Saturday News: False equivalencies


CONFEDERATE STATUE SUPPORTERS SHOW RACISM WITH DEMAND TO REMOVE MLK MONUMENTS: If the state moves Confederate statues to a Civil War battlefield, Martin Luther King statues should be removed too, some members of the public told the state committee considering the fate of the monuments. "I just feel like they're trying to wipe out all white history," Roger Dale Williams of Graham said in an interview. "If the Confederate statues have to be removed because they offend some people, the King ones should be as well because they offend some of us." James Leloudis, a history professor at UNC-Chapel Hill, said equating King and Confederate statues ignores "fundamental moral distinctions." The Confederacy was built on the rejection of the founding principle that "all men are created equal," Leloudis said, while "King, by comparison, called the nation back to its core defining democratic values."

LINDA COLEMAN SAYS RUSSIANS MEDDLING WITH HER CAMPAIGN FOR CONGRESS: Linda Coleman, a Democratic candidate for the 2nd District seat held by Republican Congressman George Holding, said Friday that a Russian citizen purchased the defunct website from her 2016 campaign for lieutenant governor and duplicated some images and text to make it look legitimate going forward and create confusion among voters. Coleman said she let the domain name lapse because she no longer needed it. She has created a site for her current campaign. When staffers were googling her name recently, however, the LindaforNC site kept coming up in searches rather than her new site, she said. They did some research and found that domain name registrar GoDaddy had sold the old site to Ivan Gusev, a Moscow resident, in January.

ACLU SUES TRUMP ADMINISTRATION FOR SEPARATING IMMIGRANT CHILDREN FROM PARENTS: The American Civil Liberties Union filed a class-action lawsuit Friday accusing the U.S. government of broadly separating immigrant families seeking asylum. The lawsuit follows action the ACLU took in the case of a Congolese woman and her 7-year-old daughter, who the group said was taken from her mother "screaming and crying" and placed in a Chicago facility. While the woman was released Tuesday from a San Diego detention center, the girl remains in the facility 2,000 miles (3,200 kilometers) away. Immigrant advocates say the mother and daughter's case is emblematic of the approach taken by President Donald Trump's administration. The lawsuit, filed in federal district court in San Diego, asks a judge to declare family separation unlawful and says hundreds of families have been split by immigration authorities.

NRA SUES FLORIDA OVER NEW GUN CONTROL LAW: The National Rifle Association is suing the state of Florida after Gov. Rick Scott signed Senate Bill 7026 into law Friday, the first gun control legislation enacted in the state after the Parkland school massacre on February 14. The NRA suit focuses on the part of the law that raises the minimum age to purchase a firearm to 21 from 18. "This bill punishes law-abiding gun owners for the criminal acts of a deranged individual," executive director of the NRA Institute for Legislative Action Chris W. Cox said. "Securing our schools and protecting the constitutional rights of Americans are not mutually exclusive." Seventeen people were killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School when a 19-year-old man with a semi-automatic military-style rifle opened fire.

DEPUTY HELD OTHER OFFICERS BACK AT PARKLAND SCHOOL SHOOTING: A newly released timeline of law enforcement operations at the deadly Florida mass shooting last month indicates a school resource officer lingered outside the high school, failed to confront the shooter and ordered fellow officers to stay back from the building where the shots were heard. The timeline indicates that the shooter had probably left the campus, blending in with crowds of panicked students, by the time officers finally entered the school. The release of the timeline comes days after Florida Gov. Rick Scott ordered an investigation into the shooting. Broward County Sheriff’s Deputy Scot Peterson, 54, resigned after the Feb. 14 attack that killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland rather than be suspended without pay pending an internal affairs investigation.