A mix of news and views you may have missed
Protesters killed, injured by drivers
Vauhxx Booker, a local civil rights activist in Bloomington, Indiana said he was assaulted by White men over the Fourth of July weekend after the group claimed that he and his friends trespassed on private property at an Indiana lake.
At one point, according to Booker, one of the men threatened to “get a noose.” The incident was partially captured on video, which went viral on social media. The Indiana Department of Natural Resources and law enforcement are investigating.
At a peaceful protest over the assault, two demonstrators were hit by a driver Monday and went flying off the hood of the car. A female was reportedly taken to the hospital. The extent of her injuries is unknown.
This incident follows Saturday’s protest in Seattle where a car drove into two protesters, killing Summer Taylor, 24, and seriously injuring Diaz Love, 32, who remains in intensive care. Another protester chased down the motorist in his car. He has since been arrested and charged with two counts of vehicular assault.
Mississippi votes to remove Confederate emblem from state flag
The Mississippi legislature voted last week to remove the Confederate battle emblem from the state flag. The measure will be passed along to the governor to sign it into law.
The Mississippi House and Senate both approved legislation to remove the 126-year-old current flag and to form a commission to redesign it.
“The argument over the 1894 flag has become as divisive as the flag itself, and it’s time to end it,” wrote Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves. “If they send me a bill this weekend, I will sign it.”
Former Mpls. resident named Albany Housing Authority Executive Director
The City of Albany in New York recently named Chiquita D’Arbeau as its new Housing Authority executive director. D’Arbeau, a former resident of Minneapolis, will take the reins from Steve Longo, who announced he would retire as head of the Authority this summer after a 30-year career.
“I am so excited to be given the opportunity to be the next executive director for the Albany Housing Authority,” said D’Arbeau at the press conference last week announcing her appointment. “Working with and for the needs of the community is where I have committed my life’s work.”
D’Arbeau was chosen after a national search. “We didn’t have to look very far to discover the perfect candidate for this job,” said Housing Authority Chair Michael Whalen.
D’Arbeau has worked for the housing authority in various roles since 1999, including at both the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority and the St. Paul Public Housing Agency. Her mother Charlies Richardson remains a longtime resident of South Minneapolis.
“I look forward to listening to our residents, the community, stakeholders and the employees to work together towards a new level of excellence,” said D’Arbeau. “When we get there, we’ll get there together.”
California surgeon general declares racism fatal for Blacks
In a recent essay, Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, California’s first surgeon general, wrote: “As a doctor and a policymaker, I often hear the question ‘What is it about Black and Brown people’ that makes us more vulnerable to the virus? That question infuriates me. Science makes clear how powerfully our experiences and environments shape our biology.”
She wrote that racism kills, and it may be the main cause of health disparities between Whites and Blacks.
In her essay, Burke Harris said the images of masked protesters carrying “Black Lives Matter” signs starkly juxtapose “the heroic efforts we are all making to protect our communities from coronavirus against our feckless efforts to curb the sickness of racism that has infected America since its birth.
“In those images is also a reminder that the disproportionate death rate of Black and Brown people from COVID-19 is no coincidence. It is directly related to the history of racial oppression in our nation.”
Kansas State football players threaten boycott
Kansas State student Jaden McNeil’s tweet “Congratulations to George Floyd on being drug free for an entire month!” has met strong resistance from the school’s football team.
“We are demanding that Kansas State University put a policy in place that allows a student to be dismissed for displaying openly racist, threatening or disrespectful actions toward a student or groups of students,” the players said in the letter they posted. “We have resolved that we cannot play, practice or meet until these demands are heard and actions taken. We love Kansas State, but we must stand together and protect all students moving forward.”
McNeil is part of a group called America First Students that describes itself as “a mainstream, Christian, conservative organization that supports President Donald Trump.”
Frey says reparations are due, commits to join other mayors to petition Congress
Appearing on MSNBC’s “All In America: The Front Lines of Change” with Chris Hayes on June 30, Mayor Jacob Frey said he’d join with other mayors to call for African American reparations.
Frey was joined by New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who each took turns speaking about police reform efforts in their cities as well as systemic racism. Frey reiterated his stance on structural reforms rather than defunding of the police department.
One of the more interesting exchanges of the night came when Mayor Frey fielded a question from a viewer named Marcel who asked, “Many Jewish people received and still receive reparations as a result of the Holocaust. Would you join some of your fellow mayors in petitioning Congress to approve reparations for Black Americans whose ancestors endured the horrors of slavery and subsequent racial terror? Why or why not?”
Frey replied, “As a Jew who lost extended family during the Holocausts, I have been told stories about the impact that this has had on our family and our lives. And yes, reparations need to take place. We have seen throughout history and many generations, systematic racism that has been put in place whether it`s around financing or housing or intentional segregation.
“And we`ve seen Black people systematically been deprived of both money and property. And if you look over time from generation to generation, that ultimately leads to significant wealth gaps, to gaps in housing, to gaps in ownership, to gaps in businesses. And so, yes absolutely, we need to be making those changes. I would be happy to sign on to any petition that would go towards Congress to be doing that at a national level. I`m proud to stand with you.”