This week began with the killing of Jordan Neely, an unhoused 30-year-old Black man known for dancing like Michael Jackson, on a New York City subway. Neely had a history of mental health issues and on a particularly difficult day, had an outburst—perhaps a mental breakdown—about his circumstances. Rather than help from his fellow passengers, Neely was met with violence. A 24-year-old former U.S. Marine, Daniel Penny, put him in a chokehold for 15 minutes, killing him with the help of a couple of other passengers. The majority of onlookers simply did nothing as the life was choked out of the troubled dancer.

The week ended with carnage in Texas. On Saturday, there was a mass shooting by a suspected neo-Nazi in Allen, Texas, which left 9 dead, including the shooter, and 7 injured. On Sunday, someone drove a Range Rover through a group of migrants waiting at a bus stop, killing 7 and injuring 10 in a suspected intentional hit-and-run. According to local reporting, the driver had been gesturing at and insulting his victims.

Footage of the aftermath of both incidents was circulated on social media. We have included it in this post behind links because we feel it is important for Americans to see. Be warned that the footage is disturbing, difficult to watch, and potentially triggering for some readers.

Only readers who wish to view the graphic footage should click the following links:

  1. Shooting
  2. Hit-and-run

It is hard to know what to say in response to the senseless violence that has now become a feature of modern American life. We can identify the causes—rising white supremacist hate in the face of demographic shifts, the capture and neoliberal hollowing out of our government that has left Americans working harder for less, with little hope of retirement—but solutions, even obvious ones, remain elusive.

America’s leaders today seem paralyzed as the nation deteriorates. Republicans are hopelessly beholden to capital and an increasingly extreme right-wing voter base. Democrats, meanwhile, prefer stasis to the backlash of bold action as reporter Will Stancil recently observed.

Futile as it may seem, nothing will change without persistence and continued demand. Reporting in these times is essential, not only to bear witness but to inspire action. So, please read these stories about the tragedies.

For more on the slaying of Jordan Neely, check out these stories from our OptOut participating outlets.

HELLGATE NYC wrote about the lack of action by onlookers as Neely was killed.

Confusion, Shock, and the Bystander Effect on the Train Where Jordan Neely Was Killed - Hell Gate
“No one on the car was telling the Marine to stop.”
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DEFECTOR wrote about what Neely really needed.

Jordan Neely Just Needed Some Help | Defector
You only get the one life. I keep thinking about that. A 30-year-old black man named Jordan Neely died on a New York City subway train on Tuesday. He was upset, yelling, possibly in the midst of a mental health crisis, and then a white man came over and put him in a chokehold and […]
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DISCOURSE BLOG reminded us all of Neely’s humanity.

Jordan Neely Was a Human Being
He deserved to live in dignity, and he did not deserve to die.
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For more on the shooting in Allen, Texas, check out this piece from THE NEW REPUBLIC.

The Gun Industry Wants America’s Malls and Schools to Be War Zones
The bodies pile up. Republicans say it’s in God’s hands. And the new weapons coming to market are even deadlier. There’s only one logical conclusion.
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COVID-19 Pandemic News

In other news, the COVID-19 public health emergency is ending this month, which is different from the national emergency declaration, which President Biden ended last month when he signed Republican legislation. Still, the end of the public health emergency will mean a number of changes.

OREGON CAPTIAL CHRONICLE documented those changes.

End of COVID emergency will usher changes in US health system – Oregon Capital Chronicle
The Biden administration’s decision to end the COVID-19 public health emergency this month will institute sweeping changes across the health care system that go far beyond many people having to pay more for COVID tests. In response to the pandemic, the federal government in 2020 suspended many of it…
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The CONNECTICUT MIRROR wrote about what the end of the public health emergency could mean for transgender youths.

Testosterone access for transgender people could be limited as COVID public health emergency ends
COVID’s closure of clinics and doctors’ offices opened doors online for gender-affirming care. But some of those doors could be closing soon.
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Meanwhile, long COVID is emerging as a global crisis. MISINFORMATION KILLS had a good piece this week about the condition and the lack of focus paid to it.

Who is erasing long Covid?
One of the worst side effects of poor pandemic leadership continues to be ignored
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Hate In America

Florida has new legislation that could allow the state to take trans children away from their parents. THE NEW REPUBLIC had the story.

Florida Passes Bill Allowing Trans Kids to Be Taken From Their Families
Florida Republicans have sent the kidnapping bill to Ron DeSantis to sign.
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IN THESE TIMES published an examination of the role of right-wing media in the rise of anti-trans violence.

How Right-Wing Media Fuels Transphobic Violence
Kayla Denker, a trans woman, war veteran, and legal gun owner, posted a video online toting a gun in response to CPAC’s call to “eradicate” “transgenderism.” She’s become a target of an internet trans panic mob ever since.
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THE INTERCEPT reported on the latest efforts in Texas to ban transition case.

Texas GOP Opens Up a New Front in Genocidal Anti-Trans Campaign
A new bill proposes a novel way to block access to transition-related treatment — for adults too.
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The OptOut Media Foundation (EIN: 85-2348079) is a nonprofit charity with a mission to educate the public about current events and help sustain a diverse media ecosystem by promoting and assisting independent news outlets and, in doing so, advance democracy and social justice.

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