Reparations: Rep. John Conyers, (D-MI) plans to re-introduce HR Bill 40 – to create a commission to study reparations. “It is the most important piece of legislation I have ever introduced, and I will re-introduce HR40 in the 113th Congress,” Rep. Conyers told an audience at the ‘Revitalizing The Reparations Movement’ Conference at Chicago State University. Sir Hilary Beckles, Chairman of the CARICOM Reparations Commission was the key note speaker and was interviewed by The Final Call. See The Final Call’s coverage of the “Revitalizing The Reparations Movement Conference that was organized by the Institute of the Black World.
The Daily Beast acquired a recording of remarks made by Secretary of State John Kerry where he told the gathering at the Trilateral Commission that Israel risks becoming apartheid state if peace talks fail. The Guardian is reporting this may be the first time a US official of Kerry's standing used the term 'apartheid' in the context of Israel.
The State Department announced that Mr. Kerry will be visiting Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Luanda this week between April 29 and May 5th
See The Black Agenda Report’s reporting here on the IBM and Ford Motor Company’s role in South African apartheid.
President Obama is wrapping up his 5th trip to Asia; Japan, Korea, Malaysia, and the Philippines.
During the President’s weekly address last Saturday, he talked about minimum wage. You can watch the address here or read the transcript here.
The president comments on the Sterling racist statements:”The United States continues to wrestle with a legacy of race and slavery and segregation that's still there — the vestiges of discrimination. We've made enormous strides, but you're going to continue to see this percolate up every so often…”
Voting Rights: Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant signed bills to restore the voting rights of three people convicted of felonies.
An Arkansas judge struck down the state's new voter ID law ruling that it violates the state constitution by adding a requirement that voters must meet before casting a ballot. The law "is declared void and unenforceable," Fox wrote in the ruling. Additional coverage here and here.
Mayoral elections taking place in Mississippi and New Jersey. In Mississippi Tony Yarber has defeated Chokwe Antar Lumumba in a runoff election to become Jackson's new mayor, according to unofficial results. Mr. Antar Lumumba’s father, Mr. Chokwe Lumumba died in February 2014 thus creating a vacancy and forcing a runoff election. Mr. Yarber will now serve out the rest of Mr. Lumumba’s term.
In New Jersey with about two weeks to go, the Mayoral race between Ras Baraka and Shavar Jeffries. According to PolitickerNJ, Mr. Baraka says: "I'm knocking on doors and talking to as many voters as possible down the stretch," Baraka, Newark's South Ward councilman, said. "The ground game is always the most important thing on Election Day. It's about how ready your organization is. Going negative shows people that you don't have any ideas. It just shows desperation. Those type of people, who are part of the old politics in this city, aren't going to be around very long." Mr. Baraka picked up another endorsement – this one from Local Talk Newspaper.
Mr. Jeffries was endorsed by the Newark Firefighters union and was the beneficiary of a judge’s decision to throw out a lawsuit filed by his opponent, Mr. Baraka, who called for the removal of two Jeffries supporters from the Essex County Board of Elections.
Congressman Hakeem Jeffries comes to Newark fundraiser for Mayoral candidate Shavar Jeffries: “This is a city that I feel intimately connected to because of my own family background," said U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY8), whose district encompasses parts of Brooklyn and Queens. "My father was born and raised in Newark and went to Barringer High School. Shavar supported me from a very early stage, when I ran for the [New York] state Assembly. I'll never forget that. Our areas codes are different, but the issues are largely the same. When you send him to City Hall, he's going to stand up for Newark.