Category Archives: Race

Fatal Stabbing of Black Student at University of Maryland Investigated as Possible Hate Crime

The FBI is helping to evaluate whether the fatal stabbing by a white student of a black student visiting the University of Maryland will be prosecuted as a hate crime, university police said Sunday.

Richard Wilbur Collins III was with two friends on the university’s campus in College Park when he was approached by a man and stabbed in the chest with a knife Saturday morning, University of Maryland Police Chief David Mitchell told reporters.

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Image: twitter

The 23-year-old had been commissioned as a lieutenant in the US Army two days before his death and had been set to graduate from Bowie State University (BSU) on Tuesday in a ceremony at Maryland, Mitchell said.

The University of Maryland student suspected of Collins’s killing was a member of a Facebook group named Alt Reich, Mitchell said.

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US immigrant population at record level, with Asians set to overtake Hispanics – study

A new study finds that the immigrant population in the US has reached an all-time high, with more immigrants arriving from Asian countries than anywhere else. If the trend continues, Asians will make up a majority of immigrants in the US.

On Wednesday, the Pew Research Center released a study that used data from their previous statistical portraits of the immigrant population in the US from 1960 through 2015 in order to answer some questions about the current state of the immigrant population.

The data showed that while there were a record 43.2 million immigrants living in the US in 2015, there was a greater concentration of immigrants in the country in 1890, when 9.2 million immigrants comprised 14.8 percent of the total population.

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The immigrant population has been growing in the US since 1970, when they only made up 4.7 percent of the total population. The study cited the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act as the tipping point.

READ MORE: Mexican illegal immigrant population in US lowest since 2009 – study

The study shows that the majority of the immigrants in the country are legal, with 24 percent of the population considered “unauthorized.” That population tripled from 3.5 million in 1990 to an all-time high of 12.2 million in 2007. That number dropped to 11 million by 2015, when unauthorized immigrants accounted for 3.4 percent of the total US population, according to the study.

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By origin country, immigrants from Mexico make up 27 percent of the total immigrant population, the largest population from any single country. In a distant second, immigrants from China and India each make up 6 percent of the immigrant population.

Asians, however, are predicted to become the largest immigrant population in the US by 2055, according to the study. In 2065, Asians are expected to make up 38 percent of the immigration population, while Hispanics will only account for 31 percent.

In 2015, India was the top origin country for immigrants arriving in the US, with 110,000 people coming to America that year. When taken by region, immigrants from south and east Asia make up 27 percent of all immigrants, the same share as Mexico.

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The study claims around 1 million immigrants arrive in the US each year, and they are projected to make up 88 percent of the population growth in the US through 2065 if current trends continue.

Nearly half of the immigrants living in the US reside in just three states, with 25 percent in California, 11 percent in Texas and 10 percent in New York. California had around 10.7 million immigrants in 2015, according to the study.

The majority of immigrants live in just 20 major cities, with the largest populations in New York City, Los Angeles and Miami.

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The study found that immigrants were less educated on average, but half of the immigrants over the age of five were considered “English proficient” in 2015, according to the Pew study.

Immigrants make up 17 percent of the total labor force, with 8 million unauthorized immigrants. Nearly half of the unauthorized immigrants work in either service or construction jobs.

Former President Barack Obama deported around 3 million immigrants between 2009 and 2016, more than former President George W. Bush, who deported 2 million between 2001 and 2008.

While the number of deportations went up slightly in 2016, Americans’ views of immigrants have significantly improved with the majority, 63 percent, saying immigrants strengthen the country “because of their hard work and talents.” That same view was only held by 31 percent of Americans in 1994.

From RT

Posted by The NON-Conformist

Killer Cops Get Immunity, No Matter Who’s in the White House

 

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Image: africanamerican.org

Two courtroom events this week serve to remind us that, no matter which party’s president is in the White House, the right to life and liberty does not apply on the streets of Black America, where the police enjoy effective immunity from prosecution. On Tuesday, the U.S. Justice Department announced that it would not file charges in the death of Alton Sterling, the 37 year-old Black man who was shot to death by cops while helpless on the ground in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, last year. Also on Tuesday, the Justice Department and South Carolina officials accepted a former cop’s guilty plea to the charge of using excessive force when he shot 50 year-old Walter Scott five times, while he was running away after a traffic stop, in North Charleston, South Carolina. Both killings were recorded in gruesome detail on video. But, when it comes to killer cops, the best of evidence is never enough.

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New Orleans Starts Tearing Down Confederate Monuments, Sparking Protest

New Orleans officials removed the first of four prominent Confederate monuments early Monday, the latest Southern institution to sever itself from symbols viewed by many as a representation racism and white supremacy.

The first memorial to come down was the Liberty Monument, an 1891 obelisk honoring the Crescent City White League.

Workers arrived to begin removing the statue, which commemorates whites who tried to topple a biracial post-Civil War government in New Orleans, around 1:25 a.m. in an attempt to avoid disruption from supporters who want the monuments to stay, some of whom city officials said have made death threats.

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu has called the Liberty Monument “the most offensive of the four” to be taken down, adding it was erected to “revere white supremacy.”

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Tumult After Judge Orders University To Host White Nationalist Richard Spencer

Protests erupted at Alabama’s Auburn University on Tuesday night, leaving one person bloodied and at least three arrested, after a federal judge’s order forced the school to host a speech by prominent white nationalist Richard Spencer, AL.com reported.

This sort of tumult was exactly what the public university hoped to avoid. While Auburn initially planned to allow the event, administrators canceled it on Friday out of concern about “threats to the safety of our students, faculty and staff.” Spencer took his case to the courts, and a federal judge ruled that the university had to allow the event to take place.

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“While Mr. Spencer’s beliefs and message are controversial, Auburn presented no evidence that Mr. Spencer advocates violence,” U.S. District Court Judge W. Keith Watkins said in his ruling, according to CNN, arguing that Spencer had the right to peaceable free speech.

Spencer has previously called for non-white Americans to leave the United States in a “peaceful ethnic cleansing.” He also made headlines after the presidential election for exclaiming “Hail Trump, hail our people, hail victory” at a white nationalist gathering in Washington, D.C.

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A Society Without Prisons: Envisioning the Radical Philosophy of Angela Davis

Over the past decade, we have experienced a resurgence of interest in social justice as the movement for Black lives continues to grow. Black Lives Matter and other activist networks have galvanized the public around issues of anti-Black racism and the over-representation of Black and brown people in American prisons. The prison industrial complex (PIC), a vast network of American government and industry interests, incarcerates more human beings than any other nation in the world. Over 60 percent of inmates are people of color. Women are the fastest-growing population among new prisoners. One in 10 Black men in their 30s is incarcerated in the U.S.

When considering the many-layered issues that produce the conditions for mass incarceration, Angela Davis’ philosophical contributions are critical to questioning the pervasiveness of the modern prison industrial complex. Davis calls for us to decolonize our ethics about justice and question both the morality and effectiveness of punishment for crime. This is necessary work if activists are to imagine alternate futures in which justice is restorative and prisons do not exist.

Present

The ’60s were drawing to a close when Davis began organizing work around prisons. She was outraged to learn that almost 200,000 individuals in America were locked away from their families. Less than three decades later, the number of inmates in America had multiplied by 10. San Quentin, California’s first state prison, was established in 1852. It took over 100 years for California’s first nine prisons to be erected. During the 1980s alone, California’s prisons doubled, making the Reagan era one of rapid prison expansion. One could assume that more prisons were being built to address a growing domestic crime problem, but Davis astutely notes that the prison expansion project was not positively correlated with rising crime rates.  In fact, prisons were multiplying during a time when crime rates had been falling. Additionally, evidence-based research continues to show that imprisonment is not the most effective method of keeping the public safe. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime reported that “…the overall use of imprisonment is rising throughout the world, while there is little evidence that its increasing use is improving public safety.” Despite this, the prison industry continued to grow. Today, the Prison Policy Initiative reports the total number of incarcerated human beings in the U.S. at near 2.3 million. This is staggering for a nation that contains only 5 percent of the world’s population. Still, this number is not an accurate reflection of the government’s power to detain and control people, which extends beyond the walls of federal, state and local correctional facilities. There are currently 840,000 people on parole and an additional 3.7 million individuals on probation.

When determining who goes to prison and who doesn’t, race matters. The likelihood of incarceration for Black women is 1 in 18 vs. 1 in 111 for white women. Davis argues that the prison industrial complex serves both economic and social functions. The government has allowed private corporations to contract work and services that the government used to provide. Inmates are utilized as a free labor force for companies. This surplus of able workers is taken from the margins of society — Black, brown, indigenous, poor, ill, etc. Racism, mysogynoir, homophobia, Orientalism and classism converge to funnel very vulnerable populations out of sight and out of mind. Since the primary determinants of America’s prison population are race, class and sex, people of African descent have a vested interest in building alternatives to the current structure and the eradication of the prison.

Future

By titling her book “Are Prisons Obsolete?”, Davis immediately confronts our natural attitudes toward the prison. Prisons are a social institution that, like slavery, were created, and can therefore be reformed and ultimately destroyed. Davis, an anti-prison activist, has spent much of her life’s work at the latter end of this spectrum. For most Americans, it is hard to fathom a society that does not use incarceration to punish offenders. However, beyond the current penal system are far more options for dealing with offenders than social and literal death.

Anti-prison activism considers the likelihood that attempts to reform the prison as it exists will not grasp at the roots of oppression, and that our creative efforts are better utilized in a broad approach that pulls up the oppressive fabric of the society we live in. Davis discourages us from looking to a singular institution to replace the prison structure entirely. Understanding the prison industrial complex as a network of government and private institutions, industries and agendas, activists must push for the structural changes that will relieve the causes of mass incarceration. For example, investing in education and eliminating the school-to-prison pipeline would have a tremendous effect on destabilizing the current prison system by reducing those at risk for incarceration. In addition to raising awareness about the current state of the PIC, and struggling for better conditions for the incarcerated, social justice activism is benefited by envisioning entirely new models of justice that are based on restoring community.

When dealing with such a radical, futurist project such as prison abolition, we have to address what such a vast and multi-pronged assault on this institution could look like, and what alternatives could be implemented in place of incarceration. Those who deal with the immediate issues of crime and violence in their communities and personal lives may struggle to envision how this could manifest. On one level, anti-prison activists can work on implementing strategies to reduce imprisonment systematically, such as decriminalizing non-violent offenses like drug use and sex work. On another, organizers can create structures that more efficiently deal with issues that lead to incarceration, gradually divesting our dependence on the criminal justice system. Using youth crime as an example, educators in underdeveloped schools and communities could work to ensure their schools are demilitarized. Parents and education professionals could collaborate, creating restorative justice programs within their schools as the first step to addressing problematic behaviors. These programs could function as preventative measures of diversion, providing a way for youth to resolve conflicts and receive services before potentially becoming involved with the penal system.

Individuals within communities could resist policies seeking harsher sentencing for juveniles. Truthfully, prison abolition could, and does, look like many strategies which are all important- this is part of the complex beauty of building the future.

Although the task is daunting, activists should not let the sheer enormity of the project deter them. If abolitionists had let skeptics impede their work to abolish slavery, some of the most radical liberation projects in America would have never been attempted.

By ABS Staff

Posted by The NON-Conformist

Changes coming to LA criminal justice system to reduce high incarceration rate

With the highest incarceration rate in the world, Louisiana lawmakers are taking steps to change that.

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Image: NOLA.com

With the highest incarceration rate in the world, Louisiana lawmakers are taking steps to change that.

The Justice Reinvestment Task Force approved five measures, amending criminal justice laws.

Rep. Terry Landry, who sits on the committee said, “What we’ve been doing for the past 20, 30 years have not worked. So, if you keep doing the same thing and getting the same results, they tell you you have to change course.”

The reform is something many have look forward to for decades.

New Orleans resident Fox Rich said, “They sentenced my husband to 60 years as a first-time felony offender in LA in a crime that no injury was sustained by any of our victims. So, this is an opportunity that we’ve waited a very long time for and we’ve worked a very long time for to make sure we have prepared ourselves for his return into society.”

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