Newswire: Biden enters presidential race bringing White Supremacy to the forefront of issues

By Hazel Trice Edney

Biden campaign video showing 2017 Hate March in Charlottesville.

( – Former Senator and Vice President Joseph Biden, after much suspense, has finally entered the Democratic campaign for president – immediately surging ahead of a crowded field with a message against White Supremacy.
“We saw Klansmen and White supremacists and Neo Nazis come out in the open, their crazed faces illuminated by veins bulging and baring the fangs of racism”, Biden said in a video announcement with images of the violent 2017 White supremacist march in Charlottesville, Va. juxtaposed with images representing America’s promise that “all men are created equal.” He called the incident in Charlottesville in which the young activist Heather Higher was killed, “a defining moment of this nation.”
Biden’s entry not only brings a new voice to the field of at least eight candidates who have announced so far, but a voice taking direct aim at incumbent Donald Trump.
He continued in the video, “And they were met with a courageous group of Americans. And a violent clash ensued. And a brave young woman lost her life. And that’s when we heard the words of the President of the United States that stunned the world and shocked the conscious of this nation. He said, there were quote, ‘some very fine people on both sides.’”
Biden said with those words, “the President of the United States assigned a moral equivalency between those spreading hate and those with the courage to stand against it. In that moment, I knew the threat to this nation wasn’t like any other I’d ever seen in my lifetime. I wrote at the time that were ‘in the battle for the soul of this nation.”
He said eight years of the Trump Presidency would “forever and fundamentally alter the character of this nation, who we are. And I cannot stand by and watch that happen.”
Biden has since catapulted to the forefront of the other Democratic candidates. But his race will not be easy. Trump has already taken aim, calling him, “sleep Joe” an attempt to pin a nickname on him as Trump has successfully done to many other candidates.
Trump spokespersons have defended his words about Charlottesville, saying he did in fact condemn racism and antisemitism as well. But despite his successes with maintaining economic growth started by President Obama, the Trump years have been so far full of insults to people of color including calling members of the National Football League “Sons of Bs” for protesting unwarranted police violence against Black people.
No viable Republican candidates have challenged Trump so far. And most Black Republicans and even conservative Christians have remained silent amidst what some deem as deplorable conduct; such as the SOB remark as well as hundreds of documented untruths.
So far, Democratic candidates have dealt mainly with key issues with little or no mention of Trump’s leaning on a base that often appears largely White nationalists.
Among the dominant issues dealt with thus far have been the economy, whether all incarcerated people should be allowed to vote while in prison and whether there should be a commission to discuss ways to issue reparations for slavery.
CNN reports that Biden now tops the field with more than 37 percent of Democrats saying they would vote for him if the election were elected today. He is followed in diminishing order by Sen. Bernie Sanders Sanders of Vermont; South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg; Sen. Kamala D. Harris (Calif.); Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.); Congressman Beto O’Rourke of Texas, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (Minn.) and Cory Booker (N.J.).
Biden will also face opposition from Democrats who point to his political record. They include his treatment of now Professor Anita Hill during the confirmation of Clarence Thomas for which he recently tried to make amends. She did not think his apology was strong enough. Biden is also remembered for his leadership on legislation that led to the growth of mass incarceration of Black people; including the so-called “war on drugs.”

Newswire : Suspect arrested in case of three church fires in St. Landry Parish, Louisiana

By Lauren Victoria Burke, NNPA Newswire Contributor

Louisiana Black church burning

A man arrested in connection with the Louisiana Black church fires is a law enforcement official’s son, reports say. When he was arraigned this past week, the judge denied his request for bail based on the severity and impact of his crimes.
A 21-year-old named Holden Matthews has been arrested in connection with fires at three predominantly Black churches in Louisiana. All three churches were destroyed. Matthews’ social media accounts evidenced loose connections with white supremacy.
St. Mary Baptist Church in Port Barre burned down on March 26. On April 2, the Greater Union Baptist Church in Opelousas, Louisiana was burned down. Two days after that fire on April 4, the Mount Pleasant Baptist Church was also burned in the same town. Authorities are confident that the fires were all intentionally set.
Members of the Congressional Black Caucus asked for the FBI to investigate the arsons as a hate crime.
“Congressional Black Caucus Chair Karen Bass, Homeland Security Chairman Bennie Thompson, and Representative Cedric Richmond of Louisiana’s Second Congressional District call on the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and all federal law enforcement agencies to investigate the possible hate crime that resulted in the recent burning of the three historically Black churches in St. Landry Parish, Louisiana. All three fires may be the product of domestic terrorism, and places of worship should be protected and safe at all times. It is our expectation that the FBI and other federal law enforcement agencies work expeditiously to resolve this matter to restore faith and normalcy among the residents of St. Landry Parish,” the CBC members stated in a statement on April 11.
On April 9, NAACP President Derrick Johnson commented on the church fires saying, “What is happening in Tennessee and Louisiana is domestic terrorism and we must not turn a blind eye to any incident where people are targeted because of the color of their skin and their faith.”
“The spike in church burnings in the Southern states is a reflection of emboldened racial rhetoric and tension spreading across the country,” Johnson added.
Johnson and other civil rights leaders have pointed out that President Trump has been silent on these Louisiana church burnings and other ‘hate crimes’.
Several black churches were burned in 2015 after the nine people were murdered by Dylan Roof at Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. In 1995, three Black churches in Greene County, Alabama were burned and subsequently rebuilt.
Holden Matthews was taken into custody on the evening of April 10, according to Louisiana TV station KATC. The station also reported that Matthews is the son of a St. Landry Parish sheriff’s deputy but did not name who the deputy was.
At the time the fires were set at the churches they were empty.
Matthews’ social media indicated an interest in heavy metal music and that he is the lead singer of a band called Vodka Vultures. Reports from local news reveal Matthews lives in Saint Landry Parish.