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Racism in America - Page 4  Racism prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against a person or people on the basis of their membership in a particular racial or ethnic group, typically one that is a minority or marginalized.

Learn more about racism in America, the events, the laws, the violence and how racism helped shape America.

Heard on Morning Edition
Noel King

In his $2 trillion plan to improve America's infrastructure, President Biden is promising to address the racism ingrained in historical transportation and urban planning. Biden's plan includes $20 billion for a program that would "reconnect neighborhoods cut off by historic investments," according to the White House. It also looks to target "40 percent of the benefits of climate and clean infrastructure investments to disadvantaged communities." Planners of the interstate highway system, which began to take shape after the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956, routed some highways directly, and sometimes purposefully, through Black and brown communities. In some instances, the government took homes by eminent domain. more...

By Ewan Palmer

A number of Ku Klux Klan fliers have been delivered to homes in a California neighborhood following reports that a white supremacist march is set to take place in the state next month. The propaganda appeared outside homes in the Newport Heights community of Newport Beach on Sunday. The fliers from the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan contained racist imagery and rhetoric, including a hooded klansman riding a horse while holding a burning cross. The fliers also contained slogans such as "it's OK to be white" and urging people to "say no to cultural genocide." more...

By Kate Sullivan and Maegan Vazquez, CNN

(CNN) President Joe Biden on Friday called a sweeping elections bill signed into law in Georgia "Jim Crow in the 21st Century" and "an atrocity" and called on Congress to pass voting rights legislation that would counter restrictions Republicans are trying to push through at the state level across the country. "Recount after recount and court case after court case upheld the integrity and outcome of a clearly free, fair, and secure democratic process," Biden said in a statement released by the White House, referring to the 2020 election, when he became the first Democratic presidential candidate in nearly three decades to win the state. Georgia is the first presidential battleground to impose new voting restrictions following Biden's victory in the state, but the bill, which Republican Gov. Brian Kemp signed into law Thursday evening, is part of a national Republican effort to restrict access to the ballot after the 2020 election saw record turnout. "This is Jim Crow in the 21st Century. It must end," Biden said in the statement, noting how the restrictions disproportionately target Black voters. more...

Democrats have described the law as the new Jim Crow. The Republican governor signed it under a painting of a place where Black people were once enslaved.
Tasneem Nashrulla BuzzFeed News Reporter

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp on Thursday signed into law a series of controversial voting restrictions decried by Democrats as "Jim Crow 2.0" — and he did so alongside a group of white men and in front of a painting of a plantation where Black people were once enslaved. In a Twitter thread Friday, Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Will Bunch pointed out that Kemp signed the bill under the image "of a notorious slave plantation in Wilkes County, GA." The painting appears to depict a brick house on the Callaway Plantation in Washington, Georgia, which was once a 3,000-acre plantation owned by a family of enslavers and is now open for public tours. "In 2021, the irony of Kemp signing this bill — that makes it illegal to give water to voters waiting on the sometimes 10-hour lines that state policies create in mostly Black precincts — under the image of a brutal slave plantation is almost too much to bear," Bunch tweeted. more...

Elizabeth Weise USA TODAY

The week after then-President Donald Trump first used the hashtag #chinesevirus on Twitter, the number of people using the hashtag increased more than tenfold, and they were much more likely to include anti-Asian hashtags than those who used #covid19 in their tweets. Anti-Asian bias and attacks have grown exponentially over the past year in conjunction with anti-Chinese rhetoric. This week's deadly shooting in Atlanta, in which six of the eight people killed were of Asian descent, has contributed to fears throughout the Asian-American community. Trump's use of the phrase in speeches and on Twitter, which critics called racist, preceded a cascade of its use by others online. The mean number of daily users in the #covid19 group rose by 379% after Trump's tweet, compared with an increase of #chinesevirus by 8,351%. more...

In a floor speech, Sen. Bob Menendez described Sen. Ron Johnson's remarks as a "hurtful," "racist" and a “stain” on his office.

Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) ripped GOP Sen. Ron Johnson on Tuesday after the Wisconsinite suggested that he would be more afraid if Black Lives Matter protesters, not Donald Trump supporters, had stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6. In a floor speech, Menendez described Johnson's remarks as a "hurtful," "racist" and a “stain” on his office. “I get that no one likes to be called racist, but sometimes there’s just no other way to describe the use of bigoted tropes that for generations threatened Black lives by stoking white fear of African Americans — and Black men in particular,” Menendez said. more...

Bill includes various measures including ending the right to vote by mail without having to provide an excuse

Stacey Abrams has described Republican efforts to restrict voting rights in Georgia as “racist” and “a redux of Jim Crow in a suit and tie”. Abrams, who helped Democrats win two key US Senate runoff elections in her home state in January that gave the party a narrow control of the chamber, is a leading critic of voter suppression efforts by Republicans. The bill in Georgia, SB241, includes various measures including ending the right to vote by mail without having to provide an excuse, and other new identification requirements. Republicans have held up what they say is a risk of voter fraud as justification for the legislation despite the lack of evidence of wrongdoing. Speaking on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday, Abrams said the moves by lawmakers in Georgia would significantly curtail voting access after a record number of voters propelled Democratic victories in the 2020 race. “Well, first of all, I do absolutely agree that it’s racist. It is a redux of Jim Crow in a suit and tie. We know that the only thing that precipitated these changes, it’s not that there was the question of security. more...

"Had the tables been turned, and President Trump won the election and those were tens of thousands of Black Lives Matter and Antifa protesters, I might have been a little concerned," Johnson said.

In an interview on conservative talk radio, Sen. Ron Johnson, one of former President Donald Trump’s strongest supporters, said he didn’t feel threatened by rioters violently storming the Capitol. Instead, he said, he might have been scared if the participants were Black Lives Matter or Antifa supporters — a comment with strong racial overtones. “Even though those thousands of people that were marching to the Capitol were trying to pressure people like me to vote the way they wanted me to vote, I knew those were people that love this country, that truly respect law enforcement, would never do anything to break the law, and so I wasn't concerned,” Johnson (R-Wis.) said in an interview on conservative radio host Joe Pag’s show Thursday. more...

Two Black officers told BuzzFeed News that their chief and other upper management left them totally unprepared and were nowhere to be found on the day.
Emmanuel Felton BuzzFeed News Reporter

The first glimpse of the deadly tragedy that was about to unfold came at 9 a.m. on the morning of the insurrection for one Black veteran of the US Capitol Police. But it didn’t come from his superiors — instead the officer had to rely on a screenshot from Instagram sent to him by a friend. “I found out what they were planning when a friend of mine screenshot me an Instagram story from the Proud Boys saying, ‘We’re breaching the Capitol today, guys. I hope y’all ready.’” The officer, who asked to remain anonymous out of fear of retaliation from his superiors, told BuzzFeed News that it was just a sign of the chaos that was to come, which saw officers regularly finding themselves unprepared and then outmanned and overpowered by the mob. more...

Associated Press

The Jacksonville Jaguars and embattled strength coach Chris Doyle parted ways Friday night, a few hours after a respected diversity group blasted the team and called the recent hiring “simply unacceptable”. Coach Urban Meyer said Doyle resigned and he accepted. “Chris did not want to be a distraction to what we are building in Jacksonville,” Meyer said in a statement. “We are responsible for all aspects of our program and, in retrospect, should have given greater consideration to how his appointment may have affected all involved. We wish him the best as he moves forward in his career.” The Fritz Pollard Alliance, whose mission is to increase diversity in the NFL, ripped Jacksonville’s leadership, specifically Meyer, and said racist allegations at Iowa should have disqualified Doyle as a coaching candidate. “At a time when the NFL has failed to solve its problem with racial hiring practices, it is simply unacceptable to welcome Chris Doyle into the ranks of NFL coaches,” the alliance said in a statement Friday. “Doyle’s departure from the University of Iowa reflected a tenure riddled with poor judgment and mistreatment of Black players. His conduct should be as disqualifying for the NFL as it was for University of Iowa. more...

Renee G

Officials at a Utah charter school said ‘few families’ asked that their children be excluded from the Black History Month curriculum. A charter school in northern Utah is allowing parents to opt students out of its Black History Month curriculum and the decision has sparked a debate. Micah Hirokawa, director of Maria Montessori Academy said on the school’s Facebook page on Friday that he “reluctantly” sent out a letter explaining families are allowed “to exercise their civil rights to not participate in Black History Month at the school,” according to NBC News. more...

CBS News

The board of a small Louisiana cemetery that denied burial to a Black sheriff's deputy held an emergency meeting Thursday and removed a whites-only provision from its sales contracts. "When that meeting was over it was like a weight lifted off of me," H. Creig Vizena, board president for Oaklin Springs Cemetery in southwest Louisiana, said Thursday night. He said he was stunned and ashamed to learn two days earlier that the family of Allen Parish Sheriff's Deputy Darrell Semien, who died Sunday, had been told he could not be buried at the cemetery near Oberlin because he was African American.  "It's horrible," Vizena told The Associated Press Thursday. He said the board members removed the word "white" from a contract stipulation conveying "the right of burial of the remains of white human beings." Semien's widow, Karla Semien, of Oberlin, told CBS Lafayette, Louisiana affiliate KLFY-TV,"It was just so much a slap in the face, a punch in the gut. It was just belittling him. You know, that we can't bury him because he's black." more...

Southlake is known for its top-ranked public schools. But a heated fight over a diversity plan has some parents questioning their future in the city.
By Mike Hixenbaugh

Robin Cornish was at work in the fall of 2018 when she got a text message from another parent. It was a link to a video showing several white high school students laughing as they filmed themselves shouting the N-word at a party. One of the students in the video had shared it on Snapchat, and now it was going viral. Cornish, a 51-year-old Black mother of five, recognized the girl leading the chant as the younger sibling of one of her son’s former friends. Cornish was upset as she watched the 8-second clip, she said, but she wasn’t surprised. This was Southlake, Texas, after all. The elite, mostly white suburb 30 miles northwest of Dallas has a reputation as one of the best places in the country to raise a family, thanks in large part to its highly ranked public school system: The Carroll Independent School District, home of the Dragons, where the median home costs $650,000 and average SAT scores are good enough to get students into top-tier universities. more...

Maga v BLM: how police handled the Capitol mob and George Floyd activists – in pictures
Wednesday saw a thin deployment of officers as rioters stormed the Capitol. In June, a very different scene unfolded in the same city
by Julian Borger

The contrast between the law enforcement reaction to the storming of the Capitol on Wednesday and the suppression of peaceful protests in the summer is not just stark – it is black and white. The Black Lives Matter demonstrators crowd outside the White House on 1 June was a block away from the building and made no attempt to breach its security. It was a mostly Black crowd, and it was charged by a force made up of Washington police, US Park police, over 5,000 national guard troops and federal agencies like the Bureau of Prisons. An army helicopter swooped low over the heads of the protesters. Teargas, batons and horses were used to clear a block so that Donald Trump could stage a photo op outside a church across the road. A national guard commander later admitted there had been “excessive use of force”. The events in Lafayette Park in June 2020 represented a defining moment of the Trump presidency. So will 6 January 2021. The mob that stormed the seat of US democracy on Wednesday had openly talked about such a plan, were explicitly intent on overturning a fair election, and some had hinted they might be carrying guns. They were almost all white. Many were openly white supremacists, and yet the thin Capitol police collapsed in their path. more...

Law enforcement responses to more than 13,000 protests show a clear disparity in responses, new statistics show
Lois Beckett

Police in the United States are three times more likely to use force against leftwing protesters than rightwing protesters, according to new data from a non-profit that monitors political violence around the world. In the past 10 months, US law enforcement agencies have used teargas, pepper spray, rubber bullets, and beatings at a much higher percentage at Black Lives Matter demonstrations than at pro-Trump or other rightwing protests. Law enforcement officers were also more likely to use force against leftwing demonstrators, whether the protests remained peaceful or not. The statistics, based on law enforcement responses to more than 13,000 protests across the United States since April 2020, show a clear disparity in how agencies have responded to the historic wave of Black Lives Matter protests against police violence, compared with demonstrations organized by Trump supporters. more...

Witnesses say Trump was oblivious to the gravity of the situation as five died, Congress was violated and his vice-president faced the very real possibility of being lynched
by Julian Borger in Washington

If there was one single moment when the veil of American resilience crumbled and the Trumpist assault on democracy turned into an invasion, it arrived just before 1pm on Wednesday. That was when a group of pro-Trump militants burst through a flimsy outer barrier on the north-west side of the Capitol building and advanced on a secondary barricade guarded by four frightened police officers, dressed only in basic uniforms and soft caps. One of the officers can be seen resting his hands on the barrier in as casual a manner he can manage, in an attempt to defuse the confrontation. He clearly had no idea what was coming. On the other side, a young man in a white hoodie and a red Make America Great Again cap, pulls at the metal barricade but it holds. Then an older man, also red-capped but in full military uniform, takes the youth by the shoulder and whispers something in his ear as the swelling crowd around them chants “USA”. Ten seconds later, the crowd pushes together, the metal fortification collapses, and the Capitol police officers are overwhelmed. The crowd surges past rushing towards the great white domed building atop Capitol Hill. more...

By Madeline Holcombe and Sonia Moghe, CNN

(CNN) A high-ranking official with the New York Police Department has been suspended without pay and is now the subject of an internal disciplinary process after a string of racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic posts, the NYPD confirmed. Late last year, an investigation by the City Council connected Deputy Inspector James Francis Kobel to a user under the name "Clouseau." Under that identity, he routinely posted offensive messages on a public law enforcement message board attacking Black people, Muslims, the Hasidic Jewish community and others with extremely derogatory language, according to a draft report from the New York City Council Oversight and Investigations Division. more...


NEW YORK (AP) — Black Lives Matter protests, 2020: Overwhelming force from law enforcement in dozens of cities. Chemical dispersants. Rubber bullets and hand-to-hand combat with largely peaceful crowds and some unruly vandals and looters. More than 14,000 arrests. The U.S. Capitol, Jan. 6, 2021: Barely more than a few dozen arrests. Several weapons seized, improvised explosive devices found. Members of a wilding mob escorted from the premises, some not even in handcuffs. The key difference? The first set of protesters were overwhelmingly Black Americans and their allies. The second group was overwhelmingly white Americans who support outgoing President Donald Trump’s baseless claims of election fraud. The violent breaching of the halls of power on Capitol Hill by the insurrectionist mob on Wednesday, which left one woman dead of a police gunshot wound, represents one of the plainest displays of a racial double standard in both modern and recent history. “When Black people protest for our lives, we are all too often met by National Guard troops or police equipped with assault rifles, shields, tear gas and battle helmets,” the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation said in a statement. “When white people attempt a coup, they are met by an underwhelming number of law enforcement personnel who act powerless to intervene, going so far as to pose for selfies with terrorists,” it said. more...

Wednesday saw a thin deployment of officers as rioters stormed the Capitol. In June, a very different scene unfolded in the same city
by Julian Borger

The contrast between the law enforcement reaction to the storming of the Capitol on Wednesday and the suppression of peaceful protests in the summer is not just stark – it is black and white. The Black Lives Matter demonstrators crowd outside the White House on 1 June was a block away from the building and made no attempt to breach its security. It was a mostly Black crowd, and it was charged by a force made up of Washington police, US Park police, over 5,000 national guard troops and federal agencies like the Bureau of Prisons. An army helicopter swooped low over the heads of the protesters. Teargas, batons and horses were used to clear a block so that Donald Trump could stage a photo op outside a church across the road. A national guard commander later admitted there had been “excessive use of force”.

The events in Lafayette Park in June 2020 represented a defining moment of the Trump presidency. So will 6 January 2021. The mob that stormed the seat of US democracy on Wednesday had openly talked about such a plan, were explicitly intent on overturning a fair election, and some had hinted they might be carrying guns. They were almost all white. Many were openly white supremacists, and yet the thin Capitol police collapsed in their path. more...

Authorities are more than twice as likely to break up a left-wing protest than a right-wing protest.
By Maggie Koerth

As images from Wednesday’s riot by pro-Trump extremists at the U.S. Capitol filled our TV screens and social media feeds, one thing was notably absent: the kind of confrontation between police and protesters that we saw during the Black Lives Matter protests last summer. Even though the Capitol mob was far more violent — and seditious — than the largely peaceful BLM demonstrators, police responded far less aggressively toward them than toward BLM protesters across the country. Researchers who track this sort of thing for a living say that fits a pattern.

Instead of National Guard troops being posted en masse around landmarks before a protest even began, we saw the Defense Department initially deny a request to send in troops — and that was after the Capitol had been breached. Instead of peaceful protesters being doused in tear gas, we saw a mob posing for selfies with police and being allowed to wander the corridors of power like they couldn’t decide whether they were invading the Capitol or touring it. Instead of President Trump calling these violent supporters “thugs,” as he called racial justice protesters, and advocating for more violent police crackdowns, we saw him remind his followers that they were loved before asking them nicely to go home. more...

Grace Hauck, Deborah Barfield Berry, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON — President-elect Joe Biden, civil rights leaders and activists blasted law enforcement agencies for their slow response to rioters at the U.S. Capitol, noting the massive show of police force in place for Black Lives Matter demonstrations last year over police killings of unarmed Black men and women. Biden said his granddaughter pointed out the unfair difference in images that showed the violence wielded against Black Lives Matter protesters versus the seemingly muted response against those who attacked the U.S. government. "No one can tell me that if that had been a group of Black Lives Matter protesting yesterday, they wouldn’t have been treated very, very differently than the mob of thugs that stormed the Capitol," Biden said in remarks to the nation Thursday. more...


President-elect Joe Biden comments on the protests from Donald Trump supporters that turned into a U.S. Capitol riot. video...

By Casey Tolan, CNN

(CNN) Black Lives Matter protesters in Washington, DC, last summer found themselves facing a massive show of force: military helicopters hovering over the city, National Guard troops patrolling the streets and tear gas filling the air. When a mob of President Trump's supporters broke into the US Capitol on Wednesday, they were confronted by a far smaller police presence -- and by the end of the day, far fewer of the rioters ended up in custody. DC police arrested more than five times as many people at the height of the Black Lives Matter protests last summer than they did during the day of insurrection at the Capitol, according to a CNN analysis of Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) data. And many of those arrested amid this week's unrest were detained on less serious charges. more...

By Robert Klemko, Kimberly Kindy, Kim Bellware and Derek Hawkins

When Chanelle Helm helped organize protests after the March 13 killing of Breonna Taylor, Louisville police responded with batons, stun grenades and tear gas. The 40-year-old Black Lives Matter activist still bears scars from rubber bullets fired at close range. So Helm was startled and frustrated Wednesday to see a White, pro-Trump mob storm the U.S. Capitol — breaking down barricades, smashing windows and striking police officers — without obvious consequence.

“Our activists are still to this day met with hyper-police violence,” Helm said. “And today you see this full-on riot — literally a coup — with people toting guns, which the police knew was coming and they just let it happen. I don’t understand where the ‘law and order’ is. This is what white supremacy looks like.” Helm and other activists across the country who spent much of 2020 facing off with law enforcement officers while protesting police brutality and racial inequality watched with a mixture of outrage and validation as the president’s supporters stormed the Capitol building during sessions of the House and Senate. more...

By Nicole Chavez, CNN

(CNN) As hundreds of supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the US Capitol, breaking windows and wreaking havoc, politicians and activists were among the many who drew comparisons between the police response on Wednesday to that of last year's Black Lives Matter protests. The death of George Floyd -- a Black man who died after a Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee into Floyd's neck -- in May of 2020 prompted hundreds of protests nationwide over the summer. In many cities, including the nation's capital, police met protesters with tear gas, violence and arrests.

However, Wednesday's protests, many pointed out, were different. The Black Lives Matter Global Network, one of the most well-known organizations fighting for the well-being of Black people, described Wednesday's riots as a "coup." The group said it was "one more example of the hypocrisy in our country's law enforcement response to protest." "When Black people protest for our lives, we are all too often met by National Guard troops or police equipped with assault rifles, shields, tear gas and battle helmets," the group said in a statement. "Make no mistake, if the protesters were Black, we would have been tear gassed, battered, and perhaps shot." Here's a look at the protests from last year, compared to those on Wednesday. more...

*** White supremacist, white racist and white mobs are more of a threat to America than black extremists are. ***

Jana Winter, Marquise Francis and Sean D. Naylor

More than three years after the FBI came under fire for claiming “Black identity extremists” were a domestic terrorism threat, the bureau has issued a new terrorism guide that employs almost identical terminology, according to a copy of the document obtained by Yahoo News.

The FBI’s 2020 domestic terrorism reference guide on “Racially or Ethnically Motivated Violent Extremism” identifies two distinct sets of groups: those motivated by white supremacy and those who use “political reasons — including racism or injustice in American society” to justify violence. The examples the FBI gives for the latter group are all Black individuals or groups.

The FBI document claims that “many” of those Black racially motivated extremists “have targeted law enforcement and the US Government,” while a “small number” of them “incorporate sovereign citizen Moorish beliefs into their ideology, which involves a rejection of their US citizenship based on a combination of sovereign citizen ideology, religious beliefs, and black separatist rhetoric.” more...

To the editor: Let’s call this what it is — voter suppression. (“Mike Pence: Your loyalty should be to the Constitution, not Trump,” editorial, Dec. 31) The foundation for contesting the 2020 electoral college results, pure and simple, is voter suppression under the guise of voter fraud. And, whose votes are being suppressed? Can there be any doubt that it is those of the marginalized residents of large cities who have been impeded by racism and poverty in exercising the right to vote?

The entire compendium of challenges is directed at disenfranchising citizens more at risk, suffering greater income loss, and less able to reach polling places due to a pandemic. The disingenuous claim by far-right Republicans in Congress that they will object the electoral vote on Jan. 6 because of constitutional concerns is an insult to anyone who actually believes in the right of every citizen to have their vote count. As the announcement by Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) so clearly displays, we have moved to where political theater “trumps” any concept of justice. more...

“This weekend, we saw forces of hate seeking to use destruction and intimidation to tear us apart,” Mayor Muriel Bowser said.

WASHINGTON — Vandals tore down a Black Lives Matter banner and sign from two historic Black churches in downtown Washington and set the banner ablaze as nighttime clashes Saturday between pro-Donald Trump supporters and counter-demonstrators erupted into violence and arrests. Police on Sunday said they were investigating the incidents at the Asbury United Methodist Church and Metropolitan A.M.E. Church as potential hate crimes, which one religious leader likened to a cross burning.

“This weekend, we saw forces of hate seeking to use destruction and intimidation to tear us apart,” District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser said Sunday. “We will not let that happen.” A video posted on Twitter showed a group of men appearing to take down a BLM sign at the Metropolitan A.M.E. Church as others in the crowd shout, “Whose streets? Our streets.” Another video showed people pouring an accelerant on a BLM banner and setting it ablaze in the street as others cheered and cursed antifa. Someone walks up about a minute later and uses a fire extinguisher to put out the flames. more...

By Star-Ledger Editorial Board

Donald Trump appears closer to accepting that he can no longer go on pretending that he won the election, after three weeks of hearing judges cackle at his fatuous claims. But let’s not forget how he tried to use racist vote-purging to steal the election, and how members of his party remained mute during this effort to savage our democracy.

Trump’s campaign attempted to throw out millions of ballots that were cast in minority cities such as Detroit, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, and Atlanta. Never during this process did his legal legions produce evidence of widespread fraud or any impropriety in these places, and multiple courts rejected every challenge, usually with gusto. Yet he persisted, with racist strategies that perfectly encapsulate his political career.

In Wisconsin, Trump’s vote counters called for a recount of ballots in Milwaukee County — which is 58 percent Black and Latino — but not in the whiter counties, and called for the purge of hundreds of thousands of votes because they weren’t folded properly or the ink didn’t match. In Pennsylvania, the Trump campaign made false claims about widespread voter fraud in Philadelphia, and argued that thousands of ballots should be declared void because election observers were not allowed to watch the count — which they had to admit was wrong, after a judge pushed back.

In Michigan, Biden’s 332,000 margin in Wayne County — home to majority-Black Detroit — was essential to his 150,000-vote victory in a battleground state. That was too much for Rudy Giuliani, a master of accidental comedy, who said, “It changes the result of the election if you take out Wayne County.” Trump even called two Republican canvassing board members from Wayne County and pressured these local election officials to not certify the results. more...

Analysis by Ronald Brownstein

(CNN) President Donald Trump appears determined to end this stage of his political career the same way he began it: by promoting a racist conspiracy theory. Just as he began his long march to the White House by touting the racist "birther theory" that Barack Obama was not an American citizen, Trump and his allies are choregraphing his slow walk away from the Oval Office to a backbeat of accusations that the election was stolen from him in heavily African American cities such as Detroit, Philadelphia, Milwaukee and Atlanta. These charges of urban voting fraud -- the distant bookend to his birther slanders -- underscore how much Trump's political message revolves around convincing his coalition that an insidious combination of disdainful elites and dangerous minorities is unfairly taking away "our country," as he often calls America.

"This is in the continuum of the conversation about people losing their country," says Cornell Belcher, a Democratic pollster. "When talking about the election being stolen from them, what they are really saying is, again, those people are taking our country. When they say, 'Let's disqualify the votes in Milwaukee ... the votes in Philadelphia ... in Atlanta and Detroit,' they are all but saying it: The votes of 'those people' should not count." That Trump and his allies would return to this imagery so quickly after an election in which he made modest but meaningful gains with Black voters, and even larger advances with Hispanics in some areas, shows how difficult it will be for the GOP to disentangle itself from the President's racist messaging and expand beyond those beachheads in the minority community to truly build the "multiracial working class" coalition that some GOP thinkers yearn for.

"If you look at Blacks ideologically, politically, it's a stereotype that they are ultraliberal," says Katherine Tate, a Brown University political scientist who studies Black voting behavior. "Higher percentages of them should have been voting Republican a while ago." Had Republicans nominated another candidate, she says, who avoided Trump's open appeals to racial resentments but offered "the same political agenda, securing the border, skepticism about Covid, withdraw troops from overseas wars and ban immigration as best you can ... that candidate would have done better [with Black voters] than Donald Trump." more...

Stephen Henderson

My entire life, I’ve understood this nation’s painful and difficult, racist history of denying the vote to black people. First, because we were property and not humans. Then, because, despite a devastating war and a constitutional amendment, southern states invented new barriers to throw in our way and block us from the ballot. And just one generation before me, my father, born in Mississippi, returned home from his service in the Korean War only to be told he could not vote, because he was black.

But until Tuesday, I’ve never feared that my own vote may be discounted. I’ve never worried that when I pull the lever or put the paper ballot in the machine, that my vote might be disqualified for bogus reasons, or certainly not because I was Black. I have voted mostly in neighborhoods where I’ve lived nearly my whole life. I never took it for granted, given the history. But I never thought my own vote was in doubt.

But as the Wayne County Board of Canvassers met on Tuesday, and took an initial vote refusing to certify the ballots cast two weeks ago for president and the other offices, all of a sudden, I felt in my own gut, what Black Americans before me felt their whole lives. And when Monica Palmer, one of the Republican canvassers who did not want to certify the vote, said she would happily certify Wayne county ballots outside of Detroit but not those from the city, I felt the weight of all that history come crashing down on my soul, and in my heart. more...

Nancy Kaffer Detroit Free Press

Last night, they tried to steal my vote. Not some nebulous "they," like you hear about in online conspiracy plots. Two Michiganders, Monica Palmer and Bill Hartmann, Republican members of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers. They tried to steal my vote, Monica Palmer and Bill Hartmann, and they did it at a public meeting, with the support of the Michigan Republican Party, and too many GOP elected officials to list here — and, if you are a GOP elected official or operative or member or sympathizer who has not spoken out against this outrage done in your name, regardless of how you have shaken your head and tsk-tsked in private, I mean you.

This isn't something I ever imagined could happen, to me or to my fellow Detroit and Wayne County voters. That is my privilege — I'm well aware of, have written about, GOP voter suppression efforts nationally and in Michigan, aimed largely at Democratic strongholds, more precisely, at Black and brown communities. Of gerrymandering and of the insidious suggestion that there is something inherently wrong with Detroit, Detroiters and particularly Detroit ballots, which, in this case, means Black voters, and Black authority. I've written about the unsuccessful attempts by GOP vote challengers to intimidate poll workers and discount votes over election week at Detroit's TCF Center.

But it simply never seemed real to me that any of our votes, once cast, could be discounted. Last night, that changed. Last night, Palmer and Hartmann voted against certifying the vote in Wayne County, the state's most populous jurisdiction and one of its most Democratic, in an effort to do ... what, I'm not even sure. But in doing so, they made it abundantly clear that their intent was to disenfranchise voters in Detroit, which, in this case, means Black, not in Oakland County, where Joe Biden expanded his margin of victory, or Washtenaw County, which he won with a nearly identical share of the vote he garnered in Wayne. more...

By James Clayton

Facebook has taken down a string of racist and misogynistic posts, memes and comments about US Vice-President-Elect Kamala Harris. The social network removed the content after BBC News alerted it to three groups that regularly hosted hateful material on their pages. Facebook says it takes down 90% of hate speech before it is flagged. One media monitoring body described the pages as "dedicated to propagating racist and misogynistic smears".

'Low-hanging fruit'
However, despite the pages being places where hate-speech is regularly directed towards the vice-president-elect, Facebook said it would not take action on the groups themselves. Media Matters president Angelo Carusone said: "Facebook's removal of this content only after it's been flagged to them by the media confirms that the rules and guidelines they establish are hollow because they put little to no effort into detection and enforcement.

"We are talking about the lowest of low-hanging fruit from a detection perspective. "And yet, these escaped Facebook's notice until flagged by a third party." The pages included accusations Ms Harris was not a US citizen - because her mother was from India and her father from Jamaica. Other comments suggested she was not "black enough" for the Democrats. Another post said she should be "deported to India". And, in several memes, her name is mocked. more...

Johnny and Ann Parham have received a groundswell of support from residents across Fire Island but are still grappling with the incident and its aftermath.
By Rich Schapiro

Nearly 50 years ago, Johnny and Ann Parham bought a beach house near New York City to provide a summer escape for them and their infant son. It was a two-story, cedar-shingle cottage in the tiny town of Ocean Beach on Fire Island — a place known for its natural beauty, old-time feel and liberal spirit.

In the decades that followed, the Parhams enjoyed magical summers. They hosted large lobster dinners, helped to organize community events like the Golden Wagon Film Festival and spent long days at the beach with their son and, years later, their two grandsons. Even though they were the only Black homeowners in town, Johnny and Ann never felt even a tinge of racism in Ocean Beach. “This has always been a magnificent place for us,” Johnny, now 83, said. more...

Americans living in "Cancer Alley" suffer from high rates of cancer. In this six-part series, USA TODAY investigates how racism fuels COVID-19 deaths.
Rick Jervis and Alan Gomez, USA TODAY

RESERVE, La. – The doctor called on Mother’s Day with the news Karen Wilson had dreaded for weeks. Your brother won’t survive the night, he told her. Expect another call soon. Don’t be alone. Wilson’s younger brother, Jules Duhe, had been on a ventilator fighting COVID-19 since April. She hung up the phone and called her other brother, cried, showered and cried some more before finally falling asleep.  At 2:30 a.m., the phone call came, springing her awake. Duhe, 53, was dead. His magnetic smile, his love of food and travel, his spontaneous visits – all gone. Wilson sat up in bed, cold shivers running through her.

Just four years earlier, Wilson had buried her older brother, James Duhe, who died of liver cancer at age 61. The cancer had consumed his body in two months, stunning the family. In August, Wilson’s sister, Shirley Jacob, already suffering congestive heart failure and other ailments, also contracted COVID-19. She died within a week. Three funerals in four years. It was nearly more than the family could handle, even in a place like Reserve, where the risk of cancer is the highest in the nation, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

“A lot of people around here were dying of cancer,” Wilson said. “Now, they’re dying of COVID.” In the first half of the 20th century, Reserve was a mostly white small town on the east bank of the Mississippi River adjusting to life in post-slavery Louisiana. But in the 1960s, chemical plants arrived in force, drastically reshaping the region and transforming the racial makeup of the town. more...

In a six-part series, USA TODAY investigates how racist policies of the past and present have fueled high COVID-19 deaths in communities of color.
Alan Gomez, Wyatte Grantham-Philips, Trevor Hughes, Rick Jervis, Rebecca Plevin, Kameel Stanley, Dennis Wagner, Marco della Cava, Deborah Barfield Berry, and Mark Nichols, USA TODAY

A Louisiana pastor prays as his parishioners die, first from cancer and now from COVID-19. An Indigenous community in New Mexico lacks adequate health care as the death toll mounts. A sick hospital worker in New Jersey frets about infecting others in her heavily populated neighborhood. As the country cries out for a vaccine and a return to normal, lost in the policy debates is the reality that COVID-19 kills far more people of color than white Americans. This isn't a matter of coincidence, poor choices or bad luck — it's by design. A team of USA TODAY reporters explored how the policies of the past and present have made Black, Asian, Hispanic and Indigenous Americans prime targets for COVID-19. They found:

America's education and economic systems are still unequal, disproportionately leaving people of color out of higher-wage jobs. When COVID-19 struck, more people of color were serving as essential workers directly in the path of the virus. Decades of discrimination in housing corralled people of color into tightly packed neighborhoods, fueling the virus' spread. Those neighborhoods tend to lie in "food deserts," leading to diabetes, obesity and heart disease that make people more likely to die from the virus. Environmental policies designed by white power brokers at the expense of the poor has poisoned the air they breathe, fueling cancers and leaving communities weakened in the path of the virus. A lack of federal funding left the most vulnerable communities cut off from healthcare at the most critical moment.

Put simply, America's history of racism was itself a preexisting condition. more...

Michelle Obama has delivered a blistering appraisal of President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign on behalf of Joe Biden.
Jamie Ross

Michelle Obama has delivered a devastating condemnation of President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign, saying plainly: “What the president is doing is, once again, patently false, it’s morally wrong, and, yes, it is racist. But that doesn’t mean it won’t work.”

The former first lady delivered the remarkably blunt attack via Joe Biden’s YouTube page. In a video titled “Michelle Obama’s Closing Argument,” she took Trump’s campaign apart for its reliance on attacking minorities, stoking fear, and spreading lies to exploit voters’ concerns about the perilous state of the economy and the raging COVD-19 pandemic.

“The president and his allies are trying to tap into that frustration, and distract from his breathtaking failures, by giving folks someone to blame other than them,” Obama told viewers. “They’re stoking fears about Black and brown Americans, lying about how minorities will destroy the suburbs, and whipping up violence and intimidation.” more...

By Katherine Fung

A now-deleted video from 2017 showed Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes on an anti-Semitic rant, in which he defended Holocaust deniers and perpetuated racist stereotypes. In the video titled "10 things I hate about the Jews," McInnes said Jews have a "whiny paranoid fear of Nazis" and that Israelis don't support President Donald Trump because they're "scared of Christians and Trump, who are their biggest allies."

In another video posted online after a trip to Israel with Rebel Media, a far-right Canadian website where McInnes used to be a star contributor, the Proud Boys leader said hearing from his Israeli hosts was making him anti-Semitic. "That's having the reverse effect on me: I'm becoming anti-Semitic," McInnes said.

"I felt myself defending the super far-right Nazis just because I was sick of so much brainwashing and I felt like going, 'Well, they never said it didn't happen. What they're saying is it was much less than six million and that they starved to death and weren't gassed, that they didn't have supplies,'" he added. More...

*** Trump and the GOP want to rewrite history and downplay slavery and the treatment of Black Americans at the hands of White Americans. They stole our history when they took us from our homes and sold us into slavery, they beat us and did not allow us to read or write. Many black people have been killed simply for looking at a white person. Now they are trying to deny what was done to Black Americans by rewriting the history of all that has been done to Black Americans. ***

Trump railed against the 1619 Project directed by The New York Times Magazine shortly after Education Secretary Betsy DeVos praised an alternative take on Black American history, the "1776 Unites Curriculum," promoted by notable conservatives.

President Donald Trump said he will create a commission to promote “patriotic education” and decried the “twisted web of lies” being taught in schools and the narratives in universities that “America is a wicked and racist nation.” Speaking at the White House Conference on American History on Thursday, Trump railed against "critical race theory" and the 1619 Project directed by The New York Times Magazine, calling the project "totally discredited." The 1619 Project is named after the year when the first slaves arrived in Virginia. His remarks came shortly after Education Secretary Betsy DeVos at another venue praised an alternative take on Black American history, the "1776 Unites Curriculum," promoted by notable conservatives. British colonies signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776.

Trump said his “1776 Commission," established by executive order, will encourage educators to teach children about “the miracle of American history” and make plans to honor the 250th anniversary of America’s founding. Trump also spoke about a grant awarded earlier this year by the National Endowment for the Humanities to support the development of a “pro-American curriculum that celebrates the truth about our nation’s great history.” "Critical race theory, the 1619 project, and the crusade against American history is toxic propaganda, ideological poison that if not removed will dissolve the civic bonds that tie us together," he said. "It will destroy our country. That is why I recently banned trainings in this prejudiced ideology from the federal government and banned it in the strongest manner possible." More...

Former Trump fixer says now-president disliked Barack Obama just because of his skin colour
John T. Bennett - independent

Michael Cohen, Donald Trump's former fixer and personal attorney, claims his former client once said "only the blacks" could live in difficult conditions as the duo drove through a predominantly black neighborhood in Chicago. "Only the Blacks could live this way," Mr Cohen told NBC News in an interview to air on Tuesday to coincide with the release of his new tell-all book. "I, of course, said to him, 'Well that's not really true,'" Mr Cohen claimed. "He goes, 'No, only the Blacks could live this way.'"

Mr Cohen also contended to NBC that Mr Trump's longtime disdain for former President Barack Obama stems from the 44th commander in chief being both black and the country's first black president. Mr Trump's former fixer describes his then boss as a racist who has become the leader of a cult. He also suggests in the interview that the president should step down before he is shamed when hit with possible criminal charges. More...

By Ashitha Nagesh BBC News

Fred Armisen declared this - in song form - in the opening scene of the sketch comedy show Portlandia in January 2011. The show satirised the city on the US West Coast for its "hipster" culture - a city that gave unicyclists the right of way, where people brewed kombucha before it became mainstream, and whose slogan was literally "Keep Portland Weird". Four years later, with the city in the throes of rapid gentrification, beloved Portland magazine Willamette Week declared to its readers that this moment in 2011 was officially the day "Old Portland", the one that was fun, bohemian and "weird", died.

If the "Old Portland" was seen as a liberal utopia, then the "New Portland", in 2020, is characterised by civil rights protests, violent clashes between far-right and anti-fascist groups, and images of federal agents indiscriminately bundling protesters into unmarked vehicles. While Old Portlanders may have discussed their vegan cheese side-businesses, New Portlanders bond over how many times they've been tear-gassed. But this change wasn't as much of a leap as it may seem on the surface.

While the Portlandia stereotype endured for almost a decade, the reality for Portlanders themselves was very different. In the 2010s, wealthy outsiders relocated themselves and their businesses to the city in the hopes of capitalising on its "cool", while East Coast publications repeated the show's joke about Portland being "a retirement community for the young". The city's residents were frequently caricatured as the kind of people who use "cacao" as a safe word.

A city 'built on white supremacy'
Portland is often called the whitest big city in the US - about 72% of its population is non-Latino white, while only about 6.6% of the population is black (compared to 12.7% of the overall US population). This is something black history and urban development scholars say is by design, not happenstance. Prof Shirley Jackson, a Black Studies professor at Portland State University, said that it was important to remember that Oregon was founded on the basis of "excluding certain populations, namely African-Americans".

Although the provisional government of the territory banned slavery in 1844, it also required all African-Americans to leave Oregon - any black person who stayed would be publicly flogged every six months until they left. Five years later, in 1849, another law was passed forbidding free African-Americans from entering the territory, and in 1857 Oregon adopted a state constitution banning black people from entering, living or owning property in the state. In 1859, when Oregon joined the union ahead of the civil war, it was the only state to explicitly forbid black people from living within its borders.

Going into the 20th Century, the deadly, white supremacist Ku Klux Klan had increasing influence in the state. In one particularly telling photo, published by a local newspaper in 1921 and preserved by the Oregon History Project, two representatives of the KKK's Oregon chapter, wearing hoods and robes, posed with some of the state's most powerful officials - including the police chief and the district attorney.

A respected, combat-tested Black colonel has been passed over three times for promotion to brigadier general. What does his fate say about the Corps?
By Helene Cooper

WASHINGTON — All things being equal, Col. Anthony Henderson has the military background that the Marine Corps says it prizes in a general: multiple combat tours, leadership experience and the respect of those he commanded and most who commanded him. Yet three times he has been passed over for brigadier general, a prominent one-star rank that would put Colonel Henderson on the path to the top tier of Marine Corps leadership. Last year, the Navy secretary, Richard V. Spencer, even added a handwritten recommendation to Colonel Henderson’s candidacy: “Eminently qualified Marine we need now as BG,” he wrote.

But never in its history has the Marine Corps had anyone other than a white man in its most senior leadership posts. Colonel Henderson is Black. “Tony Henderson has done everything you could do in the Marines except get a hand salute from Jesus Christ himself,” said Milton D. Whitfield Sr., a former Marine gunnery sergeant who served for 21 years. Proud and fierce in their identity, the Marines have a singular race problem that critics say is rooted in decades of resistance to change. As the nation reels this summer from protests challenging centuries-long perceptions of race, the Marines — who have long cultivated a reputation as the United States’ strongest fighting force — remain an institution where a handful of white men rule over 185,000 white, African-American, Hispanic and Asian men and women. “It took an act of Congress last year to get them to integrate by gender at the platoon level,” said Representative Anthony G. Brown, Democrat of Maryland and a former Army helicopter pilot. “And now they continue to hold onto that 1950s vision of who Marines are.”

Mark Johnson, Annysa Johnson, Talis Shelbourne - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Two videos. Two men. Two police responses on the streets of Kenosha. In the first video, taken Sunday afternoon, a Kenosha police officer fires seven shots at point blank range from behind 29-year-old Jacob Blake, a Black man, as Blake attempts to enter a gray SUV. A woman witnessing the scene can be heard screaming over and over: "Don't you do it! Don't you do it!" Police have said Blake had a knife though it cannot be seen in the video. Blake remained at Froedtert Hospital as of Friday, paralyzed from the waist down, according to a lawyer for his family.

In the second video, taken Tuesday night, Kyle Rittenhouse, a white 17-year-old, approaches officers shouldering an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle after allegedly shooting three people. Rittenhouse raises his arms in a gesture that appears to be surrendering, or possibly signaling that his hands are not on his weapon. Witnesses shout: "Hey, he just shot them! Hey, dude right here just shot them!"

Four armored vehicles, lights flashing, pass Rittenhouse, and several police cruisers can be seen nearby. No one stops Rittenhouse. He was charged Thursday with intentional and reckless homicide. The differences between the two videos have prompted a fierce national debate over race and justice. To some, the videos show clear racism. In the Blake video, less than three minutes elapse from the time police arrive on the scene to the moment Officer Rusten Sheskey shoots Blake. Those viewers say police made an inadequate effort to de-escalate the conflict or settle it by other means.

Lulu Garcia-Navarro

Stephen Miller is the architect of Donald Trump's extreme policies on immigration. And leaked emails have shown him pushing white-power ideology cloaked in pseudo-science. So how did an affluent kid from the California suburbs — who liked mobster movies and wore gold chains — get on the path that led him to where he is now? Jean Guerrero's new book Hatemonger: Stephen Miller, Donald Trump, and the White Nationalist Agenda follows Miller through a conservative media landscape where key figures — including right-wing radio talk-show host Larry Elder; David Horowitz, who founded the David Horowitz Freedom Center; and former Breitbart chief Steve Bannon — propelled the rise of a man who now influences who gets to be an American. Guerrero, who is a reporter for NPR member station KPBS, says she decided to write the book because she "wanted to understand what was motivating the man who is crafting these policies whose consequences I had been covering from the busiest border crossing in the country." And Stephen Miller was a big part of that. Stephen Miller grew up in Southern California during the 90s — at the same time Guerrero was growing up just a couple hours south of where he lived.

Dion Rabouin

For years, there's been a popular notion — even among some Black people — that the wealth difference between white and Black Americans could be closed if Black folks collectively "got it together."

Reality check: The wealth gap — which could more accurately be described as a wealth chasm because of just how large it is —would not be closed by Black Americans doing any of the things that have been proposed, or all of them.

Why it matters: The argument goes that Black Americans should focus more on education, family structure and home ownership, put money in Black-owned banks, start more Black-owned businesses, increase savings and investment and generally take personal responsibility the way other "model minorities" have and that would close the wealth gap.

The fact of the matter — evidenced by decades of reporting from the Federal Reserve System, U.S. Department of Labor, Department of Commerce and various academic and professional studies — is that the wealth gap is the product of centuries of inequality and racism that has grown too large to be impacted significantly by individual actions, achievements or choices.

Here are some of the most popular myths about the racial wealth gap's causes and solutions — and why each falls apart with a closer look.

By Connor Towne O’Neill

Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest died in 1877, yet the slave trader and Klan leader still haunts the American landscape. There’s a statue of him overlooking a cemetery in Rome, Ga., and a bust surveying the Tennessee state capitol. A county in Mississippi, a city in Arkansas and a state park in Tennessee all bear his name, along with many streets and schools and buildings. There are more monuments to Forrest in his home state of Tennessee than all three of the state’s presidents—Andrew Jackson, Andrew Johnson and James Polk—combined. And Monday, on what would be Forrest’s 199th birthday, Tennessee will observe Nathan Bedford Forrest day. For the last five years, I’ve been chasing Forrest’s memory across the country, trying to figure out what it means for Americans to still honor him in 2020. That journey started back in 2015, when President Obama came to Selma, Ala., to mark the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday, the day Alabama police officers beat, whipped and tear-gassed hundreds of black demonstrators on Selma’s Edmund Pettus Bridge. That morning, the usually sleepy city was constricted with cars. I was in Selma to report on the anniversary, when a search for free parking brought me to Old Live Oak Cemetery, just a few blocks from the bridge. Old Live Oak is one of those cemeteries that is so expansive it has its own system of roads. It’s also a bingo board of Old South cliches. The cemetery is shaded by centuries-old live oaks and magnolias bearded by Spanish moss, and dappled sunlight spilled across the mausoleums. And all around there were signs to alert visitors that Confederate Memorial Circle was closed for maintenance: ​Do Not Trespass.​

Heard on All Things Considered
Tom Gjelten

When a young Southern Baptist pastor named Alan Cross arrived in Montgomery, Ala., in January 2000, he knew it was where the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. had his first church and where Rosa Parks helped launched the famous bus boycott, but he didn't know some other details of the city's role in civil rights history. The more he learned, the more troubled he became by one event in particular: the savage attack in May 1961 on a busload of Black and white Freedom Riders who had traveled defiantly together to Montgomery in a challenge to segregation. Over the next 15 years, Cross, who is white, would regularly take people to the old Greyhound depot in Montgomery to highlight what happened that spring day. "They pull in right here, on the side," Cross said, standing in front of the depot. "And it was quiet when they got here. But then once they start getting off the bus, around 500 people come out – men, women and children. Men were holding the Freedom Riders back, and the women were hitting them with their purses and holding their children up to claw their faces." Some of the men carried lead pipes and baseball bats. Two of the Freedom Riders, the civil rights activist John Lewis and a white ally, James Zwerg, were beaten unconscious. Though he had grown up in Mississippi and was familiar with the history of racial conflict in the South, Cross was horrified by the story of the 1961 attack on the Freedom Riders. Montgomery was known as a city of churches. Fresh out of seminary, Cross had come there to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. "Why didn't white Christians show up?" he recalled wondering.

Unfair property assessments lead to widespread overtaxation of black Americans’ homes
By Andrew Van Dam

State by state, neighborhood by neighborhood, black families pay 13 percent more in property taxes each year than a white family would in the same situation, a massive new data analysis shows. Black-owned homes are consistently assessed at higher values, relative to their actual sale price, than white homes, according to a new working paper by economists Troup Howard of the University of Utah and Carlos Avenancio-León of Indiana University. African Americans have long said they bear a disproportionate burden for taxes that support local police, schools and parks, but nationwide measures of this type of systemic racism are hard to come by. To expose the structural and historical factors behind these discriminatory property tax assessments, the economists analyzed more than a decade of tax assessment and sales data for 118 million homes throughout the country.

By Scottie Andrew and Harmeet Kaur, CNN

(CNN) The words and phrases permeate nearly every aspect of our society. "Master bedrooms" in our homes. "Blacklists" and "whitelists" in computing. The idiom "sold down the river" in our everyday speech. Many are so entrenched that Americans don't think twice about using them. But some of these terms are directly rooted in the nation's history with chattel slavery. Others now evoke racist notions about Black people. "Words like 'slave' and' master' are so folded into our vocabulary and almost unconsciously speak to the history of racial slavery and racism in the US," says Elizabeth Pryor, an associate professor of history at Smith College. But America's reckoning with systemic racism is now forcing a more critical look at the language we use. And while the offensive nature of many of these words and phrases has long been documented, some institutions are only now beginning to drop them from the lexicon. Pryor suggests people think about the context certain words can carry and how using them could alienate others. "Language works best when it brings as many people into communication with each other," she says. "If we know, by using certain language, we're disinviting certain people from that conversation, language isn't doing its job."
Here are some familiar words and phrases you might consider dropping from your vocabulary.

The US capital is adorned with monuments to American history, but as schools change names and statues are toppled, legacies are under scrutiny
David Smith in Washington

Gordon J Davis’s first encounter with the political writings of Woodrow Wilson was as a student at Columbia University. “I’m reading this stuff and saying: ‘That’s a great man,’ and mentioned it to my father who said: ‘Well, he wasn’t such a great man to us,’” recalls the 78-year-old Davis, who is a senior lawyer in New York. “He didn’t say much more about it but then, all these years later, you find out how totally corrupt and racist he was.” There is no shortage of tributes to Wilson in Washington – a leading thinktank, a high school, a house museum – and he is the only US president buried in the nation’s capital. But in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd, Black Lives Matter protests and a mass awakening to systemic racism, his legacy of white supremacy is under scrutiny as never before. In the US capital, adorned with its many monuments to American history, he is also far from alone. The same revisionism is also happening for numerous other presidents whose names and likenesses adorn the 230-year-old city. From grand boulevards and soaring memorials to tree-lined suburbs and sports stadiums, nowhere does America’s current reckoning with its racist past resonate more profoundly than in a place named after George Washington, a founding father who owned slaves. For Davis, it is very personal. His grandfather, John Davis, was a high achieving African American student who went on to a job at the Government Printing Office, rose to manage an office of white staff and earned enough money to own a home in Washington and farm in Virginia.

By Washington Post Staff

The video of George Floyd’s death at the hands of police in Minneapolis triggered protests around the world. It brought renewed attention to the high-profile deaths of black Americans during the past decade and ongoing concerns about systemic racism in the criminal justice system. The police response in some cities has further fueled protesters, leading to calls to defund the police. In Washington, D.C., President Trump’s use of the military and federal police to seize control of parts of the city — including dispersing peaceful protesters in Lafayette Square near the White House — has drawn heavy criticism from the public and top military figures. Floyd’s killing, in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, which has disproportionately infected and killed black people, has exposed long-standing racial inequities in every aspect of American life and forced a deep reckoning across society. Corporations are pledging to combat systemic racism in their companies. Some cities are considering proposals to eliminate police or reduce funds to police departments. And activists have renewed calls to remove Confederate monuments, with some even toppling the statues themselves. To help provide context to the issues driving the debate among people attending marches and rallies or those having more quiet conversations with their families and friends, we’ve compiled deeply reported stories, videos, photo essays, audio and graphics on black history, progress, inequality and injustice.

The growing pattern comes as Trump drops in national polls.
By Terrance Smith and Will Steakin

Amid historic nationwide protests calling for racial justice, President Donald Trump retweeted a video last Sunday showing a supporter yelling "white power!" Then, more than three hours and thousands of views later, the tweet was deleted and the White House issued a statement claiming the president "did not hear" what the supporter could clearly be heard saying. As startling as it was, it was only the latest instance of the president using his vast social media presence to magnify racist messaging to a segment of his political base, ahead of the November election. One critic says it's part of a growing pattern on the part of Trump, his campaign and allies to push racially inflammatory language and then, after widespread outrage, claim ignorance. Leah Wright Rigueur, professor of public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School and author of "The Loneliness of the Black Republican," calls that pattern "convenient." "If it was actual ignorance, we wouldn't see this happening repeatedly and we also wouldn't see the same kind of targeted type of retweets, tweeting commentary, etc. So, it just seems like a very convenient shield as defense to use, when once again they find themselves in the position that they're often in," Rigueur told ABC News.

Devon Link - USA TODAY

The claim: The Democratic Party started the Civil War to preserve slavery and later the KKK. As America marks a month of protests against systemic racism and many people draw comparisons between current events and the Civil Rights Movement, an oversimplified trope about the Democratic Party’s racist past has been resurrected online. “Friendly reminder that if you support the Democrat Party, you support the party that founded the KKK and start a civil war to keep their slaves," claims an image of a tweet Instagram user @snowflake.tears shared June 19. Many Instagram users read between the lines for the tweet’s implication about the modern Democratic and Republican parties. Some argued this past action discredited current liberal policies, while others said it did not matter.

'I believe in white supremacy until the blacks are educated to a point of responsibility,' late actor said in 1971 interview
By John T Bennett - Washington Bureau Chief

Donald Trump is accusing some Democratic officials of "incredible stupidity" for calling for actor John Wayne's name to be removed from an airport in California even after an interview resurfaced of "The Duke" embracing white supremacy. John Wayne Airport in southern California serves Orange County and Los Angeles. Mr Trump in January 2016, as a presidential candidate, held a special event at the John Wayne Birthplace Museum in Winterset, Iowa. He spoke at a lectern with a wax statue of the late actor behind him. After being introduced by Wayne's daughter, the GOP candidate called himself a "longtime fan" of the star of many hit Western films. "We love John Wayne," Mr Trump said that day. "We love John Wayne and we love his family equally, right? Equally." But amid ongoing protests and other social changes following the death of George Floyd, a black man, under the knee of a white police officer in Minneapolis, Mr Trump's full embrace of Wayne could give him yet another political headache. That's because of a 1971 interview the actor conducted with Playboy magazine. "With a lot of blacks, there's quite a bit of resentment along with their dissent, and possibly rightfully so. But we can't all of a sudden get down on our knees and turn everything over to the leadership of the blacks," Mr Wayne said. "I believe in white supremacy until the blacks are educated to a point of responsibility. I don't believe in giving authority and positions of leadership and judgment to irresponsible people." "I don't feel guilty about the fact that five or 10 generations ago these people were slaves. Now, I'm not condoning slavery. It's just a fact of life, like the kid who gets infantile paralysis and has to wear braces so he can't play football with the rest of us," he added. "I will say this, though: I think any black who can compete with a white today can get a better break than a white man. I wish they'd tell me where in the world they have it better than right here in America."

Guardian News
Mississippi lawmakers have voted to retire the state flag, the last to feature the Confederate battle emblem. The House and Senate voted to remove the current flag, while a commission will design its replacement.

It’s always been racist, partisan, and nonsensical.
By Joshua Keating

On Friday, the House of Representatives passed legislation that would make the District of Columbia the 51st state. While the bill is unlikely to survive the Republican-controlled Senate—or President Donald Trump’s veto pen—it’s still a milestone in the long battle for full political representation for the residents of the nation’s capital city. D.C. residents have only had the right to vote for president since the passage of the 23rd Amendment in 1961, and to elect their own mayor and city council since 1973. Still, today, D.C. has no voting representatives in Congress, laws passed by the district government can be overturned by Congress, and it has no control over most local prosecutions or—as recent events painfully showed—its own National Guard. And a dog whistle–laden speech on Thursday by Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton showed that some national attitudes toward Washington haven’t changed much since the civil rights era. D.C. statehood would likely result in two more Democratic senators, but the GOP tends to define its opposition to the idea as being a matter of hewing to the Constitution, which created a federal district as the seat of government. Not every Republican argument has feinted such high-mindedness, however. In his speech, Cotton questioned whether current Mayor Muriel Bowser or controversial former Mayor Marion Barry—both Black—could be trusted with the powers of a governor. And he contrasted D.C. with Wyoming, noting that while the Western state has a smaller population, it is a “well-rounded working-class state.” Shortly before the vote, I called veteran D.C. reporter Tom Sherwood to discuss the state of statehood. Sherwood has covered local politics in D.C. for a number of outlets since the mid-1970s and co-authored the definitive history of the Barry years, Dream City: Race, Power, and the Decline of Washington, D.C. Today, he’s a columnist for Washington City Paper and co-host of the weekly Politics Hour on WAMU. Our conversation has been edited for length and clarity.

Guardian News

Robin DiAngelo’s bestselling book White Fragility has provoked an uncomfortable but vital conversation about what it means to be white. As protests organised by the Black Lives Matter movement continue around the world, she explains why white people should stop avoiding conversations about race because of their own discomfort, and how 'white fragility' plays a key role in upholding systemic racism.

By Washington Post Staff

The video of George Floyd’s death at the hands of a police officer in Minneapolis triggered protests around the world. It brought renewed attention to the high-profile deaths of black Americans during the past decade and ongoing concerns about systemic racism in the criminal justice system. The police response in some cities has further fueled protesters, leading to calls to defund the police. In Washington D.C., President Trump’s use of the military and federal police to seize control of parts of the city — including dispersing peaceful protesters in Lafayette Square near the White House — has drawn heavy criticism from the public and top military figures. Floyd’s killing, in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic that has disproportionately infected and killed black people, has exposed long-standing racial inequities in every aspect of American life and forced a deep reckoning across society. Corporations are pledging to combat systemic racism in their companies. Some cities are considering proposals to eliminate police or reduce funds to police departments. And activists have renewed calls to remove Confederate monuments, with some even toppling the statues themselves. To help provide context to the issues driving the debate among people attending marches and rallies or those having more quiet conversations with their families and friends, we’ve compiled deeply reported stories, videos, photo essays, audio and graphics on black history, progress, inequality and injustice.

The wave of violence a century ago against Black Americans echoes how today, "people feel they have little to lose, and so much at stake," one historian said.
By Erik Ortiz

Racial strife flaring across the United States. Black Americans standing up to societal structures in unpredictable ways. And people enduring months of a deadly pandemic infecting millions worldwide, shuttering businesses and heightening fears of a lengthy economic downturn. That was 1919, during what would later be coined the "Red Summer," when communities across America were reeling from white mobs inciting brutality against Black people and cities were still wrestling with a third wave of the so-called Spanish flu pandemic that emerged the previous year. The story line parallels with today: violence against Black people, leading to mass demonstrations and calls to end systemic racism, converging with a months-long coronavirus pandemic. Such commonality is not lost on historians and scholars of African American history.

Protesters topple Confederate statues during Juneteenth rallies
Demonstrations held across US against backdrop of protests fuelled by deaths of African Americans at hands of police.

Protesters brought down Confederate statues as anti-racism rallies were held across the United States to mark the Juneteenth holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the country. Demonstrations were held in Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and Washington on Friday against a backdrop of weeks of protests fuelled by the deaths of African Americans at the hands of police. In a stark illustration of the tensions roiling the nation, President Donald Trump issued a solemn White House statement commemorating Juneteenth, while also threatening protesters on Twitter ahead of his controversial rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma on Saturday. Juneteenth marks the day - June 19, 1865 - when a Union general arrived in Galveston, Texas and informed slaves that they were free, two months after the Civil War had ended and two and a half years after President Abraham Lincoln had issued the Emancipation Proclamation.

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