Category Archives: Race

Quote of the day: A word to mainstream media

From Andrew Cohen of New York University Law School’s Brennan Center for Justice:

It is the opposite of journalism to call something “controversial” when in fact it is demonstrably false. Now more than ever, when so much fiction and hoax is passed off as truth on the campaign trail, journalists have a professional responsibility, if not a moral obligation, to set the record straight, loudly and quickly, before the myth these politicians seek to perpetuate takes public hold. There is no room today for any sort of cheesy false equivalence, for pretending that one idea or thought or theory is equal to every other.

So when Donald Trump or his online handlers re-tweeted patently false statistics about black (and white) crime rates Sunday it was incumbent upon journalists covering that campaign to do more than merely mention the contents of the incorrect Tweet and then chronicle the predictably furious response to it. Trump’s act was “controversial” only because it reveals his flawed judgment, his disregard for facts, and the increasingly ugly direction of his campaign — a series of dog whistles designed to pit citizen against citizen. If Trump today uttered the words “The sun rises in the West” it would not be enough for reporters to run through the litany of people who disagreed.

Headline of the day: Idiocy on the march

From the Guardian:

Dozens of ‘white student unions’ appear on social media amid racism protests

Groups claim to speak for students at Stanford, New York University, University of Missouri and elsewhere, but their origins are uncertain

UPDATE: Add UC Berkeley to the list, via the Oakland Tribune.

Fact of the day: Terrorism in the United States

From a report by Albert Samaha of BuzzFeed News on a 2011 lynching of an African American man in Mississippi:

In the United States, white supremacist terrorists have caused more deaths (31) than jihadis have since 9/11 (26), according to the nonpartisan New America Foundation.

California’s public schools, triply segregated

And those hit hardest by the problems are the state’s growing population of Latino youth.

We begin with a video report from RT America:

CA schools highly segregated against Latino students – report

Program notes:

A report from UCLA found that Latinos are more segregated in California schools today than in the 1970s. RT’s Simone Del Rosario takes a look at the report and speaks with one of its authors, Professor Gary Orfield, about the findings and how this happened.

Contrary to the RT interviewer’s statement, the report was released last year by UCLA’s Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles on the 60th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court Brown vs. Board of Education decision mandating public desegregation.

Here are the highlights:

  • California has had an extremely dramatic increase in the segregation of Latinos, who on average attended schools that were 54 percent white in 1970, but now attend schools that are 84 percent nonwhite.
  • In 1993, black and Latino students were in schools with 52% and 58% poor children, respectively, and no racial/ethnic group attended schools of overwhelming poverty, on average; by 2012, blacks, on average, attended a school that was two-thirds poor children and Latinos a school more than 70% poor.
  • Black and Latino students attend schools that on average have more than two-thirds poor students, while whites and Asians typically attend schools with a majority of middle-class students.
  • The typical black student in California today attends a school with more than 2.5 times as many Latinos as blacks, thus making them a minority within a school dominated by another disadvantaged group.
  • Latino and African-African-American students are isolated in schools with lower graduation rates, less availability of college preparatory courses, the overuse of suspensions and the number of experienced teachers.  By contrast, almost half of Asian American students and about 40% of white students attend schools that rank in the top 20% of Academic Performance Index test scores.
  • The most segregated of the state’s twenty largest school districts are Los Angeles Unified, Santa Ana Unified, San Bernardino Unified and Fontana Unified (near San Bernardino). School districts that are among the most integrated and diverse are in the Sacramento area and Clovis, in the Fresno area.
  • The authors point to these less segregated school districts in California, and stress their value to policymakers seeking models for other communities.  The report details a half-century of desegregation research showing the major costs of segregation and the variety of benefits of schools that are attended by all races.

The full report is here [PDF].

And to conclude, one graphic from the report that highlights the dramatic changes in the public school student population in the Golden State:

BLOG CA schools

Chart of the day: Are you biracial? Multiracial?

It all depends on how you’re asked, according to a new report [PDF] from the Pew Research Center examining how the answers are shaped by the questions asked:

BLOG Racial

Student authored Berkeley High racist hack

That was the noxious imagery discovered on the web page of the school’s library, a discovery that lead to a walkout and march by 1,500 students.

From the Oakland Tribune:

Berkeley police Officer Byron White said the department was pleased to identify the student so quickly. “I think it’s terrific to be able to find out, and rare to solve something like this on the same day,” White said.

He said that the case is being reviewed and will most likely be turned over “to juvenile probation for review of charges. It’s a juvenile suspect.”

More from an email sent to students by Berkeley High School Principal Sam Pasarow:

After an extensive investigation conducted by site administrators and technology staff, and with additional resources from the school district and Berkeley Police Department, we were able to identify the student responsible for writing the hateful threats on a library computer.

While we acknowledge that there is a desire for additional details, we are bound by student privacy rights that we must respect. Therefore, all I can share is that we are considering all available  consequences for the individual in response to the widespread hurt that these actions caused.

We will continue to make student safety our number-one priority. In addition to students’ physical safety, we will work to ensure our school culture is positive and inclusive as well as socially/emotionally safe. We realize that unless kids feel safe on many levels (physical, social, emotional, cognitive), the likelihood that they will achieve their intellectual and creative potential is compromised.

Teachers and students, in conjunction with administration, will determine what our next steps are related to healing the harm that has occurred in our community.

This has been a very difficult day-and-a-half at BHS, particularly for African American students, and I want to close by saying I am deeply proud of and moved by our students’ advocacy and commitment to social justice. My sense is that today’s demonstrations brought our school community closer together and I will work with our students and staff to make sure today’s positive momentum moves forward.

In Solidarity,

Sam Pasarow

We conclude with some raw footage of the protest march from Bo Kovitz and Matt Campbell of the Daily Californian:

Quote of the day: Race, crime, and perceptions

From Brittney Dennis, writing at Sociology Lens:

If Whites are the majority in the United States then why do people not logically consider that Whites are committing the majority of crimes? Why is it hard to accept that Whites do commit the majority of crimes? And where is the national outcry for the over-imprisonment of African Americans and Hispanics? Institutional discrimination has made it so there is a disproportionate amount of Blacks and Hispanics in the prison system. Think about disparate circumstances such as poverty, and how poverty is concentrated racially due to residential segregation, a structural policy. Then consider how neighborhoods in extreme poverty are cut off from resources such as hospitals, grocery stores, community centers etc., and how the lack of decent jobs in a given poverty stricken area prevents individuals from escaping such disparate neighborhoods. One might be able to understand the circumstances that would drive a person to turn to a life of crime in order to survive, to feed themselves or their family. Think about how racially segregated (especially Black and Hispanic) neighborhoods are heavily policed and thus over-policed and monitored, resulting in a disproportionate amount of arrests for these minorities. Then when the statistics of these instances are reported, members of the dominant status group use these occurrences as systems of justification for why policy should not be implemented to help members of subordinate status groups.