Slave Descendants Seek Equal Rights From Cherokee Nation

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A new lawsuit challenges the exclusion of African-descended Cherokees from tribal benefits

A new lawsuit challenges the exclusion of African-descended Cherokees from tribal benefits

As reported in Salon, a media news blog,  David Cornsilk is Cherokee, a self-taught civil rights advocate, and genealogist. He traces his slave-owning ancestors back to their aboriginal lands in Georgia and Tennessee. Cornsilk is not a Cherokee Freedmen descendant, a black who descended from slaves once owned by Cherokee and other tribes. Yet, for nearly two decades, Cornsilk fought for the rights of Freedmen descendants to have tribal benefits. To read more, click here.

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Author Cautions Against Equating Physical Disability With Low IQ

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Anne McDonald, guest columnist for seattlepi, an internet news site, has had severe physical disabilities since birth.  At the age of 19, she attended school for the first time, and eventually graduated from a university with majors in science and fine arts. Annie’s Coming Out, a book about her experiences written with her teacher, was made into a movie (Best Film, Australian Film Institute Awards, 1984). McDonald offers cautions about the use of assessments of IQ that rely on speech and motor skills. To read more, click here.

Racism and the Myth of a “Victim Mentality”

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In a post to the Red Room blogTim Wise debunks the claim that discussing racism and discrimination creates passive victims out of people of color. He shows how the claim flies in the face of every bit of empirical evidence on the subject: knowing the truth about racism inspires perseverance and passionate resistance to victimization, not resignation to one’s status as a target. Research makes clear that racism is a problem, and there is no responsible path forward but to discuss it, to call it out, and to address it directly. To read more, click here.

Is “Jew In A Box” Exhibit Fostering Understanding Or Anti-Semitism?

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The Jewish Museum in Berlin is stirring up controversy with an exhibit called “The Whole Truth: Everything You Wanted to Know About Jews.” The element of the show getting the most attention is a cast of Jewish men and women who take turns sitting in a Plexiglas box, and answering visitors’ questions about Jewish life and culture. To read more, click here.

Beyond Diversity Resource Center Responds to President’s Call for National Conversations on Race

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The Beyond Diversity Resource Center announced the publication of a supplement to its book on racial dialogue in America, The Anti-Racist Cookbook (ISBN: 978-0971901766). The introduction to the supplement states:

Today, people of color have less to fear from the overt actions of a Ku-Klux-Klan lynch mob than from the implicit bias of a gun-carrying member of a neighborhood watch. Yet, the result may be the same.

According to Robin Parker, the Center’s executive director, the supplement was inspired by President Obama’s call for national conversations on race following the verdict in the case of George Zimmerman (the man who fatally shot Trayvon Martin.)

The 2013 Supplement asks questions about current racial issues that include: (1) how people can address their own racial biases, (2) what organizations can do to combat implicit bias, (3) whether people feel safe in light of recent racial incidents, and (4) how we should craft solutions for racial healing. The supplement is now available to people who order The Anti-Racist Cookbook from the publisher, Crandall, Dostie & Douglass Books. To read more, click here.

LeVar Burton Explains His Ritual To Prevent Police Mistreatment

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LeVar-Burton-screenshot-1He’s not exactly known for bad behavior, but even the former host of the children’s show Reading Rainbow fears he will be mistreated by police because of his skin color. Actor and director LeVar Burton explained on CNN that he follows a particular procedure every time he is stopped by police to avoid a potentially deadly confrontation.  To read more, click here.

Diversity Programs May Give Illusion Of Corporate Fairness

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Corporate cultural diversity programs may lead people to believe that work environments are fair even when there is evidence of hiring, promotion or salary inequities, according to findings by psychologists at the University of Washington. To read more, click here.

Colorblind Racism, The Walking Dead, And White Privilege

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In the blog, We Are Respectable Negroes, Chauncey Devega points out that both colorblind racism, as well as overt racism, see people of color as somehow defective because they are not white. Racism-denying exists, even in conversations about the horror genre and a TV series, like The Walking Dead, whose narrative is focused on zombies. It is as if the reasonable concerns of people of color or others about white racism really don’t matter very much, that racism only matters and occurs according to the standards of Whiteness, and that those who talk about racism are the real racists. To read more, click here.

How To Suppress Discussions Of Racism

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In the blog “dreamwidth,” a contributor named Mely shows you, with tongue-in-cheek, a few simple techniques you can use to suppress the discussion of racism and to make sure racism is perpetuated. He says to keep in mind that your goal is not to learn or to educate, to listen or be listened to, to increase your understanding of difficult issues, or to exchange opinions and communicate with other people. Your goal is to make discussions of race so difficult and unrewarding that not only your opponent but any witnesses to your argument will never want to discuss race in public again. To read more, click here.

Ask a Woman Who Uses a Wheelchair

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Ask A Woman Who Uses A Wheelchair

Ableism is prejudice against people with disabilities, and like every other -ism, can take on many gnarly forms. Whether it’s negative societal attitudes, the dearth of accessible housing, job discrimination, or targeting an individual for a crime, in her post on The Harirpin blog Caitlin Wood speaks frankly about aspects of ableism. To read more, click here.

Black/White Wealth Inequality Has Exploded Since ’80s

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The racial wealth gap between blacks and whites has increased by $152,000 in the past 25 years, according to a new study from Brandeis University’s Institute on Assets and Social Policy. The median wealth of white families has shot up precipitously since 1984, while the median wealth of black families has barely moved. To read more, click here.

New SRCD Report Examines Effect of Poverty On Children

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The Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) reports that poverty is a major risk factor for children’s development and is linked to many problems that persist into adulthood.  Poverty also contributes to a growing health and academic achievement gap, declining college attendance and graduation rates, and an increasing workforce skills gap. To read more, click here.

We Don’t See Racism?

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Seeing Racism and Teaching Tolerance with Huck Finn

An article in Teaching Tolerance: A Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, reporting on high school student awareness of racism, points out that we have a responsibility to our students to have honest dialogue about race, privilege and institutional racism so that they can articulately speak out against it. We can no longer afford to create citizens who don’t see racism. Huck Finn can be a powerful tool for prompting discussion about racism in the United States, past and present. To read more, click here.

Giving to Other People Is Giving To Yourself.

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At TEDxCambridge, Michael Norton shares fascinating research on how money can, indeed, buy happiness — when you don’t spend it on yourself. Listen for surprising data on the many ways pro-social spending can benefit you, your work, and other people. To view the video at the TED website, click here.

Black Adversity/White Privilege

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The Blaque Ink blog lists some of the everyday difficulties black people face because of racism as they move through their daily lives. These “adversities” are the opposite of “white privilege.” Below is a partial list of the sixty-five adversities recounted:

  • Alone, I appear threatening. If I’m in a group of others who look like me, that is a cause for some kind of suspicion or even panic.
  • In order to not cause suspicion, I must be in the company of (mostly) whites.
  • In order for whites to listen to me, I must agree with what they think about me and my people.
  • I can be sure that whites will not listen to me when it comes to race and racism, and anytime I bring up the subject, it will likely meet with denial or opposition.

To read more, click here.

Forced Sterilization Still Happens to People With Disabilities

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From the This Ain’t Livin Livin’ blog:

Forced sterilisation of people with disabilities is rarely covered in the mainstream or progressive media because it’s not considered a topic of much interest. This is largely because many people accept the idea that it is something that should happen; even if they may feel slightly uncomfortable about it, they still support the idea overall because they think it is ‘for the person’s own good’ or makes life easier for caregivers. Or, though few will admit this, they believe forced sterilisation of people with disabilities benefits society as a whole.

To read more, click here.

Gay Parades Banned In Moscow For 100 years

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Nikolay Alexeyev has been campaigning for years for the right to stage gay parades in Russia

Nikolay Alexeyev has been campaigning for years for the right to stage gay parades in Russia

Moscow’s top court has upheld a ban on gay pride marches in the Russian capital for the next 100 years. Earlier Russia’s best-known gay rights campaigner, Nikolay Alexeyev, had gone to court hoping to overturn the city council’s ban on gay parades. The Moscow city government argues that the gay parade would risk causing public disorder and that most Muscovites do not support such an event. To read more, click here.

Germany Offers Third Gender Option on Birth Certificates

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Beginning November 2013, Germany will be the first country in Europe to offer a “third gender” distinction on birth certificates. A new German law stipulates that children who are born of indeterminate gender no longer have to be categorized as male or female. Instead, parents can choose to leave the space blank on their child’s birth certificate. The individuals can eventually decide whether to identify as male, female or neither. The measure has a shortcoming, however:  those who choose to identify as “blank” will likely encounter a host of bureaucratic headaches when traveling abroad. To read more, click here.

Poverty hits America’s Suburbs: 64% Increase Between 2000 and 2011

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The number of suburban residents living in poverty rose by nearly 64 percent between 2000 and 2011, to about 16.4 million people, according to a Brookings Institution analysis of 95 of the nation’s largest metropolitan areas. That’s more than double the rate of growth for urban poverty in those areas. To read more, click here.

AP Poll: Majority Harbor Prejudice Against Blacks

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According to an Associated Press poll, racial attitudes have not improved in the four years since the United States elected its first black president.  Fifty-one percent of Americans have anti-black attitudes and fifty-seven percent have anti-Latino attitudes, increases over previous year. To read more, click here.

Oppression of LGBT People in Russia Draws Condemnation

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Injured Gay Protestors Surrounded By Russian Police

A recent law signed by President Vladimir V. Putin has ignited international condemnation. The new law, nominally aimed at “protecting” children by banning “propaganda on nontraditional sexual relationships,” is widely understood as an effort to suppress homosexuality and Russia’s fledgling gay rights movement. Russia remains a country where discrimination and even violence against gay people are widely tolerated. To read more, click here.

Prince Harry Defends Gay Soldier From Attack

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To one gay soldier, Prince Harry lived up to his duty to protect those in need. A former fellow infantryman is praising the royal for reportedly saving him after six soldiers supposedly threatened to assault him due to his sexuality while their squad was stationed in Canada back in 2008. To read more about the incident, including an excerpt from Lance Corporal James Wharton memoir, Out in the Army, click here.

10 Things You Should Know About Slavery

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After the popular movie, ‘Django,’ Colorlines Magazine featured an article that recites ten things everyone should know about slavery (but aren’t mentioned in the popular film). Among the important facts are that the wealth gap between whites and blacks that resulted from slavery has yet to be closed.  In fact, today that wealth gap is the largest recorded since records began to be kept three decades ago. To read more, click here.

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A Still from ‘Django’

Diversity Effectiveness of White Male Managers

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White male managers see themselves as being more effective in terms of diversity, but that view is not shared by their non-white and female counterparts.  Communication and a lack of candor are seen as basic issues. To read more, click here.

Congressional Gold Medal Awarded To Four Girls Killed In 1963 Civil Rights Bombing

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President Barack Obama has signed a bill into law granting the United States’ highest civilian honor to four black girls killed in a civil rights-era church bombing that shocked the nation in 1963. To read more, click here.

Global Increase in Anti-semitism and Islamophobia

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Anti-Semitism and anti-Muslim activities are on the rise around the globe, according to the U.S. State Department. Countries of particular concern include Egypt, China, North Korea, and Saudi Arabia among others. To read more, click here.

Seattle Teacher Under Fire for Teaching About Racism and Discrimination

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Is there a right or wrong way to teach students about discrimination?

A popular teacher for ten years helped students explore various significant social issues. Because a student became upset about a discussion on racism,  some parents and then the school board turned against the teacher, who was transferred to another school and asked to stop discussing upsetting issues. Another Seattle teacher expressed concern:  “Student discomfort will become the arbiter of curriculum.” To read more, click here.

Top Nazi Officer Living in Minnesota for 60 Years Faces Deportation

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A top commander of a Nazi SS-led unit accused of burning villages filled with women and children lied to American immigration officials to get into the United States and has been living in Minnesota since shortly after World War II.  Michael Karkoc, 94, faces deportation and prosecution. To read the full article from the Associated Press, click here.

ACLU: Marijuana Arrests Are Racist

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According to a recent ACLU report, African Americans are 3.7 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than whites. To read more, click here.

18 Million Rising: Asian and Pacific Islanders Organization Invites Public to Join Campaign on Immigration Reform

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18MillionRising.org was founded to promote Asian and Pacific Islander civic engagement by leveraging the power of technology and social media. Check out their campaign on immigration reform by clicking here.

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