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Colin Kaepernick Calls Out NFL Hypocrisy in Racial Justice ‘Propaganda’

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The now iconic photograph of Eric Reid and Colin Kaepernick kneeling at a 49ers game in 2016. (Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
The now iconic photograph of Eric Reid and Colin Kaepernick kneeling at a 49ers game in 2016. (Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Ever since Colin Kaepernick knelt for what he stood for, spreading awareness of racial injustice, it ended up costing him his career. He has remained without a starting quarterback position years after protests on the field. He finally called out the NFL on Sunday for their hypocrisy in supporting what he advocated for and still not being resigned.

What We Know:

  • The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback star and activist used this opening weekend of the season to state that the NFL indulges in “performative activism” when it comes to racial justice. He pointed out the fact of another player who remains unsigned. Former 49ers safety Eric Reid signed a three year deal with the Carolina Panthers after departing the 49ers, but was ultimately released before his contract ended earlier this year.
  • Reid is currently an NFL free agent who actually joined his old teammate and longtime friend Kaepernick in the 2016 protests that got the resilient quarterback benched and eventually thrown out of the NFL, a league that has a troubled history confronting racism.

  • He openly shared his thoughts on the same day most NFL teams had their season opener games. In a pandemic society, we continue to see empty stadiums and much less commotion than before. However, that didn’t stop many players from demonstrating in the same way that got Kaepernick stonewalled from playing the sport. Kneeling, locking arms, raising fists, or staying off the field were all actions that could be seen during the national anthem.
  • During the first Thursday night game of the season, an abundance of attendees at the Kansas City Chiefs and the Houston Texans game booed players when displaying unity by linking arms during the anthem, and statements against racism appeared on the scoreboards.
  • Another change this season is the song that will now follow the national anthem. Commonly known as the “Black national anthem,” “Lift Every Voice and Sing”, will be played on the leagues part from now on. The Associated Press previously reported the league has permitted players to bare decals on their helmets with the names of victims of systemic racism.
  • The NFL’s alleged support and “social awakening” follows the unfortunate events of the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis earlier this year. The outcry has since sparked nationwide protests over systemic oppression and police brutality on African Americans in the U.S.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who initially refused to support Kaepernick’s protests, posted a video statement in June acknowledging that the league regrets not listening to players and what they were fighting for. Moreover, video game developer EA Sports announced that Kaepernick has been added to the 2021 edition of its Madden series for the first time since 2016.

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Javier Garay is Media & News SVCS Intern at UnmutedCo. He is currently enrolled in the University of North Georgia seeking a bachelor's degree in Film/Digital Media with a concentration in Media Studies. Javier writes for Black News Alerts (BNA) along with social media management for both BNA and BossFM, and is a part of the BNA Daily Podcast Team.

Headlines

Breonna Taylor Grand Jurors Say Police Actions were ‘Negligent’ and ‘Criminal’

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Memorial for Breonna Taylor in downtown Louisville. (Image via Jason Armond/Los Angeles Times)
Memorial for Breonna Taylor in downtown Louisville. (Image via Jason Armond/Los Angeles Times)

Ever since the death of Breonna Taylor last March, calls for justice continue to be heard in a country plagued by social unrest. This week, two Kentucky jurors have finally spoken on the decision to not charge the three police officers involved in the raid. They described their actions that night as “criminal” and “negligent”.

What We Know:

  • During an interview on CBS This Morning with Gayle King, two jurors were asked their thoughts of “the police behavior and actions” on March 13th. The jurors’ faces were blurred to hide identities and they are the first of a dozen people from the grand jury to speak. This is the first time the jurors broke their silence since the September 23rd ruling.
  • This development comes amid the increasing call to release grand jury records to the public after jurors disputed how Attorney General Daniel Cameron handled the case.
  • A majority of the interview focused on King and the two jurors, referred to as No. 1 and No. 2, sharing their honest thoughts on how they would assess the police’s actions in the incident of Taylor’s Louisville home, where she was shot five times after a mishandled no-knock raid.

  • “Negligent,” stated the first of the jurors. “They couldn’t even provide a risk assessment and it sounded like they hadn’t done one. So their organization leading up to this was lacking. That’s what I mean by they were negligent in the operation.”
  • Grand juror No. 2 did not hesitate to back up the first juror’s remarks. They said the officers were “criminal” for their actions. “They were criminal leading up to this in everything that they [did],” the juror said. “The way they moved forward on it, including the warrant, was deception.”
  • The two grand jurors previously called out Cameron for stating that the reason the officers couldn’t be charged before for their actions was that they claimed it was in self-defense after Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, opened fire. The jurors now bring up the point that they were in fact not given a proper opportunity to discuss murder-related charges.
  • As we previously reported, former officer Brett Hankison was eventually fired from duty. Cameron also served as a special prosecutor in his case. The grand jury has since charged him with three counts of wanton endangerment, of which he pleaded not guilty.

Aside from Hankison, the other two officers involved, Jonathan Mattingly and Myles Cosgrove, remain in the police force. According to ballistics tests, Cameron was able to conclude that it was Cosgrove who fired both a shot into Walker’s leg and the fatal shot that unfortunately ended Taylor’s life. It was later revealed that the same officer tried to raise money to retire shortly after the incident.

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Election 2020

Lil Wayne Meets With President Trump

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According to Judd Deere, White House Deputy Press Secretary, on Thursday, October 29, 2020, rapper Lil Wayne met with President Trump at one of Trump’s Miami resorts. The rapper took to Twitter after their meeting to praise the president for the ‘Platinum Plan’.

What We Know:

  • Lil Wayne stated the Platinum Plan would help Black America with ownership within the community. Lil Wayne also said the meeting went great. However, the Louisiana rapper did not detail what aspects of the plan he found most favorable. He simply stated the program would be good for the Black community. Lil Wayne did say President Trump had done an excellent job with prison reform since being elected to office.
  • The Platinum Plan includes President Trump’s vision to bring more jobs and business ownership opportunities to the Black community, better educational opportunities, and safer streets. The project has four fundamental pillars, which include security, fairness, opportunity, and prosperity. The plan is also supposed to make Juneteenth a national holiday.
  • President Donald Trump is running for his second term in office on Tuesday, November 3, 2020, against former Vice President Joe Biden. The two men have clashing views as to what this country needs.
  • Lil Wayne has received backlash in the past from the Black community for supporting President Trump in the 2016 Election. Although, Lil Wayne did not say who he was voting for this time around.

The Platinum Plan is a great idea, but it comes late on this election year’s cusp. President Trump stated the Black Lives Matter movement is “a symbol of hate” after a Black Lives Matter mural was commissioned outside Trump Towers in New York in July 2020. Since then, the completed Black Lives Matter mural has been vandalized numerous times outside Trump Tower. It is great that he is finally working on a plan for the inclusion of minorities.

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9.9 Million Americans are behind on their rent or mortgage

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There’s no hiding the fallout from the way the COVID-19 pandemic has ravaged the United States.  It’s shuttering to think about, considering the response from the government has been less than favorable.  We now know that over 9.9 million Americans are behind on their rent or mortgage.

What We Know:

  • Data from the US Census Household Pulse Survey shows that at the end of October, 9.9 million Americans were not current on their rent or mortgage payments and had little to no confidence or hope that their household would be able to pay next month’s rent or mortgage on time.

“To be able to understand the eviction crisis that we’re facing today, we have to recognize where we were before Covid-19 came to our country –and that was in the midst of a severe affordable housing crisis,” said Diane Yentel, president and CEO of the National Low-Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC).

  • Black America is plagued with several struggles right now, including but not limited to a sudden economic downturn, a grip of the population experiencing long-term homelessness, job loss, and now scrambling to figure out how to obtain or sustain a place they call home.  The economic toll Covid-19 has had on families and individuals across the country is unprecedented, and there has been little light at the end of the tunnel.
  • Few resources are available for those unable to pay their bills or rent, and the United States Senate has continued to stall on instant relief measures, including additional stimulus payments and extension of unemployment insurance (UI benefits) proposed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and house democrats.  Political pundits cite the heated election and partisan nature of current government leaders as an additional reason for the delay.
  • At one point, President Donald Trump reversed course on offering relief, but the House and Senate failed to come to terms that would be acceptable to both parties.  While leaders dispute, the trouble at home lingers on.
  • Despite a recent eviction moratorium that has been issued by the CDC, hundreds of thousands of eviction actions have been filed according to data compiled by the Private Equity Stakeholders Project.

Relief

  • The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an order that bans evictions between September 4 and December 31, 2020, estimating up to 40 million people could lose their homes if it were not in place.  To be eligible and covered by this, you will need to fill out a declaration form affirming that you meet several requirements, including applying for government assistance for rent or housing.  If you meet all of the stringent conditions, you sign the declaration form and give a copy to your landlord.  The NLIHC has the declaration form translated into 15 different languages.

The NLHIC has compiled a database of local resources to help citizens find local relief.  The CDC is encouraging families in need to search for local relief in addition to completing the declaration form.  A Justice Department listing of pro bono legal service provides may also provide relief for families already in litigation.

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