Time to work together to strengthen relationships between law enforcement and Black communities

In December, I was honored to be sworn in as Kentucky’s 51st Attorney General, the first Black man to hold the position, the first to be named chief law enforcement officer of the Commonwealth, and the first to be independently elected to a statewide constitutional office.

In my inaugural remarks, I chose to address these “firsts” by speaking to my

vision for the Attorney General’s office, namely, the application of our system of laws, which despite an imperfect history is rooted in an enduring maxim— equal justice under the law.

This maxim must be punctuated by the equally important truth that justice cannot be truly equal unless it is applied the same to everyone. As I noted in my remarks, “your politics, your upbringing, your station in life, your heritage, your finances, your color, your gender, your geography…these things do not determine how you will be treated under the law.”

This truth of the law is why Lady Justice, the physical depiction of our justice

system, is most often portrayed wearing a blindfold. Justice should be blind to the very things our own eyes, mind, and heart are so quick to use to judge others.

Recent protests in communities across the country, including in my home city of Louisville, suggest that many see the blindfold worn by Lady Justice not as an indication of blind justice, but as blinders to the many issues facing our society. Chief among these issues is the current distrust and tension between law enforcement and black communities.

It is incumbent upon elected leaders, at every level, to tackle these issues head on by having an open, honest conversation about how we can move forward together.

I’ve appreciated President Trump’s willingness to do just that. Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to attend a law enforcement roundtable at the White House led by the President along with Vice President Pence, Attorney General Barr, and other stakeholders. This roundtable provided a unique opportunity for a productive and necessary conversation about healing the fabric of our country by not only improving but strengthening, the relationship between law enforcement and Black communities.

The roundtable discussion centered around the responsibility, which we all share, to look for ways to do things better, to become better citizens, and to become better neighbors. It is my belief from the time spent both with my law enforcement colleagues at the roundtable and in my home state, that the law enforcement community recognizes the sincerity of that need and is committed to not only protecting and serving, but also to demonstrating understanding.

It is this understanding and recognition that has led to images of peaceful protestors and law enforcement officers locking arms in solidarity at protests around the country. And, it is this understanding that will propel our country forward.

As we move forward, however, we cannot sacrifice the rule of law in the name

of reform. The rule of law is the necessary foundation in this country for building

lasting change. Abandoning law and order for violence and looting is not the

answer. And, a radical dismantling of our law enforcement community with calls

to “defund the police” only invite further fear and uncertainty at a time when we need understanding and stability.

This is not a moment to weaponize or politicize. It is a moment that calls for us to come together and to find common ground.

Daniel Jay Cameron is the 51st Attorney General for the Commonwealth of

Kentucky. He is the first African American independently elected to statewide

office in Kentucky’s history and the first Republican elected to the Attorney

General’s office since 1948.

‘Scripture says, it is better to give than to receive’ Cancer Patient Donates N95 Masks During COVID-19 Pandemic

On March 13, 2020, the Novel Coronavirus Disease, COVID-19, was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization, Two days later, on March 13, 2020 a national emergency was declared in the United States concerning the COVID-19 Outbreak. PPE (Personal Protection Equipment), which acts as a barrier between infectious materials and its wearer, was in high demand, but in short supply.

Much of the world was scrambling to get PPE. Those fortunate enough to have masks, gloves, and other PPE, tried to stretch their supply as best they could. But for Carol Pitts Wilson, who had the highly-sought after n95 masks, it was best to follow exactly what The Bible says in

Acts 20:35.

Dr. Christian Rolfo and patient Carol Pitts Wilson. Dr. Rolfo is treating Pitts Wilson for a carcinoid tumor.

Courtesy Photo

Dr. Christian Rolfo and patient Carol Pitts Wilson. Dr. Rolfo is treating Pitts Wilson for a carcinoid tumor.

“Scripture says, it is better to give than to receive,” said Pitts Wilson. “Giving does make a difference in someone’s life.”

Pitts Wilson gave five of her N95 masks to Dr. Christian Rolfo, director of the Thoracic Medical Oncology and the Early Clinical Trials at the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center (UMGCCC). Masks were also distributed to members of his staff. Dr. Rolfo specializes in thoracic oncology, drug development and translational oncology, and is treating Pitts for a carcinoid tumor. Pitts made the donation on March 31, 2020 at the Center’s Greene Street location.

“Dr. Rolfo and I developed not only a doctor-patient relationship, but a friendship,” said Pitts Wilson who is 70-years-old. “I wanted to give back to Dr. Rolfo. He is trying to save my life, and I wanted to help save his life. Dr. Rolfo also has a two-year-old son. I wanted him to continue to do his work and teach his son to be as loving and caring as he is. To give back in such a way really felt good.”

A carcinoid tumor is a slow-growing cancerous tumor that can grow in

several places throughout the body. A carcinoid tumor often begins in the stomach, appendix, small intestine, colon, rectum, or in the lungs.

“In January of 2019, Dr. Rolfo started treating me for a carcinoid tumor sitting outside my lungs,” recalled Pitts Wilson, noting she was not a smoker. “It was about the size of an avocado. It sat too close to my aorta for them to remove it, so I was not a candidate for surgery. This is a rare form of cancer. I took chemotherapy for two weeks, and have had proton therapy. I am being treated with hormone shots to continue to treat the tumor, to stop the cancer cells from spreading, and to kill them off.

“Some have spread to areas of my bones and I am being treated for that. I had to get an endoscopy and colonoscopy and all those tests came back good. The tumor is not growing, and the bad cells are decreasing.”

Pitts Wilson recalled when she first sought treatment.

“I was having labored breathing for about three days in December 2019. Then it got to the point where I could not breathe. I went to Union Memorial and they sent me for a battery of tests. The tumor was pressing against my lungs, which gave me the labored breathing.”

Pitts Wilson, wJ1

ho is retired, attends One God One Thought Center for Better Living on Coronado Road, where Rev. Bernette Jones serves as Senior Pastor.

“It’s been a trying year,” said Pitts Wilson. “It’s not that I don’t waver at times, but my love of God and all the ministers and prayer warriors have helped me to get through this. I don’t know why I got cancer. I just know that I have to continue to love, and in every situation turn negatives into positives and move on in life.”

Dr. Rolfo said he and his staff are overwhelmed by Pitt Wilson’s kindness.

“We are emotional about this,” said Dr. Rolfo of the donation. “It makes us feel that we are important to both the community and patients. I was obviously very happy about Carol’s donation. But I was not surprised, because I know her generosity.”

He added, “She is responding very well to treatment, and we are very happy for Carol. Her kind gesture reminds us of why we are doing our jobs. Obviously, we are using these types of masks. Having extra material in addition to what the hospital is giving us was fantastic.”

Residents urged to keep safety in mind on area streets and highways

Baltimore— With the gradual lifting of coronavirus restrictions, local officials are urging area residents to keep their guard up when leaving their homes after weeks of sheltering in place. 

Law enforcement reports that a growing number of drivers are taking advantage of reduced traffic to ignore speed limits and other traffic laws, while ongoing social distancing prompts some pedestrians to step into streets to maintain the recommended six-foot gap from others.

“These are still tumultuous times as millions of people adapt to the new ‘normal’ and take steps to continue to protect themselves and their families from COVID-19,” said Mike Kelly, Executive Director of the Baltimore Metropolitan Council. “We want everyone to remember that safety applies to driving, walking, and bicycling, too.”

Safety advocates say it’s important for everyone in the region, to be alert and aware of their surroundings, obey traffic laws, and avoid distractions when driving, walking or bicycling. The “Look Alive” traffic safety campaign offers these tips to stay safe on area streets

and highways.

  If you’re driving…

·Obey speed limits, even when tempted to go faster because of fewer cars on the road.

·Always come to a complete stop at red lights and stop signs.

·Watch and stop for people crossing the street.

·Avoid using your cell phone, and never text while driving.

·Be alert for people who may occasionally step into the roadway as they

attempt to maintain social distancing.

  If you’re walking…

·Cross at the corner and use crosswalks when available.

·Use caution and double check for

vehicles if you are stepping into the street for any reason.

·If you’re unable to use a sidewalk, keep close to the edge of the road and face traffic if possible so you can see

approaching vehicles.

·Avoid using your cell phone while you’re crossing the street.

·Remain alert to others around you—drivers, bicyclist, and other pedestrians.

  If you’re biking…

·Obey traffic signs and signals.

·Use hand signals to tell drivers what you intend to do.​

·Wear a helmet.

  “Look Alive” is a regional pedestrian and bicycle safety program that combines education and enforcement across the Baltimore metropolitan region, which includes Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County and Queen Anne’s County. Visit LookAliveMD.org for more safety tips and information about the program.

Reginald F. Lewis Museum celebrates 15TH Anniversary

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you and your family. I just want to say that I know you are glad that the city and state are opening up again to the public step-by-step. Now in Stage 2, restaurants; parks; casinos; shopping centers; gyms; nail salons; barbershops; and malls are opening their doors to the public. Please don’t be a fool, COVID-19 is still out there. I am happy for the business owners but for us, we must be very careful. Keep your mask on, especially in places such as casinos; wear gloves. As much as we are anxious to get out there and be able to write about my music and entertainment again, I am in no hurry to hang out in a room full of people who refuse to wear a mask. But that’s me.

The Reginald F. Lewis Museum is introducing a new “Oral History” Project that will chronicle the African American Experience in Maryland. The project will lift voices that will capture stories from iconic members of the Black community, new voices championing for change and those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Called “Voices Lifted,” the project will capture, transcribe and digitize 50-70 new oral histories from iconic African American leaders and members of the Maryland community. The Lewis museum also plans to collect the stories of recent figures involved in Maryland’s peaceful protests against police brutality, as well as those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, which disproportionately affected the African American community.

Gathering the voices and memories of those who have participated in past events have been part of the Lewis Museum’s mission since it opened 15 years ago,” said Jackie Copeland, executive director of the Lewis Museum.These voices will be digitized to make them accessible to all.

The Reginald F. Lewis Museum is Maryland’s largest museum dedicated to the state’s African American experience. A Smithsonian affiliate, the museum engages visitors through its permanent and special exhibitions, community events and family programming.

Congratulations Reginald F. Lewis Museum! I, Rosa Pryor, aka “Rambling Rose” is proud to have been a part of this wonderful museum from the beginning when they placed my first book “African-American Entertainment in Baltimor.e” It was one of the first books placed on the shelves of their book store. The museum has a video of me talking about my books as an author of two history books and my history as the first Black female and successful Entertainment Booking Agent for local and national musicians for the past 60 years in the Baltimore Metropolitan area on a wide screen on the second floor of the museum. I have given many lectures, demonstrations and book signings at the Reginald Lewis and hope to continue. Congratulations Reginald F. Lewis Museum. I salute you!

Hopefully by now you have heard that Chef Dante Daniels and his wife Candes have opened a second location of Colin’s Seafood & Grill located at 1728 E. Northern Parkway for carry-out only. Inside dinning will be opened soon. Congratulations my friend!

Okay folks, I really have to go now. Just remember if you need me, call me at 410-833-9474 or email me at rosapryor@aol.com and tell me what’s going on in the entertainment world. UNTIL THE NEXT TIME, I’M MUSICALLY YOURS.

Ray Gaskins, Baltimore’s own, internationally known saxophonist is in need of your prayers. He is in Arlington West Care Center, 3939 Penhurst Avenue. He had a major stroke. It was reported that he is unable to talk or move any part of his body except his head. It has been almost a year since it was reported that he was in hospice care with severe dementia. Hopefully his musician family and his fans will send cards and get well balloons or something to at least make him smile and to let him know you care.

Courtesy Photo

Ray Gaskins, Baltimore’s own, internationally known saxophonist is in need of your prayers. He is in Arlington West Care Center, 3939 Penhurst Avenue. He had a major stroke. It was reported that he is unable to talk or move any part of his body except his head. It has been almost a year since it was reported that he was in hospice care with severe dementia. Hopefully his musician family and his fans will send cards and get well balloons or something to at least make him smile and to let him know you care.

Former radio host of the “Tom Joyner Morning Show” and disc jockey from Magic 95.9 FM Radio Station, recently suffered a stroke last month and at last report he is in rehabilitation.

Courtesy Photo

Former radio host of the “Tom Joyner Morning Show” and disc jockey from Magic 95.9 FM Radio Station, recently suffered a stroke last month and at last report he is in rehabilitation.


Courtesy Photo


PayPal dedicates $500 million for black business owners and startups

PayPal Holdings has announced a $530 million commitment to support black and minority-owned businesses and communities in the United States, especially those hardest hit by the pandemic.

The fund is part of PayPal’s larger pledge to fight economic inequality. It includes minority-owned businesses in Baltimore, according to a news release.

As part of its investment, the company is bolstering its internal programs to further increase diversity, equity and inclusion within the PayPal community.

“For far too long, Black people in America have faced deep-seated injustice and systemic economic inequality. Black lives matter and we need to drive transformative change. We must take decisive action to close the racial wealth gap that sustains this profound inequity,” Dan Schulman, president and CEO of PayPal,” said in a news release. “PayPal is uniquely positioned to help in this area, and we are committed to doing our part to address the unacceptable racial divide by advancing a more just economy and society. We’ve listened to leaders in the Black community about the challenges facing Black business owners and the support and investments needed to sustain Black-owned businesses and create long-term economic opportunity. The holistic set of initiatives we are implementing are

designed to help address the immediate crisis and set the foundation for sustained engagement and progress towards economic equality and social justice.”

The commitment includes short-term, medium-term, and long-term investments in the community:

*$10 million fund for empowerment grants to black-owned businesses impacted by COVID-19 or civil unrest. These grants will provide direct support to business owners to cover expenses

related to stabilizing and reopening their businesses. The fund will be managed in partnership with Association for Enterprise Opportunity, a leading national nonprofit expanding economic opportunity for Black entrepreneurs through its Tapestry Project. Interested businesses can apply for a grant at aeoworks.org/paypalgrant/.

*$5 million fund for program grants and employee matching gifts for PayPal’s nonprofit community partners that are working to strengthen Black business owners by providing them with

microloans, technical assistance, information, mentoring and access to digital solutions to speed their recovery from the impact of the pandemic. Local partners are best positioned to know the needs of their communities and these grants are intended to catalyze and further empower the necessary work they are doing to sustain Black-owned businesses. Initial organizations receiving grants through the fund include Association for Enterprise Opportunity, Baltimore Business Lending, Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives Micro Finance Group, Expanding Black Business Credit Initiative, Kiva, MORTAR,

Nebraska Enterprise Fund, Opportunity Fund, Rising Tide Capital, Start Small Think Big, Walker’s Legacy Foundation and Women’s Opportunity Resource Center. As part of this the company will expand the PayPal Gives Employee Matching Gifts program. PayPal will match $2 for every $1 employees donate and $10 for every volunteer hour dedicated to racial and economic justice efforts in local communities, up to $500,000.

*$500 million commitment to create an economic opportunity fund to support and strengthen Black and underrepresented minority businesses and communities over the long term, and designed to help drive financial health, access and generational wealth creation. This initiative will include bolstering the company’s relationships with community banks and credit unions serving underrepresented minority communities, as well as investing directly into Black and minority-led startups and minority-

focused investment funds.

“AEO advocates for economic inclusion and works to create transformational change in the marketplace for small businesses,” said Connie Evans, president and CEO, Association for

Enterprise Opportunity (AEO). “Now, more than ever, it’s critical to invest in Black-owned businesses, create a more equitable system and break through the barriers that have historically challenged Black business ownership and wealth creation.”

PayPal is committing $15 million to strengthen its internal diversity and

inclusion programs to foster greater awareness, build equity, and support

recruiting, hiring and career advancement of Black and minority employees.

“These initiatives build on the extensive financial health and small business empowerment programs PayPal already supports. They will add a particular

emphasis on Black-owned businesses, sharpen the focus of that work, accelerate the deployment of PayPal’s resources and fuel employee engagement,” the company stated in the release.

For business and startups to take

advantage of this opportunity, visit https://bit.ly/37iUTTW

Many African Americans say they’re independent of America’s Independence

For African Americans, the July 4th Independence Day holiday has always posed a significant conflict: While white America declared its independence in 1776, the bells of freedom didn’t ring for African Americans until June 19, 1865.

As America prepares its annual rituals of flag-waving, barbecues, and fireworks to mark Independence

Day, this year poses even more conflict, as seen in the global uprisings and demonstrations demanding that the United States finally recognize that Black Lives Matter.

“This year, 2020, has been an awakening on multiple fronts for many people,” said Deveeda Cohen, a hairstylist who lives in Baltimore City. “How is it possible to shoot off a firecracker and say ‘God bless America’ when America has forever been ignorant, racist, and bigoted?”

Cohen offered that she and her family observed June 19, or Juneteenth, as the official Independence Day for African Americans. “If 2020 has taught us anything, we cannot go back to the status quo. We cannot go back to allowing America to dictate its hateful policies, misguided holidays, and their Civil War heroes as standards for Black people,” Cohen stated.

“I had observed my people’s independence last month. There will be no celebration for my family on July 4th,” she concluded.

Juneteenth came two years after President Abraham Licoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, a document that freed slaves in all states that rebelled against the Union.

With the uprising in the wake of the George Floyd killing by police in Minneapolis, more states and municipalities have declared they will observe Juneteenth as a holiday.

Truck driver Jonathan Dolphin said this Fourth of July, he’s decided to reflect on the words of Frederick Douglass, who, on July 5, 1852, gave a stirring speech about independence.

The address took place in Rochester, N.Y., just one day after an Independence Day celebration in that city.

“It’s their holiday, it’s white America’s holiday,” Dolphin stated. He then paraphrased Douglass. “This Fourth of July is theirs, not mine. We, as truck drivers, work all the time anyway. We are essential all of the time.”

In his speech, Douglass said, “You may rejoice, I must mourn. What have I, or those I represent, to do with your national independence?”

Arianne Campbell of Annapolis agreed.

“While we protest, Black people are still being killed in the streets of America. We have not achieved full independence, and we won’t until that stops,” Campbell stated.

“It’s almost an insult right now to celebrate America’s independence because, in my view, it’s putting a stamp of approval on racism and police brutality. Maybe one day we’ll get there where we can all celebrate together at the same time. Today, in 2020, we’re not there.”

Elinor Pierce, who describes herself as multi-racial, believes even the most pragmatic of individuals should understand the reluctance of African Americans to join in any Fourth of July celebration.

“It took Black people a long time to get to this point where it seems white America, and the world, are finally listening. They’re finally starting to pay attention to the cries of not just us, but our ancestors,” Pierce noted.

“Whether or not they truly get it is another story, but they are listening and, if you’re not tone deaf, then you understand why July 4 is always going to be looked upon as a white holiday,” she challenged.

“We have Juneteenth, but America needs to permanently fix the problems of racism once and for all and then, and only then, can we all celebrate independence together.”

Keep your foot on the gas

The timeline of racial injustice stemming from slavery, segregation and mass incarceration to police brutality dates back centuries but today the world is forced to see and recognize the unfortunate trauma that Black people have

endured overtime.

During the time of stay at home orders, when everything was on pause, we witnessed the public lynching of George Floyd by the knee of a police officer.

This occurred after also having seen the fatal shootings of Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old Black man jogging outside; and Breonna Taylor, a 26-year old medical technician murdered in her sleep.

Cities erupted globally powering the movement against police brutality and racial injustice overall. Today, after 400 years of oppression there is finally a mass outrage and outcry for change.

The Covid-19 pandemic has forced the world to stop and pay attention to a racial pandemic that cannot be ignored. During this time many feel helpless and have a simple question, “what can I do to help create change?” The first step is being aware and also realizing that your fight in the journey for justice may not look like your fellow counterparts, but you must do your part. Taking action to create change and being an ally in the battle against racial injustice can include but is not limited to protesting, donating, signing petitions, learning more about Black History and systemic oppression, voting, speaking out against racism, etc.

While police brutality is at the forefront, we’re dealing with other significant issues in the Black community that stem from systemic inequality which

include the racial wealth gap, lack of

access to healthcare, lack of funding of education, lack of diversity in the workplace, etc. Racism is widespread problem built into every level of our society and its necessary that we take action to confront it head on. During this time, we’ve seen businesses such as Ben & Jerry’s speak out again systemic injustice noting that when we stand together and fight it, we all benefit. It’s amazing to see large corporations speaking up and take a stance but the most important part in all of this is to take action not just today but every day moving forward.

This year, Juneteenth carried a deeper meaning in the wake of Black lives lost to police brutality. As we approached the holiday, I had a white colleague express to me that this was a moment in history she was unaware of because it was not present in our history books and she was right. There’s so much of our history from oppression faced to the achievements of Black people that is unknown to the majority. Moving forward, we must be intentional about educating the future gener- ation because Black History is American History and must be acknowledged.

We see how far we’ve come, but also recognize how far we have left to go. One thing I’ve noticed is that the attention toward this movement has started to ease up, but we must remember that the “Black Lives Matter” movement is not a fad. Now is the time to keep your foot on the gas. Keep the same energy in your fight because change will not happen in one day. All lives will not matter until Black skin, Black beauty, Black art, Black style, Black History, Black culture, Black men, Black women, and BLACK LIVES MATTER!

Positively Caviar, Inc. (PCI) is a grassroots nonprofit organization focused on instilling mental resilience by way of positive thinking and optimism. PCI

relies on positive digital media, high-

intensity speaking engagements, and their signature B.U.I.L.D. Self-Empowerment workshops to amplify their audiences’ minds towards a resilient and purposeful life. Each month, a member of their Nucleus Team will feature a column focused on mental and physical health tips, scientific studies, nutrition facts and stories that are positive in

nature to support a positive and healthy lifestyle. To learn more about how you can support, volunteer, or donate to

Positively Caviar, Inc. visit: staybasedandpositive.com.