It’s been over a week since the horrific events in Charlottesville, and the nation is still healing. But one high-profile exception is the President of the United States, who seems intent on moving the conversation away from white supremacy, racism, and violence due to hatred and bigotry. Exactly a week ago, people praised Trump for reading a speech off a teleprompter that shied away from his equivocation over the “many sides” at the Charlottesville rally. But those praises turned to condemnation the following day, when Trump returned to his original comments, claiming that there were “very fine people” rallying for white supremacy and neo-Nazism.
The bottom line: Even with Steve Bannon’s ouster, Trump is still being Trump. With business leaders, advisors, and charities fleeing his side, he’s doubling down on policies that hurt communities of color—in fact tomorrow he’s expected to make his first presidential pardon for Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the former sheriff convicted of defying court orders to stop racially profiling. This only adds to his long list of other hurtful policies for communities of color, including, but certainly not limited to: resurrecting the war on drugs; creating travel bans that target Muslims; ignoring warnings from the FBI and DHS about increased threats from white supremacists; and, ignoring the risk that climate change poses, especially for communities of color.
ACTION OF THE DAY
#QuitTheCommission. Trump’s advisory councils have been imploding left and right, but one of the most troubling remains. Known as the Presidential Commission on Election Integrity—aka Trump’s voter suppression commission—it was created to fight a myth Trump has been pushing his entire presidency: voter fraud. Speak up, and call on these members to #QuitTheCommission using our handy tool!
Solar Eclipse. The biggest news of the day is the solar eclipse, and people across the U.S. are getting ready to watch it. For the first time in nearly a century, a total eclipse will pass over the entire United States. How do we know this? Careful science allows us to predict it. And just like the eclipse, science helps us know the causes of climate change, and what can happen if greenhouse gas emissions go unchecked. No matter what climate deniers like Donald Trump and Scott Pruitt have to say.
Afghanistan. Tonight, the President will address the nation about Afghanistan, and he is expected to announce a large increase in troops deployed to Afghanistan. This would contradict his earlier statements on Afghanistan, like this 2013 tweet: “We should have a speedy withdrawal. Why should we keep wasting our money—rebuild the U.S.!” Trump may even announce a decision to privatize our military efforts in Afghanistan hiring Betsy DeVos’s brother Erik Prince—whose former firm, Blackwater, is well-known for its employees’ malfeasance during the Iraq war and for allegedly evading taxes.
Ryan’s Town Hall. Immediately following Trump’s speech, CNN is hosting a live town hall with House Speaker Paul Ryan. This is his first town hall in almost two years. If your representative has yet to hold a town hall this summer, #DemandATownHall!
#TakeThemDown. Overnight, four confederate statues were removed from the campus of University of Texas at Austin. This follows a precedent set by the City of Baltimore, which also removed all its confederate statues in the dead of night. If you have a confederate symbol in your town, call on your local elected official to #TakeThemDown using this tool.
Out of Money. Trump’s travel is taking a toll on the Secret Service. USA Today reports that the Secret Service is out of money to pay agents to protect the President, a direct result of Trump’s—and his family’s—constant travels. Is Trump playing golf today? Find out at IsTrumpAtBedminster.org.
UNDER THE RADAR
This Land Is Our Land. This week, Trump will receive a list of recommendations from the Department of the Interior on the possibility of shutting down up to 21 national monuments that protect Native American archaeological sites in the Southwest, marine life in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, and other stunning American landscapes. Not only is this move bad for the economy due to a loss in tourism and jobs, but it also could result in beautiful, protected lands being sold to private companies for mining, logging, and drilling. In the 60-day comment period for these recommendations hosted by the Department of the Interior, the agency received a record-breaking 2.7 million public comments—98 percent of which expressed support for keeping these public lands open and protected for future generations. Use #KeepItPublic to show your support for preserving these incredible American parks–and more information can be found at ParksForSale.com.