Category Archives: racial profiling

Selling The Fear: The ‘All-American Basketball Alliance’

by Special Correspondent Arturo R. García


Sweet River Baines

klong | MySpace Video

Just before MLK Day, a jabrone by the name of Don “Moose” Lewis announced his intention to organize the All-American Basketball Alliance: a new hoops league open only to U.S.-born white people – you know, American natives, but not Native Americans.

As a rule, any “announcement” by self-avowed boxing and pro-wrestling promoters should be taken with not just a grain, but a whole mine’s worth of salt. Nevertheless, even for (former?) hucksters, this stunt is pretty low.

Nothing personal, says Commissioner Moose; it’s just that Those Darn POC have corrupted the game, as he told the Augusta Chronicle:

“There’s nothing hatred about what we’re doing,” he said. “I don’t hate anyone of color. But people of white, American-born citizens are in the minority now. Here’s a league for white players to play fundamental basketball, which they like.”

Damn you, Sweet River Baines, what hath you wrought? Also, while Grayson Boucher would technically be eligible to play in the Tea PartyAABA, as he is a “… natural born United States citizen with both parents of Caucasian race,” odds are he wouldn’t be welcome. Why, just look at him – playing alongside those black dudes like they’re people!

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Latino In America goes out with a whine

By Special Correspondent Arturo R. García

For a review of Part 1, click here

marta1No way around it: Latino In America was a failure.

At the very least, Thursday’s conclusion, “Chasing The Dream,” seemed equal parts melodrama and bait-and-switch, with the broadcast component weakened by a lack of questions that undercut even its’ more compelling segments.

For instance, in the report on the murder of Luis Mendoza, we got an overview of events in Shenandoah, Penn., leading up to the crime, and of the area’s history with several immigrant populations, but when one individual reported he felt he was being intimidated because of his speaking to CNN, we got no follow-up with local authorities. When it was mentioned that one of the four defendants – who were acquitted of hate-crime accusations – testified the cops told them to get their stories straight, we got no follow-up.
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Latinos Under Siege? A Look At CNN’s Latino In America

By Special Correspondent Arturo R. García

cindy garcia1Soledad O’Brien says she wants Latino In America to “start a conversation.” Unfortunately for viewers, the series’ message seems to be, what? Woe is us? Abandon ship? What did Brown ever do to you?

Grounded in depressing case studies and missed questions, the series’ first installment was less “Latinos In America” and more like “Latinos For Lou Dobbs’ Audience.” Most of the people featured were not “changing” their communities – they were being victimized in or by them. They were pregnant, suicidal (or pregnant and suicidal), caught in an immigration raid, losing their cultural roots, facing an uphill job struggle or isolated in their churches. The premiere’s first profile, of Univision TV chef Lorena García, was the only one that focused on somebody doing something positive – in her case, building her own brand in spite of skepticism over her “accent.” Continue reading

Fong Lee, and Violence

by Guest Contributor Bao Phi, originally published at Your Voices/The Star Tribune


UP IN ARMS: A Night of Hip Hop and Spoken Word to Honor Fong Lee and End Police Brutality

Saturday, October 3rd, 8 p.m. (doors at 7:30)
Kagin Commons at Macalester College
1600 Grand Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55105

Featuring performances by Magnetic North (NY), Nomi of Power Struggle (Bay Area), Michelle Myers of Yellow Rage (Philadelphia), Maria Isa, Blackbird Elements, Guante, Rodrigo Sanchez-Chavarria, e.g. bailey, Tou SaiKo Lee with PosNoSys, True Mutiny, Shá Cage, Kevin Xiong with Pada Lor, Tish Jones, Maipacher, Logan Moua, Bobby Wilson, Poetic Assassins, Hilltribe, and special guests. Tou Ger Xiong and Amy Hang will emcee and DJ Nak will be on the one’s and two’s.

$5-$10 suggested donation.  All proceeds go towards legal costs for the Family of Fong Lee.

As an artist and community member, I was asked to be a part of the organizing committee for this benefit concert for Fong Lee’s family.  And it made me consider how violence has always been a part of my life.  I was three months old when the Communists shelled the airport all night to hinder our escape from Vietnam.  My family came to Phillips in South Minneapolis, where we encountered different types of violence.  There were war vets who blamed us for the war, who would yell at us and threaten us in parking lots, on the street, who screamed that they fought for our people and that we owed them.  There were gangbangers and crack dealers – every neighborhood in the world has bullies, and they were ours, mercurial, lively with friendship and smack talk one second and livid with menace the next.  There were straight up racists who hated us for the color of our skin, who believed it was our fault that there were no jobs and no homes, or maybe they just hated anyone who didn’t look like them, eat like them, talk like them.  And then there was the police, whom I was taught to wave at as a child when they drove by, their cars slow in the tight streets, stand up straight, smile.

As I got older, I stopped waving to police cars and firemen.  No, I never rolled with a crew, but in the 90s during my very early teen years I did rock the Raiders clothes and caps, mostly because that’s what we did back then, and partly, I admit, because I wanted to be feared.  I never went looking to beat up anyone, bully anyone.  But too often, as a young man I found myself fighting or fleeing from all manners of people who wanted to do me harm for all different reasons.  You tire of it.  Some young men join gangs, some take up martial arts and boxing.  Me, I tried to perfect my swagger, practiced my stoic look, blew my paycheck from my minimum wage job on overpriced sports gear, walked like I belonged.  And if something did happen to me or my family or friends, we hesitated to call the police, because too often they threatened us rather than served and protected us.  Threatened us with violence, with false accusations, with deportation.  For us, if we were victimized by violence from a civilian, calling the police felt like an invitation for round two.  And they’d walk away to do it another day.  By most standards I was an easy child who didn’t get into much trouble despite the circumstances.  And still I feared the police – because they had an almost mythical power, especially if you were a person of color, to make you feel guilty even if you weren’t doing anything wrong.  Chris Rock once joked, “police officers scared me so bad, they made me think I stole my own car.”

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When the Outside Looks Like The Inside

by Guest Contributor G.D., originally published at Feministe and PostBourgie

A few years back, my co-blogger quadmoniker worked for New York City’s Civilian Complaint Review Board, which is supposed to act as a watchdog group for the city’s police department. If a citizen wanted to file a complaint against a police officer, she would do so with the CCRB, who would then dispatch an investigator (like quad) to interview the police officer and other people involved in the incident. Tracking down complainants, though, meant occasionally trekking to some woebegone corner of the city, where “probable cause” was broadly interpreted and which meant that cops stopped and patted down anyone they deemed to be suspicious. In some housing projects, there are police observation rooms, where officers monitor any activity in the complex via video camera. The cops can stop anyone and request I.D.; you can be arrested for being inside buildings where you’re not a resident. For most people, contact with law enforcement is rare, and antagonistic encounters with the police are even rarer. But for many of the people quad had to interview, it was an inescapable fact of everyday life. Continue reading