This is the Black Christian News Network Podcast for Friday, March 3, 2017.
1. According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the Rev. Raphael G. Warnock, senior pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church, has called for the resignation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions after it was disclosed that he met twice with a Russian ambassador. Sessions, who had a contentious confirmation hearing, did not reveal to Congress that he met with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak. Warnock said, “Preachers and the police don’t have to be perfect. But they do have to tell the truth. Jeff Sessions is the nation’s highest police officer and he did not tell the truth to all of us on national television under oath. This cannot stand. He must resign. Period.” Sessions held a press conference Thursday afternoon in which he said he would recuse himself from investigations into the Trump campaign pre-election ties with Russia. There has been pressure for Sessions to recuse himself . Some, though, have gone further, calling for his resignation. President Trump has continued to support Sessions, saying he had confidence in the former Alabama senator.
2. According to Diverse Education, a Black law professor who gained national exposure for having predicted Donald J. Trump’s election victory in an eight-month series of 2016 television appearances and Harvard Law Record articles, has filed federal civil rights charges against Campbell University. In documents obtained by Diverse, associate professor of law Amos Jones alleges a pattern of discrimination and retaliation in hiring and promotion amid a Whites-dominated tenure pattern at the 40-year-old, Raleigh, North Carolina, school historically related to the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina. In the retaliation complaint, Jones also faults a three-professor tenure panel and faculty mentor — all White — as abandoning their contractual duties to review and meet with him by February 1, a meeting he said has not yet occurred. Jones said he was disheartened when reconciliation efforts engaged last month by his attorney, Dr. Barbara Young of Louisville, Kentucky, hit an impasse.
3. According to the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation today, former President Barack Obama will receive the 2017 Centennial John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award for his enduring commitment to democratic ideals and elevating the standard of political courage in a new century. The prestigious award will be presented by Ambassador Caroline Kennedy and her son, Jack Schlossberg, at a ceremony on May 7, 2017 at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum as part of the celebration of the 100th anniversary of President Kennedy’s birth. Ambassador Kennedy said, “President Kennedy called on a new generation of Americans to give their talents to the service of the country. With exceptional dignity and courage, President Obama has carried that torch into our own time, providing young people of all backgrounds with an example they can emulate in their own lives.”
4. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush says President Donald Trump has agreed to visit Chicago, a city he often chides for its violence and murder rate. The congressman said he made the invitation Tuesday night moments before Trump gave his first speech before a joint session of Congress. Rush stopped the president for a few moments before he stepped up to the podium. The White House did not respond to a request for comment about the invitation. Rush’s office noted in his statement that Trump, in his speech, “assailed Chicago’s shooting rate by erroneously stating the current [year] had already surpassed last year’s numbers.” In his speech, Trump said there were more than 4,000 people shot in Chicago last year “and the murder rate so far this year has been even higher.”
5. According to the Los Angeles Times, a judge has granted a restraining order against a Black Lives Matter activist who took his racially charged rhetoric to the law office and home of Los Angeles Police Commission President Matt Johnson. The intrusion of the activist, Trevor Ferguson, into the commissioner’s private life marked an escalation of a conflict that had previously been confined to public meetings. Ferguson is part of a group that regularly disrupts the Police Commission’s weekly meetings by chanting and speaking out of turn to express outrage at Los Angeles Police Department shootings of black and Latino people. Johnson, one of two African American police commissioners, is sometimes singled out by Ferguson and others, who call him a “houseboy” — a derogatory term for a black person who is subservient to whites — amid demands that LAPD Chief Charlie Beck resign and the entire department be disbanded. The application for the restraining order, filed on Johnson’s behalf by the city of Los Angeles on Dec. 20, tested the boundary between free speech and harassment.
6. According to the Associated Press, Wake Forest University has named a new dorm in honor of poet and civil rights activist Maya Angelou. Multiple media outlets report Wake Forest cut the ribbon on the five story residence hall for 224 students on Friday. Angelou was an American Studies professor at the university in Winston-Salem up until her death in 2014, teaching classes like “Race, Politics and Literature,” “African Culture and Impact on U.S.” and “Race in the Southern Experience.” Angelou also wrote several books including “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” and was an actress and civil rights pioneer. In 2002, Wake Forest opened the Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity to study racial and ethnic disparities in health care.
7. According to the State, the University of South Carolina School of Law’s publication has for the first time elected an African-American to serve as its editor-in chief. Chelsea Evans of North Myrtle Beach will lead the 69-year-old South Carolina Law Review. Evans is a second-year law student. Evans said, “I’m incredibly humbled to be elected editor-in-chief, and I hope that my election encourages more women and people of color to pursue law degrees, journal membership and the position of editor in chief.” Evans, who was elected Feb. 13 by the quarterly journal’s 59 student editors, will lead it for a one-year term.