Archive for October, 2010

Study Shows Extensive Racial Profiling by New York City Police

Saturday, October 30th, 2010

(Civilrights.org) A recent study by the Center for Constitutional Rights found that the New York City Police Department has been conducting its stop-question-and-frisk policy in a manner consistent with racial profiling.

The study examined police data regarding the 2.8 million stop-question-and-frisk stops that were logged from 2004 through 2009. This data includes only stops made at the discretion of an officer, not those based on radio requests. .

Nearly 200,000 (6.7 percent) of the stops were made without proper legal justification, and 24 percent of the police reports logged in five years lacked enough information to evaluate the legality of the stop.

Dr. Jeffrey Fagan, the Columbia Law School professor who conducted the study, found that NYPD stops are significantly more frequent for Black and Hispanic citizens than for White citizens. His study also revealed that “Blacks and Latinos are more likely to be stopped than Whites even in areas where there are low crime rates and where residential populations are racially heterogeneous or predominantly White.”

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights supports an end to racial profiling based not only on its discriminatory nature but on the fact that it simply doesn’t work and wastes precious law enforcement resources.

GOP “Pledge” to repeal Health Care Reform, African Americans in jeopardy

Saturday, October 30th, 2010

(Milwaukee Courier) In an analysis by the Center for American Progress of the recent “Pledge to America,” unveiled by the Republican leadership, CAP highlights one particular policy proposal by the Republicans of concern. This policy proposal includes repealing the Affordable Health Care Act of 2009.

How the Republican’s pledge to repeal health care reform would impact the African American community:

* The “Pledge to America” would replace health care reform with a grab bag of isolated measures that mostly benefit those who already have health care coverage.
* Their pledge to repeal health care reform includes no plans to expand coverage to help those who cannot afford health insurance. This would include repealing Medicaid expansions, financial help to small businesses struggling with the costs of employee coverage, and the tax subsidies that will help working families purchase coverage through health insurance exchanges.
* Their pledge to repeal health care reform includes no plans to improve primary care or increase the primary care workforce that exists in the current health care law.
* Their pledge to repeal health care reform will exacerbate the problems of lower health quality and health care disparities that African Americans experience. The existing law now requires that federally funded programs collect and report data on race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, health literacy, and primary language, using methodologies that will ensure health care disparities can be measured.

Full story…

Which Black America will turn out to vote?

Friday, October 29th, 2010

(Washington Post) How black America feels about itself becomes increasingly important as we approach the crucial midterm elections. Recently, some experts have pointed out that a large African-American turnout could significantly reduce the expected losses among Democrats. This must give the White House slim hopes after being battered for months by a relentless consensus narrative that the loss of the House was inevitable (and maybe even the Senate). The endless drumbeat paused, at least for a moment, when David Bositis at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies reported that blacks are concentrated in more than 20 areas where Democrats and Republicans are engaged in close contests. Most African Americans still strongly support President Obama and worry that the Tea Party movement and the Republicans will slow their pursuit of equality. The challenge for the Obama administration is motivating black voters to come out in numbers large enough to affect the outcome of dozens of races.

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Lawmakers divided over whether NBC-Comcast merger would aid diversity

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

(The Hill) Lawmakers are increasingly divided on whether Comcast’s proposed acquisition of NBC Universal would help or harm the amount of diversity in the media.

The proposed merger has drawn scrutiny from competing media companies and advocacy groups who fear the deal would concentrate too much control over media ownership and distribution in the hands of one firm. Lawmakers, especially those representing districts with significant minority populations, have increasingly found themselves choosing sides in the debate.

Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) recently added his name to the list of minority lawmakers backing the transaction; in a letter to the Federal Communications Commission dated Oct. 21, Rush argues Comcast’s diversity commitments, including a pledge to add ten minority-owned cable networks, would benefit minority businesses and media representation.

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Bid For Black Vote Takes On Racial Overtones

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

(NPR) No one expects African-Americans to vote in anywhere near their numbers from 2008, when their 65 percent turnout matched that of whites for the first time. But that isn’t stopping Democratic organizers and supporting groups from using aggressive, even racially charged, tactics to get them to the polls next Tuesday.

Compared with previous midterm elections, the Democratic Party, organized labor and civil-rights organizations are investing more money in campaign advertising and field work to break through widespread voter apathy and reach arguably the party’s most loyal group of voters.

If trying to overcome the Republicans’ strong momentum in congressional races isn’t motivation enough, the Democrats have an added incentive this year: Several of the tightest congressional and gubernatorial races are in states with significant black populations, giving blacks in heavily minority districts an uncommon chance to tip statewide contests.

To rouse them, some organizers are applying aggressive tactics, including the use of openly racial invective directed at Republicans and Tea Party activists.

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Barbers influence safe high blood pressure levels in African American men

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

(Huliq) Dr. Ronald Victor, a doctor at Sinai-Cedars Heart Institute in California studied 17 barbershops in the Dallas County, Texas area. Victor wanted to see what effect barbers could have on reducing hypertension
among African American males.

Victor, the associate director at Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute, divided the 17 groups into two. In one group, barbers were given pamphlets and information to share with clients about hypertension and ways to treat it. The second group of barbers were trained to give high blood pressure
tests and to talk to customers about finding doctors or making a visit to their regular doctors to reduce their high blood pressure levels.

After ten months of study, Victor found that African American men reduced their blood pressure to acceptable and safe levels after visits to high blood pressure interventionist and semi-interventionist barbers for routine haircuts and shaves. The test also found similar results in the group that only distributed pamphlets and information on treating hypertension.

Full story…

Man Raises Issue Of Racial Profiling Amongst NYC Cabbies

Monday, October 25th, 2010

(CBS) A scraped knee and torn leather jacket are the worst reminders of Jerrell Horton’s run in with an out-of-control cabbie early Sunday morning.

As he was trying to get home to Brooklyn after a night out with friends at a Soho club, Horton said he was shunned by a cab driver, who dragged him nearly a block before he could free himself.

“I open the door he’s like ‘where are you going,’ I said ‘Brooklyn’…he takes off. The door slams, my jacket gets caught,” Horton told CBS 2′s Rob Morrison.

It all happened so quickly that he was unable to get a license plate or medallion number.

“I lost my wallet, lost my prescription glasses. It’s just ridiculous,” Horton said.

The Rider Bill of Rights clearly states that cabs are required to take passengers to any destination they request in the city. Horton said it simply isn’t the case for many African Americans, who are routinely passed by altogether.

Horton said he walked 25 minutes before a cab would finally stop to pick him up. He said it was even worse earlier that evening, when he said he was forced to do something he called “embarrassing.”

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Illegal aliens: paralysis in Washington.

Monday, October 25th, 2010

(UPI) If everyone in the world who wanted to come to the United States actually came, by whatever means, the country would be swamped from sea to shining sea.

Even the recession that seems to consume the American political process, while it may be keeping fresh waves of illegal aliens from coming here, hasn’t convinced a large proportion of those already here to leave. Though the U.S. economy has gone south, most illegal immigrants aren’t following that example.

About one in 10 people born in Mexico now lives in the United States, a respected analysis by the non-profit Pew Hispanic Center says.

Comment on illegal immigration can be harsh.

Full story…

Is the Conservative agenda serving Latinos?

Sunday, October 24th, 2010

(American Progress Action) Latinos will head to the polls in less than two weeks to decide who gets their vote. On the issues they care about—the economy, education, health care, and immigration—conservatives have not supported key legislation and have often stood in the way of progress.

Moreover, on September 23, House Republicans issued their “Pledge to America,” a 48-page document that outlines their governing philosophy should they win the majority in the upcoming elections. The pledge was the result of a “listening tour” across the country and based on ideas solicited from the American people. Yet upon closer inspection it seems that the needs and concerns of Americans of Latino heritage were not included.

Is the conservative agenda really in line with the Hispanic community’s needs? Based on an analysis of conservative positions on issues that matter to them the answer is a resounding “no.”

Full story…

Brit Hume: NPR Fired Juan Williams For Being A ‘Bill Cosby Liberal’

Sunday, October 24th, 2010

(Huffington Post) The firing of Juan Williams from NPR has been attributed to a number of motivations. His comment about being personally frightened about Muslims boarding his airplane was, itself, the main factor. But more often than not, people opining on the issue have pointed to Williams’ association with Fox News and his tendency, while on that network, to offer sympathies for conservatism.

Race has remained relatively un-discussed if, for nothing else, because there appeared to be no overtly racial undertones with the firing. But on Sunday, Fox News’ Brit Hume, sitting across from Williams, went there, arguing that Williams was fired because he didn’t fit NPR’s “culture” of what an African-American news analysts should be.

Full story…

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