Censored & Incensed | Hits & Misses | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

Censored & Incensed 

Black Kids Matter, Annex This

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Censored & Incensed
At the same time as David Duke of the Ku Klux Klan was kicked off Twitter, Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, bemoaned how tech companies are so damned unfair to conservatives. He speaks out against their heavy-handed actions after they removed a fun video from the Tweeter in Chief of "America's Frontline Doctors," which featured Stella Immanuel, the doctor who not only believes face masks are unnecessary, but also that demons are doing their dirt in our sleep. Oh, and that hydroxychloroquine is a cure for COVID. Because Lee's a senator and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee, he was covered in both The Salt Lake Tribune and Deseret News—and everywhere else. The D-News decided we're having a crisis of free speech, mentioning Twitter as "victimizing innocent bystanders." In fact, the paper confused cancel culture and free speech (the former is about speaking out in our private/professional lives, while the latter is about the right to criticize the government), and it neglected the individual responsibility to have the courage of their convictions.


Black Kids Matter
Do black lives really matter—especially if they're children? Voices for Utah Children released data to the media that asks that very question. "Native/Indigenous youth were sent to locked detention centers at three times the expected representation, the report noted. And Black children make up nearly 12% of all 'secure care placements'—though they represent just 1.4% of the school-aged population," The Salt Lake Tribune noted. This despite great strides in childhood arrests—down 26.2 percent between 2014 and 2018. But not for kids of color. The Annie E. Casey Foundation found that "the overwhelming majority of kids in lockup are held for nonviolent offenses." These statistics cry out for different strategies, something more humane and developmentally appropriate than jail.


Annex This
You can try to hide, but when developers get involved, the cover of night isn't much help. That's the message for what they call the hamlet of Hideout, which quietly amended an annexation bill to reach across county lines. "... the substitute bill introduced a new concept that has never beencontemplated under Utah law; the notion that anannexation can occur without consideration from the underlying county," a letter from the Utah Association of Counties says. Both the Park Record and Salt Lake Tribune noted the "interest" from developer Nate Brockbank and son-of-the-senator Josh Romney as well as some legislative sleight-of-hand. Never mind that Wasatch and Summit counties and Park City objected, concerned about sprawl and big-box development. Now Summit County is suing Hideout. That's great and should be a message about playing fair. But certain legislators think fairness is for other people.

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About The Author

Katharine Biele

Katharine Biele

A City Weekly contributor since 1992, Biele is the informed voice behind our Hits & Misses and Citizen Revolt columns. When not writing, you can catch her working to empower voters and defend democracy alongside the League of Women Voters.

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