FROM DeRay McKesson
Independence Day in a divided country The Pledge of Allegiance calls the US "indivisible," but that’s beginning to sound like wishful thinking. A century and a half since the Civil War, divisions remain between North and South, between cities and countryside. Democrats and Republicans are enemies. The fracturing of the media allows for different entertainment and news coverage-- reflecting different cultural values. And Donald Trump is the first American President to openly divide, rather than unify. What are the prospects for a Happy Fourth of July?
Barack Obama and race in America As President Obama prepares tonight's farewell speech, his approval ratings are well above many ex-presidents and much higher than Donald Trump's. He's bound to go down in history as the first black president of a nation with a legacy of slavery, Jim Crow and other forms of racial discrimination. We ask activists and historians about the example he and his family have set during the past eight years. Are millions of black people better off because of his policies? What's the state of race relations after Barack Obama's two terms in the White House?
Do Cops Need Guidance on When They Can Shoot to Kill? Continual shootings of unarmed suspects have America's 18,000 police departments re-thinking policies on the use of deadly force. Some new training programs now include "tactical disengagement," "emotional intelligence" and "de-escalation." What does that mean on the street? During training in one major city, cops can only fire two bullets before they're required to stop and assess the situation. Some rank and file officers claim politics is making their lives more dangerous -- in a debate that's raging from Baltimore to San Francisco.
Divided Baltimore — Is It America? Yesterday, Baltimore saw protesters, cleanup crews and even dance troops — a far cry from Monday night's rioting. The National Guard is still on the streets. Last night there were some violations of the 10pm curfew and the police used tear gas to clear a major intersection. Baltimore is trying to recover from its worst civil disturbance since 1968, when the city erupted over Martin Luther King's assassination. The public schools are open again, the Symphony will hold a free concert — but the Orioles will play baseball in an empty stadium closed to the public . Nobody has yet explained the death 10 days ago of Freddie Gray, a young, black man in police custody. State and federal prosecutors are investigating. Yesterday, President Obama took time during his press conference with Japan's Prime Minister Abe, to denounced rioters as "thugs" and "criminals." He called violence in the divided city is another wake-up call for a nation plagued by police abuse and discrimination by race and class.
The Trump agenda: where's the beef? President Trump says big things are happening. After celebrating a House bill on health care, he doesn’t yet have Senate agreement. With James Comey’s public testimony scheduled tomorrow, the President today tweeted his selection of a new FBI Director. Is the Chief Executive all style and no substance? Later, terror attacks in Iran and conflicting claims about who’s behind them.
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
Trump plays scolder-in-chief with NATO allies At the opening of NATO’s dramatic new headquarters in Brussels today, President Trump acknowledged that Article 5 — promising that “an attack on one nation is an attack on all” -- has only been invoked one time: in the aftermath of September 11. But the President failed to provide what 27 other Alliance members have been waiting for: a re-commitment by America’s new leader to Article 5. Instead, they got a scolding.
Terrorism and tweets, hate speech and murder Just days before an election, Britain is coping with a rash of deadly terrorism, and Prime Minister Theresa May is on the defensive. And again today, President Trump has tweeted criticism of the Mayor of London. Later, a double murder in Portland, Oregon has revealed the ugly past of a supposedly “progressive” city. One immediate question: is “hate speech” protected by the First Amendment?