We condemn capitalism!

WE applaud the powerful ILWU for defending residents of west Oakland and protesting the removal of hazardous waste through east bay communities, while the Grand Princess cruise ship was docked at our Port of Oakland. – Photo: Baba Jahahara

A corrupt, viral and deadly economic and political system

by Baba Jahahara Amen-RA Alkebulan-Ma’at

6260 AAAK/ April 2020 JC-PG

Africans Deserve Reparations! Cause, Black Lives Truly Matter!

Greetings of IMANI (FAITH) Esteemed G-o-ds, Elders, Sister and Brother Leaders,

May our Divine Mother-Father Creator of and in All – and beloved Ancients and Ancestors from yesteryears and, literally, yesterday – find you and (y)our extended Family healthy during this unprecedented period in our story of humanity. WE hope you and your relatives are also safe and taking care of each other by following the wise instructions of our wise grassroots practitioners, trained and trusted medical professionals, and dedicated scientists as we face the currently unknown. 

Our prayers go out to so many, at this moment, who have had loved ones become ill or worse, die. In particular, i am sending all the sacred energy i can muster towards the healing of our great Reparationists Baba Charles Barron (currently a State Assembly Member from New York) and his beloved wife Mama Inez Barron (who is a member of the New York City Council). They have both tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus. Asé.

Usually, i begin this part of my regular columns by honoring the precious lives and significant contributions of some of our most recent Ancestors. i certainly plan to continue this practice going forward. 

Asante Sana to the dedicated nurses, techs, housekeeper, doctors, food service and support staff at our hospitals and clinics for their extra-special care for me and all patients. And for leading the fight for UNIVERSAL, GOVERNMENT-PAID, HEALTHCARE FOR ALL! Asante Sana to the dedicated nurses, techs, housekeeper, doctors, food service and support staff at our hospitals and clinics for their extra-special care for me and all patients. And for leading the fight for UNIVERSAL, GOVERNMENT-PAID, HEALTHCARE FOR ALL! 

However, if i may, let me first offer some well-deserved praise to the incredible nurses, techs and doctors who cared for me during my recent medical situation. After a brief stay in the hospital, my first since the mid-1970s, i feel extremely Blessed to be out and moving about. 

This includes having received a NEGATIVE COVID-19 coronavirus test result for some lingering symptoms. i also got a close-up view of the many challenges currently facing our health care workers (who i’ve had the honor to help represent and advocate for here in the Bay Area, Chicago and New York in past decades). Asante Sana (Many Thanks) to all our committed providers … for your sacrifices, patience, sound advice, treatment, advocacy for patients and critical roles in our movements to create quality healthcare for all; as well as my closest relatives, friends, comrades and colleagues for your mighty and healing prayers for my well-being. Asé.

WE now pay our deepest respect and gratitude for some of our Beloveds who have recently transformed to Spirit. This includes, Elder RAPHAEL CANCEL MIRANDA, our revolutionary Puerto Rican human rights leader, independentista and former political prisoner (along with brave Ancestors LOLITA LEBRON, IRVIN FLORES RODRIGUEZ and ANDRES FIGUEROA CORDERO); Rev. JOSEPH LOWERY, one of our brave human rights leaders and a close colleague of Rev. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR., Rev. RALPH ABERNATHY, Rev. WYATT TEE WALKER and others who founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC); the great composer, jazz musician and pianist-extraordinaire MCCOY TYNER; Dr. LLAILA OLELA AFRIKA, our brilliant and innovative holistic educator; and JARVIS HASKIN, a long-time member of the International Longshore and Warehouse Workers Union (ILWU) who fell to his death while working to unload a container ship at our Port of Oakland. Asé. Asé. Asé-O.

Finally, WE honor the creative force known as Baba N’DOKE “MANU” DIBANGO, another great composer and musician from Alkebulan/Africa, specifically Cameroons. His most popular composition is the riveting, make-yo-body-shake “Soul Makoosa” (which has been sampled by numerous artists from MICHAEL JACKSON to Rihanna). Amazingly, recent tests have just informed me and my siblings that our paternal roots are of the Ewondo nation in Cameroons; while our maternal ancestry is Yoruba (present day Nigeria). Asé.

WE are grateful for the life, work and many contributions of these new and All of our incredible Ancestors. Long Live Their Spirits and Incredible Contributions! Asé. Asé. Asé-O!

Blessed 66th Birthday Baba Mumia Abu-Jamal! Free Them All!

WE continue to condemn the usa federal and state governments for their decades-long wrongful imprisonment of dozens of our most dedicated Freedom Fighters, particularly members of the Black Panther Party, Republic of New Afrika, American Indian Movement and anti-imperialist struggles. 

This includes our brilliant comrade and activist-journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal. While Baba Mumia was finally moved off the “official” death row in 2012 – as the result of our international people’s organizing and superb legal counsel – he continues to suffer horribly at the sickening hands of Pennsylvania authorities. 

As he commemorates his beloved Queen Mother EDITH COOK on his forthcoming 66th Sacred Solar Return on the 24th of April, let us step up our efforts to win his release. Please send him, and many others, a well-deserved card, letter or donation to their accounts; and stay abreast of current actions, by supporting our Jericho Amnesty Movement at https://www.thejerichomovement.com/home

In addition, WE applaud Brother Chesa Boudin – the Sun of anti-imperialist activists and current political prisoner Elder David Gilbert – and newly-elected District Attorney of San Francisco, for having the courage to release a good number of those incarcerated in that county. He has also set in place policies that call on the police to stop their miserable history of arrests based on racial profiling. And, quite significantly, Boudin is now implementing Restorative Justice measures to address several recent cases in the community. 

Let’s continue to expand these progressive processes to end mass incarceration. It is also critical for us to collectively demand officials, like Governors Newsom of California, Cuomo of New York, Pritzker of Illinois and all the others to carry out similar acts of justice and compassion. And, to immediately end the criminal abuse of our imprisoned relatives’ labor by forcing them to produce products for pennies in “wages.” No doubt, that’s slavery-no-chaser. Asé.

WE CONDEMN CAPITALISM!

Respectfully, i have a few questions for our readers. So, grab some paper and a pen. Sorry, i forgot. As our youthful organizers constantly remind me, i’m the only one who still uses those “stone-age” forms of communication. Please pick-up your i-pads, computers and fancy cellies. Are you ready? Here WE go. 

Question #1. What has proven more devastating than the asteroid(s) that, allegedly, wiped out the dinosaurs? OK?

Question #2. Can you name something more destructive than the ever intensifying corporate-induced hurricanes, tornadoes, typhoons, wildfires and earthquakes that happen each year around our planet? Got it? All right, here’s your final,

Question, #3. Tell me the one thing more deadly than this current COVID-19 coronavirus that is sickening and killing off millions of people worldwide, thus far?

If you answered CAPITALISM for all three questions, you are absolutely correct. You see, widespread illnesses, regional epidemics, even global pandemics have occurred in the past and will probably happen in the future. Likewise, natural disasters are inevitable. 

gimc is a system that has its origins in the European genocidal wars of enslavement and robbery of our African and Indigenous nations, which has continued for nearly five plus centuries.

However, it is the global imperialist monopoly capitalist (gimc) system – based on the super-exploitation of humanity’s working class majority as well as the squeezing of nature’s resources for the most profit$, which benefit the tiniest and wealthiest classes – that exacerbates and makes every problem worse. And, magnifies each disaster. 

Headquartered on Wall Street and in London, Brussels, Moscow, Tokyo etc., gimc gives rise to and accelerates these murderous catastrophes. Why, you ask? Simply put, because its main motives are not the needs and well-being of the people. 

Quality healthcare, nutritional food, safe and affordable housing, clean water, education, public transportation and anything that benefits and uplifts the majority of people is not a priority. On the contrary, the goal of gimc is achieving HIGHER RATES OF PROFIT! AND STOCK OPTIONS FOR THE RICH BENEFICIARIES! AT ALL COSTS (pun-intended). And to destroy whatever and whoever gets in its way. To the detriment of WE masses.

gimc is a system that has its origins in the European genocidal wars of enslavement and robbery of our African and Indigenous nations, which has continued for nearly five plus centuries. gimc’s quest for super-profits has led us to a planet constantly at war: Over fossil fuels, like oil, in Iraq, Amazonas and Afghanistan. 

Certainly, over valuable natural resources, as in Congo. Wars over cheap labor, as in Asia. Over control over lucrative markets to sell commodities. 

And foremost, unjust sanctions and wars carried out by the bloated gimc military forces to put down righteous movements for independence, self-determination, true democracy, land reform, workers’ power and strides toward a more humane socialistic order … from Africa to Cuba to Ayiti (Haiti) to Zimbabwe to Iran to Venezuela to Palestine. 

It is this gimc system that over hundreds of years has shown the people the world over – especially the formerly colonized in Africa, Asia, the Pacific, the Caribbean and so-called central and south Americas – that they are expendable. 

So, please OVERstand. This worldwide pandemic, looming economic depression and expected fascistic repression in response to the assured resistance of the people most affected and denied relief … are not simply about the policies and/or complete ignorance of one administration, like that of gimc’s current Agent #45, or one political party. 

This is a systematic failure of gimc. And there, unfortunately, will be many more. Unless, WE collectively develop our agendas and take the power! Asé.

Neena Joiner, owner of the FEELMORE sex shop in downtown Oakland (at 1703 Telegraph), now has opened a second store in downtown Berkeley at 2270 Shattuck Ave. They are open for basic essential items, like condoms and gloves. www.feelmore.com. Cause, after all, life will go on. Asé. – Photo: Baba Jahahara

In the meantime, please stay safe, help each other and continue to get organized wherever you are … ByAnyMeans Necessary! WE hope, if it is in Divine Order, that WE can continue this analysis and dialogue next month, on May First: International Workers’ Day and later around our African Liberation Day. Asé.

Destination REPARATIONS!

As WE expressed in our last few columns, our H.R. 40, “The Commission to Study and Develop Reparations Proposals for African Americans Act,” is at a critical moment. First introduced by Congressman and new Ancestor JOHN CONYERS JR., the bill was introduced most recently by Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee of Houston in January 2019. 

With appreciation to our National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America (N’COBRA), and many of you and your networks, WE now have more endorsers in the U.S. House of Representatives than ever before. But WE need an additional 25 to reach our goal of 150 to force full hearings beginning this June(teenth). So, WE are calling on all Africans, as well as our true friends and allies, in San Francisco and the south bay to immediately call up Speaker Nancy Pelosi (at 415-556-4862 and 202-225-4965); as well as Rep. Zoe Lofgren (at 408-271-8700 and 202-225-3072), one of the designated Trump Impeachment Managers, representing parts of the south bay including San Jose. Tell them to endorse H.R. 40 right now!

In addition, WE continue to encourage every registered voter in California to immediately call up Sen. Diane Feinstein who – as the ranking Democratic Party member on the Senate Judiciary Committee with a net worth of close to $80 million – has not yet apologized for disrespecting African people and not endorsed the S.1083 Reparations legislation in the U.S. Senate. Please call Sen. Feinstein’s offices at 415-393-0707 in San Francisco, or 202-224-3841 in Washington? 

Also, i ask again, very respectfully: If two white dudes in Vermont, by the name of Ben and Jerry, can endorse and advocate for our Reparations H.R. 40/S. 1083 legislation and hearings, shouldn’t that be the least that WE can do as organizations and individuals? And, shouldn’t WE demand the same of every elected official and candidate as they flood our mailboxes and airwaves over the coming months towards the November 2020 election?

As always, WE invite your membership and leadership in helping expand our National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America (N’COBRA). Go to www.ncobraonline.org or reach us locally at support@africansdeservereparations.com. With our collective actions and contributions, WE will soon reach our Goal and Destination of REPARATIONS RIGHT NOW! Asé.

Please Support Our Bay View

During these unparalleled times, WE again appeal for your desperately-needed contribution to maintain our San Francisco Bay View newspaper. Please consider placing an ad, or taking out a subscription for yourself or an incarcerated family member. 

As expressed many times before, WE are struggling mightily to keep this voice of liberation in print and distributed FOR FREE throughout the Bay Area and around the united capitalist prison terrorist states of america (including to numerous penitentiaries where our Bay View is not currently banned due to our radical political stances and giving a voice to the voiceless). 

Please, please make a tax-deductible donation ASAP by calling us at 415-671-0789. Or, go to our website at www.sfbayview.com. You can also send contributions of any amount the old-fashioned way by mailing a check or money order to 4917 Third St., San Francisco, CA 94124. Asante Sana (Many Thanks)! Asé.

#BlackLivesMatter #AfricansDeserveReparations #BringOurEldersHomeNow #AbolishPrisons #LoveandDefendMotherEarth

Jahahara Amen-RA Alkebulan-Ma’at is a Baba (Father), Pan Africanist, socialist, internationalist, “FREE-tired” community-labor-environmental and justice organizer, writer, musician and author of several books, including “Many Paths to Kujichagulia (Self-Determination).” He is also a Life Member, former National Co-Chair and recently-assigned Acting Western Regional Representative of the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America (N’COBRA). Take a listen to a few songs from his musical catalog at https://soundcloud.com/search?q=jahahara. Invite Baba Jahahara to present at your group, school, church or event c/o support@africansdeservereparations.com or FONAMI, P.O. Box 10963, Oakland, CA 94610.

Wanda’s Picks for April 2020

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stops to talk with a little girl at LA’s Nickerson Gardens public housing in Watts in 1964. The Watts Rebellion broke out in 1965. And Dr. King was assassinated on April 4, 1968.

by Wanda Sabir

We remember McCoy Tyner, pianist and wonderful soul, Bill Withers and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. We also remember Madam CJ Walker – don’t miss the Netflix Seriess

Maafa – Covid-19

I say Maafa – Covid-19 because if we aren’t careful we are going to allow this virus to take too many of our people either physically, emotionally or psychologically. Our elders are being denied visits with family as they are confined to their rooms. The sick are also isolated – no visitors. In hospice families are not allowed access to their loved ones as in the past – one can’t spend the night or visit whenever one likes. Sister Sadie Williams’s son Dan died in late March and she hadn’t been able to visit him because of Covid-19. His children did, but not his mom.

Covid-19 meets CDRC: ‘We are HUMAN,’ plead women prisoners

California Coalition for Women Prisoners is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year and many of the women I met when I was going in visiting are free now – some released in time to die. However, there are many women who are still inside. Convicted as children, these women are not eligible for the legislation over the past decade that guaranteed juvenile offenders parole dates. Supposedly, there are no juveniles serving life sentences, yet that is not true. Women who are in their 30s now were convicted as children, some as young as 14 or 15.

Life without Possibility of Parole or LWOP means even if you are dying, you will not get out. At Central California Women’s Facility in the Central Valley, Chowchilla, where the water is polluted and no one who can afford to buy their water drinks it, the air is not much better. A nurse came down with the virus and all the other staff who came in contact with her were self-quarantined along with one prisoner. Yet, how do incarcerated people quarantine in a crowded facility?

Friday, March 27, a day Californians and New Yorkers petitioned legislators to release people locked behind bars, Gov. Newsom signed to parole 27 prisoners. These parole requests were from January-December 2019, quite a few persons incarcerated as youth for 30-40 years. Most were men, none released for humanitarian reasons like those prisoners who are dying with not much time to live.

Patricia Wright in better days

Patricia Wright was not one of the persons released last week. After being recommended for release during the last administration under Gov. Brown, Ms. Wright, who has had fourth stage cancer since she was in Northern California at Central California Women’s Facility (CCWF), now at the California Institute for Women (CIW) for a number of years, the cancer is now in her liver. She has had a double mastectomy and brain surgery for tumors. I remember visiting her at CCWF and how she’d get out of her bed into her wheelchair and meet with the visiting team. Wearing lipstick, a pretty scarf during those visits when her hair had fallen out from chemo, she was always cheerful and optimistic.

We never thought she would still be behind bars.

Her sister has started another petition. Please call the governor’s office and ask him to release Patricia Wright. Prison is no place for a woman as sick as she is especially with a Covid-19 pandemic.

The coronavirus is on everyone’s mind, especially those of us who cannot put six feet between ourselves and the next person, those who do not have masks or gloves and disinfectant to wipe hard surfaces in common areas – I am speaking of those persons in prison and jail. I have been corresponding with several women for many years in California and recently the letters have become more urgent as women are afraid of what the pandemic means to their overall health and safety. The rules change daily as first the women have one hour of exercise a day and free calls to family twice a week to no time out of the cell – medications brought to them and menu changes – dinner was sandwiches Saturday, April 4.

After reading her email, I had to call my friend’s aunt to tell her that she would not be in touch anymore because of the “no phone calls.” I am happy some of the women have tablets so they can write and do their homework. And that for those who do not have tablets, the mailroom is still open. The fear is the guards will stop coming to work and there will be no one to run the prison; the women will just be locked in their cells without food and other supplies like toilet tissue, sanitary napkins, soap. Guards were taking the paper supplies from prison orderlies who supplied the bathrooms and did the cleaning.

Obviously, paper goods stockpiling was not just a “free” world phenomena. However, we are not talking Charmin or Scott towels. When the paper goods started disappearing, women prisoners began to worry about having enough food on hand just in case administrators disappeared and they were on their own, so there was also a dash for canteen products, just in case.

Now with movement limited or stopped, I wonder how prisoners support themselves when they can’t work. Has the state made plans to take care of the needs of all the prisoners given this new situation? Are they going to get a stipend to take care of their needs? No one has addressed this yet. In the “free” world, we have unemployment benefits, which cover self-employment. Something needs to be in place for those people behind bars.

Back to Patricia Wright, who is dying – when one reviews her case, which was trumped up from the beginning, she should never have been locked up in the first place. From Schwarzenegger to Brown to now Newsom, her appeals for clemency have been denied. If she had had OJ Simpson’s money, the Los Angeles County DA, police and corrupt judges would not have had a case. From recanted statements to lost evidence to missing and manufactured documents, Patricia, who is blind, should be home with her family these final days of her life. Convicted 17 years after the event occurred, that she was the target of police department persecution for a conviction is one more nail in the coffin called justice. The Innocence Project has taken her case. Read about her case in the 2007 issue of “Justice Denied” and also in the October 2011 Bay View.

Patricia Wright’s 9-year-old grandson wants so much to bring his grandma home before she dies that he decided to sell his tears to raise money for a lawyer. Patricia says he too has serious health challenges, a heart condition that is expected not to allow him to live longer than about three more years. His dream is to have grandma home, go on the Ellen Degeneres Show, meet Tyler Perry, have dinner with his family at Red Lobster and go to Disneyland.

With vulnerable and elderly prisoners at the top of the list for release, we want the public to send letters to Gov. Newsom and to the Parole Board to have Patricia Wright’s LWOP commuted to Life with … so she can be released, if such hoops still need to be jumped through.

She wrote me tonight and said she wasn’t feeling well. Her sister Chantel told me that the chemotherapy that Patricia (68 now) has to leave the prison to go to a nearby hospital is really painful. It burns inside her veins.

The blind, terminally ill woman with third stage breast and ovarian cancer also has asthma, chronic kidney disease, hypertension, osteoporosis, thyroid gland disease, gastroesophageal reflux disease, degenerative disease of the back, chronic recurrent migraine headaches and chronic venous edema of the lower extremities.

Patricia Wright, inmate number W79941, walks with the assistance of a cane and wheelchair and she is definitely not a threat to society. She is a rehabilitated devout Christian woman, with an excellent behavior record. Patricia has a commutation request, number COM 457-11 pending before Gov. Gavin Newsom. The California Constitution gives Gov. Newsom executive power to commute Patricia Wright’s sentence. Please sign her petition asking Gov. Gavin Newsom to commute Patricia Wright’s sentence to Life with the Possibility of Parole so Patricia can get her wish to go home and serve God with her family. The petition is on Change.org.

I got this letter from another woman prisoner in California Friday, April 3, who, though younger than Patricia, is also very sick:

Patricia Wright’s loving family is eager to bring her home and care for her.

“Dear Wanda,

“I was in the clinic yesterday at 8:00 in the morning, when I saw an ambulance and immediately knew something was really wrong. I saw the inmate porters had masks on and I have one so I put it on. When I went to lab, I saw everyone was putting masks on and [I was] worried but trying to stay calm.

“The nurse who took my blood asked me if I was high risk. She told me she was high risk and that she has been asked why she continues to work. She told me ‘Someone has to do it, right.’ I started crying because [there are] people like her who continue to put their lives on the line to save others. I thanked her from my heart. I started crying, because I felt the fear and concern the world is in. She tried to comfort me with her words and gave me two Purell hand sanitizer wipes saying, ‘Here, take these. You might need them.’

“Just that gesture alone, that simple act of humanity, her own fear trying to be minimized by being kind to me. I realized I was trying to calm my own by crying in front of this stranger who understood my concern being that I’m high risk medical.

“Later staff that have known me told me a nurse came in to 805 who tested positive. That they played cameras back and the other nurses that were around her were told to not come back (to self-quarantine). And that one inmate was quarantined. She was a nurse that’s training and I think on her first day.

“All this made me realize even more so the ugly reality of being in here while this virus has no mercy. I’m so scared for the world, but even more so for myself and everyone who is incarcerated. I can’t give or get the social distance needed. I’m high risk medical heart, kidney, asthma, COPD, with other medical that they are trying to figure out.

“Medical in here is not prepared for something like this. We don’t have the space to social distance, they don’t have the equipment or staff to deal with something of this magnitude. Look at the care we got before this virus.

“We are not getting the proper cleaning supplies. We need the same like what people are using out there: Lysol, bleach, paper towels etc.

“WE ARE HUMAN!!!

“I’m scared. It’s not if the virus is going to come in here; it’s when. The fact is it will. I can’t get on a cellphone and FaceTime my family to be comforted. I wasn’t sentenced to die in prison. The US Supreme Court said no death sentence to a juvenile offender and right now I feel like I’m being sentenced to death under the conditions I’m being made to live in. I won’t qualify for any releases they offer. I’m serving juvenile life without which says my life is not worth releasing.

“I’m so frustrated and scared and really I’m not the only one; just some suffer in silence. Yesterday they went around announcing that everyone with two months or less will be paroled by next week. That is helping none with the overcrowding. We are still at eight to a room that was made for four. I’ll write with more updates and whatever they give us. Stay safe.”

Visit California Coalition for Women Prisoners to learn how you can help the more vulnerable women behind bars get out. Visit womenprisoners.org.

To stay up to date on Covid-19 in prisons and jails globally, visit https://covid19behindbars.com/.

Also read cases from the Civil Litigation Clearinghouse, at https://clearinghouse.net/results.php?searchSpecialCollection=62.

The Marshall Project is tracking articles about Covid-19 across the judicial system.

The Bay View is tracking advocacy initiatives, especially on freeing prisoners and housing the unhoused.

Learn more about teens convicted as adults, at https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/California-once-sent-thousands-of-juveniles-to-14480958.php and https://www.sfchronicle.com/crime/article/They-killed-as-teens-and-went-to-San-Quentin-14483850.php.

Bill Withers

Photo of Bill WITHERS; Posed portrait of Bill Withers (Photo by Gilles Petard/Redferns)

Bill Withers (July 4, 1938-April 4, 2020) is going to be missed. With songs that spoke to what matters in life like his grandmother who’d been born in slavery, optimism, and the fact that if we plan on surviving as a species we’re going to have to learn to “lean on each other.”

His song “Lean on Me” should be America’s new national anthem. Perhaps this is the Covid-19 lesson, how interdependent the biological systems, visible and hidden, are. A germ – matter so tiny yet sturdy, it has brought nations to their collective knees while halting life as we know it.

Free people are on house arrest and those arrested – freed. Those unhoused, sheltered, starving fed, penniless given alms. Sounds biblical, like one of those Hollywood film scenarios popular at this time of year. With Lent, Feb. 26-April 9, overlapping Passover, April 8 – April 16, and Ramadan, April 23-May 23, coming in a close third, perhaps all things happen in their proper season?

Withers sings:

“Sometimes in our lives we all have pain

We all have sorrow

But if we are wise

We know that there’s always tomorrow

“Lean on me, when you’re not strong

And I’ll be your friend

I’ll help you carry on

For it won’t be long

‘Til I’m gonna need

Somebody to lean on

“Please swallow your pride

If I have things you need to borrow

For no one can fill those of your needs

That you won’t let show

“You just call on me, brother, when you need a hand

We all need somebody to lean on

I just might have a problem that you’ll understand

We all need somebody to lean on

“If there is a load you have to bear

That you can’t carry

I’m right up the road

I’ll share your load

“If you just call me (call me)

If you need a friend (call me)”

The old normal was not working, so this new normal is an opportunity to get closer to each other in ways that matter – talking on the phone, using other electronic devices to deepen relationships. To “socialize at a distance” is not the same as “social distancing.” If you notice, Gov. Newsom stopped staying the latter after he was corrected in his second or third press conference.

Change the language, change the impact on behavior. Stay emotionally connected to your kinship group(s). Find creative ways to be together. Just imagine we are living in one of Octavia Butler’s dystopias. Blackness is indestructible, but we have to be smart and safe. Wear the masks when you feel your safety is compromised, that is, six feet is not consistently possible like while shopping, at work.

Shelter in place except for essential tasks like shopping or work or caretaking. African Diaspora people are having trouble getting with the physical distancing; however, it is necessary. Make sure you take mental health breaks from all the technology, especially information. Do not watch the news and read the paper all day long. Also, with Zoom and other cyber realities – control it, not the reverse, it you. Remember to turn off that screen and electrical device– take a break and get some sunshine. Go for a walk or bike ride. Paint, draw, sew, be creative.

Biased medical practice

In Charles M. Blow’s op ed in the April 1, 2020, New York Times, “Pre-existing health conditions leave one group particularly vulnerable,” the author reflects on the persistence of racial inequity in medicine. There was a reason why African ancestors in America built Black hospitals. At the end of segregation, these hospitals might have closed, but the care did not follow when all the great Black doctors went to white institutions where Black patients, no matter how wealthy, received poor care.

Is there any wonder why Black folks still distrust the American medical system? Today, in the midst of a global pandemic Black folks are being refused care, like the Nigerian college student in Kalamazoo who died late March after trying to get a test 3X and was sent home misdiagnosed after he presented with all the symptoms: fever, shortness of breath etc.

My friend’s daughter, seen at a clinic in Oakland, was not tested last week when she had flu-like symptoms. She was first sent home from Kaiser Oakland and then from La Clinica de la Raza to perhaps infect her parents and children and husband. Why are providers so stingy with the test? Her mother had to drive the next day from Vallejo to Hayward for a test. There are too many people in their home to just sit and wait. Why aren’t Black people offered tests? Why can’t all people take the test if that will make them feel safer and more comfortable?

I heard from my therapist that the government is now going to started making home tests available. The question is to whom? I also heard Gov. Newsom say that Stanford now has a Covid-19 blood test. He also owned the state’s slow and inadequate response, from protective gear for providers to the test and analysis of results.

Since when is the US government endowed with the right to limit health care access to a free people? Even slaves or imprisoned persons have the right to wellness and should have access to all the care options free people have.

If I have healthcare coverage and even if I do not, I have a right to treatment, and I have a say over what happens to my body. It is my body. In a Town Hall Tele Meeting with Barbara Lee on April 2, she said that currently a report giving the racial demographics is being developed. In this article, the writer talks about treatment in NOLA and other Southern cities and states where Black people are not responding well to treatment and dying. Many of the men he mentions are young and have other medical conditions like diabetes and/or HIV or hypertension. With predictions about how many people will die and prescriptions that tell people to “socially distance” and “isolate” rather than “physically distance” or “socialize at a distance,” we are seeing fear generated as we settle into this new norm.

All of a sudden, when we call a person nowadays, they actually pick up and want to talk. We need to cherish this moment and never return to a time when we were too busy chasing waterfalls to show that we care. Love is all that matters … on the eve of the anniversary of the killing of Dr. King, April 4, 1968.

‘Still Bill’ film and interview with co-director

“Still Bill” (2007) directed by Damani Baker and Alex Vlast, is available on YouTube. I interviewed Damani 10 years ago when the film screened at the Oakland International Film Festival and then had a theatrical release in San Francisco. I hosted a special tribute for Bill Withers and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Saturday, April 4.

Visit https://wandasabir.blogspot.com/2020/04/wandas-picks-radio-show-tribute-to-dr.html

National Poetry Month on Wanda’s Picks Radio Show

On Friday, April 3, I hosted a two-hour National Poetry Month kick off with 20 poets, among them three poet laureates. We also remember the legacy of Rev. Dr. King with poetry and music. Visit https://wandasabir.blogspot.com/2020/04/wandas-picks-radio-show-tribute-to-dr.html. Each Friday in April, at 9:30 a.m. PT, we will feature poets and their poetry.

Melanin Magic Series on Wanda’s Picks Radio Show

Also on Wanda’s Picks Radio Show, I am curating shows that speak to survival strategies for people of African Descent. I call the programs Melanin Magic Sessions. We have had four thus far and continue Wednesday, April 8.

There is a series of Virtual African American Townhall Series which looks at the impact of Covid-19 on the psyche, the pocket book, education and legal rights. Panelists or facilitators address these areas with an opportunity for a conversation with the audience at the end. It is practical and we leave with tools and there is an opportunity for follow-up. These folks do not talk at us; they are working with us so we can have a healthy response to this phenomenon, Covid-19. I have Wanda Whitaker on Wanda’s Picks Radio show April 1 to talk about the series. Visit https://www.blogtalkradio.com/wandas-picks/2020/04/01/wandas-picks-radio-show.

The Virtual African American Townhall Series continues each Thursday in April, on April 9, 16 and 23, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. PT. It’s free on Zoom, but you have to register. My suggestion is to register for all of them at once. The limit is 100 and if you want to catch it live, register in advance. I found the information useful and practical and the presenters really engaging. Go to Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/covid-19-crisis-a-virtual-african-american-town-hall-series-tickets-101345123994.

Bay View Arts Editor Wanda Sabir can be reached at wanda@wandaspicks.com. Visit her website at www.wandaspicks.com throughout the month for updates to Wanda’s Picks, her blog, photos and Wanda’s Picks Radio. Her shows are streamed live Wednesdays and Fridays at 8 a.m., can be heard by phone at 347-237-4610 and are archived at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/wandas-picks.

UN Secretary-General: Domestic violence on rise

The Latest on the coronavirus pandemic. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death.

TOP OF THE HOUR:

— UN Secretary-General says domestic violence reports on rise during pandemic

— China reports 38 new coronavirus cases, all but one imported

— British Prime Minister Johnson admitted to a hospital with the coronavirus.

— Bronx Zoo tiger tests positive for the coronavirus.

— Louisiana health officials: 68 coronavirus-related deaths

— France: 357 deaths in hospitals from the virus in a single day but signs that spread is slowing.

— Fauci: Very good chance coronavirus “will assume a seasonal nature.”

— Palm Sunday services in some Kentucky churches in defiance of Gov. Andy Beshear’s warning against in-person worship.

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UNITED NATIONS — United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says there has been “a horrifying global surge in domestic violence” in recent weeks as fear of the coronavirus pandemic has grown along with its social and economic consequences.

The U.N. chief, who appealed on March 23 for an immediate cease-fire in conflicts around the world to tackle COVID-19, said in a statement Sunday night it is now time to appeal for an end to all violence, “everywhere, now.”

Guterres said that “for many women and girls, the threat looms largest where they should be safest — in their own homes.”

“And, so, I make a new appeal today for peace at home — and in homes — around the world,” he said.

The secretary-general said in some countries, which he didn’t name, “the number of women calling support services has doubled.”

At the same time, he said, health care providers and police are overwhelmed and understaffed, local support groups are paralyzed or short of funds, and some domestic violence shelters are closed while others are full.

“I urge all governments to make the prevention and redress of violence against women a key part of their national response plans for COVID-19,” Guterres said.

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BEIJING — China on Monday reported 39 new cases of coronavirus infection — 38 of them imported — one additional death, 10 suspected cases and 1,047 asymptomatic cases under observation.

There were no new confirmed or suspected cases in the epicenter city of Wuhan, where a 14-week lockdown is due to be lifted on Wednesday.

China has now recorded a total of 81,708 cases and 3,331 deaths since the COVID-19 illness was first detected there in late December.

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LONDON — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been admitted to a hospital with the new coronavirus.

Johnson’s office says he is being admitted for tests because he still has symptoms, 10 days after testing positive for the virus.

Downing St. says the hospitalization is a “precautionary step” and he remains in charge of the government.

Johnson, 55, has been quarantined in his Downing St. residence since being diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 26.

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NEW YORK — A tiger at the Bronx Zoo has tested positive for the new coronavirus, in what is believed to be the first known infection in an animal in the U.S. or a tiger anywhere, federal officials and the zoo said Sunday.

The 4-year-old Malayan tiger, and six other tigers and lions that have also fallen ill, are believed to have been infected by a zoo employee, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said. The first animal started showing symptoms March 27, and all are expected to recover, said the zoo, which has been closed to the public since March 16.

The finding raises new questions about transmission of the virus in animals. The USDA says there are no known cases of the virus in U.S. pets or livestock.

The coronavirus outbreaks around the world are driven by person-to-person transmission, experts say.

There have been reports of a small number of pets outside the United States becoming infected after close contact with contagious people, including a Hong Kong dog that tested positive for a low level of the pathogen in February and early March. Hong Kong agriculture authorities concluded that pet dogs and cats couldn’t pass the virus to human beings but could test positive if exposed by their owners.

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Boeing said it will continue its shutdown of production indefinitely at its Seattle-area facilities because of the spread of the coronavirus.

The company in an email to Washington employees said it is extending the planned two-week shutdown rather than reopening Wednesday. The decision affects about 30,000 of Boeing’s 70,000 employees in the state.

The company said the decision is based on the health and safety of its employees, assessment of the coronavirus spread, supply chain concerns and recommendations from government health officials.

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Republican U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida, who was the first congressman to test positive for coronavirus, announced on Twitter that he is now virus free.

“Today, after being deemed #COVID19 free by my doctor, I was able to reunite with my family in Miami. Though still a bit weak, I feel well, & I applied to participate in the @RedCross plasma donation to help those with serious or immediately life-threatening COVID-19 infections.”

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NEW ORLEANS — The city’s Catholic population struggled to celebrate Palm Sunday at a time when the city’s churches have stopped holding services under the state’s stay-at-home mandate.

That has meant finding creative ways for pastors to meet the spiritual needs of their parishioners. Rev. Emmanuel Mulenga is the pastor at Saint Augustine Catholic Church, a nearly 200-year-old church in the city’s historically African American Treme neighborhood.

On Palm Sunday, the church would normally have a special ceremony to commemorate Jesus’s entry into Jerusalem. This Sunday, he still gave out palm fronds to parishioners who wanted them while still adhering to social distancing guidelines. He blessed the fronds and put them on a table near the back of the church where people could easily spot them when they came in the back door.

About 50 to 60 parishioners turned out, Mulenga said.

“Despite the social distancing … the spiritual aspects of our lives, faith, still continues, and I personally believe that under the present circumstances we need those personal connections and prayer even more,” he said.

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The company 3M said it is working with German authorities to determine whether an incorrect report of one of its mask shipments being diverted to the United States was due to fraud.

Berlin authorities had said last week that a shipment of 200,000 masks intended for Berlin police had been seized in Thailand en route from China.

In a statement Sunday, 3M said it had no record of an order for Berlin police and has offered to help governments verify the authenticity of any offers to sell protective masks, which are used to prevent the spread of coronavirus to health workers and others.

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Louisiana health officials reported 68 coronavirus-related deaths on Sunday, marking the state’s biggest jump in reported deaths since the outbreak began.

The Louisiana Department of Health reported the figures on its website Sunday. The number of infections reported to the state also increased by more than 500 cases from 12,496 to 13,010.

Before Sunday, the largest number of deaths reported in a single day was 60. The numbers represent when the tests were reported to the state, not necessarily when the infections or deaths occurred.

Louisiana and the New Orleans area have been an epicenter for the virus, and Gov. John Bel Edwards has repeatedly warned of looming shortages for ventilators and intensive care units.

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WASHINGTON — The District of Columbia has announced 96 more positive infections from the COVID-19 coronavirus, bringing the total up to 998, with 22 deaths.

Mayor Muriel Bowser has issued a stay-home order for Washington’s approximately 700,000 residents. Neighboring Maryland and Virginia have done the same. Bowser has declared a state of emergency, shuttered all schools and ordered all non-essential businesses to close. White House and Capitol tours have been cancelled and the National Zoo, Smithsonian museum network and Kennedy Center have closed.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Gov. Larry Hogan announced new mandates for Maryland’s nursing homes in order to dull the spread of COVID-19, which has invaded dozens of facilities in the state.

Under the threat of criminal penalties, Hogan’s order and directive from his health secretary demand that nursing home employees in close contact with residents wear facemasks, gloves, gowns and other personal protective gear when providing care.

Nursing homes must have expedited testing for the new coronavirus and designated areas where residents with known or suspected COVID-19 are treated, according to the new rules.

Violating the rules is a misdemeanor punishable by fines and prison.

Hogan said more than 80 nursing homes and long-term care facilities have positive cases or clusters of cases. The most intense cluster is at the Pleasant View Nursing Home in Mount Airy, where four more residents diagnosed with COVID-19 have now died, bringing the total to nine, health officials announced this weekend. More than 100 residents or staff have tested positive there.

The Maryland health department issued guidance nearly four weeks ago to restrict resident visitations and control infections.

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ATLANTA — One of the daughters of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. will help lead a new outreach committee in Georgia as the state copes with the coronavirus, Gov. Brian Kemp announced.

Bernice King, CEO of The King Center, will co-chair the committee with Engaged Futures Group LLC President Leo Smith, Kemp said. More than a dozen other members, including business and nonprofit leaders, make up the committee.

Officials did not immediately release additional details about what the committee will do.

Georgia has seen more than 200 deaths in the state and more than 1,200 have been hospitalized. Total infections confirmed in the state exceed 6,600.

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in South Dakota rose to 240 Sunday as President Donald Trump declared a major disaster for the state.

Trump’s order directs federal assistance to supplement state, tribal and local recovery efforts in areas hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

The South Dakota Department of Health reported 28 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus Sunday. That number does not include tests pending in private labs or those who are not being tested.

Minnehaha County reports 23 new positive tests, bringing the total number of cases in South Dakota’s most populous county to 104. Eighteen of those patients in Minnehaha County have recovered.

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SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — The ACLU says it is seeking an injunction to block part of Puerto Rico’s strict curfew against the new coronavirus and argues that some of its restrictions are unconstitutional.

The curfew imposed March 15 has shuttered non-essential businesses in the U.S. territory and ordered people to stay home from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. and remain there even outside those hours unless they have to buy food or medicine, go to the bank or have an emergency or health-related situation.

Violators face a $5,000 fine or a six-month jail term, and police have cited hundreds of people. A spokesman for the U.S. territory’s Justice Department said Sunday there was no immediate comment.

It is the first time the ACLU has decided to file a lawsuit in a U.S. jurisdiction related to a coronavirus curfew.

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Defense Secretary Mark Esper has issued new requirements for those visiting or working on Department of Defense installations regarding the use of cloth face coverings.

Esper says that “to the extent practical,” all individuals on DOD property “will wear” the face coverings when they cannot maintain 6 feet of social distance from others.

The guidance is effective immediately. It follows a recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that encourages people, especially in areas hit hard by the spread of the coronavirus, to use rudimentary coverings such as T-shirts, bandannas and non-medical masks to cover their faces while outdoors.

Esper outlined the new requirements in a memorandum to senior military leaders Sunday.

Esper said the requirement doesn’t apply to a service member’s personal residence on a military installation. But it does apply to work centers and other public areas.

He says exceptions may be approved by local commanders or supervisors and then submitted up the chain of command for awareness.

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PARIS — France reported 357 deaths in hospitals from the virus in a single day Sunday but showed signs that its spread is slowing after 20 days of national confinement.

The country remains among the hardest hit in the world, with 8,078 confirmed deaths since the virus arrived in January. More than a quarter of those who died were in nursing homes, according to figures from the national health service Sunday night.

France’s intensive care units continue to fill up fast, with 390 new arrivals since Saturday for a total of 6,978 people in critical care beds. But the daily growth has been slowing, and 250 people left intensive care in the same one-day period. Most of those in intensive care are older, but 106 are under 30 years old.

While still high, the number of new deaths in hospitals dropped Sunday for the second day straight and was the lowest since March 29.

France continued Sunday to transport critically ill patients out of saturated regions to those with more hospital space and has brought in hundreds of medical personnel to help in the overwhelmed Paris region.

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WASHINGTON — Dr. Anthony Fauci says there a very good chance the new coronavirus “will assume a seasonal nature” because it is unlikely to be under control globally.

Fauci is director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. He says the virus is unlikely to be completely eradicated from the planet this year. That means the U.S. could see the “beginning of a resurgence” during the next flu season.

Fauci says the prospect of a resurgence is the reason the U.S. is working so hard to get its preparedness “better than it was.” He says that includes working to develop a vaccine and conducting clinical trials on therapeutic interventions.

Fauci also says states that don’t have stay-at-home orders are not putting the rest of the country at risk as much as they are putting themselves at risk.

Fauci spoke on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Some Kentucky churches held Palm Sunday services in defiance of Gov. Andy Beshear’s warning against in-person worship.

Dozens of people were at Maryville Baptist Church in Louisville on Sunday, news outlets reported. A video showed a pianist playing and choir members singing during the late morning service.

Louisville’s Our Savior Lutheran Church streamed its in-person service live on YouTube. The church had required online registration beforehand and restricted seating to every other pew. The video stream did not show the audience.

Beshear warned during his daily briefing on Saturday that mass gatherings “are spreading the coronavirus.

“We care about each other in this state, and our faith guides us and gives us the wisdom to do the right thing to protect each other.”

Some states, including Florida, have made exemptions to allow religious gatherings to proceed during the coronavirus. Kentucky does not have that exemption.

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RIO DE JANEIRO — Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and evangelical backers declared Sunday a day of prayer and fasting against the spread of the new coronavirus, and a small group gathered outside his official residence in the capital, Brasilia, to pray.

A day earlier, he posted on social media a video of himself with about a dozen pastors calling for the fasting and prayer. The Rev. Marco Feliciano said the purpose is so that “all the bad predictions made here in Brazil fall to the ground.”

Bolsonaro has distanced himself from most world leaders and many members of his own government by repeatedly minimizing the risks posed by COVID-19 and saying younger and healthy people should not self-isolate at home but get back to work.

Some of the pastors appearing in the video had previously criticized state governors who introduced quarantines that prevented them from opening their churches.

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ROME — Italy has registered its lowest day-to-day increase in deaths of patients with the coronavirus in more than two weeks.

Angelo Borrelli, the head of the national Civil Protection agency on Sunday, said there were 525 deaths in the 24-hour period since Saturday evening. That’s the lowest such figure since 427 deaths were registered on March 19.

Italy has a total of 15,887 deaths and nearly 130,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19. A day shy of one month under national lockdown that the government ordered to try to contain the wildly spreading contagion, the lower count of day-to-day deaths brought some encouragement.

The number of intensive care beds occupied by COVID-19 patients has also showed a decrease in the past few days, including in northern Lombardy, Italy’s most stricken region.

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JERUSALEM — The Israeli Defense Ministry says it has helped arrange an airlift of critically needed medical equipment from China to help fight the country’s coronavirus outbreak.

In a statement Sunday, the ministry said the first plane, carrying more than 900,000 surgical masks and half a million protective suits for medical teams, is scheduled to arrive on Monday.

It said Israeli airline EL Al has modified 11 Boeing Dreamliner aircraft for the operation. The airlift, which is to bring in millions of items as well as breathing machines, is to take place over two weeks.

The ministry has been coordinating an effort in recent weeks with other government ministries, the Mossad intelligence agency and the private sector to cope with the health crisis. Israel’s Foreign Ministry and Israeli chemical maker ICL also participated in the airlift mission.

Israel has reported more than 8,000 cases of COVID-19 and 48 deaths.

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Follow AP news coverage of the coronavirus pandemic at https://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

Jamaican Creates Military History As First African-American Woman to Head MSCLANT

KINGSTON, Jamaica – Among the thousands of Jamaican immigrants that move to the United States and maintain the standard of excellence is Navy Captian Janice Smith who recently became the first African-American woman to head the Military Sealift Command Atlantic (MSCLANT).

She assumed leadership of MSCLANT during a change of command ceremony held at Naval Station Norfolk on Thursday, March 19. The promotion places Smith in control of the entire Atlantic regarding the execution of strategic sealift missions, the transportation and maintenance of military equipment, as well as logistics coordination. Smith is also one of only two active-duty African American women within the US Navy Surface Warfare Community who are screened for Major Command.

Janice Smith, like many Jamaican-Americans, came from humble beginnings. As a child in Jamaica, she was raised by her late grandmother, Iris Plummer, who sold goods in Linstead Market to make ends meet. Her mother had left Jamaica in search of a better life for her family.

Smith lived in Morris Hall, not very far from Bog Walk in St. Catherine. She attended the Bob Walk Secondary School, now Enid Bennett High in St. Catherine.

After graduating from high school, she migrated to Florida in 1988, joining her mother Gloria and brothers in South Miami.

She was attending Miami-Dade College when she joined the navy in 1989 to expand her educational opportunities.

In a 2016 interview with Caribbean National Weekly, Smith recalled a valuable lesson taught by her grandmother, which impacted her decision. “My Grandmother Iris taught me the importance of school and I was determined to complete college,” said Smith. “Coming from a single-parent family in Linstead, Jamaica, with little resources for college, I seized the opportunity.”

Smith started out as a cook onboard the USS YOSEMITE AD-19, stationed in Mayport, Florida, and went on to complete a BSc at Saint Leo University and an MSc at Troy State University, before applying for the Officer’s Candidate Program in 1997.

In 2016, she created history when she became the first Jamaican-American and second black woman to become a commander in the U.S. Navy. At that time, she assumed leadership of the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Oscar Austin (DDG 79).

As a trailblazer in her field, her demanding job has not been without sacrifices. The wife and mother of two has been candid about the strain of navy life on her family. Being away from home between one week to nine months at a time, Smith says she is grateful to her husband, Julius Lyles for his support, as “[it] would be impossible without a spouse who understands and willing to fill the gaps when I am away missing a lot of day-to-day opportunities to influence our children lives.”

Despite the challenges, Smith recommends a Navy career for other women.

“Whether serving 2 or 20 years it provides good education benefits, opportunity to travel and lead a young, smart and educated workforce,” says Smith. “The U.S. Navy has done a great job of implementing policies to ensure all sailors have equal opportunity to excel. I’m very grateful to the courageous woman who paved the way for myself and other young women in today’s Navy.”

Although she has now lived in the United States for the majority of her adult life, Smith still remains close to Jamaica. Up to last year, she was on the island visiting relatives. She also remains in contact with her alma mater – Enid Bennett High.

NNPA Op-Ed Highlights Other Coronavirus Risk Faced By Black Americans

By AFRO Staff

National Newspaper Publishers Association President and CEO Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis Jr. recently authored an op-ed <https://thehill.com/opinion/healthcare/490563-coronavirus-shows-black-americans-must-be-protected-from-surprise-medical> for The Hill, an influential Washington publication, that highlights an important aspect of the novel coronavirus pandemic faced by Black Americans.

“Minority and low-income Americans suffer from a significant lack of access to quality health care. They are also more likely to not have health insurance and are often hit with surprise medical bills they cannot afford. The coronavirus is no different,” Chavis wrote in the commentary. 

“Many black Americans will not get tested for coronavirus — whether they have symptoms or not — due to the fact that they cannot easily access medical facilities, and/or they are worried they will not be able to afford the medical services.”

Benjamin F. Chavis (Courtesy Photo/nnpa.org)

In addition to massive losses of income due to stay-at-home directives meant to stave off the pandemic, the NNPA chief added, legislation currently under consideration in Congress could make that financial burden worse. The surprise medical billing bill, which some proponents are trying to squeeze in with coronavirus relief legislation, would remove the onus of such costs from insurance companies and transfer it to patients and providers.

It is an issue that had been spotlighted by both the Rev. Al Sharpton and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, Chavis said.

Given the ballot strength demonstrated by Black voters in resurrecting Biden’s campaign, he added, it would behoove Capitol Hill policymakers to sit up and pay notice.

“The country has finally seen the power of our influence,” he said. “I believe it is time now for our concerns to be taken a bit more seriously by policymakers in Washington, starting with the dramatic challenges associated with the coronavirus pandemic.” 

Chavis’ op-ed is part of a broader campaign by the NNPA, the NNPA Coronavirus Task Force and Resource Center, to address the unique challenges the novel coronavirus pandemic poses to Black and underserved communities.

The task force comprises publishers, editors, physicians, nurses, corporate partners, sponsors, associates and supporters of the Black Press of America. And the resource center is a central, curated source of up-to-date, targeted information on the pandemic.

publishers, editors, physicians, nurses, corporate partners, sponsors, associates and supporters of the Black Press of America.

“The deadly spread of the coronavirus in the United States exacerbates not only the poor health status of African Americans but it exposes their persistent lack of access to quality, culturally competent healthcare from testing to diagnosis to treatment,” said Sheila Thorne, president and CEO of Multicultural Healthcare Marketing Group, LLC. <https://newpittsburghcourier.com/2020/03/26/black-press-establishes-coronavirus-pandemic-task-force-and-resource-center/>

“I applaud the NNPA for taking a leadership position to disseminate accurate and culturally relevant health information to black Americans that will protect all in the community and save lives, especially those who are underserved and underrepresented.”

Letter: Racism prevails during pandemic

I am an inmate of the Allen County Jail. I want to informing the public of the dreadful and deadly reality we face as second rate citizens. Our new justice system has placed prejudice, pride and profit over principle. A non-violent offender, my crime … RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News

South L.A.’s renaissance was decades in the making. The coronavirus could end it in weeks

Four months into a profitable start, the owners of South LA Cafe sent out an SOS to their nearly 10,000 Instagram followers.

“Help us keep South LA Café open!” Joe and Celia Ward-Wallace posted to the café’s page on Sunday. “Can you commit to sending us $10 or more just for the next three months to keep us on our feet?”

The eatery, on Western Avenue near Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, had been making money since the first day it opened its doors in November, turning a 10% profit every month over the next, the owners said. Patrons came for the coffee but returned for the culturally conscious events, the safe space that celebrates blackness and a vibe that emanates “for us, by us.” Early talks had begun to expand to two more locations.

Then came the coronavirus outbreak. Orders rained down from the governor and mayor to shutter dining spaces. By the end of March, the sudden public health crisis was touching every facet of life.

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Joe Ward-Wallace delivers a takeout order at South LA Cafe.

Joe Ward-Wallace delivers a takeout order at South LA Cafe.

(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

Overnight, business at South LA Cafe dried up by 70%. The couple had to furlough nine employees. Some of their customers lost their jobs too.

“It hurts our hearts, but it also activates this sense of urgency,” Celia Ward-Wallace said. “We have our capes on our backs, and we’re fighting to save our people and the cafe.”

Before the coronavirus made its deadly march through communities across the country, upending lives and stalling the economy, something remarkable was happening south of the 10 Freeway.

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A region that had long felt ignored by the development boom reshaping neighborhoods across Los Angeles was experiencing a renaissance in community-owned cafes, coffee shops and co-working spaces — especially among a new generation of black entrepreneurs.

There’s Hot & Cool Cafe, Harun Coffee, Swift Cafe and the Metaphor Club, a sort of black WeWork. All are clustered in Leimert Park, the epicenter of black arts and culture. Then there’s Hilltop Coffee + Kitchen on the western edge of South L.A. in View Park. Farther south, tucked in a former bread factory in Hyde Park, sits the co-working and cultural hub Vector 90, as well as Sip & Sonder coffeehouse in Inglewood.

All of the establishments are unapologetically black, the owners are proud to say. Now, the pandemic and the panic that it has incited are threatening to undo the years of economic progress they made in South Los Angeles.

“All of us are worried about the businesses that just got started,” said Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson, who represents parts of South L.A. “We don’t know what will happen going forward, and, frankly, we don’t feel good about it.”

Each bricks-and-mortar business is part of a larger ecosystem. It’s a symbiotic relationship, in which they depend on vendors to supply fresh pressed juices, pastries and other merchandise. When one local business suffers, they all do.

Harris-Dawson said that businesses in his council district are more vulnerable in times of economic uncertainty. Even in good times, they are operating on razor-thin margins, he said, leaving them with less cash in reserve to operate during a downturn.

And many of these entrepreneurs do not own the buildings where their businesses operate and have a hard time meeting the requirements needed to qualify for small business loans and other financial assistance programs.

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So the councilman has tapped into city funding for his district that was earmarked for various culture heritage activities, most of which have been canceled because of the risk of spreading the coronavirus, and redirected it to pay 18 local restaurants to prepare and deliver nearly 3,000 meals to meet the urgent needs of the district’s seniors.

“We hope this helps,” he said. “But frankly, we don’t know.”

The backbone of South L.A.

Small businesses have long been the backbone of South L.A. Barbershops, hair salons and beauty supply stores filled the holes left behind when businesses fled after the 1965 and 1992 riots.

Today, few national retailers dot the landscape, with South L.A. long stigmatized by those bursts of violence. The disinvestment has lasted generations.

But the construction of a light-rail line connecting Mid-City to Los Angeles International Airport and the rise of SoFi Stadium have revived interest in South L.A. Developers are building high-rises, luxury housing and upscale restaurants. Wealthier residents, many of them white, are moving in.

All of the changes have left some longtime residents, many of them black and Latino, feeling as if the new amenities aren’t for them. And for some, the rise in gentrification served as a sign that this was their last chance to make their entrepreneurial dreams a reality.

The first to take the leap was Tony Jolly, backed by his wife, brother, and a close family friend. The team initially thought to open a coffee roastery in South L.A., but after seeing the dearth of healthful food options, they decided to open Hot & Cool Cafe in April 2018.

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The cafe’s bestseller quickly became a $15 vegan soul bowl — a dish of collard greens with plant-based chicken and macaroni and cheese. Like at a few other establishments in the neighborhood, a portrait of the late South L.A. rapper and activist Nipsey Hussle hangs on the wall.

The vibe of Hot & Cool changes depending on the event, but it always feels a bit like Wakanda.

It can be transformed into a club, as when Nigerian American rapper Jidenna premiered his album there in August. It can be a place of worship, as when people pack the place during singer Rickie Byars’ Sunday devotional. And it can become a lounge, like on Tuesdays, when there is open mike night, or an exercise studio, like on Saturday mornings, when an instructor hosts “trap yoga” in an upstairs event space.

Now, with the coronavirus forcing the cancellation of gatherings of almost any size so people can practice social distancing, business has dropped 80%. The family moved to the takeout and delivery options.

Jolly had to furlough all seven employees at Hot & Cool. The family works for free.

Asked how long he can keep this cultural hub open, he sighed.

“As long as our landlord is lenient,” Jolly said. “And we’re looking to tap into some of this stimulus money that every business owner in American is running to. But I don’t know.”

On the other side of Crenshaw Boulevard, four Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity brothers have cultivated a community for black creatives at the Metaphor Club. The monthly membership of $99 includes access to a workspace, professional development programs, and free coffee and espresso.

Next door is MetaFlow, a rental space that had hosted such things as Black Lives Matter meetings, art exhibits and services for an Ethiopian church. In recent months, the frat brothers also opened MetaLab, a podcast studio space and creation lab.

Then cases of Americans coming down with COVID-19 began making headlines. The brothers shut down operations at all of their locations in March, days before the directives came from Mayor Eric Garcetti and Gov. Gavin Newsom. They wanted to protect their members.

The frat brothers are financially fine for now, co-owner Lawrence Ross said, but he worries about what will happen if they are forced to stay closed past June. Like many of the other businesses in South L.A., Ross and his partners are coming up with ways to serve the community’s needs post-pandemic.

“If our members need information on finance, mental health and wellness, then we’re going to help get them through this,” Ross said.

It’s not just the new kids on the block who are suffering. South L.A. institutions, such as soul food restaurant Dulan’s and creole kitchen Harold & Belle’s, have seen a huge declines in sales as well. In many ways, their resilience through decades of booms and busts provides hope that these newer businesses will make it through, some have said.

Down in Inglewood, Sip & Sonder coffeehouse celebrated its first anniversary Wednesday with a day of events — all streamed online.

There was a morning of breath work followed by a night of jazz. The performers all wore masks and gloves. A couple having a virtual date traded cutesy messages in the coffeehouse’s online chat.

It was part celebration, part fundraiser, said owners Shanita Nicholas and Amanda-Jane Thomas.

“We’re raising funds to keep the coffeehouse going once we ride this ‘rona wave,’ ” they said in a flier made for the event, using the nickname that Black Twitter has given the coronavirus. “Let’s make it to year two.”

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

Bet Your Life — Vote for Democrats

April 5, 2020

I’m trying to restrain my anger and speak measuredly, but it’s damn hard to do so. (Nancy Pelosi’s latest trial balloon — an investigation into the President’s handling of the Wuhan virus, was so preposterous it drove me into something I never do — binge watching old TV serials, in this case “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.”) The Wuhan virus spread throughout the world due to the Chinese government’s lies, and the acts of the head of the WHO Director General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreysesus who came to that position from the violent Ethiopian Communist party and covered up for China as did the mainstream U.S. media. 


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The same press outlets have been engaged in a scandalous attempt to represent the Chinese response to the crisis as brilliant and to accept Beijing’s claim to have eliminated the virus within its own borders, in embarrassing contrast (they suppose) to Trumpian floundering about. 

In reality, the Chinese were inexcusably dishonest in withholding the proportions of the coronavirus outbreak, have not uttered a truthful word about it up to and including this week — as they claim to have had almost no further fatalities and none at all in the past few days; and were extremely negligent in not moving promptly to restrict outward travel and warn the world. 

The same American press which has acclaimed the official Chinese performance with an adulatory hallelujah chorus have railed against President Trump for following the normal practice of identifying the coronavirus geographically. The subordination of the World Health Organization as a cheerleader for China’s odium and criminality will require that the entire leadership of the WHO to be sacked and replaced by people in whom it is possible to have some confidence. 

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By the time this horrible virus has ravaged the underdeveloped world — which is completely unprepared to deal with it and where the danger of horrific human devastation is the fear that dare not speak its name — the complacent support of the corrupt leadership of the United Nations and its agencies by African and Asian states may have abated. 

Their actions should not be ignored. But the actions of some elected Democratic officials doubtless contributed greatly to the spread of the disease and as we show, seem to have had a disproportionate effect on the poor — especially African-Americans in these states and cities, the very blocs of voters who voted them into office.


The people most at risk from the virus are the elderly and the immune-suppressed. Diabetics, pre-diabetics, those with high blood pressure, and the grossly overweight are immune-suppressed and seem hardest hit. At least in NY, these conditions are found disproportionately in the black community.



The contagion also seems concentrated in denser urban areas and among the poor, who must rely on public transportation, live in closer quarters, and whose lack of storage space mean they must risk shopping more often for food and essential supplies. This picture seems clear in NYC. In Southern California the picture may be more closely related to travel from China and crowded conditions in areas with lots of illegal immigrants — post-virus analysis may clarify that.


New York City and California’s loony politicos are hooked on identity politics and see racism everywhere, ignoring objective science. The consequences of ignoring reality: overwhelmed medical facilities, lack of proper medical equipment, and soaring death rates. 


Daniel Greenfield, writing at Frontpage Magazine, dissects in depth the role of identity politics in New York City, a case history in the consequences of  stupid politics and utter mismanagement. 



In brief, Mayor de Blasio’s City Health Commissioner, Oxiris Barbot, is a radical who previously served as Health Commissioner of Baltimore where she “had given the city’s race rioters ‘space to destroy.’” Space which continues after her move to New York  to result in a soaring murder rate


She boasted of seeing health policy through a “racial equity lens,” a lens so fogged that she concentrated on discouraging those arriving from Wuhan from going into self-quarantine and encouraging New Yorkers to attend the Lunar New Year celebrations in the city.


“As we gear up to celebrate the #LunarNewYear in NYC, I want to assure New Yorkers that there is no reason for anyone to change their holiday plans, avoid the subway, or certain parts of the city because of #coronavirus,” she insisted. 


By then there had already been over 17,000 cases of the Wuhan Virus in China with nearly 3,000 new cases in one day. For the first time, someone outside Mainland China had died of the disease. 


Manhattan’s Chinatown, where Barbot had appeared, is one of the densest parts of the city. The old core community where the Lunar New Year celebration is based is a maze of cramped tenements, narrow streets, tiny stores whose counters extend far into the street, and other unsafe conditions 


Barbot went on urging people to participate in the parade while spreading misinformation about the risk. “You won’t get it merely from riding the subways — you get it from secretions,” she even claimed.  


To her, the enemy was racial prejudice, not a rapidly transmissible, often deadly virus with a spread we can only hope to reduce by practicing social distance and good hygiene. 


New York’s health authorities ignored objective research and placed the city’s residents at great risk, and the outbreak exploded. 


So blinded by identity politics was the mayor that he never even ordered protective equipment until mid-March.


A staggering 6,582 additional people tested positive for the deadly bug since Thursday evening, bringing the city’s total confirmed cases to 56,289. Another 305 New Yorkers died from the virus, pushing the death toll up to 1,867.


More than 1,100 more coronavirus patients were hospitalized in the past day. Since the outbreak 11,739 people have been hospitalized. The city’s ICU capacity is at 88 percent with just 370 beds left unfilled.


Mayor Bill de Blasio said Friday, just before the new statistics were released, that the coming days will be even darker.  


In fact, de Blasio’s rejection of science and utter mismanagement is matched only by his ignorance of the law. This week, the dictatorial nitwit decided we should draft doctors and nurses to help his people out of the mess for which he bears no small degree of responsibility. Tom Maguire reports


The greatest city in the world is teetering on the brink so its Mayor seizes the opportunity to remind us he is a useless buffoon:


  • COVID-19: De Blasio urges US enlistment program for doctors and nurses
  • Mayor calls for medics to be moved to places in greatest need
  • New York City prepares for surge in coronavirus cases
  • “Enlistment program”?!? WHAT did he say?
  • New York City’s mayor, Bill de Blasio, has called for a national enlistment program for doctors and nurses, to handle an expected surge in coronavirus cases in New York and across the US.
  • “If we’re fighting a war, let’s act like we’re fighting a war,” he told reporters on Friday.
  • “…unless the military is fully mobilized and we create something we’ve never had before, which is some kind of national enlistment of medical personnel moved to the most urgent needs in the country constantly … if we don’t have that we’re going to see hospitals simply unable to handle so many people who could be saved.”

OK, that won’t be happening. As a minor point, there is no time for Congress to pass the relevant legislation. As a major point, this is still America, we abandoned the draft decades ago, and we don’t force people to work at gunpoint.


And how would it work? NY hospitals are short of Protective Personal Equipment. So the Feds are going to threaten to arrest some doctor in Vermont unless he gets down to NY and imperils himself by treating coronavirus patients? And if the good people of the great state of Vermont need health care down the road, NY promises to send their doctor back, unless he’s sick or dead or super busy saving New Yorkers in which case, well, that’s a problem for another day? [snip]


As a further illustration that desperate times require desperate short-sightedness, this order by Gov. Cuomo is outrageous:


Cuomo said he would sign an executive order that allows the national guard to take ventilators and personal protective equipment from institutions that don’t need them right now and redistribute them to those that do. He said those institutions would either have their ventilators returned to them or get reimbursements. Cuomo said there may be several hundred ventilators available because of the order.


Right now, the state is fielding a daily need for about 300 additional ventilators, he said. Those ventilators, officials have repeatedly explained, make the difference between life and death.


“Am I willing to deploy the national guard and inconvenience people for several hundred lives? You’re damn right I am,” Cuomo said…


I guess Gov. Cuomo’s message is “tough luck”.


Nancy Pelosi 


The first reference I can find of a mysterious virus in Wuhan was one in Mandarin dated December 31, 2019, almost a month before the Pelosi promoted California congressman Adam Schiff’s impeachment trial, which began on January 21. One day after the ill-fated impeachment trial began, the CDC reported the first domestic virus case and the New York Times reported that the Chinese government was quarantining Wuhan. Eight days after the first case was reported in the U.S., the president formed the coronavirus task force. That same day WHO declared the virus a Global Health emergency. The next day (January 31), the President declared a public health emergency, quarantined U.S. citizens returning from China’s Hubei Province and restricted entry into the U.S. from China. (The Democrats charged him with racism for doing so though this step has proven critical to slowing the spread of the virus here.)


Two days later, on February 2, he suspended entry of others who posed a risk of transmitting the virus (and thereafter, added to suspension of entry people from other countries where the virus was appearing). On February 4 in his State of the Union address, he warned of the virus. Nancy Pelosi in a public temper tantrum and show of contempt ripped up her copy of the State of the Union address. 


On February 24, twenty days after the President issued his warning about the virus and almost one month after he restricted entry from China, Nancy Pelosi publicly stated that people should pay no attention to the coronavirus fears and joined crowds in San Francisco’s Chinese lunar new years’ celebrations, “We think it’s very safe,” she said.  


On March 11, The President suspended travel from Europe, and the WHO officially declared the virus a pandemic. The following day, NYC declared a state of emergency and issued a statewide ban on all large gatherings.


I can only imagine what the death toll will be in California.  San Francisco has immune-suppressed HIV-AIDs affected citizens (about 12,985 people living with HIV in San Francisco) and thousands of homeless people living on the streets. So far, the homeless do not seem particularly affected, but if (or once) it makes an appearance there, I suspect it will take a substantial toll. I suppose many of these people are already quite unhealthy, live cheek by jowl outdoors on feces-heaped streets, and lack access to means to practice proper hygiene. California also has a large number of immigrants — in recent years, largely from Asia:


The majority of recent arrivals are from Asia.


The vast majority of California’s immigrants were born in Latin America (50%) or Asia (40%). California has sizable populations of immigrants from dozens of countries; the leading countries of origin are Mexico (4.1 million), China (969,000), the Philippines (857,000), Vietnam (524,000), and India (507,000). However, most (56%) of those arriving between 2010 and 2017 came from Asia; only 29% came from Latin America.


At the moment the virus is racing faster through Southern California than Northern California, with Los Angeles County hardest hit. Santa Clara County with a high percentage of Asian population (37%) was hard hit as well though at the moment Los Angeles is hardest of the California counties hit. 


I have for reasons for space and time limited the discussion largely to di Blasio and Pelosi, but they are certainly not the only Democratic politicians whose foolishness proves they are never to be trusted at the times we need sound political leadership most.


If you vote for people like these, you bet your life (and mine).


I’m trying to restrain my anger and speak measuredly, but it’s damn hard to do so. (Nancy Pelosi’s latest trial balloon — an investigation into the President’s handling of the Wuhan virus, was so preposterous it drove me into something I never do — binge watching old TV serials, in this case “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.”) The Wuhan virus spread throughout the world due to the Chinese government’s lies, and the acts of the head of the WHO Director General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreysesus who came to that position from the violent Ethiopian Communist party and covered up for China as did the mainstream U.S. media. 

The same press outlets have been engaged in a scandalous attempt to represent the Chinese response to the crisis as brilliant and to accept Beijing’s claim to have eliminated the virus within its own borders, in embarrassing contrast (they suppose) to Trumpian floundering about. 


In reality, the Chinese were inexcusably dishonest in withholding the proportions of the coronavirus outbreak, have not uttered a truthful word about it up to and including this week — as they claim to have had almost no further fatalities and none at all in the past few days; and were extremely negligent in not moving promptly to restrict outward travel and warn the world. 


The same American press which has acclaimed the official Chinese performance with an adulatory hallelujah chorus have railed against President Trump for following the normal practice of identifying the coronavirus geographically. The subordination of the World Health Organization as a cheerleader for China’s odium and criminality will require that the entire leadership of the WHO to be sacked and replaced by people in whom it is possible to have some confidence. 


By the time this horrible virus has ravaged the underdeveloped world — which is completely unprepared to deal with it and where the danger of horrific human devastation is the fear that dare not speak its name — the complacent support of the corrupt leadership of the United Nations and its agencies by African and Asian states may have abated. 

Their actions should not be ignored. But the actions of some elected Democratic officials doubtless contributed greatly to the spread of the disease and as we show, seem to have had a disproportionate effect on the poor — especially African-Americans in these states and cities, the very blocs of voters who voted them into office.

The people most at risk from the virus are the elderly and the immune-suppressed. Diabetics, pre-diabetics, those with high blood pressure, and the grossly overweight are immune-suppressed and seem hardest hit. At least in NY, these conditions are found disproportionately in the black community.

The contagion also seems concentrated in denser urban areas and among the poor, who must rely on public transportation, live in closer quarters, and whose lack of storage space mean they must risk shopping more often for food and essential supplies. This picture seems clear in NYC. In Southern California the picture may be more closely related to travel from China and crowded conditions in areas with lots of illegal immigrants — post-virus analysis may clarify that.

New York City and California’s loony politicos are hooked on identity politics and see racism everywhere, ignoring objective science. The consequences of ignoring reality: overwhelmed medical facilities, lack of proper medical equipment, and soaring death rates. 

Daniel Greenfield, writing at Frontpage Magazine, dissects in depth the role of identity politics in New York City, a case history in the consequences of  stupid politics and utter mismanagement. 

In brief, Mayor de Blasio’s City Health Commissioner, Oxiris Barbot, is a radical who previously served as Health Commissioner of Baltimore where she “had given the city’s race rioters ‘space to destroy.’” Space which continues after her move to New York  to result in a soaring murder rate

She boasted of seeing health policy through a “racial equity lens,” a lens so fogged that she concentrated on discouraging those arriving from Wuhan from going into self-quarantine and encouraging New Yorkers to attend the Lunar New Year celebrations in the city.

“As we gear up to celebrate the #LunarNewYear in NYC, I want to assure New Yorkers that there is no reason for anyone to change their holiday plans, avoid the subway, or certain parts of the city because of #coronavirus,” she insisted. 


By then there had already been over 17,000 cases of the Wuhan Virus in China with nearly 3,000 new cases in one day. For the first time, someone outside Mainland China had died of the disease. 


Manhattan’s Chinatown, where Barbot had appeared, is one of the densest parts of the city. The old core community where the Lunar New Year celebration is based is a maze of cramped tenements, narrow streets, tiny stores whose counters extend far into the street, and other unsafe conditions 


Barbot went on urging people to participate in the parade while spreading misinformation about the risk. “You won’t get it merely from riding the subways — you get it from secretions,” she even claimed.  

To her, the enemy was racial prejudice, not a rapidly transmissible, often deadly virus with a spread we can only hope to reduce by practicing social distance and good hygiene. 

New York’s health authorities ignored objective research and placed the city’s residents at great risk, and the outbreak exploded. 

So blinded by identity politics was the mayor that he never even ordered protective equipment until mid-March.

A staggering 6,582 additional people tested positive for the deadly bug since Thursday evening, bringing the city’s total confirmed cases to 56,289. Another 305 New Yorkers died from the virus, pushing the death toll up to 1,867.


More than 1,100 more coronavirus patients were hospitalized in the past day. Since the outbreak 11,739 people have been hospitalized. The city’s ICU capacity is at 88 percent with just 370 beds left unfilled.


Mayor Bill de Blasio said Friday, just before the new statistics were released, that the coming days will be even darker.  

In fact, de Blasio’s rejection of science and utter mismanagement is matched only by his ignorance of the law. This week, the dictatorial nitwit decided we should draft doctors and nurses to help his people out of the mess for which he bears no small degree of responsibility. Tom Maguire reports

The greatest city in the world is teetering on the brink so its Mayor seizes the opportunity to remind us he is a useless buffoon:


  • COVID-19: De Blasio urges US enlistment program for doctors and nurses
  • Mayor calls for medics to be moved to places in greatest need
  • New York City prepares for surge in coronavirus cases
  • “Enlistment program”?!? WHAT did he say?
  • New York City’s mayor, Bill de Blasio, has called for a national enlistment program for doctors and nurses, to handle an expected surge in coronavirus cases in New York and across the US.
  • “If we’re fighting a war, let’s act like we’re fighting a war,” he told reporters on Friday.
  • “…unless the military is fully mobilized and we create something we’ve never had before, which is some kind of national enlistment of medical personnel moved to the most urgent needs in the country constantly … if we don’t have that we’re going to see hospitals simply unable to handle so many people who could be saved.”

OK, that won’t be happening. As a minor point, there is no time for Congress to pass the relevant legislation. As a major point, this is still America, we abandoned the draft decades ago, and we don’t force people to work at gunpoint.


And how would it work? NY hospitals are short of Protective Personal Equipment. So the Feds are going to threaten to arrest some doctor in Vermont unless he gets down to NY and imperils himself by treating coronavirus patients? And if the good people of the great state of Vermont need health care down the road, NY promises to send their doctor back, unless he’s sick or dead or super busy saving New Yorkers in which case, well, that’s a problem for another day? [snip]


As a further illustration that desperate times require desperate short-sightedness, this order by Gov. Cuomo is outrageous:


Cuomo said he would sign an executive order that allows the national guard to take ventilators and personal protective equipment from institutions that don’t need them right now and redistribute them to those that do. He said those institutions would either have their ventilators returned to them or get reimbursements. Cuomo said there may be several hundred ventilators available because of the order.


Right now, the state is fielding a daily need for about 300 additional ventilators, he said. Those ventilators, officials have repeatedly explained, make the difference between life and death.


“Am I willing to deploy the national guard and inconvenience people for several hundred lives? You’re damn right I am,” Cuomo said…


I guess Gov. Cuomo’s message is “tough luck”.

Nancy Pelosi 

The first reference I can find of a mysterious virus in Wuhan was one in Mandarin dated December 31, 2019, almost a month before the Pelosi promoted California congressman Adam Schiff’s impeachment trial, which began on January 21. One day after the ill-fated impeachment trial began, the CDC reported the first domestic virus case and the New York Times reported that the Chinese government was quarantining Wuhan. Eight days after the first case was reported in the U.S., the president formed the coronavirus task force. That same day WHO declared the virus a Global Health emergency. The next day (January 31), the President declared a public health emergency, quarantined U.S. citizens returning from China’s Hubei Province and restricted entry into the U.S. from China. (The Democrats charged him with racism for doing so though this step has proven critical to slowing the spread of the virus here.)

Two days later, on February 2, he suspended entry of others who posed a risk of transmitting the virus (and thereafter, added to suspension of entry people from other countries where the virus was appearing). On February 4 in his State of the Union address, he warned of the virus. Nancy Pelosi in a public temper tantrum and show of contempt ripped up her copy of the State of the Union address. 

On February 24, twenty days after the President issued his warning about the virus and almost one month after he restricted entry from China, Nancy Pelosi publicly stated that people should pay no attention to the coronavirus fears and joined crowds in San Francisco’s Chinese lunar new years’ celebrations, “We think it’s very safe,” she said.  

On March 11, The President suspended travel from Europe, and the WHO officially declared the virus a pandemic. The following day, NYC declared a state of emergency and issued a statewide ban on all large gatherings.

I can only imagine what the death toll will be in California.  San Francisco has immune-suppressed HIV-AIDs affected citizens (about 12,985 people living with HIV in San Francisco) and thousands of homeless people living on the streets. So far, the homeless do not seem particularly affected, but if (or once) it makes an appearance there, I suspect it will take a substantial toll. I suppose many of these people are already quite unhealthy, live cheek by jowl outdoors on feces-heaped streets, and lack access to means to practice proper hygiene. California also has a large number of immigrants — in recent years, largely from Asia:

The majority of recent arrivals are from Asia.


The vast majority of California’s immigrants were born in Latin America (50%) or Asia (40%). California has sizable populations of immigrants from dozens of countries; the leading countries of origin are Mexico (4.1 million), China (969,000), the Philippines (857,000), Vietnam (524,000), and India (507,000). However, most (56%) of those arriving between 2010 and 2017 came from Asia; only 29% came from Latin America.

At the moment the virus is racing faster through Southern California than Northern California, with Los Angeles County hardest hit. Santa Clara County with a high percentage of Asian population (37%) was hard hit as well though at the moment Los Angeles is hardest of the California counties hit. 

I have for reasons for space and time limited the discussion largely to di Blasio and Pelosi, but they are certainly not the only Democratic politicians whose foolishness proves they are never to be trusted at the times we need sound political leadership most.

If you vote for people like these, you bet your life (and mine).






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Partnership aims to preserve Indiana African American sites – Shelton Herald

Updated 1:19 pm EDT, Monday, March 16, 2020

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A new partnership financed by memorial funds endowed by Eli Lilly and Co.’s first black chemist has set its sights on preserving some of Indiana’s significant African American landmarks.

Standiford “Stan” Cox, who died in February 2019, worked for Indianapolis-based Lilly for 32 years in a variety of positions after becoming the drugmaker’s first black chemist in 1957.

The Brazil, Indiana, native was a generous advocate for preserving African American heritage sites, and he established two funds with the Central Indiana Community Foundation — one in his name and one honoring his parents. Those funds are the basis with the foundation’s new partnership with Indiana Landmarks that will provide grants to help preserve historic African American sites.

The statewide group will serve as a key preservation adviser to the funds while an Indiana Landmarks committee will identify significant places and evaluate projects the program could assist. The initial recommendations will be announced in late March, based in part on sites’ architectural and/or historical significance, opportunities for redevelopment and the threat of demolition.

“Stan Cox has left an incredible legacy to the people of Indiana,” said Mark Dollase, Vice President of Preservation Services at Indiana Landmarks. “We are honored to work with the Central Indiana Community Foundation in a partnership that will aid in the restoration of important African American landmarks for years to come.”

Arlene Schnitzer, Oregon Philanthropist And Art Collector, Dies At 91

Arlene Schnitzer died Saturday after a long illness. She was 91 years old. Schnitzer transformed the Northwest art scene in the 1960s and 1970s and championed the work of local artists. Schnitzer and her husband, the late Harold Schnitzer, were among Oregon’s most generous philanthropists. They donated more than $80 million to various causes. 

“If there’s a lesson from her life, what she said to me this morning is she said, ‘Don’t stop caring about the community,’” Arlene’s son, Jordan Schnitzer, said. 

Jordan said his mother died Saturday afternoon at home surrounded by family. 

“She had announced the other day that since my father died almost 10 years ago in April, she mentioned to one of the caregivers that she wanted to die in April to be with him,” Jordan said. 

“She was a role model certainly for me and others,” he said.

Arlene Schnitzer spent her life in the Northwest. She was born in Salem and raised in Portland. Her parents, Simon and Helen Director, owned a high-end furniture store. 

Schnitzer spoke about her life in an “Oregon Art Beat” interview in 2003. She said she found her passion when she signed up for a few classes at the Museum Art School in 1958. It’s now the Pacific Northwest College of Art.

“And my first class was an art history class. And that was it. I absolutely was hooked. It was like I came home,” she said.

Arlene with her husband Harold Schnitzer. The couple&rsquo;s active involvement in Portland civic life led to some calling them Portland&rsquo;s &ldquo;first couple.&rdquo;

Arlene with her husband Harold Schnitzer. The couple’s active involvement in Portland civic life led to some calling them Portland’s “first couple.”

Courtesy of the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation

Schnitzer was known for being bold. She wore 3-inch heels most of the time and she told her husband Harold they were going to get married on their first date. 

When she noticed that her friends and teachers at art school didn’t have many places to sell their work in Portland, she took charge. In 1961, Schnitzer opened the Fountain Gallery, along with her mother, Helen Director, and her friend Edna Brigham. Schnitzer used her gallery to promote the work of Northwest artists, like painter Mike Russo and sculptor Mel Katz.

“I devoted myself and committed myself to the artist who was living here in the Northwest,” she said. “I wanted to keep them here. A city without your art community has no soul.”

Former chief curator at the Portland Art Museum Bruce Guenther called Schnitzer’s passion as an art dealer “legendary.”

Guenther said in the 1970s, the Fountain Gallery was where you went to discover exciting art. An ink and charcoal drawing he bought from the gallery still hangs in his home.

Schnitzer used her gallery to champion artists whose work spoke to her. That included women and people of color. She helped launch the careers of African American artists like Robert Colescott and Marita Dingus.

“Harold and Arlene Schnitzer were among the first advocates in this community for African American artists,” Guenther said. “They crossed those color lines in the ’60s when those color lines were radically drawn.”

At first Schnitzer was reluctant to start her own collection. She didn’t want customers to think she was saving the best for herself. But over time that changed. Together Harold and Arlene Schnitzer collected more than 2,000 pieces of art. The work they loved included early Chinese sculpture, Native American baskets, and the work of contemporary Northwest painters and ceramic artists. 

“Harold, who was a metallurgist by training and a real estate baron by profession, loved sculpture, he loved the three dimensional. And Arlene loved story and emotion and narrative,” Guenther said.

Much of their collection has been donated to the Portland Art Museum.

The Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall in Portland, Oregon, Saturday, March 11, 2017.

The Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall in Portland, Oregon, Saturday, March 11, 2017.

Bradley W. Parks/OPB

As Arlene Schnitzer built the Fountain Gallery, her husband, Harold, built the company Harsch Investment Properties and made a fortune in the real estate business. 

Arlene placed original paintings and sculptures in every one of Harold’s buildings and she used her social connections to convince other business owners to start buying and displaying the work of local fine artists too. In the 2003 interview with “Oregon Art Beat,” she said she had to convince people to take down a lot of bland pictures first. 

“I always called them either ‘Ducks Flying Out Of The Swamp,’ that was usually torn out of a magazine and framed. Or ‘Sunrise Over Mount Gooch.’ That was the kind of art that was on business walls when I started,” Schnitzer said.

By encouraging corporate investment in art, Schnitzer changed the way Portland looked. She and Harold also made their mark on the city by donating more than $80 million.

The Schnitzers gave to hundreds of institutions in Oregon, from Oregon Health & Science University to the Boys and Girls Club to the Oregon Symphony. They also made significant contributions to OPB.

Barbara Hall directs the Harold and Arlene Schnitzer Care Foundation. She said people in Portland know Arlene Schnitzer as the woman whose name is on the concert hall downtown, but in addition to their public gifts, the Schnitzers funded many causes anonymously. In particular, programs that gave financial aid to families caring for critically ill children.

“They’ve even paid for mortgage payments,” Hall said. “For example, if you’ve got a dual working family but you have a child going through cancer treatment, typically one parent has to take a hiatus from working for a while. And that’s a good size program.”

The late Rabbi Emmanuel Rose knew the Schnitzers well through Congregation Beth Israel, where they went to temple.

“I don’t know another family that has done what they’ve done for the city, and the state,” he said.

Rose said while Harold was deeply spiritual, Arlene Schnitzer had questions about religion in general and God in particular, but she felt a strong connection to Jewish teachings about giving back to the community.

“Arlene had a tremendous interest in the ethical side, the social justice side, the humanitarian side of being a religious person,” he explained.

Harold Schnitzer died in 2011. 

The Schnitzers are survived by their son, Jordan. He’s now the CEO of Harsch Investments, the family real estate business. Jordan is a celebrated collector of contemporary prints. He bought his first painting from his mother’s gallery when he was 14 years old.

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment