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Election 2020

Bloomberg’s Surveillance of Muslims During His Mayorship Plagued Presidential Run

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New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg approved and oversaw a program to spy on Muslim Americans.

What We Know:

  • The NYPD paid people to spy, bait and record the Muslim community in the area. This was exposed in 2011 by the Associated Press’ Pulitzer Prize-winning series. Trump has praised this program during his presidential run. Bloomberg said it’s what he expected the NYPD to do, according to the Huffington Post.
  • 19-year-old college student Asad Dandia experienced this surveillance and commented that: “By inheriting a national structure of surveillance, someone like Bloomberg, who has a record of targeting minorities with these policies on a local level, would most definitely do so on a national level, no doubt if he becomes president, he would do something of this sort.”
  • Law enforcement used census data to place informants into these communities tracking local mosques, recording license plates, and talking to business owners. They also tracked information on people in Muslim student organizations. The NYPD admitted the program did not produce a single lead to any terrorist plot.
  • Multiple civil rights organizations created lawsuits pertaining to this program. One recently included the law enforcement ending racial profiling, appoint a civilian representative, and develop new policies and training materials for its Intelligence Bureau. This material will also include input from Muslims and they need to pay more than $1 million in damages and legal fees.

Many Muslims want Bloomberg to publicly apologize and condemn the surveillance program. Bloomberg’s campaign has not responded.

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Election 2020

Herman Cain Continues to Tweet After Death, Slams Kamala Harris and Joe Biden

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Herman Cain attends the premiere of the film "No Safe Spaces" at TCL Chinese Theatre on Nov. 11, 2019 in Hollywood, California. (Image via Michael Tullberg/Getty Images)
Herman Cain attends the premiere of the film "No Safe Spaces" at TCL Chinese Theatre on Nov. 11, 2019 in Hollywood, California. (Image via Michael Tullberg/Getty Images)

Known Trump enthusiast Herman Cain, who died two weeks ago, is maintaining a very active Twitter account which very clearly has its sights on the Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his new running mate Kamala Harris.

What We Know:

  • Cain passed away due to contracting COVID-19 after participating in the controversial Trump rally in Tulsa in June.
  • The late business executive’s Twitter account posted an article from his website on Wednesday detailing that “Joe Biden’s history with race is a minefield”.
  • Ever since the new tweets started appearing, many social media users have had their share of things to say about the recent activity. The new tweets appeared to rattle some social media users. From making memes to criticism, the current social media team is taking it all.

  • Comedian Sarah Cooper wrote, “So, let me get this straight. You think the Biden candidacy is going to be nuts and you’re saying this FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE SINCE YOU DIED TWO WEEKS AGO.”
  • As stated on the bio of the newly rebranded Twitter account, The Cain Gang, the Cain family, and dedicated team will continue to use the former GOP candidate’s social media accounts to promote his ideals.

His daughter explained that “It’s one of the ways he used this web site every day, and he wouldn’t have wanted that work to stop with his passing”.

  • Cain was previously the co-chair of “Black Voices for Trump” and a known Tea Party activist. Trump even considered him for a position on the Federal Reserve the past year before Cain himself withdrew when it was clear several Congress members did not support that decision.
  • Biden formally announced his selection of Sen. Kamala Harris of California as his vice president on Tuesday. This marks the first time a Black and South Asian American woman has ever been chosen for the role of a major party in U.S. history.

Also on Wednesday, it was reported that the Trump campaign revealed the President’s thoughts on Biden’s selection a few days ago. “Kamala Harris is the meanest, most horrible, most disgraceful, MOST LIBERAL of anyone in the U.S. Senate and I cannot believe that Joe Biden would pick her as his running mate,” said the fundraising email.

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Election 2020

Small Town Virginia Mayor Blasted For Aunt Jemima Comments About Biden Picking Harris For VP

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The mayor of Luray, a small town in Virginia, is being urged to step down after calling Kamala Harris Aunt Jemima in a Facebook post. 

What We Know:

  • Mayor Barry Presgraves made a Facebook post about how Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden “just announced Aunt Jemima” as his running mate and faced a lot of backlash from the Luray Town Council and other residents.
  • Presgraves took down his post and apologized Monday for his actions at a town council meeting. “I understand what I posted on social media was wrong, offensive and unbecoming,” he said. He also apologized to people of color and women for his comments and thinking of it as humorous while not recognizing that the racial stereotype was offensive. 
  • But before the town council meeting, Presgraves interviewed with Page Valley News where he told them that his actions were a “mistake” but didn’t think he did anything wrong. “I thought it was funny… I thought it was humorous,” he told the news outlet. “I had no idea people would react the way they did. If I had the chance to do it over, I wouldn’t do it.” And when asked if he would resign, Presgraves responded with “hell no”. “The people elected me and I have a few more months to serve.” 
  • Presgraves’ apology wasn’t enough for Luray Council Member Leah Pence and she sent him a letter asking him to resign. “Barry – I am writing to strongly urge you to resign over a racist comment you made on Facebook,” the letter said. “The comment you posted has a type of humor that [has]not been appropriate or funny in my lifetime or yours.” 

Quaker Oats announced in June that it would be retiring its Aunt Jemima brand and logo because they were based on a racial stereotype.

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Election 2020

Australian Newspaper Under Fire for Racist Kamala Harris Cartoon

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A cartoon published by a national Australian newspaper of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his running mate, Kamala Harris has been called out as racist.

What We Know:

  • The Australian is one of Australia’s most prominent newspapers. The cartoon the newspaper published shows Biden deferring to Harris and saying, “I’ll hand you over to this little brown girl while I go for a lie-down”. The cartoon sparked outrage online but the newspaper, owned by a conservative News Corp still went along with its publishing.
  • Members of the left-leaning Australian Labor Party criticized the publication. One member, Andrew Leigh said in a tweet, “Racism has no place in Australian public life. The Australian should pull today’s offensive cartoon off their website and issue an immediate apology.” Former race discrimination commissioner at the Australian Human Rights Commission, Tim Soutphommasane, expressed that the newspaper used racism as part of its business model.

  • Johannes Leak, the man who made the cartoon has been under fire before for his offensive content. In November, he published a cartoon depicting offensive comments towards a refugee family. According to The Australian Editor in Chief Christopher Dore, Leak was using the words of Joe Biden from a tweet he previously made.

The words “little black and brown girls” belong to US presidential candidate Joe Biden, not Johannes Leak. When Johannes used those words, expressed in a tweet by Biden yesterday, he was highlighting Biden’s language and apparent attitudes, not his own. The intention of the commentary in the cartoon was to ridicule racism, not perpetuate it. In the context of Biden’s words, this is evident. Clearly some, including those without that context, have wrongly attributed Biden’s words to Johannes, and in doing so have attributed abhorrent and inaccurate motives to him. The Australian, and Johannes, opposes racism in all of its guises.”

News Corp in Australia has also been under fire dating back to 2018 when it published a cartoon of Serena Williams that sparked outrage from not only Australian residents, but also civil rights leaders.

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