Frustrated with America's 'progress' on race? James Baldwin described it perfectly over 30 years ago.
via James Baldwin Project

The disturbing footage of Minnesota police officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on the throat of George Floyd and suffocating him to death has provoked painful reactions for millions of people across the nation.

But one of the most frustrating is that it's forced us to ask ourselves, "Why is this still happening?"

Author and civil rights activist James Baldwin addressed the glacial pace of American racial progress over 30 years ago in a clip that was aired in the 1989 PBS documentary James Baldwin: The Price of the Ticket.


Sadly, his assessment of this country back in '80s would be shockingly similar if he were alive to see the events of today. Baldwin passed away in 1987.

James Baldwin: How Much Time Do You Want For Your "Progress?" www.youtube.com

"What is it that you wanted me to reconcile myself to? I was born here more than 60 years ago. I'm not going to live another 60 years," he said. "You always told me that it's going to take time."

"It's taken my father's time, my mother's time, my uncle's time, my brothers' and my sisters' time, my nieces and my nephew's time," he continued. "How much time do you want for your progress?"

The clip began circulating on Thursday after Quasim Rashid, a candidate for the House of Representatives, used it as a response to Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said he will not "rush to justice" on charges against Chauvin.


Badwin eloquently and passionately described the paranoia he feels living as a black man in America on a 1968 episode of the The Dick Cavett Show. He was on a panel with Yale Professor Paul Weiss who asked him, "So why must we always concentrate on color?"

Baldwin responded saying he left America for Paris in 1948 to escape its "particular social terror, which was not the paranoia of my own mind, but a real social danger visible in the face of every cop, every boss, everybody."

Sadly, Baldwin's words still ring true today.

Baldwin on Dick Cavett www.youtube.com

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Frito-Lay

Did you know one in five families are unable to provide everyday essentials and food for their children? This summer was also the hungriest on record with one in four children not knowing where their next meal will come from – an increase from one in seven children prior to the pandemic. The effects of COVID-19 continue to be felt around the country and many people struggle to secure basic needs. Unemployment is at an all-time high and an alarming number of families face food insecurity, not only from the increased financial burdens but also because many students and families rely on schools for school meal programs and other daily essentials.

This school year is unlike any other. Frito-Lay knew the critical need to ensure children have enough food and resources to succeed. The company quickly pivoted to expand its partnership with Feed the Children, a leading nonprofit focused on alleviating childhood hunger, to create the "Building the Future Together" program to provide shelf-stable food to supplement more than a quarter-million meals and distribute 500,000 pantry staples, school supplies, snacks, books, hand sanitizer, and personal care items to schools in underserved communities.

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The Delta Baby Cafe in Sunflower County, Mississippi is providing breastfeeding assistance where it's needed most.

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The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends infants be exclusively breastfed for their first six months of life. However, in Mississippi, less than 40% are still breastfeeding at six months.

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$200 billion of COVID-19 recovery funding is being used to bail out fossil fuel companies. These mayors are combatting this and instead investing in green jobs and a just recovery.

Learn more on how cities are taking action: c40.org/divest-invest


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In 2019, the Washoe County School District in Reno, Nevada instituted a policy that forbids teachers from participating in "partisan political activities" during school hours. The policy states that "any signage that is displayed on District property that is, or becomes, political in nature must be removed or covered."

The new policy is based on the U.S. Supreme Court's 2018 Janus decision that limits public employees' First Amendment protections for speech while performing their official duties.

This new policy caused a bit of confusion with Jennifer Leja, a 7th and 8th-grade teacher in the district. She wondered if, as a bisexual woman, the new policy forbids her from discussing her sexuality.

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Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

We've heard from U.S. intelligence officials for at least four years that other countries are engaging in disinformation campaigns designed to destabilize the U.S. and interfere with our elections. According to a recent New York Times article, there is ample evidence of Russia attempting to push American voters away from Joe Biden and toward Donald Trump via the Kremlin-backed Internet Research Agency, which has created a network of fake user accounts and a website that billed itself as a "global news organization."

The problem isn't just that such disinformation campaigns exist. It's that they get picked up and shared by real people who don't know they're spreading propaganda from Russian state actors. And it's not just pro-Trump content that comes from these accounts. Some fake accounts push far-left propaganda and disinformation in order to skew perceptions of Biden. Sometimes they even share uplifting content to draw people in, while peppering their feeds with fake news or political propaganda.

Most of us read comments and responses on social media, and many of us engage in discussions as well. But how do we know if what we're reading or who we're engaging with is legitimate? It's become vogue to call people who seem to be pushing a certain agenda a "bot," and sometimes that's accurate. What about the accounts that have a real person behind them—a real person who is being paid to publish and push misinformation, conspiracy theories, or far-left or far-right content?

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