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Monthly Archives: July 2017

Not Buying “Get Tough on Crime”

“Getting tough on crime” has been synonymous with mass incarceration of minorities in America.

Baltimore’s Mayor just stepped on a land mine.

 

 

 
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Posted by on July 27, 2017 in American Genocide, BlackLivesMatter

 

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I’ll Play the Blues For You

Just because it’s Thursday – The Blues in different generations

Ain’t no Love in the Heart of the City –

Little Milton – Make Me Cry

Albert Collins – If Trouble Was Money-

Otis Rush –

Non-electric blues – Lightnin Hopkins for the early 60’s –

From the early 50’s – Son House –

And Mississippi John Hurt – “Cocaine Blues”

And lastly at the edge of R&B – Howling Wolf

 
 

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Lighting a Short Fuse – the Chumph Goes After the LGBQT Community

In a tweet more likely aimed at diverting the public’s attention away from Chumph crimes and failure to pass legislation, the punk-in-charge decides to take on the most powerful minority in America – the LGBQT community.

Bad move.

Out trots whipping boy Sessions to defend the Chumph’s attack on Transgender Military personnel and to try and overturn Civil Rights Law banning discrimination against the LGBQT community.

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Trump Administration Argues Federal Civil Rights Law Does Not Protect Gay Employees

 

On Wednesday, the Department of Justice filed an amicus brief in the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals arguing that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not prohibit discrimination against gay and bisexual employees. The DOJ’s brief was not solicited by the court or any party to the case. Rather, in an unusual move, the Trump administration elected to weigh in with an aggressively anti-gay stance, arguing that gay Americans have no protection against workplace discrimination under federal law. Its decision is unsurprising in light of Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ vigorous opposition to LGBTQ rights.

Title VII does not explicitly outlaw sexual orientation discrimination in employment. However, it does forbid “discrimination … because of sex.” which the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission interprets to encompass anti-gay discrimination. For at least 15 years, many federal courts have agreed, and in April, the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Title VII does, indeed, protect gay employees. Both the 7thCircuit and the EEOC relied on three theories of sex discrimination:

1. “But-for” sex discrimination

This theory holds that anti-gay discrimination qualifies as sex discrimination because, but for the gay person’s sex, she would not be discriminated against. Imagine, for example, that a homophobic employer fires a female worker because she marries a woman. But for that worker’s sex, she wouldn’t have been fired: Her boss has no issue with men marrying women, only women marrying women. The employee’s sex was fundamental to the discrimination she suffered—so it can therefore aptly be described as sex discrimination.

2. Sex stereotyping

The Supreme Court held in 1989’s Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins that sex stereotyping is a form of sex discrimination. Thus, when an employer mistreats a worker because she fails to conform to certain gender norms, it has engaged in discrimination “because of sex.” Initially, sex stereotyping was applied to masculine women and feminine men. But as the 7th Circuit pointed out, gay people are “the ultimate case of failure to conform” to sex stereotypes, which, in America, have historically held that men should date only women and women should date only men. By intimately associating with people of the same sex, gay individuals violate this stereotype. And so, when they are discriminated against because of their sexual orientation, they have suffered sex stereotyping.

3. Associational sex discrimination

Under this theory, anti-gay bias constitutes sex discrimination in much the same way that anti-miscegenation laws constitute racial discrimination. The Supreme Court has held that when a state prohibits a white person from marrying a black person, it has engaged in discrimination because of race. Similarly, the 7th Circuit ruled that when an employer mistreats a gay person for associating with a partner of the same sex, it has engaged in discrimination “because of sex.” Consider, for instance, a gay man who places a photo of his husband on his desk at work, and is fired for it. In effect, his employer is punishing him for being a man and intimately associating with another man. Change the sex of one partner and the discrimination disappears. This reveals, as the 7th Circuit wrote, that “the discrimination rests on distinctions drawn according to sex.”

This fall, the full 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will evaluate these theories after the circuit’s chief judge essentially urged the court to adopt them. It is this litigation that spurred the Justice Department to declare that Title VII does not, in fact, protect gay employees. (Under President Barack Obama, the agency took no position on the matter, although it did determine that Title VII protects transgender workers.) By filing this brief, the DOJ has created an odd situation in which one federal agency (the EEOC) disagrees with another (the Justice Department) in federal court.

The DOJ’s primary argument is that Congress’ failure to add “sexual orientation” to Title VII—either in 1964 or in the years since—proves that the law does not currently cover gay employees. This theory is rather strange because the absence of legislative action is not typically considered to be a useful tool of statutory interpretation. Congress’ failure to act could mean that it does not wish for Title VII to encompass sexual orientation. But it could also mean that Congress believes the law already protects gay employees. More than 125 members of Congress recently signed a brief asserting their belief that Title VII currently bars sexual orientation discrimination. At the very least, the absence of clear legislative guidance on the matter is obviously ambiguous.

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To repudiate the three theories of sex discrimination listed above, the DOJ deploys some extremely questionable logic:

  • In response to the “but-for” theory, it argues that homophobic employers discriminate against gay men and women equally, taking sex out of the equation. But sex cannot be removed from the equation. When an employer discriminates against a white woman for dating a black man or vice versa, it is still guilty of race discrimination: Race was obviously the key factor in its discrimination. Similarly, when an employer discriminates against a man for dating a man, it is guilty of sex discrimination, because sex was the foundational element of its bias.
  • In response to the sex stereotyping theory, the DOJ argues that gay men and lesbians may only raise a claim of sex stereotyping if they face discrimination because of their mannerisms—not because of their sexual orientation. So, according to the DOJ, a lesbian who “has masculine manners or clothing” may raise a sex stereotyping claim, but a traditionally feminine lesbian may not. Likewise, an effeminate gay man may suffer sex stereotyping, but a traditionally masculine gay man does not. To reach this conclusion, the DOJ asserts that employers may hold “moral beliefs” about sexuality that “need not be based on views about gender at all.” This argument simply defies logic. Homophobic employers may well hold “moral beliefs” about gay men and women. But those beliefs are always rooted in a stereotype about how men and women should behave.
  • In response to the associational discrimination theory, the DOJ argues that discrimination against gay people based on their intimate associations is unlike discrimination against interracial couples. The brief insists that discrimination against interracial couples is rooted in a belief that one race is superior to the other—and that true sex discrimination is similarly rooted in beliefs that one sex is “inferior.” But this presumption is utterly incoherent. Everyone knows that interracial marriage bans constitute race discrimination because they take the race of each partner into account. It’s no different with anti-gay discrimination: When an employer discriminates against a gay person, it is objecting to his intimate association with someone of the same sex. You simply cannot escape this fundamental sex-based consideration, which Title VII proscribes.

The left-leaning 2nd Circuit is almost certain to side with the EEOC and against the DOJ. But this fight is ultimately heading to the Supreme Court—and the Trump administration has now signaled loudly that it will encourage the justices to rule against gay employees. That may be disappointing to civil rights advocates, but it is not devastating to the cause. With arguments this unintelligible, the Justice Department seems unlikely to change anybody’s mind.

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Airbnb Teams With NAACP to Combat Rental Discrimination

Smart move by Airbnb. Hopeful; the NAACP can help in vexing this natty problem…

Airbnb certainly can’t look to the DOJ for help- Indeed, it is likely the current DOJ leadership will come down on the side of the bigots.

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Airbnb teams up with the NAACP to fight racism on its platform

And improve outreach to black communities

Airbnb and the NAACP announced a partnership today to promote the rental service’s platform in communities of color. The move is a way to both boost the sharing economy as an income stream for black Americans and help increase the diversity of hosts to curb discrimination. Airbnb has grappled for years now with racism on its platform, with hosts discriminating against people of color and other minorities both in the US and abroad when deciding who they permit to rent their homes or apartments.

In many cases, racist hosts will deny rental applications from black users or claim the property is booked on the selected dates, only to turn around and rent the property to a white user or leave the dates unbooked. In response to an increasing number of cases documented on social media, Airbnb user Quirtina Crittenden coined the hashtag #airbnbwhileblack last year. It quickly went viral, prompting an outpouring of personal accounts that quickly turned into an public relations nightmare for Airbnb.

This new measure, along with the added assistance of the NAACP, is a signal that Airbnb is continuing to take its fight against racism seriously. “Our fastest-growing communities across major US cities are in communities of color and we’ve seen how home sharing is an economic lifeline for families,” Belinda Johnson, Airbnb’s chief business affairs officer, said in a statement. “This partnership will build on this incredible progress. The NAACP is unrivaled in its tireless work to expand economic opportunities for minority communities and we look forward to collaborating with their talented team.”

As part of the partnership, the NAACP will help Airbnb target communities that could benefit greatly for home-sharing services and the tourism and additional income they provide. Airbnb will also gift 20 percent of its earnings from rentals in these communities to the NAACP, which will return the favor by aiding the company in its workplace diversity efforts. “For too long, black people and other communities of color have faced barriers to access new technology and innovations,” Derrick Johnson, the interim president and CEO of the NAACP, said in a statement. “This groundbreaking partnership with Airbnb will help bring new jobs and economic opportunities to our communities.”

For Airbnb, the existence of racism on its platform is both a PR disaster and a severe economic risk. Last year, the company narrowly avoided a potentially damaging racial discrimination case brought by Greg Selden. Selden, a black man, duped a racist host into accepting an application from a fake account with a white person’s photo after denying his original application, and he sued Airbnb claiming it violated the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Thanks to a specific clause in its Terms of Service agreement, Airbnb was able to move that case to individual arbitration and avoid a class action suit. Nonetheless, the company released a new non-discrimination policy it calls “The Airbnb Community Commitment” back in October of last year that it makes hosts agree to, and it’s also ramped up efforts to weed out racist hosts and build better protections for users.

Despite those efforts, instances of flagrant racism continue to flare up on Airbnb and make international headlines. Earlier this month, a 26-year-old law clerk named Dyne Suh documented, in a video posted to YouTube, her interactions with host Tami Barker of Big Bear, California. Barker, upon learning that Suh was Asian-American, sent a series of racism-fueled texts saying she was canceling Suh’s reservation because of her ethnicity.

Airbnb promptly banned Barker, refunded Suh, and covered the cost of replacement accommodations, while the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) stepped in to fine Barker $5,000 and order that she take an Asian-American studies class. The DFEH now has the ability to investigate Airbnb hosts in California with more than three listings for racial discrimination following a landmark agreement with Airbnb in April.

Still, Airbnb can’t possibly regulate the behavior of every one of its hosts every hour of the day. A better solution, it appears, is to simply cater to communities where this discrimination doesn’t occur, and to increase the diversity of hosts to ensure more minorities feel comfortable using Airbnb when they travel.

 
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Posted by on July 26, 2017 in The New Jim Crow, The Post-Racial Life

 

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Don Lemon Gets Big Laugh at Chumph Boast- Hammers Him on Sessions

Truth is, I hope the Chumph fires Sessions. Session is the most regressive, racist POS appointed since Raygun.With all that is going on with DOJ, Sessions spiteful record, and the investigation into Cumph Treason – it is going to be real hard for the Chumph to appoint another yes man.

As to the Chumph boast about being “More Presidential than anyone since Lincoln”…

That is true comedy gold.

 

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Buffalo Cop Called on Noise Complaint on Kids Playing Football…Joins the Game

Instead of harassing…This Cop gets it right on community policing.

Here is an interview after a Buffalo Cop joins a street football game with kids instead of arresting them.

Neighbor calls police on black kids playing football — and Buffalo cops show up and join their game

One Buffalo cop is being praised because he joined a group of African American teens playing football instead of shooting them.

After a noise nuisance call came in about kids playing ball in the streets, police Officer Patrick McDonald walked from his car immediately asking the kids “Where are we lining up?”

Videos of the game are going viral, especially the video that shows his response after makeing an excellent catch, NYUp.com shared.

“Do you guys want me to file a police report, because you just got robbed?!” he said. The officer then pulled away in his cruiser.

Videos on Facebook have been shared over 1,000 times and celebrated by Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown who called it “Community policing at its best.”

“I applaud Officer Patrick McDonald for turning a nuisance call into a positive experience for the community,” Brown continued. “I am proud that he is on the force & thank him for setting an example of why we truly are The City of Good Neighbors.”

Officer McDonald told WGRZ-TV that he didn’t play with the boys for any kind of attention he just wanted to have fun and build a relationship with the citizen’s he’s tasked with protecting.

“It helps break down the barrier, this ‘us versus them’ barrier,” he said. “And, at the same time, it shows that police officers empathize with the general public, and that we have a lot of common interests, like playing football.”

One of the young men in the video shared it with the hashtag #NotAllCopsAreBadIGuess. McDonald scored the Citizen of the Month award after the incident.

 
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Posted by on July 26, 2017 in BlackLivesMatter

 

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Houston Cop Harasses Black Business Owner

Here are some young guys trying to do the right thing by starting a lawn cutting business.

The crew of 4 brothers is busily cutting grass when a Houston Police Officer decides to harass them for no justifiable reason.

I don’t know about you…But when I jump on my John Deere in my decidedly non designer raggedy work wear to cut the back 40. carrying my wallet is real low on the list.

WATCH: Texas police officer harasses black teen for mowing grass

A video of a black teenager being harassed by a security officer in Harris County, Houston, Texas, went viral as soon as it emerged on social media Tuesday.

In the video recorded by Marvel Gibson, he is heard saying that he was going door-to-door to distribute cards for his business of mowing yards while his crew was cutting out grass and mowing a lawn in the area.

“When I saw you, you were going door-to-door-to-door,” the officer is heard saying in the video. Gibson responded saying he was distributing business cards. “Yeah, I’m putting my business cards out,” Marvin replied, holding a business card out for the cop.

“Well that’s what I’m trying to find out,” said the cop.

“Well that’s all you had to ask,” said the teen. “You see me cutting grass.”

“Well, let me see some ID,” the officer asked him. The video starts with the officer asking the teen to “step over here” next to a vehicle which appears to be their lawn work truck. Sounds of the lawn machinery can be heard in the background in the video as the other crew members seem to be working.

When the police officer asked him for an ID, Gibson said: “I don’t have it on me.”

The officer then asked the youth’s name and date of birth to which the teen responded saying he was 19 although he said his date of birth was 10/12/1999, which would make him 18 years old.

Gibson enquired why the officer was asking for so much of his information. The officer told him he was investigating what the teen was doing in the neighborhood.

“When an officer asks you for your ID, you’re supposed to provide your ID. You don’t have your ID. I don’t care what you’re doing,” the cop told Gibson.

Seconds later, Gibson is heard repeatedly asking for the officer’s identity card in order to note down his details. However, the cop grabs his handcuffs to arrest the teen.

Gibson then left the place as he recorded the entire incident, warning the officer that he will drag him to the court.

“We’re cutting grass, sir. You’re harassing us,” said Gibson, who flashed his green business card in front of the camera, showing that he was only doing his job.

One of his friends, probably a crew member, can be heard saying “you can’t do this just coz he’s black.” Gibson is then heard repeating that he wants the cop’s name and his ID card.

The video cuts out halfway through the incident and then says “later that day” and goes on to show the same cop in front of Gibson’s yard in front of his home. The video shows the same teen filming from the front door of a house with the cop standing by a tree in the yard as police vehicles are seen driving in the background. Gibson can be heard saying “you are harassing me, get out of my yard. Move around, leave.”

 
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Posted by on July 26, 2017 in BlackLivesMatter

 

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