Feb. 3, 2020 (GIN) – The African Growth and Opportunity Act (known as “AGOA”) which aimed to assist the economies of sub-Saharan Africa and improve economic relations between the U.S. and the region is out of step with the new trade deals of the Trump administration.
Inotherwords, time’s up. A new economic plan is on the drawing board and African leaders suspect it’s a Trumpian take it or leave it deal.
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta is expected to be the first to sign on to the bilateral “free-trade agreement” at a Rose Garden meeting with President Donald Trump in Washington this week. It will be America’s first such deal with a sub-Saharan nation and replace the 20 year old AGOA that expires in 2025.
AGOA, which provides 39 sub-Saharan African countries duty-free access to the U.S. for about 6,500 products ranging from textiles to manufactured items, has come under increasing criticism in Washington, which wants fast-growing African economies to open up to US goods and services.
But the model agreement has few fans among African leaders who have a preference for multilateralism as they move towards an African Continental Free Trade Agreement which comes into force in July.
“The Trump administration wants to do bilateral deals, not multilateral deals,” said Aubrey Hruby, in an interview with the Financial Times.
Macharia Kamau, Kenya’s principal secretary for foreign affairs, hinted at the risks for Kenya’s fragile, sometimes flailing, economy. “They could easily swamp our markets into oblivion, he said. “Any deal cannot b at the expense of our local capabilities, which are nascent at best.”
Meanwhile, in late-breaking news from Kenya, flags are flying at half mast for Daniel arap Moi who served as Kenya’s president from 1978 to 2002. He died peacefully this week at Nairobi Hospital, according to his son Senator Gideon Moi. He was 95 years old.
Moi was an autocratic leader who ruled for more than 20 years.
“Our nation and our continent were immensely blessed by the dedication and service of the late Mzee Moi; who spent almost his entire adult life serving Kenya and Africa,” President Uhuru Kenyatta said in a statement. He came to power in 1978, upon the death of President Jomo Kenyatta, having been vice-president until then.
Diplomats said an attempted coup four years later transformed him from a cautious, insecure leader into a tough autocrat.
President Uhuru Kenyatta has declared a period of national mourning to last until the funeral day, with the national flag being flown at half mast.
By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior Correspondent
Shortly after the House Judiciary Committee voted along party lines to impeach President Donald Trump on Friday, December 13, members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) held a conference call with publishers of the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), the trade association of Black Press publications from around the country.
While CBC members addressed the impeachment proceedings, the call was a reminder that Congress continues to work on other pressing issues.
The call included CBC Chair Karen Bass (D-Calif.), and Reps. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), Val Demings (D-Fla.), Alma Adams (D-North Carolina), and Bobby Scott (D-Virginia).
The members discussed the passage of the FUTURE Act, legislation that provides needed funding to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and other educational institutions.
“Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribally Controlled Colleges or Universities, and other Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs) play a significant role in expanding access to higher education for low-income students and students of color,” said Scott, the Chair of the House Committee on Education and Labor.
“Unfortunately, despite their outsized role in serving our nation’s most underserved students, these schools have historically been under-resourced compared to other institutions of higher education,” Scott stated.
“The FUTURE Act won’t only guarantee at least $250 million per year for HBCUs and MSIs; it will simplify the Free Application for Student Aid (FASFA) and makes it easier for students to access student aid and repay their loans,” Scott co.ntinued.
The FUTURE Act, which stands for Fostering Undergraduate Talent by Unlocking Resources for Education, unanimously passed the Senate. Senator Doug Jones of Alabama was a major sponsor of this legislation
The bill has been sent to the president for his signature.
Through the FUTURE Act, HBCUs will receive $85 million per year – about $1 million per school. American Indian Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities will receive $30 million annually, while Hispanic-serving institutions will get $100 million per year.
Also, predominately Black institutions will continue to reap an annual payment of $15 million, and Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian-serving institutions will receive $15 million each year. Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-serving institutions and Native American-serving nontribal institutions each will continue to receive $5 million annually.
“HBCUs and MSIs provide pathways of opportunities for millions of Americans who come from low-income families. As a two-time graduate of North Carolina A&T State University, and a retired professor of 40 years at Bennett College for Women, I as well as all the pupils that I had the pleasure of teaching, are a testament to the power of these schools which mold their students into the leaders of tomorrow,” said Adams, the Chair of the House Higher Education and Labor subcommittee on Workforce Protections
“This agreement will secure $255 million a year for these institutions to serve over eight million students of color, preparing them for careers in our STEM professions,” Adams stated.
The legislation also reduces FAFSA by 22 questions and allows the Internal Revenue Service to directly share applicants’ tax information with the U.S. Department of Education.
“The simplification in the provision was to get information from the IRS to make the applications more accurate,” Scott stated. “If you can get the necessary information from the IRS, there would be more accuracy.”
Meanwhile, Jackson-Lee addressed the impeachment vote against Trump.
“Abuse of power and obstruction of Congress,” she said of the two articles of impeachment that the House Judiciary Committee voted in favor of on Friday, December 13.
“What the president was essentially caught doing was attempting to interfere in the 2020 election. So, in terms of the significance of this for our community, the idea that the president would cheat on the election and attempt to get himself re-elected, I think, would change our lives for generations,” Jackson-Lee stated.
She continued: “If you think about the fact that [re-election] would mean there will be one if not more appointments to the Supreme Court. He has already appointed over 100 judges, and I am sure 99 percent of them would be horrible when it comes to our issues.
“When you think of the dismantling of so much as what we have fought for over these years, the idea that our people would have to endure another term of this President is almost beyond our comprehension.”
Jackson-Lee conceded that the Senate in all probability would not remove Trump, but impeachment in the House was still necessary.
Andrew Johnson, Richard Nixon, and Bill Clinton are the only presidents in American history to have faced impeachment. Nixon resigned before the House could vote. Johnson and Clinton were impeached in the House, but both were acquitted in the Senate.
“We felt that it was so important that we had to put the brakes on him interfering in the election, that even if impeachment was not going to remove him successfully, it was still critical that we did this,” Jackson-Lee stated
By Charlene Crowell
(TriceEdneyWire.com) – As a candidate, President Donald Trump promised if elected that deregulation of the federal government would be an administration priority. Soon after taking the oath of office, he issued an executive order requiring that all departments and agencies to eliminate two existing regulations for every one new regulation proposed. In some cases, rules that were adopted prior to his term office but had not yet taken effect were either suspended or delayed.
For example, the long-awaited payday rule at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) was one important consumer protection that was delayed. Similarly, at the Department of Education, two rules providing protections for student loans were also delayed. More recently, this column shared how Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson claimed that regulation was the reason for homelessness, not affordable housing.
Now new research by the National Fair Housing Alliance finds that as fair lending laws have not been aggressively enforced, a corresponding rise in hate crimes and fair housing complaints have emerged.
Defending Against Unprecedented Attacks on Fair Housing: 2019 Fair Housing Trends Report, recently released by the DC-based National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA), tallied 31,202 discriminatory housing complaints filed in just one year – 2018. Moreover, this data point is the highest number ever reported since the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) began collecting data 24 years ago. America’s hate crimes jumped 14.7% last year as well.
Even when it comes to enforcing and defending legal breaches, NFHA’s report documents how few government offices are upholding laws. Some 75% of last year’s fair housing complaints were pursued by private, nonprofit organizations across the country. Only 25% of such cases were the result of combined government actions by state, local and federal agencies.
“All the tools and resources we have been afforded by the passage of our Fair Housing Act and fair lending laws are either under attack or being gutted,” noted Lisa Rice, President and CEO of NFHA. “[W]e must concern ourselves with policies pushed by our federal, state, and local governments that are steeped in hatred and designed to inflict pain.”
Instead of strengthening federal fair housing guarantees, HUD is a prime example of how regulations are trying to reverse decades of progress. One particular HUD rule, disparate impact, is at severe risk. This long-standing legal tool has helped root out discriminatory practices and policies in both housing and lending. In 2013 and under the Obama Administration, HUD set up safeguards that assured consumers could pursue related claims while businesses were protected against claims without merit.
With disparate impact, both community banks and FDIC-insured institutions have achieved net growth profits. The rule has proven to create lending that is fairer and profits that investors desire.
Even a 2015 landmark fair housing case that made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court upheld disparate impact as a cognizable claim under the Fair Housing Act. In Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project, Inc., the nation’s highest court found the disparate impact rule to be an important fair housing tool to move towards a more integrated society.
So why would Secretary Carson try to roll back a rule that should be settled law?
In joint comments filed by the Center for Responsible Lending, Self-Help Credit Union, and Self-Help Federal Credit Union, the organizations advised Secretary Carson.
“Instead of creating barriers for claimants, HUD should honor its mission and work to ensure that African-American, Latino, and other communities harmed by housing and lending discrimination have every tool to stop it so that all Americans have an opportunity to thrive,” wrote the organizations.
For the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, the National Baptist Convention USA, Inc., the Rainbow Push Coalition, and scores of other local, state and regional faith members, HUD was reminded of the immorality of its proposed rule.
“Everyday Americans are now struggling to keep and/or find homes they can afford,” wrote the clergy. “As housing prices rise faster than incomes, an increasing number of people grapple with challenges of how hard it is to keep their loved ones safe. When the additional and illegal burden of housing discrimination emerges, the lives of many people worsen.”
Here’s hoping that within government there are still public servants that support improving peoples’ lives.
By Lauren Victoria Burke, NNPA Newswire Contributor
As doubts grow about the candidacy of former Vice President Joe Biden, other candidates have entered the race for the White House in 2020. In a surprise announcement on November 14, former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, 63, tossed his hat in the ring. Only days before, former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg announced he would also join the crowded field of Democrats competing to take on President Donald Trump.
Former Governor Patrick’s late entry onto the presidential stage means that for the first time in history, three African Americans are running for President from one of the two major political parties. They are Senators Kamala Harris (D-CA), Cory Booker (D-NJ) and now Patrick. The late arrivals have reignited a debate about “electability” and who can actually win in 2020. Biden’s poll numbers falling in Iowa started the debate.
The diversity of the field and Patrick’s late run only 80 days before the Iowa Caucuses have many insiders on team blue worried that a protracted primary fight may hurt the party’s chances of beating Trump. Concerns from Wall Street and the “one percent” about Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s “wealth tax” ideas have many Democrats who are more corporation friendly, such as Patrick, re-thinking their chances to compete. Billionaire Bloomberg joined billionaire Tom Steyer, who literally bought his way onto the debate stage, are trying to ignite interest with the moderate wing of the Democratic Party.
To add to the challenge, white candidates in the field must build the diverse Obama coalition of voters and ensure excitement in the most reliable sectors of the Democratic base while minority candidates must thread the needle of attracting white support. The share of white voters supporting the Democratic Party decreases two or three percent each year.
“We have women in this race, we have an openly gay person in this race, we have (a) biracial person in this race, African-Americans in this race,” Patrick said on November 15 to the Associated Press. “It is an incredible moment in American history that our field is so diverse and that voters have such qualified folks to choose from.”
It remains to be seen whether Patrick can quality for the debate stage next month. It also remains to be seen as to whether he can raise the millions needed to mount a serious effort for the White House. But with the current field in flux because of Biden’s faltering in the polls, Deval Patrick may have a chance compete in a crowded field.
By Charlene Crowell, Special to The Informer
For more than a decade, economists, lawmakers and others have heralded the nation’s economy. Often citing how unemployment has declined as new jobs have been created, or Wall Street trading and major bank profits rising, some might be led to believe that all is well in America.
But as Sportin’ Life in the folk opera “Porgy and Bess” sang, “It ain’t necessarily so.”
On Sept. 16, California Gov. Gavin Newsom joined by state officials representing cities and counties wrote a letter that urged President Donald Trump to recognize homelessness as a “national crisis decades in the making that demands action at every level of government to alleviate California’s homeless.
Carson’s Sept. 18 reply said in part, “California cannot spend its way out of this problem using Federal funds…More vouchers are clearly not the solution the State needs. To address this crisis, California must reduce its regulatory burdens on housing.”
Advocates for homeless and low-income people strongly disagreed with Carson’s assessment. “We know that the number one cause of homelessness is the lack of affordable housing,” said Megan Hustings, managing director of the National Coalition for the Homeless.
“Consumers are already struggling with crushing debt from student loans and medical expenses, or facing triple-digit interest rates when they attempt to access small-dollar loans,” noted Marisabel Torres, director of California Policy with the Center for Responsible Lending, “When they also have to pay some of the highest housing costs in the nation, it is unfortunately unsurprising that there are such large numbers of homeless people in many of California’s large cities.
“California’s homeless may be the largest by state, but the problem is a national one that deserves to be recognized and acted upon,” Torres said.
In 1987 there was an expression of national will to respond to America’s homeless through enactment of the McKinney Homeless Act. That statute created the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness dedicating the ongoing support of 19 federal agencies to prevent and end homelessness. HUD is one of the participating agencies. The Council on Homelessness even has a written plan, “Home, Together,” that lays out federal remedies over the fiscal years of 2018-2022.
Charlene Crowell is the communications deputy director with the Center for Responsible Lending. She can be reached at Charlene.firstname.lastname@example.org.
This post originally appeared in The Washington Informer.
By Derrick Johnson, NAACP President and CEO
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.
(TriceEdneyWire.com) – President Donald Trump, in the wake of mass shootings that killed at least 31 people over the weekend, called for a unified condemnation of “racism, bigotry, and white supremacy” while he, himself has consistently promoted and supported racism, bigotry and White supremacy.
At least 22 were killed and more than 20 injured at a Walmart in El Paso Texas on Saturday as parents and children ventured out for back to school shopping. Dallas resident, Patrick Crusius, 21, was arrested in the shootings. According to authorities and widespread reports, Crusius wrote a manifesto claiming responsibility for the attack and railing against what he described as a “Hispanic invasion of Texas,” using language mirroring Trump’s language describing “invasion” immigrants.
Crusius also reportedly told authorities that he had intended to kill as many Mexicans as he could. At least 18 Mexican nationals were shot. Nine died, reports say.
Federal investigators, including the FBI, have classified the case as domestic terrorism.
Less than 15 hours later, another White male opened fire at a bar in Dayton, Ohio, killing nine people, six of them Black. Twenty-seven others were injured in Dayton. The shooter, Connor Betts, 24,
was shot dead by responding officers.
“The shooter in El Paso posted a manifesto online consumed by racist hate. In one voice, our nation must condemn racism, bigotry, and white supremacy,” Trump said in a televised speech from the White House Monday morning. “These sinister ideologies must be defeated. Hate has no place in America. Hatred warps the mind, ravages the heart, and devours the soul. We have asked the FBI to identify all further resources they need to investigate and disrupt hate crimes and domestic terrorism – whatever they need.”
Ironically, Trump also called the Internet “a dangerous avenue to radicalize disturbed minds and perform demented acts” and described it as a place with “dark recesses”.
But some – including the NAACP – believe it has been clearly Trump himself who has used social media – mainly Twitter – to fuel racism, White supremacy and bigotry throughout the nation and around the world through his attacks on people of color, portraying them as less than human.
Following the recent shootings, NAACP President Derrick Johnson
called out Trump’s own hate-filled behavior on the Internet over past
years, months, weeks and days.
“These tragic shootings are stark reminders of the dangers that plague our communities under the resurgence of white nationalism, domestic terrorism, intolerance, and racial hatred germinating from the White House,” wrote Johnson in a statement.
Other civil rights leaders chimed in, appearing to be at a loss for answers.
“When is Enough, enough?” asked Melanie Campbell, president/CEO of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation (NCBCP) and Convener of the Black Women’s Roundtable (BWR). “Gun violence in America must end, and it must end now. How many more lives must be lost by senseless gun violence for
elected officials to step up and lead?”
Campbell issued the following statistics on gun violence to date in 2019:
• There have been 253 mass shootings in America in 216 days of this year. That is more than one mass shooting per day for 2019. And we still have five more months to go this year.
• According to the Gun Violence Archive, to date, the total number of gun-related incidents in this country now stands at 33,076, resulting in 8,744 deaths and 17,366 injuries.
• The number of youths killed, ages 1 to 17, now stands at 2,197.
“This is absolute insanity for a so-called ‘civilized’ nation. The shootings in El Paso and Dayton were senseless acts of hate that could possibly have been prevented had there been laws in place to control access to high powered, rapid-fire, military grade weapons. The National Coalition on Black Civic Participation and the Black Women’s Roundtable strongly urges the U. S. Senate to come off of vacation and deal with this crisis by passing a
national common sense gun safety law now.”
In Trump’s speech, he mentioned mental illness that leads to gun violence, but said nothing about his own hateful tweets.
He said, “We must reform our mental health laws to better identify mentally disturbed individuals who may commit acts of violence and make sure those people not only get treatment, but, when necessary, involuntary confinement.”
He said he is directing the Department of Justice to work in “partnership with local, state, and federal agencies, as well as social media companies, to develop tools that can detect mass shooters before
He said the “glorification of violence in our society” through “gruesome and grisly video games” must end.
He added,“We must make sure that those judged to pose a grave risk to public safety do not have access to firearms, and that, if they do, those firearms can be taken through rapid due process. That is why I have called for red flag laws, also known as extreme risk protection orders.”
Finally, Trump said he was “directing the Department of Justice to propose legislation ensuring that those who commit hate crimes and mass murders face the death penalty, and that this capital punishment be delivered quickly, decisively, and without years of needless delay.”
Still civil rights leaders lay blame for the El Paso and Dayton massacres squarely at Trump’s feet:
Johnson wrote: “The NAACP is calling on the Trump administration to cease its use of divisive and discriminatory rhetoric which fuel these unconscionable attacks and allot resources to combat the rise of domestic terrorism and hate crimes.”
By Frederick H. Lowe,BlackmansStreet.Today
A New York City police officer who used an illegal chokehold to kill Eric Garner as a Black woman police sergeant supervisor watched and did nothing to stop the brutal assault, will not face federal charges in Garner’s violent death, the Justice Department announced today.
U.S. Attorney General William Barr, who was appointed by President Donald Trump, made the decision not to charge officer Daniel Pantaleo for the July 17, 2014 killing of Garner, 43, by using what the NYPD said was an illegal chokehold.
Garner, an asthmatic, repeatedly gasped, “I can’t breathe” as Pantaleo held him in his deadly grip.
The NYPD banned chokeholds in 1993, but the practice is not banned by New York City law.
Pantaleo, who has been assigned to desk duty since the killing, attempted to arrest Garner for selling loose cigarettes, or “loosies.” The cigarettes are not taxed. Garner pled with Pantaleo to leave him alone.
Sgt. Kizzy Adonis did not intervene. She, too, had been placed on desk duty. It is not clear if she has returned to active duty.
Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn recommended that Pantaleo not face federal charges. They argued that the chokehold lasted seven seconds, not enough, in the prosecutors’ minds, to cause harm.
However, Garner died, and Pantaleo recently married and received a pay raise.The NYPD will soon announce if Pantaleo will remain with the department.
In 2015, the City of New York agreed to pay Garner’s family $5.9 million for his brutal death at the hands of Pantaleo.
By Lauren Victory Burke, NNPA Newswire Contributor
Four Congresswomen: Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA).
President Donald Trump went on a racist screed on Twitter and attacked Democratic congresswomen of color and their ancestry. The 45th President, who succeeded the first African American President of the United States, Barack Obama, has often attacked Black female elected officials, such as Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), Black athletes, immigrants, and other women of color.
As is his general habit, Trump lies in his communications and brands places where people of color reside as dangerous. President Trump has a long history of racism as does his late father, Fred Trump. Fred Trump was arrested at a Ku Klux Klan rally in Queens, New York on May 30, 1927 when he was 21.
Their company, Trump Properties, was sued by the Justice Department for housing discrimination against Blacks in 1973. On May 1, 1989, Donald Trump took out ads in several of New York’s major newspapers demanding that the Central Park Five be given the death penalty. Even though the five have been exonerated, Trump has never admitted he was wrong or apologized.
A hint of Trump’s racist views now on international display in The White House, was seen in 1989 as Trump linked the Central Park Five case to an overall decline in society.
“At what point did we cross the line from the fine and noble pursuit of genuine civil liberties to the reckless and dangerously permissive atmosphere which allows criminals of every age to beat and rape a helpless woman and laugh at her family’s anguish? And why do they laugh? The laugh because they know that soon, very soon, they will be returned to the street to rape and maim and kill once again,” Trump said in a 1989 interview.
On July 14, 2019, Trump wrote, “So interesting to see “Progressive” Democrat Congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world (if they even have a functioning government at all), now loudly……” read one communication on Twitter the morning of July 14.
Consistent with his racist attacks and communications both verbal and on social media, President Trump attacked three Congresswomen of color who have gained national prominence as they oppose Trump’s policies: Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA).
Trump implied in a series of consecutive messages on Twitter on July 14 that the Congresswomen weren’t born in the United States and added, “they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”
Rep. Illan was born in Somalia and her family arrived in New York on 1992 and secured asylum in the U.S. in 1995. Rep. Ocasio-Cortez was born in the Bronx, New York and Rep. Pressley was born in Chicago, Ill. Another Congresswoman Trump has attacked before, Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), was born in Detroit, Michigan.
Though Trump did not name who specifically he was referring to, the context of his communication on Twitter was clear to political observers. Earlier in July, Trump referenced the three women. All three, as well as many other members, have been outspoken about Trump’s immigration policies.
The conditions of detention facilities at the Mexican border came into stark light after Vice President Pence visited a center on June 12. Video from the visit showed a large group of Mexican men grouped in a fenced in enclosure with no cots, food and few signs of running water or other basic needs.
Trump’s direct messages or racism and xenophobia to his base have increased as the 2020 presidential campaign gets fully underway. The Iowa Caucuses are 203 days away as of July 14.
Lauren Victoria Burke is an independent journalist and writer for NNPA as well as a political analyst and strategist as Principal of Win Digital Media LLC. She may be contacted at LBurke007@gmail.com and on Twitter at @LVBurke
Kirsten J. Barnes, Communications Director for Alabama Senate Minority
In response to the negative reactions to Alabama’s Abortion Ban not only from Alabamians, but worldwide, Sen. Vivian Davis Figures (D-Mobile) took a bold step on Tuesday, May 21, 2019, by introducing a senate bill to repeal the state’s extreme abortion ban.
“There are consequences for every decision we make as legislators, and for every vote we cast there are ramifications,” Sen. Figures said. “However, some of these effects are unintended and I truly believe this has been the case for SB314. I do not believe my Republican colleagues had any idea what the consequences for passing this bill would be.”
Since the passing of the bill, Alabama lawmakers have been inundated with calls from people nationwide expressing their concern that the bill goes too far. Not only have Democrats come out against the bill, put top Republicans such as President Donald Trump, U.S. Senator Mitt Romney, 700 Club Founder Pat Robertson, and Chairwoman of the Republican National Committee Ronna McDaniel have all expressed outrage by the passing of this extreme law which seeks to force women and girls impregnated through rape and incest to carry those babies to term.
“I felt that the least I could do was to offer a bill to repeal HB314 with the hopes that it would help to heal some of the wounds that my Republican brothers and sisters have inflicted on the great state of Alabama,” Sen. Figures said. “Unfortunately this bill is serving as a detriment to the entire state of Alabama in terms of revenues and in terms of healthcare, particularly for women.”
Although, Alabama is known for its increase of visitors during the summer months, but that could change drastically this year.
“I have heard from people all over the country saying they planned a vacation to Alabama’s beautiful beaches, but when this extreme abortion ban was signed into law, they immediately canceled those plans,” Sen. Figures. “If we care about the future and well-being of our state, this law must be repealed.”