Joe Scarborough Issues Ominous Warning To GOP About Donald Trump’s Racism

Joe Scarborough Responds to Trump Murderer Tweet | PEOPLE.com

In a Washington Post column, MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” co-host explained how Trump’s bigoted rhetoric “will bring his party down with him.”

In a Tuesday column for The Washington Post, Joe Scarborough predicted that Donald Trump’s racism will have catastrophic consequences for the GOP. He proposed that now is the time for Republicans to speak out against the president and his bigoted rhetoric.

“President Trump can’t help himself,” the co-host of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” started his editorial, headlined “Trump’s Racism Will Bring His Party Down With Him.” The piece outlines Trump’s long history of making offensive remarks, which culminated Monday when he told CBS News’ Weijia Jiang, who is of Asian descent, to “ask China” her question about the coronavirus.

“Trump’s Republican Party has become numbed to its party leader’s daily outrages — the racist attacks, the 18,000 lies (and counting), the petty insults, the breaches of constitutional norms, and the gross incompetence that has worsened the covid-19 crisis in the United States and has driven America to the edge of a depression,” wrote Scarborough, a former GOP congressman.

“If Democrats win back the White House and control of the Senate in 2020, much of that will be because black and Hispanic voters continue to reject Republican candidates,” he added.

Scarborough later suggested that “with the prospects of a historic Democratic landslide building with every Trump news conference, every deranged tweet, every racist remark, wouldn’t now be the time for Republican candidates to stand up, speak out and finally stop following a man so ill-equipped for the presidency?”

“To quote Trump himself, with control of Congress and the White House slipping away: ‘What the hell do they have to lose?’” he concluded.

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Princeton University Has Its First Black Valedictorian In Its History

Father of Princeton's 1st black valedictorian reflects on 'major ...

Nicholas Johnson said his achievement felt especially empowering given the school’s “historical ties to the institution of slavery.”

Princeton University has named Nicholas Johnson from Montreal as its 2020 class valedictorian, making him the first Black valedictorian in the school’s 274-year history.

Johnson, 22, studied operations research and financial engineering. He will participate in the university’s virtual commencement ceremony on May 31, as graduation festivities across the country have moved online due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The senior is slated to begin Ph.D. studies in operations research this fall at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, following a summer internship as a hybrid quantitative researcher and software developer, according to a Princeton announcement last month. 

The university noted that Johnson, who has worked as a software engineer at Google and interned at England’s Oxford University, has received a number of academic honors throughout his college career. He is also pursuing certificates in statistics and machine learning, applied and computational mathematics, and applications of computing.

Johnson received wide praise on social media for his academic accomplishments and for making history at the New Jersey school. He expressed gratitude for the congratulatory messages in a Twitter post on Friday. 

“Thank you everyone for the warm regards!” he wrote. “My journey has only been possible because of the countless people who have supported and inspired me along the way. Looking forward to sharing my speech as Princeton’s 2020 Valedictorian on May 31st!”

Johnson recently told The New York Times that his accomplishment was especially empowering “given its historical ties to the institution of slavery.”

The 22-year-old also said that the institution ― where 9% of the student population for the 2019-2020 academic year were Black ― has been “very critical and cognizant about its ties to slavery.” School officials have “taken very deliberate steps to reconcile things,” he told the Times.

On Monday, one very prominent Princeton alum sent Johnson a congratulatory message on Twitter. Former first lady Michelle Obama told him, “This Princeton alum is so proud of you, Nick!”

“Congratulations on becoming valedictorian—and making history,” she continued. “I have a feeling this is just the beginning for you, and I cannot wait to see everything you continue to achieve.”

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) also celebrated Johnson’s achievements on Twitter.

 During an appearance on the “Today” show this week, Johnson reflected on the Black mentors he’s had in his life who have “encouraged me to strive for excellence and not feel out of place in spaces that aren’t dominated by people who look like me.”

He shared that he has often held discussions with Black friends on campus to learn ways to ensure the majority-white institution promoted an inclusive environment. 

Johnson told the Times he hopes his distinction as valedictorian at Princeton will serve as an “inspiration to Black students coming up behind me.”

Along with this year’s virtual commemoration, Princeton plans to hold an in-person graduation ceremony for the 2020 class next year in May.

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New York Churches Open COVID-19 Testing Sites In Push To Reach Minority Communities

New York Churches Open COVID-19 Testing Sites In Push To Reach ...
Health care workers test for COVID-19 antibodies Thursday at Abyssinian Baptist Church in the Harlem.

Churches are being used as temporary coronavirus testing centers in an effort to bolster outreach to Black and Latinx neighborhoods.

The first day of coronavirus testing at Bethany Baptist Church, a historic Black congregation in Brooklyn, New York, got off to a slow start. About 130 people showed up Wednesday for diagnostic tests at the temporary testing site, according to Rev. Adolphus C. Lacey.

But by the next day, a socially distanced line stretched down the block outside the church half an hour before the site opened, Lacey said. More than 400 people signed up for antibody testing on Thursday, he said. 

“We are swamped,” Lacey, the church’s senior pastor, told HuffPost.

Lacey suspected that appointments would book up quickly until Sunday, when Bethany’s testing site is scheduled to close. But that’s exactly what he had hoped for, the pastor said. 

“We’re demonstrating a need,” Lacey said. 

Bethany Baptist is one of 11 temporary COVID-19 testing sites that opened at New York churches this week as part of a partnership between the state’s department of health and its largest health care network, Northwell Health. An additional 13 church testing sites will open next week, according to WABC-TV in New York City. 

The testing sites are in predominantly minority neighborhoods in Queens, the Bronx, Westchester and other parts of the New York City metro region.

The initiative seeks to increase access to COVID-19 testing in low-income communities and communities of color, which have been disproportionately affected by the virus. 

Preliminary data from New York City suggested the virus is killing Black and Latinx residents at twice the rate it is killing white residents. And according to data from New York state authorities, of the 21 ZIP codes with the most new COVID-19 hospitalizations, 20 have greater-than-average Black and Latinx populations.

Lacey has witnessed the effects of this disparity up close. He said his congregation, which averages about 450 weekly attendees, has had six virus-related deaths. The grief his church is experiencing is compounded by the fact that they haven’t been able to gather in person to say goodbye to their loved ones, he said.

“These aren’t names on a roll,” Lacey said about his former congregants. “These are people that we have known, ushers that greeted you and given you a program. And they’re gone.”

In addition, Lacey said he’s aware of over 20 confirmed cases of the virus in his congregation, but he suspects these numbers could be higher. The pastor has noted some stigma in his community around admitting a positive diagnosis. People have also been worried about whether it’s safe to even take diagnostic and antibody tests, he said.

His job as a pastor is to fight that stigma and calm people’s fears, he said. 

Bethany Baptist joined other churches and nonprofits in the East Brooklyn Congregations, a local advocacy group, to send a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo asking for a way to partner with the government in providing care to communities of color. 

The church-based coronavirus testing initiative is a result of that letter, Lacey said. 

The pastor is hoping that, after seeing how successful Bethany Baptist’s testing site has been this week, state authorities will extend its dates. 

“Coronavirus is a snitch, and it reveals inadequacies, ineptness and disparities. But it also shines a light on greatness and brilliance,” Lacey said. “And that’s what we want to be able to say ― that at this time, we were able to be a beacon of hope and rise to the occasion for our community.”

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Mitch McConnell: ‘Classless’ Obama ‘should’ve kept his mouth shut’ about Trump

The Obama-McConnell Relationship Demonstrates Washington Gridlock ...

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) thinks former President Barack Obama should’ve “kept his mouth shut” about President Donald Trump since leaving office. 

And he called Obama “classless” for criticizing Trump’s response to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, which has so far claimed more than 80,000 lives in the U.S.

In a private call last week with former members of his administration, Obama called Trump’s handling of the matter “an absolute chaotic disaster.” He also warned that “the rule of law is at risk” after Trump’s Justice Department dropped charges against former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn.

McConnell believes Obama shouldn’t have said anything. 

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“I think President Obama should’ve kept his mouth shut,” he said in an interview with Lara Trump, who is the president’s daughter-in-law and an adviser to his reelection campaign. 

“I think it’s a little bit classless, frankly, to critique an administration that comes after you,” he said. “You had your shot. You were there for eight years.”  

Obama was initially largely silent on Trump. 

However, in recent weeks they’ve each taken a few public swipes at the other.

Without mentioning Trump, Obama last month called out the lack of “a coherent national plan to navigate this pandemic.” And in March ― again without mentioning Trump ― Obama warned of “the consequences of those who denied warnings of a pandemic.” 

Trump has been more direct, accusing Obama of the “biggest political crime in American history.”

However, he could not provide any details of the alleged crime, saying only that it’s “very obvious to everybody.”

Trump has also repeatedly blamed his administration’s failure to respond quickly to the crisis on Obama, claiming his predecessor left behind “bad, broken tests.”

COVID-19 didn’t exist until nearly three years after Obama left office. 

McConnell has his own history with Obama. In 2010, he declared the “single most important thing” for Republicans was to make Obama a one-term president. And last year, he bragged about blocking Obama’s judicial nominees, then laughed about it.

Users on Twitter called McConnell out for telling a former president of the United States ― and the nation’s first Black president ― to keep his mouth shut: 

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Trump Campaign Reworks Its Pitch To Black Voters After Pandemic Slams Economy

President Trump and Rochelle Richardson — better known as Silk in the social media duo Diamond and Silk — hold hands at a February event. Richardson is on the advisory board of Black Voices for Trump.

Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

Before the coronavirus crisis decimated the U.S. economy, the record-low unemployment rate for African Americans was the backbone of President Trump's reelection pitch to black voters.

It was always a tough sell, given his past performance with African Americans. Now it's even tougher after the pandemic has erased economic gains and forced the campaign to adjust its message in its outreach to black voters.

Early government data show that black employees are losing work at a higher rate than white workers. That's on top of devastating health impacts, with African Americans being hospitalized more and dying at much higher rates from the virus.

"We're doing everything in our power to address this challenge ... and provide support to African American citizens of this country who are going through a lot. But it's been disproportional. They're getting hit very, very hard," Trump said at a briefing in early April.

Trump has directed his White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council to focus on minority communities affected by the coronavirus. The council, headed by Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, is supposed to identify additional funding needs for these areas.

The pandemic hit just as the Trump campaign's direct appeals to African Americans were ramping up. There were plans for field offices in predominantly black neighborhoods in 15 cities in swing states, and volunteers going door to door. The goal was to boost support among black voters from the 8% of that vote Trump attracted in 2016. In tight races, even a bit more support could make a difference.

But the coronavirus pandemic has pushed the campaign online to a video chat series called Real Talk. The main focus is praising Trump for his response to the virus and bashing Democrats and the media.

"President Trump has taken decisive action in terms of his leadership and addressing COVID-19, especially with the black community," Paris Dennard, a senior communications adviser for the Republican National Committee, said on the program last month.

But sometimes the conversation strays.

Last month, social media stars Diamond and Silk — also known as Lynnette Hardaway and Rochelle Richardson — complained about stay-at-home orders during a Real Talk session.

"When you leave somebody shut up in their house, instead of them catching coronavirus, they're going to catch diabetes, high blood pressure," Hardaway said.

Trump's coronavirus task force has recommended that people with conditions like diabetes and hypertension stay at home and be vigilant about social distancing. These health issues are more prevalent among African Americans in part because of longtime disparities in the health care system.

The duo also compared social distancing to socialism — and even slavery.

"This is socialism, phase one. If we're not careful, this is what we're going to see. We're going to be slaves up and through here if we're not careful," Hardaway said.

Asked about these comments, campaign spokesman Ken Farnaso said Diamond and Silk remain "valued members of Team Trump."

Supporters cheer as the president arrives to speak during the launch of Black Voices for Trump in November in Atlanta.

Evan Vucci/AP

Farnaso said Trump is still working to try to improve conditions for African Americans.

"President Trump remains focused on restoring record-low unemployment for [black] Americans and generating opportunities for them to flourish and succeed," Farnaso said in a statement to NPR.

Winning over black voters was always going to be hard for Trump, given African Americans' broad historical support for the Democratic Party, said Chryl Laird, co-author of Steadfast Democrats: How Social Forces Shape Black Political Behavior.

Laird said this long-standing partisan norm is reinforced socially because the U.S. remains racially segregated. It is hard for any Republican to overcome, but Trump has his own baggage. Since his election, polls have shown that most African Americans believe that he is racist.

Laird said today's crisis shows just how tenuous Trump's claims about economic benefits were, given this country's history of systemic racism.

"Whatever ground that blacks were on was a very shaky foundation in the first place," Laird told NPR. "These short-term demonstrations of improvement don't speak to these deeper and much more significant aspects of the inequality and racism."

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https://www.npr.org/2020/05/06/850017182/trump-campaign-reworks-its-pitch-to-black-voters-after-pandemic-slams-economy

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