Archive for the ‘African American’ Category

Want to empower African American kids? Give them bikes

Saturday, July 19th, 2014

(Grist.org) Cycling has a reputation for being a white man’s sport, hobby, and mode of transportation. It’s an image rooted in truth — white people accounted for about 80 percent of the cycling population in the U.S. as of 2009 — but it’s far from a complete picture. From 2001 to 2009, the rates of cycling among African Americans, Hispanics, and Asians grew far more than among whites.

Ed Ewing is working hard to keep that trend going. He’s the director of diversity and inclusion for the Cascade Bicycle Club and co-founder of the Major Taylor Project, a program that uses cycling to empower underserved youth in the Seattle area. The program is named after Major Taylor, the first African-American to win a cycling world championship race.

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How to hook up tech sector with talent

Sunday, July 13th, 2014

(CNN editorial, Van Jones) – Google, Yahoo, LinkedIn and Facebook have all releasedtheir workforce diversity reports in the past few weeks. These reports have sparked much hand-wringing about the low number of African-Americans and Latinos who are working in Silicon Valley tech companies. We expect to see a tide of more reports, illustrating a dismal situation needing attention.

But, too often, stunned commentators overlook a simple fact: This problem is fixable.

Tech companies need more workers, and African-American and Latino communities need more work. Silicon Valley has an insatiable demand for genius. Communities of color have an untapped supply of it. Putting aside any blaming or shaming, tech leaders and communities of color could greatly benefit by coming together — to ensure that America stops wasting so much genius. Neither Silicon Valley nor low-opportunity communities can afford it anymore.

For instance: 70% of "Googlers" are men, 30% women; 61% are white and 30% are Asian. Blacks and Hispanics? Only 2% and 3%, respectively. Google's May 2014 report could best be summed up with the company's own words: "We're not where we want to be."

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Joe Walsh kicked off his own radio show for racial slur

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

(Examiner.com) Joe Walsh, the former Republican Illinois representative in Congress, was taken off his radio program on WIND-AM radio in Chicago for using racial slurs on the radio waves, according to the Huffington Post on Friday. Walsh has hosted “The Joe Walsh Show on the conservative radio station for about a year-and-a-half. Walsh turned to a radio talk-show career shortly after being ousted from politics when he was defeated by Tammy Duckworth in a contentious political contest.

Taking to social media’s Twitter, Walsh complained about being taken off the air by the station’s management. Walsh claims that he used several epithets during a talk about the Redskins’ controversial name. During that segment, he used the “n-word.” On Twitter, Walsh’s response was that WIND-AM radio keeps cutting him off. He wrote: “The station keeps cutting me off. I don’t know why.”

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Supervisor threatens to hang worker for drinking from ‘white people’ fountain

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

(CNN) – The recording sounds like something from Jim Crow days: a white supervisor threatening to hang an African-American employee for drinking water from a "white people" fountain.

But it's 2014, in Memphis, Tennessee.

Untonia Harris, who worked at Atkinson Cotton Warehouse, said he used his phone to record his supervisor after feeling discriminated against for months.

In the audio, Harris asks if he could use a microwave.

"Hell no!" a man he describes as the supervisor responds.

When he asks why, the purported voice from the supervisor says it's because Harris is not white.

In another attempt to use the water fountain, the supervisor has the same reaction.

"I need to put a sign here that says, 'White people only,'" the voice says.

Harris asks what will happen if he is caught drinking from the fountain.

The voice replies, "That's when we hang you."

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Prominent black men ask Obama: What about black women and girls?

Saturday, June 7th, 2014

(Washington Post) A group of prominent black men — 210 so far — have written an open letter to President Obama, asking that he consider the plight of young women of color in tandem with his administration’s focus on young men of color. Signed by scholars, ministers and activists, the letter comes as the White House announced this week that former basketball star and entrepreneur Earvin “Magic” Johnson will co-chair “My Brother’s Keeper,” a $200 million public- and private-sector effort that will direct resources to black and Hispanic boys.

The signers of the letter, among them actor Danny Glover and civil rights activist James M. Lawson and leading academics, write to Obama that they were “were surprised and disappointed that your commitments express empathy to only half of our community — men and boys of color.”

We write as African American men who have supported your presidency, stood behind you when the inevitable racist challenges to your authority have emerged, and have understood that our hopes would be tempered by the political realities that you would encounter. While we continue to support your presidency, we write both out of a sense of mutual respect and personal responsibility to address what we believe to be the unfortunate missteps in the My Brothers Keeper initiative (MBK). In short, in lifting up only the challenges that face males of color, MBK — in the absence of any comparable initiative for females — forces us to ask where the complex lives of Black women and Black girls fit into the White House’s vision of racial justice?

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TECH CEO: If Silicon Valley Wanted To Solve The Diversity Issue, It Would Be Solved

Thursday, June 5th, 2014

(Business Insider) African-Americans in the tech industry still seem to be relatively few and far between.

Tech behemoth Google's US-based workforce is only 2% black, the company recently announced

But that is changing — very slowly, but surely.

In February of this year, Apple appointed Denise Young Smith to lead its worldwide human resources division — a position previously held by a white man.

Also this year, storage startup Dropbox announced the appointment of former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to its board of directors.

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Michelle Obama Cites View of Growing Segregation

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

(New York Times) Sixty years after the Supreme Court outlawed “separate but equal” schools for blacks and whites, civil rights advocates say American schools are becoming increasingly segregated, while the first lady, Michelle Obama, lamented that “many young people are going to schools with kids who look just like them.”

“Today, by some measures, our schools are as segregated as they were back when Dr. King gave his final speech,” Mrs. Obama told 1,200 graduating high school seniors Friday here in the city that gave rise to the landmark Brown v. Board of Education case.

In a speech that was part commencement address, part policy pronouncement and part journey into her own past, Mrs. Obama said that Brown’s advances were being reversed. “Many districts in this country have actually pulled back on efforts to integrate their schools, and many communities have become less diverse,” she said, leading to schools that are less diverse.

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CNBC Anchor: Apple Wants Beats for Its ‘Hip Hop, African-American Cool’ Factor

Monday, May 12th, 2014

(Mediaite) On Thursday night, news broke that Apple is in talks to acquire the Beats Electronics brand for $3.2 million. Beats is perhaps best known for its Beats by Dr. Dre headphones, but also recently launched a streaming Beats Music subscription service. But why does Apple, which has historically stayed away from major acquisitions like this one, want to buy the company for such a large sum?

This was the question CNBC’s Squawk on the Street panel was attempting to answer Friday morning when host Simon Hobbs threw out a surprisingly frank hypothesis.

But first, corespondent Jon Fortt argued that Apple was making a mistake in buying Beats because a competing hardware company has the potential to “dilute” their own solid brand. “There’s actually potentially negative value here,” Fortt said. “Apple should buy either the biggest or the smartest in the space. Beats is neither.”

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Voting Rights: The Real (and Continuing) Battle Against Racism

Friday, May 9th, 2014

(Huffington Post) While the racist harangues of Cliven Bundy and Donald Sterling have been consuming air time and newsprint, institutional racism in the form of discrimination against African-American voters remains on the rise in states dominated by Republican governors and legislators.

In the '60s the entire power structure in the Deep South — from the state house down to each county sheriff — collaborated to prevent African Americans from voting,beating and sometimes killing those who tried to exercise our most basic right of citizenship.

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 outlawed poll taxes, literacy tests and other tactics that had been used to prevent African Americans from registering to vote. It also gave the federal government the power to enforce the VRA.

But in June of last year, by a vote of five to four, the Supreme Court struck downSection 4 of the VRA, which had required states with a history of racial discrimination to get preclearance from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) before changing their voting laws. Without the preclearance provision, the DOJ can no longer prevent a biased law from going into operation; it must react case by case.

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Donald Sterling controversy swirls around NAACP

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

(AP) — The Los Angeles chapter of the NAACP offered the same thing for Clippers owner Donald Sterling and civil rights advocate Leon Jenkins – an opportunity for image rehabilitation.

Sterling, a big-name donor, made contributions that helped earn him NAACP awards as he tried to recover from a damaging discrimination lawsuit. Jenkins, the LA chapter's president, sought to use his volunteer work to show he was ready to return to practicing law after having been disbarred.

But in the days since racist comments from the NBA team owner became public, both men have fallen further and tarnished the organization that brought them together.

"We do have this society that gives people an out by allowing them to redeem themselves through charity," Daniel Borochoff, president of CharityWatch, said. "And that's something that can be worth it – if it doesn't destroy the integrity of the organization."

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