Judge resigns and youth court shut down after baby is taken from mother over unpaid court fees

The Youth Court of Pearl, Mississippi has been shut down and its judge, John Shirley (also a Republican Party activist) has been forced to resign after widespread disapproval of his decision to bar a mother from seeing her 4-month-old baby for 14 months over her unpaid court fees. Read the rest

Challenge Racist Narratives with Watermelons, Nooses, and Straight Razors, a New Book and Teaching Tool

Pre-order Watermelons, Nooses, and Straight Razors through Kickstarter to help cover the expensive printing costs of this 272-page, full-color, story-based book and increase accessibility by charging an affordable list price. Donations are tax deductible. Books will ship before the holidays. Check out the Kickstarter HERE.

Detailed anatomy of Wisconsin's election-rigging, racist voter suppression

In 2008 and 2012, Wisconsin ranked second in the USA for voter turnout; in 2016, following the enactment of a series of racist voter-suppression tactics, the voter turnout was the worst it had been since 2000. Read the rest

Why race is not a thing, according to genetics

National Geographic interviewed geneticist Adam Rutherford, author of A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived: The Stories in Our Genes. "In many ways, genetics makes a mockery of race," he notes. Read the rest

Trump's “free market” FCC loves monopolies, especially when they rip off prisoners' families

The American prison system is home to one of the greatest market-failures in the history of telephony (which is saying something): a monopolistic system in which sole-supplier, hedge-fund owned telcoms operators charge as much as $14/minute for prisoners to talk with their lawyers, families and loved ones. Read the rest

Why Adafruit thinks it's legal to stamp Harriet Tubman over Andrew Jackson on the US $20

Adafruit greeted the news that Trump Treasure Secretary Steve Mnuchin had cancelled the plan to make the great hero Harriet Tubman the first African-American and the first woman on US currency with a video and tutorial for 3D printing a Harriet Tubman stamp that you could use to blot out the genocidal racist scoundrel Andrew Jackson on your money. Read the rest

Cyberpunk's Asian representation problem

Cyberpunk dystopia lifts from the reality and fantasy of contemporary Asian cities and cultures, but rarely reflects these sources in its human inventory. Sarah Emerson writes about the genre's fetish for Asia without the Asians, most recently on display in the curiously whitebread future of Blade Runner 2049.

neon kanji billboards. Neander Wallace's yukata, and Joi's cheongsam. The busy Chinatown. The interactive wall of anime apps. K's rice-filled bento box. The dual Japanese-English text on everything. All signs that point to a vibrant, multicultural city, but somehow devoid of non-white characters.

If Asians shaped this cyberpunk future, where are they?

Blade Runner and 2049 are like Orientalist art. Gorgeous, albeit skewed, depictions of "other" cultures meant to justify colonialism with their backwardness.

The people making the mistakes seem completely oblivious. They can pretend to get it when something egregious blows up, but then soon coast's clear they go back to casting Robert Downey Jr as Indira Gandhi or some other nonsense. Even when they do hire Asian actors for their exotic Asian hellscapes, they're liable to mess it up! Remember Cloud Atlas? About four fifths of it was brilliant, but the remainder was so hard to look at that the movie left my head the moment I left the theater.

Read the rest

Volk: a sinister, Lovecraftian tale of eugenics, Naziism, and "radiant abomination"

Volk is the sequel to Eutopia, the brilliant, sinister supernatural tale of the real-world 19th century eugenics movement, written by Canadian horror great David Nickle.

Durham protesters turn themselves in at police station after pulling down Confederate statue

On Monday, anti-racist protesters in Durham, North Carolina pulled down a statue dedicated to the "unknown soldiers" who fought to defend slavery, which was adorned with "a seal engraved with ‘The Confederate States of America’" and the words, "In memory of the boys who wore gray." Read the rest

Trump's Jewish team-members won't go public on his endorsement of neo-Nazis

Gary D Cohn is director of Trump's National Economic Council; Steven Mnuchin is Secretary of the Treasury; Jared Kushner is Trump's son-in-law and Ivanka Trump is Trump's daughter, who converted to Judiasm: not one of them has said anything in public about Trump's bizarre rant in which he said that not all the Nazi marchers in Charlottesville were bad and some were "very fine people." Read the rest

Charlottesville white supremacist strips off uniform and insists it's just for lulz

CJ Hunt was at the neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville when he spotted this young man in white supremacist uniform (white polo and khakis) running away from counterdemonstrators, then turning abruptly and stripping off while insisting that he was not really a Nazi and had just shown up for fun. Read the rest

Donald Trump will not condemn the terrorist attacks on anti-Nazi protestors

Donald Trump represents the eminently foreseeable outcome of Reagan's Republican bargain: welding together a coalition of racists and religious fanatics with the finance sector and its lobbyists, making two groups who had spent a century cordially loathing each other into one. Read the rest

An Illinois gubernatorial hopeful will spring all low-level drug offenders from jail

If Chicago Alderman Ameya Pawar is successful in winning the Democratic Party nomination to stand for governor of Illinois and then wins the election, he will: 1) commute all low-level drug offenders' sentences and free them from jail; 2) take educational oversight power from Chicago mayor Rahm Emmanuel and give it to the Chicago School Board; 3) fund schools out of a fairly distributed state pools, ending the system of funding based on local taxes, which disadvantages schools in poor neighborhoods; and 4) make access to paid sick leave and child care universal in the state of Illinois. Read the rest

Americans perceive overweight Asian people as 'less foreign' than skinny Asians

In Unexpected Gains: Being Overweight Buffers Asian Americans From Prejudice Against Foreigners (Sci-Hub mirror), a paper published in Psychological Science, a group of social scientists from UK and US universities as well as Microsoft evaluated the role that weight plays in the perceptions of people of Asian descent in the USA. Read the rest

Tory MP suspended for using the n-word in Brexit debate

Anne Marie Morris is the Conservative Party MP for Newton Abbott, Devon; while on a panel at a Eurosceptic meeting in Central London, she described the UK leaving the EU without a deal as a "real n*****r in the woodpile," a phrase that refers to enslaved Africans and African-Americans hiding from vengeful bounty hunters after escaping from the white people who'd enslaved them. Read the rest

How an obscure law allowed white, rich developers to steal African-Americans' land for a century

After the civil war, formerly enslaved people bought about 15 million acres across the US (mostly in the south), but those landowners lacked clear legal title and also often did not have access to legal advice for estate planning -- combine that with lending discrimination (redlining) and the diasporas that scattered families across the country and that land has become easy pickings for crooked property developers and their crooked lawyers. Read the rest

PA supreme court: was illegal to steal elderly woman's home because her son sold $140 of weed

It took four years, but the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has finally ruled in favor of 72 year old grandmother Elizabeth Young, whose house was seized by the Philadelphia District Attorney under asset forfeiture rules when her son was caught selling $140 worth of marijuana to undercover agents.

Under civil forfeiture rules, cops and DAs get to steal property suspected of being the proceeds of a crime, then they sue the inanimate objects. The owners of the objects can hire lawyers to represent their property, while the taxpayers foot the bill for the state's side of the suit. If the government wins, it gets to keep the property or sell it and pocket the proceeds.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court blasted the DA for the seizure and reminded the state's lawyers and cops that they can only invoke civil forfeiture when there is good reason to believe that the property's owner "knew of and agreed to the crimes" in question.

The cop who bought the marijuana from Young's son is currently serving a 3.5 year federal prison sentence for planting drugs on suspects.

Young is far from the only person to have her house seized by the Philadelphia D.A. for a minor drug crime that she didn't even commit. In 2013, Philadelphia police seized the house of Christos and Markela Sourovelis after their son was arrested for selling $40-worth of drugs outside of it.

The Sourovelis' sued, with assistance from the libertarian-leaning Institute for Justice, a nonprofit law firm that has challenged asset forfeiture laws in several states.

Read the rest

More posts