Coming to Our Own Rescue
An Update on Ahmaud’s Case
All 3 of the beady-eyed white men involved in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery were indicted on murder charges. This means a grand jury decided there was enough evidence for them to be tried for murder. Outrage over Ahmaud’s death also led to Georgia’s governor signing a hate crime bill that will allow judges to impose harsher sentences for crimes that targeted victims because of their race, religion, sexuality, gender, or disability of any kind. The bill will apply to any crimes moving forward, so it will not apply to the murder of Ahmaud.
Receiving Justice for Elijah
Elijah McClain is another Black man who died in 2019 at the hands of police in Aurora, Colorado. With his case receiving national attention nearly 12 months later, the officers have finally been put on desk duty and Colorado’s governor has appointed a special prosecutor to look into the case since the DA failed to press charges. Learn more about Elijah here and here’s how you can get involved.
Mississippi Dropping the Confederate Flag
Finally. You may or may not have known, but the MS state flag has a lil confederate flag in the top left corner. It’s been upsetting us and our ancestors for over a century (it was first introduced in 1894), and the flag will finally be replaced by something more inclusive. With a ⅔ majority from state legislators and a confirmation from Governor Tate Reed that he will sign the bill, the law pulls down the old flag immediately and MS voters will vote on a new design in November.
Congress, What’s Good?
Last week, we watched to see whether bipartisan police reform legislation would come out of Congress. Legislation addressing police brutality did materialize from the House, but not much of it was bipartisan. With only 3 Republicans joining their Democratic colleagues, the House passed a law that would ban the chokehold and no-knock warrants, prohibit racial profiling and overhaul qualified immunity. The Senate was not so lucky, as they needed at least 7 Democrat/Independent votes to support their Republican-backed bill and they only got 3. With the House’s bill unlikely to make it to the Senate floor, potential next steps may see the Senate creating and passing another, more agreeable bill, and shooting it over to the House for their sign-off. If the two houses cannot come together, it appears we may be left with what Trump enacted himself.
Plus, will Chocolate City become the Chocolate State?? The House also passed a bill in support of making Washington, D.C. the 51st state. The Republican-led Senate and POTUS are less likely to follow suit, however, because granting DC statehood would mean more Democratic representation in both houses of Congress.
A few topics Congress will discuss this week:
The US Park Police’s attack on peaceful protesters at Lafayette Square Park in DC
Establishing a national commission to prevent the sexual exploitation of children online
Tina Knowles-Lawson, mother to Bey and Solo, penned a letter to Senate leaders in support of the HEROES Act. Already passed by the House to address the COVID-19 pandemic, the law would make it easier for citizens to vote safely in November’s election. Ms. Tina’s letter was co-signed by Mothers of the Movement, many of whose children’s names we know as a result of police violence, and other prominent Black women.
Jamaal Bowman. Mondaire Jones. Cameron Webb. Progressive Black men did their thing in last Tuesday’s elections. Bowman and Mondaire, pending their elections’ final tally, will be representing NY in the House of Representatives. Webb is gearing up to face a Republican incumbent in November for the chance to speak for VA, also in the House.
Charles Booker is locked in a tight race against moderate Democrat Amy McGrath. Booker leads by less than one percent and (as of Sunday evening) less than 15% of the votes had been counted.
Also, we know the South Carolina primaries aren’t last week’s news, but did yall know another Black man, Jaime Harrison, is coming for Lindsay Graham’s senate seat in November?
Around the Diaspora
Former Bad Boy artist Shyne is running for a seat in Belize’s House of Representatives.
Barbados, Guadeloupe and other Caribbean and Central American countries all experienced the clouds of Saharan dust and sand that made its way across the Atlantic last week. Next stop on the dust’s itinerary is the Southern US.
Africa has reported nearly 371K cases of COVID-19. Over ⅓ of those cases are in South Africa.
OkayAfrica, perhaps the largest media platform dedicated to entertainment from the continent, announced CEO Abiola Oke resigned amid accusations of improper business practices, sexual harassment and more.
Getting to the Money
If you’re curious about making extra change off eBay, the Little CPA has your cheat sheet.
Black Business Highlight: Since it looks like many of us may be back on strict lockdown orders, we might as well find more creative ways to stay entertained at home. Disconnect for a cause and spend some time on Timeless Goods’ jigsaw puzzles. All their puzzles' images are beautiful and Black. Plus, 20% of their sales go to Black Girls Code.
Culture that Pops
Black women working for Essence want the world to know that they’re fed up with the brand’s toxic and misogynistic culture.
The socially distant 2020 BET Awards Show popped off last night. Were you into it?
On July 31, Beyonce is releasing a visual album exclusively on Disney+ called “Black is King.” The film will focus on Black history and African traditions.