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Senator Manchin, Senator Capito, and Wiz Khalifa

Senator Manchin, Senator Capito, and Wiz Khalifa

Your Sunday BBG Cartoon

Will West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin Vote FOR THE PEOPLE or FOR THE SPECIAL INTERESTS?

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So-Called For the People Of West Virginia Senator Capito

By Crystal Good

When it comes to the debate over voting rights, one of our senators, Sen. Joe Manchin, gets all the attention. So I want to focus on Sen. Shelley Moore Capito’s opposition to and lies about the For the People Act.

Sen. Capito has derisively referred to the bill as the “so-called” For the People Act and has made numerous false claims about it, including that the bill will use government funding to support congressional campaigns.

Let’s start with the facts. Sens. Capito and Manchin represent West Virginia, where the average income is just over $25,000. How can we expect the average West Virginia voter to have any influence on political campaigns or on our elected officials? Since 2010, only eleven people have contributed a fifth of the $4.9 billion super PACs have raised.

I think the people should pick our politicians — not just the wealthy campaign contributors. The For the People Act would help level the playing field, establishing a 6-to-1 matching system for congressional or presidential candidates who reject enormous contributions. That means that everyday West Virginians could increase their political influence 6-fold.

The best part? It would cost taxpayers nothing. Instead, the matching system would be funded entirely through extra charges on settlements paid by wealthy tax cheats and corporate lawbreakers.

We can’t afford to miss this opportunity to help all West Virginians participate in our political landscape. Passing the For the People Act would offer autonomy and respect in the caste system of Appalachia. It offers people, real people, without political, social, and economic capital, to find their way into the political sphere.

In calling it the “so-called” For the People Act, Sen. Capito is telling us who she thinks should have influence on the democratic process — her corporate donors, not all of her constituents. Please join me in calling on Sens. Capito and Manchin to support the For the People Act.

Crystal Good is a sixth-generation West Virginian, Affrilachian artist, and digital media entrepreneur.

OPINION: David Fryson: West Virginia Deserves Better Representation

By David Fryson

Our current leaders seem to play to the worst instincts of our state. In addition to Manchin’s equivocations, Republican Sen. Shelly Moore Capito’s profile seems to sink more every day. Not only did she not vote to impeach Donald Trump after his atrocious acts she also failed to muster enough courage, if not dignity, to vote to establish a bipartisan commission on the Jan. 6 insurrection. Shameful.

Capito’s father, Arch Moore, was a very moderate Republican. While Arch Moore is most often remembered for his moral failings and prison term, it is important to note that he had an impressive Congressional history marked by strong support for public works projects and civil rights.”

Read more by Pastor David Fryson, BBG contributor and Brandeis University Interim VP and Chief Diversity Officer: HERE.

Publishers Note:

It’s been just over two weeks since we distributed 4,000 copies of our inaugural print of Black By God The West Virginian Juneteenth Charleston edition!

We received a lot of support but also critic. The comment that stands out to me is the request for BBG to make it known that it is a paper “ for white people too” and the request to make sure that the paper makes it clear BBG is not just more “Black people complaining.”

Complaining? *pause*

BBG’s purpose is to center Black voices in and from West Virginia. We are deeply immersed in the teaching of Media 2070 and encourage you to read their white paper on media reparations. We appreciate that we do not appease white readers.

Criticism also came from a white reader who said that the “Charleston edition” being distributed state-wide was confusing. Those who are so used to always seeing themselves at the center of media may not recognize how Black news from Charleston could be relevant to Black communities in Morgantown, Beckley, Huntington, Thomas, Bluefield, Princeton, and the many hills, hollers, corners, and West Virginia prisons that BBG found its way into. They may have missed the very purpose of BBG — to be seen in a landscape that often makes everyday Black voices invisible.

Many of us remember the days when TheBeacon Digest, the last Black newspaper in West Virginia, arrived into homes with great anticipation or when Black television shows came on. We gathered, in community, to watch them, or when we (and we still do) head to the movie theater to see a Black movie on opening night because they soon disappear.

We know the specialness of Black festivals and Black entertainers who show up!

( Did you the news coverage on Wiz Khalifa and Bone Thugs and Harmony in Charleston? It was inside the narrative of Lynard Synard at Live On The Levee coverage ).

Black Entertainers who make their way to West Virginia face an audience often gathered by word of mouth across the network of people who support #blackjoy and take pride in seeing Black people in the news beyond crime and fatigue.

We hope that same specialness allowed BBG to offer hope, inspiration, connection (and yes, complaining) because news for and about Black West Virginians is necessary.

So once again, thank you, and please stay tuned because we will have some exciting announcements coming soon.

~ Crystal Good

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