Civil Liberties News StoriesExcerpts of Key Civil Liberties News Stories in Major Media
Note: This comprehensive list of civil liberties news stories is usually updated once a week. Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.
Allegations by FBI Special Agent Steve Friend contained in a whistleblower complaint filed late Wednesday with the Department of Justice inspector general reveal a politicized Washington, DC, FBI field office cooking the books to exaggerate the threat of domestic terrorism, and using an "overzealous" January 6 investigation to harass conservative Americans and violate their constitutional rights. Friend, 37, a respected 12-year veteran of the FBI and a SWAT team member, was suspended Monday, stripped of his gun and badge, and escorted out of the FBI field office in Daytona Beach, Fla., after complaining to his supervisors about the violations. He was declared absent without leave last month for refusing to participate in SWAT raids that he believed violated FBI policy and were a use of excessive force against Jan. 6 subjects accused of misdemeanor offenses. "I have an oath to uphold the Constitution," he told supervisors when he asserted his conscientious objection to joining an Aug. 24 raid on a J6 subject. "I have a moral objection and want to be considered a conscientious objector." In his whistleblower complaint to DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz ... Friend lays out multiple violations of FBI policy involving J6 investigations in which he was involved. He says he was removed from active investigations into child sexual exploitation and human trafficking to work on J6 cases sent from DC. As a result, he believes his child exploitation investigations were harmed.
Note: Read how Facebook is silencing activity related to this whistleblower. Read also Matt Taibbi's reporting on this important case. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.
Authorities swiftly called the death a homicide. The victim was 44-year-old Michael Williams. Days later, law enforcement agencies announced they had arrested and charged a 31-year-old army veteran, Steven Vogel, with murder. Williams had been strangled, according to the medical examiner's office. Authorities arrested and charged three others with helping Vogel move the body. The case attracted national attention. Michael Williams was Black, and his body was burned and dumped in an almost-exclusively white part of Iowa. The four people arrested were white. These events occurred 15 weeks after Minneapolis police publicly murdered George Floyd. And yet, law enforcement immediately declared that no evidence suggested the murder had been motivated by racism. Williams's family and other members of central Iowa's Black community weren't convinced. The simple fact a white man hanged a Black man with a rope and then set him on fire in an easily visible spot – with three other white people helping cover up the murder – was telling. Data analyzed by the Guardian reveals this to be common: victims' loved ones clearly see racist motives, while law agencies often don't. From the outset, authorities rejected a racial motive. "They never pursued it," says Paula Terrell, Williams's aunt. "They just kept saying 'it's a love triangle.'" In fact, Williams's murder was one of several incidents in central Iowa that targeted Black people in short sequence.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on police corruption from reliable major media sources.
On April 17, 2018, Terry Albury appeared in a federal court in Minneapolis, where he pleaded guilty to charges of leaking classified information to the press. The allegations – that Albury downloaded, printed and photographed internal F.B.I. documents on his office computer, sending some of them electronically to a journalist and saving others on external devices found in his home – resulted from a 17-month-long internal investigation by the F.B.I., prompted by two Freedom of Information Act requests by a news organization ... in March 2016. Nine months after these FOIA requests were made, a trove of internal F.B.I. documents shedding new light on the vast and largely unrestricted power of the post-9/11 F.B.I. was posted on the investigative-journalism site The Intercept. The cache included hundreds of pages of unredacted policy manuals, including the F.B.I.'s byzantine rule book, the Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide, exposing the hidden loopholes that allowed agents to violate the bureau's own rules against racial and religious profiling and domestic spying as they pursued the domestic war on terror. In October 2018, he was sentenced to four years in prison. Albury says he felt a moral imperative to make his disclosures, motivated by his belief that the bureau had been so fundamentally transformed by Sept. 11 that its own agents were compelled to commit civil and human rights violations.
Note: Listen to Albury talk about his experiences in this podcast. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the erosion of civil liberties from reliable major media sources.
The Department of Homeland Security launched a failed operation that ensnared hundreds, if not thousands, of U.S. protesters in what new documents show was as a sweeping, power-hungry effort before the 2020 election to bolster President Donald Trump's spurious claims about a "terrorist organization" he accused his Democratic rivals of supporting. An internal investigative report, made public this month by Sen. Ron Wyden ... details the findings of DHS lawyers concerning a previously undisclosed effort by Trump's acting secretary of homeland security, Chad Wolf, to amass secret dossiers on Americans in Portland attending anti-racism protests in summer 2020 sparked by the police murder of ... George Floyd. The report describes attempts by top officials to link protesters to an imaginary terrorist plot in an apparent effort to boost Trump's reelection odds, raising concerns now about the ability of a sitting president to co-opt billions of dollars' worth of domestic intelligence assets for their own political gain. DHS analysts recounted orders to generate evidence of financial ties between protesters in custody; an effort that, had they not failed, would have seemingly served to legitimize President Trump's false claims about "Antifa." The report describes the dossiers generated by DHS as having detailed the past whereabouts and the "friends and followers of the subjects, as well as their ... First Amendment speech activity."
Note: Read about the FBI's use of entrapment to manufacture terrorist plots. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the erosion of civil liberties from reliable major media sources.
Even before he became director of the FBI, [J. Edgar] Hoover was conducting secret intelligence operations against U.S. citizens he suspected were anarchists, radical leftists or communists. After a series of anarchist bombings went off across the United States in 1919, Hoover sent five agents to infiltrate the newly formed Communist Party. "From that day forward, he planned a nationwide dragnet of mass arrests to round up subversives, round up communists, round up Russian aliens," [author Tim] Weiner says. On Jan. 1, 1920, Hoover sent out the arrest orders, and at least 6,000 people were arrested and detained throughout the country. "When the dust cleared, maybe 1 in 10 was found guilty of a deportable offense," says Weiner. Hoover, Attorney General Mitchell Palmer and Secretary of the Navy Franklin Delano Roosevelt all came under attack for their role in the raids. Hoover started amassing secret intelligence on "enemies of the United States" – a list that included terrorists, communists, spies – or anyone Hoover or the FBI had deemed subversive. Later on, anti-war protesters and civil rights leaders were added to Hoover's list. "Hoover saw the civil rights movement from the 1950s onward and the anti-war movement from the 1960s onward, as presenting the greatest threats to the stability of the American government since the Civil War," [Weiner] says. "These people were enemies of the state, and in particular Martin Luther King [Jr.] was an enemy of the state."
Note: Read more about the FBI's COINTELPRO program. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption and the erosion of civil liberties from reliable major media sources.
The British government targeted the American civil rights leader Stokely Carmichael and sought to weaken the Black Power movement with covert disinformation campaigns, recently declassified documents have revealed. The effort was the work of a secret unit known as the Information Research Department, based in London and part of the Foreign Office, which created and distributed literature from fake sources as part of a broader effort to destabilise cold war enemies. The effort against Carmichael, a firebrand orator who travelled to west Africa in part to escape harassment by US law enforcement agencies, aimed to portray the prominent Black Power leader as a foreign interloper in Africa who was contemptuous of the inhabitants of the continent. Based mainly in Guinea from July 1969, the 28-year-old activist had became a vocal advocate of socialist, pan-Africanist ideologies, which worried British officials. The IRD was particularly worried by the movement's potential influence in the Caribbean. In 1969, the IRD also created a new fake group: The Organisation of African Students for African Power. This was supposedly based in East Germany and adopted contemporary radical New Left ideas, "proclaiming a plague on both" the capitalist west and the Soviet bloc. The IRD felt this provided a better platform to "damage opponents" than the dated nationalist approach, while being difficult to trace back to Britain because many similar groups had genuinely sprung up in the late 1960s.
The FBI spent years surveilling the "Queen of Soul" Aretha Franklin, trying to gauge how involved she was with the civil rights movement, communism and the Black Power movement, a 270-page document shows. Franklin, who died in 2018, was monitored ahead of several performances and attendances she made for civil rights groups, such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, whose first president was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Informants mentioned Franklin, a Detroit native, in separate memos for possibly appearing at the SCLC's 1967 and 1968 national conventions, in Atlanta and Memphis, respectively. The FBI mailed several copies of "The Atlanta Voice" newspaper, which reported on her visit to town, to FBI offices around the country, as well as the U.S. attorney general and the Secret Service. During this time, Franklin was, in fact, actively involved in the civil rights movement through her music and personal connections. She was identified in a 1969 memo titled "Possible Racial Violence, Urban Areas, Racial Matters" when, in the year before, Denver concertgoers rioted after she refused to perform at the Red Rocks amphitheater due to not being properly paid. In 1971, memos named the Black Panther Party of Los Angeles and the Boston Young Workers Liberation League as organizations who intended to book her for rallies.
At least 500 Native American, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian children died while attending Indian boarding schools run or supported by the U.S. government, a highly anticipated Interior Department report said Wednesday. The report identified over 400 schools and more than 50 gravesites and said more gravesites would likely be found. The report is the first time in U.S. history that the government has attempted to comprehensively research and acknowledge the magnitude of the horrors it inflicted on Native American children for decades. But it falls well short of some independent estimates of deaths and does not address how the children died or who was responsible. The report also sheds little new light on the physical and sexual abuse generations of Indigenous children endured at the schools, which were open for more than 150 years, starting in the early 1800s. The report identified more than 500 child deaths after examining records for 19 of the facilities, a small share of the total number of schools identified. The number is significantly less than some estimates, which are in the tens of thousands. Preston S. McBride, an Indian boarding school historian and a Comanche descendent ... has found more than 1,000 student deaths at the four former boarding schools he has studied, and estimates the overall number of deaths could be as high as 40,000. "Basically every school had a cemetery," he said. "There are deaths at or deaths because of virtually every single boarding school."
Note: Canada has been investigating its own residential schools. What happened at these schools was akin to "cultural genocide," according to a 2015 report from Canada's Truth and Reconciliation Commission. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.
In the late summer of 2020, Bruce Bartman went to Pennsylvania's voter registration website and signed up his mother and mother-in-law to vote. Both women were dead. A few months later, Bartman, who is white, requested a mail-in ballot for his late mother and cast her vote for Donald Trump. Bartman was arrested that December and charged with perjury and unlawful voting. He pleaded guilty, admitted he made a "stupid mistake", was sentenced to five years of probation and barred from serving on a jury or voting for four years. When Bartman pleaded guilty, nearly 1,000 miles away, in Memphis, a Black Lives Matter activist named Pamela Moses was facing her own election-related criminal charges. A few years previously, Moses, who is Black, permanently lost the right to vote after committing a felony. But no one had actually removed Moses from the voter rolls or told her she couldn't vote. And in 2019, when state officials began looking into her eligibility, a probation officer signed a certificate saying Moses had completed her sentence and was eligible to vote. So she applied to do so. Even though corrections officials conceded they made an error, Moses was indicted anyway. She was sentenced to six years and one day in prison. The case ... underscored what many experts see as a double standard in the US criminal justice system: white people face relatively light punishment for intentional cases of fraud, while Black people face tougher punishments for unintentional voting errors.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on court system corruption from reliable major media sources.
The United States remains in a heightened threat environment fueled by several factors, including an online environment filled with false or misleading narratives and conspiracy theories, and other forms of mis- dis- and mal-information (MDM) introduced and/or amplified by foreign and domestic threat actors. These threat actors seek to exacerbate societal friction to sow discord and undermine public trust in government institutions to encourage unrest, which could potentially inspire acts of violence. The convergence of the following factors has increased the volatility, unpredictability, and complexity of the threat environment: (1) the proliferation of false or misleading narratives, which sow discord or undermine public trust in U.S. government institutions; (2) continued calls for violence directed at U.S. critical infrastructure; and (3) calls by foreign terrorist organizations for attacks on the United States. COVID-19 mitigation measures–particularly COVID-19 vaccine and mask mandates–have been used by domestic violent extremists to justify violence since 2020 and could continue to inspire these extremists to target government, healthcare, and academic institutions that they associate with those measures. Domestic violent extremists have ... have recently aspired to disrupt U.S. electric and communications critical infrastructure, including by spreading false or misleading narratives about 5G cellular technology.
Note: Since when does questioning how much we trust our government make a person an extremist or terrorist? What ever happened to the first amendment of the U.S. Constitution? Our founding fathers would likely have been declared terrorists by the DHS. So sad... For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the erosion of civil liberties from reliable major media sources.
The military, technological, security and political classes in this country appear united in their desire to make robot dogs part of our future, and we should all be worried. On 1 February ... the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a press release titled "Robot Dogs Take Another Step Towards Deployment at the Border". DHS dressed up their statement with the kind of adorable language made to warm the hearts of dog lovers everywhere. A picture of the "four-legged ground drone" accompanied the release. These particular robot dogs are made by Ghost Robotics, which claims that its 100lb machine was "bred" to scale "all types of natural terrain including sand, rocks and hills, as well as human-built environments, like stairs". Each robot dog is outfitted with a bevy of sensors and able to transmit real-time video and information feeds. A testing and evaluation program is under way in El Paso, Texas. As the Electronic Frontier Foundation notes, "people who live along the border are some of the most heavily surveilled people in the United States. A massive amalgamation of federal, state and local law enforcement and national security agencies are flying drones, putting up cameras and just generally attempting to negate civil liberties – capturing the general goings-on of people who live and work in proximity to the border." Then there's the question of lethal force. These specific ground drones may not be armed, but Ghost Robotics is already infamous for the combination of robot dog and robot rifle.
Note: Singapore used robot dogs to enforce pandemic distancing measures. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the disappearance from reliable major media sources.
The drama surrounding Peng Shuai is following a familiar script, in which someone who has run afoul of China's Communist government disappears from view. What happens next depends on the case, but it is not uncommon for the person in question to disavow the statements or actions that first upset officials. Other times, the person simply keeps a lower profile. Sometimes, their arrest is eventually announced. Peng's saga began in November, when she wrote in a social media post that a former member of the party's all-powerful Politburo Standing Committee had forced her to have sex three years ago despite repeated refusals. The post was quickly taken down and the former top-ranked doubles player dropped out of public view late last year. After she reappeared weeks later, she denied to a Singapore newspaper that she ever made any accusation of sexual assault. In an interview published Monday by a French sports paper, the tennis player called the whole situation an "enormous misunderstanding." Other people ... have disappeared over the years – a phenomenon that has expanded since President Xi Jinping came to power in 2013. Liu [Xiaobo], a dissident writer who joined calls for increased freedoms in China in 2008, was detained a day before the appeal for reforms was released. After his arrest, his whereabouts were unknown for a time. He was eventually accused of subversion and sentenced to 11 years in prison. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and died of cancer before he was ever released.
Note: What most likely happens is that these people are subjected to well established mind control procedures, such that afterward they dare not challenge those in power. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and mind control from reliable major media sources.
After President Biden's inauguration this year, protesters marched once again through the streets of Portland, Ore., sending a message that putting a Democrat in the White House would not resolve their problems with a system of policing and corporate wealth that they saw as fundamentally unfair. The event ... included a variety of anarchists, antifascists, communists and racial justice activists. But there were others mingling in the crowd that day: plainclothes agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The F.B.I. set up extensive surveillance operations inside Portland's protest movement ... with agents standing shoulder to shoulder with activists, tailing vandalism suspects to guide the local police toward arrests and furtively videotaping inside one of the country's most active domestic protest movements. The breadth of F.B.I. involvement in Portland and other cities where federal teams were deployed at street protests became a point of concern for some within the bureau and the Justice Department who worried that it could undermine the First Amendment right to protest against the government. Some within the departments worried that the teams could be compared to F.B.I. surveillance transgressions of decades past, such as the COINTELPRO projects that sought to spy on and disrupt various activist groups in the 1950s and 1960s. There has been no evidence so far that the bureau used similar surveillance teams on right-wing demonstrators during the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.
Note: Read more about the FBI's COINTELPRO program. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the erosion of civil liberties from reliable major media sources.
When hundreds of protesters took over Melbourne's West Gate Bridge on Tuesday, the Real Rukshan was there to capture it. With 60,000 people concurrently viewing his livestream, Real Rukshan – the online nom de plume of Rukshan Fernando – was recognised by a man dressed in hi-vis: "Rukshan," he yelled over the chaos, "you're the reason we came down." Fernando is one of a number of Australian content creators such as Avi Yemini and Morgan C Jonas who position themselves as independent journalists documenting the "freedom" movements opposing lockdowns and vaccines. Fernando's live streams have functioned as the connective tissue for Melbourne protests and the broader movement, with millions of people watching from his perspective. His content and commentary take an anti-media and anti-government slant. Fernando says: "When you have the government interfere with your life, that really makes you arc up and be more politically attuned to what's happening around you." During a general "freedom" protest last week, Fernando narrated his live stream by repeatedly claiming that all the protesters were being peaceful and that police were instigating violence. At many protests, mainstream media organisations haven't had reporters present. Unlike other creators, Fernando doesn't appear to make money from his content. He's posted about refusing donations and hasn't made any efforts to monetise his online presence.
Note: Australia's huge protests against vaccine mandates and the lockdown have gotten very little coverage outside of Australia and highly biased coverage against the protests in the country. This video shows the thousands participating in Melbourne, while this disturbing video shows the intense police response with many hundreds of police deployed. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources
It was an unusual forearm tattoo that the police said led them to Luis Reyes, a 35-year-old man who was accused of stealing packages from a Manhattan building's mailroom in 2019. But the truth was more complicated: Mr. Reyes had first been identified by the New York Police Department's powerful facial recognition software as it analyzed surveillance video of the crime. His guilty plea this year ... was part of the sprawling legacy of one of the city's darkest days. Since the fall of the World Trade Center, the security apparatus born from the Sept. 11 attack on the city has fundamentally changed the way the country's largest police department operates, altering its approach to finding and foiling terrorist threats, but also to cracking minor cases like Mr. Reyes's. New Yorkers simply going about their daily lives routinely encounter post-9/11 digital surveillance tools like facial recognition software, license plate readers or mobile X-ray vans that can see through car doors. Surveillance drones hover above mass demonstrations and protesters say they have been questioned by antiterrorism officers after marches. The department's Intelligence Division, redesigned in 2002 to confront Al Qaeda operatives, now uses antiterror tactics to fight gang violence and street crime. The department's budget for intelligence and counterterrorism has more than quadrupled, spending more than $3 billion since 2006, and more through funding streams that are difficult to quantify, including federal grants and the secretive Police Foundation.
Right up until his death in 2018, Ferik Duka dreamed of seeing his three eldest sons, Shain, Dritan, and Eljvir, freed from prison. In 2009, the three brothers were sentenced to life for their role in an alleged plot to attack the Fort Dix military base in New Jersey. The convictions followed a terrorism sting ... that ran for over a year and involved multiple government informants. The investigation into the "Fort Dix Five," as the case became known, was marred by outrageous law enforcement and legal abuses, documented in a 2015 investigation and documentary by The Intercept. Their case was just one of many in which zealous FBI officials and prosecutors, operating in the heated atmosphere of post-9/11 America, branded individuals who posed no appreciable threat to the country as enemies of the state. Many of them, like the Duka brothers, were given long prison sentences or otherwise had their lives ruined after being convicted on material support for terrorism charges. "There hasn't been any reckoning with the legacy of this era," said Ramzi Kassem, a ... Law professor. Kassem said, "It is alarming when you look across these cases and see an overrepresentation of suspects who were mentally deficient, marginalized, or otherwise vulnerable. Informants proposed so-called terrorism plots, funded them, provided means of execution, coaching, and even coaxed the targets of stings over prolonged periods of time in order to enable prosecutors to paint their conduct as criminally punishable."
Note: Read more about terrorism plots hatched by the FBI. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and terrorism from reliable major media sources.
The federal government deliberately targeted Black Lives Matter protesters via heavy-handed criminal prosecutions in an attempt to disrupt and discourage the global movement that swept the nation last summer in the wake of the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd, according to a new report released Wednesday by The Movement for Black Lives. The prosecution of protesters over the past year continues a century-long practice by the federal government, rooted in structural racism, to suppress Black social movements via the use of surveillance tactics and other mechanisms. "The empirical data and findings in this report largely corroborate what Black organizers have long known ... about the federal government's disparate policing and prosecution of racial justice protests," the report stated. Titled "Struggle For Power: The Ongoing Persecution of Black Movement By The U.S. Government," the report details how policing has been used historically as a major tool to deter Black people from engaging in their right to protest. It also drew a comparison to how the government used Counterintelligence Program techniques to "disrupt the work of the Black Panther Party and other organizations fighting for Black liberation." A key finding of the report was that the push to use federal charges against protesters came from top-down directives. In 92.6% of the cases, there were equivalent state level charges that could have been brought against defendants.
Note: Read about the FBI's COINTELPRO program which suppressed dissent by targeting activists. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the erosion of civil liberties from reliable major media sources.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement monitored immigrant advocacy organizations engaged in First Amendment-protected activity around a highly contentious immigration detention center in Georgia. Public records show that ICE kept track of the groups' nonviolent protests and social media posts, at one point suggesting that the agency might retaliate by barring visitations by one organization. Internal ICE records and emails, as well as a deposition by an ICE officer in a court case, show the agency referring to an advocacy group as a "known adversary" and closely surveilling the immigration and civil rights activists' activities, both online and in person. The immigrant advocates have all worked to bring national and international attention to alleged abuse at ICE's Stewart Detention Center and the Irwin County Detention Center, both in Georgia. Stewart is one of the largest ICE facilities in the nation, and it is also the facility that has seen the most deaths of detained migrants over the past five years. While ICE has a history of monitoring and intimidating its critics – a practice that falls within a long pattern of the U.S. government surveilling activist groups – the agency's surveillance of the groups first took place in Georgia following the 2017 death by suicide of Jean Jimenez-Joseph in Stewart. Advocates alleged that CoreCivic, the private prison company that runs Stewart, and ICE didn't properly monitor or care for Jimenez-Joseph, noting that he was placed in solitary confinement for 18 days prior to his death.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.
Canada has been dealt a somber reminder of one of the darkest chapters of its history over the past week. The remains of 215 children were found last month buried in unmarked graves at a former residential school, one of more than 150 institutions in a defunct system that for well over a century forcibly separated Indigenous children from their families to assimilate them into Canadian society. The school where the remains were found is in Kamloops. The institution, the biggest residential school in Canada, operated under the auspices of the Catholic Church from 1890 to 1969. The Canadian government then took over and oversaw the school until it closed in 1978. Enrollment peaked in the early 1950s at 500. There are official records of at least 51 children who died at the school from 1900 to 1971. The graves, which were discovered with ground-penetrating radar last month, are believed to be undocumented. Some of the children are believed to have been as young as 3. While the sheer number of children's remains found in Kamloops is shocking, it is just the tip of the iceberg, and the discovery is by no means an isolated incident. An estimated 150,000 First Nations and Inuit children were required to attend the state-funded residential schools from 1831 to 1996. Many never went home. In 2015, a Truth and Reconciliation Commission declared that the residential schools played a central role in Canada's "cultural genocide" of Indigenous people.
Note: The 2015 Truth and Reconciliation Commission report led to a $5 billion settlement between the government and surviving First Nation students. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.
I consider myself a lay historian. But for all my study, I never read a page of any school history book about how, in 1921, a mob of white people burned down a place called Black Wall Street, killed as many as 300 of its Black citizens and displaced thousands of Black Americans who lived in Tulsa, Okla. My experience was common: History was mostly written by white people about white people like me, while the history of Black people – including the horrors of Tulsa – was too often left out. Until relatively recently, the entertainment industry, which helps shape what is history and what is forgotten, did the same. That includes projects of mine. I knew about the attack on Fort Sumter, Custer's last stand and Pearl Harbor but did not know of the Tulsa massacre until last year, thanks to an article in The New York Times. The truth about Tulsa, and the repeated violence by some white Americans against Black Americans, was systematically ignored. Our predominantly white schools didn't teach it, our mass appeal works of historical fiction didn't enlighten us, and my chosen industry didn't take on the subject in films and shows until recently. It seems white educators and school administrators (if they even knew of the Tulsa massacre, for some surely did not) omitted the volatile subject for the sake of the status quo, placing white feelings over Black experience – literally Black lives in this case. Should our schools now teach the truth about Tulsa? Yes, and they should also stop the battle to whitewash curriculums.
Note: The above was written by renowned actor Tom Hanks. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on civil liberties from reliable major media sources.
Important Note: Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.