Category Archives: Race

Quote of the day: Trump, would-be racist dictator

From Seattle native and deputy editor of Der Spiegel Charles Hawley:

All it took to reveal the lengths to which Trump is prepared to go was the half-hearted retreat of a few leading Republicans when it became no longer possible to ignore that their nominee was a sexual predator. But now that he has been “unshackled,” as he himself has said, it is becoming apparent that Nov. 8 will very likely not be the end of what he has taken to calling his “Patriotic Movement.”

The rhetoric that Trump has begun using with ever increasing frequency — that he would lock up Hillary Clinton if he won, that the election is rigged, that his followers should monitor the polls and “watch other communities,” that he would rein in the “corrupt” media — is the rhetoric of dictatorship. But it also appeals directly to a significant chunk of the population, one that feels abandoned by the country’s leadership, left behind by globalization and threatened by demographics.

Trump’s campaign slogan “Make America Great Again” might suggest that he is adhering to the American exceptionalism narrative and, thus, to the American founding myth. But much of what he says — banning Muslims from entering the US, stepped up domestic surveillance, expanded use of torture — is in direct opposition to the Constitution. Indeed, the “greatness” that Trump wants to return to, it has become clear, is one free of immigrants and blacks. One where white American men need not encounter adversity, allowing their supposed natural superiority to shine through.

Trump is suggesting an altogether different narrative of American identity, one based on race and religion.

Another Trump legacy: Overt fascism empowered

Consider the following, via the Guardian:

A Nazi-themed Facebook group that called for the “execution” of Jews and African Americans has led to the expulsion of five Boulder, Colorado, high school students in an unusual case of “alt-right” hate speech spreading to teens in a liberal city.

About 15 students participated in a “4th Reich’s Official Group Chat” on Facebook, according to a Boulder police report, which said members discussed “killing all Jews and [N-words]” and encouraged each other to “recruit more members so they can complete their ‘mission’.”

Members wrote messages championing “WHITE POWER!”, posted pictures of guns, called a firearm a “[N-word] BLASTER”, used derogatory terms for gay people, joked about “rape memes”, declared that they “must lynch the [N-words]”, and mocked Mexicans, copies of the group’s chats showed.

The controversy culminated in expulsions at Boulder Preparatory high school but comes at a time when the alt-right movement – known for white supremacist views and its overtly racist ideology – has gained traction during the divisive US presidential race.

Intolerance surges in the UK, Cameron blamed

Hate crimes and other forms of overt bigotry are surging in the United Kingdom, and while the sharpest increase targets Muslims, other victims include people of color, the LGBT community, and the perennial targets of European intolerance, the Roma [previously].

One key reason for the rise was the venomous sentiment whipped up by winguts in their successful campaign for the Brexit, the successful referendum leading to the U.K.’s withdrawal from the European Union.

But Britain’s Prime Minister comes in for his share of the blame as well.

The rise in bigotry has drawn fire in a special report from the  Council of Europe’s Commission against Racism and Intolerance [ECRI].

First, a video report from RT:

Cameron responsible for rise in xenophobia & racism abuse in UK – watchdog

Program notes:

A report condemning “considerable intolerant political discourse in the UK, particularly focusing on immigration” was published by the Council of Europe’s Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) on Tuesday. David Cameron was singled out, in particular, for describing asylum-seekers arriving from the Middle East and North Africa as a “swarm.”

More on the report from EurActiv:

In a report, the Council’s European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) condemned “considerable intolerant political discourse in the UK, particularly focusing on immigration”.

“It is no coincidence that racist violence is on the rise in the UK at the same time as we see worrying examples of intolerance and hate speech in the newspapers, online and even among politicians,” said ECRI Chair Christian Ahlund.

“The Brexit referendum seems to have led to a further rise in ‘anti-foreigner’ sentiment, making it even more important that the British authorities take the steps outlined in our report as a matter of priority.”

In a shock referendum result, Britain voted on June 23 to leave the 28-nation European Union.

Pro-Brexit supporters campaigned heavily on immigration, and the need to regain control on Britain’s borders, in a referendum battle fought against the background of Europe’s worst migrant crisis since World War II.

Numbers, and assignment of blame

In the following excerpt from the report, note in particular the role in inciting intolerance played by the The Sun, a British tabloid owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, the same loathsome corporation that owns Fox News.

From the report:

According to  the  Home  Office,  there  were  52,528  hate motivated  criminal offences recorded by the police in the year 2014-2015. These include offences of hate  speech  and  violence.  Of  note, 42.930  (82%) belonged  to  the  category  of race  hate  crime;  5,597  (11%)  were  sexual  orientation  hate  crimes;  3,254  (6%) were  religious hate  crimes;  and  605  (1%)  were  transgender  hate  crimes.  There was an overall increase of 18% compared with 2013-14; the largest increase was in relation to religious hate crime (43%).

When broken down further according to type of offence, the data show that 59% of  all hate-motivated  offences in  2014-15  were  public  order  offences (the  vast majority involving public fear, alarm or distress, 30% related to violence against the person and 7% to criminal damage and arson. ECRI was not able to access any data on offences of incitement to hatred recorded by the police.

In addition to reported hate crime, a survey to measure unreported hate crime is conducted  annually.  The  Crime  Survey  for  England  and Wales  is  a  face-to-face victimisation  survey  in  which  persons  aged  16  and  over  are  asked  about  their experiences of crime in the past 12 months. The latest survey data revealed that there are an estimated 222,000 hate-motivated criminal offences on average per year, of  which 106,000  relate to  the  race  strand.  On  comparison  with  the  police figures  above,  it  appears  that  approximately  only  one  in  four  hate-motivated offences is recorded  by  the  police. This may  indicate  deficiencies  in  police recording  of  hate-motivated  offences and unwillingness  of  hate  crime  victims  to report such crime.

Hate speech in political discourse

In  its fourth  report,  ECRI  recommended  that  the  authorities  take  particular  care, when  developing  and  explaining  policies,  to  ensure  that  the  message  sent to society as a whole is not one likely to foment or foster intolerance and it urged the authorities to take measures to tackle the exploitation of racism in politics. In this context,  ECRI  welcomes the  Report  of  the  All  Party  Parliamentary Inquiry into Electoral Conduct, published  in  October  2013,  and  its  2015 General  Election Update, as  good  examples of  politicians actively  encouraging  responsibility to combat racism in political discourse.

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Chart of the day II: Bigoted Twitter neologisms

Since Twitters nominally filters tweets to block the most outrageous expressions of bigotry, bigots have done what they usually do: Create neologisms to refer to the hateful words disavowed by respectable folks.

WYNC radio host Alex Goldman has parsed the meanings of the new lexicography of intolerance and has tweeted their meanings:


More from the London Telegraph:

The code seems to have originated on message board site 4chan, which is often described as the dark side of the internet. On a channel about Google’s Jigsaw program that tackles abuse, someone commented that the system couldn’t block them if they used “a common word in place of something racist, like if they started using ‘google’ instead of ‘n*****’.”

Some of those who have been using the code have expressed support for the US presidential hopeful Donald Trump. During the presidential debate last week one user wrote on Twitter, “Trump is not a National Socialist. If he was, he wouldn’t have kids that married Skypes.”

And one of the swapped words — “Skittles” for “Muslim” — is an explicit reference to the controversy last month when Trump’s son compared a bowl of skittles with Syrian refugees in the US.

This isn’t the first racist code to appear on social media. Earlier this year Google blocked a Chrome extension that added “(((triple parentheses)))” to Jewish people’s names called “echoes”, which was being used to perpetrate racial hatred online.

Tapes reveal Sacramento cops’ lethal misbehavior

Tapes prove one of the two officers involved blurted out “Fuck this guy” before trying to run down an unarmed mentally ill homeless black man before finally shooting him to death, hitting him 14 times.

From the Sacramento Bee:

Two Sacramento police officers attempted to run over a mentally ill homeless man with their car less than 35 seconds before they shot and killed him, according to recordings released by police this month.

One of the officers says “f— this guy” in the frantic final minute before they shot Joseph Mann on Del Paso Boulevard. Moments later, the driver says, “I’m going to hit him.”

“OK. Go for it. Go for it,” his partner responds.

During that sequence, the officers gunned their vehicle toward Mann, backed up, turned and then drove toward him again, based on dashcam video released by police. They stopped the car, ran toward Mann on foot and shot him 14 times.

The July 11 incident has sparked protest from local religious and black leaders, who say Sacramento Police Department officers escalated the situation and unnecessarily resorted to lethal force.

The content of the dashcam audio was first reported by the Sacramento News and Review. The Bee reviewed the clip of Officers Randy Lozoya and John Tennis after enhancing the audio to highlight their voices.

A photo of the late Joseph Mann, via Photography is Not a Crime.

A photo of the late Joseph Mann, via Photography is Not a Crime.

Cops arrest Arkansas legislator for taking a video

A video, it turns out, which he was legally entitled to record thanks to legislation passed with the legislator’s help.

We’ve been a longtime supporter of the right of citizens to videotape police officers engaged in confrontations with their fellow citizens.

After all, it’s the citizens themselves who are paying police salaries, and police are engaged in a public function.

But that didn’t stop cops in Little Rock from arresting the 79-year-old black man.

Here’s a lengthy Little Rock police car cam video of the arrest, posted by Ean Bordeaux:

Ark State Rep. John Walker arrested for filming LR police

Program notes [excerpted]:

Arkansas State Representative John Walker was arrested on Monday morning, Sept. 26, 016.

Little Rock police were in the process of arresting a stopped driver for theft of property around 11:30 a.m. at 9th and Commerce streets.

Walker, 79, walked into the scene of the traffic stop and began filming the incident. The arrested driver asked what Walker was doing, to which Walker responded, “I’m making sure they don’t kill you.”

After escorting the driver to the patrol car in handcuffs, police found that the passenger of the stopped call also had an outstanding arrest warrant.

As the police were arresting the passenger, Walker and another individual approached the scene in a “antagonistic and provocative manner.” Officers repeatedly told both individuals to stop and stay away from the scene.

Walker told the police he was not going to leave and instructed the police to arrest him. Police obliged and charged him with interfering with government operations. The other individual was also arrested.

At the station, Walker informed the jailers that he only wanted to file a complaint “against the white officers.”

And the story, from the Intercept:

An Arkansas State representative who helped pass a state law protecting people who film police was arrested Monday while filming Little Rock police as they put a black man in handcuffs after a traffic stop.

The charges against Rep. John Walker have been dropped, but his colleague, fellow civil rights lawyer Omavi Shukur, faces charges for obstruction of government relations.

Officer Jeff Thompson wrote in his police report: “I ordered Walker several times to leave or be arrested. Walker replied ‘arrest me’ at which point I did.”

Police on Wednesday released dashcam video of the incident. “I’m just making sure they don’t kill you,” Walker told the man who had been pulled over, according to the police report.

More from the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette:

In one of the videos, Walker can be heard off-camera talking to officer Jason Roberts, a downtown patrolman who was one of four officers who conducted the traffic stop. Shortly after Walker and Kushukuru arrive and start recording, Roberts asks Walker what he’s doing. Walker identifies himself as a state representative and says Little Rock is his district.

“I’m just here as an observer,” Walker says.

Roberts then tells Walker that he has a right to observe. He explains that four officers were on scene because he and officer Thomas Thompson, both veteran patrolmen, were training two rookie officers.

In the video, Walker can be heard saying that he intends to film every instance in which multiple police officers arrest a black man. He then references the Little Rock police killings of two black men, Eugene Ellison, 67, and Deon Williams, 26. Officers shot Ellison to death inside his apartment in 2010. Williams was carrying a handgun when he fled a traffic stop, and officers fatally shot him in 2013.

“There have been too many killings,” Walker says in the video. “The killings on 12th Street. The killings on Asher Avenue.”

Roberts, who is white, then accuses Walker of trying to provoke the police. He says in the video that officers did not know the race of the men they pulled over when they initiated the stop. In a police report, Walker’s behavior is described as “antagonistic and provocative.

If there was ever evidence for the need of Walker’s legislation, this is it.

Racial profiling begins in America’s pre-schools


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.