I am in Durham, North Carolina this morning, on my way back to New York, after speaking last night at Duke University – and I even had a chance to meet a few of our listeners in North Carolina as well. I know some of the morning show crew have been doing this for long that maybe you are used to that, but I love meeting our listeners when I’m on the road.
I’ll be back here in North Carolina, speaking at NC State, for Black History Month, and hope to see some of you out for that. I’ll share the details as we get closer to the date.
I have a few important stories and updates to share with you this morning, but first, I need to start in Miami, Florida.
On this past King Day, a group of young middle school aged boys, all Black, were a part of a beautiful event called “Bikes Up, Guns Down.” It’s really just where young Black boys come together to simply ride their bikes, with Black Boy Joy, having fun through the streets of Miami – literally showing that they like to have gun free, violence free fun. These boys were just 12 & 13 years old – mainly from Liberty City.
And as they drove their bikes, they just so happened to cross paths with an open bigot named Mark Bartlett. Of course the kids had no idea that Mark was a white supremacist, but Mark the bigot, at just seeing the boys riding their bikes, started yelling racial slurs at them, calling them the N word, right in front of all types of on-lookers. See, Mark didn’t know all of that was being filmed, because he later told the police a big lie about what he ended up doing, saying he was only angry and hateful after he saw the boys near his violent girlfriend, a grown woman harassing little boys, named Dana Scalione.
That was actually the first video that most of us saw. These boys are just out riding their bikes, when she literally starts chasing them down, shoving them, yelling at them, all while the boys, confused as hell, keep their cool. Then, as you may have seen in the viral video, Mark Bartlett then gets out of his car, runs up the boys, calls them the N word, then pulls a gun out on them.
Mind you – this is MLK Day, and the boys are literally riding their bikes for a “Bikes Up, Guns Down” demonstration.
Anyway, we are demanding that Miami charge Mark Bartlett with a hate crime, and additional crimes against children. Right now he’s just been charged with a petty failure to have a concealed carry permit, but that’s not nearly enough.
We just learned yesterday that his girlfriend, Dana, has been fired from her job, but she should also be arrested for putting her hands on those children.
And what I know is this – the only justice we get in this country is the justice we fight for. Period.
I wanna close this morning by telling you just how disgusted I am with this government shutdown. It’s now been over a month. People have now missed multiple paychecks. Government workers are literally waiting in lines for free bread and eggs. It’s outrageous.
I was at the airport yesterday and it just breaks my heart seeing the TSA workers, working day and night, unable to call off, or take up another job unless they quit – all while not making a dime. Saying they will get backpay is not good enough. Folk literally don’t have money for gas or groceries. People can’t pay their bills!
And here’s what I want you to know. Democrats in the House have now voted 10 different times to reopen the government. 10 different times.
Guess how many times Republicans in the Senate have done this. Zero. Not a single time.
This is on them. It’s on Donald Trump, first and foremost, he openly said this was his shutdown, and it is, but it’s also on Mitch McConnell, for failing to lead in this – and causing direct harm not just to the 800,000 people who are out of work, but millions of people who are now having their services limited as a result of this.
I saw this morning where people thing food stamp benefits may run out. I saw yesterday where The Justice Department says the shutdown is harming their investigations.
And, as you may have seen, Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, said again yesterday that she will not allow Donald Trump to give his State of the Union before Congress until he opens the government back up.
It’s all so disturbing. I’ve gotta run, but let’s hope that this doesn’t go on much longer. As Trump’s approval ratings continue to tank, maybe his ego will give in and he’ll realize he’s not going to get to build his stupid wall.
Take care everybody! See you again next Tuesday!