Today’s daily news focuses on stories of activism and action adjacent to the ongoing wider movement for racial justice and equality. While not directly related to the protests, all are relevant and valuable fights against unjust systems catered towards the privileged. All of the news stories presented are drawn from the front pages at Newseum.org.
Photo of Johns Hopkins’ historic dome, by Art Anderson reproduced under CC BY-SA 3.0 license
A letter signed by 600 Johns Hopkins faculty has challenged university administrators’ planned staffing cuts in response to an alleged budget shortfall. The letter demands a report on Johns Hopkins’ financial state and a moratorium on any firing decisions. The faculty behind the letter expressed concern that the COVID-19 crisis is being used as a pretext for unwise and unjust budget cuts in vital areas when other expenditures might be better curtailed for the health of the university.
After a series of flip-flops on the controversies surrounding the LAPD’s overenthusiastic use of force, Mayor Garcetti of Los Angeles is facing fire from both sides of the present conflict. Activists say he’s merely trying to placate them insincerely, and the police that he had been defending are irate that he’s bowed to pressure from citizens. Unfortunately for Garcetti, insiders have speculated that his uncertain response to the protests has squandered any political capital he gained from his response to the pandemic.
As the push to replace the present, Confederacy-inspired Mississippi state flag intensifies, the creator of the most popular proposed replacement has stepped aside. Laurin Stennis, creator of the now-renamed “Hospitality Flag,” has decided to step aside and remove her name from the flag due to her family name’s association with segregationism. This change comes as even Republican state legislators are pushing to change the flag.
Photo of the offending Gordon statue from below article, by Wally Gobetz and reproduced under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 license
The city of Decatur has begun removing monuments sympathetic to slavery, including an obelisk memorializing the confederacy and a statue of Thomas Jefferson. As the statue is actually privately owned and officially on loan to the city, it was anonymously requested taken down undamaged by its owner. Similarly, more than 40 descendants of Governor John B. Johnson - Confederate general, Klu Klux Klan leader, and anti-reconstruction politician - have requested his statue be removed from the state capitol.
Pittsburgh Public Schools scheduled a public hearing today on the continued use of school resource officers, but after receiving significant interest they were forced to split the session to hear as many members of the public as possible. Residents and activists even stood outside in torrential downpour to have their voices heard. Of particular note is the push to use the resource officer budget to provide access to mental health resources and social services for students.
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