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House Republicans call on FBI to investigate the source of riot funding

A group of House Republicans are calling on the FBI to investigate who is funding these riots, where the money is coming from and how best to hold them accountable.

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Portland Riots

After the death of George Floyd in May, the U.S turned into a hotspot for peaceful protests, but also relentless, violent riots. Voices turned into violence, marches turned into looting and the message was arguably lost in translation.

Now, a group of House Republicans are calling on the FBI to investigate who is funding these riots, where the money is coming from and how best to hold them accountable.

According to the Daily Caller, in a letter written to FBI Director Christopher Wray, “Republicans called for justice to be given to the people and groups providing funding for the destruction of cities and towns across the country since the death of George Floyd.” The letter concluded with the signature of nearly two dozen House Republicans, and called out Antifa for enacting “domestic terrorism.”

“The Department of Justice and FBI’s leadership is needed to bring to justice those who have funded these criminal organizations and to give justice to the communities who have been devastated by these individuals and organizations,” claimed the letter, originally obtained by Fox News.

“Many cities across our country have been rocked by rioters associated with Antifa and other organizations,” the letter continued. “These individuals seem to be using cowardly efforts to commandeer otherwise peaceful protests. These actions constitute domestic terrorism and federal charges must be brought against those who are aiding and abetting the criminal actions of these organizations.”

For months, riots have sprouted across the country, ending with defaced statues, looted businesses, burnt buildings and cities left in rubble. Federal buildings and police offices have also been vandalized to further amplify the message at hand: the country needs significant police reform.

In order to progress and make the desired institutional changes, many lawmakers believe that those in charge of inciting these heinous crimes and destroying the cities they call home need to be punished accordingly. The violence, rioting and looting are only taking away from the message that peaceful protesters are striving to convey.

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Race

Alabama Judge Removed from Bench, Called Another Black Judge ‘Uncle Tom’

Jefferson County Judge Nakita Blocton also called another judge a ‘fat b****’ and an employee a ‘heifer’

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Jefferson County Judge Nakita Blocton was removed from the bench over several ethical violations. (Tenth Judicial Circuit Court of Alabama )
Jefferson County Judge Nakita Blocton was removed from the bench over several ethical violations. (Tenth Judicial Circuit Court of Alabama )

One Alabama Judge is being removed from her bench after committing ethics violations and using horrifically racist rhetoric towards a Black judge. Jefferson County Judge Nakita Blocton called one judge an “Uncle Tom” which is a derogatory term used to accuse a Black person of being a traitor to the Black community and being “overly allegiant to White people” explains Fox News.

Blocton herself is Black. On December 10, all nine judges on Alabama’s Court of the Judiciary acted to remove Blocton from the bench. They also ordered her to pay the costs of their proceedings.

Findings from a commission that filed a complaint against the judge for ethics violations found she “engaged in a pattern of practice of making inappropriate comments – for example, calling one judge ‘Uncle Tom’ and another judge a ‘fat b****’ and calling an employee a heifer.”

Blocton also repeatedly abused staff, attorneys and litigants, and verbally abused and belittled another employee. Fox News reports:

Blocton also used several Facebook aliases to communicate with litigants in pending domestic-relations cases in an effort to affect the outcome of those cases, according to the commission.

She also engaged in “a pattern of dishonesty and deception” by using the aliases to provide information to litigants in cases and asking potential witnesses to delete evidence related to the commission’s investigation and attempting to influence testimony.

According to an initial complaint made against the judge in May, one person involved in divorce litigation said the judge used online aliases to send several threatening messages which included, “THE DEVIL IS WATCHING U,” “LEAVE THOSE BLACK WOMEN DEMOCRATS ALONE.”

The commission failed to gather enough evidence to support other allegations against Brocton, including that the judge was using drugs, was mentally unstable and made an inappropriate campaign contribution to a Birmingham mayoral candidate.

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Race

Districts Screening Teachers for Racial Biases: ‘Can you Teach Students That Don’t Look Like You?’

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Photo By Sergey Novikov

Although teaching is generally a more liberal profession, it is liberals themselves who appear to have the least amount of faith in teachers if they feel compelled to ask questions such as “can you teach these students, even if they don’t look like you?”

As insulting as it may be, that is the wave of the future as districts begin “screening for racial biases during teacher job interviews” reports EdWeek.Org. In its report, EdWeek writes “teachers’ racial biases result in lowered expectations for students of color, discriminatory disciplinary practices, and curricula that don’t represent students’ cultures.”

But, “experts say that school districts are increasingly asking teacher-candidates questions about cultural competency, race, and equity during the application and interview process.” Experts also say districts’ attempts to diversity their teaching force to better “match” their students, progress is slow.

Chairwoman for the diversity, equity, and inclusion committee of the American Association of School Personnel Administrators, Karen Rice-Harris, stated:

“Ultimately, when we’re looking for people to serve our students, my key questions are: Can you teach these students, even if they don’t look like you, [even if] you’re not familiar with their culture? How are you going to teach them as if they were your child, your cousin, your brother, your sister?”

Rice-Harris also says questions about their commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, empathy, and students’ social-emotional needs must also be asked of the potential teachers by administrators.

Lauren Dachille, founder of a teacher-hiring software company that works with roughly 500 districts across the country, says after the death of George Floyd, “now that we’ve become a little more aware of the concept of anti-racism and maybe a little more woke as a culture, I do think that districts have started to emphasize these questions a little bit more.”

Dachille says many districts ask about the teachers’ past experience working with diverse groups of students, and inquire on how they will create a classroom culture for all students to feel valued. Districts also want to know whether or not teacher candidates believe all students have the capacity to learn and thrive academically, she said.

Below are some examples of the interview questions Rice-Harris believes shoud be asked of  teacher-candidates to determine their commitment to diversity, equity, and empathy:

•    Sometimes, there is a belief that a commitment to diversity conflicts with a commitment to excellence. How would you describe the relationship between diversity and excellence?
•    What elements would you find in a curriculum that honors inclusion of different cultures, abilities, and perspectives?
•    An overrepresentation of students from historically marginalized populations receiving special education services continues to exist. Why do you think this occurs and how would you address this issue within your role?
•    How do you foster relationships with students who may not meet your academic or behavioral expectations?
•    What is the difference between sympathy and empathy? How can each impact your ability to teach?
•    Provide an example of how you have/could address the social and emotional needs of students to foster increased student-engagement and learning.

Dachille claims candidates appreciate and expect such questions. “I have heard districts say that candidates appreciate the screen for cultural competency, and they have had high-quality candidates give in their feedback that that is something that drew them to the district” she said.

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