Tim Scott’s suspension of his presidential campaign came as a “surprise” to his campaign staff members, his allies and his supporters, the latter of whom were sent a last-minute fundraising solicitation shortly before the Republican Senator from South Carolina made his announcement, according to reports. Scott, who was never able to be a serious polling threat to front-runner Donald Trump, let alone several other candidates, made his announcement Sunday afternoon during an interview on Fox News conducted by Republican and former South Carolina U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy. “When I go back to Iowa it will not be as a presidential candidate,” Scott told Gowdy, who appeared to react as if he was not expecting to hear that breaking news. “The voters, who are the most remarkable people on the planet … They’re telling me, ‘not now, Tim.’ I don’t think they’re saying, Trey, ‘no,’ but I do they’re saying, ‘not now.’” The announcement was apparently either unplanned or top secret among campaign staffers who theoretically should have known Scott planned to quit. Politico reported that “[multiple campaign staff members confirmed … that they had no prior knowledge of Scott’s decision before he” announced that he was dropping out of the race on live television. Also from Politico: Scott’s Sunday night announcement came after he canceled a scheduled swing through Iowa this weekend, a change the campaign on Friday attributed to him having the flu. Scott started the interview by saying he was “looking forward to getting back on the campaign trail” after he recovers from the flu before adding that he would no longer be a candidate. While it’s naive to assume that the upper levels of Scott’s campaign were blindsided by his announcement, previous suspensions of presidential campaigns — both in this current and past political cycles — have been absent of such reports of a “surprise.” In part because he was never able to break through on the polling front, political analysts predicted Scott’s campaign suspension as being inevitable. Only the timing of it was in question. Scott was noncommittal about which candidate he’d endorse for the Republican presidential nomination and encouraged voters to do their own research. Scott’s announcement to suspend his campaign came just days after he finally made good on his promise to reveal his long-spoken-about girlfriend. He posed with Mindy Noce, a design and renovation manager in Charleston, South Carolina, following a lackluster performance in the third Republican primary debate on Wednesday night. With Republican donors reportedly pressing the issue of Scott being single while seeking the presidency, his bachelorhood dominated headlines in September as Scott was unable to avoid the scrutiny of being unmarried. Beyond his personal life, Scott displayed an astounding tone-deafness during the third debate – and, by extension, his short-lived campaign – by doubling down on his presidential promise for a national abortion ban less than 24 hours after voters in Ohio cast ballots to defeat such a proposition. Scott’s staunch refusal to acknowledge racism in America certainly didn’t help his cause, as evidenced by the way he recently scolded a Black congregation in a Chicago church that he suggested was overly focused on race — a tactic that polling showed resonated with white voters, in particular. Nadia Brown, a political scientist and professor at Georgetown University, described Scott last week to ABC News in terms of a political and racial token. “What Tim Scott and those of his ilk are doing, they’re trying to play on these emotional push pins that most African Americans don’t see. It’s not landing for them,” Brown said. “I think that is a call out to other conservatives, particularly white conservatives, who want to say, ‘I have a Black senator,’ or, ‘I feel comfortable voting for a Black candidate.’” The remaining Republican candidates for president include Trump, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy.
By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
Donald Trump, who holds the ignominious distinction of being the only twice-impeached U.S. president, has become the first commander-in-chief to have criminal charges referred against him. The dubious achievement occurred on Monday, Dec. 19, when the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol formally requested that the U.S. Department of Justice charge Trump with inciting, assisting, or engaging in insurrection against the United States and “giving aid or comfort” to an insurrection. Chaired by Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Mississippi) and vice chair Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyoming), the committee released a 161-page summary that focused on Trump’s involvement in the effort to overturn his 2020 election loss to President Joe Biden. The committee concluded that Trump’s efforts “makes him responsible for the violence that unfolded, and unfit to hold office.” The panel then laid out a criminal case for the Justice Department, including a cache of evidence. Based upon the assembled evidence, the committee has reached a series of specific findings, including the following 17 powerful conclusions against Trump: • Beginning election night and continuing through January 6th and thereafter, Trump purposely disseminated false allegations of fraud related to the 2020 Presidential election to aid his effort to overturn the election and for purposes of soliciting contributions. “These false claims provoked his supporters to violence on January 6th,” the committee determined.
• Knowing that he and his supporters had lost dozens of election lawsuits, and despite his own senior advisors refuting his election fraud claims and urging him to concede his election loss, Trump refused to accept the lawful result of the 2020 election. Rather than honor his constitutional obligation to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed,” President Trump instead plotted to overturn the election outcome. • Despite knowing that such an action would be illegal, and that no State had or would submit an altered electoral slate, Trump corruptly pressured Vice President Mike Pence to refuse to count electoral votes during Congress’s joint session on January 6th.
• Trump sought to corrupt the U.S. Department of Justice by attempting to enlist Department officials to make purposely false statements and thereby aid his effort to overturn the Presidential election. After that effort failed, Trump offered the position of Acting Attorney General to Jeff Clark knowing that Clark intended to disseminate false information aimed at overturning the election. • Without any evidentiary basis and contrary to State and Federal law, Trump unlawfully pressured State officials and legislators to change the results of the election in their States.
• Trump oversaw an effort to obtain and transmit false electoral certificates to Congress and the National Archives. • Trump pressured Members of Congress to object to valid slates of electors from several States.
• Trump purposely verified false information filed in Federal court. • Based on false allegations that the election was stolen, Trump summoned tens of thousands of supporters to Washington for January 6th. Although these supporters were angry and some were armed, Trump instructed them to march to the Capitol on January 6th to “take back” their country.
• Knowing that a violent attack on the Capitol was underway and knowing that his words would incite further violence, Trump purposely sent a social media message publicly condemning Vice President Pence at 2:24 p.m. on January 6th.
• Knowing that violence was underway at the Capitol, and despite his duty to ensure that the laws are faithfully executed, Trump refused repeated requests over a multiple hour period that he instruct his violent supporters to disperse and leave the Capitol, and instead watched the violent attack unfold on television. This failure to act perpetuated the violence at the Capitol and obstructed Congress’s proceeding to count electoral votes.
• Each of these actions by Trump was taken in support of a multi-part conspiracy to overturn the lawful results of the 2020 Presidential election.
• The intelligence community and law enforcement agencies did successfully detect the planning for potential violence on January 6th, including planning specifically by the Proud Boys and Oath Keeper militia groups who ultimately led the attack on the Capitol. As January 6th approached, the intelligence specifically identified the potential for violence at the U.S. Capitol. This intelligence was shared within the executive branch, including with the Secret Service and the President’s National Security Council.
• Intelligence gathered in advance of January 6th did not support a conclusion that Antifa or other left-wing groups would likely engage in a violent counter demonstration, or attack Trump supporters on January 6th. Indeed, intelligence from January 5th indicated that some left-wing groups were instructing their members to “stay at home” and not attend on January 6th.20 Ultimately, none of these groups was involved to any material extent with the attack on the Capitol on January 6th. • Neither the intelligence community nor law enforcement obtained intelligence in advance of January 6th on the full extent of the ongoing planning by President Trump, John Eastman, Rudolph Giuliani and their associates to overturn the certified election results. Such agencies apparently did not (and potentially could not) anticipate the provocation President Trump would offer the crowd in his Ellipse speech, that President Trump would “spontaneously” instruct the crowd to march to the Capitol, that President Trump would exacerbate the violent riot by sending his 2:24 p.m. tweet condemning Vice President Pence, or the full scale of the violence and lawlessness that would ensue. Nor did law enforcement anticipate that President Trump would refuse to direct his supporters to leave the Capitol once violence began. No intelligence community advance analysis predicted exactly how President Trump would behave; no such analysis recognized the full scale and extent of the threat to the Capitol on January 6th.
• Hundreds of Capitol and DC Metropolitan police officers performed their duties bravely on January 6th, and America owes those individual immense gratitude for their courage in the defense of Congress and our Constitution. Without their bravery, January 6th would have been far worse. Although certain members of the Capitol Police leadership regarded their approach to January 6th as “all hands-on deck,” the Capitol Police leadership did not have sufficient assets in place to address the violent and lawless crowd.
• Capitol Police leadership did not anticipate the scale of the violence that would ensue after President Trump instructed tens of thousands of his supporters in the Ellipse crowd to march to the Capitol, and then tweeted at 2:24 p.m. Although Chief Steven Sund raised the idea of National Guard support, the Capitol Police Board did not request Guard assistance prior to January 6th. The Metropolitan Police took an even more proactive approach to January 6th, and deployed roughly 800 officers, including responding to the emergency calls for help at the Capitol. Rioters still managed to break their line in certain locations, when the crowd surged forward in the immediate aftermath of Trump’s 2:24 p.m. tweet. The Department of Justice readied a group of Federal agents at Quantico and in the District of Columbia, anticipating that January 6th could become violent, and then deployed those agents once it became clear that police at the Capitol were overwhelmed. Agents from the Department of Homeland Security were also deployed to assist.
• President Trump had authority and responsibility to direct deployment of the National Guard in the District of Columbia, but never gave any order to deploy the National Guard on January 6th or on any other day. Nor did he instruct any Federal law enforcement agency to assist. Because the authority to deploy the National Guard had been delegated to the Department of Defense, the Secretary of Defense could, and ultimately did deploy the Guard. Although evidence identifies a likely miscommunication between members of the civilian leadership in the Department of Defense impacting the timing of deployment, the Committee has found no evidence that the Department of Defense intentionally delayed deployment of the National Guard. “An insurrection is a rebellion against the authority of the United States,” said Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Maryland). “It is a grave federal offense anchored in the Constitution. … Anyone who incites others to engage in rebelling, assists them in doing so or gives aid and comfort to those engaged in insurrection is guilty of a federal crime.” Raskin continued:“The Committee believes that more than sufficient evidence exists for a criminal referral of former President Trump for assisting or aiding and comforting those at the Capitol who engaged in a violent attack on the United States,” Raskin continued. “The Committee has developed significant evidence that President Trump intended to disrupt the peaceful transition of power.”
The sale of Twitter to Elon Musk has prompted a number of questions about what will become of the popular social media platform once the ultra-billionaire gains complete control of the micro-blogging app. Both sides closed the deal on Monday afternoon to allow the world’s wealthiest man agreed to buy Twitter for a whopping $43 billion, according to the Wall Street Journal. Black Twitter, a group of influential users whose tweets spotlight issues affecting Black people, is among those who have reason to be concerned about the direction in which Musk could take the app now that the sale is official. Musk’s intentions for Twitter remained unclear. But if his past commentary and the way he’s run his other businesses are any indications, Black people who use Twitter — and there are millions of them — have reasons to be wary. Twitter moderation There are fears Musk could change the way Twitter moderates content from its users, whose words have been policed more aggressively in recent months and resulted in permanent suspensions, like former President Donald Trump. (More on that later.) The Washington Post described Musk’s social media ambitions in part as wanting “a free speech utopia,” but that could mean allowing misinformation, lies, racism and threats of violence with impunity. “What Musk seemingly fails to recognize is that to truly have free speech today, you need moderation,” said Katie Harbath, a former Facebook public policy director and CEO of consultancy Anchor Change, recently told the Post. “Otherwise, just those who bully and harass will be left as they will drive others away.” Racial discrimination Musk’s main company, automaker Tesla, has been accused and sued by its workforce of and for racial discrimination for years now in a situation that has not been corrected. The implication for Twitter is that same administrative approach that prompted accusations of racism against Tesla will come to Twitter, which already has a disproportionately white workforce. At worst, that suspicion could become true as Musk — allows racists like Marjorie Taylor Greene to not only regain access to their banned accounts but also resume spewing their white supremacy drivel. Social media accountability The free press and other groups have been pushing for accountability on social media platforms for a while now to no avail. But making any inroads in that area with Twitter is not likely to happen if Musk takes over, a prospect that is especially concerning since we are just months away from the pivotal midterm elections. Political implications Building off the above sentiment, without any accountability in place, the potential for the aforementioned misinformation could run rampant. Twitter is a major part of the political infrastructure now, but without any accountability for misinformation that has been proven effective, it could revert back to its former Wild Wild West-like environment that fostered the type of propaganda that helped hand Trump his presidency. Conversely, Black Twitter and its attempts to highlight political issues affecting people of color could be censored. Donald Trump And speaking of Trump, it’s no secret that his own social media endeavor has been a spectacular flop. If Musk buys Twitter, chances are likely that the racist narcissist and accused traitor will be handed the keys back to his shuttered account that was banned two days after the deadly Capitol Riots for what Twitter called “the risk of further incitement of violence.”This is America.
The electoral college has the effect of diluting the Black vote. By: Nigel Roberts, NewsOne
Scrutiny of the Electoral College got was a top trending topic Tuesday morning after CNN’s Don Lemon called for “the entire system” to be overhauled. Lemon’s argument centered on the fact that the United States’ population is increasingly becoming non-white but the Electoral College has resulted in two of the past five presidents being elected without winning the popular vote. “We’re going to have to blow up the entire system,” Lemon said Monday night on his show before continuing later: “The minority in this country decides who the judges are and they decide who the president is. Is that fair?” Conservatives were mocking Lemon on Tuesday for what they described as his inability to understand the Constitution and the Electoral College body of state electors. But the CNN pundit is not alone in his belief that the Electoral College needs to be reckoned with — especially in the cultural and racial contexts in which Lemon stated his argument. To put it simply, Black voters have plenty to gain from replacing the electoral college — a system built originally to protect the interest of white, male slave owners — with selecting presidents through a popular vote. Massachusetts Democrat Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a 2020 presidential candidate, last year endorsed ending the electoral college during a town hall meeting at Jackson State University, a historically Black college in Mississippi. “You know, come a general election, presidential candidates don’t come to places like Mississippi. They also don’t come to places like California and Massachusetts, right? Because we’re not the ‘battleground states,’” Warren said at the time. “Well, my view is that every vote matters. And the way we can make that happen is that we can have national voting. And that means get rid of the electoral college, and everybody counts. Everybody. I think everybody ought to have to come and ask for your vote.” Looking to 2020, Democratic voters were working to avoid a repeat of 2016, in which Hillary Clinton won nearly 3 million more votes than Donald Trump but lost the electoral college vote. In our system, voters do not elect the president directly. Instead, they choose which candidate receives their state’s electors. The electoral college is made up of 538 electors who technically cast votes to decide the president and vice president. The candidate who receives a majority of electoral votes (270) wins the presidency. The number 538 is the sum of the nation’s 435 Representatives, 100 Senators, and 3 electors given to the District of Columbia. Electors are apportioned to states based on their population, meaning that larger states have more electoral votes than smaller states. It’s a winner takes all system. A candidate gets all the electoral votes of a state whether they win it by one vote or one million votes. In 2016, Clinton won huge majorities in racially diverse states like California and New York that ran up her popular vote count but meant relatively little in the electoral college count. “In addition to the problem of this winner take all logic, there is also the issue that people in large states are explicitly underrepresented in the electoral college,” according to the Center for Economic and Policy Research. The smallest states are guaranteed at least three electoral votes. Consequently, a small state like Wyoming has one elector for every 195,000 residents. By contrast, California has the most electoral votes (55), but each elector represents every 711,000 residents. “White people tend to live in states where their vote counts more, and minorities in places where it counts less,” CEPR noted. Wyoming is 84 percent white, compared to California’s 38 percent white population. That dynamic means that Black votes count less because they tend to live in large states. African Americans are also many times clustered in large urban communities that are in Republican-leaning states. “[The electoral college] dilutes our power,” Rep. Emilia Sykes, an Ohio state lawmaker who has been a leading voice against it, told PBS in 2018. “And we recognize that, and we get it, and we don’t want it. We want our power to be used to its fullest potential.”
Barack Obama’s official and long-awaited endorsement of Joe Biden on Tuesday was likely greeted by a collective sigh of relief from the Democratic establishment. But what was largely seen as Obama’s inevitable support for his vice president’s White house ambitions might not mesh that well with the so-called Bernie Bros — loyal supporters of Bernie Sanders — even after the Vermont senator suspended his own campaign and theoretically cleared the path for Biden to be the presumptive Democratic nominee. The endorsement could prompt them to reluctantly rally around Biden as a means to defeat the person who Sanders has called “the most dangerous president in modern history.” Or, more perilously, the endorsement could make them even more resolute in their support for their preferred candidate, who made no secret of keeping his name on the ballots for the remaining primaries. Regardless, Obama could not have been more clear or more urgent in his endorsement of Biden. Without mentioning Donald Trump’s name, Obama spelled out the country’s future based on the present if voters re-elected the incumbent president. “Right now, we need Americans of goodwill to unite in a great awakening against a politics that too often has been characterized by corruption, carelessness, self-dealing, disinformation, ignorance, and just plain meanness,” Obama said matter of factly. While Obama has been largely playing the sidelines during the primary process, his role has been understated, according to a New York Times report published Tuesday. Obama “had at least four long conversations with” Sanders before the Vermont senator suspended his campaign on Wednesday. The New York Times also reported that Biden was hesitant to involve Obama too much in his campaign, something that stood in stark contrast to the repeated requests from the Democratic National Committee for him to play a larger role. “But the former president, often communicating through Eric Schultz, a political aide who has also served as a bridge to the Biden campaign, insisted that his best use would be as a passive peacemaker,” the Times reported. Now, with Biden as the only Democratic candidate who has not suspended his campaign, Obama has also been cleared, so to speak, to factor much more heavily in a race against Trump that was expected to turn nasty. It may be up to Obama to figure out a way to bridge the divide between Biden and Sanders’ supporters, many of whom have threatened to either withhold their votes or cast ballots for another candidate to demonstrate their displeasure with the Democratic Party as a whole. That was true for Sanders’ youngest supporters, especially the Black ones, two demographics that helped power Obama to victory in both of his presidential elections. A Sanders ad tried to bridge the disconnect between him and Obama, but it was greeted with skepticism and called “disingenuous” on social media. In reality, Sanders and Obama have had more of a complicated relationship. According to The Atlantic, during Obama’s reelection campaign in 2012, multiple sources reported that Sanders considered running against him in the primaries before ultimately supporting Obama’s reelection. Sanders’ deputy campaign director Ari Rabin-Havt denied these reports, telling CNN, “This never happened. Bernie Sanders never considered a primary challenge to Obama. Bernie was running for reelection in 2012 and that’s what he was focused on.” However, this doesn’t take away from the fact that Sanders has disagreed with Obama immensely on political stances or actions. For example, back in 2017, he called the former president’s speech at a Wall Street-sponsored event “distasteful,” according to Time. This was an event where Obama accepted $400,000 to speak. Sanders explained, “I think at a time when people are so frustrated with the power of Wall Street and the big-money interests, I think it is unfortunate that President Obama is doing this.”
By Lauren Victoria Burke, NNPA Newswire Contributor
Stating what has become even more of an issue for the GOP during the presidency of Donald Trump, Sen. Tim Scott, wrote, “We are often still struggling when it comes to civility and fairness. This was driven home once again Thursday as Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) wondered aloud: “White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?”’ In a blistering op-ed in The Washington Post, the U.S. Senate’s only African American Republican, took the Republican Party to task on the issue of racism. Sen. Scott has been openly reluctant to support Donald Trump. He notably skipped the Republican National Convention in 2016. On January 10, Republican Rep. Steve King of Iowa wondered out loud when the term “white supremacists” became a negative during an interview with The New York Times. “White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?” King said during the interview.In a familiar pattern, Rep. King sought to “clarify” his comments a day later.But the U.S. Representative has a long history of comments that can easily be defined as racist. “I want to make one thing abundantly clear; I reject those labels and the evil ideology that they define. Further, I condemn anyone that supports this evil and bigoted ideology which saw in its ultimate expression the systematic murder of 6 million innocent Jewish lives,” Rep. King said on January 11. In July 2013, King said of Mexican immigrants that, “For every one who’s a valedictorian, there’s another 100 out there who weigh 130 pounds—and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert.” Rep. King displayed the Confederate flag on his office desk in 2016 removing it later after a Confederate flag-waver shot two law enforcement officers in Iowa. In March 2017, he wrote “culture and demographics are our destiny. We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies” and, “you need to teach your children your values” and “with the inter-marriage, I’d like to see an America that is just so homogenous that we look a lot the same.” Rep. King’s words are familiar to that of the rhetoric of David Duke and Richard Spencer and other prominent white supremacists. Though he was been criticized by Speaker Paul Ryan for his past comments, many Republicans have remained silent during Rep. King’s racial controversies. Sen. Scott has become tired of that practice. Sen. Scott cataloged recent racist incidents in the U.S. saying, “Three months ago, a white supremacist killed two black people in a parking lot in Kentucky. We are only 18 months from Charlottesville, where white nationalists killed a white woman with a car and severely beat multiple black people. Almost four years ago, a white supremacist murdered nine African Americans in a church in Charleston, S.C. In 1998, white supremacists dragged James Byrd Jr., behind a pickup truck through Jasper, Tex., decapitating him in the process.” “I will admit I am unsure who is offended by the term “Western civilization” on its own, but anyone who needs “white nationalist” or “white supremacist” defined, described and defended does lack some pretty common knowledge,” Sen. Scott continued. “When people with opinions similar to King’s open their mouths, they damage not only the Republican Party and the conservative brand but also our nation as a whole,” Sen. Scott continued. “Silence is no longer acceptable,” Sen. Scott concluded. The backdrop of Rep. King’s latest racially-motivated comments is President Trump’s insistence on building a wall at the border of Mexico. Trump ran on a platform that defined Mexican immigrants as violent and dangerous. Noteably, after white supremacists marched with torches in Charlottesville, Va., President Trump was not only slow in denouncing their message but declared that — “both sides” — were “violent.”s On Tuesday, January 15, the Republican Party in the U. S. House of Representatives stripped Rep. Steve King of his committee assignments in the 116thCongress. He served on the House Agriculture and Judiciary Committee
NNPA Newswire Staff Report With voter fraud and voter suppression the talk of the midterms, the Advancement Project at the NAACP national office joined with the African American Research Collaborative to provide the first comprehensive analysis of how Black voters voted this cycle and why. Released in November, the poll of mid-term voters, conducted by the African American Research Collaborative – in collaboration with Latino Decisions and Asian American Decisions – examined African American voters across various competitive elections to determine how this electorate engaged in 2018 and how those findings might shape the future of elections. The key takeaway of this poll is clear: Democrats’ 2018 wins across the country were dependent on voters of color, particularly Black voters, as a majority of white voters supported Republicans. A whopping 90 percent of Black voters supported Democratic House candidates, compared to just 53 percent of all voters; 45 percent of white voters; 73 percent of Latinos; and 72 percent of Asian voters The midterms were a referendum on President Trump, NAACP officials said in a news release. Black voters see the President and the current GOP as divisive, racist, and a step back for the nation. Approximately 72 percent of Black voters believe the Democrats are doing a good job with regards to the Black constituency; but 21 percent feel the Democrats don’t care too much about Blacks. Only 12 percent of Black voters believe the Republicans are doing a good job with regards to the Black constituency; and 55 percent feel the GOP doesn’t care too much about Blacks. Eighty-five percent of Black women and 81 percent of Black men have felt disrespected by Donald Trump. Only 8 percent of Black voters believe Trump has a positive impact on Blacks, and 29 percent believe he has a negative impact. Eighty-nine percent of Black women, 83 percent of Black men, and 50 percent of white voters believe Trump’s statements and policies will cause a major setback for racial progress A total of 91 percent of Black women, 86 percent of Black men, and 50 percent of white voters believe Trump and the GOP are using toxic rhetoric to divide the nation The NAACP poll revealed that 82 percent of Black women, 76 percent of Black men, and 45 percent of white voters believe Trump and the Republicans are normalizing sexism and sexual harassment against women. To have similar or greater wins in 2020, Democrats must invest in and engage communities of color and the issues that matter most to these constituents. Only 57 percent of Black voters were contacted from a campaign, political party, or community organization about voting in the months prior to Election Day. “There is one thing unequivocally clear about the data from this recent poll – if America is to become a democracy reflective of its ideals of liberty, opportunity and justice for all – it cannot do so without embracing, engaging and valuing the Black voter and voters of color, particularly Black women,” said NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson. “This poll confirms that Black voters and the issues which motivate them can only be ignored at your own peril.” Henry Fernandez, Principal, African American Research Collaborative, said, African American voters “are the backbone of the progressive vote in America and were essential to the blue wave that transformed American politics.” “In particular, Black women are a powerful political force with high turnout and unified vote choice that consistently and overwhelmingly supports progressive change,” Fernandez said. He continued, “Black voters and other voters of color have reacted strongly against Trump but also against the Republican party as it embraces Trumpism. This was demonstrated in the 2018 midterms, as a majority of white voters supported Republican candidates, but Democrats won across the country as voters of color turned out in record numbers.” Further, the past mid-term election cycle has shown the power of communities of color in particular, and their desire to engage when people think they are apathetic, said Judith Browne Dianis, the executive director of the Advancement Project at the NAACP’s national office. “People of color turned out and were engaged. Voters of color are poised to seize our power and Advancement Project’s national office and our allies are readying for the next big thing – 2020 – to make sure our vote is protected; to ensure our elections are free, fair and accessible. This polling suggests that people want action, change as it relates to racial profiling, immigrant justice and, really, respect,” Dianis said. “We are making sure this happens by working with partners on the ground and using this research to inform our collective strategies and work toward a more diverse and just democracy.” Also, the 2018 American Election Eve Poll provided further evidence that America is anything but post-racial, said Professor Ray Block, Jr., of University of Kentucky’s African American Research Collaborative. “Identity-group considerations continue to shape the political landscape and guide the thoughts and actions of voters,” Block said. “The outcomes of the 2018 midterms confirm that African Americans turned out in strong numbers to support candidates who backed progressive issues, and candidates who seek (re)election in 2020 should remember the lessons learned from this past election.” Also, what the latest poll and previous research underscores is that, in order to reach Black voters, “we must be explicit about our issues and specific in communicating directly with black voters,” said Jamal R. Watkins, the NAACP Vice President of Civic Engagement. “The NAACP recognized that in order to reach the infrequent Black voter, we must be specific in our language, issues and our relational organizing strategies,” Watkins said. “The NAACP engaged in a national campaign targeting Black voters via cutting edge messaging, analysis and outreach utilizing the entire spectrum of traditional canvassing and phone banking to digital and text messaging platforms – this showed in the record number who made it to the polls. “No longer can the Black vote be ignored or disrespected or taken for granted.”
Several artists have spoken out about Donald Trump playing their music at his hate rallies. The long list includes Adele, Neil Young, the Rolling Stones, Queen, REMand Pharrell Williams. Even Prince’s estate released a statement when Trump played “Purple Rain” at a rally in Mississippi, saying, “The Prince Estate has never given permission to President Trump or The White House to use Prince’s songs and have requested that they cease all use immediately.” Now Rihanna is speaking out. At a Trump rally in Tennessee, her song “Don’t Stop The Music” was playing. Washington Post reporter Philip Rucker wrote on Twitter, “It’s been said a million times, but here’s a million and one — Trump’s rallies are unlike anything else in politics. Currently, Rihanna’s “Don’t Stop the Music” is blaring in Chattanooga as aides toss free Trump T-shirts into the crowd, like a ball game. Everyone’s loving it.” Rihanna was not happy and wrote, “Not for much longer…me nor my people would ever be at or around one of those tragic rallies, so thanks for the heads up philip!” It’s been said a million times, but here’s a million and one — Trump’s rallies are unlike anything else in politics. Currently, Rihanna’s “Don’t Stop the Music” is blaring in Chattanooga as aides toss free Trump T-shirts into the crowd, like a ball game. Everyone’s loving it. However,The Washington Postreported that Rihanna may not have any control over it. AsAxl Rosefrom the band Guns N’ Rosessaid,the Trump team is using “loopholes” to play songs from artists who have not given him permission to use their music. The Washington Post explained, “ASCAP warns politicians that even if a campaign has obtained a license to use a song, they should still get the artist’s permission. According to the ASCAP’s guidelines, disgruntled artists could file suit under the Lanham Act, which is intended to prevent the dilution of a brand’s trademark through unauthorized use or under “right of publicity” laws which provides image protection for well-known artists in some states.” However, filing a lawsuit would be a lengthy and expensive process that may not be worth it. Therefore, as The Washington Post details, Trump uses the loophole of, “Most of the typical venues for campaign events, such as arenas and convention centers, will already have a blanket license from a performance rights organization in place.” Sounds like Trump. He find loopholes from everything to his taxes to playing music from artists at his hate rallies.
Wildly outspent by a billionaire challenger and the daughter of a former Florida Governor, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, 39, shocked the political establishment to win the gubernatorial primary in Florida on August 28. Gillum defeated former Congresswoman Gwen Graham 34-31 percent to win the Democratic contamination. He will now face pro-Trump Congressman Ron DeSantis in the general election on November 6. Gillum’s victory caught many political observers by surprise. The 39-year old Mayor was polling in fourth place less than a month ago. But recent polls showed an upward movement to second place. Gillum and his supporters completed that upward movement by coming in first on election night. Gillum’s victory sets up a historic opportunity for there to be three sitting African American Governors in the U.S. for the first time in history. Former Georgia lawmaker Stacey Abrams is the Democratic nominee or Governor of Georgia after a decisive July 24 primary victory. Abrams would be the first African American woman to be a Governor from any state should she win. Former NAACP President Ben Jealous is running for Governor in Maryland against moderate incumbent Republican Larry Hogan. There are also four Black candidates for Lt. Governor running this year for the first time in history. Gillum’s progressive victory was cemented in part by a late visit by Sen. Bernie Sanders in support of his candidacy. Though he did not win, the Independent Vermont U.S. Senator who ran for President in 2016, focused on bread and butter issues many Americans identified with as he ran against Hillary Clinton. Sanders’ issue focus included income inequality, money in politics, corporate greed and raising the minimum wage. Despite the Democratic Party’s support of the moderate blue dog style of former U.S. Representative Gwen Graham, voters had other ideas and a progressive shift has likely been spurred by Donald Trump’s policies. As his campaign began, Gillum was attacked by his opponent Congressman Ron DeSantis who suggested voting for Gilliam “would monkey-up Florida’s economy with socialist ideas”. DeSantis was questioned for launching a racially motivated “dog-whistle campaign” which he denied. Racist robo-calls attributed to an alt-right group in Idaho have also appeared in the Florida election. Gillum, a graduate of Florida A&M University, is viewed as the continuation of a progressive surge and a shift away from the establishment also seen in the victory shocking victory of Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez over longtime Conrgressman Joe Crowley in a primary for his New York House seat. Though her victory is not necessarily a symptom of a widespread trend, it is a signal that a political wave in the opposite direction of Donald Trump is on the horizon in less than 70 days on November 6, 2018.
By Jesse Jackson, News Analysis (TriceEdneyWire.com) –
Russian President Vladimir Putin came late to the Helsinki Summit with Donald Trump on Monday and spoke first at the news conference afterward. He handed Trump a soccer ball from the World Cup, but he clearly walked away with the trophy for the World Cup of politics, largely because Trump, in a bizarre and unprecedented performance, kept scoring his own goals on Putin’s behalf.I have always supported dialogue and negotiations over conflict and isolation. I believe that good relations with the Russians, a nuclear power, are as Trump would say, “a good thing.” But Trump made it embarrassingly clear that he is more concerned about defending his own besmirched election campaign than he is about protecting American democracy. The president apparently doesn’t understand that it isn’t all about him. Russian interference in our elections — which Trump’s own intelligence appointees warn is ongoing — isn’t just about the “collusion” that the president rushed to deny. It is about subverting our democracy. Trump can howl at the moon denying collusion, but it is simply grotesque that he could not bring himself to warn Putin publicly that continued interference with our elections is unacceptable and would be met with an immediate response. Trump is outraged at the Mueller investigation of possible collusion of his campaign with the Russians, but he seems unmoved by the clear evidence of the subversion of our elections. He didn’t give Putin a red light or even a yellow warning one about future interference; he essentially gave him a free pass.The reality is that a core of our democracy — free elections — is under assault. Given the administration’s failures, foreign interference is likely to spread. The home-grown systematic efforts by right-wing politicians and activists to suppress the vote, to make it harder to register and harder to vote, to purge voters from the lists, to gerrymander election districts to distort the outcome and to open the gates to a flood of unaccountable, secret corporate and private money continue to get more sophisticated. Already experts suggest that Democrats will have to win the national vote by 6 to 8 percent in order to take the majority of the House, largely due to Republican partisan redistricting. Trump is so focused on his own election campaign, so defensive about the legitimacy of his own victory that he has utterly failed to protect our democracy from subversion from abroad or at home. It will be up to the states to make the reforms that are long overdue: automatic voter registration, longer early voting days, voting day holidays, an end to voter purges, nonpartisan redistricting, matching public funds for small donations, mandatory disclosure of all funding sources, returning the right to vote to felons that have served their time and more. The states should be taking measures to protect voting systems from outside interference, including moving back to paper ballots to eliminate the threat of cyber intrusions. What is clear from Trump’s performance in Helsinki is that he won’t lead this effort. He is so fixated on defending himself that he is failing to defend our democracy and our elections. The president should be applauded for meeting with Putin. Hopefully reduced tensions and new impetus for reducing nuclear arsenals will follow. But his failure to defend our democracy both against Russian interference and against domestic subversion is a dangerous dereliction of duty. Republicans in Congress won’t act because they seem to believe that their majorities may depend on suppressing the vote. So, it is up to the states, and to an aroused citizenry, to insist that our election be open, free and fair. The shocking display that Trump put on in Helsinki makes that all the more imperative.