Black Lives Matter

Morgan Keating / City Club of Boise

In 1964, an assurance of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” was extended to Black America. 56 years have passed awaiting this to become a reality. Having allotted enough time for discussion,  it is time for palpable action. To be sure, housing, economics, jobs, education, and more play a significant role in the racism we see today. Today, millions of people are marching not because of those issues, but rather the issue of continued racist policing practices across the country.

 


DARIN OSWALD / IDAHO STATESMAN

 

Elaine Thompson / AP Images

Well, we've made it to Friday and it's time for the weekly Reporter Roundtable. This week, our panel discusses the latest with Idaho's coronavirus casesmental health and COVID-19local reaction to President Trump's suggestion that the November election could be delayed, folks showing up at Black Lives Matters protests with firearms, and how Idahoans are dealing with the expiration of a federal moratorium on evictions. 

Darin Oswald / Idaho Statesman

 


via Boise Arts & History Department

 

Have you heard of Erma Hayman? The Boisean lived a long and influential life, much of it spent in the historic River Street Neighborhood. Hayman, who was Black, was a leader in the community until her death at the age of 102 in 2009. The neighborhood was one of the only places in the capital city where Black people were able to live in the 1940s due to racist redlining policies and housing discrimination. 

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Mayor Lauren McLean said in a press release that “malicious forces” plan to incite violence Tuesday night during a Black Lives Matter rally in downtown Boise. The new chief of police said his department is ready to protect protesters and their First Amendment rights. 


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DARIN OSWALD / Idaho Statesman

 

(This interview is the second of a two-part show about policing in Idaho. You can find the first half — on the history of policing and the laws that protect officers — here.)

 

Amid the protests against the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and countless other Black people by police in the the past months and years, activists quickly formulated one central demand: Defund the police. 

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With protesters taking to the streets nationwide to demand justice for George Floyd and confront police brutality and systemic racism, Mountain West News Bureau reporters are gathering perspectives of people of color from around the region.

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A rally this week in Boise included Nazi imagery and other racist symbols, conjuring the darkest corners of Idaho history.  


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As Black Lives Matter rallies continue across the country, some counter protesters and militia members are giving new life to an old racist myth – that white Irish people were enslaved in the Americas just like Africans and Indigenous people.

 

Heath Druzin / Boise State Public Radio

 

Over the weekend, folks gathered at the Idaho Statehouse steps to hold a rally in support of Black Lives Matter. But this protest had a very specific angle: health care and its connection to systemic racismc

Conor Mullen

 

Protests against racism and police brutality are not new to the U.S. or to our region. However, large, sustained turnout, especially in small, mostly-white towns, is something we’ve not seen before. For many of those protestors, it’s been their first time demonstrating—ever.


Protesting racism and police brutality is nothing new. But large, sustained turnouts, especially in small, mostly white towns, is something we've not seen before. For many of these protesters, it's their first time demonstrating - ever.

Idaho Matters Reporter Roundtable: June 19, 2020

Jun 19, 2020
DARIN OSWALD / Idaho Statesman

 

The Idaho Matters Reporter Roundtable has another weekly breakdown of the news you might have missed from around the state this past week. 

Besides updates on COVID-19, we'll cover Juneteenth, regional protests in support of racial justice, planning for the new library in Boise, and more. 

capitol, statehouse, idaho
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

 

On Saturday in Boise, a group of health care workers are planning to gather at the capitol steps for a rally in support of Black Lives Matter. Speakers are set to address the connection between systemic racism and medical care in the United States. 

Phillip Thompson

Friday, June 19 will be the 155th anniversary of a unique moment in history when, two months after Confederate General Robert E. Lee conceded defeat in the Civil War, enslaved African-Americans in Galveston, Texas were told they were free. Now known as Juneteenth, the holiday combines June and 19; and is also sometimes called Juneteenth Independence Day or Emancipation Day.

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This Friday is Juneteenth, a national holiday in most states celebrating the end of slavery. There are planned protests around the Mountain West to keep attention on racial injustice and police brutality, including one on the Blackfeet Reservation in Montana. 

Madelyn Beck / Mountain West News Bureau

This story was powered by America Amplified, a public radio initiative.

There's growing concern about violence at anti-racism protests after an armed man shot a protester at a demonstration on Monday in Albuquerque, with a number of activists across the Mountain West saying they have been harassed.

Damian Dovarganes / AP Images

 

As protests and media attention continue three weeks after the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer, community organizers are working to maintain the momentum towards racial justice this moment has created. But at the same time that the conversation of racial justice is being pushed to the forefront, many organizers are taking care to recognize that those facing racial injustice may also experience other oppression from their other marginalized identities.

DARIN OSWALD / Idaho Statesman

 

Our Reporter Roundtable has shares fresh perspectives and stories you might have missed from around the Gem State this week.

DARIN OSWALD / Idaho Statesman

Dele Ogunrinola is a Boise State University student studying biochemistry and physics. He’s been involved in community organizing and activism since he was in high school, and recently participated at the Boise vigil in honor of George Floyd and other Black people who have been killed by police. Idaho Matters host Gemma Gaudette talks with him about his experience being Black in Boise and in America. 

Madelyn Beck / Mountain West News Bureau


A couple hundred people gathered to protest racism and police violence in Missoula, Montana last Friday. It looked and sounded like a usual rally. 

Nick Mott / Montana Public Radio

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Justin and his buddies look like they're from a special ops team – they're wearing flak jackets and carrying assault weapons. But they aren't military and they aren't police. 

"I see myself as a concerned citizen who happens to be armed," he says.

 

Elaine Thompson / AP Images

 

Since the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis two weeks ago, protests demanding an end to police brutality and racial injustice have swelled across the country. Of course, the right to peacefully assemble and petition the government are both protected rights under the First Amendment.

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