Reminder: Representation Matters
The Skinny on COVID
The latest in numbers: 48.2M total cases & 777K deaths (+600K & +7K from last week) in the US.
South Africa identified a new variant of concern—Omicron—& the world reacted by shutting off travel from there. South African officials, however, say they should be applauded for being the first to identify a variant that’s already present in Europe, Israel & Hong Kong.
Wanna know the symptoms of this newly-identified variant? Check here.
On the domestic front, Michigan accounts for 10% of all new cases in the country.
Bittersweet Justice for Ahmaud
Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. All 3 men charged with murdering Ahmaud Arbery have been convicted of felony murder, aggravated assault, false imprisonment plus more. With these convictions, each man faces a life sentence. None of this news will bring Ahmaud back to his family. It won’t even take away the pain of knowing that many white people still feel entitled to knowing/controlling how we go about living our lives. It does, however, provide a sense of relief that justice is possible, even from a 92% white jury in rural Georgia.
Keeping Up with Biden & Harris
The POTUS has nominated Shalanda Young to lead the Office of Management & Budget. And yes, she’s Black. If confirmed, she will be the first Black woman and third woman overall to hold a role that’s traditionally held by (average) white men.
Progressives are pressing Biden on something very important: Is you gone live up to your campaign promises or what?
Are Kamala Harris & Pete Buttigieg beefing? Rumors say the VP and Transportation Secretary, both 2020 presidential hopefuls, are already fighting for the 2024 spotlight in the event that Biden is (hopefully) a one-term president.
Congress, What’s Good?
Will Congress fund the government beyond the December 3 cut-off date? (Prolly not, if the GOP has its way.)
Will they raise the debt ceiling by December 15? (The GOP will prolly also make this difficult.)
Will the Senate pass Biden’s spending plan? (Professional game players Manchin & Sinema will of course have a lot to say about that.)
As for committee meetings, this week’s topics include:
Examining the country’s foreign policy (aka tendency to meddle) in Latin America & the Caribbean
Challenging Big Tech’s legal immunity
Addressing the crisis of fentanyl-laced drugs
Social Justice Round Up
The organizers of the 2017 right-wing rally in Charlottesville, VA will have to pay $25M to 9 counter-protesters that were injured during the event.
After being exonerated 43 years into his prison sentence, a man named Kevin Strickland has had $1.5M raised on his behalf to help jumpstart his new life as a free man. Why was this money raised for him? Because the State of Missouri only pays restitution to wrongfully convicted people if they are proven innocent by DNA. Kevin’s innocence was proven after people who committed the murder he was accused of stepped forward.
HBO has released a documentary titled “Black & Missing” to highlight the media’s tendency to ignore cold cases involving Black people who have disappeared.
Around the Diaspora
Is the United States causing even more issues by meddling in Ethiopia’s civil war? One side, that of Ethiopia’s Prime Minister, sure thinks they are.
Riots in the French Caribbean are breaking out against recent COVID-19 vaccine mandates. Protesters in Guadeloupe & Martinique are frustrated with the French government’s handling of COVID-19 & feel public health measures should be handled locally.
Uganda denies reports that they’re surrendering their airport to China because of defaulting on a loan.
Getting to the Money
The Black Marketers Association of America is teaming up with Facebook to help folks understand the different types of audiences to consider in digital marketing. They’ll also be going over the various e-certificates one can obtain to jumpstart their career in the field. Join on Wednesday, December 1 at 12p ET / 9a PT.
Got a long list of people to shop for this holiday season? Prefer to get them all something from Black-owned businesses? Check out Hush Harbor Media’s Black Box. The Black-owned start up is amplifying Black-owned brands this year by offering special discounts on everything from custom shoelaces, streetwear, stationary & more. For access, sign up here.
Culture that Pops
Virgil Abloh, founder of Off-White & artistic director of Louis Vuitton, passed away from a rare form of cancer yesterday. The 41-year-old leaves behind a wife, two children, and a legacy that’s sure to inspire more Black people to dream big in the fashion world & beyond.
Does the phrase “Representation matters” include the lack of melanated Santa Clauses that hit the stores every holiday season? Old Navy thinks it does and is working to help more diverse St. Nicks reach a city near you.
Despite the recurring discussion that the Grammys neither understands nor appreciates our art, there’s still always a lot of excitement & expectations when those nominations come out. Check out this list of Black artists who made the cut this year.