Breaking Brown

Race & Racism

27/03/14 Black News , Race & Racism , ybw #

Hey Kobe, I Wouldn’t Support an Alleged Rap¡st Just Because He’s Black Either

Hey Kobe, I Wouldn’t Support an Alleged Rap¡st Just Because He’s Black Either


by Yvette Carnell

After all this time, you’d think I’d be used to it. Still, even in 2014, when a black star is given cover by the black community, then turns around and placates the “post-racial” white community, it stings. At issue are Kobe Bryant’s comments in the March 31st issue of the New Yorker where Bryant, with his usual dismissive arrogance, wagged his finger at the Miami Heat for rallying around Trayvon Martin:

I won’t react to something just because I’m supposed to, because I’m an African-American,” he said. “That argument doesn’t make any sense to me. So we want to advance as a society and a culture, but, say, if something happens to an African-American we immediately come to his defense? Yet you want to talk about how far we’ve progressed as a society? Well, we’ve progressed as a society, then don’t jump to somebody’s defense just because they’re African-American. You sit and you listen to the facts just like you would in any other situation, right? So I won’t assert myself.

Well, first of all, those who demanded George Zimmerman’s arrest did so because Zimmerman stalked, instigated a fight, and then gunned down an unarmed teen. Race was only an issue because Zimmerman made it an issue. When Zimmerman decided that the black boy walking home from a convenience store with Skittles and iced tea must’ve been up to no good because he was black, then race became an issue. Those who rallied for Zimmerman’s arrest after the fact weren’t responsible for injecting race into the case, so Kobe Bryant is wrong on the merits.

Even more disturbing though is Bryant’s short memory. Does he not recall how black people rallied around him after he was accused of rap¡ng a 19 year old white girl at a Colorado hotel in 2003? During that period, does anyone recall Bryant speaking out and cautioning the black community against rallying behind an alleged rap¡st just because he’s black?

Honestly, the evidence suggesting Zimmerman’s guilt was much stronger than any evidence pointing to Bryant’s innocence. In that sense, if there’s anyone who blacks should not have rallied around, it was Kobe Bryant. We did the right thing by standing up for Trayvon Martin. We made a mistake when we stood up for a narcissistic basketball player who is not anchored in the African-American tradition, has no direct experience with American racism, and refuses to empathize with those who have. Former running back Jim Brown was right when he spoke of Bryant’s aloofness and indifference to the plight of African-Americans. Bye, Kobe.



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25/03/14 Black News , featured , Race & Racism , ybw #

Wait, White People Created the Ghetto, But Blacks Are Supposed to Fix It?

Wait, White People Created the Ghetto, But Blacks Are Supposed to Fix It?


by Yvette Carnell

One of the myths that just won’t d¡e in the black community is the idea that black people are, for the most part, responsible for our economic condition in this country. If you want to see this fairytale play out in real time, then just head over to the comments section here, where many of the commenters are praising Booker T. Washington for his largely conservative economic vision. What is absent from the arguments among those who cheer Washington, and Min Louis Farrakhan for that matter, is the role our own government played in undermining black life and living conditions.

You can pull up your sagging pants if you like, but a black college graduate still won’t earn as much as a white high school graduate over a lifetime. And what’s more, ghettos in America weren’t built by lazy saggy-pants wearing black folk too lazy to work. As Jamelle Bouie points out in The Daily Beast, the creation of urban ghettos was a consequence of policy decisions:

Redlining is the practice of denying key services (like home loans and insurance) or increasing their costs for residents in a defined geographical area. In theory, this could be used against anyone. In reality, it was almost exclusively a tool to force blacks (and other minorities) into particular geographic areas. The practice began with the National Housing Act of 1934, which established the Federal Housing Administration, as well as the Federal Home Loan Bank Board. It was this agency which created “residential security maps” for several cities to determine the safety of real estate investments in selected areas.


You should already see where this is going: Existing black neighborhoods were lined as unsafe, and thus ineligible for financing. For prospective property owner, this was terrible: Absent cash on hand, there was no way to afford a home or a business in your area. What’s more, blacks were all but barred from entering white neighborhoods, if not by restrictive racial covenants (which forbid property sales to African Americans and other minorities) then by violence and intimidation

This is what created ghettos, not black folk refusing to “do for self” or “pull themselves up by the boostraps.” And since U.S. policies created the ghetto, I’ve continually advocated for policy remedies to unmake the ghetto. Somehow, to the ears of Obama fanboys and girls, that’s akin to asking for a handout.

Bouie concludes:

After a half century (or more), it’s not hard to see how we get to here from there: When you prevent a whole class of people from building wealth, accessing capital, or leaving impoverished areas, you guarantee cultural dysfunction and deep, generational poverty. When it comes to inner-city poverty—we built that.

And just so that those who traffic in black respectability politics are clear, when Bouie says “we” he ain’t talkin’ about black folk.




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21/03/14 Black News , featured , Race & Racism , ybw #

Even Black Preschoolers More Likely to be Suspended

Even Black Preschoolers More Likely to be Suspended

Over the past year, attention given to the school-to-prison pipeline has intensified to the point that even Attorney General Eric school-prisonHolder has stepped in to offer new guidelines to schools. The new guidelines offered by Holder are intended to reduce disciplinary disparities between minority students and their white counterparts.

As it turns out, the bias against black students begins before they even enter elementary school. According to a piece by the Associated Press, the bias against black kids begins in preschool.

Although blacks only make up about 18 percent of all preschoolers, they represent half of preschoolers who are suspended more than once, according to a report by the Education Department.

Thus far attention had been placed on middle and especially high school aged kids being disciplined and even arrested for minor infractions, but this is the first study which reports on bias against black preschool students.

BreakingBrown reported in January on how a water balloon fight at a school led to the arrest of eight students. It was a common water balloon fight which would’ve normally resulted in a trip to the principal’s office, but because of the desire to get minority kids caught up in the the criminal system so that they can be fed into private prison companies, these kids were carted off to jail.

Texas students risk being sent to adult courts and sentenced to jail for missing school.

Data clearly demonstrates that black boys and girls are more likely to be suspended than other students.

“This critical report shows that racial disparities in school discipline policies are not only well documented among older students, but actually begin during preschool,” Attorney General Eric Holder said. “Every data point represents a life impacted and a future potentially diverted or derailed. This administration is moving aggressively to disrupt the school-to-prison pipeline in order to ensure that all of our young people have equal educational opportunities.”

Daniel Losen, director of the Center for Civil Rights Remedies for the Civil Rights Project at UCLA, told the Associated Press that it would be better to move a preschooler to a different educational setting than to suspend the child since a child that young is usually not a threat to classmates or teachers.



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20/03/14 Black News , Race & Racism #

The Real Welfare Queen is Uneducated, Single and White

The Real Welfare Queen is Uneducated, Single and White

by Faith Walker

When the United States Department of Agriculture released their latest report on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistant Programpoverty (SNAP) their numbers were astonishing. SNAP, better known as Food Stamps, benefited an average of 46.6 million per month.

President Ronald Reagan wanted you to believe three things about food stamp recipients. According to him, people on food stamps were lazy, illiterate and worst of all……….Black.

However, the average person on food stamps is not lazy, illiterate, or even Black. According to the data,  37.6% of food stamps were being allotted to White non-Hispanics. African Americans were allotted 23.6% of SNAP benefits.

In fact, contrary to popular perception, Whites, not Blacks have continually made up the greatest percentage of recipients.

I know this is a hard pill for many people to swallow since we have been constantly told that Blacks are the leeches of society. So, following that logic, they must make up the greatest percentage of all subsidies. But wait you say, Blacks still take more than their fair share of these “handouts”. After all, Blacks make up only 13.1 percent of the population, right? Yet, Blacks comprise nearly twice that percentage of SNAP recipients. True. But, I would counter that with this fact: The largest percentage of the unemployed in this country is Black people at 15.8%. Whites make up 77% of the population while their unemployment rate stands at 7.9%. Yet, they still make up 37.6% of food stamp recipients.

For the record, I fully support the SNAP program because are people who are suffering and need the extra hand up. Lately, however the SNAP program has been the target of those who say this program is a handout not a handup. Unbelievably the same Republicans who support cooperate handouts, refuse to support SNAP. “Seventy-five percent of SNAP households included a child, an elderly person, or a disabled person, and these households received 82 percent of all benefits.”

According to a November 2012 report, 40% of SNAP recipients live in a household that receives earnings and are still at or below the poverty line. In addition, of the total number of SNAP recipients,  45% are children, 9% are elderly and 10% are disabled adults. There is no mention of what percentage is represented by “Welfare Queens”.

Whatever happened to the illusive “Welfare Queen”? We spent years looking for Reagan’s stereotypical “Welfare Queen”, only to discover that she never existed. She was part of a political strategy, the Southern Strategy. The Republicans were able to successfully weave fear of interracial marriage, gun ownership and welfare into wedge issues.

Many Blacks also began to accept that the “Welfare Queen” truly existed, and that they, or people they knew,  fit the description. But that couldn’t have been further from the truth.

But Black America has owned the “Old Welfare Queen”. However few Blacks understand that the “New Welfare Queen” bears a remarkable resemblance to “The Old Welfare Queen”. She is uneducated, single and white.

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13/03/14 Black News , Race & Racism , ybw #

Three Strikes Law Didn’t Apply to White Career Criminal Who Triggered Law’s Passage

Three Strikes Law Didn’t Apply to White Career Criminal Who Triggered Law’s Passage
Douglas Walker

Douglas Walker

Every day in this country, black and brown people are hastily sentenced to mandatory minimum prison sentences. Their lives hang in the balance, not based on a judge’s wisdom, but archaic punishments, such as California’s ‘three strikes’ law.

Ironically, California passed its ‘three strikes’ law after a white career criminal, Douglas Walker, was found guilty of accessory to the murder of 18-year-old Kimber Reynolds in 1992. Walker had been in trouble with the law since the not so tender age of 13, so when Reynolds’ father was made aware of Walker’s history, and after Walker had only served half of his 9 year prison sentence, Mr. Reynolds spearheaded a campaign for California’s “three strikes” law. The law dictates that criminals found guilty of three violent crimes or serious felonies must serve at least 25 years in prison.

Although Walker, who is white, committed his third felony in 2003, he avoided the three strikes law because of his white privilege. The judge who sentenced Walker said that his crime of stealing a tool chest was a low level crime, so he was only sentenced to 12 years in prison. He was paroled this past November and was rearrested in February after being accused of injury to a spouse, criminal threats and violation of probation.

But compare Walker’s get-out-of-jail-free card to the harsh sentence handed down to Willie Smith Ward of Texas, who was sentenced to 50 years for stealing a rack of ribs.    Mind you, both Ward and Walker had previous felony convictions, but only Ward’s judge adhered to the letter of the law, whereas Walker was given the benefit of the doubt. Walker was the one thought to be deserving of a second chance. This is the insidiousness of racism. You don’t have to hate black people to be racist. That’s not a requirement. You just have to hold whites and blacks to two very different standards, which has quantifiable results.



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