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Trevor Noah and the “System of Police Racism”

Interesting viewpoint – that it isn’t individual “bad cops” who are racist that is the problem, but an entire system of embedded beliefs and training that id racist.

 
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Posted by on June 22, 2017 in BlackLivesMatter

 

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Puerto Rico Statehood – 97% Yes…But only 23% Vote

The Vote yesterday in Puerto Rico in a non-binding referendum to become a State is a bit misleading. 77% of the voters chose to sit out.

After years of fiscal mismanagement the “Colony” finds itself in dire straits. The vote, such as it was, is a pleas for help.

The likelihood that a Republican dominated US Congress would move forward to make Puerto Rico a state is nil. Much less the “Bigot in Charge” actually signing any bill to that effect being less than zero. It is not only driven by the fact that most Puerto Ricans vote Democrat, but the core racism of the Republicans in not wanting a Spanish language, ethnically Hispanic state to join the Union. Ergo, as we saw during the Chumph “election” – racism always wins with the white-right.

23% of Puerto Ricans Vote in Referendum, 97% of Them for Statehood

With schools shuttered, pensions at risk and the island under the authority of an oversight board in New York City, half a million Puerto Ricans voted overwhelmingly on Sunday to become America’s 51st state, in a flawed election most voters sat out.

With nearly all of the precincts reporting, 97 percent of the ballots cast were in favor of statehood, a landslide critics said indicated that only statehood supporters had turned out to the polls. Opposition parties who prefer independence or remaining a territory boycotted the special election, which they considered rigged in favor of statehood.

On an island where voter participation often hovers around 80 percent, just 23 percent of registered voters cast ballots. Voting stations accustomed to long lines were virtually empty on Sunday.

Puerto Rico’s governor, Ricardo A. Rosselló of the pro-statehood New Progressive Party, said he planned to take the victory to Washington and press Congress to admit Puerto Rico to the union.

“From today going forward, the federal government will no longer be able to ignore the voice of the majority of the American citizens in Puerto Rico,” he said in a brief televised speech after the voting results were announced.

But his political opponents who do not want statehood argued that heading to Congress with such lopsided results would actually hurt the governor’s cause.

“A 97 percent win is the kind of result you get in a one-party regime,” former Gov. Aníbal Acevedo Vilá said in an interview. “Washington will laugh in their faces.”

Puerto Rico has been a United States territory since 1898, when the island was acquired from Spain after the Spanish-American War. Sunday’s nonbinding referendum was the fifth time during Puerto Rico’s relationship with the United States that Puerto Ricans voted on their future. They have generally chosen from statehood, independence and remaining a territory.

But the process is usually marred, with ballot language phrased to favor the party in office. In 1998, “none of the above” was the top winner. In 2012, 61 percent of counted votes went to statehood — and half a million ballots were left blank.

But this time, the vote came a few weeks after Puerto Rico declared a form of bankruptcy in the face of $74 billion in debt and $49 billion in pension obligations it cannot pay. More than 150 public schools are being closed as a mass exodus of Puerto Ricans head for the mainland and those who remain brace for huge cuts to public services. Decisions are now in the hands of a bankruptcy judge.

Voters said that Puerto Rico needed the United States now more than ever.

“If there’s an earthquake in Puerto Rico, who is going to send the help? The Americans! This is their land!” said Gladys Martínez Cruz, 73, a retired tax clerk in San Juan’s Barrio Obrero neighborhood. “We need someone who is going to support us, send us money. There’s a lot of hunger in Puerto Rico, even with the help we get.”

Many Puerto Ricans, like Ms. Martínez, live off food stamps, public housing vouchers or other federal programs and worry that a change in political status could affect that aid. A huge publicity campaign warned voters that their citizenship could be at risk.

“I want my children and grandchildren to keep their American citizenship,” said Maira Rentas, a cardiac nurse in San Juan. “Little by little, with whatever votes we get, we have to try to become a state.”

Ana Velázquez, 50, a hospital secretary, said Puerto Rico’s economic problems were so great that they overshadowed other considerations, such as the language, culture and identity that could be lost if the island became a state.

“I don’t want to lose my hymn, my coat of arms, my flag. My beauty queen would no longer be ‘Miss Puerto Rico,’” Ms. Velázquez said. “I don’t see myself ever singing the United States national anthem. I really don’t. But Puerto Rico is in really bad shape, and it needs help.”

So she arrived at the same conclusion as many other Puerto Ricans: She did not vote.

Héctor Ferrer, the head of the Popular Democratic Party, which had urged a boycott, emphasized that eight out of 10 Puerto Rican voters chose to spend the day at church, on the beach or with their families. He argued that the governing party had manipulated the ballot language and even election law to fix the results.

“It was rigged, and not even with trickery could they win,” Mr. Ferrer said.

The ballot option asked voters who wanted to remain a United States territory to say they wished for Puerto Rico to stay “as it is today, subject to the powers of Congress.”

“The title of the law that made this plebiscite is ‘process to decolonize Puerto Rico,’ and one of the alternatives is ‘colony’ as defined by them,” Mr. Ferrer said.

Mr. Ferrer’s party complained about the ballot choices to the Justice Department, which withheld $2.5 million in funding for Sunday’s voting and had urged the Puerto Rican government to hold off until the ballot could be reviewed. Puerto Rico made changes but moved forward without money or approval from the Justice Department.

 

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Race and Whiteness In a Trump Residency

Some good things here by anti-racist activist, Tim Wise –

 

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Why the Evil Cabal of Rethugs Have to Go – NC Senate Cuts Funding to Democrat District Schools

Rethughy Majority in North Carolina goes after the children in Democrat Districts…

 

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Miami, Philadelphia Sue Wells Fargo for Redlining Discriminatory Lending

The largest portion of most Americans wealth is their home. There is a huge “wealth gap” between white Americans and black. No small part of this wealth gap is due to predatory lending, and racial discrimination in loan origination. By refusing loans to black folks and other minorities in certain geographic areas, the bank assures that they can only buy less desirable, and thus less likely to rise in value properties.  So Joe the white guy gets a loan in a fast growing section of the city where property values are rising at 20% a year. Theodore, the black homeowner is limited to buying properties in older sections which are only rising in value a 1-3% a year. Joe winds up with a lot more money in 10 years – because the bank won’t loan to Theodore and defacto segregates the city.

Philadelphia sues Wells Fargo for allegedly discriminating against minority borrowers

Image result for wells fargo redlining

The city of Philadelphia sued Wells Fargo on Monday for allegedly discriminating against minority home buyers.

The complaint filed in a federal court in Pennsylvania alleges that Wells Fargo violated the Fair Housing Act of 1968 by “steering” minority borrowers into mortgages that were more expensive and riskier than those offered to white borrowers, according to court documents.

The lawsuit says that Wells Fargo is among the major banks with a “history of redlining” in Philadelphia, a practice traced back to the 1930s that involves denying credit to borrowers in certain communities because of their race or ethnicity.

The complaint says that between 2004 and 2014, African American borrowers were twice as likely to receive high-cost loans when compared to white borrowers with similar credit backgrounds. Latino borrowers were 1.7 times as likely to receive costly loans when compared to white borrowers, the lawsuit claims.

“The city’s unsubstantiated accusations against Wells Fargo do not reflect how we operate in Philadelphia and all of the communities we serve,” Wells Fargo Image result for wells fargo redliningspokesman Tom Goyda said in a statement. “Wells Fargo has been a part of the Philadelphia community for more than 140 years and we will vigorously defend our record as a fair and responsible lender.”

The filing comes as the bank is still recovering from a sales scandal in which bank employees opened millions of unauthorized accounts in customers’ names. The complaint draws parallels between the alleged predatory lending and the problematic sales targets by saying there was a lack of “internal controls” that could have prevented both issues.

Many borrowers were also rejected later when they applied for credit that would have allowed them to refinance those more expensive loans, according to the complaint. As a result, minority borrowers faced higher rates of foreclosure — a pattern that also hurt the city by leading to lower property taxes and more frequent incidents of vandalism and crime, the lawsuit claims.

Monday’s lawsuit comes just two weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that cities have standing to sue banks for predatory lending practices, on the grounds that the cities can also incur financial damages, such as reduced tax revenue.

In that case Miami sued Bank of America and Wells Fargo, arguing that discriminatory lending practices led to higher rates of default for minority borrowers. Miami, which was represented by the same lawyers handling the Philadelphia case, claimed that the banks in turn caused financial harm to the city by leading to lower property taxes and requiring the city to provide services to struggling borrowers.

While the Philadelphia investigation has been underway for more than a year, the city waited until after the Supreme Court ruling to ensure that it would have legal standing to sue, said Benjamin Field, deputy city solicitor for Philadelphia, in an interview.

News of the Philadelphia lawsuit against Wells Fargo was first reported by Reuters.

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Supreme Court Rejects North Carolina Discriminatory Voting Law

0 for 4, it looks that NC Racist Republican led Legislature is out of luck… again.

Up Next is the North Carolina Racist Republican Gerrymandering of districts.

Likely up by this fall is the legality of stripping Education Funding from Democrat and minority districts.

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Supreme Court won’t review decision that found N.C. voting law discriminates against African Americans

The Supreme Court will not consider reinstating North Carolina’s 2013 voting law that a lower court ruled discriminated against African American voters, the justices said Monday.

A unanimous panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit had found in 2016 that North Carolina legislators had acted “with almost surgical precision” to blunt the influence of African American voters.

Although Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. took pains to note that the court’s decision did not reach the merits of the case, Democrats, civil rights groups and minority groups celebrated the demise of the law. It was one of numerous voting-rights changes passed by Republican-led legislatures in the wake of the Supreme Court’s 2013 decision striking down a key section of the Voting Rights Act that effectively removed federal oversight of states with a history of discrimination.

“This is a huge victory for voters and a massive blow to Republicans trying to restrict access to the ballot, especially in communities of color,” said Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez.

The appeals court did not allow the law to be used in the 2016 election, and voters replaced Republican governor Pat McCrory with Democrat Roy Cooper.

Cooper and the state’s new Democratic Attorney General Josh Stein told the Supreme Court they did not want to appeal the lower court’s decision that the law violated the Constitution and the Voting Rights Act.

“We need to be making it easier to vote, not harder — and the court found this law sought to discriminate against African-American voters with ‘surgical precision,’ ” Cooper said in a statement after the Supreme Court acted. “I will continue to work to protect the right of every legal, registered North Carolinian to participate in our democratic process.

As is its custom, the justices did not give a reason for declining to review the lower court’s decision. But in an accompanying statement, Roberts noted the particular circumstances of the appeal, in which the Republican legislative leadership attempted to continue the appeal and the Democratic governor and attorney general sought to abandon it.

“Given the blizzard of filings over who is and who is not authorized to seek review in this court under North Carolina law, it is important to recall our frequent admonition that ‘the denial of a writ of certiorari imports no expression of opinion upon the merits of the case,’” Roberts wrote.

Last summer Roberts and the court’s other conservatives — Justices Anthony M. Kennedy, Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr. — said they would have allowed the law to be used in the 2016 elections while the appeals continued.

But they were unable to find a necessary fifth vote from one of the court’s four liberals.

The battle against the law, considered one of the nation’s most far-reaching, consumed years of litigation by the Obama administration and a wide coalition of civil rights organizations.

“An ugly chapter in voter suppression is finally closing,” said Dale Ho, director of the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project.

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“Today we experience a victory for justice that is unimaginably important for African Americans, Latinos, all North Carolinians, and the nation” said Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, president of the North Carolina NAACP, the lead organizational plaintiff in the case.

North Carolina legislative leaders did not immediately respond to a request for comment about what the next step may be.

The Supreme Court will soon rule on a case about whether the state’s congressional districts were racially gerrymandered, as a lower court found. And federal judges have also said the state must redraw state legislative districts for the same reason. That decision is being appealed.

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In the voting rights case, a unanimous panel of the 4th Circuit on July 29 agreed with allegations from the Justice Department and civil rights groups that North Carolina’s bill selectively chose voter-ID requirements, reduced the number of early-voting days and changed registration procedures in ways meant to harm African Americans, who overwhelmingly vote for the Democratic Party.

“The new provisions target African Americans with almost surgical precision” and “impose cures for problems that did not exist,” Judge Diana Gribbon Motz wrote for the panel. “Thus the asserted justifications cannot and do not conceal the state’s true motivation.”

 

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Internet Myths And Slavery

White supremacists and confederacy apologists continually try and introduce false narratives about slavery. Not much different than Holocaust deniers. Here is an interesting video debunking some of those myths.

 
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Posted by on May 8, 2017 in Black History

 

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