It’s been some kind of week, no? The coronavirus got all the attention, what with the state effectively shutting down, but any other time, the mass protests that rapidly arose in the wake of an officer-involved shooting in Raleigh on Tuesday might have dominated the news. 

In Backtalk this week, we’ll tackle both. 

First, MIKE HARRIS responds to Jeffrey C. Billman’s recent column on President Trump’s indifference to the coronavirus threat: “If one (dare I say it?) positive thing can be gained from the burgeoning pandemic, it just may be the changing of a few heretofore rigidly closed pro-Trump minds. We the People have seen ‘Mr. Presidential’ start out proclaiming the coronavirus ‘the Democrats’ new hoax’ at a rally, then proceed down the road of denial, downplaying the obviously dangerous virus as being little more than a bad cold from which people were ‘getting better. … Everybody is getting better.’ Facts and actual numbers were ignored by the Trump administration in favor of the Trump BS of the moment. Why break with custom now?

“Trump’s go-to reaction to this crisis has been to belittle, deny, and babble BS. Vice President Mike Pence has, of course, applied his only talent—standing off to the side, looking concerned, and nodding slightly. So, as Trump (virulently—ha!) tweets and trolls BS over fact and faces an enemy that he cannot belittle and dismiss with a snarky nickname, it is just barely possible that a few more rigidly closed Trump-supporter minds will be rethinking their allegiance to that egomaniacal two-legged obscenity. Just maybe.”

Next, DYLAN N. chimes in on our story about the Raleigh police shooting of Javier Torres and the protests afterward: “If a man is carrying a gun in public and threatening people enough for them to call 911, running away, and not following the directions of the officer to put the gun down, certainly the officer has the right to shoot. If we protest every single time an officer pulls the trigger, we take away the police’s legs to stand on and promote violence by taking away law and order. Certainly, there are still times where police shoot at an inappropriate time because of racial prejudices, but this is not one of them. We need discernment.”

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