Newswire : OP-ED: Jamestown to Jamestown: commemorating 400 years of the African Diaspora experience

By Derrick Johnson, NAACP President and CEO

Derrick Johnson


History commonly and most often points to late August in the year 1619 when some “20 and odd Negroes” originating from Angola arrived in the British colony of Jamestown, Virginia as the first documented enslaved Africans to land in what is now the United States. This nation and its wealth was built through forced labor and the very existence of Black men and women.
It’s truly ironic that as this country celebrates 400 years of democracy, the Black community is still fighting for equal rights, justice and freedom.
The century that followed emancipation saw the creation of policies that discriminated against black people and largely excluded them from wealth building, creating an inherited disadvantage for future generations. This is why the idea of reparations, brought forth during the Civil War era, has continued to be a topic of grave concern for the NAACP.
On a daily basis, we grapple with domestic terrorism and state sanctioned violence in the guise of white supremacy — all under the watch of one of the most racist administrations since the Jim Crow era. Along with his xenophobic policies, President Donald Trump is doing all he can to punish immigrants and alienate Black Americans, using hateful tweets and chants of “Send her back,” as a rallying cry for his base. At NAACP’s annual convention, our delegates voted unanimously to call on the House to begin impeachment proceedings against President Trump.
We can’t and won’t whitewash or glorify this experience — but it has made us stronger and more resilient than ever.
We know from the incredible Black voter turnout in the midterm elections that African-Americans are not only the most critical voting bloc, but the most powerful when we are encouraged to participate actively in our Democracy.
Next week, the NAACP, will embark on a historic and spiritual journal to commemorate the 400-year anniversary of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. More than 200 African-Americans will pay homage to the strength, power and resilience of our people.
In our journey from Jamestown, Virginia to Ghana, we will not only retrace the footsteps of our ancestors through the slave dungeons and along the shores where the enslaved had their last bath before their trek to the western world – we will also immerse ourselves in the vibrant culture and join leading government and business leaders to learn more about business, development and investment in Ghana.
Through this experience, we hope to actualize the healing and collective unity so many generations have worked to achieve in ways which bring power to our communities in America, Africa and throughout our Diaspora.

Newswire : NAACP strongly opposes unfair trillion dollar tax giveaway to the wealthy

by: Special to the AFRO

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BALTIMORE—The NAACP unequivocally stands in opposition to the recent Senate Tax Plan that passed in the early hours of Saturday, and the conference committee report, which Congress is voting on now. This tax legislation recklessly reclassifies our tax system to the benefit of the nation’s wealthiest and to the detriment of hardworking low and middle income communities, women and children.
“This tax plan promotes the old fable of trickle-down economics where politicians promote the myth that over a trillion dollars in deficit-generating tax giveaways will somehow pay for themselves because the wealthy will invest that money in the economy,” said Derrick Johnson, NAACP President and CEO. “In reality, we know from previous experience that their unfair financial windfall will never trickle down to the average American.
“What will trickle down to our communities, especially young children and families, senior citizens, disabled Americans, students and low and middle-income working families, are cuts to the programs that average Americans need to survive, including Medicaid, SNAP (food stamps), housing assistance, public education, Social Security, and Medicare.
“In addition to a permanent tax giveaway for corporations, one of the most sickening parts of this huge tax plan is that it will remove the safety net of health insurance from nearly 13 million individuals and a disproportionate number of low-income communities of color.
“This proposal contradicts the core American values of shared responsibility and compassion through its attempt to make inequality permanent. It handcuffs local and state government’s ability to cover education and other critical services by repealing the federal deduction for state and local income and sales taxes and capping the deduction for state property taxes.
“The Senate proposal also leaves out children in hard working families earning low wages from an expansion of the Child Tax Credit (CTC). While the Senate plan expands the credit to higher-income households – including those earning up to $500,000 a year – millions of children would receive little or no benefit. Moreover, the Senate plan excludes a million immigrant children who currently qualify for the CTC.
“While the tax code should be used as a mechanism to promote equity and the fair sharing of our nation’s services and commitments, it has instead been co-opted in a partisan way that takes even more from those who have less to make life even more favored for the 1 percent.
“The NAACP is deeply concerned about the injustice of a tax reform that will provide 83% of its benefits to the top 1% of the people in the nation based on income,” said Johnson.