It’s been only 24 hours since New York Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand announced her candidacy for president, and already she’s facing sexism. At her campaign announcement on Wednesday morning, a reporter asked about her likability (after calling her pretty) and inquired as to whether or not that could benefit her in the race.
Though she won a major upset in the race for a House seat in Massachusetts on Tuesday night, Ayanna Pressley was not endorsed by the Democratic establishment. Nor was she endorsed by members of the Congressional Black Caucus. Now, it’s not entirely unusual for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) or heavy hitters from the party to fail to endorse in a primary—preferring instead to wait until the general election. But this was a particularly interesting set of circumstances.
Police outside of Charleston, South Carolina, don’t believe that high school students should read about police brutality. So even though two books on the subject were assigned on a summer reading list for a high school freshman class, local police made sure to express their objections. The Hate U Give is a book about a teenage girl dealing with the shooting of her unarmed best friend at the hands of police. All American Boys chronicles the experience of a teenage boy who is wrongly accused of stealing and then is beaten by a police officer. Both are award-winning books that made it on to the New York Times bestseller list. Neither book is required—they are two on a list of eight and students are only asked to choose one to read.
Late Wednesday afternoon, Donald Trump signed an executive order to end the separation of immigrant families at the border—a practice that has received widespread condemnation and outrage across the country. Trump’s actions were met with praise by many who claimed that forcibly removing children from their asylum seeking parents or guardians and locking them in detention camps is fundamentally un-American. On social media and television, in conversations among friends, colleagues and family members and across media platforms, Americans proclaimed in horror that this behavior is simply “not who we are.” Moreover, a number of them concluded that our political climate has gotten so toxic that the country has become unrecognizable under Trump’s leadership.
Democratic Operatives Are Working to Elect More Black Candidates in Congressional and Governor Races
Though the Democratic Party is considerably more inclusive and diverse than other political parties in the country, it has not traditionally done well in recruiting black candidates for elected office or putting significant amounts of money behind them. With midterms approaching and the potential for big Democratic wins, the party has been grappling with the tension between going after white working-class voters and mobilizing its faithful black base. Clearly, this isn’t an either/or proposition. But some see it as such. This has meant that local and national Democratic groups have questioned the viability of black candidates and have not invested money into races that could be historic—and increase black voter turnout in November.
When it comes to police misconduct, we are often told that it’s just “a few bad apples” and that the profession of policing is still an honest and trustworthy one. Yet, it’s getting harder to believe that with so many instances of police brutality and misconduct repeatedly being caught on camera. From abusing unarmed, handcuffed suspects, to making up arrest charges, to actually murdering innocent people, there are many reasons for us to feel unsafe around police and to question how they are doing their jobs. One recent incident occurred in Maryland after body camera footage showed one officer telling another officer that a man “didn’t do anything” only to arrest him later anyway. As written by The Baltimore Sun:
While it was it a natural disaster in the form of Hurricane Maria that devastated Puerto Rico, it is the Trump administration that is unnecessarily making the situation into a catastrophe. For nearly eight months after the storm, the island has experienced one setback after another—many of which have been the result of gross negligence, incompetence, and downright malice. And while they should be trying to make life better for residents of Puerto Rico, the administration is actively trying to make it worse, this time by cutting off access to telecommunications services.
It’s been well-documented that hate crimes are on the rise since Donald Trump brought his particular brand of racism and xenophobia to American politics. Though it is typically advocacy groups that do the work of documenting these crimes, there are some media outlets also covering these stories, with ProPublica leading the way.
The last few weeks have proven that black people can’t do anything while black without scaring or provoking the ire of some very fragile white people. We can’t get coffee, we can’t golf, and we most certainly can’t rent from Airbnb and ignore white people we don’t know. Failing to wave at an elderly white woman in a residential neighborhood became the most recent reason that the police were called on three black women who were simply leaving their Airbnb rental in Rialto, California.