RSS

Monthly Archives: June 2016

Dealing With Segregation in NYC

In actuality, the most segregated school systems in America are in the Northern Big Cities. Hyper-segregation at the neighborhood level leads to segregated schools. This enforces, and supports different outcomes for black and white children. While black kids certainly don’t need white kids around to learn…It seems far too many school administrators and teachers need white kids around to teach.

Why Liberal New York City’s Schools Are Among the Nation’s Most Segregated

 

New York City’s public schools are among the most segregated in the country – a fact that flies in the face of the city’s history as a bastion of progressivism. For this podcast, I spoke with former ProPublica reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones, now a New York Times Magazine staff writer, about her decision to delve deeply and personally into that paradox.

Hannah-Jones wrote about the public school her daughter attends in New York City, PS 307. The school is populated by poor children of color from nearby housing projects. It also became the site of community tension when predominantly white and well-off parents living nearby were pushed into its school zone to ease crowding at another school.

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on June 28, 2016 in The New Jim Crow

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Diversity in the Outdoors

One place you can pretty reliably not find black folks is in the great outdoors. Some folks are trying to change that…

BTW – BTx3’s Outdoor adventures this year are kayaking fishing, and at least one night camping on an ocean beach.

Diversity in the outdoors, one hashtag at a time

A conversation with Teresa Baker, founder of Hike Like a Girl.

TrailPosse is a series produced in partnership with The Trail Posse focused on the relationship between people of color and Western public lands.

During the past three years, Teresa Baker of Martinez, Calif., has organized some of the most significant events in the movement to diversify and improve inclusion in the outdoors: The African American National Parks Event, the Buffalo Soldiers Trail Retracing, the Muir Campfire Discussion on Relevancy and Inclusion in Outdoor Organizations, and the convening on Relevancy and Inclusion in Outdoor Organizations.

Her latest brainchild, Hike Like a Girl, a campaign to encourage females to take to the trails, solo or in groups, took place on May 14. The event followed a familiar formula: Working with partner organizations, Baker encourages people to engage in outdoor activities on a certain day (or days), then record, post and hashtag on social media to raise further awareness.

Recently featured as one of Patagonia’s Women Active Activists, Baker is a former high-school point guard and former trip leader for Outdoor Afro, a national network that uses meetups and education to encourage African Americans to get outside. She’s evolved into a one-woman force of nature. She says her mother didn’t like her “being defiant and going against the grain as a girl,” but adds, “My dad told me daily, that I could not back down to anyone or I would do it for the rest of my life. So he encouraged me to speak up and not be afraid to live my true life.” HCNcontributing editor Glenn Nelson recently caught up with Baker.

High Country News Most people of color don’t have a background in the outdoors growing up, but that wasn’t the case with you, was it?

Teresa Baker I was the only girl in a family of eight boys and was determined not to be outdone by anything my brothers did. So when they went hiking, I went hiking; when they played basketball, I played basketball. When they and the other guys in the neighborhood would talk trash about how girls weren’t capable of keeping up with guys, I’d prove them wrong. That’s where my love of the outdoors began. We lived directly across from a city park, so every day we were outdoors with other neighborhood kids, playing every sport imaginable, but my favorite by far was hiking.

I was part of an after-school program where we would go hiking in Tilden Park almost every week. We would also visit a ranch that belonged to the owners of the program. There we learned how to care for animals and the land. We would ride horses and hike the surrounding area. I absolutely loved it and to this day reminisce on how at peace I felt out on this ranch.

In 1978 my mother made me join the Girl’s Club, which I fought tooth and nail. I didn’t want to be around a bunch of girls who would probably not embrace my love of the outdoors. I was only partially right. In the summer of 1979, we went to Yosemite National Park for my first official camping trip. That was it for me; I fell in love with Yosemite and have remained so to this very day.

HCN What inspired you to start the African American National Park Event?

Baker I take off for Yosemite at the drop of a dime, no long-term planning needed. On one of my Yosemite visits in 2012, I started to take notice of how many African Americans I encountered. At the end of my second day in the park, I had not seen one other African American. I started to research people of color in our national parks – not just in visitation, but in the makeup of the National Park Service. The lack of diversity was surprising because I had never really paid much attention to it. The next year, I created an event to encourage African American communities across the country to get outdoors in a national park site during the month of June. The larger concern is that if we don’t start creating welcoming environments in the outdoors for people of color, in 20 years when the majority demographic in this country is black and brown faces, no one will be around to care about these open spaces. That’s the urgency of this issue.

The involvement I have now with the outdoors wasn’t planned. I simply wanted to create an event to get people of color outdoors. That turned in to talking engagements and written article after article about the lack of diversity in our national parks. That’s how I ended up doing this work, I feel it is my calling. It’s certainly my passion. And connecting with others who are just as passionate about this work has been an honor. I’m committed to the challenges that are ahead of me and will work diligently to bring about a change that will last beyond my lifetime.

HCN The Buffalo Soldiers are important to the history of both African Americans and the National Park Service because, as all-black troops in the 9th Cavalry Regiment and 24th Infantry, they were among the nation’s first park rangers, patrolling Yosemite, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks in 1899, 1903 and 1904. Their commanding officer, Capt. Charles Young, was the first African American park superintendent, at Sequoia in 1903. What led you to retracing the Buffalo Soldiers’ route from the Presidio, where they once were garrisoned, to Yosemite?

Baker After several visits to the Presidio of San Francisco, I started to learn about the legacy of the Buffalo Soldiers. I read about their participation in the military and how they were actually stationed right here in the Bay Area. Then I saw a documentary about Yosemite ranger Shelton Johnson and how he portrayed Buffalo Soldiers in the High Sierras. This was life-changing for me. Here I am, in love with Yosemite and concerned with the lack of African Americans in our national parks, then one day I find out the very first rangers in our national parks were African Americans. I was beside myself with pride and curiosity. In 2013, as an Outdoor Afro leader, I went to the Presidio and asked the park service if they would work with me on putting together a program to honor the Buffalo Soldiers at the Presidio. They agreed and my commitment to telling their story began….Read the Rest Here

 
 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Jesse Williams Lights it Up

Wow! Viacom has blocked the whole video – so it is no longer available. Williams really laid it bare…

This is the entire speech, sans video –

 
2 Comments

Posted by on June 28, 2016 in BlackLivesMatter

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

The End of College Admissions Racism

The Supreme Court, with it’s chief bigot thankfully dead, just drove a spike right through the racist vampire hearts of conservative segregationists with upholding race as a potential factor in determining college admissions. With scumsucker Scalia dead, the wheels just came off their re-segregation campaign.

Turns out the case in question, and the woman for whom it was started were a lie, and a liar from the start.

The claim by Abigail Fisher –

“There were people in my class with lower grades who weren’t in all the activities I was in, who were being accepted into UT, and the only other difference between us was the color of our skin,” she says. “I was taught from the time I was a little girl that any kind of discrimination was wrong. And for an institution of higher learning to act this way makes no sense to me. What kind of example does it set for others?”

The Truth –

Race probably had nothing to do with the University of Texas’s decision to deny admission to Abigail Fisher.

In 2008, the year Fisher sent in her application, competition to get into the crown jewel of the Texas university system was stiff. Students entering through the university’s Top 10 program — a mechanism that granted automatic admission to any teen who graduated in the upper 10 percent of his or her high school class — claimed92 percent of the in-state spots.

Fisher said in news reports that she hoped for the day universities selected students “solely based on their merit and if they work hard for it.” But Fisher failed to graduate in the top 10 percent of her class, meaning she had to compete for the limited number of spaces up for grabs.

She and other applicants who did not make the cut were evaluated based on two scores. One allotted points for grades and test scores. The other, called a personal achievement index, awarded points for two required essays, leadership, activities, service and “special circumstances.” Those included socioeconomic status of the student or the student’s school, coming from a home with a single parent or one where English wasn’t spoken. And race.

Those two scores, combined, determine admission.

Even among those students, Fisher did not particularly stand out. Court records showher grade point average (3.59) and SAT scores (1180 out of 1600) were good but not great for the highly selective flagship university. The school’s rejection rate that year for the remaining 841 openings was higher than the turn-down rate for students trying to get into Harvard.

As a result, university officials claim in court filings that even if Fisher received points for her race and every other personal achievement factor, the letter she received in the mail still would have said no.

It’s true that the university, for whatever reason, offered provisional admission to some students with lower test scores and grades than Fisher. Five of those students were black or Latino.Forty-two were white.

Neither Fisher nor Blum mentioned those 42 applicants in interviews. Nor did they acknowledge the 168 black and Latino students with grades as good as or better than Fisher’s who were also denied entry into the university that year. Also left unsaid is the fact that Fisher turned down a standard UT offer under which she could have gone to the university her sophomore year if she earned a 3.2 GPA at another Texas university school in her freshman year.

So it really was all about racism. Racism which scumbag Sclaia and Uncle Tommie Clarence were willing to stand behind.

Supreme Court upholds college affirmative action program

 

Race-based admissions policies in higher education dodged another bullet Thursday, with the Supreme Court ruling narrowly to uphold a program that helps minority students get into the University of Texas.

In a 4-3 decision, the court held that Texas’ program admitting some students based on consideration of their race is constitutional while cautioning that the university must continue to show that other means of addressing diversity have failed.

“The record here reveals that the university articulated concrete and precise goals (for example) ending stereotypes, promoting ‘cross-racial understanding,’ preparing students for ‘an increasingly diverse workforce and society,’ and cultivating leaders with ‘legitimacy in the eyes of the citizenry’ — that mirror the compelling interest this Court has approved in prior cases,” wrote Justice Anthony Kennedy in an opinion joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor.

But the decision also suggests potential limits, warning the university cannot rely on the policy “without refinement” and that “it is the University’s ongoing obligation to engage in constant deliberation and continued reflection regarding its admission policies.”

Only seven justices participated in the decision. Justice Elena Kagan had recused herself for prior work on the case as United States solicitor general and the late Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat remains vacant.

The University of Texas enrolls 75 percent of its class by offering admission to students with top class ranks. It fills the remaining quarter of the class through a “holistic” review in which race is a factor.

The ruling directly affects all public colleges and universities. While private colleges have had more leeway to consider race in admissions, all institutions that accept federal financial aid are subject to Title VI of the federal Civil Rights Act prohibiting racial discrimination, experts said.

Justice Samuel Alito read a withering dissent from the bench, saying the university had not done what the justices had asked when they sent the case back to a lower court in 2013. “The University has still not identified with any degree of specificity the interests that its use of race and ethnicity is supposed to serve,” he wrote in a minority opinion joined by Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. and Justice Clarence Thomas.

Alito said the university “presents no evidence that its admissions officers, in administering the ‘holistic’ component of its plan, make any effort to determine whether an African-American, Hispanic or Asian-American student is likely to enroll in classes in which minority students are underrepresented.”

It would be unfortunate, he said, if other colleges and universities interpreted the court’s ruling as a green light to use race more in their admissions decisions.

Only eight states ban race-based admissions for public institutions, and affirmative action policies remain in wide use. Roughly 60 percent of the most selective four-year schools consider race in admissions, an American Council on Education survey found last year.

Two other admissions-related cases filed against Harvard University and the University of North Carolina, both alleging they put Asian-Americans at a disadvantage, were on hold awaiting the Fisher v. University of Texas decision.

Peter McDonough, vice president and general counsel of the American Council on Education, which represents college and university presidents, said the ruling doesn’t appear to change the expectations for colleges and universities.

“The good news about today is that schools that may visit or re-visit what they do and how they do it, in composing a diverse class, have the comfort of knowing that it’s acceptable to continue doing it,” McDonough said. “It’s appropriate for an institution to value the diversity of the campus environment and the student body.”

This was the second go-around for the Fisher case before the nation’s highest court. In 2013, Kennedy wrote the 7-1 opinion that sent jilted University of Texas applicant Abigail Fisher back to an appeals court, which upheld Texas’ admissions policy for a second time. Fisher, a white woman, argued the university’s rejection of her 2008 application violated the Constitution’s equal protection clause….

 

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Bundy Militia Type Tries to Bomb Federal Building

As if there was any question these guys are rats and domestic terrorists…

William Keebler (Photo courtesy of Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office)

Bundy militia bro charged with trying to detonate a bomb at a government facility in Arizona

Yet another member of the Bundy militia is in trouble with the law again.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports that 57-year-old William Keebler was arrested this week and charged with attempting to detonate a bomb at a Bureau of Land Management facility in Arizona.

Keebler, who took part in the 2014 standoff with federal land administrators near Cliven Bundy’s ranch, told undercover FBI agents that he planned to target a BLM building in Mount Trumbull, Ariz. The FBI agents, in turn, created a non-working explosive device for Keebler to use at the facility, which Keebler first started scouting as a target in October 2015.

Keebler planted the device at the BLM building on Tuesday and tried to detonate it, without luck. He was arrested the next day.

If convicted, Keebler could face between five to 20 years in federal prison.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on June 23, 2016 in Domestic terrorism

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Understanding the War Against NAFTA

And you have to wonder why people are pissed?

Souring Chicago’s sweet treat: Corporate greed, American unions, and moving the Oreo to Mexico

Corporate executives saved $47 million by moving Oreo production to Mexico, but cost 600 in Chicago their jobs

For generations, kids from age 3 to 100 have loved munching on chocolaty Oreo cookies dipped in a glass of milk. But just over a year, ago, the tasty treat suddenly went sour.

In May 2015, bakery workers in Nabisco’s monumental 10-story plant in Chicago’s Marquette Park neighborhood had been expecting some sweet news from their corporate headquarters. Rumor had it that their renowned facility  after more than half a century and millions of Oreos — was about to receive a $130-million modernization investment to upgrade equipment and to add new production lines. So, the future looked bright and spirits were high on May 15 of last year when management convened members of Local 300 of the Bakery Workers Union to announce that the investment was indeed going to be made.

In Salinas, Mexico.

For decades, the Marquette Park community has been proud that the delectable smell of “milk’s favorite cookie” wafts through their neighborhood. But the noses of Nabisco’s corporate brass are clogged with greed, incapable of sniffing out anything but ever-fatter profits for themselves and other rich shareholders. Taking the NAFTA low road, they intend to move the iconic Oreo brand — and the jobs of 600 top-quality bakery workers — from Chicago to Mexico, where the minimum wage is a bit more than $4. Not per hour, but per day.

This is the tyranny of corporate globalization in action. In 2012 Kraft Foods split off its grocery business, which retained the Kraft name, and rebranded its remaining snack-food empire as Mondelez International, which includes Nabisco and its many brands including Triscuit, Planters nuts, Ritz crackers, Chips Ahoy and Oreos.

Such corporate empires now reign over millions of working families, arrogantly and even lawlessly making self-serving decisions from within the shrouded confines of faraway executive suites — wreaking havoc on workers, local economies, democratic values, and our sense of community. People affected are given no input or warning (much less any real say-so) in the profiteering that now routinely strikes us, like a lightning bolt from hell.

Worse, the so-called humans who’ve enthroned themselves with this autocratic power find it amusing to toy with those they rule over. Mondelez executives did exactly that after their sneak attack on Chicago’s bakery workers. In a crude ploy to shift blame for the loss of jobs to the union, the plutocratic powerhouse claimed it had made an offer to Local 300 to keep producing Oreos in Chicago, but that recalcitrant union officials refused.

Of course they did, for Mondelez essentially proposed that the workers commit mass financial suicide. Here’s the “offer”: Since the move to Mexico is expected to save $46 million a year, the conglomerate would graciously let the 600 ransom their jobs by paying that $46 million themselves. Just slash your annual pay and benefits (as well as your throats) by that amount, the executives told the union, and you can keep making Oreos for us.

This act was an astonishing, unprecedented insulting slap in the face of every middle-class worker in the U.S. Mondelez sapsuckers were effectively demanding that longtime, dedicated, productive employees subsidize the conglomerate and ransom their livelihoods by reducing their income to poverty. Note that Mondelez banked $7 billion in profit last year.

If its executives are so inept that they can’t find an honest way to fill a $46-million hole, they should dock the pay of their top three executives by that amount. They can damn sure afford it, for they totaled $37 million in compensation last year. CEO Irene Rosenfeld alone took a $20 million paycheck in 2015, bringing her eight-year total pay and benefits to almost $200 million.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on June 23, 2016 in American Greed

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Right Wing Harassment of Welfare Recipients a Total Failure

Bad news for the white right. Unlike their racist stereotypes, most folks on welfare (SNAP) aren’t on drugs. Yet another state fails miserably making a racist assumption and passing it into law… This one by the man responsible to murdering and maiming children in Flint with tainted water.

Guess how many welfare recipients tested positive in Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder’s drug test?

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R), who faced criticism earlier this year for his handling of the water crisis in Flint, could face more pushback after the apparent failure of his program requiring drug tests for welfare users.

The Guardian reported that none of the 303 people tested under the auspices of the Family Independence Program have tested positive for drugs as of the end of May.

The pilot program ends on Sept. 30 and received $300,000 in state funding, although a spokesperson for the state health department said only $300 had been spent thus far.

“The governor will wait until the pilot program has concluded and the report is delivered, as required by the legislation, to reach any conclusions,” said Anna Heaton, a spokesperson for Snyder’s office.

The program allows health department officials to require applicants to go through a drug test based on the results of the 50-question screening process. Refusal to do so disqualifies them from receiving financial assistance for six months. However, none of the applicants reportedly refused to go through the test.

As Think Progress reported last year, several other states with similar programs also found little evidence of high drug use among social program recipients. For instance, only 11 out of 2,783 applicants in Kansas’ program tested positive.

“As we’ve seen time and time again, these misguided policies are devoid of any scientific credibility and have proven to be a colossal waste of our time and money,” said Eric Harris, a spokesperson for Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI), who recently proposed a measure that would make drug tests mandatory for people reporting deductions of more than $150,000 on their tax returns.

 

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

 
%d bloggers like this: