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Saturday, October 01, 2016

A police officer in Greensboro, North Carolina, was stripped of law enforcement credentials this week by the city council, which released body camera footage showing him violently arresting a man sitting on his porch. City council voted unanimously Monday to permanently sanction Officer Travis Cole for using excessive force during the June arrest. The body camera footage shows Cole roughly throwing Dejuan Yourse to the floor of the porch and punching him as Cole waited for his mom to come home and let him into the house, according to local news WREG. The mayor of Greensboro called Yourse's mistreatment "ugly," "brutal" and "completely unnecessary." She apologized to Yourse on behalf of city council, the Winston-Salem Journal reported. Yourse told the News & Record that he knew he was "wrongfully messed up." He wasn't seriously hurt during the incident. read more

Friday, September 30, 2016

Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson's vice presidential running mate, former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, said Friday he thinks Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton is likely the most-qualified candidate in the 2016 race. "I'm not sure anybody's more qualified than Hillary Clinton to be president of the United States," Weld said in an interview with MSNBC's Chuck Todd. "I mean, that's not the end of the inquiry, though. We were two-term governors, and I think Gary is very solid." Weld said he doesn't believe the Libertarian ticket will be a spoiler in the race, siphoning votes from Clinton. But he said he's concerned about the prospect of electing Trump. "I think he's just in the wrong place trying to be president of the United States," Weld said. "Our ambition at a very minimum is to have Mr. Trump in third place among the three major tickets." read more

Donald J. Trump unleashed a slashing new attack on Hillary Clinton over Bill Clinton's sexual indiscretions on Friday as he sought to put the Clintons' relationship at the center of his political argument against her before their next debate. Mr. Trump, aiming to unnerve Mrs. Clinton, even indicated that he was rethinking his statement at their last debate that he would "absolutely" support her if she won in November, saying: "We're going to have to see. We're going to see what happens. We're going to have to see." He also contended that infidelity was "never a problem" during his three marriages, though his first ended in an ugly divorce after Mr. Trump began a relationship with the woman who became his second wife. He said he was bringing up Mr. Clinton's infidelities because he thought they would repulse female voters and turn them away from the Clintons, and because he was eager to unsettle Mrs. Clinton in their next two debates and on the campaign trail. read more

Thursday, September 29, 2016

No one payed much attention when candidate Barack Obama made some promises to Native Americans back in 2008. Obama said he would host an annual White House Tribal Nations Conference in order to give Native Americans a seat at the table, and he said this: "We're going to end nearly a century of mismanagement of Indian trusts. We're going to work together to settle unresolved cases, figure out how the trusts ought to operate, and ensure that they are begin managed responsibly." This week the White House held its 8th and final Tribal Nations Conference, while the Attorney General and Secretary of the Interior made an historic announcement: The United States has reached settlement with 17 additional tribal governments who alleged that the Department of the Interior and the Department of the Treasury had mismanaged monetary assets and natural resources held in trust by the United States for the benefit of the tribes. read more

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has offered a litany of racist comments, which it turns out may be rooted in his deeper belief in the inherent superiority of some people ― and not others. The Frontline documentary "The Choice," which premiered this week on PBS, reveals that Trump agrees with the dangerous and abusive theory of eugenics. Trump's father instilled in him the idea that their family's success was genetic, according to Trump biographer Michael D'Antonio. "The family subscribes to a racehorse theory of human development," D'Antonio says in the documentary. "They believe that there are superior people and that if you put together the genes of a superior woman and a superior man, you get a superior offspring."


Jeff you have completely lost your mind. Have you ever heard of oppo-research? Keep clutching those pearls before you faint.

The only words Hillary said about Alicia is that she was a Ms. Universe winner that Donald Trump had called "Miss Piggy" and "Miss Housekeeper," she's latina and that her name is Alicia Muchado, who's now become a citizen and plans to vote. That's all Hillary said. Her point was obvious to any sentient, rational person: Trump objectifies woman without any self awareness that it is both socially wrong and sexist in the tone and manner he does it.

Now, Trump sees it this way:

Mr. Trump said that Mrs. Clinton, who has portrayed Ms. Machado as a victim of Mr. Trump's cruel insults, had "made this young lady into a girl scout when she was the exact opposite." He asserted, without offering any evidence, that Ms. Machado had once participated in a sex tape.

Mr. Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, argued that Mrs. Clinton's support for Ms. Machado was part of a pattern by the Democrat of treating women to suit her own political ends, and raised Mrs. Clinton's criticism of women who had been involved with her husband, such as Monica Lewinsky and Gennifer Flowers. www.nytimes.com

Ms. Machado's personal life has nothing to do with the way Trump treated her and why he publicly spoke of her using the words that he did.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with Trump being concerned with her weight gain while she had public duties and was being paid to be shapely. It is the WAY HE WENT ABOUT DOING IT in such a demeaning and public way that is beyond the pall. No businessman should ever treat an employee the way Trump did her. End of story. Hillary did not drop her name to anoint her as some holier than thou. Machado was shamed by Trump's insensitive treatment and unnecessary words, and the years haven't erased the hurt. And instead of apologizing or saying a statesman like "If I could do it over I would handle it a different way, I'm sorry that Ms. Muchado had her feelings hurt. That certainly wasn't my intent." End of story.

But as you noted, Trump doesn't do sympathy, he doesn't do apologies and he certainly doesn't accept any criticism about anything he's ever done. You can't keep trying to blame everyone else for the dumpster fires Trump keeps starting with his mouth. I'm so surprised that his supporters aren't seeing how easy it is to play him by simply criticizing him, then stand back and watch him go full tilt.

Obama made this statement during a townhall yesterday with nothing but military and Gold Star parents in the audience. As per his style, he took a long time to make sure what he was saying tried to take into consideration the feelings of many in the room, particularly the questioner who articulated their feelings in the preface.

In actuality, what he said yesterday wasn't inconsistent with what he said overseas when this story first gained international attention. He supported and continues to support Kaepernick's right to do what he wants to do as a protest. The only difference was that he simply asked him to consider the feelings of those who feel personally insulted and to seek an alternative that will still highlight the point he is making.

Obama did not try to defend Kaepernick with this audience at all, nor did Obama take any pains to articulate that Kaepernick has been very vocal in letting everyone know that he personally means and holds no disrespect for those who served or still wear the uniform. If you watch the clip you can tell there was no pandering manner in the way he responded.

Sometimes I think people forget that Obama is president of all the people and in his role he has to try and balance competing interests all the time while simultaneously showing understanding of viewpoints he might not completely agree with. While I agree the military receives far more deference than it often deserves, I still don't see any President in an identical forum saying anything much different in a room full of military-related people, many who've lost limbs or loved ones in service to the military he's currently the CIC of.

In a letter to the President, Lindsay Early captured it all on a much more personal level. She describes going to an Obama campaign rally in Dallas with a friend back in 2008:

"At the rally, we met people of all ages, races, and creeds. Despite our different circumstances, we were all united by the common hope for change and better opportunities. When it was time for you to speak, the crowd grew quiet, anxious to hear your plans for this great country of ours. In the speech, you promised you would always do your best to represent all Americans. When you mentioned plans to represent African Americans, the crowd erupted. When you spoke about the importance of the Latino vote, the crowd once again let out a roaring cheer. Lastly, you mentioned that you would do your best to represent Native Americans. Two little voices screamed as loud as we could from the balcony. You answered back, "I hear you girls, and when I am elected, I won't forget you!"

We were absolutely ecstatic. You see, President Obama, this was the first time we had ever heard any presidential candidate mention Native Americans. This was the first time any presidential candidate had made us feel that we mattered and our voices were important.

I can visibly see and feel the differences in Indian Country in the seven years you have been in office, and for that I want to thank you.

You have managed to do for Native Americans what no president has done before, President Obama. You promised during that speech in Dallas that when you where in office, you wouldn't forget about us. Thank you for keeping your promise!"

Consider the questions at #16

Why? Haven't African slaves and their descendants paid taxes through their own work and labor ever since being integrated into the US economy? Do only non-AA's tax contributions count? What about the confirmed wealth stolen from AAs in the last handful of years? Isn't this again a denial that many non-AAs ( and likely some AAs as well) continue to enrich themselves through the institutional and systemic exploitation of AAs even in the present?

Perhaps no number can fully capture the multi-century plunder of black people in America. Perhaps the number is so large that it can't be imagined, let alone calculated and dispensed. But I believe that wrestling publicly with these questions matters as much as -- if not more than -- the specific answers that might be produced. An America that asks what it owes its most vulnerable citizens is improved and humane. An America that looks away is ignoring not just the sins of the past but the sins of the present and the certain sins of the future. More important than any single check cut to any African American, the payment of reparations would represent America's maturation out of the childhood myth of its innocence into a wisdom worthy of its founders.

In 2010, Jacob S. Rugh, then a doctoral candidate at Princeton, and the sociologist Douglas S. Massey published a study of the recent foreclosure crisis. Among its drivers, they found an old foe: segregation. Black home buyers -- even after controlling for factors like creditworthiness -- were still more likely than white home buyers to be steered toward subprime loans. Decades of racist housing policies by the American government, along with decades of racist housing practices by American businesses, had conspired to concentrate African Americans in the same neighborhoods. When subprime lenders went looking for prey, they found black people waiting like ducks in a pen.

"High levels of segregation create a natural market for subprime lending," Rugh and Massey write, "and cause riskier mortgages, and thus foreclosures, to accumulate disproportionately in racially segregated cities' minority neighborhoods."

Plunder in the past made plunder in the present efficient. The banks of America understood this. In 2010, the Justice Department filed a discrimination suit against Wells Fargo alleging that the bank had shunted blacks into predatory loans regardless of their creditworthiness. This was not magic or coincidence or misfortune. It was racism reifying itself. According to The New York Times, affidavits found loan officers referring to their black customers as "mud people" and to their subprime products as "ghetto loans."

"We just went right after them," Beth Jacobson, a former Wells Fargo loan officer, told The Times. "Wells Fargo mortgage had an emerging-markets unit that specifically targeted black churches because it figured church leaders had a lot of influence and could convince congregants to take out subprime loans."

In 2011, Bank of America agreed to pay $355 million to settle charges of discrimination against its Countrywide unit. The following year, Wells Fargo settled its discrimination suit for more than $175 million. But the damage had been done. In 2009, half the properties in Baltimore whose owners had been granted loans by Wells Fargo between 2005 and 2008 were vacant; 71 percent of these properties were in predominantly black neighborhoods. www.theatlantic.com

How on earth is that calculated?

Scholars have long discussed methods by which America might make reparations to those on whose labor and exclusion the country was built. In the 1970s, the Yale Law professor Boris Bittker argued in The Case for Black Reparations that a rough price tag for reparations could be determined by multiplying the number of African Americans in the population by the difference in white and black per capita income. That number -- $34 billion in 1973, when Bittker wrote his book -- could be added to a reparations program each year for a decade or two. Today Charles Ogletree, the Harvard Law School professor, argues for something broader: a program of job training and public works that takes racial justice as its mission but includes the poor of all races.

To celebrate freedom and democracy while forgetting America's origins in a slavery economy is patriotism à la carte.

Perhaps after a serious discussion and debate we may find that the country can never fully repay African Americans. But we stand to discover much about ourselves in such a discussion -- and that is perhaps what scares us. The idea of reparations is frightening not simply because we might lack the ability to pay. The idea of reparations threatens something much deeper -- America's heritage, history, and standing in the world.

The early american economy was built on slave labor. The Capitol and the White House were built by slaves. President James K. Polk traded slaves from the Oval Office. The laments about "black pathology," the criticism of black family structures by pundits and intellectuals, ring hollow in a country whose existence was predicated on the torture of black fathers, on the rape of black mothers, on the sale of black children. An honest assessment of America's relationship to the black family reveals the country to be not its nurturer but its destroyer.

And this destruction did not end with slavery. Discriminatory laws joined the equal burden of citizenship to unequal distribution of its bounty. These laws reached their apex in the mid-20th century, when the federal government -- through housing policies -- engineered the wealth gap, which remains with us to this day. When we think of white supremacy, we picture colored only signs, but we should picture pirate flags. Ta-Nehisi Coates


NYPD Report Says 96 Percent Of Shooting Victims Are Black or Latino

Think that might have something to do with it? Crime is largely committed by each race against others in the same race. The numbers are endemic to the War on Drugs as well more than likely because money and territory are worth fighting for to those inside the trafficking and distribution of drugs and especially the gangs who are involved.

How about the lax gun laws in white-controlled states that are illegally imported into NYC which has much stronger anti-gun proliferation laws? And the manufacturers intentionally flooding these states with guns far beyond what the indigenous population would purchase? Don't you think these manufacturers know where their products are eventually going and just who is going to use them?

How about chasing all the black citizens from a town because one of them had the audacity to actually try and vote?

The Ocoee massacre was a violent race riot that broke out on November 2, 1920, the day of the quadrennial U.S. presidential election, in Ocoee, Florida, United States, a settlement (and now a city) in Orange County near Orlando. African-American-owned buildings and residences in northern Ocoee were burned to the ground, and as many as 50 or 60 African Americans may have been killed throughout the conflict. The African-Americans residing in Ocoee who were not direct victims of the race riot were later driven out by threats or force. Ocoee would then become an all-white town and remain as such "until sixty-one years later in 1981".[1] The riot is still considered the "single bloodiest day in modern American political history".[2]

The race riot was started as a white mob's response to the persistence of Mose Norman, an African American, to vote on election day. Mose Norman was ordered and driven away when he first attempted to go to the polls. When he came back to the polls later he was driven away again by whites, who would later form a mob to search for him. The white mob then surrounded the home of Julius "July" Perry, a prosperous local African-American farmer and contractor, where it was believed Norman was taking refuge. After Perry drove away the white mob with gunshots, the mob called for reinforcements from Orlando and Orange County, who then laid waste to the African-American community in Ocoee and eventually killed Perry. Norman would escape, never to be found. Other African Americans would flee into the orange groves, swamps and neighboring towns, leaving behind their homes and possessions. en.wikipedia.org

Whites have been stealing wealth from blacks as long as this nation has existed. The wealth gap isn't due to a difference in work ethic, it's due to institutional protections afforded the criminals doing their crimes. Wonder why Chicago has the problems that it does in black areas? Then understand the role "contracts" played in bilking black Americans from the wealth they should have accrued:

The Contract Buyers League, is an organization of homebuyers on the West and South sides who banded together in 1968 to fight the predatory practices used to sell houses to African-Americans. Contract selling of massively marked-up housing drained the black community of as much as $500 million over 30 years. In the view of many, it caused the inner-city poverty and social ills the nation still struggles to overcome today.

The Contract Buyers League waged a war that convulsed the city -- and won it. The fight helped end redlining throughout the United States. In the 1950s and '60s, as the second wave of the Great Migration brought more black people to Chicago, the Black Belt neighborhoods where they were able to rent apartments were becoming overcrowded. People were desperate to move out and eager to achieve the American dream of homeownership.

The Federal Housing Administration refused to insure mortgages in neighborhoods that contained more than a "smattering" of African-Americans, wrote Satter -- a practice called redlining. Without the FHA guarantees, banks refused to make loans, essentially locking blacks out of mortgages.

Real estate speculators stepped into the gap. They bought houses from whites moving to the suburbs, sometimes after using scare tactics about the arrival of blacks to urge them to sell cheaply. They doubled, tripled or even quadrupled the price and sold them to black people on contract

Most people don't realize that the single greatest lynching was of Italians just before 1900 in New Orleans.

11 Italians were lynched. But how about massacred?

On May 31 and June 1, 1921, members of the white community of Greenwood in Tulsa, Oklahoma, participated in a riot, killing some 300 Black people. The attack, carried out on the ground and by air, destroyed more than 35 blocks of the district, then the wealthiest black community in the nation. More than 800 people were admitted to hospitals and more than 6,000 black residents were arrested and detained, some for as many as eight days.

The riot was triggered over a Memorial Day weekend when a black man was accused of raping a young white woman elevator operator. One of the newspapers allegedly editorialized that the youth ought to be hanged. Rumors raced through the black community that a lynch mob was planning to hang the youth. A group of armed African-American men rushed to the police station with the intention of preventing a lynching from occurring. There was no lynch mob but a confrontation developed between blacks and whites; shots were fired and some whites and blacks were killed. As the news spread throughout the city, mob violence exploded.

Thousands of whites rampaged through the black community, killing men and women, burning and looting stores and homes. Some blacks claimed that policemen had joined the mob; others claimed that a machine gun was fired into the black community and a plane dropped sticks of dynamite.[3] In an eyewitness account discovered in 2015, Greenwood attorney Buck Colbert Franklin describes watching a dozen or more airplanes drop burning balls of turpentine on the city's rooftops. None of the area's half-dozen fire stations sounded an alarm, and Franklin remembers wondering, "'Is the city in conspiracy with the mob?'" [4] In 2001, 80 years after the massacre, the state-appointed Tulsa Race Riot Commission recommended reparations to survivors and their descendants because the city had, indeed, conspired with the mob.[5] en.wikipedia.org

What is Systemic Racism?

"What Is Systemic Racism?" is an 8-part video series that shows how racism shows up in our lives across institutions and society: Wealth Gap, Employment, Housing Discrimination, Government Surveillance, Incarceration, Drug Arrests, Immigration Arrests, Infant Mortality… yes, systemic racism is really a thing.

Wealth Gap - Did you know that in 2010 Black Americans made up 13% of the population but had only 2.7% of the country's wealth? That the median net worth for a white family was $134,000, but the median net worth for a Hispanic family was $14,000, and for a Black family it was $11,000? That the median wealth for a single white woman has been measured at $41,000, while for Hispanic women it was $140, and for Black women, $120? Did you know that? Do you know what that's called? Systemic Racism, and yes, it's really a thing.

Employment - Did you know that no matter what else is going on in America, year in and year out for the last 60 years, Black unemployment is always about twice as high as white unemployment? And even if you just look at Black college graduates, they're still almost twice as likely to be unemployed as white college graduates? And if you just apply for a job with a white sounding name, you're 50% more likely to get a callback than with a Black sounding name?

Housing Discrimination - What would you call it if lifetimes of legal segregation followed by decades of pervasive racist housing policies still, to this day, disadvantage Black people in almost every aspect of life, because where you live can decide everything from how safe you are, to what food you eat, to the quality of your health care to the quality of your job, to the quality of your children's education?

Government Surveillance - You probably know that today's technology lets the government watch what we do and track where we go more than ever before, so much that privacy's almost a thing of the past. But did you know the government watches some of us a lot more than others depending on where we come from? That as recently as 2011 the NYPD was exposed for targeting their surveillance specifically at what they called "ancestries of interest" (Indian, Banglasdesh, Pakistani, Guyanese, Egyptian, Lebanese). Using our tax dollars to spy on these people's everyday lives just going to the barbershop and the bookstore, and singling them out for this constant invasion of privacy based on nothing but where their ancestors were born?

Incarceration - Did you know that back in the 80s there were less than half a million people in the US prison system, but now, thanks to the war on drugs, there are more than 2 million? That out of every 100,000 Americans about 700 are incarcerated, but out of every 100,000 Black men over 4,000 are incarcerated? And one of the many effects of that trend is that combined with felony disenfranchisement laws, it means 13% of Black American men are denied their right to vote?

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