Dick Gregory Remembered, Lionized By Mourners

— Civil rights activist and comedian Dick Gregory packed several lifetimes into his 84 years. He was many things: groundbreaking, pioneering comedian; persistent critic of America’s policies and practices of racism, discrimination and oppressor; marathon runner; a guru around issues of nutrition and good health; political candidate for mayor of Chicago and president; author of 20 books.

Gregory, father of 10 and husband to wife Lillian for 58 years, died August 19 after a brief illness.

On Saturday, September 16, 2017, at City of Praise Family Ministries several thousand mourners listened for more than six hours as friends, family and admirers celebrated the man described as a legend. The memorial service brought together a constellation of local, national and international celebrities and luminaries from the Arts, entertainment, politics and sports as well as ordinary people, all whose lives Gregory touched over the course of his 84 years. These included boxing promoter and TV host Rock Newman, actor Joe Morton, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Stevie Wonder, Bill and Camille Cosby, MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell, members of the American Indian Movement and The Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II.

Nation of Islam leader Min. Louis Farrakhan – who was introduced by his friend of more than 40 years, the Rev. Willie Wilson of DC’s Union Temple Baptist Church said Gregory was “was from the dark womb of space that God produces to create stars of immeasurable quality and beauty” who was always among ordinary men and women working.

“We experience the loss not of a comedian but the loss of one sent from above to be a guide, a teacher, a friend, a teacher, an activist, a giver, a sufferer, one of the most marvelous human beings I have had the privilege of meeting during my 84 years of life on this planet,” he said. “I want to thank Mother Lillian and the Gregory family for the great honor and privilege that you have given me to ask me to be the eulogist for a man that is so difficult to describe, But I’m going to try in a few words to say what I think and I believe about man who lie there but is not here.”

Crowd reaction was palpable when several children of slain Civil Rights activists and Rain Pryor, daughter of comedian Richard Pryor, came to the stage to pay tribute to Gregory. Renee Evers-Everette, Martin Luther King, III, and llyasah Shabazz, the third daughter of Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz talked about the many ways Gregory touched their lives.

“Baba was part of my Pryor life of laughter and that special attention he gave you,” said Pryor. “He said that truths were soul food and a map to live by. He told me to always choose my words wisely. Today, as we honor our newest Ancestor, we are reminded not to morph, not to imitate, but to speak the highest truth. We have to keep them lifted in our actions as we become the change they sought.”

Evers-Everette said she initially refused strenuously when asked by Ayanna Gregory to speak but … “There’s no way I could not be here,” she said. “My father and Dick Gregory were brothers of the spirit and the hearts … They (her father and other slain Civil Rights activists) spilled the blood of truth for our freedoms. The words, wisdom and spirit they powered out in us was given to the world. The time given may have been small but it was enormous. They made the most impact on our minds and hearts.”

Shabazz said Gregory fought for people trapped on the periphery of economics and justice.

“He challenged the social climate and challenged a superpower that has been systematically and historically unjust to certain populations,” she said. “I’m honored to be here today for my parents and Ancestors. The Ancestors are lining up to welcome Baba in anticipation of a progress report on the status of life down here.”

“When it came time to say who took Malcolm’s life he rose to the occasion. He clarified Martin Luther King Jr’s death and raised his voice for those slain by bullies and bigots,” Shabazz explained. “And when this new generation reminded the world that Black Lives Matter, he stood up with them and spoke truth to power.”

Waters, who has eagerly embraced her role as an outspoken and acerbic critic of President Donald Trump, promised that she would continue to be “this dishonorable person’s” worst nightmare.

“I’m so pleased that you organized a real celebration where you’re not ending quickly and trying to shut people up. I’m going to take as long as I want,” she said to a mixture of laughter and applause. “I have talked to Dick for hours. We would talk— no, he would talk— about things going on in the world. He brought me to this time and place in my life.”

“I’ve decided I don’t want to be safe. I’m not looking for people to like me. It’s time for us to walk the walk. If you cared about him, loved him, stop being so weak. It’s time to stop skinning and grinning. It’s time for us to have the courage to do what we need to do, especially at this hour.”

ACLU report documents police abuse in Maryland

Special to The Baltimore Times

A recently released report by the Maryland chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) reveals the dangers black people continue to face during encounters with law enforcement.

In 2015, there were at least 21 individuals killed by police in Maryland. The ACLU study found that 81 percent of the victims were Black, nearly half were unarmed, and all the unarmed individuals killed were Black.

“Marylanders, and particularly communities of color, have long lived with the reality of unchecked police abuse,” said Policy Director Sara Love. “The public is rightfully demanding a seat at the table to ensure that officers who have committed wrongdoing are appropriately disciplined. Law enforcement has shown, time and again, that they are unable to police themselves. This session, the General Assembly must reform the Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights to ensure that civilians have a meaningful role in the disciplinary process.”

Staff Attorney Sonia Kumar concurred.

“Even as police custody deaths continue and demands for reform grow more powerful, we have seen little evidence that Maryland police departments are engaging with the issue on a systemic level,” she said. “Police agencies must commit to valuing the sanctity of all human life, regardless of race or class, and doing what it takes to infuse that into the culture, policies and practices of their agencies. Maryland leaders can help them take a step in this direction by passing strong, statewide police accountability reform legislation.”

The briefing paper released last year notes that between 2010 and 2014, at least 109 people died in police encounters. Those deaths occurred in 18 Maryland jurisdictions, including Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Cecil, Charles, Frederick, Howard, Montgomery, Prince George’s, Washington and Wicomico Counties and Baltimore City.

During those four years, almost 70 percent of those who died in police encounters were Black, more than 40 percent were unarmed, and police officers were criminally charged in less than two percent of the 109 cases cited by the ACLU.

One of the people who died in police custody was Freddie Gray, the 25-year-old Baltimore resident who was arrested without cause in last April, suffered severe injuries to his neck and spine and succumbed a week later from his injuries. His death added another layer to the clamor for fairness and justice for black residents and it is fueling an expanding movement in Maryland for police accountability reform, now being considered in Annapolis.

Gray died after what Baltimore city officials describe as a “rough ride,” when a detainee’s seat belts are left unbuckled and the driver drives in a manner to throw them around. Gray’s death triggered civil unrest, which led to scores of arrests, millions of dollars in property damage and steadfast demands by embattled residents in Baltimore City for an end to police harassment and brutality. Six Baltimore City police officers are on trial for complicity in Gray’s death and city officials paid the Gray family a $6.4 million settlement.

Meanwhile, in the past three years, Baltimore residents have filed 317 lawsuits alleging police brutality, and the city has paid out $5.7 million to settle these cases.

The briefing paper comes against the backdrop of a national push, primarily from Black Lives Matter and other millennial activists over the past three years, to force greater accountability in law enforcement and press for criminal justice reform. The murder of Trayvon Martin in 2012 triggered the creation and growth of the #BLM, while Michael Brown’s killing by a Ferguson, Missouri police officer in 2014 and the choking death of Eric Garner reinvigorated the demands for meaningful change.

Some of the highlights from the ACLU’s briefing paper: nearly half of those who died had a disability, substance use or a mental health issue of some kind. Ninety percent were Black; although the leading cause of death was gunshot wounds, in at least three instances, victims died almost immediately after being tased; in 20 of 21 cases, no criminal charges were filed; and after review of a number of cases, states attorneys declared the killings justified.

ACLU staff say, it was impossible to determine whether any officers were disciplined for misconduct in these cases because as is customary, police officials refused to release such information.

Meanwhile, families are left to mourn.

“Looking at the high number of African-Americans killed I would be remiss not to say black lives matter. We are more than hashtags and body bags,” said Tawanda Jones, whose brother Tyrone West was killed during an encounter with Baltimore City police officers on July 18, 2013. “I will continue to fight for our lives until the end of time. The police need to be above-board in doing right, not above the law.”

Environmental justice leaders push benefits of climate change

Special to The Baltimore Times

Whenever they discuss the impact of climate change on the United States, environmental activists of color are quick to point out that African Americans in cities and towns across the country continue to be adversely affected by legislative and other policies that put them at greater risk.

All too often, several speakers said at a recent environmental justice symposium, black and brown people live in or around coal plants, brown fields, toxic waste, incinerators, power plants and other generators of pollution in their communities.

“Climate change is a threat multiplier for the black community. Our children have asthma, miss school, fall behind and end up in the school-to-prison pipeline,” said Leslie Fields, director of the Sierra Club’s Environmental and Community Partnership Programs. “We’re monitoring the cumulative impacts. African Americans are disproportionately affected by climate change and are demanding action. Air pollution and climate change don’t just greatly impact health, they stifle our ability to grow economically.”

Louisiana-based researcher and environmental activist, Dr. Beverly Wright, agreed.

“Fifty percent of people of color live within two miles of areas of pollution,” she said. “There needs to be buffers. We need a special distribution of polluting facilities. The people least responsible are the most affected.”

Wright, executive director of Dillard University’s Deep South Center for Environmental Justice says, those involved in environmental justice have a tough job fighting corporations, utilities and government officials intent on decimating the environment. Race, she says, is the predominant indicator for African Americans that determines their exposure to assorted toxins, chemicals and pollutants.

Climate change is manifested in illness from exposure to pollutants that drive climate change, physical displacement of individuals and families in the face of rising sea levels, catastrophic or destructive storms and economic and food insecurity and malnutrition.

Fields and Wright were two of more than a dozen experts, specialists and community activists sounding the alarm of the perils to the U.S. and the planet by climate change.

The daylong symposium— titled, “Sustaining the Future: The Impact of Climate Change on the African American Community,” and hosted by Green For All at the Sierra Club in downtown Washington— brought together representatives from a broad spectrum of local and national environmental justice groups and organizations, policymakers and others seeking to bring about change.

“There has been a rub to a lot of people. The U.S. polluted for many, many years and now they’re asking developing countries to curb emissions,” said Wright. “But sustainable energy works. Wind and solar energy works. China is embracing it. You almost can’t go back. We now have to work together to save all of us now.”

In a subsequent panel discussion, “Black & Green: The Intersection Between Race and Environmental Justice,” moderator Angela Rye, principal and CEO of Impact Strategies, pushed panelists to expound on how best to become environmental activists.

“We know this is a crisis, we know that if this was in white communities this wouldn’t happen. How do you move forward?” she asked.

Jermon Williams continued to gently insist on the importance of bringing disparate groups and individuals into the process.

“We need to be bridging the gaps and bringing policy folks and advocacy folks together to the ground levels,” said Williams, senior vice president of Broccoli City. “They have a voice. It’s finding creative ways to meet people where they are and going from there … one-offs don’t work. Activity breeds activity. We have to create and supply activity.”

Broccoli City is a millennial grassroots organization that engages and activates more than 20,000-millennials around healthy eating and environmental sustainability that also works on building thriving urban communities that sustain future generations.

For Kim Noble, Green For All Director of National Partnerships, the effects of climate change are personal. She shared that she’s lost several people close to her and cited the tragedy that continues to unfold in Flint, Michigan as a clear example of what environmental justice advocates are fighting against.

“In toxic waste studies in 1987 and 2007, people of color were most affected. In 20 years, the numbers haven’t changed,” said Quentin Pair, a retired senior attorney with the US Department of Justice’s Environmental and Natural Resource Division. “Sixty percent are now affected. Race has always been at the heart of environmental justice.”

The entire environmental picture isn’t bleak, asserted Fields and Wright. The way forward for embattled communities is President Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan and the range of smart climate change policies the administration has enacted. The plan sets the first, ever federal limits on carbon pollution from power plans, lowering the amount of health problem-causing toxins released into the air. The plan has public health and climate benefits worth up to $54 billion a year through 2030.

“This will create opportunity work, transitions and economic development,” said Fields. “We’re strongly advocating for states to continue working on the Clean Power Plan.”

Advocates push to improve economic odds for Maryland women

Even though working women comprise 50 percent of Maryland’s workforce, data on income disparity shows that the typical man makes more than $58,000 a year, while women make $50,480.

Broken down, statistics further indicate that white women make 86 cents for every dollar their white male counterparts make, African-American women bring home 69 cents and Latino women are paid 40 cents for every dollar a white man makes. The consequences of this inequality and the wealth gap it creates are clear.

In Maryland, middle and working class families in general, and women in particular are in crisis, according to several speakers at the Women’s Economic Security Agenda Community Forum.

For many of these families stuck with stagnant salaries and wages, it’s a constant balancing act trying to make scarce dollars stretch to pay for rent, childcare, clothing, food and other costs which continue to spiral out of control.

By contrast, except for the occasional hiccup, the stock market continues to rack up record gains and mega banks, big business and large corporations are raking in sizeable profits and at the highest echelons of society, economy, life is good.

“Many families are barely scraping by,” said Maryland Delegate Angela M. Angel, who moderated a forum and panel discussion recently. “Ten percent of women live in poverty, while 14 percent of African-American women are in the same situation and 70 percent of the low-wage workforce is women.”

What often escapes people, Angel added, is that significant numbers of women are working but with less than full time hours and the ever spiraling cost-of-living, they can’t make ends meet.

“Sometimes [they’re] just struggling to pay daycare,” Delegate Angel pointed out. “These priorities are essential because working families are a quintessential part of communities in Maryland. It’s not talked about enough— working and lower-class families are often ignored.”

The advocacy of “Maryland Working Families,” an organization committed to reversing this reality is fighting to level the playing field for women and families through legislation and other means.

The group, which hosted the January 9 forum at the Greenbelt Library, has been busy canvassing, knocking on doors all over the state educating individuals and families and marshaling support for three bills that they, advocates and their legislative supporters have been working tirelessly to get passed by the end of the 90-day session which began on January 13, 2016. The bills seek pay equity, fair work scheduling, and paid family leave.

“If you look at the agenda for women in Annapolis, the agenda has been the same over the past five to 10 years and needs to change. Things need to be done,” said Maryland Senator Joanne Benson. “The Maryland Women’s Forum has knocked on doors, worked hard because the family is in crisis. Salaries and wages are stagnant, and employers demand 24 hour availability … which means that working parents are not able to plan for or manage family responsibilities.”

“There’s no planned family leave, more and more women in their families are being encouraged to shoulder greater burden but not share in the bounty. Women are disproportionately impacted by many of the barriers in legislation.”

Since the 2007 recession, millions of workers have been unemployed or have been forced to take part-time jobs when they’d prefer to be working fulltime. The toll on workers has been significant, including small paychecks, instability, long hours, lack of sleep and the inability to take care of themselves and their families.

Often, employees work 12-hour shifts or more; face intense competition for scarce jobs; usually have to give six months notice for availability and time off; and must be available for more than 100 hours in order to get 32 hours of work.

Early Learning Educator Alethia McCaskill shared with the audience at the Greenbelt Library of coming out of a “poverty-infested” community in Baltimore County; graduating from college despite being told she would never succeed; giving birth to a beautiful child and working at a prestigious private sector organization— Johns Hopkins Medical Center— but being so pressed with the responsibilities of her job, that her dream job filled her with doubt.

The job was demanding and McCaskill said she was pregnant and had medical complications during her second and third trimesters.

“I had a pager which meant responsibilities. I decided to go to my supervisor and told her about my medical problems. She promised to accommodate me— but gave me a footstool.”

And although her doctor instructed her to go on immediate bed rest, McCaskill would cart 300-400 page reports across campus and stand on her feet giving lectures.

She then decided to make a career change and opened Tiny Tots. Many at Hopkins told me I’d fail, but I had missed the school plays, concerts and developmental milestones of my two children. Twenty years later, parents are dealing with the same issues.”

“Tiny Tots serves doctors, fast food workers, janitors, retail workers who struggle with wages and budget. There’s no schedule, not being able to take time off, no parental leave— 20 years later, this is still going on. We haven’t been able to turn to the page to “the end.” There’s no end to unfair wages and all the other things related.”

Keynote Speaker Maryland Congresswoman Donna Edwards echoed Benson, asserting the need to broaden the space in which women operate.

“I understand these issues because I am a woman,” said Edwards, who is campaigning to fill retiring Senator Barbara Mikulski’s U.S. Senate seat. “When I hear about the numbers, the only thing I can think of it that it’s not a buck. Seventy lousy cents on the dollar and 40 pathetic cents tells me that families and communities aren’t getting what they need to sustain themselves.”

“They’re trying to balance electricity, gas, the water bills, rent and mortgage. Frankly, it’s up to policymakers to do the right thing locally and nationally.”

Documentary tackles challenges former inmates face

After 30 years of ‘three strikes,’ mandatory-minimum sentences and harsh federal, state and local government responses to crime, elected officials and communities now realize that being tough on crime didn’t produce the desired results.

Mass incarceration has devastated the lives of those behind bars, ripped families apart and ravaged black and brown communities.

Despite the United States representing five percent of the world’s population, this country has the dubious distinction of having 25 percent of the world’s prison population. The 2.3 million people— one million of whom are black— currently in the nation’s prisons or jails is a 500 percent increase over the past 30 years. Meanwhile, every year, about 700,000 citizens return home to their communities from state and federal prisons.

Award-winning Filmmakers Duane de la Vega and Katie Calloway produced and directed a documentary called “The Return,” which vividly illustrates how deep imprisonment cuts were.

The filmmakers followed a number of returning citizens over the course of four years to document California’s efforts to re-integrate thousands of “lifers” into their families and communities after the state amended the three-strikes law in 2012.

Ensuring successful reentry is an issue around which recent efforts at criminal justice reform by elected officials, advocates and organizations revolves, said Maryland Congressman Elijah Cummings, who hosted the screening. National progressive and conservative advocacy and other organizations from across the political spectrum have been meeting for well over a year seeking consensus on reforms to the American criminal justice system to make it fairer, more just, and more effective.

“We had a panel discussion at Howard University and there were representatives from the Koch Brothers and [Congressman] Rand Paul,” Cummings said in an interview after the screening. “They said it was about economics, that we’re spending too much money. They didn’t talk about it from a moral or compassionate position. They have come for different reasons but have the same goals.”

“There was a time when legislators were afraid of being soft on crime. With tough laws, they could go out and brag about doing something. People were going in for minor offenses. There were a lot of factors involved.”

Cummings, who represents Maryland’s 7th District, said Congress is considering his Fair Chance Act, which has bipartisan, bicameral support and which would solidify fair chance hiring policies in the federal government. Rep. John Sensenbrenner has sponsored the Second Chance Reauthorization Act and the SAFE Justice Act in the 114th Congress, which will help inmates reintegrate more successfully into their communities.

The documentary chronicles prisoners being freed, families adjusting to the changes, attorneys and judges struggling with thorny legal issues, and reentry providers overseeing difficult transitions.

One of the returning citizens featured in the film, Kevin Bilal Chapman, a reentry advocate, was in the packed audience of Congressmen and women, Congressional staffers and other invited guests. Chapman served 11 years of six life sentences plus 150 years for selling $200 worth of drugs to an undercover agent.

In the documentary, he noted at one point, that many of the people who ended up behind bars never had a chance because they were born and grew up poor, may have had little or no education, were mentally ill or homeless— all of which contributed to their incarceration.

“The homeless, those exposed to drug use never had a chance,” he said. “Poverty, addiction, mental illness: the solution was to put them in prison for the rest of their lives. They never had a chance. The system is rigged and there are always the temptations of drugs and alcohol.”

Chapman, now married, working as the Logistics Supervisor for Exel Logistics in California— and whose hobbies include growing tomatoes— said he refused to return to the community where he lived before being sent to jail because he knew he would fall into the same old destructive habits that might cause him to end up back in jail.

“We need real jobs for people coming out to give them their ego and strength back, and build capacity for families,” said Chapman during a panel discussion following the screening held at the Visitor’s Center in downtown Washington.

“The biggest problem and enablers are our family. It’s too easy for people to be enablers, too easy to go back. I’m not that prisoner today. I’m a taxpayer. I work, I’m a citizen, I’m a voter. That’s who I want to be. Those are the things that define me today.”

“I had a 24-hour plan, a 72-hour plan. It was no reverse … my job was looking for a job. I was very intent on succeeding. I had slacks, a white shirt and six or seven different ties.”

Calloway, an Emmy-nominated documentary filmmaker and investigative reporter, and de la Vega, founder of Loteria Films, said their parents’ legal work made them aware of the conditions and vagaries of justice.

“We grew up exposed to the problems of the criminal justice system and we saw the collateral damage of harsh sentences,” said de la Vega. “The New York Times profiled non-violent offenders sentenced to life. Seventy percent of California voters passed the amendment. Every single county voted for Proposition 36. The prison crisis was becoming front page news now.”

Calloway agreed.

“The sentences are five to 12 times the length of industrialized countries,” she said. “In the U.S. we usually don’t look at other countries or look at systems. There’s so much that needs to be undone.”

De la Vega and Calloway say the recidivism rate of the 2,300 inmates released by California stands at five percent and the state has so far saved $1 billion.

Africa in the Spotlight at U.S.-Africa Summit

Over the course of three days, Aug. 4-6, at the invitation of President Barack Obama, 51 African leaders held talks designed to strengthen trade and commerce between the U.S. and the continent.

The gathering – the largest of its kind in American history – put Africa squarely into public discourse and helped present an image far different from the one often presented by Western media, one participant said.

“From where I sit, it was absolutely historic,” said Dr. Darius Mans, president and CEO of Africare. “We had 50 countries meeting at the very highest levels. It’s the first times this was done by a U.S. president. Billions of dollars critical for Africa have been pledged. It’s important to strengthen ties with one of the great growth poles of the world.”

“A peaceful, economically strong Africa is important for everyone. Some delegates said this was late in coming but not too late. They have met in Tokyo, Brussels and Beijing. They welcome more U.S. engagement. They need the things the U.S. brings, such as technology, for example, respecting the rule of law, environmental standards and commitment to democracy.”

Mans, who has headed Africare since 2010, said he held bilateral talks with heads of state, including those from Benin and Niger, met with members of several delegations and was involved in discussions about increasing the participation of civil society groups and organizations in Africa.

“Africa is on the rise. The story to me is Africans investing in Africa for themselves,” he said. “I took part in a roundtable discussion with Mo Ibrahim, Aliko Dangote and Patrice Tlhopane Motsepe – hard-charging, incredibly successful people investing in their countries and across the continent. One head of state said to me, ‘Look, we’re very clear where we’re going.’ He said they made many mistakes and that the last century was a disaster. But he also said ‘We’re very clear about where we’re going and we need partners.’”

Established in 1970, Africare is an independent private-sector charity. It is the largest and oldest black-led charitable entity and assists Africans improving or developing health, agriculture, food security, business development and governance. Organization staff works closely with communities in more than two dozen countries including Niger, Mozambique, Nigeria, Liberia, Senegal, South Africa and Chad.

Ambassador Michael A. Battle, one of the organizers of the summit, called the gathering a major success, but he said a great deal of work remains.

“It doesn’t mark a new relationship with Africa, it marks a continued and enhanced partnership of the U.S. with Africa,” he said. “One hundred top African business leaders and 100 from the U.S. private sector participated. That has never happened before.”

Out of the trade talks that dominated the summit came an estimated $33 billion in investment and new trade commitments from major American private-sector companies such as IBM, General Electric, Coca Cola and Marriott.

There is a great deal of skepticism in human rights and other circles that little will change because of entrenched corruption, mismanagement human rights violations in a number of countries. It is well documented that some African leaders have exiled, murdered and jailed opponents, journalists and critics. Others engage in acts of the abuse of power, malfeasance and corruption, and several leaders have brazenly stolen money and have spirited vast amounts away to overseas banks. Meanwhile, ordinary citizens live penurious existences, often in extreme poverty, with few opportunities to improve their lives.

Emira Woods, an associate fellow of the Institute of Policy Studies, criticized the summit.

“They have reinforced the status quo,” she said during a panel discussion on the “Talk Africa” television program last week. “Inequality is the biggest issue of our time. The ‘haves’ have gotten more and the ‘have-nots’ are pushed to the side. The summit was a wonderful photo-op. Very little was concrete. It was the CEOs of extractive industries coming together to make deals with heads of state, exploiting people to benefit the one percent. We didn’t get the substantive changes needed on the continent or the global economy.”

African Union Chairwoman Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma praised America’s reengagement.

“We’re grateful to the president for hosting this summit,” she said during an Aug. 6 press conference at the Africa24 television studio in Washington, D.C. “The hope is that the implementation of issues will develop as quickly as the summit.”

While noting that African leaders held frank discussions with Obama in a cordial atmosphere, Dlamini-Zuma said she hopes the tone and tenor established at the summit extends to the relationships developed between American private-sector companies and African governments.

“It makes good business sense for them to be in business in Africa,” she said of American businesses. “If they don’t, they will surely lose. Doing business in Africa is not charity. I think when it comes to business, they will come.”