Boing Boing 

Study: racists more likely to own guns

"For each 1 point increase in symbolic racism there was a 50% increase in the odds of having a gun at home." [Discovery via Gawker]

UK government sends 40,000 texts to semi-random foreigners (and some Brits): "You are required to leave the UK!"


Britain continues its slide into official xenophobia: a government contractor sent nearly 40,000 texts reading "Message from the UK Border Agency. You are required to leave the UK as you no longer have right to remain." At least 400 of these reportedly went to people who had the right to be in the country, including some UK citizens. But the contractor says it's all OK, because people who received messages in error weren't deported -- all they had to do was convince a sloppy, faceless, mercenary corporation that they had the right to be in the country and the threats of deportation, deprivation of access to their homes, employment and families ceased. Theresa May, the government's Foreignerfinder General, says it wasn't her idea to send the texts -- just like all the ministers who disavowed the vans driving around London's browner neighbourhoods with giant billboards reading "In the UK illegally? GO HOME or face arrest!"

But still: No biggie!

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Can you see the racism now?

(Via Political Blindspot. Thanks, Matthew!)

Take the impossible "literacy" test Louisiana gave black voters in 1964

Here's the first page of a three-page "literacy" test that racist authorities in Louisiana presented to black people as a way to keep them from voting in 1964. You had 10 minutes to complete the test, and one wrong answer out of 30 disqualified you. (Thanks, @RobotCommission!)

The missing body of Addie Mae Collins

Yesterday was the 50th anniversary of the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church, a major event in the history of civil rights in the United States. Members of the Ku Klux Klan planted a box of dynamite at the church, which was a major organizing center for the black community and civil rights protests. The resulting explosion killed four girls — Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robertson, and Denise McNair.

That part of the story is pretty well-known. What isn't well known is the fact that one of those girls, Addie Mae Collins, may well have been a victim of racism after her death, thanks to a longstanding tradition where white medical schools raided black cemeteries for dissection cadavers. I happened to stumble across this story last week, while reading Harriet Washington's book, Medical Apartheid. The tale, and how it connects to racism both historical and modern, haunted me all day yesterday.

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Abercrombie and Fitch to be fined after firing headscarf-wearing Muslim

Islamic attire being against Abercrombie and Fitch's "look policy", it fired a Muslim employee. There's so much one might say about this, but it is the opinion of one person that matters: Federal Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers.
Rogers ruled the firm violated anti-discrimination laws when it sacked Hani Khan from a Hollister brand store. Ms Khan was initially allowed to wear a scarf in the Hollister brand's colours at the San Mateo, California store, but was later fired. The retailer had argued deviation from its "look policy" would affect sales.

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On conservative attempts to co-opt MLK

Hamilton Nolan: "It all adds up to a simple formula: concede wholehearted support for the points that have already been won, while dismissing (as irrelevant, or unpatriotic, or immoral) the points that are still active political issues with which conservatives disagree." [Gawker]

Study: Whites favor meritocracy when meritocracy favors whites

Survey participants were asked to assign importance to various criteria, including grades, in university admissions. Merit scored well among white participants. But...

When asked about "leadership" as an admissions criterion, white ranking of the measure went up in importance when respondents were informed of the Asian success in University of California admissions. "Sociologists have found that whites refer to 'qualifications' and a meritocratic distribution of opportunities and rewards, and the purported failure of blacks to live up to this meritocratic standard, to bolster the belief that racial inequality in the United States has some legitimacy," Samson writes in the paper. "However, the results here suggest that the importance of meritocratic criteria for whites varies depending upon certain circumstances. To wit, white Californians do not hold a principled commitment to a fixed standard of merit."

Brown? In London? Papers please.


(Photo: NRBrizzle)

In London today, members of the UK Border Agency were stopping people of color at various tube stations and demanding that they show identity papers. Several eyewitnesses confirmed that the patrol officers were singling out brown people, that they were intimidating in demeanor, and that they threatened to arrest passers-by who asked what was going on. At least one officer is reported to have removed his badge number. This comes as the UKBA began to blitz London's neighbourhoods with vans threatening undocumented migrants with arrest and deportation and exhorting them to turn themselves in.

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Long-lost diary of Nazi racial theorist and Hitler confidant recovered


Photo: ICE HSI. Click to enlarge.

In Washington today, US officials and U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum representatives announced the seizure of a long-lost diary maintained by a close confidant of Adolf Hitler.

The recovery of this historical document was the result of an extensive investigation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). The author of the so-called "Rosenberg Diary" was Alfred Rosenberg, a leading member of the Third Reich and of the Nazi Party during World War II.

Rosenberg was one of the intellectual authors behind key Nazi beliefs, including persecution of Jewish people, expansionist “lebensraum” (living space) ideology, the "master race" theory, and the rejection of modern art as "degenerate." He was tried at Nuremberg, sentenced to death, and hanged on October 16, 1946, after having been convicted for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The diary will eventually be displayed in the Holocaust Museum. More photos, video from the press conference where the seizure was announced, video of Rosenberg speaking, and more of the story behind this important historic artifact are below.

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Shell's racist pesticide ad, 1957


From 1957, a disturbing, patronizing, racist Shell ad for pesticides, selling the superiority of big agribusiness.

Weekend Event - White

Documentary on hidden victims of Greek austerity that's crowdfunded, free & CC-licensed

Into the Fire writes, "Into The Fire is a film with a difference. Besides being a hard hitting documentary which shows the plight of refugees and migrants amidst a collapsing Greek economy, it's also an experiment in new film production and distribution techniques. A year ago, we made a first, crowd-funded trip to Athens. We filmed shocking levels of racism, police brutality, and right-wing extremism - as well as the courageous and inspiring people who are organising against it.

"Into the Fire will be released on 21st April on the internet. We crowd-funded the film and crowd-sourced the subtitles: it's been translated into eight languages using the open subtitler Amara. We are also using crowd-sourcing as the release and distribution strategy for the documentary: anyone who signs up to participate will receive embedding details ahead of time, and the film will be released on various websites simultaneously. The audience becomes the distribution network."

Django Unchained: "A white revenge fantasy"

Noah Smith (who is white) saw "Django," and loved it. "Not for the cartoonish violence (which was OK, nothing special) or for Tarantino's trademark witty banter (which was a bit subdued)," he says, but for its politics. "I'm pretty sure that for all its elements of blaxploitation, Django's politics are all about white people," writes Smith. "It's not a black revenge fantasy; it's a white revenge fantasy." Django isn't black people's story of slavery: it's white people's.

Database documenting payouts to UK slave-owners to be launched for public use

The British government paid out £20 million to compensate 3,000 slave-owning families for the loss of their "property" when slave ownership was abolished in Britain's colonies in 1833. At the time, that sum amounted to 40% of the UK's annual spending budget; today, one could calculate the total value of the 19th-century payouts to be around £16.5 billion (=USD $25 billion; the actual sum can vary, depending on how you calculate).

In The Independent, an article digging in to the data, which will be released this week in the form of a publicly accessible database.

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"The blue eyed people get 5 extra minutes of recess, while the brown-eyed people have to stay in"

https://youtu.be/8bWlTZZN3DY

Over at Dangerous Minds Melissa Sweat wrote about the 1968 "blue eyes/brown eyes" classroom experiment.

The class of third graders are told that blue-eyed people are smarter and better than brown-eyed people. Blue-eyed people get an extra five minutes of recess, and the two groups aren’t allowed to play with one another on the playground. The brown-eyed children wear fabric collars so they can be identified from a distance. When, during recess, one of the children calls the other “brown-eyed” as an epithet and the child retaliates by slugging the taunter, Jane Elliott does what any good teacher would do: the child is reprimanded, but the overall exercise continues.

It was the day after Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in 1968 that Elliott ran her first “Blue Eyes/Brown Eyes” exercise in her Riceville, Iowa classroom. In 1970, Elliott would come to national attention when ABC broadcast their Eye of the Storm documentary which filmed the experiment in action. Below, is a portion from the 1985 PBS Frontline documentary A Class Divided which features the ABC footage as well as clips of a class reunion.

Blue eyes/brown eyes: Jane Elliott’s controversial classroom experiment on racism, 1968

Stupid sorority insults Mexicans

NewImage Members of the Chi Omega sorority at Penn State posed for this photo during a "Mexican-themed" party. Chi Omega's president apologized and the university is "taking the matter very seriously." (CNN)

Report: Black mother who sought help as sons drowned during Sandy was denied

Two brothers, ages 2 and 4, were swept away Monday night when waves of water crashed into an SUV driven by their mom in Staten Island. They were later found dead. A story now emerging: their mother, who is black, went door to door begging for help—and was turned away. (via Steve Silberman)