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Greensboro / Winston-Salem / High Point Jan. 21-27, 2021 triad-city-beat.com


A MORE PERFECT UNION Ryan Oakley reimagines the world with multidimensional Black characters

Triad Trumpers PAGE 6

Canceling Anita Sharpe PAGE 10


Chocolate bombs PAGE 11

Jan. 21-27, 2021


A new day


just watched What’s the worst that can happen? How Trump, who by about that stock market? Her emails! All the time this lives matter! column runs It’s a new day, and I can feel it… sort of. will no longer be But after four years of political and civil president, climb whiplash, part of me is still waiting for aboard Air Force another shoe to drop. One for the last I don’t want to speculate on Trump’s neby Brian Clarey time and head farious plans. Nor do I want to explore the for Florida, where he will be just another next phase of the impeachment process strange, loud, old, white man. — the Senate trial, where they will decide I don’t want to think about the possibilif he is ever allowed to run for office in this ity of him coming back to Washington. country again. Likewise with the future of Not right now. the Republican Party, which And I don’t want to write wears Trump around its neck about his disastrous presidenlike a gold-plated anchor that All I want to cy, the people who enabled will sink until it hits bottom. his reign of ineptitude and Not today. do after four cruelty, those who were When it comes to Trump, years of Trump I’ve been right about pretty motivated by it to internalize horrible sentiments and a much everything: unprecis to unclench. litany of lies. I don’t want to edented abuse of power, write about the lies. armed fascists in the streets, I definitely don’t want to suffering on a scale that write about the insurrectionists, who are hasn’t been seen in this country since the still being rounded up, or Trump’s raft Great Depression. of scummy pardons that dropped late But I don’t want to gloat. Tuesday night. It’s a new day. Looks that way, anyhow. I’m not ready to unpack the last four And all I want to do after four years of years, not ready to turn the page, not Trump is to unclench. Exhale. Let my ready to forgive and forget all those guard down, if even just for a moment. people who got it wrong, are still getting We’ll be back to business soon enough. it wrong.


Sharpe should feel bad about who she is: a bigoted and delusional white lady unable to effectively deal with changes in society over the last 40 years…

—Brian Clarey pg. 10

BUSINESS PUBLISHER/EXECUTIVE EDITOR Brian Clarey brian@triad-city-beat.com

PUBLISHER EMERITUS Allen Broach allen@triad-city-beat.com

EDITORIAL SENIOR EDITOR Jordan Green jordan@triad-city-beat.com

ASSOCIATE EDITOR Sayaka Matsuoka sayaka@triad-city-beat.com


1451 S. Elm-Eugene St. Box 24, Greensboro, NC 27406 Office: 336.256.9320 COVER: SPECIAL SECTION EDITOR Nikki Miller-Ka “The African-American flag” niksnacksblog@gmail.com by artist Ryan Oakley. On Wedneday’s inauguration of ART President Joe Biden and Vice ART DIRECTOR Robert Paquette robert@triad-city-beat.com President Kamala Harris, we chose this image by Oakley to mark a SALES new era. KEY ACCOUNTS Drew Dix



Michaela Ratliff, Carolyn de Berry, Matt Jones

TCB IN A FLASH @ triad-city-beat.com First copy is free, all additional copies are $1. ©2018 Beat Media Inc.

Jan. 21-27, 2021

Coronavirus in the Triad:

(As of Wednesday, Jan. 20, compared to last week)

Documented COVID-19 diagnoses NC

690,912 (+49,839)


25,473 (+1,697)

Guilford County

28,098 (+2,205)

COVID-19 deaths NC

8,200 (+455)


255 (+19)


345 (+9)

Documented recoveries NC

579,573 (+58,098)


20,885 (+1,555)


22,646 (+1,589)

Current cases NC

103,139 (-8,714)


4,333 (+123)


5,107 (+607)

Hospitalizations (right now) NC

3,740 (-211)


*no data*


253 (-3)


Jan. 21-27, 2021

CITY LIFE Jan. 21-24 by Michaela Ratliff



Up Front

Big Cheese Food Truck @ Cellar 23 (GSO) 5 p.m.

Book Discussion @ Greensboro Bound (GSO) 7 p.m.


Stop by Cellar 23 for Big Cheese’s menu of sandwiches, subs, wraps and brunch. Visit their website to view the full menu. COVID-19 Vaccine Community Meeting @ city of Greensboro (GSO) 5:30 p.m. The city of Greensboro’s International Advisory Committee is hosting an online meeting about the COVID-19 vaccine, its development and where to receive it for free. Join via Zoom or dial in by phone at 312.626.6799. The meeting ID is 988 0605 9533 and the passcode is 060163.

FRIDAY Jan. 22 Culture

#CreationBeyondTheSurface @ 100 S. Main Street (HP) 5 p.m.

Shot in the Triad

Debut author Kasey Thornton will participate in a Zoom discussion, organized by Greensboro Bound and hosted by fellow author Drew Perry, about her book Lord the One You Love is Sick. The event is free but requires registration for access. To register, visit the event page on Facebook.


Soul Revival @ High Point Yoga School (HP) 6 p.m.


Artist ClaraKhay Johnson discusses her work while introducing new pieces from her Infusion series. For more info, visit the event page on Facebook.

Set your soul on fire on Friday nights at High Point Yoga School during soul revival. Spots are limited due to COVID restrictions, so reserve your space in advance on HPYS’s website.

Jan. 21-27, 2021


Blacksmith Demonstration @ High Point Museum (HP) 10 a.m.

SUNDAY Jan. 24

Brunch @ Natty Greene’s Brewing Co. (GSO) 10 a.m. Up Front News

Join Natty Greene’s for brunch every Saturday and Sunday, featuring specialty cocktails and home-cooked favorites. Get your order to-go through Natty Greene’s website. Brunch @ SouthEnd Brewing Co. (GSO) 10:30 a.m.


Stop by High Point Museum to view a costumed blacksmith in action as he crafts various ironworks. This educational opportunity is free and great for all ages. Join SouthEnd for Sunday brunch, featuring $3 mimosas, French toast and more. Learn more on the Facebook event page.


Adoption Event @ the Natural Dog (GSO) 11 a.m. Ruff Love Rescue has adoptable dogs that need fur-ever homes. They’ll be at the Natural Dog ready to introduce those fur babies to you. For more information, visit the event page on Facebook.

Shot in the Triad Puzzles



Shot in the Triad




Up Front

Jan. 21-27, 2021



The believers: Triad residents still holding on to a Trump fever dream by Jordan Green


ikki Reed, a Winston-Salem Trump supporter who sells hemp and CBD products online, posted on Facebook early on the afternoon of Jan. 6 to express her disgust for Vice President Mike Pence’s announcement: He would honor his constitutional obligation to ratify the electoral votes and certify the election of Joe Biden. Those who doubted Pence’s loyalty to Donald Trump were right, Reed said. “And patriots just busted through to Capitol in anger,” she wrote in all caps, as if to signal that she was witnessing something cataclysmic. “I can’t believe it. It’s over. Wow.” Although it’s not clear whether Reed went inside the Capitol building, she wrote, “I was there,” in a series of Facebook posts between 5:41 and 5:45 p.m. that were meant to counter unflattering accounts of the insurrection. Reed was one of dozens of Triad residents who attended the Trump rally, which turned into an armed insurrection after the president instructed everyone to head to the Capitol. A review of their Facebook posts shows that, despite participating to some extent in the tumultuous events of Jan. 6, Reed and others almost immediately deflected responsibility for the assault on the Capitol to “antifa” while clinging to dubious proclamations that Trump will still somehow prevail and thwart the inauguration of Joe Biden. CJ Shetley, a self-described “theology bachelor, gospel singer and housecleaning professional” from Thomasville, also confirmed his presence during the insurrection on Facebook, posting at 4:38 p.m.: “I was there on the lawn of the Capitol, and I know what took place.” At 5:20 p.m., Shetley expressed righteous approval of the insurrectionists trashing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office. “I know it for a fact and I have it on video: Nancy Pelosi’s chambers were swarmed today and her desk turned upside down!” he wrote. “People are sick of that witch!” Whether Shetley filmed the assault on Pelosi’s office himself or just saved a video made by someone else remains unclear; a message sent to his Facebook page went unreturned. Revonda Morse, a Stokes County resident, confirmed her plans to attend the rally to support Trump in an exchange

Insurrectionists, who organized mostly online, broke through police barriers at the US Capitol Building on Jan. 6 and desecrated it.

on Facebook with a friend on the eve of after the Nazi swastika, and given the event. Shortly before midnight she also political leanings of its alt-right progeniposted an image of Pepe the Frog — the tors, depending on who is displaying mocking cartoon mascot of the altit, it can also represent a future white right — holding a “Trump” card. “Lots ethno-state. of Pepes will be in DC today 1.6.21,” Morse did not respond to a Facebook Morse wrote, adding two frog emojis and message for this story. the word “Kek.” Morse, who said on Facebook that Originally conceived as she has been immersed in an innocuous cartoon charthe QAnon movement for acter by its creator Matt about three years, shared ‘Antifa was there photos taken from the Furie in 2005, Pepe was appropriated by edgy white pretending to be Capitol steps and from supremacists on 4chan and the inauguration stands us.’ other online platforms in on the Capitol grounds at 2016 and subsequently 3:50 p.m. on Jan. 6. “It’s — Nikki Reed of outfitted with Klan robes, wild,” she wrote, alluding SS helmets and other racist Winston-Salem to Trump’s Dec. 19 tweet trappings. The character summoning his supporters is often used by racists as a to DC for a “wild” protest. winking signal of in-group Morse continued: “Peaceparticipation and as a way to troll liberal ful standup and charge from We The outsiders. People at our Nation’s Capitol steps.” Likewise, the Kekistan flag was also Allison Baynes Key, a Pleasant Garden developed by 4chan users. It represents a resident who operates a consignment fictious country, where, as the Washington business, posted a selfie alongside her Post put it, “political correctness was suphusband with Trump supporters swarmposedly decried.” The flag is patterned ing the Capitol steps in the background.


“We were there along with others from our church,” Key wrote. She declined to comment for this story. Nick Youngblood, who traveled by bus from Winston-Salem with Nikki Reed and others posted a video on Facebook Live showing Trump supporters singing the National Anthem as they waited for the president to speak at the Ellipse. “We’re going to walk down to the Capitol, and we’re going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women, and we’re probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them,” Trump would later tell his supporters. “Because you’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength and you have to be strong. We have come to demand that Congress do the right thing and only count the electors who have been lawfully slated.” Kent Vernon, a Thomasville resident who traveled on the bus from WinstonSalem to DC, offered support for his fellow Trump supporters in a Facebook post on the day after the insurrection. Anyone concerned about the rally “should realize the unanswered ques-

rection” was too strong a word for what they did. “Was there enough guys that had zip ties and a plan to decapitate the heads of government?” Vernon asked. “That to me would qualify as the definition of insurrection.”

News Opinion Culture

‘I know it for a fact and I have it on video: Nancy Pelosi’s chambers were swarmed today and her desk turned upside down! People are sick of that witch!’

age showing them being escorted in.” The same images of Capitol police opening gates, allowing rioters to walk past and in at least one instance, posing for a selfie with a rioter have been cited by others to draw quite a different conclusion — that some members of the Capitol police colluded with the insurrectionists, betraying both their oath and their fellow officers. The arrest of John Sullivan, a Utah man associated with Black Lives Matter, has predictably reinforced the Triad Trump supporters’ belief that “antifa” was responsible for the storming of the Capitol. Sullivan filmed the storming of the Capitol and can be heard exhorting the other rioters. “Ummm… didn’t I tell ya???,” Shetley wrote on Facebook on Jan. 14, while sharing a Fox News story about Sullivan. “And I believe many more will be uncovered!” Sullivan’s brief history of organizing has been clouded with controversy, and people active in the Black Lives Matter movement have publicly shunned him. Last year, he started organizing under a group that he formed called Insurgence USA. During a protest Sullivan organized in Utah in June, a protester shot a motorist. One Black Lives Matter organizer in Utah told the Post that Sullivan “came in to chase clout,” while another said he “has exploited Black people, profited off of our pain and hurt the movement.” Another report indicates that during his short tenure as an organizer, Sullivan has floated from protest scenes in Utah, to Portland, Ore. and eventually to DC, alienating activists in all three.

Up Front

‘Donald Trump’s gonna be your president for the next four years’


While deflecting responsibility for the violence at the Capitol onto “antifa,” members of Congress and the media, many of the Trump supporters from the Triad have eagerly consumed dubious reports from Trump allies purporting to possess inside information signaling that Trump will yet remain in office and expose “evil” and criminal misconduct by his many and various enemies. Two days after the insurrection, Reed shared a video depicting MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell speaking from what appears to be a private jet. “All I want to do is give everybody confidence that Donald Trump’s gonna be your president for the next four years,” Lindell said. “They’re very much afraid that all the evidence I know is

Shot in the Triad

who has been pressing baseless claims that the election was stolen from Trump, which included a photo of rioters inside the Capitol alongside a comparison photo that was labeled “phillyantifa. org.” Although the men pictured in the two photos are not even the same people, the only link to “antifa” was that ‘Antifa did it’ defense the two Nazis in the second photo were Scarcely had the police cleared the doxed by Philly Antifa. But Wood called Capitol of protesters when those proit “indisputable photographic evidence moting and participating in the uprising that antifa violently broke into Congress began to spread a false claim that “antoday to inflict harm & do damage — tifa” was responsible for the attack. not Donald Trump supporters.” Less than three hours after enthusKey, the Pleasant Garden woman ing that “patriots just busted through who posed with her husband for a selfie to the Capitol in anger,” Reed posted at the Capitol, implored her friends on on Facebook at 5:41 p.m.: “Antifa was Facebook: “Please my friends, don’t let there pretending to be us.” In the same the media lie to you!... The violence was post, Reed acknowledged that someone coming from antifa supporters dressed in had been “shot” — a rioter named Ashli MAGA clothing.” Babbitt who later died from her injuries, Many of the Triad residents who travas it turned out. Reed warned in all caps: eled to the rally persuaded themselves “Do not believe the media.” before the day was over that the stormFollowing up, Reed claimed, “There ing of the Capitol had been staged, was no shooting of cops, no throwapparently based only on the evidence ing stuff at cops, that Congress no fires started.” reconvened after the Contrary to Reed’s attempted insurrecportrayal, there tion and fulfilled its was widespread constitutional duty violence against law to certify the elecenforcement. The tion of Joe Biden. FBI has an ongoing The purported false investigation into flag supposedly the death of Capitol involved an intricate Police Officer Brian level of coordinaSitnick, who was tion among “antistruck by a fire exfa,” both Democrattinguisher and died ic and Republican from his injuries lawmakers, and the the day after the news media. insurrection. The Posting 10 min— CJ Shetley, of Thomasville Washington Post has utes after midnight reported that 58 on Jan. 7, Shetley, DC police officers the Thomasville and an untold number of Capitol police housecleaner and praise worship leader, officers were injured in the insurrection, reflected: “As I go to bed tonight, it is evincluding attacks with bear spray, a bat, ident the staged invasion of the Capitol a flagpole and a wrench. today has accomplished exactly what it Triad residents who traveled to DC to was designed to accomplish! Republicans attend the rally quickly picked up two backing down and refusing to challenge false claims put into circulation as the the election results. Once again, thanks insurrection was winding down. to antifa, corruption in Washington, and One came from Paul Sperry, a the lame-stream media, Americans have well-known conspiracy trafficker and been played like a cheap fiddle.” Islamophobe, who tweeted at 5:02 p.m. Morse, the Stokes County QAnon on Jan. 6 that a former FBI agent had follower who had taken photos from the “confirmed that at least 1 ‘bus load’ of inauguration stands and celebrated a Antifa thugs infiltrated peaceful Trump “peaceful standup and charge from We demonstrators as part of a false Trump The People” at 3:50 p.m. had shifted flag ops.” Sperry offered no substantiaemphasis when she posted again at 9:48 tion or corroboration for the claim. p.m. “Don’t believe the fake news,” she Another came from Lin Wood, an wrote. “The media is the virus. Hearing Atlanta-based personal injury lawyer Congress was working with antifa. Foot-

Jan. 21-27, 2021

tions about the Nov. 3 elections and continued loss of freedoms by tyrannical politicians has fueled tremendous anger by millions of patriotic Americans,” Vernon said. In his post, Vernon also rejected the notion that what transpired was a “riot” while assailing what he called “left-wing fake news.” Former Attorney General William Barr has said there is no evidence of widespread fraud in the 2020 election, and an official in the US Department of Homeland Security has said the election was secure. Dozens of legal challenges by the Trump campaign have failed to substantiate any irregularities that would have shifted the outcome of the election in any key swing states. In the absence of any empirical evidence of fraud, Trump and surrogates like Rudy Giuliani have generated an increasingly bizarre battery of claims largely centered around the notion that the Chinese Communist Party somehow manipulated the vote totals. These claims have no basis in fact. Reached by phone on Monday, Vernon said he doesn’t agree with many of theories circulated by Trump supporters — including that Dominion voting machines changed the results — calling them “conspiracy theories” and “hot air.” But he does believe the outcome was altered when state election officials extended the deadline for receiving absentee ballots after Election Day and waived requirements for witness signatures on absentee ballot applications, oftentimes in defiance of state legislatures. “I was totally disappointed in the Supreme Court for not even considering those legal challenges,” Vernon said. Unlike many of his fellow Trump supporters, Vernon said he never believed Congress could have taken any action on Jan. 6 to halt the certification of the electoral votes for Joe Biden. His hope, Vernon said, was that Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) would have “the opportunity to at least put out some evidence that would have given people like myself the satisfaction of saying this is put in the public sphere that all the state legislatures were worked around to change the election law right before the election.” In contrast to his earlier statement on Facebook, Vernon freely referred to the people who stormed the Capitol as “rioters.” Vernon, who did not join the mob that entered the Capitol, downplayed the calls for violence against Pelosi and Vice President Mike Pence, as well as the men who carried zip ties and flexicuffs who appeared prepared to take prisoners, while questioning whether “insur-


Jan. 21-27, 2021 Up Front News Opinion Culture Shot in the Triad Puzzles


going to come out this week.” Lindell reportedly met with Trump on Jan. 15, and presented the president with a document that recommended invoking the Insurrection Act. “Okay, okay,” Reed wrote in a Jan. 8 Facebook update posted with the video. “I have more faith now.” In the days following the attempted insurrection, an outlandish claim began circulating among Trump supporters suggesting a deep-cover operation to collect evidence of serious crimes by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other political opponents. On Jan. 7, Reed copied and pasted text from a Facebook user known as “Evie Qwalls”: “The military took all the laptops from Congress when they left the premises. They were messaging the CCP [Chinese Communist Party], antifa and the fake news. This ‘onslaught’ of the Capitol Building by ‘patriots’/‘antifa’ was a sting operation! They were caught red-handed!” The post included the hashtag #TheStormHasArrived, a direct reference to QAnon epistemology. Nick Youngblood, who posted the video of Trump supporters singing the National Anthem on Jan. 6, embraced the theory, writing in a comment thread on his Facebook page: “That some Special Forces guys were in the mix? And that’s who grabbed Pelosi’s laptop. Yes! That’s super exciting!” Youngblood declined to comment for this story. The most widely publicized version of the claim was made by retired Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney, a former Fox News commentator. Speaking to a small group of people, with classical music in the background, McInerney said in a video: “On Wednesday, they took Pelosi’s laptop. She’s frantic. There were some people in there that were Special Forces mixed with antifa. So, you’d say, ‘Look, you’ve only got 12 days or whatever it is to the 20th, why worry about it, just let him out?’ “No, they are terrified because they have the data,” McInerney continued. “I believe they also have a source that is talking like a songbird. And the president is going to spring that person on us, so it will completely change because it is someone who has said, ‘I’m not going to do this.’ This is treason, high treason.” PolitiFact identified seven different claims in the McInerney video that it rated as false in a Jan. 12 article. Specific to the claim that Special Forces confiscated Pelosi’s laptop, PolitiFact reported that a spokesperson for the US Special Operations Command has said the agency has no information about such

an incident. A laptop was stolen from a them — want to destroy the American conference room in the Capitol, but a values that bound us together in previspokesperson for Pelosi has said it was ous generations that you allude to,” Kent only used for presentations. Vernon, the Thomasville man who rode Among those promoting the discredthe bus from Winston-Salem to the rally ited McInerney video is Guilford County in DC, told an acquaintance on FaceSchool Board member Anita Sharpe, book on Jan. 10. But in contrast to his who posted it on her Facebook page on earlier statements suggesting the political Jan. 10. Sharpe’s promotion of the video divide in the United States is irreconcilwas met with a wave of condemnation able, Vernon said in an interview on and calls for her resignation on GreensMonday that his youngest son has opboro social media pages. posing political viewpoints. “I’m writing to share my absolute dis“We still love each other and have a gust with the online support Anita Wilgood relationship,” he said. son Sharpe has demonstrated online for On Jan. 13, following the House vote a murderous white nationalist attempt to to impeach Trump, Revonda Morse overthrow the US government,” Scupposted a cryptic update: “Military is in pernong Books co-owner Steve Mitchell control right now. We are at war.” Then wrote in a letter to the she added a QAnon school board. “It is catechism: “Nothing reckless, bordering on can stop what’s com‘We want to see Biden seditious, to continue ing.” to fan the flames of Even as plans for get turned away at the this misguided white Biden’s inauguration White House gates. And move ahead, Trump’s supremacist movement, and for a local hardline supporters then within 12 hours public official to recontinue to occupy — that’s exactly the main unapologetically an alternate reality in enthusiastic is beyond which any information figure I was given — belief.” that challenges their within 12 hours of that The post has since belief in Trump’s inerdisappeared from rancy can be discountbroadcast, that allows Sharpe’s Facebook ed as “fake news,” or us to take down all of page, but in an email lies propagated by a to Triad City Beat she corrupt “establishmainstream media made it clear that it’s ment” beholden to not because she’s bow- based on the fact that Communist China, or, ing to pressure. alternately, engaged in they carried an illegal “I have no comment a massive pedophilia inauguration.’ except to guarantee coverup. you that the video was Another tiding of — An unnamed Trump ‘innot removed by me,” false hope for Trump’s sider, as told to Simon Parkes, supporters arrived on she said. “You might in a video posted by Revonda Saturday in a Youwant to check with Facebook.” Tube video by Simon Morse On Saturday, Parkes, a former town Sharpe responded to councilor from northcalls for her resignaern England who tion with defiance by responding on made headlines in the United Kingdom Facebook with a copied-and-pasted in 2013 by claiming to have fathered a manifesto that begins: “I used to think I child with an alien. was pretty much just a regular person, “If you listen to him and his heart, he but I was born ‘white’ into a two-person is sincere and sharing the truth,” said household which now labels me ‘priviRevonda Morse, the pro-Trump proleged,’ racist and responsible for slavery. tester from Stokes County, sharing the I am a fiscal and moral conservative, video on her Facebook page. which by today’s standards, makes me a “The information I had is that we fascist because I plan and budget.” should expect something anytime from Predictably, as the House moved to tomorrow, Sunday forwards,” Parkes impeach Trump for inciting insurrection said, claiming to have spoken with more last week, his supporters in the Triad than one high-level source in Trump’s expressed the view that the United States circle as recently as Friday. Parkes told is at war with itself. viewers Biden’s team will create a “CGI “We are in a civil war, and the leftfake inauguration… in some studio leaning side — whatever names you give somewhere.”

Kate Bedingfield, the incoming White House communications director, said on ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” that the inauguration will take place on the west side of the Capitol building, as planned. She also said the Biden team has “full faith in the United States Secret Service and their partners who have been working for over a year on the planning to ensure that this event is safe.” Based on supposed conversations with a Trump insider, Parkes sketched a scenario in which Trump thwarts the transfer of power. “I said, ‘Look, if this does go ahead, and they produce this fake inauguration through the media, CGI, trick photography, et cetera, what are you guys going to do? Are you going to take it down halfway?’” Parkes said. “And he said, ‘No, we’ll let that go through, if that’s what happens — if that gets to the that point. We want to see Biden get turned away at the White House gates. And then within 12 hours — that’s exactly the figure I was given — within 12 hours of that broadcast, that allows us to take down all of mainstream media based on the fact that they carried an illegal inauguration.’” Parkes predicted there will be worldwide media shutdown for several days, and when the internet and broadcast media is restored, the only programming available will be “live court martials being screened over seven or ten days, testimonies on a loop so people who have decided to buy their freedom or part freedom by being open and honest consenting to have their confession filmed and that then being shown to the world. “So, all the people that we really want to wake up and show the truth and show that we’re not all crazy, you know, that we believe this, and we’re not all mad, they will have it in their face,” Parkes promised. Within hours on Saturday, YouTube had taken the video down. Revonda Morse was not deterred. She quickly found the video on BitChute, a video hosting service created in 2017 to allow uploaders to avoid YouTube’s more strict content standards, and posted it in the comments thread on her Facebook page.



The Forsyth County jail has the second highest cumulative total of COVID-19 positive cases in the state.

Shot in the Triad Puzzles

North Carolina Health News. In the meantime, to lower the numbers, Brady said that she’d like to see county district attorneys’ offices decrease bonds for individuals with noncriminal offenses and change secured bonds to unsecured bonds so individuals only have to pay if they don’t show up for their court date rather than paying to be released from jail. As someone who regularly monitors the jail roster, Brady said that she sees nonviolent offenders booked into the jail almost daily. “Today, a 61-year-old man was arrested on a misdemeanor breaking and entering charge,” she said. “We have to ask ourselves, how safe are we from this person versus how safe is this person from the virus?” Previously, Sheriff Bobby has said that he had been working with judges and the district attorney’s office to identify residents who could be released when the pandemic began in March. Brady said that it’s not enough because the district attorney’s office, headed by Jim O’Neill, is a conservative one that is “tough on crime.” Calls and messages to Jim O’Neill went unreturned for this story. “The effect of that is to be tough on people who are in poverty,” Brady said. “I think it would be a simple task for Jim O’Neill to go through and lower bonds and do unsecured bonds. People shouldn’t have a potential death penalty for misdemeanor larceny. These are unprecedented times, and everyone has a story; everyone has the context of their own lives, and I think now is the time for compassion.”


released from the jail that the mask situation is not adequate and that before the outbreak, staff wasn’t wearing masks…. I think it comes down to the fact that jails and prisons are not good places to avoid catching a very contagious virus.” Brady’s assertion that county jails as well as state and federal prisons act as breeding grounds for COVID-19 is backed by data being tracked by the Marshall Project, a nonprofit journalism organization focused on criminal justice. According to the their data, the nationwide infection rate from COVID-19 in prisons far outpaced that of the general population by almost four times. In North Carolina, the rate among prisoners was found to be close to five times the rate of the general population in the state with a total of 8,132 positive cases and 39 inmate deaths. Among staff, there have been 2,900 cases and seven deaths statewide. In county jails, there have been 1,140 total positive cases in jails across the state and two deaths according to the NCDHHS report from Tuesday. Forsyth County’s positive cases make up 20.7 percent of the state’s total positive case count in local jails. As far as vaccination goes, inmates aged 75 and up — approximately 165 prisoners — will be eligible for vaccines starting Wednesday according to a press release by the North Carolina Department of Public Safety. Staff at correctional facilities are also being vaccinated. Then prisoners aged 65 to 74 will be vaccinated if doses are available followed by those aged 16 to 64 with serious medical conditions according to an article by



ing Guilford County, all was quiet until the sheriff’s office reported an outbreak early last week. On Jan. 12, the agency reported that 26 inmates had tested positive for COVID-19 at the Greensboro Detention Center. However, in the state’s report on Tuesday, the number of cumulative positive cases for the Guilford County Jail was 27 — 23 residents and four staff members. The discrepancy in the data was not clarified by staff at the Guilford County Sheriff’s Office in time for publication. The number of current positive cases was also not reported by Guilford County and a spokesperson for the sheriff’s office said they would not be posting current case counts on their social media. Like in Forsyth County, all new residents at the Guilford County jail are quarantined for 14 days prior to being placed in a housing unit, according to Jim Secor, a spokesperson for the Guilford County Sheriff’s Office. All inmate housing units are also sanitized twice a day and staff undergo temperature checks prior to entering the facility. All individuals are also required to wear masks when not in their rooms or offices. “Prior to the outbreak last week, these protocols have proven very effective in keeping jail residents from exposure to the coronavirus,” Secor wrote in an email to TCB. However, in Forsyth County, the same measures have not curbed the number of positive cases since the outbreak in November. In a Facebook post from Jan. 15, Major Richard Carleton, the major of operations at the jail, said the agency anticipated an increase in positive tests after the holidays, a similar remark to one he made in mid-December after Thanksgiving, when the outbreak first happened. “So, the spike you’re seeing, we’re seeing and nationally you’re seeing, we were warned about; we knew it was going to happen,” Carlton said. Taking into account Forsyth County’s smaller population compared to Mecklenburg and Guilford County, activists have repeatedly criticized the county’s handling of the outbreak over the last couple of weeks. “It’s not surprising that there is this giant outbreak because jails and prisons are not a safe place when there is a pandemic,” said Julie Brady, a member of the Forsyth County Community Bail Fund. “We’ve heard from people being

Up Front

irst it was a few dozen. Then close to 50. Now there are 75 active COVID-19 cases in the Forsyth County jail. Since November, a total of 237 individuals — 191 residents and 46 staff members — have tested positive for COVID-19 at the facility, according to a report released on Tuesday by the NC Health and Human Services Department. The 75 active resident cases within the facility were posted on the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office’s Facebook page and account for 12.8 percent of the total resident population in the jail, which is currently 584. “We continue to work diligently to curtail the spread of COVID-19 within the ever-changing resident population of our detention center,” read the sheriff’s office’s post. On Jan.15, the jail had reported having 87 positive cases and a cumulative total of 234 cases since November. Tuesday’s numbers reflect a decrease in the number of positive cases by eight individuals. And that is likely due to the constantly fluctuating nature of the number of individuals within the facility, according to the agency’s post. “The numbers are forever changing,” Sheriff Bobby Kimbrough said in the Facebook post. “We are in the middle of a pandemic not only in Forsyth County but also worldwide. We are committed to the safety of the residents of the detention center.” Spokesperson Christina Howell said all newly admitted residents are asked specific questions by the medical staff at the jail regarding possible exposure and symptoms of COVID-19 prior to entry to the facility. New residents are also held in intake housing for two weeks before they are moved to the general population, Howell said. Five days after they are confined, residents are tested for COVID-19 and those who exhibit symptoms or test positive for COVID-19 are immediately housed in two designated housing units. The Forsyth County jail’s cumulative positive-case count is the second-highest in the state among county jails, just behind the Mecklenburg County Detention Center, which has had 278 cases and one death. So far, Forsyth County has not reported any deaths in its facility. The facility with the next highest case count is the Randolph County Detention Center, with 64 cumulative cases. In neighbor-

Jan. 21-27, 2021

Coronavirus, rapidly invading jails and prisons, hits Forsyth hard by Sayaka Matsuoka



Shot in the Triad




Up Front

Jan. 21-27, 2021




Canceling Anita Sharpe


uilford County School Board member Anita Sharpe comes under fire this week for sharing misinformation in her Facebook page, for bolstering the Big Lie — that Donald Trump won the 2020 presidential election — and sedition against the electoral process of the United States. The video Sharpe shared on her Facebook page, which has since been taken off YouTube for relaying false information, concerned Nancy Pelosi’s laptop, which retired Lt. Gen Thomas McInerney claimed was stolen by US Special Forces. In the video, McInerney describes Pelosi as “frantic,” and said that the laptop’s potential exposure was the reason for the House speaker’s rush to impeach Trump, not, as she stated, that he poses a “clear and present danger” to our country. FILE PHOTO Anita Sharpe needs to go. It’s important to note that McInerney, in the course of his professional career, insisted that years, an elected official who has Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass actively undermined the democratic destruction in 2004 (he didn’t), that process, a gullible fool who believes former President Barack Obama was the lies that align with her toxic born in Kenya (he wasn’t) and that all worldview while ignoring the facts of Muslim men should be strip-searched objective reality. at airports. In his final segment as a As such, she must resign her post commentator on Fox News he claimed with the Guilford that torture “worked” County School Board, on Sen. Joh. McCain effective immediately. We cannot have a while a POW in the She is unfit to make Vietnam War, bestowdecisions for the democracy when ing upon him the 70,000 or so students the president nickname “Songbird in the public school John” (that was never system, 42.7 percent incites insurrecMcCain’s nickname). of whom are Black. None of these things tion and local Indeed, she is unfit for gave Sharpe pause any elected office, as politicians before sharing the are many of her party condone it. now-banned video. colleagues. And when called out We cannot have a on it on a Greensboro functioning democracy politics Facebook page, she responded when the president himself incites an with a cut-and-paste text meme from insurrection and local politicians conthe far-right cesspool, the one about done it. We cannot trust a government how “Liberals have tried to make me populated by those in league against feel bad about who I am!” its values and traditions. America canSharpe should feel bad about who not be run by people who harbor such she is: a bigoted and delusional white un-American sentiments. lady unable to effectively deal with And Anita Sharpe is as good a place changes in society over the last 40 to start as any.

625 North Trade ST. Winston-Salem NC, 27101




News Opinion Culture Shot in the Triad Puzzles

berry creme, vanilla creme, marshmallow milk chocolate and cookie dough at $5 a pop in her Ardmore shop. “They’re really time consuming to make and decorate but people seem to really love them,” says Tart. For people who think the cocoa bomb trend is just for kids, Salem Organic Supply in Winston-Salem is making people think again. The shop is a retailer of alternative and holistic health products, including CBD and hemp products. One of the newer items on the shelf is a hot-chocolate bomb infused with a legal form of THC (tetrahydrocanCOURTESY PHOTO Hot chocolate bombs by Camel City Coffee. nabinol), called Delta-8-THC. The cannabinoid is a because edibles have always been scary to me,” Kirby less potent and legal form of THC which is the primary says. psychoactive compound known to provide the stereoThrough a lot of experimentation, she learned to mix typical effects of getting high. People often report that premium chocolate with melting candies to make the due to its reduced potency, Delta-8 provides them with molds easier to work with and taste better. The classic, a smoother, more mild high that is less sedative and round molds were not available when she was ready to more functional than Delta-9 without the anxiety or start producing the spherical hot-chocolate creations, paranoia. so she used mini square brownie “I had no idea what I was doing cake molds and chopsticks to stir but I did test a lot of recipes,” the chocolate. Now, Kirby makes Camel City Coffee: says Salem Kirby, a local insur24 at a time and hopes to migrate 110 Oakwood Dr. Suite F, W-S; ance agent by day and freelance to infusing chocolate with CBD 103 West 3rd St. W-S; chocolate-bomb creator by night. oils. Kirby was contacted by Salem Or“I’m no expert on these things,” camelcitycoffee.com ganic owners in the middle of DeKirby says. “I haven’t made the cember after she posted a video same batch of cocoa bombs Salem Organic Supply: of her homemade hot-chocolate twice. I can’t stop experimenting bomb on Facebook. She uses her 545 Trade St., W-S; until I figure out how to make it 12-year-old daughter’s cocoa-mix right and then I make the next salemorganicsupply.com recipe that involves a little bit of recipe.” cayenne to fill each bomb. With Just like fads, trends and the flavor names like Unicorn Secrets winter season, the hot chocolate (buttercream frosting flavor with multicolored sprinbomb craze won’t last forever. Until then, we could all kles) and Peppermint Magic (crushed peppermint and use a little magic in the form of sparkling high quality, chocolate), each bomb has between 40-45 mg of THC rich dark chocolate in our cups right now. infused in the chocolate shell. “I’ve been learning as I go and figuring it out as I go

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stream of hot, silky milk slowly cascades and splashes into and on top of a spherical orb in a ceramic mug. The countdown begins as the compact globe disappears under the reservoir of cream only to emerge misshapen and by Nikki Miller-Ka nearly dissolved. At long last, the sphere of chocolate opens up in dramatic fashion to reveal diminutive marshmallows, cocoa powder, iridescent glitter and colored sprinkles. Melted globules of chocolate swirl and dance in the cup. It’s not a time bomb, but it’s a hot chocolate bomb. Like many other food trends of 2020 — dalgona coffee, cloud bread and pancake cereal — hot chocolate bombs got their start in videos posted on the TikTok app and spilled over into the cultural mainstream last year. So far, hashtag #hotchocolatebombs has been used on TikTok more than 164 million times. Thousands of tutorials demonstrate how to carefully temper melted chocolate to achieve a glistening sheen on the final product and pour it into round, silicone molds. The hollowed halves are then filled with cocoa mix and marshmallows, sprinkles and other edible surprises, then set with melted chocolate along the seams. At the end of the process, the bombs are sometimes drizzled with more chocolate and decorated with festive candy decorations. Swiss Miss and hot water can’t hold a candle to this steamy trend. For those unfamiliar, hot milk is poured over each chocolate bauble set inside of a mug or cup. The bombs open up, revealing the goodies inside and creating a decadent cup of hot cocoa once stirred together. The cup lends itself to fodder for videos and photos to be posted on social media. The TikTok app may be the genesis of a handful of food trends but the phenomena of hot chocolate bombs has hit the retail market with a boom. Dozens of retailers from ubiquitous Costco to high-end Neiman Marcus are selling the cocoa-packed parcels en masse. The bomb has dropped and it has also landed in the Triad in a big way. Chelsea Tart, owner of Camel City Coffee in WinstonSalem, started selling the trendy hot cocoa balls just before Christmas, but ran into problems right off the bat. “I couldn’t get any of the molds you use to make them,” she said in a conversation via Zoom in late December, citing shipping backlogs and supply-chain issues. “And when I finally did get them, it was after Christmas.” Tart — formerly of Tart Sweets, which was located in the West End neighborhood — is well-acquainted with the painstaking, time-consuming work of creating confections for public consumption. Known for her French macarons, edible cookie dough and custom cakes, her talent and focus are now at Camel City. She was not completely sold on creating more bombs after the holiday season, but has since changed her mind. Tart is now offering flavors such as straw-

Jan. 21-27, 2021

Nik Snacks Hot chocolate bombs blow up in the Triad


Jan. 21-27, 2021 Up Front News Opinion Culture Shot in the Triad Puzzles


CULTURE Representing herself: GSO artist race-flips white characters by Sayaka Matsuoka


hoenix floats in the air, the ends of her hair crackling off into space like lightning. Her eyes glow brightly while her right hand carefully wields a smoky, winged figure rising out of the ashes. And while the drawing exists only in ink and is thus deprived of color, this Phoenix is Black. She’s the same, but markedly different. In a different post, artist Ryan Oakley chooses Magik, another X-Men mutant, to race flip. Gone are her straight, blond tresses, long, thick locs in their stead. “I wanted to only reimagine white characters,” says Oakley of the work she created for “Blacktober,” a month in which Black creatives celebrate fandom through art. “I didn’t want to do other characters of color because they are already limited as well.” While the pieces Oakley chooses reference characters from pop culture, much of her work could be seen as selfportraiture, as an artistic extension of herself. In a drawing of a Black Marceline, a vampire character picked out of “Adventure Time,” Oakley infuses a sense of rock and edge, an aspect of her personality that she lets fly in her activism and outspokenness. In another, she casts Nurse Joy, the primary caregiver in the Pokémon world, as a Black woman with voluminous pink hair, perhaps drawing from her own experience during med school. Her characters might be farfetched, but they act as a way of infusing herself and her Blackness into a cultural world that doesn’t prioritize people who look like her. “I wanted them to be race-flipped but to also choose characters that you wouldn’t normally see Black people in,” explains Oakley, who grew up in Greensboro. “Like a metalhead or a punk…. You don’t see Black women portrayed in those ways.” Oakley started drawing when she was just a kid. In grade school, she would copy the cartoons she watched on TV like the little doodles out of the “Lizze McGuire” show or on “Spongebob Squarepants.” Soon, she graduated to drawing Black characters, ones that had the same melanin-rich skin tones that she existed in. Sometimes she drew herself or her family members. “I remember one time I did a drawing of my mom in her work clothes,” Oakley says. “She still has it to this day.” These days, Oakley, 26, has elevated her skills of drawing portraits to create

commissions for national organizations and brands. In November 2018, her piece for the Women’s March featuring a Black female boxer with tight braids wrapping her right hand in the American flag was chosen as one of 50 from more than 1,000 submissions. In March of that year, Oakley created an image of Winter BreeAnne, a student activist who helped organize a national student walkout to protest gun violence, that went viral and was shared by celebrities. Last summer, Oakley created a series of portraits for Lifetime of famous women of color like Selena and Dolores Huerta. But her favorite piece was an image of Sandra Oh, she says. “I love her in Killing Eve!” Oakley says. The images are bright, the women front and center on top of colorful, cloudy and celestial backgrounds. In another piece for Lifetime, Oakley depicted mothers whose Black children have been killed by the police. Like the portraits of Oh and Selena, the images are colorful and full of life. “I wanted them to have a lot of color and be vibrant,” she says. “I didn’t want them to be dowdy, for it to be a sad image.” In the piece, Oakley depicts Tamika Palmer, Sybrina Fulton, Geneva ReedVeal, Lezley McSpadden and Gwen Carr, each name floating under the portrait in a banner. Initially she says that Lifetime wanted to include the women’s children’s names too, but that Oakley pushed back on the idea and told them that if they wanted RYAN OAKLEY to honor the women, they should do Ryan Oakley portrayed X-Men like Phoenix and Magik as Black women during the month of October last year. just that. “You know, like ‘Say their names,’” important it is to have Black voices behind the scenes so that she says. “There was a moment where I had to get us in the authentic Black characters are made.” right direction. I had to ask, ‘What is it that we want to say Oakley knows it’s going to be a challenge breaking through with this piece?’ If we’re representing Black the predominantly white industry. women, a lot of these women have voices in “I think a lot of Black artists get easily disiltheir own right…. What happened to their lusioned with the fact that if you’re not white sons is terrible, but we know their names. We To learn more about it’s going to be hard to break into comics,” she don’t know these mothers’ names.” Ryan and her art, says. “If you’re not exceptional, it’s hard and Looking forward, Oakley hopes to use her that’s not fair, for Black people to have to be visit her Instagram skills to create her own comic book full of diexceptional. I feel like Black artists have to be at @ryanoakleyart. verse, multidimensional Black characters that perfect from the jump.” don’t have to draw inspiration from a white Still, she says she’s going to keep working at counterpart. it because it’s what she’s good at and it’s what “My idea going into [Blacktober] was to feels most authentic to her. show how there is a plethora of white characters,” Oakley “I think I want to continue with creating in my own lane and says. “And the only reason why they’re not Black is because if some big name wants to pick me up, I’ll go from there,” she the creators are more than likely white. It was to show how says. “Just go after it.”

CULTURE Bull City Ciderworks opens a Greensboro outpost by Michaela Ratliff

Jan. 21-27, 2021


Up Front News Opinion Culture

Bull City Ciderworks, out of Durham, took over the building on State Street once occupied by Gibbs Hundred Brewing.



sale of alcoholic beverages from 1920-33. Apple orchards were “Cherry tart is a crowd favorite,” Clowney says. cut down and burned to prevent the production of hard ciders. His favorite, however, is Bright Leaf, a drier cider that’s not Once prohibition ended, apple usage was strictly for eating, as sweet as most due to secondary fermentation — the conwith beer becoming the drink of choice. version of sugars into ethanol a second In recent years, producers of alcoholic time. beverages have spent time perfecting After successful soft and grand Bull City Ciderworks is located recipes to create the hard cider the openings, Clowney believes the bar’s nation once enjoyed. Clowney says that different approach to serving alcoholic at 504 State St. in Greensboro. his company sometimes adds a twist beverages — focusing on cider made To learn more, visit the bar’s with different fruits and vegetables like with natural ingredients and sweetenFacebook page. beets. ers while serving beer and wine for “It’s got a pretty color and unique those with different tastes — will lead flavor profile I really like,” Clowney says to it becoming a permanent fixture in of the bar’s purple Beetnik cider. the Gate City. The bar also experiments with honey, candy corn and ginger “We just thought there was an opportunity to do something to create unique flavors. better than what was already being done,” he says.

Shot in the Triad

here’s no place for apple juice concentrate at Bull City Ciderworks. The Durham-based bar opened its Greensboro location on Jan. 15, attracting customers with its ciders defined by notes of true apple flavor. “A driving force of what we’re doing is showcasing cider that isn’t sugary or super sweet,” says owner John Clowney, referencing ciders sweetened with concentrate or high-fructose corn syrup. “It tastes more like apple juice than sugar,” he says. After searching for a location for a year and a half, Clowney chose the red venue on State Street that once housed Gibb’s Hundred Brewing Company, citing its close proximity to downtown, strong merchants in the area and the attractiveness of the building’s red exterior. The building got a makeover, receiving new countertops, fresh paint and a custom Bull City mural of a gray bull enjoying a bottle of cider with the Greensboro skyline in the back. The flowers, beets, apples and honey in the mural represent the different flavor additions to various ciders. It’s the second expansion of Ciderworks in the Triad, the first being in Lexington, which produces the bottled products sold in stores. For the bar, settling in Greensboro was easy, despite the pandemic. “Both the soft opening and grand opening has gone really well despite COVID,” says Clowney. He says the Ciderworks was in a good financial position to be able to expand because of its popularity, and that doesn’t seem to be stopping. “We’ve been pleased with the turnout from the Triad so far,” Clowney says. To follow state protocols set by COVID, the bar brings in additional security on weekends for crowd control. Table placement sometimes goes beyond the standard, resting six or more feet apart indoors, with more seating available outside. All bartenders and patrons are required to wear masks. To provide even more safety, sanitizer stations are located in various spots in the space. Although the bar serves beer and wine, it specializes in cider to stand out from the competition. “When we were getting started, there wasn’t really a lot of cider knowledge or exposure in the market,” Clowney says. That’s due to prohibition — the banning of the production, movement and


Chestnut Street, Greensboro

Jan. 21-27, 2021 Shot in the Triad




Up Front



Inauguration Day 2021.



‘Cashing In’—a puzzle with some redeeming value.


by Matt Jones


Answers from last issue

©2021 Jonesin’ Crosswords


News Opinion Answers from previous publication.

Culture Shot in the Triad Puzzles

Palindromic title (even with the apostrophe) Dutch-speaking Caribbean island Gum blobs Prefix that means “both” Littlest bits Chain with stacks and syrups “How You Remind Me” rock band Croft of the Tomb Raider games Pointer by another name Place to get drinks before you turn in, maybe “Take This Job and Shove It” singer David Allan ___ “QuÈ ___?” (“How’s it going?”) Area near NYU Dressed like a judge © 2021 Jonesin’ Crosswords (editor@jonesincrosswords.com) Nocturnal newborn Monopoly token until 2017 9 Seek permission for Language suffix 10 Ron Howard fantasy film of 1988 Equal share, often 11 Moby-Dick captain Wall crawlers 12 Bilingual TV explorer Apothecary’s container 13 Practice for a boxing match “The King and I” star Brynner 18 Endorse enthusiastically Get red in the face and shy away, maybe 22 Website for DIYers with instructional steps First “Blue’s Clues” host 25 “Steal This Book” author Hoffman Willie Nelson’s son who leads the band 26 Remain’s counterpart in Brexit Promise of the Real 28 NFL official An official language of Pakistan 29 It gets boring pretty quickly Remained on the shelf 31 1970s teen idol Garrett Drugstore with long receipts 32 Genesis brother Smoked Polish sausage 33 Poker player’s giveaway Most Nunavut inhabitants 34 Motivations Monty Python member Idle 35 High, in Haiti Like bottles and cans, in some states 36 Dakota Fanning’s younger sister (or what five long Across answers all 37 “Classic Concentration” puzzle type literally contain) 38 Tennis star Naomi Delany of “China Beach” 42 Initials that may be collecting dust Hospital figure in your TV room Luxor river 44 “Phineas and ___” Out in the open 45 Pillowcase material Secretly watch 47 Lt. Tuvok, for one Sailed through 50 Does sock repair 51 Consume Down 53 Like 8, 27, and 64 1 ___ Panic 54 Coupe de ___ (old Cadillac model) (hair color brand that’s still around) 55 Chariot horse 2 Protein-building acid 56 Canvas shoe brand 3 Start of a popular children’s song 57 “Dies ___” (Latin hymn) 4 (Soon-to-be) former VP name 58 A, to Germans (depending on when this is published) 59 “It’s worth ___!” 5 Have a cold, perhaps 61 Grandma, informally 6 Shoplift 64 Show stager for GIs 7 Ogden’s locale 65 Neurotic cartoon chihuahua 8 Maple go-with, in some recipes

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Jan. 21-27, 2021



Profile for Triad City Beat

TCB Jan. 20, 2021 — A More Perfect Union  

The day after inauguration, with the Trump fever dream, a call for resignation, CCOVID in jails, hot chocolate bombs and more.

TCB Jan. 20, 2021 — A More Perfect Union  

The day after inauguration, with the Trump fever dream, a call for resignation, CCOVID in jails, hot chocolate bombs and more.