mfioretti: racial issues*

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  1. not all neighborhoods and racial groups are faring equally" as climate change raises temps in urban areas: "According to the research, blacks, Asians, and Latinos are all significantly more likely to live in high-risk heat-island conditions than white people.
    http://grist.org/cities/climate-chang...vate-heat-islands-for-people-of-color
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  2. All gun magazines have ads for, well, guns, and loads of accessories (love the "Sneaky Pete" concealment holster). Naturally, they have stories on guns -- whether "intimidating, big-muzzle looks" or a "Tank-tough Recon Tactical with added strength and reliability for patrol." In addition, there are features on gun life, such as columns in Guns Magazine called "Campfire Tales" and "Odd Angry Shot."

    There are pictures of guys with guns, gals with guns, animals with guns, ammo with guns and guns with guns. Curiously absent are pictures of black people with guns, brown people with guns or Asian people with guns. The good guys are white. The bad guys are white. In the Gunworld depicted in these pages, pretty much everyone is white.
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-07-30/guns-are-for-white-people.html
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  3. It makes me wonder, in the words of Sandy Grande, the degree to which the #opengov movement is part of the "whitestream"—the assumed and often (for white people at least) unconscious ways that what is "white" also becomes what is "mainstream." On the whole, are #opendata and #opengov yet serving communities of color? Are they fighting oppression, wherever it lies?

    While a few are (and some at the conference were) sincerely working to take this fight on (and many might see themselves as wanting to be part of this fight if the invitation were made and pursued), I think many see improving information about electoral politics or using crime data to make maps about arrests as prime examples of the power of #opendata. Honestly, I see these as working in service of electoral, political, and legal systems that are themselves deeply racist and sexist, deeply oppressive and unjust. While more electoral information is probably a relatively neutral thing, crime data about arrests really serves to further the perspective of law enforcement, not the perspective of communities of color.

    those of us working in #opendata and #opengov need to be thinking about perspectives that are more inclusive. These are often (not always, but most often) very distinct from those of government. And that’s where I think our work should start.

    Only a few of the projects/sessions yesterday approached this work deeply from this angle. There are no positions of neutrality in the fight for equity and justice. So, I advocate for my colleagues and friends in the #opendata and #opengov movement, let us put this data to use in ways that seed change in the status quo, that disrupt it, that call it out, that speak a different sort of truth.
    http://opensource.com/government/13/12/open-data-justice
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  4. After my initial stint with Wikipedia editing, I increasingly realized that the English version of Wikipedia lacked articles on Indian writers, famous personalities, cultural artefacts, and more. The problem is multi-layered and includes poor coverage of everything relating to non-western societies as well as to women within those societies. Once, I created article on Wikipedia about an Indian, female writer named Bama. She is from the lowest caste community called Dalits in India; and while the author is a celebrated writer of stories on the subject of double oppression (which is oppession of women by people of higher castes and oppression by men within their own communities), Wikipedia almost naturally had no record of her work. Sadly, within minutes of my creation of her article it was nominated for deletion. I then quickly added more references while simultaneously starting a discussion about why it should not be deleted. At that point, another Indian editor jumped in and helped with the explaination; the next day the deletion tag was removed.
    http://opensource.com/life/14/1/editing-wikipedia-all-women
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  5. Jonathan Guryan, Jens Ludwig: Graduation rates for big urban schools about 50%
    Many believe academic learning not feasible when disadvantaged kids reach teen years
    They say program of small-group tutoring raised kids' performance considerably
    Writers: It worked in Chicago, why not elsewhere? Key is not to give up with teens
    http://edition.cnn.com/2014/03/12/opi...3A+rss%2Fedition_us+%28RSS%3A+U.S.%29
    Voting 0
  6. Because economic conditions allowed looser fiscal constraints, the rapid growth of the new Child Support Grant, a means-tested social grant that now goes to 11m children under the age of 18, reduced poverty greatly. But because the income gains of the poor were lower than those of the black middle class, income gaps amongst blacks widened. The Gini coefficient of 0.66 amongst black people is even higher than Brazil’s.

    Income inequality within the white population also grew, but for quite a different reason. Most white people now also have higher incomes than at the end of apartheid – though high school fees, medical costs and costs of maintaining security eroded these gains, and white incomes are actually growing relatively slowly.

    Poorer and less well-educated whites were the only clear losers. They lost the job protection they had enjoyed under apartheid, while the value of their social pensions and other grants was reduced when grants were equalised. White inequality has therefore also grown.
    http://theconversation.com/south-afri...onversationedu+%28The+Conversation%29
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  7. some 2.3 million people are locked up in the United States, the highest incarceration rate in the world. Of these, a disproportionate number are Black and Brown. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, one in three Black men can expect to go to prison in their lifetime.

    For young people of color, the data is especially alarming. According to The Sentencing Project, even though African American juveniles are about 16 percent of the youth population, 37 percent of their cases are moved to criminal court and 58 percent of African American youth are sent to adult prisons.

    In “No Place for Kids,” a 2011 Annie E. Casey Foundation report, author Richard A. Mendel writes, “America’s heavy reliance on juvenile incarceration is unique among the world’s developed nations,” pointing to a international comparison that found the U.S locks up children at more than six times the rate of all other developed nations. “A number of nations essentially don’t incarcerate minors at all,” Mendel added. “In other words, mass incarceration of troubled and troublemaking adolescents is nei­ther inevitable nor necessary in a modern society.”

    So what is the solution? Denise Curtis, who coordinates the Restorative Community Conferencing Program at Oakland-based Community Works, talked to War Times about a viable alternative to this country’s mass incarceration of youth.

    “Restorative justice is a different approach to crime,” Curtis explained. “Our current justice system asks: What law was broken? Who broke it? and How should they be punished? Restorative justice asks: Who has been harmed? What needs have arisen because of the harm? and Whose responsibility is it to make things as right as they can?”

    Restorative justice also allows victims to have a voice. “In our current system, the victim is very much left out of things and is nothing more than a witness,
    http://www.war-times.org/can-restorat...s-look-alternative-mass-incarceration
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  8. Led by Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff and Apple CEO Tim Cook, Silicon Valley is loudly complaining about homophobic laws passed in Indiana and Arkansas in recent days that allow businesses to refuse service to customers based on religious beliefs.

    A who’s who of leaders from companies such as Yelp, Square, Twitter, Lyft, Airbnb, eBay, PayPal and others signed their names to a petition today urging legislatures to forbid discrimination or denial of services to anyone, saying, “Discrimination is bad for business.” Petition leader Max Levchin, a PayPal co-founder and currently CEO of finance startup Affirm, told Re/code: “I am asking all CEOs to evaluate their relationships and investments in states that do not specifically protect LGBT people from discrimination.”

    That’s great and even admirable, except that here on the home front, Silicon Valley has its own very obvious discrimination problems. Gender is a big one. Race is another. The numbers are so incredibly skewed for the majority — the published diversity numbers in technology are something like 70 percent men, 90 percent white and Asian — that the situation is very often unhealthy for people who don’t or can’t fit in.

    While these are not twin causes, there are obvious parallels, and the inconsistencies between them became all the more evident this week.
    http://recode.net/2015/04/01/the-discrimination-double-standard
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  9. Buchanan wrote a 13-page memo to Nixon, urging him to engage in “heated political warfare, of not cooling off our supporters but of stirring the fires” as they were now “in a contest over the soul of the country” with their liberal enemies in Congress, the press and the universities. “It will be their kind of society or ours; we will prevail or they shall prevail.”

    And another aide, Michael Balzano, urged the president to transmit the following message to disgruntled white voters: “Today, racial minorities are saying that you can’t make it in America. What they really mean is that they refuse to start at the bottom of the ladder the way you did. They want to surpass you … and » they want it handed to them. … You worked the menial jobs to get where you are - let them do it too.” Balzono knew what he was proposing—an intentional rending of American society along racial lines, for political profit. “CAUTION – DANGER,” he wrote. “With respect to the calculated polarization described in this paper, ABSOLUTE SECRECY CANNOT BE OVERSTATED” or “there would be no way of calculating the damage to the Administration.” The capitalization was his.
    http://www.politico.com/magazine/stor...ohn-farrell-nixon-book-excerpt-214954
    Tags: , , , , by M. Fioretti (2017-03-28)
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  10. “When we’re representing people,” Lopez explains, “we need to make sure we’re mindful and respectful and acknowledge that history of a lack of trust — based on the way that these organizations or communities feel like they’d been treated in the past.”

    For Aaron Mair, who has led one of those distrustful communities and also served as president of the biggest environmental organization in the country, he hopes his tenure as Sierra Club president showed green groups that they could serve their traditional missions while broadening their mandates to address the needs of vulnerable communities.

    “White privilege and racism within the broader environmental movement is existent and pervasive,” Mair says. “The current is not maintainable — we’re becoming a brown nation.

    “It’s not about a one-off,” he adds. “It’s about sustainability.”
    https://grist.org/feature/the-unsustainable-whiteness-of-green
    Voting 0

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