Newswire :  Rihanna has a message for Trump playing her music at his ‘Tragic Rallies’

 

Written By NewsOne Staff

Rihanna

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.

Newswire:  Andrew Gillum shocks the political world and set stage for three Black U. S. governors

 By Lauren Victoria Burke, NNPA Newswire

 Andrew Gillum

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.

Newswire : Trump’s failure to defend our democracy is a dangerous dereliction of duty

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.

Newswire : ADL Report: White Supremacists murdered 18 people in 2017

Beatrice Dupuy
Posted with permission from Newsweek
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Klu Klux Klan members
White supremacists not only shed their masks in 2017 but unleashed one of the deadliest years for extremist violence in almost half a century. Over the past 12 months, white supremacists committed the largest number of domestic-extremist related killings, helping to make 2017 the fifth-deadliest year for extremist violence since 1970, according to a newly released report from the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism.
The center counted a total of 34 people killed by domestic extremists, of which 18 were killed by white supremacists, more than double the number of the previous year. In the last decade, right-wing extremism made up 71 percent of extremist-related murders compared to 26 percent of murders by Islamic extremists.
The overall number of deaths attributed to domestic extremists has declined—from 71 people in 2016 and 69 in 2015. The report attributes the fall to a drop in extremist-related mass-shooting sprees like the one Omar Mateen carried out when he killed 49 people at the Orlando Pulse nightclub in 2016.
Even with the decline, the resurgence in white supremacy has politicians raising questions. Democratic Senator Kamala Harris tweeted out Tuesday that she was deeply troubled that the Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen “failed to mention” domestic acts of terror during a Tuesday Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on threats to the U.S.
Nielsen was testifying on a new report by the Department of Homeland Security that studied the number of immigrants taken into custody for terrorism-related activities. The report was part of President Donald Trump’s executive order to protect the nation from “foreign terrorist entry” to the U.S.
“It is deeply troubling that when talking about threats to our nation, Secretary Nielsen failed to mention a report that talks about some of the most rampant terror attacks that face our nation—domestic acts of terror, including white supremacist extremists,” Harris said in a tweet.
Experts say that the emphasis placed by the government on foreign-born extremists as opposed to domestic-related extremists is part of a larger problem. Anti-Defamation League’s Director of the Center on Extremism, Oren Segal, said the report was a skewed version of terrorism threats in the U.S. by leaving out domestic-terror incidents.
“In a time when the public discussion still tends to focus on foreign terrorist organizations, it is important to remember that white supremacists in particular still very much pose a threat in this country,” he said
The Anti-Defamation League report cites several incidents of white supremacist killings in 2017 including a school shooting in Aztec, New Mexico. William Edward Atchison, 21, entered his old high school by pretending to be a student and then killed two students before turning the gun on himself in December. Atchinson posted online in pro-Trump and alt-right forums, with usernames including Future Mass Shooter, and ranted about his racist ideology, according to The Daily Beast.
The report found that murders carried out by white supremacists in 2017 had ties to the alt-right, a movement that spread online and sprung into rallies and protests where supporters share views seen by many as anti-semitic and racist. The movement entered the mainstream in part thanks to the emergence of Donald Trump. The president’s former chief strategist Steve Bannon once called the publication he until recently ran, Breitbart News, ” the platform for the alt-right.”
Segal said white supremacists are now emboldened and their recent activity, including holding rallies and using social media to radicalize people, must be taken seriously to “mitigate and protect” Americans from next the next attack.
“We just don’t have the luxury to ignore any extremist threat in this country,” he said.

Newswire : Is Donald Trump the worst President on minority issues in 50 years?

News Analysis by Lauren Victoria Burke (NNPA Newswire Contributor)
Donald Trump, a man best known as a “birther” with a reality TV show and a real estate empire, who claimed that Mexico was sending drugs and rapists to the United States, was sworn in as president on January 20, 2017. What happened next was predictable and we should expect more of the same in 2018.
Here are seven decisions from the past year confirming that Trump has been the worst president for African Americans, Hispanics and other minorities over the last 50 years.
1. Trump picks Jeff Sessions to succeed Loretta Lynch as Attorney General of the U.S. Trump went out of his way to make sure that his administration’s justice policy reflected 1940s America, when he selected Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III as his Attorney General.
According to a Huffington Post article published in January 2017, Sessions not only supported gutting the Voting Rights Act in 2013, he also has “a record of blocking Black judicial nominees.” Sessions, “unsuccessfully prosecuted Black civil rights activists for voter fraud in 1985―including a former aide to Martin Luther King, Jr.”
Since, Sessions has taken over at the Justice Department, he has recused himself from an investigation into Russian involvement in the 2016 presidential election and ordered a review of Obama era police reforms. This is one time where the selection of Rudy Giuliani for attorney general may have actually looked like a more moderate choice.
2. Trump says “there were very fine people on both sides” at the Charlottesville White nationalists rally, during a Trump Tower press conference. Never mind that one of the largest gatherings of racists in America since the end of the Civil Rights Movement occurred only eight months into Trump’s presidency. Put that aside. Trump’s “both sides” comments on who was to blame for the public street fight in the college town was all anyone needed to understand regarding the thinking of America’s 45th president on the issue of race.
“I am not putting anybody on a moral plane, what I’m saying is this: you had a group on one side and a group on the other, and they came at each other with clubs and it was vicious and horrible and it was a horrible thing to watch, but there is another side,” said Trump. “But you also had people that were very fine people on both sides.”
Trump also said, “I’ve condemned many different groups, but not all of those people were neo-Nazis, believe me. Not all of those people were white supremacists by any stretch. Those people were also there, because they wanted to protest the taking down of a statue Robert E. Lee.”
3. Trump calls for NFL owners to fire players over silent protests. Trump said NFL owners should respond to the players by saying, “Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, he’s fired. He’s fired!” Just in case you missed it with his comments on Charlottesville, Trump was back again to spoil the start of the NFL season by commenting on players who dared to silently protest racial injustice by kneeling during the national anthem. Trump called kneeling during the anthem, “a total disrespect of our heritage,” and a “total disrespect for everything we stand for.” The result was more protests by NFL players who then locked arms on sidelines across the U.S. with many White players and coaches participating.
Even Rush Limbaugh found himself having issues with Trump on this one. “There’s a part of this story that’s starting to make me nervous, and it’s this: I am very uncomfortable with the President of the United States being able to dictate the behavior and power of anybody,” said Limbaugh. “That’s not where this should be coming from.”
4. Trump uses an executive order to block travel of refugees from majority-Muslim countries to the U.S. When you have former staffers for Jeff Sessions writing executive orders on immigration policy, you can expect what happened at the Trump White House on January 27, 2017. With absolutely no warning, on the seventh day of his presidency, Trump signed an immigration and travel executive order. This order had Steven Miller’s fingerprints all over it, After a few days of chaos and protests at airports across the nation, federal judges applied an initial smackdown blocking the order. But Trump’s DOJ revised the order to pass some of those legal tests.

5. Trump launches sham voting commission to investigate “voter fraud.” Since many voting rights advocates agree that Republican-controlled state legislatures cook up the most egregious voting laws, it should have been surprising to no one that former Kansas Attorney General, Kris Kobach, would be a fixture of the Trump Administration. Kobach is the Vice Chairman and “driving force” behind Trump’s Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity. Since, he’s spent so much time rooting out voter fraud that is all but non-existent, Kobach was perfect for the job.
According to the Brennan Center, Kobach was the “driving force behind a Kansas law that included both a strict photo ID requirement to vote and proof of citizenship to register—which has blocked thousands of eligible citizens from the polls” and “has repeatedly made extravagant claims of in-person voter fraud or noncitizen voting with little or no evidence.”
After Trump kept repeating the falsehood that millions of fraudulent votes were cast in 2016, everyone knew this was coming. Hillary Clinton won 3 million more votes than Trump so a “voting integrity” commission was a given.
6. Trump pardons Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio. The Bull Connor of his era, Arpaio was Sheriff of Maricopa County, Ariz., for 24 years. According to one DOJ expert, Arpaio oversaw “the worst pattern of racial profiling by a law enforcement agency in U.S. history.” Trump was perfectly consistent in his anti-immigrant rhetoric of 2016 in pardoning Arpaio on August 25, 2017 from a conviction for criminal contempt of court. Trump just couldn’t resist another opportunity to give a wink of approval to the right-wing.

7. Trump nominates Neil Gorsuch to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States. Instead of nominating a Black woman to replace Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, President Obama picked someone whose nomination no one cared about or would rally around (the instantly unexciting Merrick Garland). With that, the deal was done. The selection of Garland easily allowed the Republican-controlled Senate to ignore Obama’s pick and run out the clock out, opening the door for Trump to select Neil Gorsuch, who has “voted 100 percent of the time with the court’s most conservative member, Clarence Thomas, according to SCOTUSblog,” NPR reported.

Lauren Victoria Burke is an independent journalist, political analyst and contributor to the NNPA Newswire

Newswire : John Lewis and Bennie Thompson boycott Trump’s visit to the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum

By Monique Judge, The Root


 Congressman John Lewis and Bennie Thompson

Reps. John Lewis (D-Ga.) and Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) announced last Thursday that they are skipping last Saturday’s opening of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum in Jackson because Donald Trump will be in attendance—something they consider to be “an insult” to the black heroes commemorated there.
Thompson and Lewis issued a joint statement that said, “President Trump’s attendance and his hurtful policies are an insult to the people portrayed in this civil rights museum.” According to its website, the museum “shares the stories of a Mississippi movement that changed the world” and “promotes a greater understanding of the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement and its impact by highlighting the strength and sacrifices of its people.”
The website continues, ”Visitors will witness the freedom struggle in eight interactive galleries that show the systematic oppression of black Mississippians and their fight for equality that transformed the state and nation. Seven of the galleries encircle a central space called “This Little Light of Mine.” There, a dramatic sculpture glows brighter and the music of the Movement swells as visitors gather.”
President Donald Trump was the lead person spreading the lie that President Barack Obama, America’s first Black president, was not born in the U. S. President Trump also equated Ku Klux Klan members and Neo-Nazis to people protesting the evils of racism during the deadly White supremacist marches in Charlottesville, Va. last August.
Repeatedly, in front of the nation, he has flagrantly displayed racial insensitivities; even with his most recent support of Senate Candidate Roy Moore in Alabama, not only an accused pedophile, but a man who has said America was last great during slavery.
Since his inauguration, Trump and his appointee Attorney General Jeff Sessions have careful demolished important policies put in place during the Obama administration for the purpose of preventing police brutality and other issues of racial inequality in the criminal justice system.
In addition, President Trump has claimed massive voter fraud in America, a claim that experts say is patently false.
These are just a handful of the reasons that civil rights leaders opposed the president’s attendance at the Dec. 10 opening of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum. They argue that the museum is like hallowed ground that celebrates those who risked their lives to fight against everything that Trump appears to embrace – despite his words to the contrary.
“President Trump’s presence at the opening of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum is not a show of respect. It’s merely a photo op,” says Derrick Johnson, president/CEO of the NAACP. “I live in Mississippi and its civil rights leaders are my mentors, sheroes, and heroes. I cannot sit silently alongside a man who has used the power of his office to turn back the clock on hard-won rights.”
In response to the announcement from Lewis and Thompson, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement, “We think it’s unfortunate that these members of Congress wouldn’t join the president in honoring the incredible sacrifice civil rights leaders made to right the injustices in our history.”
Lewis is an icon of the civil rights movement for his work in the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). He was at the lead of the civil rights march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma in March 1965. He also participated in sit-ins in Nashville, Tennessee and in the Freedom Rides that ended in a mass arrest in Jackson, Mississippi. So it is fair to say that John Lewis is one of the civil rights heroes recognized in the museum.

Jimmy Carter broadsides Donald Trump: Republican tapped ‘reservoir of inherent racism’

By Douglas Ernst – The Washington Times – Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Jimmy Carter

Former President Jimmy Carter

Former President Jimmy Carter pulled no punches against Donald Trump in a recent interview with The New York Times.
The 39th commander in chief told the newspaper by phone on Monday that Mr. Trump’s Republican presidential campaign is fueled by lingering U.S. racism.
Mr. Carter, 91, said in February that the billionaire was his favorite Republican candidate because he is “completely malleable.” The former Democrat president now says Mr. Trump “tapped a waiting reservoir there of inherent racism” to succeed.
“When you single out any particular group of people for secondary citizenship status, that’s a violation of basic human rights,” Mr. Carter said of the Republican’s plan to deport illegal immigrants and temporarily halt Muslim immigration into the U.S.
The newspaper also asked Mr. Carter, who is planning to hold a summit of Baptists in Atlanta, Georgia, later this summer, why Mr. Trump’s support among evangelical Christians is so strong.
“The use of the word ‘evangelical’ is a misnomer. I consider myself an evangelical as well. And obviously, what most of the news reporters thought were evangelicals [over the years] are conservative Republicans,” the former president said.

Obama condemns Trump for ‘rejecting the future’ by exiting Paris climate deal

By: Sabrina Siddiqui and Lauren Gambino, Guardian
Barack Obama

Barack Obama
Barack Obama led condemnation of his successor’s decision to withdraw from the landmark Paris climate accord, which the former president’s administration painstakingly negotiated over the course of several years.
In a statement released just before Donald Trump officially announced that the US would remove itself from the deal, Obama said the administration had joined “a small handful of nations that reject the future”. He warned that the more than 190 countries that remained participants would “reap the benefits in jobs and industries created”, but he said that US states, cities and businesses “will step up and do even more to lead the way, and help protect for future generations the one planet we’ve got”.
The rare rebuke by Obama was testament to the magnitude of Trump’s decision. The former president has commented sparingly on the new administration, weighing in only on matters he has framed as of moral significance, such as Trump’s stymied effort to impose a travel ban on refugees and citizens from several Muslim-majority countries.
Trump’s withdrawal from the accord was not just a blow to one of Obama’s signature achievements, but to an issue routinely dubbed by the Obama administration as the greatest threat to US national security and future generations across the globe.
The former secretary of state John Kerry, who represented the US in the negotiations over the Paris accord, said Trump had turned America into “an environmental pariah in the world”.
In exiting the agreement, the US joined only Syria and Nicaragua in sitting on the sidelines even as widespread condemnation poured in from foreign leaders, climate scientists and many leading US companies.
The reaction in Washington was nonetheless split on familiar partisan lines, with Republican lawmakers near unanimously throwing their support behind Trump while Democrats vowed revenge at the ballot box.
Republican leaders Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell, who have long sought to thwart Obama’s environmental legacy, applauded Trump in their statements.
“The Paris climate agreement was simply a raw deal for America,” Ryan said, adding: “In order to unleash the power of the American economy, our government must encourage production of American energy. I commend President Trump for fulfilling his commitment to the American people and withdrawing from this bad deal.”
McConnell said Trump’s move followed through on congressional action “to rebuff then-President Obama’s regulatory rampage.”
“When the previous administration signed America up for this unattainable mandate, we made it clear we would fight this unilateral action any way we could, and this day could not have happened soon enough,” McConnell said. “President Trump has once again put families and jobs ahead of leftwing ideology and should be commended for his action.”
But at least some Republicans – from Florida, one of many coastal states grappling with the effects of extreme weather and rising sea levels – expressed disappointment with the president’s decision to withdraw.
Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who represents south Florida, urged the US to establish a “long term-strategy against climate change”. She also noted that Thursday marked the first day of hurricane season in the state.
Democrats were uniformly scathing in their assessment of Trump’s decision, with Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer declaring it “a devastating failure of historic proportions”.
“Future generations will look back on President Trump’s decision as one of the worst policy moves made in the 21st century because of the huge damage to our economy, our environment and our geopolitical standing,” Schumer said. “Pulling out of the Paris agreement doesn’t put America first. It puts America last in recognizing science, in being a world leader and protecting our own shore line, our economy and our planet.”
Nancy Pelosi, the House Democratic leader, said Trump’s position ran counter to that of Pope Francis, who during the president’s recent visit to the Vatican presented Trump with a copy of his encyclical on climate change.
Democrats would join efforts with states, cities and the private sector to make good on initiatives to mitigate the threat of climate change, she added, “regardless of the reckless and short-sighted actions that the White House takes”.
Bernie Sanders, the Vermont senator who made climate change a pillar of his bid for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, decried Trump’s action as “an abdication of American leadership and an international disgrace”. “When climate change is already causing devastating harm, we don’t have the moral right to turn our backs on efforts to preserve this planet,” Sanders tweeted.

Ben Jealous confirms run for Maryland Governorship

Former NAACP President believes his Civil Rights Record will inspire voters
By Hazel Trice Edney

 

ben jealous headshot-3.jpg Benjamin Todd Jealous

(TriceEdneyWire.com) – Former NAACP President Benjamin Todd Jealous, also former Black press executive, is launching a political career.
Perhaps recently best known as a surrogate for Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, Jealous confirmed this week that he is running for governor of Maryland. He cited his long record of civil rights and the diversity of the state of Maryland as being to his favor.
“When I was president of the NAACP I learned just how quickly my neighbors here were prepared to move forward on civil rights. In one year, we abolished the death penalty, we passed marriage equality, we passed the Dream Act. I’m running for governor because I believe we’re prepared to move just as quickly in moving forward on our education, on employment, on the environment while continuing to protect civil rights,” Jealous said this week in an interview with the Trice Edney News Wire. “I’m running for governor because I believe we can do much better by our kids right now.”
Jealous is entering a crowded field of seven other candidates for the Democratic primary to be held June 26, 2018. He believes disaffection for the scandal-laden Trump administration may cause voters to lean back toward Democratic leadership after electing Republican Gov. Larry Hogan in November 2014. Hogan is eligible to run for re-election.
“Larry Hogan is governor of Maryland because in 2014, we had a high tide of Republican turnout and an ebb tide of Democratic turnout,” Jealous said. He pointed out that Hogan won by 60,000 votes after 125,000 Democrats who had voted in 2010 didn’t show up to vote in 2014.
“In this era of President Trump, they can only remember having a president that is competent to serve. And now they see the impact of having a president that is quite the opposite,” Jealous said. “So long as we turn out Democratic voters who are used to voting in gubernatorial elections, there’s almost no way that he can win.”
The election will be held Nov. 6, 2018. But first Jealous must distinguish himself among the crowded Democratic field. In that regard, he may just have a not-so-secret weapon. If he can win an endorsement from Sen. Bernie Sanders, it may bolster his chances significantly.
“Let’s just see,” was Jealous’ only response when asked whether he expects to receive Sanders’ endorsement. Sanders won 36 percent of the vote in Maryland’s Democratic presidential primary. If Jealous can win a majority of those voters; plus a significant portion of Maryland’s 45 percent Black vote, he is a strong contender to win the Democratic nomination.
But the key will be to excite the Democratic base to the polls. Jealous believes he has the record to do just that. Maryland has a 45 percent White constituency and 10 percent that encompasses other races. Jealous believes his background and civil rights record could attract a following similar to the “Rainbow Coalition” that was amassed during the Jesse Jackson presidential campaign, for which Jealous also worked in 1988.
Jealous was born in Pacific Grove, Calif. But his parents, a mixed-race couple, had met in Baltimore. His father, Fred Jealous, who was White, helped integrate lunch counters in the South. His mother, Ann Jealous, worked with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in the 1960s. As a teenager, Jealous became steeped in civil and voting rights work and spent summers in Baltimore with his maternal grandparents.
“The combination of an activist rooted in the tradition of the NAACP and the civil rights movement and an activist rooted in the Bernie camp, gives us a broad base that looks like Maryland similar to what you saw of Doug Wilder in Virginia after the Jesse Jackson campaign,” Jealous said.
Jealous’ career has been woven with civil rights and politics. Between 2000-2004 he served as executive director of the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA). Earlier in his career, he’d worked as an editor for the historic Jackson Advocate newspaper in Mississippi.
After NNPA, he became founding director of Amnesty International’s U. S. Human Rights Program. In 2008, he became the historically youngest NAACP president at the age of 35, an office he held until 2012. He later became a venture capitalist with the Oakland, Calif.-based Kapor Center for Social Impact. He also played integral rolls in the presidential races of President Barack Obama.
“I’m blessed to have lived my life as a progressive in the Black community who is committed to fighting for a better life for everyone in our community and ultimately for everyone in every community…It’s that life, that path that starts with Jesse Jackson ’88 and goes all the way through Bernie Sanders’ 2016 campaign,” he recounts. “It’s that life that started with my parents and my grandparents rooted in the NAACP, raised in the NAACP; ultimately leads into the labor movement and the environmentalist movement and the LGBT movement and the women’s rights movement. That’s me, that’s where I’m rooted and where this campaign is rooted.”
If he wins, Jealous would become the nation’s fourth Black governor in modern history. The others were Virginia’s Gov. L. Douglas Wilder, elected in 1989; Massachusetts’ Gov. Deval Patrick, elected in 2006 and re-elected in 2010; and New York’s Gov. David Paterson who served two years after the resignation of Gov. Eliot Spitzer in 2008.
Jealous, 44, has two young children to whom he often refers when expressing concerns about the future of Maryland. Reflecting on the economic deprivation that became a national spotlight during the Freddie Gray case, he accuses Hogan of having ignored Baltimore during his tenure.
“This is a governor who has shifted millions of dollars away from public education and into voucher programs and who has toured the state with [Trump-appointed Education Secretary] Betsy Devos and has embraced Attorney General Sessions’ foolishness of trying to revive the failed war on drugs by also investing millions of dollars in building up law enforcement to go after heroin addicts as law breakers rather than as people who need to be sent to rehabilitation,” he says. “The only way to create a better future for Baltimore and its residents is to have a governor who is always for all of its residents; including Baltimore. Right now it feels too often that we have a governor who is always for all of Maryland except for Baltimore…You simply cannot starve a city that’s supposed to be the economic epicenter of the state and have the state prosper.”
Ultimately, the voters of Maryland must be inspired enough to believe the election even matters. “It’s going to take us deciding that our children’s future, that our family’s economic future is important enough for us to turn out,” Jealous says. “And so, at the end of the day, we will do what it takes to turn out voters. Donald Trump will make that easier and Larry Hogan will make that easier still.”

Barack Obama urges Congress to find courage to defend his healthcare reforms

Former president avoids mentioning Donald Trump as he implores Republicans to ‘speak the truth’ even against their own party

By Sarah Betancourt, The Guardian
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 Former President Obama receives ‘Profiles in Courage Award’ from Caroline Kennedy

For the first time since leaving office, Barack Obama addressed his landmark healthcare legislation in a speech, reminding supporters of the courage and integrity of junior congressmen that it took to pass the bill.
Speaking at the John F Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston on Sunday night, where he was given the Profiles of Courage award, he said: “Because of that vote, 20 million people got healthcare who didn’t have it before.
“And most of [the congressmen who voted for it] did lose their seats. But they were true to what President Kennedy defined in his book – desire to maintain the integrity that is stronger than the desire to maintain office – the faith that the right course will be vindicated. Personal sacrifice.”
“It is my fervent hope and the hope of millions … such courage is still possible, that today’s members of Congress regardless of party are willing to look at the facts and speak the truth, even when it contradicts party positions.”
Obama spoke of what is at stake for the millions of Americans who stand to lose coverage if a repeal passes, without naming Donald Trump specifically.
And he implored members of Congress to demonstrate political courage even if it goes against their party’s positions.
The former president focused much of his address on the legacy of Kennedy, as the library prepared to mark the 100th anniversary of his birth later this month. Obama noted the Kennedys had long advocated for healthcare reform, and in particular the late Senator Edward Kennedy, who died of brain cancer before the passage of the Affordable Care Act.
Obama’s comments come a few days after the House squeaked through a partial repeal and replacement of Obamacare with a 217-213 vote, a long-promised goal of Republicans who have decried the bill since its passing.
The former president was awarded the award by JFK’s daughter Caroline Kennedy, a former ambassador to Japan, and her son Jack Schlossberg.
Schlossberg, 24, introduced Obama to the crowd of 700 people in a rare public speech. He said: “My life changed in 2008 because a young candidate was fired up and ready to go, and he told me, ‘Yes we can.’ Without Barack Obama, I might still be sitting on my couch, eating Doritos and watching baseball games.” He cited Obama’s policy choices on healthcare reform, nuclear disarmament and gun control as the reasons for why he deserves the award.
The John F Kennedy Library Foundation, a nonprofit organization, created the Profile in Courage award in 1989 to honor President Kennedy’s commitment to public service. The award is named for Kennedy’s 1957 Pulitzer prize-winning book Profiles in Courage, which recounts the stories of US senators he believed risked their careers by taking principled stands for unpopular positions. This year’s event marks the 100th anniversary of Kennedy’s birth, on 29 May 1917.
Previous recipients include former presidents Gerald Ford and George HW Bush, US Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and US Senator John McCain.