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Civil rights groups ask FBI and DHS to reveal how they define ‘black identity extremists’

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Dozens of civil rights groups have demanded the full release of federal reports documenting so-called “black identity extremists.”

A redacted version of the paper was leaked to the media on Aug. 3, 2017 — just days before a violent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia — that showed FBI officials believed those black extremists would likely target law enforcement, reported TruthDig.

Other documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act revealed another document, known as the “Race Paper,” was circulated within the Department of Homeland Security, which later released the document in fully redacted form.

The American Civil Liberties Union, the Center for Media Justice and 40 other organizations have called for the release of an unredacted version of the DHS paper, which they said raised concerns about racial profiling and other potential abuses of constitutional rights.

“We believe that the ‘Race Paper’ may improperly suggest that constitutionally-protected Black political speech should be considered an indicator of criminal conduct or a national security threat,” the letter reads.

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The groups warned DHS secretary Kirstjen Nielsen the paper has “serious implications on the constitutional rights and safety of Black and Brown people in the United States, and, in particular, protesters and activists of color.”

At least one black activist has been jailed as a “black identity extremist,” although Dallas-based Rakem Balogun was released and his firearms charges dropped in early May after he spent five months in jail.

“The FBI was pretty much surveilling me for over two and a half years as a domestic terrorist,” Balogun told Democracy Now. “The judge denied me bond based off of me using my First Amendment right to criticize police officers on Facebook.”

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BUSTED: CNN’s panel of women defending Trump’s racism were literally the ‘Trumpettes’

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CNN aired a panel that featured “Republican women” defending President Trump’s racist tweets, but failed to mention that they were actually part of a pro-Trump group whose members the network had interviewed in the past.

This article originally appeared at Salon.

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Ben Carson is Donald Trump’s faulty human shield against accusations of racism

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Ben Carson is back in the news — after another long absence — because Donald Trump has once again been accused of racism.

This article originally appeared at Salon.

The secretary of Housing and Urban Development is the only African-American member of the president’s Cabinet, and is often trotted out to clean up after Trump makes a mess too obviously problematic for the media to ignore. While Trump has tried to spin his recent racist attacks on four progressive freshman congresswomen as a strategic maneuver meant to manipulate Democratic infighting to his advantage, Carson's re-emergence from his stupor should be a clear indication that the president’s team recognizes the damage that can be caused by his unforced errors.

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An illegal trend could be emerging after Trump let Kellyanne Conway off the hook for breaking federal law

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Federal workplaces are supposed to be free of politics, but a Trump administration appointee used a government forum Wednesday to express support for the president’s reelection.

At a conference on religious freedom hosted by the State Department, an official told the crowd of several hundred people that “hopefully he will be reelected,” referring to President Donald Trump.

It’s illegal for federal employees to engage in political activities while they are on the job.

“It’s a violation of the Hatch Act for a federal official, to say in her official capacity, to hope that the president will be reelected,” said Kathleen Clark, an expert on legal ethics at the Washington University in St. Louis.

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