In Minneapolis, African refugees see American dream in tatters

African refugees living in Minneapolis were already struggling with their “American dream” when George Floyd died in police custody.

Now their dream is in tatters and they have joined their African American “brothers” in the streets to protest racism in their adopted homeland.

“I came here for freedom. My country was at war,” said Tiha Jibi, who arrived from South Sudan at age 15.

“I end up having two boys, 10 and six, who are afraid because we are not white,” she said, full of rage.

Leaving her family and her country was hard, as was the journey to get to the United States, but she was determined to pursue her own American dream of peace, equality and democracy.

Now, she realizes, “it’s all a lie. Now we have to face that reality.”

That’s why she has been marching to protest the death at the hands of a white police officer of George Floyd, a 46-year-old African American man whose killing has sparked nationwide protests and clashes with police.

“I came here as a refugee but not as a white refugee,” she said. “My permanent home is the US and my permanent color is black. I have to protest.”

The state of Minnesota, where Minneapolis is located, has the highest percentage of refugees per inhabitant in the whole country, with two percent of the US population but 13 percent of its refugees, according to the most recent census.

Among them are a large number of people from the Horn of Africa — Ethiopians and Somalis — whose presence in the marches was noticeable because of the colorful robes worn by the women.

– ‘Dehumanized’ –

A Somali American mother and her child stand during a protest in Minneapolis against the death of Ge...

A Somali American mother and her child stand during a protest in Minneapolis against the death of George Floyd — Minnesota has the highest percentage of refugees per inhabitant in the US, and many are from the Horn of Africa

kerem yucel, AFP/File

Deka Jama, a 24-year-old woman who came to the United States from Somalia in 2007, showed up with friends, all of them veiled, to protest the discrimination that met them in their new homeland.

“We thought that everyone would be equal, that we would not be judged by religion, by color, by our dresses. That’s not how we were welcomed,” she told AFP.

She feels a close affinity to African Americans, many of them descended from slaves and who have been Americans for generations.

There is “something connects us,” she said. “We are all dehumanized, regardless of our cultural differences. We have to be here for them.”

Minnesota’s Somali community has a source of pride, though, in Ilhan Omar, a 37-year-old born in Mogadishu who was elected to Congress in 2018.

But she too has been the target of racial abuse, death threats and slander. Last summer, President Donald Trump said that she and three other women of color in Congress should “go back” to their countries of origin.

For the past week, Omar has often been asked to comment on the situation. She has not held back from telling people that, beyond acts of police violence, Americans have to address the core issue of inequality in the country.

– Poverty –

“So many people know a social and economic neglect,” Omar said on Sunday.

According to Minnesota Compass, a website that tracks the state’s demographics, families from Africa are particularly hard hit.

In 2016, 12 percent of the population of Minnesota was living under the poverty line, but that number rose to 31 percent among the Ethiopian community and 55 percent among Somalis.

That has meant that for many refugees, an important facet of the American dream — social mobility — has broken down over time.

And the riots that have followed some protests have not helped their plight, since some of the looted businesses were immigrant-owned.

“I am very disappointed, very disappointed,” Ahmed, a 42-year-old who arrived from Ethiopia a decade ago, said as he took in the blackened ruins of a burned building.

President Donald Trump told Representative Ilhan Omar pictured and three other women of color in ...

President Donald Trump told Representative Ilhan Omar, pictured, and three other women of color in Congress that they should “go back” to their countries of origin

Stephen Maturen, GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP/File

For him and many others, the major concern is for their children.

One Ethiopian woman, who asked not to be named, said she has four sons and worries that, when they grow up, they too could be subjected to the type of police brutality that took the life of George Floyd.

“This could happen to our children,” she said, encouraging protesters marching below on a highway.

You have to support this movement, she said, “to stop racism, for the future.”

Black lawmakers look to ‘forcefully respond’ to police brutality crisis

“How do we have a very visible response under the conditions we are now experiencing?” Bass said in the email obtained by POLITICO, announcing an emergency caucus call on Monday afternoon. “Regardless we have to figure out how to visibly and forcefully respond.”

On the caucus call on Monday afternoon, Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar, whose district includes parts of Minneapolis roiled by demonstrations, updated members on the situation in her state and called for charges against all four police officers involved in the killing of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man who died in custody last week.

So far, one officer, Derek Chauvin, has been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter. That prosecution is being led by Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, a former House Democrat and CBC member, whose seat now belongs to Omar.

Omar also invited CBC members to attend public services for Floyd later this week, according to a lawmaker on the call.

The CBC is seeking to rally their colleagues — and the nation — behind long-overdue reforms to stop police killings of black men. The effort comes after a week of sometimes violent protests in dozens of U.S. cities while President Donald Trump tweeted about using “vicious dogs” and “ominous weapons” against protesters and encouraging police to use overwhelming force.

Among their ideas is a march from the Capitol to the White House or the Department of Justice, a display of unity that Democrats hope would amplify calls for change from millions of Americans, rather than viral photos of fires and looting by small numbers of demonstrators.

Members also discussed holding a press conference as early as this week in Washington to honor Floyd by bowing their heads and raising their fists for the eight minutes that Chauvin knelt on his neck.

Following a weekend of private discussions and consultations — including with numerous CBC members — House leaders have made no decisions about bringing the chamber back, according to Democratic lawmakers and aides.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and House Majority Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) are open to the idea if the CBC or the broader Democratic Caucus has significant legislative proposals they want to consider, but so far no specific agenda has emerged. Committee chairs are also reviewing dozens of proposed bills or resolutions to determine if there is any they want to move now.

In a document sent by Bass to members Monday morning, the California Democrat said the caucus must be “visible IMMEDIATELY” and find ways to go beyond cable TV and social media posts. Proposals in the document included tweet storms, targeting young voters, and urging celebrities to assist in spreading their message.

“We have to ask ourselves and we have to ask the country at what point, at what point will be grow tired of seeing people literally executed on video and nothing happens,” Bass said at a press conference with other Democrats and advocates on Monday. Bass said that her “number one tactic will be building collaboration” across the Democratic caucus, working with groups like the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

The CBC, as well as the entire Democratic Caucus, must decide quickly what specific legislation to unite behind — how best to confront systematic racism that has influenced U.S. laws on policing, criminal justice, health care, and housing for generations.

It’s made all the more urgent, Democrats say, by the global pandemic that has disproportionately hit African American communities.

Some of the most high-profile members of the CBC, including Reps. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) and Omar, are pushing a four-page resolution to condemn police brutality and racial profiling. Bass and Rep. Barbara Lee, two other senior CBC members, have also signed on.

“The Congressional Black Caucus is often referred to as the conscience of the Congress,” Pressley said in an interview with MSNBC on Monday. “In this moment, I think the Congress must act as the conscience of our nation.”

The CBC, with more than 50 Democratic members, already includes the most respected names in the nation’s civil rights history, like Rep. John Lewis of Georgia, an organizer of the 1963 March on Washington, and Majority Whip Jim Clyburn of South Carolina.

But the group is facing perhaps its toughest moment since the civil rights movement — how to turn massive protests across the country into tangible action, while denouncing the violence, looting and fires that have erupted nightly in many cities.

They must also contend with Trump, who on Monday urged the country’s governors to respond more aggressively toward demonstrators.

The majority of the protests across the country have been peaceful, but some supporters fear that viral videos of government buildings or a church aflame — some reportedly set by agitators unaffiliated with the protests — could turn public opinion against the national movement.

“When anarchists infiltrate a righteous demonstration, sometimes the movement can take on the appearance of the beast,” Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) told a local news station as he took part in peaceful demonstrations in Kansas City.

“Most of the people are not out here to riot and burn,” Cleaver said.

The CBC, which has a large roster of senior Democrats who have spent decades in the House, also faces a challenge in finding the right messenger. One of their most powerful voices, Lewis, is largely sidelined as he fights cancer. Clyburn is 80, while two African-American senators — Kamala Harris of California and Cory Booker of New Jersey — had previously focused their attention on running for the White House.

And Bass has made clear she wants to tackle the generational issue, with social media campaigns aimed directly at young people.

Many House Democrats will be looking to Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), who leads the Democratic caucus as the chairman. Jeffries, who is among the youngest of Pelosi’s leadership team, has been discussed by many of his colleagues as someone who could become the first black lawmaker to serve as speaker.

Jeffries has also been a vocal advocate of criminal justice reforms, introducing a bill to institute a national ban on chokeholds in 2015 after the death of Eric Garner at the hands of police in his home city.

Citywide lighting begins Monday night to recognize festivals canceled due to COVID-19

MILWAUKEE — Buildings throughout downtown Milwaukee will recognize cultural groups whose annual festivals have been canceled or postponed due to the COVID-19 crisis with the #MKEitShine campaign.

Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21 is encouraging buildings and landmarks to illuminate their facades with colors representing each cultural festival during its originally scheduled festival dates. Patriotic colors will be encouraged citywide to welcome visitors during the rescheduled dates of the Democratic National Convention.

Beginning Monday evening, June 1, 600 EAST Wisconsin, 833 East Michigan, Discovery World, Fiserv Forum, Gas Light Building, Hyatt Place Milwaukee Downtown, Hyatt Regency Milwaukee, Lakefront Brewery, MGIC, Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee County Historical Society, Milwaukee County Parks Mitchell Park Domes, Northwestern Mutual, The Pfister Hotel, Schlitz Park (#MilwaukeeFamous sign), SpringHill Suites by Marriott (when reopened) and U.S. Bank Center will be lit in a rainbow of colors to salute PrideFest.

WHEN:          

  • PrideFest: June 1 – 7 (colors: rainbow)
  • Polish Fest: June 12 – 14 (colors: red and white)
  • 3rd of July Fireworks: July 3 – 5 (colors: red, white and blue)
  • Bastille Days: July 9 – 12 (colors: red, white and blue)
  • Festa Italiana: July 17 – 19 (colors: green, white and red)
  • German Fest: July 24 – 26 (colors: black, red and gold)
  • Black Arts Festival: Aug. 1 (colors: blue, red, yellow and green)
  • Democratic National Convention: Aug. 10 – 20 (colors: red, white and blue)
  • Mexican Fiesta: Aug. 21 – 23 (colors: green, white and red)
  • Irish Fest: Aug. 28 – 30 (colors: green, white and orange)

WHERE:       

  • 600 EAST Wisconsin
  • 833 East Michigan
  • Discovery World
  • Fiserv Forum
  • Gas Light Building
  • Hyatt Place Milwaukee Downtown
  • Hyatt Regency Milwaukee
  • Lakefront Brewery
  • MGIC
  • Milwaukee Art Museum
  • Milwaukee County Historical Society
  • Milwaukee County Parks Mitchell Park Domes (will only be lit on Saturdays and Sundays)
  • Northwestern Mutual
  • The Pfister Hotel
  • Schlitz Park (#MilwaukeeFamous sign)
  • SpringHill Suites by Marriott (when reopened)
  • U.S. Bank Center
43.038902 -87.906474

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

Breonna Taylor’s mother after days of protests: ‘We can’t get justice with violence’

Breonna Taylor’s mother after days of protests: ‘We can’t get justice with violence’

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Today we continue to hurt for the city of Louisville, the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the family of Briana Taylor. For the last several months, it’s Commonwealth has been dealing with the pandemic that is laid bare and put on full display our societies, inequalities and injustice. This display hasn’t been in words or theories. It’s been and death our societies. Inequality span over 400 years of slavery, segregation, Jim Crow and overt and implicit racism. These inequalities exist in many forms and health care, public safety and justice. Black and African Americans make up just 8% of the state’s population, But nearly 18% of Cove in 19 deaths over the past several months have been from that same community. Inequality and healthcare results in death, pure and simple. In our justice system, our symbol, Lady Justice, is supposed to be blind, But many in our state feel rightfully so. The color is all that scene. Our incarceration rates bear that out, and the incidents from Louisville with Briana to Minneapolis show it is very real disproportionate death in my short time is governor seen and I felt a lot. Had individuals try to create fear and terror in my own family. But that’s been a few days, maybe a week, certainly not a lifetime. I will never understand how it feels to carry the frustration and fatigue of racism in a world in a country that has failed to address it in a meaningful way. So in many ways, I cannot feel that pain. But I can listen. Others describe it. I can learn from that experience, and I can do Is governor whatever I can to help today we have the mother of Briana Tailor to make a Palmer here, to make us to give voice to her daughter to that request to that demand for justice. But I also know a request that her daughter’s legacy is not marred by violence. She’s here today with Anita Baker on. I want to make sure that we all not just listen, but we here Tomeka as she gives voice to her daughter. Oh, I’m sorry again. I am to make a Palmer. I’m Brianna’s mother. It’s said that we all have to be here for this, but I don’t think that I’m asking for too much just justice for her, just that people know the truth what happened as she didn’t deserve this. That people are fired for doing this to heart. To nobody on it. She was full of life. She loved life. She respect life. This is so much bigger than her. But we can’t get justice with violence. It doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t help. It’s It doesn’t help her. It doesn’t help us. It doesn’t help the world we live in. You can’t fight violence with violence. I just demand justice for Briana. Uh, and now, on behalf of Mrs Palmer, Lenny Baker will take some of your questions on this and then I’ll address last night’s event. What do you question? Yes, Yes. That is the request of the police officers involved in the murder of Briana Taylor off fire and ultimately charged. We understand that there’s different offices that handle that, but we would ask that may have Fisher terminate these officers. There’s no reason that we are still there. Still on Ellen PD. Pero as we sit here today, you’ve seen in Minnesota you’ve even seen in Georgia where they take its swift actions against police officers up for misconduct. But here all we keep hearing about his due process. However, Briana Taylor did not get her due process and so we are asking that they be terminated and eventually charged and not being down there. I’m not in contact to say from from what I see on TV, I do think there could be a little bit. There has been a lot of aggression towards protesters, but protesters are engaging in acts that we’ve asked not occur. But I do think that this is the time for a change in policing in America. This is we’ve seen in Minnesota where police amore chin with protesters. We seen compassionate police departments and that’s what we need to see across America. In order to open up and build the report between communities and police departments nationwide, there’s not been enough done here. The police officers are in, still employed by Ellen PD still being paid back Ln p d. They they’ve been placed on administrative duty. That is not enough. We know that they recklessly shot into Briana’s home, we noted they put out not only for civilians in harm’s way killing Briana, but they also put other officers in harm’s way. So there’s no they have enough at this point to terminate them from their employment as a Sfar as across the country, this is showing. We need a change in the way that we police. That’s what America is speaking up on it. The time is now, I thought, with everything going on with so many people in pain and with admittedly my inability to feel the deaths of that, um pain, that bringing Mrs Palmer. But the ability to tell her truth on this stage to the entire state, not just one area of it would hopefully not just help in the justice that she is seeking it would help people feel that their voice and their message is being heard, including right here and the highest levels in Frankfurt. And I believe that. And what you heard today was that yes, um, she wants justice. And yes, the family wants people to continue to push for justice for Briana, But she does not want violence as things move forward. And I believe that by now everybody is listening that there is an opportunity during daylight hours and peaceful gatherings to be hurt. I could tell you the entire media will be there and we’ll be listening

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Breonna Taylor’s mother after days of protests: ‘We can’t get justice with violence’

Gov. Andy Beshear held a press conference on Monday to discuss the Louisville protests that called for justice in the Breonna Taylor case.”Today, we continue to hurt for the city of Louisville, the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the family of Breonna Taylor,” Beshear said. Taylor was shot and killed by Louisville Metro Police in March while officers were conducting a raid at her apartment.The mother of Breonna Taylor’s mom, Tamika Palmer, and their family lawyer, Lonita Baker, attended Monday’s news conference. They are calling for reform in policing, discipline for officers involved and swiftness in the investigation.”It’s sad we all have to be here for this, but I don’t think I am asking for too much. I just want justice for her,” Palmer said. “I want people to know she didn’t deserve this and that people are fired for doing this to her. But we can’t get justice with violence. It doesn’t help her and it doesn’t help us.”Baker said the goal is to have the officers involved in the case fired and charged.”There is no reason they are still on LMPD payroll,” she said. “You see them taking swift actions in other cities, but here all we keep hearing about is due process.”The governor went on to talk about the inequalities and injustices in the world.”For the last several months, this Commonwealth has been dealing with a pandemic that is late bear, and it has put on full display our society’s inequalities and injustices. This display hasn’t been in words or theories. It has been in death. Our societies inequalities span over 400 years of slavery, segregation, Jim Crow and racism. These inequalities exist in many forms. These inequalities exist in many forms, such as healthcare, public safety and justice.Beshear said our symbol Lady Justice is supposed to be blind. But many in our state, rightfully so, feel that color is the only thing seen.”Our incarceration rates bear that out. And the incidents in Louisville with Breonna and Minneapolis show it is very real,” he said. “I will never understand how it feels to carry the frustration and fatigue of racism in a world and country that has failed to address it in a meaningful way. But I can listen, learn and do my part to help.”

Gov. Andy Beshear held a press conference on Monday to discuss the Louisville protests that called for justice in the Breonna Taylor case.

“Today, we continue to hurt for the city of Louisville, the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the family of Breonna Taylor,” Beshear said.

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Taylor was shot and killed by Louisville Metro Police in March while officers were conducting a raid at her apartment.

The mother of Breonna Taylor’s mom, Tamika Palmer, and their family lawyer, Lonita Baker, attended Monday’s news conference. They are calling for reform in policing, discipline for officers involved and swiftness in the investigation.

“It’s sad we all have to be here for this, but I don’t think I am asking for too much. I just want justice for her,” Palmer said. “I want people to know she didn’t deserve this and that people are fired for doing this to her. But we can’t get justice with violence. It doesn’t help her and it doesn’t help us.”

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Breonna Taylor

Baker said the goal is to have the officers involved in the case fired and charged.

“There is no reason they are still on LMPD payroll,” she said. “You see them taking swift actions in other cities, but here all we keep hearing about is due process.”

The governor went on to talk about the inequalities and injustices in the world.

“For the last several months, this Commonwealth has been dealing with a pandemic that is late bear, and it has put on full display our society’s inequalities and injustices. This display hasn’t been in words or theories. It has been in death. Our societies inequalities span over 400 years of slavery, segregation, Jim Crow and racism. These inequalities exist in many forms. These inequalities exist in many forms, such as healthcare, public safety and justice.

Beshear said our symbol Lady Justice is supposed to be blind. But many in our state, rightfully so, feel that color is the only thing seen.

“Our incarceration rates bear that out. And the incidents in Louisville with Breonna and Minneapolis show it is very real,” he said. “I will never understand how it feels to carry the frustration and fatigue of racism in a world and country that has failed to address it in a meaningful way. But I can listen, learn and do my part to help.”

Hundreds Gather in North Adams to Protest Police Violence

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Dennis Powell, president of the local NAACP, speaks with a list of the names of African Americans who have died at the hands of law enforcement.
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Ray Moore reads off the names. 

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Ray Moore says he’s not just teaching his 14 children how to live, but also how to survive in a world where the color of their skin can make them a target. 

 

“My daughter is 17 years old, I’ve started teaching how to put her hands on the steering wheel if  she’s pulled over,” he said. “I teach my boys how to survive if a cop pulls you over. … 

 

“Being black is difficult in this world right now.”

 

That was made clear on Sunday afternoon as he read off a list of 100 African-Americans who have died because of police or vigilante violence, with George Floyd being the 100th. A video showing a Minneapolis police officer with his knee on Floyd’s neck last week as Floyd gasped that he couldn’t breath while bystanders pleaded with officers to help him sparked a firestorm of protests across the nation. The officer, Derek Chauvin, has since been arrested and charged with murder.

 

More than 300 community members gathered at City Hall on Sunday afternoon; the day before at least 1,000 had been Park Square in Pittsfield.

 

“We continue to repeat the same words. We continue to come together for the message still hasn’t been received,” said Dennis Powell, president of the Berkshire chapter of the NAACP. “When is enough enough. When are our mothers and fathers going to feel comfortable allowing their children to leave the home and know that they will not be abused or murdered because of the color of his skin. When are we going to say, enough is enough?”

 

Mayor Thomas Bernard spoke of the “apathy of benefiting from a system built on the sacrifice and victimization of black and brown people, and of not shouldering my share of the burden for changing that system. …

 

“The price of comfort over justice is too high. The stakes are too real. And the responsibility to listen, learn, and act too urgent to ignore any longer. I’m here to do my part as we gather today, but as a white person and an elected official in this community I’m in this with you for the long haul.”

 

The protest had been organized by local resident Katie Law, who had originally thought to just gather a few friends but found more people wanted to be involved. 

 

“I’m glad that I started it in the first place because I honestly didn’t even realize that there was going to be this much of a presence in our little Northern Berkshire city,” Law said as protesters held up signs and chanted “Black Lives Matter” and “I can’t breath, it could have been me.”

 

Law said she hopes the social justice and civil justice movements can enact lasting change in her generation.

 

“I just really want something permanent, a permanent shift in the way that we police, a permanent shift in the way that we support our communities,” she said. “I definitely think that community involvement rather than people from outside the community saying that they are in charge.”

 

Mayor Thomas Bernard said there has definitely been a shift in policing in North Adams. Community policing has been central to its efforts for some years and its partnered with mental health services, the schools and other organizations. Its removal from Civil Service has also allowed to change hiring practices to look for more diversity in makeup. 

 

“[Police Chief Jason Wood] reached out to the folks at the NAACP and asked for help,” the mayor said. “I think that’s a that’s a shift and a change in culture and mindset. And the NAACP is there to hold us accountable to let us know when we’re getting it wrong, to let us know when there’s trouble in the community, when there are concerns, but also to support us to sustain us.”

 

District Attorney Andrea Harrington told the crowd that she needed their voices in support of social justice initiatives she’s been working on, such as diversion programs for adults and support services outside of jail. 

 

“In my office, we are working so that we get community support so people have access to economic opportunity so that young children have the mental health care that they need so that they can grow up and be successful and and so that they’re supported in our community,” she said. “We need to know that this is what our community wants, and that you support these efforts.”

 

 State Sen. Adam Hinds said people can’t simply say they’re not racist — they must be deliberate in their thinking, and words and actions. 

 

“If you’re like me, you grow up all the time, people are saying, ‘Oh, don’t be so politically correct. Don’t be so sensitive,'” he said. “It just serves to keep the system going.”

 

The speakers were often completing with cacaophony of horns from passing motorists who honked in support — though at least one driver showed his disdain with rude gesture. 

 

“I have hope they open their eyes and people understand we have the power to make the change,” said Moore. “It’s in the Constitution. That’s our power. Our voices are our vote. You got to get out of vote. Nobody’s understanding that, that that vote counts. That’s your power.”NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Ray Moore says he’s not just teaching his 14 children how to live, but also how to survive in a world where the color of their skin can make them a target. 

 

“My daughter is 17 years old, I’ve started teaching how to put her hands on the steering wheel if  she’s pulled over,” he said. “I teach my boys how to survive if a cop pulls you over. … 

 

“Being black is difficult in this world right now.”

 

That was made clear on Sunday afternoon as he read off a list of 100 African-Americans who have died because of police or vigilante violence, with George Floyd being 100th. A video showing a Minneapolis police officer with his knee on Floyd’s neck as Floyd gasped that he couldn’t breath, then fell unconscious while bystanders pleaded with officers to help him sparked a firestorm of protests across the nation.

 

Nearly 300 community members gathered at City Hall on Sunday afternoon; the day before at least 1,000 had been Park Square in Pittsfield.

 

“We continue to repeat the same words. We continue to come together for the message still hasn’t been received,” said Dennis Powell, president of the Berkshire chapter of the NAACP. “When is enough enough. When are our mothers and fathers going to feel comfortable allowing their children to leave the home and know that they will not be abused or murdered because of the color of his skin. When are we going to say, enough is enough?”

 

Mayor Thomas Bernard spoke of the “apathy of benefiting from a system built on the sacrifice and victimization of black and brown people, and of not shouldering my share of the burden for changing that system. …

 

“The price of comfort over justice is too high. The stakes are too real. And the responsibility to listen, learn, and act too urgent to ignore any longer. I’m here to do my part as we gather today, but as a white person and an elected official in this community I’m in this with you for the long haul.”

 

The protest had been organized by local resident Katie Law, who had originally thought to just gather a few friends but found more people wanted to be involved. 

 

“I’m glad that I started it in the first place because I honestly didn’t even realize that there was going to be this much of a presence in our little Northern Berkshire city,” Law said as protesters held up signs and chanted “Black Lives Matter” and “I can’t breath, it could have been me.”

 

Law said she hopes the social justice and civil justice movements can enact lasting change in her generation.

 

“I just really want something permanent, a permanent shift in the way that we police, a permanent shift in the way that we support our communities,” she said. “I definitely think that community involvement rather than people from outside the community saying that they are in charge.”

 

Mayor Thomas Bernard said there has definitely been a shift in policing in North Adams. Community policing has been central to its efforts for some years and its partnered with mental health services, the schools and other organizations. Its removal from Civil Service has also allowed to change hiring practices to look for more diversity in makeup. 

 

“[Police Chief Jason Wood] reached out to the folks at the NAACP and asked for help,” the mayor said. “I think that’s a that’s a shift and a change in culture and mindset. And the NAACP is there to hold us accountable to let us know when we’re getting it wrong, to let us know when there’s trouble in the community, when there are concerns, but also to support us to sustain us.”

 

Making signs at the protest. 

District Attorney Andrea Harrington told the crowd that she needed their voices in support of social justice initiatives she’s been working on, such as diversion programs for adults and support services outside of jail. 

 

“In my office, we are working so that we get community support so people have access to economic opportunity so that young children have the mental health care that they need so that they can grow up and be successful and and so that they’re supported in our community,” she said. “We need to know that this is what our community wants, and that you support these efforts.”

 

 State Sen. Adam Hinds said people can’t simply say they’re not racist — they must be deliberate in their thinking, and words and actions. 

 

“If you’re like me, you grow up all the time, people are saying, ‘Oh, don’t be so politically correct. Don’t be so sensitive,'” he said. “It just serves to keep the system going.”

 

The speakers were often completing with cacophony of horns from passing motorists who honked in support — though at least one driver showed his disdain with rude gesture. 

 

“I have hope they open their eyes and people understand we have the power to make the change,” said Moore. “It’s in the Constitution. That’s our power. Our voices are our vote. You got to get out of vote. Nobody’s understanding that, that that vote counts. That’s your power.”

Heat Check: ‘Black Joy Is Radical’

Nubya Garcia’s latest single “Pace” is all about diving into the many layers of joy. Adama Jalloh/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Adama Jalloh/Courtesy of the artist

Nubya Garcia’s latest single “Pace” is all about diving into the many layers of joy.

Adama Jalloh/Courtesy of the artist

If you saw the first Heat Check Live on NPR Music’s Instagram this past weekend, you rocked with us for a live DJ set of all your favorite new songs. Afterward, New York-based artist Linda Diaz, whose work has been featured on Heat Check before, reminded us why we create spaces for the playlist to exist: “Community is invaluable. Black joy is radical,” she wrote.

With the recent deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery erupting into protests across the country and the world against racism and police brutality, the joy of being Black has felt stolen and replaced with the reality of being Black.

Heat Check cosigns many artists of color, specifically Black artists, whose music stands out so much that it doesn’t deign to fit in anywhere else. This playlist expresses all emotions and gives reason to rhyme.

To celebrate radical Black joy in a time of great pain, here’s a round-up of new tracks from the worlds of jazz, R&B and rap, all to remind you that they can’t hijack happiness. Because we deserve it. Stream Heat Check in it’s entirety each week on Spotify.

Nubya Garcia, “Pace”

London-bred saxophonist and composer Nubya Garcia has the kind of convincing panache listeners would just follow anywhere. The sonic peaks and valleys of “Pace,” Garcia’s latest single, do little to allow the listener to nestle into a groove for too long — it goes from mellow, warm and spongy to hurried and hectic. For Garcia, this composition is all about diving into the many layers of joy.

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Savannah Cristina, “Comfortable”

Even when ease feels hard to come by and even harder to maintain, Savannah Christina’s “Comfortable” cradles and confides in a few moments of balance. There’s power in letting the walls down.

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KeiyaA, “Hvnli”

I’ll admit I’ve had KeiyaA’s Forever, Ya Girl marinating on my personal playlist for a while, but haven’t focused in enough to pinpoint which of the 16 tracks really send me soaring. Much like the recent masterpieces by Solange (A Seat At the Table) or Kamasi Washington (The Epic), KeiyaA’s album colors outside the lines and humbly shines light on the nooks and crannies of Black existence.

If I have to pick one track as a primer to this project, the warbling keys and billowing melodies on “Hvnli” is a great start.

And my soul loves carelessly / My God’s always there for me (Heavenly) / And my love is heavenly (Heavenly).

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Caleb Giles, “Diamonds”

With range, perspective and a conviction behind his cadence, Caleb Giles has the ability to usher in a Renaissance of New York rap. As he spells out on “Diamonds,” even with serpents in his garden now, the Bronx emcee prioritizes the months and years of harvest ahead.

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Lil Yachty and Tierra Whack, “T.D. (feat A$AP Rocky and Tyler, The Creator)”

Lil Yachty’s third studio album Lil Boat 3 docked this past week after weeks of hints and build up, officially completing the Atlanta rapper’s trilogy. Although the 19-track bounce house of sounds still hits in that jovial and disorienting fashion Yachty’s come to be known for, it’s Tierra Whack who gets the last laugh. Gliding over a sample of “Tokyo Drift” courtesy of The Teriyaki Boyz (yes, from The Fast and the Furious movie circa ’06), the Philly rapper easily takes the boys to the cleaners with her haywire wordplay.

“I did it all with the passion, I’m a god in this fashion / N****s tryna fit in with their arms in the jacket / Had to pull myself together like it’s all elastic.”

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TeaMarrr, “I’m That (feat. Rapsody)”

TeaMarrr and Rap don’t mince words with this one. Not in the slightest. With a growl and a grin, the Boston-born artist flips relationship roles and assumes the power position on both sides.

“I lick my lips like LL Cool J / I play the game but it ain’t not 2K / Take a sip like, ‘Oh oh bay-bay’ / I’m smooth like rosé and I / Shoot it like Carmelo and I got that whine, Merlot / Red bellow, your booty sweet, come cuddle / My net worth Billy — Gates!”

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RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

Coronavirus Live Updates: Hong Kong Bans Tiananmen Vigil, Citing Covid-19 Threat

Video

Video player loading
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York provides the state’s latest coronavirus statistics.CreditCredit…Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Here’s what you need to know:

As cases drop in the Northeast and some cities reopen, other places report stubbornly high numbers.

In the weeks since America began reopening on a large scale, the coronavirus has persisted on a stubborn but uneven path, with meaningful progress in some cities and alarming new outbreaks in others.

New cases are on a small but steady decline over all, to about 21,000 a day from more than 30,000 at the peak in April, a somewhat encouraging sign that the pandemic is waning in the United States.

The Midwest is still troubled by persistent outbreaks. Hospitalizations from the virus are on the rise in Wisconsin. New cases are consistently high in Minnesota, particularly around the Twin Cities, where health officials have warned that escalating protests could increase the infection risk.

But in the Northeast, the outlook has seesawed in the other direction. In New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, case numbers have plunged considerably in recent days. Churches in Massachusetts have been given permission to reopen.

In the South, where some states have been open for weeks, there are now small but fierce flare-ups. Rural pockets of Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi are struggling to control growing outbreaks. Arkansas seemed to be on the rebound when May began but by last week, daily reports of new cases had spiked to near the highest levels since the epidemic began.

From mid-March to May, New York and New Jersey have had more than 44,000 deaths above normal, according to analysis of data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While Covid-19 is the leading cause, more people have also died from other causes than for the same period in previous years.

Hong Kong police deny permission for the Tiananmen Square vigil for the first time in 30 years.

ImageThousands of people gathered in 2019 for the vigil, held in Hong Kong each year on the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown.
Credit…Lam Yik Fei for The New York Times

It is the first time the June 4 vigil, which has been held annually since 1990, has been blocked. Fears about limits on free speech and political expression have grown in Hong Kong after Beijing announced last month that it would impose new national security laws on the semiautonomous city, and some democracy advocates in the city had wondered whether this year’s event might be the last.

The vigil organizers said they still planned to go to Victoria Park, where the event is regularly held, even though they expected the police to break up any gathering. They have asked supporters in Hong Kong and around the world to light candles in their homes or other private places and post the images online.

The organizing body, the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China, also plans to set up booths around the city to observe the event, said Lee Cheuk-yan, the group’s chairman. A handful of churches are to hold special services, he said.

“This is one of the characteristics of Hong Kong. We all came out to support democracy in China in 1989,” Mr. Lee said. “We have continued for 30 years, and people are really shocked that we can be persistent.”

Protesters in Hong Kong have regularly been fined in recent weeks for violating social-distancing rules that prevent gatherings of more than eight people. They have accused the police of enforcing the rules against government critics while ignoring gatherings by establishment supporters or large crowds in bar districts.

Hong Kong has been widely praised for its success in controlling the spread of the virus. The city, with 7.5 million people, has recorded 1,085 cases and four deaths.

With the U.S. preoccupied by events at home, rivals are testing the limits of American influence.

Credit…Manish Swarup/Associated Press

With the United States looking inward, preoccupied by the soaring number of virus deaths, unemployment at more than 20 percent and nationwide protests ignited by deadly police brutality, its competitors are moving to fill the vacuum, and quickly.

China has pushed in recent weeks to move troops into disputed territory with India, continue aggressive actions in the South China Sea and rewrite the rules of how it will control Hong Kong.

Russian fighter jets have roared dangerously close to U.S. Navy planes over the Mediterranean Sea, while the country’s space forces conducted an antisatellite missile test clearly aimed at sending the message that Moscow could blind U.S. spy satellites and take down GPS and other communications systems. Russia’s military cyberunits were busy, too, the National Security Agency reported, with an attack that may portend accelerated planning for a strike on email systems this election year.

The North Koreans said they were accelerating their “nuclear deterrent,” moving beyond two years of vague promises of disarmament and Kim Jong-un’s warm exchanges of letters with President Trump. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that Iran was re-establishing the infrastructure needed to make a bomb — all a reaction, the Iranians insist, to Mr. Trump’s decision to reimpose sanctions and dismantle the Obama-era nuclear deal.

The virus may have changed almost everything, but it did not change this: Global challenges to the United States spin ahead, with American adversaries testing the limits and seeing what gains they can make with minimal pushback.

Health experts and other officials worry that the risk of cases will increase as thousands gather to protest.

Credit…Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

Mass protests against police brutality that have brought thousands of people into the streets in cities across the United States are raising the specter of new virus outbreaks, prompting political leaders, physicians and public health experts to warn that the crowds could cause a surge in cases.

While many political leaders affirmed the right of protesters to express themselves, they urged demonstrators to wear face masks and maintain social distancing, both to protect themselves and to prevent further spread of the virus.

More than 100,000 Americans have already died of Covid-19, the disease caused by the new virus. People of color have been particularly hard hit, with rates of hospitalizations and deaths among black Americans far exceeding those of whites.

Some infectious disease experts were reassured by the fact that the protests were held outdoors, saying the open air settings could mitigate the risk of transmission. In addition, many demonstrators wore masks, and they appeared in some places to be avoiding clustering too closely.

“The outdoor air dilutes the virus and reduces the infectious dose that might be out there, and if there are breezes blowing, that further dilutes the virus in the air,” said Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University. “There was literally a lot of running around, which means they’re exhaling more profoundly, but also passing each other very quickly.”

The official leading New York City’s contact tracing efforts, Dr. Theodore Long, on Sunday urged everyone involved in the demonstrations there to get tested.

States warn that the virus may doom climate projects.

Credit…Christopher Capozziello for The New York Times

A billion-dollar program to protect cities from climate change is at risk of failing because of the pandemic. It is the latest example of how the pandemic has disrupted American climate policy.

Projects in 13 cities and states, which were part of the Obama administration’s push to protect Americans from climate change after the devastation from Hurricane Sandy, are now in jeopardy because of the pandemic, state and local officials warn. And they need Congress to save those projects.

On Monday, officials are expected to tell lawmakers that the coronavirus will prevent them from meeting the conditions of a $1 billion Obama-era program for large-scale construction projects that defend cities and states against climate-related disasters. That money must be spent by the fall of 2022.

Missing that deadline, which officials say is likely because of delays caused by the coronavirus, would mean forfeiting the remaining money, scuttling the projects. States and cities have been moving swiftly in the design phases and to secure permits since the Obama administration awarded the funds in 2016. Officials will ask Congress to extend the deadline for construction by three years, according to a copy of the letter obtained by The New York Times.

“Without an extension, any funds not spent by the deadline will be canceled and projects will remain unfinished,” the letter reads.

England’s schools are reopening, but many parents are keeping children home anyway.

Credit…Andrew Testa for The New York Times

Most students were allowed to return to some elementary schools in England on Monday as lockdown measures eased, but many parents have decided to keep their children home, concerned that the risks posed by the coronavirus remain too high.

Schools have remained open throughout the lockdown for thousands of vulnerable students and the children of essential workers, but only a fraction of those eligible attended. Only half of those eligible to return on Monday were expected to attend, according to the National Foundation for Educational Research, an independent research group.

Jeanelle de Gruchy, the president of the Association of Directors of Public Health, said in a statement that Britain, which is experiencing one of the world’s highest death rates from the coronavirus, needed to balance the push to ease restrictions with the risk of causing a resurgence of infections.

“We are at a critical moment,” she said, adding that public health experts “are increasingly concerned that the government is misjudging this balancing act and lifting too many restrictions, too quickly.”

The success in reopening schools has varied, as each country has navigated the delicate balance. Germany began allowing students back last month with classroom sizes cut by half and some schools testing for the coronavirus.

France reopened preschools and primary schools last week, but 70 schools were forced to close after new infections were reported, the ministry of education said. In South Korea, schools reopened in late May with new restrictions like plexiglass barriers between desks and temperature checks. But hundreds were closed within days later after new cases emerged.

The British government’s gradual restart of public life, which on Monday also included the opening of retail stores and allowing groups of up to six people to meet outdoors, has faced criticism. John Edmunds, a senior scientific adviser, said on Saturday that relaxing lockdown measures was a “political decision” and that “many scientists would wait,” the BBC reported.

Can 8 million daily riders be lured back to N.Y. mass transit?

Credit…Jonah Markowitz for The New York Times

As New York City prepares to reopen after enduring one of the worst coronavirus outbreaks in the world, officials are scrambling to avoid a new disaster: the gridlock that could result if many people continue to avoid public transportation and turn to cars instead.

Before the crisis, eight million people in the region each weekday — including over 50 percent of the city’s population — used a complex network of subways, buses and railways that has long been a vibrant symbol of the largest metropolis in the United States. After the outbreak hit, ridership plummeted as workers stayed home to slow the spread of the virus.

Now the city faces a dilemma: Encouraging people to return to mass transit could increase the risk of new infections. But the region’s roads, tunnels and bridges cannot handle a surge in car traffic, and there are few alternatives.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which oversees most of the system, said on Friday that it would roll out a plan to lure riders back, including ramping up service to reduce congestion, deploying the police to enforce mask usage and stationing workers across the subway to report overcrowding.

Transit officials are also urging the city to mandate that major companies create flexible start times and extend work-from-home plans to help ease crowding as businesses reopen.

Still, the efforts to restore confidence in public transportation were dealt a blow when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention unexpectedly released guidelines on Thursday that urged people to drive to work alone, rather than take public transportation.

U.S. stocks wavered and global markets rose despite protests across the U.S.

Credit…Vincent Yu/Associated Press

U.S. stocks wavered while global markets rose on Monday, with investors watching for signs of increasing tensions between the United States and China.

The S&P 500 drifted between losses and gains in early trading after a weekend of violence and unrest in the United States after the death of George Floyd. Shares of retailers who said they were temporarily closing some stores in response to the turmoil took a hit. Target was down about 2 percent, while Walmart dipped nearly 1 percent.

Stocks in London and Paris were more than 1 percent higher in early Monday trading, though markets in Germany and several other countries were closed for a holiday. Asian markets rose strongly, paced by an increase of more than 3 percent in Hong Kong and more than 2 percent in mainland China shares.

U.S. has sent two million doses of hydroxychloroquine to Brazil.

Credit…Victor Moriyama for The New York Times

The United States has delivered two million doses of a malaria drug to Brazil for use in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, and the two countries are embarking on a joint research effort to study whether the drug is safe and effective for the prevention and early treatment of Covid-19, the White House announced on Sunday.

The announcement comes after months of controversy over the drug, hydroxychloroquine, which President Trump has aggressively promoted, despite a lack of scientific evidence of its effectiveness as a treatment for Covid-19. Mr. Trump stunned public health experts by saying he was taking a two-week course of the medicine.

The donated doses will be used as a prophylactic “to help defend” Brazil’s nurses, doctors and health care professionals against infection, and will also be used to treat Brazilians who become infected, the White House said.

Hydroxychloroquine is widely used for the prevention of malaria and for treatment of certain autoimmune diseases including rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, and many doctors consider it safe. But the Food and Drug Administration has warned that it can cause heart arrhythmia in some patients.

Early research in Brazil and New York suggested that it could be linked to a higher number of deaths among hospitalized patients. More recently, a review of a hospital database published by an influential medical journal, The Lancet, concluded that treating people who have Covid-19 with chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine did not help and might have increased the risk of abnormal heart rhythms and death.

But last week, more than 100 scientists and clinicians questioned the authenticity of that database. Some researchers say hydroxychloroquine does show promise as a possible prophylactic or treatment in the early stages of Covid-19, and a number of clinical trials — including one conducted by the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases — are trying to answer those questions. Amid the uproar, experts say, legitimate research has suffered.

Forced to improvise during the pandemic, a Belgian gin distillery makes hand sanitizer.

Credit…Laetitia Vancon for The New York Times

Patrick Kingsley, an international correspondent, and Laetitia Vancon, a photojournalist, are driving more than 3,700 miles to explore the reopening of the European continent after coronavirus lockdowns.

You can smell the gin distillery before you see it — the whiff of alcohol floats down the street outside. And if you head inside on the right morning, you’ll find a mustachioed chemist infusing that alcohol with juniper berries, coriander seeds and aniseed.

But the chemist, Michael Levantaci, was mixing something very different last Thursday. He had put the herbs and fruit to one side, and was instead pouring glycerin and ether into a silver vat. The first makes the alcohol kinder to the touch, the other makes it undrinkable.

The Rubbens Distillery has made gin since 1817, when Belgium was still part of the Netherlands. Since the coronavirus crisis started, prompting a Europe-wide shortage of disinfectant, it has also bottled approximately 37,000 gallons of hand sanitizer.

“I prefer the gin part,” said Mr. Levantaci, who invented most of the distillery’s 19 gin and liqueur recipes.

Hendrik Beck, whose family of farmers owns and runs the firm, said that at the moment, “It’s not about making a fancy product.”

“We just wanted to help,” he said.

The virus turns a Spanish ocean delicacy back into daily fare.

Credit…Samuel Aranda for The New York Times

With an intensity of flavor to match their color, the big, bright-red prawns caught off Spain’s eastern coast are the kind of delicacy that someone might eat once or twice in a year and remember fondly for the rest of it.

Around Christmas, when they are often a highlight of restaurants’ holiday menus, the wholesale price at the daily fish auctions in ports like that of Llançà, in Catalonia, would be up to 100 euros a kilogram. That’s about $50 a pound. In mid-March, before Spain declared its coronavirus state of emergency, they fetched around €70 a kilogram.

In Llançà this month, a kilogram went for €36.

More than 90 percent of the catch would usually be earmarked for restaurants. With dining rooms closed, that top-end market has disappeared, and the prawns are being picked up at vastly reduced prices by fishmongers who serve a much broader clientele than the elite customers of Spain’s best restaurants.

For those working on fishing boats trawling the seabed in search of the prawns — 12 hours at sea can yield just a dozen kilograms or so — the only consolation has been that oil prices have also collapsed, allowing them to use their boats without spending so much on gas.

“The question is whether people will return in large numbers to the restaurants before the oil prices rise again,” said Josep Garriga, 71, who has officially retired but who still enjoys prawn fishing alongside his son, Jaume, who has taken over the captaincy of their family boat. “Everything has become like the day-to-day uncertainty of fishing, where you always hope for a good catch but never start with anything guaranteed.”

Zappos offers a customer service line that people can call for anything — even to chat.

Credit…David F. Putrino

Customer service representatives, even on the best of days, typically field a lot of complaints — missing deliveries, unsatisfied customers and other gripes. But these days, with people grappling with financial insecurity, separation from their friends and family, and uncertainty, the tone has changed. Rather than viewing calls as a form of drudgery, some people seem to relish having a person on the other end of the line to talk with.

Sensing the shifting need, and wanting to make use of customer service representatives whose call volume was down, Zappos, the online merchant best known for its shoes, in April revamped its customer service line: People could call just to chat — about their future travel plans, Netflix shows or anything on their minds.

“Sure, we take orders and process returns, but we’re also great listeners,” Zappos said in a statement on its website. “Searching for flour to try that homemade bread recipe? We’re happy to call around and find grocery stores stocked with what you need.”

People have called to have conversations about their life stories. Single parents at home with small children have called, grateful to speak with another adult. Teenagers have called asking for homework help.

But the new line is good for more than helping to stock toilet paper.

In mid-April, around the time when coronavirus patients were filling New York City hospitals and equipment was in short supply, David F. Putrino, the director of rehabilitation innovation for the Mount Sinai Health System, reached out to Zappos looking for pulse oximeters, devices that indicate blood oxygen level and heart rate.

The devices were sold out or on back-order everywhere he looked. To his amazement, Zappos was able to locate the devices. Within days, the company had shipped 500 oximeters to Mount Sinai — and later donated an additional 50.

“It was, like, unbelievable from our perspective,” he said.

Reporting was contributed by Eileen Sullivan, Ian Austen, Andy Newman, Karen Zraick, Julie Bosman, Mitch Smith, Ceylan Yeginsu, David E. Sanger, Eric Schmitt, Christopher Flavelle, Edward Wong, Carlos Tejada, Christina Goldbaum, Patrick Kingsley, Roni Caryn Rabin, Raphael Minder, Jack Healy, Dionne Searcey, Stacy Cowley, Antonio de Luca, Rick Rojas, Stacy Cowley, Dave Taft and Umi Syam.

Coronavirus Live Updates: Hong Kong Bans Tiananmen Vigil, Citing Virus Fears

Video

Video player loading
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York provides the state’s latest coronavirus statistics.CreditCredit…Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Here’s what you need to know:

As cases drop in the Northeast and some cities reopen, other places report stubbornly high numbers.

In the weeks since America began reopening on a large scale, the coronavirus has persisted on a stubborn but uneven path, with meaningful progress in some cities and alarming new outbreaks in others.

New cases are on a small but steady decline over all, to about 21,000 a day from more than 30,000 at the peak in April, a somewhat encouraging sign that the pandemic is waning in the United States.

The Midwest is still troubled by persistent outbreaks. Hospitalizations from the virus are on the rise in Wisconsin. New cases are consistently high in Minnesota, particularly around the Twin Cities, where health officials have warned that escalating protests could increase the infection risk.

But in the Northeast, the outlook has seesawed in the other direction. In New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, case numbers have plunged considerably in recent days. Churches in Massachusetts have been given permission to reopen.

In the South, where some states have been open for weeks, there are now small but fierce flare-ups. Rural pockets of Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi are struggling to control growing outbreaks. Arkansas seemed to be on the rebound when May began but by last week, daily reports of new cases had spiked to near the highest levels since the epidemic began.

From mid-March to May, New York and New Jersey have had more than 44,000 deaths above normal, according to analysis of data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While Covid-19 is the leading cause, more people have also died from other causes than for the same period in previous years.

Hong Kong police deny permission for the Tiananmen Square vigil for the first time in 30 years.

ImageThousands of people gathered in 2019 for the vigil, held in Hong Kong each year on the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown.
Credit…Lam Yik Fei for The New York Times

It is the first time the June 4 vigil, which has been held annually since 1990, has been blocked. Fears about limits on free speech and political expression have grown in Hong Kong after Beijing announced last month that it would impose new national security laws on the semiautonomous city, and some democracy advocates in the city had wondered whether this year’s event might be the last.

The vigil organizers said they still planned to go to Victoria Park, where the event is regularly held, even though they expected the police to break up any gathering. They have asked supporters in Hong Kong and around the world to light candles in their homes or other private places and post the images online.

The organizing body, the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China, also plans to set up booths around the city to observe the event, said Lee Cheuk-yan, the group’s chairman. A handful of churches are to hold special services, he said.

“This is one of the characteristics of Hong Kong. We all came out to support democracy in China in 1989,” Mr. Lee said. “We have continued for 30 years, and people are really shocked that we can be persistent.”

Protesters in Hong Kong have regularly been fined in recent weeks for violating social-distancing rules that prevent gatherings of more than eight people. They have accused the police of enforcing the rules against government critics while ignoring gatherings by establishment supporters or large crowds in bar districts.

Hong Kong has been widely praised for its success in controlling the spread of the virus. The city, with 7.5 million people, has recorded 1,085 cases and four deaths.

With the U.S. preoccupied by events at home, rivals are testing the limits of American influence.

Credit…Manish Swarup/Associated Press

With the United States looking inward, preoccupied by the soaring number of virus deaths, unemployment at more than 20 percent and nationwide protests ignited by deadly police brutality, its competitors are moving to fill the vacuum, and quickly.

China has pushed in recent weeks to move troops into disputed territory with India, continue aggressive actions in the South China Sea and rewrite the rules of how it will control Hong Kong.

Russian fighter jets have roared dangerously close to U.S. Navy planes over the Mediterranean Sea, while the country’s space forces conducted an antisatellite missile test clearly aimed at sending the message that Moscow could blind U.S. spy satellites and take down GPS and other communications systems. Russia’s military cyberunits were busy, too, the National Security Agency reported, with an attack that may portend accelerated planning for a strike on email systems this election year.

The North Koreans said they were accelerating their “nuclear deterrent,” moving beyond two years of vague promises of disarmament and Kim Jong-un’s warm exchanges of letters with President Trump. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that Iran was re-establishing the infrastructure needed to make a bomb — all a reaction, the Iranians insist, to Mr. Trump’s decision to reimpose sanctions and dismantle the Obama-era nuclear deal.

The virus may have changed almost everything, but it did not change this: Global challenges to the United States spin ahead, with American adversaries testing the limits and seeing what gains they can make with minimal pushback.

Health experts and other officials worry that the risk of cases will increase as thousands gather to protest.

Credit…Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

Mass protests against police brutality that have brought thousands of people into the streets in cities across the United States are raising the specter of new virus outbreaks, prompting political leaders, physicians and public health experts to warn that the crowds could cause a surge in cases.

While many political leaders affirmed the right of protesters to express themselves, they urged demonstrators to wear face masks and maintain social distancing, both to protect themselves and to prevent further spread of the virus.

More than 100,000 Americans have already died of Covid-19, the disease caused by the new virus. People of color have been particularly hard hit, with rates of hospitalizations and deaths among black Americans far exceeding those of whites.

Some infectious disease experts were reassured by the fact that the protests were held outdoors, saying the open air settings could mitigate the risk of transmission. In addition, many demonstrators wore masks, and they appeared in some places to be avoiding clustering too closely.

“The outdoor air dilutes the virus and reduces the infectious dose that might be out there, and if there are breezes blowing, that further dilutes the virus in the air,” said Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University. “There was literally a lot of running around, which means they’re exhaling more profoundly, but also passing each other very quickly.”

The official leading New York City’s contact tracing efforts, Dr. Theodore Long, on Sunday urged everyone involved in the demonstrations there to get tested.

States warn that the virus may doom climate projects.

Credit…Christopher Capozziello for The New York Times

A billion-dollar program to protect cities from climate change is at risk of failing because of the pandemic. It is the latest example of how the pandemic has disrupted American climate policy.

Projects in 13 cities and states, which were part of the Obama administration’s push to protect Americans from climate change after the devastation from Hurricane Sandy, are now in jeopardy because of the pandemic, state and local officials warn. And they need Congress to save those projects.

On Monday, officials are expected to tell lawmakers that the coronavirus will prevent them from meeting the conditions of a $1 billion Obama-era program for large-scale construction projects that defend cities and states against climate-related disasters. That money must be spent by the fall of 2022.

Missing that deadline, which officials say is likely because of delays caused by the coronavirus, would mean forfeiting the remaining money, scuttling the projects. States and cities have been moving swiftly in the design phases and to secure permits since the Obama administration awarded the funds in 2016. Officials will ask Congress to extend the deadline for construction by three years, according to a copy of the letter obtained by The New York Times.

“Without an extension, any funds not spent by the deadline will be canceled and projects will remain unfinished,” the letter reads.

England’s schools are reopening, but many parents are keeping children home anyway.

Credit…Andrew Testa for The New York Times

Most students were allowed to return to some elementary schools in England on Monday as lockdown measures eased, but many parents have decided to keep their children home, concerned that the risks posed by the coronavirus remain too high.

Schools have remained open throughout the lockdown for thousands of vulnerable students and the children of essential workers, but only a fraction of those eligible attended. Only half of those eligible to return on Monday were expected to attend, according to the National Foundation for Educational Research, an independent research group.

Jeanelle de Gruchy, the president of the Association of Directors of Public Health, said in a statement that Britain, which is experiencing one of the world’s highest death rates from the coronavirus, needed to balance the push to ease restrictions with the risk of causing a resurgence of infections.

“We are at a critical moment,” she said, adding that public health experts “are increasingly concerned that the government is misjudging this balancing act and lifting too many restrictions, too quickly.”

The success in reopening schools has varied, as each country has navigated the delicate balance. Germany began allowing students back last month with classroom sizes cut by half and some schools testing for the coronavirus.

France reopened preschools and primary schools last week, but 70 schools were forced to close after new infections were reported, the ministry of education said. In South Korea, schools reopened in late May with new restrictions like plexiglass barriers between desks and temperature checks. But hundreds were closed within days later after new cases emerged.

The British government’s gradual restart of public life, which on Monday also included the opening of retail stores and allowing groups of up to six people to meet outdoors, has faced criticism. John Edmunds, a senior scientific adviser, said on Saturday that relaxing lockdown measures was a “political decision” and that “many scientists would wait,” the BBC reported.

Can 8 million daily riders be lured back to N.Y. mass transit?

Credit…Jonah Markowitz for The New York Times

As New York City prepares to reopen after enduring one of the worst coronavirus outbreaks in the world, officials are scrambling to avoid a new disaster: the gridlock that could result if many people continue to avoid public transportation and turn to cars instead.

Before the crisis, eight million people in the region each weekday — including over 50 percent of the city’s population — used a complex network of subways, buses and railways that has long been a vibrant symbol of the largest metropolis in the United States. After the outbreak hit, ridership plummeted as workers stayed home to slow the spread of the virus.

Now the city faces a dilemma: Encouraging people to return to mass transit could increase the risk of new infections. But the region’s roads, tunnels and bridges cannot handle a surge in car traffic, and there are few alternatives.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which oversees most of the system, said on Friday that it would roll out a plan to lure riders back, including ramping up service to reduce congestion, deploying the police to enforce mask usage and stationing workers across the subway to report overcrowding.

Transit officials are also urging the city to mandate that major companies create flexible start times and extend work-from-home plans to help ease crowding as businesses reopen.

Still, the efforts to restore confidence in public transportation were dealt a blow when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention unexpectedly released guidelines on Thursday that urged people to drive to work alone, rather than take public transportation.

U.S. stocks wavered and global markets rose despite protests across the U.S.

Credit…Vincent Yu/Associated Press

U.S. stocks wavered while global markets rose on Monday, with investors watching for signs of increasing tensions between the United States and China.

The S&P 500 drifted between losses and gains in early trading after a weekend of violence and unrest in the United States after the death of George Floyd. Shares of retailers who said they were temporarily closing some stores in response to the turmoil took a hit. Target was down about 2 percent, while Walmart dipped nearly 1 percent.

Stocks in London and Paris were more than 1 percent higher in early Monday trading, though markets in Germany and several other countries were closed for a holiday. Asian markets rose strongly, paced by an increase of more than 3 percent in Hong Kong and more than 2 percent in mainland China shares.

U.S. has sent two million doses of hydroxychloroquine to Brazil.

Credit…Victor Moriyama for The New York Times

The United States has delivered two million doses of a malaria drug to Brazil for use in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, and the two countries are embarking on a joint research effort to study whether the drug is safe and effective for the prevention and early treatment of Covid-19, the White House announced on Sunday.

The announcement comes after months of controversy over the drug, hydroxychloroquine, which President Trump has aggressively promoted, despite a lack of scientific evidence of its effectiveness as a treatment for Covid-19. Mr. Trump stunned public health experts by saying he was taking a two-week course of the medicine.

The donated doses will be used as a prophylactic “to help defend” Brazil’s nurses, doctors and health care professionals against infection, and will also be used to treat Brazilians who become infected, the White House said.

Hydroxychloroquine is widely used for the prevention of malaria and for treatment of certain autoimmune diseases including rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, and many doctors consider it safe. But the Food and Drug Administration has warned that it can cause heart arrhythmia in some patients.

Early research in Brazil and New York suggested that it could be linked to a higher number of deaths among hospitalized patients. More recently, a review of a hospital database published by an influential medical journal, The Lancet, concluded that treating people who have Covid-19 with chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine did not help and might have increased the risk of abnormal heart rhythms and death.

But last week, more than 100 scientists and clinicians questioned the authenticity of that database. Some researchers say hydroxychloroquine does show promise as a possible prophylactic or treatment in the early stages of Covid-19, and a number of clinical trials — including one conducted by the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases — are trying to answer those questions. Amid the uproar, experts say, legitimate research has suffered.

Forced to improvise during the pandemic, a Belgian gin distillery makes hand sanitizer.

Credit…Laetitia Vancon for The New York Times

Patrick Kingsley, an international correspondent, and Laetitia Vancon, a photojournalist, are driving more than 3,700 miles to explore the reopening of the European continent after coronavirus lockdowns.

You can smell the gin distillery before you see it — the whiff of alcohol floats down the street outside. And if you head inside on the right morning, you’ll find a mustachioed chemist infusing that alcohol with juniper berries, coriander seeds and aniseed.

But the chemist, Michael Levantaci, was mixing something very different last Thursday. He had put the herbs and fruit to one side, and was instead pouring glycerin and ether into a silver vat. The first makes the alcohol kinder to the touch, the other makes it undrinkable.

The Rubbens Distillery has made gin since 1817, when Belgium was still part of the Netherlands. Since the coronavirus crisis started, prompting a Europe-wide shortage of disinfectant, it has also bottled approximately 37,000 gallons of hand sanitizer.

“I prefer the gin part,” said Mr. Levantaci, who invented most of the distillery’s 19 gin and liqueur recipes.

Hendrik Beck, whose family of farmers owns and runs the firm, said that at the moment, “It’s not about making a fancy product.”

“We just wanted to help,” he said.

The virus turns a Spanish ocean delicacy back into daily fare.

Credit…Samuel Aranda for The New York Times

With an intensity of flavor to match their color, the big, bright-red prawns caught off Spain’s eastern coast are the kind of delicacy that someone might eat once or twice in a year and remember fondly for the rest of it.

Around Christmas, when they are often a highlight of restaurants’ holiday menus, the wholesale price at the daily fish auctions in ports like that of Llançà, in Catalonia, would be up to 100 euros a kilogram. That’s about $50 a pound. In mid-March, before Spain declared its coronavirus state of emergency, they fetched around €70 a kilogram.

In Llançà this month, a kilogram went for €36.

More than 90 percent of the catch would usually be earmarked for restaurants. With dining rooms closed, that top-end market has disappeared, and the prawns are being picked up at vastly reduced prices by fishmongers who serve a much broader clientele than the elite customers of Spain’s best restaurants.

For those working on fishing boats trawling the seabed in search of the prawns — 12 hours at sea can yield just a dozen kilograms or so — the only consolation has been that oil prices have also collapsed, allowing them to use their boats without spending so much on gas.

“The question is whether people will return in large numbers to the restaurants before the oil prices rise again,” said Josep Garriga, 71, who has officially retired but who still enjoys prawn fishing alongside his son, Jaume, who has taken over the captaincy of their family boat. “Everything has become like the day-to-day uncertainty of fishing, where you always hope for a good catch but never start with anything guaranteed.”

Zappos offers a customer service line that people can call for anything — even to chat.

Credit…David F. Putrino

Customer service representatives, even on the best of days, typically field a lot of complaints — missing deliveries, unsatisfied customers and other gripes. But these days, with people grappling with financial insecurity, separation from their friends and family, and uncertainty, the tone has changed. Rather than viewing calls as a form of drudgery, some people seem to relish having a person on the other end of the line to talk with.

Sensing the shifting need, and wanting to make use of customer service representatives whose call volume was down, Zappos, the online merchant best known for its shoes, in April revamped its customer service line: People could call just to chat — about their future travel plans, Netflix shows or anything on their minds.

“Sure, we take orders and process returns, but we’re also great listeners,” Zappos said in a statement on its website. “Searching for flour to try that homemade bread recipe? We’re happy to call around and find grocery stores stocked with what you need.”

People have called to have conversations about their life stories. Single parents at home with small children have called, grateful to speak with another adult. Teenagers have called asking for homework help.

But the new line is good for more than helping to stock toilet paper.

In mid-April, around the time when coronavirus patients were filling New York City hospitals and equipment was in short supply, David F. Putrino, the director of rehabilitation innovation for the Mount Sinai Health System, reached out to Zappos looking for pulse oximeters, devices that indicate blood oxygen level and heart rate.

The devices were sold out or on back-order everywhere he looked. To his amazement, Zappos was able to locate the devices. Within days, the company had shipped 500 oximeters to Mount Sinai — and later donated an additional 50.

“It was, like, unbelievable from our perspective,” he said.

Reporting was contributed by Eileen Sullivan, Ian Austen, Andy Newman, Karen Zraick, Julie Bosman, Mitch Smith, Ceylan Yeginsu, David E. Sanger, Eric Schmitt, Christopher Flavelle, Edward Wong, Carlos Tejada, Christina Goldbaum, Patrick Kingsley, Roni Caryn Rabin, Raphael Minder, Jack Healy, Dionne Searcey, Stacy Cowley, Antonio de Luca, Rick Rojas, Stacy Cowley, Dave Taft and Umi Syam.

New Orleans African American Community suffers due to Covid-19.

NEW ORLEANS, La. (WGNO)- The numbers are decreasing. New Orleans officials are reporting fewer deaths and cases, giving doctors a chance to start thinking about the future.

In fact one local doctor is working on a new initiative, focusing on the disproportionate affects to the African American community due to Covid-19.

Each day that goes by we are hopeful that we are one day closer to finding a vaccine but, until that day, doctors are doing what they can to help educate the impacted communities.

“So, we started this initiative called, the Skin You’re In: Coronavirus and Black America. The purpose is to provide authoritative, accurate information on Covid-19 to African Americans, so that there is a counter balance to the fake and false and information,” said Dr. Thomas LaVeist, Tulane’s Dean of Public Health.

Dispelling the myths and rumors, Dr. LaVeist is making sure that the African American Communities are aware of what’s going on.

“Early on, we discovered that earliest numbers were showing about 70% of the deaths were African American, where about 32% of the state’s population is African American. So, it was a mystery why is that happening,” explained Dr. LaVeist. “It became clear that we needed to figure out what needed to be done first. What really is the diagnoses and we think it’s really matter of who is exposed and who is holding occupations that put them at greater risk of exposure.”

Recently Dr. LaVeist was appointed Co-Chair on Governor John Bel Edwards’ Health Equity Task Force.

“The way we have divided our work is into three phases. One phase, is what can we do right now while we are still in the middle of this crisis? What can we do to make things better in real time? The next phase is, when we come out of this pandemic how do we insure we are better than we were when we went into the pandemic? And then, the last phase is look back. To look back on what we did and take an assessment on what we did right, what we did wrong what we could do better the next time because there will be additional disease outbreaks.”

Dr. LaVeist is hopeful that his initiative will reach the New Orleans African American Community now, before future pandemics.

Jewish Organizations Respond to George Floyd’s Death, Protests

Protesters in Minneapolis, Minnesota, demonstrated against the death in police custody of George Floyd, May 29, 2020. (Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)
Protesters in Minneapolis, Minnesota, demonstrated against the death in police custody of George Floyd, May 29, 2020. (Stephen Maturen/Getty Images via JTA.org)

By Philissa Cramer / JTA

Jewish groups are expressing outrage over the death of George Floyd, a black man killed last week by a Minneapolis police officer who has subsequently been charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, and solidarity with the sweeping national protests that have followed.

The Jewish Council for Public Affairs, an organization working with 130 local groups across the United States, tweeted an image of two dozen black men, women and, in one case, a child who have been killed by police officers:

The CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, Jonathan Greenblatt, connected George Floyd’s death to “an explosion of racist murders and hate crimes” across the United States:

“We stand in solidarity with the Black community as they yet again are subject to pain and suffering at the hands of a racist and unjust system. While it is a necessary first step in the pathway towards justice that former Officer Derek Chauvin was taken into custody yesterday, it is simply not enough. Based on the horrifying cell phone footage that has rightfully outraged Americans across the country, it is clear that the three other former officers who participated in Mr. Floyd’s death need to be held responsible for their actions to the fullest extent of our legal system. The Hennepin County District Attorney and local investigators must do everything in their power to ensure the wheels of justice turn swiftly. As an organization committed to fighting all forms of hate, we know that this brutal death follows an explosion of racist murders and hate crimes across the U.S. As an agency that has stood for justice and fair treatment to all since our founding in 1913, we know that this has occurred at a time when communities of color have been reeling from the disproportionate health impacts and economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic.

In short, systemic injustice and inequality calls for systemic change. Now.”

Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner, director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, reiterated his group’s commitment to ongoing action:

“The national rage expressed about the murder of Mr. Floyd reflects the depth of pain over the injustice that People of Color — and particularly Black men — have been subjected to throughout the generations. In recent months we have seen, yet again, too many devastating examples of persistent systemic racism, leading to the deaths not only of Mr. Floyd but of other precious souls, including Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery.

“We remember others before them: Eric Garner. Tamir Rice. Trayvon Martin. Sandra Bland. Oscar Grant. Philando Castile. Walter Scott. Terrence Crutcher. Samuel Dubose. Michael Brown. The list feels endless, and so too is our despair. But as we recite the Mourner’s Kaddish for them all, we say now, again: We will not sit idly by.

“Our country simply cannot achieve the values of “justice for all” to which it aspires until we address ongoing racism in all sectors and at all levels of society. We remain in solidarity and action with the NAACP’s urgent #WeAreDoneDying campaign, whose policy demands cover areas of criminal justice, economic justice, health care, and voting, especially as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disproportionately impact Black Americans.”

Keshet, a group that advocates for LGBTQ Jews, expressed solidarity with black leaders:

“For the past two days, the Jewish community observed Shavuot, a holiday rooted in learning and action that commemorates when the Jewish people were given the Torah. The Talmud teaches that anyone who destroys one life has destroyed an entire universe. The systemic racism that allows Black people to be murdered with impunity is destroying our world.

“As we work to advance equality and justice for LGBTQ Jews, we take seriously the need to build a world in which people of all races and ethnicities can live in safety; a world in which the bodies of Black, Brown, Trans, and Queer people are treated with dignity and respect. Keshet stands in solidarity with Black leaders — in the Keshet community and beyond — whose wisdom and insights are instrumental to building a just and equitable future. We vow to voice our outrage and demand justice. #BlackLivesMatter”

Sheila Katz, executive director of the National Council of Jewish Women, said this:

“We will not remain silent. As a national organization made up of over 100,000 advocates in communities around the country — including Minnesota — we are outraged and devastated by the murder of George Floyd. Mr. Floyd was murdered by multiple police officers who held him down with their knees, however, the underlying cause of his death is systemic racism. It is both unacceptable and exhausting that in 2020, we still need to insist over and over again: Black Lives Matter. …

“Through legislative reform, local activism, and by educating NCJW advocates, we will make sure each individual we engage helps end the toxic culture of racism that permeates our country. For now, it is important to support Black and Brown communities and the leaders spearheading the peaceful, anti-racist responses unfolding. Together, we will make sure the memory of George Floyd will be for a blessing.”

Mazon, a group dedicated to combatting hunger, tweeted a four-part statement:

Here’s what the Jewish Federations of North America said:

The Rabbinical Assembly, the international association of Conservative and Masorti rabbis, called for sweeping changes to policing in America:

“We join in the collective call for peace and reflection during civil unrest, but understand that to achieve this end we must act. For these reasons, the Rabbinical Assembly calls on legislators at the national, state, and local levels to fundamentally change their approach to law enforcement and the justice system so that they serve and protect all Americans, regardless of race nor ethnicity. We encourage our own members to reach out to other communities, to Jews of Color, as well as to local law enforcement to help lead and shape these endeavors within the community.

“United in purpose, we will dismantle the systemic racism all too embedded still within American law enforcement and its justice system. The firing and we hope prosecution of the four Minneapolis police officers involved in this one egregious murder is a necessary step, but it cannot be the only action against structural injustices that have plagued generations and continue to this day. We must forever strive for a free and just society for all people.”

Truah, a social justice organization of rabbis, issued a statement May 27, after the first night of protests in Minneapolis:

“This week, the divine image is diminished as we mourn the murder of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis police. This is yet one more tragic example of the racist violence too often perpetuated by police officers, who are charged with protecting all of us — not only some of us. We again face the reality that people of color in our country live in fear that encounters with law enforcement will result in serious injury or death.

“We say once again: Black Lives Matter. And we commit to creating a country that lives by this statement.”

J Street released this statement:

“J Street stands in solidarity with communities of color all across the nation today as they express continued shock, grief and anger at the killing of George Floyd.

The killing of Mr. Floyd is but the latest in a horrific and seemingly never-ending string of assaults on the lives of African-Americans and other people of color. We join all who are calling for arrests, criminal charges and justice related to Mr. Floyd’s death.

“Most importantly, we speak as an organization whose identity is primarily, though not exclusively, Jewish and whose work is grounded in the values upon which our community was raised and a core belief in the fundamental equality, worth and dignity of every human being. We understand all too deeply the pain of centuries of antisemitism, hatred and tragedy. We relate to the different yet all-too-familiar experience of communities of color who, in this country, have experienced centuries of bigotry, violence and oppression. Many members of the American Jewish community are people of color who in this moment are confronted with an onslaught of rising and often interrelated anti-Jewish and anti-black hatred.

“As Jews, we can recognize a society pervaded by fundamental and structural racism. It has been clearly demonstrated in the coronavirus pandemic, whose victims are disproportionately black, brown and Native American. It is demonstrated every day in the way American citizens and noncitizens living among us are discriminated against in education, employment and day-to-day interactions based on the color of their skin or the accent of their speech.

“As an organization dedicated to peace, justice, equality and democracy, we take it as a sacred obligation to stand in partnership with communities of color under attack in this country, just as they stand against the scourge of antisemitism.

“Our country is literally dying and bleeding today. Tragically, our president, rather than looking to heal the nation’s wounds and close its gaping divides, revels in stoking the flames of hate and throwing fuel on the fires of racism and division.

“We must do everything within our power to defeat President Trump this November. But it would be naive to imagine that a single election could undo centuries of inequity or significantly alter America’s deeply entrenched system of structural racism.

“In this moment and in every moment, we must recognize our personal, communal and societal complicity in the persistence of racism, injustice and inequality in our country. We must recommit, in light of all that is happening around us, to the fight against evils that have plagued the United States since its founding.”

“May the memories of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and so many others be an inspiration to us all to address the deep wounds in our society and to work toward a future in which, as Martin Luther King put it, ‘this nation will one day rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.’”

B’nai B’rith International President Charles O. Kaufman and CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin have issued the following statement:

When a person of color cannot go out jogging for fear his life will end and cannot have a police encounter that does not result in his death and cannot even go bird watching without being harassed, we are at a dangerousheartbreaking and somber time in our society. 

In light of the ongoing unrest in America’s cities in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd, we call on communities to come together to heal and to address that which divides us.  

Firing, arresting and charging with murder and manslaughter Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in Floyd’s death is just the start. The officers with Chauvin must also be held accountable. 

Serious and significant reform of our criminal justice system and promoting and understanding the principles of equal justice to honor Floyd and others targeted because of the color of their skin must be swiftly addressed on a local and national level.

This article originally appeared on JTA.org. Additional reporting by Liz Spikol.