Republican racism

COVID 19 is devastating minority populations in NC

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Forsyth County's LatinX community is suffering at an alarming rate:

COVID-19 is surging through the Latinx community in Forsyth County with a ferocity that lays bare challenging employment and housing realities that make it difficult for many members of the community to protect themselves from the virus.

Latinx people account for 68.1 percent of COVID-19 positive cases recorded by the Forsyth County Public Health Department, but only 13.0 percent of the county’s overall population, according to the most recent Census numbers, although some say that their actual share of the population is higher. Six out of 25 people who have died from COVID-19 in Forsyth County — 24 percent — are Latinx.

I wanted to highlight this particular problem, but I also wanted to give a hat-tip to NC's independent news outlets, which (very often) give us a deeper look into issues that mainstream media tends to fly over. Triad City Beat was formed from former Yes Weekly contributors, and has done some astounding work since then. But they are also under attack by anonymous actors, having their Facebook page closed down a few times in the last week. Here's more on this story:

Chief public defender in Fayetteville resigns over racist social media post

With friends like this, black defendants don't need enemies:

Cumberland County Chief Public Defender Bernard Condlin submitted a letter of resignation Wednesday after coming under scrutiny for posting a meme on his personal Facebook page showing people being assaulted with water cannons. His resignation is effective June 30.

The words “The next riot at the Market House” appeared with the post before it was removed. It appeared to refer to a May 30 incident at the Market House that followed a peaceful march held to protest the death of George Floyd while in police custody.

It's even worse than just the firehose gif. In the comment section on the Facebook post, he jokes about them setting themselves on fire, and then getting the government to pay for their medical treatment. Trump has really brought the racists out of the closet, hasn't he? People are saying and doing things they would have been way too ashamed to do in the past, and these apologies just don't cut it:

Beware the right-wing misinformation campaigns

Now they've discovered neighborhood chat rooms:

And in Raleigh this week, a message that was posted to neighborhood boards and texted amongst people suggested that “antifa” planned to come into wealthy areas and steal from residents.

“Antifa may be heading into the wealthy neighborhoods tonight to take what should be theirs,” one text said on June 2.

That was in Raleigh, but one that was eerily similar surfaced in Greensboro in the last week, specifically mentioning Old Irving Park as the targeted neighborhood. Mayor Vaughan has been trying to choke this thing for several days, and of course she is being blamed for helping spread the rumor:

Psychopaths on parade in Raleigh threaten assistant DA's family

The police should have been all over this unhinged racist:

The white, male demonstrator who met up with Thomas and his family in the crosswalk stuck out his right arm with his palm open. Thomas, who is black, interpreted it as a Nazi salute. A Raleigh-based pro-Second Amendment group called Blue Igloo, which live-streamed the demonstration and posted it online, has said that the gesture was not a Nazi salute.

Beth Thomas ducked away from the man and asked that he keep his distance. His response isn’t heard on the video. Deonte Thomas said he heard the following exchange involving his wife: “My wife had told him to back up and he said something to the effect that, well, I can hit you from here. I can get you from here.”

This nonsense has become intolerable. Who does that? I mean, aside from the obvious racist overtones in this confrontation, who threatens a family with small children in strollers? The answer is, somebody whose racism runs so deep he doesn't consider black children as being human. Dude needs to be found and arrested for communicating a threat, and then given an intense mental health evaluation. Because if he's crazy enough to pull that stunt on camera, god knows what he would do if no witnesses were around.

Mapping NC's school-to-prison pipeline

Prejudice lies at every turn in the road:

The SCSJ used 2018-19 suspension data from the state’s 115 school districts to compile its report, which provides a “snapshot” of the so-called school-to-prison pipeline in each district. The pipeline is described as the system of policies and practices that push students out of school and into the juvenile and adult criminal justice system,

“The pipeline has three key entry points; academic failure, school discipline and court involvement,” SCJS researchers wrote. “Students of color are over-represented at each entry point to the pipeline in almost every school district in North Carolina, and once students enter the pipeline it can be difficult for them to re-engage and be successful at school.” Last year, the SCSJ found that Black students were 4.3 times more likely than white students to be suspended from school.

I had an unsettling conversation recently with a former teacher (white), which started out with, "You can't do anything for them, they won't let you!" As I probed a little deeper, it turned out this teacher would call on her black students for answers at the same rate as her white students. But since there were only 4-5 black students in her classes, compared to 20+ whites, that meant each black student was called upon every other day, if not every day. This particular teacher thought this was fair, and that she was (genuinely) trying to help them. But it's very likely her expectations of their potential success was clouded:

Wake Forest President apologizes for its treatment of slaves

Pay close attention, UNC Chapel Hill:

“I apologize for the exploitation and use of enslaved people — both those known and unknown — who helped create and build this university through no choice of their own,” he said.

“Our founder and all of the antebellum presidents owned enslaved people,” Hatch said, adding that many trustees were slaveholders and that students too “perpetuated slavery.” He said that slaves helped build and maintain the college and that as many as 16 slaves were sold to the benefit of Wake Forest.

This is an especially important step for Wake Forest to take, since the last few years have seen an uptick in White Supremacist harassment of faculty and students. Most of that has been via e-mail, but that doesn't equate to "harmless." It's just a different medium. This apology is only a part of Wake Forest's commitment for racial equity:

Lies, damn lies, and Silent Sham

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Now (finally) the payoff before the payoff is under scrutiny:

Days before that deal was approved, UNC leaders struck a side deal with the SCV for $74,999, purportedly to keep the group from displaying any Confederate flags or other banners during any demonstrations on UNC system campuses for five years. But Boyd Sturges, the SCV's attorney, later acknowledged that the money was passed through to the United Daughters of the Confederacy so the SCV could stake an ownership claim to Silent Sam. The UDC had paid some money to have the statue put on the Chapel Hill campus in the early 1900s.

The side agreement was put in place in case the $2.5 million settlement deal fell apart, according to Sturges, and Baddour didn’t address it when he threw out the main settlement.

Bolding mine, because that is exactly the opposite reason for that stealth $74,999 payment. The money was paid to facilitate the ownership transfer (between a husband and wife, if you can believe it), in order to ensure that the Sons of Confederate Veterans would have the standing they needed to move forward with the lawsuit. The big question is, was the UNC BOG aware of that subterfuge? If they were aware, they engaged in fraud and misdirection by cooking up a cover story for the expenditure of public funds. And not only did they misuse public funds, they did so in an effort to deceive and suborn NC's court system, as well. This case is begging for a formal investigation, and sooner rather than later.

Proud Boy organizes rally at high school for Trump cheerleaders

These guys are popping up everywhere:

Jeremy Onitreb, who told The Washington Post in Facebook messages he is not a student and does not have any relationship with anyone on the cheer squad, is organizing a free-speech rally on Friday across from the school. As of Tuesday afternoon, more than 130 people have said they’re going and more than 950 people have said they’re interested in attending the event Onitreb created on Facebook.

“The truth is if there were a Bernie 2020 or Biden 2020 [sign] and conservatives complained, nothing would have been done at all,” Onitreb said. “It’s only because of the name Trump that there was ever an issue.”

Of course the right-wing nutters are up in arms about this, but it's really not a 1st Amendment issue. Had those girls not been in uniform, I doubt anyone would have even noticed, or taken any disciplinary actions. But they were, and that crosses several lines. Of course if you're an idiot like Richard Hudson, somebody needs to spell that out for you:

Racial Injustice: NC Supreme Court to decide Death Row cases

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Elections definitely have consequences:

With the racial-justice act out of the picture, the state appealed the re-sentencings in the four cases that had been decided under it, and in 2015, the North Carolina Supreme Court sent the cases back for further review, because the state had not been given enough time to respond to the Michigan State study on biased juror strikes.

Shortly after, state officials disregarded the state Supreme Court’s order and returned the four plaintiffs to death row without a court holding hearings or considering new evidence or arguments. The state still has not provided any explanation for the racial discrepancy in juror strikes, arguing only that the repeal of the law means the plaintiffs go back to death row.

This is (or should be) really a no-brainer for the Supreme Court. Prosecutors ignored their instructions to let the courts straighten things out, and in doing so, they literally usurped those judicial powers. The RJA cases *did not* free those inmates, they would still be incarcerated for life (without parole). And NC's defacto moratorium on executions should not be even considered in these cases. That could change at the drop of a hat, with unfairly prosecuted citizens receiving lethal injections. Once again for those in the back:

Leading while Black: Charlotte Council members get racist hate mail

Trump's rhetoric is dangerous, and spreading:

More than a dozen city leaders, all of them African American except for one, received a letter in the mail to their respective offices that was threatening and racist. Now, police are taking a close look. "If I can assume the intent, the intent was to intimidate," Councilman Braxton Winston said.

The letter read in part, "...Each of you despicable BLACK democrats should be tarred and feathered and run out of town (my town) on a rail..." It blamed African Americans for various things, praised President Donald Trump and used a phrase that was chanted by his supporters at a North Carolina rally earlier this year: "Send her back"

Even if I didn't agree with Braxton's assumption (I do), his background in Anthropology makes that more than just an assumption, it's a studied assessment. But for people like the letter writer, none of that matters. He's Black, and that is an irredeemable trait. It's important to understand that, before any time is wasted by looking at the attitude or performance or potential character flaws of those who have been threatened. We have an almost automatic impulse to argue against such, to present reasons why these bigots are wrong, but that's like trying to groom a skunk. You'll stink for days after the effort, and the skunk will still be a hot mess.

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