‘Is the President Aware That Taking the Knee Is About Police-Involved Shootings?’

  • April Ryan, Sarah Huckabee Sanders Clash Again
  • Inquirer Rebukes Trump for Disinviting Eagles
  • Pittsburgh Paper Spikes 6 of Staffer’s Cartoons
  • Where Murder Is Common but Arrests Are Rare
  • Does Video Reflect Cops’ True Character?
  • On Puerto Rico: ‘Their Story Deserves to Be Told’
  • How Bobby Kennedy Got an Education on Race
  • Earl Morgan, Jersey Journal Columnist, Dies at 75
  • Short Takes
Screenshot: CNN

April Ryan, Sarah Huckabee Sanders Clash Again


April Ryan and Sarah Huckabee Sanders at Tuesday’s White House news briefing (CNN video)

American “Urban Radio Network’s April Ryan verbally sparred with White House press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders when she pressed for clarity on why President Trump disinvited the Philadelphia Eagles to the White House,” Kia Morgan-Smith reported Wednesday for theGrio.com.


“Ryan questioned the President’s reasoning that NFL players were kneeling because they objected to the flag and what it stood for. So the venerable White House correspondent pushed Sanders to address the hot topic when it appeared that Sanders was hellbent on not calling on her. That’s when the Q&A session took a turn for the [worse] and the two got into a heated exchange that not only ruffled the feathers of Sanders but some of the other reporters in the room.

“ ‘The Eagles made the commitment to come and to be part of that event well after the president had established his feelings in regards to the National Anthem,’ Sanders said.


“Sanders said Trump doesn’t see kneeling for the anthem as a [First Amendment] issue, even though players have said they kneel to protest police brutality of African Americans.

“ ‘There are black and brown soldiers that fight in the military as well who feel that taking a knee, bringing an attention to police-involved shootings, is something that this White House should deal with,’ Ryan said.


“ ‘Is the President aware that taking the knee is about police-involved shootings?’

“Sanders started to answer the question, but it seemingly wasn’t addressing Ryan’s question so she interrupted, which annoyed Sanders.


“ ‘I let you rudely interrupt me and your colleague,’ Sanders said. ‘I’m going to ask that you allow me to finish my answer. I would be happy to answer it if you would stop talking long enough to let me do that.’ . . .”

Summer Meza added for the Week: “In the end, Sanders said nothing about the police shootings and disproportionate police force used against minorities that NFL players are protesting.


“Instead, she told Ryan that Trump was ‘not going to waver’ on his view that everyone should stand for the anthem, no matter what. . . .”

Inquirer Rebukes Trump for Disinviting Eagles

The Eagles organization has never flown higher than it did in deciding not to force its players to accommodate President Trump’s plan to use them as a prop in his campaign to stifle freedom of speech,” the Philadelphia Inquirer editorialized Tuesday.


“Trump late Monday disinvited Philly’s NFL team from a planned visit Tuesday to celebrate the team’s Super Bowl championship after learning that most Eagles players wouldn’t be there. . . .

“Trump, in typical fashion, treated the snub of him as an affront to all Americans.


“ ‘They disagree with their president because he insists that they proudly stand for the national anthem, hand on heart, in honor of the great men and women of our military and the people of our country,’ Trump said in a statement. . . .”

The editorial also said, “Were there no dissenters there would be no America. Rather than protest the crown’s injustice, the colonials would have continued to salute the Union Jack and spout, ‘God bless the king!’


“It isn’t by accident that the very first amendment to the U.S. Constitution is a guarantee of freedom of speech, which includes the right to peaceably protest. Presidents are expected to respect that right. Dictators are expected to ignore it. . . .”

Pittsburgh Paper Spikes 6 of Staffer’s Cartoons


One of the cartoons the Post-Gazette did not publish.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette actually published art on the editorial page today from its longtime cartoonist Rob Rogers,Colin Deppen reported Tuesday for the Pittsburgh news organization the Incline.


“It’s the first cartoon published after he said six in a row were spiked.

“Rogers’ supporters argue that the nixed cartoons, critical of President Donald Trump, went missing as the paper’s publisher and editorial director move the opinion page — and, some argue, the paper as a whole — in a more conservative direction. . . .”


Deppen also wrote, “On May 31, Rogers wrote in a public Facebook post on his personal account, ‘Another killed cartoon. 4th in a row.’

“He also jumped into the comment sections on earlier public Facebook posts, writing in one, ‘They killed my Memorial Day cartoon with Trump laying the wreath and also the NFL referee one.


“The ultimate decision is coming from the publisher, John Robinson Block.’

“In another public post he added, ‘[…] This president is incredibly dangerous and the press should not give him a pass on any of his behavior. Unfortunately, my publisher is a big Trump fan.’ . . . “


Editorial, Richmond (Va.) Times-Dispatch: Hate on the rise in Virginia

Domonique Foxworth, the Undefeated: LeBron vs. Trump: a one-sided battle: James isn’t afraid of Trump, but the president seems afraid of the King


Roy S. Johnson, al.com: Drop the national anthem before all sports, so we can become fans, again

Solomon Jones, Philadelphia Daily News: Dear President Trump, leave the Eagles and their long-suffering fans out of your political theater


Annie Karni and Christopher Cadelago, Politico: Inside Trump’s snub of the Philadelphia Eagles

Louis Moore, Shadow League: Standing Up And Having The Courage To Ignore White Rage In The NFL


Askia Muhammad, Washington Informer: Rest in Peace, NFL (May 30)

Jake Nevins, the Guardian: Trevor Noah on Trump’s response to the Eagles: ‘I broke up with you first’


Michael A. Nutter, CNN: President Trump, please stop lying about the Eagles and the flag

Jason Reid, the Undefeated: Small number of Eagles players could have spurred Trump’s cancellation of visit


Olivia Riggio, Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting: Anti-Trump Cartoons Stopped by Censor at Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Greg Sargent, Washington Post: Get ready for a brutal election about Trump’s racism and authoritarianism


Deron Snyder, Washington Times: NFL, Goodell can’t out-ignorant Trump

Chris Vognar, Dallas Morning News: When star black athletes consider it their duty to speak up for social justice


Where Murder Is Common but Arrests Are Rare

Areas with low arrest rate in red; with high arrest rate in green (Credit: The Washington Post)

Christopher Dickson felt justice had been served. For weeks, he’d bragged around his neighborhood about winning $5,000 in a dispute settled on the TV show ‘Judge Joe Brown,’ ” Wesley Lowery, Kimbriell Kelly, Ted Mellnik and Steven Rich reported Wednesday for the Washington Post.

“On a cool evening in July 2009, the 39-year-old auto mechanic emerged with his nightly tallboy from Dailey’s Package Liquors, a shoebox-shaped shop that sits in a violent 12-block swath of North Omaha. Under the store’s dark-blue awning, a man with a gun demanded Dickson’s cash. As Dickson tried to flee, the gun went off.


“Detectives canvassed the area — a mix of dilapidated duplexes, auto repair shops and corner liquors — for witnesses but never found enough evidence. Nine years later, no one has been arrested in Dickson’s slaying, one of thousands of homicides clustered in neighborhoods across the nation where killers are hardly ever brought to justice.

“The Washington Post has identified the places in dozens of American cities where murder is common but arrests are rare. These pockets of impunity were identified by obtaining and analyzing up to a decade of homicide arrest data from 50 of the nation’s largest cities. The analysis of 52,000 criminal homicides goes beyond what is known nationally about the unsolved cases, revealing block by block where police fail to catch killers.


“The overall homicide arrest rate in the 50 cities is 49 percent, but in these areas of impunity, police make arrests less than 33 percent of the time. Despite a nationwide drop in violence to historic lows, 34 of the 50 cities have a lower homicide arrest rate now than a decade ago.

“Some cities, such as Baltimore and Chicago, solve so few homicides that vast areas stretching for miles experience hundreds of homicides with virtually no arrests. In other places, such as Atlanta, police manage to make arrests in a majority of homicides — even those that occur in the city’s most violent areas. . . .”


Does Video Reflect Cops’ True Character?

Police Chief Ramon Batista of Mesa, Ariz., told the Arizona Republic, “Just for the casual observer this isn’t going to look right.’” (Screenshot)

In Arizona, the “Mesa Police Department released a video Tuesday showing a police officer repeatedly punching and kneeing a man before he is pulled to the ground while other officers surround him,” Uriel J. Garcia reported Tuesday, updated Wednesday, for the Arizona Republic.

“At one point, the 15-minute video shows, a different officer shoves the man’s head into an elevator door after other officers handcuffed him and zip-tied his feet.


“Mesa Police Chief Ramon Batista said Tuesday the man didn’t follow officers’ orders to sit down but that the use of force didn’t appear to be necessary based on his initial review of the footage. . . .”

Republic columnist EJ Montini wrote Wednesday, “The great UCLA basketball coach John Wooden famously said, ‘The true test of a man’s character is what he does when no one is watching.’”Does the video of Mesa officers thumping a disorderly conduct suspect show their true character?”


Montini quoted Batista. “ ‘The images of the video are powerful and I thought it was paramount that you hear it from me with respect to how I feel about it and what I’m going to do to ensure this doesn’t happen again,’ Batista told The Arizona Republic, adding, ‘Just for the casual observer this isn’t going to look right.’ . . .”

Montini also wrote, “The Mesa police have had other incidents caught on tape that have given the public reason to question their good character. There was the 84-year-old grandmother taken down by an officer. And there was the fatal shooting of the man seen crying, begging for his life, on his knees, that put an officer on trial for murder. He was acquitted, but no one who saw that video came away thinking it ‘looked right,’ to borrow the chief’s phrase. . . .”


Gus Bova, Texas Observer: ‘Jihadi Circuses’: The Anti-Muslim Police Training in San Angelo Was Worse Than We Thought (May 29)

Editorial, Kansas City Star: Driving while black in Missouri is becoming more perilous, traffic stop report shows


Rachael Herron, vox.com: I used to be a 911 dispatcher. I had to respond to racist calls every day. (May 31)

Cleve R. Wootson Jr., Washington Post: ‘You know why the lady called the police’: Black people face 911 calls for innocuous acts


On Puerto Rico: ‘Their Story Deserves to Be Told’

David Begnaud interviews San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín in Puerto Rico. (Credit: Gilad Thaler, CBS)

When the headline came out [on May 29] that a Harvard study estimated that 4,600 people had died, my bosses got to me before I could even put my fingers on the phone to call them,” CBS correspondent David Begnaud told Karen K. Ho Monday for Columbia Journalism Review, referring to estimates of the toll hurricanes took on Puerto Rico.

“They said, ‘We need to go.’ And I was actually on vacation [at home in Dallas] and I said, ‘I’m already on my way.’ I think it was a no-brainer for us. It was a given that if you’re going to tell the story, sure, somebody sitting on a chair from New York could have done it. We wanted to be on the ground here. . . .”


Begnaud told Ho for her Q-and-A, “It’s not my job to say how other people should feel. But I believe that it should be a national story that continues and doesn’t fall off the front page.

“When our job has ended after certain assignments, I’ve tried to keep the story going.


“There really is no personal investment. I didn’t know a Puerto Rican before I came here. I had never met one unfortunately and I had never been to the island. I didn’t know much about the culture or the history. But I’ve come to feel a sense of investment: Their story deserves to be told. If not on television, then on social media. We’ve been able to find an audience — there are 300,000 people who are continually engaging on Facebook or on Twitter. I just want to keep the story going. I don’t want to criticize other people and whether they should be running it. I just want to say thanks to my folks for making it a priority to put it on TV and get our crew here. . . .”

How Bobby Kennedy Got an Education on Race

Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy speaks outside the Justice Department in June 1963. (Credit: Warren K. Leffler, public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

Back in May, 1963, then-Attorney General Robert Kennedy invited a select group of black entertainers to meet with him at his father’s apartment in New York City,” Karen Grigsby Bates reported Tuesday for NPR on the 50th anniversary of Kennedy’s assassination.

“Singer-actor Harry Belafonte was there. So was Lorraine Hansberry, whose play about black upward mobility, A Raisin in the Sun, had received rapturous reviews when it debuted two years earlier. Writer James Baldwin came, as did singer Lena Horne. Each of the invitees was active in civil rights, and Bobby Kennedy was interested in hearing more about the movement.


“What he got instead was an earful, says Larry Tye, author of Bobby Kennedy: The Making of a Liberal Icon.

“ ‘They came there — they thought — to tell Bobby what the situation was in American civil rights and what he ought to be doing,’ Tye says. ‘Bobby saw the meeting instead as his explaining all the things he and his brother were trying to do. He thought he should get a pat on the back; people thought he should get a kick in the butt.’


“The administration was moving way too slowly, the group told Kennedy. Seething, Kennedy wrapped up the meeting and fumed for the next couple of days. Then, says Larry Tye, Robert Kennedy did what he often did:

“ ‘He started out with a narrow view of the world, and he ended up, not long after, being able to put himself in the shoes of the people he was facing off against. And in the end, deciding not only that they were right, but that he was going to do something about that.’


“For a rich kid from Boston who’d had virtually no exposure to the black struggle, that was pretty surprising. . . .”

Jerry Bembry, the Undefeated: How Rosey Grier and Rafer Johnson became friends with Robert Kennedy


Patricia Guadalupe, NBC News: How RFK’s assassination set back Latino civil rights: A talk with activist Dolores Huerta

Rick Hampson, USA Today: The lost day: How we remember, and don’t, the 26 hours after Robert F. Kennedy fell


Richard D. Kahlenberg, Century Foundation: The Inclusive Populism of Robert F. Kennedy (March 16)

Ellen B. Meacham, Commercial Appeal, Memphis: Robert F. Kennedy’s epiphany in the Delta


Patt Morrison, Los Angeles Times: He took the gun from Sirhan Sirhan’s hand — and then took one of the most tragic photos in American history

Leonard Pitts Jr., Miami Herald: ‘At least we still have Bobby Kennedy.’ Then Bobby was gone.


Jordan G. Teicher, “Lens” blog, New York Times: 50 Years Later, the Story Behind the Photos of Robert Kennedy’s Assassination

David Waters, Commercial Appeal, Memphis: RFK still asking the right questions

Earl Morgan, Jersey Journal Columnist, Dies at 75

Earl Morgan

Earl Morgan, the reporter and columnist at The Jersey Journal who for decades chronicled Hudson County politics and Jersey City’s often marginalized communities, died at his Astor Place home on Tuesday,” Terrence T. McDonald reported for the Journal. “He was 75.

“Morgan’s death was confirmed by his wife, Barbara. He had been hospitalized recently for heart trouble. . . .”


McDonald also wrote, “ ‘All of us at The Journal are grateful we had the opportunity to work with Earl,’ said Journal Publisher David Blomquist. ‘In everything he wrote, Earl embraced The Journal’s historic mission to represent the people forgotten by those in power. Our communities are better places to live because of his determined voice.’ . . .

“In what was intended as his farewell column in 2009 — Morgan, who lived and breathed news reporting and was always on the hunt for a scoop, continued to write following his retirement — Morgan reflected on three decades reporting on Jersey City for this newspaper.


“ ‘Being a Jersey Journal reporter was a lot of things, but never dull,’ he wrote. ‘Once when asked by a newly hired staff member, how and where I got my stories, I said, “If you can’t find a news story in Hudson County or Jersey City get out of this business and take up basket weaving.” ‘ . . .”

Short Takes

Kristen Go
Theodore Shaw (Credit: Nate Gowdy)

In “December 2006, in a case that drew worldwide attention and led to thousands of protesters marching in Jena, [La.,] Theodore Roosevelt Shaw, then 17, was one of six black teenagers from Jena High School accused of attempted murder in an attack on a white student at the school,” Jarvis De Berry wrote Wednesday for NOLA.com | the Times-Picayune. He also wrote, “even during this era when the safe bet is on assuming the worst, it is impossible to think that Theo Shaw has ever been fundamentally different from the gentle spirit who led his law school class into an auditorium at the University of Washington Sunday night and gave his class a valediction to do justice and agitate on behalf of the poor. . . . “


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Richard Prince’s Journal-isms originates from Washington. It began in print before most of us knew what the internet was, and it would like to be referred to as a “column.” Any views expressed in the column are those of the person or organization quoted and not those of any other entity.


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