African American Billionaire Pays 2019 Morehouse Graduates Loans


Not all the news is bad or tragic. Sometimes the good refuses to be ignored and a ray of hope shines through. Last weekend investor and philanthropist Robert F. Smith announced at Morehouse graduation day he was going to pay the student loans for all the graduates. With 400 graduating seniors finishing up their senior degree, Smith is ready to pay off $40 million in student debt. What an amazing gift to this graduating class of scholars.

The class of 2019 will march forward free of the crushing debt most graduating students will incur from student loans that never seem to go away. Student loans have high interest rates that are depressingly ever-present. Student loans cannot be discharged during bankruptcies, they stick to graduates like a weight that is nearly impossible to remove in most circumstances. Accordingly, Smith’s gift was more than kind; it was a true leg up for the class of 2019.

The looks on the faces of graduates in response to the surprise gift was one of pure joy and elation. Smith challenged his fellow alumni to do something great for Morehouse students. This will be a tough act to follow and perhaps the alum will meet the challenge from Smith to do something. The students still overcome with the enormity of the gift spoke of giving back to society, of doing something great for future classes and humanity. It is the gift that will keep on giving.

Smith is one of the richest African Americans and is reportedly worth $5 billion. It is clear the graduating class of 2019 at Morehouse would say he is worth much more.


Dallas Police Are Slow To Call Violence To Black Trans A Hate Crime


Dallas police are incredibly slow to call the rash of murder and assaults against three African American Transgender women a hate crime. The latest incident ended up with the death of Muhlaysia Booker, 22, who was found shot to death. She was lying face down in the street. The last time people may have heard her name was when she was video-taped being beaten by a group of men.

In Booker’s case, homophobic slurs were uttered as she was beaten. Dallas police called the beating minor. In watching the assault, it looked far from minor. They have arrested one man the police say was involved. Police have not charged him with a hate crime or connected him with any other incident.

Brittany White was found shot to death in a vehicle on October 21, 2018. Another black transgender woman was stabbed and survived the attack. None of the attacks have been described as hate crimes. That needs to change and since there is no federal help there appears to be a lack of interest and resources devoted to stopping the violence to African American transgender women.

There is an obvious problem in some law enforcement communities that hamper, if not ignore, the violence toward this vulnerable community.


Trump Administration Delays Harriet Tubman $20 Bill


People like to say “shake my head” in response to many of President Donald J. Trump’s policies that have hurt people of color and the vulnerable. In this case that could probably be described as petty and racially insensitive. The Trump administration has delayed the release of the twenty-dollar bill with the image of Harriet Tubman.

Harriet Tubman was an American abolitionist and political activist. Born into slavery, Tubman escaped and subsequently made some thirteen missions to rescue approximately seventy enslaved people, family and friends, using the network of antislavery activists and safe houses known as the Underground Railroad. Her heroic effort has not been given the proper respect until the Obama administration decided to put her on the twenty-dollar bill. But race and politics have interjected themselves into what should be a great event.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin just announced that designs for an updated twenty-dollar bill will be delayed by eight years. It was hoped the bill would be ready for release during the 100-year anniversary of the 19th amendment giving women the right to vote.

Trump has long admired the presidency of Andrew Jackson. Jackson is reviled in the Native American community for this role in the trail of tears that stole land and drove Cherokees, Creeks, and other tribes across the nation to Oklahoma. The march resulted in the deaths of thousands of Native Americans. Trump admires Jacksons presidency because of his disdain for laws and human kindness. Jackson even ignored Supreme Court decisions. Trump has publicly questioned why Jackson should be replaced and said Tubman should instead be on the $2 bill.

Mnuchin has been a cold-blooded loyalist of Trump and no policy is too vile for him to implement. He has consistently rejected congressional calls for Trump’s taxes to be released and other requests for information. Shaking one’s head does not affect these callous men who go out of their way to mistreat people of color with craven glee. 2020 can’t get here fast enough.


Terrible Weather Pounds Oklahoma, Tornado Hits Tulsa North


Monsoon like rains, tornadoes and runaway barges have punished parts of Oklahoma. Flooding has damaged untold numbers of homes. At press-time runaway barges are endangering communities up and down the canal from the Port of Catoosa. There will no doubt be damage from every part of Oklahoma. Rescue crews have rescued stranded drivers, plucked people off roofs of every description.

Oklahoma can be thankful, because for all our problems, citizens have a way of joining together to help each other out. There is no race, religion, or ethnic differences in saving each other’s life and property.

We join others in offering our prayers for those serving each other, in harm’s way and who have suffered injuries. We will get through this; together. Something we don’t get to say too often.