United States - Human Rights Monitor

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Re: United States - Human Rights Monitor

Postby pandyan » 20 Jul 2019 16:38

School district threatens parents their children could be 'placed in foster care' for unpaid lunch debts

A Pennsylvania school district is under fire for sending letters to parents in which they threatened the possible placement of their children in foster care over unpaid school lunch debt.

One of the letters sent to parents in the Wyoming Valley West School District on July 9, shared on social media and obtained by WBRE, stated that if the district did not receive a balance of $75.25, the parents could "be sent to Dependency Court for neglecting your child's right to food." It went on to read, "If you are taken to Dependency court, the result may be your child being removed from your home and placed in foster care."

"Your child has been sent to school every day without money and without breakfast and/or lunch. This is a failure to provide your child with proper nutrition," the letter, signed by Joseph Muth, director of federal programs for the Wyoming Valley West School District, read in part. "Please remit payment as soon as possible to avoid being reported to the proper authorities."

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Re: United States - Human Rights Monitor

Postby darshan » 20 Jul 2019 19:38

Why White Churches Are Hard for Black People
https://www.9marks.org/article/why-whit ... ck-people/
We wear the mask that grins and lies, It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes, This debt we pay to human guile;
With torn and bleeding hearts we smile, And mouth with myriad subtleties.

Why should the world be over-wise, In counting all our tears and sighs? Nay, let them only see us, while We wear the mask.

We smile, but, O great Christ, our cries To thee from tortured souls arise. We sing, but oh the clay is vile Beneath our feet, and long the mile;
But let the world dream otherwise, We wear the mask!

— Paul Laurence Dunbar, premier nineteenth century black poet

In 1896, Dunbar etched those words to explain the struggle of black people in a white world. In 2015, those same words summarize the struggle of black people in white churches. The reasons why are below.

White churches are hard for black people because…

Many white brothers and sisters don’t work against, much less acknowledge, racism, whether subtle or blatant. Meanwhile, the world readily admits that white supremacy resounds today and that subtle racism skulks in ways more difficult to discern. Some white folk in the church act as if, according to one writer, “any mention of ‘racism’ is a racial slur directed at them.” Responding to this perceived slur, some whites speak only to defend themselves instead of listening to die to themselves; conversation then becomes a tool for imposition—not understanding. Others go mute because of their discomfort or because they don’t know what they don’t know. But the church is to bear one another’s burdens (1 Cor. 12:26). Where are the loving brothers and sisters who want to pick up some weight? In Galatians 2, Peter’s racial prejudices acted against the gospel—not an implication of the gospel but the actual gospel.

White churches are hard for black people because…

Lots of white people have privileges blacks don’t. Whites have the privilege to ignore issues that haunt and hurt black people, issues which black people cannot ignore. Yet because the privileged don’t have to think about these issues, many of them don’t—and living with whites who are blinded to their privilege is discouraging. On any given Sunday, blacks attend churches where the majority of the members and the leadership are woefully undiscipled on issues that shape black experiences, black fears, and black families. These issues affect our spiritual state. But the white majority treats these painful truths—if they acknowledge them at all—as black people’s feelings, not everyone’s facts. Ultimately, these the majority dismisses these truths, and blacks’ feelings go invalidated.

White churches are hard for black people because…

It feels like the majority doesn’t want to hear what it feels like to be black. All it takes it to be told once by a white brother or sister to just “get over” the issues of race to feel like those in the majority are opposed to understanding you, to loving you. That’s all it takes to feel lesser than, and to not feel as if there’s a superiority complex effused by the majority.
For example, when white members of the majority culture accuse black churches of carnal “emotionalism” in their praise—that rings of a superiority complex. It seemingly presumes that theologically rich songs birthed by the Word only have one cultural expression. Perhaps God claps to the B3 Hammond and sways to the Steinway just the same.

Yet too often it feels as if many whites refuse to imagine what it feels like to be the minority or to love the minority. White church’s church planting strategies sometimes reflect this refusal. While it is wonderful that many white churches seek to put young black men in leadership, many forgo sending that young black man back into a black church context. Beware of the temptation young black brothers have to leave the black church—where they must pay their dues—for a white church that will rush them to prominence. It sometimes feels as if some white churches consider black churches and black church practices to be unsound—or at least as not as biblically faithful—as a matter of course; I feel this way when white evangelical leaders make offhand comments about the apparent lack of Reformed theology in black churches. But countless black churches have believed and honored a Big God for a long, long time now. And countless black churches need their young men to stay within them.

But some white people hold the institution of the black church in contempt. They accuse its supporters of “dividing the body of Christ!” They don’t realize that when blacks speak of the black church, we’re not just talking about a sociological but a supernatural phenomenon—a bunch of black folk faithfully worshipping God. Some white folk, who decry the black church’s existence, don’t realize that their grandpas, who wouldn’t let blacks worship with their white folk, created the black church.

White churches are hard for black people because…

They think they have a safe space for blacks, but some don’t. There’s no space for blacks to be righteously angry about issues that affect us, lest we arouse the ever-feared “angry black person” stereotype. Along with our own sin, we’re constantly battling stereotypes in white churches; and that battle makes it hard to hope for all things (1 Cor. 13:7). Blacks don’t want space simply to be righteously angry; we’d just like some space simply to be ourselves.
But black churches are the only space where many blacks find it safe to be Christian and black. Sometimes blacks forgo that space for good reasons. Yet many whites think it unfathomable to visit an all-black church, much less join one. I remember suggesting a church to a white sister who was moving to a new city. She interrupted and me and said, “Wait—this church isn’t, like, a black church, right?”

White churches are hard for black people because…

Many people do not understand the black experience to be both corporate and individual. Black people share many common experiences, and these experiences build a unique solidarity among us. This is why a racial injustice in Florida can shake black people in Washington State. But often folks think that means that every black person feels the same way about every issue, which isn’t the case. As a black individual, it’s exhausting to feel as if you’re constantly representing all black people.
Yet many white people assume they know what it means to be black, and that everyone shares their concept. Anyone who doesn’t match their definition of black is not “really” black. Enslaved in that narrow definition, many black brothers and sisters live in fear and shame; they’re not free to be who God made them. And so we “code-switch”—we adjust our culture [our ‘code’] to fit the majority’s. I code switch often when I shake your hand instead of dapping you up. Code-switching all the time exhausts the switcher to the point of acculturating them altogether.

White churches are hard for black people because…

Sometimes blacks feel like projects instead of peers. Some white churches do not think of blacks as those who can minister to others; we’re only to be ministered to by others. In other words, we feel like objects of ministry, not those encouraged to initiate it. But it was not without reason that the Good Samaritan was the colored character of the story. Yet blacks seem to only get opportunities to minister or educate if it’s about race or our experience.
And when white people ask us about our experience, they sometimes sound more interested in their own enlightenment—not the lightening of our burdens. Their well-meaning questions only begin with them: “I would like to know. . . . Tell me more about . . .” They seem more interested in anthropology than applying their theology, like when a white sister asked to touch my mother’s hair. If conversations are only pursued to an educational end, it feels like the friendship has an agenda. Faux friendship is no friendship. When did you last warmly greet someone of a different ethnicity who was visiting your church simply to know them—not to know about them, but to know them?

White churches are hard for black people because…

“Gospel-unity” ain’t always gospel unity. Some whites assume that befriending someone who is culturally the same yet physically different is necessarily gospel-unity. Sometimes that’s true—depending on the circumstances. Other times, there’s a selection bias for the sake of tokenism, not Calvary. Thus goes the defense, “I have a black friend!”
White churches are hard for black people because…

Blacks are often only seen as “other.” Black people still fight to be embraced as people who bear the same image of God as our white brothers and sisters. Some whites speak of their churches becoming “multi-ethnic” once “other” ethnicities come. But acting as if your church has no ethnicity or is ethnically neutral makes blacks feel that your church isn’t for them. Vanilla is a flavor of ice cream like the others.
Many people try to fix this by being colorblind, which they equate to racial reconciliation. They think they’re ministering by not seeing brother so-and-so “as their black friend,” but only “as their friend.” But that ignores realities that are both God-ordained and good. You can read more about colorblindness here.

White churches are hard for black people because…

The hall of faith seems white washed. The theological, historical narrative passed on in white churches and white seminaries often only speaks of white theologians and heroes of the faith. Can we please remember that Augustine was from Africa and spoke of a pervasive depravity long before Calvin? Can we please stop saying Adoniram Judson was the first American missionary when George Lisle, a slave born in Virginia, went out 30 years before him? Can we please hear of the faithful black preachers in history and hear them quoted in sermons, too? Can we please not say the American church hasn’t been persecuted when the black church has known extreme persecution—Charleston and arson being the most recent exhibitions?
White churches are hard for black people because…

Black sisters are seen as second-class. Perhaps no one is passed over more than black sisters in white churches. They’re rarely asked out on dates, if ever. Brothers have told them, “I’m just not attracted to black women.” As a result, they have felt ugly.
White churches are hard for black people because…

All-white leadership doesn’t advocate for blacks in some white churches. All-white leadership might react to racial problems, comforting blacks with words. But blacks want a proactive advocate—one who will condemn and challenge preferential treatment and privileged silence. One who will joyfully speak about diversity like Revelation 5 does. Instead, many blacks do not physically or representationally see themselves in leadership.
But in the name of “keeping the main thing the main thing,” many white pastors forgo any reference in a prayer or sermon that might minister specifically to blacks. We’re not asking for a special shout out every Sunday. But preacher, do you really believe the gospel applies to everyone? Your church may not be as gospel-centered as you think.

White churches are hard for black people because…

It’s easy to be black and lonely in a white church. Some whites assume black people in white churches aren’t lonely if there are other black people with whom they hang out. But even if there’s a ton of black people, one can still feel very lonely. As one sister said, “Our hair is different, our color is different; we are —all in all—different. And when making that comment to other white women, it feels like that feeling is quickly dismissed; and again, we feel alone.”
White churches are hard for black people because…

When some white people call for “dying to yourself,” they in effect mean, “assimilate or leave.” Undoubtedly some reading this article will retort, “But Paul gave up his Hebrew-ness for the sake of the gospel! We are called to lay ourselves down at the church door so that Christ may be all in all!” I’m not making allowance for total assimilation, as blacks too often die more to themselves than whites in white churches, but I heartily agree with that. I’ve shed much ink on that here, here, and here.
But it’s a lot easier to exhort people to that Pauline gospel sacrifice when yours is the majority culture. Are we really going to disregard why some things in white churches are hard for blacks? That refusal may be the biggest reason some white churches aren’t getting easier for black people. That refusal may be why Dunbar said, “long the mile” that we have yet to go. Long the mile, brothers and sisters, but our God will see us through to glory.

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Re: United States - Human Rights Monitor

Postby darshan » 20 Jul 2019 22:17

Blacks arrested for pot possession at four times the rate of whites in Wisconsin | MinnPost
https://www.minnpost.com/politics-polic ... wisconsin/
Blacks more often penalized for pot

Ben is white, but he wanted to share what happened to him because this “happens to the black population repeatedly where unjustified and pointless incarcerations are happening.”

In April, Rep. Melissa Sargent, D-Madison, unveiled a bill to fully legalize marijuana in Wisconsin. Sargent hopes to address racial disparities in the enforcement of Wisconsin’s marijuana laws by broadening the availability of expungement and releasing people incarcerated for low-level nonviolent marijuana offenses.

In Milwaukee, blacks made up 72% of “small-scale” marijuana possession arrests but 39% of the population between 2012 and 2015, according to research by the Public Policy Forum, a nonprofit, independent research organization. The Milwaukee-based group defined “small scale” as possession of 25 grams or less of marijuana.

The same research found whites made up 12% of the arrests but 37% of the city’s population.
The rate of using marijuana is similar between whites and blacks, University of Wisconsin-Madison sociology professor Pamela Oliver said.

“The only possibility for these statistics to happen is for police to be stopping blacks more than whites,” Oliver said. “Possession of marijuana is in the pocket. How did you know it was in their pocket unless you stopped them? We know the usage patterns are not different, so if you’re generating a difference in arrests, it has to be differential policing.”

Racial roots of marijuana laws

Prior to moving back to Wisconsin, Ben spent four years on the East Coast attending college, where he began smoking marijuana. He said marijuana improved his sleep, grade point average and attitude. He believes Wisconsin should at least decriminalize marijuana, especially with neighboring states, Illinois and Michigan, preparing for full legalization.

“Moving (back to Wisconsin), I feel like I’m 10 years behind,” Ben said. “It’s incredible what people get charged with and go through and deal with simply for doing something that’s not bothering anybody.”

Southerland believes the prohibition of marijuana stems from racial bias. It has historically been associated with immigrants from Mexico and with black people, and it was criminalized as a way to control those populations, he said.

“Legalization would tend to remedy or attempt to remedy some of those faulty connections between race, the drug itself and criminality that have led to disparities in policing, disparities in enforcement and disparities in who we see in our jails and prisons across the country,” Southerland said.

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Re: United States - Human Rights Monitor

Postby darshan » 21 Jul 2019 02:01

When reading something that is money driven, it’s always worth keeping in mind that whites disproportionately have more money.

https://www.npr.org/2019/06/28/73687557 ... sentencing
How Private Prisons Affect Sentencing

How Private Prisons Affect Sentencing In many states, convicted criminals are being housed in private prisons. New research finds that when a private prison opens, the length of criminal sentences modestly increases.

How Private Prisons Affect Sentencing

In many states, convicted criminals are being housed in private prisons. New research finds that when a private prison opens, the length of criminal sentences modestly increases.

STEVE INSKEEP, BYLINE: New research explores the influence of private prisons in the United States. Convicted criminals in some states may end up in a facility run by a private company, which is a big change from past generations. And that has prompted researchers to ask, does the existence of private prisons change other parts of the criminal justice system? In particular, does it influence the sentences handed out by judges? NPR's social science correspondent Shankar Vedantam is here to explore that.

INSKEEP: So do the prisons somehow influence judges?

VEDANTAM: The short answer is yes. I was speaking with Christian Dippel. He's an economist at UCLA. Along with Michael Poyker, he analyzed data from 13 states, including Texas, Arkansas, Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky and North Carolina. Now, lots of things could drive sentencing length. To analyze the effect of private prisons, Dippel compared adjoining counties in different states. Some states saw increases in private prisons. Others did not. Looking at similar crimes and defendants, Dippel says private prisons did have an effect on the length of sentences.

CHRISTIAN DIPPEL: When a private prison opens in a state, then the average length of a sentence increases by 23 days. The presence of a private prison does not make it more likely that you go to prison. But it makes it - makes your average sentence length 23 days longer.

INSKEEP: Wow, and these are people right on either side of a state line but in a somewhat different system. When you tell me this, Shankar, my mind goes to a kind of cynical place. It makes me wonder, are these for-profit companies somehow lobbying judges to give people longer sentences?

VEDANTAM: I think that was one of the concerns that motivated the study, Steve. Private prisons do lobby state legislators. And there have been some egregious examples of prisons actually paying judges to hand out harsher sentences. But the researchers think the data here are more consistent with a different explanation. States can mandate how much private prisons can charge. And the data suggest the longest sentences are handed down in states where private prisons offer the largest cost savings. Dippel thinks that judges might be influenced by such concerns.

DIPPEL: I would levy a certain sentence, but I'm aware of the fact that that's expensive. Or I'm aware of the fact that we are suffering from capacity constraints in our prison system. So I'm going to reduce the sentence by a little bit. And when that - when that constraint relaxes, then I'm going to increase the sentence by a little bit.

INSKEEP: Wow, so the difference in cost between one state and another for imprisoning somebody might influence the judge to change the sentence. Is there evidence, though, that private prisons are actually increasing the number of people in prison in America - not more people being convicted, but those convicted staying there longer?

VEDANTAM: Now, it's possible that's playing some role, Steve. But Dippel thinks that the overall size of the U.S. prison population is likely driven much more by policies, such as the war on drugs. It's also worth mentioning that this study, like others, finds racial disparities. Blacks are likely to get harsher sentences for committing the same crimes. I think the big message of the study is that practical concerns matter when it comes to the criminal justice system. Everything is not just about ideological differences.

https://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch ... s-of-color
Why For-Profit Prisons House More Inmates Of Color
Rina Palta
A new study by a UC-Berkeley graduate student has surprised a number of experts in the criminology field. Its main finding: Private prisons are packed with young people of color.

The concept of racial disparities behind bars is not exactly a new one. Study after report after working group has found a version of the same conclusion. The Sentencing Project estimates 1 in 3 black men will spend time behind bars during their lifetime, compared with 1 in 6 Latino men and 1 in 17 white men. Arrest rates for marijuana possession are four times as high for black Americans as for white. Black men spend an average of 20 percent longer behind bars in federal prisons than their white peers for the same crimes.

These reports and thousands of others have the cumulative effect of portraying a criminal justice system that disproportionately incarcerates black Americans and people of color in general.

African-American studies Ph.D. student Christopher Petrella's finding in "The Color of Corporate Corrections," however, tackles a different beast.

Beyond the historical overrepresentation of people of color in county jails and federal and state prisons, Petrella found, people of color "are further overrepresented in private prisons contracted by departments of correction in Arizona, California and Texas."

This would mean that the racial disparities in private prisons housing state inmates are even greater than in publicly run prisons. His paper sets out to explain why — a question that starts with race but that takes him down a surprising path.

Age, Race And Money

First, a bit of background. Private prisons house 128,195 inmates on behalf of the federal government and state governments (or at least they did as of 2010). There's a continual debate among legislators and administrators as to which is more cost-effective: running a government-operated prison, with its government workers (and unions); or hiring a private company (like GEO or Corrections Corp. of America) to house your prisoners for you. States like California, Arizona and Texas use a combination of both.

In the nine states Petrella examined, private facilities housed higher percentages of people of color than public facilities did. Looking back at the contracts the private companies signed with the states, Petrella figured out the reason behind the racial disparity: private prisons deliberately exclude people with high medical care costs from their contracts.

Younger, healthier inmates, he found — who've come into the system since the war on drugs went into effect — are disproportionately people of color. Older inmates, who generally come with a slew of health problems, skew more white.

Steve Owens, senior director of public affairs for Corrections Corp. of America, one of the largest private prison companies in the nation, calls the study "deeply flawed."

In an email, Owens says, "CCA's government partners determine which inmates are sent to our facilities; our company has no role in their selection."

Furthermore, he says, "the contracts we have with our government partners are mutually agreed upon, and as the customer, our government partners have significant leverage regarding provisions." It's up to the contracting agency, he says, to decide how it wants to distribute inmates and manage health care costs.

Owens does not, however, dispute Petrella's numbers.

Gloria Browne-Marshall, an associate professor of constitutional law at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and a former civil rights attorney, says it's a "very interesting" study.

"What I take away from it is how prisoners are looked at as commodities," she says. "It's all about how the private prisons can make the most money."

Petrella says he used data compiled by state correctional departments, which are divided by census-designated categories and included African-Americans, Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders, nonwhite Hispanics and Latinos, and essentially anyone except those defined by the census as white.

"I know these categories are fungible, but this is the data we have to work with," Petrella says.

Browne-Marshall points out that Petrella's findings don't necessarily point to a racial motivation on behalf of private prison companies, and Petrella agrees. "Profit is the clear motivation," he says. The racial component is more incidental.

However, he says, "the study shows that policies that omit race continue to have negative impacts." He says there's a larger dialogue to be had about what contemporary racial discrimination actually looks like.

Barry Krisberg, senior fellow at the Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute at the University of California, Berkeley, says the findings surprised him. "I had assumed private prisons were taking a lot of low-risk inmates," he says, "that if you went to a private prison, you'd find a lot of old, Anglo prisoners. That's not the case."

Prison Conditions

This raises questions about prison conditions for different kinds of prisoners. "The rate of violence is higher at private prisons, and recidivism is either worse or the same than in public prisons," says Alex Friedmann, the managing editor of Prison Legal News and the associate director of the Human Rights Defense Center, a group that opposes private prisons. Friedmann says part of the trouble is attributable to lower-paid, lesser-trained staff used in private prisons. But some of it, he adds, may be due to this higher-risk, younger population in private prisons.

So, Browne-Marshall asks, what are private prisons doing for their age-specific populations?

"Public prisons are devoting a lot of resources to the age-specific needs of their prisoners," she says, such as building medical facilities, bringing in highly paid medical staff, and providing expensive mental health care services. "What about the specific needs of the private prison population?"

Younger, higher-risk private prisoners need different kinds of services — especially since they're likely to get out of prison, back into society. And historically, younger prisoners are more likely to reoffend, which Browne-Marshall suggests addressing with education, drug counseling, anger management and other social services.

The trouble: While courts have intervened to require prisons to have good medical and mental health care as constitutional necessities — things that benefit older and sicker prisoners — programs that mainly benefit younger prisoners aren't usually required. (Another reason why they're cheaper to house.)

"How do we get corporations to do what the incarcerated person needs when the government's not dictating it?" Browne-Marshall asks.

That, she says, is the next question for study.

Owens says CCA offers "safe, secure housing and quality rehabilitation and re-entry programming at a cost savings to taxpayers. Our programming includes education, vocational, faith-based and substance abuse treatment opportunities." Each year, he says, CCA inmates acquire "more than 3,000" GEDs.

A Footnote

In compiling his data, Petrelle deliberately excludes private prisons with federal contracts from the study. He does so because a large portion of federal prisoners in private facilities are there as immigration detainees, not sentenced criminals. Were he to include federally contracted prisons, the disparities would surely be greater.

Federally contracted facilities also come with their own baggage and civil rights questions.

Federal prisoners in public facilities, as well as state prisoners in private and public facilities, have the right to bring lawsuits based on alleged civil rights violations. This means state inmates in California could sue the state prison system for providing inadequate health care. Arizona inmates in a private facility could do the same against the private corporation that owns their prison and against the state of Arizona.

However, federal prisoners in private prisons cannot bring such lawsuits, according to a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

A prisoner of this status could sue for actual damages but could not bring a civil rights suit against a private prison — the kind of suit that usually forces major changes in how prisons operate in the public sphere.

"We've gotten to the point where courts intervene in public prisons, but only under extraordinary circumstances," Krisberg says. For federal prisoners in private facilities, there's even less legal recourse, he says.

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Re: United States - Human Rights Monitor

Postby darshan » 21 Jul 2019 02:21

https://www.colorlines.com/articles/nat ... -mauna-kea
Native Hawaiian Elders Arrested in Telescope Protest at Mauna Kea | Colorlines
N. Jamiyla Chisholm
“This mountain represents the last thing they want to take that we will not give them.”

Mauna Kea is a deeply sacred place that is revered in Hawaiian traditions. It’s regarded as a shrine for worship, as a home to the gods and as the piko of Hawaiʻi Island.

Mauna Kea is also a critical part of the ceded lands trust that the State of Hawaiʻi must protect and preserve for future generations, pursuant to its kuleana as a trustee.

Despite four state audits and generations of Native Hawaiians expressing concern about the threats to Mauna Kea, the state and the University of Hawaiʻi have continuously neglected their legal duties to adequately manage the mountain. Instead, they have prioritized astronomical development at the expense of properly caring for Mauna Kea’s natural and cultural resources.

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Re: United States - Human Rights Monitor

Postby darshan » 21 Jul 2019 02:32

https://www.raicestexas.org/2019/02/04/ ... s-torture/
Force-Feeding Is Torture

In an ICE processing center in El Paso, Texas, 11 immigrants are being force-fed through plastic nasal tubes after refusing nine consecutive meals in a hunger strike demonstration. And a federal judge authorized this torture.

The asylum-seekers are participating in the hunger strike to raise awareness and improve their situation inside the detention center. Instead, ICE officials have made immigrants’ lives even worse.

According to Amrit Singh, a family member of two detainees, “They are not well. Their bodies are really weak, they can’t talk and they have been hospitalized…They want to know why they are still in the jail and want to get their rights and wake up the government immigration system.” A lawyer for one of the detainees, Ruby Kaur, reports that those on the hunger strike are kept in solitary confinement and threatened with deportation.

This is both physical and psychological torture. How is this treatment of our fellow human beings seeking asylum in the USA ok? Something like this could only happen in a system tailored to keep migrants with legitimate claims of asylum from ever being allowed into the country.

This hunger strike is the result of months of waiting with no clear idea of when, if ever, a refugee may walk free on American soil. Living with constant uncertainty about your future is a daily ordeal for these detainees.

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Re: United States - Human Rights Monitor

Postby sanjaykumar » 21 Jul 2019 04:00

World Sikh Organisation anyone?

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Re: United States - Human Rights Monitor

Postby darshan » 21 Jul 2019 04:25

Christians (white) on Christians (black). Slavery that never went away. That was justified by the circumstances and not intentional. I suppose the same way would be for this. For centuries, relied upon christianity to see better days. Maybe if they were smart they would try non white religion to see the light.

https://features.propublica.org/bankrup ... hapter-13/
Black people struggling with debts are far less likely than their white peers to gain lasting relief from bankruptcy, according to a ProPublica analysis. Primarily to blame is a style of bankruptcy practiced by lawyers in the South.

Novasha Miller pushed through the revolving doors of the black glass tower on Jefferson Avenue last December and felt a rush of déjà vu. The building, conspicuous in Memphis’ modest skyline along the Mississippi River, looms over its neighbors. Then she remembered: Years ago, as a teenager, she’d accompanied her mother inside.

Now she was 32, herself the mother of a teenager , and she was entering the same door, taking the same elevator. Like her mother before her, Miller was filing for bankruptcy.

What Miller didn’t know when she swallowed her pride and called a local bankruptcy attorney is that she would probably end up right back where she started, with the same debts, in the same crisis. For the black debtors who, for generations, have made Memphis the bankruptcy capital of the U.S., the system delivers neither forgiveness nor renewal.

Up on the sixth floor of that tower where I met Miller last February, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Tennessee appeared to be a well-functioning machine. Debtors, nearly all black like her, crowded the wedge-shaped waiting area as lawyers, paralegals and court staff, almost all white, milled about in front. Hundreds of cases are filed here every week, and those who oversee and administer the process all proudly note the court’s marvelous efficiency. Millions of dollars flow smoothly to creditors, to the court, to bankruptcy attorneys.

But the machine hides a harsh reality. When ProPublica analyzed consumer bankruptcy filings nationwide, the district stood out, both for the stunning number of cases in which debtors were unable to get relief, and for the reasons why. In Memphis, an entrenched legal culture has made bankruptcy a boon for attorneys while miring clients like Miller in a cycle of futility.

Under federal bankruptcy law, people overwhelmed by debt have a choice: They can either file under Chapter 7, which wipes out debts and, since most filers lack significant assets, allows them to keep what little they have. Or they can choose Chapter 13, which usually requires five years of payments to creditors before any debts are eliminated, but blocks foreclosures and car repossessions as long as debtors can keep up. In most of the country, Chapter 7 is the overwhelming choice. Only in the South, in a band of states stretching from North Carolina to Texas, is Chapter 13 predominant.

The responsibility of knowing which path to pick falls to those seeking relief. In Memphis, about three-quarters of filings are under Chapter 13. That’s how Miller filed. She thought the two chapters were “the same,” she told me.

Initially, they are. Upon filing, debtors are shielded from garnishments and debt collectors. But whereas under Chapter 7 those protections are generally made permanent after a few months, under Chapter 13 they last only as long as payments are made. Most Chapter 13 filers in Memphis don’t last a year, let alone five.

As efficiently as cases are opened, they are closed — usually because debtors fail to keep up with payments, according to a ProPublica analysis of court data. In 2015, over 9,000 cases in the district were dismissed — more cases than were filed in 22 other states that year. Less than a third of Chapter 13 cases in the district result in a discharge of debts. And when their cases are dismissed, debtors are often in worse straits, because as they struggled to make payments, the interest on their unpaid debts continued to mount. Once the refuge of bankruptcy is gone, the debt floods back larger than ever. They’ve borne the costs of bankruptcy — attorney and filing fees, a seven-year flag on their credit reports — without receiving its primary benefit. A system that is supposed to eliminate debt instead serves to magnify it.

Driving this tremendous churn of filings is a handful of bankruptcy attorneys with what sounds like an easy pitch: immediate relief, for free. In Memphis, it typically costs around $1,000 to hire an attorney to file a Chapter 7, but most attorneys will file a Chapter 13 for no money down. Ultimately, the fees for Chapter 13 filings are higher — upwards of $3,000 — but the payments are stretched over time. For many people, this is the only option they can afford: debt relief on credit. For attorneys, they gain clients — and a regular flow of fees — they might not otherwise get, even if few of their clients get lasting relief.

For black filers in Memphis, relief is particularly rare. They are more likely than their white peers to file under Chapter 13 and less likely to complete a Chapter 13 plan. Because failure is so frequent in Memphis, many people file again and again. In 2015, about half of the black debtors who filed under Chapter 13 in the district had done so at least once before in the previous five years. Some had filed as many as 20 times over their lifetimes. Here, bankruptcy is often not the one-time rescue it was envisioned to be, but rather a way for the poor to hold on to basic necessities like electricity for a couple months.

“The way we have it set up, our culture, has a lot of unintended consequences,” said Judge Jennie Latta, one of five bankruptcy judges in the Western District of Tennessee. Since 1997, when she took the bench, the racial disparities in Memphis have been evident, she said. “It was troubling to me then, and it’s still troubling to me.”

When I asked judges, trustees, who administer the cases, and debtor attorneys what could be done to reduce racial disparities and improve outcomes, I was mostly met with resignation. I heard a lot about the poverty in Memphis and a legal culture with deeply rooted traditions. But ProPublica’s analysis identified bankruptcy attorneys in Memphis who had much more success in getting their black clients out of debt. These attorneys had a different approach, preferring Chapter 7 to Chapter 13, and, crucially, allowing more flexibility in what clients paid upfront in fees.

Scrutiny of Memphis is important, because the racial differences we found there are present across the country. Nationally, the odds of black debtors choosing Chapter 13 instead of Chapter 7 were more than twice as high as for white debtors with a similar financial profile. And once they chose Chapter 13, we found, the odds of their cases ending in dismissal — with no relief from their debts — were about 50 percent higher.

Of course, most of the time attorneys in the district do get paid something. When we analyzed the Chapter 13 cases filed in 2010, we found that, on average, attorneys in the district collected $1,340 per case out of their full $3,000 fee. Some firms, like Fila’s, collected much less (about $700), and some collected more.

But what has made bankruptcy a viable business for the biggest firms in Memphis for so long is the sheer volume. From the 12,000-plus Chapter 13 cases they filed in 2010, we estimate that attorneys reaped at least $16 million in attorney fees over the next five years. McElroy’s firm, the largest, collected at least $2 million.

Things have worked this way in the district for as long as anyone can remember. The district’s chief judge, David Kennedy, who has presided over cases since 1980, said attorneys have been charging $0 down to file Chapter 13s at least since the 1970s.

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Re: United States - Human Rights Monitor

Postby darshan » 21 Jul 2019 05:32

Virginia Cop Arrested for Abduction and Strangulation of Woman, Police Say
Cop Charged in Death of Baby Daughter after Raising $17,000 for Funeral Expenses
LAPD Officer Arrested on Sexual Assault Charges, Gets $1.2 Million Bail
Florida Cop who Raped Female Driver During Traffic Stop gets 2 Months in Jail
L.A. Deputy Convicted for Raping Teenage Rape Victim he was supposed to Protect
Texas Police Officer Arrested for Sexually Assaulting Man During Traffic Stop
Florida Deputy Arrested for Planting Drugs on Dozens of Victims over Two Years
Oklahoma Police Chief Arrested for Soliciting 16-year-old Girl for Oral Sex
No Jail Time for Florida Cop who Shot Autistic Man's Caregiver with Raised Hands
Three South Florida Deputies Charged in Brutal Beating of Teen caught on Video
Cop who Killed 6-year-old Boy Released from Prison after Serving only 21 Months
Wisconsin Prison Guard Charged with Sexually Assaulting Female Inmate
Cop Charged with Battery for Breaking Man's Arms over "F*cking Kinky" Response
Massachusetts Cop Charged with Raping Teen Addict he was supposed to Help
WATCH: Florida Cop and Son Arrested After Punching Black Customers at Restaurant
California Cop Arrested on Charges of Sex with Minor and Oral Copulation
Cops told Family Daughter Killed herself before Cop was Arrested for her Murder
Deputy Arrested for Forcing Woman to Perform Sex Act on her Baby to Avoid Arrest

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Re: United States - Human Rights Monitor

Postby darshan » 22 Jul 2019 00:13

https://khn.org/news/addiction-medicine ... ng-blacks/
Addiction Medicine Mostly Prescribed To Whites, Even As Opioid Deaths Rose Among Blacks
Martha Bebinger
White drug users addicted to heroin, fentanyl and other opioids have had near-exclusive access to buprenorphine, a drug that curbs the craving for opioids and reduces the chance of a fatal overdose. That’s according to a study out Wednesday from the University of Michigan. It appears in JAMA Psychiatry.

Researchers reviewed two national surveys of physician-reported prescriptions. From 2012 to 2015, as overdose deaths surged in many states so did the number of visits during which a doctor or nurse practitioner prescribed buprenorphine, often referred to by the brand name Suboxone. The researchers assessed 13.4 million medical encounters involving the drug but found no increase in prescriptions written for African Americans.

“White populations are almost 35 times as likely to have a buprenorphine-related visit than black Americans,” said Dr. Pooja Lagisetty, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School and the study’s lead author.

The dominant use of buprenorphine to treat whites occurred while opioid overdose deaths were rising faster for blacks than for whites.

“This epidemic over the last few years has been framed by many as largely a white epidemic, but we know now that’s not true,” Lagisetty said.

What is true, Lagisetty added, is that most of the white patients either paid cash (40%) or relied on private insurance (35%) to fund their buprenorphine treatment. The fact that just 25% of the visits were paid for through Medicaid and Medicare “does highlight that many of these visits could be very costly for persons of low income,” Lagisetty said.

Doctors and nurse practitioners can demand cash payments because there’s a shortage of clinicians who can prescribe buprenorphine, according to Dr. Andrew Kolodny, co-director of Opioid Policy Research at Brandeis University’s Heller School for Social Policy and Management. Only about 5% of physicians have taken the special training required to prescribe buprenorphine.

“The few that are doing it are really able to name their price, and that’s what we’re seeing here and that’s the reason why individuals with more resources — who are more likely to be white — are more likely to access treatment with buprenorphine,” said Kolodny, who was not involved in the study.

Kolodny wants the federal government to eliminate the required special training for buprenorphine and a related cap on the number of patients a doctor can manage on the drug.

Some physicians who’ve studied racial disparities in addiction treatment say the root causes date to 2000, when buprenorphine was approved. At that time, proponents argued that buprenorphine was needed to help treat suburban youth, according to Dr. Helena Hansen at New York University. Those young patients didn’t see themselves as addicted to heroin in the same way as hard-core urban heroin users who went to methadone clinics for treatment.

“Buprenorphine was introduced as private-office treatment, for a private market with the means to pay,” said Hansen, an associate professor of psychiatry and anthropology. “So the unequal dissemination of buprenorphine for opioid dependence is not accidental.”

Hansen added that the fix must include universal access to treatment in a primary care setting, an end to the criminalization of opioid dependence (which puts more blacks in prison for drug use than whites) and more federal funding to expand access to buprenorphine for all patients.

Several leaders in the fight to reduce opioid overdose deaths say the study results are disturbing.

“It really demands for us to be looking at equitable treatment for addiction for African Americans as we do for white Americans,” said Michael Botticelli, director of the Grayken Center for Addiction at Boston Medical Center and the former director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy.

Botticelli identified key issues that may contribute to the racial treatment gap and deserve further investigation. For example, he wants to know if Medicaid reimbursement rates are simply too low to entice more doctors to work with low-income patients, or if there are too few inner-city doctors prescribing buprenorphine or if African Americans themselves are somehow reluctant to seek this form of treatment.

Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse at the National Institutes of Health, called the findings surprising and disturbing. Surprising because the disparity is so large, and disturbing because her agency has prioritized educating doctors about the value of prescribing buprenorphine.

Volkow also expressed disappointment that federal parity laws, which are supposed to guarantee equal access to all types of medications, don’t seem to be working for buprenorphine.

“We need to ensure that we have capacity to provide these treatments,” Volkow said, “because if you say you have to pay for them, but there are no services that can provide the treatments, then the issue of paying for them is secondary.”

Volkow has noted that fewer than half of Americans with an opioid use disorder have access to buprenorphine or two other medications used to treat opioid addiction: methadone and naltrexone. Volkow said she’s glad that the use of buprenorphine is on the rise, but the U.S. needs to understand why this lifesaving treatment isn’t benefiting all patients who need it.

This story is part of a partnership that includes WBUR, NPR and Kaiser Health News.

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/health/how ... oid-crisis
How racial inequity is playing out in the opioid crisis

The opioid epidemic in the United States has largely centered on white Americans, who account for roughly 80 percent of opioid overdose victims. But the national attention on white victims has pushed minorities to the sidelines, even as the number of opioid-related deaths among non-whites is on the rise.

Historically and in recent decades, low-income and minority earners have had less access to medical care — an issue now playing out in the opioid crisis.

Racial bias and the stereotyping of patients of color also play a role in the rate of prescriptions and overdoses among non-white Americans.

“There is a bias issue there in terms of either believing [minorities are] more likely to be substance abusers or they can endure more pain,” said Kenneth Leonard, the director of the Clinical and Research Institute on Addictions at the University of Buffalo.

Indeed, a large body of research on racial equality in health care shows medical professionals hold falsehoods about the biological contrasts between patients of color and whites. Those viewpoints can perpetuate racial bias in the perception and treatment of non-white patients. These falsehoods can result in discrimination when dealing with pain treatment, with doctors overprescribing medication to whites and under-prescribing to non-whites.

N.C. uses new federal money to get people into drug treatment, but most of them are white - North Carolina Health News
https://www.northcarolinahealthnews.org ... ne-access/
Of those served by the grant, 9,085 (or 88 percent) were white, while 775 (or 7.5 percent) were African American. Fewer than 1 percent of the beneficiaries were American Indians.

Meanwhile, the rate of overdose deaths among American Indians in North Carolina was 1.3 times higher than the overdose rate among the total state population from 2000 to 2016, according to a recent article in the North Carolina Medical Journal.

Authors of the article in the NCMJ found that rates of hepatitis C infection among the American Indian population are also particularly high. The authors go on to point out that the state’s opioid action plan fails to mention the American Indian population, while addressing other special population groups, such as pregnant women.

White people receiving better access to certain types of addiction treatment is a trend seen across the United States as well.

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Re: United States - Human Rights Monitor

Postby darshan » 23 Jul 2019 03:21

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Re: United States - Human Rights Monitor

Postby darshan » 23 Jul 2019 03:32

Hindu priest attacked while walking on New York street
https://indicanews.com/2019/07/21/hindu ... rk-street/
Ritu Jha-

A New York-based Hindu priest was brutally attacked by a 52-year-old armed man after they had a verbal argument, according to the New York City Police Department, and New York news media have reported that the attacker shouted at the holy man dressed in religious grab, “This is my neighborhood.”

The attack was perpetrated at about 11:10 am on Thursday when Sergio Gouveia had an argument with Swami Harish Chander Puri, according to an NYPD officer. The attack happened not far from the Shiv Shakti Peeth temple in Glen Oaks, Queens, New York temple where Puri, 62, is a priest. The swami was walking down the street in his religious garb, according to police.

A man came up from behind the swami and started hitting him repeatedly, PIX 11 news reported. “People who attend the house of worship say they believe he was targeted, adding his attacker screamed things like, ‘This is my neighborhood,’ during the incident,” PIX 11 news reported

The NYPD officer did not disclose what kind of argument they had but told indica, “The victim and the person arrested had a verbal argument which turned physical.”

“The perpetrator then repeatedly struck the victim with an umbrella and punched him repeatedly causing lacerating to victim’s nose, head, chest, arms, and legs,” the officer told indica.

Gouveia was arrested immediately on Thursday and has been charged with felony assault and harassment, the NYPD officer said.

The Director of Communications at the Queens County District Attorney’s Office Ikimulisa M. Livingston told indica, “The defendant was arraigned on Friday. I do not have any further arraignment information at this time.”

Livingston said hate-crime changes have not been filed, and the case is still under investigation

The NYPD officer told that hate-crime charges are filed depending on the circumstances, and the district attorney is looking at this case, the officer said.

An official comment was unavailable from the Shiv Shakti Peeth temple, but a man who answered a phone call told Indica the priest is busy and doing better now.

The complaint filed shows Gouveia is facing criminal charges on possession of a weapon, assault, and second-degree harassment.

However, Sadhana: Coalition of Progressive Hindus have started a petition signed by various interfaith organization urging the NYPD to investigate an attack on Puri as a hate crime.

The petition states bigotry and xenophobia do not distinguish between Hindus and Muslims, or black or brown skin. When the U.S. president targets immigrants and refugees and encourages chants of “send her back” at rallies, this results in real harm inflicted on our communities.

“We are deeply heartbroken by reports of a brutal attack on Swami Harish Chander Puri Ji, priest of the Shiv Shakti Peeth temple in Glen Oaks, Queens, NY. Swami Puri Ji was attacked on Thursday at 11 am by a man who reportedly screamed: ‘this is my neighborhood.’ Just a few weeks ago, Queens was declared the nation’s most diverse large county according to a new study of 2017 census data. It is deplorable that in a place as diverse as Queens, such an atrocity can occur.

“Thankfully, Swami Puri Ji is recovering and is praying for the man who attacked him. We stand with this compassionate warm-hearted leader and the Shiv Shakti Peeth community and invite all of our interfaith and community allies in the Queens / New York City area to do so as well.

“We, Sadhana: Coalition of Progressive Hindus, and the undersigned community partners and faith leaders, call upon the New York Police Department to conduct a swift investigation of this brutal attack against such a loving leader. The remarks uttered by Swami Puri Ji’s attacker are a blatant example of hate speech. Thus, we urge the NYPD to investigate this matter as a hate crime.”

Hindu Pujari brutally attacked in New York City, USA
https://www.hindupost.in/hindu-pujari-b ... -city-usa/
Hate crimes against Hindus, especially Hindu temples, are quite common across America. Usually the harassment consists of vandalism, hateful graffiti sprayed on walls, desecration, bullying in schools etc, but this brutal physical attack is a worrying escalation.

Fundamentalist Christianity, especially the kind preached by the powerful evangelical groups based in the country’s ‘Bible belt’ (South and Mid-west parts), regards Hindu Dharma as a polytheist, ‘idol-worshipping’, ‘pagan’, satanic cult whose followers are destined to burn in hell for all eternity. Popular culture in America also stereotypes Hindus as exotic, queer, weak and regressive, which subtly normalizes anti-Hindu attitudes.

New York City is considered the most cosmopolitan & diverse city in the world, so such an attack there should set alarm bells ringing for American society & government. Instead of creating bodies like USCIRF to keep watch on open democracies like Bharat & sermonizing Hindus when a few stray accidents occurred in New Delhi churches, the US Government would do well to look inwards and curb the powerful hate-mongering Christian missionary machinery within.

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Re: United States - Human Rights Monitor

Postby Kati » 23 Jul 2019 11:21

Looks like Khan land is imploding in a slow but steady way....

Trump administration pursues rule that would remove 3.1 mln people from food stamps
Reuters By Tom Polansek,Reuters 1 hour 29 minutes ago
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By Tom Polansek

CHICAGO, July 22 (Reuters) - The Trump administration on Tuesday will propose a rule to tighten food stamp restrictions that would cut about 3.1 million people from the program, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) officials said.

Currently, 43 U.S. states allow residents to automatically become eligible for food stamps through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, known as SNAP, if they receive benefits from another federal program known as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or TANF, according to the USDA.

But the agency wants to require people who receive TANF benefits to pass a review of their income and assets to determine whether they are eligible for free food from SNAP, officials said.

If enacted, the rule would save the federal government about $2.5 billion a year by removing people from SNAP, according to the USDA.

U.S. President Donald Trump has argued that many Americans now using SNAP do not need it given the strong economy and low unemployment, and should be removed as a way to save taxpayers as much as $15 billion.

"Some states are taking advantage of loopholes that allow people to receive the SNAP benefits who would otherwise not qualify and for which they are not entitled," USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue told reporters on a conference call on Monday.

SNAP provides free food to some 40 million Americans, or about 12% of the total U.S. population.

A Trump-backed effort to pass new restrictions through the Farm Bill was blocked by Congress last year, following a months-long, partisan debate.

The USDA does not need congressional approval, however, to stop states from automatically allowing recipients of TANF benefits to become eligible for SNAP, said Brandon Lipps, a USDA acting deputy undersecretary.

Current rules allow people to access SNAP benefits worth thousands of dollars for two years without going through robust eligibility reviews, he told reporters on the call.

"Unfortunately, automatic eligibility has expanded to allow even millionaires and others who simply receive a TANF-funded brochure to become eligible for SNAP when they clearly don't need it," Lipps said.

The USDA will accept public comment on the proposed rule change.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) in December estimated the rule could save the federal government $8.1 billion from 2019 to 2028, lower than the USDA's estimate.

In 2016, the CBO said arguments against the change included concerns that it would eliminate benefits for households in difficult financial situations and increase the complexity and time involved in verifying information on SNAP applications. (Reporting by Tom Polansek; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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Re: United States - Human Rights Monitor

Postby Rakesh » 23 Jul 2019 19:45

darshan wrote:Christians (white) on Christians (black). Slavery that never went away. That was justified by the circumstances and not intentional. I suppose the same way would be for this. For centuries, relied upon christianity to see better days. Maybe if they were smart they would try non white religion to see the light.

"Congress must never declare equal, those who God created unequal."

The above is a line from the movie Lincoln and is still true today among nearly all of DT's supporters. The hardcore religious right in America truly believe that slavery was ordained by God himself.

I am a Born Again Christian myself. Nothing could be further from the truth and is an entire load of horseshit.

Another thing to think about. The religious right in America vehemently oppose abortion. It is evil. They talk about the fact that the life of an unborn child is precious and I agree. But once that child is born (and if he happens to be black or anything other than white!), my oh my! :roll:

There is a great disconnect and hypocrisy with the religious right in America. They have sold their soul to a man (DT) who is the very anti-thesis of Christianity. And all because he is Republican and puts 'White' America first.

Make "White" America Great Again :D

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Re: United States - Human Rights Monitor

Postby darshan » 24 Jul 2019 19:11

Denali Berries Stuckey Becomes 12th Black Trans Woman Killed This Year
https://www.theroot.com/denali-berries- ... 1836649302
The murderous death toll continues to climb for members of the transgender community with news of the killing of Denali Berries Stuckey, the 12th transgender woman to be slain this year.

Man charged with felony hate crime in pepper spraying of transgender woman in Queens: police
https://pix11.com/2019/07/24/man-charge ... ns-police/
Authorities said David Gonzalez, 34, was arrested and charged on Tuesday with multiple counts of felony assault as a hate crime, and aggravated harassment as a hate crime for the alleged June attack.

North Charleston community calling for hate crime law after transgender woman’s murder
https://www.wsav.com/news/local-news/so ... ns-murder/
Stuckey is the 12th transgender woman to be killed in the USA, the third killed in South Carolina, this year. South Carolina is one of five states that does not have a hate crime law.
Last edited by darshan on 24 Jul 2019 23:33, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: United States - Human Rights Monitor

Postby darshan » 24 Jul 2019 19:15

Zirpoli: If it tweets like a duck ...
https://www.baltimoresun.com/maryland/c ... story.html

“I want to talk to the Trump supporters for a moment. I don’t know who you are, and I don’t know why you like this guy.”

Those were the words of Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina trying to understand why Republicans would support Donald Trump when he was running to be the leader of his party. He went on to say that Trump was a “race-baiting xenophobic, religious bigot. He doesn’t represent my party.”

While the rest of Graham’s assessment still rings true today, he would be proven wrong about Trump not representing his party. In fact, the Republican Party has become the party of Trump, and Graham has since joined the club.

Trump and his supporters insist that they are not racists. But they struggle to explain why they belong to a political party where white supremacist, Klan members, and other self-proclaimed racists feel at home.

According to a study by The Washington Post, hate crimes against people of color, Jews, and Muslims have increased every year in America since Trump announced his candidacy for president. The Post also found that counties that host Trump rallies see a significant increase in hate crimes afterward.

When women of color in Congress advocate for better education and health care for all Americans or advocate for children at the border, Trump says that they hate America. Yet, he is the one who has repeatedly criticized our military, generals, veterans, intelligence agencies, the Justice Department and the FBI. And he calls our free press “the enemy of the people.”

Trump continues to say we need to make America great again. If a minority woman in Congress stated that we needed to make America great again, would she not be chastised by Republicans for believing that America wasn’t already great?

Trump has called America “the laughingstock of the world.” Picture for a minute Congresswoman Ilhan Omar of Minnesota saying this about America during a speech at the United Nations as Trump did. I can hear Republicans now. But when Trump said it, they were quiet as a mouse. Why such a double standard?

Trump says that some minority members of Congress should “go back and fix the totally broken and crime-infested places from which they came.” That would be Trump’s America, of course. Telling people of color to go back where they came from is an old white supremacist slogan. In 1957, “Go back to Africa” was chanted by White Supremacists when black students integrated schools in Little Rock, Arkansas. It was also a common theme of George Wallace’s presidential campaign. In fact, if you watch film of Wallace’s campaign rallies, they sound very much like Trump’s rallies today.

As Jack Shafer of Politico wrote recently: “Not since George Wallace ran for president as an overt racist in the 1960s and the 1970s has a national candidate so willingly and vocally embraced bigotry for political ends.” While the times and personalities have changed, the words of ignorance and racism remain the same. Like Wallace, Trump uses race as a political tool to maintain the support of his mainly white male base. (Note that Trump’s rally chants, “Lock her up” and “Send her back,” both target women.)

As Peter Baker for The New York Times wrote: “Over decades in business, entertainment and now politics, Mr. Trump has approached America’s racial, ethnic and religious divisions opportunistically, not as the nation’s wounds to be healed but as openings to achieve his goals, whether they be ratings, fame, money or power, without regard for adverse consequences.”

Why are most self-proclaimed white supremacist and Klan members Trump supporters? Jonathan Greenblatt of the Anti-Defamation League responds to this question by noting that they share the same talking points. “It’s hardly surprising that we’ve seen many white supremacists, neo-Nazis and anti-Muslim extremists celebrating Trump’s outbursts. To bigots, these types of comments are not just a dog-whistle, they’re a bullhorn validating their beliefs.”

Republicans at the state level are following Trump’s lead. Republican Gov. Bill Lee of Tennessee signed a proclamation last week honoring Nathan Bedford Forrest, a white supremacist and the first Grand Wizard of the KKK. Why? Because the Republican-controlled state legislature mandated by law that Forrest and other “Confederate heroes” be honored annually. What is it about Republican Party values that inspire them to honor members of the KKK in 2019?

You may believe you don’t have a racist bone in your body, but it is difficult to argue this point when you make racist statements or you honor people who make racist statements. When you approve of people or organizations that promote racism when you honor and defend them, you are not only demonstrating your approval of their values, you are confirming your own.

Tom Zirpoli, program coordinator of the human services management graduate program at McDaniel College, writes from Westminster. His column appears Wednesdays. Email him at tzirpoli@mcdaniel.edu.

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Re: United States - Human Rights Monitor

Postby darshan » 24 Jul 2019 19:24

FBI's Wray says most domestic terrorism arrests this year involve white supremacy
https://thehill.com/homenews/administra ... -this-year

FBI Director Christopher Wray said Tuesday that the agency has made about 100 domestic terrorism-related arrests since October, and the majority were tied to white supremacy.

”I will say that a majority of the domestic terrorism cases that we’ve investigated are motivated by some version of what you might call white supremacist violence, but it does include other things as well,” Wray said at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, referring to cases in fiscal 2019, which began Oct. 1.

The number of domestic terrorism arrests are on par with the amount international terrorism cases, according to Wray.

Wray has previously said that white supremacy poses a significant and “pervasive” threat to the United States.

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Re: United States - Human Rights Monitor

Postby darshan » 24 Jul 2019 20:28

Dogan: vehicle stops report highlights largest racial disparity in Missouri history (AUDIO) - Missourinet
https://www.missourinet.com/2019/07/24/ ... ory-audio/
Missouri’s 2018 vehicle stops report shows African-Americans were 91 percent more likely to be stopped than white motorists. State Rep. Shamed Dogan, R-Ballwin, who chairs the committee, tells Missourinet it’s a continuation of a troubling trend in Missouri.

“We’ve been collecting this data for 20-plus years and when we started out, they found that African-Americans were 33 percent more likely to be stopped in vehicle stops than whites and now it’s all the way up to 91 percent,” Dogan says.

He notes State Auditor Nicole Galloway (D) found that $9.1 million in cash and property were seized in 2018 through civil asset forfeiture, compared to $7.1 million in 2017.

Supporters say about 48 percent of Missouri’s prison population is serving time for drug offenses and other nonviolent crime.

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Re: United States - Human Rights Monitor

Postby darshan » 25 Jul 2019 00:03

White supremacists are planning another ‘Straight Pride Parade’ in California
https://www.lgbtqnation.com/2019/07/whi ... alifornia/
Christian conservatives in a California city are planning a Straight Pride parade.

A flyer being shared on social media by the “National Straight Pride Coalition” is announcing the Stanislaus County Straight Pride Parade/Event in Modesto on August 24.

The event will “celebrate heterosexuality, masculinity-femininity, babies-born and unborn, Western civilization, our wonderful country, Christianity.”

The group’s website decries the “inherent malevolency/evil of the Homosexual/Sodomy Movement” which is attacking “Western Civilization,” which they define as “West is Best.” They also say that Christianity is under attack by “Humanism/Satanism.”

“Essentially it boils down to two religious views of the world,” he said. “One is Christianity, which is represented by heterosexuality, a culture of life, and its opponent is the LGBT movement, which is represented by an opposing religion and an opposing view of life.”

“There is no such thing as an LGBT Christian who stays LGBT,” he added.

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Re: United States - Human Rights Monitor

Postby darshan » 25 Jul 2019 18:50

Maryland Giving Grants to Protect Religious Institutions – Maryland Matters
https://www.marylandmatters.org/blog/ma ... titutions/
As hate crimes rise, a statewide grants program is accepting applications from houses of worship that want to increase security.

Applications for the Protecting Religious Institutions Grants were made available to congregations of all faiths.

Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R) announced the creation of the grant program as part of his proposed budget in January.

The Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention expects to issue $3 million to religious institutions this year.

“The Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention is dedicated to helping secure the safety of our communities in Maryland,” Glenn Fueston, executive director of the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention, said in a statement. “We are grateful that Governor Hogan recognizes the need to equip not only our law enforcement officers, but our community organizations, schools, and places of worship with the tools they need to protect Marylanders from harm, as they go about their daily lives.”

The Federal Bureau of Investigation defines a hate crime as a “criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity.”

In Maryland, the most recent Uniform Crime Reporting data shows 48 hate crimes during 2017, with 12 of those motivated by religious bias. That same year, UCR data reported by the Department of Justice shows that of the more than 1,500 hate bias incidents reported nationally in 2017, more than 20 percent were motivated by religious bias.

During the 2019 legislative session, lawmakers passed a bill that expanded the state’s definition of hate crimes to include a misdemeanor penalty for threats.

The grants can be spent on security enhancements including training, cameras, security personnel, improved lighting, and hardening of doorways and entries.

The grants are open to nonprofit, faith-based entities with appropriate tax status, and applications will be considered and awarded on a rolling basis while funds are available.
Last edited by darshan on 26 Jul 2019 05:48, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: United States - Human Rights Monitor

Postby darshan » 26 Jul 2019 05:47

This Supreme Court Case Made School District Lines A Tool For Segregation
https://www.npr.org/2019/07/25/73949383 ... egregation

Roughly 9 million children — nearly 1 in 5 public school students in the U.S. — attend schools that are racially isolated and receive far less money than schools just a few miles away. That's according to a sweeping new review of the nation's most divisive school district borders from EdBuild, a nonprofit that investigates school funding inequities.

"Inequality is endemic" in America's public schools, the report says, identifying nearly 1,000 school district borders where schools on one side receive at least 10% less money per student than schools on the other side and where the racial makeup of the two sides' students varies by 25 percentage points or more. It is the story of segregation, in 2019.

Imagine you're a principal with one-third less funding to pay for teachers, textbooks, buses and counselors.

Now imagine you're a child living at the center of that inequity.

"You know it as soon as you look at the school. You know it the minute you walk into a classroom," says Rebecca Sibilia, EdBuild's founder and CEO, of these funding differences. "There are kids who see this every day, and they understand."

They understand, Sibilia says, that the scales are tipped against them. Their schools are still segregated and underfunded more than 60 years after the Supreme Court issued one of its most famous rulings, in Brown v. Board of Education, unanimously declaring that separate but equal schools are neither equal nor constitutional. So why are so many U.S. schools still so separate and unequal?

"That's all thanks to Milliken," Sibilia says.

The case arrived two decades after Brown began the push for school desegregation. In those intervening years, the federal government achieved meaningful progress in the South, and the movement ultimately worked its way north, to cities like Detroit. But many white voters grew anxious, even angry, about these efforts.

That anger helped propel Richard Nixon to the White House in 1969. In just a few years, he filled not one but four vacancies on the Supreme Court. And it was this new court that would hear oral arguments in Milliken.

Leaders from the state of Michigan and the city of Detroit had been sued for policies that had helped segregate Detroit's schools. At the time, two-thirds of students there were African American, while growing suburbs were almost exclusively white.

The plaintiffs argued that school policies reinforced racist housing practices that had trapped black families inside the city. It was a story playing out across the United States.

While black parents had been contained by racist housing policies, their children were being contained by school district lines. The state was pouring money into new suburban schools but was building them behind district lines that acted like fences. A lower court judge ruled that the only way to meaningfully desegregate Detroit was to tear down those lines — those fences — and to bus students between the city and 53 suburban school districts. The suburbs fought that ruling in the Supreme Court.

A divided court agreed, finding in a 5-4 ruling that if these suburbs weren't actively hurting Detroit's students, then they couldn't be forced to help them either. Of the five justices in that majority, four had been appointed by Nixon. Ultimately, Detroit was told to somehow desegregate itself.

Marshall knew that because schools are funded through local property taxes, these segregated big-city schools weren't just separate but were also clearly unequal. As an attorney in the early 1950s, Marshall had argued — and won — the historic Brown v. Board case, and he called the Milliken ruling a "giant step backwards."

"Our nation, I fear, will be ill served by the court's refusal to remedy separate and unequal education," Marshall warned, "for unless our children begin to learn together, there is little hope that our people will ever learn to live together and understand each other."

Nearly half a century later, EdBuild's new report affirms Marshall's fear. Milliken established the sacredness of school district lines and severely limited federal courts' ability to change the status quo. Today, Detroit is even more segregated than it was back in 1974. And that's the case not just in Detroit.

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Re: United States - Human Rights Monitor

Postby darshan » 26 Jul 2019 07:45

Neighborhood groups fight to keep people in poverty by blocking affordable housing
https://www.houstonchronicle.com/busine ... o-17362017#photo-17362017
By Jerome Solomon, Staff writer

A surefire way to turn a bleeding-heart liberal into a raging conservative is to propose an affordable housing development in his or her neighborhood.

Folks talk a good game about fighting poverty and housing people. Most Americans know the best way to end poverty is to move children out of low-income neighborhoods to places where they can attend good schools and meet aspirational role models.

Very few people, though, want to share their neighborhoods with people who do not make as much money as they do, or who don’t look or sound like them. Homeowners worry that affordable housing might hurt their property values, even as they complain about rising taxes from sky-high valuations.

Neighborhood associations have squashed dozens of affordable housing developments across the state in recent years. This opposition exacerbates a housing crisis that is driving the middle class from Texas cities and concentrating poverty in specific neighborhoods.

Affordable housing is different from voucher programs best known as Section 8. Affordable developments offer homes, for sale or rent, within the means of working people and don’t necessarily house the indigent.

Developers rely on state and federal tax credits and local incentives to lower their costs and thereby lower prices. The Low-Income Housing Tax Credit, federally financed but state administered, is the largest and most competitive to win.

Gaining community support is critical when applying for these limited credits, and many cities require neighborhood association support. In Houston, where there is no zoning, neighborhood associations become de facto zoning boards that can declare: “Not in my backyard!

“Not being able to get those support letters is not a veto … but the applications are so competitive it might as well be,” said Bryant, who also serves on the board of Avenue, a non-profit, affordable housing developer in Houston.

Bryant recalled working on a 70-unit project where neighborhood leaders complained it would create too much traffic. They said they wanted a mixed-use development instead, even though mixed-use projects generate twice as much traffic.

“They were not using logic. They had a pure NIMBY mindset,” Bryant said.

The backlash against affordable housing became so bad that the non-profit Alamo Area Mutual Housing Association in San Antonio had to change its name to Alamo Community Group. But through meetings with neighborhood leaders, and after a decrease in available housing, executive director Jennifer Gonzalez said she faces less opposition.

Gonzalez said the conversation has changed over the last 20 years along with her typical customer. Affordable housing once focused on custodians and nursing aides, but applicants today are more likely to be teachers and nurses.

“The incomes have not risen, and the cost of housing has just continued to increase,” Gonzalez said. “It’s a booming population; it’s property taxes, it’s the cost of construction, cost of general development. It’s out-of-state money buying up real estate that looks so cheap to them. People are legitimately struggling here to pay for the cost of housing.”

To overcome opposition, her team introduces neighborhood leaders to the people who will live in the development. But that’s not enough to overcome resistance in wealthy neighborhoods, where people don’t want to mix with average Texans, or low-income communities, where residents are tired of being a repository for poverty, Gonzalez said.

The sweet spot is where Gonzalez can meet a housing need in a middle-income area while providing social services to the entire neighborhood, not just her tenants.

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Re: United States - Human Rights Monitor

Postby darshan » 26 Jul 2019 08:29

University of Mississippi Students Face Possible Civil Rights Investigation After Posing With Guns in Front of Emmett Till Memorial — ProPublica
https://www.propublica.org/article/ole- ... l-memorial

OXFORD, Miss. — Three University of Mississippi students have been suspended from their fraternity house and face possible investigation by the Department of Justice after posing with guns in front of a bullet-riddled sign honoring slain civil rights icon Emmett Till.

One of the students posted a photo to his private Instagram account in March showing the trio in front of a roadside plaque commemorating the site where Till’s body was recovered from the Tallahatchie River. The 14-year-old black youth was tortured and murdered in August 1955. An all-white, all-male jury acquitted two white men accused of the slaying.

LeClere posted the picture on Lowe’s birthday on March 1 with the message “one of Memphis’s finest and the worst influence I’ve ever met.”

It is not clear whether the fraternity students shot the sign or are simply posing before it. The sign is part of a memorial effort by the Emmett Till Memorial Commission, a Mississippi civil rights group, and has been repeatedly vandalized, most recently in August 2018. Till’s death helped propel the modern civil rights movement in America.

The photo was removed from LeClere’s Instagram account after the Mississippi Center for Investigative Reporting and ProPublica began contacting fraternity members and friends. It had received 274 likes.

Kappa Alpha suspended the trio on Wednesday, after the news organizations provided a copy of the photo to fraternity officials at Ole Miss. The fraternity, which honors Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee as its “spiritual founder” on its website, has a history of racial controversy, including an incident in which students wore blackface at a Kappa Alpha sponsored Halloween party at the University of Virginia in 2002.

After viewing the photo, U.S. Attorney Chad Lamar of the Northern District of Mississippi in Oxford said the information has been referred to the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division for further investigation.

University spokesman Rod Guajardo acknowledged that an Ole Miss official had received a copy of the Instagram picture in March. The university referred the matter to the university police department, which in turn gave it to the FBI.

Guajardo said the FBI told police it would not further investigate the incident because the photo did not pose a specific threat.

Since the first sign was erected in 2008, it has been the object of repeated animosity.

Vandals threw the first sign in the river. The second sign was blasted with 317 bullets or shotgun pellets before the Emmett Till Memorial Commission officials removed it. The third sign, featured in the Instagram photo, was damaged by 10 bullet holes before officials took it down last week. A fourth sign, designed to better withstand attacks, is expected to be installed soon.

News of the suspensions and referral to the Justice Department came as Till’s cousin, Deborah Watts, co-founder of the Emmett Till Legacy Foundation, was already planning a moment of silence Thursday to honor her cousin with a gathering of supporters and friends dressed in black and white in “a silent yet powerful protest against racism, hatred and violence.” Thursday is Till’s birthday. Had he lived, he would have been 78 years old.

This is not the first time Ole Miss fraternity students have been caught up in an incident involving an icon from the civil rights movement.

In 2014, three students from the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity house placed a noose around the neck of a statue on campus of James Meredith, the first known black student to attend Ole Miss. They also placed a Georgia flag of the past that contains the Confederate battle emblem.

According to federal prosecutors, the freshmen students hatched the plan during a drinking fest at the house, where one student disparaged African Americans, saying this act would create a sensation: “It’s James Meredith. People will go crazy.”

One pleaded guilty and received six months in prison for using a threat of force to intimidate African American students and employees because of their race or color. Another student also pleaded guilty. He received probation and community service after he cooperated with the FBI. A third man wasn’t charged.

All three students withdrew from Ole Miss, and the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity’s national headquarters shuttered its chapter on the Ole Miss campus after its own investigation, blaming the closing on behavior that included “hazing, underage drinking, alcohol abuse and failure to comply with the university and fraternity’s codes of conduct.”

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Re: United States - Human Rights Monitor

Postby darshan » 26 Jul 2019 23:52

Clergy Abused an Entire Generation in This Village. With New Traumas, Justice Remains Elusive.
https://www.propublica.org/article/steb ... ns-elusive
ST. MICHAEL, Alaska — The two brothers sat a few houses apart, each tending to his own anger. Justice is slow in Alaska villages, they have learned. Sometimes it never arrives.

Two years ago this month, the body of his 19-year-old granddaughter, Chynelle “Pretty” Lockwood, was found on a local beach. Alaska State Troopers have refused to say how she died, citing an open investigation. It appeared she had been dumped there, said Chuck, who believes it was a homicide. “Brutally murdered. Beaten up.”

Near Chuck’s family home, his younger brother Lawrence Lockwood Jr. watches crime dramas alone in his living room. His rage is long simmering. Lawrence grew up here too, but unlike his brother he didn’t go away for school.

He was among an entire generation of children, now mostly in their 50s and 60s, who survived years of sexual abuse by Jesuit priests and Catholic church personnel shipped to the village of St. Michael. His wife was abused too.

Nine Jesuit priests, volunteers and laypersons who served in St. Michael between 1949 and 1987 were later credibly accused of sexual abuse, the Diocese of Fairbanks has acknowledged. The church has apologized for the abuse.

St. Michael and its next door neighbor Stebbins are among the 14 small Alaska city governments that the Anchorage Daily News and ProPublica identified last week as having hired police officers with extensive criminal records, at least in part because there are no state-funded law enforcement officers here. The U.S. Department of Justice recently labeled the lack of law enforcement in rural Alaska a federal emergency.

“It [was] physical and cultural rape by the Jesuit order and Catholic diocese. And they knew what was happening,” Manly said. “These families, imagine every child in your community being molested, and what that would be like. That’s what they’re dealing with there.”

For the Lockwood brothers and many others in Stebbins and St. Michael, any expectation the Alaska criminal justice system will energetically investigate sexual assault or hold people accountable if they hurt children has been eroded by generations of neglect.

While the head of the Jesuit order in the northwest denied using the villages as a dumping ground for offender priests, attorneys for abuse survivors say it’s hard to imagine how so many predatory clergy and volunteers ended up in remote Alaska communities.

Alaska State Troopers have not said how Chynelle died, but the bruises on her face and the missing chunk of her thick hair suggested to her family that someone might have killed her.

Chuck doesn’t want Chynelle to join the list of missing or murdered indigenous women whose cases have gone unsolved. On July 11, the family mourned the second anniversary of her death.

http://www.uihi.org/wp-content/uploads/ ... Report.pdf

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Re: United States - Human Rights Monitor

Postby darshan » 27 Jul 2019 01:51

Baltimore police civilian employee attacked Wednesday, religious advocates ask police not to rule out hate crime
https://www.baltimoresun.com/news/crime ... story.html

Video footage released by Baltimore Police late Thursday night revealed that a 59-year-old civilian employee of the department had his religious head wear knocked off before three people brutally assaulted him Wednesday morning.

https://mobile.twitter.com/ATFBaltimore ... story.html

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Re: United States - Human Rights Monitor

Postby darshan » 27 Jul 2019 09:39

Priest at Sikh Temple near Hughson assaulted in apparent hate crime

https://www.modbee.com/news/local/crime ... 71326.html
Assault and vandalism at Sikh temple

Modesto City councilman Mani Grewal speaks about windows that were broken and a priest being punched Thursday evening July 25, 2019 at a house on the property of the Sikh Temple on Hatch Road in Hughson, Calif. By Joan Barnett Lee

An intruder at the Sikh Temple Modesto Ceres broke windows late Thursday at a priest’s home on temple grounds, punched the priest, shouted obscenities and told him to go back to his own country before fleeing, according to the priest and others associated with temple.

Amarjit Singh, with the help of temple members who translated some of his comments, said he was in his bedroom about 9:30 p.m. when the glass in two bedroom windows was broken. He said he lifted the blinds of one of the windows to look out and was punched in the neck before his attacker, who he said was wearing a mask, fled.

It was “country, country, country, go back, go back, country,” he said without the help of a translator. He said his attacker also yelled obscenities at him and had something in his hand to break the windows. Singh assumes the intruder ran off in the temple’s nearby overflow, dirt parking lot.

Modesto Councilman Mani Grewal, who is a member of the temple and has served as its secretary, considers this a hate crime and said it is part of pattern going back a decade or longer of attempts to harass and intimidate temple members, though this was the worst incident.

He said the incidents include motorists slowing down and shouting insults and slurs as they drive by, motorists pulling into the parking lot to peel out and then drive off, and people making threatening phone calls. The calls got so bad that the temple removed its phone number listed on the temple sign about two years ago.

“We’ve seen that this has been going on for a while now,” Grewal said, adding it has increased in the past couple of years. The temple in the last couple of years has had an armed guard patrol the parking lot on weekends.

Grewal’s brother, Raj, who is the temple’s secretary, said the insults and slurs from passing motorists occur weekly and drivers peeling out in the parking lot or people making insulting phone calls occurs monthly. He said temple has nearly 3,000 members in its congregation.

Singh filed a police report with a Stanislaus County sheriff’s deputy. His nephew who works for the California Highway Patrol helped him.

“It’s too early to go down that road,” Sheriff Jeff Dirkse said when asked whether this is a hate crime. “We had the initial investigation last night. Detectives are now working on it. Until we know more, we cannot say whether it is or isn’t.”

Dirske said he expected it would not be until next week that there would be “anything of consequence” in the investigation.
Rep. Josh Harder speaks out on attack

But U.S. Rep. Josh Harder, D-Turlock, issued a statement condemning the incident and calling it a hate crime.

“I stand with my friends in the Sikh community at this terrible time,” Harder said. “Every American – regardless of faith – should be able to practice their religion freely and without fear of violence. This disgusting attack is not representative of who we are, and we must find the person responsible.”

Grewal said unfortunately because the nation’s political climate has changed in the past couple of years too many people feel emboldened to express their hate and intolerance of those they consider different from them. “I feel all communities feel threatened with the (political) temperature,” he said.

There are security cameras in the temple and the paved parking lot, but none for the house where the windows were broken. Temple officials said until Thursday’s attack they had not seen the need but will add cameras there.

The Central Valley has one of the largest and oldest Sikh populations in the United States. The first Sikh temple, or gurdwara, in the United States opened in Stockton more than a century ago.

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Re: United States - Human Rights Monitor

Postby darshan » 27 Jul 2019 17:21

Phillips Exeter students subjected to racist abuse in town says chief
https://www.unionleader.com/news/safety ... 3be2f.html
EXETER -- Police Chief Stephan Poulin is threatening to prosecute anyone engaging in hate crimes after some students at elite Phillips Exeter Academy students reported racially charged comments being hurled at them - and even cigarettes.

“No one should have to endure this type of treatment, which appears to have been directed at degrading one’s civil rights - especially our high school-aged children,” Poulin said in a letter addressing the hateful rhetoric.

According to Poulin, the incidents are alleged to have occurred while the students were traveling around town.

“Students of varying races and religions have come forth and talked of people reportedly driving by them and shouting racial epithets, insults, taunts, swears, or even so far as to throw cigarettes near them,” he said.

Poulin called the reports “disturbing” and said police would take any reports from alleged victims and witnesses seriously and investigate.

He stressed that police aren’t suggesting there’s a systematic problem with racism or a culture of hate in Exeter, but said just one report would be too many.

“These interactions can be far reaching and also affects the victim’s families and friends, as well as the entire Exeter community,” he said.

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Re: United States - Human Rights Monitor

Postby darshan » 27 Jul 2019 20:57

https://nlchp.org/nationwide-effort-cal ... handcuffs/
Today, the #IAskForHelpBecause Campaign launched its second round of a nationwide effort to strike down bans on panhandling and to replace them with more constructive policies that address the root causes of homelessness. Since the 2015 decision in Norton v. Springfield that found any targeting of speech asking for donations for punishment invokes the strictest scrutiny under First Amendment protections, every ordinance limiting panhandling, begging, or soliciting donations challenged in court has been found unconstitutional—36 to date—and at least an additional 31 cities have repealed their ordinances without litigation. Advocates in eight states are demanding 37 cities repeal panhandling bans and redirect resources to housing and other support for people experiencing homelessness. This campaign is part of the broader Housing Not Handcuffs Campaign launched in 2016.

“No one wants to see poor people have to beg for money,” said Eric Tars, legal director at the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty. “But communities that meet people’s basic needs for income, housing, and services are solving the problem permanently, and at a lower cost, than those continuing to counterproductively fine and arrest those who need to ask for help.”

Sue Wells, a currently homeless member of the Homeless Union of Greensboro, North Carolina, explained, “We don’t panhandle because we want to. We do it because all of us need to put food in our stomachs. Most of the time, people are just trying to pay rent, or pay a bill or get bus fare.”

Punishing homeless people with fines, fees, and arrests simply for asking for help will only prolong their homelessness,” said Maria Foscarinis, executive director at the Law Center. “Housing, jobs, and services are the only true solutions to homelessness in our communities.”

The National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty, National Coalition for the Homeless, and more than 100 other organizations launched the Housing Not Handcuffs campaign in 2016 to place emphasis on housing as a solution to homelessness instead of punishing homeless people with fines and fees. For more information on the Housing Not Handcuffs Campaign, visit http://www.housingnothandcuffs.org.

See nlchp.org/panhandling for more information.

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Re: United States - Human Rights Monitor

Postby darshan » 27 Jul 2019 21:25

Cops Around The Country Are Posting Racist And Violent Comments On Facebook
https://www.injusticewatch.org/interact ... -revealed/

CHICAGO — When an armed, would-be robber backed out of a liquor store after the clerk pulled a gun on him, the surveillance video was posted on Facebook with a comment: “Should have shot him.”

Another commenter responded, “I would of pulled the trigger.”

These comments weren’t from your everyday Facebook users. They were the words of Philadelphia police officers.

The North Charleston, SC, police department fired an officer for posting a photo of himself wearing Confederate flag underwear, days after a white supremacist killed nine black worshipers at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church just miles away. He later settled a wrongful termination suit.

The Chicago Police Department has tried unsuccessfully to fire an officer whose own commander complained of his “bigoted views.” A Facebook page called Chicago Code Blue attracted attention for inflammatory comments — such as “Every Thug Deserves a Slug” — after an officer was found guilty in the death of Laquan McDonald.

Police officers saying bigoted and racist things online has been an issue since the beginning of social media. The behavior was especially scrutinized after the Black Lives Matter movement blasted into the national conversation — and that scrutiny has continued ever after that movement began grappling with its future. What was never really captured was the scope of problematic online posts from police officers.

But a new review of police behavior on Facebook documents the systemic nature of the conduct across several departments. The Plain View Project, launched by Philadelphia lawyer Emily Baker-White, examined the accounts of about 2,900 officers from eight departments across the country and an additional 600 retired officers from those same departments. She compiled posts that represented troubling conduct in a database that is replete with racist imagery and memes, and in some cases long, vitriolic exchanges involving multiple officers.

The entire database from our investigation is open to explore. Click the button below.

Of the pages of officers whom the Plain View researchers could positively identify, about 1 in 5 of the current officers, and 2 in 5 of the retired officers, made public posts or comments that met that threshold — typically by displaying bias, applauding violence, scoffing at due process, or using dehumanizing language. The officers mocked Mexicans, women, and black people, celebrated the Confederate flag, and showed a man wearing a kaffiyeh scarf in the crosshairs of a gun.

“Just another savage that needs to be exterminated,” wrote Booker Smith Jr., a Dallas police sergeant, about a homicide at a Dollar General store. “Execute all involved,” he wrote separately about a group of teens who were accused of killing a 6-year-old. (One defendant pleaded guilty to aiding in the kidnapping. The alleged shooter and another defendant’s trials are scheduled for later this year.)

Reuben Carver III, a Phoenix officer, proclaimed in a stand-alone post, “Its a good day for a choke hold.”

And in St. Louis, Officer Thomas Mabrey shared a false news report that distorted an incident in which a woman police officer was shot responding to a call from a Moroccan man in Lebanon, Ohio. “F these muslem turd goat humpers,” he wrote, one of numerous anti-Muslim posts.

“Just another savage that needs to be exterminated.”

Booker Smith Jr., a Dallas police sergeant,
said in one post about a murder at a Dollar General store.
The officers named in this article did not respond to attempts to contact them or declined to comment.

When contacted about the findings of the Plain View Project, some departments requested more details about the flagged posts. The Phoenix Police Department said it had opened an inquiry into Carver’s post, and submitted it to the Professional Standards Bureau for review. The same officer also made posts threatening lawbreakers with sexual assault and celebrating violence against “hippies.”

A spokesperson with the St. Louis police department said they had forwarded the information regarding the post disparaging Muslims to their Internal Affairs division. A spokesperson with the Dallas Police Department said they had forwarded Smith’s details to superiors for review.

Still, experts in race and criminal justice were alarmed at the data.

“This blows up the myth of bad apples, by the sheer number of images and numbers of individuals who are implicated,” said Nikki Jones, an associate professor of African American studies at the University of California, Berkeley.

David Kennedy, a criminology professor at John Jay College, said he considered the results “dire.”

"This is the kind of behavior that confirms the worst suspicions on the part of communities about the police," Kennedy said, adding that it “fuels and cements” the convictions of people in distressed communities have that the “police are not to be trusted.”

Still others said some posts need to be taken in the context of the job.

Peter Moskos, a sociologist and former Baltimore police officer, argued that among the police rank and file, such comments may just be expressions of officers who recognize the dangers of the profession.

“I think a lot of that language serves a purpose,” Moskos said. It implies, “We’re all in this together.”

Moskos, who now is an associate professor in the Department of Law, Police Science, and Criminal Justice Administration at John Jay College, said that some of what officers say is likely hyperbole — a way of signaling to colleagues that an officer is not a coward and will have their partner’s back when a dangerous situation erupts.

The Plain View Project used department rosters to search for Facebook pages for every officer in Phoenix; St. Louis; Philadelphia; Dallas; York, Pennsylvania; Twin Falls, Idaho; Denison, Texas; and Lake County, Florida. The locations were chosen to achieve a range of geography and size.

The troubling posts were not limited to the large departments. In Lake County, Florida, Sheriff’s Deputy Jason Williams shared a meme, along with the comment “love this!!!!!!” depicting a semitruck smeared with blood with the caption “JUST DROVE THROUGH ARIZONA/DIDN’T SEE ANY PROTESTERS.”

Interested in viewing all of the posts?
Visit the full database by clicking here.

Another sheriff’s deputy, Cpl. Robert Bedgood, posted a photo of a vehicle with a decal reading “1-800-CHOKE-DAT-HOE,” with the comment “my new motto.” In a comment below the photo, he wrote “A choke, is the new; i love you.” Bedgood declined to comment to reporters about the post.

The department is now investigating.

The project was able to identify about 1 in 5 of the roughly 14,400 officers on the rosters through a combination of profile name, URLs, photographs, badge numbers, and other identifying information. Many officers could not be included because they had common names or used nicknames, their profiles were private, or they did not have a Facebook profile.

But that still left an avalanche of problematic posts.

In Philadelphia, which has roughly 6,600 officers, the Plain View Project identified 1,073 on Facebook, about a third of whom had made troubling posts or comments.

The Plain View Project shared its research with Injustice Watch, a Chicago-based nonprofit newsroom, which discovered many officers who made offensive posts were also accused of brutality or civil rights violations. Of 327 officers in Philadelphia who posted troubling content, more than a third — 138 officers — appeared to have had one or more federal civil rights lawsuits filed against them, based on name, badge number, and other corroborating details. Of that group, 99 ended in settlements or verdicts against them or the city.

The Facebook posts were not specifically connected to incidents that were the subject of lawsuits, though in some cases the officers were supporting conduct, like using Tasers to subdue suspects, that could mirror the kind of conduct raised in complaints.

Philadelphia Officer Christian Fenico, who appears on Facebook under the name Chris Joseph and posted the “should have shot him” comment in September 2013, has twice been accused of excessive and unprovoked force. In both cases, men claimed that he choked them. Both lawsuits ended in payments by the city to settle the claims.

In late 2013, Fenico shared an article from a now-defunct website that detailed examples of sensational events, whether real or not.

The article, which seems to have been taken down, referenced a handcuffed teen whose face was injured after police used a Taser. “Who cares,” he wrote, “kid and mom are scumbags. Good job police.”

In a post about refugees, he wrote, “Let them starve to death. I hate every last one of them.”

The city paid $110,000 to settle a case brought by a man who said Fenico came to his home responding to a call and then beat him, breaking his nose, and choking him to unconsciousness even after his partner tried to pull him away, saying, “that’s enough,” the lawsuit said.

Another man’s lawsuit described the trouble that ensued after the family called police to report that a driver had hit a family member’s car and then attempted to flee. Fenico, one of the officers who responded to the call, ended up in an argument during which Fenico pointed his gun at the man, threatened to shoot him, and punched and choked him until he lost consciousness, according to the lawsuit. The man received $5,000.

Also in Philadelphia, Officer Robert Oakes appeared to belittle domestic abuse, writing, “Oh baby, oh baby, PLEAsE DONT!!!!! stop!!!!! resisting!!!!!” and “no means yes!!!!! They just don’t know it….”

The city paid $42,500 to settle two lawsuits that said Oakes had assaulted Philadelphia residents; neither of the suits claimed sexual misconduct or domestic abuse. In one, Oakes and another officer, working undercover, were accused of stopping a man as he walked down the street and assaulting him. In the other, Oakes was among a group of officers accused of assaulting a man who observed a police incident and attempted to record it.

The offensive posts were not just by the rank and file. At least 64 of the Philadelphia officers have leadership roles, serving as corporals, sergeants, lieutenants, captains, or inspectors, according to an employment roster from January.

Jim Bueermann, a former police chief in Redlands, California, who recently retired as president of the Police Foundation, said supervisors establish behavioral norms for the rank and file: “You pay sergeants to be leaders, you pay them to uphold the values of the organization, and to demand constitutionally correct behavior that is in alignment with the organizational values.”

Sgt. Mark Palma reposted a meme disparaging people of Middle Eastern descent and called protesters who appeared at an officer’s home after a shooting “scum.” Since 2012, the city has paid out $977,500 to settle five lawsuits that were filed against the City of Philadelphia, Sgt. Palma, and members of his squad.

Sgt. Michael Melvin, who goes by Michael Vincent on Facebook, posted a photo in 2015 mocking the Black Lives Matter movement.

The image showed a large bulletin board adorned with printouts of dogs with handwritten captions. “Hands up don’t shoot,” one heading read, next to a dog with its paws in the air. “Dog lives matter.” The other, an image of a dog with her puppies, read, “Now who gonna feed my babies.”

Melvin was accused of being part of a cover-up in a wrongful death lawsuit that the city settled last November for $195,000.

Philadelphia, Dallas, and Phoenix have social media policies that prohibit off-duty employees from posting content that is biased or discriminatory. Court rulings permit bans on potentially harmful speech such as threats and bigotry by public employees.

Injustice Watch questioned the Philadelphia Police Department about several of the posts in February, providing the names of seven officers. The department said that in response it had opened an investigation.

“We have reviewed the social media transcriptions you provided, and find many of them to be not only incongruent with our standards and policies, but also troubling on a human level,” Commissioner Richard Ross said in a statement.

According to a federal lawsuit, Officer Milord Celce Jr. responded to a report of a verbal dispute in May 2013. He told one person present, Laketa Wanamaker, that someone was going to jail, and used his Taser on her multiple times, the suit said.

“They charged her with not one single crime,” said the woman’s lawyer, Alan Denenberg. “How do they justify using a Taser which is three, four steps up on the use-of-force continuum?”

The city agreed to a $25,000 settlement.

Interested in viewing all of the posts?
Visit the full database by clicking here.

A year and a half after the incident, Celce posted an article that featured an officer showing restraint when a customer would not show a store receipt. Celce was not impressed:

“This cop is a disgrace...” Celce wrote. “My taser would’ve had him dancing.”

The lawsuits involving five officers cost Philadelphia more than $1.3 million, not including settlements for undisclosed amounts.

In November 2017, Palma — who reposted a racist meme and called protesters “scum” — referenced a philly.com article that detailed complaints that an officer, whose profile picture showed her in uniform, had posted inflammatory comments online. The post was about the proposed removal of a statue of former Philadelphia mayor Frank Rizzo over his treatment of black and Latino communities. The officer called one commenter a “ghetto ass” and mocked black vernacular speech.

“The Media is watching what we put on Facebook,” Palma warned.

Days later, most of his Facebook posts became private.

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Re: United States - Human Rights Monitor

Postby darshan » 28 Jul 2019 00:54

Pretty much all Christians I suppose. Those churches must not have any money or space.

‘A Pileup of Inequities’: Why People of Color Are Hit Hardest by Homelessness
https://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-a ... melessness
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Just a few blocks from the U.S. Capitol sprawls the Federal City Shelter, the nation’s largest homeless shelter, a behemoth of beige concrete extending across an entire city block.

Outside the shelter one recent morning, James Jeffery, a grizzled 69-year-old who’s been homeless off and on for a decade, stands, philosophizing. He moved to the city a few months ago, and he’s been bothered by something ever since.

Why are all these shelters in D.C. black more than anything?

Then he answered his own question. “The system’s failing,” said Jeffery, who is African-American. “And this is D.C., the beacon of the world. If it’s happening here, what do you think is happening in the rest of the country?”

Jeffery’s comments reflect the challenges cities and counties face in tackling racial disparities among the homeless. People of color are disproportionately represented among the homeless, with blacks and Native Americans experiencing the highest rates among those groups.

Poverty alone doesn’t account for the stark inequities, researchers say, because the number of black and Native people who are homeless exceeds their proportion of people living in deep poverty.

Those disparities, researchers say, are the result of centuries of discrimination in housing, criminal justice, child welfare and education. What’s new, though, is that cities and counties are beginning to take a hard look at how entrenched policy has served to perpetuate homelessness in black and brown communities.

Taking the first step means identifying just how bad the problem is, said Jeff Olivet, a senior advisor for the Center for Social Innovation, a Needham, Massachusetts-based research nonprofit that focuses on homelessness. “Homelessness was an issue that wasn’t even remotely tied to race,” Olivet said. “We were just trying to end homelessness.”

“But unless you diagnose the problem correctly,” he said, “you can’t solve it.”

African-Americans make up 13 percent of the general population. Twenty-one percent of people living in poverty in the United States are black, according to census data.

But African-Americans account for 40 percent of people experiencing homelessness — and half of homeless families with children, according to the 2018 Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR), produced by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. American Indians also are overrepresented in the homeless population.

Latinos make up a share of the homeless population (22 percent) that is slightly higher than their share of the general population (18 percent). Based on their percentage of the total population, the number of homeless whites and Asians is disproportionately low.

Increasingly, local governments are exploring ways to address the racial disparities. Los Angeles in February announced an initiative to tackle rising black homelessness after voters approved a local tax hike to build housing.

King County officials in the Seattle area have created a data system to track the homeless population and understand its racial composition. And in 2017, city officials awarded $3.2 million to five Native-led nonprofits for homelessness programs.

“People are all over the issue now,” said Steve Berg, vice president for programs and policy at the National Alliance to End Homelessness, a Washington, D.C.-based research and advocacy group. “Localities are saying, ‘What are we trying to do about this?’”

The federal government is getting involved, too: In December, HUD released a race and ethnicity data tool to help states and localities assess the conditions creating racial disparities among the homeless. And as part of its grant process, HUD now awards extra points to applicants who can demonstrate how they are addressing disparities.

The idea is to use incentives to encourage local communities to tackle obstacles people of color face, said HUD spokesman Brian Sullivan.

“Nobody likes these disparities,” Sullivan said.

Stateline Story May 15, 2017

Without ID, Homeless Trapped in Vicious Cycle

‘Pileup of Inequities’

David Hewitt, director of the Hennepin County Office to End Homelessness in Minneapolis, is a native of England, and has worked in homelessness programs throughout the United Kingdom. But when he moved to the United States several years ago, Hewitt said, he was shocked.

Racial disparities exist pretty much everywhere you go,” he said. “But here, it was striking.” In every shelter, every food bank, every drop-in center for the homeless, he said, the overwhelming majority of people being served were black and brown.

People of color are more likely to get pushed into homelessness because they are more likely to have a criminal record, which makes it tough to find housing or a job. Or they have a past eviction. Or they have money to pay the rent, but can’t afford the security deposit to move into a new place. Perhaps the landlord doesn’t accept housing vouchers.

For example, in the Seattle area, black residents are more likely to have an eviction listed on their credit report — even if they weren’t evicted, but moved out without giving advance notice, said Maya Manus of the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle, which for the past three years has been working to address racial disparities among the homeless.

Earlier this month, the Washington state House of Representatives passed a bill overhauling the state’s eviction laws, which critics accuse of being “racist and retrograde.” (The bill was scheduled for a Senate hearing this week.) Some people have been evicted for owing a month or less in rent, even as low as $49, according to the Seattle Women's Commission and the King County Bar Association’s Housing Justice Project. Evictions are one of the leading causes of homelessness around the country.

For homeless people of color, “it’s a pileup of inequities,” Hewitt said.

White communities have had a much longer time to build and pass along generational wealth, which serves as a buffer to homelessness, said Olivet of the Center for Social Innovation. White families living near the poverty line have about $18,000 in wealth, while similarly strapped black families have a median wealth near zero, according to a 2018 Duke University report.

“Folks of color are living so close to the edge, it doesn’t take much to slip into homelessness,” Olivet said.

Stateline Story July 7, 2017

A Hidden Population: Youth Homelessness Is on the Rise

To-Do List

Last year, the Center for Social Innovation offered a to-do list for cities tackling race and homelessness.

Among its recommendations: Enact and enforce fair housing laws; regulate evictions and introduce legislation to prevent mass evictions; re-introduce rent control in large urban markets; limit the scope of background checks for ex-offenders and expand eligibility for housing vouchers.

The outline was included in a 2018 report studying six communities — Atlanta; Columbus, Ohio; Dallas; San Francisco; Syracuse, New York; and Pierce County, Washington — that found two-thirds of people experiencing homelessness were black.

The report is part of an initiative called Supporting Partnerships for Anti-Racist Communities (SPARC) that uses data and analysis to help communities develop policies to eliminate racial inequities in homelessness. (Hennepin County in Minneapolis joined the project in December.)

The report also found that homelessness among American Indian/Alaskan Natives was three to eight times higher than their proportion of the general population.

Last month, Seattle, which has some of the highest rates of homelessness in the country, was hit with a series of rare snowstorms, shutting down the city. Homeless advocates scrambled to get the unsheltered out of the cold. But of the nearly thousand or so American Indians living in tent cities, most would not be moved.

“We were begging people to go into shelter,” said Colleen Echohawk, executive director of Chief Seattle Club, a nonprofit that caters to the city’s Native population, who are seven times more likely to be homeless than whites.

Most don’t trust the local government. And even when homeless Natives are assigned permanent housing — no easy feat in a city of ever-escalating rents — 84 percent don’t take advantage of it, Echohawk said.

“There’s a lot of fear,” she said.

Stateline Update February 13, 2019

Another Shutdown Could Hurt the Homeless. But How Much?

To counter that fear, the Chief Seattle Club is building housing tailored for Native people who’ve been homeless. The development will open in 2021.

And in the Twin Cities, Hennepin County officials partnered in October with American Indian leaders to create housing for Native people who had been living in a dangerous encampment located next to a highway. In less than a month, they were able to find a building and create 16 housing units, according to Hewitt.

In Hennepin County, American Indians are more likely to be sleeping rough in outdoor encampments, while the black homeless population is more likely to be found living in shelters.

But in Los Angeles, a study by the Homeless Services Authority found that nearly 70 percent of the black homeless population live outside. Among the report’s recommendations: Establish a county-wide initiative to push for racial equity in county social services, including recruiting and hiring African-Americans who have been homeless in the past.

“I’ve met a number of people that were homeless and wanted an opportunity to thrive,” said Jacqueline Waggoner, a commissioner on the authority and chairwoman of the city’s committee on black homelessness. “But the door wasn’t cracked for them to get in.”

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Re: United States - Human Rights Monitor

Postby darshan » 28 Jul 2019 01:16

If you’re colored, you should just stay non christian. Whites treat you better in such cases. They even take two years off to come and visit you with gifts. Colored people should look into having mandatory quota system everywhere to level the field.

Black students on a field trip said they were told ‘no food, no drink, no watermelon.’ Now the museum is apologizing.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2 ... 803a02ccb6

The field trip to Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts was supposed to be a reward for good grades and excellent behavior.

Instead, chaperones say, students from the Helen Y. Davis Leadership Academy Charter Public School in Dorchester, Mass., left in tears last week after they were subjected to racial profiling from museum employees and offensive comments from visitors.

On Friday, the museum again apologized to the students and the middle school, where the majority of students are black or Latino. The museum said in a statement Friday that, following an investigation, it had banned visitors accused of making racist comments and is retraining staff and security.

“These young people left the Museum feeling disrespected, harassed and targeted because of the color of their skin,” said the museum’s director, Matthew Teitelbaum. “And that is unacceptable.”

The 26 seventh-graders who went on the school trip are students of color, according to school officials, and the allegations have prompted a larger conversation about how museums and other elite cultural institutions can be uncomfortable spaces for people of color.

Security guards closely shadowed the seventh-graders throughout their visit and followed them from one gallery to another, Marvelyne Lamy, an English language arts teacher at the charter school, told local media outlets. She and her students noticed that their group seemed to be subject to more scrutiny than predominantly white school groups that were touring the museum at the same time.

“We were instructed not to touch any of the artifacts in the museum, yet the white students there touched the displays several times while security looked on without saying anything,” Lamy wrote on Monday in a Facebook post, where she first detailed her frustrations with the museum. “The minute one of our students followed suit, the security guards would yell at them that they should not touch exhibits.”

A staff member who was explaining the museum’s rules allegedly told the group, “No food, no drink, no watermelon.” Lamy told the Globe that she did not hear the comment herself, but students who were upset by the apparent reference to a well-known racist trope told her about it. One 13-year-old told the Globe that the remark left her feeling angry, uncomfortable and disrespected.

The middle-schoolers also reported hearing disparaging remarks from other museum visitors. One student told Lamy that she had been dancing to music played as part of an exhibit when a museumgoer said, “It’s a shame that she is not learning and instead stripping.” Another seventh-grade teacher at the school, Taliana Jeune, described the remark differently, telling WCVB that the student had been warned, “I hope you’re paying attention so that you don’t become a stripper.'”

The remark about stripping was the last straw, Lamy wrote on Facebook, and told the seventh-graders that they were leaving right away. As they were making their way out of the museum, some students paused by the entrance to an African art exhibit. Lamy said a woman walked by and commented, “Never mind, there’s f---ing black kids in the way.”

Lamy said she never planned to set foot in the museum again.

“We reported all these incidents to the staff at the MFA, and they just looked on with pity,” she wrote on Facebook. “They took our names and filed a report. Their only solution, they will give us tickets to come back and have a ‘better’ experience. We did not even receive an apology.”

To some critics, the middle-schoolers’ experience demonstrated why the MFA and other prestigious cultural institutions remain stubbornly white. Racism, wrote Globe opinion columnist Renée Graham, “compels us to self-segregate, to do it to ourselves before it can be done to us. And we tick off the places we won’t go — certain ballparks, restaurants, theaters, symphony halls, hospitals and stores. And museums.”

The museum has made a concerted effort to attract a more diverse audience in recent years. In 2015, the museum found that nearly 80 percent of people who visited were white, which led to targeted outreach and initiatives aimed at making the museum more inclusive. Two years later, Globe reporters who visited on a Saturday found that, out of roughly 3,000 guests, only about 4 percent were black.

On Wednesday, nearly a week after the field trip, top museum officials apologized in an open letter that acknowledged that the students had “encountered a range of challenging and unacceptable experiences that made them feel unwelcome.”

On Friday, the museum revealed the conclusions of its investigation, which included re-creating the students’ three-hour visit from security footage and speaking to dozens of people.

It said it could not “definitively confirm or deny” that students were told “no food, no drink, no watermelon,” saying a staff member recalled saying “no food, no drink and no water bottles” were allowed. Though the museum typically allows guests to carry closed water bottles, school groups are advised that no drinks are allowed in the galleries.

The museum also said security guards’ rotations may have unintentionally appeared to the students as if they were being followed, but added, “It is unacceptable that they felt racially profiled, targeted and harassed.”

Lastly, the museum said its investigation found that other visitors made racist comments to the students, which led to the revocation of their membership and their banning from the museum.

The museum vowed to “adapt security procedures . . . to make sure all people feel welcome,” provide additional training to employees that work with visitors and continue mandatory unconscious bias training for all staff members.

Teitelbaum has asked to meet with students at the school next week.

“This is a fundamental problem that we will address as an institution, both with immediate steps and long-term commitments,” Teitelbaum said in the statement. “I am deeply saddened that we’ve taken something away from these students that they will never get back.”

The experience ended up teaching the seventh-graders “an unfortunate lesson,” Arturo J. Forrest, Davis Leadership Academy’s principal, told the Globe.

“This was a strong group of students that went, they excelled academically,” he said. “The shock of it for them was, ‘We are the top and we carry ourselves the right way as leaders.’ You know, it was very eye-opening for them.

Lamy agreed.

I had to tell them, you know, as a black or brown person, you have to work 10 times harder,” she told reporters on Thursday. “Unfortunately, that’s the world that we live in.”

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Re: United States - Human Rights Monitor

Postby darshan » 28 Jul 2019 20:39

Raid removing 27 kids from Montana ranch 'may be the tip of the iceberg,' lawmaker says
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/re ... r-n1034696
The removal of 27 children at a private facility for adopted children in Montana this week was the culmination of years of efforts to effectively regulate private youth treatment programs — and it "may just be the tip of the iceberg," the lawmaker who spearheaded the reform effort said Thursday.

State Sen. Diane Sands, a Democrat from Missoula who led efforts to enact the law, told NBC News on Thursday that she hadn't expected the Health Department to move so quickly. The rules are still being written, she said, but "when the tip came in and the information was of such a serious nature, there was enough evidence to go directly to a judge."

"This was a case in which I am really proud of how swiftly and thoroughly they acted," she said.

Sands said more enforcement actions were likely elsewhere in the state.

"We've heard complaints from some of the other facilities that are way more horrible," she said. "This may just be the tip of the iceberg."

For years, alternative adolescent residences were overseen by a board under the state Department of Labor and Industry, not the Health Department. The majority of the members of the Labor Department board were industry representatives; faith-based or religious programs were exempt from any regulation or licensing. That changed on July 1.

Many of the previously unregulated facilities are in the isolated, rural northwestern part of the state, far even from major highways, much less regulatory institutions.

"This area up there has a long history of these churches that are created," Sands said. "They change their name and are just a vehicle for all kinds of people to do all kinds of things."

Relief that Ranch for Kids' residents are free from 'hell'
https://missoulian.com/news/local/relie ... e6f72.html
Over the years, DLI received 58 complaints against various private residential programs; none resulted in significant sanctions. Lauren Lewis, DLI public information officer, said Wednesday the complaint against Ranch for Kids was the only open complaint at the time regulation of such programs was transferred to the health department on July 1.

Dozens of children are removed from Montana youth program amid shocking allegations of abuse including kids being kicked and spat on, forced on 20-mile walks and one even being SHOT with a nail gun
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/articl ... abuse.html
The kids, aged 11 to 17, were taken from the Ranch for Kids in Rexford on Tuesday
Comes amid claims of children being hit, kicked, body-slammed and spat on
Reports that staff also used excessive discipline and withheld food
The ranch specializes in treating children who were adopted in foreign countries
Staff use Christian principles and values to 'help kids build new habits', they say
But the parents of a nine-year-old treated at the ranch filed a complaint in 2017 saying staff physically, verbally and emotionally abused children
Director Bill Sutley said he plans to challenge a decision to suspend their license

The ranch, which specializes in treating children who were adopted in foreign countries, has had previous troubles with state regulators.

Complaints about the Ranch for Kids had been made to an oversight board for years, The Missoulian reported, but the board was made up of people who ran similar facilities.

Staff use Christian principles and the values of caring, simplicity, consistency and accountability to 'help kids build new habits and healthier behaviors so they can live successfully in a family and society', according to the website.

In 2012, ranch owner Joyce Sterkel said the ranch was part of a church and wasn't subject to regulations and inspections by the state.

The state Board of Private Alternative Adolescent and Residential Outdoor Programs had ordered the ranch to get a license or be shut down.

A judge ruled against Sterkel's claims of religious affiliation in 2013.
Last edited by darshan on 28 Jul 2019 21:24, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: United States - Human Rights Monitor

Postby darshan » 28 Jul 2019 21:14

A digest of links to media coverage of clergy abuse.

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Re: United States - Human Rights Monitor

Postby darshan » 29 Jul 2019 03:00

‘Obvious’ Sexual Assault: Abuse Claim Against Detention Center Official Permitted to Continue
https://msmagazine.com/2019/07/18/obvio ... -continue/
On July 1, a former detainee’s sexual assault claim against an ICE-related family detention center was allowed to continue, according to a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. The center had unsuccessfully attempted to secure immunity, then again was denied in its appeal to overturn the former decision.

Although Sharkey eventually pled guilty to the charges of institutionalized sexual abuse, the BCRC claimed the sex acts were legal because E.D. was never physically forced—even though Sharkey repeatedly threatened her with deportation if she didn’t comply—and because E.D. was not a traditional prisoner in the eyes of the court, and Sharkey not a prison guard. They asked the court to be granted qualified immunity, or immunity granted to public officials, which the court denied. The center then appealed the decision, and that appeal was most recently once again struck down.

E.D. and her son had fled sexual violence and intimate partner abuse in her home country of Honduras, and filed for asylum in the U.S. They were soon moved from a Texas border facility to BCRC, one of only three migrant family detention centers nationwide.

Court documents reveal that “within weeks,” Sharkey—who had given E.D. and her son gifts and promised help on their immigration case—began sexually assaulting E.D. He threatened deportation when she initially resisted. But fearing for her and her son’s lives, E. D. felt she had no choice but to stay.

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Re: United States - Human Rights Monitor

Postby darshan » 29 Jul 2019 03:28

An Evangelical Megachurch Is Sued for More Than $1 Million in Child Sexual Abuse Case
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/an-ev ... ar-AAEUYCB

A woman has sued the Village Church of Flower Mound, Tex., alleging that she was sexually abused by a pastor when she was a child. She is seeking more than $1 million in damages.
The case against the Village Church — which is based in Flower Mound, Tex., outside Dallas, and is led by Matt Chandler — is perhaps the most high-profile current lawsuit alleging child sexual abuse in the Southern Baptist Convention. It comes as the largest Protestant denomination in the United States has vowed to address widespread sexual abuse in its congregations.

The suit states the Mr. Tonne was able to access and abuse the plaintiff at a Village summer camp for children because her cabin was also the location for some adult staff meetings. Both male and female adults were present at these meetings, in violation of the church’s own policies about people of the opposite sex in children’s cabins, the suit says. On the night of the alleged assault, the suit says that Mr. Tonne met with other adults right outside the girls’ room, giving him the opportunity to enter her room and sexually violate her.

The suit also alleges that the church was not forthcoming to the young woman and the congregation about the reason Mr. Tonne was removed from its staff last year.

Since coming forward last month, the Bragg family said they have lost close friendships and that their daughter has been bullied. The day Mr. Chandler disputed their experience at the convention was “a day of trauma for us as a whole family,” Ms. Bragg said.

The State of Texas protects churches and other charitable organizations from damages in lawsuits by capping their maximum liability at $500,000, according to a 1987 law. But the limit does not apply to acts that are “intentional, willfully negligent, or done with conscious indifference or reckless disregard for the safety of others.”

The lawsuit alleges that the damage cap does not apply because the church was “willfully negligent” in its failure to protect a child in its care from being sexually assaulted.

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Re: United States - Human Rights Monitor

Postby darshan » 29 Jul 2019 20:33

Black Race in the Dialysis Population Lowers PCI Odds - Renal and Urology News
https://www.renalandurologynews.com/hom ... -pci-odds/

Black patients on dialysis are less likely than their white counterparts to under percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), according to a new study.

The racial disparity emerged in a study of Medicare inpatient claims for PCI in a cohort of 268,575 patients with Medicare as the primary payer and who initiated maintenance dialysis from January 1, 2009 through June 1, 2013. A team led by Robert Nee, MD, of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, found that blacks had a significant 36% decreased likelihood of undergoing PCI compared with whites after adjusting for demographic, clinical, and socioeconomic factors.

“A racial gap exists in the receipt of percutaneous coronary intervention among dialysis patients despite having comprehensive coverage with Medicare insurance, highlighting the crucial need for effective implementation of local and national strategies to promote racial equity in cardiovascular health,” Dr Nee and his colleagues wrote in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

The study population included 73,209 black patients (27.3%), 182,772 white patients (68%), and 12,594 patients of other races (4.7%). Black patients were significantly younger at dialysis initiation than white patients (mean 60 vs 66 years). A significantly higher proportion of black patients compared with white patients were unemployed (28.3% vs 16.9%) and had dual eligibility for Medicare and Medicaid. Of the entire cohort, 17,261 patients (6.4%) had at least 1 PCI procedure. The crude incidence rate was 22.3 procedures per 1000 patient-years. The overall prevalence of PCI was 6.9% among whites compared with 5.0% among blacks. The unadjusted incidence rates for blacks and whites were 25.8 and 15.5 per 1000 person-years. White male patients had the highest incidence rate compared with other groups by race and sex (26.7 per 1000 person-years) and black male patients had the lowest rate (14.1 per 1000 person-years).

Compared with white males, white females, black females, and black males had a significant 13%, 37%, and 42% decreased likelihood of undergoing PCI, respectively.


Nee R, Yan G, Yuan CM, et al. Use of percutaneous coronary intervention among black and white patients with end-stage renal disease in the United States. J Am Heart Assoc. 2019;8:e012101. doi: 10.1161/JAHA.119.012101

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Re: United States - Human Rights Monitor

Postby darshan » 29 Jul 2019 20:42

It just doesn't make sense to be black in bestowed upon white system. Blacks should start shedding that. Starting with the forced down religion. Christianity only hints at providing equality on paper.

USDA Gave Almost All Of Trump’s Trade War Bailout To White Farmers
https://newfoodeconomy.org/usda-trump-t ... mers-race/
Similar to other USDA subsidies, the Market Facilitation Program (MFP) has overwhelmingly favored white and male producers.

Home Feature Policy

Last July, the Trump administration announced a major new subsidy program designed to help farmers weather America’s ongoing trade war with China. That initiative—dubbed the Market Facilitation Program (MFP)—has become the single largest source of subsidies for farmers.

The following essay is adapted from an article originally published by the Farm Bill Law Enterprise.

While many writers have documented the struggles of farmers affected by the trade war, few have scrutinized the distributional effects of the MFP. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has documented that the program has disproportionately helped wealthy landowners and a recent analysis by Donald Carr, a senior advisor for EWG, argues that the MFP has deepened the disadvantages of black and minority farmers.

We extend EWG’s analysis with data we obtained from a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. The MFP has almost exclusively benefitted white men and their families, who appear to be disproportionately upper middle-class or wealthy. These payments further entrench already drastic inequalities in agriculture, along racial, ethnic, gender, and class lines.

Not only did almost all of the funds go to white operators, but an overwhelming share of the funds appear to have gone to upper-middle class and wealthy families.

Similar to other USDA subsidies, the MFP has overwhelmingly favored white and male producers. We recently received data from a FOIA request that show the department has funneled more than 99 percent of bailout funds to white operators.

These disparities are the result of historical and recent discrimination. The federal government played a role in withholding farmland from, and dispossessing, farmers of color, especially black and Native American ones. And as we documented in a recent article, USDA has done little to address its atrocious civil rights record. The MFP continues to exacerbate these racial inequalities today.

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Re: United States - Human Rights Monitor

Postby darshan » 30 Jul 2019 04:26

Racial disparity in care starts with youngest, frailest patients
https://m.medicalxpress.com/news/2019-0 ... ients.html

Many studies have uncovered racial gaps in health care in the United States, but now a new review confirms that the disparity begins at birth.

The review, of 41 studies, found that infants born to minority women typically received poorer care in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) compared with white newborns.

The finding was often related to lower-quality care in hospitals where minorities made up a large share of patients. But studies have also found treatment disparities within the same NICU.

"We're trained to treat everyone the same, and many of us believe that we do," said senior researcher Dr. Jochen Profit, an associate professor of pediatrics at Stanford University, in California.

But, he said, "NICUs don't exist in a vacuum," and can be subject to the same biases seen everywhere else.

In general, the review found, black preterm infants were most vulnerable: Hospitals with a high percentage of black preemies typically had lower-quality care and fewer nurses, versus those with a smaller percentage of black patients. There was also evidence that newborn death rates were higher in those "minority-serving" NICUs.

It's a pattern that played out in a recent study of 700 NICUs, where researchers found that black preemies were concentrated in centers with lower-quality care—compared with white, Asian and Hispanic babies.

But, he said, there are also racial disparities in care "processes." In some studies, for example, parents of black and Hispanic preemies were less likely to get referrals for follow-up care after their NICU discharge, compared with whites.

And over the years, one critical gap has been in the use of surfactant therapy, according to Dr. Wanda Barfield, of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Besides some differences in treatment, the review also found that minority families tended to be less satisfied with their NICU experience. Studies have found that black mothers are less likely to be breastfeeding when their baby is discharged from the NICU—and that those moms reported less education and support for breastfeeding, both before and after giving birth.

According to the latest CDC figures, the rate of preterm birth among U.S. black women remains about 50% higher than that of white women—at 14%, versus 9%.

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Re: United States - Human Rights Monitor

Postby darshan » 30 Jul 2019 06:47

91 Percent of Inmates Freed by First Step Act Were Black. Should We Give Republicans Credit?
https://www.theroot.com/91-percent-of-i ... 1835387925

On its surface, this might seem as if Republicans finally did something to help black people, if only inadvertently. It is true that the First Step Act of 2018 was one of the biggest legislative victories for advocates of criminal justice reform in years. It is also true that the legislation was promoted by Jared Kushner and sponsored by Republican lawmakers (Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia and Sen. John Cornyn of Texas).

But upon further examination, the report shows how the criminal justice system, especially in Republican states, is stacked against black people.

In 2010, President Barack Obama signed the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010, which narrowed the gap in racially discriminatory crack vs. cocaine sentences by 82 percent. The Sentencing Commission’s report specifically examines the effects of the First Step Act that retroactively applied Obama’s 2010 law to nonviolent drug offenders who were convicted before the Fair Sentencing Act took was enacted into law.

Of the 1,051 people who applied for sentencing reductions because of this injustice:

91.3 percent were black, 3.8 percent were Hispanic and 4.3 percent were white, despite the fact that blacks and whites use and sell drugs at about the same rate.
While many people blame the Clinton crime bill for mass incarceration and the crack vs. cocaine guidelines, most of the people who were released were convicted by George W. Bush’s Department of Justice.
62 percent of the people released because they received unequal sentences were convicted by a DOJ controlled by a Republican President. 38 percent were convicted by a Democrat-run Justice Department.
People convicted by courts in places with high black populations (Washington DC, Alabama, Georgia, Maryland and South Carolina) received above-average sentenced reductions, which meant that they were disproportionately sentenced to longer prison terms. (No data was available for Mississippi.)
Apparently, there wasn’t a single person in the 5 whitest states (Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Vermont and Utah) who was over-sentenced.

Before we applaud the GOP for reducing sentencing disparities, one should understand that the provision that released these hundreds of black inmates was not included in the first draft of the First Step Act. It did not address the crack vs. cocaine disparity. It didn’t address drug sentencing. It didn’t address sentencing reform at all.

These amendments were only included when dozens of organizations like the Color of Change and the Prison Policy Initiative urged Democratic lawmakers to vote against the bill unless Republicans agreed to include prison and sentencing reform initiatives. Conservative senators eventually agreed, much to the dismay of hardcore right-wingers like Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.).

To be clear, the First Step Act is a win for criminal justice reform. But the Republicans who wrote the law never meant for it to reduce the sentences of hundreds of prisoners. They never intended for it to address the racist war on drugs. Even though some people insist that we must “give the president his due,” the reason hundreds of black people have been removed from America’s system of mass incarceration is that a Democratic senator wrote a bill, a Democratic president signed it and Democrats forced Donald Trump and a Republican-controlled Congress to make it retroactive.

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Re: United States - Human Rights Monitor

Postby darshan » 30 Jul 2019 06:54

'Keep Up These Racial Disparities': Protester Kicked Out of Courtroom for Blasting Judge Who Freed Armed White Nationalist
https://www.theroot.com/keep-up-these-r ... 1836797099
Authorities ushered a man out of a Vermont courtroom after he boldly interrupted court proceedings to condemn a judge for releasing an avowed white supremacist who keeps defying court orders banning him from buying guns.

On July 22, self-proclaimed white nationalist Max Misch pleaded not guilty in a Bennington, Vt., Superior Court for violating the conditions of his release on previous gun-possession charges, according to the Brattleboro Reformer. Sworn statements from Misch’s wife and a local gun store allege that Misch purchased a handgun for $350 on March 30, less than two months after a judge banned Misch from buying firearms following Misch’s February arrest for possessing illegal, large-capacity ammunition devices.

During Misch’s arraignment, not only did Judge William D. Cohen disregard the previous court order that spelled out conditions for Misch’s previous bail, he also ignored the state attorney general’s request for a $200 bail on the current charges. Perhaps inspired by Misch’s choice of courtroom attire—a T-shirt that read “****** GUN CONTROL”—Cohen imposed no bail at all, only ordering the white supremacist not to “enter any place [where] the primary business is selling firearms or dangerous/deadly weapons.”

“My nephew was in jail a whole year, your honor,” Pratt continued as Vermont state troopers escort him out of the courtroom. “Keep up these racial disparities, guys...we’re watching all of you!”

“I was in there specifically to find out what was going to happen with this guy,” Pratt told The Root. “My nephew was held without any evidence, without any witnesses, without any weapon for a whole year awaiting trial. Meanwhile, this guy is a known violent person. My thing is, why can’t we get the same kind of treatment?

“I’m into social justice and I can see all of these disparities going on, but I wanted to see it in the flesh,” explained Pratt. “If it was me or anybody else, they would have let us sit there, even if we didn’t have a violent crime...especially if we kept violating court orders.”

“This just reaffirms that it’s not safe for me or my family,” Morris told The Root on Monday. “[It shows] that we aren’t granted and afforded the same protections that other people have and that the justice system is deeply flawed.

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