Say It Loud

Black Light

“For her two-year anniversary, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot took newsrooms to task for their lack of diversity, her latest complaint about the city’s media coverage. Lightfoot said she would be “exclusively providing one-on-one interviews with journalists of color” to mark the end of two years as mayor. She said she was doing so to highlight long-standing disparity in the racial representation of newsrooms. Lightfoot said she was “struck since [her] first day on the campaign trail back in 2018 by the overwhelming whiteness and maleness of Chicago media outlets, editorial boards, the political press corps, and the City Hall press corps specifically,” she wrote.” NPR/WBEZ Chicago: For Mid-Term Mark, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot Says She’ll Only Talk To Reporters Of Color   It’s no secret that Lightfoot and the Chicago media have had their issues. The response to her announcement was mixed with most journalists of color saying she can take this stand if she chooses while some other minority journalists and white journalist think this is not the way to go. It is always interesting that when anyone tries to make a blatant statement about racism or the lack of Black people in a room, any room it’s “no the right way to do it.”

Personally, I think she should not have made the announcement, she should have just granted the interviews to the black journalists of her choice. Isn’t that how its done. Whenever, people want to choose someone other than Black they just do it and then rooms end up very white and very male. So Lightfoot, should have just given her interviews out in the manner of her choosing and let the chips fall. But she announced it and to that end, I think we know she has the right to talk to everyone, no one, or whoever she chooses about her two years as Mayor of Chicago. 

Stop Effing with Black Farmers

I have written previously about this but to recap, “in an effort to rectify the injustices Black farmers have had to endure, the $1.9 trillion COVID relief package passed in March included $4 billion in debt relief for Black and brown farmers.”  First, the white farmers threaten to sue for discrimination. Now, the banks have something to say about it too. A group of bankers sent a letter to the Department of Agriculture warning that early debt relief may prevent them from giving loans to Black farmers in the future.

“The American Bankers Association, the Independent Community Bankers of America and the National Rural Lenders Association sent a letter to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack that said paying off these loans early would cause the banks to suffer “lost income” due to the lose of interest payments they would’ve received over the duration of the loans. If USDA does not compensate lenders for such disruptions or avoid sudden loan payoffs, the likely result will be less access to credit for those seeking USDA guaranteed loans in the future, including [socially disadvantaged] farmers/ranchers,” the letter read.”  John Wesley Boyd Jr., president of the National Black Farmers Association, called the letter “a threat to Black and other farmers of color.” CNN: Banks say USDA’s debt forgiveness for minority farmers will cost them money and could affect future loans. Black farmers call that a threat. Ok. Its 2021 and a group of bankers just told the federal government that if they attempt to rectify, correct, and change the racism and injustice shown to black farmers, their businesses will go under. This implies that their business is so intrinsically tied to racism that without the unfair treatment of black farmers they cannot survive. ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!

The Unemployment Lie

“I’m going to be without a phone, a car, gas, groceries and money to pay for my medication. I’m currently in between housing as well. Everyone has just been surviving the best they can. A majority of us don’t have medical insurance, let alone a safety net of savings to fall back on. Stimulus checks have been spent on necessities, funds are lower than when the pandemic started. The struggle is real out here.”  These are the words of Nequia Nichole Fugate who “worked in childcare in Jefferson county, Tennessee, before coronavirus shutdowns hit last March. She has relied on pandemic unemployment assistance as the parents she provided childcare for cannot afford childcare services at the moment.”

“Republicans have blamed the perceived labor shortages on unemployment benefits, despite economists dismissing the benefits as a driving factor, with data showing labor shortages are confined to the leisure and hospitality sector and show no signs of spilling over to other industries or reducing growth within the leisure and hospitality sector, according to a recent analysis by the Economic Policy Institute. Based on the most recent job opening data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there remains a significant job deficit in several industries such as construction, arts, entertainment and recreation, with two unemployed workers for every one job opening.” Guardian: Millions of unemployed in US face hardship under Republican benefit cuts  This is one narrative I never believed anyway. Also in the article is a couple who was fired from their grocery store job because they got COVID and had to take off. Now, they are interviewing but not getting hired. Another is a woman who cannot find childcare, so she cannot go back to work until then. Republicans were never fond of the assistance in the first place and now they are using a misleading “labor shortage” as a means to stop this benefit. It’s clear to anyone paying attention that this is  a multifactorial problem and the answer is not as simple, as cutting off unemployment benefits. But then again, this argument is not about the workers but about the employers. So, who is looking out for the workers? 

Off the Oregon Trail

“Five rural counties in Oregon voted this week to press forward with a plan to leave the state and merge with neighboring Idaho, the latest move in a long-shot campaign by conservatives who say they’re fed up with Oregon’s left-leaning politics. Voters in Baker, Grant, Lake, Malheur and Sherman counties — sparsely populated areas in the state’s eastern half — approved ballot measures Tuesday requiring local officials to consider redrawing the border to make them Idahoans.”  Wa Po: Five rural counties in liberal Oregon vote in favor of leaving state for more conservative Idaho. Ummm, you could just move to Idaho instead of trying to take your little part of Oregon there. The entitlement of some people is appalling.  At any rate, this would require the approval of lawmakers in both states with enough votes to avoid a gubernatorial veto and the approval of Congress. Not likely.

Bee Good

Yesterday was World Bee Day so in honor of that here are some bee facts: 

  1. Honey bees have to tap roughly two million flowers to produce one pound of honey.
  2. One honey bee can visit from 50 to 100 flowers during each honey collecting trip and they can make 12 or more trips a day, pollinating hundred of flowers.
  3. Honey bee colonies add around $15 Billion to the annual value of U.S. agriculture.

Facts from Wall Street Journal. Bees aren’t so bad as long as they don’t sting me or fly around my head. If they mind their business, I’ll mind mine.  Stay buzzing!