Texas law professor: Single-parent families hurting college prospects for ‘the Blacks’

sinidentidades:

A University of Texas law professor told a BBC interviewer that he believed growing up in single-parent households compounded black students’ difficulty in completing the college admissions process.

“To me it’s speculation — it’s in no area that I can claim expertise. It is the case that the single-parent household, the childs [sic] born outside of marriage today is approaching three-quarters in the black population,” Professor Lino Graglia said on Nov. 29, The Daily Mail reported Tuesday. “I can hardly imagine a less beneficial or more deleterious experience than to be raised by a single parent.”

He went on to describe the parent as “usually female, uneducated and without a lot of money” and said the average black student’s score on the SAT was 200 points less than that of an average white student.

Graglia made the remarks to columnist Gary Younge as part of a report on affirmative action and U.S. college admissions Younge produced for BBC radio, and appears to be alluding to data from the U.S. Census (PDF) stating that 66 percent of low-income children raised in single-parent families identify as African-American.

“Racial discrimination stopped, and what happened? Very few blacks got into the University of Texas, and that was a disappointment,” Graglia said. “I said, ‘Gee, no more segregation, but where are the blacks? They’re still not here. Why? Because they don’t meet the qualifications.’”

When Younge pointed out that he was black and raised in a single-parent household, Graglia suggested that Younge was an anomaly.

“From listening to you and knowing what you are and what you’ve done, I suspect you’re rather more smart,” Graglia said. “My guess would be that you are above usual smartness – for whites, to say nothing of blacks.”

His remarks were criticized Wednesday by biologist DN Lee in a column published Tuesday at Scientific American:

Let’s not get it twisted. It is not about being Black or Brown. It is about being poor and yes single parent (low income) families have one helluva time supporting students high performance in academics. But we see this across the board, not just in Black Families. Economically disenfranchised communities house poorer School Districts. The tax base that supports the school is small. There tends to be high unemployment, high use of social services, higher percentage of stressed families. Poorer School Districts provide fewer challenging courses in Math, Science or college preparatory courses like Advancement Placement classes. Poorer School districts struggle to keep standardized test scores up. They struggle to keep students engaged and enrolled. Being poor sucks and in today’s economy kids from inner-cities, rural areas or once-productive factory towns see the path out of poverty as a misty-filmed commercial harder and harder to comprehend.

Graglia is listed as the A. W. Walker Centennial Chair in Law at the law school of the university’s Austin campus. The school did not return a call seeking a comment on Graglia’s statements.

Listen to a portion of Graglia’s interview with Younge, originally aired Nov. 29.

"The announcement that the US government will henceforth push the achievement of “gay rights” internationally, as a key element of its foreign policy, gives new meaning to the phrase “blowback” – and cut out the snickering! Because the self-righteousness and narcissism of American policymakers, in this instance, will have very real consequences for gay people throughout the world, and it isn’t going to be pretty."

Pinkwashing Imperialism.

The “gay issue” is becoming an increasingly hot topic in Western media coverage of the Arab world. In fact, beginning with the spate of gay killings in US occupied Iraq, the status of non-normative sexualities has perhaps been enfolded within a discourse that highlights the plight of “women” in Arab/Muslim countries, and the ideological, material, and military mobilization that such a discourse licenses.

This is not to say that homophobia does not exist in the Middle East. It does. It exists in every country in the world. However, the question here is: Are these groups/governments legitimately and honestly concerned about LGBTQs in the Middle East, or are they simply using them and their struggles for their own ends, whether it is to show how much more advanced they are or to deflect attention away from their own homophobia/political problems? Does the Israeli government, for example, honestly want to help Palestinian LGBTQs, or is it simply using them to make a point about Israeli society being more advanced, and to whitewash its occupation? Indeed, if the Israeli government wanted to help Palestinian LGBTQs, wouldn’t removing an occupation be the first step?

- Pinkwashing Palestine.

Imperialistic states like USA and Israel have not only appropriated women’s rights to instigate more war but they have also invaded and appropriated the space of LGBTQ communities by using their identity as an excuse to wage more war. The phenomenon is called Pinkwashing. Make sure you read about it.

(via mehreenkasana)

(via azaadi)

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“I’m Excited, I’m Nervous, I’m Scared…” Walmart Workers Walk Off Jobs

cognitivedissonance:

This is fantastic:

Today, for the first time in Walmart’s fifty-year history, workers at multiple stores are out on strike. Minutes ago, dozens of workers at Southern California stores launched a one-day work stoppage in protest of alleged retaliation against their attempts to organize. In a few hours, they’ll join supporters for a mass rally outside a Pico Rivera, CA store. This is the latest – and most dramatic – of the recent escalations in the decades-long struggle between organized labor and the largest private employer in the world.

“I’m excited, I’m nervous, I’m scared…” Pico Rivera Walmart employee Evelin Cruz told Salon yesterday about her decision to join today’s strike. “But I think the time has come, so they take notice that these associates are tired of all the issues in the stores, all the management retaliating against you.” Rivera, a department manager, said her store is chronically understaffed: “They expect the work to be done, without having the people to do the job.”

I wish them all the best. Where are the political candidates standing with these workers? Do I even have to ask? 

There are few locations where any Walmart workers are unionized. Perhaps this will help wake some folks up to the power of banding together.

The War on Drugs Is Really a War on Minorities

sinidentidades:

This is from 2007, but this portion in the article is something everyone needs to know:

Consider this: According to a 2006 report by the American Civil Liberties Union, African Americans make up an estimated 15% of drug users, but they account for 37% of those arrested on drug charges, 59% of those convicted and 74% of all drug offenders sentenced to prison. Or consider this: The U.S. has 260,000 people in state prisons on nonviolent drug charges; 183,200 (more than 70%) of them are Black or Latino.

Here’s another report by the ACLU:

There are 2.3 million people behind bars in this country — that is triple the amount of prisoners we had in 1987 — and 25 percent of those incarcerated are locked up for drug offenses. Taxpayers spend almost $70 billion a year on corrections and incarceration. The war on drugs has also been a war on communities of color. The racial disparities are staggering: despite the fact that whites engage in drug offenses at a higher rate than African-Americans, African-Americans are incarcerated on drug charges at a rate that is 10 times greater than that of whites.

The closing of American academia

sinidentidades:

In most professions, salaries below the poverty line would be cause for alarm. In academia, they are treated as a source of gratitude. Volunteerism is par for the course - literally. Teaching is touted as a “calling”, with compensation an afterthought. One American research university offers its PhD students a salary of $1000 per semester for the “opportunity” to design and teach a course for undergraduates, who are each paying about $50,000 in tuition. The university calls this position “Senior Teaching Assistant” because paying an instructor so far below minimum wage is probably illegal.

In addition to teaching, academics conduct research and publish, but they are not paid for this work either. Instead, all proceeds go to for-profit academic publishers, who block academic articles from the public through exorbitant download and subscription fees, making millions for themselves in the process. If authors want to make their research public, they have to pay the publisher an average of $3000 per article. Without an institutional affiliation, an academic cannot access scholarly research without paying, even for articles written by the scholar itself.

It may be hard to summon sympathy for people who walk willingly into such working conditions. “Bart, don’t make fun of grad students,” Marge told her son on an oft-quoted episode of The Simpsons. “They just made a terrible life choice.”

But all Americans should be concerned about adjuncts, and not only because adjuncts are the ones teaching our youth. The adjunct problem is emblematic of broader trends in American employment: the end of higher education as a means to prosperity, and the severing of opportunity to all but the most privileged.

In a searing commentary, political analyst Joshua Foust notes that the unpaid internships that were once limited to show business have now spread to nearly every industry. “It’s almost impossible to get a job working on policy in this town without an unpaid internship,” he writes from Washington DC, one of the most expensive cities in the country. Even law, once a safety net for American strivers, is now a profession where jobs pay as little as $10,000 a year - unfeasible for all but the wealthy, and devastating for those who have invested more than $100,000 into their degrees. One after another, the occupations that shape American society are becoming impossible for all but the most elite to enter.

Apparent Hate Crime Nearly Kills Oklahoma City Man

sinidentidades:

A man in Oklahoma City was nearly killed when his car blew up in front of him last night in what appears to be a hate crime. According to Jon Ferguson, he was woken up in the middle of the night by his car alarm, and when he went outside it was being vandalized by several people. Upon approaching them, the vandals threw something into the car, making it explode. Ferguson was rushed to the hospital with first and second degree burns.

The remains of the car suggest that the attack was a hate crime — the vandals spray-painted the homophobic slur “fag” on the hood. Ferguson, who is openly gay, spoke about how the threat of violence has made him doubt whether coming out was a good idea:

FERGUSON:It’s almost not worth being proud of who you are and trying to show you’re gay because stuff like this really does happen. I’ve always seen it on the news that kids are dying and stuff because they’re being bullied, and you’re 25 years old and something like this happens to you. It’s almost not worth it, and you understand why kids don’t come out of the closet.

The case is currently being investigated as an act of arson, not a hate crime. News 9 reported that the Oklahoma City Fire and Police Department will continue investigations if they think a hate crime was committed.

Study: Nearly Two-In-Five American Households Live Paycheck To Paycheck

theoriginalfoxmccloud:

The number of American households living paycheck to paycheck has risen to 38 percent, according to a study by the Consumer Federation of America and the Consumer Planner Board of Standards. Fifteen years ago, the number was 31 percent. The report also found that more than half of Americans are behind on their retirement savings, up from 38 percent in 1997. Both problems have been exacerbated by stagnant wages and an increase in low-wage jobs; as ThinkProgress noted this week, one in four private sector workers make less than $10 an hour.

(via fatbrownowl-deactivated20130302)

Cop Shoots, Kills Son After Mistaking Him for Intruder

sinidentidades:

An off-duty police officer shot and killed his son after mistaking him for an intruder, New York State Police said.

Michael Leach, 59, an officer with the Parry Police Department in Wyoming County in western New York state, was staying at a motel in Old Forge. He called 911 early Saturday to say he just shot someone he thought was an intruder, troopers said, according to The Syracuse Post-Standard.

The victim turned out to be his son, Matthew S. Leach, 37, of Rochester.

Troopers said that the elder Leach used his department-issued .45-caliber Glock handgun in the shooting. He was hospitalized after the shooting for what troopers described as a “medical issue.”

To read this NBC News story, click here.

33 notes

Poll: Racial resentment tied to voter ID support

sinidentidades:

Voter ID laws require individuals to show government issued identification when they vote. The survey findings support recent comments by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, who portrayed a Texas photo ID law now being challenged as similar to poll taxes used in the Jim Crow era, primarily by Southern states, to block African Americans from voting. Holder pledged to oppose “political pretexts” which, he said, “disenfranchise” black voters.

The national telephone survey of 906 Americans was conducted by the University of Delaware’s Center for Political Communication from May 20-June 6, 2012. Research faculty David C. Wilson and Paul Brewer supervised the study, as states and the federal government confront the voter ID issue.

Racial Resentment

To assess attitudes toward African Americans, all non-African Americans respondents in the poll were asked a series of questions. Responses to these questions were combined to form a measure of “racial resentment.” Researchers found that support for voter ID laws is highest among those with the highest levels of “racial resentment.”

Brewer, the center’s associate director for research, said, “These findings suggest that Americans’ attitudes about race play an important role in driving their views on voter ID laws.”

Ideology, politics shape ID opinion

The survey reveals strong partisan and ideological divisions on racial resentment. Republicans and conservatives have the highest “racial resentment” scores, and Democrats and liberals have the lowest; Independents and moderates are in the middle. In addition, Democrats and liberals are least supportive of voter ID laws, whereas Republicans and conservatives are most supportive. The link between “racial resentment” and support for such laws persists even after controlling for the effects of partisanship, ideology, and a range of demographic variables.

Wilson, the center’s coordinator of public opinion initiatives and an expert on race and public opinion, said, “Who votes in America has always been controversial; so much so that the U.S. constitution has been amended a number of times to protect voting eligibility and rights. It comes as no surprise that Republicans support these laws more than Democrats; but, what is surprising is the level at which Democrats and liberals also support the laws.”

Here, CPC researchers found an interesting pattern in the data: it is Democrats and liberals whose opinions on voter ID laws are most likely to depend on their racial attitudes. Republicans and conservatives overwhelmingly support voter ID laws regardless of how much “racial resentment” they express. In contrast, Democrats and liberals with the highest “racial resentment” express much more support for voter ID laws than those with the least resentment. 

19 notes

abokononist:thepeoplesrecord:


Texas spends $25 million rebuilding mansion as Gov. Perry seeks education, healthcare cutsJuly 13, 2012
Texas Gov. Rick Perry is getting set to return to his official residence in downtown Austin after a $25 million rebuilding, even as he asks state agencies to say how they can cut spending 10 percent in the next budget.
Perry, the former Republican presidential candidate who in 2011 signed a two-year plan that shortchanged schools by $5 billion, will decamp this month from a rental home to resume life in the high-security governor’s mansion. A June 2008 arson fire destroyed much of the two-story brick home built in 1856.
Perry, 62, has made limits on spending a central theme of his years at the helm of the second most populous U.S. state, and stressed fiscal restraint as a national candidate. While Texas revenue is 14 percent above last year, the governor has asked agencies not to seek bigger budgets and to show how 10 percent cuts would affect operations. This week, Perry refused to expand Medicaid to serve more low-income residents.
“I find it interesting that a state that can’t provide children’s health care or taking care of the poor can always find an unexpected $25 million laying around for a favored project,” said Bill Aleshire, a lawyer and former Travis County commissioner in Austin. Lawmakers approved the funding in 2009.
“Of course the mansion needed to be repaired — I just don’t get the same sense of frugality” that’s applied to state spending for other purposes, said Aleshire, a Democrat.
For their $21.5 million, plus $3.5 million in public donations, taxpayers got inch-thick longleaf pine floors, an added wing and a geothermal heating and cooling system that required digging 40 350-foot (107 meter) wells. The cost of restoring the 25-room house would be enough to pay for almost 11 million student lunches at Austin’s high schools.
Perry spokeswoman Steffany Duke didn’t respond to questions about the beefed-up security at the home. Those measures led to closing Colorado Street to cars in front of the mansion, raising the height of a brick perimeter wall and adding a guardhouse to screen visitors.
A statement on the governor’s website says that “the integrity of the preservation process, strong collaboration and transparency and a high-quality, cost-efficient restoration are the top priorities” for the group that led the rebuilding. The reopening of its public spaces will add to an area that includes the state Capitol, which attracts 1.5 million visitors a year.
The project introduced fire sprinklers, access for the handicapped to public spaces and, with the 1,500-square-foot addition, expanded the living quarters in the house that has served 40 governors. Perry and his wife, Anita, moved out of the building in October 2007, to make way for renovations that also relocated the mansion’s historic contents, including furniture, artwork and light fixtures — sparing them from the blaze that engulfed the structure less than a year later.
In the intervening years, the Perrys stayed in a 6,400-square-foot, five-bedroom home that rents for $8,500 a month in a gated city neighborhood.
During negotiations to set the two-year budget through August 2013, Perry pressed lawmakers for deeper spending cuts and limits on using reserve funds to bridge a deficit projected to be at least $15 billion. The final spending plan called for $5 billion less for schools than had been mandated, based on previous funding and student population.
Source

abokononist:thepeoplesrecord:

Texas spends $25 million rebuilding mansion as Gov. Perry seeks education, healthcare cuts
July 13, 2012

Texas Gov. Rick Perry is getting set to return to his official residence in downtown Austin after a $25 million rebuilding, even as he asks state agencies to say how they can cut spending 10 percent in the next budget.

Perry, the former Republican presidential candidate who in 2011 signed a two-year plan that shortchanged schools by $5 billion, will decamp this month from a rental home to resume life in the high-security governor’s mansion. A June 2008 arson fire destroyed much of the two-story brick home built in 1856.

Perry, 62, has made limits on spending a central theme of his years at the helm of the second most populous U.S. state, and stressed fiscal restraint as a national candidate. While Texas revenue is 14 percent above last year, the governor has asked agencies not to seek bigger budgets and to show how 10 percent cuts would affect operations. This week, Perry refused to expand Medicaid to serve more low-income residents.

“I find it interesting that a state that can’t provide children’s health care or taking care of the poor can always find an unexpected $25 million laying around for a favored project,” said Bill Aleshire, a lawyer and former Travis County commissioner in Austin. Lawmakers approved the funding in 2009.

“Of course the mansion needed to be repaired — I just don’t get the same sense of frugality” that’s applied to state spending for other purposes, said Aleshire, a Democrat.

For their $21.5 million, plus $3.5 million in public donations, taxpayers got inch-thick longleaf pine floors, an added wing and a geothermal heating and cooling system that required digging 40 350-foot (107 meter) wells. The cost of restoring the 25-room house would be enough to pay for almost 11 million student lunches at Austin’s high schools.

Perry spokeswoman Steffany Duke didn’t respond to questions about the beefed-up security at the home. Those measures led to closing Colorado Street to cars in front of the mansion, raising the height of a brick perimeter wall and adding a guardhouse to screen visitors.

A statement on the governor’s website says that “the integrity of the preservation process, strong collaboration and transparency and a high-quality, cost-efficient restoration are the top priorities” for the group that led the rebuilding. The reopening of its public spaces will add to an area that includes the state Capitol, which attracts 1.5 million visitors a year.

The project introduced fire sprinklers, access for the handicapped to public spaces and, with the 1,500-square-foot addition, expanded the living quarters in the house that has served 40 governors. Perry and his wife, Anita, moved out of the building in October 2007, to make way for renovations that also relocated the mansion’s historic contents, including furniture, artwork and light fixtures — sparing them from the blaze that engulfed the structure less than a year later.

In the intervening years, the Perrys stayed in a 6,400-square-foot, five-bedroom home that rents for $8,500 a month in a gated city neighborhood.

During negotiations to set the two-year budget through August 2013, Perry pressed lawmakers for deeper spending cuts and limits on using reserve funds to bridge a deficit projected to be at least $15 billion. The final spending plan called for $5 billion less for schools than had been mandated, based on previous funding and student population.

Source

(Source: thepeoplesrecord, via sinidentidades)

"According to the report, the number of U.S. citizens who died in terrorist attacks increased by two between 2010 and 2011; overall, a comparable number of Americans are crushed to death by their televisions or furniture each year. This is not to diminish the real—albeit shrinking—threat of terrorism, or to minimize the loss and suffering of the 13,000 killed and over 45,000 injured around the world. For Americans, however, it should emphasize that an irrational fear of terrorism is both unwarranted and a poor basis for public policy decisions."

Americans Are as Likely to Be Killed by Their Own Furniture as by Terrorism” (via kileyrae)

(via fatbrownowl-deactivated20130302)

157 notes

NC school strip searches 10-year-old over $20 he didn't steal

sinidentidades:

An elementary school in Clinton, North Carolina says an assistant principal was within her legal rights when she stripped a 10-year-old boy down to his underwear because he had been accused of stealing $20.

Clarinda Cox told WRAL that her son, Justin, was forced to take off everything but his underwear and undershirt earlier this month after several students said he had stolen $20 from another student.

Justin insisted that he had picked up the money and given it back to the girl after she dropped it. The girl later said someone had stolen the money and several students pointed to Justin.

The boy recalled that Union Elementary School Assistant Principal Teresa Holmes took him into a bathroom and ordered him to take off his clothes.

“She didn’t ask me if she could, she told me, ‘Now I have to strip search you,’ ” Justin said.

Clarinda Cox stated if the North Carolina elementary school principal had called her, she would have come to the school and searched her son. The female assistant principal, Teresa Holmes strip searched the third grade student in a private room. After discovering Cox did not have the missing $20 tucked away somewhere on his body, she gave the student a hug. The money was later found near where it was initially lost, under a cafeteria table where the girl had been seated. 

The third-grader’s mother is not satisfied with the North Carolina school district’s response and feels her son was violated during the strip search, according to her statements to WRAL News. inquisitr.com

Sampson County Schools spokesperson Susan Warren told WRAL that Holmes had not violated any rules because a male janitor was present for the search.

“She came up to him and rubbed her fingers around inside of his underwear,” Clarinda Cox explained. “If that isn’t excessively intrusive, I don’t know what is.”

(via eschaton-disaster)

Bloomberg remains firm on stop and frisk policy despite march

sinidentidades:

Thousands of people marched in silence in New York to protest against street checks by police that rights activists say disproportionately target blacks and Hispanics.

The demonstration, called by civil rights organizations, began in Harlem and moved south through Manhattan to the residence of Mayor Michael Bloomberg in Manhattan’s posh Upper East Side.

Among the groups that took part in the march were the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the National Action Network led by the Reverend Al Sharpton and a union that represents health care workers.

“End Stop and Frisks, Silent March Against Racial Profiling,” said a flyer handed out by protest organizers.

More than four million New Yorkers, most of them blacks and Latinos, have been stopped and questioned by police in the street since 2004, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.

In 2011, the police stopped 685,724 people, 53 percent of whom were black and 34 percent Latin, a trend that has held in the first three months of this year, the ACLU said on its website.

Citing police data, the ACLU said nine out of every ten persons stopped by police are found to be innocent.

For his part, Bloomberg defended the street checks and insisted that neither he nor New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly will permit abuses.

5 notes

Archaeologist says 28,000-year-old Aboriginal rock art found in cave oldest in Australia

sinidentidades:

CANBERRA, Australia — An archaeologist says he found the oldest piece of rock art in Australia and one of the oldest in the world: an Aboriginal work created 28,000 years ago in an Outback cave.

The dating of one of the thousands of images in the Northern Territory rock shelter known as Nawarla Gabarnmang will be published in the next edition of the Journal of Archaeological Science.

University of Southern Queensland archaeologist Bryce Barker said Monday that he found the rock in June last year but only recently had it dated at New Zealand’s University of Waikato radiocarbon laboratory.

He said the rock art was made with charcoal, so radiocarbon dating could be used to determine its age. Most rock art is made with mineral paint, so its age cannot be accurately measured.

“It’s the oldest unequivocally dated rock art in Australia” and among the oldest in the world, Barker said.

RI Becomes 15th State to Decriminalize Pot

sinidentidades:

Possession of under an ounce to become civil violation

(NEWSER) – Good news for Rhode Island tokers: A bill decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana has been signed into law by Gov. Lincoln Chafee, reports the Providence Journal. The law makes possession of less than an ounce of marijuana a civil violation with a $150 fine, although three violations in 18 months would be a misdemeanor with larger fines and the risk of prison time. Fourteen other states have introduced similar laws.

Half of the fines collected will be spent on drug awareness and treatment programs for young people under the law, which was overwhelmingly approved by the state’s General Assembly. The law, which takes effect April 1 next year, replaces one which made marijuana possession punishable with up to a year in jail or a $500 fine. Harvard economist Jeffrey Miron estimates that the move will save the state up to $11 million a year.