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Let’s Talk About Voter Suppression

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Over the past 2 weeks, prospective voters have been registering in droves. Whether inspired by celebs they admire or of their own volition, National Voter Registration Day brought in more than 800,000 new applicants. Rallying behind anti-establishment candidates, Democrats are hoping that this is the blue wave they have longed for. As we hope for the dawn of a brighter day, there’s already blood on the horizon — Republicans have been purging voter rolls under a ‘Use it or Lose it’ initiative.

In Georgia alone, 340K voters have been stricken from the records of their polling places in what has become a horrific trend of voter suppression. Facing immediate backlash from the public, lawsuits have been filed. Citing abuse of power, Brian Kemp, secretary of state of Georgia, is being sued for purposefully blocking the registrations of nearly 50K, 80 percent of whom are Black, Latino, or Asian. At the state level, Secretary of State serves as an election officer in addition to their other duties which makes Kemp’s campaign all the more distressing. His lack of integrity and approval of policies that directly target migrant minorities are reminiscent of old republican party ideas that saw the creation of Reagan’s debilitating “Law and Order” policies.

“Their registration is canceled. Not pending, not inactive – canceled. If they show up to vote on 6 November, they will not be allowed to vote.” – Greg Palast, investigative journalist

In Texas, gerrymandering tactics that target minority voters have been in effect since the repeal of a 1965 Voting Rights Act clause that served to protect the freedoms of residents. Enacted to address racial discrimination, the protection act was repealed because Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts did not believe minorities needed their votes protected and stated the act was unconstitutional. Under this lack of supervision, Texas has been legally purging voter rolls since 2013 and the success of Kemp’s assault on voter rights has only emboldened them.

State-to-state, voter suppression can look like:
1. new and strict voter id requirements
2. selective access to early voting
3. moving polling locations to further restrict access
4. deadlines for registration and absentee ballot requests
5. felon disenfranchisement

So how can we combat voter suppression? Learn if your state is among the list that allows you to register up to election day. Vote early, if possible. If transportation is your obstacle, many ride-sharing apps are offering free or discounted rides to polling places. Above all, don’t get discouraged. This is a time where even in the midst of our harsh political climate, many are banding together based on values to support one another.

Check out Vote.org to learn about your state’s voting laws and even register online.

 

 

 

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2 Male Suspects Questioned in Jussie Smollett Case Released Without Charges

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The 2 Nigerian men who were suspects in Jussie Smollett’s attack in Chicago have no been released. News dropped yesterday of the 2 men who have some close ties with Jussie. In the picture below you can see Lee Daniels the creator of the hit show ‘Empire’ in the picture with Ola Osundairoe on set. It was also being reported that Jussie worked out with them.

The 2 were charged with battery Friday and have now been released without any charges. Chief Communications Officer of the Chicago Police Department Anthony Gugliemi tweeted, “Due to new evidence as a result of today’s interrogations, the individuals questioned by police in the Empire case have now been released without charging and detectives have additional investigative work to complete.”

The attorney for Abel and Ola Osundairo had this to say about the case.

Media outlets are reporting that Jussie has now hired high-powered attorney Michael Monico if that name doesn’t ring a bell this will. Monico represented Michael Cohen who was President’s Trump’s former attorney.

Of course, you know this story is developing and we will keep you updated as new details emerge.

What do you think?

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Police Questioning Two Suspects in Jussie Smollett Case

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Jussie Smollett

Police have identified two Nigerian men as suspects in Jussie Smollett’s case. The men have been questioned in the attack on the “Empire” star and have been arrested on probable cause.

Identified as brothers, the two men have been questioned by police in Chicago following their arrival from Nigeria. The suspects were apprehended at Chicago O’Hare International Airport on Wednesday after authorities learned one of them was connected to “Empire.” Following the Chicago Police receiving and executing a search warrant, authorities are not disclosing what was found within the shared apartment.

In a statement provided to Associated Press by Anthony Guglielmi, Chief Communications Officer of the Chicago PD, there was emphasis placed on the nature of the suspects arrest. At this time, both persons have been arrested for probable cause alone.

Breaking the Silence

For the first time since the January 29th attack, Jussie Smollett has sat down for an interview. Robin Roberts of Good Morning America inquired about what happened that fateful evening and how Jussie was responding to those who doubt his claims. Jussie took the opportunity to share what happened during the attack, clear up what his assailants said while assaulting him, and added his manager was on the phone the entire time.

When it comes to what his attackers looked like, Jussie says, “I can’t tell you what color their eyes were” as their appearance was obstructed by ski masks. He provided a body description to officers and noted that he only saw them completely as they were running away. Robin then asked if Jussie believed the men in the photo were his attackers and he said, “I don’t have any doubt in my mind that’s them.”

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Jussie Smollett’s Phone Records Rejected by Chicago PD

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After being provided with phone records that could be crucial to cracking Jussie’s case, Chicago PD have tossed them out. Claiming the records have been forged, CPD is asking for hard copies of the bill or Jussie’s phone.

A representative for Jussie Smollett asserts that Chicago PD affirms Jussie’s account of what happened that night as consistent and credible. Still, they have requested his phone records for a second time. After receiving them in the form of a PDF document, which is susceptible to manipulation, authorities are casting them aside. Stating that only hard evidence directly from his cell service provider will suffice, Jussie has to provide Chicago PD with either the phone bill, in its entirety, or a full download of Jussie’s device.

Since Jussie was on his phone with his manager at the time of the attack, Chicago PD wants the records to prove a call was made. Two weeks ago, they requested the phone records from Jussie, but they were delivered February 11th. Without any video of the attack in their possession, the phone records are integral in making advancements of the case.

Police are continuing the investigation while treating the case as a hate crime.

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