This Week in Racism #5


Your weekly sampling of studies, articles, and resources reflecting the very reason national anthem protests against racism are wholly appropriate, justified, and still necessary


Black People Have Increased Chance of Fatal Heart Attack (August 3, 2017)

o   Racism is believed to affect the access Blacks have to medical care, especially preventive medicine, resulting in a much lower chance of surviving a heart attack.  A study published in Circulation Journal found that, while both Black men and women have lower chances of surviving a first-time heart attack, Black men were twice as likely as white men to die as a result. This is an excellent example of the ripple effect racism has on the lives of our people.

  Blacks and Hispanics Subjected to More Traffic Stops (July 31, 2017)

o   While noting that “[a]fter accounting for age, gender, and location, we find that officers ticket, search, and arrest black and Hispanic drivers more often than whites,” the researchers took care to note that they were unable to determine whether bias accounted for the difference!!!  What was the point of controlling for those other factors, leaving only race??? The study was extensive, analyzing 60 million police reports across 20 states; thus, what sense did it make to discover disparities based on race, only to…not conclude that bias based on race was the basis?  This sounds like someone involved in the report’s conclusions is a member of the ahistorical and acontextual “reverse racism” crowd.  Smdh.

     Blacks Get, on Average, Less Sleep Than Whites, Affecting Overall Health (August 2, 2017) 

o   Auburn University conducted a study which reflected that Blacks got an average of 45-55 minutes less sleep than whites.  Additionally, the sleep Blacks did receive was less efficient. What is the relevance you may ask?  Perhaps this just means we have more time to get things done, no? No.  As stated by one of the researchers, “[s]leep is a malleable health behavior that is linked with characteristics of the social and physical environment and could be an effective target in national efforts to reduce racial health disparities.”  Further, “[t]he differences in sleep documented by the study accounted for more than one-half of racial differences in cardiovascular and metabolic disease risk.”  Not good. And the cause is believed to be increased stress and anxiety related to being Black in America.  Makes sense.

Not…So Scholarly

  Cases Dismissed After Video Show Police Officers Planting Drugs (July 29, 2017)

o   Video has surfaced showing three Baltimore police officers apparently engaged in a drug planting scheme.  The footage was captured when a body cam began recording unbeknownst to Richard Pinheiro, the officer apparently physically planting the drugs.  As a result, Baltimore State Attorney Marilyn Mosby has dismissed 34 cases in which the credibility of the officers was a relevant factor in the case.  Nearly 100 additional cases are under review for possible dismissal.  Think about how many times this has happened and with how many other officers? Police officers regularly prey upon vulnerable Black men and women, resulting in this kind of disgraceful nonsense.  If these three officers are convicted, their status as police should be an aggravating factor/enhancer in their sentencing given their unique position of authority and trust, assuming Maryland does not already have such a policy.

  Assistant Police Chief Posts Racist Meme (August 2, 2017) 

o   In the tiny town of Estherwood, Louisiana, assistant police chief Wayne Welsh shared a meme showing a woman drowning a girl toddler with the caption “When Your Daughter’s First Crush is a Negro Boy.”  This genius goes on to note that those criticizing him are “playing the race card.”  This vitriolic response to the concept of interracial couples comprised of white women and Black men (but not regarding Black women with white men) is a reflection of white men’s utter fascination and nearly maniacal obsession with Black males’ perceived ultra-masculinity and prowess.  Despite white men’s monopoly on power in the United States, their inferiority complex regarding key aspects of Black masculinity rears its ugly head again and again, across various institutions and sets of circumstances.  This is also, as noted in the article, yet another example of law enforcement officials revealing their racists beliefs via their online activity.

  Indictment for White Woman who False Accused Black Men of Rape (July 28, 2017) 

o   Breanna Harmon falsely accused two Black men of raping her while a third man held her down. All to hide from her parents that she was a “cutter.”  That white people routinely invoke Blacks for false criminal accusations is an expected result of the demonization of Black people as innately criminal. White women and men alike are well aware that their chances of being believed in their inhumane, sadistic false accusations are enhanced when they level them at Black people.  At least the prosecutors had the good conscience to increase the severity of charges filed against Harmon in light of the impact of her actions.

  White People in Histrionics Over Procter & Gamble Ad About “The Talk” (August 3, 2017) 

o   To be such a people whose history of violence, savagery and barbarism is arguably unparalleled in the entirety of human history, white people are some of the most fragile, milquetoast people on planet Earth.  We all are aware of The Talk that many African-American parents have with their children regarding the racism the children will face as African descended citizens of the United States of America.  A commercial by Procter & Gamble tackled issues of Black beauty, racial slurs, having to work twice as hard to get half as far, and interaction with law enforcement.  The commercial did so in a very minimally confrontational, “just the facts, ma’am,” fashion.  Well, white people were NOT having it, and came for P&G with tears a flowing.  That a short commercial openly acknowledging systemic racism in this country drove white people into hysterics is both hilarious and astounding.  They called for a boycott of P&G, but may not have realized that P&G makes a LOT of products. Unbelievable. These white people need to have all the seats.

  Black Women’s Equal Pay Day Highlights the Pay Disparity Black Women Face (July 31, 2017)

o  July 31 was chosen as Black Women’s Equal Pay Day because it takes an additional 7 months for a Black woman to make the same amount of money that a white man makes in one year.  One often hears about the gender[sic] pay gap; but like most statistics and metrics, the numbers are focused on the plight of white women, and not the manner in which Black women are more seriously adversely affected due to the intersection of racism as well as sexism. The Economic Policy Institute notes that while the gender[sic] pay gap ahs narrowed over the years, the racial gap has gotten worse.  The scourge of racism truly affects every core aspect of our lives.

  Black Teenagers Assaulted, Rounded Up and Herded Like Cattle by Police (August 2, 2017) 

o   White males’ Masculinity Inferiority Complex (MIC) was front and center this week when police dash cam video was released showing police officers literally marching several Black teens who’d attended a July 4 event out of town, into a neighboring city.  The scene, which was quite disturbing, has been appropriately described as reminiscent of herding cattle.  Several police officers walked behind the teens, including a few officers who peeled off to administer one of their Thin Blue Line Special unlawful aggravated assaults to at least one of the teens in what was clearly a show of gang-like bravado, MIC, and good old-fashioned thuggery.  The police chief and captain were suspended, while other officers are facing disciplinary action.  Abuses of authority like these by police are regular occurrences for Black people; and they are but one example which reflects why anthem protests should be the default status for all Black Americans.

  Maniacal White Man Threatens to Shoot and Punch Black Woman (August 3, 2017) 

o    It is a truism that people are their most truthful when they’re angry or drunk.  In a road rage incident, a white man by the name of Roger G. Chenault threatened to punch and shoot a Black woman in Pennsylvania.  He also shouted racial slurs at her.  It is fascinating how, out of all the expletives someone angry can hurl at another person, when it comes to Black people, white people and their always-beneath-the-surface racism frequently makes an appearance as they regularly settle on racial insults.

Enough is Enough: Featured Article or Resource

What It Means to Be Black In America: ‘Slavery Didn’t End it Evolved’ July 29, 2017

By: Stav Ziv

This magnificent piece provides an in-depth look at an exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum called “The Legacy of Lynching: Confronting Racial Terror in America.” The exhibit was created in conjunction with the Equal Justice Initiative whose work in general, and on the history of lynching in particular, is extraordinary.

As an aside, Bryan Stevenson, the visionary founder of EJI, says in the piece, “[w]e tend to be very resistant to conversations about race in America. You start talking about race and people get very nervous. You start talking about racial justice and people look for exits. We’ve adopted a strategy of denial and avoidance.”  It is not Black people who are uncomfortable talking about race.  We do so all the time.  It is white people who are “get nervous” and start “look[ing] for exits;” and to whom the notion of being forced to confront America’s terroristic past is wholly applicable.  It is important during any discussion on racism to name the problem.