88.6 F
San Antonio
Wednesday, September 27, 2023
Home Blog

Who Will Protect the Black Man?


Now that the footage from Tyre Nichols’ traffic stop has been released, we see a narrative that is rarely in the forefront of the media. The Black policeman (in this case several of them) mistreating the black man. We see Black men killing other Black men through gang activity or minor disputes so frequently that it’s almost numbing. But the Black policeman hurting the Black man? The one who vowed to protect and serve? This touches a layer of sadness I never knew I could feel.

With all of the headlines revolving around the White policeman and the black man one would think we have had enough. Now we see not one but five Black policemen mistreating and ultimately beating to death a man who looks like them. Even if there was a crime committed that required this amount of force (force meaning the amount of people), is the brutality necessary?

If not the officers who look like him…who’s going to protect the Black man? Love him? Nurture him? Care for him? For those who think…he’s a man, he can protect himself. Have you seen how the world treats him? Belittles him? Emasculates him? Hurts him? Doesn’t allow him the space to feel his emotions? I have spoken with many Black men specifically from America who have expressed feeling they don’t have a safe space in the place that they live, the places they work nor in confidence with the people they are surrounded by.

Imagine how scary it must be to feel consistently like you are in danger for simply living your life. Are you the enemy or the friend? Lover or confidante? Hater or degrader? Look closely and don’t try to disillusion yourself into thinking you’re not a part of the problem.

The Black man is a phenomenal being by design alone. His resilience, his strength, his endurance. He deserves the space to be able to grow to his full potential. Don’t kick him while he’s down. He’s dealing with enough by simply existing.

As a mother with a Black male child, I cannot conceive what this means for my son, a literal part of me, and the world he will have to endure. There are Black men in my life that I love, admire, aspire to see succeed and to think that the world historically doesn’t see them like I do hurts my heart.

I will be moving forward acting on the ways I can help the Black man feel loved and appreciated, desired and celebrated within my capability. What will you do?

To the family of Tyre Nichols, my condolences. I can not conceive all of the things you and your loved ones may be feeling right now. Stay strong. Justice will be served.

A special thank you to Janelle Thompson for inspiring me to write this.

A special thank you to the Black men in my life for allowing me to be your safe space.

And another special thank you to Lucas Gouvêa, Joey Nicotra, Julian Myles, Tamarcus Brown, Prince Akachi, Larry George II, and Terricks Noah for providing the imagery for my piece.

The Deadly Dozen: AFLD Publishes Video Attacking Censorship in Latest COVID-19 “Disinformation” Battle


In the wake of the second summit in our nation’s capital, the organization “America’s Frontline Doctors” release a gripping video targeting what they deem as the disinformation “Dirty Dozen”.

A Crime Within A Crime

   In November of 2022, Jalen Kitna, son of former N.F.L. quarterback John Kitna, and at the time, quarterback for the University of Florida Gators, was arrested and charged with five counts of felony possession and distribution of child pornography. After receiving a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children about child pornography being shared on a discord account, the Gainesville Police Department were able to trace the account back to Jalen Kitna. The police found that Kitna shared two images over the internet last November. His electronic devices were then seized, and three more images were found. At least one of the photos was of an adult male having sex with a prepubescent girl. He was kicked off of the team, and subsequently charged.
   Inexplicably, this past Wednesday, Jalen Kitna was allowed to enter a plea deal, upon where he pled no contest to one count of misdemeanor breach of peace, in exchange for the court dropping five felony charges for possession and distribution of child pornography. The maximum sentence he faces is 60 days in jail and a $500 fine. He is not required to register as an offender, and he has entered the transfer portal to resume his college football career.
   In my opinion, the more egregious crime was committed by the Alachua County Prosecutor, when he allowed Mr. Kitna to enter into such a ridiculous plea agreement. There is no disputing that Mr. Kitna was indeed caught with child pornography on his phone, and other electronic devices. It was furthermore proven that he did indeed share images of child pornography on a discord chat, traced directly back to him. Yet for some odd reason, the D.A. decided to basically let Mr. Kitna off, with a fine. I’m sure that having a former N.F.L. quarterback as a father, who has the money to pay for the best lawyers, didn’t hurt, which really brings me to my point. The true crimes are committed every day in courtrooms all around this country, where justice is bought and sold like a commodity. The more money you have, the more you can get away with. The concept of “and justice for all” is a joke. Justice seems to only apply to those that can afford it. This young man gets to go about his life, as if nothing even occurred, while countless others’ lives have been ruined for much lesser offenses. The greater crime is perpetrated by those who allow these perversions of justice to occur, and who participate willingly in the fraud that is the current state of our whole legal system.

Cocaine at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave: New Scandal Taints Presidential Residence

Scenic view of the exterior of the White House, Washington DC viewed across manicured green lawns on a sunny summer day

The White House was evacuated on Sunday, July 2, 2023, after discovering a suspicious white powder. Upon further investigation, it was confirmed that the substance was cocaine. The West Wing had a baggie of cocaine, and the Secret Service is currently investigating the situation.

A bag of cocaine was found in the cloakroom of the West Wing over the holiday weekend. That discovery prompted a temporary evacuation of the White House before the Secret Service identified the contents of the bag — mysterious white powder has been sent to many local lawmakers in recent days, alongside threatening letters, so the baggie was initially treated as a serious security concern.

Even after it was determined that the substance was not a lethal poison such as anthrax, there was widespread concern about how a controlled substance was smuggled into what is ostensibly one of the most secure residences in the world. While numerous staffers and guests could have conceivably brought drugs into the West Wing, speculation has centered on the president’s son, Hunter Biden, who visited the White House last Friday and has struggled with a cocaine habit in the past.

After a five-year investigation into alleged tax and gun crimes, the president’s son received a controversial plea deal. which included no jail time, was perceived as very lenient by many. The discovery was made after this plea deal was given.

Former President Trump, who is now President Biden’s political opponent, is facing charges for mishandling classified information. If convicted, he could face life imprisonment. However, some people have criticized the fact that although former Vice President Mike Pence and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have also mishandled classified documents, they did not face any legal consequences. This has led to accusations of a “two-tiered justice system” in the United States.

“A bag of cocaine isn’t exactly the case of the century, but I do think it matters,” Daily Wire contributor David Marcus told Morning Wire. “If you or I [were] caught with a stash of nose candy in a government building, let alone the White House, we’d face consequences – and so if this was someone who works there, Americans are going to want to see those consequences meted out.”

Tragedy in the Ionian Sea: Hundreds of Migrants Presumed Dead as World Watches Lost Submersible Drama

Migrants are seen on a capsizing boat before a rescue operation by Italian navy ships Bettica and Bergamini (unseen) off the coast of Libya in this handout picture released by the Italian Marina Militare on May 25, 2016. Marina Militare/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

While the world was watching the unfolding drama of the Titan submersible lost off the coast of Newfoundland, on June 14 another catastrophe was unfolding in the Ionian Sea off the coast of Greece at the same time, albeit of a completely different nature, but with an even greater human cost.

The vessel, known as the Andriana, had departed from Tobruk, a city in Cyrenaica, Libya, on June 10, carrying an excessive number of passengers — estimates range from 400 to as many as 750. The boat was significantly beyond its capacity, a fact that would later contribute to its tragic sinking​​.

This undated handout image provided by Greece’s coast guard on Wednesday, June14, 2023, shows scores of people covering practically every free stretch of deck on a battered fishing boat that later capsized and sank off southern Greece. A fishing boat carrying migrants trying to reach Europe capsized and sank off Greece on Wednesday, authorities said, leaving at least 79 dead and many more missing in one of the worst disasters of its kind this year.(Hellenic Coast Guard)

The migrants on board, desperate for a better life in Europe, hailed from a number of countries including Egypt, Syria, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Palestine. They were part of an ongoing wave of people fleeing economic hardship and political instability, hoping to find a better future on European shores.

Tragically, their journey ended 50 miles off the coast of Pylos, Messenia, Greece, when the overloaded Andriana sank in the early hours of June 14. Greek authorities, (alerted by the Italian coast guard and the European Union border protection agency, Frontex), chose not to assist and failed to launch a rescue operation.

Shortly before 3 a.m., a $175-million yacht owned by the family of a Mexican silver magnate arrived on scene. While the superyacht “Mayan Queen IV” managed to rescue 104 survivors and recover 82 bodies, up to 500 people remain missing and are now presumed dead.​1​.

This disaster underscores the deadly risks faced by migrants and refugees taking to the sea in overcrowded and unseaworthy vessels. The route from North Africa to Italy has been dubbed the deadliest on Earth by the International Organization for Migration, which has recorded a staggering 21,000 deaths since 2014​.

UN officials have called for a probe into Greece’s response to the disaster amid claims more action should have been taken, and much earlier. (BBC)

Yet, as the world’s media covered every twist and turn of the Titan submersible incident, the sinking of the Andriana and the loss of hundreds of lives was relegated to the sidelines. The public’s attention seemed riveted more on the fate of a few wealthy individuals aboard the Titan than the hundreds of less fortunate souls who perished in the Ionian Sea.

This raises pressing questions about the world’s priorities and how we value human life. It is a stark reminder that in our increasingly global society, the lives of the poor and the desperate are often overlooked in favor of the wealthy and the privileged. As the search for survivors of the Titan continues, let us also remember the hundreds of lives lost in the Ionian Sea, and the desperate circumstances that led them to risk their lives on such a perilous journey.

We will continue to report on this story, as the investigation into the sinking of the Andriana unfolds, and as the world grapples with the profound and troubling questions this tragedy raises about the value we place on human life.

This is a developing story. More updates to follow.

Montana’s TikTok Ban Tests the Bounds of Free Speech and Internet Regulation


Gov. Greg Gianforte recently signed legislation prohibiting the widely-used social media app TikTok within Montana, aiming to safeguard residents’ privacy and personal data. TikTok, owned by Chinese parent company ByteDance, has gained immense global popularity but sparked concerns over security risks and potential data collection by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

Allegations suggest that China exploits TikTok to disseminate targeted information. Former employees disclosed that Top Buzz, a news app within the platform, was transmitting pro-China propaganda to American users. Consequently, US lawmakers called for a federal ban, and Montana joins the growing list of states and federal entities banning the app.

However, Montana’s outright ban on TikTok downloads, coupled with a $10,000 fine for app stores providing the platform to residents, has entered unprecedented legal territory. Although set to take effect in January 2024, the ban already faces First Amendment legal challenges. TikTok officials claim the ban is unlawful and violates Montanans’ rights, while a group of content creators has filed a lawsuit centered on free speech.

Governor Gianforte defends the ban, stating that TikTok breaches Montana’s extensive privacy protections. Nonetheless, critics, including the ACLU, contend that alternative methods could address privacy and security concerns without resorting to an all-out ban.

The repercussions extend beyond privacy and security, as numerous self-employed content creators relying on TikTok to promote their businesses may face economic ramifications. Influencers can earn considerably from branded videos, with the top accounts garnering between $100,000 and $250,000. Montana-based TikToker Kylie Nelson, for example, left her job to become an influencer, anticipating earnings of $60,000 in 2023. The ban has alarmed several Montana TikTok creators, leading five of them to file suit against Attorney General Austin Knudsen.

The future for Montana’s TikTokers remains ambiguous. Although the ban will not be enacted until 2024, legal experts predict constitutional challenges. Jameel Jaffer, executive director at the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia, opines that the ban might be deemed unconstitutional due to its lack of necessity and tailored interest.

Montana’s TikTok ban faces numerous technical challenges. The law heavily depends on app stores to restrict users, imposing daily fines of $10,000 on TikTok, app stores, and any other entity that enables the download of TikTok in the state. However, Apple and Google argue that preventing Montanans from downloading TikTok requires a total overhaul of their user tracking systems.

App stores currently categorize users by country or global region without distinction between states. To modify this would involve segmenting the stores by state, closely monitoring users’ locations, and creating a dynamic system for situations like cross-state travel. Another option would be to block users based on their account billing addresses, but these can be easily altered and do not reflect an individual’s actual location.

An alternative method would be to estimate a device’s location through IP addresses, which can, however, be easily changed using virtual private networks (VPNs). Such tools allow users to disguise their location, leading to increased searches for VPNs in Montana since the bill’s introduction.

Montana officials liken their proposal to online gambling app restrictions in states where gambling is prohibited. But, such bans depend on app developers voluntarily geofencing and blacklisting states rather than app stores implementing the restrictions. Moreover, these bans are often bypassed.

TikTok claims not to collect precise location data on users; thus, complying with Montana’s law would necessitate tracking users’ GPS data or regularly updating their state of residence.

Wheeler of Red Queen Dynamics says, “Enforcing this ban would create a mirror of the Chinese surveillance state they initially feared, requiring extensive location data and the capability to scrutinize users’ phones.” Apple and Google declined to comment.

The TikTok ban, if it survives legal challenges, could significantly impact Montana’s state. Its stunning landscapes and wildlife have long been popular on TikTok, with prominent tourist attractions garnering millions of views. TikTok has also allowed creators like Hank Green and Christian Poole to educate and entertain millions of followers.

Ban opponents, such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), argue that the law infringes on the First Amendment, and are discussing ways to challenge it. Some believe these technical concerns are a distraction from the ban’s ultimate goal: a political move to gain publicity.

Milton Mueller, co-founder of the Internet Governance Project, describes this as “theater” rather than technical ignorance, and questions the ban’s feasibility. He asks, “How do you detect someone running the app in Montana, aside from implementing the ‘Great Firewall of Montana’? Do police stop people in traffic and ask for their phones?”



As Russian President Vladimir Putin’s threats to the West escalate the risk of nuclear conflict, African nations propose a new initiative to resolve the ongoing war in Ukraine. Analysts, campaigners, and world leaders continue to condemn the “reckless” and “irresponsible” threats emanating from the Kremlin.

In a rare, televised address last Wednesday, Putin hinted at Russia’s readiness to employ nuclear weapons if the war escalates, a stance reinforced by former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. These statements, according to Andrey Baklitskiy, a senior researcher at the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research, exceed the Russian nuclear doctrine and introduce significant risk amidst the ongoing war. U.S. President Joe Biden and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg join in rejecting Putin’s dangerous rhetoric and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Simultaneously, African nations under the leadership of President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa are stepping up to mediate. The proposed peace mission, involving Zambia, Senegal, the Republic of Congo, Uganda, Egypt, and South Africa, aims to contribute to the cessation of the conflict. Ramaphosa, having conferred with both Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, has secured agreement from both parties to receive the African delegation.

This initiative comes amidst allegations of South Africa’s weapon supply to Russia, a claim vehemently denied by Pretoria, who has appointed an independent judge to investigate. However, the controversy adds a layer of complexity to the African peace initiative.

In the midst of these developments, high-level Chinese diplomat visited Ukraine, following Chinese President Xi Jinping’s envoy announcement to Kyiv. French President Emmanuel Macron is also seeking China’s support to establish a negotiation framework that could potentially lead to Russia-Ukraine talks by this summer.

Summary and Commentary

The escalating Russia-Ukraine conflict presents a precarious situation, with Putin’s nuclear threats raising international alarm. Amid this crisis, the proposed African peace initiative and the potential involvement of China represent glimmers of hope for a peaceful resolution.

From a positive perspective, if successful, these mediation efforts could deescalate the conflict and mitigate the dire impacts the war has on global security and regional economies. The African nations’ initiative, bolstered by China’s potential involvement, could bring new perspectives to the negotiation table, possibly facilitating a breakthrough.

However, from a negative standpoint, the outcomes remain uncertain. Putin’s statements exceed the Russian nuclear doctrine, suggesting an unprecedented level of threat that could disrupt peace efforts. South Africa’s alleged involvement in supplying weapons to Russia adds a layer of complication that could potentially undermine its mediation role. Furthermore, China’s close ties with Russia might cast doubt on its neutrality, a factor that could influence the success of President Macron’s plan.

With the stakes higher than ever, the world watches anxiously as diplomacy wrestles with the specter of nuclear conflict. The coming weeks will reveal whether these mediation efforts can quell the storm or if they will be drowned out by the echoes of war.

Bats, Rodents, and Coronaviruses: Chinese Researchers Discover Natural Evidence in the Quest for Covid-19 Origins


Scientists have made a groundbreaking discovery in the wild! Chinese researchers have identified a unique genetic feature in Sars-CoV-2, the virus causing Covid-19. This feature, previously unseen in other coronaviruses, has puzzled scientists and even led some to suspect it was artificially inserted in a lab. Talk about a wild twist!

The Chinese Center for Disease Control, undertaking a thorough analysis, has managed to find two betacoronaviruses from bats and rodents with genetic similarities to Sars-CoV-2. This was achieved by examining the genetics of 112 bats from China’s Hainan Province. After meticulously analyzing the stomach contents of these bats, they discovered two samples that resembled the contagious furin cleavage site of Sars-CoV-2.

Aside from sounding like something out of a science fiction novel, “Bat CoV CD35” provides crucial evidence that the furin cleavage site has a natural origin, enhancing our understanding of the vast diversity of coronaviruses. But don’t jump to conclusions yet! This remarkable discovery doesn’t prove exactly how Covid-19 was transmitted from bat buddies to humans, so more research is necessary to uncover the truth.

The researchers also found that these bats, which serve as hosts for the viruses, inhabit a widespread area across southern China and southeast Asia. The potential for the virus to reach humans in these regions is still unknown and warrants further investigation to assess the risk and transmission pathways.

This new research offers some vital clues but doesn’t deliver conclusive evidence regarding the origin of the pandemic. Genomic data suggests the possibility that Covid-positive animals, like raccoon dogs, could have been present in the Huanan wet market, despite Chinese authorities’ initial denials and claims to the contrary.

In conclusion, while the origin of Covid-19 remains uncertain, dedicated scientists worldwide are working tirelessly to unravel the mysteries surrounding this devastating virus. Stay tuned for the most thrilling zoological detective work you’ve ever heard of, as the quest for answers continues to unfold!

The Washington Declaration: Strengthening US-South Korea Alliance Amid North Korean Nuclear Threats


South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol and US President Biden unveiled the Washington Declaration during President Yoon’s state visit to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the US-South Korea alliance. This landmark agreement aims to strengthen military ties and bolster the credibility of US commitments to defend South Korea against North Korean nuclear threats.

Historically, South Korea has sought increased US military support, especially since endorsing a non-proliferation treaty in 1975. In January, President Yoon suggested South Korea might contemplate developing nuclear weapons if the US failed to provide robust military backing and include South Korea in deterrence talks regarding potential North Korean aggression.

The Washington Declaration signifies a major shift in US-South Korea relations, permitting US nuclear submarines to dock in South Korea for the first time in 40 years. This gesture demonstrates America’s readiness to employ its nuclear capabilities to deter potential North Korean offensives. Additionally, the declaration creates a Nuclear Consultative Group (NCG) between the two nations, inspired by nuclear consultations within NATO. The NCG enables joint planning and response execution to North Korean nuclear use.

The Washington Declaration also reasserts South Korea’s commitment to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), indirectly vowing not to pursue independent nuclear weapons capabilities. The Yoon administration prefers an alliance-centered response, increasing the likelihood of countering North Korean attempts to exploit differences between the US and South Korea due to ongoing military advancements.

The NCG and the Washington Declaration face two primary challenges. First, the NCG must outpace future North Korean military developments, as North Korea has consistently broadened its missile capabilities, delivery platforms, range, speed, and credibility. As a result, expeditious development and execution of joint response mechanisms should be prioritized.

The second challenge lies in maintaining visible efforts to reinforce deterrence against North Korea beyond the summit. Competing priorities, such as the war in Ukraine, rivalry with China, and domestic politics, necessitate continuous focus and exertion of political will at the leadership level while establishing more robust nuclear consultation mechanisms with South Korea.

Last month’s Pentagon leaks revealed that US intelligence agencies had surveilled high-ranking South Korean officials. Although both sides publicly downplayed the leaks’ significance, South Korean leaders reportedly felt deceived. The Washington Declaration may be an attempt to repair relations with this vital Asian ally.

Notably, the Biden administration’s North Korea strategy diverges from its predecessor; it maintains no formal contact with North Korean leaders and seems to have abandoned diplomacy. North Korea conducted more missile tests in 2022 than in the previous five years combined and is thought to possess intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) capable of targeting any city in mainland US, along with an undetermined number of nuclear warheads. (CFR)

North Korea is estimated to have an arsenal of 60 to 70 nuclear weapons, and the capacity to produce six to seven nuclear weapons per year. (Institute for Science and International Security)





  Life can be difficult. For many people, we find ourselves in situations that seem hopeless. If you are one of those people, I assure you that you are not alone. Not only are you not alone, but no matter how bad your situation may be, you have the power to change your life in ways you can’t imagine.


     I can’t know every person’s situation or personal struggles, but I do know mine. I was addicted to heroin for the great majority of a 20 year span. I’ve been to jails and prison more times than I can honestly remember. I’ve died on three separate occasions, due to heroin overdoses. I’ve been homeless, and I’ve seen and lived the worst of humanity. I’ve hurt and deceived any and everyone that I possibly could. Yet today, I am a professional musician, contributing writer, and I have a whole new family and support system that genuinely accepts and loves me. It wasn’t easy, and it certainly took time to arrive at my present situation.


      An important step in changing yourself, or any situation is to, first and foremost, honestly own your part. Pointing the finger at any and everyone, or being stuck in situations from your past are toxic. The fact of the matter is that each and every person has choices. We choose the people we invest time and energy into. We choose what we invest our time and energy into. It is essential to understand that the only thing you will ever have control over in your entire life is your actions and your reactions to what’s happening at the moment. To honestly take ownership for your current state, and to honestly recognize your faults are critical. It is also important to not let regret and guilt stunt you. The past is gone forever, and no amount of wishing it was different, or the “what if this or what if that” games that we imagine will ever change anything. The only thing the past is good for is experience. As long as you learn from your experiences, they can never be considered failures because you will have gained the knowledge to never repeat that mistake again. And, that is invaluable.


         Another crucial step in changing is to develop an unwavering belief in yourself. Take every action, say every word, and carry yourself, all the time, with a confidence that’s palpable. If you don’t believe in and love yourself, you can’t possibly expect anyone else to. Our thoughts and words are extremely powerful. You have to constantly reinforce your mind with positive words and thoughts about yourself. When you fully understand and believe that your thoughts and words are more than capable of manifesting your reality, you are on the verge of major changes.


          A vital process, in any real growth, is undoubtedly learning to overcome fear. Without a doubt, fear is the greatest hindrance to success on any level, whether emotionally, or in any other way. Most people live in fear their entire lives. They fail to take action out of fear. They come up with a million reasons why they can’t do something, and in the end, do nothing. This is fear. Fear forces people to settle, instead of chasing their dreams and true desires. You can never let fear dictate your life. It will only leave you with regret.

     The last piece of advice I would like to leave you with is to surround yourself with people who nurture and encourage you. People, who prove with their actions, that they genuinely care about you. It is absolutely true that you are a reflection of the company you keep. Never settle because you’re afraid of being alone. Learn to be at peace with yourself. I assure you, the right people will naturally gravitate to you, when everything we discussed previously has begun. Nothing of any worth comes easy, and without work and sacrifice. If you have people in your life who bring more negativity than positivity, you have to be willing to cut those people out. You are responsible for who you allow into your life, and you also dictate how you allow people to treat you. I can assure you that I am by no means perfect, however, I am also extremely proud of the things I’ve overcome, and the person I am today. Everything I wrote in this article was absolutely essential in me being able to overcome my circumstances. I assure you, it’s never too late to change, and it’s never so hopeless that you can’t overcome. I know because I have.

Breaking Barriers: Marine Corps Promotes First African American Four-Star General in 246-Year History

Public Domain Dedication. Public Use Notice of Limitations: https://www.dvidshub.net/about/copyright

WASHINGTON — This year alone, numerous promotion ceremonies have taken place within the military—on army bases, aircraft carriers, and even atop an escarpment overlooking Omaha Beach in Normandy. However, a historic event transpired on Saturday: Gen. Michael E. Langley, 60, became the first African American Marine to receive a fourth star, marking a monumental accomplishment in the Corps’ 246-year history. As a result, he now belongs to the Marine Corps’ top echelon as one of only three four-star generals.

In an emotional occasion at the Marine Barracks in Washington, General Langley, who is set to lead the United States Africa Command, acknowledged the significance of his promotion. Until now, the Marine Corps had never awarded a fourth star to anyone other than a white man. General Langley paid tribute to the Black Marines who preceded him, referencing President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s order to desegregate the Marine Corps during WWII. Among the Marines named were Frank E. Petersen Jr., the first Black Marine Corps general, and Ronald L. Bailey, the first Black commander of the First Marine Division. Both men ultimately attained the rank of lieutenant general.

General Langley’s promotion has electrified the community of Black Marines. Many greeted him at Marine Corps Base Quantico in Virginia on Thursday when he arrived to collect new uniforms for his forthcoming assignment in Stuttgart, Germany, which serves as Africa Command headquarters.

This long-awaited step for the Marine Corps is significant. Since admitting African American troops in 1942, becoming the final military service to do so, fewer than 30 have achieved any form of general officer rank. None were promoted to the highest four-star rank, a distinction conferred upon 73 white men up until now. Seven African Americans received the lieutenant general rank, or three stars, while the rest earned one or two stars, typically in fields not associated with the highest leadership roles in the Marine Corps, such as logistics, aviation, and transport.

Having commanded every echelon from platoon to regiment throughout a distinguished 37-year career, General Langley now brings extensive experience to his new role. With overseas deployments in Afghanistan, Somalia, and Okinawa under his belt, he has also held senior staff positions at the Pentagon and the military’s Central Command, overseeing operations in the Middle East.

The lack of diversity among Black Marine generals gained attention after a 2020 New York Times article. When questioned about this disparity, General Berger cited the high caliber of military personnel, stating, “For every 10 we pick, every 12, we could pick 30 more—every bit as good.”

Remarkably, General Langley’s great-uncle was one of the Montford Point Marines, the first Black Marine Corps recruits to enlist after the Corps began admitting African Americans in 1942. These trailblazers trained separately from their white counterparts at Montford Point in North Carolina, away from Camp Lejeune. It took Roosevelt’s executive order to convince Marine Corps Commandant Thomas Holcomb to admit Black men into the service. Infamously, Holcomb once declared, “If it were a question of having a Marine Corps of 5,000 whites or 250,000 Negroes, I would rather have the whites.”

With General Langley now among the institution’s top brass, the Marine Corps’ outlook on diversity appears to have evolved. “Mentally we have learned that there’s greater value in the collective than just the monolithic perception of what the makeup of the Marine Corps is,” he stated. He hopes that Black Marines will view the Corps as a place where they are no longer obstructed by a glass ceiling.