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2020 Democratic National Convention Rewind Featuring BlackGirlMagic

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Michelle

The overall theme for the 2020 Democratic National Convention was “Uniting America.”  It ran four days from Monday, Aug. 17th to Thursday, Aug. 20th.

It was, of course, mostly virtual and originating from Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

The kickoff and Monday’s program theme was “We the People.”

There was a video that included Dolores Huerta, Donna Hylton, Daniel Dae Kim, Jeynce Pointdexter, Transgender Advocate.

In a segment titled, “We the People Demand Racial Justice” Philonise Floyd, brother of George Floyd spoke live from Houston, Texas, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, NAACP President Derrick Johnson, and author Gwen Carr, mother of Eric Garner were in a discussion with Joe Biden.

The highlight and closer for the opener was former First Lady Michelle Obama.

She uttered the names of both George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and made reference to “. . . a  never-ending list of innocent people of color continue to be murdered, stating the simple fact that a Black life matters is still met with derision from the nations’ highest office. . . . going high is the only thing that works because when we go low when we use those same tactics of degrading and dehumanizing others, we just become part of the ugly noise that’s drowning out everything else. ”

She added:  “[s]o let me be as honest and clear as I possibly can.  Donald Trump is the wrong president for our country.  He has had more than enough time to prove that he can do the job, but he is clearly in over his head.  He cannot meet this moment.  He simply cannot be who we need him to be for us.  It is what it is.”

“You know I hate politics.  But you also know that I care about this nation.”

“So if you take one thing from my words tonight, it is this:  If you think things cannot possibly get worse, trust me, they can; and they will if we don’t make a change in this election.  If we have any hope of ending this chaos, we have to vote for Joe Biden like our lives depend on it.”

Referencing Kanye West, ” . . . this is not the time to withhold our votes in protest or play games with candidates who have no chance of winning.  We have got to vote like we did in 2008 and 2012. . . We’ve got to vote early, in person if we can.  We’ve got to request our mail-in ballots right now, tonight, and send them back immediately and follow-up to make sure they’re received.  And then, make sure our friends and families do the same.”

And finally, she advises “[w]e have got to grab our comfortable shoes, put on our masks, pack a brown bag dinner and maybe breakfast too because we’ve got to be willing to stand in line all night if we have to.”

Tuesday night’s them was “Leadership Matters”.

Video clips of the late Barbara Jordan:  “We are a people in a quandary about the present.  We are a people in search of our future.”

Stacey Abrams said  “America faces a triple threat:  a public health catastrophic, an economic collapse, and a reckoning with racial justice and inequality…  In a democracy, we do not elect saviors.  We cast our ballots for those who see our struggles and pledge to serve; who hear our dreams and work to make them real: who defend our way of life by protecting our right to vote.  Face with a president of cowardice, Joe Biden is a man of proven courage.  He will restore our moral compass by confronting our challenges, not by hiding from them or undermining our elections to keep his job.”

“In a time of voter suppression at home and authoritarians abroad, Joe Biden will be a champion for free and fair elections, for a public health system that keeps us safe, for an economy that we build back better than before, and for accountability and integrity in our system of justice.”

“We stand with Joe Biden because this isn’t just about defeating Donald Trump.  We are in this to win for America.  So let’s get it done.”

Tracee Ellis Ross introduced the night with remarks from Caroline Kennedy, Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter, Bill Clinton, John Kerry, Dr. Jill Biden, and a performance by John Legend.

Tracee Ellis Ross

Wednesday’s theme was “A More Perfect Union”.  Kerry Washington introduced “A More Perfect Society” “A More Perfect Union . . . Means Ending Gun Violence”

“A More Perfect Union . . . Means Tackling Climate Change.” Performance by Billie Ellish.

“A More Perfect Union . . . Means Keeping Immigrant Families Together”.  Performance by Prince Royce.

“A More Perfect Union . . . Means Women Lead”.  Remarks by Hilary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Mariska Hargitay, Ruth Glenn, and Carly Dryden.

A More Perfect Economy included remarks by Elizabeth Warren.

More Perfect Leadership, included remarks by Barack Obama and the Nominating Speech by Maya Harris, Meena Harris, and Ella Elmhoff and Kamala Harris with a performance by Jennifer Hudson.

Barack Obama said:  “[t]onight, I am asking you to believe in Joe and Kamala’s ability to lead this country out of dark times and build it back better.”

Kamala in accepting the nomination for Vice President of the Democratic Party, evoked the names of women who inspired her including her late mother, Shyamala Gopalan Harris, Mary Church Terrell, Mary McCleod Bethune, Fannie Lous Hamer, Diane Nash, Constance Baker Motley, and Shirley Chisholm.

She gave a shout out to the Divine 9, Alpha Kappa Alpha, and her HBCU brothers and sisters.  She graduated from Howard University.

She too spoke of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and ” . . . the lives of too many others to name.”

The DNC concluded on Thursday, August 20 with a theme of  “America’s Promise”.

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms spoke and said:  “People often think they can’t make a difference . . . every person in the movement mattered — those who made the sandwiches swept the church floors, stuffed the envelopes.  They too changed America.  We have cried out for justice, we have gathered in our streets to demand change, and now, we must pass on the gift John Lewis sacrificed to give us, we must register and we must vote.”

Joe Biden accepted the nomination and quoted Ella Baker:  “[g]ive people light and they will find a way.”

Biden said:  “One of the most important conversations I’ve had this entire campaign is with someone who is too young to vote.  I met with six-year-old Gianna Floyd, a day before her Daddy George Floyd was laid to rest.  When I leaned down to speak with her, she looked into my eyes and said “Daddy changed the world.”

He ended with “[f]or love is more powerful than hate.  Hope is more powerful than fear.  Light is more powerful than dark.  This is our moment.  This is our mission.”

To see videos for each night go to the DNC YouTube page.

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Brittney Griner Sentenced to More than 9 years in Russian Prison

NNPA NEWSWIRE — The lawyers of WNBA star Brittney Griner, Maria Blagovolina and Alexander Boykov, said in a written statement following the verdict announcement that the court ignored all the evidence they presented and that they will appeal the decision. “We are very disappointed by the verdict. As legal professionals, we believe that the court should be fair to everyone regardless of nationality,” Attorneys Maria Blagovolina and Alexander Boykov said in a statement.

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By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
@StacyBrownMedia

WNBA Superstar Brittney Griner has been sentenced to more than 9 years in a Russian prison following her conviction on drug charges.

Her lawyers called the verdict a disappointment and vowed to appeal.

The lawyers of WNBA star Brittney Griner, Maria Blagovolina and Alexander Boykov, said in a written statement following the verdict announcement that the court ignored all the evidence they presented and that they will appeal the decision.

“We are very disappointed by the verdict. As legal professionals, we believe that the court should be fair to everyone regardless of nationality,” Attorneys Maria Blagovolina and Alexander Boykov said in a statement.

“The court completely ignored all the evidence of the defense, and most importantly, the guilty plea. This contradicts the existing legal practice.

“Taking into account the amount of the substance (not to mention the defects of the expertise) and the plea, the verdict is absolutely unreasonable. We will certainly file an appeal,” they added.

Russian officials contended that Griner committed the crime on purpose. They also levied a fine totaling about $16,400 American dollars on the basketball star.

Authorities arrested Griner on Feb. 17 at an airport in Moscow after finding less than a gram of cannabis oil in her luggage.

She has been detained since then.

Recently, American officials revealed that the Biden-Harris administration had offered notorious arms dealer Viktor Bout in exchange for the release of Griner and Paul Whelan.

“Today, American citizen Brittney Griner received a prison sentence that is one more reminder of what the world already knew: Russia is wrongfully detaining Brittney,” President Biden said.

“It’s unacceptable, and I call on Russia to release her immediately so she can be with her wife, loved ones, friends, and teammates. My administration will continue to work tirelessly and pursue every possible avenue to bring Brittney and Paul Whelan home safely as soon as possible.”

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Report: Human Rights Violations in Prisons Throughout Southern United States Cause Disparate and Lasting Harm in Black Communities  

NNPA NEWSWIRE — “The U.S. has long failed to live up to its international human rights treaty obligations on eliminating racial discrimination, perhaps more so in the area of mass incarceration and prison conditions than in any other context,” said Lisa Borden, Senior Policy Counsel, International Advocacy at the Southern Poverty Law Center. 

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NNPA Newswire

NEW YORK – The Southern Prisons Coalition, a group of civil and human rights organizations, submitted a new report to the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination on the devastating consequences of incarceration on Black people throughout the southern United States.

With the long-term goal of eliminating all forms of racial discrimination in the criminal legal system, including the carceral system, the report describes the widespread, disparate harms resulting from the arrests, harsh prison sentences, and incarceration on Black communities.

The report also cites the devastating impacts of solitary confinement, prison labor, the school to prison pipeline, and incarceration of parents on Black families.

On August 8, 2022, the UN will review the United States’ compliance with the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination for the first time since 2014.

Among the ongoing stark racial disparities throughout prisons in the southern United States, Black people are five times more likely to be incarcerated in state prisons.

In states like Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas, where Black communities comprise 38% of the total population, Black individuals account for as much as 67% of the total incarcerated population.

While incarcerated, Black people are more than eight times more likely to be placed in solitary confinement, and they are 10 times more likely to be held there for exceedingly long periods of time.

By submitting the report to the United Nations, the Southern Prisons Coalition hopes to solicit concrete recommendations from the UN Committee as well as commitments from the United States delegation about their plans to address systemic issues in the United States prison system, particularly in the South.

According to the report, several states in the United States have also failed to meet several of the UN’s Standard Minimum Rules for the treatment of incarcerated people, including:

  • Work should help to prepare incarcerated people for their release from prison, including life and job skills;
  • Safety measures and labor protections for incarcerated workers should be the same as those that cover workers who are not incarcerated;
  • Incarcerated workers should receive equitable pay, be able to send money home to their families, and have a portion of their wages set aside to be given to them upon release.

“The U.S. has long failed to live up to its international human rights treaty obligations on eliminating racial discrimination, perhaps more so in the area of mass incarceration and prison conditions than in any other context,” said Lisa Borden, Senior Policy Counsel, International Advocacy at the Southern Poverty Law Center.

“We hope the Committee will help to shine a light on these very dark truths and prompt the U.S. to take its obligation to make significant improvements more seriously.”

“The abuses of forced labor are inextricably tied to racial discrimination in our nation,” said Jamila Johnson, Deputy Director at the Promise of Justice Initiative.

“In Louisiana, for instance, people are still sent into the fields to labor by hand in dangerously high heat indexes, for little to no compensation, and with brutal enforcement reminiscent of slavery and the era of ‘convict leasing’.”

“This report reveals the suffering of Black people in southern U.S. prisons, whose stories of marginalization and discrimination echo the racial subjugation of slavery and convict leasing during our country’s most shameful past,” said Antonio L. Ingram II, Assistant Counsel at the Legal Defense Fund.

“Despite widespread knowledge of the longstanding racial inequalities in the criminal legal and carceral systems, the United States continues to allow egregious human rights violations to persist for Black incarcerated people in violation of international law. This report serves as a sobering reminder of how far we need to go.”

Read the full report here.

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Celebrate your birthday with 10 free items

NNPA NEWSWIRE — Is your birthday coming up, and you’re not sure how to celebrate? Beat the summer heat by grabbing free ice cream at Cold Stone Creamery, or a daiquiri at WhoDaq Daquiris “The Daiquiri Shoppe.” Not in the mood for sweets? Head over to Jersey Mike’s or McDonald’s. Check out the rest of these Top 10 places giving out free items on your special day.

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By Angelina Liu, Entertainment Editor of The Trendsetter / Texas Metro News

Is your birthday coming up, and you’re not sure how to celebrate? Beat the summer heat by grabbing free ice cream at Cold Stone Creamery, or a daiquiri at WhoDaq Daquiris “The Daiquiri Shoppe.” Not in the mood for sweets? Head over to Jersey Mike’s or McDonald’s. Check out the rest of these Top 10 places giving out free items on your special day.

1. Chocolate Secrets

At Chocolate Secrets, located at 3926 Oak Lawn Ave, Dallas, TX 75219, you can celebrate your birthday by getting one free piece of candy under their candy cases.

2. WhoDaq Daquiris “The Daiquiri Shoppe”

Head to WhoDaq Daquiris “The Daiquiri Shoppe”, located at 684 W Pioneer Pkwy Suite 100, Grand Prairie, Texas 75051, to claim a free small personal daiquiri on your birthday. Quench your thirst with signature flavors such as “Strawberry Shortcake” or “Bahama Mama.”

3. Sephora

Sign up for a free, Beauty Insider account and receive your choice of 250 bonus points, Laura Mercier, Amika or Tatcha sets on your birthday. The choice of powders, lipsticks and skincare is bound to make you look fabulous for your special day.

4. Starbucks

Need a quick pick-me-up on your birthday? Starbucks has it covered! Join the Starbucks Rewards Program seven days prior to your birthday and make one purchase. Starbucks will then email you a coupon for a free food or beverage item two days before your birthday. The birthday reward qualifies for anything on the menu, including any size handcrafted drink or food item.

5. Jersey Mike’s

In the mood for a sub? Head over to Jersey Mike’s and receive a free sub and drink. Make sure to sign up for the Jersey Mike’s Subs Email Club prior to your birthday to receive this reward. Nothing tastes quite like melted cheese and meat in between a toasted baguette, along with an icy cold drink.

6. The Cheesecake Factory

Celebrating with friends? Tell your server it’s your birthday and receive a free treat as well as a song. It may be mildly embarrassing, but hey, it’s free!

7. Culver’s

Need something cold and sweet to beat the Texas heat? Head to Culver’s for a free sundae when you sign up for their rewards program. The sweet creaminess will surely not disappoint.

8. IHOP

Want to indulge in a sweet breakfast before birthday festivities? Join the International Bank of Pancakes rewards program to receive a free stack of pancakes on your birthday. Pair your pancakes with a choice of chocolate chips, syrup, fresh fruit or a dollop of whipped cream.

9. McDonald’s

Need a snack before embarking on your next birthday adventure? Download the McDonald’s app and join MyMcDonald’s Rewards to receive free large fries. Mmm, the taste and smell of fresh, perfectly salted french fries.

10. Smoothie King

Want to celebrate your birthday with a healthier option? Enjoy a birthday smoothie at Smoothie King. Download the Smoothie King app to receive this offer.

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