I’m Sippin’ wine, In a Robe

Collective Bargaining

Byron Allen and other Black Media owners took out an ad in several newspapers, including the Detroit Free Press and The Wall Street Journal condemning the largest US automaker, GM of ignoring Black Media. The ad estimated that GM only spends 0.5% of its considerable budget ($630 million in 2020 down from $1.1 Billion in 2019) on Black Media. GM said this number is inaccurate and is closer to 2%, however, when Allen requested the number prior to buying the ad, GM refused to give it. The ad came after there was a scheduled meeting with Ms. Barra, CEO of GM that was postponed and has now been rescheduled to a series of meetings over the next few weeks. 

GM has pledged to “allocate 4% of its U.S. advertising spending on Black-owned media companies by next year and would boost that level to 8% in 2025.” Allen has also accused Coca-Cola Co., big advertising agencies such as Omnicom Group Inc. and Interpublic Group of Cos. of inadequately supporting Black-owned media companies. WSJ: General Motors Vows to Send More Advertising Dollars to Black-Owned Media Companies  GM can complain about his tactics all they want but, Allen and his colleagues got results. Closed door meetings rarely get things done. I think history has shown for things to change there has to be very public pressure. The other signatories to the Ad: Byron Allen, Allen Media Group; Earl “Butch” Graves Jr., Black Enterprise; Roland Martin, Nu Vision Media; Ice Cube, BIG3 Cubevision; Todd Brown, Urban Edge Networks, HBCU League Pass; Junior Bridgeman, Ebony Media, and Don Jackson, Central City Productions. 

Trigger Warning

The trial of Derek Chauvin in the murder of George Floyed has seen a series of witnesses this week: Floyd’s girlfriend, a 19 year old Cup Food clerk, Two paramedics, recently retired Minneapolis police officer, a Minneapolis Fire Department captain, a teenager and her 9-year old cousin. In total, Monday through Thursday, the jury has listened to 17 witnesses, several of whom cried on the stand. “They could have ended their restraint,” was the testimony of the former MPD cop and the police supervisor on that day. The jury also watched lots of video and body cam footage from the day. USA Today: Derek Chauvin trial live updates  

Sports and Companies Speak Out

“In an interview aired on ESPN, Biden said he would “strongly support”players who believe Major League Baseball should move the summer All-Star Game from Truist Stadium, the home of the Atlanta Braves — a site eight miles from where Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) signed the new election measures into law.” This came on the heels of Coca-Cola and Delta, and other Atlanta sport teams strongly opposing the new voting laws. WaPo: Biden wades into contentious Georgia boycott battle by voicing support for moving All-Star Game  And then Kemp said this, “A lot of this bill is dealing with the mechanics of the election,” he said. “It has nothing to do with potential fraud or not. That’s still playing out with the investigations, as they do with any large election. It takes months and months for that to come to fruition. The bottom line is that the election is certified, President Biden is in office and we’re moving on. But it doesn’t hide the facts that there were some issues on Election Day.” The Root: Georgia Governor Says State’s Voter Suppression Law Isn’t About Fraud And what exactly are these issues Kemp? I mean really, the only thing the GOP has said is that there was fraud which cause distrust of the system. Kemp we are not stupid, this all centers around the unfounded election fraud allegations.

Texas, Next

American Airlines and Southwest both spoke out against Texas’s new voters laws. “The legislation, which is now set to go before the Texas House of Representatives, would eliminate drive-through voting, limit polling site hours, and give partisan poll watchers more autonomy. The comments by American and Southwest came after Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines and Coca-Cola challenged Georgia’s new voting restrictions.” Reuters: Texas threatens to become next flash point on voting rules Listen we need all the help we can get, to protect voting rights. So bring it on!

Who Run the Navy

For the first time in U.S. History, four women of color are commanding war ships at the same time. The four officers all based at Norfolk Naval Station, in Virginia are: Kimberly Jones, LaDonna Simpson, Kristel O’Cañas, and Kathryn Wijnaldum. The Guardian: US Navy: for first time in history four women of color command war ships Well that’s dope.

Hey, Over Here!

“The Biden administration is suspending collections on defaulted student loans for 1.14 million students under the Federal Family Education Loan Program. FFEL loans are guaranteed by the federal government but held by private lenders. Some defaulted loans were purchased by the Education Department during the financial crisis more than a decade ago, but others are still held by private entities.” These borrowers had been previously overlooked by the other pandemic relief and stimulus plans. WSJ: More Than a Million Student-Loan Holders to Get Relief  That nice and all, but what ups on that student loan cancellation? Biden says he looking into it. CNBC: Biden asks Education secretary to see if he can legally cancel student debt  If Biden cancels up to $50,000 of student debt that would affect all the 44 million student loan borrowers in the U.S and it would forgive all of the debt for 80% of federal student loan borrowers, or 36 million people. So, let’s get it.