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UN Inspectors Terrified By American Schools Treatment of Minorities

Welcome to the Third World…

U.N. Experts Seem Horrified By How American Schools Treat Black Children

American schools are hotbeds for racial discrimination, according to a preliminary report from a group of United Nations experts.

The U.N.’s Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent traveled around the U.S. last month to learn more about the various structural barriers and challenges African-American face. The group, which plans to release its full report in September, has given the media its preliminary findings, including several recommendations about reducing inequality in the U.S. education system.

The overall findings — which touch on topics of police brutality, school curriculum and mass incarceration — are bleak. African-Americans tend to have lower levels of income, education and food security than other Americans. This reflects “the level of structural discrimination that creates de facto barriers for people of African descent to fully exercise their human rights,” says the group’s statement.

Such gaps start early in life, the U.N. notes. Students of color are more likely than white children to face harsh punishments, such as suspension, expulsion and even school-based arrests. These disciplinary actions can lead to a phenomenon called the “school-to-prison pipeline,” by which children get pushed out of the education system and into the criminal justice system.

The U.N. experts also expressed concern about mass school closures, which typically target predominantly black neighborhoods, as has been the case in cities like Chicago and Philadelphia. Experts note high levels of school segregation, which “appears to be nurtured by a culture of insufficient acknowledgement of the history of enslavement and the Jim Crow Law.”

Finally, the statement highlights inadequate and inconsistent school curricula that insufficiently cover slavery and colonization.

The curriculum in some states “fails to adequately address the root causes of racial inequality and injustice,” according to the group. “Consequently, this contributes to the structural invisibility of African-Americans.”

To help address these issues, the U.N. panel recommends abolishing on-campus policing and making sure curricula “reflect appropriately the history of the slave trade.”

 
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Posted by on February 4, 2016 in American Genocide

 

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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

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

 

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Scary 5 YO Black Boys in Kindergarten

There are disparate discipline rates of black vs white children…

We know that in the 13 states which allow corporal punishment in schools, black girls bear a disproportionate level of punishment

Black Parents favor spanking as punishment

A map of states which allow corporal punishment includes all but one the states of the confederacy, and is similar to a map of the current blue-red political divide…

It starts in pre-school…

Racism in the Kindergarten Classroom

New research finds faces of five-year-old black boys put whites in a more threat-conscious state of mind.

If the current election cycle hasn’t convinced you that racism has yet to be eradicated, consider this: The mere image of a black man is enough to stimulate an automatic threat response in whites. Research has found faces of African-American males are more likely to be perceived as angry, and can trigger neural activity associated with rapid detection of danger.

While even pre-teens can stimulate this reaction (which helps explain the tragic shooting of a 12 year old holding a pellet gun in Cleveland two years ago), it presumably doesn’t apply to very young black boys. It’s hard to believe they are perceived as dangerous as they emerge from the womb.

So when do they start coming across as threatening? Newly published researchprovides a depressing answer: by the time they enter kindergarten.

Participants misidentified safe words as threatening more often after seeing a black face.

In a series of studies, a University of Iowa research team led by Andrew Todd finds images of the faces of five-year-old black boys are sufficient to trigger whites into heightened-threat mode. “Implicit biases commonly observed for black men appear to generalize even to young black boys,” the researchers write in the journal Psychological Science.

The first of their experiments featured 63 college undergraduates, who “completed a categorization task in which two images flashed on the monitor in quick succession. Participants were instructed to ignore the first time, which was always a face; it merely signaled that the second image was about to appear. Their task was to quickly and accurately categorize the second image (the target object) as a gun or a toy, by pressing one of two response keys.”

In fact, the faces—all of five-year-old boys with neutral facial expressions—were a key component of the experiment. Six of them featured black children, and six white. Researchers wanted to know whether the race of the child would affect the speed and accuracy of the white participants’ responses.

It did. “Participants identified guns more quickly after black-child primes than after white-child primes,” the researchers report, “whereas they identified toys more quickly after the white-child primes than after black-child primes.”

Subsequent experiments found black five-year-old faces produced just as strong an effect as photographs of adult black males. This held true when white participants were labeling images as guns or tools, and when they were shown a list of words (including “criminal” and “peaceful”) and asked to categorize each as “safe” or “threatening.”

In that last experiment, participants misidentified safe words as threatening more often after seeing a black face, and misidentified threatening words as safe more often after seeing a white one—child or adult.

“These racial biases were driven entirely by differences in automatic processing,” Todd and his colleagues write. In other words, no conscious thought was involved; whites simply saw a black male face and reacted in ways that indicated a heightened level of perceived threat.

Even when the face was that of a five-year-old.

 
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Posted by on February 2, 2016 in BlackLivesMatter

 

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Environmental Racism…And the Flint Disaster

The fact that the City Government supplied bottled water to the government employees more than a year before the Lead issue with the water blew up, and did nothing to respond to the complaints of the majority black citizens is damning.

Black Lives Matter in Environmental Justice

British Home Secretary Theresa May called the poisoning “deeply disturbing”, and argued, “It goes without saying that this was a blatant and unacceptable breach of the fundamental tenets of… law and civilized behavior.” She referred to the Russian state’s involvement in poisoning Alexander Litvinenko. But she could have been talking about Michigan.

In his state address, Governor Synder offered apologies, prayers and ostensive outrage at a “crisis” and a “catastrophe,” that apparently emerged from unknown, agentless actions; “Mistakes were made.” By whom? The Flint water crisis was borne of state decisions that have, like most institutional policies and practices in America, jeopardized Black lives.

Decisions like that made in January 2014–a few months before Flint tried to save money by switching to river water–wherein the state allocated $2,147,000 to three new police initiatives. Everything we know about policing in this country suggests that these initiatives are likely to produce excessively aggressive surveillance, control, and physical force. Operation Fresh Start, at a cost of $250,000 for one day, was actually designed to build community trust by assisting area residents “who through various reasons, have found themselves in an untenable situation where they are included in the population of individuals who have active arrest warrants.”

Again, this language evokes a mysterious, agentless process that sucked residents into a vortex of arrest warrants. But warrants result from decisions–from purposeful police targeting of “misdemeanors, victimless crimes, or civil infractions.” It strains credulity to argue that warrants would have fallen harder on a population other than Flint’s Black residents (e.g., see Ferguson). And yet, Flint launched the program in the smallest zip code by far (48502), one encompassing a census tract that is 45% White, higher than the citywide average, 37%. Thus, a fresh start was bequeathed to an area with few residents, where beneficiaries would be disproportionately White.

Decisions like those made to cast non-potable, poisonous water as harmless, persuading residents that adults and babies alike should consume Flint’s river water (and mandating that WIC could not cover the costs of bottled water). State officials continually belittled residents’ concerns, branding them mere “aesthetics.” Decisions like those made to cast non-potable, poisonous water as harmless, persuading residents that adults and babies alike should consume Flint’s river water (and mandating that WIC could not cover the costs of bottled water). State officials continually belittled residents’ concerns, branding them mere “aesthetics.” They described total coliform and E. Coli contamination as a “hiccup”; page 58 and asserted that regarding TTHMs, “it’s not like an eminent [sic] threat to public health.” that regarding TTHMs, “it’s not like an eminent [sic] threat to public health.”

Decisions like portraying the remediation of lead contamination as an individual responsibility. Officials championed kitchen water filters to provide “added comfort,” entreated the flushing of faucets and usage of cold water, and argued that lead can leach from myriad home sources including fixtures, faucets, and lead based paint. The state marshaled answers to FAQs about replacing “leaded materials” with bold print declarations that service pipes on private property are a homeowner’s responsibility.

Public health scholars argue that although the government suggests that we wash our cutting boards thoroughly, that is only necessary when we consume meat from a food system where contamination is likely. Focusing on individual behavior is ineffective as a public health strategy, and even if it were not, racial inequalities in money, power and human capital make it more difficult for Black residents to mobilize their own personal public health infrastructures.

The Flint water crisis will produce a cascade of negative health and social consequences: illnesses caused directly by waterborne pathogens and toxic chemicals; economic losses from expenditures on bottled water, medical bills, lost wages, unemployment, and property devaluation; physiological dysregulation from stress, worry and sleeplessness; cognitive, learning, and behavioral challenges. It’s the House that Jack Built.

Snyder proclaimed that he would see to it that “Anyone with lingering health care concerns is quickly, compassionately and effectively treated. I know there will be long- term consequences. But I want you to know that we’ll be there with long-term solutions for as long as it takes to make this right.” Indeed. Black children confront an educational system that is more concerned with controlling their bodies than enriching their minds. It is unlikely in the extreme that a child with lead-induced impairments will receive the long-term assistance she needs to be successful. Much more likely is a trajectory of suspensions and other punitive measures for behavioral difficulties. And if a boy’s trajectory culminates in the school-to-prison pipeline, no one will ask whether he experienced lead poisoning. He’ll just be another morally deficient criminal black man….More

 
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Posted by on February 2, 2016 in American Genocide, The New Jim Crow

 

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Faux News – “That Monkey Actress”

It is unbelievable the scum that Faux News trolls up to be their “guests”…

Vice co-founder and frequent Fox News guest Gavin McInnes refers to Jada Pinkett Smith as that “monkey actress”

Vice co-founder and frequent Fox News guest Gavin McInnes was attempting to praise his son’s verbal and intellectual dexterity on “The Gavin McInnes Show” earlier this week, but ended up revealing more about himself than his progeny.

“My son,” McInnes began, “says all this awesome shit and wife gets to enjoy him more than I do. He was watching some documentary about those monkeys that are most like us — they’re monogamous and cool and they wear suits and they go to work and they use umbrellas and they play cards.”

“They are the most human-acting apes,” he explained. “Anyway, my son’s watching it, and he’s eating popcorn, and he thinks he recognizes one of them from another movie.”

“He goes, ‘Oh, I like this,’” McInnes said with a lisp, adding that his son has one, so he’s simply making fun of him on a nationally syndicated radio program. “‘Oh, I like this monkey actress’ — which is what I said when Jada Pinkett Smith did her video about the Oscars.”

 
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Posted by on January 29, 2016 in Faux News, The Definition of Racism

 

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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.

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

 

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Crystal Valentine – “Questions for Fox News Regarding the Race Card”

Slam!

A Few Burning Questions For Fox News Regarding The ‘Race Card’

“Will this race card give me health benefits?”

Poet Crystal Valentine has perfectly summed up the absurdity of the so-called “race card.”

The Bronx-born slam poet performed a poem titled “Questions for Fox News Regarding the Race Card,” in October at the Individual World Poetry Slam. She had some poignant things to ask of the network that often accuses black people of “playing the race card.”

“If in the event that I am stopped and frisked, can I pull out my race card? Will this race card increase my chances of survival?”

In a video of the performance, posted by Button Poetry earlier this month, Valentine goes on to emphasize the ways in which “pulling the race card” (i.e. calling attention to racism and oppression) often does nothing to actually help black people.

“Will this race card give me health benefits?” continues. “How about Obamacare? Will it reimburse me for my cousin’s casket? Will it unbury his body? Will it remove his name from a tombstone?”

 
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Posted by on January 21, 2016 in BlackLivesMatter, Faux News

 

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