the fallen. Remember George Floyd. Perhaps this is finally the case which provokes actual reform, and not just the typical “thoughts and prayers,” line we have grown to expect. How many more blatant killings by police, or school shootings, or mass casualties at public forums must we endure in order to finally implement change. Every time we call for change, but we now expect nothing of substance to come from it. How much longer can this conservatism carry on before Washington realizes that the people no longer have faith in any of our representatives. We need productive change, and I hope for everyone’s sake, we get that change soon. Too many have suffered for too long.

Best Regards,

– C. Lewis

Statement Regarding the Death of George Floyd

Good Afternoon,

First and foremost, I am hopeful that everyone reading this is in good health and safe. We are still at war with an invisible enemy and still losing hundreds of people a day to this virus. I will be giving a statement on that topic in the coming days. In that same sense, I will not be covering the riots or protests specifically in this statement. Rest assured, I will be issuing a second statement today regarding that aftermath of this situation. In this post, I solely wish to focus upon George Floyd, as a person, the video circulating which depicts his death, and the police officers responsible for the inhumane treatment received by Mr. Floyd.

No human being, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, etc., should be treated in such cynical ways to the extent that Mr. Floyd was. The four cops shown in the video and accompanying photos must be charged as a result of their actions, which deify protocol as it is laid out in this situation. As of this moment, only one cop has been charged (3rd-degree murder and manslaughter). This is a complete and utter disgrace to all who have witnessed the incomprehensible actions committed by these men. Furthermore, the one officer who was charged was not even formally arrested, rather placed in protective custody due to death threats on his life. This, too, epitomizes the systemic injustice already rooted in this case. To be blunt, this officer is a criminal and should be treated as such by being arrested just as any other criminal accused of murder would be. To give him special treatment as a result of his position (former) as a police officer is appalling and sets a disastrous precedent for how cops accused of such high-standing crimes should be dealt with. Furthermore, the fact that he was free for over 24 hours after the video being released is startling. The first video alone, which was released within an hour after Floyd’s passing, had substantial evidence which would be enough to bring the officer in on the charge on manslaughter at the minimal. By this point, the other three officers should have been charged with manslaughter and associate to murder (3rd degree). The cop standing between those recording and the cops kneeling on Floyd was negligent and must be held accountable for allowing his colleagues to carry out this act. Fmr. Officer Derek Chauvin, in particular, must be charged to a higher degree– with 2nd Degree being the minimal. I stand with those who call for the charges to be raised but also acknowledge the sentiment that overcharging the convict will cause him to walk away a free man. In that sense, pushing for 1st degree, although debatably deserved, would not ever be upheld in the courts, and we would find ourselves in another Freddie Gray situation where the charges were dropped. We must demand justice in this legal case, and as such cannot overcharge any one of these four officers.

George Floyd was described as a “Gentle Giant,” by his friends and family. He grew up in Texas, plating football on his high school football team. When he moved to Minneapolis, he was hired as a security guard at a local restaurant. His managers described him as a lively person who was charismatic and kind to patrons. However, he lost his job due to the COVID-19 lockdown a few weeks prior to his death. He was attempting to change his ways after being released from prison and seemed to be succeeding in that effort in Minnesota. He leaves behind a young daughter and her mother. He loved the people of Minneapolis and would be devastated by the violence playing out in the street there presently. He was a quiet person, but had a gentle spirit. He lived to see others, sometimes even complete strangers, have fun. That is who Mr. Floyd is: a kind person, humbled by prior mistakes but working to overcome them to provide himself and his family with a better life. Does that not seem to resemble the very essence of the ‘American Dream’ itself? The fact is that he did not resist arrest as the cops accused him of initially, as shown in new footage. He was killed in the most horrific way imaginable: at the hands of those who we must believe are looking out for our best interest and safety. Those who state that this will never occur again are kidding themselves. We must do everything in our power to ensure that Mr. Floyd does not die in vain. What must occur for us to unanimously call for reform so that no other human being will be slain in the name of racial bias. Call a spade a spade: this killing was provoked as a result of an underlying lack of trust of this man simply because of the color of his skin and his complexion — which the cop perceived as a direct threat to his masculinity. Yes, black lives do matter, as do all others. If you find yourself scoffing at that sentiment, then you are no worse off than those cops. The problem is not completely white supremacy, but rather our inability to entertain equality across the board. If we cannot take a stand on that issue, are we really innovative? Are we really the generation to bring about that progress once and for all? Or will we cave to our predecessors mindset of: the next group will take care of it? We must take a stand, or nothing will change. Mr. Floyd embraced this generation, understood the unique challenges it faced, such as gun violence in schools. He used his voice to speak up for those in need, so I ask you: Will you speak up for those in need now?

– C. Lewis

Weekly Update (4/5/20-4/11/20)

Good Evening,

I hope that this address finds you all well and in good health during this trying time. This week alone seems to drag along a plethora of comprehensive events which seem to necessitate an update. I would like to make it clear, going forward, that this page will be dedicated towards social commentary on these developments rather than breaking the news itself. I’d urge all readers to follow their desired news outlet for the latest news as always, but would recommend you all to follow along with my posts if they help provide you a voice or give you a peace of mind at the very least. With that all being said, I will briefly hit on a few specific event events and then proceed forward with the post and it’s overarching message. Feel free to skim past the bullet points if you are more enthralled with the vital message alone.

  • Recently, naval captain Brett Crozier was dishonorably relieved of his duties as leader of his crew. He spoke out for the need of resources to combat the spread of COVID-19 within the squad, yet was ignored and reprimanded for speaking out of line. In short, his crew showed their admiration for their captain as he departed the ship and were displeased with the move.
    • In ordinary times, I would venture to guess that this ordeal would never see the light of day or get media coverage in the way that it is now. This is understandable, and the backstory to his firing is remarkable. I feel as if this move is out of the need to uphold the stance of leadership more so than of necessity to active service regulations. The captain had a right to request additional resources and was simply looking out for the welfare of his men. Although the means of making the situation known seem inadequate to the leadership which released him of his duties, it is a telling remark of what holds priority in this administration.
  • State governments have rightfully exerted their authority in attempting to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. However, two states recently stick out rather noticeably for their lack of a comprehensive agenda. This week, citizens of Wisconsin hit the polls to share their input in the primary elections. Wisconsin’s governor attempted to postpone the election to June, as many other states have done, yet the Wisconsin Supreme Court shot the proposal down. This was a move of political motivations, as a seat on the Court was up for grabs in this primary, and the Courts would rather jeopardize citizen’s health than risk their chances of losing the seat by postponing the election. This is an utter disgrace to the people who had to break the stay-at-home order to exercise their democratic right of voting. Not to mention the lack of open polling locations, with only 5 of approximately 90 locations open in the key city of Milwaukee. Public health can not be endangered at any costs, and this event should be a reminder of how political agendas can often prioritize the wrong ideals.
  • As I stated above, there are two sour states in the crop that is attempting to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. I would like to turn your attention towards Florida. Interestingly, Florida was one of the final states to issue any restriction which would help flatten the curve of spreading COVID-19. Further more, several videos have surfaced online showing how Florida has overall ignored the move toward restricting ordinary business proceedings. Luckily, enough pressure was applied by concerned citizens to compel Gov. DeSantis into issuing a formal stay-at-home ordinance. I would hope that, in future crises, governmental officials who are widely considered potential candidates for the Presidency can make these vital decisions by their own thinking without being pressured into them by their constituents. Concurrently, I would like to acknowledge Gov. Cuomo’s handling of the situation in NY and how proactive and empathetic he has been in his daily briefings. I hope that more governors can attempt to spread optimism while sharing the crucial facts of the situation we are facing.
  • Lastly, Presidential hopeful competing in the 2020 Democratic Primary, Senator Bernie Sanders, has suspended his campaign. I will not dive into the specifics of his withdrawal from the race or the fine print of his plan moving forward. Rather, I will hone in on one specific tidbit from his speech which may come into play down the line that warrants addressing now. Sanders promised his supporters that he will be on the ballot in every remaining state primary. He also stated his intent to hold on to his delegate count rather than disperse them towards another candidate. Essentially, Sanders is making a political play by maintaining and attempting to further grow his delegate count. You see, when a candidate drops out, they will release the delegates won by their campaign, and those delegates will then remain unallocated or be transferred to the nominee if the candidate chooses to endorse said nominee. In this instance, Sanders ‘suspended’ his campaign, meaning he will continue to amass delegates which he can hold on to through the convention. Furthermore, a candidate who suspends their campaign without endorsing a fellow candidate can reenter the race at any point during the primary season. I do not believe that Sanders will revive his campaign, but I do believe that he will play a prominent role in this primary going forward, despite not being an active candidate. He will be at the convention, and he will attempt to push the party platform further left on several issues. His play will be influence, as he won enough delegates to make the claim that his support is vital to the success of the nominee, in this case presumptively Fmr. Vice President Joe Biden. This is a topic I intend to cover in a more formal matter in the near future.

Now that I have concluded the poltical-intensive portion of the update, I would like to share an update that directly impacts my neck of the woods in Pennsylvania. Today, Gov. Wolf officially declared that schools would not engage in typical instruction for the remainder of the school year. Rather, students will continue to learn from a distance through technological methodologies. I am surprised by this sudden update, not that it was announced, but rather the feeling that it came out of nowhere. I was always rather realistic about the chances of going back to the school buildings being slim to none, but operated under the assumption that the decision to call the rest of the year off would be held off until May at the soonest. As such, the announcement was shocking but inevitable, and I for one am glad to have some clarity on where we go from this point forward. However, I have heard the outcry of the graduating class across the region, and how they will never get to enjoy the typical procedure of senior prom, class day, graduation, and several other cherished gatherings. I am truly empathetic towards those seniors who are afflicted in this way, but encourage you all to keep your heads up high. You all have very promising futures ahead of you, and I hope that this disappointment doesn’t deter that potential from rising out of you all. I believe that this is a situation which we must use as a sense of motivation, not despair. You can now state that you obtained your diploma while the world was pressed by a pandemic. In the future, this moment will define you, regardless of how much you wish otherwise. It defines your character, your motivation, your inspiration, your sense of commitment, and could very well define your path forward. Survival is never a guarantee, especially in times of imminent danger like we are facing presently. I hope that this event invigorates you all to work harder than ever and shows you that you all can overcome every challenge, however significant, you are pressed with. And to those who hear a new calling as a result of this crisis, I am sure you are not alone. All of those who enter the medical field as a result of this pandemic will undoubtedly come in with a chip on their soldier, and I hope that each one of you find a sense of closure and also a sense of pride in your choice. That sentiment is applied to all work forces concurrently. You all have a future, which only YOU can shape, so go on and begin to sculpt it into your desired path. In 1917 and 1979, senior classes around the nation were uprooted to uphold their civic duty if in fact drafted into war. They also did not experience the typical ceremonies of transition from high school to adult life. They were catapulted into foreign places, both physically and emotionally. I hope that the class of 2020 can learn from generations prior and formulate their own, unique sense of closure while they still have the chance.

The Jewish communities spread all across the world began their celebration of the sacred event of Passover yesterday. Today, the Roman Catholic Church worshiped the holy day known as Holy Thursday. As many of you know, Easter is celebrated on Sunday. This year is definitively unique and unprecedented in terms of how we, as religious communities, celebrate these events. Even those who are not of a religious affiliation hold hope during this time of uncertainty. We all are holding optimism and praying in our own ways that the end of this crisis is on the horizon. In times of peril, it is vital that we unite as families, as communities, as a nation to work through the aftermath, the certain feeling of grief sweeping across inflicted families across the world. The arrival of ‘Holy Week’ typically brings with it a sense of solence and moral reappraisal. We all take aim at following a track which preaches the idea of kindness, humility, caring, among other traits. It is imperative that we wholly embrace these values now, in the situation that is playing out before our eyes. These sacred holidays are being celebrated in a much different scene than normal for many families, yet there is light at the end of the tunnel. As one would see light glimmer through the dark skies on a day of seemingly dull prospects, be it in a liturgical sense or otherwise, we too can foresee the light shinning through, indicative of the end of an unmistakable tragedy. As I have stated from the beginning, my deepest sympathies are with those affected by this disease and their families during the Easter season. We, as a country, are pulling for you all to overcome this abominable illness.

Warm Regards,

C. Lewis