This blog is intended to become the go-to source for documenting class and race injustice, with a particular emphasis on injustices to black Americans, because most of the potential contributors I know are black. Shoot, most of the people I know are black. Reader contributions are welcome, but remember we need to be able to document posts, and links are best.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

More On EEOC Cuts

From the LA Times:

Job-Discrimination Claims Pile Up With Budget Cuts

A backlog of cases at the federal EEOC, which has lost 20% of its staff since 2001, is expected to grow. And fresh reductions of funding are proposed.
The backlog rose 12% from 2004 to 2005, reaching 33,562 last year.

The EEOC has lost 20% of its staff since 2001, when a hiring freeze was instituted, and it now faces budget reductions, with the Bush administration proposing to cut the agency's budget by $4 million next year.

The EEOC's case backlog is expected to be nearly 48,000 by 2007.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Employment Discrimination Is Over

Ya think? Everytime I say something bad about Republicans, somebody feels the need to point out to me that Democrats suck too. Well, they do, but I have not seen a Dem Prez yet that would do this:

NAACP Opposes Proposed EEOC Cuts in President Bush’s 2007 Budget
The President's budget for 2007 includes a cut in funding of the EEOC budget from
$333 million to $323 million. The bulk of the cut, about $8 million, would be felt by
State and local programs. This is especially significant as state and local
enforcement agencies handle about 42% of the total Title VII caseload, yet, they are
being asked to take 60% of the budget cut.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Economic Blowback

There is definitely racism involved in the immigration issue, which is not to say that everyone who opposes immigration, legal or illegal, does so from racist motives.

Washington 'Responsible' for Misery in Latin America

This is why over 5 million of these immigrants continue to live in danger and anguish. Their last remaining hope is that the skill of their leaders will manage to convince more members of Congress and the American public that U.S. immigration rules are unjust. As we have earlier said, the immigrants are there not because they want to be there, but because millions have been literally expelled from their own countries, which have embraced the neo-liberal model of development, leading to exclusion and impoverishment of large portions of their societies

Because it has undermined national economic models and coerced governments to follow World Bank and International Monetary Fund prescriptions, Washington is responsible for the misery that goes on in many Latin American countries. If the United States wishes to attract fewer immigrants, it should allow Latin American governments to introduce development models that are more inclusive and allow them to stop paying unjust levels of foreign debt. These funds could then be used to create jobs which would guarantee future development.

For "neo-liberal" read "cheap-labor conservatism" and you'll begin to see the problem. Cheap labor anywhere in the world undermines wages everywhere in the world, including the US, in a variety of ways. Immigration is one of them.

Meritocracy My Obstreporous Donkey

Excerpt: Downscaling the Dreams of Youth

Soaring tuition costs combined with cuts to financial aid have forced students into massive debt and priced many smart kids out of four-year colleges altogether. Every year, 410,000 college-qualified students -- just like Renee -- from households with incomes less than $50,000 enroll in community college instead of going to a four-year college. Another 168,000 college-qualified students don't enroll in college at all. These students took the SATs, had good grades, and were college-ready. They just didn't have the money. And they weren't willing to play the debt-for-diploma game.

In 1977 there was only a 6 percentage-point difference in home-ownership rates between those with college educations and those without. Today, there is a 20 percentage-point difference. Today the college-haves and the college have-nots live in different worlds.

The debt-for-diploma system is a pernicious beast. It stunts young adults' economic progress as they try to start their lives, draining precious dollars out of their paychecks for more than a decade. The evils of the debt-for-diploma system aren't restricted to those who take out student loans. Anytime a bright but lower-income student settles for a two-year institution or forgoes college altogether, the debt-for-diploma system has claimed another victim.

It shouldn't be surprising, then, that many of the gains made during the 1970s in expanding access to college have disappeared. In fact, the gap in college enrollment among whites, blacks, and Hispanic students has actually widened over the last thirty years: in 2000, the enrollment gap between white and black students was 11 percentage points, up from only 5 percentage points in 1972.

The enrollment gap between white and Hispanic students was 13 percentage points in 2000, up from a 5-percentage-point gap in 1972. One result of debt-for-diploma is that the highest-performing students from the lowest socioeconomic backgrounds enroll in college at the same rate as the lowest-performing students from the highest socioeconomic households.

To put it more bluntly, the smartest poor kids attend college at the same rate as the dumbest rich kids. And these days, there are more smart poor kids than ever before.

Institutional Racism

Minorities pay more for mortgages

CHICAGO (MarketWatch) -- African-Americans and Latinos enter into high-priced, subprime mortgages more often than white borrowers with identical credit qualifications, according to a study by the Center for Responsible Lending.

The report, released Wednesday, examined 50,000 subprime loans using data collected under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act and supplemented with the Loan Performance
Subprime Asset-Backed Securities Database. The two sources were used to isolate borrowers' race and ethnicity from all other risk factors, the report's author said.

"For many types of loans, borrowers of color in our database were more than 30% more likely to receive a higher-rate loan than white borrowers, even after accounting for differences in risk," according to the report.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Right v. Left on Racism

The right constantly accuses the left of racism. Projection? Maybe. Of course, some tendency toward racism is built into this society. But which political direction do those with stronger biases tend to lean?

Study Ties Political Leanings to Hidden Biases

For their study, Nosek, Banaji and social psychologist Erik Thompson culled self-acknowledged views about blacks from nearly 130,000 whites, who volunteered online to participate in a widely used test of racial bias that measures the speed of people's associations between black or white faces and positive or negative words. The researchers examined correlations between explicit and implicit attitudes and voting behavior in all 435 congressional districts.

The analysis found that substantial majorities of Americans, liberals and conservatives, found it more difficult to associate black faces with positive concepts than white faces -- evidence of implicit bias. But districts that registered higher levels of bias systematically produced more votes for Bush.

Jon Krosnick, a psychologist and political scientist at Stanford University, who independently assessed the studies, said it remains to be seen how significant the correlation is between racial bias and political affiliation.

For example, he said, the study could not tell whether racial bias was a better predictor of voting preference than, say, policy preferences on gun control or abortion. But while those issues would be addressed in subsequent studies -- Krosnick plans to get random groups of future voters to take the psychological tests and discuss their policy preferences -- he said the basic correlation was not in doubt.

"If anyone in Washington is skeptical about these findings, they are in denial," he said. "We have 50 years of evidence that racial prejudice predicts voting. Republicans are supported by whites with prejudice against blacks. If people say, 'This takes me aback,' they are ignoring a huge volume of research."

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Black Crime: Mythology or Reality?

Because people seem to need constant reminding:

While some have denounced the comments by former Education Secretary and Drug Czar William Bennett, they unfortunately believe his comments are based in fact. Those who believe that African American or Latino youth are more “criminal” than any other ethnic groups are simply wrong. The real facts tell us much more than stereotypes, or musings—both of which obscure the well-documented disparate treatment accorded African Americans compared to whites within the justice system. These comments on racially disparate crime also overlook the area of “corporate crime.”

For over a decade, the Justice Department has been working to reduce the racial disparity seen in juvenile arrests and juvenile imprisonment, a fact that underscores the existence of racially disparate arrests and sentences. African American youth arrest rates for drug violations, assaults and weapon offenses are higher than arrest rates for white youth—even though both report similar rates of delinquency.

African American Youth Are Treated Differently By the Juvenile Justice System

    Drugs. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, among youths aged 12 to 17, the rate of current illicit drug use was 11.1 % among whites, and 9.3% among African Americans.[4] In a previous year, the same survey found that white youth aged 12 to17 are more than a third more likely to have sold drugs than African American youth.[5] The Monitoring the Future Survey of high school seniors shows that white students annually use cocaine at 4.6 times the rate of African Americans students, use crack cocaine at 1.5 times the rate of African Americans students, and use heroin at the same rate of African Americans students, and that white youth report annual use of marijuana at a rate 46% higher than African American youth.[6] However African American youth are arrested for drug offenses at about twice the rate (African American 314 per 100,000, white 175 per 100,000) times that of whites,[7] and African American youth represent nearly half (48%) of all the youth incarcerated for a drug offense in the juvenile justice system.[8]

    Weapons. According to the Center on Disease Control’s annual Youth Risk Behavior Survey, in 2001 whites and African Americans reported similar rates of carrying a weapon (whites 17.9%, African Americans 15.2%), and similar rates of carrying a gun (whites 5.5%, and African Americans, 6.5%).[9] African American youth represent 32% of all weapons arrests, and were arrested for weapons offenses at a rate twice that of whites (69 per 100,000, versus 30 per 100,000).[10]

    Assault. According to the Center on Disease Control’s annual Youth Risk Behavior Survey, African Americans report being in a physical fight at a similar rate (36.5%, versus 32.5% for whites), but were arrested for aggravated assault at a rate nearly three times that of whites (137 per 100,000, versus 48 per 100,000).

“The existence of much larger racial and ethnic differences in arrest rates than in self-reported violence is a matter of great concern. On the one hand, there is no reason to expect similar distributions, because these measures were designed to assess different aspects of violence. But if both measures are valid and reliable, the discrepancy suggests that the probability of being arrested for a violent offense varies with race/ethnicity.”—Youth Violent: A Report of the Surgeon General, January, 2001.[11]

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

How Bizarre Is This?

Has the corporate media completely caved to ultra-right wing racists?

CNN Cites White Supremacist Group As Source

An Erase Racism Party

I guess.

The 1st Erase Racism Carnival is Here!! Here being the Ally Work blog.

It begins with this quote from Change Seeker's post:

This has not changed to date. We no longer drink at separate water fountains, it’s true. But African-Americans, as a rule and across the board, because they don’t have the power to do anything about it, are still paid less than White folks, own less than White folks, are more likely to be unemployed than White folks, are more likely to go to jail than White folks, etc., etc., ad nauseum. And most White folks are convinced that this is because people of color are, in fact, inferior. Let me repeat that: most White folks, yes, most White folks believe that people of color are, in fact, inferior. Even as they say, “I don’t see color. I just see everyone as a human being,” by which they mean, they don’t intend to acknowledge all the studies showing how exploited and dominated people of color still are in the United States because the White speaker has already decided that Black people’s problems are the result of Black people’s inferiority. “Some of my best friends are Black,” they will say, while discounting what African-Americans themselves say about the quality of their lives in the good old U.S. of A.

There are quotes from several other blogs posts as well, and Change Seeker is not the only one to point out that the false belief that we live in a meritocracy is tantamount to believing that blacks are inherently inferior. Good stuff. Have a look.

Hat tip: The Moderate Voice.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Exogamy As A Measure of Social Acceptance

Exogamy: The custom of marrying outside the tribe, family, clan, or other social unit.

If we were take exogamy as a measure of social acceptance, the available numbers hardly support the idea that racism is even close to over.


Among third-generation Hispanic and Asian Americans, exogamy -- marriage outside one's ethnic group or tribe -- is at least 50 percent, he and others estimate. Exogamy remains much less prevalent among African Americans, but it has increased enormously, from about 1.5 percent in the 1960s to eight to 10 percent today.

This article was published in 1997, so a very rough extrapolation would indicate that US blacks would reach about the same level of social acceptance as Asians and Hispanics in, oh, about 80 or 90 years. Probably not very accurate, I know, but then neither is the buffoonish idea that racism is over.

Strange Days Indeed

Reid calls language proposal racist

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid called a proposal to make English the official language "racist" on the Senate floor yesterday.
"This amendment is racist. I think it's directed basically to people who speak Spanish," the Democrat said during the already tense debate over immigration reform.

Uh, does that mean language determines race?

Of course, this is just a politician popping off, but it brings up a larger point. In order to even begin to talk rationally about hereditable differences in IQ between races, don't we first have to agree on a definition of race? You bet yer ass we do. An there is no accepted, consensus definition, scientific or otherwise, of race.

I'm not going to keep going round and round about "scientific" racism, though. This blog was never meant to be about dubious arguments scientifically justifying racism. It was meant to explode the strange idea popular among many white people that "racism's over." Arguments meant to scientifically justify racism plainly support my point: racism is anything but over.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Fox News: A White Supremacist Home?

Bob Cesca, posting on HuffPo, notices a pattern:

Fox News Presents! The War On Darkies

Pseudo-scientific Racism Finally Strikes. . .

the comments section. See the last post if you care. I call it pseudo-science because real scientists don't avoid peer review like the plague, they embrace it. Exhibit A in such avoidance is The Bell Curve. Once real scientists started analyzing the book, it fell apart. See The Bell Curveball, III (scan down).

In the absence of settled science either justifying racism or absolutely discrediting racism, it all comes down to what you want to believe. I freely admit that I want to believe that there is only one race, the human race. Which puts me perfectly in tune with American Anthropological Association. I don't intend to change that until, and if, a scientific consensus emerges that forces me to.

And I gotta ask, just what sort of jerk-wad asshole wants to believe that not only does race exist, but that one race is superior to another? What's the motivation for that? I'd love to know, because I can't for the life of me think of a good motive. Yes, I am talking about you "Darth Quixote" (using Darth as part of your screen name clearly indicates your desire to lure people over to the dark side) and you, "The [pseudo] Objectivist."

Sunday, May 14, 2006

If Ya Just Gotta . . .

. . . argue about the scientific validity of race-related IQ differences, the Moderate Voice links to this "great, serious" race versus racialism debate. Part I is here.

I waded it through it, and all it basically did for me is confirm my impression that the scientific community is about a million miles away from a consensus that there is a hereditable connection between race and intelligence. So until someone can come up with a bunch of solid, peer reviewed studies proving such a relationship (There are around a 1,000 or more studies confirming both global warming and the contribution of human activities to it, for instance.), I just think non-scientists should shut up about it.

UPDATE: I should probably point out that The Objectivist (these debates take place between opponents called "The Objectivist" and "The Constructionist.") has also made what I consider a truly idiotic argument in favor of teaching intelligent design in schools here. If you want to preface lessons on evolution with a disclaimer along the lines of "lots of people believe lots of different things about creation and you're free to believe what you want, but, evolutionary theory represents about as close to a scientific consensus as you're ever going to find," fine by me. But teaching ID as though its actually a scientific theory is just stupid. And I'm not much more impressed with his arguments in favor of "racialism," the semi-PC version of racism. So I would classify this as a less than "great" debate.

Trent Lott: Once and Future Senate Leader

A timely reminder from the Boston Globe about the illustrious former Senate Majority Leader who's star may once again be on the rise:

The nervy Lott demands a media with nerve. For the extremely short of memory, Lott spent most of his life destroying his credibility on racial and ethnic matters with everyone except racists. Lott supported segregation at the University of Mississippi in the 1960s. In the 1990s, Lott gave three speeches to the Council of Conservative Citizens, an offshoot of the anti-integration citizens councils. In one speech, Lott said the CCC stood for ''the right principles and the right philosophy."

Twice, in 1980 and in 2002, Lott praised the late Senator Strom Thurmond's 1948 segregationist presidential campaign. In the 2002 incident, Lott said, ''I want to say this about my state: When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We're proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn't have had all these problems over all these years."