Language Matters: Mass Shootings, China Currency, and Toni Morrison
It's tuesday august sixth. Welcome to skim this. We're breaking down the most complex stories of the day and giving you the context on why they matter today today we're diving into the different narratives making headlines after this weekend's tragic mass shootings will connect the dots on why people are bringing up things like mental health and video games and how experts brits are responding then the u._s. is calling out china for being a quote currency manipulator. We'll tell you what that means and finally we look back on the life and legacy agassi of the great toni morrison's. We're here to make your evening smarter. Let's skim this. The most complicated story today is about the different narratives coming out of a tragic weekend yesterday on our show. We talked about to mass shootings this weekend in el paso texas and dayton ohio at least thirty one people died dozens more were wounded. One alleged shooter was arrested. The other was killed. Police are still looking for motives in dayton but in paso prosecutors are pointing to a hate filled anti immigrant manifesto allegedly published by the shooter what's played out since then has followed taylor script thoughts and prayers then calls for action. Here's president trump in a speech from the white house. Yesterday we must honor the sacred memory of those we have lost by acting as one people open wounds cannot heal if we are divided we must seek real bipartisan quarters solutions but the reactions to the shooting are partisan and divided there are very distinct narratives pointing to why these shootings happened and and what it is about our country that needs to be addressed so today we're going to get into some of the big narratives how some are pointing to things like mental illness and video games while others are pointing to deeper concerns over hate filled rhetoric yesterday. President trump tweeted about background checks but didn't bring it up again. During in his live remarks he talked about this mental illness and hatred pulls the trigger not the gun talking about issues of mental health has been a common common refrain after mass shootings. One thing republicans said they want to do is pass. More red flag gun laws basically if you think someone could pose a threat to themselves or others you can flag them to a judge and then the authorities can prevent that person from having a gun. Some democrats are on board with these laws too but mental illness hasn't come out as a driving factor in either mass shooting this weekend at least not yet and mental health professionals today say blaming mass shootings on mental illness. This is misleading studies show that only a small percentage of violent crimes are committed by people who have been diagnosed with a mental health issue. The rate of homicides homicides is much higher in the u._s. than other countries but when it comes to mental illness were not that different from the rest of the world and just a reminder when president trump i took office. He actually loosened some gun laws which made it easier for people who had been diagnosed with mental until illness to buy a gun in the first place so some people are blaming mental illness. President trump and others are also blaming video games. Here's the texas lieutenant governor dan patrick on fox news on sunday. What's changed in this country. We've always had guns. We've always had evil but what's change where we see this rash of shooting a video game industry that teachers young people to kill the idea that video games make people more violent has been around since the nineteen nineties but studies show. There's no link between the two and violent movies aren't linked to this kind of thing either but some some people say all this is just a distraction and that there's a bigger issue at play here hate and the language some people in power are using to promote and spread it according to reports the el paso shooter drove more than ten hours to a town along the u._s. Mexico border to launch his rampage <hes> before the shooting he posted a manifesto that included white nationalist and racist language directed at immigrants. He said that this attack was quote. A response to the hispanic invasion of texas people are pointing to white supremacists forums that talk about the great replacement that people of color are supposedly taking the place place of white people in society use words like invasion to describe it. Some of this language isn't just on the dark. Corners of the internet is being used in mainstream media and in the debate over immigration but el paso is the hometown of presidential candidate better rourke speaking to reporters. Yesterday he pointed the finger at president trump's rhetoric immigrants specifically described as racist criminals warning of an invasion talking about infestation. He is awards part responsible for what is taking place. This isn't just a gut reaction. The new york times reports that since january the trump campaign has posted two thousand facebook ads that refer to immigration using the word invasion. He's also tweeted the word several times and fox news personalities have pushed similar language on the channel channel of course correlation does not equal causation. There's no evidence so far that the shooter was directly influenced by president trump but a lot of people are pointing pointing to this language and saying this kind of thing needs to stop so what's the skin on a global level. The world is watching as a u._s. Figures out how to handle mass shootings and white supremacy then his waylon and uruguay have actually issued travel travel advisories to their citizens warning about traveling to the u._s. Where there's violence and hate crimes. Legislation has been put board. Congress hasn't been called back back from vacation yet to talk about it. President trump is traveling to both dayton and el paso tomorrow to meet with victims families and burst responders. The mayor of el paso says he's welcoming the president but that he's been fielding emails and phone calls from angry passan's saying they don't want him to come and the mayor of dayton ohio told reporters today that trump's rhetoric has been painful for many in the community and that if people aren't happy about trump coming they should stand up and say so and if you caught a glimpse at the stock market monday you probably noticed something was up. The dow dropped about three percent. Its biggest loss of the year and turns out we we can point to a big reason why you ready. The chinese government lowered the value of its currency which may be confusing because the the u._s. Government can't exactly do that so here's what you need to know. I remember that currencies always have value compared to other currencies going on vacation to say europe may cost you more or less depending on where the u._s. Dollar stands compared to the euro at that precise moment in time that changes based on the market value of the u._s. Dollar how much people believe it's worth but the chinese currency the renminbi aka the u._n. And is different. It's value is pretty much set by the chinese government. Essentially china decides its own exchange rate and that affects the u._s. On monday china weakened the value of its currency to an eleven year low compared to the u._s. dollar. That's been a sore subject for american politicians for ages. They don't like like that china. Has this extra economic tool that we don't have if you've ever heard politicians calling china a currency manipulator. That's what they're talking about. In fact the u._s. took things a step further this week on monday. The treasury department officially labelled china a currency not manipulated seeing it was messing with the value of its currency to get a competitive advantage in international trade the u._s. says it's going to complain to the i._m._f. The international monetary fund about china's unfair behaviour so why would china do this. The trump administration says says china is retaliating against the u._s. Because of the ongoing u. s. china trade war. Yeah that's still going on since last year. China and the u._s. have been hitting each other's goods with tariffs or taxes. President trump threaten more tariffs against chinese products just last week that makes it more expensive for u._s. Companies needs to import chinese goods and instead of responding with tariffs on the u._s. China's offsetting those extra costs by lowering its currency and thereby making the chinese goods themselves cheaper that keeps you as companies and consumers happy to but there's a downside to doing this. When you're currency is worthless. You need more more of it to buy things or in this case to pay off debt. China has around two trillion dollars in foreign debt and it's going to need a lot more renminbi to pay. Hey off those bills. The skin has more on the china and u._s. Trade war and how it could affect your wallet at the skin dot com slash money and we want to end the show with the word about author toni morrison who passed away last night at the age of eighty eight. She was an icon of american literature and one of the preeminent voices on the black experience experience in america morrison wrote eleven novels. She also wrote children's books plays and an opera. She won the pulitzer prize for her nineteen. Eighty-seven bestselling book beloved that book became a movie starring oprah winfrey in nineteen ninety-three. She became the first african american woman woman to win the nobel prize for literature or any nobel prize in two thousand twelve. She was awarded the presidential medal of freedom by president barack obama the the high civilian honor and the u._s. Toni morrison's pros brings us that kind of moral emotional intensity that few writers ever attempt morrison wasn't just a writer who moved readers. She also inspired other writers. She was an editor at random house starting in the sixties and she continued to push people to find their own voice like in her two thousand and bore commencement address to grads at wellesley college. It's been called. One of the best commencement speeches it all time. Nobody has the exact memory that you have. What is now known is not all paul what you are capable of knowing. You are your own stories. If you want to know more about morrison a documentary about her life. Life was just released this summer. It's called tony morrison the pieces i am and that's all for skim this thanks for listening and make sure you subscribe and leave a review for more skim you can check out our premium content by downloading in our app or get our free morning newsletter by subscribing at the skin dot com. It's everything you need to know to start your day right in your inbox.