Race and American Politics (split from Bush's iPod)


#61


Busted: Shopping While Black

[quote]by: Clarence Page, Chicago Tribune, 10/19/97

WASHINGTON – It was not a great day for Eddie Bayer Inc., although it could have been worse.
A federal jury ordered the national clothing and outdoor gear company to pay $1 million to a black suburban teenager and his two friends last Friday. The jury decided a white security guard acted improperly when he forced the 18-year-old youth to take off and surrender a shirt he was suspected of shoplifting.
It turned out that the lad had purchased the shirt in the store the day before. The shirt was returned to him after he went home and returned with a receipt for it.
The jury also decided the guard and a second white security guard, both off-duty sheriff’s police, acted improperly when the second guard ordered the two young men to a corner of the store and threatened to “lock them up” if they moved.
It was the racial angle that made this a major story and elevated it to national attention. The incident, which occurred Oct. 20, 1995, sparked a massive e-mail and letter-writing campaign and a protest by the National Associated for the Advancement of Colored People. Richard Fersch, president of the Redmond, Washington based Eddie Bauer, flew to Washington, D.C., just before Christmas to apologize.
It touched raw nerves because it illustrated a problem that has become all to familiar to many African Americans, It is the problem of being, as black comic Chris Rock says, “born a suspect.”
It is the problem of being presumed to be a criminal suspect, just because you are black – especially if you are young, black and male. The young men in the shirt incident appeared to have been :profiled" and stopped for committing a modern American crime. They were SWB – shopping while black.
http://personalwebs.myriad.net/steveb/shopping.html[/quote]


#62

A lot of these stories were big “news” during the mid-1990s. They have now kind of dropped off the chart. Does anyone know why?


#63

Actually, I just had a recent conversation with an uncle in Chicago about this sort of behavior.
http://www.nbc5.com/news/4862969/detail.html?rss=chi&psp=news

[quote]
Officer Alexandra Martinez is accused of striking and choking 14-year-old Michelle Hutchinson on April 11 at a South Side J.C. Penny store.

Cline said Martinez and her partner were called to the store after the girl was detained by store security. Cline said Martinez and the suspect were seated across from each other in a store office, and at one point, Martinez got out of chair and hit the girl. With the help of her partner, the girl was handcuffed, then forcefully pulled back into the chair by her ponytail, according to Cline.[/quote]

This kind of excessive force used by the police is not uncommon in the black community. In fact, there is another case under review, involving a state rep. who is black.


#64

According to and said Cline, but what was the actual truth. We had a number of these cases including the one with Rodney King but often the events leading up to it are not revealed. I am neutral on this. I think each case should be examined on its own merits. I believe that there is police brutality but not only against Blacks. I also believe that some Blacks attack the police and then when they are attacked, yell about brutality. I see no indication that such police brutality specifically targets one racial group, nor that it doing so is condoned by any police force in the nation. So the brutality should be condemned but let’s not automatically assume that the police, many of whom are Black are automatically guilty.


#65

I didn’t beleive it…until I live in Philthydelphia. Those cops are just plain mean for no reason - but I did notice that they roughed me up in West Philthy just as hard as the local punks -so they’re abusive but equally abusive.


#66

In the case of the girl, I would like to see all the facts to see what really happened. Because in my own personal exprience, dealing with teenagers is hard enough. Add in a certain type of mentality it’s hard to say whether or not it wasn’t provoked. As a black woman, I always have to deal with security when shopping. Luckly, I don’t carry myself in a manner that would have me have to deal with store security or police. But I am always a supect when I go into stores, especially if I am dressed in sweats.

I can recall an incident when I worked at Sears in college. I was checking out two black customers, and my boss, who was white, came rushing up to me, and told me to call security. Why? As she said, that there were black teenagers in the deparment and she thought they were stealing. I didn’t see them, so I don’t know if that was true or not. But it didn’t play well with my customers…


#67

I just saw a video by Chris Rock about how to avoid police brutality and in the video the humor was that Black people were all guilty and that what they normally do is what was causing them to get an ass kickin’

I have always been a bit curious about this type of humor. I remember first seeing in “in Living Color” in America. Is it only possible for Black people to joke about Black people, Jews about Jews, Chinese about Chinese or otherwise it is racist?

Anyway, in my experience, most officials and police are decent people who are just doing their jobs. I do however believe that everyone can have a bad day and that those citizens who are subject to authorities who are exceeding their mandates should speak up and not tolerate it. Again, I believe there is no cause for excessive concern but I do think that there should be measures in place so that complaints can be addressed. I think that is there to a satisfactory degree already.


#68

Yea I’ve seen that video. I think he was trying to make a point very much tongue in cheek.

[quote]
I have always been a bit curious about this type of humor. I remember first seeing in “in Living Color” in America. Is it only possible for Black people to joke about Black people, Jews about Jews, Chinese about Chinese or otherwise it is racist? [/quote] I think it’s safe to say it’s more receptive if a black jokes about black expriences because we don’t interpet it as it having other than what it is trying to do-joke about a situation(s) that is real.

[quote]
Anyway, in my experience, most officials and police are decent people who are just doing their jobs. I do however believe that everyone can have a bad day and that those citizens who are subject to authorities who are exceeding their mandates should speak up and not tolerate it. Again, I believe there is no cause for excessive concern but I do think that there should be measures in place so that complaints can be addressed. I think that is there to a satisfactory degree already.[/quote]
Guess you’ve never heard of DWB-diving while black. The LAPD has always been known for their excessive force and racial activities, long before Rodney King. Police have it hard enough these day with all the stuff that occurs on the streets. Yet, they are a part of the system that carries out the law, as well as, being adults. Someone has to show restraint, even if pushed.


#69

That Chris Rock remake of Heaven Can Wait was pretty funny. He tries to get a cab and no one will stop and then he gets real happy, “I’m black again! I’m black again!”


#70

I’ve naturally heard of driving while black. I just do not happen to believe it. I have cited a study earlier which showed that rather than intentional racism, it was more about perception of the groups that were being stopped. There was for example absolutely no variance between rates for stopping white and black women. There were for men, but when the causes were examined the police were found to have sufficient cause OR the rates were in line with what was happening for other groups. Again, IF you take the per capita crime rate figures for young Black males and match this against the traffic citations, there is actually an underreporting of young Black males so I hardly see how “driving while black” can be anything more than yet another of these myths that take credence only because so many people repeat them. The news media ran with this a while back too but now that Iraq and Afghanistan and 911 have pushed these stories off the page, they disappeared.

Also, a study was done to show how difficult it is at night for example to determine the race of the person in the car until it is pulled over. Ditto in winter when people where coats, caps and scarves. I really have to say that this seems to me to be a case of using race as a grievance industry. Whatever happened to Jesse Jackson’s Digital Divide. Remember when he tried to shake down the Silicon Valley corporations. Later he tried the same tactic with the financial industry. No one was more anti-Jackson than the Black CEOs who were already working in the industry since they recognized the scam for what it was. That is why I am very disappointed with Jackson and Sharpton. They are not leaders. But then this has nothing to do with race and everything to do with power. Witness this Sheehan group and some of the other “we was robbed” leftist groups who have not yet gotten over the Bush victories.


#71

I’ve naturally heard of driving while black. I just do not happen to believe it. [/quote]

ARRRGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! :smiley: :fume: :smiley: :fume: Fred, this is where I accuse you of being ‘emotionally disconneted’ and why I got out of this dicussion. I understand you like to review statistics, I assume that they would give you a broader view of the situation, but what I have been trying do on this thread is show a reality, that cannot be explained in numbers. I feel when you cite statistics you are negating people’s realities or expriences. I do not believe that whites today are actively seeking ways to supress other races, nor do I think blacks are scheming up ways to have a grand ole pity party for themselves because of their birthcolor.

The fact is that race does play a factor, a nice size, in America. If it doesn’t why is it used so much when doing statistics, espcially if we are all Americans?


#72

I guess you don’t have any evidence to back up your assertions?

Bodo


#73

Oooh boy. Looks like thunder coming.

Actually, I have gone over this and other sets of statistics and articles and the one I posted earlier in response to MT’s challenge was that Black men “feel” that they are being targeted and unfairly stopped but when the situation was examined more thoroughly by scholars in Ohio, they found not discrimination but the PERCEPTION among Black men not women only Black men that they were being unfairly targeted, and when the agencies in question analyzed the reasons why the Black men were stopped, they were considered valid ESPECIALLY when the neighborhoods in question were taken into consideration (high crime areas) and the time of day and type of behavior exhibited by the drivers in question was reviewed. The study also CAUTIONED police to realize that given the history of discrimination against Black men that they should make every effort to be sensitive to the situation. BUT again, the truth of the matter is that there was not racial discrimination and it is highly unfair to accuse the police of this without evidence just because of a perception. Second, why would Black women have no discrepancies with White women and statistics IF this was a question of racism?

Perhaps you can feel that way but then we are getting to the root of the problem here just as the study mentioned. You FEEL that you are being targeted when you go into a store and that is your PERCEPTION but this is not an actionable crime whereby we can arrest or fine or imprison police men or store workers or anyone else. They have their rights just as you do. The question we need to get to then is why this perception exists and if it does is it only the police and store owners and such who are responsible for changing this or do you too have a personal responsibility to examine your own feelings and perceptions to determine whether they are correct and valid.

I believe that some whites still are and I believe many blacks still are looking for a pity party. The key is to determine which ones are and are not. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton certainly are as is most of the staff and leadership at the NAACP. Contrast this with Colin Powell and Condi Rice and the many other Blacks who don’t use race as a crutch.

Because so many Black groups are demanding that these incidents be investigated. Yes, when they are investigated and the statistics are collated then suddenly it is a question of being “emotionally disconnected.” You cannot have it both ways. Either you want these situations investigated or you do not. IF you do, then you must allow the studies to attempt to bring some kind of stastistical evidence to support or refute those views. There is no other way and sorry but I doubt that the police and store owners or anyone else is going to be willing to go just based on your or anyone else’s feelings.

By the way, I am 100 percent behind getting rid of all boxes on stastical forms or applications or anything that would indicate race. Get rid of the whole construct which in my view is ridiculous given the mixing of our population. What is Tiger Woods supposed to put down on his application? And often even being an eighth Black makes you Black on most statistical forms even when you may be 50 percent Asian and to me this is no different than the Slave owning days when the same rule applied yet this time it is the Black groups that want to ensure that anyone with a little Black blood is counted as Black since this gives them greater demographic weight. Also in Hawaii and on various Indian reservations especially when casinos are involved we have people qualifying with 1/32 Indian blood? How f***ing ridiculous is this? End all racial categories and classifications today and let’ stop this nonsense of looking at things from such a stupid perspective. You are absolutely right, we are and always have been all Americans and we should act that way.

Bodo:

I have no statics to back up my view on the issue in question that is why I asked. Please note that I said that it is my impression that while these cases were common in the mid-1990s, they seemed to have disappeared and then I asked for other’s views on this. I don’t know. That is why I am asking.


#74

nytimes.com/2005/08/25/opini … rbert.html

I am not a particular fan of this reporter’s abilities, but I wanted to put this up as counter evidence to my own argument to at least show the other side of the debate.

But let’s look at one quote from this article. I will show something later so please read this very carefully.

[quote]As I watched the video, I kept thinking about an incident on the New Jersey Turnpike in April 1998 in which four young men in a van were pulled over by state troopers. Three of the men were black and one was Hispanic. They were neither drunk nor abusive. But their van did roll slowly backward, accidentally bumping the leg of one of the troopers and striking the police vehicle.

The troopers drew their weapons and opened fire. When the shooting stopped, three of the four young men had been shot and seriously wounded.[/quote]


#75

[quote]According to the racial profiling crowd, the war on drugs immediately became a war on minorities, on the highways and off. Their alleged evidence for racial profiling comes in two varieties: anecdotal, which is of limited value, and statistical, which on examination proves entirely worthless.

The most notorious racial profiling anecdote may have nothing to do with racial profiling at all. On April 23, 1998, two New Jersey state troopers pulled over a van that they say was traveling at 74 miles an hour in a 55-mile-an-hour zone on the New Jersey Turnpike. As they approached on foot, the van backed toward them, knocking one trooper down, hitting the patrol car, and then getting sideswiped as it entered the traffic lane still in reverse. The troopers fired 11 rounds at the van, wounding three of the four passengers, two critically.

Attorneys for the van passengers deny that the van was speeding. The only reason the cops pulled it over, critics say, was that its occupants were black and Hispanic.

If the troopers’ version of the incident proves true, it is hard to see how racial profiling enters the picture. The van’s alleged speed would have legitimately drawn the attention of the police. As for the shooting: whether justified or not, it surely was prompted by the possibly deadly trajectory of the van, not the race of the occupants. Nevertheless, on talk show after talk show, in every newspaper story denouncing racial profiling, the turnpike shooting has come to symbolize the lethal dangers of “driving while black.”

Less notoriously, black motorists today almost routinely claim that the only reason they are pulled over for highway stops is their race. Once they are pulled over, they say, they are subject to harassment, including traumatic searches. Some of these tales are undoubtedly true. Without question, there are obnoxious officers out there, and some officers may ignore their training and target minorities. But since the advent of video cameras in patrol cars, installed in the wake of the racial profiling controversy, most charges of police racism, testified to under oath, have been disproved as lies. [/quote]

city-journal.org/html/11_2_the_myth.html

So maybe it is the fact that video cameras are now there that we don’t hear so much about racial profiling and about abusive police. Again, the perceptions are still there since the reports are still filed but when the evidence is presented, guess what? The cases are dismissed. This is why PERCEPTIONS of events are so much less reliable than statistical or hard evidence.


#76

[quote=“fred smith”]

Perhaps you can feel that way but then we are getting to the root of the problem here just as the study mentioned. You FEEL that you are being targeted when you go into a store and that is your PERCEPTION but this is not an actionable crime whereby we can arrest or fine or imprison police men or store workers or anyone else. They have their rights just as you do. The question we need to get to then is why this perception exists and if it does is it only the police and store owners and such who are responsible for changing this or do you too have a personal responsibility to examine your own feelings and perceptions to determine whether they are correct and valid.[/quote]
Fred, I don’t feel that I am being targeted when I go into a store, and I hear security call on their walkies, about my presence. I don’t feel that I am being targeted when I am followed around the store. In certain areas of Chicago, it not reasonable, but common knowledge that store security will focus on black consumers more because of past experiences. I understand their motivations at times, but when I am out in the middle of white suburbia, and doing a few errands and I have the ‘sky in the eye’ following me around along with Billy Bob and his crew, it doesn’t make me feel as if I should spend my money or time in the establishment.

[quote]
I believe that some whites still are and I believe many blacks still are looking for a pity party. [/quote] Yes, there are whites who are looking to maintain power thru suppression. And there are blacks so caught up in the victim mentality. It’s a vicious cycle apart of the ethos in America. It serves on many levels. This is where I talk about healing, that you
:raspberry: at. Acknowledgement, and working to be responsible for one’s actions are at the heart of this resolution.

[quote]
Because so many Black groups are demanding that these incidents be investigated.[/quote] I don’t think it’s just Black groups are demanding these statistics to have incidents investigated. IMO, statistics are on one hand used to justify why things, i.e. monies are spent in certain areas for certain groups. In theory, it’s needed to evaluted situations, but people being people, they will use them to serve their own purposes, positive and negative.

[quote]
By the way, I am 100 percent behind getting rid of all boxes on stastical forms or applications or anything that would indicate race.[/quote]
I am too and wish I had the power to do so.

I suggest that if you have the time, to read some articles, and one book by Henry Louis Gates, Jr - “13 ways of looking at a Black man.” And commentaries by Cornell West. Both are well respected in the academic community for their insights on race in America.


#77

Cornell West? I do apologize but to me that man is a joke, and a very lazy academic who is more prone to grandstanding than doing actual research and work. Would you like me to provide a few articles buttressing my views?

Also, go back and look at the two posts that I have made on racial profiling. I think we clicked to the next page and I don’t want you to miss them.


#78

[quote=“fred smith”]

Also, go back and look at the two posts that I have made on racial profiling. I think we clicked to the next page and I don’t want you to miss them.[/quote]
Will do along with the massive reading I have to do on school vouchers. :smiley: :smiley: LOL, it’s almost like going to grad school when debating with you. LOLOLOLOL


#79

Namahottie:

Love the new avatar by the way. Did you ever see “Jackie: Portrait of a Diva”? Just wondering. haha


#80

Nama wrote:

Fred said:

[quote]
What? How is it overburdening a school when I take a portion NOT ALL of the tax money that the school is given to send a child to another one of their choice? How is choice bad? And if the schools claim that they need $6,000 per pupil and I take that pupil out of the school, ergo no more expense and I only take $2,000 of the money, that means $4,000 is left for the school even though it is doing nothing to educate that child.
.[/quote]

Okay Fred, I glanced over the website that you sent me. And read as much as I could before my eyes glazed over like a cop’s in Krispy Kremes. So, then I did the best second thing to informing myself about the voucher situation. I called an expert who is currently a consultant for the school system and who has 20+ years working as a teacher and adminstrator. Here’s what I got.

Let’s look at a school in a low income area. School A has 837 kids enrolled. Out of those 837 kids, 813 kids are eligible for reduced or free lunch. Now how free/reduced lunches come in to play, having an impact on the voucher situation is this. This is how in the State of Illinois is able to determine how to allocate funding.

A school has 3 resources for funding. The school board, the state and from the fed. From the State a school would get a total of $565,035 for 813 kids. From the Federal they would get $390,160. All this in addition to the school board’s budget. Which is about $6000 per kid (4,878,00). So you are looking at roughly 5.3 million for that school’s budget. The school has would be able to use those funds for other needs,once the lunch program budget was satisfied.

Now, children who would be eligable for school voucher would be able to use appox. $7,415 of that money toward being able to seek education else where. Hence, this means that schools would start seeing a reduction in their yearly budgets, and cuts would have to be made. And usually those cuts are made in the classroom and in activities that would enable children who remain in the school.

Where the problem with school vouchers lies is that it benifits middle class parents who have the education or rather a strong frame of reference to be able to determine how well a school would be for their children. Low income parents who have the bare minimum of education i.e. high school diploma or G.E.D tend not to be able to understand what factors are needed for their child’s success. And it doesn’t seem like there will be any town hall sessions to educate these parents about these factors.And often with those parents or households, the aspirations are low in terms of gearing children to go beyond.

So, what’s left in the schools where parents have pulled their kids out to use the vouchers are children who are more of a challenge to teach. Which in turn burdens the teacher with stress, because one his/her budget for resources has been cut, moral is low because of what he/she has to face in the classroom, and top that with the adminstration’s pressure to make these kids be able to preform well on standardize tests which the states and federal look at to determine budgets and wheather a school should stay open or not. So, if a school that has not meet the required standards set by the state/school board, where are these children to go then? It’s not setting up for a win/win situation.

Also, many schools that parents would use the vouchers at have limits of admissions. So, what is a parent to do with that voucher, if the school of their choice is not available?

When I worked in the Chicago public school system, I saw a variety of schools. Many of the schools were delapadated and using school books that were at least 5 to 10 years old. Not to mention the incompetency of adminstration, whom many are in their position because of local school boards placed their because of having parent pressure to have someone who represented them, i.e. a Latino principal in a school that is majority Latino. The worst school had a few bathrooms that didn’t work among many things to long to list here. Overall, that school should have been shut down years ago.

I don’t agree with school vouchers, personally. Not just because of the potiental damage it could do to schools, but what kind of mentality i’ve seen in the school system from parents when they already are getting something free. The school’s free/reduced lunch program is a farce, because many parents who ‘qualify’ for it use it because it’s there when I have seen that them sending their kids to school in $100 sneakers and Sean John clothing. It’s like the welfare system, people will take advantage of a system if they can. You can also see it in the WIC programs in Illinois. Not to mention that quite a few parents see the public school system as a ‘baby sitting’ service. :unamused: Tossing money to this situation is not the answer.

I say give bigger tax breaks to the middle class for parents when it comes to education. Overhaul the system. Stop making these schools focus so much on making teachers have to prep their students for tests that eventually serve no purpose other than, for states to show the government how much money they purportally need for the coming school year. Give tax incentives to those who would want to be a teacher. Make parents get involved in the school system by having the contribute a certain amount of money each month,based on income, to the school for something-any type of program that would enable schools help students raise their skills.