Top 5 Live-WURD Monday July 20
1. Trump questions McCain’s bravery
Donald Trump ignited a political firestorm by questioning whether Sen. John McCain — who spent five years as a prisoner during the Vietnam War — is a war hero.
Asked by ABC News whether he owes McCain an apology, Trump said: “No, not at all.”
“People that fought hard and weren’t captured and went through a lot, they get no credit. Nobody even talks about them. They’re like forgotten. And I think that’s a shame, if you want to know the truth,” Trump said Sunday.
“People that were not captured that went in and fought, nobody talks about them. Those are heroes also,” he said.
Trump also compared the criticism he’s faced from Republican presidential contenders to the blowback his comments on undocumented immigrants from Mexico.
“I brought illegal immigration to the forefront. I believe now I’m bringing the veterans — the plight of the veterans — to the forefront,” Trump said.
2. KKK, Black Justice group clash in S.C. capitol
Hundreds of people taunted each other on the grounds of the South Carolina Statehouse during separate rallies staged by two groups from outside the state. There were numerous reports of fights and other scuffles, although police have released few details of those kinds of incidents.
Black Educators for Justice, based in Jacksonville, Florida, held a rally Saturday on the north side of the Statehouse, where the Confederate flag was removed earlier this month. Later, the North Carolina-based Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan held a rally on the opposite side of the building to protest the flag’s removal.
The S.C. Department of Public Safety estimated the crowd at approximately 2,000. Five people were arrested and 23 people needed medical attention, many of them for heat-related illnesses.
The two groups were involved in several skirmishes during the rallies, according to The Washington Post. At one point, police stopped a group of protesters from burning a Confederate flag that they had seized.
3. More from the Bill Cosby deposition
Comedian Bill Cosby, who faces accusations that he drugged and sexually assaulted women in incidents dating back years, described himself in a deposition from a decade ago as adept at picking up on cues about sex, the New York Times reported.
A judge this month released a document with excerpts from the deposition that included Cosby’s admission that he obtained Quaaludes with the intent of giving it to young women to have sex with them. The Times has since obtained further details.
In the deposition, Cosby described the sexual encounter with the plaintiff as consensual, according to the newspaper. The woman accused him of drugging and molesting her.
“I walk her out. She does not look angry. She does not say to me, don’t ever do that again,” Cosby said in the deposition, according to the newspaper.
“She doesn’t walk out with an attitude of a huff, because I think that I’m a pretty decent reader of people and their emotions in these romantic sexual things, whatever you want to call them,” he said.
4. Phila. looks into Pay for Success model for transitional work program for ex-inmates
In Philadelphia, where the prison population is over capacity and 40 percent of those released go back to jail within a year, city officials say they want to invest in a program like the Center for Employment Opportunities, which helped New Yorker Douglas Duncan to turn his life around after prison.
Philadelphia wants to fund it by tapping private investors who would cover the cost and be paid back by the government only if the program succeeds.
If it falls short, those investors, not taxpayers, would take the loss.
The model is known as Pay for Success, and such programs are being used to target teen pregnancy in Washington, and to reduce homelessness in Cleveland.
If the programs hit their goals, the investors would get their money back, plus an additional return paid from what the government saves through reduced use of beds in prisons or homeless shelters.
5. Black lives matter protesters take over Democratic presidential event
A town hall for liberal activists featuring two Democratic presidential candidates was interrupted by dozens of demonstrators on Saturday who shouted down the contenders and demanded they address criminal justice issues and police brutality.
Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders planned to attend a public sit-down interview with journalist Jose Antonio Vargas in front of a left-leaning crowd here at the annual Netroots Nation conference, a gathering of progressives, when the tone of the program shifted just a few minutes into the event.
O’Malley was answering questions from Vargas on stage when dozens of boisterous conference attendees flooded through a side door and shouted down the White House contender.
“What side are you on my people?” they sang in unison as they approached.
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Solomon Jones is an Essence bestselling author and award-winning columnist. He is the creator and editor of Solomonjones.com and morning host on 900 am WURD radio. Click here to learn more about Solomon