LONDON (Reuters) - A test firing of an unarmed British nuclear Trident missile from a submarine malfunctioned last June, the Sunday Times reported, prompting questions about why Prime Minister Theresa May did not tell parliament ahead of a vote on renewing the submarines. The paper quoted an unnamed senior naval source as saying the missile may have veered off in the wrong direction towards the American mainland when it was fired off the coast of Florida. It was the only test firing of a British nuclear missile in four years and came shortly before May became prime minister in the wake of Britain's vote last June to leave the European Union, the paper said. It said May had omitted any mention of the failed test when she persuaded parliament to spend 40 billion pounds ($49.5 billion) on new Trident submarines in her first major speech to parliament as prime minister last July. Asked four times during a BBC television interview on Sunday whether she knew about the misfire before she made that speech, May repeatedly declined to answer directly. "I have absolute faith in our Trident missiles. When I made that speech in the House of Commons what we were talking about was whether or not we should renew our Trident, whether or not we should have Trident missiles," she said. "There are tests that take place all the time, regularly for our nuclear deterrent." The Times said Trident missiles have been test-fired only five times by UK submarines this century because they each cost 17 million pounds. After more than five hours of debate, parliament last year voted to rubber stamp a 2007 decision to replace the deterrent system, approving the building of four submarines to ensure Britain can have nuclear weapons continuously on patrol at sea. But more than 100 of parliament's 650 lawmakers voted against doing so, with the Scottish nationalists and some opposition Labour members arguing the weapons were no longer needed as they are little use against terrorists and the money could be better spent elsewhere. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and his finance spokesman John McDonnell, who both oppose Trident, on Sunday called for a discussion on the reported misfire. "People on both sides of the argument on Trident would have expected that to be reported to parliament and the fact that Theresa May didn't is extremely worrying and I think questions have to be asked about that," McDonnell told the BBC. In a joint statement, May's office and Britain's Ministry of Defence said the Royal Navy conducted a routine unarmed Trident missile test in June from HMS Vengeance, as part of an operation designed to certify the submarine and its crew. It did not confirm the failure. "Vengeance and her crew were successfully tested and certified, allowing Vengeance to return into service. We have absolute confidence in our independent nuclear deterrent," the statement said. "We do not provide further details on submarine operations for obvious national security reasons." (Reporting by Stephen Addison and Kylie MacLellan,; editing by Clelia Oziel)
- The Guardian
Photographer snaps pictures of notes near West WingVisible words include ‘Move Kash Patel to CIA Acting’US politics – live coverage Mike Lindell, chief executive of My Pillow, stands outside the West Wing of the White House. Photograph: Erin Scott/Reuters My Pillow founder and Trump supporter Mike Lindell was photographed entering the West Wing of the White House on Friday, carrying notes which seemed to advocate the imposition of martial law. Donald Trump will be replaced as president in five days’ time, by Joe Biden. Trump continues to baselessly claim his election defeat by the Democrat was the result of electoral fraud. The president has now said he disavows the violence he incited at the US Capitol last week when he urged a mob of his supporters to march on the building. The resulting deadly attack on the Capitol led to his second impeachment. Amid proliferating reports of plots to kidnap and kill lawmakers, and with further demonstrations by Trump supporters reportedly planned around inauguration day, Trump remains at the White House unable to use social media and apparently estranged from many of his closest advisers. Lindell has risen to prominence among allies urging the president on in his attempts to deny reality. On his Facebook page on Friday, the mustachioed seller of sleep aids wrote: “Keep the faith everyone! We will have our president Donald Trump 4 more years!’ Later a Washington Post photographer caught images of Lindell in which parts of notes he carried were visible. Among visible text were the words “Insurrection Act now as a result of the assault on the”, “martial law if necessary” and “Move Kash Patel to CIA Acting”. The notes also referred to Sidney Powell, an attorney and conspiracy theorist involved in Trump campaign lawsuits meant to overturn election results in battleground states, almost all of which have been unsuccessful. @MyPillowUSA CEO Michael Lindell shows off his notes before going into the West Wing at the White House on Friday, Jan 15, 2021 in Washington, DC. pic.twitter.com/AY6AyJNSyE— Jabin Botsford (@jabinbotsford) January 15, 2021 The notes seemed to advocate naming an attorney named Colon, described as “up to speed on election issues” and seemingly based at “Fort Mead”, to a national security role. A current LinkedIn page indicates that a Frank Colon is currently senior attorney-cyber operations for the 780th Military Intelligence Brigade, based at Fort Meade, Maryland. Trump allies, among them the political dirty trickster Roger Stone, have previously advocated the imposition of martial law in the event of electoral defeat. Kash Patel is a Trump loyalist who after the election was moved to the Department of Defense, where he has been accused of obstructing the transition to Biden. The White House pool reporter said Lindell refused to answer questions about his visit on Friday. Earlier, apparently in error, Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani tweeted a message in which he claimed to be “working with the FBI to expose and place total blame on John and the 226 members of antifa that instigated the Capitol ‘riot’”. It was not clear which “John” Giuliani meant. The FBI has rubbished Republican claims that leftwing groups, collectively known as “antifa”, were to blame for the attack on the Capitol. Giuliani himself addressed Trump supporters before the riot, telling them he wanted “trial by combat”. The message Giuliani tweeted ended: “I can see what I can do with Kash, I wish I had.” Biden has picked a senior diplomat, Bill Burns, for CIA director, replacing Gina Haspel.
Bee Nguyen, Georgia's first Vietnamese American state representative, donned an áo dài to her swearing-in ceremony on Tuesday. Regarded as the most popular national costume of Vietnam, the áo dài for women is a long dress with a contoured top that flows over loose-fitting trousers that reach the sole of the feet. Nguyen, 39, decided to wear the garment in response to the Capitol siege on Jan. 6, in which rioters carried the South Vietnamese flag.
- Associated Press
An Arkansas man was accused Thursday of beating a police officer with a pole flying a U.S. flag during last week’s riot at the U.S. Capitol, according to court documents. In an arrest affidavit filed Thursday in federal court in Washington, an FBI agent said Peter Francis Stager is shown in video and photographs striking a prone police officer repeatedly with the flagpole after rioters dragged the officer down the Capitol's west stairs. Confidential informants had recognized Stager in riot video and photographs and alerted authorities, who have charged Stager with interfering with law enforcement officers during a civil disorder, according to the affidavit.
- Architectural Digest
When it came to the lighting in his home, Pardo drew inspiration from the insides of fruits, nuts, and seeds, as well as sea creatures and machine parts.Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest
- National Review
Senator Ben Sasse (R., Neb.) on Friday called for the rioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol last week to be “prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” saying those who participated in the unrest that left five dead were “terrorists attacking this country’s constitutionally-mandated transfer of power.” Sasse’s comments come after the Department of Justice said in court documents that the rioters breached the Capitol with the intent to “capture and assassinate elected officials.” In a memo requesting that “QAnon shaman” Jacob Anthony Chansley be kept in detention, Justice Department lawyers in Arizona wrote that “strong evidence, including Chansley’s own words and actions at the Capitol” show that the intent was to harm elected officials. Sasse said it would be “wrong” of “rage-peddlers” to “try to whitewash the attack on the Capitol, saying that a few bad apples got out of control.” “Every American needs to understand what the Department of Justice has just made public: Investigators have strong evidence to suggest that some of the rioters who stormed the United States Capitol planned to kidnap and possibly assassinate the Vice President,” he said. “These men weren’t drunks who got rowdy — they were terrorists attacking this country’s constitutionally-mandated transfer of power,” he added. “They failed, but they came dangerously close to starting a bloody constitutional crisis.” He concluded: “They must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. The FBI is investigating widespread calls for violence across the country and every American has an obligation to lower the temperature.” Last week, before the House impeached President Trump for a second time on an “incitement of insurrection” charge, Sasse had vowed to consider any articles of impeachment against Trump that came before the Senate. “The House, if they come together and have a process, I will definitely consider whatever articles they might move,” Sasse said in an interview with CBS. “I believe the president has disregarded his oath of office…what he did was wicked.”
- Yahoo News Video
A white military veteran shot and wounded a 15-year-old girl when he fired his gun into a car carrying four Black teens during a tense confrontation at a Trump rally near the Iowa Capitol last month.
- NBC News
Selena Roth, a 25-year-old Army veteran and spouse, was killed at Schofield Barracks on Oahu.
- The Week
FBI says over 100 people arrested for Capitol siege, including 'liberal activist,' Confederate flag bearer
FBI Director Christopher Wray, in his first public comments since the Jan. 6 violent siege of the U.S. Capitol by supporters of President Trump, said Thursday that law enforcement has arrested more than 100 people in connection with the assault and is aware of "an extensive amount of concerning online chatter" ahead of President-elect Joe Biden's Jan. 20 inauguration.Most of those arrested so far have been far-right militants, off-duty police, retired military personnel, GOP officials, QAnon adherents, and white supremacists. For example, the man photographed carrying a Confederate battle flag through the Capitol, Kevin Seefried, and his son, Hunter Seefried, surrendered to the FBI in Delaware on Thursday, the Justice Department said.Embed from Getty ImagesAuthorities also arrested "liberal activist" John Sullivan on Thursday, making him, Politico says, "the first person to be charged who appears to have been active in liberal causes." Sullivan, who filmed the siege, claims he was just following the rioters as a "journalist," but the FBI said his own video showed him to be a booster of the lawlessness and even an active participant.Trump supporters, including Rudy Giuliani, and conservative media outlets pointed to Sullivan's arrest to bolster their counterfactual claim that "antifa" or Black Lives Matter were actually behind the assault on the Capitol. But "even before his arrest, left wing activists had described concerns in that community, going back some time, that Sullivan was a provocateur working with others, including his brother James, who has ties to the Proud Boys and runs a pro-Trump organization," Marcy Wheeler notes at EmptyWheel.> pic.twitter.com/oRri9hyHGv> > — New York City Antifa (@NYCAntifa) January 7, 2021"Sullivan's presence in the Capitol, and his previous record of anti-Trump activism, has been the focus of frenzied attention in the right-wing media," Robert Mackey reports at The Intercept, while "left-wing organizers have been keen to stress that they ejected Sullivan from their ranks months ago." Since adopting the nom de guerre "Activist John" last summer, Mackey notes, Sullivan has been blacklisted by "left-wing organizers associated with Black Lives Matter and antifascism in Utah, California, and the Pacific Northwest" who say he's "either a right-wing infiltrator or a dangerously naive amateur."More stories from theweek.com Trump's vaccine delay is getting suspicious The worst-case scenario for America's immediate future Statehood for D.C. and Puerto Rico only needs 50 votes
- Associated Press
A friendly $100 wager over the 2020 Presidential election has landed in a Florida small claims court. Before the election, Sean Hynes, a Trump supporter from St. Petersburg, reached out to Jeffrey Costa, an acquaintance who is a Biden supporter from Atlanta. The deal was sealed on Facebook Messenger: If Trump won, Costa would pay $100.
The man accused of throwing a fire extinguisher during the Washington, D.C. riots last week has been arrested. Robert Sanford, a retired Chester Fire Department firefighter, was arrested on Thursday and charged with assault on a police officer, among other offenses. Attorney Enrique Latoison argues Sanford went on a free bus to the rally for Trump at the Capitol, but he did not enter the government building.
- The Telegraph
Wearing a giant furry hat, black leather jacket and a beaming smile, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un introduced “the world’s strongest weapon” – a new submarine-launched ballistic missile – at a nighttime parade on Thursday in Pyongyang. The display of North Korea’s military might followed a rare congress of the ruling Workers' Party, during which leader Kim denounced the United States as his country's “foremost principal enemy” and vowed to strengthen the North’s nuclear war deterrent. On Friday, the reclusive regime’s state media released 100 photos of a mass celebration of the national armory, including tanks and rocket launchers, all flanked by rows of marching soldiers, noticeably not wearing masks. Military aircraft were illuminated by LED lights as they flew overhead in formation. “They’d like us to notice that they’re getting more proficient with larger solid rocket boosters,” tweeted Ankit Panda, a North Korea expert and author of ‘Kim Jong Un and the Bomb’, as the parade unfolded in Pyongyang’s Kim Il Sung square. As the spectacle reached its climax, the military rolled out what analysts said appeared to be new variants of solid-fuel short-range ballistic missiles – which are more quickly deployed than liquid-fuelled versions - and four Pukguksong-class submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs).
- The Week
Federal prosecutors in a new court filing reportedly point to "strong evidence" that rioters who stormed the Capitol building last week aimed to "capture and assassinate elected officials."The prosecutors included this assessment while asking a judge to detain Jacob Chansley, one of the men who was arrested and charged following the deadly Capitol riot, Reuters reports."Strong evidence, including Chansley's own words and actions at the Capitol, supports that the intent of the Capitol rioters was to capture and assassinate elected officials in the United States government," the prosecutors wrote.Supporters of President Trump stormed the Capitol building on the day Congress was meeting to certify President-elect Joe Biden's election win, leaving five people dead. Trump was subsequently impeached for a second time for "incitement of insurrection" after delivering a speech calling on his supporters to march to the Capitol building.The prosecutors in the filing reportedly wrote that the charges against Chansley "involve active participation in an insurrection attempting to violently overthrow the United States government," adding that the "insurrection is still in progress." They also revealed that Chansley, who was photographed wearing horns at Vice President Mike Pence's desk, allegedly left a note for Pence that warned, "it's only a matter of time, justice is coming," Reuters reports. The filing, Politico writes, "spells out clearly the government's view of an ongoing 'insurrection movement' that is reaching a potential climax as Biden's inauguration approaches." More stories from theweek.com Trump's vaccine delay is getting suspicious The worst-case scenario for America's immediate future Statehood for D.C. and Puerto Rico only needs 50 votes
A chunk of stimulus payments are missing in action, thanks to a mix up that put as many as 13 million checks into invalid bank accounts.Why it matters: The IRS (by law) was supposed to get all payments out by Friday. Now the onus could shift to Americans to claim the money on their tax refund — further delaying relief to struggling, lower-income Americans.Get smarter, faster with the news CEOs, entrepreneurs and top politicians read. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here.What's going on: The newest COVID-19 relief bill — signed in the final days of 2020 — mandated the $600 payment to those making up to $75,000 per year (or 150,000 for joint filers) get out by Jan. 15. * The fast turnaround meant “some payments may have been sent to an account that may be closed or, is or no longer active, or unfamiliar,” according to the IRS website.To get a sense of the speed: It took 19 days to distribute half the first-round payments last spring, but two-thirds of payments were out the door just a week after the latest bill became law, according to an analysis by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. * Billions of those dollars are in the process of being returned to the IRS by tax preparers because of the error, though the IRS would not say how many payments were incorrectly deposited. * Jackson Hewitt estimates funds were deposited in 13 million accounts that were no longer open.How it works: These accounts are typically set up by tax prep companies, most often used by financially constrained taxpayers to get their refunds faster. * Some tax preparers told CNBC that the money would be deposited starting Feb. 1. What’s next: It’s up to those whose payments haven’t been disbursed by today to claim what’s owed on their tax return. * “You can wait until the money shows up, or you’re going to file your return and claim your money there,” Janet Holtzblatt, a senior fellow at the Tax Policy Center and former official at the Treasury Department’s Office of Tax Analysis, tells Axios. * “There’s going to be confusion” about which option to pick.Of note: Any refunds that also claim the earned-income tax credit — which offsets tax bills for lower income workers — can’t be issued before mid-February, prolonging the delay as the Washington Post points out.What to watch: The incoming Biden administration wants to issue another round of direct payments. Depending on the timing, the IRS could be juggling those checks at the height of tax season. * “I can never say with IRS that things are impossible, but it's going to be a challenge to get those payments out during filing season,” Holtzblatt says.You can check the status of your stimulus payment — and whether you can expect it by paper check, debit card or direct deposit — here.Be smart: sign up FREE for the most influential newsletter in America.
- Miami Herald
As more rioters from the attack on the U.S. Capitol Jan. 6 get arrested, a clearer picture is emerging of who was there that day. At least a handful of Florida residents have been tracked down, thanks in part to video and images widely circulated on social media.
- Associated Press
Jaime Harrison - a longtime Democratic Party official and fundraising powerhouse who failed in his bid to unseat U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham - is Joe Biden’s choice to lead the national party, the president-elect announced Thursday. Harrison is expected to be elected without any significant opposition when the Democratic National Committee convenes next Thursday in a virtual session, a day after Biden is inaugurated. In addition to Harrison, Biden on Thursday announced that Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Illinois Sen. Tammy Duckworth and U.S. Rep. Filemon Vela Jr. of Texas would serve the party as vice chairs.
- The Week
A reserve of second-dose COVID-19 vaccines set to be repurposed as first doses is already empty, state and federal officials briefed on distribution plans tell The Washington Post.Both the coronavirus vaccines currently authorized in the U.S. require two doses to be fully effective. So when distribution of first doses began, the Trump administration held back matching second doses to make sure recipients would be fully protected against COVID-19. Amid a massive demand for more doses, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar announced earlier this week that the department would begin doling out those reserved doses to more people, saying increased production speed would make up for the soon-to-be-depleted reserve.But as officials soon learned, the federal government had stopped stockpiling second dose vaccines weeks ago, they tell the Post. Both first and second doses were instead taken right off the manufacturing line. That meant Azar's announcement reportedly released a stockpile that didn't exist. The U.S. had already reached its maximum distribution capacity, and new doses distributors were expecting next week weren't coming, the Post reports.HHS spokesperson Michael Pratt confirmed in an email to the Post that the last of the reserve had been taken out for shipment this weekend. He didn't acknowledge Azar's comments, but said Operation Warp Speed had "always intended to transition from holding second doses in reserve as manufacturing stabilizes and we gained confidence in the ability for a consistent flow of vaccines." he also said states had only ordered 75 percent of the vaccines available to them. Read more at The Washington Post.More stories from theweek.com Trump's vaccine delay is getting suspicious The worst-case scenario for America's immediate future Statehood for D.C. and Puerto Rico only needs 50 votes
- NBC News
The flag has become a symbol for different things: anti-communism, U.S. imperialism, democracy and recollection of the past.
- National Review
In his first television interview since being shot in the back by police, Jacob Blake admitted that he not only had a knife in his possession at the time of the shooting, but also “dropped” it before picking it up again. “I realized I had dropped my knife, had a little pocket knife. So I picked it up after I got off of him because they tased me and I fell on top of him,” Blake told Michael Strahan in an interview that aired Thursday on ABC’s Good Morning America (GMA). “I shouldn’t have picked it up, only considering what was going on,” he continued. “At that time, I wasn’t thinking clearly.” Earlier this month, Kenosha County district attorney Michael Graveley said that he would not file charges against Officer Rusten Sheskey, who shot Blake seven times, given that the officer was acting in self-defense against an armed assailant. Blake also had a past arrest for resisting police with a knife. Blake’s admission contradicts past statements from his family and attorneys, who denied that he had a knife in his possession when police shot him on August 23, in an incident that stemmed from a 911 call made by the mother of Blake’s children, who told police that Blake was trying to drive away in her rental car with two of his sons. “My son didn’t have a weapon,” Blake’s father told the Chicago Sun-Times for an August 25 story. Patrick Salvi Jr., an attorney for the Blake family, told CNN on August 26 that Blake did not have a knife in the car. “Witnesses confirm that he was not in possession of a knife and didn’t threaten officers in any way,” Blake’s attorney, Ben Crump, said in a statement released on August 27. At the time, Blake had a warrant out for his arrest on charges of trespassing, disorderly conduct, and third-degree sexual assault, which the operator relayed to the responding officers. With the outstanding felony charges, police were required by law to take Blake into custody. In the interview with GMA, Blake also claimed that “I hadn’t done anything so I didn’t feel like they were there for me,” though investigators later found that, prior to the arrest, Blake had looked up his own warrant on a police website and had sent a text mentioning the warrant. ABC made no mention of either fact in the interview. The shooting went viral on social media after being recorded on video, showing officers screaming at Blake to “drop the knife.” In the subsequent days — which included deadly violence, rioting, and looting — the Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation revealed that Blake admitted to having “a knife in his possession.” But much of the mainstream press ran with the initial claim that he was “unarmed.” “Wisconsin’s governor on Monday called in the National Guard to help quell unrest after police shot an unarmed Black man in the latest incident this summer to stir cries of injustice and divide a nation over the urgency of bringing fundamental change to law enforcement,” read the lede of five-person Washington Post byline on August 24. Earlier this month, the Post drew pushback after it maintained the “unarmed” description of Blake in reporting the decision by authorities to not pursue police charges. Though the paper did correct the narrative, one story published January 5 still refers to Blake as “unarmed.” (Update: the story has now been “corrected” by the paper, though it reads “[w]hile his family has said he was not armed when shot by police, prosecutors said video evidence depicts him holding a knife,” failing to note that Blake himself has now admitted to having one.) The Post did not return a request for comment on the discrepancy. In the days after the shooting, CNN ran multiple articles describing Blake as “unarmed” which have yet to be corrected. “Video shows police shoot unarmed Black man” is a current link to an August 24 segment hosted by CNN anchor Jake Tapper. An August 28 USA Today “fact check” titled “Jacob Blake did not ‘brandish’ knife, get gun before Kenosha police shooting” argued that “Blake was not ‘brandishing’ anything in the video taken by bystanders,” even as it noted that the clip “shows something in Blake’s hand, but the resolution is low, so it could be a knife.” But rather than issue a correction or a retraction on January 5, PolitiFact merely updated the post with an editor’s note stating that prosecutors had revealed “Blake was armed with a ‘razor blade-type knife’ when he was shot by police.” The explanation? “That does not affect the rating for this item because ratings are based on what is known at the time.” In other words, it used to be true.
- The Conversation
A white supremacist coup succeeded in 1898 North Carolina, led by lying politicians and racist newspapers that amplified their lies
Armed white insurrectionists murdered Black men and burned Black businesses, including this newspaper office, during the Wilmington coup of 1898. Daily Record, North Carolina Archives and HistoryWhile experts debate whether the U.S. Capitol siege was an attempted coup, there is no debate that what happened in 1898 in Wilmington, North Carolina, was a coup – and its consequences were tragic. These two events, separated by 122 years, share critical features. Each was organized and planned. Each was an effort to steal an election and disfranchise voters. Each was animated by white racist fears. And each required the help of the media to be successful. Those who study Reconstruction and its aftermath know the U.S. has deep experience with political and electoral violence. Reconstruction was the 12-year period following the Civil War when the South returned to the Union and newly freed Black Americans were incorporated into U.S. democracy. But few understand that the Wilmington coup, when white supremacists overthrew the city’s legitimately elected bi-racial government, could not have happened without the involvement of white news media. The same is true of the Capitol siege on Jan. 6, 2021. The news media, it turns out, have often been key actors in U.S. electoral violence. This history is explored in a chapter one of us – Gustafson – wrote for a book the other – Forde – co-edited with Sid Bedingfield, “Journalism & Jim Crow: The Making of White Supremacy in the New South,” which comes out later this year. In 1898, Charles B. Aycock wanted to become governor in North Carolina. A member of the elite class, Aycock was a leading Democrat, which was the party of white supremacy in the South before the mid-20th-century political realignment that produced today’s parties. A major obstacle lay in his path to the governor’s office. Several years earlier, Black Republicans and white Populists in North Carolina, tired of Democrats enriching themselves off public policies favoring banks, railroads and industry, joined forces. Known as Fusionists, they rose to power in the executive branch, the legislature and the governments of several eastern towns, but most importantly, the thriving port city of Wilmington, then the largest city in North Carolina. A political cartoon from the Raleigh News & Observer, Aug. 13, 1898. North Carolina Collection, UNC Chapel Hill Anti-Black disinformation Wilmington, with its majority Black population and successful Black middle class, was a city that offered hope for Black Southerners. Black men had higher rates of literacy than white men, ran some of the city’s most successful businesses, such as restaurants, tailors, shoemakers, furniture makers and jewelers, and, to the dismay of Democrats, held public office. Democrats, seething over their loss of power, were determined to get it back in the state election of 1898. Aycock joined forces with Furnifold Simmons, a former U.S. representative who served as the party’s campaign manager, and Josephus Daniels, the editor Raleigh’s News & Observer newspaper. Together they hatched a plan. Using anti-Black disinformation spread through newspapers and public speeches across the state, they would whip up white racial fears of “Negro domination” and “black beasts” that preyed on the “virtue” of white women. The goal: drive a wedge in the Fusionist coalition and lure white Populists back to the Democratic fold. [Get the best of The Conversation, every weekend. Sign up for our weekly newsletter.] The press and political power The News & Observer, the most influential newspaper in the state, was the Democratic Party’s most potent weapon. Its editor called it “the militant voice of white supremacy.” For months in advance of the November election, the paper ran articles, editorials, speeches and reader letters telling lies about Black malfeasance, misrule, criminality and sexual predations against white women. White newspapers across the state, from big cities to tiny hamlets, republished the News & Observer’s content. “The prevalence of rape by brutal negroes upon helpless white women has brought about a reign of terror in rural districts,” the paper said. Daniels admitted years later this claim was a lie. Knowing the power of images, Daniels hired a cartoonist to create viciously racist images for the front page. Roughly a year after Rebecca Latimer Felton, a prominent white Georgian, gave a speech advocating the lynching of Black men for their supposed assaults on white women, white newspapers across North Carolina reprinted and discussed it for days to gin up racist hostility. At the same time, the Democrats organized the Red Shirts, a paramilitary arm of the party, to intimidate Black citizens and stop them from participating in politics and, eventually, voting. Alexander Manly, the editor of the Black newspaper The Daily Record in Wilmington, then the only Black daily in the country, decided to fight back. To counteract the lies the Democrats and Felton told about Black men as “beasts” and “brutes,” Manly told the truth in a bold editorial: Some white women fell in love with Black men and, if these affairs were discovered, the inevitable outcome was the label “rape” and a brutal lynching. The grandson of a white governor of North Carolina and a Black woman he enslaved, Manly knew white hypocrisy well. Democrats went wild, reprinting Manly’s editorial in newspapers across the state and attacking him for insulting the “virtue” of white women. An anti-Black political cartoon by Norman Jennett in the Raleigh News & Observer, Aug. 30, 1898. North Carolina Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill The coup As the election approached and Red Shirts patrolled the state, Democrats laid their final plan. Because there were few local elections in Wilmington in 1898, and Democrats viewed the city as the center of “Negro domination” in the state, they began organizing in early fall to overthrow Wilmington’s bi-racial government and install all white officials. After stealing the state election through fraud and violence, the Democrats sent a massive group of Red Shirts into Wilmington. They murdered an untold number of Black men in the street; burned Black businesses, including Manly’s newspaper office; terrorized the Black community, forcing at least 1,400 people to flee, many never to return; and removed and exiled all Fusionists from office, installing white Democrats in their stead. Early in the new century, Aycock sat in the governor’s office. Black citizens were disfranchised by constitutional amendment, ushering in white supremacist, one-party, kleptocratic rule that lasted at least through the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Then and now Across the past four years, the overwhelmingly white right-wing news media spread lies that President Donald Trump and his allies churned out daily. Social media companies helped turn these lies into a contagion of mass delusion that radicalized a significant swath of the GOP base. Since President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in November, Trump and his political and media allies have relentlessly pushed the massive lie that liberals stole the presidential election. Like press involvement in the murderous events in Wilmington long ago, today’s media played an essential role in deluding and inciting supporters to violence in the attempt to steal an election. “The past is never dead,” William Faulkner wrote. “It’s not even past.”This article is republished from The Conversation, a nonprofit news site dedicated to sharing ideas from academic experts. It was written by: Kathy Roberts Forde, University of Massachusetts Amherst and Kristin Gustafson, University of Washington, Bothell. Read more:Capitol siege raises questions over extent of white supremacist infiltration of US policeThe Confederate battle flag, which rioters flew inside the US Capitol, has long been a symbol of white insurrection The authors do not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and have disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.
- Charlotte Observer
An Army private first class was arraigned on sexual assault charges before a military judge.