Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-OH) was attending a Justice for George Floyd protest in Downtown Columbus, one of the many protests taking place across America, where police officers pepper-sprayed the Congresswoman and her colleagues. No one from Representative Beatty’s group was arrest.
By the way, brilliant camerawork by Columbus Dispatch photographer Kyle Robertson. Tweet of the original photo sequence is here.
Later, Rep. Beatty appeared on video with City Council President Shannon Hardin and Franklin County Commissioner Kevin Boyce:
Black wealth in the eyes of White supremacy: meh
Ready for an ironic observation of racial justice and the always-on niggerization of the so-called Black elite?
Beatty represents the 3rd Congressional District — which covers most of Columbus, Ohio — and has been a member of Congress since 2013. The site Open Secrets estimates her net worth to be over $7 million, making her the 52nd wealthiest House of Representatives member. She is 70 years old.
None of those facts, placed in a First Amendment wrapper, seem to offer much shelter in those Columbus streets today — a carry-away message to any person of color who thinks they are above, beyond, or protected in the fight against White supremacy.
Beatty, gentrification, and that other thing …
I should also note another piece of irony: Representative Beatty and her husband, Otto Jr., have been credited with the transformation of Downtown Columbus from a post-industrial urban challenge to a destination that is attractive to work, live, and play.
Given the shortage of affordable housing in Columbus, some of you may have a different name for the makeover: gentrification.
The Intercept reports that the Congresswoman and her husband made about $800,000 in 2013 after selling a Downtown Columbus building they owned to a real estate developer. The sale occurred one month after Otto advocated, from his position as the Downtown Columbus zoning board’s Vice-Chair, for the approval of a luxury condo development project on the same parcel of land where the Beattys owned their building. A clear case of double-dealing or conflict of interest, if the report is true.
Regardless of what you may think of the Beattys’ business practices, getting maced in the area you’ve helped to develop has to be a whopping piece of irony.
I applaud the Congresswoman and her staff for their bravery today, and hope they can continue the struggle for racial justice with clear minds and hearts …
song currently stuck in my head: “daze” – three man army