MD Museum Gets Grant to Protect African American Artifacts

Maryland’s Banneker-Douglass Museum has received a $50,000 grant to preserve African American artifacts. 

The Governor’s Office on Community Initiatives announced the grant Monday from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

A total of $2.2 million has been awarded to 14 grantees.

The Banneker-Douglass Museum in Annapolis, Maryland, is home to more than 12,000 historic objects, exhibition spaces and archives library.

B&O Railroad Museum

The upgrades will allow the museum to properly store and preserve important pieces of Maryland’s African American history, primarily its Fine Art and African Art Collections.

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

The real minimum wage is $0 (zero, nothing,

High minimum wages just help force a West Coast restaurant chain into bankruptcy, and it has already closed multiple locations.  This means that a growing number of the chain’s workers will not be earning the legally mandated minimum wage of $15 an hour — and many earned more — but the economically realistic $0 per hour.  In other words, nothing.  Or for the multicultural and diverse politically correct crowd…nada.  That’s Spanish for…nothing.  And many only Spanish immigrant (both legal and illegal) speakers work in the food service and restaurant industries.

And that’s only a small example of the real-life effects of increasing the minimum wage: those most financially vulnerable, such as the unskilled, the least experienced, Afro-Americans and other “people of color” (sic), the young, the minimally educated will suffer the most.  Now, thanks to the do-gooders — i.e., lefty legislators, highly paid union officials, and other self-anointed moral regressives (often erroneously called progressive, but there is nothing progressive about them), who will not suffer from their public virtue-signaling, thousands of people will be unemployed.

Apparently, the highly paid legislators and union hacks have not read the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office report, “The Effects on Employment and Family Income of Increasing the Federal Minimum Wage,” which would have predicted this outcome.  Or maybe they did, did not like the facts that opposed their utopian — and vote getting — narrative, and so ignored it.  Or maybe they thought they could legislate economic law just as they have successfully legislated on, oh, say, climate.  And weather.  Or something.

Anyway, the CBO report states that with a mandated minimum wage increase, there is good news for many, but for those financially insecure, the low wage-earners that this law was supposed to help, there is very bad news. 

Increasing the federal minimum wage would have two principal effects on low-wage workers. For most low-wage workers, earnings and family income would increase, which would lift some families out of poverty. But other low-wage workers would become jobless, and their family income would fall—in some cases, below the poverty threshold. …


Effects of the $15 Option on Employment and Income. According to CBO’s median estimate, under the $15 option, 1.3 million workers who would otherwise be employed would be jobless in an average week in 2025. (That would equal a 0.8 percent reduction in the number of employed workers.) CBO estimates that there is about a two-thirds chance that the change in employment would lie between about zero and a reduction of 3.7 million workers (see Table 1).

Oh, well — 1.3 million workers earning $0 per hour aren’t really that many, are they?  And neither are 3.7 million workers who would suddenly be thrown back into the nether world of labor non-participation.  Or something.  And it is certainly easier to deal with the sure to increase automation as in, say, self-checkout lanes and other self-service options than cashiers, further reducing opportunities, isn’t it? 


Welcome to McDonald’s…without an employee.
Photo credit: Tdorante 10.

Well, isn’t it?  And, as the saying has it, you have to break eggs to make an omelet.

But wait…there is more good news, bad news from the CBO about increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

• Boost workers’ earnings through higher wages, though some of those higher earnings would be offset by higher rates of joblessness;


 • Reduce business income and raise prices as higher labor costs were absorbed by business owners and then passed on to consumers; and 


• Reduce the nation’s output slightly through the reduction in employment and a corresponding decline in the nation’s stock of capital (such as buildings, machines, and technologies).


On the basis of those effects and CBO’s estimate of the median effect on employment, the $15 option would reduce total real (inflation-adjusted) family income in 2025 by $9 billion, or 0.1 percent.

Huh?  What did that last sentence say — increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour would eventually reduce real income?  Oh.  But…but…but…isn’t that, um, against the law?  Apparently not against the laws of economics and reality — the law of unintended consequences. 

And the more legislators interfere with these latter laws, the worse off we all are.  Zero dollars per hour in any language is still nothing.  So why don’t legislators do what they do best: kiss babies to win elections and just stop legislating?  President Donald J. Trump (R) did something similar — eliminate burdensome laws once he was elected — and boom! according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ most recent report:

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 224,000 in June, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 3.7 percent. Notable job gains occurred in professional and business services, in health care, and in transportation and warehousing.

 And all those workers are making much more than $nothing per hour.

High minimum wages just help force a West Coast restaurant chain into bankruptcy, and it has already closed multiple locations.  This means that a growing number of the chain’s workers will not be earning the legally mandated minimum wage of $15 an hour — and many earned more — but the economically realistic $0 per hour.  In other words, nothing.  Or for the multicultural and diverse politically correct crowd…nada.  That’s Spanish for…nothing.  And many only Spanish immigrant (both legal and illegal) speakers work in the food service and restaurant industries.

And that’s only a small example of the real-life effects of increasing the minimum wage: those most financially vulnerable, such as the unskilled, the least experienced, Afro-Americans and other “people of color” (sic), the young, the minimally educated will suffer the most.  Now, thanks to the do-gooders — i.e., lefty legislators, highly paid union officials, and other self-anointed moral regressives (often erroneously called progressive, but there is nothing progressive about them), who will not suffer from their public virtue-signaling, thousands of people will be unemployed.

Apparently, the highly paid legislators and union hacks have not read the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office report, “The Effects on Employment and Family Income of Increasing the Federal Minimum Wage,” which would have predicted this outcome.  Or maybe they did, did not like the facts that opposed their utopian — and vote getting — narrative, and so ignored it.  Or maybe they thought they could legislate economic law just as they have successfully legislated on, oh, say, climate.  And weather.  Or something.

Anyway, the CBO report states that with a mandated minimum wage increase, there is good news for many, but for those financially insecure, the low wage-earners that this law was supposed to help, there is very bad news. 

Increasing the federal minimum wage would have two principal effects on low-wage workers. For most low-wage workers, earnings and family income would increase, which would lift some families out of poverty. But other low-wage workers would become jobless, and their family income would fall—in some cases, below the poverty threshold. …


Effects of the $15 Option on Employment and Income. According to CBO’s median estimate, under the $15 option, 1.3 million workers who would otherwise be employed would be jobless in an average week in 2025. (That would equal a 0.8 percent reduction in the number of employed workers.) CBO estimates that there is about a two-thirds chance that the change in employment would lie between about zero and a reduction of 3.7 million workers (see Table 1).

Oh, well — 1.3 million workers earning $0 per hour aren’t really that many, are they?  And neither are 3.7 million workers who would suddenly be thrown back into the nether world of labor non-participation.  Or something.  And it is certainly easier to deal with the sure to increase automation as in, say, self-checkout lanes and other self-service options than cashiers, further reducing opportunities, isn’t it? 


Welcome to McDonald’s…without an employee.
Photo credit: Tdorante 10.

Well, isn’t it?  And, as the saying has it, you have to break eggs to make an omelet.

But wait…there is more good news, bad news from the CBO about increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

• Boost workers’ earnings through higher wages, though some of those higher earnings would be offset by higher rates of joblessness;


 • Reduce business income and raise prices as higher labor costs were absorbed by business owners and then passed on to consumers; and 


• Reduce the nation’s output slightly through the reduction in employment and a corresponding decline in the nation’s stock of capital (such as buildings, machines, and technologies).


On the basis of those effects and CBO’s estimate of the median effect on employment, the $15 option would reduce total real (inflation-adjusted) family income in 2025 by $9 billion, or 0.1 percent.

Huh?  What did that last sentence say — increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour would eventually reduce real income?  Oh.  But…but…but…isn’t that, um, against the law?  Apparently not against the laws of economics and reality — the law of unintended consequences. 

And the more legislators interfere with these latter laws, the worse off we all are.  Zero dollars per hour in any language is still nothing.  So why don’t legislators do what they do best: kiss babies to win elections and just stop legislating?  President Donald J. Trump (R) did something similar — eliminate burdensome laws once he was elected — and boom! according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ most recent report:

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 224,000 in June, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 3.7 percent. Notable job gains occurred in professional and business services, in health care, and in transportation and warehousing.

 And all those workers are making much more than $nothing per hour.

Racial division is a hallmark of Trump’s presidency

WASHINGTON — Every few months, we get another reminder of how race has been one of the dominant storylines of Donald Trump’s political rise and his time in office.

And that’s what we got on Sunday, when the president tweeted that that Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Talib, Ilhan Omar and Ayanna Pressley should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”

He followed that up on Monday by saying these four progressive women of color “hate our country.”

July 16, 201902:40

To recap how Trump has stoked racial flames — or poured gasoline on them:

  • He led the “birther” crusade against Barack Obama, questioning whether the nation’s first African-American president was born in the United States.
  • He kicked off his 2016 presidential announcement talking about Mexican rapists. (“They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”)
  • He said a U.S. federal judge had a conflict of interest in presiding over a case involving Trump because of the judge’s “Mexican heritage.”
  • As president, he referred to Haiti and African nations as “shithole” countries.
  • He talked about “very fine people, on both sides” in response to the unrest in Charlottesville, Va.
  • He questioned LeBron James’ intelligence.
  • And he did the same to Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif.

It’s hard to disagree with the Washington Post’s Greg Sargent: The more often Trump makes these statements — without being called out by a large segment of his party and supporters — he’s asserting “the right to engage in public racism without it being called out as such.”

And as George Conway — the husband of White House adviser Kellyanne Conway — writes in the Washington Post, “Trump is not some random, embittered person in a parking lot — he’s the president of the United States. By virtue of his office, he speaks for the country.”

Beto’s awful 2nd quarter

In his first 18 days as a presidential candidate, Beto O’Rourke raised $9.4 million, including $6.1 million in his first 24 hours.

Three months later, however, O’Rourke reports raising just $3.6 million for the second quarter — essentially half of what he raised in his first day.

On top of it all, O’Rourke had one of the highest burn rates (raised/spent) for the second quarter: 146 percent.

O’Rourke still has time to turn his campaign around. But his last three months as a candidate have been dreadful — whether it’s been in the polls, the fundraising or his first debate performance.

Tweet of the day

Breaking down the 2nd quarter numbers

Here’s everything you need to know in one place, per NBC’s Ben Kamisar and Melissa Holzberg:

Total contributions (includes only donations from individuals — not from the candidates themselves or transfers from other accounts):

  • Buttigieg: $24.9 million (was $7.1 million last quarter)
  • Biden: $22 million
  • Warren: $19.1 million (was $6 million)
  • Sanders: $18 million (was $18.2 million)
  • Harris: $11.8 million (was $12 million)
  • Booker: $4.5 million (was $5 million)
  • Klobuchar: $3.9 million (was $5 million)
  • O’Rourke: $3.6 million (was $9.4 million)
  • Inslee: $3.0 million (was $2.3 million)
  • Yang: $2.8 million (was $1.8 million)
  • Castro: $2.8 million (was $1.1 million)
  • Bennet: $2.8 million
  • Gillibrand: $2.3 million (was $3 million)
  • Bullock: $2.0 million
  • Gabbard: $1.6 million (was $2 million)
  • Williamson: $1.5 million (was $1.5 million)
  • Hickenlooper: $1.1 million (was $2 million)
  • De Blasio: $1.1 million
  • Ryan: $865,000
  • Delaney: $284,000 (doesn’t include $7.75 million transfer)

Cash on hand:

  • Sanders: $27.3 million
  • Buttigieg: $22.7 million
  • Warren: $19.8 million
  • Harris: $13.3 million
  • Biden: $10.9 million
  • Gillibrand: $8.2 million
  • Klobuchar: $6.7 million
  • O’Rourke: $5.2 million

Burn rate (total spent divided by total receipts):

  • Gillibrand: 184 percent
  • O’Rourke: 146 percent
  • Hickenlooper: 143 percent
  • Gabbard: 122 percent
  • Booker: 117 percent
  • Inslee: 107 percent
  • Klobuchar: 107 percent
  • Harris: 64 percent
  • Warren: 55 percent
  • Sanders: 55 percent
  • Biden: 51 percent

2020 Vision: Breaking down the Dem health-care battle

“On the one side is [Joe] Biden, who is making the case that Democrats should retain the core structure of the Affordable Care Act, which subsidizes private insurance and Medicaid for Americans who don’t get coverage from their employer or other government programs,” NBC’s Benjy Sarlin writes.

“On the other is [Bernie] Sanders, who has long called for guaranteeing every American coverage through a more generous version of Medicare and banning competing private plans.”

On the campaign trail

Kirsten Gillibrand, Julian Castro and Kamala Harris speak at the AARP/Des Moines Register forum in Iowa… Joe Biden and Michael Bennet also campaign in the Hawkeye State… And Amy Klobuchar, in DC, delivers a speech on what would be her “First 100 Days” priorities.

Dispatches from NBC’s embeds

Pete Buttigieg responded to the news of South Bend’s police sergeant Ryan O’Neill, who was the officer involved in the South Bend shooting that left Eric Logan dead, resigning. NBC’s Priscilla Thompson has Buttigieg’s response: “Our efforts to strengthen trust between law enforcement and community members continue. We will await results of the independent criminal investigation, and apply any lessons learned to our work on the future of the Police Department and the community.”

Also some staff change-ups: NBC’s Thompson and Maura Barrett confirm that Cory Booker’s Iowa senior adviser is leaving his campaign.

Plus, Kamala Harris discussed her racial identity on a podcast with The Atlantic’s Jemele Hill.

NBC’s Deepa Shivaram flags this Harris line: “It cannot be, as it always ends up being, that the couple of chocolate chips on the stage have to be the ones teaching everybody else about America’s history. It’s America’s history.”

Data Download: The number of the day is … nine

Nine.

That’s the number of 2020 candidates who spent more than they raised in the second fundraising quarter.

Here are the burn rates (total spent divided by total receipts) for those candidates, per NBC’s Ben Kamisar and Melissa Holzberg.

  • Booker: 116.94 percent
  • Gabbard: 122.38 percent
  • Gillibrand: 183.91 percent
  • Hickenlooper: 143.30 percent
  • Inslee: 107.45 percent
  • Klobuchar: 107.00 percent
  • O’Rourke: 145.66 percent
  • Williamson: 100.23 percent
  • Yang: 109.24 percent

The Lid: The more things change…

Don’t miss the pod from yesterday, when we looked at a particular data point that just… seems… stuck.

ICYMI: News clips you shouldn’t miss

Here’s how the Trump administration is moving to end asylum protections for most Central American migrants (and how it will immediately face a legal challenge.)

Nancy Pelosi isn’t happy with the White House’s debt limit plan.

NBC’s Courtney Kube notes that – over the next eight days – there will likely be four people transitioning in and out of the top two jobs at the Pentagon.

According to Tim Alberta’s new book, Trump lashed out at “so-called Christians” after his “Two Corinthians” mistake in 2016.

Trump agenda: Trump’s Twitter army

Only about 1 in 5 adult Twitter users in the U.S. follows @realDonaldTrump, per a new study.

2020

NBC’s Marianna Sotomayor has a quick breakdown of what’s in and what’s out of Biden’s health-care plan.

The Washington Post looks at Elizabeth Warren’s work in the 1990s for Dow Corning when it faced lawsuits over faulty silicone breast implants.

The South Bend police officer who fatally shot a black man has resigned.

Kamala Harris has a new plan to combat prescription drug costs.

Bill de Blasio raised $1.1 million after his late entry into the 2020 race.

The Trump campaign is investing a lot in small donors – and it’s paying off.

There’s One Heresy That Sets Bernie Apart From All Other Dem Contenders to Unseat Trump

Let’s be clear: Bernie Sanders’s heresy, what sets him apart from every Democrat running to unseat Donald Trump, is not simply that he calls himself a socialist in a country long proudly identified as capitalist. Those two labels, socialist and capitalist, are open to too many interpretations and represent too many historical examples (everything from Norway to the United States, Stalin’s Soviet Union to Hitler’s Nazi Germany) to pin down. Rather, a more precise way to define the historic nature of Sanders’s campaign would be to focus on his promotion of social or economic rights and how they relate to the individual or political rights found in the US Constitution.

Sanders, by waging practically a one-person crusade to legitimize social rights, is striking at the core cultural belief that holds the modern conservative movement together: an individual-rights absolutism that has, today, little to do with economics or political philosophy but rather forms the essential, cultish element of right-wing identity politics.

First, some definitions: Individual or political rights are aimed at restraining government power. They presume that virtue is rooted in the individual and that the public good, or general welfare, of a society stems from allowing individuals to pursue their interests—to possess, to assemble, to believe, to speak, and so on—to the greatest degree possible. A legitimate state is a state that restrains itself, that limits its role to protecting the realm in which individuals pursue their rights. Economic or social rights presume that in a complex, industrial society, with its imbalances of power and often extreme concentrations of wealth, the state has a much more active role to play in nurturing virtue through the redistribution of wealth in the form of education, health, child care, pensions, housing, and other common needs.

Sanders made the distinction between these two sets of rights the centerpiece of his historic June 12 speech at George Washington University, in which he defended democratic socialism as the country’s only possible redemption, not just from Trump but also from the rotten system that produced Trumpism. Calling for a 21st-century bill of economic rights, one modeled on Franklin Roosevelt’s 1944 proposal for a Second Bill of Rights, Sanders said, “We are proud that our Constitution guarantees freedom,” but now “we must take the next step forward and guarantee every man, woman, and child in our country basic economic rights—the right to quality health care, the right to as much education as one needs to succeed in our society, the right to a good job that pays a living wage, the right to affordable housing, the right to a secure retirement, and the right to live in a clean environment.”

Most countries of the world—including those Scandinavian countries that Sanders often mentions—understand individual and social rights not to be in conflict but rather to be mutually sustaining. They find no functional discord between, say, running a national health service and guaranteeing due process or between providing public education and allowing freedom of speech. “Democracy, political as well as social and economic,” wrote Hernán Santa Cruz, the Chilean UN delegate who in the 1940s helped Eleanor Roosevelt draft the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, “comprises, in my mind, an inseparable whole.” Individual rights need social rights because, as FDR liked to say, succinctly, “necessitous men are not free.”

Congresswomen hit back after Trump’s race tweets

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionAyanna Pressley, Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib responded to the attacks at a press conference on Monday

The four US congresswomen attacked by US President Donald Trump in tweets widely called racist have dismissed his remarks as a distraction.

Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib urged the US people “not to take the bait” at a Monday news conference.

Mr Trump had suggested the four women – all US citizens – “can leave”.

He has defended his comments and denied allegations of racism.

The president did not explicitly name the women in his initial Twitter tirade on Sunday, but the context made a clear link to the four Democrat women, who are known as The Squad.

He sparked a furore after saying the women “originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe” and they should go home.

Three of the women were born in the US and one, Ms Omar, was born in Somalia but came to the US as a child.

Following the outcry, the four women told reporters they wanted to re-focus attention on to the president’s policies.

“This is simply a disruption and a distraction from the callous chaos and corrupt culture of this administration, all the way down,” Ms Pressley said.

Both Ms Omar and Ms Tlaib repeated their calls for Mr Trump to be impeached.

What did the congresswomen say?

Ms Pressley dismissed the president’s efforts “to marginalise us and to silence us”.

She added: “Our squad includes any person committed to building a more equitable and just world.”

All four women insisted that health care, gun violence and, in particular, detentions of migrants on the US border with Mexico should be in focus.

“The eyes of history are watching us,” said Ms Omar said, decrying the “mass deportation raids” and “human rights abuses at the border”.

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionIlhan Omar responds to President Trump’s racially charged tweets in a press conference

Ms Omar says Mr Trump’s “blatantly racist attack” on four women of colour was “the agenda of white nationalists”, adding that the president would like “nothing more than to divide our country”.

Ms Tlaib called it “simply a continuation of his racist, xenophobic playbook”.

“We remain focused on holding him accountable to the laws of this land,” she said.

President Trump doubled down at the White House, verbally attacking these non-white congresswomen, and he tripled down on Twitter later on.

He is using language that is well outside of the usual parameters of presidential discourse.

The fact that he is escalating the issue shows he seems to be enjoying it and, for him, it serves a political purpose. He sees it as revving up the base.

However, he risks alienating the moderate Republicans – some of whom already failed to back him in last year’s mid-term elections.

What is the row about?

On Friday, Ms Ocasio-Cortez, Ms Tlaib and Ms Pressley testified to a House committee about conditions in a migrant detention centre they had visited.

Democrats have widely criticised the Trump administration’s approach to border control, saying they are holding migrants in inhumane conditions.

Mr Trump insists the border is facing a crisis and has defended the actions of his border agents. His administration announced a new rule to take effect on 16 July, which denies asylum to anyone who crosses the southern border without having applied for protection in “at least one third country” on their way to the US.

After their testimony, Mr Trump said conditions at the centre had had “great reviews”. He then posted his series of tweets about the women and Ms Omar, attacks he redoubled on Monday.

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionPresident Trump defends racially charged tweets

“If you are not happy, if you are complaining all the time, you can leave,” he told a heated news conference outside the White House.

As the women spoke to reporters on Monday evening, he tweeted again.

“If you are not happy here, you can leave! It is your choice, and your choice alone. This is about love for America,” he wrote.

How have Democrats and Republicans responded?

Democrats have roundly condemned the president, and many were quick to say it was a racist attack.

However, top Republicans have been less outspoken. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he would answer questions Tuesday.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said: “I don’t find them racist, the president just went on and clarified his comments.” He then changed the subject.

Some, including Senator Lindsey Graham, turned the topic back on to the politics of the four women, who are seen to be progressive. He told Fox News they are communists and anti-America.

US Senator and former presidential candidate Mitt Romney called Mr Trump’s remarks “destructive, demeaning, and disunifying”. But when a reporter asked him if they were racist, he walked away.

Lower-ranking members of the Republican Party were, however, more direct.

Tim Scott, the only African-American Republican in the Senate, called the president’s words “racially offensive”. Republican Congressman Will Hurd, who is also African American, described the comments as “racist and xenophobic”.

Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has, meanwhile, announced a resolution in the House to condemn the attack. She has urged Republicans to back it.

Her colleague Chuck Schumer said he would introduce a similar motion in the Senate. “We’ll see how many Republicans sign on,” he tweeted.

How have world leaders reacted?

The leaders of several US allies have come out against the president.

New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she “completely and utterly” disagreed with Mr Trump, while Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau similarly denounced the comments.

“That is not how we do things in Canada. A Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian,” he said at a press conference.

Both candidates for the British premiership condemned the attacks. Jeremy Hunt said he was “utterly appalled” by Mr Trump’s tweets, and Boris Johnson said “you simply cannot use that kind of language about sending people back to where they came from”.

Prime Minister Theresa May had earlier said the remarks were “completely unacceptable”.

Conference celebrates African American Catholics gifts to liturgy, ministry Catholic Philly

Liturgical dancers participate in the July 6, 2019, closing Mass for the Archbishop Lyke Conference, which celebrates the gifts that African American Catholics bring to liturgies and ministries. The annual gathering, named for the late Atlanta Archbishop James Lyke, was held July 2-6 in National Harbor, Md. (CNS photo/Andrew Rozario, Catholic Standard)

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. (CNS) — Just before the July 6 closing Mass for the Archbishop Lyke Conference that seeks to enrich liturgies and ministries and promote evangelization at parishes serving Black Catholics, Andrew Lyke reflected on the legacy of his late uncle for whom the conference was named.

Archbishop James P. Lyke, who was a Franciscan, served as a parish priest in Memphis, Tennessee, as an auxiliary bishop in Cleveland and as the archbishop of Atlanta before he died of cancer in 1992.

Eight years earlier, he had coordinated the writing of “What We Have Seen and Heard,” a pastoral letter of the nation’s black bishops, and he also coordinated the African American Catholic hymnal “Lead Me, Guide Me,” published in 1987.

“He was one that loved the liturgy,” Andrew Lyke said in an interview with the Catholic Standard newspaper of the Archdiocese of Washington. “He believed very strongly that when we bring the drama of the Roman liturgy with the passion of black spirituality, it’s just a powerful experience.”

The Archbishop Lyke Conference began in 2004. This year’s conference was held July 2-6 near Washington, in National Harbor and took place in conjunction with the Father Clarence Rivers Music Institute. Father Rivers, a Catholic priest who died in 2004, was a noted composer of liturgical music whose work combined Catholic worship with traditional African American music.

The gathering’s theme was “Every Knee Shall Bend: Reconciliation, Black and Catholic.” Workshops tied that theme into a variety of topics, including Black spirituality and Negro spirituals. Some programs were offered for young adults, music ministers and liturgical dancers.

One of the workshops was titled “Black and Catholic: Our Gift of Blackness to the Whole Church,” and another examined the U.S. bishops’ 2018 pastoral letter against racism, “Open Wide Our Hearts: The Enduring Call to Love.”

Other sessions looked at “Praying Quietly in a LOUD world!” and the sacrament of reconciliation. Workshops also dealt with specific ministries like proclaiming God’s word at Mass.

Andrew Lyke and his wife, Terri, who are members of Sacred Heart Parish in Joliet, Illinois, and are leaders in marriage preparation, education and enrichment, led a session on “Reconciliation at Home: Sacramental Echoes in the Domestic Church.”

“We’re training ministers of liturgy. We’re coming together. We celebrate our roles, and we’re sent off to do our job, just to make worship significant and meaningful and to help communities thrive,” said Richard Cheri, executive director of the Lyke Foundation that supports the operations of the conference.

Cheri, who serves as the director of music and worship at Our Lady Star of the Sea Parish in New Orleans, noted this “is the only conference intentionally focused on ministry to African Americans (in the Catholic Church).”

Challenges that the Catholic Church faces in the black community include “losing people to megachurches … and keeping our youth present, involved and active in the church,” Cheri said.

The Archbishop Lyke Conference drew about 370 people from 32 dioceses, including 110 people who sang in the conference choir. Participants included music ministers, lectors, hospitality ministers and Eucharistic ministers at parishes serving black Catholics.

“Everyone has a chance to share their gift,” said Cheri, who added that people leave the conference “with a sense of what is possible in their ministries.”

At a July 4 morning prayer session at the conference, Father David Jones, pastor of St. Benedict the African Parish in Chicago, said that in a world that struggles for forgiveness, God calls people to reconcile with each other.

“This is a God who is trying to bring us back together again,” said Father Jones. “We need to remember, the work of reconciliation is God’s work.”

Speaking of the sacrament of reconciliation, the priest said God “desires to rid us of our sin … so we can be free to do what God needs done.”

That morning, Ansel Augustine, formerly the director of the Office of Black Catholic Ministries for the Archdiocese of New Orleans, led a workshop on “Finding Jesus in the Midst of Your Paperwork: Reconciling Busyness with Ministry.”

“We need to keep Jesus in the midst of everything we do,” he said.

Augustine said that growing up in New Orleans, he was inspired by the outreach of his parish priest and a Sister of the Holy Family and eventually followed their example and worked with youth in his neighborhood.

“For me, one of the hardest things in youth ministry is having to bury our young people or visit them in jail. You think you’re a failure,” he said, and recalled consoling words spoken to him by his priest mentor who said, “It’s not about you. It’s about what God does through you.”

At his workshop, a woman who does foster care ministry in Denver said, “I feel like God is working through me.” A woman who works in cultural ministry in Pennsylvania said the goal of her work is to be a bridge among cultures and her diocese, and to get the people whom she serves “closer to Jesus.” And a woman who works in campus ministry in South Carolina added, “My outcome is for them to have faith in God and faith in themselves.”

On July 5, conference participants visited the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, where some of the exhibits highly the central role of faith in the lives of African Americans throughout the nation’s history, including in the struggle for civil rights.

The gathering’s closing Mass July 6 began with a joyous hymn, “This is the Day the Lord has Made,” sung by the conference choir. They clapped and sang as about a dozen liturgical dancers preceded the opening procession.

Welcoming the conference participants, Washington Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory, the main celebrant, said, “No matter where we come from, we belong to the Lord.”

The concelebrants at the Mass included New Orleans Auxiliary Bishop Fernand J. Cheri.

In his homily, Dominican Father Jeffery Ott, who is pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Atlanta, said: “We are called to celebrate Christ’s presence with us, in this moment. … That means we are called to be a freed people in Christ, liberated by the saving grace of the Gospel.”

Concluding his homily, the priest said, “As we leave this conference, we are commissioned to go in Christ’s name, to be Christ’s light, to be reconcilers in our work and ministry, to lift up the name of Christ in all we say and do.”

The 2020 Archbishop Lyke Conference will be held June 16-20 at Xavier University in New Orleans.

***

Zimmermann is editor of the Catholic Standard, newspaper of the Archdiocese of Washington.

4 Fun Things To Do This Weekend: Festivals Galore

Breast Cancer is the Most Imperative Health Issue Facing African American Women

By Ricki Fairley, Vice President, Sisters Network, Inc.

Though Black women get breast cancer at a slightly lower incidence rate than white women, Black women are 42% more like to DIE of breast cancer than white women. That is an astounding number and indicative of a variety of factors, many reflecting racial disparities.

Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among black women, and an estimated 33,840 new cases are expected to be diagnosed in 2019. An estimated 6,540 deaths from breast cancer are expected to occur among black women in 2019.

Black women need to demand the attention and care of health care professionals.

Women do not need to DIE from breast cancer. It can’t be prevented but early stage breast cancer (meaning it has been localized within the breast) has a 99% 5 year survival rate. Note the inequity here: the overall 5-year relative survival rate for breast cancer diagnosed is 81% for black women versus 91% for white women. And, 54% of breast cancers in black women are diagnosed at a local stage, compared to 64% in white women.

To add more fuel to the fire, Black women under age 35 get breast cancer at two times the rate of white women and DIE from breast cancer three times as often as white women.

So, what’s the problem? Why are Black women dying unnecessarily?

Higher death rates among Black women reflect the following:

  1. Black women are not taking action. While 92% of black women agree breast health is important, only 25% have recently discussed breast health with their family, friends, or colleagues. And, only 17% have taken steps to understand their risk for breast cancer.
  2. Black women lack information about the severity of breast cancer, breast cancer symptoms and the need for screening.
  3. Black women take care of others at the expense of their own health.
  4. Black Women are often at a more advanced stage upon detection.
  5. Black women may not have access to health care or health insurance so may have lower frequency of and longer intervals between mammograms.
  6. Because they may not have health insurance, Black women may not follow up on abnormal mammogram results because they can’t afford the diagnostic testing.
  7. Black women often don’t have access to the same prompt high quality treatment that white women have. They express that they are often feel disrespected by physicians and staff
  8. Black women face logistical barriers to accessing care (such as transportation issues or not being able to miss work or arrange for child care).
  9. Black women fear a cancer diagnosis.
  • Black women have the highest odds (2 times more likely) of getting Triple Negative Breast Cancer, a kind of breast cancer that often is aggressive and comes back after treatment. It has the highest mortality rate and is the only breast cancer sub-type that does not have a therapy to prevent recurrence. Note that younger women and women diagnosed at later stages are more likely to get Triple Negative Breast Cancer.

We MUST STOP THE SILENCE!

Early detection saves lives. Black women of all ages need to check their breasts monthly. We need to know what our “normal” feels like so if there is some abnormality, immediate action can be taken.

Black women need to understand the severity of this health crisis. We need to be talking about our health, our family histories, and educating all of the women in our lives.

The ongoing conversations in this country around access to affordable health insurance must include acknowledgement and action regarding the inequities for Black women.

Ricki Fairley, Vice President, Sisters Network, Inc.

Black women need to demand the attention and care of health care professionals.

We at Sisters Network, Inc., a sisterhood of survivors and thrivers, will continue to fight like girls and be the voice of Black women. We are committed to increasing local and national attention to the devasting impact that breast cancer has in the African American community. We are working diligently to reduce the mortality rate of breast cancer among Black women by generating awareness, garnering attention, providing access to information and resources, and supporting research efforts in the ecosystem.

ABOUT SISTERS NETWORK® INC.

Sisters Network®Inc. founded in 1994 by Karen Eubanks Jackson, 25-year and three-time Breast Cancer Survivor. SNI is the only national African American breast cancer survivorship organization in the United States and a leading voice in the fight against breast cancer in the African American community. Sisters Network is governed by an elected Board of Directors. Membership includes over 20 survivor- run affiliate chapters nationwide. To learn more about Sisters Network Inc., please visit www.sistersnetworkinc.org or call 1-866-781-1808.

Republicans Baffled Why Trump Keeps Saying Racist Things

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

In 2015, Lindsey Graham called Donald Trump “a race-baiting, xenophobic religious bigot.” In the intervening years, Trump has done nothing to refute this characterization, yet Graham has refashioned himself as Trump’s favorite senatorial pet. In the wake of Trump’s latest racist tirade, Graham appeared on Fox & Friends to deliver a supportive pep talk to the president. “We all know that AOC and this crowd are a bunch of communists,” he ranted, in a performance so obsequious that a delighted Trump tweeted out quotations of it in four parts.

The most revealing line in Graham’s commentary, surrounded by repeated smears of Trump’s targets, was his brief exhortation of the president to slightly alter his rhetoric. “Aim higher! We don’t need to know anything about them personally, talk about their policies,” he urged, like a dad motivating his son to go out there and be the best darn racist demagogue he can be.

Why reparations to African-Americans are necessary — and how to start now

In a 2016 poll, 58 per cent of African-Americans said they believed that the United States should pay financial reparations to African-Americans who are descendants of slaves. Only 15 per cent of whites agreed.

I am a white woman and I support reparations to African-Americans. I have published academic articles on the issue, including: “Official Apologies.” I am the author of Reparations to Africa and a co-editor of The Age of Apology.

In 2005, the United Nations issued a short document which outlined the basic guidelines on the right to a remedy and reparation for victims of gross violations of human rights law. Financial compensation is one aspect of reparations mentioned in this document, but it is not the only one. Apology is important. So is commemoration and tributes to victims, and an accurate account of the violations.

Five years ago, author and journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote a harrowing account of injustices to African-Americans in an article for The Atlantic. These injustices occurred during the period of enslavement, but also the Jim Crow era, the Civil Rights era and down to the present.

In his article, Coates called upon all Americans to acknowledge their “shameful history” including injustices of enslavement, terrorism, plunder and piracy committed against African-Americans. He wants all the facts to be accurately reported.

Accurate acknowledgement would be a first step in reparations.

Apology is a second step.

Apologies

So many governments, institutions and private businesses in the United States are implicated in slavery and post-1865 injustices that it would be impossible for them all to apologize at once. But a good start would be an apology for slavery by the president of the United States, joined by the governors of every state that ever permitted enslavement.

The text of the apology would have to be carefully negotiated with African-American community leaders.

The apology would also have to be carefully surrounded by ritual, so that its sincerity and seriousness would be apparent.

This could be followed by literally thousands of apologies by lower-level municipal governments, religious institutions and businesses. Every single institution would have to investigate its history and acknowledge and apologize for every single act of enslavement and discrimination against African-Americans.

Memorials

The next step would be to memorialize all these injustices. It is not enough to tear down monuments to leaders of the Confederate army. Memorials should be put up at public expense to African-Americans who fought against enslavement and later injustices.

Memorials should also be erected at sites of plantations, sites of protest and sites of known murders of African-Americans, from those who were lynched in decades past to those unjustly killed by police. These memorials are a way to assert that Black lives matter.

Financial reparations

Finally, there is the question of financial reparations and whether descendants of enslaved people should receive them. How, if at all, can all the descendants of enslaved African Americans be identified? Even if they can be identified, should they receive individual financial reparations?

Perhaps yes, to compensate for the huge gap in (mostly inherited) wealth between white and Black Americans. Perhaps African-Americans should be given a financial “boost” to help them on the road to moderate, middle-class security. But many white and other Americans might view this as unfair to other people who don’t enjoy such prosperity.

Alternately, perhaps the federal and state governments should pay group reparations to African Americans. Whites might be more willing to accept collective reparations of this kind.

One possibility is to invest in education, from shoring up predominantly African-American elementary schools to special university scholarships. One might argue that affirmative action programs have already accomplished this, but they have been weakened over the decades and, in any case, only apply at the university level.

Another option is housing investment in predominantly African-American residential areas, especially where public housing projects are located. For decades, African-Americans have been subjected to low-quality public housing and mortgage discrimination.

Yet another option is investment in African-Americans’ health care, although one could argue that the whole country deserves this kind of investment. Nevertheless, if African-Americans suffer from some health problems at higher rates than white Americans, then reparations could include enhanced health care.

Read more: Racism impacts your health

Many white and other Americans may oppose reparations to African-Americans on the grounds that neither they nor their ancestors had anything to do with the many ways African-Americans were and are oppressed.

But as citizens – whether of the U.S. or, in my case, Canada – we have a responsibility to make amends to fellow citizens who have been harmed by the past or present policies of our governments. Acknowledgement is a first step forward. Apologies, memorials and financial reparations continue the process.

Reparations are a way of making the country whole, by partially remedying the inherited inequalities that still plague African-Americans. They are a way of saying that African-Americans are, at long last, equal citizens of the United States of America and therefore deserving of its privileges and protections.

Author: Rhoda E. Howard-Hassmann – Professor Emeritus, Department of Political Science, Wilfrid Laurier University The Conversation