This piece was originally published in the June 11, 2020 edition of CAP Action’s daily newsletter, the Progress Report. Subscribe to the Progress Report here.
“I SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN THERE.”
— General Mark Milley, apologizing today for joining Trump’s walk to a photo op where he posed with a Bible after tear-gassing peaceful protesters
Keith Giles is a longtime friend of Martin Gugino, the elderly man who was badly injured by Buffalo police last week.
Here’s what Keith had to say about Trump’s dangerous tweet about Gugino and Trump’s disgraceful response to police brutality against Black Americans. Watch the full video, then share it on Twitter and Facebook:
IN THE NEWS
- In yet another indication that he has no plan to listen to Black voices or support the Black community in this already trying time, Trump announced he will be holding a campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma on Juneteenth, a holiday celebrating the end of slavery. To add insult to injury, Tulsa is where 35 square blocks were torched, 1,200 homes destroyed, and approximately 300 residents of the thriving Black community known as “Black Wall Street” were brutally murdered by a white mob in 1921. Despite its obvious historical significance, the Tulsa Race Massacre is often left out of history books. You can read more about it here.
- The top-ranking U.S. military official apologized this morning for his role in Trump’s stroll through Lafayette Park to a photo op last Monday for which police used tear gas and rubber bullets to clear out peaceful protesters. In a speech to graduates of the National Defense University, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley said he regrets that his presence “created a perception of the military involved in domestic politics.” General Milley is right — his presence at Trump’s walk to a disgraceful photo op granted a sense of legitimacy to the moment, and while his apology is appreciated, the damage has been done.
- The U.S. passed 2 million coronavirus cases yesterday, a reminder that the pandemic is far from over. New cases are on the rise across the country as many states continue the reopening process. Among the most alarming examples of this is Arizona, where average daily new cases reached a national high this week. Experts say these spikes need to be taken seriously and that they can’t be dismissed as the result of increased testing.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
- Americans are taking on some of our most prominent symbols of racism: Confederate monuments. Last night in Richmond, Virginia, protesters toppled a statue of Jefferson Davis, the former president of the Confederacy. Virginia’s governor recently vowed to remove another prominent statue in the city depicting Confederate general Robert E. Lee.
REALITY CHECK: Monuments to the Confederacy are celebrations of a dark time in our nation’s history. Many didn’t even exist until the 20th century, long after the war was over. They belong in museums, where they can be contextualized and used for educational purposes — not standing tall in public spaces as glorified reminders of those who fought to preserve slavery.
- In a rare break with Trump, the Senate Armed Services Committee voted Wednesday in favor of a provision to rename all military bases and assets currently named after Confederate figures. The effort, which was led by Senator Elizabeth Warren, served as a rebuke to Trump after he vowed hours earlier that these bases would not be renamed. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that she supports the name changes, adding that the statues of Confederate leaders still standing in the U.S. Capitol should also be removed.
- NASCAR announced that they would no longer allow Confederate flags or symbols to be displayed at their events. The ban comes after a number of other companies, artists, and even military branches said they would end the use of Confederate symbols within their purview.
WHAT WE’RE READING
- Why Minneapolis Was The Breaking Point by Wesley Lowery (The Atlantic)
- The Cut photographed the USPS workers of the Jamaica, Queens post office and asked them what it’s like to deliver mail in a pandemic. Here are their stories.
- I Went to the University of Virginia. We Don’t Need Statues to Remember our History by CAP’s Daniella Gibbs Léger (Glamour)
- Washington, D.C. Deserves Statehood by Susan Rice (New York Times)
- In a new piece, CAP’s Ryan Zamarripa and Jesse Lee outline the stark contrast between Trump’s and House Democrats’ plans for the next phase of coronavirus relief and recovery.
The Okra Project works to provide meals and mental health resources to Black transgender people in need. You can support them here.
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