Tag Archives: Racism

Brazil’s Indigenous peoples survived Bolsonaro. Now Lula has won, what next?

Bolsonaro’s genocidal policies devastated Indigenous communities. After four years of trauma, they can breathe again

By Sarah Shenker.  Published 2-3-2023 by openDemocracy.

Indigenous women in Brazil have led protests during Bolsonaro’s rule.. Photo: Survival International

The news broke on 28 October 2018. Through the crackle and hiss of the radio, we made out one sentence: “Jair Bolsonaro has been elected president of Brazil.”

It was a long way from Brasília to Maçaranduba, an Indigenous community in the Amazon rainforest, but the significance of the news was clear. Some of our Awá and Tenetehar friends paced up and down, others held their heads in their hands. One let out a visceral scream, before reaching for a bottle of sugarcane spirit. Continue reading

Share Button

Pain of police killings ripples outward to traumatize Black people and communities across US

RowVaughn Wells, in gray jacket, mother of Tyre Nichols, who died after being beaten by Memphis police officers, is with friends and family members at the conclusion of a candlelight vigil for Tyre, in Memphis, Tenn., on Jan. 26, 2023.
AP Photo/Gerald Herbert

 

Denise A. Herd, University of California, Berkeley

As the video goes public of Black police officers in Memphis beating Tyre Nichols to death, it is a stark reminder of George Floyd’s murder by a Minneapolis police officer in 2020. That set up the largest protests in U.S. history and a national reckoning with racism.

But beyond any protests, every police killing – indeed, every violent act by police toward civilians – can have painful and widespread consequences.

Each year, U.S. police kill about 1,000 people, which equals approximately 8% of all homicides for adult men. This risk is greater for Black men, who are about 2.5 times more likely to be killed by the police than white men. Continue reading

Share Button

EPA Allowing Vast Oil Refinery Waste to Pollute US Waterways

“It’s high time for EPA to crack down on the toxic pollution from oil refineries that’s threatening both wildlife and human health,” said one environmental justice advocate.

By Kenny Stancil  Published 1-26-2023 by Common Dreams

Exxon Mobil Refinery in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Photo: WClarke/Wikimedia Commons/CC

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is failing to uphold its legal obligation to regulate the nearly half-billion gallons of toxic wastewater that petroleum refineries dump into the nation’s waterways on a daily basis, according to an exhaustive study published Thursday.

The Environmental Integrity Project (EIP), a watchdog founded by former EPA enforcement attorneys, analyzed publicly available records and found that in 2021 alone, the 81 refineries across the U.S. that discharge into rivers, streams, and estuaries released 1.6 billion pounds of chlorides, sulfates, and other dissolved solids harmful to aquatic life; 15.7 million pounds of algae-feeding nitrogen; 60,000 pounds of selenium, which can cause mutations in fish; and other pollutants, including cyanide; heavy metals such as arsenic, chromium, copper, lead, mercury, nickel, and zinc; and petrochemicals like benzene. Continue reading

Share Button

‘2022 Was Deadly’: Killings of Journalists Jumped by Nearly 50%

The deadliest year for media workers since 2018 was driven in large part by the war in Ukraine and a rise in killings in Latin America.

By Julia Conley.  Published 1-25-2023 by Common Dreams

The funeral of journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in Ramallah. Photo: YouTube/Wikimedia Commons/CC

Driven in large part by Russia’s war in Ukraine and a rise in violence in Latin America, 2022 was the deadliest year for journalists in four years and saw nearly a 50% increase in murders, killings in crossfire, and deaths as the result of dangerous assignments, according to a report released Tuesday.

In its annual report on the killings of members of the press, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) confirmed that at least 41 journalists and media workers were killed in direct connection to their work, including nearly two dozen who were murdered in retaliation for their work. The group is still investigating the motives for the killings to 26 other journalists, bringing the total number of media workers killed last year to 67. Continue reading

Share Button

‘Free the Books,’ Say Opponents of New Florida Law as Teachers Remove or Cover Libraries

“Florida considers books to be more dangerous to students than assault rifles,” noted one observer. “This is truly a dystopian state.”

By Brett Wilkins.  Published 1-24-2023 by Common Dreams

A anonymous Manatee County, Florida middle school teacher shared this photo of a covered classroom library with students’ demands to “Free the Books” and another sign designating a “safe zone” for in the event of a shooting. (Photo: Tamara Solum/Facebook)

Teachers in at least one Florida county this week began removing or covering books in their classrooms to avoid running afoul of a new law requiring every volume to be vetted by a state-trained “media specialist”—violation of which could result in felony charges.

The Sarasota Herald-Tribune reports the Manatee County School District has directed teachers to remove all books that have not been approved by a specialist, who will ensure that all titles are “free of pornography,” are “appropriate for the age level and group,” and contain no “unsolicited theories that may lead to student indoctrination.” Continue reading

Share Button

How the distortion of Martin Luther King Jr.‘s words enables more, not less, racial division within American society

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. addresses a cheering crowd in Cleveland, Ohio, on July 27, 1965.
Bettmann/Getty Images

 

Hajar Yazdiha, USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences

U.S. Rep. Chip Roy of Texas is just the latest conservative lawmaker to misuse the words of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. to judge a person on character and not race.

In the protracted battle to elect Rep. Kevin McCarthy as speaker of the House, Roy, a Republican, nominated a Black man, Byron Donalds, a two-term representative from Florida who had little chance of winning the seat. Considered a rising star in the GOP, Donalds has opposed the very things that King fought for and ultimately was assassinated for – nonviolent demonstrations and voting rights protections. Continue reading

Share Button

Federal Court Orders South Carolina to Redraw Racially Gerrymandered Congressional Maps

“It’s time for the South Carolina Legislature to adopt a map that allows us ALL to fairly participate in our democracy,” the ACLU asserted.

By Brett Wilkins.  Published 1-6-2023 by Common Dreams

Photo: Pix4Free.org

A portion of South Carolina’s Republican-drawn congressional map discriminates against Black voters and must be redrawn, federal judges ruled Friday to applause from civil rights groups.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. District Court for South Carolina in Columbia found that “race was the predominant motivating factor in the General Assembly’s design of Congressional District No. 1 and that traditional districting principles were subordinated to race.” Continue reading

Share Button

Nobody loved you, 2022

From devastating floods in Pakistan to Italy’s far-right PM to overturning Roe v Wade, this was a year of extremes

By Adam Ramsay  Published 12-30-2022 by openDemocracy

A flooded village in Matiari, in the Sindh province of Pakistan. Photo: Asad Zaidi/UNICEF

How do you turn 365 days experienced by eight billion people – and billions more other beings – into some kind of story?

Maybe you start with some events?

In which case, 2022 was the year that Covid vaccines kicked in. Daily global deaths hit 77,000 on 7 February, and have declined fairly steadily ever since. It was the year Russia invaded Ukraine, the first war between major European powers since 1945. Continue reading

Share Button

Developers Found Graves in the Virginia Woods. Authorities Then Helped Erase the Historic Black Cemetery

The cemetery’s disappearance cleared the way for the expansion of a Microsoft data center, despite layers of federal and state regulations nominally intended to protect culturally significant sites.

by Seth Freed Wessler.  Published 12-16-2022 by ProPublica

Microsoft’s Boydton Data Center in Mecklenburg County. Photo: Data Center Knowledge

ProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. Sign up for The Big Story newsletter to receive stories like this one in your inbox.

Nobody working to bring a $346 million Microsoft project to rural Virginia expected to find graves in the woods. But in a cluster of yucca plants and cedar that needed to be cleared, surveyors happened upon a cemetery. The largest of the stones bore the name Stephen Moseley, “died December 3, 1930,” in a layer of cracking plaster. Another stone, in near perfect condition and engraved with a branch on the top, belonged to Stephen’s toddler son, Fred, who died in 1906.

“This is not as bad as it sounds,” an engineering consultant wrote in March 2014 to Microsoft and to an official in Mecklenburg County, Virginia, who was helping clear hurdles for the project — an expansion of a massive data center. “We should be able to relocate these graves.” Continue reading

Share Button

A Trump-era law used to restrict immigration is nearing its end despite GOP warnings of a looming crisis at the Southern border

Hundreds of asylum-seekers gather on the banks of the Rio Grande to enter the U.S. on Dec. 12, 2022.
Jose Zamora/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

 

Ernesto Castañeda, American University

A key component of the Trump administration’s anti-immigration policies is currently set to expire on Dec. 21, 2022.

Officially called Title 42 of the U.S. Code, the little-known law was established initially in 1944 to prevent the spread of influenza and allow authorities to bar entry to foreigners deemed to be at risk of spreading the disease.

In March 2020, on the recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, then-President Donald Trump invoked the law to minimize the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Continue reading

Share Button