Bronx cops can steal anything they want by calling it "evidence"

6357990295_d92cefbd6c_b

In the Bronx (and, to a lesser extent, elsewhere) when your belongings are seized as "evidence," it can be impossible to ever get them back, even if you're never charged with a crime. Read the rest

Robert Moses wove enduring racism into New York's urban fabric

Robert Moses gets remembered as the father of New York's modern urban plan, the "master builder" who led the proliferation of public benefit corporations, gave NYC its UN buildings and World's Fairs, and the New Deal renaissance of the city: he was also an avowed racist who did everything he could to punish and exclude people of color who lived in New York, and the legacy of his architecture-level discrimination lives on in the city today. Read the rest

Candid Republican operators admit that voter ID laws are about disenfranchisement

050056c026d-1c66-4d42-9fae-a8e96df290c5-1020x1176

The Brennan Center has rounded up a rogues' gallery of candid, on-the-record admissions from Republican politicians, officials, and operators about the true nature of the unconstitutional voter restriction laws that were cookie-cuttered across the Tea Party state governments: they don't fight voter fraud (because that's not a thing), but they do disenfranchise traditional democratic voters: people of color and students. Read the rest

Predictive policing predicts police harassment, not crime

The Blues Brothers 3

In Chicago, the "Heat List" system is used to direct policing resources, based on data-mining of social media to identify potential gang-members; the model tells the cops where to go and who to arrest, and is supposed to reduce both violent crime and the likelihood that suspects themselves will be killed -- but peer-reviewed analysis (Scihub mirror) of the program shows that while being on the Heat List increases your chances of being harassed and arrested by Chicago PD, it does not improve crime rates. Read the rest

Parents who can't pay the bill for kids' incarceration can still go bankrupt, a US court rules

050 056c026d-1c66-4d42-9fae-a8e96df290c5-1020x1183

When Maria Rivera got a bill from Orange County for her young son's year in juvenile detention, she sold her house to pay for it, but ended up short, and the county got a court order for another $10K to pay the remainder and various fees and penalties. Read the rest

Forget Skynet: AI is already making things terrible for people who aren't rich white dudes

Kate Crawford (previously) takes to the New York Times's editorial page to ask why rich white guys act like the big risk of machine-learning systems is that they'll evolve into Skynet-like apex-predators that subjugate the human race, when there are already rampant problems with machine learning: algorithmic racist sentencing, algorithmic, racist and sexist discrimination, algorithmic harassment, algorithmic hiring bias, algorithmic terrorist watchlisting, algorithmic racist policing, and a host of other algorithmic cruelties and nonsense, each one imbued with unassailable objectivity thanks to its mathematical underpinnings. Read the rest

How racist traffic stops criminalize black people, and what to do about it

5791977532_d869eb120b_b

When Philando Castile was killed by a Minneapolis cop after a traffic stop, we learned that he had been stopped 46 times before and had been fined for driving without a license. Read the rest

Chicago cops switched off bodycams and high-fived after shooting unarmed black teen

CpG-jF8UMAAJgMx

The Chicago Independent Police Review Authority has released a video showing the aftermath of the July 28 police shooting of an unarmed black man, in which the officers checked to ensure that their body-cameras were switched off and then gave each other high fives. Read the rest

Vocal fry, uptalking, nasal: women's voices can never be "right"

056c026d-1c66-4d42-9fae-a8e96df290c5-1020x1149

15 years ago, uptalk was ruining women's speech; five years ago, it was vocal fry (with accompanying, science-free warnings about damage to the larynx and vocal apparatus); in the First Century BC, Romans used the term "Afrania" to refer to unpleasant women: the term was taken from Caia Afrania, the first woman to be allowed to speak before the Roman Senate (Valerius Maximus called it "unnatural yapping," a "bark," and a "constant harassment of the magistrate"). Read the rest

After repeated budget cuts, Missouri's underfunded Public Defender drafts the Governor to work for him

Brother Phil writes, "The Public Defender's Office in Missouri is chronically underfunded by a governor who can always find money for his pet projects. However, they do have the power to draft any lawyer to serve as the defense in a case if they don't have one spare.Guess who just happens to be a lawyer..." Read the rest

Georgia gas-station DVDs, like a scene from a racialized, porny Repo Man

h75gYKGRNuoZZv8OERozjn8Ede8xKhbNqA8QjeCurXo

Yes, they made the "Asian" porn yellow -- apparently this is a pretty common sight in Georgia gas-stations, though the proliferation of network connections in big rigs will surely cut into that market (and create some serious potential for mischief). Read the rest

Woman judge discovers that female arrestees are frequently denied pants, feminine hygiene products

tumblr_ob8qtn1OI51qa4l1ko7_540

When a woman who'd been arrested for failing to complete a diversion course stemming from a shoplifting charge was brought before Louisville, KY judge Amber Wolf with no pants on, the judge was horrified to learn that the arrestee had been held in custody for three days without a shower, without access to feminine hygiene products, and without pants. Read the rest

North Carolina's voter suppression law struck down as "racist"

056c026d-1c66-4d42-9fae-a8e96df290c5-1020x1151

The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals has invalidated parts of North Carolina's voter suppression laws, ruling that the requirement to show photo ID was enacted "with racially discriminatory intent." Read the rest

Report on the dismal state of black sf/f writers in the short fiction markets

1-HwA9YUqtbk4o4--OcDqdvA

Pablo Defendini writes, "Fireside Fiction Company has released a report detailing the dismal state of representation of black writers in the science fiction and fantasy short fiction market . Despite increasing efforts to boost representation of people of color generally, the prospects for black writers, specifically, have not been improving. According to the data (which is available in a publicly accessible Google spreadsheet ), out of 2,039 stories published in 2015, only 38 were written by black authors. The report is accompanied by a series of essays in reaction to the report by Nisi Shawl , Troy L. Wiggins , Mikki Kendall , Justina Ireland , and Tobias Buckell ; as well as an interview with N.K. Jemisin . Fireside's editor, Brian White, has also written an editorial detailing some steps that Fireside is committed to taking to counter our own biases and help fix this huge problem." Read the rest

Black Lives Matter in Rio, too

23051729395_2310919b5e_b

In Brazil, racial discrimination against darker-skinned people is rife; and the famous unequal society is especially tilted against black Brazilians, who are subjected to horrific summary executions by police in the favelas (squatter neighborhoods). Read the rest

Clay Shirky to white liberals: Trump could win, so here's what you have to do

Ku_Klux_Klan_with_Barry_Goldwater's_campaign_signs_03195u_original

In an epic Twitter tear, Clay Shirky addresses white liberals who are horrified by the rise of Trump and reminds them that "Trump IS the voice of angry whites. He wasn't on stage because he has unusual views. He was on stage because he has the usual ones, loudly." Read the rest

Why do Pokemon avoid black neighborhoods?

maxresdefault

The crowdsourced database that was use to seed locations to catch Pokemon in Pokemon Go came from early augmented reality games that were played by overwhelmingly affluent (and thus, disproportionately white) people, who, in an increasingly racially segregated America, are less and less likely to venture into black neighborhoods, meaning that fewer Pokemon-catching landmarks have been tagged there. Read the rest

More posts