“There is an Effeminate Agenda going on amongst the NBA & NFL elite, peddled by high ranking Masons/handlers to indoctrinate the heterosexual sports world without them knowing, for the buying power of the LGBTQ community,” he started. “….But we not ready to have that conversation yet.”
Then, Johnson explained what he meant using bullet points in his next two tweets.
Johnson then added: “October is LGBTQ History month, the NFL players wear pink that month. They want you to think Breast Cancer, but they show you they don’t care much about women, look at the treatment of domestic violence issues.”
Twitter users quickly pounced on the tweets and accused Johnson of prejudice against people with different sexual orientations Johnson, 39, defended himself.
“Nothing said, said I hate gays. My understanding goes far beyond flesh, but an agenda that’s really to go after the homophobic sports fan who had an uproar when two men kissed,” he tweeted. “I could care less about the flesh. I’m noticing a playbook used on the masses.”
He later added: “I love to see the LGBTQ community band together and come to a common cause when it comes to me…. now do that with the defects of your own community, pedopheliac Priests and politicians. Show them that same energy. But, a kingdom divided against itself will not stand.”
HONG KONG — The police in Hong Kong on Friday arrested prominent activists and blocked plans for a march on Saturday, a sensitive political anniversary, as the authorities intensified their crackdown on an opposition movement that has shaken the semiautonomous Chinese city for months.
Joshua Wong and Agnes Chow, student leaders of the pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong five years ago that presaged the current protests, were arrested on Friday morning, their political organization said. Andy Chan, who led the now-banned Hong Kong National Party, was taken into custody Thursday night at the Hong Kong airport, he said on Facebook.
The arrests were the latest in a dramatic week of events in Hong Kong, where tensions were running high after three months of protests touched off by widespread anger over legislation, since suspended, that would have allowed criminal suspects to be extradited to mainland China for trial.
In addition to the arrests, Hong Kong’s chief executive, Carrie Lam, said the government was considering whether there were other measures the city could take to establish order, China sent in fresh troops to the territory, and the authorities denied permission for what was widely expected to be a well-attended demonstration.
The march on Saturday was scheduled to coincide with the fifth anniversary of a decision by the Chinese legislature to impose strict limits on elections in Hong Kong, a move that touched off what came to be known as the Umbrella Movement.
More than 900 arrests have been carried out since early June, but the detentions on Thursday and Friday stood out. The arrest of prominent activists during sensitive periods is a common tactic by the authorities in mainland China, but such an approach is highly unusual in Hong Kong, which has its own legal system and far greater protections for civil rights.
“This past week, we have seen scare tactics straight out of Beijing’s playbook: pro-democracy protest organizers attacked by thugs, prominent activists arrested after being snatched from their homes and streets, and a major rally planned for Saturday banned,” Man-kei Tam, director of Amnesty International Hong Kong, said in a written statement.
Rick Hui, a district councilor, was also arrested Friday on suspicion of interference with police duties during a July 14 protest. Althea Suen, a former head of the University of Hong Kong student union, planned to go to police headquarters after officers went to detain her for damaging property and illegally entering the legislature, but did not find her at home, a message on her Facebook account said Friday.
The police denied the series of arrests was planned to coincide with a major protest. “As soon as we have enough evidence, we would make arrests,” said John Tse, chief superintendent of the Police Public Relations Branch. “There is no relationship between the timing of our arrests and public activities.”
The marches have been arguably the most effective way for residents of Hong Kong to draw attention to their anger — one rally reportedly attracted nearly two million people, about a quarter of the population. But plans to hold a large rally on Saturday were blocked by the authorities.
The authorities rejected an appeal on Friday to hold the rally, after the police initially turned down an application for protesters to march to the Chinese government’s representative office in Hong Kong to mark the anniversary of the decision on election limits.
The Civil Human Rights Front, which has organized several large, peaceful marches attended by hundreds of thousands of people, expressed dismay at the ruling but said it would abandon the march.
Bonnie Leung, a prominent member of the group, called the ban “a total violation of the basic human rights of Hong Kong people.”
“The movement will not be die down because of the decision of the appeal board,” she said. “We will carry on. We will continue to apply for marches and Hong Kong people, I’m sure, will keep coming out to the streets.”
On Friday, people said they were still planning to demonstrate Saturday, regardless of the police ruling. The authorities also warned people not to attend any unauthorized demonstrations, even under the guise of other activities.
Andy Chan, who led the now-banned Hong Kong National Party, preparing to speak at a rally in Hong Kong earlier this month.CreditLam Yik Fei for The New York Times
“We should not tolerate excuses to break the law, so law enforcement will take action,” said Patrick Kwok, assistant commissioner of the police.
Jimmy Sham, another Civil Human Rights Front official, and Max Chung, who had applied for another protest in July, were attacked in separate episodes on Thursday. Mr. Sham was uninjured, but a friend who protected him was hit on his arms by a person with a bat. Mr. Chung was hit on his arms, back and neck by men wielding pipes and umbrellas.
Mr. Wong, 22, was arrested at about 7:30 a.m. on the street near a subway station on the south side of Hong Kong Island, his political organization, Demosisto, said on Twitter. Ms. Chow was also arrested, and like Mr. Wong sent to police headquarters in Wan Chai, the group said.
Ms. Chow said she believed the arrests were timed to discourage turnout on Saturday. “Beijing is demonstrating a very tough stance on this issue and they are trying to deter more people from coming out,” she said.
Mr. Wong became a widely recognized face of the 2014 Umbrella Movement. As a skinny, bespectacled teenager, he could often be seen on the streets, exhorting huge crowds through a megaphone.
He has been sentenced twice to short prison terms for convictions related to the 2014 protests, and he most recently served two months this year after being convicted on charges related to the clearance of a protest site in Mong Kok. He was released in June, just as the protests over the extradition legislation began.
Mr. Wong remains a prominent figure in Hong Kong politics, but his profile and influence in the current protest movement are much lower than it was in 2014.
Ms. Chow was a spokeswoman for Scholarism, a prominent student activist group, for part of the 2014 protests.
Mr. Chan led a small, pro-independence political party that became a focus of attention last year when the Hong Kong government banned it under a colonial-era public security ordinance. The rare move raised concerns that it would threaten free expression and association in Hong Kong.
He was arrested on suspicion of rioting and assaulting a police officer during a July 13 demonstration.
Unlike the Umbrella Movement, the current protest effort has embraced no identifiable leaders, in part because many high-profile figures, like Mr. Wong, ended up in prison.
The arrests came after other developments that reflected frustration from China and the local government in Hong Kong with the enduring protest movement.
Mrs. Lam, the chief executive, said Tuesday that the government was looking into “all laws in Hong Kong — if they can provide a legal means to stop violence and chaos,” when asked whether she was considering use of the sweeping Emergency Regulations Ordinance.
Two days later, the Chinese military sent fresh troops in the early-morning darkness to its Hong Kong garrison.
Beijing described the move as a regular rotation of its forces, but in light of warnings from mainland officials that the military could be used to quell unrest in Hong Kong, it raised questions about whether China was positioning its troops for a crackdown.
Hurricane Dorian hurtled toward the United States and was on track to become a major hurricane Friday before its expected landfall Monday along Florida’s east coast, forecasters say.
The storm was slowly turning west on Friday as it makes it way back toward land and is expected to strengthen in the coming days, the National Hurricane Center said. Dorian is then forecast slam the southeastern United States as a possible Category 4 storm.
“Dorian is likely to remain an extremely dangerous hurricane while it moves near the northwestern Bahamas and approaches the Florida peninsula through the weekend,” the hurricane center said.
No evacuations were ordered yet, but Gov. Ron DeSantis expanded state of emergency declarations throughout all of Florida’s 67 counties and warned Floridians to have a hurricane plan in place. He also asked President Donald Trump to declare a pre-landfall disaster for the entire state.
“All indications are it’s going to hit very hard and it’s going to be very big,” Trump said in a video he tweeted Thursday.
Shoppers were lining up to buy supplies and water as waits at gas stations grew. Sandbags were being distributed by local governments, too.
At 5 a.m. Friday, the storm was 260 miles east-northeast of the southeaster Bahamas and moving northwest at 12 mph, the weather service says. Dorian was brewing as a Category 2 storm with 105-mph winds and could reach Category 3 status by mid-afternoon.
The hurricane’s exact track once it hits the U.S. remains uncertain, but the storm could make landfall Monday or early Tuesday along southeastern Florida. Models of the path place it anywhere between the Keys and southern Georgia, and most show it moving up the Atlantic coast before spinning out to sea later next week.
The Southeast was forecast to be drenched in half a foot to a foot of rain, with isolated patches up to 15 inches. Storm surge is also expected, though forecasters can’t say for sure where the hardest hit areas will be. Tropical storm conditions with high-powered winds could arrive as early as Saturday night.
A hurricane watch was issued for the northwestern Bahamas as current models have parts of the islands, including Grand Bahama, on track for a direct hit Sunday into Monday.
Major cruise lines began rerouting ships and airlines began allowing travelers to change their reservations without an extra charge.
Josefine Larrauri, a retired translator, told the Associated Press that she went to a Publix supermarket in Miami only to find empty shelves in the water section.
“I feel helpless because the whole coast is threatened,” she told the news agency. “What’s the use of going all the way to Georgia if it can land there?”
Lauren Harvey, 51, in Vero Beach, told the AP this was her first hurricane alone in Florida and that she felt unprepared.
“I just moved here, so I’m lost,” she said. “I don’t know what I’m going to do.”
Earlier in the week, Dorian pushed past the Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin and British Islands, sparring the area from its worst effects. Some of the islands lost power and trees were knocked down, but local officials said they avoided total disaster. Parts of Puerto Rico’s eastern and southern coasts saw some heavy flooding.
Contributing: The Associated Press. Follow USA TODAY’s Ryan Miller on Twitter @RyanW_Miller
WASHINGTON — The Democratic National Committee is preparing to block Iowa Democrats’ plans to allow some caucusgoers to vote by phone next year, bowing to security concerns about the process being hacked, according to four people with knowledge of the decision.
The committee’s announcement, expected to come by Friday afternoon in the form of a recommendation to the party’s Rules and Bylaws Committee, serves as a major setback to Democrats who have long hoped to expand the caucus-state electorate beyond those voters able to attend a winter-night gathering for several hours.
The Iowa Democrats’ plan would have allowed voters not attending a traditional caucus to register their preference during one of six “virtual caucuses” over the phone. But D.N.C. security officials told the rules committee at a closed-door session in San Francisco last week that they had “no confidence” such a system could remain safe from hostile hackers.
The D.N.C.’s leadership concluded that the technology that exists is not secure and poses too large a risk of interference from a foreign adversary, according to officials with knowledge of the deliberations. Several presidential campaigns expressed concern to top party officials that Iowa’s results could be compromised, people familiar with the discussions said Thursday.
The Rules and Bylaws Committee has the power to approve state plans for primaries and caucuses.
D.N.C. officials declined to comment. Officials with the Iowa Democratic Party did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
In August 2018, D.N.C. members adopted new rules for the 2020 presidential primary that encouraged states that held caucuses to switch to primaries and required caucus states to allow for a form of participation that did not require attending a caucus event. Other reforms included reducing the power of the party’s superdelegates.
Iowa Democrats, along with party officials in other states, face a Sept. 13 deadline for the D.N.C. to approve plans for their presidential primaries and caucuses. It was not immediately clear what the Iowa Democratic Party would do if its virtual caucus plan was rejected.
Iowa’s first-in-the-nation presidential caucuses are scheduled to be held Feb. 3.
The Democratic caucuses in Iowa can be hourslong affairs on often snowy winter nights. The state’s caucus rules require a candidate to receive support from at least 15 percent of the voters in the room; backers of candidates who fail to meet the 15 percent threshold are then freed to choose a different candidate. This leads to haggling and horse-trading between campaigns and places a premium on being a caucusgoer’s second or even third choice.
Party forces allied with Hillary Clinton have argued for years that states should shift from caucuses to primaries — or at least make the caucus process more accessible to people who cannot attend in person.
Nine states that held Democratic presidential caucuses in 2016 — Alaska, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Maine, Minnesota, Nebraska, Utah and Washington — have switched to primaries for 2020 at the urging of the D.N.C.
Six other states, including early-voting Iowa and Nevada, will continue to hold caucuses in 2020.
Mrs. Clinton, whose 2008 presidential bid was upended by her third-place finish in Iowa, and who nearly lost the state to Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont in 2016, had long been a public skeptic of Iowa’s show-up-to-caucus system.
“You know, there were a lot of people who couldn’t caucus tonight, despite the very large turnout,” Mrs. Clinton said the night she lost the 2008 Iowa caucuses to Barack Obama. “There are a lot of people who work at night, people who are on their feet, people who are taking care of patients in a hospital, or waiting on a table in a restaurant, or maybe in a patrol car keeping our streets safe.”
Where are my dragons? Get your fix with these five fire-breathing reads. HBOhide caption
Where are my dragons? Get your fix with these five fire-breathing reads.
The end of Game of Thrones — not to mention the long gap between installments of George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire — has left a smoldering, dragon-shaped hole in the hearts of fantasy fans. Dragons have been a staple of fantasy literature since The Lord of the Rings, and everyone from Ursula K. Le Guin and Anne McCaffrey to Robin Hobb and Naomi Novik have expanded upon the collective mythology of our favorite giant lizards. There’s something primal about the appeal of dragons: their beauty, their majesty, their mystique, their bottomless symbolism. But what will fill the current void in dragon fandom? Luckily, this year so far has seen a raft of new, dragon-centric novels that explore these creatures on an epic scale — sometimes traditionally, sometimes radically, but all with fire-breathing fabulousness.
One of the most immersive new fantasy series of 2019 is Jenn Lyons’ A Chorus of Dragons. The first book in the series, The Ruin of Kings, came out in February, and it established the empire of Quuros, a place where the magical Academy helps protect the citizenry from the threat of monsters that abound in the land. One of the most profound yet tricky of these menaces are the dragons, an ancient race that’s been known to defeat God-Kings, yet hibernates for centuries at a time, making them particularly hard to anticipate and counter once they awake. One such conscious dragon is Sharanakal, otherwise known as The Old Man, an elemental force contained in the body of a leviathan lizard — and a being whom Khirin, a gutter-raised thief with a noble heritage, must learn to contend with.
The first book in the Dragons of Terra series doesn’t skimp when it comes to the giant reptiles. Brian Naslund’s Blood of an Exile takes place in a realm rife with dragons, and the protagonist, Silas Bershad the Flawless, is a fallen hero who seeks redemption by undertaking a perilous trek — and if that sounds like a fairly straight-up fantasy scenario, you’re not wrong. Rather than rewriting the rulebook, Naslund imbues Bershad’s meat-and-potatoes exploits as a legendary dragonslayer — the most successful in all of history, despite the fatal flaws that make his name ironic — with deep characterization, philosophical insight, a colorfully wrought world, and enough sword-swinging to satisfy the heartiest bloodthirst.
If Blood of an Exile doesn’t fulfill your recommended allowance of dragonslaying, well, there’s Dragonslayer. Kicking off a trilogy of the same name, the novel resembles A Song of Ice and Fire in one key way: Dragons are, at least at first, thought to be extinct. The story’s main character, Guillot dal Villevauvais — a former member of the king’s guard grieving the death of his family — is swiftly disabused of the notion that dragons no longer exist. He’s tasked to kill one of these supposedly nonexistent beasts, and his quest becomes complicated after said dragon turns out to be a complex character in and of itself. Twisting tropes while treasuring them, Dragonslayer is one of the most refreshing of 2019’s crop of dragon books.
The most recent book to add to this year’s dragon mythos just so happens to be written by one of the contemporary masters of dragon lit: Marie Brennan. Her Memoirs of Lady Trent series established a fertile setting full of dragon biology and lore, all told with scientific rigor. But where Memoirs focused on the eponymous Lady Trent, its spinoff novel, Turning Darkness Into Light, deals with Lady Trent’s granddaughter, Audrey Camherst, and her own adventures in a fictionalized Victorian world where dragons rule the seas and skies and political intrigue lurks behind every corner — all told in the rich, epistolary style of the original series. And although Darkness is a sequel to Brennan’s beloved pentalogy, it works beautifully as a standalone novel for newcomers to her elaborate, dragon-centric world.
Due to be published in in September, The Bone Ships has already built up plenty of anticipation — and with good reason. The opening installment of R.J. Barker’s The Tide Child Trilogy, the novel is set in a seafaring milieu called The Hundred Isles, torn apart by contentious nations who wage war on the oceans. But the book’s greatest angle is how it portrays dragons. Long thought extinct, these aquatic creatures have been exhumed and used as building materials: Their bones are turned into the skeletons of the ships, then used to fight a never-ending maritime battles. Joron Twiner is a conflicted sailor caught up in the pursuit of a supposedly still-living dragon. Barker’s previous series, the acclaimed The Wounded Kingdom Trilogy, was a powerhouse of gritty fantasy, and The Bone Ships promises to launch one of this season’s greatest, grandest dragon sagas.
Jason Heller is a Hugo Award-winning editor and author of the new book Strange Stars: David Bowie, Pop Music, and the Decade Sci-Fi Exploded. He’s on Twitter:@jason_m_heller
FILE – In this Jan. 12, 2019, file photo, Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott pushes off Los Angeles Rams inside linebacker Cory Littleton during the first half in an NFL divisional football playoff game in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File)
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones says he’s operating under the assumption that Ezekiel Elliott will miss regular-season games because of a holdout, but doesn’t think his star running back will be absent for all of them.
The Cowboys passed the most significant benchmark in Elliott’s absence so far with their preseason finale, a 17-15 loss to Tampa Bay on Thursday, the 35th day of a holdout that has covered training camp and all four exhibitions.
Elliott has two years remaining on his rookie contract but wants to be the NFL’s highest-paid running back after winning two rushing titles in his first three seasons. The fourth overall pick in the 2016 draft is due to make $3.9 million this season and $9.1 million in 2020.
“I’m operating as though right now he’s going to miss regular season games,” Jones said after the loss to the Bucs. “My entire expectation for what we’re putting together as a team right now would anticipate with him holding out and not having any training camp, that he’s going to miss games. I just accept that.”
The Cowboys go into their opener Sept. 8 against the New York Giants with high expectations after two NFC East titles in three years with quarterback Dak Prescott and Elliott, who now have an improving young defense to go with one of the NFL’s best offensive lines.
Jones isn’t letting Elliott’s absence damper those high hopes.
“No, he can’t and won’t miss them all,” Jones said. “We need Zeke. We’re a better team with Zeke, but we need to be able to win when we need to without players because of injuries, suspension or in this case, holdout.”
The first practice before the opener is Wednesday. But that doesn’t mean Elliott wouldn’t play if he’s not here by then.
The Cowboys experienced uncertainty over Elliott’s availability two years ago when he was fighting a six-game suspension over domestic violence allegations in court. His last game before finally serving the ban, Elliott didn’t know he would get to play until two days before the game.
Coach Jason Garrett and the staff also believe Elliott has been staying in shape while spending most of the past month in Mexico.
“There’s no deadlines here with any of our contracts with our players,” Jones said. “Certainly no deadline here. We’ll be needing Zeke any time we can get him out there. So we don’t have deadlines here.”
The first two backs behind Elliott — rookie Tony Pollard and veteran Alfred Morris — didn’t play against the Buccaneers. Pollard, a fourth-round pick, had a strong preseason and is the starter. Morris was Elliott’s primary replacement during the suspension two years ago.
“Everybody knows who’s not here, but you still have to keep playing,” said receiver Michael Gallup, another starter who didn’t play against Tampa Bay. “We’re hoping to get him back. You know that’s not in our control.”
Scott et al. over at Simple Justice appear to be upset at a judge for obeying the law: “So what if there’s no law enabling the judge to do it if both sides agree?“ Let’s back up for a second and look at what this is all about. A trial judge in Missouri refused to reopen a 24 year old case which the elected prosecutor and a defense attorney moved for a new trial. This was clearly correct under the rules of the Supreme Court of Missouri:
29.11. Misdemeanors or Felonies – After-Trial Motions. . . (b) Time for Filing Motion. A motion for a new trial or a motion authorized by Rule 27.07(c) shall be filed within fifteen days after the return of the verdict.
All the judge had to do when the motion was filed was issue an order stating “Under Rule 29.11(b) this court has no jurisdiction. Case dismissed.” The prosecutor was obviously trying to act contrary to the law. Any trial lawyer who has practiced for any period of time knows how long the trial court maintains jurisdiction after the case is completed. After that the remedies are basically the same everywhere: habeas corpus or pardon. Habeas may be a dead end here. According to a commentator on Scott’s post, the convicted man had already filed a habeas in 2003, alleged the same things the prosecutor is currently alleging, and failed after taking it all the way to the Missouri Supreme Court. Title XXXVI, Chapter 532 of Missouri’s code governs its habeas procedures and 532.040 states
532.040. Second writ not to issue, when. — Whenever an application under this chapter for a writ of habeas corpus shall be refused, it shall not be lawful for any inferior court or officer to entertain any application for the relief sought from, and refused by, a superior court or officer.
I’ve not researched Missouri case law on this, but that reads like taking it to the Missouri Supreme Court may forbid anyone from addressing the same issues at a level below the highest court. In any event, courts are loathe to reopen the exact same issue again and again and again for fairly obvious reasons. There are people out there who will file fifty-two habeases to get out of their jay-walking conviction. Unless there’s some impressive new evidence, the fact that the new chief prosecutor doesn’t believe in an old conviction is fairly worthless in a court of law. That leaves the governor’s pardon power. Missouri’s constitution states in Article IV section 7
Section 7. The governor shall have power to grant reprieves, commutations and pardons, after conviction, for all offenses except treason and cases of impeachment, upon such conditions and with such restrictions and limitations as he may deem proper, subject to provisions of law as to the manner of applying for pardons. The power to pardon shall not include the power to parole.
The governor could, without a doubt, pardon the person at the core of all this if he believed that person innocent. However, it is unlikely that the Democrat Prosecutor of St. Louis who reached a deal with the former Republican Governor to drop a felony charge against him if he resigned and is being investigated for her conduct in that prosecution is likely to work well with the new Republican Governor. So, she had one workable option which is non-viable for political reasons, one possible option that would require a lot of work and might be bounced as redundant, and one option doomed by law. She chose the one doomed by law. I’m not saying that she’s alone in causing this kerfuffle. As I said above, the judge could have ended all of this at the beginning with a short, non-newsworthy order. Instead, she appointed the Attorney General to stand against the motion to reopen a case that had been foreclosed by law for at least 23 years and 11 months. You can’t tell me that the trial judge didn’t know the 15 day rule and needed more attorneys to be involved in order to count to 15. And then she issued a written opinion covering all the potential sins and perceived weaknesses of the prosecutor’s position. No matter how well written and reasoned that was not going solve anything. The prosecutor’s office has promised an appeal. That’s interesting because, as best I can tell under sections 547-200 & 547-210 of the Missouri Code there’s nothing that authorizes such an appeal. I wonder whether the Missouri Court of Appeals will say “This court has no jurisdiction to hear your appeal. Case Dismissed.” Probably not. Appellate courts can’t say “Boo!” without a ten page opinion.
The brother of Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles was charged in connection with a New Year’s Eve shooting in Ohio that left three people dead and two others wounded, police said Thursday.
Tevin Biles-Thomas, 24, was arrested and charged with multiple counts of murder, involuntary manslaughter and felonious assault and one count of perjury, the Cleveland Division of Police and the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office said.
Tevin Biles-Thomas was charged in a triple homicide in Ohio. (Liberty County, Ga., Sheriff’s Office)
“The investigators within the Cleveland Police Homicide Unit remained committed to securing an arrest in this tragic case,” Cleveland police Chief Calvin D. Williams said in a statement. “We appreciate our partnership with the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office and are confident that their efforts will bring justice for the families affected by this terrible incident.”
Investigators said a Cleveland apartment on New Year’s Eve was operating an Airbnb was hosting a party when an “uninvited group” entered, according to WKYC-TV. An incident then occurred and gunshots were fired leaving three people dead. Police believe Biles-Thomas is the shooter.
“The relentless persistence of Cleveland Police Homicide detectives helped secure an indictment in this case,” Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael C. O’Malley said. “It is through their hard work that we can begin to seek justice for these victims.”
Gold medallist and four-times All-Around world champion Simone Biles of the U.S., poses on the podium after the Women’s All-Around Final of the Gymnastics World Chamionships at the Aspire Dome in Doha, Qatar, Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
Biles-Thomas was being held at a Georgia jail. He is due for arraignment Sept. 13.
There’s no shortage of terrible things to think about. Our history — everyone’s history — is full of them. This July marked 100 years since the start of the Red Summer of 1919, where race riots broke out in cities all over the United States. September will mark two years since Hurricane Maria devastated much of Puerto Rico. Eighteen years since the Sept. 11 attacks. Eighty years since the start of World War II.
And this month — August — marks 400 years since the first enslaved Africans were brought to what would become the United States. It’s a moment that many are trying to reckon with right now. But what do we call it?
Some people have been using the term “commemoration.” But commemorate sometimes has a positive connotation — it’s often used interchangeably with “celebrate” or “honor.” (We’ve even noticed “celebration” used on occasion.)
Robert Vinson, a professor of history and Africana studies, says he also hears the word “anniversary” thrown around a lot — “like it’s a wedding anniversary. Like it’s something celebratory. And I push back on that.”
Vinson teaches at the College of William & Mary — a university that’s a few miles down the road from Jamestown, Va., where almost 30 Angolans were first enslaved in a British colony. He has spent a lot of time thinking and talking about the legacy of that landing.
For Vinson, a word like “remembrance” is the best fit to describe how people are looking back, “because remembrance reflects a more solemn and reflective stance.” He says it carves out a time and space to reflect on our ancestors and forebears in a serious way: “What must have that experience been like? What must they have suffered to make a way out of no way? How did they survive?”
Variations of “memorialization” can also be fitting, Vinson says, especially when it comes to a physical space. “When I go to places like, let’s say, Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, to me that’s a memorial to the enslaved,” he says. “They flattened that mountain, they took those bricks up the mountain, they made those bricks, they built that house, they kept everything running.”
Whatever words we choose, the practice of keeping certain histories alive — remembering — is one of the ways communities decide what is important. And doing that is no simple thing. It came up two years ago when debates were raging about what to do about Confederate monuments and what exactly they were commemorating.
During that time in 2017, Jennifer Allen, a history professor at Yale University, talked to Code Switch about the power of memory:
“Memory is not just the things that we recall on a moment-to-moment basis. Memory is something that also means something in the world. What we decide is important to remember is something that is collectively determined, and the politics, the negotiation, the conversation by which we determine what matters and what doesn’t.”
A Scottish court Friday rejected the first legal bid to block British Prime Minister Boris Johnson from suspending Parliament until two weeks before the Oct. 31 Brexit deadline.
Judge Raymond Doherty refused to grant lawmakers an emergency injunction but did not comment on the merits of their appeal. The move was seen as a blow to the lawmakers seeking to stop a no-deal Brexit.
Johnson said this week there would be “ample” time to debate once the suspension ends on Oct. 14.
Lawmakers reacted with fury, including John Bercow, speaker of the lower House of Commons, who was not told in advance of Johnson’s plan.
“Shutting down Parliament would be an offense against the democratic process and the rights of parliamentarians as the people’s elected representatives,” Bercow said. “Surely at this early stage in his premiership, the prime minister should be seeking to establish rather than undermine his democratic credentials and indeed his commitment to Parliamentary democracy.”