This Week in Racism in America: Editions 11-13

Civil Rights Museum Alabama, Silvia Calderon II

A sampling of studies, articles, and resources reflecting the very reason national anthem protests against racism are wholly appropriate, justified, and still necessary. #NationalAnthemProtest4Life


     Black Median Wealth Predicted to Fall to Zero in Less Than 40 Years  (September 11, 2017) 

o   The wealth issues of Blacks in the United States are headed in the wrong direction.  A recently released study conducted by the Institute for Policy Studies and Policy Now provides a number of harrowing findings regarding the trends of Black median wealth.  For example, the study found that based upon current trends, “it will take 228 years for the average Black family to reach the level of wealth White families own today.” Further, and probably most shocking, that “[i]f the racial wealth divide is left unaddressed and is not exacerbated further over the next eight years, median Black household wealth is on a path to hit zero by 2053—about 10 years after it is projected that racial minorities will comprise the majority of the nation’s population.” In fact, based upon an analysis of the 2016 Survey of Consumer Finances, excluding the family car, Black wealth barely exists today in 2017.  These kinds of findings make it even more clear that Blacks must focus on self-sufficiency, turning our formidable spending into intra-community progress.  Continuing to operate according to the foundational rules of the current system has been an abysmal failure.

  Blacks Earn Less Today Than in 2000, Lowest of All Racial Groups (September 15, 2017)

o   Analysis of U.S. Census data shows that the median income of African-Americans is not only less than it was nearly two decades earlier, but also less than all other racial groups.  While the overall median income for American households have risen since 2000, African-Americans have seen their income decline over the time period in question.  Several factors are believed to account for the discrepancy, all of which are founded on systemic racism.  From rejection of resumes with names that are deemed “too Black,” to the racial wage gap to generally being poorer and thus less likely to have income for wealth building ventures like purchasing homes and investing in the stock market.

     Blacks Continue to Face Employment Discrimination (September 17, 2017) 

o   Researchers at Northwestern University, Harvard University, and the Institute for Social Research conducted a comprehensive analysis of all employment field experiments over 26 years from 1989 to 2015.  Their findings, of no surprise to anyone Black in America, is that anti-Black racism is not only extant, but that it has essentially remained unchanged in nearly 30 years. In assessing field experiments involving both resume audits and in-person interviews, the researchers summarized that “[s]ince 1989, whites receive on average 36% more callbacks than African Americans” and that [w]e observe no change in the level of hiring discrimination against African Americans over the past 25 years.”  Further, “[a]ccounting for applicant education, applicant gender, study method, occupational groups, and local labor market conditions does little to alter this result. Contrary to claims of declining discrimination in American society, our estimates suggest that levels of discrimination remain largely unchanged, at least at the point of hire.”

  Juvenile Detention Statistics Reflect Racial Disparity (September 27, 2017)

o   According to an analysis of Department of Justice statistics conducted by The Sentencing Project, Black youth were five times as likely as white youth to be incarcerated in juvenile detention facilities.  The data summary noted that even though “[b]etween 2001 and 2015, overall juvenile placements fell by 54 percent . . . .white youth placements have declined faster than black youth placements, resulting in a worsening of already significant racial disparity.” A Sentencing Project official stated that individual actions by the youth do not explain the discrepancy, but instead how adults respond to the behaviors at issue. So essentially, as is the case in several other areas, even accounting for the same infraction or set of facts, Blacks are treated more negatively as compared to whites.

Police in Oakland, California More Likely to Speak Disrespectfully to Black Motorists (September 27, 2017)

o   For African-Americans, interactions with police can turn into deadly affairs.  It is therefore important to carefully monitor relevant factors that affect interaction between police officers and Black motorists.  An analysis of body camera transcriptions of conversations between Oakland police officers and motorists confirmed complaints by Blacks, decades old, that police officers treat them in a disrespectful manner.  First, while white motorists were 57% more likely to be spoken to respectfully, Blacks were 61% more likely to be spoken to disrespectfully. Further, stops involving Black motorists were also more likely to involve a search and/or an arrest than stops of white motorists. “Even when taking into account the motorist’s race, age, and gender; the officer’s race; whether a search was conducted; and whether the stop ended in warning, citation, or arrest, the researchers still found that the interactions of officers with white motorists were more respectful.” It is not difficult to ascertain how such an approach can lead to acrimonious circumstances between the police and Oakland’s Black community.

     Prostate Cancer Treatment in Black Men Reflects Racial Disparity  (September 28, 2017) 

o   Despite Black men being twice as likely as white men to both develop and die as a result of prostate cancer, doctors’ recommended treatment plans for Black men were less aggressive.  Black men tend to be diagnosed with an aggressive form of prostate cancer that would require the more aggressive treatment; instead, they are more likely to be advised to “wait and see” re: the disease’s development. The study was published in the European Urology journal.  One expert noted that the factors accounting for the disparity are not well known, but one clue may be found in other studies such as one which found that “one reason may be because black men overall are less likely to participate in prostate cancer screening because of their distrust, fear and disconnect with the health care system.”  This is understandable given the well documented history of racist medical experimentation on Black people.

Not…So Scholarly

  Black Man Blamed For White Man’s Crime (September 13, 2017) 

o   White career, violent criminal Aaron Zumwalt accidentally shot his girlfriend while at a friend’s home in Republic, Missouri.  Given that he was out of jail on bail for charges of rape, and had a previous felony conviction, Zumwalt was not keen on being charged with yet another crime.  As such, Zumwalt told police that a random 6’3” Black man had shot his girlfriend.  Though Zumwalt confessed to the crime shortly thereafter, America’s racist criminalization of Black males enables and facilitates these false claims of serious criminal misconduct.  White people are well aware that if they assert that a crime, particularly a violent one, was committed by a Black man, that racist, prejudicial beliefs will bolster the credibility of their claims.

  Video Shows Police Officers Assaulting Black Man (September 14, 2017) 

o   Body camera footage was released showing several Columbus Ohio police officers kicking and punching a Black man, Tim Davis, in a convenience store.  While bystanders shouted that the force being used was excessive, the police officers continued in their bonding ritual of dealing with their masculinity inferiority complex via beating a Black man.  One of the officers, Joseph Bogard, who has been relieved of duty, made several comments that displayed not only his depravity, but also that, as people say in Charleston, South Carolina, “his head bad.”  While Davis was being arrested, Bogard stated “I’m going to for real arm bar you, and when that still doesn’t work, I’m going to choke the life out of you. While you’re drooling on yourself, I’ll handcuff you;” and in a display of a perversity often found amongst his people, Bogard followed up with “I’m a little aroused at this, Davis, just so you know.”  Bogard also wanted to know “[w]hat did we tase him for? Why didn’t we just choke the f—— life out of him.” After community members expressed outraged at the footage, a department spokesman stated “[w]e are allowed to punch and we are allowed to kick.” WTF????  This is Exhibit 543,982,432,109 that there should be psychological examinations before police officers are hired.  Further, there must be stronger laws to protect citizens against assaults for which officers should be charged, convicted, and imprisoned.

  White Man Drops the N-Word When Black People at a Detroit Lions Game Don’t Stand for the National Anthem (September 14, 2017) 

o   A white man who is clearly very emotionally fragile posted a racist photo to Snapchat after seeing a Black woman and man remaining seated during the national anthem.  The photo showed the two seated with the caption “Ignorant N***ers.” After initially denying having even posted the photo, the unnamed white racist then admitted to the posting; but then he fabricated an entire story which involved veterans who were offended by the protest and who had allegedly pleaded with the individuals to stand.  Again I ask, what is the matter with these people??? And note the invocation of fictitious veterans to bolster his utter f*%kery.

  More Dreams of Murdering Down Black People With Cars (September 14, 2017)     

o   The Chelan County sheriff has issued an apology for an “All Lives Splatter” meme depicting a vehicle hitting purported protesters posted by a county employee on the office’s Emergency Management Facebook page.  The genius fantasy murder poster included text noting that “I don’t wish harm on anyone, but protesters should not be in the road!” While it is not clear if this individual is in middle school and thus there is an issue of child labor at hand, what is obvious is that the murder of Black people seems to be a common fantasy of racists.

     Young Whites Show Their Affinity for Use of the N-Word at the University of Michigan (September 17, 2017) 

o   Black students’ dorm name tags at the University of Michigan were defaced with the N-word and other derogatory language.  The obsession with causing Black people pain is real, wholly illogical, and reflects a kind of sociopathology. Want to play a prank on students, toilet paper or post-it note the room or something.   No, not these white kids in America.  It’s straight to the N-word and especially pernicious, abusive language.  Hopefully they will be caught and expelled for their actions.

  Racist Harry Potter Fans Get the Sads at the Prospect of a Black Hermione (September 20, 2017) 

o   A young Black artist’s decision to render portraits of Hermione of the Harry Potter series as Black was met with fierce backlash, to which she correctly responded that Hermione’s race in the book was unspecified.  While the desire to see oneself reflected in media is a legitimate one, the dearth of overt Black representation should inspire the creation of our own series.  There is a recurring tendency to re-fashion a white character as Black as opposed to creating a new series, comic, etc altogether.  To refer to a Black star, model, tech guru, etc as the “Black White Person.” We are not Black white people.  Sadly, we are emotionally and psychologically tethered to European creations; it is well past time to cut the umbilical cord and forge our own paths.

  What Are We Subjecting Our Children To? (September 21, 2017)

o   A second-grade teacher named Cammie Rone, who claims that her Facebook account was hacked, was fired for writing a post that implied that Blacks were lazy, waited on government hand-outs, and should go back to Africa if offended by the United States.  It is no wonder study after study demonstrates that Black children are mistreated in our country’s schools. It again begs the question of why we continue to allow these people to teach our children.

     It’s Time for Us to Boycott Denny’s  (September 30, 2017) 

o   Denny’s has a well-documented history of engaging in the blatantly racist behavior towards its Black customers, to include forcing them to prepay for meals.  It appears that Denny’s has not learned from its previous multi-million dollar settlement. A Good Samaritan observed that unlike he and his wife who were white, a Denny’s server required a party of Black patrons to pre-pay for their meals.  Further, though the restaurant was empty, the party was not promptly seated. What amazes me is that these people actually think they can get away with this; sadly, how many Black people just go ahead and pay so as not to cause a scene or be refused service?  Being Black in this country is no simple feat.

Enough is Enough: Featured Article or Resource

The Danger of the White American Liberal 

September 1, 2017

By: John Metta

     This piece is an excellent analysis of an issue that has plagued oppressed Blacks and other people of color in this country—that of the white liberal.  Martin Luther King’s famous exposition of this very sentiment in his Letter From a Birmingham Jail is as true now as it was then.  White liberals are often a kind of seducing elixir for people who are often so elated to have a member of the oppressor group who is not overtly racist and appears to understand their plight that we often overlook the many ways in which these individuals are simply kicking the can down the road or fishing for pats on the back instead of engaging in substantive actions which will effectively facilitate the destruction of systemic racism.

Photo: Silvia Calderon, Flickr