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Racism in America - Page 8  Racism prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against a person or people on the basis of their membership in a particular racial or ethnic group, typically one that is a minority or marginalized.

Learn more about racism in America, the events, the laws, the violence and how racism helped shape America.

Racism in the United States has been widespread since the colonial era. Legally or socially sanctioned privileges and rights were given to white Americans but denied to all other races. The KKK, white mobs and other white supremacist groups have killed more Americans than terrorist have. The KKK may have given up their sheets for suites and changed their name to the alt-right or other names to hide who they are, but at their core, they are white people who hate black people, people whose skin is not white and Jews. White Racist Have Been Killing and Terrorizing Black People for Over 150 Years; if black lives mattered in America, the KKK and other white supremacist groups would be branded as the domestic terrorist groups they are and government resources would be devoted to combating them. #WhiteSupremacist, #WhiteNationalist, #RightWingExtremists, #KKK,#Racism, #Hate

How America's Structural Racism Helped Create the Black-White Wealth Gap. The already large racial wealth gap between white and black American households grew even wider after the Great Recession. Targeted policies are necessary to reverse this deepening divide.

By Doug Criss and Leah Asmelash, CNN

(CNN) - It was the last thing anyone was expecting. Former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger had just been sentenced to 10 years in prison for fatally shooting a black man, Botham Jean, in his own apartment. Jean's younger brother Brandt Jean was on the witness stand Wednesday, giving a victim-impact statement, when he turned to the judge and made a most unusual request. "I don't know if this is possible, but can I give her a hug, please?" he asked. What happened next stunned both the courtroom and the nation. Jean stepped off the witness stand and stepped over to Guyger. The two hugged for nearly a minute. "I forgive you. And I know if you go to God and ask Him, He will forgive you," Jean told Guyger. "I think giving your life to Christ is the best thing Botham would want for you."

This isn't the first time a black victim of violence has offered public forgiveness to the perpetrator. Some relatives of the nine victims in the 2015 Charleston, South Carolina, church shooting publicly forgave killer Dylann Roof just a few days after the massacre. The mother of Walter Scott, an unarmed man who was gunned down by a South Carolina police officer that same year, told CNN's Anderson Cooper that she felt "forgiveness in my heart." But many other black victims, including the mother of Michael Brown, slain in 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri, are not so quick to absolve. And not everyone agrees with this method of instant and public forgiveness. Trayvon Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton, said earlier this year she has not been able to forgive George Zimmerman for killing her son in Florida in 2012. "I think black people are not forced to forgive, but they are expected to forgive, because there are so many times where we have forgiven people who have done mean, evil, and nasty things to us," she told Essence magazine.

Here's a look at why some people -- black and white alike -- opt to forgive, while others refuse. It's part of their Christian faith: Forgiveness is mentioned many times in the Bible and is a pinnacle of the Christian faith. "Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you," reads Ephesians 4:32. Another verse, Matthew 6:14, goes further: "For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you." These sentiments of forgiveness are reiterated again and again throughout the Bible, and Botham's family is quite acquainted with this Christian tradition. Like his brother, Brandt was raised in the Church of Christ in St. Lucia, where his family lives. His mother, Allison Jean, gave all of her three children Biblical middle names. Botham Jean's middle name was Shem, who was a son of Noah. Brandt's middle name is Samuel, after a prophet in the Old Testament.

A 52-year-old case is closed — unsolved. The Justice Department said it closed a 52-year investigation into the deaths of three activists killed while registering black voters in Mississippi. A look back at the case.

A high school teacher resigned from an Illinois high school after he was exposed by anti-racism activists as a cyber-racist, which is like regular racism but for white cowards who can only espouse their hate when they are far from negroes and have a good wi-fi connection. Online sleuths found a number of posts reportedly penned by the educator bragging about indoctrinating students with white nationalist ideology, finally answering the burning question: “What do racists put on their W-2s?” Kevin Pummill was a mild-mannered, unassuming teacher at Pekin Community High School in Pekin, Ill. But according to Identify Evropa, a website dedicated to outing white supremacists online, he was allegedly known as “Undercover Academic,” a pro-white social studies teacher who informed students at his lily-white school about the dangers of race mixing, Mexicans and—of course—the Jews. He also boasted about bringing his wife into the fold of white supremacy and lamented the number of non-white kids trick or treating in his neighborhood.

In his everyday life, Stephen Arnquist was a typical high school teacher. Since 2018, he has worked at Skyline High School in Dallas, Texas, whose student body is 99 percent non-white. Like many white men, he enjoyed activities such as balancing his sunglasses on the bill of his baseball cap, standing for the national anthem, wondering about Chicago and boasting about his Caucasian heritage. But Stephen Arnquist is also allegedly a white supremacist. To most people, Arnquist’s public persona came across like a store-brand white man. But online, it was as if the 33-year-old Japanese teacher had transformed himself from Dollar Tree Clark Kent into a super racist. Luckily, the instructor’s internet antics had been carefully concealed until an online group exposed Arnquist’s alleged white supremacist identity with the one element that could piece his cyber-Nazi armor. On Tuesday, Eugene Antifa, an anti-fascist group dedicated to outing white supremacists, published information connecting Arnquist to multiple hate groups and neo-Nazi websites, including Identity Evropa, Stormfront and American Renaissance. However, the post did not indicate if Arnquist was tied to the granddaddy of all extremist sites—Facebook.

Michael Steele made history when he became the first African-American chair of the Republican National Convention in 2009. Steele served in that role until 2011 and he likely wasn’t expecting to make headlines while in attendance at this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference outside Washington, D.C. Then, this happened at the event’s annual Ronald Reagan dinner. “We were somewhat lost as a group, we had just elected the first African-American president, and that was a big deal and that was a hill that we got over and it was something that we were all proud of and we weren’t sure what to do, and in a little bit of cynicism what did we do? This is a terrible thing. We elected Mike Steele to be the RNC chair because he’s a black guy, that was the wrong thing to do.” —Ian Walters, CPAC Communications Director. Steele’s response to the remarks have ranged from refusing to accept an apology from CPAC officials to agreeing that the Republican Party has a “racism problem.” A 2016 Pew Research survey reveals that only about 7 percent of African-Americans identify as or lean Republican, even after the GOP’s efforts (including the selection of Steele as RNC head) to appeal to more black voters.

As some conservatives rhetorically wrestle with the racists in their ranks, they seem to keep avoiding the first step in ousting them.
by Michael Tomasky

This may surprise you, if you haven’t been following it, but a pretty interesting dialogue has opened up on the right about whether it’s possible to build a conservative movement free of racism. I know. It sounds like trying to build a coal industry without pollution. But the conversation has been—to a point—encouraging. I’m going to walk you through the recent phases of the argument so you’re right up to speed. It all began with a well-reported piece that appeared on the left-leaning web site Splinter, in which reporter Hannah Gais obtained some emails back and forth among some people in the conservative universe; none of them tier-one figures you see on cable a lot, but nevertheless people who occupy fairly prominent positions. I won’t try to summarize the whole thing, but just to give you a little taste, Gais was leaked a 2015 email in which one rightie writes to another: “In public places we avoid using certain terms. Like N and K. N’s are Alaskans. Hebes are Hawaiians.” Like that. Writing off that story, conservative Tim Carney in the Washington Examiner wrote that while liberals too often caricature all conservatives as racist, sometimes these charges are true, as the Splinter story proves, and that it’s on conservatives to deal with that. Carney’s headline states the admirable goal: “It’s time to build a conservative ecosystem that doesn’t welcome racists.”   

House Republicans could have rejected the president’s xenophobia. Instead, they went with it.
By John Nichols

Donald Trump’s assertion that four progressive Democratic congresswomen of color should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came” was racist and xenophobic. On Tuesday evening, the US House of Representatives rejected it as such, voting 240 to 187 for a resolution that “strongly condemns President Donald Trump’s racist comments that have legitimized and increased fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color.” The condemnation of Trump should have been unanimous. And it was, on one side of the aisle. All 235 House Democrats voted for it. But just four Republicans (Will Hurd of Texas, Fred Upton of Michigan, Susan Brooks of Indiana, and Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania) joined in the condemnation, as did a former Republican who has left the party because of his objections to Trump and Trumpism, Justin Amash of Michigan.

The overwhelming majority of House Republicans, including the party’s key House leaders and ranking committee members, formed the group of 187 that rejected appropriate and necessary criticism of the president. In so doing, they identified themselves and their party with Trump’s racism and xenophobia. This was a choice—a definitional choice. It delighted Trump, who tweeted: “So great to see how unified the Republican Party was on today’s vote concerning statements I made about four Democrat Congresswomen.” The president, with his boundless self-absorption, had reason to be pleased. If and when historians point to the moment when “the party of Lincoln” formally degenerated into the party of Trump, and all that Trump stands for, they will be hard-pressed to find a better illustration than the night when 98 percent of House Republicans gave racism and xenophobia a pass. Of course, that degeneration began long ago. This is the party that welcomed Strom Thurmond into its ranks in in 1964.

The Thibodaux massacre was a racial attack mounted by white paramilitary groups in Thibodaux, Louisiana in November 1887. It followed a three-week strike during the critical harvest season by an estimated 10,000 workers against sugar cane plantations in four parishes: Lafourche, Terrebonne, St. Mary, and Assumption parishes. The strike was the largest in the industry and the first conducted by a formal labor organization, the Knights of Labor. At planters' requests, the state sent in militia to protect strikebreakers, and work resumed on some plantations. Black workers and their families were evicted from plantations in Lafourche and Terrebonne parishes and retreated to Thibodaux. Tensions broke out in violence on November 23, 1887, and the local white paramilitary forces attacked black workers and their families in Thibodaux. Although the total number of casualties is unknown, at least 35 black people were killed in the next three days (more historians believe 50 were killed) and as many as 300 overall killed, wounded or missing, making it one of the most violent labor disputes in U.S. history. Victims reportedly included elders, women and children. All those killed were African American. The massacre, and passage by white Democrats of discriminatory state legislation, including disenfranchisement of most blacks, ended the organizing of sugar workers for decades, until the 1940s. According to Eric Arnesen, "The defeated sugar workers returned to the plantations on their employers' terms."

The decision of Senator Strom Thurmond of South Carolina to change his political affiliation from Democratic to Republican has at least candor and consistency to recommend it. Beginning in 1948 when Mr. Thurmond was the Presidential candidate of the States Rights third party, many Southern Democrats in Congress have tacitly or avowedly defected from their party's national ticket every four years. As soon as the election was over, these same Southern Congressmen have turned up on Capitol Hill to claim the committee chairmanships and the other perquisites that the seniority system confers on members wearing the majority party label. Senator Thurmond's action cuts through this hypocrisy. It may even embolden the Democratic leadership in Congress to abandon the feeble doctrine that “anyone is a Democrat who says he is” and thus organize legislative committees according to some principles of party responsibility. The immediate political consequences of Mr. Thurmond's bolt are not likely to be impressive. His active espousal of Senator Goldwater's candidacy may enable the Republicans to capture South Carolina's eight electoral votes, a modest prize that has narrowly eluded them in each of the last three Presidential elections. However, since General Eisenhower could not carry the state, even this is doubtful. Elsewhere in the South, Senator Thurmond's appeal is confined to the diehard white supremacists, most of whom have already adopted Mr. Goldwater as their hero.

By Alex Lockie

President Richard Nixon in 1971 declared a US "war on drugs" that hasn't saved the US from the dangers of drugs, but has fueled migrant crises and the mass incarceration of minorities in the US. A top Nixon aide told an author that the policy was specifically designed to target opposition to Nixon: Blacks and Hippies. Today, hundreds of thousands of people of color languish in jail for drug charges as the US's seemingly insatiable appetite for drugs wreaks havoc on countries in Latin America, fuelling humanitarian crises at the border and far beyond it. President Richard Nixon in 1971 declared a US "war on drugs" that, over the decades, fueled mass incarceration and the crisis at the US's southern border without preventing Americans from accessing dangerous drugs, and one of his top aides say it's because it was a racist policy implemented as a power grab. Criminalizing possession of drugs like heroin and marijuana was intended to "disrupt" two of the biggest anti-establishment forces that opposed Nixon, one of his top advisors later admitted. Nixon, the only US president to resign in scandal, presided over the waning days of the Vietnam war, a relentlessly brutal fight over far away lands that nominally represented a fight between the free world and communism.

The Guardian - In the Emmy-nominated virtual reality project, viewers are given an immersive historical experience on the depressingly topical dangers of being black in America. The theatre has luxurious red velvet upholstered seats, grand ceilings and gilded trimmings. The rows of chairs stretch back into the ostensible blackness, with light beaming from the projector room. Ahead, archival footage of stylish black travelers pack the screen as an unseen narrator discusses the hardships of mid-20th-century black travel. Enabled by modern technology but trapped by racist social convention, their trips were eventually greatly eased by the publication of the Green Book, which listed safe spaces for black people to sleep, eat and replenish.

A car gradually appears next to the stage in black and white and a Green Book institution, Washington DC’s Ben’s Chili Bowl, comes into view. The seats have dissipated into a silent, empty U Street. For the next 20 minutes, the viewer will journey through the traumatic stories lent to Emmy-nominated virtual reality documentary Traveling While Black, which discusses the agony and trepidation of a people moving through a country that has not fully accepted them. Traveling While Black is the first virtual reality project by Oscar-winning documentarian Roger Ross Williams, in collaboration with virtual reality studio Felix and Paul Studios. Glued together by the deep terror of racism, the documentary relies on a collection of interviews and poetic cinematic recreations to tell the harrowing tale of the danger that comes with having black skin. Originally developed from a play as a multimedia project, someone suggested it might take better life as virtual reality project. Even so, its initial development was rocky.

“It was tough figuring out the landscape because everything is so new,” Williams said. “At one point, this piece was going to be animated. At one point, we wrote a script and were talking to actors...” But all parties agree that the story works best told through documentary film-making. “Documentaries are a lot more immediately mature as a medium of virtual reality, as a genre, as a format than fiction. We saw that this was too sensitive of a shoot to be experimenting with,” said Paul Raphael of Felix and Paul Studios. “We really wanted to do the material justice. It’s not the kind of subject you want to approach and not be respectful of.”

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