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What To Do When You're Stopped By Police - The ACLU & Elon James White

What To Do When You're Stopped By Police - The ACLU & Elon James White

Know Anyone Who Thinks Racial Profiling Is Exaggerated? Watch This, And Tell Me When Your Jaw Drops.


This video clearly demonstrates how racist America is as a country and how far we have to go to become a country that is civilized and actually values equal justice. We must not rest until this goal is achieved. I do not want my great grandchildren to live in a country like we have today. I wish for them to live in a country where differences of race and culture are not ignored but valued as a part of what makes America great.

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Kemp to issue new executive order after negotiations break down with Mayor Bottoms over mask mandate (Brian “The Fool” Kemp did not understand “Home Rule under Georgia’s Constitution so he had to back down. Mayor Bottom’s mask mandate remains in place.

Kemp to issue new executive order after negotiations break down with Mayor Bottoms over mask mandate (Brian “The Fool” Kemp did not understand “Home Rule" under Georgia’s Constitution so he had to back down.  Mayor Bottom’s mask mandate remains in place.

Kemp to issue new executive order after negotiations break down with Mayor Bottoms over mask mandate

Two judges recuse themselves from legal battle between Bottoms, Kemp 

ATLANTA — Gov. Brian Kemp announced Thursday that he will ask the attorney general to withdraw a lawsuit he filed against Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and the city council. 

Kemp sued the city last month after Bottoms announced that the city would roll back to Phase One, which suggested that some businesses close up again and that people shelter in place. Bottoms had also made masks mandatory in the City of Atlanta. 

Kemp said Thursday that during negotiations, Bottoms agreed to back down on the Phase One rollback, but would not roll back her mask mandate.

Content Continues Below

State officials said that Kemp's office agreed to allow the City of Atlanta to enforce the mask mandate of city-owned property and both sides agreed on a cap on the penalties associated with violating the mask mandate.

State officials said the governor’s office did not agree to allow the city to enforce the mask mandate on privately-owned residential property or private businesses without the business owner’s consent. 

Officials said Bottoms was insistent that the city be allowed to enforce a mask mandate inside private businesses. 

“For weeks, we have worked in good faith with Mayor Bottoms, and she agreed to abandon the city’s Phase One roll-back plan, which included business closures and a shelter in place order,” Kemp said. “Unfortunately, the Mayor has made it clear that she will not agree to a settlement that safeguards the rights of private property owners in Georgia.”

Kemp said that following Bottoms' refusal to further negotiate a compromise, the Attorney General's office has filed to withdraw the lawsuit. 

Kemp said because of the stalemate with Bottoms, he will address the mask mandate issue in a new Executive Order after his current order expires on August 15. 

“We will continue to protect the lives and livelihoods of all Georgians,” Kemp said. 

Gov. Kemp stands firm on no mask mandate; COVID-19 hospitalizations up by 39 percent

Georgia records two days of 100-plus virus deaths

In a recent visit to Hall County, Emory epidemiologist Jodie Guest and graduate students from the Rollins School of Public Health provided COVID-19 tests to some 450 poultry plant workers, family members and others. Photo by Jack Kearse at Emory University.



Georgia records two days of 100-plus virus deaths

Trump says Postal Service needs money for mail-in voting, but he’ll keep blocking funding - The Washington Post





Trump says Postal Service needs money for mail-in voting, but he’ll keep blocking funding - The Washington Post

Kamala Harris Is Black and Qualified!. For those who ignorantly question Kamala Harris's blackness, watch this video.

Kamala Harris Is Black and Qualified!. For those who ignorantly question Kamala Harris's blackness, watch this video.

Trump: "When You Sit At Home In A Basement Looking At A Computer, Your Brain starts to wither away". Trump is projecting. His brain withered away during his mother's pregnancy with him.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Citizen’s Arrest - How Is This Still a Law? | The Daily Social Distancin...







The Citizen’s Arrest Law Cited in Arbery’s Killing Dates Back to the Civil War

Georgia has allowed its residents to arrest one another since 1863. But after the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery, critics are calling for such laws to be repealed."

Erik S Lesser/EPA, via Shutterstock
After Ahmaud Arbery was shot dead by two white men on a quiet residential road in coastal Georgia, a prosecutor cited a Civil War era state law to justify the killing.
The same law was invoked last year in suburban Atlanta after a white woman chased down a black man who left the scene of a car accident and killed him after starting a confrontation.
Since 1863, Georgia has allowed its residents to arrest one another — if they have witnessed a crime and the police are not around. Similar laws exist in nearly every state, and have been raised in courtrooms over the decades to account for actions in a range of criminal cases, including assaults and murders.
But after Mr. Arbery’s death, a growing chorus of critics are calling for the laws to be repealed. They say the laws are outdated, relics of the Wild West, and are ripe for abuse by untrained civilians in an age in which 911 is widely available and police response times are generally within minutes.
Like “stand your ground” and “castle doctrine” laws that allow people to use force to protect themselves or their homes — as in the case of a neighborhood watch volunteer in Florida who shot to death Trayvon Martin in 2012 — citizen’s arrest statutes have generated considerable controversy and cries of racism.
“Namely, a member of the public doesn’t know — and likely cannot understand — the nuances of citizen’s arrest, particularly when it comes to the use of deadly force,” Ira P. Robbins, a law professor at American University who wrote an academic paper on the issue, wrote in an email. “That’s why it is so dangerous for people to take the law into their own hands.”
Citizen’s arrest laws date back to medieval times. Absent an organized police force, in the late 1200s, King Edward I needed help fighting crime. The legal concept carried over to the United States, when in the country’s modern infancy, it could take days for a law enforcement agent to travel to a crime scene.
The use of the law, while not altogether common, is generally less problematic in its more frequent use by shopkeepers detaining shoplifting suspects, for example, or by trained security guards and police officers operating outside their jurisdiction, Mr. Robbins wrote.
Supporters of the law point to instances in which people who are committing crimes are thwarted and then held until the police arrive, such as muggers or shoplifters. They are relied upon by crime watch groups like the Guardian Angels to anti-immigrant patrols on the U.S.-Mexico border.
Still, Dana Mulhauser, a former civil rights lawyer at the Department of Justice who now runs the conviction integrity unit in St. Louis County, said citizen’s arrest laws had outlived themselves.
“These laws were created in a different time,” she said. “We are not in a time where we are lacking in police responsiveness in this country. You are asking for situations that cause trouble.”
In the case in suburban Atlanta, Hannah R. Payne, 22, is awaiting trial on murder charges for the shooting death of Kenneth E. Herring, a 62-year-old mechanic who left the scene of a fender bender last May. Ms. Payne, who was not involved in the crash, chased Mr. Herring in her Jeep.
Pool, via WGCL-TV
Witnesses told police in Clayton County, Ga., that Ms. Payne blocked Mr. Herring’s truck, approached the open driver’s-side window of his vehicle and punched him with her left hand as she pointed a 9-millimeter firearm with her right.
A 911 dispatcher told her to stand down, but the police said the call recorded Ms. Payne’s demands: “Get out of the car,” she yelled, using a vulgarity. A single shot was fired, and Mr. Herring stepped out of the truck and died.
Ms. Payne, described by her lawyer as an “all-American girl” who “thought she was helping out,” is now facing a long prison term for a killing that shares eerie similarities to the shooting death of Mr. Arbery, who was killed in February after a father and son told the authorities they thought he was the suspect of a rash of recent break-ins in their neighborhood.
“When I saw that Arbery case, I thought, ‘Here we go again,’” Mr. Herring’s widow, Christine Herring, said in an interview.
To Ms. Herring, people like the young woman who killed her husband feel empowered by the law to handle criminal matters on their own.
via Herring family
A Georgia prosecutor, George E. Barnhill, cited the state’s citizen’s arrest law as the reason Gregory McMichael, 64, and his son, Travis McMichael, 34, should not be held responsible for Mr. Arbery’s death.
In a letter to the Glynn County Police Department, Mr. Barnhill, who eventually recused himself from the case, wrote that the men were in “hot pursuit” of Mr. Arbery, and that they had “solid first hand probable cause” that he was a “burglary suspect.”
There is no evidence that Mr. Arbery had committed a burglary, and he was not armed when he was chased down.
The McMichaels were arrested last week and charged with aggravated assault and murder, more than two months after the shooting death and after a different prosecutor asked the Georgia Bureau of Investigation for assistance.
According to Mr. Robbins’ research, some states do not allow citizen’s arrest of misdemeanors unless the misdemeanor involves a “breach of the peace.” Others only allow citizens to make the arrest if they witnessed the crime themselves. The laws vary across the country regarding the level of probable cause that is required, and how long a person is allowed to detain someone.
In Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, an arrest is allowed if a citizen personally witnesses a felony. California allows a citizen’s arrest of a misdemeanor even if the person did not directly witness it.
Statutes also differ on how certain the citizen has to be that the crime was committed, Mr. Robbins wrote. In Arkansas, the citizen can be “reasonably sure,” but in New York, if the felony was not actually committed, someone who wrongly takes a person into custody can wind up liable for false arrest.
In Gary, Ind., last fall, a city councilman who apprehended a teenager he believed had stolen his car days earlier was charged with kidnapping.
“It can get messy,” said Ronald L. Carlson, a law professor at the University of Georgia. “A citizen who is being arrested is much less inclined to be cooperative if it’s not somebody with a blue uniform on.”
In Georgia, the law states that a private person may arrest someone if a crime is committed in his presence or “within his immediate knowledge.”
But if it is a felony, the citizen can stop someone from escaping if the citizen has “reasonable and probable grounds of suspicion.”
The current Georgia law is about a decade old, but versions of a nearly identical statute have existed in the state since 1863.
In the Clayton County case, leaving the scene of an accident with no injuries is a misdemeanor, so Georgia law would not have authorized Ms. Payne to chase down Mr. Herring.
Further, Mr. Herring initially stopped at the accident scene, but he apparently was having a diabetic episode and got back in his car and left, his wife said, so it was unclear whether he would have been charged with any crime at all.
Ms. Payne and her lawyer, Matt Tucker, did not respond to requests for comment.
At her bond hearing last year, Mr. Tucker said his client was “not a menace to society as people want to portray her.”
“She’s a young individual that got on the phone with 911 and thought she was helping out,” the Clayton News Daily quoted him saying. “At her age, she learned a very valuable lesson.”
In the killing of Mr. Arbery, someone called 911 beforehand to say that a man was inside a house under construction. If that man was Mr. Arbery, and he was there without permission but stole nothing, then he could have been charged with trespassing, a misdemeanor, said Lawrence J. Zimmerman, the president of the Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. That means, Mr. Zimmerman said, the men who went after him would not have been authorized to give chase,
Force can only be used to prevent a violent felony, Mr. Zimmerman said, adding, “What is not lawful is, you can’t detain somebody and then use force.”
But a person making a citizen’s arrest who is then attacked could try to claim self-defense, he said, as the McMichaels have claimed — although it would not necessarily be successful.
On Tuesday, Georgia lawmakers said they would move forward with proposals to strip that protection from state law.
“The citizen’s arrest has to be abolished in this state,” State Representative James Beverly, a Democrat, said at a news conference in Brunswick on Tuesday. “We can’t have this happen again in this country and certainly not in the state of Georgia.”
Ms. Herring said she would love to see the law abolished. The law is protecting them for some reason,” she said of those who had cited it as a defense. And of the woman accused of killing her husband, she added, “What gives her the right? Let me tell you, she is not the police.”

Trump Attacks Vote-by-Mail and the U.S. Postal Service | The Daily Socia...

In Kamala Harris, a Choice at Once Safe and Energizing - The New York Times

"Her selection as Joe Biden’s running mate was conventional by some political standards. But it was historic most of all, and especially sweet for many Black women.
Joseph R. Biden Jr. with Senator Kamala Harris last September after a Democratic presidential primary debate in Houston.
Joseph R. Biden Jr. with Senator Kamala Harris last September after a Democratic presidential primary debate in Houston.
WASHINGTON — In naming Kamala Harris as his running mate, Joseph R. Biden Jr. made a groundbreaking decision, picking a woman of color to be vice president and, possibly, a successor in the White House someday. Yet in some ways, Mr. Biden made a conventional choice: elevating a senator who brings generational and coastal balance to the Democratic ticket and shares his center-left politics at a time of progressive change in the party.
Unlike Barack Obama and George W. Bush, who selected veteran Washington hands as their vice presidents, Mr. Biden, 77, is opting for a time-honored model in which running mates are not just governing partners but political understudies of sorts. Pegged as a rising star for a decade, but with less than four years of experience in the Senate — she was 8 years old when Mr. Biden was first elected to the chamber — Ms. Harris, 55, reflects a traditional archetype in an election year that has been anything but normal.
She is also a thoroughly establishment-friendly figure, as is Mr. Biden: Both have hewed closely to their party’s mainstream for years, shifting left with the times but always with an eye on the broader electorate and higher office. He long said he wanted someone “simpatico” with him and, in Ms. Harris, he found that person, at least when it comes to ideology.
Progressive Democrats now find themselves led by two moderates with relatively cautious political instincts, even as activist energy courses through the party and left-wing challengers unseat some incumbents. The mostly young protesters filling the streets of nearly every American city to denounce police brutality and President Trump are represented by two figures who have offered sympathetic words and proposals but whose careers have been shaped by their relationship with law enforcement.
Video
Joseph R. Biden Jr., the presumptive Democratic nominee, selected Senator Kamala Harris of California as his running mate. She is the first Black woman and the first person of Indian descent to be nominated for national office by a major party.CreditCredit...Anna Moneymaker for The New York Times
“She’s not of the far left of the party, she’s a former prosecutor,” Janet Napolitano, the former Arizona governor and Homeland Security secretary, said of Ms. Harris. “And when you’re a prosecutor, you have to make some tough calls.”
While it may repel some younger liberals, Ms. Harris’s history as San Francisco district attorney and California attorney general may be more asset than liability for more moderate voters, as it has been for Ms. Napolitano and so many women in politics who began their ascent as prosecutors.
That law enforcement pedigree, which Ms. Harris also shares with Mr. Biden’s late son Beau, is only part of the reason he turned to her, though.
He also chose her to help inject excitement into his campaign, which is leading in the polls but mostly because he’s the genial alternative to the most divisive president in modern history who is presiding over a pandemic and economic collapse.
Having started his career in a capital consumed with Watergate and controlled by white men, Mr. Biden also turned to Ms. Harris to bring a fresh perspective to the West Wing should they win — a similar calculation, but with the roles reversed between ticketmates, that propelled him to the vice presidency 12 years ago.
Mr. Biden spurned those progressives who wanted their consensus-oriented standard-bearer to elevate a liberal like Senator Elizabeth Warren, instead picking a prominent leader from the demographic that resurrected his campaign in the Democratic primary. By doing what Hillary Clinton did not do four years ago and choosing a Black running mate, he may give the party’s most loyal voters a reason, beyond animus toward Mr. Trump, to work for and elect the ticket.
Ms. Harris comes to the ticket having started her career in the crucible of San Francisco politics, won statewide office in America’s largest state and sought the presidency herself. She has a relationship with many party donors, lawmakers and activists. She has been scrutinized far more than some of the runners-up, who have either never been elected outside a House district or had never been on a ballot at all, as was the case with Susan E. Rice, the former national security adviser.
This is not to say that Mr. Biden simply made a politically safe choice.
Mr. Biden is now taking direct aim at Mr. Trump’s brand of racial grievance politics by making his political partner the daughter of Jamaican and Indian immigrants. In doing so, he passed over candidates like Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan who might have been more appealing to some white moderates and even Republicans in traditional battlegrounds like Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania.
Credit...Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times
Ms. Harris is also, like Mr. Biden, a candidate some Democrats may be glad is running in a coronavirus campaign free of rallies and short on spontaneity: While she can be extraordinarily effective when she’s well-prepared, Ms. Harris is less formidable and at times gaffe-prone when she’s off script.
Most consequentially of all, though, is what Mr. Biden’s decision may mean to the future of his party. Even though some of his own advisers expressed unease about any running mate who might quickly begin eyeing a future presidential bid, even in 2024 if he does not run again, Mr. Biden decided to give Ms. Harris a head start on becoming the country’s first female president.
No other aspiring president in the Democratic Party will enjoy the sort of platform of Ms. Harris, should she become vice president. Were Mr. Biden to win, she would be the only figure under 70 among the party’s leaders in the House, the Senate and the White House.
“It shows that Biden didn’t buy into this criticism of Harris being too ambitious,” said Ms. Napolitano, alluding to caricatures that infuriated many women but which made some of Mr. Biden’s supporters, and even staff members, leery of her.
In some respects, the Biden-Harris pairing represents the fulfillment of what many party activists hoped and expected would be their 2020 ticket, which they continued to whisper even in the tense days after the first Democratic debate last year when she sharply criticized him over his 1970s-era opposition to school busing.
Across the spectrum of the Democratic Party — former elected officials, grass-roots activists, swing-state moderates, and even much of the progressive wing — the reaction was largely a sigh of relief.
Many were energized about the selection of Ms. Harris, and at minimum, they felt she fulfilled many of the requirements their slice of the electorate preferred. More controversial picks were avoided. The overarching rule of “do no harm” was satisfied.
And for Black women in politics, Ms. Harris’s elevation was especially sweet — even if they acknowledged the somewhat conventional nature of her selection.
“Oftentimes do-no-harm choices are not exciting — this is an exciting one,” said Leah Daughtry, a decades-long veteran of Democratic campaigns, sharing that women were calling her in tears. “She is the stand-in for Black women. We are on the ticket.”
But by choosing Ms. Harris, Mr. Biden also stamped out the final hope of progressives who held out hope that recent victories in New York City, St. Louis and Chicago would force Mr. Biden to choose someone with left-wing bona fides.
Throughout their careers, both Mr. Biden and Ms. Harris have been pushed by the left, particularly on criminal justice, health care and the economy. Their responses have mirrored each other also: casting themselves as uniters at the center of the party. Their challenge now will be to unite a Democratic coalition that can bring in some of the voters Mr. Trump has put off, while motivating young people and progressives who may not see this ticket as representing their ambitions.
The length of Mr. Biden’s selection process had given a range of groups the opportunity to publicly lobby for their interests since March. None were louder than Black Democrats who angled for the selection to be a Black woman, a chorus that particularly intensified after the start of protests over racial inequality.
At times, it seemed Mr. Biden was being pulled in opposing directions: a governing pick ready to lead at any moment and one whose life experiences spoke to the country being torn apart by race and racism. In Ms. Harris, Mr. Biden and Democrats believe they have both.
Derrick Johnson, the president of the N.A.A.C.P., said Mr. Biden’s selection proved that he is prioritizing the Black electorate in the general election, and rewarding them for supporting him in the primary.
“It will energize Black voters because they can now see themselves in the ticket,” Mr. Johnson said. “By supporting Biden in the primary, the question was now how will they be reflected in his administration. And what V.P. Biden is saying is we’ll have a voice at the highest levels.”
The Rev. Al Sharpton, the civil rights leader and television show host, called Ms. Harris a “great selection.”
Mr. Sharpton, who said he talked to Mr. Biden “three or four times” during the vice-presidential selection process, said he believed that the national conversation about racial inequality pushed Mr. Biden to select a Black woman. He credited public pressure campaigns with creating an environment in which a non-Black woman would be seen as a slight.
“You had intergenerational and cross-the-board press on him,” Mr. Sharpton said, bringing up Representative James E. Clyburn, the highest-ranking Black Democrat in Congress. “If you have everyone from Clyburn and the Black caucus, to Sharpton and civil rights guys, and even the cultural figures and Black women, it clearly had an impact.”
But the reaction was strongest among Democratic women, who have known for months that Mr. Biden would select a woman as a running mate — but were nonetheless excited about the announcement. In Ms. Harris, the party has someone who made outreach to women a key aspect of her presidential run.
Nse Ufot, chief executive of the New Georgia Project, the organization seeking to flip the Southern state by registering new voters, said that “we all know that Black women have been the backbone of the Democratic Party and our leadership has gone uncredited for far too long.”
She invoked the name and words of Shirley Chisholm, the New York congresswoman who was the first Black woman to mount a national campaign for president. When Ms. Harris announced her presidential run in 2019, she chose the same week of Ms. Chisholm’s announcement as a homage, basing her color scheme and logo after her political hero, whose famous mantra was “unbought and unbossed.”
Nearly 50 years after Ms. Chisholm’s run, Ms. Harris carries Black women a step closer to the Oval Office — and reflects the evolution of Black Americans from political outsiders pounding on democracy’s doors to consummate insiders ushered into the clubhouse.
“Shirley Chisholm is smiling today,” Ms. Ufot said. “This is only the beginning, as there are many more of us bringing folding chairs to the table of democracy.”
In Kamala Harris, a Choice at Once Safe and Energizing - The New York Times

In Kamala Harris, a Choice at Once Safe and Energizing - The New York Times

"Her selection as Joe Biden’s running mate was conventional by some political standards. But it was historic most of all, and especially sweet for many Black women.
Joseph R. Biden Jr. with Senator Kamala Harris last September after a Democratic presidential primary debate in Houston.
Joseph R. Biden Jr. with Senator Kamala Harris last September after a Democratic presidential primary debate in Houston.
WASHINGTON — In naming Kamala Harris as his running mate, Joseph R. Biden Jr. made a groundbreaking decision, picking a woman of color to be vice president and, possibly, a successor in the White House someday. Yet in some ways, Mr. Biden made a conventional choice: elevating a senator who brings generational and coastal balance to the Democratic ticket and shares his center-left politics at a time of progressive change in the party.
Unlike Barack Obama and George W. Bush, who selected veteran Washington hands as their vice presidents, Mr. Biden, 77, is opting for a time-honored model in which running mates are not just governing partners but political understudies of sorts. Pegged as a rising star for a decade, but with less than four years of experience in the Senate — she was 8 years old when Mr. Biden was first elected to the chamber — Ms. Harris, 55, reflects a traditional archetype in an election year that has been anything but normal.
She is also a thoroughly establishment-friendly figure, as is Mr. Biden: Both have hewed closely to their party’s mainstream for years, shifting left with the times but always with an eye on the broader electorate and higher office. He long said he wanted someone “simpatico” with him and, in Ms. Harris, he found that person, at least when it comes to ideology.
Progressive Democrats now find themselves led by two moderates with relatively cautious political instincts, even as activist energy courses through the party and left-wing challengers unseat some incumbents. The mostly young protesters filling the streets of nearly every American city to denounce police brutality and President Trump are represented by two figures who have offered sympathetic words and proposals but whose careers have been shaped by their relationship with law enforcement.
Video
Joseph R. Biden Jr., the presumptive Democratic nominee, selected Senator Kamala Harris of California as his running mate. She is the first Black woman and the first person of Indian descent to be nominated for national office by a major party.CreditCredit...Anna Moneymaker for The New York Times
“She’s not of the far left of the party, she’s a former prosecutor,” Janet Napolitano, the former Arizona governor and Homeland Security secretary, said of Ms. Harris. “And when you’re a prosecutor, you have to make some tough calls.”
While it may repel some younger liberals, Ms. Harris’s history as San Francisco district attorney and California attorney general may be more asset than liability for more moderate voters, as it has been for Ms. Napolitano and so many women in politics who began their ascent as prosecutors.
That law enforcement pedigree, which Ms. Harris also shares with Mr. Biden’s late son Beau, is only part of the reason he turned to her, though.
He also chose her to help inject excitement into his campaign, which is leading in the polls but mostly because he’s the genial alternative to the most divisive president in modern history who is presiding over a pandemic and economic collapse.
Having started his career in a capital consumed with Watergate and controlled by white men, Mr. Biden also turned to Ms. Harris to bring a fresh perspective to the West Wing should they win — a similar calculation, but with the roles reversed between ticketmates, that propelled him to the vice presidency 12 years ago.
Mr. Biden spurned those progressives who wanted their consensus-oriented standard-bearer to elevate a liberal like Senator Elizabeth Warren, instead picking a prominent leader from the demographic that resurrected his campaign in the Democratic primary. By doing what Hillary Clinton did not do four years ago and choosing a Black running mate, he may give the party’s most loyal voters a reason, beyond animus toward Mr. Trump, to work for and elect the ticket.
Ms. Harris comes to the ticket having started her career in the crucible of San Francisco politics, won statewide office in America’s largest state and sought the presidency herself. She has a relationship with many party donors, lawmakers and activists. She has been scrutinized far more than some of the runners-up, who have either never been elected outside a House district or had never been on a ballot at all, as was the case with Susan E. Rice, the former national security adviser.
This is not to say that Mr. Biden simply made a politically safe choice.
Mr. Biden is now taking direct aim at Mr. Trump’s brand of racial grievance politics by making his political partner the daughter of Jamaican and Indian immigrants. In doing so, he passed over candidates like Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan who might have been more appealing to some white moderates and even Republicans in traditional battlegrounds like Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania.
Credit...Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times
Ms. Harris is also, like Mr. Biden, a candidate some Democrats may be glad is running in a coronavirus campaign free of rallies and short on spontaneity: While she can be extraordinarily effective when she’s well-prepared, Ms. Harris is less formidable and at times gaffe-prone when she’s off script.
Most consequentially of all, though, is what Mr. Biden’s decision may mean to the future of his party. Even though some of his own advisers expressed unease about any running mate who might quickly begin eyeing a future presidential bid, even in 2024 if he does not run again, Mr. Biden decided to give Ms. Harris a head start on becoming the country’s first female president.
No other aspiring president in the Democratic Party will enjoy the sort of platform of Ms. Harris, should she become vice president. Were Mr. Biden to win, she would be the only figure under 70 among the party’s leaders in the House, the Senate and the White House.
“It shows that Biden didn’t buy into this criticism of Harris being too ambitious,” said Ms. Napolitano, alluding to caricatures that infuriated many women but which made some of Mr. Biden’s supporters, and even staff members, leery of her.
In some respects, the Biden-Harris pairing represents the fulfillment of what many party activists hoped and expected would be their 2020 ticket, which they continued to whisper even in the tense days after the first Democratic debate last year when she sharply criticized him over his 1970s-era opposition to school busing.
Across the spectrum of the Democratic Party — former elected officials, grass-roots activists, swing-state moderates, and even much of the progressive wing — the reaction was largely a sigh of relief.
Many were energized about the selection of Ms. Harris, and at minimum, they felt she fulfilled many of the requirements their slice of the electorate preferred. More controversial picks were avoided. The overarching rule of “do no harm” was satisfied.
And for Black women in politics, Ms. Harris’s elevation was especially sweet — even if they acknowledged the somewhat conventional nature of her selection.
“Oftentimes do-no-harm choices are not exciting — this is an exciting one,” said Leah Daughtry, a decades-long veteran of Democratic campaigns, sharing that women were calling her in tears. “She is the stand-in for Black women. We are on the ticket.”
But by choosing Ms. Harris, Mr. Biden also stamped out the final hope of progressives who held out hope that recent victories in New York City, St. Louis and Chicago would force Mr. Biden to choose someone with left-wing bona fides.
Throughout their careers, both Mr. Biden and Ms. Harris have been pushed by the left, particularly on criminal justice, health care and the economy. Their responses have mirrored each other also: casting themselves as uniters at the center of the party. Their challenge now will be to unite a Democratic coalition that can bring in some of the voters Mr. Trump has put off, while motivating young people and progressives who may not see this ticket as representing their ambitions.
The length of Mr. Biden’s selection process had given a range of groups the opportunity to publicly lobby for their interests since March. None were louder than Black Democrats who angled for the selection to be a Black woman, a chorus that particularly intensified after the start of protests over racial inequality.
At times, it seemed Mr. Biden was being pulled in opposing directions: a governing pick ready to lead at any moment and one whose life experiences spoke to the country being torn apart by race and racism. In Ms. Harris, Mr. Biden and Democrats believe they have both.
Derrick Johnson, the president of the N.A.A.C.P., said Mr. Biden’s selection proved that he is prioritizing the Black electorate in the general election, and rewarding them for supporting him in the primary.
“It will energize Black voters because they can now see themselves in the ticket,” Mr. Johnson said. “By supporting Biden in the primary, the question was now how will they be reflected in his administration. And what V.P. Biden is saying is we’ll have a voice at the highest levels.”
The Rev. Al Sharpton, the civil rights leader and television show host, called Ms. Harris a “great selection.”
Mr. Sharpton, who said he talked to Mr. Biden “three or four times” during the vice-presidential selection process, said he believed that the national conversation about racial inequality pushed Mr. Biden to select a Black woman. He credited public pressure campaigns with creating an environment in which a non-Black woman would be seen as a slight.
“You had intergenerational and cross-the-board press on him,” Mr. Sharpton said, bringing up Representative James E. Clyburn, the highest-ranking Black Democrat in Congress. “If you have everyone from Clyburn and the Black caucus, to Sharpton and civil rights guys, and even the cultural figures and Black women, it clearly had an impact.”
But the reaction was strongest among Democratic women, who have known for months that Mr. Biden would select a woman as a running mate — but were nonetheless excited about the announcement. In Ms. Harris, the party has someone who made outreach to women a key aspect of her presidential run.
Nse Ufot, chief executive of the New Georgia Project, the organization seeking to flip the Southern state by registering new voters, said that “we all know that Black women have been the backbone of the Democratic Party and our leadership has gone uncredited for far too long.”
She invoked the name and words of Shirley Chisholm, the New York congresswoman who was the first Black woman to mount a national campaign for president. When Ms. Harris announced her presidential run in 2019, she chose the same week of Ms. Chisholm’s announcement as a homage, basing her color scheme and logo after her political hero, whose famous mantra was “unbought and unbossed.”
Nearly 50 years after Ms. Chisholm’s run, Ms. Harris carries Black women a step closer to the Oval Office — and reflects the evolution of Black Americans from political outsiders pounding on democracy’s doors to consummate insiders ushered into the clubhouse.
“Shirley Chisholm is smiling today,” Ms. Ufot said. “This is only the beginning, as there are many more of us bringing folding chairs to the table of democracy.”
In Kamala Harris, a Choice at Once Safe and Energizing - The New York Times

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Who is Kamala Harris? A look at her background and career in politics

Kamala

2020 Election Live Updates: Joe Biden Picks Kamala Harris to Be His Running Mate

2020 Election Live Updates: Joe Biden Picks Kamala Harris to Be His Running Mate

In a new national poll, Mr. Biden leads President Trump by 10 points. In Minnesota, Ilhan Omar faces a stiff primary challenge, while a QAnon supporter has a shot at a Georgia House seat.

RIGHT NOW

Kamala Harris is Biden’s choice for vice president.

Jenna Schoenefeld for The New York Times

Joseph R. Biden Jr. selected Senator Kamala Harris of California as his vice-presidential running mate on Tuesday, embracing a former rival who sharply criticized him in the Democratic primaries but emerged after ending her own campaign as a vocal supporter of Mr. Biden and a prominent advocate of racial-justice legislation after the death of George Floyd in late May.

Ms. Harris, 55, is the first Black woman and the first person of Indian descent to be nominated for national office by a major party, and only the fourth woman in history to be chosen for one of their presidential tickets. She brings to the race a far more vigorous campaign style than Mr. Biden’s, including a gift for capturing moments of raw political electricity on the debate stage and elsewhere, and a personal identity and family story that many find inspiring.

Mr. Biden announced the selection over text message and in a follow-up email to supporters: “Joe Biden here. Big news: I’ve chosen Kamala Harris as my running mate. Together, with you, we’re going to beat Trump.”

After her own presidential bid disintegrated last year, many Democrats regarded Ms. Harris as all but certain to attempt another run for the White House in the future. By choosing her as his political partner, Mr. Biden may well be anointing her as the de facto leader of the party in four or eight years.

A pragmatic moderate who spent most of her career as a prosecutor, Ms. Harris was seen throughout the vice-presidential search as among the safest choices available to Mr. Biden. She has been a reliable ally of the Democratic establishment, with flexible policy priorities that largely mirror Mr. Biden’s, and her supporters argued that she could reinforce Mr. Biden’s appeal to Black voters and women without stirring particularly vehement opposition on the right or left.

After leaving the presidential race in December, Ms. Harris turned her attention back to the Senate and found new purpose amid a wave of nationwide protests this spring against racism and police brutality. She marched beside protesters and forcefully championed proposals to overhaul policing and make lynching a federal crime, often speaking with a kind of clarity that had eluded her in the presidential primaries on economic issues like health care and taxation.

Doug Mills/The New York Times

A new national poll released Tuesday shows Mr. Biden maintaining a 10-point lead over Mr. Trump, with just 4 percent of voters remaining undecided.

The poll, conducted by Monmouth University, showed Mr. Biden garnering the support of 51 percent of registered voters and Mr. Trump earning 41 percent. A small share of support went to third-party candidates and the rest were undecided.

Mr. Biden’s lead was about the same as he had in a late-June survey by the same pollster, in which Mr. Biden was ahead of Mr. Trump by 12 percentage points.

The Monmouth Poll was conducted by telephone from Aug. 6 to Aug. 10 and has a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.

In Wisconsin, a swing state won by Mr. Trump in 2016, Mr. Biden led the president by six percentage points in a Marquette Law School poll of registered voters that was released on Tuesday.

Six percent of those polled said that they would not vote for either Mr. Trump or Mr. Biden, 3 percent were undecided and 1 percent would not disclose their choice for president.

Mr. Trump’s job approval ratings continued to slide in Wisconsin, particularly on his handling of the coronavirus pandemic — 58 percent of those polled said they disapproved of his response to the health crisis. The poll had a margin of error of 3.9 percentage points.

Jenn Ackerman for The New York Times

In the weeks before Minnesota’s congressional primary on Tuesday, volunteers for Representative Ilhan Omar’s re-election campaign did something highly unusual: They went door knocking.

In any other year, going door to door to speak with voters in person would be a given. But during the coronavirus pandemic, the traditional methods of identifying, organizing, persuading and turning out voters have been upended.

Some Republican campaigns, including Mr. Trump’s, have resumed in-person campaign activities. But most Democratic candidates, including Mr. Biden, have largely switched to a sort of virtual ground game to connect with voters through phone calls and text messages.

Ms. Omar’s campaign quietly returned to door-knocking in the beginning of July, with new protocols. Volunteers would wear masks. They would ring a doorbell and then step back at least six feet. They would carry safety kits that included hand sanitizer.

“There’s an element that just can’t be re-created not being in person,” said Claire Bergren, Ms. Omar’s campaign manager.

Even Ms. Omar herself briefly hit the pavement.

Her primary is in the spotlight on Tuesday, as she hopes to continue a string of victories by progressive candidates nationwide. She faces a well-financed challenge from Antone Melton-Meaux, a lawyer who has raised more than $4 million.

Ms. Omar, an unabashed progressive who has at times run afoul of some party leaders, won the support of House Democrats like Speaker Nancy Pelosi for her re-election efforts. Mr. Melton-Meaux has tried to cast her as a national lightning rod too controversial for the district.

Mr. Melton-Meaux nearly matched Ms. Omar’s fund-raising over all and outraised her in the most recent cycle, sounding alarms that the race could be closer than expected. Polls opened at 8 a.m. Eastern time and close at 9 p.m.

The race has also been transformed by the killing of George Floyd, in Ms. Omar’s district. She has been a leading voice in advocating systemic changes such as restructuring police departments, while her opponents have focused on more incremental reforms.

John Bailey/The Rome News-Tribune, via Associated Press

The Republican Party is going to find out just how big a QAnon problem it has on Tuesday when a primary runoff is decided in a northwest Georgia district, where polls opened at 7 a.m. Eastern time.

The favorite in the race in the 14th Congressional District is Marjorie Taylor Greene, a gun-rights activist who is an unabashed supporter of QAnon, a fringe group that has been pushing a convoluted pro-Trump conspiracy theory. Lined up against her is John Cowan, a physician who is no less conservative or pro-Trump, but who does not believe QAnon’s theory that there is a “deep state” of child-molesting Satanist traitors plotting against the president. The winner is a near lock to be elected to Congress in the overwhelmingly Republican district.

The F.B.I. has labeled QAnon a potential domestic terrorism threat, and the conspiracy theory has already inspired real-world violence. Yet its supporters are slowly becoming a political force with more than a dozen candidates who have expressed some degree of support for the theory, running for Congress as Republicans.

Most are expected to lose. Yet all present a fresh headache for Republican leaders.

The party, while already struggling to distance itself from conspiracy theories steeped in racist and anti-Semitic messaging, also cannot afford to turn off voters who share those conspiratorial views if it hopes to retain the Senate and retake the House.

A victory for Ms. Greene would make that balancing act far harder. She has been caught in Facebook videos making a series of offensive remarks about Black people, Jews and Muslims. And unlike some other QAnon-linked candidates, she has made no effort to soft-pedal her support for the conspiracy theory. She recently called it “a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take this global cabal of Satan-worshiping pedophiles out.”

Yet she nonetheless won 40 percent of the vote in the district’s Republican primary in June. Mr. Cowan won 21 percent, and the remainder of the votes were split between seven other candidates.

John Spink/Atlanta Journal-Constitution, via Associated Press

As voting takes place in Georgia and Wisconsin on Tuesday — polls opened at 7 a.m. Eastern in Georgia and 8 a.m. Eastern in Minnesota — attention will be on the election systems just as much as the candidates.

These two battleground states struggled to hold earlier primary elections amid the pandemic; while Tuesday’s elections will probably have lower turnout, they will still be a test of the voting apparatus.

In Wisconsin, which was the first state to hold a large, statewide election as the pandemic was surging in early April, the coronavirus is still near peak levels, but the elections system appears to be on more solid footing. One of the key causes of the long, mask-clad lines in Milwaukee in April was a shortage of poll workers, which led the city to consolidate 180 polling locations down to five.

On Tuesday, about 170 voting sites will be open in Milwaukee, or roughly 95 percent of the regular sites. The state also activated the National Guard, which will be dressed in plain clothes, to be on standby should there be any emergency shortages on Tuesday.

In Georgia, where about 60 percent of the state’s counties are holding elections, the turnout isn’t expected to reach levels at which long lines would be a problem as they were during the primary. The state’s most populous county — Fulton County — also opened an early voting location at State Farm Arena in Atlanta to help alleviate Election Day surges.

The absentee ballot deadlines, which required a ballot to arrive by close of business on Friday, remain unchanged from the primary election in June.

A Republican running for Congress in Connecticut was arrested Monday night and dropped out of the primary campaign just hours before voters went to the polls on Tuesday, the authorities and state party officials said.

The candidate, Thomas Gilmer, was charged with strangulation and unlawful restraint in connection with a “possible domestic assault,” the police in Wethersfield, a Hartford suburb, said in a statement. 

In a post on Twitter, the Connecticut Republican Party said Mr. Gilmer had ended his campaign.

Mr. Gilmer, a businessman, had won the Republican Party’s endorsement in May but faced a primary challenge today from Justin Anderson, a lieutenant colonel in the National Guard. In November, the primary winner will take on the longtime Democratic incumbent, Representative Joe Courtney, who was re-elected by a 62-to-35-percent margin in 2018.

Wethersfield Police Department

Mr. Gilmer, 29, could not be immediately reached for comment Tuesday morning.

The police said they were contacted in July about the episode that led to Mr. Gilmer’s arrest. The authorities did not provide any additional details.

Gabe Rosenberg, a spokesman for Connecticut’s Secretary of State, said the office had not received formal notice of Mr. Gilmer’s withdrawal from the race as of Tuesday morning.

Thousands of absentee ballots have already been mailed out, Mr. Rosenberg said, and if Mr. Gilmer wins Tuesday’s primary, he would remain on the November ballot unless he formally withdraws.

Republicans might be able to nominate someone to replace Mr. Gilmer if he wins and withdraws, depending on the timing, Mr. Rosenberg said.

Charles Sykes/Invision, via Associated Press

The Democratic National Convention will play out like a star-studded Zoom callnext week, anchored by nightly prime-time keynote speeches, with Michelle Obama appearing on Monday, Jill Biden on Tuesday, Barack Obama on Wednesday, and Mr. Biden’s acceptance speech on Thursday, according to a schedule of events.

The convention, originally planned for Milwaukee, then forced into a cramped virtual format by the coronavirus, has been a logistical nightmare for planners who have had to grapple with wary television networks, daunting technical challenges and the omnipresent, low-grade threat of a disruption by Mr. Trump.

The schedule, provided by Democratic officials involved in the planning, above all else reflects Mr. Biden’s chief political goal: uniting the jostling progressive and establishment wings of the Democratic Party behind an elder statesman who has spent the last several months courting skeptical progressives.

The first-night schedule reflects that big-tent objective. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Mr. Biden’s main rival for the nomination — and still the standard-bearer of the populist left — has been given a keynote slot, just before Mrs. Obama speaks, and after Andrew M. Cuomo, the moderate governor of New York, delivers what is expected to be a scathing attack on Mr. Trump’s handling of the pandemic.

After the formality of a virtual delegate vote on Tuesday, Mr. Biden’s running mate will address the convention on Wednesday. As a precaution, planners have scheduled speaking times for some top vice-presidential contenders in case they are not picked, including Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan and Senators Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren.

About three-quarters of all American voters will be eligible to receive a ballot in the mail for the 2020 election — the most in U.S. history, according to a New York Times analysis. If recent election trends hold and turnout increases as experts predict, roughly 80 million mail ballots will flood election offices this fall, more than double the 2016 figure.

The rapid and seismic shift can be traced to the coronavirus pandemic. Concerns about virus transmission at polling places have forced many states to make adjustments on the fly that — despite President Trump’s protests — will make mail voting in America more accessible this fall than ever before.

“I have a hard time looking back at history and finding an election where there was this significant of a change to how elections are administered in this short a time period,” said Alex Padilla, the California secretary of state and chairman of the Democratic Association of Secretaries of State.

Most of the changes are temporary and have been made administratively by state and local officials, using emergency powers. Over all, 24 states and the District of Columbia have in some way expanded voter access to mail ballots for the 2020 general election. 

Doug Mills/The New York Times

After repeatedly throwing a wrench into plans for the Republican National Convention this summer, Mr. Trump on Monday tried to offer something tantalizingabout the upcoming gathering, saying that his renomination speech would take place either at the White House or the Civil War battlefield in Gettysburg, Pa.

“We will announce the decision soon!” Mr. Trump teased in a Twitter post.

It was perhaps a predictable move by the first president to be credited as an executive producer of a network reality show while sitting in office.

But whether Mr. Trump will actually deliver a nationally televised address in Gettysburg — the site of the Civil War’s bloodiest battle, a place memorialized in 1863 by Abraham Lincoln as hallowed ground — remains an open question.

The battlefield, where Mr. Trump gave an indoor campaign speech in 2016, is federal property run by the National Park Service. This presents the same ethical conundrums his re-election team will face if the president delivers the speech from the South Lawn of the White House.

In private, Mr. Trump has expressed to aides more interest in delivering his address at the White House, in part because of the ease of arranging the speech, set for Aug. 27, in a short time frame.

The president is not subject to the Hatch Act, a Depression-era law that prohibits federal employees from engaging in political activities while on the job. But everyone who works for him is. By delivering a speech with the Gettysburg battlefield as a backdrop, experts said, Mr. Trump would risk putting park rangers and other park employees at risk of a violation.

Bryan Woolston/Reuters

People with low incomes who are eligible to vote are much less likely to do so in national elections than those with higher incomes, and are more often constrained from casting ballots by transportation issues, illness or other problems out of their control, according to a study released Tuesday by the Poor People’s Campaign.

The study, by a Columbia University researcher, found that only 46 percent of potential voters with family incomes less than twice the federal poverty line voted in the 2016 presidential election, compared with 68 percent of those with family incomes above twice the poverty line.

Notwithstanding the practical hurdles lower-income voters face, the reasons voters across the economic spectrum most often cited for staying home were the same: disillusionment with the candidates, campaign issues and the political process writ large.

“They’re saying that they’re not voting because people are not speaking to their issues and that they’re just not interested in those candidates,” said the researcher, Robert Paul Hartley, an assistant professor of social work. “But it’s not that they couldn’t be.”

Though poor and low-income people turned out in large numbers in recent some state and local elections like the 2019 Kentucky governor’s race, the Rev. William J. Barber II, co-chairman of the Poor People’s Campaign, a nonpartisan coalition advocating to increase the power of the poor, said that the over 40 percent of Americans with lower incomes remained a largely untapped political force.

“The only way you can expand the electorate in this country is to expand among poor and low-wealth people,” he said.“