Virginia First Lady faces the media for a public apology after the latest incident on the governor’s mansion reached authorities and officials on Wednesday.
After Gucci and Prada’s involvement on racial controversies earlier this year, another one broke out recently that involves first lady, Pam Northam. It all happened when she handed out cotton to young African-American children during the tour of the Governor’s mansion and told them to imagine as if they were slaves on the field. The mother of one of the children, Leah Dozier Walker, a state employee and a Director of the Office of Equity and Community Engagement at Virginia Department of Education, did not like the idea of re-enacting slavery to educate the kids about historical events.
She sent a letter to Pam Northam’s office on Monday indicating the whole story of the visitation for State Senate Pages (children or teen who are under the sponsorship of a senator). The first lady toured the pages in the mansion’s kitchen cottage where slaves used to work before and handed black pages including Walker’s eighth-grade daughter pieces of cotton. Walker’s daughter said that she did not take the cotton although the first lady, who seemed indifferent with the implication of her request, still attempted to lighten up the situation by telling them to “just imagine they were in the fields reaping cotton all day.”
This event mirrored that of the incident happened in early February where Pam Northam’s husband, Democratic Governor, Ralph Northam, posted a photo of his medical school yearbook depicting a black face on it and another in a Ku Klux Klan outfit. This action insulted Americans, especially black people, and accused the Governor of being insensitive to other races. He then apologized after admitting he was on the photo and did wear blackface once to impersonate Michael Jackson in a dance contest.
Before the issue had completely died down, another controversy surfaced again involving his wife. Walker said in an interview that the Northams did not fully grasp the implications of their behavior; much more its effects on the children.
The incident cited the history of the country during the 1830-1840 eras, describing the growth of the American economy due to the booming of cotton industries. However, as the cotton plantation started to give wealth on most of the Americans before, the state of slavery for black people on the Deep South also heightened. The production dramatically turned millions of black men and women in the United States into slavery for decades, according to Henry Louis Gates Jr. For the public, the first lady needed to understand that with past as sensitive as this, she ought to empower her constituents regardless of their races, rather than degrade them.
So far, the Governor and Mrs. Northam have already asked the residents of the commonwealth for forgiveness regarding with their racially insensitive past actions. But for Walker, she insisted that the Governor’s office did not take the harm and hurt they have caused both mentally and emotionally to African-Americans in Virginia seriously.
“I don’t think they are deserving of our forgiveness,” said Walker.
Walker’s daughter also sent a letter to the first lady supporting her mother’s claim that Pam Northam had handed her and at least one African-American page pieces of cotton and asked them to imagine being out in the field as slaves. She wrote on the letter about her experience on the visit saying that she had not felt welcomed but resisted to stay on the whole tour and remained respectful although the first lady was not doing the same.
On the other hand, the governor’s office countered the allegation and claimed that the cotton was distributed to everyone in the group as the first lady discussed the history and significant happenings during that time. In addition to the educational discussion, the group was asked to examine a variety of historical pieces.
Pam Northam also said in a statement that she regretted to be the cause of everyone’s anguish and reiterated that the kitchen cottage gave historical key points to the governor’s mansion tours and had done the same to all visitors before. She then explained that the use of artifacts and crops was intended for illustrating a painful period in Virginia history, not for offending black people or such.
The incident is the latest controversy involving the governor who has remained on his position despite recent calls from local and national Democrats to resign.
As of now, the first lady’s administration has reached out to the mother of the page and decided to apologize personally but has not heard any reply.
House Passes Raising Minimum Wage To $15 An Hour
Democratic-led House approves raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour but will have to face more opposition from Senate and White House.
The long-sought $15 minimum wage to American workers finally passed approval from the US House Committee Thursday through the Raise the Wage Act.
The Act came to fruition in a 231-199 vote, where only six Democrats opposed it, while three Republicans supported it.
“This is about workers, it’s about their economic and financial security, and today is a bright day because it affects so many people in our country,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Thursday at a press conference flanked by fast-food workers, activists and lawmakers ahead of the scheduled vote.
Notably, the Raise the Minimum Wage Act took some time in revisions from the Democratic-led chamber with considerations to smaller businesses and for some states that could absorb more significant impact as compared to other major states.
The legislation was instead amended earlier this week, where the initial five-year plan was revised to a more gradual six-year phase-in.
In a nutshell, the Act would gradually hike the US pay floor to $15 an hour by 2025, to let businesses and economy adjust with the change. Then, index future increase to median wage gains.
Throughout the next six years, the minimum wage hikes would take effect on the following schedule: $8.40 in 2019, $9.50 in 2020, $10.60 in 2021, $11.70 in 2022, $12.80 in 2023, $13.90 in 2024 and $15 in 2025.
Furthermore, it would also eventually abolish the lower minimum wage for tipped workers, where businesses reason American “tipping culture” as to why people like waitresses and bartenders are paid below the current minimum wage.
The bill would eliminate a seldom-used pay floor for teen workers that pays them less than the minimum wage and abolish subminimum wages for workers with disabilities.
“I commend my colleagues for taking this important step towards creating an economy that works for everyone,” said Rep. Bobby Scott, a Virginia Democrat who introduced the legislation, in a statement. “Now, Senate Republicans must decide to either stand with American workers or turn their backs on hardworking people across the country.”
However, the legislation has yet to gain approval from the Senate and the President to receive implementation. The problem is that both are mostly Democratic-leaning—where they contend that raising the minimum wage would drastically affect the US economy.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell expressed that he has no plans to bring the legislation up in his chamber. On Thursday, he told Fox Business Network that the Act would “depress the economy at a time of economic boom,” adding, “we’re not going to be doing that in the Senate.”
The White House also warned this week that Trump would veto the measure if it came to his desk. The Trump administration argued its policies are “driving economic growth and increasing workers’ take-home pay far more effectively and efficiently” than the Democratic plan. The White House contended it would “eliminate jobs and reduce total wages for American workers.”
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated that the bill would give 17 million U.S. workers a raise — and could lift wages for millions more. It would also boost the annual income of 1.3 million people above the poverty level, CNBC reported.
However, it would also “eviscerate millions of American jobs,” citing a July report from the Congressional Budget Office that said 3.7 million Americans would lose their jobs if the measure is adopted, House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., said
The last increase to the US federal minimum wage was July 2009 — which is almost a decade ago. The federal minimum wage was raised from $6.55 an hour to the current $7.25 an hour.
One of the major problems activists cite with the current $7.25 an hour minimum wage is that it can barely cover basic expenses, with prices for healthcare, oil, and commodities had gone up within the past decade. The $7.25 rate in 2009 is valued at only about $6 in 2019. The cost of living has soared 18% since the last increase.
In line with the report, states have passed bills that raise state minimum wages higher than the federal baseline. As of June this year, 21 states have passed minimum wage hikes—some even at the $15 an hour threshold.
However, the state minimum wage varies. In Florida, the minimum wage stands at $8.46 an hour; in Hawaii, it’s $10.10 an hour; in California, the minimum wage goes up to $12 an hour. Meanwhile, in states like New York and Seattle, the minimum wage reaches $15 an hour and even $16 an hour, respectively.
Companies like Amazon and Walmart have raised their minimum wage to $15 and $14.26 an hour, respectively. The move has prompted government states to follow suit.
[Breaking] Donald Trump Said His Admin Will Investigate Google For Treason
Following the call of Presidential adviser, Peter Thiel, for the National Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to investigate Google’s “treasonous” behavior, President Donald Trump responded with affirmation saying “the Trump Administration will investigate.”
In a tweet today, Trump called Peter Thiel a “great and brilliant guy who knows this subject better than anyone,” and said that his administration is ready to investigate the involvement of Google with the Chinese military if Peter Thiel believes so.
Peter Thiel, one of Facebook’s Board Members and a close consultant for President Donald Trump, has called for the FBI and the CIA to launch an investigation against Google after the San Francisco-based tech giant withdrawn from a high-value project with the military.
Google has a “treasonous” relationship with the Chinese military
Trump’s adviser also questions the relationship between Google and the Chinese military, calling it “treasonous,” a new report from Axios last Sunday revealed.
In 2018, Google decided to withdraw from a contract between the tech superpower and the U.S. Department of Defense for the development of artificial intelligence (AI) technology, citing that the projects have certain ethical issues that they cannot be involved in.
Speaking at the National Conservatism Conference in Washington, D.C. The crowd-packed lecture was entitled “The Star Trek Computer Is Not Enough,” Peter Thiel, who is also a board member on Facebook, wants the FBI and CIA to investigate how Google is used by foreign intelligence. He wants the government agencies to ask the company “how many foreign intelligence agencies have infiltrated your Manhattan Project for AI?”
According to Axios’ report, there are no public documents that stipulate any infiltration by foreign intelligence of Google. However, they said that Thiel owns a company called Palantir, which works with the Trump Administration and has access to millions worth of government data, including American private information. Nonetheless, it is still unclear if Thiel’s assertions are motivated by any personal and classified knowledge he drew from his relationship with the White House.
“Number two, does Google’s senior management consider itself to have been thoroughly infiltrated by Chinese intelligence?” Thiel continued.
“Number three, is it because they consider themselves to be so thoroughly infiltrated that they have engaged in the seemingly treasonous decision to work with the Chinese military and not with the U.S. military… because they are making the sort of bad, short-term rationalistic [decision] that if the technology doesn’t go out the front door, it gets stolen out the backdoor anyway?”
Aside from targeting Google’s integrity, some attendees to Sunday’s lecture said that Thiel also attacked Americans saying that they were too fat and addicted to drugs, adding that, “the biggest problem in our society is the problem of political correctness.”
“American exceptionalism has led us to a country that is exceptionally overweight, exceptionally addicted to opioids, exceptionally unaware and exceptionally un-self-reflective,” Thiel said as transcribed by Keith Urban who attended the conference and previously worked for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.
Other reports said that Thiel also made comments on how American Ivy Leagues and top universities are losing their non-profit status. He also said that any links between Google and China, “need to be asked by the FBI, by the CIA, and I’m not sure quite how to put this; I would like them to be asked in a not excessively gentle manner.”
Trump also calls out double standards in favor of Democrat Congresswomen
Meanwhile, in an unrelated tweet, President Trump questioned the double standards in favor of Democratic congresswomen. He said that these women talk about the most “vile, hateful, and disgusting things ever said by a politician in the House or Senate” but they are given a free pass by the media and the people.
“The Democrat Congresswomen have been spewing some of the most vile, hateful, and disgusting things ever said by a politician in the House or Senate, & yet they get a free pass and a big embrace from the Democrat Party. Horrible anti-Israel, anti-USA, pro-terrorist & public shouting of the F…word, among many other terrible things, and the petrified Dems run for the hills. Why isn’t the House voting to rebuke the filthy and hate laced things they have said? Because they are the Radical Left, and the Democrats are afraid to take them on. Sad!” the President wrote.
Trump Adviser Peter Thiel Wants FBI And CIA To Investigate Google’s ‘Treasonous’ Behavior
He asked: “How many foreign intelligence agencies have infiltrated your Manhattan Project for AI?”
Peter Thiel, one of Facebook’s Board Members and a close consultant for President Donald Trump, has called for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Central Intelligence Agency to launch an investigation against Google after the San Francisco-based tech giant withdrawn from a high-value project with the military.
In 2018, Google decided to withdraw from a contract between the tech superpower and the U.S. Department of Defense for the development of artificial intelligence (AI) technology citing that the projects have certain ethical issues that they cannot be involved in.
Thiel, who is also a board member on Facebook, wants the FBI and CIA to investigate how Google is used by foreign intelligence. He wants the government agencies to ask the company “how many foreign intelligence agencies have infiltrated your Manhattan Project for AI?”
Peter Thiel raised the said statements (or rather questions) during his talk at the National Conservatism Conference in Washington, D.C. The crowd-packed lecture was entitled “The Star Trek Computer Is Not Enough,” according to a schedule posted to the conference website.
If Thiel is indeed referring to Google’s 2018 decision, he is not the first person to question the company regarding its refusal to work with the US military. Earlier this year, General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, echoed similar sentiments as that of Thiel but did not specify the term “treason.”
Speaking to the Senate Armed Services Committee in March, Dunford said, “We watch with great concern when industry partners work in China knowing there is that indirect benefit, and frankly ‘indirect’ may be not a full characterization of the way it really is. It’s more of a direct benefit to the Chinese military.”
Other reports said that Thiel also made comments on how American Ivy Leagues and top universities are losing their non-profit status. He also said that any links between Google and China, “need to be asked by the FBI, by the CIA, and I’m not sure quite how to put this, I would like them to be asked in a not excessively gentle manner.”
When asked for certain clarification, neither Google nor the team of Peter Thiel has responded to Z6Mag’s request for comments yet.
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