Billy Joel Dons Yellow Star Of David At MSG As U.S. Neo-Nazi Activity Grows

first_imgLast night, Billy Joel returned to Madison Square Garden for the first time since the end of Phish’s Baker’s Dozen run. For his Monday performance, Billy Joel made a bold anti-Nazi statement, attaching a yellow Star of David to his lapel and the back of his blazer. The Star of David that Joel donned harkens back to the Holocaust when Nazis forced Jews to identify themselves as a lead-up to the Nazi-led concentration camps that killed six million Jews in Europe.Self-described as “culturally Jewish” and born to Jewish parents, Joel’s act was a strong statement against the rising neo-Nazi and white supremacist movements growing in the United States. In the past, Joel has gone on the record as saying that he doesn’t appreciate political messaging during concerts. In June, the famous 68-year-old musician told Rolling Stone, “I try to stay out of politics. I am a private citizen and I have a right to believe in my own political point of view, but I try not to get up on a soapbox and tell people how to think.”However, Joel’s wordless actions on Monday night were a clear change of heart, perhaps spurred by the “Unite the Right” rally of white supremacists and neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, Virginia, last weekend that left one counter-protesters dead and many others injured. The yellow Star of David that Joel donned harken back to the Holocaust— the Nazis forced Jews in Germany and Nazi-occupied territories to wear Stars of David or armbands for identification, with those who failed or refused to wear such garments facing severe punishment including death. This act of mass public identification less than one hundred years ago came ahead of the horrific mass-murder of six million Jews in Nazi concentration camps.Statement from Alexa Ray Joel, Billy Joel’s daughter [H/T People]; Cover photo: Myrna Suarez via Katie Lee’s Instagram]last_img read more

Stein receives Viscardi Award disability rights work

first_img Read Full Story Harvard Law School Visiting Professor Michael Ashley Stein ’88 was awarded the 2013 Viscardi Award, which honors people living with disabilities for their work and influence in the global disability community.With Harvard Law School Professor William Alford ‘77, Stein co-founded the Harvard Law School Project on Disability, which works to promote the human rights of people with disabilities worldwide. (See profile of HPOD, “Able Lawyering,” in the Summer 2011 Harvard Law Bulletin.) Stein is Executive Director of the Project.The Cabell Professor of Law at the William & Mary School of Law, Stein is one of the world’s foremost experts on disability law and rights. He participated in the drafting of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, works with disabled persons organizations around the world, actively consults with international governments on their disability laws and policies, and advises a number of United Nations bodies.The Viscardi Award is named after Dr. Henry Viscardi, Jr., one of the world’s leading advocates for people with disabilities. The March 4 award announcement coincides with the 80th anniversary of the inauguration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who as a member of the disability community was among the most influential figures of the 20th century and one of eight presidents whom Viscardi advised during his lifetime.Read more on the Harvard Law School website.last_img read more

Trump and allies spew election fraud vomit faster than social media platforms can clean it up

first_imgAt one point on Wednesday, Eric, White House Press Sec. Kayleigh McEnany, and other Trumpers decided they would simply call Pennsylvania for Trump.“VICTORY for President @realDonaldTrump in PENNSYLVANIA!!” McEnany declared in a tweet that Twitter later flagged, writing, “Official sources may not have called the race when this was Tweeted.”Again, why not simply block that tweet? No one except the voices in Trump’s head had called Pennsylvania for him.- Advertisement – The site’s Twitter account worked in real time to fact check false claims spreading on Twitter, such as the notion that Trump still led Michigan.xSocial media users are sharing a link to the Michigan election night reporting website to incorrectly claim that Donald Trump still leads the state. Although this is the official site, the website is updated from local results and appears to lag behind other reporting outlets. pic.twitter.com/la2HwzZudr— Election Integrity Partnership (@2020Partnership) November 5, 2020Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, ranking member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said the social media platforms had failed to limit the reach of Trump’s propaganda machine.“With every policy the platforms belatedly announce, we’ve continued to see Trump and his allies flout and circumvent them,” he said in a statement. “The consequences here are dire: As the President and his campaign grow more desperate, they are willing to spread even more inflammatory and dangerous falsehoods, with the very real possibility of prompting violence.”But Trump’s reach also went beyond social media, with the campaign pelting supporters with some 9 million texts between midnight and midday Wednesday, according to the Post. Their main claim raised alarms about a stolen election paired with a fundraising ask to support the legal battles ahead.The bottom line is, anyone who’s ceaselessly willing to lie and spread disinformation in this digital age can find a way to do that, particularly if their supporters rely on a single news source or a narrow universe of likeminded outlets to get their information. But social media platforms continue to complicate the matter, amplifying the very lies they are supposedly aiming to control. xANY VOTE THAT CAME IN AFTER ELECTION DAY WILL NOT BE COUNTED!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 5, 2020In some cases, retweets by Trump and Co. have been so flagrantly false they’ve led to the suspension of the accounts from which they originated. That’s what happened when Eric Trump retweeted video from a QAnon conspiracy account claiming to show the ballots of Trump voters being burned, according to The Washington Post. In actuality, those ballots were sample ballots and it was simply a wild hoax intended to inflame Trump supporters, who always seem just a hair trigger away from violent fury.- Advertisement – Twitter’s failures aside, Trump and his associates are now building upon the voter fraud narrative they have been plugging for months to attack the counting process. “They’ve shifted their tactics, after months-long attacks on voting by mail, to saying that the voting process and the vote-tallying process is rigged,” said Joan Donovan, director of the Technology and Social Change Research Project at Harvard’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy. “They are priming the public, and laying the groundwork for legal challenges to mail-in voting and to the voting processes.”Even as social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook have raced to respond to the firehouse of Trumpian disinformation, much of it still circulated to tens of thousands of people. “Tweets from the president that Twitter had labeled around Election Day had been shared more than 156,000 times by Wednesday evening,” wrote the Post, citing data from the Election Integrity Partnership.- Advertisement – – Advertisement –last_img read more