Novel About Racist Police Violence Was Rejected in 1941

Nearly 80 years ago, Richard Wright became one of the most famous Black writers in the United States with the publication of “Native Son,” a novel whose searing critique of systemic racism made it a best-seller and inspired a generation of Black writers. In 1941, Wright wrote a new novel titled “The Man Who Lived Underground,” but publishers refused to release it, in part because the book was filled with graphic descriptions of police brutality by white officers against a Black man. His manuscript was largely forgotten until his daughter Julia Wright unearthed it at the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Yale University. “The Man Who Lived Underground” was not published in the 1940s because white publishers did not want to highlight “white supremacist police violence upon a Black man because it was too close to home,” says Julia Wright. “It’s a bit like lifting the stone and not wanting the worms, the racist worms underneath, to be seen.”

— source | May 07, 2021

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How Elite Schools and Museums Amassed Black and Native Human Remains Without Consent

Revelations the University of Pennsylvania and Princeton hold the remains of a child killed by Philadelphia police in the 1985 MOVE bombing are the latest development in a conversation about demanding respectful treatment of African American remains in museum collections, especially those of the enslaved. The Penn Museum also apologized last week for holding more than 1,000 stolen skulls of enslaved people in its Morton Collection, and the president of Harvard University issued a letter in January acknowledging the 22,000 human remains in its collections included 15 from people of African descent who may have been enslaved in the United States, vowing review of the school’s ethics policies. “This is a really vast problem,” says historian Samuel Redman, author of “Bone Rooms: From Scientific Racism to Human Prehistory in Museums,” who also describes the repatriation of Native American remains after Congress passed the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act in 1990. “There are individual instances like this that are horrific and we need to pay attention to, but it is a symptom of this much larger problem.”

Let’s begin by crediting the students and the protesters at Penn and at Princeton in raising their voices in response to this really troubling and gut-wrenching situation.

The other thing that I think we need to say and we need to start calling for is a much larger response and a more sweeping response to this as a problem. Part of what people are only really starting to grapple with is the idea that this is a really vast problem, that there are individual instances like this that are horrific and we need to pay attention to, but it is a symptom of this much larger problem.

— source | Apr 30, 2021

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Policing in U.S. Was Built on Racism

Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. Three weeks after the start of the trial, that was watched around the world, and after 10 hours of deliberation, a jury of 12 Hennepin County residents delivered their guilty verdicts Tuesday on all three counts against former police officer Derek Chauvin, who murdered George Floyd last May by kneeling on his back for nine-and-a-half minutes.

I think that this verdict — I’ve been thinking a lot about how to respect the family’s sense of closure and what they deserve in the delivery of accountability in this case. But I’ve also been thinking about this in term — battle, in a broader context of a war, and that war being justice for Black people and for BIPOC people and for poor people in this country. And in this sense, the outcome of this trial represents a battle that was won, a long-fought and, as Kandace Montgomery so eloquently described in the work that she’s been doing, the consequence of years of organizing work in Minneapolis. And just to remind you, each one of these battles will take place in the courts of our country, whether it will be in Toledo, Ohio — I’m sorry, whether it will be in Chicago, whether it will be in this case, most recently, with Ma’Khia Bryant in Columbus, Ohio. And so, that’s how I think about the trial and the work that remains.

But, of course, we know that while the prosecution was performing in such a way to make the case that Derek Chauvin was a rogue actor, the truth is that

— source | 2021/4/21

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The Danger of the Return of Racial Medicine

In the past few days, liberal Democrats Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Rep. Ayanna Pressley, and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, academics Ibram X. Kendi and Keeanga-Yahmatta Taylor, and New York Times columnist Charles Blow separately have issued calls for special focus on black Americans’ particular vulnerability to Covid-19, apparently based on a generic presumption that blacks are likely to have it (whatever it is) worse.

Meanwhile, the non-profit news outlet ProPublica published a report seeking to ratify the claim of special black suffering even in the absence of solid evidence. Yet why do they presume that? And what do they and others, especially those who don’t intend to argue that blacks or other nonwhites are inferior, mean when they refer to “race” as a factor contributing to vulnerability to Covid-19, or to anything else for that matter? Sometimes it’s just an empty piety, as in the presidential debate-stage pledges made by Warren, Pete Buttigieg, and Tom Steyer to fight “systemic racism,” without any of them ever once suggesting what that notion might mean concretely. Sometimes the reference is a condensation of clichés that evoke a history of racial injustice, or a condensation of shibboleths like “when America has a cold, black people have the flu” and canary-in-the-coalmine analogies. Sometimes, often I suspect, speculation or assertion that race is a causal factor in producing some, usually undesirable, outcome is a proxy for reference to a variety of material conditions, like poverty, economic inequality, and stressors related to them that can undermine health—such as overcrowding, inadequate shelter, malnutrition, unemployment, to name only a few—that have, or seem to have, disproportionate impact on blacks or other racially defined populations. Even the possibility that living in a race-conscious

— source | Adolph Reed Jr. | Apr 04, 2020

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Prostitution Is a Racialized Hate Crime Against Women

Racists target the humanity of those they attack. In the Atlanta spa deaths, two Chinese women and four Korean women were six of the eight people targeted for murder by a racist white man. We wonder, who are the women who were murdered? If, as the evidence below suggests, some Asian massage parlors or “spas” like those in Atlanta also operate as brothels, then we also wonder: what forces channel Asian women into massage brothels? We know that 89% of women in the sex trade including massage prostitution urgently want to escape. What were their plans for the next week or the next year of their lives? How could we have left them so vulnerable? And now, how can we do justice to their lives and their deaths?

Two of us are Asian, we immediately understood the implied threat of the murders: every Asian woman is vulnerable. That is the reality for every Asian woman because we cannot choose when we are viewed as Asian or as women. Fueled by white supremacy, anti-Asian racism has increased during the coronavirus pandemic, with bigots

— source | Alice Lee, Suzanne Jay, Melissa Farley | Mar 25, 2021

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Black People Face Higher COVID Infections & Deaths

As the U.S. vaccine rollout continues to expand, health justice advocates worry about a racial gap in vaccinations. Black communities have been hard hit by the pandemic, but rates of vaccination in communities of color lag behind largely white communities across the country. Dr. Oni Blackstock, a primary care and HIV physician, argues that age cutoffs should be lowered or removed for Black people in order to speed up inoculations, noting that Black Americans are twice as likely to die from COVID-19 as white Americans and also dying at rates similar to those of white Americans who are 10 years older. “These fixed-age cutoffs that most states implemented did not take into account structural racism’s toll on Black life expectancy in addition to the impact of the pandemic on the life expectancy of Black people in this country,” says Dr. Blackstock.

The U.S. vaccination campaign is getting a new boost today as the first Johnson & Johnson vaccines are administered. According to the White House, nearly 4 million doses of the single-shot vaccine will be initially given out. Johnson & Johnson is the third COVID vaccine to receive FDA emergency approval.

Nearly 20% of adults in the United States have received at least one vaccine shot so far. But there is a wide racial gap in who’s being vaccinated. While Black and Latinx communities have been hardest hit by the pandemic, rates of vaccination in communities of color are lower than largely white communities across the country. Data from the Centers for Disease Control shows just 5% of vaccines have gone to Black Americans, only 11% to Latinx recipients.

This comes as life expectancy in the United States fell by a full year during the first six months of 2020, largely due to the pandemic. It’s the largest drop since World War II. Life expectancy for Black Americans dropped by almost three years, and 1.9 years for Latinx people.

Some doctors are now calling on the CDC and states to give greater priority to communities of color in the vaccine rollout. Doctors Oni and Uché Blackstock are pushing to lower age cutoffs for African Americans. In a recent Washington Post op-ed, they write, “Black Americans are [not only] twice as likely to die of covid-19 as White Americans but also dying at rates similar to those of White Americans who are 10 years older.” They go on: “Moreover, racial [inequities] are most striking at younger ages; for example, Black people ages 45 to 54 are seven times more likely to die of covid-19 than similarly aged White Americans.”

— source | Mar 02, 2021


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A Black doctor died of Covid-19 weeks after accusing hospital staff of racist treatment

A Black physician died of Covid-19 weeks after she described a White doctor dismissing her pain and concerns about her treatment as she lay in an Indiana hospital. Dr. Susan Moore passed away on Sunday due to complications from Covid-19. The internist died about two weeks after she shared a video in which she accused a doctor at Indiana University Health North Hospital (IU North) of ignoring her complaints of pain and requests for medication because she was Black, even though she was both a patient and a doctor herself.

And despite her pain, the doctor told Moore he might send her home, she said, and he didn’t feel comfortable giving her more narcotics. “He made me feel like I was a drug addict,” she said in the video. “And he knew I was a physician.”

“You have to show proof that you have something wrong with you in order for you to get the medicine,” she said in the video. “This is how Black people get killed,” Moore said in the video, “when you send them home and they don’t know how to fight for themselves.”

Dr. Moore died last Sunday, just over two weeks after she posted the video.

— source | Dec 25, 2020

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Trinity College reckons with slavery links as Ireland confronts collusion with empire

It was one of the most shocking chapters in Britain’s long, bloody subjugation of Ireland: the buying, selling and transportation of Irish chattel slaves to the colonies in America.

Manacled and brutalised, they filled the bellies of ships that crossed the Atlantic and were put to work on plantations in the Caribbean and North America, sweating till they died in service of empire and profits.

The historical focus on slaves from Africa overlooked Irish slaves until recent years when rediscovery of their existence lit up corners of the internet and became a meme.

The only problem: it was not true. Irish migrants experienced indentured servitude, a form of bonded labour, but not perpetual slavery based on race. The notion of Irish slaves is disinformation spread online by white supremacists, mostly outside Ireland, to puncture black people’s anger over slavery.

“Those who propagate the myth tend to live in former white settler colonies like

— source | Rory Carroll | 7 Mar 2021

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The four levels of racism

At the bottom of the pyramid we have personal racism, sometimes called internalized racism. That’s the collection of prejudices and beliefs that every human being has, whether they are aware of it or not. It includes the feelings of superiority or inferiority, entitlement or exclusion, that are handed to each of us through our culture, upbringing and experience.

At the next level is interpersonal racism, which is the words and deeds of racist individuals. This is where that personal racism bubbles into the world in the form of bias, bigotry, or deliberate abuse. When racism is discussed, especially in the media, it is almost always at this level. When people say they aren’t racist, they usually mean interpersonal racism. This is racism at its most visible, so it’s not surprising that it gets the most attention – but if this is as far as our understanding goes, it won’t get anywhere near solving the problem.

Moving outwards, we come to institutional racism. This is where racial inequality gets locked into the processes of institutions, such as the police, schools or healthcare. It’s not expressed in words and actions here, but in policies or practices that treat people differently, even if that’s entirely unintentional. Racism at this level is more visible in statistics than in words or actions. We can point to a statistical fact and

— source | Jeremy Williams | Dec 9, 2020

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