Protect Yo' Peace
The Skinny on COVID
The latest in numbers: 47.7M total cases & 770K deaths (+648K & +8K from last week) in the US.
Booster shots for all 3 vaccines are available for all US adults 18 & over.
COVID-19 deaths in 2021 have surpassed those in 2020. As of Saturday, 15 more people had died this year than last.
Y’all ready to resume life without masks? Some experts say mask mandates can relax (maybe) as soon as early next year.
Again, When Will We Get Tired?
Because clearly not enough of us are. Rapper Young Dolph was shot & killed in his hometown of Memphis last week. Whether or not you’re a fan, it’s hard to not be sick of seeing another Black family mourn the loss of their father/son/husband/neighbor at the hands of someone who looks just like them.
Our prayers are with Dolph’s family & with our entire people. There’s a lot of healing work to be done.
Praise be!! Hours before his scheduled execution, Julius Jones’ sentence was reduced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. While Julius will live to see another day, the victory is bittersweet.
And that’s because Gov. Kevin Stitt (who granted Julius clemency) ain't, never was & never will be shit. In addition to intentionally forcing Julius & his loved ones to go through the emotionally terrifying experience of preparing for an execution, he also placed conditions upon the commutation that says Julius can never seek further commutations, pardons, or parole. These unusual conditions go against Oklahoma’s Pardon & Parole Board’s recommendation and effectively tie up the Justice for Julius movement for sure until Stitt leaves office. It’s unclear whether future governors would be forced to comply with that mandate.
One thing’s for sure, Stitt’s term is up in 2023. Here’s to hoping Oklahomans vote someone with more compassion into office next November.
Because America is Still America...
Young white supremacist Kyle Rittenhouse was cleared of murdering two & injuring another in an instance of what he called self-defense. The painful, yet expected, verdict is sure to set an example for other armed white supremacists who may decide to “establish order” at protests for justice & equality and later cry self-defense when their provocations lead to violence.
Keeping Up with Biden & Harris
Though he claims to be angry over the Rittenhouse verdict, Joe says, “The jury system works.” Is he looking at the same court system we’re looking at?
Kamala had some sense and made a statement (contradictory to her boss’) which acknowledged that the law isn't applied equally to everyone in this country.
Last week, Kamala Harris also became the first woman to temporarily hold presidential power while Biden underwent a colonoscopy.
There might be one trick left in Biden’s bag that he can use to reduce inflation: lift tariffs on Chinese imports.
Congress, What’s Good?
The House passed Biden’s Build Back Better bill before the holiday break & it came with a $2T price tag. It includes things like $555B to fight climate change, $400B for universal pre-K, $200B for paid parental leave & $150B for affordable housing.
Next up, it’ll go to the upper chamber where we can expect some combination of chopping the bill up, delaying the vote, or rejecting the legislation altogether. Sad that we don’t have confidence in the people elected to get stuff done, ain’t it?
Committee meetings will resume the week of November 29.
Social Justice Round Up
Can we really believe “Black Lives Matter” if we aren’t including all Black lives? The answer to that is no. Saturday was 2021’s Transgender Day of Remembrance and Black transgender women are dying at higher rates than others. Regardless of how you identify, take some time to figure out how you can be an ally to our people in this community.
Howard’s protest is over. Students say they’ve reached a place of “transparency & accountability” with the University and that the agreement they made with school officials satisfies their demands for suitable housing.
The defense & prosecution both rested in the case of Ahmaud’s Arbery’s killers, but not before they got one of the men to confirm that Ahmaud was “just running” & posed no threat. Jury deliberations could begin as soon as this afternoon.
Umm. How we feeling about this? Morehouse College & Google will partner to train police with the use of virtual reality. The goal of the training will be to teach de-escalation methods through a critical thinking & anti-bias lens.
Around the Diaspora
Sudan’s prime minister, who’d been detained by the military during the recent coup, has been allowed to go back to his post. Some are hoping his return would silence the demonstrations, but protestors want to see the military tried in court for overthrowing the government & for crimes against peaceful demonstrators.
Somalia is pushing for more women to serve in its Parliament.
Nicaraguans, Belizeans, and Guatemalans all celebrate Garifuna Settlement Day in November (Hondurans celebrate in April). Here’s how this Afro-Indigenous community is actively preserving their culture.
Getting to the Money
Looking to make your way into tech? Check out these job boards that have a variety of roles open to all, particularly to people of color:
What’s Black Friday if you aren’t shopping Black-owned businesses?? In a new initiative featuring T-Pain & Normani, Google wants you to make the day after this Thanksgiving a #BlackOwnedFriday. Watch their shoppable music video featuring products from 50 Black-owned companies.
Culture that Pops
Been itching to get to the National Museum of African American History & Culture in Washington, DC? You can now visit from the comfort of your home. Thanks to their new ‘Searchable Museum,’ you can view their exhibits, artifacts & archives digitally.
Tabitha Brown just got herself a children’s show on YouTube. Are we the only ones mature enough to admit that we’ll be watching Auntie’s new show with & without kids around??