White Supremacy ‘a Sickness,’ says Ex-Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young

Civil rights leader and former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young’s “distinguished contributions to justice” were cited by American Society of Criminology president Karen Heimer in giving him the Presidential Justice Award.

Civil rights leader and former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young was honored for  his “distinguished contributions to justice” by the American Society of Criminology (ASC), which concluded its annual meeting over the weekend in Atlanta.

In his remarks to the participants, Young recalled his efforts to promote Atlanta as a  “city too busy to hate,” noting that he had been taught by his father that “white supremacy is a sickness.”

Young, who served as the host city’s mayor from 1982 to 1990, said he sent police officers into the city’s housing projects to help young people gain self-confidence through activities like midnight basketball league.

Young, 86, admitted to the academic audience that in college he got a “D” in sociology.

He got a standing ovation with his closing declaration that “peace is practical… it makes sense…and it is possible.”

Young received the Presidential Justice Award from outgoing ASC president Karen Heimer of the University of Iowa.

Young served as executive director of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in the 1960s as a senior aide to Martin Luther King, Jr. He was elected three times to Congress before being appointed by President Jimmy Carter as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations in 1977.

This report was prepared by Ted Gest, president of Criminal Justice Journalists and Washington bureau chief of The Crime Report.

from https://thecrimereport.org

Sen. Warren: US Justice System Is Racist ‘Front to Back’

Speaking in New Orleans, the Massachusetts senator cited disproportionate arrests of African-Americans for petty drug possession; an overloaded public defender system; and state laws that keep convicted felons from voting even after their sentences are complete.

Speaking at a historically black university, potential Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren delivered what she called “the hard truth about our criminal justice system: It’s racist … I mean front to back,” reports the Associated Press.  The Massachusetts senator identified some of the system’s failures: disproportionate arrests of African-Americans for petty drug possession; an overloaded public defender system; and state laws that keep convicted felons from voting even after their sentences are complete. Warren was participating in a Q&A session Friday hosted by Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Cedric Richmond at the historically black Dillard University in New Orleans.

The stop is the latest sign of Warren’s effort to forge ties beyond her largely white political base in Massachusetts and avoid the fate of fellow progressive icon Bernie Sanders, who struggled to win over African-Americans during his failed bid for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination. Facing re-election to the Senate this year, Warren did not directly address her 2020 plans. But when Richmond asked her what might have changed since she decided not to run in 2016, the senator was ready. “Two words: Donald Trump,” Warren said, before shifting to warn the audience that the November midterm vote is the immediate fight as Democrats try to break GOP control of Congress.

from https://thecrimereport.org

WA Sheriff Fires Deputy with White Nationalist Affiliation

The female deputy, on the job just 14 months, wears and sells “Proud Boys” clothing. The Southern Poverty Law Center says Proud Boys is a white nationalist hate group.

The Clark County, Wash., Sheriff’s Office has fired a deputy who wears and sells clothing affiliated with the Proud Boys, a far-right group known for its white nationalist rhetoric and frequent appearances in the middle of political violence, reports The Columbian of Vancouver. Deputy Erin Willey was terminated last week after the newspaper received a photo showing her wearing a hoodie emblazoned with a Proud Boys logo–a switchblade, lipstick and an abbreviation for Proud Boys’ Girls. Willey can found listed online as a seller of Proud Boys merchandise. Clark County Undersheriff Mike Cooke declined to give details of Willey’s termination, saying it’s a personnel matter. She did not return requests for comment.

In a statement, Clark County Sheriff Chuck Atkins said, “Law enforcement officers are peacekeepers whose core mission is to protect and safeguard the community. My expectation is that my employees do not engage in activities or associations that undermine or diminish our role as peacekeepers.” Willey was hired in May 2017, and completed her law enforcement academy training in December. The Proud Boys call themselves a “pro-Western fraternal organization” for men who “refuse to apologize for creating the modern world,” according to their founder, Gavin McInnes. The group advocates for a return to a 1950s sense of traditional gender roles and includes “venerate the housewife” among its tenets. The group rejects a white nationalist label, but the Southern Poverty Law Center has categorized it as a hate group. 

from https://thecrimereport.org

How to Desegregate America

Too many black families still suffer from the consequences of racism– conditions that undermine upward mobility and perpetuate unacceptable levels of poverty, crime and other social ills, according to Project 21, a network of black leaders from across the nation, in a report released Wednesday.

New legislation is needed to prevent racial discrimination that still dominates the lives of minorities, one advocacy group argues.

Unfortunately, too many black families today suffer from a non-racial scourge – conditions that undermine upward mobility and perpetuate unacceptable levels of poverty, crime and other social ills, according to Project 21, a network of black leaders from across the nation–a program of the National Center for Public Policy Research.

“The vaunted social safety net has become a web that ensnares black families in a vicious cycle of dependency, ” the authors of “Blueprint for a Better Deal for Black America” said.

They listed the following steps required for desegregating America:

Promote K–12 Educational Choice: Establish federal needs-based vouchers funded in part through an IRS 1040 voluntary donation check-off. Improve school security through upgrades in entry doors and by allowing trained school personnel access to guns.

Improve Higher Education: Require schools to meet minimum graduation rate standards for both general and minority student populations to be eligible for federal student financial aid. Establish tuition caps for schools participating in student financial aid programs.

Reduce Black Unemployment: Abolish the Jim Crow-era Davis-Bacon Act; initiate a second wave of welfare reform with work requirements and waive the minimum wage and collection of FICA for younger workers in special low-income areas.

Strengthen Faith-Based Communities: Establish federal Tax Credit Scholarships; repeal the Johnson Amendment; create a tax credit for families paying for nursery-12 fees and tuition and ban abortions performed exclusively on the basis of fetus ethnicity.

Promote Self-Determination: End fraudulent election practices that dilute black votes. Require proof of citizenship to register; vigorously prosecute those who target minority communities for fraud and prohibit the mailing out of ballots that haven’t been requested.

Improve the Relationship Between Police and Black Communities: Get police out of the regulation business; disarm federal agencies and transfer the resources to support police community outreach programs; increase use of body cameras; provide training to police in identifying people with autism; end gun bans and put police in charge of safety training.

End Excessive Regulation: Require “Minority Impact Assessments” for new regulations.

Stop Wealth Transfer From the Poor to Non-Citizens: Bar illegal aliens from using public services, except in emergencies.

Reduce the Economic Harm of Excise Taxes: Repeal federal, state and local sin and gas taxes, all of which have a disproportionate negative impact on low-income families.

Reform the Criminal Justice System: Require convictions for assets to be forfeited; prohibit incarceration for fine-only misdemeanors; require fines and forfeitures be transferred to general funds instead of enforcing agency budgets and consider ability to pay in levying fines.

The following suggestions, authors argued, will remove barriers blocking blacks from reaching their full potential and ensuring the American dream is attainable for all.

A full copy of the report can be found here

This summary was prepared by Megan Hadley, a reporter for The Crime Report. She welcomes readers’ comments. 

from https://thecrimereport.org

School Officials See Surge in Brazen Racism by Students

While difficult to quantify as a trend, many educators note a spike in overtly racist actions by students, fueled by a polarizing presidential administration, divided public and a “meme culture.”

Maryland students using their shirts to spell a racial slur used against black people at a rally. Pennsylvania students posing with swastika-carved pumpkins. A Montana student photographed with a gun accompanied with a racial epithet. Racial incidents are appearing to pop up at an alarming rate in the nation’s public schools, reports the Associated Press. There were roughly 80 incidents in October alone, by one expert’s count. Many educators note a spike anecdotally, and social media can give such incidents wider and faster exposure. But it’s far trickier to assess whether there’s an increase numerically, with no organization or agency consistently tracking the issue over time.

School officials acknowledge the incidents are more visible and brazen, fueled by a polarizing presidential administration, divided public and “meme culture.” A study released last month by UCLA showed a surge in teachers reporting student anxiety, from roughly 7 percent in past years to 51 percent this year. It also showed nearly 28 percent of teachers reporting a spike in students making derogatory remarks about other groups during class discussions. Teaching Tolerance, an anti-hate program, used to get requests from schools once a month for help. But since the election it’s been daily, according to Maureen Costello of the Southern Poverty Law Center.

from https://thecrimereport.org

St. Paul Police Union Accused of ‘Dog Whistle Racism’

St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman has called on the board of the Minnesota city’s Police Federation to resign amid allegations that the union’s criticism of a black mayoral candidate smacks of racism.

St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman and mayoral candidate Pat Harris called on the leadership of the Minnesota city’s police union to resign Thursday evening, decrying as racist the group’s recent criticism of Harris’ opponent Melvin Carter III, reports the Pioneer Press. The St. Paul Police Federation accused Carter, who is black, of doing too little to secure two handguns that were stolen from his home in an August burglary. The Police Federation has endorsed Harris in the race for mayor. The criticism was first aired Tuesday in a statement from the union and reiterated Thursday in a campaign mailer that suggested a link between the stolen guns and recent gun violence in St. Paul.

Echoing earlier statements from Carter’s campaign, Coleman and Harris separately criticized the “attacks” as racially motivated — a charge rejected by Police Federation President Dave Titus. “David Titus and the board of the Saint Paul Police Federation have embarrassed the good men and women of the Saint Paul Police Department for too long,” Coleman wrote on Facebook. “The racist attacks and hollow apologies of the last two days may have been aimed at one candidate, but they affect all people of color, and all people of character. They are not worthy of Saint Paul.” Later, Harris said in an emailed statement that “there is absolutely no place in Saint Paul for the type of dirty, political tactics and dog whistle racism that have come from the Saint Paul Police Federation’s leadership over the past few days.”

from https://thecrimereport.org

GA Cop Suggests Police ‘Only Kill Blacks’; Loses Job

The veteran police lieutenant from suburban Atlanta apparently was attempting to use sarcasm to deal with a woman who feared being shot during a traffic stop. It failed. His boss called his comments “inexcusable and inappropriate.”

A police lieutenant from suburban Atlanta will lose his job after he was caught on dashcam footage telling a woman in a traffic stop, “We only kill black people.” A lawyer for Cobb County Police Lt. Greg Abbott said the comments “must be observed in their entirety to understand their context,” reports CNN. Abbott, a cop for 27 years, was attempting to de-escalate a situation involving an uncooperative passenger, lawyer Lance J. LoRusso said. But police Chief Mike Register said that no matter the context, the statements were “inexcusable and inappropriate” and that he will lose his job. (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that Abbott sent an email to the county announcing his retirement as Register was announcing his termination.)

The dashcam video shows Abbott trying to talk a woman out of her vehicle so he can impound her car. Much of the conversation is inaudible. When he tells her to reach for her phone in her lap, she responds, “I just don’t want to put my hands down…I’ve just seen way too many videos of cops…” she continues amid the garbled crosstalk, prompting his response. “But you’re not black. Remember? We only kill black people. Yeah. We only kill black people, right? All the videos you’ve seen, have you seen (inaudible) people get killed?” Abbott’s lawyer said Abbott’s comments “were clearly aimed at attempting to gain compliance by using the passenger’s own statements and reasoning to avoid making an arrest.” Register acknowledged that Abbott may have been attempting to be sarcastic.

from https://thecrimereport.org

NAACP Issues a Travel Advisory–for State of Missouri

It was the first time the group issued a warning about a particular state. It cited longtime racial disparities in traffic enforcement and a spate of recent incidents that resulted in harm to minority residents and visitors.

NAACP officials say their recent travel advisory for Missouri is the first that the civil rights group has issued for any state, reports the Kansas City Star. But the warning follows a recent trend of similar alerts issued by other groups for vulnerable people around the United States. The travel advisory, circulated in June by the Missouri NAACP and recently taken up by the national organization, comes after travel alerts began appearing in recent years following police shootings in the U.S. and ahead of immigration legislation in Texas and Arizona.

The Missouri advisory is the first time an NAACP conference has made one state the subject of a warning about discrimination and racist attacks, a spokesman said. The group cited longtime racial disparities in traffic enforcement, a spate of incidents resulting in harm to minority residents and visitors, and recent legislation making discrimination lawsuits harder to win there.

from https://thecrimereport.org

Web Firm Cloudfare Gives Internet Voice to Racist Groups

The San Francisco-based tech firm is the go-to internet network vendor for the neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer and other white supremacist groups. The company’s CEO has said Cloudfare has no “affirmative obligation to monitor and make determinations about the theoretically harmful nature of speech a site may contain.”

Since its launch in 2013, the neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer has quickly become the go-to spot for racists on the internet, says ProPublica. Traffic is up lately at other white supremacist sites like The Right Stuff, Iron March, American Renaissance and Stormfront. The operations of such extreme sites are made possible, in part, by Cloudfare, an otherwise very mainstream internet company. Based in San Francisco, Cloudflare operates more than 100 data centers spread across the world, serving as a sort of middleman for websites — speeding up delivery of a site’s content and protecting it from several kinds of attacks. Cloudflare says that some 10 percent of web requests flow through its network, and the company’s mainstream clients range from the FBI to the dating site OKCupid.

The widespread use of Cloudflare’s services by racist groups is not an accident. Cloudflare has said it is not in the business of censoring websites and will not deny its services to even the most offensive purveyors of hate. “A website is speech. It is not a bomb,” Cloudflare’s CEO Matthew Prince wrote in 2013. He said “no provider has an affirmative obligation to monitor and make determinations about the theoretically harmful nature of speech a site may contain.” Cloudflare has an added appeal to sites such as The Daily Stormer: It turns over to the hate sites the personal information of people who criticize their content. This has led to campaigns of harassment against those people.

from https://thecrimereport.org