☕ Cover: Seattle, United States
Good Morning. Here’s what you need to know to start the day, along with perspective from both sides for calmer coffee conversations with your family, friends, colleagues, and co-workers. Plus, a bit of good news: Here are 8 new habits people want to keep post-lock down.
📰 TOP STORY
Checking in on CHAZ: Last Monday, the Seattle Police Department vacated their East Precinct after clashing with protesters. After police were forced to abandon the area, activists moved in, establishing what came to be known as, “The Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone,” or CHAZ, for short. The aim of the zone, which covers approximately six city blocks, was to draw attention to demonstrators’ demands including rent control, the reversal of gentrification, the abolition or defunding of police, funding of community health, and the dropping of charges against those arrested for involvement in the protests. Reactions to, and coverage of, “the Zone” varied. Here’s how:
On the Left: Seattle’s Democratic Mayor Jenny Durkan told CNN that “we have four blocks in Seattle that is more like a block party atmosphere. It’s not an armed takeover. It’s not a military junta. We will make sure that we will restore this but we have block parties and the like in this part of Seattle all the time… there is no threat right now to the public.” The New York Times, echoed Mayor Durkan’s cheery sentiment, describing the scene as “an experiment in life without the police — part street festival, part commune.” NBC News added that “the atmosphere has been part peaceful protest, part commune, with speeches, distribution of free food, live music, a community garden and late-night movie screenings.” Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) said that “although the zone was unauthorized and that the country still faces a pandemic, the area was mostly calm and he hoped for a peaceful resolution,” according to the Washington Post. In summary, Democrats and left-leaning outlets portrayed the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone through the lens of liberation, rather than occupation.
On the Right: Conservatives and right-leaning outlets characterized CHAZ as an occupation. Tucker Carlson’s Fox News show Wednesday night included a report on CHAZ, describing a “complete takeover of a seven-block area of a Seattle neighborhood” and alleging that armed protesters are patrolling the area. While this was true, Fox News also got in trouble yesterday for publishing digitally altered photos. Also on Wednesday, President Trump tweeted that “Domestic Terrorists have taken over Seattle.” “Take back your city NOW,” Mr. Trump wrote in a tweet directed at Mayor Jenny Durkan and Gov. Jay Inslee that he repeated on Thursday. “If you don’t do it, I will. This is not a game.” The National Review was frustrated with the way that the New York Times and Washington Post “provided sympathetic and even outright celebratory coverage of the Seattle ‘Autonomous Zone,’ emphasizing the ‘freedoms’ secured by the far-left anarchists who drove the police out, rather than neutrally reporting on the phenomenon of militia-style checkpoints choking off American streets.” For example, Seattle police chief Carmen Best did visit the abandoned precinct on Thursday, and told reporters that her department was taking about three times longer than average to respond to 911 calls with the loss of the building. ‘These are responses to emergency calls — rapes, robberies, and all sorts of violent acts that have been occurring in the area that we’re not able to get to,’ she said. According to the National Review, “the Times’ coverage of the situation made no mention of the armed occupiers, instead framing the story around how activists had created ‘a homeland for racial justice.’ Lastly, Congressman Dan Crenshaw tweeted over the weekend, “I just want to remind all that when you create an ‘autonomous zone,’ you don’t get to demand a long list of supplies from the orderly capitalist society that you are rebelling against. Kind of defeats the meaning of ‘autonomous.'” Crenshaw’s tweet included a picture of supplies CHAZ members were requesting from the public including clothes, ice, cigarettes, lighters, and more.
Flag This: CHAZ is a perfect example of how a small group of people have the ability to make the most noise. It’s a made for social media moment that amplifies fringe perspectives from both sides, completely drowning out the majority of the population that—despite their political leanings—probably agree with one another about the absurdity of movements like CHAZ. Axios summarized this phenomenon best two years ago in an article titled, “The great white fight.” In it Mike Allen and Jim VandeHei write, “America is an increasingly diverse nation but a loud, hyper-active group of well-to-do whites on the left and right are tearing it apart from the edges. The big picture: 14% of America, roughly half left and half right, consistently shouts, posts and votes, while 67% of us are exhausted. You have about 8% of Americans in the hard-left camp — almost all white (80%), all well-educated, all voting, all giving money and time to campaigns, all active on social media. Their combined voices dominate Democratic politics. You have about 6% in the hard-right camp — almost all white (88%), all well-educated, all voting, all giving money and time to campaigns, all active on social media. Their combined voices dominate Republican politics. Oh, and these two groups basically hate everything about each other.” CHAZ the idea, and how it’s covered, whether it’s through the lens of liberation or occupation, epitomizes this divide. 70% of us either don’t care about it or agree with one another that it’s “ridiculous” while the remaining 30% are battling it out on Twitter about what it stands for, what it represents, and what it means for the future of our country.
🦅 US NEWS
Atlanta Police Shooting Sparks New Outrage
“The police chief stepped down, an officer was fired and a fast-food restaurant burned as Atlanta became the latest epicenter in the urgent, nationwide demand for social change,” USA Today reports. “Rayshard Brooks, a 27-year-old Black man fatally shot by police outside of a Wendy’s late Friday, failed a sobriety test and was being handcuffed when he struggled and two white officers tackled him, video from the scene shows. He appeared to wrestle a Taser from one of the officers and was fleeing when he was shot, according to the video. Scores of demonstrators turned out Saturday to protest the shooting. Late Saturday night, the Wendy’s in South Atlanta was set ablaze, and it was again engulfed in flames Sunday morning.” Local Coverage: Civil rights groups call for deescalation of Atlanta police response, Atlanta Journal Constitution
Supreme Court could force Congress into battle over Dreamers
“In what is already one of the most turbulent years in Washington, Congress could soon be staring down another crisis — the possible deportation of 700,000 Dreamers,” Marianne Levine and Sarah Ferris report for POLITICO. What’s happening: “The Supreme Court is expected to rule in the coming weeks on the fate of an Obama-era program to shield undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children, delivering a jolt to Washington amid a global pandemic and historic unrest over the killing of African Americans at the hands of police.” Why it matters: “A Supreme Court decision necessitating Congress to act would add another monstrous task to its to-do list this year, while also thrusting lawmakers into one of the thorniest political debates just months before they, and President Donald Trump, are on the ballot.”
- Flag This: “Many lawmakers from both parties say they support the popular “Dreamers” program, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which has been in legal limbo since Trump’s attempt to ax it in 2017. But they are also openly skeptical that Congress could, on top of everything, finally clinch a deal on immigration reform.” Keep reading.
🌎 WORLD NEWS
“A recent history of natural disasters and its longstanding dependence on tourism have left the Caribbean extremely ill-prepared to address the economic effects of COVID-19,” Robert Looney writes for World Politics Review. What’s Happening: “Caribbean economies were already highly indebted after calamities ranging from hurricanes to earthquakes to the destructive effects of higher sea levels stemming from climate change in the past few years. Those natural disasters have left most of the region’s economies with poor and declining credit ratings, limiting their borrowing capacity and their ability to mobilize resources against the pandemic. And if it hasn’t already, the sharp drop in tourism stemming from the pandemic will undoubtedly plunge most Caribbean countries into severe recessions, with few resources at their disposal to cushion their populations from the fallout.” Keep reading.
- Flag This: Mexico is desperate too. Tourism provides 11 million jobs, directly or indirectly in Mexico, and many of those workers were simply sent home to wait out the pandemic. Keep reading.
“Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison will announce today A$1.5 billion ($1 billion) in new infrastructure funding as his government seeks to kickstart an economy emerging from the coronavirus lockdown,” Bloomberg reports. “The funding will be used ‘to immediately start work on small priority projects identified by the states and territories,’ Morrison will say in a speech to a conference hosted by the Committee for Economic Development of Australia. About A$1 billion will be allocated to ‘shovel-ready’ projects, with the balance to target works to improve road safety.
- Flag This: Morrison is seeking to reopen most parts of the economy by the end of next month, helped by success in containing the spread of the coronavirus and keeping the rate of new daily infections to below 0.2%.
🗞️ BIZ, SPORTS, & TECH
Hertz, Don’t It?
Hertz is hoping to sell up to $1 billion in stock. The auto rental company is looking to take advantage of the jump in its share price to raise funds to pay off creditors as it navigates chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings. Elsewhere: New rental leases in Manhattan fell 62% in May, representing the biggest drop in a decade. Simultaneously, the number of apartments available for rent jumped 34% on an annual basis. Combined, this could put pressure on real estate prices when the industry reopens later this summer.
NFL, The Flag, and Kneeling
In a response to a person tweeting that he was “pretty sure” J.J. Watt would not be taking a knee during the national anthem, the Houston Texans defensive end made it clear that taking a knee is not about the American flag. “If you still think it’s about disrespecting the flag or our military, you clearly haven’t been listening,” Watt tweeted on Saturday. Meanwhile, Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield plans to kneel during the national anthem this upcoming season to support protests of social injustice, police brutality and racism ESPN reports.
Giph and Go
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), a UK competition watchdog, announced on Friday that it is investigating Facebook’s $400 million acquisition of Giphy. This means that Facebook and Giphy can’t swap personnel or technology until the probe is completed.
📢 PRESENTED BY KENNY FLOWERS
🗳️ FLAG POLLS
Results From Last Week’s Flag Poll
President Trump said he would overrule any governor who disagreed with him that places of worship should be allowed to reopen in accordance with new CDC guidelines. Do you think congregations should be allowed to reopen? 86% said Yes, 14% said No. Full results and comments.
This Week’s Flag Poll
Do you support President Trump’s Executive Order against social media companies? Click here to vote.
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