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Race & Ethnicity

Randall Enos | Breaking News / media.cagle.com

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A Region That Sees Racism as a Threat to Its Economy

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Downtown Minneapolis, MN Jim Mone / AP

  • If cities and states don’t start implementing policies with these racial barriers in mind, the fears of the Twin Cities’ regional planners—higher rates of poverty and lower rates of homeownership—could persist across the country.
  • Related: City's failures on North Side are the overlooked outrage

Alexia Fernandez Campbell, the Atlantic

Oct 26, 2016 | For decades, Minneapolis has been heralded as an American success story: The Twin Cities area is home to one of the largest concentrations of Fortune-500-company headquarters, and, relative to other large American cities, has low unemployment, little poverty, and plenty of affordable housing. Much of the prosperity, which has been called “The Minnesota Miracle,” has been attributed an unusual approach to sharing tax revenues between rich and poor communities in the region.

But two years ago, an uncomfortable reality came to light: The Metropolitan Council, a regional planning council, began analyzing Census data and discovered that the Twin Cities metro area is hardly a land of opportunity for everyone. The area had the largest wealth gap, employment gap, and homeownership gap between white residents and people of color among the country’s 25 largest metro areas. Two years after the council’s original report, little has improved, though the employment gap has narrowed a bit.

Alexia Fernandez Campbell is a staff writer at the Atlantic, where she covers immigration and business. She was previously a reporter at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel and the Spanish-language newspaper of The Palm Beach Post.

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http://static01.nyt.com/images/2016/01/08/us/00minneapolis-web01/00minneapolis-web01-master675.jpgMinneapolis’s Less Visible, and More Troubled, Side, John Eligon, New York (NY) Times

  • “You have to not only talk about it, you have to be about it,” she said, “and be willing to go out there and stand and take action.” --lifelong resident, Angela Avent, 36
  • City's failures on North Side are the overlooked outrage
  • Minneapolis Grapples With a Community Being Left Behind

 

Police Shootings Won't Stop Unless We Also Stop Shaking Down Black People

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  • It is probably no coincidence that when you examine the recent rash of police killings, you find that the offenses the victims were initially stopped for were preposterously minor.
  • The dangers of turning police officers into revenue generators.
  • Related: To the 4 White Male Policemen Who Beat Me for Checking the Health of a Sick Black Man in Their Custody … 

Jack Hitt, Mother Jones

http://www.motherjones.com/files/imagecache/top-of-content-image/shakedown-2000x1124.jpg Owen Freeman

September/October, 2015 | In April, several days after North Charleston, South Carolina, police officer Michael Slager stopped Walter Scott for a busted taillight and then fatally shot him, the usual cable-news transmogrification of victim into superpredator ran into problems. The dash cam showed Scott being pulled over while traveling at a nerdy rate of speed, using his left turn signal to pull into a parking lot and having an amiable conversation with Slager until he realized he'd probably get popped for nonpayment of child support. At which point he bolted out of the car and hobbled off. Slager then shot him. Why didn't the cop just jog up and grab him? Calling what the obese 50-year-old Scott was doing "running" really stretches the bounds of literary license.

But maybe the question to ask is: Why did Scott run? The answer came when the New York Times revealed Scott to be a man of modest means trapped in an exhausting hamster wheel: He would get a low-paying job, make some child support payments, fall behind on them, get fined, miss a payment, get jailed for a few weeks, lose that job due to absence, and then start over at a lower-paying job. From all apparent evidence, he was a decent schlub trying to make things work in a system engineered to make his life miserable and recast his best efforts as criminal behavior.

Jack Hitt is a contributing writer for Mother Jones, a nonprofit independent journal.

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To the 4 White Male Policemen Who Beat Me for Checking the Health of a Sick Black Man in Their Custody … , Ali Afshar, Human Development Project / Portside

Because pick on schizophrenics, you are picking on me.

 

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Trump isn’t the Problem; the Republican Base is

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  • Don’t worry about Trump, worry about his supporters: It’s not Trump who is attacking people, sometimes trying to kill anyone looking Hispanic or Muslim in public or at his rallies. It is his supporters; these are the people we really need to worry about. Because if Trump falls out of the Presidential race you better believe those people still exist in our nation.
  • Don’t get me wrong, there would be a lot of worry if Trump became President. However, if he fails, remember those racist, bigoted, and otherwise stupid people who supported him are only going to wait for another Trump.
  • Related: Trump Is the Symptom, Not the Disease

Johnny Silvercloud, Afrosapiophile <https://afrosapiophile.com> 

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https://i.imgur.com/wn7S0O2.jpg 10/08/2016 | Friends Who Like Trump. Facebook has made it possible to find out what your friends like and follow.  Headlines all over the internet point you to use this feature to find out which of your friends like Donald Trump.  So yeah, I tried it out.  Honestly, I am nowhere near surprised; every friend of mine who loves Trump as a politician are those whom I expected.  Call me crazy, but I am not going to delete these guys.  I would rather keep such folks in close quarters to observe and understand them.  Being that many of these people are folks I have known for years, most of them know they can be radically honest with me.  And yes, when I ask questions I want real answers.  Why would a reasonable healthy person support a fascist?  At least I am in a good position to ask.

Trump fans hate “political correctness.” One of the biggest reasons my friends give me on why they  love Trump is because “he doesn’t give a damn about political correctness”.  So let us talk about that for a second.

Johnny Silvercloud: The Soul Brother #1 of a Kind. Consequentialist street photographer abolitionist writer/speaker who stands for any oppressed peoples. I do it because every man and woman deserves freedom of thought -- especially black folks.

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Trump Is the Symptom, Not the DiseaseJeff Schweitzer, Huffington Post

  • It was almost no trick at all, he saw, to turn vice into virtue and slander into truth, arrogance into humility, plunder into philanthropy, thievery into honor, blasphemy into wisdom, brutality into philanthropy and sadism into justice. Anybody could do it; it required no brains at all. It merely required no character. --Joseph Heller, Catch-22
  • American Crossroads: Reagan, Trump and the Devil Down South

10 Ways White Liberals Perpetuate Racism

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Only through continued growth, awareness, and acknowledgment that words matter can something as ugly as racism be overcome.

George Sachs, Everyday Feminism

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http://everydayfeminism.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/perpetuate-300x200.jpgCheerful person in a yellow shirt shrugs their arms in confusion or in question with a group of people in blue shirts behind them.

October 2, 2016 | Last week an article was published in the September issue of the The Atlantic titled “The Coddling of the American Mind.”

The goal of the article was to show that college students (aka Millennials) are increasingly rigid in their language, especially those words or phrases involving race, gender, religion, or any other target status. This is commonly referred to as political correctness.

The authors’ thesis was that “college students are increasingly demanding protection from words and ideas they don’t like.” They go on to conclude that this political correctness is unhealthy and “disastrous” for education and mental health.

George Sachs is clinical child psychologist and founder of the Sachs Center for ADD/ADHD and Aspergers in Manhattan. He specializes in the testing and holistic alternative treatment of ADD/ADHD in children, teens and adults, utilizing social skills groups and Neurofeedback for ADHD

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Divest From Prisons, Invest in People—What Justice for Black Lives Really Looks Like

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Photo by Joe Brusky / Flickr. 

  • Instead of addressing the roots of drug addiction, mental illness, and poverty, we’ve come to accept policing and incarceration as catch-all solutions. It’s time for a change.
  • We’ve come to accept policing and incarceration as catch-all solutions.
  • Related: A Former Police Chief: Put Down the Big Stick

Liza Bayless, Yes! Magazine

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Editor%20Comment%20graphic_0.jpg Yes! Magazine Editor's Note: This article is the second part of a series of conversations with contributors to the demands of the Movement for Black Lives. Part One was on reparations.  

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2009/01/11/opinion/justice190v.jpg  Oct 11, 2016 | In July 2015, more than 2,000 members of The Movement for Black Lives—a group composed of more than 50 racial justice organizations—convened in Cleveland to recognize the violence committed against Black people in this country and around the world. At the assembly, participants decided the Movement needed to form a coalition that articulated concrete ways to build a more equitable society. Six legislative platforms emerged that covered issues like economic justice, reparations, political empowerment, and divestment from policing and incarceration. In their Invest-Divest platform, the authors called instead for investment in programming, like restorative justice initiatives, that would decrease incarceration and strengthen communities.

According to the Brookings Institution, White Americans are equally likely to use and more likely to deal drugs, while African Americans are more likely to be arrested, convicted, and sentenced harshly. For U.S. residents born in 2001, the Bureau of Justice Statistics predicts that 1 in 111 White women will go to prison in her lifetime, while 1 in 18 Black women will. For White men, the likelihood is 1 in 17; for Black men, 1 in 3.

Liza Bayles is an editorial intern at YES! Liza wrote this article for YES!.  

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A Former Police Chief: Put Down the Big Stick, David C. Couper, the Progressive 

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There is a long and difficult road ahead of us. We know what it is because we have heard it before for so many years. The 1968 Commission on the Causes and Prevention of Violence (Kerner Commission) identified the problem: we are becoming two societies, one black, one white, separate and unequal. It’s the same today.

 

"The Invention Of The White Race" ~ Theodore W. Allen

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"The Invention of the White Race" (Verso Books) by Theodore W. Allen, especially Vol. II: "The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America."

Presentation by Jeffrey B. Perry

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Mar 17, 2013 | "The Invention of the White Race" presents a full-scale challenge to what Allen refers to as "The Great White Assumption" -- "the unquestioning, indeed unthinking acceptance of the  'white' identity of European-Americans of all classes as a natural attribute rather than a social construct." 

Its thesis on the origin and nature of the "white race" contains the root of a new and radical approach to United States history, one that challenges master narratives taught in the media and in schools, colleges, and universities. With its equalitarian motif and emphasis on class struggle it speaks to people today who strive for change worldwide.

Jeffrey B. Perry is an independent, working-class scholar formally educated at Princeton, Harvard, Rutgers, and Columbia. His work focuses on the role of white supremacy as a retardant to progressive social change and on the centrality of struggle against white supremacy to progressive social change efforts.

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No Passes for Stereotyping — Of Any Kind

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A coal miner's boot represents the life and work that once went on inside the St. Nicholas Coal Breaker, which once processed 12,500 tons of coal per day. It closed in 1972. Now, in the small northeastern Pennsylvania town of Manahoy City, more than 17 percent of the population is living below the poverty line. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)

Trump has made a "safe space" for bigotry. Opposing him shouldn't cause us to engage in a different brand of belittling.

John Russo and Sherry Linkon, Moyers & Company 

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http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Millennials%20for%20Revolution%20%7C%20Decency.jpgSeptember 13, 2016 | When Mitt Romney dismissed the 47 percent of voters who, he predicted, would support Barack Obama “no matter what” as “victims” who depend on government assistance, liberal critics called foul. The quote, caught on video by a bartender at a Florida fundraiser in September 2012, reinforced Romney’s image as an elitist whose interests were firmly aligned with the wealthy. Not surprisingly, Democrats repeatedly used the line against Romney, and while we can’t blame his defeat in that year’s election on that one line, it sure didn’t help, especially in Rust Belt states like Ohio.

Last Friday, Hillary Clinton said the following:

You know, just to be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. They’re racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic — you name it. And unfortunately there are people like that. And he has lifted them up. He has given voice to their websites that used to only have 11,000 people – now have 11 million. He tweets and retweets their offensive, hateful, mean-spirited rhetoric. Now some of these folks, they are irredeemable, but thankfully they are not America. But the other basket – and I know this because I see friends from all over America here – I see friends from Florida and Georgia and South Carolina and Texas – as well as, you know, New York and California–but that other basket of people are people who feel that the government has let them down, the economy has let them down, nobody cares about them, nobody worries about what happens to their lives and their futures, and they’re just desperate for change. It doesn’t really even matter where it comes from. They don’t buy everything he says, but he seems to hold out some hope that their lives will be different. They won’t wake up and see their jobs disappear, lose a kid to heroin, feel like they’re in a dead end. Those are people we have to understand and empathize with as well.

John Russo is the former co-director of the Center for Working-Class Studies and coordinator of the Labor Studies Program at Youngstown State University

and Sherry Linko, a professor of English at Georgetown University and a faculty affiliate of the Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor, edits the blog Working-Class Perspectives and is working on a book about the literature of deindustrialization. 

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