Friday, December 9, 2016

#BlackLivesMatter

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democrats pay

If there’s a racial wealth gap in this country—well, it looks like Democrats have no one but themselves to blame.

According to an analysis by the New Organizing Institute, minorities working for Democratic political campaigns are paid substantially less than their white counterparts. And, often, they’re given less prestigious jobs.

African-American staffers, in fact, made just 70 cents on the dollar for white employees.

For Latino staffers, the difference was even a little wider: they were only paid 68 cents on the dollar.

In any other election year, this might’ve been swept under the rug. But in 2016, it could be a major disaster for Democrats moving forward.

As race relations become a major issue in the 2016 race—spurred on by brutal riots in Ferguson, Missouri, and Baltimore, Maryland, over the deaths of black civilians at the hands of white cops—Democrats have learned that they’re not immune to protest.

Earlier in 2015, Democratic presidential candidates like Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley saw speeches and panels interrupted by #BlackLivesMatter protesters, who demanded they do more to address racial inequality. O’Malley was even slammed when he dared tell activists that “all lives matter,” not just black ones.

Democrats have long rested on their “demographics as destiny” plan for victory—essentially, winning over minority populations that grow faster than white ones.

But it looks like they might have to start, literally, putting their money where their mouth is if they want to continue to have any sort of legitimacy on race issues in this country.

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Black students have long been suspended and expelled from schools at much higher rates than their white counterparts–but one forer Minneapolis superintendent has decided to take matters into her own hands.

Bernadeia Johnson, who is black, has declared that no black students can be suspended in her district–without her explicit sign-off.

Principals, who had previously been the final arbitrator of discipline, will now have to kick the can up to the main office on all suspensions, and wait for their boss to sign off on them.

Johnson has also put guidelines in place earlier this year, which will ban suspensions altogether for children in first grade or below.

The new approach aims to reduce the number of black students that are being suspended–in Johnson’s mind, unfairly.

Roughly 20% of black boys nationwide are suspended at some point between kindergarten and twelfth grade, and 12% of black girls are. That dwarfs the number of white students who are suspended during their academic career–between just 1 and 2%.

But adding another layer of bureaucracy–and putting the decision rights in the hands of a superintendent who actively wants fewer black students suspended–might have an unintended consequence of tying the hands of teachers and school staff when it comes to discipline.

Nevertheless, Johnson’s new plan is being heralded on the Left for its stance in favor of racial fairness. But, while it’ll likely remove any lingering racial bias from the proceedings if there are any, it’s unclear whether or not it’ll actually address the behavioral causes of why black students are suspended at such high rates.

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black man threatens all black students

Police at Michigan’s Saginaw Valley State University arrested a student for threatening to shoot up the school and kill all black people on campus.

The twist is, the guy they arrested is black–and, seemingly, was attempting to increase racial tension on campus, after a month of race-related protests at a number of American universities.

Emmanuel D. Bowden, 21, who is black, has been charged with making a false threat of terrorism. If convicted, he could face up to 20 years in jail.

Bowden posted this threat on social media site, Yik Yak: “I’m going to shoot every black person I can on campus. Starting tomorrow morning.”

Yik Yak is a geographically-based site that allows users to talk anonymously with people around them. But Bowden didn’t realize that, while other users can’t tell who’s making the threats, police are able to trace all messages back to the sender.

According to police, as the post began to cause a huge uproar on campus, Bowden quickly got cold feet and responded with four follow-up messages: “Its [sic] a joke,” “I’m black,” “I was going to give it an hour to see how you all would react,” and “Right. I could be angry and just expressing myself lol.”

Police and the FBI disagreed. After investigating the post, they arrested Bowden in his dorm on SVSU’s campus.

Bowden is now being held in jail, on a $10,000 bond. He’s also been jailed on a $4,500 bail for an unrelated credit card fraud case.

His first hearing will be December 3.

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The University of Missouri has been rocked by race-related protests over the last few weeks—but it looks like activists may have found another villain: Christians.

In Mizzou’s “free speech zone”—apparently, the First Amendment right to free speech is not available throughout the public university’s campus—a man was identified as a Mizzou student and Christian preacher, but his name has not been identified.

Holding a protest sign that promised “salvation to all that obey Him,” and referenced the Bible verse Hebrews 5:9, the preacher was vocally criticizing the African-American community, claiming that many of them were arrested by the police because they had an attitude of “eff the police.”

He quickly attracted a crowd of angry black protestors, but the preacher continued his speech. The attack started after the preacher referenced the death of Michael Brown, the Missouri teenager who was shot while attacking a police officer and sparked the first waves of the so-called “Black Lives Matter” protests in Ferguson, Missouri.

The preacher said: “Michael Brown died because he had a disrespect for authority.”

In a video uploaded to Periscope, that was quickly the straw that broke the camel’s back; a black male protestor ripped the preacher’s sign from his hands, threw it to the ground, and then began physically assaulting the preacher—first by pushing him, and then by punching him in the face. Both the attacker and the victim were quickly separated and held back by other protestors.

After the assault, another protestor grabbed the preacher’s microphone to turn the conversation away from Christianity, and back to racism and oppression.

Police have yet to make an arrest or identify the attacker. A later photo of the victim showed him with a bloody lip, but otherwise uninjured.

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blacklivesmatter

Seems like Barack Obama’s 100% behind the controversial Black Lives Matter.

Speaking about the often-violent riots that have destroyed neighborhoods in inner-city nationwide during a White House forum on criminal justice reform, Obama blithely explained that: “We, as a society, particularly given our history, have to take this seriously.”

The Black Lives Matter sprung up after a few high profile shootings, where white police officers killed young African-American men. The recent deaths of Freddie Gray in Baltimore, Eric Garner in New York, and Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri—and, in retrospect, the shooting of Trayvon Martin in 2012—are widely seen as the catalysts for the movement.

However, the movement has been controversial—especially as it began shouting down politicians on both sides of the aisle for using the phrase “All Lives Matter,” crying racism.

Obama defended that, too.

“I think everybody understands all lives matter,” Obama explained. “I think the reason that the organizers used the phrase ‘Black Lives Matter’ was not because they were suggesting nobody else’s lives matter. Rather, what they were suggesting was there is a specific problem that’s happening in the African-American community that’s not happening in other communities. And that is a legitimate issue that we’ve got to address.”

He added that everyone needs to be “stepping back for a second and understanding that the African-American community is not just making this up.”

While any unjustified police killing is a travesty that rightly should have the American people up in arms, it’s worth noting that young African-American men are far more likely to be murdered by other African-American men than by white police officers.

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No one’s been convicted yet in the death of Freddie Gray, the Baltimore man who was killed in police custody–but the city of Baltimore is already paying through the nose.

The city of Baltimore agreed to pay his family $6.4 million in restitution and accepts full civil liability for Gray’s death, even though they haven’t yet filed a civil suit against the city.

Offering a settlement now would, if Gray’s family accepts it, avoid a lengthy and embarrassing trial for the city, and could prevent both the city and Gray’s family from discussing the case publicly.

Gray, 25, died while he was in police custody back in April. Six officers have been indicted in his death, but have not yet gone to trial.

Gray’s death sparked race riots that laid waste to inner-city Baltimore, and helped sink the nascent presidential campaign of former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley. Gray’s death has also made him a major figure in the so-called Black Lives Matter movement, which has been criticized for turning many African-Americans against the nation’s police officers.

Nationwide, the murder rate has skyrocketed–up more than 40% in cities like Milwaukee, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. and a number of police officers have also been assassinated, with their killers claiming that they were avenging the death of slain civilians like Gray.

A generous settlement from the city of Baltimore could help keep the death of Freddie Gray off the headlines–but it could also risk fanning the flames of discontent.

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BlackLivesMatter

The media has been focusing attention on a very small area of the casualties surrounding us every day. Just last month eight police officers have been killed; six of whom were targeted for being law enforcement. 26 law enforcement officers have been on the fatal side of that gun just this year. The #BlackLivesMatter movement would have you believe that the only flaw in the system is that African American lives are being lost. No banners are being waved for the deaths of these officers.

There is no argument that loss of life is a tragedy. Certainly no officer of the law delights in having to make the decision to end a life to save others. Why then, does this group continue to villainize police? They are instilling fear into their own people and heightening the dangers on both sides.

Black Lives Matter has been gaining momentum over the course of the last year. With not just thousands of supporters nationwide tweeting #BlackLivesMatter, but groups forming to protest the current state of race relations in the U.S. Presidential hopeful, Bernie Sanders, has two separate events interrupted, because of Black Lives Matter protestors. Ironically, they shut down events meant for a man arrested in 1962 while protesting segregation in Chicago.

Yet, there are those who wonder if the intentions behind this group are not something more divisive than claiming some lives matter more than others. There is room to suggest that Black Lives Matter is less of a movement and more of an angry mob. Are individuals in the mob taking things into their own hands?

The actions of the group are deviating substantially from their own mission statement. The gross dissimilarity between words and actions can be viewed by looking at the group’s Facebook page:

#BlackLivesMatter is an online forum intended to build connections between Black people and our allies… to facilitate the types of connections necessary to encourage social action and engagement.

It would seem that “allies” are under a very finite criteria considering the attacks against Sanders’ campaign. If the definition of ally is getting thinner then the definition of enemy must be eclipsing it.

Still, to speak out against the actions of Black Lives Matter leaves one open to the regular insults of being racist and a bigot. Conservative television personality, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, was heavily criticized for doing just that. She is being berated for asking why the organization has not been labelled a “hate group”. Hasselbeck was referring to a particular protest at which they were chanting, “Fry ‘em like bacon! Pigs in a blanket!”, about the police doing the routine job of supervising the protest. Just the day before a Texas deputy was shot while pumping gas. The group contends that it was not meant to be violent, but to draw attention to their cause. Keep in mind that Hate Speech is defined as any communication that presents a clear and present danger. Does chanting to “fry” police officers while organized into a mob not suggest danger? A real question remains about whether or not the #BlackLivesMatter movement is fueling senseless violence against those in law enforcement.

Four police officers have been slain in the last two weeks just while going about regular duties. Not just the Texas deputy, Darren Goforth, who was shot 15 times. On August 26th, in Los Angeles, officer Harry Nelson was murdered. Two days before that a Louisiana state trooper was shot in the head after stopping to help someone stuck in a ditch. As recently as Tuesday of this week, a manhunt is being conducted to find the killers of a veteran police officer in northern Chicago.

It doesn’t seem like #BlackLivesMatter will be slowing down anytime soon and has a dwindling comprehension of who is on their side. The very real threat to law enforcement will most likely grow in tandem as tension between those who have sworn to protect and serve and those whom they have sworn to protect and serve is exacerbated.

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