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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.

Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Republicans PANIC over McCarthy’s DANGEROUS deal with Tucker

Murdoch Acknowledges Fox News Hosts Endorsed Election Fraud Falsehoods - The New York Times

Murdoch Acknowledges Fox News Hosts Endorsed Election Fraud Falsehoods

"Rupert Murdoch, the conservative media mogul, spoke under oath last month in a $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox by Dominion Voting Systems.

Rupert Murdoch in a suit and tie, standing at a microphone and in front of two American flags.
“I would have liked us to be stronger in denouncing it in hindsight,” Rupert Murdoch said of the election fraud narrative.Mary Altaffer/Associated Press

Rupert Murdoch, chairman of the conservative media empire that owns Fox News, acknowledged in a deposition that several hosts for his networks promoted the false narrative that the 2020 election was stolen from former President Donald J. Trump, and that he could have stopped them but didn’t, court documentsreleased on Monday showed.

“They endorsed,” Mr. Murdoch said under oath in response to direct questions about the Fox hosts Sean Hannity, Jeanine Pirro, Lou Dobbs and Maria Bartiromo, according to a legal filing by Dominion Voting Systems. “I would have liked us to be stronger in denouncing it in hindsight,” he added, while also disclosing that he was always dubious of Mr. Trump’s claims of widespread voter fraud.

Asked whether he doubted Mr. Trump, Mr. Murdoch responded: “Yes. I mean, we thought everything was on the up-and-up.” At the same time, he rejected the accusation that Fox News as a whole had endorsed the stolen election narrative. “Not Fox,” he said. “No. Not Fox.”

Mr. Murdoch’s remarks, which he made last month as part of Dominion’s $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox, added to the evidence that Dominion has accumulated as it tries to prove its central allegation: The people running the country’s most popular news network knew Mr. Trump’s claims of voter fraud in the 2020 election were false but broadcast them anyway in a reckless pursuit of ratings and profit.

Proof to that effect would help Dominion clear the high legal bar set by the Supreme Court for defamation cases. To prevail, Dominion must show not only that Fox broadcast false information, but that it did so knowingly. A judge in Delaware state court has scheduled a monthlong trial beginning in April.

The new documents and a similar batch released this month provide a dramatic account from inside the network, depicting a frantic scramble as Fox tried to woo back its large conservative audience after ratings collapsed in the wake of Mr. Trump’s loss. Fox had been the first network to call Arizona for Joseph R. Biden on election night — essentially declaring him the next president. When Mr. Trump refused to concede and started attacking Fox as disloyal and dishonest, viewers began to change the channel.

The filings also revealed that top executives and on-air hosts had reacted with incredulity bordering on contempt to various fictitious allegations about Dominion. These included unsubstantiated rumors — repeatedly uttered by guests and hosts of Fox programs — that its voting machines could run a secret algorithm that switched votes from one candidate to another, and that the company was founded in Venezuela to help that country’s longtime leader, Hugo Chávez, fix elections.

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Despite those misgivings, little changed about the content on shows like Mr. Dobbs’s and Ms. Bartiromo’s. For weeks after the election, viewers of Fox News and Fox Business heard a far different story from the one that Fox executives privately conceded was real.

Lawyers for Fox News, which filed a response to Dominion in court on Monday, argued that its commentary and reporting after the election did not amount to defamation because its hosts had not endorsed the falsehoods about Dominion, even if Mr. Murdoch stated otherwise in his deposition. As such, the network’s lawyers argued, Fox’s coverage was protected under the First Amendment.

“Far from reporting the allegations as true, hosts informed their audiences at every turn that the allegations were just allegations that would need to be proven in court in short order if they were going to impact the outcome of the election,” Fox lawyers said in their filing. “And to the extent some hosts commented on the allegations, that commentary is independently protected opinion.”

A Fox News spokeswoman said on Monday in response to the filing that Dominion’s case “has always been more about what will generate headlines than what can withstand legal scrutiny.” She added that the company had taken “an extreme, unsupported view of defamation law that would prevent journalists from basic reporting.”

In certain instances, Fox hosts did present the allegations as unproven and offered their opinions. And Fox lawyers have pointed to exchanges on the air when hosts challenged these claims and pressed Mr. Trump’s lawyers Sidney Powell and Rudolph W. Giuliani to present evidence that never materialized.

But the case is also likely to revolve around questions about what people with the power to shape Fox’s on-air content knew about the validity of the fraud allegations as they gave pro-Trump election deniers a platform — often in front of hosts who mustered no pushback.

“There appears to be a pretty good argument that Fox endorsed the accuracy of what was being said,” said Lee Levine, a veteran First Amendment lawyer who has defended major media organizations in defamation cases. He added that Fox’s arguments were stronger against some of Dominion’s claims than others. But based on what he has seen of the case so far, Mr. Levine said, “I’d much rather be in Dominion’s shoes than Fox’s right now.”

Dominion’s filing casts Mr. Murdoch as a chairman who was both deeply engaged with his senior leadership about coverage of the election and operating at somewhat of a remove, unwilling to interfere. Asked by Dominion’s lawyer, Justin Nelson, whether he could have ordered Fox News to keep Trump lawyers like Ms. Powell and Mr. Giuliani off the air, Mr. Murdoch responded: “I could have. But I didn’t.”

The document also described how Paul D. Ryan, a former Republican speaker of the House and current member of the Fox Corporation board of directors, said in his deposition that he had implored Mr. Murdoch and his son Lachlan, the chief executive officer, “that Fox News should not be spreading conspiracy theories.” Mr. Ryan suggested instead that the network pivot and “move on from Donald Trump and stop spouting election lies.”

There was some discussion at the highest levels of the company about how to make that pivot, Dominion said.

On Jan. 5, 2021, the day before the attack at the Capitol, Mr. Murdoch and Suzanne Scott, the chief executive of Fox News Media, talked about whether Mr. Hannity and his fellow prime-time hosts, Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham, should make it clear to viewers that Mr. Biden had won the election. Mr. Murdoch said in his deposition that he had hoped such a statement “would go a long way to stop the Trump myth that the election was stolen.”

According to the filing, Ms. Scott said of the hosts, “Privately they are all there,” but “we need to be careful about using the shows and pissing off the viewers.” No statement of that kind was made on the air.

Dominion details the close relationship that Fox hosts and executives enjoyed with senior Republican Party officials and members of the Trump inner circle, revealing how at times Fox was shaping the very story it was covering. It describes how Mr. Murdoch placed a call to the Republican leader of the Senate, Mitch McConnell, immediately after the election. In his deposition, Mr. Murdoch testified that during that call he likely urged Mr. McConnell to “ask other senior Republicans to refuse to endorse Mr. Trump’s conspiracy theories and baseless claims of fraud.”

Dominion also describes how Mr. Murdoch provided Mr. Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, with confidential information about ads that the Biden campaign would be running on Fox.

At one point, Dominion’s lawyers accuse Ms. Pirro, who hosted a Saturday evening talk show, of “laundering her own conspiracy theories through Powell.” The filing goes on to say Ms. Pirro bragged to her friends “that she was the source for Powell’s claims.” Dominion notes that this was “something she never shared with her audience.”

The filing on Monday included a deposition by Viet Dinh, Fox Corporation’s chief legal officer, who was one of the many senior executive cautioning about the content of Fox’s coverage. After Mr. Hannity told his audience on Nov. 5, 2020, that it would be “impossible to ever know the true, fair, accurate election results,” Mr. Dinh told a group of senior executives including Lachlan Murdoch and Ms. Scott: “Hannity is getting awfully close to the line with his commentary and guests tonight.”

When asked in his deposition if Fox executives had an obligation to stop hosts of shows from broadcasting lies, Mr. Dinh said: “Yes, to prevent and correct known falsehoods.”

In their filing on Monday, Fox’s lawyers accused Dominion of cherry-picking evidence that some at Fox News knew the allegations against Dominion were not true and, therefore, acted out of actual malice, the legal standard required to prove defamation. 

“The vast majority of Dominion’s evidence comes from individuals who had zero responsibility for the statements Dominion challenges,” the lawyers said."

Murdoch Acknowledges Fox News Hosts Endorsed Election Fraud Falsehoods - The New York Times

Opinion | Florida Could Start Looking a Lot Like Hungary - The New York Times (DeSantis, America's newdevil!)

Florida Could Start Looking a Lot Like Hungary

Ron DeSantis, in a blazer and button-down shirt, speaks at a microphone. There is a red overlay on the photograph.
Illustration by The New York Times; photograph by Scott McIntyre for The New York Times

"In 2017, the government of Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban passed a law intended to drive Central European University, a prestigious school founded by a Hungarian refugee, George Soros, out of the country. At the time, this was shocking; as many as 80,000 protesters rallied in Budapest and intellectuals worldwide rushed to declare their solidarity with the demonstrators. “The fate of the university was a test of whether liberalism had the tactical savvy and emotional fortitude to beat back its new ideological foe,” wrote Franklin Foer in The Atlantic.

Liberalism, sadly, did not: The university was forced to move to Vienna, part of Orban’s lamentably successful campaign to dismantle Hungary’s liberal democracy.

That campaign has included ever-greater ideological control over education, most intensely in grade school, but also in colleges and universities. Following a landslide 2018 re-election victory that Orban saw as a “mandate to build a new era,” his government banned public funding for gender studies courses. “The Hungarian government is of the clear view that people are born either men or women,” said his chief of staff. In 2021, Orban extended political command over Hungarian universities by putting some schools under the authority of “public trusts” full of regime allies.

Many on the American right admire the way Orban uses the power of the state against cultural liberalism, but few are imitating him as faithfully as the Florida governor and likely Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis. Last week, one of DeSantis’s legislative allies filed House Bill 999, which would, as The Tampa Bay Times reported, turn many of DeSantis’s “wide-ranging ideas on higher education into law.” Even by DeSantis’s standards, it is a shocking piece of legislation that takes a sledgehammer to academic freedom. Jeremy Young, senior manager of free expression and education at PEN America, described it as “almost an apocalyptic bill for higher education,” one that is “orders of magnitude worse than anything we’ve seen, either in the recent or the distant past.”

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Echoing Orban, House Bill 999 bars Florida’s public colleges and universities from offering gender studies majors or minors, as well as majors or minors in critical race theory or “intersectionality,” or in any subject that “engenders beliefs” in those concepts. The bill prohibits the promotion or support of any campus activities that “espouse diversity, equity and inclusion or critical race theory rhetoric.” This goes far beyond simply ending D.E.I. programming, and could make many campus speakers, as well as student organizations like Black student unions, verboten.

There’s more. Under House Bill 999, general education core courses couldn’t present a view of American history “contrary to the creation of a new nation based on universal principles stated in the Declaration of Independence,” creating obvious limits on the teaching of subjects like slavery and the Native American genocide. The bill also says that general education courses shouldn’t be based on “unproven, theoretical or exploratory content,” without defining what that means. “State officials would have unfettered discretion to determine which views are ‘theoretical’ and banned from general education courses,” says a statement by the libertarian-leaning Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression.

Finally, the bill centralizes political control over hiring by allowing faculty to be cut out of the process. Right now, some boards of trustees have the power to veto hiring recommendations made by faculty and administrators, though Young says they rarely use it. Under House Bill 999, rather than an up-or-down vote on candidates vetted by university bodies, trustees could just hire whomever they want. “They don’t even have to hire someone who applied through the regular process,” said Young. “They can just say, ‘Here’s my friend Joe, he’s going to be the new history professor.’”

This would give DeSantis’s cronies enormous power over who can teach in Florida’s colleges and universities. Last month, I wrote about the governor’s campaign to transform the New College of Florida, a progressive public institution, into a bastion of conservatism. At the time, some faculty members suspected that DeSantis’s new trustees might find their grandiose plans stymied by bureaucratic obstacles. Young believes that House Bill 999 would sweep many of those obstacles away.

The bill, of course, is only one part of DeSantis’s culture war. His administration has already limited what can be taught to K-12 students about race, sex and gender. (Some teachers removed all books from their classroom shelves while they waited for them to be reviewed for forbidden content.) When Disney spoke out against one of DeSantis’s education measures, the governor punished the corporation. And he is pushing legislation taking aim at the news media by making it easier for people — especially those accused of racial or gender discrimination — to sue for defamation.

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Last year, a court blocked parts of DeSantis’s “Stop W.O.K.E” act, a ban on critical race theory that a federal judge called “positively dystopian.” In the likely event that House Bill 999 passes, the courts may block it as well. But the governor, a front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, has made his political program very clear.

“DeSantis seems to be putting into practice some of the political lessons Orban has to teach the American Right,” Rod Dreher, an American conservative living in Budapest, recently wrote with admiration. If you want to see where this leads, Hungary has a lot to teach us."

Opinion | Florida Could Start Looking a Lot Like Hungary - The New York Times

Opinion | 1776 Is Not Just What Ron DeSantis Wants It to Be - The New York Times

1776 Is Not Just What Ron DeSantis Wants It to Be

A pair of hands holds up an iPhone to take a picture of John Trumbull’s painting, “Declaration of Independence,” which can be seen both on the iPhone screen and in the background.
Bill Clark/Getty Images

"As part of his ongoing war on public education and so-called wokeness, Ron DeSantis, the governor of Florida, wants to put the state’s colleges and universities under strict political control.

Last week, Republicans in the state’s House of Representatives introduced legislation that would, with DeSantis’s approval, escalate and expand an already aggressive effort to politicize higher education. The proposal, House Bill 999, deals with both administration and curriculums.

It would make illegal the use of any “diversity, equity, and inclusion statements” as part of the hiring, promotion and tenure process, as well as give the governor-appointed state university boards of trustees the right to “review any faculty member’s tenure status.” The bill would also give the trustees final say over hiring decisions, sidestepping faculty member input as well.

When it comes to teaching, House Bill 999 would remove gender studies and critical race theory, “or any derivative major or minor of these belief systems,” from college and university instruction.

There’s also a requirement that those same general education courses not “suppress or distort significant historical events or include a curriculum that teaches identity politics” or define “American history as contrary to the creation of a new nation based on universal principles stated in the Declaration of Independence.”

There is much to say about this bill, and the Florida governor’s larger educational agenda, as an attack on free speech and academic freedom. For now, though, I want to focus on this requirement that colleges and universities teach American history as consistent with “the creation of a new nation based on universal principles stated in the Declaration of Independence.”

This requirement is obviously partisan. But it rests on a bipartisan and widely shared vision of the Declaration and the American founding, in which 1776 — and the statement of principle at the heart of the Declaration of Independence — is an engine of progress that leads inevitably and inexorably to everything from the Constitution to the abolition of slavery.

The founding fathers, in this telling, may not have lived up to the ideals of the Declaration, but their words would shape and inspire the struggles to come. “The assertion that all men are created equal was of no practical use in effecting our separation from Great Britain,” observed none other than Abraham Lincoln, “and it was placed in the Declaration, not for that, but for future use.”

That is the standard narrative. But what if the standard narrative is off? What if, as the legal scholar Kermit Roosevelt III argues in “The Nation That Never Was: Reconstructing America’s Story,” “the standard story gives us an understanding of American history that is not wrong so much as backward,” one that “misleads us about who the heroes of our history are” and about “who we are, and who we must be to become the heroes of our story”?

In particular, Roosevelt, who is a professor of constitutional law at the University of Pennsylvania, says that we get the Declaration wrong. “The Declaration of Independence was not a statement about human rights in the abstract,” he writes. “It was not a declaration of concrete human rights, either.” Instead, the Declaration of Independence was about, well, independence:

It first explains the origin and nature of legitimate political authority. It then explains when the exercise of political authority ceases to be legitimate. And then it endeavors to show that the situation of the American colonists fits the criteria that justify rebellion.

According to Roosevelt, Thomas Jefferson’s assertion of equality was not an assertion of the need for equal treatment under the law or a declaration of the rights of individuals to enjoy liberty and equality. Rather, it was a standard account of Enlightenment social contract theory, brought to bear for use in the Anglo-American conflict. In the Declaration’s political philosophy, “People start out equal,” Roosevelt writes, “endowed with natural rights but lacking the means to protect them. They create governments to secure those rights, and the government’s legitimate authority comes from their consent. If the government fails to do its job, the people may reject it and start anew.”

Jefferson’s equality, writes Roosevelt, “is a precise and limited concept.” It exists in the hypothetical state of nature, not the real world of political life. People may start out equal in the abstract, but do not stay that way when they enter into society.

There’s an obvious response to this: So what? What difference does it make what Jefferson meant when what matters is what later Americans heard? As written, the Declaration of Independence may not have been a statement of universal equality, but it became one in the struggles against slavery and race hierarchy, as activists and politicians used it for their own ends.

The problem, argues Roosevelt, is that tying our modern egalitarian commitments to the Declaration and the founding is to say, in no uncertain terms, that our values can survive, even thrive, in a world of profound inequality and injustice: “In asking modern Americans to see the founding as an Edenic movement, to see the founders as role models who stated our deepest ideals, we are asking them to accept that those ideals can coexist with slavery, with rape, with enslaving one’s own children because of the color of their skin.” We are saying, in short, that justice can always wait since we’ll eventually reach the destination of our ideals.

But if not the Declaration, then what? Where, and with whom, should we root our values?

Roosevelt’s answer lies in the Civil War and Reconstruction. It is Lincoln, after all, who claimed the Declaration for a “new birth of freedom” in his Gettysburg Address and gave it much of its modern meaning. But to do that, he and the United States had to overturn the old order. “Many people,” Roosevelt writes, “following Lincoln’s cue, think of Reconstruction as a process of better realizing founding ideals, through the process of change set out in the founders’ Constitution. We would do better to think of it as a revolution that destroyed Founding America.”

The results of that revolution — the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments — transformed American society. They were intended, as Frederick Douglass wrote in 1872, “to give full freedom to every person without regard to race or color in the United States.”

“In order that this intention should be carried out and acted upon,” Douglass continued, “power for that purpose was given by conferring upon Congress the right to enforce the amendments by appropriate legislation.”

And among those amendments, the 14th was a truly radical revision to the basic structure of the American republic. “There will be, its first sentence says, no perpetual outsiders,” Roosevelt notes. “No hereditary exclusion from our political community.” If the Declaration is about an abstract people in a hypothetical state of nature, then the 14th Amendment is “about real people born in the United States and possessing legal rights and citizenship,” guaranteed by the power of the federal government itself.

The Reconstruction story, Roosevelt argues, is a more honest one. It puts the struggle for liberation at the center of our national political imagination, and it doesn’t ask us to rationalize, defend or even justify the worst actions of the men who founded the United States.

We are not the heirs to the first American republic, Roosevelt writes, “We are the heirs of the people who destroyed it.” Our political community is based on an “inclusive equality” and not an “exclusive individualism.” It is the difference between Patrick Henry’s cry of “Give me liberty, or give me death!” and Julia Ward Howe’s great imperative “Let us die to make men free.”

By no means do I think that any Florida legislator has this particular argument in mind to condemn or reject. (In any case, under House Bill 999, Roosevelt’s book would be unteachable in Florida’s colleges and universities.) But as everyone in this conflict over history understands, education is as much about the creation and maintenance of a social order as it is the dissemination of skills and knowledge.

Whether you accept the standard story of the Declaration of Independence or want to root our values in the Civil War and Reconstruction, it is true that our embrace of equality as a national ideal in the 20th century has been a powerful force for a fairer, more expansive view of individual freedom and personal autonomy in American society.

The question, then, for Ron DeSantis is not which allies he hopes to empower or which elections he hopes to win, but what order he hopes to create and usher into being."

Opinion | 1776 Is Not Just What Ron DeSantis Wants It to Be - The New York Times

‘Different From the Other Southerners’: Jimmy Carter’s Relationship With Black America - The New York Times

‘Different From the Other Southerners’: Jimmy Carter’s Relationship With Black America

"How a white politician from the South who once supported segregationist policies eventually won the enduring support of Black voters.

In a black-and-white image, Mr. Carter, in a dark coat, and Mrs. Carter, in a lighter coat and a scarf, are standing in a car, the top parts of their bodies emerging through a sun roof, and waving to crowds who hold signs along a city street.
Jimmy Carter campaigning with his wife, Rosalynn, in New York City for the 1976 presidential election.Owen Franken/Corbis, via Getty Image

ATLANTA — Without Black voters, there would have been no President Jimmy Carter.

In 1976, African Americans catapulted the underdog Democrat to the White House with 83 percent support. Four years later, they stuck by him, delivering nearly identical numbers even as many white voters abandoned him in favor of his victorious Republican challenger, Ronald Reagan.

This enduring Black support for Mr. Carter illuminates two intertwined and epochal American stories, each of them powered by themes of pragmatism and redemption. One is the story of a white Georgia politician who began his quest for power in the Jim Crow South — a man who, as late as 1970, declared his respect for the arch-segregationist George Wallace in an effort to attract white votes, but whose personal convictions and political ambitions later pushed him to try to change the racist environment in which he had been raised.

The other is the story of a historically oppressed people flexing their growing electoral muscle after the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965 removed obstacles to the ballot box. Certainly, for some Black voters, candidate Carter was simply the least bad option. But for others, the elections of 1976 and 1980 were an opportunity to take the measure of this changing white man, recognizing the opportunity he presented, and even his better angels.

“His example in Georgia as a representative of the New South, as one of the new governors from the South, was exciting, and it was appealing,” said Representative Sanford Bishop, a Democrat whose Georgia congressional district includes Mr. Carter’s home. “It carried the day in terms of people wanting a fresh moral face for the presidency.”

Mr. Carter’s support for Black Americans sheds light on the political evolution of the man, who at 98, is America’s longest living president. (Mr. Carter entered hospice care earlier this month.)

The foundation of his relationships with Black voters and leaders was built in his home base of Plains, in rural Sumter County, Ga. Its Black residents can recall his efforts to maintain and then later resist the racist policies and practices that targeted the majority Black community.

Jonathan Alter, in his 2020 biography “His Very Best: Jimmy Carter, a Life,” noted that Mr. Carter, as a school board member, had made a number of moves to accommodate or uphold the local segregationist system of the 1950s, at one point trying to shift resources from Black schools to white schools in the name of sound fiscal management.

But Bobby Fuse, 71, a longtime civil rights activist who grew up in Americus, Ga., a few miles from Plains, recalled that Mr. Carter had also shown moments of real character. Among other things, he noted Mr. Carter’s objection to his Baptist church’s refusal to allow Black people to worship there.

“I wouldn’t have voted for anybody running against Jimmy Carter, more than likely,” said Mr. Fuse, who said he had first voted for Mr. Carter in his successful 1970 governor’s race. “Because I knew him to be an upright man different from the other Southerners.”

There were seeds of this difference early in the life of Mr. Carter. But as a young politician, it did not always translate into action. And the repressive environment of the mid-20th century meant that he had no Black voters to woo when he started his first foray into electoral politics with a 1962 bid for a South Georgia State Senate seat. Due to racist restrictions, hardly any Black people were registered to vote in his district at the time.

Historians say that Mr. Carter, early in his career, was both a creature and a critic of the strict segregationist system he had been born into. He largely kept his head down as civil rights advocates fought and sacrificed to change the status quo, with serious, and sometimes dangerous, protests and crackdowns flaring up in Sumter County.

Later, once he had achieved positions of power, he was outspoken about renouncing racial discrimination, seeking means to redress it and trying to live up to those principles. During his presidency, he famously enrolled his daughter, Amy, in a public school in Washington, D.C. Decades after leaving the White House, he offered a full-throated rebuke of Barack Obama’s Republican critics, calling their attacks racism loosely disguised as partisanship during his presidency.

“He saw his role as an elder statesman,” said Andra Gillespie, an associate professor of political science at Emory University. “The fact that you have an elderly white president, from the South, who is there saying, ‘Look, the emperor has no clothes; that argument has no weight; that dog won’t hunt,’ is something that he didn’t necessarily have to do.”

Mr. Carter had grown up with Black playmates in the tiny community of Archery, Ga. As a boy, his moral and spiritual north star had been a Black woman, Rachel Clark, the wife of a worker on the Carter property. He slept many nights on the floor of her home when his parents were out of town. Mr. Alter, the biographer,  wrote that she had taught him about nature and had impressed him with her selflessness. Mr. Alter wrote that Mr. Carter had even been teased in his all-white elementary school for “sounding Black.”

By the mid-1950s, Mr. Carter returned from a stint as a naval officer and settled in Plains, where he built on the family’s successful peanut business. The Brown v. Board of Education decision, which dismantled the old separate-but-equal regime for American schools, had inflamed white Southerners. Despite his efforts to appease white parents while on the school board, he was also, Mr. Alter notes, “the only prominent white man in Plains” who declined to join the local chapter of the racist White Citizens’ Council.

After winning his 1962 State Senate race, Mr. Carter, a man of searing ambition, set his sights on the governor’s mansion but was defeated in 1966. He ran again and won in 1970, with a campaign full of unsubtle dog whistles to aggrieved white voters that included promises to restore “law and order” to their communities and, according to Mr. Alter, the dissemination of a “fact sheet” that reminded white voters that Mr. Carter’s Democratic opponent, former Gov. Carl Sanders, had attended Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s funeral.

In the Democratic primary, Black voters took notice: Mr. Sanders, in the runoff, garnered roughly 90 percent of their votes. But by the general election, Mr. Carter was campaigning heavily in Black churches.

The dog-whistle strategy had generated its share of bitterness and criticism. But a course correction followed, in the form of Mr. Carter’s inaugural address.

“The time for racial discrimination is over,” he said.

“It was really dramatic for all of us, because he said it in that forum, as he was being sworn in,” Mr. Fuse recalled. “And hopefully we were going to see some activity from that.”

They did. Mr. Carter expanded the presence of Black Georgians in state government, from senior officials to state troopers, and welcomed civil rights leaders to the governor’s office.

Black skeptics were converted into allies in other ways. In an interview this week, Andrew Young, the civil rights leader who would serve as ambassador to the United Nations under Mr. Carter, recalled having “a real prejudice to overcome” when the two men first met as Mr. Carter was running for governor.

When the matter of Fred Chappell, Sumter County’s notoriously racist sheriff, came up, Mr. Carter called him a “good friend.” Mr. Young was taken aback: Mr. Chappell had once arrested Dr. King after a protest. When Dr. King’s associates tried to bring him blankets to ward off the cold, Mr. Chappell refused them and turned on the fan instead.

Later, however, Mr. Young said he had gotten to know Mr. Carter’s family, including his mother, Lillian. Mr. Young, too, came to trust him. “I decided that he was always all right on race,” Mr. Young said. “He never discriminated between his Black friends and white friends.”

It went the same way with other influential civil rights leaders in Georgia, including Dr. King’s widow, Coretta Scott King, and his father, Martin Luther King Sr. According to the author and journalist Kandy Stroud, the elder Mr. King sent a telegram to voters lauding Mr. Carter’s appointment of Black judges and his support for a fair housing law, among other things. “I know a man I can trust, Blacks can trust, and that man is Jimmy Carter,” he wrote.

By the time Mr. Carter started his 1976 bid for the White House, it was these leaders who spread the message beyond Georgia voters that Mr. Carter was worthy of their trust. They helped bolster the “peanut brigade,” the nickname for the team of staff members and volunteers spread across the country to campaign for him, making it a mix of Black and white Carter supporters.

“They had to tell these people in the rest of the country, ‘Yeah, he’s governor of Georgia, but he’s a different kind of governor of Georgia,’” Mr. Fuse said.

In a recent interview, the Rev. Al Sharpton recalled that the King family had lobbied him to support Mr. Carter in 1976. That went a long way, he said, but so did Mr. Carter’s presentation. “A Southern guy that would stand up and talk about racism?” he said. “This was the kind of guy that my uncle trusted down South. And he connected with us for that.”

As a presidential candidate, however, Mr. Carter again showed his propensity for trying to have it both ways in a racially divided country.

George Skelton, a Los Angeles Times columnist, recently recalled covering the candidate as he campaigned in Wisconsin and watching as he seemed to give contradictory messages on school busing to separate groups of Black and white voters within the span of a single day.

And in a speech about protecting neighborhoods, Mr. Carter used the phrase “ethnic purity,” creating a mini-scandal. Soon after, Mr. Young told him that the use of the phrase had been a “disaster for the campaign.” Mr. Carter issued an apology.

But Mr. Carter also found common cultural ground with Black voters nationwide, many of whom shared his Christian faith. They saw how comfortable he was in Black churches. “‘Born again’ is the secret of his success with Blacks,” Ethel Allen, a Black surgeon from Philadelphia, told Ms. Stroud at the time.

As president, Mr. Carter sought “to mend the racial divide,” said Kai Bird, another Carter biographer. Mr. Bird noted that food aid was significantly expanded under Mr. Carter, benefiting many poor Black residents in rural areas. Mr. Bird also noted that the Carter administration had toughened rules aimed at preventing racially discriminatory schools from claiming tax-exempt status.

If that explains why Black voters stuck with Mr. Carter in 1980, it may have also sown the seeds of his defeat. “I think all of these decisions were too much for white America,” Mr. Bird said. “Ronald Reagan came along and appealed much more to white voters.”

Mr. Fuse agrees. All these years later, he still laments the fact that Mr. Carter was denied a second term. Instead of focusing on the problems that plagued Mr. Carter’s time in office — the inflation, the energy crisis, the American hostages stuck in Tehran — Mr. Fuse spoke, instead, about that hope that Mr. Carter had engendered in 1976, and not just for Black voters.

“When this white man comes along who’s grinning with a broad smile after Watergate, he lifted our spirits,” Mr. Fuse said. “He lifted everybody’s spirits.”

‘Different From the Other Southerners’: Jimmy Carter’s Relationship With Black America - The New York Times

Saturday, February 25, 2023

Newspapers pull ‘Dilbert’ after cartoonist calls Black people a ‘hate group’ - The Washington Post

‘Dilbert’ dropped by The Post, other papers, after cartoonist’s racist rant

“Today’s the day I’m supposed to get canceled by the newspapers,” “Dilbert” creator Scott Adams, pictured in 2014, said Saturday on his YouTube live stream. (Lea Suzuki/San Francisco Chronicle/Getty Images) 
“Today’s the day I’m supposed to get canceled by the newspapers,” “Dilbert” creator Scott Adams, pictured in 2014, said Saturday on his YouTube live stream. (Lea Suzuki/San Francisco Chronicle/Getty Images) 

Newspapers across the United States have pulled Scott Adams’s long-running “Dilbert” comic strip after the cartoonist called Black Americans a “hate group” and said White people should “get the hell away from” them.

The Washington Post, the USA Today network of hundreds of newspapers, the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the San Antonio Express-News and other publications announced they would stop publishing “Dilbert” after Adams’s racist rant on YouTube on Wednesday. Asked on Saturday how many newspapers still carried the strip — a workplace satire he created in 1989 — Adams told The Post: “By Monday, around zero.”

The once widely celebrated cartoonist, who has been entertaining extreme-right ideologies and conspiracy theories for several years, was upset Wednesday by a Rasmussen poll that found a thin majority of Black Americans agreed with the statement “It’s okay to be White.”

“If nearly half of all Blacks are not okay with White people … that’s a hate group,” Adams said on his live-streaming YouTube show. “I don’t want to have anything to do with them. And I would say, based on the current way things are going, the best advice I would give to White people is to get the hell away from Black people … because there is no fixing this.”

Adams, 65, also blamed Black people for not “focusing on education” during the show and said, “I’m also really sick of seeing video after video of Black Americans beating up non-Black citizens.”

By Thursday, The Post began hearing from readers calling for the strip’s cancellation. On Friday, the USA Today Network said that it “will no longer publish the Dilbert comic due to recent discriminatory comments by its creator.” The Gannett-owned chain oversees more than 300 newspapers, including the Arizona Republic, Cincinnati Enquirer, Detroit Free Press, Indianapolis Star, Austin American-Statesman and Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

“In light of Scott Adams’s recent statements promoting segregation, The Washington Post has ceased publication of the Dilbert comic strip,” a spokesperson for the newspaper said Saturday, noting that it was too late to stop the strip from running in some upcoming print editions, including Sunday’s.

Chris Quinn, the vice president of content for Plain Dealer publisher Advance Ohio, wrote in a letter from the editor Friday that pulling “Dilbert” was “not a difficult decision.” “We are not a home for those who espouse racism,” Quinn wrote. “We certainly do not want to provide them with financial support.”

“MLive has zero tolerance for racism,” wrote John Hiner, the vice president of content for MLive Media Group, which oversees eight Michigan-based publications. “And we certainly will not spend our money supporting purveyors of it.” Referring to Adams’s “numerous disparaging remarks about Black Americans,” the Express-News of San Antonio wrote: “These statements are offensive to our core values.”

“Scott Adams is a disgrace,” Darrin Bell, creator of “Candorville” and the first Black artist to win the Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning, told The Post on Saturday. “His racism is not even unique among cartoonists.” Bell compared Adams’s views to the Jim Crow era and more recent examples of White supremacy, including “millions of angry people trying to redefine the word ‘racism’ itself.”

In fact, Adams did exactly that on his YouTube show Saturday. He offered a long, quasi-Socratic defense of his comments, which he said were taken out of context, and seemed to define racism as essentially any political activity. “Any tax code change is racist,” he said at one point in the show. He denounced racism against “individuals” and racist laws, but said, “You should absolutely be racist whenever it’s to your advantage. Every one of you should be open to making a racist personal career decision.”

In the same show, Adams suggested that he had done irreparable harm to a once-sterling career.

“Most of my income will be gone by next week,” he told about 3,000 live-stream viewers. “My reputation for the rest of my life is destroyed. You can’t come back from this, am I right? There’s no way you can come back from this.”

Set in a dystopian office where the titular character is tormented by a stupid boss and a talking dog, “Dilbert” appeared in more than 2,000 newspapers at its peak, winning Adams the National Cartoonists Society’s esteemed Reuben Award in 1998 and spawning a television show that aired on UPN from 1999 to 2000.

The National Cartoonists Society declined to comment. Andrews McMeel Syndication, the company that syndicates “Dilbert,” did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The shift in Adams’s public image was initially intertwined with his praise for Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election. Since then, he has identified himself with increasingly extremist viewpoints.

In 2019, he apologized to the victims of a mass shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in California for a tweet in which he used the tragedy to advertise an app he created. Adams also claimed in June 2020 that the “Dilbert” television show was canceled because he’s White, adding that it “was the third job I lost for being White.” He tweeted in January 2022 that he planned to “self-identify as a Black woman.” He has suggested Americans were brainwashed into supporting Ukraine.

Last May, Adams used “Dilbert” to mock workplace diversity and transgender politics through a new character called Dave the Black Engineer. He also praised anti-vaccine advocates last month, saying on his YouTube show that “the unvaccinated have a current advantage.”

His comic strip’s reach declined simultaneously. “Dilbert” was dropped last year by Lee Enterprises, a media company that runs 77 newspapers in the United States, though that decision appeared to be part of a larger overhaul. It nevertheless continued to run in many major publications — at least until this week.

Asked to comment in more detail about his remarks and the mass cancellations, Adams initially declined. He later told The Post in a text message: “Lots of people are angry, but I haven’t seen any disagreement yet, at least not from anyone who saw the context. Some questioned the poll data. That’s fair.”

Newspapers pull ‘Dilbert’ after cartoonist calls Black people a ‘hate group’ - The Washington Post

Alone and Exploited, Migrant Children Work Brutal Jobs Across the U.S. - The New York Times

Alone and Exploited, Migrant Children Work Brutal Jobs Across the U.S.

By Hannah Dreier, Photographs By Kirsten Luce 
The New York Times
24 min
February 25, 2023

"Cristian works a construction job instead of going to school. He is 14.

Carolina packages Cheerios at night in a factory. She is 15.

Wander starts looking for day-labor jobs before sunrise. He is 13.

It was almost midnight in Grand Rapids, Mich., but inside the factory everything was bright. A conveyor belt carried bags of Cheerios past a cluster of young workers. One was 15-year-old Carolina Yoc, who came to the United States on her own last year to live with a relative she had never met.

About every 10 seconds, she stuffed a sealed plastic bag of cereal into a passing yellow carton. It could be dangerous work, with fast-moving pulleys and gears that had torn off fingers and ripped open a woman’s scalp.

The factory was full of underage workers like Carolina, who had crossed the southern border by themselves and were now spending late hours bent over hazardous machinery, in violation of child labor laws. At nearby plants, other children were tending giant ovens to make Chewy and Nature Valley granola bars and packing bags of Lucky Charms and Cheetos — all of them working for the processing giant Hearthside Food Solutions, which would ship these products around the country.

“Sometimes I get tired and feel sick,” Carolina said after a shift in November. Her stomach often hurt, and she was unsure if that was because of the lack of sleep, the stress from the incessant roar of the machines, or the worries she had for herself and her family in Guatemala. “But I’m getting used to it.”

These workers are part of a new economy of exploitation: Migrant children, who have been coming into the United States without their parents in record numbers, are ending up in some of the most punishing jobs in the country, a New York Times investigation found. This shadow work force extends across industries in every state, flouting child labor laws that have been in place for nearly a century. Twelve-year-old roofers in Florida and Tennessee. Underage slaughterhouse workers in Delaware, Mississippi and North Carolina. Children sawing planks of wood on overnight shifts in South Dakota.

Largely from Central America, the children are driven by economic desperation that was worsened by the pandemic. This labor force has been slowly growing for almost a decade, but it has exploded since 2021, while the systems meant to protect children have broken down.

The Times spoke with more than 100 migrant child workers in 20 states who described jobs that were grinding them into exhaustion, and fears that they had become trapped in circumstances they never could have imagined. The Times examination also drew on court and inspection records and interviews with hundreds of lawyers, social workers, educators and law enforcement officials.

In town after town, children scrub dishes late at night. They run milking machines in Vermont and deliver meals in New York City. They harvest coffee and build lava rock walls around vacation homes in Hawaii. Girls as young as 13 wash hotel sheets in Virginia.

In many parts of the country, middle and high school teachers in English-language learner programs say it is now common for nearly all their students to rush off to long shifts after their classes end.

“They should not be working 12-hour days, but it’s happening here,” said Valeria Lindsay, a language arts teacher at Homestead Middle School near Miami. For the past three years, she said, almost every eighth grader in her English learner program of about 100 students was also carrying an adult workload.

Migrant child labor benefits both under-the-table operations and global corporations, The Times found. In Los Angeles, children stitch “Made in America” tags into J. Crew shirts. They bake dinner rolls sold at Walmart and Target, process milk used in Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and help debone chicken sold at Whole Foods. As recently as the fall, middle-schoolers made Fruit of the Loom socks in Alabama. In Michigan, children make auto parts for Ford and General Motors.

The number of unaccompanied minors entering the United States climbed to a high of 130,000 last year — three times what it was five years earlier — and this summer is expected to bring another wave.

These are not children who have stolen into the country undetected. The federal government knows they are in the United States, and the Department of Health and Human Services is responsible for ensuring sponsors will support them and protect them from trafficking or exploitation.

But as more and more children have arrived, the Biden White House has ramped up demands on staffers to move the children quickly out of shelters and release them to adults. Caseworkers say they rush through vetting sponsors.

While H.H.S. checks on all minors by calling them a month after they begin living with their sponsors, data obtained by The Times showed that over the last two years, the agency could not reach more than 85,000 children. Overall, the agency lost immediate contact with a third of migrant children.

An H.H.S. spokeswoman said the agency wanted to release children swiftly, for the sake of their well-being, but had not compromised safety. “There are numerous places along the process to continually ensure that a placement is in the best interest of the child,” said the spokeswoman, Kamara Jones.

Far from home, many of these children are under intense pressure to earn money. They send cash back to their families while often being in debt to their sponsors for smuggling fees, rent and living expenses.

“It’s getting to be a business for some of these sponsors,” said Annette Passalacqua, who left her job as a caseworker in Central Florida last year. Ms. Passalacqua said she saw so many children put to work, and found law enforcement officials so unwilling to investigate these cases, that she largely stopped reporting them. Instead, she settled for explaining to the children that they were entitled to lunch breaks and overtime.

Sponsors are required to send migrant children to school, and some students juggle classes and heavy workloads. Other children arrive to find that they have been misled by their sponsors and will not be enrolled in school.

The federal government hires child welfare agencies to track some minors who are deemed to be at high risk. But caseworkers at those agencies said that H.H.S. regularly ignored obvious signs of labor exploitation, a characterization the agency disputed.

In interviews with more than 60 caseworkers, most independently estimated that about two-thirds of all unaccompanied migrant children ended up working full time.

A representative for Hearthside said the company relied on a staffing agency to supply some workers for its plants in Grand Rapids, but conceded that it had not required the agency to verify ages through a national system that checks Social Security numbers. Unaccompanied migrant children often obtain false identification to secure work.

“We are immediately implementing additional controls to reinforce all agencies’ strict compliance with our longstanding requirement that all workers must be 18 or over,” the company said in a statement.

At Union High School in Grand Rapids, Carolina’s ninth-grade social studies teacher, Rick Angstman, has seen the toll that long shifts take on his students. One, who was working nights at a commercial laundry, began passing out in class from fatigue and was hospitalized twice, he said. Unable to stop working, she dropped out of school.

“She disappeared into oblivion,” Mr. Angstman said. “It’s the new child labor. You’re taking children from another country and putting them in almost indentured servitude.”

When Carolina left Guatemala, she had no real understanding of what she was heading toward, just a sense that she could not stay in her village any longer. There was not much electricity or water, and after the pandemic began, not much food.

The only people who seemed to be getting by were the families living off remittances from relatives in the United States. Carolina lived alone with her grandmother, whose health began failing. When neighbors started talking about heading north, she decided to join. She was 14.

“I just kept walking,” she said.

Carolina reached the U.S. border exhausted, weighing 84 pounds. Agents sent her to an H.H.S. shelter in Arizona, where a caseworker contacted her aunt, Marcelina Ramirez. Ms. Ramirez was at first reluctant: She had already sponsored two other relatives and had three children of her own. They were living on $600 a week, and she didn’t know Carolina.

When Carolina arrived in Grand Rapids last year, Ms. Ramirez told her she would go to school every morning and suggested that she pick up evening shifts at Hearthside. She knew Carolina needed to send money back to her grandmother. She also believed it was good for young people to work. Child labor is the norm in rural Guatemala, and she herself had started working around the second grade.

One of the nation’s largest contract manufacturers, Hearthside makes and packages food for companies like Frito-Lay, General Mills and Quaker Oats. “It would be hard to find a cookie or cracker aisle in any leading grocer that does not contain multiple products from Hearthside production facilities,” a Grand Rapids-area plant manager told a trade magazine in 2019.

General Mills, whose brands include Cheerios, Lucky Charms and Nature Valley, said it recognized “the seriousness of this situation” and was reviewing The Times’s findings. PepsiCo, which owns Frito-Lay and Quaker Oats, declined to comment.

Three people who until last year worked at one of the biggest employment agencies in Grand Rapids, Forge Industrial Staffing, said Hearthside supervisors were sometimes made aware that they were getting young-looking workers whose identities had been flagged as false.

“Hearthside didn’t care,” said Nubia Malacara, a former Forge employee who said she had also worked at Hearthside as a minor.

In a statement, Hearthside said, “We do care deeply about this issue and are concerned about the mischaracterization of Hearthside.” A spokesman for Forge said it complied with state and federal laws and “would never knowingly employ individuals under 18.”

Kevin Tomas said he sought work through Forge after he arrived in Grand Rapids at age 13 with his 7-year-old brother. At first, he was sent to a local manufacturer that made auto parts for Ford and General Motors. But his shift ended at 6:30 in the morning, so he could not stay awake in school, and he struggled to lift the heavy boxes.

“It’s not that we want to be working these jobs. It’s that we have to help our families,” Kevin said.

By the time he was 15, Kevin had found a job at Hearthside, stacking 50-pound cases of cereal on the same shift as Carolina.

The growth of migrant child labor in the United States over the past several years is a result of a chain of willful ignorance. Companies ignore the young faces in their back rooms and on their factory floors. Schools often decline to report apparent labor violations, believing it will hurt children more than help. And H.H.S. behaves as if the migrant children who melt unseen into the country are doing just fine.

“As the government, we’ve turned a blind eye to their trafficking,” said Doug Gilmer, the head of the Birmingham, Ala., office of Homeland Security Investigations, a federal agency that often becomes involved with immigration cases.

Mr. Gilmer teared up as he recalled finding 13-year-olds working in meat plants; 12-year-olds working at suppliers for Hyundai and Kia, as documented last year by a Reuters investigation; and children who should have been in middle school working at commercial bakeries.

“We’re encountering it here because we’re looking for it here,” Mr. Gilmer said. “It’s happening everywhere.”

Children have crossed the southern border on their own for decades, and since 2008, the United States has allowed non-Mexican minors to live with sponsors while they go through immigration proceedings, which can take several years. The policy, codified in anti-trafficking legislation, is intended to prevent harm to children who would otherwise be turned away and left alone in a Mexican border town.

When Kelsey Keswani first worked as an H.H.S. contractor in Arizona to connect unaccompanied migrant children with sponsors in 2010, the adults were almost always the children’s parents, who had paid smugglers to bring them up from Central America, she said.

But around 2014, the number of arriving children began to climb, and their circumstances were different. In recent years, “the kids almost all have a debt to pay off, and they’re super stressed about it,” Ms. Keswani said.

She began to see more failures in the vetting process. “There were so many cases where sponsors had sponsored multiple kids, and it wasn’t getting caught. So many red flags with debt. So many reports of trafficking.”

Now, just a third of migrant children are going to their parents. A majority are sent to other relatives, acquaintances or even strangers, a Times analysis of federal data showed. Nearly half are coming from Guatemala, where poverty is fueling a wave of migration. Parents know that they would be turned away at the border or quickly deported, so they send their children in hopes that remittances will come back.

In the last two years alone, more than 250,000 children have entered the United States by themselves.

The shifting dynamics in Central America helped create a political crisis early in Mr. Biden’s presidency, when children started crossing the border faster than H.H.S. could process them. With no room left in shelters, the children stayed in jail-like facilities run by Customs and Border Protection and, later, in tent cities. The images of children sleeping on gym mats under foil blankets attracted intense media attention.

The Biden administration pledged to move children through the shelter system more quickly. “We don’t want to continue to see a child languish in our care if there is a responsible sponsor,” Xavier Becerra, secretary of health and human services, told Congress in 2021.

His agency began paring back protections that had been in place for years, including some background checks and reviews of children’s files, according to memos reviewed by The Times and interviews with more than a dozen current and former employees.

“Twenty percent of kids have to be released every week or you get dinged,” said Ms. Keswani, who stopped working with H.H.S. last month.

Concerns piled up in summer 2021 at the Office of Refugee Resettlement, the H.H.S. division responsible for unaccompanied migrant children. In a memo that July, 11 managers said they were worried that labor trafficking was increasing and complained to their bosses that the office had become “one that rewards individuals for making quick releases, and not one that rewards individuals for preventing unsafe releases.”

Staff members said in interviews that Mr. Becerra continued to push for faster results, often asking why they could not discharge children with machine-like efficiency.

“If Henry Ford had seen this in his plants, he would have never become famous and rich. This is not the way you do an assembly line,” Mr. Becerra said at a staff meeting last summer, according to a recording obtained by The Times.

The H.H.S. spokeswoman, Ms. Jones, said that Mr. Becerra had urged his staff to “step it up.” “Like any good leader, he wouldn’t hesitate to do it again — especially when it comes to the well-being and safety of children,” she said.

During a call last March, Mr. Becerra told Cindy Huang, the O.R.R. director, that if she could not increase the number of discharges, he would find someone who could, according to five people familiar with the call. She resigned a month later.

He recently made a similar threat to her successor during a meeting with senior leadership, according to several people who were present.

While many migrant children are sent to the United States by their parents, others are persuaded to come by adults who plan to profit from their labor.

Nery Cutzal was 13 when he met his sponsor over Facebook Messenger. Once Nery arrived in Florida, he discovered that he owed more than $4,000 and had to find his own place to live. His sponsor sent him threatening text messages and kept a running list of new debts: $140 for filling out H.H.S. paperwork; $240 for clothes from Walmart; $45 for a taco dinner.

“Don’t mess with me,” the sponsor wrote. “You don’t mean anything to me.”

Nery began working until 3 a.m. most nights at a trendy Mexican restaurant near Palm Beach to make the payments. “He said I would be able to go to school and he would take care of me, but it was all lies,” Nery said.

His father, Leonel Cutzal, said the family had become destitute after a series of bad harvests and had no choice but to send their oldest son north from Guatemala.

“Even when he shares $50, it’s a huge help,” Mr. Cutzal said. “Otherwise, there are times we don’t eat.” Mr. Cutzal had not understood how much Nery would be made to work, he said. “I think he passed through some hard moments being up there so young.”

Nery eventually contacted law enforcement, and last year, his sponsor was found guilty of smuggling a child into the United States for financial gain. That outcome is rare: In the past decade, federal prosecutors have brought only about 30 cases involving forced labor of unaccompanied minors, according to a Times review of court databases.

Unlike the foster care system, in which all children get case management, H.H.S. provides this service to about a third of children who pass through its care, and usually for just four months. Tens of thousands of other children are sent to their sponsors with little but the phone number for a national hotline. From there, they are often on their own: There is no formal follow-up from any federal or local agencies to ensure that sponsors are not putting children to work illegally.

In Pennsylvania, one case worker told The Times he went to check on a child released to a man who had applied to sponsor 20 other minors. The boy had vanished. In Texas, another case worker said she had encountered a man who had been targeting poor families in Guatemala, promising to help them get rich if they sent their children across the border. He had sponsored 13 children.

“If you’ve been in this field for any amount of time, you know that there’s what the sponsors agree to, and what they’re actually doing,” said Bernal Cruz Munoz, a caseworker supervisor in Oregon.

Calling the hotline is not a sure way to get support, either. Juanito Ferrer called for help after he was brought to Manassas, Va., at age 15 by an acquaintance who forced him to paint houses during the day and guard an apartment complex at night. His sponsor took his paychecks and watched him on security cameras as he slept on the basement floor.

Juanito said that when he called the hotline in 2019, the person on the other end just took a report. “I thought they’d send the police or someone to check, but they never did that,” he said. “I thought they would come and inspect the house, at least.” He eventually escaped.

Asked about the hotline, H.H.S. said operators passed reports onto law enforcement and other local agencies because the agency did not have the authority to remove children from homes.

The Times analyzed government data to identify places with high concentrations of children who had been released to people outside their immediate families — a sign that they might have been expected to work. In northwest Grand Rapids, for instance, 93 percent of children have been released to adults who are not their parents.

H.H.S. does not track these clusters, but the trends are so pronounced that officials sometimes notice hot spots anyway.

Scott Lloyd, who led the O.R.R. in the Trump administration, said he realized in 2018 that the number of unaccompanied Guatemalan boys being released to sponsors in South Florida seemed to be growing.

“I always wondered what was happening there,” he said.

But his attention was diverted by the chaos around the Trump administration’s child separation policy, and he never looked into it. The trend he saw has only accelerated: For example, in the past three years, more than 200 children have been released to distant relatives or unrelated adults around Immokalee, Fla., an agricultural hub with a long history of labor exploitation.

In a statement, H.H.S. said it had updated its case management system to better flag instances when multiple children were being released to the same person or address.

Many sponsors see themselves as benevolent, doing a friend or neighbor a favor by agreeing to help a child get out of a government shelter, even if they do not intend to offer any support. Children often understand that they will have to work, but do not grasp the unrelenting grind that awaits them.

“I didn’t get how expensive everything was,” said 13-year-old Jose Vasquez, who works 12-hour shifts, six days a week, at a commercial egg farm in Michigan and lives with his teenage sister. “I’d like to go to school, but then how would I pay rent?”

One fall morning at Union High School in Grand Rapids, Carolina listened to Mr. Angstman lecture on the journalist Jacob Riis and the Progressive Era movement that helped create federal child labor laws. He explained that the changes were meant to keep young people out of jobs that could harm their health or safety, and showed the class a photo of a small boy making cigars.

“Riis reported that members of this family worked 17 hours a day, seven days a week,” he told the students. “The cramped space reeked of toxic fumes.” Students seemed unmoved. Some struggled to stay awake.

Teachers at the school estimated that 200 of their immigrant students were working full time while trying to keep up with their classes. The greatest share of Mr. Angstman’s students worked at one of the four Hearthside plants in the city.

The company, which has 39 factories in the United States, has been cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for 34 violations since 2019, including for unsafe conveyor belts at the plant where Carolina found her job. At least 11 workers suffered amputations in that time. In 2015, a machine caught the hairnet of an Ohio worker and ripped off part of her scalp.

The history of accidents “shows a corporate culture that lacks urgency to keep workers safe,” an OSHA official wrote after the most recent violation for an amputation.

Underage workers in Grand Rapids said that spicy dust from immense batches of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos made their lungs sting, and that moving heavy pallets of cereal all night made their backs ache. They worried about their hands getting caught in conveyor belts, which federal law classifies as so hazardous that no child Carolina’s age is permitted to work with them.

Hearthside said in a statement that it was committed to complying with laws governing worker protections. “We strongly dispute the safety allegations made and are proud of our safety-first culture,” the statement read.

Federal law bars minors from a long list of dangerous jobs, including roofing, meat processing and commercial baking. Except on farms, children younger than 16 are not supposed to work for more than three hours or after 7 p.m. on school days.

But these jobs — which are grueling and poorly paid, and thus chronically short-staffed — are exactly where many migrant children are ending up. Adolescents are twice as likely as adults to be seriously injured at work, yet recently arrived preteens and teenagers are running industrial dough mixers, driving massive earthmovers and burning their hands on hot tar as they lay down roofing shingles, The Times found.

Unaccompanied minors have had their legs torn off in factories and their spines shattered on construction sites, but most of these injuries go uncounted. The Labor Department tracks the deaths of foreign-born child workers but no longer makes them public. Reviewing state and federal safety records and public reports, The Times found a dozen cases of young migrant workers killed since 2017, the last year the Labor Department reported any.

The deaths include a 14-year-old food delivery worker who was hit by a car while on his bike at a Brooklyn intersection; a 16-year-old who was crushed under a 35-ton tractor-scraper outside Atlanta; and a 15-year-old who fell 50 feet from a roof in Alabama where he was laying down shingles.

From left: Oscar Nambo Dominguez, 16, was crushed last year under an earthmover near Atlanta. Edwin Ajacalon, 14, was hit by a car while delivering food on a bike in Brooklyn. Juan Mauricio Ortiz, 15, died on his first day of work for an Alabama roofing company when he fell about 50 feet.

In 2021, Karla Campbell, a Nashville labor lawyer, helped a woman figure out how to transport the body of her 14-year-old grandson, who had been killed on a landscaping job, back to his village in Guatemala. It was the second child labor death she had handled that year.

“I’ve been working on these cases for 15 years, and the addition of children is new,” Ms. Campbell said.

In dairy production, the injury rate is twice the national average across all industries. Paco Calvo arrived in Middlebury, Vt., when he was 14 and has been working 12-hour days on dairy farms in the four years since. He said he crushed his hand in an industrial milking machine in the first months of doing this work.

“Pretty much everyone gets hurt when they first start,” he said.

Charlene Irizarry, the human resources manager at Farm Fresh Foods, an Alabama meat plant that struggles to retain staff, recently realized she was interviewing a 12-year-old for a job slicing chicken breasts into nuggets in a section of the factory kept at 40 degrees.

Ms. Irizarry regularly sees job applicants who use heavy makeup or medical masks to try to hide their youth, she said. “Sometimes their legs don’t touch the floor.”

Other times, an adult will apply for a job in the morning, and then a child using the same name will show up for orientation that afternoon. She and her staff have begun separating other young applicants from the adults who bring them in, so they will admit their real ages.

Ms. Irizarry said the plant had already been fined for one child labor violation, and she was trying to avoid another. But she wondered what the children might face if she turned them away.

“I worry about why they’re so desperate for these jobs,” she said.

In interviews with underage migrant workers, The Times found child labor in the American supply chains of many major brands and retailers. Several, including Ford, General Motors, J. Crew and Walmart, as well as their suppliers, said they took the allegations seriously and would investigate. Target and Whole Foods did not respond to requests for comment. Fruit of the Loom said it had ended its contract with the supplier.

One company, Ben & Jerry’s, said it worked with labor groups to ensure a minimum set of working conditions at its dairy suppliers. Cheryl Pinto, the company’s head of values-led sourcing, said that if migrant children needed to work full time, it was preferable for them to have jobs at a well-monitored workplace.

The Labor Department is supposed to find and punish child labor violations, but inspectors in a dozen states said their understaffed offices could barely respond to complaints, much less open original investigations. When the department has responded to tips on migrant children, it has focused on the outside contractors and staffing agencies that usually employ them, not the corporations where they perform the work.

In Worthington, Minn., it had long been an open secret that migrant children released by H.H.S. were cleaning a slaughterhouse run by JBS, the world’s largest meat processor. The town has received more unaccompanied migrant children per capita than almost anywhere in the country.

Outside the JBS pork plant last fall, The Times spoke with baby-faced workers who chased and teased one another as they came off their shifts in the morning. Many had scratched their assumed names off company badges to hide evidence that they were working under false identities. Some said they had suffered chemical burns from the corrosive cleaners they used.

Not long afterward, labor inspectors responding to a tip found 22 Spanish-speaking children working for the company hired to clean the JBS plant in Worthington, and dozens more in the same job at meat-processing plants around the United States.

But the Labor Department can generally only issue fines. The cleaning company paid a $1.5 million penalty, while JBS said it had been unaware that children were scouring the Worthington factory each night. JBS fired the cleaning contractor.

Many of the children who were working there have found new jobs at other plants, The Times found.

“I still have to pay back my debt, so I still have to work,” said Mauricio Ramirez, 17, who has found a meat processing job in the next town over.

It has been a little more than a year since Carolina left Guatemala, and she has started to make some friends. She and another girl who works at Hearthside have necklaces that fit together, each strung with half a heart. When she has time, she posts selfies online decorated with smiley faces and flowers.

Mostly, though, she keeps to herself. Her teachers do not know many details about her journey to the border. When the topic came up at school recently, Carolina began sobbing and would not say why.

After a week of 17-hour days, she sat at home one night with her aunt and considered her life in the United States. The long nights. The stress about money. “I didn’t have expectations about what life would be like here,” she said, “but it’s not what I imagined.”

She was holding a debit card given to her by a staffing agency, which paid her Hearthside salary this way so she did not have to cash checks. Carolina turned it over and over in her palm as her aunt looked on.

“I know you get sad,” Ms. Ramirez said.

Carolina looked down. She wanted to continue going to school to learn English, but she woke up most mornings with a clenched stomach and kept staying home sick. Some of her ninth grade classmates had already dropped out. The 16-year-old boy she sat next to in math class, Cristian Lopez, had left school to work overtime at Hearthside.

Cristian lived a few minutes away, in a bare two-room apartment he shared with his uncle and 12-year-old sister, Jennifer.

His sister did not go to school either, and they had spent the day bickering in their room. Now night had fallen and they were eating Froot Loops for dinner. The heat was off, so they wore winter jackets. In an interview from Guatemala, their mother, Isabel Lopez, cried as she explained that she had tried to join her children in the United States last year but was turned back at the border.

Cristian had given his uncle some of the money he earned making Chewy bars, but his uncle believed it was not enough. He had said he would like Jennifer to start working at the factory as well, and offered to take her to apply himself.

Cristian said he had recently called the H.H.S. hotline. He hoped the government would send someone to check on him and his sister, but had not heard back. He did not think he would call again.

Research was contributed by Andrew Fischer, Seamus Hughes, Michael H. Keller and Julie Tate."

Alone and Exploited, Migrant Children Work Brutal Jobs Across the U.S. - The New York Times