police officers on scene of crime
(Aldeca Productions/Shutterstock)

Texas Police Officer Arrested in Fatal Shooting of Black Man; COVID-19 Slamming Diversity Advancements in the Travel Industry; and More

Texas police officer charged in fatal shooting of a Black man.

Jonathan Price was a “pillar of the community” in Wolfe City, Texas the Washington Post reports. The popular city employee, personal trainer and former college football player was attempting to help break up a fight outside a gas station on the night of Oct. 3, 2020 when police arrived at the scene. Officer Shaun Lucas, who is white, misinterpreted Price’s actions and first tasered Price and then escalated the situation, pulling a gun and fatally shooting the civilian. Lucas was quickly fired from the Wolfe City Police Department, arrested by the Texas Rangers on Oct. 5 and held on $1 million bond (he has since bonded out). The gas station where the murder occurred has provided surveillance video of the shooting to investigators but the footage has yet to be released to the public.

 

COVID-19 slowing diversity hiring efforts in the travel industry, a new report warns.

The pandemic has obviously taken a major hit to the profits of the hospitality, travel and leisure (HTL) sector, but the new Women in Hospitality, Travel & Leisure report cautions that COVID-19 is also impacting diversity and inclusion efforts within these businesses. Researchers interviewed leaders from 60 of the top HTL businesses and combined that data with results from a PwC survey of 1,500 HTL employees. They found that only 15% of travel and hospitality companies are still discussing diversity and inclusion regularly, and that most budgets and resources for diversity and inclusion within these businesses have also been slashed significantly. The report adds that women and minorities within these industries also continue to be furloughed at rates around 10% than that of the white, male counterparts which means that diversity programs within these organizations are often also suffering loss of team leaders or overall leadership.

 

Examining the case for court packing.

As the fate of our potential ninth Supreme Court justice looms (who knows just what will happen with D.C. fully wrapped in the twin chaos of a White House coronavirus outbreak plus an upcoming election), The Atlantic has laid out their case for “court packing” and a Democratic effort to expand the number of Supreme Court justices to 11 under a Biden administration. Among the many benefits it might help to bring about: restored court legitimacy; a renewed ability for Democrats to play hardball and bring about true structural change in other areas of government outside the judicial branch; added protection for Roe v. Wade and the Affordable Care Act which might otherwise be doomed; and potentially even a return to better functioning government overall. And who doesn’t want that?

 

Supreme Court denies appeal of Kim Davis, Kentucky county clerk who refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

In related Supreme Court news, in a unanimous ruling the Court has refused to take up the appeal of Kim Davis, who came to national attention in 2015 for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples on the grounds of her religious beliefs, NBC News reports. Several of the couples sued Davis for her actions and she was at one point jailed for contempt for continuing to defy a subsequent court order that told her the licenses must be issued. “When you do a job on behalf of the government — as an employee or a contractor — there is no license to discriminate or turn people away because they do not meet religious criteria,” James Esseks, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s LGBT and HIV Project told NBC, defending the court’s decision. Next month, a similar case will be going before the court, this time looking at the rights of a publicly funded Catholic charity that refuses to place foster children with same-sex couples based solely on its disapproval of their sexual orientation.

 

Turning to your phone, tablet or TV to reduce anxiety over COVID-19 may actually be increasing your stress level.

A new study conducted at Concordia University and published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research examined the ways different populations are dealing with the stress of the COVID-19 pandemic. Researchers at the school surveyed 685 people during the first months of the outbreak and found that more than 90% of people of all age and gender groups were turning to screens of some type in an effort to reduce anxiety over the pandemic. Women opted for social media, the report found, while men preferred streaming services. Those under 35 increased video game play on both consoles and apps on their phone while individuals over 55 spent more time watching TV. The one overwhelming connection between all this increased screen time? The more time you logged in front of a screen, the greater your overall stress and anxiety level continued to be; screens aren’t helping you feel more at ease and are potentially exacerbating your anxiety. “This is the first time in our history that we are forced to be on screens as long as we are these days,” says the study’s author, Najmeh Khalili-Mahani. “Who knows what the health ramifications of our constant screen usage might ultimately be?” she adds with concern.

 

Are you registered to vote? Vote.org provides a number of resources for voters including a state-by-state rundown of important dates and regulations to know, plus information on registering to vote, how to successfully vote by mail and more. For more info, go to vote.org.

 

Related: For more recent diversity and inclusion news, click here

Latest News

Diverse hads unite

More Work Needed For Corporate Diversity Programs; Fourteen Disability Groups Unite to Promote Voting; and More

Corporate diversity efforts still have a long way to go, new report finds. In a report conducted by the research firm Clutch, nearly half of employees surveyed said their company isn’t committed to creating a more diverse workplace and hasn’t successfully improved diversity within the last year. Researchers with Clutch…

San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge

San Francisco Declares War on Racism; People 55 and Older Face Historic Levels of Unemployment; and More.

San Francisco begins a citywide war on racism and discrimination. Known as the birthplace of the “Summer of Love” and the counterculture movement of the 1960s, San Francisco has long stood as a bastion of individuality and inclusion. And now the city is continuing that fight with the launch of…

portrait of Abraham Lincoln

Was Abraham Lincoln a Racist?

Former Vice President Joe Biden’s mention of Abraham Lincoln’s name during the third presidential debate on Thursday, Oct. 22, was one of the most memorable exchanges in the final presidential debate of 2020. It also caused Lincoln to become a trending topic over much of social media in the hours…

BASF receives “CIIF New Materials Award”

Originally published on BASF.com Novel modification of BASF’s PolyTHF for various applications First successful application for soft spandex fibers with Banglian BASF has received the 2020 “CIIF New Materials Award” focusing on innovation and granted by the China International Industry Fair (CIIF) in September, 2020 at the National Exhibition and…