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Newsbriefs – 12/1



VA Congressman Donald McEachin Suddenly Dies of Cancer
His office announced that recently reelected VA Congressman Donald McEachin, 61, has died. Since 2017, he had represented a district that stretches from Richmond to the North Carolina line. McEachin, an environmental justice advocate, co-founded the United for Climate and Environmental Justice Task Force while serving on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Natural Resources Committee, and Select Committee on Climate Crisis. McEachin, the third African American representing Virginia in the U.S. House, died of colorectal cancer.

Buffalo Gunman Pleads Guilty to Massacre
The racist gunman who traveled to Buffalo just to massacre Black people has pleaded guilty to killing 10 Black people who were shopping in a local supermarket. At the Erie County Court hearing, charges included murder and a single count of domestic terrorism motivated by hate, carry a penalty of life imprisonment without parole. Zeneta Everhart, whose son was injured in the attack, told the New York Times that the gunman acted like he was “just a robot” in court.

House Republicans Planning Investigations on Democrat Actions
Once the GOP assumes the majority in the House next year, Congressional Republicans promise aggressive oversight of the Biden administration. This includes business dealings of the President’s son Hunter Biden, illegal immigration at the Mexican border, and COVID origins. According to AP, Republicans won’t have enough votes to advance key legislative priorities if there is no Democratic buy-in. Still, their oversight of government agencies could put Democrats on the defensive and dampen support for the Biden administration going into the 2024 presidential elections.

Medical Coalition Urging Increase of Black Men in Medicine
The Action Collaborative for Black Men in Medicine, an effort to address the lack of representation of African American men in medicine, has been convened by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and the National Medical Association (NMA). A 2015 AAMC report stated that more Black men enrolled in medical school in 1978 than in 2014. Currently, African American men account for a dismal 3 percent of doctors.


AARP Study: Majority of Black Shoppers Vulnerable to Fraud
A 2021 AARP report, “The Miseducation of Black Consumers,” highlights the vulnerability of African American holiday shoppers. The AARP holiday shopping and scams survey of Black consumers ages 18-plus discovered that 78 percent of Black consumers have experienced some fraud. Four in ten have experienced fraud when seeking to buy a product through an online ad; over 1 in 3 have had a package stolen from outside their door; 32 percent have received a fake donation request; 35 percent have received a fake shipment notice saying USPS, FedEx, or UPS; and over 1 in 3 have given or received a gift card with no balance. According to the report, younger Black adults experience fraud more often than their older peers.

Nielsen Ratings: CBS shows starring Black Women Tops with AA Viewers
CBS’ “The Equalizer,” starring Queen Latifah, and “East New York,” starring Amanda Warren, are the two top television shows in this Fall’s Nielsen ratings among African American viewers. These action dramas, with Black women calling the shots, are filmed respectively in New York and New Jersey. Excluding all sports programming, Queen Latifah’s “Equalizer” is at No. 1 with an average of 2.01 million African American viewers, and “East New York” is No. 2, averaging 1.56 million.

Methodists Elect First Openly Gay African-American Bishop
Bishop Cedrick Bridgeforth, an openly gay African-American man, was elected bishop on November 4 at Christ United Methodist Church in Salt Lake City. The United Methodist Church moved toward becoming more progressive and LGBTQ-affirming during U.S. regional meetings this month, including the election of Bridgeforth as its second openly gay bishop. However, conservative Methodists say the LGBTQ developments will accelerate their exit from one of the nation’s largest Protestant denominations.


MTA Eyes Fare Increases
The NY State Comptroller’s office released a study, Fare Revenue Considerations for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, that shows “budget gaps will total more than $2.5 billion annually once federal pandemic relief is exhausted in 2025.” Brooklyn patch reported, “A $3.52 fare could face straphangers if the MTA can’t cover revenue losses from the coronavirus pandemic, according to data” in the study.