From the coronavirus pandemic to the presidential election and fights for racial equality, Weekend TODAY looks back at some of the biggest breaking news headlines in 2020.
- NBC News
Jennifer Ryan faces charges of disorderly conduct and knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful entry.
- Associated Press
A white military veteran shot and wounded a 15-year-old girl when he fired his gun into a car carrying four Black teenagers during a tense confrontation at a rally in support of President Donald Trump near the Iowa Capitol last month. Michael McKinney, 25, is charged with attempted murder in the Dec. 6 shooting in Des Moines. McKinney, who was heavily armed and wearing body armor, told police he fired the shot in self-defense.
Bee Nguyen, Georgia's first Vietnamese American state representative, donned an áo dài to her swearing-in ceremony on Tuesday. Regarded as the most popular national costume of Vietnam, the áo dài for women is a long dress with a contoured top that flows over loose-fitting trousers that reach the sole of the feet. Nguyen, 39, decided to wear the garment in response to the Capitol siege on Jan. 6, in which rioters carried the South Vietnamese flag.
- National Review
Senator Ben Sasse (R., Neb.) on Friday called for the rioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol last week to be “prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” saying those who participated in the unrest that left five dead were “terrorists attacking this country’s constitutionally-mandated transfer of power.” Sasse’s comments come after the Department of Justice said in court documents that the rioters breached the Capitol with the intent to “capture and assassinate elected officials.” In a memo requesting that “QAnon shaman” Jacob Anthony Chansley be kept in detention, Justice Department lawyers in Arizona wrote that “strong evidence, including Chansley’s own words and actions at the Capitol” show that the intent was to harm elected officials. Sasse said it would be “wrong” of “rage-peddlers” to “try to whitewash the attack on the Capitol, saying that a few bad apples got out of control.” “Every American needs to understand what the Department of Justice has just made public: Investigators have strong evidence to suggest that some of the rioters who stormed the United States Capitol planned to kidnap and possibly assassinate the Vice President,” he said. “These men weren’t drunks who got rowdy — they were terrorists attacking this country’s constitutionally-mandated transfer of power,” he added. “They failed, but they came dangerously close to starting a bloody constitutional crisis.” He concluded: “They must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. The FBI is investigating widespread calls for violence across the country and every American has an obligation to lower the temperature.” Last week, before the House impeached President Trump for a second time on an “incitement of insurrection” charge, Sasse had vowed to consider any articles of impeachment against Trump that came before the Senate. “The House, if they come together and have a process, I will definitely consider whatever articles they might move,” Sasse said in an interview with CBS. “I believe the president has disregarded his oath of office…what he did was wicked.”
- Architectural Digest
When it came to the lighting in his home, Pardo drew inspiration from the insides of fruits, nuts, and seeds, as well as sea creatures and machine parts.Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest
- NBC News
Selena Roth, a 25-year-old Army veteran and spouse, was killed at Schofield Barracks on Oahu.
- The Conversation
The Confederate battle flag, which rioters flew inside the US Capitol, has long been a symbol of white insurrection
A historic first: the Confederate battle flag inside the U.S. Capitol. Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty ImagesConfederate soldiers never reached the Capitol during the Civil War. But the Confederate battle flag was flown by rioters in the U.S. Capitol building for the first time ever on Jan. 6. The flag’s prominence in the Capitol riot comes as no surprise to those who, like me, know its history: Since its debut during the Civil War, the Confederate battle flag has been flown regularly by white insurrectionists and reactionaries fighting against rising tides of newly won Black political power. An 1897 lithograph shows changes in Confederate flag design. The ‘Southern Cross’ design, chosen to visually distinguish Confederates from Union soldiers in battle, became a symbol of white insurrection. Library of Congress via National Geographic The infamous diagonal blue cross with white stars on a red background was never the Confederacy’s official symbol. The Confederacy’s original “stars and bars” design was too similar to the U.S. flag, which led to confusion on the battlefields, where troop positions were marked by flags. The official flag went through a series of changes in attempts to distinguish Confederate from Union troops. The Confederacy would ultimately adopt the “Southern Cross” as its battle flag – cementing it as a symbol of white insurrection. While it is technically the battle flag, it has been used the most, and therefore has become known more generally as the Confederate flag. The Confederate battle flag figures prominently in this depiction of the 1864 battle of Franklin, Tennessee. Kurz and Allison, restoration by Adam Cuerden, via Wikimedia Commons The original emblem Six decades before the Nazi swastika became an instantly recognizable symbol of white supremacists, the Confederate battle flag flew over the forces of the insurgent Confederate States of America – military troops organized in revolt against the idea that the federal government could outlaw slavery. The founding documents of the Confederacy make its goals of white supremacy and preservation of slavery explicitly clear. In March 1861, Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens declared of the Confederacy, “its foundations are laid, its corner-stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition.” The documents drafted by seceding states make this same point. Mississippi’s declaration, for instance, was very specific: “Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery – the greatest material interest of the world.” Rioting white students at University of Mississippi hoist a Confederate battle flag in a backlash against James Meredith’s attendance as the first Black student in 1962. Bettman via Getty Images Backlash against racial integration After the Civil War, Confederate veterans groups used the flag at their meetings to commemorate fallen soldiers, but otherwise the flag mostly disappeared from public life. After World War II, though, the flag surfaced as part of a backlash against racial integration. Black soldiers who fought discrimination abroad experienced discrimination when they came home. Racist violence against Black veterans who had returned from battle prompted President Harry Truman to issue an executive order desegregating the military and banning discrimination in federal hiring. Truman also asked Congress to pass a federal ban on lynching, one of nearly 200 unsuccessful attempts to do so. In 1948, the retaliation for Truman’s integration efforts came, and the Confederate battle flag resurfaced as a symbol of white supremacist public intimidation. That year, U.S. Sen. Strom Thurmond, a South Carolina Democrat, ran for president as the leader of a new political party of segregationist Southern Democrats, nicknamed the “Dixiecrats.” At their rallies and riots, they opposed Truman’s integration under the banner of the Confederate battle flag. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, white Southerners flew the Confederate battle flag at riots – including violent ones – to oppose racial integration, especially in schools. For example, in 1962, white students at the University of Mississippi hoisted it at a riot defying James Meredith’s enrollment as the university’s first Black student. It took the deployment of 30,000 U.S. troops, federal marshals and National Guardsmen to get Meredith to class after the violent race riot left two dead. Historian William Doyle called the riot – which featured the Confederate battle flag at its center – an “American insurrection.” Charleston, Charlottesville and the Capitol More recently, the Black Lives Matter era has seen an increase in violent incidents involving the Confederate battle flag. It has now featured prominently in at least three recent major violent events carried out by people on the far right. In 2015, a white supremacist who had posed with the Confederate battle flag online killed nine Black parishioners during a prayer meeting at their church. In 2017, neo-Nazis and other white supremacists carried the battle flag when they marched in Charlottesville, Virginia, seeking to prevent the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. One white supremacist drove his car through a crowd of anti-racist counterprotestors, killing Heather Heyer. [Deep knowledge, daily. Sign up for The Conversation’s newsletter.] At the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, an image of an insurrectionist toting the Confederate battle flag inside the Capitol building arguably distills the siege’s dark historical context. In the background of the photo are the portraits of two Civil War-era U.S. senators – one an ardent proponent of slavery and the other an abolitionist once beaten unconscious for his views on the Senate floor. A man carries the Confederate battle flag in the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, between portraits of senators who both opposed and supported slavery. Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images The flag has always represented white resistance to increasing Black power. It may be a coincidence of exact timing, but certainly not of context, that the riot happened the day after Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff won U.S. Senate seats representing Georgia. Respectively, they are the first Black and first Jewish senators from the former Confederate state. Warnock will be only the second Black senator from below the Mason-Dixon Line since Reconstruction. Their historic victories – and President-elect Joe Biden’s – in Georgia happened through large-scale organizing and turnout of people of color, especially Black people. Since 2014, nearly 2 million voters have been added to the rolls in Georgia, signaling a new bloc of Black voting power. It should come as no surprise, then, that today’s white insurrectionists opposed to the shifting tides of power identify with the Confederate battle flag.This article is republished from The Conversation, a nonprofit news site dedicated to sharing ideas from academic experts. It was written by: Jordan Brasher, Columbus State University. Read more:Capitol siege raises questions over extent of white supremacist infiltration of US policeA second impeachment is just the start of Trump’s legal woes Jordan Brasher does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.
- Associated Press
A Florida waitress who noticed bruises on an 11-year-old boy flashed him a handwritten note asking him if he needed help, and when he nodded yes, she called the police, authorities said. Orlando police credited Flaviane Carvalho, a waitress at Mrs. Potato Restaurant, with coming to the boy's aid on New Year's Eve when the child’s parents weren’t looking. Police took the boy to a hospital where doctors found bruises on his face, earlobes and arms.
- The Week
Less than a week before the inauguration, Vice President Mike Pence has reportedly called Vice President-elect Kamala Harris to offer his congratulations.Pence and Harris spoke over the phone Thursday, with Pence congratulating the incoming vice president and offering "his belated assistance," The New York Times reported on Friday and The Associated Press confirmed.This is the first time Pence and Harris have spoken since their debate in October, and the call was "described as gracious and pleasant," the Times writes. President Trump has yet to speak with President-elect Joe Biden since the election, having spent more than two months falsely claiming to have won.Pence may invite Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff, to the vice-presidential residence prior to next week's inauguration, according to the Times, though this is reportedly not set in stone due to scheduling issues created by the ongoing security concerns following last week's Capitol riot.Trump is reportedly expected to leave Washington, D.C. the morning of the inauguration. The president previously confirmed he will skip Biden's swearing-in, but Pence is expected to attend.More stories from theweek.com Trump's vaccine delay is getting suspicious The worst-case scenario for America's immediate future Statehood for D.C. and Puerto Rico only needs 50 votes
- The Telegraph
Wearing a giant furry hat, black leather jacket and a beaming smile, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un introduced “the world’s strongest weapon” – a new submarine-launched ballistic missile – at a nighttime parade on Thursday in Pyongyang. The display of North Korea’s military might followed a rare congress of the ruling Workers' Party, during which leader Kim denounced the United States as his country's “foremost principal enemy” and vowed to strengthen the North’s nuclear war deterrent. On Friday, the reclusive regime’s state media released 100 photos of a mass celebration of the national armory, including tanks and rocket launchers, all flanked by rows of marching soldiers, noticeably not wearing masks. Military aircraft were illuminated by LED lights as they flew overhead in formation. “They’d like us to notice that they’re getting more proficient with larger solid rocket boosters,” tweeted Ankit Panda, a North Korea expert and author of ‘Kim Jong Un and the Bomb’, as the parade unfolded in Pyongyang’s Kim Il Sung square. As the spectacle reached its climax, the military rolled out what analysts said appeared to be new variants of solid-fuel short-range ballistic missiles – which are more quickly deployed than liquid-fuelled versions - and four Pukguksong-class submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs).
- Charlotte Observer
An Army private first class was arraigned on sexual assault charges before a military judge.
- Associated Press
A 16-year-old boy has admitted fatally shooting his newborn daughter and leaving her body inside a fallen tree in the woods in southern Wisconsin, according to prosecutors. Logan Kruckenburg-Anderson, of Albany, is charged as an adult with first-degree intentional homicide and hiding a corpse. According to a criminal complaint, the teen took the infant shortly after she was born Jan. 5 to a wooded area in Albany, about 80 miles (129 kilometers) southwest of Milwaukee, placed her inside a fallen tree and shot her twice in the head.
- The Week
FBI says over 100 people arrested for Capitol siege, including 'liberal activist,' Confederate flag bearer
FBI Director Christopher Wray, in his first public comments since the Jan. 6 violent siege of the U.S. Capitol by supporters of President Trump, said Thursday that law enforcement has arrested more than 100 people in connection with the assault and is aware of "an extensive amount of concerning online chatter" ahead of President-elect Joe Biden's Jan. 20 inauguration.Most of those arrested so far have been far-right militants, off-duty police, retired military personnel, GOP officials, QAnon adherents, and white supremacists. For example, the man photographed carrying a Confederate battle flag through the Capitol, Kevin Seefried, and his son, Hunter Seefried, surrendered to the FBI in Delaware on Thursday, the Justice Department said.Embed from Getty ImagesAuthorities also arrested "liberal activist" John Sullivan on Thursday, making him, Politico says, "the first person to be charged who appears to have been active in liberal causes." Sullivan, who filmed the siege, claims he was just following the rioters as a "journalist," but the FBI said his own video showed him to be a booster of the lawlessness and even an active participant.Trump supporters, including Rudy Giuliani, and conservative media outlets pointed to Sullivan's arrest to bolster their counterfactual claim that "antifa" or Black Lives Matter were actually behind the assault on the Capitol. But "even before his arrest, left wing activists had described concerns in that community, going back some time, that Sullivan was a provocateur working with others, including his brother James, who has ties to the Proud Boys and runs a pro-Trump organization," Marcy Wheeler notes at EmptyWheel.> pic.twitter.com/oRri9hyHGv> > — New York City Antifa (@NYCAntifa) January 7, 2021"Sullivan's presence in the Capitol, and his previous record of anti-Trump activism, has been the focus of frenzied attention in the right-wing media," Robert Mackey reports at The Intercept, while "left-wing organizers have been keen to stress that they ejected Sullivan from their ranks months ago." Since adopting the nom de guerre "Activist John" last summer, Mackey notes, Sullivan has been blacklisted by "left-wing organizers associated with Black Lives Matter and antifascism in Utah, California, and the Pacific Northwest" who say he's "either a right-wing infiltrator or a dangerously naive amateur."More stories from theweek.com Trump's vaccine delay is getting suspicious The worst-case scenario for America's immediate future Statehood for D.C. and Puerto Rico only needs 50 votes
- The Conversation
Images taken by the media of the Capitol storming could help law enforcement identify participants. Evelyn Hockstein/For The Washington Post via Getty ImagesThe images from the Jan. 6 siege on the United States Capitol will likely be seared into the memories of many Americans. Photographs and video published in print, online and on television showed protesters breaking windows to enter the building, sitting at a desk in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office and confronting an outnumbered Capitol police force. However, it may be the unpublished images that will be of most interest to law enforcement agencies as they track down and arrest as many of the rioters as possible for breaking a range of laws. The agencies may request or demand that news organizations turn over their unpublished material, which would force the media outlets to make uncomfortable choices. Journalists argue that if they are forced to reveal confidential sources or turn over any news information they have gathered but not yet published, it will erode the trust of sources and the public, who will doubt the independence that journalists often claim. Journalists serve the public, not the government. But is the public better served by bringing criminals to justice than protecting a journalistic principle? Conflicting interests Many of the people who participated in the attack on the Capitol building have been identified and arrested, some with help from photos published by the media and selfies and videos taken by the protesters. As the search for more suspects continues, if authorities seek unpublished images from the news media and media outlets willingly cooperate, it could put journalists in greater danger when covering future protests. Protesters may see them as potential informants and physically attack them to avoid being identified later. If the outlets resist and force authorities to issue subpoenas for the images, it is unlikely to improve the media’s standing with a distrustful public because it may appear the news organizations are obstructing justice. Equipment of media crews damaged during clashes after Trump supporters breached U.S. Capitol security. Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images Dangers of covering protests Covering unrest is always dangerous for journalists, but the situation at the Capitol was especially so. The protesters were supporters of President Donald Trump, who has often referred to the media as the “enemy of the people.” Someone carved the words “Murder the Media” into a door in the building, and news outlets lost thousands of dollars of equipment when it was stolen and smashed by protesters. During protests after George Floyd was killed while being taken into police custody last summer, several reporters were injured and possibly targeted by protesters and police officers. In Seattle, police subpoenaed the Seattle Times and several television stations in June 2020 to obtain unpublished images from protests there to identify people suspected of criminal activity. The news organizations challenged the subpoenas in court under Washington state’s shield law, which protects journalists from being forced to name confidential sources or turn over unpublished information to state authorities. The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press filed a brief supporting the news organizations’ position, in which it argued that enforcing the subpoena would jeopardize journalists’ safety as well as their editorial independence. A judge ruled against them. Police later dropped the subpoenas because media appeals of the judge’s decision were likely to take too long to resolve. Journalists often fight subpoenas for their materials. kolderal/Moment/Getty Images Legal protections for journalists Because the Capitol siege happened on federal government property, the incident is being investigated by federal authorities, meaning any court challenges to subpoenas would likely end up in federal court. This complicates matters. Forty states have shield laws, but there is no federal shield law. In 1972, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that journalists do not have a First Amendment right to refuse to reveal sources’ identities in response to a valid grand jury subpoena. The Branzburg v. Hayes decision was so divided, however, that many lower federal courts have limited its reach to grand jury situations. This means that journalists have a better chance of winning if they are subpoenaed to provide evidence in civil lawsuits or at criminal trials. The Jan. 6 incident does not involve confidential sources. Some federal courts have ruled that nonconfidential material gathered by journalists, including unpublished images, is also protected from disclosure, but the protection is usually less comprehensive than for confidential material. Given the seriousness of the Capitol incident, which led to five deaths, it would be difficult for journalists to successfully argue that their interests are more important than those of law enforcement. I have been studying the law regarding journalists and their sources for nearly 24 years. To my knowledge, U.S. journalists have rarely made the argument that they could face physical danger if they are forced to turn over information they have gathered. The closest parallel is a Washington Post reporter who successfully fought a subpoena from a war crimes tribunal 20 years ago because of fears of retribution in foreign conflict zones. One possible solution would be for news outlets to publish all images that have not already been published on their websites. That way, both the public and law enforcement agents would have access without a bruising legal battle over making the images available only to the police. A bonus would be that the public would have even more information about what happened.This article is republished from The Conversation, a nonprofit news site dedicated to sharing ideas from academic experts. It was written by: Anthony Fargo, Indiana University. Read more:The insurrection at the Capitol challenged how US media frames unrest and shapes public opinionHow should you read unnamed sources and leaks? Anthony Fargo does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.
- The Independent
Local newspapers turn on Lauren Boebert as 68 state politicians demand investigation into Capitol riot role
Lauren Boebert is under fire for sharing details about the location of the House speaker during the Capitol riots
- Associated Press
A white man who stabbed a Black college student to death at a bus stop on the University of Maryland’s flagship College Park campus was sentenced Thursday to life in prison for what prosecutors claimed was a racially motivated hate crime. Sean Urbanski, 25, apologized to the parents of 23-year-old Richard Collins III for the “horrible pain” he caused them and said he wishes he could “go back and change what happened” on the night in May 2017 when he killed the newly commissioned Army lieutenant. “There hasn’t been a day that’s gone by where I haven’t thought about what I’ve done to you, and if I could switch places with your son I would in a heartbeat,” Urbanski told Dawn and Richard Collins Jr. during a hearing conducted by video teleconference.
A chunk of stimulus payments are missing in action, thanks to a mix up that put as many as 13 million checks into invalid bank accounts.Why it matters: The IRS (by law) was supposed to get all payments out by Friday. Now the onus could shift to Americans to claim the money on their tax refund — further delaying relief to struggling, lower-income Americans.Get smarter, faster with the news CEOs, entrepreneurs and top politicians read. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here.What's going on: The newest COVID-19 relief bill — signed in the final days of 2020 — mandated the $600 payment to those making up to $75,000 per year (or 150,000 for joint filers) get out by Jan. 15. * The fast turnaround meant “some payments may have been sent to an account that may be closed or, is or no longer active, or unfamiliar,” according to the IRS website.To get a sense of the speed: It took 19 days to distribute half the first-round payments last spring, but two-thirds of payments were out the door just a week after the latest bill became law, according to an analysis by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. * Billions of those dollars are in the process of being returned to the IRS by tax preparers because of the error, though the IRS would not say how many payments were incorrectly deposited. * Jackson Hewitt estimates funds were deposited in 13 million accounts that were no longer open.How it works: These accounts are typically set up by tax prep companies, most often used by financially constrained taxpayers to get their refunds faster. * Some tax preparers told CNBC that the money would be deposited starting Feb. 1. What’s next: It’s up to those whose payments haven’t been disbursed by today to claim what’s owed on their tax return. * “You can wait until the money shows up, or you’re going to file your return and claim your money there,” Janet Holtzblatt, a senior fellow at the Tax Policy Center and former official at the Treasury Department’s Office of Tax Analysis, tells Axios. * “There’s going to be confusion” about which option to pick.Of note: Any refunds that also claim the earned-income tax credit — which offsets tax bills for lower income workers — can’t be issued before mid-February, prolonging the delay as the Washington Post points out.What to watch: The incoming Biden administration wants to issue another round of direct payments. Depending on the timing, the IRS could be juggling those checks at the height of tax season. * “I can never say with IRS that things are impossible, but it's going to be a challenge to get those payments out during filing season,” Holtzblatt says.You can check the status of your stimulus payment — and whether you can expect it by paper check, debit card or direct deposit — here.Be smart: sign up FREE for the most influential newsletter in America.
- Yahoo News Video
A friendly $100 wager over the 2020 presidential election has landed in a Florida small claims court.
- The Week
President Trump's approval rating has fallen to the lowest level of his presidency, with a significant drop among Republicans.In the latest Pew Research Center poll released Friday, Trump received a job approval rating of 29 percent, which is his lowest-ever number in this poll and a decline of nine percentage points from August. Additionally, Pew notes that "much of the decline has come among Republicans and GOP leaners," 60 percent of whom approve of Trump's job performance compared to 77 percent in August.Additionally, Pew found that Trump voters "have grown more critical of their candidate's post-election conduct," as the "share of his supporters who describe his conduct as poor has doubled over the past two months, from 10 percent to 20 percent." The poll also found that only 29 percent of respondents said Trump should remain a major figure in U.S. politics in the years to come, while 68 percent said he shouldn't be.The poll was conducted in the wake of last week's deadly attack on the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob, which led to Trump becoming the first president in American history to be impeached twice. In the poll, three-quarters of respondents said Trump bears either a lot or some responsibility for the riot, while only 24 percent said he isn't responsible at all. Ahead of his upcoming Senate impeachment trial, 54 percent of respondents also said it would be better for Trump to be removed from office than finish his term, a possibility that has been ruled out due to the trial not being expected to begin until President-elect Joe Biden is in office.Pew Research Center conducted its poll by surveying 5,360 U.S. adults from Jan. 8-12. The margin of error is 1.9 percentage points. Read more at Pew Research Center.More stories from theweek.com Trump's vaccine delay is getting suspicious The worst-case scenario for America's immediate future Statehood for D.C. and Puerto Rico only needs 50 votes
- The Conversation
A white supremacist coup succeeded in 1898 North Carolina, led by lying politicians and racist newspapers that amplified their lies
Armed white insurrectionists murdered Black men and burned Black businesses, including this newspaper office, during the Wilmington coup of 1898. Daily Record, North Carolina Archives and HistoryWhile experts debate whether the U.S. Capitol siege was an attempted coup, there is no debate that what happened in 1898 in Wilmington, North Carolina, was a coup – and its consequences were tragic. These two events, separated by 122 years, share critical features. Each was organized and planned. Each was an effort to steal an election and disfranchise voters. Each was animated by white racist fears. And each required the help of the media to be successful. Those who study Reconstruction and its aftermath know the U.S. has deep experience with political and electoral violence. Reconstruction was the 12-year period following the Civil War when the South returned to the Union and newly freed Black Americans were incorporated into U.S. democracy. But few understand that the Wilmington coup, when white supremacists overthrew the city’s legitimately elected bi-racial government, could not have happened without the involvement of white news media. The same is true of the Capitol siege on Jan. 6, 2021. The news media, it turns out, have often been key actors in U.S. electoral violence. This history is explored in a chapter one of us – Gustafson – wrote for a book the other – Forde – co-edited with Sid Bedingfield, “Journalism & Jim Crow: The Making of White Supremacy in the New South,” which comes out later this year. In 1898, Charles B. Aycock wanted to become governor in North Carolina. A member of the elite class, Aycock was a leading Democrat, which was the party of white supremacy in the South before the mid-20th-century political realignment that produced today’s parties. A major obstacle lay in his path to the governor’s office. Several years earlier, Black Republicans and white Populists in North Carolina, tired of Democrats enriching themselves off public policies favoring banks, railroads and industry, joined forces. Known as Fusionists, they rose to power in the executive branch, the legislature and the governments of several eastern towns, but most importantly, the thriving port city of Wilmington, then the largest city in North Carolina. A political cartoon from the Raleigh News & Observer, Aug. 13, 1898. North Carolina Collection, UNC Chapel Hill Anti-Black disinformation Wilmington, with its majority Black population and successful Black middle class, was a city that offered hope for Black Southerners. Black men had higher rates of literacy than white men, ran some of the city’s most successful businesses, such as restaurants, tailors, shoemakers, furniture makers and jewelers, and, to the dismay of Democrats, held public office. Democrats, seething over their loss of power, were determined to get it back in the state election of 1898. Aycock joined forces with Furnifold Simmons, a former U.S. representative who served as the party’s campaign manager, and Josephus Daniels, the editor Raleigh’s News & Observer newspaper. Together they hatched a plan. Using anti-Black disinformation spread through newspapers and public speeches across the state, they would whip up white racial fears of “Negro domination” and “black beasts” that preyed on the “virtue” of white women. The goal: drive a wedge in the Fusionist coalition and lure white Populists back to the Democratic fold. [Get the best of The Conversation, every weekend. Sign up for our weekly newsletter.] The press and political power The News & Observer, the most influential newspaper in the state, was the Democratic Party’s most potent weapon. Its editor called it “the militant voice of white supremacy.” For months in advance of the November election, the paper ran articles, editorials, speeches and reader letters telling lies about Black malfeasance, misrule, criminality and sexual predations against white women. White newspapers across the state, from big cities to tiny hamlets, republished the News & Observer’s content. “The prevalence of rape by brutal negroes upon helpless white women has brought about a reign of terror in rural districts,” the paper said. Daniels admitted years later this claim was a lie. Knowing the power of images, Daniels hired a cartoonist to create viciously racist images for the front page. Roughly a year after Rebecca Latimer Felton, a prominent white Georgian, gave a speech advocating the lynching of Black men for their supposed assaults on white women, white newspapers across North Carolina reprinted and discussed it for days to gin up racist hostility. At the same time, the Democrats organized the Red Shirts, a paramilitary arm of the party, to intimidate Black citizens and stop them from participating in politics and, eventually, voting. Alexander Manly, the editor of the Black newspaper The Daily Record in Wilmington, then the only Black daily in the country, decided to fight back. To counteract the lies the Democrats and Felton told about Black men as “beasts” and “brutes,” Manly told the truth in a bold editorial: Some white women fell in love with Black men and, if these affairs were discovered, the inevitable outcome was the label “rape” and a brutal lynching. The grandson of a white governor of North Carolina and a Black woman he enslaved, Manly knew white hypocrisy well. Democrats went wild, reprinting Manly’s editorial in newspapers across the state and attacking him for insulting the “virtue” of white women. An anti-Black political cartoon by Norman Jennett in the Raleigh News & Observer, Aug. 30, 1898. North Carolina Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill The coup As the election approached and Red Shirts patrolled the state, Democrats laid their final plan. Because there were few local elections in Wilmington in 1898, and Democrats viewed the city as the center of “Negro domination” in the state, they began organizing in early fall to overthrow Wilmington’s bi-racial government and install all white officials. After stealing the state election through fraud and violence, the Democrats sent a massive group of Red Shirts into Wilmington. They murdered an untold number of Black men in the street; burned Black businesses, including Manly’s newspaper office; terrorized the Black community, forcing at least 1,400 people to flee, many never to return; and removed and exiled all Fusionists from office, installing white Democrats in their stead. Early in the new century, Aycock sat in the governor’s office. Black citizens were disfranchised by constitutional amendment, ushering in white supremacist, one-party, kleptocratic rule that lasted at least through the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Then and now Across the past four years, the overwhelmingly white right-wing news media spread lies that President Donald Trump and his allies churned out daily. Social media companies helped turn these lies into a contagion of mass delusion that radicalized a significant swath of the GOP base. Since President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in November, Trump and his political and media allies have relentlessly pushed the massive lie that liberals stole the presidential election. Like press involvement in the murderous events in Wilmington long ago, today’s media played an essential role in deluding and inciting supporters to violence in the attempt to steal an election. “The past is never dead,” William Faulkner wrote. “It’s not even past.”This article is republished from The Conversation, a nonprofit news site dedicated to sharing ideas from academic experts. It was written by: Kathy Roberts Forde, University of Massachusetts Amherst and Kristin Gustafson, University of Washington, Bothell. Read more:Capitol siege raises questions over extent of white supremacist infiltration of US policeThe Confederate battle flag, which rioters flew inside the US Capitol, has long been a symbol of white insurrection The authors do not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and have disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.