Is the Defendant White or Not?

Posted in Articles, Law, Media Archive, United States on 2015-01-26 21:26Z by Steven

Is the Defendant White or Not?

The New York Times
2015-01-23

Nour Kteily, Assistant Professor of Management and Organizations
Kellogg School of Management
Northwestern University

Sarah Cotterill, Doctoral Student
Department of Psychology
Harvard University

AS jury selection continues in the trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the defendant in the Boston Marathon bombings, so does debate about what would constitute a fair and impartial jury. Questions have been raised about the race, gender, age and religiosity of prospective jurors; about the effect of holding the trial in Boston; and about the legal requirement that the jurors be open to the possibility of sentencing the defendant to death.

But recent research of ours suggests that another, largely overlooked factor may also play an important role in the trial: whether the jurors perceive Mr. Tsarnaev as white.

No sooner did the F.B.I. release photographs of Mr. Tsarnaev and his older brother, Tamerlan, three days after the bombings, than questions arose about the racial identity of the suspects. (“Are the Tsarnaev Brothers White?” ran a headline in Salon.) Although neither brother matched the visual prototype of a white American, both hailed from the Caucasus, the region that gave rise to the term “Caucasian,” and both had lived in America for many years…

Read the entire article here.

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Race in Contemporary Brazil: From Indifference to Inequality

Posted in Anthologies, Anthropology, Books, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Census/Demographics, Law, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, Women on 2015-01-26 02:08Z by Steven

Race in Contemporary Brazil: From Indifference to Inequality

Pennsylvania State University Press
1999
304 pages
Dimensions: 6 x 9
1 illustration
Hardcover ISBN: 978-0-271-01905-5
Paperback ISBN: 978-0-271-01906-2

Edited by: Rebecca Reichmann

Brazil’s traditionally agrarian economy, based initially on slave labor and later on rural labor and tenancy arrangements, established inequalities that have not diminished even with industrial development and urban growth. While fertility and infant mortality rates have dropped significantly and life expectancy has increased during the past thirty years, the gaps in mortality between rich and poor have remained constant. And among the poor of different races, including the 45 percent of Brazil’s population identified as preto (“black”) or pardo (“brown”) in the official census, persistent inequalities cannot be explained by the shortcomings of national economic development or failure of the “modernization” process.

Reichmann assembles the most important work of Brazilians writing today on contemporary racial dynamics in policy-relevant areas: the construction of race and color classification systems, access to education, employment and health, racial inequalities in the judiciary and politics, and black women’s status and roles. Despite these glaring social inequalities, racial discrimination in Brazil is poorly understood, both within and outside Brazil.

The still-widespread notion of harmonious “racial democracy” in Brazil was first articulated by anthropologist Gilberto Freyre in the 1930s and was subsequently reinforced by the popular media, social observers, and scholars. By giving voice to Brazilians’ own interpretations of race, this volume represents an essential contribution to the increasingly international debates about the African diaspora and comparative constructions of race.

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The Children of Loving v. Virginia: Living at the Intersection of Law and Mixed-Race Identity

Posted in Census/Demographics, History, Identity Development/Psychology, Law, Media Archive, United States, Videos on 2015-01-21 02:27Z by Steven

The Children of Loving v. Virginia: Living at the Intersection of Law and Mixed-Race Identity

Martin Luther King Jr. Day Special Lecture
University of Michigan
2015-01-19

Martha S. Jones, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor, Associate Professor of History
University of Michigan

University of Michigan Law School Prof. Martha S. Jones, who codirects the Program in Race, Law & History​, addresses her own experience as a mixed race woman and explores issues facing contemporary society as the featured speaker at Michigan Law’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration on Jan. 19, 2015.

Presenting “The Children of Loving v. Virginia: Living at the Intersection of Law and Mixed-Race Identity,” Jones uses lived experience to open up an understanding of how legal culture has wrestled with the idea that Americans might check more than one box.

View the video (00:37:05) here.

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On race, Obama sticks to a game plan of seeking steady progress within the system

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Economics, Law, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2015-01-20 03:06Z by Steven

On race, Obama sticks to a game plan of seeking steady progress within the system

The Washington Post
2015-01-18

Steven Mufson, White House correspondent, financial staff writer

During racially tense moments that have beset the nation recently, many Americans have longed for President Obama to display some of the passion and soaring rhetoric that made the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., who would have turned 86 last week, a civil rights legend.

But the messages of restraint Obama has given in response to outcry over police violence are the same ones he has been dispensing for 20 to 30 years, echoes of thoughts he has had ever since he was a young community organizer in Chicago. His central tenets: Don’t give in to anger and violence; work to improve, not destroy, the legal system; and accept that change will come and things are getting better, albeit more slowly than many would like.

Though Obama’s views have evolved on issues such as gay marriage and national security during his six years in office, his views on race have remained remarkably consistent, and recent events appear to have affirmed rather than altered those views.

The president is likely to touch on race again Tuesday in his State of the Union address, and if so, he will probably acknowledge that on race, as on the economy, a “resurgent America” has made great progress but still requires greater inclusiveness.

Rather than making pressing demands for economic justice like those that defined King’s crusade, Obama will make a pitch for a tax package that will aid lower- and middle-class households and serve as modest tools for economic advancement for both whites and blacks…

Read the entire article here.

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Plaçage and the Performance of Whiteness: The Trial of Eulalie Mandeville, Free Colored Woman, of Antebellum New Orleans

Posted in Articles, History, Law, Louisiana, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2015-01-15 22:11Z by Steven

Plaçage and the Performance of Whiteness: The Trial of Eulalie Mandeville, Free Colored Woman, of Antebellum New Orleans

American Nineteenth Century History
Volume 15, Issue 2, 2014
pages 187-209
DOI: 10.1080/14664658.2014.959818

Carol Wilson, Arthur A. and Elizabeth R. Knapp Professor of American History
Washington College, Chestertown, Maryland

Depictions of plaçage, a type of concubinage found in pre-Civil War New Orleans, have tended toward the romantic. A group of scholars have shown recently that, contrary to popular perception, many plaçage unions were no different from common-law marriages. This article takes a case-study approach to examine one such relationship in detail – one that was the subject of a legal challenge involving the fortune of perhaps the wealthiest free black woman in Louisiana. I apply Ariela J. Gross’s theory of “performance of whiteness” to demonstrate why free woman of color Eulalie Mandeville won her case over her white partner’s numerous white relatives at a time when free blacks in Louisiana and the rest of the nation were losing rights.

Read or purchase the article here.

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Our real police/race problem: Diverse forces, white resentment, and America’s persistent divides

Posted in Articles, Economics, Law, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2015-01-03 22:22Z by Steven

Our real police/race problem: Diverse forces, white resentment, and America’s persistent divides

Salon
2015-01-02

Jim Sleeper

Why diverse police forces can’t seem to trump the economics of racism, or the twisted politics of white resentment

Nearly two decades before last month’s murders of New York police officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu by a black man, the murder of a black NYPD officer, Charles Davis, anticipated claims we’re hearing that police-community problems aren’t really “black and white” and the only color that really counts is blue.

Yet the problems do remain “black and white” for reasons of economic exploitation and isolation that run deeper than race itself and that are gathering force, despite rising numbers of white/Asian and white/Hispanic marriages and of multiracial children, even in the families of police officers themselves. Unless we can face the reasons why more “diversity” in police ranks is a far-from-sufficient condition of justice, American society will remain more racist than many others, and thereby hangs my tale…

Read the entire article here.

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Professor Jared Ball on Ferguson and the Media

Posted in Articles, Communications/Media Studies, History, Interviews, Law, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2015-01-03 17:02Z by Steven

Professor Jared Ball on Ferguson and the Media

Truthout
2014-12-29

Dan Falcone

At the recent “Shrouded Narrative teach-in” at American University, Dan Falcone met Jared A. Ball, a professor of communication studies at Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland, who discussed, “Propaganda and Media.” In this interview, father and husband, author of I MiX What I Like: A MiXtape Manifesto and coeditor of A Lie of Reinvention: Correcting Manning Marable’s Malcolm X, Ball talks about the construction of Black identity, colonialism and what is needed to stop the police killings of a Black person every 28 hours.

Dan Falcone for Truthout.org: Professor Ball, could you tell the readers about your teaching, academic interests, and how they relate to activism and democratic participation?

Jared Ball: Thank you. My academic interests and teaching are very much tied to my personal political passions – all of which revolve around Black or Africana studies, political struggles, cultural production and how that all intersects or interacts with the political and “libidinal” (thanks to the work of Frank Wilderson and Jared Sexton) economies of media, communication and journalism.

This primarily works out to be a focus on the political function of mass media within the context of ongoing power (national, racial, class) struggles. I generally look to extend or tailor deep traditions of radical political, economic and cultural analyses and media criticism to our time and hope that I can make them relevant to students today. To better connect traditions of political activism to the immediate work of my classes, I’ve increasingly infused the work of political prisoners into our own course work, which allows me to tap an almost endless reservoir of knowledge and experience – while exposing students to a more realistic political context for our own studies.

Additionally, this approach infuses into our classes, ideas of political struggle and activism while challenging the limitations of conventional approaches to such study, including notions of “American democracy.”…

Read the entire interview here.

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Wickham: Silence of NYC’s good cops widens divide

Posted in Articles, Law, United States on 2015-01-02 02:46Z by Steven

Wickham: Silence of NYC’s good cops widens divide

USA Today
2014-12-30

DeWayne Wickham, Distinguished Professor of Journalism and Dean
School of Journalism
Morgan State University, Baltimore, Maryland

When Mayor Bill de Blasio stepped to the podium Saturday to eulogize Rafael Ramos, one of two New York City cops killed by a black gunman, Ismaaiyl Brinsley, five days before Christmas, hundreds of police outside the church staged a silent protest that sullied the solemn occasion.

The officers turned their backs to the large televisions set up for the overflow crowd to see Ramos’ funeral. Their pivot away from the screens was meant as a protest against the mayor, whom Patrick Lynch, the head of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, accused of having blood on his hands for not being more supportive of the city’s police officers.

That charge and the lemming-like act of back-turning were cheap shots that came as the city grieved the death of Ramos and Wenjian Liu, who were shot to death as they sat in their patrol car. The officers’ deaths came in the wake of a series of street demonstrations following a grand jury’s decision not to indict Daniel Pantaleo, a white New York City police officer who was videotaped using a chokehold to subdue Eric Garner, an unarmed black man, whose death was labeled a homicide. Pantaleo and several other cops were attempting to arrest Garner for illegally selling untaxed cigarettes.

In his first public comments after the grand jury’s decision, de Blasio said he could relate to the pain Garner’s father was feeling and admitted that he and his wife, who is black, have warned their son about how “to take special care in any encounters he has with the police officers, who are there to protect him.”

That’s a warning many black parents routinely give their boys — and one that de Blasio, understandably, would offer his mixed-race son. They could also have reminded him that New York has long been a petri dish for police abuse of blacks. Remember Abner Louima. Amadou Diallo. Patrick Dorismond. Sean Bell

Read the entire article here.

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Is NYPD’s War on Mayor Bill de Blasio Partly War on His Black Family?

Posted in Articles, Law, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2015-01-01 02:09Z by Steven

Is NYPD’s War on Mayor Bill de Blasio Partly War on His Black Family?

AlterNet
2014-12-30

Terrell Jermaine Starr, Senior Editor

The cops’ fight with the city’s progressive mayor smacks of white supremacy.

In September 1992, the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association organized thousands of New York City cops to storm City Hall to protest then-mayor David Dinkins’ proposal for an independent civilian agency to investigate police misconduct. The officers trampled on cars, jumped barricades and took over Brooklyn Bridge. Among their grievances was Dinkins’ refusal to give them semiautomatic weapons.

One of their slogans was “The Mayor’s on Crack.” The former mayor has also said many rank and file officers called him “nigger.” He blamed Rudy Giuliani for being in the middle of the rowdy cops and for nearly causing them to riot.

“Would the cops have acted in this manner toward a white mayor?” he asked in his 2013 memoir, A Mayor’s Life: Governing New York’s Gorgeous Mosaic. “No way in hell. If they’d done it to Ed Koch, he would have had them all locked up.”

Ironically, the NYPD has come close to similarly disrespecting our current mayor, Bill de Blasio, who is white. While police have not quite reached the same level of violent rage toward de Blasio, their fight against him is no less vitriolic. Former mayor Rudy Giuliani, NYPD union president Patrick Lynch and many of the white power elite in the New York Police Department see in de Blasio what they saw in Dinkins: a non-white politician who dares to challenge its good ol’ boy system of policing with impunity.

While de Blasio is not black, his family is. His wife, Chirlane McCray, their daughter, Chiara, and son, Dante, reflect the same population the NYPD has brutalized for decades. De Blasio campaigned on police reform and featured Dante in a campaign ad where the teen declared that his dad would end stop-and-frisk, if elected. Once he became mayor, de Blasio ended the city’s defense of the policing tactic. The rank and file of the NYPD took that personally. He was NYPD Public Enemy #1 from that point on…

Read the entire article here.

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WATCH: Jesse Williams of ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ on Race

Posted in Articles, History, Law, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States, Videos on 2014-12-28 03:43Z by Steven

WATCH: Jesse Williams of ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ on Race

Heavy
2014-12-22

Paul Farrell, Breaking News Editor

Actor Jesse Williams appears in a viral video that was published on December 17. The Grey’s Anatomy star take aim at racism and double standards in America, including public housing discrimination, specifically in Chicago.

The star goes on to discuss the logic behind the argument that Michael Brown robbed a store and therefore deserved to be shot, versus the argument about whether corrupt Goldman Sachs bankers also deserve violence.

Williams is mixed-race, the son of an African-American father and a Swedish-American mother. In the video, he states, “Half of my family is white.” He also says, “I’m as white as you can get as a black person.”…

Read the entire article here.

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