links for 2010-08-12

  • "They gathered information on all death-row cases in which the victim was either black or white. The authors looked for any additional factors — such as multiple victims or homicides accompanied by an additional felony, such as rape or robbery — that might explain the disparity in death penalty sentencing.

    "The additional factors partially explained death penalty decisions, but even after statistically controlling for their effect, race remained an important predictor of who was sentenced to death.

    "'The study found that the odds of receiving a death sentence in North Carolina 'in a white victim case are on average 2.96 times higher than are the odds of a death sentence in a black victim case.'

    "'It turns out the race of the defendant doesn't matter at all,' Radelet said. 'It all depends on the race of the victims.'"

  • "On September 17, 2010 the agreement between then New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer and then-and-now Mayor Bloomberg which had granted the City's community gardens an eight-year reprieve from the organized destruction and commercial development of them under the Giuliani administration expires.

    "Under newly proposed rules from the Parks & Rec Department, which currently manages many of the gardens under the Green Thumb program, and the Housing & Preservation Department, whose jurisdiction a smaller number fall, community gardens would specifically not be protected from future development in the same manner as city parks. However, should it be decided a plot of land should be put up for development, an alternate locations should (not must) be provided."

  • "Despite agreeing on a $1.7 million purchase price, owners Daniel and Adrienne Sabbia never signed a purchase contract with the Willborns, according to a complaint that is now part of a federal housing discrimination action. The U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development announced Tuesday that it has charged the Sabbias, their real estate agent and a real estate broker with refusing to sell their home to a black couple, a violation of the Fair Housing Act.

    "The complaint alleged that the Sabbias and Prudential real estate agent Jeffrey Lowe stalled negotiations and took the property off the market in January after receiving a $1.7 million offer from radio personality and comedian George Willborn and his wife, businesswoman Peytyn Willborn."

  • "Researchers have identified an array of blocking strategies used by white officials to reduce black representation: gerrymandering political districts, changing elective offices into appointive offices, adding new qualifications for office, purging voter-registration rolls, suddenly changing the location of polling places, creating difficult registration procedures, and using numerous other strategies to dilute the black vote. One dilution strategy consists of intentionally setting up or continuing at-large electoral systems, instead of utilizing elections by smaller districts. The purpose is to enable white voters, who dominate the larger political unit, to determine who will be the political representatives in that unit. Research data on local and state elections indicate that, taken together, these strategies have significantly reduced black political power in many areas."
  • "Tim Luym isn't quite sure why Filipino food hasn't gone mainstream the way its Asian counterparts have.

    Maybe it's the mom-and-pop nature of most Filipino restaurants. Maybe it's the ingredients, which often include all parts of the animal.

    "Maybe it just sounds a little more intimidating?" Luym asks."

  • "M: Don't say gaijin. Say Gaikokujin. It's more polite. Jake's a gaijin.

    S: Yeah, I forget sometimes. What's with all the fucking gaikokujin in Kabukicho anyway?

    K: Internationalization. The world's a smaller place. The Nigerians? They marry Japanese chicks. They get a permanent visa. They stay. The cops can't get rid of them and they're good at steering customers into shady places. The young Japanese punks we hire, they give up, they don't browbeat drunks into bringing business to our establishments. They got no backbone. The Nigerians are aggressive. They can make good touts. By the way, Adelstein, usually when we say gaijin we mean non-Asian foreigners like you and the Nigerians. Not the Chinese or the Koreans.

    S: Yeah, Koreans are chosenjin, not gaijin."

  • "My interlocutor poked me: “Your mama white?” All thoughts of positive interaction slipped beyond my grasp. I knew that we weren’t actually talking about race and yet. Yet, I answered her question literally. My English accent returning more strongly than usual, I talked about my white father and my Afro-Caribbean mother; I spoke bitterly about the loss of Spanish and Creole-speaking family members and English as the language of acceptance. I gave her the history full and square. “Now,” I demanded, “do you think of me as white?”

    The woman shrugged: “Just thought, because of the ….” and pointed to my wheelchair."

  • "I knew her first through the curve of her signature, the pressure of her type-written words, the persistence of her mimeographed hand. Candice Boyce, the signature announcing and insisting on the existence of a publication like none I had ever seen before, the Salsa Soul Third World Women’s Gayzette. As I sat in the upstairs room of the Lesbian Herstory Archive imagining what it must have been like to create an affirming and magical social world for lesbians of color in the 1970′s and 80′s it was Candice’s signature that I traced over with my fingers, with gratitude. It was Candice’s name that I saw behind my eyelids when I closed them to breathe: “thank you, for leaving a record.”