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The 44 Percent: Hate crimes, Barbara Jordan & gold fronts

·3 min read

Happy Hispanic Heritage Month, y’all! In an effort to spread the love, I’ll be ceding the newsletter’s intro to some of my Hispanic colleagues over the next few weeks.

One of the things I love about Miami is that this place truly is a melting pot. And in order for us to reach a level of equality, having empathy and understanding other cultures is paramount. You’ll be hearing from El Nuevo Herald multi-hyphenate Jimena Tavel and Miami Herald city of Miami reporter Joey Flechas, among others.

They’ll be able to share a unique perspective that this newsletter has lacked. I’m super excited for what they have to say.

C. Isaiah Smalls II author card
C. Isaiah Smalls II author card

INSIDE THE 305

Barbara Jordan smiles as she tours for the first-time FMU’s Commissioner of Excellence Collection on Wednesday, September 15, 2021. The Collections displayed artifacts representing Jordan’s long political career and accolades. Former Miami-Dade Commissioner Barbara Jordan was honored by Florida Memorial University with the unveiling of the “Barbara J. Jordan Commissioner of Excellence Collection” inside the Nathan W. Collier Library at Florida Memorial University in Miami Gardens, Florida.
Barbara Jordan smiles as she tours for the first-time FMU’s Commissioner of Excellence Collection on Wednesday, September 15, 2021. The Collections displayed artifacts representing Jordan’s long political career and accolades. Former Miami-Dade Commissioner Barbara Jordan was honored by Florida Memorial University with the unveiling of the “Barbara J. Jordan Commissioner of Excellence Collection” inside the Nathan W. Collier Library at Florida Memorial University in Miami Gardens, Florida.

Ex-Commissioner Barbara Jordan honored with exhibit at Florida Memorial University:

Florida Memorial University put their own spin on the axiom “give someone their flowers”with their latest exhibit, honoring former Miami-Dade Comissioner Barbara Jordan.

Since her entry into the public sphere roughly 50 years ago, Jordan has been one of the fiercest advocates for Black and brown Miamians. The exhibit — entitled the the Barbara J. Jordan Commissioner of Excellence Collection: “Labor, Learning, Leadership, and Legacy” — is just FMU’s way of saying thank you:

The collection itself takes viewers on an intimate journey through Jordan’s life and shows how her upbringing shaped her politics. Included are family portraits, a book of every piece of legislation she sponsored and even letters between her and her now-deceased husband Eddie Jordan.

“I just didn’t want the exhibit to be boring,” said Jordan, who saw it for the first time after cutting the ribbon Wednesday afternoon. The average college student wouldn’t “come just to look at an exhibit unless it’s tied to something that would explain things to them.”

FMU, however, didn’t stop there. In addition to the collection, students will be able to enroll in a masterclass that utilizes Jordan’s life as a blueprint for teaching the next generation of leaders how to have a successful career in politics.

Miami police watch in Wynwood during the “Pride riot” on Sunday on June 28, 2020, marking the 51st anniversary of the beginning of the 1969 Stonewall riots in New York City to advance LGBTQ rights.
Miami police watch in Wynwood during the “Pride riot” on Sunday on June 28, 2020, marking the 51st anniversary of the beginning of the 1969 Stonewall riots in New York City to advance LGBTQ rights.

Hate Crimes in Florida appeared to have dropped in 2020. That’s not necessarily true:

There’s a lot of meat in this story, so I thought it best to give some necessary precursors: one, there’s no accurate national database for hate crimes; two, Miami police underreported their hate crimes to the FBI; and three, it’s not mandatory for police agencies to submit hate crime data to the FBI.

Now (please) go read my story.

OUTSIDE THE 305

Migrants seeking asylum in the U.S. rest near the International Bridge between Mexico and the U.S. as they wait to be processed, in Del Rio, Texas, U.S., September 16, 2021. REUTERS/Go Nakamura - RC24RP9AC6G3
Migrants seeking asylum in the U.S. rest near the International Bridge between Mexico and the U.S. as they wait to be processed, in Del Rio, Texas, U.S., September 16, 2021. REUTERS/Go Nakamura - RC24RP9AC6G3

Haitians account for majority of 9,000 migrants living under Texas bridge:

There are 9,000 migrants huddled underneath a Texas bridge in “squalid conditions,” according to the New York Times. Pay attention to how the United States responds.

While the more recent image of kids in cages might be seared into the American conscious, this country has a history of adverse treatment of Black immigrants. Let’s hope that the conditions under the bridge are not a sign of things to come.

FILE - Professor Derrick Bell of the University of Washington Law School shown in his office in this Jan. 30, 1980 file photo. Derrick Bell, a civil rights scholar and writer who was the first tenured black professor at Harvard Law School, died Wednesday Oct. 5, 2011. He was 80. Bell died Wednesday night of carcinoid cancer at a Manhattan hospital, his wife, Janet Dewart Bell, said Friday. (AP Photo, File)
FILE - Professor Derrick Bell of the University of Washington Law School shown in his office in this Jan. 30, 1980 file photo. Derrick Bell, a civil rights scholar and writer who was the first tenured black professor at Harvard Law School, died Wednesday Oct. 5, 2011. He was 80. Bell died Wednesday night of carcinoid cancer at a Manhattan hospital, his wife, Janet Dewart Bell, said Friday. (AP Photo, File)

Meet Derrick Bell, the architect of critical race theory:

Journalism Rule No. 523

HIGH CULTURE

Alejandro “Carela” Diaz had never experienced racism until moving to South Florida. Even worse, it initially came from fellow Latinos. His art, seen in the background, thus provides him a medium to express the commonality of the human experience.
Alejandro “Carela” Diaz had never experienced racism until moving to South Florida. Even worse, it initially came from fellow Latinos. His art, seen in the background, thus provides him a medium to express the commonality of the human experience.

An ode to the gold fronts:

Gold fronts and Dade County go together like Michael Jordan and winning. And although the author Julian Randall makes no mention of the 305, that’s all I could think about while reading. There’s many gems in Randall’s history of gold teeth (I’m rather partial to the line “Every gold tooth in a Black mouth is a song with no lyrics.”) but few hit harder than this:

Among Black folks, gold teeth have become as much a matter of community as of style. This tradition of ornamentation and healing has lent many Black folks the opportunity to be seen by one another, and the culture built around it continues to grow.

Where does “The 44 Percent” name come from? Click here to find out how Miami history influenced the newsletter’s title.

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