Former Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, a retired U.S. Marine Corps general who served in the military from 1969 to 2013, has finally broken his long silence. In a scathing rebuke far more devastating than any delivered by any former Trump official (except his resignation letter), Mattis denounces Trump for violating the constitutional rights of U.S. citizens, and stands up for the protestors.
“Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people—does not even pretend to try,” Mattis says, as The Atlantic reports.
“Instead, he tries to divide us,” Mattis writes. “We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort. We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership. We can unite without him, drawing on the strengths inherent in our civil society. This will not be easy, as the past few days have shown, but we owe it to our fellow citizens; to past generations that bled to defend our promise; and to our children.”
He goes on to contrast the American ethos of unity with Nazi ideology. “Instructions given by the military departments to our troops before the Normandy invasion reminded soldiers that ‘The Nazi slogan for destroying us … was “Divide and Conquer.” Our American answer is “In Union there is Strength.”’ We must summon that unity to surmount this crisis—confident that we are better than our politics.”
Mattis makes clear he is disgusted with how Trump has handled the protests across the nation – and that he supports the protestors.
“I swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution. Never did I dream that troops taking that same oath would be ordered under any circumstance to violate the Constitutional rights of their fellow citizens—much less to provide a bizarre photo op for the elected commander-in-chief, with military leadership standing alongside.”
He doesn’t stop there.
“I have watched this week’s unfolding events, angry and appalled,” Mattis writes. “The words ‘Equal Justice Under Law’ are carved in the pediment of the United States Supreme Court. This is precisely what protesters are rightly demanding. It is a wholesome and unifying demand—one that all of us should be able to get behind. We must not be distracted by a small number of lawbreakers. The protests are defined by tens of thousands of people of conscience who are insisting that we live up to our values—our values as people and our values as a nation.” He goes on, “We must reject and hold accountable those in office who would make a mockery of our Constitution.”
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272 NYPD Cops File for Retirement and Others Play Sick in Response to Anti-Police Brutality Protests
272 uniformed officers with the New York Police Department have filed for retirement since the city began seeing protests in response to the May 25 murder of Black Minneapolis resident George Floyd by a white police officer. Countless other NYPD officers are planning to call in sick on July 4 to show their displeasure with the city’s police reform efforts following Floyd’s slaying.
The New York Post reports that the 272 retiring officers represent a 49 percent spike compared to the 183 who filed for retirement during the same period last year.
Explaining the mass retirement, Police Benevolent Association president Patrick Lynch recently said, “[NYPD officers] at their breaking point, whether they have 20 years on the job or only two. We are all asking the same question: ‘How can we keep doing our job in this environment?’ And that is exactly what the anti-cop crowd wants. If we have no cops because no one wants to be a cop, they will have achieved their ultimate goal.”
Other officers are planning a July 4 labor strike as retaliation for proposed cuts to the NYPD’s nearly $1 billion annual budget.
Two flyers being passed around by officers state, “NYPD cops will strike on July 4th to let the city have their independence without cops… The people and this city doesn’t honor us, why honor them?” The images provide instructions for a sickout, a form of labor protest that encourages workers to simultaneously call in sick to work, depriving a facility of its ability to operate.
Ed Mullins, president of the Sergeants Benevolent Association, called the mass retirements an “exodus” and said morale is “at the lowest levels I’ve seen in 38 years.”
“People have had enough and no longer feel it’s worth risking their personal well-being for a thankless position,” he said. “There is no leadership, no direction, no training for new policies. Department brass is paralyzed (and) too afraid to uphold their sworn oath in fear of losing their jobs. Sadly, the people of this city will soon experience what New York City was like in the 1980s.”
Trump is about to worsen the transgender homelessness epidemic
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) — headed by Dr. Ben Carson, pictured above — just proposed a rule change that would roll back a 2016 Obama-era guidance requiring single-sex homeless shelters to accept transgender people.
The Washington Post reports:
“Under HUD’s proposed new rule… operators of single-sex shelters may consider someone’s biological sex — instead of how they self-identify — in making placement and accommodation decisions. They could ‘determine an individual’s sex based on a good faith belief that an individual seeking access … is not of the sex, as defined in the single sex facility’s policy, which the facility accommodates…’
The rule says that shelter operators can decide whether to apply this rule or not, but whichever way they apply it, it must be applied consistently. Because homeless people can’t always easily travel to another homeless shelter, if a local rejects a trans person for their gender identity, they may essentially be left out on the streets or referred to a shelter miles away.
Furthermore, because the rule says it must be applied consistently, when a shelter operator refers a homeless trans person to another shelter, that operator must be consistent in defining that person by the gender they’ve assigned to them rather than the gender the homeless person identifies as.
So, for example, if an operator rejects a trans woman from a women’s shelter because they see that trans woman as male, the shelter they refer the trans woman to could actually just be a men’s shelter because the operator is required to “consistently apply” their perception of a that person’s gender identity in their handling of that homeless client.
In short, the rule is written so broadly that it could be applied either way, either referring a trans person to a trans-friendly shelter or keeping them stuck in a transphobic and misgendering system.
“The programs impacted by this rule are life-saving for transgender people, particularly youth rejected by their families, and a lack of stable housing fuels the violence and abuse that takes the lives of many transgender people of color across the country,” said Mara Keisling, the Executive Director of the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE).
While we don’t have exact numbers on how many LGBTQ adults experience homelessness, a 2018 NCTE study showed that 82% of homeless trans people didn’t have a shelter. Considering the violence and stigma that trans people face in our society, leaving them unsheltered makes them more vulnerable to these and other harms.
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