2022 U.S.A ELECTIONS
Primary fever is infectious throughout America this summer. On May 24, Texas, Alabama, Georgia, Arkansas and Minnesota will hold Primaries. All over the nation, the ten-year redistricting/gerrymandering rituals are in play. Will Democrats hold a majority in the House? Can Democrats win 2-3 more seats in the Senate? Will Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock keep his seat? Red states like Texas, Georgia and Florida have redistricted congressional seats to favor Republicans while eliminating districts with Black majorities. Suspect that Blue states have done the same. Voting irregularities are commonplace in the US South, which succumbed to the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965, which prohibited racial discrimination in voting, including specific protections. In 2013, the US Supreme Court removed a lot of the muscle from the 1965 Voting Rights law. Lobbyists and special interest groups have the Midterm voting fever. The AIPAC, a pro-Israel lobbyist group, is funding campaigns to oust progressive Congress members. To be sure, AIPAC is not alone. Democrats have to expand its US Senate majority.
On May 24, a gun violence massacre unfolded in Uvalde, Texas which claimed the lives of 19 elementary school students and two teachers. It is the second gun carnage in the USA this month. When will the US Senate work towards gun reform? Know who represents you in the US Senate.
Last week, the new NYS congressional and senate maps were released by a “Master” judge, which was greeted with shock and awe. The new calendar has eliminated districts and created new ones, to the detriment of many Democrats, like Black Reps in Brooklyn Hakeem Jeffries and Yvette Clarke; Upstate’s Jamaal Bowman and Mondaire Jones, who said that he will run in the new Lower Manhattan district, where former NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio will run. Political analyst/organizer Chet Whye quipped, “It’s like whiplash trying to follow NY politics.” Congressman Antonio Delgado was sworn in as NYS Lieutenant Governor on May 25.
NY Mayor Eric Adams works 24/7, not always getting immediate results in the city that he wants to resurrect from COVID19 effects. He has introduced many initiatives, which are obscured by urban violence media attention. His dyslexia initiative to screen and detect the condition in students in early elementary school years is to be applauded. Dsylexia is a learning disorder involving difficulty reading, sounds, and words. Many Americans are dyslexic, including almost half of the regular cast of the “Shark Tank” millionaires. His dyslexia program should be duplicated nationally. Hizzoner also launched a doula initiative to facilitate pregnancy and postnatal health regimens and to help reduce the high number of infant and maternal death rates, a condition widespread among women of color all over America. Doulas are midwives, trained companions, who provide physical and emotional support to expectant mothers and their babies. The Citywide Doula Initiative is up and running and has an interface with hospitals.
ARTS AND CULTURE
FILM: The Apollo Theater Film Division presents Imagenation’s “Cocktails and Sol Cinema, It’s Different in Chicago” screening and conversation with Moikgantsi Kgama, Imagenation founder, and filmmaker David Weathersby, on May 26 at 6 pm at the Apollo Theater soundstage, located at 253 West 125 Street, Harlem. The film centers on Chicago, the birthplace of house music and an incubator for HIPHOP hit makers. Visit apollotheater.org.
MEDIA: The 5/22 NY Times includes a special 18-page section on HAITI, the first modern nation born of a slave revolt. It is required reading. There’s an anatomy of a Haiti with 8 topics, including “The Ransom,” “A Land of Riches but not for its own people” Fertile Soil, Soaked in Human Blood,” “To The Losers Go The Spoils” “Reparations! He Cried – Then Was Out” about President Aristide being removed from office by the US/France coalition, and “Haiti Today.” This Haiti series is the work of 4 reporters and 12 researchers. Visit nytimes.com/haiti-sources and nytimes.com/haiti-debt.
May 25 week is the second anniversary of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis,Minnesota. His death, while in the custody of white police, touched a sensitive nerve in American culture. Streets were filled nationwide with protesters calling for social justice and Black lives matter amidst the COVID19 menace. It was a national feel-good moment that followed the Floyd tragedy. Two years later what happened to America, the East to West Coast protest nation? The republic is more divided and angrier than it’s been in decades. Cannot get legislation for voting rights, or police reform bills passed in the US Senate. The US Supreme Court has swerved right abrogating rights like voting, abortions
On May 25, 2020, a Harvard-educated Black New Yorker, Christian Cooper, was almost arrested as the subject of a Karen/NYPD accusation. A white woman in Central Park called NYPD to say that a Black man threatened her and was aggressive to her. Cooper told her to leash her dog in the park’s bird-watching area. He did a video of the encounter. Cooper left before NYPD arrived. The woman lost her job and got into legal hot water. The story got media attention but was eclipsed by George Floyd death. Mr. Cooper recently signed a contract with National Geographic to host a show called “Extraordinary Birder.”
Congrats to New Yorker Naomi Horsford, a member of the Class of 2022 at Washington University in Missouri and an AKA soror. A double major, she earned a BS in Engineering Computer Science and a BA in Fashion Design. She plans to complete MBA studies next May.
Birthday greetings to Geminis: Naomi Campbell; Dr. Sandra Epps; Naomi Horsford; Mia Horsford; Rolando Horsford; Victor Horsford; Aaron McGruder, writer/cartoonist; Patti LaBelle; Mamadou Niang, Film/TV producer; Edgar Ridley, author of The Golden Apple book series about the Symptomatic Thought Process; Lionel Ritchie; Kai Sidberry; Karen Soltau, Film/TV Producer; Robert Tate, NY eminence grise; Pierre Thiam, author/restauranteur; Kanye West; and actress Sundra Williams.
RIP: Essie Green Gallery owner, Brooklynite Sherman Edmiston, Jr., 86, passed in early May. His memorial service will be held at the Schomburg Center, located at 515 Malcolm X Boulevard, Harlem, on Thursday, June 2, from 6-8 pm.
A Harlem-based media strategist, Victoria can be reached at email@example.com