Charlatan Magazine

All the World's a Stage


Four Minneapolis police officers have been fired for suffocating a black man, the Kentucky governor is hanged in effigy, and George Floyd Protests erupt across the nation.

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Lynching is a pre-meditated extra-judicial killing. It's characterized by informal public executions. It is an extreme form of social control, and is often conducted with the display of a public spectacle (often in the form of choking) for maximum intimidation.

On Memorial Day, a video emerged of a police officer with his knee in George Floyd’s neck and back for nearly five minutes whilst Floyd pleaded with the officer “I can’t breathe.” Following the publication of the video on Facebook, four Minneapolis police officers who responded to the scene were fired.

Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar said “Yet another horrifying and gut-wrenching instance of an African American man dying.” Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Fry fervently agreed “This is 100% the right call.”

George Floyd's death drew thousands of protesters yesterday, and the FBI has opened an investigation into whether the Minneapolis Police Department officers involved "willfully deprived (Floyd) of a right or privilege protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States."

In February 2020—for the first time in history—the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation making lynching a federal Hate Crime. The Emmett Till Antilynching Act was named for Emmet Till; a 14-year-old Black teenager who was lynched in Mississippi in 1955.

Figures that are parodied, destroyed, or paraded in order to harm, mock or insult their memory are called Effigies.

A Kentucky protester who hanged an effigy of the state’s governor to decry stay-at-home orders has been fired from his job, according to a statement the company posted to Twitter. On Sunday, two armed demonstrators hanged a mockup of Democratic Governor Andy Beshear during a protest at the Kentucky State Capitol, eliciting strong condemnations from lawmakers and defiance from Beshear himself. Even the state Republican party, no friend of Beshear, said the display was “unacceptable.” A human resources manager for the Neil Huffman Auto Group said in a statement Tuesday, “Following an internal investigation on this matter, the employee was terminated. There is no place for hate or intolerance at any of our dealerships.”

Trump vs. Twitter

Finally, Twitter has placed a fact-checking warning on a tweet issued by President Trump in which he claims without evidence that mail-in ballots are fraudulent. Twitter's move on Tuesday marks the first time the technology company has sanctioned Trump as criticism mounts about how the president has amplified misinformation to more than 80 million followers on the social media platform. Trump responded by accusing Twitter of stifling free speech.

Twitter spokesman Trenton Kennedy said “the tweet about mail-in voting does not violate Twitter's rules since it does not directly try to dissuade people from voting. However, Donald Trump’s tweet contains misleading information about the voting process, specifically mail-in ballots." The action is the latest confrontation between Washington and Silicon Valley with a presidential election just months away.

Clearly infuriated, Trump tweeted Wednesday morning: “Republicans feel that Social Media Platforms totally silence conservatives voices. We will strongly regulate, or close them down, before we can ever allow this to happen. We saw what they attempted to do, and failed, in 2016. We can’t let a more sophisticated version of that happen again.” The president then went on to repeat his baseless claim that mail-in-ballots would lead directly to more voting fraud.

Twitter arbitrarily omitted a Fact Check Warning on Wednesday morning's tweet.

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