The Skinny on COVID
The latest in numbers: 34M total cases & 603K deaths (+132K & +1.6K from last week)
4 million people globally have died from COVID-19. The US, Brazil, & India lead the world in deaths.
Pfizer has announced that it will develop a booster shot for previously vaccinated persons to further protect themselves from the delta variant and other variations of COVID-19. The CDC & FDA say that isn’t necessary.
Speaking of the delta variant, its symptoms appear to be different from other strains. Here’s what to watch out for.
And the Answer Is...
Studies reveal our community is more likely to die from a traffic collision than other communities. Why is that, you ask? Racism, of course.
Keeping Up with Biden & Harris
Biden canceled another $55M in student loans last week, bringing the cancelation total to $3B. The latest cancelation affects students who attended 3 schools that made “widespread, substantial misrepresentations.” There is no word yet on whether he will cancel federal student debt completely (though he has said he’d like Congress to do that) or whether he will extend the pause on student debt payments beyond September 30, 2021.
Mad because gas prices are too damn high? It’s not Joe Biden’s fault as some would lead you to believe.
Kamala Harris announced that the DNC will commit $25M to combat voter suppression.
Congress, What’s Good?
Congress is fresh off a lil recess and it looks like the top priority before they go back on break in August is still infrastructure. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer wants his chamber to vote on two things before they go: the bipartisan infra deal that a group of 5 Senate Dems and 5 GOP senators came up with a few weeks ago and a related reconciliation bill that will require no Republican support to pass.
Will these make it through the fire? There’s no telling because McConnell is threatening his party will not support the bipartisan bill if the other bill is still on the table. Plus, progressive Democrats are saying that what’s on the table now is too meager. Also, we got Donnie hating from outside the club, telling his party to reject the deal because they will get “played.”
The House will only vote on these bills once they’ve cleared the Senate.
As for this week’s committee meetings, here’s a lil taste:
The importance of a diverse federal judiciary
The use of facial recognition technology by police
Restoring the Voting Rights Act after a recent SCOTUS decision
Achieving environmental justice through climate action
Social Justice Round Up
Texas is pushing forward with its restrictive voting legislation. Considered to be the strictest of all recent bills proposed/passed after the 2020 election, the new law would ban drive-thru voting and 24-hour/late night voting options. Partisan poll watchers will also be empowered under this new law, potentially (aka definitely) leading to more instances of intimidating Democratic voters.
The Black ex-cop we told y’all about who previously identified as a conservative Republican ended up winning the NYC Democratic primary for mayor. Eric Adams will be facing Republican Curtis Silway in November, though Adams is already considered the winner, given the 7:1 outnumbering of Democrats to Republicans in the city.
Around the Diaspora
We’re sure you’ve heard: Haiti’s President Jovenel Moïse was assassinated last Wednesday. There have already been arrests made in connection to the actual murder, so now the effort to understand the motive is underway. Oh yeah, there’s also the large question of who’s in power now that Moïse is deceased, the person who would’ve been 2nd in command recently died of COVID, and there was a new prime minister appointed, but not yet sworn in.
Cubans are sick and tired of being sick and tired. Protestors are in the streets decrying the lack of food and medicine and the worsening economy, all things exacerbated by the pandemic.
Despite his international reputation being tarnished by his country’s ongoing civil war, Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed just secured another 5-year term in a landslide victory.
Getting to the Money
If your LinkedIn account needs some serious TLC, this Black woman powerhouse will help turn your unpretty profile into something that all the recruiters will be digging on. Portia Obeng is the truth y’all. Trust us on this.
Trace Footwear is a UK-based brand that offers classic white tennis shoes in premium-quality leather for both women and men. What’s so special about them beyond that? They work hard to ensure their factory employees are paid a good wage, purchase their materials from local small businesses, use recycled materials, & they make sure their shoes come in eco friendly, biodegradable packaging. Where else can you go for style, ethics, & sustainability? We’ll wait.
Culture that Pops
Our potential for greatness is limitless. Just look at Zaila Avant-garde who recently won the Scripps National Spelling Bee, becoming the first African American to do so. Zaila also holds 3 Guinness World Records for dribbling multiple basketballs at once. Don’t sleep on her!
She Will Rise is an organization dedicated to ensuring a Black woman will be appointed as a Justice of the Supreme Court. The organization is powered by a collective of Black women actresses, authors, activists & more. Learn more about them and consider supporting their mission.
After an unnecessarily drawn out battle for tenure at UNC Chapel Hill (because of racism & white fragility) Nikole Hannah-Jones told that PWI to kiss it because she’ll be headed to Howard University instead. Ta-Nehisi Coates, a Howard grad himself, will also be joining her there. Together, the two will bring up the next generation of Black journalists. Be prepared to never hear the end of it from Howard University students & alum.