The Skinny on COVID
The latest in numbers: 37M total cases & 621K deaths (+915K & +5K from last week)
51% of new COVID cases are coming from just 8 states—Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, & Texas.
As the pandemic shifts, so does the CDC. The department is now OK’ing a 3rd dose of Pfizer & Moderna for the immunocompromised. Immunocompromised folks who previously took J&J are also being asked to take Pfizer or Moderna.
The Delta variant is sending more children to the hospital than ever before in the pandemic.
And the Census Says…
Results from 2020 have been released and America is getting older, more urban & less white. Brace yourselves for the Karens and Kens to turn the white fear up even higher and for some redistricting (aka gerrymandering) where the powerful will try to ensure they can remain just that.
As far as our population growth, the Black community has been relatively stagnant—having no significant increase or decrease—since the 1990 Census.
Keeping Up with Biden & Harris
Biden didn’t start it, but he sure didn’t end the 20-year Afghan war well. The Taliban has officially taken over the country only 5 weeks after the POTUS said the chances of them taking over were unlikely.
Kamala Harris & Joe Biden both pledge to help keep California blue as the state’s governor faces a recall.
Food stamp benefits are set to get a permanent boost under the Biden Administration. Starting in October, recipients will receive an average of $157 per person every month. The current average is $121.
Congress, What’s Good?
The Senate did it. They actually passed the $1T infrastructure bill with bipartisan support. Yup, 19 Republicans sided with all 50 Dems in a vote that will ultimately rebuild roads, expand broadband internet, and fortify public works systems nationwide. Even Money Makin’ Mitch stayed down during the whole process. Is it possible that the Senate GOP is starting to snap out of Trump’s trance? Maybe not, but maybe. Ummm...don’t count on it. LOL.
About that accompanying $3.5T budget package. They passed that too, but along party lines. The filibuster (requiring 60 votes for passage) didn’t apply & with all 50 Democrats claiming, “That’s my budget & imma stick beside it,” it breezed through with no problem. Some of the spending from this budget would provide paid childcare, expand Medicare & address climate issues.
The House will come back on August 23—nearly a month early—to pass these two pieces of legislation themselves.
With the Senate having accomplished what they needed to before heading home, committee meetings are far and few in between. There’s just one on the calendar this week:
Oversight of the Voting Rights Act
Social Justice Round Up
Two women in Ohio committed similar crimes. The white woman stole $250K from local taxpayers and the Black woman stole $40K from a school district. Their sentences should have been similar, right? Not in America.
Democrats elected to Texas’ state legislature are still on the run as part of their protest against voter suppression. The police are now looking for them by showing up to their homes.
Around the Diaspora
Dear Haiti. The country experienced an earthquake on Saturday, taking nearly 1300 lives. Please keep the entire Haitian diaspora lifted in your thoughts & prayers. It is also the middle of the rainy season and a storm is expected today through tomorrow. Also, if you’re considering donating to the Red Cross, DON’T. We have heard many accounts from Haitians that the money raised by the Red Cross never makes it onto the ground. We will share more reliable resources as we receive them.
At the current rate, the continent of Africa will not see 50% of its adults vaccinated until 2023. It’s so bad, the country of Burundi hasn’t received a single vaccine dose to administer.
Antigua’s Prime Minister received death threats for enacting a vaccine mandate. The leader, however, was not afraid to clap back & told any would-be offenders to run up. Yikes.
Getting to the Money
Clinton College, a small HBCU in South Carolina, is offering free tuition for the 2021-2022 school year. Students enrolled in in-person and online classes are eligible to take advantage.
Got kids? You might be eligible for the Child Tax Credit, which provides up to $3600 for kids 17 and under. Some payments went out via direct deposit in July. If you haven’t gotten yours yet, it might be coming in the mail.
Black Designers are invited to attend “Black Designers Ignite 2.0” where melanated creatives will discuss how they incorporate their identity and personal journeys into their work. Not only does this event sound inspiring & motivating, it also seems like a great opportunity to network with other kinfolk in the design space.
Everybody wants to take care of their skin, but it can be difficult to find natural, clean products. Papa Rozier Farms is a family-owned Haitian brand that grows its products in Haiti and makes them in the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn. You can find lip balms, beard oil, and many other good good products on their site. We’re interested in trying the various lotion bars ourselves. Check out their online shop and see what might be of interest to you.
Culture that Pops
Naomi Osaka will donate earnings from her next two tournaments to help Haiti. Osaka’s connection to Haiti is personal as her father is Haitian.
Two survivors of the Tulsa Race Massacre traveled to Ghana this week to fulfill lifelong dreams of visiting Africa. At 107 and 100, the siblings arrived in Accra with their families to speak with Ghanaian officials, visit historic landmarks, and participate in a traditional naming ceremony.
Meek Mill always appears to be involved in something messy on IG, but he actually does a lot of good for the community when he’s not posting on social media. The rapper recently received a Nelson Mandela ChangeMaker Award for his efforts towards criminal justice reform.