Remembering Kobe Bryant
There'll Only Be One
The world lost an icon yesterday and many will never be the same. Whether you loved or hated him, you couldn’t deny that Kobe Bryant was the breathing blueprint for living a full life: Work your ass off to reach your goals, and even when you stumble–sometimes by your own doing–return to wherever your court is and go even harder. While you’re at it, show the world you changed for the better in a real way. As the Black Mamba, Kobe also demonstrated how shedding one skin (basketball) for the next (immersion into family life & new career ventures) could be accomplished just as beautifully as long as you maintained that same killer work ethic and faith in oneself. Kobe was the hero of a city, a generation, & of the world. They don’t make ‘em like him any more and we simply won’t be accepting any knock-offs.
Prayers up for the Mamba, his baby girl Gianna, & the others whose lives were lost. Let us also uplift their families who must push forward in the aftermath.
Moms 4 Housing Update
In a complete 180°, the 4 Black mothers who, along with their children, were forcibly removed from an Oakland home will now be allowed to return. After much public scrutiny, the predatory-ass real estate investment company decided to sell the property to the Oakland Community Land Trust, which buys and fixes up property for affordable housing.
On the heels of exposing the horrible conditions of Mississippi prisons, protestors gathered last week in front of the state capitol to demand serious change. While this is not the first of the protests, this time they had the added strength and notoriety of Roc Nation, Meek Mill’s REFORM initiative, & other hip hop stars like MS native Big KRIT. For more details on what the protestors want, take a look at this.
Flint Can Sue, but Trump Gone Trump
The SCOTUS decided not to block a lawsuit brought forth by Flint residents against their negligent local and state government officials for the gross mishandling of their water supply. Yes, we are still talking about that water crisis from 2014.
Meanwhile, Trump is out here quietly rolling back Obama-era water contamination rules that sought to prevent pollution in waterways across the country. Such a move will benefit developers and the oil & gas industries, but can have long term impacts on environmental & public health. All isn’t lost, however, as states do have the power to enact their own controls to protect their wetlands, rivers, and streams.
As you probably know, Trump’s impeachment trial began last week. Here are some highlights:
Mitch McConnell relaxed some of his extra strict rules, allowing the prosecution and defense 24 hours across 3 days each for opening arguments. He also allowed pre-existing evidence from the House in the trial. The House is still fighting for new evidence though.
Keeping it short and sweet, Trump’s defense team laid out their initial defense in a fraction of the time used by the Dems.
Coming up, Trump’s defense can choose if they want to use their remaining time (22 hours) for their opening arguments. Also, a vote on witnesses is finally expected to take place. This will determine just how long the case will go on. If the outcome is for no witnesses, Trump can be acquitted as soon as this week.
Congress, What’s Good?
For the Senate: the aforementioned "I"-word.
For the House: Providing opportunities for HBCUs to partner with the DHS in the form of internships, trainings, and job fairs (see this fact sheet for more details). Due process in immigration courts. Also, protecting those who blow the whistle against the government. How timely.
We’ll get to the fluff and all, but in case you’re still unclear or need a refresher on where the remaining candidates stand on the core issues, check out this guide.
The New York Times has officially endorsed Elizabeth Warren...and Amy Klobuchar?? Was picking 2 candidates helpful?
Speaking of endorsements, Cousin Kamala is considering endorsing Joe Biden. Is this because she wants to be his VP candidate?
Around the Diaspora
Locust swarms have invaded East Africa, threatening the food security of North Kenya, Ethiopia, and Somalia. The swarms come after a heavy rainy season in the region, which in turn produced great crops. Locusts eat anything, and the damage they cause can lead to famine.
Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness met with the US Secretary of State without fellow members of CARICOM, a political & economic coalition of 15 like-minded Caribbean nations. Was the meeting part of a secret plot to break up their bloc?
Nigeria, Tanzania, Eritrea, and Sudan will allegedly be some of the latest countries added to Trump’s Travel ban. Nigeria says it’s shocked by the news and will need to figure out another way to conduct business with its US investors.
Culture that Pops
Diddy demands the Grammys finally put some respeck on Black music’s name in his acceptance speech at Clive Davis’ Pre-Grammys party.
While we’re at it, here are the melanated artists who took home a gramophone trophy last night. Perhaps most special among that list was Nipsey Hussle.
Arizona Cardinals star Larry Fitzgerald made moves to go from player to owner recently. He just purchased a minority stake in the Phoenix Suns.