Biden revokes Trump executive order for sculpture garden of ‘American Heroes’

Joe Biden
President Joe Biden.

  • President Biden revoked Trump’s executive order for a sculpture garden of “American Heroes.”
  • Trump felt that a garden would blunt attempts to “erase our heroes, values and entire way of life.”
  • Biden has issued a slew of executive orders since taking office in January.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

President Joe Biden on Friday revoked several key executive orders issued by former President Donald Trump, notably the sculpture garden of “American Heroes” that the former president proposed on Independence Day last year in a nod to culturally conservative voters.

Biden scrapped Trump’s vision of a “National Garden of American Heroes,” which would have included statues of “historically significant Americans” and rose out of what many Republicans felt was an attempt to tear down monuments during the racial reckoning that followed the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis last May.

Trump’s now-revoked order decried “dangerous anti-American extremism” and emphasized that the garden would be “America’s answer to this reckless attempt to erase our heroes, values, and entire way of life.”

The garden was slated to include a vast array of historical and cultural figures, from Crispus Attucks and Neil Armstrong to Amelia Earhart and Whitney Houston. Other figures that were set to be featured in the garden included Christopher Columbus, Harriet Tubman, former President Ronald Reagan, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, among others.

Existing statues of Columbus were targeted by protestors across the country last year, much to the ire of many conservatives.

Read more: How Marjorie Taylor Green became the Voldemort of Congress. Few lawmakers even want to say her name.

Biden also rescinded an order issued last June that directed the Department of Justice to prioritize prosecutions for individuals who vandalized federal monuments.

“These statues are silent teachers in solid form of stone and metal,” the now-rescinded order read. “They preserve the memory of our American story and stir in us a spirit of responsibility for the chapters yet unwritten. These works of art call forth gratitude for the accomplishments and sacrifices of our exceptional fellow citizens who, despite their flaws, placed their virtues, their talents, and their lives in the service of our Nation.”

Trump’s orders came during a summer that was defined by protests against the legacy of discrimination against Black Americans in the United States.

The Black Lives Matter movement was elevated to national prominence for much of the year, and its push to address racial inequities throughout the country became a rallying cry for conservatives who disagreed with the premise of systemic racism.

Trump, who was vehemently opposed to the toppling or removal of Confederate monuments while in office, decried such actions as an erasure of American history.

Biden has issued over 40 executive orders since assuming the presidency in January, from halting the Keystone XL pipeline project to canceling two of Trump’s actions on refugees.

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Over half of Trump voters agree with the Derek Chauvin guilty verdict, poll says

Derek Chauvin is guilty
Derek Chauvin is guilty.

  • A new CBS News/YouGov poll showed that over half of Trump supporters agreed with the Derek Chauvin conviction.
  • Chauvin was convicted of murdering George Floyd in Minneapolis last year.
  • Among all respondents, 75 percent felt that the jury made the right decision in convicting Chauvin.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

More than half of supporters of former President Donald Trump agreed with the guilty verdict for former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin, who was convicted in the murder of George Floyd, according to a new CBS News/YouGov poll.

In the poll, 49 percent of respondents who backed Trump in 2020 disagreed with the guilty verdict, while a slim majority of Trump voters – 51 percent – agreed with the jury’s decision.

Among voters who backed President Joe Biden in 2020, 94 percent supported the guilty verdict, compared to six percent who disagreed with the conviction.

Among all Republicans, 54 percent agreed with the decision, while 46 percent felt that the guilty verdict was wrong.

Democratic respondents overwhelmingly backed the guilty verdict – 90 percent felt that the conviction was the right decision, while 10 percent disagreed with the jury’s decision.

Seventy-five percent of Independent respondents agreed with the verdict, while 25 percent disagreed.

Among all respondents, 75 percent indicated that the jury made the right decision in convicting Chauvin, while 25 percent disagreed with the decision.

Chauvin, who was found guilty of murder and manslaughter following Floyd’s death, faces up to 40 years in prison.

Read more: This millennial GOP congressman voted to impeach Trump. Now he’s trying to save his party from going off a cliff.

The case reignited the state of policing in America and led to racial reckoning among numerous elements of American society, from the US government and corporate boardrooms to public schools and local municipalities.

The Black Lives Matter movement, which has been a major force for civil rights in recent years, became even more prominent in the public discourse.

Biden, who has offered his spiritual support to the Floyd family, received a favorability rating of 60 percent regarding his handling of issues related to Floyd’s murder.

“We can’t leave this moment or look away, thinking our work is done,” Biden said after Chauvin was convicted. “We have to look at it as we did for those 9 minutes and 29 seconds. We have to listen. ‘I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe.’ Those were George Floyd’s last words. We can’t let those words die with him. We have to keep hearing those words.”

The CBS News polling was conducted by YouGov with 2,527 respondents who were interviewed from April 21 through April 24.

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Sen. Ted Cruz accused Rep. Maxine Waters of ‘actively encouraging riots and violence’ after she protested the police killing of Daunte Wright

Ted Cruz
Sen. Ted Cruz asks a question during the Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on March 9, 2021.

  • Sen. Ted Cruz accused Rep. Maxine Waters of inciting violence at protests against police brutality.
  • Waters rallied against recent police killings of Black men, telling demonstrators to remain in place.
  • “Democrats actively encouraging riots & violence,” Cruz tweeted in response to Waters’ remarks.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Sen. Ted Cruz on Sunday suggested that Rep. Maxine Waters was inciting violence by encouraging demonstrators in Minnesota to continue protesting against police brutality.

Waters, a California Democrat, attended on Sunday one of the protests against the police killing of 20-year-old Daunte Wright.

The protests have been set against the backdrop of the trial against Derek Chauvin, the Minneapolis officer who killed George Floyd by kneeling on his neck. The courthouse where the trial takes place is only miles away from where an officer shot and killed Wright last week.

At the protest, Waters said she and the crowd are “looking for a guilty verdict” for Chauvin.

“We’ve got to stay in the streets, and we’ve got to demand justice,” she said, according to a video posted on Twitter from the event.

“I am hopeful that we will get a verdict that says, ‘guilty, guilty, guilty,’ and if we don’t, we cannot go away,” she added. “We’ve got to get more confrontational.”

Cruz, a Republican from Texas, blasted those remarks from Waters.

“Democrats actively encouraging riots & violence,” he tweeted in response, along with a Daily Mail article reporting Waters’ comments.

“They want to tear us apart,” he added.

Wright was fatally shot by Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, officer Kimberly Potter, who had 26 years of experience on the force. The department’s police chief said earlier this week that she intended to shoot Wright with her Taser, not her gun. Potter has since resigned and is facing a second-degree manslaughter charge.

After Wright was killed, protests erupted in the streets of Brooklyn Center and the surrounding Minneapolis area.

Starting from day one of the protests, officials called in the National Guard and imposed a curfew. Protesters have since broken that curfew to demonstrate against police brutality.

At some of these protests, police clashed with demonstrators and fired tear gas and nonlethal rounds to disperse the crowds. Among the protesters who were tear-gassed was Wright’s aunt, Kelly Bryant.

She told Insider she watched people throw garbage at the police.

“I have never seen anything like that in my life. I was tear-gassed,” she said. “It was not a pretty sight. I was watching people loot and break windows, stealing stuff out of stores, burning stuff. It was bad. It was really bad.”

Have a news tip? Reach this reporter at ydzhanova@insider.com

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9 memoirs that celebrate Black joy and help paint a fuller picture of the Black experience in America

arlan hamilton backstage capital
Founder and Managing Partner of Backstage Capital Arlan Hamilton was one of the authors featured in Goodreads’ list of 96 books on Black joy.

  • The Black Lives Matter movement focuses on several serious topics like police reform and inequality.
  • But activists say that the movement should also highlight Black joy and success. 
  • Book review website Goodreads compiled a list of 96 books that celebrate Black joy. 
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Black History Month is an important time to educate yourself on the Black experience in America. 

The Black Lives Matter movement is raising awareness around several serious topics: police reform, over-incarceration, inequality in education, racism in the workplace, discrimination in the health system, to name a few.

But that’s only part of the story.

“The other part about Black Lives Matter that I think people miss is Black joy and Black liberation,” Genisha Metcalf, a 35-year-old mother of two and Black Lives Matter activist told Insider in August.

Book review website Goodreads recently compiled a list of 96 books on Black joy, which includes titles in fantasy, romance, science fiction, and essay collections. Here are nine memoirs by Black authors that highlight other sides of the Black experience.

This article was originally published in August 2020. 

“It’s About Damn Time,” by Arlan Hamilton

it's about damn time

Arlan Hamilton, the founder of Backstage Capital and one of the few queer Black women in venture capital, shares her story about how she went from living on food stamps to breaking into the boy’s club of Silicon Valley. Hamilton’s story challenges the conventional narrative of what it takes to become successful. 

Find it here>> 

“Year of Yes,” by Shonda Rhimes

year of yes

American TV producer and screenwriter Shonda Rhimes is the force behind top hits like “Scandal” and “Grey’s Anatomy.” In this bestseller, she shares her story of a one-year experiment when she said “Yes” to new opportunities and challenges. Her story is a call for people to get outside their comfort zone and try new things. 

Find it here>> 

 

“The Light of the World,” by Elizabeth Alexander

light of the world

In “The Light of the World,” Pulitzer prize finalist and poet Elizabeth Alexander recounts the sudden death of her husband and her journey from grief to hope. Former First Lady Michelle Obama called the book “magnificent.” 

“Perhaps tragedies are only tragedies in the presence of loss, which confers meaning to loss,” Alexander writes.

Find it here>>

“The Pretty One,” by Keah Brown

The Pretty One

Keah Brown, who has cerebral palsy, recounts her journey from self-hate to self-love in “The Pretty One.” Brown explains how she went from wanting to be “normal,” to accepting herself, and then celebrating her difference in creating the viral hashtag #DisabledAndCute. 

Find it here>>

“Dressed in Dreams,” by Tanisha Ford

dressed in dreams

In “Dressed in Dreams,” Tashina Ford uses pieces of fashion to tell her coming-of-age story as a Black woman. Ford, a history professor at The City University of New York, explains how the personal is political with each fashion story: from how wearing the wrong color can lead to gang violence to the appropriation of Black culture in today’s society. 

Find it here>> 

“More Than Enough,” by Elaine Welteroth

More Than Enough

Elaine Welteroth, editor in chief of Teen Vogue, tells her story of climbing the ranks in the world of media and fashion, sharing the valuable life lessons about race and gender she learned along the way. 

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai says the book “is a guide for young people who want to find their voice, a crash course for those who want to challenge the status quo, and an adventure story for all of us.” 

Find it here>> 

“Mind and Matter,” by John Urschel and Louisa Thomas

Mind and Matter

In this bestselling book, John Urschel tells his incredible story of how he pursued and obtained his PhD in mathematics at MIT while he was an offensive lineman for the Baltimore Ravens. His story talks about the importance of ignoring self-limiting doubt.

Find it here>> 

“The Warner Boys,” by Ana and Curt Warner

The Warner Boys

Former NFL Seahawks star Curt Warner and his wife, Ana, took a step back from the public in the 1990s. Their two youngest sons, twins Austin and Christian, had been diagnosed with autism, which they decided to keep secret for years. In this memoir, the couple talks about going from self-isolation and fear to a place of peace and advocacy. 

Find it here>> 

“Black Girls Rock!” by Beverly Bond

black girls rock!

In 2006, model and DJ Beverly Bond founded “Black Girls Rock!” an awards show that celebrates Black women in entertainment, entrepreneurship, and more. In this book, Bond recounts starting the awards show and presents a collection of essays from a mix of powerful Black women, including actress Kerry Washington, filmmaker Ava DuVernay, and tennis champion Serena Williams. 

Find it here>> 

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