This piece was originally published in the August 26, 2020 edition of CAP Action’s daily newsletter, the Progress Report. Subscribe to the Progress Report here.
“F*** THIS MAN!!!! WE DEMAND CHANGE. SICK OF IT.”
— LeBron James, expressing solidarity tonight with the Milwaukee Bucks players who sparked a domino effect of strikes across the NBA when they refused to play following the police shooting of Jacob Blake
Other countries have leaders who listen to public health experts. We have Donald Trump — and more coronavirus deaths than any other country on Earth.
IN THE NEWS
- Two people are dead and at least one injured after a group of armed right-wing militants commandeered racial justice demonstrations in Kenosha, Wisconsin last night. Officials say the 17-year-old suspect in both the killings and injury traveled from Illinois, presumably to join the militia group in what the group described as “protecting” public property. The suspect’s social media profiles indicate a history of “Blue Lives Matter” advocacy and hostility toward racial justice protests. Disturbing video captured in the moments after the shooting shows a person believed to be the suspect carrying a semi-automatic weapon and strolling past a seemingly unbothered group of police officers, who appeared oblivious to detaining him despite having watched him gun down three people moments before. The suspect has not yet entered a plea.
- Hurricane Laura is nearing Texas and Louisiana and is expected to make landfall overnight. The anticipated impact of Laura, which officially became a Category 4 hurricane on Wednesday, has been described as “catastrophic.” Weather experts are comparing the impending natural disaster to Hurricane Harvey, which devastated the Houston area back in 2017 and from which many local residents have yet to fully recover.
- Hurricane Laura couldn’t be coming at a worse time. Hurricane damage at any time is bad enough, and with the added constraints of the pandemic, it’s a recipe for disaster. To make things worse, Trump recently proposed cutting FEMA’s disaster relief funding, which makes it crystal clear where his priorities lie.
REALITY CHECK: Hurricane Laura’s growing strength is a result of climate change. One of the clearest and most devastating impacts of climate change is that hurricanes are more extreme and damaging due to warmer waters, a wetter climate, and rising seas.
- The second night of the Republican National Convention was somehow more chaotic than the first. Moments before last night’s programming was set to begin, one of the more offensive speakers on the lineup was pulled down after she sent a tweet promoting an anti-semitic QAnon conspiracy about a Jewish plot to enslave the world. A second deeply problematic speaker, anti-choice activist Abby Johnson, was allowed to speak despite facing backlash of her own ahead of the convention. Among her most “controversial” ideas? Johnson supports a sexist “head-of-household” voting system, which essentially means that married women would be denied the right to vote. On top of that, Johnson once said that police would be “smart” to racially profile her biracial son.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
- Another Fort Hood soldier was found dead on Tuesday after reporting a sexual assault, adding to a disturbing pattern of suspicious deaths this year at the Army base. 23-year-old Sgt. Elder Fernandes, who friends described as a “giver,” was found hanging from a tree this week after going missing on August 17. Fernandes is the sixth person stationed at Fort Hood to be found dead under suspicious circumstances since March. His death eerily mirrors that of Vanessa Guillén, who was found dead back in June. Both Fernandes and Guillén had recently reported a sexual assault, and both families say Army officials have not been helpful in the aftermath of their deaths.
- The University of Alabama reported a whopping 566 confirmed coronavirus cases on Monday. This comes just a week after the school began their fall semester of in-person classes. A handful of colleges across the country are starting to roll back their attempts at an in-person semester as they’re hit by a stark reality: The pandemic is not over, and college campuses are among the most difficult environments to contain further spread. For schools that have already experienced positive cases on their campuses, their responses aren’t so promising. Read this harrowing account from a first-year student at the University of Iowa who tested positive and was sent to an isolation dorm.
WHAT WE’RE READING
- ‘We’ versus ‘Me’: Suffrage centennial exposes vote gap in Black and White women by Errin Haines (19th News)
- Beyond Bostock: The Future of LGBTQ Civil Rights by Sharita Gruberg (CAP)
- The Case for Climate Action by Brian Schatz (Medium)
- Eliminating the Pennsylvania Rule That Bars Incarcerated Students From Getting Financial Aid by Bradley D. Custer (CAP)
- Better Learning Outcomes Can Help Kick-Start the Economy by Ulrich Boser (CAP)
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