Racism in America
Learn more about racism in America, the events, laws and how racism helped shape America.
Racism in the United States has been widespread since the colonial era. Legally or socially sanctioned privileges and rights were given to white Americans but denied to all other races. The KKK, white mobs and other white supremacist groups have killed more Americans than terrorist have. The KKK may have given up their sheets for suites and changed their name to the alt-right or other names to hide who they are, but at their core, they are white people who hate black people, people whose skin is not white and Jews. White Racist Have Been Killing and Terrorizing Black People for Over 150 Years; if black lives mattered in America, the KKK and other white supremacist groups would be branded as the domestic terrorist groups they are and government resources would be devoted to combating them.
Trump claims to be the least racist person in the world, he is not. He is one of the most racist person in the world. He a known a liar who lies about his lies so you cannot believe anything he says. If Trump mouth is open, it will probably be a lie. Over the years, repeatedly Trump has shown us he is trifling; he is a bully, a bigot, a racist and a white supremacist. Therefore, whom are you going to believe Trump a known lair or the facts? Trump is a trifling weak-minded bully who bullies people, but wines if somebody says something about him or says something he does like. Trump does not punch back, like a child he lashes out if somebody says something bad about him or hurt feeling. Below you will find examples of how petty Trump is that he is a bully, a bigot and a white supremacist.
Jerry Falwell Jr. is pushing greed, racism, sexism and homophobia instead of the word of the god. God warns us of false prophets and those who use his name to promote their ideas and enrich themselves, they are a danger to all of us, and they are not doing the work of the lord.
*** 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.By JUAN PEREZ JR.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...
Trump said 'only blacks could live this way' about Chicago and hates Obama because he's Black, Michael Cohen claimsFormer Trump fixer says now-president disliked Barack Obama just because of his skin colourJohn T. Bennett - independentMichael 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 NewsFred 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 CooperWASHINGTON — 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.”
Juxtaposition of two videos from Kenosha: A Black man gets shot seven times from behind; a white teen with a gun walks past policeMark Johnson, Annysa Johnson, Talis Shelbourne - Milwaukee Journal SentinelTwo 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-NavarroStephen 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 RabouinFor 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.
The Fight Over Monuments of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest Holds a Lesson About Whiteness in AmericaBy Connor Towne O’NeillConfederate 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 ConsideredTom GjeltenWhen 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’ homesBy Andrew Van DamState 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 scrutinyDavid Smith in WashingtonGordon 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 StaffThe 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 SteakinAmid 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 TODAYThe 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.
Trump accuses California Democrats of 'incredible stupidity' in row over John Wayne's white supremacy remarks'I believe in white supremacy until the blacks are educated to a point of responsibility,' late actor said in 1971 interviewBy John T Bennett - Washington Bureau ChiefDonald 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 NewsMississippi 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 KeatingOn 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 NewsRobin 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 StaffThe 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 OrtizRacial 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.
As racism protests roil US, Florida revisits dark past
On Election Day a 100 years ago, a white mob killed as many as 60 people after a Black man went to the polls to vote.
On Election Day a century ago, a white mob swept through a tiny Florida citrus town after a Black man showed up at the polls to vote. Over two days of terror, the mob set fire to homes and drove Black residents from their community. It was one of the bloodiest days in American political history, with the number of deaths remaining in question - some estimates as high as 60. That dark episode, until recently largely forgotten, came to be known as the 1920 Ocoee Election Day Riots. Others remember it as a massacre, one of the many acts of racial violence perpetrated against Black citizens over the decades. As the centennial approaches, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has before him a bill that would require schools to do more to highlight the day in their history classes. If signed by the governor, it would order state officials to identify parks, buildings and other facilities that could be renamed in honour of those who died because of the racial hatred that welled up on that day in the tiny community west of Orlando.
The Ocoee massacre was a white mob attack on African-American residents in northern Ocoee, Florida, which occurred on November 2, 1920, the day of the U.S. presidential election. The town is in Orange County near Orlando. As many as 60 or 70 African Americans may have been killed during the riot, and most African-American-owned buildings and residences in northern Ocoee were burned to the ground. Other African Americans living in southern Ocoee were later killed or driven out on threat of more violence. Ocoee essentially became an all-white town. The riot has been described as the "single bloodiest day in modern American political history". The attack started after efforts to suppress black voting. In Ocoee and across the state, various black organizations had been conducting voter registration drives for a year. Blacks had essentially been disfranchised in Florida since the turn of the 19th century. Mose Norman, a prosperous African-American farmer, tried to vote but was turned away twice on Election Day. Norman was among those working on the voter drive. A white mob surrounded the home of Julius "July" Perry, where Norman was thought to have taken refuge. After Perry drove away the white mob with gunshots, killing two men and wounding one who tried to break into his house, the mob called for reinforcements from Orlando and Orange County. The whites laid waste to the African-American community in northern Ocoee and eventually killed Perry. They took his body to Orlando and hanged it from a lightpost to intimidate other blacks. Norman escaped, never to be found. Hundreds of other African Americans fled the town, leaving behind their homes and possessions.
A guide to the city’s fraught past as Trump holds a rally there the day after JuneteenthBy DeNeen L. BrownThe city where President Trump will hold his first political rally in months sits on the banks of the muddy Arkansas River on land where the Cherokee, Creek and Osage nations once reigned. Tulsa has a fraught racial history that begins with the Trail of Tears in the 19th century and ends with the city’s plan to dig for possible mass graves from a 1921 race massacre. Trump’s appearance on the day after Juneteenth — when black America celebrates the end of slavery — is a reminder of that pain. Here’s a timeline of Tulsa’s past:1830 — The Indian Removal Act is signed by President Andrew Jackson, pushing 60,000 Native Americans, including the Cherokee, Creek, Seminole, Choctaw, and Chickasaw, off their lands in the southeast United States. The Native Americans are forced by federal troops to walk hundreds of miles to what is now Oklahoma. Historians say more than 15,000 died of exposure, starvation and exhaustion on what is known as the Trail of Tears.
By Annalisa MerelliOvernight on May 31 and June 1, 1921, in a period of just about 12 hours, the single largest incident of racial violence in American history occurred in the Greenwood district of Tulsa, Oklahoma. “More than a thousand African American homes and businesses were looted and burned to the ground; you had a thriving community occupying more than 35 square blocks in Tulsa that was totally destroyed,” Scott Ellsworth, the author of Death in a Promised Land: The Tulsa Race Riot of 1921, told Quartz. “It looked like Hiroshima or Nagasaki afterwards.” In a recently discovered account of the massacre, Buck Colbert Franklin, then a lawyer in Greenwood, paints a harrowing picture. “I could see planes circling in mid-air. They grew in number and hummed, darted and dipped low. I could hear something like hail falling upon the top of my office building,” he wrote. “Down East Archer, I saw the old Mid-Way hotel on fire, burning from its top, and then another and another and another building began to burn from their top.” The destruction of Greenwood began as an attempted lynching of a Black teenager and turned into full-blown destruction perpetrated by a white mob. As many as 300 people were killed, more than 10,000 remained homeless, and according to the Tulsa Race Riot Report of 2001, an estimated $1,470,711 was incurred in damage—equal to about $20 million today.
By Abby Phillip and Kate Sullivan, CNNTulsa, Oklahoma (CNN) The beating heart of Tulsa, Oklahoma's Greenwood District is Vernon A.M.E. Church. Vernon sits atop the only structure still standing after the 1921 race massacre left the once-prosperous black district burned to the ground and hundreds if not thousands of its residents homeless or dead. The weight of that legacy weighs heavily on Vernon A.M.E. always -- but especially in recent weeks, as the city marked 99 years since the massacre, an anniversary that came at a time of protests and upheaval nationwide over the killing of George Floyd in police custody. As the city prepared to mark the anniversary of the massacre at the end of May, protesters in Tulsa took to the streets against racism and police brutality. Some businesses were damaged and fires were set. And now, the community is bracing itself again, as President Donald Trump is expected to bring thousands of his supporters to the city for the first campaign rally since March.
Civil War 2.0? The “Boogaloo” Movement Is A Wake-Up Call For America
By Seth Cohen
On Tuesday, Air Force Staff Sergeant Steven Carrillo, already in custody for the alleged ambush, murder and attempted murder of sheriff’s deputies in Santa Cruz, was charged with murdering a federal security officer outside the U.S. courthouse in Oakland during a protest last month. Yet as troubling as the alleged killings themselves are, it is the affiliation of the suspect to the boogaloo movement, a collection of right-wing anti-government activists, that is even more worrisome. In Tuesday’s announcement, federal prosecutors charged Carrillo with the murder of Federal Protective Service officer David Patrick Underwood as well as other federal charges. Underwood was killed and his partner was wounded on the night of May 29 while they guarded a federal building in Oakland during a nearby protest over the death of George Floyd. When announcing the charges on Tuesday, which could be punishable by death, federal authorities alleged that Carrillo developed the plan to ambush the murdered officer during an online chat among right-wing extremist activists. On Tuesday, Air Force Staff Sergeant Steven Carrillo, already in custody for the alleged ambush, murder and attempted murder of sheriff’s deputies in Santa Cruz, was charged with murdering a federal security officer outside the U.S. courthouse in Oakland during a protest last month. Yet as troubling as the alleged killings themselves are, it is the affiliation of the suspect to the boogaloo movement, a collection of right-wing anti-government activists, that is even more worrisome. In Tuesday’s announcement, federal prosecutors charged Carrillo with the murder of Federal Protective Service officer David Patrick Underwood as well as other federal charges. Underwood was killed and his partner was wounded on the night of May 29 while they guarded a federal building in Oakland during a nearby protest over the death of George Floyd. When announcing the charges on Tuesday, which could be punishable by death, federal authorities alleged that Carrillo developed the plan to ambush the murdered officer during an online chat among right-wing extremist activists.
By Mehdi HasanDonald Trump is right. The anti-racism protests that have convulsed cities across the United States are also being used as cover, to quote the president, for “acts of domestic terror.” In late May, for example, three Nevada men were “arrested on terrorism-related charges in what authorities say was a conspiracy to spark violence during recent protests in Las Vegas,” reported the Associated Press. Federal prosecutors say the men had molotov cocktails in glass bottles and were headed downtown, according to a copy of the criminal complaint obtained by AP. “People have a right to peacefully protest,” said Nicholas Trutanich, the U.S. attorney in Nevada. “These men are agitators and instigators. Their point was to hijack the protests into violence.” But here’s the thing: None of these three men were members of antifa, the left-wing, anti-fascist protest movement that has been blamed both by the president and his attorney-general Bill Barr for recent violence. They were all self-identified members of the so-called boogaloo movement, aka “boogaloo bois” aka “boojahideen” — perhaps the most dangerous group that, until the past week or so, most Americans had never heard of.
Three self-identified boogaloo boys were arrested in Nevada for conspiracy to instigate violence at a George Floyd protestBy EJ DicksonThree men with military backgrounds have been arrested and charged with conspiracy to instigate violence at the Las Vegas protests against the death of George Floyd. According to authorities, Andrew Lynam Jr., 23, Stephen Parshall, 35, and William Loomis, 40, all met at an anti-lockdown protest in April and self-identified as “boogaloo” boys, a term used to describe those calling for a violent civil conflict. They were arrested on Saturday on their way to a protest in downtown Las Vegas, after filling gas cans and making Molotov cocktails in glass bottles. They face federal charges of conspiracy to damage and destroy by fire and explosives, and possession of unregistered firearms. They are currently each being held on $1 million bond, according to the Star Tribune. They have not yet entered a plea. Their intention was “to hopefully create civil unrest and rioting throughout Las Vegas,” a complaint filed in Las Vegas District Court on Wednesday said. (Rolling Stone reached out to the three men on Facebook for comment, and have yet to hear back.)
By Jeong-Ho Lee, Nick Wadhams and Jennifer Jacobs / BloombergA large “Black Lives Matter” banner draped on the front of the U.S. embassy in Seoul was removed on Monday after it was brought to the attention of President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, according to people familiar with the matter. Pompeo and Trump were both displeased about the banner, the people said. A large, multicolored Pride”banner recognizing lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people was also removed on Monday. They were replaced with a banner commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Korean War. The embassy unfurled the “Black Lives Matter” banner on its mission building on Saturday to support worldwide anti-racism protests that have followed the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody last month. - Trump America’s racist president
By Linette LopezWhen President Donald Trump tells us he does not want to change the names of US military bases named after Confederate military leaders, or that he wants Confederate monuments left alone, he's telling you who owns this country — white Americans. And when he does so while the country is still reeling from his attempt to unleash the US military on anti-racist protesters, he's forcing us to reckon with the inextricable link between American racism and American fascism. No, the Civil War was not fought over tariffs, and it isn't correct to say it started over states rights either. The Confederates were fascists who used racism as the ideology that organized their authoritarian society. Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis and the entire Confederacy were fighting to preserve a social structure that left Black Americans out of citizenry and firmly established white property holding men on top. They believed the country belonged to these white, landowning men, and that they were the only ones entitled to govern or profit from it. They also believed that those men should preserve it with violence if necessary. To build this slavocracy they became traitors to our homeland. As one southern planter so perversely put it on the eve of secession, "give us slavery or give us death." In 1857 the Athens Southern Watchmen, a prominent pro-secession political journal, laid it out more eloquently. It repudiated the egalitarianism of Thomas Jefferson saying that he had lead our country astray with his talk of "vulgar democracy." It mused that it was absurd to think the "pauper and the landholder are alike competent to manage the affairs of a country." This is why, in the election of 1860, non-property holding men in South Carolina were disenfranchised, and only the planter aristocrats in the Electoral College cast their votes.
Newspaper found in base of marble structure is from 1936, long after the civil war for which Confederate leader is knownBy Martin Pengelly in New YorkOfficials supervising the removal of a statue of Jefferson Davis from the Kentucky state capitol on Saturday found items left in its base. Those who put up the marble statue of the Confederate president left a Glenmore Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey bottle and a newspaper – dated 20 October 1936. Davis was born in Fairview, Kentucky in 1808 and became a soldier, a senator from Mississippi and US secretary of war. From 1861 to 1865 he led the Confederacy through the American civil war. “African slavery, as it exists in the United States, is a moral, a social and a political blessing,” he said. The Confederacy lost the war and slavery was abolished under the 13th amendment, ratified in December 1865. Davis was charged with treason but never tried, having his citizenship stripped instead. He died in New Orleans in 1889. Though Kentucky remained in the Union during the war, and indeed was the home state of Abraham Lincoln, the presence in its capitol of a statue of a Confederate leader is not particularly unusual. Nor should it seem particularly surprising that the bottle and newspaper found under the Davis statue were from the 1930s. Southern states erected many of the monuments to Confederate leaders and soldiers that are now the focus of national protests long after the civil war, at the height of the Jim Crow system of racial segregation and repression and later during years of civil rights protest and reform.
More than 200 white people wielding baseball bats and ax handles chased African Americans through the streets of downtown Jacksonville, trying to beat them into submission. It was August 27, 1960, a day that became known as “Ax Handle Saturday.” The violent attack was in response to peaceful lunch counter demonstrations organized by the Jacksonville Youth Council of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). The attack began with white people spitting on the protestors and yelling racial slurs at them. When the young demonstrators held their resolve, they were beaten with wooden handles that had not yet had metal ax heads attached. While the violence was first aimed at the lunch counter demonstrators, it quickly escalated to include any African American in sight of the white mob. Police stood idly by watching the beatings until members of a black street gang called “The Boomerangs” attempted to protect those being attacked. At that point police night sticks joined the baseball bats and ax handles. Bloodied and battered victims of the vicious beatings fled to a nearby church where they sought refuge and comfort from prayer and song. Eventually the white mob dispersed. Sixteen-year-old Rodney L. Hurst was president of the Jacksonville Youth Council, leading sit-ins at “whites only” lunch counters in Woolworth’s and W.J. Grant Department Store to protest racial segregation.Hurst has written about his experiences in the award-winning book “It was Never about a Hot Dog and a Coke.” History teacher Rutledge Pearson inspired Hurst to become involved in the civil rights movement at a very early age. Hurst says that Pearson was an innovative teacher who facilitated interactive classes. “As we talked about American history and as he gave us his insights, he would tell us ‘freedom is not free, and if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.’ He would encourage us to join the Youth Council NAACP, which we did.” Today, Rutledge H. Pearson Elementary School in Jacksonville bears the name of the teacher who influenced many young people to become leaders in the African American community.In 1959, the year before Ax Handle Saturday, Nathan B. Forrest High School opened in Jacksonville, celebrating the memory of the first Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan. As of July 1, 2014, the name has been changed to Westside High School. The violence of Ax Handle Saturday did not occur in a vacuum. Racial segregation and overt racism had been building tension in Jacksonville for decades. In his book, Hurst places his personal story as a young activist into the larger historical context of the civil rights movement. “Jacksonville was a mess, not unlike a lot of other southern cities,” Hurst says. It is believed that the Ku Klux Klan organized the violence of Ax Handle Saturday. “The intent was to scare, intimidate, and bring physical harm,” Hurst says. “Many times you could not draw a line between the Klan and law enforcement, because law enforcement were at least accomplices to a lot of the things the Klan did.”
By Ewan PalmerAn online petition demanding that the Ku Klux Klan be listed as a terrorist organization has gained more than one million signatures in just four days. The Change.org petition is demanding that the white supremacist hate group be formally listed as a terrorist organization by the government. Currently, the KKK are classified as a domestic extremist group as there is no definition for domestic terrorism organizations in the U.S. "Ever since the inception of the Ku Klux Klan in December 24,1865 they have terrorized American citizens for the color of their skin and opposing views," the petition states. "This group has a long history of murder & intimidation of people based on color and religion. "Black Americans have suffered the most under this terror group." The "Change KKK status into Terrorist Organization" campaign is one of a number of similar petitions to have gone viral in recent days on the change.org website. One petition calling for the KKK to be classed as a terrorist organization has gained 178,000 signatures, with a second receiving more than 100,000 before it was closed. Another petition demanding "Make the KKK illegal" is also approaching one million signatures. The petitions started to go viral after President Donald Trump said the far-left and anarchist movement antifa will be treated as a terrorist organization. They also gained popularity amid ongoing debates about race relations in the U.S. in the wake of the death of Minneapolis man George Floyd which sparked worldwide protests.
Men with KKK hoods and Trump flag try to disrupt Black Lives Matter rally in Nevada - but George Floyd protesters and pro-police counter-demonstrators join forces to chase them offBy Keith Griffith For Dailymail.comBlack Lives Matter demonstrators and pro-police counter-protesters joined forces in Nevada to chase off a small group of men wearing the white hoods of the Ku Klux Klan who tried to disrupt their peaceful rallies. The incident occurred on Monday in Fallon, a small city 60 miles east of Reno, where a group of BLM protesters and counter-demonstrators had faced off across a street chanting at each other. In a surprise move, the two sides joined together and exchanged hugs and dialogue - but as the rallies wound down, two men tried to disrupt the peace by marching up wearing KKK hoods and waving a flag supporting President Donald Trump. Both the BLM protesters and the pro-law enforcement demonstrators began shouting at the men in hoods, and chased them off as police escorted them away. A spokesman for the Fallon Police Department did not immediately respond to an inquiry from DailyMail.com about the incident. The two official protests had begun with animosity, exchanging chants of 'Black Lives Matter!' and 'All Lives Matter' across the street from each other. But at some point, the aggression turned to dialogue as the two sides crossed the street and exchanged hugs. 'We all want peace. Yes we do,' said pro-police demonstrator Max Ryan as he hugged BLM protest leader Ladaysha Dula, in a moment captured by KTVN. Ryan was openly carrying a gun to the protest to demonstrate support for his Second Amendment rights, and ensure things didn't devolve into violence, he said.
By Ewan PalmerA peaceful Black Lives Matter protest in Nevada was briefly interrupted by two men wearing Ku Klux Klan hoods and carrying Donald Trump flags. Video has emerged showing the moment protesters from both sides came together to jeer and chant against the men who showed up at the demonstration in Fallon on Monday. The clip shows one officer arriving to talk to the men in white hoods while at least one protester chants: "No Trump, No KKK, no racist, fascist USA." The footage ends with both men appearing to turn and walk away from the crowd after being spoken to by the officer. The Fallon Police Department has been contacted for further comment. The incident had marred what had been a peaceful protest, which resulted in BLM protesters and "all lives matter" counter-demonstrators, some of whom were armed, coming together and hugging. Max Ryan, one of those who brought a gun to the rally in order to "address my second amendment right to bear arms and to make sure this stayed peaceful," described how the BLM came over to the counter-demonstrators to discuss their views.
By Ewan PalmerCalls for the government to list the Ku Klux Klan as a terrorist organization are continuing to grow as a number of online petitions attract more than half a million signatures. For the past few days, several change.org petitions demanding the white supremacist group be classified as terrorists have gone viral. As of the morning of June 10, three petitions have gained at least 517,000 signatures between them, with a fourth petition demanding "Make the KKK Illegal" also attracting more than 233,000 signatures. "The KKK has long been a group of thugs that have suppressed the voices of and invoked fear into Minority Communities across the country. It is time for that to end," a description on the Declare the KKK a Terrorist Organization petition, backed by 118,000 signatures, reads. "This organization does not belong in this country, if declared a terrorist organization any attack would be an act of terror and will be treated as such. If equality and protecting the American people is your true goal this will easily resonate with you." A second petition, Change KKK Status into Terrorist Organization, has gained more than 300,000 signatures. It said that the KKK could be considered the best example of a "modern terrorist group that was even allowed, by the government, to function and even do marches in the capital of the country."
Minneapolis residents are forming patrols to protect their city from people who would mar the protests with violence—and some report having strange run-ins with armed white men.By Justin Glawe, Kate BriqueletMINNEAPOLIS—Edward walked up to an SUV full of four armed white men on Monday night, pumped his shotgun, and told them to get out of his neighborhood. The men—who he said were armed with hunting knives and wearing tactical vests—told him they were from a suburb south of the city. After repeatedly asking them what they were doing and why they were in the Field neighborhood of South Minneapolis, Edward signaled to his wife, who retrieved the weapon and gave it to her husband. “I just figured I’d respond using the language and methods that they use, and it worked,” Edward, who requested to use a pseudonym out of concern for his safety, told The Daily Beast. The incident speaks to the fear that has descended on Minneapolis in the week since George Floyd was killed by a local police officer, and protests—including occasional bursts of violence, looting, and arson— consumed the city. Across the city and its surrounding suburbs, residents who sympathize with anti-police protesters are creating small, independent groups of citizens—or else arming themselves individually—to look out for their own neighborhoods. In other words, with police—and a bevy of state and National Guard reinforcements—focused on monitoring protests, the people of Minneapolis are in some cases policing themselves. KB Brown, who owns a printing shop in north Minneapolis, said he coordinated community patrols two days after Floyd’s death, when protests began to roil the city. These volunteers included rival gang members, now reportedly united to protect the area, a contingent of biker clubs, and even “white people with hockey sticks.” “We were abandoned by law enforcement so I figured the quote-unquote thugs were the best ones to patrol the streets, and they were more than willing to do it,” Brown, 45, told The Daily Beast. “I agree with you protesting over Floyd,” the business owner said, adding that one of his printing machines was damaged in the riots. “I don’t agree with you tearing up my stuff. I worked too hard for it. A lot of people in the neighborhood felt the same way.” Brown’s nighttime network of about 60 people has covered a large swath of north Minneapolis, which is predominantly black, to fend off outsiders and looters. At one point, he says, his group faced off with armed white men firing shots, and thieves trying to break into a single mother’s house. Using patrols by foot and by car, Brown says, he provided intel to the mayor’s office and police. One night he stationed himself outside a mosque on Lyndale Avenue N.
DISTURBINGResidents of Minneapolis, St. Paul, and a nearby suburb are receiving anonymous threats over their Black Lives Matter signs on their properties.By Justin Glawe, Kate BriqueletAs protests continue to rage over the death of George Floyd, residents of Minneapolis, St. Paul, and a nearby suburb are receiving threats over the Black Lives Matter signs on their properties and over their support of anti-racist causes. Julie Reuvers, a single mother of two in Roseville, between Minneapolis and St. Paul, woke up Saturday morning to find a handwritten note tucked inside her door. “In light of Rioters with Blm signs I would be in The best intrest [sic] of your safty [sic] to Remove your sign Because Pay Back is Coming,” read the ominous message, written in black marker on a sheet of white computer paper. Reuvers, 47, called the Roseville Police Department, which has since fielded reports of nearly identical missives and is investigating, the department tweeted Monday. Because she feared for her children’s safety, Reuvers decided with a heavy heart to take down her homemade Black Lives Matter sign, which had been propped inside her front window. She alerted neighbors to the unsettling discovery on the Nextdoor platform, and on Sunday morning, another resident reported receiving a similar letter with matching handwriting: “Your neighbors are sick of riots and your SJW Shit. Your sign ‘Bullshit Matters’ comes down or you and your Home will Burn real Quiet while you sleep in it!” According to Reuvers, this homeowner seemed to be targeted over a Social Justice Warrior poster on his property. “We don’t know who’s leaving notes, but find comfort in continuing to teach our children our values,” Reuvers said in a tweet about the second threat. A third neighbor on Nextdoor reported finding a note on her windshield, Reuvers said.
OPEN CARRYAnti-racism protests in smaller towns—particularly on the West Coast—have attracted armed counterprotesters who monitor, harass, and sometimes even attack marchers.By Kate BriqueletProtests and violence in large cities over the death of George Floyd have dominated national news networks. But in smaller towns across America, counter-protesters are showing up to monitor or harass—and in some cases assault—peaceful demonstrators. And in places like Snohomish, Washington, and Missoula, Montana, some of these agitators have been heavily armed as they stake out protests against police brutality. The Missoulian, a daily newspaper, reported that a couple of pickup trucks, with people waving Trump campaign banners and American flags, parked near Missoula demonstrators on Tuesday night. Some armed men also stood sentinel at a pawnshop. In Snohomish, protesters marched downtown Monday, chanting “Black Lives Matter!” and hoisting signs, according to local TV station King5. They were ambushed by at least one white man in a camouflage sweatshirt and baseball cap who started punching demonstrators, video shows. “I just saw someone get punched and before you know it, I had two, three people choking me,” Julien Crawford told the news outlet. On Tuesday night, a faction of “heavily armed men” joined the protesters. One of them, carrying an assault rifle, announced: “We support you. We just want you to be safe, we want you to be peaceful. We don’t want any vandalism or graffiti.”
As people enraged by the death of George Floyd took to the streets in cities across the country, white men with guns started showing up—and risking disaster.By Kelly WeillProtesters in Minneapolis didn’t know the precise affiliation of a man who showed up on Tuesday at the first night of unrest over the death of 46-year-old George Floyd in police custody. What they did know was that he was white and heavily armed. “There was what we think was a white supremacist who was fully armed with clips and everything, who some of the men in the crowd were able to identify and remove,” Nekima Levy-Armstrong, a civil rights attorney who attended the Tuesday protests, told The Daily Beast. “He [the armed white man] actually said, ‘You all just saved some lives tonight.’” The Minneapolis protests this week—which resulted in fires and broken windows and reports of at least one adjacent shooting death—aren’t just drawing racial justice activists. They’re attracting attention from heavily-armed forces on the right. Some of them, members of a growing white supremacist movement, openly hope to co-opt the protests to start a race war. Others claim to make common cause with anti-police protesters, but may be inclined to turn guns on protesters when they appear to threaten private property. Both are a potential powder keg as protesters take to the streets in cities across the country, and hint at a new coalition of volatile right-wing ideologies. Brian Hughes, associate director for the Polarization & Extremism Research and Innovation Lab at American University, said the protests were drawing attention from a range of far-right tendencies. “On the far other side of the spectrum, you have accelerationist and dyed-in-the-wool fascists and neo-Nazis,” he told The Daily Beast. “They want to see ‘Civil War 2: Electric Boogaloo’ happen, and make it a race war.”
By Helier Cheung BBC News, Washington DCThousands of Americans are taking to the streets to protest about racism - many for the first time in their lives. Why has this particular tragedy struck such a chord? George Floyd is not the first African American whose death in police custody sparked protests. There were also rallies and calls for change after Tamir Rice, Michael Brown and Eric Garner were killed by police. But this time seems different, with the response more sustained and widespread. There have been demonstrations across the US - in all 50 states and DC - including in cities and rural communities that are predominantly white. Local governments, sports and businesses appear readier to take a stand this time - most notably with the Minneapolis city council pledging to dismantle the police department. And the Black Lives Matter protests this time seem more racially diverse - with larger numbers of white protesters, and protesters from other ethnicities, standing with black activists. A number of different factors combined to create "the perfect storm for rebellion" over George Floyd's death, Frank Leon Roberts, an activist who teaches a course on the Black Lives Matter movement at New York University, told the BBC.Floyd's death was particularly 'gruesome and obvious'A police officer, Derek Chauvin, kept his knee on Mr Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes - even as Mr Floyd repeatedly said "I can't breathe" and eventually became unresponsive. The incident was clearly recorded on video. "In many previous instances of police violence, there's a possibility of an ambiguous narrative - there's a partial view of what happened, or the police officer says they made a split-second decision because they feared for their life," Mr Roberts said. "In this case, it was a completely unambiguous act of injustice - where people could see this man [Floyd] was completely unarmed and incapacitated."
Man who allegedly ran over protesters is an admitted leader of the Ku Klux Klan, Virginia officials sayBy Harmeet Kaur and Kay Jones, CNN(CNN) A man who is accused of driving his car through a group of protesters in Virginia is an "admitted leader of the Ku Klux Klan and a propagandist for Confederate ideology," according to the Henrico County Commonwealth's Attorney. Harry Rogers, 36, is charged with attempted malicious wounding, felony vandalism, and assault and battery, and is being held without bond. He was arraigned in court on Monday morning, according to online court records.Rogers' next court hearing is scheduled for August 18. The Henrico County Police Division said in a statement that it received a call from Richmond Police on Sunday about an incident that had happened during a protest in Richmond. CNN affiliate WTVR reported the protest was a Black Lives Matter march, one of dozens that have occurred across the country since the death of George Floyd last month. Several witnesses reported that a vehicle had "revved their engine and drove through the protesters occupying the roadway," police said.
By Melissa Alonso and Susannah Cullinane, CNN(CNN) A retired US Navy captain who used derogatory language and racial slurs during a conversation with his wife that was accidentally live streamed on Facebook says he is "mortified" and working to be a better person. Scott Bethmann resigned from the US Naval Academy Alumni Association board after he accidentally streamed the conversation with his wife Nancy, according to a statement from the alumni association and a family spokesperson.Bethmann and his wife were live on Facebook for more than 30 minutes, discussing recent events around the country, according to audio obtained by CNN affiliate WJXT. Bethmann is heard using the N-word and complaining about not being able to speak his mind, saying, "The white m*****f*****s can't say anything. That's the point we're making here, Nancy." His wife is heard in the recording talking about "F****** Asians from China who love to steal all of our intellectual property." Bethmann's Facebook page has since been removed.'We are deeply sorry'In a statement issued through a family spokesperson, Bethmann said it was never appropriate "to use derogatory terms when speaking about our fellow man." "There are no words that can appropriately express how mortified and apologetic my wife and I are about the insensitive things we said that were captured on social media," he said. "I know that an apology from us rings hollow on many ears in our community, especially in the current environment. We intend on using this experience as an opportunity to grow, listen, learn, and reflect. - They are always sorry after they get caught.
By Teo Armus, Meryl Kornfield and Annie GowenOne Facebook post falsely claimed that the killing of George Floyd in police custody last month was a “staged event,” meant to rile up opposition to President Trump. Another showed a quote from Martin Luther King Jr. next to a banana — an established racist trope. And a third claimed that George Soros, the liberal billionaire, paid “white cops to murder black people” and “black people to riot because race wars keep the sheep in line.” All of these posts were shared in recent days by Republican county leaders in Texas, some of whom are now facing calls to resign from top officials within their own party, including Sens. Ted Cruz and John Cornyn and Gov. Greg Abbott, who called the posts “disgusting,” the Texas Tribune reported. The posts have unleashed a firestorm of controversy in the state of 29 million where Republicans are struggling to beat back Democratic advances in the rapidly diversifying electorate.
By Veronica Stracqualursi and Kelly Mena, CNNWashington, DC (CNN)A Texas Republican county chairman-elect said Saturday he won't assume office amid backlash over posting a controversial image of a Martin Luther King Jr. quote with a banana in the picture. Keith Nielsen, the GOP chairman-elect in Harris County, announced in a Facebook post that he would be stepping aside and would not be taking office in August. Harris County encompasses Houston and the surrounding area. "I have spent my entire adult life supporting conservative candidates and causes and I am grateful for the thousands of supporters who have reached out to me over the last several days," Nielsen's post began. "I regret that I must step aside as Chairman-elect of the Harris County Republican Party and will not be taking office on Aug. 3rd. I will continue to stand up for the values that have made our country great...'Faith, family and freedom.' Dr. King's quote is as relevant today as when it was delivered. 'Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,'" he added. Earlier this week, Nielsen had posted to Facebook an image of a King quote -- "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere" -- featured with a banana, according to The Texas Tribune.
George Floyd's death, after a white police officer pressed a knee into his neck while detaining him, has convulsed the United States.ReutersFrankfurt / London: Protesters around the world took to the streets again on Friday, despite coronavirus warnings, in a wave of outrage at the death of African American George Floyd in the United States and racism against minorities in their own nations. Floyd's death, after a white police officer pressed a knee into his neck while detaining him, has convulsed the United States. The largest demonstrations elsewhere on Friday appeared to be in Germany, where more than 10,000 people gathered in Frankfurt and Hamburg, according to Reuters journalists. Many raised hands in the air and held banners with slogans such as: "Your Pain Is My Pain, Your Fight Is My Fight". One poster at the Frankfurt rally asked: "How Many Weren't Filmed?" in reference to the fact that Floyd's case was caught on camera in Minneapolis. As authorities in many parts warned of the risk of COVID-19 infections from large gatherings, many protesters wore anti-coronavirus masks, some in black or with a clenched fist image. In London's Trafalgar Square, dozens took to one knee in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.
By Ishena RobinsonPolice in Colorado are seeking the public’s help to identify a man who went grocery shopping while wearing a Ku Klux Klan hood this weekend, though a similar case in San Diego recently ended with the police throwing up their hands and going, “This is America.” Some white people have used their privilege to respond to the current COVID-19 pandemic by refusing to follow public health orders to wear masks and not go out to get bad haircuts. Others, like this man who went out to get some milk while wearing a wrinkled KKK hood, have responded by turning masks into emblems of their white supremacist desires: According to Summit Daily, employees of the grocery store called the police after they told the man to leave and he refused.
In Minneapolis, police tear-gas unarmed protesters opposing racist violence — but armed Trumpers get the red carpetBy Amanda MarcotteOn Memorial Day, four Minneapolis police officers killed a black man named George Floyd. In a video taken by a bystander, one can hear Floyd, who is on the ground and not resisting as an officer named Derek Chauvin kneels on his neck, pleading for his life, saying, "I can't breathe" and moaning in pain. (Chauvin was involved in at least two previous police shootings of civilians.) Onlookers can also be heard begging the police not to kill Floyd, while another cop named Tou Thao just glares at them, indifferent to the gathered crowd's increasing panic. As the cops take Floyd's unconscious body away, one man can be heard yelling, "You just really killed that man, bro." The video is incredibly disturbing, so it's no surprise that thousands of people hit the streets in protest on Tuesday, breaking lockdown in a city with a rising rate of coronavirus infection to register their outrage. The vast majority of protesters weren't violent and none were armed. But Minneapolis police showed up ready to rumble. News photos show the cops pouring out of vehicles fully clad in riot gear and as soon as a handful of protesters committed minor acts of property damage and threw some water bottles (the Star Tribune reports that peaceful protesters pleaded with others to stop the vandalism), cops used that as a pretext to shoot tear-gas canisters into the crowd. Those images are much like the ones we've grown accustomed to in the era of Black Lives Matter protests (though this time with the addition of face masks): Cops in riot gear striding like conquering soldiers through clouds of tear gas, unarmed protesters running in terror and weeping, surreal images of people's faces covered in milk as they try to wash the tear gas from their eyes. But what I can't get past — and judging from the reactions on social media, I'm not alone — is how wildly different that scene played out compared to the astroturf anti-lockdown protests staged in various state capitals across the country over the past month or so. In places like Lansing, Michigan, and Columbus, Ohio, right-wing protesters have showed up literally armed to the hilt, carrying assault rifles and menacing state legislators who were simply trying balance public safety and the economic needs of their citizens. In Michigan, protesters literally stormed the state capitol and stood in the galley with guns, in an obvious effort to intimidate the politicians below.
Author of "Alt-America": What happens this year will be a "key turning point" on the path from democracy to fascismBy Chauncey DeVegaThe U.S. government has the official public policy of never negotiating with terrorists, paying them ransom or otherwise surrendering to their demands. The logic is simple: to give in to terrorists is to encourage more violence and other attacks. It would appear that the state of Michigan does not follow the same policy. The U.S. government has the official public policy of never negotiating with terrorists, paying them ransom or otherwise surrendering to their demands. The logic is simple: to give in to terrorists is to encourage more violence and other attacks. It would appear that the state of Michigan does not follow the same policy. Matters are now so dire that even the New York Times, which views itself as a neutral "journal of record," is sounding the alarm about Trump's armed paramilitary groups. Last Friday, columnist Roger Cohen published an op-ed entitled "The Masked versus the Unmasked" in which he issued this warning:
By Amir Vera, CNN(CNN) A Georgia man was chased, shot and killed while jogging more than two months ago, and his family is calling for justice. Ahmaud Arbery, 25, was jogging in a Brunswick neighborhood on February 23 when a man and his son chased him down, telling police later that they thought he looked like the suspect in a series of recent break-ins in the area. Wanda Cooper, Arbery's mother, told CNN Sunday that when police notified her of her son's death, she was told her son was involved in a burglary and that there was a confrontation between her son and the homeowner and a struggle over a gun. "He was not armed," Cooper said. She said she never worried about him jogging because he wasn't bothering anyone. There have been no charges against the father and son involved in the incident, former police officer Gregory McMichael and his son Travis. CNN has reached out to Gregory McMichael for comment, but he said he won't be commenting because he is under investigation. "This is an ongoing investigation," the Glynn County Police Department said in a statement April 28, adding that it "continues to gather and provide information to the District Attorney's Office that the case has been assigned to." Two district attorneys have recused themselves over possible conflicts of interest, one of whom wrote that Travis McMichael acted out of self-defense and their actions fell within Georgia's citizen arrest laws. Attorney Lee Merritt, who is representing the family, told CNN Sunday "the decision to rely on the citizen's arrest statute is really a recent invention, prior to that they just simply said it was self defense." Merritt says now the men are trying to use the law to say they were trying to stop a crime. "According to that law, you actually have to be observing the crime or be in the immediate knowledge of the crime," Merritt said. "The only thing they have ever said is ... that Ahmaud stopped by a house that was under construction and he looked through the window. We don't know if that happened or not, but even if that did happen that is not a felony that would invoke the citizen's arrest statute that would make this allowable." At best, the men had the authority to follow Arbery and send law enforcement to that location, Merritt said. The 911 calls show the dispatcher was asking the men what Arbery is doing that was of criminal concern, Merritt said."They didn't give any answer for that, they said, 'He's a black man running down our road,'" Merritt said.
Posted by Ken StoneSocial media users and local officials expressed outrage this weekend after photos emerged Saturday of a male shopper at the Santee Vons wearing a makeshift Ku Klux Klan hood. Detectives from the Sheriff’s Department are looking into the matter and will pursue any appropriate criminal charges,” said a press release Monday, confirming an investigation reported late Sunday by Santee Mayor John Minto. “The Sheriff’s Department does not condone hate or any acts of intolerance in our communities. We are a county that is welcoming of people from all backgrounds.” East County Supervisor Dianne Jacob called the images she’s seen “abhorrent.” “This blatant racism has no place in Santee or any part of San Diego County,” she said in a statement Sunday. “It is not who we are. It is not what we stand for and can’t be tolerated.” In a joint statement on behalf of the City Council and the City of Santee, Minto decried attire that “depicted a symbol of hatred.” “The citizens and Vons employees took steps to address the situation,” he said. “Many thanks to all who stepped forward to curtail this sad reminder of intolerance. Santee, its leaders, and I will not tolerate such behavior. Santee and its citizens are great, and this particular individual’s actions are not representative of us as a people and a wonderful city.”
Gretchen Whitmer says heavily armed men and Confederate flags at state capitol ‘depicted some of the worst racism and awful parts of our history’By Bryan Armen Graham in New YorkGovernor Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan issued a rebuke of the armed protesters who gathered inside the state capitol last week in defiance of statewide lockdown orders, saying the demonstrators embodied some of the “worst racism” of the nation’s history. “Some of the outrageousness of what happened at our capitol depicted some of the worst racism and awful parts of our history in this country,” Whitmer said during a Sunday interview on CNN’s State of the Union. Last week Donald Trump had said of the protesters: “These are very good people.” Hundreds of protesters, many not wearing protective face masks and some armed legally with “long guns”, gathered inside the statehouse in Lansing on Thursday as lawmakers debated the Democratic governor’s request to extend her emergency powers to combat the coronavirus pandemic. The tightly packed crowd attempted to enter the floor of the legislative chamber and were held back by a line of state police and capitol staff, according to video footage posted by local journalists. Whitmer highlighted that the number of protesters was relatively small but that the imagery some of them used was a disturbing reminder of ugly elements of America’s past. “We know that people are not all happy about having to take the stay-home posture,” Whitmer said on Sunday, “and you know what, I’m not either. But we have to listen to the public health experts and displays like the one we saw in our state capitol are not representative of who we are in Michigan. “There were swastikas and Confederate flags and nooses and people with assault rifles. That’s a small group of people when you think that this is a state of almost 10 million people, the vast majority of whom are doing the right thing.” Displaying the Confederate flag, or other symbols of the slave-owning south during the American civil war, is usually seen as racist. While some claim they are celebrating southern identity, it is widely seen as a racist symbol deeply offensive to black Americans. There is also an ongoing campaign to remove Confederate war statues from public display or rename streets and buildings which commemorate Confederate generals or politicians.
By Eliott C. McLaughlin and Amara Walker, CNNAtlanta (CNN) Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms had to have a discussion with her 12-year-old son after the pair received a racist text regarding her efforts to keep the city closed amid the coronavirus pandemic, she said Thursday. In a Wednesday night tweet, the mayor said she received a text addressing her by the n-word and demanding, "just shut up and RE-OPEN ATLANTA!" Her son received the same text, she later told the city council. When Bottoms opened the text on her phone, she said, her daughter was looking over her shoulder as she read it. Bottoms included in her tweet, "I pray for you. 'Conscientious stupidity or sincere ignorance'" -- a nod to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s assertion that nothing is more dangerous than these two human characteristics. Following Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp's controversial decision to start reopening parts of the state economy, Bottoms pushed back, saying she would consider legal options to keep Atlanta largely shut down because the city is "not out of the woods yet." "I have searched my head and my heart on this and I am at a loss as to what the governor is basing this decision on," Bottoms said earlier this week. "You have to live to fight another day, and you have to be able to be amongst the living to be able to recover."
A white student in Missouri sent a meme to black classmates that included a racial slur, school district saysBy Alaa Elassar, CNN(CNN) Two black students at a Missouri middle school were sent a racist meme by a white classmate, the school district said, and the parents of one of the students want changes to the district's policies dealing with acts of racism. "Upon learning of what has reportedly happened, the school's administrators responded immediately," Webster Groves School District Superintendent John Simpson said in a statement. "You can be assure that this kind of behavior has no place in our schools and will not be tolerated." The two eighth graders at Hixson Middle School were at lunch February 27 when they were sent a meme with a photograph of a white man spraying a young black child with a hose, the district said. Superimposed on the image was the phrase: "Go be a n***er somewhere else," according to Shaun Swearengen, the father of one of the students, who posted it on Facebook. The school confirmed to CNN that the meme that was posted was the one sent to the students. The school investigated the incident and identified the student who sent the photo, Webster Groves School District spokeswoman Cathy Vespereny told CNN. While one of the students declined to receive the file, Swearengen's daughter accepted it and her phone instantly pulled up the photo, which left her feeling hurt and confused, Swearengen told CNN. The file was sent via AirDrop, which allows iPhone users to share files wirelessly between phones, he said. The 14-year-old immediately called her mother, who said she was "in tears" when she saw the image. "I've been crying on and off all day, all night ... every time I see the picture I just immediately start crying because I just can't believe someone would think that was OK to send to my child," Yolanda Morris, the student's mother, told CNN affiliate KMOV. Although his daughter has always been to predominantly white schools where she was one of the only black students, Swearengen said this was the first time she was exposed to what he called "blatant racism." The incident has left her "extremely hurt" and he said she'll need counseling because of the situation. "The staff at Hixson will provide support and care for those affected today and in the days and weeks to come, and create a space for children and staff to share any feelings that emerge from what they experienced, saw, or heard," Simpson said in his statement.
Racist language is still woven into home deeds across America. Erasing it isn't easy, and some don't want toBy Nick Watt and Jack Hannah, CNNBeverly Hills, California (CNN)Buried deep in the small print of deeds to a home that sold recently in this ritzy city lurks this stunning caveat: "Said premises shall not be rented, leased, or conveyed to, or occupied by, any person other than of the white or Caucasian race." That is known as a racial covenant. And though now illegal, language like it still exists in the deeds to homes all across the United States. "Pretty much every community in the country is going to have racial covenants," said historian Kirsten Delegard, a founder of the Minneapolis-based Mapping Prejudice project, which researches the covenants that barred nonwhites from buying property in the city's most desirable neighborhoods. "Every city, large or small, that I'm aware of, where anybody has looked for racial covenants, they have found them." The practice began in the 1920s. And for nearly 50 years, developers and realtors wrote racial covenants into the deeds of millions of new homes. Federal law eventually banned the practice, but changes to laws in every state and laborious legwork -- searching through millions of documents -- would be required to expunge the exclusionary language. So, it remains in property records, shocking some would-be sellers and buyers who stumble across it. Now, debate simmers over whether racial covenants should be removed. Some experts warn that hiding the mistakes of the past could stymie efforts to somehow make amends and compensate communities of color that still feel the economic hit of being denied access to lucrative property ladders. "We need to know where these restrictions were put in place if we're ever going to dismantle the system of racism in a logical, consistent way," Delegard said. But others, including those whose forebears were targeted by racial covenants, say it's time for the insidious language to vanish for good. "We don't need to maintain that language in a document to understand the history of where we've come from," said Nikole Hannah-Jones, founder of The 1619 Project, which aims to reframe American history by including the contribution of black Americans. "It is akin to leaving up in the South, where you had Jim Crow laws, keeping up the 'no coloreds' or the 'white only' signs at water fountains, bathrooms, other facilities and saying, 'Oh, just ignore the sign. You can drink out of either one. Just ignore it,'" said Hector De La Torre, a former state lawmaker in California. "That's what this is."Nonwhites welcome only as 'servants or employees'De La Torre, whose parents moved to the United States from Mexico in the 1960s, now lives in a house in South Gate, California, that still has a racial covenant clause that at one time would have barred him from living there.
Because racism.By Mark Joseph SternThe national conversation around voting rights is deeply skewed. Republican lawmakers and operatives openly endorse disenfranchisement; they brag when their attacks on suffrage succeed; and they work feverishly to rig redistricting in favor of white people. But all too often, judges refuse to acknowledge the racism of voter suppression laws, dancing around the purpose of these measures. Only rarely will a court admit what every reasonable observer should already know: The disproportionate impact of these laws on minority voters is no coincidence; it is exactly what legislators intended. It is refreshing, then, that on Monday the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals did not tiptoe around the bald facts: Arizona Republicans’ recent crackdown on voting rights was motivated by racism. The court invalidated a law that was plainly designed to stop Native American, Hispanic, and black voters from casting a ballot—not just because it happened to burden minorities more than whites, but because it is flat-out racist. Arizona’s “long history of race-based voting discrimination,” combined with legislators’ “false, race-based” claims of voter fraud “unmistakably reveal” an intent to discriminate on the basis of race, the 9th Circuit announced. The Supreme Court’s conservative justices may well reverse the ruling. But the 9th Circuit will at least force SCOTUS to confront the reality that white supremacy remains a driving force in Republicans’ assault on the franchise, despite Chief Justice John Roberts’ declaration that racism is a historical relic.
He was trying to deposit checks that he received as part of a settlement.By Karma AllenA Michigan man has filed a lawsuit against a Midwest banking chain this week, accusing it of racial profiling, after a teller called the police on him and wrongfully accused him of fraud. Ironically, Sauntore Thomas was attempting to deposit two large checks that he'd received as part of a workplace racial discrimination settlement with his previous employer when a TCF Bank branch in Livonia, Michigan, refused to accept the checks, saying they weren't legit. Thomas, a 44-year-old Air Force veteran, said he felt "humiliated" and embarrassed when police arrived about 10 minutes later to investigate the fraud claims. He said he was treated as if he'd done something wrong and he's convinced that the bank assumed the checks were bad because he is black. "It was embarrassing," Thomas told Detroit ABC affiliate WXYZ on Thursday. "If I was white, this wouldn’t be happening."
Baltimore City State Attorney Marilyn Mosby gets a racist voicemail after rally.By Christina CarregaDays after Baltimore City's State Attorney Marilyn Mosby rallied around a fellow top prosecutor to speak out about the racially charged attacks they have experienced while in office, she received a 60-second voicemail flooded with "hateful rhetoric." The anonymous voice started by chastising Mosby for traveling to St. Louis, Missouri, to support St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner for filing a civil rights lawsuit against the city and their police union for allegedly coordinating racist conspiracies meant to force her out of office. Mixed with half-recited, profanity-laced proverbs and racially biased opinions, the caller ended the message with a shocking suggestion. "If we'd known you all were going to be this much f-----g trouble, we would have picked our own f-----g cotton," the caller said.
Scientists in Oklahoma are one step closer to finding possible evidence of mass graves linked to the deadly race massacre of 1921. Researchers in Tulsa used ground penetrating radar to survey two sites and found irregularities that could be consistent with large-scale burials. The neighborhood of Greenwood was known as black Wall Street. Restaurants, grocery stores and tailors were all black-owned businesses. In 1921 a white mob burned much of the Tulsa neighborhood to the ground, and some say as many as 300 black residents were killed. Almost forgotten by history, the city is trying to uncover the past and heal the wounds.Photojournalist Kavin Ross said he's grateful that a tragic, little known part of Tulsa history is now coming to light. "For decades it was hush-hush," Ross told CBS News correspondent Omar Villafranca. "Even some of the survivors that I interviewed, they were quiet and telling me, 'Oh and the white people—' They were whispering in their own homes because they were brought up not talking about what happened.'" The white mob clashed with several armed black men who had gathered to protect a black shoe shiner who was unjustly accused of assaulting a white woman. After a shot was fired, violence broke out and hundreds of black people were massacred.Ross' great-grandfather was forced to flee the city after his business was destroyed. "You had explosions. You had people running for their lives. It was just hell on earth," Ross said. The horror was brought to life in the premiere episode of HBO's new series "Watchmen." Witnesses reported seeing bodies put in mass graves, but local officials hid evidence of any crimes.
By Brendan ColeMarlon Anderson had worked for three years as a security guard at West High School in Madison, and in the school district for 11 years. Tempers frayed during a confrontation with a student whom he was trying to calm and get to leave the school. Anderson said that the student started to curse at him and used the N-word repeatedly. To emphasize how unacceptable this was, Anderson used the word in response. "I shouldn't be punished because I have the right to tell somebody not to call me this word"-- an emotional plea from a security guard fired from West High for repeating the n-word when asking a student to stop calling him that. MMSD's education board will be reexamining policies pic.twitter.com/zlhSOShKW5 — Madalyn O'Neill (@news3madalyn) October 17, 2019. He said "Don't call me that, don't call me the n-word, and don't call me n*****," using the word. Anderson told the Wisconsin State Journal that he had been set up by the assistant principal who held up her radio to his face during the altercation for other staff to hear. The Madison Metropolitan School District [MMSD] fired Anderson, citing a zero-tolerance policy of staff using the word, following a number of recent incidents in which racial slurs had been said. West High Principal Karen Boran informed parents by email that "regardless of context or circumstance, racial slurs are not acceptable in our schools." But in an interview with TV station Channel 3000, Anderson said he had been unfairly targeted and was trying to make a point to the student. "I want the zero-tolerance policy to be looked at. It's lazy," he said. "My mother was called this word. My father was called this word, my grandmother, my grandfather and keep going down the family line. "We were all called this word, and not one of them could say, 'Don't call me that.' I can. And I shouldn't be punished, because I have the right to tell somebody not to call me this word," he said. "I made a conscious decision to address the word because it is an epidemic, our kids use it every day." "You have no tolerance for a word, but yet you let students call me that word 15 times without correcting that behavior," he added. The union Madison Teachers Inc. is fighting the dismissal. In a statement, the union said: "We hope the school board will modify their action earlier and get him back to work," according to WKOW.
Forensic anthropologists are using ground-penetrating radar at Oaklawn Cemetery to look for evidence of long-rumored mass graves.By DeNeen L. BrownNearly 100 years after a race massacre left hundreds of black people dead, Tulsa began searching for evidence that victims of one of the country’s worst episodes of racial violence were buried in mass graves. On Monday, scientists and forensic anthropologists armed with ground-penetrating radar combed the grounds of Tulsa’s Oaklawn Cemetery, looking for anomalies that might be consistent with mass graves. The cemetery, which is owned by the city, is just a few blocks from what is known as Black Wall Street. It is also the site where, in 1999, renowned forensic anthropologist Clyde Snow led a team of scientists who discovered an anomaly bearing “all the characteristics of a dug pit or trench with vertical walls and an undefined object within the approximate center of the feature,” the Tulsa Race Riot Commission concluded in its 2001 report. Along with testimony from a witness of the massacre, the report said, “this trench-like feature takes on the properties of a mass grave.” The commission recommended excavation, but the city decided not to dig for physical evidence. Last year, Mayor G.T. Bynum (R) announced that he would reopen the investigation into mass graves, calling it a murder investigation. The announcement followed a Washington Post story about the unresolved questions surrounding the massacre. “We owe it to the community to determine if there are mass graves in our city,” Bynum told The Post at the time. “We owe it to the victims and their family members.” The city is obligated to find out what happened in 1921 as Tulsa prepares to mark the 100th anniversary of the rampage, he said.
By Brent StaplesCongress envisioned a white, Protestant and culturally homogeneous America when it declared in 1790 that only “free white persons, who have, or shall migrate into the United States” were eligible to become naturalized citizens. The calculus of racism underwent swift revision when waves of culturally diverse immigrants from the far corners of Europe changed the face of the country. As the historian Matthew Frye Jacobson shows in his immigrant history “Whiteness of a Different Color,” the surge of newcomers engendered a national panic and led Americans to adopt a more restrictive, politicized view of how whiteness was to be allocated. Journalists, politicians, social scientists and immigration officials embraced the habit, separating ostensibly white Europeans into “races.” Some were designated “whiter” — and more worthy of citizenship — than others, while some were ranked as too close to blackness to be socially redeemable. The story of how Italian immigrants went from racialized pariah status in the 19th century to white Americans in good standing in the 20th offers a window onto the alchemy through which race is constructed in the United States, and how racial hierarchies can sometimes change. Darker skinned southern Italians endured the penalties of blackness on both sides of the Atlantic. In Italy, Northerners had long held that Southerners — particularly Sicilians — were an “uncivilized” and racially inferior people, too obviously African to be part of Europe. Racist dogma about Southern Italians found fertile soil in the United States. As the historian Jennifer Guglielmo writes, the newcomers encountered waves of books, magazines and newspapers that “bombarded Americans with images of Italians as racially suspect.” They were sometimes shut out of schools, movie houses and labor unions, or consigned to church pews set aside for black people. They were described in the press as “swarthy,” “kinky haired” members of a criminal race and derided in the streets with epithets like “dago,” “guinea” — a term of derision applied to enslaved Africans and their descendants — and more familiarly racist insults like “white nigger” and “nigger wop.” The penalties of blackness went well beyond name-calling in the apartheid South. Italians who had come to the country as “free white persons” were often marked as black because they accepted “black” jobs in the Louisiana sugar fields or because they chose to live among African-Americans. This left them vulnerable to marauding mobs like the ones that hanged, shot, dismembered or burned alive thousands of black men, women and children across the South. The federal holiday honoring the Italian explorer Christopher Columbus — celebrated on Monday — was central to the process through which Italian-Americans were fully ratified as white during the 20th century. The rationale for the holiday was steeped in myth, and allowed Italian-Americans to write a laudatory portrait of themselves into the civic record. Few who march in Columbus Day parades or recount the tale of Columbus’s voyage from Europe to the New World are aware of how the holiday came about or that President Benjamin Harrison proclaimed it as a one-time national celebration in 1892 — in the wake of a bloody New Orleans lynching that took the lives of 11 Italian immigrants. The proclamation was part of a broader attempt to quiet outrage among Italian-Americans, and a diplomatic blowup over the murders that brought Italy and the United States to the brink of war.
By Hannah KnowlesCHARLOTTESVILLE — A Monticello tour guide was explaining earlier this summer how enslaved people built, planted and tended a terrace of vegetables at Thomas Jefferson’s estate when a woman interrupted to share her annoyance. “Why are you talking about that?” she demanded, according to Gary Sandling, vice president of Monticello’s visitor programs and services. “You should be talking about the plants." At Monticello, George Washington’s Mount Vernon and other plantations across the South, an effort is underway to deal more honestly with the brutal institution that the Founding Fathers relied on to build their homes and their wealth: slavery. Four hundred years after the first enslaved Africans arrived in the English colony of Virginia, some sites are also connecting that ugly past to modern-day racism and inequality. The changes have begun to draw people long alienated by the sites’ whitewashing of the past and to satisfy what staff call a hunger for real history, as plantations add slavery-focused tours, rebuild cabins and reconstruct the lives of the enslaved with help from their descendants. But some visitors, who remain overwhelmingly white, are pushing back, and the very mention of slavery and its impacts on the United States can bring accusations of playing politics. “We’re at a very polarized, partisan political moment in our country, and not surprisingly, when we are in those moments, history becomes equally polarized,” Sandling said. The backlash is reflected in some online reviews of plantations, including McLeod in Charleston, S.C., where one visitor complained earlier this summer that she “didn’t come to hear a lecture on how the white people treated slaves.” The review sparked shock as it made rounds on the Internet. But stories of guests’ discomfort are familiar to many on the front lines at historical sites steeped in slavery: the tour guides, reenactors and other staff with an up-close view of how Americans think and talk about a shameful past. A shifting message: There was a time when visitors “would not have heard the word ‘slave’ in this house,” David Ronka said early on in a 105-minute dive into the lives of the best-known enslaved family at Monticello, the Hemingses. Visitors might have heard references to “Mr. Jefferson’s people,” said the veteran guide. Or maybe “the souls of his family,” a phrase from the author of the Declaration of Independence who owned more than 600 enslaved people over his lifetime. Now, Monticello’s guides, called “interpreters,” tell their nearly half a million visitors a year about “enslaved people.” “Slave” is a noun, Ronka said as other tour groups’ footsteps shuffled overhead. “Enslaved” is a condition, he added: a way to talk about people defined by more than their bondage. “We’ve been waiting, you know, for this story, for this amount of truth about the past,” said Niya Bates, Monticello’s director of African American history. The truth came gradually, starting in the 1990s with an effort to gather oral histories and a tour on slavery. Last year, Monticello opened a room once home to Sally Hemings amid growing evidence that Jefferson fathered her children. Interpreters talk about what Ronka calls the “central irony” of the nation’s third president, who said he hated slavery, at some points advocating against it, but freed just seven of the hundreds of men and women he owned.
By Christina Maxouris, CNNFor nearly 100 years, the "Red Summer" as it was called by NAACP field secretary James Weldon Johnson because of its explosive violence and bloodshed, went overlooked and forgotten. "The Red Summer doesn't fit into the stories we tell ourselves about US history," Krugler says. "It's also a very prominent example of another feature of American history that we don't like to fully acknowledge."
2 Swarthmore fraternities will disband after documents reveal references to 'rape attic' and racist behavior(CNN) - Two Swarthmore University fraternity chapters say they are closing their doors in response to allegations of racist, misogynistic and homophobic behavior against past members that emerged in recent weeks. The disturbing accounts were included in documents from 2013 to 2016 that were leaked to two campus publications earlier this month. One of them, the 117-page "Phi Psi Historical Archive," included rape jokes and racist tropes among the pages of fraternity meeting minutes and scavenger hunt lists. The documents also included crude descriptions of sexual encounters and hazing and references to another fraternity's "rape attic" and "rape tunnel."
Racism is built right into every level of our society in ways that might surprise you. Racism of this kind, racism that infects the very structure of our society, is called systemic racism. And at first glance, it may be difficult to detect. Since the election of Donald Trump, hate crimes have been on the rise. White supremacists have been emboldened. Anti-immigrant rhetoric has intensified. We condemn these awful examples of prejudice and bias and hate, but systemic racism is something different. It’s less about violence or burning crosses than it is about everyday decisions made by people who may not even think of themselves as racist. As sociologist Eduardo Bonilla-Silva has said, "The main problem nowadays is not the folks with the hoods, but the folks dressed in suits.
In the span of 10 days before the midterm elections, Americans saw four terrifying new faces of hate crime. These were men whose festering ideological grievances were exacerbated by a mental illness or personality disorder. They were engaged with fellow haters on social media, but isolated from society. Their economic prospects were dim. For each, there was a point in life where they turned toward violence, and an incident that seems to have given them the final push. Their targets covered the waterfront of hate — Jews. African Americans. Women. Political opponents. And their cases crashed into the national consciousness in in a span of 240 hours.
The mere existence of the KKK is enough cause for both alarm and questioning of our federal government as to why an outright racist, violently hateful organization has been allowed to exist for so long, but apparently, conservative media personality Tomi Lahren didn’t get that memo.
By Doug Criss and Tina Burnside(CNN) An African-American woman is now the publisher and editor of the Alabama newspaper that recently urged the Ku Klux Klan to "night ride again," the paper said. Elecia R. Dexter, a "strategic leader with expertise in human resources, operations and change management," took up the positions Thursday, the weekly Democrat-Reporter of Linden said in a press release. Dexter replaces Goodloe Sutton, the newspaper's owner who penned a staggering editorial with the headline "The Klan Needs to Ride Again" in the paper's February 14 edition. Dexter's family has "strong roots and a rich history in Marengo County where her dad, John Dexter Jr. was born," the newspaper said. Sutton's editorial sparked outrage around the country. "Time for the Ku Klux Klan to night ride again," Sutton wrote. "Democrats in the Republican Party and Democrats are plotting to raise taxes in Alabama." Sutton told the Montgomery Advertiser he urged the white supremacist group to "clean out D.C." via lynchings. "We'll get the hemp ropes out, loop them over a tall limb and hang all of them," Sutton told the newspaper. He stressed that he wasn't calling for the hangings of all Americans, just the "socialist-communists." "Seem like the Klan would be welcome to raid the gated communities up there," Sutton wrote in the editorial. Beginning in the late 19th century, Klan members used night rides to terrorize blacks and their white allies with violence, including lynchings and firebombings. When asked by the Advertiser if he recognized the Klan as a white supremacist group, Sutton compared it to the NAACP and said, "The Klan wasn't violent until they needed to be."
Alt-right beliefs have been described as isolationist, protectionist, antisemitic and white supremacist, frequently overlapping with neo-Nazism, identitarianism, nativism and Islamophobia, antifeminism, misogyny and homophobia, right-wing populism and the neoreactionary movement. The concept has further been associated with several groups such as American nationalists, paleoconservatives, anarcho-capitalists, national-anarchists, paleolibertarians, Christian fundamentalists, neo-monarchists, men's rights advocates and the 2016 presidential campaign of Donald Trump.
The Alternative Right, commonly known as the "alt-right," is a set of far-right ideologies, groups and individuals whose core belief is that “white identity” is under attack by multicultural forces using “political correctness” and “social justice” to undermine white people and “their” civilization.
The Trump administration's policy of separating parents and children who ... has roots inslave and Native American families being ripped apart.
Pro-Trump hate groups are praising Russia and its ‘macho’ leader after the president’s summit with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki.By Kelly WeillWhile President Donald Trump pals around with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the U.S.’s racist right is making open overtures to Russian white supremacists. One day after Trump’s disastrous summit with Putin last week, the League of the South, a neo-Confederate hate group, announced that it would launch a Russian-language site. The southern secessionist group’s crush on Russia is the latest appeal by U.S. white supremacists to Russia and Putin—an alliance that has strengthened during the Trump presidency. “Russia is our friend,” a group of torch-waving racists chanted during an October rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. “The South will rise again.” The event was headed by white nationalist Richard Spencer, who has been stumping for Russia before Trump took office. Spencer, who advocates for “peaceful ethnic cleansing,” has promoted Russia as the kind of ethnostate he wants to create, calling it “the sole white power in the world” in 2016. Until October 2016, Spencer was married to Nina Kouprianova, a Putin apologist who translates the writings of Russian fascist Alexander Dugin. The white supremacists’ chant of “Russia is our friend. The South will rise again,” summarized several years of neo-Confederate flirtation with Russia. Despite groups like League of the South decrying “globalism,” the movement’s leaders have long looked to Russia as an ideological ally.
Trump says silent because “radical Islamic terrorists” aren’t part of his voting base – and “white supremacist terrorists” are. Remember how Donald Trump used to accuse the Democrats of political correctness on the subject of terrorism? “These are radical Islamic terrorists and she won’t even mention the word and nor will President Obama,” declaimed the then Republican presidential candidate in his second debate against Hillary Clinton in October 2016. But what about Trump’s own political correctness? Over the course of his 14 months in office, the president has pointedly refused to use the term “white supremacist terrorist”. He has turned a blind eye to a wave of shootings, stabbings and bombings carried out not by radicalised Muslims but by radicalised white men. He has ignored the fact – documented in a range of studies – that Americans are much more likely to be the victims of a “white supremacist terrorist” than a “radical Islamic terrorist”. (According to the Investigative Fund, an independent journalism organisation, “far-right plots and attacks outnumber Islamist incidents by almost two to one.”)
Assault on 'Empire' actor Jussie Smollett serves as a stark reminder that American lynching and noose attacks are still prevalentBy Elizabeth WeiseIn 2018, a black supervisor at a GM plant in Ohio reported five nooses hung in his work area over several months. One of his white staffers told him, "back in the day, you would have been buried with a shovel." That same year, a man in Riverside, California, was videotaped hanging a noose on the fence between his house and the house of a mixed-race couple. In September, a white high school student put a noose around the neck of a black classmate in Ouachita, Louisiana. In October, a retired firefighter in Grapevine, Texas, hung a doll by the neck on the railing in front of a black neighbor's apartment in an attempt to intimidate the family. Lynching may seem like something out of the distant past, but the use of lynching symbolism to terrify, intimidate and curtail the lives of black Americans is very much happening today, say civil rights advocates.
NBC NewsDuring a speech commemorating Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Columbus, South Carolina, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) called President Trump “a racist.” To cheers from the crowd, Sanders went on to call out Trump for his policy decisions and rhetoric, saying that they have divided the country along lines of race, gender, and country of origin.
If elected president, Democratic candidate Beto O’Rourke said he’d launch a $5 trillion plan to combat climate change and invest in communities already dealing with its impact. "Climate change has a distressingly disproportionate impact on poor and minority communities across the United States and around the world," said O’Rourke in his plan released April 29. "Race is the No. 1 indicator for where toxic and polluting facilities are today." We rated Mostly False another claim in O’Rourke’s plan regarding the number of people with "unsafe" drinking water. This time, we wondered if he was right about race and the placement of toxic facilities. O'Rourke's claim mirrors a statement by an NAACP program that highlights environmental and climate issues affecting communities of color and low-income, and draws from a 2016 editorial in The Nation citing examples of "environmental racism." We asked about half a dozen experts to weigh in to help us evaluate the claim and O’Rourke’s evidence. They said that while different types of studies can yield varying results, there’s research supporting O’Rourke’s point.
Most lynchings were of African-American men in the South, but women were also lynched, and white lynchings of blacks occurred in Midwestern and border states, especially during the 20th-century Great Migration of blacks out of the South. The political message — the demonstration of white male supremacy and black male impotence — was a key element of the ritual.
African Americans in a rural Virginia county worried they were at risk after hearing that an emergency medical technician made racist comments on a white supremacist podcast. "I'm mad as hell is bad," one man said, as a series of people demanded action from officials in Patrick County. Residents were outraged at comments made by Alex McNabb, who cohosts a podcast in which he has compared black patients to gorillas and claimed "immense satisfaction" as he "terrorized" an African American boy with a needle in an emergency room. McNabb also addressed the meeting, which became heated. Supervisors decided to do nothing, refusing to take up calls to cut funding to the rescue service that employs McNabb.
In the night of 21 November 1919, a mob of Great Southern Lumber company gunman and Klan-type vigilantes organized in a “Self-Preservation and Loyalty League” (SPLL) showed up at the home of Sol Dacus, the head of the black section of the International Union of Timber Workers in Bogalusa, Louisiana. The gunmen riddled his house with bullets, narrowly missing both Dacus and his wife and children. This assault set the stage for the climax in a long struggle by two American Federation of Labor (AFL) unions to organize what was then the largest sawmill in the world. Evading the posse, Dacus showed up in town the next day. The sight was so extraordinary that it made the national news. The New York Times (23 November1919) reported: “This morning, to the surprise of the Loyalty League men, the Negro they sought emerged from his hiding-place and walked boldly down the principal street of the town. On either side of him was an armed white man.....” Dacus was flanked by J. P. Bouchillon and Stanley O’Rourke, two white unionists, who had volunteered to accompany him to union headquarters, toting shot guns. This action was so threatening that the Great Southern blew the mill’s siren whistle – the “riot” signal – in order to remobilize its posse and simultaneously secured an arrest warrant against O’Rourke and Bouchillon for “disturbing the peace.” That was easy enough, considering that Great Southern’s General Manager Sullivan was also the mayor of this nakedly company town. The company also maintained the largest private army in Louisiana. A horde of gun thugs and SPLL men converged on the union offices, located in the auto repair shop run by Central Trades and Labor Council President Lem Williams. According to the company version, which was duly parroted by the Times, a small group of seven men in the office opened fire on the 150 “deputies.” Far more credible is the account by Louisiana AFL President Frank Morrison in a 4 February 1920 letter to the NAACP:
The Tulsa race riot of 1921 Took place on May 31 and June 1, 1921, when mobs of whites attacked black residents and businesses of Greenwood in Tulsa, Oklahoma. This is considered one of the worst incidents of racial violence in the history of the United States. The attack, carried out on the ground and by air, destroyed more than 35 blocks of the district, at the time the wealthiest black community in the United States. More than 800 people were admitted to hospitals and more than 6,000 black residents were arrested and detained, many for several days. The Oklahoma Bureau of Vital Statistics officially recorded 36 dead, but the American Red Cross declined to provide an estimate. When a state commission re-examined events in 2001, its report estimated that 100-300 African Americans were killed in the rioting.
By Peter BeinartWhen Democrats are accused of anti-Semitism, Republicans understand that coded language can be hurtful. But Trump’s racist comments get a pass. Most of the time, conservatives and Republicans want the bar for what constitutes bigotry to be set extremely high. When President Donald Trump tweeted last weekend that four nonwhite Democrats in Congress should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came,” he offered a textbook example of racism. Trump’s own Equal Employment Opportunity Commission uses the phrase Go back to where you came from as one of its examples of discrimination based on national origin. Yet Trump insisted that “those Tweets were NOT Racist”—even as he doubled down on them by launching an attack on Representative Ilhan Omar that prompted rally-goers in North Carolina on Wednesday night to chant “Send her back!” At the same time that Trump was denying charges of bigotry, however, he was also leveling them. At the North Carolina rally, he accused Omar of “vicious anti-Semitic” remarks—a reference to her tweet that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s influence in Washington is “all about the Benjamins” and her allegation that pro-Israel groups “push for allegiance to a foreign country.” Those comments—which evoked hoary stereotypes of Jews as money-driven and disloyal—elicited criticism even from Democrats, and Omar apologized for the first. But however damning one considers her statements, it’s utterly illogical to claim that they constitute bigotry while Trump’s far more direct attack does not. Yet this is exactly what Trump and other prominent Republicans are doing.
Discrimination based on skin color, also known as colorism or shadeism, is a form of prejudice or discrimination usually from members of the same race in which people are treated differently based on the social implications from cultural meanings attached to skin color.Research has found extensive evidence of discrimination based on skin color in criminal justice, business, the economy, housing, health care, media, and politics in the United States and Europe. Lighter skin tones are seen as preferable in many countries in Africa, Asia and South America.
Donald Trump may have failed to disavow the Ku Klux Klan in late February, but he’ll have you know he is not racist. In fact, he claims to be “the least racist person that you have ever met,” and last summer he pulled out the old standby about not having a racist bone in his body. But he hasn’t given us a lot of reason to believe that. In fact, despite Trump’s protests to the contrary, he has a long history of saying and doing racist things. It’s not really surprising that he’s won the support and praise of the country’s white supremacists.
Dred Scott v. Sandford, 60 U.S. (19 How.) 393 (1857), was a landmark decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in which the Court held that the Constitution of the United States was not meant to include American citizenship for black people, regardless of whether they were enslaved or free, and therefore the rights and privileges it confers upon American citizens could not apply to them. The plaintiff in the case was Dred Scott, an enslaved black man whose owners had taken him from Missouri, which was a slave-holding state, into the Missouri Territory, most of which had been designated "free" territory by the Missouri Compromise of 1820. When his owners later brought him back to Missouri, Scott sued in court for his freedom, claiming that because he had been taken into "free" U.S. territory, he had automatically been freed, and was legally no longer a slave. Scott sued first in Missouri state court, which ruled that he was still a slave under its law. He then sued in U.S. federal court, which ruled against him by deciding that it had to apply Missouri law to the case. He then appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. In March 1857, the Supreme Court issued a 7–2 decision against Dred Scott. In an opinion written by Chief Justice Roger Taney, the Court ruled that black people "are not included, and were not intended to be included, under the word 'citizens' in the Constitution, and can therefore claim none of the rights and privileges which that instrument provides for and secures to citizens of the United States." Taney supported his ruling with an extended survey of American state and local laws from the time of the Constitution's drafting in 1787 purporting to show that a "perpetual and impassable barrier was intended to be erected between the white race and the one which they had reduced to slavery." Because the Court ruled that Scott was not an American citizen, any federal lawsuit he filed automatically failed because he could never establish the "diversity of citizenship" that Article III of the U.S. Constitution requires for an American federal court to be able to exercise jurisdiction over a case. After ruling on these issues surrounding Scott, Taney continued further and struck down the entire Missouri Compromise as a limitation on slavery that exceeded the U.S. Congress's powers under the Constitution. Two justices—John McLean and Benjamin Robbins Curtis—dissented from the Court's opinion, writing that the majority's historical survey was inaccurate and that legal precedent showed that some black people actually had been citizens at the time of the Constitution's creation, and also that the majority's opinion went too far in striking down the Missouri Compromise.
by Lois BeckettThe country’s refusal to pass new gun control laws has everything to do with defending racial hierarchy, says author Jonathan Metzl. Why does the United States refuse to pass new gun control laws? It’s the question that people around the world keep asking. According to Dr Jonathan Metzl, a psychiatrist and sociologist at Vanderbilt University, white supremacy is the key to understanding America’s gun debate. In his new book, Dying of Whiteness: How the Politics of Racial Resentment is Killing America’s Heartland, Metzl argues that the intensity and polarization of the US gun debate makes much more sense when understood in the context of whiteness and white privilege. White Americans’ attempt to defend their status in the racial hierarchy by opposing issues like gun control, healthcare expansion or public school funding ends up injuring themselves, as well as hurting people of color, Metzl argues. The majority of America’s gun death victims are white men, and most of them die from self-inflicted gunshot wounds. In all, gun suicide claims the lives of 25,000 Americans each year. White Americans are “dying for a cause”, he writes, even if their form of death is often “slow, excruciating, and invisible”.
The Elaine Massacre was by far the deadliest racial confrontation in Arkansas history and possibly the bloodiest racial conflict in the history of the United States. While its deepest roots lay in the state’s commitment to white supremacy, the events in Elaine (Phillips County) stemmed from tense race relations and growing concerns about labor unions. A shooting incident that occurred at a meeting of the Progressive Farmers and Household Union escalated into mob violence on the part of the white people in Elaine and surrounding areas. Although the exact number is unknown, estimates of the number of African Americans killed by whites range into the hundreds; five white people lost their lives. The conflict began on the night of September 30, 1919, when approximately 100 African Americans, mostly sharecroppers on the plantations of white landowners, attended a meeting of the Progressive Farmers and Household Union of America at a church in Hoop Spur (Phillips County), three miles north of Elaine. The purpose of the meeting, one of several by black sharecroppers in the Elaine area during the previous months, was to obtain better payments for their cotton crops from the white plantation owners who dominated the area during the Jim Crow era. Black sharecroppers were often exploited in their efforts to collect payment for their cotton crops. In previous months, racial conflict had occurred in numerous cities in America, including Washington DC; Chicago, Illinois; Knoxville, Tennessee; and Indianapolis, Indiana. With labor conflicts escalating throughout the country at the end of World War I, government and business interpreted the demands of labor increasingly as the work of foreign ideologies, such as Bolshevism, that threatened the foundation of the American economy. Thrown into this highly combustible mix was the return to the United States of black soldiers who often exhibited a less submissive attitude within the Jim Crow society around them.
By David ChalmersThe Ku Klux Klan is a native-born American racist terrorist organization that helped overthrow Republican Reconstruction governments in the South after the Civil War and drive black people out of politics. It revived in the 20th Century as a social lodge and briefly became a nationwide political power. During the 1960s, the Klan fought the Civil Rights Movement in the South. Under attack in state and federal courts, in a racially changed and disapproving South, the Klan hangs on —marginally, but still violent. In the summer of 1866, six young ex-Confederate officers organized a social club. Drawing on their college Greek, they adopted the term for circle, "kuklos." They added the alliterative word "klan," and the "Ku Klux Klan" was born. Their nightly rides, in which members disguised themselves in masks and flowing robes, soon became a political successor to the prewar slave patrols in controlling newly freed blacks. Particularly across the upper South, Klansmen sought to overturn the new Republican state governments, drive black men out of politics, control black labor, and restore black subordination. Led by elites and drawing on a cross-section of white male society, the Klan's assaults and murders numbered in the thousands. Similar organizations such as the Knights of the White Camelia in Louisiana copied the Klan. more...
Journalist Robert Fieseler discusses American race relations as a social construct with Harvard instructors and anthropologists, Michael Baran and James Herron.
On Wednesday, minutes after President Trump posted an incendiary campaign ad falsely accusing Democrats of flooding the country with murderous illegal immigrants, virulent racists on an online message board erupted in celebration. “I love it. We should be making videos like this,” one said. Another approvingly compared the ad to “With Open Gates,” a viral 2015 video about the dangers of European immigration that drew praise from prominent neo-Nazis and white nationalists, and was broadly condemned by anti-hate groups. These posts, which appeared on the politics forum of 4chan, an online message board known for hosting extreme speech and graphic imagery, were not a one-off. In recent weeks, as Mr. Trump and his allies have waged a fear-based campaign to drive Republican voters to the polls for the midterm elections on Tuesday, far-right internet communities have been buoyed as their once-fringe views have been given oxygen by prominent Republicans. These activists cheered when Mr. Trump suggested that the Jewish billionaire George Soros could be secretly funding a caravan of Latin American migrants — a dog-whistle reference to an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory that has been advanced by neo-Nazis and white nationalists for years. They roared their approval when Mr. Trump began stirring up fears of angry, violent left-wing mobs, another far-right boogeyman. And they have found traces of their ideas in Mr. Trump’s rhetoric, including his concern for an obscure land rights conflict involving white farmers in South Africa and his references to asylum-seeking migrants as “invaders.”
By Will SommerThe Proud Boys claim they’re just a men’s club. But their members have been threatening critics by surprising them at home. Members of the far-right Proud Boys men’s group allegedly made a threatening late-night visit recently to the home of one of their critics, the latest in the group’s escalating actions against its detractors. Gwen Snyder, an amateur researcher in Philadelphia who tracks the group’s movements, wasn’t at home when a group of men visited her residence around 11 p.m. on June 29. Instead, the men talked to her neighbor, according to Snyder, and warned that Snyder needed to stop posting the names of Proud Boys members and other information on Twitter. “You tell that fat bitch she better stop,” one of the Proud Boys allegedly said, according to Snyder. The Proud Boys, a group of self-described “Western chauvinists” founded by right-wing comedian Gavin McInnes, have sought to portray themselves as a harmless fraternal organization devoted mostly to supporting Trump and drinking beer. Proud Boys regularly attend Republican events in their black-and-gold polo shirt uniforms, and Proud Boys have served as a security detail for former Donald Trump adviser Roger Stone. Even as they’ve been embraced by some parts of the Republican Party, Proud Boys have repeatedly violently attacked counterprotesters. Proud Boys in New York City and Portland are currently facing criminal charges over violence surrounding political rallies. In June, a group of Proud Boys attempted to confront people protesting Trump’s 2020 campaign kickoff in Florida, but were stopped by a line of police.
His views match those of experts within the Department of Justice — just not the White House.
Bureau spied on California activists, citing potential ‘conspiracy’ against the ‘rights’ of neo-Nazis. The FBI opened a “domestic terrorism” investigation into a civil rights group in California, labeling the activists “extremists” after they protested against neo-Nazis in 2016, new documents reveal. Federal authorities ran a surveillance operation on By Any Means Necessary (Bamn), spying on the leftist group’s movements in an inquiry that came after one of Bamn’s members was stabbed at the white supremacist rally, according to documents obtained by the Guardian. The FBI’s Bamn files reveal: The FBI investigated Bamn for potential “conspiracy” against the “rights” of the “Ku Klux Klan” and white supremacists. The FBI considered the KKK as victims and the leftist protesters as potential terror threats, and downplayed the threats of the Klan, writing: “The KKK consisted of members that some perceived to be supportive of a white supremacist agenda.” The FBI’s monitoring included in-person surveillance, and the agency cited Bamn’s advocacy against “rape and sexual assault” and “police brutality” as evidence in the terrorism inquiry. The FBI’s 46-page report on Bamn, obtained by the government transparency non-profit Property of the People through a records request, presented an “astonishing” description of the KKK, said Mike German, a former FBI agent and far-right expert who reviewed the documents for the Guardian. The report ignored “100 years of Klan terrorism that has killed thousands of Americans and continues using violence right up to the present day”, German said. “This description of the KKK should be an embarrassment to FBI leadership.” Shanta Driver, Bamn’s national chair, criticized the investigation in a statement to the Guardian, saying, “The FBI’s interest in BAMN is part of a long-standing policy … Starting with their campaign to persecute and slander Dr. Martin Luther King, they have a racist history of targeting peaceful civil rights and anti-racist organizations, while doing nothing to prosecute the racists and fascists who attacked Dr. King and the movement he built.” The FBI’s insinuation that Bamn’s actions could provoke violence was odd, said German, the former FBI agent, who is now a Brennan Center fellow. He noted that it was white supremacists “who have used this tactic for decades” and said the violent provocations of rightwing groups were well known when he worked on domestic terrorism for the FBI in the 1990s. The Bamn report, he said, gave the “appearance of favoritism toward one of the oldest and most active terrorist groups in history”. He added that the report should have made clear that the “KKK consists of members who have a bloody history of racial and antisemitic violence and intimidation and is known for staging public spectacles for the specific purpose of inciting imminent violence”.
Compare what the "Desperate Housewives" star faces to Tanya McDowell's punishmentBy D. WatkinsMost people with basic common sense understand the race problem that exists in this country. They know that many black people don’t get a fair shake. But frequently I encounter honestly confused white people at book events who have little to no proximity to black people, other than authors swinging through their town to promote their race books — the single black dude who luckily made it out because of some rare opportunity, which leads them to believe everyone can, even those without the same opportunities — and who simply think that racism ended with slavery, and that systemic or structural racism doesn’t exist. So here’s a clear example for those who don’t get it. Most parents, regardless of ethnicity, economic background or social class, want their kids to receive a great education. We know that education opens doors, creates opportunities and is a key in leading a happy, meaningful life. Back in 2011 Tanya McDowell was homeless and living in her van. She wanted her five-year-old son to receive a quality education, so she enrolled him in Brookside Elementary of the Norwalk School District. He was later kicked out due to a residency issue, so he transferred to Bridgeport schools. more...
From the Collection: The Presidents Share:At the time of Ulysses S. Grant's election to the presidency, white supremacists were conducting a reign of terror throughout the South. In outright defiance of the Republican-led federal government, Southern Democrats formed organizations that violently intimidated blacks and Republicans who tried to win political power. The most prominent of these, the Ku Klux Klan, was formed in Pulaski, Tennessee, in 1865. Originally founded as a social club for former Confederate soldiers, the Klan evolved into a terrorist organization. It would be responsible for thousands of deaths, and would help to weaken the political power of Southern blacks and Republicans. Racist activity in the South often took the form of riots that targeted blacks and Republicans. In 1866, a quarrel between whites and black ex-soldiers erupted into a full-fledged riot in Memphis, Tennessee. White policemen assisted the mobs in their violent rampage through the black sections of town. By the time the violence ended, 46 people were dead, 70 more were wounded, and numerous churches and schools had been burned. Just two months later, on July 30, a similar outbreak of violence erupted in New Orleans. This time, a white mob attacked the attendees of a black suffrage convention, killing 37 blacks and three whites who allied with them. In this violent atmosphere, the Ku Klux Klan grew in size and strength. By 1868, the Klan had evolved into a hooded terrorist organization that its members called "The Invisible Empire of the South." The reorganized Klan's first leader, or "Grand Wizard," was Nathan Bedford Forrest, who had been a Confederate general during the Civil War.
FDR nominated the Alabama Senator as his first U.S. Supreme Court nominee.By Thad MorganDuring his time on the Supreme Court, Justice Hugo Black voted to desegregate schools, expand freedom of the press and help protect housing options for minorities. He was also a former member of the Ku Klux Klan. While Black’s liberal leanings during this New Deal era, would not seem to fit with membership in the KKK, part of his motivation for joining in 1923 was political. Following years of working as a trial lawyer, Black was attempting to appeal to southern Democrats as he planned his run for the U.S. Senate from Alabama.
The legacy of such brutal, racist murders is still largely ignored. Historians broadly agree that lynchings were a method of social and racial control meant to terrorize black Americans into submission, and into an inferior racial caste position. They became widely practiced in the US south from roughly 1877, the end of post-civil war reconstruction, through 1950. A typical lynching would involve criminal accusations, often dubious, against a black American, an arrest, and the assembly of a “lynch mob” intent on subverting the normal constitutional judicial process. Victims would be seized and subjected to every imaginable manner of physical torment, with the torture usually ending with being hung from a tree and set on fire. More often than not, victims would be dismembered and mob members would take pieces of their flesh and bone as souvenirs. In a great many cases, the mobs were aided and abetted by law enforcement (indeed, they often were the same people). Officers would routinely leave a black inmate’s jail cell unguarded after rumors of a lynching began to circulate to allow for a mob to kill them before any trial or legal defense could take place.
A mix of journalistic mistakes and partisan hackery advanced a pernicious lie about Democrats and the Klan.By Jennifer Mendelsohn and Peter A. ShulmanEarlier this month, a hashtag made its way across Twitter: “#triggeraliberalin4words.” Kambree Kawahine Koa, whose bio identifies her as a “political news contributor,” scored big with her offering, which garnered almost 10,000 likes and close to 1,000 replies. “The Democrats created KKK,” she tweeted over a photo of a Klan march captioned: “This photo was taken at the 1924 Democratic Convention. It was known as the ‘Klanbake’ (just in case you want to Google it).” The only problem? There was no Klan march at the 1924 Democratic convention — the photo was actually taken in Wisconsin — nor was the convention ever actually known as the “Klanbake.” The convention was indeed infamous for taking 103 ballots and more than two weeks to nominate a presidential candidate, John W. Davis. Delegates wrangled over a host of contentious issues, the Klan among them.
By Michael HarriotHere’s a joke: What’s the difference between a Klan rally and a Republican Convention? Answer: The dress code. Here’s another one: How white is the Republican Party? According to Pew Research, 83 percent of the registered voters who identify as Republican are non-Hispanic whites. The Republican Party is whiter than Tilda Swinton riding a polar bear in a snowstorm to a Taylor Swift concert. Why isn’t anyone laughing? Is this thing on? And not only is the Grand Ole Party unapologetically white, recently it has been disposing of its dog whistles in favor of bullhorns, becoming more unabashedly racist every day. Aside from its leader excusing a white supremacist murder, calling Mexicans “rapists,” referring to “shithole countries” and settling multiple discrimination lawsuits, there is an abundance of evidence that shows the party’s racism. Nearly half of the country (49 percent) believes Donald Trump is racist but 86 percent of Republicans say he is not, according to a recent Quinnipiac University poll. The same survey shows that 79 percent of Republicans approve of the way the president handles race. Other data points include:
Democratic defectors, known as the “Dixiecrats,” started a switch to the Republican party in a movement that was later fueled by a so-called "Southern strategy."By Becky LittleThe night that Democratic President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, his special assistant Bill Moyers was surprised to find the president looking melancholy in his bedroom. Moyers later wrote that when he asked what was wrong, Johnson replied, “I think we just delivered the South to the Republican party for a long time to come.” It may seem a crude remark to make after such a momentous occasion, but it was also an accurate prediction. To understand some of the reasons the South went from a largely Democratic region to a primarily Republican area today, just follow the decades of debate over racial issues in the United States. The Republican party was originally founded in the mid-1800s to oppose immigration and the spread of slavery, says David Goldfield, whose new book on American politics, The Gifted Generation: When Government Was Good, comes out in November. “The Republican party was strictly a sectional party, meaning that it just did not exist in the South,” he says. “The South couldn’t care less about immigration.” But it did care about preserving slavery.
By QUINT FORGEYRep. Ilhan Omar on Tuesday accused Donald Trump of long-harbored and deep-seated “inherent racism,” as the president has launched into another week of fiery attacks on the Minnesota Democrat and three other freshman progressive congresswomen. “Right now, even when we’re talking about the president, people will say, you know, his remarks are racist, and we’ll forget the inherent racism that has always been part of him,” Omar said, criticizing how Trump “always takes an opportunity to others to vilify them and destroy their existence and ability to access our justice system.” Omar went on to cite Trump’s calls three decades ago to reinstate the death penalty amid the “Central Park Five” case — a campaign by the real estate mogul that Omar characterized Tuesday as “going out of your way to ask for lynching for five innocent young men.” Omar’s remarks at the Muslim Collective for Equitable Democracy conference in Washington came less than an hour after Trump namechecked the lawmaker in a tweet, referencing her and the liberal House Democrats he has also repeatedly strafed: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan.
Columbia, South Carolina -- Former Vice President Joe Biden rang the alarm that "Jim Crow is sneaking back" at a campaign rally in South Carolina, the south's first primary state that is seen as key to clinching the Democratic nomination. Biden launched his third bid for the presidency on April 25 in Pennsylvania, and crisscrossed Iowa before heading to South Carolina this weekend. Biden held a campaign rally Saturday in Columbia, the Palmetto State's capital and home to the University of South Carolina. Bidden added to his usual fighting-for-the-middle-class stump speech by calling for protecting voting rights and ending "systemic racism." Biden cited numerous states' voting laws which he said are "mostly directed at people of color."
This is a list of examples of Jim Crow laws, which were state and local laws in the United States enacted between 1876 and 1965. Jim Crow laws existed mainly in the South and originated from the Black Codes that were passed from 1865 to 1866 and from prewar segregation on railroad cars in northern cities. The laws sprouted up in the late 19th century after Reconstruction and lasted until the 1960s
“It shall be unlawful for a negro and white person to play together or in company with each other in any game of cards or dice, dominoes or checkers.” “Separate free schools shall be established for the education of children of African descent; and it shall be unlawful for any colored child to attend any white school, or any white child to attend a colored school.” “All railroads carrying passengers in the state (other than street railroads) shall provide equal but separate accommodations for the white and colored races, by providing two or more passenger cars for each passenger train, or by dividing the cars by a partition, so as to secure separate accommodations.”
By Ephrat LivniThe Supreme Court heard arguments Monday on the constitutionality of a Louisiana law that allows criminal convictions based on jury verdicts that aren’t unanimous. Justice Brett Kavanaugh pointed out that the Louisiana law had racist roots. He noted that there were two “practical reasons” to overrule the precedent the state relied on. One was unfairness to defendants who may well have a constitutional right to a unanimous jury, and the other was the law’s apparently racist intent. “The rule in question here is rooted in a—in racism, you know, rooted in a desire, apparently, to diminish the voices of black jurors,” the justice told the state’s solicitor general, Elizabeth Murrill. “Why aren’t those two things enough to overrule… unfairness to defendants and rooted in racism?” he asked Murrill. She replied that the law was not “fundamentally unfair.” But Kavanaugh didn’t look convinced. Although the conservative justice seems a somewhat unlikely champion of minorities, he recently also authored the majority opinion in a case reversing a quadruple murder conviction based on a racist jury selection process and is actually steeped in the topic. The opinion was an eloquent condemnation of racism. Kavanaugh’s unexpected question was just one sign that, as ever, it will be impossible to predict where the justices fall on any issue until they reveal their decisions. In the jury case, Stanford University law school professor Jeffrey Fisher argued for the petitioner, Evangelista Ramos, that the Louisiana law is unconstitutional. Although a unanimous jury trial is guaranteed in federal criminal cases, Louisiana argues that it has leeway under Supreme Court precedent to create its own standards and that Ramos’s conviction for murder by a jury verdict of 10-2 should stand. Fisher argued that a unanimous jury verdict of even just six people is more trustworthy than a decision reached without unanimity by a majority of 12 or 20 or more. Justice Neil Gorsuch acknowledged “the functionalist argument about numbers,” and then asked dismissively: “Got anything else?” more...
By Zack FordThe poem only refers to welcoming "people from Europe," he claimed this week. Ken Cuccinelli, acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) was roundly criticized for comments he made Tuesday on NPR suggesting that the Statue of Liberty’s poem was only meant to welcome immigrants “who can stand on their own two feet.” Tuesday evening, he doubled down by suggesting the poem only applied to “people coming from Europe, where they had class-based societies.” CNN host Erin Burnett was grilling Cuccinelli about his earlier remarks, noting that the Emma Lazarus poem The New Colossus, written in 1883 and inscribed on the Statue of Liberty in 1903, specifically describes people who have nothing. “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” the poem excerpt reads, “the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” It does not refer to people who can “stand on their own two feet,” as Cuccinelli had said earlier in the day. Burnett asked Cuccinelli what he believed America stood for. Cuccinelli responded that the poem only referred to class-based societies in Europe, “where people were considered ‘wretched’ if they weren’t in the right class.”
A break down of the deadly attacks attributed to the rise in far-right violence in the United States. Over the past 16 years, the number of far-right attacks in the United States has grown to an average of 300 per year, according to a study by the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point. Since the election of right-wing US President Donald Trump in November, researchers and activists say far-right groups have been emboldened to carry out more hate crimes. The Alabama-based Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), an organisation that monitors hate groups, recorded an average of 87 hate incidents a day during the ten-day period after Trump’s elections. This is five times the daily average of hate crimes recorded by the FBI in 2015.
By CHLOE KIMCLAIM: The Ku Klux Klan was formed by the Democratic Party. AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. The Ku Klux Klan was not formed by the Democratic Party. THE FACTS: The Klan first emerged after the Civil War in an effort to intimidate Southern blacks to stay out of politics and to exploit their labor. It was created in Pulaski, Tennessee, by Confederate veterans: Frank McCord, Richard Reed, John Lester, John Kennedy, J. Calvin Jones and James Crowe. Mark Pitcavage, senior fellow at the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism, told The Associated Press that it was originally designed “purely for entertainment, with no political motivations.” Pitcavage said members engaged in social antics that grew to incorporate cruel pranks. The Klan gradually took on a political tone and by 1867 it began engaging in violent acts. According to Pitcavage, many KKK members were Democrats since the Whig Party had died out and white Southerners disliked the Republican party. He says, though, that the Klan was not started by the Democratic Party “ nor did it have ideological motives until later.” By the 1870s the Klan had died out since white Southerners had retaken control of state governments “through their campaigns of violence and intimidation.” When a new Klan emerged in the 1910s, it attracted members from both parties, as well as members affiliated with no parties.
The Ku Klux Klan was a domestic terror organization from its beginning, said Pilgrim, who finds it offensive when, after 9/11, some Americans would bemoan that terrorism had finally breached U.S. borders. “That is ignoring and trivializing — if not just summarily dismissing — all the people, especially the peoples of color in this country, who were lynched in this country; who had their homes bombed in this country; who were victims of race riots,” he said. Victims of lynching were often burned, castrated, shot, stabbed and, in some cases, beheaded. Bodies were then hung or dragged through towns for display. - The KKK and white supremacist have killed more Americans in America than any external terror organization, but are not listed as the domestic terror organizations they are. If Black lives mattered in America, the KKK and other white supremacist groups would be branded as the domestic terrorist groups they are.
By Ed PilkingtonTop capital lawyers head to North Carolina as judges consider the cases of four inmates who faced ‘bleached’ juriesDeath row inmate Marcus Robinson listens in court. Marcus Robinson, a death row inmate, listens in court. The dark secret of America’s death penalty – the blatant and intentional racial bias that infects the system, distorting juries and throwing inordinate numbers of African Americans on to death row – will be laid bare next week in North Carolina. Some of the country’s top capital lawyers will gather on Monday at the state supreme court in Raleigh. Over two days, they will present evidence that capital punishment is so deeply flawed and riddled with racial animus that it makes a mockery of basic principles of fairness and equal justice. The court’s seven judges will be asked to address a simple question. Will they allow men and women to be condemned to die despite powerful evidence that prosecutors deployed racially discriminatory tactics to put them on death row? “We are taking an unprecedented look at whether the courts will tolerate proven racial bias in the death penalty,” said one of the case’s leading lawyers, Cassandra Stubbs, director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) capital punishment project. “We’re talking about fundamental rights that go to the integrity of the courts and the entire criminal justice system.” At the heart of the case are four inmates facing execution: three African American men and a Native American woman. Over the past seven years Marcus Robinson, Quintel Augustine, Tilmon Golphin and Christina Walters have been on an extraordinary judicial roller coaster that has seen them taken off death row on grounds that their sentences were racially compromised, only to be slapped back on to it following a partisan backlash by the Republican-controlled state legislature. In all four cases, a review of their trials found racial bias had been an “overwhelming” feature of how death sentences were secured. In particular, the juries had been “bleached”.