The separation of church and state has been a fundamental principle since Thomas Jefferson coined the phrase in 1802. But centuries later in the 2016 race for president, some politicians appear to be preaching behind their podiums, making this concept the center of much debate. Howard University News Service reporter Erin Winters has more.
Ryan Grim -Huff Post Black Voices
It’s a terrifying time to be a young person without a vote in this country. There’s so much at stake for your future, and it’s you, after all, who will have to live with the consequences if adults elect say, Donald Trump, to be our president.
“I don’t want to have to live down a reputation of America as racist and hostile throughout my late teens and early twenties, and no young adult should have to either,” 13-year-old Matthew Wieseltier wrote in his viral essay-turned-video, Why I Do Not Want to Grow Up In Donald Trump’s America.
His essay got us thinking: Why not let other young people share their takes on The Donald and what he means for America? So we launched an essay contest, and #TeensAgainstTrump was born.
We suggested teens answer the question: What does Donald Trump misunderstand about America? It didn’t take long before our inbox, [email protected], was flooded. (We assume that there must be some Trump-supporting kids out there, too. If so, feel free to let us know why. We’re genuinely curious.)
The winner of the contest is Zia T., a 19-year-old English major at Howard University in Washington, D.C. You can read her essay, Making America Great, here.
We also chose 13 fantastic runners up. You can watch a video of some of the winners reciting parts of their essays above.
Read their full essays below:
- Brenna G., age 15, Donald Trump: The Leader America Will Never Need
- Carter S., age 18, Trump Means The End Of American Ideals
- Courtenay W., age 14, One Nation Under Trump
- Daniel S., age 17, The Race To Intersectionality
- David O., age 14, Donald Trump, America’s Id
- Deanna M., age 16, What We’re Choosing If We Choose Donald Trump
- Joelle J., age 14, I Don’t Want To, I Can’t, I Must Not Grow Up With Donald Trump As President
- Julia T., age 17, Dear Donald Trump, I’m Proud That My Parents Are Immigrants
- Natasha L., age 17, What Trump Doesn’t Understand About America
- Nia L. age 15, Make America Hate Again
- Sam B., age 15, Why America Shouldn’t Trust Trump With Our Country
- Tessa B., age 19, Standing For The Dream
- Yunkyo K., age 16, Donald Trump’s Campaign Is Oppression
Hillary Clinton’s campaign released a video Friday morning that features the mothers of Trayvon Martin, Sandra Bland, Eric Garner, Jordan Davis and Dontre Hamilton discussing why they believe the former Secretary of State should be president.
In the 3 minute video, the women — who are all mothers to black men and women who have either been killed by gun violence or in the custody of police — talk about how they’ve turned grief into action. They also discuss the need for government officials to address important issues like gun violence and police reform.
“Each of us have lived through our own tragedies which are all different,” said Lucia McBath, the mother of Jordan Davis who was fatally gunned down at a Florida gas station in November 2012 during an argument over loud music. “As a mother who lost her child, I was going to stand up and challenge the system and continue to tell my story,” she added.
McBath has now committed her life’s work to that mission — and so have the other “Mothers of the Movement” who include women like Sybrina Fulton (Martin’s mother), Geneva Reed-Veal (Bland’s mother), Gwen Carr (Garner’s mother), Maria Hamilton (Hamilton’s mother). These mothers have worked tirelessly to raise awareness around the issues that surround their children’s deaths. And they believe Clinton has, too.
“She’s been fighting for a long time with these issues,” Carr said in the video.
The mothers have met with Clinton on numerous occasions and, collectively, they have helped draw attention to important social justice issues.
“Finally someone here is really here to listen and really stimulate change,” McBath said. “She has a heart to serve.”
March 4, 2016
Contact: Rachel Noerdlinger/Jon Weinstein
By Attorney Roy Miller –Blacknews.com
Nationwide — When you begin building a structure that tilts from the ground up, like the leaning Tower of Pisa, it can never be made perfect, but will forever remain in its skewed position without falling. Race relations in America can never be ameliorated because of the founding document that undergirds U.S. laws. Although there is a lot of racial turmoil in America today, most Americans may want better race relations, but our laws prevent progress while at the same time aid the wishes of diehard racists.
The United States is constrained by the Paris Treaty of 1783, which gave America its independence when the Revolutionary War ended. The Paris Treaty was an agreement between the United States and England, but involved a host of other European nations. The United States can never make laws that conflict with the intent of the Paris Treaty, which is at the root of race relation problems in America. It is the foundation of our Constitution and an agreement that our Constitution can never breach.
The Paris Treaty and the U.S. Constitution combined are only a few pages long, but together they have been the genesis of large libraries filled with books, court rulings and laws. Because the Paris Treaty and the U.S. Constitution are “Documents of Implications” they imply policies based on what the Powers That Be deem to be expedient.
The Paris Treaty, which divides people by race, is still in effect. In it slaves were defined as property under the 7th Article, which states “All prisoners on Both sides shall be set at Liberty and his Britanic Majesty shall with all convenient speed, and without causing any Destruction or carrying away any Negroes or other Property of the American inhabitants.” Implying that Negroes were property placed an inferiority label on the African American race and also amounted to a forever inheritance of superiority to one race over another.
We know that the United States recognizes Native Americans as nations with designated territories and boundary lines. Thus Native Americans were forcibly made into a government- recognized nation by the United States according to the European definition. This was justification for America to conquer them and maintain ongoing treaties between nations. The Cambridge English Dictionary describes a treaty as “a written agreement between two or more countries, formally approved and signed by their leaders:” Such treaties would legally concede property and place Native Americans as inferior and subject to compliance with United States laws and forced civilization. Examples of such treaties are the 1778 Treaty with The Delawares, Article VI and the 1791 Treaty with the Cherokee, Article III.
America related to African Americans through their slave status and to Native Americans through forced nationhood and treaties, setting the stage for the flawed race relations that exist today. Indeed America could have healthier race relations, but the U.S. does not have the independent power to cure its racism. To violate the Paris Treaty would have international consequences because many nations prosper from the Golden Goose called the United States of America.
Our Preamble’s designation of “We the People” includes all other races except the Black American and the Native American in order to stay in compliance with the Paris Treaty. “We The People” can never include African Americans as equal therefore various forms of “Separate but Equal” type laws and divisive Constitutional amendments, based on race are used as justification.
America is a machine programmed for poor race relations and we cannot fix a machine that does not belong to us. America belongs to international investors who went along with injustice for the reward. I have examined the machine, but a cure is not an option for those who do did not retain the power to cure the illness of racism.
Today we see a malnourished plant called good race relations languish in fallow ground and wonder what’s wrong. To find a cure, we must first look beneath the surface and examine the root. For America, that would mean changing the wording of our Constitution and our laws to make it clear that every citizen is to be treated the same, and all laws implying difference in races should be modified to make it clear that every citizen of the United States of America is included in “We The People.” Then we can begin to fix America’s flawed racial equality system.
I woke up Wednesday morning to a slew of confused Facebook statuses and tweets. Most of them read something like this:
“So disappointed in my country right now. How could we let a blatant racist get so far in this election?”
Because this country is racist. I know it seems crazy, but your Facebook friend from high school isn’t the only one in the country who still calls black people monkeys and assumes all Hispanics are here illegally.
Before I get called un-American, or a hater or whatever else Trump supporters will put in the comments let me say that I love this country. I’ve grown up very fortunate and privileged to live in America and for that I am thankful. Truly. But growing up black I was taught a lot earlier than my beige complexioned friends that this country wasn’t built to protect people like me.
That is how Trump is winning in the polls.
People aren’t voting for him as a joke, they actually believe in this man. I’m just trying to figure out how it is such a shock to those who don’t want to see him elected.
“The sudden concern people have because of Trump’s approval confuses me. To me, his success is obvious.”
America was not built to protect the people that Trump denounces. That’s why when three black Muslims were murdered, execution style, in Fort Wayne, Indiana last week the police said there was “no reason to believe this is any type of hate crime or focus because of their religion or nationality.”
It’s also why George Zimmerman has six mugshots (and counting because let’s be honest, he’s not done yet) but is free to live and Trayvon Martin is dead. And it’s definitely why mostly white men still have the power to decide what a woman does and doesn’t do with her body.
America may technically be a melting pot, but it was founded by white men, who considered people of color three-fifths of a person. Although we’ve come a long way since then, we do still refer to a Constitution that may be a tad bit out of touch.
With all that’s happened in this country to the very people that Trump disrespects, his success at the polls shouldn’t be a surprise. He’s not speaking to those of us that believe in equality and justice for all. He knows his audience hates all things that might even be considered politically correct. That’s why he pretends to not be familiar with the KKK. It’s why he keeps talking about a wall that Mexico definitely is not going to pay for, and it’s why he’s winning.
The sudden concern people have because of Trump’s approval confuses me. To me, his success is obvious. This country has been having a constant conversation about race for almost two years now. More than we have before. Trump comes in and ignores all of that. He speaks to the people who don’t believe that black and brown lives matter and for the people who think their unemployment is due to someone from Mexico coming to America and “stealing” opportunities from them.
Just because slavery is abolished and we have a black president doesn’t mean as a country we are absolved from our racist past (or our current racist tendencies). It’s ingrained in our culture. It’s called systemic racism.
I hate to be the one to break this to you all, but this country is filled with bigots and some of them have power, one of them is running for the highest elected position in the country. I can’t promise you that voting for someone else is going to ensure he doesn’t win, nor can I say whether or not someone else would do a better job, but I encourage everyone to educate themselves. Not just on the issues of this election and where the candidates stand, but on our nation’s history, systemic racism and how it manifests. A lack of education and understanding is what’s allowing this man to win states overwhelmingly.
Let’s make it stop.
“Waaaaaake UP!” This was the challenge South Carolina voters got from Chiraq Director and newly minted Bernie Sanders supporter, Spike Lee, in a radio ad released by Sanders’ presidential campaign last week.
Clearly intended to improve Sanders’ flagging support amongst South Carolina’s black voters, Lee screamed the famous line from his 1988 film School Daze to draw black attention to Sanders’ oft repeated but valid critiques of Wall Street and the “rigged economy.”
If we look beyond the yelling, however, Spike Lee’s ad speaks to a much deeper and discouraging reality about the Democratic Party’s relationship to black voters. Almost since their candidacy announcements, and especially after this year’s Democratic Presidential Primary moved beyond the lily-white electorates of Iowa and New Hampshire, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Senator Bernie Sanders have been locked in an intense and often ludicrous, competition to win the “Black Vote.”
For full article click here.
Concerned that there may be dramatic drop off in the record turnout of Black voters that propelled Barack Obama to the Presidency eight years ago, a group of veteran New York political and civil rights operatives launched Black Votes Matter PAC in an effort to maximize Black voter turnout and candidate attention to issues critical to Black communities and families in the battleground states of Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Virginia. Drop-off in Black voter turnout in those states will put in jeopardy policies important to the Black community and result in the election of a President and other elected officials antithetical to the interests of Black Americans.
Another senior adviser to the effort is Patrick Jenkins, former aide to Congressman Meeks and a senior staff member to Governor Cuomo’s 2010 election campaign, and Kristie Stiles, a veteran national fundraiser who ran Governor David Paterson’s fundraising efforts and has served as a consultant to Congressman Charles Rangel, the DCCC and House Majority PAC.
“High incarceration rate, high employment rates, racial profiling, the list goes on and on. Young Black men and women want their voices heard on these issues, but not just when a candidate visits a battleground state,” nationally-recognized activist Tamika Mallory said. “Black Votes Matter is here to make sure the problems that affect us—young Black people—stay in the news past the caucuses and primaries.”
In a muggy, cramped Baptist church here Tuesday night, five grieving mothers —- all of whom have lost a child to gun violence or allegations of police brutality -— sat on stage beside Hillary Clinton, Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly for a roundtable where they shared their stories, made a plea for gun control and offered their heart-felt endorsements of the Democratic presidential candidate.
“Nobody reached out to us. Nobody listened to us. Nobody said black lives matter until this brave and powerful woman stood up for us,” Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed teenager who was killed by George Zimmerman in 2012, said about Clinton at the Central Baptist Church in Columbia, S.C.
Fulton is one of the five women who call themselves the “Mothers of the Movement,” referring to a growing, national effort to end racial violence and to reform the criminal justice system. The group also includes the mothers of Eric Garner, Dontre Hamilton, Jordan Davis and Sandra Bland.
For full story click here.
Actor and director Spike Lee lent his voice to a radio campaign ad this week, throwing his support behind Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders. This endorsement comes just before the Democratic South Carolina primary this weekend.
In a radio ad that will begin running on Tuesday in the state, Lee calls on South Carolinians to “Wake up” and vote for Sanders.
“I know and you know the system is rigged. For too long we’ve given our votes to corporate puppets,” Lee says in the ad. “Ninety-nine percent of Americans were hurt in the Great Recession of 2008 and many are still recovering.”
That’s why, Lee tells listeners, he’s voting for Sanders who “takes no money from corporations — nada.” Lee goes on to recount some of the times Sanders has shown his loyalty to the progression of social justice, “no flipping, no flopping.”
“When Bernie gets into the White House he will do the right thing,” Lee declares, referencing his 1988 film “Do the Right Thing.”
Lee’s recent film “Chi-raq,” which was in cinemas this past December, explored race politics and the working class in Chicago.
According to the Hill, Sanders’ campaign denied telling reporters how much money was spent on the ad.
Other influential African-American leaders and icons, like NAACP President Ben Jealous, Harry Belafonte, Cornel West and Ta-Nehisi Coates, have already publicly endorsed Sanders.
African-Americans, who will make up more than half of the South Carolina voters turning out for the Democratic primaries according to the Guardian, are a crucial demographic for Sanders’ campaign.