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Jane Castor apologizes for past Mayors’ roles in erasing Black cemeteries

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‘Certainly, we can acknowledge those and apologize for the wrongs of our community in the past,’ Castor said.

Tampa Mayor Jane Castor Friday publicly acknowledged and apologized for past administrations’ role in erasing Black cemeteries from the city’s history.

The last two years have seen a deluge of reports on rediscovered Black cemeteries across the state that led to the creation of the Task Force on Abandoned African American Cemeteries and newly filed legislation to address the issue. Lost and forgotten cemeteries became a focus after Tampa Bay Times reporter Paul Guzzo helped uncover the purposely forgotten Zion Cemetery under an East Tampa housing complex.

“We can’t right past wrongs,” Castor said. “But certainly, we can acknowledge those and apologize for the wrongs of our community in the past.”

 Castor issued the apology from Memorial Park Cemetery. Memorial Park was founded over 100 years ago to serve as the final resting place of Black veterans who fought in World War I. City Council Member Luis Viera said no matter who was at fault, it is incumbent on the current community to make things right.

He said the veterans buried in Memorial Park represent some of the best America had to offer at the time.

“During the height of Jim Crow, the height of racial terror here in the south, these great Americans served a country that wouldn’t stand for them,” Viera said. “They exhibited what I like to call ‘aspirational patriotism.’ The idea that they believed in this country’s best values that would be applied to them and they gave love to a country that didn’t always return it.”

While state Task Force members Sen. Janet Cruz and Rep. Fentrice Driskell, two Tampa Democrats, have each filed legislation addressing Black cemeteries, Castor said Tampa had done its own work. She even started a City-level task force led by Neighborhood and Community Affairs Administrator Ocea Wynn.

She said the city has worked to protect and honor rediscovered cemeteries, including helping save Memorial Park from abandonment.

“The City of Tampa has invested considerable time, manpower and money to protect and improve Memorial Park since the death of the property owner two years ago,” she said.

Wynn said the city had worked closely with the Zion Preservation and Memorial Society, NAACP and other community groups to help fund memorials and educate the public.

Planning Director Stephen Benson said one of the city’s most significant moves was when the City Council redesignated the land use category of cemeteries to Park Lands and Open Spaces.

“You hear more about rezonings, but the land use is the umbrella above the zoning. So, it’s actually more important. It’s a higher standard,” Benson said. “What we’re proposing is to, regardless of the zoning, add protections on top of the land so that in the future, the development rights or the ability develop doesn’t come into question again.”

Benson said the Planning Department and Task Force would also revise the city’s comprehensive plan to address cemeteries, which it currently does not. He said Castor tasked them with bridging the gap in policy by focusing on three things:

“Focus on proposing changes to address the lack of land use designation,” Benson said. “We’re also going to be proposing to add a list and designations of all the cemeteries we currently know about. Not just the city-owned cemeteries as well. And then the last thing is to propose policies that will address what to do about those situations in the future moving forward.”

Castor said though the city cannot right the wrongs of the past, it can promise not to repeat them.


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ABC’s Hostin: Republicans Are Treating Biden Like a Black President

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ABC legal analyst Sunny Hostin said Thursday on ABC’s “The View” that Republicans treated President Joe Biden like a black president.

Hostin said, “There are things that he has not gotten credit for, like he’s inherited this pandemic from the Trump administration. It was badly handled. He was able to pass a 1.9 trillion dollar relief package which a majority of Republicans voted against. That’s something that he gets credit for. I think he also gets credit for his incredibly diverse judicial nominations. I think there has been about 41 federal judges. Those are lifetime appointments.”

She continued, “I think where he hasn’t done well is basically delivering federal policy in favor of the people who put him in the White House, and that is communities of color. We didn’t see any movement on voting rights. We didn’t see any movement in police reform.”

Hostin added, “The infrastructure was a leaning-into white independence, and I think it was a leaning into white moderates, but the bottom line is, those aren’t the folks who really took him over the finish line. That is not the Democratic base. No Democratic president has made it into the White House without the support of the black community. The black community now, voters 50 and over that are registered, there’s been a 36-point drop in the net approval. What I took away was he said something like I had no idea that my Republican friends would do this. Well, he’s governing like it’s the 1990s. It’s 2022. He sat for eight years next to a black president yet didn’t think he would be treated like one, and that is what he is being treated like.”

Follow Pam Key On Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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Behar: ‘Dense’ Biden Thought Other White Privileged Senators Would Work with Him

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Joy Behar told her co-hosts Thursday on ABC’s “The View” that President Joe Biden was “dense” for thinking his fellow “white privileged” senators would work with him.

Whoopi Goldberg said, “Part of the problem for Joe is none of us, none of us ever anticipated we would be sitting in front of senators and congresspeople who are denying the fact that someone won an election. I never saw that before. I don’t think it occurred to him that would ever be Republicans who would go that far to say this was a lie. I think a lot of this, he thought, you know, we’ll beat each other up as we have in the past. This is a whole new group.”

Behar said, “But, Whoopi n the ’90s Newt Gingrich, had a contract on America.”

Ana Navarro said, “With America.”

Behar shot back, “I like to say it was on America. Then you have Mitch McConnell say that his whole idea going forward with Obama was to make sure he was a one-term president. Then he said about Biden, we’re going to obstruct, and we’re not going to let him do anything he wants to do. So I mean, how dense was Biden really in these instances? You’re a white privilege senator in the United States Congress, so you believe other white privilege guys will work with you, but they won’t, and they don’t.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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Breitbart News Daily Podcast Ep. 55: The Hits Just Keep on Comin’: Filibuster Stays, Joe’s Press Conference Flop; Guests: Jack Posobiec, Rep. Kat Cammack

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Brandon met the media yesterday and whoa… not a joke! And not his best effort. That goes for the majority of the media in the East Room too. Joey tried for almost two hours to defend his first-year record, and then he officially lost his voting rights push in the Senate. What a day. Our guests Human Events Senior Editor Jack Posobiec and Rep. Kat Cammack (R-FL) join Breitbart’s Jerome Hudson to break down President Biden’s press conference.

The Breitbart News Daily Podcast runs Monday through Friday as a “Director’s Cut” of the SXM Patriot radio show. Hosted by Breitbart Editor-in-Chief Alex Marlow, you’ll hear Alex’s take on the big political stories, interviews with various newsmakers, and the Patriot “Caller of the Day.”

SUBSCRIBE for free by clicking your preferred podcast platform below.

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