Category Archives: Race

Racial profiling begins in America’s pre-schools


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Continuing with today’s theme, a sobering new study reveals that institutional racial profiling begins in the nation’s pre-schools.

From the Yale Child Study Center:

Preschool teachers and staff show signs of implicit bias in administering discipline, but the race of the teacher plays a big role in the outcome, according to research [open access] conducted by the Yale Child Study Center. The results help explain why black students tend to be suspended at much higher rates than white students, the authors say.

Release of the findings has been requested by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and is scheduled to be presented to federal and state officials on Sept. 28.

Researchers used sophisticated eye-tracking technology and found that preschool teachers “show a tendency to more closely observe black students, and especially boys, when challenging behaviors are expected,” the authors found.

But at the same time, black teachers hold black students to a higher standard of behavior than do their white counterparts, the researchers found. While the study did not explore why this difference in attitude exists, the researchers speculated that black educators may be demonstrating “a belief that black children require harsh assessment and discipline to prepare them for a harsh world.”

White educators, by contrast, may be acting on a stereotype that black preschoolers are more likely to misbehave in the first place, so they judge them against a different, more lenient standard than what they’re applying to white children.

“The tendency to base classroom observation on the gender and race of the child may explain in part why those children are more frequently identified as misbehaving and hence why there is a racial disparity in discipline,” added Walter S. Gilliam, director of The Edward Zigler Center in Child Development and Social Policy and associate professor of child psychiatry and psychology at the Yale Child Study Center.  Gilliam is one of five researchers who conducted what is thought to be the first such study of its type.

Findings suggested that when the preschool teacher and child were of the same race, knowing about family stressors led to increased teacher empathy for the preschooler and decreased how severe the behaviors appeared to the teacher. But, when the teacher and child were of a different race, the same family information seemed to overwhelm the teachers and the behaviors were perceived as being more severe.

“These findings suggest that teachers need support in understanding family struggles, as they may related to child behaviors, especially when the teacher and child are of different races,” Gilliam said.

Primary funding for the research came from the WK Kellogg Foundation.

Police violence leads to reluctance to call the cops


Following up on our previous post, a new study reveals that the distrust of police in America’s black community leads directly to a reluctance to call on police when violence and crimes occur in the nation’s black neighborhoods.

From the American Sociological Association:

A new study shows that publicized cases of police violence against unarmed black men have a clear and significant negative impact on citizen crime reporting, specifically 911 calls.

“This is the first study that empirically investigates what happens to crime reporting after publicized episodes of police violence against unarmed black men,” said sociologist Matthew Desmond, the John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Social Sciences at Harvard University and the lead author of the study. “In showing that citizen crime reporting drops precipitously after such events, this study suggests that police misconduct can actually make cities less safe by suppressing one of the most basic forms of civic engagement: calling 911 for matters of personal and public safety.”

Titled, “Police Violence and Citizen Crime Reporting in the Black Community” [$36 for 24-hour access], the study, which appears in the October issue of the American Sociological Review, investigates how publicized cases of police violence against unarmed black men — most prominently the 2004 beating of Frank Jude by white police officers in Milwaukee, Wisconsin — affected 911 calls in Milwaukee. Desmond and co-authors Andrew V. Papachristos, an associate professor of sociology at Yale University, and David S. Kirk, an associate professor of sociology, at the University of Oxford, relied on data from the Milwaukee Police Department on every crime-related 911 call in Milwaukee from March 2004 through December 2010.

In the Jude case, the researchers analyzed patterns of crime-related 911 calls for roughly the same period of time before and after the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel broke the story in February 2005. According to court and news reports, Milwaukee police officer Andrew Spengler and several other off-duty police officers beat Jude so badly that the admitting physician at the hospital took photographs of Jude because his injuries were too extensive to document in writing.

“We estimate that the police beating of Frank Jude resulted in a net loss of approximately 22,200 911 calls reporting crime the year after Jude’s story came to light,” Papachristos said.

More than half of the total loss in calls — 56 percent — occurred in neighborhoods where at least 65 percent of the residents were black, which according to 2000 U.S. Census data accounted for 31 percent of Milwaukee’s neighborhoods. For comparison purposes, there were approximately 110,000 crime-related 911 calls from all Milwaukee neighborhoods during this time period.

“Once the story of Frank Jude’s beating appeared in the press, Milwaukee residents, especially people in black neighborhoods, were less likely to call the police, including to report violent crime,” Kirk said. “This means that publicized cases of police violence can have a communitywide impact on crime reporting that transcends individual encounters.”

Continue reading

Chart of the day: Racial disparity in trust of police


From a new survey from the Pew Research Center:

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Chart of the day II: Immigrants up; crime declines


A nifty little chart from CBC News deftly debunks Trump’s claim that immigration breeds crime:

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Quote of the day: Bill Clinton, the real superpredator


From Nathan J. Robinson, editor of Current Affairs, writing for Jacobin on the great harms done by Bill Clinton’s to African Americans:

Throughout his presidency, Clinton’s actual actions on issues relevant to black Americans were at odds with his repeated rhetorical commitments to civil rights and racial equality. Clinton presided over a massive continuing expansion of the American prison system, escalated the War on Drugs, and made it easier to administer the death penalty while opposing an effort by black legislators to prohibit racially biased capital punishment.

In social policy, Clinton campaigned on a plan to end the welfare system, and successfully did so, promoting, passing, and signing an act that all but eliminated government financial support for poor families. And Clinton’s deregulation of the financial system laid the foundation for the disastrous economic crisis that would wipe out black wealth a few years after he left office.

In fact, when Bill Clinton’s actions, rather than his words, are scrutinized closely, they reveal a record far more damaging to black interests than that of even many Republican presidents.

George W. Bush, for all his atrocities abroad, never signed any law that inflicted the kind of harm that Clinton’s crime and welfare policies did. As Michelle Alexander has observed, Clinton escalated the “war on drugs” “beyond what many conservatives had imagined possible … ultimately doing more harm to black communities than Reagan ever did.”

Historian Christopher Brian Booker refers to Clinton’s “central role in the incarceration binge in the black community,” and Charles Ogletree has called it “shocking and regrettable that more African Americans were incarcerated on Bill Clinton’s watch than any other president’s in the history of the United States.”

Political thuggery on the right, U.S. & Greece


Trump blows his horn again

We begin in the U.S., with two of the usual suspects, starting with this from the Guardian:

Donald Trump veered off the teleprompter on Monday night to claim that “inner cities run by the Democrats” were more dangerous than countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Republican nominee was meant to be delivering a scripted speech calling for Hillary Clinton be investigated by a special prosecutor. However, once again he veered off message in an attempt to appeal to minority voters in apocalyptic terms.

“You can go to war zones in countries that we are fighting and it is safer than living in some of our inner cities that are run by the Democrats,” Trump said. The Republican nominee also promised if elected, “we’ll get rid of the crime. You’ll be able to walk down the street without getting shot. Now, you walk down the street, you get shot.”

A ZioCon Joe McCarthy brandishes a list

Sen Joe McCarthy became infamous for his self-aggrandizing Red Hunts during the early 1950’s, most famous brandishing a list with the names of 57 alleged secret communists in the State Department

From the Guardian again, the second of the usual U.S. suspects, this time deploying that nasty little trick of publishing a list, this time affixing the antisemite label on anyone who opposes Israeli government actions [a label that’s been attached to esnl for the same reason]:

Sheldon Adelson, the Nevada casino mogul and conservative mega-donor, is leading a campaign against pro-Palestine groups on US college campuses and has funded posters that accuse individual students of supporting terrorism and promoting “Jew Hatred”.

The multimillion-dollar effort, which has launched at six campuses in California, is targeting the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement that has become increasingly popular among American university students protesting the Israeli government.

At the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), recent Adelson-funded posters named 16 students and professors, saying they “have allied themselves with Palestinian terrorists to perpetuate BDS and Jew Hatred on this campus”. It further claimed BDS was a “Hamas-inspired genocidal campaign to destroy Israel”.

Robert Gardner, a 25-year-old UCLA senior, saw his name on one of the posters outside a grocery market. “I was really shocked and felt really disturbed,” he said.

“They are trying to cast us as antisemitic, that we are somehow a discriminatory group,” said the political science student, who is a member of the college’s Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) organization. “That is a completely spurious accusation. One of our core principles is anti-oppression and anti-racism.”

And a thuggish Greek legislator steps it up

And on to Greece, with a neo-Nazi national legislator joining the fray [literally], via eKathimerini:

Golden Dawn deputy Constantinos Barbarousis has been implicated, along with a relative and at least three other men, in a violent beating of a police officer at a coffee shop in the village of Fiteies in the region of Aetoloacarnania in central Greece Monday.

According to reports, the incident followed an altercation between one of the extreme-right lawmaker’s relatives and the officer over a traffic violation earlier in the day.

The policeman was off duty when he was attacked by his assailants, who, according to witnesses, pulled up outside the cafe in two cars, with Barbarousis and four other men inside. All five barged into the shop and attacked the victim using clubs, brass knuckles and bats.

The officer suffered head injuries and required stitches, while his brother and a friend, who were also present during the incident, suffered light injuries.

Headline of the day: Dust off grandpa’s Klan robes


Back when esnl was knee-high to a grasshoppers, folks used to joke, “Save your Confederate money! The South will rise again!”

Looks like it’s finally happening, although it was the Republicans, under the first Republican administration, Abe Lincoln, who originally led the war against the Confederate States of America, the rebellious states that fought a war to keep slavery [and, yes, the war really was fought over the issue of whether or not slavery should be allowed in new states joining the union].

Ol’ Abe must be spinning in his grave.

From the Washington Post:

‘Racialists’ are cheered by Trump’s latest strategy

White nationalists, once dismissed as fringe, believe that their worldview is gaining popularity and that the old Republican Party is coming to an end.