Newswire : South African President endorses transfer of land from Whites to Blacks

Cyril Ramaphosajpg

Cyril Ramaphosa

March 5, 2018 (GIN) – Barely a month into his presidency, Cyril Ramaphosa has taken sides on a hot button issue whose resolution had eluded previous leaders. He vowed to speed up the seizure of land from white owners and turn the properties over to blacks.

“This original sin that was committed when our country was colonized must be resolved in a way that will take South Africa forward,” he declared.

The resolution calling for expropriation without compensation was introduced by the self-described radical and militant Economic Freedom Front, and passed 241 votes in agreement, and 83 votes against.

Sinawo Thambo, provincial chairperson of the group’s Student Command in the Western Cape, exuberantly described the vote in an article titled “Land Expropriation a Victory for Africa.”

“Land dispossession in South Africa, although marred by barbaric violence, was also a legislated policy,” he wrote. “The oppression of exploitation of the black majority was rationalized under a parliamentary and judicial framework. This means it is engrained in history and in policy that perpetuates the dire conditions the black majority exists in in this country.

“Central to the (newly-passed) resolution is the agreement not to compensate when expropriating land,” he continued, because “it is unreasonable to expect compensation for land theft and the criminal process of colonialism. It would be justifying the rational of dispossession as an acceptable fact and rewarding theft. It simply should not be done and the debates in Parliament expressed that succinctly.”

Other measures proposed by the new president were announced in his State of the Nation address.

Among the initiatives planned to jumpstart the economy are: a jobs summit, an investment conference, and compulsory local procurement in major economic sectors with a focus on youth empowerment.

His stand on land reform was cautious and measured: “We are determined that expropriation without compensation be implemented in a way that increases agricultural production, improves food security and ensure that the land is returned to those from whom it was taken under colonialism and apartheid.

”Government will undertake a process of consultation to determine the modalities of the implementation of this resolution,” he told the Assembly.

Ramaphosa rejected the torrent of criticisms appearing in national and international media. There will be “no smash-and-grab of land in our country”, he responded. “That we will not allow. There is no need for anyone to panic and beat the drums of war,” adding that the “issue would be solved without any problems”.

Everyone will have an opportunity, regardless of their race, birthplace or the wealth of their parents, he said, and repeated it in Afrikaans.

City Council grants liquor license to John’s club Eutaw recognizes National Girl Scout Cookie Weekend

Girl Scott

Shown Back Row L to R: Councilpersons LaTasha Johnson, Bennie Abrams, Joe L. Powell, Sheila Smith and LaJeffery Carpenter. Front Row L to R: Girl Scouts Madisyn Harris, India Duncan, Troop Leader Miriam Leftwich, Eutaw Mayor Raymond Steele, Girl Scouts Diamond White and Mackenzie Harris

The Eutaw City Council, at its February 27, 2018 meeting presented a proclamation honoring local Girl Scout Troop 408 for National Girl Scout Cookie Weekend.  The Proclamation stated that the City of Eutaw proclaims the week of February 23-25 as National Girl Scout Cookie Weekend. Members of Girl Scout Troop 408, with their troop leader Miriam Leftwich were present.  Leftwich announced that there were boxes of cookies for sale.  Following the presentation, Girl Scout Diamond White thanked the city for its continued support of Girl Scouts.

In other business, the council approved a liquor license for John’s club on Main Street, with councilpersons Sheila Smith and LaJeffery Carpenter abstaining. The council approved the $4,000 bid for demolition of a dwelling at 409 Tuscaloosa Street.
At its meeting on February 13, 2018, the Eutaw City Council approved a liquor license for Chuck Wagon which will be moving to a new location in West End from its current space on the Prairie Avenue side of the Courthouse Square.
At the request of Greene County Health Services, the council approved the use of the former National Guard Armory as an alternative location in the event of a natural disaster. At the February 13th meeting, the Council approved use of the National Guard Armory for the non-profit ANSC’s Black & White Heritage Ball.
The council approved payment of bills, although the clerk was unable to print the documents for the council due to technical difficulties.
The council approved a request from the local Boy Scout Troop to use the city’s property on Boligee and Washington Streets for an Easter Carnival.
In his reports to the council, Mayor Steele stated that the power pole on Morrow Street will be removed by next week. At the prior meeting, Mayor Steele announced that the new water tank was cleaned, filled and placed on line as part of the City’s enhanced water system. He also stated that the grass in the cemeteries is ready to be cut, but the workers are waiting for a break in the rain.
At the first meeting of the month, the Council approved adding the new City Clerk as a signatory on the bank account to assist with paying bills. The Council authorized payment of February bills and claims on hand at that time.
Councilwoman Johnson noted that there are still vehicles illegally parked on Lock 7 Road.  Mayor Steele said these will be towed and the owners will be fined. The Councilwoman Smith said the caution light on Boligee St. was still not working.
Councilman Carpenter requested that the council and Mayor set a date to update the City’s Handbook.  The body agreed to March 21 at 5:30 pm, to begin the process.
City Attorney, Ken Aycock, presented a draft of the city’s proposed Public Records Request Policy.  He recommended that the council consider charging for staff time and for copying regarding request for public records.

Bridge Crossing Jubilee to be this weekend in Selma, Alabama

The 53rd commemoration of the “Bloody Sunday Selma-to-Montgomery March for Voting Rights” will take place in Selma from Thursday, March 1 to Sunday, March 4, 2018. This will also be the 25th anniversary of the Bridge Crossing Jubilee, featuring over 40 events to celebrate voting rights and plan for future actions to maintain and expand voting rights.
The theme of this year’s Bridge Crossing Jubilee is Many More Bridges to Cross. Most of the events being held over the four-day period are free to the public.
The initial event is the Old Fashioned Mass Meeting at Tabernacle Baptist Church on Broad Street from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. Thursday, March 1, 2018. Bishop Staccato Powell of AME Zion Church is the main speaker. Tabernacle is the site of the first mass meetings of the Selma Voting Rights Struggle more than half a century ago. The Miss Jubilee Pageant for youth is also that same evening from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the School of Discovery.
On Friday, March 2, 2018, there is an Educational Summit to deal with major issues facing the education of young people, a Mock Trial on an important issue and a special rally for the “Poor People’s Campaign – A National Moral Revival” featuring Rev. William Barber. The Jubilee Golf Tournament begins early Friday morning and the day ends with a “Stomp Out the Vote” Step Show.

On Saturday, March 3, 2018, there will be a parade, the Foot Soldiers Breakfast, to honor pioneers of the Civil Rights Movement, an Intergenerational Summit, with Congresswoman Maxine Waters, the Jubilee Street Festival, to be held on Water Street close to the bridge, and the Freedom Flame Awards Banquet.
On Saturday there will also be two major workshops on “Human Rights Violation is a Devastation to Our Nation” and “What Democracy Looks Like and Making Democracy Work for US”. Many speakers including Cornel West, Ruby Sales, Raymond Winbush, Anthony Browder and others will participate. These workshops will be held at the Dallas County Courthouse.
Sunday, March 4, 2018, will begin at 7:30AM with the Martin and Coretta Scott King Unity Breakfast at Wallace Community College. Kamala Harris, U. S. Senator from California will be the keynote speaker for the breakfast. She will be joined by new Alabama U. S. Senator Doug Jones, Congresswoman Terri Sewell, Rev. Jesse Jackson and many others. After breakfast, marchers are encouraged to join church services around Selma.
At 1:30 PM Sunday, there will be a pre-march rally at the Browns Chapel Church, followed by a re-enactment of the historic Selma-to-Montgomery Voting Rights March starting at 2:30 PM. Thousands are expected to attend and follow the original march route across the Edmund Pettus Bridge. A post-march rally and other activities will be held later that afternoon.
Faya Rose Toure, organizer of the Selma Bridge Crossing Jubilee said, “We invite everyone who supports and celebrates the right to vote to come to this largest annual continuing Civil Rights Celebration, but we also must rededicate ourselves to working on the next necessary steps to carry the movement for voting rights, civil rights and human rights forward!”
Alabama State Senator Hank Sanders said: “Tens of thousands come to Selma every year to be a part of these events. There is something for everyone of all ages and all backgrounds. See you in Selma!”
For more information and a detailed schedule of all events, check the website:

Greene County Schools receive shooting threat posted on Facebook

The students, faculty and staff at Greene County Schools were greeted by a large contingent of law enforcement officials when they arrived at their campuses, Tuesday morning, Feb. 27, 2018. This extra precaution was taken by the Greene County Schools Superintendent Dr. James H. Carter, following a Monday night threat on Facebook stating that a shooting was planned for the following day at Greene County High School. The Facebook entry read: “I will be shooting up GCHS tomorrow morning at 12:30 pm, F—- Rice and Goodson.”

Eutaw police, sheriff department, state troopers and other state law enforcement, as well as representatives of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, were on the Greene County High School campus, posted inside and outside, throughout the day, screening everyone and all vehicles coming to the school. Officers were also sent to Eutaw Primary and Robert Brown Middle Schools.
According to Dr. Carter, intensive efforts were in process for tracing the Facebook threat. He expected that arrests of individuals responsible would follow this investigation. He indicated that law enforcement had identified persons of interest.
On Tuesday afternoon, law enforcement also conducted searches, using dogs, throughout the school looking for explosives and weapons.
“Our first concern was the safety of our entire school family. We did not close schools on Tuesday once we had enlisted the protective services of all law enforcement available. Our schools were inundated with armed offices from the City of Eutaw, Greene Count Sheriff Department and deputies from surrounding counties as well as from the State Troopers and FBI,” Dr. Carter stated.
Superintendent Carter said that extra security will remain at the schools throughout the week, with the schools on lock down

Newwire : Report: Blacks comprise more than 40% of U. S. homeless population

By Frederick H. Lowe, NorthStar News

 Homeless man sleeping on the streets

( – Although Blacks comprise 12.5 percent of the nation’s population, they are overrepresented among the nation’s homeless as housing prices increase and because fewer units of affordable housing are being built. These two factors are compounded by existing housing discrimination and the black unemployment rate, which is always the nation’s highest.
This constellation of factors often results in Black people sleeping in the streets or in homeless shelters.
Last year, the United States’ homeless population was 553,742. Of this number, 224,937 were homeless Black men and Black women, accounting for 40.6 percent of the total homeless population, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The White homeless population was 260,797, accounting for 47.1 percent of the total homeless population.
The Hispanic homeless population was 119,419, accounting for 21.6 percent of the total homeless population.
HUD gathers its figures during a Point-in-Time estimate which is always taken during the last week of January. HUD’s report to Congress concerning homelessness was released in December 2017. Last year’s homeless count was a .7 percent increase over 2016 and a 13.1 percent decrease since 2010.
Among the homeless, men outnumber women. In 2017, 335,038, or 60.5 percent of the homeless population were men compared with 215, 709 or 39.0 percent women, according to HUD’s 2017 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress.
Individuals who are transgendered accounted for 2,092 or 0.4 percent of homeless people.
The count is made by tens of thousands of volunteers who visit 3,000 cities and counties where the homeless are known to be, including emergency shelters, transitional housing and unsheltered locations.
Transitional housing provides people a place to stay and some supportive services for up to 24 months. Unsheltered homeless includes people living on the streets, in cars or in parks.
HUD reported that homelessness in 30 states and the District of Columbia has declined, but in West Coast cities, including Los Angeles, there was nearly a 26 percent increase in overall homelessness since 2016, primarily among individuals living in unsheltered locations.
“In many high-cost areas of the country, especially along the West Coast, the severe shortage of affordable housing is manifesting itself on our streets,” said Ben Carson, Secretary of HUD. “With rents rising faster than incomes, we need to bring everybody to the table to produce more affordable housing and ease the pressure that is forcing too many of our neighbors into our shelters and onto our streets.”
While homelessness decreased, grew slightly among other racial and ethnic groups, homelessness among Blacks increased 6 percent or 7,299 people in 2017, compared with a 2 percent increase or 2,856 people among Whites.
A report titled “Study Investigates Connections Between Race, Homelessness” reports that race and discrimination are integral to addressing homelessness.
“The lack of affordable housing and lack of adequate housing across the country falls more heavily on communities of color, but especially on the African-American community,” wrote Eric Tars, a senior attorney for the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty.
Homeless people of color are especially vulnerable to the effects of biased policing because living in public spaces creates opportunities for police intervention, Tars said.
Dr. Moser Jones wants policymakers to study long-ignored connections between decades of structural racial discrimination against African Americans and other black persons.
Jones, an assistant professor at the University of Maryland School of Public Health, wrote, “Black persons’ general elevated risk for becoming homeless as a result of long-standing discrimination and other factors have depleted black communities’ resources.”

Newswire : Teen survivors of Florida shooting to march on Washington for gun law reform

By Hayley Miller, Huffpost


Florida High School students
Florida high school students speak out against guns

A group of students who survived the Wednesday mass shooting at a Florida high school is organizing a nationwide march to demand lawmakers make ending gun violence a priority.
The “March For Our Lives” is planned for March 24 in Washington, D.C., with sister marches expected to break out in other major cities across the country, five students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School announced on Sunday during several TV appearances.
“People are saying that it’s not time to talk about gun control, and we can respect that,” Cameron Kasky, a junior at the high school, said on ABC’s “This Week.”
“Here’s the time: March 24,” Kasky continued. “In every single city, we are going to be marching together as students begging for our lives. This isn’t about the GOP. This isn’t about the Democrats. This is about the adults. We feel neglected. At this point, you’re either with us or you’re against us.”

A 19-year-old former student has confessed to using an assault-style rifle to open fire Wednesday at the high school in Parkland, killing 17 people and injuring over a dozen others. Many students at the school, located roughly 40 miles north of Miami, have spoken out since the massacre, pleading with politicians to take action on gun violence.
“We are losing our lives while the adults are playing around,” Kasky said Sunday on CNN. “We have our lives on the line here. At the end day, that is what is going to be bringing us to victory and to making some sort of right out of this tragedy. This is about us begging for our lives.”

“The future of our country are those children that are currently dying because politicians refuse to take action,” said David Hogg, senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School

Four other classmates joined Kasky on Sunday: David Hogg, Alex Wind, Jaclyn Corin, and Emma Gonzalez, who delivered a powerful speech Saturday at a rally for gun control in Fort Lauderdale.
Gonzalez begged Congress to “please stop allowing us to be gunned down in our hallways” during an appearance with her fellow students on “Fox News Sunday.”
“We want students to be at that march and to be with us,” Gonzalez said. “We want to be with those students who we didn’t understand their pain before and it’s all too tragic that we all have to understand the same pain now.”