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Former Minneapolis mayor reveals ‘racism permeated’ his city’s police department

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A former mayor of Minneapolis says that his city’s police department has a systemic racism problem that has been going on for years.

R.T. Rybak, who served as Minneapolis mayor from 2002 through 2014, writes in Politico that “racism permeated” his city’s police department during his tenure, and he admits that his own efforts to change the department’s culture “failed badly.”

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“These failures will haunt me for the rest of my life, and it should,” Rybak writes. “As each of us sees and acknowledges our own part it can be paralyzing. It was for me.”

The former mayor then says that the easiest first step to take in reforming the Minneapolis police is taking away the shipments of military equipment they receive from the Pentagon.

“As a mayor who took office right after 9/11, I quickly saw that the community-based preventive programs like Bill Clinton’s ‘cops on the streets’ initiative lost funding while we seemingly had a blank check for equipment and weapon systems that too often have the officers we want to ‘protect and serve’ separated from their communities by shields and armored turtle suits,” he writes.

However, he argues that this alone will not solve the problem of racism within the department, and he calls on individual officers to change the culture of the force from within.

“I know the consequences of being shunned by your co-workers, but I also know you in your heart that George Floyd should not be dead,” he said. “Your silence is deafening and this city, and this country, cannot move forward until we hear your voices.”

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Read the whole piece here.


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2020 Election

Women are making Trump ‘melt down’ — or turn tail and run: columnist

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President Donald Trump doesn’t like being challenged by any media figures, even if they are conservative white males like Fox News’ Chris Wallace or The Bulwark’s Bill Kristol. But female reporters, in particular, seem to rattle Trump, as journalist Jack Shafer argues in an op-ed published in Politico this week.

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2020 Election

‘Silence is complicity’: GOP condemned for doing nothing as Trump openly touts sabotage of postal service

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"Donald Trump knows that if the people are heard in November, he and Republicans up and down the ballot will lose," said Sen. Elizabeth Warren. "This is what we're up against—and this is why we have to fight back with all we've got."

Voting rights advocates on Thursday took aim at Republicans in Congress for remaining silent in the face of President Donald Trump's open admission that he is blocking funding for the U.S. Postal Service with the express purpose of stopping an expansion of mail-in ballot access ahead of the November elections.

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Mitch McConnell continues to be haunted by this Confederate flag photo – but he says he has no regrets

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell explained the origins of an infamous photograph of himself standing in front of a Confederate flag.

The photo has circulated for years, and it's believed to have originated in the early 1990s at an event held at Big Spring Country Club by the Louisville-based John Hunt Morgan Camp 1342 of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, reported the Courier-Journal.

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