AUTUMN IN AMERICA
For 85 glorious minutes, on Friday,11/19 Vice President Kamala Harris was acting U.S. President while Joe Biden was sedated for a medical procedure. Last week, WGO referenced her sinking poll numbers, possibly instigated from right wing media disinformation. A recent Vanity Fair essay about her office was unflattering. What VP Harris needs is a skilled communications director to burnish her image. Last week, her communication chief resigned. President Biden says that he plans to run for a second term, which could dash her hopes for a presidential run.
LAW AND DISORDER: American courts are the venue where the nation’s division and dysfunction are protagonists. Last Friday a Wisconsin jury found white male Kyle Rittenhouse, 18, not guilty of killing two white men and seriously injuring a third because they supported Black Lives Matter protestors, following the 2020 death of African American Jacob Blake by a white police officer in Wisconsin. The Rittenhouse trial and verdict sends perilous messages to American crazies about protests, about white vigilantism, and a flawed criminal justice system. Media coverage of the case was widespread , addressing the undercurrent of racism in Rittenhouse’s deed. White Christian groups, conservatives and other questionable types contributed to the Rittenhouse
$2 million legal tab. Rittenhouse granted first interview to Fox TV host Tucker Carlson.
In GEORGIA, the jury begins deliberations on the trial of African American jogger Ahmaud Arbery, who was killed by three white men. Like the Wisconsin case, the jury pool is mostly white, at the pleasure of defense attorneys. Race is the inescapable cause in the Arbery murder. White defendants justified their actions as a citizen’s arrest.
In NEW YORK, Manhattan D.A. Cy Vance vacated the wrongful 1967 conviction of two Black men, the late Khalil Islam and Muhammad Aziz, 83, for the murder of Malcolm X murder. The murderer Mujahid Abdul Halim said that the men were innocent. What went wrong? They exemplify the unequal administration of American Justice germane to whites and to Blacks. The FBI and NYPD failed to produce all evidence to the court. Regarding the Malcolm X case conviction, innocent men was incarcerated…..and a guilty, Rittenhouse, killer of two, walked.
This is an open letter to Jaime Harrison, Democratic National Committee Chair, who must re-assess the Party’s 2022 victory strategy. America cannot afford to lose its Democratic majority in Congress and the Senate next year. The party has multiple vulnerabilities, not the least of which is infighting between moderates and progressives.
Democrats must not let Republicans define them or their narratives. The GOP calls them socialists. Deny it and fight back. Hey Dems, start counter offensives. Specify benefits of the Biden vision, the BUILD BACK BETTER social and climate package to urban and rural populations alike.
Underscore his COVID vaccination successes. Stop the GOP “defund the police” falsehoods attributed to the Party. Stop the GOP lies about Critical Black Theory, a tactic they skillfully used to achieve 11/2 election victories, something they distort and know nothing about. CRT is a race wedge issue to boot. What Dems need is a full-time agitprop operation to battle GOP lies and to make it the party on the defensive, for a change.
HAITI: The nation is now a failed state, which is run by gangs, not government officials, one of whom kidnapped 17 American and Canadian missionaries and their children, last month. The abductor gang told Americans in Haiti on a rescue mission that a $17 million ransom was needed. Two missionaries were released on 11/20. US warns Americans in Haiti to leave ASAP.
Jobs should be ubiquitous in 2022, sourced by infrastructure monies, which would be a job feeder for construction union workers, who in NY were not recipients of the billions of dollars spent in Harlem real estate boom for a decade. Few Black construction workers were tapped for development across the 125 Street business corridor. Federal funds should come with protections for Black construction people. Locally, positions will be available availabilities generated by Mayor Eric Adams Administration and the new City Council come January 2022. Visit ADAMSTRANSITION2021.COM to apply. And Corporate recruiter Bill Burgess has tall orders from NYC based companies like the Metropolitan Transit Authority and Columbia University with salaries ranges: $62K to $200K. Visit www.TheBurgessGroup.com or call 212 406.2400
Debra Fraser- Howze, founder of nonprofit NOW CHOOSE LIFE, hosted a National Black Clergy Health Conclave with organization’s co chairs, Rev. Calvin Butts and Rev. Al Sharpton to discuss health disparities from COVID 19 for the African American community. Conclave speakers included Rev. Raphael Warnock, Rev Jacques DeGraff and Dr. Rochelle Walensky. Black clergy
will join effort to convince skeptical African American to get vaccinated. Now Choose Life interfaces with 120 churches in 13 states and Washington, DC
Fraser-Howze served as President of the National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS which she founded in 1987. Visit Choosehealthylife.org.
Reports are rampant about COVID surges across the country, the East Coast, the Midwest. Take it easy on Thanksgiving. Don’t totally abandon mask protocols indoors and social distance, if possible, family and loved ones notwithstanding.
ARTS AND CULTURE
THEATER: Musical theater is back in Harlem and Vy Higginsen’s Mama Foundation for the Arts presents it Gospel for Teens Annual Benefit Concert, on December 11 at 6 pm at the Grace Congregational Church, located at 310 West 139 Street. For reservations visit mamafoundation.org or call. 212.280.1045.
FINE ART: The Dorsey Art Gallery, located at 553 Rogers Avenue, Brooklyn will host its 37th Annual Holiday Auction of fine art works, begins November 27/28. Call 718.771.3803.
TALK: The MFA Program in Creative Writing at CCNY presents a “Symposium on How Creatives Use The Archives Focusing on the Work Of Harlem writer and educator Herb Boyd,” on December 2 at 5 pm. Symposium features Boyd, William Gibbons, Nelly Rosario and Lewis Watt. Some Boyd book titles include “Sugar Ray, Round for Round,” “African History for Beginners,” and “Voices of the Harlem Renaissance.” Visit cuny.zoom.us to register. Meeting ID: 8103452.
Birthday greetings to Sagittarius natives: NYS Lieutenant Governor Brian Benjamin; entertainment executive Grace Blake; Media executive Jeff Burns; NYS Senator-elect Cordell Cleare; retired educator Copper Cunningham; Cornell Professor Carole Boyce Davies; Marketing executive Darryl Downing; writer Fern Gillespie; Karlen Grant; Manhattan CB 10 Chair Cicely Harris; Tiffany Haddish; Kwaku Horsford; Joyce Mullins Jackson; Samuel Jackson; Thornel Jones, serial entrepreneur; Alice LaBrie; Joe Leake, NYPD ; Rosalinda McIntosh; Nestor McClymont and Nestor McClymont, Jr; Ernst Perodin, Esq; MSNBC host Joy Reid; Professor Linda Ridley; Dr. Adelaide Sanford; NYU McSilver Institute Communications Director Sheryl Huggins Salomon; Educator Jane Smalls; Gail Wright Sirmans, Esq; Billionaires/philanthropists Robert Smith and Shawn
(Jay-Z) Carter; NY Carib News Publisher Karl Rodney; journalist Eric Tate and Tina Turner.
A Harlem-based management/media consultant, Victoria is reachable at victoria.horsford.com