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What is intolerance fatigue? And how is it fueling Black Lives Matter protests?

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Protesters remain on the streets demanding equality and justice for Black Americans. What they’re feeling, I believe, is something I call “intolerance fatigue.”

As a race scholar, examining the history of social justice movements, the phrase is new, but the concept isn’t.

In 1962, during the civil rights movement, activist Fannie Lou Hamer sought to register to vote in her home state of Mississippi. When she was allowed to address the Democratic National Convention in 1964, Hamer told how she and her fellow activists were shot at, fined, arrested and brutally beaten in jail simply for trying “to register to become first-class citizens.”

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Fannie Lou Hamer’s powerful testimony at the 1964 Democratic National Convention.

She spoke for millions in another speech that year, in which she declared she was “sick and tired of being sick and tired.”

This exhaustion is not the sort that lays people out on their beds and couches, unable to move. Rather, it’s a frustration and anger about systemic racism that drives people to act, to demand change and become part of creating the social change they want.

The civil rights movement was sparked in 1955 by the murder of Emmett Till – a Black 14-year-old from Chicago who was beaten, shot and drowned in a Mississippi river for allegedly offending a white woman in a store. In 1963, John Lewis, a young man who would become a civil rights icon and congressman, made a clear, and eloquent demand: “We do not want our freedom gradually, but we want to be free now!

Similarly, the 2020 protests arose in the wake of George Floyd’s death in police custody in Minneapolis. Taking a stand against injustice, people again – still – are tired of being discriminated against, profiled and murdered because of the color of their skin.

Marchers are tired of intolerance, worn out by racism and refusing to be silent in the face of unjust treatment and inequality.

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Just as their elders were, today’s protesters and those they support are “sick and tired of being sick and tired.”

[Deep knowledge, daily. Sign up for The Conversation’s newsletter.]The Conversation

Bev-Freda Jackson, Adjunct Professorial Lecturer, American University School of Public Affairs

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This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.


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GOP lawmaker indicted for allegedly choking woman with Ethernet cable and threatening to ‘hog tie’ her

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On Monday, The Washington Post reported that Kentucky state Sen. Robert Goforth has been indicted for strangulation and assault, after allegedly attacking a woman with an Ethernet cable.

"Earlier this year, a woman said Goforth, 44, strangled her with an Ethernet cable to the point where she had trouble breathing and threatened to 'hog tie' her, according to a police report reviewed by the newspaper," said the report. "The charges have renewed calls from local Democrats for Goforth, a staunch supporter of President Trump who had previously been accused of sexual assault, to resign from his seat. Neither he nor his attorney, Conrad Cessna, immediately responded to requests for comment from The Washington Post."

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President Donald Trump predicted a vaccine would be available before the Nov. 3 election.

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2020 Election

Kayleigh McEnany says Trump ‘very likely’ will nominate new Supreme Court Justice before Ruth Bader Ginsburg is buried

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White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany says President Donald Trump will announce his nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court, mostly likely by Tuesday. The late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will lie in repose at the Supreme Court. The date of her funeral, which will be a private ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery, has not even been announced yet.

Asked if the nomination would be announced "before Wednesday," she replied, "I think that's very likely."

MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell Monday morning also hinted the announcement would come Tuesday.

President Trump says he will soon nominate a justice to replace the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court.

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