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Washington Square News The Official Independent Weekly Student Newspaper of New York University — http://nyunews.com Washington Square News, founded in 1973, is the free, award-winning student newspaper of New York University.

All content is editorially independent from the university.

All content is editorially independent from the university.

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Letter from the Editors: "In this guide, we have included Black-owned businesses to support as a way to uplift their voi...
09/29/2020
The 3 C's of Consumption: Caring, Considerate and Conscious | Fall 2020

Letter from the Editors: "In this guide, we have included Black-owned businesses to support as a way to uplift their voices and demonstrate our support for Black Lives Matter. Secondly, we have compiled a list of local businesses around the NYU community that are currently suffering due to the pandemic and need a little extra love. Lastly, we are providing you a list of student-owned Depop and Poshmark shops so that you may engage in sustainable fashion and maybe snag a cute fit here or there."

The 3 C's of Consumption: Caring, Considerate and Conscious | Fall 2020

We are now publicizing the grievances that led us all to this decision.
09/28/2020
We’re Resigning from WSN. Here’s Why.

We are now publicizing the grievances that led us all to this decision.

We, the undersigned WSN Fall 2020 Editorial Staff, have collectively decided to resign from Washington Square News, effective immediately. This was extensively deliberated in collaboration with 40…

Opinion | The NYPD has been entrusted with public health and safety during the pandemic but their racist, violent and re...
09/25/2020
Police Can’t Be Trusted With Public Health

Opinion | The NYPD has been entrusted with public health and safety during the pandemic but their racist, violent and reckless track record only puts New Yorkers in more danger.

The COVID-19 pandemic has created an unprecedented public health crisis that is only getting worse in some parts of the country. Some state and local governments have mobilized police forces to curb…

Despite lacking the vulnerability and simplicity of the original, this revamped album is dramatic and experimental.
09/25/2020
Cat Stevens Revisits ‘Tea for the Tillerman’ and Creates New Magic

Despite lacking the vulnerability and simplicity of the original, this revamped album is dramatic and experimental.

“Tea for the Tillerman 2” by Yusuf/Cat Stevens is as lovely as the first time around but leans heavily on sounds instead of lyrics. It all feels very indie movie-esque, very heavy on the journey…

The anniversary has sparked reflection and hopes that the university will apologize for its legacy on LGBTQ+ rights.
09/25/2020
NYU Remembers 50th Anniversary of Weinstein Occupation Today

The anniversary has sparked reflection and hopes that the university will apologize for its legacy on LGBTQ+ rights.

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the Weinstein occupation — a five-day sit-in for the LGBTQ+ community at NYU’s Weinstein Residence Hall, starting Sept. 25, 1970. At the time, NYU officials and…

Opinion | Since committing publicly to supporting President Donald Trump's Supreme Court replacement for Justice Ruth Ba...
09/25/2020
Romney Plays the Political Game Better Than We Think

Opinion | Since committing publicly to supporting President Donald Trump's Supreme Court replacement for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Senator Mitt Romney has many progressives confused as to why a seemingly moderate Republican would take such a partisan stance. What these critics miss is that Romney has never changed.

After the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, one of the most renowned justices of the modern era, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY.) quickly called to appoint a new…

Jan Oxenberg’s newest movie,“Thank You and Good Night”, acts as a love letter to the director’s grandmother as it grappl...
09/25/2020
‘Thank You and Good Night,’ A Film Like No Other

Jan Oxenberg’s newest movie,“Thank You and Good Night”, acts as a love letter to the director’s grandmother as it grapples with themes of death and decay.

It is rare for a filmmaker to be present in every single frame of a film, to envelop themselves in every speck of celluloid and convey themselves in their own art; yet somehow Jan Oxenberg does just…

From Bad Bunny to COVID-19 precautions, our staff has a lot of thoughts on the Emmys.
09/25/2020
Staff Rants and Raves: The Emmys

From Bad Bunny to COVID-19 precautions, our staff has a lot of thoughts on the Emmys.

Rants On the “Friends” Reunion Helen Wajda, Opinion Editor I never watch the Emmys and this year was no exception, but that didn’t stop me from having to see some of the cast of “Friends” reuniting…

As big budget films like “Tenet” premiere across the world, many question how much longer New York movie theaters can su...
09/24/2020
The Uncertain Return of Movie Theaters

As big budget films like “Tenet” premiere across the world, many question how much longer New York movie theaters can survive while closed.

After seven long and excruciating months, I finally stepped foot inside a movie theater again. I ventured to the AMC Clifton Commons 16 in New Jersey and watched Christopher Nolan’s newest…

Opinion | While it is important to prevent a conservative hegemony on the court that would rescind the protections and l...
09/24/2020
Save the Supreme Court

Opinion | While it is important to prevent a conservative hegemony on the court that would rescind the protections and liberties of vulnerable communities, it is essential that the plan to reform the Supreme Court considers long-term interests.

As a result of Mitch McConnell’s push to replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg after her passing on Sept. 18, it is likely that the Supreme Court will have a 6-3 conservative majority that would…

Staff Recs: Sometimes when the outside world becomes too much, a good movie is the best form of escapism.
09/24/2020
Staff Recs: Comfort Movies

Staff Recs: Sometimes when the outside world becomes too much, a good movie is the best form of escapism.

“Fiddler on the Roof” by Norman Jewison Sasha Cohen, Arts Editor My grandma and I sing “If I Were a Rich Man” a lot. What can I say? We just love practicing our “biddy biddy bums” and “idle diddle…

The Blossom in Chelsea relocated in mid-August, bringing its entirely vegan menu to University Place. Its outpost on Col...
09/24/2020
Blossom: For Vegans & Foodies Alike

The Blossom in Chelsea relocated in mid-August, bringing its entirely vegan menu to University Place. Its outpost on Columbus Avenue is still kicking.

When I first dined at Blossom four years ago, it seemed too good to be true. I had only recently become vegan, but I had, for the most part, already conquered the challenge of eating out at regular…

With mass protests across the U.S., a lot of information can be confusing and scrambled. WSN has compiled guides and tip...
09/24/2020
Safety Tips for Protesters and Student Journalists

With mass protests across the U.S., a lot of information can be confusing and scrambled. WSN has compiled guides and tips that could be of use to the NYU community for protesting safely. Email [email protected] to help expand this list.

As protests picked up across the country this past June, WSN began compiling resources and information for safely protesting and reporting on protests. We wanted to support NYU students participating…

A Brooklyn protest and a Manhattan protest, thousands strong, joined together to demand justice for Breonna Taylor, who ...
09/24/2020
Protests Demanding Justice For Breonna Taylor Sweep New York City

A Brooklyn protest and a Manhattan protest, thousands strong, joined together to demand justice for Breonna Taylor, who was murdered in her sleep by Louisville police officers.

Thousands of protesters took to New York City’s streets the night of Wednesday, Sept. 23 after none of the Louisville Metro Police Department officers who killed Breonna Taylor were indicted on…

Opinion | Since the passing of RBG, many are critical of the backlash people are lodging at her and her legacy. However,...
09/23/2020
How To Properly Critique Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Legacy

Opinion | Since the passing of RBG, many are critical of the backlash people are lodging at her and her legacy. However, what these people miss is that Ginsburg’s failure to step down when President Obama was in office will forever taint the achievements made in her lifetime.

Since the recent passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, many progressives are debating the best ways to remember her and discuss her legacy. An outpouring of news outlets released…

With her latest music, the singer has finally cemented the impressive extent of her stylistic range once and for all.
09/23/2020
Taylor Swift Proves She Can Do It All

With her latest music, the singer has finally cemented the impressive extent of her stylistic range once and for all.

For a long time, it seemed like Taylor Swift was moving in a straight line. The musician began her career as a country singer through and through, only to progressively shed that image in favor of a…

In the midst of the pandemic, the traditional “party scene” connotation of college has created a very dangerous case of ...
09/23/2020
The COVID-19 College Party Scene: Who’s To Blame?

In the midst of the pandemic, the traditional “party scene” connotation of college has created a very dangerous case of FOMO among returning students.

Though it is meant to be a time of self-discovery and some of our most formative years, college is often advertised as a four-year hedonistic getaway. College ranking websites have a category labeled…

Opinion | With the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and an ensuing vicious political fight, many are...
09/22/2020
Republicans Are Hypocrites, but They're Effective

Opinion | With the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and an ensuing vicious political fight, many are quick to point out the hypocrisies of the Republican party. What these critics miss, though, is that Republican hypocrisy is the only way to be politically effective.

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, legal titan and pioneering advocate for women’s rights, died last Friday due to complications of metastatic pancreas cancer. She was 87. Her death — less…

With the start of the 2020 NFL season, NYU students give their predictions.
09/22/2020
NYU Predicts: NFL Edition

With the start of the 2020 NFL season, NYU students give their predictions.

The Kansas City Chiefs’ 34-20 victory against the Houston Texans opened the 2020 NFL season on Sept. 10. After opting out of having a bubble, the games have started with plenty of questions both on…

Read about the most notable singles released this week.
09/22/2020
Weekly Radio Roundup: Sept. 15 - Sept. 21

Read about the most notable singles released this week.

This edition of Weekly Radio Roundup exhibits singles released by old and new artists, reminding us that good music remains relevant regardless of its release, and feelings of reassurance and warmth…

Hundreds gathered at Times Square to protest against ICE and forced hysterectomies. At least three NYU students who atte...
09/22/2020
NYU Students Arrested at Protest, Claim Police Misconduct

Hundreds gathered at Times Square to protest against ICE and forced hysterectomies. At least three NYU students who attended were arrested.

Several NYU first-years gathered with about 200 other protesters in Times Square to protest United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement and demand its abolishment on Saturday, Sept. 19. The…

From Aug. 26 to Sept. 16, the NYU Department of Public Safety received one report of Burglary, three reports of Criminal...
09/22/2020
Three Missing Bicycles, One Attempted Bike Theft

From Aug. 26 to Sept. 16, the NYU Department of Public Safety received one report of Burglary, three reports of Criminal Mischief, one report of Fondling, one report of Fraud, three reports of Harassment, nine reports of Larceny, one report of Public Lewdness and one report of Robbery.

Burglary On Sept. 15 at 10:52 a.m., a member of Public Safety reported a burglary in Othmer Hall. The case is open and under investigation. Criminal Mischief On Sept. 4 at 7:23 p.m., several windows…

NYU couples tell stories of how COVID-19 impacted their relationship — including why it made them decide to live togethe...
09/22/2020
Moving in Together During a Pandemic: Why Now?

NYU couples tell stories of how COVID-19 impacted their relationship — including why it made them decide to live together.

Attending college brings about new responsibilities for some, such as officially moving out of childhood homes, no longer living with parents and maybe even cooking for ourselves for the first time.…

Hip-Hop artist Travis Scott and McDonald’s team up to give hamburgers some swagger.
09/21/2020
Travis Scott’s McDonald’s Collaboration Caters to His Fans

Hip-Hop artist Travis Scott and McDonald’s team up to give hamburgers some swagger.

For the first time in almost 30 years, a celebrity can say that their name is on the McDonald’s menu. On Sept. 8, 2020, 28-year-old hip-hop artist and music producer Travis Scott began a…

NYU’s Global Liberal Studies program requires all of its juniors to spend their entire year abroad. However, because U.S...
09/21/2020
Where Are the GLS Juniors Now?

NYU’s Global Liberal Studies program requires all of its juniors to spend their entire year abroad. However, because U.S. citizens are banned from entry to most of the countries NYU’s abroad sites are located in, students must find another way to navigate the year.

Global Liberal Studies junior Madison Trpisovsky should be spending her school year in Paris. It’s a year that she should have spent living out her life as a true local Parisian. Instead, she is…

Opinion | Reflecting back on the 50th anniversary of the Weinstein Hall occupation protesting NYU’s cancellation of gay ...
09/21/2020
NYU Still Needs to Take Action for LGBTQ+ Rights

Opinion | Reflecting back on the 50th anniversary of the Weinstein Hall occupation protesting NYU’s cancellation of gay events on campus, it’s clear that NYU still has a long way to go to fully support the LGBTQ+ community.

One year after the Stonewall riots, LGBTQ+ rights activists Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera organized an occupation of Weinstein Residence Hall in response to NYU’s abrupt cancellation of a…

Subject to negative reviews and organized counteraction, “Mulan” runs the risk of being forgotten in the annals of Disne...
09/21/2020
‘Mulan’ Fails To Break Barriers Amidst Clouds of Controversy

Subject to negative reviews and organized counteraction, “Mulan” runs the risk of being forgotten in the annals of Disney+’s digital library.

Several of the top eight reviews on “Mulan’s” Letterboxd are related to money, rather than the film itself, but the $30 Disney+ demands on top of its pricey subscription isn’t the only reason that…

Telemedicine, which allows for remote healthcare, could fundamentally alter the way medicine is practiced.
09/21/2020
NYU Langone Develops Telemedicine Blueprint

Telemedicine, which allows for remote healthcare, could fundamentally alter the way medicine is practiced.

A group of NYU Langone Health doctors and researchers published a telemedicine “blueprint” in Medicina — an open-access, peer-reviewed medical journal — on Sept. 9. The paper serves as a template for…

Learning to photograph through a computer screen involved lots of errors, but once I learned to deal with them, I fell i...
09/21/2020
Turning Zoom Into My Artistic Tool

Learning to photograph through a computer screen involved lots of errors, but once I learned to deal with them, I fell in love with the results.

Turning Zoom Into My Artistic Tool

With New York Film Festival 58 offering unprecedented accessibility, WSN Film Editor Nicolas Pedrero-Setzer has created ...
09/18/2020
NYFF: A Digital Celebration of Cinema

With New York Film Festival 58 offering unprecedented accessibility, WSN Film Editor Nicolas Pedrero-Setzer has created a guide to understand the festival’s many titles and lineups.

As New York Film Festival 58 kicks off with virtual accessibility for all, this guide might aid you in deciding what films are worth checking out. Due to the ongoing effects of the pandemic, NYFF has…

Inside a season and a game that won NYU its first NCAA DIII championship.
09/18/2020
The ‘96-’97 NYU Women’s Basketball Team Was Impossibly Good

Inside a season and a game that won NYU its first NCAA DIII championship.

Days before the championship game, Jehan Clark was heading to class when she noticed something. “Back then, our student center was called Loeb,” Clark said via phone. “I remember seeing this huge…

Antonio Campos’s latest film, “The Devil All the Time” meditates on violence in America. Starring everyone from Tom Holl...
09/18/2020
‘The Devil All the Time’: A Meditation on American Violence

Antonio Campos’s latest film, “The Devil All the Time” meditates on violence in America. Starring everyone from Tom Holland to Robert Pattinson, Campos’s film kicks off Netflix’s fall lineup.

Content Warning: this article contains spoilers. No one leaves unscathed or unstained from “The Devil All The Time,” a new epic drama from director Antonio Campos. The film is based on Donald Ray…

NYU’s recent suspension of students demonstrates its power to hold students accountable for their actions. This level of...
09/18/2020
If NYU Can Punish Violaters of COVID-19 Policies, Why Not Sexual Assault Perpetrators?

NYU’s recent suspension of students demonstrates its power to hold students accountable for their actions. This level of accountability must set the precedent for cases of sexual assault in order to create a true zero-tolerance policy, instead of upholding an illusory idea of campus safety.

Note: This article contains mentions of sexual assault which may be triggering to some readers. Please proceed with caution. On Sept. 6, NYU made national headlines after suspending over 20 students…

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Christmas New and Old By John Burl Smith There is no time in life when gift-giving is so prolific than Christmas, and for children, it is the “mother lode” for some, while fraught with disappointment for others. I say this because I believe most children are incapable of truly understanding the pain and anguish their parents endure, especially parents living in poverty, agonizing over being able to meet the minimum hopes of their children’s expectations at Christmas time. My wife, Dot, and I were both children of poverty, so this scenario had particular significance for us. During the Christmas season, like most Americans, we always watched two movies, “It’s a Wonderful Life” and “A Christmas Story.” This year, however, I have gained a different perspective, not only from their moral lessons but a much broader societal aphorism regarding what America has experienced throughout 2020. For the first time in my life, Christmas 2020 arrives with foreboding, after ominous events have unfolded throughout the year, which may have seemed coincidental and totally unrelated to their occurrence. Nevertheless, they revealed such vulnerabilities, not only for the American people but their democratic form of government. Again, I point to the two fantasies I mentioned earlier to highlight how some hopes and desires, no matter how innocent or unintended they may have seemed starting out, have made avoiding disaster a Divine reprieve. Understanding my point in alluding to these movies, one must look at the characters and how events impact them, producing particular outcomes. Just as Christmas 2019 faded below the horizon, the coronavirus invaded America, as the political primary season opened with a thud for many. Still, for Sen. Bernie Sanders’ supporters, it opened with a bank. Donald Trump’s rosy scenarios painted of America’s future for his MEGA army presented bright prospects of economic prosperity and political stability, which made his election a forgone conclusion. Trump appeared unstoppable beginning his campaign, but a strange thing happened on the way to his coronation, which makes “A Christmas Story” like a story from the Bible that warns of God sending plagues against the ungodly. The first warnings about COVID-19, the true meaning of which escaped most Americans, and definitely not how it would change our world. But, Donald Trump would admit months later, “I downplayed the problem because I didn’t want people to panic.” Personally, I believe the shoe is on the other foot as to who panicked in the face of COVID-19!! The movie “It’s a Wonderful Life” is built around a character that does everything right as a hero. He views his community as his family, but a sinister and hateful grinch steals his life’s and our hero contemplates suicide. His lost life is shown to him, as an alternative reality, if he had never been born. Just a fantasy, you say, so I present the state of Georgia as a case in point, not the physical landscape, but its people past and present. I contrast them going back on April 6, 1861, when Georgia followed secessionist South Carolina, after it opened fire on Fort Sumter in Charleston, joining the Civil War against the United States of America. Five years later, following their humiliating defeat Georgia, again followed other confederate states that would not accept defeat. They bought into another alternate reality, “the lost cause,” which denied why they took up arms against the United States because they would not end slavery. Their fight to keep slavery at all costs morphed into the alternative reality of “states’ rights,” which created the “solid South.” Denial became a way of life that mirrored George Orwell’s “1984” “doublethink”—the ability to hold two competing realities or thoughts in one's mind simultaneously without recognizing or acknowledging the contradictory nature of the two. “A Christmas Story” presents the other relevant scenario in the person of a child. Although the character is sweet and adorable, the belief he holds in his mind is the harbinger of disaster if given what he craves. The child star, who wishes for something all the adults in his life, says the child does not need it because he does not understand the ramifications of his desire. Their warnings, “You'll shoot your eye out,” is ignored, and he embarks on a course to obtain his heart’s desire. The moral of the story is quite simple, “because one desires something does not mean they should have it simply; it makes them happy.” The vast majority of adults in the South were all like the kid in “A Christmas Story,” oblivious of the real cost of war, not just to those who would fight and die to please petulant slave masters in their actual “lost cause,” but their state and the people living there who had no say in the matter. Similar to kids, they preferred to burn the house down because they could not get their way and continue enslaving African human beings to make money, people they stole and forced to work for free. But more than anything, they refer to treasonous acts as their “proud heritage.” The fact is today, we cannot go back to April 12, 1861, and unload the first cannonball before firing on Fort Sumter. Still, the children of Georgia today, Black, white, Latino, and Asians, refuse to continue reloading those canons in a vain attempt to maintain that hideous legacy of hatred, discrimination, and murder against American descendants of slavery. Today young progressives are following the brilliant leadership of Stacey Abrams. Young progressives have taken to the streets, defying the odds supporting Senate candidates Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff. They have taken up Alicia Keys new anthems accompanied by Brandi Carlile “A Beautiful Noise” and personal statement “Brand New Me,” hoping to create a new kind of world. They are refusing to live in a world that existed only between the ears of their great-grandparents. They abhor that world because it denies them the friends they want, loves they have and families they are building. I was in the streets in the 1960s, as an Invader in Memphis, supporting Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and I was also one of the last two people to talk with him in a strategy meeting. The things our children are back in the streets fighting for today are the things Dr. King shared with Charles Cabbage and me on his last day. And, as Malcolm X declared, “the chickens are coming home to roost,” after a century of hatred. I began talking about Christmas, children, and presents because I believe Dr. King’s life was a present he gave up purchasing the opportunity this generation is presently fighting to achieve. Whether America realizes it or not it is witnessing an epic battle that will decide the fate of millions today and in the future. I am proud to be counted among those on the frontline in this fight. As in 1968, I can sit this one out either, no matter the outcome. We owe Dr. King this battle to fulfill and live out the dream he gave the world. Today we here in Georgia are trying to break down the walls built by that first shot at Fort Sumter. Young progressives are calling out their parents and grandparents, who still refuse to accept the new world they see and are fighting to build. Old white men would rather fight another Civil War and destroy democracy in America to hold on to power. Those who care about democracy in America must join us and help in any way you can. The Donald Trumps and Mitchell McConnells care only about what they want power—guns, like the kid in “A Christmas Story.” Yes, guns are their symbol of power. And that power is demonstrated each time police murder black men and women on the street, on their doorsteps, and in their beds. Their power is not to enforce law and order or justice. It is about power and maintaining it at any cause. Were it not for COVID-19, the world would not be witnessing the spectacle. We in Georgia are fighting for the world that will exist after COVID-19. We are setting down the mark for where that world will begin.
Black Lives Matter and Qualified Immunity By John Burl Smith I begin this article with a few questions that readers must keep in mind while reading about America's epidemic of police murders of young black men and women. "Why aren't young white men getting killed by police if the deaths of black people are unrelated to some racial motive? Is it that police do not stop and attempt to arrest young white men, as they do young blacks? Could it be that police respond with a totally different mindset and a totally different intent when they encounter young white men than with blacks? Are police responses as aggressive and volatile with white youths as with black youth? The terms “defund the police” and “qualified immunity” forms a dichotomy that is mutually exclusive and was brought into relief last summer, following the 8 minutes and 46 seconds video of George Floyd's execution in Minneapolis, Minnesota (5-25-2020) by police. The visual spectacle captured the world's attention and brought protest into streets demanding justice for black people. Governments in general and police forces in specifically across America, refusing to acknowledge injustice to black communities, Black Lives Matter became the group that galvanized young people of all races and colors. They fill streets in cities with the cry "defund the police;" it was their provocative solution to the problem white people doubled down on, as the body count for black youth mounts. The need is to put the policing and “qualified immunity” in perspective, like driving while looking in the rearview mirror. Richard Nixon began the turn away from consideration of law and order based on constitutional rights. Nixon equated protest as an attack on American values and gained white Americans' support to win the White House in 1968. Nixon's appeal was picked up, brushed off, and expanded by Ronald Raegan in1980. Raegan closed down mental health facilities and institutions across America as a cost-cutting measure to finance tax cuts for rich white people. He criminalized psychiatric problems and made such victims part of policing, justifying locking sick people up as criminals. This decision fell heaviest on poor and minority Americans. Denying treatment in facilities, these Americans became the homeless population, and again without doctors and treatment facilities were phased out. Raegan slashed The Department of Health and Human Service budget to give more tax cuts to rich white people. The job of dealing with mental illness and drug abuse fell to police departments. Remaining funds for psychiatric care and mental health facilities also went into tax cuts or directed to police departments to support Raegan’s “law and order” platform. Raegan’s rhetoric diminished concerns for how police treat people they arrested, while simultaneously he beefed-up police departments with military-grade equipment. The media and movies play a vital role, flooding the nations with crime based productions. These productions helped eliminate concerns for black people’s constitutional rights by identifying them as criminals—Clint Eastwood’s movies are a classic example. Law enforcement and policing in America became a jobs program for white men, especially military veterans. Eventually, being a white man qualified that person to be a cop. Black people were presented as America’s crime problem, and the police’s job was to keep them under control. Consequently, whatever police did to protect white people from the menace of crime—black people—was acceptable. Constitutional rights were considered a hindrance to law enforcement. Police departments began working with politicians, crafting rules and procedures to get around black people’s civil rights with “Crime Bills.” The significant impact of this period for descendants of American slavery was “qualified immunity.” The concept of “qualified immunity” was a cover for ignoring black people’s constitutional rights and justifying police brutality and murdering black people with impunity. Police did not deploy the same tactics in white communities, which is the basis of the two different policing systems in America. An unintended consequence of “qualified immunity” came with the impact of George Floyd’s execution; it foreshadowed the rise of “Black Lives Matter.” Rising out of the chaos street demonstration, Black Lives Matter turned their street protest into street politics and became a significant force driving the election of President-elect Joe Biden. Mr. Biden’s selection as Attorney General can do the thing for equal justice as Black Lives Matter did for politics. The AG can be the turning point for the black communities and lifting the scourge of “qualified immunity” and return a concern for the constitutional rights of American descendants of slavery to an effort of equal justice. However, during the heat and passion that engulfed the nation approaching the November 3rd election, another major event happened in the US Supreme Court’s so-called august chamber, which mostly went unnoticed. The Supreme Court issued a decision that struck a significant blow to “qualified immunity” as a defense for law enforcement officers. Taylor v. Riojas became the first such ruling by the Supreme Court since 2004. Whether the Court will take more forceful action and continue to curb “qualified immunity” remains to be seen. “Qualified immunity” is the notorious doctrine under which law enforcement officers and many other government officials are immune from civil suits for violating constitutional and statutory rights in the course of performing their duties unless they have violated “clearly established” law. Courts have interpreted “clearly established” so narrowly that officers routinely get away with horrendous abuses, even murder, merely because no federal court in their area has previously decided a case with “essentially identical facts.” A petitioner on writ of certiorari Trent Taylor an inmate in the custody of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, came before the court. Taylor alleges that, for six full days in September 2013, correction officers confined him in a pair of shockingly unsanitary cells. The first cell was covered, nearly floor to ceiling, in “‘massive amounts’ of feces”: all over the floor, the ceiling, the window, the walls, and even “‘packed inside the water faucet,’” Taylor v. Stevens, 946 F. 3d 211, 218 (CA5 2019). Fearing that his food and water would be contaminated, Taylor did not eat or drink for nearly four days. Correctional officers then moved Taylor to a second, frigidly cold cell, which was equipped with only a clogged drain in the floor to dispose of bodily wastes. Taylor held his bladder for over 24 hours, but he eventually (and involuntarily) relieved himself, causing the drain to overflow and raw sewage to spill across the floor. Because the cell lacked a bunk, and because Taylor was confined without clothing, he was left to sleep naked in sewage. Although Taylor’s race is not listed, he had to be black!!!! The Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit properly held that such conditions of confinement violate the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment. But, based on its assessment that “[t]he law wasn’t clearly established” that “prisoners couldn’t be housed in cells teeming with human waste” “for only six days,” the court concluded that the prison officials responsible for Taylor’s confinement did not have “ ‘fair warning’ that their specific acts were unconstitutional.” 946 F. 3d, at 222 (quoting Hope v. Pelzer, 536 U. S. 730, 741 (2002)). The Fifth Circuit erred in granting the officers “qualified immunity” on this basis. ‘“Qualified immunity’ shields an officer from suit when she makes a decision that, even if constitutionally deficient, reasonably misapprehends the law governing the circumstances she confronted.” Brosseau v. Haugen, 543 U. S. 194, 198 (2004) (per curiam). But no reasonable correctional officer could have concluded that, under the extreme circumstances of this case, it was constitutionally permissible to house Taylor in such deplorably unsanitary conditions for such an extended period of time. See Hope, 536 U. S., at 741 (explaining that “ ‘a general constitutional rule already identified in the decisional law may apply with obvious clarity to the specific conduct in question’ ” (quoting United States v. Lanier, 520 U. S. 259, 271 (1997))); 536 U. S., at 745 (holding that “[t]he obvious cruelty inherent” in putting inmates in certain wantonly “degrading and dangerous” situations provides officers “with some notice that their alleged conduct violate[s]” the Eighth Amendment). The Fifth Circuit identified no evidence that the conditions of Taylor’s confinement were compelled by necessity or exigency. Nor does the summary-judgment record reveal any reason to suspect that the conditions of Taylor’s confinement could not have been mitigated, either in degree or duration. And although an officer-by-officer analysis will be necessary on remand, the record suggests that at least some officers involved in Taylor’s ordeal were deliberately indifferent to the conditions of his cells. See, e.g., 946 F. 3d, at 218 (one officer, upon placing Taylor in the first feces-covered cell, remarked to another that Taylor was “ ‘going to have a long weekend’ ”); ibid., and n. 9 (another officer, upon placing Taylor in the second cell, told Taylor he hoped Taylor would “ ‘f***ing freeze’ ”). Confronted with the particularly egregious facts of this case, any reasonable officer should have realized that Taylor’s conditions of confinement offended the Constitution. We, therefore, grant Taylor’s petition for a writ of certiorari, vacate the judgment of the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, and remand the case for further proceedings consistent with this opinion. It is so ordered. In Taylor, a 7-1 majority (the just-confirmed new Justice Amy Coney Barrett did not participate), concluded that the lower court had gone too far in granting “qualified immunity” to prison officials in an egregious case where they subjected a prisoner to horrific treatment: The Court is right to conclude that the facts here were “particularly egregious” and that any reasonable officer should have been able to understand that this kind of abuse violated the Eighth Amendment. You don’t have to be a great legal theorist to figure out that forcing a prisoner to live amidst raw sewage and feces for days on end is “cruel and unusual.” At the same time, it’s far from clear that the facts in this case are really that much worse than those in many other situations where courts have upheld “qualified immunity” defenses, such as recent cases where police officers stole $225,000 from civilians while conducting a search and shot a 10 year old boy in the course of an attempt to shoot the family dog (who posed no threat to the officer). If the Fifth Circuit expected too little of the “reasonable" officer, it may be because the courts—including the Supreme Court—have been defining "reasonability” down for a long time now. In a concurring opinion, Justice Samuel Alito agreed with the other six justices in the majority that the “qualified immunity” argument should be rejected based on the “horrific” conditions in the cell, and the egregious behavior of the prison officials. It may be more likely that the Court wanted to send a message to lower courts, that the latter should no longer grant “qualified immunity” in these kinds of highly egregious cases. The backlash against “qualified immunity” generated by the public reaction to the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police may have led the justices to conclude that a step like this was warranted. What remains to be seen is whether the Court will follow up by considering whether “qualified immunity” should be abolished entirely, or at least severely pared back. The doctrine has been severely criticized by legal scholars and by Supreme Court justices as varied as Clarence Thomas and Sonia Sotomayor. Perhaps Taylor is the beginning of the end of “qualified immunity.” But it is also possible that the majority of the justices just want lower courts to adopt a modestly less forgiving interpretation of current doctrine. Future cases will tell. In the meantime, opponents of “qualified immunity” should continue their efforts to abolish it through legislation at both the state and federal level. The Supreme Court may eventually fix this problem, which was created by its own earlier decisions. But we shouldn’t count that chicken unless and until it actually hatches. Colorado and (to a lesser degree) Connecticut have already adopted effective reform laws. Efforts to abolish or reform “qualified immunity” under federal law have stalled due to opposition by the White House and many congressional Republicans. But the political environment may change after tomorrow’s election is known. History shows that successful movements to strengthen protection for constitutional rights often combine litigation with political action instead of exclusively relying on one strategy to exclude the other. Hopefully, the cross-ideological movement to end “qualified immunity” can continue to make progress in the same way. The following are the latest two police murders of young black men, without a single encounter of a white youth brutalized by police, since George Floyd’s execution. A CNN crew of Ray Sanchez, Rebekah Riess, Nicquel Terry Ellis, Hollie Silverman, Amir Vera, Eric Levenson, and Devon Sayers combined their effort to piece together the tragic murder of Casey Goodson 23 in Columbus, Ohio. Goodson’s grandmother told a 911 dispatcher that “He had been shot in the back, and I’m not sure if he is breathing,” moments after his fatal encounter with a law enforcement officer at his Ohio home, based on the 911 call. Casey Goodson was shot Friday by Deputy Jason Meade, a 17-year veteran of the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office. Sharon Payne, Goodson’s grandmother, said, “There was a bunch of gunfire.” The call ended when the police ordered everyone out of the house. Sean Walton, the Goodson family attorney, said, “Casey is not a bad kid. He does not have a police record. According to the Columbus Division of Police, Casey had an Ohio concealed carry permit and was legally armed at the time of the shooting.” Goodson, who was Black, was not alleged to have committed any crimes, has no criminal background, and was not the target of any investigation. Peter Tobin, US Marshal for the Southern District of Ohio, said, “The fugitive task force was wrapping up an unrelated investigation when a deputy saw a black man with a gun. That’s when the deputy, at some point after that, confronted him.” Goodson returned home from the dental appointment when the deputy fired the fatal shots, hitting him in the back. Tamala Payne, Casey”s mother, said, “My son would not have harmed a fly. My son was saving up to go into business for himself. He had plans, dreams, goals, and they were ripped from him for nothing. If my son was given a command, he would have listened.” “Cause of death, at this time is preliminary,” according to Dr. Anahi M. Ortiz, who said, “However, based on current findings the cause of death is multiple gunshot wounds to the back of the torso.” Columbus Police investigators are examining whether Meade was legally justified in shooting Goodson. The US Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio and the FBI is launching a federal civil rights investigation. A Taskforce was looking for violent offenders, not Goodson. Columbus Police Chief Thomas Quinlan said. “This offers the highest level of transparency and a clear path to the truth,” Meade was working for the US Marshal’s fugitive task force looking for violent offenders at the time, but Goodson was not the person being sought by the task force, Columbus Police said. During the task force operations, Meade reported seeing a man with a gun and was investigating the situation when there was reportedly a verbal exchange prior to the shooting, the Columbus Division of Police said. According to police, no other officers witnessed the shooting. No civilian eyewitnesses were identified. There is no body camera footage of the actual shooting because Franklin County Sheriff’s task force officers aren’t issued body cameras. The shooting has left the Black community in Columbus reeling, and rallies calling for justice in Goodson’s case are set for Friday and Saturday in Columbus. Local civil rights activists say police brutality against Black in Columbus is nothing new. Law enforcement officers in the Black community have in the past shot young Black men and used aggressive policing tactics in Black neighborhoods, said Kiara Yakita, founder of the Black Liberation Movement of Central Ohio. Black men and teens killed in Columbus by police in recent years are Julius Tate, 16 years old, fatally shot by an officer in December 2018, during a sting operation; Kareem Ali Nadir Jones, 30 years old was fatally shot by officers in July 2017; police killed Tyre King, 13 years old in September 2016; and a plainclothes officer in June 2016 killed Henry Green, 23 years old. The Movement for Black Lives leaders said they believe Goodson was “executed.” Chelsea Fuller, Columbus spokeswoman for the Movement for Black Lives, said, “The community realignment can and will happen through defunding the police, reducing their bloated budgets, and reinvesting those resources in the creation of new systems of public safety that account for all lives, not just some. According to a study by the University of Toronto, Columbus is 59% White and 28% Black, which produced racial tension extending beyond policing. Black residents say the history of redlining, segregation, and gentrification of Black neighborhoods is another boiling point. Columbus is the fourth most economically segregated metro area in the country. “Dashcam Video Provides Details of Fatal Law Enforcement Shooting of two Florida Teens,” reported by Ray Sanchez of CNN, which reveals a similar unjustified police killing in a state notorious for murdering young black men—Florida. The community learned that the sheriff’s deputy, while following a suspected stolen car fatally shot two Black teenagers in Cocoa, Florida, and residents were outraged. They are demanding answers for why the two teens were gunned down over a suspected stolen car. Authorities released a 56-second dashcam video of the deadly encounter, posting it on the Brevard County Sheriff’s page Tuesday evening. However, CNN footage of the dashcam video is far more complete, which shows deputies followed the suspects’ car for over a mile and never gave any indication they wanted the supposed stolen car to pull over. Moreover, even though there seemed to be at least three cars involved, they did not try to box the vehicle in at stop signs. Once the car turned into a driveway, officers did not block the driveway to prevent the car from leaving. They waited until the car pulled back onto the street but still did not turn on the siren or flashing lights to alert the driver they wanted to talk with occupants. Deputies allowed the car to back onto the street before verbally demanding the driver to stop. But while one deputy screamed at the driver to stop, other officers opened fire on the vehicle, as one deputy seemingly attempted to step in front of the moving vehicle. Even though they were in a residential area, with homes all around, police fired multiple shots, trying to stop the car, but killing two of the teens identified as Sincere Pierce, 18, and Angelo Crooms, 16, who the sheriff said was the driver. These are the types of incidents a well-trained AG motivated by a desire to unearth the truth will be Godsend for the Black community.