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In Case You Haven't Noticed, Women Are Under Attack

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As the Supreme Court inches toward overturning Roe v. Wade, the likelihood increases that a young American woman will no longer have any control over whether or not she will carry a pregnancy to term. Her education and her career may be interrupted, her financial status and security put in peril. It seems white men are longing for a romanticized fantasy of the good ole days when they had all the power, and women were totally dependent on them. Well, they are creating a scenario where women will have to refuse to engage with them sexually. If the Supreme Court has its way, even a child conceived from rape and/or incest will have to be carried to term.  According to the World Health Organization, about 295,000 women died during and following pregnancy and childbirth in 2017. The Supreme Court This represents a nightmare for future generations. It is no surprise that Donald Trump, a rapist himself, has appointed Supreme Court Justices who are invested in taking away women's freedom. T

White Supremacists Storm the U.S. Capitol

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   January 6, 2021: Egged on by Donald Trump, white supremacists penetrate the Capitol Building shouting "Hang Mike Pence," and "Where's Nancy?", destroying property and stealing from offices of members of Congress. Rioters included retired and current members of law enforcement. It is no surprise to African Americans that white supremacists have infiltrated law enforcement. Ask anyone who has followed the Black Lives Matter movement and is familiar with the countless murders of unarmed black men by police. But now that "Trumpets" have attacked the Capitol, and it has been discovered that many of the white men in the mob were either retired or current members of law enforcement, white people are shocked. It has been reported that white supremacist congressmen Andy Biggs, Mo Brooks, and Paul Gosar assisted some of the rioters in planning their attack. It has also been reported that white supremacist members of Congress took rioters on tours of the Capit

What Would Martin Say?

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Watching this whole "Impeachment Trial of Donald Trump," I am disgusted! The fact that the Republican Party is so united behind this criminal truly disgusts me. They unanimously voted against Chuck Schumer's amendments to Mitch McConnell's rules for the trial to subpoena White House witnesses and documents. How on earth is there supposed to be a fair trial without evidence and witnesses? We all know that Donald Trump is a racist. Anyone who votes to protect a racist is also, most likely, a racist. For what other reason are they trying to allow him to remain in office - aside from the fact that he is lining their pockets and cutting their taxes? "Keep me in office and you'll get richer," is his mantra; and they've swallowed it hook, line, and sinker. They may use all kinds of excuses to defend their actions. But we are not fooled. If you protect a racist, then you are a racist! The tragedy of all this is, again, black people don't mat

Some Year-End Thoughts

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As we look forward to the end of 2017, and the impeachment of the POTUS, I wanted to focus on something positive, namely, the courageous action of the Church of Sweden. To quote a PinkNews article: “Church tells priests to stop calling God ‘he’ and use gender-neutral pronouns (headline). The Church of Sweden has advised its clergy to stop referring to God using male pronouns. Sweden’s national church, an Evangelical Lutheran denomination, made the switch as part of a modernization push. It advised members of the clergy to avoid referring to God using male identifiers such as ‘he’, ‘Father’ and ‘the Lord.’  “Instead of using the phrase ‘the Father, son and Holy Spirit’ during church services, clergy will be able to use the phrase ‘in the name of God and the Holy Trinity.’ The changes to the church handbook for services are aimed at reforming the church’s role in a more gender-inclusive society. “Antje Jackelen, the Archbishop of Uppsala and Primate of the Church of Sweden, ex

Book Review: "The Presidency in Black and White" by April Ryan

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Nina Kennedy and April Ryan As I shared in an earlier blog, we had the pleasure of hearing White House correspondent April Ryan speak in New York at this year’s Paul Weiss Annual Diversity Networking Reception in June. We all received copies of her new book  The Presidency in Black and White , subtitled “My Up-Close View of Three Presidents and Race in America.” April Ryan has been a member of the White House Press Corps for 18 years as a correspondent and Washington bureau chief for American Urban Radio Networks (AURN). Most recently she received national attention for being called-out by former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer for “shaking [her] head” in response to the “alternative facts” presented at the briefing. We have seen her as a regular political commentator on CNN and MSNBC. April Ryan Speaking and the Paul Weiss Diversity Networking Reception Sean Spicer telling April Ryan "Stop shaking your head, April." Ryan interviewed three

Lisa Durden and the Burden of the False Angry Black Woman Narrative

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The black person’s burden of managing white fragility is as old as slavery. Dr. Joy DeGruy speaks of this in her groundbreaking book, Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome . There is a delicate balance between the comfort of maintaining a superior cast system and the guilt of protecting it. And still today, people vastly underestimate the extent to which black lives are filled with a level of racial stress that most white people are not exposed to and simply couldn’t deal with. Lisa Durden, a talk show host, pop-culture commentator, film curator and adjunct professor, went on Fox News to discuss the New York City Black Lives Matter chapter’s Memorial Day party, where they asked that if people did not identify as part of the African Diaspora, that they not attend. Durden went head-to-head with Tucker Carlson to explain why she supported the New York City Black Lives Matter chapter’s decision. Durden argued that as Memorial Day was founded by disenfranchised blacks, and as blacks continue to

Jeh Johnson, April Ryan, & Deep Roots of Diversity at Paul, Weiss Law Firm

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I was filled with pride when President Barack Obama appointed Jeh Charles Johnson to become our nation’s Secretary of Homeland Security. Jeh Johnson’s grandfather had served as the first African-American president of Fisk University, where my parents were on the faculty. In fact, it was Dr. Charles S. Johnson who gave my parents their wedding at the Fisk Memorial Chapel, since my mother’s father had died when she was a young girl. Dr. Johnson had indeed become a father-figure to her during her early career. Jeh Charles Johnson, former Secretary of Homeland Security under President Obama Dr. Charles S. Johnson, first black president of Fisk University, and grandfather of Jeh Johnson Jeh and I would see each other as children on campus whenever our parents would socialize. Of course we went our separate ways when we left Nashville to go to college, but we would run into each other again over the years when we returned to visit. When Jeh returned to Fisk in 2013 to rece

How State and Local Governments Impoverish African-American Neighborhoods

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This article was written to recount my first-hand experience with the heartbreak of American racism. Soon after my father’s death I learned that I was the owner of a house in Charleston, West Virginia, which had been built by my grandfather, Dr. Henry Floyd Gamble, who was one of the first African-American graduates of the Yale Medical School. He set up a practice in Charleston as the first African-American surgeon, obstetrician, and gynecologist in the region, and founded the local chapter of the National Medical Association – the African-American version of the American Medical Association since the AMA did not accept African-Americans as members. He resided in the home he built with my grandmother and his four offspring, two of whom were adults by the time he and my grandmother married. When he died, he bequeathed the property to three of his children: my aunt Katherine, my uncle Howard, and my mother. Upon my mother’s death, her portion of the property went to my father; and upon