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Anti-LGBTQ Hate Groups Spike As Trump Embraces Their Leaders – White House Issues Thin Statement Rejecting Responsibility

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Anti-LGBTQ hate groups are rapidly growing across America, a result, the Southern Poverty Law Center says, of President Donald Trump’s leadership, including his embrace of those groups. The White House in response has issued a thin statement denying any responsibility or blame – while not even offering to make any changes or to help with the growing danger.

While overall, active hate groups of all types fell slightly in 2019 from 1020 to 940, there was a “sharp expansion,” a nearly 43% increase, in anti-LGBTQ hate groups, the SPLC reports, warning that the “Trump administration has demonstrated a clear willingness to embrace their leaders and their policy agenda.”

“Though Trump promised during his campaign to be a ‘real friend’ to the LGBTQ community, he has fully embraced anti-LGBTQ hate groups and their agenda of dismantling federal protections and resources for LGBTQ people.”

Far right wing Christian evangelicals, including anti-LGBTQ hate groups like the Family Research Council, have become emboldened, enjoying what they have said is “open door” access to the Oval Office.

“Anti-LGBTQ groups have become intertwined with the Trump administration, and—after years of civil rights progress and growing acceptance among the broader American public—anti-LGBTQ sentiment within the Republican Party is rising,” the Southern Poverty Law Center adds.

The White House issued a thin statement in response, refusing to accept any responsibility or blame.

“While the radical left has pushed false accusations that LGBTQ Americans are threatened, the president has hired and promoted LGBTQ Americans to the highest levels of government, including positions at the White House, Cabinet agencies and ambassadorships,” White House spokesman Judd Deere told NBC News. “He launched a global campaign to decriminalize homosexuality. … And the president has made the bold declaration that we are committed to ending HIV transmissions in the United States within 10 years.”

(Note that nearly the entire statement hinges on the President appointing openly-gay Trump diehard loyalist Richard Grenell as his Ambassador to Germany, then installing him – despite his absolute lack of qualifications – as his acting Director of National Security. It was Grenell who launched the campaign to decriminalize homosexuality – which exists in name only. And Trump can say he is “committed to ending HIV transmissions in the United States within 10 years,” but his policies are likely to make the situation worse.)

The SPLC also issued another dark warning: this hate and extremism “will far outlast this administration,” and not disappear when President Trump leaves office.

“As the country continues to experience white nationalist terror, extremist ideas long believed outside of the realm of legitimate politics are penetrating deeply into the mainstream, spawning public policies that target immigrants, LGBTQ people and Muslims. The Trump administration has installed members of hate groups into government—particularly those with anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim or anti-LGBTQ animus—and put in place highly punitive policies that seemed unthinkable just a few short years ago. These political moves will far outlast this administration, as Trump and his allies in the U.S. Senate have pushed through hundreds of new federal judges, many of whom are hostile to civil rights concerns and will serve for decades.”

 

 

 

 

 

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George Floyd Died of Asphyxiation: Independent Autopsy

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George Floyd died of “mechanical asphyxiation,” concludes an independent autopsy commissioned by the Floyd family.

“The officers killed him,” Benjamin Crump (photo), the Floyd family attorney said at a Monday afternoon press conference moments ago. He “said an independent autopsy found his death was homicide,” The New York Times adds.

Crump said the family wants all four officers to be charged with first degree murder. Only one of the four officers has been arrested.

The Hennepin County’s medical examiner’s autopsy offered different conclusions.

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Trump Mocked in China’s State Media for Fleeing to Bunker in the Face of Protests: ‘Mr President, Don’t Go Hide’

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According to a report in The Guardian, Chinese state media and government leaders are mocking reports that Donald Trump fled to a secure bunker under the White House in the face of massive police brutality protests that reached the White House gates.

Following reports that a “rattled” Trump was ushered to safety by the Secret Service as police battled with George Floyd protesters in the streets of Washington, D.C, among other cities, officials in China took notice.

“At a press conference on Monday, foreign ministry spokesman, Lijian Zhao urged the US to eliminate racial discrimination and protect the lawful rights of minorities, according to state-backed media, CGTN. ‘The death of George Floyd reflects the severity of racial discrimination and police brutality in the US,’ said Zhao,” reports the Guardian. “Zhao also threatened ‘counter-attacks’ on the US for continued retaliatory measures over China’s increased control over Hong Kong, which include reversing Hong Kong’s special customs status. On Sunday China’s foreign ministry spokeswoman, Hua Chunying posted ‘I can’t breathe’ – Floyd’s last words – to Twitter, with a screenshot of her American counterpart criticizing China’s crackdown on Hong Kong.”

More pointed attacks on Trump came from Hu Xijin, editor-in-chief of nationalist tabloid Global Times.

“In a series of tweets and editorials over the weekend, Hu and his paper accused the US of hypocrisy,” the report states. “‘Mr President, don’t go hide behind the secret service,’ said Hu. ‘Go to talk to the demonstrators seriously. Negotiate with them, just like you urged Beijing to talk to Hong Kong rioters.’ In another tweet he said both protests defied the law, subverted order, and were destructive, but that Hong Kong’s were seen as justified by the US, while those in the US were unjust.”

You can read more here.

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Trump Administration Orders Military Police to Prepare to Deploy to Minneapolis

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Concern is quickly growing on news the Trump administration has ordered U.S. Military Police to prepare to deploy to Minneapolis after four nights of protests. Federal law, specifically the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, makes it illegal in many cases to use the U.S. Military within the borders of the United States, especially for law enforcement.

Early Saturday morning the Associated Press reported “the Pentagon took the rare step of ordering the Army to put several active-duty U.S. military police units on the ready to deploy to Minneapolis, where the police killing of George Floyd sparked the widespread protests.”

Soldiers from Fort Bragg in North Carolina and Fort Drum in New York have been ordered to be ready to deploy within four hours if called, according to three people with direct knowledge of the orders. Soldiers in Fort Carson, in Colorado, and Fort Riley in Kansas have been told to be ready within 24 hours.

President Donald Trump in a 1 AM Friday morning tweet threatened to call up the National Guard and shoot “thugs” in Minneapolis if state and local officials did “bring the City under control.”

Trump also tweeted, “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”

The President promised he would “assume control” and “get the job done right.”

Trump hours earlier, according to the AP, had “asked Defense Secretary Mark Esper for military options to help quell the unrest in Minneapolis after protests descended into looting and arson in some parts of the city.”

National security attorney Bradley Moss weighed in:

Online many are referring to the Posse Comitatus Act to support their belief Trump’s actions might be illegal.

Former Bush chief White House ethics lawyer Richard Painter, now a law professor, fired off such a warning on Friday before the AP’s report:

The Washington Post’s Dan Lamothe apparently disagrees:

ABC News adds: “Under the post-Civil War law known as Posse Comitatus, the U.S. active duty military is forbidden from carrying out law enforcement duties. That ban can only be waived if a President declares a national emergency.”

 

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