Derek Chauvin Changes Course, Pleads Guilty to Violating George Floyd’s Civil Rights

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Derek Chauvin pleaded guilty on Wednesday to charges of violating George Floyd’s civil rights.

Chauvin had previously pleaded not guilty to violating Floyd’s constitutional rights when he arrested Floyd and killed him after kneeling on his neck for nearly 10 minutes last spring in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Floyd’s murder sparked international outrage and kicked off the largest nationwide protests for racial justice seen in decades. read more

Pressley Offers Resolution Condemning Boebert for Islamaphobic Rhetoric

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Representative Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) is offering a resolution condemning Representative Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) for Islamaphobic rhetoric.

“For a Member of Congress to repeatedly use hateful, anti-Muslim rhetoric and Islamophobic tropes towards a Muslim colleague is dangerous. It has no place in our society and it diminishes the honor of the institution we serve in,” Pressley said. read more

ND School Superintendent Rails Against Critical Race Theory, Says Schools Should Teach “Christian Heritage”

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A North Dakota school district superintendent claimed in an email that calls to address racial injustice are a “political ideology” and called for a “Christ centered Republic.”

The email was sent to a North Dakota Council of Educational Leaders-run listserv by Starkweather Public School District Superintendent Larry Volk, who said it is  “time to move away from godless corrupt woke, left-wing ideology and back to the devout Christ centered Republic the founders envisioned.” read more

Trump Fumes After Robert E. Lee Statue is Removed, Praises His “Genius”

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Former President Donald Trump released an angry statement praising the “genius” of Robert E. Lee after authorities in Richmond, Virginia removed a statue of the Confederate leader.

“Robert E. Lee is considered by many Generals to be the greatest strategist of them all,” Trump said in a statement released by his Save America PAC. He insisted that Lee joined “the other side,” that of slaveowners, “because of his great love of Virginia” and said he would have led the South to victory in the Civil War had it not been for a great loss at the Battle of Gettysburg. read more

Tennessee Plans to Withhold Millions of Dollars in State Funding from Schools That Teach Critical Race Theory

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The state of Tennessee has plans to withhold millions of dollars in state funding from schools that violate a recently passed law that regulates the teaching of critical race theory, a body of legal and academic scholarship that aims to examine how racism and disparate racial outcomes have shaped public policy via often implicit social and institutional dynamics. read more

Florida Joins the List of GOP-led States Banning Critical Race Theory

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Back in September, two months before losing the election to Joe Biden, when Donald Trump was repeating the fallacy either he win the election or it’s “rigged,” Trump announced the formation of the “1776 Commission,” a retaliation against The New York Times’ Pulitzer Prize-winning “1619 Project,” dedicated to chronicling the country’s history beginning the year Europeans shipped the first enslaved Africans to American shores. read more

Rand Paul Goes Off the Deep End with Revisionist History Claiming Democrats Invented Jim Crow Laws

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Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) offered revisionist history during an appearance on Fox News when he claimed that Democrats created Jim Crow laws. The short answer to this is that Southern Democrats defended slavery in the 19th century and proposed the racist laws that were on the books for decades well into the 20th. The monopoly that Southern Democrats held in the southern states fractured––and they would later became today’s Republican Party––as support for degsegreation and civil rights reforms took center stage. read more

Marjorie Taylor Greeene Is Trying to Expel Maxine Waters from Congress For Addressing Police Brutality

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Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) will introduce a resolution to expel Representative Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) from Congress, citing “her continual incitement of violence” after Waters addressed protesters following the police shooting of Daunte Wright in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Wright’s killing comes as Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is on trial and facing murder charges for the death of George Floyd, which sparked worldwide protests last spring and summer. read more

Representative Grace Meng Says Trump’s Behavior Led to Increase in Anti-Asian Violence

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Former President Donald Trump was often criticized over the last year for his use of the phrase “China virus” to refer to the novel coronavirus, the virus that causes Covid-19. Trump would often employ the phrase in official communications via his Twitter account. It was also picked up by right-wing news outlets like Fox News, which have designed their coverage to explicitly blame the Chinese government for the pandemic and its effects on American life. read more

House Democrats Introduce Bill to Limit Transfer of Military-Grade Gear to Police

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Amid the national debate about the militarization of law enforcement, House Democrats have introduced a bill to limit the transfer of military-grade gear to police officers.

The bill is sponsored by Representative Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) and  “goes after the items that destroy trust and endanger communities while allowing support equipment transfers to continue,” according to a summary shared with The Hill. It is co-sponsored by 74 other House Democrats. read more

AG Barr: NYC, Seattle, and Portland, Oregon Are “Permitting Anarchy”

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Attorney General William Barr said in a statement that New York City, Seattle, and Portland, Oregon are jurisdictions “permitting violence and destruction of property” and are subject to funding cuts per an executive order from President Donald Trump to slash the budgets of cities “permitting anarchy.” The news release cites the decision by New York and Seattle lawmakers to cut police department budgets and the existence of the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest (CHOP) in Seattle, a self-declared autonomous zone that police cleared of protesters in July. read more

61 Percent of Americans Say Trump’s Handling of Protests is Worsening Matters

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According to the latest Monmouth poll, 61 percent of Americans say the way President Donald Trump is handling nationwide protests is actually worsening things, not making them better.

Most Americans (61%) say that Trump’s handling of the protests has made the situation worse and just 24% say he has made it better. These results are basically unchanged from late June (62% worse and 20% better). Nearly 9 in 10 non-Republicans say Trump has made the situation worse, including 88% who are white, 87% who are Black, and 86% who are of another racial minority group. Republicans and GOP-leaners stand alone in their feeling that the president has made the situation better (46%) rather than worse (30%). These findings are similar to the late June poll results,” Monmouth observes. read more

Poll: Majority of Americans Believe the Way Trump is Responding to Civil Unrest is Making Things Worse

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According to a new ABC News/Ipsos poll released today, the majority of Americans believe the way President Donald Trump is responding to civil unrest is making things worse.

55 percent of Americans say they believe Trump is worsening matters as the nation grapples with a slew of protests against racism and police brutality. 29 percent said they don’t believe Trump’s comments have had an effect on protests. read more

Michelle Obama Will Focus on Biden’s Competence Advantage Over Trump During Tonight’s Speech

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Democrats who have longed for a return to the Obama’s are looking forward to Michelle Obama’s speech Monday night at the Democratic National Convention.

The Obama’s have stayed relatively quiet about Donald Trump’s presidency but have strongly emerged over the last few months.  Michelle Obama’s 2016 featured the, “When they go low, we go high,” line and tonight’s oration is hotly anticpated. read more

Kushner Does Not Reject “Birther” Conspiracy Theory About Kamala Harris

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White House senior adviser Jared Kushner did not outright reject a conspiracy theory his father-in-law, President Donald Trump, ignited about Senator Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), who this week Democrat Joe Biden announced would be his running mate in this year’s race for the White House. The president had suggested that Harris may not “meet the requirements” to run for office, implying she is not a United States citizen. Harris was born and raised in California. read more

Opinion: Obama Resurrects Hope In His Eulogy to John Lewis

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During this past week many of us mourned the loss of John Lewis and the kind of greatness he had.  The iconic civil rights leader was a man who refused to give up or give in after being beaten within an inch of his life.  Those who knew him described him as someone you just had to love. Even Moscow Mitch had to take a moment to speak well of John Lewis. read more

Opinion: Reuniting America Begins with Candid Conversations About Race

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During the past few days I heard a lot about the N word. Unsurprisingly, Mary Trump acknowledged that was a word her uncle, the sitting president, used over the years.

Earlier on the day when Rachel Maddow interviewed Ms. Trump, I had the honor of conversing with Rodney Hurst, who, at age sixteen, organized a protest in Jacksonville, Florida that led to a day we know now as Axe Handle Saturday. That was in 1960. When I asked Mr. Hurst what white people could do to give Black people meaningful support today, he said several things, which I’ll get into shortly. He did say, importantly, that he wishes white people would stop using the “N” word and other slurs. read more

Trump Says Flying Confederate Flag is a Matter of “Freedom of Speech”

Trump claims Democrats want to build statues of Biden

In an interview, President Donald Trump said the decision of whether or not to fly the Confederate flag is a matter of “freedom of speech.”

“My stance is very simple: It’s freedom of speech,” he said in an interview. “You do what you do. It’s freedom of speech. NASCAR can do whatever they want, and they’ve chosen to go a certain way, other people choose to go a different route.”

The president also defended a Twitter post he made earlier this week in which he falsely accused NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace of a “hoax” after a noose was found in Wallace’s garage stall at Talladega Superspeedway.

“I was just talking about the fact that NASCAR chose to go a certain way and that’s going to be up to them. That is up to them,” Trump said.

Last month, an investigation by the FBI concluded that Wallace was not the victim of a hate crime, though photographs showed what was clearly a noose. The FBI’s determination led to criticism for Wallace, who was accused of orchestrating the incident. NASCAR defended Wallace, saying he “and the 43 team had nothing to do with this.” The controversy took place just after NASCAR announced it would ban the display of the Confederate flag at its events.

Wallace was never formally suspected of staging the incident.

Trump Lashes Out After Princeton Drops Woodrow Wilson’s Name from Policy Center

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President Donald Trump lashed out after Princeton University removed former president Woodrow Wilson’s name from its public policy school. The school cited Wilson’s “racist thinking and policies” in its decision.

“Can anyone believe that Princeton just dropped the name of Woodrow Wilson from their highly respected policy center,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “Now the Do Nothing Democrats want to take off the name John Wayne from an airport,” he continued, referring to Orange County Democrats who want to change the name of John Wayne Airport after a video of “racist and bigoted statements” Wayne made in a 1971 interview saying that he “believes” in white supremacy resurfaced.

“Incredible stupidity!” the president added.

Can anyone believe that Princeton just dropped the name of Woodrow Wilson from their highly respected policy center. Now the Do Nothing Democrats want to take off the name John Wayne from an airport. Incredible stupidity! read more

Trump “Absolutely Would” Support Colin Kaepernik Returning to NFL––Despite History of Attacking Him

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In an interview with WJLA’s Scott Thuman, President Donald Trump said he “absolutely would” support former San Francisco 49er Colin Kaepernick “should get another shot in the NFL.” Kaepernick generated controversy in 2016 for choosing to kneel during the national anthem to protest systemic racism and police brutality, a choice that essentially froze him out of the NFL.

“If he deserves it, he should. If he has the playing ability,” Trump said. “He started off great and then he didn’t end up very great in terms of as a player. He was terrific in his rookie year, I think he was very good in his second year, and then something happened. So his playing wasn’t up to snuff.”

“The answer is absolutely I would. As far as kneeling — I would love to see him get another shot, but obviously he has to play well. If he can’t play well, I think it would be very unfair,” the president added.

You can watch video footage of Trump’s remarks below.

"Absolutely I would," support @Kaepernick7 getting a 2nd shot in the @NFL@POTUS in my interview today on racism, policing, statues & yes–sports. #ColinKaepernick pic.twitter.com/0B83cNbesW read more

U.N. to Debate Systemic Racism and Police Brutality in U.S. Following Call from Entire African Continent

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The United Nations’ Human Rights Council will debate systemic racism and police brutality in the United States following a call from all 54 African nations.

“Structural racism and police violence are issues, which are commonly raised by states and civil society at meetings of the council, as are unlawful killings by police and racial bias in policing,” U.N. human rights spokesman Rolando Gomez told Voice of America. “And, the aim, of course, is to prevent such abhorrent acts.”

The announcement comes as protests continue to galvanize millions across the nation to speak out against racial injustice and police brutality following the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died in police custody in Minneapolis. The Minneapolis City Council caved to public pressure last week, unanimously passing a resolution to disband the police force with a community-led model.

“The tragic events of 25 May in Minneapolis that led to the death of George Floyd led to protests around the world in protest of injustice and police brutality that persons of African descent face on a daily basis in many regions of the world,” Burkina Faso’s ambassador to the U.N., Dieudonné W. Désiré Sougouri, said in the formal urgent debate request. “The death of George Floyd is unfortunately not an isolated incident. Many other cases of persons of African descent having faced the same fate because of the origin and police violence exist.”

The United States is not a member of the 47-member state forum in Geneva. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and then-U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley withdrew the U.S. two years ago after alleging bias against Israel.

Trump: Chokeholds Sound “So Innocent and So Perfect”

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President Donald Trump stoked racial tensions in an interview with Fox News today, saying he believes that chokeholds sound “so innocent and so perfect” in remarks defending his “law and order” approach to the protests that have erupted nationwide since George Floyd, an unarmed black man, died in police custody in Minneapolis, inflaming an already fraught national dialogue on police use of force.

“I think the concept of chokeholds sounds so innocent and so perfect,” he said, “and then you realize that if it’s one-on-one, now if it’s two-on-one it’s a little bit of a different story depending, depending on the toughness and strength, you know, we’re talking about toughness and strength, we’re talking there’s a physical thing here also.”

Remarking on the protests, he defended the use of chokeholds, saying, “You saw some very good people protesting, but you saw some bad people also. “And you get somebody in a chokehold. What are you going to do now? Let go and say, ‘Oh, let’s start all over again’?”

"Sometimes if you're alone and you're fighting somebody, it's tough … we have some real bad people" — Trump defends police chokeholds pic.twitter.com/DZfjT5isFU read more

Trump Defends Juneteenth Rally: “Think of It As a Celebration”

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President Donald Trump defended his decision to hold a rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma on June 19, the day marking the end of slavery in the United States. Tulsa is also the site of the Tulsa race massacre, when mobs of white residents attacked black residents and businesses with guns and bombs dropped from above by private aircraft, leveling an entire section of the city and killing an estimated hundreds of people.

The scheduled rally will also take place as the nation grapples with a national conversation about systemic racism sparked by the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died in police custody in Minneapolis and whose death set off protests across the nation and around the world.

“Think about it as a celebration,” Trump told Fox News in an interview broadcast this morning.

Trump’s move has earned significant criticism. New York Times columnist Michelle Goldberg decried it in an op-ed, writing, “There’s simply no reason to believe that Trump is going to Tulsa to try to ease intercommunal hostility, rather than exacerbate it.”

Senator Kamala Harris (D-Calif) said the decision “isn’t just a wink to white supremacists – he’s throwing them a welcome home party.”

White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany defended the president, saying the day is a “meaningful” one for him.

“The African American community is very near and dear to his heart,” McEnany told reporters. “At these rallies he often shares the great work he has done for minority communities.”

“It’s a meaningful day to him,” she continued. “It’s a day where he wants to share some of the progress that’s been made as we look forward at more that needs to be done, especially as we’re looking at this police reform.”

Ohio Senator Asks if “Colored People” Who “Don’t Wash Their Hands As Well” Are Responsible for Coronavirus Spread

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During a hearing on whether to declare racism a public health crisis, Ohio Senator Steve Huffman (R), who also happens to be an emergency room physician, asked if “the colored population” is more disproportionately impacted by the novel coronavirus because they “don’t wash their hands as well.”

“My point is I understand African Americans have a higher incidence of chronic conditions and it makes them more susceptible to death from COVID,” Huffman said. “But why doesn’t it make them more susceptible to just get COVID?” read more

Trump: “Our Great National Guard Troops… Could Hardly Believe How Easy It Was” to Gas Peaceful Protesters

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President Donald Trump, who has weathered criticism for deciding to use tear gas to clear peaceful protesters for a photo-op in front of St. John’s Church in Washington, D.C., doubled down on the decision, writing on Twitter that the National Guard “could hardly believe how easy it was” to follow his order.

Our great National Guard Troops who took care of the area around the White House could hardly believe how easy it was,” Trump wrote, while purporting to quote one member who allegedly called the action “a walk in the park.”

“The protesters, agitators, anarchists (ANTIFA), and others, were handled VERY easily by the Guard, D.C. Police, & S.S. GREAT JOB!” he continued.

Our great National Guard Troops who took care of the area around the White House could hardly believe how easy it was. “A walk in the park”, one said. The protesters, agitators, anarchists (ANTIFA), and others, were handled VERY easily by the Guard, D.C. Police, & S.S. GREAT JOB! read more

LeBron James and Other Black Athletes and Entertainers Form New Voting Rights Group

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NBA player LeBron James has joined a team of other black athletes and entertainers to form More Than a Vote, an organization that will dedicate at least part of its efforts to safeguarding African-American voting rights.

The announcement comes as the nation grapples with a litany of protests against systemic racism and police brutality in response to the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died in police custody in Minneapolis. The officers involved in the killing have all been charged.

“Because of everything that’s going on, people are finally starting to listen to us — we feel like we’re finally getting a foot in the door,” James told the New York Times. “How long is up to us. We don’t know. But we feel like we’re getting some ears and some attention, and this is the time for us to finally make a difference.”

James added that he would use his social media presence to spotlight voter suppression and other forms of disenfranchisement.

“Yes, we want you to go out and vote, but we’re also going to give you the tutorial,” James said. “We’re going to give you the background of how to vote and what they’re trying to do, the other side, to stop you from voting.”

James’s effort comes just a couple of short months after former First Lady Michelle Obama and her voting rights group When We All Vote dedicated time and energy to advocating for vote-by-mail options amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“There is nothing partisan about striving to live up to the promise of our country; making the democracy we all cherish more accessible; and protecting our neighbors, friends and loved ones as they participate in this cornerstone of American life,” she said in a statement provided to Axios in April.

Pelosi Calls for Removal of Confederate Monuments from U.S. Capitol

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has called for the removal of Confederate monuments from the National Statuary Hall collection at the U.S. Capitol.

“The statues in the Capitol should embody our highest ideals as Americans, expressing who we are and who we aspire to be as a nation,” Pelosi wrote in a letter to Missouri Senator Roy Blunt, who chairs the Joint Committee on the Library, and vice-chairperson of the committee California Representative Zoe Lofgren. “Monuments to men who advocated cruelty and barbarism to achieve such a plainly racist end are a grotesque affront to those ideals.”

She added: “Their statues pay homage to hate, not heritage. They must be removed.”

There are 11 Confederate monuments on display in the Capitol. Among the statues are representations of Confederate States of America Jefferson Davis and his Vice President, Alexander Stephens. Both men were accused of treason after the end of the Civil War.

Criticism against Confederate monuments has intensified in the wake of the protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died in police custody. For many, the statues represent an all-too long era of racial injustice furthered by the police brutality that has claimed the lives of Floyd and multiple black people over many decades.

Trump’s Own DOJ Finds No Link to Antifa In Protests

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The Justice Department has issued a report showing no link to Antifa, an organization that doesn’t exist, at protests following the killing of George Floyd.

After NPR reviewed court documents for 51 individuals who are facing federal charges related to the demonstrations, they found none with any connections to the Antifa––or antifascist––movement. Of those 51 cases, 20 involve allegations relating to arson, 16 involve allegations relating to illegal possession of a firearm, and eight involve inciting a riot.

“The single instance in which an extremist group is mentioned in court documents is a case against three Nevada men,” NPR noted. “Federal prosecutors allege the trio belong to the right-wing Boogaloo movement that wants to bring about a civil war. The men have been charged with plotting violence during Las Vegas protests.”

Speaking to Fox News’s Bret Baier earlier this week, Attorney General William Barr said that the lack of cases against Antifa does not mean its members were not participating in the protests that continue across the nation.

“We have some investigations underway, very focused investigations on certain individuals that relate to antifa,” Barr said. “But in the initial phase of identifying people and arresting them, they were arrested for crimes that don’t require us to identify a particular group or don’t necessitate that.”

President Donald Trump announced on May 31 that he would seek to designate Antifa a terrorist organization. The announcement earned jeers amid criticism about how to make the designation for an organization that doesn’t actually exist and whether the president even had the legal authority to make that call.

Tucker Carlson Rails Against Sesame Street for Anti-Racism Message

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Fox News personality Tucker Carlson is facing a wave of criticism after using the classic PBS show Sesame Street as an example of “decades of relentless propaganda.”

“All of it designed to make us feel that we have no right to stand up for ourselves, to stand up for our country,” he said. “We are too sinful to resist, we deserve whatever we get. Shut up and take it, America.”

Carlson said Sesame Street, which was featured during a CNN town hall about the killing of George Floyd and the ensuing protests against racial injustice and police brutality that his death sparked, was teaching children that “America is a very bad place, and it’s all your fault.”

A clip from the event shows Elmo’s dad Louie explaining racism in a way children can understand.

“They are sad and upset, and they have every right to be Elmo. People are upset because racism is a huge problem in our country,” Louie says. “Racism is when people treat other people unfairly because of the way they look or the color of their skin. Not all streets are like Sesame Street. On Sesame Street, we all love and respect one another. Across the country, people of color, especially in the black community, are being treated unfairly because of how they look, their culture, race and who they are. What we are seeing is people saying, ‘Enough is enough.’ They want to end racism.”

“Not all streets are like Sesame Street. … What we are seeing is people saying 'enough is enough.' They want to end racism.”@Elmo’s dad Louie explains why people are protesting across the US. https://t.co/icV04F4FNW #CNNSesameStreet pic.twitter.com/1efrMAzZ8V read more

Poll: Majority of Americans Approve of Protests as Approval of Trump’s Response Continues to Fall

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According to the latest Washington Post-Schar School poll, most Americans––a whopping 74 percent––approve of the protests that have erupted nationwide in response to the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died in police custody in Minneapolis.

Tellingly, 64 percent of those surveyed say they disapprove of President Donald Trump’s response to the demonstrations. The support for the protests transcends party lines, with 87 percent of Democrats, 76 percent of independents, and 53 percent of Republicans voicing their approval.

“The president is way on the wrong side of the growing national consensus that evidences a big shift in attitudes among whites, including Republicans,” said Mark Rozell, dean of the Schar School. “Even the GOP consensus is splintering.” read more

Rand Paul Delays Anti-Lynching Bill, Saying He Fears It Could Be Used in Cases of “Minor Bruises”

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Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has delayed anti-lynching legislation, saying “there has to be some give and take” on the measure’s language.

“We want the bill to be stronger. We think that lynching is an awful thing that should be roundly condemned and should be universally condemned. I don’t think it’s a good idea to conflate someone who has an altercation where they had minor bruises, with lynching,” Paul said.

“If you’re gonna call something an anti-lynching bill, but you’re gonna have a new conspiracy charge for someone who has minor bruising, we don’t think that’s appropriate. And someone has to read these bills and make sure they do what they say they’re going to do rather than it be just a big PR effort,” Paul added.

When members of the press asked for clarification on what Paul meant by “minor bruises” and requested he spotlight specific language he wishes to see removed, Paul’s office referred to one of his statements.

Paul’s statement reads: “The bill as written would allow altercations resulting in a cut, abrasion, bruise, or any other injury no matter how temporary to be subject to a 10-year penalty. My amendment would simply apply a serious bodily injury standard, which would ensure crimes resulting in substantial risk of death and extreme physical pain be prosecuted as a lynching.”

Paul’s aides said he’d objected to the measure’s language in recent weeks but that his concerns were sidelined because of the coronavirus pandemic. The current delay comes during an especially tense moment as protests rage across the country in response to the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died in police custody in Minneapolis and whose killing sent shockwaves around the world.

Pope Francis: Catholics Cannot Tolerate Racism and Also “Claim to Defend the Sacredness of Every Human Life”

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Pope Francis commented on the protests that have erupted since George Floyd, an unarmed black man, was killed while in police custody in Minneapolis, saying that Catholics cannot tolerate racism and also “claim to defend the sacredness of every human life.”

“My friends, we cannot tolerate or turn a blind eye to racism and exclusion in any form and yet claim to defend the sacredness of every human life,” the pope said. “At the same time, we have to recognize that ‘the violence of recent nights is self-destructive and self-defeating. Nothing is gained by violence and so much is lost.'”

Pope Francis says he is joining the Church in Minneapolis, and across the U.S., “in praying for the repose of the soul of George Floyd and of all those others who have lost their lives as a result of the sin of racism.”

His full remarks are below:

“I greet the English-speaking faithful joining us through the media.

“Dear brothers and sisters in the United States, I have witnessed with great concern the disturbing social unrest in your nation in these past days, following the tragic death of Mr. George Floyd.

“My friends, we cannot tolerate or turn a blind eye to racism and exclusion in any form and yet claim to defend the sacredness of every human life. At the same time, we have to recognize that “the violence of recent nights is self-destructive and self-defeating. Nothing is gained by violence and so much is lost”.

“Today I join the Church in Saint Paul and Minneapolis, and in the entire United States, in praying for the repose of the soul of George Floyd and of all those others who have lost their lives as a result of the sin of racism. Let us pray for the consolation of their grieving families and friends and let us implore the national reconciliation and peace for which we yearn. May Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mother of America, intercede for all those who work for peace and justice in your land and throughout the world.

“May God bless all of you and your families. “ read more

Rep. Justin Amash is Preparing Legislation That Would End Prohibition Against Suing Police Officers

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Michigan Representative Justin Amash (R) is preparing legislation that would the prohibition against suing police officers.

“This week, I am introducing the Ending Qualified Immunity Act to eliminate qualified immunity and restore Americans’ ability to obtain relief when police officers violate their constitutionally secured rights,” Amash wrote on Twitter.

This week, I am introducing the Ending Qualified Immunity Act to eliminate qualified immunity and restore Americans’ ability to obtain relief when police officers violate their constitutionally secured rights. pic.twitter.com/PiNYP8cX8i read more

Lindsey Graham Announces Hearing into Police Use of Force in George Floyd Killing

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Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, announced the committee will hold a hearing on police use of force after George Floyd was killed by a police officer in Minneapolis while in police custody.

Graham said he’d spoken with Senator Dianne Feinstein, the committee’s ranking member, about the killing, which has resulted in several days of protests.

“Both of us are appalled at what we saw and believe it is important to have a hearing as soon as possible as to how to combat this outrage,” Graham said. “The Committee intends to call a wide variety of witnesses on the topics of better policing, addressing racial discrimination regarding the use of force, as well as building stronger bonds between communities and police.”

Graham added that the committee aims “to shine a bright light on the problems associated with Mr. Floyd’s death, with the goal of finding a better way forward for our nation.”

The announcement comes as President Donald Trump faces heavy criticism for his response to the killing. Earlier today, Twitter flagged the president for “glorifying violence” after he referred to those who’ve protested in Minneapolis following Floyd’s death as “THUGS” and said that “When the looting starts, the shooting starts.”

….These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen. Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you! read more

Chicago Mayor on Trump’s “Thugs” Tweet: “It Begins with ‘F’ and Ends with ‘You'”

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Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot denounced President Donald Trump, saying he was “encouraging people to be shot in the street” after referring to those who’ve protested in Minneapolis following the death of George Floyd as “THUGS” and saying that “When the looting starts, the shooting starts.”

“I will code what I really want to say to Donald Trump,” Lightfoot said. “It’s two words. It begins with F and ends with you.”

She added that the president aims to “polarize, to destabilize local government and inflame racist urges. And we absolutely cannot let him prevail.”

Derek Chauvin, the police officer seen on video kneeling on Floyd’s neck while he cried out “I can’t breathe,” was arrested and charged with third-degree murder after three days of violent protests in Minneapolis. Chauvin faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted.

“Its been a painful reminder that while we have been focused on fighting this violence, we know our work and facing hard truths about Mr. Floyd, and I think about my brothers and men in my family,” Lightfoot said, recalling the death of Laquan McDonald, a Chicago teen who was shot 16 times by police officers in 2014.

Twitter flagged President Trump for “glorifying violence” in his tweets about the George Floyd protests.

Donald Trump Jr. Posts Racist “Kung Flu Kid” Meme Starring His Father

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The United States now has the highest rate of confirmed coronavirus cases in the world at 86,000. As the White House grapples with heavy criticism regarding its delayed response, Donald Trump Jr. took to Instagram to share a racist meme about the crisis.

“Hahahahaha “The Kung-Flu Kid,” he wrote about a clip of his father beating the coronavirus in a brawl.

View this post on Instagram

Hahahahaha “The Kung-Flu Kid” Thanks @americanaf 🇺🇸🤣🇺🇸🤣🇺🇸

A post shared by Donald Trump Jr. (@donaldjtrumpjr) on read more

Senator John Cornyn Defends The Use Of The Term “Chinese Virus” As Pandemic Continues

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Although President Donald Trump has come under fire for using what critics say amounts to a racist dog whistle in referring to the coronavirus as “the Chinese virus,” he has a defender in Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas), who when asked by a reporter whether the use of the term is acceptable, responded, “That’s where it came from.”

“Well, I think China is to blame because the culture where people eat bats, and snakes, and dogs, and things like that,” Cornyn continued. “These viruses are transmitted from the animal to the people and that’s why China has been the source of a lot of these viruses like SARS, like MERS, the Swine Flu. And now the coronavirus. So I think they have a fundamental problem. And I don’t object to geographically identifying where it’s coming from.”

You can watch footage of Cornyn’s remarks below.

Reporter: "Are you on board with the President calling this the China virus, Chinese virus. Does it seem like it's helpful right now to call it that?"

Sen. John Cornyn: "That's where it came from." pic.twitter.com/TkvQ5Z9p8y read more

White House Official Calls Coronavirus “Kung Flu” In Conversation with Asian-American Reporter

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A White House official reportedly used the racist term “Kung flu” while speaking to CBS News correspondent Weijia Jiang, who was born in China and grew up in West Virginia. The official has not been identified.

“Makes me wonder what they’re calling it behind my back,” Jiang wrote on Twitter.

This morning a White House official referred to #Coronavirus as the “Kung-Flu” to my face. Makes me wonder what they’re calling it behind my back.

— Weijia Jiang (@weijia) March 17, 2020 read more

Opinion: Children Cannot Consent

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Children cannot give consent to so many things under the law.

Whether it’s when someone rapes children, when children get medical treatment, or when children escape violence, their stories are framed as if they can give consent. We see this with the Jeffrey Epstein case, with medical deferments of deportation, and with asylum cases. This article barely scratches the surface.

Today’s children live with active shooter drills, poverty shaming, the reality of climate change and an exhausting list of other things that even the most aware and precocious children of my generation never knew existed.

Tragically, child rape is nothing new. But we had a moment of hope when the law and our collective morality recognized that there is no such thing as a minor-aged woman. That is a child. There is no such thing as voluntary sex with a child. Anyone who has sexual relations with a child is raping that child.

Then came Jeffrey Epstein and his one-time friend, Donald J. Trump.
Enablers and apologists for Jeffrey Epstein continue to violate Epstein’s victims. They suggest the children consented to “sex” with Epstein and his circle of perverts. Some have gone so far as to suggest the girls Epstein and his friends raped were prostitutes.

Most recently, a prominent computer scientist at MIT defended Epstein by saying his child victims were “entirely” willing. I fumed while reading that story, because it, and others like it, violated Epstein’s victims again. The wall of white privilege shielded Epstein from justice. He got a slap on the wrist for raping children. Their rights were violated in the sweetheart deal Epstein got from his friends in high places. I tweeted the story, simply stating “Children Cannot Consent.”

Thanks to Miami Herald reporter Julia Brown’s stellar work and persistence, it looked like Epstein’s victims would have their day in court. But it wasn’t meant to be.

As I write, there are children who are terminally ill and receiving life-saving medical treatment in America that they can’t get in their home countries. The Trump administration told them to get out of the country by September 14th.

After the backlash, there was a partial step back.  Some of the people who were denied medical deferment were told their cases were re-opened.   No one knows what that means.  That includes the kids, their families, their lawyers, their representatives in congress and it appears, even the people who will be playing God with their lives.

These are children who came to America legally, and in some cases, like with  Isabel Maria Bueso, by invitation  from the government.

The House Judiciary subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, chaired by Representative Steve Cohen, held an emergency hearing last week.

Isabel Maria Bueso  and several other people with deadly illnesses appeared before the committee to literally beg for their lives. No one should have to beg the government to let them live. Yet, 24-year-old Bueso begged for her life.

Sixteen- year-old Jonathan Sanchez,  who has cystic fibrosis, also begged for his life. Fourteen-year-old year old Serena Badia  from Spain put it as squarely as it gets when she said she knew she had to fight for her life in the hospital. She didn’t think she would have to do it before a government committee.

Isabel was 10 years old at the time the government asked her to come to America to participate in studies about the rare and deadly illness she has. As a direct result of the studies she participated in, Americans with the same illness are getting the life-saving medical treatment they need and deserve.

The treatment that keeps Jonathan alive doesn’t exist in his home country. Jonathan told the committee that if he is sent back to Honduras, he will die. He told them about the fact that he cried, that he wants to live. Imagine being sixteen and not only aware of your own mortality but having to say it out loud and in a public forum.

Serena would love to return to Barcelona, however, she remains in the United States under doctor’s orders because her health is so frail.

Isabel was invited by our government. Legally speaking, that invitation was accepted by her parents, because at age 10, Isabel was too young to give her legal consent.

As a secondary factor, I’d say also there is something Mengelesque about bringing children here to conduct medical experiments on them, then disposing of them as if they were used test tubes. The same lack of consent problem is present with Jonathan and Serena. They could not give consent even though their lives depend on it.

The urgency and sheer cruelty of the situation was not lost on Representative Jamie Raskin, the committee vice-chair, as reflected in his opening statement , nor on any of the Democratic members of the committee.

But the first question a Republican asked was about the dangers of open borders. He asked it of someone who could not consent (or object) to her arrival in America. He asked it of someone who was being unceremoniously thrown out, because, as one ICE official  rationalized it, medical deferment is subject to abuse.

In a memo obtained by Politico, USCIS Policy and Strategy chief Kathy Nuebel Kovarik, actually wrote:

“USCIS strongly believes that the exercise of deferred action is subject to abuse, and if we continue to accept such requests, even with narrow medical criteria, we will be creating a de facto ‘program’ of criteria … which are not enumerated in statute or regulations.” read more

Mitch McConnell Blames Democrats For Trump’s Racism

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Instead of speaking out against Trump’s racism, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blamed the four House Democratic women that the president attacked.

Mitch McConnell Blamed House Democratic Women for Trump’s Racism

McConnell said, “We’ve heard facilities on the U.S. Border called concentration camps. We’ve seen the far left throw accusations of racism at everyone. Anyone who disagrees with them on anything, including the Speaker of the House. We’ve seen a freshman Democratic congresswoman use anti-semitic tropes and imply people only support Israel because of campaign contributions. The most vile accusations and insults against our nation have become incredibly routine, and we’ve seen back and forth over the past few days. Most of you know Justice Scalia was my sort of all-time favorite. Here’s what he used to say. He said, I don’t attack people. I attack ideas. And I think that’s a good lesson for all of us. From the president to the speaker to freshmen members of the House, all of us have a responsibility to elevate the public discourse. Our words do matter. We all know politics is a contact sport. But it’s about time we lowered the temperature all across the board, all of us ought to contribute to a better level of discourse.”

Video:

Mitch McConnell Engaged In Some Classic Both Sidesism

Mitch McConnell was being dishonest in his portrayal of the situation. Donald Trump launched an unprovoked racist attack on four non-white House Democrats. This isn’t a matter of both sides engaging in heated rhetoric. Nowhere in McConnell’s statement was a condemnation of Trump’s attacks. McConnell accused the Democrats of racism, but not Donald Trump. The Majority Leader tried to bury Trump’s behavior in an attack on Democrats.

Democrats didn’t make Donald Trump a racist. It is not the fault of Democrats that the president is trying to use racism to win reelection in 2020.

Not only was McConnell’s statement cowardly. It was also a lie.

Mitch McConnell just proved that impeachment would be a pointless task because no matter what Trump does McConnell and his Senate Republicans are going to stick with him.

For more discussion about this story join our Rachel Maddow and MSNBC group.

Follow Jason Easley on Facebook read more

With Mueller Closing In, Donald Trump Jr Joins His Dad In Mocking Native Americans

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After his father mocked Senator Elizabeth Warren with a reference to the Trail of Tears, Donald Trump Jr joined in by adding, “Savage! Love my president.”

Ashley Feinberg of the Huffington Post flagged this Instagram post on Sunday of Donald Trump, Jr replying to his dad’s Trail of Tears racism with more racism, writing, “Savage! Love my president.”

This made nary a blip on the radar, as Andrew Kaczynski of CNN pointed out:

The media is very busy covering real scandals about what Democrats did in the 1980s.

Blackface and posing with KKK members is never okay and I’m not defending that, just putting it in context regarding current impact on people today.

My point about the Virginia scandal has always been that the people who are impacted by racism should be the people who decide whose behavior is problematic and who should be tossed from office. White people don’t get to decide who is most offensive. White people should listen to people of color on this.

Well. Rather surprisingly to that end, a

Washington Post-Schar School poll read more