Some news you may have missed on New Year's Eve -- a federal judge has rejected efforts by Elon Musk's Tesla to dismiss claims brought by two former California employees that the car factory where they worked was a racist environment. The judge's decision clears the way for a trial, which is scheduled for May 11, 2020. Read the rest
A woman on a bus in Amherst, Ma., objects to young passengers not speaking English in a private conversation she was not party to. Other riders on the vehicle then object to her making a big racist fuss. The cops arrive and assure her that it is she who is in the wrong. Then she storms off.
Is it telling that a cop comes along and asks the victims for their IDs, but not the elderly white man defending them? He had clearly put himself at the center of events, after all. Read the rest
“Officials are not currently calling the act a hate crime, referring to it instead as an act of vandalism and tagging.”
“At least five” spray-painted swastikas were discovered on Tuesday morning in a residential area in Wrightwood, said the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department on Wednesday. Read the rest
Jeremy O. Harris's Slave Play is meant to be provocative—certainly moreso than most other Broadway productions that transfer from Off Broadway theatres. The play itself is about a group of interracial couples who go to a kind of psychosexual couples' therapy that involves BDSM, reflecting Antebellum master-slave dynamics. During previews, the show even hosted a "Black Out," or a dedicated performance for black audiences, so they can enjoy and discuss the play without worrying about the reactions of white people around them.
As such, it's not surprising that it might make some white people (and others) uncomfortable; that is, after all, the purpose of provocative art. But it reached a head after the Friday night performance on November 29 during a post-show talkback hosted by the playwright:
Apparently, the unnamed woman missed the whole part of the play about white people taking up space and centering things around themselves. She yelled at Harris for—in her words—"being told as a single woman I'm not good enough to fucking raise [my own children]," and asked, "How the fuck am I not a fucking marginalized member of this goddamn society?" Read the rest
South Carolina's system of appointed magistrates allows the state senate to appoint "judges" with no legal training, some of whom cannot pass a basic competency test on the first try, to hear over 800,000 cases a year; the magistrates are appointed and re-appointed without a background check (there's also a loophole that let some judges escape even that reappointment hearing, serving for 20 years without undergoing the process), allowing them to serve even after grave judicial misconduct.
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In this video posted to instagram, a woman calls the cops on a UPS driver because "I don't understand why you're walking around with a bunch of packages".
This woman legit called the cops on a Black UPS driver for working while Black.
She said he “looked suspicious,” & then finally seemed to back off when a white UPS driver told her she’s wrong.
She looms up on him, variously keeps her hands in her pockets or waves them around in his face, rolls up her sleeves, grins, tells him where she lives, and says: you're making me nervous. The excuse that police use to justify killing people, cued up by a belligerent bigot who, when she realizes he's not going to react negatively to her provocations, calls the police.
Also, now you know why your packages are late.
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Ring is Amazon's surveillance doorbell division, and a big part of their sales strategy involves terrifying people about the possibility of crime, partnering with police to assist in terrorizing Ring owners, and to provide police with warrantless, permanent, shareable access to surveillance doorbell footage (something the company has repeatedly lied about). Hundred of police departments have now partnered with Ring and they act as buzz-marketing teams for the company in exchange for freebies and access.
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At least 145 coffins have been discovered underneath King High School in Tampa, Florida. Apparently a citizen researching area cemeteries advised the school district that in the first half of the 20th century, there was an African-American graveyard on the site. So far, ground-penetrating radar revealed 145 coffins just a few feet below the surface. From Bay News 9:
The pattern of the findings matches historical records for a "potter's field," or pauper's field, called Ridgewood Cemetery, the district said.
"Hillsborough County Public Schools remains committed to respecting the individuals who are buried there, and their families," officials said.
This is just the latest of several "forgotten" African-American cemeteries found in Tampa in the past year.
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Harriet Tubman was a slave who became an abolitionist after escaping, saving dozens of other slaves through the Underground Railroad. Julia Roberts is an Oscar-winning actress and producer, the star of Pretty Woman, Erin Brockovich and Homecoming. Tubman was black, Roberts is white. No problem for one Hollywood executive, in 1994.
In a Q&A with Allen published earlier this month by Harriet studio Focus Features (and reiterated in an L.A. Times essay published Tuesday), Allen recalled how “the climate in Hollywood … was very different” some 25 years ago.
“I was told how one studio head said in a meeting, ‘This script is fantastic. Let’s get Julia Roberts to play Harriet Tubman,'” Allen explained. “When someone pointed out that Roberts couldn’t be Harriet, the executive responded, ‘It was so long ago. No one is going to know the difference.'” Thankfully, for everyone involved, Roberts was not cast as Tubman.
The Tubman movie is out now, starring Cynthia Erivo, who is black. Trailer below:
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We're number one. In the racist, eugenicist, genocidal theft of infants, toddlers, and tender-age children from undocumented and mostly indigenous migrants who are fleeing violence in Guatemala and other Central American failed states. Read the rest
The Southern Poverty Law Center's HATEWATCH shares a number of leaked emails written by Trump Administration lackey Stephen Miller. Unsurprisingly, Miller expresses many racist ideas. Read the rest
Here's an ad from Hikvision, the worlds' largest security camera company, boasting of its products' utility in detecting people's ethnicity. James Vincent writes that it "speaks volumes about the brutal simplicity of the techno-surveillance state." [via @CharlesRollet1, who points to an archived webpage that details the "Uyghur detection" feature] Read the rest
"You're eating. It's against the law." That's what this white police officer told a black man who was eating a sandwich while waiting for a train in Contra Costa, California. The man purchased the sandwich in the station, and was eating it outside in the platform while waiting for a BART train. According to the person who shot the video, there are no signs stating that it is forbidden to eat food on train platforms.
The officer grabbed the man's backpack and asked him for his identification. The man eating the sandwich calmly told the officer that he was doing nothing wrong and refused to show the cop his ID. The cop called for backup and four other officers arrived to handcuff the man and take him away.
“Four cops for eating a sandwich?,” says the man.
BART said it is investigating the incident, says The San Francisco Examiner. Read the rest
A teacher, mercifully left anonymous, was filmed rapping in blackface on Halloween.
Chris Norwood, the MUSD school board president, called the teacher's actions "inappropriate, unprofessional and insensitive," according to an online statement.
"As an African American man, the history of Blackface reminds me of the cruelty, hatred and fear my parents and people of African Ancestry have dealt with in the past and still experience today around the world," Norwood said.
Imagine: it's 2019, you're a history teacher, you ain't black, but your school board president is. The thought comes to you: I know, I'll black up and rap for the kids. 🤷 🤷 🤷
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On Halloween, a child at Creekside Elementary School in Kaysville, Utah wore a Nazi uniform as his costume for a parade at school. After some people complained online, the school principal and a teacher were suspended with pay for allowing such a thing. I wish they could suspend the boy's parents from being parents. According to the Salt Lake Tribune, "others (on social media) supported the boy." From the Salt Lake Tribune:
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In a statement, the Davis County School District apologized for the costume.
“[The district] does not tolerate speech, images or conduct that portray or promote hate in any form,” the statement read. “The district is taking the matter very seriously and is investigating every aspect of the situation.”
School district spokesman Chris Williams declined to name the faculty members who were placed on paid leave, but the elementary school’s website lists Steve B. Hammer as the principal.
Henderson, Kentucky is a town of about 30,000 people in the western part of the state. It's not far from Evansville, Indiana, and it's one of the top three corn and soybean producers in the state. Read the rest