Facebook is now censoring articles from both the New York Post and the Daily Mail, which detail the controversial real estate buying-binge of BLM co-founder Patrisse Khan-Cullors. Khan-Cullors purchased a total of four luxury houses valued at $3.4 million in the U.S. Khan-Cullors, who is a self-described Marxist, came under fire recently for purchasing a property worth $1.4 million in a predominantly white neighborhood.
However, criticisms of her were censored on Twitter, with Twitter locking accounts of people who shared reports revealing Khan-Cullors’ exorbitant purchase. Now, an error message from Facebook greets any user who wishes to share either the New York Post article or the Daily Mail article, about Khan-Cullors’ multiple property purchases.
“Your post couldn’t be shared, because this link goes against our Community Standards,” the error message says when any attempt is made to post the article link on the social media platform.
“This content was removed for violating our privacy and personal information policy,” said Facebook in a statement to Tucker Carlson Tonight on Fox News.
The New York Post also reports on the criticism that Khan-Cullors’ received from fellow activists on the news of her property purchases going public. Hawk Newsome, the head of Black Lives Matter Greater New York City, which is not affiliated with Khan-Cullors’ Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation (BLMGNF), called for “an independent investigation” to find out how the BLM global network spends the money it raises through donations.
“If you go around calling yourself a socialist, you have to ask how much of her own personal money is going to charitable causes,” he said. “It’s really sad because it makes people doubt the validity of the movement and overlook the fact that it’s the people that carry this movement.”
The BLMGNF has issued a statement clarifying that the funds Khan-Cullors used to purchase lavish real estate properties did not come from BLMGNF funds. The foundation also made the bizarre claim that articles reporting on Khan-Cullors’ spending spree were somehow contributing to “a tradition of terror by white supremacists”.
Patrisse Cullors is the Executive Director of Black Lives Matter Global NetworkFoundation (BLMGNF). She serves in this role in a volunteer capacity and does not receive a salary or benefits. pic.twitter.com/w43HJOdg2f
— Black Lives Matter (@Blklivesmatter) April 13, 2021
Khan-Cullors is a self-described Marxist, stating in a December 2020 video that she believes in Marxism.
“I do believe in Marxism. It’s a philosophy that I learned really early on in my organizing career. We were taught to learn about the systems that were criticizing capitalism. We were taught to understand why there were philosophies that were criticizing capitalism. I’m working on making sure that people don’t suffer. I’m working to make sure people don’t go hungry,” Khan-Cullors says in the video.
It is to be noted that a similar article detailing Khan-Cullors’ real estate purchases from Black Enterprise, a black-owned media company that covers black-owned businesses, was allowed to be shared by Facebook users.
This new wave of censorship marks an escalation from Big Tech companies in their war against Free Speech and Expression. Just last month, Facebook censored Lara Trump interviewing her father-in-law and former U.S. Prez Donald Trump, drawing criticism from conservative voices.
In October 2020, Twitter censored the New York Post from reporting an accurate news story about Hunter Biden. Last month, Twitter CEO admitted that his platform made a “total mistake” by barring users from sharing The NY Post’s bombshell news report about Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden’s emails.
Eid gatherings show the futility of lockdown during Covid-19 second wave
The Muslim community across the world is celebrating Eid ul-Fitr today. With it, the holy month of Ramadan comes to an end. As is to be expected, social distancing norms and lockdown measures against the Coronavirus pandemic have gone for a toss during Eid celebrations.
Authorities in most states of India are not even pretending that they are making an effort to clamp down on Eid gatherings. It is in stark contrast to the atmosphere that has prevailed in the country for months on end.
Punjab: People gather in large numbers to offer namaz on the occasion of #EidUlFitr
Visuals from Amritsar’s Jama Masjid Khairuddin Hall Bazar pic.twitter.com/zTLXgFf1RE
— ANI (@ANI) May 14, 2021
The visuals emerging from multiple states are quite staggering. Huge crowds are loitering in the streets to celebrate the festival. But it is not a new development. Such scenes have prevailed over the past few days in the run up to the festival.
— ANI (@ANI) May 13, 2021
Such scenes demonstrate why lockdown in India during the second wave of the pandemic was a doomed endeavor from the very beginning. Apart from questions regarding their efficacy, lockdowns will not work if authorities refuse to enforce the restrictions on one particular section of the community.
Enforcing lockdown was a humongous task even during the first wave of the pandemic. However, people were more willing to abide by the restrictions because there was the general sentiment that the lockdown will not be a regular feature and it was only temporary.
After more than a year, people’s patience is already wearing thin. On top of that, there is clearly a discriminatory manner in which the lockdown is being implemented across various states. It is unclear how lockdown is supposed to help, even if it helps at all, when you allow vast sections of the population to flout every norm.
There are genuine costs to such duplicity. It leads to a disregard for the law among the larger populace. For instance, a policewoman was attacked in Madhya Pradesh and a police vehicle was set on fire after cops visited a marriage ceremony in Chhindwara where Coronavirus guidelines were reportedly being violated.
#NewsAlert | Villagers allegedly attack a lady cop & vandalize police jeep in Madhya Pradesh’s Chhindwara after police confronted a marriage event where purportedly over 200 people were present.
Govind with details. pic.twitter.com/T59gnNpsDg
— TIMES NOW (@TimesNow) May 13, 2021
It’s really unfortunate what happened and people should not be taking the law into their hands but when they can see that Coronavirus restrictions are being applied in an arbitrary manner, they will respond accordingly at some point. This is not a justification for lawless behaviour, it is only a word of caution for what happens when laws are not imposed equitably. Sooner or later, people decide that they have had enough.
It is not one or two errant occasions but the general condition of the state of the lockdown. In Tripura, a wedding was raided and guests were thrashed. Even the groom and purohit were not spared. In Delhi, a video went viral where a couple could be seen behaving in an obnoxious manner with the police.
But it was after the Police approached the couple for not wearing a mask inside their own car. Yes, you read that correctly, inside their own car. This is at a time when restrictions are being flouted openly at the farmer protests at the Delhi border.
If authorities in India cannot apply such vast overarching laws equitably, then they should say so and not impose it at all in the first place. They should say that they do not have the capabilities necessary to enforce such a mandate and act accordingly.
Now we have a situation where livelihoods are being destroyed due to the lockdown and jobs are being lost while restrictions have been made a joke of by vast sections of the population. It is only the law abiding citizens who are suffering.
There is no justification in preventing people to earn their livelihoods when authorities are incapable or unwilling, perhaps both, to impose the lockdown on a particular community. Authorities can wax eloquence and polemic on social media and elsewhere but the manner in which the lockdown has been imposed during the second wave of the pandemic remains a blot on the face of the nation.
Such duplicity is not helpful for intercommunity relations as well. There was much hue and cry made about the Kumbh Mela and yet, the media and politicians are completely giving Eid gatherings a free pass. The pandemic politics that the media and politicians have indulged in have been one of the divisive exercises carried out in recent times.
There is a great deal of evidence that the farmer protests contributed massively to the spread of the second wave of the pandemic and yet, in global media and national, it is the Kumbh Mela that was demonised. Such hypocritical conduct has grave consequences and we will be living with it for years to come.
It is time for authorities to admit they are in no position to impose a lockdown and allow people to live as they deem it. Carrying on with the circus that persists today is a slap across the face of every law abiding citizen.
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Delhi police interrogates Youth Congress president in court ordered probe
The Delhi police today questioned Youth Congress president Srinivas B V over the allegations of illegal procurement and distribution of Covid-19 drugs in an ongoing investigation ordered by the Delhi High Court. The police have already questioned some AAP and BJP leaders in the case, and will question more politicians from various parties.
A team of the Delhi Police Crime Branch today reached the headquarters of the Indian Youth Congress to interrogate President Srinivas B V about the source of COVID-19 relief material his organisation is using to help the people. The police were acting on the directions of the Delhi High Court, who had asked it to conduct an enquiry into the involvement of politicians in the alleged illegal distribution of COVID-19 medicines.
दिल्ली पुलिस की क्राइम ब्रांच की टीम यूथ कांग्रेस अध्यक्ष श्रीनिवास से पूछताछ करने पहुँची है,पूछ रहे हैं ज़रूरतमंद लोगों के लिए राहत सामग्री कहा से लाते है ? pic.twitter.com/uUAHdEoFai
— Aadesh Rawal (@AadeshRawal) May 14, 2021
While the Congress party raised an outrage over the questioning, and ‘neutral’ journalists questioned the appropriateness of investigating someone for distributing Covid-19 aid, it may be noted that BJP leaders have also been questioned and are being questioned in the same case. On May 11, Delhi BJP leader Harish Khuranna had informed that he was also questioned by Delhi Police, and he had given a statement.
“I gave them my statement and said I have never hoarded, purchased or sold any medicines. I went through official channels to help people get access to medicines. They showed me a copy of the High Court order based on which the enquiry is taking place,” Khurana said.
On the same day, the Delhi Police Crime Branch had questioned AAP MLA Dilip Pandey too in connection with alleged “illegal distribution of Covid medicines, etc”.
Delhi HC directs Police to enquire into the charge of “medical-mafia-political nexus” in the distribution of COVID-19 medicines
The inquiry by the Delhi Police is being conducted in accordance with a Delhi High Court order, which asked them to carry out an investigation into the involvement of politicians in the alleged illegal distribution of COVID-19 medicines. The Delhi Police is likely to summon BJP MP Gautam Gambhir, who is also at the forefront of helping people during the second wave of the coronavirus outbreak.
A petition was filed by Dr Deepak Singh, Chairman of Hruduya Foundation, in the Delhi High Court, seeking a CBI probe into an alleged “medical mafia-politician nexus” and illegal distribution of COVID medicines by politicians. The petitioner had mentioned Gambir, Srinivas, as well as BJP leaders Sujay Vikhe, Gautam Gambhir and Shirish Chaudhari, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Congress MLA Mukesh Sharma, NCP leaders Sharad Pawar and Rohit Pawar, citing the instances of Remdesivir distributed by them. The petition had also asked for the detention of such persons for allegedly indulging in black-marketing of Covid-19 medicines as per the National Security Act, 1980, and to disqualify the MLAs and MPs.
The court on May 4 had turned down the plea of filing FIR and CBI probe, but had asked the Delhi Police to examine the issue. The Court had asked the police to look into the instances of politicians allegedly directly procuring Remdesivir and distributing them to Covid-19 patients, and to file FIR if any irregularities were found. The court asked the state to file a status report within a week and listed the case for hearing on May 17.
“In case alleged incidents are found to have taken place in Delhi, Delhi Police should take appropriate steps by registration of FIR,” said the division bench of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Rekha Palli in an order.
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