Cooper. can-Americ in han a d an death roquadruple The allegeddcuffs and ha New w inmate in ci Cooper’s 1som’s decision could d en F t wa lori making o da Today reports Hills fam 985 conviction in lead to the over rning of Enough Ouft. Authorities say tt has the poily and their 11-yea the killing of a rutu Your Love” Californiantential, some politir-old house guest. ral Chino and a s. The case cal watcher s Both the C sa y, to divide aliforn and more an a dozenia and United States past appeath lo su w p er re ls. courts have m rejected Ceocourts “I take no p oper’s osition regar nocence at about the h this time,” Newsodming Mr. Cooper’s g uilt igh-profile said in his terest. New casefor executive oor in2. When you see a photo or ad with the Observer 1. Get the app free by downloading that Y h o as rk d rder ra T Sen. Kamal imes’ colum wn internat Interactive logo scan over the whole photo with your it from Google Play or The Apple App a io n is H n al t ar Nic in ri have all ca lled for res -tand reality TV starholas Kristof, U.S.tablet or smartphone. Store forensic te es K ting using im SUL chnology. current, m Kardashian The ACLU gorilla suitPHUR, La. (AP) – P o re se n si an ti v groups hav d other hu e mattress befbroke into a Louisiaol man rights e also urged o n a deeper in an C d alifornia st News ouretl officers arrested ha ves gation ate officialsos cial justice Serving Kern County ets quote into Cooper Gov. Newtiso sp o k es to m launch ’s con m’s Mel Est in Sulphu tion issu for Over 46 Years officers saan Thursday by formerorder Friday expandviction. w Jeremie es test four ed s G p co o Moran wal re v. st v ume. They ious direcrry Brown lowed analpyieces of crime scenJe h ad in so re D ember n looking in ceived callksin to an orange sts to perform DNe evidence. Brownec a to h omes. 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N yers hope the resu his innocence u n , o d a o ae er o p th S v. l er an in p e S N ressure for ew m, wh elyem, who gObserver over the Bernardino Wednesday, May 27, 2020 in the case Group ew s of the re-t the murderCalifornia som’s order oftoSouthern help38 Volume 46 Number Newspapers m o ich couldltta n prove thso ak is is s. so es in W b to ti ci ei g cr ng ord ed of the murd hite, al m ng met it b aden D eir client’s him. h dismay. ro A test- chelle Obamedia. His insults taurgde and racist and co resigned innocenceke several months, er porters of ers Joshua Ryenwan The lone N mments et a, w ed an U il l ,S d th fo su B . d e rm fi R la In 1 rvivor nally exon ep ck shooting er erate they are disappoRinyens and Hughesfaalmily, friends and su victim. . Maxine Waters andFirst Lady Mion four co9u85, a San Diego Co Th l p te ac d o an mas ross the stat with e go unnamed “Unfortunat 26 and an nts of murder. At unty jury convicte vernor’s dec e say Los Angeles oR. Parker, a former ely, over tith the time of d Cooper for justice in is ffi d m io ep ce cord - incluescaped prison inm n e , u . it b ty h th el is se is h ie em ar ead of the This guy is ves case matters rest, he was no Distric s the victi FBI’s in Pennsylv ding several burglaate. His lengthy cr innocent,” Cooper. s’ desire “The eviden iminal re- “Prior DNtAAttorney Jason Anless and less,” San m ries and the ania – did h e ce to ld w as B th d er o n te er e p n ot help his n Cooper, form rape of a m st la so N ar th in n ew n d te e g icl sa d st th ai Y , id an ork at r. Coo med ould he was fram d.” case. inor erly named in 1958 p sought,in a statement. exonerate M ed, the copTimes. What has k per’s guilw him have er agreed to an s lied t.” months onldear Pittsburgh, PenRichard Goodman, ep t a th fe al e d eral appella l confirmed case going d nsylvania. was born Yet persuas During his , he was adopted an te M an W ec co r. d u h u C ive argumen tion and re en he was C rt ooLAKE FOR six monies and iew the ca’ssedecision in 2004 toooper alive - is and he spenchildhood, his par d renamed Kevin ts ased on Gov. Newvso EST, Calif. ents physica is recoverin w stay his exCooper. reasonable qualeslegations of evidenbce t a good p co it h n fl m ic juvenile det o ti m re (AP) n D ’s g sc g afte–r bA ar N ll d te ti ie t ta y ec A o n st BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (AP) o m n ab ti is if g te s p fi io at ad u ab st er c en y se n o eing74-year-old o in o ev in o rs d ti n le u to g g id o u t sc h ro , n se co th en struck by–aOffici im k al en ad centers. 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He lautea Ryen At ing shouMay gued that ng his murder trial, e’s pet wciting eft Fsomhis ofe the 2020-21 he presentation saw solve th ld imRevision hen the cate ia p r prosecutors an te R eb F st ic m y u . en ifi . ed rt 1 his being infected with the coronavirus. ed 9 h ia Ryen, theirCooper killed husban t ca . er complica tely take p darted in llfry th budget,thGov. GavinCNewsom devastating at they hiang saidtestifiedse toanthe successfully d an fi n 1 ti d n al 0 la ont n am -y an ly ce g d ea d M th ed en u to re-Woong Ahn arr-o w ring the caeconomy. su e rosecuti impact COVID-19thhas cGuwas neighbor C D California’s Here justice isChoung ire safound at Dhad ys whenunresponsive NAon ons’ claims, mpaign. “N hristopherld daughter Jessica ifane Doug and Peggy belonging toiana Roper came foprw thate the ev se an id rv en h im e ed ce al g in his cell Sunday Mesa Verde ICE Processing ,” b o a said in a little over 100 days the coronavirus pandemic h o Hughes. Po ca d an 11-yea w u t w er t t testing in out to ch as igger th n help law omd with bloo nly is it pro r-old inal. She turned former boyfriend ar lice found Animal Coband enforcemoen this ca an atohorevive dy clothin ven a g22.3% E reduction the revenues. se wstate’s Center California, use cat. ec who wasprecipitated the evidence the bloodie ould co ntrol efforts t solve crinimBakersfield, ven thouin to o an a ffi m v ce an io e d destroyed it. g rs at le imImmigration h Nissued es, over to the As a result nt of - shelter-at-home rushed the is bold, he orders no sthim the al hospital, and Customs ewsomto were unsuccessful, to th ’s dslow aumU.S. pcoronavirus African Am b is treamillions olice, butcrthim where it w ecision in co e stat a. ding care e.”said tr isand spread save lives, offuCalifornians sue th ericans, His as diagnolesee th ey e Enforcement in a statement. at C ll C o y o al p o if D er n o panics and r. rn a ca K p ia se w ri o have lost their jobs, schools have suspended classes and v te at st ote ntially poThe i Kraudeath ching. He other mino cause was selfshe expec se, a veter larizinpreliminary is keeping rs across the politica ritieshave ts the 1of1-p inarian, tell g but businesses liv- closed. l strangulation, his focus o sp Continue b ec o ac the agency said the case u s the tr k n u d in m (5 to ar n fairness an -kremains the wild afte e il According to Newsom,dthe onpandemic page A2 created a $54.3 d ju r it regainosgram) cat to under investigation. McGuire v stice billion gap between projected state revenues and expenses st is rength. ited Verde thatbeen the bosince if heheld Ahn, who had Mesa sees at bcat Feb. since his January budget presentation. In order to rebalance it ag on Friday. aiheart-related n, he’ll issu 21, had diabetes, hypertension and issues, the budget as required by law, he employs a number e a tick according to the American Civil Liberties Union ofet for ja of financial maneuvers, including targeted spending reductions, redirecting aid from the federal government, Southern California, which identified him as Choung creating new revenue sources, instituting deferrals, and Won Ahn. ICE rejected pleas from a coalition of drawing from the state’s rainy-day reserve fund. attorneys to release him on bond. There is a possibility that funding could be restored ICE said Ahn was lawfully admitted to the United to original budget levels if the HEROES Act, a $3 trillion States as a permanent resident in 1988 and convicted stimulus bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives, in 2013 in Alameda County, California, of attempted gains Senate and presidential approval. murder with an enhancement for using a firearm. He The projected drop in revenues significantly impacted was sentenced to 10 years in state prison. how Newsom plans to fund California’s K-12 public ICE said it took custody of Ahn after his release education system. General funds for public education are projected to be from prison and that a federal judge denied a request for down about $12 billion in 2020-21. About $1.6 billion in bond last week while he was in deportation proceedings. budget augmentations the governor proposed in January Young Ahn, the deceased’s brother, said he was are rescinded. However, a $645 million increase to special angry and upset. education funding is being retained. The Local Control “He did not deserve to be treated this way,’’ he said Funding Formula (LCFF), which awards state money in a statement released by the ACLU. “He’s a human to school districts, is cut by 10 percent or a $6.4 billion being, but to them, he’s just a number. There are other reduction. Career technical education programs are cut in people in the same situation. It shouldn’t be happening half, saving $100 million, and the After School Education again.’’ and Safety Program will be cut by $100 million. To make up for the forced cuts in general fund The Bakersfield facility has had an average daily contributions, Newsom is proposing several offsetting population of 334 since Oct. 1 and is managed by The mitigating actions. $4 billion from the Coronavirus Relief Geo Group Inc. under contract with ICE. Fund and $355 million from the Governor’s Emergency The agency says 1,073 detainees have tested positive Relief Fund will be provided to school districts for learning for the virus out of 2,172 tested, with no positive test loss mitigation. $1.6 billion is appropriated from federal results at the Bakersfield facility. ICE had nearly 28,000 Title 1 funds for school programs and another federal people in its custody nationwide as of May 9. program will provide $714 million for child nutrition. The Department of Homeland Security’s internal $2.3 billion is being redirected from state funds to reduce watchdog has opened a nationwide investigation into pension contribution rates and deferred payments will be used to make about $5.4 billion available for school whether ICE has responded appropriately to the virus districts spending. to protect staff and detainees, according to a letter According to the Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO), released Tuesday by U.S. Sen. Tom Udall, a New the actions taken by Newsom achieved overall school Mexico Democrat. funding that is “roughly flat year-over-year.” Also Tuesday, ICE began flying Mexican deportees Acknowledging Newsom’s efforts, State to Mexico City from San Diego in what authorities said Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond, Gov. Gavin Newsom and California Teachers Continued on page A2 Association (CTA) President E. Toby Boyd. was an effort to reduce the risk of coronavirus spreading in Mexican border cities and in the U.S. The Border Patrol said in a statement that passengers are medically screened and required to wear masks during flight. The Border Patrol said the Mexican government chose Mexico City as the destination for the flights originating in San Diego. SACRAMENTO – The California Department of wearing face coverings in public, and washing your hands For this reason, congregants engaging in singing, Public Health today announced the statewide reopening frequently are more important than ever to help protect particularly in the choir, and group recitation should of places of worship for religious services and in-store yourself and those around you.” wear face coverings at all times and when possible, these retail shopping. Modifications are required to keep The new guidance for religious services and cultural activities should be conducted outside with greater than Californians safe and limit the spread of COVID-19. ceremonies encourages organizations to continue online 6-foot distancing. Subject to approval by county public health departments, services and activities, including to protect individuals who The existing guidance for retailers, previously allowed all retail stores can reopen for in-store shopping under are most at risk for more severe COVID-19, including for counties approved to advance in the reopening process, previously issued guidelines. Under new guidance, places older adults and people with specific medical conditions. now applies statewide. Retail can now open for in-store of worship can hold religious services and funerals that To reopen for religious services and funerals, places of shopping statewide. The guidelines help reduce the risk for limit attendance to 25% of a building’s capacity – or up to worship must: workers and customers. Retail does not include personal 100 attendees, whichever is lower – upon approval by the • Establish and implement a COVID-19 services such as hair salons, nail salons and barbershops. By RITU SHUKLA county department of public health. prevention plan for every location, train staff on the plan, In 21 days, the Department of Public Health, in Associated Press While the vast majority of large gatherings remain and regularly evaluate workplaces for compliance. consultation with local departments of public health, An 11-year-old African American girl from South prohibited under the state’s stay-at-home order, the • Train employees and volunteers on COVID-19, will review and assess the impact of the religious services Carolina said she didn’t think a white woman who Department of Public Health has released guidelines including how to prevent it from spreading and which guidelines and provide further direction as part of a phasedfor in-person protests and events designed for political underlying health conditions may make individuals more in restoration of activities. This 21-day interval accounts for accused her of stealing mail was being racist until the expression. The guidance limits attendance to 25% of an susceptible to contracting the virus. seven days for religious communities to prepare and reopen woman’s husband told the girl that if she were “a different area’s maximum occupancy – or up to 100 attendees. • Implement cleaning and disinfecting protocols. in addition to a 14-day incubation period of COVID-19. type,’’ things would have turned out differently. “Together, our actions have helped bend the curve • Set physical distancing guidelines. More information about the state’s COVID-19 Elizabeth Shirey, 38, was charged with assault and and reduce infections in our state. As sectors continue to • Recommend that staff and guests wear cloth face guidance is on the California Department of Public battery after grabbing Skhylur Davis’ arm as she walked open with changes that aim to lower risk, remember that coverings, and screen staff for temperature and symptoms Health’s Guidance web page. back to her grandmother’s house in Aiken with her COVID-19 is still present in our communities,” said Dr. at the beginning of their shifts. More information about reopening California mail, according to a police report. Sonia Angell, State Public Health Officer and Director of • Set parameters around or consider eliminating and what individuals can do to prevent the spread of When Shirey saw the address on the mail she let the the California Department of Public Health. “As more of singing and group recitations. These activities COVID-19 is available at covid19.ca.gov. girl go, apologized and then offered Skhylur cookies, us may be leaving our homes, keeping physical distance, dramatically increase the risk of COVID-19 transmission. the girl told officers. “It’s kind of an insult you think that ... you can make up for that with cookies,’’ Skhylur told The Associated Press in an interview. Skhylur said when she was grabbed, she was scared the woman might go and get a gun and shoot her. But it wasn’t until the woman’s husband came out that she felt she was picked out because of race. According to Skhylur, Shirey’s husband said to her: “’If you were a different type of person, it would have been a different story.” Court records did not indicate a lawyer to speak Joe W. Bowers Jr. by the UC Academic Senate. STTF investigated the The use of standardized test scores in determining on Shirey’s behalf and no one answered a phone listing California Black Media ability of standardized tests to accurately assess academic admissions have long concerned education reform groups for her Friday. Her husband declined to comment when Last Thursday, the University of California’s (UC) performance and found that although SAT/ACT scores who contend that the tests are a contributing factor in reached by phone Tuesday, The Augusta Chronicle Board of Regents voted 23-0 to end the use of the SAT can effectively be used to predict student success, they also the underrepresentation of African-American and Latino reported. and ACT tests in admissions for all California freshman contribute to underrepresentation of historically excluded students in the UC system. A lawyer for Skhylur’s family said it doesn’t applicants through 2024. The University plans to try to groups in admissions decisions. The recent nationwide scandal involving wealthy create a new standardized test to use in time for the fall Since the ban families paying for higher take much imagination to think of a different less 2025 admissions, but if they are unable to develop one, the on affirmative action, test scores in order to gain confrontational outcome had the girl been white. standardized testing requirement for California students Proposition 209, was entrance for their children to “Would there have been so much aggression? will be eliminated. enacted in 1996, Black prestigious universities and Would there have been a physical assault or would it Standardized tests will continue to be used in awarding enrollment at University colleges has brought further have been an approach that says, `Excuse me, little scholarships, deciding on course placement and the of California schools attention to the unfairness girl. Are you lost? Do you need help?’’’ attorney Justin selection of out-of-state and foreign students for admission. has barely risen above 4 of the use of these tests in Bamberg said. Possible options for nonresident admissions beginning in percent, although African admissions. Skhylur and her family discussed the confrontation 2025 include having them take the new test required of Americans make up 6.5 A lawsuit was filed and decided to publicize what happened because of California students or continuing to use their scores from percent of the state’s in December 2019 by the the ACT, SAT or other approved standardized test(s). population. California’s Compton Unified School prejudice against African Americans, Bamberg said. After the Regent’s voted, UC President Janet largest ethnic group, District and a coalition “You can’t drive while black. You can’t be Botham Napolitano said, “Today’s decision by the Board marks Latinos, are 38 percent of of students and advocacy Jean sitting in your apartment eating ice cream while a significant change for the University’s undergraduate the population but are only groups including Chinese For black,’’ Bamberg said, referring to the African American admissions. We are removing the ACT/SAT requirement 22 percent of students in Affirmative Action, College man who was shot and killed while at home by a Dallas for California students and developing a new test that more UC schools. Access Plan, College Seekers, police officer who mistakenly entered the apartment, closely aligns with what we expect incoming students to But as the UC system Community Coalition, thinking that it was hers. know to demonstrate their preparedness for UC.” has struggled to maintain Dolores Huerta Foundation, “And now in Aiken, we’ve seen that you can’t even On May 11, board members were sent a letter campus diversity, outside and Little Manila Rising get the mail for your grandma while black. from Napolitano urging that this action take place. pressure has grown for the claiming that SAT/ACT tests Her recommendation was based on findings by the school system to take action to establish a more equitable Continued on page A2 Standardized Testing Task Force or STTF established admissions process.
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“I shouldn’t have been such a wise guy,” Biden stated after the comments to The Breakfast Club host, Charlamagne Tha God, went viral. (Photo: Black Enterprise.com)
Democratic Presidential Candidate Joe Biden Clarifies Message to Black America By Stacy M. Brown NNPA Newswire Senior Correspondent Presumptive Democratic Presidential Nominee Joe Biden clarified his message to Black America after the GOP, and others, seized on a remark he made in jest while wrapping up an interview with the famous Breakfast Club. “I shouldn’t have been such a wise guy,” Biden stated after the comments to show host, Charlamagne Tha God, went viral. “I shouldn’t have been so cavalier. No one should have to vote for any party based on their race, religion, and background.” As the Breakfast Club interview wrapped and a Biden aide said he was running short on time, Charlamagne asked the former vice president to stop by the studio when Biden returns to New York. “It’s a long way until November,” Charlamagne told Biden. “We’ve got more questions.” Biden replied, “You’ve got more questions?” “Well, I tell you what, if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for Trump or me, then you ain’t black.” Republicans seized on the remark, with some sending emails to NNPA Newswire claiming that Biden was “racebaiting.” In response, NNPA Newswire asked members of the GOP to address what many in the African American community believe have been the racially-charged remarks and actions of the president. There was no response. “The comments made at the end of the Breakfast Club
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interview were in jest, but let’s be clear about what the VP was saying: he was making the distinction that he would put his record with the African American community up against Trump’s any day. Period,” Biden’s senior advisor Symone D. Sanders wrote on Twitter. “Vice President Biden spent his career fighting alongside and for the African American community. He won his party’s nomination by earning every vote and meeting people where they are, and that’s exactly what he intends to do this November,” Sanders stated. In a “Meet the Black Press” segment of an interview on the web-based show, “Make It Plain,” National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) President and CEO, Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, said people should react favorably to the exchange. “Charlamagne always asks pointed questions, he takes no prisoners and he’s a great brother,” Chavis stated. “But, the vice president is a street fighter who comes from Wilmington, Delaware. Remember, he was speaking directly to Charlamagne.” Pressed further, Dr. Chavis noted that the issue boils down to the current administration verses a possible Biden administration. “What Black people have to decide is not all of the prerequisites, but given what we know today, what is our aspirations? Who can best improve our quality of life? That’s the issue,” Chavis stated. “We can’t get caught up in personality politics. I would rather have a president who speaks from the heart, from the gut, than a president who speaks from a teleprompter. I want to know what Biden is thinking about. That he’s thinking about Black, White, Latino, about the oneness of man.
“I would prefer to hear what he has to say, rather than to muzzle him. I tell hip-hop artists that they have freedom of expression, but they have to be responsible for what they put out. You have the freedom to say what you want, but after you say it, you have to be accountable.” In an interview with NNPA Newswire in February, Biden said the Black vote was critical to anyone with aspirations of winning in November. He then laid out his plan for Black America. Last month, he called on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to collect more data regarding how COVID-19 is affecting communities, including breaking down its impact by race. “The data we’ve seen so far suggests that African Americans are dying from COVID-19 at a higher rate than whites. Long-standing systemic inequalities are contributing to this disparity – including the fact that African Americans are more likely to be uninsured and to live in communities where they are exposed to high levels of air pollution,” Biden stated. Barack Obama’s former vice president’s plan for Black America includes: • Advance the economic mobility of African Americans and close the racial wealth and income gaps. • Expand access to high-quality education and tackle racial inequity in our education system. • Make far-reaching investments in ending health disparities by race. • Strengthen America’s commitment to justice. • Make the right to vote and the right to equal protection real for African Americans. • Address environmental justice. Biden, who this month fiercely denounced the shooting
death of Ahmaud Arbery, noted that he spearheaded the Community Oriented Policing Services program, which authorized funding both for the hiring of additional police officers and for training on how to undertake a community policing approach. However, the program has never been funded to fulfill the original vision for community policing. He said he would reinvigorate the COPS program with a $300 million investment. As a condition of the grant, Biden stated that hiring police officers must mirror the racial diversity of the community they serve. Additionally, as President, Biden promises to establish a panel to scrutinize what equipment is used by law enforcement in our communities. He said he would invest in public defenders’ offices to ensure defendants’ access to quality counsel, and create a $20 billion grant program to support criminal justice reform at the state and local level. Biden pledged to work with Congress to reform federal sentencing and provide incentives to state and local systems to do the same. He said he would end once and for all, the federal crack and powder cocaine disparity, decriminalize the use of cannabis and automatically expunge all prior cannabis use convictions. The Democrat also promises to end the criminalization of poverty and cash bail, which he called the modern-day debtors’ prison. “We need a comprehensive agenda for African Americans with an ambition that matches the scale of the challenge and with a recognition that race-neutral policies are not a sufficient response to race-based disparities,” Biden noted.
Will K-12 Education Survive Budget Revise?
Continued from page A1
Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond said,” I want to thank Governor Newsom for working hard to prioritize and preserve public education … as we weather this economic downturn. Today’s updated budget proposal includes a variety of measures designed to avoid permanent cuts to education, which otherwise could have lasting impacts on a generation of students.” California Teachers Association (CTA) President E. Toby Boyd said, “Governor Newsom’s leadership and commitment to safety in our public schools and colleges has been clear and much appreciated since the coronavirus surfaced in our communities 10 weeks ago.” He also says, “But the proposed education cuts for the 2020-21 budget will be devastating at a time when students need more support.” The issues that plague K-12 education in California have only been magnified since the education budget was proposed in January. Then, Newsom expressed a clear intent to address the African American student achievement gap, to promote more diversity among teachers, and improve access to early childhood education programs. Parents have given school districts across the state high marks for how they’ve responded to the pandemic. A statewide poll, conducted by Global Strategy Group for The Education Trust–West, finds that 81% of respondents rate school leaders’ general handling of the closures as “excellent” or “good.” But nearly 9 in 10 California parents are worried about their children falling behind academically due to coronavirus-related school closures.
The governor, state superintendent of public instruction, county superintendents, school superintendents, school boards, charter school operators, corporations, foundations and individual citizens have all joined in a monumental effort to bridge the digital divide needed to achieve student equity in participating in the distance learning programs school districts developed to take the place of classroom instruction. According to the Department of Education, student enrollment is 6.2 million students, but 450,000 students are still without computers. 345,000 are in need of access to an internet connection. Although progress has been made in bridging the digital divide, the quick transition from classroom to online distance learning has raised concerns about students experiencing a “COVID-slide.” The term describes an educational setback students may experience when schools open in the fall. Experts predict they could return with one-third less learning gains in reading and less than 50% in math than they would have achieved in a typical school year. “We’re kind of assuming … new materials are being offered, but new learning is not continuing at the rate it should,” according to Megan Kuhfeld of the Northwest Evaluation Association. Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) has expressed concern about there being no statewide standard for distance learning programs. Ting said, “Not only is there a lack of guidelines across districts, there is a lack of guidelines within districts … If there are no guidelines … it’s like we’re going into the Wild West...”
California Department of Education (CDE) representatives responding to Ting at an education budget hearing indicated that it was up to the school districts to determine how best to deliver distance learning. When they realized it was an unacceptable response, they committed that CDE’s Loss of Learning Ad Hoc Committee co-chaired by Assemblymember Shirley Weber (D-San Diego) and E. Toby Boyd, CTA President, would be providing guidelines sometime in June. Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance) said about Newsom’s revised budget, “This is a survival budget and that we’re trying to make sure that all of our kids and all of our staff and all of our school districts are kept safe.” He went on to point out that the budget is directing a portion of the $4.4 billion for learning loss mitigation to go only to districts receiving LCFF concentration grant funds. That deprives money for needy students attending school districts not eligible for concentration grants, Muratsuchi said. The academic performance of African American students lags behind their peers under “normal conditions.” While school districts have tried hard to make distance learning equitable, for many students it just hasn’t worked out. The challenge the Legislature faces as it considers approving the education budget is to assure that enough funds are allocated for school districts to provide safe, effective learning opportunities for all students under current health emergency circumstances.
Students No Longer Need SAT and ACT Scores for
Admissions to UC Schools Continued from page A1
discriminate based on race and income. The plaintiffs argue the tests include culturally biased questions that discriminate against multilingual learners and not all tests are conducted at sites that are fully accessible to accommodate students with disabilities. Micah Ali, Compton Unified School District Board of Trustees President, said of the decision by the Regents, “It is not a coincidence this decision was made. It is a direct result of our lawsuit brought forth to end the inequities caused by the ACT/SAT in the wake of a demurrer hearing
last week regarding our filed complaint where we put forth allegations that the ACT/SAT have a discriminatory impact on students of color, and leveled other claims of constitutional violation.” The plaintiffs are planning to continue to pursue their lawsuit. While they acknowledge some progress was made with the announcement that the ACT/SAT will no longer be an admissions requirement, for them other concerns remain unresolved. They are critical of SAT scores being used to make
decisions regarding the allocation of scholarships. They say this is problematic for the same reasons that it is unsound to use these instruments as a basis for admission. By dropping the use of SAT and ACT tests in their admissions process the UC system joins with more than 1,230 colleges and universities that have also suspended using the tests or have made the tests optional for admission including the University of Chicago and liberal arts colleges such as Smith, Pitzer and Sarah Lawrence.
Wednesday, May 27, 2020
BAKERSFIELD NEWS OBSERVER A3
FILM REVIEW: The Lovebirds
Every happy couple has one moment that defines their relationship. #TheLovebirds stars Issa Rae and Kumail Nanjani. (Photo courtesy of Paramount Pictures)
By Dwight Brown NNPA News Wire Film Critic It probably looked really good on paper. Bickering couple gets caught up in a murder and goes on the lam. It’s just enough of a framework for two comic geniuses to flaunt their comedy licks. Kumail Nanjiani made a name for himself on the series Silicon Valley and hit it big with the romantic comedy The Big Sick. His screenplay, written with wife Emily V. Gordon, won an Oscar nomination. Issa Rae turned her YouTube series The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl into opportunity after opportunity; from HBO’s Insecure to the very romantic film The Photograph. The two are hot commodities in the entertainment
world. They are as contemporary and edgy in this day as Eddie Murphy was in his, when he stumbled into Beverly Hills Cop and his career blew up. The key difference? That film’s director (Martin Brest), writer (Daniel Petrie Jr) and editors (Arthur Coburn and Billy Weber) flung a door open for him. Jibran (Nanjiani), a documentary filmmaker, and his lover Leilani (Rae) are a very modern couple. Not because they are multi-cultural, Pakistani American and African American, though that is very au current. More because they are so caught up in their Instagram, entrenched in Google calendars and deeply neurotic. They barely function as humans, barely make a connection. Communications are usually verbal jabs and cryptic feelings that when expressed
send mixed signals at best. After years of living together they still can’t read each other: “Is that your I wanna kiss you face?” says Leilani. Sister, if you have to ask him, you two need therapy. One fateful night in New Orleans, benign antagonism rises to a level of no return. “I don’t want to be with someone who is so f---ing insecure!” “I don’t want to be with someone who is a failure.” At the height of their squabbling they drive into a cyclist, who cracks the window of their Subaru Forester and starts them on a chain of mishaps. They’re carjacked by a murderer, kidnapped and then drawn into a sex cult. Can they make it through the night? Nice setup. Actor turned screenwriter Aaron Abrams
delivers a screenplay that has as a solid foundation for comedy. Odd characters, continuously evolving unimaginable situations and a beginning, middle and end frame the hysterics. A formulaic, TV sensibility thwarts those good intentions. The script persists in giving Jibran and Leilani too much dialogue. Add in the two leads penchant for running their comic mouths, and tedious scenes turn into verbal quagmires with no exit plan. A little, pointed back and forth is fine. Incessant talking tests patience. If the writer doesn’t know how to end a scene, it would be helpful if the editors (Vince Filippone and Robert Nassau) did. They don’t. They cut the footage down to 86 minutes, so the overall film is short, but most of the vignettes drag. Filmmaker Michael Showalter displayed a great ability to direct urbane romantic comedy (The Big Sick). His stab at action/comedy/crime is less exact. The fight scenes, getaways and skirmishes suck. From the car sequences, to the fistfights, to the torture chamber (barn). Showalter’s background is in TV (Grace and Frankie, Love, Search Party) and that doesn’t translate well to action films. If he had taken some time to watch In Bruges, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels or even Pineapple Express, he might have created a style for The Lovebirds that was more fluid, cagey, smart and kinetic. Nanjiani and Rae do their thing. The direction does not. Some plot points don’t make sense. Why would the couple run away from an accident when they could just drive away? Too many times if feels like the actors and director are searching for the comic highpoint of a scene, never finding it, but continuing anyway. Hence, what’s on view often seems stiff and forced. The exception is the couple screaming along to the Katy Perry song “Firework,” in the back of an Uber. Or towards the end when it looks like their relationship may be mendable. These moments are precious. Cinematographer Brian Burgoyne’s lighting is far more flattering to Rae’s complexion than it is to Nanjiani’s, for no apparent reason. His inability to shoot action scenes with any zest makes the footage dull visually. Clayton Hartley’s production design, Neil Floyd and Selina van den Brink’s set decoration and Megan Coates costume design are definite assets. Michael Andrews’ musical score adds certain spirit. Nanjiani and Rae, separately and together, are fun to watch. Their take on humor seems innate. They‘re photogenic. They are likable—nearly loveable. Whether on a talk show, cable TV or on-screen, something about their personalities wants you to look, listen and laugh. Their insights on being Asian and African American today is so timely and engaging you want to ride along them on their life journeys. A really smart producer would reimagine the 1934 film The Thin Man and adapt it for this very talented duo. In that classic film, a former detective named Nick Charles and his wealthy wife Nora investigate a murder case, mostly for the fun of it. Nanjiani and Rae would know how to work those roles. With the right team, they could turn that film into a popular franchise (a la Rush Hour, but less manic). The Lovebirds had potential. Nanjiani and Rae were up to the challenge. Stilted direction, a persistently talky script and imprecise editing left them performing without a net. Regardless, this talented duo should have a bright future. Visit NNPA News Wire Film Critic Dwight Brown at DwightBrownInk.com and BlackPressUSA.com.
AUTONETWORK ON BLACKPRESSUSA: By Frank S. Washington NNPA Newswire Contributor DETROIT – We did not get as much seat time in the 2020 Nissan Sentra as we would have liked thanks to the lock-down brought about by the coronavirus. But we did spend enough time to come away with an opinion about the car – it is big in a good way. We do not mean physical size but the 2020 Nissan Sentra drove big. That is not bad for a compact car and a new chassis did not hurt. Nissan made what it called extensive upgrades to the Sentra’s platform. The most important was a new independent rear suspension. This opened rear seat room; enough to accommodate a six-footer. We did not climb in the back seat during our really short time behind the wheel. But we did note the openness of the back seat and we did not need to sit in it to tell that it was spacious and comfortable. To handle the bigger dimensions of the 2020 Nissan Sentra, the car got more oomph under the hood. For 2020, the Sentra’s engine was bumped up from a 1.8-liter four cylinder to a 2.0-liter four cylinder. Horsepower increased to 149 which was a 20 percent improvement over the previous model. And more importantly, torque was improved 17 percent to 146 pound-feet. This engine provided more than enough power for the day in day out routine of driving. We found it responsive and more than powerful enough. About the only thing we did not like was the continuously variable transmission or CVT. But it was not just this one, we do not like them period. Still, for a CVT the Sentra’s was not bad. The car’s acceleration, a weak point for most CVTs, was enhanced with a D-mode step shift program that simulated shifts, giving the Sentry a more natural acceleration feel without holding a high rpm constant, letting rpms build as speed builds. The D-step logic control helps provide enhanced drivability with a stable, natural and crisp shift feel. We had to concentrate on the drivetrain to make sure the Sentra had a CVT. That is how well the Xtronic transmission worked. Fuel economy was 29 mpg city, 39 mpg highway and 33 mpg combined for the S and SV grades and 28 mpg city, 37 mpg highway and 32 mpg combined for the SR grade which is the trim line we test drove. It is hard to believe that the Nissan Sentra has been around for almost 40 years. And over that time, it has evolved. Because of its new platform, the new generation was two inches lower and two inches wider. That gave it a presence that most compact cars in the past just did not have.
2020 Nissan Sentra SR
The 2020 Nissan Sentra (Photo: Frank Washington)
The press material said the Sentra’s premium presence of the exterior was highlighted by Nissan’s signature V-motion grille, available thin LED headlamps and floating roof. Designers used sharp creases that blended into the muscular body sides. The rear had a lower roofline and wider shoulders, with wheels flush to the body enhancing the strong stance. We had the top of the line SR, thus, it had LED lights
all round: headlights, rear lights, DRLs and fog lamps. Our test car had a two-tone paint job, rear spoiler, 18-inch alloy wheels and black heated exterior mirrors. We thought the heated front seats and the heated steering wheel on our test model especially noteworthy. The test vehicle had leatherette seats front and rear. There was a six-way power driver’s seat with a two-way power lumbar support.
There were extra things that you would not expect like automatic dimming mirrors, an around view monitor and a quilt pattern interior with orange stitching. The 2020 Nissan Sentra SR was a lot of car for what we thought was very reasonable $25,325 as tested. Frank S. Washington is editor of AboutThatCar.com
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Wednesday, May 27, 2020
A4 BAKERSFIELD NEWS OBSERVER
SUMMONS (CITACION JUDICIAL) CASE NUMBER (Número del Caso): BCL-19-016226 NOTICE TO DEFENDANT (AVISO AL DEMANDADO): LYDIA TORRES, an individual; and DOES 1 to 5, inclusive YOU ARE BEING SUED BY PLAINTIFF (LO ESTÁ DEMANDANDO EL DEMANDANTE): SUNSTREET ENERGY GROUP, LLC, a limited liability company NOTICE! You have been sued. The court may decide against you without your being heard unless you respond within 30 days. Read the information below. You have 30 CALENDAR DAYS after this summons and legal papers are served on you to file a written response at this court and have a copy served on the plaintiff. A letter or phone call will not protect you. Your written response must be in proper legal form if you want the court to hear your case. There may be a court form that you can use for your response. You can find these court forms and more information at the California Courts Online SelfHelp Center (www.courtinfo.ca.gov/ selfhelp), your county law library, or the courthouse nearest you. If you cannot pay the filing fee, ask the court clerk for a fee waiver form. If you do not file your response on time, you may lose the case by default, and your wages, money, and property may be taken without further warning from the court. There are other legal requirements. You may want to call an attorney right away. If you do not know an attorney, you may want to call an attorney referral service. If you cannot afford an attorney, you may be eligible for free legal services from a nonprofit legal services program. You can locate these nonprofit groups at the California Legal Services Web site (www.lawhelpcalifornia.org), the California Courts Online SelfHelp Center (www.courtinfo.ca.gov/ selfhelp), or by contacting your local court or county bar association. NOTE: The court has a statutory lien for waived fees and costs on any settlement or arbitration award of $10,000 or more in a civil case. The court’s lien must be paid before the court will dismiss the case. ¡AVISO! Lo han demandado. Si no responde dentro de 30 días, la corte puede decidir en su contra sin escuchar su versión. Lea la información a continuación. Tiene 30 DÍAS DE CALENDARIO después de que le entreguen esta citación y papeles legales para presentar una respuesta por escrito en esta corte y hacer que se entregue una copia al demandante. Una carta o una llamada telefónica no lo
protegen. Su respuesta por escrito tiene que estar en formato legal correcto si desea que procesen su caso en la corte. Es posible que haya un formulario que usted pueda usar para su respuesta. Puede encontrar estos formularios de la corte y más información en el Centro de Ayuda de las Cortes de California (www. sucorte.ca.gov), en la biblioteca de leyes de su condado o en la corte que le quede más cerca. Si no puede pagar la cuota de presentación, pida al secretario de la corte que le dé un formulario de exención de pago de cuotas. Si no presenta su respuesta a tiempo, puede perder el caso por incumplimiento y la corte le podrá quitar su sueldo, dinero y bienes sin más advertencia. Hay otros requisitos legales. Es recomendable que llame a un abogado inmediatamente. Si no conoce a un abogado, puede llamar a un servicio de remisión a abogados. Si no puede pagar a un abogado, es posible que cumpla con los requisitos para obtener servicios legales gratuitos de un programa de servicios legales sin fines de lucro. Puede encontrar estos grupos sin fines de lucro en el sitio web de California Legal Services, (www. lawhelpcalifornia.org), en el Centro de Ayuda de las Cortes de California, (www.sucorte.ca.gov) o poniéndose en contacto con la corte o el colegio de abogados locales. AVISO: Por ley, la corte tiene derecho a reclamar las cuotas y los costos exentos por imponer un gravamen sobre cualquier recuperación de $10,000 ó más de valor recibida mediante un acuerdo o una concesión de arbitraje en un caso de derecho civil. Tiene que pagar el gravamen de la corte antes de que la corte pueda desechar el caso. The name and address of the court is (El nombre y dirección de la corte es): SUPERIOR COURT OF CALIFORNIA, COUNTY OF KERN 1415 Truxtun, Bakersfield, CA 93301 The name, address, and telephone number of plaintiff’s attorney, or plaintiff without an attorney, is (El nombre, la dirección y el número de teléfono del abogado del demandante, o del demandante que no tiene abogado, es): THE DUNNING LAW FIRM APC Donald T. Dunning (144665) James MacLeod (249145) 4545 Murphy Canyon Road, Suite 200 San Diego, Ca. 92123 Telephone: (858) 974-7600 Fax: DATE (Fecha): August 20, 2019 TAMARAH HARBER-PICKENS, Clerk (Secretario), by Esmeralda Salinas, Deputy (Adjunto)
(SEAL) NOTICE TO THE PERSON SERVED: You are served. BAKERSFIELD NEWS OBSERVER (DLF) PUB: May 6, 13, 20, 27, 2020
court will dismiss the case. ¡AVISO! Lo han demandado. Si no responde dentro de 30 días, la corte puede decidir en su contra sin escuchar su versión. Lea la información a continuación. Tiene 30 DÍAS DE CALENDARIO después de que le entreguen esta citación y papeles legales para presentar una respuesta por escrito en esta corte y hacer que se entregue una copia al demandante. Una carta o una llamada telefónica no lo protegen. Su respuesta por escrito tiene que estar en formato legal correcto si desea que procesen su caso en la corte. Es posible que haya un formulario que usted pueda usar para su respuesta. Puede encontrar estos formularios de la corte y más información en el Centro de Ayuda de las Cortes de California (www. sucorte.ca.gov), en la biblioteca de leyes de su condado o en la corte que le quede más cerca. Si no puede pagar la cuota de presentación, pida al secretario de la corte que le dé un formulario de exención de pago de cuotas. Si no presenta su respuesta a tiempo, puede perder el caso por incumplimiento y la corte le podrá quitar su sueldo, dinero y bienes sin más advertencia. Hay otros requisitos legales. Es recomendable que llame a un abogado inmediatamente. Si no conoce a un abogado, puede llamar a un servicio de remisión a abogados. Si no puede pagar a un abogado, es posible que cumpla con los requisitos para obtener servicios legales gratuitos de un programa de servicios legales sin fines de lucro. Puede encontrar estos grupos sin fines de lucro en el sitio web de California Legal Services, (www. lawhelpcalifornia.org), en el Centro de Ayuda de las Cortes de California, (www.sucorte.ca.gov) o poniéndose en contacto con la corte o el colegio de abogados locales. AVISO: Por ley, la corte tiene derecho a reclamar las cuotas y los costos exentos por imponer un gravamen sobre cualquier recuperación de $10,000 ó más de valor recibida mediante un acuerdo o una concesión de arbitraje en un caso de derecho civil. Tiene que pagar el gravamen de la corte antes de que la corte pueda desechar el caso. The name and address of the court is (El nombre y dirección de la corte es): SUPERIOR COURT OF CALIFORNIA, COUNTY OF KERN 1415 Truxtun, Bakersfield, CA 93301 The name, address, and telephone number of plaintiff’s attorney, or plaintiff without an attorney, is (El nombre, la dirección y el número de teléfono del abogado del demandante, o del demandante
que no tiene abogado, es): THE DUNNING LAW FIRM APC Donald T. Dunning (144665) James MacLeod (249145) 4545 Murphy Canyon Road, Suite 200 San Diego, Ca. 92123 Telephone: (858) 974-7600 Fax: DATE (Fecha): October 28, 2019 TAMARAH HARBER-PICKENS, Clerk (Secretario), by Layton Johnson, Deputy (Adjunto) (SEAL) NOTICE TO THE PERSON SERVED: You are served. BAKERSFIELD NEWS OBSERVER (DLF) PUB: May 6, 13, 20, 27, 2020
������������������������������� SUMMONS (CITACION JUDICIAL) CASE NUMBER (Número del Caso): BCL-19-018172 NOTICE TO DEFENDANT (AVISO AL DEMANDADO): JUAN MANUEL REYNA, JR., an individual; LISA ANN REYNA, an individual; and DOES 1 to 5, inclusive YOU ARE BEING SUED BY PLAINTIFF (LO ESTÁ DEMANDANDO EL DEMANDANTE): SUNSTREET ENERGY GROUP, LLC, a limited liability company NOTICE! You have been sued. The court may decide against you without your being heard unless you respond within 30 days. Read the information below. You have 30 CALENDAR DAYS after this summons and legal papers are served on you to file a written response at this court and have a copy served on the plaintiff. A letter or phone call will not protect you. Your written response must be in proper legal form if you want the court to hear your case. There may be a court form that you can use for your response. You can find these court forms and more information at the California Courts Online SelfHelp Center (www.courtinfo.ca.gov/ selfhelp), your county law library, or the courthouse nearest you. If you cannot pay the filing fee, ask the court clerk for a fee waiver form. If you do not file your response on time, you may lose the case by default, and your wages, money, and property may be taken without further warning from the court. There are other legal requirements. You may want to call an attorney right away. If you do not know an attorney, you may want to call an attorney referral service. If you cannot afford an attorney, you may be eligible for free legal services from a nonprofit legal services program. You can locate these nonprofit groups at the California Legal Services Web site (www.lawhelpcalifornia.org), the California Courts Online SelfHelp Center (www.courtinfo.ca.gov/ selfhelp), or by contacting your local court or county bar association. NOTE: The court has a statutory lien for waived fees and costs on any settlement or arbitration award of $10,000 or more in a civil case. The court’s lien must be paid before the
FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME STATEMENT FILE NO: 2020-B2245 Doing business as:
CICI & ME TREASURES at 5601 Coffee Rd Unit 714, Bakersfield, Ca. 93308 Mailing Address: Same County: Kern
Full name of registrant: MELISSA GONZALEZ, 5601 Coffee Rd Unit 714, Bakersfield, Ca. 93308
The business is conducted by: Individual
SIGNED: MELISSA GONZALEZ The
transact business under the fictitious
business name or names listed above on: 04/02/2020
This statement filed with the County
Clerk of Kern County on: May 5, 2020
MARY B BEDARD County Clerk
By: M HERNANDEZ, Deputy This
Statement expires five years from the
date it was filed in the County Clerk’s Office. A new fictitious business name
before that time. The filing of this statement does not of itself authorize
the use in this state of a fictitious business name in violation of the
rights of another to a trademark or trade name under federal, state, or
common law (see section 14411 ET SEQ., business and professions code).
I declare that all information in this
Statement is true and correct. (A) Registrant who declares as true information which he or she knows
PUBLIC NOTICE to be false, is guilty of a crime
This statement expires on May 5, 2025
BAKERSFIELD NEWS OBSERVER (E)
PUB: May 13, 20, 27, June 3, 2020
NOTICE OF PETITION TO ADMINISTER ESTATE OF ANGELA EGBIKUADJE aka ANGELA ARHONA EGBIKUADJE aka ANGELA A. EGBIKUADJE CASE NUMBER: BPB-20-002318 To all heirs, beneficiaries, creditors, contingent creditors, and persons who may otherwise be interested in the will or estate, or both, of ANGELA EGBIKUADJE aka ANGELA ARHONA EGBIKUADJE aka ANGELA A. EGBIKUADJE A PETITION FOR PROBATE has been filed by GABRIEL WANKAR and FRANCA NIAMEH in the Superior Court of California, County of KERN 1215 Truxtun Ave Bakersfield, Ca. 93301 Branch Name: THE PETITION FOR PROBATE requests that GABRIEL WANKAR and FRANCA NIAMEH be appointed as personal representative to administer the estate of the decedent. THE PETITION requests the decedent’s will and codicils, if any, be admitted to probate. The will and any codicils are available for examination in the file kept by the court. THE PETITION requests authority to administer the estate under the independent Administration of Estates Act. (This authority will allow the personal representative to take many actions without obtaining court approval. Before taking certain very important actions, however, the personal representative will be required to give notice to interested persons unless they have waived notice or consented to the proposed action.) The independent administration authority will be granted unless an
interested person files an objection to the petition and shows good cause why the court should not grant the authority. A HEARING on the petition will be held in this court as follows: Date: June 25, 2020 Time: 10:30 a.m. Dept: P Room: P located at 1215 Truxtun Ave., Bakersfield, Ca. 93301 IF YOU OBJECT to the granting of the petition, you should appear at the hearing and state your objections or file written objections with the court before the hearing. Your appearance may be in person or by your attorney. IF YOU ARE A CREDITOR or a contingent creditor of the deceased, you must file your claim with the court and mail a copy to the personal representative appointed by the court within four months from the date of first issuance of letters as provided on Probate Code section 9100. The time for filing claims will not expire before four months from the hearing date noticed above. YOU MAY EXAMINE the file kept by the court. IF you are a person interested in the estate, you may file with the court a Request for Special Notice (for DE-154) of the filing of an inventory and appraisal of estate assets or of any petition or account as provided in Probate code section 1250. A request for Special Notice form is available from the court clerk. Attorney for Petitioner: John A. Mangini South San Francisco, Ca. 94080 WESTMINSTER, CA. 92683 Telephone: (650) 876-0188 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Attorney For: Gabriel Wankar and Franca Niameh, Executors
ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE FOR CHANGE OF NAME CASE NUMBER BCV-20-100942 Superior Court of the State of California, for the county of Kern,
1415 Truxtun Ave., Bakersfield, CA
NEWS OBSERVER (E)
93301 PETITION OF: JESSE ROBERT GAUNA FOR CHANGE OF NAME TO ALL INTERESTED PERSONS: Petitioner: JESSE ROBERT GAUNA for a decree changing names as follows: Present name JESSE ROBERT GAUNA Filed a petition with this court Proposed name JESSE ROBERT VALENZUELA THE COURT ORDERS: that all persons interested in this matter appear before this court at the hearing indicated below to show cause, if any, why the petition for change of name should not be granted. Any person objecting to the name changes described above must file a written objection that includes the reasons for the objection at least two court days before the matter is scheduled to be heard and must appear at the hearing to show cause why the petition should not be granted if no written objection is timely filed, the court may grant the petition without a hearing. NOTICE OF HEARING Date: Aug 10, 2020 Time: 8:30 a.m. Dept: 12 The address of the court is: Same as noted above. A copy of this Order to Show Cause shall be published at least once a week for four successive weeks prior to the date set for hearing on the petition in the following newspaper of general circulation, printed in this county BAKERSFIELD NEWS OBSERVER Date: April 30, 2020 Linda S Etienne COURT COMMISSIONER Yesenia Sanchez DEPUTY JESSE ROBERT GAUNA PO Box 5104 Delano, Ca. 93216 Phone: (661) 721-6300 IN PRO PER BAKERSFIELD NEWS OBSERVER (E) PUB: May 27, June 3, 10, 17, 2020
PUB: May 27, June 3, 10, 2020
Wednesday, May 27, 2020
BAKERSFIELD NEWS OBSERVER A5
Sexual Violence Among Black Women By Tiara KingKing By Tiara LetterLetter To The To Editor The Editor We often hear the phrase, ‘This country was built on the backs of slaves’. In fact, Michelle Obama mentions “waking up every morning in a house that was built by slaves,” in her speech at the Democratic National Convention. While this speech was meant to encourage and inspire by highlighting the progress of our nation, the reality of this statement is that men and women were stripped of all rights and liberties, and forcibly introduced to the institution of slavery. These men and women are undeniably responsible for the construction and subsequent power of the United States of America. But what we often neglect to acknowledge is the daily humiliation and sexual abuse endured by our founding ancestors, intended to dehumanize an entire race, birthed in a climate of hate and fear mongering. Before the enslaved Africans reached the Americas, the institutional pattern of rape was well established and occurring on the transatlantic voyage. Crew members routinely raped and impregnated the African women. To
further the humiliation, in preparation for sale, enslaved women were stripped naked and placed on auction blocks. While the Klu Klux Klan and other White supremacy groups gang raped Black women, black men suffered lynching, castration, incarceration, and death as penalties for accusations of raping white women. It wasn’t until 1945, nearly a decade before the Montgomery bus boycott, when Rosa Parks would lead the NAACP campaign to protest an all-white jury’s refusal to indict six white men who raped Recy Taylor in Abbeville, Alabama. Black women’s resistance to racialized sexual exploitation assisted in the activism that fueled the civil rights movement. Sexual violence has historically been used as a tool of oppression. Black women have experienced an institutional pattern of rape rooted in slavery. Additionally, beginning in the late 1800s until around the end of the 1980s, indigenous children were forced to attend boarding schools and endure rampant sexual abuse by school officials to acclimate them to the ‘American’ culture. The effects of institutionalized power imbalances continue to propagate prejudice and racism against communities of color.
Communities of color continue to experience systemic prejudice and racism in response to sexual violence. Committing to racial justice propels sexual violence prevention work forward and helps to dismantle systematic imbalances. System responses to these crimes remain woefully inadequate as experienced by communities of color. Barriers to seeking help remain significant for communities of color and are influenced by racism and other forms of oppression. It’s important to consider racial justice critical to the movement in addressing and ending sexual violence. Tiara King is an expert in the field of sexual violence and sexually offensive behavior. She is the Vice President and Co-Owner of Retrain The Night, a non-profit organization established with the intent to reduce the demand for sex trafficking and eradicate other sexually offensive behavior by educating and informing others about the negative consequences of their actions. Contact Tiara King at TiaraK@retrainthenight.com.
Special to California Black Media Partners
Don’t Fall for the President’s Rope-A-Dope on Churches Reopening By Hardy Brown Publisher Emeritus, Black Voice News and co-founder of California Black Media Pres. Trump is tempting Christians to crowd into churches, implying your God will protect you. You have been pent up for three months now and you deserve to be free. This is a free country.
Hardy L. Brown photo by Benoit Malphettes
The President boasts that we had one of the greatest economies the world has ever seen before COVID-19, so you should deny the fact that the virus is threatening your life and get out, cut loose, sing, pray, shout and hug your friends. Your God will protect you. His attempt to persuade “the saved” among us to just get out and go back to their beloved churches carries more weight for African Americans. Trump knows that Coronavirus/COVID-19, “Rona” as it is called in the hood, is killing more Blacks than any other race of people. Across the United States, Black Americans represent nearly 13% of the total population, but African Americans living in counties where the Black population ranges between 13% and 85%, account for more than half of all COVID-19 infections, and they make up almost 60% of deaths. Those numbers were released earlier this month by researchers at Johns Hopkins University, Georgetown University, the University of Mississippi, and Emory University. Here in California, Black COVID-19 patients are 2.7 times more likely to be hospitalized than their Non-Hispanic, White counterparts, and they “tend to arrive at healthcare facilities sicker and with more severe symptoms,” according to a study released just last week by Sutter Health, a non-profit healthcare network based in Sacramento. Knowing that Blacks are at a higher risk of dying and getting hospitalized from COVID-19, what should we make of the President’s push to get us back into our churches? At best, we might assume that the President is trying to till the ground in dog whistling against state-imposed shutdowns have taken root across the country mostly among White hard-Right wing groups. Earlier this month, about 1,200 pastors, mostly
White, in California vowed legal action against the state and told the governor they would open up their churches on Pentecost Sunday, which is May 31, with or without the governor’s blessing or approval. But Black clergy and Civil Rights organizations are putting up a wall of resistance, remaining cautious about the reopening of churches, businesses, and public spaces, considering the havoc COVID-19 is wreaking in our communities. “I’m appealing to all my men and women of faith to reject that because, clearly, we are not in the position to safely tell congregants of any faith to come in person and worship without risking their lives and risking their health,” said the Rev. Al Sharpton, President an CEO of National Action Network. “We’ve already seen churches that have prematurely opened up and people got have gotten sick and some have even died.” Fortunately, this past Friday, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Gov Newsom’s ban on in-person church services, after President Trump reclassified churches as essential last week. Several other Black members of the clergy have echoed Sharpton’s position against reopening. In the worst-case scenario, African Americans might assume Trump is hoping to reduce the Black voting population of seniors by using “Rona” to do his dirty work, allowing him to escape the blame. This may seem cynical to some, but it is not a far-fetched notion among African Americans watching how callously so many are approaching a return to business as usual without factoring how this disease is impacting Blacks of all ages. We love religion and we tap into our Christian faith for so much of the power that takes us through life’s challenges from day to day. So I liken Trump’s proposition to a
famous story of seduction in the Bible: What Satan was doing to Jesus after Jesus had fasted for forty days all alone in the wilderness. Like the frustration we’re feeling under this shelter in place order, Satan knew Jesus was lonely and hungry and wanted to be around people because that was His main reason for being on earth as a human. So don’t fall for the President’s “Rope-A-Dope” stay home for just a little longer until we figure out that its safer for us. The only way Black people should go back to church like the President is suggesting is if they see the Blood of the Lamb painted over the door and they personally hear God speak loud and clear, “you will be safe in this church building.” Otherwise, they should stay home and wait for COVID-19 (the death angel) to pass us by. The only way Black people should go back to church like the President is suggesting is if they see the Blood of the Lamb painted over the door and they personally hear God speak loud and clear, “you will be safe in this church building.” Otherwise, they should stay home and wait for COVID-19 (the death angel) to pass us by. My friends, this is what the angels will do for you if you believe, keep the faith and trust in HIS WORD. My family’s pastor, the late Rev. William Jacks at St. Paul AME in San Bernardino, taught me that when our son was lying in the hospital bed in an induced coma for 19 days. Friends were advising me to go home get some sleep, and Rev. Jacks said to me, “follow Jesus, He will provide everything you need in times like these.” And he sure did. Our son miraculously pulled through and survived that ordeal, as we stood by his side, praying, and knowing that we would get to the other side of that crisis, together, as family.
BAKERSFIELD NEWS OBSERVER
Wednesday, May 27, 2020