Welcome Home, Brittney!
Karens, Kens & wannabe Kanyes are mad about Brittney Griner coming home. Fck 'em.
What the Health
The latest COVID numbers: 99M total cases & 1M total deaths (+459K & +3K from last week) in the US.
RSV, COVID & the flu are hitting some families at once this holiday season. Get ya immune systems up.
The FDA has authorized COVID vaccines for babies as young as 6 months old.
43% of all Black people nationwide are vaccinated. Is there still a need to encourage more of our community to get vaccinated at this stage of the pandemic? One medical professional says yes.
So…When Do Black Lives Matter?
Brittney Griner is home after the US & Russia agreed to a prisoner swap that traded her for Viktor Bout, a Russian arms dealer. While we should have been celebrating her coming home, many in our community (alongside most right wingers) expressed discontent. They either complained about former Marine Paul Whelan being left behind, believed BG should’ve stayed for 9 years for less than a gram of hash oil, or lamented that a deal for someone as dangerous as Bout was unbalanced.
Clearly, none of those people read that Bout was going to be released in a few years or that Russia was only willing to give up Whelan if a Russian imprisoned in Germany was part of the deal. Those same people also overlooked the fact that 45 passed on the chance to bring Whelan home.
We wonder what their reaction would be if Brittney was a straight white woman instead.
Ps. While folks are so up in arms about this “uneven trade,” let’s be clear about one thing: the United States government is the world’s largest arms dealer. We’re pushing 2-3 times as many weapons as Russia. We also know those weapons also have a high chance of ending up in the very hands that Viktor Bout sells to. Catch up, y’all.
Pss. The folks saying that people imprisoned here for marijuana possession should also be freed are right. Free Us.
Keeping Up with Biden & Harris
Fail a group of union workers one week, meet the demands of another the next: Biden is releasing $36B to save pensions for members of the Teamsters union.
Depending on who you ask, Biden’s approval rating has either surged or remained steady since the midterms.
One thing that’s for sure: most voters still want him (and Tr*mp) to sit down somewhere during the 2024 election.
Kamala Harris swore in Karen Bass over the weekend. Bass, a Black woman, is the first woman to be elected mayor in Los Angeles.
Congress, What’s Good?
We all know by now that Raphael Warnock sent Herschel Walker back to Texas last week, giving Democrats’ a 51-49 majority. Shortly after, Democratic wildcard Krysten Sinema said “Aht aht!” and changed her party affiliation to Independent. So what does this mean? Nothing really. Like Manchin, Sinema was a Democrat who frequently thwarted her party’s aspirations. As an Independent, she’ll still caucus with the Dems and keep up with her same antics…just now without the expectation of allegiance.
The House followed the Senate and passed the Respect for Marriage Act. Next up, Biden will sign the bill into law, ensuring that same-sex and interracial marriages legally performed in one state will be considered legitimate in another.
The House also authorized $858B in military spending last week, the largest ever of its kind. Part of the funding will be used to support Taiwan and Ukraine as they respectively fend off threats from China and Russia’s invasion. To be clear, “support” includes selling and/or giving weapons to these countries.
As for this week’s committee meetings, here are a few of the topics your elected officials will be discussing:
Sexual assault of female inmates in federal prisons
The rise of anti-LGBTQ+ violence
Social Justice Round Up
For poor Black (and Indigenous) families nationwide, the threat of child welfare investigations is always looming. In Phoenix, the welfare of 1 of every 3 Black children was the subject of an investigation from 2015-2019.
San Francisco’s city council temporarily backtracked on a plan to equip police robots with explosives.
Earle, Arkansas’ new mayor is Jaylen Smith, an 18 year old who graduated from high school in May. Jaylen, the nation’s youngest Black mayor, says he wants to bring a major grocery store to his city and focus on public safety.
California is expanding its guaranteed income program for pregnant Black people beyond San Francisco. Another 500+ residents living across Alameda, Los Angeles, Riverside and Contra Costa counties will receive $1K monthly payments to help offset the costs associated with pregnancy and adjusting to life with a newborn.
Around the Diaspora
Morocco is the first African nation to reach the World Cup semifinals. When asked if the team’s accomplishment was a victory for the Arab world, Morocco’s coach made it clear that they represent Africa. Next up, the team will face France, a team that has about 10 Black players compared to Morocco apparently having none.
Did y’all hear of the nonprofit founder who publicized a racially insensitive interaction at Buckingham Palace? Well she’s received so many threats that she’s had to halt operations of Sistah Space, her organization that helps Black women who are victims of domestic violence.
South African authorities recently banned preaching, the selling of goods & gambling on their new trains. NYC’s subway system could never.
Getting to the Money
Wellfound, formerly known as AngelList Talent, wants you to use their database of–allegedly–more than 100K jobs to find your next job.
If you’re still on the fence about what to get some of the grown folks on your list, check out this mini Black-owned holiday gift guide from the Creative Collective NYC. You can find options for health & wellness; home goods; and books.
Culture that Pops
In his final message as host of “The Daily Show,” Trevor Noah thanks Black women for teaching him everything he knows.
The Emmy’s is just now catching up to what we been knew: The Proud Family is that show. The cartoon was awarded a Children’s & Family Emmy for Outstanding Casting.
Ava DuVernay’s trailblazing “Queen Sugar” is officially over.
Kenya Barris’ new film “You People” is receiving backlash because it’s another credit in his growing list of shows/films about biracial love/people. Is the criticism warranted? Are you still going to watch the show? Eddie Murphy, Nia Long & Lauren London all star in the film, which will be released on Netflix on January 23.