A lot, y'all. Just too damn much. Protests pop off after another unarmed Black man is murdered by police. Another white terrorist is taken in "without incident." Brittney Griner pleads for help, etc. Meanwhile, Biden asks us to "keep fighting" as Congress goes on vacation again.
The Skinny on COVID
The latest in numbers: 88M total cases & 1M total deaths (+793K & +3K from last week) in the US.
The latest players on the variant scene–BA.4 & BA.5–are here and, yup, they badder than their older cousins.
New versions of COVID vaccines specifically targeting these more infectious sub-variants will arrive in the fall, but will they need to be working on something else by then? Probably.
What did NYC do as Omicron cases picked up this spring? They closed half of their testing locations.
More SCOTUS Activity
The Supreme Court made 4 more rulings last week, even giving Biden a victory in the process. Here’s a quick recap of their decisions:
The EPA cannot restrict pollution from the energy sector at large, only from individual power plants.
Biden can revoke Trump’s policy that forces immigrants to wait in Mexico while seeking asylum.
Non-Native Americans who commit crimes on Native land can be prosecuted by the state.
Regardless of the separation between church and state, people have a constitutional right to exercise their religion.
Coming up in the next term will be a decision around how much power state legislatures have to enforce election rules that go against their own state constitutions. 2024 better watch out.
Keeping Up with Biden & Harris
Brittney Griner pleads with Biden to do something about her imprisonment in Russia.
This 4th of July, y’all’s President encouraged his fellow Americans to keep working towards a better America, despite deep political divisions and a SCOTUS actively taking rights away.
Pete Buttigieg will lead the POTUS’ $1B program to reconnect Black communities that were separated by the interstate highway system in the ‘50s.
Denzel Washington, Simon Biles, a prominent civil rights attorney, and one of the founding members of SNCC are amongst those who’ll receive Presidential Medals of Freedom.
In a move that would go against his own climate promise, Biden is proposing a plan that would allow more offshore drilling over the next 5 years.
At the Essence Festival, Kamala Harris compared the decision to overturn Roe v. Wade to the government’s historical legacy of “claiming ownership over human bodies.” We get where she was trying to go here, but was this the right connection to make?
Congress, What’s Good?
News we missed last week: Congress extended the free school lunch program until the end of…summer? The bill did have a provision that would’ve allowed the program to extend through the end of the following school year, but it was removed. Typical.
In perhaps the most damning testimony of all, a former White House aide let it all hang out about how much Donnie knew about the Capitol riot and just how far he & his team were willing to let it go. In the words of one of our favorite social media audio clips, they had a time on January 6.
You know the vibe: give Congress one day, they take a week. There are no committee meetings until next week due to yesterday’s holiday.
Election Watch: 2022 Midterms
No primaries this week. Next up, we’ll have Maryland on July 19. Learn more about this and other upcoming elections. If your state hasn’t voted yet, get a head start on how to vote.
Hmm this is a new take: Republicans appear favored to win the House, but not the Senate.
Abortion access will actually be on the ballot in these 7 states.
Social Justice Round Up
Protests erupted in Akron, OH after body cam footage showed Jayland Walker, another unarmed Black man, was murdered by police last week. Meanwhile, the heavily-armed white terrorist who murdered 6 yesterday outside of Chicago was arrested “without incident.”
Judges in Louisiana, Utah, & Florida temporarily blocked the states’ abortion bans. Meanwhile, Texas took it all the way back to 1925 with a pre-Roe law they never removed from the books.
Workers in DC & in over 20 states received a minimum wage increase on July 1.
In response to the Supreme Court’s recent decision, NY banned carrying of guns in most public spaces. We can all expect a lawsuit to come in 5…4...3…
Nearly 100 years after it was taken, LA County will finally return ownership of a beachfront property back to the Black family who rightfully owned it. The County will also pay the family for its continued use of the land.
In more California-based news, the state has decriminalized loitering with the intent of prostitution.
The Golden State will also lift its eviction moratorium, even with record inflation and a ridiculous housing market. Did Newsom & Co. not get the memo that the rent is still too damn high?
Around the Diaspora
Thousands of demonstrators traveled to the Spanish-Moroccan border to protest the deaths of Black migrants who they say died as a result of Europe’s migration policies.
Is Ethiopia finally preparing for peace?
This Black-owned hostel in São Paolo is bringing an Afro-Brazilian hospitality experience to its guests.
Getting to the Money
Looking for a change or just some extra change? Check out the CCNYC’s latest round of job postings.
Know any undergrads with hopes of being in the music industry? Sony Music has a scholarship opportunity for them. Be sure to share it across your network before the July 25 deadline.
The Mellow Clean wants to keep your home spick and span, while being good for the environment and also keeping those toxic chemicals (and that toxic energy) away from you. Check them out here.
Culture that Pops
Henry Louis Gates will oversee the production of a dictionary for African American English. While this kinda is cool, there’s a ton of cringe potential in knowing that the TikTok appropriators will be on this a bit too much.
This real estate agent in Kansas City is on a mission to help 1K Black people purchase their own homes.
We were thinking it, but they said it: Usher’s Tiny Desk concert reminded everyone why he currently holds the title as the King of R&B.