Show an ad over header. AMP

I am the FIRST

Icons of the civil rights movement and racial equality are replacing Confederates on monuments

Outrage over the police killing of George Floyd 11 months ago has ushered in a historic pace for removals of Confederate symbols from public spaces.

The big picture: At least 167 Confederate symbols around the U.S. have been removed or renamed since Floyd’s death last May, Southern Poverty Law Center data shows.

  • That includes one symbol stolen from public property in Arizona, sparing Gov. Doug Ducey from having to make the call himself.

Driving the news: Tuesday's jury verdict against former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin triggered both positive and negative predictions about the prospects of passing racial justice reforms with teeth.

  • But regardless of what Congress does around policing, the dismantlement and replacement of racist symbols has taken on a new momentum at the local, state and national level after decades of efforts.
  • SPLC said 94 Confederate monuments were removed in 2020 — compared with a total of 58 removed between 2015 and 2019. Virginia and North Carolina have led states overall in removing Confederate symbols.

What we're watching: Virginia on Friday celebrated the 70th anniversary of 16-year-old Barbara Johns leading a Black student strike protesting the deplorable conditions in the state's segregated schools. Those students later joined as plaintiffs in Brown vs. Board of Education.

  • Johns, a librarian who died in obscurity in 1991, was recently chosen as a figure to replace the Robert E. Lee statue that was removed from the U.S. Capitol.
  • Atlanta's former Forrest Hill Academy— named after Nathan Bedford Forrest, an ex-Confederate leader and the first Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan — this month was renamed after baseball legend Hank Aaron.
  • States in the American Southwest also have seen pressure to remove symbols honoring Spanish conquistadors who Native Americans have long found offensive.

What they're saying: "The replacement of Robert E. Lee with my sister Barbara is unbelievable — I think we are just in awe of what is happening with her," Joan Johns Cobbs tells Axios. "The fact that she will be in the Capitol building in Washington, D.C., is something that we could never have imagined."

  • "I think erecting Confederate statues was a deliberate act to frighten Black people and to stay in control and intimidate. We are delighted that my sister is part of the trend to correct that."

Don't forget: A eight-member commission established in a bill last year is examining how to relabel U.S. Army bases named for Confederate leaders.

  • The commission includes the first African-American woman to command a U.S. Navy ship and a retired West Point historian who has compared the Confederacy to treason.

House Republicans remove Liz Cheney from leadership over Trump opposition

House Republicans voted Wednesday to oust Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) as conference chair, capping months of growing backlash over her criticisms of former President Trump, according to two sources in the room.

Why it matters: The stunning removal of the No. 3 House Republican over her condemnation of Trump's election lies reflects the influence the former president still retains over the GOP. It's the most significant turning point in an internal party feud that is unlikely to subside any time soon.

Keep reading... Show less

Biden names third slate of judicial nominees

President Biden on Wednesday announced a new slate of nominations for federal judges, with the president now having put forward 20 names to fill judicial vacancies.

Why it matters: The administration described the most recent picks as an embodiment of "the diversity of our nation," and said that Biden is continuing a trend of announcing judicial nominees at a record pace.

Keep reading... Show less

Consumer prices jumped 4.2% in April compared to last year

The latest gauge on inflation released Wednesday morning showed that prices rose 4.2% over last year, based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

Why it matters: The gains were highest since September 2008. Prices jumped significantly compared to the start of the pandemic last year, when lockdowns drove down demand.

Keep reading... Show less

What China's population woes mean for the rest of the world

China released its censusreport on Tuesday, showing that the number of births in the country last year dropped 18% from 2019. And China isn't alone — populations have been stagnating globally for decades, including in the U.S.

Why it matters: China has long relied on its large population — the biggest in the world — as a core engine for economic growth. The way that it, and officials across the globe, deal with changing demographics will lead to shifts in the economy and geopolitics.

Keep reading... Show less

Inside Liz Cheney's plans to continue fighting for soul of GOP after leadership ouster

As she faces a voteto be thrown out of House Republican leadership, Rep. Liz Cheney has told associates she doesn’t plan on going anywhere — and plans to run for re-election.

What to watch: In the meantime,as she sees it, she will aggressively pursue a fight for the soul of the Republican Party, after an expected vote to strip her of her post as GOP conference chair, the party's No. 3 House post.

Keep reading... Show less

Biden plans to send envoy as Israel and Hamas escalate toward war

Tel Aviv — With Israel and Hamas now engaged in their most destructive fight in seven years, the Biden administration is considering plans to dispatch a State Department official to join the de-escalation efforts, five Israeli officials and Western diplomats tell me.

Driving the news: The fighting intensified overnight, with Hamas and other militants firing a second barrage of over 100 rockets toward Tel Aviv and other nearby cities, and Israel continuing its air campaign in the Gaza Strip by destroying high-rise buildings, Hamas facilities and rocket units.

Keep reading... Show less

Swing-voter focus group says ousting Liz Cheney is a mistake

As House Republicans meet to oust Rep. Liz Cheney from her leadership post for criticizing Donald Trump, swing voters in Axios' latest Engagious/Schlesinger focus groups hold a near-unanimous view that Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and his caucus are making a mistake.

The big picture: Nine of 14 voters said they could vote for a Republican for U.S. House or Senate races next year. All but one ruled out backing any candidate who clings to the former president's lie that the 2020 election was stolen from him.

Keep reading... Show less

Employees grapple with re-entry anxiety as jobs call them back

Pandemic-related anxieties are entering a new phaseas more employers start to call vaccinated workers back into their offices.

Why it matters: Some employees simply don't want to go back to the office; some are desperate to. Some are struggling to rearrange their routines yet again; some don't have that flexibility. And everyone — employers and employees alike — is figuring out on the fly how to make it work.

Keep reading... Show less



Get Goodhumans in your inbox

Most Read

More Stories