As anticipated, yet another effort at putting a black race pimps face on racism…
As anticipated, yet another effort at putting a black race pimps face on racism…
This one was a shot, probably missed by many in the audience and public, at black conservatives being used as front men in politics and some corporations, the fake “Diversity” efforts of tech firms an the media, and the lack of sincere effort by white dominated industries (including Hollywood).
Slate picked it up for the culturally uncognizant –
At Sunday’s Oscars, Stacey Dash popped onstage with Chris Rock—as the “new director” of the Oscars’ “Minority Outreach Program”—to say one thing: “I cannot wait to help my people out. Happy Black History Month.” If you were left scratching your head, here’s a quick explanation.
It all started in January, when, in response to the #OscarsSoWhite controversy, Dashtold Fox & Friends that the BET Awards and Black History Month should be done away with:
Because we have to make up our minds. Either we want to have segregation or integration. If we don’t want segregation, then we need to get rid of channels like BET and the BET Awards and the Image Awards, where you’re only awarded if you’re black. If it were the other way around, we would be up in arms. It’s a double standard.
When they added ME to increase the diversity, I’m sure many black people rolled their eyes. I’m not “black enough,” they say. But guess what? I’ve heard that all my life. I would rather be a free thinking, black than a cookie cutter black who thinks—and votes—just like all my friends.
Backstory aside, Dash’s appearance at the Oscars was a joke that, for the most part, those outside the sphere of Black Twitter might not have understood. In some ways, bringing Dash into the fold for a joke the white audience wouldn’t necessarily understand might have been Chris Rock’s biggest coup so far.
Amazing what no longer being required to have his nose up Scalia’s derriere has done for the man. He can actually take a breath and say something…
For 10 years, Justice Clarence Thomas has sat on the bench of the Supreme Court through innumerable oral arguments without asking a single question. That all changed today.
On Monday morning, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Voisine v. United States, a complex and arcane case involving domestic violence and gun ownership. The case initially seemed to revolve around a technical question of criminal intent. Stephen Voisine was convicted of “intentionally, knowingly, orrecklessly caus[ing] bodily injury or offensive physical contact” to his girlfriend following a domestic dispute. As a result, he was stripped of his ability to own a gun, because United States federal law indefinitely bars individuals convicted of “a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence” from owning firearms. Voisine now argues that “recklessly” causing violence—as opposed to knowingly or intentionally—shouldn’t disqualify him from possessing a gun under federal law.
Arguments were somewhat dry until the last few minutes, when Ilana H. Eisenstein, an assistant to the solicitor general representing the federal government, was preparing to finish up and take her seat. Just before she left the lectern, Justice Clarence Thomas spoke up, asking his very first question from the bench in a decade. The entire court perked up. Everyone shifted forward in their seats, and there was a look of shock on many spectators’ faces. We in the press section nearly fell out of our seats, though the other justices kept admirably cool, with only Chief Justice John Roberts swiveling his head in evident surprise.
Thomas noted that a conviction under the federal statute in question “suspends a constitutional right”—the right of individuals to own guns, as established in 2008’s decision, District of Columbia v. Heller. The government argues, Thomas explained, that “recklessness” in using physical force against an intimate partner is “sufficient to trigger a misdemeanor violation that results in the suspension of what is at least as of now still a constitutional right.” (Thomas appeared to be extremely aware that Hellerwas a 5–4 decision, authored by Justice Antonin Scalia, which could be on the chopping block if the balance of the court shifts to the left.)
The justice, speaking calmly but forcefully, then pointed out that under the federal law, a domestic abuser doesn’t actually have to use a gun against his partner to lose his gun rights. He need only commit some form of domestic abuse, with a firearm or without it. Thomas struck a tone of puzzlement with a tinge of irritation. “Therefore,” he said, “a constitutional right is suspended—even if [the domestic violence] is unrelated to the possession of a gun?”
Eisenstein retorted that individuals who have previously battered spouses have an exponentially higher risk of injuring their spouse with a firearm in the future. But Thomas dug in, asking whether any other law indefinitely suspended an individual’s constitutional rights for recklessly committing a crime. What if “a publisher is reckless about the use of children in what could be indecent displays?” he asked. Could the government “suspend this publisher’s right to ever publish again?” Is suspending First Amendment rights substantively different from suspending Second Amendment rights?
At that point, Justices Anthony Kennedy and Stephen Breyer jumped in to help Eisenstein. (Kennedy joined Heller but isn’t a Second Amendment absolutist like Thomas; Breyer dissented from Heller.) Kennedy mentioned laws that indefinitely regulate sex offenders’ liberty, though it was a weak example, because those laws do not suspend any fundamental rights absolutely and indefinitely. Breyer veered away from Thomas’ question, noting that Voisine wasn’t directly arguing that the federal law violated his Second Amendment rights. (He had argued that earlier, actually, but the Supreme Court refused to consider that question when it agreed to hear the case.) Instead, Voisine pushed the doctrine of “constitutional avoidance”—essentially arguing that the federal law might infringe upon his right to bear arms, and so the court should rule for him on other grounds to avoid having to decide that vastly more monumental question.
Perhaps I am a bit too cynical, but HTF does funding yet another cabaret make jobs for underemployed, and unemployed black tech workers?
And HTF is it that with 12% of the graduates in Computer Engineering being black, there is a “shortage in the school pipeline”?
The way things are done in the tech business is you hire some competent recruiters (“headhunters”) to go and get what, and who you want to hire. There is no shortage of minority middle managers, tech staff, and senior tech staff – although you may have a hard time getting them to move to the West Coast whitopias anymore. That shouldn’t be an issue – because most of these companies have data centers and offices all over the east coast, and a lot of companies hire “virtual” workers…
I been in this business over 20 years, working in senior positions for startups, as well as big players and hold patents in the technology…I haven’t heard jack shidt from these people – although I do get calls from big eastern based companies.I know a couple of guys who read my blog are senior techies like myself…When exactly was the last time you got a recruiting call from Google or Amazon?
But I guess it is just easier to buy off the CBC with a couple of parties.
Some of Silicon Valley’s biggest tech companies are quietly funneling money to minority groups in Washington, including those affiliated with black and Hispanic lawmakers — a move that comes as the firms face growing criticism about the lack of diversity in their workforce.
The donations, known as “honorary expenses,” fund events like dinners and cocktail receptions where members of Congress and federal regulators are the guests of honor. The leader of the pack is Google, which spent a record of more than $490,000 on such expenses last year — devoting most of it to minority groups like the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, according to newly filed federal ethics reports.
Apple chipped in $1.2 million for an awards gala for the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, and Uber wrote a $10,000 check to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, the disclosures show. It marked the first time either Apple or Uber reported any honorary expenses.
The recent uptick in these donations coincides with growing political pressure on the tech industry over diversity, as companies struggle to address complaints that their employees are largely white and male. The debate has taken root in Washington, including with members of the Congressional Black Caucus, which sent a delegationto Silicon Valley in August to demand that the industry recruit more African-Americans.
The tech industry’s newest tactics don’t appear to have quelled the outcry from Capitol Hill, and they don’t sit well with some diversity advocates.
“We’ve had years now of campaigning and advocacy around the diversity problem … [but] the only thing that’s gotten better with these companies are their talking points,” said Rashad Robinson, the executive director of ColorofChange, a nonprofit that works on civil rights issues. The problem, he added, is “not going to be solved by throwing money at the CBC and other institutions.”
Asked about their spending, Apple and Uber declined to comment for this story. A Google spokeswoman said the company believes it’s important to “help policymakers understand our business and the work we do to keep the Internet open and encourage economic opportunity.”
The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation and Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute serve as the educational and policy arms of their respective caucuses on Capitol Hill. While they’re technically separate organizations, many black and Hispanic lawmakers serve as board members for the nonprofit groups. The Thurgood Marshall College Fund, meanwhile, is a nonprofit that provides scholarships and other support for African-American students at historically black colleges and universities.
The CBC Foundation, for one, stressed that the tech industry’s donations have gone to a good cause. They’ve allowed for “professional development briefings for our interns offering them real-world, first-hand exposure to careers” in key tech fields, Shrita Sterlin-Hernandez, a spokeswoman for the group, said in a statement. The Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund did not comment for this story.
But the checks can also double as powerful forms of leverage in Washington, where influence often is measured in dollar signs. “There are many ways companies and other organizations can establish a presence in Washington, and gain access to politicians. And one way to do that — that some people pay less attention to — is by giving money to a charitable cause that a politician is associated with,” said Viveca Novak, a spokeswoman for the Center for Responsive Politics.
Such contributions are a “well-trodden path,” in the words of Novak, for established industries in Washington, from big tobacco companies to telecom giants like AT&T and Comcast. The donations, in addition to supporting nonprofits, provide lobbyists with greater access to lawmakers and regulators.
And Silicon Valley certainly could use more allies in Washington when it comes to diversity issues.
Apple is almost 70 percent male globally and 54 percent white in the U.S., according to the company’s most recent diversity report, though the company emphasized that many of its new hires have been women, Asian, Hispanic and African-American. Google’s workforce is also 70 percent male globally and 60 percent white in the U.S., despite its own efforts to diversify. Uber, for its part, has not released a report detailing the composition of its employees.
Those poor report cards prompted the Congressional Black Caucus last May to launch an initiative dubbed Tech2020, hoping to pressure tech companies to add more African-Americans to their ranks. The CBC later dispatched top lawmakers to the Valley — including its chairman, Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.) — to make that point directly to executives at Apple, Google, Intel and other firms.
Butterfield sounded the theme again in September at the CBC Foundation’s annual legislative conference, where he warned that “talk is not enough. And we need more than an amen from the choir. … We want to see results.”
Tech companies have pledged to fix the problem, but as they invest in hiring initiatives, they’re also pumping big money into Washington. Over the course of last year, Google covered $150,000 in honorary expenses for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, and provided an additional $95,000 in multiple checks to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, according to an analysis of the ethics records.
Another roughly $150,000 in spending went to “various vendors” that aided events with women, black and Latino lawmakers, the records indicate. At the CBC Foundation’s annual legislative conference in September, Google played a key sponsorship role at a reception that featured FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, according to an invitation for the event.
Google has donated to the CBC Foundation before, but its “honorary expenses” for the group and other minority organizations have increased in recent years. Asked whether this amounts to a form of lobbying, the CBC Foundation stressed in a statement that the support benefits the organization’s mission: “Our sponsors and partners provide support to our organization because they share our goals of providing important opportunities for the communities we serve.”…More…
Dayton Rev. William Schooler was shot dead by his brother during the Sunday service…More shocking is the identity of the killer.
The Rev. William Schooler turned over Sunday service at his Ohio church to the choir director and headed to his office.
Then, as the choir sang, Schooler was shot and killed, the Dayton Daily News reported.
“We heard pow, pow,” St. Peter’s Missionary Baptist Church member Beulah Booker-Robertson told the newspaper. “The usher at the door said ‘everybody get down, everybody get out.’”
On Sunday, police arrested Schooler’s brother, Daniel Gregory Schooler, on murder charges. He was expected to be formally charged Monday, the Associated Press reported.
Jail records do not list attorney information for Schooler; his first court hearing is scheduled for Monday afternoon.
Sgt. Richard Blommel described the shooting as a “domestic incident,” NBC News reported.
Reports paint a chaotic scene at St. Peter’s Missionary Baptist Church in Dayton. About 20 people were in the congregation during the shooting, and William Schooler was pronounced dead at the scene, WDTN reported.
“I just got everybody out of the church and we just kept hearing shooting and shooting,” parishioner Alberta Blayth told the Dayton Daily News.
A parishioner who called 911 told the emergency dispatcher, “We were still having church services when he started shooting,” according to audio obtained by WDTN-TV.
The pastor, 70, was shot multiple times, police told the newspaper.
“I can’t believe it,” church member Vonette McGraw told the station. “I can’t believe that my pastor is gone.”
I am beginning to think Melissa Harris Perry (MHP) is living in an alternate universe. I mean, MSNBC isn’t exactly known for standing behind their people. Indeed the Network’s history as at deserting their staff at the least whiff of controversy is well established… I’ve long suggested they got the wrong bird as their logo. It should have been a chicken.
So why would our girl start a public spat with the cowardly peacock? Definitely a career limiting move.
Melissa Harris-Perry will not be back on MSNBC.
On Sunday morning, two days after the host’s private fight with management went public, an MSNBC spokesman confirmed that the channel is “parting ways” with her.
Earlier in the morning, Harris-Perry posted a photo on Twitter and said “Farewell #Nerdland,” a nickname for her weekend show, “Melissa Harris-Perry.”
“Inviting diverse new voices to table was a privilege,” she tweeted. “Grateful for years of support and criticism.”
Harris-Perry confirmed to CNNMoney that her representatives are in talks with MSNBC about an exit deal.
Harris-Perry had felt for months like MSNBC was trying to squeeze her off the air and take away her editorial point of view.
On Friday, she spoke out about the treatment, saying she had been “silenced” by MSNBC and placed in a form of cable news purgatory, having been pre-empted for two weekends in a row.
“Our show was taken — without comment or discussion or notice — in the midst of an election season,” she wrote in a letter to staff that was shared with her fans.
MSNBC and its rivals are all trying to squeeze higher ratings out of the chaotic primary season. The channel pre-empted her for campaign coverage with a “Place for Politics” title.
The same thing has happened to other shows, too, MSNBC said in a statement responding to her letter on Friday. The channel called her reaction “surprising, confusing and disappointing.”
But Harris-Perry said the February pre-emptions were merely the most visible manifestation of the channel’s marginalization of her show.
In the letter, she said “no one on the third floor,” where MSNBC’s executives work at 30 Rockefeller Center, “has even returned an email, called me, or initiated or responded to any communication of any kind from me for nearly a month.”