Appeals court revives lawsuit over NYPD surveillance of Muslims
In a blistering opinion Tuesday, a federal appeals court revived a lawsuit challenging extensive surveillance the New York Police Department conducted of Muslims in the years after the Sept. 11, 2001, .
A three-judge panel of the Philadelphia-based 3rd Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals voted unanimously to reinstate the lawsuit, which was dismissed by a federal district judge in New Jersey last year.
The appeals court judges described the NYPD program in withering language, invoking insidious discrimination from America’s history and suggesting that the widespread surveillance of mosques, businesses, schools and terrorist attackscommunity groups represented a repeat of those transgressions.
“What occurs here in one guise is not new. We have been down similar roads before. Jewish-Americans during the Red Scare, African-Americans during the Civil Rights Movement, and Japanese-Americans during World War II are examples that readily spring to mind,” Judge Thomas Ambro wrote, joined by Judges Julio Fuentes and Jane Roth. “We are left to wonder why we cannot see with foresight what we see so clearly with hindsight — that ‘[l]oyalty is a matter of the heart and mind[,] not race, creed, or color.’”
The NYPD program was exposed by a Pulitzer Prize-winning Associated Press series in 2011. The police department said last year that it had shuttered the “Demographics Unit” that carried out the mapping and data collection effort.
We’re all racist. But racism by white people matters more
Most white people don’t see themselves as racist. They can comfortably reel off a list of people of colour they know, like, or maybe even love. They can’t think of a time when they’ve negatively discriminated against someone on the grounds of their race. And they don’t see, in a concrete way, how their own race has positively affected them.
More than that, when people imagine a racist, they probably envisage a white skinhead sat in a pub ready to start a fight with the first black or brown person who walks through the door. That’s a convenient picture to conjure up – it’s pretty easy to comfort yourself that you’re nothing at all like that awful bastard.
In fact, though, everyone – of whatever colour – is racist. As part of a TV documentary I’ve been working on, I’ve seen how our brains have a tendency to automatically associate our own race with good and other races with bad, whoever we are.
Psychological tests showed me this. I looked at the results of 2,846 British people who took an “Implicit Association Test”, designed to analyse automatic racial preferences.
On average, white Brits demonstrated a moderately strong bias towards their own race and black Brits showed a very weak bias towards their own race. I don’t think white people are born with some sort of racism gene – the main thing that explains those different scores is the way that society has geared up our brains differently.
I put myself under the lens too, and took a test where I was asked to put myself in the position of a police officer. Images of white men and black men flashed on a computer screen in front of me and I had less than a second to decide whether or not to shoot them, based on whether I thought they were holding a gun, or a harmless object like a can of drink or a packet of cigarettes. My results showed that I was slightly more likely to shoot white unarmed men than black unarmed men.
Letters: Most racism implies the surely fallacious assumption that biological and cultural characteristics are transmitted together
Does that make me a racist? To my surprise, I think it does. But I didn’t find those test results as troubling as you might expect.
I think my responses to a game about police killings and gunmen have been affected by the fact that I’m a journalist. I’ve spent the past year in the United States covering relentless news about unarmed black men being shot by the police and armed white men committing mass murders. That’s pretty unique. Compared with the other participants, my results were very unusual – the data shows most people are much more likely to shoot at black men than white men. But that data comes almost exclusively from white participants who are much more likely to be police officers holding the gun in the real world (94.5% of police officers in England and Wales are white, just 1.1% are black).
So if the tests show that bias works both ways, shouldn’t we spend more time talking about white victims of racism, rather than white perpetrators? When a white friend asked me a similar question I felt deep frustration. It’s because the question assumes that we work in a racially neutral society where prejudice against one group is equivalent to another. We don’t.
I think of the gatekeepers in my life – not just the police officer I asked to record a crime for me but also the headteacher I asked not to expel me, the boss I asked to promote me – and in every instance I’ve sat opposite a white person and had to simply trust (what else is there to do?) that they wouldn’t view me differently because I’m not white. It’s a question of vulnerability. As long as systems of power remain white, racism against white people will not be the same as racism against people of other races.
I am, though, reluctant to dismiss anti-white racism altogether. Because the fact is, my friend and a lot of other white people in Britain genuinely believe racism affects them too: that people like me benefit more from positive action schemes than we suffer from negative discrimination. And they would never, ever use the word “racist” to describe themselves.
We need to acknowledge the frustrations of those white individuals who feel ignored by elites and who might vent this by turning against people of colour, or migrants. But taking apart the racist label and understanding that everyone is biased is an important first step in understanding how a racist society has affected us. Then we need to find a language that doesn’t conveniently overlook systems of power that are still set up to privilege one race: a white one.
Source: Mona Chalabi – The Guardian
Reading Church Joins #BlackLivesMatter Movement to Fight Racism and Violence
Reading Church Embraces #BlackLivesMatter Movement, addresses Racism and Violence.
Reading, PA – On Sunday, October 18 at 11:15AM following the regular 10:30AM church service, the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Berks County will install and dedicate a BLACK LIVES MATTER banner on the front of their church as a public statement of support for the movement to intentionally address racism and violence.
All are invited to join the service and a time for Community Conversation from 12:00-1:00 PM in the sanctuary.
The #BlackLivesMatter movement started a social media response to the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s murderer in Florida in 2012.
It has since become a call to address the ways in which Black people are systematically left powerless by state systems and ways in which Black lives are both violently and subtly devalued.
The principles of Unitarian Universalism include a belief in the inherent worth and dignity of every person, and draws from the words and deeds of prophetic women and men which challenge us to confront powers and structures of evil with justice, compassion, and the transforming power of love.
University Identifies Suspect in Racism Investigation
In a statement Tuesday morning, the University of Missouri said it has moved a student from campus in response to an incident involving racist remarks that occurred early Monday morning.
Members of the Legion of Black Collegians, the official black student government at MU, were rehearsing for a homecoming performance at Traditions Plaza shortly after midnight Monday morning when a white man interrupted them and, after being asked to leave, called the group a racial slur.
University Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin was out of town at the time of the incident, but released a statement and video message Monday afternoon about the students’ experience with discrimination.
“I am sorry that racism continues to hurt our students, faculty and staff. We are challenged by the fact that it is difficult to change people’s hearts and attitudes, but we are not deterred.” Loftin wrote in his statement. “We will continue to work so that everyone, regardless of background, feels welcome and included at Mizzou — because everyone is.”
‘Racist, homophobe, sexist’: The Inquisition is back!
Liberals have succeeded in demonizing ideas and words they disagree with and led our culture into steep decline as a result, but author Jack Cashill says we now have a successful strategy for pushing back against stifling political correctness.
Cashill is the author of “Scarlet Letters: The Ever-Increasing Intolerance of the Cult of Liberalism Exposed.” He says the goal of this ongoing effort is clear and horrifying.
“The bottom line of all of these groups, and they all work under the umbrella of anti-hate and anti-racism, is to subvert traditional Judeo-Christian America,” said Cashill.
Referring to the speech police as neo-Puritans, Cashill says the very people stifling expression under the premise of tolerance make the Puritans moderate by comparison.
Speakers at anti-Semitism confab accused of Holocaust distortion
“As far as combatting anti-Semitism, local institutions can be characterized as totally worthless in terms of fulfilling their ostensible function in Lithuanian society.”
A symposium on anti-Semitism co-sponsored by the Lithuanian Jewish community has come under fire for including figures accused of distorting the Holocaust. The conference was held yesterday in Vilnius.
Several speakers at the gathering, such as filmmaker Jonas Ohman and Sarunas Liekis, a member of the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance, have been accused of obfuscating the Lithuanian role in the genocide of the country’s Jewry by both local historian Dovid Katz, editor of the Defending History website, and Efraim Zuroff of the Simon Wiesenthal Center.
Lebanese restaurant owner defiant after racist attack
A sickening racist attack was carried out on a Lebanese restaurant, Arabella, on King Street, Newtown, Sydney, in the early hours of 23 September.
Several glass panels at the front of the restaurant were smashed, and the words “fuck Arabs” were scrawled along the windows.
Owner and head chef Mohamad Zouhour covered some of the damage with a defiant banner reading “No racism down under: live the dream”, which was displayed for all to see on King Street, alongside the hashtag #fuckracism. During the clean-up, support from the public was impossible to miss, with every second or third person stopping to offer support.
The incident is not isolated. Vandals targeted the shop the previous night, and there had been an increasing number of racist calls over the last months.
“[We’ve had] phone calls a couple of times saying, ‘Lebanese bastards, go back to your own country’. We’ve been here 14 years, but the last six months it’s happened a lot”, Mohamad told Red Flag.
The incidence of racial hate crimes increased by 20% when a new broadband provider entered an area
New research from Carlson School of Management Professor Jason Chan and NYU Stern Professors Anindya Ghose and Robert Seamans finds that broadband availability increased the incidence of racial hate crimes committed by lone-wolf perpetrators in the United States during the period 2001-2008. The addition of a single broadband provider led to as much as a 20 percent rise in racial hate crimes in areas where racial tensions were especially high.
Their study, the first of its kind to document the relationship between the Internet and hate crimes, sourced data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Federal Communications Commission, the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. According to FBI data, almost two-thirds of reported hate crimes arose from racial bias, making it by far the most typical form of bias-motivated crime in the U.S.
Ivan Lewis: ‘I urged Jeremy Corbyn to cut ties with anti-Semites… next minute I was fired’
Ivan Lewis has claimed he was sacked by text as Northern Ireland Secretary after telling new Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to be careful appearing on platforms with alleged anti-Semites.
Mr Lewis, MP for the safe Labour seat of Bury South, gave some details of the process to his local paper, the Bury Times, and others to the Jewish News, an online paper. Mr Lewis is Jewish and there is a large Jewish population in his constituency.
Mr Lewis, a Blairite, has strong support in this area and had asked to meet Mr Corbyn to raise concerns about appearing with Holocaust deniers.
The Community Security Trust, which campaigns against racism and anti-Semitism, had complained that “Corbyn’s support for extremists with a record of anti-Semitic statements or activities is extensive.”
Before the meeting, Mr Lewis said: “It saddens me to have to say to some on the left of British politics that anti-racism means zero tolerance of anti Semitism, no ifs, and no buts. I have said the same about Islamaphobia and other forms of racism to a minority of my constituents who make unacceptable statements.” After the meeting, a spokesman told the Jewish News “contrary to false press reports, Ivan has never accused Jeremy of being anti-Semitic but he stands by his concerns about Jeremy’s support for such people.”