I Love the Census I Love the Census

Wrath of the Math: Understanding the Census

Voting for Obama was one thing, but now that it's Census time again, will Black America really stand up and be counted?

Pradine Content is playing to a tough crowd: a Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn conference room full of young Black men who aren’t really feeling her talk about the upcoming 2010 Census. None of them is here by choice; they are taking part in a program run by the New York City Justice Corps, a non-profit organization that provides job readiness and life skills training for men and women age 18-24 who were recently involved in the criminal justice system. Their offenses include drug dealing, assault and robbery.

Ten years ago, when the last Census was taken, many of them were in junior high school. Their only reference is “the people who knock on your door.” Patiently, Content explains what the federal Census is about, how much money communities—especially impoverished communities—stand to gain from the government if they participate, and how everyone in the room needs to play his part in spreading the word. But her heartfelt concern isn’t quite warming their hearts. Still young, they already have a jaded outlook on life. “Miss, you only here ‘cause you getting a check,” one of them tells her.

Content doesn’t mind spending extra time with groups like this. “I’ve always felt the need to help young Black men,” she explains later. “I know how hard they have it.” Because Black and Hispanic people across the country have been undercounted over the years, there is even less federal and state funding to help end the cycle of poverty, unemployment and federal dependency in their communities. Census results also affect a community’s local and state political representation. The number of seats a state holds in Congress relates directly to how many people live in each district. But it’s a lot to grasp for those who may have voted in 2008 only because a Black man was on the ballot. Content searches for ways to break it all down.

“If you’re not counted, how many more police will the city know to put in your neighborhood?”

“None!” the entire group answers in unison. “There are already too many cops in the ‘hood,” someone yells, to the amusement of the room. “Why you think we here?”

She tries another angle.

“Do you want more buses in your neighborhood?”

“Yeah, sometimes I have to wait like an hour for the bus to come and it’s always crowded,” says another young man.

“Well if you and everyone in your neighborhood fill out the Census, we can see how many people live there and then provide better transportation services.”

Her example snaps everything into focus.

“How many of you consider yourselves to be leaders?” asks Content.

Of the 20 young men seated at the long table, five of them half-raise their hands, including Earl Washington, 24, a tall, brown-skinned man in a red leather jacket.

“Why we just hearing about this now?” asks Washington. “Y’all should’ve had Census commercials for the last 10 years. I should be so sick of hearing about the Census by now, but I’m just learning about it.” By far the most vocal person in the room, Washington is on a roll. “You need people on the radio blasting about it. Make sure it’s on BET. You remember what Diddy did with ‘Vote or Die?’ That’s what the Census needs to do. Niggas take the Census for granted.”

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Breonna Taylor’s Mother Speaks Out After Cops Who Killed Her Daughter Get Off Without Charges

Breonna Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, says the system failed her daughter. Palmer posted a painting portrait of Taylor on Instagram on Wednesday (Sept. 23) which she hashtagged, #ThesystemfailedBreonna.

The Instagram post serves as her first public response to a grand jury failing to bring charges against three Louisville police officers for killing Taylor. On Thursday (Sept. 24), Palmer shared a photo of a woman carrying a sign with the Bible verse: “It’s wrong to favor the guilty and keep the innocent from getting justice.”

 

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It’s still Breonna Taylor for me💙💔💙 #ThesystemfailedBreonna

A post shared by Tamika L. Palmer (@tamikalpalmer) on Sep 24, 2020 at 10:19am PDT

 

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A post shared by Tamika L. Palmer (@tamikalpalmer) on Sep 24, 2020 at 4:52pm PDT

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron held a press conference on Wednesday where he announced that no charges would be brought against Louisville officers Jonathan Mattingly, Myles Cosgrove, and Brett Hankison for killing Taylor. Hankison was the only one among the three to be charged, but not for Taylor’s death.

In an interview with NPR last week, Palmer expressed her hope that charges would be brought against the officers. “I’m hoping to hear that there will be charges,” she said at the time. “That these people will be fired and arrested.” Hakinson is the only one of the three officers to be fired from the Louisville Metro Police Department after Taylor’s death.

Speaking to her daughter’s character, Palmer stated that the 26-year-old emergency room tech was a “beautiful person inside and out.” She pointed out that Taylor “kept saying that 2020 was her year.”

“And she was absolutely right,” said Palmer. “I hate that it came in that form, but it definitely is her year.”

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Kodak Black Wants Donald Trump To Get Him Out Of Prison

Kodak Black is asking Donald Trump to help him get out of prison. Lawyers for the Florida rapper sent a petition to Trump this week, in hopes of getting his sentence commuted.

The 23-year-old recording artists took a plea deal and was sentenced to 46 months in prison on federal weapons possession charges last year. He was originally locked up in Miami but was “erroneously” transferred to Kentucky’s Big Sandy maximum-security federal prison. Kodak’s lawyers argue that he deserves to be housed in lower security facility, TMZ reports.

The petition reportedly suggests that Kodak received a harsher sentence compared to the average sentence (18 months) for the same conviction. Bradford Cohen, one of Kodak’s lawyers, has ties to Trump as a former contestant on the President’s cancelled reality show, The Apprentice.

“This week we filed a commutation of sentence with the President of the United States,” Cohen wrote on Instagram on Thursday (Sept. 24). “The fact that a non-violent paperwork offense by an individual who is not a convicted felon, [received] 46 months and was sent to a max security prison, 1100 miles from his [home] who has been in the bix on 23 hour lock down since September 2019, with no visitation, no programs and no phone privileges is not justice. Where BOP [Bureau of Prisons] made a significant error in his designation paperwork.

“The treatment coupled with the actual crime calls for true justice to intervene and say enough is enough. Individuals similarly situated received significantly less time. We are asking for what is fair.”

 

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This week we filed a commutation of sentence with the President of the United States. The fact that a non -violent paperwork offense by an individual who is not a convicted felon, recieved 46 months and was sent to a max security prison, 1100 miles from his hom, who has been in the bix on 23 hour lock down since September 2019, with no visitation, no programs and no phone privileges is not justice. Where BOP made a significant error in his designation paperwork. The treatment coupled with the actual crime calls for true justice to intervene and say enough is enough. Individuals similarly situated received significantly less time. We are asking for what is fair. Letters of support or letters from people he has helped in the past can be written or scanned to my office, 1132 SE 3rd Avenue, Fort Lauderdale Fl 33316 or [email protected] #freekodak #justicereform #freeyak #prisonreform #kodakblack #kodak #judicialreform #fairtreatment

A post shared by Bradford Cohen (@lawronin) on Sep 24, 2020 at 5:24am PDT

Kodak’s legal issues have been mounting since he was arrested for allegedly raping an 18-year-old high school student in his South Carolina hotel room in 2016. In 2019, prosecutors charged him with first-degree criminal conduct in connection with the rape case. Earlier this year, Kodak pleaded guilty to second-degree criminal possessions of a firearm after being found with a weapon at the Canadian-American border. He received a 12-month sentence to run concurrently with his federal prison sentence.

The “ZeZe” rapper, who legally changed his name to Bill Kapri and identifies as a Hebrew Israelite, is suing the Federal Bureau of Prisons for alleged torture and abuse. Kodak claims that prison guards jumped him when he first got to Big Sandy, routinely humiliated and assaulted him more than once, and blocked him from visits with a rabbi despite other prisoners receiving time with clergy members. In another alleged incident, Kodak claims that he was forced to wear an open-back hospital gown for more than six hours while being put into a four-point restraint until he urinated and defecated on himself while guards laughed and cracked jokes.

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LeBron James: “The Most Disrespected Person On Earth Is The Black Woman”

LeBron James shared a powerful statement in reaction to the lack of justice in the murder of Breonna Taylor, and promised to do his part to bring about change.

“The most DISRESPECTED person on Earth is THE BLACK WOMAN! I promise you I’ll do my best to change this as much as I can and even more!!! Love to you Queens all over this country and beyond,” James tweeted on Wednesday (Sept. 23) along with a shout out to some of the women in his family.

The most DISRESPECTED person on earth is THE BLACK WOMAN! I promise you I’ll do my best to change this as much as I can and even more!! LOVE to you QUEENS all over this country and beyond! 👸🏽👸🏾👸🏿❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

— LeBron James (@KingJames) September 24, 2020

Grandma Freda, Gloria Marie, Savannah Rachael, Zhuri Ann Marie Nova I LOVE YOU MY BLACK QUEENS more than life itself!! 👸🏾🖤🖤🖤🖤

— LeBron James (@KingJames) September 24, 2020

Mema Brinson, Deidra Norris, Pam Walker, Tanesha Walker, Chanelle Walker, Brenda Weems, Caddie Powers I LOVE YOU Queens!!! 🖤🖤🖤🖤🖤

— LeBron James (@KingJames) September 24, 2020

As previously reported, a grand jury decided not to charge officers Jonathan Mattingly, Brett Hankison, and Myles Cosgrove for killing Taylor during a police raid. Hankinson, a former officer of the Louisville Metro Police Department, faces three counts of wanton endangerment, but the charges were not related to Taylor being killed.

Collin Kaepernick also took to Twitter with a few thoughts: “The white supremacist institution of policing that stole Breonna Taylor’s life from us must be abolished for the safety and well being of our people.”

Read more reactions below.

 

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I am just at a loss for words.... 💔

A post shared by Kelly Rowland (@kellyrowland) on Sep 23, 2020 at 5:23pm PDT

Dear Breonna,

I’m so sorry the people in power have failed to get this right. You deserve so much more. Your life mattered. You deserved the bright future that was ahead of you. We will continue to say your name. We will continue to fight in your name. #BreonnaTaylor pic.twitter.com/31M3ndOloK

— DWade (@DwyaneWade) September 24, 2020

They never get it right and that doesn't make it hurt any less. Breonna Taylor should still be with us and her family deserved justice today. Tired of this shit.

— Matthew A. Cherry (@MatthewACherry) September 23, 2020

Bulls--- decision!!! BLACK LIVES MATTER!!! Cannot be said enough times. https://t.co/HOrDQzHJ0d

— Viola Davis (@violadavis) September 23, 2020

Amen 🙏🏽 shit is sooo sad and discouraging. https://t.co/2ex3OImFpv

— iamcardib (@iamcardib) September 23, 2020

Another innocent black life gone with no consequences!! Breonna Taylor was 26, a daughter, a cousin, a friend, a girlfriend, an ER technician, an AMERICAN. 💔

— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) September 24, 2020

Understand what that truly means because Accountability needs to occur in a new way. Word is Bond to the Father. Let’s not be sorry, Let’s correct this fucking Error. Rest Easy Queen #BREONNATAYLOR pic.twitter.com/dzWTtV90Zl

— Busta Rhymes (@BustaRhymes) September 24, 2020

#JusticeForBreonnaTaylor#JusticeForBreonnaTaylor#JusticeForBreonnaTaylor#JusticeForBreonnaTaylor#JusticeForBreonnaTaylor#JusticeForBreonnaTaylor#JusticeForBreonnaTaylor#JusticeForBreonnaTaylor#JusticeForBreonnaTaylor#JusticeForBreonnaTaylor#JusticeForBreonnaTaylor pic.twitter.com/eURn5iMQrl

— COMMON (@common) September 23, 2020

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