Atlanta mayor on Trump: ‘He should just stop talking’ ~ CNN

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Washington (CNN)Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms on Sunday rebuked Donald Trump’s rhetoric amid days of protests after the death of George Floyd, saying the President “is making it worse” and is stoking racial tensions.

“He should just stop talking. This is like Charlottesville all over again,” Bottoms told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union.” “He speaks and he makes it worse. There are times when you should just be quiet and I wish that he would just be quiet. Or if he can’t be silent, if there is somebody of good sense and good conscience in the White House, put him in front of a teleprompter and pray he reads it and at least says the right things, because he is making it worse.”
Her remarks come amid ongoing protests across the country over the death of Floyd, an unarmed African American man who died after he was pinned down by a white Minneapolis police officer. In a series of tweets on Friday, Trump called protestors “THUGS” adding, “when the looting starts, the shooting starts,” a phrase with racist origins used by a former Miami police chief in the late 1960s in the wake of protests.
CNN reached out to the White House for response to Bottoms’ comments on Sunday.
The Atlanta mayor also told Tapper she is extremely concerned about people gathering to protest amid the coronavirus pandemic that has disrupted life in the US. There are more than 1.7 million confirmed cases of the virus in the US and at least 103,800 people have died as of Sunday morning, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally.
“I am extremely concerned when we are seeing mass gatherings. We know what’s already happening in our community with this virus,” she said. “We’re going to see — we’re going to see the other side of this in a couple of weeks.” She added, ” We are losing sight of so many things right now.”
Bottoms urged Americans not to lose sight of the need for “change in this country as it relates to race relations in this country. There has to be change in this country when it comes to leadership in this country. There has to be change as it relates to our health care system and how our communities of color are receiving health care in this country. But right now, we’re talking about cars being burned and businesses being vandalized.”
Bottoms, a former judge and city council member, was sworn in as mayor in 2018 and has quickly emerged as one of the Democratic Party’s rising stars. On Friday night, amid a swirl of increasingly tense and occasionally violent scenes, she faced the cameras, her constituents — and the country.
“I am a mother to four black children in America, one of whom is 18 years old. And when I saw the murder of George Floyd, I hurt like a mother would hurt,” Bottoms said. “And yesterday when I heard there were rumors about violent protests in Atlanta, I did what a mother would do, I called my son and I said, ‘Where are you?’ I said, ‘I cannot protect you and black boys shouldn’t be out today.'”
She stopped for a moment, pursed her lips, and then delivered a frank and personal message.
“So, you’re not going to out-concern me and out-care about where we are in America,” Bottoms said. “I wear this each and every day, and I pray over my children, each and every day.”
In July of 2019, Bottoms spoke out forcefully against planned Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids in Atlanta, and other cities, telling CNN at the time that her city was “not complicit in what’s happening.”
She dismissed the federal targeting of migrants as a means of reducing crime, as the Trump administration has often framed it, and said her office would provide legal assistance to immigrant families, in English and Spanish, and warned those communities to be vigilant ahead of the scheduled sweeps.
“Our officers don’t enforce immigration borders,” Bottoms said. “We’ve closed our city detention centers to ICE because we don’t want to be complicit in family separation.”
This story has been updated with additional developments.

 

A pandemic exposes a water divide in Chile ~ Al Jazerra

In Chile, a pandemic exposes a water divide

Chile’s drought has been compounded by the continuous spread of the novel coronavirus.

 

Rural Chileans can barely wash their hands, but the avocados nearby are thriving.

The country has been battling a mega drought for over a decade, and rivers and reservoirs in Chile have dried to dust.

In this episode, we ask who has access to water, who doesn’t, and how hard that is to change during the coronavirus outbreak.

To help answer those questions, we speak to Lucia Newman, Al Jazeera editor for Latin America.

 

The Evolution of Jon Batiste ~ NPR

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Jon Batiste spent his 33rd birthday playing an intimate, private concert with his band in the round while Jazz Night in America captured the show. He kept it classy, donning a suede jacket and playing selections from his two latest Verve releases, Chronology of A Dream and Anatomy of Angels.

You probably know Jon Batiste as bandleader and musical director on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. But his credentials are deep as the roots of the Batiste family tree. He’s the co-artistic director of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, and has been a collaborator with everyone from pop singer Tori Kelly to the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. He’s graduate of both the New Orleans Center of the Creative Arts and the Juilliard School, and an alumni of both Wynton Marsalis‘ and Roy Hargrove‘s bands.

For the past decade, he’s developed his version of “jazz 2.0,” which includes what he calls “social music.” Its lineage stems from Batiste’s native New Orleans but also runs through his adopted hometown of New York City, thanks to elders like Lionel Hamptonand Dr. Billy Taylor, who brought jazz from the concert halls to the streets. But Batiste is also a part of yet another lineage: jazz musicians in late-night television. On our radio show — with help from Batiste’s Late Show predecessor Paul Shaffer, its current Executive Producer, Chris Licht, and NPR television critic Eric Deggans — we’ll trace some of that history, learning how Jon Batiste developed his role.

Video Set List:

  • “If You’re Happy And You Know It” (Joe Raposo, arr. Jon Batiste)
  • “PRINCE”
  • “HIGHER”
  • “Round Midnight” (Thelonious Monk, Bernard D. Hanighen, Charles Cootie Williams)
  • “PWWR”
  • “BLACCK”
  • “SOULFUL” (Roy Hargrove)
  • “ORDR”

Musicians:

Jonathan Batiste: piano, vocals, bandleader; Giveton Gelin: trumpet; Jon Lampley: trumpet, tuba; Eddie Barbash: alto saxophone; Tivon Pennicott: tenor saxophone; Endea Owens: bass; Joe Saylor: drums; Negah Santos: percussion.

 

Trevor Noah: ‘Police In America Are Looting Black Bodies’ ~ HuffPost

“I know someone might think that’s an extreme phrase, but it’s not,” said “The Daily Show” host.

Trevor Noah on Friday argued that “police in America are looting Black bodies” during an impassioned, lengthy monologue on the death of George Floyd and the nationwide protests that have erupted in response.

In an 18-minute commentary released online, “The Daily Show” host asked “what vested interest” the demonstrators had in maintaining the idea that “society is a contract” when those in power were not upholding their end of the deal.

“Try to imagine how it must feel for Black Americans when they watch themselves being looted every single day,” said Noah. “Because that’s fundamentally what’s happening in America. Police in America are looting Black bodies. And I know someone might think that’s an extreme phrase, but it’s not.”

Noah highlighted what he believed “a lot of people don’t realize,” which was the death of Floyd in Minneapolis on Monday, after a white police officer knelt on the unarmed Black man’s neck, only “became so big” because he had died.

“How many George Floyds are there that don’t die? How many men are having knees put on their necks? How many Sandra Blands are out there being tossed around?” asked Noah. “It doesn’t make the news because it’s not grim enough. It doesn’t even get us anymore. It’s only the deaths, the gruesome deaths, that stick out.”

“But imagine to yourself if you grew up in a community where every day someone had their knee on your neck?” he added. “If every day someone was out there oppressing you, every single day, you tell me what that does to you as a society, as a community, as a group of people and when you know it’s happening because of the color of your skin.”

 

PBS Series Documents The History Of Asian Americans Over 150 Years

NPR’s Ailsa Chang speaks with filmmaker Renee Tajima-Peña about the new PBS documentary series, Asian Americans.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

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Blame China – that is what the Trump administration has done as the coronavirus has spread across the U.S. And while China has been receiving the criticism, so too have Chinese Americans and, it seems, anybody who looks like them.

Asian Americans are reporting a surge in racist harassment and violence during the COVID-19 pandemic. And that brings new urgency to a five-hour documentary series now airing on PBS stations. The series is called simply “Asian Americans,” and it traces the discrimination these communities have faced in the U.S. over the past century and a half. Renee Tajima-Pena is the series producer of “Asian Americans,” and she joins us now. Welcome.

RENEE TAJIMA-PENA: Thanks so much for having me on.

CHANG: You know, I really appreciated your series because, as an Asian American kid growing up in the Bay Area, I became way, way more familiar with the story of the civil rights struggle for African Americans than I ever was for Asian Americans, and I feel like that’s still the case for lots of young Asian Americans today. And I’m curious, why do you think that is? Why do you think the Asian American story has always been more obscure in this country?

TAJIMA-PENA: Well, where would you learn it?

CHANG: Yeah.

TAJIMA-PENA: You know, we’re still pretty much invisible in the popular culture. I think more and more you see movies come out, these great episodic television shows, sitcoms. It’s changing, but still, it’s so embedded in the American psyche and imagination that we are a model minority. So as a model minority – you know, compliant, turn the other cheek, pull yourself up by your bootstraps and do not engage in protests and movements for equality.

So that idea is just so much a part of the way people see Asian Americans that the story of Asian Americans, which is – you know, the biggest labor strike in the United States was mounted by Chinese immigrant railroad workers.

CHANG: Yeah.

TAJIMA-PENA: I mean, it goes back since we started arriving here. But people don’t know it.

CHANG: So for this particular series – I mean, it’s five hours long. You had to make so many decisions to fit – what? – a century and a half’s worth of Asian American history into five hours. Can you just describe for me the themes, the threads behind what you ultimately selected to tell?

TAJIMA-PENA: We were looking at the real story of Asian Americans, not the model minority. It’s a story of race, xenophobia, immigration, as well as real resilience. My family, for example – I’m Japanese American – my grandparents came in the early 1900s, smack in the middle of the anti-Asian exclusion era. They lived through the Great Depression. Then the depression was over; it was World War II. They were incarcerated behind barbed wire in American concentration camps.

And yet they thrived, yet they had families. They are part of building communities, and that’s really been the Asian American story. It’s really a story of resilience.

CHANG: And one of the hard truths that you take on is this idea that – you know, discrimination against Asian Americans in this country, there’s something about it that keeps repeating. Like, in times of crisis, for example, Asians get blamed, whether it be Japanese Americans during World War II or South Asians and people from the Middle East after 9/11 and now Chinese Americans during this pandemic. Does it feel cyclical to you, this scapegoating?

TAJIMA-PENA: I’m not sure that’s cyclical; I think it’s just embedded in American society, and that’s where the fight is. So for Asian Americans, it’s – we’re not exceptional. You know, all people of color in this country face racism and have since the beginning of the republic. When we look back in that history, there’s no coincidence that Jim Crow and anti-Asian Exclusion happened at the same time. I mean, it was the same, you know, roots of racism in the country.

But I think in terms of the scapegoating, you know, one thing we wanted to do with the series is look at these fault lines of race and xenophobia, and during times of crisis, those fault lines erupt.

CHANG: I mean, one of the threads I found most interesting in this series is how the Asian American struggle bumps up against the African American struggle in this country. The communities have, at times, buttressed each other but also have been at odds.

And you drew, you know, a century and a half later, a very powerful connection between the murder of Vincent Chin – the Chinese American man who was beaten to death by two white men in Detroit in 1982 – you draw a connection between his death and the killing of Latasha Harlins, an African American girl who was shot by a Korean store owner in LA in 1991. What are the parallels that you saw there?

TAJIMA-PENA: You know, I think that the Vincent Chin case, for Asian Americans, really stands out as being a turning point, when a lot of people realized, yeah, we do face discrimination and racism. But also, Asian Americans of all different nationalities came together to fight for justice. But I think that’s tricky because a Vincent Chin happens in the African American community, it happens to black and brown people almost every day, you know.

What we want to say as filmmakers is, you know, we’re a country that’s increasingly diverse, but at the same time more divided. So how do we move forward together? I mean, that’s a real question of the series. How do we move forward together? And there’s a lot in the Asian American story that helps us see how we can move forward together. I mean, that’s what we really want the audience to take away.

CHANG: Renee Tajima-Pena is a professor of Asian American studies at UCLA and the series producer of “Asian Americans” from PBS. Thank you so much for talking with us today.

TAJIMA-PENA: Thank you.

Mexicans Quarantined In Ixtaltepec Appreciate Volunteers’ Jokes, Songs ~ NPR

Unknown

 

In the southern state of Oaxaca, volunteers in one town take turns driving a large speaker around. They play health tips, songs and even jokes to the town’s elderly and others under COVID-19 lockdown.

 

To the Next ‘BBQ Becky’: Don’t Call 911. Call 1-844-WYT-FEAR.

Hosted by

Video by Taige Jensen and

 

New! A Hotline for Racists

Not for a charcoal grill, no charcoal grills are allowed You’re scared. Please leave me alone. You’re white. African-American Illegally selling water without a permit. But with cellphone cameras and social media calling 911 on your black or brown neighbors just isn’t what it used to be. Hi, I’m Niecy Nash, actress, inventor and advocate for not calling 911 on black people for no goddamn reason. I’d like to introduce you to a radical new product that will save you all the headaches of being filmed and outed as a racist douche. It’s called 1-844-WYT-FEAR and it’s revolutionizing the way racist white people cope with black people living life near them. 1-844-WYT-FEAR? There’s a black guy outside my neighbor’s house and he’s walking around. Our experienced staff have been living while black in America their entire lives. Darren, here, is a former Obama aide who had the cops called on him for moving into his new apartment. That is actually your neighbor Michael. Yeah, no problem. Our records are actually showing that’s actually his boat. Yeah, I know. black people have boats too, now. Studies show that people of color are more likely to be arrested, convicted, and serve longer sentences than white people for similar crimes. So calling 911 for non-emergency situations is really just a [expletive] move. I got so scared when I saw a black guy walking around outside. And so I called 1-844-WYT-FEAR. And it turns out we’re neighbors. And I’m a racist. Now black people have been helping white people be better since, always. So she’s looking around and standing there? Regular Frisbee or Ultimate Frisbee? Call it when black people are: 1-844-WYT-FEAR It’s a real number for real white people who should mind their own damn business. What’s going on here? If you have been a victim of 911 harassment please email us at 844WYTFEAR@nytimes.com

2:39New! A Hotline for Racists
Niecy Nash hosts a satirical infomercial advocating for people to stop calling 911 to harass black citizens and to call 1-844-WYT-FEAR instead.

In this satirical infomercial, the comedian and actress Niecy Nash plays the inventor of a new hotline, 1-844-WYT-FEAR. The video advertises a phone service for white people to call when they can’t cope with black people living their lives near them. The hotline is up and running, so give it a ring and spread the word. (Seriously.)

The phenomenon of white people harassing African-Americans going about their day is nothing new, but with the ubiquity of smartphones and social media, everyone can now see how these injustices are played out and lead to anxiety for and material harm to people of color. And this problem is bigger than a few unreasonable white people. Racist stereotypes are baked into our society.

Has someone called the cops on you when you were doing nothing wrong? Email your story or video to The New York Times Opinion Video team at 844WYTFEAR@nytimes.com.

Below is a list of 39 known instances just this year when someone called the police to complain about black people doing everyday activities:


October 2018

Dane County, Wis. When a statehouse candidate was canvassing a neighborhood. (The New York Times)

Amherst, Mass. When a university employee looked upset while walking across campus. (Associated Press)

Milwaukee When a man was trying to get change from his car. (WISN12)

Brooklyn When a woman tried to avoid the rain by standing on a stoop. (NBC4)

Northampton, Mass. When a student was eating on campus. (The Boston Globe)

Mountain View, Calif. When a woman donated food to the homeless. (KPIX5)

Victoria Park, Fla. When a woman attempted to cash a check at a bank. (Miami New Times)

Buffalo When a woman attempted to use several coupons at a dollar store. (The Buffalo News)

San Francisco When a man was checking the alarm at his own store. (KCBS Radio)

Sterling, Va. When a player at a pickup game of basketball fouled too hard. (FOX5)

Upper Arlington, Ohio When an 11-year-old was delivering newspapers. (Newsweek)

Winston-Salem, N.C. When a woman using her residential community’s pool refused to show her ID. (The Winston-Salem Journal)

San Francisco When an 8-year-old sold water outside her apartment building without a permit. (The New York Times)

Orange Village, Ohio When sorority sisters were paying their bill at a restaurant. (USA Today)

Oakland, Calif. When a uniformed firefighter was clearing flammable objects from brush. (The San Francisco Chronicle)

Collierville, Tenn. When a woman was browsing at a store. (WREG3)

Birmingham, Ala. When a man attempted to make a return at a crafts store. (ABC News)

Memphis When a real estate investor was inspecting a property. (The Telegraph)

Brooklyn When a woman was shopping at a vintage store with her daughter. (ABC7)

New York When a former Obama aide was moving into his new apartment. (PIX11)

Oakland, Calif. When three men were barbecuing at a park. (KRON4)

Raleigh-Durham, N.C. When a plane passenger felt uncomfortable about the woman in the next seat. (The Charlotte Observer)

York, Pa. When a group of women were playing golf. (The York Daily Record)

Philadelphia When two men attempted to use the restroom at a coffee shop. (NPR)

A black birdwatcher asked a white woman to leash her dog in Central Park. She called the police instead. ~ The Washington Post

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Amy Cooper called the police on Christian Cooper after he asked her to leash her dog, Henry, a 2-year-old cocker spaniel. (Christian Cooper)

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Four Dead in Ohio – Kent State 50 years ago

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In a program first broadcast on the BBC, Four Dead in Ohio tells the story of the Kent State Massacre, May 4th 1970. On that day the National Guard opened fire on several hundred students at Kent State University in northeastern Ohio. Four were killed, nine wounded. Two weeks later, two more students were gunned down at Jackson State in MIssissippi. IN this documentary built around sound recorded at Kent on the day and other sources, and interviews with survivors, Michael Goldfarb tells the story of the killings. he looks at how the event still influences politics and protest in an America as divided now as it was on that day.

Marjorie Eliot’s Jazz Parlor at Telluride Mountain Film

42nd Telluride Mountain film Festival ~

2020 Mountainfilm Festival

Indomitable Spirit Shorts II

“This is a very fine film to see on all levels… It’s thirteen minutes of pure joy.”

rŌbert

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Sunday in the Parlour with Marjorie

Marjorie Eliot learned piano as a child; now she performs for jazz lovers every Sunday in her Harlem apartment.

By Sally Wendkos Olds

 

Marjorie Eliot

Photo of Marjorie Eliot by Rich Mello.
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The stately Beaux Arts building at 555 Edgecombe Avenue, known officially as the Paul Robeson residence, sits at the northern edge of Harlem’s Sugar Hill, overlooking the Harlem River. Also known as “Triple Nickel”, it was built a century ago and, by 1993, it had achieved both city and federal landmark status.

Once home to the legendary singer and civil rights activist Paul Robeson, it was also home to musician Count Basie, civil rights activist Canada Lee, psychologist Kenneth Clark, boxer Joe Louis, and other notables. Ironic, since in the first 25 years of the building’s existence, only white people were allowed to live there.

Nowadays jazz lovers from around the world think that the tenant in Apartment 3-F, pianist Marjorie Eliot, should also be landmarked. Although Marjorie is considerably younger than the building, she’s certainly on the right side of fifty, since that’s the age of her son, Rudel Drears. Rudel, also a pianist, often performs with his mother and other outstanding musicians who play in Marjorie’s living room every single Sunday afternoon, all year round, no holidays off, no sick days, no vacations. Their medium is jazz, which Marjorie calls “African-American classical music,” and with which she brought up her five sons.

Marjorie herself learned to play the piano before she even went to kindergarten and she continued the family musical tradition with her children, each of whom learned to play at least one instrument. Her youngest son, Shaun, has been learning to play the recorder.

But, tragically, three other sons Marjorie gave birth to, Phillip, Michael, and Alfred Jr., succumbed early to various illnesses—kidney problems, meningitis, and heart failure—at ages ranging from 32 to 51.

What kept this loving mother and musician going? She credits the music she shares with those who come to her modest apartment in upper Manhattan. Her present career began in 1993 with the establishment of Parlour Entertainment, just after Phillip’s death. That August she performed in his memory at the Jazz Festival held at the historic Morris-Jumel Mansion across the street from her home. Since then, she has performed at the Mansion every August. The next year, in 1994, she presented her first jazz concert in her own apartment.

And she is still performing. Every Sunday the door to Studio 3-F opens at 3 pm and people in casual dress just show up, making it wise to come early since there are no reservations and no reserved seats. When I attended my first concert the male friend who came with me had dressed up for the occasion in honor of this great lady. He was the only man in the room wearing a tie, aside from the musicians and actors.

We took seats in the front row on folding chairs right opposite Miss Marjorie’s upright piano, and in the dimly lit parlour, mood lighting bathed the room, filtered through antique-looking colored sconces. On the walls were photos of her sons and her friends, copies of letters, fliers, programs and newspaper stories. Behind us and along the sides of the room there may have been some forty visitors; on many Sundays the number tops fifty.

The music starts at 3:30. During intermission a neighbor distributes fig bars and orange juice, returning later with two bags, one to pick up used cups, one to accept donations. (I had full confidence that in case any donations found their way into the bag for the cups they would quickly be fished out again.)

What do these concerts mean to Marjorie Eliot? “It’s just who I am,” she told me. “Why does a carpenter build houses? I am an artist, and thankfully, the gods have made it possible to produce my own work and do it my way so I can connect the dots with sadness and joy. Nobody ever told me ‘You can’t do it’ and so I do it. I have met wonderful people throughout my life; they know why I do it and I am excited by the honesty that people bring.”

Despite her standing as an international institution for more than twenty years, there is nothing “high-falutin” about Marjorie Eliot. The Sunday afternoon I first attended her jazz parlour she answered the door herself, slender in a simple loose dress, her hair a mixed gray-and-strawberry blonde nimbus held up with a hairband. Some visitors brought bouquets of flowers; they tend to be regulars who attend once a month or even every week. When I phoned her a day later, she answered her own phone. That’s who she is.

She has now been living in the same apartment for 35 years. Her career has also included stints as actor, playwright, and teacher; she established a children’s theater and has performed in hospitals and colleges. Currently she teaches a Jazz Journey class to Teamsters Local 237 and manages to teach and perform in schools and nursing homes. And she still defines herself as a “mommy.”  “I never say my children  are gone. They are very much with me.”

The Sunday afternoon programs vary from week to week. The day I was there Marjorie played the piano for two hours straight without a break and without any written music. Accompanying her were trumpeter Korichi Yoshihara, Parisian-born Sedric Choukroun, who played sax, flute and clarinet, and cabaret singer Jill Melanie Wirth. (The audience was just as multi-ethnic as the performers.) Since 2015 Marjorie has also written, staged and directed her own theatrical pieces. “In the Quiet Night-time of My Sleep-less Dreams” featured moving appeals by four actors to “take care of the little brown-eyed boys and the little brown-eyed girls.” At about 5:30 the concert ended with a rousing audience-participation rendering of “When the Saints Go Marching In.” As we walked outside into all the excitement and all the noise on the street, we knew that we had been privy to a special and thrilling experience.

. . . . . . . . . . . .

GETTING THERE

Marjorie’s Jazz Parlor is easy to get to. From the west side take the C train to 163rd and Amsterdam, walk east one block to Edgecombe, then south to 160th Street. The east side trip involves changes of trains, but still takes less than an hour from midtown east.

If you go early you can spend an hour or so in the all-volunteer-run Community Book Store at 163rd Street and Amsterdam Avenue, or stop for lunch or coffee at Company, 537 Edgecombe (159th). Or you could linger in the lobby of Triple Nickel looking up at the large circular stained glass ceiling window that was painted black years ago in fears of either Nazi or nuclear attack (accounts vary) and never cleaned up again. After the concert you can exit through the side door at 160th Street, as privacy-seeking tenants have done over the years.