RSS

Tag Archives: race

The US Senate’s Diversity Problem…

No real surprise here in America’s Last Plantation. Not much has changed since the 70’s when “The Hill” was one of my assigned accounts and I had reason to frequent the Capital and Office buildings.

The invisible folks of color who actually make the physical machinery of the Capital run

The Senate Has Plenty Of Racial Diversity, But Not The Kind You Brag About

High-level Senate staffers are overwhelmingly white. Low-level service workers are overwhelmingly black and Latino.

To a casual observer, the halls of Congress look pretty white. But according to Anthony Thomas, people of color abound there, so long as you know where to find them.

“It’s all black and Hispanic people downstairs,” said Thomas, a 23-year-old African-American from the suburb of New Carrollton, Maryland.

Thomas works as a dishwasher in the Senate cafeteria in the basement of the Dirksen building. His duties include catering special parties held in the Capitol and the Senate office buildings, where lawmakers and staff rub elbows with lobbyists and other power brokers. Though there are exceptions, it’s mostly white people drinking and dining, and people of color like Thomas cleaning up after them, he said.

A report released in December by the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies found that the most influential Senate staffers are disproportionately white. Among senior-level Senate staff — chiefs of staff, legislative directors and other folks who ultimately shape the laws we all live by — a mere 7.1 percent are people of color, researchers found. Yet people of color comprise 36 percent of the U.S. public at large. (There may well be more diversity among mid- and low-level Senate staff, but no such numbers are available.)

So where is all the Senate’s diversity? Apparently, much of it is concentrated at the opposite end of the power structure.

For the past year and a half, a group called Good Jobs Nation, funded by the Change to Win federation of labor unions, has been organizing janitorial and food workers in the Senate offices and the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center. The group compiled a database of 160 rank-and-file employees it assumes would be eligible to vote if workers filed for a union election. (SEIU, a member of Change to Win, lost a union election among Senate dining employees three years ago, though the union could file for another election.)

When the group examined demographics, it found the makeup of the service workforce to be the exact opposite of the senior-level Senate staff.

The low-wage workers were almost exclusively people of color — a whopping 97 percent, according to a demographic breakdown Good Jobs Nation provided to The Huffington Post (the breakdown did not identify individual workers). That number shouldn’t be all the surprising, given the demographics of D.C. — a majority of residents are people of color — and the way low-wage food and janitorial jobsalready skew heavily toward minorities in the U.S. at large, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

A caveat: This was not a scientific study. The database was compiled through on-the-ground outreach done by the group’s organizers, not through government records or an official survey. And since the group is only organizing rank-and-file employees, the numbers don’t account for middle management, where the workforce appears more mixed. Yet the figures should ring true for anyone who’s taken a close look at the workers cleaning the dishes and mopping the floors in the Senate.

“I think what’s happening at the Capitol reflects a larger trend in our economy — the gap between the knowledge economy workers and the service-sector workers,” said Joseph Geevarghese, director of Good Jobs Nation. “You’ve got a class of workers who are higher paid, and then you have an underclass of service workers who are low-paid and struggling to make ends meet.”…More

A fairly representative sample of the higher level staff, this one from Iowa

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 4, 2016 in The Post-Racial Life

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Cam Newton’s Historic Blindness

Cam Newton is a great quarterback, and he has led the Carolina Panthers to the Superbowl. He may wind up to be one of the best ever to play the position. Only time will tell.

Along the way, there has been some media flack about his touchdown dance and other sports related bar talk. To which he has responded …

“I’m an African-American quarterback that may scare a lot of people because they haven’t seen nothing that they can compare me to,” Newton told The Charlotte Observer yesterday (January 27). 

Uhhhh Cam…Doug Williams ring a bell? The primary storyline surrounding Super Bowl XXII was that Washington’s Doug Williams was the first African-American quarterback ever to start in a NFL league championship game, let alone a Super Bowl. He became the first player in Super Bowl history to pass for four touchdowns in a single quarter, and four in a half. Williams was the first black starting quarterback to win a Super Bowl in 1988, and the only one until Russell Wilson won Super Bowl XLVIII in 2014. Just to jog your memory, Cam…

And Russell Wilson isn’t anyone’s slouch.

And he (Williams) did that on one good leg, after being injured in the first quarter. .

They ain’t scared because you are black, Cam. And you ain’t Doug Williams…Yet. A guy who played for years on some crappy Tamp Bay Teams with mediocre receivers until he was traded to he Redskins, and lit things up with what was then one of the best receiver corps in the league. And Doug went through weekly crap about black players “not being smart enough” to play the position, and left Washington after winning the Superbowl.

The Carolina Panthers quarterback dropped hard truths during a recent interview. 

Even as he lead the Carolina Panthers on a steady march toward this year’s Super Bowl, star quarterback Cam Newton caught flack for his unapologetic self-assurance and penchant for celebratory “dabbing.” In a new interview, Newton spoke frankly about why he has gotten more scrutiny and criticism than most other NFL players.

“I’m an African-American quarterback that may scare a lot of people because they haven’t seen nothing that they can compare me to,” Newton told The Charlotte Observer yesterday (January 27). He then added, “People are going to judge and have their own opinion on certain things that I don’t have control over, nor does anybody else.”

Newton has faced this kind of criticism from journalists, commentators and football fans alike ever since he was drafted to the Panthers in 2011—all of it focused on behavior that doesn’t draw nearly as much scrutiny for White  players. One Seattle Seahawks fan even petitioned to ban Newton from CenturyLink Field, calling him “one of the most unprofessional, unsportsmanlike individual [sic] on the face of the planet.” We need not spell out the subtext behind much of this criticism.

Besides his legions of fans, Newton has an ally in Doug Williams, who in 1988 was first Black quarterback to play in the Super Bowl. Williams won the MVP award (for which Newton is considered a front-runner) during that game after leading theWashington NFL Team to a 42-10 victory over the Denver Broncos—the same team that Newton and the Panthers will face in the 50th Super Bowl on February 7. Speaking to USA Today, Williams discussed the culture of denial surrounding criticsm of Newton:

“I’m not going to be the one who says what my thinking is, because sometimes it don’t matter what I think,” Williams said. “It ain’t going to matter what he thinks. Because at the end of the day you’ve got a lot of people denying [racism is behind the criticism of Newton], that that’s not true. Even if it’s true, they’re going to deny it.”

When Newton squares off against the Broncos’ veteran QB Peyton Manning in San Francisco, he will be only the sixth Black quarterback to start in the Super Bowl.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on January 28, 2016 in The Post-Racial Life

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Voices From Under a Rock – Stacy Dash

The poor pathetic Auntie Tomisina is so brain damaged it’s absurd. Already having been kicked off the air once, they brought her back from under her rock to attack Jada Pinkett Smith…

Jada’s husband, Will Smith has been nominated and won numerous Best Actor and Film accolades…That is 50 Awards and 95 Nominations.

Jada has won 4 Awards, and has been nominated for 21.

Stacy? One nomination for a Film Award…20 years ago.

Guess Stacy didn’t “earn”…Anything.

 

Stupid!

Stacey Dash rips ‘hypocrite’ Jada Pinkett Smith: Black actors must earn Oscars because ‘segregation’ is over

Fox News contributor Stacey Dash asserted on Wednesday that Jada Pinkett Smith was a “hypocrite” for expecting some black actors to be nominated for an Oscar while the black community was enjoying special privileges like Black History Month and the BET channel.

In a video posted to Facebook earlier this week, Smith revealed that she would not be attending the 88th Academy Awards to protest the fact all of the major nominees were white.

After recently being suspended from Fox News for saying President Barack Obama did not “give a sh*t,” she was back on the network on Wednesday to respond to Smith.

“I think it’s ludicrous,” she opined. “Because we have to make up our minds. Either we want to have segregation or integration. If we don’t want segregation then we need to get rid of channels like BET and the BET Awards and the [NAACP] Image Awards, where you are only awarded if you are black.”

“So you say there should not be a BET channel?” Fox News host Steve Doocy wondered.

“No, just like there shouldn’t be a Black History Month,” Dash replied. “You know, we’re Americans. Period. That’s it.”

“Are you saying there shouldn’t be a Black History Month because there isn’t a White History Month?” Doocy pressed.

“Exactly!” Dash insisted.

According to Dash, the real problem was that Hollywood’s support of President Barack Obama had not inspired filmmakers to create more black roles.

“We’ve had a president who is black in office for the past eight years, who gets most of his funding from the liberal elite in Hollywood,” she said. “Yet, there are not very many roles for people of color. How can that be and why is it just now being addressed?”

 

 
2 Comments

Posted by on January 20, 2016 in Black Conservatives

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Steven Colbert and Deray McKesson Interview on White Privilege

Great interview!

 
2 Comments

Posted by on January 19, 2016 in BlackLivesMatter

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

The New Drug Epidemic…Why No Criminalization?

Back in the late 80’s and early 90’s politicians rushed to write and approve punitive laws for users of “crack” cocaine…Because the majority of users of that form of cocaine were black. Never mind that powder cocaine, and crack are the same drug.

Now America has a new “drug epidemic”…And the same politicians want to look the other way, because in vast majority the victims are white.

The racial driven decision to hide this problem under the guise of “just white people acting out” has devastated rural and suburban communities, and promulgated this problem to the point the numbers are big enough to impact Mortality Rates. To move the dime on the death rates of 250 million people in this country…

“Houston…We got a problem”.

Drug Overdoses Propel Rise in Mortality Rates of Young Whites

Drug overdoses are driving up the death rate of young white adults in the United States to levels not seen since the end of the AIDS epidemic more than two decades ago — a turn of fortune that stands in sharp contrast to falling death rates for young blacks, a New York Times analysis of death certificates has found.

The rising death rates for those young white adults, ages 25 to 34, make them the first generation since the Vietnam War years of the mid-1960s to experience higher death rates in early adulthood than the generation that preceded it.

The Times analyzed nearly 60 million death certificates collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from 1990 to 2014. It found death rates for non-Hispanic whites either rising or flattening for all the adult age groups under 65 — a trend that was particularly pronounced in women — even as medical advances sharply reduce deaths from traditional killers like heart disease. Death rates for blacks and most Hispanic groups continued to fall.

The analysis shows that the rise in white mortality extends well beyond the 45- to 54-year-old age group documented by a pair of Princeton economists in a research paper that startled policy makers and politicians two months ago.

While the death rate among young whites rose for every age group over the five years before 2014, it rose faster by any measure for the less educated, by 23 percent for those without a high school education, compared with only 4 percent for those with a college degree or more.

The drug overdose numbers were stark. In 2014, the overdose death rate for whites ages 25 to 34 was five times its level in 1999, and the rate for 35- to 44-year-old whites tripled during that period. The numbers cover both illegal and prescription drugs.

“That is startling,” said Dr. Wilson Compton, the deputy director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. “Those are tremendous increases.”

Rising rates of overdose deaths and suicide appear to have erased the benefits from advances in medical treatment for most age groups of whites. Death rates for drug overdoses and suicides “are running counter to those of chronic diseases,” like heart disease, said Ian Rockett, an epidemiologist at West Virginia University…Read the rest here

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Another Travesty of Justice Freeing Alabama Cop

Well – the State injustice system has proven again it should by no means be in charge of rendering justice… Yet another case where the Police are not held accountable for criminal actions.

Vicious Attack on unarmed, non-violent Mr Patel, who was guilty of nothing more than walking while brown

Alabama cop paralyzed Indian grandfather; judge throws out case after two racially charged trials

Sureshbahi Patel was walking on the sidewalk outside of his son’s home in an Alabama suburb on the morning of Feb. 6, 2015, minding his own business, when a white police officer approached him, frisked him and threw him to the ground, leaving him paralyzed.

The 57-year-old grandfather had just arrived to the U.S. from a small town in India, and did not understand English. He reportedly said “no English” and repeated the address of his son’s home to the cop as he approached him.

A neighbor had called Madison, Alabama police claiming they saw someone “suspicious” wandering around the neighborhood. They described him a “skinny black guy” who is “walking around close to the garage.”

Hank Sherrod, the family’s attorney, shot back at the allegation, which he insisted was racist. “This is broad daylight, walking down the street. There is nothing suspicious about Mr. Patel other than he has brown skin.”

“He was just walking on the sidewalk as he does all the time,” the man’s son Chirag Patel explained. Chirag noted his father had no health problems before the incident.

The family filed suit against the police officer, Eric Parker. Police dashcam footage clearly shows Parker violently throwing Patel to the ground. He faced up to 10 years in prison on the charge of excessive force and a civil rights charge of deprivation of rights under color of law.

There were two trials for the case. Both ended with a deadlocked jury, and the results were racially charged.

In the first trial, the 10 white male jurors said the cop was innocent, while the two black female jurors said he was guilty.

Defense attorney Robert Tuten began the second trial with comments critics called racist. “When you come to the U.S. we expect you to follow our laws and speak our language,” he said.

“Mr. Patel bears as much responsibility for this as anyone,” the officer’s lawyer insisted.

Tuten defended the Parker’s actions with racially coded language, saying there was no way the cop could have known whether this was a “harmless Indian grandfather walking down Hardiman Place Lane.”

“The government wants you to give Mr. Patel a free pass because he doesn’t speak English,” Tuten told the jury.

Federal prosecutors were preparing for a third trial, but there now will not be one.

Judge Madeline Hughes Haikala threw the case out late Wednesday night, saying “The Government has had two full and fair chances to obtain a conviction; it will not have another.”

The neurosurgeon who operated on Patel said that, after the police attack, he was left unable to walk or grip things with his hands.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on January 16, 2016 in BlackLivesMatter

 

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

David Bowie

Had stayed away from the orgy of angst about he passing of musician and model David Bowie. For all of his gender bending wild art, Bowie was a consummate artist crearting music over a 60 year period. His last foray was in a soon to be released Jazz album. What some people forget about him though, is he also was a key voice against the discrimination in the Music Industry. In this 1983 interview, Bowie puts MTV on blast for their lack of black artists.

This is the original video from Bowie’s first major hit in 1969 – “Space Oddity”

And the 1983 hit “Let’s Dance”

Bowie’s latest release off a soon to be released Jazz album “Blackstar”

Shades of Sun Ra! Indeed…

 
2 Comments

Posted by on January 13, 2016 in Music, From Way Back When to Now

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 225 other followers