Newswire : Diverse rural farmer and community groups praise bipartisan Senate Agriculture Committee Farm Bill

Two national organizations representing thousands of rural farmers and communities today commended the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 released by the Senate Agriculture Committee on Friday. The Rural Coalition and National Family Farm Coalition (NFFC) applaud the Committee, Chairman Pat Roberts, and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow for the bipartisan bill. While the bill stops short of fundamental changes to provide a fair price to all producers, it contains important provisions to address the dairy crisis; protects and expands equity for tribal, historically underserved, veteran, and beginning farmers and ranchers; and preserves the integrity of nutrition programs. The bill also makes two critical updates to farm credit programs to benefit family farmers.

At a moment when dairy farmers are receiving prices as low as 30 percent below the cost of production, the Senate farm bill takes an important first step towards improving those prices for by establishing a Class 1 Fluid Milk donation program. The program will provide $5 billion per year to reimburse dairy farmers who make donations to non-profit feeding programs.

Wisconsin dairy farmer and NFFC board president Jim Goodman noted, “The inclusion of a fluid milk donation program in the Senate farm bill will help two groups of people in need: dairy farmers who have been trying to survive on milk prices that are well below cost of production and people who cannot afford to put food on the table. Many people struggling with food insecurity are working, many are children – and some are farmers themselves. The dairy donation program will provide significant relief to all of these populations.”

Two credit provisions in the Senate bill will bring further relief to farmers facing today’s credit crisis. The provisions offer new favorable loan servicing options to help farm families preserve farmland and avoid foreclosure, as well as expanding eligibility for emergency loans following a catastrophe such as a drought or flood.

“NFFC and Rural Coalition have fought for equitable farm credit since our work on the 1987 Agricultural Credit Act, which slowed the 1980s farm crisis,” said Savonala Horne, Executive Director of the North Carolina Association of Black Farmers Land Loss Prevention Project, a board member of both organizations. “These critical but common sense changes to the law will keep more family farmers on the land through the challenges rural America is again facing today.”

The bill also strengthens equity for tribal farmers and food systems and invests in programs supporting the nation’s historically underserved, veteran and young farmers and ranchers. It is notable for measures to strengthen and fund programs to assist small farmers and grow local food and farm systems. Among these is the Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers Program (OASDVFR), which has struggled for funding since it was first authorized in 1990, and since military veteran farmers and ranchers were added in 2014. The Senate bill links OASDVFR with the Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Development Program and strengthens and provides permanent authority to both programs. Under the new bill, the programs would equally share permanent direct funding of $50 million.

“We have been working hard for decades to bring equity to the farm bill in terms of treatment for Black farmers and other farmers of color to build cooperatives and to uplift low-wealth communities. The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 addresses continuing inequities and supports the quality hands-on assistance needed to make sure the 2018 farm bill reaches everyone,” said Rural Coalition Chairperson John Zippert, based in rural Alabama.

Rural Coalition and NFFC further commend Senators Roberts and Stabenow for a farm bill package that, unlike its counterpart in the House of Representatives, takes a strong bipartisan stance on ensuring food access for all communities, by retaining funding and authority for the crucial Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. It also increases support for the Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentives program and related initiative to strengthen local food systems.

For additional commentary and analysis on the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018, visit www.nffc.net and https://www.ruralco.org/.

The Rural Coalition/Coalición Rural is an alliance of farmers, farmworkers, indigenous, migrant, and working people from the United States, Mexico, Canada, and beyond working together toward a new society that values unity, hope, people, and land.

NFFC unites and strengthens the voices and actions of its diverse grassroots member organizations in 30 states to demand viable livelihoods for family farmers, safe and healthy food for everyone, and economically and environmentally sound rural communities.

Greene County Commission agrees to assist E-911 with parking lot

Highway 14 in Eutaw to be closed starting Monday, September 17, 2018 for maintenance work on Colonial Pipeline The Eutaw City Council approved closing of Highway 14 (Mesopotamia Avenue) where the Colonial Pipeline crosses, at the junction with Greene County Road 170, about a mile from the Interstate 20/59 Exit (Mile Marker 40). This closing will begin on Monday, September 17, 2018 to allow for maintenance and removal of a covering on Colonial Pipeline. The closing will last for ten (10) days. Eutaw Police Department will reroute traffic around this closure. This will require using Highway 11 to go to Boligee or to Highway 208 (Union) to reach Interstate 59/20. Traffic coming North from Meridian, will have to exit at Boligee (Exit 32) or Union (Exit 45) and make their way into the city.

 

At its regular September meeting on Monday, the Greene County Commission approved providing assistance to the E-911 program for the parking lot at its new building site on Highway 43 in Eutaw. The Commission also appointed Dorothy Bambarger to serve on the E-911 Board of Directors. The Commission approved routine matters dealing with its finances, payment of claims and budget amendments to complete its fiscal year at the end of this month. Financial reports showed $2,463,180 in Citizens Trust Bank and $1,923,635 in Merchants and Farmers Bank. An additional $919,946 in funds are on deposit with The Bank of New York in trust accounts for bond issues. Overall in the Budget Report Recap, the Commission has spent an average of 89.7% of annual funds budgeted, which is in line with eleven of twelve months in the fiscal year budget period. Based on the budget, some departments and functions are at differing levels but all are below budget. Paula Byrd, Financial Officer presented some budget changes in shifting funds between accounts, which were approved. The Commission also approved awarding a bid to Merchants and Farmers Bank to handle CD’s related to bond maturities. The Commission adopted a resolution requiring county workers to deal with employment concerns and complaints through their direct supervisor. In other actions, the Greene County Commission: • approved an ABC license for Docs Store and Grill in the Pleasant Ridge – Sipsey Community, owned by Matthew Eric Eads; • allowed County Engineer to advertise and hire an Equipment Operator; • vacated a 1,500 foot portion of Outland Road in the Boligee Community; • approved a Traffic Safety Grant from ALDOT; • approved EMA Performance Grant from the state; • approved recommendation of the Revenue Commissioner to employ an Administrative Clerk; • supported travel by the Engineer and Assistant Engineer to various training sessions in September and October. • approved contract for School Resource Officers in conjunction with the Board of Education and the Sheriff’s Department. The Commission also agreed to allow the County Engineer to provide a report on needed resurfacing and patching of county roads for future action by the Commission.

Greenetrack settles lawsuit with dissatisfied shareholders for one million dollars

There is a Legal Notice starting on Page 7 of this newspaper, which informs current shareholders of Greenetrack (as of September 5, 2018) of plans to settle a lawsuit filed by dissatisfied shareholders for one million dollars. A hearing will be held on Friday, October 12, 2018 in Greene County Circuit Court by Judge William E. Hereford to determine the fairness, adequacy and reasonableness of the settlement, including the Plaintiffs’ attorney’s fee. Any shareholder wishing to object to or speak on the settlement must inform the Court in writing, at least seven (7) days prior to the hearing in the manner set forth in the legal notice. This lawsuit began over five years ago, on February 19, 2013 when the Plaintiffs, former Greenetrack employees, Ronnie Lavendar, Harvey Jones and others sued the Defendants: Luther Winn Jr, Emma Sugars, Jimmie Paster, Rodney Pham, Elizabeth Byrd and Greenetrack alleging mismanagement, gross waste of corporate assets and failure to carry out fiduciary responsibilities, as officers and Board members of the corporation. After several years of litigation including efforts by Greenetrack to secure a hearing at the Supreme Court of Alabama, the parties agreed to mediation and a settlement discussion, which resulted in the settlement described in the legal notice. Under the settlement, the Plaintiffs will dismiss all claims against Greenetrack and the individual defendants. “ In consideration of Plaintiffs actions, the Defendant’s directors and officers liability insurer shall pay one million dollars in settlement; with one third, to be paid to the Plaintiffs attorneys and two thirds as dividends to all current shareholders, with the exception that no dividends will be paid to the named Defendants including Winn, Sugars, Pater, Pham and Byrd. As part of the settlement, the Defendant Greenetrack directors agree to participate in a corporate governance training session to be conducted by an independent Certified Public Accountant. Attorney for the Plaintiffs, John Parker Yates of Bradley, Mauro and Yates of Birmingham, said he was waiting for a certified list of shareholders and the number of shares they own, from Greenetrack, to determine the amount of money each shareholder will receive. He estimated that there were 200 to 300 shareholders who own differing amounts of stock. The payment schedule will be available at the Clerk of Court’s office prior to the October 12 fairness hearing. Luther Winn Jr., through his lawyers issued a statement in response to the settlement. He stated, “The essence of the lawsuit is that the Plaintiffs questioned the Board’s management of the company and the Board’s execution of their fiduciary responsibilities. Greenetrack unequivocally denies all allegations and insinuations of wrongdoing in the lawsuit. Every Board member has always been governed by their good faith belief that their actions were in the best interest of Greenetrack and its shareholders. “Greenetrack has vigorously defended this lawsuit including filing a petition to be heard by the Alabama Supreme Court. The Supreme Court took the matter under submission over one year ago. Despite Greenetrack’s strong defenses, the matter has remained pending for more than five and one half years. Since the complaint was filed, no evidence has been produced to support the allegations of wrongdoing and Greenetrack has not had an opportunity to have its day in Court for vindication. There is also no way to predict when that day will come and how much more time and money will be expended during the interim. “Therefore, a decision was made that it would be in the best interest of the company and its shareholders to finally end this litigation through settlement. The Settlement Agreement as well as the Court record shows that there has been no determination or adjudication of wrongdoing by any Greenetrack Board member. There is also no admission or wrongdoing by the Board. “ Importantly, the settlement provides that all Greenetrack shareholders, except the named defendant Board members, will receive a dividend disbursement. Everyone knows that Nat Winn is a fighter, but given the economy in Greene County, the Board has agreed to this settlement so that ultimately the Greenetrack shareholders can receive this extra benefit and the Board can devote its attention to conducting the management of the company.”

Newswire : African critics see dark side to China’s ‘charitable’ development loans

China’s President Xi Jinping with Uganda’s President Paul. Kagame

2Sept. 10, 2018 (GIN) – There are two sides to every coin and two widely opposing views on China’s offer of generous loans and grants to African countries announced at the recent Forum on China-Africa Cooperation forum in Beijing. At the confab, with representatives from 53 of 54 African countries, sky-high numbers were bandied about. Chinese President Xi Jinping announced $60 billion in funds for eight initiatives over the next three years, in areas ranging from industrial promotion, infrastructure construction and scholarships for young Africans. Such a financial package has many high-profile defenders on the continent, including the head of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina. “A lot of people get nervous about China but I am not. I think China is Africa’s friend,” he told the BBC. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa dismissed the view of a “new colonialism taking hold in Africa while Rwandan President Paul Kagame called talk of “debt traps” as attempts to discourage African-Chinese interactions. But several African economists, media pundits and civil society see red flags ahead. “The time has come for African leaders to critically interrogate their relationship with China,” an editorial in Kenya’s Daily Nation said Monday. “What are the benefits in this relationship? Is China unfairly exploiting Africa like the others before it?” “This debt acquired from China comes with huge business opportunities for Chinese companies, particularly construction companies that have turned the whole of Africa into a construction site for rails, roads, electricity dams, stadia, commercial buildings and so on,” said Kampala-based economist Ramathan Ggoobi, speaking to the BBC. In Uganda, a 21 year mining concession to the Guangzhou Dongsong Energy Company produced only 92 job slots so far and the threat of displacement of 12,000 residents from 14 villages. This week in Zambia, the government was forced to refute published reports of the possible Chinese takeover of Kenneth Kaunda International Airport and the power utility ZESCO for unpaid debts. It is increasingly common in countries like Angola, Mozambique or Ghana, which benefit from Chinese loans for infrastructure, to see Chinese trucks and workers who would otherwise be unemployed in China now working in Africa on Chinese projects. “If African countries are not careful, the debt they have to China is going to be the equivalent or even more than the debt that they have to industrialized countries and to the World Bank,” said William Gumede, University of the Witwatersrand professor and chair of the Democracy Works Foundation in South Africa. The next Summit will be organized by Senegal in 2021.

Newswire:  Dallas cop shoots, kills man in his own home

 Same cop was involved in shooting last year in which a man was wounded

By Frederick H. Lowe

 

 

Botham Shem Jean

Special to the Trice Edney News Wire from NorthStarNewsToday.com (TriceEdneyWire.com) – The off-duty Dallas police officer who mistakenly walked into the wrong apartment, believing that was where she lived before shooting and killing Botham Shem Jean, the tenant, has been identified as Amber Guyger, the Dallas Morning News and social media are reporting. Amber Guyger, a Dallas police officer, who entered the wrong apartment, mistakenly believing it was where she lived before and shooting and killing the actual tenant, was arrested Sunday and charged with manslaughter. Guyger, 30, was released on $300,000 bond for Thursday’s […] Dallas Police Chief U. Renee Hall said the Texas Rangers are in charge of the investigation, and they have asked the DPD to refrain from charging Guyger until they finish questioning her. The Dallas Police Department wants to charge her with manslaughter. Guyger, a four-year veteran of the police department, was wearing her police uniform after having completed her shift. She went to the wrong apartment and attempted to open the door, which would not open. The 26-year-old Jean heard the commotion and opened the door. Guyger, believing he was a burglar, shot him. It is not known if any words were exchanged between the two or if Guyger just had a visceral reaction when she saw a black-male face staring back at her. Allison Jean, Botham’s mother, wondered if race played a role in the deadly shooting. “If he had been a white man, would things have turned out differently?”she asked. It was only after emergency medical technicians arrived that Guyger realized she was in the wrong apartment. Jean was pronounced dead at Baylor Medical Center. Social media said Guyger and Jean knew each other. A photograph of Jean with several women is posted on Facebook, but Jean’s family lawyer said that none of the women is Guyger. The two did not know each other, he said. Police also confirmed the two weren’t acquainted. The Dallas Morning News reported that Guyger was involved in an earlier on-duty shooting incident when she shot Uvaldo Perez, 47, in 2017 after he wrestled away her taser. He was shot in the stomach and survived. Jean, a native of St. Lucia, had been working as an intern in risk assurance for accounting at Pricewaterhouse Coopers, an international accounting and consulting firm with offices in Dallas. He was a 2016 graduate of Harding University, a private Christian liberal arts university in Searcy, Arkansas. He earned degrees in accounting and business systems. Jean was also a member of the school’s campus ministry. Dallas West Church of Christ will hold funeral services for Jean on Thursday.

Newswire:  CBCF prepares for 48th Legislative Conference in DC

 By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Contributor

 Senator Kamala Harris of California

Two senators: Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey and Sen. Kamala Harris of California will serve as honorary co-chairs for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Inc.’s 48th Annual Legislative Conference scheduled Sept. 12 through Sept. 16 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in D.C. It will mark the first time that co-chairs will come from the Senate. Historically, members of the U.S. House of Representatives have served that role. The premier conference, which annually attracts nearly 10,000 people from across the world and is the only event of its kind in the United States, will have the theme, “The Dream Still Demands Courage, Resilience, Leadership and Legislation.” The five-day conference offers more than 90 forums on public policy issues affecting Black Americans. “For more than 40 years, the Annual Legislative Conference has provided an extraordinary platform for people – domestic and abroad – to come together and discuss vital issues related to social justice, leadership, economic prosperity, entrepreneurship and much more,” Texas Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, the chair of the CBCF board of directors, said in a statement. “As we continue to grow and expand the conference, we know that we must be unwavering in our approach to have the difficult conversations, elevate debates about the state of Black America, and also define new and innovative solutions.” The impact of civil and social movements over the last 50 years has played a major role in changing the trajectory of American history, CBCF officials said. This year’s theme focuses on the influence and legacy of these moments, while uplifting present-day champions in the fight for racial equality, justice and freedom., “As we approach the 48th year of hosting the Annual Legislative Conference, we find ourselves in a critical time where, now more than ever, diverse voices are imperative to the future of this nation,” said A. Shuanise Washington, president and CEO of the CBCF. During the conference, attendees will have the opportunity to delve into important conversations with industry leaders from across the globe on public health, gender equality, social mobility, LGBTQ rights and environmental sustainability, among many other topics. The conference provides a safe haven for Black Americans to contribute their experiences, knowledge, and opinions to a larger, national dialogue, Washington said. “The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Annual Legislative Conference is among the most important annual gatherings for Black Americans, and I am honored to lead its 48th convening with Senator Harris,” Booker said. “The Conference theme, ‘The Dream Still Demands,’ presents an important opportunity for our community to lead the national dialogue on so many pressing issues, from fixing our broken criminal justice system to creating economic opportunities for communities of color,” he said. “We have so many urgent challenges that must be addressed, and I’m looking forward to hearing from all of the incredible leaders who will be participating in the conference.” The Annual Legislative Conference is also a time to network and enjoy connecting with a diverse group of individuals, officials said. Networking and special events include the Exhibit Showcase with an on-site employment fair and free health screenings; the Prayer Breakfast; National Town Hall; Gospel Extravaganza; the Annual Celebration of Leadership in the Fine Arts, which honors the contributions of individuals in the performing and visual arts who have influenced our history and inspired generations; and the culminating event, the Phoenix Awards Dinner, which supports the CBCF’s mission-critical programs including education, economic development, health and research. “The Annual Legislative Conference, over nearly five decades, has brought together some of the country’s greatest leaders, innovators, and job creators to address the most pressing issues facing black America,” Harris said. “This year is no exception. The conference will provide a platform to advocate for the voiceless, the vulnerable, and all who believe in fulfilling the American promise of equality and justice for all. I look forward to confronting these issues head on and working to create solutions that will lead to lasting change.”

Newswire:  HBCU millennials energized to vote!

 By Lauren Poteat, NNPA Newswire

Washington Correspondent

 

HBCU students participate in voter rally

During the contentious 2016 presidential race between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, voter turnout still proved to be at an all-time low among students who attended Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU). In a report released by Tufts University, 2016 voter turnout plummeted by more than 10 points at HBCUs — from 50.5 percent to 39.9 percent. Only two-years after the election of the very controversial and confrontational President Trump, Kamau Marshall, Director of African American Media and Deputy National Press Secretary ,Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), says that HBCU students are more active and energized to get their vote out and let their voices be heard than ever. Energizing this voting block will make a difference to the outcome of several very important contests this November. “With the Fall semester kicking off, there is a lot of momentum surrounding this very political climate,” Marshall said. “With November elections right around the corner, HBCU students are playing an active and important role when it comes to voting and voter registration.” Believing in hope and the possibility of change, many historically Black institutions across the nation are taking the reins when it comes to increasing voter awareness and registration among their student body. For example, Howard University, located in the heart of the nation’s capital, registered over 1,200 new voters during the month of August. “The more you get involved, the more your voice matters,” Amos Jackson III, president of the Howard Student Government Association (SGA) said. “That’s why it’s was so important for us to heavily promote voter registration. During our August Freshmen move-in day, we were able to register hundreds of new voters.” “There are a lot of issues up for debate, including higher education costs, gun reform and scholarship budgets, that directly affect millennials,” Jackson continued. “So, when people say that their vote doesn’t count, that’s definitely not true. Your vote matters.” Howard provides both new and returning students valuable information, including handouts on absentee ballots and voter choices. Howard students are also encouraged to sign up for a service known as “TurboVote,” an app that sends notifications about upcoming elections, an initiative whose success comes as no surprise to Marshall. “HBCU students are ready to support whoever has their best interest at heart,” Marshall said. “As an HBCU alum—history shows that HBCU students have always been engaged when it comes to the political process. The difference is always with likable candidates.” In states like Florida and Georgia, HBCU participation is at an all-time high, as students and other citizens eagerly await the hopeful election of productive new governors. In the state of Florida, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, a Democratic, hopes to become the state’s first Black governor in his campaign against Republican Rep. Rob DeSantis. The race will be one of the most closely watched contests this November, since DeSantis has tied himself to President Donald Trump and defeated other more establishment Republicans. However, Gillum, a firm believer in Medicare for all, has the backing of progressives like Bernie Sanders and the Black community, who were largely responsible for his upset win during the state’s Democratic primary. In the state of Georgia, an Atlanta Journal-Constitution/Channel 2 Action News poll showed that Democrat Stacey Abrams, who is African American, and Republican Brian Kemp are deadlocked in their race at 45 percent each. Contests like those in Florida and Georgia are ammunition to Michelle Obama’s “When We All Vote,” campaign, which recently announced a series of upcoming “When We All Vote” rallies, targeting students at three HBCUs: Clark Atlanta, Morehouse and Spelman. “There is no time more important than now to be civically engaged and to exercise our right to vote,” Mary Schmidt Campbell, president of Spelman said in a statement. “Spelman students have been registering their classmates to vote since August—signing up more than one third of our first-year class as soon as they stepped on campus. We are excited about the energy and advocacy ‘When We All Vote’ will bring to the Atlanta University Center.” Though off-year elections are often seen as less important than those held during Presidential election cycles, Marshall insists that voting during this time November is just as important, particularly for Black millennials. “Voting impacts people’s everyday lives, including the cost of healthcare, investments in job-creation and community issues like gun violence prevention,” Marshall said. “It’s critical to vote now—in particular—because it’s clear that Republican-controlled Washington is not on the side of regular people, and we need a check and balance.” “It’s not just the president that can impact issues you care about, it’s also Congress,” Marshall continued. “No one can take anything for granted and we need everyone to turn out on November 6th.”

Newswire : Decades-old case revives African demand for stolen lands

Chagos protestors Sept. 3, 2018 (GIN) – When colonial powers redrew borders in Africa and picked choice lands for themselves and less desirable land for everyone else, some of those deals remained through this century. Few were undone. This week, a case before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) will decide if colonial deals that redrew African borders can be declared illegal and, if so, if islands taken by the United Kingdom from the nation of Mauritius can be rejoined to Mauritius as before. Mauritius says it was illegally stripped by Britain of the Chagos Islands, now home to a major U.S. air base. The British decision to separate Mauritius from the archipelago in 1965 was a bargaining chip that forced Mauritius to choose – accept the deal or never obtain independence. The deal was in breach of UN resolution 1514, passed in 1960, which specifically banned the breakup of colonies before independence, according to the Mauritian government arguing before the UN-backed court which specializes in territorial and border disputes between states. The four-day session will hear from representatives of 22 countries in a dispute over the rights of exiled islanders to return. The United States has leased the Chagos Islands’ biggest island, Diego Garcia, since 1966 and has built an air base there, while the entire population of around 1,500 people was forced to leave. Although ICJ opinions are not binding, they carry weight under international law. Arguing for Mauritius is elder statesman Anerood Jugnauth, 88, who served for nearly 30 years during four stints as prime minister or president of Mauritius from 1982-2017. “The choice we were faced with was no choice at all: it was independence with detachment (of the Chagos archipelago) or no independence with detachment anyway,” Jugnauth told the 14-judge panel. Olivier Bancoult, leader of the “Chagos Refugees Group said “What we are asking for our right to live on our island as sons of the soil.” UK solicitor general Robert Buckland accepted that the removal of the Chagossians and their treatment thereafter “was shameful and wrong and Britain deeply regrets that fact.” Still, he claims, in 1982, a treaty was signed between the countries that reached “full and final settlement” of Mauritian claims to the archipelago. That deal has since been recognized by the European court of human rights. No date has been set for a decision.

Newswire:  Criticism of Rev. Jasper Williams follow his remarks at Aretha Franklin’s funeral

By: Lauren Victoria Burke, NNPA

Rev. Jasper Williams and Aretha Franklin

Saying his subject was “Aretha the Queen of Soul,” Rev. Jasper Williams of the Salem Bible Church in Atlanta gave the audience gathered for Aretha Franklin’s funeral a few unexpected memories laced with political commentary. Though he began simply, referring to the history of soul music and gospel, his talk became political as he Williams appeared towards the end of the ten-hour service. Rev. Williams was one of over three dozen speakers at Franklin’s lengthy Detroit home going ceremony. Rev. Williams referenced black-on-black crime, said single mothers are incapable of raising sons alone and proclaimed that black America has lost its soul and it’s “now time for black America to come back home.” “Where is your soul, black man?” he asked the audience at one point. “As I look in your house, there are no fathers in the home no more. Where is your soul?” “Seventy percent of our households are led by our precious, proud, fine black women. But as proud, beautiful and fine as our black women are, one thing a black woman cannot do. A black woman cannot raise a black boy to be a man. She can’t do that. She can’t do that,” Rev. Williams said. “It amazes me how it is that when the police kills one of us, we’re ready to protest march, destroy innocent property,” he said. “We’re ready to loot, steal whatever we want. …But when we kill 100 of us, nobody says anything. Nobody does anything,” he went on. “There was a time when we as a race had a thriving economy. I remember we had our own little grocery stores. We had our own little hotels. They weren’t big and fancy, but they were ours. As bad as the days as Jim Crow and segregation were … it forced us to each other instead of forcing us on each other. We quickly come to realize that as a people, all we really have is one another,” Rev. Williams said during his 40-minute eulogy to Franklin. Social media quickly blew up after Rev. Williams spoke in response. Legendary singer Stevie Wonder proclaimed the phrase “black lives do matter,” as he turned in the direction of Rev. Williams after the minister left the stage. Singer Gladys Knight’s performance was also viewed as a moment that brought the ceremony back from Williams’ political speech. “Black Mothers been raising Black boys for years!! We’re Still are raising proud, accomplished and aware Black man!! I should have known! Rest of this eulogy has been a conservative Black confusion rant!” wrote attorney Barbara Arwine from her twitter feed during the speech. “Folks, he can’t see, but Stevie Wonder can hear. And he is offering a rebuke to the eulogy. Don’t think for a second, he isn’t! And the folks in the room heard it,” wrote journalist Roland Martin, who attended the service. “Reverend Jasper Williams plantation style speech at #ArethaFranklinFuneral is a prime example why there is a total disconnect between young Black people and the older Black church crowd. All that cowardly “you’s gots to do better” talk ain’t fooling these kids,” offered anti-racism strategist Tariq Nasheed on twitter. Before Rev. Williams spoke, Smokey Robinson, Shirley Ceasar, Jennifer Hudson, Chaka Khan, Jennifer Lewis and Ron Isley performed among many others.Rev. William Barbour and Rev. Jesse Jackson also delivered remarks. “Aretha was in her very own special category,” said founder of Arista Records Clive Davis. “Her voice will be impacting others literally for centuries to come,” Davis added. A second tribute to Franklin and her music is planned at Madison Square Garden this fall. After her funeral, it was revealed by the family that Aretha Franklin had not left a will and there may be future conflicts over the handling and disposition of her estate.

Newswire :Trump’s ongoing scandals mask a radical agenda that hurts everyday people

NEWS ANALYSIS

By Rev. Jesse Jackson

 (TriceEdneyWire.com) – Trump’s serial scandals — Stormy Daniels, the Russia investigation, the Paul Manafort verdict, the Cohen guilty plea, the juvenile tweets — fill the headlines. Beneath the noise, however, Trump’s appointees and the Republican Congress are relentlessly pursuing a radical right-wing agenda that is gutting basic protections for workers, consumers and the environment. This is often characterized as Trump’s fixation on erasing everything Obama, but it goes far beyond that. Trump’s administration and Congress are not only rolling back President Obama’s policies, but weakening the advances of the Great Society, the Civil Rights Movement, and even pillars of the New Deal. Consider: Eviscerating the Voting Rights Act The Department of Justice has essentially abandoned enforcement of voting rights. The signal was sent when DOJ lawyers withdrew from the Texas voter-ID case in which the Obama Justice Department was co-counsel, arguing that the Texas act was intentionally designed to discriminate against people of color. Combined with the Supreme Court’s right-wing gang of five weakening the act in Shelby County v. Holder, there is now a virtual vacuum of voting rights enforcement. Savaging Enforcement of Civil Rights While Attorney General Jeff Sessions has dramatically weakened enforcement of basic civil rights in the Justice Department, the same is true across the government. The Labor Department disbanded its civil rights division. The Department of Education gutted the budget of its Office of Civil Rights. The Environmental Protection Agency targeted the Environmental Justice program for elimination. For immigrants, basic civil rights have been trampled — from the travel-ban orders affecting predominantly Muslim countries, upending the DACA program for the young people who were born here and know no other country, to the grotesque policy that separated children from their parents at the border. Under Sessions, the Justice Department has also essentially abandoned what was a bipartisan effort to bring about criminal justice reform, with Sessions ordering a review of the consent decrees that were addressing systematic racial discrimination and police brutality. Climate Change Denial Trump famously has announced he will pull the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement, while his appointees have sought to scrub any mention of climate change from government websites. EPA Director Andrew Wheeler, a former coal lobbyist, replaced the Obama administration Clean Power Plan that limited the release of greenhouse gases from power plants. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has abandoned efforts to end the 30-year ripoff of government by fossil fuel companies mining public lands. At a time when even the Pentagon recognizes climate change as real and present threat to national security, the Trump administration remains in denial. Undermining Public Education Under Betsy DeVos, the Department of Education has become the vessel of for-profit plunder. Her budgets seek to use public funds for private school vouchers. Stunningly, the DOE is pushing plans to make it harder for students to repay their college debts, ending or weakening various plans to limit the burden. Now DeVos is jettisoning rules that require for-profit colleges to provide an education that actually prepares graduates for decent jobs, opening the door for rip-offs like Trump’s own notorious university. Savaging Worker Rights In one of his first votes, Trump’s Supreme Court pick Neil Gorsuch provided the determining vote in the Janus decision that weakened the ability of public employees to organize and bargain collectively. Trump’s Labor Department repealed the Fair Pay and Safe Workplace Rule that required companies with federal contracts to disclose and correct labor and safety violations. It also announced it would not defend Obama’s order that increased the number of employees eligible for overtime pay, effectively depriving tens of thousands of workers of a raise. Tax Cuts for the Rich, Cuts in Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security for the Rest Trump’s one main legislative victory — the Republican tax cut — lavishes its benefits on the rich and the corporations. Trump and Republicans are using the deficits they created to push for deep cuts in Medicaid, Medicare and — watch for it if they survive the November election — Social Security. Trump’s budgets call for deep cuts in virtually every program for the vulnerable, including food stamps, affordable housing and more. We can’t allow ourselves to be distracted by the circus which is the Trump presidency. Under the chaos, Trump’s appointees and the Republican Congress are pursuing a radical and very destructive agenda. These measures are incredibly unpopular, or would be if Americans knew about them. They are done by executive order, by administrative rulings, by judicial decisions, by budget cuts. Their effect is masked by the good economy. But they are incredibly destructive, systematically making America more unequal, undermining equal justice under law and elevating corporate rights over worker rights. They must be exposed and stopped. The elections this fall will be the first chance to curb this misrule.

Newswire: NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson issued the following statement on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to U.S. Supreme Court

Derrick Johnson, NAACP “This Senate hearing on Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the U. S. Supreme Court should not go forward. The President is in personal legal jeopardy and only a fraction of Kavanaugh’s record has been produced. To proceed now threatens the legitimacy of the Senate’s constitutional review and the Supreme Court itself. What we do know of Judge Kavanaugh’s civil rights record is deeply troubling. His views on voting rights, affirmative action, equal employment, fair housing, and criminal justice could shut the courthouse door on justice for a generation. Senators need to fight this nomination with everything they have. There is simply too much at stake.” · Read findings on Kavanaugh’s Civil Rights record · Learn more about NAACP’s fight for fair judicial appointments · Watch President Johnson speak out on the importance of fair courts Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation’s oldest and largest nonpartisan civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities. You can read more about the NAACP’s work and our six “Game Changer” issue areas at www.naacp.org.