Trump holds Iowa rally as poll in early voting state shows strong support
Donald Trump returned to Iowa on Saturday for a campaign-style rally, on the heels of a poll showing strong support in the state which traditionally kicks off presidential elections.
Trump has not announced a second run for the White House.
Instead, he has maintained control of his party by repeating lies about electoral fraud in his defeat by Joe Biden;attempting to blocka congressional investigation of the deadly Capitol attack by supporters seeking overturn that defeat; fundraising strongly; and bragging about how he would defeat potential rivals including the governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, if he chose to seek the nomination again.
Trump also continues to attack his own party establishment. This week, he condemned the Republican leader in the Senate forending oppositionto helping Democrats raise the US debt limit, a position which threatened economic catastrophe.
In a statement, Trump called the move a “terrible deal pushed by folding Mitch McConnell”. McConnell seemed sure to come under fire from the stage at the Iowa state fairgrounds in Des Moines on Saturday night.
Ahead of the rally, the Des Moines Registerreleased a pollwhich showed that 53% of Iowans view Trump favourably.
The poll also gave Trump a 91% favourability rating among Iowa Republicans. Equally unsurprisingly, 99% of Iowa Democrats viewed him unfavourably. Perhaps of more concern to strategists in both parties seeking to plan for 2024, independents were split, 48% viewing Trump favourably and 49% unfavourably.
While Republicans mostly align themselves with Trump, Democrats and independent observers continue to warn about the likely consequences of another Trump run – or presidency.
In an interview published on Friday, Fiona Hill, a former national security staffer in the Trump White House,told Politico: “He is mulling again a return to what he sees more as a crown than the presidency in 2024.
“I feel like we’re at a really critical and very dangerous inflection point in our society, and if Trump – this is not on an ideological basis, this is just purely on an observational basis, based on the larger international historical context – if he makes a successful return to the presidency in 2024, democracy’s done. Because it will be on the back of a lie. A fiction.”
In return, Trump called Hill, who was born in the north-east of England, “a Deep State stiff with a nice accent”.Despite a death toll ofmore than 712,000in a pandemic which began and spiralled out of control under Trump, resistance to vaccine mandates and other public health measures against Covid-19 remains strong in Republican states such as Iowa.In Iowa, J Ann Selzer, president of the Selzer & Co polling company, pointed to another divisive and dangerous factor in Trump’s popularity, when she told the Register he polled strongly with a large and influential group: the unvaccinated.
The vast majority of hospitalisations and deaths are among unvaccinated people, but Republican politicians and media have succeeded in presenting resistance to shots as a matter of personal freedom.
Trump washospitalisedwith Covid last October and has been vaccinated since. In August, he told a rally crowd in Alabama: “You got to do what you have to do, but I recommend: take the vaccines. I did it. It’s good.”
The crowdbooed, dealing Trump the same fate met by a key ally, the South Carolina senator Lindsey Graham,at a party eventlast week.
Among interviews with poll respondents, the Register spoke to Karen Moon, “a 32-year-old Indianola resident [who] said she was never a fan of Trump’s public persona”.
“He kind of sounded like a blubbering idiot,” she said. “He sounded uneducated. I mean, at one point in time he was asking if it would be OK for people to inject bleach into their bodies to get rid of the coronavirus.”
But the registered independent said she had a mostly favourable view of Trump, in part because he signed a pandemic relief bill which sent cheques to Americans.
So, earlier this year,did Joe Biden, who is now trying to get a spending plan including healthcare and childcare measures through Congress, in the face of unanimous Republican opposition.
Moon told the Register she would “definitely” vote for Trump if he ran again.
'She Got Now' Returns To Empower The Next Generation of HBCU Female Leaders
Homecoming season may look different this year, but the culture and pride that live on (and beyond) the campuses of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) will never be relinquished.
If you’ve ever attended an HBCU Homecoming, you’ve first-hand experienced the energy and family-like atmosphere that permeates the campus, as alumni reminisce for a weekend, current students participate in a myriad of cultural events and prospective students are exposed to college life. Recognizing the significance of this unparalleled moment, ESSENCE and Pepsi are once again shining a light on the remarkable culture of HBCUs through the return of the “She Got Now” multi-tiered program this October.
Kicking off at Hampton University’s Homecoming with a special performance by DJ Envy, “She Got Now” will consist of a multi-campus recruitment tour that also includes visits to Howard University’s Homecoming and the Florida Classic – an annual rivalry football game between Bethune-Cookman and Florida A&M. At each visit, students will have a chance to learn more about the “She Got Now” program and internship opportunities at PepsiCo, as well as enjoy music, merchandise, free Pepsi and much more.
“We are honored to partner with ESSENCE again for the ‘She Got Now’ program as we celebrate the return of homecoming season,” said Derek Lewis, President, South Division, PepsiCo Beverages North America. “As a Hampton alum myself, I know how important on campus recruitment is for students, which is why it’s been an anchor point from the program’s inception.”
With many companies recently increasing their commitment to HBCUs, it’s important to establish a strong, genuine connection with HBCU students by meeting them where they are, understanding their interests and learning ways to support them on their journey. The ultimate goal of “She Got Now” is to celebrate, support and honor young Black women making strides and shifting culture at their respective HBCUs, while also guiding them to success through career opportunities.
For the third consecutive year, up to 12 amazing HBCU women will be granted a one-of-a-kind opportunity to join PepsiCo as interns, with the potential to be hired for a full-time role.
Applications for the “She Got Now” Allen McKellar Jr. Internship Program are open now through December to young Black women aspiring to attend or are currently attending an HBCU. To learn more about the program and the experiences of past interns, head over towww.essence.com/shegotnow.
Black Americans are reversing the Great Migration, heading South in search of safe spaces.
inky Cole was born and raised in east Baltimore, but crisscrossed the country after college graduation living in Texas, New York City, Los Angeles and Connecticut in pursuit of various career paths. But it wasn’t until she moved to Atlanta that she felt at home, and her wildest dreams of becoming a successful business owner came true.
After all her travels, Cole, 33, is convinced that she could not have launched her three successful Slutty Vegan restaurants anywhere but in Atlanta due, she says, to the city’s southern hospitality and kinetic African American entertainment scene.
“One thing I’ve learned about Atlanta is, if you got a good product and you mean well, people are going to support it,” said Cole, who opened the first of her three eateries in 2019. Another is slated to open soon in Birmingham, Ala.
“The mission here is that we lift each other up. I’ve never seen it anywhere else in my life except in Atlanta. If I tried to do this in L.A. I would probably still be trying,” she says.
Derrick Hayes, a Philadelphia native, is a friend of Cole’s and has a similar story. His love of cooking led him to use his savings to open a Philly cheesesteak shop in 2014. But not in Philly — in Atlanta.
Today, Hayes, 33, has two Big Dave’s Cheesesteaks, named for his late father, two food trucks and in February, he and Cole joined forces to open Dinkies, a vegan cheesesteak joint.
“When my dad passed I wanted to start my life over and I knew Philly wasn’t the place I was gonna make it. A lot of my friends were dead or in jail. It was just the wrong environment,” said Hayes, who graduated from Overbrook High School and grew up near 52nd Street and Parkside Avenue.
“I felt like I just needed a fresh start in life. So, my fresh start was coming to Atlanta, a new place. Nobody knew me. I was able to do a reboot and show people who I really am.”
The migration of Hayes and Cole to the south is a path that has been traveled in recent years by a growing number of Black people, many who once held negative opinions about the place where their ancestors were once enslaved and persecuted before fleeing by the millions beginning in the early 20th century during what came to be known as the Great Migration.
Before the invention of the airplane and the construction of the interstate highway system, the migrants began heading northward and westward shortly after 1900, by car, truck, bus and train in search of better living and working opportunities.
When the Great Migration began, 90 percent of Black people in the United States lived in the south, but that number dropped to just 52 percent by the end of the migration in 1970, according to U.S. census data.
Some six million African Americans made that journey. In New York City they helped to swell the Black population from 60,600 in 1900 to nearly 1.7 million in 1970. In Philadelphia, the migrants helped boost the Black population from 63,000 in 1900, which was less than five percent of the total population, to 655,000 by 1970, which was a third of the overall population, according to the Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia.
The migration brought some who helped to redefine Philadelphia: civil rights lawyer Cecil B. Moore came from West Virginia; W. Wilson Goode, the city’s first Black mayor, from Seaboard, N.C., Juanita Kidd Stout, the first Black woman in U.S. history elected to the bench, from Oklahoma; Ruth Wright Hayre, the city’s first Black high school principal and female school board president, from Atlanta; and Joe Frazier, who became the heavyweight boxing champ of the world, from Beaufort, South Carolina.
The movement was so pronounced that cities including Detroit, Washington, D.C, and Cole’s hometown of Baltimore, became majority Black during or shortly after the end of the Great Migration.
But since the early 1970s, a reverse of that historic migration has been underway, fueled by young people, college graduates and retirees in search of employment opportunities in growing economies, newer and more affordable housing and safer communities, social scientists say.
“The reversal of the Great Migration out of the South began as a trickle in the 1970s, increased in the 1990s, and turned into a virtual evacuation from many northern areas in the first decade of the 2000s,” William Frey, a demographer with the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., wrote in his 2018 book, “Diversity Explosion.”
The epicenter for the southward migration is Georgia, whose black population nearly doubled from 1.8 million to 3.5 million from 1990 to 2019.
Frey’s analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data found that, from 2015 to 2019, the Atlanta, Dallas and Houston metropolitan areas gained the most Black migrants, while the New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles metropolitan areas saw the most outward Black migration. Of the 53 largest metropolitan areas studied, the Philadelphia area lost the fifth most Black people, just over 4,500, Frey found.
The loss of Black residents to the South could be a cause for concern for big cities, said Sabrina Pendergrass, a University of Virginia assistant professor of African American and African Studies.
“We have these declines in cities like New York and Detroit and it raises questions about what the impact will be on those cities, and it also points to the challenges that those cities are experiencing in terms of people’s ability to find well-paying jobs, housing and the extent to which people feel that they can raise their families in a sustainable environment,” she said.
While Pendergrass researches and teaches about the reversal of the Great Migration, she’s also a part of it. Raised in Lexington, North Carolina, she went north for college, to Princeton University in New Jersey for undergraduate school, and to Harvard University in Massachusetts where she earned a PhD.
It was while studying at Harvard that Pendergrass, 42, says her interest in the reverse migration was piqued. “When people learned that I was from North Carolina they’d say, ‘Oh, yeah, that’s where it’s happening for Black people,’” she recalled.
“It certainly raised all these questions given the history in the South in terms of — from slavery to Jim Crow to the present. How is it that African Americans are making sense of moving to this region?”
Pendergrass says she returned for the same reasons many others did: a job offer from the Charlottesville-based university where she works, and to be closer to her elderly parents in North Carolina.
Frey, too, noted that many Black migrants are being drawn south not just by economic reasons but also by a sense of familiarity, and fitting in.
“There’s a very strong core of cultural history and understanding that, ‘This is a place where, maybe my parents and grandparents have lived. I understand the situation. It’s something that’s comfortable for me and it’s something I can improve upon,’” he said, during an interview with The Inquirer.
In his new book, The Devil You Know, New York Times columnist Charles Blow advocates for yet another reason why Black people should head south: political clout.
While many political commentators noted that Georgia’s growing Black population was key to Democratic candidates’ 2020 presidential and U.S. Senate victories in that state, Blow argues that such ballot box gains could sweep the south if more Black people migrated there. He writes:
“Considered another way, 44 percent of Black people in America now live outside the South. However, hypothetically speaking, if just half of them moved back south and were strategically arrayed, it would be enough to make Black people the largest racial group in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina, a contiguous band of Black power that would upend America’s political calculus and exponentially increase Black political influence.”
Hayes, a father of daughters ages 5 and 7, isn’t into politics, he says. He’s too busy trying to grow Big Dave’s Cheesesteaks and give back to the city that he says welcomed him with open arms. He has 82 employees and counting.
“Philly raised me, but Atlanta taught me how to be a man,” Hayes says. “It just gives you a fighting chance for opportunity, because people that look just like you are doing well.”
Cole, who first moved to Atlanta to attend Clark Atlanta University where she graduated in 2009 with a degree in mass media arts, calls the city a “melting pot of Black excellence.”
“When I got here, I realized there were so many talented people, people that I probably would never have met anywhere else. It was a safe place for me to be myself, and to become the woman that I am today.”
Explainer: What 'critical race theory' means and why it's igniting debate
Sept 21 (Reuters) - "Critical race theory," a once-obscure academic concept, has become a fixture in the fierce U.S. debate over how to teach children about the country's history and race relations.
Conservatives have invoked the term in schools and statehouses nationwide to denounce curricula and policies they consider too liberal. However, the term iswidely misunderstoodand misused.
WHAT IS CRITICAL RACE THEORY?
Critical race theory (CRT) is an approach to studying U.S. policies and institutions that is most often taught in law schools. Its foundations date back to the 1970s, when law professors including Harvard Law School’s Derrick Bell began exploring how race and racism have shaped American law and socie
The theory rests on the premise that racial bias - intentional or not - is baked into U.S. laws and institutions. Black Americans, for example, are incarcerated at much higher rates than any other racial group, and the theory invites scrutiny of the criminal justice system's role in that.
An often-cited illustration is America's War on Drugs. The 1986 Anti-Drug Abuse Act established harsher penalties for possession of crack cocaine than those for powder cocaine; Black Americans are more likely to be convicted of the former and whites the latter. Within four years, average federal drug sentences for Black offenders were 49% higher than those handed out to white offenders,according to the American Civil Liberties Union.
"We know that today racism is sustained more through law, policy and practices than through individual bias and discrimination," said Boston University law professor Jasmine Gonzales Rose, who teaches CRT.
WHY IS IT GETTING ATTENTION?
The term gained a foothold in the conservative American consciousness in 2020 after the murder of George Floyd, a Black man, by a white Minneapolis police officer, an event that sparked a national reckoning on race.
Individuals and institutions began grappling with how racism persists in American society, despite the end of blatantly racist segregation policies of the civil rights era.
On Sept. 1, 2020, conservative journalist and researcher Christopher Rufo went on Fox News to decry the anti-bias training happening in federal agencies as an example of critical race theory. Rufo described CRT as a radical ideology sowing racial division through education.
"Conservatives need to wake up," Rufo told Fox News. "This is an existential threat to the United States."
Three days later, Republican President Donald Trump's administration directed federal agencies to cease such training, which it called "divisive, un-American propaganda." Trump later expanded the ban to include federal contractors.
Democratic President Joe Biden has since overturned that executive order.
HOW HAS THE DEBATE AFFECTED SCHOOLS?
In the year since Trump's executive order, conservative politicians, parents and right-wing media have deployed the term to denounce discussions of racism, "white privilege" or diversity initiatives in U.S. public schools.
Parents have bombarded school board meetings across the country with complaints that CRT is being used to promote an anti-white, anti-American worldview through racial sensitivity training for teachers and allegedly biased curricula that indoctrinate impressionable children.
At least eight Republican-led states have passed legislation restricting how the concept of race can be taught. In Tennessee, where legislation was signed into law in May, lessons cannot make students feel “discomfort, guilt [or] anguish” because of their race or sex.
WHAT DO EDUCATORS SAY?
Public school districts across the United States, in liberal and conservative counties alike, have insisted that they do not teach the theory.
Still, two Tennessee teachers told Reuters that they and some of their colleagues are unsure how to teach accurately about slavery and other painful chapters of American history that could make some students uncomfortable about race, a potential violation of the new legislation. Tennessee's Department of Education has proposed revoking the teaching licenses of instructors who repeatedly run afoul of the law.
Virginia HBCU Hampton University is a vaccinated island in a sea of COVID
As it marks its return to in-person classes, Hampton University, a prominent historically Black college known colloquially as “Home by the Sea,” is setting an example of how to navigate the coronavirus pandemic.
The school, which is located in Hampton, Va., has required that students be fully vaccinated for COVID-19, mandated masks in the classroom and taken efforts to curb the spread of the virus at large gatherings.
But despite these measures, the college is something of an island, smack in the middle of a raging COVID ocean. In recent weeks, the city of Hampton has seen adramatic spike in casesof COVID-19, thanks to the spread of the Delta variant. In August alone, health officials reported 1,533 new cases there, in a city whose population is roughly 135,000.
One Hampton University freshman told Yahoo News that she was horrified when she left the campus bubble to venture out locally.
“Going to the local Waffle House in Hampton, there was this woman who looked visibly sick — red eyes, pale skin, with no mask — serving us food. But in Hampton University’s cafe, they won’t even serve you if you don’t have your mask on.” The freshman also recalled that a cafe staff member had once pulled her aside and told her to “Please, please take care of yourself, because cases are rising in the city.”
While 98 percent of Hampton students have been fully inoculated against COVID-19, the percentage of the population is only43 percentfor the city where it resides.
Students moved back into the college on Aug. 20, setting foot on a campus that had effectively been shuttered for 17 months, thanks to the pandemic. Before dorm check-in, they were ushered to a designated COVID-19 testing site before being allowed to unpack their cars. Temperature checks were also required for entry into many campus buildings.
“As far as housing, some of us got to pick our own rooms, and we have singles, so we’re not as on top of each other,” Ronicia Barnes, a freshman biology major, told Yahoo News. While she said that she wished the classes could be less crowded, she noted, “Overall, they did better than other schools.”
For William Harvey, the school’s president for the last 43 years, this fall marks his last opportunity to welcome students to the HBCU. Now that he’s 80, he plans to retire in the spring, and he’s relieved that Hampton has been able to return to in-person instruction before his departure.
“I’m so happy that they’re back. I’m glad to see them, and I absolutely have missed them,” Harvey, one of the longest-serving U.S. college presidents, told Yahoo News in August. “We want people to be safe as we fight this pandemic ... and it’s not over.”
Back in March, the college mandated that all students, faculty, and staff be vaccinated against COVID-19 to attend in-person classes.
“The university requires vaccinations, like meningitis and varicella, etc.,” said Barbara Inman, Hampton University’s vice president for administrative services, in a March letter to new students, “So requiring the COVID-19 vaccination is in concert with prior procedures to keep students, faculty, staff, as well as the community safe.”
While the university allows for vaccine exemptions in some cases, as of Sept. 2, 96 percent of the staff was fully vaccinated, along with 97 percent of the faculty. That’s quite a feat for an institution that serves a population that has so fartrailed other groupsin terms of COVID-19 vaccination.
“There are going to be some people who push back, as they have, but that’s OK. We have a process for them to push back,” Harvey said, referring to his school’s appeal process for medical and religious exemptions for opting out of the COVID vaccine. “If legitimate, they can get an exemption.” He added, however, that the exemption was not automatic or guaranteed.
Before the pandemic, he could be regularly seen walking on campus grounds, greeting students with a “Hampton Hug,” a congenial act of kindness on campus.
“I am a student-oriented president. I’m out on the lawn. At some point we’ll be able to operate without the masks, and you know, give the old ‘Hampton hug.’ That’s what Hampton is famous for and that’s what we’re going to get back to and that’s the way we do things here.”
But Harvey was also quick to institute a safety-first approach to the pandemic, opting to finish out the 2020 school year virtually, after theWorld Health Organization’s official declaration of the global pandemic.
Now that the campus of about 3,000 people has returned to the institution, faculty and staff have to undergo once-a-month testing for the virus, as well as further testing as required. Everyone on campus is advised to contact the Health Center within 24 hours of a positive test result, and the school has a designatedquarantine/isolation residence hallfor those who have been exposed to anyone who has tested positive.
“You can tell that they care about us, because even the RAs [resident assistants] are telling us not to go into each other’s dorm rooms, because they want to keep not only themselves safe, but others safe as well,” a freshman said. “Some professors have a hard time teaching with the masks on, so they’ll ask us if they can pull down their masks for a bit. We’re like, ‘Yeah, but stay 6 feet away.’”
The Harvey administration has also softened the financial blow of COVID,wiping out debtowed to the university for the 2020 academic year.
“We try to look out for everybody,” Harvey said, “and we’ll continue to do that.”
The funds to carry out that plan came from the American Rescue Plan Act, which will offer Hampton $27 million in new grants, in addition to the $10 million it had already received through federal pandemic relief.
“It is our hope that these funds will assist our students in continuing their Hampton experience and enjoying a seamless transition back to campus,” Harvey said in a statement on the new funding.
But a return to campus also carries risks, especially at a school surrounded by a community where vaccination rates are low and the virus continues to circulate widely.
“Students have been locked in their house with their families for more than a year,” the freshman said. “Of course, when we get to campus, we’re going to want to go socialize and sometimes go off campus. And even though the administration encourages us not to, they can’t control certain individuals who are seeking out a certain college experience.”
As for those famous Hampton hugs, they may have to wait, but some sacrifices are worth it.
“We’re going to do everything we can to keep everybody as healthy and as safe as possible,” Harvey said.