What's Going On
What’s Going On 12-23
December in America is the time of year when people sing carols like “Joy to the world” and look forward to peace on earth to men of goodwill. Not true this year! President Joe Biden’s safety net package, the $2 trillion BUILD BACK BETTER program, looks like it is on life support, not going to happen! Congress is more dysfunctional than ever. Democrats are divided and cannot unify to support legislation in the same way Republicans unite to disrupt any legislation good or bad with Democratic footprints. Dems and Biden did a poor job in defining BUILD BACK BETTER. Is it possible to get a GOP Senator or two to vote for BBB, a project which would resuscitate the economy, check inflation and would benefit all Americans, socio-economic status notwithstanding? Isn’t politics the art of the possible, something which eludes Americans during this pandemic interlude? It is incomprehensible that West Virginia US Senator Joe Manchin, who represents a state with a population of 1.8 million, can void the Democratic agenda and obstruct American progress for 330 million people.
What will happen to the 2021 Voting Rights bill stalled in the Senate?
Republicans are consistent in one area, repressing the Black vote. As the NY Times piece, “Map by Map, GOP Erasing Black Districts,” says, through redistricting and its ugly twin brother gerrymandering, the GOP, which controls the majority of the state houses, is diluting Black voting blocs, which affects electeds from Congress Reps to local commissioners. Congressional Black Caucus will shrink by 2023. States like Texas, Florida, Ohio where lots of Blacks migrated to since 2010 are being remapped and many well-defined Black districts will bite the dust. U.S Supreme Court will not accept any voting rights cases vs states who are re-writing laws.
In Georgia, Councilman Andre Dickens won the November 30 mayoral runoff in Atlanta, a city which is almost 50% African American. He succeeds Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, who decided against a second term. Dickens mayoral platter is filled with woes, including battling the surge in violence and obstructing Buckhead, an upscale white community with a considerable tax base, from succession, which requires approval by the Republican dominated State Legislature and a vote by Atlantans.
The U.S. Senate has been holding up ambassador and federal judge nominations, which leaves America vulnerable domestically and all over this troubled planet. A planet plagued by a civil war in Ethiopia, by coups d’etat in Mali, Guinea, Chad and Sudan and imminent provocations and invasions led by China and Russia on their neighbors.
The new COVID-19 variant Omicron is a ubiquitous global visitor. US Senators Cory Booker and Elizabeth Warren tested positive for COVID despite two vaccine and booster shots. NY State Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett also tested positive for COVID19 breakthrough. NYC Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, who is a 2022 NYS gubernatorial candidate tested positive for COVID19 last week. He is in quarantine at home with his pregnant wife, whose tests were negative. HOLIDAY ADVICE: Get fully vaccinated, get booster shot, and get tested ASAP!
2022 has gotta to be better for the family of man.
New York is immersed in the holiday spirit sorta/kinda even with the looming COVID variant. NYC residents’ hunger for info about what lies ahead in the post-holiday season and who’s who in the forthcoming Eric Adams Administration. He will be sworn in January 1. Outgoing NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio has been giving away keys to the city to labor leader George Gresham, Former Congressman Charles Rangel, civil rights leader Hazel Dukes, and feminist Gloria Steinem.
Mayor elect Eric Adams’ dream team continues to take shape. In addition to introducing Nassau County Chief of Detectives Keechant Sewell as the first woman NY Police Commissioner and Dr. David Banks School Chancellor Adams named six deputy mayors, five of whom are women, including high profile breaking glass-ceiling African Americans like Jamaican-American Sheena Wright, United Way of NY CEO, who will oversee Strategic Initiatives and Trinidadian-American Anne Williams-Isom, former Harlem Children’s Zone CEO, who will oversee Health and Human Services. Term-limited Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez was named Transportation Commissioner. The behind-the-scenes deal making for NY City Council Speaker ended and Queens Councilwoman Adrienne Adams will be the new Speaker as WGO predicted for a few weeks.
ARTS AND CULTURE
EDUCATION: LaTanya Jackson and hubby Samuel Jackson gifted $5 million to Spelman College, for its John D. Rockefeller Fine Arts Building. An Atlanta-based women’s school, Spelman is a historically based Black college and university, an HBCU. The gift is largest alumni donation in Spelman’s 140-year history. LaTanya is Spelman, Class of ‘74 and Samuel is Morehouse, Class of 72. Both schools are a part of the Atlanta University Center. Jackson friends, “Star Wars” creator George Lucas and his wife Mellody Hobson donated $10 million to the Fine Arts Building. Bank America gave $2 million and descendants of John Rockefeller gave $300,000.
Sociology scholar Patricia Kingori, 28, is the youngest Black woman to receive tenure at University of Oxford. The Kenya-born professor’s dad is Kenyan and her mom is Caribbean. She spent her childhood in St. Kitts before the family relocated to Great Britain. In addition to completing her doctoral and post-doctoral studies, which focused on the everyday ethical experiences of frontline workers in global health, Professor Kingori has been an adviser to the World Health Organization, Save the Children and Medecins Sans Frontierres.
THEATER: The Harlem Opera Theater presents a 100th Anniversary Virtual Celebration of SHUFFLE ALONG, the first Black musical theater presented on Broadway. Written, staged and produced by African Americans with a sophisticated Black love story, it is a Harlem Renaissance masterpiece, the brainchild of Eubie Blake and Noble Sissie. “Shuffle Along” 2021 will be streamed online and on Smart TV on December 31 at 7 pm. Visit harlemoperatheater.org.
MOVIE: Denzel Washington directs his fourth feature film, A JOURNAL FOR JORDAN, starring Michael B. Jordan, in is a true bittersweet love story about an American soldier who dies in Iraq, one month shy of finishing his tour of duty. Journal opens on Christmas Day, the same day that the film “The Tragedy of Macbeth,” starring Washington as Macbeth, opens in national movie houses.
Sharon Bowen is the first Black Woman appointed to Chair the New York Stock Exchange, the world’s largest, with a combined capitalization of $36 trillion and 2,400 listed companies. A finance and securities lawyer for more than 30 years, Sharon Bowen was the Vice Chair of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation during the Obama Administration. In 2014, Bowen became the first African American appointed Commissioner of US Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
HAPPY HOLIDAYS! MERRY CHRISTMAS! HAPPY KWANZAA!
A Harlem-based media influencer, Victoria can be contacted at Victoria.email@example.com