Reno Criminalizes Possessing Whips Without a Permit
Carrying this archaeologists’ accessory in the city’s downtown without government permission is now a misdemeanor.
The political wrangling in Congress over Democrats’ multitrillion-dollar domestic agenda and continual supply chain bottlenecks have buried what should otherwise be front-page, national news: Reno, Nevada’s crackdown on whips.
Earlier this month, the Reno City Council passed an ordinance that prohibits people from using or possessing whips in the city’s downtown without first obtaining a city permit. The policy is in response to an increasing number of 911 calls by people mistaking the periodic snaps and cracks of whips as gunshots.
Reno City Attorney Karl Hall said that the new restrictions were commonsense whip control, reports the Reno Gazette-Journal. He stressed that the ban only applies in several downtown neighborhoods and that the archaeologists’ accessory isn’t restricted in other areas of the city where it might prove useful.
A city staff report says whips have grown in popularity in recent years, with people using them “in fights, for intimidation, and to practice ‘cracking’ the whip.”
Whip-related calls to police have increased 61 percent from 2019. Reno police say that the people using them “are amateurs when it comes to proper use, and it is evident they do not possess it for any intended proper use.”
The new restrictions have proven controversial. Council Member Jenny Brekhus voted against the ordinance because it didn’t apply citywide, thus leaving whips dangerously unregulated in most of Reno.
Meanwhile, a representative for the state branch of the American Civil Liberties Union argued that banning the possession of whips without a permit, which is now a misdemeanor, only contributes to the criminalization of the homeless, reports CBS affiliate 8NewsNow. According to that representative, the city’s homeless are known for using whips for self-defense.
Reno’s new whip ban is certainly unusual, but it’s not unique. Kaua’i County, Hawaii, passed a similar ban in 2018.
The Associated Press notes that the ban doesn’t apply to private property, which makes it less offensive than it might otherwise be. But there’s still plenty of reason to be worried about this expansion of state power.
There’s a real possibility of increased police interactions with anyone thought to be possessing a now-prohibited whip.
That’s particularly concerning given that most of the whips on Reno’s streets are homemade from chains, leather straps, rope, and string, according to police. Is anyone possessing bundles of these materials going to be subject to snap law enforcement stops now? One could imagine local police harassing innocent citizens based on unfounded whip tips, or even conducting sting operations to corral violators.
There also isn’t any grandfather clause in Reno’s whip ban, meaning once-lawful whip-possessing citizens have now been made criminals.
Salvation Army: White donors need to offer ‘Sincere Apology’ for their Racism
The Salvation Army wants its white donors to give it more than just money this Christmas season.
Its leadership is also demanding they apologize for being racist.
It’s part of a push by the Christian charitable organization to embrace the ideas of Black Lives Matter, and “dismantle white privilege” and “disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure.”
The Salvation Army’s Alexandria-based leadership has created an “International Social Justice Commission” which has developed and released a “resource” to educate its white donors, volunteers and employees called Let’s Talk about Racism.
It asserts Christianity is institutionally racist, calling for white Christians to repent and offer “a sincere apology” to blacks for being “antagonistic.. to black people and the values of the black community.”
“Many have come to believe that we live in a post-racial society, but racism is very real for our brothers and sisters who are refused jobs and housing, denied basic rights and brutalized and oppressed simply because of the color of their skin,” one lesson explains. “There is an urgent need for Christians to evaluate racist attitudes and practices in light of our faith, and to live faithfully in today’s world.”
In an accompanying Study Guide on Racism, Salvation Army authors explain that all whites are racist, even if they don’t realize it. “The subtle nature of racism is such that people who are not consciously racist easily function with the privileges, empowerment and benefits of the dominant ethnicity, thus unintentionally perpetuating injustice,” it says.
57% of Detroit public school students chronically absent
Detroit public school student attendance numbers still lag behind pre-pandemic levels
More than half of Detroit public school students are considered chronically absent this school year from district schools.
The district’s chronic absenteeism numbers have dropped a few percentage points from pandemic levels last year, when 59% of Detroit students were chronically absent. But 57% of students are still considered chronically absent, compared with 45% before the pandemic.
A student is considered chronically absent in Michigan if they miss 10% or more days of school.
“This continues to be, in my mind, our greatest challenge,” Superintendent Nikolai Vitti said during a Nov. 9 school board meeting.
Exacerbating the attendance issue, Vitti said, are rules for quarantining students who have been exposed to COVID-19. Students can quarantine for as few as seven days or as long as 10 days if they are identified as a close contact of someone who tests positive for COVID-19. Vitti said the district is working to reduce the number of quarantine days for asymptomatic students testing negative.
The slightly improved numbers this year were expected because the district has resumed in-person school after more than a year of conducting school virtually.
But the high rate of chronically absent students is notable for the district, which once held the highest rate of chronically absent students of all big districts in the country.
Nearly 58% of students were chronically absent in the 2013-2014 school year. Under new leadership, the district worked to get more students in their seats more often, reaching a 45% chronic absenteeism rate before the pandemic hit.
Chronic absenteeism is a complex problem for school districts. Students often don’t show up for reasons that aren’t willful: Some struggle with getting a ride to school. Other, older students may unexpectedly have to watch young siblings.
“Chronic absenteeism, for us, has not been a new challenge because it is directly linked to poverty,” Vitti told the Detroit Free Press in an interview in August. “The pandemic exacerbated what was already a challenging situation.”
Peloton blocks ‘Let’s go Brandon’ hashtag after members started adding it to profiles
The fitness company Peloton has blocked users from using hashtags reading “Let’s go Brandon” after several users started putting the phrase in their personal profiles.
The company banned the use of the tag, claiming the phrase violated their guidelines, PJ Media reported .
“Hateful , offensive, or obscene speech is strictly forbidden on the Peloton Service,” the company’s guidelines read. “This includes any leaderboard names, locations, profile pictures, Tags or any other User Content that promotes, relates to, or condones lack of respect, discrimination, or violence of any kind against individuals or groups based on age, ethnicity/culture, race, nationality, immigration status, disability status, physical ability, gender or gender identity/expression, sexual orientation, religion, veteran status, body shape, socio-economic status, or political affiliation.”
The “Let’s go Brandon” phrase has spread like wildfire over the past month as a euphemism for the phrase “F*** Joe Biden .” It has been used to protest the Biden administration by sports fans, musicians, and even politicians across the United States.
The hashtags #StopTheSteal and #TrumpWon were also reportedly removed from the platform earlier this year, according to PJ Media.
Peloton introduced user tags in 2020 to “provide a more robust way for our Members to connect with one another through shared interests or identity,” the company website says . Users are able to select tags or create their own to connect with the users in the Peloton community who use similar tags. The company says that the feature was “inspired by the sub-communities that came together online as a result of Members connecting over shared interests.”
Peloton said that it has “a zero tolerance policy against divisive, explicit, or other content that violates our policies.”
“We welcome Members from all walks of life to represent themselves through their Tags or by having thoughtful conversations in our groups,” Peloton explained in a statement to the Washington Examiner. “However, we have a zero tolerance policy against divisive, explicit, or other content that violates our policies. We actively moderate our channels and have removed Tags that span the political spectrum, while still allowing Members to express themselves using Tags like #WomenForTrump.”
Some conservative users have spoken out against the ban.
“They force every left-wing thing down your throat and we can’t have a ‘Let’s Go Brandon’?” Peloton user Shannon said.
“For a company who claims to be so inclusive, they sure do alienate a big portion of its members,” Peloton user Stephanie said. “Attempting to silence our voices will not silence us. It will only grow our will to speak louder.”
Employees at Peloton were reportedly made to take anti-racist training earlier this year .