Former President Barack Obama is facing criticism from far-left progressives after stating in a Wednesday interview that the “defund the police” rhetoric is unhelpful to what Democrats want to accomplish.
““If you believe, as I do, that we should be able to reform the criminal justice system so that it’s not biased and treats everybody fairly, I guess you can use a snappy slogan, like ‘defund the police,'” Obama told Peter Hamby, host of Snapchat’s “Good Luck America.”
“You lost a big audience the minute you say it, which makes it a lot less likely that you’re actually going to get the changes you want done,” he continued.
The newest episode of the app’s original political show aired Wednesday morning, featuring the former president.
He has received fierce pushback from the more radical members of the Democrat party, including the infamous “squad”.
Represenatives Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), and Representative-elect Cori Bush (D-MO) all took to Twitter to double down on the “defund the police” rhetoric.
“It’s not a slogan,” wrote Bush. “It’s a mandate for keeping our people alive. Defund the police.”
Obama isn’t the only one to question the effectiveness of the “defund the police” language. Following the election – in which Democrats lost nine House seats – more moderate Democrats have blamed the loss on the “defund the police” efforts of the more progressive members of the party.
Democrat Senator Mark Warner of Virginia said that the “defund the police” rhetoric “led to Democratic losses in the last year.”
And Democrat House Representative Jim Clyburn told CNN that the progressive “sloganeering” is damaging to the policies they’re trying to enact: “We can’t pick up these things just because it makes a good headline, it sometimes destroys headway.”
In the interview, Obama encouraged progressives to focus on policy rather than getting caught up in rhetoric wars that cause confusion and inspire fear. For instance, he said that progressives should avoid the word “socialism” since it remains “a loaded term for a lot of folks.”
“So the key is deciding, do you want to actually get something done, or do you want to feel good among the people you already agree with?” Obama asked. “And if you want to get something done in a democracy, in a country as big and diverse as ours, then you’ve got to be able to meet people where they are. And play a game of addition and not subtraction.”
A school district in Washington State recently removed Asian students from the “students of color” category and lumped them in with white students.
The re-categorization occurred in a report from the North Thurston Public Schools on student growth to document how different students were performing. The report measured things such as participation in activities, office discipline referrals, test scores, and graduation rates.
The report distinguished White and Asian students from Students of Color, and students of poverty from students of non-poverty. The “Students of Color” category includes Black, Latinx, Native Americans, Pacific Islanders, and Multi-Racial students.
One Twitter user called the move “racecraft”:
Another wrote, “I guess we are ‘white’ now.”
The North Thurston Public School district is comprised of 22 schools and 16,000 students.
The 2010 Census reported the race demographics in Thurston County as follows:
Hispanic or Latino: 7.1%
Black or African American: 2.7%
American Indian/Alaskan Native: 1.4%
Pacific Islander: 0.8%
District officials have since removed the report from their website and issued an apology.
“The intent was never to ignore Asian students as ‘students of color’ or ignore any systemic disadvantages they too have faced,” they wrote. “We continue to learn and grow in our work with equity as a public-school system and we will ensure that we learn from this and do better in the future.”
Journalist Megyn Kelly announced that she will be removing her children from their schools and moving out of New York City following an anti-white letter that circulated through school faculty.
“After years of resisting it, we’re going to leave the city,” she said during Monday’s podcast of “The Megyn Kelly Show.”
A letter written by Nahliah Webber, the executive director of the nonprofit Orleans Public Education Network, circulated through the faculty and “diversity group” at the private school that Kelly’s two young sons attend.
The letter alleged that “White school districts across the country” are filled with “future killer cops.”
“The schools have always been far-left,” Kelly said, “which doesn’t align with my own ideology, but I didn’t really care, most of my friends are liberals, it’s fine. I come from a Democrat family. I’m not offended at all by the ideology, and I lean center-left on some things.”
But the letter, she said, was a step too far.
“They’ve gone around the bend. They have gone off the deep end.”
The letter, titled “If You Really Want to Make a Difference in Black Lives, Change How You Teach White Kids”, was posted to a blog on June 29th in response to the police-involved killing of George Floyd.
In the letter, Webber argues that educational systems must begin targeting white children for re-education instead of blaming black deaths on any weaknesses or failings within the black community.
“The system that killed George Floyd and the system that raised and educated the cop who killed him are the same,” reads the letter. “And in the same way that folks are tired of the viral Black death-protest-fake trial-acquittal-rinse and repeat cycle, I am tired of folks acting like there’s no direct connection between the schools where White children sit and the street corners where they choke out Black life.”
“There’s a George Floyd in every school where Black children learn,” Webber wrote. “…And there’s a killer cop sitting in every school where White children learn.
“I’m tired of White people reveling in their state-sanctioned depravity,” she continued, “snuffing out Black life with no consequences and then having the nerve to tell Black children that they are ‘behind’ and need to work harder.”
The solution, she recommended, was to have the federal government send in anti-racist white people to dismantle racism within white neighborhoods and school districts.
“Because that’s where the problem is – with White children being raised from infancy to violate Black bodies with no remorse or accountability.”
Kelly, a former Fox News and NBC News host, did not take kindly to the circulation of the letter:
“Which boy in my kid’s school is the future killer cop?” she asked. “Is it my boy? Which boy is it? Because I don’t happen to believe that they’re in there.”
Kelly has two sons and one daughter. She plans to pull all three of them from the schools they are attending in the Upper West Side and move out of New York City.
The Burbank Unified School District of Burbank, California instructed its teachers to suspend teaching five books pending a review after parents complained that the books inspire racism among students.
The school board made the decision to temporarily remove the books from its curriculum while they review challenges from a group of four parents (three of whom are black).
The announcement was made to the district’s middle and high school teachers in a virtual meeting on September 9th. The following books have been temporarily suspended from the curriculum:
Harper Lee’s “To Kill A Mockingbird”
Mark Twain’s “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”
John Steinbeck’s “Of Mice And Men”
Theodore Taylor’s “The Cay”
Mildred D. Taylor’s “Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry”
Four of the five authors were white. Mildred D. Taylor is a Newberry Award-winning African-American author.
The parents who have raised problems with the books cite concerns about the racial slurs in the books as well as the “white-savior story line” such as can be found in “Huckleberry Finn” and “To Kill A Mockingbird.”
Carmenita Helligar is one of the parents challenging the inclusion of these books in school curriculum after her daughter, Destiny, was targeted by other students. Destiny told her mother that a student approached her and called her a racial slur that the student allegedly learned from “Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry.”
“My daughter was literally traumatized,” Helligar said. “These books are problematic…you feel helpless because you can’t even protect your child from the hurt that she’s going through.”
Another parent, Nadra Ostrom, said, “The portrayal of Black people is mostly from the white perspective. There’s no counter-narrative to this Black person dealing with racism and a white person saving them.”
“The education that students are basically getting is that racism is something in the past,” Ostrom continued. “And that’s not the conversation that we should be having in 2020. …Unless teachers have been specifically trained to teach these texts through an antiracist lens, they are probably reinforcing racism rather than dismantling it.”
Helligar agrees, saying that she “believes the core message being taught is that racism is an artifact of history.”
But many students as well as free speech advocates disagree, calling these books powerful stories that inspire students to think about America’s history with racism and its implications for the present.
Sophomore Sungjoo Yoon launched a petition on October 22nd to protest the banning of the books. As of November 11th, it’s been signed by over 2,600 people.
Around 80 students have personally written to the district in protest.
The Los Angeles Times tells the stories of many students who were positively impacted by reading books like “Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry”.
Both the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) and PEN America have urged the district to continue teaching the books.
“(W)e believe that the books…have a great pedagogical value and should be retained in the curriculum,” wrote the NCAC.
“In a year when we have seen a national movement against systemic racial injustice,” wrote PEN, “it is crucial to bring these subjects into the classroom with care and sensitivity, which teachers are well-equipped to do. Blocking engagement with these important books is also avoiding the important role that schools can and should play in providing context for why these books inspire and challenge us still today.”
“We understand that this ban may have been proposed with good intentions,” PEN continued. “But banning books is not the answer.”
Eight arrests were made in Seattle on the night of the presidential election as hundreds marched through the streets, dissatisfied with both candidates and the entire political process.
The Seattle Police Department reported that arrests were made for pedestrian interference, obstruction, assault of a police officer, reckless driving, and criminal mischief.
According to Q-13, some protesters were throwing nails onto the road, and one took a hammer to a parking meter.
Komo News journalist Jonathan Choe followed protest activity through the night:
Choe also captured footage of one of last night’s arrests. While being led away by police officers, the arrested woman shouted, “Antifa forever!”
But these events are of no surprise to Seattle residents, who have been subjected to regular Antifa gatherings and criminal activity since the killing of George Floyd in May.
While many across the nation were concerned about post-election violence, Q13’s Brandi Kruse noted that the unrest in Seattle is “not necessarily unique to” the presidential election due to the fact that these goings-on have been “a regular occurrence” since May.
The Post Millennial’s Ari Hoffman agreed, calling Seattle’s unrest “the new normal.”
Washington State Democrat incumbent Jay Inslee was announced the winner of Tuesday’s gubernatorial election, making him the first governor in over forty years to take a third term.
Police intercepted the attempts of Antifa rioters in Portland from burning down an entire living complex on Portland State University’s campus on Monday night, the evening before Election Day.
The Post Millennial journalist Andy Ngo released the story on Tuesday morning. He has been an active reporter on Antifa activity in the Northwest.
On Monday evening, somewhere around 100 Black Lives Matter and Antifa activists gathered in downtown Portland for a “direct action” event. Protests have been nearly unceasing in Seattle and Portland since the killing of George Floyd in May, but organized events circulating through social media this week have been in direct response to the election.
The crowd on Monday evening targeted buildings on Portland State University’s campus, smashing the windows of an on-campus Starbucks and the PSU Public Safety Office.
“F*** corporations. F*** your windows, you pieces of sh**!” one rioter yelled after the Starbucks windows were shattered.
Rioters then poured flammable liquid onto the floors of the cafe, which is located on the ground floor of a building housing students and families.
Police responding to the riots intercepted the activities in the cafe before anything could progress into a far more dangerous situation.
The police made two arrests: 22-year-old Kai-Ave James Douvia and 25-year-old Connor Austin. Douvia has been charged with felony first-degree criminal mischief, felony second-degree burglary, and second-degree disorderly conduct. He was previously arrested at a protest in June.
Douvia was released without bail.
Austin has been charged with interfering with a peace officer.
He has also been released without bail.
From these two alone, the police recovered a tire iron, dumbbell, body armor, gas masks, and an umbrella.
During a campaign rally for Joe Biden in Detroit on Saturday, music legend Stevie Wonder encouraged the crowd to vote for Biden because he would enact slavery reparations.
“I know Joe Biden will do it,” Wonder said. “Give us reparations.”
His statement brought cheers from the crowd and the supportive honks of car horns at the drive-in rally.
“For the work we’ve all done for the last four hundred years – unpaid,” he continued.
Neither Biden nor his running mate Kamala Harris have committed to reparations should they win the election, but they have voiced some openness to the idea.
In June, Biden said he would be in favor of reparations for African Americans and Native Americans if studies were to find the direct payments are feasible.
“If, in fact, there are way to get direct payments for reparations,” he said, “I want to see it.”
Harris has also expressed a willingness to explore the idea, but in 2019 while running for the Democratic presidential nomination, she stated that it has to be about more than writing checks:
“If we’re talking about writing a check, I don’t think it’s that simple. And frankly, I don’t support an idea or a notion that after all this, we’re going to say, ‘Okay, I’m going to write you a check, and then be quiet.’ Because that won’t solve the problem, which is the systemic issues that are present and will continue to exist, whether or not you write a check.”
In 2019, President Trump called the reparations debate “very interesting”, but stated, “I don’t see it happening, no.”
Democrats have introduced bills to the House to explore reparations proposals since 1989. New Jersey Senator Cory Booker co-sponsored a bill in 2019 that would have tasked a commission to study the feasibility of reparations. The bill has not gone anywhere since its introduction.
The reparations conversation has gained new ground after the death of George Floyd in May.
Wonder performed some of his famous hits at the rally, including “Superstition”, as well as his first new songs in 15 years.
One new song, “Can’t Put It in the Hands of Fate”, was inspired by a relationship, but Wonder told the crowd he now sees it in light of the election:
“And then I was thinking about where we are in the world and I was thinking…this craziness is unacceptable. We’re not going for it anymore. Change is right now. We can’t put it in the hands of fate….We can’t put voting in the hands of fate.”
A college in Portland, Oregon separated its students by race to attend separate orientation sessions under the guise of “racial justice”, violating federal laws on racial segregation in addition to its own policies.
First-year students at Lewis & Clark College were asked to group themselves into their identified race during their orientation in August. They were given three options: black, indigenous/people of color, or white.
Once separated, the groups were sent to their own orientation workshops called “Engage for Racial Justice” where they were given separate presentations before being brought back together.
Lewis & Clark partnered with Race Talks, an Oregon-based group that facilitates conversations on racial equality and justice, to conduct these sessions.
Lyell Asher, associate professor of English at the college, raised concerns about the plans on August 27th, two days before the event took place. In an email to the administration, he proposed that at the very least, the segregated sessions on race shouldn’t be mandatory.
Asher’s emails were ignored, so he went to The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE).
FIRE conducted an investigation and sent the school a letter on October 6th, demanding that Lewis & Clark cease any mandatory, racially-segregated events.
“Racial segregation is not only morally wrong, it’s illegal on our nation’s college campuses,” said FIRE’s Executive Director Robert Shibley in a statement they published yesterday. “Lewis & Clark must end this practice immediately and publicly commit to never again returning to that dark chapter of our nation’s history.”
Lewis & Clark responded on October 14th by way of their general counsel David Reese. Reese told FIRE that the event was not mandatory because no attendance was taken and no punishment would have been administered for not attending. Reese stated that the school would make more of an effort in the future to make clear that such events are optional.
“Mandatory racial segregation isn’t wrong because FIRE or a professor finds it objectionable,” Shibley explained, ” – it’s wrong because it means that your ethnicity alone determines the education you receive.”
“That it was just a little segregation, that ‘mandatory’ actually means ‘optional,’ or that the college meant well is no defense,” he said.
Lewis & Clark is not an isolated incident. Institutions throughout the Puget Sound were recently discovered to be engaging in similar practices, including the King County Library System which conducted racially-segregated training for its managers.
In a passionate speech to the House of Commons this week, Kemi Badenoch slammed the teaching of Critical Race Theory and Black Lives Matter ideology in schools.
“What we are against is the teaching of contested political ideas as if they are accepted fact,” Badenoch said on the House floor in a clip of her speech that is now making the rounds on social media.
“We don’t do this with Communism, we don’t do this with Socialism, we don’t do it with Capitalism,” she continued. “And I want to speak about a dangerous trend in race relations that has come far too close to home to my life and this is the promotion of Critical Race Theory – an ideology that sees my blackness as victimhood and their whiteness as oppression. I want to be absolutely clear: This government stands unequivocally against Critical Race Theory.”
She called Black Lives Matter “a political movement” and called for members of the opposite party to condemn many hateful actions conducted by BLM (including an instance she recounted of white BLM protestors calling a black armed police officer the N-word).
Badenoch called the efforts to teach Critical Race Theory without balancing it with the opposing viewpoint in schools illegal.
Here’s the one-minute-forty-five-second clip from her eight-and-a-half-minute speech:
Badenoch was responding to comments made by Labour MP Dawn Butler, who argued that history is taught to children in the UK “to make one group of people feel inferior and another group of people feel superior.”
Butler called for the “decolonization” of history.
Badenoch opened her speech in response by detailing the many opportunities children in the UK are provided to learn about other cultures.
“Our curriculum does not need de-colonizing for the simple reason that it is not colonized,” she said. “We should not apologize for the fact that British children primarily study the history of these islands.”
Here is her full speech, well worth the entire watch:
Kemi Badenoch is a conservative Member of Parliament (MP) for Saffron Walden, a town in the district of Essex lying between London and Cambridge. Badenoch was appointed as Minister for Equalities on February 13th of this year, a position within the Government Equalities Office, responsible for leading “work on policy relating to women, sexual orientation and transgender equality.”
Born Olukemi Olufunto Adegoke in Wimbledon, Kemi grew up in Nigeria and immigrated to the UK when she was 16 years old. She holds degrees in both engineering and law and was elected to the House of Commons in 2017.
In her maiden speech to the House of Commons, Badenoch spoke of growing up in Nigeria under a socialist state: “Going without electricity, doing my homework by candlelight because the state electricity board could not provide power. Fetching water a mile away in heavy, rusty buckets because the nationalised water could not get water to flow from the taps.”
“Unlike many colleagues born after 1980,” she continued, “I was unlucky enough to live under socialist policies. It’s not something I’d wish on anyone, and that’s just one of the reasons that I am a Conservative.”