Friday, June 19th, 2020


Emancipatience Runs Out

"On June 19, 1865 — two and a half years after Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation and two months after Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomattox — the Union Army's Maj. General Gordon Granger reached Galveston, Texas. There, he read aloud General Orders No. 3: 'The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free.'" It took a long time for the freedom message to get to Galveston. And it's taken a long time for the importance of Juneteenth to fully enter the American consciousness. Today, it seems to have finally arrived. Time: Activists Are Pushing to Make Juneteenth a National Holiday. Here's the History Behind Their Fight.

+ Vox: Juneteenth, explained.


Oklahome of the Free

"Metal barricades went up around downtown and police cars began blocking off streets after Tulsa announced a last-minute curfew for the downtown area Thursday night that will continue Friday and Saturday." Tulsa imposes curfew ahead of Trump rally after warnings of unrest. The unrest they should worry about is at local hospitals in about two weeks.

+ Trump continued his desecration of the Constitution by issuing a threat to those who would dare to exercise their first amendment rights (in fairness, he never reads that far into anything). "Any protesters, anarchists, agitators, looters or lowlifes who are going to Oklahoma please understand, you will not be treated like you have been in New York, Seattle, or Minneapolis. It will be a much different scene!" (Without anarchists, agitators, looters and lowlifes, it's going to be a pretty empty arena.)

+ "They love Trump because he makes them feel like insiders even as they imagine him their outsider champion. That's what's drawn Jones here, to the CenturyLink Center in Bossier City, Louisiana, two weeks before Thanksgiving. Like many of the president's 14,000 followers waiting for the rally to begin, Jones believes that Trump is on a mission from God to expose (and destroy) the hidden demons of the deep state." Vanity Fair: He's the Chosen One to Run America: Inside the Cult of Trump, His Rallies Are Church and He Is the Gospel. (Well, NextDraft is my church and I am the gospel, and I say this is some cray cray shit.)

+ FP: Millions of Americans Believe Trump Is Fighting Literal Demons. (And they don't mean John Bolton...)

+ Meanwhile, Facebook removed Trump ads with symbol once used by Nazis, and Twitter labeled a video he shared as fake.


Weekend Whats

What to Book: Maria Konnikova is one of NextDraft's most-linked writers. A few years ago, she went to work on a book about poker. Somehow, she not only wrote a great book, she also became a professional-level poker player who earned hundreds of thousands at the table. In her latest book, she recounts the story (not the cards) of what happened and what she learned. The Biggest Bluff: How I Learned to Pay Attention, Master Myself, and Win.

+ What to Watch: "A fiercely intelligent, radical activist who became a wealthy recluse in her later years, Marion Stokes was dedicated to furthering and protecting the truth — so much so that she recorded American television 24 hours a day for over 30 years." This is an interesting look at a unique person. It's an amazing look at how news took over our lives. PBS: The Marion Stokes Project.

+ What to Read: "Why was one of the greatest players of all time willing to never step on a court again -- and to leave behind one of the WNBA's great dynasties -- for the sake of what could well be a lost cause?" ESPN: Inside WNBA legend Maya Moore's extraordinary quest for justice.


Mask Yourself, Not Reality

In California, Governor Gavin Newsom is now requiring everyone to wear a mask in public settings, even outdoors when distancing is not possible. Two words: Thank you. On the same day, the governor of Nebraska told local governments they won't get federal COVID-19 money if they require masks. Two words: What the hell is wrong with people?

+ The mask controversy is the most perplexing part of America's Covid denial. That denial, as you know, starts at the top. Leaked CDC document contradicts Pence claim that U.S. coronavirus cases have stabilized.

+ "It really does feel like the U.S. has given up. I can't imagine what it must be like having to go to work knowing it's unsafe. It's hard to see how this ends. There are just going to be more and more people infected, and more and more deaths. It's heartbreaking." WaPo: In countries keeping the coronavirus at bay, experts watch U.S. case numbers with alarm. (It's alarming, of course. But it's also just relentlessly sad. Look at this chart.)


School Pigeons

"It will be safe for Texas public school students, teachers, and staff to return to school campuses for in-person instruction this fall." One of your fellow readers emailed me this story yesterday, chagrined that her state was moving in this direction. About an hour later, I learned that my Bay Area county has the same plan. Marin schools plan for full in-classroom reopening in fall. If this could be done safely for students (and especially older teachers), it would be a dream (no offense, kids). But I'll believe it when I see it.



"'We didn't know what was going to happen,' Sulken said. 'Are our homes going to get burned down? Are our stores going to get looted? We heard the rumors they were going to bus them in.' Sulken told Karnes he thought outsiders were behind the protests, namely antifa, a loose-knit anti-fascist group Trump has blamed for protests and unrest. Whoever was behind it, Sulken said, Bethel residents didn't want any part of it." What happened when Black Lives Matter protests came to small town Ohio. (Or, how deep lies and conspiracies have seeped into American culture...)


Out Rage Us

"The massive nationwide demonstrations since Floyd's death in Minneapolis have provided a kind of culmination for these disparate strands of activism. The protests have been notable for the racial diversity of their crowds. A poll released Thursday by the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation found that while young people ages 18 to 29 account for 52 percent of all adults who have protested—more than double their share of the overall population—participants closely tracked the nation's overall racial breakdown." The Atlantic's Ron Brownstein with a very interesting look at today's protests and how they may, or may not, turn into votes. The Rage Unifying Boomers and Gen Z.


Liberty From Statues

"The furor over the death of George Floyd has reignited demands to remove dozens of statues and monuments around the country that glorify Confederate generals, advocates for slavery, defenders of segregation and others whose racial views or conduct are now widely reviled. That has left a lingering question: What to do with them once they come down?" NYT: Cities Want to Remove Toxic Monuments. But Who Will Take Them? (Mar-a-Lago?)


Van Go

"When I spoke to Lasell in early September of that year, he had already overseen a dozen rescues of bus-bound hikers that summer alone, most of them trapped on the wrong side of the fast-moving and unpredictable Teklanika River." Alaska Airlifts ‘Into the Wild' Bus Out of the Wild.


Feel Good Friday

"The 22-year-old shared two pictures of herself covered in confetti on Twitter with the caption: "Hard to express my joy and gratitude right now as I completed my Philosophy, Politics and Economics degree at Oxford. I don't know what's ahead. For now, it will be Netflix, reading and sleep." Just pause for a second. And consider this headline. Malala Yousafzai full of 'joy and gratitude' after graduating from Oxford.

+ "The West Coast is preparing for a future where giant diesel transport trucks go electric. Utilities and state agencies in California, Oregon, and Washington announced a plan to transform highway infrastructure that would speed the transition."

+ AMC Theaters changes course and will require customers to wear face masks. Good move. There's still no way I'm sitting in the theater with you people. If I want to experience apocalypse now, I'll do so in the privacy of my own home.