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GOP Lawmakers Smear Protesters As ‘Organized Crime,’ Demand FBI Action

Congressional Republicans from the House Freedom Caucus on Thursday held an event to attack the protest movement that has risen up against racism and police violence following the death of George Floyd, a handcuffed black man who died after a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on his throat for more than 8 minutes while Floyd pleaded that he could not breathe.

Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ), chair of the caucus, called on federal prosecutors to utilize the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act against protesters. RICO was passed to in the 1970s, originally to target the Mafia.

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George Floyd Changed My Mind

For many years, I was skeptical about accusations of racism in the criminal justice system. Yes, I knew that blacks comprised only about 12 percent of the population yet represented 33 percent of the prison population. But those data alone did not prove that police are racists or that courts are tougher on blacks than others. The relevant criterion is not the percentage of the population, but the percentage of the criminal population, and when you consider the higher rates of offending among African Americans, the seemingly disproportionate rates of incarceration make sense.

Well, some countered, if you look at who winds up on death row, you can see the racism at work. Less than half of murder victims in the U.S. are white, yet a 2003 study found that 80 percent of inmates on death row had killed white people. I wasn't convinced. It might be evidence of racism, or it could be that when people kill others of their same race, they are more likely to know them. These could be crimes of passion and therefore less likely to draw the death penalty. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, between 2001 and 2005, nearly 78 percent of blacks were murdered by other blacks, and nearly 70 percent of whites were killed by other whites.

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A Breathless Moment In America

Reprinted with permission from TomDispatch

They were relegated to the protest equivalent of a ghetto. Their assigned route shunted them to the far fringes of the city. Their demonstration was destined for an ignominious demise far from any main thoroughfare, out of sight of most apartment buildings, out of earshot of most homes, best viewed from a dinghy bobbing in the Hudson River.

Those at the head of the march had other ideas. After a brief stop at city hall, they turned the crowd onto the main drag, Washington Street, and for the next few hours, a parade of protesters snaked through Hoboken, New Jersey.

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How Right-Wing Spinmeisters Snip And Smear Joe Biden

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters

George Floyd's killing by Minneapolis police triggered global protests against racism and police brutality and a seismic shift in U.S. public opinion. Former vice president and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden discussed this phenomenon at a Thursday event, saying that because technological advances allowed millions of Americans to see Floyd's killing on their phones, his death had a greater worldwide impact than that of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Over the hours that followed, Biden's comment was ripped from its context and spun with fake outrage by pro-Trump right-wing activists and trolls, leading to a Fox & Friends segment Friday in which a Fox contributor falsely claimed that Biden had said Floyd "may have been a greater civil rights leader" than King.

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