The National Museum of African American History & Culture today released Talking About Race, a web portal designed to provide free educational resources and tools from scholars, activists, historians, and more with the goal of teaching everyone how to have conversations about race and racism.
“The online portal provides digital tools, online exercises, video instructions, scholarly articles and more than 100 multi-media resources tailored for educators, parents and caregivers—and individuals committed to racial equality,” the museum wrote in a press release. “A rash of racially charged incidents—from an altercation in Central Park to acts of police brutality resulting in the deaths of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd and the protests they provoked in cities around the country—prompted the museum to move up the release date of Talking About Race.”
The portal has gathered decades of race research in one place. There are suggestions for how to talk about racism with your kids, coworkers, or students. Listen to Ibram X. Kendi, the founder of American University’s Antiracist Research & Policy Center, discuss “The Invention of Race.” Watch lawyer/critical race theorist Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw examine “The Urgency of Intersectionality” in a TED Talk. Learn about whiteness from scholar Robin DiAngelo, the author of White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism. From the museum’s press release, this first phase of the portal features eight topics to explore:
Being Anti-Racist: a conscious decision to make frequent, consistent, equitable choices daily.
Bias: the inclination or prejudice toward or against something or someone.
Community Building: connecting and engaging with others doing anti-racism work and exploring issues of race.
Historical Foundations of Race: how race, white privilege, and anti-blackness are woven into the very fabric of American society.
Race and Racial Identity: how societies use race to establish and justify systems of power, privilege, disenfranchisement, and oppression.
Self-Care: caring for one’s mental, emotional, and physical health to sustain the work of dismantling racism.
Social Identities and Systems of Oppression: systems built around the ideology that some groups are superior to others.
Whiteness: an ideology that reinforces power at the expense of others.
This one’s for you, white folks. If you’re at home wondering what you can do to make change, let this be your first step.
Rosa joined Washingtonian in 2016 after graduating from Mount Holyoke College. She covers arts and culture for the magazine. She’s written about anti-racism efforts at Woolly Mammoth Theatre, dinosaurs in the revamped fossil hall at the Smithsonian’s Natural History Museum, and the horrors of taking a digital detox. When she can, she performs with her family’s Puerto Rican folkloric music ensemble based in Jersey City. She lives in Adams Morgan.
(RNS) — White Christian women are overdue for some soul searching. We need to reread our Scriptures. We need to take responsibility for the ways our everyday lives perpetuate racism. We need to listen to women of color and follow their lead.
The gospel teaches us that we follow a God who hears the cries of oppressed people and demands freedom. Yet white Christian women have been marching to the beat of a different God.
As protesters in cities like Minneapolis and communities nationwide cry out for justice for George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, I see many women of color choke on tear gas, but I have to squint to see women who look like me in the crowds.
This bears out the same troubling dynamic that swung the 2016 elections. A plurality of white women cast their vote for Trump, and two-thirds of white evangelical women voted for him, despite his extensive record of overt bigotry. Meanwhile, 98% of black women and two-thirds of Latina women voted against him.
These discrepancies should cut us to the quick and cause us to examine our hearts and souls. Time and time again, why do white women disconnect from women of color?
White women benefit from the oppression of women of color. We get better health care, higher salaries, greater job security and deference from police. We don’t fear that our children will be targeted or killed by police or immigration enforcement agents. We are spared women of color’s everyday experiences of dismissal, distrust and discrimination. I’m so grateful to the black, Latina, Native and Asian women in my life who help me see this. I’m still learning and always will be.
God demands that we see through the eyes of our oppressed neighbors. The preamble to the Sinai commandments reads loud and clear: Remember you were once slaves and I freed you. All the law is based on this. Jesus echoes this in the Gospel of Luke, chapter 4, when he states his mission: I have come to bring good news to the poor and liberation to the oppressed.
What white women don’t see is that the United States has never really acted upon these commands. Slavery was not replaced by freedom. It morphed into lynch law, Jim Crow, constant economic discrimination and a criminal justice system designed to subjugate black and brown people rather than serve and protect them.
We see it in Minneapolis as a policeman kneels on the neck of George Floyd, slowly suffocating him despite bystander cries for mercy. We see it exposed in the disproportionate impact the pandemic is having on communities of color serving at the front lines as essential workers while deprived of protection and healthcare.
We see it in the video of a woman in New York’s Central Park threatening to call 911 on a bird-watching black man and “tell them there’s an African American man threatening my life.” I was horrified by how easily an everyday spat about an unleashed dog was escalated into a racist death threat.
White women, we have much for which to atone. We have been taught many lies that get us to vote against our sisters of color. We must listen and do our own work of self-examination about our privilege and power. Too often we turn to women of color to do this emotional labor for us. What we unconsciously want is to feel better about ourselves.
We cannot merely think that because we aren’t overt bigots, we are anti-racist. If we are truly doing the work, we will observe our defensiveness without being paralyzed by it. When we learn to receive accountability as prophecy rather than hostility, we are starting to heed God’s call.
We can only eliminate racism by letting go of the power and benefits of whiteness. We need to yield leadership to women of color rather than take more for ourselves. We will need to be convicted by the fact that our neighborhoods, organizations, schools and congregations economically benefit from 21st-century segregation.
While our children go to “good schools” and can walk safely through a park with a hoodie, children of color suffer. And unless we are working to dismantle this, we are racist and part of the problem.
Historically multi-racial coalitions have set out to dismantle white supremacy and yet have failed to see it through. When it came to abolitionism, women’s suffrage and civil rights, often white women failed to see the full humanity of black women. Such efforts propelled the nation forward but left deep wounds and fissures that prevent us from ultimately eradicating the roots of racism.
The Rev. Jennifer Butler. Courtesy photo
This image is available for web and print publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.
My Christian faith teaches me to hear the cries of injustice, examine my own sin and act. Today white Christian women must pledge to hear the challenge to our whiteness posed by women of color, knowing that this is how God will lead us forward into a new vision of how to live together. Only then will America become a true democracy.
(The Rev. Jennifer Butler is CEO of Faith in Public Life, a network of 50,000 faith leaders united in the pursuit of justice and human dignity. She was chair of the President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships in the Obama administration. The views expressed in this commentary do not necessarily reflect those of Religion News Service.)
The cost of unequal healthcare is measured in human life, says Dr. Stephen Lockhart, the African American chief medical officer at Sutter Health, a non-profit healthcare network with 24 hospitals located across Northern California.
Lockhart made this chilling observation while talking about the growing body of evidence that is confirming that more minorities and disadvantaged people are getting infected, being hospitalized and dying from COVID-19 than White, middle class and wealthier Americans.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has ripped a Band-Aid off of the structural inequities that exist within our society. We must address these disparities right away,” Lockhart explains, adding “We have a moral obligation to do so.”
Last month, Sutter Health’s Advancing Equity Team released a report in the journal Health Affairs, a publication that focuses on health policy. The study found that Black COVID-19 patients in California are 2.7 times more likely to be hospitalized than their Non-Hispanic, White counterparts. It also reported that they “tend to arrive at Sutter healthcare facilities sicker and with more severe symptoms.”
Based in Sacramento, Sutter Health serves more than 3 million people across 22 California counties.
Even when Blacks in California have health insurance, the study revealed that African Americans may not seek testing and care until their illnesses become emergencies — when the likelihood of dying is highest. The report focused its research on areas in Northern California — including neighborhoods with historical African American enclaves like Hunters Point Bay View in San Francisco and East Oakland in Alameda County.
Lockhart and the researchers at Sutter say the study points to how socioeconomic variables can factor into the high rates of African American infection, hospitalizations and death. For example, African Americans tend to go farther away to seek care hospital through emergency rooms than to visit health care centers located closer to their homes. And because a large number of Blacks work in “essential” jobs, they may not be able to get excused from work to get testing when they first start to experience COVID-19 symptoms.
For the study, Sutter collected data from patients ages 18 or older who had visited or been treated at Sutter Health facilities. Then, using its electronic health record (EHR) system, Sutter scientists broke the study’s subjects into two groups – suspected cases and confirmed cases. The researchers also applied the data to its Health Equity Index, a metric Sutter Health has used in a similar study on Asthma, to come up with the findings of the COVID-19 report. The asthma study, much like this one, crystallizes the stubborn racial health gap that persists in California and around the country.
Across the United States, there have been a total of 1.7 confirmed million COVID-19 cases and over 100,000 deaths.
Black Americans represent nearly 13% of the total population. Yet, African Americans living in counties across the United States where the Black population ranges between 13% and 85%, account for more than half of all COVID-19 infections, and they make up almost 60% of deaths. Researchers at Johns Hopkins University, Georgetown University, the University of Mississippi, and Emory University released those numbers earlier this month.
So far, in California, there have been 110,583 confirmed cases and 4,213 deaths as of May 31. Blacks make up about 6 percent of the state population but account for more than 10 percent of all deaths. The majority of the deaths have been in Los Angeles County, where there have been 53,627 cases and 2,338 deaths. The Black death rate in Los Angeles county hovers around 12 percent.
“The real value of the study lies not in the disparities it reveals but in its utility to inform our work to develop solutions that will address the equity gaps we are seeing with programs such as community outreach and engagement in at-risk neighborhoods,” said Kristen M.J. Azar, a registered nurse, public health professional, lead author of the study and a research scientist at the Sutter Health Center for Health Systems Research.
According to Sutter, expanding health care coverage alone is not enough to close the health gaps in California between Blacks and Whites and between the people at the bottom and at the top of our economic spectrum.
Health care institutions, the organization’s leadership believes, would have to rely on “community-based outreach and access to culturally competent care within the African American community” to arrest the problem.
“Additional research is needed to understand where healthcare disparities exist, what drives them, and what targeted interventions work best to address them. Sutter remains committed to continued advancement and leadership in this field,” the organization said in a statement.
“This pandemic underscores the need to develop innovative solutions that are specifically tailored to address the unmet needs of those at highest risk,” Azar concluded.
>> YOU ARE WATCHING KO ACTION SEVEN NEWS. BY FRONT OF THE THOUSANDS REQUESTED ABSENTEE BALLOTS BUT MANY OF THOSE BALLOTS HAVE NOT COME BACK IN THE POLLS TO BE MORE CROWDED THAN EXPECTED. THOUSANDS OF BALLOTS COMING INTO THE BERNALILLO COUNTY ELECTION BY MAIL. >> I DO NOT THINK THIS HAS EVER HAPPENED. I WOULD SAY THAT 98% OF THE PEOPLE THAT VOTED ABSENTEE HAVE NEVER VOTED ABSENTEE BEFORE. >> WITH 24 HOURS TO GO BEFORE THE POLLS CLOSE ON THE 2020 PRIMARY SO FAR THE BERNALILLO COUNTY CLERK HAS RECEIVED 76,000 BALLOTS BUT THERE ARE STILL 12 5,000 MORE THAT HAVE NOT COME BACK. >> IT WILL BE CROWDED TOMORROW. THERE ARE SO MANY BALLOTS STILL IN THE MAIL. >> IF YOUR ABSENTEE BALLOT DOES NOT GET HERE BEFORE POLL CLOSED YOUR VOTE WILL NOT COUNT. INSTEAD OF TELLING YOU TO STAY HOME A VOTE, ELECTION OFFICIALS ARE TELLING YOU TO COME TO THEM. PEOPLE NEED TO BE PAR ACTIVE THEMSELVES. AND GET OUT AND VOTE. WE WILL OFFER YOU A MASK IF YOU DO NOT HAVE A MASK AND RESPECT AFFECT THE RESPECT OUR POLL WORKERS AND WEAR A MASK. >> IF HE DID NOT REQUEST AN ABSENTEE BALLOT YOU WILL HAVE TO SHOW UP AT A VOTING CENTER. IF YOU STILL HAVE YOUR BALLOT AND HAVE NOT MAILED IT, DO NOT. DROP IT OFF AT THE SPECIAL BLOCKS AT THE POLLS TOMORROW. IF YOU’RE PRETTY MAILED IT LATE IN WILL NOT GET TO THE CLERK ON TIME YOU CAN STILL VOTE IN PERSON BUT YOU WILL HAVE TO TELL ELECTION OFFICIALS YOU MAIL TO THE BALLOT. >> COMING UP AT 6:00 WE SPOKE TO SEVERAL CANDIDATES ABOUT THEIR FINAL PUSH TO GET YOUR VOTE. FOR LOCATIONS TO CAST YOUR VOTE OR TURN IN YOUR BALLOT, VISIT OUR WEBSITE, KOAT.COM. REMEMBER THOSE POLLS OPEN FROM 7 A.M. UNTIL 7 P.M. ABSENTEE BALLOTS ARE DUE TO THE COUNTY CLERK BY 7 P.M. VOTERS WHO FILLED OUT THE ABSENTEE BALLOT BUT DID NOT MAIL IT MAY RETURN IT I PERSON TO ANY POLL LOCATION. IF HE REQUESTED A BALLOT BUT DID NOT GET ONE, GO TO THE POLLING LOCATION AND GET A REPLACEMENT BALLOT. TO FIND THE CLOSEST STATION, HEAD OVER TO THE WEBSITE ON YOUR SCREEN. WE WANT TO BREAK DOWN THE FINAL VOTING NUMBERS AHEAD OF THE PRIMARY TOMORROW. OVER 21,000 VOTED ABSENTEE. OVER 260.000 PEOPLE HAVE ALREADY VOTED. WE HAVE GOT ALL THE COVERAGE YOU CAN COUNT ON ON ELECTION DAY. WE WILL BRING YOU ALL THOSE RESULTS, TO FIND UP WHO WILL FACE OFF IN THE NOVEMBER ELECTION. FOR PRESIDENT, SEND IN ALL THREE HOUSE SEATS. FROM RESULTS TO FULL ANALYSIS FROM OUR TEAM OF EXPERTS, YOU CAN JOIN US TOMORROW BEGINNING AT 4 P.M. FOR FULL COVERAGE OF THIS HISTORIC ELECTION. >> MORE ON THE CORONAVIRUS. A CRUCIAL DAY NEW MEXICO IS A LARGE PART OF OUR STATE IS REOPENING. RESTAURANTS ARE LIMITED TO 50% CAPACITY. THIS DOES NOT INCLUDE BARS. SALONS AND LAWS CAN OPERATE AT 25%. YMS AND SOME STATE PARKS AND DRIVE-INS CAN ALSO OPEN. THESE COULD AFFECT OUR’S CASE NUMBERS AS WE JUST HIT 7800 CASES. LOS LUNAS IS ANNOUNCING ITS OWN REOPENING PLAN EFFECTIVE TODAY. EVEN UNDER THE ORDERS THEY ARE ASKING OFFICES TO WORK REMOTELY WHEN THEY CAN. PLUS ALL CITY EMPLOYEES WILL HAVE THEIR TEMPERATURES TAKEN. THE CITY’S MUNICIPAL COURT IS RESTRICTED TO FIVE PEOPLE IN A COURTROOM AND PARKS AND LIBRARIES ARE STAYING CLOSE. SOME NEWS TO YOU BOOKWORMS. THENM BOOKSTORE IS OPEN TODAY ON A LIMITED BASIS. THE HOURS WILL BE CUT FROM 10:00 TO 3:00 AND 10:00 TO 1:0 CAPACITY IS LIMITED AT 25 PERCENT AND SNEEZE GUARDS AND HAND SANITIZERS WILL BE INSTALLED. ONE OF NOB HILL’S MOST ICONIC RESTAURANTS IS RETURNING AFTER A LARGE DELAY. THE OWNERS TOLD US THEY PLAN TO OPEN THEIR DOORS TO THE PUBLIC JUNE 8. THEY WANTED TO REOPEN ON APRIL BUT AFTER THE GOVERNOR’S TAKE-OUT ORDER IN MARCH THEY WAITED. IT HAS BEEN CLOSED FOR A YEAR AFTER THE OLD OWNERS FILE BANKRUPTCY. OVER $20 MILLION IN CARES ACT FUNDIN IS COMING TO NEW MEXICO’S NURSING FACILITIES. 59 SKILLED NURSING FACILITIES WILL SPLIT THE FUNDS. THE MONEY WILL INCREASE STAFF, SCALE TESTING AND GET PPE. THIS IS PART OF THE $175 BILLION REALLY FUN. FOR LIGHT NEW MEXICO’S SAYS QUALIFYING FOR UNEMPLOYMENT CONTINUES TO BE DIFFICULT. THE JOURNAL REPORTS 1000 CITY EMPLOYEES ARE ON FURLOUGH. 17% ARE REQUIRED TO STAY HOME. 16 HOURS A WEEK. IN NEARLY HALF CANNOT QUALIFY FOR UNEMPLOYMENT BECAUSE THEY MAKE MOR THAN $460 A WEEK. BY TALENT IS WORKING TO FILL A BLOOD SHORTAGE BECAUSE OF CORONAVIRUS. THEY SAY THEY ARE IN NEED OF HEALTHY DONORS AND THERE HAS BEEN A 25% INCREASE IN THE NEED FOR BLOOD. ALL OF THE BLOOD TYPES ARE NEEDED BUT ESPECIALLY TYPE O. IF YOU ARE VISITIN IN — INTERESTED IN DONATING, VISIT THEIR WEBSITE. >> WE LOOK AT HOW THE NEW MEXICO NATIONAL GUARD IS SUPER NEW MEXICO. THE NATIONAL GUARD IS ADMINISTERED OVE 700 TEST AND PREPARED 10,000 TEST KITS. SUCH IMPORTANT WORK THEY ARE DOING RIGHT NOW. >> I DO NOT KNOW WHAT IT WAS TODAY BUT IT FELT REALLY HOT. >> IT IS NOT THAT HOT. IT IS A LITTLE MORE HUMID. REALLY THE LAST FEW DAYS HAVE BEEN MORE HUMID THAN LAST WEEK RATE THAT IS PROBABLY WHAT YOU’RE FEELING. SPEAKING OF THAT HUMIDITY. IT IS FUELING SOME STORMS AS WE TAKE A LOOK ON ACROSS THE EAST MOUNTAINS. YOU CAN SEE SOME STORMS FIRING. YOU CAN FOLLOW 285 IN SUE LIGHT RAIN WHERE — WHERE IT NEEDS 25. IN THE OTHER DIRECTION, RIO RANCHO, MORE LIGHTNING FLARING UP AS THIS CLUSTER OF STORMS IS STRENGTHENING. YOU CAN SEE MORE TO THE WEST. A LITTLE BIT OF A DRIFT. RIGHT NOW STORMS NOT MOVING MUCH BUT WE WILL LIKELY S AS THE STORM STRENGTH AND THEY PRODUCE OUTFLOW WINDS. THEY RUN INTO EACH OTHER AND PRODUCE NEW STORMS. LIKE BUMPER CARS. WE WILL CONTINUE TO WATCH THESE AREAS OF SMA STORES SMALL STORMS. LET’S LOOK AT WHERE WE SHOULD BE. THE AVERAGE TEMPERATURES FOR THE FIRST DAY OF JUNE, 584. LOW 50’S SEVEN. BY THE END OF THE MONTHS THAT AVERAGES 91 BUT WE WILL SEE ALL SORTS OF 90’S IN THE WEEK AHEAD. THE FIRST HUMAN TRIAL OF ANTIBIOTIC THERAPY TO TREAT COVID-19 IS UNDERWAY. ELI LILLY SAYS PATIENCE IN NEW YORK, LOS ANGELES AND ATLANTA ARE RECEIVING THE TREATMENT. THE TRIAL’S FIRST PHASE WILL TEST WHETHER THE THERAPY I SAFE AND WELL TOLERATED WITH RESULTS EXPECTED IN LATE JUNE. IF THE TRIBAL — TRIAL PROVES EFFECTIVE, THE TREATMENT COULD BE AVAILABLE BY FALL BUT THE CDC SAYS ANTIBODY TEST MAY BE WRONG HALF OF THE TIME. A LOT OF THE TESTS WERE NOT GOOD. THE FTI HAS PUT OUT POLICY REQUIRING ANTIBIOTIC TEST MAKERS TO SUBMIT EMERGENCY AUTHORIZATION REQUEST. THE CDC SAYS HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS USING THOSE TESTS NEED TO USE THE MOST ACCURATE THEY CAN FIND AND MIGHT NEED TO TEST PEOPLE TWICE. >> GILEAD SCIENCES SET A STUDY SHOWS THE ANTIVIRAL DRUGS REMDESIVIR CAN HELP PATIENTS WITH MODERATE COVID-19 RECOVER. A STUDY OF 600 PATIENTS FOUND THOSE GIVEN A FIVE DAY COURSE OF THE DRUG WERE 65% MORE LIKELY TO SEE CLINICAL IMPROVEMENT AFTER 11 DAYS COMPARED TO THOSE GIVEN THE STANDARD CARE. THOSE THAT WERE GIVEN A 10 DAY TREATMENT OF THE DRUG ALSO SHOWED IMPROVEMENT. A LOT OF YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT GAINING WEIGHT. NOW WE LEARNING ABOUT DIFFERENT FOOD CRAVINGS. EXPERTS SAY MOST ARE HAVING CRAVINGS FOR COMFORT FOODS. SURPRISE. HAMBURGERS, FRIES, DONUTS. DOCTORS SAY THE BINGE EATING IS DUE TO STRESS AND BOREDOM. >> WE WENT TO REMIND YOU ABOUT THE STATES CORONAVIRUS HOTLINES. THE TOP NUMBER IS FOR REPORTING SYMPTOMS. AND IF YOU ARE NOT SICK BUT HAVE BOTTOM NUMBER. CLARK ONE GROUP OFF LINE FISHERMEN JUST CAUGHT ONE BIG FISH. THEY DONATED IT T SOME PRETTY IMPORTANT PEOPLE. WE WILL TELL YOU WHO NEXT. >> WE NOW KNOW HBO STEP 87,000 NEW USERS ON HIS FIRST DAY YESTERDAY. IT GOT NOT AS MANY AS DISNEY PRESS THAT PICK UP 5 MILLION. HBO MAX HAS STANDOUT PROGRAMS FOR EVERYONE FROM KIDS THROUGH ADULTS. >> SYLVESTER STALLONE IS NARRATING A NEW DOCUMENTARY ON THE ROCKY MOVIE TITLED 40 YEARS OF ROCKY, THE BIRTH OF A CLASSIC. IT IS A BLEND OF DIRECTOR FOR MOVIES AND REVERSAL AND BEHIND-THE-SCENES FOOTAGE. SYLVESTER STALLONE, NOW 73, IT WAS AN UNKNOWN ACTOR WHEN HE WROTE THE ROCKY SCREEN FIVE AND STARRED IN THE 1976 FILM. — THE ROCKY SCREENPLAY. >> A GROUP OF FISHERMEN IN HAWAII HAD A LUCKY DAY AND DECIDED TO USE THEIR CATCH TO FEED THEIR LOCAL HEALTH CARE WORKERS. TAKE A LOOK AT THAT. THIS IS A YELLOWFIN TUNA. WEIGHING 220 POUNDS AND IT WAS SENT TO A DISTRIBUTOR WHERE WAS CLEANED AND COOKED AND PREPARED INTO 300 12. THOSE MEALS WERE DELIVERED TO 2 MEDICAL CENTERS. >> WE LOVE SENIOR GREAT PHOTOS. LOOK AT THIS. A CLASSIC NEW MEXICO IMAGE. AN AIR BELOW. BEEN A WHILE SINCE WE SEEN ONE. KAREN SAYS SHE SAW IT OVER HER HOUSE AND IT WAS AN UPLIFTING START TO HER DAY. DO NOT FORGET TO SHARE YOURS ON OUR ULOCAL FACEBOOK PAGE. AS WE ENTERED JUNE WE ARE SEEING HOW CERTAIN SECTORS WERE HIT BY THE VIRUS IN MAY. WE BREAK DOWN HOW CONSTRUCTION SPENDING AND MANUFACTURING ARE FARING WHEN WE COME BACK. >> WE GO LIVE TO WASHINGTON NOW WHERE PRESIDENT TRUMP IS SPEAKING. >> PRESIDENT TRUMP: A NUMBER OF STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS HAVE FAILED TO TAKE NECESSARY ACTION TO SAFEGUARD THEIR RESIDENTS. INNOCENT PEOPLE HAVE BEEN BEING LIKE THE YOUNG MEN IN DALLAS, TEXAS, LEFT DYING ON THE STREET. OR THE WOMAN IN UPSTATE NEW YORK VICIOUSLY ATTACKED BY DANGEROUS DOGS. SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS HAVE SEEN THEIR DREAMS DESTROYED. NEW YORK’S FINEST HAVE BEEN HIT IN THE FACE WITH BRICKS. BRAVE NURSES WHO HAVE BATTLED THE VIRUS ARE AFRAID TO LEAVE THEIR HOMES. A POLICE PRECINCT HAS BEEN OVERRUN HERE IN THE NATION’S CAPITAL. THE LINCOLN MEMORIAL AND THE WORLD WAR II MEMORIAL HAVE BEEN VANDALIZED. ONE OF OUR MOST HISTORIC CHURCHES WAS SET ABLAZE. A FEDERAL OFFICER IN CALIFORNIA, AN AFRICAN-AMERICAN ENFORCEMENT HERO, WAS SHOT AND KILLED. THESE ARE NOT ACTS OF PEACEFUL PROTEST. THESE ARE ACTS OF DOMESTIC TERROR. THE DESTRUCTION OF INNOCENT LIFE AND THE SPELLING OF INNOCENT BLOOD IS AN OFFENSE TO HUMANITY AND A CRIME AGAINST GOD. AMERICA NEEDS CREATION NOT DESTRUCTION. COOPERATION NOT CONTEMPT. SECURITY AND NOT ANARCHY. HEALING NOT HATRED. JUSTICE NOT CHAOS. THIS IS OUR MISSION. AND WE WILL SUCCEED, 100%, WE WILL SUCCEED. OUR COUNTRY ALWAYS WINS. THAT IS WHY AM TAKING IMMEDIATE PRESIDENTIAL ACTION TO STOP THE VIOLENCE AND RESTORE SECURITY AND SAFETY IN AMERICA. I AM MOBILIZING ALL AVAILABLE FEDERAL RESOURCES CIVILIAN AND MILITARY TO STOP THE RIOTING AND LOOTING, TWO END THE DESTRUCTION AND ARSON, AND PROTECT THE RIGHTS OF LAW-ABIDING AMERICANS INCLUDING YOUR SECOND AMENDMENT RIGHTS. THEREFORE, THE FOLLOWING MEASURES ARE GOING INTO EFFECT IMMEDIATELY. FIRST, WE’RE ENDING THE RIOTS AND LAWLESSNESS THAT HAS SPREAD THROUGHOUT OUR COUNTRY. WE WILL END IT NOW. TODAY, I HAVE STRONGLY RECOMMENDED TO EVERY GOVERNOR TO DEPLOY THE NATIONAL GUARD IN SUFFICIENT NUMBERS THAT WE DOMINATE THE STREETS. MAYORS AND GOVERNORS MUST ESTABLISH AN OVERWHELMING LAW ENFORCEMENT PRESENCE UNTIL THE VIOLENCE HAS BEEN QUELLED. IF A CITY OR STATE REFUSES TO TAKE THE ACTIONS NECESSARY TO DEFEND THE LIFE AND PROPERTY OF THEIR RESIDENCE, THEN I WILL DEPLOY THE UNITED STATES MILITARY AND QUICKLY SOLVE THE PROBLEM FOR THEM. I AM ALSO TAKING SWIFT AND DECISIVE ACTION TO PROTECT OUR GREAT CAPITAL, WASHINGTON, DC WHAT HAPPENED IN THIS CITY LAST NIGHT WAS OUR TOTAL DISGRACE. AS WE SPEAK, I AM DISPATCHING THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS HAVING — HEAVILY ARMS SHOULDERS, MILITARY PERSONNEL AND LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS TO STOP THE RIOTING, LOOTING, VANDALISM, ASSAULT, AND THE WANT AND DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY. WE ARE PUTTING EVERYBODY ON WARNING. OUR 7:00 CURFEW WILL BE STRICTLY ENFORCED. THOSE WHO THREATEN INNOCENT LIFE AND PROPERTY WILL BE ARRESTED, DETAINED AND PROSECUTED TO THE FULLEST EXTENT OF THE LAW. I WANT THE ORGANIZERS OF THIS TERROR TO BE ON NOTICE THAT YOU WILL FACE SEVERE CRIMINAL PENALTIES AND LENGTHY SENTENCES IN JAIL. THIS INCLUDES ANTIFA AND OTHERS WHO ARE INSTIGATORS OF THIS VIOLENCE. ONE LAW IN ORDER, AND THAT IS WHAT IT IS. ONE LAW. WE HAVE ONE BEAUTIFUL LAW. AND ONCE THAT IS RESTORED AND FULLY RESTORED, WE WILL HELP YOU , WE WILL HELP YOUR BUSINESS, AND WE WILL HELP YOUR FAMILY FEARED AMERICA IS FOUNDED UPON THE RULE OF LAW. IT IS THE FOUNDATION OF OUR PROSPERITY, OUR FREEDOM, AND OUR VERY WAY OF LIFE. BUT WHERE THERE IS NO LAW, THERE IS NO OPPORTUNITY. WHERE THERE IS NO JUSTICE, THERE IS NO LIBERTY. WHERE THERE IS NO SAFETY, THERE IS NO FUTURE. WE MUST NEVER GAVE IN TO ANGER OR HATRED. IF MALICE OR VIOLENCE RAINS, THEN NONE OF US IS FREE. I TAKE THESE ACTIONS TODAY WITH FIRM RESOLVE AND WITH A TRUE AND PASSIONATE LOVE FOR OUR COUNTRY. BY FAR OUR GREATEST DAYS LIE AHEAD. THANK YOU VERY MUCH. NOW I WILL PAY RESPECTS TO A VERY SPECIAL PLACE. THANK YOU VERY MUCH. [REPORTER SHOUTING QUESTIONS, INDISCERNIBLE] >> THAT WAS PRESIDENT TRUMP SPEAKING IN WASHINGTON. ABOUT THE PROTEST GOING AROUND ACROSS THE COUNTRY. HE SAID HE IS ENDING THE RIOTS NOW AFTER VANDALS TARGETED THE LINCOLN AND SOME OTHER SITES IN WASHINGTON, D.C.\ HE IS INSTITUTING OF 7 P.M. CURFEW AND SAID ANY ONE OF THESE PROTESTERS COULD BE PROSECUTED TO THE FULLEST EXTENT OF THE LAW. >> AMERICAN FACTORY STALL FOR THE THIRD STRAIGHT MONTHS IN MAY. THE U.S. MANUFACTURING INDEX CAME IN AT 43.1 IN MAY. ANYTHING BELOW 50 SIGNALS MANUFACTURERS ARE STRUGGLING. HIRING AND EXPORTS ARE FALLING BUT AT A SLOWER PACE THAN APRIL. U.S. CONSTRUCTION SPENDING FELL 2.9% IN APRIL AS SHUTDOWN STOPPED PROJECTS. THIS IS A HUGE DROP FROM A STEADY DECLINE IN MARCH. BREAKING DOWN THE NUMBERS, RESIDENTIAL CONSTRUCTION DROPPED 4.5%. APARTMENTS DROPPED 9.1%. OFFICE BUILDINGS AND HOTELS FELL 1.3%. >> AS MORE BUSINESSES ARE ALLOWED TO OPEN THERE IS A RUN ON PLEXIGLASS. THE WALL STREET JOURNAL SAYS WAIT TIMES TO LATE CLEAR BARRIERS IS MEASURED IN MONTHS. ALSO IN HIGH DEMAND, ALCOHOL FOR HAND SANITIZERS. THE PRICE HAS TRIPLED SINCE JANUARY. PIER 1 IS OFFICIALLY GOING OUT OF BUSINESS. THAT NOW ALLOWS THEM TO LIQUIDATE ITS RETAIL OPERATIONS AT 500 STORES. ONCE THEY CAN REOPEN IN THE WAKE OF THE PANDEMIC, THEY AIM TO HAVE ALL OF ITS STORES PERMANENTLY SHUT DOWN BY OCTOBER. LET’S CHECK ON TRAFFIC WATCH 7 NOW. NO TRAFFIC? WE WILL MOVE ON. YOU MAY IS SEEING A MAJOR PRICE DIFFERENCE TRYING TO COOK SOME BURGERS. THE SPIKE IN THE PRICES AND WHAT IS CAUSING IT NEXT. >> IF YOU HAVE BEEN BUYING MEAT YOU HAVE SEEN THE PRICES ARE UP. 18% FOR POOR COMPARED TO LAST YEAR. AND EVEN WITH THE MEET PROCESSING FACILITIES REOPENING AFTER CLOSURES, THE AGRICULTURE DEPARTMENT SAYS PRODUCTION IS STILL DOWN AROUND 7%. 24 HOUR FITNESS IS REPORTEDLY PREPARING TO FILE FOR BANKRUPTCY. THEY ARE CURRENTLY SEEKING A LOAN TO HELP THEM STAY OPERATING AS THEY ARE GYM WERE SHUT DOWN FOR WEEKS. THEY OPERATE 400 GYMS. >> TWO YEARS AFTER WAS UNVEILED, ATARI’S VCS CONSOLE IS ABOUT TO HIT THE STORES. ATARI HAS NOT SAID WHAT GAMES WILL BE AVAILABLE. >> A MASSIVE BIG-SCREEN REUNION AND IN ALL-STAR MUSICAL COLLABORATION ARE RAISING MONEY FOR GOOD CAUSES. HERE IS THE HOLLYWOOD MINUTE. >> ALL WE HAVE TO — IS WHAT TO DO WITH THE TIME GIVEN TO US. >>[LAUGHTER] >> LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, I GIVE YOU A LARGER WOOD. SEAN ASTIN, ELIJAH WOOD, AND SIR IAN MCKELLEN. >> JOSH GAD’S LATEST CAST REUNION IS THE LORD OF THE RINGS. VIGO MORTENSEN, ANDY CIRCUS AND PETER JACKSON JOINED, AND SO DID SEAN DEAN, JOHN RHYS DAVIS AND LIVE TYLER. THEY REMINISCED FOR AN HOUR COMPLETE WITH PROPS FROM THE SET OF THE TRILOGY AS A FUNDRAISER FOR THE CHARITY NO CAPS ON GREETED YOU CAN FIND ONE SOON TO RULE THEM ALL ON HIS YOUTUBE CHANNEL. ♪ >> NEIL FINN IS WORKING TO HELP THE CITY MISSION BUILD HOUSING FOR THOSE IN NEED. HIS NEW SONG FIND YOUR WAY BACK HOME FEATURING GUEST VOCALS BY STEVIE NICKS AND CHRISTINE MCVEY SHOWS WHAT A HOME MEANS TO A RANGE OF AUCKLAND ERS. PROCEEDS FROM DOWNLOADS WILL GO TO THE MISSION. >> DOUG: NEXT ON 7, NEW MEXICO NOW OPEN FOR BUSINESS SORT OF. WHAT’S REOPENING TODAY WITH SOME CHANGES, AND WHAT PLACES ARE STILL CLOSED AND WAITING. SHELLY: PLUS, COMPARING THE NUMBERS OF THE CORONAVIRUS. THE CONCERN WITH NEW MEXICO’S HIGHER RATE OF INFECTION AMONG CHILDREN. ANNOUNCER: COVERAGE YOU CAN COUNT ON, KOAT ACTION 7 NEWS AT 5:00 STARTS NOW. DOUG: YOU CAN NOW DIME IN YOUR FAVORITE RESTAURANT, GO TO THE GYM, OR GET YOUR HAIR CUT. BUT NANCY LAFLIN ALSO SHOWS US, THE RULES THAT ARE ’STILL IN — STILL IN PLACE. NANCY: TODAY, SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE BUSINESSES ARE OPENING BACK UP, THERE ARE STILL LOTS OF LIMITS AND RULES. HERE’S A LOOK. >> WE GET TO ENJOY A MEAL, EITHER ON THE PATIO, NOT OUT OF A BOX. NANCY: FOR WEEKS, EDDIE BURGARELLO, THE OWNER OF MARIOS PIZZA, HAS BEEN WAITING, WATCHING, WORRYING, AND WORKING. >> WITH THE DINING ROOM CLOSED, THE HARDESTPART WAS LAYING OFF OUR EMPLOYEES. NANCY: NOW, THOUGH, THE DINING ROOM IS BACK OPEN. THE STATE ALLOWING 50% SEATING INSIDE RESTAURANTS. BURGARELO SAYS THEY’LL STILL HAVE TO DO CURBSIDE AND DELIVERY TO SURVIVE, BUT HE’LL BE ABLE TO BRING BACK SOME OF HIS EMPLOYEES. >> THEY ACTUALLY GET TO GET OUT OF THEIR HOUSE AND GO TO A WORKPLACE AND PUT IN THERE FIVE HOURS, SIX HOURS. NANCY: BARS THAT GET MORE THAN 50% OF THEIR REVENUE FROM BOOZE, ARE STILL CLOSED, ALTHOUGH, BREWERIES AND WINERIES CAN DO CURBSIDE PICKUP IF THEIR LICENSE PERMITS IT. >> THIS IS A REALLY EXCITING DAY FOR US. NANCY: TODAY, GYMS OPEN, TOO, AT 50%. AT DEFINED FITNESS — >> WE OPENED OUR DOORS AT 4:30 THIS MORNING AND AT THIS LOCATION ALONE, WE HAD NEARLY 80 PEOPLE IN LINE, SOCIALLY DISTANCE. NANCY: ACCORDING TO THE ORDER, GROUP CLASSES ARE NOT PERMITTED BUT PERSONAL TRAINING IS AS LONG AS TEHRE ARE NO MORE THAN TWO TRAINEES. ALSO, HAIR AND NAIL SALONS, BARBER SHOPS, TATTOO PARLORS AND MASSAGE SERVICES CAN OPERATE AT 25% OCCUPANCY. KOAT ACTION 7 NEWS NANCY LAFLINKOAT ACTION 7 NEWS,. DOUG: AND FOR THOSE PERSONAL SERVICE BUSINESSES, LIKE GOING TO A SALON, YOU HAVE TO MAKE APPOINTMENTS. AND YOU WON’T BE ALLOWED IN UNTIL YOUR APPOINTMENT TIME. NANCY WILL HAVE MORE AT 6:00. WE HAVE LEARNED FROM THE CITY THAT IS THIS IS WILL BEGIN REOPENING THROUGH THE MONTH. AND SOME, LIKE THE BOTANIC GARDEN, WILL REQUIRE TIME GETTING, STARTING TOMORROW. >> ALSO, THE ALBUQUERQUE FIRE DEPARTMENT WILL BE OUT, ENSURING PLACES LIKE BARBERSHOPS, ETC., WITH LIMITED CAPACITY AND OPENINGS ARE FOLLOWING THE RULES. IT IS PART OF THE EDUCATION PROCESS. THIS IS NEW FOR ALL OF US, OUR BUSINESSES, AND WE WANT TO MAKE SURE WE ARE ALL DOING THE RIGHT THING. DOUG: HE ALSO SAYS TO CALL 311 IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE TIME TICKETS OR GET INFO ON HOW TO REPAIR STOREFRONTS DAMAGED FROM PROTESTS. SHELLY: SMALL GROUPS OF AGITATORS, TO USE THE MAYOR’S WORDS, BEGAN TO DAMAGE DOWNTOWN BUILDINGS. MAYOR TIM KELLER SAYING THE SMALL GROUPS ARE DIFFERENT FROM PEACEFUL PROTESTERS MARCHING FOR JUSTICE FOR GEORGE FLOYD, A BLACK MAN KILLED AT THE HANDS OF MINNEAPOLIS POLICE. BUSINESS OWNERS IN THE AREA SAY THEY UNDERSTAND THE NEED TO PROTEST, BUT THEY DON’T WANT TO SEE THIS KIND OF DESTRUCTION. NEW TODAY, PARENTS EVERYWHERE ARE SEARCHING FOR THE RIGHT WORDS TO EXPLAIN THESE PROTESTS TO THEIR CHILDREN. AN AUTHOR AND PSYCHOLOGIST WHO WRITES ABOUT RACE SAYS “UNNECESSARY. AS FOR WHITE PARENTS, SOCIOLOGISTS SAY IT IS AS IMPORTANT TO ADDRESS THE PAST AS PRESENT. >> TO UNDERSTAND THE PRESENT, YOU HAVE TO UNDERSTAND THE PAST. IT MIGHT MEAN YOU DO NOT KNOW THE ANSWERS AND YOU DON’T FEEL COMFORTABLE TALKING ABOUT THIS WITH YOUR CHILDREN, BUT THAT MEANS YOU CAN DO SOME WORK TO LEARN THE ANSWERS TO THESE QUESTIONS AND TAKE THE TIME TO READ UP ON THIS, AND THIS COULD BE SOMETHING YOU DO WITH THEIR CHILDREN. SHELBY: EXPERTS SAY A BABY’S BRAIN CAN DETERMINE RACIAL BIAS AS EARLY AS TWO YEARS OLD. A NEW MONTH, BUT THE WEATHER LOOKS SIMILAR WITH A FEW STORMS. HERE IS KELLY FRANSON. KELLY: NORTHWEST CORNER OF THE METRO, YOU CAN SEE THOSETHIN, GREEN BANDS COMING OUT, THE OUTFLOW WINDS, GUSTY WINDS MOVING THROUGH THAT CAN HELP TO SPARK NEW STORMS. WE HAVE A STRONGER STORM BETWEEN RIO PUERCO, LIKELY HAIL WITH THAT, AND ALL CAN PRODUCE GUSTY WINDS. AS WE TAKE YOU SOUTH OF SANTA FE, AROUND FOUR CORNERS, WHAT HAS BEEN AROUND HAS DROPPED SOUTH. THESE CAN FLARE RIGHT BACK UP, SO I WILL CONTINUE TO TRACK STORMS. DOUG: NEW MEXICO SURPASSED 7800 CASES, AND ALMOST 2900 — UP 113 FROM YESTERDAY. 362 PEOPLE HAVE DIED FROM THE VIRUS, AND ALMOST 2900 PEOPLE HAVE RECOVERED. AND HERE YOU CAN SEE HOW THE VIRUS HAS SPREAD ACROSS THE NAVAJO NATION. THEY ARE NOW REPORTING 5,348 CASES, WITH ALMOST 2,000 OF THOSE INDIVIDUALS HAVING RECOVERED. 246 PEOPLE HAVE DIED. THERE IS CONCERN WITH THE NUMBER OF CHILDREN IN NEW MEXICO WITH THE CORONAVIRUS, 4-TIMES HIGHER THAN THE NATIONAL RATE. HERE IS TODD KURTZ. TODD: THERE GETS TO BE SO MANY NUMBERS TOSSED AROUND WHILE TALKING ABOUT CORONAVIRUS. I JUST WANT TO GIVE YOU A VISUAL BREAKDOWN OF CASES BY AGE HERE IN NEW MEXICO. SO TAKE A LOOK AT THIS CHART. THIS IS THE TOTAL CASES OF THE VIRUS SINCE IT IRST STARTED HERE. THE GROUP WITH THE MOST CASES CONTINUES TO BE THOSE FR 30 TO 39 YEARS OLD AT 1317 CASES. RIGHT BELOW THAT WOULD BE PEOPLE IN THEIR 20’S, JUST 71 CASES SEPARATING THE TWO GROUPS. ONE POSITIVE SIGN WOULD BE THE NUMBER OF CASES IN THOSE PEOPLE 70 AND OLDER. OF COURSE, THOSE ARE AGE GROUPS MOST AT RISK OF SEVERE EFFECTS FROM THE CORONAVIRUS. A LOCAL DOCTOR I SPOKE WITH SAID THE LOWER NUMBERS DEFINITELY INDICATE THAT OLDER NEW MEXICANS ARE ADHERING TO THEIR ADVICE AND BEING EXTRA CAUTIOUS DURING THE PANDEMIC. THE WORRY WITH SO MANY YOUNGER PEOPLE TESTING POSITIVE WITH THIS DISEASE, THEY ARE THE ONES WHO TEND TO BE ASYMPTOMATIC, SO THEY ARE MORE LIKELY THE ONES TO SPREAD THE DISEASE AND THEY OFTEN DO NOT KNOW THEY HAVE IT WHEN IN THEIR 20’S AND 30’S. TODD KURTZ, KOAT ACTION 7 NEWS. DOUG: FEWER THAN 900 PEOPLE OVER THE AGE OF 70 IN NEW MEXICO HAVE TESTED POSITIVE FOR CORONAVIRUS. SHELBY: THE CURFEW ON THE NAVAJO NATION HAS BEEN LIFTED. WE HAVE NEW CORONAVIRUS NUMBERS FROM THE AREA. RIGHT NOW, THERE ARE MORE THAN 3500 ACTIVE CASES ON THE NATION. YESTERDAY, 98 NEW CASES WERE REPORTED. 26 MORE PEOPLE HAVE RECOVERED. AND SADLY, ANOTHER FIVE PEOPLE DIED, WHICH BRINGS THAT NUMBER TO 246. NEW NUMBERS ARE GIVING US A DEEPER LOOK AT THE CORONAVIRUS AND RACE AND ETHNICITY. TAKE A LOOK, ACCORDING TO THE STATE HEALTH DEPARTMENT, MORE THAN HALF OF ALL CASES IN NEW MEXICO IDENTIFY AS AMERICAN INDIAN OR ALASKA NATIVE. THE GROUP WITH THE SECOND MOST CASES IS HISPANIC AND LATINO. WHITE IS THIRD WITH NEARLY 12%, FOLLOWED BY AFRICAN AMERICAN. NAVAJO GAMING IS PREPARING TO REOPEN ALL OF ITS PROPERTIES BY FOUR MID- THERE WILL BE MAJOR JUNE. DEEP CLEANING AND SANITIZING AT EACH SITE. ALL TEAM MEMBERS WILL BE REQUIRED TO WEAR FACE MASKS, AND RECEIVE TRAINING. THEY WILL OPERATE AT 50% CAPACITY. THERE WILL BE ONE ENTRANCE. TEMPERATURES WILL BE CHECKED. AND THERE WILL BE NO BUFFETS, UNTIL IT IS SAFE TO REOPEN. DOUG: PNM IS ASKING STATE REGULATORS TO CONSIDER A PROPOSAL THAT WOULD ALLOW IT TO RECOVER FIXED SERVICE COSTS FROM YOU, RATEPAYER. NO MATTER HOW MUCH ELECTRICITY IS ACTUALLY USED BY CUSTOMERS. IF APPROVED, THE UTILITY WILL ADD UP HOW MUCH CUSTOMERS PAID FOR ELECTRICITY THROUGH AND THEN 2021 COMPARE THAT WITH THE ANNUAL REVENUE IT IS ALLOWED TO COLLECT TO COVER THEIR COSTS. THERE ARE NOW MORE THAN 6 MILLION REPORTED CASES OF COVID-19 ACROSS THE GLOBE. IN THE LAST HERE IN THE U.S., 24 HOURS 19,000 NEW CASES WERE REPORTED AND 600 NEW DEATHS. OFFICIALS WORRY IT WILL ONLY GET WORSE BECAUSE OF VIOLENT PROTESTS. ABC’S REENA ROY HAS THIS STORY. REENA: WITH PROTESTS OVER THE DEATH OF GEORGE FLOYD BY INDIANAPOLIS POLICE OFFICER DEREK CHAPMAN — CHAUVIN, SPREADING ALL OVER THE COUNTRY, THERE IS CAUSE FOR SPREAD OF COVID-19. PEOPLE MARCHING SIDE-BY-SIDE OVER THE LAST SEVERAL DAYS. IN LOS ANGELES, D.C., SAN FRANCISCO AND OTHER CITIES, MANY WITHOUT MASKS. AFTER MONTHS ON LOCKDOWN, NEW YORK CITY, THE LOCATION IN THE U.S. WITH THE MOST CASES AND DEATHS FROM THE PANDEMIC, IS PREPARING FOR PHASE ONE OF REOPENING, SET TO BEGIN EXACTLY ONE WEEK FROM TODAY. >> WE SPENT ALL THIS TIME, CLOSED DOWN, LOCKED DOWN, MASKS, SOCIALLY DISTANCE, AND THEN YOU TURN ON THE TV AND YOU SEE THESE MASS GATHERINGS THAT COULD POTENTIALLY BE INFECTING HUNDREDS AND HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE. AFTER EVERYTHING THAT WE HAVE DONE. REENA: 15 STATES IN TOTAL HAVE REPORTED AN INCREASE IN CASES. THE CDC WARNING THE U.S. COULD PASS 115,000 DEATHS IN LESS THAN THREE WEEKS. IN MINNESOTA TODAY, RESTAURANTS AND BARS ARE BACK IN SOME CAPACITY. BUT THE GOVERNOR WORRIES ABOUT THE VIRUS SPREADING. >> I WOULD TELL THOSE OF YOU WHO WERE OUT THERE PEACEFULLY PROTESTING, IF YOU’RE STARTING TO GET SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19, PLEASE ISOLATE. WE WILL HAVE TO DO SOME CONTACT TRACING, WHICH I HAVE NOT WRAPPED MY MIND AROUND WHAT THAT WOULD LOOK LIKE IN THIS SIZE. REENA: IN FLORIDA MIAMI BEACHES WERE SCHEDULED TO RE-OPEN TODAY , BUT THAT’S NOW BEEN PUSHED BACK BECAUSE OF THE STRAIN ON POLICE. AND IN LOS ANGELES, SOME VIRUS TESTING SITES ARE CLOSED TODAY, WITH DODGER STADIUM BECOMING AN LAPD COMMAND CENTER, LONG LINES HAVE FORMED AS PEOPLE WAIT TO GET TESTED FOR THE VIRUS AT THIS SITE. DOUG: AS YOU HEARD, EXPERTS ARE ALSO CONCERNED ABOUT THE SPREAD OF CORONAVIRUS DURING THE PROTESTS BECAUSE SHOUTING SPREADS MORE DROPLETS THAN OTHER ACTIVITIES. ACCORDING TO THE CDC, 1/3 OF PATIENTS ARE ASYMPTOMATIC. TAKE A LOOK AT THIS FOOTAGE FROM THE FLORIDA KEYS, WHERE SECURITY CREWS ARE IN THE PROCESS OF TAKING DOWN BARRICADES, PREPARING TO RE-OPEN BEACHES IN FLORIDA. THEY CLOSED IN MARCH, LIKE MOST OF THEM DUE TO THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC. SHELBY: NEXT ON 7, FOR THE FIRST TIME, GEORGE FLOYD’S FAMILY VISITING THE SITE WHERE HE DIED. THE POWERFUL MESSAGE FROM HIS BROTHER AS PROTESTS CONTINUE. LET’S GET A CHECK ON TRAFFIC WATCH 7 NOW, WITH KIKI GARCIA. WHAT IS GOING ON? KIKI: WE HAVE CLEARING GOING ON IN RIO RANCHO AT 528 AND SOUTHERN. THAT CRASH IS ABOUT OUT-OF-THE-WAY. OTHER THAN THAT, LOOKING GOOD. IF YOU’RE HEADED TO THE WEST SIDE, YOU MIGHT SEE BRAKE LIGHTS ON PASEO NEAR THE RIVER. FOR 90 63 FM, I AM KIKI GARCIA FOR TRAFFIC WATCH 7. SHELBY: DRIVE TIMES GOOD. PASEO DEL NORTE TILDE ANNOUNCER: YOU’RE WATCHING KOAT ACTION 7 NEWS, MORE IN THE MORNING. FIVE MINUTES. BIG I TO COORS, FOUR MINUTES AND TO TRAMWAY, SEVEN. ANNOUNCER: YOU ARE WATCHING KOAT ACTION 7 NEWS. SHELBY: AS PROTESTS SPREAD ACROSS THE COUNTRY DUE TO THE DEATH OF GEORGE FLOYD, RIOTS HAVE FOLLOWED. MANY ARE CALLING FOR PEACE. >> MESSING UP MY COMMUNITY. WHAT ARE YOU ALL DOING? >> A POWERFUL MOMENT THIS AFTERNOON, THE SITE WHERE GEORGE FLOYD LOST HIS LIFE, VISITED HIS BROTHER FOR THE FIRST TIME. >> MY FAMILY IS A PEACEFUL FAMILY. MY FAMILY IS GOD-FEARING. >> HIS MESSAGE OF PEACE CLEAR. TODAY AT TIME OF REFLECTION FOR MANY WITH FAMILIES PAYING THEIR RESPECTS AT THE GROWING MEMORIAL OF GEORGE FLOYD, WHO WAS KILLED BY A WHITE POLICE OFFICER. >> TO CALL THIS A PAINFUL CHAPTER IN OUR CITY’S HISTORY IS CLEARLY AN UNDERSTATEMENT. >>>> ACROSS THE COUNTRY, A DIFFERENT REFLECTION. THOUGH MANY PROTESTS WERE CARRIED OUT PEACEFULLY, IT SEEMS THIS PLAYED OUT IN SANTA MONICA, AND WASHINGTON, D.C. >> SMASHED WINDOWS AND LOOTING ARE BECOMING A BIGGER STORY AND THE BROKEN SYSTEM THAT GOT US HERE. >> THE MAYOR URGING A CURFEW THE NEXT FEW NIGHTS PER THE NATIONAL GUARD IS ACTIVE IN 25 STATES. CHICAGO HAD NEARLY 700 ARRESTS AND 132 OFFICERS INJURED. NEW YORK CITY’S MAYOR SAME HIS DAUGHTER WAS ARRESTED FOR PROTESTING. >> SHE WAS ACTING PEACEFULLY. SHE BELIEVES EVERYTHING SHE DID WAS IN THE SPIRIT OF PEACEFUL, RESPECTIVE PROTESTS. >> PRESIDENT TRUMP BERATING OF A NURSE FOR NOT CRACKING DOWN HARD. INSTANCES OF PRO — BERATING GOVERNORS FOR NOT CRACKING DOWN HARD. DARREN SHOPPING, THE OFFICER ARRESTED FOR GEORGE FLOYD’S DEATH, AND THREE OTHER OFFICERS WHO ARE WALKING FREE BUT FIRED. >> WHEN HE SAID I CANNOT BREATHE,
Primary crunch: ballots in mail remain in limbo
Updated: 6:54 PM MDT Jun 1, 2020
Election officials want to keep polls scarce tomorrow in fear that it could only contribute to the spread of COVID-19. That’s why they called on everyone to vote absenteeNow they are saying if you haven’t turned in your absentee ballot within the last week, you should actually vote in person.“I think it is going to be crowded tomorrow because of our mail system,” Bernalillo County Clerk Linda Stover said. “There is so many ballots that are still in the mail and we have no control over that.” As of Monday, Bernalillo County had received about 76,000 absentee ballots. There are about 150,000 that have not come back.To put it in perspective, during the last presidential primary four years ago, there were about 10,000 absentee ballots casted.“I don’t think this has ever, ever, ever happened and I would say that 90% of the people who have voted absentee have never voter absentee in their life,” Stover said. “People really need to be proactive themselves and get out and vote we will offer you a mask if you don’t have a mask and respect the fact that you respect our poll workers and wear a mask.”If you filled out an absentee ballot, sent it back in the mail and are worried it won’t make it in time to your county clerk, election officials said you need to show up at a polling location to make sure your vote gets counted. There are special drop-off boxes at all of the polls.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. —
Election officials want to keep polls scarce tomorrow in fear that it could only contribute to the spread of COVID-19. That’s why they called on everyone to vote absentee
Now they are saying if you haven’t turned in your absentee ballot within the last week, you should actually vote in person.
“I think it is going to be crowded tomorrow because of our mail system,” Bernalillo County Clerk Linda Stover said. “There is so many ballots that are still in the mail and we have no control over that.”
As of Monday, Bernalillo County had received about 76,000 absentee ballots. There are about 150,000 that have not come back.
To put it in perspective, during the last presidential primary four years ago, there were about 10,000 absentee ballots casted.
“I don’t think this has ever, ever, ever happened and I would say that 90% of the people who have voted absentee have never voter absentee in their life,” Stover said. “People really need to be proactive themselves and get out and vote we will offer you a mask if you don’t have a mask and respect the fact that you respect our poll workers and wear a mask.”
If you filled out an absentee ballot, sent it back in the mail and are worried it won’t make it in time to your county clerk, election officials said you need to show up at a polling location to make sure your vote gets counted. There are special drop-off boxes at all of the polls.
BAR HARBOR — The national furor over the death of a Minneapolis man at the hands of police surfaced here this weekend when an anti-police epithet was spray painted on downtown buildings Saturday night and some of the speakers at a Sunday rally criticized police in a way that some felt crossed a line.
“Us and everyone else in the country are going through a really hard time right now,” Police Chief Jim Willis said Monday. “We understand that, we understand that people need to do what they need to do, and we certainly don’t want to discourage any of that. We work hard at building our relationships, and I think it helps get us through troubled times.”
George Floyd of Minneapolis died in police custody last Monday. The four officers who were present were fired from the department and on Friday one was charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.
Indivisible MDI organized a small local vigil Friday. “This week, Americans watched a 10-minute video in which we witnessed police officers murdering Minnesotan George Floyd in broad daylight as he begged them to stop, and onlookers pled with the officer with his knee on Floyd’s neck,” the group said in a statement.
Organizers of both that event and a rally Sunday afternoon said demonstrations of solidarity should be accompanied by meaningful action.
“Although we pride ourselves on caring about these issues, we do very little to make systemic, meaningful change,” said Alex Burnett, a Mount Desert Island High School student who organized the Sunday rally.
The plan for the event came together quickly, he said. “On Saturday, I realized that we needed to show solidarity and be there for Black people and people of color in our community.”
There wasn’t time to line up planned speeches; he put an announcement on social media Saturday saying that the gathering would be held Sunday at 4 p.m. in the Village Green, and that everyone should wear masks.
Meanwhile, Saturday night, the graffiti appeared on the side of a toy store near the police station, and on buildings at the town athletic fields on Main Street. By Monday, it had all already been cleaned and painted over.
“As far as who did it, what I can say it it’s under investigation,” Willis said. Anyone with information related to the incident is encouraged to contact the police department.
Gatherings of more than 50 people are prohibited under the current state rules aimed at preventing the spread of coronavirus; Saturday’s rally easily topped that, but almost all participants were wearing masks and made efforts to leave a safe distance between groups.
At the rally, Burnett said, “a couple people volunteered to speak, and after they spoke, I offered the mic to anybody who wanted to.”
Comments from a recent MDI High School graduate who has been living in Portland critical of police sparked some attendees to leave. Other speakers stood up for local police; many others have emailed or called the police department, or left gifts or meals, to express their support, Willis said.
“The graffiti sucks, nobody likes to see that,” resident Bo Greene, who spoke at the rally, told the Islander Monday. “But to focus more on the graffiti than on the murder that we all watched at the hands of someone in blue, I think is a mistake.
“I would jump in front of a train for Dave (Lt. Dave Kerns), and other officers, and I know they would for me,” she continued. “I can appreciate them for everything they do and still challenge them to stand up” and denounce police brutality. “And that’s what I do with the ones that I’m closest with.”
Burnett said the microphone was offered to anyone who wanted to speak.
“A lot of people spoke, most of them white,” he said. “Although I am super grateful for everyone who spoke, it’s necessary that, as white people, we amplify the voices of those who are marginalized. As a community we need to decentralize the white narrative and put our energy into giving power and space to Black people in our community.”
“Every white person has a responsibility to seek out resources to help them understand, recognize, and learn about the racism within themselves and built into the fabric of our society. The resources and materials are there; it is our responsibility to act and learn.
“Read books by black authors,” he continued. “Watch movies by black directors. Support black artists. Do your research and educate yourself, your friends, your family. Talk to your white peers. Redistribute our wealth; instead of buying from Amazon, buy from a black-owned business.
“There is so much we can and must do. Black people have been doing this work since the very beginning. It is our responsibility to educate ourselves on how to take down systemic racism in this country. We do that by learning from, and listening to, black communities.”
Another demonstration is in the planning stages sometime in the next two weeks, Burnett said.
Willis recalled hearing a story from a police chief who had had an officer-involved shooting at his agency many years ago.
“I remember him saying that he had to stand up in front of the community and say, ‘This is going to take your patience and trust, but we’re going to look into it.’
“And he said, ‘The key to the whole thing was when people believed me.’ And it worked out and it diffused the negative energy.
“I think we have that here” on Mount Desert Island, Willis said. “I sure hope we do. If people are feeling otherwise, I’d encourage them to give us a call so we can get together and understand each other and move forward.”
Liz is an award-winning journalist who has been with the Islander since 2013. She grew up in California and came to Maine as a schooner sailor. [email protected]
RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment
Since the killing of George Floyd over Memorial Day Weekend by Minneapolis Police on May 25, some companies in the music industry have responded by saying they will observe “Black Out Tuesday” or #TheShowMustBePaused this Tuesday, June 2. Business for participating companies or artists will stop on this day to commemorate the Black Lives Matter protests and call attention to the enormous role black musicians and artists have played in the music industry. As of June 1, Live Nation, Sony, Columbia Records, Capitol Records, Warner Records and TikTok have announced they will participate, among others.
#TheShowMustBePaused was created by Jamila Thomas and Brianna Agyemang, black women who are executives in the music business and call on the industry that has “profited predominantly from Black art” to take a stand.
“It is the obligation of these entities to protect and empower the Black communities that have made them disproportionately wealthy in ways that are measurable and transparent,” said Thomas and Agyemang in a statement on their official website.
Artists and companies are participating in different ways — some postponing music releases, others promising to communicate with their coworkers — with the same goal of taking time away from production to focus on community.
As of Monday, June 1, some Denver groups and organizations have joined the movement. iZCALLi announced on their Instagram page they will participate in Black Out Tuesday, as well as Unsigned Unheard – 5280 , and the Fillmore Auditorium, that shared Live Nation’s promise to take June 2 to “work together with our employees and colleagues on actionable next steps that will continue to engage and spark consistent action in fighting racism.” Gabriel Mervine and his band cancelled their online performance at Dazzle Presents June 2, and The Bluebird Theatre also released a statement.
It is likely Black Out Tuesday will extend throughout the week and weeks to come as more artists and businesses join the movement. Interested musicians, fans or music lovers can learn more here at #TheShowMustBePaused’s website.
RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment
“The truth, then, is that on the other end of this crisis we cannot return to normal. Normal was already a nightmare for so many of us.”
On a swampy stretch of land along the Mississippi River, there is a place called Cancer Alley. Right between New Orleans and Baton Rouge, the River Parishes were once home to some of the nation’s wealthiest slave plantations. Now, they are home to over 100 petrochemical companies. For many years, locals have called these parishes Cancer Alley because of the high rate of cancer and respiratory disease. The industry that has carved up their fields is now rotting their bodies at crisis proportions.
Sharon Lavigne is known around St. James Parish for her affinity for telling the truth. The daughter of Civil Rights activists, she saw the first industrial plant arrive in the 1960s. Half a century later, she has auto-immune hepatitis and aluminum in her body; her grandchildren have breathing problems and develop rashes if they play outside for too long. In the last five years alone, she’s watched 30 of her neighbors die from cancer.
In 2018, Sharon learned that Formosa Petrochemical is planning to build a multi-billion-dollar plant in her district. When completed, it will produce plastic products and become one of the state’s largest emitters of ethylene oxide and benzene, both of which are known carcinogens. In response, she quickly helped form Rise St. James to fight Formosa and build power in her mostly black and poor community. Where she lives, people don’t have the luxury of deciding what issue to care about, from health and the environment to racism and economic issues. When the stakes are between life and death, it’s all or nothing. And now, amidst this new crisis, things are getting only more dire. A recent study from Harvard confirmed that people with long-term exposure to air pollution are 15 percent more likely to die from COVID-19, and that black people are exposed to 21 percent more air pollution then white people in this country.
Across the US, there are thousands of places like Cancer Alley and countless leaders like Sharon who are sounding the alarm of a nation in political, economic, and ecological crisis.
Before a single case of COVID-19, there were 140 million poor and low-income people living in the richest country in the history of the world. Meanwhile, just three men held more wealth than the bottom half of the country, making their fortunes off of the labor of others and the destruction of the planet. Now, this pandemic and economic collapse are revealing the deep fissures of a society that was already on the brink of what Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once called “spiritual death.”
In many ways, the historic failures of our government over the last couple of months are the evidence of decades of disastrous and immoral leadership. They are also a warning sign of what is to come if we don’t confront the widening of poverty and inequality and the deepening of climate change in the coming years.
In 1968, Dr. King, the National Welfare Rights Organization, and many other organizers from Appalachia to California came together in the Poor People’s Campaign. This political project, the last of Dr. King’s life, was determined to force fundamental structural change by uniting poor and dispossessed people across the country. At the time, Dr. King had identified three evils in American society: poverty, racism, and militarism (today, the destruction of the climate could rightfully be called the fourth). At the root of their efforts was a theory of organizing called “fusion politics.”
At that time, it meant building a movement that could connect poor communities across race, gender, age, religion, geography, and issue. The idea behind “fusion politics” goes at least all the way back to the radical history of the Fusion Party after the Civil War in Reconstruction North Carolina — where thousands of former slaves linked up with poor whites and others to wield far-reaching political power for a decade and secure major protections in the state constitution that still exist today.
In our own time, we’ve seen what is possible through fusion politics. Almost 150 years after the Fusion Party, the Moral Mondays Movement began in 2013 as a small series of protests in front of the state capitol building in Raleigh, North Carolina. In just a few months, it grew into a broad fusion coalition and inspired the largest state-government-focused civil disobedience campaign in US history. The movement helped to defeat an extremist governor, elected a progressive majority to the state Supreme Court, forced a federal court order for special elections to address racial gerrymandering in state legislature districts, and turned the tide on a monster voter suppression law that targeted African-Americans “with almost surgical precision,” according to a federal court.
In the Campaign, we understand that there are interlocking injustices in this society that must be confronted together: systemic racism, poverty, militarism and the war economy, ecological devastation and climate change, and the distorted moral narrative of religious nationalism.
Each of these injustices depend on and feed one another. They also demand that we come together in new and unexpected ways to advance a transformative agenda that centers the needs of the poor and most impacted. This is why we organize for universal health care, the right to housing, programs of social uplift, expansive environmental protections, the end to the militarization of our budgets and communities, and more.
When people in power criticize us by saying that we are asking for too much, we remind them that when the wealthy are in trouble, they get everything they need and want. Why should we expect anything less?
A Radical Redistribution of Political & Economic Power
The current moment is an ugly mirror for this country. During this dual crisis of COVID-19 and an economy in freefall, we are seeing clearly a society riven by poverty, racism, and unprecedented inequality; a government that continues to cater to the rich and in the same breath claim there is not enough for the poor; and entire generations who, because of the pause on industry, are learning for the first time what a clear sky looks like. This is not an anomaly – it is the intensification of life as it already was. The truth, then, is that on the other end of this crisis we cannot return to normal. Normal was already a nightmare for so many of us.
On June 20, millions of people will come together in an historic digital justice gathering to build a stage for the voices, struggles, and solutions of our people. We know that in this moment we must seize the moral narrative on what is necessary and possible. And in order to change the narrative, we must change the narrator.
The narrator, the protagonist, of our national politics can no longer be the rich and powerful. It must be the poor, the homeless, the unemployed, the immigrant, the incarcerated, the climate refugee. It must be those, like Sharon Lavigne in Cancer Alley, who can rally our society to demand a radical redistribution of political and economic power.
The Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II is the president and senior lecturer of Repairers of the Breach and co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call For Moral Revival. The Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis is the director of the Kairos Center for Religions, Rights, and Social Justice and co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival.
As cities and industries react to the killing of George Floyd and other black victims of police brutality, artists, executives, and companies from across the music business will participate in a day of silent protest — though a lack of clear messaging from the major labels makes its meaning open for interpretation.
Organizers of the planned June 2nd event asked the industry to “not conduct business as usual” and instead spend time reflecting on how to support the black community. The original statement was posted toward the end of last week and quickly gained momentum over the weekend. By the end of the weekend, the three music majors Warner Music Group, Sony Music, and Universal Music Group had all pledged support alongside many of their flagship labels, though others in the industry expressed confusion at the message’s intent.
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“Your black executives, artists, managers, staff, colleagues are drained, traumatized, hurt, scared, and angry,” Jamila Thomas, Senior Director of Marketing at Atlantic Records, wrote in a statement to music industry colleagues on Instagram on Friday, co-launching a hashtag called #TheShowMustBePaused and labeling the day Blackout Tuesday.
Thomas and her partner in the initiative, former Atlantic Records employee Brianna Agyemang, made a formal call to action, asking those who work in music, entertainment, and show businesses to “pause” on Tuesday because “the show can’t just go on, as our people are being hunted and killed.”
“#Theshowmustbepaused is an initiative created by two black women in music in observance of the long-standing racism and inequality that exist from the boardroom to the boulevard,” the duo wrote. “Our mission is to hold the industry at large, including major corporations and their partners who benefit from the efforts, struggles and successes of black people accountable. To that end, it is the obligation of these entities to protect and empower the black communities that I’ve made them disproportionately wealthy in ways that are measurable and transparent.”
“I don’t want to sit on your Zoom calls talking about the black artists who are making you so much money, if you fail to address what’s happening to black people right now,” Thomas wrote. “That’s the only ‘rollout plan’ I want to discuss. And it’s not solely on the ‘urban department,’ Black label heads, Black Presidents, & black employees to navigate. Your silence is noted.”
Columbia Records was one of the first labels to publicly issue a statement independent of Thomas and Agyemang’s initiative. “We stand together with the Black community against all forms of racism, bigotry and violence,” the label wrote. “Now, more than ever we must raise our voices to speak up and challenge the injustices all around us.”
A flurry of social media posts from record labels and other industry employees soon followed. Some labels advised specific actions. Interscope announced that the company would “contribute” to organizations that are focused on bailing out protestors “exercising their right to peacefully assemble” and aiding lawyers in the fight for judicial changes, and that it would help non-profits working towards “economic empowerment in the Black community.” (A rep for Universal Music Group, Interscope’s parent company, did not reply to a request for comment or clarification on how much the label would contribute.) Interscope, which promised to not release any new music during the week of June 1st, also suggested that their followers text “FLOYD” to 55156 to voice opinions against police violence and/or donate to the Minnesota Freedom Fund, as well as look into Color of Change, Winning Justice, and the ACLU.
Capitol Records said it will make a donation to Color of Change, which wants to “end practices that unfairly hold Black people back, and champion solutions that move us all forward.” Both Atlantic and Warner Records encouraged followers to text “FLOYD” to 55156, add their names to the Justice for George Floyd petition at change.org, and donate to the Official George Floyd Memorial Fund.
While Epic, Columbia, and Republic were among those who shared that their teams would proudly recognize Blackout Tuesday, the labels did not publicly provide any sort of instructions or calls to action. Columbia pushed that Tuesday was “not a day off” and was, instead, a day to “reflect and figure out ways to move forward in solidarity” — echoing the words of Rob Stringer, CEO of its parent company Sony.
“Many of you have phoned or emailed me to discuss what we can say or do as a company in reaction. We are obviously going to respond but actions are louder than words,” Stringer wrote in a memo to employees. “In the short term, we will be rolling out a company donation policy to relevant organizations and causes throughout this week. As a company, we will observe Blackout Tuesday. However, we are still determining the best ways to approach Tuesday. It should not just be a day off as it needs to be more meaningful than that.” (A rep for Sony declined further comment.)
“Everyone can take a day out from their jobs,” Warner Music CEO Steve Cooper wrote in a memo. “Please use this time to concentrate on helping yourself and others – whether that’s dealing with your own feelings, supporting your friends and colleagues, or taking action.” (A rep for Warner Music declined further comment.)
“We strongly support protest initiatives such as Blackout Tuesday and other valuable and heartfelt non-violent protests,” Universal Music CEO Lucian Grainge said in a staff memo. “But, as we know, protest is just a start, not a solution. Real and constructive change — lasting change — requires sustained focus and unwavering commitment over time.”
“There’s a massive movement going on in the country right now. Why are they starting their own branded movement?” – Joe Steinhardt, Don Giovanni Records
While Grainge laid out some initiatives, including the formation of a “UMG Task Force to accelerate our efforts in areas such as inclusion and social justice,” multiple employees across the music industry expressed confusion on their respective company’s goals for Tuesday, while critics assailed the lack of a specific call to action.
Joe Steinhardt, owner of Don Giovanni Records and a teacher at Drexel University, tells Rolling Stone — from the scene of a protest in Philadelphia on Monday — that he believes the movement is an “ignorant and misguided way” to protest, adding that what the labels should be doing is supporting the already existing efforts and initiatives that had been active such as Black Lives Matter.
“Everyone at their fucking offices should clear out anonymously, not as a promotional effort, not with your Sony logo at the bottom of it; get in the streets,” Steinhardt says. “I’m in the streets; most of my artists are in the streets. Anyone who can should anonymously be joining the movement. There’s a massive movement going on in the country right now. Why are they starting their own branded movement?”
“They’ll donate money, but where is that coming from? Their artists,” Steinhardt adds. “How about you make your business makeup reflect this issue, who works in your buildings? Who’s included? We can all laugh at the NFL [statement] yesterday, but the music industry has been just as laughable. What the fuck is a cultural blackout? Culture is what Donald Trump goes to censor. Why are we self-censoring?”
Jessi Frick, founder of fellow indie label Father/Daughter Records, tells Rolling Stone her label won’t be taking part in the day because of the lack of clarity from major labels who’d initially shared the message, adding that her label had already paused promotion on music since last week in light of the protests and would be speaking with other indie labels to discuss more strategies and initiatives to contribute.
Thomas and Agyemang did not reply to requests for comment. As such, it’s unclear where the ideas between the duo’s original intentions and the messaging from the major labels coalesce.
“The music industry shutdown thing feels tone deaf to me” – Bon Iver
“[Thomas and Agyemang] put up their site with way more information than any of these major labels shared in their instagram posts,” Frick says. “The way those posts read to me made me think, ‘Read the room.’ The way it was first put out there wasn’t something I wanted to participate in; getting offline didn’t seem right. If you have a platform and you’re able to get information out, you should use that. Most of these labels have been profiting off the backs of black musicians from the very start, and this just felt like something they should be doing all the time, not just when there’s pressure on them to do so.”
Although appreciative of the industry-wide anger towards injustice and police brutality, Chris Anokute, former SVP of A&R at Island Def Jam who now runs the artist development company Young Forever, expressed that the movement should not end at trending topics and hashtags. “This is not a copy and paste, using the same language and/or words that I see on every corporate post over the last few days,” Anokute wrote. “And all due respect, but black people and most people who care in your organizations have been DISCONNECTED all week from business as usual, so don’t placate us with one fucking day! We are pissed off.”
“I want to commend whoever the individual(s) are that came up with ‘BLACKOUT Tuesday.’ We appreciate you and respect your leadership. I stand with you, behind you, in front of you, wherever I need to be,” Anokute wrote on Instagram. But, “I honestly don’t know what Blackout Tuesday is, so I can’t observe something until I know its origin, who it came from, where it came from, so I know its real intention,” Anokute adds to Rolling Stone. “I can’t take someone’s word for it. That’s the problem today.”
Bon Iver, one of the only artists to speak against the movement, wrote on Twitter that “the music industry shutdown thing feels tone deaf to me” and asked followers to “participate in our actual world.”
Outside of the #TheShowMustBePaused plan for June 2nd, several figures in the music industry have written to political leaders in response to the George Floyd police killing. Last week, music attorney and artist advocate Dina LaPolt sent a letter to the Hennepin County Attorney, copying Congressmember Karen Bass — chairperson of the Congressional Black Caucus — Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Khan-Cullors, and record executive and host of the Wrongful Conviction podcast Jason Flom. In it, they demand that the officers involved in the death of Floyd be immediately arrested and charged with first degree murder.
“While the swift action of Mayor Jacob Frey is a necessary first step, I expect and demand that these officers are arrested, charged, and prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Anything less would constitute a serious miscarriage of justice,” LaPolt wrote. “This is another example of another unarmed African American man killed in police custody, while Americans are left with no confidence that justice will be served. George, his family, the black community, and the American people deserve better.”
Sources close to Tuesday’s plan say more initiatives from the industry are on the way and will be announced shortly.
To regain the trust of communities of colour and larger society, now is the time to listen with humility and respect and openness and non-defensiveness.
The United States’ crisis demands action. Now.
Now, while the cleaning up of the glass and ash on the ground and the power washing of graffiti-covered buildings has begun. Acts of restoration powered by good and big-hearted and generous people who care about our communities and who want to rebuild what has been shattered and are bringing their precious time, energy and labour to this effort.
Now is the time to speak out against the police brutality that has ravaged communities of colour for generations, to call out the culture of silence among law enforcement that is beginning to crack, but must be eradicated. And to remove the near-comprehensive immunity that those with whom we have entrusted the sacred duty of serving and protecting-a responsibility that many fulfil with honour and valour and integrity-have been cloaked in for too long.
Now is the time to understand that words, even the beautifully honest, wise, heartfelt and moving ones spoken by Minnesota Governor Tim Walz and Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance-Bottoms, are not enough. They are not enough because the trust between many elected officials and communities of colour has been ruptured to the point where swift justice for the officers who carried out and watched George Floyd’s brutal murder is a necessary, but by no means sufficient, condition for healing. Not enough because the abuse has gone on and been unpunished for so long.
Now is the time to state unambiguously that there will never be any moral leadership on this and all manner of issues from our President, to give up any hope, if we ever had any, that the man would meet the challenge of this moment with anything other than the same divisive and hateful rhetoric, the same promises of violence, and the same failure to recognize all people as having equal worth that have been his hallmarks for the past 30 years and were a central thrust of his campaign from the moment he declared his candidacy for the nation’s highest office. We are on our own on this one, and always have been.
But now is also the time to face the truth that while Obama’s victory had enormous historical and symbolic and actual significance, far too many residents of African-American neighbourhoods that played an enormous role in propelling him to victory did not experience meaningful, left alone the transformative, change he had promised. Beyond that, the past 40 years have seen systematic extraction from, and disinvestment in, many of these communities, while the income gap between the corporate and ultra-wealthy looters and many of our poorest people has grown to vast dimensions.
It is the time to say that there is a straight line from George Floyd’s quiet plea for his life to Rodney King’s prostrate body being systematically beaten on the side of a Los Angeles freeway to Emmett Till’s mangled corpse being lifted from the Tallahatchie River and courageously shown in an open casket by his mother, Mamie Till Mobley. She said she wanted the world to see and know what JW Milam and Roy Bryant had done to her son.
From there, the line of white supremacy enforced by violence and embedded in capitalism stretches back through the lynchings of thousands of black men throughout our country in public events often advertised in newspapers, attended by large swathes, if not all, of the white families in a community, and commemorated on postcards. The line extends all the way back into the fabric of our founding documents, nestled among and alongside the lofty pledges of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and the intention of our people to create of a more perfect union-declarations that have inspired people around the world for the more than 225 years since their writing. The slavery that began in the 1600s exists without name in three different places within our constitution: the non-importation, three-fifths, and fugitive slave clauses. These provisions delineated the continued importation of enslaved people to our new nation for its first two decades, the counting of those enslaved as less than a full person, and the requirement that people in states that did not practice slavery return those who had fled to freedom.
Now is the time to acknowledge squarely the unearned benefits this system has bestowed on those of us who are white –benefits that are not some dim historic legacy, but that continue on a daily basis in far too many areas of life-from health care to education to access to clean air and water to the costs of food and insurance to our interactions with police. To say that, while these current protests focus on police brutality, we have many interrelated levels of inequality and injustice in our society that all call with fierce urgency to be addressed in root ways.
Now is the time to understand that the only way to have a semblance of a chance to regain the trust that has often, if not always, been tenuous at best with communities of colour and the larger society, is to listen with humility and respect and openness and non-defensiveness. To not instantly put ourselves in the position of arbiter and judge of what is and is not valid, but simply to listen and try to understand that which is incomprehensible to those of who have not had the same lived experiences. Now is also the time to acknowledge that we must go beyond listening and engage in meaningful partnerships in which those who have been adversely affected by oppression lead while we play supportive roles.
And now is the time to take an unflinching look at history and learn from the fate of other nations who have been in this similar spot before us. Countries like Germany after World War I, when a fledgeling democracy was undermined, and eventually toppled, in no large part because those on the left and the right who opposed not just the government in power, but the very concept of democracy, numbered more than half of the citizens. We are not at the same point here, but we cannot look away from the troubling presence of white supremacists, anarchists and antifascists across the country who have used the peaceful protests for their own destructive purposes.
The situation is grave.
The stakes are high.
The work is hard.
The path is long.
The outcome is uncertain.
Our current leadership makes it that much harder, and therefore all the more necessary.
But we must undertake this task.
To not do so would be an unacceptable admission that we have failed and given up on all that we have aspired to be as a national community.
As we begin this arduous journey, we can draw strength and inspiration from the legendary acapella group Sweet Honey in the Rock, who adapted the words of the late, great and tireless social justice warrior Ella Baker:
“We who believe in freedom cannot rest until it comes. Until the killing of black men, black mother’s sons, Is as important as the killing of white men, white mother’s sons.”
Now is the time.
Not in a week. Not in a few days.
Jeff Kelly Lowenstein is Padnos/Sarosik Endowed Chair of Civil Discourse, GVSU Founder, Executive Director, Centre for Collaborative Investigative Journalism( CCIJ), Fulbright Scholar, Specialist, Teacher.
Jeff Kelly Lowenstein
Jeff Kelly Lowenstein is an investigative journalist, author of four books and a visiting professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. In 1995 he was a Fulbright Teacher at the Uthongathi School in Tongaat, South Africa, and in 2016 he taught an investigative journalism course at Wits University. His work has earned national and international recognition.
Connie Rice has spent decades working to chip away at the systemic racism that has manifested itself with painful clarity, most recently, in the tragic death of George Floyd and in the lopsided toll of the COVID-19 pandemic on communities of color.
Rice is a civil rights lawyer and founding co-director of the Advancement Project who has worked with the Los Angeles Police Department and outside groups on police reform. (Full disclosure: she’s also a trustee of our parent organization, Southern California Public Radio.)
Rice spoke with KPCC AirTalk host Larry Mantle on Sunday evening — the fifth night of protests sparked by Floyd’s death at the hands of a Minnesota police officer. She told Mantle that the outrage felt by demonstrators is not just about Floyd, “it’s about 400 years of events.”
The following is a transcript of their conversation, lightly edited and condensed for clarity.
RICE: For the officers, they see it as just one incident, may see it as a rogue officer. To the community, however, policing is simply an extension — it’s the interface of the systemic oppression that slaves, freed Africans, freed African Americans, and now African Americans today have lived under systemic systems of exclusion, oppression, just persecution.
And you’re talking about an overlay of a COVID pandemic that has stripped away the mask and revealed the deep, savage inequalities that are fueling the rage.
“The longest American war is the American Civil War, and we’re fighting the last battles of the American Civil War right now.”
It’s not just the outrageous murder that we’ve seen. We’ve seen 50 videos of unarmed African Americans, mostly men, being gunned down without any kind of evidence that that lethal force was warranted under the standards of law.
I have to say, I was with [L.A. Police] Chief [Michel] Moore and about 15 other chiefs from around the country, it was New York, LAPD, it was New Orleans, it was Baltimore … and these are the progressive chiefs, these are the chiefs of police who understand that American policing has to change and they have actually dedicated their 10 years as chiefs doing everything they can to turn their departments away from instruments of oppression and mass incarceration, and more in the direction of providing safety in poor communities ….
But in that room, I stood up and I said, “I want to thank you for pushing policing in the right direction. We’ve just made a turn, and a turn is not a journey completed, it is just the work begun. But I need to thank you for that.
“I also need to tell you that the abject failure of the profession to address the anguish and the agony and the deep, deep fury over these videos is going to come back at you like a nuclear blowback.
“I’m not asking you to interfere with the investigations or the due process of officers. But there is a way to state that ‘We, as police, understand what these videos mean, they upset us. We can’t imagine what it does to the community members and the family members.'”
That’s all they had to say. But they didn’t.
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Today, they are putting out statements condemning, outright condemning, and so are police unions. But it’s way too little, too late.
And I think that what we’re seeing, 30,000 feet up, to me we’re seeing … they say that the longest war is the war on terror in Afghanistan. No.
The longest American war is the American Civil War, and we’re fighting the last battles of the American Civil War right now.
MANTLE: [You] were at the center of the aftermath of the 1992 Los Angeles Riots, the Christopher Commission that dove so deep into systemic problems within the LAPD and dramatic changes that you’ve talked about when you’ve been on the air with us that have taken place in the department. As you look at LAPD now, what’s changed? And what, in your view, still needs to change?
RICE: I think as far as the big police departments in the country go, LAPD has done far more than I ever thought it would do. And when I write pieces that say ‘this is not your grandfather’s LAPD’ to the community, I sound like I need my medication.
[But] the changes in the police world are seismic. They accept civilian rule. They now allow the inspectors general to actually enforce accountability. Instead of doing automatic exonerations of police officers who are accused of serious abuse, there’s an actual investigation.
These are seismic changes. You have chiefs, you’ve had [William] Bratton, [Charles] Beck and now Moore all dedicated to turning policing away from the mass incarceration, stop and frisk, persecution that has devastated poor communities, not made them safer, but simply devastated them.
“Even the [police] who want to change have no idea how to re-engineer their incentives, how to re-engineer their mission, how to re-engineer and restructure what and how they do with different people.”
And to get out of the prison industrial complex of policies, and try to turn police to being more productive problem-solvers in poor communities. These are the chiefs we’ve had, and we’ve been lucky. But all of that said, in the community, it doesn’t mean a thing.
In Police World, it’s seismic. In the community, it doesn’t register at all. Because why should you give anybody credit for actually doing an honest investigation?
The worlds are so far apart, and I’ve been straddling them for the last 15 years and I’m about stretched at this point. I know what it takes: you can sue, and we’re real good at that. You can get consent decrees. You can do protests. You can riot. You can get commissions. You can have all kinds of civilian action.
All of that is necessary. But none of it changes police thinking or behavior. That work requires police to change themselves with the help of outsiders.
Because what I discovered is that the police don’t know how to change.
Even the ones who want to change have no idea how to re-engineer their incentives, how to re-engineer their mission, how to re-engineer and restructure what and how they do with different people.
MANTLE: Is there a department that you would say is an example that’s been able to do it? Or do you contend that within the culture of policing there isn’t any example of that shift? Is this just something that’s an impasse because of the nature of policing?
But it’s a large demonstration unit, it has not changed the DNA of the rank and file for LAPD. Their mission is still the same.
I’ve always said that you can’t change policing until you change their mission. We get the policing we asked for. We’ve empowered the police through laws that give them almost absolute immunity at this point.
And … it’s such a rigged system for exoneration that it’s given them a license to kill without accountability. That has to end. You cannot have police investigating each other. You can’t have prosecutors who work with them, trying to decide whether to prosecute them. You can’t prosecute your teammates, it just doesn’t work.
So there needs to be a whole revolutionary change of the legal paradigm that governs police accountability, number one.
On the culture side and mindset side and outlook side of how cops think about the kind of policing they do in different neighborhoods, the profiling doesn’t necessarily take place at the individual level, I’ve always said, it takes place at the neighborhood level.
“I’ve always said that you can’t change policing until you change their mission. We get the policing we asked for.”
We can outlaw segregation, legal segregation, but then as soon as an area becomes 8% black, white people move out. So we have self-imposed segregation.And because we are so self-segregated, that’s the legacy of us continuing to fight our Civil War. We can outlaw slavery and then we reinstitute it as “slavery light” and then we do it with mass incarceration.
We are still working through the machinery and the dynamics and the culture of white dominance and white supremacy. And all of that effect gets quadrupled and quintupled when you’re talking about policing, because police are the control mechanism for the policies that we tell them to do.
We tell police, ‘you’re the thin blue line.’ And there are good communities on the good side of the thin blue line, communities like mine, where people receive safety and protection. And then there are the communities of my clients: the underclass, the poor, the working poor, immigrants, people who are on the wrong side of the thin blue line, they get suppression containment.
They don’t get safety, they get enforcement and they get a savage machinery of mass incarceration.
“We built skyscrapers instead of dealing with our poor communities and putting rungs back into the upward mobility ladder.”
We’re not going to invest in the schools. The McCone Commission [formed in response to the 1965 Watts Rebellion] said you’ve got to end the spiral of despair and change your policing. Well, since 1965, Larry, we’ve been working on the policing side, but absolutely nothing has been done on ending the spiral of despair side.
We haven’t invested in public health infrastructure. The COVID pandemic shows us that we’ve basically said that poor people, people in prisons, poor people in nursing homes, you know, where there’s no public health infrastructure, there’s no access to health care, those gaps haven’t been closed.
The McCone Commission said if you want to stop riots, you have to change how your police interface with poor people, number one, and people of color and black people, in particular. And you also have to end the spiral of despair. You have to end the deserts, the opportunity deserts, the food deserts, the education deserts.
So you don’t do both of those things — change policing and the spiral of despair, as the McCone Commission put it — we fail.
We built skyscrapers instead of dealing with our poor communities and putting rungs back into the upward mobility ladder. We’ve spent the last 60 years removing the rungs of the upward mobility ladder. We have defunded all of the public systems that support upward mobility for the poor.
MANTLE: Black Lives Matter activists have argued that in the fiscal crisis Los Angeles is facing that cuts need to be in the LAPD, not in the community programs that, at this point, are on the chopping block or at least to be significantly cut back. Do you agree with that argument?
RICE: I agree that the county budget and the city budget have got to be completely redone to address post-pandemic crises.
We’re facing Great Depression threats here. And the civilization is not going to make it through this if our politicians don’t stop the business as usual.
MANTLE: I guess I was wondering in the wake of what’s going on these past three nights, do you think realistically that the LAPD would have a budget cut, given what we’re going through?
“You need to figure out: how do you reconfigure LAPD to produce safety as opposed to automated enforcement that feeds mass incarceration?”
RICE: I think that everybody’s budgets have got to be on the line. And I think we have to look at how the money is being spent and what it’s producing, and how it can be redeployed to meet these new crises. And LAPD is not an exception. But it has to be every department.
LAPD takes close to half of the city’s budget. And I’ve been arguing for 25 years that what we do with that money … instead of producing fodder for mass incarceration and mass arrests and mass stops, it has to produce safety. It has to solve the problems that actually produce crime. And that’s a very different mission for policing.
So, that funding, you know, right now it’s all in salaries. And that’s how it’s been structured.
You need to figure out: how do you reconfigure LAPD to produce safety as opposed to automated enforcement that feeds mass incarceration?
MANTLE: At this point, given what we’re in in this moment this evening, what do you think would bring some degree of calm?
RICE: I think that if the other officers in Minnesota are arrested, then it may end, or at least grand juries are formed to determine whether they ought to be indicted. That might help.
I also think that showing people that it can be done. LAPD has done it with the Community Safety Partnership policing. … If you have policing that black gangsters say is good, you’ve got something.
MANTLE: These are officers moving into housing projects?
RICE: They’re not promoted for making arrests. They are promoted for going into housing project communities and saying ‘we’re going to do a wraparound safety plan. We’re not here to arrest, we are here to go after the conditions that produce crime and misery. We will arrest for violent crimes, but we are here to build, not to arrest.’
And so they actually partner with housing project residents and other residents of high crime areas that are experiencing epidemics of violence and epidemics of gang control. And you work with everybody from the gang members to the grandmothers, and you create wraparound safety plans.
And it’s about safety. It’s not about containment, suppression and mass incarceration. So these are the cops who are rewarded for avoiding arrest, avoiding use of force.
“If you have policing that black gangsters say is good, you’ve got something.”
In nine years, there has been no use of force by CSP cops and not one complaint.
And in the interviews, even when the Dorner matter was happening, when the LAPD was being targeted, you had African American gang members who when they realized CSP officers were getting targeted, they went to protect those officers.
When you have that happening, you have the policing for 21st century America. You have the policing that will make sure that the riots that we’re seeing today and the uprisings we’re seeing today are no longer necessary.
MANTLE: I hear a significant gap between what you’re describing and what we heard yesterday at Pan Pacific Park when Melina Abdullah of Black Lives Matter got up and and talked about every one of the officers that were there and talking about them as individuals, not what they represent as an institution, as essentially being bad because of the job they do. Your thoughts about that stance?
RICE: If their job is the old mission of containment, suppression, mass incarceration, I agree with her. If the job is helping the community solve its problems, heal, and put the rungs back in the upward mobility ladder, so that safety is the goal — that’s what [the Community Safety Partnership] unit does, but it is not what all of LAPD does.
“So if you ask ‘can police change?’ the answer is absolutely yes. Can they become a positive force in even poor black communities? The answer is yes.”
The leadership mindset has changed. But if you’re talking about the old sergeants that are in the back of the squad room, the graveyard shift, no, they haven’t gotten the memo yet. A lot of work to be done.
But Larry, my point is we know how to do this. We’ve done it. It’s not on a white paper. We’ve done it for nine years, and it’s documented.
So if you ask ‘can police change?’ the answer is absolutely yes. Can they become a positive force in even poor black communities? The answer is yes. And we’ve done it and we’ve proved it.
Doesn’t mean it is now the DNA of LAPD. It is not. It has to become department-wide. Those values have to become department-wide. And we have to be comfortable telling LAPD: ‘your mission has changed.’
Until you change the mission, you’re not going to get changed policing. It aggravates, it accumulates, Larry, and it produces dynamics that get toxic. That’s what we saw in that video.
The license to kill now has no accountability infrastructure. As long as that’s the case, you’re going to continue to see these videos and you’re going to continue to see the protests. We know how to fix this, Larry. We just have to get the political will to do it.