Dec 6, 2017

The Congressional Black Caucus backlash over Conyers exit

Photo: J. Scott Applewhite / AP

Some members of the Congressional Black Caucus believe that Rep. John Conyers, who abruptly resigned Tuesday after multiple allegations of sexual harassment, received undue scrutiny due to his race, according to a Politico report.

The big picture: Some members of the CBC aren't going so far as to call the treatment of Conyers' racist, but they do note that other sitting members of Congress, like Sen. Al Franken and Rep. Blake Farenthold, have managed to avoid significant pressure to step down while facing their own allegations of sexual misconduct. And another CBC faction thinks that Conyers' declining physical and mental state at 88 years old accelerated the process.

Some quotes from CBC members to Politico:

  • Rep. Marcia Fudge: "Certainly it seems as if there is indeed a double standard. When it happens to one of us, we're guilty until proven innocent."
  • Rep. Cedric Richmond: “Do I think he was treated like everyone? No, he wasn't. I think it was an easy call for people to talk about him."
  • An anonymous CBC member: “This was as much about Pelosi's own politics as it was about Conyers. I think she was forced into it, and I think it was very unfortunate."

Go deeper

2 hours ago - Technology

The slippery slope of protest surveillance

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Trump's call to treat antifa supporters like terrorists could be a green light for high-tech surveillance of dissidents.

Why it matters: It's unlikely the Trump administration can designate antifa as a terrorist group in any legally meaningful way, but the declaration gives law enforcement tacit approval to use a plethora of tech tools to monitor protesters and left-leaning activists.

The biggest crisis since 1968

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Bettmann/Contributor

The year 1968 has been on a lot of people’s minds lately — another year of protests, violence and upheaval that seemed to be tearing the nation apart.

Yes, but: This crisis also has moments we’ve never seen before — and some historians and experts say the differences suggest that 2020 doesn't compare well at all.

SoftBank to launch $100M fund backing companies led by people of color

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

SoftBank COO Marcelo Claure said in a letter to employees early Wednesday that the firm will create a $100 million fund that "will only invest in companies led by founders and entrepreneurs of color."

Why it matters: The Opportunity Growth Fund is one of the first to put significant capital behind companies' statements of empathy and outrage in response to protests over systemic racism in the U.S. typified by the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and other African Americans by police.