Newswire:New film spotlights World’s only female army in Kingdom of Dahomey

Benin’s women warriors

Aug. 1, 2022 (GIN) – The only documented female army In modern history was that of the Kingdom of Dahomey – now southern Benin – which, by the 1800s, had thousands of female troops.
 In September, a film version that portrays the lives of these warrior women will be seen in cinemas around the country. In the meantime, a trailer of the film can be seen on YouTube. It features Viola Davis and Hero Fiennes.
 “The Sacred Ibis” posting on YouTube, explains that the Kingdom of Dahomey was located in present-day Benin from 1600-1904 and became a regional power in the 18th century. The Dahomey Mothers, known as the Agooji, were the all-female army trained to kill while striking fear in the European colonizers.
 The King often picked them as teenagers for their strength and beauty. By 1800, up to 4000 women were fighting for the Kingdom. They live on through dances performed in Benin today.
 Nanlèhoundé Houédanou is a survivor. “My Amazon was gentle,” said Houédanou, who, at 85, is one of the last people on Earth to have grown up with one. “She was known for protecting children,” she told the Washington Post. 
 Researchers have spent decades combing through European and West African archives to craft a portrait from the jottings of French officers, British traders and Italian missionaries.
 Of close to 3,000 comments on YouTube, most were very positive. “It is incredibly rare that goosebumps and complete awe overwhelm me the instant a trailer begins. This changes that!” wrote Derrick Ensey.
 “Everything about this is epic on an astronomical level. The most subtle thing about it is the TIMING. At a time when women are being attacked, this is total female empowerment right here. Never underestimate a unifying message!
 “The previous depictions of the all-women Agojie warriors, also known as the Amazons, portrayed the female soldiers as “beasts” and “mannish. Davis and director Gina Prince-Blythewood sought instead to bring the authenticity of the story to the big screen instead of racial stereotypes.”
 “These women were fascinating and didn’t need to be embellished or glossy,” Prince-Blythewood told Vanity Fair. “I wanted it to be real and visceral and raw. We didn’t want to show them as just one thing — badass women who killed. They also laughed and loved and cried. We wanted to show their full humanity, not just the cool part that that would look good in a trailer.”
 “The French made sure this history wasn’t known,” said the Beninese economist Leonard Wantchekon, a professor of international affairs at Princeton University. “They said we were backward, that they needed to ‘civilize us,’ but they destroyed opportunities for women that existed nowhere else in the world.”
 Now a team of Beninese researchers is working to reshape the narrative. For the last three years, historians at the African School of Economics, a private university that Wantchekon founded near Cotonou, the capital, have been tracking down descendants of Amazons across the nation.
 They aim to glean local memories for a book that can be taught in schools — to present a three-dimensional view of the real Amazons. Only 50 of the women are thought to have survived the two-year war with France. The last died in the 1970s. 

Newswire: NLRB demand for UMWA to pay Warrior Met Coal strike costs “outrageous,” threatens American workers’ right to strike

Warrior Met coal miners at union rally

The United Mine Workers of America today made it clear that it will vigorously challenge an outrageous assessment of damages made by the National Labor Relations Board Region 10 regarding the UMWA’s 16-month strike against Warrior Met Coal in Alabama.
“This is a slap in the face not just to the workers who are fighting for better jobs at Warrior Met Coal, but to every worker who stands up to their boss anywhere in America,” UMWA International President Cecil E. Roberts said. “There are charges for security, cameras, capital expenditures, buses for transporting scabs across picket lines, and the cost of lost production.
“What is the purpose of a strike if not to impact the operations of the employer, including production,” Roberts asked. “Is it now the policy of the federal government that unions be required to pay a company’s losses as a consequence of their members exercising their rights as working people? This is outrageous and effectively negates workers’ right to strike. It cannot stand.”
The union entered into a settlement agreement in June with NLRB Region 10 regarding charges the company had made about picket line activity in order to save striking members and families from days of hostile questioning by company lawyers. On July 22, the NLRB sent the union a detailed list of damages totaling $13.3 million dollars, more than 33 times the estimated amount NLRB lawyers had initially indicated would be assessed.
Warrior Met has reported millions of dollars in costs it has incurred over the course of the strike. “It appears that Warrior Met wants us to reimburse it for those costs, including costs it incurred before the strike even began,” Roberts said. “What’s extremely troubling here is that the NLRB appears to have taken up the company’s cause without a second thought.
“I want to be clear: Warrior Met Coal instigated this strike and has brutally extended it through its sustained unwillingness to reach a fair and reasonable agreement at the bargaining table,” Roberts said. “We have no intention of paying its costs for doing so. The right to strike in America must be preserved. We will fight this at every level, in every court. We will spend every penny of our resources rather than give in to something like this from the NLRB, Warrior Met or any other entity.”

Newswire:Study finds nearly 90 Percent of Black homicide victims were killed with guns

 Handgun with ammunition

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent


According to a new and comprehensive study on gun violence, Black men, women, boys, and girls remain the most impacted victims of homicide in America, yet year after year this shocking and unacceptable toll is allowed to continue.
The study published by the Washington, D.C.-based Violence Policy Center, revealed that in 2019, the United States recorded 7,441 Black homicide victims.
African Americans represent 14 percent of the U.S. population, but accounted for 52 percent of all homicide victims, the study authors found.
The annual study, Black Homicide Victimization in the United States: An Analysis of 2019 Homicide Data, also ranks the states according to their Black homicide victimization rates. Officials said it’s based on unpublished data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation Supplementary Homicide Report.

The study details homicide rates for 2019, the most recent year for which comprehensive national data is available. For homicides in which authorities could identify the weapon used, 88 percent of Black victims (6,190 out of 7,056) were shot and killed with guns. Of those, 64 percent (3,935 victims) were killed with handguns.
On average, more than 20 Black Americans died each day from homicide – 17 were known to have died from gunshots.
“These deaths almost always involve a gun, and the resulting devastation ravages families, friends, and community members,” Violence Policy Center Executive Director Josh Sugarmann stated in a news release.
“The goal of our research is to help support advocates and organizations working on the ground to stop this lethal violence while, at the same time, continuing to educate and engage the public and policymakers on the need to address this ongoing national crisis,” Sugarmann said.
The study also revealed that the Black homicide victimization rate in the United States was nearly four times the overall national victimization rate and nearly seven times the white homicide victimization rate.
In 2019, the Black homicide victimization rate was 18.08 per 100,000. In comparison, the overall national homicide victimization rate was 4.79 per 100,000. For whites, the national homicide victimization rate was 2.69 per 100,000.Further, 87 percent of Black homicide victims were male (6,454 of 7,441) and 13 percent were female (986 of 7,441).
The authors noted that Black male homicide victimization rate in the United States was “more than four times the overall male victimization rate and more than eight times the white male homicide victimization rate.”
In 2019, the homicide victimization rate for Black male victims was 32.49 per 100,000. In comparison, the overall rate for male homicide victims was 7.68 per 100,000 and the rate for white male homicide victims was 3.88 per 100,000.

For homicides in which the victim to offender relationship could be identified, 77 percent of Black victims (2,282 out of 2,954) were killed by someone they knew.The number of victims killed by strangers was 672.
For homicides in which the circumstances could be identified, 70 percent (2,856 out of 4,102) were not related to the commission of any other felony. Of these, 56 percent (1,591 homicides) involved arguments between the victim and the offender.
With a homicide rate of 50.64 per 100,000 residents, Missouri ranked the highest. Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Tennessee, Louisiana, Kentucky, Arkansas, Michigan, and Oklahoma rounded out the top 10.
The authors said individuals living in communities where violence is prevalent are at higher risk for a broad range of negative health and behavior outcomes.
An increased understanding of how trauma resulting from community violence influences development, health, and behavior can lead to improvements in the way many social services are delivered as well as policy changes at the local and federal levels.
“At the same time, the firearms industry, looking to expand beyond its shrinking base of white male gun owners, has launched an organized marketing campaign focusing on Black and Latino Americans,” the study authors wrote.“If successful, such efforts can only increase gun death and injury in these communities.”
The full study is available at http://vpc.org/studies/blackhomicide22.pdf.

Newswire: Four police officers federally charged with civil rights violations in Breonna Taylor’s death

Breonna Taylor

By Antonio Planas, NBC News
Two current and two former police officers in Louisville, Kentucky, have been charged with violating Breonna Taylor’s civil rights in the 2020 botched raid that led to the young Black woman’s death, federal officials said Thursday.
U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, in announcing the charges, said the Department of Justice alleges that the violations “resulted in Ms. Taylor’s death.”
Detective Joshua Jaynes, with the Louisville Metro Police Department, obtained the warrant used in the March 13, 2020, search of the 26-year-old medical worker’s apartment. 
Kelly Goodlett, who along with Jaynes was a detective in the Place-Based Investigations unit that investigated drug trafficking, and Sgt. Kyle Meany, who supervised the unit, were charged with falsifying an affidavit. 
Jaynes and Goodlett are accused of misleading investigators probing the deadly shooting. Meany allegedly lied to the FBI, Garland said.
In a separate indictment, Brett Hankison was charged with using excessive force while executing the search warrant.
Hankison was terminated from the department in June 2020, while Jaynes was terminated in January 2021, Louisville police said in a statement Thursday. The department is also seeking to terminate Goodlett and Meany, the statement said.
“Today Chief Erika Shields began termination procedures of Sgt. Kyle Meany and Officer Kelly Goodlett. While we must refer all questions about this federal investigation to the FBI, it is critical that any illegal or inappropriate actions by law enforcement be addressed comprehensively in order to continue our efforts to build police-community trust,” police said.
A lawyer believed to be representing Jaynes could not be immediately reached Thursday. Attorney Stew Mathews, who has previously represented Hankison, said he did not know yet whether he would be representing him in the federal case.
Mathews said he spoke to Hankison on Thursday morning while he was “on his way to turn himself in” but has not spoken to him since then. 
An attorney representing Meany could not be reached. It was unclear if Goodlett had retained an attorney.
Prominent civil rights attorney Ben Crump said in a statement Thursday it’s been a difficult two years since Taylor’s death for her family and advocates fighting for her.

Newswire: Senate passes sweeping climate-focused Inflation Reduction Act; VP Kamala Harris casts vote to break 50-50 tie

VP Kamala Harris casts tie breaking vote

Yahoo News

After more than a year of infighting, President Joe Biden’s climate agenda has cleared a significant hurdle. On Sunday, Senate Democrats passed the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 in a 51-50 decision that went along party lines and saw Vice President Kamala Harris cast the tie-breaking vote, reports The Washington Post.
If passed by the House, the 755-page bill would authorize the single largest expenditure to combat climate change in the nation’s history. In all, the legislation calls for $370 billion in spending to reduce US greenhouse emissions by approximately 40 percent by the end of this decade.
Among the climate change provisions most likely to affect consumers is a reworked federal EV tax credit. The Inflation Reduction Act would provide up to $7,500 in subsidies for electric SUVs, trucks and vans that cost less than $80,000 and cars under $55,000. It would also allow people to claim up to $4,000 when buying a used EV. In both cases, an income ceiling would prevent those who make more than the average American from taking advantage of the legislation.
On top of EV subsidies, the $370 billion in investments set aside by the bill would incentivize the building of wind, solar and other renewable power sources. The act also calls for the creation of a $1.5 billion program that would pay companies that reduce their methane output.

With Sunday’s vote, the Inflation Reduction Act now moves to the House, which will return from its summer recess on Friday. For much of 2021 and the first half of 2022, President Biden’s Build Back Better plan looked doomed to go nowhere due to opposition from Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia. In late July, however, Manchin and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced they had come to a compromise.
The act contains tax provisions which will have major companies, earning more than a billion dollars a year in profits, will pay a minimum tax of 15%. There is a 1% special tax on corporations who buy back their stock rather than invest in new business expansion. The Internal Revenue Service will gain additional staff to pursue taxpayers who are not paying their fair share of taxes.
In exchange for Manchin’s support, the Inflation Reduction Act includes a provision that would see the federal government reinstate canceled oil and gas leases in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska’s Cook Inlet. While that concession upset environmentalists, it’s not expected to undo the good the Inflation Reduction Act is poised to do for the environment. According to one estimate by Princeton University’s Zero Lab, the bill could reduce US greenhouse emissions by about 6.3 billion tons through 2032.

Newswire: Study boosts fight for reparations in
climate damaged African nations

Drought stricken area of Africa 


Aug. 1, 2022 (GIN) – The African continent of 1.2 billion people, which represents 17% of the world’s population, contributes less than 4% of global greenhouse gas emissions but suffers from extreme weather events which scientists have warned will become more frequent due to climate change.
 Researchers in a new study have now put an actual dollar figure on economic harm caused by the countries most responsible for the climate crisis, and the ground-breaking data could serve as a starting point for legal action by Africans against the world’s wealthiest nations.
 The Dartmouth College study found that just five of the world’s top emitters of planet-warming gases — the United States, China, Russia, India, and Brazil — caused around a $6 trillion loss in gross domestic product from 1990 to 2014, or about 11% of total global GDP.
 The study also shows the US and China — the two biggest contributors to the climate crisis — individually caused global economic losses of more than $1.8 trillion each during that same period.
 The study’s authors said this is the first time scientists have connected the dots between one country’s fossil fuel emissions and the economic harm those emissions have done to other countries.
 The world’s wealthiest countries have already agreed to pay into a global climate finance fund,  though rich countries have shirked deadlines on payments to that fund.
 Having a rich set of data to show how much poorer nations’ economies have been harmed could increase the pressure on richer nations at this year’s summit, experts told CNN. 
 “Scientific studies show that high emitters no longer have a leg to stand on in avoiding their obligations to address loss and damage,” said Bahamian climate scientist Adelle Thomas of Climate Analytics.
 Recent studies “increasingly and overwhelmingly show that loss and damage is already crippling developing countries, she said.
 After the U.S., the countries that caused most damage since 1990 are China ($1.8 trillion), Russia ($986 billion), India ($809 billion) and Brazil ($528 billion), study authors figured. Just the United States and China together caused about one-third of the world’s climate damage.
 

Newswire: Senator Raphael Warnock of Georgia puts Herschel Walker’s debate dodging on blast in new political ad

Sen Raphael Warnock


By: Anoa Changa, NewsOne


Sen. Reverend Raphael Warnock is not letting his opponent Herschel Walker off the hook regarding upcoming debates. In a new ad, the Georgia senator highlights Walker’s apparent refusal to commit to even one debate this fall.
At a recent campaign stop, Walker said he wasn’t dodging debates, but his team had not agreed upon dates and times for the dates. For his part, Walker has tried to claim that he isn’t going to do things the “traditional political way” but hasn’t provided an alternative suggestion.
Before the Georgia Republican primary, Walker talked a good game about taking on Warnock on the debate stage. Now it’s time to put up or shut up, and Walker can’t seem to commit.
Not debating his opponents in the Republican primary made strategic sense, given his steady lead. But in the general election, he is trailing the senator.
Walker may be a hometown football hero, but that’s not going to be enough on the debate stage where voters expect candidates to have actual answers to real challenges. Warnock faired well against Kelly Loeffler, who couldn’t utter coherent policy stances and overplayed her hand, calling the reverend a “radical liberal” 13 times in one debate.
There is a growing list of debates to which Warnock has also confirmed attendance. On Wednesday, he confirmed attendance at an October 13 debate sponsored by the Mercer University Center for Collaborative Journalism.
The senator has also accepted invitations to debates held by several newsrooms, including 11 Alive WXIA, Georgia Public Broadcasting and WTOC in Savannah, Warnock’s hometown.
In a statement, Warnock for Georgia campaign manager Quentin Fulks said that it’s important for Georgia voters to hear what the candidates have to say.
“I don’t know if Herschel Walker is scared for voters to hear what he has to say or scared for voters to hear that he’s unprepared to speak on the issues that matter most to the people of Georgia,” Fulks said. “There’s a clear choice in the race for Senate, and we hope Herschel Walker will be true to his word and commit to joining us at three debates.”
Georgia voters don’t seem to look too favorably on debate dodgers. Kwanza Hall went into the  Georgia Democratic primary runoff for lieutenant governor the clear front runner and felt no need to debate his opponent Charlie Bailey. With an endorsement from Stacey Abrams, Bailey easily secured the party’s nomination.
Former Georgia Sen. David Perdue did not appear in his final debate against Jon Ossoff. Ossoff made use of that time and spoke directly to Georgia residents.
During the 2021 Senate runoff, Perdue lost his re-election bid and failed in his attempt to run for governor. Ossoff joined Warnock in the Senate.
A Warnock-Walker debate would put the former NFL player alongside a seasoned policy advocate. Even before entering office, the reverend worked alongside advocates addressing voting rights and criminal justice reform issues.
It’s entirely possible that Walker isn’t afraid to debate Warnock per se but that he doesn’t want to have to explain himself or his many outrageous claims and positions. If Walker doesn’t show up for any debates, Warnock will have a full block of time to share his views

Newswire: Nichelle Nichols, Lt. Uhura on ‘Star Trek,’ has died at 89

Nichelle Nichols as Lt. Uhura


By: CNBC


Nichelle Nichols, who broke barriers for Black women in Hollywood when she played communications officer Lt. Uhura on the original “Star Trek” television series, has died at the age of 89.
Her son Kyle Johnson said Nichols died Saturday in Silver City, New Mexico.
“Last night, my mother, Nichelle Nichols, succumbed to natural causes and passed away. Her light however, like the ancient galaxies now being seen for the first time, will remain for us and future generations to enjoy, learn from, and draw inspiration,” Johnson wrote on her official Facebook page Sunday. “Hers was a life well lived and as such a model for us all.”
Her role in the 1966-69 series as Lt. Uhura earned Nichols a lifelong position of honor with the series’ rabid fans, known as Trekkers and Trekkies. It also earned her accolades for breaking stereotypes that had limited Black women to acting roles as servants and included an interracial onscreen kiss with co-star William Shatner that was unheard of at the time.
“I shall have more to say about the trailblazing, incomparable Nichelle Nichols, who shared the bridge with us as Lt. Uhura of the USS Enterprise, and who passed today at age 89,” George Takei wrote on Twitter. “For today, my heart is heavy, my eyes shining like the stars you now rest among, my dearest friend.”
Takei played Sulu in the original “Star Trek” series alongside Nichols. But her impact was felt beyond her immediate co-stars, and many others in the “Star Trek” world also tweeted their condolences.
“Star Trek: Voyager” alum Kate Mulgrew tweeted, “Nichelle Nichols was The First. She was a trailblazer who navigated a very challenging trail with grit, grace, and a gorgeous fire we are not likely to see again.”
Like other original cast members, Nichols also appeared in six big-screen spinoffs starting in 1979 with “Star Trek: The Motion Picture” and frequented “Star Trek” fan conventions. She also served for many years as a NASA recruiter, helping bring minorities and women into the astronaut corps.
The original “Star Trek” premiered on NBC on Sept. 8, 1966. Its multicultural, multiracial cast was creator Gene Roddenberry’s message to viewers that in the far-off future — the 23rd century — human diversity would be fully accepted.
“I think many people took it into their hearts … that what was being said on TV at that time was a reason to celebrate,” Nichols said in 1992 when a “Star Trek” exhibit was on view at the Smithsonian Institution.
She often recalled how Martin Luther King Jr. was a fan of the show and praised her role. She met him at a civil rights gathering in 1967, at a time when she had decided not to return for the show’s second season.
“When I told him I was going to miss my co-stars and I was leaving the show, he became very serious and said, ‘You cannot do that,’” she told The Tulsa (Okla.) World in a 2008 interview.
″‘You’ve changed the face of television forever, and therefore, you’ve changed the minds of people,’” she said the civil rights leader told her.
“That foresight Dr. King had was a lightning bolt in my life,” Nichols said.
During the show’s third season, Nichols’ character and Shatner’s Capt. James Kirk shared what was described as the first interracial kiss to be broadcast on a U.S. television series. In the episode, “Plato’s Stepchildren,” their characters, who always maintained a platonic relationship, were forced into the kiss by aliens who were controlling their actions.
The kiss “suggested that there was a future where these issues were not such a big deal,” Eric Deggans, a television critic for National Public Radio, told The Associated Press in 2018. “The characters themselves were not freaking out because a Black woman was kissing a white man … In this utopian-like future, we solved this issue. We’re beyond it. That was a wonderful message to send.”
Worried about reaction from Southern television stations, showrunners wanted to film a second take of the scene where the kiss happened off-screen. But Nichols said in her book, “Beyond Uhura: Star Trek and Other Memories,” that she and Shatner deliberately flubbed lines to force the original take to be used.
Despite concerns, the episode aired without blowback. In fact, it got the most “fan mail that Paramount had ever gotten on ‘Star Trek’ for one episode,” Nichols said in a 2010 interview with the Archive of American Television.
Born Grace Dell Nichols in Robbins, Illinois, Nichols hated being called “Gracie,” which everyone insisted on, she said in the 2010 interview. When she was a teen her mother told her she had wanted to name her Michelle, but thought she ought to have alliterative initials like Marilyn Monroe, whom Nichols loved. Hence, “Nichelle.”
Nichols first worked professionally as a singer and dancer in Chicago at age 14, moving on to New York nightclubs and working for a time with the Duke Ellington and Lionel Hampton bands before coming to Hollywood for her film debut in 1959′s “Porgy and Bess,” the first of several small film and TV roles that led up to her “Star Trek” stardom.
In her 1994 book, “Beyond Uhura,” she said she met Roddenberry when she guest starred on his show “The Lieutenant,” and the two had an affair a couple of years before “Star Trek” began. The two remained lifelong close friends.
Another fan of Nichols and the show was future astronaut Mae Jemison, who became the first black woman in space when she flew aboard the shuttle Endeavour in 1992.
In an AP interview before her flight, Jemison said she watched Nichols on “Star Trek” all the time, adding she loved the show. Jemison eventually got to meet Nichols

Newswire: Basketball legend Bill Russell dies at 88

Bill Russell showing some of his championship rings

 

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
 

Boston Celtics Legend Bill Russell, one of professional basketball’s greatest players and the sport’s most crowned champion, has died at the age of 88.
Russell, who won 11 NBA titles as a player and two as a player-coach, died “peacefully” with his wife, Jeannine, at his side, a statement on social media said.
Jeannine said funeral arrangements are pending.
“But for all the winning, Bill’s understanding of the struggle is what illuminated his life. From boycotting a 1961 exhibition game to unmask too-long-tolerated discrimination, to leading Mississippi’s first integrated basketball camp in the combustible wake of Medgar Evans’ assassination, to decades of activism ultimately recognized by his receipt of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Bill called out injustice with an unforgiving candor that he intended would disrupt the status quo, and with a powerful example that, though never his humble intention, will forever inspire teamwork, selflessness, and thoughtful change,” the statement read.
It continued:
“Bill’s wife, Jeannine, and his many friends and family thank you for keeping Bill in your prayers. Perhaps you’ll relive one or two of the golden moments he gave us or recall his trademark laugh as he delighted in explaining the real story behind how those moments unfolded.
“And we hope each of us can find a new way to act or speak up with Bill’s uncompromising, dignified, and always constructive commitment to principle. That would be one last and lasting win for our beloved #6.”
President Barack Obama presented the Medal of Freedom in 2011, and Russell won five NBA Most Valuable Player awards.
He made the All-Star team in 12 of the 13 years he played in the league. The prolific big man finished his career in 1969 with 21,620 career rebounds, an average of 22.5 per game, and led the league in rebounding four times.
He grabbed 51 rebounds in one game, 49 in two others, and a dozen consecutive seasons of 1,000 or more rebounds.
Many viewed Russell as the greatest player in history until Michael Jordan arrived in the 1980s and 1990s and Lebron James in the 2000s.
Born in Monroe, Louisiana, in 1934, Russell’s family moved to the San Francisco area, where he attended McClymonds High School in Oakland.
He earned a scholarship to play at the University of San Francisco and helped lead the basketball school to an astounding 56 straight wins and back-to-back NCAA titles.
In 1974, Russell earned election to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. In 1980, he was voted Greatest Player in the History of the NBA by the Professional Basketball Writers Association of America. He was part of the 75th Anniversary Team announced by the NBA in October 2021.

Newswire: Scholars and experts make case to expand Supreme Court; abolish Electoral College

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent


The recent U.S. Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade has raised concerns from women regarding bodily autonomy and palpable fear that other long-held rights may also be in jeopardy.
And with the ongoing hearings surrounding the January 6 insurrection and the attempt by former President Donald Trump to change the outcome of the 2020 election, momentum has increased in favor of abolishing the long-standing Electoral College.
A growing number of Americans reportedly believe that expanding the court and ridding elections of the Electoral College are keys to preserving democracy in America.
This month, a bipartisan group of federal lawmakers led by Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) introduced the Electoral Count Reform Act of 2022 (ECRA) to ensure that electoral votes tallied by Congress accurately reflect each state’s public vote for president.
“Adding more justices to Supreme Court and abolishing the Electoral College both help to give the majority of Americans the ability to have a say in what’s going on in their country,” said H.R. Bellicosa, the author of The Punishings, a novel about a world without abortion rights.
“We are headed toward minority rule if we’re not there already. Overturning Roe is a deeply unpopular opinion, but with a conservative majority on the court, the justices were able to further their theocratic agenda,” Bellicosa stated.
“More justices would combat that. The Electoral College has given us two recent presidents who did not win the popular vote – [George W. Bush and Trump]. America is under threat of being ruled by a deeply unpopular minority, and steps must be taken to mitigate that.”
A change.org petition has garnered more than 103,000 signatures from individuals desiring to abolish the Electoral College, a system established in the 1800s and resulted in the infamous “three-fifths compromise” in which three-fifths of an enslaved Black person would count toward allocating electors and representatives.
The U.S. Constitution holds that whoever wins the electoral vote claims the presidency during presidential elections even if the candidate fails to win the popular vote.
Further, historians noted that officials created the Electoral College to give slave states more power and to keep an agent of England’s King George from becoming president. Neither situation rises as pertinent in the 21st Century, said historian and political scientist William S. Bike.
Bike said he believes it’s time to get rid of the Electoral College, and Democrats, while in the majority, should act. “Republicans use every weapon at their disposal against Democrats, but Democrats tend to behave like someone bringing a tennis racket to a knife fight,” stated Bike, the author of Winning Political Campaigns, a how-to guide on political campaigning.
“So, Democrats expanding the Supreme Court would be a weapon seldom used before in American history, but without it, the extreme right will continue taking away Americans’ rights,” Bike asserted. “They’re coming after Miranda, birth control, gay marriage, homosexuality, and possibly interracial marriage and racial equality.

Content Writer Elena Zimmerman added that the benefits of expanding the Supreme Court in its current state are impossible to miss. “Whatever the intentions were with the decision to appoint 9 judges, it would be difficult for anyone to argue the idea in mind was for one political party to appoint 66 percent of the justices of the most powerful judicial body in the country while systematically excluding the choices of elected presidents in the opposing party while in office,” Zimmerman stated.
“It would also be difficult for anyone to argue that it should be acceptable for new potential justices to lie during their confirmation hearings about their intentions to rule if appointed.
“Expanding the court during a democratic president’s tenure and with an evenly divided Senate could potentially balance this inequality of partisan power.”
Zimmerman further concluded that there’s “no longer a benefit to the Electoral College.”“Particularly when it can be used exclusively to the benefit of only one party to override the popular vote,” she insisted.

Other experts suggest putting an 18 year time limit on Supreme Court Justice terms. Every two years as a justice’s term ends, a new justice would be appointed by the sitting President and confirmed by the Senate. The current court would be replaced starting with those with the longest tenure. This would mean over time the Court would be more representative of the current political trands.