Hunter Biden accepted to plead guilty to two misdemeanor counts for tax evasion recently in federal court, USA Today reported. Biden will also take part in a pretrial program for a firearm offense, per the article.
Hunter Biden has a troubled history and his legal woes are more fodder for some in the Republican camp, like Donald Trump. The former Republican president compared Biden’s charges to a “traffic ticket” in a recent tweet on Truth Social, comparing the plea deal to his own ongoing charges connected to retention of classified documents.
President Joe Biden said on Tuesday that, “I’m very proud of my son.”
“The President and First Lady love their son and support him as he continues to rebuild his life,” White House spokesperson Ian Sams said in a statement. “We will have no further comment.”
Why it matters: President Biden is fiercely loyal to his son, despite his legal troubles, yet he knows where to appropriately draw the line. Biden’s setting boundaries between personal and professional and ensuring the public knows this, too. The president’s legal team is wisely not getting involved with Hunter’s legal affairs because that could be a major issue and blur some lines.
The New York Times reported that Michael LaRosa, Jill Biden former spokesman, said that public legal issues are difficult for any family.
“In the three years I worked for them on the campaign and in the White House, they never became immune to the personal assault on their family,” Sams said in the article. Every smear, attack, conspiracy and lie about their son is painful and never gets old.”
While some Republicans are having a field day, Biden’s not getting down in the mud to offer explanations or get defensive. He’s keeping his eyes focused on his upcoming presidential election and keeping his personal life as private as he can.
No matter what President Biden does, people will attack his character and leadership – that naturally comes with the territory.
Biden, however, is keeping his words to a minimum and just focusing on acknowledging his love for his son. Biden serves as a reminder to keep things short and sweet while turning the attention to what he’s focused on: showing support and family solidarity during this difficult time.
Black wine entrepreneurs are communicating more diversity initiatives across the industry
Just 1% of American wineries are owned by Black people and some entrepreneurs are not settling for that low statistic, CNN reported.
During Food & Wine Classic’s “Black on Black” dinner in Aspen, influential Black movers and shakers talked about bringing more diversity to the white, male-dominated wine industry, per the article.
Of the 11,500 wineries in the United States, only about 100 are Black-owned, according to the Association of African American Vintners.
“It’s important for those people to tell their stories,” Wine Unify Executive Director Alicia Towns Franken said in the article, adding that wine was not a luxury Black people could typically afford. The nonprofit organization brings more minorities into the wine industry through educational and career opportunities, the article explained.
“It can feel elitist. Wine language is so Eurocentric, and it’s centered on something that doesn’t represent a lot of cultures,” she said in the article.
Ikimi Dubose-Woodson is the CEO and co-founder of nonprofit The Roots Fund, a mentorship and scholarship organization for minorities. Dubose-Woodson said that Black people have a “horrible relationship” with the earth because of ties to slavery and it’s “never been corrected.”
“(Land) was a big part of Black wealth 200 years ago — so it’s (about) making a good connection back to it.”
Why it matters: These wine aficionados want to rewrite the narrative and address the disconnect between the primarily white-owned wine industry and communities of color, which has stunted efforts for a more diverse customer base.
“This is the honest truth: They don’t know how to talk to us. It’s as simple as that,” former NBA player Channing Frye said.
Handfuls of white-owned wine companies want to understand, however, in order to bring on more diverse talent to represent the communities they serve.
“I have no one in our company who reflects that community,” one told Dubose-Woodson. “How do we start to build that bridge?”
Being aware that there are gaps is a good step to take to address these problems.
The Roots Fund is bridging the gap and helping more people of color become winemakers. Wine Unify is also targeting persons of color looking to be more educated about the wine industry.
There is also a push to introduce HBCU agriculture programs to create vineyards to help teach Black students about farming beyond fruits and vegetables. Communicating with students about potential careers can bridge the gap, too.
Better communication needs to be a priority to continue removing walls for consumers who might have negative connotations and stereotypes about the wine industry already. It’s a good sign that some are interested in helping add more Black wine experts to their wineries and there’s more to be done. Also, learning to communicate with Black consumers can help bust silos even more. Making space and being supportive also for Black leaders in the wine industry can show that there is space for everyone at the table.
Donae Burston, founder & CEO of La Fête Wine Company, said that if people are not in the wine industry, or know someone in it, jobs are not easily identified.
“You can do all the yelling you want from outside the room, but if you’re not in the room you’re not really in the conversation.”
There are many, thankfully, starting those conversations now.
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Sherri Kolade is a writer at Ragan Communications. When she is not with her family, she enjoys watching Alfred Hitchcock-style films, reading and building an authentically curated life that includes more than occasionally finding something deliciously fried. Follow her on LinkedIn. Have a great PR story idea? Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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