(CNN)Exactly 57 years after the 1963 civil rights march on Washington, thousands descended on the National Mall to again call for ending police violence, dismantling systemic racism and ensuring access to the ballot box.
“We’re marching to overcome what my father called the triple evils of poverty, racism and violence,” Martin Luther King III said at the event. He was 5 when his father delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech at the first March on Washington. This time around, participants were told to mask up and social-distance — an effort to stem the pandemic that continues to disproportionately affect Black and brown communities and has so far killed at least 181,000 Americans.
It’s an exclamation mark ending an unprecedented week in an unprecedented summer in an unprecedented year.Also in that unprecedented category: this week’s Republican National Convention. Reworked and relocated because of the pandemic, organizers utilized something norm-breaking: the White House.Read More
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On Thursday night, President Donald Trump accepted his party’s renomination for president and painted the picture of an America led by his Democratic opponent, Joe Biden — invoking imagery from what’s happening during his own administration.”Everything we’ve achieved is now in danger,” Trump said from the White House’s South Lawn to a crowd not socially distanced and largely mask-less. “This election will decide whether we will defend the American way of life or allow a radical movement to completely dismantle and destroy it.”Using the seat of federal power violates the Hatch Act, a law that limits the political activities of federal employees while on duty or in the workplace and prohibits them from engaging in political activities, like campaigning, in a government building, like the White House. But the President and vice president are exempt from the Hatch Act, and the President is the one who would enforce it — and has shown, so far, little interest in doing so.
Yet Washington was hardly the center of the world this week. A deadly Category 4 hurricane pummeled Louisiana and eastern Texas, wreaking havoc and claiming at least 10 lives. Jacob Blake, a Black man, was shot by a White police officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin, touching off more protests around police brutality. Sports teams including WNBA and NBA players went on strike to demand action and accountability. The Point: This was a massive week as America grappled with its ongoing racial reckoning, looming presidential election and deadly pandemic.