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Weekly Headlines

Systemic Racism is Killing Black Babies in America — But There is Something Black Women Can Do About It!

Written by Shafia M. Monroe, Founder of the International Center for Traditional Childbearing on Sunday, 22 June 2014 11:03.

Georgia atlanta JOHN TRAVIS HOLT

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) says the U.S. infant mortality rate is the highest among selected states in the South and Midwest regions. In 2010, 13 states and the District of Columbia had infant mortality rates of 7.00–7.99, and two additional states (Mississippi and Alabama) had infant mortality rates of 8.00 or higher, (www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db120.pdf). According to recent studies, systemic racism in America is negatively impacting the health of pregnant black women, by creating stress over load on their system which is affecting the health of babies. Black babies are being born too soon and too small, and lack the option of being breastfed, as result of stress.

RELEASE: 50 Years After Freedom Summer, Report Shows that Communities of Color Can Shift the Balance of Power in ‘Black Belt’ States

Written by Featured Organization on Monday, 16 June 2014 17:39.

Washington, D.C. — Fifty years after Freedom Summer sparked a pivotal moment in the civil rights movement, a new report released today by the Center for American Progress, in conjunction with an event exploring the subject, examines how current demographic and political changes in heavily black southern states could upset the balance of power in many of the country’s so-called “Black Belt” states. The report analyzes 13 Black Belt states that are still defined by racial polarization: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. In these Black Belt states—which each contain a black population of at least 10 percent—voters of color continue to be locked out of statewide politics, and candidates of color rarely get elected to statewide office. However, as outlined in the report, a massive wave of voter registration could trigger a major shift in the country’s political landscape that would shake up the status quo and create a more inclusive Black Belt.

Iowa Court Tosses Sentence in HIV Exposure Case

Written by Sergio Hernandez, Special to ProPublica on Monday, 16 June 2014 17:38.

This story was co-published with Buzzfeed: Six months after ProPublica’s story, Iowa’s highest court has thrown out Nick Rhoades’ 25-year prison sentence for criminal transmission of HIV.After a three-year legal battle, Iowa's highest court has thrown out the sentence of Nick Rhoades, who was sentenced to 25 years in prison and lifetime sex offender registration for criminal transmission of HIV Rhoades, whose case was central to a ProPublica investigation published last year, pleaded guilty to the charge in 2009 after failing to inform a one-time sexual partner that he was HIV-positive. The investigation, co-published with BuzzFeed, found 541 cases across 19 states in which defendants were convicted or pleaded guilty to similar crimes. Some incurred harsh penalties even though they had not infected anyone or had used protective measures, such as wearing condoms or taking antiviral drugs that reduced the risk of transmitting HIV.

Electoral Extremism: 12 extremist political candidates

Written by Evelyn Schlatter on Monday, 09 June 2014 16:41.

Election years in the United States always bring out a spate of candidates from very different ideological corners, but over the past few years, electoral politics in this country have succumbed to a level of polarization only rarely seen in our history. That situation has facilitated the emergence of would-be political leaders who have links to hate groups or engage in promoting extremism based on race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation or antigovernment conspiracy theories. The typically baseless claims of these candidates range from demonizing propaganda about certain minority groups to the promotion of fantastic conspiracy theories about the federal government’s allegedly evil machinations. What follows are snapshots of a dozen such candidates, including Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, independents and others who are running for political office this fall or who ran earlier in the year.

Why I marched on McDonald's

Written by Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II, President of the North Carolina NAACP on Monday, 09 June 2014 16:29.

Recently, I marched with McDonald's workers from three dozen cities to the company's corporate headquarters outside of Chicago. After they refused to leave the corporate campus of the fast-food giant with its $5.6 billion in profits last year, 101 workers were arrested. I knew I had to come when the workers invited me to share some of the lessons we have been learning in North Carolina about civil disobedience - and moral support. I watched my new friends sit down. I watched the police gather. I prayed with the McDonald's workers as the police looked on and then slapped plastic handcuffs on more than 100 of the workers and arrested them.

Civil Rights Scaremongering Against Polling Place Protections Rings Hollow With Many Blacks

Written by Featured Organization on Monday, 09 June 2014 16:24.

St. Louis/Washington, DC - A new poll shows that a majority of black Americans support voter ID laws despite a full-court press by the Obama Administration and its supporters in and out of government to label such polling place protections as a danger to civil rights. Members of the Project 21 black leadership network note this very basic safeguard ensures the integrity of the democratic process and provides Americans of all races, genders and creeds with an assurance their vote will count.