WEOS Finger Lakes Public Radio

Christianna Silva

June 2020 was a pride month that looked different from past years, and not just because people were socially distancing and wearing masks: Demonstrations for LGBTQ equality overlapped with protests against violence and systemic racism against Black people.

At the intersection of these two fights for equality are Black transgender people.

Imara Jones, an independent journalist and founder of TransLash media, told NPR's All Things Considered, that this moment has been "a crucible."

When Christian Picciolini was a neo-Nazi, he heard the term "white power" all the time. It was the term neo-Nazis used as a greeting, as a pejorative, to instill fear, even to sign off letters in lieu of "sincerely."

"It was also a proclamation that distilled what we believed in into two words," Picciolini — who is now an author and founder of the Free Radicals Project, a group that works to prevent extremism — told NPR's Morning Edition.

The state of Georgia is juggling three crises: a rising number of COVID-19 cases, problems with voting access as the general election approaches, and the killings of two Black men,

Former NASCAR driver Bill Lester, one of only seven Black drivers to race in NASCAR's top-tier cup series, wanted the Confederate flag gone when he raced more than a decade ago, but the time wasn't right, he says.

"There was no way that I could affect change during the time that I was racing," Lester says. "This is a different day."

Growing up, Skip Auld says he didn't know much about the man his great-grandfather was named after. It wasn't a part of family lore, he says, and he always went by his nickname, Skip.

At birth, Skip Auld was named Hampton — for his great-grandfather, whose namesake was Wade Hampton III, a Confederate general and slave owner.

He was the fourth Hampton Auld in his family.

The police killings of George Floyd, Eric Garner and other black men and women began with allegations of a minor offense, such as passing a counterfeit $20 bill or selling individual, untaxed cigarettes.

North Carolina is experiencing a surge of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations during its second phase of reopening, forcing the state's health director to contend with the idea of a second shutdown.

"If we need to go back to stay-at-home [orders], we will," Mandy Cohen, the secretary of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, told NPR's Morning Edition on Thursday. "I hope we don't have to. I think there are things we can do before we have to get there, but yes, we are concerned."

As protests against police violence continue throughout the country, Democratic lawmakers in the House and Senate are working on sweeping new federal legislation to combat police misconduct.

The bill, called the Justice in Policing Act of 2020, includes an array of measures intended to increase police accountability, data collection and training. Co-sponsored by Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., the bill would ban the use of chokeholds, "no knock" warrants and religious and racial profiling.

Protests have erupted across the nation in response to the death of George Floyd, and some of the demonstrations have turned violent, leading political leaders and activists to debate over who is responsible.