Four men arrested after anti-Semitic abuse was allegedly heard being shouted from a car in north London have been released on bail.
Footage published on social media showed a convoy of cars covered with Palestinian flags passing down Finchley Road, with passengers reportedly being heard to use offensive language and issuing threats against Jews.
The Metropolitan Police said the incident took place in the St John’s Wood area of the city on May 16.
Officers traced the car to the A40 in Hillingdon and four men were arrested on suspicion of racially aggravated public order offences.
The Met said they were also arrested in connection with a “similar incident” that took place shortly after 1.30am on Sunday in the Broughton Park area of Salford Manchester.
All four have been released on bail “pending further inquiries”, the Met said.
The incident received cross-party criticism, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson condemning the acts as “shameful racism” that have “no place” in society.
It took place after thousands of people marched through London on Saturday to the gates of the Israeli embassy, while protests took place in other cities across the UK and Ireland in solidarity with the people of Palestine.
Thousands of Palestinians have been forced to flee their homes after a week of sustained conflict.
Since last Monday night, the Palestinian militant group Hamas has fired hundreds of rockets into Israel, whose military responded by barraging the Gaza Strip with tank fire and air strikes.
Read the complete article at: Yahoo
Four men arrested after anti-Semitic abuse was allegedly heard being shouted from a car in north London have been released on bail. Footage published on social media showed a convoy of cars covered with Palestinian flags passing down Finchley Road, with passengers reportedly being heard to use offensive language and issuing threats against Jews.
Rob Bonta, California’s new attorney general, is known as a leading advocate for criminal justice reform.
From defending the state’s gun control laws to investigating fatal police shootings to eliminating cash bail and reducing incarceration, his work is cut out for him in that realm.
As the first Filipino American to hold the office, Bonta has another top priority — fighting anti-Asian racism at a time when hate attacks are rising up and down the state and across the nation. He plans to create a racial justice bureau to combat white supremacy and biased policing as well as to explore reparations for slavery.
In his office, he keeps a photo of a sign hung in a Stockton hotel lobby in 1920: “Positively no Filipinos allowed.”
Born in the Philippines, Bonta, 48, immigrated to the United States when he was 2 months old. As a child in the Sacramento area, he said, he was called racist names and never felt like he belonged.
His parents, Warren and Cynthia Bonta, shared stories about their activism over steaming bowls of sinigang, a Filipino stew. His father, who is white, marched with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma, Ala. His mother helped organize Filipino and Mexican American laborers for the United Farm Workers.
Bonta attended college at Yale, where he captained the soccer team, and he also earned his law degree there.
Before his election to the state Assembly, Bonta was a deputy city attorney for San Francisco and worked as a private attorney handling cases involving racial profiling and other mistreatment.
Bonta, a Democrat, was elected to the California Assembly in 2012 as its first Filipino American member.
His April confirmation to the state’s highest law enforcement office came after Asian American leaders called on Gov. Gavin Newsom to choose someone who would prioritize fighting anti-Asian attacks.
Read the complete article at: Los Angeles Times
A Miami boat captain and his sister were driving on a street near Coconut Grove on Thursday afternoon when they saw a group of men using markers to scrawl on a van with swastikas and anti-Semitic slurs. Shocked, they turned around to video-record them — and at least six men began raising their arms in the Nazi salute.
“To see actual Nazis gleefully writing on their presumably rented van was just shocking,” Todd Amelung-Wilson said. “They seemed pretty proud of themselves … We were really shaken.”
The bizarre encounter happened on Southwest 27th Street near 24th Avenue in Miami about 1:30 p.m. Miami police later arrested one of the men during an unrelated traffic stop.
The man, Joseph Bounds, 33, of Denver, Colorado, was charged with misdemeanor resisting a police officer without violence and failure to obey a police officer.
According to a police arrest report, an officer had stopped the van on Biscayne Boulevard at Northeast First Street about 3:40 p.m. when Bounds stepped out and into the middle of the street to video record the encounter. A Miami police sergeant “gave him 3 lawful commands to step away from traffic” and he repeatedly refused, according the report.
The men are part of a small virulently anti-Semitic group called the Goyim Defense League, which regularly engages in stunts to harass Jewish people and have been in Florida this month. Last week, they were in Central Florida protesting at a Holocaust education center. The Anti-Defamation League has identified Bounds as part of the group.
Their arrival in South Florida has alarmed local Jewish leaders, which circulated warnings about the group this week.
“It is imperative that no matter what they say you DO NOT ENGAGE them in any way, even though it may be very tempting to do so,” one warning circulated online said. “The goal, our goal, is to simply ignore them and to avoid a confrontation of any kind. Be aware that various law enforcement enforcement agencies are engaged in gathering intelligence and making sure that everything stays peaceful.”
Read the complete article at: Miami Herald
American Idol’s Top 5 just became a Top 4. Finalist Caleb Kennedy has left the show after a racist Snapchat video featuring Kennedy sitting next to someone appearing to wear a Ku Klux Kan hood made the rounds on social media. American Idol confirmed the 16-year-old Kennedy’s exit in a statement to People, saying, “American Idol contestant Caleb Kennedy will no longer be moving forward in the competition.” Recently eliminated contestants Arthur Gunn and Hunter Metts will not be returning to the singing competition to replace Kennedy; instead, Sunday’s episode will feature the remaining four semifinalists, Chayce Beckham, Casey Bishop, Grace Kinstler, and Willie Spence, one of whom will be eliminated.
In the video, Kennedy is seen allegedly sitting beside a person wearing a KKK-style hood, a historic symbol of white domestic terrorism and racism. In an Instagram post, Kennedy revealed that he was leaving the singing competition, writing, “There was a video that surfaced on the internet and it displayed actions that were not meant to be taken in that way.” The South Carolinian continued, “I was younger and did not think about the actions, but that’s not an excuse. I wanna say sorry to all my fans and everyone who I have let down.”
Kennedy’s mother, Anita Guy, told the Spartanburg Herald-Journal that Kennedy doesn’t have “a racist bone in his body,” and that the video has been misinterpreted. “This video was taken after Caleb had watched the movie The Strangers: Prey at Night, and they were imitating those characters,” Guy maintained. “He loves everyone and has friends of all races.” A slasher film from 2018 starring Mad Men’s Christina Hendricks, The Strangers: Prey at Night depicts people wearing white face masks and head coverings, albeit in different shapes and styles than the one clearly depicted in the alleged video of Kennedy.
Read the complete article at: Vanity Fair
A bill targeting school discussions of racism and social issues has been approved by the Texas House but not before lawmakers tacked on several amendments and debated the measure for hours.
The Republican authors of the broad legislation, with a companion bill that has cleared the Senate, say it aims to prevent political agendas in schools, but education advocates have expressed concerns that it will hinder student civic engagement and class discussions of history and racism.
Dozens of organizations — including business groups and school district leaders in Austin and the Dallas area — joined opposition to the legislation.
“The bill has gotten a great deal of attention for its focus on race and gender, but it is far more broad than that, and would limit discussion in classrooms potentially of almost any current issue,” Austin school board Trustee Lynn Boswell said.
It follows similar legislation passed in other states against the teaching of critical race theory, an academic framework of thought challenging white supremacy and systemic racism. In Texas, House Bill 3979, which passed 79-65 mostly along party lines, still requires Senate approval before it can potentially reach Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk.
Rep. Steve Toth, R-The Woodlands, who authored HB 3979, insisted it did not ban discussions of topics such as racism or current events, but he tweaked the bill during a Monday debate that extended into early Tuesday to say teachers may not be compelled to discuss “a particular current event or widely debated and currently controversial issue.”
“The bill simply asks that we talk about these issues from a diverse and contending perspective,” he said ahead of the second vote Tuesday.
He also added an amendment specifically against requiring “an understanding of The 1619 Project,” an initiative from The New York Times examining the role of slavery in the founding of the United States that sparked criticism from conservatives.
Read the complete article at: Austin American-Statesman
One candidate for Beaverton School Board posted on her campaign Facebook page: “Let’s run from Critical Race Theory which teaches racism and go towards alternate solutions that creates unity and understanding.” Another candidate posted on her campaign Facebook page that “CRT (critical race theory) teaches hate.”
For an election that typically flies under the radar, the emergence of critical race theory as a campaign issue reflects the lingering influence of former President Donald Trump and confusion about what examining race in K-12 education actually means.
The mischaracterization of critical race theory is no mistake. It is a platitude that has emerged from the political right in recent years in an attempt to undermine the work of social justice and equity advocates to address racial disparities in education. Last November, Trump commanded the Office of Management and Budget director to order executive agencies to cancel any contracts for training on the topics of “white privilege” or “critical race theory.” The memo ends with a similar mischaracterization: “The divisive, false, and demeaning propaganda of the critical race theory movement is contrary to all we stand for as Americans and should have no place in the Federal government.”
These criticisms of critical race theory are rarely accompanied with an explanation or definition. Critical race theory argues that any thinking about race should recognize that race is a social construct with no biological basis. Further, that racism is embedded in our society and institutions. Acknowledging these realities as a starting point can help leaders examine and better understand why racial inequities persist in education outcomes.
For example, in the 2018-19 school year, why did only 30% and 28% of Black and Latino 8th graders in Beaverton, respectively, demonstrate grade-level proficiency in math? Or why, more than 65 years after the Brown v. Board of Education decision, are the majority of Black students still attending racially segregated schools? By investigating such phenomena with a critical race theory lens, one can uncover the often difficult-to-see manifestations of systemic racism and reach beyond crude judgements of values and ability.
Read the complete article at: Oregon Live
Police in Berkeley on Tuesday announced the recent arrest of a suspect in connection with multiple hate crimes involving graffiti, burglary and vandalism aimed at people of the Jewish faith, according to authorities.
In a release issued by the Berkeley Pol9ice Department, authorities said the suspect vandalized a private residence on the 2500 block of Warring Street with graffiti referencing those of Jewish faith and also destroyed a Jewish religious artifact early on the morning of April 29 between 4 a.m. and 6 a.m.
Early that evening between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m., the same suspect was seen vandalizing a Jewish synagogue on the 1300 block of Oxford Street with anti-Semitic writing. The suspect also destroyed religious artifacts and left a handmade reverse swastika.
Early the following morning on April 30 between 2:30 a.m. and 4:30 a.m., the same suspect was caught on surveillance video burglarizing a Jewish community center on the 2700 block of Bancroft Way. During that burglary, the suspect wrote several bizarre messages in English and Hebrew that referenced Judaism. The suspect also rearranged some items into shrines and took some items.
Berkeley police reviewed surveillance videos of the incidents and were able to develop a suspect in the case. After additional investigation, officers identified the suspect — a 39-year-old man with no fixed address — and began searching for him.
On May 3, officers spotted the suspect in Civic Center Park and arrested him on suspicion of burglary, vandalism and defacing or destroying property for the purpose of intimidating/interfering with the free exercise of any right/privilege secured to the person by the Constitution. The third charge is considered a hate crime.
Police said a hate crime is any crime against a person, group, or property motivated by the victim’s real or perceived protected social group.
“The Berkeley Police Department recognizes and places a high priority on the rights of all individuals guaranteed under state and federal law,” the release said. “The commission of a hate crime is a serious offense, which will not be tolerated in the City of Berkeley.”
Source: CBS San Francisco