Race takes center stage

Bloomberg Equality
Bloomberg

With the U.S. presidential election less than 2 months away, race is taking center stage. President Donald Trump and his allies are capitalizing on recent months' racial protests by presenting the candidate as the face of law and order. Trump's attorney general, William Barr, argued this week that the Black Lives Matter movement is using police victims as "props" to achieve a political agenda. Barr claimed that police killings of Black people are "usually less than a dozen a year"; the annual average since Jan. 1, 2015, is about 200, according to a database of every fatal shooting in the U.S. by a police officer in the line of duty.

Trump may also score points with White voters using another reliable hot button issue: affirmative action. The Justice Department is threatening to sue Yale University for considering race in admissions decisions, arguing it puts White and Asian-American applicants at a disadvantage. "Unlawfully dividing Americans into racial and ethnic blocs fosters stereotypes, bitterness, and division," the department wrote last month. 

The Democratic party, meanwhile, is counting on the non-White vote. The Biden-Harris campaign has started running Spanish-language satirical ads in Florida, Arizona and Nevada, mocking Trump in a fast-paced patois. The president's Spanish-language ads attempt to counter the message by likening Biden to socialist dictators in Cuba and Venezuela. —Philip Gray

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Minneapolis police have made 80% fewer traffic stops since the death of George Floyd in May, reports Bloomberg CityLab.

Driving for a cause, not just cash

"It's great to make the money," said one driver, Kishor Persad. "But it's more about getting the people the food."

Photographer: Don Brodie for Bloomberg Businessweek

When the pandemic hit New York City in March, cab drivers found themselves cruising around for hours without finding any customers. As demand for taxis dropped 84%, the head of the Taxi & Limousine Commission saw an untapped resource: "hardworking, professional drivers who are vetted." And so the city created the GetFoodNYC emergency home food delivery program, paying taxi drivers to take food to homebound New Yorkers rather than shuttle passengers. Bloomberg Businessweek reports that 10,000 drivers have since taken part, earning about $35 million and delivering more than 64 million meals. "We feel like we are helping people survive. Some of them are in very bad condition," said one driver, Akram Chanchane. "They really appreciate it."

 

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