The White House wants to boycott T.I. and Elizabeth Warren releases DNA
The White House wants to boycott T.I. and Elizabeth Warren releases DNA
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October 15, 2018
Kamala Harris Intervenes on African Deportations, Grace Meng Comes for Commerce, and Trevor Noah Adds to the Team
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I’M PRESIDENT, AND YOU’RE NOT... That’s what Donald Trump told Leslie Stahl during Sunday night’s episode of 60 Minutes. He also denied climate change, tried to divert talk of Russia by blaming China for election meddling, refused to commit that he wouldn’t interfere with Robert Mueller’s investigation, threatened to impose more tariffs on China, defended his “love” for North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, and expressed no regret for mocking Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. SECEDE FROM THE UNION... At an Ohio rally, the president praised Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee while asking Black voters to “honor us” by voting Republican. True story. POCAHONTAS THIS... Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) has released the results of a DNA test which say she has “strong evidence’’ she had a Native American relative in her family tree six to 10 generations ago. Speaking of Native American... AFFIRMATIVE ACTION... The family of House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) won more than $7 million in no-bid and other federal contracts at U.S. military installations and other government properties in California by falsely claiming to be Native American. Will this earn him a nickname from the president? CONFIRMED... The Senate voted to confirm Eric Dreiband -- who defended North Carolina House Bill 2, a discriminatory law designed specifically to target transgender North Carolinians for discrimination -- to lead the Civil Rights Division at the DOJ. WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL... The White House is expected to hire Pat Cipollone as Counsel. He is expected to start as Don McGahn's replacement within two weeks. SLIDING DOWN THE POLLS... A Washington Post-ABC News poll found that 72% of people of color who are registered voters are planning to cast ballots during next month’s midterms. And they’re not alone. THERE WILL BE AN UBER AMOUNT OF VOTERS. NEED A LYFT? With less than a month until the 2018 midterms, ride-sharing companies Uber and Lyft have announced plans to offer free and discounted rides to the polls. CAUGHT ON VIDEO... Senator David Perdue (R-GA) snatched a student’s phone while he was being asked about possible voter suppression in the state. ROYAL DELIVERY... Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are expecting their first baby due in the spring. BOYCOTT T.I.? A new video short from rapper T.I. featuring a nude Melania Trump look-alike dancing suggestively on the desk in the Oval Office prompted the First Lady’s spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham to respond, asking, “How is this acceptable?” She tweeted Saturday evening adding the hashtags “#disgusting” and “#boycottT.I.” SWAGGER LIKE US... Have millions of readers? We respect and salute that. But spitting real life with this hot Beat, we’re the truth at. We’re kicking off the week with this...
  • Puerto Rican voters increase bigly in Florida.
  • The Daily Show team just got bigger. Meet the new addition below.
  • China hit U.S. companies. Now Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) wants answers.
  • Cherokee Nation appeals ICWA ruling.
  • FCC's Ajit Pai tells a court to stay in their lane.
  • Coca-Cola names new diversity chief.
  • Catch The Beat DC’s Tiffany D. Cross today on Fox News’ Overtime Outnumbered with Harris Faulkner at 1P EDT and again on MSNBC’s Deadline: White House with Nicolle Wallace at 4P EDT.
PBS’ Alicia Menéndez and NY Democratic congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez last week at The Wing in DC.
Fox News’ Eboni Williams last Saturday at the Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in LA.
They Escaped Slavery, Now They Are Threatened with Deportation. Kamala Harris, Bennie Thompson, and Joyce Beatty Are Trying to Stop It.
Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA)
led a group of lawmakers in a bicameral letter calling on Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to cease the deportation of Black Mauritanian nationals, who face the threat of race-based discrimination, violence, or slavery if forced to return to Mauritania -- a country in northwest Africa. Joined by her House colleagues Bennie Thompson (D-MS), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), and Joyce Beatty (D-OH), the lawmakers are hoping to appeal to the Trump administration despite its hard anti-immigration stance. Most of the approximately 3,000 Black Mauritanians in the U.S. have been in America since the late 1990s, arriving after being violently expelled and stripped of citizenship by their government because of their race and ethnicity. “It is unconscionable for the United States to deport these individuals back to Mauritania, where they will likely be denied basic human rights and possibly persecuted and enslaved,” the lawmakers wrote. The Trump administration has deported 79 Mauritanians this year alone. While there is no official data, international anti-slavery groups have estimated the number of people living in slavery in the country to be up to 43,000, or 1% of the population. Local rights groups have estimated, however, that as much as 20% of the population is enslaved, with tens of thousands of people living as domestic servants, child brides, and forced laborers. Potentially thousands of other Mauritanians who could be at risk of deportation from the U.S. Has the State Department’s assessment of conditions in Mauritania or of risks and dangers for deportees in Mauritania informed DHS' deportations of Mauritanians? That’s just one question to which the lawmakers are demanding answers. They also ask each department if they have general policies and procedures regarding deportations of individuals to nations with governments that previously expelled such individuals on the basis of race or ethnicity. They go on, asking additional pressing questions and give each agency head 60 days to respond. Read the full letter here.

Chinese Spies Got to Amazon and Apple, Now Catherine Cortez Masto Wants Answers
Chinese spies reportedly reached almost 30 U.S. companies, including Amazon and Apple, by inserting chips into computer hardware during the manufacturing process. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) wants the Trump administration to look into this reported manipulation of U.S. tech and provide answers. The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) “designed and manufactured” microchips to be surreptitiously planted within the motherboards of servers assembled by Super Micro Computer Inc. (also known as Supermicro). Then, Elemental Technologies -- which has contracts to sell technology to U.S. national security agencies -- installed these motherboards in servers used by the CIA and the Department of Defense, as well as at least 30 companies. “If true, the U.S. government servers, networks, and the sensitive information they contain could be compromised by a country that poses a significant strategic challenge to the United States. Additionally, any malicious PLA effort could have severe implications for the privacy of data for American consumers purchasing products from American technology firms.” In the letter, also authored by Cortez Masto’s colleagues Edward Markey (D-MA) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH), the Senators ask the Trump administration to provide timely answers on the extent of government ownership of technology with Chinese government microchips, whether such devices are still in use, and any information concerning these microchips being implanted in technology that is utilized by U.S. companies. See the full letter here.

Grace Meng Said Commerce Sec Lied to Her and Must Be Investigated by DOJ
Congresswoman Grace Meng (D-NY)
sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Friday asking him to investigate Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross for possible crimes related to making false statements with respect to documents required by law to be submitted to Congress. Ross testified before Congress that adding the citizenship question wasn’t even his department’s idea; it supposedly happened because the Justice Department requested it. But looks like what actually happened was the Commerce Department asked the DOJ to ask the Commerce Department to ask for the citizenship question, to create what was in effect a false paper trail to cover up what it was actually doing. Many argue that the addition of the question is intended to discourage immigrants, especially Hispanics, from registering with the Census. The decennial count, overseen by the Commerce Department, is used to determine electoral boundaries as well as a host of government programs and benefits. It’s also important to note that a citizenship question has not appeared on the decennial Census for 70 years. The story the administration came up with was that the citizenship question is necessary in order to properly enforce the Voting Rights Act -- an assertion many have called a lie. The DOJ said Thursday that the idea of the citizenship question came from Trump advisors, including former advisor Steve Bannon. And while responding to a question from Meng, Ross said he was not aware of any discussions with White House advisers before he began looking into the idea. “He lied straight to my face,” Meng said. DOJ’s additional document reveals that Ross had spoken directly with Bannon about adding a citizenship question. “I don’t like being lied to. I’m absolutely incensed that Secretary Ross lied to me when I asked him if he had spoken with anyone in the White House about adding a citizenship question to the 2020 Census,” said Meng. Read her full letter to Sessions here.

Civil rights activist Colin Kaepernick accepting the W.E.B. Du Bois Medal at Harvard University last week.
National Domestic Workers Alliance’s Irene Jor and Ai-jen Poo last weekend showing off their new swag to support GA Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams.
Trump Administration Wants to Separate Migrant Families, Again.
Here we go again. Donald Trump over the weekend defended his administration's controversial "zero tolerance” immigration policy and confirmed that his administration is considering a new policy to separate migrant families at the U.S.-Mexico border. During Sunday’s 60 Minutes, Trump tried to blame former President Barack Obama for the family separation policy, claiming the same happened under that administration -- a claim PolitiFact has rated this "false." When Correspondent Leslie Stahl pushed Trump on a possible new family separation policy, Trump wouldn’t commit to an answer. "What I can say is this: There are consequences from coming into a country, namely our country, illegally," he replied. But on Friday, WaPo reported the administration was once again considering separating underage children from their parents. One option under consideration is for the government to detain asylum-seeking families together for up to 20 days at first, before presenting parents with a heartbreaking choice: stay in family detention with their child as their immigration case works its way through the courts -- which in many cases takes months or even years, or let their children to be taken to a government shelter so other relatives or guardians can seek custody. In addition to outrage from pro-immigrant groups and legal challenges, any effort to expand family detentions and resume separations would face challenges in implementation from within -- the administration’s communications failures made them struggle to keep track of separated parents and children. The policy consideration comes as more than 100 children remain separated from their families as a result of Trump’s first policy, 81 days after a deadline imposed by a federal judge. Congresswomen Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA) and Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) sent a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen requesting that they brief members of Congress on the prolonged detention of unaccompanied children. More on the possible new policy here.

Cherokee Nation to Appeal Decision on Native American Adoptions 
The Cherokee Nation plans to appeal a decision last week that struck down the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) -- a law governing the adoptions of Native American children. Beat DC readers will recall that the law, which was meant to keep the children within Native American families, was deemed unconstitutional last week by a federal judge in Texas. U.S. District Judge Reed O'Connor found that the law illegally gives Native American families preferential treatment in adoption proceedings for Native American children based on race. The decision has shocked Native American advocates who have relied upon the law to help promote stability and keep Native American families and tribes together. For now, the decision only sets a binding precedent in the Northern District of Texas. But if the tribe loses an appeal at the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, it could push the case to the Supreme Court, giving the justices a chance to strike down ICWA nationwide. "This is the only federal court that has ever found ICWA to be unconstitutional on its face or as applied. No Circuit or Supreme Court opinions over the past 40 years have found any provision of ICWA to be unconstitutional even though these arguments have been raised, including in the Supreme Court. We strongly believe that in the end, ICWA will be affirmed and reinforced," said Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker. More here.

MSNBC’s Mariana Atencio getting ready to cover Hurricane Michael in FL last week.
TX Democratic congressional candidate Sri Kulkarni visiting the BAPS Swaminarayan Temple in Houston last weekend.
Ajit Pai’s FCC Tells Court it Has No “Legal Authority” to Impose Net Neutrality Rules
The FCC opened the defense of its net neutrality repeal last Thursday by telling a U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit that it has no authority to keep the net neutrality rules in place. Chairman Ajit Pai claims the FCC can both repeal its own rules and preempt states from enacting similar ones because broadband is an interstate service and state rules conflict with the "federal policy of nonregulation." As an information service, broadband cannot be subject to common carrier regulations such as net neutrality rules, Pai argues. The FCC is only allowed to impose common carrier regulations on telecommunications services. California forged ahead, adopting a law of its own and triggering a lawsuit from the Justice Department earlier this month. The agency said its evidence showed the Obama-era net neutrality rules had stifled investment in broadband expansion, justifying the decision to wipe the protections off its books. This now sets the stage for a heated legal battle over the government’s ability to regulate the Internet. At the heart of the fight is how, exactly, the government characterizes broadband Internet access provided by telecom giants such as AT&T, Comcast, Charter, and Verizon. State attorneys general, consumer advocates, and top tech companies have sharply rebuked the FCC’s rationale for eliminating net neutrality rules. Telecom giants have backed the Trump administration’s move. But other tech giants such as Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Twitter are fighting Pai’s repeal and filed their own brief with the DC court in August under the banner of their lobbying groups, including the Internet Association. More here.

The Daily Show Adds New Correspondent 
The Daily Show welcomed Jaboukie Young-White last week. The 24-year-old comedian and filmmaker joined the popular political satire show as a Correspondent. The Chicago native comes to the Comedy Central series with a fair amount of experience at making people laugh. Beginning in late 2016, several of his memes, tweets, and posts went viral. He subsequently gained prominence on social media where he grew a large following. He began performing first at Chicago clubs before relocating to New York and has since appeared twice on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon, where he came out as gay. He has also worked on two Netflix series, as a writer for American Vandal and a story editor for Big Mouth. He attended DePaul University before dropping out his senior year to pursue his career in comedy. He joins Trevor Noah’s Daily Show with current talking heads Ronny Chieng, Michael Kosta, Desi Lydic, Dulce Sloan, and Roy Wood Jr. Young-White made his debut on last night's episode to discuss why young people aren't voting. Watch it here.
Meet the Inaugural Class of FRONTLINE/Firelight Investigative Journalism Fellows
Juliana Schatz Preston
and Roopa Gogineni have been selected as the first recipients of the FRONTLINE/Firelight Investigative Journalism Fellowship, which aims to address the need for more diverse voices, perspectives, and experiences within the field of investigative journalism. Preston is a Colombian American documentary filmmaker who will focus on making a short documentary. The 2008 Northeastern graduate, who received her Master’s from Columbia University, has previously worked on films for the Kirk Documentary Group and FRONTLINE, as well as The GroundTruth Project and Al Jazeera. She also co-directed and produced the short film, Los Comandos, which has been on the festival circuit and was shortlisted for an IDA Award. Gogineni is an independent photojournalist, filmmaker, and radio journalist based in Nairobi, Kenya. The University of Pennsylvania graduate, who has her Master’s from the University of Oxford, will focus on making an episode of FRONTLINE’s original narrative podcast, The FRONTLINE Dispatch. In six years of reporting from East Africa, Gogineni has contributed to The New York Times, Al Jazeera, The Guardian, VICE, CNN, NPR, and PRI, among others. Most recently, she directed the award-winning New York Times Op-Doc, I Am Bisha: The Rebel Puppeteers of Sudan. More here.

Singer Patti LaBelle and journalist Ed Gordon on Thursday at The Executive Leadership Council Gala in DC.
MI Democratic congressional candidate Rashida Tlaib, Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), and NM Democratic congressional candidate Deb Haaland at the She The People Summit last month in San Francisco.
Coca-Cola Names New Chief D&I Officer
Lori George Billingsley
has been named the new Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at The Coca-Cola Company. In her new role, she’ll be tasked with leading the company’s global diversity and inclusion center of excellence, including the diversity, inclusion, and workplace fairness teams for Coca-Cola North America. Since 2002, Billingsley has held multiple community, communication, and shareowner affairs roles within both the corporate and Coca-Cola North America public affairs and communications divisions. She most recently served as the VP of Community Relations for Coca-Cola North America, where she oversaw community giving, engagement, and volunteerism. Prior to joining Coca-Cola, Billingsley was a VP at Porter Novelli in DC and also founded her own consulting firm, LG Communications. She serves on several boards, including the Board of Directors of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Inc., ColorComm, NAACP Foundation, and more. The Howard University graduate, who also has a Master’s from American University, began her career in government as a Senior Public Affairs Specialist at the Office of Human Rights and Minority Business in DC. More here.
HRC Names Nicole Cozier as SVP for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) last week named Nicole Cozier as SVP for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion -- a new position dedicated to expanding the organization’s commitment to diversity and equity throughout its programs, activities, and senior-level decisions. Cozier first joined HRC in 2016 as the Director of Diversity and Inclusion. Before joining HRC, she was the COO of the Washington Area Women’s Foundation -- a foundation dedicated exclusively to increasing the economic security of economically vulnerable women and girls. There, she also served as Chief of Strategic Operations and as Philanthropic Education Officer. Cozier has worked in various capacities for Women & Philanthropy and served as the organization’s representative for the Joint Affinity Group -- a collaborative of identity-based affinity groups working to pursue more equity for diverse communities. The University of Toronto graduate, who also holds an MBA and MS from Temple University, began her career in women’s health and reproductive health and rights for organizations including Planned Parenthood, Cooper Health System, and Ovarian Cancer National Alliance. More here.

Comedian George López, ABC News’ John Quiñones, and actor Edward Olmos in New Mexico over the weekend.
The View’s Whoopi Goldberg on Friday donning her custom designs backstage at the British TV show Loose Women in London.
Puerto Rican Voters Increase Drastically in Florida
There are now an estimated 40,000 newly registered Puerto Rican voters in Central Florida this year alone, according to Hispanic outreach groups. And even before the historic Hurricane Maria drove an estimated tens of thousands of Puerto Ricans to settle in Florida, about 1.2 million Puerto Ricans already lived in the state. Now Florida’s Puerto Rican population rivals that of New York -- the main destination of the mid-20th century’s migration from the island. The number of Hispanic registered voters in Florida has increased by 6.2% since the 2016 presidential election, to a record 2.1 million people, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of Florida state government data. Hispanics now make up a record 16.4% of Florida’s registered voters, up from 15.7% in 2016. This growing population in the battleground state will definitely impact Florida's hotly contested gubernatorial race between Democratic Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum and his Republican opponent Ron Desantis. The number of Hispanics registered as Democrats has increased by 5%, approximately twice the 2% growth rate for Hispanics registered as Republicans. RealClearPolitics has ranked the race a "toss-up" with an average of polling giving Gillum a slight edge. Florida has not elected a Democratic Governor since 1994. A poll released last week showed Gillum is leading among independent voters, and among Hispanic voters by 63 to 24%. One reason the former Congressman is trailing Gillum is healthcare. It’s a pivotal issue in a state where people of color, Latino people, in particular, account for the bulk of the state’s uninsured residents. The two were set to square off in their first debate on Tuesday, but Gillum announced Saturday that he would miss the first of three scheduled debates as he directs hurricane cleanup efforts in Tallahassee. Another debate is scheduled for October 21st on CNN, and a third is scheduled at Broward College on October 24th. More here.
BLAH BLAH BLOGS
FOMO
Tuesday, October 16th, 6P: “Keeping the Dream Alive: A Conversation with Julián Castro” hosted by the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law. Tishman Auditorium, Vanderbilt Hall, 40 Washington Square South, NYC. Click here for more information.
Sunday, October 21st - Friday, October 26th: National Congress of American Indians’ 75th Annual Convention & Marketplace, “Honoring the Past, Shaping the Future.” Hyatt Regency Denver, 650 15th St., Denver, CO. Click here for more information.
Monday, October 22nd - Friday, November 2nd: The March on Washington Film Festival holds Legacy 21st: an online summit of arts & ideas 50 years after King. Click here for more information
Sunday, October 28th - Tuesday, October 30thThe Atlantic, The Aspen Institute, and Bloomberg Philanthropies' CityLab 2018, a summit to address the most urgent urban issues of our time. Westin Book Cadillac Hotel, 1114 Washington Blvd, Detroit, MI. Click here for more information.
Thursday, November 15th - Friday, November 16th: Men of Color in Communications Business Summit, a two-day conference bringing together more than 300 men of color in marketing, advertising, media, PR, and the digital space. Speakers include Jeffrey Litvack, CEO, AdWeekRodney Williams, CEO, Belvedere Vodka; Jana Fleishman, EVP Strategic Marketing, Roc Nation (JAY-Z's Publicist); and many more. Bloomberg Corporate Headquarters, 731 Lexington Avenue, NYC. Click here for more information.
Wednesday, November 28th: The Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute convenes a tech summit. Newseum, 555 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., DC. Click here for more information
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