"Forgotten" African-American cemetery discovered under Florida high school

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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Hollywood exec wanted to cast Julia Roberts as Harriet Tubman

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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Trump policies result in 69,550 migrant children held in U.S. government custody over past year

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

Stephen Miller's seriously racist emails

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

Ethnicity detection camera

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

Four cops handcuff black man for "illegal eating"

"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

Teacher suspended after Halloween blackface rap

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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Utah elementary student wore a Nazi costume to school parade

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:

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.

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Kentucky lawmaker freaks over Day of the Dead zombies

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

NRA TV was so racist even the NRA says it was racist

The NRA used advertising agency Ackerman McQueen to transform itself from a pro-gun group into a right-wing media toilet, then fired the firm when it woke up to the consequences of spokespeople issuing shameless calls for violence against political enemies and the media in its name. Now a lawsuit is exposing all the dirty laundry: the NRA claims its executives found Dana Loesch's NRA TV antics "distasteful and racist", that they were lied to by Ackerman McQueen about traffic, and eventually realized they were being looted for "tens of millions of dollars."

... NRA officials believed the short-lived TV outlet—which featured shows from right-wing stars like Dana Loesch and Dan Bongino—“strayed from the Second Amendment to themes which some NRA leaders found distasteful and racist.” As an example of a “damaging” segment, the NRA filing alludes to an instance on Loesch’s show Relentless, in which an on-air graph featured a picture of kid’s cartoon character Thomas the Tank Engine wearing a Ku Klux Klan hood. “Attempts by the NRA to ‘rein in’ AMc and its messaging were met with responses from AMc that ranged from evasive to hostile,” the gun lobby further alleges.

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NYC Ferry department lies about reason for not letting Muslim families aboard

Three Muslim families were unlawfully forbidden to board an NYC ferry, according to a complaint filed by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). The women in the families were wearing traditional Muslim garbs -- "hijabs, religious headcover, and long dresses covering their legs and arms for religious purposes." The families were about to board but were stopped by an NYC Ferry employee who told them they would not be allowed on the ferry do to a security issue. They were escorted to a security officer, who said he didn't know why they had been prevented from boarding the ferry. When they returned to the boarding area, a ferry employee told them they had been denied boarding because their children had been observed standing on seats, a claim that another ferry employee contradicted.

From NBC News:

NYC Ferry offered to reimburse the families for their fares, calling the incident a "misunderstanding." CAIR said it is seeking payment of compensatory damages for "humiliation, embarrassment, and severe emotional distress" and punitive damages.

New York City's Economic Development Corporation, which runs NYC Ferry, told NBC News that it was aware of the complaint and is investigating the incident.

Image: Shinya Suzuki/Flickr. Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-ND 2.0) Read the rest

School security guard asked student to stop calling him the n-word. So the school fired him.

A black security guard at Madison West High School in Madison, Wisconsin, asked a student—also black—to stop calling him the n-word. The school fired the security guard, citing its zero-tolerance policy on racial slurs.

Marlon Anderson's Facebook post in which he describes his termination from the Madison School District after working there for 11 years generated hundreds of comments supporting the former school worker. Many derided the district's zero-tolerance policy toward use of the slur by staff in any context. ...

"Regardless of context or circumstance, racial slurs are not acceptable in our schools," West High School Principal Karen Boran said in an email to families Wednesday.

In a statement, Madison School Board President Gloria Reyes said the district has "taken a tough stance on racial slurs" in an attempt to improve the school climate for students and staff.

The school became notorious for all the racist slurs, the zero-tolerance policy was introduced to get rid of the racist slurs, but it has been used to get rid of a black member of staff complaining about the racist slurs. Read the rest

"The Tragedy of the Commons": how ecofascism was smuggled into mainstream thought

Garrett Hardin's 1968 Science essay "The Tragedy of the Commons" is one of the most widely assigned readings in the past ten years' worth of university syllabi; notionally, it describes how property that is held in common is prone to overuse and exhaustion, while privatization creates an owner who has an incentive to serve as a wise steward over the resource. Read the rest

Students accused of racist attack at private school where Karen Pence teaches

**UPDATE** The young girl has admitted to lying about the attack. **UPDATE

At the private school where Karen Pence, wife of the US Vice President, three sixth grade boys reportedly subdued a young black girl and cut her hair.


Three sixth-grade boys are accused of pinning down a fellow classmate -- a 12-year-old girl -- on the playground and cutting her locks because they are "nappy" and "ugly."

Amari Allen said she has never been more traumatized in her life until Monday when she said a group of white male classmates attacked her on the playground at Immanuel Christian School, a private K-12 school, in Fairfax, Virginia.

Amari tells WUSA9 that one boy covered her mouth and the second boy put her hands behind her back, while the third boy pulled out scissors and cut her medium-length locks while calling her names.

Allen's family pays nearly $12,000 a year for Amari to attend the private school where Vice President Mike Pence's wife, Karen Pence, teaches there twice a week.

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Newspaper fires reporter over racist tweets after reporter came to national attention for exposing fundraiser's racist tweets

It was very briefly a feelgood story.  Carson King held up a silly sign with his Venmo account asking for beer money, and when money started pouring in, immediately decided to dedicate the funds to the children's hospital in Iowa City.  ESPN and other outlets publicized the story, Venmo and Busch agreed to match funds, and soon $1 million had been raised.  But the internet's symbol is a duck devouring its own milkshake-covered tail, so the story soon turned to poison.

The Des Moines Register decided to profile King, and in the process of researching the story, a reporter dug through King's Twitter feed until finding racist jokes posted in 2012 when King was 16.  After the reporter mentioned the tweets to King, King expressed disgust and shame at his own actions, and then publicly expressed those sentiments.

Despite King's comments, internet sleuths pursued the reporter, investigating their social feed until finding racist and homophobic tweets posted between 2010 and 2013.  The Des Moines Register responded to that news by firing the reporter.

In related news, TweetDelete is a service that can delete your tweets in bulk or on a schedule.

(Image via Wikipedia.) Read the rest

Video surfaces of Canadian Prime Minister in blackface

A day after a photo emerged of Justin Trudeau in brownface, as an Aladdin-esque genie at a 2001 party, the other shoe dropped: video of him fully blacked-up in a minstrel wig. The video dates from the 1990s.

CBC News:

The video was shot in the early 1990s, however it’s not clear where it takes place.

The video, obtained exclusively by Global News, shows Trudeau covered in what appears to be dark makeup and raising his hands in the air while laughing, sticking his tongue out and making faces. He’s wearing a white T-shirt, and his jeans are ripped at the knees. It appears as though his arms and legs are covered in makeup as well.

You can't trickle-truth when you don't control the faucet. Read the rest

Justin Trudeau wore brownface at a party in 2001 when he was a private school teacher

He was performing 'Day-O,' the Afro-Jamaican chant made famous by Black civil rights activist Harry Belafonte.

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