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On Dec. 19, the United States Senate voted 87-12 in favor of watered-down legislation that will roll back a few of the most draconian provisions of the federal criminal justice system. The “First Step Act,” short for the “Formerly Incarcerated Reenter Society Transformed Safely Transitioning Every Person Act,” goes back to the House of Representatives, which passed a slightly stronger version last May by a vote of 360 to 59. When it comes to locking people up, the United States stands on top of the heap.
April Ryan, White House correspondent for American Urban Radio Networks, and other journalists of color have not been favorites of President Donald Trump. From telling Ryan to set up a meeting with the Congressional Black Caucus when she asked if he planned to meet with Black members of Congress to calling her a loser, President Trump has displayed his contempt for Ryan. His rage, his diminishing of the credibility of these Black, award-winning journalists, and his stupidity in calling their questions “racist” minimized what was actually happening: Trump was committing racism by omission.
President Donald Trump’s comments regarding the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi aptly reflect the true nature of the power brokers that he represents. Instead of the usual “Empire-speak” statements, hypocritically condemning Khashoggi’s murder, followed by a pep talk on the values of “democracy” and “freedom of speech,” Trump is basically saying, as the leader of one rogue state to another, that was the “worst cover up ever,” boys, and heads should roll.
The 13th Amendment reads in Section One: “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, nor any place subject to their jurisdiction.” Understanding this contradictory character of the 13th Amendment sheds light on the utilization of the criminal justice system in the perpetuation of bondage for the purpose of institutional racism and class exploitation.
We must raise the query, what is the value in a monument when our country has fallen so far backwards in race relations under this president? We need a movement. In Dr. King’s honor, every American must join this movement to establish justice, peace and equality of opportunity for all. Through reasoned compromise, both sides resolve every injustice with a plan of action. Each act of reconciliation is one step closer to King’s “Beloved Community.”
This declaration was authored by the pan-Africanist and socialist popular forces of the Caribbean nation of Barbados at Bridgetown, Barbados, on Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018, and submitted to the people and civil society organizations of the Caribbean for their endorsement and adoption. By describing the nations of Africa, the Republic of Haiti and the Central American nation of El Salvador as “shithole” countries, U.S. President Donald Trump has committed a despicable and unpardonable act of anti-Black, anti-African, anti-Brown racism and is “Persona Non Grata” in the entire Caribbean region.
The backlash against President Donald Trump’s recent visit to the new Museum of Mississippi History and Mississippi Civil Rights Museum underscores an issue far more significant than a polarizing president. It was further proof that the wounds from decades upon decades of racial injustice in our nation, and in Mississippi in particular, remain deep. The pain and the sensitivities are ever-present, as is the continued socio-economic oppression that has kept African Americans as second-class citizens.
Late last week, the Washington Post reported that President Donald Trump will end covert support of militias attempting to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. I spoke to Rick Sterling, investigative journalist for Consortium News and member of the Syria Solidarity Movement, about the report. Rick Sterling, what’s your first reaction to the Washington Post’s claims? The White House has refused to confirm the Washington Post report. If it is true, why do you think Trump won’t confirm?
If President Trump’s $1 trillion plan materializes in some shape, form or fashion, highly capable Black contractors will be virtually shut out of public sector contracting as they were during George W. Bush and Barack Obama’s administrations. Qualified Black-owned businesses received a disproportionate sliver of federal stimulus contracts, creating a rising chorus of demands for President Barack Obama’s administration to be more inclusive and more closely track who receives government-financed work, which they did not.
Fascism has been thrust into the mainstream political vocabulary of the United States since the election of President Donald Trump on a platform grounded in xenophobia, corporate dominance and right wing white nationalism. If the growing resistance movement to Trump’s fascism is to realize its potential for societal transformation, it must draw from the deep well of Black anti-fascist resistance.