Mr. Stephen Kruiser
The Morning Brefing
June 4, 2020
ATTORNEY GENERAL MAURA HEALEY, in a passionate speech on Tuesday, suggested the protests sweeping the nation may yield long-term benefits. “Yes, America is burning. But that’s how forests grow,” she said.In Other News
As violent protests rile the country and Boston over the killing of George Floyd, Healey delivered a half-hour speech about race via Zoom to the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce. Healey, a Democrat, said the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the disparities black and brown Americans endure – the disparities of “400 years of racism and oppression” that society “must acknowledge, own, and fix.”
Demonstrators in Boston have joined those across the nation in recent days in protesting police killings of black Americans. The protests were sparked by the death of George Floyd — a black man who was killed when a white police officer pinned him under his knee in Minneapolis Monday. WGBH Morning Edition Host Joe Mathieu spoke with WGBH's Callie Crossley about the protests. The transcript below has been edited for clarity.
Joe Mathieu: America is heartbroken this morning.
Callie Crossley: And so am I. I said last week after looking at that horrific video of George Floyd that I was scared and sad, and I remain that way this morning because there are real issues. And the people who were in the streets — not only across the country, but here in Boston — before the attention was turned to this looting and the violence, were very sincere in trying to make people hear them. They're quite angry, and we see that because there's been a history, a long history. In fact, the rioting and the looting has a history based in those urban riots of the 1960s that took place in Harlem, in Newark, in Detroit [and] in Watts. And if people know their history, each one of those was precipitated by an interaction between the community and the police. That's just what the history is. But the entire spate of those urban riots started after the peaceful demonstrations of the civil rights organizers. So there is a history there, too.
You know, Joe, I woke up in the middle of the night last night after having seen everybody gathering, so, the huge crowds in Boston — I don't think I've ever seen a crowd so big. I would have called it majestic. And then at midnight, when I happened to wake up, I saw these dispersed little groups attacking stores and breaking glass. You know the term mob effect? I watched other people watch the people who did that and then become part of it because it was just sort of a peer pressure thing, if you will.
Mathieu: There have been a lot of references to 1968, right down to the fact that we saw a rocket ship bring two Americans into space over the weekend, Callie. The parallels are remarkable.
Crossley: They really are. I know a lot of people are just ahistorical because it seems so far away, but 50 years or so is really not that far away in any kind of history. I would also remind people that after the long spate of the urban riots in the cities that I mentioned, President Kennedy set up a national advisory commission — please look into this, what's going on? And the answer was: white racism. And there was talk about let's go deal with the root causes, let's figure out some policies that might address it, and it just faded away, as often some of these things do.
So what you see now — and mostly young people, I would say, of all races in the streets — are people who have seen a repeat. I've seen this over and over again. George Floyd, as horrific as it is, has been seen before in many cities. And by the way, just be grateful that we had video — I am — so you could actually see it for the horror that it is. But this is happening all over the country and people don't see it. So that's what drove people out of their houses, into the streets to protest peacefully about something that is so painful that they felt they wanted to express it in a communal way.
Mathieu: Do you worry that message being compromised by violence?
Crossley: Yes, I worry about that, because this morning I get up and all of the stories are focused on the violence. The sentence begins 'It began peacefully, yes, there were large crowds, people seem to be expressing their anger. But now look at all the looting.' And listen, that is real. That's news. That's real. You've got to cover that. But it hurts me to see that the message that the people who left their homes and went from Nubian Square in Boston to walk to the State House to make a statement with their very presence is being overlooked now by some, as President Obama might say, knuckleheads.
ust 17 days before President Trump took office in January 2017, then-FBI counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok texted bureau lawyer Lisa Page, his mistress, to express concern about sharing sensitive Russia probe evidence with the departing Obama White House.In Other News
Strzok had just engaged in a conversation with his boss, then-FBI Assistant Director William Priestap, about evidence from the investigation of incoming National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, codenamed Crossfire Razor, or “CR” for short.
The evidence in question were so-called "tech cuts" from intercepted conversations between Flynn and Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak, according to the texts and interviews with officials familiar with the conversations.
Strzok related Priestap’s concerns about the potential the evidence would be politically weaponized if outgoing Director of National Intelligence James Clapper shared the intercept cuts with the White House and President Obama, a well-known Flynn critic.
“He, like us, is concerned with over sharing,” Strzok texted Page on Jan. 3, 2017, relating his conversation with Priestap. “Doesn’t want Clapper giving CR cuts to WH. All political, just shows our hand and potentially makes enemies.”
Rep. Ayanna Pressley spoke out Tuesday against Gov. Charlie Baker’s recently released plan to reopen the Massachusetts economy.In Other News
The first phase of the plan, which Baker detailed Monday, allows a number of businesses and activities — from construction and churches to haircuts and nonessential office work — to resume over the next few weeks, albeit under a number of stringent restrictions intended to prevent a second coronavirus wave.
But Pressley says the state is going too fast.
“[Massachusetts] isn’t ready to ‘reopen,'” she tweeted Tuesday. “Policy decisions that offer a false choice between public health & economic recovery will hurt our communities.”