Bowing to Pressure, Trump Rebukes Racists

Tuesday, August 15, 2017Screen Shot 2017-08-15 at 9.26.42 AM

Good Tuesday morning, 
Here are some of the stories making news in Washington and politics today:
  • After his initial response to the violence in Charlottesville, Va., was widely criticized, President Trump gave in to calls that he personally denounce white supremacists. Tensions reached a boiling point early Monday after the president attacked the head of Merck pharmaceuticals, who is black, for quitting an advisory board.
  • Attorney General Jeff Sessions has earned cautious praise from critics for his early steps in denouncing white nationalism and opening a civil rights investigation.
  • The white supremacists and right-wing extremists who came together over the weekend in Charlottesville are now headed home, many of them ready and energized, they said, to set their sights on bigger prizes.
  • Mr. Trump has been urged by Rupert Murdoch and others to fire Stephen K. Bannon, his top strategist, who already has been relegated to an internal exile, according to aides.
  • After days of bellicose threats toward North Korea and jitters about a looming trade war with China, Mr. Trump moved to ease tensions in East Asia.
— The First Draft Team


The Upshot

Killings of Blacks by Whites Are Far More Likely to Be Ruled ‘Justifiable’

When a white person kills a black man in America, the killer often faces no legal consequences.
In one in six of these killings, there is no criminal sanction, according to a new Marshall Project examination of 400,000 homicides committed by civilians between 1980 and 2014. That rate is far higher than ones for homicides involving other combinations of races.
In almost 17 percent of cases when a black man was killed by a non-Hispanic white civilian over the last three decades, the killing was categorized as justifiable, which is the term used when a police officer or a civilian kills someone committing a crime or in self-defense. Over all, the police classify less than 2 percent of homicides committed by civilians as justifiable.
The disparity persists across different cities, ages, weapons and relationships between killer and victim.
Read more »
A vigil in Charlottesville, Va., on Sunday. World leaders condemned the violence and racism on display there over the weekend.

Angela Merkel Condemns Charlottesville Violence as ‘Racist’ and ‘Evil’


Several world leaders spoke out against the deadly episode, while others tried to exploit it to advance their own agendas.

President Trump was expected to spend Monday night at Trump Tower, his first visit to his Manhattan home since he was sworn in.

Trump Makes First Trip Back to His Manhattan Home


After a white nationalist protest in Virginia erupted into violence over the weekend, concerns have escalated over what President Trump’s arrival in New York might provoke.

Participants at a rally of white supremacists gathered near a statue of Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville, Va., on Saturday.

Before Charlottesville, Killings Raised the Specter of Far-Right Violence


Suspects linked to white supremacist groups or with a history of anti-immigrant rhetoric have been charged in a string of lone-wolf attacks this year.

A robotic boat patrolling on Swan Lake in Hefei in central China in July. The country hopes to become a global leader in areas like robotics and medical technology.

Seeking Greater Global Power, China Looks to Robots and Microchips


The country’s effort to take a lead in the technologies of the future, often with the help of foreign companies, is the subject of a United States trade investigation.

President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence before speaking to reporters last week in Bedminster, N.J. Mr. Trump’s off-the-cuff remarks have created a bevy of questions for constitutional scholars.

New on This Fall’s Law School Syllabus: Trump


The president, a one-man course in constitutional arcana, has raised real-world questions for students to ponder on formerly dusty legal doctrines.

With the purchase of Tribune Media, the Sinclair Broadcast Group would gain WITI, a Fox affiliate in Milwaukee.

How a Conservative TV Giant Is Ridding Itself of Regulation


The Sinclair Broadcast Group and the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission see eye to eye on the need to unleash television. Both are reaping big rewards.

James Alex Fields Jr. hours before, according to the police, he drove his car into a crowd in Charlottesville, Va.

Suspect in Charlottesville Attack Had Displayed Troubling Behavior


Family members, acquaintances and internet postings suggested that James Alex Fields Jr. had gone mostly unnoticed, even as he seemingly trafficked in radical views.

Senator Luther Strange at a Republican Party gathering in Homewood, Ala., last week. The senator is grasping for second place in Tuesday’s special-election primary.

Despite Trump’s Support, Alabama Senator Struggles to a Primary Finish


Senator Luther Strange, a Republican, is in a pitched battle to make the runoff in the special election that will determine whether he keeps his seat.

Right and Left: Partisan Writing You Shouldn’t Miss
Read about how the other side thinks. We have collected political writing from around the web and across ideologies.
From the Right
• Bill O’Reilly in The Hill:
“In cases where Americans are fighting other Americans, clarity is desperately needed. Trump would have been wise to articulate his anger with ‘many sides’ in very specific terms.”
President Trump wasn’t wrong to call out “many sides” in his response to the violence in Charlottesville, writes Mr. O’Reilly. However, he argues that the president should have defined “the ongoing radical left political agitation that has caused violence in a precise way,” not “lump it in with those who started the Charlottesville fiasco.” Read more »
From the Left
• Shuja Haider in Jacobin:
“President Trump’s reticence betrays a reactionary bias, which comes as no surprise. But his rhetoric was not unique to him — the mainstream media and liberal intelligentsia had set the precedent.”
Mr. Haider condemns the “middle-of-the-road tongue-clucking” of those in the mainstream media who direct their criticism at “all sides.” (He includes a tweet from The New York Times’s reporter Sheryl Gay Stolberg as an example of this tendency.) According to Mr. Haider, in this situation, moral equivocating is “a stance that history has never revealed to be anything but moral cowardice.” Read more »
More selections »