In May of 2011, Rob O’Neill and a group of America’s most experienced Navy SEALS embarked on Operation Neptune Spear. After giving the go ahead from Obama and the U.S. Military, the team flew to Pakistan where Bin Laden was hiding out in a highly secured compound. What happened next would change history forever and etch O’Neill into the history books as the man who put Bin Laden six feet under.
Watch as O’Neill sits down with Joe to discuss his incredible life story where he went from an unassuming kid from Montana to becoming one of the government’s most skilled assassins. Rob shares his experiences training as a SEAL, how it impacted his family life, the phenomenal missions he completed, and the psychological toll it took on him. Rob gives us full vulnerability as he shares his story of life, loss, and unrelenting drive to push past fear and towards victory.
This is the first installment of Humans, a new talk series where Joe interviews some of the most unique people in the world to shed light on their one in a million experiences. This is a big step away from the music industry and away from Joe Budden’s typical demographic. Humans aims to show viewers people with unbelievable stories that only they could live through.
Sylvia Mendez knows a thing or two about breaking barriers. But, as she noted Wednesday, this may have been her first time cutting a ceremonial ribbon.
Not far from where she and her brothers were denied enrollment at a school because of their Mexican heritage, setting in motion a landmark desegregation case with national reverberations, the civil rights icon visited Westminster High School to help dedicate a brand new learning pavilion named in her honor.
“I am very aware how much work went into putting this together,” Mendez said. “Muchísimas gracias. I am so grateful, and so thank you. Thank you very much.”
On an outside wall, a towering mural created by artist Chuck Adame — with the help of fellow artists Israel “Ezra” Cervantes and Jose Joaquin — captures both the vision of the pavilion and the significance of Mendez v. Westminster.
The dignified profile of Sylvia Mendez occupies the top left corner of the mural, along with the year her case was resolved. Also depicted are her parents, Gonzalo and Felicitas Mendez, the Presidential Medal of Freedom she was awarded in 2011, a blindfolded Lady Justice, books with the term “equality” written on their spines in multiple languages, and the Japanese kanji character for “harmony.” The latter symbolizes the family’s bond with members of the Munemitsu family who leased their farmland to the Mendezes after being ordered to an internment camp for Japanese Americans during World War II.
This story begins in 1943, also in Westminster. That’s where Gonzalo and Felicitas Mendez tried to enroll Sylvia and her brothers, Geronimo and Gonzalo, at 17th Street School, known as “the white school.”
But district officials directed the family to Hoover Elementary, a campus for Mexican American children. Sylvia Mendez, just 8 years old at the time, would later describe Hoover as “a terrible little shack” with dirt for a playground.
Her parents hired a local attorney, who later consolidated the case with four other Orange County families who were willing to take legal action. Mendez, et al v. Westminster claimed that 5,000 children throughout the county were unjustly harmed by unconstitutional segregation policies.
The families won a groundbreaking victory in the U.S. District Court in 1946 that was upheld by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals the following year. On May 17, 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its Brown v. Board of Education decision, which asserted that all laws promoting school segregation were unconstitutional.
Gonzalo Mendez died in 1964, and Felicitas Mendez died in 1998. In accordance with her mother’s wishes, Sylvia Mendez has spent much of her post-retirement life speaking publicly about the case and talking to students about the importance of education.
She’s now 85, and there is little doubt that her efforts to raise awareness have been successful, expanding the case’s profile across the country.
The Santa Ana Unified School District opened Gonzalo Felicitas Mendez Fundamental Intermediate School in 2000. More recently, the Westminster School District rededicating its central office with a marquee that reads, “Westminster School District, In Honor of La Familia Mendez.” And last year, Felicitas Mendez became the subject of a Google Doodle.
“In Mendez v. Westminster there was no violence, I have to tell you,” she said. “People came together to right a wrong. It took my parents and the other families a lot of courage. This court case is all about the struggle for equal education and for basic human rights.”
Its hard to predict whether Dick Gregory will be most celebrated as a path-breaking comedian or a trailblazing civil rights activist. Its impossible to imagine the history of either movement without him—or without his unique blending of the two. In the early 1960s, he became one of the first black comedians to perform before integrated audiences. In 1967, he ran for mayor of Chicago against Richard J. Daley, and a year later for president as the Freedom and Peace Party candidate. The author of and contributor to many politically charged books, Gregory is still a staunch, wry political voice across a range of issues as varied as nutrition, social justice, and the environment. Chicago Sun-Times columnist Laura Washington interviews the provocative and always unpredictable Gregory.
This week, the Biden administration announced that it would resume efforts to put the image of Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill, a move first championed by the Obama administration in 2016. Biden press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday that the Treasury Department is “exploring ways to speed up” the process to ensure the 19th century freedom fighter is recognized.
“It’s important that our notes, our money — if people don’t know what a note is — reflect the history and diversity of our country,” Psaki said during a White House press briefing. “Harriet Tubman’s image gracing the new $20 note would certainly reflect that.”
Many initially praised the move put forth by Obama-era Treasury Secretary Jack Lew to highlight the American abolitionist. To supporters, the idea of having Tubman, herself an ex-slave, replace former President Andrew Jackson, a slave owner, is a bold rebuke to an ugly era in American history.
But some Black activists say putting Tubman on the $20 bill is an uneasy fit with her legacy.
“Harriet Tubman did not fight for capitalism, free trade or competitive markets,” Feminista Jones, an activist, author and advocate, wrote in an op-ed for the Washington Post in 2015.
“She repeatedly put herself in the line of fire to free people who were treated as currency themselves,” Jones added. “She risked her life to ensure that enslaved Black people would know they were worth more than the blood money that exchanged hands to buy and sell them. I do not believe Tubman, who died impoverished in 1913, would accept the ‘honor.’”
Tubman, born into slavery around 1822, was the fourth of nine children, and grew up working in cotton fields in Dorchester County, Md. In 1849, Tubman escaped her plantation under the cover of darkness, following the North Star to Philadelphia, and at 27 years old began working as a maid. After saving enough money the following year, she returned to the South to liberate her sister’s family. Over the next 10 years, Tubman helped more than 700 slaves escape to freedom, becoming the most well known of the Underground Railroad’s “conductors.”
Jones, in an interview with Yahoo News this week, questioned why putting Tubman on a bill would honor her legacy.
“Why would we want to put somebody who fought for freedom from this kind of capitalist oppression?” Jones asked. “Why would we want to take her image and then make her the face of this thing that so many people lack access to?”
“I’ve studied Harriet Tubman extensively,” she added. “If there’s one thing that I understand, is that she did not get recognized for all of the amazing things that she did. She died a pauper, and she was a U.S. veteran. The [country] should have honored her as a veteran. She was the only woman to lead a raid for the Union Army. That in itself is just an amazing accomplishment for the all-women crowd. So why not acknowledge that?”
Instead of putting a Black woman, or any woman of color, on a note, Jones says Black women merely want to be valued equitably in society.
“When it comes to representation, I’ll be quite honest, I don’t care much about it,” Jones said. “Representation without action, without policy change, without improvement of daily life means nothing to me.”
Historically, Black women have made a fraction of what white men and women make, despite being the most educated population in the country. For every dollar a white man earns for work in the United States, a white woman earns 79 cents and a Black woman earns just 62 cents, according to a 2019 Bureau of Labor Statistics report.
The median net worth of Black women in America paints an even grimmer picture. Single Black women ages 20 to 39 with children but without a bachelor’s degree have a median net worth of $0, according to a 2017 report from the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity. Single Black women ages 20 to 39 with a bachelor’s degree fare even worse, having a median net worth range of -$11,000 to $0. White women, on the other hand, fare considerably better. Single white women ages 20 to 39 with a bachelor’s degree have a median net worth range of $3,400 to $7,500.
The push to have Tubman on the $20 bill was initially set to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the women’s suffrage movement in 2020. But the year came and went without any revision to the $20 bill.
The plan to put Tubman on the $20 bill stalled under the Trump administration. Donald Trump, while still a candidate in 2016, called the push to replace Jackson with Tubman “pure political correctness.” He hailed Jackson as his political hero and installed a portrait of the former president in the Oval Office amid criticism from some historians and activists who noted that Jackson, in addition to being a slave owner, committed genocide against Native Americans.
However, not everyone is so supportive of the move. Ashley Stevens, a Black Twitter user with a substantial following, said she thinks “there’s some sort of perversion” in putting Tubman on the bill.
“A woman who was traded as capital becoming the face of capital doesn’t sit right with my spirit,” Stevens said Monday in a tweet that went viral. “If you wanna honor Tubman there are much better ways to do so that would change the material benefits of people’s lives. Build schools, parks, a historical center, etc in her name. Putting her face on the 20 dollar bill isn’t even a feel good. It’s giving me the yucks.”
Early ballots were printed using letterpress with the voter writing in the candidates name by hand. These pre-printed tickets from the 1850s made it easy confirm the sale of intoxicating liquors in Boston.
2) Ballots as Propaganda
Ballots were often used to illustrate a particular party platform, like this vivid anti-Chinese ticket for the Workingmen’s party in San Francisco. Several parties touted the protection of White labor, culminating in the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, the first federal law barring a specific ethnicity from immigrating to America.
3) Impressive Displays of Typographic Grandstanding
The mid- and late-nineteenth century was a period of heavy experimentation in the printing world. Wood type, metal type, and lithography were often combined, creating layouts that are impressive displays of typographic grandstanding.
4) DIY Ballots
Ballot modifications were not discouraged by political parties and were so habitual that small strips of gummed paper called “pasters” would be sent to voters or handed out at the polls. Glue pots were provided at polling stations so voters could literally stick alternative candidates’ names on top of the printed ones. Ballots layouts became more elaborate as a reflection of the period style, but also served as an attempt to foil pasting efforts with serpentine typesetting.
5) The Australian Ballot
The adoption of the new Australian ballot format in the late 1880s was a radical shift in format, but these examples are more aligned with ballots we recognize today. Mandated by the government, all candidates were listed by office and the ballot was cast in private. Despite the regulations, modifications still persisted, like this New York ballot from 1914 that used tiny emblems to denote party affiliation. Voters were now able to freely select candidates across different parties, but detractors claimed the layout was too arduous as the volume of candidates and offices necessitated sometimes huge and unwieldy trim sizes.
Ballot reformers like civic activist Richard Childs proposed ‘short ballots’ to simplify the decision making process and make it easier for the average voter. “The people must take an interest in all their electoral work if they are to be masters. If they do not take an interest in a given ballot, there are two solutions—change the people or change the ballot,” he wrote in his 1911 book, Short Ballot Principles. “As the people are too big to be spanked, and since human nature in the mass responds but slowly to prayer, it is good sense to change the ballot.”
Harris, now 55 and picked last week by former Vice President Joe Biden to be his running mate in November’s national election, was born in in 1964 in the western city of Oakland, California. She is the daughter of an Indian woman who had emigrated to the U.S. to attend graduate school and a father from Jamaica, making her the first Black woman to be on a major party national ticket in the U.S.
Under the U.S. Constitution, she is an American by birthright, by being born in the U.S.
Because of the league’s rigorous approach to reducing the novel coronavirus risk to players, there were no fans, no cheerleaders and no mascots at the first scrimmage before the NBA resumes regular season play on July 30. A cameraman was positioned on the sideline, two ballboys in masks and gloves sat on the baseline, and two scouts and roughly a dozen media members watched from about 15 feet back from the court.
Fourteen people, including the public address announcer, official scorer, shot clock operator and team public relations officials, sat at a courtside table, which was surrounded by tall Plexiglas walls, like a hockey penalty box, to limit contact with players and coaches. All told, there appeared to be fewer than 200 people visible from the court, including the players and coaches, who sat on physically distanced chairs and hydrated with personal bottles rather than large buckets. Some members of the coaching staff and inactive players wore masks on the bench as they took their seats for the first time since the NBA season was indefinitely suspended March 11.
The Trump campaign is fundraising with new “#YouAintBlack” T-shirts based on controversial comments by former Vice President Joe Biden
The shirts, which cost $30, were revealed on the Trump campaign site’s shop just hours after Biden sparked criticism on Friday with his comment on Charlamagne Tha God’s radio show “The Breakfast Club.”
“Well I tell you what, if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black,” Biden said on the show.
One of the customers at the restaurant posted several photos of the establishment, crowded by people including children. A piñata featuring an Asian caricature wearing a conical rice-paddy hat and a Fu Manchu mustache was on display.
Before taking down their official Facebook page, the restaurant responded to one of the messages in an attempt to defend itself, saying, “This character was Hispanic.”