A picture of George Floyd on a fence that surrounds the Hennepin County Government Center where former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is on trial
A picture of George Floyd on a fence that surrounds the Hennepin County Government Center where former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is on trial
(This article contains some light spoilers for the new Amazon horror series “Them”) Amazon’s “Them,” from creator Little Marvin, tells the story of a Black family from North Carolina who moves to Los Angeles in 1953 after they suffer an unimaginable tragedy. The Emorys have family out there, and they’re hoping things will be better for them out there in Southern California. Unfortunately, troubles arises when they move into what was otherwise an all-white neighborhood — and the white folks who live there are extremely unhappy about having Black neighbors. And so they do a lot of bad stuff to the Emorys, who also have some other literal demons to deal with since this is a horror show. The Emorys that we see on “Them” are not real people, and this is not a true story. But it is firmly rooted in actual history. “Them” puts a horror lens on stuff like racist covenants, predatory lending, redlining — it is, in a lot of ways, a big picture examination of the shape of institutional racism in America in the 20th Century. It’s got a focus on housing in particular, but it’s certainly not limited to that topic. Also Read: 'For All Mankind': Margot Really Needs to Stop Talking to Aleida Like That As we see at the very beginning of the first episode, the Emorys’ move across the country was part of a major trend in the mid-20th Century, when millions of Black families moved out of the South and into other parts of the country. But while things may have been overall better in general in California, that doesn’t mean there wasn’t still plenty of racism to go around out there. The beginning of the fifth episode, dubbed “COVENANT I,” gives you a partial overview of the racist mid-20th Century housing situation. In this scene, a bunch of bankers discuss the way they use dramatically unfair policies to create neighborhoods full of Black people who are paying outrageous interest rates on their homes. Interest rates that are much, much higher than what the white people have to pay. The country was still a long way away from the Fair Housing Act of 1968 — though that hardly put an end to racist housing discrimination. This scene is just part of the story. The Federal Housing Administration in the first half of the 20th Century enacted overtly racist policies with the specific goal of segregating neighborhoods and keep people of color out of white neighborhoods. Though they tried to use what they presumably thought was well-meaning language — “incompatible racial groups should not be permitted to live in the same communities” — it’s not difficult at all to see what they were doing. Also Read: Incel Captain America Is So Perfect In the scene I mentioned above, we see maps of Los Angeles with the neighborhoods assigned a color based on “residential security.” Areas in red are “hazardous” — and red areas, not at all coincidentally, also represent Black neighborhoods. This is something called “redlining,” and it had a larger tangible effect than just what we see here. That’s because that map doesn’t belong to the banks represented in this scene. It was an official government map. And the FHA would not insure mortgages for homes in the areas shaded in red. Which, in essence and function, meant Black people had (and still have) a much harder time getting mortgages than white people, and when they were able to, they paid much higher interest rates to offset the increased risk of uninsured loans. Without insurance on the loan, the bank would issue a predatory mortgage with interest so high that the standard monthly payments won’t even cover the interest, locking them into a lifetime of debt because they’ll never be able to afford to actually pay down the loan at all unless they start making a whole lot more money. Which isn’t too likely given all the other ways American racism manifests. And then on top of all that, the banks themselves were racist and just generally favored white people, and were happy to exploit Black folks. The story of the Emorys on “Them” appears to actually be something a little bit different, and an example of another racist trick the banks used to pull. When Lucky (Deborah Ayorinde) goes to the bank to try to get the ball rolling on selling the house because the neighbors are so racist, the woman there tells her it isn’t possible. “It’s not a lease in the technical sense. There’s no bank mortgage, and the debt is amortized without any accrual of equity,” she tells Lucky. What the Emorys bought is a contract. The bank buys the house from another bank, keeps the deed, and then basically rents it out under awful, unforgiving terms with the promise that the family will only own it once the debt is paid in full. Which, as mentioned above, probably won’t ever happen because the terms are structured to prevent them from ever being able to. And also the Emorys don’t get any of the wealth accrual benefits of owning a home, because they don’t actually own it. This is basically a rent-to-own scheme, but much worse. Also Read: So Who Actually Won in 'Godzilla vs Kong'? On top of that, we have the covenant. In the Emorys’ agreement with the bank, there’s a pretty weird provision: “No lot in said tract shall be sold, rented or leased to any persons whose blood is not entirely that of the Caucasian race. No persons of Negro blood or heritage shall occupy the premises, notwithstanding domestic servants actually employed by a person of the Caucasian race.” These racist covenants were also a thing, and they were made illegal in 1948 in the court case Shelley v. Kraemer when the Supreme Court declared such nonsense as violations of the 14th Amendment, which claims to guarantee equal protection under the law. So the woman from the bank isn’t just messing with the Emorys when she says those covenants aren’t enforceable. And, yes, Compton had some of these covenants in place back in the day. In the present, Compton is quite ethnically diverse. But, as it is on “Them,” it wasn’t always the case. In the early days of the 20th Century the town was actually an enclave of Japanese-American folks — but the government put them all in concentration camps during World War II, leaving the neighborhood mostly white. The demographics began to change in the 1950s. To the north of Compton is Watts, already a predominantly Black neighborhood in the early 1950s. As the Black population of Los Angeles grew, some families moved into nearby West Compton. East Compton was much slower to change, and it stayed mostly white for a couple more decades. So while “Them” is not “based on a true story” in the traditional sense, it is definitely has its basis on many, many real things that many Black people have in the past experienced and still experience to this day. Creator Little Marvin and co. crafted an original horror tale, but it’s a tale rooted in real suffering. Read original story Is the Amazon Series ‘Them’ Based on a True Story? At TheWrap
Djibouti’s President Ismail Omar Guelleh won a fifth five-year term on Saturday after an election boycotted by most of the opposition, securing over 97% of the votes cast, official data from the Interior Ministry on Saturday showed. Friday's vote pitted only one challenger against the incumbent - relative newcomer Zakaria Ismail Farah. The Interior Ministry data showed that he came second with 2.48% of the 177,391 votes cast.
British authorities have implored people to stay away from royal palaces as they mourn the death of Prince Philip in this time of COVID-19, but they keep coming. Not just to honor him, but to support Queen Elizabeth II, who lost her husband of 73 years. A cross-section of British society and admirers from abroad descended on Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle on Saturday.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic set up two first-half goals before being sent off after an hour as 10-man AC Milan beat Parma 3-1 on Saturday to boost their Champions League hopes.
Canadian Corey Conners aced the 180-yard par-3 sixth hole at Augusta National in Saturday's third round of the 85th Masters, the second hole-in-one of the tournament.
Sarah Gorden said Dash players were allowed to talk closely with their families following Friday's game.
The FBI have arrested a man who was allegedly planning to blow up an Amazon data center in an effort to”kill of about 70% of the internet.” Seth Aaron Pendley, 28, was arrested on Thursday after attempting to purchase an explosive device from an undercover FBI agent in Texas, according to the Department of Justice. The operation came about after the agency was tipped off about Pendley’s online behavior and statements. Pendley had previously bragged about attending the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol building and claimed he “brought a sawed-off AR rifle to D.C., but left the weapon in his car during his movement to the Capitol,” according to the DoJ. Also Read: Chris Pratt's 'The Tomorrow War' Picked Up by Amazon, Sets July Release Under the screen name “Dionysus,” Pendley said he was planning something “dangerous” that would “draw a lot of heat,” the DOJ said. Pendley later responded to another user, telling them his desired outcome was “death.” He later told undercover FBI agents that he would target an Amazon data center he believed to be providing services to government agencies. He met with the undercover agent on Thursday for what he believed to be an explosives sale and was arrested by the FBI. He has been charged with a malicious attempt to destroy a building with an explosive and faces up to 20 years in prison if conviced. Also Read: Naomi Watts to Star in 'Goodnight Mommy' English Remake at Amazon “We are indebted to the concerned citizen who came forward to report the defendant’s alarming online rhetoric. In flagging his posts to the FBI, this individual may have saved the lives of a number of tech workers,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Prerak Shah. “We are also incredibly proud of our FBI partners, who ensured that the defendant was apprehended with an inert explosive device before he could inflict real harm. The Justice Department is determined to apprehend domestic extremists who intend to commit violence, no matter what political sentiment drives them to do so.” “The FBI’s highest priority is ensuring public safety and we thoroughly investigate all credible threats,” said Dallas Special Agent in Charge Matthew J. DeSarno. “We continually ask the public to report suspicious or threatening behavior to law enforcement, and in this instance, that vigilance may have prevented injuries and the destruction of property.” Read original story FBI Arrests Capitol Riot Attendee Who Planned to Bomb Amazon Data Center At TheWrap
Chelsea boosted their bid to finish in the Premier League's top four as Kai Havertz and Christian Pulisic starred in a 4-1 win at Crystal Palace on Saturday.
At least 82 people were killed in one day in a crackdown by Myanmar security forces on pro-democracy protesters, according to reports Saturday from independent local media and an organization that keeps track of casualties since the military’s February seizure of power. Friday’s death toll in Bago was the biggest one-day total for a single city since March 14, when just over 100 people were killed in Yangon, the country’s biggest city. Bago is about 100 kilometers (60 miles) northeast of Yangon.
Milan eased into a comfortable two-goal lead at the break thanks to goals from Ante Rebic in the eighth minute -- a strike that was brilliantly set up by Ibrahimovic -- and a fine Franck Kessie finish on the stroke of halftime. Milan's task became much more difficult just before the hour mark, however, as out of the blue, Ibrahimovic was given a straight red card for something he said to the referee, much to the Swede's bemusement.
Nikki Grahame, star of “Big Brother” and “Princess Nikki,” died Friday morning. She was 38. The reality TV star’s death was confirmed to Variety by her agent, Freddy White. Her close friend Leon Dee first shared the news on a GoFundMe page set up to raise money for Grahame’s anorexia treatment. According to the GoFundMe, […]
Rachael Blackmore, 31, on Saturday became the first woman jockey to win the Grand National, coming home clear on Minella Times.
Buckingham Palace has released details of the funeral of Britain's Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth's husband who died on Friday aged 99.The prince will have a ceremonial funeral on Saturday April 17 - without any public access or public procession.It will take place at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle and will begin with a national minute of silence. Philip's son and heir-to-the-throne, Prince Charles, and other members of the royal family will take part in the procession on foot behind the coffin.PRINCE CHARLES: "My dear Papa was a very special person who I think above all else would have been amazed by the reaction and the touching things that have been said about him and from that point of view we are, my family, deeply grateful for all that. It will sustain us in this particular loss and at this particularly sad time."The funeral will be broadcast live and will be followed by two weeks of royal mourning by the family.Prince Harry plans to attend - though his pregnant wife, Meghan, has be advised not to by her physician - who said she should avoid traveling.In line with government COVID-19 guidelines, the guest list for the funeral will be limited to 30 - and attendees will be required to wear masks.
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Michael Sanchez — who is suing American Media for defamation related to the story outing Jeff Bezos’ affair with his sister, Lauren Sanchez — believes a recent declaration by a former AMI employee proves that he was not the source of the photos. Michael Sanchez sued AMI (now rebranded as A360 Media) last year after the National Enquirer publisher said he was the main source for its story about the Bezos affair and “provided all of the materials” for its investigation, including racy photos of Bezos. Sanchez has maintained he only confirmed the story and did not provide the photos. Earlier this week, a declaration by Nikolaos Tzima Hatziefstathiou said that it was Patrick Whitesell — the executive chairman of Endeavor, who was married to Lauren Sanchez at the time of her affair with Bezos — who was the initial source of the story. Whitesell denied that claim. Also Read: National Enquirer Paid Brother of Jeff Bezos' Mistress Lauren Sanchez $200,000 for His Text Messages (Report) In an exclusive statement to TheWrap, Michael Sanchez’s attorney, Tom Warren, said, “The AMI whistleblower confirmed what Michael Sanchez has always maintained — he was not AMI’s sole source, the story was already in the can before the Enquirer even reached out to him, and however AMI got its hands on the ‘below-the-belt selfie’ it used to try to blackmail Mr. Bezos, it did not come from Mr. Sanchez. We look forward to reviewing the 10 terabytes of additional evidence in the possession of the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office.” In early 2019, shortly after Bezos and MacKenzie Scott announced their divorce, the National Enquirer exposed the Amazon founder’s affair with Sanchez, a TV host and helicopter pilot, based on text messages and racy photos sent between the two that it had obtained. Bezos accused the National Enquirer of trying to blackmail him into dropping an investigation into how the tabloid obtained his personal text messages and photos with Sanchez. He hired an investigator to find out how the texts and photos found their way to the tabloid, and whether the publication was seeking revenge for reporting done by the Washington Post, which is owned by Bezos. In an essay for the Daily Beast, Bezos’ investigator, Gavin De Becker, said the result of that investigation “concluded with high confidence” that Saudi Arabia was behind the leak. Read original story Bezos-Enquirer Update: Michael Sanchez Says Whistleblower Proves He Wasn’t the Only Leaker (Exclusive) At TheWrap
Two rare white Bengal tigers from Argentina are due to arrive Saturday at a spacious sanctuary in the US state of Colorado in hopes of a "better quality of life," their space-challenged Eco-park in Buenos Aires said.
Swansea City's 3-0 victory at Millwall earlier on Saturday meant Norwich could not secure promotion at Pride Park but Daniel Farke's side retained their eight-point advantage at the top after Kieran Dowell scored the game's only goal with a free kick in the 21st minute. Norwich next face Bournemouth on April 17 but they could guarantee top-flight promotion before kickoff if fourth-placed Swansea drop points against either Sheffield Wednesday or Wycombe Wanderers and Brentford fail to beat Millwall.
Rachael Blackmore became the first female jockey to win the Grand National on Saturday, coming home clear on Minella Times in the world's most gruelling steeplechase which was first staged in 1839.
Prince Harry will travel solo to the April 17 funeral.
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