DeSantis Signs Bill Ending Vehicle Driver Liability For Hitting Protesters

By Chris Walker

Read the full article from Truthout here.

“Adora Obi Nweze, president of NAACP Florida State Conference, also described the law as being ‘racist, discriminatory, unwise, unlawful, and unjust…The Governor put his stamp on this discriminatory law filled with criminalization and civil rights disenfranchisement aimed at Black and Brown Floridians,’ she added. ‘We won’t sit silent on this issue and we won’t let this stop peaceful protests across the state of Florida.’”

Mayor Lori Lightfoot Has Failed Chicago

By Jasson Perez

Read the full article from The Nation here.

“In the aftermath of the tragedy, the mayor, police, and attorney general followed their usual post-police-killing script: They minimized both the violence on the tape and police culpability. Mayor Lori Lightfoot tried to hold abstractions like ‘systemic forces’ responsible…We know who killed Toledo. It was the police, with an assist from mayors like Lightfoot who fund and empower them. This is why we have taken to the streets in Chicago, again.”

What Daunte Wright’s Killing Foretells for the Suburbs

By Will Stancil

Read the full article from The Atlantic here.

“In some respects, segregation is even more harmful in the suburbs than in major cities, which typically have a larger industrial and commercial tax base that allows them to weather crises and sustain public services. On average, predominantly nonwhite suburbs have the lowest per capita tax base of any community type in a major metropolitan area—about 25 percent less than major cities, and about 40 percent less than predominantly white suburbs.”

‘Intellectual diversity’ on college campuses measure heads to Governor’s desk

By Renzo Downey

Read the full article from Florida Politics here.

“The Legislature has passed a bill calling for a survey of the ideological beliefs of Florida’s university and college professors, and it is now heading to Gov. Ron DeSantis‘ desk…The legislation comes as conservatives complain about a so-called liberal indoctrination of students. But in discussions Thursday, Republican Sen. Ray Rodrigues, who is shepherding the legislation through the Senate, opposed assertions that the effort is political. He brushed off suggestions administration could use the survey results in malicious ways toward faculty.”

New York Is Finally Taxing the Rich

By Liza Featherstone

Read the full article from Jacobin, here.

In the annual wrangling over the New York State budget, socialists and other left forces just won far more than anyone expected. The state legislature agreed to temporarily raise taxes on New Yorkers earning more than $1.1 million, with a tax rate of 10.9 percent on incomes over $25 million. This is happening even though Democratic scion Andrew Cuomo is still the governor. After years of Cuomo’s elevation of coddling the rich into a matter of liberal principle, in New York, as at the federal level, decades of austerity are grinding to a halt.

Chicago Awaits Video of Police Killing of 13-Year-Old Boy

By Jamie Kalven

Read the full article from The Intercept here.

“Again and again, incidents of police violence have arisen from relatively trivial occasions (e.g., a woman driving a car with a broken tail light, a man selling loose cigarettes, a child playing with a toy gun in a playground, et cetera). In view of the potential for any police encounter to derail, the first order of business is to reduce the number of unnecessary interactions. ShotSpotter does the opposite: It dramatically increases the number of such interactions and thereby increases the probability of bad outcomes that would not otherwise occur.”

Collaborative Justice-Centered Think Tank Launches at UIC: The Social Justice Portal Project

By University of Illinois at Chicago

Read the full article from Newswise here.

“John D. MacArthur Professor Barbara Ransby, director of the University of Illinois Chicago’s Social Justice Initiative, has convened a formidable roster of social justice scholars and writers as the inaugural cohort of Marielle Franco fellows, named after the assassinated Brazilian human rights leader. They are: Angela Y. Davis, Robin D. G. Kelley, Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor and Naomi Klein. The four Franco fellows will participate in curated discussions and public events over the next two years with some of the most influential organizers in the country and scholars whose research wrestles with social and racial justice themes.”

Minnesota police shooting of Daunte Wright sparks protests

By Rachel Elbaum and Caroline Radnofsky

Read the full article from NBCBLK here.

“The Minnesota branch of the American Civil Liberties Union called in a statement for an ‘immediate, transparent and independent investigation by an outside agency’ and for the quick release of any body camera video. It said it has ‘deep concerns that police here appear to have used dangling air fresheners as an excuse for making a pretextual stop, something police do all too often to target Black people.’”

‘White Lives Matter’ rallies flop as hardly anyone shows up

By Brandy Zadrozny

Read the full article from NBC News, here.

The poor showing underscores how the country’s unpopular and disorganized extremist movements have been driven underground by increased scrutiny from the media, law enforcement agencies and far-left activists who infiltrate their private online spaces and disrupt their attempts to communicate and organize.

Bills stadium deal makes Highmark brand memorable. But in what way?

By Rod Watson

Read the full article from The Buffalo News here.

“The Rev. George Nicholas, chair of the African American Health Equity Task Force – who also signed the letter – pointed to the health disparities and wondered aloud if people are OK with that, adding, ‘We need to have a real conversation about what’s important in this region…We’re burying too many people,’ he said. ‘I get too many funerals of people who are not old.’ But Nicholas also took a more encouraging tack, saying, ‘The potential to do a much bigger thing is right there.’”

Baseball Says No to Jim Crow 2.0

By Dave Zirin

Read the full story from The Nation here.

“[T]he state passed a set of Jim Crow laws buttressed by a set of Jim Crow lies. It’s brazen as hell. Instead of competing for votes, the GOP has gone full white authoritarian in a manner that would make Bull Connor blush. Kemp is serving up these oppressive laws with a hearty helping of slop-Orwellian disinformation: It’s Orwell for people who didn’t do the reading.”

Corporations gave over $50M to voting restriction backers

By Brian Slodysko

Read the full article from AP News, here.

State legislators across the country who have pushed for new voting restrictions, and also seized on former President Donald Trump’s baseless claims of election fraud, have reaped more than $50 million in corporate donations in recent years, according to a new report by Public Citizen, a Washington-based government watchdog group.

The Enduring Fiction of Affordable Housing

By Tracy Jeanne Rosenthal

Read the full article from The New Republic here.

“The strategic myopia of offering technical solutions to political problems, valorizing the expertise of financiers and economists over that of residents, and situating the private real estate market as the cure rather than cause of the housing crisis, is baked into the Affordable Housing project.”

Robin D.G. Kelley: Amazon Union Drive Builds on Decades of Black Radical Labor Activism in Alabama

From Democracy Now!

Watch the full interview from Democracy Now! here.

“I want to really emphasize that what makes the history of Alabama unionization important was the role of the left. You know, the fact is, the reason why we have anti-labor legislation, we have violence against labor in Alabama, what appears to be conservatives, the reason we have Jim Crow and the disenfranchisement of Black people, the most draconian anti-immigration laws, is precisely because those who rule the South know the potential of an interracial labor movement, because they’ve seen it.”

Exploring the future of higher education

By Kristina García

Read the full article from Penn Today here.

“Ira Harkavy, associate vice president at Penn and the Netter Center for Community Partnerships’ founding director, is the book’s co-editor. Harkavy contributed three chapters, one of which, ‘Chapter 7: Past, present, future: Re-thinking the social responsibility of U.S. higher education in light of Covid-19 and Black Lives Matter,’ was co-written with Rita A. Hodges, Netter Center associate director. Penn Today talked with Harkavy to discuss social responsibility at Penn, the democratic purpose of higher education, and the role of universities in a post-pandemic world moving forward into the ‘next normal.’”

The Diversity and Inclusion Industry Has Lost Its Way

By Kim Tran

Read the full article from Harper’s Bazaar here.

“The people who populate DEI are who theorists call the national bourgeoisie, an entrepreneurial class of people of color interested in economic development (and personal enrichment) instead of liberation. Frantz Fanon said that the purview of the national bourgeoisie was “not to transform the nation but prosaically serve as a conveyor belt for capitalism.” The diversity, equity, and inclusion industry is distressingly close to getting caught in the assembly line of its own making, but another word for crossroads is choice.”

Need Amid Plenty: Richest U.S. Counties Are Overwhelmed by Surge in Child Hunger

By Laura Ungar

Read the full article from Route Fifty, here.

Data from the anti-hunger advocacy group Feeding America and the U.S. Census Bureau shows that counties seeing the largest estimated increases in child food insecurity in 2020 compared with 2018 generally have much higher median household incomes than counties with the smallest increases. In Bergen, where the median household income is $101,144, child hunger is estimated to have risen by 136%, compared with 47% nationally.

Evanston is the first U.S. city to issue slavery reparations. Experts say it’s a noble start

By Char Adams

Read the full article from NBC News, here.

The historic plan by Evanston, Illinois, to make reparations to its Black residents — including housing grants for a fraction of the city’s families — has prompted questions about whether funding such programs, as opposed to direct payments, can be considered reparations for slavery and racial discrimination at all. The first phase involves giving 16 residents $25,000 each, for home repairs or property costs. This plan, however, is far from the direct payments that have come to characterize reparations — redress for slavery and the subsequent racial discrimination in the United States. But experts say Evanston’s plan is a noble start to a complicated process.

The Amazon Union Drive and the Changing Politics of Labor

By Benjamin Wallace-Wells

Read the full article from The Atlantic here.

“Amazon’s influence is so vast—touching on issues from wealth and income inequality to antitrust policy, the American relationship with China, the omnipotence of workplace surveillance, and the atomizing effect of big business, in its most concentrated and powerful form, on families and communities—that it can scramble ordinary politics…The fight in Bessemer is different because it is so direct. Amazon isn’t a proxy for the future of the economy but its heart.”

Exclusive: Ohio’s Nina Turner picks up Ocasio-Cortez endorsement in U.S. House race

By Amanda Becker

Read the full article from the 19th here.

“Ocasio-Cortez’s endorsement of Turner on Monday adds additional progressive energy to a race that is being seen as a contest between the Democratic Party’s establishment and its activist wing, given Ohio’s 11th Congressional District is heavily gerrymandered and strongly favors Democrats.”

Your Home’s Value Is Based on Racism

By Dorothy A. Brown

Read the full article from The New York Times here.

“Black Americans are often unable to build wealth from homeownership in the same way their white peers are, in large part because home prices are generally set by the people who make up the majority of buyers: white Americans. White families typically prefer to live in predominantly white neighborhoods with very few or no Black neighbors. Homes in these neighborhoods tend to have the highest market values because most prospective purchasers — who happen to be white — find them most desirable.”

The Democratic Party’s Real War in 2020 Was Against Bernie Sanders

By Branko Marcetic

Read the full article from Jacobin here.

“Like Mr Magoo stepping on a sewer lid or a construction beam at just the right moment, Biden was propped up and rescued by a series of twists of fate he’d barely noticed, and came out the other side convinced it had all been his doing.”

Cities with more black residents rely more on traffic tickets and fines for revenue

By Akheil Singla

Read the full article from The Conversation here.

“In our study, we looked at a representative sample of 93 California cities from 2009 to 2014 to determine what affects how much cities fine residents and rely on fines for revenue…All else equal, our results showed that a 1% increase in black population is associated with a 5% increase in per capita revenue from fines and a 1% increase in share of total revenue from fines.”

France’s Alternative to Gentrification

By Owen Hatherley

Read the full article from Tribune, here.

This year’s Pritzker Prize, the highest award in architecture, went to Lacaton and Vassal: French architects who rejected estate demolition and instead renovated public housing – keeping residents in place.

Did the Comprehensive Community Initiatives of the 1990s, early 2000s Bring About Change?

By Meir Rinde

Read the full article from Shelterforce here.

“While their methods and specific goals varied, the CCIs all sought to bring focused resources and the lessons of past revitalization initiatives to poor, urban neighborhoods in order to effect broad change at the individual, neighborhood, and systems levels. They aimed to help local groups organize their communities, develop leaders, improve the physical infrastructure, boost their economies, enhance access to human services, and strengthen social bonds.”

Now and Then: Rent Control, Rental Assistance, and Universal Vouchers

By Miriam Axel-Lute

Read the full article from Shelterforce here.

“Although the backdrop of a crisis that requires major federal intervention and economic stimulus is similar to that of 2011, the political landscape is clearly very different right now. The dominant conversation is not about how to eke out positive interest in our work along the margins, and convince Republicans to consider housing, but how to make the most of the opportunity of a country ready to talk about housing and with an appetite for bold proposals that actually make meaningful differences in people’s lives.”

‘Couldn’t possibly be silent’: These women are carrying the torch for Breonna Taylor

By Chloe Atkins

Read the full article from NBCBLK here.

“‘It has given a lot of women a voice who didn’t realize they had one or didn’t know how to use it,’ said Tamika Palmer, Taylor’s mother. ‘To see so many women become part of something and stand up and not feel ashamed or powerless because they’re women — that’s a blessing, and Breonna would’ve loved to see it.’”

From Brooklyn to Buffalo, Socialists are Organizing to Tax the Rich

By Rob Katz

Read the full article from The Indypendent, here.

When a coalition of 40 organizations wrote to Krueger in February 2020 to propose a package of income taxes on wealthy individuals and large corporations, she told the Daily News that she supports a “robust progressive tax system” but insisted that only the governor, who has spent his decade-long tenure slashing taxes and social spending, could grow total spending for new or expanded programs. In the pre-pandemic world, Krueger made clear that while she supported the sentiment, she believed her hands were tied.

It’s Past Time for Congress to Permanently Demilitarize Our Police

By Representative Hank Johnson and Yasmine Taeb

Read the full article from The Nation, here.

In the last few years, the transfer of surplus military-grade weaponry from the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan to the streets of America has flourished. The militarization of domestic law enforcement perpetuates institutionalized racism, Islamophobia, and xenophobia and contributes to the maintenance of a society where the lives of Black and brown people don’t matter. Moreover, studies have shown that the militarization of police departments is not only unsafe for communities but also ineffective in reducing crime or improving police safety. Not surprisingly, evidence has shown that law enforcement agencies that receive military equipment are more prone to violence against the communities they are sworn to protect.

White supremacists’ fake bomb threats net 3 years in prison

By Associated Press

Read the full article from the Grio, here.

A former Old Dominion University student who joined up with white supremacists in a swatting conspiracy that targeted a Black church, his own university and a Cabinet officer, among others, was sentenced to nearly three years in prison Monday.

Renting Is Terrible. Owning Is Worse.

By Shane Phillips

Read the full article from The Atlantic here.

“The housing situation is only getting worse—more expensive, more inequitable, more precarious. As prices have continued their climb in the country’s most economically dynamic regions, it’s no longer feasible for working-class residents to seek out the best opportunities there. Instead, younger and lower-income residents are being pushed out to places where jobs are less plentiful and lucrative, but where housing, at least, is relatively affordable.”

Speakers make case for giving financial reparations to descendants of slavery

By Barbara Branning

Read the full article from UBNow here.

“Darity pointed out that wealth is equated with a family’s well-being, and that a person’s financial agency leads to greater opportunity — for homeownership and building savings, for example. Currently, he said, Black people represent 13% of the population but hold only 2% of the nation’s wealth. Darity and Mullen ended their presentation with a synopsis of their detailed plan for providing substantial financial compensation to all eligible descendants of documented slaves.”

How Can Blackness Construct America?

By Michael Kimmelman

Read the full article from The New York Times here.

“The MoMA show was organized by Sean Anderson, an associate curator at the museum, and Mabel O. Wilson, an architect, Columbia University professor and author, among much else, of ‘White by Design,’ which describes the Modern’s failure to display and collect works by Black architects and designers. ‘Reconstructions’ proceeds from a question: ‘How do we construct Blackness?’ The architects enlisted to answer this question are a multigenerational mix, including some familiar names. Nearly all run small or solo practices.”

U.S. Pedestrian Deaths Soar In ‘Total Failure’ As States Prioritize Vehicle Speed, Traffic Flow

By Nina Golgowski

Read the full article from HuffPost here.

“Black people were found to have been struck and killed by drivers at an 82% higher rate than white non-Hispanic people during the years 2010 to 2019. The fatality rate in the lowest-income neighborhoods was nearly twice that of middle-income neighborhoods. ‘Low-income communities are significantly less likely to have sidewalks, marked crosswalks, and street design to support safer, slower speeds,’ the report states. ‘It is likely that many of the people walking in these lower-income census tracts are also lower-income themselves.’ People in lower-income communities are less likely to have cars, the report adds.”

Legislating the Gig Worker Economy

By Liz Farmer

Read the series on the gig economy from the Rockefeller Institute here.

“Part One of this series will address the legislative approach to protecting gig workers’ rights in California and other states. Part Two looks at efforts to protect gig companies. Part Three will look at how the COVID-19 economic crisis might influence the gig economy and labor policy going forward.”

‘Support Black Women Leaders’ Is Key Message In National Ad—And We Agree

By Donna M. Owens

Read the full article from Essence, here.

In a full-page ad in The New York Times, the group is celebrating nearly 100 current and former Black women political leaders. They run the gamut from Vice President Kamala Harris to the late Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm. Higher Heights is also challenging what they called “the shameless absence of Black women” in certain offices at the federal level and beyond.

A Florida Lawmaker Introduced Legislation to Remove Traffic Enforcement From Police

By Meg O’Connor

Read the full article from The Appeal, here.

Under Hardy’s proposal, each city and county in Florida would be required to create a Public Safety Department by July 1, 2023. The department would have distinct operational divisions with different public safety functions, including law enforcement, traffic enforcement, crisis response and intervention, and emergency call answering and dispatch. The bill also seeks to hire civilian crisis responders.

Iowa governor signs Republican bill restricting voting access into law

By The Associated Press

Read the full article from NBC News, here.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds on Monday signed into law a Republican-backed bill that makes it harder to vote early, potentially eroding a key aspect of Democratic campaigns. Republicans in the House and Senate quickly approved the voting changes over the opposition of all Democratic legislators. Republicans said the new rules were needed to guard against voting fraud, though they noted Iowa has no history of election irregularities and that November’s election saw record turnout with no hint of problems in the state.

Racial disparities plague vaccine rollout in WNY and across U.S.

By Caitlin Dewey

Read the full article from The Buffalo News here.

“In New York, white residents have received a disproportionate share of vaccines in each of the state’s 10 regions and in all five counties of Western New York. That disparity is especially dramatic in Erie County: While white residents make up just over 81% of the population, they account for almost 91% of the newly vaccinated. Black residents, on the other hand, represent 5.7% of all vaccinated people (compared to 13.1% of the population), while Asian residents make up 2.5% of those vaccinated (3.6% of the population) and Hispanic residents make up 2.2% (4.5% of the population).”

Why Cornel West’s Tenure Fight Matters

By Robin D.G. Kelley

Read the full article from Boston Review here.

“So when Harvard’s administrators tell Professor West that they cannot bring him up for tenure because it’s ‘too risky’ and he’s ‘too controversial,’ they completely undermine the point of tenure: to preserve and protect his freedom to speak truth to power, to expose injustice anywhere, to bring to bear his enormous critical faculties and prophetic voice to say those things we need to hear in order to advance knowledge and create a more just world. After all, neither his generous salary, nor the name on his endowed chair, nor all the effusive assurances from the administration will protect him from dismissal if, in the course of ‘offering ideas, views and analyses,’ he offends the powers that be or their donors.”

Buffalo police don’t belong in traffic enforcement

By Jalonda Hill

Read the full article from The Buffalo News here.

“The BPD’s history of disproportionately stopping Black drivers also counters the argument that police improve community safety. Stop receipt data from 2020 shows that 68% of receipts were issued to Black motorists, despite Black people making up roughly 37% of the city’s population. This apparent racism also drives the disproportionate and unjustified use of police force against unarmed people of color.”

David Graeber: After the Pandemic, We Can’t Go Back to Sleep

By David Graeber

Read the full essay from Jacobin here.

“[I]n reality, the crisis we just experienced was waking from a dream, a confrontation with the actual reality of human life, which is that we are a collection of fragile beings taking care of one another, and that those who do the lion’s share of this care work that keeps us alive are overtaxed, underpaid, and daily humiliated, and that a very large proportion of the population don’t do anything at all but spin fantasies, extract rents, and generally get in the way of those who are making, fixing, moving, and transporting things, or tending to the needs of other living beings.”

Amherst, Clarence and Orchard Park see higher Covid-19 vaccination rates

By Sandra Tan

Read the full article from Buffalo News here.

“When it comes to getting the Covid-19 vaccine in Erie County, affluence equals access. Of the top seven ZIP codes in Erie County where more than a fifth of residents have already received the Covid-19 vaccine, six came from the Amherst, Clarence and Orchard Park, which are among the wealthiest communities in the region…Meanwhile, of the dozen ZIP codes which have fewer than 10% of the population vaccinated, nine were from poorer neighborhoods in Buffalo/Cheektowaga…”

Whose History?

By Zach Mortice

Read the full article from The Architect’s Newspaper here.

“Despite the National Register of Historic Places eligibility ruling, Buffalo’s housing agency hasn’t pursued any landmarking and instead wants to tear almost all of the complex down while retaining the sculptures. ‘These buildings are really pretty crappy,’ [Mayor Brown] said. ‘Even in their prime, they were not particularly lovely. They look like barracks.’”

Morehouse College Announces Program to Help Black Men Finish School

ByDerek Major

Read the full article from Black Enterprise, here.

Morehouse College, an all-male Historically Black College and University (HBCU), has announced an online program with reduced tuition for Black men who have some college credits. The program’s flexibility will allow students to set their own pace finishing and with the program being online, students in the program do not have to be on campus or stick to a typical academic calendar.

Philly Cops are Solving Fewer Homicides. The City Keeps Paying Them Millions

By Joshua Vaughn

Read the full article from The Appeal, here.

Between 2013 and 2020, the Philadelphia Police Department budget rose by nearly a quarter. At the same time, murders doubled, but police only solved half of all murders in the city. Community members and lawmakers want to know why those who control the city’s budget—the City Council and the mayor in particular—keep funneling money into a department that they say is failing to keep the community safe.

8 Essential Steps to Radically Transform Our Economy

By David Korten

Read the full article from yes!, here.

There is a related rising awareness of the need for a serious update to how we study and think about economics and prepare our future leaders. With few exceptions, economics, as it’s taught in universities, relies on the same badly flawed theories and ethical principles that bear major responsibility for the unfolding crisis. It values life only for its market price; uses GDP growth as the defining measure of economic performance; assures students that maximizing personal financial return benefits society; recommends policies that prioritize corporate profits over human and planetary well-being; and ignores the natural limits of a finite planet.

How Transit-Oriented Development Can Promote Equitable, Healthy Communities

Shadi O. Tehrani, Shuling J. Wu, and Jennifer D. Roberts

Read the full article from Housing Matters, here.

Where people live can significantly affect their health, well-being, and upward mobility. Cities have invested in transit-oriented development (TOD) to spur growth, revitalize neighborhoods, and promote healthy communities. Although the goal of TOD is often neighborhood revitalization and renewal, these strategies can inadvertently result in increasing rents and house values, residential or cultural displacement, and the widening of disparities in neighborhood resources, such as parks, as well as health outcomes, including obesity, among low-income communities and communities of color.

Lawyers have found the parents of 105 separated migrant children in past month

By Julia Ainsley and Jacob Soboroff

Read the full article from NBC News, here.

The lawyers working to reunite immigrant parents and children separated by the Trump administration reported Wednesday that they have found the parents of 105 children in the past month. The steering committee of pro-bono lawyers and advocates working on reunification said it had yet to find the parents of 506 children, down from 611 on Jan. 14, the last time it reported data to a federal judge overseeing the process. The lawyers said the parents of about 322 of the 506 children are believed to have been deported, making it more difficult to find them. The lawyers are not required by the judge to say how many of the parents and children have been reunited.

Why Texas Republicans Fear the Green New Deal

By Naomi Klein

Read the full article from The New York Times here.

“Today, Texans are at the mercy of regulation-allergic politicians who failed to require that energy companies plan for shocks or weatherize their infrastructure (renewables and fossil fuel alike). In a recent appearance on NBC’s ‘Today’ show, Austin’s mayor, Steve Adler, summed it up: ‘We have a deregulated power system in the state and it does not work, because it does not build in the incentives in order to protect people.’”

2020 job losses in WNY hit low-wage workers the hardest

By Dan Miner

Read the full article from Buffalo Business First, here.

The Buffalo-Niagara economy was on a slow upward trajectory in terms of jobs until the Covid-19 pandemic hit, which was a blessing compared to its own history of decline but lagged behind many other comparable metros.

Police clash with residents in Portland over discarded food after power outage

By Wilson Wong

Read the full article from NBC News, here.

Portland police officers confronted a group of residents on Tuesday who tried to salvage food that was thrown away by a grocery store, authorities said.

A power outage caused by a winter storm forced workers at the Hollywood West Fred Meyer in Portland to toss thousands of perishable items into two large dumpsters outside the store, police said.

A Latino Young Lord remembers Black Panthers leader Fred Hampton: He united the oppressed

By Arturo Conde

Read the full article from NBC News here.

“While most people may associate the term Rainbow Coalition with Jesse Jackson’s presidential campaign in 1984, the first multicultural Rainbow Coalition was founded by Hampton on April 4, 1969, in Chicago, which Luciano called “the most progressive movement of its day.” The diverse movement was led by the Chicago chapter of the Black Panthers, and it was initially joined by other groups in the city.”

Eugene Debs: “Why We Have Outgrown the United States Constitution”

By Eugene Debs

Read the full article from Jacobin, here.

In a 1911 article, legendary socialist Eugene Debs excoriated the US Constitution as an “autocratic and reactionary document” written by aristocrats and “in every sense a denial of democracy.” To mark Presidents’ Day, we reprint the fiery essay here in full.

Dunkirk nonprofit plans new housing development for Fruit Belt neighborhood

By Jonathan Epstein

Read the full article from Buffalo News here.

“That would bring 50 new apartments and homes to the low-income community east of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus and north of downtown. The project would help counteract the gentrification trend in the neighborhood by keeping rents down for its new apartments. The nonprofit agency is partnering with the Fruit Belt Community Land Trust, which is the city’s designated developer for vacant sites in the neighborhood.”

UB researchers release major U.N. report on food systems planning

By David J. Hill

Read the full article from UBNow here.

“The report comprises six sections featuring contributions from UB and other global food systems researchers. Topics covered include describing the many ways in which local governments influence a community’s food system, an overview of the field of food systems planning, examples of local government policies from across the globe, and case studies from a number of low- and middle-income countries where food systems present an opportunity for equitable innovation.”

BLM co-founder Cullors discusses power of protest with UB audience

By Ellen Goldbaum

Read the full article from UBNow here.

“What does it mean when authorities in your own government call you a terrorist? What does that mean when you’re a social activist, a co-founder of a movement that calls out the frank injustice of the long history of police violence against Black people and other Americans of color? And how is it that that movement, that has been so viciously targeted, has now been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize?”

Why Educators, Health Professionals, and Others Focused on Economic Mobility Should Care about Housing

From the McArthur Foundation

Read the full article from Housing Matters, here.

Cities striving to improve residents’ lives often focus on such issues as schools, parks, jobs, or health. Often overlooked is something equally fundamental. Trace the lineage of many social welfare issues, and you will likely uncover a history of substandard, unaffordable housing. Research increasingly shows that safe and affordable housing in strong and thriving neighborhoods is a launching pad to upward mobility for families.

Cuomo aide Melissa DeRosa admits they hid nursing home data so feds wouldn’t find out

By Bernadette Hogan, Carl Campanile and Bruce Golding

Read the full article from New York Post, here.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s top aide privately apologized to Democratic lawmakers for withholding the state’s nursing home death toll from COVID-19 — telling them “we froze” out of fear that the true numbers would “be used against us” by federal prosecutors, The Post has learned. The stunning admission of a coverup was made by secretary to the governor Melissa DeRosa during a video conference call with state Democratic leaders in which she said the Cuomo administration had rebuffed a legislative request for the tally in August because “right around the same time, [then-President Donald Trump] turns this into a giant political football,” according to an audio recording of the two-hour-plus meeting.

Asian Americans Are Calling on Allies in Response to a Wave of Violence

By Bettina Makalintal

Read the full article from Vice, here.

In light of recent events, the Asian American community is continuing calls for action that began with the surge of anti-Asian violence last year. With the COVID-19 pandemic came an increase in xenophobia, anti-Chinese rhetoric, discrimination, and violence. More than 2,100 hate incidents targeting Asian Americans and related to COVID-19 were reported nationwide between March and June of 2020, according to the Stop AAPI Hate reporting center. A New York Times report from March recounted Chinese Americans’ experiences being spit on, yelled at, and attacked, though that racism has extended beyond the Chinese diaspora. President Trump’s contributions (calling COVID-19 the “Chinese virus,” “Wuhan virus,” and “Kung Flu” ) seemingly legitimized this growing racism, according to a United Nations report from August. (In response, President Biden signed an executive order condemning anti-Asian racism shortly after his inauguration.)

An Atlanta Neighborhood Will Finally Own Property as a Community

By Adina Solomon

Read the full article from Next City here.

“The Guild’s model is a community real estate trust that allows for anyone in the building’s 30310 ZIP code to contribute $10-100 a month. That investment goes into shares of the trust. Resident investors get a return through an annual dividend and the share price, which is tied to property values in this gentrifying neighborhood. The idea is to shift returns from developers to the community.”

Surgery launches anti-racism, health care equity initiative with West lecture

By Ellen Goldbaum

Read the full article from UBNow here.

“Cornel West, Harvard University professor, bestselling author, political activist and public intellectual, will speak via Zoom at “Beyond the Knife,” the initiative’s first public event, from 4-5 p.m. on Feb. 18. This event is free and open to the public. Register and submit questions for the question-and-answer session online.”

Buffalo-made ‘The Blackness Project,’ now on Amazon Prime, keeps dialogue open on race relations

By Randy Schiff

Read the full article from Buffalo News here.

“University at Buffalo professor Henry Louis Taylor Jr., who narrates the film, contributes considerably to the documentary. Taylor rivetingly condemns Americans’ fateful choice after the Civil War to support ex-Confederates’ interests rather than build up Black Americans’ opportunities, and provides a poignant concluding call to pursue social justice.”

Black Lives Matter movement nominated for Nobel peace prize

By Martin Belam

Read the full article from The Guardian here.

“The Black Lives Matter movement has been nominated for the 2021 Nobel peace prize for the way its call for systemic change has spread around the world. In his nomination papers, the Norwegian MP Petter Eide said the movement had forced countries outside the US to grapple with racism within their own societies. ‘I find that one of the key challenges we have seen in America, but also in Europe and Asia, is the kind of increasing conflict based on inequality,’ Eide said. ‘Black Lives Matter has become a very important worldwide movement to fight racial injustice.’”

Why Black Marxism, Why Now?

By Robin D.G. Kelley

Read the full article from Boston Review, here.

Black Marxism is neither Marxist nor anti-Marxist. It is a dialectical critique of Marxism that turns to the long history of Black revolt—and to Black radical intellectuals who also turned to the history of Black revolt—to construct a wholly original theory of revolution and interpretation of the history of the modern world.

St. Louis Considers Spy Planes to Survey the City 18 Hours a Day

By Eoin Higgins

Read the full article from The Nation here.

“The program’s detractors object to the way PSS technology has been used in other municipalities—Baltimore, Md., and Compton, Calif.—to target marginalized communities and violate the civil rights of city residents. Representative Cori Bush, who represents St. Louis and much of northern St. Louis county, told The Nation in an e-mail that the program, which she said “actively harms our communities,” will have dire consequences for the city.”

He Wants to Save Classics From Whiteness. Can the Field Survive?

By Rachel Poser

Read the full article from The New York Times Magazine here.

“Padilla is wary of colleagues who cite the radical uses of classics as a way to forestall change; he believes that such examples have been outmatched by the field’s long alliance with the forces of dominance and oppression. Classics and whiteness are the bones and sinew of the same body; they grew strong together, and they may have to die together.”

Bernie’s Mittens

By Bruce Jackson

Read the full article from First of the Month here.

“Bernie’s mittens. In that photo, surrounded by people in skin-tight black leather gloves, he wears a that look as if they’d been made from wool salvaged from an old sweater. The fingers he was relentlessly jabbing at every camera lens or audience when he spoke are wrapped in those mittens. Those fingers, for the first time since we’ve known him, are quiet. Bernie’s face mask: when addressing an audience, he never talked. He barked. A former Congressional colleague refers to him as ‘the scold.’ You can’t scold from behind a mask. Behind the mask, the barking scold was silent.”

Cities Say They Want to Defund the Police. Their Budgets Say Otherwise.

By Fola Akinnibi, Sarah Holder, and Christopher Cannon

Read the full article from Bloomberg CityLab, here.

Disparities in policing came into full view on Jan. 6 as a predominantly white mob of President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol in a bid to overturn the results of the presidential election. Videos emerged of officers appearing to open barricades for rioters, offering a stark contrast to scenes from summer protests, where largely peaceful demonstrators were met at times with brutal force. Police budgets will expand this year even in cities like Atlanta, Omaha and Phoenix, where Democrats picked up more votes in the 2020 presidential race versus 2016. Out of 42 major cities where Democrats gained share, 24 increased police spending for fiscal 2021, while 18 made cuts.

This is how long it could take to vaccinate all the adults in the US against Covid-19

By Deidre McPhillips

Read the full article from CNN, here.

In the past seven days, about 914,000 doses have been administered daily. If vaccination continues at this same rate, every adult in the US could be fully vaccinated by summer 2022, according to a CNN analysis. If vaccination picks up to 1 million shots per day, in line with Biden’s promise, that timeline could bump up to spring 2022. To fully vaccinate all adults in the US by the end of the year, the pace would have to increase to about 1.3 million doses administered per day.

CDC reports record number of daily Covid-19 vaccinations as states struggle with supply

By Theresa Waldrop

Read the full article from CNN, here.

The CDC said Friday that nearly 1.6 million more doses of the vaccines have been administered, bringing the total of doses given to more than 19 million. And 1 million new shots were reported in the previous 24-hour period, according to changes in CDC data from Wednesday morning to Thursday morning. That was only the second time a one-day increase rose above 1 million. The number of administered doses reported this week also was 22% higher than last week. While vaccinations are taking off, more states are complaining that they don’t have enough vaccine. New York will run out of Covid-19 vaccine doses Friday after using 97% of the first doses it received, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.

How Trumpism explains the GameStop stock surge

By Chris Cillizza

Read the full article from CNN, here.

What made Trump’s argument so potent, politically speaking, is that he wasn’t just calling out the elites. He was saying that Average Joes needed to rise up and actually show them how wrong they were — that voting him for him was the best way to express their anger and frustration with the condescension of their alleged bettors. Donald Trump offered himself up as a collective middle finger to the elites. And he won.

What Cities Need From the Biden Administration in the First 100 Days

By Joe Buscaino

Read the full article from Bloomberg CityLab, here.

While most of the last 10 months have been devoted to our immediate duty to protect our residents from the spread of Covid-19, it has also given us an important opportunity to examine the future of our hometowns, including how to address the systemic challenges that predated — and are now exacerbated by — the pandemic. Whether it’s ensuring our cities are built to meet the needs of all our residents, providing help for working families struggling to support their households, or eradicating persistent inequities in our civic institutions, the challenges before us have been thrown into sharp relief.

Africa: What Might Biden’s US-Africa Policy Look Like

By Cai Nebe

Read the full article from allAfrica, here.

On his first day in office, Joe Biden repealed the Trump administration’s 2017 immigration restriction, known as the Muslim ban, on travel and visas for citizens of predominantly Muslim countries. The list would grow to include 13 nations. In Africa, this affected Somalia, Nigeria, Sudan, Eritrea, Egypt, Libya and Tanzania. “This ban, which restricted issuance of visas to individuals from many Muslim and African countries, was nothing less than a stain on our nation,” Jake Sullivan, the incoming national security adviser, said of the ban in a call with reporters.

The mirage of the Black middle class

By Anne Helen Petersen

Read the full article from Vox here.

“You buy a place, that place grows in value, and either you trade up to a bigger place or you keep it until you can pass it down to your kids or your kids get the money from its sale. Stability gives birth to even more stability. That’s not what happened with Dee’s family. ‘My grandparents were bludgeoned every time the economy took a downturn,’ Dee recalls, in part because of the legacy of redlining and the devaluation of property in Black neighborhoods.”

Reversing Course: Joe Biden Signs Executive Actions Dissolving Trump’s Racist Policies

By Charise Frazier

Read the full article from Black America Web, here.

“Like his predecessor Barack Obama who once remarked he would use his “pen” and “telephone” to garner change when he was presented with gridlock from a majority Republican Senate, Biden has set out a series of 17 executive actions, 15 of which are executive orders, which he will sign into action on Wednesday. According to CNN, nine of the 17 actions directly reverse Trump’s policies.”

Grassroots push for more COVID-19 vaccines in Buffalo Black and Brown communities

By Thomas O’Neil White

Read the full article from WBFO here.

“Acknowledging that racism is a public health threat to communities of color, the Buffalo Common Council and local healthcare advocacy groups are prioritizing the equitable distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine to the city’s Black and Brown communities. The acknowledgement is part of a larger challenge to the pervasiveness of systemic racism, with health care being one of its pillars.”

What’s Abolitionist Housing Policy?

By Krystle Okafor and Sophie House

Read the full article from Shelterforce here.

“Despite its complexities, abolition holds tremendous promise for the housing field. Technocratic solutions are an inadequate fix for housing policy’s bitter history of racism and expropriation. Such solutions also obscure visionary, bottom-up approaches to housing justice. Following abolitionists’ lead, we can think critically about the racism in our work, set ambitious end goals, build genuine relationships with frontline communities, and foster conditions and institutions to make those visions a reality. This trailblazing moment should not pass us by.”

Black media brands are investing in growing community coverage

By Kayleigh Barber

Read the full article from Digiday here.

“Michelle Garcia, editorial director for NBCBLK who joined the vertical in July, said that under a large parent company like NBC, she and her team of two writers are able to explore more topics that are of interest to Black readers besides the ‘doom and gloom.’ ‘Our lives are not just being shot and killed. That is not the totality of the Black experience in America. We experience joy and love and want to explore this in our coverage,’ said Garcia.”

We Should Be Very Worried About Joe Biden’s “Domestic Terrorism” Bill

By Luke Savage

Read the full article from Jacobin here.

“Joe Biden used to brag that he practically wrote the Patriot Act, the Bush-era law that massively increased government surveillance powers. Now he’s hoping to pass a further “domestic terrorism” law once in office. The danger is real that the January 6 Capitol attack will be used as an excuse to severely curtail our civil liberties.”

Freedom Rider: Capitol Riot Brings U.S. Foreign Policy Home

By Margaret Kimberly

Read the full article from Black Agenda Report here.

“The United States is not a ‘beacon of democracy’ or ‘shining city on a hill.’ Euphemistic nonsense that hides criminality must be tossed out in favor of truth telling. This moment of crisis is not the time to sweep dirt under the rug. Scrutiny should begin at home and the acceptance of U.S. interventions in the rest of the world must end.”

Expert: How law enforcement would have treated a mostly Black and brown group of rioters storming the U.S. Capitol

By Douglas Sitler

For media contact information, click here.

“University at Buffalo expert Henry Louis Taylor Jr. can discuss differential treatment of people of different races by law enforcement, and what might have ensued had a predominantly Black and brown group of rioters attacked the U.S. Capitol. Taylor, PhD, is a professor of urban and regional planning in the UB School of Architecture and Planning, and director of the UB Center for Urban Studies.”

Partners in Crime: The Siege on the Capitol, Police, and White Supremacy

By Jerry Ianelli

Read the full article from The Appeal here.

“That police officers—who count massive numbers of Trump supporters in their ranks—treated a pro-Trump mob with kid gloves should surprise no one. Deeper than a question of policing, the event displayed American law enforcement’s centuries-long links to white supremacy.”

Race of Capitol rioters determined treatment by law enforcement, Taylor says

By Doug Sitler

Read the full article from UBNow here.

“‘If hundreds of Blacks and brown people had stormed the nation’s capital, there would have been a bloodbath…Moreover, if the government knew that thousands of African Americans and Latinx were coming to D.C. to protest, legions of police and the National Guard would have been there. Yet, this is not surprising,’ [Taylor] says.”

For Black Americans, The White Terror In D.C. Looks Familiar

By Erin E. Evans

Read the full article from HuffPost here.

“For more than a century, Black Americans have documented and warned us of similar moments where racial terror and white supremacy were the status quo. Several instances — often left out of history books and school curricula — illustrate this narrative. They show a desire to undermine the ideals of our democracy, and demonstrate the hypocrisy in how police respond to Black protest and white lawlessness.”

Co-ops in Spain’s Basque Region Soften Capitalism’s Rough Edges

By Peter S. Goodman

Read the full article from The New York Times here.

“The pandemic has highlighted and exacerbated the pitfalls faced by companies built to maximize shareholder returns. The shutdown of much of the world’s economy has sent joblessness soaring, threatening the ability of workers to feed their families and stay current on rent and mortgage payments — especially in the United States. Government rescue packages have emphasized the protection of assets like stocks and bonds, bolstering investors while leaving workers vulnerable.”

One in Every Three African Americans Not Willing to Get COVID Shot

By Larry Hamilton

Read the full article from The DC Post here.

“Researchers behind the study noted the percentage increased to 35 among the surveyed Black adults, as this group said they ‘definitely or probably would not get vaccinated,’ even though they are affected disproportionately by the pandemic and dying at almost three times the rate of white Americans.”

Housing Field Reacts to Marcia Fudge HUD Nomination

By Miriam Axel-Lute

Read the full article from Shelterforce here.

“There are two strains of reaction to Fudge’s nomination in the housing world. One is a feeling that the choice by Biden of someone with little experience who clearly preferred another role reflects that he does not take housing policy as seriously as was hoped and that qualifications are taking a back seat to other considerations in the cabinet process…But still, some, especially those who have worked with her, do have an actively optimistic perspective that exceeds the carefully politic.”

This Place Matters: Willert Park Courts

Read more and watch the video from Preservation Buffalo Niagara here.

“The National Trust for Historic Preservation and Preservation Buffalo Niagara are coming together to announce that Willert Park Courts has been named one of the United States 11 Most Endangered Historic Places by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Although Preservation Buffalo Niagara has been fighting to save Willert Park Courts from demolition for ten years, this national recognition is a notable notch on the timeline of this fight.”

For communities of color, there’s still uncertainty about the vaccine

By Karys Belger

Read the full article from WGRZ here.

“Henry-Louis Taylor, a professor at the University at Buffalo told 2 On Your Side, he’s heard similar hesitations from people he’s spoken to and the reasons are valid. ‘Historically, African Americans have been victimized by the medical industry. Many people are aware of the Tuskegee Syphilis experiments. There were efforts made to sterilize black women without their knowledge,’ he told 2 On Your Side.”

George Arthur, civic giant and true believer, put spotlight on long-neglected truths

By Sean Kirst

Read the full article from Buffalo News here.

“‘When you look at George, the breadth of his life, what he was able to accomplish, how resilient he was, you have to think of what a blessing he was to all of us and what a role model he should be for our children,’ said Barbara Seals Nevergold, a community historian and former president of the Board of Education.”