While we believe that the news should not be behind a paywall, we do provide our most dedicated subscribers additional writing and insight from the Beat as a reward. In this first newsletter, Lisa discusses her Washington Post op-ed about Jacquelyn Smith’s death and I discuss white media bias by way of the 1969 movie, “Medium Cool.” You can read a small excerpt below.
Many of the people in power rush to make things safer (for who?) at the risk of Black lives. Watch the debate over whether to arm Baltimore City school police or whether to create a dedicated police force for Johns Hopkins University and you’ll see the same underlying problem. That one of those bills recently passed and the other did not further speaks to how inconsistent and opportunistic people in power are when it comes to invoking “public safety.” Imagine a scenario in which a young Black Baltimorean moves through the public school system without a school full of armed police only to go to an elite institution like Johns Hopkins University where they are subject to an armed private police force. And when we talk about university police in Baltimore we have to talk about Tyrone West, who died after an encounter involving nearly a dozen BPD officers and two Morgan State University cops. Over the summer, just as the debate about JHU’s private police force was heating up, the New York Times released a five-part podcast about Lavar Douglas, shot and killed by a Coppin University cop in 2016….
You can read the rest of the Beat’s newsletter over at Patreon if you subscribe to our $5 or more tier. The clip from “Medium Cool” discussed can be viewed below: