NEED TO KNOW: From Tulsa Massacre to Biden’s meeting with Senator Capito, we bring you the most important national and international stories for June 2, 2021.
1. Monday was the 100 year anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre, in which hundreds of Black Americans were killed in riots and violence incited by white people in 1921 Tulsa, OK. The President gave a speech in remembrance of those lost and to condemn the racially charged actions which occurred on this day. Biden paid his respects and acknowledged the sorrows of the day, along with saying, “The Federal Government must reckon with and acknowledge the role that it has played in stripping wealth and opportunity from Black communities.”Biden visited Tulsa, Oklahoma on Tuesday and gave more remarks on the subject, in addition to promising to diminish the racial wage gap and discrimination in many different markets, such as housing and education. Many of these reforms are included in Biden’s American Jobs Plan as well as American Families Plan, which both call to create a more equal society and diminish any economic or racial disparities present in our current system.
2. The Democratic House leaders of Texas staged a walkout to oppress voting restrictions being pushed by the GOP. Last Sunday, a number of House Democrats walked out during the vote for Senate Bill 7, restricting the House to properly vote to utilize or abandon voter restriction laws. Some of these restrictions include a cut back in polling hours, reduction of access to mail-in voting, and allow poll watchers more authority and freedom to control the voting systems. Democrats are saying this bill is purposely targeted towards Texas voters of color and low-income voters in the state, as these provisions will suppress their voice and ability to vote. The Texas Governor, Greg Abbott, tweeted that he would not pay those leaders who chose to walk out, due to them “abandoning their responsibilities.” The voter restrictions being heavily enforced by the GOP around the nation are influenced by the belief that the 2020 election was “stolen” from Trump and action must be taken in order to prevent this in the future.
3. World-renowned Tennis champion Naomi Osaka has opted out of the French Open, claiming that the industry has no account or respect for athletes’ mental health. She first opted out of the press conference surrounding the tournament, but when officials fined her $15,000 and threatened to expel her, she decided to pull out herself. On Instagram, she said, “The truth is that I have suffered long bouts of depression since the US Open in 2018 and I have had a really hard time coping with that.” Her statement has opened up the conversation of mental health within the sports industry and how they are participating in it, especially for women of color and other minorities like Naomi Osaka. Many athletes have come forward in support of Osaka, such as NBA champion Steph Curry and Basketball star Lisa Leslie. The strong action taken by Osaka has helped not only overwhelmed athletes but many other individuals facing mental health problems and has shown them that taking a break is not only recommended but necessary, no matter the cost.
4. General Michael Flynn had a shocking thing to say about the military coup which occurred in Burma earlier this year. During the Q&A session at a press conference in Dallas, Flynn was asked “… why what happened in Myanmar can’t happen here?” referring to the coup and the attempt to overthrow the government. Flynn responded, “No reason. I mean, it should happen here.” He is referring to former President Trump taking power again and being reinstated as president. In fact, journalist Maggie Haberman stated that Trump is telling people he’s close to that he expects to be reinstated as president by August.
5. The White House confirmed “The President is looking forward to hosting Senator Capito on Wednesday afternoon at the White House, where they will continue their bipartisan negotiations about “investing in our middle class and economic growth through infrastructure.” The meeting will take place tomorrow and will cover America’s infrastructure as well as the post-pandemic economic state of the nation.