Amid protests over the killings of Black citizens that have lasted almost a month, President Trump retweeted videos of Black men attacking white victims in separate incidents — one of which occurred last year — while wondering why they did not spark similar protests.
House Republicans sought to interrupt the first witness at the hearing after he had exceeded the time allotted for his opening statement.
Bill comes amid fresh discussion about whether institutions should consider race in admissions and hiring A proposal to repeal California’s 24-year-old ban on affirmative action will go before voters in November after it passed the state senate on Wednesday.The bill would remove rules in California’s constitution, passed in 1996, which bar universities and government agencies from giving preferential treatment on the basis of race or sex.The proposed amendment, known as ACA 5, comes amid a national reckoning on racial injustice, triggered by the killing of George Floyd and other publicized cases of racist violence, and rejuvenates a decades-long conversation about the degree to which colleges and government employers can consider race in admission and hiring decisions.In an emotional session on the senate floor, in which numerous lawmakers of color recounted personal experiences of discrimination, Steven Bradford, a Democrat from Los Angeles who is black, challenged his white counterparts to count the times they’ve entered a room in which they were the only members of their race.“I know about discrimination. I live it every day. We live it in this building,” Bradford said.“Quit lying to yourselves and saying race is not a factor,” he added. “The bedrock of who we are in this country is based on race.”“We are living in a moment when so many are finally opening their eyes to the structural and institutional racism that has burdened the black and brown communities for generations,” Lorena Gonzales, the co-author of the bill, said in advance of Wednesday’s vote.“Once you acknowledge that, then the next step you must take is to correct that injustice. With ACA 5, we have an opportunity to do something,” she said.Under the governorship of Pete Wilson, who made opposition to affirmative action a centerpiece of his bid for the presidency, California became the first of eight states to ban affirmative action in college admissions. A study published by the Brookings Institution found the states that implemented the ban saw their share of underrepresented students go down in the years that followed.In California, admissions rates for black and Latino students have dropped since the ban on affirmative action, according to data from the California department of education.In 1994, before the ban took effect, the admission rates for black students who applied to UC schools was six percentage points below the average admission rate for all students; Latinos were admitted at higher than average rates. Today, UC admission rates are 16 points below average for black students, and six points below average for Latinos.Patricia Gándara, a research professor of education at UCLA and co-director its Civil Rights Project, said the impact of Prop 209, which banned affirmative action, was seen most acutely at UCLA and UC Berkeley – two of the state’s flagship universities.Since 1995, a smaller percentage of all applicants to UC schools have been admitted, as universities didn’t expand to keep pace with demand. But the number of black and Latino students admitted to UCLA and UC Berkeley dropped by 70% to 75% at the two universities, compared to just 35% and 40% for Asian and white applicants.“The numbers just got worse and we never really gained it back even to the level where we were before 1995. In California, we’re desperate to recruit bilingual teachers. But Prop 209 has really tied our hands in terms of being able to recruit students from underrepresented groups and bring them into the pipeline,” said Gándara.Today, about two-thirds of high school graduates in California are latino, black or Native American, but those students account for only a third of incoming freshman, she said.The proposal would not create racial quotas, which in 1978 the US supreme court found to be unconstitutional, but rather would allow universities to create race-conscious strategies like targeted outreach in order to boost diversity.The ban on affirmative action has survived a number of challenges over the years. Some of the push to keep it in place has come from advocacy groups who argued that using race as a factor in admissions could disadvantage Asian students.The Silicon Valley Chinese Association Foundation, for example, argues ACA 5 would amount to de facto racial quotas that could work against Asian students, who on average score higher on standardized tests.“ACA-5’s proposal to legalize racial preferences erodes America’s fundamental principles of equal opportunity, merit and individual liberty. It further hurts the unity of our society, at a particularly vulnerable moment facing our nation and California,” the group said in a press release.That race-conscious admissions policies discriminate against Asian students was central to a lawsuit against Harvard that was rejected by a federal judge in 2019.Janelle Wong, a professor of Asian American Studies at the University of Maryland, said that much of the pushback to a repeal on affirmative action has been led by older, first-generation Chinese American groups that have campaigned against the repeal through misinformation – stating falsely that institutions will institute racial quotas that will slash representation of Asian American students.“As Asian Americans, particularly Chinese Americans, have gained influence in the political system, they have mobilized against a variety of efforts to racially integrate schools and programs that try to ensure equity,” said Wong.“It comes from a sense of sense of scarcity – an assumption that there aren’t enough resources for all. And it’s also about prestige and a fear that Chinese American students will lose seats at UC schools and Ivy League universities”, she said.Despite organized opposition among certain demographics, survey results indicate the majority of Asian Americans favor affirmative action.Yet, while much of the focus in the affirmative action debate is on college admissions, the proposal would have more important implications for the state’s K-12 system, said Elisha Smith Arrillaga, the executive director of The Education-Trust West, a research organization that advocates for student equity.Currently, education officials in California can allocate resources to students based on income, but not race.“Race and income overlap, but they’re not synonymous”, said Smith Arrillaga.“If we were allowed to consider race, we could target funds to black and brown students who need the most support. We could invest in resources like summer bridge programs, which help colleges recruit and retain students of color. Right now we don’t have the tools to do that”.It would also help to recruit a more diverse pool of teachers, she said. According to data from the California Department of Education and California Credentialing Commission, more than 250,000 students in California attend schools without a teacher of the same race and more than half of all schools don’t have a single black teacher.“A lot of the pushback to repealing affirmative action has been ‘racism doesn’t exist.’ But recent events surrounding the killing of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and so many others has made clear that we can no longer pretend racism doesn’t exist, and if we want to fight it, we have to use race-conscious policies. That’s what ACA 5 does”, said Smith Arrillaga.Now that members of the state senate have ratified ACA 5, it will go before voters as a state ballot measure in November. If approved at the ballot box, colleges and institutions will determine how race will be considered in applications.
About a dozen businesses and residents located around Seattle’s autonomous protest zone have sued authorities who “abandoned” the area to protests.The lawsuit, submitted on Wednesday, argued that businesses in and around the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ) had been “overrun” since Seattle authorities took the “unprecedented decision to abandon and close” the area.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, who reportedly was frightened of the coronavirus and hid behind the Kremlin walls, emerges to declare victory.
A massive cloud of Saharan dust has overtaken parts of the Caribbean, turning blue skies into a brown haze and sparking health warnings across the region as it caused air quality to fall to unhealthy levels.
'This incident is obviously disturbing,' Laney College's President said in a statement
Kosovo President Hashim Thaci and nine other former separatist fighters were indicted Wednesday on a range of crimes against humanity and war crimes charges, including murder, by an international prosecutor probing their actions against ethnic Serbs and others during and after Kosovo’s 1998-99 independence war with Serbia. Because of the indictment, Thaci has postponed his trip to Washington, where he was to meet Saturday for talks at the White House with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic.
Governor Greg Abbott warned Monday that the coronavirus is now spreading in Texas at an "unacceptable rate" and pleaded with residents to wear masks in public and continue practicing social distancing."To state the obvious, COVID-19 is now spreading at an unacceptable rate in Texas, and it must be corralled," Abbott said at a news briefing.Texas has seen more than 25,000 new coronavirus cases over the past week and on Friday recorded a one-day record of 4,600 new positive cases. The spike in cases comes after Texas allowed businesses to reopen at 75 percent capacity earlier this month.Abbott urged the public to take precautions against spreading the virus, even as people return to work and frequent public places. He did not, however, announce any new social distancing rules."Wearing a mask will help us to keep Texas open. Not taking action to slow the spread will cause COVID to spread even worse, risking people's lives, and ultimately, leading to the closure of more businesses," Abbott said."The way hospitalizations are spiking, the way that daily new cases are spiking — surely the public can understand that if those spikes continue, additional measures are going to be necessary to make sure we maintain the health and safety of the people of the state of Texas," the governor added.Texas has averaged more than 3,200 daily coronavirus hospitalizations over the last several days, a sharp increase from the latter half of May, when about 1,600 people were hospitalized daily for the virus. Abbott suggested that if those numbers double again, the state may reimpose social distancing restrictions."If we were to experience another doubling of those numbers over the next month, that would mean we’re in an urgent situation where tougher actions will be required to make sure that we do contain the spread of COVID-19," Abbott said.
White House counselor Kellyanne Conway flip-flopped on her previous position that the use of the racist term “Kung Flu” is “highly offensive,” defending President Donald Trump’s use of it on Wednesday while bizarrely attacking an Asian-American reporter for not having the “courage” to out a White House official who said the phrase months ago.During a White House driveway gaggle with reporters on Wednesday morning, Conway was immediately confronted by NBC News reporter Monica Alba over the president’s recent habit of tossing out the phrase and Conway’s March denouncement of the term, which the Trump adviser called “wrong” while noting she is “married to an Asian.”Conway, meanwhile, turned the question back around on the press corps, seemingly placing the blame on CBS News reporter Weijia Jiang, who reported in March that a White House official referred to the novel coronavirus as the “Kung Flu” to her face.“I also asked Weijia to reveal to us who said it, I think that would have gone a long way,” Conway said to Alba before saying the reporter should confront Jiang.Alba, however, pressed forward and asked Conway if she would react to Trump’s repeated use of the loaded term, prompting the presidential aide to claim that Trump was merely making it “very clear” that the virus originated in China. Conway then pressed Jiang to reveal her source.“I still invite you up here to tell us who said that,” Conway taunted the reporter. “And I think that that would be a very important revelation for us. That’s not a source for you to protect. That’s somebody who shouldn’t have said that, and you’re claiming did say that, and we still don’t know who that was.”While Conway accused her of “changing the subject,” Jiang noted that at the time Conway said the phrase was “hurtful,” asking the Trump official if she was going to tell that to the president now.“I speak to the president daily on many different topics,” Conway replied, causing Jiang to ask again if she’d tell Trump his use of “Kung Flu” is offensive.“We don’t always agree on everything, and that’s why I work here,” the veteran pollster shot back before pivoting to another subject. Moments later, however, Conway circled back to the topic, defending the president by saying “it’s incredibly important” for Trump to “not let China escape responsibility here.” Jiang wondered aloud if Conway could explain the “logic” on how Kung Flu accomplishes that as it doesn’t refer to a particular place.“How do you know, excuse me, how do you know the way people, how do you know that people aren’t anticipating that or are not connecting that?” Conway exclaimed, her voice rising. “You don’t know that! Excuse me, while the president is saying it, he’s also saying this virus came from China. China is responsible!”Interestingly, Conway refused to actually use the phrase, instead saying that Trump has “said it’s called many different things,” such as “the Wuhan virus, the Chinese virus, and then he used another term.”As Jiang continued to press her on Trump’s embrace of the racist term, Conway eventually placed the blame squarely on the CBS reporter’s shoulders.“You should have come forward a hundred days ago when you had the chance. You lost your opportunity, you lacked the courage to tell everybody who said that to you,” Conway fumed. “You like to stoke this instead of solving it. I’m here to solve things not stoke them. You did the opposite on this issue.”Conway flailing on this issue comes on the heels of White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany struggling to fend off questions about the president using the racist term. Earlier this week, McEnany insisted the president was just trying to point out where the virus came from while blaming the media for “trying to play games with the terminology.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.