race

Arizona State University’s Lee Bebout is teaching eighteen students in a class titled “U.S. Race Theory and the Problem of Whiteness.”

The course, according to ASU, “… is designed to empower students to confront the difficult and often thorny issues that surround us today and reach thoughtful conclusions rather than display gut reactions. A university is an academic environment where we discuss and debate a wide array of viewpoints.”

“Wide array,” eh? As long as the viewpoints maintain that “Whiteness” is a problem, I bet.

azcentral.com reports:

Five books are listed as required for the upper-division class, called “U.S. Race Theory and the Problem of Whiteness.” The texts include “Playing in the Dark” by Toni Morrison, an acclaimed novelist who has won a Pulitzer Prize, a Nobel Prize and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

The other required books are “Critical Race Theory: An Introduction” by Richard Delgado, “Everyday Language of White Racism” by Jane Hill, “Alchemy of Race & Rights” by Patricia Williams, and “The Possessive Investment in Whiteness” by George Lipsitz.

The idea of “Whiteness” as a concept, rather than just skin color, has been a popular topic for research and academic classes since the late ’90s.

Lauren Clark, a student at ASU and a contributor to Campus Reform, appeared on “Fox and Friends” last Friday to discuss the matter:

Does anyone — anyone — think a course titled “U.S. Race Theory and the Problem of Blackness” would be permitted to be taught on a campus? To heck with microaggressions — such would be dubbed an irreconcilable macroaggression complete with sit-ins, die-ins, teach-ins, and the usual demands for mandated sensitivity training, “cultural competence” courses, increased number of minority faculty and students, and on and on and on …

Read the full article.

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New York Times opinion columnist Charles Blow is fuming (his word) that his son, a junior chemistry major at Yale, was stopped at gunpoint by a campus cop.

Apparently Blow’s son matched the description of a burglary suspect, and Yale officers “responded to emergency calls from undergraduates in Trumbull College” stating that an individual had gained entrance “under false pretenses, pretending to be looking for someone.”

Yale released a statement on the incident, noting among things that the suspect was “a tall, African-American, college-aged student wearing a black jacket and a red and white hat” … and that “was the description that Yale police used as they converged on Trumbull and attempted to track down the suspect.”

Blow’s son “was briefly detained and released by Yale police.” The actual suspect was eventually caught later that evening.

The columnist took to Twitter to vent his anger (via Twitchy):


Numerous commenters at Twitchy and on Twitter say Blow is way overreacting. Is the fact that his son attends an Ivy League school supposed to insulate the undergrad from police doing their job?

In my late teens a friend and I were approached by a cop car speeding down the street. Right in front of my house the police locked up their brakes, and a woman cop got out of the passenger side yelling at us to “freeze.” She didn’t draw her gun, but had her hand on it in its holster.

It seemed we matched the description of a couple assailants who had beat up and robbed some young kids.

We were very cooperative. Once they checked us out and verified where we had been, they thanked us for our time. There was no real apology, other than something like “sorry for taking so long on this.”

Read the full story.

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It seems the University of Oklahoma suffers from the same “problem” as other American colleges: It’s not (allegedly) “doing enough” for the school’s minority community.

A couple of evenings ago, a group dubbed “Unheard” offered up some gripes at a town hall meeting. Members will officially meet with Sooner President David Boren this coming Wednesday.

Unheard delivered seven grievances it has with OU. The first is one commonly heard on college campuses: lack of black faculty.

The Oklahoma Daily reports:

There are few black professors at OU, especially in the STEM departments, mechanical engineering junior Alexis Hall said. Throughout her time at OU, she has never had a black professor within her major, she said.

The students then talked about low retention rates among black students at OU — often due to a lack of financial aid and support on campus, group members said.

[Junior Meagan] Johnson has been at OU for six semesters, and she can name at least two black students who have left the university during each term, she said. They either couldn’t afford to keep attending or did not feel welcome on campus, Johnson said.

Directly related to low retention, the students of Unheard talked about a lack of financial aid for black students, many of whom need to work throughout their college careers to make it through.

“Our grievances, they’re a domino effect,” [junior Naome] Kadira said. “One affects the other.”

Hall recounted times that she had been to the financial aid office and had been turned away. It was discouraging to meet with white financial advisers who she felt couldn’t fully understand her situation, Hall said.

In addition to funding, supportive programs for black students are also necessary to make all students on campus feel welcome, the students of Unheard said.

Does anyone believe that American campuses do not go out of their way to hire faculty of color? To make minority students feel welcome?

In addition, how is it that one can only learn if the instructor “looks like you?” And, if a campus is so “unwelcoming,” why would someone choose to attend it?

Read the full article.

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UC Berkeley students and members of the local community casually entered local shops and restaurants Saturday morning to then begin reading the names of “black men killed by police and vigilantes.”

They also participated in various chants and songs.

Dubbed “black brunch,” the college’s Black Student Union stated the protest “targeted upscale businesses as places to ‘stop business as usual’ and highlight violence against black people in the United States.”

The Daily Californian reports:

“The small inconvenience felt while we disrupted businesses pales in comparison to the nightmarish reality of being Black in America,” the [Black Student Union] press release said.

The demonstrators gathered in front of the Berkeley Amtrak station before marching into several businesses, including Spenger’s Fresh Fish Grotto, the Apple Store and Peet’s Coffee & Tea. Once inside, speakers from the group read a list of names of black individuals killed by police, security guards and self-appointed vigilantes.

Several protesters then took the mic in the middle of a shopping center on Fourth and Delaware streets, including one UC Berkeley student, junior Blake Simons, who read a poem about his experiences with Berkeley police.

“I show my Cal Berkeley ID, and soon he lets me be free,” Simons said while reading his poem. “No ticket, no warning — it’s like he pulled me over just for fun.”

Truth Revolt notes that similar protests took place in New York City and highlights some tweets from protesters in both locations:


TR also includes some tweeted reactions to the protests.

Read the full Daily Californian and Truth Revolt articles.

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Brian T. Murphy, an assistant professor (Medicinal Chemistry) at University of Illinois at Chicago, writes that Chicago is now ripe for Ferguson-style protests.

Unfortunately, like too many others in academia and the media, Murphy either ignores or (purposely?) skates over uncomfortable facts regarding (black) crime and incarceration.

Via Reboot Illinois:

There are a few misconceptions as to why citizens are currently fighting for civil rights in Chicago’s streets. The reasons have less to due with the recent deaths of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and 12-year old Tamir Rice at the hands of police. The details of these cases can be debated, but in the bigger picture they are irrelevant. Consider this:

African Americans comprise approximately 12% of the U.S. population, while they make up nearly 44% of our prison population. Roughly 1 of 15 African American males go to prison compared to 1 of 106 white males. Therefore, either 1) African Americans are more prone to crime, or 2) the criminal justice system has in some way become biased toward putting black human beings in prison.

Ironically, Murphy goes on to note that “The main obstacle to achieving equal rights under our law is shifting public opinion on this matter, by teaching that perception is not a substitution for fact.”

Black Americans committing 5,375 murders in 2013 vs. 4,396 for whites isn’t a perception. That is a fact. Police killings of blacks being down seventy percent in last fifty years isn’t perception — it’s also a fact.

Not all Americans believe police are virtuous, nor do all Americans believe that American justice is color-blind, despite Professor Murphy saying that it “appears” otherwise. This is a straw man he sets up, just like the “either-or” premise above that either blacks are more prone to crime or the US justice system is racially biased.

The fact is that both factors play a role. The questions are to what degree, and how best to make them better.

“It is immoral to ignore these statistics …” Murphy says. But it appears he means only some statistics.

Read the full article.

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This past Monday, over one hundred University of Pennsylvania students marched through Philadelphia to protest the grand jury decision in the shooting death of Ferguson, Missouri’s Michael Brown:

Protesters walked in fierce solidarity, responding to the leaders’ chants: “No justice, no peace. No racist police.”
“I just don’t want my son, the child of an Ivy League graduate, to walk down the street in fear for his life,” a student who preferred to remain anonymous said at the protest.

This was along the lines of what New York City mayor Bill De Blasio said in reaction to the non-indictment of the officer who used a “chokehold” on (black) victim Eric Garner:

Mr. de Blasio told an audience that he worried over the years if his son Dante would be safe at night before adding, “And not just from some of the painful realities of crime and violence in some of our neighborhoods but safe from the very people they want to have faith in as their protectors.”

Students at other Ivy League schools have expressed similar sentiments:

“I’m scared to go outside,” [Brianna] Alston said. “This is a real fearful situation for the black community.” (Columbia University)

“Business as usual can’t continue, our frivolities can’t continue while people are dying without reason and impunity,” [Stephanie] Amoako said. (Columbia)

“My brother is turning 20 next month, which means that he is solidifying his presence in a demographic of young black men between the ages of 19-25 in the United States who are disproportionately targeted by police brutality,” Karleh Wilson ’16 explained. “I worry about [my brother’s] safety under the hands of the law. My brother should feel safe among the presence of policemen, but he does not, and this is the same for all men of color his age in America.” (Yale)

A student at Harvard held a placard that read “This is Genocide.”

Nadia May recited a poem about “how she will mother her future children intertwined with commentary on racism and police brutality.” (Cornell)

A frequent refrain heard from “progressives” and Democrats — usually in snide rebuttal to conservatives/Republicans regarding global warming climate change — is that they’re “the party of science,” and the “believers in facts.”

So, is it really a fact that Ms. Alston and the others should be “scared to go outside” for fear of being killed by a police officer?

Compared to many other things out there in society, the answer is “hardly.”

Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly this past week devoted a “Talking Points” segment to this issue. Here is what he noted, with sources from the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice, the CDC, the FBI and the Census Bureau:

  • Police killings of blacks down 70% in last 50 years
  • In 2012, 123 blacks were killed by police with a gun
  • In 2012, 326 whites were killed with a gun
  • In 2013, blacks committed 5,375 murders
  • In 2013, whites committed 4,396 murders
  • Whites are 63% of the population blacks are 13%

To be fair, some have taken issue with these statistics. The Tampa Bay Times’ PunditFact site (a subsidiary of PolitiFact) argues that some of the figures are “incomplete” because, for example (in the CDC’s case), “coroners and physicians are under no obligation to detail police involvement in the deaths that they encounter.”

black-white-DryHundredFear.flickrHowever, ironically, PunditFact notes that the “whites killed by police figure” is artificially inflated because it includes Hispanics. But … weren’t we informed by the mainstream media in the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman incident that Zimmerman was, in fact, a “white Hispanic”?? So … which is it? Do we refer to “white Hispanics” as “white” … or do we keep Hispanics as a separate category?

Then there is The Daily Dot which claims to have “debunked” O’Reilly’s “argument about racism in American policing”:

Secondly, what O’Reilly’s statistics show—but what O’Reilly leaves unsaid—is that black people are killed at disproportionately higher rates than white people by police officers. African Americans are 14 percent of the population but 30 percent of the police-shooting deaths. This is double the rate that one might expect from O’Reilly’s fantasy world in which race is not a factor.

The numbers get even grimmer when narrowed down a bit. Police kill young black men at a rate 21 times higher than the equivalent rate for young white men.

Which, unfortunately, completely omits any reference to vastly disproportionate black murder rate noted above by O’Reilly. It is quite disingenuous to expect “proportionate representation” in law enforcement killings when the (race-based) crime rate isn’t even close to being such.

The mainstream media also doesn’t help matters by omitting virtually identical types of stories … but where the races are reversed. For instance, a Trayvon Martin-like tale involved a (black) man named Roderick Scott. Scott shot and killed seventeen year-old Christopher Cervini, who was white. Cervini and two others were stealing from cars when Scott confronted them. Scott pulled out a gun and told the boys to freeze until police arrived. However, Cervini apparently charged Scott, who then opened fire, killing the teen.

After a trial, Scott was found “not guilty” of manslaughter.

Some of the comments afterwards by Cervini’s family sound awfully familiar:

Cervini’s family members say justice wasn’t served. They say Christopher was murdered in cold blood, that he’d never been in trouble and Scott acted as judge, jury and executioner.

“The message is that we can all go out and get guns and feel anybody that we feel is threatening us and lie about the fact,” said Jim Cervini, Christopher’s father. “My son never threatened anybody. He was a gentle child, his nature was gentle, he was a good person and he was never, ever arrested for anything, and has never been in trouble. He was 16 years and four months old, and he was slaughtered.”

With regards to the Michael Brown case, two years ago a black police officer shot and killed unarmed white teenager Gilbert Collar in Mobile, Alabama. But, “despite public pressure for an indictment, a Mobile County grand jury refused to bring charges against Officer [Trevis] Austin, concluding that the officer acted in self-defense.”

Collar was under the influence of an hallucinogen when taken into custody. He was 5’7″ and weighed a mere 135 pounds. Once at the police station, Collar “began banging on the outside windows, then walked in the general direction of Officer Austin, who had his gun drawn.”

Austin shot Collar in the chest, killing him.

You can argue about the reasons we didn’t hear about these stories; however, many would say it’s because it doesn’t fit the (usual) media narrative.

The “party of science and facts” does itself, and everyone else, a big disservice by continuing to stand by a discredited narrative. Once the facts — science — came forth from the Ferguson grand jury that Michael Brown did not, in fact, have his hands up, supporters promptly stated “it doesn’t matter.”

Recently, DC Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton repeated as much. When asked if she had “read all the evidence” in the Brown case, she replied “I did not, and that is not a concern.”

Further, will the mainstream media heavily cover what Erica Garner said (her father being the aforementioned New York City suspect placed in a chokehold who later died as a result, according to a coroner) this week about her father’s death — that it wasn’t a racial matter? That it was more about general police aggression and misuse of tactics?

Any rational and reasonably intelligent American is cognizant of the historic plight of African-Americans. It is certainly understandable that many in that community harbor a degree of mistrust of police; it wasn’t all that long ago when the law made it a crime for black Americans to even sit at the same lunch counter as whites.

But it does no American — black, white, brown — any good to promote falsehoods which serve to shred the entire American community asunder.

We have competent legal procedures in place to rectify a miscarriage of justice — led by the top law enforcement officer in the land, Eric Holder, a black man. The most recent of these unfortunate police killings  (that of  Eric Garner) appears to be a case where the feds can make a compelling case in the typical follow-up investigation.

Dave Huber is an assistant editor of  The College Fix. (@ColossusRhodey)

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