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Nigeria’s fight to end SARS and counting down the final days before Election Day

The “Game Time” episode of last night’s “REVOLT BLACK NEWS” addressed Nigeria’s #EndSARS movement and the final days before Election Day.

Inspired by Sean “Diddy” Combs’ successful “State Of Emergency: The State of Black America & Coronavirus” town hall, “REVOLT BLACK NEWS” is a platform that is designed to report news from the perspective of Black people for Black people.

Last night’s (Oct. 29) “REVOLT BLACK NEWS” episode “Game Time” discussed general election predictions less than one week away from Election Day. Host and executive producer Eboni K. Williams was joined by Rotimi, Angie Nwandu, Jaime Harrison, Mike Hill, Tezlyn Figaro, Cori Bush, Wendy Osefo and Shermichael Singleton.

Williams kicked off a conversation with Rotimi, Osefo and Nwandu about Nigeria’s #EndSARS movement following a montage of clips in the beginning of the episode. Osefo broke down the original purpose of SARS as “a unit in the police department that was specifically supposed to address issues of robbery,” but it would later begin abusing its power, especially toward the youth and those who dress well or own smartphones. As the granddaughter of a retired police chief in Nigeria, Osefo did not want to “negate the police force,” she did agree that SARS has taken measures too far with kidnapping and killing civilians.

“It’s been going on for 10-15 years,” Rotimi jumped in. “People are getting fed up and it’s getting to the point where we have to step in.” Nwandu briefly chimed in about the social media videos showing the protests, while people were being shot at. She also pointed out that in comparison to America’s Black Lives Matter movement, as our police are overfunded, Nigeria police are “severely underfunded,” which causes outrage, brutality and more. Nwandu said, “The corruption from the government trickles down all the way into every aspect and every sector in Nigeria, and that needs to be changed.”

Williams then went through “Headlines,” which included the fatal shooting of Walter Wallace, Jr. “This is exactly why people call for the defunding of the police. Not to take all resources from police, but to add resources like more ambulances, more emergency care, more homeless care, more mental health experts, so that police are not inappropriately dispatched to cases like this where someone is suffering from a mental health crisis and wind up dead,” Williams said. Other “Headlines” included the deadline for mailing in your ballot, according to USPS and elected officials; pre-election early voting exceeding expectations with 75 million, COVID cases increasing to nearly 9 million in the United States, hearings underway of the protester killings in Nigeria, and the Los Angeles Dodgers becoming the 2020 World Champions.

After Hill joined for a few words about the EMPOWRD app, which aims to educate Americans on post-election information, Williams returned for a discussion with Harrison. Harrison is running for the U.S. Senate during “the most historic senate race in the history of South Carolina,” which is deemed so because upon his potential victory, the state will be the first to have two African-American senators serving simultaneously. “We will close a book on the old South and write a brand new book called ‘The New South,’” said Harrison. The position that he is after was previously filled by white men who “talked about the joys of lynching Black folks,” and Harrison said that a seat change would be “really historic.”

After sharing his experience running a campaign as a Black man in the traditional deep south, he shared his 2020 presidential predictions with Williams. “In my opinion, sir, you are running a national race,” Williams said. “I want people to get that who sits in the United States Senate is very much at national entrance.”

Bush was next up to talk being the first Black woman to represent any congressional district in Missouri upon her victory. “I’m glad that I held on and didn’t quit even in the face of adversity and naysayers because now I have so many women coming to me,” Bush said. In an emotional turn during the conversation about her positive COVID-19 diagnosis, she explained to a tearful Williams her passion and push to continue the race.

“Because it hit me like a train out of nowhere and then it lingered through me for two months, people wanted me to quit running,” Bush admitted though she stayed the course because she couldn’t fathom what may happen to the Black community had she stopped. “Yes, I can’t breathe right now, but our community has been struggling to breathe for so long. We can’t breathe on a regular day. We can’t breathe before COVID-19. So, this means even though I can’t breathe right now, this situation is temporary... What I will do when I win is make sure we don’t struggle to breath any longer.”

Up next were political powerhouses Figaro, Singleton and Marshall to share their election predictions. “Politics is about an exchange for our vote; a concrete thing,” Figaro said. “I am demanding and expecting that if 90% of Black folks show up, if 8 out of 10 Black men show up, if Black women continue to carry this Democrat party, we will get these policies fixed.”

“I think the Black male vote in this country is the ultimate swing voter,” Williams added to Figaro’s outcry for the Black community’s political and cultural conversations “outside the church and the barbershop.” “I would love it if these last few days could really be about an aggressive outreach to Black men because I do believe in many ways they will pivot the outcome of this election. That’s not to lay blame on them because they are having an informed American choice like everyone else in this country and they deserve to feel an authentic plea for their case and support.”

When sharing the final prediction, Singleton shared his beliefs that Trump may take the victory with this election “because of the spring quarter” while Figaro said “we can’t call it.” Williams then shared that she remains optimistic and that it looks very close, but she’s “a skeptic.”

“I think it’s going to be very close and the way I was raised is when it’s close, they take it from you. The shit’s not looking that good,” she said, “but I remain optimistic because God can do anything.”

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