Why Alabama stays on the bottom of the pile…
Why Alabama stays on the bottom of the pile…
It is not surprising…And it is why black folks have so little faith in the criminal justice system. What is amazing to me is the number of TV Shows on cops on the air which are completely propaganda and bear no relationship to reality. Perhaps it is time to start suing the Networks for promoting propaganda which encourages police violence, lack of accountability, and wrongful actions. The reason so many white folks believe the police are doing a fine job is that is the only narrative they are ever exposed to. The reality, as this shows is quite something different, and without substantive change to make the system more fair and accountable – there just isn’t going to be any trust.
The U.S. set a record for exonerations in 2016 for the third consecutive year.
The majority of the 2,000 people in the United States formally exonerated of crimes they never committed are black, according to a new report examining the relationship between race and wrongful convictions.
In addition, the majority of more than 1,800 innocent defendants framed by law enforcement since 1989 in widespread police scandals are African American, says the report, “Race and Wrongful Convictions in the United States,” published Tuesday as a companion to the annual National Registry of Exonerations.
“Judging from the cases we know, a substantial majority of innocent people who are convicted of crimes in the United States are African Americans,” the report declares.
The report examines exonerations for defendants who had been wrongly convicted of murder, sexual assault and drug crimes since 1989.
While African Americans make up about 13 percent of the U.S. population, half of all defendants exonerated for murder are black ― a rate seven times that for innocent whites. These wrongly convicted black Americans spent on average more than 14 years in prison, the report says.
Many more are innocent, but not yet cleared. “More often than not, they will die in prison,” researchers wrote.
The false murder convictions of black defendants were 22 percent more likely to involve police misconduct than those of white defendants. On average, African Americans who were exonerated waited three years longer in prison before their release than whites in similar circumstances.
The major reason for the disproportionately high number of black murder exonerations is the high homicide rate in the black community, researchers say. But those who are wrongly convicted did not contribute to the murder rate, and instead are “deeply harmed by murders of others,” the report says.
A black person imprisoned for sexual assault is 3.5 times more likely to be innocent than a white inmate convicted on similar charges. Blacks also received much longer prison sentences than whites who were exonerated of sexual assault charges, spending an average of 4.5 years longer in prison before being cleared.
Researchers found that a major cause of this disparity was mistaken identification by white victims.
“It appears that innocent black sexual assault defendants receive harsher sentences than whites if they are convicted, and then face greater resistance to exoneration even in cases in which they are ultimately released,” the report reads.
While black and white Americans use illicit substances at about the same rate, African Americans are about five times more likely to go to prison for drug possession as whites. And innocent black people are about 12 times more likely to be wrongfully convicted of drug crimes than innocent white people, according to the report.
The primary reason for the drug crime disparity is that police enforce drug laws more vigorously against the black community, according to the report. Blacks are more frequently “stopped, searched, arrested and convicted ― including in cases in which they are innocent,” researchers write.
“Of the many costs that the War on Drugs inflicts on the black community, the practice of deliberately charging innocent defendants with fabricated crimes may be the most shameful,” said Samuel Gross, a University of Michigan law professor who authored the race report and is senior editor of the national registry.
A Record Year
There were 166 exonerations in 2016, an average of three per week ― the most since the analysis began in 1989 and double the number in 2011, the National Registry of Exonerations annual report finds. It was the third consecutive year with a record number of exonerations.
“The room for growth is essentially unlimited,” the researchers conclude. That’s because the number of innocent defendants who are cleared is “a function of the resources that are available to reinvestigate and reconsider cases on the one hand, and the level of resistance to doing so on the other.”
The report found a range of factors leading to wrongful convictions, including including government misconduct, false guilty pleas by innocent people, and situations where it was later determined that no crime was committed.
The National Registry of Exonerations now lists 2,000 exonerations since 1989. On average, those who were cleared had served almost nine years in prison. Some had been on death row. Others were younger than 18 when they were convicted, or had intellectual disabilities.
Even after they are cleared and released, those exonerated often get little assistance as they adjust to freedom, update job skills and re-enter society. Thirty-one states, Washington, D.C., and the federal justice system offer some compensation, but the majority do not receive anything meaningful.
There is a planned March fo Science on the 22nd of February. Whether that march turns into another monster like the Women’s March or barely inconvenience the subway system is really dependent on the “Scientists” making alliances with other groups. Science in particular hasn’t always been good news for black folks, who were often used and abused in horrendous scientific “experiments”. Tuskegee still resounds in the psyche of many black people, who as a result have a inborn distrust of Science.
Donald Trump is an anti-science president. In fact, his entire raison d’être — perhaps unsurprisingly — stands at cross-purposes with the scientific method, systematic inquiry, and even the basic notion of evidentiary support. In the few days since his inauguration, Trump has already prohibited scientists at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from speaking to the public about their research. Moreover, the White House recently expunged U.S. National Park Service (NPS) Twitter content highlighting the threat of climate change. In the wake of Trump’s dictates, concerned scientists have taken to social media to plan a protest in Washington, DC that they are dubbing the #ScienceMarch. The Twitter account associated with the action — @ScienceMarchDC — has amassed over 240,000 followers since it came online a week ago.
The #ScienceMarch has great potential to underscore the need for public policy to be grounded in scientific study. Securing widespread participation, however, will require that the organizers pull together multiple constituencies in a broad-based multi-racial and bi-partisan alliance. To be sure, the coalitional nature — and, therefore, efficacy — of this fledgling movement will be predicated on the extent to which its organizers are willing to acknowledge the racialized nature of the history of science itself. That is, the organizers must understand the manifold ways in which so-called scientific experimentation and discourse have been marshaled to ratify and propagate white supremacy and to degrade the bodies, minds, and experiences of people of color.
Whereas event organizers claim that “[science] is a not partisan issue,” history unequivocally proves otherwise. Science is and always has been a function of power and politics. The historical record is replete with examples of the ways in which scientific inquiry and experimentation have sought to naturalize and rationalize the inferiority of people of color and justify their oppression through the language of pathology, deviance, and abnormality. Further, people of color have long served as laboratories for dangerous scientific experimentation. Exposing this lurid history is the first of many steps in forcing mainstream science — often implicitly racialized as white — to confront a historical past that exerts an enduring political force over our historical present.
“Because of science,” 21-year-old Black South African Saartjie Baartman was brought to Europe under false pretenses in 1810 by physician William Dunlop and paraded around London’s Piccadilly Circus as a “theatre of human oddities” on the basis of her large buttocks and protruding vulva. For years, Baartman’s body was the object of spectacle, scientific fascination, and degradation. Dr. Dunlop and other medical professionals used her large buttocks and extended labia to claim that Black people were morphologically similar to Orangutans. When Baartman died in 1815 at the age of 26 her corpse became the property of scientist Georges Cuvier. Cuvier fabricated a plaster cast of her body before dissecting it and preserved her skeleton, brain, and genitals. Baartman’s sexual organs were displayed in a Paris museum until 1974, when activists successfully petitioned to have her remains returned to her birthplace in South Africa. Baartman’s body was not repatriated and buried until 2002.
“Because of science,” Samuel Cartwright, a New Orleans physician and Confederate loyalist, argued that high rates of physical and mental illnesses afflicting enslaved black persons were products of the ostensible biologically inferior mental capacity of the “black race.” In his 1815 “Report on the Disease and the Physical Peculiarities of the Negro Race,” Cartwright introduced what he called “Drapetomania,” known as the “Disease Causing Slaves to Run Away.” Unconvinced that enslaved Black children, women, and men might naturally seek freedom, Cartwright instead claimed that Drapetomania could be cured by “kindness.”
“Because of science,” Ota Benga, a young Congolese man, was put on display in an iron monkey cage at the Bronx Zoo in 1906. Benga was brought to the United States by Samuel Verner, a well-known white supremacist from South Carolina. Benga’s captivity — justified under the impress of scientific exploration — was sanctioned by zoological society officials, the mayor of New York City, prominent scientists, much of the public, and many major U.S. newspapers, including The New York Times. Officials at the Bronx Zoo said that “Benga, according to our information, is…closer to the anthropoid apes than the other African savages…” Four years before Benga’s exhibition, Dr. Daniel Brinton published his text The Basis of Social Relations: A Study in Ethnic Psychology, where he first claimed that Africans were “midway between the Oranutang [sic] and the European white.”
“Because of science,” Alice Jones, who had recently married Leonard Rhinelander, a wealthy white man from Manhattan, was forced to “prove her race” in a New York court in 1924. During her trial Jones was forced to expose her naked body to an all-white, all-male jury and judge. She was made to remove various articles of clothing so the jury and judge could determine her race by examining the color of her nipples, back, and legs. The court concluded that Jones was not fully white.
“Because of science,” Dr. John Cutler, a physician with the U.S. Public Health Service, deliberately infected over 400 Guatemalan prisoners and sex workers with syphilis from 1946–1948. None of the research subjects were asked for their consent. Seventy-one subjects died during the experiments.
“Because of science,” doctors and public officials deliberately withheld syphilis treatment from hundreds of black men in Alabama as part of the “Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male.” The experiment — conducted from 1932–1972 — resulted in hundreds of deaths. To this day, there is no evidence that researchers informed the men of the study or its real purpose.
“Because of science,” the University of Cincinnati, with the help of the Pentagon, conducted experiments on 88 cancer patients from 1960–1971 by exposing them to intense doses of radiation and recording their physical and mental responses. They endeavored to answer the following question: “In the event of a nuclear explosion, how much radiation could a soldier withstand before becoming disoriented or disabled?” According to reporting in The New York Times, “most were poor; 60 percent were black.”
“Because of science,” psychiatrists Walter Bromberg and Frank Simon diagnosed Black Power as a form of “protest psychosis” in 1968. They described it as a form of “delusional anti-whiteness.” Four years later, in “Symbolism in Protest Psychosis,” they said the disorder was “a psychotic illness with strong elements of racial hostility and black nationalism [that entails] the release of previously repressed anti-white feelings, which combine with African ideology and beliefs.” In short, “[the illness is oriented toward] reversing the white supremacy tradition or stating an objection to the accepted superiority of white values in terms of an African ideology.”
“Because of science,” over 310 HIV+ Haitian asylum seekers were detained at a Guantánamo Bay prison campfrom 1991–1993. At the time, federal law prohibited individuals with HIV from entering the United States even if they qualified for political asylum.
“Because of science,” over 60,000 women and men — the majority of whom are women of color — were involuntarily sterilized from 1907–2003 in 32 U.S. states. Black and Latina women in Puerto Rico, New York, North Carolina, and California were targeted by the U.S. government for sterilization throughout the 20th century. North Carolina involuntarily sterilized 7,600 people from 1929–1974. During that time period, 85 percent of the victims were women and 40 percent were people of color. Native American women were also subjected to coercive and involuntary population control practices throughout much of the 20th century. The Indian Health Service (IHS) began providing family planning services to Native American families in 1965. According to the Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity, over 25 percent of Native American women were sterilized between 1970 and 1976.
“Because of science,” nearly 150 women prisoners — most of whom are Black and Brown — were sterilized between 2006 and 2010 by doctors under contract with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR). A May 2013 state audit reported that some of the tubal ligations in that time were done illegally without informed consent.
These histories matter.
The #ScienceMarch organizers have recently written that “people from all parts of the political spectrum should be alarmed by [Trump’s] efforts to deny scientific progress.” And they are correct. We should be alarmed. Such a claim, however, seems to leave unacknowledged the ways in which communities of color — based on the histories outlined above — might not take the unqualified promise of science at face value. To be sure, the history of science is a history of power — the power to name problems and legitimize solutions, the power to dictate political agendas, and the power to hierarchize social order. Certainly, the #ScienceMarch is an idea worthy of merit. Its success, however, will depend on acknowledging the racialized histories of science itself.
I would seem that the Chumph is surrounding himself the White People’s House with racists…
Donald Trump this week announced his latest White House advisor, a man whose real estate management company is currently being sued for racial discrimination, the Daily Beast reports.
Trump on Monday tapped Reed Cordish, president of Entertainment Concept Investors—a real estate management company that owns bars and clubs throughout the U.S.—to be his assistant to the president for Intergovernmental and Technology Initiatives. As New York Magazine reports, the president-elect is friends with David Cordish, who owns ECI’s parent company; Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump even facilitated Reed Cordish’s engagement to his current wife.
According to the Daily Beast, ECI currently faces two discrimination lawsuits stemming from a Kansas City, Missouri project Cordish partnered on with incoming White House adviser Jared Kushner. The project was on a building in the city’s Power and Light District, which according to two separate lawsuits is commonly referred to as the “Power and White District.”
Dante Combs and Adams Williams filed a class action racial discrimination against Cordish’s business in 2014 claiming they were beaten and harassed by white employees. During testimony in that case, Christian Martinez—a former floor manager at Tengo, a club owned by Cordish—told the court, “Reed Cordish’s code words for blacks was ‘urbans’ or ‘Canadians.’”
She also said Jake Miller, vice president of ECI, “did not want any African-Americans” at Tengo. According to Martinez, she once overheard Miller demand the DJ change the music, demanding, “Get that fucking n**ger music off here.”
A black former employee, William Whitlock, said Miller threatened him over the presence of black people in his club.
“He made the comment that if he ever saw this many n**gers in the building again, he would chain the doors and burn it down with me inside,” Whitlock testified. “He was embarrassed and horrified to see what we had done to his club.”
Another man, Thomas Alexitch, told the court he was hired at Cordish-owned Mosaic club to “start altercations with certain groups of people. By starting these altercations, I ensured that these groups of people would be kicked out of the club,” alleging supervisors told him who to target.
“I would estimate that 90 percent of the people I started altercations with were African Americans,” Alexitch said in a sworn testimony.
ECI won an initial ruling in the suit, but as the Daily Beast reports, Combs and Williams are appealing the decision.
Another lawsuit filed by Shelton McElroy in 2015 said a Cordish-owned club discriminated against him under the guise of the club’s dress code.
After initially denying McElroy access to the club, the suit alleges “the music abruptly switched [from hip hop] to country music” once he was inside. A bouncer later approached him to say he’ was in violation of the dress code because his pants were “sagging.”
According to McElroy, he was wearing “a polo and khaki slacks” while he watched “three white men are dancing on top of the bar completely shirtless while the female bartender poured drinks in their mouth.” McElroy was eventually arrested for second-degree criminal trespassing stemming from his night at the club.
In a statement, Cordish said “an ethos of public service” is a “core foundation” of his family’s companies.
“It is a true honor for me to be appointed as an assistant to the president,” Cordish said in a statement. “The core foundation of the Cordish Companies was built upon an ethos of public service and a commitment to transforming American cities across the country. Accepting this position is in keeping with those values and I am proud to serve our country in this capacity,”
The Trump transition team called the allegations against Cordish “baseless.”
“The allegations referenced against the company were determined to be baseless and dismissed by summary judgment with no finding of wrongdoing,” a statement reads. “In fact Cordish has been recognized from leading civil-rights groups as a model company for inclusiveness. In its 100-year history, including welcoming over 50 million visitors per year to its developments and with a work-force of over 10,000 employees, the company has a truly exemplary civil-rights record without a single finding against the company or its principals.”
Not sure that this pod of retrogressed morons were attempting to prove – other than to get their asses locked up in jail.
Dumb arsed Kneegrows – If your objective is to punish Trump supporting white nationalists then you need to adhere to three simple enough even for dumb fuck evolutionary dead end wall smackers like yourself rules:
While I really don’t give a fuck if you do in one (or more) of those Trump white nationalist KKK scum – It is sick (and not in slang way) to see some innocent, defenseless person abused and hurt so your chicken shit punk ass can look tough to your video retard buddies.
Lastly the rest of us don’t have to put up with this racist shit –
Authorities in Chicago charged four people with hate crimes Thursday following the emergence of a disturbing video appearing to show them shouting obscenities about President-elect Donald Trump and white people while abusing a man authorities say has mental health problems.
The footage, which Chicago’s top police officer labeled “sickening,” quickly went viral online. In the shaky video, a terrified young man in a gray hooded sweatshirt and dark pants is seen crouching in a corner, his wrists and neck bound with orange bands, his mouth taped shut.
A young woman films as two young men slash the sleeves of his shirt with knives, then take turns punching him, slapping him and stomping on his head. At one point, one of the men can be seen cutting the victim’s hair and scalp with a knife, and the victim is later shown bleeding from his injuries.
As the victim cowers with his back to the wall, someone can be heard repeatedly shouting, “F‑‑‑ Donald Trump” and “F‑‑‑ white people.”
Throughout the 28-minute video — which focuses mostly on the young woman behind the camera — the group laughs, jokes and listens to music as the victim sits motionless on the floor. About halfway through, someone says the man “represents Trump,” and threatens to put him in the trunk of a car and “put a brick on the gas.”
It’s unclear what happens to the victim when the video cuts off.
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.
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…