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Where Do We Begin?

Despite minimal efforts that look good on the surface, the US continues to dig its heels in, in support Israel. First amendment rights and moral treatment of its own citizens be damned.

Where Do We Begin?

The US has been showing its true colors again. The pro-Palestinian and anti-genoc*ide campus protests that popped up nationwide elicited a very American response over the last 2 weeks. Did y’all catch the playbook?

When the safety of your own citizens isn’t worth the money, power, and influence you get from funding an ethnic cleansing on the other side of the world…damn. Gotta love the good ol’ USA.

What the Health

The University of Mississippi Medical Center and SPARK are looking for more African Americans to join the world’s largest autism study. The goal of the research is to have a diverse group of participants to gain a greater understanding of the genetic causes of autism. If you are on the spectrum, make sure to join SPARK to see if you are in a location (MS or otherwise) that is accepting participants. If you have loved ones who are also living with autism, share this information with them as well.

When it comes to cancer, Black women experience the worst outcomes of any other racial or ethnic group. The American Cancer Society is kicking off a 30-year study to understand why. They are seeking Black female participants in 20 states and Washington, D.C. Learn more and join here.

Contrary to popular belief, this article says all Black women should undergo genetic testing for breast cancer. Social factors that can induce stress and environmental racism are the reasons why.

Keeping Up with Biden & Harris

Israel has decided to push forward with their invasion of Rafah, the last “safe zone” they declared in the Gaza Strip. In response, y’all’s president has decided to pause—not cancel—a weapons shipment to Israel. Note: this particular pause does not impact the weapons bill that Biden signed last month. We really wonder how many more people must lose their lives before taking definitive action is justified.

Despite the above, the government has not changed course at the UN. Last week, the General Assembly overwhelmingly voted to grant membership to Palestine, giving them a seat at the table come September. The change is largely symbolic, however, because for Palestine to become a full member of the UN with the privilege of voting, the Security Council must vote them in first and the US has vetoed every Security Council decision thus far. 

The Biden administration proposed a new rule that would deport some asylum seekers sooner by giving asylum officers the power to determine whether a migrant is a threat to national security or public safety within 1 to 2 days of arrival. Currently, this is only decided by a judge at a scheduled court date.

Congress, What’s Good

Some big things happened in Congress during our little break:

  • Biden signed Congress’ bill banning the use of TikTok in the US unless it’s sold in 9 months. In response, TikTok has sued the federal government, citing the right to free speech 

  • The House also moved to squash current and future student protests against Israel with the passage of HR 6090. HR 6090 requires the Department of Education to conflate criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism when determining whether campus activities (e.g. protests) are discriminatory by using a very loose interpretation of anti-Semitism. The bill is currently sitting with the Senate, where its fate is a little more unclear. 

In upcoming committee meetings this week:

Looking to 2024

Upcoming presidential primaries: MD, NE, and WV on May 14 and KY and OR on May 21. If you’ll be voting in any of these places, make sure you know all the details on how to vote in your state.

Too out of touch to know that he’s not like us either, Joe Biden thought it was a good idea to use Kendrick Lamar’s diss track to diss Trump.

It’s too difficult to keep up with the shenanigans in each of Donnie’s 4 trials. Here’s a brief summary of what’s going on with each of them now.

Social Justice Round Up

People can’t help but notice the lack of major pro-Palestine protests at HBCUs. This has caused debate on Black Twitter between those who think Black students need to stand firmly in solidarity with Gaza and those who believe that our students are likely to receive the harshest punishments and cannot be on the frontlines of every movement.

They’ve done it again. Deputies in Florida shot and killed 23-year-old US Airman Roger Fortson while responding to a disturbance they believed was coming from his residence. Roger was home alone and on FaceTime with his girlfriend when he answered the door with his registered weapon pointed down. Body cam footage allegedly shows the officer firing 6 shots first and yelling for Roger to drop his weapon after. Unfortunately, Roger was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.

Louisiana’s Supreme Court allowed wealthy white residents to secede from Baton Rouge to form their own city. Should we celebrate the departure of these segregationists, or should we be concerned that critical resources might leave Baton Rouge along with them?

Around the Diaspora

Nigeria is making it clear that no US or French military bases will be established within its borders after the countries were kicked out of Niger.

A recent bombing in Eastern Congo caused nearly 20 injuries and 35 deaths. This comes after a flood hit the area that many experts fear will bring more illness and increased food insecurity to nearly 500K people.

Shout out to the Caribbean for demonstrating true leadership. Last week, Trinidad joined Jamaica and Barbados in acknowledging Palestine as its own state.

Getting to the Money

Shorts are in this summer, it seems. Check out these 2 resources for short-form content makers:

  • Stowe Story Labs is handing out $50K as part of their Short Film Production Grant. Those interested must present a script for a 10-minute short by July 22. While there are early bird deadlines that have a lower submission fee, July 22 is the absolute latest date to be considered.

  • Disney is also accepting applications for their Launchpad program. Launchpad is a 12-month shorts incubator in which aspiring writers and/or directors will pair with Disney execs to produce their own short to air on Disney+. The deadline is June 2 and participants outside of California are encouraged to apply (a small relocation stipend will be provided).

Not short related…Issa Rae said she’s tired of y’all talking bad about Tubi movies. To shut the haters up, she’s partnering with the platform to support young filmmakers via Stubios. Learn more and apply here today.

Culture that Pops

Take your Top Golf talents to the green (is that what it’s called?) and look good doing it with these Black-owned golf apparel brands.

Has the rap battle between Kendrick and Drake proved that Hip Hop is dead

Did you catch the Black Twitter doc on Hulu? Did it capture everything you know and/or remember?


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