Equity & Justice

Race, Ethnicity, Gender, Culture, Income, and Justice

The federal agency charged with preventing terrorist attacks and securing the border announced Wednesday that it would deploy personnel across the country to carry out President Trump's orders to protect statues and monuments from vandalism amid ongoing protests for racial justice.

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf said the department has established a Protecting American Communities Task Force to secure historic landmarks against "violent anarchists and rioters."

Voters in Oklahoma narrowly approved a ballot measure Tuesday night to expand Medicaid to eligible adults who need health insurance. Oklahoma is now the 37th state to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act; coverage will begin a year from now, on July 1, 2021.

Based on the final unofficial count, the measure passed with just over a 6,000-vote margin — less than one full percentage point.

Updated at 4:53 p.m. ET

Virginia's capital city began taking down its statue of Stonewall Jackson after Mayor Levar Stoney ordered the immediate removal of multiple Confederate statues in Richmond.

A crane and a cherry picker swiftly arrived on the city's Monument Avenue to remove the statue of the Confederate general. Crowds gathered to watch and cheer the crew's work, reported Mallory Noe-Payne of NPR member station WVTF.

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The New York City Council approved an $88.1 billion budget overnight that includes shifting roughly $1 billion away from the New York Police Department.

For the past week, the city has seen "defund NYPD" demonstrations, where crowds have gathered at City Hall and outside of the residences of some members of the city council.

Updated on Wednesday, July 22, 2020 at 12:08 p.m. ET

When a young Southern Baptist pastor named Alan Cross arrived in Montgomery, Ala., in January 2000, he knew it was where the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. had his first church and where Rosa Parks helped launched the famous bus boycott, but he didn't know some other details of the city's role in civil rights history.

A construction crew removed the massive Christopher Columbus statue from its place of honor outside Columbus, Ohio's City Hall on Wednesday morning, in one of the most dramatic cases yet of a city reshaping how its monuments reflect its sense of history and community identity.

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Right now we're seeing about 40,000 cases of COVID-19 every day in this country. Dr. Anthony Fauci said yesterday that could go up to 100,000 new cases a day. Here he is talking to Congress.

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Updated at 8:03 p.m. ET

After more than 120 years of flying over the state of Mississippi, the Confederate battle flag is no longer a part of the state's official flag.

On Tuesday, Republican Gov. Tate Reeves signed into law a bill fast-tracked by the Mississippi Legislature over the weekend that calls for a new design.

In a somber ceremony, Reeves said he was signing the law to turn a page in Mississippi.

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Let's talk now about that video that President Trump retweeted over the weekend - a video that showed a man yelling white power during a rally in Florida.

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Updated at 5:21 p.m. ET

A Fulton County Superior Court judge granted the former Atlanta police officer accused of shooting and killing Rayshard Brooks in a Wendy's parking lot a bond of $500,000 on Tuesday.

Garrett Rolfe, who was fired from the Atlanta Police Department shortly after the June 12 killing of Brooks, will be required to turn over his passport if he has one, wear an ankle monitor and be subject to a curfew from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.

Updated Friday at 10:08 p.m. ET

Four Aurora, Colorado police officers have lost their jobs in the continued fallout over the arrest and death of Elijah McClain.

McClain was stopped by police as he walked home from a convenience store last summer. In the ensuing confrontation he was placed in a chokehold by police and later sedated. His death has been compared to that of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May and has prompted outrage and protest.

Updated at 5:53 p.m. ET

In a major victory for what advocates call the school choice movement, the U.S. Supreme Court effectively killed state constitutional provisions in as many as 38 states that bar taxpayer aid to parochial schools. The vote was 5-4, with Chief Justice John Roberts writing the decision for the court's conservative justices.

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The Antelope Valley's decades of entrenched racism have helped fuel the outcry over the death of 24-year-old Robert Fuller, a Black man found hanging from a tree in Palmdale, Calif., earlier this month.

Many locals are skeptical that Fuller's death was a suicide — the initial explanation that the L.A. County Sheriff's Department issued and then retracted days later.

Some call it a lynching. Thousands have poured into Palmdale's streets, at times shutting down traffic. They're demanding an independent investigation by California's attorney general.

Just months ahead of the November election, a federal appeals court in Wisconsin has reaffirmed voting restrictions favored by Republicans in a state that's one of the keys in the presidential race.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit found in favor of restrictions on early voting and restored a requirement that residents must live in a district for 28 days — instead of 10 days — to be eligible to vote there. They also declared emailing or faxing of absentee ballots unconstitutional.

Dungeons and Dragons is reconsidering what it means to be evil.

The classic role playing game's publisher, Wizards of the Coast, recently announced some changes it was making to the game in response to the ongoing protests over racism and police violence. While this includes editing some past racist descriptions, as well as adding more diverse writers, the game's designers are also making a fundamental change to the way certain playable characters are portrayed.

A judge in Minnesota has set a March 8 trial date for the four former police officers accused in the death of George Floyd.

At an omnibus hearing Monday, Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill said the trial date assumed that the former Minneapolis Police Department officers — Derek Chauvin, 44, who knelt on Floyd's neck and is charged with second-degree murder; J. Alexander Kueng, 26; Thomas Lane, 37; and Tou Thao, 34 — would be tried together, but he said that he expected motions to be filed by their attorneys for separate trials.

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What happened to efforts to, quote, "flatten the curve" of coronavirus cases?

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Mississippi plans to fly a new state flag — a flag without the Confederate battle emblem in the corner. The state House and Senate voted Sunday to retire the current flag, and Mississippi Republican Gov. Tate Reeves is expected to sign the measure.

Democratic state Sen. Derrick Simmons voted for the bill, which calls for a nine-member commission to design a new flag that includes the phrase "In God We Trust."

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And earlier today, I talked about this moment to the conservative writer Jonah Goldberg. He's editor-in-chief of The Dispatch.

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RACHEL MARTIN, BYLINE: There's a famous shot in the 1939 Hollywood epic "Gone With The Wind."

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Statues of Christopher Columbus are being dismantled, torn down or removed in cities across this country, including one in an American city named for him. Here's Paige Pfleger from WOSU.

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