What to Know
- When Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam refused to resign, he did so in the shadow of a Capitol built by a founding father and a slave owner
- The Pentagon said it will send 3,750 more troops to the US-Mexico border to put up another 150 miles of concertina wire and provide support
- Grammy-nominated rapper 21 Savage was taken into federal immigration custody, authorities say
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Blackface Scandal Spotlights Deeply Embedded Racism in US
When Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam refused to resign last week, he did so in the shadow of a Capitol built by a founding father and a slave owner, in the former seat of the Confederacy still wrestling with what to do about statues that honor those who fought to preserve slavery. The 35-year-old photo on his yearbook page of a person in blackface and another person in a Ku Klux Klan robe has brought about a stunning reversal of fortune in Northam's political career and laid bare for the nation just how deeply racist behavior remains interwoven in American culture, institutions and politics. In rejecting calls to step down, the 59-year-old white son of Virginia came across to many African-Americans as displaying a sense of white privilege. "What we have learned over the last 24 hours along with all the incidents of the last two years brings front and center the need for this nation to deal with the question of race once and for all," NAACP President Derrick Johnson said in an interview Saturday. "Because we have (President Donald) Trump in the White House, who has created a political landscape of intolerance and racial hatred, this has exposed a wound that has been festering for a while now." The incident came on the first day of Black History Month and as Virginians prepare to mark the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first enslaved Africans to the settlement of Jamestown.
3,750 Additional Troops to the Southern Border, Pentagon Says
The Pentagon said it will send 3,750 more troops to the U.S.-Mexico border to put up another 150 miles of concertina wire and provide other support for Customs and Border Protection. The additions will bring the total number of active-duty troops on the border to 4,350. The announcement is in line with what Acting Defense Secretary Pat Shanahan had said when he provided estimates for the next phase of a military mission that has grown in size and length. Critics have derided it as a political ploy by the White House as President Trump seeks billions to build a border wall. Shanahan said several thousand more troops would be sent mainly to install additional wire barriers and provide a large new system of mobile surveillance and monitoring of the border area. The announcement said the mobile surveillance mission would last through Sept. 30.
Rapper 21 Savage in Federal Immigration Custody in Georgia
Grammy-nominated rapper 21 Savage was taken into federal immigration custody, authorities say. The artist, whose given name is Sha Yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, was arrested in a targeted operation in the Atlanta area involving local and federal law enforcement officers, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman Bryan Cox said in an emailed statement. Abraham-Joseph is a British citizen who overstayed his visa and is also has a felony conviction, Cox said. "We are working diligently to get Mr. Abraham-Joseph out of detention while we work with the authorities to clear up any misunderstandings," lawyer Dina LaPolt said without elaborating. Abraham-Joseph is a role model to young people in the U.S., especially in Atlanta, LaPolt said.
Maroon 5 Underwhelms With Super Bowl Halftime Show
Maroon 5 did send some messages, just not the ones people were looking for. Maroon 5 and lead vocalist Adam Levine’s halftime performance at the Super Bowl in Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium didn't reach the heights of other recent halftime shows. And instead of addressing an ongoing controversy in the NFL — whether players should be able to kneel during the national anthem — it reopened up an older one. The show kicked off with fireworks bursting from a stage designed like the letter "M," as the band opened with "Harder to Breathe" and worked through other hits like "Misery" and "This Love." Levine then entered the crowd as he sang the band’s iconic ballad, “She Will Be Loved.” But Levine seemed to emphasize his own sex appeal more than any specific messages as he cast off his shirt and bared his many tattoos as he sang "Moves Like Jagger."