This Week in Racism in America #3

Pruitt-Igo Myth

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


Report Shows Racism Against Blacks in New York City Marijuana Arrests (July 17, 2017)

o   People mistakenly believe that the existence of liberal policy or lawmakers will automatically result in the  decline in racism and racial disparities.  This is what leads many Blacks to remain attached to the democratic party, despite its abysmal record in substantively and aggressively addressing institutional and systemic racism.  Racism, as Michelle Alexander so eloquently pointed out in her instant classic work The New Jim Crow, is amazingly adaptable.  So, it should be no surprise that under liberal New York City mayor Bill de Blasio, who vowed to end to racial disparities in marijuana possession arrests, this report finds that disparity in these arrests between whites and Blacks is “wide and persistent.”  Liberal white people are not our saviors.

Study Shows Anti-Black Racism in Traffic Stops and Use of Force (July 18, 2017)

o   Following demands from various groups after a lengthy delay, the city of Berkley released a draft report produced by the Center for Policing Equity which analyzed five years of traffic stop data in Berkeley, California.  Per the linked article, “Black residents in Berkeley are almost six times more likely to have force used on them, nearly six times more likely to be pulled over for a traffic stop and three times more likely during a vehicle stop to be subjected to a search by Berkeley Police Department officers, compared to white Berkeley residents…”  Further, from the report itself, “the analyses of 12 law enforcement departments from geographically and demographically diverse locations revealed that racial disparities in police use of force persist even when controlling for racial distribution of local arrest rates.” Thus, in even the most liberal of American cities, Black people are subjected to racist treatment in incidents with police that, despite involving mere traffic stops, could easily turn deadly.

In Austin, Texas, Blacks Remained Jailed at Almost 2x Rate of Whites (July 13, 2017)

 o   A report prepared by a civil rights group found that in Travis County, which houses Texas’s capital city of Austin, Blacks face significant disparities in jail time compared to whites; further, the report found that these discrepancies persisted “regardless of a variety of factors, including but not limited to, the number of charges on the booking, the severity level of the charges and whether bond was approved severity and number of charges, and bond approved.”  The manner in which Blacks are treated throughout this country is an absolute disgrace, and this report simply confirms what the thousands before and thousands after it will as well–that racism against Blacks is an integral part of white American culture and society.

Not…So Scholarly

Mayoral Candidate Tells Blacks to “Go Back to Africa.” Seriously. (July 19, 2017) 

o   Paul Congemi, a white man running for mayor of St. Petersburg, Florida told fellow white mayoral candidate, Jesse Nevel, that Blacks had already received reparations in the form of Barack Obama.  Congemi also told Nevel, along with Nevel’s African-American supporters, “if you don’t like it here in America, planes leave every hour from Tampa airport. Go back to Africa, go back to Africa.”  It is a testament to white entitlement and megalomania that white people, who themselves emigrated from western Asia Europe to America, and who have the least legitimate claim to this land, are the ones who tell others to “go back” to their land of origin.  These people are absolutely embarrassing.  

Racial Profiling Gone Wrong: Florida State Attorney General Caught Driving While Black  (July 14, 2017)

o   Two police officers attempted to engage in what is probably a regular occurrence for them—anti-Black racial profiling.  Except this time, they done messed with the wrong one.  Turns out the individual they stopped was none other than Florida state attorney, Aramis Ayala, a fierce defender of justice.  When they realized who she was, the keystone cops started coming up with weak excuses for a stop in which no laws were violated.  But Ayala was not having it, and requested their details.  Not today Satan. Not today.

Chicago City Officials Send Racist Emails Because…Chicago  (July 17, 2017)

o    An investigation revealed that two city officials sent racist emails from their government computers which included nonsense like extolling to fellow city workers the adventures of a “Chicago safari” in Black neighborhoods where they could see “animals” in their “natural habitat.”  Stereotypical references to watermelon and “ebonics” were also part of the uncovered government correspondence.  Here again we see random, unprovoked, insidious, hatred for and disrespect of Black people.  And by government officials no less.

Even Artificial Intelligence (AI) Isn’t a Safe Haven From Anti-Black Racism (July 17, 2017)

o   This is not a complete surprise given that humans are still involved in the AI building process.  As a result, AI is drawing on the data that is available, which is often racist, sexist, etc.  Thus, for example, internet derived AI incorporates the information that is contained in the data set, to include racist items such as implicit negative associations with Blackness, and positive associations with whiteness.  Given the increasing use of AI in nearly every facet of society, and its assumed objectivity, this appears to be yet another avenue by which Blacks will be mistreated and subjected to discrimination.

Fourth Grader Will Address School Board After Viral Video Describing Unchecked Racism (July 18, 2017)

 o   Last month, a video went viral wherein nine-year-old Nasir Andrews described the relentless harassment and racist treatment she’d received from her classmates, including being punched, threatened, called a servant, etc. Reports to teachers and school officials did not stop the harassment, hence the decision by Nasir and her parents to post the video.  The family will now have the opportunity to tell their story to the school board, which will hopefully help facilitate change.  Particularly regarding the teachers who did nothing to stop the harassment, or even condoned it.  Yet, the question remains—why do we allow these people to educate our children?  Nasir was one of only eight Black children in the school.  We have to build our own schools and stop subjecting our children to the racial trauma that accompanies majority white learning spaces.  Additionally, as an aside, these were fellow elementary school students who made racially charged comments and assaulted this young girl. This highlights, once again, that it is not a matter of “old people dying” in order to eliminate racism–because all white people–young, old and in between—are socialized into a culture of which racism is an integral part.

Enough is Enough: Featured Article or Resource 

“Mapping Police Violence” Website

 An extremely detailed, thorough website that contains analysis, facts, statistics, and interactive features addressing police violence in America in general, and against Blacks in particular.  The site includes comprehensive searchable databases; comparative data on police killings organized by police departments and by states; and useful victim information/death circumstances.  This is an important resource when data is required to write or speak intelligently on the disproportionate violence Blacks suffer at the hands of police nationwide.

(Photo: Pruitt-Igoe Myth, Flickr)