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Color Lines – Appearances Can Be Decieving

Race in America is a amorphous thing. Most likely what “classification” you fall into will be based on your looks.

I have a family relationship with the Shinnecock Tribe, and from the pic below, knew this author’s mother, and possibly her father. The Reservation is pretty small, and all of the teens often gathered together at the beach. There was a NYC connection as well. I am not Native American (Not one drop according to my DNA test), however one of my Uncles married a Native American and lived on the reservation. I spent a number of summers both working and visiting the Reservation and am an Honorary Member of the Tribe. Which doesn’t mean anything in terms of identity, but does mean because of my Uncle’s marriage I have a few cousins there.

My family has everything from blonde haired, blue eyed to deepest ebon. The first of which caused a lot of problems back in the day. As a teen, I struggled with the existence of both black and “white” relatives. To understand that, you have to understand the historical context of the 60′ black “awakening”.

I don’t share Ms Joseph’s thoughts about Donezal. The only thing I see there is a tragedy.

Stealth sisterhood: I look white, but I'm also black. And I don't hate Rachel Dolezal

Stealth sisterhood: I look white, but I’m also black. And I don’t hate Rachel Dolezal

I am white, I am black, I am Native American. And I know what it’s like for people not to see all of who I am

On a hot, humid New York City morning in 1980, I stood with my mother in the checkout line of an A&P supermarket near our home. As she pushed our groceries along the cashier’s belt with me trailing behind, mom realized she had forgotten her wallet at home, but she had her checkbook. Leaving me standing alone in the line for a moment while she saw the manager to have her check approved, the clerk refused to bag our groceries and hand them to me. She was black, and I was white. “These groceries belong to that woman over there,” the woman nodded towards my mother. “They ain’t yours.” Confused, I said, “But that’s my mother. I’ll take them for her.” She looked me up and down. “No,” she said, her voice cold.

The clerk refused to believe that indeed I belonged to, and came from, my black mother, until mom returned to find me choking back tears. She gave the clerk a tongue lashing, which was not her style, and we left the market.  Later, mixed Native American and black children threw stones at me near my home on the Shinnecock Indian Reservation as I rode my bike. They yelled, “Get off our land, white girl!” These painful and strange experiences gave me my first taste of racial prejudice, and they have stayed with me all these years.

I am a child of many nations. I am white, I am black, I am Native American. I am West Indian, German, Irish. Brown and light together — integrated, not inter-racial, because race means nothing when you come from everywhere.

This Sunday’s New York Times Race-Related section ran a fascinating piece on DNA and racial identity by West Chester University professor Anita Foeman. For the past decade, she has asked hundreds of people to take part in ancestry DNA tests, and to date, over 2,000 have participated. “But first,” she wrote, “I ask people how they identify themselves racially. It has been very interesting to explore their feelings about the differences between how they define themselves and what their DNA makeup shows when the test results come in.”

Those results are often startling to the subjects and rife with racial stereotypes, Foeman found. According to her studies, some who came up with surprise Asian heritage in spite of looking white or brown noted, “That’s why my son is good at math!” Others who explored African heritage responded, “I thought my biological father might be black; I heard he liked basketball.”  Many of us harbor deeply-rooted prejudices that we aren’t even aware of, until it matters to us.

I don’t remember what mom said that day in the supermarket, but I can tell you that while she had been the object of many, many racist remarks and challenging situations in her life, she was not entirely prepared for what happened that day. That’s not to say she didn’t talk about the reality of how our family was different from others. To try to address the dearth of literary references to kids who looked like me, my mother physically altered my childhood books, using markers to make one parent brown and other other white, while the child originally drawn remained white-appearing, like me. But the scene in the supermarket still took her by surprise.

Confrontations over race can still catch Americans unprepared, such as when Rachel Dolezal, the now-former head of the Spokane, Washington chapter of the NAACP, appeared on the media radar. Dolezal, who stopped by Salon recently to talk with me on her book tour, was born white but identifies as black and calls herself “transracial.”

Dolezal was “outed” two years ago by her biological parents for not being black as she had claimed, and subsequently resigned from the NAACP. She became a polarizing figure under heavy media scrutiny as she appeared to dodge questions about her unconventional chosen identity. She has been unable to continue to work as a university instructor of African and African American art history, and to this day is despised by many observers, black and white, for posing as a black person.

My Salon colleague D. Watkins, an African American writer from Baltimore, wondered why Dolezal couldn’t just “use her whiteness to advocate for black people,” rather than making up and living in her own fantasy world where race and ethnicity no longer cause any social or political delineations. He is one of many to hold this opinion, and it’s one I agree with.

Rebecca Carroll wrote for Dame in 2015 about what she calls Dolezal’s “apocalyptic, White privilege on steroids” with a palpable anger shared by many people of color. When I talked to my childhood writing mentor Barbara Campbell, a former New York Times reporter who is African American and has two multiracial sons, she wondered about Dolezal with a mix of anger and genuine confusion. “What is wrong with that woman? I feel empathy for her, because she is clearly delusional, but she can step out into the world as a white woman any time she wants to stop being ‘black.’ Black women don’t have that luxury.”

Campbell explained that growing up in St. Louis, she had many light-skinned relatives who resembled Dolezal and could “pass” for white, but otherwise lived their lives as people of color. “They would go to ‘work white,’ because they could earn more money and get better-paying jobs, but then they would go home and be black.”

But this Dolezal thing — this is a horse of another color entirely. Why, wondered many, would someone white want to live within the very real challenges of being black in America, when she had a choice? Dolezal’s explanation? She doesn’t define herself by race, just a feeling of affinity with the black culture she’s always had.

As one might expect, the last few years have been tough since her exposure, she told me, noting her newly adopted legal name, Nkechi Amare Diallo, which she claimed was a “gift” to her by a Nigerian man. When she arrived at our offices, it was hard to know what to think, or believe. Frankly, it was hard to feel any animosity at all, despite the vitriolic sentiments many of my dark and light-skinned family, friends and colleagues had for Dolezal. She arrived carrying her beautiful, light brown baby son, Langston Hughes (Yes. Stop. That’s his name. What can you do?), who was cared for by her adopted black sister, Esther. Dolezal appeared like any other tired, working mom. I offered her coffee, and empathy, rather than taking an adversarial approach.

I did suggest, however, that some of the passages in her new book, “In Full Color: Finding My Place in a Black and White World,” were outrageous and possibly specious. Dolezal shrugged. “I don’t expect everyone to agree with or believe me,” she said. Among her claims: she grew up living in a tee pee in Montana (my Native American percentage shudders). She was beaten by her parents and forced to weave and wear a coat loomed from dog hair. She identified with people of color from an early age, after reading her grandmother’s National Geographic magazines, and spread mud on her face to try to feel what it was like to have brown skin. Dolezal has said some very polemical things, some — dare I say — dumb things, that do not make her a sympathetic figure. Comparing her white Montana childhood to what chattel slaves experienced, even if indeed she was miserable, is a stretch by any measure, and engendered rightful animus from real black folks…Read the Rest Here

 

 
 

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Black…And Jewish – Hebrew Israelites

Black folks can be Jewish. Some claim black folks from Ethiopia were one of the original tribes. This fascinating history is about the formation of what was probably the first black Jewish Congregation in America.

Hebrew Israelite congregants sing during Sabbath worship services, with elders and community leaders nearest the pulpit.

When Passover Is About American Slavery

A plantation houseboy grew up to be a prophet—and inspired a religious movement.

More than 1,000 men and women gathered this past week in coastal Virginia to celebrate Passover and retell the ancient story of how Moses led the Israelites from bondage to freedom. They were observing holiday traditions that Jews all across the world observe—only these celebrants were not Jews.

Their memories of slavery and liberation concerned not a distant past in Egypt, but a story set in the United States. Their prophet was an African American man born into slavery. He preached to a Christian audience, telling them to incorporate Hebraic practices into their faith out of a desire to return to the true Church as he envisioned it, and based his new Church on both Old and New Testaments. Their Promised Land was a plot in Virginia where descendants of black men and women could gather and be safe from the scourge of white supremacy.

Temple Beth El in Belleville is the headquarters of the Church of God and Saints of Christ, the largest and oldest organization of Hebrew Israelites in the country. Hebrew Israelites are people of color, mostly African American, who identify as descendants of the biblical Israelites. Passover is among the holiest weeks on this group’s calendar. Members travel from across the country and abroad to spend days in near-constant worship in a place they call Canaan Land, after the land promised by God to Abraham in the book of Genesis.

“Just as Israelites of the Bible had their Land of Canaan filled with milk and honey, this is our land of milk and honey,” said Melvin Smith, 46, a fourth-generation congregant from nearby Portsmouth, Virginia. “This is our refuge.”

The group remains little known outside its own ranks, despite over a century of history, tens of thousands of members, and outposts that fan across America, Africa, and the Caribbean. Religion scholars are given scarce, if any, access to the organization’s archives. Leadership guards the legacy of the group closely. Photography is rarely permitted inside sanctuaries. Internal materials, like the group’s unique hymnal, are not to be reproduced or shared with outsiders.

“The Church of God and Saints of Christ is one of the most important religious bodies in America that few people have ever heard of,” said Jacob Dorman, professor of history at the University of Kansas and author of Chosen People: The Rise of American Black Israelite Religions.

At an evening service last week, hundreds of congregants filed into pews. The sanctuary, opened only on special holidays, was filled nearly to capacity. Saints, as members call themselves, were dressed in the formal garb that has been part of their tradition for generations. The men wore sashes across their shoulders, long-tailed suit jackets, black kippahs, and white gloves. Some wore thin white prayer shawls, or tallits, on their necks. The women were dressed in sashes, brown pleated skirts, and brightly colored headdresses fixed with glittering brooches.

At the center of the room was a large Torah ark decorated with a fabric banner that read “Shalom” in Hebrew, flanked by two seven-pronged menorahs. The chief rabbi, a retired math professor named Phillip E. McNeil, stood behind the pulpit. At 75, he exudes a quiet authority. He spoke lightly into a microphone and the crowd hushed. They had been worshipping together for a week straight. “Are you tired yet?” McNeil joked. “There’s nothing like worshiping the God of Israel, is there?”

A younger evangelist followed McNeil onto the stage and picked up the Passover theme, which ran through almost every sermon. “I’m here to remember that day we came out of Egypt,” Frank Johnson said. “In every age, He’s still passing over, still executing judgment, still demanding that the oppressed go free.”

A choir of hundreds broke into song, complex four-part a capella sung by heart. The lyrics of the songs are composed by congregants and delivered to them, it’s said, through divine dreams. This evening’s choir master pumped his fists in the air, readjusting the kippah on his head as music filled the sanctuary.

Collin McGhie, from North Carolina, sang along, shifting his weight from right to left and clapping. McGhie was raised a Seventh-day Adventist and joined this organization six years ago. “I come here for a spiritual recharge,” McGhie said.

This past week, it seemed that not only McGhie but the entire congregation had come to spiritually recharge and regain its balance. Last year, the group’s leader, Chief Rabbi Jehu August Crowdy, died suddenly just before Passover. He was only 46. The organization reeled. McNeil was quickly selected to take his place. This Passover marked a year since McNeil assumed the position.

The late Crowdy was the great-grandson of a man named William Saunders Crowdy, who founded the Church of God and Saints of Christ in 1896. He was born in Maryland in 1847 and spent his childhood as an enslaved houseboy on a plantation where his mother was a cook. As a free adult, Crowdy was one of a generation of spiritual leaders who taught that African Americans were descended from the Israelites of the bible—and that they should return to this ancient way of life….Read More About This Fascinating Group Here

 
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Posted by on April 20, 2017 in Black History, Giant Negros

 

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Second Black Judge Found Dead…Ethnic Cleansing of the Courts?

Two black Judges found dead in two days. The second under mysterious circumstances.

To tell the truth, after the sleazebags went to extremes to  force the illegitimate Gorsuch on the Courts, and with the appointment of Sessions as AG…

I really don’t doubt the possibility of their murdering Judges to whiten the Courts.

 

Image: Cook County Associate Judge Raymond Myles

Cook County Associate Judge Raymond Myles

Chicago Police Arrest Suspect in Fatal Shooting of Judge, Others Sought

Chicago police have arrested a man in connection with the shooting death of a Cook county judge in what police described as a “targeted robbery.”

Joshua Smith, 37, turned himself in to answer detectives’ questions Wednesday and was later charged with first-degree murder and other charges in the death of Associate Judge Raymond Myles, who was shot multiple times outside his home at around 5 a.m. on Monday.

Ballistics evidence matched a gun used in a January robbery where a victim was shot and wounded, and surveillance video captured the license plate of a vehicle seen leaving the scene, Chicago Police Chief of Detectives Melissa Staples said at a press conference.

“The motive of this crime is robbery, which we do not believe is random — nor do we believe Smith acted alone,” she said.

A female friend who worked out with Myles had first encountered the gunman on Monday morning. Words were exchanged and she was shot in the leg, police said. Myles was coming to her aid when he was fatally shot, although he was not the target of the robbery, NBC Chicago reported, citing police.

Smith was convicted of armed robbery with a firearm in 2003 and served six years in prison, Staples said.

Staples at Wednesday’s press conference would not say who the target of the robbery was or how many other people may have been involved, citing the ongoing investigation. She said more details could emerge at a bond hearing scheduled for Thursday.

First African-American Female Judge On New York’s Top Court Found Dead

Associate Judge Sheila Abdus-Salaam, the first African-American woman to be appointed to New York’s Court of Appeals, was found dead on Wednesday in the Hudson River.

She had been reported missing from her home in Harlem.

The New York Times reports:

“Officers with the New York Police Department’s Harbor Unit responded about 1:45 p.m. to a report of a person floating by the shore near West 132nd Street in Upper Manhattan.

“Judge Abdus-Salaam, 65, was taken to a pier on the Hudson River and was pronounced dead by paramedics shortly after 2 p.m.

“The police were investigating how she ended up in the river, and it was not clear how long Judge Abdus-Salaam, who lived nearby in Harlem, had been missing.

“There were no signs of trauma on her body, the police said. She was fully clothed.

“A law enforcement official said investigators had found no signs of criminality. Her husband identified her body.”

Abdus-Salaam became the first female Muslim to serve as a U.S. judge when she joined the New York State Supreme Court in 1994, according to Zakiyyah Muhammad, the founding director of the Institute of Muslim American Studies, as quoted in The Times.

In 2013, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, D-N.Y., appointed her to the state’s highest court, known as the Court of Appeals.

In a statement, Cuomo said Judge Abdus-Salaam was a pioneer with an “unshakable moral compass.”

Her nomination was part of a push by Cuomo to diversify the court.

When Judge Rowan Wilson joined the court this year, it was the first time the state’s highest court had two African-American judges serving on it.

In a statement, Chief Judge Janet DiFiore said Abdus-Salaam’s “personal warmth, uncompromising sense of fairness and bright legal mind were an inspiration to all of us who had the good fortune to know her.”

The Court of Appeals has been on recess since the end of last month. The court is due back in session in less than two weeks.

 

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Four Brothers (Quads) All Get Accepted at Harvard and Yale

Talk about hitting it over the fences out past the parking lot! This set of quadruplets was accepted (every one of them) at Harvard and Yale – as well as a list of some of the best schools in America. WTG Wade brothers!

(L-R), Nigel, Zach, Aaron and Nick.)

 

Accepted, 8 times over: Ohio quadruplets earn spots at Yale, Harvard

Nick Wade was at track practice late one afternoon last week when he found out. The 18-year-old checked his phone and learned that he had made it into the Ivy League.

“One by one,” he said. “I found out I had gotten into my schools.”

Wade is a quadruplet, though, with three brothers on his high school track team who had also applied to Ivy schools. So about that time on Thursday, they were learning their fates, too.

There was Aaron, who was in the locker room when he logged on. And Nigel, who was stretching out when his brothers told him to check. Zach was going to wait until practice was over, but his brothers weren’t having it.

“It would have taken like 20 more minutes,” Zach said, who said the siblings checked for him. “But they couldn’t wait that long.”

That is how the Wade quadruplets, of Liberty Township, Ohio, learned that all four had been accepted at Harvard and Yale universities — offers that added to a pretty impressive pile of potential college destinations.

“We’re still in shock, honestly,” Aaron said this week. “I don’t think it has sunk in yet.”

“I just felt blessed at that moment,” Nigel said. “It was an unreal feeling, I guess.”

“Honestly, to have one child from a family be accepted to a school like this is amazing,” Zach said. “But for all four to be accepted — I just don’t, I don’t know how it happened.”

The Post reviewed screenshots of admission notifications and copies of letters the Wades received to confirm their authenticity.

Besides Harvard and Yale, the Wade brothers have loads of options for the next four years. Nick got into Duke, Georgetown and Stanford. Aaron is in at Stanford, too. Nigel made the cut with Johns Hopkins and Vanderbilt, and Zach with Cornell.

That list does not cover all the schools that offered them admission. But you get the idea. These seniors at Lakota East High School are in high demand.

“The outcome has shocked us,” Aaron Wade said. “We didn’t go into this thinking, ‘Oh, we’re going to apply to all these schools and get into all of them.’ It wasn’t so much about the prestige or so much about the name as it was — it was important that we each find a school where we think that we’ll thrive, and where we think that we’ll contribute.”

Harvard said it doesn’t comment on the admission status of prospective students, and doesn’t formally track how many students are admitted as twins, triplets, quads or other multiple-birth sets. Yale said in an email that as a policy, the university doesn’t discuss admitted students.

More than 32,000 people applied for Yale’s Class of 2021, according to the university’s website. Of them, 2,272 were admitted. Harvard said 2,056 students were admitted this year out of an applicant pool that exceeded 39,000.

“When we would joke about it,” Aaron said, “it was like, ‘Yeah, I’m going to be the one who gets rejected. You guys all have fun at Harvard.’ ”

This is not the first set of quadruplets that Yale has admitted. A few years ago, Kenny, Martina, Ray and Carol Crouch learned that they had earned early admission slots with the university. All four ended up picking Yale, according to the New York Times.

Darrin Wade, 51, father of this year’s quartet of academic stars, said that when his wife, Kim, was pregnant, the couple was initially told they were having twins. A few weeks later, they learned that was incorrect.

“I remember they were doing an ultrasound and they said, ‘Mr. Wade, you better sit down.’ I said, ‘What’s going on?’ They said, ‘There’s not two. There’s four,’ ” Wade said. “It was really at that point in time that I tried to figure out how we’re going to pay for school.”

Darrin Wade, who works for General Electric, and his wife, a school principal, have saved some money for their sons’ educations. But the father said it’s not enough to fully fund four sets of tuition for four years at full price at elite private universities. The mother and father are mindful of their own need for retirement funds, too.

“We have to make sure that we’re helping them down the road by not being a financial burden on them when we get older,” Wade said.

Like a number of other elite schools, Harvard and Yale pledge to meet the full demonstrated financial need of the students they admit.

This school year, Yale charges more than $64,000 for tuition, fees, room and board, (before taking into account financial aid). The comparable price at Harvard is about $63,000.

“Financial aid is going to be a big player in our decision,” Nick Wade said.

Here are a few notes on the boys from the father.

Aaron is the most artistic of the bunch, and the father described him as comfortable in his own skin. He was the first born of the fraternal quadruplets.

“Aaron has classic first-child syndrome,” he said. “He’s a minute older than his brothers, two minutes older than everybody else, maybe. And he’s a classic first child.”

 
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Posted by on April 5, 2017 in BlackLivesMatter, Men

 

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What Segregation Costs Chicago

The most segregated places in America are oddly northern midwest cities. In that list are Milwaukee, Chicago, Detroit, and Cleveland.

According to a Study by Johns Hopkins a a few years ago, racism in America quite literally lops off about $2 trillion of our GDP. Just the loss of GDP due to racism in America is larger than the GDP of all but 10 countries in the world.

Racism has other impacts on the social fabric and economic activity in this country, some of which are discussed below in the attached article.

China is now the world’s largest economy. The US is number 2. And it will remain so indefinitely until we make better use of our resources. The racist Trump, and his supporters in the white right, including the Republican Party value their racism more than their country… Which means we could soon be #3. Wow! That’s a “great” way to “Make America Great Again.”

What segregation is costing Chicago

The Chicago area is the fifth most racially and economically segregated region in the nation. A new study by the Metropolitan Planning Council and the Urban Institute examines how segregation affects the region financially and the price that all residents pay in “lost income, lives and education.”

The Cost of Segregation argues that reducing Chicago’s segregation could result in higher incomes, greater educational achievement and fewer homicides across the region. Incomes for African-Americans would rise an average of $2,982 per person per year and the Chicago region’s gross domestic product, a key indicator of economic performance, would jump by $8 billion.

Alden Loury, director of research and evaluation for the Metropolitan Planning Council and an author of the study, talked to the Reporter about its findings.

What makes this study unique is that it explores how segregation affects economic growth and the quality of life for an entire city and region. We’ve read stories about Back of the Yards, Austin and other communities of color defined by high poverty rates. What prompted researchers to frame the inequality in those communities from a regional and citywide standpoint?

The Metropolitan Planning Council a couple of years ago, long before I got there, embarked on this journey with essentially two questions. [First], we’re very aware that we are a very segregated region. We’re a segregated city within that region. … There also was an understanding that in order for us to really address segregation and really commit ourselves to addressing segregation maybe the region needed more people to feel impacted.

“So is there a way we can kind of quantify those costs?” That was the first question. The second question was, “So what do we do about whatever we find?”… That kind of launched us on this path. We reached out to the Urban Institute, which had done similar work.

The premise of the study is that the region would do better if we addressed segregation in three areas: lost income, lost lives and lost opportunity, with a focus on education. Let’s start with the city’s homicide rate, which ranks 8th out of the 10 U.S. cities with the highest murder rates. The study states that the Chicago area could have boosted its economy simply by being “a safe place to live.” How is that?

When [the Urban Institute] conducted its analysis, it found a statistically significant relationship between Chicago, and between all of the metro areas, their level of black-white segregation and their rate of homicides.

If the Chicago region were to fall from 10th, which is where it ranked [in black-white segregation] to the median between 50 and 51, the Urban Institute determined that we would see a 30-percent reduction in homicide. That’s based on the lower levels of homicides that are generally found in regions that have less segregation than Chicago.

We wanted to find out what does that actually mean in real-life costs in the Chicago region. So we leaned on supplemental research, in particular research done by the Center for American Progress just a couple of years ago, where they actually asked that question: “What would happen if eight major metros saw a 10 percent or a 25 -percent reduction in the levels of homicide?”

For Chicago what the Center for American Progress found was lower policing costs, lower corrections costs and earnings [that would have occurred] if there were fewer victims of homicide. And there would also be a boost in residential property values based on research that the Center for American Progress conducted, which found that growth in homicides equated to a decline in residential property values. We took those numbers that the Center for American Progress developed and extrapolated them based on the Urban Institute’s prediction that the Chicago region would see a 30-percent reduction in homicides. … What that equated to was $65 million of policing and fewer policing cost, $218 million fewer corrections cost and the $6 billion bump in the residential property values for the entire region.

Between 1990 and 2010, two-thirds of the nation’s largest regions reduced their economic segregation more than Chicago did. Chicago declined by 10 percent, but to keep up it would have to decline by 19 percent  in terms of economic segregation, 28 percent in terms of Latino-white segregation and 36 percent in terms of African-American and white segregation.  Why did other cities make more progress than Chicago in reducing segregation?

The analysis gives us more of the what than it does the why. And so in the second phase of our work, we are seeking input from a whole host of experts and stakeholders around what policies and strategies we should recommend to address the segregation. We also want to take a look at some places that have seen a sharper drop in economic segregation, that have seen stronger progress in terms of mostly black-white segregation. And then also looking inward because Chicago has seen declines across the board and is in fact the only metro area of those 100 metro areas that saw from 1990 to 2000 and from 2000 to 2010 minor drops in all three of those measures of segregation.

There’s a difference in the segregation gap between African-Americans and whites and Latinos and whites. Why does it vary so much in Chicago?

The level of black-white segregation is measured by something the Urban Institute used called the spatial proximity index. In Chicago in 2010 that number was 1.87. That number was 1.5 for the Chicago region in terms of Latinos and whites. And so there are differences. And across the nation, generally speaking, the levels of black-white segregation were higher than the measures for Latino-white segregation.

It’s not 100 percent clear at least from the research why that is. [Surveys in Chicago] have shown among the white respondents that there is a greater willingness to live next to Latino neighbors than to African-American neighbors. Some of the other things that may play a part in that is that as Latino migration has  increased dramatically over the past 40 years or so, there are greater entry points and perhaps more opportunities that have been explored by Latinos.

In Chicago the way that’s played out is Latinos initially were migrating to the city. But increasingly over the last 20, maybe 30 years or so, that destination has trended toward the suburbs. As a result, that has produced a kind of a lessening of segregation because Latinos are found throughout the suburban regions of Chicago far more often than you’ll find African-Americans. African-Americans are largely in two clusters to the south and to the west in suburban Chicago. Latinos are far more spread out, and their numbers are higher in the suburbs and in more places.

To some degree, at least through the surveys that we’ve seen, there is perhaps less of a reaction to Latino neighbors. But that’s not to say that there isn’t white flight in response to Latino migration or other challenges. … While we don’t present any statistically significant findings of the cost of Latino-white segregation [in the study], we see greater amounts of gentrification in Latino neighborhoods that are seeing an influx of white residents. And while Latinos are more suburbanized, they, generally speaking, are more likely to be segregated in more deindustrialized and declining communities in the suburbs. And Latino children are more likely to be in largely Latino schools serving low-income students.

 

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Nearly a Dozen Missing Black and Brown Girls in DC So Far in March

They are black and brown…So don’t expect any national outcry.

 
 

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Ronald Reagan’s Black Granddaughter

A bit of an untold story here, of Ronald Reagan’s daughter adopting a child from Uganda.

The Fascinating Tale of Ronald Reagan’s Ugandan Granddaughter

Ronald Reagan’s First Wife, Jane Wyman, and her granddaughter, Rita at Maureen Reagan’s Funeral

Maureen Reagan and her husband adopted a little girl from Uganda. How they got to America provides a lesson that Congress—and the president—should heed.

Sometimes a story grabs hold of you and won’t let go. President Reagan’s valiant fight against Alzheimer’s disease is in that category for me. I wasn’t a fan of Reagan’s policies, but there was something about the man, and the way he played the role of a lifetime. A visitor to his Century City office after he left the White House told the story of reminding Reagan that he was once President, and he asked, “How’d I do?”

Newsweek did a cover story on “the long goodbye” in the fall of 1995 when Reagan was still in the earlier stages of the disease that would take his life a decade later, in 2004. During the course of my reporting the story, Mrs. Reagan told me that one of the things that gave her husband pleasure was teaching the newest addition to the family how to swim in the heated pool at their Bel-Air home.

“Rita is a real ‘water baby,’ thanks to our pool and my husband,” Mrs. Reagan wrote in a written response to questions, describing then 10-year-old Rita Mirembe Revell, the child that her stepdaughter, Maureen Reagan, and her husband Dennis Revell, had adopted from Uganda. Newsweek asked for photos. We didn’t get them, but I always wondered what happened to Rita.

The last public sighting of her was at her mother’s funeral in 2001. Rita was 16; her mother was 60 when she died after a five-year battle with melanoma that had spread to her brain. Maureen Reagan was Reagan’s daughter with his first wife, the actress Jane Wyman. At her mother’s funeral, Rita was seen holding tight onto Wyman, who looked frail and distraught.

That’s more than 15 years ago, and Maureen’s siblings from Reagan’s second marriage to Nancy, Patti Davis and Ron Reagan, who knew Rita as a child, have not seen her since Maureen’s funeral, and don’t know where she is or what she’s doing. Ron Reagan, who was traveling in Europe when I reached out to him, responded in an email that “my late wife, Doria, and I knew her as a vivacious child when she first came to the U.S., but over the years–difficult years, many of them, for Rita, or so I heard secondhand –we lost track.”

He points out that when she lost her mother, Rita was a teenager, “a phase that is confusing and painful for many young people, even under the best of circumstances,” and that Rita drifted away. She did not attend Mrs. Reagan’s funeral last year, and her adoptive father, Dennis Revell, Maureen’s husband, did not include her name in a statement he released upon Mrs. Reagan’s death, in which he recalled spending many Christmases with his mother-in-law.

“That said, she may be thriving,” Ron Reagan wrote about Rita. “She was always bright and personable. There is no guarantee, however, that her story is positive or edifying.”

Rita is on Facebook with the surname Reagan and in her profile photo and the few pictures she has posted looks every bit as vibrant as the child Ron Reagan remembers. Her page is not fully public, and she did not respond to a message that I left explaining my interest in finding her. Dennis Revell, who heads a public-relations firm in Sacramento, responded to my email saying neither he nor Rita wish to cooperate in any story about immigration.

In a recent post on Facebook, she tells friends wondering what she’s up to, “I have been hiding and being sanctified.”

She’s certainly entitled to her privacy, and perhaps in due time she will tell her story. In these times of division and partisanship, the story of how President Reagan’s Ugandan grandchild became a permanent resident of the United States is worth telling, and worth hearing. It shows people of goodwill pulling together and overcoming barriers within a legal system that those in power can tweak to do the right thing when there is a common goal.

It begins with Maureen and her husband and their support of the Daughters of Charity orphanages in Uganda. They first met Rita when she was three years old. When Dennis made a return visit, this child who had been abandoned in Kampala, the capital of Uganda, and whose actual date of birth was unknown, clung to him and wouldn’t stop crying after he left.

“And I said, ‘Dennis, I think she’s adopted you. What do you think about that? And he says, “Fine with me.’ It took us five years, but we got her,” Maureen told ABC’s Barbara Walters in 2001, when what’s known as a “private bill” in Congress recognized Rita as the couple’s “immediate relative child.”

Uganda had very restrictive adoption laws, and the Revells initially gained custody as Rita’s legal guardians. They brought her home to California on a student visa. She was eight years old and attended a private parochial school in Sacramento.

By the time it was established under Ugandan law that Rita was an orphan, and eligible for adoption by the only parents she knew, Maureen was battling cancer and too ill to make the trip to Uganda to finalize the adoption.

That’s when Congress went to work. Utah Republican Orrin Hatch sponsored the private bill in the Senate to grant Rita permanent residence in the United States as did Texas Democrat Sheila Jackson Lee in the House. Republican James Sensenbrenner chaired the House Judiciary committee then, as he does today, and Congresswoman Lee, a member of the committee then as now, entered into the record a statement about the facts of the case and, noting Maureen Reagan’s grave illness, and her inability to travel, that the only way to “assure that Rita remains a part of their family in the United States is through this private bill.”

The bill passed by unanimous consent in the House and Senate, where Hatch chaired the Judiciary Committee, and President George W. Bush signed it into law on July 19, 2001. “Rita is so excited because, like so many adopted children, her one wish was to have a family… Now, she not only has a family, she has a whole country. But also, she knows this news is the best medicine her mother could have received right now,” said Revell. Maureen Reagan passed away just weeks later on August 8, 2001.

From the time they first met Rita in the orphanage, the Revells had provided support for her, and they did everything they were supposed to in accordance with the legal systems in both countries, the United States and Uganda, first gaining legal guardianship, then a student visa, and finally, through the intervention of Congress, permanent residency for Rita.

In addition to having a compelling case, as the daughter of a president, Maureen Reagan had the clout and the connections to get legislative relief. Private immigration bills sponsored by lawmakers are not as common as they once were, and in the toxic political environment around immigration issues today, they hearken back to an earlier, less contentious time.

 
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Posted by on March 13, 2017 in General, The Post-Racial Life

 

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