20 Matching Annotations
  1. Sep 2020
    1. The modern practice of the committee questioning nominees on their judicial views began with the nomination of John Marshall Harlan II in 1955; the nomination came shortly after the Supreme Court handed down its landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision, and several southern senators attempted to block Harlan's confirmation, hence the decision to testify.[1][8]

      Interesting that this practice stems from the imposition of what looks like racist policies.

    1. In American folklore, the nation was built out of a wilderness by free-booting individuals - the trappers, cowboys, preachers, and settlers of the frontier. Yet this primary myth of the American republic ignores the contradiction at the heart of the American dream: that some individuals can prosper only through the suffering of others. The life of Thomas Jefferson - the man behind the ideal of `Jeffersonian democracy' - clearly demonstrates the double nature of liberal individualism. The man who wrote the inspiring call for democracy and liberty in the American declaration of independence was at the same time one of the largest slave-owners in the country.

      Some profound ideas here about the "American Dream" and the dark underbelly of what it may take to achieve not only for individuals, but to do so at scale.

    1. Keenan calls the practice of drawing arbitrary lending boundaries around areas of perceived environmental risk “bluelining,” and indeed many of the neighborhoods that banks are bluelining are the same as the ones that were hit by the racist redlining practice in days past. This summer, climate-data analysts at the First Street Foundation released maps showing that 70% more buildings in the United States were vulnerable to flood risk than previously thought; most of the underestimated risk was in low-income neighborhoods.

      Bluelining--a neologism I've not seen before, but it's roughly what one would expect.

    1. Access and representation in tech isn't a pipeline or qualification problem. It's a white supremacy problem.
    1. 1. Small individual bias → Large collective bias. When someone says a culture is shapist, they're not saying the individuals in it are shapist. They're not attacking you personally. 2. The past haunts the present. Your bedroom floor doesn't stop being dirty just coz you stopped dropping food all over the carpet. Creating equality is like staying clean: it takes work. And it's always a work in progress. 3. Demand diversity near you. If small biases created the mess we're in, small anti-biases might fix it. Look around you. Your friends, your colleagues, that conference you're attending. If you're all triangles, you're missing out on some amazing squares in your life - that's unfair to everyone. Reach out, beyond your immediate neighbors.

      Nice summary here of their work. This has some ideas towards reversing structural racism and racist policies.

    1. These three strands collided throughout the twentieth century, as the prosperity gospel came into being. It started — like the “work ethic” Max Weber described — as a way to justify why, during the Gilded Age, some people were rich and others poor. (One early prosperity gospel proponent, Baptist preacher Russell H. Conwell, told his mostly-destitute congregation in 1915: “I say you ought to be rich; you have no right to be poor.”) Instead of blaming structural inequality, Conwell and those like him blamed the perceived failures of the individual.

      This philosophy also overlaps some of the resurgence of white nationalism and structural racism in the early 1900's which also tended to disadvantage people of color. ie, we can blame the coloreds because it's not structural inequality, but the failure of the individual (and the race.)

  2. Aug 2020
    1. What if, as in the case of anonymous résumés, the DA had no clue about the race of the accused? For that matter, what if you also removed identifying information on the victim and even the location of the crime? In 2019, the San Francisco DA’s office began anonymous charging, removing potentially biasing information from crime reports DAs use to decide whether or not to bring charges (http://bkaprt.com/dcb/02-30/). It’s too soon to tell the outcome of that experiment but, again, the removal of a decisive element may enhance an experience rather than detract from it.

      Another way to potentially approach this is to take the biasing information and reduce the charging by statistical means to negate the biased effects?

      Separately, how can this be done at the street level to allow policing resources to find and prosecute white collar criminals who may be having a more profoundly deleterious effect on society?

  3. Jul 2020
    1. White Fragility is, in the end, a book about how to make certain educated white readers feel better about themselves. DiAngelo’s outlook rests upon a depiction of Black people as endlessly delicate poster children within this self-gratifying fantasy about how white America needs to think—or, better, stop thinking. Her answer to white fragility, in other words, entails an elaborate and pitilessly dehumanizing condescension toward Black people. The sad truth is that anyone falling under the sway of this blinkered, self-satisfied, punitive stunt of a primer has been taught, by a well-intentioned but tragically misguided pastor, how to be racist in a whole new way.

      Perhaps the better advice to the potential readers of such a tome would be to ignore the "well-intentioned" white woman and instead take some time and patience to read some African American voices, Ibram X. Kendi's Stamped from the Beginning or The African-American Experience edited by Kai Wright.

      If you really insist on getting help from someone white to start off on your journey, then I can only recommend John Biewen's excellent Seeing White podcast series, though both John and the series are "kept honest" by recurring guest Chenjerai Kumanyika and a variety of other great guests and interviewees.

    2. Nor should anyone dismiss me as a rara avis. Being middle class, upwardly mobile, and Black has been quite common during my existence since the mid-1960s, and to deny this is to assert that affirmative action for Black people did not work.

      While he says this, I want to say that I've heard generally the opposite, particularly for African American boys/men from one generation to the next. I'll have to dig into sources for this, but I want to say some may be found in an episode of The Daily from the NY Times roughly a year ago.

    1. Now when police cross the line, holding them accountable is virtually impossible. The judge-made doctrine of qualified immunity makes suing the police for damages incredibly difficult. The exclusionary rule, which says that evidence seized by the police in the course of an unconstitutional search or seizure should be excluded from trial, is virtually a dead letter. And individuals harmed by unconstitutional policing policies, such as choke holds of the sort used to kill Floyd and Garner, cannot sue to prevent these policies from being enforced.
  4. Jun 2020
    1. . “ It i s . . . t he con-crete universal, self-determining thought, which constitutes the prin-ciple and character of Europeans,” Hegel once wrote. “ God becomes man, r evealing himself.” I n contrast, African people, he said, were “a nation of children” i n the “first stage” of human development: “ The negro is an example of animal man in all his s avagery and lawlessness.” They could be educated, but t hey would never advance on their own. Hegel’s foundational racist idea justified Europe’s ongoing coloniza-tion of Africa. European colonizers would supposedly bring progress to Africa’s residents, j ust as European enslavers had brought progress to Africans i n the Americas.
    2. Master/slave sex fundamentally acknowledged the humanity of Black and biracial women, but it simultaneously reduced that human-ity to their sexuality. I n the Christian world, s exuality was believed to be the animal t rait of humans.
    3. When Black people rose, r acists either violently knocked them down or i gnored them as extraordinary. When Black people were down, r ac-ists called it t heir natural or nurtured place, and denied any role in knocking them down in the first place.
    4. Congress passed the Fugitive Slave Act of 1 793, bestowing on slaveholders t he right and legal a ppa-ratus t o recover escaped Africans and criminalize those who harbored them.
    5. With no intention to publish, J efferson unabashedly expressed his views on Black people, and in particular on potentially freed Black people. “ Incorporating the [freed] blacks i nto the state” was out of the question, he declared. “ Deep rooted prejudices entertained by the whites; t en thousand recollections, by the blacks, of t he injuries they have sustained; new provocations; t he real distinctions which nature has made; and many other circumstances, will divide us i nto parties, and produce convulsions, which will probably never end but in the extermination of t he one or t he other r ace

      Jefferson to French diplomat François Barbé-Marbois in 1781 in Notes on the State of Virginia.

      Little did he know that these convulsions would reverberate for over 240 years.

    1. As African-American businessman Ishmael Trone said last week, the reform has to go beyond policing in order for there to be equality in this country, including banking reform, mortgage reform and business loan reform.
  5. Mar 2020
    1. In 2018, according to the Pew Research Center, ninety-seven per cent of all tweets posted by American adults about national politics were posted by ten per cent of tweeters. A disproportionate number of the people in Twitter’s town hall are the sorts of people who were eligible to vote in 1820, before the first, Jackson-era expansion of the electorate: the wealthy, the educated, and the hyperpartisan. Twitter isn’t the future of American democracy; it’s the past.

      Wow! This is a damning statement. It certainly makes me rethink staying on the platform.

  6. Jan 2020
    1. Pearson, the publisher whose Texas textbook raises questions about the quality of Harlem Renaissance literature, said such language “adds more depth and nuance.”

      If they wanted to add more "depth and nuance" wouldn't they actually go into greater depth on the topic by adding pages instead of subtly painting it such a discouraging light?

      But Texas students will read that some critics “dismissed the quality of literature produced.”

  7. Sep 2019
    1. and that this assemblage of horrors might want no fact of distinguished die, he is now exciting those very people to rise in arms among us, and to purchase that liberty of which he has deprived them, by murdering the people upon whom he also obtruded them; thus paying off former crimes committed against the liberties of one people, with crimes which he urges them to commit against the lives of another.
    2. he has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating it’s most sacred rights of life & liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating & carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere, or to incur miserable death in their transportation thither.

      and yet slavery was allowed to flourish after this...