News Briefs for week of October 14 - 20, 2022
Three student-athletes at a recent press conference apologized for their role in a mock slave auction. Screengrab.

Black HS athletes apologize for part in ‘mock’ slave auction

The three African American River Valley High School (Yuba City, CA) football players who participated in a mock “slave auction” held a press conference apologizing for their actions and saying peer pressure had a lot to do with their involvement. After a video surfaced of white and Latino students bidding on the three brothers, school district officials swiftly disciplined participants, leading to the cancelation of their football season.

“I did not want to do it but looking back I wish I had done more to stop it. When the video was made, I was not feeling good about it and I froze,” said sophomore Adrian. “Part of me knew it was wrong when it was happening and I didn’t have the courage to stop myself or my teammates and I wish I would have,” said Marcos, a junior.

But the kicker is, the Black students who were pressured into being auctioned off with belts representing nooses around their necks, received harsher punishments than the white student athletes who coordinated the “mock” auction. DAMN! And if you didn’t notice, none of the mock slave auction participating white students offered any apology for their actions.

Election administrators under attack in Texas

With the 2022 midterms less than a month away, election administrators in Texas and elsewhere continue to face levels of harassment and threats never experienced before the November 2020 presidential election. In August, the entire staff of the elections office in Gillespie County, about 80 miles west of Austin, resigned, citing threats (from “MAGA” Republicans), “dangerous misinformation” and a lack of resources. Bexar County elections administrator Jacque Callanen experienced threats also, saying, “We’re under attack.” She added that staff members were drowning in frivolous open-records requests for mail ballots and applications. Texas is one of several states targeted by right-wing activists who are seeking to throw out voter registrations and ballots, according to The New York Times. They are even harassing lifelong Republicans, pushing several to resign, choosing personal safety over doing a job they love—safeguarding fair democratic elections.

Asians, fastest-growing TX demographic, feel ignored politically 

Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) voters say candidates don’t often reach out, and that their elected officials don’t adequately represent their interests.  According to a recent report by Asian Texans for Justice, a nonpartisan organization focusing on AAPI members in the state, around 80% of AAPI Texans surveyed say their interests “are not well represented in government.” Meanwhile, a July survey from a trio of national organizations, which focuses on Asian American voters across the country, found that “less than half of them have been contacted by either of the major parties” in the past year. And these trends have continued this election cycle, amid the rapid rise of the AAPI population and their voter turnout. “We’re coming close to Election Day, and there’s a whole population you’re missing out on,” said Lily Trieu, interim executive director of Asian Texans for Justice.

George Floyd family may sue Kanye over comments

The family of George Floyd is considering suing Kanye West over comments he made about Floyd’s death. Though Dr. Andrew Baker, Hennepin County’s chief medical examiner who performed Floyd’s autopsy, testified that Floyd died because of “cardiopulmonary arrest” brought on by “law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression” by former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, West says it was a drug overdose that caused Floyd’s death. During a recent podcast, West said, “I watched the George Floyd documentary that Candace Owens put out. One of the things that his two roommates said was they want a tall guy like me, and the day that he died, he said a prayer for eight minutes. They hit him with the fentanyl. If you look, the guy’s knee wasn’t even on his neck like that.” Civil Rights attorney Lee Merritt tweeted that the Floyd family “was contemplating filing a lawsuit against West.”