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Kellyanne Conway Has Trouble Naming A Top Black White House Aide

“We have a number of different minorities,” working for the administration, she said on ABC.

Kellyanne Conway, the chief counselor to President Donald Trump, had difficulty on Sunday naming the top black aide working in the White House following the firing of former “Apprentice” contestant Omarosa Manigault Newman late last year.

Newman was the most prominent, high-level black in the West Wing as Trump’s director of communications for the White House office of public liaison. She was reportedly fired by White House chief of staff John Kelly for abusing her position and had to be physically removed from the premises.

Conway, asked on ABC’s “This Week” who would now rank as the highest-level black among personnel stationed in the West Wing, initially faulted host John Karl for not focusing on Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson. “The president works with the secretary every day,” she said.

The former renowned neurosurgeon, however, does not physically work or advise the president from an office in the White House. 

Conway then went on to give the first name of a staffer who focuses on criminal justice issues and works at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, which is adjacent to the White House. Conway never provided his full name.

Karl pressed the matter, asking her, “What does that say to have not a single senior adviser in the West Wing who’s African-American.”

“I didn’t say that there wasn’t,” Conway replied.

But she offered no specifics and urged Karl to “look at the fact that we have a number of different minorities. And the fact is that this president is doing well for all Americans.”

As Trump routinely does in his stump speeches. Conway then stressed the historically low unemployment rate for blacks amid the economic recovery that began under President Barack Obama and has gained steam since Trump took office.

“You may not want to cover it as much as it should be covered,” she said of the black unemployment figures.

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Melania Trump’s Parents Likely Became U.S. Citizens Through ‘Chain Migration’ Donald Trump Blasts

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President Donald Trump has personally benefited from the family-based immigration he rails against.

President Donald Trump should have been moved this week when our nation of immigrants accepted two new Americans: first lady Melania Trump’s parents, Amalia and Viktor Knavs. But their path to citizenship likely goes against everything their son-in-law supposedly believes in.

The Knavs were sworn in as U.S. citizens on Thursday in Lower Manhattan, The New York Times reported. Melania Trump, originally from Slovenia, sponsored her parents so they could obtain a green card before applying for U.S. citizenship. The first lady herself was granted citizenship in 2006.

“It went well and they are very grateful and appreciative of this wonderful day for their family,” the Knavs’ lawyer, Michael Wildes, said in a statement.

When the Times asked Wildes if the Knavs obtained their citizenship through family-based immigration ― often pejoratively referred to as “chain migration” ― Wildes was vague.

“I suppose,” he told the publication. “It’s a dirty ― a dirtier word. It stands for a bedrock of our immigration process when it comes to family reunification.”

The idea that family-based immigration could be labeled as “dirty” might have a lot to do with the Knavs’ son-in-law. In November, Trump railed against the process on Twitter.

“CHAIN MIGRATION must end now!” he tweeted. “Some people come in, and they bring their whole family with them, who can be truly evil. NOT ACCEPTABLE!” 

Last December, when a legal U.S. resident from Bangladesh attempted an ISIS-inspired bombing in New York City, Trump blamed “chain migration” in part, saying there needed to be restrictions. He argued, without evidence, that “chain migration” lets in suspect people.

But as HuffPost’s Roque Planas has pointed out, Trump has personally benefited time and again from the very process he rails against. His ancestors followed family members to the U.S., his Miss Universe business attracted top candidates by agreeing to help obtain green cards or work authorization for their families, and his parents-in-law are likely citizens because of it.

“It’s hard to find talent,” Wildes told HuffPost at the time regarding Miss Universe contestants. “And when they find talent, they generally want to negotiate family members to make sure their lives are more robust and meaningful. … Say we’re soliciting a visa for somebody and that person says, ‘I’m only going to come if you sponsor a visa for myself and green cards for my whole family so I can resettle here.’”

Congratulations are in order for the Knavs. Hopefully, their citizenship will inspire their son-in-law to better appreciate the rich, continued diversity that new immigrants bring to the U.S. But that seems unlikely.

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Aaron Rodgers says LeBron James ignoring Donald Trump is 'absolutely beautiful'

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If only the NFL would have taken LeBron James’ approach with President Donald Trump, or at least listened to Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers speak about it.

We’re heading into our third straight season of the national anthem issue overshadowing NFL games, and it’s the NFL’s fault. By enacting a policy that nobody liked (and eventually a policy that had to be paused as it discussed it with the NFLPA), when the controversy was dying down, the league incredibly gave new life to a story it was hoping went away. The NFL enacted an unnecessary policy at least partially in hopes of appeasing Trump, which makes it that much more baffling.

Trump went after James on Twitter recently, attacking James’ intelligence, and Rodgers loved that James didn’t acknowledge it. He thinks the NFL can learn from that.

Aaron Rodgers said he and other athletes support LeBron James

In an interview with NFL Media’s Michael Silver, Rodgers said he supports James and thinks James’ non-response to Trump was the right way to handle the situation. He called it “absolutely beautiful.” 

“At a time where he’s putting on display his school, which is changing lives, there’s no need,” Rodgers told Silver. “Because you’re just giving attention to that (tweet); that’s what they want. So just don’t respond.”

Rodgers said he didn’t reply to the Trump tweet about James because “LeBron needs no help.”

“He has stood on his own two feet for years, and he has done some incredible things, and he needs no support,” Rodgers told NFL.com. “He knows he has the support of his contemporaries, in his own sport and in other sports, and he’s gonna be fine.'”

Of course, the NFL seemingly can’t ignore Trump when he attacks the league.

Trump told Cowboys owner Jerry Jones once, according to Jones’ sworn deposition via the Wall Street Journal, that the national anthem issue was a “winning, strong issue for me.” He told Jones the NFL can’t win on the issue, because “this one lifts me.”

It’s hard for NFL players to not respond when Trump calls those who are trying to bring awareness to social issues such as racial inequality a “son of a bitch.” But as Trump continues to attack the NFL — NFL owners were the only ones who couldn’t see that coming — Rodgers said the best way to handle it is to not give Trump more publicity.

“I think that the more that we give credence to stuff like that, the more it’s gonna live on,” Rodgers told Silver. “I think if we can learn to ignore or not respond to stuff like that — if we can — it takes away the power of statements like that.”

It won’t be easy for NFL to ignore Trump

It won’t be easy for the NFL and its players to ignore Trump. As we know, Trump is aware the entire issue “lifts” him, and he won’t forget that. And the NFL is full of proud players who don’t take kindly to being called a “son of a bitch.”

But Rodgers makes some good points and it’s easy to follow his logic. And had the NFL ignored Trump from the beginning, we probably wouldn’t still be talking about the entire issue.

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St. Louis Voters Oust Prosecutor Who Didn’t Bring Charges In Cop Killing Of Michael Brown

St. Louis County District Attorney Robert McCulloch at 2015 press conference about an arrest in connection with a shooting at

In a remarkable win for reformers, Wesley Bell, a city council member in Ferguson, Missouri, upset Robert McCulloch in Tuesday’s Democratic primary.

Wesley Bell, who cast himself as a reformer committed to changing a local criminal justice system widely criticized following the 2014 killing of black and unarmed teenager Michael Brown by a white police officer, won St. Louis County’s Democratic primary for top prosecutor on Tuesday in a major upset.

Bell, a city council member in Ferguson, Missouri, where Brown was killed, defeated Robert McCulloch, who had served in the prosecutor’s post since 1991. McCulloch was harshly criticized by many for failing to file charges against the officer who shot Brown, and Tuesday’s vote was widely seen as a referendum by local residents on his handling of the case.

Bell’s primary victory effectively means he is set to become St. Louis County’s next prosecuting attorney, given that he faces no Republican challenger in November’s general election.

Bell, 43, campaigned on pledges to never seek the death penalty, eliminate cash bail for nonviolent offenses, publicly oppose legislation that would create new mandatory minimum sentences for some crimes and adopt other policies that advocates for criminal justice reform favor.

He won the endorsements of numerous progressive groups, including influential political action committees such as activist Shaun King’s Real Justice and Color of Change, both of which focus on electing reform-minded prosecutors.

Ferguson, Missouri, City Council member Wesley Bell won the Democratic nomination for top prosecutor in St. Louis County on T
WESLEY BELL FOR ST LOUIS COUNTY PROSECUTOR
Ferguson, Missouri, City Council member Wesley Bell won the Democratic nomination for top prosecutor in St. Louis County on Tuesday, scoring a major upset over an entrenched incumbent.

Still, Bell faced criticism from some progressives for his past work as a municipal court judge in the region; they complained that he issued excessive fines and fees that had especially negative impacts on people of color.

“These results demonstrate that voters care passionately about crucial civil rights issues, from the unjust use of cash bail to how long people are sitting in our jails because they can’t afford to pay, to demanding their prosecuting attorney be transparent on his office’s work,” said Jeffrey A. Mittman, executive director of the ACLU of Missouri. “We provided voters with essential information on civil liberties issues, and they demanded transparency and fairness from their prosecuting attorney. We look forward to working with our members and community partners to hold St. Louis County’s next prosecuting attorney accountable for protecting the rights of the people.”

McCulloch, 67, has been a controversial figure for decades. Critics have cited his close ties to local police departments as an impediment to him holding officers accountable for possible misconduct. Several of McCulloch’s family members ―  including his father, who was shot and killed by an African-American suspect when McCulloch was 12 years old ― have worked for the St. Louis Police Department.

He’s often pursued policies that have proved futile for years in stemming drug use across the nation. For instance, he’s favored aggressive prosecutions of drug-related offenses.

Critics have also blasted McCulloch for his prosecution of protesters and his pursuit of the death penalty in murder cases.

But McCulloch is best known for not bringing charges against Darren Wilson, the policeman who shot and killed Brown during a confrontation between the two on Aug. 9, 2014.

The confrontation began when Wilson ordered Brown and a friend, who were walking in the street, to walk on the sidewalk instead. Wilson, in his accounts, portrayed Brown as menacing and alleged that the teenager attacked him through an open window of his police vehicle. Wilson said Brown then fled, but stopped and turned back to charge at him. Witnesses differed on their versions of what happened between Wilson and Brown, with some claiming that Brown put his hands up to surrender at one point before being shot by Wilson. Ultimately, Wilson unloaded a total of 12 rounds at Brown, killing him.

Brown’s death sparked several days of protests in Ferguson and around the nation over police interactions with largely black communities. And more protests months later when McCulloch decided that his office wouldn’t file charges against Wilson but would instead present the matter to a grand jury without a recommendation.

Following the grand jury’s decision to not indict Wilson on murder or manslaughter charges, McCulloch’s strategy came under considerable scrutiny. While McCulloch had defenders who said the process was appropriate, doubts persisted that McCulloch’s prosecutors were too gentle on Wilson in questioning him before the grand jury while simultaneously being sharply skeptical of witness accounts.

Further, critics said, McCulloch’s decision to decline to recommend a specific charge to the grand jury during the proceedings made it far more likely that the grand jury wouldn’t issue an indictment anyway. Washington Post columnist  Dana Milbank termed McCulloch’s grand jury proceeding a “joke.”  

Critics also said McCulloch should have recused himself from the case because of his close ties with police and let a special prosecutor take over.

“While Wesley Bell’s victory may come as a shock to many around the country, it’s no surprise to the Color of Change PAC or to many in the Black community,” said Rashad Robinson, spokesperson for the Color of Change PAC, in a statement. “This ousting of a 27-year incumbent shows the country what Black voters have demonstrated for decades — that we demand to be heard and that we will make criminal justice reform a ballot-box issue in 2018 and beyond.”

Prosecutors are among the most powerful agents in the U.S. criminal justice system. They have unrivaled access to the evidence that can determine a person’s guilt or innocence, and broad powers in determining how aggressively to pursue possible criminal charges against individuals.  

Ninety-five percent of elected prosecutors are white, and 79 percent are male. Only 1 percent of prosecutors are women of color. The majority of prosecutors — 85 percent — run for election unopposed. They are rarely punished for misconduct, and a 1976 Supreme Court ruling gives them absolute immunity from civil suits.

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The Pay Gap Is Severely Affecting Black Women, Yet Only 1 In 3 Americans Know It

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Black Women’s Equal Pay Day is Aug. 7.

It took eight months and seven days into 2018 for black women to catch up to what white men earned in 2017. That means it takes a little more than 19 months for black women to reach a year’s worth of the average white man’s salary.

To highlight that discrepancy, organizations including Equal Pay Today and Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In are promoting Tuesday, Aug. 7, as Black Women’s Equal Pay Day. Black women are only paid 63 cents for every dollar white men earn. Black women, on average, are paid 38 percent less than than white men and 21 percent less than white women. Pay disparities remain consistent across different levels of education, according to the Economic Policy Institute. That’s a big difference, especially when 80 percent of black mothers are the primary breadwinners for their families.

“Equal pay is not about getting what’s fair, but about getting compensated for the value and expertise we bring to the workplace,” said Lisa Skeete Tatum, CEO and founder of career guidance platform Landit. “When women are not fully compensated, there is the real risk of not getting what they deserve, but also not being able to ever close the gap. The loss is not only in terms of compensation, but also promotion, learning opportunities and the ability to bring the full measure of their talent and potential to the table.”

That gap has only narrowed by 9 cents over the last 30 years, compared to 22 cents for white women, Pew Research Center reported in 2016. On top of that, black women receive less support from managers and get promoted less frequently, according to Lean In’s 2017 Women In the Workplace study

This is an urgent issue that is costing black women more than $800,000 ― and, in some states, $1 million ― over a lifetime. 

A 2018 survey conducted by Lean In, Survey Monkey and the National Urban League found that 1 in 3 people aren’t aware of the pay gap between black women and white men, and only roughly half of Americans are aware of the gap that exists between black women and white women. Even more alarming, the survey found that more than half of men believe that black women no longer face obstacles in their careers. Nearly 70 percent of non-black people believe racism and sexism are uncommon in the workplace while 64 percent of black women say they’ve been discriminated against at work. 

In an effort to raise awareness and help close the gap, Lean In launched its #38PercentCounts campaign, partnering with Adidas, Lyft, Procter & Gamble and Reebok, to get their customers to consider how big of a difference 38 percent makes as they make purchases on Black Women’s Equal Pay Day.  

“The pay gap facing Black women is an urgent problem,” Sandberg said in a statement. “It has huge financial implications for millions of families. And it signals something deeply wrong in our economy. We need to address the gender and racial inequalities that give rise to this imbalance — and create workplaces where everyone’s labor is valued, everyone is treated with respect, and everyone has an equal shot at success.”

 The survey also found that people, including black women, generally underestimate the pay gap. In a video, Lean In revealed to a group of black women from various fields and their families just how much money they’re missing out on as a result of the pay gap.

Despite black women obtaining degrees at a consistently high rate for the last decade and being the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs among women, systemic oppression is still in the way of them getting paid what they are owed.

“Our plan is that bringing awareness to this injustice will lead to concrete action,” National Urban League president Marc H. Morial said in a statement. “Not only would fair pay for black women drastically narrow the racial economic gap, but it would go a long way toward stabilizing our national economy. Because Black women disproportionately are heads of households, fair pay would create a ripple effect that could lift entire communities.”

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https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/black-womens-equal-pay-day-2018_us_5b68872be4b0de86f4a3ef1f

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