This Week in Racism in America: Editions 8-10

The Rev. Ralph Abernathy, right, and Bishop Julian Smith, left, flank Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., during a civil rights march in Memphis, Tenn., March 28, 1968.  (AP Photo/Jack Thornell)

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



     Affirmative Action Not Affecting Black Representation at Top Universities (August 24, 2017)

 o   An analysis conducted by the New York Times revealed that from 1980-2015, Blacks’ representation at the nation’s top colleges and universities has essentially remained unchanged; in contrast, the representation of white and Asian students has risen.  While affirmative action has increased the raw number of minorities at colleges throughout the country, Blacks remain under-represented at top schools and universities. Educational disadvantages that begin early in life appears to be a relevant contributor to the disparity.  “Elementary and secondary schools with large numbers of black and Hispanic students are less likely to have experienced teachers, advanced courses, high-quality instructional materials and adequate facilities….” In the meantime, white privilege manifested in programs like legacy entry continues to positively affect white applicants’ chances of admission at top schools; further, white women have benefitted the most from affirmative action 

     Infant Race and Ethnicity Influence Quality of Care in California (August 27, 2017) 

o   Data representing over 90% of the neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) in California reveals that the quality of care an infant receives in the country’s most populace state differs depending on the infant’s race.  The Stanford University School of Medicine study analyzed the following factors: “whether the babies or their mothers received specific treatments before or during their stay, or developed harmful conditions after leaving the unit. Those treatments and conditions include antenatal steroid administration, moderate hypothermia, a collapsed lung, bacterial or fungal infections, lung disease, an eye exam, whether they receive human breast milk upon leaving the hospital, mortality during hospitalization and growth rates.”  Though there were a few areas where Black babies fared better, and even some NICU units where Black infants had better care, white and Asian-American babies received the best care overall by far.  Thus, even when Black children are at their most vulnerable, race overwhelmingly adversely affects the quality of the care they receive.

     School Closures Disproportionately Impact Black and Hispanic Students (August 28, 2017)

 o   The Center for Research on Education Outcomes made a number of significant findings based upon its analysis of school closures throughout the country.  Per the above article, “[l]ow-performing schools with higher proportions of black and Hispanic students are more likely to be closed than low-performing schools serving less students of color[;]” [f]ewer than half of the students end up in better-forming schools following a closure, but when students leave a school before the year it closes, they stand a somewhat better chance of attending a higher-performing school[;]” and “school closures are more concentrated in urban areas and more common among elementary schools and charter schools, and the researchers also found that ‘clear signs of weakness’ are noticeable in schools that eventually close as much as three years before.” The findings are not surprising, but disheartening nonetheless.

     Black and Latina Women’s Recovery from the 2007 Recession Significantly Slower (August 31, 2017)

 o   While recovering from a recession is a daunting task in general, the speed with which groups recover differ based on race, with Blacks disproportionately impacted.  The Institute for Women’s Policy Research published the findings of its analysis of the recession recovery rates for American women.  Of significance regarding the plight of Black women, the researchers found that “[w]hile women from each racial and ethnic group . . . experienced increased unemployment during and directly after the Great Recession, the rates for Black women and girls were particularly dire.”  Specifically, “more than one in four (25.3 percent) Black women and girls were unemployed in 2007; this increased to four in ten (40.5 percent) in 2010. By 2016, the unemployment rate among Black women and girls aged 16-19 had fallen to 22.8 percent, lower than their 2007 unemployment rate but almost ten (9.6) percentage points higher than the rate for their White female counterparts.”   More shockingly, they found that “[a]cross all age groups, Black women’s unemployment rates as of 2016 were higher than White women’s unemployment rates at their peak in 2010.”

     Intergenerational Wealth An Important Factor in the Racial Wage Gap (September 6, 2017)

o   Richard V. Reeves and Edward Rodrigue of the Brookings Institute completed a report which highlighted the entrenched nature of the Black/white economic disparity using the work of researchers whose data included economic data from the 19th century compiled by William Collins and Marianne Wanamaker.  After acknowledging that there are several factors which affect the income gap, the authors noted that “[the] one that received too little attention is the persistent race gap in rates relative to intergenerational mobility.  This mobility gap means that much of the progress towards closing the race gap made by one generation is lost in the next and the result is a century-long delay in economic improvements for Black Americans.” Further, the data reflected that, unlike white males, Black males, including those of the present day, were more likely to make less money than their fathers had.  Finally, the data demonstrated that several issues tied to systemic racism play a role in this lack of mobility, including employment discrimination.  This is a disgraceful state of affairs.

  Study Shows Racial Bias in Disciplining Black Girls at Schools (September 11, 2017)

o   Department of Education data reveals that Black girls are seven times more likely to be suspended from school and four times more likely to be arrested than white girls. Black girls are also 2.5 times more likely to be referred to law enforcement for discipline.  In some areas of the country, Black girls were as much as 10 times more likely to be suspended.  The Education Department’s data was analyzed by National Black Women’s Justice Institute.  This data reflects the realities of the school to prison pipeline for Black students.  Our people, whether as children or as adults, whether in school, at our place of employment, within the criminal justice, or anywhere else in this country, are constantly in a battle with systemic racism

Not…So Scholarly

     Racists Run Black Family Out of Neighborhood (August 21, 2017)

o   Many white people assess the value of an entity, item, or area by the lack of Black access to it.  Manifestations of this mode of thinking includes white flight,or individuals use coded language to indicate that a dearth of Blacks at a school, in a neighborhood, etc., increases its viability and value.  Sadly, sometimes Blacks espouse such ridiculous notions. In the linked article, Chris Sullivan and his family moved to a predominantly white neighborhood in San Diego that placed him close to his aging parents and his new job.  They are welcomed first by a cowardly, racist note calling their yard “ghetto,” and then by racist harassment by the Fisher police. Mr. Sullivan and his family decided to move, essentially giving the racists what they wanted, but also acquiring some peace of mind.     

  Sports Radio Host Espouses Many White Racists’ Fantasy in Dealing with Protesters                  (August 21, 2017)

 o   Portland radio host Dino Costa was fired after stating during a broadcast that Black Lives Matter protesters  demonstrating on the road should be run over.  Per the article, Costa stated “as soon as one or two of these sumbitches are run over, you’ll see the entire, in unison, everybody be up off the street. When people are being killed by 18-wheel trucks coming by, pickups, cars — run ’em over.”  That someone would advocate actually killing protesters for disrupting traffic reflects the kind of irrational and sociopathic rage exhibited by racists at Black people who challenge racism.  In fact, there are state legislators who have in fact introduced bills to allow these deranged individuals to, in fact, continue driving through protesters so long as there is no intent to cause injury or death. This is America.

     White Police Officer’s Masculinity Inferiority Complex on Display as He Harasses Black Residents (August 22, 2017)

o   In what is reminiscent of a neighborhood black party, several Black residents, including children, were barbequing on the streets of Manhattan.  An NYPD officer apparently intent of showing these negroes who’s in charge, in a remarkable display of disrespect, pours water on the grill.  Now, let’s say for the sake of argument that having a grill on the street was a violation of some ordnance.  Under the circumstances, there were hundreds of other, more respectful ways this situation could have been handled. We often see feel good videos of police being called because of some violation, only to have them join in the fun. Not so much when the individuals are Black.  In that case, we get a white man wielding his authority in a manner designed to intimidate and humiliate these people.

  Showing Off For Master: Black Professor Advocates Hanging of Activists (August 25, 2017)

 o   As someone once said, “all your skinfolk aint your kinfolk.” Toby Jennings, a Black professor at Grand Canyon University, said during a panel that some members of Black Lives Matter should be hung.  When initially asked about it, he doubled down on his claims.  However, Jennings later issued an apology, and was suspended.  He should have kept the apology. To use that kind of language regarding Black people given the history of lynching Blacks in this country, in addition to the inappropriateness of the statement to begin with, is unacceptable.  Every oppressed group has members who seek the favor of the oppressor.  Jennings is one in a long line of many, past and present.  A disgrace.

  Philadelphia Police Union President Calls Black Protesters Animals (September 1, 2017) 

o   Racism is always right beneath the surface with entirely too many white people.  The two items that most consistently bring it out its most overt manifestation are anger and alcohol.  In this instance, it was anger that roused Philadelphia Police Union president John McNesby’s inner Bull Connor.  McNesby called Black protesters a “pack of animals” for having gathered and demanded an arrest outside the home of officer Ryan Pownall who’d shot David Jones, an unarmed Black man, as Jones was running away.  There are always several phrases and insults white people can employ to convey their anger towards Black people; but lo and behold, they regularly resort to language that is either blatantly racist, or implicitly so. The racist conditioning is quite strong with these people.

     Sigh. More Klan Hoods for Racist Students (September 5, 2017) 

o   Black students at Volcano Vista High have been subjected to ongoing racist harassment at this New Mexico  school.  In the most recent incident, two students posted a photo on Snapchat of one of the Black students surrounded by her classmates who’d had klan hoods photoshopped onto their faces.  Given the history of harassment endured up for years, the Black student’s parents decided to remove their children from the school.  They also note that the prior complaints about racist acts against the girls had gone unheeded.  That our young people have to suffer through this kind of treatment should be enough to galvanize substantive efforts to remove our children from these schools and start our own.  Finally, these racist students and administrators who allowed the harassment to continue need to be held accountable.

  White Police Officer Falsely Arrests Black Man, Gets Convicted, and Collects Over $100K Back Pay (September 7, 2017) 

o   Cynthia Whitlach stopped and later arrested William Wingate, an elderly Black man walking with a golf club he’d been using as a cane, claiming he’d swung the cane at someone.  However, video evidence revealed that Wingate had done no such thing.  Whitlach, a white woman, was eventually fired, only to file a lawsuit contesting her termination.  The city of Seattle settled the case, allowing her record to reflect retirement with all of the related rights and privileges, and receive over $100,000 in back-pay.  Here is a clear abuse of power and misuse of authority by a white police officer against a Black man simply because he was Black and because she could.  She treated him with the contempt many whites show Black people simply for existing and reminding them not only of the atrocities perpetrated against us, but of the illegitimacy of their largesse.

Note her contempt for Black as evident in this quote from one of her social media posts:

“If you believe that blacks are NOT accusing white America for their problems then you are missing the point of the riots in Ferguson and the chronic black racism that far exceeds any white racism in this country. I am tired of black peoples [sic] paranoia that white people are out to get them. I am tired of hearing a black racist tell me the only reason they [sic] are being contacted is because they are black solely because I am NOT black I am tired of black people saying poor poor me when other races and genders and homeless and gays suffer far more prejudice than any black man does in the US.”  Not only is this woman racist, but she is also clearly delusional.

  Young Racists Are At it Again: Students Burn Cross, Don Klan Hoods (September 8, 2017) 

o   Five white football players at Creston/Orient-Macksburg High School pose in a photo donning klan hoods, one of whom is holding a gun, and another of whom is holding a confederate flag.  In the middle of these representatives of America’s future is a limp, pitiful, burning cross.  Kyle Smallwood, one of the few Black students at the school and the team quarterback, expressed great disappointment since he thought these boys were his friends.  Once again, the notion that racism is on its last legs waiting for boomers to die is a complete fallacy.  Young whites in every venue from middle school to college demonstrate on an almost weekly basis that racism is just as vibrant and alive now as it has ever been.

Enough is Enough: Featured Article or Resource

What is the Definition of Internalized Racism  

August 21, 2017

 By: Nadja Kareem Nittle

This is a well written article exploring the seemingly counter-intuitive, but persistent, notion of internalized racism.  Self-loathing, or as noted in this featured article, a kind of racial “Stockholm Syndrome,” is a reality throughout minority and oppressed communities.  Though illogical on the surface, even minimal analysis uncovers the myriad of circumstances that could reasonably lead Blacks to internalize the negativity associated with their racial group.  There isn’t a single minority or oppressed group that is devoid of members who fall prey to this extremely damaging and destructive phenomenon.  These individuals also are often wielded weapons by the oppressor group to advance their objectives and carry out their agenda.  This is an effective course of action because the Black Manchurian Candidates’ presence acts as a  cover or shield.  There are several names for such individuals in the Black community that evolve over time and space; but these wolves in sheep’s clothing’s impact and presence continually negatively impact our communities.

Photo: Cana3797, Flickr