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Roe Decision Could Spur Massive Voter Turnout During Midterms

NNPA NEWSWIRE — With the U.S. Supreme Court overturning the landmark Roe v. Wade statute and effectively taking away reproductive rights, some believe voters are now galvanized and poised for a massive showing in November.
The post Roe Decision Could Spur Massive Voter Turnout During Midterms first appeared on BlackPressUSA.
The post Roe Decision Could Spur Massive Voter Turnout During Midterms appeared first on BlackPressUSA.

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

The failure of Congress to pass legislation like the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the George Floyd Justice in Police Act have already frustrated African Americans and further dampened hope for a sizeable Black voter turnout during the 2022 midterm elections.

But, with the U.S. Supreme Court overturning the landmark Roe v. Wade statute and effectively taking away reproductive rights, some believe voters are now galvanized and poised for a massive showing in November.

“The Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization says abortion is not deeply rooted in our nation’s history. In holding that, the decision calls into question other rights that we thought were settled, including the right to use birth control, the right to same-sex marriage, and more,” Vice President Kamala Harris said.

“The great aspiration of our nation has been to expand freedom. But the expansion of freedom is not inevitable. It is not something that just happens unless we defend our most fundamental principles. And not unless we elect leaders who stand up for those principles,” Harris continued.

“The strength of our nation has always been that we move forward. We must now come together to show what kind of country we want to live in and reject the notion that our rights are up for debate.”

Russ Feingold, the president of the progressive legal organization, American Constitution Society, said the decision marks the “first time that our highest court has taken away a constitutional right.”

“But make no mistake, our courts will play a crucial role in the fight to restore federal abortion rights and protect state abortion rights,” Feingold said in an email.

“If we’re ever going to restore the constitutional right to abortion on the federal level, we must ensure that we have judges on every level of the bench that will protect constitutional rights,” he stated.

Congressional Black Caucus Chairwoman Joyce Beatty (D-Oh.) said the hands of time have again been turned back.

“The extreme right-wing Supreme Court majority’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, the law of the land for 49 years that gave a woman the right to choose, will have far-reaching and painful consequences,” Beatty stated.

“Moreover, in the midst of a Black maternal mortality crisis, restricting access to abortion care will disproportionately endanger the lives of Black Americans,” Beatty asserted.

She continued:

“Let me be very clear: government-mandated pregnancy is not pro-life. It is pro-policing of women’s bodies. In response to this unacceptable decision, I, along with members of the Congressional Black Caucus, are co-leading a letter to President Biden urging him to swiftly declare this unprecedented attack on abortion rights and access as the public health and national emergency that it is. We have seen what life was like pre-Roe v. Wade, and America cannot afford to go back.”

There’s a reason why the majority of Black adults believe that the Supreme Court has mostly taken rights away from them over the past 15 years, offered Alicia Garza, principal at Black to the Future Action Fund, a national organization dedicated to making Black communities powerful in politics. 

“We have seen this body gut the 1965 Voting Rights Act in Shelby County v. Holder, and now they are doing it to our healthcare,” Garza remarked.

“Abortion bans aren’t just about abortion – they are about power. They are about who has power, who doesn’t, and who wants to keep others from gaining it,” Garza demanded.

“The Republican Party claims to be about less government and more freedom, but that is a blatant lie. In this decision, the Supreme Court bowed to the real agenda of the Republican Party, which is to subvert the will of the many to serve the needs of a few.”

Garza added that abortion is a racial justice issue, and the decision will disproportionately impact Black families and devastate our economic futures.

“Black women are the primary breadwinners of our households, holding our families together with less and less. Therefore, our economic well-being, including whether we can get an education, work, and earn money to support ourselves and our families, is directly tied to our ability to make decisions about our bodies,” Garza asserted.

With protests at the Supreme Court and nationwide, the call for a massive voter turnout during the 2022 midterm elections has grown louder.

During the National Newspaper Publishers Association’s (NNPA) national convention marking the 195th-anniversary celebration of the Black Press of America in New Orleans, leaders announced a get-out-to-vote campaign aimed at registering and mobilizing GOTV for 10 million more African Americans to vote in time for the 2022 midterms.

“Let us take the lead and not be on the tail-end so we can show the present-day power of the Black Press,” said NNPA Chair Karen Carter Richards, who publishes the Houston Forward Times.

“With Roe overturned, the stakes of this election have never been higher – Black voters will stand with Senate Democrats against Sen. Mitch McConnell and Republicans’ agenda that would make abortion illegal and impose new, cruel, and punishing restrictions on women of color and their families,” said Jessica Knight Henry, Deputy, and Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

Florida Democratic Rep. Val Demings said she’s furious and disappointed.

“I am ready to fight,” Demings declared in a statement.

“We won’t go back. We must work relentlessly to preserve our right to choose and our right to privacy. We must protect Roe v. Wade in federal law.”

The court’s decision ends core protection for women to make their own health care decisions, Georgia Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock stated.

“It is a departure from our American ideals to recognize and protect basic rights,” Warnock stated.

“This misguided decision is devastating for women and families in Georgia and nationwide. Across the country, states have already passed dangerous and uncompromising restrictions that put politicians in charge of health care, instead of women and doctors.”

Marcela Howell, president, and CEO of In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Health Imperative, rebuked the high court’s decision.

“Overturning the historic Roe decision after 50 years of legal precedent impacts women’s and birthing people human and civil rights,” Howell said.

“The Supreme Court’s ruling declares open season on women and birthing people’s rights and lives,” Howell continued.

“While we call on Congress and the Biden administration to take immediate action to uphold the Constitution, we will not depend on governing bodies to protect our rights.”

The post Roe Decision Could Spur Massive Voter Turnout During Midterms first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

The post Roe Decision Could Spur Massive Voter Turnout During Midterms appeared first on BlackPressUSA.

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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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Photos courtesy of Ella Baker Center, photography by Brooke Anderson
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