Category Archives: Race

Quote of the day: Gentrification in the East Bay

The eastern shoreline of San Francisco Bay, including esnl’s Berkeley and Oakland, just four blocks away, has become untenable for growing numbers of people, including many of the people of color who used to live in our own neighborhood.

Our own rent was just jacked up by more than half, and we know many others in the same fix.

And so we turn with interest to our QOTD, written by April M. Short for AlterNet, who was driven from Oakland by the same forces that are driving us out as well.

The true culprit behind displacement and gentrification is a complex ricochet effect that arguably began with the tech boom, as large Silicon Valley companies like Google, Facebook and Apple were drawn to this desirable and nearby area. As their money has flooded the city, landlords and business owners have hiked up prices and ultimately life in San Francisco has become too expensive for many artists, laborers and others who don’t receive salaries comparable to those of tech workers. Many of those San Franciscans have moved to Oakland, which remains less expensive (if only slightly). That migration includes many tech startup workers who can’t afford to buy or rent in San Francisco and have heard Oakland is more affordable. As Oakland has been inundated with this mass influx of people from across the bay, landlords and businesses over here have in turn hiked up their prices, forcing longtime locals further into the outskirts.

Another important piece of the problem are the unethical practices of these tech giants. The most obvious example is the tech companies’ corporate shuttles that allow non-locals to be driven into the city from Silicon Valley aboard luxury buses, which have earned the nickname Google buses. Mass protests have gathered to stop the buses, and in response, the city of San Francisco recently forbade those private buses from using public bus stops. But the mass displacement of San Francisco’s people and the white-washing gentrification of its streets have not reversed (Truthout has an in-depth snapshot of the situation).

Another thing to note is the greed of some landlords. As rents have skyrocketed in the last three to five years, mortgages have remained relatively stable, and some landlords have been charging more just because they can. Because of this trend, and similar situations in New York, Los Angeles and many other metropolitan areas, it is officially the worst time in American history to be a renter. A report by the online real estate website Zillow showed in August how rents have never taken up this much of the American paycheck.

Chart of the day: Tuberculosis cases in the U.S.

A breakdown from the Centers for Disease Control:


Chart of the day: Breathing while black in Chicago

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From Recommendations for Reform: Restoring Trust between the Chicago Police and the Communities they Serve [PDF], the report of the Police Accountability Task Force, which notes:

For perspective, citywide, Chicago is almost evenly split by race among whites (31.7%), blacks (32.9%) and Hispanics (28.9%).

Chart of the day II: Racial tensions on the rise

From Gallup, more evidence that the lies Republicans tell about race [and a Democrat of two as well] and the pushback they generate are bring old tensions to the surface.

From Gallup:


Quote of the day: Making Trump seem moderate

Leave it to Bigoted Bilious O’Reilly, the constipated curmudgeon who serves as the mainstay of Fox News, to make The Donald seem like a moderate.

He accomplished this miraculous feat in an interview of Trump when he questioned the Republican about his claims that he could create jobs for minority youth.

Here’s the money quote from Monday Night’s O’Reilly Factor, referring to African American youths he saw in Harlem whilst en route to Yankee Stadium:

How are you going to get jobs for them? Many of them are ill-educated and have tattoos on their foreheads, and I hate to be generalized about it but it’s true, if you look at all the educational statistics, how are you going to give jobs to people who aren’t qualified for jobs?

But then what else should we expect from a network that features fired Los Angeles racist cop and king of the N-word Mark Fuhrman as their distinguished forensic consultant? You know, they guy almost singlehandedly responsible for getting O.J. off?

Chart of the day II: Clueless college presidents

It would be logical to assume that college presidents, as bosses of places with large communities of relatively smart people, would be well somewhat perceptive.

How then to account for the following findings, via Gallup, in which one college president in five thinks race relations are fine at their own campus, but not so fine at 99 percent of the rest?:

BLOG Academic racism

Mark Fuhrman: More institutional racism at Fox

Back when the O.J. Simpson case was unfolding, we were working in television and film in Los Angeles, and we came  across a file on one of the cops involved in the initial investigation, a man who would lose his job because he lied under oath during the Simpson trial when he denied ever using the N-word.

In the file we saw, Fuhrman had sought to establish a job stress claim and used racist language repeatedly. We marveled at the time that he had been able to keep his job on a police force that had been responsible for the worst rioting since the days following the assassination of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

We have to admit that we don’t watch Fox News, in part because of personal loathing for Bill O’Reilly, who once unloaded a vicious temper tantrum on a friend back when Bilious Bill worked for Inside Edition.

So I was surprised to learn from this video from The Young Turks that Fuhrman now works for Fox, and spouts the same racist bilge he spewed while a cop. Sure, he learned enough to avoid the N-Word, but the racist stereotypes he spews haven’t changed in the least.

We could say more, but we’ll leave it to Cenk Uygur.

From The Young Turks:

Who’s More Racist: Mark Fuhrman Or Fox News?

Program notes:

Mark Fuhrman was the racist cop that was an substantial part of the OJ Simpson investigation and trial. Fox News really liked the racism part, and made him an analyst/contributor. Cenk Uygur, host of The Young Turks, breaks it down.

“Not only did the tapes prove he had lied under oath in an earlier deposition when he claimed not to have used the N-word in the last 10 years, but fearful of further perjuring himself, Fuhrman asserted his right to remain silent when asked if he planted or manufactured any evidence in the Simpson investigation.

“It’s hard to look at that testimony — a nationally broadcast justification of the suspicions many people had about corrupt police officers violating the rights of African-American suspects with impunity — and not draw a line to the Black Lives Matter protest movement, which burst on the national scene, and into American politics, when Michael Brown was killed by Police Officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014. Nineteen years earlier, Americans justly skeptical of law enforcement didn’t have phone cameras and Twitter, but they did have Fuhrman, under oath, declining to answer whether or not he screwed with evidence in a murder case.”