Let Me Buy You A Drink

I know the world is watching Miami right now and my heart goes out to the deceased, the missing, and their loved ones. It’s crazy that these people were just at home and their house just gave way and collapsed. That is very scary. Prayers go up. 

I also want to remind you all to watch Derek Chauvin. He is expected to be sentenced today for the murder of George Floyd.  On a lighter note, the first story is here to justify using a picture of Michael B. Jordan and I will not apologize for it. 

Oops My Bad

“Michael B. Jordan received criticism after debuting his new rum brand, named J’Ouvert after the large street party held during Carnival in several Caribbean islands as well as several locations where Caribbean people have immigrated. He was accused of cultural appropriation by those of Caribbean descent and ancestry. Jordan took to Instagram Stories to post an apology as well as his confirmation that the name for the rum brand will be changed. “I just wanna say on behalf of myself & my partners, our intention was never to offend or hurt a culture (we love & respect) & hoped to celebrate & shine a positive light on,” he began. “We hear you,” Jordan continued, noting that the last few days have consisted of “a lot of learning” and a “lot of listening” on his part. “I hear you & want to be clear that we are in the process of renaming. We sincerely apologize & look forward to introducing a brand we can all be proud of.”

BBC notes: The name J’Ouvert is taken from French phrase jour ouvert meaning “opening of the day”. The carnival traditionally launches in the Caribbean just before sunrise, continuing into the morning. Its roots in Trinidad go back 200 years, with the arrival of French plantation owners. J’Ouvert evolved from the Canboulay festivals in the 1800s – night-time gatherings where the landowners dressed up and imitated their slaves. But, following emancipation, the newly freed slaves took over Canboulay – imitating the former “masters” who once mocked them. This practice was banned by authorities but eventually re-established as J’Ouvert. The Root: ‘I Hear You’: Michael B. Jordan Apologizes for Cultural Appropriation, Will Rename ‘J’Ouvert’ Rum Brand CNN: Michael B. Jordan apologizes after new rum venture is accused of cultural appropriation Take notes, those who culturally appropriate, you must listen, learn and change. You know what Michael did not do? Justify and say: well I should be able to use the name because I’ve been to J’Ouvert celebrations and I love it. You learn the history, apologize for offending people and change the name. Now it’s done. 

Whoa Justice

“Black and other minority farmers were dealt a new legal blow when a Florida federal court issued a preliminary injunction halting a key part of the Biden administration’s federal stimulus relief package that forgave agricultural debts to farmers of color. U.S. District Judge Marcia Morales Howard halted loan forgiveness payments and debt relief for disadvantaged farmers anywhere in the United States. The lawsuit was filed by White farmer Scott Wynn of Jennings, Fla., who also has farm loans and has faced financial hardship during the pandemic. He said the debt relief program discriminates against him by race. Howard wrote that in crafting this debt program benefiting farmers based on race that “Congress also must heed its obligation to do away with governmentally imposed discrimination based on race.” She added that “it appears that in adopting Section 1005’s strict race-based debt relief remedy Congress moved with great speed to address the history of discrimination, but did not move with great care.” Yet, Howard also made clear that the Agriculture Department could continue to prepare to deliver the debt relief until the program is found to be “constitutionally permissible.” The debt forgiveness program is part of President Biden’s American Rescue Plan, and from the moment the USDA launched the program, it’s faced assault in the courts. Approximately $4 billion was slated to go to disadvantaged farmers, primarily for debt relief, but also for grants, training and education.” Washington Post: Federal judge halts Black farmers’ debt-relief program in new legal blow. Let’s ignore the hundreds of years of inequality to ensure that the struggling white farmer gets his due, AGAIN.

Flint meets the Hamptons

“Across the New York coastal community better known as the Hamptons, residents face perilously declining water quality, which has shut down recreation in many freshwater ponds. Today, the Hamptons are known as a playground for the rich and famous – but the region has had a sewage problem for decades. In the last year, the pandemic has pushed the region’s ageing sanitation infrastructure to a breaking point. The strain on the Hamptons’ resources has been exacerbated following the exodus of wealthy New Yorkers to their second homes in the area – dubbed “Black Friday” by locals. The result has been a stunning amount of backups and spills, and the potential for long-term environmental damage as excess nitrogen – which leaches out more easily with older septic systems – seeps into the surrounding waterways and an underground aquifer that is used for drinking water. In 2019, Suffolk county committed to investing $4bn over the next 50 years to eliminate cesspools and older septic systems. The county is also offering rebates to homeowners who update their individual septic systems – but to date, only 773 have completed upgrades. More than 200,000 remain.” The Guardian: New Yorkers fled to the Hamptons in 2020 – and sparked a major sewage crisis Let’s see how fast this gets fixed compared to poorer, Black communities in Flint, Detroit, Mississippi, and Texas.