Skimm'd while taking time to reflect

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Skimm'd while taking time to reflect

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Quote of the Day

"Making history while witnessing history" – A protester, who proposed to his partner at a North Carolina demonstration. They found love in a hopeful place.

A Nation in Mourning

The Story

Yesterday, hundreds of people gathered to honor George Floyd's memory.

What happened?

Family, friends, lawmakers, and supporters celebrated the life of the man whose death last month sparked nationwide protests. A moment of silence was held for eight minutes and 46 seconds – the length of time now-fired police officer Derek Chauvin held his knee on Floyd's neck. Civil rights activist Rev Al Sharpton delivered the eulogy and called on people to join a march in Washington "to deal with policing and criminal justice" on August 28th – the 57th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr's "I Have A Dream" speech. Floyd's brother also spoke, sharing memories of their childhood and saying "everybody wants justice" for George. Speaking of justice, there are updates on the Ahmaud Arbery case.

Go on...

Arbery was killed in February, after being chased and shot by a former police officer and his son while another man recorded the shooting. All three were arrested more than two months later and charged with felony murder. Yesterday, it came out that the gunman had allegedly used a racial slur after shooting Arbery. A judge has ruled that the cases can move to trial. But while criminal cases are moving forward for Floyd and Arbery, that hasn't happened for Breonna Taylor.

What do you mean?

Today would've been Taylor's 27th birthday. But she was killed in her own home in Louisville, KY, in March after being shot at least eight times by police executing a "no-knock" search warrant. Taylor's family filed a wrongful death lawsuit. And last month, the FBI opened an investigation into the deadly shooting. But it's been exactly 12 weeks since her death, and no one has been arrested or charged.


George Floyd. Ahmaud Arbery. Breonna Taylor. These lives have moved a nation to action so that this never happens again.

And Also...This

What's coming down…

This Confederate statue. Yesterday, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam (D) announced that the statue of Robert E Lee in Richmond will be removed "as soon as possible." Lee was a Confederate general during the Civil War, who led the South's attempt at secession. The governor said the statue – which stands on Monument Avenue in the former capital city of the Confederacy – "was wrong then, and it is wrong now." Four more Confederate statues in the city are on track to be taken down next month.

Where people are saying 'we won't forget'...

Hong Kong. Yesterday, thousands of people there gathered to commemorate the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre despite a police ban. The massacre happened when China declared martial law amid pro-democracy protests in Beijing and used military force against its own people, killing hundreds. The country has since tried to erase the incident from its history, and it remains one of the most censored topics on the internet there. But Hong Kong is allowed to memorialize the day every year by holding things like vigils. This year, for the first time ever, police banned the Tiananmen vigil, citing concerns over the spread of COVID-19. But people still gathered and chanted pro-democracy slogans. Some were pepper-sprayed by police for violating the ban.

  • Heightened tensions: It came the same day Hong Kong's pro-Beijing gov made it illegal to make fun of China's national anthem. Those who now do so could face up to three years in prison.

What people are watching…

This video. Yesterday, two police officers in Buffalo, NY were suspended without pay after a video showed them pushing a 75-year-old protester to the ground. He's seen falling backward and is on the ground bleeding from his ear moments later, but the officers walk past him. Buffalo's mayor said the man was in stable but serious condition at a hospital. NY Gov Andrew Cuomo (D) said he approved of the suspensions and called the incident "disgraceful."

What's hitting Ctrl Z...

The Lancet. Yesterday, the medical journal retracted a major study on hydroxychloroquine. The study last month found that the drug was linked to an increased risk of death and heart problems when used to treat COVID-19. Several governments reportedly banned use of the drug for COVID-19 as a result. Except...the company that provided the data apparently had employees with little to no scientific experience. Now, the authors are saying they can't "vouch" for the study's accuracy.

Who's saying 'your move'...

NFL players.

Skimm Reads

"Between the World and Me" by Ta-Nehisi Coates

This 2015 book is a profound and powerful examination of being black in America. Written as a letter to his 15-year-old son, it chronicles Coates's life as a child in Baltimore to his college years at Howard, and into his adult life as a journalist. Through it all, he reckons with his place in the world and the racism that exists within it. Toni Morrison has called it "required reading" case you needed more convincing.


We're committed to helping you spend your time well. In this moment, that means Pressing Pause on distractions, and focusing on the crisis our country is facing. Here are some recs worth checking out...

1. Black-owned businesses to support. How you use your voice matters. How you show up for your community also matters. Something else that matters? Where you spend your money. Check out some black-owned fashion companies, beauty brands, and more, that you can support with your wallet.

2. Nine podcasts to add to your queue. Essential listens from hosts like Roxane Gay, actress Amanda Seales, writer Jemele Hill, and more. They talk candidly about race, the day's news, and the cultural landscape.

3. Five black artists to know. Here are some contemporary artists addressing violence against black people. From sculptures, to photography and performance art, this list reinforces the idea that protest can come in many forms.

PS: Sign up to get a list of more things to listen to, watch, and read in your inbox every week.

Skimm More

  • People are calling for change. As protests take place in cities across the country, this week's episode of "Skimm This" breaks down the rise in the militarization of police forces in the US, and what solutions are being put forth to address police brutality.

  • As part of the fight for racial justice, it's important to be educated. That includes listening to and learning from authors who've captured the role race plays in the American experience. Here are some reads to get you started.

  • Racial injustice is evident across all aspects of society – especially the criminal justice system. Our guide breaks down the challenges and inequities of the US prison system and how the country ended up with the highest incarceration rate in the world.


In times like these, community matters more than ever. Let us know how you (or someone you know) is making an impact by helping others.

Call on...Lisa R and Sirrah H (NY). They're attorneys at New York Legal Assistance Group. As women of color, they both saw how systemic racism has impacted their communities. And have since created the NY COVID-19 Legal Resource Hotline to offer free legal advice to low-income communities most impacted by the virus.

Sharpen your pencil for...Jessica U (MA). She helped create the Dear Heroes Project. A mission that connects students to frontline heroes through letters of appreciation and encouragement. To participate, you can use the project to write to a hero or nominate someone who deserves a letter. Learn more here.

(Some) Birthdays...Lizzie Tisch (NY), theSkimm's Sam Horowitz (NY), Katie Frisina (MA), Eric Miller (CA), Isabel Krause (MD), Shalei Holoway (NY), Carolyn Selwood (MD), Shayna Schor (MA), Judah Grinberg (MA), Marielle Warner (NH), Rebecca Iannucci (NC), Autumn Carter (NY), Ally Vergato (PA), Amany Ishaq (LA), Misty Ahmadi (CA), Lisa Sims Harrison (AL)

*Paging all members of theSkimm. Reach out here for a chance to be featured.