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Infiltrating the ‘BlacKkKlansman’ story

(31 Jul 2018) Spike Lee’s latest movie “BlacKkKlansman” is based on a book by Ron Stallworth, an African-American detective who infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan. At the film’s New York premiere, stars John David Washington (who plays Stallworth) and Topher Grace (who takes on the role of former KKK leader David Duke) talked about channeling their real-life counterparts onscreen. (July 31)

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Jason Kessler Is Trying To Lead Another White Supremacist Rally In Charlottesville (HBO)

Jason Kessler organized the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville last August. It was the largest white nationalist rally in decades, and it was violent — leaving one dead and many injured. And now, Kessler wants to organize an anniversary rally.

So who is this guy, and why would he want to try this again?

Alt right leaders now say they didn’t really ask that question themselves the first time around. Kessler is 34, lives in Charlottesville, and, according to allegations in court papers, has been employed twice in the last seven years, for five months each time. His website says that before activism, Kessler “did various working class jobs from dishwasher and gym technician to truck driver and handyman.”

He wasn’t always a far-right activist. Kessler says he attended one Occupy Wall Street event, and voted for Barack Obama. But in early 2016, Kessler became interested in white identity politics, and later that year, launched a fight against an African-American member of the Charlottesville city council. He attended a tiki torch rally in Charlottesville in May 2017 that was a kind of preview of his own.

The Unite the Right rally was hyped across the white supremacist internet. But Kessler’s support dissolved quickly.

He was denounced for a crass tweet about the counter-protester who died in Charlottesville, and he fought with alt right leaders over his decision to hold a press conference, alone, the day after the rally. (He was chased by a mob.) Then he fought with co-organizer Eli Mosley over planning, optics, and who might be secretly Jewish.

Various alt right leaders have warned others to stay away from Unite the Right 2. That includes Chris Cantwell, who’s been banned from the state of Virginia for five years after pleading guilty to assault and battery. Cantwell recently told VICE News, “Jason is completely incapable of handling this, and it’s way too fucking dangerous.”

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London Breed Elected New Mayor of San Francisco

San Francisco has elected London Breed to become the city’s first African-American woman mayor. It was a close election, with the results coming more than a week after election day. She takes office next month. (June 14)

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In rap milestone, Kendrick Lamar wins Pulitzer for music

Kendrick Lamar becomes the first rapper to win the Pulitzer Prize for Music, a milestone for which the board cited his skill in telling the African American experience.

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Today in History for April 15th

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Highlights of this day in history: The Titanic sinks off the coast of Newfoundland; President Abraham Lincoln dies; Jackie Robinson becomes first African American player in Major League Baseball; US launches air raid against Libya; Cambodian Communist revolutionary Pol Pot dies; Punk rocker Joey Ramone dies at age 49. (April 15)

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Sacramento Police Shooting & Russian Mall Fire: VICE News Tonight Full Episode (HBO)

This is the March 29, 2018 FULL EPISODE of VICE News Tonight on HBO.

3:38 Newly minted Sacramento police chief Daniel Hahn is the city’s first African-American police chief. After 22-year-old Stephon Clark was gunned down by Sacramento police officers, Hahn’s leadership has been put to the test.

7:57 On April 2nd, Oklahoma public school teachers plan to protest budget cuts with a statewide walkout. VICE News speaks to lawmakers about the viability of their demands, and visits with the Bartlesville School District to see their grassroots organizing in action.

14:27 VICE News visits the Siberian city of Kemerovo where a deadly blaze at a mall killed 64 people on Sunday, 41 of them children.

17:35 VICE News examines Trumps new VA Secretary Admiral Ronny Jackson

19:58 Jeff Goldblum fact checks the internet on Jeff Goldblum, for VICEpedia. Goldblum stars in Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs, opening wide April 6.

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Afro-American blues man has conversations with KKK members

African American blues musician Daryl Davis has spent the past 30 years meeting with members of the Klu Klux Klan, asking them, “how can you hate him if you don’t even know me?” He claims more than 200 Klan members have left the extreme right-wing group after these meetings. Some have left their KKK robes as a souvenir of the decision he helped them make.

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‘Wrinkle in Time’ cast celebrate world’s ‘multicolored glory’

“Wrinkle in Time” cast and director on shattering glass ceilings and following the record-setting “Black Panther.” Director Ava DuVernay is the first African-American woman to direct a $100 million budget film. (Feb. 27)

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DuVernay: ‘There’s still a lot of work to do’

At the Los Angeles premiere of “A Wrinkle in Time,” Ava DuVernay discusses being the first African-American woman to direct a $100 million budget film, while stars Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Chris Pine talk about the movie’s cultural importance. (Feb. 27)

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