Normally, when the US Supreme Court denies a certiorari petition, such a decision isn’t noteworthy. However, when a denial endorses racism, colonialism, and subjugation of millions of US citizens, that is worthy of mention, and condemnation.
In Fitisemanu v. United States, the high court was asked to overturn early 20th-century rulings known as the Insular Cases. John Fitisemanu, who was living in Utah, was born in American Samoa. His US passport noted that he was a non-citizen US national, and he argued that people born in the unincorporated territory are entitled to “birthright citizenship,” which is automatic for those born on US soil.
To clarify, all US citizens are US nationals, but not all US nationals are US citizens with the rights that go along with that status.
The Insular Cases upheld subordinate status of those living in overseas US island possessions. In the heated political period following the Spanish-American War, the high court considered whether the Constitution followed the flag. In other words, the court had to determine whether the inhabitants of the newly acquired lands had full constitutional rights.
In a series of decisions spanning more than two decades, the court concluded in the Insular Cases that these new members of the American landscape did not possess rights that US citizens take for granted. This included the right to vote and representation in the federal government.
Coming to the conclusion to deny the people of these lands full constitutional rights, the court created a legal fiction using an oxymoron, describing these lands as “foreign in a domestic sense.”
Despite the shameful racist underpinnings of these decisions, and repeated efforts over several cases to overturn them, the Supreme Court over 100 years later repeatedly endorsed the Insular Cases, not only upholding them, but effectively endorsing the tortured logic and tragic tenor of their conclusions.
The only justification for making US citizens of the US territories ineligible for federal government benefits programs is that they resided in a colonial possession. Such unequal treatment reeks of naked violations of the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause.
But sadly, because of the Insular Cases, the is no equal protection for the inhabitants of US colonies.
This week, a recording of Latino Los Angeles City Council members making racist comments burst into the news. But racism among Blacks and Latinos and Latino anti-Black racism is not new or surprising. A number of scholars have examined the conflict between these two groups, including Efren Perez and colleagues, here at The Monkey Cage.
Blacks and Latinos are more likely to move into neighborhoods dominated by the other group than into predominantly White neighborhoods, which means they are especially likely to have social and political interactions. But our research finds that the Black-Latino relationship is complicated by the fact that these two communities think of racial solidarity in fundamentally different ways. Here’s what that means for collaboration.
In the 1960s and 1970s, Black and Brown communities worked together in Los Angeles politics.
The Black and Latino communities appeared to join in political solidarity during the 1960s and ’70s, with a wave of civil rights protests across the United States. In Los Angeles, the Chicano movement borrowed tactics heavily from the Black Panther party. A group that called itself the Brown Berets sponsored walkouts in East Los Angeles to protest police brutality, advocate for better housing and education, and protest the U.S. war in Vietnam.
As with so much activism from that period, this died down by the 1990s. Latino populations in places such as Los Angeles grew larger than the Black population, leading scholars and other observers to begin discussing conflict and competition between the groups.
Many scholars and political observers have assumed these groups are competing over a limited set of resources — with one group or the other getting more or less of, say, job opportunities and political power. For instance, as apparently was happening in the offensive Los Angeles conversation, discussions of redistricting often turn into debates over whether one community or the other will have more or less influence over choosing the potential representative from a particular district.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. The two groups could instead work to build solidarity so as to gain power for both. However, achieving that requires that groups consider how their marginalization is similar, different and at times connected to the oppression of others. We found that Latino folks are less likely to perceive systemic oppression in general.
Where available, recent data still points to disproportionately high death rates faced by Black people, at the hands of law enforcement, in different countries.
While more people have been made aware of systemic racism and concrete steps have been taken in some countries, the Acting High Commissioner for Human Rights called on States to demonstrate the greater political will to accelerate action.
“There have been some initiatives in different countries to address racism, but for the most part they are piecemeal. They fall short of the comprehensive evidence-based approaches needed to dismantle the entrenched structural, institutional and societal racism that has existed for centuries, and continues to inflict deep harm today,” said Nada Al-Nashif, who will present the report to the UN Human Rights Council on Monday.
The report notes that poor outcomes continue for people of African descent in many countries, notably in accessing health and adequate food, education, social protection, and justice – while poverty, enforced disappearance and violence continues.
It highlights “continuing…allegations of discriminatory treatment, unlawful deportations, excessive use of force, and deaths of African migrants and migrants of African descent by law enforcement officials”
“Families of Black people continued to report the immense challenges, barriers and protracted processes they faced in their pursuit of truth and justice for the deaths of their relatives”, the report says.
It details seven cases of police-related deaths of people of African descent, namely George Floyd and Breonna Taylor (US); Adama Traoré (France); Luana Barbosa dos Reis Santos and João Pedro Matos Pinto (Brazil); Kevin Clarke (UK) and Janner [Hanner] García Palomino (Colombia).
While noting some progress towards accountability in a few of these emblematic cases, “unfortunately, not a single case has yet been brought to a full conclusion, with those families still seeking truth, justice and guarantees of non-repetition, and the prosecution and sanction of all those responsible,” the report says.
A city-commissioned study in Austin, Texas, found that urban design from almost a century ago cost Black residents in just five areas more than $290 million. The report comes at a time when American communities are more interested than ever in finding ways to address the legacy of housing discrimination.
The Austin City Council issued an apology for its past “segregation and systematic housing discrimination” last year and requested scholars from the University of Texas at Austin and Huston-Tillotson University, a historically Black university in the city, to examine the effects of such practices. The city’s 1928 master plan, for example, which established a “Negro District” and required Black residents to relocate east to access city facilities, effectively legalized residential racial segregation.
The first findings, which were reported by the Austin Monitor last month, were validated by a municipal official. Although it’s still not obvious how it would be set up or funded, local supporters want to use the data to put pressure on the city to create a center that provides social and economic services for Austin’s Black citizens and businesses.
According to Kellee Coleman, Austin’s interim chief equity officer, the report is “a tool for the community to be able to hold the government responsible for what it produced,” including “pervasive gaps” across health and economic measurements.
The study Austin requested is a part of a larger movement among American cities to address racial disparities in wealth and homeownership, which are a result of long-standing housing discrimination practices like redlining, where the federal government deemed majority-Black neighborhoods “hazardous” and refused to insure mortgages in and around them.
In American cities, residential racial segregation and its effects are still a problem. According to the Brookings Institution, community amenities and quality are unable to account for the difference in property values between majority-Black and non-Black communities in the average U.S. metro region.
If you can even call it that, the American history curriculum is a flimsy thing. The United States lacks national guidelines for what history lessons should cover for children in public schools, in contrast to many other nations. Each state establishes its own curriculum standards, although they are often flexible given that 13,000 school districts choose their own textbooks and that individual instructors have a significant deal of authority.
Donald Yacovone, a scholar at Harvard and the author or editor of multiple works, most of which are on the Civil War era, is the most recent author to concentrate on the topic. His first book on education, “Teaching White Supremacy,” is based, as he notes in the preface, on approximately 3,000 American history curriculum textbooks from the 1800s to the 1980s that are kept in the collection of the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Yacovone’s argument that Northern publishers, universities, religious leaders, and social activists were more responsible than Southern ones for spreading a persistent ideology of white superiority and Black inferiority that outlived the institution of slavery and was vehemently expressed in school materials is compelling and convincing. This worldview frequently coexisted with ardent support for the Union and the abolition of slavery, linking the survival of the Republic to the notion of America as a white nation.
Yacovone expertly examines the pervasive racism that existed in 19th-century Northern progressive movements. Abolitionists who were white and Christian frequently wanted to send freed Black people to Africa. Some white feminists made the claim that white women were morally and intellectually superior to freshly freed Black males in order to support women’s suffrage. Black Americans were frequently seen by northern white labor advocates as undesired employment competitors. Textbooks for elementary school represented all of these concepts.
Yacovone also makes some perplexing decisions on which authors and philosophers to highlight. He seems to believe that the Democratic Party propagandist and 19th-century New York publisher John H. Van Evrie holds the key to comprehending the white supremacy seen in school textbooks. Van Evrie popularised scientific racism, such as the ridiculous polygenesis idea, which claimed that black people and white people were two distinct species and that slavery was a natural state for the lower, Black order.
Read the complete article at: The New York Times
There is ample proof that racial discrimination harms individuals of color’s health throughout the course of their lifetimes. It has been demonstrated that it weakens the immune system, raises blood pressure, and is linked to psychological stress, anxiety, and depression. Few studies, nevertheless, have connected isolated acts of discrimination to direct negative impacts on health. A racist attack may now almost immediately increase the level of a person’s stress hormones, according to research from a ground-breaking study.
Soohyun Nam and her colleagues from Yale University’s School of Nursing worked with Black churches and their communities to enlist 12 Black persons living in the northeastern United States between the ages of 30 and 55 for the proof-of-concept research.
The study discovered that racial prejudice stood out among the individuals’ concerns, especially when compared to others like a dispute with a spouse or financial hardship. The team published its findings in PLOS ONE today. Participants’ salivary stress hormones levels nearly quadrupled the morning after they reported encountering racial prejudice, such as being called insults. On the other hand, microaggressions appeared to increase the level of a person’s stress hormones on the same day. Even in the absence of any racist encounters, when individuals reported being unhappy, their levels of alpha-amylase rose that day.
According to Nam, who validated the methodology in earlier research, this is the first study to detect both of these biomarkers concurrently and connect them to racism in real-time. Having high amounts of cortisol over time has been associated with hypertension, bone loss, and type 2 diabetes, despite the fact that these data cannot conclusively show that racism caused these biomarkers to elevate. According to Nam, the research supports the idea that “racial prejudice has a negative impact on physical and mental health.” The nuanced experience of racial prejudice, such as microaggressions, “really does matter,” there is no doubt about it.
It has been discovered that when games were played behind closed doors during the pandemic, there was a sharp increase in the amount of football-related online racist abuse recorded to West Midlands police authorities. Online allegations of racist abuse increased dramatically during the 2020–21 season when games were played in empty stadiums.
58 reports were made to West Midlands Police as opposed to one in 2019–20. A combination of not being able to attend games, more games being shown on television, plus hot-button subjects like the Black Lives Matter protests and players kneeling during games to draw attention to racial and social injustices may have contributed.
As the season ended, England advanced to the postponed Euro 2020 championship, and players Bukayo Saka, Marcus Rashford, and Jadon Sancho faced racist abuse after missing penalty kicks. On Twitter and Instagram, there were several additional instances of players being targeted.
The number of complaints dramatically decreased back down to five last season (2021/22), indicating a connection between the pandemic and the Euros and internet bullying. But concerningly, as we noted last week, there were more allegations of bigotry at sporting events last season, suggesting that the prejudice may have spread from social media to the stands.
More must be done, according to the anti-racism organization Kick it Out, to guarantee that people spewing racist insults at games or online face consequences. Tony Burnett, chief executive, said: “We would urge clubs, local governments, and football’s regulatory bodies to continue working together to comprehend where and when prejudice occurs and bring those guilty to justice.
According to recent research, more than 120,000 UK workers from minority ethnic origins have quit their employment because of bigotry.
Two out of every five workers polled reported experiencing racism at work in the last five years, with more than one in four reporting racial “jokes,” and 35% claiming to feel less secure at work.
In direct response to the bigotry they encountered, 8% of those surveyed decided to quit their jobs.
The Trades Union Congress (TUC) research is regarded as the most comprehensive representational assessment of the 3.9 million minority ethnic employees in the UK.
To shed insight on the scope of racism in Britain, it hired Number Cruncher Politics researchers to survey 1,750 workers there who are from minority ethnic backgrounds and to do focus groups.
Most UK workers who reported racist harassment, it was discovered, did not inform their employer.
This is a result of worries that one won’t be taken seriously or worries about how it will affect relationships with co-workers at work.
In the southwest of England, a Black Caribbean instructor remarked, “I drive a lovely automobile, and one staff member asked me if I was a drug dealer, since how else could I afford [it]?”
She was informed that “it’s because of the area of the nation we live in, which is primarily white” when she reported the event.
A London-based British Indian lady who was told she was passed over for a position because the employer didn’t want front-facing employees wearing “strange attire” claimed she had never reported a racist incident out of fear of losing her work.
If you think of certain countries or places in the world and a specific color comes to mind, you’re likely being influenced by a cinematic habit of color grading. In your head, the image of a brisk day in Helsinki might evoke a blue, while the blazing sun of Mexico City might give it a strong orange tone.
The yellow, blue and grey palettes
The Media Diversity Institute (MDI) works to report on the ways race, religion, ethnicity, class, disability, gender and sexual identities are presented in the media. They’ve researched the ways that many Western filmmakers portray foreign countries through color grading.
“Hollywood directors habitually use three color palettes in their films,” Milica Pesic, Executive Director of MDI told Euronews. The colors are yellow, blue and grey.
“Latin America, Africa or South Asia are usually covered in yellow palettes, economically-developed countries, such as the US, are blue, while grey is reserved for Eastern Europe, suggesting gloominess, depression, unhappiness,” she explains.
There are lots of reasons why a scene will be color graded. A colorist’s primary concern is to make sure that the film’s scenes have a color palette that fits together. But a director may also want a certain scene to evoke an emotion through a stronger color palette.
However, the overuse of colour-based depictions for these countries ends up removing the audience’s understanding of how nuanced places actually are explains Pesic.
Careless or clichéd color grading is often a product of the biases of the filmmaker, suggests Pesic.
Quickly, the audience begins to associate whole regions with the emotion that the color palette gives across.
While she admits there are filmmakers who are fully aware of the impact their films have and use their creativity responsibly, Pesic takes issue with filmmakers who, in the pursuit of entertainment, don’t want to be called to account for spreading stereotypes.
“They are concerned with the story and how to get that story to the viewers. If that story fosters an image that an entire country is dirty and dangerous, it can damage the place, even on an economic level,” she says
“Why not portray countries as they actually are?” Pesic asks. “Why would creativity stop in the face of reality?”
The 2020 U.S. Census largely undercounted Black, Latino and Native American communities, raising skepticism about the accuracy of its data. Even if the census had counted more accurately, it faces a more fundamental problem: Its race and ethnicity measurements overlook Afro-Latinos.
The 2020 Census faced many obstacles: the pandemic, natural disasters, labor shortages, President Donald Trump’s racist rhetoric against Black and Latino immigrants, and his attempt to add a citizenship question. Many were thus reassured when the Census Bureau announced its first Latino and non-White director, Robert Santos.
However, even if the census improves enumeration, it still makes some identities invisible. The questions that it asks about race and ethnicity exclude Afro-Latinos — Black people with Latin American ancestry — from representation.
Afro-Latino identity has been complicated by transnational anti-Blackness and the particular history of race in the Latin American diaspora.
For centuries, Latin American political elites emphasized narratives of national sameness, playing down racial differences, even while their Black and Indigenous communities were regularly disenfranchised. American racism is largely based on physical differences, while racism in Latino communities erases and denies different racial groups’ diverse experiences. These inequities persist among U.S. Latinos.
Many Latinos are proud of their complex racial background, seeing themselves as having a beautiful mixture of Spanish, Indigenous and Black African cultures. Thus, Latinos tend to embrace cultural affinities to Africa, even as their physical appearances range the full spectrum of color. Survey research misses this complexity. For instance, it is hardly surprising that in a survey that asked Latino respondents whether they identified as “Afro-Latino,” most identified their race as only White.
Nationally representative samples of Latinos contribute to Afro-Latino erasure by favoring the densely populated Western region over the north and southeast coasts, where Afro-Latino enclaves predominate. This adds greater weight to non-Black Latinos and disregards the hardships specific to Afro-Latinos.
Though surveys treat Black Latinos as Latinos, U.S. society and institutions treat them as Black based on their appearance. Afro-Latinos’ looks can determine whether they are seen as professionals or as dangerous, as citizens to be protected or threats to be detained. As such, Black Latinos experience higher rates of discrimination than non-Black Latinos.