Newswire: Justice Dept. opens policing probe over Breonna Taylor Death

Louisville demonstration for Breonna Taylor

By: Michael Balsamo, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department is opening a sweeping probe into policing in Louisville, Kentucky, over the March 2020 death of Breonna Taylor, who was shot to death by police during a raid at her home, Attorney General Merrick Garland announced Monday. It’s the second such probe into a law enforcement agency by the Biden administration in a week; Garland also announced an investigation into the tactics of the police in Minneapolis following the death of George Floyd. The attorney general has said there is not yet equal justice under the law and promised to bring a critical eye to racism and legal issues when he took the job. Few such investigations were opened during the Trump administration. The 26-year-old Taylor, an emergency medical technician who had been studying to become a nurse, was roused from sleep by police who came through the door using a battering ram. Her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, fired once. A no-knock warrant was approved as part of a narcotics investigation. No drugs were found at her home. Investigation looks for ‘pattern or practice’ The investigation announced Monday is into the Louisville-Jefferson County Metro Government and the Louisville Metro Police Department. It is known as a “pattern or practice” — examining whether there is a pattern or practice of unconstitutional or unlawful policing — and will be a more sweeping review of the entire police department. Sam Aguiar, an attorney for Breonna Taylor’s family, posted a celebratory message on social media shortly after the announcement. “Boom. Thank you,” he wrote. Aguiar and other attorneys negotiated a $12 million settlement in September with the city of Louisville over Taylor’s death. The investigation will specifically focus on whether the Louisville Metro Police Department engages in a pattern of unreasonable force, including against people engaging in peaceful activities, and will also examine whether the police department conducts unconstitutional stops, searches and seizures and whether the department illegally executes search warrants, Garland said. The probe will also look at the training that officers receive, the system in place to hold officers accountable and “assess whether LMPD engages in discriminatory conduct on the basis of race,” among other things, he said. Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted last week of murder in Floyd’s death, but no one has been charged in Taylor’s, though her case, too, fueled protests against police brutality and systemic racism. “No-knock” warrants debated nationally Her death prompted a national debate about the use of so-called “no knock” search warrants, which allow officers to enter a home without waiting and announcing their presence. The warrants are generally used in drug cases and other sensitive investigations where police believe a suspect might be likely to destroy evidence. But there’s been growing criticism in recent years that the warrants are overused and abused. Prosecutors will speak with community leaders, residents and police officials as part of the Louisville probe and will release a public report, if a pattern or practice of unconstitutional conduct is discovered, Garland said. He noted that the department has implemented some changes after a settlement with Taylor’s family and said the Justice Department’s investigation would take those into account. “It is clear that the public officials in Minneapolis and Louisville, including those in law enforcement, recognize the importance and urgency of our efforts,” Garland said. Louisville hired Atlanta’s former police chief, Erika Shields, in January. She became the fourth person to lead the department since Taylor’s death on March 13, 2020. Longtime chief Steve Conrad was forced out in the summer after officers responding to a shooting during a protest failed to turn on their body cameras. Two interim appointments followed before Shields was given the job. Shields stepped down from the top Atlanta post in June after the death of Rayshard Brooks, a Black man who was shot in the back by police in a restaurant parking lot. Shields remained with the Atlanta department in a lesser role. Kentucky’s lawmakers passed a partial ban on no-knock warrants last month. The measure would only allow no-knock warrants to be issued if there was “clear and convincing evidence” that the “crime alleged is a crime that would qualify a person, if convicted, as a violent offender.” Warrants also would have to be executed between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. Associated Press Writer Dylan Lovan in Louisville contributed to this report. 

Newswire: The majority of all U.S. children are those of color

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent

In 2019, there were more than 73 million children in the United States – making up 22 percent of the nation’s population. Children of color made up 49.8 percent of all children, and more than half of the 19.6 million children under five in America were individuals of color. The statistics are part of the nonprofit Children’s Defense Fund’s “The State of America’s Children 2021 report.” It dovetails with the U.S. Census Bureau’s latest report that changing the United States’ racial makeup is most visible among children. The Census Bureau found that most children are projected to be of a race other than non-Hispanic white. “These changes mirror a broader transition in the United States to a more pluralistic population,” Census Bureau officials reported. The U. S. Census report this week deals with over population by state and confirmed that Alabama had over % million people and will retain its seven (7) Congressional seats. The Children’s Defense Fund’s comprehensive report also noted that most children under 18 were children of color in 14 states, including Alaska, California, Georgia, Maryland, New York, Texas, and the District of Columbia. In 2019 – the latest statistics available, 36.7 million children were white (50.2 percent); 18.7 million were Hispanic (25.6 percent); 10 million were Black (13.7 percent). Approximately 3.7 million were Asian (5.0 percent), 615,950 were American Indian/Alaska Native (<1 percent), and 147,057 were Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander (<1 percent). Previous estimates suggest that most U.S. children are children of color as of 2020, and the U.S. population will continue to become more racially and ethnically diverse. “The U.S. – and especially our youngest generation – is reaching a critical moment in racial and ethnic diversity,” Dr. Starsky Wilson, president, and CEO of the Children’s Defense Fund, told the Black Press in a live interview. “We need policies and programs that recognize and celebrate this growing diversity.” The State of America’s Children 2021 summarizes the status of America’s children in 12 areas – child population, child poverty, income and wealth inequality, housing and homelessness, child hunger and nutrition, child health, early childhood, education, child welfare, youth justice, gun violence, and immigration. Dr. Wilson remarked that America needs to better look after its children. “Our children have lost the health coverage they need to survive and thrive at an alarming rate,” he stated. Dr. Wilson noted that the Children’s Defense Fund’s new report revealed that an estimated 4.4 million children under age 19 were uninsured—an increase of 320,000 more children without health insurance since 2018. “The rates of uninsured children are especially high among Hispanic children, undocumented children, children living in the South, and children in families with lower incomes,” Dr. Wilson added from the report. Medicaid and CHIP are the foundation of the nation’s health insurance system for children. In 2019, nearly 36 million children under 19 received comprehensive, pediatric-appropriate, and affordable health coverage through Medicaid and CHIP. “While more than 3 million children and youth have contracted the novel coronavirus in the United States, all 73 million are impacted by the sense of uncertainty and disruption of routine it has caused,” Dr. Wilson insisted. “Even the improvements in the second school year of online learning have not resolved concerns of social isolation and the loss of important life milestones, like graduation and the high school prom. This loss of certainty, consistent routine, and the connection is leading to increased levels of depression and despair among our children and youth.” The fight for social justice and criminal justice reform could not be accomplished without considering children, Dr. Wilson insiste“The protracted struggle for democracy led to a change in partisan control of the federal government and a first in executive leadership for women, Black, and South Asian Americans,” Dr. Wilson exclaimed. “But it can’t be that we forget about the future generation, where now children of color make up the majority.”

Newswire: St. Vincent, neighboring Caribbean islands grapple with aftermath of volcano eruption

Volcano eruption on St. Vincent

By Anoa Changa, Newsone

St. Vincent and other parts of the Caribbean remain covered in ash from the La Soufriere volcano. Bracing for more explosions, St. Vincent evacuated about 16,000 people from the surrounding communities. La Soufriere’s latest eruption comes almost 42 years after the last major eruption in 1979. Authorities canceled flights as a safety precaution. Nearby Barbados, St. Lucia, and Grenada prepared for light ashfall, according to the Associated Press.  Heavy ashfall rained down on parts of St. Vincent, with a strong sulfur smell making its way through nearby communities. No casualties were reported as of Saturday afternoon.  Ash from La Soufriere caused air quality issues in nearby areas. In an interview with a local station, prime minister Ralph Gonsalves said people had trouble breathing. Officials were working to figure out how to remove the ash. “Agriculture will be badly affected, and we may have some loss of animals, and we will have to do repairs to houses, but if we have life and we have strength, we will build it back better, stronger, together,” Gonsalves said. He estimated it could take as long as four months to complete the cleanup. La Soufriere sits in the northern section of St. Vincent. St. Vincent is a part of a chain of islands, including the Grenadines. Grenada, Antigua, Barbados, and St. Lucia agreed to accept refugees. St. Vincent has asked other countries to accept people without passports who need shelter. Over 2,000 people are currently in 62 government shelters.  “This is an emergency, and everybody understands that,” said Gonsalves.  Cruise ships arrived Friday to assist with the evacuation effort.  The Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises released a joint statement Thursday explaining the coordinated effort with St. Vincent authorities. “Royal Caribbean International’s Serenade of the Seas and Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Reflection are on their way to the island nation and are expected to arrive later this evening to assist with evacuation efforts,” read the statement. The cruise lines assured they would take precautions “to protect the health and safety of the crew and passengers who board our ships.” With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, St. Vincent authorities recommended those entering shelters be vaccinated. St. Vincent and the Grenadines received 24,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines earlier in the week as a part of a global relief effort. Reports indicate ash from the first explosion reached 32,000 feet. In a Friday interview with the Associated Press, Erouscilla Joseph, the University of the West Indies Seismic Research Center director, said more explosions could occur. Joseph said it was difficult to predict the size of subsequent explosions. A majority of the 19 volcanoes in the eastern Caribbean are on 11 islands. There are also two underwater volcanoes near Grenada including one that has been active in recent years.

Newswire: Harriet Tubman’s lost family home found in Maryland

Harriet Tubman

 

By: DeMicia Inman, The Grio

Maryland state officials announced the landmark discovery of Harriet Tubman‘s family home, found by archaeologists working on land owned by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. In a press release, the State Highway Administration (SHA) conducted research that led to discovering the historic homesite once owned by the father of famed abolitionist and Underground Railroad conductor Harriet Tubman, born Araminta Ross. The home belonged to her father, Ben Ross, and is believed to be where she spent her childhood and teenage years. “This discovery adds another puzzle piece to the story of Harriet Tubman, the state of Maryland, and our nation,” said Lieutenant Governor Boyd K. Rutherford.  “It is important that we continue to uncover parts of our history that we can learn from, especially when they can be lost to time and other forces. I hope that this latest success story can inspire similar efforts and help strengthen our partnerships in the future.” Descendants of Tubman were also present at the reveal. According to the press release, Tina Wyatt, Harriet Tubman’s great-great-great-grandniece and Ben Ross’ great-great-great-great-granddaughter expressed excitement for the historic find.  “Discovering the location of patriarch Ben Ross Sr.’s home and artifacts he used has humanized a man responsible for giving us a woman of epic proportions, Harriet Ross Tubman,” Wyatt said.  “This brings enlightenment, revealing how he lived his daily life making it a real-life connection to and for me, a great-great-great-great-granddaughter. The world benefits also from the study of these artifacts concerning objects used by the enslaved; are they common to this plantation, to his position, or to this region? It gives us so much more to explore, explain and exhibit.” Archeologist Julie Schablitsky shared with the Washington Post how the discovery of a coin dating to the 1800s was vital in locating the homesite and other artifacts. “A lot of us think we know everything … about Harriet Tubman. This discovery tells us that we don’t and that we have the opportunity to … understand her not just as an older woman who brought people to freedom, but … what her younger years were like,” Schablitsky shared with the Post. She added, “It’s not just one artifact that tells us we have something. It’s the assemblage. It’s the multiple pieces.” According to the release, the newly-uncovered home site of Ben Ross will be highlighted on the historic Thompson Farm where he and his family were enslaved. The property was acquired in 2020 by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) as an addition to Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge in Dorchester County, Maryland. “When we protect vulnerable habitats, we help preserve the stories of those who came before us, like Harriet Tubman’s father, Ben Ross,” said USFWS Chief of the National Wildlife Refuge System Cynthia Martinez.  “Acquiring Peter’s Neck last year was a critical addition to Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, as the area is predicted to naturally convert to marsh by 2100 because of sea-level rise. We look forward to working with our partners to create more opportunities to connect people to nature and strengthen the bond between the land and community.” In January, theGrio reported the President Joe Biden administration wants to ‘speed up’ effort to place Harriet Tubman on the $20 note.  U.S. Congresswoman Joyce Beatty has been working tirelessly for Tubman’s image to be placed on the $20 note. Now that Biden is in office, Beatty is hoping to speed up the process of the “Woman on the Twenty Act of 2021” bill and replace Andrew Jackson’s image with a portrait of the late abolitionist

Newswire: 1100 miners on strike at Warrior Met in Brookwood, Alabama

United Mine Workers poster

1,100 workers, members of the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) union have been on strike for three weeks, at the Warrior Met mine in Brookwood, Alabama, north of Tuscaloosa. Union workers made concessions in wages and benefits in 2016 when Jim Walters Industries, prior owner of the mine went bankrupt. The company was taken over by Wall Street hedge funds who have made millions in reviving the company. Warrior Met mines metallurgical coal for steel production over 2000 feet under the ground. After five years, the UMWA tried to negotiate a new contract for workers restoring wage and benefits cuts but the company refused to meet union demands, so the workers went on strike to enforce their demands. Cecil Roberts, President of the UMWA said,” We made the sacrifices that brought this company out of bankruptcy. While upper management was getting bonuses, UMWA miners took pay and benefit cuts., members of United Mine Workers of America The productive, professional miners at Warrior Met mined the coal that meant the company could become successful again. The people who manage the Wall Street hedge funds that own Warrior Met don’t know us, they don’t know our families, they don’t know our communities. And they don’t care. All they care about is sucking as much money as they can, every day that they can, from central Alabama. We want Warrior Met to be successful. But they can be successful and fair to its workers and communities at the same time.” Richard Trumka, National President of the AFL-CIO and past President of the UMWA, said, “To Warrior Met and all the union-busters out there: No matter how much you intimidate us…no matter how hard you try to break us… Working people are not going to cave or capitulate! We’re not going to give in or give up. We will prevail!” The union leadership brought management’s first contract offer to the members for a vote. This offer was rejected by the members and they sent their negotiators back to the table with the company, which has begun to bring in un-trained workers to mine the coal rather than negotiate fairly with the union.

Newswire: U.S. House holds historic session on reparations legislation

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent

The House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, April 14, held the first-ever markup of H.R. 40, the Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African Americans Act. The 10 a.m. session on Capitol Hill helped advance legislation first introduced about three decades ago that establishes a commission to examine slavery and discrimination in the United States from 1619 to the present and recommend appropriate remedies. “Why is this significant now to have a markup in this historic moment in our history? The bill was introduced a year after the Civil Liberties Act that provided reparations for our Japanese-Americans, and we as African Americans supported it,” Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-Texas) said during a news conference with African American media members. “The bill would allow the country to finally confront the stark social disparities occurring in the African American community today and provide solutions,” Jackson-Lee, the bill’s lead sponsor, stated. The historic markup of H.R. 40 is intended to continue a national conversation about how to confront the brutal mistreatment of African Americans during chattel slavery, Jim Crow segregation, and the enduring structural racism that remains endemic to American society today added House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY). “Long after slavery was abolished, segregation and subjugation of African Americans was a defining part of this nation’s policies that shaped its values and its institutions,” Nadler remarked. “Today, we still live with racial disparities in access to education, health care, housing, insurance, employment, and other social goods that are directly attributable to the damaging legacy of slavery and government-sponsored racial discrimination,” Nadler remarked. “The creation of a commission under H.R. 40 to study these issues is not intended to divide, but to continue the efforts commenced by states, localities and private institutions to reckon with our past and bring us closer to racial understanding and advancement.” While a specific monetary value on reparations isn’t outlined in the bill, it does focus on investigating and presenting the facts and truth about the unprecedented centuries of brutal enslavement of African people, racial healing, and transformation. The bill would fund a commission to study and develop proposals for providing reparations to African Americans. The commission’s mission includes identifying the role of federal and state governments in supporting the institution of slavery, forms of discrimination in public and private sectors against freed slaves and their descendants, and lingering adverse effects of slavery on living African Americans and on society. “Since its introduction in 1989 by the late Chairman John Conyers, and now through its continued introduction, H.R. 40 has galvanized governmental acknowledgment of the crime of slavery and its continuing societal impact,” Jackson Lee maintained. “The markup of H.R. 40 by the Judiciary Committee is a major step toward the creation of a long-overdue national commission to study and develop reparation proposals. “Through this legislation, we will finally be able to confront the stark societal disparities occurring in the African American community today and provide solutions. “By passing H.R. 40, Congress can also start a movement toward the national reckoning we need to bridge racial divides. Reparations are ultimately about respect and reconciliation — and the hope that one day, all Americans can walk together toward a more just future.

Newswire: Chauvin guilty verdict a moment in history as President Biden, others say ‘We can’t stop here” 

Derek Chauvin being handcuffed in court after verdict and George Floyd and Derek Chauvin,  Chauvin guilty verdict a moment in history as President Biden, others say ‘We can’t stop here” 

By Hamil R. Harris

(TriceEdneyWire.com) – The conviction of Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin of all charges in the murder of George Floyd has sparked an outburst of joy from his family and Civil Rights veterans to the President of the United States, who sees the verdict as the beginning of a new chapter in American history. After a three-week trial, more than 40 witnesses, and 11 hours of jury deliberation, Chauvin was found guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter. President Biden said in a live statement to the nation that the verdict sent a message that justice can be achieved when police officers fail to serve people with respect and dignity. “But it is not enough,” the President said. “We can’t stop here.” Biden continued, “In order to deliver real change and reform, we can and we must do more to reduce the likelihood that tragedies like this will ever happen and occur again; to ensure that Black and brown people or anyone — so they don’t fear the interactions with law enforcement, that they don’t have to wake up knowing that they can lose their very life in the course of just living their life.  They don’t have to worry about whether their sons or daughters will come home after a grocery store run or just walking down the street or driving their car or playing in the park or just sleeping at home.” But some question whether there would have been a trial had it not been for a 9:29 second video of Chauvin’s knee on Floyd’s neck, shot by a 17-year-old bystander, Darnella Frazier. Frazier captured the May 25, 2020 incident during a trip to a neighborhood store.   “It has been a long journey,” said Philonise Floyd, one of George Floyd’s brothers who spoke during a Minneapolis press conference after the verdict was announced. The press conference was attended by family members, their lawyer Ben Crump and a host of Civil Rights leaders that included Rev. Al Sharpton, Rev. Jesse Jackson and Marc Morial, president of the National Urban League. In his comments, Philonise Floyd cast the jury’s verdict in the context of generations of African Americans who were killed but never had a day in court. “Emmett Till was the first George Floyd. We ought to always understand that we have to march, we have to protest. I am not just fighting for George, I am fighting for everyone in the world. ‘Today we are able to breathe again.” Less than an hour after Chauvin was convicted by a jury that included 6 whites and 4 blacks, he was handcuffed and walked out of Minneapolis courtroom, people gathered outside the store where Floyd was killed, as well as at intersections where other people died at the hands of police officers across the US. President Joe Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris talked to the family by phone after the verdict was rendered and then both addressed the nation from the White House about the significance of this moment in history and how . “Today we feel a sigh of relief, l it can’t take away the pain,” Harris told the country. “A measure of justice isn’t the same as equal justice. This verdict brings us a step closer, and the fact is we still have work to do, we still must reform the system including passage of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.” In his remarks Biden said George Floyd “was murdered in the full light of day and it ripped the blinders off for the whole world to see systemic racism…that is a stain on our nation’s soul. The pain and exhaustion that Black Americans experience every day.” Chauvin faces up to 12 and a half years on either second-degree unintentional murder or third-degree murder according to sentencing guidelines. Second-degree manslaughter has a maximum four-year sentence. Aggravating factors could determine a longer sentence of up to 40 years.  Sentencing is expected to occur in a separate hearing at a later date, in part because prosecutors say they intend to seek an enhanced sentence above the guideline range due to aggravating factors. Chauvin waived his right to have a jury make the determination about aggravating factors in his case, so Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill will do so at sentencing. After sentencing is completed, Chauvin and his legal team will have the opportunity to file an appeal in relation to the conviction and sentence. His lawyer indicated on Monday that an appeal is likely to focus in part on what they perceive as improper comments made about the trial by politicians, including Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA). Appeals in criminal cases rarely result in convictions or sentences being overturn

COVID-19

As of April 14, 2021 at 10:00 AM (according to Alabama Political Reporter) Alabama had 520,780 confirmed cases of coronavirus, (3,666) more than last week with 10,728 deaths (76) more than last week) Greene County had 910 confirmed cases, (4 more cases than last week), with 34 deaths Sumter Co. had 1,031 cases with 32 deaths Hale Co. had 2,186 cases with 75 deaths Note: Greene County Physicians Clinic received Johnson and Johnson, one dose vaccination for COVID-19; vaccination has been paused by CDC; vaccination will be available again when CDC lifts pause. Call for appointments at 205/372-3388, Ext. 142; ages 18 and up.

Newswire: St. Louis elects Tishaura Jones as city’s first Black woman mayor

Tishaura Jones

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent

Tishaura Jones began her political career in 2002 as an appointed Democratic Committeewoman of St. Louis’ 8th Ward. Most recently, Jones served two terms in the Missouri House of Representatives, becoming the state’s first African American and first woman to ascend to the Assistant Minority Floor Leader post. On April 6, the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority sister celebrated another historic first: Jones won the election as the city’s first Black woman mayor. “Congratulations to our very own chapter Soror Treasurer Tishaura O. Jones on becoming the first African American female Mayor of the City of St. Louis,” The Deltas tweeted. At her victory speech, Jones pledged to continue working hard for equality. “It’s time for St. Louis to thrive,” she told a cheering crowd of supporters. “It’s time to bring a breath of fresh air to our neighborhoods.” “I will work to address inequities in the delivery of city services, and I will not stay silent when I see racism, homophobia, xenophobia, or religious intolerance. I will not stay silent when I spot any injustice,” she declared. Jones, 49, said her campaign had begun breaking down the historic racial barriers and the racial divides that exist and have existed for generations in St. Louis. “I’m ready to work,” added Jones, who has served as the city’s treasurer for the past eight years. Her victory arrives on the heels of Kim Janey’s ascension to mayor in Boston, another major U.S. city that never had a Black woman chief executive officer. Jones, who holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from Hampton University, and a master’s in health administration from the Saint Louis University School of Public Health, is an active volunteer with a dedication to public service. She has earned recognition from various organizations, including the Lupus Foundation of America and the St. Louis Coalition for Human Rights. “Congratulations, Mayor-elect Tishaura Jones,” tweeted District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser. “We’re all rooting for you and St. Louis.”

Newswire: President Biden nominates three Black women for Federal Court of Appeals

Three women nominated for court positions

By Lauren Victoria Burke, NNPA Newswire Correspondent

Remember these names: Ketanji Brown Jackson, Tiffany Cunningham, and Candace Jackson-Akiwumi.  These are President Joseph Biden’s first three nominations for the Federal Court of Appeals. In 2020, Biden pledged to name the first African American woman to the U.S. Supreme Court.  A number of retirements are expected from the federal judiciary now that Donald Trump is out of office. The percentage of African American judges on the federal appellate circuit is inconsistent with the makeup of the broader U.S. population overall. Former President Trump nominated no African Americans of 54 U.S. appellate nominations. President Biden has now nominated U.S. District Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit.  She would replace Merrick Garland who is now U.S. Attorney General. The position is also seen as a steppingstone to the U.S. Supreme Court. President Biden nominated Candace Jackson-Akiwumi to the Seventh Circuit where no African American judge has served in three years. Biden has also nominated Tiffany Cunningham who will now likely become the the first African American judge ever on the Federal Circuit. In December 2020, Biden said, “We are particularly focused on nominating individuals whose legal experiences have been historically underrepresented on the federal bench. Including those who are public defenders, civil rights and legal aid attorneys and those who represent Americans in every walk of life.” The power of the federal judiciary to be the final decision maker on policies that impacts that lives of African Americans unmatched. Former President Trump, along with Sen. Mitch McConnell, nominated many judges to the federal bench who were defined as unqualified by the leading groups who follow judicial nominees. Lauren Victoria Burke is an independent journalist for NNPA and the host of the podcast BURKEFILE. She is also a political strategist as Principal of Win Digital Media LLC. She may be contacted at LBurke007@gmail.com and on twitter at @LVBurke