Keeping up with the news can be a full time job. But at NewsOne we want to give you access to coverage that keeps you engaged and informed about the issues that matter.
As you’re preparing for the week ahead check out these five stories you may have missed.
Black Florida Legislators Turn Up On Ron DeSantis
“Knuck if you Buck” has long been a southern anthem. A warning to those who step out of line that consequences will follow if they can’t come correct.
Members of Florida’s legislative Black Caucus certainly had that energy last week. Temporarily shutting down business on the House floor, Black legislators and other members of the Democratic caucus refused to yield space as Republicans caved to Gov. Ron DeSantis’ latest shenanigans. The governor vetoed a map passed by the Florida legislature in favor of his own version that eliminated two majority Black Congressional districts.
Instead of doing the right thing and following existing Florida law requiring fairness in maps, Florida Republicans let DeSantis trample Democracy and Black electoral power in one fail swoop. Civil rights groups moved quickly, filing a lawsuit Friday challenging the maps.
It doesn’t matter that DeSantis is permitted to submit maps, there is no justification for the complete eradication of representation in the process. Florida Republicans are just fine with DeSantis and his white supremacist agenda erasing equity and justice in the process.
This isn’t the first time Black officials called out DeSantis or shutdown nonsense in the state house. Reps. Angie Nixon, Michele K. Rayner and Travaris McCurdy drew attention last year in a fierce debate against the anti-protest bill H.B. 1.
Black Mamas In Minnesota Demand Justice For Children Accosted By Police
Over a week ago, police officers in Maplewood, MN, detained and handcuffed four children ages 10-16 after reports of gunshots in an area nearby. Some of the children’s moms showed up on the seen and demanded their children be released. The four boys had been at a McDonalds in the area, offered to show officers a receipt and told them they didn’t have a gun or anything to do with the shooting.
Just so happens that at least one of the mothers, Toshira Garraway, is a local organizer and no stranger to challenging police misconduct. Speaking at a rally last week, Garraway said while she’s out in the community, she’s a mother first.
“I’m sorry if this story gets a little scattered ’cause excuse my French, but I feel real f*cked up right now,” she said. “‘Cause, I’m out here, and I’m fighting, I’m standing up for people as an activist in the community. Whatever you want to call me. But at the end of the day, I’m a mother before I’m anything.”
Two other incidents on the east coast involving police violently handling Black children gained attention this week. Video surfaced of police officers in Syracuse snatching up a 10 year old boy for allegedly stealing a bag of chips. Bystanders could be heard in the video challenging the officers for their rough handling of the child who was visibly shaken by the encounter. A man even offered to pay to replace the chips. (Read more here).
Also, a 14-year-old Black autistic teen was slammed on the ground by a sheriff’s deputy in Clifton Park, NY. Despite claiming to be recognizing April as Autism Awareness Month, the Saratoga Sheriff’s department doesn’t seem to understand how to handle and engage with autistic people.
Fox Amplifies False Narrative About Racial Justice Protests Leading To Increased Murder Rates In 2020
Fox stay making claims they can’t actually back up. Just throwing any old theory out there and hoping it sticks. Amplifying claims from a conservative “expert” from the Manhattan Institute, Fox tried to argue that 2020 racial justice protest led to the increase in the Black murder rate. Disregarding the economic downturn and COVID-19 pandemic as possible forces underlying the increase. The outlet disregards the increase in murder rate across all groups or the fact that Montana, one of the whitest states in the country, had an increase of over 80 percent for 2020.
Don’t agree with protest addressing police brutality? Fine. But pretending that demanding police be held accountable when they murder folks isn’t the reason why people are dying. No other profession gets to fail at their job and then blame everyone else and still keep their job.
Cardi B Reminds Followers April Is Sexual Assault Awareness Month
While this isn’t the fist time the rapper has used her platform to spread awareness, Cardi B’s post about sexual assault awareness was a simple but necessary reminder. With so many different commemorative months it can be difficult to keep track, but Cardi’s reminder also served as a gut check on the issue. It’s not just about paying attention during a designated month but committing to learning and doing better in word and deed.
We have to talk about sexual assault in April… Bringing the awareness can be a key to help stopping it. Women, children, and even men should never have to feel like they should be silenced or ashamed for telling their story and holding sick ass people accountable. It’s ok to speak up! We have to be more careful in protecting ourselves and our children by teaching them that there are no secrets when it comes to mommy and daddy. Everyday I pray for my children, my family, and my friends because people are really sick but you know wanna know something? When one person speaks up it helps others see they are not alone. #SAAM2022
HBCUs Are Establishing Marijuana Programs To Fight Whitewashing Of Legal Cannabis Industry
As the legal marijuana industry continues to bloom, HBCUs are helping to close the equity gap with various programs. Southern University became the first HBCU to launch it’s own cannabis product called “Ayo” in 2020. It has one of the strongest programs of its kind in the south. Clark Atlanta and Florida A&M both have courses geared toward helping Black entrepreneurs enter the industry. (read more here).
But as cannabis professional and equity advocate, Neffer-Oduntunde Kerr said that advocacy around legal weed needs to consider decriminalization and the impact of those trapped in the criminal legal system. Adweek reported that legal cannabis is excepted to become a $30 billion industry in 2022.