Colorlines

NOW IN RACIAL JUSTICE

Historian Calls for More Evidence Amidst Richard Aoki FBI Allegations

In light of the bombshell allegations that the late Black Panther Richard Aoki may have worked an FBI informant, I spoke with Scott Kurashige, the Director of Asian/Pacific Islander Studies at the University of Michigan. Since news broke yesterday about Aoki’s possible connections to the FBI, Kurashige has been offering his own analysis and critique on social media. I’ve excerpted selection portions of our conversation below that deal with the larger context of the allegations.

Kurashige calls the allegations “very serious” and is critical of the reports.

“We need to look at the research, and this is not something we can do overnight. Before we can draw any definitive conclusions about what [Seth Rosenfeld] is claiming, we really need to put some serious minds together. People who have both the research expertise and the personal knowledge of some of this history together…Every author has a perspective and a frame.”

Asked whether his view of the specific historical period would change if the allegations against Aoki turned out to be true, Kurashige offered the following:

“It probably wouldn’t complicate my view of that period much at all. I think for a lot of young Asian American activists, particularly in the Bay Area, Aoki was a very immediate inspirational figure because he was a very generous person and a lot of people talk about the positive effect he had on movement activism in the Bay Area. So I think people are concerned about his personal legacy, but they don’t want any stories — particularly before they’re fully verified — to tarnish that legacy.

“I’m a little bit older, and I think for people of my generation, Aoki wasn’t known very much…I bumped into him at conferences, but he wasn’t an icon on the level of Yuri Kochiyama. To ber perfectly honest, my own politics have evolved to the point where I think we need really challenge a lot of the really militant posturing that radicals in the Third World Liberation Movement did in the ’60s. We need to really understand what it meant at that time and place. For Japanese Americans there was this real need and desire to challenge the model minority myth that they were passive and paralyzed. Just as Fanon writes in “The Wretched of the Earth,” there was an unleashing of energy and the militant response to all the violence of repression and white supremacy comes out when a movement is being born.”

And finally, Kurashige says there’s much more analysis that needs to be done.

“Whether these allegations prove to be totally true, totally false, or somewhere in between, it needs to be used a teachable moment for people in movement organizing to really think about how we discuss and strategize the issue of state repression within movement organizing and how we study and discuss our own movement histories.

TAGS: Richard Aoki

Wyclef Jean to Headline Vets’ Fundraiser at Republican Convention

Wyclef Jean to Headline Vets' Fundraiser at Republican Convention

Wyclef Jean will not be gone till November because he’ll be performing at a veterans’ group’s fundraiser during the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Aug. 29.

The hip-hop star is replacing country music singers Willie Nelson and Randy Travis who dropped out of the “Got Your 6” event that will be hosted by John McCain’s daughter Meghan and wife Cindy.

Even though the McCains are hosting it, the event may not be as Republican as it seems. Tampa Bay has more details:

First it was Willie Nelson headlining the ballyhooed Got Your 6 gala at the Dallas Bull during the Republican National Convention. Then Willie dropped out, and Randy Travis got involved — that is, before the country star got into trouble, not to mention naked and arrested, down in north Texas last Tuesday.

Now hip-hop icon Wyclef Jean is the latest star to sign up to help Got Your 6, a nonpartisan organization that assists the military reintegrate into civilian life. The former Fugee, and Haitian hero, will play Aug. 29 at the Glazer Children’s Museum in Tampa.

The night is co-sponsored by Got Your 6 and Lifetime Television, and will be co-hosted by Meghan and Cindy McCain, plus Republican governors and members of Congress. The late-night party will run from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. As well as Wyclef’s gig, Meghan will be signing copies of her new book, America, You Sexy B——.

This post has been updated since publication.

Pew Report: Record Numbers of Latinos in US Colleges, Public Schools

The nation’s Latino student population reached a number of milestones in 2011, according to an analysis of newly available U.S. Census Bureau data by the Pew Hispanic Center, a project of the Pew Research Center.

More details excerpted from Pew Hispanic Center’s “Hispanic Student Enrollments Reach New Highs in 2011” report:

Hispanics are now, for the first time, the largest minority group among the nation’s four-year college and university students. And for the first time, Hispanics made up one-quarter (25.2%) of 18- to 24-year-old students enrolled in two-year colleges.

In the nation’s public schools, Hispanics also reached new milestones. For the first time, one-in-four (24.7%) public elementary school students were Hispanic, following similar milestones reached recently by Hispanics among public kindergarten students (in 2007) and public nursery school students (in 2006). Among all pre-K through 12th grade public school students, a record 23.9% were Hispanic in 2011.

phc-2012-08-20-enrollment-03-01.pngRecord numbers of Latinos are also finishing college, with 112,000 earning associate degrees and 140,000 earning bachelor’s degrees. Pew states both statistics are new highs, yet Latinos still lag behind whites (1.2 million bachelor’s degrees and 553,000 associates) and blacks (165,000 bachelor’s and 114,000 associates) in degree attainment.

Black college enrollment in 2011 was down 3% from 2010, dropping from 1.69 million to 1.64 million, while Latino enrollment was up 15%, from 1.81 million to 2.08 million.

Federal Court Blocks School Reporting Provisions in Alabama’s HB 56 Immigration Law

On Monday, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta issued a ruling on Alabama’s immigration law, commonly referred to as HB56. The Court blocked a provision of Alabama’s immigration law requiring schools to determine the immigration status of school children at time of enrollment, saying it violated the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause.

Alabama’s WAFF has more details:

The Court has thrown out Section 28, which is the provision that required schools to collect data on the immigration status of students who enroll in school.

The Court has temporarily blocked two sections of the law, Section 10 and Section 27. Section 10 is also known as the “papers please” section. It created a state crime if an immigrant was not carrying an alien registration document. Section 27 forbid citizens from entering into contracts with illegal immigrants.

The Court upheld Sections 12(a), 18, 30 of the law. Section 12(a) allows police to detain suspected illegal aliens. Section 18 required authorities to make a reasonable effort to determine the immigration status of a driver found not to be carrying a driver’s license. Section 30 forbid any illegal immigrant from entering into a business transaction with the state or any political subdivision thereof.

The Court upheld Sections 12(a), 18, 30 of the law. Section 12(a) allows police to detain suspected illegal aliens. Section 18 required authorities to make a reasonable effort to determine the immigration status of a driver found not to be carrying a driver’s license. Section 30 forbid any illegal immigrant from entering into a business transaction with the state or any political subdivision thereof.

“The court today rejected many parts of Alabama and Georgia’s anti-immigrant laws, including attempts to criminalize everyday interactions with undocumented immigrants and Alabama’s callous attempt to deprive some children of their constitutional right to education. The court explicitly left the door open to further challenges against the ‘show me your papers’ provision, which we will continue to fight in order to protect people’s constitutional rights,” Omar Jadwat, senior staff attorney with the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project, said in a statement.

TAGS: Alabama HB 56

64 Percent of New Yorkers Surveyed Say NYPD Favors Whites

64 Percent of New Yorkers Surveyed Say NYPD Favors Whites

A significant majority of New Yorkers surveyed in a New York Times poll say the Police Department favors whites over blacks.

More from the NYT:

Opinions about stop-and-frisk are divided by race. Fifty-five percent of whites described the use of the tactic as acceptable; 56 percent of blacks called it excessive. Among Hispanics, 48 percent said it was acceptable, and 44 percent said it was excessive.

Republicans, independents and residents of Queens generally support the practice; Democrats and Manhattanites generally deem it excessive.

Over all, 64 percent of New Yorkers said the police favored one race over the other, a steep rise from the early years of the Bloomberg administration, when less than half of residents agreed with that sentiment. The perception of police favoritism has not been as widespread since the final years of Mayor Giuliani’s tenure, when race relations were noticeably more tense. (The question has not been asked in a Times poll since 2003.)

In February 2012, the NYPD released stop-and-frisk statistics to the City Council that revealed the highest number of stops ever recorded in one year. Out of 685,724 stop-and-frisk stops, 87% percent of those stopped in 2011 were black or Latino, and nine out of ten persons stopped were not arrested, nor did they receive summonses.

An NYCLU analysis showed that black and Latino males between the ages of 14 and 24 accounted for 41.6 percent of stops in 2011, though they make up only 4.7 percent of the city’s population. The number of stops of young black men exceeded the city’s entire population of young black men.

Read a Young Willow Smith’s Heartfelt Letter to Tupac Asking Him to ‘Please Come Back’

Over the weekend, Willow Smith shared a letter she wrote “years” ago to the Tupac Shakur that asked the late rapper to come back. The image of the letter was posted to Instagram.

“Can you please come back, can you come back so momy [sic] and me can be happy,” wrote the 11-year-old star in the letter she says she wrote “YEARS” ago.

Willow Smith’s mother Jada Pinkett Smith and Tupac first became close friends as teenagers who attended the Baltimore School For The Arts together. The rapper’s love for Pinkett-Smith was revealed in a poem titled “4 Jada” released in the 1999 book “A Rose Who Grew From Concrete.”

“You are the omega of my heart, The foundation for my conception of love.When I think of what a black woman should be, it’s you that I first think of,” the rapper wrote about Pinkett-Smith. “You will never fully understand how deeply my heart feels for you. I worry that we’ll grow apart and I’ll end up losing you,” the poem read.

Ohio GOP Election Official: Early Voting Should Not Accommodate Blacks

Ohio GOP Election Official: Early Voting Should Not Accommodate Blacks

On Wednesday Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, a Republican, ordered all 88 counties in the state to only allow early voting Monday through Friday, until 7 p.m., during the final two weeks before the election. Weekend voting that resulted in a significant number of black voters casting  votes in 2008 will not be allowed.

“I guess I really actually feel we shouldn’t contort the voting process to accommodate the urban — read African-American — voter-turnout machine,” Ohio GOP election official Doug Priesse said in an email to the “Columbus Dispatch” Sunday. “Let’s be fair and reasonable.”

Priesse is a member of the board of elections for Franklin County, which includes Columbus, and chairman of the Franklin County Republican Party.

“Preisse’s comment makes clear that his decision to vote against weekend hours is motivated by a fear of black voters. He also thinks that voting is about accommodation, but it’s not. It’s a fundamental right that’s clearly under threat in key swing states like Ohio,” said Aura Bogado, who writes about voting rights for Colorlines.com.

Weekend voting helped 93,000 Ohioans cast ballots in the final three days before the 2008 election, according to The Huffington Post.

Below is a statement from Colorlines.com’s Voting Rights reporter Brentin Mock:

“The comments made by the GOP chairman are not at all surprising and are in fact consistent with comments made by Pennsylvania GOP state Rep. Mike Turzai and Florida GOP state Sen. Mike Bennett who said he wants ‘people in Florida to want to vote as bad as that person in Africa who walks 200 miles across the desert,’ when he helped pass a similar law that limited early voting. It’s a clear strike at ‘souls to the polls’ campaign that encourage African-American voters to go vote after church before Election Day. But honestly rather than limit speech like this from Republican legislators, I’d argue that they deserve more of a forum to articulate their election reform intentions. We should encourage Republicans to speak more candidly and honestly about why they want to make changes to voting practices that only seem to impact voters of color. It took a lot of courage for Preisse to confess his true feelings about black voters and I hope that other Republican legislators will now be brave enough to do the same.”

Former Black Panther Richard Aoki Named an FBI Informant

Former Black Panther Richard Aoki Named an FBI Informant

Update: Jamilah King discusses the allegations with activists who worked with Aoki and reviews the long history of state spying on domestic movements.

The man who armed the Black Panthers turns out to have been an FBI informant.

FBI files, uncovered by journalist Seth Rosenfeld, reveal that Richard Aoki, a prominent activist in the 1960s who was the first to supply the Black Panthers with guns and weapons training, was also an undercover FBI source.

The Center for Investigative Reporting has more details:

Aoki’s work for the FBI, which has never been reported, was uncovered and verified during research for the book, “Subversives: The FBI’s War on Student Radicals, and Reagan’s Rise to Power.” The book, based on research spanning three decades, will be published tomorrow by Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

In a tape-recorded interview for the book in 2007, two years before he committed suicide, Aoki was asked if he had been an FBI informant. Aoki’s first response was a long silence. He then replied, ” ‘Oh,’ is all I can say.”

Later during the same interview, Aoki contended the information wasn’t true.

Asked if this reporter was mistaken that Aoki had been an informant, Aoki said, “I think you are,” but added: “People change. It is complex. Layer upon layer.”

A Nov. 16, 1967, intelligence report on the Black Panthers obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request lists Aoki as an “informant” with the code number “T-2.”

Visit the Center for Investigative Reporting to view their interactive timeline that illustrates how Aoki became an informant.

Whitney Houston’s Last Film ‘Sparkle’ Flops at Box Office

Whitney Houston's Last Film 'Sparkle' Flops at Box Office

The late Whitney Houston’s final film “Sparkle” came in No. 5 in it’s debut this past weekend. The film grossed $12 million dollars, about $10 million less than what analyst predicted early last week. The remake of the 1976 film stars American Idol winner Jordin Sparks, Derek Luke, Mike Epps, Cee Lo Green, Cameron Ejogo and Tika Sumpter and is about three sisters who form a singing group in Detroit during the Motown era. Houston plays their mother.

“Given the storyline, the campaign for Sparkle was aimed at women and audiences who would connect with themes from the film, such as the music, fashion and faith. Opening weekend exit surveys show the film played exactly as we expected: Older and female,” a Sony spokesman told the Hollywood Reporter. Of those turning out, 74 percent of the audience was female and 62 percent over the age of 35.

Fortunately, TriStar’s “Sparkle” only cost a modest $14 million to produce so they should be making their money back by the end of this week.

PopChips Didn’t Learn From Indian Ad Saga —They’re On Mexicans Now

PopChips Didn't Learn From Indian Ad Saga --They're On Mexicans Now

popchipsguy.jpgRemember the fiasco earlier this year after PopChips ran commercials with Ashton Kutcher in brownface impersonating Indians? Well they’re back at it.

Three white Pop Chips promoters wearing sombreros and serapes handed out bags of Pop Chips in front of Bryant Park in New York City Thursday afternoon to promote the San Francisco based company’s new tortilla chips. The reps handed out chips as a mariachi played on also.

The two female Pop Chips promoters also wore exaggerated mustaches to go along with their sombreros and sarapes. It’s a page right out of the “what not to wear for Halloween” guides Colorlines.com has published for the past two years.  

Pop Chips apologized for the Ashton Kutcher stunt but it seems they didn’t really learn anything from that fiasco.

Lastly, because someone from PopChips will undoubtedly end up reading this, a bit of advice to them: If you’re going to continue doing this “guerilla marketing” bit perhaps you should consider hiring a cumbia band to sing “Escándalo es un escándalo” over and over because that’s what you’re starting with the fastest growing population in the country.


Two Young Black Poets From Philly on Hipster Racism [Video]

Two Young Black Poets From Philly on Hipster Racism [Video]

Unfortunately we don’t have too much information about the two Brave New Voices poets seen in the video above, but if you’ve got any details on them please comment below and share any links you may have.

The video was sent to us by a reader who notes one of the poets is Kai Davis, you can find her on Tumblr.

Brave New Voices is best known as the annual gathering of young poets from across the globe who take part in the International Youth Poetry Slam. Brave New Voices is also a network of over 70 organizations working with young people through the literary and performing arts, a television show that aired 2 seasons on HBO, and a growing social and cultural movement featuring the voices of 21st Century America.

Hipster racism is nothing new. Check out Channing Kennedy’s re-reading of “Lester Bangs’ 1979 ‘White Noise Supremacists’”

Univision and NAACP Slam Debate Commission’s All White Moderators

Univision and NAACP Slam Debate Commission's All White Moderators

Univision president and CEO Randy Falco on Wednesday sent a letter to Janet H. Brown, the Commission on Presidential Debates’ executive director, expressing “disappointment on behalf of the millions of Hispanics who do not have a voice in the upcoming presidential debates.”

Earlier this week the Commission announced Jim Lehrer of PBS, Bob Schieffer of CBS, Candy Crowley of CNN and Martha Raddatz of ABC News will moderate this year’s debates. All the moderators are white.

(It’s worth noting Crowley will be the first woman to moderate a presidential debate in two decades but as TPM points out “she will oversee the town-hall style debate where audience members ask the majority of the questions.”)

Univision nominated their top bilingual anchors Jorge Ramos and Maria Elena Salinas as contenders to moderate the upcoming debates but the Commission did not select either of them.

“Since you have already made your decision on moderators for the debates and have neglected to have someone speak credibly to the concerns of Hispanics in America, Univision would be willing to create a forum,” Falco wrote in his letter.

Falco went on to lobby for an additional debate that could “speak directly to this burgeoning audience so influential to the presidential dialogue and outcome.”

The Commission rejected Univision’s offer on Tuesday and said that the current moderators “see their assignment as representing all Americans in their choice of topics and questions.”

“The lack of diversity among this year’s debate moderators is representative of the overall lack of diversity in news media,” NAACP president and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous said in a statement. “Whether it’s as primetime news anchors, debate moderators, or commentators on the influential Sunday morning political talk shows, people of color - and African Americans specifically - are strikingly underrepresented.”

Former ABC News anchor Carole Simpson was the last woman to moderate a presidential debate when she presided over a 1992 discussion between George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton. In 2008, PBS’ Gwen Ifill moderated the vice presidential debate between Joe Biden and Sarah Palin.

Jan Brewer Orders Arizona DREAMers Barred From Public Benefits

Jan Brewer Orders Arizona DREAMers Barred From Public Benefits

On the same day that the Obama administration opened up its application process for the largest deportation relief in a generation, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer insisted on reminding the nation of her state’s hallmark: anti-immigrant hatred. In an executive order signed on Wednesday, Brewer stated that Arizona’s undocumented youth granted deportation relief will be barred from accessing any of the concomitant public benefits, namely an Arizona driver’s license or public ID.

“All state agencies that confer taxpayer-funded public benefits and state issued identification shall undergo emergency rule making to address this issue if necessary,” Brewer said in her order (PDF).

The news came as little surprise to Arizonans well used to Brewer’s brand of demagoguery. “Once again, Gov. Jan Brewer has stood on the wrong side of history by implementing anti-immigrant policies and directly contradicting federal mandates related to immigration,” Puente, a Phoenix-based human rights organization, said in a statement. “Brewer has once again put Arizona’s name on the map as the epicenter of anti-immigrant racism and hate.”

Judge Allows Pennsylvania Voter ID Law to Move Forward

Judge Allows Pennsylvania Voter ID Law to Move Forward

A judge in Pennsylvania has refused to block the state’s photo voter ID law, one of the strictest in the nation. Civil rights groups had challenged the law, representing 10 Pennsylvanians impacted by it, and brought dozens of witnesses who testified to their inability to get picture ID due to lacking primary documents such as birth certificates and social security cards.

But despite the fact that an untold number of Pennsylvania citizens — most estimates range in the hundreds of thousands — lack ID, that the state’s own governor and secretary of state didn’t know the details of the law, a state legislator admitting the law would throw the election to Mitt Romney, and testimony that thousands of African Americans and Latinos would be unfairly burdened, Judge Robert Simpson rejected many of the arguments made, particularly that it violated the state’s constitutional protection of the right to vote.

Said Judge Simpson:

“The photo ID requirement of Act 18 is a reasonable, non-discriminatory, non-severe burden when viewed in the broader context of the widespread use of photo ID in daily life. The Commonwealth’s asserted interest in protecting public confidence in elections is a relevant and legitimate state interest sufficiently weighty to justify the burden.”

His ruling mirrored the ruling handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court, which upheld Indiana’s voter ID law. The difference here, though, is that the Indiana case was argued on the premise that it violated the U.S. Constitution, while the Pennsylvania case was about the state’s constitution.

Civil rights groups involved in the case say they are now considering appealing to the state’s supreme court, where it would have ended up no matter how the judge ruled, as the judge acknowledged on the opening day of the Pennsylvania hearing.

“Pennsylvania’s Voter ID law erects an unequal barrier to voting for hundreds of thousands of eligible voters, disproportionately blocking veterans, seniors, and people of color,” said Advancement Project co-director Judith Browne Dianis. “Because no citizen should be denied this basic American right or unfairly burdened to exercise it, the Advancement Project is taking immediate steps to appeal today’s court ruling to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.”

“If other legislators across the country take this decision as a green light, still more citizens nationwide could have their votes obstructed this November,” said Penda Hair, co-director of Advancement Project. “Today’s ruling not only hinders Pennsylvania citizens from participating in the electoral process; it undermines the most basic fabric of our democracy.”

Advocates Launch Fund to Help DREAMers Pay $465 ‘Deferred Action’ Fee

Advocates Launch Fund to Help DREAMers Pay $465 'Deferred Action' Fee

Today, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (ICE) will begin accepting requests from young undocumented immigrants hoping to quality for President Obama’s “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” program that would grant them protection from deportation and work permits for at least two years. It is estimated that more than one million young people brought to the U.S. as children and raised in the country may be eligible for the program.

In order to be granted the two-year protection from deportation, the young undocumented immigrants popularly known as DREAMers will have to pay a $465 fee, pass background checks and offer up biometric data, as well as clear other paperwork hurdles. ICE has pledged to keep the information that DREAMers provide in their applications confidential and away from the enforcement side of the Department of Homeland Security unless the applicant commits fraud by lying on their applications, or if applicants have serious criminal records.

“President Obama’s announcement brings peace and relief to many DREAMers,” Lorella Praeli, a member of the United We Dream network, told Colorlines.com earlier this month. “It is one step in the right direction after years of work that will allow students to apply their professional degrees and know that they need not fear deportation, that they will be able to continue living as Americans in the only country they call home.”

Recognizing that the application fee of $465 may prevent some from applying to the deferred action program, Public Interest Projects has launched a national fundraising effort to support DREAMers who need financial assistance. The public charity group has dubbed the program “Fund for DREAMers” and say they’ll disperse the funds to eligible low-income DREAMers through “vetted local groups via a rigorous allocation process.”

To learn more about the Fund for DREAMers and/or to make a donation visit http://bit.ly/Fund4Dreamers.

‘We Women Warriors’ Challenges the Way We Think about Colombia’s Civil War

Colombia’s civil war will soon enter its fiftieth year. The media narrative about the bloody conflict, which has claimed a 250,000 lives and displaced millions of people is often focused on the armed insurgents, the Colombian military, and right-wing paramilitary squads—the latter of which have been largely demobilized. This frame leaves little room to consider those people who make an effort to resist the violence that’s become an everyday phenomenon for rural people in Colombia. It also fails to remind us that, aside from drug cartels, the war is fueled by the US. Now, a new independent documentary challenges the way we think about the conflict.

We Women Warriors” features three indigenous women in northern and southern Colombia who develop courageous strategies against violence—after a long organizing effort, for example, one woman leads a group to completely dismantle a set of military barracks. Indigenous groups that take no side in the conflict have become targets; since men are often the ones killed by military or guerrilla troops, more women are taking leadership roles.

Michelle Obama Jokingly Scolds Gabby Douglas for Egg McMuffin

Michelle Obama Jokingly Scolds Gabby Douglas for Egg McMuffin

First Lady Michelle Obama, an advocate of healthy eating, and Gabby Douglas were guests on “Tonight Show” with Jay Leno on Monday night.

When Douglas was asked how she celebrated her three gold Olympic medals, she said she splurged on a McDonald’s Egg McMuffin.

“You’re setting me back, Gabby,” the First Lady told Douglas.

“Sorry!” said Douglas in between giggling.

Gabby Douglas Gets a Mural in Her Hometown and She’s Going to be on ‘Oprah’

Gabby Douglas will return to her hometown of Virginia Beach, Va to find a new 9-by-30 foot mural made in her honor. The mural painted by Eric Lindbergh of T.A.L.E.N.T. Murals on the side of the Gator’s Sports Bar & Grill depicts Douglas holding a gold medal and reads “Way to Go Gabby.”

“WOW!!! This is amazing!! #so honored,” Douglas tweeted Friday from the Olympics in London, where the 16-year-old gymnast won two gold medals at the Summer Games.

gabby_douglasmural1.jpg
(Photo: T.A.L.E.N.T. Murals)

Douglas will also appear on “Oprah’s Next Chapter” with Oprah Winfrey at the end of the month.

According to a press release, Winfrey will discuss the new found media attention Douglas has received and visit Gabby’s mother as well as the host family that provided a second home for Douglas during her training.

The interview will air on Oprah’s Next Chapter at a special time on Sunday, August 26, at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network.

30 TSA Officers Report Racial Profiling at Boston’s Logan Airport

30 TSA Officers Report Racial Profiling at Boston's Logan Airport

More than 30 federal officers with the Transportation Safety Administration in Boston have reported that a new passenger screening program frequently leads to racial profiling, the New York Times reported over the weekend. The news made waves in part because the program that’s in question at Boston’s Logan airport is being eyed as a potential model for airports across the country. But for black passengers who’ve already been targeted, news of the report, and the potential for accountability, were welcome — and clear signs that it’s not so easy to be “race-neutral” in an already flawed method of surveillance. 

It’s never seemed random to me,” Steven Wellman, a computer programmer  who’s black and flew into Logan airport on Sunday, told the Boston Globe. “When I travel alone, I am pulled from the line every single time — every single time.”

That sentiment was shared by another black man who once sued the airport after being illegally detained. King Downing is an attorney and director of the Human Rights-Racial Justice Center  who was moved to legal action in 2003. “No one should be surprised, because it’s been going on for years, at airports and in other law enforcement situations, and there has been evidence of it for years,” Downing told the Globe. “My first reaction was, ‘Finally, it’s about time.’ Now let’s see if we can do something about it. It’s been way too long.”

The TSA officers’ steps in reporting their concerns is unprecedented, according to the Times, which reported:


Distinguishing Your Friends From Potential Terrorists

Distinguishing Your Friends From Potential Terrorists

The RedEye, which is published by the Chicago Tribune, recently published the “Turban primer” which illustrates the differences between Sikh men, Iranian leaders, Taliban members, Indian men and Muslim religious elders. Seems like a ridiculous attempt to teach readers the religious significance of turbans for Sikh men versus the turban-donned Taliban member after the tragic shooting at the Wisconsin Sikh temple.

Angry Asian Man compares this to the a 1941 article in Life magazine on how to distinguish Japanese from Chinese people. Amazing how 71 years later, folks are still using the same finger-pointing tactics.

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