Newswire: NAACP President Johnson travels to Ghana in support of upcoming ‘Year of Return Ghana 2019’

NAACP President Derrick Johnson in Ghana

     BALTIMORE/ACCRA  (December 13, 2018) – This week, NAACP President Derrick Johnson traveled to Ghana to meet with Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia in support of the upcoming ‘Year of Return Ghana 2019’ project, a year-long journey to celebrate the reconnecting of Africans throughout the Diaspora to their African heritage.
        In addition to meeting with officials and leaders, President Johnson also met with officials from the Ministries of Tourism, Tourism Authority and the Diaspora Affairs Office to discuss ways to reconnect greater numbers of African Americans to their roots in Ghana.
        “Next year symbolizes a moment in time where people of African descent regardless of where they exist within our Diaspora can reconnect and map out a future which establishes Africa and her descendants in their rightful place on the world stage,” said NAACP President Johnson.
        The yearlong event will commemorate the 400th year of the first arrival of enslaved Africans in Port Comfort/Hampton, Virginia. Launched in August 2018, by Ghanaian President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, ‘Year of Return Ghana 2019’will feature a number of activities, including a “Bra Fie Concert” to be hosted by Damian Marley, son of Bob Marley; a Back to Africa Festival to celebrate Black History Month, and a Homecoming and Investment Summit.
        Most importantly, this event hopes to promote business, spiritual and cultural reconnection between the African Diaspora and the Motherland, which many considered damaged beyond repair due to the Maafa –a Kiswahili term denoting great disaster or horrific occurrence and used to describe the Atlantic Slave Trade where millions of Africans were enslaved and transported across the ocean or died during the horrific Middle Passage.

Newswire:  U.S. Senate’s only Black Republican blocks Tom Farr from becoming a Federal judge

 By Lauren Victoria Burke, NNPA Newswire Correspondent

Senator Tim Scott

On November 29, the U.S. Senate’s only African American Republican Senator, Tim Scott, announced he would oppose the nomination of Thomas Farr to a lifetime appointment to the federal bench. Scott’s blockbuster decision ended the chance of Farr’s nomination being confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Scott cited, “lingering concerns” on “issues that could affect [Farr’s] decision-making process as a federal judge.” “This week, a Department of Justice memo written under President George H.W. Bush was released that shed new light on Mr. Farr’s activities. This, in turn, created more concerns. Weighing these important factors, this afternoon I concluded that I could not support Mr. Farr’s nomination,” said Scott. The decision marked the second time Scott has blocked a Trump nominee to the federal bench. “Thomas Farr was the most polarizing, dangerous and biased nominee that we have seen put forth by President Trump. We applaud Senator Tim Scott for exercising independence in the examination of Farr’s disturbing record; a record influenced by the modern white supremacist machine that former North Carolina senator Jesse Helms pioneered, and one that demonstrated bias and a commitment to defending voter suppression efforts at every turn,” stated Kristen Clarke, President of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. “Farr was the primary coordinator of the 1984 ‘ballot security’ program conducted by the 1984 Helms for Senate Committee. He coordinated several ‘ballot security’ activities in 1984, including a postcard mailing to voters in predominantly black precincts which was designed to serve as a basis to challenge voters on election day. Footnote 7, DOJ Memo, June 19, 1991. This revelation is singularly disqualifying,” wrote NAACP President Derrick Johnson. Sen. Scott’s decision was a dramatic one. A day before on November 28, he was nowhere to be found shortly before a vote to continue debate on the Farr nomination. Other Senators, as well as reporters, searched for Scott near the Senate floor before that procedural vote. Many assumed his support of moving the debate to a final vote meant he would support Farr’s nomination. That assumption was incorrect. Sen. Scott was joined by Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Susan Collins (R-ME) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) in wondering out loud about whether Farr should be on the federal bench. But Sen. Scott was the only one to announce he would vote against Farr on the floor.