How can the media regain its credibility in reporting on race in America?


Farai Chideya -- a reporter and journalism professor at NYU -- describes the lessons she's learned in reporting from the "Heart of Whiteness" (Klansmen; Sheriff Joe Arpaio's plans for a war with Mexico; a white church that wanted to "disinter the body of a dead mixed-race infant"), and how the media has failed to learn those lessons -- to report on the systemic racism in American life -- for decades. Read the rest

#Dallas shooting: 11 police officers shot, 5 killed, 1 civilian injured. 2 shooters made bomb threat.


GRAPHIC CONTENT WARNING. Reports broke at roughly 10pm ET tonight that shots were fired at a Black Lives Matter demonstration in Dallas, where people gathered to protest the recent police killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. Multiple police officers and peaceful protesters were shot from "elevated positions," with series of controlled bursts, 6 shots at a time, audible on footage. Dallas police report that 2 snipers opened fire and shot 11 officers. Five officers are reported to have died from their injuries. At least one person who was not a police officer is said to have been injured.

Two sniper suspects have been apprehended, Dallas Police reported around 1AM ET. There may be more suspects.

The Dallas Police Chief says some of officers were shot in the back, and that the suspects "intended to injure and kill as many law officers as they could." Police say the suspects threatened to place a bomb in downtown Dallas.

At the time of this post, no confirmed information on identity or motive of shooters. Early reports on mass shootings tend to include errors, inaccuracies, bias, and speculation.

Here are early tweets about the mass shooting, including raw video that contains graphic content.

Read the rest

Making while brown: Texas schoolchild arrested for bringing homemade clock to school UPDATED


Ahmed Mohamed is a gifted, driven maker-kid who's in the ninth grade at MacArthur High in Irving, Texas. When he showed the homemade clock he soldered and pieced together to his engineering teacher, he was told to keep it in his bag. But when the alarm went off in English class, his teacher accused him of bringing a bomb to school.

He told the teacher, and then the principal, and then the police offers who'd been summoned, that it was a digital clock he'd made and brought to school to show as evidence of the kinds of things he was making. He'd loved robotics club in middle school and was hoping to connect to a similar peer group in his new high school.

He was arrested, handcuffed, and paraded through the school with an officer on each arm, wearing his NASA shirt.

When he was brought before the school police, the officer who arrested him looked at him and said, "Yup. That’s who I thought it was." Ahmed Mohamed and his family (and the Council on Islamic American Relations) believe that the officer was referring to the color of his skin and his name.

Police spokesman James McLellan admits that Mohamed always maintained that the device was a clock, not a bomb, "but there was no broader explanation." When the Dallas Morning News asked him what "broader explanation" he was looking for, McLellan said, “It could reasonably be mistaken as a device if left in a bathroom or under a car. Read the rest

Crowdfunding a democratic free school in Dallas

Isabel writes, "Makarios Community School is the project of what is already a very successful and enthusiastic learning co-op of twenty homeschooling families in the Dallas Fort Worth area with thirty students ready to enroll." Read the rest

Taxi-window sticker: our security stinks and your credit card will be sniffed

On my way to Dallas-Fort Worth airport today, I snapped this picture of the sticker on the inside of the back-seat passenger-side window of my taxi. It warns "The method used to authenticate credit card transactions for approval is not secure and personal information is subject to being intercepted by unauthorized personnel." There's some history there, I'm guessing. Consumer warnings are very nice, but I'm left wondering why they don't just update the firmware on the credit-card box with some decent crypto (unless this is because they use a CB radio to call in card numbers, which is pretty danged foolish). Read the rest

A reminder for our readers in the Dallas area

I'm giving a free talk tonight at UT Arlington engineering, 7PM at the Lonestar Auditorium, entitled: "What We Talk About When We Talk About Internet Regulation." Tell your friends! Read the rest