Brittney Griner is being held in Russia on drug charges after vape cartridges with hashish oil were found in her luggage; Griner says it was an oversight and has pleaded guilty [Alexander Zemlianichenko/ Pool via AP]

Not surprising to anyone, a Russian court denied the appeal of Houston native and WNBA star Brittney Griner who was hoping to have her nine-year prison sentence reduced. Griner, who appeared virtually, addressed the hearing, saying, “I beg that the court takes in all of the stakes that [were] overlooked in the first court and reassess my sentence here.” Griner added that her time in the Russian prison, separated from her family, has been traumatic. In a very real and very sad way, Griner is symbolic of all Black women. She’s an undeniable superstar, as all Black women are. Griner is a master at her craft, the best on her job, just as all Black women are. And she’s being abused for all the world to see, yet no one seems to be doing a damn thing about it. Just like all the Black women we know. We all have got to do better by Brittney and by all Black women.

Attendees at the Defender’s Early Voting Rally, Saturday, Oct. 22, 2022. Photo by Jimmie Aggison. Credit: SNAP KIDS PHOTOGRAPHY

VOTE EARLY

Y’all, this is an all-hands-on-deck election. After the Jan. 6 coup attempt to discount the power of the Black vote that put Biden and Harris into the White House, the anti-democratic forces who wanted to make Donald Trump a king (read dictator for life) literally pushed and passed hundreds of voter suppression laws that are on the books right now. That’s to squash your vote and your voice. Now, they’re running election deniers for every seat imaginable, especially those state election administrator seats. Why? So, they can “officially” declare the winner of the 2024 election regardless of what the voters say. So, in a very real sense, the failed Jan. 6 coup DIDN’T FAIL! It’s still in effect, and can only be stopped by us voting. And the best way to do that is by voting early (now until Nov. 4). There are several reasons why voting early is the way to go (read about them in this paper). But suffice it to say, we have an opportunity to beat back the Jan. 6 white nationalist, insurrectionists. Let’s use it.

CHARGES DROPPED

Hervis Rogers, the brother charged with voter fraud when he waited in line for hours to vote during the March 2020 presidential primary, and was finally able to cast his vote, has had those charges dropped. You may recall that the federally-indicted Texas Attorney General, Ken Paxton, ordered Rogers’ arrest in July 2021 on charges that Rogers voted while on parole. The move by Paxton was viewed by many as theater for those looking high and low across the country for what researchers have said is a literally non-existent voter fraud issue. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals told Paxton to stand down, and the charges were dropped. The bigger issue here is Rogers was unaware he was ineligible to vote, and saw voting like he saw the two jobs he worked—as opportunities to rehabilitate his life. Paxton, however, saw an opportunity for something else.