While listening to National Public Radio the other day, I was stunned to hear a former State Department official say that the United States is spending more than $2 billion a month on the war in Ukraine and that it is anticipated that a certain amount of those funds will be lost to waste, fraud and abuse.   Hearing this figure, I became curious about how much the U.S. government spent on the war in Afghanistan – a war whose outcome Graeme Herd, writing for The George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies, stated: “constitute[s] a clear-cut strategic failure for the U.S. and NATO, when calculated in terms of ‘blood and treasure’ costs as set against benefits and potential future threats.” A quick internet search revealed that our country spent $2.3 trillion on the war in Afghanistan, $19 billion of which was lost to waste, fraud and abuse.


Besides having difficulty wrapping my head around how much money was spent – and how much was lost – in a cause many reputable political scientists have characterized as “American Adventurism in Afghanistan,” I became angry at the members of Congress who refuse to spend any tax dollars at all to help African Americans in our own country recover from the damage caused by centuries of slavery, racial abuse and intentional neglect.   The refusal to repair the damage caused by past and present racial animus and racism is a crime against humanity, just as much as the racial animus and racism itself.   It is an incontrovertible fact that politicians put our money where their interests lie. As a child growing up in the segregated South, I witnessed my parents’ tax dollars being used to build “community” swimming pools that Black children like me were forbidden by law to use.


On hot summer days, as I walked past these civic amenities built in part by Black tax dollars, I was made acutely aware of how self-interest drives public spending. This reality was made even more painful by the fact that my state, Virginia, proudly, but falsely, proclaimed itself to be a “Commonwealth” where all the blessings of freedom and prosperity were shared fairly.   So now, I weigh the reality of politicians in my country frantically throwing money at what they perceive to be a problem abroad while withholding funds that could help to eliminate problems crushing Black communities here at home.


It cannot be the case that these politicians don’t know that funding can be used to solve problems in the poorer Black communities of our nation. Multiple studies after multiple studies throughout the decades have provided evidence that many of the problems plaguing Black people in America can be alleviated with the proper application of funding. But the politics of selfinterest stand in the way.   The politics of selfinterest can most clearly be illustrated by England’s “Slave Compensation Act” of 1837, where the British government agreed to a generous compensation package – not to the formerly enslaved whose labor had been stolen, but to the slave owners for “the loss of their property.”


Reparations to people of color need not necessarily be cash giveaways to individuals. They can be in the form of meaningful community investments. Improving and supporting community infrastructure, including schools, transportation systems, social service programs and financial institutions, would go a long way toward improving lives damaged by past and present racial hostility. While the problems afflicting communities of color can be alleviated with appropriate funding, politicians with the power to provide that funding either don’t care to alleviate those problems, or they have an interest in continuing our suffering by withholding funding.    I am not saying that the people of Ukraine should not receive our help. But I am saying that Black people here in the United States deserve as much consideration and help as the people of Ukraine. Our determination to aid Ukraine today is reminiscent of this country’s World War II effort. Black men and women were sent overseas to help people abroad when lynchings still were rampant in our own Southland.


In 1942, The Pittsburgh Courier launched the “Double V” campaign to bring attention to the hypocrisy of America sending Black men and women overseas to fight for freedom while they were still being lynched at home. The Double V stood for “Victory at Home” as well as “Victory Abroad.” But even then, racism dictated that Black folks had to take a back seat. So, the slogan had to be phrased as “Victory Abroad and Victory at Home.” Worse still, Victory at Home became a hollow slogan as many Black World War II veterans who wore their uniforms home at the end of the war were met with violent hostility from Southern whites who were offended by such a sight.

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October 16, 2023, HOUSTON, TX – Congressional Candidate Amanda Edwards has raised over $1 million in less than 4 months, a substantial sum that helps bolster the frontrunner status of the former At-Large Houston City Council Member in her bid for U.S. Congress. Edwards raised over $433,000 in Q3 of 2023. This strong Q3 report expands on a successful Q2 where Edwards announced just 11 days after declaring her candidacy that she had raised over $600,000. With over $829,000 in cash-on-hand at the end of the September 30th financial reporting period, Edwards proves again that she is the clear frontrunner in the race. “I am beyond grateful for the strong outpouring of support that will help me to win this race and serve the incredible people of the 18th Congressional District,” said Edwards. “We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s trajectory, and we need to send servant leaders to Congress who can deliver the results the community deserves. The strong support from our supporters will help us to cultivate an 18th Congressional District where everyone in it can thrive.” Edwards said. “Amanda understands the challenges that the hard-working folks of the 18th Congressional District face because she has never lost sight of who she is or where she comes from; she was born and raised right here in the 18th Congressional District of Houston,” said Kathryn McNiel, spokesperson for Edwards’ campaign. Edwards has been endorsed by Higher Heights PAC, Collective PAC, Krimson PAC, and the Brady PAC. She has also been supported by Beto O’Rourke, among many others. About Amanda: Amanda is a native Houstonian, attorney and former At-Large Houston City Council Member. Amanda is a graduate of Eisenhower High School in Aldine ISD. Edwards earned a B.A. from Emory University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Edwards practiced law at Vinson & Elkins LLP and Bracewell LLP before entering public service. Edwards is a life-long member of St. Monica Catholic Church in Acres Homes. For more information, please visit www.edwardsforhouston.com

As September 13th rolls around, we extend our warmest birthday wishes to the creative powerhouse, Tyler Perry, a man whose indomitable spirit and groundbreaking work have left an indelible mark on the world of entertainment. With his multifaceted talents as an actor, playwright, screenwriter, producer, and director, Tyler Perry has not only entertained but also inspired audiences worldwide, particularly within the African-American community, where his influence and role have been nothing short of powerful. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1969, Tyler Perry’s journey to stardom was a path riddled with adversity. Raised in a turbulent household, he found refuge in writing, using it as a therapeutic outlet. This period of introspection gave rise to one of his most iconic creations, Madea, a vivacious, no-nonsense grandmother who would later become a beloved figure in Perry’s works, offering a unique blend of humor and profound life lessons. Despite facing numerous challenges, including rejection and financial struggles, Perry’s determination and unwavering belief in his abilities propelled him forward. In 1992, he staged his first play, “I Know I’ve Been Changed,” which, although met with limited success, was a pivotal moment in his career. Unfazed by initial setbacks, Perry continued to hone his craft, and by 1998, he had successfully produced a string of stage plays that showcased his storytelling prowess.

Calling all teenage student-athletes! If you have dreams of playing college soccer and wish to represent an HBCU, the HBCU ID Camp is your golden opportunity. From 8 am to 5 pm on November 11-12, Houston Sports Park will transform into a hub for aspiring male and female soccer players. Coaches from HBCUs across the nation will be present to evaluate, scout, and offer valuable feedback. Moreover, they might even spot the next soccer prodigy to join their collegiate soccer programs. This camp is not just about honing your soccer skills but also a chance to connect with the HBCU soccer community. You’ll learn the ins and outs of what it takes to excel on the field and in the classroom, which is crucial for a college athlete. The HBCU ID Camp is an excellent platform to network with coaches, learn from experienced athletes, and take the first steps toward your college soccer journey. To secure your spot at this incredible event, don’t forget to register [here](insert registration link). Space is limited to 120 participants, so make sure to reserve your place before it’s too late. It’s time to turn your dreams of playing college soccer into a reality.

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