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Election 2020

Simone Biles Will ‘Always’ Support LGBTQ Community After Campaign Hate

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Simone Biles shows support for the LGBTQ community after controversy with a conservative Christian group demanding Uber Eats end its campaign featuring Biles and Queer Eye star Jonathan Van Ness. 

What We Know:

  • Mid-October, Uber Eats released the “Tonight I’ll Be Eating” campaign featuring Olympian Simone Biles and Queer Eye star Jonathan Van Ness. The pair show off their skills in matching leotards and share what they’re having for dinner from Uber Eats. 
  • Conservative Christian Group, One Million Moms, went on to demand Uber Eats end its campaign in a petition. The group claims the campaign is “pushing the LGBTQ agenda”. 
  • The group shames the company for “attempting to brainwash viewers with an agenda instead of focusing on providing a helpful service, especially during a pandemic”.
  • They call Van Ness, who identifies as non-binary, a cross-dresser, and casting such in the advertisement “screams liberal agenda”. They claim watching this advertisement can even be harmful, “For anyone curious or struggling with his or her sexual identity, watching someone prance around in the opposite sex’s clothing is not the answer”. 
  • In response to the petition, Biles tweeted, “the world we live in makes me sad, but I’d do x1000000 more commercials with you just to piss everyone off! The LGBTQIA will always have my support and feel welcome on my socials”. 
  • In a statement to PEOPLE, Uber Eats responded: “At Uber Eats, we’re unapologetically committed to representing the flavor spectrum. From tacos to talent, we like it spicy.” 

Uber Eats seems to stand by its campaign, expressing that “JVN and Simone serve gymnastic prowess and ferosh self-confidence, qualities millions of moms everywhere can—and do—support”. As for One Million Moms, their petition has over 7,000 signatures as of Friday morning. 

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Alex Haynes is Editor-At-Large/NYC Editor at Urban Newsroom, Executive Editor at UNR's Black Alerts and the host of Boss Mornings and Unmuted Nation. Alex joined Urban Newsroom in 2010 and contributes regular op-ed and editorial pieces while advising the columnist and contributing staff.

Election 2020

Georgia Sets New Early Voting Record for Senate Runoffs

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Early voting for the two Georgia Senate races began on December 14th. So far, the turnout has been unbelievable and record-breaking.

What We Know:

  • As of Dec. 18th, over 1.1 million ballots have been cast in early voting for this Senate runoff election. These twin U.S. Senate runoff elections, as Reuters calls it, will determine which party controls that chamber of Congress. Voting in the Senate runoffs, which are taking place because no candidate won 50% support on Nov. 3rd. State data published on Friday showed the number of accepted ballots was just below the level seen at the same point in early voting for November’s election.
  • According to MSN, roughly 168,000 Georgians went to the polls on Monday, the first day to vote early in-person in the state’s two critical Senate runoff elections, according to numbers provided by the Georgia secretary of state’s office. By comparison, some 128,000 voted on the first day of early voting for the November general election. Another 314,000 people cast absentee ballots on the first day of the early-voting period. The first-day early in-person turnout broke a record previously set in October when early in-person voting began for the 2020 general election.
  • The runoff’s Democratic challengers are Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff against Republican incumbents Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, respectively. Perdue won more votes than Ossoff in November, while Warnock won more than Loeffler in a 20-candidate field that also included Republican Congressman Doug Collins. Loeffler and Collins together drew nearly 46% of the vote, according to Reuters.
  • The party control of the Senate is at stake in this runoff election. Republicans currently hold a 50-48 seat edge in the upper chamber. If Democrats win in the Georgia runoffs, this will hand them an evenly divided chamber, in which Vice President-elect Kamala Harris would cast the tie-breaking vote. If both Democrats lose, President-elect Joe Biden will be forced to work with a divided Congress and may not be able to implement his agenda.

Early voting will take place up until December 31st, and election day will be held on January 5th. Georgians still have a few more days to get out and cast their in-person votes. In addition, absentee ballots may still be mailed in before December 31st. To view your sample ballot, find your polling place, or verify that you’re properly registered to vote, log in to the Secretary of State’s My Voter Page.

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Election 2020

WSJ Columnist Writes Misogynistic Op-Ed About Dr. Jill Biden

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The Wall Street Journal was widely criticized over the weekend for publishing a column by Joseph Epstein where he wrote “misogynistic views,” suggesting soon-to-be first lady Jill Biden should stop using her doctorate title.

What We Know:

  • Epstein begins the article by writing, “Madame First Lady–Mrs. Biden–Jill–kiddo: a bit of advice on what may seem like a small but I think is a not unimportant matter. Any chance you might drop the ‘Dr.’ before your name? ‘Dr. Jill Biden’ sounds and feels fraudulent, not to say a touch comic.”
  • Jill Biden has spent most of her life educating and holds multiple degrees, including a doctoral degree from the University of Delaware. Her “Dr.” title is noted in all of her public profiles and usually what she is referred to in the media. In the article, Epstein regarded this as “fraudulent, even comic.”
  • In attempts to discredit and undermine the numerous achievements Dr. Biden has received, Epstein writes to the WSJ to argue that the prestige of post-graduate titles has been diminished by lack of academic rigor.

“Such degrees were once given exclusively to scholars, statesmen, artists, and scientists. Then rich men entered the lists, usually hoping that they would donate money to the schools that had granted them their honorary degrees … Famous television journalists, who passed themselves off as intelligent, followed. Entertainers, who didn’t bother feigning intelligence, were next,” he wrote.

  • In response to the column, Jill Biden tweeted, “Together, we will build a world where the accomplishments of our daughters will be celebrated, rather than diminished.” Her response is among several across social media from icons such as Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Meghan McCain, the daughter of late Republican senator John McCain and a commentator on the morning talk show “The View.”
  • Paul A. Gigot, the top editor for The Journal’s opinion section for nearly two decades, deemed the media’s response to the column as a political strategy, stating, “There’s nothing like playing the race or gender card to stifle criticism,” as he accused Democrats of coordinated the mass of responses following the publication.
  • This is not the first wave of criticism received by the WSJ over their op-eds. According to The Washington Post, members of The Journal’s newsroom have sent letters criticizing Journal columns at least three times this year.

In just one month, nearly 300 employees sent a letter to The Journal’s publisher, Almar Latour, identifying a “lack of fact-checking and transparency” on the opinion desk.

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Crime

Black Lives Matter Signs Burned at D.C. Churches; Police Investigate as Possible Hate Crimes

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Courtesy of The New York Times

An investigation has begun into the burning of Black lives Matter signs at historic Black churches in Washington, D.C., during a pro-Trump rally this weekend.

What We Know:

  • The incident will be investigated as a hate crime, and the police are looking for information on the events that occurred on Saturday. The burning of signs occurred at Asbury United Methodist Church, founded in 1836, and Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church, where Frederick Douglass’ funeral was held in 1895.
  • The protest is in reaction to the Supreme court tossing a Texas lawsuit and pushing for the changing election results n five swing states, Michigan, Wisconsin, Georgia, and Nevada.
  • Mayor Muriel Bowser tweeted on Sunday, “This weekend, we saw forces of hate seeking to use destruction and intimidation to tear us apart… We will not let that happen, and continue to stand together strong and United to Love.”
  • According to NBC News, Asbury’s senior pastor, the Reverend Lanther Mills, stated the pro-Trump supporters removed a Black Lives Matter and literally burned it in the street. Mills compares the incident to that of the burning of crosses during the days of Jim Crow.

“We are as people of faith. As horrible and disturbing as this is for us now, it doesn’t compare with the challenges and fears the men and women who started Ashbury faced 184 years ago faced,” stated Mills.

  • “So we will move forward, undaunted in our assurance that Black Lives Matter, and we are obligated to continue to shout that truth. We are assured that our church is surrounded by God’s grace and mercy,” he added.

During the protest in Olympia, Washington, 4 people were stabbed, and one person was shot in the clash between Trump supporters and counterprotesters.

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