President Obama has announced plans to visit a mosque for the first time in his presidency. On Saturday, the White House said he will visit the Islamic Society of Baltimore; one of the Mid-Atlantic region’s biggest Muslim worship centers. “The President believes that one of our nation’s greatest strengths is our rich diversity and the very idea that Americans of different faiths and backgrounds can thrive together – that we’re all part of the same American family. As the President has said, Muslim Americans are our friends, and neighbors; our co-workers, and sports heroes – and our men and women in uniform defending our country,” read a statement from the White House. During the Feb. 3 visit, President Obama will engage in a conversation with community leaders. Obama has spoken about religious tolerance throughout his presidency. “When politicians insult Muslims, whether abroad or our fellow citizens, when a mosque is vandalized, or a kid bullied, that doesn’t make us safer,” said President Obama during his final State of the Union address. “That’s not telling it like it is. It’s just wrong. It diminishes us in the eyes of the world. It makes it harder to achieve our goals. It betrays who we are as a country.” Read more.
UN Group Says U.S. Should Focus on Racial Reconciliation
After meeting with African-Americans across the country, the U.N. Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent has stressed the need to focus on racial reconciliation. The group met with Black people from Mississippi, Baltimore, the District of Columbia, New York, and Chicago. “The colonial history, the legacy of enslavement, racial subordination and segregation, racial terrorism and racial inequality in the U.S. remains a serious challenge as there has been no real commitment to reparations and to truth and reconciliation for people of African descent,” said the group’s chair Mireille Fanon Mendes-France. “Contemporary police killings and the trauma it creates are reminiscent of the racial terror lynchings in the past. Impunity for state violence has resulted in the current human rights crisis and must be addressed as a matter of urgency.” The group suggests the U.S. distribute reparations to descendants of slaves, create a national human rights commission, and recognize slavery as a crime against humankind. Read more.
FCC and Charter Communications Hit With $10B Racial Discrimination Lawsuit
The Federal Communications Commission and Charter Communications have both been slapped with a $10 billion lawsuit by Byron Allen’s Entertainment Studios and the National Association of African-American Owned Media (NAAAOM) for racial discrimination. Both companies claim there are racial disparities regarding television channel carriage. “A driving purpose of the Federal Communications Act and the First Amendment is to ensure the widest possible dissemination of information from diverse sources. Yet the FCC has done nothing to protect the voices of African-American-owned media companies in the face of increased media consolidation,” read the lawsuit. “Instead, the FCC works hand-in-hand with these merging television distribution companies to enable and facilitate their Civil Rights violations. The FCC’s apparent standard operating procedure is to obtain and accept sham diversity commitments from merger applicants, in excess of its statutory duties.” Last year, Byron Allen’s Entertainment Studios and NAAAOM filed a $20 billion lawsuit against Comcast and Time Warner Cable, which was initially dismissed but revived by U.S. District Judge Terry Hatter Jr. Read more.
Google Kicks Off Black History Month By Paying Tribute to Frederick Douglass
Google is kicking off Black History Month by celebrating the legacy of Frederick Douglass. He was featured on Monday’s Google Doodle. The abolitionist and statesman played an integral role in the fight for human rights. He was well-known for his books, including “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave,” “Life and Times of Frederick Douglass,” and “My Bondage and My Freedom.” Douglass made history in 1872 as the first African-American nominated for Vice President of the United States. His longtime wife Anna Murray-Douglass was a member of the Underground Railroad. Aside from fighting against slavery, Douglass was very vocal about women’s rights. He died on February 20, 1895 in Washington D.C. Read more.
VIDEO SOURCE: Inform