Day: June 15, 2020

Background Briefing: June 15, 2020


An Awakening Underway Will Leave Trump and His Racist Followers in the Rear-View Mirror of History

We begin with President Trump’s postponement of his rally in Tulsa to the day after Juneteenth, June 19th, which is a sacred day of memory for African Americans and speak with Peniel Joseph, the Barbara Jordan Chair in Ethics and Political Values as well as the founding Director of the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy at the University of Texas. He joins us to discuss the awakening underway in this country which is leaving Trump and his racist followers in the rear-view mirror of history as we experience this spring of racial hope amid racist tragedy which offers our third chance after Reconstruction and the civil rights movement to end institutionalized racism, defeat white supremacy and build the “Beloved Community” Dr. King fought and died for.


The Toppling of Statues of Confederate Generals and Slave Traders

Then we speak with award-winning author Adam Hochschild, whose books include King Leopold’s Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror and Heroism in Colonial Africa and Bury the Chains: Prophets and Rebels in the Fight to Free an Empire’s Slaves about the toppling of statues of Confederate generals here at home and of slave-traders abroad. We discuss these symbols of the injustice of the past at this present moment of widespread demonstrations against racial injustice here in the U.S. Demonstrations which have sparked protests abroad as in Belgium where statues of the ruthless colonizer King Leopold, which are the equivalent of if Germany put up statues of Hitler in prominent places, have been splashed with red paint and taken down.

Trump’s Attack on the Staff of the International Criminal Court

Then finally, following Thursday’s executive order by President Trump imposing sanctions on staff and prosecutors of the International Criminal Court, we examine the outrage in Europe and among the 123 member states of the ICC which the U.S. has refused to join. Kate Mackintosh, the founding Executive Director of the Promise Institute for Human Rights at UCLA’s School of Law who served as a Deputy Registrar for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia’s court operations and was legal advisor to Doctors Without Borders, joins us. We discuss how attacking the court gives aid and comfort to dictators and despots around the world and the overreaction by the U.S. in passing what is called the “Hague Invasion Act” of 2002 intended to liberate with military force, any American detained by the ICC.