Archive for March, 2012

Black First Family Sitcom Coming Soon

Saturday, March 31st, 2012

(The Root) Don't get enough of the Obama family from their annual family photos and occasional inside-the-White House interviews? The next-best thing might be The First Family from Byron Allen's Entertainment Studio. The sitcom, about an African-American family living in the White House, is set to air on NBC this fall.

From the Times Leader:


Entertainment Studios, Inc., ( the largest independent producer and distributor of first-run syndicated television programming for broadcast television stations, and owner of seven 24-hour HD television networks, announced that is has ordered 104 episodes of the new show.

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Lawsuit alleges NYPD violated civil rights by entering private buildings

Friday, March 30th, 2012

(The Guardian) The New York City police department is facing a federal class action lawsuit over the expansion of its controversial stop-and-frisk program into residential buildings largely populated by African Americans and Latinos.

On Wednesday the New York Civil Liberties Union, LatinoJustice PRLDEF and The Bronx Defenders set their sights on Operation Clean Halls, an element of the department's stop-and-frisk program that allows police officers to conduct patrols inside thousands of residential buildings throughout the city.

Filed on behalf of 13 black and Latino New Yorkers and a class of similarly situated individuals, the suit accuses the NYPD of systematically violating the constitutional rights of hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers. The suit is the third major legal challenge to the department's stop-and-frisk program in the last five years.

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LAPD chief defends handling of profiling claims

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

(Sacramento Bee) For years, the Los Angeles Police Department has fielded several hundred complaints a year from minorities who said they were unfairly targeted for traffic stops and arrests because of their skin color.

Over that time internal investigations brought one result: No wrongdoing by police.

Until now.

The department is moving to fire a white traffic officer over allegations of racial profiling. The case is a first for a department that has struggled with race relations and is another defining moment in its reform efforts, but some observers believe more needs to be done by LAPD brass to address subconscious biases officers may have.

The case, first reported by the Los Angeles Times, involves motorcycle Officer Patrick Smith, a 15-year veteran, who pulled over Latinos based on their ethnicity and misidentified some as being white on reports he submitted, multiple anonymous sources told the newspaper.

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Arbitron to pay $400,000 in lawsuit over ratings

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

(Fresno Bee) Radio audience ratings company Arbitron Inc. says it is paying $400,000 to settle a case in California in which it was accused of under-representing black and Hispanic listeners in its surveys in the state's largest cities.

Lawyers for the state and the cities of Los Angeles and San Francisco said Arbitron's "Portable People Meters" system "dramatically" under-recruited from those populations when it began in 2008.

Arbitron found participants mainly by calling land-line telephones, a process that tends to under-represent minority populations.

Full story…

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Bias may mean fewer pain meds for black kids

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012


( For a study published online in American Journal of Public Health, pediatricians responded to case scenarios involving medical treatments for white and African American patients for four common pediatric conditions. Those doctors who show an implicit preference for European-Americans tended to prescribe better pain-management for white patients than for African American patients.

“We’re talking about subtle, unconscious attitudes that are pervasive in society. Because these are unconscious attitudes, doctors aren’t aware that their racial attitudes may affect their treatment decisions,” says Janice Sabin, a research assistant professor in the department of biomedical informatics and medical education at the University of Washington.

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Black, Hispanic Americans using social media in larger numbers, experts say

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

(Detroit Free Press) As a black man in America, Shaka Berry, 38, says he has been stopped by police for no apparent reason. He says he is desensitized to news about the deaths of black men.

But when Berry, a telecommunications salesman who lives in Washington, D.C., learned details of the Trayvon Martin case, he said he was moved to tears. He was disturbed about news reports that Trayvon, 17, of Sanford, Fla., was fatally shot Feb. 26 while returning from a run to 7-Eleven for iced tea and Skittles.

Berry was disheartened that shooter George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer described as white by police, had not been arrested. So Berry expressed himself like many others on Facebook: He posted a photo of himself in a hooded sweatshirt — what Trayvon was wearing when he died.

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Calls for justice rage on a month after Trayvon Martin’s killing

Monday, March 26th, 2012

(CNN) A month ago Monday, Trayvon Martin died.

The shooting of the unarmed African-American teenager by

 a neighborhood watch volunteer in a Sanford, Florida, neighborhood renewed the nati

onal conversation about race relations, gun laws, and even how young men dress.

It sparked a national furor that burned all the way to the White House, prompting President Barack Obama last week to call for national soul-searching to discover how something so tragic could happen.

Nearly three-fourths of Americans, including 67 percent of whites and 86 percent of non-whites, believe police should arrest George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer who acknowledged shooting Martin, according to a CNN/ORC International poll released Monday.

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Hair Care Can Pose Health Risks for Black Women

Monday, March 26th, 2012

( Certain hairstyling practices can result in serious hair and scalp diseases for some black women, an expert warns.

“Hair is an extremely important aspect of an African American woman’s appearance,” Dr. Diane Jackson-Richards, director of Henry Ford Hospital’s Multicultural Dermatology Clinic in Detroit, said in a hospital news release. “Yet many women who have a hair or scalp disease do not feel their physician takes them seriously. Physicians should become more familiar with the culturally accepted treatments for these diseases.”

Full story…

US could bring hate charge in Trayvon Martin shooting

Sunday, March 25th, 2012

(Boston Globe) The U.S. Justice Department could bring a hate crime charge against the shooter in the killing of black Florida teenager Trayvon Martin if there is sufficient evidence the slaying was motivated by racial bias and not simply a fight that spiraled out of control, legal experts and former prosecutors say.

So far, only one such clue has surfaced publicly against 28-year-old George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch captain who fatally shot the 17-year-old Martin on Feb. 26 in the central Florida town of Sanford. On one of his 911 calls to police that night, Zimmerman muttered something under his breath that some listeners say sounds like a racial slur. Zimmerman's father is white, and his mother is Hispanic.

Full story…

McDonald’s: New Black CEO

Sunday, March 25th, 2012

(The Root) McDonald's has announced that current President Donald Thompson will take over as CEO on July 1 of this year, becoming the first African American to head the fast-food chain since it was founded in 1955.

From USA Today:

Thompson, who has long been considered among the top candidates to succeed Skinner, will be the first African American to head McDonald's since it was founded in 1955.

Full story…

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