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Is Kylie Jenner a Real Billionaire or Not?
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NYPD to begin 12-hour shifts in ‘war time’ response to George Floyd protests
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Trump encourages governors to use aggressive tactics
President Donald Trump, agitated and distressed after three nights of violent protests in dozens of cities across the country -- including outside of his home -- told the nation's governors in a video teleconference Monday to aggressively target violent protesters he said would only respond to a show of force.
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Ban Ki-Moon: The Lesson from COVID-19 is that We Need More, Not Less, Global Cooperation | Opinion
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Indy Lights, the top rung of the Road to Indy ladder series, cancels 2020 season
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Two public health crises have collided in the protests over George Floyd’s death
The protests over George Floyd’s death represent the collision of two public health crises steeped in structural racism: coronavirus and police violence. | Stephen Ferry/VIEWpress via Getty Images America’s institutional racism explains both Covid-19’s toll and police violence. The protests against police brutality over the weekend are not only a story about state-sanctioned violence against black Americans. They are also a health care story that reveals the nation’s structural racism, in two important ways. First, police violence is a public health risk. In almost any way you measure it, the US criminal justice system is prejudiced against black Americans, and black people are much more likely to be subjected to state violence in the US compared to white Americans. Researchers from Rutgers University, the University of Michigan, and Washington University in St. Louis tried to quantify the risk to black lives from law enforcement in a recent study. Their findings were stunning: Black men, by far the most at-risk group, face 1 in 1,000 odds of being killed by the police over the course of their lives. This chart succinctly summarizes the researchers’ findings of the risk across different races and genders: PNAS Racial discrimination in America’s criminal justice system manifests in every step from arrest to trial to conviction and incarceration. Radley Balko covered the relevant research in a column for the Washington Post. Sadly, none of it will come as much of a surprise: Black people are more likely to be stopped by police, they are less likely to get a fair trial, and their sentences are longer than those of white people convicted of the same crimes. And those systemic injustices have their own health consequences, beyond the most extreme form of a law enforcement officer taking the life of a citizen. A pair of Harvard professors ran through some of them in this piece published in The Conversation: “Suicide is the leading cause of mortality in U.S. jails, accounting for 34 percent of all deaths. Again, the vast majority of these individuals have not been convicted of any crime. Suicide rates among incarcerated individuals are three to four times higher than the general public.” “The food — which tends to be high-calorie and high-fat — often has poor nutritional value. This, combined with restrictions on physical movement and the stress of incarceration and overcrowding, can have adverse effects on both mental and physical health.” “Incarceration also puts individuals at risk for physical and sexual assault.” “An estimated 2.7 million U.S. children have an incarcerated parent. Having a parent incarcerated is considered to be an ‘adverse childhood experience.’ This is linked to multiple negative health outcomes throughout life, including poor mental health, substance abuse, disease, disability and even early death.” “A recent survey of 8,300 correctional officers found that 10 percent have seriously considered or attempted suicide. That’s three times the rate of the general population. Correctional workers also experience higher levels of hypertension from elevated stress levels and higher levels of obesity than the national average.” These disparities, the result of the structural racism that puts black people disproportionately at risk of police violence and incarceration, is what people have come out to protest. And they are doing so in the middle of a coronavirus pandemic that has also taken a disproportionate toll on black Americans. Black people are more likely to work in jobs considered “essential,” exposing them more to the virus. America’s failure to build an equitable health system means its black residents have high rates of preexisting conditions that make them more vulnerable to Covid-19. They also live in places more exposed to air pollution and have less reliable access to clean water. America’s structural racism infects every part of the lives of its marginalized citizens. And those disparities have manifested in the coronavirus pandemic, as this data from New York City, the outbreak’s American epicenter, demonstrates: NYC Health And after three months of unprecedented nationwide lockdowns, the sight of thousands of people gathered close together to march in the streets has been a little surreal. It has also raised fears that these protests could become superspreading events that only exacerbate the disparities described above. It’s too soon to say what exactly the effect, if any, will be. But Roni Caryn Rabin covered some of the reasons for concern in the New York Times: Dr. Howard Markel, a medical historian who studies pandemics, likened the protest crowds to the bond parades held in American cities like Philadelphia and Detroit in the midst of the 1918 influenza pandemic, which were often followed by spikes in influenza cases. “Yes, the protests are outside, but they are all really close to each other, and in those cases, being outside doesn’t protect you nearly as much,” Dr. Markel said. “Public gatherings are public gatherings — it doesn’t matter what you’re protesting or cheering. That’s one reason we’re not having large baseball games and may not have college football this fall.” Though many protesters were wearing masks, others were not. SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the Covid-19 disease, is mainly transmitted through respiratory droplets spread when people talk, cough or sneeze; screaming and shouting slogans during a protest can accelerate the spread, Dr. Markel said. With that in mind, and no sign of the protests ending anytime soon, I would urge anybody considering joining the protests to read this piece from Vox’s Eliza Barclay. She covers some of the precautions people can take to protest more safely. Be safe, everyone, and be good to each other. This story appears in VoxCare, a newsletter from Vox on the latest twists and turns in America’s health care debate. Sign up to get VoxCare in your inboxalong with more health care stats and news. Support Vox’s explanatory journalism Every day at Vox, we aim to answer your most important questions and provide you, and our audience around the world, with information that has the power to save lives. Our mission has never been more vital than it is in this moment: to empower you through understanding. Vox’s work is reaching more people than ever, but our distinctive brand of explanatory journalism takes resources — particularly during a pandemic and an economic downturn. Your financial contribution will not constitute a donation, but it will enable our staff to continue to offer free articles, videos, and podcasts at the quality and volume that this moment requires. Please consider making a contribution to Vox today.
Most Americans favor controlling coronavirus over restarting economy: poll
A majority of Americans believe controlling the spread of the coronavirus is more important than trying to restart the nation’s ailing economy, a new poll has found. The poll, conducted late last month by the Washington Post and ABC News, found that 57 percent of those surveyed think curbing the coronavirus pandemic is most important...
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Arizona Cardinals' Patrick Peterson after death of George Floyd: 'We're not valued equally'
Arizona Pro Bowler Patrick Peterson issued a length statement on social media Monday, one week after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Roberts embraces role as Supreme Court swing justice, with latest church ruling
Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts continues to position himself as the high court’s new swing vote -- having sided with both his conservative and liberal colleagues in close decisions -- including most recently in cases related to the coronavirus lockdowns.
The ironic invisibility of the loudest man in America
Law enforcement officers from the Calvert County, Maryland, Sheriff’s Office stand outside the White House on May 31. | Alex Brandon/AP Some conservatives want Trump to speak on the protests. They should be careful what they wish for. The United States has for days been engulfed in protests and violence, in large cities and even small towns across the country, following the killing of George Floyd by a police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In response, the president of the United States tweeted. He tweeted a legally questionable declaration that he’d designate antifa a terrorist organization, tweeted about his polling, tweeted simply “FAKE NEWS” and “LAW AND ORDER,” and tweeted the summation of an episode of Fox & Friends. He tweeted about the media and the “vicious dogs” of the Secret Service, and he tweeted advice at state governors and city mayors. He also shared a QAnon conspiracy theorist’s tweet, but later deleted it. After speaking about Floyd’s killing following a NASA launch on Saturday, Trump spent the rest of the weekend at the White House, speaking to the nation only on a platform he’d threatened to shut down just days earlier and largely in the manner of a person observing his own presidency from afar. People on both sides of the aisle noticed Trump’s absence from the national stage, including many on the right who consider themselves among his biggest allies. They haven’t specified an exact course of action but want Trump to take a far more prominent role in calming tensions. But Trump’s press secretary told reporters on Monday, “A national Oval Office address is not going to stop Antifa.” And while some outlets report that the president is interested in doing a “listening tour” with law enforcement and pastors and community leaders, there are no firm plans. Back in 2016, during his nomination acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention, Trump decried violence aimed at police officers and then said, “I have a message to every last person threatening the peace on our streets and the safety of our police: when I take the oath of office next year, I will restore law and order our country.” Four years later, Trump sits in the midst of a crisis of law and a breakdown of order as a result. And it turns out, he alone can’t fix it. “We are led by a buffoon who does nothing but sit on his backside and tweet” Conservative writer Rod Dreher at the American Conservative wrote this past weekend that Trump and the “political class” were completely inept at handling the compounding crises of unrest and a pandemic, saying Trump is “as useless in this crisis as teats on a boar”: The fact is, we have a massive national crisis underway, a crisis on top of two other crises — pandemic and economic collapse — and we are led by a buffoon who does nothing but sit on his backside and tweet. It’s infuriating! The pro-Trump meme creator Carpe Donktum — who attended the White House’s summit on social media last July — tweeted that he would also like to see Trump speak publicly, to “ease public concern and plot a course to peace.” While I subscribe to the theory that you should never interrupt an opponent while they are making a mistake, and this CERTAINLY is a mistake...I too would like to know #WheresTrump There is no better time than now to ease public concern and plot a course to peace.— Carpe Donktum (@CarpeDonktum) June 1, 2020 Other right-leaning observers online have agreed. Caleb Hull, a conservative videographer who works with political campaigns and influencers, said on Twitter that Trump should spend less time tweeting and more time taking “decisive action.” It would be great if the President of the United States would stop rage tweeting in all caps and actually take decisive action as a leader instead of going MIA as our nation melts down. I've heard nothing but disappointment from @realDonaldTrump's biggest supporters.— Caleb Hull (@CalebJHull) June 1, 2020 And Ann Coulter, once one of Trump’s biggest cheerleaders before breaking with him over his perceived softness on immigration, tweeted that he was likely spending his time delving deeper into conspiracy theories about an MSNBC host. To anyone worried that Trump is AWOL as America implodes, rest assured: I'm told he's tracking down some very promising Joe Scarborough leads.— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) June 1, 2020 This was not the moment Trump was made for But in his piece, Dreher made the point that perhaps many of us are thinking: Does anyone really want Donald Trump — the real person, not the idea of Donald Trump often constructed in the imaginations of the media always ready for him to “pivot” — to opine on current events? And you know, we should probably count our blessings. If he went on TV to address the nation, Trump would probably make things worse. There he sits in the White House, impotent, an angry old man who doesn’t know what to do, and who, being utterly despised by half the country — but not feared! — cannot possibly gain control of the situation. When I emailed Dreher and asked what he wanted Trump to do, he said that while he wanted Trump to “issue clear, unambiguous statements that civil disorder will not be tolerated” and do everything in his power to show that he is taking the moment seriously, “Trump being Trump, it’s hard to know what he could possibly do that wouldn’t make things worse.” MORE: Trump tells governors: "You’ve got to arrest people, you have to track people, you have to put them in jail for 10 years and you’ll never see this stuff again," per audio obtained by @CBSNews— Ed O'Keefe (@edokeefe) June 1, 2020 As my colleague Ezra Klein noted over the weekend, “When we elected Donald Trump, we elected a political arsonist.” The point of Trump, the purpose of Trump, was never to ease tensions or unite a nation (one that, arguably, has always been divided, particularly over matters of race). More often, he has held up a mirror to national divisions while using them for his own political purposes. Donald Trump is a blunt instrument aimed like a cudgel at institutions — political and cultural, domestic and foreign — that some of his voters believed ignored millions of Americans at best and hurt them at worst. Trump was made to threaten social media platforms that boosted his candidacy with regulations and potential closure. He was made to scream at cable news networks during a time of relative peace. He was not made to bring a nation reeling from death and disease back from the brink. In response to a request for comment from the New York Times about what he planned to do to address the nation over the weekend, Trump said, “I’m going to win the election easily. The economy is going to start to get good and then great, better than ever before.” Trump wasn’t elected for this moment of crisis. It’s no wonder, then, that he has no idea how to respond to it. As Dreher told me, “Some critics have said all along that Trump only wanted to be president so he could make sure all eyes were on him constantly. Now that has been proven true.” Support Vox’s explanatory journalism Every day at Vox, we aim to answer your most important questions and provide you, and our audience around the world, with information that has the power to save lives. Our mission has never been more vital than it is in this moment: to empower you through understanding. Vox’s work is reaching more people than ever, but our distinctive brand of explanatory journalism takes resources — particularly during a pandemic and an economic downturn. Your financial contribution will not constitute a donation, but it will enable our staff to continue to offer free articles, videos, and podcasts at the quality and volume that this moment requires. Please consider making a contribution to Vox today.
A vibrant city neighborhood burned and looted and heartbroken
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Chicago Public Schools suspends free meal program
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Trevor Noah on George Floyd protests: 'Police in America are looting black bodies'
Trevor Noah, Beyoncé, Jay-Z and Jane Fonda are among the latest celebrities to condemn George Floyd's killing as protests ripple across the country.
Indiana protester loses eye after police tear gas canister hits him during demonstration: reports
A protester in Indiana said he lost his right eye Saturday after being struck in the face by a tear gas canister that police fired to disperse a crowd demonstrating for George Floyd, a black man who died in Minneapolis last week while in police custody.
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DC mayor announces evening curfew after riots tear through community
Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser and District officials on Monday imposed a 7 p.m curfew after protests turned violent over the weekend, with monuments vandalized and historic buildings set ablaze.
First human trial of coronavirus antibody treatment begins 
An Indiana-based pharmaceutical company announced Monday it has started the world’s first human trial of an antibody therapy designed to treat the coronavirus. Eli Lilly and Co said its potential treatment, known as LY-CoV555, is modeled after the antibodies found in the plasma of people who have recovered from the virus. The experimental treatment doesn’t...
NYS police union slams Cuomo for ‘zero support’ amid George Floyd protests
The head of the union representing the New York State Police slammed Gov. Andrew Cuomo as offering “zero support for us” by not addressing the violence directed at troopers during violence-plagued protests in the wake of the police-custody death of George Floyd in Minnesota. State Troopers PBA president Thomas Mungeer also said Cuomo vowed to...
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Trump, Barr tell governors to ‘dominate’ streets in response to unrest
President Donald Trump and Attorney General William Barr told governors in a conference call Monday that they should respond to unrest by 'dominating' the streets.
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Gilead study finds remdesivir helps treat some coronavirus patients
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Joe Biden's Leading Vice President Contenders Speak Out on Violent Protests Over George Floyd's Death
"The act of protesting should never be allowed to overshadow the reason we protest. It should not drive people away from the just cause that protest is meant to advance," Biden said.
Democrat Gov. Tom Wolf Claims Protesters Gathering ‘Peacefully’ as Riots Burn Pennsylvania Cities
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) provided an update on Sunday of his administration's response to the civil unrest in the Keystone State and, as cities across the state burn, asserted that Pennsylvanians have been "joining together to speak out against this injustice and make their voices heard, peacefully."
Thousands chant 'I can't breathe' at Amsterdam rally, angry at George Floyd's death
Thousands of protesters chanting "I can't breathe" gathered in central Amsterdam on Monday in solidarity with George Floyd, a black American who died in police custody in the United States last week.
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Police brutality is a public health crisis
New York police officers beating protesters with batons on May 30. | Mostafa Bassim/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images Protesting during a pandemic is a risk. But so is the status quo of police violence. America’s crises are boiling over, one into another. Amid the coronavirus pandemic, masses of people are taking the streets to protest police brutality after the death of George Floyd in Minnesota, and other victims of racial violence. These two stories are linked. They are both public health stories. The link is systemic racism. “The same broad-sweeping structural racism that enables police brutality against black Americans is also responsible for higher mortality among black Americans with Covid-19,” Maimuna Majumder, a Harvard epidemiologist working on the Covid-19 response, tells Vox. “One in every 1,000 black men and boys can expect to be killed by police in this country,” she says. “To me, this clearly illustrates why police brutality is a public health problem; anything that causes mortality at such a scale is a public health problem.” PNAS An August 2019 study in PNAS concluded “about 1 in every 1,000 black men can expect to be killed by police.” For white men, it’s about 1 in 2,500. As the Covid-19 crisis continues, it’s also become clear that black communities, and other communities of color, have suffered a disproportionate burden. Law professors Ruqaiijah Yearby and Seema Mohapatra recently explained this in detail in the Journal of Law and Bioscience: African Americans make up just 12% of the population in Washtenaw County, Michigan but have suffered a staggering 46% of COVID-19 infections. In Chicago, Illinois, African Americans account for 29% of population, but have suffered 70% of COVID-19 related deaths of those whose ethnicity is known. In Washington, Latinos represent 13% of the population, but account for 31% of the COVID-19 cases, while in Iowa Latinos comprise are 6% of the population but 20% of COVID-19 infections. The African American COVID-19 death rates are higher than their percentage of the population in racially segregated cities and states including Milwaukee, Wisconsin (66% of deaths, 41% of population), Illinois (43% of deaths, 28% of infections, 15% of population), and Louisiana (46% of deaths, 36% of population). These racial and ethnic disparities in COVID-19 infections and deaths are a result of historical and current practices of racism that cause disparities in exposure, susceptibility and treatment. Many racial and ethnic minorities, Yearby and Mohapatra write, have been classified as “essential workers,” and are unable to work from home, leave their job, or access paid sick leave. They live in denser housing and more often polluted communities than whites — a result of years of racist housing policy that puts them at greater risk during a pandemic. And when they do get sick, their access to health care is often limited (as is their ability to pay for it). Can the mass protests alleviate the Covid-19 burden on these communities? Not immediately. And there is a real risk of making it worse. “The ongoing protests will increase risk of transmission,” Majumder says. But even so, she and many other health experts argue the protests are necessary. (There are ways to reduce the risk of spreading Covid-19 at a protest. Read about them here.) Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images Police arrest protesters for being in the street in Atlanta, Georgia, on May 30. Apu Gomes/AFP via Getty Images Long Beach Police equipped with batons and rubber bullets confront anti-police violence protesters in Long Beach, California, on May 31. “We can’t compare these two tragedies directly — but they both are public health crises that are operating at immense scales,” she says. “And in the case of black Americans, they’re interrelated, too. To me, these protests are about structural racism.” And that racism allows police brutality to persist, as it allows disease to spread. Many other epidemiologists, doctors, and infectious disease researchers have also defended the current protests, highlighting the inextricable link between the heavy toll of Covid-19 on black communities and the history of racism: 1/ Those who earned big platforms from #covid19- your silence on racism will be deafening.For those who see #covid19 & the #protests2020 as separate— they are not. They are deeply interlinkedUntil the deepest inequities are addressed— #racism being at the center of those...— Abraar Karan (@AbraarKaran) May 31, 2020 Angry commenters are trying to “gotcha” me on this tweet so let me be clear:Yes, I condemned the anti-lockdown protests. Yes, I support the #BlackLivesMatter protests. No, those aren’t contradictory views. COVID is a public health emergency. So is racism. We need to fight both.— Ellie Murray (@EpiEllie) May 31, 2020 For the record, my personal opinion is that some injustices are too great to remain silent, where risks become acceptable because the damage they cause outweigh the benefits of not taking them. Epidemic racism meets that threshold. #BlackLivesMatter— Dr. Angela Rasmussen (@angie_rasmussen) June 1, 2020 The forces that put many minority communities at risk during a pandemic have also put them at risk of police violence. Years of diminished economic opportunity, of marginalization, of structural racism, have led to both. “In almost any way you measure it, the American criminal justice system is prejudiced against black Americans, and black people are much more likely to be subjected to state-sanctioned violence in the US compared to white Americans,” Vox’s Dylan Scott writes. Similarly, by almost every measure, black Americans face much larger risks when it comes to public health. They suffer heart disease, diabetes, asthma, and obesity in disproportionate numbers, too. Right now, the news is filled with images of mass gatherings, at a time when social distancing should still be exercised. And more Covid-19 infections may come out of it. This is rightfully concerning. But that concern can exist alongside the concern of violence and death that black communities face, pandemic or not. Confronting the racism that puts black Americans at higher risk of dying at the hands of police means confronting the racism that puts black Americans at higher risk of dying from Covid-19. There are policies and ideas that can be implemented to help reduce police violence. There are also policies and ideas that can ease the Covid-19 burden on black and minority communities (Yearby and Mohapatra discuss more in their paper, which you can read here.) But, at least, for now, the goal of the protests is the same goal as the Covid-19 pandemic: saving lives. Support Vox’s explanatory journalism Every day at Vox, we aim to answer your most important questions and provide you, and our audience around the world, with information that has the power to save lives. Our mission has never been more vital than it is in this moment: to empower you through understanding. Vox’s work is reaching more people than ever, but our distinctive brand of explanatory journalism takes resources — particularly during a pandemic and an economic downturn. Your financial contribution will not constitute a donation, but it will enable our staff to continue to offer free articles, videos, and podcasts at the quality and volume that this moment requires. Please consider making a contribution to Vox today.
Andy McCarthy on Trump designating Antifa a terror group: 'What's important is how you treat them'
Former federal prosecutor Andy McCarthy reacted Monday to President Trump’s move to designate Antifa as a terrorist organization, explaining how the group will be treated under the law.
On the Record and the Women Hip-Hop Sacrifices
“I know it’s easy to wonder what any woman in her right mind would be doing with hip-hop,” the scholar and music journalist Joan Morgan wrote in a 1995 issue of Vibe magazine. “But there was sweetness in the beginning ... Perhaps it was because we were being acknowledged as part of a whole.”Morgan, who later coined the term “hip-hop feminism,” is among the many black women who appear in the new HBO Max documentary, On the Record. The film focuses chiefly on Drew Dixon, a former music executive who worked with the Def Jam Recordings co-founder Russell Simmons in the ’90s and publicly accused him of rape in December 2017. (Simmons, who has now been accused of sexual misconduct by at least 16 women, has denied all allegations of assault. “These horrific accusations have shocked me to my core and all of my relations have been consensual,” he said in a statement to The New York Times responding to the accounts shared by Dixon and three other women, two of whom also accused him of rape.) On the Record, for which Simmons declined to be interviewed, recounts the experiences that Dixon and two other black women—Sil Lai Abrams and Alexia Norton Jones—say they had with the rap mogul.On the Record renders these individual stories, especially Dixon’s, all the more wrenching by showing how they’re tied to patterns within the industry. These women’s pain, the film argues, isn’t just deep and personal; it’s also a symptom of the pernicious sexism that routinely forces women out of music. Like other recent #MeToo documentaries, its target is a broken system. But where Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich and Surviving R. Kelly each brings together a chorus of voices to recount the alleged actions of one man, On the Record primarily zeroes in on one story. Its subject may be Simmons, but the film spends most of its runtime focused on Dixon.The documentary begins its story well before the alleged assaults, following Dixon’s early career and showcasing the passion and drive of an eager young woman. Raised in Washington, D.C., as the daughter of local politicians, Dixon said she became enamored of hip-hop because it “combined two things that I love—activism and this sense of [community] pride—with music.” The film portrays her as a woman who got to experience the “sweetness” of seeing herself as part of hip-hop’s whole.Before detailing the events that ultimately pushed her out of the entertainment business, the documentary establishes Dixon as a formidable talent. While doing A&R work for Def Jam recordings in her 20s, the music executive racked up hits from artists such as 2Pac, Dr. Dre, and Biggie (who’d become a close friend). She assembled the massive 1995 song “You’re All I Need,” which brought the rapper Method Man and the R&B ingenue Mary J. Blige together for a duet that echoed Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell’s 1968 Motown classic. Multiple peers attest to Dixon’s early brilliance—it was obvious, they say on-screen, that she had an incredible ear. In On the Record’s later scenes, these comments take on a more rueful valence. They’re not just assessments of the bright future Dixon was poised to have—they also highlight the immense tragedy of losing it.Following Simmons’s alleged assault, Dixon left Def Jam and later joined Arista Records, where she says the executive L.A. Reid refused to work with her after she denied his sexual advances. (Reid has denied Dixon’s allegations.) In two particularly shocking sequences, Dixon recalls Reid declining to meet with two artists she brought to him: a young Chicago rapper named Kanye West and a soulful pianist who’d soon go by the name John Legend. Dixon says that the incidents proved to her that Reid was yet another man who used his power to impede her career; it didn’t matter how sharp her work was. “After a decade of working my way up from the bottom of my industry, I just quit,” she says. “I also completely and utterly cut myself off from the parts of myself that I love the most.”On the Record is most revealing in moments such as these, when it shifts the focus away from Simmons himself. While prior works such as Surviving R. Kelly and Untouchable make cursory references to the career paths that R. Kelly and Harvey Weinstein reportedly halted, On the Record makes Dixon’s devotion to her craft palpable before revealing what forced her to give it up. The documentary also posits that this loss wasn’t just Dixon’s—when she left, hip-hop suffered, too.Woven throughout the narrative about Dixon’s career in music are clear-eyed assessments of how racism and sexism operate within the industry and beyond. Throughout the production, black women scholars, cultural critics, and activists explain why black women’s stories of harassment and assault often go untold or unaddressed, especially in the music industry. In addition to Joan Morgan, figures including the former Ebony magazine editor-in-chief Kierna Mayo and the #MeToo founder Tarana Burke underscore the dilemma that women such as Dixon, Abrams, and Jones said they faced when contemplating whether to share their accounts of abuse. In a country whose history of violent racism paints all black men as sexual predators, they noted, it can feel impossible to speak up about one man’s harmful actions without the fear of fueling broader stereotypes about African Americans. “For 22 years, I took one for the team,” Dixon says in the film, referencing her reluctance to name Simmons publicly.In homing in on Drew Dixon, On the Record diverges from other #MeToo documentaries that take a more collective approach to the stories of alleged victims. (HBO)On the Record situates its subjects’ dilemma within the context of American racism: All victims of sexual assault contend with a cultural climate that weaponizes uncertainty to discredit them, but black women also bear the burden of the transatlantic slave trade’s legacy of violence and sexual exploitation. The film, in which each of Simmons’s accusers affirms her prior affection for the mogul and love of black men in general, doesn’t set out to pathologize an entire demographic. Rather, On the Record simply zooms in on the women whose lives are altered by the alleged actions of men such as Simmons, whose stature grants them outsized influence over the women in the entertainment industry.Some also saw the extent of the mogul’s reach in news that broke in January shortly before the documentary was originally set to be released. Oprah Winfrey stepped down as the executive producer, at the time giving a vague statement about editorial issues she had with the film and later acknowledging that Simmons and his supporters had tried to pressure her into leaving the project. Winfrey’s refusal to identify the problems she saw in the film, which her production company had enthusiastically endorsed just a month before, disturbed Dixon. “I feel like I’m experiencing a second crime. I am being silenced,” she told The New York Times. “The broader community is being intimidated. The most powerful black woman in the world is being intimidated.”In homing in on Dixon, On the Record diverges from other #MeToo documentaries that take a more collective approach to the stories of alleged victims. Yet the film doesn’t diminish the experiences of other women in the industry who may have been abused. Some of the most affecting sequences bring Dixon and Abrams together with Jenny Lumet, another woman who accused Simmons of assault, for the first time. The women express gratitude for the support they’ve found in each other despite the pain of what unites them.In these moments, On the Record highlights the rarity of such gatherings in hip-hop spaces—not because women don’t want to be present, but because pervasive sexism often pushes them out. Listeners will never know what hits Dixon would’ve produced, or which artists she might’ve discovered, in the years after she alleges Simmons and Reid targeted her. “If [the early prowess she showed] was her 20s,” one former colleague ponders, “what would the next 20 years have been?”
U.S. manufacturing activity off 11-year low; construction spending falls
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Ohio State basketball player Seth Towns gives impassioned speech at protest
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NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio stands by daughter after protest arrest, disputes media reports
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George Floyd’s brother travels to scene where he died in police custody
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Donald Trump Berates 'Weak' Governors for Permitting Looting and Violence
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Trump Lawyer Rudy Giuliani Says Riots Were 'Impossible' With Him as Mayor, Blames Democrats for 'Mob Rule'
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NC Central men's basketball coach LeVelle Moton concerned about silence of Power 5 coaches in wake of George Floyd death
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To cap off his amazing week, Elon Musk just made $770 million
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Madison Beer says she was tear-gassed at Santa Monica protest
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I’m afraid to be around his friends.
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HBO Max ‘isn’t a game changer’ for WarnerMedia: analyst
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