A Kenosha resident spoke frankly about the tensions in her community during a town hall event former Vice President and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden hosted for members of the community Thursday after the police shooting of Jacob Blake, who was left partially paralyzed. The resident, Porsche Bennett, said she was “told to go off” a piece of paper during the question and answer session with Biden and the community.
“I’m just going to be honest with you, Mr. Biden,” Bennett explained. “I was told to go off this paper, but I can’t. You need the truth and I am part of the truth.”
She continued, “I was born here, raised here, first eighth-grade class after the school that was named after his mother, so I have to give you the truth of the people and the truth of the matter is we are heavily angry. Not angry as to where ‘oh, they’re protesting,’ there’s a difference between a protestor and a rioter, a very big difference. We protest to get our voices heard, we protest to show that not just Blacks are tired of what’s going on…”
The change that needs to be made in the community “has to be more an effect, she said, adding “but we have yet to see action.” The 31-year-old mother expressed concern about her children’s’ future and the future of her community.
“I speak for the people in this city because I live in this city and I’m out here with these people,” Bennett said. “A lot of people won’t tell the truth, but I’m telling the truth. It’s not what a lot of people think it is for us. We want the same exact rights as others.”
“We want the same treatment… We’re not saying ‘oh, we matter more than anybody.’ None of that, but for so many decades, we’ve been shown we don’t matter. And right now we just want someone who’s just going to show and put that action in.”
She also described the community she’s known for her community, which she’s been an integral member of her whole life. She said the Black community there suffers because of issues like employment racism and gentrification. “It didn’t just start with Jacob,” she stated passionately.
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Rep. Patrick McHenry Announces Retirement, Adding to Congressional Exodus
Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., has declared that he will not seek re-election, becoming the latest in a growing list of lawmakers departing from Congress. McHenry, a close ally of former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, stated that he believes “there is a season for everything,” signaling the end of his tenure in the House. Having served since 2005, McHenry is the 37th member of Congress to announce they won’t seek re-election in 2024.
In a statement, McHenry reflected on the significance of the House of Representatives in the American political landscape, calling it the “center of our American republic.” He acknowledged the concerns about the future of the institution due to multiple departures but expressed confidence that new leaders would emerge and guide the House through its next phase.
The departure of McHenry and others comes against the backdrop of political shifts and challenges within the Republican Party. The GOP has faced setbacks in recent elections, including fallout from the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Internal strife and disagreements, exemplified by the rebellion against McCarthy, have characterized the party’s dynamics. The GOP’s approval rating stands at 30%, with a disapproval rating of 66%, reflecting the challenges and divisions within the party.
As McHenry steps aside, questions loom over the fate of open seats in the upcoming election. The nonpartisan Cook Political Report identifies five open House seats as potential Democrat pickup opportunities, while none are listed for the GOP. The departures raise concerns about the party’s unity and ability to navigate the evolving political landscape.
With a total of 20 departing Democratic legislators and 10 Republicans, the changing composition of Congress adds complexity to the political dynamics leading up to the 2024 elections. As McHenry emphasizes a hopeful view of the House’s future, the evolving political landscape will determine the impact of these departures on the balance of power in Congress.
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