I’ve known Reinette Senum for some years now, mostly after she was first elected to the Nevada City City Council back in, what was it?…2008? As I have done with every city council person for the last thirty years, she appeared in a few episodes of It Takes A Village Idiot.
She was a good sport about it, although I sometimes got the impression she didn’t really care for my rendition. That’s okay, she’s not alone. She did hire me to do a cartoon of her for her Kickstarter campaign last year, and we both served on The Union editorial board until she left to make a second run for the council earlier this year.
We’re also Facebook friends, but I tended to refrain from commenting very often on the articles she linked to, mostly due to their conspiratorial nature. Sometimes, it’s just better to keep your mouth shut. We all have weird beliefs. She’s a rebel, and I’ve always had a soft spot for rebels even when I don’t agree with them.
But, of course it was pretty much impossible to ignore her post from last week, which has catapulted Reinette and Nevada City into the national spotlight.
Reacting to the murder of five Dallas police officers, and the police shooting deaths of two black men that inspired it, Reinette wrote: This was completely incited by America’s police force. They have obviously been given directives to go out there and kill. It’s insane and it’s meant to create mayhem.
Her post was picked up by The Nevada County Scooper, a satirical website that has been lampooning Senum (although not by her real name) for the past year or so. The more Reinette complained about it, the more posts appeared.
But this post was not satire. Reinette said what she said, even though she apologized the next day.
The fallout has been swift and devastating. Every cop (and their families) within ranting distance has chimed in, condemning her statement. YELP has been deluged with phony reviews of her restaurant, Los Mineros, accusing her of every culinary taboo under the sun.
It’s a reminder how cruel the 21st Century cyber-mob can be, once aroused. Clarence Thomas called it “a high tech lynching.” And never mind all the good a person has done for their community. We all do and say things we regret. My auto-bio, Scablands tells the story of how I had to leave town because of my words and deeds, so yeah, been there, done that.
So now the gathering storm of public opinion is calling for Reinette to resign from the city council.
I’m not a resident of Nevada City, so it’s not for me to decide what she should do. That’s between her and the city she loves. It’s really a matter of what is in Nevada City’s best interest. Since she took the oath of office last week, she is no longer a private citizen. If she persists in making off the wall statements, the criticism will continue, and it will reflect upon the image of the city.
Whatever she decides, I wish her well. It’s not an easy decision to make.
I find the witch hunt hideous. Many of the sanctimonious will be voting for Trump, who has said equally bad things (maybe worse) on the national campaign trail, and then doubled down on them, instead of immediately deleting and then posting an apology. Frankly, I would guess that seeing the two horrendous videos of apparent police executions in one day may have tipped her bucket to tilt, and yet she correctly corrected for it. The Scooper provides some satire comedy, yet the dot com version is really a clickbait soft porn site, designed to make cash flow for the owners.
Those owners saw and pounced, not for anything newsworthy or funny. They knew only too well what a bleepstorm it would create, especially if they added a vicious headline that went way beyond what Reinette actually said.
Congrats to the owners of Scooper, you’ve plumbed the depths of outhouses of Nevada City like no bottle collector has, digging for nuggets of the most foul kind. And revealed a dark side to the Nevada City citizenry I never knew existed, and I wish I didn’t know now. Some things you cannot unsee.
Here is the thing, I don’t find her comments offensive at all. When we see police abuse in city after city with very similar procedures, one has to question is this something that is being ordered down from higher places. Look at the crack down of the decentralized Occupy Wall St movement. In city after city the police cracked down on it. Turns out the Obama administration organized a centralized plan on suppressing the movement and protests.
Basically this the other side of the political correctness coin where we cannot say anything negative about state backed authority positions such as police, military personnel, ect… Conformity is a must otherwise things start to break down. When people of color have no other avenue to redress their grievances and to be heard, violent retaliation becomes a viable option. If I were a young black man and have a complaint about a police officer, where do I go to file that complaint? The police or the judicial system that is set up against my demographic population? That is the point I feel Reinette is trying to get across.
Look at the stop and frisk policy that is in major cities in the US. This isn’t just some rogue bad apples that seem to be found in every city with the same rot.
To paraphrase JFK; When peaceful revolution is made impossible then violent revolution is made inevitable
If Reinette had been more thoughtful in her initial comment, I doubt if anyone would have complained. As someone who has run for office several times and never made a dent in the outcome, I would think you of all people would see that your stands on the issues don’t endear you to the majority of voters.
I am surprised Bob that you of all people didn’t understand the purpose of our campaigns. Winning 50% was a single goal but only one of many and wasn’t even close to the top of the list in the races we entered.
You, just like everyone else at this point have left out the qualifiers of Reinette’s opinions. It is easy to cherry pick someones statements to shape a false narrative.
The difference between 2016 and 1916 policing and people of color, video cameras and instant national news. It is a systemic problem that has shown itself in virtually all major and not so major urban areas where large numbers of people of color live.
I have lived the difference in the Bay Area. When hanging out with my predominately white friends we would be treated much differently (with respect) in the exact same scenario than how we were treated (as criminals) when I was the lone white person in a group of people of color.
I have been slammed, handcuffed, intimidated, threatened, ect… while with my friends of color or just leaving the neighborhood. I have seen it and experienced the difference and it is a systemic issue not a bad apple issue.
There is a vast difference between blaming guilty parties and placing the action of 0.1% of all law enforcement officers on the collective whole.
0.1% of officers.
Sounds like some have a “circle the wagons” approach to Ms. Senum’s faux pas, and are either using the power of misdirection, (“but, look what he said.”), or the discourse of a long, drawn-out explanation of what she would have said if afforded the time, in the one minute sound bite reality we all live in
Hopefully, she has learned a valuable lesson about speaking as an elected representative, which can have a steep learning curve for those not accustomed to being quoted beyond personal conversation. But, just as cell phone cameras have merely exposed us to the reality of racial bias at the hands of some policemen, (which has always existed), the internet, or those who lampoon it, is not to blame for the outrageous sound bites spewing from the mouths of unpolished politicians. (As opposed to Presidential candidates, who know exactly what they’re doing.)
She said what she said. It was a stupid thing to say, for an elected official, and hopefully, lesson learned. Those who here jump to her defense can only do so because they enjoy the anonymity of the common citizen and none of the scrutiny of the political limelight.
I, for one, relish my obscurity.
I can only hope people hold Reinette to the same standards of rationality and evidence on Chemtrails, the idea that Sandy Hook did not occur and the grieving parents were ‘crises actors’, on recommending people not get vaccinations, and on the idea that there is an international conspiracy to under-report nuclear contamination from Fukushima Daichi. Ideas should be grounded in facts not fears.
The real number of police officers that have been mentioned in the national news for inappropriate action is most likely about 10 out of 2,000,000. I just wonder what the previous persons who commented will do the next time they need the assistance of the police.
I guess when it isn’t us who are getting abused, our civil liberties violated, and our youth targeted it is easy to stand back and take the politically correct position of backing the police. It is a shitty job and I wouldn’t want it but that said there is a very racist policing policy problem in the US. Pick the city and search for racism and policing and you’ll find incident after incident. It doesn’t always have to result in death. Stop and Frisk is a perfect example of intimidation and fueling the mistrust between law enforcement and people of color.
Killers Behind The Badge: NewsOne’s Investigative Series On Police Brutality In Black America
Police killed at least 102 unarmed black people in 2015, nearly twice each week. (See which police departments were responsible for these deaths)http://mappingpoliceviolence.org/unarmed/