Tag Archives: crime

The Racialicious Links Roundup 8.1.13: Profiling, Civic Tech, And A SMH Moment Care Of Zimmerman

By Joseph Lamour

  • George Zimmerman Speeding, Pulled Over With Gun In Car (HuffPo Black Voices)

    Zimmerman, who informed police that the weapon was in the car shortly after being pulled over, was asked where he was going, to which he responded, “nowhere in particular,” according to the site.

    CBS News reports that, during the traffic stop, which occurred at 12:54 p.m., Zimmerman also asked the officer if he recognized him from television.

  • Motorbike riders file lawsuit against DC police (WJLA News DC)

    “They’re not really letting us acknowledge them as police officers,” he told ABC 7. “They’re just doing it. We the police, we can do it. No you can’t. You have laws to live by too. It’s not right.”

    Attorney David Shurtz does not condone illegal riding, but said that targeting riders with deadly force for a minor offense is outrageous and indicative of racial profiling:

    “No one else is being knocked off bikes except young black males in bad sections of town.”

  • Why Civic Tech Needs More Minorities and Women (HuffPo Black Voices)

    The population of U.S. women and minorities combined are a literal majority. Yet these two groups remain under-represented in boardrooms, governments, and the tech industry in general. For Code for America’s (CfA) purposes of improving the community, this has to change. Simply put, it’s completely unrealistic to assume that our governments can be inherited by the same homogenous group that came before us. We need to be at the planning tables.

  • PODCAST: The Culture Gabfest “The Duchess Has a Vagina” Edition (Slate)

    On this week’s episode, our critics discuss the new Netflix original series Orange Is the New Black, which chronicles the 15 months one woman spent in federal prison and is based on Piper Kerman’s memoir of the same name. What does the show say about our obsession with fish-out-of-water middle-class characters caught in a world of crime? And does it continue Netflix’s promising track record of original programming? The gabbers then dissect the unsettling, gorgeous, and absolutely original new documentary The Act of Killing. The film follows several perpetrators of a mass killing of alleged communists in mid-1960s Indonesia as they stage re-enactments of their harrowing techniques and confront their own deeds in the process. Lastly, Simon Doonan joins to add a British perspective as the gabbers chat about the newborn royal baby and ask the key question: Who cares?

The Racialicious Links Roundup 6.6.13

Advocates for the legalization of marijuana have criticized the Obama administration for having vocally opposed state legalization efforts and for taking a more aggressive approach than the Bush administration in closing medical marijuana dispensaries and prosecuting their owners in some states, especially Montana and California.

The new data, however, offers a more nuanced picture of marijuana enforcement on the state level. Drawn from police records from all 50 states and the District of Columbia, the report is the most comprehensive review of marijuana arrests by race and by county and is part of areport being released this week by the American Civil Liberties Union. Much of the data was also independently reviewed for The New York Times by researchers at Stanford University.

“We found that in virtually every county in the country, police have wasted taxpayer money enforcing marijuana laws in a racially biased manner,” said Ezekiel Edwards, the director of the A.C.L.U.’s Criminal Law Reform Project and the lead author of the report.

While “colorblindness” in adoption has been widely challenged, however, not everyone is convinced – like the adoptive mother who recently told me, “I don’t see my son’s color. Race is just not an issue for us.”

Some people maintain that any cultural loss is unimportant compared to what children gain through adoption. But in both mainstream media and personal conversations about adoption, cultural and racial identity need not be pitted against a child’s right to love, safety, and security.

This unfortunate “either-or” framing of the issue finds frequent expression in discussions of transracial adoption. Michael Gerson—whose wife is a Korean adoptee—wrote in the Washington Post: “Ethnicity is an abstraction…. Every culture or race is outweighed when the life of a child is placed on the other side of the balance.” In a National Review article criticizing Kathryn Joyce’s book The Child Catchers: Rescue, Trafficking, and the New Gospel of Adoption, adoptive father David French dismissed “the ‘culture’” (note the mocking quotation marks) of internationally adopted children as “the culture of starvation, of rags, of disease, and of abandonment.”

In his veto message, Scott noted that Congress never approved the policy enacted by President Obama last year to allow children brought to this country illegally to seek reprieves from deportation. “Although the Legislature may have been well-intentioned in seeking to expedite the process to obtain a temporary driver’s license, it should not have been done by relying on a federal government policy adopted without legal basis,” the governor said.

The last-minute block and tackle suggests Scott’s sensitivity toward conservative activists, who were aghast when the onetime crusader against Obama’s health care law embraced in February the administration’s proposed expansion of Medicaid. The proposal to accept millions in federal dollars to insure poor people was beaten back by state lawmakers but not without leaving a mark on Scott, who is expected to face a tough reelection campaign in 2014 against former governor and newly minted Democrat Charlie Crist.

Scott’s veto also highlights the Republican Party’s struggle to boost its appeal within the fast-growing Hispanic community. The bill’s sponsors said the governor’s veto flies in the face of the millions of dollars the Republican Party is allocating to minority outreach and candidate recruitment.

“Make no mistake about it: This will be an anti-Hispanic bomb if he vetoes this bill,’’ said Democratic state Sen. Darren Soto, one of the legislation’s sponsors. “The vast majority of my peers understand we need to encourage immigrants to become working members of our society. It makes no sense that the Scott administration would veto something it’s already doing.”

Cantankerous oldsters are, of course, a staple of comedy. But the trick is to evoke the anger, prejudice, exasperation, fear or simple confusion with which one generation often regards the next without losing the character’s essential humanity.

Although she has a Madea-like quality in that she is played by a much younger woman, there is virtually no humanity in Hattie. As we watch her berate and deride daughter Linda (Kendra C. Johnson) — whom we learn Hattie first threw out of the house when Linda was but 17 (hahaha)— and grandson Danny (Andre Hall), a college graduate having difficulty finding a job in a tough market (hahaha), one is left to wonder how much Perry hates his own grandmother.

Only her brother-in-law and business partner Floyd (played with admirable comedic grace by Palmer Williams Jr.) seems immune to Hattie’s hatefulness. Linda certainly is not; at the end of episode one, she discovers that her husband is cheating on her. Again.

Hattie predictably explodes with a chattering rage when Linda asks to move back home. By episode two, she is considering a reconciliation because she feels she is unfit for anything other than an unhappy marriage.

Wow, wonder why? Surely, there was an episode of Oprah based on just this sort of unhealthy relationship.

Boiling down zoot culture to one set of beliefs, variables, or ethnicity and race, rather than looking at its pluralistic totality, has been at issue when discussing it. Participants did not move in lock-step and carried differing, if often overlapping, views of the zoot suit’s meaning. While most zoots would agree that their fashion operated as a claim of public dignity denied them by white society, how each zoot defined such “dignity” varied: “dignity for a black male zoot suiter in New York … was often not the same as dignity for a Mexican American female zoot suiter in Los Angeles,” Alvarez points out. Moreover, some zoots, as previously noted, opposed the war and others actually joined the military to fight.

The focus on male zoots often obscures the numerous women active in the scene. For all its poignancy in capturing the fate of Montoya Santana, as noted by Carmen Huaco-Nuzum, in “American Me,” its female characters operated as foil for the movie’s larger discourse on Chicano masculinity. Though the film attempts to break free from gendered assumptions regarding Chicanas, with the exception of one female character, the movie remains bound to an image of Mexican American women as “subservient” and passive, dutifully enduring their oppressed fate. Borrowing from intellectual Octavio Paz, the film, Huaco-Nuzum argues, perpetuates the “legacy of being ‘la chingada,’ or the violated woman — the passive, long suffering female in servitude to the macho.”

Earlier popular productions broadcast similar themes. Luis Valdez penned “Zoot Suit” in the late 1970s, originally as a play focusing on the injustice of the Sleepy Lagoon Trial. In 1981, it became a movie starring Edward James Olmos. Utilizing court records and reports from the Los Angeles Times, Valdez constructed a narrative sympathetic to the defendants but one that virtually ignored the trial’s female participants. According to Catherine Ramirez, Valdez flattened subtleties present in news accounts and court records, depicting female zoots within a Madonna/whore binary of Mexican American women, thereby consolidating the domestic concepts his sources encouraged and constructing a popular model that others would draw from perpetuating the errors of his initial sourcing decisions.

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

The Maddening Case of Anthony Harris

by G.D., originally published at PostBourgie

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One of the (many) reasons I oppose the death penalty is because of the shitty track record the criminal justice system has not just in the prosecution of capital offense but also for routinely botching non-capital felony cases. Why should we have faith in the system when it comes to deciding whether people should live or die?

This stance was affirmed when quadmoniker put me on to the case of Anthony Harris earlier today.

On the afternoon of June 27, 1998, Lori Duniver discovered that her five-year-old daughter, Devan, was missing from her home in New Philadelphia, Ohio. The following day, Devan’s body was found in a wooded area near her home. She had been stabbed seven times in the neck. Captain Jeffrey Urban (“Urban”) of the New Philadelphia Police Department led the investigation into Devan’s murder. Urban identified several “persons of interest” who might have killed Devan, including Devan’s mother, Lori, who had recently called a suicide hotline to report that she was depressed and considering harming herself and her children; Lori’s boyfriend, Jaimie Redmond, a drug addict and felon of whomDevan was afraid, who had previously kidnapped Devan for three days and beaten her with a belt, who may have been in the neighborhood of Devan’s house at the time of her disappearance, who was later found in possession of an unexplained pack of children’s playing cards, and whose alibi witness was later discovered to have given a false name and Social Security number to the police; Devan’s father, Richard, a violent alcoholic who had recently complained about having to pay child support for Devan and who refused to help Lori search for Devan after Devan’s disappearance, claiming to be too drunk to drive; Devan’s brother, Dylan, who was described by several individuals as violent and who had recently stabbed a cat; and Harris, a twelve-year-old, African-American neighbor of the (Caucasian) Duniver family.

Some background real quick. Both Anthony Harris and Devan Duniver lived in the same apartment complex in New Philadelphia, Ohio, which was 97% white as of the 2000 census. Anthony and Devan played together, and had once got into a scuffle when the little girl threw a brick at him.

Continue reading

muslim children gassed in ohio – but where’s the outrage?

by Special Correspondent Thea C. Lim, originally published at The Shameless Blog

From Daily Kos:

Muslim Children Gassed at Dayton Mosque After “Obsession” DVD Hits Ohio

    On Friday, September 26, the end of a week in which thousands of copies of Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West — the fear-mongering, anti-Muslim documentary being distributed by the millions in swing states via DVDs inserted in major newspapers and through the U.S. mail — were distributed by mail in Ohio, a “chemical irritant” was sprayed through a window of the Islamic Society of Greater Dayton, where 300 people were gathered for a Ramadan prayer service. The room that the chemical was sprayed into was the room where babies and children were being kept while their mothers were engaged in prayers.

Recently I’ve heard a lot of talk about how the deaths and abuse of women and children of colour are not taken as seriously as the deaths and abuse of white women and children.

Why We Want Our Kids Back Too
From Racialicious:

    There were no crush of grief counselors when our 11 year olds got shot by strays or on purpose. There were no pundits filling column space and air time when our girls got raped or became pregnant too soon. And when our children came up missing… when our children came up missing…I saw enough missing and dead black kids coming up that it taught me something about black folks, or at least the way black folks are perceived:

    Black children are disposable expectations.

Continue reading

Lakeview Terrace : When the Definition of Racism is Racist

by Special Correspondent Thea Lim

Can you judge a movie by its trailer?

Opening this Friday, this is Lakeview Terrace’s premise according to the LA Times: “Jackson plays a law-and-order racist who doesn’t like the interracial couple next door.”

The racial relationships appear to be secondary to the film’s central, upper case question: What do you do when you can’t call the police??? (Gasp! Can you imagine such a topsy turvy universe? Oh, right.)

But I couldn’t help but chafe at the way the Lakeview Terrace trailer presents racism and interracial relationships. What kind of harassment do interracial couples face today? While a few years ago interracial relationships were met with hostility and violence – and still are – today there’s also the possibility that you’ll get a whole other type of gross response. Like maybe a high five (Way to bag a Asian/Latina/Black chick!) or cooing (Do you think you’ll have little chocolate babies?).

This is the mind-blowing contortion of contemporary racism: racism no longer simply outlaws interracial relationships, it also encourages them.

This is because racism these days often takes an inclusive form. Living in an urban, liberal city, the kind of racism I see most often takes the form of cultural appropriation: going to a restaurant and seeing our cultural foods co-opted into some sort of mayonnaise hybrid; hearing non-Black hipsters calling each other N***** to show how “down” they are; attending a yoga class and seeing statues of sacred deities being used as coat racks; and of course, the exoticisation of women of colour, and the asexualisation (sorry, making up words) of many men of colour. See Esther Ku – or Samurai Girl! – if you want proof.

As a culture we seem to define racism solely as an act that involves burning crosses or violence. Sometimes it seems like mainstream North American culture will only agree it’s racism when physical suffering is involved – and even then it can be a tough sell. But I see that there are two kinds of racism: hostile racism, and benevolent racism. The first kind involves burning crosses, the second kind involves people wanting to befriend you because they think you can teach them kung fu. If we privilege one kind of racism over an other, we are less equipped to spot, call out, name, validate our experience of, and stamp out the other kind.

But the way Lakeview Terrace highlights hostile racism isn’t it’s only problem. At least from the trailer, the movie seems allergic to the idea that benevolent racism exists.

Continue reading

Who is Afraid of Sanctuary Cities?

by Latoya Peterson

Reader Kheng sent in this video, currently being aired in California. Kheng writes:

I am watching TV and I come across this commercial. It made me sick to my stomach. I don’t know if you want to feature it on the blog, but I found it quite offensive and I am surprised it even aired.

After checking out the video, I can see what she means:

Text:


Californians are a compassionate people.

Our sanctuary cities defy state laws, so we can protect illegal aliens – even though they are named in 95% of outstanding homicide warrants in L.A.

Even though they are wanted in up to two-thirds of fugitive felony arrest warrants. Illegal alien gang members get back on the street because our cops can’t ask immigration status.

Have sanctuary cities taken our compassion too far?

Share your opinion at Capsweb.org.

Paid for by Californians for Population Stabilization.

I know y’all loved the standard issue Latino gang member (complete with red bandanna and mustache) and promises of property crime. They even made sure to show they were not being racist – they used a picture of a black cop! (But, on second glance, that cop looks kind of blatino…maybe the LAPD is on the side of the illegals!)

Okay, all joking aside, I’ve been seeing this “illegals are murders” meme popping up a few different places now. So let’s focus on the statistics that are cited in the video. Are the numbers cited true? Continue reading

Amy Winehouse’s drug addiction is “a familiar black stereotype?”

by Carmen Van Kerckhove

You gotta read Lauren’s excellent post on Stereohyped, in response to James Hannaham’s recent Salon piece in which he had this to say about singer Amy Winehouse (emphasis mine):

Winehouse answers that question by digging deep for scraps of authenticity. In addition to foregrounding her knowledge of R&B history in her lyrics, she mines her personal experiences for material, naming names, keeping those names in the news, and in the process, all but eliminates the barrier between biography and artistic expression, tabloid and Billboard. Only a complete novice could wonder what her songs mean, to which events they refer, or about whom they are written. Meanwhile, she acts out and “keeps it real” by defending her drug and alcohol addictions, and by standing by her jailed ne’er-do-well husband. The whole package smells like a bizarre simulation of a familiar black stereotype.

Wha? This is why I love Lauren – check out what she wrote in response:

To me, she’s not simulating some familiar black stereotype, she is the embodiment of a familiar white one. But I guess I’m wrong.

Winehouse’s musical influences are black, so her sad, sad behavior can be boiled down to her being a little Jewish girl embracing drugs and rejecting her culture in a desperate-but-failed attempt to “keep it real.” Because white people, let alone famous (Jewish) ones, never engage in harmful drug use or marry ne’er-do-wells. If they did, white people like Amy Winehouse and Pete Doherty and Lindsay Lohan would be criticized just as much as black hip hop stars for being terrible influences on the children who love their movies and music. Instead, they get pass after pass and often sympathy for what is seen as some isolated problem instead of what it really is, which is flat-out criminal behavior of the sort that non-famous people, particularly non-famous black people (or famous black people, for that matter) actually get sent to prison for.

But go read the rest here.