This is the Black Christian News Network One podcast. Here are the top stories you need to know about today.
According to Vice News, The founder of BET is pushing a $14 trillion reparations proposal he says would provide enough to close the giant Black/white wealth gap. Robert L. Johnson, the founder of Black Entertainment Television and America’s first Black billionaire, wants a check. He wants it from the government. And he wants it to come with an apology for slavery, Jim Crow, and hundreds of years of racism. The 75-year-old media magnate owns several homes, heads an asset management firm, and was the first Black person to own a majority stake in an NBA team. He doubts that check will ever come, but he sees a new kind of reparations—being called by a different name so as not to be “divisive” or “controversial”—happening already. The new “reparations” is critical race theory education, it’s the housing grant program in Evanston, Illinois, it’s the $5 billion of targeted support and debt relief for Black farmers, and it’s the $50 billion in corporate pledges in the wake of George Floyd’s murder dedicated to combating systemic racism and inequality. (Even though just $250 million, or 0.5%, has actually materialized so far.) “That’s what’s happening to the reparations—it’s been cut up into small pieces of things that look and feel like, ‘We want to end systemic racism, we want to end police brutality and shootings and to provide financing to Black small business owners,’” Johnson tells VICE News. “And then people can say, ‘Well, we really don’t need reparations because when you put all of these things together, it’s reparations. It’s just not one big bill or asking this country to stand up and apologize, and you’re not asking people to pay out of their paychecks.” But that’s the problem, Johnson says. He calls the current approach “placebo paternalism.” “Reparations had two components: The first was atonement, and the other was monetary,” he adds. “With no doubt whatsoever, it was supposed to come from the government representing the people of the country. It was reimbursement, or recompense if you will, for the harm.”
According to Charisma News, Pastor Michael Todd of Transformation Church gave away a total of $1 million to the survivors of the Tulsa Race Massacre and Black-owned nonprofits Sunday, June 20, 2021. He called for his church to be a pillar in the community and the first to acknowledge and act upon the reparations needed to restore relationships with those who suffered through the massacre. To that end, he presented checks for $200,000 in reparations to the three remaining survivors of the Tulsa Massacre. The massacre, which occurred from May 31 to June 1, 1921, and happened 100 years ago this month, is called one of the worst incidents of racial violence in U.S. history, leaving hundreds dead and thousands homeless after a mob attacked a Black Tulsa neighborhood. Todd instructed his leadership team to find “every living survivor” of the massacre and invite them to Sunday service. They located Viola Fletcher, 107; Hughes Van Ellis, 100; and Lessie Randle, 106. He then used the sermon time to honor their tragedy, saying, “Thank you for living a life that survived the devastation.” In addition to the funds donated to the survivors—the average cost of a house in Tulsa—Transformation Church donated $50,000 to the Terrance Crutcher Foundation, $50,000 to Build in Tulsa, $100,000 to One Race Movement and $100,000 to Greenwood Cultural Center.
According to CNBC, Brooklyn Nets owners Joe Tsai and Clara Wu Tsai are taking the next steps to distribute money from a $50 million commitment to help minority communities. The sports owners created a $2.5 million loan program that targets Black-owned businesses impacted by Covid-19. The money derives from the Tsai foundation’s Social Justice Fund, which was established last year, and aims to combat economic inequality in Black communities. The new loans are part of the “EXCELerate” program and catered to owners with credit scores 620 or below. But though applicants will not be judged on the scores, business owners need to be “character-based” eligible. Hence, they’ll need to have good references to secure their loan. There are two loan types. The “rapid recovery” loan offers immediate funds up to $15,000 and no interest attached. These loans are for businesses that stayed open during the pandemic but need capital for new equipment, renovations, rent or leases. The “restart” loan is for business owners who temporarily closed or reduced hours due to the pandemic. Well-referenced applicants can apply for up to $100,000 at 2% interest to help restart and normalize operations, and repayments depend on the success of the businesses. When money from the $2.5 million program is repaid, it returns and becomes eligible for new loans. Interest made from the loans will be used for administration costs. “We know that there is no social justice without economic opportunity, which is why we are so excited to launch the Brooklyn EXCELerate Loan Program aimed at elevating Brooklyn’s BIPOC [Black, indigenous, and other people of color] business owners post-pandemic and doing our small part to overcome barriers this community faces in accessing capital,” said Wu Tsai in a statement. The announcement used statistics from the National Bureau of Economic Research, which states Black-owned businesses declined by 41% during the earlier stages of the pandemic, compared to 17% among white-owned businesses. It also says this loan program “seeks to address the obstacles within capital markets that create unfair hurdles for these entrepreneurs.”
According to Politico, Never-before-seen case files, photographs and other records documenting the investigation into the infamous slayings of three civil rights workers in Mississippi are now open to the public for the first time, 57 years after their deaths. The 1964 killings of civil rights activists James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner in Neshoba County sparked national outrage and helped spur passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. They later became the subject of the movie “Mississippi Burning.” The previously sealed materials — dating from 1964 to 2007 — were transferred to the Mississippi Department of Archives and History from the Mississippi attorney general’s office in 2019. As of last week, they are now available for viewing by the public at William F. Winter Archives and History Building in Jackson. The records include case files, Federal Bureau of Investigation memoranda, research notes and federal informant reports and witness testimonies. There are also photographs of the exhumation of the victims’ bodies and subsequent autopsies, along with aerial photographs of the burial site, according to an announcement from the Mississippi Department of Archives and History. The collection is being stored in three catalog records: Series 2870 houses the attorney general’s research files, Series 2902 houses the FBI memos and Series 2903 houses the photographs. The three Freedom Summer workers, all in their 20s, had been investigating the burning of a black church near Philadelphia, Mississippi when they disappeared in June of 1964.
According to the Associated Press, Turks and Caicos officials said Sunday they had discovered a boat drifting with 20 dead people aboard a mile from Grand Turk Island. Among the dead were two children. Fishermen saw the boat adrift Thursday morning and alerted the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force. Officials have been working to identify the bodies of those on board and how they died since the boat was towed ashore. Foul play has been ruled out, and the police commissioner said the boat was likely from outside the Caribbean and not headed for the Turks and Caicos. In June 2020, Srikajamukam Chelliah, a Canadian citizen born in Sri Lanka, pleaded guilty after facing human trafficking charges for attempting to lead a boat to the U.S. with more than 100 people. He was extradited to a Florida prison where he will spend more than a year.
According to CNN, The grand opening for rapper and activist Michael “Killer Mike” Render’s Greenwood banking platform has been postponed a second time, the company confirmed on Wednesday. In March, Greenwood co-founder Ryan Glover said that the Black and Latinx-owned digital banking company’s planned early 2021 launch date was pushed back to July due to unanticipated high demand after its website was unveiled in October. Greenwood’s leaders say ensuring the digital platform can handle the influx of anticipated customers is also the cause for the latest delay. Greenwood Chief Marketing Officer David Tapscott said the fintech company’s leaders now anticipate everyone on its waiting list will be able to open accounts before the end of this year, and the platform will be available to the general public in early 2022. The company’s leaders stopped purchasing ads asking users to sign up for its waitlist earlier this year, shifting their focus to rolling out services to those who already signed up to open accounts. Tapscott said, “Adding [more] people onto a waitlist just delays how long it’ll take us to get through it. Our first commitment is to deliver the best product possible to the marketplace and we’re not going to rush that. We believe our customers have enough confidence in what we’re doing that they will stay with us on that journey.” Glover came up with the idea for Greenwood in 2018. The company’s leaders said in March that Glover couldn’t have anticipated the overwhelming demand Greenwood would receive following the 2020 murder of George Floyd and the nationwide Black financial empowerment movement that erupted in its wake.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The estate of Martin Luther King Jr. has reached a deal to give HarperCollins publishing rights to his books and speeches in an effort to reach a new generation of readers and highlight the civil rights leader’s relevance today. The King Estate announced Tuesday that an international agreement had been reached with the same publisher that took a chance on King more than 60 years when it published his first book, “Stride Toward Freedom.” King’s books will be reissued and works will be released based on his life and writing. The first titles will be published in the United States as early as January to coincide with Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The financial details of the deal were not disclosed, but it includes world rights to publish from the King archives across all formats, including children’s books, ebooks, audiobooks, journals, and graphic novels in all languages.
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In closing, remember, God loves you. He always has and He always will. John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” If you don’t know Jesus as your Saviour, today is a good day to get to know Him. Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died, was buried, and rose from the dead for you. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart and He will. Romans 10:13 says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Thanks so much for listening and may God bless your day!