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Category Archives: The New Jim Crow

Reports of Jim Crow’s demise are a bit premature…

Supreme Court Reverses Racially Chosen Georgia Jury In Death Penalty Case

Local and State Courts aren’t supposed to allow the striking of black juries to achieve an all white jury, which when the defendant is black, mean almost certainly a conviction – regardless of the evidence pointing otherwise. Some courts around the country still believe the can get away with this.

Uncle Tommie Clarence, seeing the possibility of a black man receiving justice …Was the Court’s lone dissent.

Supreme Court gives black death-row inmate new life

AP SUPREME COURT ALL WHITE JURY A USA GAThe Supreme Court gave a black death-row prisoner new life Monday by ruling that prosecutors unconstitutionally barred all potential black jurors from his trial nearly 30 years ago.

The 7-1 verdict, written by Chief Justice John Roberts, reversed Georgia courts that had refused to consider claims of racial discrimination against Timothy Foster for the murder of an elderly white woman. The ruling is likely to fuel contentions from death penalty opponents that capital punishment is racially discriminatory.

What brought Foster’s case back to court after three decades was a series of prosecution notes obtained by defense lawyers through an open-records request. While jurors were being picked, prosecutors had highlighted the names of African Americans, circled the word “black” on questionnaires, and added notations such as “B#1” and “B#2.” On a sheet labeled “definite NO’s,” they put the last five blacks in the jury pool on top and ranked them in case “it comes down to having to pick one of the black jurors.”

This happened just a year after the Supreme Court had declared such actions unconstitutional. Civil rights groups say discriminatory practices in jury selection have survived for 30 years despite the Supreme Court’s 1986 ruling in Batson v. Kentucky.

“The focus on race in the prosecution’s file plainly demonstrates a concerted effort to keep black prospective jurors off the jury,” Roberts wrote. He said prosecutors’ other purported reasons for striking two of the blacks from the jury pool were belied by their acceptance of white jurors with the same characteristics.

“Such evidence is compelling,” Roberts wrote. “But that is not all. There are also the shifting explanations, the misrepresentations of the record, and the persistent focus on race in the prosecution’s file.”

Justice Clarence Thomas, the court’s lone African American member, cast the lone dissent. “Foster’s new evidence does not justify this court’s reassessment of who was telling the truth nearly three decades removed from voir dire,” he said.

The controversial case took the court nearly seven months to decide after oral argument in November. Roberts’ opinion for himself and Justices Anthony Kennedy,Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan ran 25 pages. Thomas and Justice Samuel Alito, who concurred in the ruling, wrote another 25 pages each to express their views.

 

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Democrat Senator Lays Out Republican Racism

Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia too to the floor of the Senate a few days ago and exposed the reason Republicans are holding up the appointment of Merrick Garland by President Obama to the Supreme Court.

Kaine: Race an Issue in Opposition to Obama Supreme Court Nominee

Senator Tim Kaine (D., Va.) said Wednesday that race may be a factor as to why President Obama is facing opposition in the Senate regarding his Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland.

MSNBC host Rachel Maddow asked Kaine, a potential running mate for Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton, if the Senate is delaying the nomination process due to a fundamental disrespect for Obama.

“I think that’s a very serious concern. The rationale that the Republicans use, ‘We want to wait until the next president and let the people decide,’ is what we call in civil rights, and I used to try civil rights cases, a complete pretext. That’s not the way it’s been done in the past,” Kaine said.

“There’s a lot of concern that this president’s nominee has been given second-class treatment, not because of the nominee but because of the character of the president himself and that is very painful for people to contemplate about the nation’s first African-American president, that they wouldn’t pay him the respect of having a hearing and having a vote on a nominee in the way they’ve done with other presidents.”

Maddow re-raised the issue of race, asking whether or not it is linked to the resistance Obama is facing from Republicans and the conservative movement over picking Garland.

“Raising the issue of this being the first African-American president, that issue of legitimacy, do you think that is the through line that explains the way Republicans and the conservative movement have treated President Obama? Do you think fundamentally it is about race, that there’s a racial element to the resistance to him that people should be more explicit in discussing?” Maddow asked.

“There is an attack on his legitimacy that I think is just fundamentally different than what’s come before,” Kaine said.

 

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Conservative Clown US Senator Claims US “Under-Incarcerates”

The key to being elected as a Republican anymore is to say any stupid shit that comes out of your ass. Senator Tom Cotton being one of many prime examples in the US Senate and House.

What we need to do in this country isn’t to deport Illegal aliens…We need to deport stupid. Surely we can find an unpopulated Island in the South Pacific or Indian Ocean missing it’s fools, and in need of some jackasses for wildlife.

Republican Sen. Tom Cotton couldn't be more wrong: No, the U.S. doesn't have an “under-incarceration problem"

Suck on Stupid Republican Sen. Tom Cotton

Republican Sen. Tom Cotton couldn’t be more wrong: No, the U.S. doesn’t have an “under-incarceration problem”

America holds roughly 5 percent of the world’s population and boasts 25 percent of its prison population. Something like 2.2 million people are currently imprisoned in this country. Our per capita incarceration rate is 750 per 100,000 – only Russia comes close to that at 450 per 100,000. Among African-American males, it’s nearly 4,000 per 100,000.

 This is a national disgrace.

Forty or 50 years ago, the numbers were far lower than this and comparable with much of the industrialized world. But thanks to a racist drug war and the concomitant explosion of the prison-industrial complex, America has become a star-spangled penal colony, a place where an African American male without a high school diploma is more likely to end up in jail than with a job.

Mass incarceration and criminal justice reform has emerged as one of the few fronts on which bipartisan action is possible. Nearly all Democrats are pushing for changes and, lately, prominent Republicans are increasingly open to reforming the system as well. One of the lone exceptions appears to be resident tough guy, Sen. Tom Cotton.

The junior senator from Arkansas who gained national attention last year with his inane letter to Iranian leaders has now taken a curious stand on America’s prison dilemma. Turns out, we’ve really got an “under-incarceration problem.” Despite the numbers and the trends and grotesque reality of a for-profit prison system, Cotton thinks we’ve got it all backwards.

Cotton has been critical of the efforts in Congress to reduce mandatory minimum sentences, but he doubled down in a speech on Thursday at The Hudson Institute:

“Take a look at the facts. First, the claim that too many criminals are being jailed, that there is over-incarceration, ignores an unfortunate fact: for the vast majority of crimes, a perpetrator is never identified or arrested, let alone prosecuted, convicted and jailed. Law enforcement is able to arrest or identify a likely perpetrator for only 19 percent of property crimes and 47 percent of violent crimes. If anything, we have an under-incarceration problem.”

Cotton makes an interesting point about the pathological violence pervading American society (which, naturally, has nothing to do with our mania for guns), but that’s actually a separate issue. If anything, the fact that we’re jailing a quarter of the world’s population in spite of not apprehending the majority of violent offenders is itself a reflection of our obscene sentencing guidelines. We’re incarcerating too many citizens for victimless drug offenses and various non-violent crimes.

But Cotton thinks we’re showing too much empathy for “those caught up in the criminal-justice system.” Indeed, after perfunctorily acknowledging the racist roots of America’s felon-disenfranchisement laws, he dismissed the growing concerns over police brutality: “Let me make something clear: black lives do matter. The lives being lost to violence in America’s cities are predominantly those of young black men, with devastating consequences for their families and their communities. But the police aren’t the culprits. In nearly every case, the blood is on the hands of criminals, drug dealers, and gang members.”

No one denies that drug dealers and gangs are real problems, but that in no way diminishes the reality of a racialized incarceration system or an unjust drug war aimed at black Americans. While Cotton chooses his words carefully, his analysis is devoid of context. Yes, there are high levels of crime in urban areas, but that itself is a product of the drug war and the systematic destruction of these communities. Crime will always be higher in areas in which opportunities are scarce and the only thriving economy is a shadow economy. The focus ought to be the criminal justice system that props up these underground economies and lays waste to the surrounding communities. Much of our violent crime problem has been socially engineered; it’s about policy. Sen. Cotton shows no interest in this history…Read the Rest Here

 

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Republicans Pass Bill Legalize Discrimination By Federal Contractors Against LGBT

One of the things Obama failed to do on taking office is to recognize the insidious nature of George W Bush’s bullshit.

The Federal Government is in the business of serving every single citizen in the United States. And that means, gay, straight, transgender, white, black, or grey. You don’t want to do that as a Government contractor – then you need to find another business…Period.

The Federal Government has no business in Religion.

The First thing that happened after the Bushit announced his “Faith Based Initiative” is that the so called “faithful” asked for permission to ignore the Constitution and Federal Laws and discriminate based on whatever religious delusion they were under.

Obama should have shut this crap down, the day he assumed office.

House Passes Bill That Lets Government Contractors Fire People For Being LGBT

Why do people keep claiming “religious freedom” as a reason to discriminate?

The House passed a massive National Defense Authorization Act late Wednesday, and tucked inside of it, a provision that would allow federal contractors to fire employees for being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.

The language, slipped into the bill by Rep. Steve Russell (R-Okla.), would dismantle President Barack Obama’s 2014 executive action that makes it illegal for government contractors to fire or harass employees based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. In its place, Russell’s provision applies a broad exemption that would open the door to contractors discriminating against LGBT people based on that contractor’s religious beliefs.

The government awards more than 2,000 contracts to religious organizations every year. Russell’s measure would affect every grant, contract and purchase order made by every federal agency, including contracts with hospitals, homeless shelters, colleges, schools, domestic violence shelters, and adoption agencies.

The House passed the 1,299-page bill, 277 to 147, with 142 Democrats and five Republicans opposed. At least one congressman, Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.), opposed it purely because of the anti-LGBT provision. He went on a bit of a Twitter rant ahead of the vote.

Russell attached the language to the bill a few weeks ago, during a late-night House Armed Services Committee hearing. He argued that it’s needed to clarify what he said was confusion in Obama’s executive order over what kinds of legal protections are afforded to religious contractors. He also said Obama’s order violates the First Amendment because it “unduly burdens the practice of religion.” A copy of his amendment is here.

But Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.), the ranking Democrat on that committee, said that’s not what Obama’s executive order does at all.

“The way this amendment is written, it doesn’t matter if you’re a religious organization,” Smith responded. “Basically, you can be a private contractor, and this basically gives you the right to discriminate if you just decide that you don’t want to do business with gay people.”

Democratic leaders denounced the provision in the hours leading up to the vote. Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (Md.) said he was “outraged,” and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) called it “stunning” that Republicans would use a defense bill to “codify hatred and intolerance against Americans based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.”

Some Republicans weren’t happy about it, either. Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.) tried to strip it from the bill during a Rules Committee hearing earlier this week. But the committee chairman, Pete Sessions (R-Texas), denied his request.

The bill now heads to the Senate, which has its own ideas about what belongs — and what doesn’t — in an annual defense bill. Senators will hash out differences with the House later in a conference committee.

Obama has already threatened to veto the House bill and gave a long list of reasons why, including problems ranging from misuse of funds and operating the prison at Guantanamo Bay, to military pay raises and base closures. White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Tuesday that he couldn’t single out any one item, such as the anti-LGBT provision, as grounds for a veto.

“There are a whole lot of reasons why the bill is bad,” Earnest said in his daily briefing. “It’s unfortunate that it is being larded up with a bunch of proposals … that aren’t related to our national security but are intended to be divisive.”

 
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Posted by on May 19, 2016 in The New Jim Crow

 

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Racism At Public Elite High Schools

Conservatives set up the racist testing system to eliminate black and Hispanic Students. What Uncle Toms like Ward Connolly either didn’t realize, or didn’t tell white parents was that eliminating black and Hispanic students via high stakes testing wouldn’t mean their white kids would get in. Many if not most of these schools are now massively overbalanced with Asian students, whose special test prep classes have rendered the testing bankrupt.

Hostility towards the few black and Hispanic students who do make it through the tests is fairly endemic at many of worst balanced schools. My own daughter refused to go to our Elite school, which is consistently ranked as one of the 3 best in the nation – because it was an uncomfortable place for black students. The school is 70% Asian in a country which only has 12% Asian population. Less than 3% of the students are black or Hispanic.

Prior to the conservative racist organizations, AKA the Federalist Society and the misnomered “Center for Equal Opportunity” fighting and suing to have only high stakes testing as the key determinant of acceptance for the school, the population generally represented the population at large. The minority population was small, but the county had attempted a solution much like “One Texas”, where the top students from all of the schools were eligible for admission. The idea that this would raise the number of black and Hispanic students to anything approaching the general population sent racist conservatives into apoplexy.

Another failed system brought to America by racist conservatives.

Being Black at America’s Elite Public High Schools

The complacency and inaction of school administrators following incidents of racism isn’t confined to colleges campuses.

On Martin Luther King Day in January—a day set aside to honor a man who fought against racial injustice—two black students at Boston Latin School (BLS) launched a social-media campaign to expose the racially hostile school climate they say exists at America’s first and oldest existing public school. #BlackatBLS soon cast a spotlight on a string of shocking alleged incidents: from verbal slights that disparaged black students’ intelligence and identity, to classmates posting racial slurs on Twitter and Facebook and “saying nigger without fear of being reprimanded,” according to a YouTube video posted by two members of Boston Latin School’s Black Leaders Aspiring for Change and Knowledge.

The resulting social-media storm touched off a range of responses. Mayor Marty Walsh promised to investigate the allegations. Boston schools superintendent Tommy Chang called for systemwide professional development to train school officials to respond to and handle complaints of racism. “In recent months, BLS has taken steps to improve cultural proficiency at the school,” said a spokesperson for Boston Public Schools in an email. “This has included providing educational opportunities for students, faculty, and families to engage in dialogues around issues of race, diversity, and social justice in safe spaces; improving procedures to report bias-based incidents; and mandatory professional development on cultural proficiency among other efforts.” And the U.S. attorney’s office in Bostonannounced an independent probe into possible civil-rights violations at Boston Latin School. Meanwhile as the events in Boston unleashed a series of difficult conversations on racism and campus climate, the national dialogue on black and Latino students in highly selective high schools remains centered on access and admissions.

In March, New York City’s Department of Education released the demographic breakdown for next year’s freshman class at its eight “elite” public high schools, where admission is based exclusively on test scores, and the numbers continued adismal trend. Black and Latino students comprised a tiny fraction—according toPolitico New York, just over 3 and 5 percent respectively—of the students admitted, in a school system where black and Latino children are 70 percent of all enrolled students. An unscientific analysis by Slate found similar patterns in other districts, such as New Orleans and Fairfax County, Virginia. Black and Latino youngsters were vastly underrepresented in selective high schools as compared to their numbers districtwide, and Asian students were significantly overrepresented—underscoring the complexities among student-of-color groups. Yet as educational-rights activists and elected leaders focus on diversifying enrollment in highly competitive schools, scant attention is being paid to the racial and cultural atmosphere in these institutions, and how welcome black and Latino students are made to feel once admitted to some of the country’s most elite public schools.

Omekongo Dibinga graduated from Boston Latin in 1995, and said up until the 10th grade he felt invisible. “I barely had any black teachers. The only time I seemed to get attention was if I was getting in trouble.” He moved from year to year “unnoticed and unacknowledged” until his sophomore year when he got more involved in student leadership. By senior year, Dibinga was the president of the student council and recounts his last few years at BLS as “unapologetically black.”

However, when he ran for senior class president, things took an alarming turn. As he wrote in a January blog post, on election day some of his white classmates allegedly put white sheets on their heads—distinctive attire worn by the white-supremacist Ku Klux Klan—to protest his candidacy. “A typical day at Boston Latin for me does indeed dovetail with what I read from current students,” he said, including the complacency and inaction of school administrators following incidents of racism like he experienced.

Earlier this year, similar accusations were leveled by black students at New York’s Brooklyn Technical High School—a highly ranked selective public high school—who charged the principal and faculty with minimizing acts of racism at their school. In the aftermath of #BlackatBLS, headmaster Lynne Mooney Teta apologized for her “lack of urgency in addressing racial tensions” and reaffirmed her commitment to providing a safe and discrimination-free school environment…Read the Rest Here

 
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Posted by on May 17, 2016 in BlackLivesMatter, The New Jim Crow

 

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Mississippi Damn! 50 Years of Ongoing School Segregation

Someone please explain to me how a town of 12,000 people needs two High Schools, two Jr High Schools, and two elementary schools? I mean, you are talking no more than 300-400 kids in each school.

The taxpayers have borne the cost of double the facilities costs, possibly 50-80% more teachers, double the admin costs for 50 years to keep the Schools segregated!

That is $10 million a year poured down the drain for racism.

While integrated schools don’t necessarily mean better schools – the wasted division of funds and limited resources means worse schools for all.

THIS IS A MAY 13, 2015 FILE PHOTOGRAPH.

Court orders Mississippi town to desegregate schools after 50-year fight

A federal court has ordered a Mississippi town to consolidate its junior high and high schools in order to fully desegregate its school system after a 50-year battle the town has waged with the U.S. Department of Justice, agency officials said Monday.

Black students and white students in Cleveland, Miss., are largely separated into two high schools, one mostly white and one mostly black, according to the announcement.

The situation is similar with the town’s middle school and junior high – one has mostly black students, and the other is historically white, officials said.

As a result of the order, handed down late Friday by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi, the Cleveland School District will combine the two high schools together, as well as join the junior high and middle school into one, desegregating the secondary schools for the first time in the district’s 100-year history.

School officials could not immediately be reached to comment.

The court rejected two alternative plans posed by the district, calling them unconstitutional and saying that the dual system the district has been running has failed to achieve the highest possible degree of desegregation required by law.

“Six decades after the Supreme Court in Brown v. Board of Education declared that ‘separate but equal has no place’ in public schools, this decision serves as a reminder to districts that delaying desegregation obligations is both unacceptable and unconstitutional,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.

Cleveland, with a population of 12,000, is home to Delta State University and sits in the heart of the Mississippi Delta, where many of the early slave owners ran cotton plantations along the Mississippi River.

A railroad track divides the city both geographically and racially, a common occurrence in many Delta towns.

According to the court opinion, testimony from both black and white community members supported the integration of the schools and noted that the perception had been that white students attended better schools.

“The delay in desegregation has deprived generations of students of the constitutionally-guaranteed right of an integrated education,” the opinion read. “Although no court order can right these wrongs, it is the duty of the district to ensure that not one more student suffers under this burden.”

 
 

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Republican Borg Try “Assimilate of Die”

Star Trek fans will remember the Borg. Seems they have moved to Texas, and as a Collective have determined that those different from them need to be erased…

Texas GOP adopts platform of erasing minorities by ‘assimilation’ into an ‘American identity’

The Republican Part of Texas voted over the weekend to adopt a platform that, if enacted, would strip reproductive rights from women regardless of federal law, would serve to shame LGBT people for not living “an acceptable alternative lifestyle,” and see minorities assume an “American identity.”

As the Houston Press noted on Monday, the 26-page platform report was approved unanimously by every Republican state delegate on Friday.

Under the heading of “Strengthening Families, Protecting Life, and Promoting Health,” the platform explains how state GOP lawmakers are expected to deny equal rights for LGBT people and to “abolish abortion.”

“We call upon the Texas Legislature to enact legislation stopping the murder of unborn children; and to ignore and refuse to enforce any and all federal statutes, regulations, executive orders, and court rulings, which would deprive an unborn child of the right to life,” the resolution states. “We support the elimination of public funding or the use of public facilities to advocate, perform, or support elective abortions, embryonic stem cell research, research on fetal tissue, or human cloning.”

The platform sets a goal of “completely eliminating public funding for Planned Parenthood” and new “laws that restrict and regulate abortion.”

Suggesting that the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision legalizing same-sex marriage was unconstitutional, the platform calls on the “Governor and other elected officials of the state of Texas should assert our Tenth Amendment right and reject the Supreme Court ruling.”

Sexual education for students should consist of “abstinence until marriage,” and should not include “policies and curriculum that teach alternate lifestyles including homosexuality, transgender and other non-traditional lifestyles as normal,” according to the party platform.

Additionally, the party calls for racial and ethnic groups to shed their cultural identities in favor of an “American identity.”

“We favor strengthening our common American identity, which includes the contribution and assimilation of diverse racial and ethnic groups,” the platform declares. “We encourage non-English speaking students to transition, via best practices, to English within one year, allowing them to quickly assimilate and succeed in American society.”

 

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