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Racism

Workers At Hooters-Style Restaurant Go On Strike

Brentwood, Tennessee - Latino immigrant kitchen workers and a group of racially diverse women servers walked out at the Twin Peaks restaurant in Brentwood, Tennessee, on Saturday, January 14. They say their employer is serving up of a toxic brew of racism and sexism. “We went on strike to fire a manager because he is mistreating my co-workers verbally and physically,” Juan Carlos Mendoza, a barback with six years at the restaurant, told the Spanish-language news channel Nashville Noticias. “The manager is a racist… and that’s why we raised our voices.” Eighteen workers walked out, accusing general manager Andrew “Hunter” Kirkpatrick of racist and abusive behavior, including throwing away their lunches, berating them for speaking Spanish, and threatening to call the police on them. The kitchen workers are indigenous people from Mexico and Guatemala.

White Supremacy

In recent years, the concept of white supremacy has been associated with extreme racist groups and ultranationalists, as well as high profile acts of associated racial terrorism, particularly in Western countries. Some examples are: the massacre of nine African-American worshippers  at Mother Emmanuel AME Church in South Carolina (USA), the violent white nationalist  march in Charlottesville, Virginia (USA), the mosque shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand  that killed 51 people and injured 49, the Hanau, Germany attack that killed nine people  and wounded six others, and the shooting deaths of eleven congregants in a synagogue in  Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (USA), among many others. There has also been a renewed rise of right-wing movements, politicians, and governments who espouse and advocate for ethno-nationalist and white supremacist policies.

Chris Hedges Report: America Made Me A Black Man

Boyah J. Farah fled the war in Somalia arriving in the United States as a refugee with his mother and siblings when he was fifteen. His romantic dreams of America quickly ran into the dark undercurrents of American racism. Living in a housing project in Bedford, Massachusetts he was forced to discover the curse of being Black in America, the daily humiliations and small, but insidious ways he was made to constantly feel an outsider by whites. He watched as other Somali families succumbed to the poison of American racism, writing that although they had survived the war in Africa, American broke them and carried them off. America is democratic, he concedes sardonically, for every Black person is, in the end, simply another disposable Black body. Boyah J. Farah joins The Chris Hedges Report to discuss his memoir America Made Me a Black Man.

A Racial Disparity Across New York That Is Truly Jarring

It has long been established that people of color — and especially Black people — are disproportionately criminalized, prosecuted, and incarcerated by the criminal legal system. When it comes to arrests, charges, convictions, and sentences, at every step, Black people are treated much more harshly than white people. But even though this reality is not new, just how unequal the system is across New York is still surprising: In Manhattan — one of the wealthiest and least equal places in the country — courts convicted Black people of felonies and misdemeanors at a rate 21 times greater than that of white people over the past two decades. This disparity is the largest of any county in the state. This troubling statistic features prominently in a lawsuit filed recently by the New York Civil Liberties Union challenging the constitutionality of a ban on people with felony convictions serving on juries in Manhattan.

Ghost Stories Of Capitalism: Racism Is Real, And It’s A Class Struggle

In today’s political climate, the word racism has become taboo. Some on the “Left” take issue with the term because of how it has been co-opted by the neoliberal elite. This is understandable, since the neoliberal Democratic Party has indeed exploited race relations in the United States to forward a “lesser evil” but no less dangerous brand of U.S. imperialism. Racism is thus increasingly viewed as an ideological weapon of liberalism rather than a material force of oppression. So-called “conservatives” have pounced on the limitations of neoliberal racial politics to strengthen their own brand as crusaders against the “woke” politics of the Democrats. The problem with all of this is that racism is a very real manifestation of class struggle. Racism isn’t merely the hateful words and behaviors acted out by individuals. It isn’t simply a set of “institutional” problems that can be reformed away at the workplace or the criminal justice system, either. Some on the liberal “left” say that racism is “systemic,” but even this is misleading. Failing to name the system, U.S. imperialism, decontextualizes racism from its roots in class and power.

Report: Dismantling Racism And Militarism In US Foreign Policy

The prevailing, militaristic conception of “national security” is steeped in racism and perpetuates white supremacy. The Racism-Militarism Paradigm is a way of looking at the world, widely shared among the U.S. policymaking community and much of the public, that arises from a largely unacknowledged doctrine of white supremacy and the necessity of using violence to uphold it. This paradigm establishes a rigid hierarchy, based on race, that values white lives more than any other—at home and abroad. It embraces militarism as the most effective mechanism to guarantee this ordering of society and the world.

Making The Painful History Of Maryland Lynchings More Visible

Maryland - No matter how gigantic or modest, memorials and monuments retain a certain power that we can feel when we encounter them. There are remnants of demolished workhouses in Western Ireland, worn down to lumps of stone foundations, that would go unrecognized if not for a good tour guide pointing them out. And there are specially designed architectural and immersive experiences like Berlin’s holocaust memorial, whose concrete blocks rise and tower over you the deeper you descend into the stark grid. The Equal Justice Initiative’s National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama, produces a similarly visceral effect. As you travel through rows of tarnished steel columns inscribed with the names (if known) of several thousand Black people lynched in various counties throughout the United States, the blocks come to resemble hanged bodies raised higher and higher above you, forcing you to crane your neck as a witness.

How Europe Is Destroying Its Own ‘Garden’

The European Union’s Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell is not particularly perceived by the EU’s political elite or mainstream media as a rightwing ideologue or warmonger. But seen through a different, non-western prism, it is hard not to mistake him for one. Borrell’s recent comments that “Europe is a garden” and that “the rest of the world is a jungle” were duly condemned as ‘racist’ by many politicians around the world, but mostly in the Global South. Borrell’s remarks, however, must also be viewed as an expression of superiority, not only of Borell personally, but of Europe’s ruling classes as a whole. Particularly interesting about the EU top diplomat’s words are these inaccurate depictions of Europe and its relationship with the rest of the world: “We have built a garden”, “everything works” and “the jungle could invade the garden”.

The Racism Of The Supreme Court’s Supermajority Was On Full Display

During more than five hours of oral arguments in two cases that will probably spell the death of affirmative action in colleges and universities, the racism of the six right-wingers on the Supreme Court was on full display. It appears the court will overrule existing precedent that permits limited affirmative action. The court ruled in the 2003 case of Grutter v. Bollinger that the 14th Amendment allows public universities to consider race as one factor in a “holistic” admissions process in order to assemble a diverse student body. “Numerous studies show that student body diversity promotes learning outcomes, and ‘better prepares students for an increasingly diverse workforce and society, and better prepares them as professionals,’” the court explained.

Mumia Abu-Jamal Denied A New Trial

Yesterday, at 12:45pm October 26, 2022, a proposed order denying Mumia Abu-Jamal’s constitutional claims of jury bias and suppressed evidence was issued by Common Pleas court Judge Lucretia Clemons.   Abu-Jamal’s defense petition included newly discovered evidence that had been buried in the prosecutor’s own files.  This evidence documented key witnesses receiving promises of money for their testimony and evidence of favorable treatment in pending criminal cases. The petition also documented the abhorrent and unconstitutional practice of striking Black jurors during Mumia’s original trial. Philadelphia ADA Jack McMahon made the policy clear in a 1986 training tape stating that getting “a competent, fair and impartial jury. Well, that's ridiculous,'…“You don't want smart people. But if you're sitting down and you're going to take Blacks, you want older Blacks."

Following City Council Members’ Racist Remarks, Oaxacans March For Justice

Los Angeles, California - As hundreds of protesters marched through downtown Los Angeles to City Hall on Saturday afternoon, they made sure everyone knew they were Oaxacan and proud. Their signs boasted pueblos like San Bartolomé Zoogocho, Santa María Xochixtepec and Santiago Zoochila. Brass bands played ‘sones’ and ‘jarabes,’ representing the music tied to their identity. Their chants rang out through the streets: “Se ve, se siente, Oaxaca está presente.” “You see it, you feel it, Oaxaca is present.” Among those in the crowd was Blanca Ruiz, 23, who referred to herself as a “Koreatown Chaparrita,” a nod to her neighborhood and short stature. Ruiz’s family is from Oaxaca and the young woman works with Oaxacan youth. “Any hurtful words, this cures it,” Ruiz said, as she looked around at her fellow Oaxaqueños. “This heals my heart.”

Los Angeles City Council’s Racism Goes Far Beyond Racist Slurs

Los Angeles, California - Los Angeles City Council members have been exposed for their offensive treatment of activists and community members. Private conversations, taped and leaked to the press, revealed President Nury Martinez, Council members Kevin De Leon and Gil Cedillo, and Los Angeles County Federation of Labor president Ron Herrera using racial slurs during a “redistricting” meeting. The four members, who are all Democrats, made fun of the adopted Black child of City Council member Mike Bonin, calling the toddler a “little monkey” in Spanish (“parece changuito”), saying he needed to be beaten for his behavior during a Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Parade. They were also heard conspiring against other city officials, stating the district attorney is “with the Blacks.”

The Moment Black People Showed Up, We Responded With Violence

Listeners will remember the pictures: US Border patrol agents on horseback, wielding reins like whips as they corralled and captured Haitian asylum seekers along the Rio Grande. The appalling images might have served as a symbol of the ill-treatment of Haitians escaping violence and desperation. Instead, elite media made them a stand-in, so that when the report came that, despite appearances, the border patrol didn’t actually whip anyone, one felt that was supposed to sweep away all of the concerns together. Well, there are serious problems with that report, but we should also ask why we saw controversy about photographs foregrounded over the story of Haitians’ horrific treatment at the hands of US border officials—treatment that a new Amnesty report, echoing others, describes as amounting to race-based torture. And why were media so quick to look away?

Packed House For First Community Commission For Public Safety And Accountability Meeting

Chicago, IL - The first meeting of the Interim Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability (CCPSA) took place on the evening of Thursday September 29 at Malcolm X College. The meeting was attended by almost 200 people, most of who were members or supporters of the Empowering Communities for Public Safety (ECPS) coalition. The CCPSA introduced itself to the community, set up committees to do its work, and elected Anthony Driver and Oswaldo Gomez as its president and vice president. The public comments were filled with support for the CCPSA and demands that the mayor and city council give the Interim Commission the staff and budget necessary to transform the city’s public safety system.

There’s A Lot Of Jubilance And Healing In Reparations’

The 1968 Kerner Commission report didn’t just say that US journalists were mistelling the reality of recent civil unrest in Newark and Detroit and elsewhere. They declared that that coverage was only part of a broader media failure to “report adequately on the causes and consequences of civil disorders, and the underlying problems of race relations.” And the report linked that failure to the industry’s abysmal record in seeking out, hiring, training and promoting Black people. For those that remember Kerner, that’s where it seemed to end. But actually, the report didn’t say more Black journalists were the answer. It said that affirmative action was a necessary part of the process of de-centering US reporting’s white male view. It wasn’t just about making newsrooms look different. It was about changing the definition of news as being only, or primarily, about white men, and about doing that for the good of everybody.
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