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During a Congressional hearing on June 16, 2020, top legal officers from the US Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps acknowledged the results of a 2019 study from the Government Accountability Office, which noted that Black and Hispanic servicemembers of any gender were significantly more likely to be sent to court-martial for formal punishment after an act of misconduct than their white counterparts. The judge advocates of each of these wings of Armed Forces recognized that this is, indeed, a problem, and swiftly assured the Congressional panel that actions were already underway to uncover what could possibly have caused this striking racial disparity.
As the Army Times reports:
The Army is in the “very early stages of figuring out what could cause this,” Lt. Gen. Charles Pede, the service’s ranking attorney, told lawmakers.
Pede said he has already directed a “comprehensive assessment” in conjunction with the Army’s provost marshal general “to examine why the justice system is more likely to investigate certain soldiers and what our investigations and command decisions tell us about this issue.”
"[The GAO] report raises difficult questions — questions that demand answers. Sitting here today, we do not have those answers. So our task is to ask the right questions and find the answers," he added in his testimony.
Major General Daniel Lecce, the Staff Judge Advocate to the Commandant of the Marine Corps, also said, "We have to get after this. We’re at the beginning, but there is a lot of work to be done. Read the rest
A noose was discovered in the garage stall of Black race car driver Bubba Wallace at a NASCAR race in Alabama on Sunday, less than two weeks after Wallace advocated successfully for NASCAR to ban the Confederate flag at all tracks and facilities. Read the rest
• POTUS says federal government will resubmit papers on DACA
• 'FOX IS TERRIBLE!'
• He's feeling weak and vulnerable, and he's lashing out against Fox News.
In a series of crazy-ass tweets on Friday morning, impeached and obviously unfit U.S. president Donald J. Trump says he will renew his effort to end legal protections for young immigrants, after the Supreme Court blocked his first try just yesterday in an historic ruling. Read the rest
We know Coronavirus is impacting Black, Latinx, and Native Americans at rates far higher than whites. New data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control shows the racial gap is far worse than previously known. Read the rest
On Thursday, June 4, 2020, a 22-year-old activist named Kennedy Mitchum reached out to the publishers of the Merriam-Webster Dictionary to express her frustration with their definition of the word "racist:"
A belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race.
Mitchum felt this was inadequate to fully cover the scope of systemic issues and unconscious biases that affect race relations in America. Growing up in Florissant, Missouri — just a few miles away from Ferguson — she'd grown tired of trying to explain to people that racism can come in different forms than cross burning in white hoods. It's not always a conscious, intentional, or deliberate attitude of hateful violence; it's often something more insidious. As she explained to CNN, "That definition is not representative of what is actually happening in the world. The way that racism occurs in real life is not just prejudice it's the systemic racism that is happening for a lot of black Americans."
Mitchum didn't expect to hear anything back from Merriam-Webster. But to her surprise, they responded the very next day — and after a brief back-and-forth, they were sufficiently convinced of Mitchum's point, and agreed to update the entry. "This revision would not have been made without your persistence in contacting us about this problem," wrote Editor Alex Chambers in an email. "We sincerely thank you for repeatedly writing in and apologize for the harm and offense we have caused in failing to address this issue sooner." Read the rest
— E 🦋 (@royaal_e) June 9, 2020
A black woman posted a video on Twitter showing her interaction with an apartment complex employee in Knoxville, Tennessee who would not allow her to enter the community swimming pool, even though the employee was allowing white people to enter without challenging them. The Root reports that the employee has since been suspended:
Read the rest
When asked by the black woman why she thinks she doesn’t live there and why white residents are being let in without question, Swimming Pool Sarah reached all the way to the peak of Mount Caucasity for a response and said, “I know everybody that lives here.”
“You don’t know everybody that lives here just because you live here,” @royaal_e responds. “Just because you don’t remember me doesn’t mean that I don’t live here. That’s very rude of you to just assume that I don’t live here.”
Pigeon-lip Peggy responds, “I do know everybody. Bitch, you haven’t even come in and done your paperwork, right?”
The next day, Knox Ridge posted an acknowledgment of the incident to its Twitter account.
“Knox Ridge is aware of the incident that occurred [yesterday] involving a staff member and resident,” the statement reads. “We have placed the employee on disciplinary leave while we review this matter further. As a community, we have absolutely no tolerance for discrimination – inadvertent or otherwise. We intend to revisit our training program for all staff, in order to do our part to prevent situations like this happening in the future.
Stephanie Rapkin, the Wisconsin attorney who was recorded spitting on a 17-year-old at an anti-racism rally in Milwaukee was charged with a hate crime, reports AP.
According to the criminal complaint, Rapkin told an investigating officer she was a cancer survivor and felt threatened because she was surrounded by protesters who were not wearing coronavirus protective masks. Video shows Rapkin did not wear a mask.
Shorewood police went to Rapkin’s home the following day in response to an altercation. She resisted arrest and kneed one officer in the groin, the complaint said.
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This video, posted Feb 18, 2020, depicts a black motorist, Ace Perry, being pulled over by a white police officer. The officer says he was suspicious because Perry was traveling 65 mph in a 70 mph zone. The officer, who identifies himself as deputy Snow, issues Perry with a warning but refuses to tell him what the warning is for.
It's a telling warning for black drivers nationwide: for you, the speed limit is an unknowable fraction of the posted number.
When Perry confronted him after he received a “written warning” for driving under the speed limit, the cop claimed obeying all the traffic laws and not speeding was “suspicious.” He couldn’t even look at Perry in the eye, likely knowing that his job consists of harassing innocent people for no reason.
“Wouldn’t you say it is kind of suspicious to travel under the speed limit and when the speed limit is 70?” the deputy asked before he dismissed Perry, telling him, “I’ve got stuff to do.”
Perry answered back, telling the cop that he has stuff to do too and would have appreciated not being pulled over and harassed by a racial profiling cop. ...
According to WRAL, a spokesman for the Sampson County Sheriff’s Office said leaders there would review the in-car camera of the deputy involved. “Should personnel action be necessary, we will take appropriate action,” he said, noting that Perry has not filed a formal complaint.
In Ohio, a Republican state senator is receiving widespread condemnation today after asking aloud whether “African Americans or the colored population” (?!??!?!) are disproportionately affected by the coronavirus pandemic because -- wait for it -- they “do not wash their hands as well as other groups.” Read the rest
Robert Baden-Powell founded scouting, the worldwide organization cultivating youngsters' abilities and teamwork that's now open to all "without distinction of gender, origin, race or creed". But that was not quite the original vision of Baden-Powell, an imperialist, brazen racist and fascist sympathizer who admired Mussolini, described Mein Kampf as a wonderful book and approved of a homosexual scoutmaster being sent to the concentration camps. So the statue is coming down, at least for now.
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Former Bournemouth East Labour parliamentary candidate Corrie Drew said: "We can commemorate the positive work without commemorating the man."
Speaking on BBC Breakfast, she added: "A quick look into his history shows that he was very open about his views against homosexuality and that he was a very open supporter of Hitler and of fascism and quite a strong, outspoken racist."
Meanwhile, an online petition to "defend Poole's Lord Baden-Powell statue" has received more than 10,000 signatures.
On April 5, 1968, the day after Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination, Riceville, Iowa schoolteacher Jane Elliott ran an incredible social experiment in her third grade classroom. Her "Blue Eyes/Brown Eyes" exercise identified the kids "as inferior or superior based solely upon the color of their eyes and exposes them to the experience of being a minority." The exercise had a tremendous, and lasting, impact on those children and countless others, and sparked Elliott's lifelong role as a an anti-racism activist and educator.
Above is a 1985 episode of Frontline about Elliott. Below is her appearance last week on The Tonight Show:
The streaming service HBO Max has removed the Civil War racist fantasy film “Gone with the Wind” from its service. Read the rest