Black Lives Still Matter
RIP to Big Floyd
It goes without saying that the last week has been extremely difficult for our community. The public lynching of George Floyd in Minneapolis (after the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and too many others) has caused anger and an unspeakable heartache that only we know. Sick and tired of being sick and tired, we’ve filled the streets in cities across the nation. The Black community, including our political leaders, activists, and entertainers, is making its position known in loud and tangible ways.
Even as we protest, though, America continues to show its ass with more violence. Just take your pick between counterproductive white folks instigating looting at protests or police officers who continue to use excessive force while managing crowds. Oh and how could we forget the POTUS throwing out old racist slogans in an attempt to stop it all? With all of America’s BS on front street, now’s the time to finally birth real change.
Give yourself the space to grieve or be angry about the continued injustices and then be prepared to press forward. We all play a role in this cause. Is yours fighting on the front lines, organizing in silence, or educating those who are misinformed by the media’s portrayal of the protests? Play the part that feels best to you. If you’re looking for ways to support protesters or to make your own impact, check out this list of resources.
Knuck if You Buck: Twitter vs. Trump
After YEARS of giving Donald Trump a platform to share endless streams of narcissistic, racist, sexist, and bigoted views, Twitter has finally had enough and flagged two of his tweets: one for misleading his audience about mail-in voting and another for glorifying violence. Not happy about being checked publicly, 45 issued an executive order, which threatens to regulate or shut down social media companies if they continue to silence conservative voices. Umm, okay. Most experts say the order itself is unenforceable a.k.a. worthless.
BTW, if you’re wondering how Mark Zuckerberg might be changing to respond to all of this, he’s not. Long live alternative facts...on Facebook anyway.
Don’t Forget about That ‘Rona
Even with all of police brutality and presidential antics, you didn’t forget about the pandemic did you? States are steady reopening despite the virus having now caused over 100K deaths. Unemployment has also gone up include to 40 million Americans, increasing the unemployment rate to 15%. Forecasts say the rate can get up to 25% and remain high for roughly two years.
BTW, if you’re looking for a tool that focuses on race-specific data related to the virus, check this dashboard out. The data appears to be a little slow (it’s not yet reflecting the latest number of deaths), but it is still useful in showing the true impact of the pandemic.
Congress, What’s Good?
In response to the wave of protests happening across the country, both parties of Congress are ready to act on the countless incidents of excessive force that have taken Black lives. For starters, the House is likely going to establish the commission on the “social status of Black men and boys” that was first brought up by Frederica Wilson of Florida in 2018. A bill proposed by Brooklyn, NY representative Hakeem Jeffries to outlaw the chokehold will also likely be taken up in the House. Rep. Jeffries initially introduced this bill in 2015. Our federally elected officials have literally been sitting on legislation to address these issues for 5 years. WTF have they been doing??? Seriously.
In other news, Mitch McConnell seems to have opened up to the idea of another stimulus relief package, but he still can’t confirm when it’ll be on its way. All he can say right now is that they’ll start thinking about it sometime this month. Clearly 40 million people isn’t enough to show him that he should move a little quicker.
On Congress’ agenda for this coming week:
Promoting inclusive lending during the pandemic
The FDA’s process for inspecting drugs made outside of the US
Team Biden is looking at Amy Klobuchar sideways after the death of George Floyd gives renewed attention to her shitty record on dealing with police shootings in Minneapolis and Hennepin County at large.
Just a week after his “You ain’t Black” comments, Joe’s chances of winning in November appear strong.
Somebody check on the Republicans in Florida. Federal judges just struck down their attempt to force felons to pay all legal debts before being able to vote.
Black voters have been slow to adopt voting by mail??
Around the Diaspora
African countries have come to an agreement that includes the Motherland receiving 30M Coronavirus testing kits a month from China. The arrangement will also include 10K ventilators and 80M masks.
For anyone who doesn’t already know: Black Lives Matter everywhere, damnit. A Congolese woman working as a railway worker in the UK died two weeks after being spat on by someone who claimed he had Coronavirus symptoms. Her family is demanding justice as investigators claim they couldn’t prove the incident and cleared the man in question.
The UK, Toronto, and Berlin held protests in honor of George Floyd.
Trinidad recorded its first new case of COVID-19 after a month of no new cases.
Getting to the Money
Black Business Highlight: As many of our communities have been struggling due to COVID-19 and now with the protests, make an effort to support Black-owned businesses in your local communities. We are still all we got.
Culture that Pops
Verzuz came through again with the vibes. This time Kirk Franklin and Fred Hammond provided much-needed peace to all who tuned in.
June is Pride month and this group of Black gay and queer men have created a virtual Pride fest for communities of color.
June is also Black Music Month. Here’s how H.E.R., Questlove, and other Black artists are bringing attention to the celebration.