Covington debacle, racism in the GOP, Trump-Russia deals: Top columns | Free Press from USA

Covington debacle, racism in the GOP, Trump-Russia deals: Top columns

Covington debacle, racism in the GOP, Trump-Russia deals: Top columns

opinion

In today’s fast-paced news environment, it can be hard to keep up. For your weekend reading, we’ve started weekly in-case-you-missed-it compilations of some the top USA TODAY Opinion pieces. This week’s selections include columns by congressman Will Hurd on accusations of racism in the Republican Party and by Daniel Payne on the dangers of mob mentality on social media after the Covington Catholic video surfaced, along with the Editorial Board’s view on President Donald Trump’s dealings with Russia. As always, thanks for reading, and for your feedback.

— USA TODAY Opinion editors

1. Republican congressman: My black dad taught me how to handle white supremacist rhetoric

By Will Hurd

“As a Republican, I believe it’s unfortunate that a perception still exists in the minds of some Americans that the GOP condones racism. Our party was built upon the beliefs of President Abraham Lincoln, who took the significant step to put us on the long path for equality. Sadly, some people affiliated with our party have made racist comments that give legitimacy to hateful ideologies. However, my P.M.A. (positive mental attitude) forces me to believe we can change this perception through actions.”

2. Face recognition tech presents a surveillance issue and Amazon is running amok

By Nicole Ozer

“History has taught us that given the opportunity, governments will exploit new surveillance technologies, especially to target communities of color, religious minorities and immigrants. With face surveillance, we are at a crossroads. The choices made now will determine whether the next generation will have to fear being tracked by the government for attending a protest or going to their place of worship — or simply living their lives. That’s why so many people have been sounding the alarm.”

3. Covington Catholic furor is a warning to end our dangerous social media mob mentality

By Daniel Payne

“There is no need to broadcast an uninformed opinion about a complicated event. You can wait. We all can. The other option, of course, is to join the hordes of furious internet users, cursing and smearing and blaming people whom you’ve never met and pronouncing confidently on incidents with which you are not familiar at all. This sort of behavior is destructive, and hateful, and ultimately pointless. And, of course, one day it could be you on the receiving end of it. Better to stop it now.”

4. Donald Trump’s weak negotiation skills caused this record government shutdown

By Marty Latz

“President Donald Trump’s weak negotiation skills have now led to the longest government shutdown in U.S. history. And his negotiation strategies — including his proposal Saturday to link wall funding to temporary legal status for ‘Dreamers’ — are making it far less likely that it will end with a deal that accomplishes his goal of funding a border wall. How did this happen to a self-proclaimed master deal-maker who was elected partially on the notion that he was, as described by his campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, ‘the greatest deal-maker our country’s ever seen’? It didn’t happen overnight.”

5. Trump pursued a deal in Russia and hid it from voters

By The Editorial Board

“During much, if not all, of Trump’s campaign he sought to enrich himself by pursuing a luxury hotel-condominium-office deal in Russia known as Trump Tower Moscow. And as a candidate, Trump repeatedly misled or lied to voters about his business with Russia. ‘I have nothing to do with Russia,’ he told reporters in July 2016. ‘I don’t deal there,’ he said during the Oct. 9 presidential debate. The truth is, Trump had coveted a lucrative hotel project in Russia — whether to build one or license his name to be emblazoned on a skyscraper — for decades.”

6. After creating mass incarceration, Barr seems ill-prepared to end it

By Madiba K. Dennie

“In 1992, William Barr, now President Donald Trump’s nominee for attorney general, helped engineer regulations that led to mass incarceration. And last week’s Senate confirmation hearings made it clear: In this new age of bipartisan criminal justice reform, calls for more progressive policing and efforts to lower incarceration, Barr is not the man to tear down what he built up. “

 

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