Newswire : Trump ramps up attack on Manhattan DA with violent imagery and call for ‘Death’ and ‘Destruction’

Trump ramps up attack on Manhattan DA with violent imagery and call for ‘Death’ and ‘Destruction’

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent

Former President Donald Trump has ramped up the rhetoric and the threats as potential criminal charges loom in New York, Georgia, and Washington. Trump took to his Truth Social platform and posted a photo of him swinging a bat to the head of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.
He also threatened that his anticipated arrest would lead to “death and destruction.”
“What kind of person can charge another person, in this case a former President of the United States, who got more votes than any sitting President in history, and leading candidate (by far!) for the Republican Party nomination, with a Crime, when it is known by all that NO Crime has been committed, & also known that potential death & destruction in such a false charge could be catastrophic for our Country? Why & who would do such a thing? Only a degenerate psychopath that truly hates the USA!” Trump wrote.
Then in all capital letters, Trump continued his tirade:
A week before, Trump predicted that authorities from New York would arrest him, however, that has not happened yet.
Bragg’s office said Trump simply misled the public about an imminent arrest.
“We will not be intimidated by attempts to undermine the justice process, nor will we let baseless accusations deter us from fairly applying the law,” Bragg said through a spokesperson.
Bragg, 49, maintained that no one is above the law, and everyone receives equal treatment. “In every prosecution, we follow the law without fear or favor to uncover the truth,” his statement continued. Our skilled, honest, and dedicated lawyers remain hard at work.”
Trump’s social media attack on Bragg could reveal the frustrations and even the concern he might possess over all of the legal problems he currently faces.
Bragg’s case, in which the former President allegedly paid hush money to porn star Stormy Daniels and committed campaign finance crimes, is just the tip of the iceberg for the bombastic Trump.
Most legal experts believe Fulton County, Georgia, District Attorney Fani Willis might have a more serious case. A special grand jury disbanded in January after reportedly recommending charges that include obstruction, bribery, and interfering with a presidential election.
Additionally, a Special Counsel’s investigation into Trump allegedly mishandling classified documents at his Florida home has amped up with a federal judge ordering the former President’s lawyer to testify.
Finally, the Congressional committee that investigated the January 6 insurrection has recommended serious charges against Trump to the U.S. Department of Justice. Those charges could include treason.
“It would be a travesty of justice,” Mississippi Democratic Congressman Bennie Thompson said if Trump isn’t prosecuted by federal authorities for his role in the insurrection.
“Nobody is above the law, not even the President of the United States,” said Thompson, who chaired the commission.
“What we saw after interviewing more than 1,000 people – the majority of who identify with the Republican Party – we are convinced that whatever happened, happened because of one person. So, we are clear in our recommendation.”

Newswire: At least 26 dead in Mississippi tornado, predominately Black community devastated

By Hazel Trice Edney

DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell and other emergency management officials speak with a survivor of the devastating tornadoes that impacted Rolling Fork, Mississippi. (PHOTO:FEMA) – A couple of mornings of national news focus on the tornado that killed at least 26 people in 80 percent Black Rolling Fork, Mississippi and many news agencies have now  turned to another mass shooting in Nashville. Competing news interests have faded from the people of Rolling Fork, but they are receiving help from politicians, private and public disaster assistance agencies, churches and kind-hearted volunteers.

“Friend – a series of violent tornadoes have devastated Mississippi and neighboring areas: destroying homes, damaging businesses, and tragically taking at least 26 lives,” the NAACP wrote in a mass email appealing for help from its members. “The NAACP is urgently responding to Mississippi’s state of emergency. We’re coordinating relief efforts with the Red Cross, Congressman Bennie G. Thompson, and local branch leaders so that every Mississippian gets the support they need ASAP. Your donation, no matter how large or small, will help our teams on the ground provide shelter, food, water, and other essentials to NAACP members and others who are suffering.

According to Abre’ Conner, NAACP director of Environmental and Climate Justice, author of the email, “In some areas, the destruction evokes horrifying memories of record-breaking storms like 2005’s Hurricane Katrina and 2011’s Tuscaloosa–Birmingham tornado.”

He concludes, “A rapid and robust response is essential. With hundreds of Americans displaced and untold damage done, we’re calling on our nationwide NAACP community to come together and support the families and individuals suffering from this disaster.”

Emergency responders are on the scene, but the rare tornado which was on the ground for more than an hour, destroyed homes, businesses and cars beyond imagination. According to initial reports, Diesel trucks were flipped over and cars were picked up and dropped on top of buildings and debris piled as high as 20 feet tall. Rolling Fork, Silver City, Black Hawk and Winona were hit hardest by the EF-4 tornado that tour through the area late Friday night, March 24.

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves issued a state of emergency for all the counties affected by the severe weather, describing the state as “devastated.” President Biden has approved escalated response to that declaration. Rolling Fork Mayor, who led the governor on a tour of the destruction, expressed appreciation for those who are sending help and expressed hope amidst the tragedy. 

“On behalf of this entire community, first we want to say thank you. We want to thank you for all you’re doing for the families of this community and making sure the city of Rolling Fork will come back bigger and better than ever before,” Walker told the media. “Now, I’m having to meet my families, those who have lost loved ones, and help them make it through this traumatic time,” Walker said. “But you know what? I’m a firm believer that when you do right, right will follow you. And I think that I’ve been prepared to take on this task and I am going to do it in the name of the mayor of Rolling Fork and the man that I am and the man that God has made me to be.”

Newwire: Advocates visit Alabama lawmakers to urge support for Medicaid Expansion 

Members of Cover Alabama demonstrate for Medicaid Expansion at Alabama State Capitol in Montgomery

More than 80 Alabamians gathered outside the State House in Montgomery on Tuesday to urge state lawmakers to expand Medicaid to cover adults with low incomes. The Cover Alabama coalition sponsored the event as part of its advocacy day for Medicaid expansion. Alabama Arise is a founding member of Cover Alabama.

Some advocates shared stories of how Medicaid expansion would help their families and communities. Others highlighted how expansion would benefit Alabama’s economy and health care system. All sought to show the human faces of the state’s health coverage gap and the suffering it causes.

“I lost my job because of a chronic health condition. I’m the primary provider for my family, but I could not stay well enough to do my job,” said Jesse Odland, a Huntsville line cook. “Now, I worry my medical debt will affect how my family can thrive. The working class drives our economy, and we’re hit the hardest by the coverage gap.”

Closing the coverage gap would help nearly 300,000 Alabamians access potentially life-saving care. It also would create thousands of new jobs and invigorate the state’s economy, research shows. Medicaid expansion could create more than 20,000 new jobs and save the state almost $400 million each year for the next six years, according to a recent report by the Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama. And in rural areas, expansion would have the added benefit of reinforcing rural hospitals.

“Alabama’s rural hospitals are in trouble. More than a dozen are at immediate risk of closing this year,” said Dr. Marsha Raulerson, who has been a pediatrician in Brewton for more than 40 years. “When a rural hospital closes, that community loses not only their access to health care but also a primary economic engine and the jobs that come with that. Medicaid expansion is a win-win for patients and providers alike.”

Rev. Carolyn Foster, the faith in community coordinator at Greater Birmingham Ministries, argued that expanding Medicaid is just the right thing to do.

“No matter our creed, we can all agree that we are called to love our neighbors as ourselves,” Foster said. “So long as we allow our neighbors to fall into the health care coverage gap, we are failing to answer that calling. It is an affront to people of faith and people of good will.”

Thirty-nine states and the District of Columbia have expanded Medicaid, and North Carolina likely will join that list next week. Debbie Smith, Alabama Arise’s Cover Alabama campaign director, said advocates hope this is the year Alabama will expand, too.

“Research shows Medicaid expansion is favorable on both sides of the political aisle,” Smith said. “We are hopeful Alabama lawmakers will do the smart, compassionate and fiscally responsible thing and expand Medicaid now. How can our state not afford to save money?”

Newswire : Vice President Kamala Harris to reset relations with Africa on her first trip to continent

VP Harris welcomed to Ghana


Mar. 27, 2023 (GIN) – The U.S. has been sending its best and its brightest to Africa with gifts and promises aimed at winning back the continent from its partnerships with China.
This week, Vice President Kamala Harris went off on a 9 day trip designed to discuss increased investment in three countries to help spur economic growth.  Starting with Ghana, she will stop over in Tanzania before winding up in Zambia.
It is the fifth major trip by a senior administration official since the U.S.-Africa summit in Washington, DC, following trips by Secretary Janet Yellen, Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the First Lady, and Secretary Antony Blinken, most recently.
This reality tour reflects a growing awareness of the need to deepen U.S. engagement with the continent when it faces growing competition from other global powers, especially China and Russia.
 According to an official statement, the trip will build on December’s US-Africa summit in Washington where President Joe Biden said the U.S. was “all in on Africa’s future.” 
But Ghana’s once-thriving economy is going through its most difficult financial crisis in decades which has presented President Nana Akufo-Addo with rare opposition from the youth. Once described as Africa’s shining star by the World Bank, today it is no longer the economic poster child of West Africa. 
The country is seeking to restructure its debt amid surging inflation of over 50%. Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta has just been in Beijing leading negotiations with the Chinese government.
“So far, very positive and encouraging meetings in China,” the finance minister tweeted as he expressed optimism that it would secure external assurances “very soon”.
It is not clear what, if any help, Ms Harris can offer, but she will be under pressure to act like a willing partner in the wake of Mr Ofori-Atta’s China visit.
Her bilateral meeting with President Akufo-Addo will be followed by a visit to a local recording studio in Accra and a meeting with young people in the creative industry.
Next, after delivering a major speech to an audience of young people, the VP will visit the Cape Coast slave castle where she will give a major speech about the brutality of slavery and the African diaspora to an audience of young people. 
On Wednesday, in Accra, the Vice President will meet with women entrepreneurs and discuss the economic empowerment of women.  She will announce a series of continent-wide public and private sector investments to help close the digital gender divide and to empower women economically more broadly. 
Ghana will be followed by Tanzania where she is scheduled to meet President Samia Suluhu Hassan and take part in a wreath-laying ceremony to commemorate the 1998 bombing of the U.S. Embassy there followed by a session with entrepreneurs at a tech incubator and co-working space in Dar.
Finally, off to Zambia which finds itself in a similar position to Ghana. The copper-rich nation became the first African country to default on its debt when the Covid pandemic hit. Zambia is in prolonged discussions with China to restructure its debt and has also sought financial support from the IMF. 
Lastly, in Lusaka, on Saturday, April 1st, the Vice President will convene business and philanthropic leaders, from both the continent and from the United States, to discuss digital and financial inclusion on the continent.  They will discuss how to best partner together and build on the work of her trip and all the private sector announcements that she announced on the trip. 
For decades, the perception of the U.S. has been that it treats African countries like charity cases, according to several regional experts. That was exacerbated during the Trump administration, which largely ignored the continent or reportedly disparaged it. Former President Donald Trump, in a 2018 meeting, referred to some African nations as “shithole countries.” At the same time, China enhanced its investments in Africa, helping to build roads and other infrastructure projects and creating firmer economic and political relations.
“Washington is playing catch up in Africa,” said Cameron Hudson, a senior associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ Africa Program. “With all of the business investment that the Chinese have made comes a lot of leverage and political influence in those countries. It’s not just that they’re making money there. It’s that they now have skin in the game in Africa in ways that we don’t. And that gives them leverage that we don’t have.


Newswire: U. S. offers $331 Million to help Ethopia heal from war

Secretary of State Anthony Blinken meets with Ethopian President A. Alby

Mar. 20, 2023 (GIN) – The United States has promised Ethiopia $331 million in humanitarian aid to help heal the war-torn Horn of Africa country.
The funds were announced during a visit by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to Ethiopia last week.
The funding will provide life-saving support to those displaced and affected by conflict, drought, and food insecurity in Ethiopia,” he said.
But the aid may not be enough to patch up the frayed relations between the two nations. A tweet posted by African Stream, put it succinctly: “Uncle Sam in the guise of Secretary of State Antony Blinken was in Ethiopia to heal ties after the US earlier accused Addis Ababa of war crimes in the Tigray conflict and cut trade ties.
“So what’s with the sudden change of tune?  Could it have anything to do with the fact that arch-geopolitical rival China has been busy signing trade and development deals with Ethiopia and helping the country upgrade its infrastructure?  Looks like someone’s worried they’re losing clout on the continent…”
When Mr. Blinken arrived in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, he was the latest in a parade of Biden administration officials courting the continent amid rising competition for influence with Russia and China, noted the NY Times.
Just a year ago, the two countries were at odds and ends after the U.S. expelled Ethiopia from a regional trade group, citing “gross violations of internationally recognized human rights” by the government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. Such denunciations were not repeated during the meeting Wednesday, however, which focused on “progress in the agreement to cease hostilities.”
This time, Mr. Blinken’s goal was to reset America’s relationship with Ethiopia, a nation of 120 million, headquarters of the African Union and until recently a pillar of American security policy in the region. But the war badly strained that relationship.
Under the new terms of friendship, Mr. Blinken said that Mr. Abiy, along with Tigrayan leaders with whom he also met here, “should be commended” for bringing a halt to the violence, though he cautioned that more work was needed to carry out the agreement.
He also suggested that the U.S. bore some historical responsibility for Ethiopia’s civil strife by remaining silent when abuses were carried out.
“For our part, the U.S. acknowledges (the) human rights violations and repression committed during the past few decades, actions which sowed the seeds of future conflict,” in an apparent reference to a period when Ethiopia was a major American counterterrorism partner and its government was run by a Tigrayan-dominated coalition. “We and others were insufficiently vocal about these abuses in the past.”
In a photo op before a private meeting, Ethiopia’s foreign minister, Demeke Mekonnen, noted that the two nations “have longstanding relations, and it is time to revitalize them and move forward.”
Former U.S. diplomat to Africa Elizabeth Shackelford, opined: “Mr. Blinken should be skeptical toward Mr. Abiy, whose heroic image as a 2019 Nobel Prize winner has been eclipsed by a ruinous civil war for which he bears much responsibility and during which his forces and allied troops from the neighboring country of Eritrea were accused of massacres, sexual assault and ethnic cleansing in Tigray.
“My hope is that the war has changed our approach to the Ethiopian government and made us buy Abiy’s lines less readily.” 

Newswire: Hate crimes jumped nearly 12% in 2021, new FBI figures show

People demonstrating against hate crimes

By Michael Kosnar, NBC News


Hate crimes in the U.S. increased by 11.6% in 2021 from the previous year, according to revised figures the FBI released Monday.
The statistics showed that 12,411 people were reported to have been victims of hate crimes in 2021, 64.5% of them targeted because of their race or ethnicity, 15.9% targeted for their sexual orientation and 14.1% for their religion. The reports were up from 8,120 in 2020 to 9,065 in 2021 — some crimes had multiple victims.
In 2020, reports of hate crimes increased by less than 3% from the previous year.
The FBI released initial 2021 data in December that indicated a slight decrease in the number of hate crimes. Officials said that report was flawed because of low participation rates by law enforcement agencies across the country that were not using a new reporting system known as the National Incident-Based Reporting System.
The initial figures also did not include data from New York, Los Angeles and Chicago — the country’s three biggest cities by population.
Analysts then went back and had more than 3,000 agencies that had not originally submitted statistics hand in data so the FBI could have a fuller picture of hate crimes.
The figures released Monday include numbers from New York and Los Angeles. Chicago submitted data for part of the year, a senior FBI official told reporters in a background briefing.
The official said the top five hate crimes in 2021 were motivated by feelings against African Americans, whites, gay men, Jews and Asian Americans. The incidents were as varied as intimidation and assault to rape and murder.
The same official said 14,859 law enforcement agencies across the country are now enrolled in the National Incident-Based Reporting System, representing 79% of police agencies covering 91% of the U.S. population.
Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta, the No. 3 official at the Justice Department, said” “We are continuing to work with state and local law enforcement agencies across the country to increase the reporting of hate crime statistics to the FBI.
“Preventing, investigating and prosecuting hate crimes are top priorities for the Justice Department, and reporting is key to each of those priorities,” Gupta said in a statement.

Newswire: San Francisco board open to reparations with $5 Million payouts

By The Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO — Payments of $5 million to every eligible Black adult, the elimination of personal debt and tax burdens, guaranteed annual incomes of at least $97,000 for 250 years and homes in San Francisco for just $1 a family.
These were some of the more than 100 recommendations made by a city-appointed reparations committee tasked with the thorny question of how to atone for centuries of slavery and systemic racism. And the San Francisco Board of Supervisors hearing the report for the first time Tuesday voiced enthusiastic support for the ideas listed, with some saying money should not stop the city from doing the right thing.
Several supervisors said they were surprised to hear pushback from politically liberal San Franciscans apparently unaware that the legacy of slavery and racist policies continues to keep Black Americans on the bottom rungs of health, education and economic prosperity, and overrepresented in prisons and homeless populations.

“Those of my constituents who lost their minds about this proposal, it’s not something we’re doing or we would do for other people. It’s something we would do for our future, for everybody’s collective future,” said Supervisor Rafael Mandelman, whose district includes the heavily LGBTQ Castro neighborhood.
The draft reparations plan, released in December, is unmatched nationwide in its specificity and breadth. The committee hasn’t done an analysis of the cost of the proposals, but critics have slammed the plan as financially and politically impossible. An estimate from Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, which leans conservative, has said it would cost each non-Black family in the city at least $600,000.
Tuesday’s unanimous expressions of support for reparations by the board do not mean all the recommendations will ultimately be adopted, as the body can vote to approve, reject or change any or all of them. A final committee report is due in June.
Some supervisors have said previously that the city can’t afford any major reparations payments right now given its deep deficit amid a tech industry downturn.
Tinisch Hollins, vice-chair of the African American Reparations Advisory Committee, alluded to those comments, and several people who lined up to speak reminded the board they would be watching closely what the supervisors do next.
“I don’t need to impress upon you the fact that we are setting a national precedent here in San Francisco,” Hollins said. “What we are asking for and what we’re demanding for is a real commitment to what we need to move things forward.”
The idea of paying compensation for slavery has gained traction across cities and universities. In 2020, California became the first state to form a reparations task force and is still struggling to put a price tag on what is owed.
The idea has not been taken up at the federal level.
In San Francisco, Black residents once made up more than 13% of the city’s population, but more than 50 years later, they account for less than 6% of the city’s residents — and 38% of its homeless population. The Fillmore District once thrived with Black-owned night clubs and shops until government redevelopment in the 1960s forced out residents.
Fewer than 50,000 Black people still live in the city, and it’s not clear how many would be eligible. Possible criteria include having lived in the city during certain time periods and descending from someone “incarcerated for the failed War on Drugs.”
Critics say the payouts make no sense in a state and city that never enslaved Black people. Opponents generally say taxpayers who were never slave owners should not have to pay money to people who were not enslaved.
Advocates say that view ignores a wealth of data and historical evidence showing that long after U.S. slavery officially ended in 1865, government policies and practices worked to imprison Black people at higher rates, deny access to home and business loans and restrict where they could work and live.
Justin Hansford, a professor at Howard University School of Law, says no municipal reparations plan will have enough money to right the wrongs of slavery, but he appreciates any attempts to “genuinely, legitimately, authentically” make things right. And that includes cash, he said.
“If you’re going to try to say you’re sorry, you have to speak in the language that people understand, and money is that language,” he said.
John Dennis, chair of the San Francisco Republican Party, does not support reparations although he says he’d support a serious conversation on the topic. He doesn’t consider the board’s discussion of $5 million payments to be one.
“This conversation we’re having in San Francisco is completely unserious. They just threw a number up, there’s no analysis,” Dennis said. “It seems ridiculous, and it also seems that this is the one city where it could possibly pass.”
The board created the 15-member reparations committee in late 2020, months after California Gov. Gavin Newsom approved a statewide task force amid national turmoil after a white Minneapolis police officer killed George Floyd, a Black man.
The committee continues to deliberate recommendations, including monetary compensation, and its report is due to the Legislature on July 1. At that point it will be up to lawmakers to draft and pass legislation.
The state panel made the controversial decision in March to limit reparations to descendants of Black people who were in the country in the 19th century. Some reparations advocates said that approach does take into account the harms that Black immigrants suffer.
Under San Francisco’s draft recommendation, a person would have to be at least 18 years old and have identified as “Black/African American” in public documents for at least 10 years. Eligible people must also meet two of eight other criteria, though the list may change.
Those criteria include being born in or migrating to San Francisco between 1940 and 1996 and living in the city for least 13 years; being displaced from the city by urban renewal between 1954 and 1973, or the descendant of someone who was; attending the city’s public schools before they were fully desegregated; or being a descendant of an enslaved person.
The Chicago suburb of Evanston became the first U.S. city to fund reparations. The city gave money to qualifying people for home repairs, down payments 3. and interest or late penalties due on property. In December, the Boston City Council approved of a reparations study task force.

Newswire: Researchers find Obamacare has significantly reduced racial disparities in health care access, especially in states that expanded Medicaid

Poor People’s Campaign holds rally for Medicaid Expansion at the steps of the Alabama State Capital on March 11, 2023  and  Pictured : President Obama signing the Affordable Care Act in 2010

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent

Former President Barack Obama’s signature piece of legislation has proved the gift that’s kept on giving for Black and Brown communities in America.
Since its passage in 2010, the Affordable Care Act – better known as Obamacare – has helped cut the U.S. uninsured rate nearly in half while significantly reducing racial and ethnic disparities in both insurance coverage and access to care – particularly in states that expanded their Medicaid programs, according to a new report issued by the Commonwealth Fund, a nonprofit that promotes a high-performing healthcare system.
Obamacare has reduced racial and ethnic disparities in both insurance coverage and access to care — particularly in states that expanded their Medicaid programs, the report’s authors noted.
Alabama is one of eleven states, most in the South, that have not expanded Medicaid since it was available in 2013. North Carolina recently approved the expansion of Medicaid to serve over 350,000 low income working people in that state.
While much of that progress occurred between 2013 and 2016, federal data show that more than 5 million people gained coverage between 2020 and early 2022, driving the uninsured rate down to a historic low of 8 percent.
Researchers found that insurance coverage rates improved for Black, Hispanic, and white adults between 2013 and 2021.
The coverage gap between Black and white adults dropped from 9.9 to 5.3 percentage points, while the gap between Hispanic and white adults dropped from 25.7 to 16.3 points.
Additionally, uninsured rates for adults in all three groups improved during the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, a finding that held true in states that had expanded Medicaid and those that had not.
The report further noted that Black and Hispanic adults experienced larger gains in Medicaid and individual market coverage than white adults between 2019 and 2021.
Between 2013 and 2021, states that expanded Medicaid eligibility had higher rates of insurance coverage and health care access, with smaller disparities between racial/ethnic groups and larger improvements, than states that didn’t expand Medicaid.

Obamacare attempted to improve coverage rates in several ways, including by allowing states to expand Medicaid eligibility to everyone below 138 percent of the federal poverty level (in 2023, $20,120 for an individual and $41,400 for a family of four), funded nearly fully by the federal government; and by subsidizing and regulating coverage purchased through the individual market.
According to the report, uninsured rates for adults in each of the three racial/ethnic groups fell after the coverage expansions went into effect in 2014, and Black and Hispanic residents reported the largest gains.
Uninsured rates for Hispanic adults fell by 15.7 percentage points between 2013 and 2021. Also, the Black adult uninsured rate dropped by 10.9 points, and the white uninsured rate declined by 6.3 points.
“These gains reduced coverage disparities considerably,” the authors determined.
The gap between white and Black adults has dropped from 9.9 percentage points to 5.3 points, and the gap for Hispanic adults has declined from 25.7 to 16.3 points.
While the largest coverage gains occurred from 2013 to 2016, adult uninsured rates for these three groups, and for the nation overall, dropped again between 2019 and 2021, as new federal policies aimed at boosting coverage took effect.
“In fact,,” the researchers wrote, “they reached historic lows, despite modest declines in employer-based coverage from pandemic-related job losses.”
They concluded that Obamacare “has been a powerful force for racial equity in health and health care over the past decade.”
“The expansion in access to affordable coverage has served as the backbone for this progress, helping to remove financial barriers and increase access to primary care clinics and other providers where people can get the care, they need to stay healthy,” the authors wrote.

Newswire: Racist attacks and ‘fake facts’ on videos spark African migrants flight from Tunisia

African migrants leaving Tunisia


Mar. 13, 2023 (GIN) – A campaign targeting Black migrants in the north African nation of Tunisia has escalated with misleading videos on social media. The African Union has responded – cancelling a major conference on illicit financial flows due to take place in in Tunisia this month.
The misleading videos repeated remarks by President Kais Saied who called migration a “plot” to change the country’s profile from Black to Arab.
But according to Reality Check and BBC Monitoring, nearly all the videos that claim to show African migrants in Tunisia were actually filmed elsewhere.
One of the videos, with millions of views reads, in Arabic: “Tunisia under occupation.” Another says “Tunisia has become the kingdom of Africans.” While the video purports to be filmed in Tunisia, a Senegalese flag can be seen and the language heard in Wolof, a Senegalese language.
There are an estimated 20,000 sub-Saharan migrants in Tunisia, which has a population of 12 million.
Tunisian rights researcher Kenza ben Azouz told the BBC: “This is not a matter of legality or illegality. It’s about being Black in this country”. Black Tunisians, who make up around 10-15% of the country’s population, suffer discrimination because of the color of their skin, she said. 
Hundreds of people have protested In Tunis to denounce Saied’s speech, accusing him of racist comments against refugees while Ivory Coast, Mali and Guinea have begun repatriating their citizens from Tunisia.
Tunisia has rejected responsibility for the racial violence, saying it only sought to ensure “laws of the land are respected to avoid spreading chaos”.
According to Lawyers Without Borders, an advocacy group, approximately 800 sub-Saharan Africans have been arrested. Others have been evicted from homes they had rented, or have lost their jobs.

Newswire: Statement from the National Bankers Association on Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank

Citizens Trust Bank Branch in Eutaw, AL

Today, National Bankers Association (NBA) President & CEO Nicole Elam Esq. and Chairman Robert James II released the following statement regarding Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) and Signature Bank.
“In light of recent industry events, the National Bankers Association wants to assure consumers that your money is safe with minority banks. Minority depository institutions are very different from both SVB and Signature Bank which had high concentrations in crypto deposits and volatile venture capital. Minority banks are not exposed to riskier asset classes and have the capital and strong liquidity to best serve consumers and small businesses. If you’re looking for a place to bring your deposits and have greater impact, bring your deposits to minority banks” said Nicole Elam, President and CEO of the National Bankers Association.
“The Biden-Harris Administration, FDIC, and Federal Reserve worked hard this weekend to make sure that these bank failures are the exception, not the rule, and that all Americans can continue to have confidence in our banking system. I also applaud bipartisan leaders in Congress for keeping stakeholders informed about how hard- earned deposits are being kept safe.” said Robert James, II, Chairman of the National Bankers Association, President & CEO, Carver Financial Corporation
The National Bankers Association is the nation’s leading trade association for the country’s minority depository institutions (MDIs). MDIs have always focused on safety and soundness as a part of our conservative, relationship- based business model. We continue to monitor SVB’s impact on large corporate deposit concentrations, fintech, tech companies, and larger financial institutions that have partnerships with MDIs or who have made investments in MDIs.
MDIs are in the strongest position ever to support their customers and here’s why:
Traditional Banking Model with Diverse & Secure Assets: MDIs are diversified in terms of their assets, predominately focused on well-collateralized loans, and are not exposed to riskier asset classes. Unlike both SVB and Signature Bank, MDIs have very limited exposure to the venture capital industry and crypto.
Well-Capitalized and Strong Liquidity: MDIs are in the strongest position ever. The sector is exceptionally well capitalized, enjoys substantial liquidity overall, and has grown by 33% over the last three years in total assets. Nearly $4 billion in new, permanent capital has flowed to MDIs and currently, the median MDI common equity ratio is 16.4% versus 14.8% for non-MDIs.
Positioned for Impact: 77% of MDI branches are in areas with a higher average share of minorities compared to 31% for all FDIC-insured depository institutions. According to a Dallas Fed Study in 2022, MDIs originate almost 40% of their mortgages to minority borrowers, versus only 10% by other banks. Additionally, MDIs originate 30% of small business loans to low- to moderate-income communities in comparison to 20% at community banks and 24% at large banks. Customer deposits are not only extremely safe in an MDI but are far more likely to have a positive impact in the community.