Current Affairs

City of Miami District 5 Candidate Forum, 6 PM, Tuesday, October 5

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One of the hottest local political races is the City of Miami District 5 Commissioner race. A forum is being held this evening, Tuesday, October 5 at 6 PM at Friendship Missionary Baptist Church, 740 NW 58th Street, Miami, FL 33127. The election will be held on November 2, 2021. The run-off is scheduled for November 16, 2021 should no candidate realize more than 50 percent of the votes cast. 

The candidates for the City of Miami District 5 seat are François Alexandre, Zico Fremont, Michael Hepburn, Christine King, Revran Shoshana Lincoln, Stephanie Thomas, and incumbent Jeffrey Watson. Hot 105’s Rodney Baltimore will serve as moderator. 

The forum is being hosted by Faith in Florida and the African American Council of Christian Clergy and Central Dade Pastors. It will be presented in person and online.  Should you choose to attend in person be advised that CDC guidelines must be followed.

The forum will be broadcast live on YouTube and Facebook. Get informed and Go Vote!

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Miami-Dade County Schools in Mask Mandate Spotlight

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Almost three million people in Florida have contracted COVID-19, and more than 41,000 have died. Of those statistics, Miami-Dade County represents more than 583,000 of those cases and almost 6,500 deaths. The Delta variant of COVID is much more contagious and severe. Yet, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Republican leaders have manipulated some parents to use a CDC (Center for Disease Control) preventive measure to protect school children, parents, and employees as a first amendment parental right. No matter how much the Board of Education says it’s not about mask-wearing, it clearly is. To suggest or declare anything different is a lie. Risking lives by politicizing COVID is shameful and illegal. It is tantamount to child endangerment.

 

This unbelievable attempt at political bullying and intimidation will come to a head in Miami-Dade County at 11 AM today when the school board convenes. The School Board and Superintendent are in the media spotlight and in the crosshairs of Gov. DeSantis, the Florida Board of Education, and the State Commissioner of Education because of non-compliance with the governor's ban on mask mandates. 

 

Gov. DeSantis threatened to withhold budget from non-compliant districts and Pres. Joseph Biden interceded in support of Broward County and Alachua County school boards and superintendents who have stood their grounds. 

 

Will the Miami-Dade County School Board and Superintendent Alberto Carvalho protect the District, or will they cave to the authoritarian Republican leadership of the state? Based on public comments, it appears that at least one Miami-Dade School Board Member has already said no to the mask mandate, and others might try to please everyone, which will be a sure failure to the students, parents, and employees of the District. 

 

Situations such as this test the integrity and courage of leaders. There are few if any, options to compromise while the Delta variant ravages our community and more COVID mutations are on the way. It’s so unfortunate that elected, and appointed leaders are willing to choose politics over people, but we’ve seen this before when they choose profits over people.

 

Here is the link to the subject board agenda item, H-17, proffered by the Vice-Chair of The School Board of Miami-Dade County, Florida,  Dr. Steve Gallon III -   http://pdfs.dadeschools.net/Bdarch/2021/bd081821/agenda/h17rev.pdf. Please tune in online or attend  in-person  today. 


Celebrating Juneteenth: 5 Facts You Should Know

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American history will forever remember the 46th President of the United States, Joseph R. Biden, officially signed into law a Juneteenth National Independence Day on June 17, 2021. Juneteenth is short for June 19. On that day in 1865, U.S. Major General Gordon Granger notified the enslaved African Americans in Texas that they were free, or at least that is the big lie, so many of us were told and have repeated ad nauseam.

For 156 years, blacks in Texas have celebrated this holiday. One woman, Opal Lee, made it her life's work to see that Juneteenth became a national holiday in the United States. It took her decades, but she accomplished her mission. She is proof that persistence wins and the power of one person can move mountains.

If you don't understand anything else about Juneteenth, know that its history is messy, brutal, painful, and shameful. Depending on your ethnicity, age, and academic training, you might know a lot about Juneteenth, or you might know very little. Either way, the establishment of Juneteenth as a national holiday has triggered interest and much-needed conversation about the Civil War, Reconstruction, reparations, and the vestiges of anti-black racism that remain in society.

Here are five facts you should know when celebrating Juneteenth:

1.    Blacks knew they were free BEFORE U.S. Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, on June 19, 1865.

In his article, The Hidden History Of Juneteenth, historian Gregory P. Downs documents a conversation of former slave Felix Haywood. He was one of more than 2,300 former slaves interviewed during the Great Depression by members of the Federal Writers' Project, a New Deal agency in the Works Progress Administration (WPA).

"We knowed what was goin' on in [the war] all the time," said Haywood, "We all felt like heroes and nobody had made us that way but ourselves."

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Felix Haywood




2.    The last of the enslaved people were not free upon the legal notification of the emancipation of blacks in Galveston, Texas, on June 19, 1865.

Proclamations, pronouncements, and declarations did not free enslaved Black people. Some stubborn Texans continued to keep blacks in bondage months after Granger and some 2,000 Union soldiers rode into Texas.

Remember the Emancipation Proclamation freed enslaved people in the Confederate States still in rebellion in 1863 (South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas, Virginia, Arkansas, and North Carolina), but not those in North-South border states. Blacks remained enslaved in Maryland, Delaware, Missouri, and Kentucky for almost six months after Juneteenth because their state legislatures rejected the 13th Amendment after Congress passed it in January 1865. Slavery was legally banned upon the ratification of the 13th Amendment in December 1865.

Also, note that Native American territories were not subject to U.S. jurisdiction in the matter of slavery. Consequently, after Juneteenth 1865, about 10,000 blacks remained enslaved among five prominent Native American tribes --- the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Seminole. It would also be a year later before enslaved blacks were freed from Native American territories. So some of you need to think on that when you hear a black person brag about having "good hair" because they have Indian in their family. [Insert side-eye.]

3. President Abraham Lincoln was not an abolitionist.

As a candidate for the U.S. Senate, Lincoln was accused of supporting "negro equality" by his opponent, Stephen Douglas. On September 18, 1858, in Charleston, Illinois, Lincoln clarified his position during a debate.
 

"I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and Black races," said Lincoln. He also said he opposed Blacks having the right to vote, to serve on juries, to hold office and to intermarry with whites.

So, don't get it twisted, President Lincoln freed enslaved blacks not out of benevolence but for political reasons and as a war tactic. If the secessionist Confederate States had accepted Lincoln's Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation in September 1862, enslaved blacks would have remained in legal bondage. Still, since the stubborn Southerners refused to give up, Lincoln took away their best asset, the enslaved blacks.

4. The Compromise of 1877 marked the end of the Reconstruction Era and resulted in the dismantling of much of the progress of African Americans.

Despite Black Codes and Jim Crow Laws enacted after the Emancipation Proclamation, newly emancipated African Americans made tremendous progress. Blacks ran for political office, opened schools, and started businesses.
           
During this period of Reconstruction (1865-1877), Blacks were members of the Republican Party, and the Democrats were the Party of slaveholders. Republican Rutherford B Hayes and Democrat Samuel Tilden were candidates for President of the United States. The election results were highly disputed, much like what the country is still experiencing since the presidential election of 2020. During a secret meeting, an unwritten deal was made; Democrat Samuel Tilden agreed to allow Republican Rutherford B Hayes to become President of the United States if Hayes would agree to pull the troops from the South that were protecting emancipated Blacks.

The shock of the violence of the January 6, 2021 insurrection at the White House was mild in comparison to the terror, death, and destruction heaped upon Blacks after the troops were pulled from the South. Yep, the Republicans and the Democrats. [Insert side-eye, again.]


5. While June 19, 1865, symbolizes our national day of observance of the end of slavery, those of us in Florida should know our state's Emancipation Day is May 20, 1865.

After the end of the Civil War, on May 10, 1865, Union Brigadier General Edward M. McCook arrived in Tallahassee to take possession of the capital from Southern rebels. On May 20, 1865, after official control of the region was transferred to Union forces, he declared the Emancipation Proclamation in effect. That same day an announcement arrived in Tallahassee sent by Major General Quincy A. Gillmore via train from Jacksonville. General Gillmore's Special Order Number 63 noted that "the people of the black race are free citizens of the United States."

 

In conclusion:

As this first Juneteenth National Independence Day comes to an end, it is incumbent upon us to ensure the true history of Emancipation Day in Florida, Juneteenth, and the Reconstruction Amendments are taught. Preferably formally in our public and private school systems and definitely in our homes and community groups.

With the expeditious bipartisan approval of the 117th Congress to make Juneteenth a national federal holiday, let's always be mindful of what this holiday represents and the progress yet to be made for equitable treatment of Blacks in America. Let's not allow Juneteenth to become just another day off from work and school. Let us demonstrate the proper homage to our ancestors. Let's share our history not from the lens of trauma porn but from a perspective of pride in the achievements of our ancestors and commitment to duplicate their success despite obstacles and deception.
 

 

 


Miami-Dade County Observes Juneteenth

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Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day, celebrates the emancipation of enslaved people in the United States. While the holiday is celebrated on June 19, 1865, this year, June 19 falls on a Saturday, so County offices and libraries will be closed on Monday, June 21 in observance.

Solid Waste Management will collect curbside garbage or trash, as usual. Miami‑Dade Libraries will be closed, and Transit will operate on a normal schedule.

Please note that while we celebrate Juneteenth (June 19, 1865), it is the day enslaved African Americans were notified of their freedom in Texas. Emancipation Day in Florida is May 20, 1865, but enslaved African Americans were not free until the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution was signed on December 6, 1865.

 

P.S.   This is not Critical Race Theory; it is American history. Teach the truth.


Tracy Martin Among Fathers to Address the Loss of Their Sons in Virtual Conversation Moderated by Steve Harvey on Saturday, June 19

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Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown Jr., and Daunte Wright, are three young men whose deaths shook the world and re-ignited the focus on racial injustice in America. At noon ET, on Saturday, June 19, 2021, the eve of this nation’s celebration of Father’s Day, the fathers of these young men, Tracy Martin, Michael Brown Sr., and Aubrey Wright will share the pain of losing their sons to injustice and how they have turned their pain into passion, purpose, and a promise to fight for change for future generations. This important and much-needed conversation will be moderated by entertainer and philanthropist, Steve Harvey.

To RSVP as an individual or as a group, visit: https://aka.ms/RSVP-FATHERSDAYMANCODE.


AKAs and Other Local Organizations Collaborate to Present Wrap-Up of Florida’s 2021 Legislative Session

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One of the most controversial legislative sessions in Florida, in recent memory, has concluded and the Connection Committees of Gamma Zeta Omega Chapter and Alpha Alpha Beta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated are presenting a virtual legislative wrap-up on key bills from the 2021 Legislative Session. The event is scheduled for 6:30 p.m., Thursday, June 10, 2021, via Zoom.

The Connection Committee is the civic engagement arm of Alpha Kappa Alpha. For this community presentation, they have joined forces with the Miami-Dade Branch of the NAACP and the Miami-Dade Chapter of the Florida A&M University National Alumni Association.

Panelists are State Senator Jason Pizzo (Dist. 38); State Rep. Dotie Joseph (Dist. 108); State Rep. Christopher Benjamin (Dist. 107); and State Rep. Felicia Robinson (Dist. 102). Dr. Cassandra Arnold and Dr. Tisa McGhee will serve as moderators.

Key bills to be covered include:

  • HB 1: Combating Public Disorder
  • SB 90: Elections
  • HB 7051: Law Enforcement and Correctional Officer Practices
  • HB 7045: School Choice
  • HB 1463: Department of Economic Opportunity

Don’t miss this opportunity to get informed. A well-informed citizenry is vital to our survival as a democracy. To register, visit http://akagzo.org.


Memorial Day: Remembering Sgt. Edmond L. Randle Jr.

 

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On Jan. 17, 2004, Sgt. Edmond L. Randle, Jr. of Miami Gardens became the first documented South Florida soldier to be killed by anti-US insurgents in Iraq.
 
Today is Memorial Day. It is the day we honor those that have given their lives in military service to this country. It is not just a day off from work or school or a day to have a barbecue with family and friends; it is a day to celebrate men and women such as Sgt. Edmond L. Randle, Jr., known by family and friends as Dake.
 
On Jan. 17, 2004, Sgt. Edmond L. Randle, Jr. of Miami Gardens became the first documented South Florida soldier to be killed by anti-US insurgents in Iraq. Randle was one of three soldiers who died that day when their vehicle was struck by a homemade explosive device near Baghdad. I recall sitting through Dake’s funeral at Ebenezer Baptist Church, in Miami, listening to the FAMU Band play and the moving tributes to him by friends and military officials. I'd known Dake’s parents from high school; his dad and I were classmates at Miami Central and later at Florida A&M.
 
Dake attended American Senior High for part of his high school years but continued the family tradition by graduating from Miami Central Senior High. Like his Dad, Dake was a standout musician in the Marching Rockets at Miami Central and continued at Florida A&M University where he earned a music scholarship and was a section leader in the famous Marching 100. Because he wanted to be a pharmacist, Dake gave up his music scholarship and volunteered for the Army which would help fund his educational plans. He was the type of young man not celebrated enough, in life, in this community.
 
The war in Iraq takes on a different meaning when you actually know a soldier that was killed. Like Sgt. Edmond L. “Dake” Randle, many other lives have been lost and are being lost in service to this country. On Veteran's Day, I honor several men and women I know, living and deceased, who have served and are serving this country. Dake, however, is the only soldier I know personally that died in military service. I have remembered him each Memorial Day since his death, that is the least I can do.
 
If you have loved ones who died while serving this country, take a moment to thank them, feel free to leave their names in the comments section. For all of our fallen heroes, known and unknown, thank you, you are not forgotten.
 
 

North Miami District 3 Race Results Stand; District 2 Recount Scheduled

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The Canvassing Board met this morning to certify the May 11, 2021 Regular Election for the City of North Miami. Mary Estimé-Irvin was officially declared the winner of the District 3 Councilperson race. A recount of the votes in the District 2 race is scheduled for 10 AM, tomorrow, May 15, 2021, at the Miami-Dade County Elections Department.

The Canvassing Board members for North Miami are Vice-Mayor Dr. Alix Desulme, Councilman Scott Galvin, and Councilwoman Carol Keys.


North Miami City Council Candidate Dr. Hector Medina to Present Evidence of Election Fraud to Canvassing Board

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Medina Explicitly Calls Out Kevin Burns for Fraudulent Voting Activity

North Miami — Dr. Hector Medina, a candidate for North Miami City Council District 2 alleges there was significant fraudulent voting in the latest municipal election. Medina narrowly missed the runoff race, placing third, and specifically calls out second-place candidate Kevin Burns for fraudulent activity.

Burns, a former North Miami mayor, is in a runoff race against Kassandra Timothe, scheduled for June 1, 2021. Medina will present evidence of fraudulent voting to the Canvassing Board this morning and ask them to postpone certification of the election results until after an investigation has been conducted.

The basis for Medina’s protest is the following, verbatim:

● There were 19 votes cast in the election by voters who only very recently registered as having an address in the City of North Miami. Upon visual inspection on May 13, the addresses where some of those who voted claim to be living appear vacant. As such, there is a strong likelihood that at least some of these voters participated in a coordinated vote fraud scheme facilitated by one of the candidates and/or their campaigns.

● There were 12 votes cast by mail from voters that have been identified as “Deceased” by the NGPVAN VoteBuilder voter database that was used by my campaign. While this database is not perfect, the high number indicates a very high probability that one or more votes were mailed back on behalf of a deceased voter, in violation of Florida law.

● Combined, the number of potentially fraudulent votes identified is up to 31, which exceeds the number of votes by which the unofficial count suggests I was eliminated or defeated from this race.

● In addition to these specifically identified votes, a statistically improbable number of voters cast their ballots by mail in Precinct No. 148. Data from the Supervisor of Elections suggests at least 348 ballots were cast by mail in this precinct, a nearly 75% increase on the 200 votes by mail that were cast in the regular municipal election in this precinct just two years ago. The lion’s share of that vote-by-mail spike is clustered in four high-rise buildings with shared mail facilities susceptible to mail ballot theft. By comparison, the total number of mail-in ballots received in 2021 vs. 2019, when all of the city’s districts are averaged, only went up around 21%.

● Further suggesting foul play, I was verbally informed by the Supervisor of Elections staff that 50 ballots cast by mail in the District 2 council race were rejected due to a signature mismatch, a figure that accounts for just under 6.4% of all absentee ballots returned. By way of comparison, the rejection rate for signature mismatch issues during the 2020 election was around 0.12%, about one voter out of every 833. Using common sense and rudimentary probability, it’s obvious a rejection rate of 6.4% is a statistical near impossibility. The idea that one out of every 16 voters who mailed their ballot back in this North Miami election somehow forgot how to sign their name is absurd. It is impossible to look at this outlier and not call it out for what it is: convincing evidence that there was a coordinated effort by one of the campaigns to sign and handle absentee ballots on behalf of the voters, in violation of Florida law.

 

“Kevin Burns does not think the rules apply to him. From failing to pay his debts to business partners and little old ladies, to deciding he just wasn’t going to file campaign finance reports, it’s clear he thinks following the law is for schmucks,” said Dr. Hector Medina, “We now see clear evidence that his campaign likely rigged the election in his favor with fraudulent mail votes. This is not just of concern to me and my campaign, but to every voter in North Miami who wants ethical and honest government. We cannot let Kevin get away with this.”

 


Insiights Sports Talk with #MicknRick: Should College Athletes be Paid?

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Coach Mickey Clayton and sports reporter Rick Brown bring you another episode of Insiights Sports fast paced conversation on the latest and sometimes overlooked but interesting topics in sports. These two guys are friends so you never know where the conversation will lead. This episode focuses on the controversial topic on whether college athletes should be paid. Check it out. Like and subscribe.

 



Related Link:  Insiights.com