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Beto O’Rourke Admits Ancestors Owned Slaves, Talks Reparations

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Sunday, Beto O’ Rourke shared the discovery of he and his wife’s descendants from slave owners. Acknowledging their benefit from institutionalized chattel slavery, the Presidential hopeful owned his painful legacy while outlining several policies, which include reparations.

“We all need to know our own story as it relates to the national story, much as I am learning mine.”

Beto O’Rourke

In a post written for Medium, O’Rourke stated he was provided with documents showing his paternal and maternal great-great-great grandfather’s owned, slaves. Rose and Eliza, whose names were found listed in a property log, were enslaved by O’Rourke’s paternal ancestor, Andrew Cowan Jasper. But the discovery would uncover that not only did he descend from slave owners, but his wife also had as well. Discussing their personal connection to the legacy of slavery in the US, O’Rourke lamented what Rose, Eliza, and other enslaved Africans endured, were denied, and what repercussions their ancestors suffered.

“I benefit from a system that my ancestors built to favor themselves at the expense of others. That only increases the urgency I feel to help change this country so that it works for those who have been locked-out of or — locked-up in — this system.”

Beto O’Rourke

You cannot navigate life in the America of today without first acknowledging its racist foundations. From the moment the first nineteen enslaved Africans arrived in Jamestown, Virginia in 1619, the institution of slavery threaded them through a needle of cruelty and stitched them into the fabric of American society. Generations of Africans were denied their freedom, civil rights, and ability to amass wealth through a practice that forced them to push their White counterparts ahead. This advantage, hesitantly understood by O’Rourke, benefits him, his spouse, and his children while continuing to suppress the growth of Black families to this day. Still, Beto admits the wrongs of his ancestors while contemplating how he, as President, could enact policies to tip the scales.

“I will do everything I can”

Touching on the wealth disparity, Beto discussed the imbalanced incarceration rate and infant mortality rates between Black and White Americans. Seeing the nation as two Americas to be bridged, O’Rourke wants to rectify the economic, educational, criminal justice, and even technological biases that pervade our nation. Detailing his plan, Beto began with educational changes, providing $23 billion immediately to address underfunding in minority-majority public schools. With attention to economic biases, he plans to ensure equal pay and dispense capital to minority and women-owned businesses. With criminal justice being at the forefront of the conversation for many candidates and prospective voters, O’Rourke moves to end the drug war and expunging arrest records for nonviolent drug crimes. However, his stance on reparations, while he does support it, rests on Americans understanding of the country’s history before pursuing cash payouts.

The overall reception of Beto O’Rourke’s admission has been positive as he is being lauded for confronting his problematic legacy head-on. However, he is still being accused of performative activism. Detractors are labeling his recent discovery as a pandering attempt to garner votes from Black constituents.

Do you think this is a step in the right direction for Beto? Would you like to see this sort of genealogical research become a requirement for Presidential candidates?

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Politics

Donald Trump Wore a Mask for the First Time in Ages

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On Saturday, President Trump was caught wearing a facemask for the first time (basically) ever. 

The president has consistently resisted wearing a mask in public, seeing it as a weakness. He has frequently flouted the advice of well-respected doctors, choosing to implore his constituents to not wear a mask. On Saturday, we found his tone changed as he was caught wearing a facemask during his visit to Walter Reed Military Medical Center.

“I’ll probably have a mask. I think when you’re in a hospital especially in that particular setting, where you are talking to a lot of soldiers, people that in some cases just got off the operating table. I think it’s a great thing to wear a mask. I’ve never been against masks but I do believe they have a time and a place,” the president said.

By now, we all know POTUS has been very outspoken against masks, so the sudden change in rhetoric is surprising and, perhaps, too little too late. Trump’s poll numbers are historically low especially being an incumbent president less than 4 months away from election day. According to some, he’s polling at 30% favorability. That’s terrible.

If history is any indicator of what’s to come, Trump will lose “bigly” in the upcoming election. No president has rebounded from such negative polling and won. Hell, the last time anyone other than an incumbent president won a delegate in the Iowa caucuses, that president lost. 

Things aren’t looking good for Trump, let’s all cross our fingers.

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News

Keisha Lance Bottoms Lectures Black People Again; Contracts COVID-19

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It’s a lot, chile. But we’re here to walk you through it. After a morning of social media backlash regarding her comments on the tragic shooting of an 8-year old girl, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has announced that she has been diagnosed with COVID-19.

Mayor Lance began the day with a lecture. “These aren’t police officers shooting people on the streets of Atlanta,” she rattled, “these are members of the community shooting each other.”

Black Twitter was unimpressed. They quickly pointed out that this sounded like the White supremacist rhetoric that has long been lobbed against civil rights activists and Black people who are concerned with their well-being as it relates to police violence.

Some even brought up the fact that communal establishments in Atlanta have been reopened, which has resulted in a transmission spike in her city, and will inevitably cause harm and death to more Black and Brown people. Her response to that matter? Another scolding:

Now, we here at KingOfReads.com aren’t pandemic experts, but we can only assume that one of two things is true, given that Miss Keisha now has the virus, herself. Either she isn’t following her own orders or this virus, much like violence perpetrated against Black people by Black people, is much more complex than she is willing to admit.

Coincidentally, (or not) Governor Kemp (R) has suddenly declared a State of Emergency in Georgia and called in the National Guard. According to NPR, he had this to say:

“Peaceful protests were hijacked by criminals with a dangerous, destructive agenda,” Kemp said. “Now, innocent Georgians are being targeted, shot and left for dead… Enough with the tough talk, we must protect the lives and livelihoods of all Georgians.”

Quote Taken From NPR

Just after this announcement, came Keisha Lance Bottoms’ big COVID-19 reveal, which seems to have shifted the narrative away from the morning’s seminars and the fact that the state of Georgia is now becoming even more militarized. We’ll keep you updated as the situation evolves.

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LGBTQ

Trump Administration Cuts Protections for Transgender Americans

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On Friday, the Trump administration announced it would be rolling back an Obama-era rule protecting transgender Americans from discrimination in health care. 

Under the Obama administration, Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act expanded the definition of sex discrimination to include discrimination based on one’s gender identity. Under a revised version of the rule, the Department of Health and Human Services will enforce Section 1557 “by returning to the government’s interpretation of sex discrimination according to the plain meaning of the word ‘sex’ as male or female and as determined by biology” beginning in mid-August. In other words, doctors and insurance companies receiving funding from the Fed can legally refuse any patient needing transition-related medical care.

Of course, as quickly as the rule was finalized, many LGBTQ+ organizations including the ACLU,announced intentions to sue the Trump administration over this new language. “The Trump admin has issued a rule that will embolden health care discrimination against transgender people.. All while a global pandemic is occurring.” said the ACLU in a tweet. 

Forget a global pandemic, ACLU. Friday’s announcement came on the fourth anniversary of the Pulse nightclub tragedy, a mass shooting at a popular Florida gay nightclub that left 49 people and the shooter dead.

President Trump has made it clear how he feels about the nearly 1.4 million transgender people in this country, his fellow Americans – he doesn’t feel anything.

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