Sending Love to Us All
We're sending love to Tyre Nichols' mother, his family, and to our community at large this week. That's all we got.
What the Health
The latest COVID numbers: 102M total cases & 1M total deaths (+322K & +4K from last week) in the US.
COVID deaths are rising globally despite fewer cases being reported.
Since the start of the pandemic in the US, over 1M people call out of work every month. The last time the monthly number dipped below 1M was November 2019.
In Boston, a wastewater surveillance program reveals Black neighborhoods have the highest coronavirus levels across most neighborhoods in the city.
In case you weren’t totally aware of the story, Tyre Nichols was a Black man (father, son, photographer, etc.) who was killed by Memphis police earlier this month. His encounter with officers left him so severely beaten, he was unrecognizable to family and died in the hospital 3 days later. Since the release of the body cam footage (we haven’t watched and won’t be linking to it directly), protests have erupted around the country and the 5 Black officers involved have been fired and charged. The white officer remains free and employed.
The news of a Black person’s death at the hands of police is painful and exhausting each and every time. The cycle of fake outrage from people who uphold the status quo and the same hot takes that flood the news & social media are also tiring AF. Keep your trauma porn (body cam footage) and keep your excitement about how the Memphis police department is acting swiftly on them symbolic-ass firings. There is no singular action or set of actions that can make policing in this country better. The whole thing needs to be broken down and rebuilt.
Keeping Up with Biden & Harris
Biden’s approval rating is doing what it often does: taking a dip.
Still leading the Biden administration’s response on environmental issues, VP Harris is calling for the speedy removal of lead pipes across the US.
Kamala Harris also visited the site of a California mass shooting last week, met with victims’ families and called for Congress to act.
While Joe & Co. said Haitian asylum seekers can apply for (or extend their) Temporary Protected Status, the app they must use to apply doesn’t have an option to change the language to Haitian Creole. We would say make it make sense, but we wouldn’t be shocked if this was intentional. (The app is only available in English & Spanish.)
Congress, What’s Good?
Our proverbial credit card is still maxed out (aka we hit the debt ceiling), so Biden & House speaker McCarthy are meeting to discuss if there’s a path forward that can satisfy Democrats’ desire to increase the limit and the GOP’s plans for spending cuts.
Both parties are, however, aligned on a collective “WTF??” over classified docs that have been found at Trump’s, Biden’s, and now Mike Pence’s homes. Lawmakers on intelligence committees in both chambers are now seeking to review the documents themselves.
Coming up in this week’s committee meetings:
Social Justice Round Up
A Houston district attorney (who happens to be Black) resigned after old tweets of him disparaging Black women resurfaced.
Criminal justice reform advocates are working to give the incarcerated free access to the news.
This month (January 2023), we experienced an average of more than 1 mass shooting per day. Them “thoughts and prayers” ain’t worked one bit, have they?
Are they dumb? A white football player who lost his college scholarship after a video surfaced of him saying the N-word has been offered a scholarship at Albany State, an HBCU in Georgia.
Around the Diaspora
Nigeria’s Central Bank has introduced AfriGo, a card product that will rival Visa & Mastercard.
Jamaica will begin construction on what’ll soon be its tallest building. Once complete, it’ll stand 27 stories high.
Afro-Australian students complain of not fitting in at school.
Getting to the Money
Wanna transition into (or at least explore) creative career options? Check out this Creative Ladder quiz that recommends career paths based on your personality & interests.
Valentine’s Day is coming up. Regardless of who you’re treating this year (yourself, your girls, a boo, etc.), here’s a list of Black-owned gifts to check out.
Culture that Pops
If you’re like us and plan to read at least 1 book a month this year, here’s a list of books being released by Black authors over the next month. Get into it.
Spatial Labs, a Black-owned startup that aims to redefine consumers’ shopping experiences, is in line to become tech’s next unicorn.
HBCU students in their senior year can apply for scholarships to ensure they graduate on time, thanks to a fund set up by rapper Travis Scott and his family.