All Articles Tagged "racial discrimination"
(New York Times) — A federal judge on Wednesday rejected an effort to dismiss a case claiming that New York City police officers use race as a factor in stopping people on the streets, sometimes to frisk them, saying there is enough evidence for a jury to decide. Lawyers for the city had argued that no trial was necessary and moved to dismiss a lawsuit against the city and its police force. In the suit, the Center for Constitutional Rights alleges a widespread pattern of stops based not on reasonable suspicion of individuals but on racial profiling in the Police Department’s “stop, question and frisk” policy.
(Reuters) – H&R Block Inc agreed to modify $115 million of home loans and make a $9.8 million payment to resolve charges by Massachusetts that the company’s former Option One subprime lending unit discriminated against thousands of black and Hispanic borrowers. Option One, now known as Sand Canyon Corp, employed “a business model that absolutely failed to gauge the ability of borrowers to repay the loans,” Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley said at a Boston news conference. “Those loans did not take into account anything but the fees that were to be generated.”
(Gothamist) — Flatiron bar and lounge 230 Fifth (you may recall its rooftop bar as the host of Kobayashi’s controversial solo hotdog eating contest on July 4) is at the center of a $500 million racial discrimination lawsuit filed by a black man from Texas. Rainbell Owens is claiming that he and his 15 friends, all of whom were also black, were kicked out of the bar during a 2009 birthday party after owner Steven Greenberg started screaming that the cake they brought in would “f- – k up my $10,000 sofa.” Owens is suing the bar for $500 million in damages. It’s not the first time the bar has been at the center of a lawsuit—in 2009, a chef was arrested for sexually assaulting a guest during a Halloween party.
(Bloomberg) — Women and minorities remain underrepresented in U.S. corporate boardrooms, crimping companies’ potential to lead in the global economy, a report by the Alliance for Board Diversity showed. White men held about 70 percent of the 1,211 board seats at Fortune 100 companies last year, little changed from 71 percent in 2004, said the alliance, which advocates the inclusion of women and minority directors. Women added 16 seats, a 1.1 percentage point gain the group called “not appreciable.” The biggest minority groups were African-American men at 7.3 percent, Hispanic men at 3.1 percent, and African-American women at 2.1 percent.
(CNN) — Last March, a crowd of nearly 100 gathered in Williamsburg, Virginia, for an all-day symposium about slavery and reconciliation. The event, put on by the College of William & Mary, wasn’t a broad, rhetorical discussion of the past. It was personal. In 2009, the school acknowledged that it, “owned and exploited slave labor from its founding to the Civil War.” In response, it created The Lemon Project, named after a college-owned slave, to understand the role of race at the university. Kimberely Phillips, an associate professor of history and American studies and Lemon Project co-chairwoman, said it’s not just about slavery, “but about the lingering past with segregation.” On that spring Saturday, students, faculty and Williamsburg residents gathered to discuss research into the history of slavery at the school and how to move forward. It’s a conversation taking place on campuses around the country as they, too, discover and come to terms with their past ties to slavery. It’s a history shared by Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island; Emory University in Atlanta and Harvard University, the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. All admit they benefited from their relationships with slavery.
by R. Asmerom
In Philadelphia, four white teachers have filed suits alleging that they were harassed, intimidated and discriminated against by the former principal Charles Ray III at their elementary school. Ray allegedly told them that they were “unfit to teach African American students at Mifflin.”
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, two husbands of those teachers have also joined the suits, “alleging they suffered a loss of companionship since 2008-09 because their wives have been “unable to fully participate with familial relationships. . . .”
One of the accusations is that Ray hired someone to harass and intimidate the teachers in order to force them out or influence them to leave the schools. It seems like a radical tactic for a principal of a public school but apparently, this community and this school has a history of racial tension, with a white principal stepping down in 2008 amidst accusations of racial insensitivity.
Although the surrounding community is mostly white and affluent, 86 percent of the students who attend the school are mostly Black.
The teachers are seeking $150,000 in damages each.
One would think Oklahoma state representative Sally Kern had learned to think before she spoke. In 2008, she left everyone appalled by her remark that gay people are a greater threat to the U.S. than terrorists.
But the Republican lawmaker has once again put her foot in her mouth, and this time, the constituents may not be so forgiving.
CBS News reports that at a debate on the affirmative action bill last Wednesday, Kern declared that women don’t work as hard because they “tend to think a little bit more about their families.” She also questioned whether blacks have high numbers in prison because “they didn’t want to work hard in school.”
To say the least, Kern’s words have earned her a bit of criticism and public outcry. In an attempt to defuse the controversy, Kern has apologized and changed her opinion. Now, she says that “women are some of the hardest workers in the world,” and what she said did not come from her “true spirit.”
But the National Association of Colored People’s (NAACP) Oklahoma chapter is not impressed. Anthony Davis, the president of the NAACP’s Oklahoma Chapter, has rejected her apology and called for her resignation. He urges all of her constituents to call for her removal.
“Let’s send a message out that in Oklahoma we will not tolerate racism at its ugliest level,” said Davis.
Most black folks are aware of the negative effects racism can have on one’s life. Systematic racial discrimination can, among other things, determine which job opportunities are offered to you, which neighborhood you can live in, and even the how often police will stop you. But now new emerging research suggest that racial discrimination has dangerous health side effects.
According to research from Penn State University, chronic exposure to racial discrimination is comparable to the constant pressure soldiers face on the battlefield. Just as soldiers experience debilitating stress when they return home, so do African-Americans when they face racism, causing what researchers have termed race-based battle fatigue.
The researchers, who reported their findings in the current issue of the Journal of Anxiety Disorders, surveyed nearly 6,000 African-Americans for the study. The findings suggest that more than 40 percent of American blacks have experienced some form of racial discrimination. Therefore, approximately 4.5 percent of blacks suffer from general anxiety disorder, or GAD.
The idea of an anxiety disorder related to race is not new. A previous study concluded that fifth-graders, who felt they were being mistreated because of their skin color, would have a greater chance of developing mental disorders. A group of Harvard researchers documented that a mere 1 percent increase in incidences of racial disrespect translates to an increase in 350 deaths per 100,000 African Americans.
The term race-based battle fatigue was actually coined by University of Utah professor, William A. Smith, to describe the stress and angst caused by constantly dealing with both overtly racist actions and subtle references to one’s race. While blacks have long suspected that racial stereotypes and negative images are denigrating to an individuals’ self-worth, this research, among others, has finally drawn a correlation between these persistent stressors and overall mental health.
Anxiety disorders have psychological and physical symptoms that are so severe that they can significantly impact everyday tasks and job performance. People with the disorder may have chronic worrying, intrusive thoughts and difficulty concentrating. Physical symptoms may manifest into tension headaches, extreme fatigue and ulcers.
Compare that with the feelings you get when thinking about a time in your life when you were stereotyped and marginalized based on your race. Remember how spiritually draining it was not to retaliate in the same visceral vein as the offender or offending institution? You probably can’t describe the story without a feeling of frustration, shock, anger, disappointment, resentment, anxiety, helplessness, and/or fear.
Black folks and other marginalized minorities have developed many ways to cope, deal and/or adapt to racial discrimination. Some of us fight while others seek to ignore or transfer our anger onto others. But, there are some of us who are unable to cope. Take for instance Omar Thornton, a black beer delivery guy who shot at five white folks at the Hartford Distributors, his place of employment. His family has long asserted that Thornton was never a violent person; however, when faced with a steady stream of prejudice and intolerance, he was pushed to his breaking point.
Unfortunately, the only true solution to race-based battle fatigue or race-based anxiety disorder comes from the full representation of minority groups at all levels of society. Until then, blacks in this country will continue to be mentally and emotionally assaulted as a result of racial discrimination.
Charing Ball is the author of the blog People, Places & Things.
A YourBlackWorld found that 88 percent of its audience felt they’ve been racially discriminated against in the workplace, at some point in their careers.
5 percent said they had not been and 6 percent said they weren’t sure whether it was discrimination or not.
The results were pretty consistent between men and women.
This is certainly a story we’ve heard before; but, these numbers are particularly troubling when the unemployment rate among African Americans is 15.3 percent compared to 8 percent for whites.
Have you ever felt you were the victim of racial discrimination at work? How did you know it was racial?
(AJC) — Lawsuits filed by a former NBA player and an Atlanta lawyer which contend they were kicked out of a Buckhead restaurant because they were black can go to trial, a federal judge has ruled. In a decision issued Wednesday, U.S. Magistrate Janet King rejected requests by the Tavern at Phipps to dismiss allegations that the restaurant violated civil rights public accommodation laws during the Aug. 11, 2006, incident.