'No justice, no peace': Tens of thousands in London protest the death of Floyd
Tens of thousands of people chanting "no justice, no peace, no racist police" and "black lives matter" gathered in central London on Wednesday to protest against racism after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
9 m
UPDATE 3-HSBC exec signs petition backing China security law for Hong Kong
HSBC's top executive in Asia has signed a petition backing China’s imposition of a national security law on Hong Kong, an online bank post said on Wednesday, breaking years of political neutrality for the UK-based, Asia-focused lender.
9 m
How companies have quickly responded to the pandemic with generosity and fortitude
When the going gets tough, the tough spring into action. With the coronavirus pandemic affecting every corner of the corporate world, top companies across the country have not only pivoted to protect their employees and their businesses, but have also extended their philanthropic outreach to those impacted by the crisis. In light of their important...
Dominicans in Inwood blasted on social media for chasing away black men
Inwood Dominicans were ripped for “racial profiling” after video was posted online showing a group chasing away black men they suspected were coming to loot in their neighborhood. The footage, which received more than 887,000 views as of Wednesday morning, underscored racial tensions among blacks and Dominicans in this section of Manhattan. “Get that s–t...
Biden Is the Politician America Needs Right Now
When Joe Biden entered this presidential race, he was flayed as an ally of segregation. Kamala Harris chided him for his defense of busing. His opponents roundly portrayed him as an architect of mass incarceration and an apologist for Strom Thurmond—as a clubbable senator not particularly bothered about the moral character of the backs he slapped.These attacks were leveled not to suggest that Biden was a racial revanchist, but to reinforce a widely shared criticism of the man: He is not a visionary, but a malleable politician, with a barometrically attuned sense of the good.But in Philadelphia yesterday, Biden delivered perhaps the most thorough-going and hard-hitting critique of American racial inequities ever uttered by a major presidential nominee. Certainly, no nominee has ever proposed such a robust agenda for curbing the abusiveness of police, and with such little rhetorical hedging.[Read: Joe Biden names his enemies]In the face of upheaval, he’s given reason to hope that the traits that were his supposed weaknesses could prove to be his great strengths. If one of the ultimate purposes of protest is to push politicians, he’s shown himself a politician willing to be pushed. His tendency to channel the zeitgeist has supplied him with the potential to meet a very difficult moment.One of the alleged truisms about older people is that they are cemented into ideological place. Their minds are said to have limited ability to switch political lanes. But in the past few months, Biden has altered his worldview. At the beginning of his candidacy, he announced himself as the tribune of normalcy. Donald Trump was a pathogen that had attacked the American host—and Biden would provide the cleansing presence that would permit a reversion to a pre-Charlottesville status quo.What was so striking about his speech in Philadelphia was that it acknowledged that he had gotten it wrong. The country couldn’t return to a prelapsarian state of tolerance, because one didn’t exist. “I wish I could say that hate began with Donald Trump and will end with him. It didn’t and it won’t. American history isn’t a fairy tale with a guaranteed happy ending.” Faith in progress is the nostrum of liberal politics, yet Biden broke with that faith in Philadelphia, and by so doing, he seemed to concede his own failure to appreciate the depths of American racism.Since the beginning of quarantine, Biden has been chided for disappearing from view—and he receives strangely little media attention when he does rear his head. Over the past few days, for example, he’s treated the protests with deference, something cable news has largely ignored. When he met with activists who berated the Obama administration’s record on race, he didn’t react defensively. Instead, he studiously took notes. The relatively few images that circulate show him engaged in the empathetic poses that so often seem overwrought, but that also project openness and respect. In a church in Wilmington, Delaware, he dropped to his knee, a position obviously reminiscent of Colin Kaepernick but also a stance of self-abasement in the face of awe-inspiring anger.So much American history has transpired since early February, it’s easy to forget that Biden’s candidacy was salvaged in the South Carolina primary. In the aftermath of that victory, he spoke about the debt he owed to black voters. There’s a chance that this was, to borrow a phrase, malarky. But in the former vice president’s antiquated style, where one’s word is supposed to be stronger than oak, this debt has already guided him to stake his candidacy on a clear statement of solidarity with the protests.[Ibram X. Kendi: The American nightmare]More than other figures in the Democratic Party, Biden can speak warmly about the protesters without risking political backlash. With his gaffes, which sometimes veer toward the politically incorrect, he’s hardly an easily caricatured avatar of wokeness. His penchant for cringeworthy remarks, and his old-time mannerisms, help cushion whatever anxiety some white voters might have about his tough criticisms of police and blunt condemnations of systemic racism.On Monday, George Floyd’s brother spontaneously addressed a crowd at the site of his brother’s killing, clutching a bullhorn. Through his mourning, he tried to guide the shape of the protest movement that had risen in his brother’s name. He pleaded, “Educate yourself and know who you vote for. That’s how you’re going to get it. It’s a lot of us. Do this peacefully.”It was as if he were distilling a body of political-science research that has shown why so many protest movements around the globe have fizzled out these past decades. Social media permit the quick gathering of crowds, but without the organizational infrastructure or robust agenda that can sustain a true movement. Terrence Floyd was urging something different: He wanted the crowds in the streets to think politically.The challenge for the Biden candidacy is to bridge an alliance with a resurgent left. Biden, a creature of the Senate, has to convince young people rushing to the barricades that he’s worth a trip to the polls. And the challenge for the left is to accept that Biden is its greatest chance of achieving its long-held dreams. What he’s demonstrated over the past week is a willingness to play the role of tribune, to let the moment carry him to a new place.
Exclusive: Trump administration to bar Chinese passenger carriers from flying to U.S.
President Donald Trump's administration said on Wednesday it will bar Chinese passenger carriers from flying to the United States starting on June 16 as it pressures Beijing to allow U.S. air carriers to resume flights.
Coty is in talks with Kim Kardashian about cosmetics line
The cosmetics giant is in talks with Kim Kardashian West to collaborate on “certain beauty products,” the company revealed in a securities filing on Tuesday.
Armed Vigilantes Patrolling Philadelphia Streets as Police Stood By 'Shames the Entire City,' DA Says
Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner said men seen carrying baseball bats in the Fishtown area of the city are "the problem, not the solution."
Chris Cuomo calls for police accountability: 'Too many see the protests as the problem'
Chris Cuomo is speaking up about protests that have been sparked across the United States after the death of George Floyd.
U.K. leader and police condemn "appalling" killing of George Floyd
Prime Minister Boris Johnson says he understands protests, but declines call to critique Trump as police chiefs urge "justice and accountability."
Charlamagne tha God calls out Biden’s ‘racist’ Senate history
Charlamagne tha God isn’t joining Team Biden just yet. The radio personality, speaking to CNN on Tuesday evening, discussed his assessment of how the presumptive Democratic nominee was performing as the country reels over the murder of George Floyd and the protests and riots that ensued as a result. Despite offering praise for former Vice...
Lea Michele issues apology after 'Glee' co-star Samantha Ware accused her of making her life 'a living hell'
Lea Michele has issued an apology to her former "Glee" co-star Samantha Ware after being accused of making her life a 'living hell' on set.
Betsy DeVos Is Looting Public Schools | Opinion
The secretary's directives to divert CARES Act funds to private schools abandon America's commitment to help those most in need and defy the very framework of her job.
Fired State Department watchdog defends role, says he has acted 'without regard to politics'
Fired State Department Inspector General Steve Linick defended his work as “impartial” and “without regard to politics,” during closed-door testimony on Capitol Hill on Wednesday.
Zoom Won't Encrypt Free Calls So Police Can Access User Information and Track 'Misuse'
A company spokesperson said the decision was made for security purposes to balance "the privacy of its users with the safety of vulnerable groups."
Brandon Sanderson, Neil Gaiman and More Sci-Fi and Fantasy Writers Join TorCon, Here's How to Watch
A newly announced virtual books convention will host events featuring some of speculative fiction's biggest authors, including V.E. Schwab, Nnedi Okorafor and Brandon Sanderson.
Growing calls to “defund the police,” explained
Police detain demonstrators for being in the street during a protest on May 30, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia. | Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images Calls to restrict police funding have grown with protests and GOP-imposed austerity. Amid the anti-police brutality protests across the country, a once-obscure slogan is gaining traction: defund the police. The Working Families Party, an institutionalized progressive movement anchored on the left flank of the Democratic Party, especially in New York, and the Sunrise Movement, a climate-focused left-wing youth organization, tweeted the call on May 31. Defund the police.— Sunrise Movement (@sunrisemvmt) May 31, 2020 A three-word slogan is not a detailed policy agenda and not everyone using the slogan agrees on the details. The basic idea, though, is less that policing budgets should be literally zeroed-out than that there should be a massive restructuring of public spending priorities. Brian Highsmith writing in the American Prospect calls for “significant, permanent reductions to existing policing and carceral infrastructures.” Sarah Jones in New York says that in the contemporary United States “the punitive impulse [the police] embody saturates nearly every facet of American life,” where officers “take the place of social workers and emergency medical personnel and welfare caseworkers, and when they kill, we let them replace judges and juries, too.” This idea in its most grandiose forms seems unlikely to win the day. But as mainstream Democrats try to respond to the protests and the swirl of vandalism and police misconduct that’s surrounded them, they are likely to find themselves confronted with questions about police budgets. The idea might be dismissed as politically untenable or lacking public policy backing. But it interacts in a potent way with the other crisis of the moment — the Covid-19 pandemic, which has pushed state and local government budgets into crisis. Before Floyd’s death, Democrats had a clear position on these crises — Congress should appropriate huge sums of money, as provided for in the HEROES Act, to prevent layoffs of teachers, firefighters, cops, librarians, and other local government workers. But with Senate Republicans blocking action on state budget relief, someone is going to get laid off. And many criminal justice reform activists are bold about saying it should be the police. What “defunding” police means in practice In congressional budget-speak, to “defund” something normally means to reduce appropriations to zero dollars, thus eliminating it. And there are people, like Brooklyn College sociologist Alex Vitale, who favor police abolition. In practice, however, while Vitale supports legalizing a wide range of currently illegal activity, he still envisions things like “sex work that’s regulated just like any other business.” At some level, the way business regulation works is that if you’re sufficiently defiant of the rules, the police will lock you up. And under questioning from Mother Jones’s Madison Pauly, Vitale is cagey about questions like how we are going to handle murders in a zero-police society. Police abolitionists are proposing a scaling-back of the scope of police activities that is far outside the horizon of current political possibility, so they may not articulate the most fine-grained details. The “defund” slogan dances ambiguously between abolition-type schemes and just saying officials should spend less money on policing at the margins. The Black Lives Matters #DefundThePolice explainer page argues that “law enforcement doesn’t protect or save our lives. They often threaten and take them.” By contrast, a Justin Brooks op-ed at the Appeal titled “Defund the Police Now” is an extended argument for spending somewhat less money on crime control and somewhat more on social services, as a win-win resulting in less crime, less punishment, and less police violence against civilians. New York state Sen. Julia Salazar, similarly, describes herself as an advocate of defunding the police, by which she means shifting some money into social services: I think we need to consider a divest/invest model. When we look at their resources, and how they’re deploying them violently and recklessly, it makes the case even stronger for reducing their budget, and then using those funds for social services, and specifically for things that New Yorkers would want the police to do but the police are not currently doing: harm reduction, community-based public safety. In the day-to-day of politics, there are always arguments about the details of municipal budget priorities. In that sense, “defunding” the police is more of an effort to convince the public and the political system to shift its priorities. Police are historically very popular In Gallup’s annual polls of public confidence in institutions, “the police” rank high — below the military and small businesses — with ratings that soar above the Supreme Court, newspapers, Congress, or other entities that might check them. Confidence in policing appears to be in gradual long-term decline, and Gallup does these polls every June so we don’t yet know if the most recent unrest will change opinions. But historically the police have been a potent force politically, which helps explain why police unions are politically powerful even as they take stands that tend to be at odds with the racially progressive views of the big cities where they often work. Gallup Similarly, when Vox and Civis Analytics polled this question in the winter of 2018-2019, large majorities of Americans of all racial groups expressed a favorable opinion of their local police department and were supportive of the idea of appropriating money to hire more police officers and dispatch them to high-crime neighborhoods. A 2015 Gallup poll showed that among African Americans, those who feel they’ve been treated unfairly by the police are more likely than those who don’t to favor an increased police presence in their neighborhood. In 2015, black adults who felt cops treated black people unfairly were more likely to want an increased police presence than those who said they felt they were treated fairly— Rachel Cohen (@rmc031) May 30, 2020 These views about policing may change in response to recent protests and police violence. But the 2015 poll suggests that many African Americans view inadequate protection and inadequate service levels as part of the larger pattern of mistreatment. Harvard Law professor Randall Kennedy’s 1998 book Race, Crime, and the Law argues that under-policing of black neighborhoods and under-protection of black crime victims is a critical but under-considered dimension of racial inequity in the United States. Jill Leovy’s more recent book, Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America, documents a vicious cycle. Clearance rates for serious crimes like murder are much lower in black neighborhoods, creating a situation in which black civilians don’t feel that it’s safe to cooperate with the police. That frustrates police officers and makes it further difficult to clear cases. Black civilians then encounter police presence primarily in the form of aggressive enforcement of small-bore infractions, rather than as protecting people from serious violence. A strain of thought among black Americans appears to have been more in line with those kind of narratives than with radical police abolitionism. And that created a terrain in which the clear political safe space for Democrats was to push for better policing, rather than less policing. Protesters want big change The current round of demonstrations was set off by the killing of George Floyd, an incident of police misconduct so egregious that most everyone in American politics has denounced it. But while former officer Derek Chauvin is under arrest, the protests are tackling a wide array of diffuse grievances related to race and policing. Police officers in turn have in many cases responded to the protests by acting less as neutral public servants than as well-equipped counterprotesters, using the cover of law and occasional looting incidents to mount a broad crackdown on public protest. In the face of both long-simmering anger and the radicalization dynamic set off by abusive police conduct in the face of protest, it’s natural that many people would like to rally behind a big idea and an eschatological vision of change, rather than a laundry list of incremental reforms. Police officers, police chiefs, and police unions, meanwhile, have been fairly clear that they don’t think there’s any kind of problem at all that merits any discussion of solutions. Most voters have mixed feelings, and say protestor grievances are merited but they also like their local police. But those who don’t like their local police want a big gesture of accountability. Results of new Morning Consult + Monmouth polls: Americans...-Think protesters have good reason to be angry about racial injustice-Think police are more likely to use excessive force against Black people-Like their local police-Are ok with using military to stop riots— Kristen Soltis Anderson (@KSoltisAnderson) June 2, 2020 “Defund the police” fits the bill, especially because the Covid-19 pandemic has made some kind of major reworking of budget priorities essentially inevitable. State and local budgets are in crisis Economic downturns always hurt state and local government budgets. But the widespread business closures of this spring were a particularly intense and devastating form of downturn. And certain forms of activity that tend to be particularly highly taxed — in particular drinking in bars, staying in hotels, and renting cars — is likely to stay depressed for a long time even under very optimistic pandemic scenarios. The result is that politicians are now facing tough budgetary tradeoffs. The decision that mayors in even liberal cities like Los Angeles and New York were making as of early May was to propose deep cuts in essentially every major category except the police. But it’s not as though huge cuts in youth services, housing, public health, or education are popular, either. Even in a world where broad ideological hostility to spending money on police departments is relatively rare, a situation in which cutting police spending is the only way to save funding for other agencies naturally creates a broader coalition for spending less on the cops. We don’t yet really know what national opinion thinks of the protests and disorder that have engulfed the country since those initial proposals were made. But we do know that there’s a widespread sentiment in left-of-center circles — see my colleagues Dylan Scott and Ezra Klein for illustrative examples — that police departments’ conduct during the past week has mostly reflected poorly on them. You might expect big cities whose electorates are well left-of-center to consider a more equitable distribution of budget cuts. There’s a huge difference between “cut the police budget somewhat because all agencies are facing cuts because of the pandemic” and a broad mandate to “defund the police.” But police abolitionist rhetoric that would have been a total nonstarter in February has some real bite in June. It is, however, worth emphasizing that the budget crisis is something the federal government could easily avoid. We have better choices than this If you look at expert recommendations for improving policing in the United States, calls for broad-based budget cuts are often not on the list. And by the same token, the evidence that putting more cops on the beat helps reduce crime is fairly overwhelming. That said, slashing spending on schools or parks or transportation isn’t good policy either. When the overall labor market is robust, cutting back on wasteful or ineffective government services can be broadly helpful because it helps reallocate resources to more productive sectors of the economy. What’s happening right now, however, is that the unemployment rate is about 20 percent. Anyone furloughed from working in a library or a rec center or a fire department or a school or a police department adds to the ranks of the jobless. At the same time, the interest rate paid on federal debt is currently less than the overall rate of price inflation — meaning Congress can essentially borrow money for less than nothing. The obvious economic policy solution would be to follow House Democrats’ proposal to send huge sums of money to state and local governments, allowing them to avoid making big cuts at a sensitive time. Then reforms to police procedures — different training, different enforcement priorities, more transparency and accountability — could be discussed as a life and death matter about the security of communities, rather than as a desperate scramble for scarce funding. Senate Republicans, however, insist they don’t want to deliver aid on large scale which is going to force jurisdictions everywhere into sharp cuts to something — likely including police departments along with everything else. 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.
ESPN loses another talent to Fox Sports as Jonathan Vilma jumps ship
Fox Sports has lifted another top ESPN commentator as it continues to transform its NFL game coverage, The Post has learned. Super Bowl Champion Jonathan Vilma has decided to leave ESPN/ABC and will sign with Fox to be an NFL game analyst, according to sources. Vilma will likely work with Kenny Albert on Sundays in...
CDC creates new color-coded system to designate ships with potential coronavirus exposure
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its COVID-19 guidance regarding cruise ships this week amid the U.S. ongoing no-sail order.
Couples should wear face masks during sex, new study insists
Safe sex during the coronavirus pandemic might soon require protection beyond just the nether regions.
US to block Chinese airlines from flying into the US
The US government says it will block Chinese airlines from flying into the US in response to what it says is a policy that has prevented US carriers from service between the two countries.
When we go back to eating out, more of us will pay with our phones
Starbucks, Chipotle and others were trying to get more customers to skip the cash and order online or through an app before the pandemic. The crisis has accelerated the trend.
'Brooklyn Nine-Nine' cast donates $100,000 to bail relief fund for protesters
The cast of the television show "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" has made a 100,000 donation to the National Bail Fund Network.
'Space Force' Season 2: Everything the Cast and Crew Have Said About the Next Season
"Space Force" Season 2 may not have been confirmed yet by Netflix, but the show's cast and crew are already preparing for a potential pick-up.
Mars may have been a ringed planet in its ancient past, study suggests
There are four planets in the Solar System that have rings — Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. A new study, however, suggests that Mars may have also once been a ringed planet.
How to not raise a racist white kid
When we don't break white silence with ongoing and explicit teaching about race and racism, and active and persistent modeling of antiracism, we end up raising the Amy Coopers of the next generation.
Facebook's Zuckerberg still under fire over Trump posts
Employees and civil-rights leaders are denouncing the Facebook CEO's decision to leave Trump's posts alone.
US Secretary of Defense says he does not support using active duty troops to quell protests in break from Trump
Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said Wednesday that he does not support using active duty troops to quell the large-scale protests across the United States triggered by the death of George Floyd and those forces should only be used in a law enforcement role as a last resort, directly contradicting President Donald Trump.
Severe storms threaten a 1,600-mile stretch of the US. The worst may hit New York City
Clusters of strong to severe storms are likely from the northern Plains to the Atlantic Ocean, roughly a 1,600-mile stretch -- Wednesday afternoon and evening. The worst storms are likely in and around New York City.
Frances Tiafoe unites tennis stars in protest but feels some people don't want black players to succeed
He's one of his country's brightest prospects on the tennis tour, but US star Frances Tiafoe says a lack of diversity in the sport makes him feels like an "outsider."
Dick Wolf fires ‘Law & Order’ spinoff writer who threatened looters
Craig Gore was fired after controversial Facebook posts about looters and the recent curfew put in place across Los Angeles.
Police chief: If you think Floyd video shows reasonable force, resign
CNN's Poppy Harlow spoke with Saint Paul Police Chief Todd Axtell, who said that any police officer who thought the George Floyd video showed an "acceptable" use of force should hand their badge in.
Russia Developing Coronavirus Treatment That Disinfects the Body With UV Light From Inside
Andrei Goverdovsky, from the state nuclear agency Rosatom, said components can be inhaled to emit UV light directly onto the lungs.
New York police chief: Why I knelt with George Floyd protesters
An upstate New York police chief told “Fox & Friends First” on Wednesday he was inspired to take a knee and marched with peaceful demonstrators over the weekend because he felt “what the protesters were feeling at the time.”
Ben Crump, civil rights attorney
Ben Crump has represented a number of families whose loved ones have been killed, some at the hands of police.
Black Texas Cowboys on Horseback Protest George Floyd's Death in Viral Video
Videos of the protesters riding horses spread on social media, with many users pointing out that at least one was sporting a shirt that read "Black Cowboys Matter."
Skateboarder prodigy's father speaks of terror not knowing if daughter would 'make it through the night' after horror fall
It's the kind of terror only a parent could know.
Henry Cejudo wants to box Ryan Garcia, says talks for Saudi Arabia fight ongoing
Henry Cejudo retired from MMA, but he's apparently not through competing just yet if he secures a boxing match with Ryan Garcia.       Related StoriesAt UFC 250, Cody Stamann fights for brother after untimely death: 'He loved watching me compete'UFC 250 'Embedded,' No. 1: Fighters touch down in Las VegasUFC 250 free fight: Felicia Spencer earns title shot with first-round stoppage
Miami police chief says out-of-town looters ruining peaceful protests: 'Some people just want to create chaos'
Miami Police Chief Jorge Colina said on Wednesday that while there are people who want to peacefully protest, there are people who simply want to create chaos.
Tom Homan: Message to all the good cops out there – Americans stand with you
There may be thousands of rioters out there but there are millions of Americans who are disgusted by that behavior.
Olympic hammer thrower blasts USOPC CEO for 'equality' hypocrisy, citing previous protest
U.S. hammer thrower Gwen Berry is demanding an apology, criticizing the USOPC for hypocrisy after it lauded athletes protesting George Floyd's death.
Celebrities who have joined George Floyd protests against police brutality
Many celebrities are joining the protests happening across the country that were sparked by the May 25 death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minn.
Rosenstein defends Russia probe in Senate testimony, faults FBI on FISA problems
Former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein defended his actions in the Russia probe during Senate testimony Wednesday -- including his appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller -- while suggesting the FBI should shoulder the blame over since-exposed misconduct related to Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants.
The Headlines That Are Covering Up Police Violence
In light of the recent police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Tony McDade, journalists are faced, once again, with the task of making sense of black protest to the American public. It bears asking what media professionals have learned, not just in the six years since the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson spurred national outrage, but also in the decades, and centuries, of black American resistance.How the news covers activism matters profoundly to a democracy because the media can influence public support or rejection of policies that might solve social ills, like racism and police brutality. Following the dozens of uprisings that swept U.S. cities after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in 1968, Lyndon Johnson’s National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders, commonly known as the Kerner Commission, reported on the cause and possible future prevention of such unrest. The commission asserted that, in addition to generational poverty, housing and employment discrimination, and over-policing, the media was partially responsible for the neglect felt by black communities.The commission wrote: Along with the country as a whole, the press has too long basked in a white world, looking out of it, if at all, with white men’s eyes and a white perspective. That is no longer good enough. The painful process of readjustment that is required of the American news media must begin now … They must insist on the highest standards of accuracy—not only reporting single events with care and skepticism, but placing each event into meaningful perspective. They must report the travail of our cities with compassion and in depth. Yet, in recent investigations of post-civil rights era protests (from Watts in 1992 to Baltimore in 2015), researchers found that media coverage continues to reinforce stereotypes of black incivility and to denigrate the legitimacy of black outrage. For instance, news that denies black agency by fixating on supposed “outside agitators”—a common insult lobbed at the Northern students and clergy who joined forces with black Southerners in the 1960s—came roaring back with a vengeance over the past week. USA Today and other outlets ran headlines that uncritically repeated officials’ lines like, “‘There are anarchists’: Minnesota officials say ‘outside agitators’ are hijacking peaceful protests.” Later, the Minnesota governor Tim Walz was forced to backtrack on this claim after the vast majority of those arrested in Minneapolis had local driver’s licenses.[Read: The double standard of the American riot]The University of Wisconsin–Madison journalism professor Douglas McLeod and his colleagues have detailed what they call the “protest paradigm” in a range of media coverage of public activism. The paradigm tends to dismiss or disparage protestors and protest tactics through a reliance on police and government sources, along with episodic, conflict-based stories that fail to engage the complex social causes of protest. Such reporting, McLeod says, undermines social movement agendas by depicting challenges to the U.S. status quo as sinister or frivolous. Perhaps most importantly, public-opinion research shows that this coverage has a negative effect on the public’s assessment of the validity of protestors’ claims and tactics. When news stories employ sensational images of property damage, using terms like riot, and the even more sensational mayhem and chaos, researchers have noted a rise in public support for law and order crackdowns on protest, rather than support for social policy to address the roots of protest.Passive and ambiguous language is also common in news reports, stripping responsibility from state actors and softening facts. Consider the popularity of the term, officer-involved shooting, a euphemism right out of police public relations guides, instead of “shot by police.” WUSA9, a local Washington, D.C., station, deleted a tweet that read, “#BREAKING: Pepper spray caused a short stampede in Lafayette Park during a peaceful march honoring George Floyd,” after receiving intense criticism for failing to name the police as the source of the apparent sentient pepper spray. Likewise, the New York Times received pushback for a tweet that read “Minneapolis: A photographer was shot in the eye,” after the photojournalist Linda Tirado was shot by police with a rubber bullet and likely blinded permanently in one eye. Buzzfeed engaged in bizarre wordsmithing with its headline “15 Not-Peaceful Things the Cops Were Recorded Doing During This Weekend’s Black Lives Matter Protests,” with not-peaceful standing in as a euphemism for violent.What’s more, reports on the violence that occurs at some protests often fail to reflect the power imbalance between armed and armored police officers and water bottle-throwing young people by using language like melee and scuffle, which imply minor, equally matched struggles. This coverage almost never explains to audiences the way tactical police responses to protest create conditions for increased unrest. Journalists would be better able to report fairly by using more black organizers as sources, or by reporting on the organizers’ motivations beyond a singular event.[Read: Don't fall for the ‘chaos’ theory of the protests]Yet, I am also seeing changes in language that make me optimistic this time around. Some outlets (besides the usual alternative media and niche ones) have begun to run headlines that reconsider representations of blame and reassess assumptions that result from an unbalanced reliance on police as sources. These include NBC News’ “U.S. Police Failing to Respect Right to Peaceful Protest;” Slate’s “Police Erupt in Violence Nationwide;” and The Atlantic’s recent coverage of police militarization titled, “When Police View Citizens as Enemies.”Likewise, mainstream journalists who have been on the ground to witness police escalation tactics, and in some cases those who have been seriously hurt by them, are pointing out the inconsistency of the values law enforcement claims to be protecting. Jackie Kucinich, the Washington Bureau chief of the Daily Beast tweeted about the use of tear gas on peaceful protestors in the District, and Abby D. Phillip of CNN pointed to the disconnect between the suppression tactics being used on peaceful protestors at the White House and the President’s claim that he was their ally.Freedom’s Journal, the first African American newspaper, founded during the abolitionist movement, published an editorial in 1827 which read: “Too long has the public been deceived by misrepresentations of things which concern us dearly. From the press and the pulpit we have suffered much by being incorrectly represented … Such should know more of our actual condition, and of our efforts and feelings, in forming or advocating for plans for our amelioration.” Euphemisms, passive voice, sensationalism, and a sole reliance on official sources are not objective, nor are they at all reflective of the “compassion and depth” the Kerner commission called for 50 years ago. If the goal of a more democratic society is to embrace rather than stifle racial progress, newsmakers must recognize the weight of their editorial choices.
Ella Jones Elected First Black Mayor Of Ferguson, Mo.
Jones will be the first woman to serve as mayor of the city. Ferguson, Mo., gained international attention in 2014 after the killing of a young black man by police and the protests that followed.
Kentucky woman leads peaceful protests to be heard
Protests have engulfed cities nationwide, with much of the focus on burning buildings and violence. But Kelly Bundy in Louisville, Kentucky says most protesters are like her: peaceful people called to duty after a lifetime of inequality. (June 3)
READ: Former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein's opening statement before Senate Judiciary Committee
Former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will seek to walk a fine line in his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee between defending the findings of former special counsel Robert Mueller's team on Russia and agreeing that some in the FBI committed wrongdoing, according to a copy of his prepared opening remarks.
UCLA furious over LAPD using Jackie Robinson Stadium as a ‘field jail’
The Los Angeles Police Department has been using UCLA’s Jackie Robinson Stadium as a “field jail” for people who were violating curfew at protests held in response to the police-involved killing of George Floyd, according to the university. UCLA said Tuesday night that it was unaware of how the LAPD was using its stadium, stating...