Category Archives: National

Possible Recounts to Take Place in Florida and Georgia

By Malcolm Speaks

George gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams has determined to continue her campaign until all votes are counted.

George gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams has determined to continue her campaign until all votes are counted.

The former Minority Leader of the Georgia House of Representatives is in a dead heat with the Georgia Secretary of State and the Florida Secretary of State has already ordered a recount in the governor’s race this past Saturday.

Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner issued the order after the unofficial result fell within the margin that by law triggers a recount. His office was also unaware of any other time either a governor race required a recount.

The unofficial results show that Republican former U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis led Democratic Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum by 0.41 percentage points. Even though Mayor Gillum initially conceded after the election in Florida, Secretary Detzner ordered a machine recount for the race. Once completed, if the difference in the race are is 0.25 percentage points or below, a hand recount will be ordered, according to Department of State spokeswoman Sarah Revell. Gillum has since rescinded his concession to allow for the recount.

Meanwhile, in the state of Georgia there is also a close gubernatorial election between Republican Brian Kemp and Democrat Stacy Abrams, who could be the first Black woman to be elected governor of any state in the US. However, in this case, Kemp was also the Georgia Secretary of State who supervised and monitored the election and refused to step down from this post until two days after the polls closed. US President and Georgia native, Jimmy Carter, urged Kemp to recuse himself earlier to foster voter confidence and avoid the risk of bias.

Additionally, 214 polling locations across the state, primarily where people of color live and in areas of high poverty, were closed. Also, long lines resulted from a shortage of voting machines in these same areas, thus requiring voters to use provisional ballots. However, many of these ballots have not been counted.

Just days before early voting began, a civil rights group sued Secretary Kemp “over the state of Georgia’s discriminatory and unlawful ‘exact match’ voter suppression scheme”, resulting in 53,000 pending voter registration applications which affected mostly “minority” voters.

Additionally, during the three months leading up to election day, more than 85,000 voters were purged from rolls under Secretary Kemp. During 2017 alone, 668,000 voters were purged, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Of those voters who were purged in 2017, investigative reporter Greg Palast reported to Salon magazine that 200,000 people were said to have left the state, died or moved out of their district, making them legitimate cancellations. However, as a result of litigation, he obtained the entire purge list. “Of the 400,000 who supposedly moved, our experts will tell a court that 340,134 never moved – wrongly purged,” Palast told the Guardian, saying that people had been purged for not voting in an election or two.

Furthermore from 2012 to 2016, 1.5 million voters were purged, more than 10 percent of all voters according to a 2018 report from the Brennan Center for Justice. Lastly, 750,000 voters were purged from 2008 to 2012, after the first election of former President Barack Obama.

Therefore, NAACP president Derrick Johnson released a statement:

“Kemp’s actions during the election were textbook voter suppression. His actions were strategic, careless and aimed at silencing the voting power of communities of color in the state.”

Judge Blocks XL Pipeline

By Free Radical

The Keystone XL pipeline has been protested for years for its potential adverse impact on the environment and Native Americans.

The Keystone XL pipeline has been protested for years for its potential adverse impact on the environment and Native Americans.

Native American and environmental groups are applauding a federal judge’s decision on Thursday to halt construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. U.S. District Judge Brian Morris cited that the proposed oil transport project did not clearly indicate its economic viability in light of fuel price changes, the impact of greenhouse emissions and oil spills, and what effects it would have on Native American populations.

The judge’s decision stems from a lawsuit filed by the Indigenous Environmental Network sand North Coast Rivers Alliance which alleges that the US State Department and TransCanadaviolated the National Environmental Policy Act. TransCanada is the private entity that plans to construct the pipeline.

Before moving forward, these issues will have to be clarified and resolved. TransCanada had planned to begin construction in Montana as soon as early 2019.

The proposed pipeline would ship 830,000 barrels of crude oil per day from Alberta, Canada to Nebraska to Oklahoma and eventually to the Gulf Coast.

“Today’s ruling is a decisive moment in our fight against the corporate polluters who have rushed to destroy our planet,” said Marcie Keever, legal director at Friends of the Earth in a news statement. “Today, the courts showed the Trump administration and their corporate polluter friends that they cannot bully rural landowners, farmers, environmentalists and Native communities.”

Journalist Shaun King to Relaunch North Star

By Free Radical

With the blessing of Frederick Douglass's family, Shaun King will relaunch the North Star.

With the blessing of Frederick Douglass’s family, Shaun King will relaunch the North Star.

On Thursday, noted journalist and intellectual Shaun King announced that he would relaunch the North Star newspaper which was originally founded by radical abolitionistsFrederick Douglass and Martin Delany.

On Instagram, King revealed that his version of the North Star will include “a news app, a full news website, a collection of podcasts, & an online nightly news broadcast.” He will partner with friend and fellow journalist Ben Dixon.

King also reported that he received the blessing of Douglass’s family.

King and Dixon first asked that 100,000 people join their launch at BuildingTheNorthStar.com which has been accomplished. They then are looking for 25,000 individuals to join their public membership drive.

Shaun King is a Morehouse graduate and a regular columnist for The Intercept, New York Daily News, and Daily Kos.

NFL Cheerleader Kneels During National Anthem

By Free Radical

Kayla Morris is likely the first NFL cheerleader to kneel during the national anthem.

Kayla Morris is likely the first NFL cheerleader to kneel during the national anthem.

In what is likely the first time in NFL history, a team cheerleader has kneeled during the United States national anthem. Kayla Morris, a member of the San Francisco 49ers cheerleading squad kneeled before Thursday’s home game against the Oakland Raiders. She is a sales and support specialist from Antioch, California according to national reports.

Morris has yet to comment on what motivated her to kneel. However, she represents the same team as Colin Kaepernick and current safety Eric Reed, who began kneeling two seasons ago to protest systematic racism. Both players are currently suing the NFL in a collusion case for denying them employment for their political actions. Kaepernick is currently not on an NFL roster while Reid was signed by the Carolina Panthers this year.

There have also been other instances of cheerleaders who protested during the anthem. Last year, five Kennesaw State University cheerleaders made similar gestures. Four of the five were not asked to remain with the team the following season.