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Morning Briefing: It's 2020 And Lynching Still Isn't A Hate Crime

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I don't think I need to explain why the fact that a Black man was found dead, hanging from a tree in the year 2020, is incredibly disturbing.

It's not a coincidence that anti-lynching legislation still hasn't passed in the U.S. Senate; legislation that would, for the first time, designate the act of violence common in Jim Crow America, as a hate crime. The bill is currently stalled due to objections of Kentucky Republican Senator Rand Paul.

Robert Fuller was planning a trip to Las Vegas. He was excited about the Black Lives Matter Movement. He was 24. We don't know yet how he died, but his family wants answers.

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On Saturday, protesters gathered around the tree where he was found to chant his name.

"We sitting here staring at this tree," said Diamond Alexander, Fuller's older sister. "It don't make no sense ... My brother was not suicidal. He wasn't."

Gina Pollack

Robert Fuller's body was found on Wednesday around 4 a.m., hanging from a tree in a park in front of Palmdale's City Hall. The Sheriff's Department said based on the initial results of a coroner's investigation, it was a suicide. But protesters are demanding a full investigation from the state. "If you can suggest suicide, I can suggest a lynching," one of the protesters told reporter Josie Huang.

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Protests continued yesterday all over Southern California, from a sunset drum circle in Santa Monica to a march in Echo Park advocating for Black unhoused lives. When you can't express your rage or excitement about the protests with words, we have song recommendations for all the feelings.

Weekend Reads

The first Black "Bachelor" won't save the show from criticism over a serious lack of diversity (among other things). As Eric Deggans writes, "It's a shame that it may have taken a seismic debate over racism in America" to make a change. I suggest dumping The Bachelor and picking up Love Island, which is equally trashy but actually more diverse. (And it's British.) (NPR)

A lot of people are talking about the second wave of the coronavirus. But the first one isn't over yet. And it probaby won't be any time soon. (NPR)

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White celebrities might have good intentions, but their social media videos are embarrassing for everyone. They should stop. (The New Yorker)

Moment of Zen

The Klux Busters are here to get rid of some ghosts.

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