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Wake Up To Politics - June 10, 2020

Good Wednesday morning. It’s June 10, 2020. 146 days until Election Day. Thank you for waking up to politics; feel free to email me with any questions or comments.

A “Me Too” moment for “Black Lives Matter”

Since George Floyd’s killing three weeks ago...

The editors of Bon Appétit, Refinery29, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and the New York Times opinion page have resigned.

The CEOs of CrossFit and Second City have stepped down as well.

HBO Max has removed “Gone With the Wind” from its streaming catalog and the long-running TV show “Cops” has been canceled by Paramount Network.  

Statues of Confederate officers have come down in Richmond, Alexandria, Birmingham, Mobile, Lousiville, Jacksonville, and scores of other cities.

The U.S. Navy and the U.S. Marine Corps have banned public displays of the Confederate flag, while the U.S. Army is considering redesignating bases named for Confederate leaders.

Police departments have been reformed or reshaped in New York City, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, and elsewhere.

Officers have been charged — a relatively rare occurrence — in Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles, and Minneapolis, while police chiefs have been ousted in Seattle and Louisville.

And both Democrats and Republicans in Congress seem poised to back police reform legislation nationally, something that never took place after the police killings of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, or thousands of others.

America is undergoing a national reckoning over racism, forcing changes in the name of racial equality across the public and private sectors just as the #MeToo movement did in the name of gender equality.

What brought about such an inflection point this time, when none took place after previous Black Lives Matter demonstrations?

A massive swing in public opinion. According to a Washington Post/Schar School poll, 74% of Americans say they support the protests that have taken place since Floyd’s killing. Just two years ago, only 40% of Americans said in another Washington Post poll that they supported the Black Lives Matter movement.

Additionally, a Monmouth University poll found that 76% of Americans say that racial discrimination is a “big problem” in the United States, a 26-point increase from 2015.

Opinions of the police are also changing: in the Monmouth poll, 57% said police officers “are more likely to use excessive force if the culprit is black,” compared to 33% after the chokehold death of Eric Garner in 2014.

Notably, the protests themselves have not just been small or localized to the city Floyd was killed in, but have spread to cities in all 50 states.

American opinions on racism and policing are rapidly shifting, and significant changes are taking place in the worlds of politics, media, and business as a result.

The Rundown

2020 CENTRAL: “Lines snaked out the doors, poll workers struggled with new machines and voters furiously demanded to know why so much had gone wrong in Georgia’s primaries on Tuesday, a potential preview of how the novel coronavirus pandemic and new voting technology could affect the presidential election in November.”

“Problems were concentrated in Atlanta and surrounding counties, where voters described standing in line for hours, with election officials processing paper ballots by hand painfully slowly because they could not get new touch-screen machines to work or they had not been delivered in time.” (Washington Post)

--- “President Donald Trump is poised to announce the city where he will accept his nomination for a second term as early as Thursday, with Jacksonville, Florida, emerging as one of the leading final contenders.” (CNN)

POLICE REFORM: “Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell tapped the chamber’s only black Republican on Tuesday to lead a group of senators developing a police reform proposal in the wake of high-profile killings of unarmed African Americans at the hands of law enforcement.”

“Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) will be tasked with confronting one of the nation’s most vexing challenges in a Senate that has done little to show it can set aside partisanship on the issue.” (Politico)

--- Meanwhile: “Republican senators on Tuesday largely avoided discussing President Trump’s tweet alleging without evidence that a 75-year-old Buffalo protester, who was seriously injured after being shoved by police, is an ‘ANTIFA provocateur.’” (Axios)

CORONAVIRUS: “A World Health Organization expert clarified Tuesday that the coronavirus can be spread by people who show no symptoms, a day after sparking widespread confusion by saying that such asymptomatic spread of COVID-19 was ‘very rare.’”

“Scientists around the world pushed back against the statement Monday by one of the WHO’s top epidemiology experts, Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, leading to the unusual backtracking by the organization a day later.” (NBC News)

--- “White House goes quiet on coronavirus as outbreak spikes again across the U.S.” (Politico)


*All times Eastern

President Donald Trump will receive his intelligence briefing at 12:30 p.m.

Vice President Mike Pence will lead a phone call with state, local, and tribal leaders at 1 p.m.

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany will hold a press briefing at 2 p.m.

The Senate will convene at 10 a.m. and vote to advance the Great American Outdoors Act at 12:15 p.m.

The House is not in session. The House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on “policing practices and law enforcement accountability” at 10 a.m., featuring George Floyd’s brother as one of the witnesses.

The Supreme Court is not in session.

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden will attend a virtual NAACP town hall on systemic racism at 8 p.m. Biden will also co-host a virtual fundraiser with Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM), who is being considered as his running mate.

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