Gerrymandering: The New Grandfather Clause


By C.C. Campbell-Rock

White politicians have worked to dilute the African-American vote since Congress ratified the 15th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, giving black men the right to vote in 1870. They threatened, intimidated, and killed some African-Americans to keep them from voting, until southern white legislators came up with a law known as the Grandfather Clause.

“Louisiana is the granddaddy of the Grandfather Clause. The 15th Amendment adopted in 1870 gave former slaves the right to vote. The Grandfather Clause took away those rights in 1898,” says voting rights advocate Carl Galmon.

Legislators at the 1898 Louisiana Constitutional Convention passed the Grandfather Clause. If you were not registered to vote prior to the 15th Amendment, you had to pass a literacy test and/or own property. The law eliminated the right to vote for freed slaves; since slaves were not allowed an education nor did they own property.

Judge Thomas J. Semmes, Chairman of the Judiciary Committee of the Louisiana 1898 Convention and a former president of the American Bar Association, described the purpose of the Convention: “We [meet] here to establish the supremacy of the white race, and the white race constitutes the Democratic party of this State” The Convention of 1898 “interpreted its mandate from the `people’ to be, to disfranchise as many Negroes and as few whites as possible.”

Even though the United States Supreme Court deemed grandfather clauses unconstitutional in Guinn v. United States in 1915, Louisiana implemented new tests, including a citizenship test which was declared unconstitutional in 1965.

“Louisiana was the poster child for the Voting Rights Act of 1965,” Galmon adds. “White lawmakers got around the Voting Rights Act (VRA) by using voting roll purges, strict Voter ID laws and, more recently, gerrymandering.”

Gerrymandered redistricting is the 21st Century’s version of the Grandfather Clause.

The term gerrymandering refers to the illegal practice of drawing electoral district lines to favor one political party, individual, or constituency over another. The phrase racial gerrymandering refers to the practice of drawing electoral district lines to dilute the voting power of racial minority groups. Federal law prohibits racial gerrymandering. Partisan gerrymandering occurs when lines are drawn to favor one political party.

District lines are redrawn every 10 years following completion of the United States Census. The federal government stipulates that districts must have nearly equal populations and must not discriminate on the basis of race or ethnicity.

Congress enacted the Voting Rights Act of 1965, (VRA) because racial discrimination in voting had been more prevalent in certain areas of the country. The law was designed to enforce the 15th Amendment of the Constitution that gave former slaves the right to vote. Section 4 of the Act established a formula to identify those areas and to provide for more stringent remedies where appropriate.

Before states could make any changes to voters’ access to the ballot, including redrawing district lines, they had to get proposed changes cleared by the U.S. Justice Department under the VRA’s Section 5 mandated federal preclearance of any changes to voting rights in Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia

The U.S. Supreme Court struck down Section 4 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act (VRA), four years ago, rendering Section 5 useless.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote the dissenting opinion. “Voting discrimination still exists. Racial discrimination in voting has changed from first-generation barriers to ballot access to second-generation barriers of racial gerrymandering and laws requiring at-large voting in places with a sizable black minority.”

“The only black on the SCOTUS, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, voted with the majority. “I join the Court’s opinion in full but write separately to explain that I would find Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act unconstitutional, as well.”

Ironically, the ruling inspired a flood of lawsuits challenging gerrymandered districts in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Texas, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia, Alabama, Arizona, and Louisiana.

Louisiana has six people in Congress and 145 state legislators.  States Senators are not elected by districts, but at-large. Today, Cedric Richmond is the only black person to represent Louisiana in Congress. The others five are white, including GOP Senators Bill Cassidy and John N. Kennedy.

The Daily Kos published a report Here’s what Louisiana might have looked like in 2016 without congressional gerrymandering on redistricting since 2011 and found that Louisiana lawmakers engaged in gerrymandering when redrawing its electoral map:

“Republicans gained control over the redistricting process in Louisiana in 2011, for the first time since Reconstruction. They used this new power to push through a ruthless gerrymander that packed as many Democrats as possible into one heavily black and Democratic district, taking the previously New Orleans-based 2nd District and stretching it all the way to Baton Rouge. That helped make all the neighboring seats heavily white and staunchly Republican. Although Democrats captured the Baton Rouge-based 6th District once last decade, the current Republican gerrymander worked flawlessly to lock in five Republicans and one Democrat ever since 2012.”

Loyola Law School Professor Justin Levitt published a study called “All About Redistricting,” in which he documented at least five cases filed against Louisiana for racial gerrymandering. Several were dismissed, others were found to lack evidence, and the plaintiffs in another dropped the lawsuit.

Levitt’s report also gave an overview of recent cases in the courts. “This cycle (2017) courts have struck all or part of congressional plans in FLNC, and VA (and refused to preclear maps in TX); courts drew the lines themselves in 11 states. Courts have struck all or part of state legislature plans in AKALCOFLHIIDKYMONCPA, and WI (and refused to preclear maps in TX); courts drew lines themselves in seven states.”

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Si Se Puede!

by C.C. Campbell-Rock

“If minorities came together as a voting bloc, we could flip the Louisiana Legislature,” civil rights activist Carl Galmon once said after analyzing the state’s population stats. The same is true for national political offices. If people of color voting strategically in a bloc, the U.S. Senate could flip. Voters of color could vote into the House and Senate people who could level the playing field. They could pass legislation that benefits all Americans. Latin voters have power in this election.

That could happen in a perfect world, but it is an unrealistic pipe dream, given that no group is monolithic when it come to politics. And this is especially true among Hispanics, Latinos, and Latinix voters. (A debate is raging over the use of the word Latinx a gender-neutral term to describe people of Latin origin instead of using Latino or Latina). 

The cultures emanating from Latin America are as culturally and politically diverse as the colors of a rainbow.

Yet, the fact that Latinos comprise the fasting growing ethnic group in the U.S speaks volumes about their voting power and their potential to assume leadership positions in various sectors of American society.

Between 2010 and 2019, the Latino share of the total U.S. population increased from 16% to 18% for a total of 60 million people, making them second in population after non-Hispanic whites.

Defining Latinos

Latinos can trace their roots back to 20 Latin America countries: Mexico in North America; Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama in Central America; Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, French Guiana, Paraguay, Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay in South America; Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Puerto Rico in the Caribbean— in summary, Hispanic America, Brazil, and Haiti.

“More than 50% of Latinos live in California, Florida and Texas. When adding New York, Arizona, Illinois, New Jersey, and Colorado those states collectively account for over 75% of all Hispanics in the United States,” according to the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities 2017.

“Latinos are one of the largest growing demographics in the country, and their support is essential to ensuring a win that cannot be challenged or litigated – especially in key battleground states like Arizona, Florida, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Texas,” Maria Teresa Kumar, president of Voto Latina, wrote in a CNBC report entitled VP Joe Biden’s “Latino Problem.” 

Turnout by Latinos may also be a problem. According to a survey by the Voter Participation Center in partnership with Voto Latino and Latino Decisions, which found that “less than 60 percent of eligible Latino voters say they definitely plan to cast a ballot in 2020. The survey results “demonstrated a low enthusiasm about the candidacy of Vice President Joe Biden.” This could diminish the Latin voters power.

RELATED: 11 Ways to Stop Trump’s Attack on Latinos

Trump vs Biden

“Even though Donald Trump has no viable path to gain majority Latino support as he makes anti-immigration a foundation of his re-election, Biden’s approval among young Latinos is waning,” Kumar added.

“On August 4, the Biden campaign announced “Todos con Biden,” its agenda with the Latino community, focused on affordable healthcare, access to quality education, immigration reform and what they’re calling a Small Business Opportunity Initiative. While this specificity is welcome, the Vice President and his team can do much more,” Kumar commented.

There is a flurry of news articles about the race between Biden and Trump being statistically tied in Florida. In south Florida Cuban-Americans have traditionally voted Republican. If Biden loses Florida’s 29 electoral votes, he could lose the election.

 Cuban-Americans comprise 26 percent of Florida’s population or 1.5 million residents. “It’s common knowledge that Cuban-Americans were among President Trump’s most reliable supporters and helped him win Florida in 2016,” NPR reported in 2019. These voters choose Trump after Cuban-American Marco Rubio dropped out of the race.

Cuban support for President Trump is strong amongst Miami’s Cubans


In 2020, several polls over the summer showed Biden with a lead over Trump in Florida. That was before the Trump Campaign released fear factor ads labeling Democrats as radical socialists and communists;  words that strike fear in the hearts of Cuban-Americans who fled the communist regime of Fidel Castro.

A recent poll by Bendixen & Amándi International and the Miami Herald found the former VP splitting Hispanic voters with Trump. Trump at 47% and Biden at 46%. “Those numbers are based on smaller polling subsets with larger margins of error . They are driven by Trump’s increased support among conservative leaning Cuban-Americans. Cubans supported Trump over Biden in the poll by a crushing 38 points,” The Miami Herald reported.

However, the Bendixen & Amándi Poll held a few bright spots for the former vice president. Biden led Trump, 51% to 33% among Miami-Dade County’s independent voters and 48% to 44% among white voters. Also, Biden was winning 16% of Republicans. Here Biden needs the Latin voters power.

Amid criticism that Biden is not doing enough to court the Latino vote, Latino Decisions, a Latino political opinion research organization, and the National Association of Latino Elected Officials Education Fund recently launched a nine-week tracking poll of the Latino electorate. They want to get real time analyses of the group’s political preferences.

Latinos are not excited over Biden

“Reports of low levels of enthusiasm among Latinos are sounding alarms that the Democrats have a Latino problem,” Adrian D. Pantoja wrote. Pantoja is an associate dean of faculty and professor of politics at Pitzer College, and Senior Analyst with Latino Decisions. He directly contradicts Kumar’s assertions of low enthusiasm for Biden.

“Biden has a clear advantage over Trump when it comes to three key indicators for Latino voter turnout: the economy, critical issues, and mobilization. The final key to the Latino vote, access to the polls, should now be at the top of Biden’s campaign strategy,” Pantoja advised.

Clearly, Latinos and Cuban-Americans will decide the winner of Florida’s 29 electoral votes. In Florida Latin voters must use their power.

Billionaire Michael Bloomberg has pledged to spend $100 million in Florida to help the Biden campaign. Created by former Bernie Sanders advisor, Chuck Rocha, Nuestro PAC is focused on Latino voter outreach. They are investing millions into bilingual mail outreach to newly registered Latino voters. According to USA Today, they are focused in Florida, North Carolina. Kamala Harris, Biden’s VP pick visited the state last week and Biden will travel to Florida next week.

One key Question

There is one question. Should the Biden Campaign continue to reach out to Cuban-Americans and others who have shown they will vote for Trump no matter what?

A fellow Cuban-American shared some advice recently for her ethnic peers. “While it’s understandable that Cuban immigrants once felt an affinity for the GOP as the party that faced down communism and championed economic advancement, my fellow Cuban Americans must come to grips with the reality that the actions of the current Republican administration bear deep similarities to the Cuban government our families fled from,” wrote A.J. Fuentes Twombly, a former CIA officer, in an opinion piece on NBC’s website.

A Grim Reminder by Jordan Rock

This situation is not normal. The further away we get from these times, the more horrifying they’ll look in the rearview mirror. Our country is facing a constitutional crisis. Is this a crawl to a coup?

The president wants desperately to be a dictator. He has said so repeatedly and is even on record stating that he will push for a third term because he is “entitled” to it. We have seen time and time again what the president is willing to do in order to grab for power. Is he preparing us for a coup?

Impeached Already!


The House impeached the President. He literally stole the 2016 election – we’ve proven that without a doubt. His staff either resigns or is arrested. Others support his abuse of the law.

 Donald Trump is a criminal and a pathological liar. He wants desperately to break the laws of this country over his knee so he can achieve total control.  Maybe a sprint instead of a crawl to a coup.

He has support

His base is still fanatical. They care nothing for what he does so long as his actions inflict pain on the people they hate.

That is to say, as long as President Trump brings suffering to anyone that isn’t white, his base will support him, because their creed is white supremacy.

We now have confirmation that Trump lied to the American people about the severity of Covid-19, downplaying it so as not to “create a panic”. The USPS prepared to ship five masks to every household in the United States. But the federal government cancelled the order.

Before that, Trump dismantled all the Obama era protections against a plague such as this. However way you slice it, Donald Trump is now responsible for the deaths of 180,000 Americans and counting.

Under Trump’s eye with the limited restrictions he has, we’ve watched this country utterly fail to deal with a worldwide pandemic. We’ve seen thousands of immigrants (and people that just “look like immigrants”) thrown in concentration camps. And now mass hysterectomies are being performed on women in these camps against their will. This is a tactic of genocide.

We’ve seen the largest ongoing mass protest in the history of the world met with tear gas and pepper spray and sound cannons, causing bedlam on crowds of peaceful protesters.

We’ve seen a rise of white supremacist domestic terrorists, spurred by the words of the president and the support of the conservative media.
Here in Portland, we’ve seen federal agents kidnap people off the street and illegally detain them. We’ve seen journalists attacked for recording the proceedings.
And these feds are here at the behest of the DHS, under Trumps’ orders.
The feds in Portland were only the first stop, as they’ve been deployed across the United States- anywhere that the protests are happening.

And throughout all of this madness, there has been no accountability.

What we are witnessing is a full-blown fascist uprising, and somehow the media isn’t treating it as such.

While many of Trump’s actions are public, we are unaware of what happens behind the scenes. We need to get him out of office. He trails significantly in the polls. Many think he’s going to lose the popular vote again.
But we’re talking about Donald Trump, here. The man who colluded with Russia to break the 2016 election.
Even when he loses, he will hem and haw and sue and do everything he can to stay in office, because in his head, the United States is something he owns; something he is entitled to.

More to the point, the second the man is out of office, he’s got a storm of litigation coming for him. Expect Trump is going to do all he can to maintain his power, because if he doesn’t, the potential consequences could be dire.
On top of that, swathes of Trump’s support base have said in no uncertain terms that they will “take up arms” if he loses.
No matter how the votes swing, the U.S. is in for a fight.
Be prepared for that, boys and girls.
Things are going to get a lot worse before they get better.

by Love Dr. Rob

Will you become stuck with stupid?

She started off saying she didn’t know how much longer she could keep doing this. At the same time, she also said she did not want to start over. ”How many times does a woman have to keep starting over before a man gets it right”? She asked. And I replied she doesn’t have to start over at all, she can stay stuck with stupid. Is anyone in your relationship stuck with stupid?

We all have things we need and want in and from a relationship. The problem is we believe we are supposed to be in a relationship with someone before we know if they can give it to us. That’s like hiring somebody for a job before you know if they are even qualified for the position. Few of us if any complete the interview process before saying you’re hired. 

As this happens in so many cases you end up with someone who just can’t get right. It doesn’t matter how many times you show them, they just don’t get it. Here you keep investing time and energy into training and retraining and they still don’t get it. Despite all your efforts, they seem incapable of learning what you need from them, yet you refuse to let them go. So they have no incentive to learn it because they still have the position and all the benefits that come with it. 

Relationships Require Maturity

Hopefully, a light bulb just went off, but just in case you missed it. If a man or woman is receiving everything they want without having to give anything in return, most will never give anything. When you find yourself in this situation you have to make a decision. Do I continue to invest in my time and my love in someone who can’t give me what I need? Or do I cut my losses and start over?

In most cases, it feels like a lose-lose situation. At least you know what you have in them, and if you leave the next one might be worse. But the most important question you can ask yourself is how long can you stay without getting what you need?  Because now neither one of you is making sure your needs are met. 

Don’t be Stuck with Stupid

Now I’m not telling you that you should leave. If you like it, I love it. For some people, it is better to be unhappy in a relationship than be happy alone. Remember some times even a good person can be unable to love you, even though you love the hell out of them. Once you realize that it is up to you, you have to choose your happiness. If you choose to stay in a relationship where you’re not getting what you need, there will be a day when someone will see y’all together and say look they are still with stupid and you won’t be able to tell which one of you they are talking about

How to do it

by Troy Henry


Upon arrival in America, Black Americans were enslaved for several hundred years.  And the impact of this systematic and institutional practice still has a multi-generational impact on many Black Americans today.  The enslavement and de-humanization of the Africans brought to America for economic and white lifestyle purposes is truly the original sin of this country.  Our government made numerous promises of reparation (40 acres and a mule). Yet real efforts to compensate African Americans have been paltry to non-existent.  Black communities today continue to reflect inhumane conditions that are the repercussion of approximately 400 years of pain and suffering. 

A nation of people does not just snap out of this type of institutional racism.  It takes time and proactive efforts to truly attempt to right the wrongs of this sin.  Historically, oppressors have compensated their victims.  The people of Germany compensated the Jews for the Holocaust.  America compensated the Japanese people as a result of the WWII internment.  However, the White American community has never fully addressed the most heinous of all punishments inflicted on a people that are largely responsible for building this great country.

Reparations For Slavery


There has been much written recently about the need for reparations for Black Americans, and most of these articles have been thoughtful and “on point”. I would like for you to reference several outstanding articles that prompted me to write this body of work.  Each has a unique perspective and discussion regarding the need and benefits of reparations.

The link below is a CNBC article profiling the need and growing support for reparations.

The link below provides the perspective of the wealthiest Black American (Robert Smith Jr) regarding reparations.

The link below  gives you the perspective of one of America’s great entrepreneurs (Bob Johnson) regarding reparations.

The article below attempts to establish the value necessary to properly compensate Black Americans reparations.

While each of these articles and many more do an outstanding job of justifying the necessity for Black American reparations, none of them fully address the high-level implementation of such a program.  The remainder of this article will discuss a practical approach to funding the program and the benefits associated with it.



Today, the current US stock market including NYSE, NASDAQ and OTC markets have a value of approximately $37 Trillion.  This figure captures the current market value for all publicly traded enterprises.  The Federal Government has approximately $300T in assets under management in the form of property and other assets.  While it is impossible to trace each asset and company to the act of slavery or any derivative activities, many of these enterprises (public and private) were directly or indirectly the beneficiaries of this heinous systemic sin of slavery.

My approach for reparations for each individual Black American, would target any individual with a gross income of $500,000 annual income or less based on your most recent tax return.  Neither I (small business owner), Rob Smith (Vista Equity CEO), LeBron James (NBA great) or many others Black Americans would participate in this program, because they have successfully and permanently overcome the scars of slavery.  Also, individuals who immigrated to the US after 1990 would also be excluded from the program even though their ancestors may have experienced slavery, it was not in the USA and therefore would not qualify.  Based on the above qualifiers approximately 5 million out of the 45 million Black Americans would not qualify.  Based on the numbers above, a reparations payment of $10Trillion would pay to create a one-time payment of $250,000 to every Black American born before 1/1/2021 or whatever date is appropriate.

Reparations Now or No?

Is Money Available?

So how do we generate $10T without crippling the entire US economy?   Answer: Every publicly traded company would pay a 15% one-time tax on the market value of their company.  Since most companies would not have that amount of funds on hand, its payment could be made in the form of additional shares of contributed stock to the fund.  While this would cause an immediate dilution of share value, it does not put any company at a competitive disadvantage since their competitor would be subject to the exact same tax and repercussions.  As a result, over time the market will respond to this tax much like it has done to the Corona Virus.  This would generate approximately $6T for the reparations fund.

The 2nd source of funds would be the federal government.  The Federal government has the ability to issue one-time payment funds like what was done for the Corona Virus.  In addition, the federal government has un-used and under-utilized property that could be contributed to the reparations fund.  While some of this land may be less desirable, it would represent value to the fund and could be monetized if necessary.  This federal contribution would represent an approximately $4T contribution to the fund.

The reparations funds would be managed on the behalf of the Black American recipients by 10 Black-owned securities firms ($1T each), thereby making them significant players in the financial community with the power and ability to train future financial leaders of America.  The financial management firms would commit to a minimum 6% annual rate of return to remain in the program.


Each of the 40 Million Black American qualified recipients would have the option to take the cash as a non-taxable lump sum of money or as a cash dividend (non-taxable) from the fund.  Any recipient of the funds must agree not to receive any other federal government subsidies such as: food stamps, Section 8 housing voucher, etc.  Also, this would assist the federal government in reducing its entitlements budget.  For Black Americans stuck in the entitlement system, these funds represent access to self-sufficiency and self-determination.

The impact on the Black community would be immediate and extremely positive.  Allow me to give you an example of the fund’s effect.

Example 1:

Assumption: family of 4, husband and wife with 2 kids (3 & 5years old)

Recipient qualifies for $250,000 times 4 family members equals $1M

Recipient chooses to leave the funds with the fund manager and receives a 6% annual dividend equal to $60,000.

In addition to their normal income, the family has $60K non-taxable income to pay for a better school, home, or new business

Example 2

Assumption:  Single individual (age 25)

Recipient qualifies for $250,000

Recipient chooses to payoff $50,000 in debt and purchases a home without a mortgage for $200,000.

The recipient can now continue their life debt free.

Use of the proceeds can have a myriad of potential positive and negative examples, One essential element to this program will be that anyone choosing to take their funds out of the program must enroll in a financial management course to aid them in the best course of action for using these funds. Only after a person successfully completes the course will funds be distributed.


There are a significant number of benefits to this reparation program that can transform our country and attempt to make up for the nations original sin.  The US budget would be less burdened with entitlement programs due to the program, thereby allowing the government to increase funding for roads, public education, and other priorities.  America would be a more educated nation since more and better educational opportunities will emerge.  There will be more innovation due to an increase in entrepreneurship because lack of capital cripples many small businesses.  Crime will be reduced since the economic conditions for many of our fellow Black Americans will have improved significantly. 


Reparations will benefit all of America and truly compensate our most deserving citizens.  Also, reparations will diminish numerous social ills that plague portions of America today.  Most Importantly, reparations will fairly compensate Black Americas while evenly distributing this one-time economic pain.  This reparation program will help balance our nation’s budget.  Reparations will begin to truly level the playing field for all Americans.

by Kenneth Cooper

Governor and Mayor Differ on best practices

Thursday 9/10

Governor John Bel Edwards has just concluded an unnecessary and premature press conference where he announced that the state will be moving to Phase 3 on Friday. When pressed for details on how that would be implemented, the governor offers no relevant response. Oh I don’t have any details, he basically says. I’m just here to throw the mayor of New Orleans under the bus. Details, he says, will be available tomorrow.

Later that same day, Mayor Cantrell steps to the podium to address a Phase 3 hungry press and population. She does so aware businesses are failing, and citizens are becoming restless. Despite the governor’s vaguely announced path forward, there’s hope that this time the Mayor won’t have the city lag behind in moving from one phase to the next. There’s hope that this time the city and state will proceed in lock-step. Yet, as the mayor begins to speak into the microphone, she deflects.

Mayor Cantrell Says “Phase Twooo!”

A huge, win-win, monumental, all important step forward for Orleans Parish schools is announced. Pre-K – 4th grade students are returning to in-person classes. Boom! Hallelujah! Drop the confetti. Hand out the party hats. DJ, cue the Casanova. Waiter, pass the drinks around.  Not so fast. This huge, win-win, monumental, all important step forward is met with a total of zero questions. No follow ups on when will middle school and high school students return to in person classes, no questions on any protocols put in place, no questions on the data that led to this decision, nothing. Instead, the press asks the mayor a different question: Is New Orleans moving to Phase 3 or what? Answer: No.

RELATED: Should We Really Be Sending Our Kids to School

Mayor Cantrell is not happy

New Orleans is not moving to Phase 3 yet. The city won’t consider moving out of Phase 2 until there’s more information from the governor. Next question: Well what about high school football then? The LHSSA says we can go hut-hut, so will the lights be turned on at Pan-Am and Tad Gormley stadiums? Shall we polish up the pig skin? Exasperated, the mayor calls a timeout. Again, she says, New Orleans is not moving to Phase 3 yet. We will remain in Phase 2. Phase 2 means Phase 2 and all the restrictions that fall under it (under Phase 2 there are no contact sports in Orleans Parish. This is widely understood).  

It was then that Travers Mackel, famed local reporter, realizes that he hasn’t obtained his quota of gotcha quotes. He feigns confusion. So to be clear, he says, yes or no, are we not playing football in Orleans Parish? The mayor turns ten shades of purple, steps closer to the mic, then address him directly. Afterwards, the cleanup crew arrives as the place is emptying. They only have one question for Mr. Mackel, what do you want us to do with your old a$$hole?

Friday 9/11

The knives come out. They come out in the form of a resolution. Hey, if Orleans Parish won’t provide high school athletes with a space to run around, tackle each other, exchange spit, and sweat, while possibly exposing themselves to a contagious and potentially deadly virus, then Jefferson Parish sure will. Later, Mayor Cantrell stands at the podium again, fresh from crawling under one bus only to find herself thrown under another. First question: Mayor Cantrell, this resolution to allow Orleans Parish schools to play football in Jefferson Parish, what are you going to do about it? Obvious answer: prayer. The mayor restrains all fury and provides a proper southern response: for those schools that decide to go that route, God bless’em.

St. Augustine’s Leonard Fournette was an unstoppable force against John Curtis

The resolution was a clear slap in the face, a move to undermine the mayor while allowing Jefferson Parish to collect some extra side money via rental fees the schools will have to pay to use the facilities.

An addendum: Is the mayor being overly cautious? Probably. Do we need her to be? Yes. New Orleans is different from other cities or parishes in the state. There’s nobody sitting around talking about, Man I can’t wait to book my next flight to Ruston or Alexandria. But for New Orleans, there are lots of tourists just waiting to invade the Quarter, the city’s progression from one phase to the next being the determining factor whether their tickets get booked or not. And with that comes more exposure to the Coronavirus, and potentially more setbacks for business, schools, and our general way of life. So the mayor’s like, Pardon me if I’m not in a rush to put our progress in jeopardy. But if you run a business you don’t want to hear that.

You’re dying out here. There’s only so many employees you can lay off or fire before you have to put up the going out of business sign. It’s a tightrope, an unprecedented one we’re all walking. Stay tuned for the next update. Until then, just so you know, New Orleans is not moving to Phase 3 yet, and Phase 2 means Phase 2. Get it? No more questions asked.  

From our Friends at

by Mary Blowers

Teens, we know you might be struggling during this pandemic. Your social lives and your education have been upended, and we know that coping with those changes can be difficult. If you’re staying up to date on COVID-19 news, you know that certain groups are more at risk during this pandemic than others. You may not personally be high risk, but you likely know or love someone who is over the age of 60 and/or has preexisting conditions.  Surveys have shown that many adolescents have rising anxiety over the health of your family members, which can make any of your normal stressors even worse. 

In this strange time of social distancing, your anxiety is at an all time high, while your level of support may be at an all time low. We know you are stuck at home without your usual social groups and routines, so we want to offer some non-traditional support options so that you and your family can feel safe from the outside world. Luckily, there are considerable online resources on everything from home security to emotional support to addiction management that can help you to feel more at ease. Take a look at the list of mental health resources that we’ve compiled below, and then keep scrolling for support on issues related to cyberbullying, substance abuse, smartphone addiction, and more.

Mental health resources


Cyberbullying has become so wide-spread that you likely know someone who has been a victim – maybe you personally have had to face those online attacks. Unfortunately, now that everyone is online so much more, there may be even more instances of cyberbullying. Dr. Sameer Hinduja said that certain groups may be more prone to fall victim to online bullying during this pandemic: “It is also very possible that xenophobic or racist cyberbullying may go up,” she said, referencing parent complaints that their Asian children are being targeted. With this increased potential for harassment and without teachers and school staff to intervene, you may need to take advantage of online resources to keep your friends and yourself safe from cyberbullying.

Cyberbullying resources

Substance Abuse Addiction

Among teens, abusing substances as a way to cope with your isolation and anxiety is not uncommon. Since there are no legal recreational substances for teenagers, those who are utilizing illicit substances are doing it in secret, which is even more dangerous. Due to your age, you are already at a higher risk for mental illness and depression, and social isolation and pandemic worries make those concerns even worse. It’s understandable that you are looking for distraction or comfort during this time, but misused substances pose serious dangers to your health. If you or a friend have found yourself in this situation, please seek out one of these resources.

Substance abuse resources

Smartphone and Device Addiction

Drugs and alcohol are the first things that come to mind when you think of addiction, but your phones and devices can also be extremely habit-forming. As you find yourself at home and alone more now than ever, you are likely to become even more wrapped up in your phones and devices. While it may seem like a harmless outlet, there is actually considerable evidence that smartphone addiction and social media are negatively affecting mental health, making device-addicted teens more likely to struggle with depression and anxiety, as well as sleeplessness and impulsive behavior. In fact, between the years of between 2011 and 2015, there was a spike of major depressive episodes among teens increasing by 50 percent within those few years. San Diego State University Professor Jean Twenge says that smartphone use has replaced time that teens would normally spend socializing in person or sleeping. 

While you are stuck at home, you are likely increasing your screen time, and since school is remote and online for many of you, you may find yourself using devices over 7 hours a day. Teens are becoming hyper-connected to their devices even though many realize that they are online too often. Smartphone and device addiction can cause chemical disruptions in the brain, meaning that this type of addiction could be associated with damaged cognitive and emotional processing. If you or your friends are finding it impossible to disconnect, look into the resources below.

Smartphone addiction resources


Social Distance Activities

Alright, we’ve talked about how this pandemic is causing increases in mental health issues, cyberbullying and addictions, but now we want to share some alternative outlets to keep your mind off all the stressors. Exercise can be a major help when it comes to staying physically and mentally healthy. In fact, research suggests that elevated levels of aerobic activity and strength training can help reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety. Of course, exercising is more difficult to do in isolation with limited equipment, so you may need some additional resources to help you get started. If workout programs aren’t your favorite pastime, check out our list of other game and activity resources below.

Work-out resources

Games or activity resources


Meditation and Disconnecting

In addition to physical activity, meditation and self-reflection can be essential for keeping your mind healthy. The National Center for Complementary and Integrated Health says that studies have investigated meditation benefits for different conditions. Taking time to meditate may be exactly what you need to disconnect from social media and find peace in your mind and home. If you are interested in meditation, but don’t know where to start, we have a list of resources to help you get started.

Meditation resources


There are a myriad of mental and emotional obstacles that you as teenagers must navigate in near isolation during the pandemic. You may feel lonely without your usual school and social environments, which can make it especially difficult to cope with anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues. Since you are spending more time online than ever, you are at greater risk of cyberbullying and developing smartphone addiction. You may also be more sedentary than usual, not exercising or taking care of your physical health. Luckily, there are online resources, apps, communities and people out there that can help. Use our safety guide and reference links above to find the specific support you need, and most importantly, please remember that you are not alone in your struggles with the pandemic.


STFU: If You Don’t Answer the Census

by CC Campbell Rock

It’s that time again. Once in a decade, U.S. residents are asked to answer the Census. It’s common knowledge, particularly in the African-American community, that there is a matrix of fear about answering the federal head count. In 2020, however red flags are popping up that indicate it’s more important than ever to stand up and be counted and answer the Census.

One red flag was last week’s ruling by a federal judge that put a temporary halt to the Trump Administration’s effort to end the Census count prematurely on September 30, instead of October 31, 2020.

 U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in the Northern District of California issued the restraining order in favor of challengers led by the National Urban League, who filed an emergency request as part of a federal lawsuit. The order is expected to remain in effect until a court hearing is held on Sept. 17 for the plaintiffs’ request for a court order that would require counting to continue through the end of October.

This is not the first time the Trump Administration tried to finagle with the Census count. Last July, a New York judge permanently blocked Trump’s effort to target immigrants by putting a citizenship question on the Census form.

Trump Effect

RELATED: How the President is Suppressing the 2020 Census

It is abundantly clear, that Trump’s maneuvers are designed to stop the flow of federal funding to the states, which fund programs that help all of us.

Billions of federal dollars are allocated each year for programs and services based on Census-derived .  Here are a few:

Maternal and child health programs, Medicaid, Medicare, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP),WIC, Social Service Block Grant, Foster Care (Title IV-E),Head Start/Early Head Start, Federal Pell Grants. School Nutrition, State Children’s Health Insurance Program (LA-CHIP), Homeland Security , FEMA, Highway Planning & Construction, Crime Victim Assistance. Community Facilities Loans/Grants. Section 8 Housing Program, Special Education (IDEA funds), after school programs, classroom technology, free and reduced-price school lunches, affordable housing, etc.

Those critical programs get less funding when citizens are not counted. And police, firefighters, infrastructure improvements, and essential city services are also underfunded. Without proper funding, a city can’t increase the quality of life for its residents.

Additionally, redistricting is also based on Census data. Not answering the Census opens the door to structural racism in elective offices.

In Louisiana, legislators used Census data to  gerrymander state and federal districts to keep themselves in power and to suppress the vote of people of color. This is the primary reason why out of Louisiana’s six U.S. congressional seats only one is held by an African-American- New Orleans’ U.S. Congressman Cedric Richmond.

Related: Trump and Fake Facts About Black Unemployment

Effect on New Orleans

New Orleans lost one Congressional seat due to an under-count in the 2000 Census. East Baton Rouge Parish, which is predominately African-American, has been gerrymandered such that they can’t elect a person of color to represent them, even if they wanted to. Conservative Republicans dominate the Louisiana legislature because of the census under-count.

After assessing the current Census count in New Orleans, Mayor LaToya Cantrell’s Administration issued an Emergency Update. The city of New Orleans is behind in its Census Count. To date, only 56.6 percent of residents have answered the Census.

“This is an emergency now,” says Arthur Walton, the director of Intergovernmental Relations and chair of the Mayor’s Complete Count Committee, who explained that COVID-19 has made getting an accurate count difficult. “The city had a slate of cultural activities planned,” to inspire citizens to answer the Census but the events were cancelled in lieu of the state’s safer at home program that was designed to contain the virus.

The City of New Orleans’ NOLA Counts: Be in That Number Campaign enlisted the help of celebrities, elected officials, and others to encourage citizens to stand up and be counted including:

Watch these important videos

 Big Freedia

Demario Davis New Orleans Saints Linebacker

Oliver Thomas

Mayor Cantrell with Head Start Kids Census PSA

Elroy James

Mama Jamilah (Ashe’ Cultural Center)


People are still going door to door as Census workers did in the past. But Walton, the “Census quarterback,” says “For the first time people can do the Census online using their home computers, cell phones, or house phones. It only takes 10 minutes to answer the nine-question form.

Regarding people’s aversion to answering the Census, Walton says, “The president is not going to have your address.” Records are sealed for 77 years. And Census workers take an oath not to disclose personal information.  “Amazon asks for more information than the Census,” he says jokingly.

Jesus was born in Bethlehem because Joseph, his father and his mother, Mary, had to journey to Bethlehem to answer the Census. Joseph was going to his father’s house to be counted. “The Census is in the Bible, Luke, Chapter 2,”  Walton continues.

Most importantly, New Orleans needs an accurate count to receive its fair share. The feds will disperse $1.8 trillion to states based on Census data. Answering the Census is more important than ever. As a result of COVID-19, cities and states have had to spend money they didn’t anticipate. City budgets now have gaping holes with the possibility of layoffs in the near future.

Department of Labor Statistics


“During this pandemic, we need every dollar we’re entitled to,” Walton affirms. Offering an example of how the feds distributes taxpayer dollars, Walton adds, “For the CARES ACT, if you were a city of 500,000 or more you received between $1.5 and $1.8 billion directly. If you aren’t, you’re getting your money from the state. In our case, the majority red legislature appropriated money to New Orleans.”

You know the importance of each one of us standing up and being counted. Census funds provide better streets and essential services. Your descendants benefit too. The Census documents your existence. This becomes a primary source of data for descendants who want to trace their roots and family tree. African-Americans can trace their ancestry back to at least 1890, when the first American Census was taken.

The Census is a tool for Blacks to assert their constitutional rights. Intentional under-counts continues to deny Black representation in public office, Answering Census in 2020 is the remedy.

The three-fifths clause (Article I, Section 2, of the U.S. Constitution of 1787 declared that for purposes of representation in Congress, enslaved blacks in a state would be counted as three-fifths of the number of white inhabitants of that state. The three-fifths clause remained in force until the post-Civil War 13th Amendment freed all enslaved people in the United States, the 14th amendment gave them full citizenship, and the 15th Amendment granted black men the right to vote.

“I’m encouraging the community to share cell phones, tablets, and laptops with their neighbors, friends, and family members to help them fill out the Census,” Walton says. “You might be sitting on your couch right now and you can fill the Census out while you’re sitting there.  Do it now.”

by Love Dr. Rob

In the beginning neither one of them wanted anything. The agreement was it was just going to be sex nothing else. They both knew what they were signing up for from the start. I mean what could possibly go wrong?

Over time just sex turned into pillow talk. From simple conversation after to spending time and doing things together what was supposed to be casual sex had become something different. At least that was the case in one person’s eyes. For they were past the just sex – it’s looking more like a relationship. 

One day she asked the question, “what are we?” He replied, “we are friends”. She felt a way about that, because at that point that were doing way more than friend stuff. Time had past, and she thought they were growing into more. She was pissed to say the least. 

If It Ain’t His Fault, Then Whose is It?

The next thing she asked was, “when do you think it was going to be more”?  He simply answered, “you already know what it was.”  They ended up falling out, and let her tell it he played her. He had wasted her time and used her up. The truth is he hadn’t done anything wrong. 

The moral to the story is be real with yourself about what you want. Don’t settle for one thing knowing you want more. Or if you feel as though your needs and wants are changing, let the other person know. If they aren’t where you are, then it is up to you whether you stay or you leave. Just remember if that person is honest with you, they are no longer responsible for what you accept or expect. If you sign up for it and end up disappointed it ain’t his fault. 

We talked to a top doctor to get his strategies.

by Kelly Glass

Darrell Gray II, MD, MPH

Colorectal cancer is the third-most-common cancer in American men, and Black men have a more than 20 percent higher risk than white men. And there’s recently been a spike in colon cancer in young men. Fortunately, there is plenty all of us can do to try to prevent it. This is what gastroenterologist Darrell M. Gray II, M.D., M.P.H., deputy director of the Center for Cancer Health Equity at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center does to reduce his risk.

Go easy on alcohol

When I’m at a social function, I carry a carbonated beverage with me. Alcohol, especially for men, is linked with a higher risk of colon cancer. People who have two drinks a day or more raise their risk as much as one and a half times that of people who don’t drink at all. The occasional glass of red wine is enough for me.

Watch the red meat

I generally aim to avoid red meat, since it’s been linked to an increased risk of colon cancer. While, if we’re being honest, nothing exactly matches the taste and texture of a nice steak, a fresh, well-seasoned, cooked-just-right piece of fish takes up as much space on the plate and can be just as, if not more, satisfying to me.

Get moving to reduce colon cancer risk

Between meetings, procedures, patients, and research, you might catch me doing pushups in my office. Maintaining a consistent workout routine is challenging with my schedule, but I fit it in between appointments or by cycling or walking with my wife and three kids. Even adding moderate activity to a sedentary life can reduce colon-cancer risk by up to 24 percent.

Know your family history

I have a friend who says that “family secrets kill families.” Find out about your family’s medical history. With colorectal cancer, knowing if someone had it—and when—can change when you should get screened. Usually we recommend starting at age 45. But if an immediate family member was diagnosed, you might need a colonoscopy at age 40 or earlier.

Manage your stress

Stress can make everything else I do harder. So when I’m moving through my many commitments, I’m also focusing on my breathing. If stress arises, I acknowledge the cause and then I slowly and thoughtfully inhale and exhale. It helps me recenter. I’ve seen stress cause people to smoke, drink alcohol, eat excessively, or be sedentary—and all those things can increase the risk of colon cancer.

A version of this story originally appeared in the October 2019 issue of Men’s Health, with the title “Doctor’s Guide to Colon Cancer.”