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LeBron steps up as the President gets ready to step out…in Tulsa

June 12, 2020, 9:29 PM UTC

LeBron gets out the vote, Breonna finds some justice, Tucker loses Big Telecom, and Trump has decided to celebrate Juneteenth in Tulsa. 

But first, your super meta Haiku-inspired week in review, in Haiku.

has five syllables! What a
revelation for

the brand-new poets
who are, quite literally,
on the struggle bus.

Essential workers
have turned to lightweight verse to
help them with stress, grief.

Just like I did long
ago! Some truth and peace in
three beautiful lines:

“Stress riding the subway
Questions without answers
Not workers fault”

Wishing you a truthful and peaceful “weekend.”

Ellen McGirt

On point

LeBron James heads up an all-star lineup to launch a voting rights advocacy group  More Than a Vote aims to go beyond voter registration and get-out-the-vote calls. They plan to take on voter suppression efforts currently aimed at Black voters. “We’re going to give you the background of how to vote and what they’re trying to do, the other side, to stop you from voting,” James told the New York Times. James is joined by other current and former NBA stars— including Trae Young, Skylar Diggins-Smith and Jalen Rose. It’s a sign of the times, he said. “I’m inspired by the likes of Muhammad Ali, I’m inspired by the Bill Russells and the Kareem Abdul-Jabbars, the Oscar Robertsons — those guys who stood when the times were even way worse than they are today.”
New York Times

A law named for Breonna Taylor bans “no-knock” warrants in Louisville It was a unanimous vote from the Louisville, Ky., Metro Council, and Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer promised to sign Breonna’s Law as soon as it hits his desk. The legislation also requires police to wear body cameras when serving all warrants, which will need to be turned on at least five minutes prior to service.

The President is planning his first rally since the pandemic in Tulsa on June 19 He picked a complicated place on a complicated date. Tulsa was once home to Black Wall Street, which was razed to the ground on June 1, 1921, in a massacre fueled by white mobs. They burned 35 square blocks, destroying homes, Black-owned businesses, and murdering some 300 people. June 19 is also known as Juneteenth, for the day that news of emancipation finally reached the enslaved people in Galveston, Texas, who had no knowledge of the Emancipation Proclamation signed two years before. Is it just a coincidence? Eric Thomas, writing in Elle has a soaring and devastating take. “Trump's callousness, his calling card, is intentional. More importantly, it is indicative of the larger framework in which he, poor dead Jefferson Davis, and thousands of others thrive. Trump descends on Tulsa, ensconced on the plinth of white supremacy, a tourist in the American amusement park to Black trauma.”

ABC casts its first Black bachelor in 24 seasons of performative dating Matt James is a 28-year-old real estate broker, entrepreneur, and community organization founder. He’s also the best friend of a popular former contestant, so evidently, Bachelor Nation is used to having him around. ABC sees this as a moment. “We know we have a responsibility to make sure the love stories we’re seeing onscreen are representative of the world we live in and we are proudly in service to our audience,” said ABC Entertainment president Karey Burke in a statement. Matt James seems like a lovely guy. RIP his mentions.
Hollywood Reporter

Tucker Carlson’s remarks on Black Lives Matter alienates some of his remaining sponsors While it appears that smaller advertisers like the folks are in for the ride, larger firms who occasionally advertised on “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” believe the firebrand host has gone too far. Carlson called BLM supporters “soulless” and “craven” and issued a vague warning: "[The movement] may be a lot of things, this moment we’re living through, but it is definitely not about Black lives. Remember that when they come for you, and at this rate, they will.” T-Mobile withdrew its advertising support via a tweet from CEO Mike Sievert, who wrote “Bye-Bye Tucker.”
CBS News

The Mellon Foundation steps all the way up The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation had already committed some $300 million in grantmaking for the arts, education, and cultural organizations; yesterday it announced another $200 million to offer support for nonprofits buffeted by the pandemic, recession, and now, unrest. “We cannot allow the crises of today to sideline the unfinished work needed to move us toward a more robustly engaged, diverse, and culturally inclusive country tomorrow,” said Mellon Foundation president, Elizabeth Alexander. “Musicians and poets, archivists and scholars, social justice activists and advocates – these are the visionaries who will illuminate the way forward to a more just and fairer America.”

Are you 'Working While Black?' We are now two weeks into this important project exploring the lived experiences of Black corporate talent, and the responses are everything: Candid, heartbreaking, unsparing. If you’re a Black employee in the corporate world, we want to hear from you — it's not too late. We’ve created a Google form to capture your thoughts and stories. If we choose to publish your comment, we only publish your first name and age and no other identifying info. We will start sharing some responses next week, but only from the Black people — please see the headline.


Hey, real quick

  • An Ohio state senator has questions. State Sen. Steve Huffman (R), whose other day job is as an ER physician, wondered aloud during a legislative hearing on the pandemic: What's up with the virus' disproportionate impact on Black communities? “Could it just be that African Americans — the colored population — do not wash their hands as well as other groups?” he asked the executive director of the state’s Commission on Minority Health. You’re fired, answered his health contractor-employer.
  • Thousands of residents in facilities for people with developmental and intellectual disabilities are feared sick with COVID-19. Some 275,000 people with conditions such as Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, and autism are at risk.
  • Speaking of Trump’s Juneteenth Tulsa rally, if you go, you can’t sue him if you contract coronavirus.
  • Behind the scenes at Refinery 29. It’s a full-on revolt, now.
  • This is what protesters say police brutality is really like. “[We] had to de-escalate the police.”
  • Do you know how many cops have been investigated and/or disciplined for misconduct? USA Today found 85,000.


On Background

How to have public conversations about race that keep Black community members safe Annemarie Dooling and Danielle Maveal are compiling resources and best practices from online community managers who have expertise holding difficult conversations about race. In a perfect world, these conversations “require training, resources, and a support system to make sure that when these conversations happen, they are productive and above all else, safe for Black community members,” they write. The experts they tapped are fantastic. But so are you! Got something to add or share? Click through and let them know. “This is a living document.”
Community Knowledge Share

Ten ways to show up for the Black people you know This is a really helpful list that gets to the heart of what people who don’t know what to say should say. It grabs your heart right out of the gate. "Don’t ask me how I’m doing and say you’re praying for me out of your sense of grief or confusion," says Sunshine Muse. “I cannot take that on at any level. And, if you’re my friend, you’re always praying for me and my family, and I thank you.”

Get to know Elizabeth Alexander The poet and former professor says Ford Foundation president Darren Walker “plucked me out of the chorus line,” to join the Mellon Foundation, saying, “What we need is not necessarily someone who has been in philanthropy. What we need is someone who comes with discernment and ideas and exposure.” In this rich conversation on The Design of Business podcast, Alexander talks with Jessica Helfand and me about power, money, culture, poetry, grief — and her extraordinary credentials hiding in plain sight. “To my eternal gratitude, [Walker] said, ‘Wow, chairing African American studies — which I was doing at Yale at the time — because of the way that you interface with the law school, the divinity school, the school of forestry, many, many, many different departments… you're actually running a very complex organization.’”
Design Observer

Today's raceAhead was edited by Aric Jenkins.  

Today's mood board

Matt James will be the next lead on ABC’s “The Bachelor” in 2021.
Courtesy of ABC