Bill O’Reilly’s Fact Check of Michelle Obama’s Slavery Speech Is Weak Sauce, Even for Him


Bill O'Reilly's Fact Check of Michelle Obama's Slavery Speech Is Weak Sauce, Even for Him
Image Credit: Getty Images


Fox News host Bill O’Reilly responded to first lady Michelle Obama‘s speech Monday at the Democratic National Convention, in which she described what it was like to wake up every morning in a White House built by slaves, with a reply that could be generously described as missing the point.

Extremely generously.

According to progressive group Media Matters, Tuesday’s edition of the O’Reilly Factor concluded with the eponymous host issuing his “Factor Tip of the Day.” O’Reilly opened his monologue by acknowledging Obama raised a “fascinating” point about history.

 “Slaves did participate in the construction of the White House,” O’Reilly said. “Records show about 400 payments made to slave masters between 1795 and 1801. In addition, free blacks, whites and immigrants also worked on the massive building. There were no illegal immigrants at that time. If you could make it here, you could stay here.”

Mentioning construction on the White House continued into the 19th century, O’Reilly then segued into a point minimizing the number of slaves required to work on the structure — and anyway, the ones who did had it pretty good for the times, right?

“Slaves that worked there were well fed and had decent lodgings provided by the government, which stopped hiring slave labor in 1802,” O’Reilly said. “However, the feds did not forbid subcontractors from using slave labor. So, Michelle Obama is essentially correct in citing slaves as builders of the White House, but there were others working as well. Got it all? There will be a quiz.”

Yeah. So, to recap, Obama does, in fact, wake up every day in a house built by slaves, but before you feel too bad for them remember: These slaves probably had great benefits. Like food.

Decades later, of course, the Civil War resulted in the ultimate repudiation of the idea the morality of slave ownership is dependent on who owns said slaves or how they were kept.

Some other conservatives have also critiqued Obama’s point, such as right-wing commentator Michelle Malkin, who argued that since the building underwent extensive renovations from 1949 to 1951, the history of the building somehow ends at that point and begins anew.


Note: SNOPES weighed in:  (ks)


WHAT’S TRUE: Recent research has uncovered that the majority of laborers responsible for the construction of the White House and other buildings in the U.S. capital were slaves.

WHAT’S FALSE: The White House wasn’t built exclusively by slaves, as other low-level laborers toiled on the project as well. (KS)



Former President Bill Clinton speaks about his wife, Hillary Clinton, at the Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center, July 26, 2016 in Philadelphia.


Former President Bill Clinton praised his wife Hillary Clinton as the “best darn change-maker I’ve met in my entire life,” just hours after she made history by becoming the first woman to be named the presidential nominee of a major political party

A Bunch Of Celebrities Made A Star-Studded Music Video For Hillary Clinton


Actress Elizabeth Banks, singer Mandy Moore, Broadway star Idina Menzel and director Rob Reiner were among the celebrities featured in a music video for an a cappella version of Rachel Platten’s “Fight Song” that aired during the 2016Democratic National Convention.

“Fight Song” has become an unofficial anthem for Clinton’s campaign. The video that aired during the DNC took inspiration from the movie “Pitch Perfect,” which stars Banks.

Watch the star-studded video above.

Even The Dad Of Pro-Trump Act ‘USA Freedom Kids’ Plans To Sue Campaign

Even The Dad Of Pro-Trump Act ‘USA Freedom Kids’ Plans To Sue Campaign

Via screen capture


The U.S.A. Freedom Kids performed at a rally for Donald Trump in Florida last January and played a song containing  lyrics which were terrifying — unless you’re pro-war.  After that, the kids were a hit, featured at media appearances, with the three pre-teen girls even telling Inside Edition that Donald told them that he planned to listen to their CD all night long. However, that cozy relationship has changed since then.

The father of one of the Freedom Kids, Jeff Popick, who authored “Freedom’s Call,”  told The Washington Post Monday that he is planning to file a lawsuit against the Trump campaign for violating its agreement with the group.

“This is not a billion-dollar lawsuit,” Popick told the Post. “I’m doing this because I think they have to do the right thing. And if this means having to go through the court system to enforce them doing the right thing, then that’s what I have to do. I’m not looking to do battle with the Trump campaign, but I have to show my girls that this is the right thing.”

Popick said that promises were made by various agents of the Trump campaign.

It started in Pensacola. When Popick first reached out to the Trump campaign about performing, he spoke with various people including former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski. His understanding from the campaign was that the Kids would make two appearances in Florida, where Popick lives. The first event didn’t come to fruition, and Popick says he asked for $2,500 in payment for the second performance, in Pensacola. The campaign made a counter-offer: How about a table where the group could presell albums? Popick took the deal.

After arriving at the venue, the group found that there was no table, and he said it ended in “complete chaos,”  adding, “They clearly had made no provisions for that.”

Afterward, Popick attempted to contact the Trump campaign to no avail. Popick said money was spent on promotional material for the table, which never existed. In addition, Popick said he lost several promotional opportunities over the confusion with his relationship with the campaign.

After Donald opted not to be featured during the Fox News debate due to friction with the network, a Trump campaign representative called Popick to see if the Freedom Kids might perform. Popick – tell me if this sounds familiar – was promised that there would be “huge” exposure for the kids from the event, so an agreement was made.

The Freedom Kids and their parents flew out to Iowa only to find a message from the campaign saying there was a change of plan. The performers attended the rally but were told not to talk to the media.

“They just were constantly coming over, wanting pictures,” Popick said of the news media. “They wanted to take pictures, they wanted to ask questions — and I had to be a real jerk.” In the end, the trip, flights, rental car and hotel were all paid by Popick.

After that, he kept reaching out “again and again and again and again,” without luck. He was passed around between staffers; calls went unreturned even after calls were promised. Emails Popick sent to the campaign (which he shared with The Post) detail the interaction between himself and the campaign and his ultimate request. “We are now asking and DEMANDING for what has been promised to us and is now long-overdue (and has been rightly earned by us); that is, a performance at the convention,” an email dated July 9 reads. “Or, be made whole.”

“These are guys that insist they’re straight shooters,” Popick said. “I’ve invested a lot of time, effort, money,” he continued, “and it’s just been complete silence.”

Popick has consulted with an attorney who believes that he has a very strong case.

Popick was a fan of the reality show star-turned GOP nominee but he’s not so sure anymore.

“At this point, my position is that I have no position, really,” Popick said. “What he’s done to my group or what he’s not done for my group doesn’t necessarily make him the best candidate, it doesn’t make him the worst candidate. I still have to mull that over. He might still be the best candidate as president of the United States — or not.”

This whole story sounds familiar. It sounds like the Trump ‘University’ scam. We’re not sure what Mr. Popick has to mull over. If a person is ripping off your kid, then you wouldn’t normally cast a vote for them but we’re not going to tell the father of the Freedom Kids how to freedom.

Stand in line, Mr. Popick. Donald has been involved in 3,500 lawsuits.

By Conover Kennard

10 things you need to know today: July 26, 2016

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images


1. Sanders forcefully endorses Clinton on convention’s first night
Powerful Democrats tried to get the party’s convention on track Mondayafter its first day was marred by a leak of internal emails that threatened party unity with signs some officials had favored Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders. First Lady Michelle Obama and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a favorite of many disenchanted progressives, called for unity in support of Hillary Clinton, and against Donald Trump. Sen. Bernie Sanders urged his supporters, many of whom earlier booed any mention of Clinton, to back her as the party’s presidential nominee, forcefully endorsing her and saying she “must become the next president of the United States.”

Source: The New York Times

2. Hostage-takers kill priest at French church
Two attackers stormed a Catholic church in northern France on Tuesday, fatally slitting the throat of a priest and injuring another hostage before being shot and killed by police. The attackers reportedly had taken the priest, two nuns, and several worshipers hostage. Prime Minister Manuel Valls called the attack “barbaric,” tweeting, “The whole of France and all Catholics are wounded. We will stand together.” The incident came as France remained on high alert after a string of terror attacks for which the Islamic State has claimed responsibility.

Source: BBC News, France 24

3. FBI investigates DNC email leak
The FBI said Monday that it was investigating the leak of thousands of internal Democratic National Committee emails. Hillary Clinton’s campaign blamed the hacking on Russia, citing evidence uncovered by two cybersecurity firms and saying Moscow was trying to help Republican nominee Donald Trump beat Clinton in this fall’s presidential election. Trump, who last week said he might not back NATO allies if Russia attacked them, called the claim a “joke.” Russia denies any involvement.

Source: Chicago Tribune, The New York Times

4. Man fatally stabs 19 at Japan home for disabled
A knife-wielding attacker killed at least 19 people at a residential care facility for disabled people on Monday in the Japanese city of Sagamihara, west of Tokyo. Another 45 people were injured, several of them seriously. Police said they had arrested a suspect, who reportedly had said he believed disabled people should be “euthanized.” They identified the alleged attacker as a 20-year-old former employee of the facility, and said he had walked into a police station and said, “I did it.”

Source: The Washington Post, BBC News

5. Turkey detains journalists as failed-coup fallout continues
Turkey on Monday issued warrants to detain 42 critical journalists on suspicion of links to the organizers of a failed July 15 coup against the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The government has rounded up more than 13,000 people in the military, judiciary, and other institutions in a crackdown since the uprising, which left 290 people dead. Ahmet Abakay, president of the Progressive Journalists’ Association, said he feared the government was launching a “witch hunt” and treating all of its critics as coup plotters.

Source: The Associated Press

6. FiveThirtyEight says Trump would be favored to win if election were held now
Statistics guru Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight website reported Mondaythat Donald Trump would be more likely than Hillary Clinton to win the presidential election if it were held today. Some polls showed Trump with a lead following his official nomination at the Republican National Convention last week. Clinton has held onto narrow leads in some surveys, but in the most recent polls Trump has edged ahead. According to FiveThirtyEight‘s “now-cast,” Trump would have a 57 percent chance of winning the Electoral College if the vote were held today, after going from a three-percentage-point deficit in national polls overall last week to a one-point lead.

Source: FiveThirtyEight

7. Al Gore endorses Hillary Clinton
Former Vice President Al Gore endorsed Hillary Clinton for presidenton Monday. He waited until the first day of the Democratic National Convention, making him one of the last big-name Democrats to get behind the party’s presumptive presidential nominee. Gore, who had declined to discuss the race in the primaries, tweeted: “I am not able to attend this year’s Democratic convention, but I will be voting for Hillary Clinton,” citing her “qualifications and experience” and urging others to back her, too.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, Twitter

8. Fed starts meeting with no rate hike expected
Federal Reserve policy makers start a two-day meeting on Tuesday, with most analysts and investors expecting no change in interest rates as the Fed waits to see how the economy does in the wake of June’s strong jobs report and the U.K.’s vote to exit the European Union. Most economists believe the Fed will avoid sending clear signals on when it plans to resume slowly raising rates after the slowdown in economic growth early this year. One economist said there’s “too much volatility” to hike rates now, but the data should be more clear by September.

Source: The Associated Press

9. Michael Jordan ends silence on violence
NBA legend Michael Jordan released a rare statement Monday about police violence against the black community. Jordan said he grieved with families of African-Americans killed by police, and with those of officers targeted by gunmen. “I know their pain all too well,” said Jordan, whose father was killed in a 1993 roadside robbery. Jordan said he was donating $1 million to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, and to the International Association of Chiefs of Police’s Institute for Community-Police Relations. “We need to find solutions that ensure people of color receive fair and equal treatment,” he said, “AND that police officers … are respected and supported.”

Source: The Undefeated

10. Solar Impulse 2 completes last leg of trip around the world
Solar Impulse 2 landed in Abu Dhabi on Monday, marking a win for clean energy by becoming the first fuel-free plane to fly around the world. Pilot Bertrand Piccard flew the last of the trip’s 17 legs, after taking turns with fellow flyer André Borschberg since the solar-powered aircraft left from the same city in March 2015. With a 236-foot wingspan, Solar Impulse 2 is wider than a Boeing 747, but it is made with carbon fiber and weighs just 5,000 pounds. Solar cells built into its wings power four motors. With a top speed of 90 miles per hour, the plane traveled 26,744 miles in 558 hours of flight time on the journey.

Source: Wired, Fox News

10 things you need to know today: July 25, 2016



1. DNC chair announces resignation after email leak shows anti-Sanders bias
Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz announced on Sunday that she would resign after this week’s party convention, following the leak of internal emails in which several party officials discussed boosting Hillary Clinton in her primary race against Sen. Bernie Sanders. The Florida congresswoman came under intense criticism after WikiLeaks released more than 19,000 leaked emails. Sanders, who had complained for months that the DNC was biased against him, said Wasserman Schultz made the “right decision” for the party by stepping down.

Source: The Washington Post, Reuters

2. Democrats launch their national convention today
Democrats kick off their national convention in Philadelphia on Monday, aiming to project the image of a party united behind Hillary Clinton as its presidential nominee. The task was made tougher and more urgent as Debbie Wasserman Schultz said she was resigning as chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee after leaked emails showed some party officials were biased against Clinton’s opponent, Sen. Bernie Sanders. Sanders said he still planned to do everything he could to defeat Donald Trump, elect Clinton, and “keep focusing on the real issues facing the American people.”

Source: The Associated Press

3. Syrian asylum seeker blows himself up outside music festival in Germany
A Syrian man who was denied asylum last year blew himself up on Sunday outside a music festival in the Bavarian town of Anspach after he was blocked from entering, German authorities said. The blast killed the 27-year-old Syrian, and injured 12 other people. The man had been in therapy twice and had tried to kill himself before, but Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann said the blast was more than “a pure suicide attempt.” The attack — the fourth in Germany in a week — fueled fresh scrutiny of Germany’s refugee policy, which has let more than a million migrants into Germany in a year.

Source: BBC News, Reuters

4. Gunman kills two at Florida nightclub
A gunman opened fire at a nightclub called Club Blu near Fort Myers, Florida, overnight, killing at least two people and wounding at least 15 others. Police responding to an emergency call found several people with gunshot wounds in the parking lot of the club, which had hosted a “swimsuit glow party” on Sunday night, according to a publicity poster. Investigators could not immediately determine a motive for the shooting. It occurred 43 days after a gunman who had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State killed 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando.

Source: USA Today, The New York Times

5. Ex-NYC mayor Bloomberg reportedly to endorse Clinton
Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg plans to endorse Hillary Clinton in a prime-time speech at the Democratic National Convention this week, an adviser, Howard Wolfson, said Sunday. Bloomberg, a Democrat until 2000, was elected as a Republican, and has since become an independent. He considered running for president as an independent but decided against it to avoid helping Republican Donald Trump to win. Bloomberg, a billionaire businessman, has chided Democrats for attacking Wall Street, but agrees with them on many issues, such as climate change.

Source: The New York Times, CNN

6. Verizon to buy Yahoo for $4.8 billion
Verizon agreed on Sunday to buy Yahoo’s core internet business and some real estate in a $4.8 billion deal. The companies formally announced the deal on Monday, ending an extended bidding process as Yahoo executives struggled to revive the struggling web pioneer. The deal marks an end to Yahoo’s 22-year run as an independent internet company, and caps a spectacular decline for the company, which once had a market capitalization of $125 billion.

Source: CNN, MarketWatch

7. Froome wins his third Tour de France
Chris Froome won the Tour de France on Sunday, becoming the first Briton to win the race three times. The 31-year-old Team Sky rider crossed the finish line in Paris almost three minutes before his closest rival, after riding for 89 hours, six minutes, and one second in the 21-stage race. Froome’s previous victories came in 2013 and 2015, and he is now the eighth rider of any nationality to win the storied event three or more times. “It’s like the first time, it’s amazing. Every time it’s special,” he said.

Source: BBC News, The Guardian

8. Suicide blast kills 21 in Baghdad
A suicide bomber killed at least 21 people in Baghdad on Sunday. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the bombing, which occurred in a predominantly Shiite Muslim neighborhood. The attack came weeks after a suicide truck bombing killed nearly 300 people in a busy shopping district in the deadliest attack in the Iraqi capital in years. The attacks come as the Sunni extremist terrorist group loses turf, with Iraqi forces next aiming to retake the northern city of Mosul, the largest city remaining under ISIS control.

Source: CNN

9. Russia dodges blanket Olympic ban over doping
The International Olympic Committee said Sunday that it would not issue a blanket ban against Russia from competing at the Rio Olympics. Instead, the IOC is leaving it up to the governing bodies of individual sports to determine whether Russians can compete in the Summer Games, which start in less than two weeks. The announcement came after an independent report found evidence of widespread state-sponsored doping among Russian Olympic athletes. Last week, Russian track and field athletes lost an appeal of a ban preventing them from competing in Rio.

Source: Reuters, CNN

10. Griffey and Piazza inducted into Baseball Hall of Fame
Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Piazza were inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday. Griffey played 22 seasons, his first 11 with the Seattle Mariners. He was a 13-time All-Star and 10-time Gold Glove Award winning center fielder. Griffey hit 630 career home runs, sixth on the all-time list. Piazza played for the Dodgers, Marlins, Mets, Padres, and Athletics over 16 years, hitting 427 home runs. Griffey, the top draft pick of 1987, was the highest pick ever inducted. Piazza, a 62nd-round pick in 1988, was the lowest pick to get in.

Source: ESPN

Warren to go on attack for Clinton

Getty Images


Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) is relishing her role as one of Hillary Clinton’s most effective attack dogs against Donald Trump.

Warren’s criticism of Trump in tweets and speeches has gotten under the Republican presidential nominee’s skin, provoking angry outbursts from the billionaire businessman.

She’s has shown a talent for irking Trump — mainly on Twitter — and moving him off message, which is something Trump’s GOP primary foes struggled to do.

Scott Ferson, a Boston-based Democratic strategist who voted for Clinton in the primary, said Warren’s attacks were effective because she knows where to aim and has the credibility to back it up.

“She knows how to hit Trump where he lives,” said Ferson. “I would have hated to be Elizabeth Warren’s younger brother.”

The liberal stalwart homed in on Trump’s business background and derogatory comments about women, labeling him a con artist who’s bilked his way into striking distance of the White House.

Soon after Trump announced Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as his running mate, Warren tweeted that the duo was a perfect match: “Two small, insecure, weak men who use hate & fear to divide our country & our people.”

Trump changed the subject and countered that Warren was a “fraud” who lied about having Native American ancestry. Warren shot back with comments about the lawsuits he faces over Trump University while defending her own credentials.

“It might blow your mind that a woman worked hard & earned a good job on her own,” she tweeted, “but it’s not the 1800s. It happens.”

Warren also joined a chorus of Democrats calling for Trump to publicly release his tax returns, implying that the real estate mogul is hiding a bombshell.

“Maybe he’s just a lousy businessman who doesn’t want you to find out he’s worth a whole lot less than he claims. We really can’t know for sure,” Warren said in a video for progressive nonprofit

And when Warren campaigned with Clinton for the first time, on June 27, she used the stage to knock Trump’s ethics.

“What kind of a man roots for people to lose their jobs, lose their homes, lose their life savings? I’ll tell you what kind of a man: a small, insecure money-grubber who fights for no one other than himself,” she said. “What kind of a man? A nasty man who will never become president of the United States.”

Democratic strategist Craig Varoga said Warren “expresses well thought-out plans in pithy sound bites.”

Trump has trouble with people attacking him, “especially a well-educated, forceful woman,” Varoga added.

Warren, a former law professor, has spent her career advocating for and proposing economic policies aimed at reining in Wall Street and big corporations and helping the middle class and the poor.

Her authenticity and credibility on economic issues could help energize people who backed Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) during the Democratic primary and persuade undecided voters to vote for Clinton.

“She’s uniquely suited to talk about economic solutions to the problems that both Trump and Sanders have identified and talked about so far,” such as bad trade deals and the struggles of the middle class, Varoga said.

Warren targeted Trump even before endorsing Clinton, and she continued as the presumptive nominee deliberated about choosing a running mate.

But Warren is unlikely to stop attacking Trump and pushing her economic message just because she won’t be the vice presidential nominee, say allies on the left.

“She’s motivated by a policy agenda she believes in,” said Adam Green, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee. “She’s not motivated by a desire to audition for a title.”

Ferson agreed, noting Warren’s past tension with Clinton gives her no reason to stick her neck out.

“She is really, really afraid of what Donald Trump will do if he becomes president,” said Ferson. “Elizabeth Warren has no reason from a personal standpoint to help Hillary Clinton.”

Warren energizes progressives and Democrats as a whole because “she is fearlessly willing to speak truth to power,” said Neil Sroka, communications director at Democracy for America. His group and MoveOn had partnered on the “Run Warren Run” campaign from December 2014 to June 2015 to encourage the senator to run for president.

Warren’s comments resonate with progressives and people across the political spectrum because she has a plain, easy-to-understand way of speaking and “her integrity is self-evident,” said MoveOn Communications Director Nick Berning.

She can also appeal to undecided voters who may be attracted to Trump’s economic message because she provides more substance, experts said.

Warren’s progressive credentials give Clinton a much-needed bridge to the left wing of her party.

Though Warren criticized Clinton’s economic stances long before she joined the Senate in 2013 and held out on an endorsement in 2016 until the former first lady had clinched the nomination, she’s insisted Clinton is the best person to fight for middle- and working-class families.

“For 25 years … the right wing has been throwing everything they possibly can at her. What she’s done is she gets back up, and she gets back in the fight,” Warren told MSNBC upon endorsing Clinton on June 9.

“You also have to be willing to throw a punch, and there are a lot of things people say about Hillary Clinton, but nobody says she doesn’t know how to throw a punch,” she said.

Warren is the “best person to raise money, excite the base and maximize turnout for the base,” said Ferson. “There’s no one who provides that excitement in the way that Elizabeth Warren does.”

By Naomi Jagoda and Sylvan Lane

Obama: dark Trump vision ‘doesn’t really jibe’ with facts

Obama: dark Trump vision ‘doesn’t really jibe’ with facts


By Ayesha Rascoe and Roberta Rampton

The dark vision of America under siege described by Donald Trump in his acceptance speech for the Republican presidential nomination does not mesh with reality, U.S. President Barack Obama said on Friday.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The dark vision of America under siege described by Donald Trump in his acceptance speech for the Republican presidential nomination does not mesh with reality, U.S. President Barack Obama said on Friday.

Obama noted that the “birds were chirping and the sun was out” for most Americans after Trump’s Thursday night speech, which expounded on the threats to America from illegal immigrants, Islamic State militants, and race-related violence.

“This idea that America is somehow on the verge of collapse, this vision of violence and chaos everywhere, doesn’t really jibe with the experience of most people,” Obama said at a White House news conference after meeting with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto.

Obama said the violent crime rate in America has been lower during his 7-1/2 years in office than any time during the last three or four decades, despite an “uptick” in murders in some cities this year, and the recent high-profile killings of black men and police officers.

The timing of Obama’s quickly arranged short meeting with Pena Nieto presented both leaders with a convenient platform from which to criticize Trump.

Just three weeks ago, Obama – who has six months left in the White House – invited the Mexican president to visit one last time before the U.S. president leaves on Jan. 20.

Trump has pledged to build a wall at the Mexico border to keep out illegal immigrants and drugs, and to force Mexico to pay for it.

The New York businessman has also promised to slap tariffs on some U.S. products made in Mexico, and seek radical changes or even discard the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between the United States, Mexico and Canada.

Pena Nieto was first to mention Trump, but said he respected both Trump and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, and would work with constructively and in good faith with whoever wins the Nov. 8 election.

In March, Pena Nieto likened Trump’s “strident tone” to the ascent of dictators Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini. But he said on Friday that he had never pointed the finger at any of the candidates, saying that anything he had said had been taken out of context.

And he stressed that the two nations’ futures were closely bound.

“The closeness between the United States and Mexico is more than a relationship between governments. It’s a solid and unbreakable relationship between millions of people who live in both nations,” Pena Nieto said.

Obama said the rate of illegal immigration is down from past decades, and praised Mexico for helping to address a flood of migrants fleeing Central America and for work on drug trafficking.

“A Mexico that has a healthy economy, a Mexico that can help us build stability and security in Central America, that’s going to do a lot more to solve any migration crisis or drug trafficking problem than a wall,” Obama said.

Obama and Pena Nieto praised the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal as addressing some of the criticisms of NAFTA. Both Trump and Clinton have said they oppose the TPP, which has yet to be ratified by the U.S. Congress.

“There are going to be different visions about where we should go as a country,” Obama said, running down a list of economic issues facing the nation.

“But we’re not going to make good decisions based on fears that don’t have a basis in fact,” he said.

(Additional reporting by Doina Chiacu, David Alexander and Eric Walsh in Washington, and Dave Graham, Ana Isabel Martinez, Adriana Barrera and Michael O’Boyle in Mexico City; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)

After a ‘disturbing incident’ on the T, questions about ‘riding while black’

In a Facebook post that had garnered more than 49,000 shares at the time of this story’s publication, Davenport described an event when her train was stalled at South Station. A conductor, who had asked a group of black teenagers to quiet down, called on MBTA police after the teens “mouthed off,” according to Davenport.

When the MBTA police arrived, they asked the teens to de-board. The teens obliged. The officers then ordered a 16-year-old boy to leave, as well.

The 16-year-old wasn’t part of the group—he told the police this, Davenport wrote, but they still ordered him off.

As I begin to put my headphones back on the police reenter the car. They look at the boy and say,

“We said everyone in the group has to get off.”

The boy says,

“I don’t know them.”

The police say,

“It’s an order. Everyone in the group has to get off.”

I collect my bags. The police looks at me and says,

“Not you. You’re not in the group.”

The police places his hand on the boys shoulder and guides him off the train. In a moment of temporary rage blindness I stand up and scream,

“He doesn’t fucking know those kids.”

The police looks at me and says,

“Is that true?”

To which I say,

“Yes, and it was true when he said it too.”

The police release the boy and he sits down across from me again. We share a moment of blankness and then tears well in both of our eyes. He waves me over to the seat next to him. He says,

“That was because I am black. Wasn’t it?”

I nod. He looks down sheepishly at his shirt and says quietly,

“I’m just happy they didn’t hurt me. That would kill my mom. And she is not someone you want to mess with.”

I say the only thing I can think,

“I’m so sorry.”

He says,

“With all that’s going on in the world I am so scared all the time.”

In a statement, MBTA Transit Police Superintendent Richard Sullivan said that he took immediate steps to understand what transpired on the stalled train at South Station. He said he reviewed public safety cameras and audio tapes and also spoke with MBTA employees and the “MBTA passenger who raised the matter.”

“My preliminary findings suggest our officers conducted themselves with a calm and professional demeanor,” Sullivan said in the statement. Those preliminary findings “suggest TPD officers requested a disorderly group of young people exit from the train with the understanding and explicit directions they would be allowed to board the next southbound train.”

He continued: “There was another young male, who was seated in close proximity to the group, who was also asked to exit the train. Once off of the train, this male explained he was not with and/or associated with the group. This was confirmed by the larger group as well as an independent passenger. At this point the young male was allowed back on the train and continued about his business.”

On Wednesday night around 9 p.m., Mercedes Farguarson said her son, Jelani, called her from the train saying that there was “some confusion,” but he didn’t want to talk about it right then. When he got home later than his curfew, he told her what happened.

Farguarson said her son was calm after sharing, but that she became angry.

“The kids were telling [the police] that they didn’t know him, and it took a white woman to get up and yell and scream and say this kid is innocent for them to leave him alone,” she said.

After finding Davenport’s Facebook post, Farguarson said she showed Davenport’s Facebook picture to Jelani, who confirmed that she was the woman who stood up for him.

Davenport said that the response to her post has been overwhelming, but she wants to reiterate that her point was to share Jelani’s story.

“I’ve been getting a lot of attention for it, but the post doesn’t have much to do with me,” she said in a phone call. “I was just reporting. … I want to make sure the focus remains on what the post is about, and Black Lives Matter, and not me.”

The Transit Police have reached out to Jelani and his mother, according to Sullivan’s statement.

“We are continuing to look into this matter and are committed to serving our riding public with the utmost dignity and respect.”

Americans are as skeptical of Black Lives Matter as they were of the Civil Rights Movement

Protesters march in Baltimore following the death of Freddy Gray in police custody (Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

VOX Identities

Three years after the Black Lives Matter movement began, not everyone understands the movement’s mission. And as evidenced during the Republican National Convention, some people like Donald Trump are invested in exploiting those misunderstandings for political points.

But the fire Trump’s igniting is fueled by a country that has historically resisted black social justice movements.

According to American National Election Studies, 57 percent of Americans in 1964 said most of black people’s actions during the Civil Rights Movement in the most recent year were violent. Sixty-three percent of Americans believed that the Civil Rights Movement was moving “too fast.” And a majority of Americans (58 percent) believed that black people’s actions for the movement hurt their own cause.

Sound familiar?

And just a reminder: Two of the key actions by civil rights activists in 1963 were the March on Washington, where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech; and “Bloody Sunday,” where Alabama state troopers brutally beat peaceful protestors attempting to march from Selma to Montgomery for their right to vote.

But Americans today share similar attitudes toward the Black Lives Matter movement.

According to the Pew Research Center, 43 percent of Americans support the Black Lives Matter movement.

Black Americans are most likely to strongly support the Black Lives Matter movement.Pew Research CenterBlack Americans are most likely to strongly support the Black Lives Matter movement.

Thirty-six percent of Americans of who have heard about Black Lives Matter don’t really understand its goals.

And Americans are split on the effectiveness of the movement in achieving racial equality in the long run: while 8 percent say Black Lives Matter will be very effective, 30 percent say Black Lives Matter will be somewhat effective, compared to 33 percent who doubt the movement’s effectiveness. The remaining 29 percent either weren’t familiar with the movement or did not provide an opinion.

 Pew Research Center

There are racial and political differences in attitudes. Forty-one percent of African Americans strongly support the movement, while white American’s attitudes seem to be split: 26 percent somewhat support the movement and 28 percent expressed opposition to it. Only 14 percent of white Americans strongly support it. But among white Americans, most white Democrats support the movement (64 percent) compared to white Republicans, most of whom oppose the movement (52 percent).

Without a doubt, Trump is propelling himself to victory as 2016’s “law and order” candidate and pledging to “Make America Safe Again” by mischaracterizing the Black Lives Matter movement, the most pressing racial justice movement of our time. But it would also be inaccurate to say that Americans haven’t done the same with similarly necessary black-led social justice movements of the past. (Emphasis are mine – ks)