Vermont House unanimously supports eugenics apology
MONTPELIER, Vt. — Legislators in the Vermont House have unanimously supported a resolution apologizing to all Vermonters and their families and descendants who were harmed by state-sanctioned eugenics policies and practices that led to sterilizations.
Under the eugenics movement, some Vermonters of mixed French Canadian and Native American heritage, as well as poor, rural white people, were placed on a state-sanctioned list of “mental defectives” and degenerates and sent to state institutions.
Some had surgery after Vermont in 1931 became one of more than two dozen states to pass a law allowing voluntary sterilizations for “human betterment.”
“We acknowledge that these policies of separation, institutionalization and sterilization were driven by social and ideological imperatives, based on racial, ethnic, class and gender biases and prejudice,” Rep. Thomas Stevens, D-Washington-Chittenden, said on Wednesday, according to the Bennington Banner.
The legislative resolution was up for a final reading in the House on Thursday, before it’s expected to go the Senate.
Cincinnati eyes $4M to support minority businesses
Minority-owned businesses in Cincinnati could gain financial support to help them weather the COVID-19 shutdowns and restrictions if the City Council approves setting aside $4 million from stimulus funds received from the American Recovery Act, the latest round of stimulus funding being distributed in President Joe Biden’s effort to get Americans back on their feet. The initiative is known as Ascend-Cincy.
Mayor John Cranley was joined March 25 by the leadership of the Urban League of Greater Southwestern Ohio, the African American Chamber of Commerce, and the Minority Business Accelerator at the African American Chamber to announce a stimulus proposal intended to support local minority-owned businesses that have been hit hardest by the Coronavirus pandemic. Data shows 30 percent of Black-owned businesses closed due to the impacts of the economic recession caused by the pandemic.
These three organizations intend to collaborate on creating an ecosystem that incubates minority business growth from start-up or microenterprise phase, (revenue from $0 to $150,000) to growth phase, (revenue from $150,000 to $1 million) to expansion phase (revenue above $1 million). This was the second in a series of announcements made by the mayor regarding the use of federal stimulus funds. The city currently invests in the Urban League and African American Chamber to build and sustain minority-owned businesses and this proposal bolsters those efforts.
“This is going to be transformative in Cincinnati,” said Chamber President Eric Kearney.
The funds could be used to provide staffing, accounting, business resources, financing coaching and other services to Black-owned businesses
— The Cincinnati Herald
Black businesswomen bringing diversity to ski slopesIn January 2019, Simisola Oke traveled with a friend to Flachau, one of Austria’s busiest ski areas. Following their arrival, they were greeted with many hellos and waves from fellow skiers. Initially, “we just assumed people were being kind and friendly, or maybe they thought we were famous,” Oke recalls.
This all changed during apres-ski amid the warm fires and hearty meals. Skiers began opening up with probing comments such as, “It’s different for people like you to be here.”
In an arena that is predominantly white, Oke described feeling as if she were an “exhibit,” with her blackness on show against an undeniably white backdrop.
Oke went skiing in Chamonix, France, with her university friends and future business partners — Tobi Adegboye, Wenona Barnieh, Blessing Ekairia and Adeola Omotade.
The uncomfortable stares and unsolicited comments about “not realizing Black people ski” continued.
The close friends found inspiration behind their shared encounters, sparking the formation of Mount Noire, a London-based ski travel company with the aim of “bringing color to the mountain.”
The organization offers luxury ski packages all-inclusive of accommodation, equipment rental and events. Mount Noire has hosted two trips so far, and their next one is scheduled for March 2021 in Val Thorens, France — with a contingency plan in place for December due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Man pleads guilty in attack on Black teen in Michigan
DETROIT — A white man has pleaded guilty to a federal hate crime after a Black teen was attacked in a southeastern Michigan park and hit in the face with a bicycle lock.
Lee Mouat, 43, entered the plea Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Detroit and is scheduled to be sentenced June 24. He faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, the U.S. Attorney’s office said.
The assault happened after two groups of people — one white, the other Black — exchanged words at the beach. Mouat went to his car and retrieved the bike lock, authorities said, and the attack on Freelon sparked a brawl between the groups.
Mouat was charged in October in a federal criminal complaint and indicted in February.
Detroit Division FBI Special Agent in Charge Timothy Waters said the “hateful and violent conduct, motivated by racial intolerance, was intended to physically harm the victim as well as create fear within the African American community.”
Black media owners call General Motors CEO ‘racist’
Ice Cube, Roland Martin, Bryon Allen and several other major Black-owned media owners took out a full-page ad in Michigan’s largest newspaper calling General Motors’ CEO a “racist” because the company refuses to meet with them about advertising.
The seven Black media companies allege in the Detroit Free Press ad that GM boss Mary Barra refused to meet with them “consistently, over time and after multiple requests.” They are demanding an hourlong Zoom meeting with Barra over the reported minuscule advertising dollars allocated to Black media in proportion to their white media counterparts.
General Motors, which owns major American car brands Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC and Buick, adamantly denies the company is racist and told the Free Press that they plan to increase advertising with minority media companies in 2021.
“We have increased our planned spending with both diverse-owned and diverse-dedicated media across our family of brands,” GM spokesperson Pat Morrissey told the Free Press.
— Free Press of Jacksonville
Black man killed by Virginia Beach police was brandishing gun
The Virginia Beach, Va., police officer who fatally shot a Black man on Friday night and a second officer told investigators that the man was brandishing a handgun at the time of the incident, the department said on Monday night.
The handgun was recovered at the scene of the slaying of Donovon Lynch, 25, of Virginia Beach, police said. A third witness told detectives that the former college football player had the gun in his possession earlier in the evening, police said.
Virginia Beach police said they would not discuss what led to the shooting.
The update came the same day Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring, a Democrat, said he wanted an independent agency to investigate the shooting that occurred during a chaotic string of incidents that left two people dead and eight others wounded on Virginia Beach’s oceanfront on a balmy night.
Police said another Virginia Beach police officer was hit by a car during the shootings. The officer was taken to the hospital, where he was treated and released.
Police have charged three men with seven counts of felonious assault, use of a firearm in commission of a felony and reckless handling of a firearm.
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