Transcript, Web links and Credits below.
I have 3 news stories to unpack for you today. First, at a Trump rally in Panama City, Florida, a supporter yelled out that they shoot should immigrants. Trump smiled and the people cheered then Trump encouraged it. I’m also going to give you an update on the first victory that we’ve had for our Action Steps for a case in Tennessee. And we’ll close today by exposing the horrible practices happening around the country with kids who can’t afford their school lunch.
Let’s dig in.
This is Shaun King and you are listening to (The Breakdown)!
We don’t talk about Trump much on The Breakdown. Every news station and newspaper in the country has pretty much become a 24/7 outlet for all things Trump — and it’s caused essential stories that need to be told to be missed and underreported.
But last night, Trump held a KKK meeting, I mean a rally, in Panama City, Florida. And he started talking about how immigrants were invading the country — which they aren’t, net immigration is at an all time low — and then he went down a rabbit hole about how immigration forces just weren’t allowed to use weapons, and he asked a question of the crowd, asking “How do you stop these people?”
And a man yelled out, “Shoot ‘em”
And Trump smiled and chuckled – instead of taking just a moment to say something basic like “No, it’s not OK to say that.” The crowd roared and Trump then said that part of Florida might be the only place you can say that and get away with it. Which the crowd loved.
Let me play you the clip.
And to be clear, Rachel Scott, a reporter for ABC, interviewed a Trump supporter after the rally, right there in the arena, and here’s what she said.
Give me just a second to break this down.
(Break it down audio)
The past three years have been the three worst years ever measured for hate crimes in America. And not just around the United States, but all over the world, white supremacist violence is surging. And over and over again, the white men leading these attacks openly admit that they have been inspired by Donald Trump. In 2018, every single American killed in a terrorist attack in the United States was killed by a conservative white supremacist. All of them.
And when we ask the Trump administration what their plan is to address this crisis, they’ve got nothing. Nothing at all. In fact, they’ve admitted that they’ve lessened their surveillance of white supremacists. And Trump is emboldening them — on purpose.
It’s what he did earlier this week when he offered one of the worst pardons ever offered in all of American history. He pardoned an American soldier who had been found guilty of murder. The soldier was in Iraq, and was supposed to transport a prisoner from one location to the next. Instead he drove the man to the middle of the desert, stripped him naked, blindfolded him, and shot and killed him. Trump pardoned that man.
And I monitor white supremacist message boards, and when he pardoned that man, those message boards went crazy. They saw it as a direct sign from Trump that he was in their corner — that an Iraqi life, that a Muslim life, is not worth a white man’s life or freedom.
And when Trump does these things — in a world full of billions of people, — in the only nation that has more guns than people – it just takes a few people to be motivated to act on it for it to grow deadly. And I think that’s what he wants. He loves it. I truly believe that. Which leads me to our second story.
I have a great update about one of our Action Steps, where we came together to hold a horrible politician in Tennessee accountable. When we created The North Star and launched this podcast, we said we weren’t just doing it to change the news, we were doing it to change the world. So, as much as I can, I try to give you all Action Steps to take so that we can make a difference together.
Well last week, on Episode 24, I told you a wild story about the Speaker of the House in Tennessee — a horrible man named Glen Casada — whose chief of staff doctored emails to frame a local activist and cause him to be charged with a crime he didn’t commit. Well, thanks in great part to your phone calls, tweets, and emails, that chief of staff has now resigned.
But in the process, we learned that the rabbit hole on this was way worse than we thought. We learned that the chief of staff was openly sending overtly racist text messages calling Black folk niggers and idiots and sharing racist memes. And we thought it ended there, but soon we learned that the Speaker of the House and his chief of staff were sending horribly sexist texts back and forth to each other. Then reporters found texts where the chief of staff admitted to snorting cocaine in the legislative offices. Then texts were found where he was propositioning interns and lobbyists for sex. And it just got crazier and crazier. And the Speaker of the House, Glen Casada, just lied to anybody and everybody who’d listen — calling the texts fake news, saying they were made up. But then a recording was released showing he knew they were real all along. Finally, a few Republicans are even calling on Glen Casada to resign.
But let me tell you — while this man was doing all of that — he was fighting to make poor people take drug tests to get food stamps. While he was doing all of that, he was fighting to make voter registration drives illegal in Tennessee. The man is a racist and a hypocrite.
Let’s take one more action step on this together, ok?
(Action Steps music)
I need you to make a phone call to Tennessee Governor Bill Lee to demand that Speaker of the House Glen Casada resign for illegally trying to frame an activist. For lying about the racist and sexist texts coming from his office. For allowing a man to snort coke in his office while demanding that poor people take drug tests for food stamps and benefits.
Call: (615) 741-2001 and ask to speak to someone in Governor Lee’s office. Be respectful. And let them know that you want the Governor to call on Speaker of the House Glen Casada to resign.
And when you call, email me at email@example.com to let me know how that goes ok?
And I have one more story and action item to leave with you today.
Social media is powerful because it gives everyday people a chance to tell their story without needing anybody else’s permission. And what that means, particularly for people of color, is that a lot of stories are getting told for the very first time.
And we’re starting to learn that school districts across the country are doing horrible things to students who can’t afford their own lunches. In Rhode Island, the Warwick County School District decided that they’d stop serving warm meals to students who had school lunch balances due. They’d show up, get their warm lunch, go to check out, and have to put it back in exchange for a cold, cheap bagged lunch instead.
In Minnesota, you may have learned that Philando Castile’s mother just paid thousands of dollars for school lunch balances so that kids could graduate. Before he was murdered, you may remember that Philando was a school cafeteria supervisor. While I was super proud of his mother, how outrageous is it to keep students from graduating if they can’t afford their school lunch balances. That’s why many districts across the country have just made school lunch free altogether — to avoid all of this shame and embarrassment.
Here’s your final action step for the day.
I want you to get involved on the local level. Call your local school district. Email them. And just find out what the policy is on this in your district. Ask to see the policy in writing. And if it’s a bad policy, that’d be a good place where you to begin fighting for some change.
Thank you all for making it all the way through this episode of The Breakdown!
If you haven’t already subscribed to our podcast, we’ll be right back here every single weekday, breaking down important news stories and issues, and we’d love for you to subscribe on your favorite podcast apps like Apple Podcasts or Spotify. Please share this podcast with your friends and family. Our next goal is to get to 100,000 subscribers and we won’t get there without you! Have you left a review yet? On Apple Podcasts we now have over 5,000 5-star reviews, but we’re aiming for 10,000 — so we still want to hear from you so please leave your best review when you get time.
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Take care everybody.
Produced by Willis Polk II
Additional Production by Christian “Idrys” Shannon
Additional Instrumentation by Christian “Idrys” Shannon & Lance “Lance Fury” Powlis
Additional Engineering by Amond “AJ” Jackson for Salem Psalms Library
Additional Vocals by Garnett “Natti” Bush & Jason Coffey
Scratches by Kenny “DJ FlipFlop” Vanderberg
Contains elements from:
“Shoot The Fair One” by The Off Daze
“The Prodigal” by JustMe