racial

North Carolina’s racial gerrymandering actions struck down

Yesterday, the Supreme Court struck down North Carolina’s 2011 congressional district map, where large blocs of black voters had been subject to racial gerrymandering and placed in oddly shaped districts. The Court determined that there was no compelling racial interest to permit the boundaries of these districts. The vote was decided by Justice Kagan, Justice Thomas (surprise), Justice Ginsburg, Justice Breyer, and Justice Sotomayor.

Leslie Mac’s Facebook Ban Is The Latest Development In Racially Biased Censorship

Yesterday morning, activist, creator and co-founder of Safety Pin Box Leslie Mac found her Facebook account temporarily suspended after writing the following post:

The post appears to be related to the Adam Saleh/Delta Airlines controversy. Mac took to Twitter to express her frustration, explaining to her followers that the post was likely flagged after actor Matt McGorry shared it on his profile–which apparently offended many of his white followers.

Her tweets were widely shared—over 1600 retweets—and shortly after, Facebook issued this apology:

Image via Twitter

It seems like a simple mistake, however this seems to be a common occurrence for activists who share their thoughts on Facebook, particularly those of color.

In September, New York Daily News writer Shaun King was blocked from accessing his account after posting a screenshot of a racist email sent to him. Facebook called that a ‘mistake’ too. Earlier in the year, Facebook deactivated Korryn Gaines’ profile upon request from the Baltimore Police Department—right before they shot and killed her.

All the while, posts containing racist language (and some threats) are routinely ignored by Facebook’s seemingly overzealous ‘community standards’ monitor. It would be quick and easy to place this blame solely on Zuckerberg et al (although they should start taking responsibility.)

However, all of these incidents are reflective of a much bigger problem: a cultural norm in which speech censorship targets people of color while protecting the speech that antagonizes them. Two decades ago, the Supreme Court ruled speech laws aimed at banning racial antagonism, like, for example burning crosses, unconstitutional in the landmark case R.A.V. vs. City of St. Paul.

And who can forget COINTELPRO, a covert program run by the FBI that tracked Civil Rights leaders like Martin Luther King Jr., and Black Panther Party members like Huey Newton?

Even now, more and more Black Americans are finding themselves behind bars after being charged with “contempt of cop”—Ferguson PD’s way of punishing those who talk back to them during traffic stops, or record their encounters with smartphones.

American society only tolerates speech expressed by people of color so long as it does not upset the status quo, which is ironic, since the whole notion behind the passing of the First Amendment revolves around was to ensure that individuals who wanted to speak out against injustices could do so without fear of government persecution.
What happened to the likes of Mac, King and Gaines is terribly frustrating, but it is as American as apple pie, and highly likely to continue occurring.

How Much Can a Black President Really Do for Black People?

Diddy was the first rapper that influenced me to vote, even though I was too young I always appreciated a Black entertainer reaching out to me to tell me that my vote matters, and I very much recognized his Vote or Die campaign as outreach to young Black people.

In 2015, Diddy came out and said that voting is a “scam” and that our votes probably won’t change anything, followed by his comments earlier this week: that he expected Obama to do more for Black people in office. It sounds like Diddy has been receiving a strong dosage of political education and is now disappointed by the truth. This begs the question though: how much can a Black president really do for Black people?

Young People Disagree On The Issue Of Racism

According to a new poll, young people are divided concerning race in America. Around 80% of African Americans youth ages 18-30 believe that racism remains a major problem, while only 54% of young Whites agree that this is an issue. While a slight majority of young whites surveyed do agree that race is a major issue, this data suggests a wide gap remains between black and white youth’s perceptions of racism. 

‘Dear White People’ Comes to Netflix

On May 5, all Dear White People enthusiasts received some very exciting news about the changes coming to the franchise. The movie is being turned into a show for Netflix.

Netflix has ordered a TV adaptation of the Justin Simien 2014 comedy for a 2017 release date. Similar to the film, the Netflix series will chart the lives of a group of students of color who deal with adult problems associated with race, privilege, and power at a fictional Ivy League university.

Watch Dorothy Roberts Explain Why Race-Based Medicine Doesn’t Work

TED Talks have emerged as a popular way for non-professionals, interested fans, and social media consumers alike to access the knowledge and advice of experts across various fields. In this particular one, sociologist, legal scholar, and Black feminist Dorothy Roberts discusses her experiences as a Black woman with a White father while dealing with medical professionals.