This Week in Racism in America #4

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


Study Shows Wealth Gap Between Blacks and Whites Due to Racism (July 26, 2017)

o   Well, the same way we know that water is wet, the sun is hot, and more Usher lawsuits are coming, a new study analyzing data between 1880 and 2000 shows that the wealth gap between Blacks and whites is a direct result of racism.  The major culprit appears to be housing discrimination, to include redlining, predatory lending, and restrictive covenants, all of which have contributed to the persistence of the wealth gap across generations.  Interestingly, the linked article states “for those who doubt the lingering effects of longtime discrimination or are unaware of the effects of predatory mortgage lending practices in the years leading up to the Great Recession, this body of research puts matters into perspective.”  This is a plea to white people, and it is actually quite sad.  White Americans are in no way, shape, or form unaware of the racism we face.  We expend entirely too much energy operating under the premise that they’re mistreatment of us is a result of ignorance as opposed to the most likely explanation, which is deliberate malice and desire to maintain their hegemony.

Blacks Face More Racialized Online Harassment (July 25, 2017) 

o   The Pew Research Center has found that though many people face harassment on the internet, Blacks face the most racialized bias.  This is easily observable.  A cursory look at the comments for videos, articles, and other media reveal that the presence of a Black person in the story or video will likely result in at least one overtly racist statement.  It does not matter how innocuous or benign the story or video subject matter may be.  The racial sociopathology exhibited by white Americans towards Blacks, in addition to being irrational and obsessive, is an amazing phenomenon to observe.

Study Shows Blacks Comprise the Majority of Prisoners Serving Longest Sentences (July 22, 2017)

o   The Urban Institute conducted a study in which it analyzed the prisoner data from 44 states.  In 80% of the states surveyed, Black prisoners were serving the longest sentences; and though some states’ lack of detailed race data did not allow the researchers to determine race correlation in a comprehensive manner, they still noted the existence of “significant racial disparities” in the data they had on hand.  This is not shocking news given the disparities that Blacks face in the criminal justice system in general.  This study reflects one of the many long term, cumulative effects of racism which starts with disproportionately high arrests, and extends throughout the entire process culminating in, among other things, lengthy sentences.

Study Finds Correlation Between A Community’s Racism Level and Police Lethal Force Against Blacks  (July 27, 2017) 

o   Basically, this study by three researchers in the US and Canada found that in communities where  racist, stereotypical beliefs about Blacks are prevalent, there is an increased likelihood that police will use lethal force against Blacks.  A significant contributing stereotype was the belief that Blacks are more threatening than whites.  That whites have been able to convince the world that we are violent and threatening is nothing less than extraordinary.  It is extraordinary because there is a very strong case to be made that it is whites who are the world’s most violent and dangerous people.  Regarding America in particular, the evidence is overwhelming and indisputable that it is whites who have been and are threatening and violent towards us.  To quote Charles Baudelaire, “the devil’s finest trick is to persuade you that he doesn’t exist.” Clearly, the narrative that white violence does not exist is the prevailing one in this country, and this is positively amazing.

Not…So Scholarly

Michigan Bar Makes Blacks Pre-Pay for Entry (July 25, 2017) 

o   In this week’s version of WTF Are White People Thinking, a bar in Michigan has been accused of allowing white patrons to enter for free while charging Black patrons a cover.  A manager denied the charge, but it is difficult to believe that a random customer who was not charged a cover, and thus would have no motive to lie, would fabricate this story.  This is especially the case given that this kind of nonsense is not uncommon.  This is also another example of the constant presence of racism in our lives, which apparently includes the inability to simply have a fun night out without having to confront white racial sociopathology.

Yet ANOTHER White Police Officer Not Convicted in Killing of Unarmed Black Man (July 25, 2017)

 o   After two trials which ended with hung juries, a judge dismissed the major charges against police officer Ray Tensing who shot an unarmed Black man, Sam DuBose, whom he’d stopped for not having a front license plate.  Tensing is one of many white police officers who are so terrified of Black men that they overreact and panic during encounters with them.  What is actually terrifying is that that a man could end up dead simply because he did not have a front license plate, and he had the misfortune of being stopped by a weak, cowardly police officer who was neither mentally or psychologically equipped for the job. Furthermore, these majority white juries are refusing to hold officers accountable.  Something drastic and revolutionary in the criminal justice system must be done as we cannot continue to allow these miscarriages of justice to take place.

 Open the Doors, and the Racists Will Come (July 26, 2017)

o   Following the Supreme Court’s declaration that the United States Patent and Trademark Office could not prohibit the registration of racially offensive trademarks, the racists have come out of the woodwork registering all manner of racial slurs and symbols. And guess what racial slur registration is leading the way, to include the efforts by Uncle Ruckus a Black man to get in on the nonsense??  Yep. The N word.  Honestly, it’s a good thing that racists are overt with their thoughts and beliefs so that we know precisely with whom we’re dealing.

White Man Gives Black Waitress Menu with Swastika, Her Boss Cites Freedom of Speech (July 26, 2017)

 o  A white supremacist handed a Black waitress a menu on which he’d drawn a swastika. Apparently, he was attending a private dinner party hosted by a fellow white supremacist, and at least one guest in attendance also used the N word.  To make matters worse, when the waitress complained to her boss about the swastika, this genius did not ask the man to leave, but instead informed her that the man had the right to exercise his freedom of speech!! Like????  For those who did not pay attention in Civics class, freedom of speech as enshrined in the First Amendment DOES NOT extend to private entities, and only precludes the GOVERNMENT from punishing the free exercise of speech.  Sure there should be balance, even in the private sector, to allowing controversial views; but drawing a swastika and the use of a racial slur should have been enough to warrant removal.  But as if often the case, a Black person’s right to be free from harassment and mistreatment is subordinated to whites’ desire to protect one another.  Guess I’ll be adding this restaurant, Antica Posta in Atlanta, to my personal boycott list.

Enough is Enough: Featured Article

Silent Protest Parade: When 10,000 Blacks Marched Against Racism (July 27, 2017)

This is an excellent article by Faithfully Magazine discussing the Silent Protest Parade, a massive march against racism in 1917 that “was the first mass African-American demonstration of its kind and marked a watershed moment in the history of the civil rights movement.”  The article draws a connection between this historic march and modern day protests, reflecting that we continue to demonstrate, as well as demand equality and justice, challenging the same systems of white supremacy and institutionalized racism that plagued our ancestors 100 years ago.  The more things change…..