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Florida Governor New Legislation Geared Towards Violent Protestors

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Ron-DeSantis
Image via CBSMiami/AP

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced new legislation to punish demonstrators who vandalize property and assault law enforcement.

What We Know:

  • Gov. Ron DeSantis made an announcement on Monday about new legislation that is expected to cease any violence during peaceful demonstrations. In the legislation, those who damage private property, harass or intimidate a person at a public accommodation, fund a disorderly protest, obstruct traffic during an unpermitted protest, or injure others will complete mandatory jail time. Those who strike law enforcement, which includes physically attacking or throwing an object, will face six months of jail time. As for obstructing traffic during an unpermitted protest, a driver will not be liable for causing harm or injuries while fleeing to safety from a violent mob.
  • “We’re not going to go down the road that other places have gone,” DeSantis said. “If you do it, and you know that a ton of bricks will rain down on you, then I think people will think twice about engaging in this type of conduct.”

  • DeSantis is being praised for his bill proposal and its support for police by conservatives. On the opposite end, Democrats believe these efforts are to help President Donald Trump with his re-election.
  • “The governor is attaching himself to Donald Trump’s propaganda and manufacturing a non-existenet law and order crisis in Florida,” Sendate Democratic Leader Audrey Gibson said. “It’s political fearmongering to bolster a president’s re-eletion bid.”
  • The legislation is also prohibiting state grants or aid to local governments who cut funding for law enforcement, terminating state benefits and making anyone involved in violent protests ineligible for work by state and local government, and denying bail for those involved in violent protests until their first court appearance.
  • Like the Democrats’ idea of this being an attempt at helping Trump’s re-election, some believe there are anterior motives behind this new legislation. “This is an attempt to chill legitimate dissent and somehow equate protests against police killing Black people with criminal activity despite the clear evidence that the protests occurring in Florida are overwhelmingly peaceful,” Tampa activist and co-found of Tampa for Justice Kelly Benjamin said.

The governor has not made any punishments for those who assault peaceful protesters.

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I am a third-year Journalism major at Florida A&M University (Go Rattlers!), I am originally from Fort Lauderdale, FL, and I am an Intern at BNA. I previously wrote for the FAMUAN, Journey Magazine, and Society19, and am grateful to be writing for BNA, an experience I love and appreciate. I grew up listening to all kinds of music but mainly Gospel, Country, and Rock. One thing I can promise readers, I will continue to work hard to get the information you want and need out.

Crime

Laverne Cox Opens Up Transphobic Attack in Griffith Park: ‘It’s Not Safe in the World’

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Actress Laverne Cox was the target of a transphobic attack in Griffith Park over the weekend.

What We Know:

  • Briefly after the attack on Saturday, Cox went live on Instagram to share details of the triggering assault. She said that she went for a “social distanced” walk in the Los Angeles park with a friend; she chose to keep his identity anonymous. As a man passed by them, he aggressively asked for the time. Despite his hostile manner, her friend still checked his watch and told the man. The stranger then said to Cox’s friend, “Guy or Girl?” to which he replied, “F— off’.  At this point, Cox says the man began to attack her friend physically. Before she was able to call 911, the assault ended, and the attacker was gone.
  • The Emmy-nominated star and LGBTQ+ advocate believes the man was “looking for trouble.” On the live stream now posted to her IGTV, she explains the guy probably used the question of time as a way to get Cox to speak so he could “spook” whether or not she was trans. Still in shock, she added, “I don’t know why it matters. At the end of the day, it’s like, who cares? I’m in a hoodie and yoga pants, I’m completely covered up, I’ve got my mask on. Who cares if I’m trans? How does this affect your life?”
  • The trans community rarely experiences the liberty of openly being themselves in public without fear of persecution. The incident served as a formidable reminder to Cox that “it’s not safe in the world.” She recalled her long history of street harassment in New York and facing bullies all of her life. Although she tries not to dwell on it, Cox accepts, “it’s the truth, and it’s not safe if you’re a trans person.” It does not matter who you are, she says, “You can be Laverne Cox, you know, or whatever that means. If you’re trans … you’re going to experience stuff like this.”
  • The 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey showed 46% of respondents were verbally harassed in that year for being transgender, while 1 in 10 were victims of physical attacks. Transgender people are often the target of hate crimes and mistreatment. This survey necessarily reveals the alarming patterns of discrimination and violence against individuals within their community.
  • In the US this year, the Human Rights Campaign reported around 40 transgender, and gender non-conforming people have suffered violent deaths, including Chae’Meshia Simm, a black trans woman shot last week in Virginia. Many of their deaths go unreported, or they are misgendered in the report, so the exact number is difficult to know. HCR also mentioned the death of Skylar Heath, a black transgender woman in Florida whose friends say was also shot.  Like many, her death has received no media coverage and has yet to be reported by authorities.

Cox concluded with a reminder to her followers: “When these things happen, it’s not your fault. It’s not your fault that people are not cool with you existing in the world… We have a right to walk in the park.”

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Entertainment

Black Panther Intro on Disney+ Updated to Honor Chadwick Boseman’s Birthday

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Disney+ is making some changes in honor of Chadwick Boseman. He would have been 44 on November 29th.

What We Know:

  • According to MSN, Walt Disney executive Bob Iger announced on Twitter that the streaming platform had updated the Marvel introduction in Black Panther to show a tribute to Boseman, who played the beloved King T’Challa. In a Twitter post, he said, “To all fans of #BlackPanther: watch the film on #DisneyPlus late tonight, for a special tribute to someone that was and will always be near and dear to our hearts.”

  • The new intro starts with the iconic Marvel comic-book opening before it shows concept art from Black Panther and footage from Boseman’s appearances in Captain America: Civil WarAvengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame. There are also some famous quotes by T’Challa, including the famous line from when his character addresses the U.N. Assembly in the post-credit scene of Black Panther: “In times of crisis, the wise build bridges while the foolish build barriers.”
  • The images serve as a reminder of Boseman’s legacy in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but Boseman is also shown behind-the-scenes. As the camera pulls back for the Marvel Studios logo, Boseman gives his “Wakanda Forever” salute. Earlier this year, it was announced that “Black Panther 2” will be released on May 6, 2022.
  • Several friends and family members made posts about him in honor of his birthday. His brother Kevin shared a photo of white flowers, writing, “Today is a good day to give someone their flowers.” Boseman’s Black Panther costar, Lupita Nyong’o shared a photo of the duo on Instagram. “Deeply loved, sorely missed. #ChadwickBoseman,”. Michael B. Jordan shared a photo on his Instagram as well, saying, “Continue watching over us King. Happy Birthday. Miss you.”

The new into is already live and can be seen on Disney+ now. You can watch the intro here.

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Biden and Harris Announce All-female Communications Team

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Joe Biden and Kamala Harris announced Sunday their White House communication team, all of whom are female. 

What We Know: 

  • The Biden-Harris Presidential Transition Twitter page posted an image of the all-woman team. The post reads, “President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris today announced new members of the White House staff who will serve in senior communications roles. For the first time in history, these communications roles will be filled entirely by women.” Not only is the team comprised of only females, but several are also are women of color. 
  • The team of seven is formed by former Obama communications director Jen Psaki as press secretary. Formally a CNN political commentator and State Department spokesperson during the Obama administration. Psaki has been involved in three presidential campaigns starting with John Kerry in 2004, then Obama-Biden in 2008 and 2012. 
  • Previously Biden’s deputy campaign manager and communications director, Kate Bedingfield, serves as the White House communications director. Bedingfield previously worked under the Obama administration as Biden’s communications director. She was vice president of corporate communications at the Motion Picture Associate of America. Bedingfield also served as a spokesperson for John Edwards’ 2008 presidential campaign and as the communications director for Senator Jeanne Shaheen’s 2008 Senate campaign in New Hampshire. 
  • Pili Tobar, the previous communications director for coalitions on Biden’s campaign, now serves as deputy White House communications director. Previous deputy director for America’s Voice and Hispanic media director for Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. 
  • Karine Jean-Piere, a former senior adviser to Biden on the campaign, now serves as principal deputy press secretary. Jean-Piere formally worked on the presidential campaigns for Obama and Martin O’Malley. Other roles include chief public affairs officer at MoveOn.org and managing the American Civil Liberties Union’s Reproductive Freedom Initiative. 
  • Symone Sanders worked on the Biden campaign as a Senior adviser. Sanders will serve as a senior adviser and chief spokesperson for the vice president. Sander’s notable work includes working as national press secretary for Bernie Sanders during his 2016 presidential campaign. She is a former member of the Federal Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice and is the former chair of the Coalition of Juvenile Justice Emerging Leaders Committee. 
  • Ashley Etienne joined Biden’s campaign as a senior advisor. Etienne will serve as communications director for the vice president. She previously served as Nancy Pelosi’s communications director and senior advisor. She was the first woman of color to hold this position. Additionally, Etienne served under the Obama administration as a special assistant to the President and director of communications for the Cabinet. She led Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative. 
  • Lastly, Elizabeth Alexander joins the team after working with Biden on his campaign as a Senior Advisor. Alexander will serve as communications director for the first lady. Also operating under the Obama administration, she served as Biden’s press secretary. When Biden was senator, Alexander served as his communications director. She also worked as a federal prosecutor in the US Attorneys’ offices in Washington DC and Virginia. Alexander worked as press secretary for the United Nations Foundation as well as press secretary to Terry McAuliffe. 

The team is a first for the country, just as Harris is the first woman Vice President. As Biden fills the white house, there seems to be a possibility of more firsts.

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