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Black LGBT leaders rebuke Trump for ‘lynching’ tweet

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Black leaders in the LGBT community are rebuking President Trump for comparing the impeachment inquiry against him to lynching — a practice that claimed the lives of thousands of black Americans over the course the nation’s history.

David Johns, executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition, called the comparison between the two “grossly irresponsible and ignorant.”

“Trump’s misdirected comparison is reflective of the work that still remains to ensure all Americans are aware of the legacy of racial terror that was lynching and the threat of lynching Black people,” Johns said.

Johns, who said he spent the last weekend at the National Memorial for Peace in Montgomery, Ala., said Trump should visit the Equal Justice Initiative — an Alabama-based organization that seeks to challenge racial and economic injustice.

The House impeachment inquiry proceeded this week based on evidence Trump improperly made U.S. government aid to Ukraine conditional to investigating his potential political opponent Joseph Biden.

Among those set to testify was Bill Taylor, the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine who expressed concern about a quid pro quo in now-public text messages.

In apparent frustration with the inquiry, Trump on Tuesday morning compared the process to lynching.

The tweet — perhaps intentionally — created an uproar in the media. After all, the U.S. president was comparing an impeachment process explicitly permitted under the U.S. Constitution to extrajudicial lynching. 

According to the Tuskegee Institute, 4,743 people were lynched in the United States between 1882 and 1968. Not all were black: The number counts 3,446 African-Americans and 1,297 whites. More than 73 percent of these lynchings occurred in the South.

Alphonso David, who’s black and the new president of the Human Rights Campaign, drew on these numbers in his own tweet condemning Trump’s remarks as “simply revolting.”

“Learn your history, @realDonaldTrump,” David tweeted. “From 1882 to 1968, at least 4,743 lynchings occurred in the US. Of those lynched, 3,446 were Black. To compare an inquiry into your alleged corrupt behavior to the murders of innocent Americans is simply revolting.”

White House Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley said Tuesday during a gaggle with reporters at the White House Trump was “not comparing what‘s happened to him with one of our darkest moments in American history.”

“He’s just not,” Gidley added. “What he’s explaining clearly is the way he’s been treated by the media since he announced for president. The word impeachment was used about this president the day he was elected and before he was even sworn into office.”

But Trump has a history of racist rhetoric both as a presidential candidate and president. Most recently, he tweeted four Democratic congresswomen of color should go back to their home countries and attacked the late Rep. Elijah Cummings for representing a district filled with “rats and rodents.”

Earl Fowlkes, CEO of the D.C.-based Center for Black Equity, was among the black leaders condemning Trump for his latest tweet.

“It’s unfortunate that Thump would evoke a term which has such a painful connotation for African-Americans to describe his self inflicted political missteps,” Fowlkes said. “Trump’s blatant disregard for the rule of law is the core of his alleged ‘suffering.’”

Trump invocation of lynching recalls a similar comment now-U.S. Associate Justice Clarence Thomas made in 1991 during his confirmation process, which was marred by allegations of sexual misconduct from Anita Hill.

Faced with the threat of losing Senate confirmation, Thomas testified the process was a “high-tech lynching for uppity blacks.” Thomas was ultimately confirmed on a narrow basis.

John Banzhaf, a law professor at George Washington University, said in a statement Trump and Thomas both made “clear distortions” of lynching, but Trump’s tweet may similarly be helpful to the U.S. president.

“Unfortunately, in our time of increasingly divisive politics and words, powerful but deplorable language may be effective for Trump, at least in the sense that it is more likely to bring him sympathy and support rather than condemnation, especially among those he is counting on to re-elect him as president in 2020,” Banzhaf said.

One exception to black LGBT leaders condemnation of Trump was Rob Smith, a gay black conservative political commentator and member of the pro-Trump group Turning Point USA.

Smith told the Washington Blade “the same do-nothing ‘leaders’ seeking to create moments for themselves over an inarticulate tweet” had nothing to say last year about Trump signing into the law the First Step Act. 

“I have spent time lobbying on Capitol Hill to get the First Step Act passed,” Smith said. “I have talked to the African-Americans whose lives were changed by that legislation. I have been in the East Wing of the White House when the president addressed hundreds of young African-Americans and brought one Somali-American immigrant onstage to lead a prayer. When you have seen actual change, you become less concerned with a tweet, as ill-advised as it may be.”

The First Step Act has released an estimated 3,000 prisoners who were incarcerated for nonviolent crime, 91% of whom were black.

Smith accused civil rights leaders of being pre-occupied with Trump’s Twitter account and not working to advance their communities.

“I’m not particularly interested in the comments of pseudo-leaders who aren’t interested in doing anything to truly help Black or Gay and Lesbian America on a national level when a Democrat isn’t in office,” Smith said. “And that includes any hacks from GLAAD, HRC or GetEqual who have shared their ‘thoughts.’”

Republican lawmakers in Congress largely distanced themselves from Trump’s tweet.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said “that’s not the language I would use,” Sen. John Thune (R-S.C.) said the tweet was “inappropriate in any context” and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), a staunch Trump defender, sought to justify the tweet by saying “the president’s frustrated.”

One exception was Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), a one-time Trump critic who has become a stalwart Trump defender. Asked about the comment, Graham said, ‘This is a lynching in every sense. This is un-American.’”

Nadine Smith, who’s black and executive director of Equality Florida, drew on a conspiracy theory in her condemnation of Trump’s tweet: The president is blackmailing Graham.

“It is not surprising Trump has used the term lynching to inflame and distract from self-inflicted charges of corruption and possible treason,” Smith said. “Racism is the centerpiece of his appeal to his diehard base. I find the silent cowards and lapdog defenders in his party to be even more appalling. He must have all the dirt on Lindsey Graham.”

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Community Services - PSA

LA County Parks winter classes are happening NOW!

Whether you’re looking to learn a new skill, pick up a hobby or instrument or simply be more active, there’s a class for everyone

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Photo Credit: County of Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES – LA County Parks is here to make your 2022 memorable. If you have not yet taken one of our classes, now is the time to register! Meet us safely outdoors at a park near you or join a class virtually from the comfort of your own home.

Whether you’re looking to learn a new skill, pick up a hobby or instrument or simply be more active, there’s a class for everyone. We offer a wide range of classes (held outdoors or virtually) for all ages.

FIND A CLASS TODAY

Here are just a few of the many classes we offer!

  • Arts & Culture: Music Mondays 🎵 Family & Me Music Class  
  • Computers and Technology: Become a Roblox Developer 💻 
  • Exercise and Fitness: Morning Senior Stretching (Virtual), Adrienne’s Salsa Cardio (Virtual) and Jay’s Fitness 365 Athletes ️ 
  • Health & Wellness: Brain Fit for Work and Life (Virtual), Integrating Essential Oils into your Everyday Life (Virtual) 🌱, Sound Bowl Healing Meditation  
  • Martial Arts: Karate and San Do Kai Karate  
  • Performing Arts, Music & Culture: Acting for the Camera (Virtual) 🎭, Ballet and Tap Dancing, Ballroom & Latin Dance 💃 and Modern Middle Eastern Belly Dance 
  • Special Interest Classes: Build, Paint & Race An Army Battle Tank, How to Become a Certified Livescan Provider (Virtual), Intro to Fashion Design (Virtual) 👗, Parent & Child Red Cross CPR, First Aid, AED and more 
  • Sports: Badminton, All Level Softball Clinics and European Tennis Academy 🎾
      

REGISTER ONLINE TODAY

Our quick and easy 24/7 online registration system Active Net allows you to manage everyone’s schedule through a single household account. Sign up for Winter Classes for yourself, partner and children from your smartphone or computer. To learn more about Active Net, visit parks.lacounty.gov/reserve/.  

COVID-19 Safety Guidelines for In-person Classes:
The health and well-being of park guests and staff is our top priority. In accordance with LA County Public Health, currently masks are required at all times for all participants.  Participants must maintain six feet physical distance from the instructor and staff at all times.

Follow LA County Parks on social media: Facebook @parks.lacounty.gov and Twitter/Instagram/TikTok @lacountyparks.

Share your experience using #LearnSomethingNew at #LACountyParks.  

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Community Services - PSA

We’re Hiring! Become a LA County Pool Lifeguard!

Candidates will get paid for a 64-hour training which includes becoming certified though the American Red Cross in Emergency Medical Response

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Castaic Sports Complex Aquatic Center (Photo Credit: County of Los Angeles)

LOS ANGELES – LA County Department of Parks and Recreation is hiring! This summer, the Department aims to hire over 250 new lifeguards to work at our 30 aquatic facilities, all across LA County. Not only is lifeguarding a fantastic way to kickstart your career, but it’s a great opportunity for young adults looking for part time employment while in school or looking for a career as a first responder.

Pool Lifeguards will receive a starting pay of $18.27, well above the minimum wage with opportunities to work year round. Applicants must be 17 years of age by time of appointment.

Those who meet the initial requirements will then be required to sign up and pass the Los Angeles County Swim Test. The Los Angeles County Swim Test consists of a 500-yard swim test that must be completed under 10 minutes. Upon completion of the test they will be invited to Pool Lifeguard Academy.

Candidates will get paid for a 64-hour training which includes becoming certified though the American Red Cross in Emergency Medical Response, CPR, AED, Lifeguarding, and First Aid.

SWIM TEST DATES AND LOCATIONS

Our Aquatics team is eager to help as many prospective candidates and interested students start a career path that can provide them with so many opportunities beyond lifeguarding!

Those who are interested in becoming a Pool Lifeguard are encouraged to attend an online “Open House” session to learn more about the position and answer questions.

VIRTUAL OPEN HOUSE SESSIONS: 

Session 1: January 19, 6pm tinyurl.com/mr36m9mn
or call in:+13237766996,,17084440#

Session 2: January 25,  5pm tinyurl.com/2p9a27ty
or call in: +13237766996,,573214358#

Session 3: January 26,  4pm tinyurl.com/5n8ks28c
or call in: +13237766996,,602797897#

APPLY TO BECOME A LIFEGUARD TODAY!

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Community Services - PSA

Missing woman in WeHo, public’s help sought

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Graphic via the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department

WEST HOLLYWOOD – The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is asking for resident’s assistance in locating thirty-year-old Dalia Taqali who disappeared from West Hollywood Sunday night.

Taqali was last seen around 5 p.m. in the 1100 block of North Genesee Avenue, according to a news release from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Taqali is developmentally disabled and suffers from dissociative identity disorder, the Sheriff’s Department stated.

Taqali’s family is concerned for her well-being and is asking for help finding her.

Investigators said she may be headed near the area of Sunset Boulevard and North Curson Avenue in Hollywood.

Taqali stands 5 feet, 6 inches tall and weighs about 110 pounds with long brown hair and brown eyes.

She was last seen wearing a black hoodie, green backpack, black purse and blue stud earrings on both ears.

Authorities also said Taqali has a scar on her abdominal area and is missing a front tooth.

Anyone with information on her whereabouts is asked to call the Sheriff’s Department at 323-890-5500. Those who prefer to remain anonymous can contact Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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