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Race & Ethnicity

Race & Ethnicity

White Racism in America's Police Departments Is So Much Worse Than Most Americans Understand

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CBS News correspondent Jeff Pegues' new book exposes the under-reported "ghost skins": hidden white supremacists in law enforcement.

Jeff Pegues, Prometheus Books / Alternet

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http://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/shutterstock_295048607_0.jpg?itok=ZQOSynSY San Francisco, May 15, 2015: SFPD officers pat down a black man in San Francisco. Overall, black Americans are arrested at 2.6 times the per-capita rate of other Americans. Photo Credit: ChameleonsEye / Shutterstock

AlterNet Editor's Note: The following is an excerpt from the new book Black and Blue: Inside the Divide Between the Police and Black America by Jeff Pegues (Prometheus Books, May 2017).

Ghost Skins

The vast majority of police officers across the nation are doing the right thing. But there is a small percentage who are tarnishing the badge. Over the last several years, in addition http://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/black_and_blue_cover.jpgto the police shootings that have sparked calls for reform, there have been scandals in departments from coast to coast. Some of those scandals have highlighted explicit racism within the ranks. Once again, technology plays a role in how that racism is exposed, as text messages often unearth bigotry in the rank and file. In 2015, an internal investigation in Miami Beach, Florida, revealed that sixteen officers had sent hundreds of racially offensive, sexist, and pornographic e-mails. Two of the officers were high-ranking and were believed to be the main instigators.

According to CBS reporting, Miami Beach police chief Daniel Oates informed reporters that the internal investigation uncovered 230 e-mails that were demeaning to African Americans and women or pornographic in nature. Many were reported to be depictions of crude racial jokes involving President Obama or black celebrities such as golfer Tiger Woods. One showed a woman with a black eye and the caption, “Domestic violence. Because sometimes, you have to tell her more than once.” One of the racially offensive e-mails depicted a board game called “Black Monopoly” in which every square says “go to jail.”

Jeff Pegues is the justice and homeland security correspondent for CBS News. In this capacity he has participated in closed-door interviews with FBI Director James Comey, CIA Director John Brennan, and DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson. In the aftermath of Michael Brown's death in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014, Pegues orchestrated an interview with the chiefs of police representing four major U.S. cities. In 2015, he covered all angles of the Charleston, South Carolina, church killings, beginning with the manhunt for the suspect and culminating with a special report analyzing President Obama's eulogy at the funeral of State Senator Clementa Pinckney.

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White America's Greatest Delusion: "They Do Not Know It and They Do Not Want to Know It"

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  • It is the innocence which constitutes the crime.
  • Related: ‘We Must Actively Stand Up’: John Angelos’ Response to Racism at Fenway Park

Tim Wise, AlterNet

http://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/screen_shot_2015-05-06_at_10.41.19_am_0.png?itok=r5Y8N1gNMay 6, 2015 | Though perhaps overused, there are few statements that so thoroughly burrow to the heart of the nation's racial condition as the following, written fifty-three years ago by James Baldwin:

"…this is the crime of which I accuse my country and my countrymen and for which neither I nor time nor history will ever forgive them, that they have destroyed and are destroying hundreds of thousands of lives and do not know it and do not want to know it ... but it is not permissible that the authors of devastation should also be innocent. It is the innocence which constitutes the crime."

Tim Wise is an antiracism educator and author of six books on race.

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https://www.thenation.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/adamjones-baltimore-ap-img.jpg?scale=896&compress=80 ‘We Must Actively Stand Up’: John Angelos’ Response to Racism at Fenway Park, Dave Zirin, the Nation


Baltimore Orioles player Adam Jones at a game against the Tampa Bay Rays in Baltimore, Maryland, on April 25, 2017. (AP Photo / Patrick Semansky)

The Baltimore Orioles COO has had enough of racism at the ballpark and enough of a society that is breeding more and more hate.

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‘We Must Actively Stand Up’: John Angelos’ Response to Racism at Fenway Park

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Baltimore Orioles player Adam Jones at a game against the Tampa Bay Rays in Baltimore, Maryland, on April 25, 2017. (AP Photo / Patrick Semansky)

The Baltimore Orioles COO has had enough of racism at the ballpark and enough of a society that is breeding more and more hate.

Dave Zirin, the Nation

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May 2, 2017 | On Monday night, a large group of “fans” at Boston’s Fenway Park called Baltimore Orioles All-Star outfielder Adam Jones a n—– from the outfield seats and one threw a bag of peanuts at him. The incident has provoked widespread uproar. Here is an exclusive comment about the incident from Baltimore Orioles COO John Angelos. People may remember Angelos from his intensely just and political response to the killing of Freddie Gray while in police custody in 2015. (What follows) needs to be read and reread.

For what it is worth and since you asked, and speaking as one man and for myself here, my thoughts on incidents of this sad and tragic kind and what they represent today are the following.

https://www.thenation.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/davezirin_small1.jpg Dave Zirin The Nation’s sports editor, is the author of eight books on the politics of sports, most recently, Brazil’s Dance with the Devil: The World Cup, The Olympics, and the Fight for Democracy. Named one of UTNE Reader’s “50 Visionaries Who Are Changing Our World,”

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How (and how not) to address racism in the church

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  • As the Black Lives Matter movement and immigration concerns continue to shine the national spotlight on racism in the United States, surely church leadership shouldn’t be taking a step back.  
  • A pastoral letter from the U.S. bishops won’t solve racism. Becoming an intercultural church might.

A U.S. Catholic interview 

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http://www.truthdig.com/images/eartothegrounduploads/sonlaliblack_590.jpg May 2017 | In 1979 the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) issued a pastoral letter on racism entitled “Brothers and Sisters to Us.” It was significant because it was the strongest statement by the U.S. bishops declaring racism a sin. However, a problematic title to this otherwise dynamic document seemed to perpetuate exactly this racial “us” versus “them” the document itself was trying to alleviate. Just who is “us”? critics asked, pointing out how the title implied that the American church’s membership and leadership was of European descent. Where were the black, Asian, and Latino Catholics in the conversation? 

It’s been almost 40 years since that document, and tense race relations in the church and society have anything but subsided. Father Simon Kim, a Korean American priest and theologian who has researched racism in the church and is currently serving on the committee drafting the upcoming bishops’ document on racism, believes that the church has “taken a decline, a step back from the momentum of the ’79 document, and we’re not doing as much or anything substantial or relevant right now.” 

U.S. Catholic: With a strong focus on social justice, we offer a fresh and balanced take on the issues that matter most in our world, adding a faith perspective to such challenges as poverty, education, family life, and pop culture.

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