Archive for the ‘Anti Racism’ Category

Corbyns New Anti-Racism Campaign Star Sent N-Word, Jew …

Jeremy Corbyn has taken part in an event for the Show Racism the Red Card charity, giving an interview to Corbynista YouTube star David Vujanic for the Guardian website yesterday. Jezza and Vujanic got on famously, bumping fists and discussing, among other things, why fighting racism is so important and how there should be zero tolerance to those guilty of racist abuse. Labour did vet the Twitter feed of Corbyns new pal, didnt they? Oh no

Not the first Eastern European bloke with questionable views whoAgent COBhas come to regret meeting

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June 17, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Anti Racism  Comments Closed

Protests Force Starbucks to Ditch ADL From Leading Anti …

After a video of the arrest of two African-American men sitting in Starbucks without buying anything went viral, Starbucks scheduled anti-racism training. But their inclusion of the Anti-Defamation League in the training provoked another outcry and Starbucks capitulated.

On April 12, Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson were arrested for trespassing at a Philadelphia Starbucks. A manager called the police because the men, who had been in the coffee shop for just a few minutes, hadnt bought anything.

Melissa DePino, a Starbucks customer who recorded the video of the arrest that went viral on social media, said: These guys never raised their voices. They never did anything remotely aggressive. …I was sitting close to where they were. Very close. They were not doing anything. They werent.

In an attempt to avert a public relations disaster after the racist incident became public, Starbucks announced it would close most of its 8,000 locations on May 29 for racial bias training.

But, adding insult to injury, Starbucks included the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), with its notorious history of racism, as a primary participant in the anti-racism training.

Community outrage at ADLs central role in the training was swift and strong. Starbucksdemoted ADLto a consulting role, and named representatives of three prominent African-American-led civil rights organizations to lead the training.

ADL: Anti-Muslim, Anti-Palestinian, Anti-Black, and Anti-Activist

After Starbucks had initially announced the composition of its anti-racism trainers, there was a powerful backlash in the civil rights community against ADLs leadership role.

Tamika Mallory, co-chair of the Womens March and Black Lives Matter, called for a boycott of Starbucks. Mallory, a nationally prominent organizer for gun control and womens rights, and against police violence, is the 2018 recipient of the Coretta Scott King Legacy Award.

Mallory tweeted that Starbucks is NOT serious about doing right by BLACK people! because of the prominent role it gave ADL, which is CONSTANTLY attacking black and brown people.

Cat Brooks, co-founder of the Anti Police-Terror Project, said she agrees with Mallory. You cant be a piece of an anti-bias training when you openly support a racist, oppressive, and brutal colonization of Palestine.

Linda Sarsour, also co-chair of the Womens March, wrote on Facebook that ADL is an anti-Arab, anti-Palestinian organization that peddles Islamophobia and attacks Americas prominent Muslim orgs and activists and supports/sponsors US law enforcement agents to travel and get trained by Israeli military.

Palestinian-American comedian, activist and professor Amer Zahr grew up in Philadelphia. Zahr told this reporter that ADL and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) were the architects of the anti-Arab and anti-Islamic industry in America for the last 50 to 60 years.

Zahr said that welcoming groups like ADL into the family of civil rights organizations…is a real slap in the face to Palestinians, Arabs, and Muslims who have been the victims of ADL rhetoric for decades.

Asked to respond to Starbucks decision, a spokesman for the ADL who was contacted refused to comment.

Spied on Leftists

ADL was established in 1913 to defend Jews, and later other minority groups from discrimination, Robert I. Friedmanwrotein 1993. It led the struggle against the Ku Klux Klan and the American Nazi Party, and supported the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s. But in the late 1940s, ADL spied on leftists and Communists, and shared investigative files with the House Committee on Un-American Activities and the FBI. The ADL swung sharply to the right during the Reagan administration, becoming a bastion of neoconservatism.

In 1993, the San Francisco District Attorney released 700 pages of documents that implicated ADL in an extensive spying operation against U.S. citizens who opposed Israels policies in the Occupied West Bank and Gaza, and apartheid in South Africa. ADL then passed the information to Israels Mossad and South African intelligence.

The documents revealed that ADLprovidedinformation to South African intelligence shortly before Chris Hani was assassinated. Hani was a leader of the African National Congress, which led the struggle against apartheid, and was considered the successor to Nelson Mandela. Hani was killed soon after returning from a speaking tour in California, where he had beenspied onby ADL.

Fifteen civil rights groups and seven individuals filed a federal lawsuit against ADL in 1993 for violation of their civil and privacy rights by spying on them. Six years later, federal Judge Richard Paez issued an injunction permanently enjoining ADL from illegallyspyingon Arab-American and other civil rights organizations.

But ADLs hateful activities continue. Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) executive director Rebecca Vilkomerson said in an interview with Consortium News that ADL, which calls itself a civil rights organization, is in truth playing a really damaging role in a number of communities. She noted that ADL is promoting and complicit in anti-Muslim, anti-Palestinian, anti-Black and anti-activist campaigns.

Vilkomerson criticized ADL for honoring the St. Louis Police Department one year after their officers killed Michael Brown, an unarmed African-American man in Ferguson.

Arielle Klagsbrun of the St. Louis JVP explained: The ADLs side is the side of police. As someone whose family members are Holocaust survivors, the lessons I learned from the Holocaust for today are that black lives matter and that we must stand against systemic racism.

Soffiyah Elijah, executive director of Alliance of Families for Justice, said in an interview that if one were crafting a training program against anti-Semitism, you wouldnt go to the NAACP for sensitivity training, adding, as a black person, I found [the inclusion of ADL] further insulting.

Vilkomerson called ADL one of the biggest purveyors of exchanges between Israeli and US law enforcement, where American police go to Israel to learn counter-terrorism measures to be applied here. That encompasses racial profiling, spying, mass surveillance and collective punishment.

But U.S. police dont really need a lesson in racism, Vilkomerson added.

Starbucks Backs Down After Anti-ADL Backlash

JVP circulated a petition against inclusion of ADL, which garnered 11,000 signatures in 72 hours. According to Vilkomerson, the enormous outpouring on Twitter of opposition to ADLs initial central role in the training and the week-long pushback, including JVPs petition, led Starbucks to back down.

Starbucks issued astatementidentifying the leaders of the training as: Bryan Stevenson, founder and executive director of Equal Justice Initiative; Sherrilyn Ifill, president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund; and Heather McGhee, president of Demos, a civil rights organization.

The three leaders will provide advice, counsel, connections to other experts, and recommendations to Starbucks for the May 29 training, which will launch the multiphase effort for the company.

Starbucks said it will also consult with a diverse array of organizations and civil rights expertsincluding The Anti-Defamation League, The Leadership on Civil and Human Rights, UnidosUS, Muslim Advocates, and representatives of LGBTQ groups, religious groups, people with disabilities, and others.

JVPs deputy director Ari Wohlfeiler stated in a press release:

Starbucks will never say it publicly, but because of the huge public outcryabout the ADLs unyielding pro-Israel position, their refusal to condemnpolice violence, their incessant Islamophobia, and the convergence of allthose retrograde positions in their active facilitation of US/Israeli policeexchange programs, Starbucks had no choice but to demote them.

It was an excellent outcome, Vilkomerson said.

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June 6, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Anti Racism  Comments Closed

Anti-racism demonstrators overshadow planned alt-right …

VANCOUVER In the end, the organizers of a planned anti-Islam rally Saturday in Vancouver only spurred a celebration of diversity, anti-fascism and tolerance of Islam so massive it spilled onto the streets outside Vancouver City Hall and shut down a nearby street.

At the peak of the counter-protest at around 2 p.m., when organizers from the Worldwide Coalition Against Islam Canada and the Cultural Action Party of Canada had been expected to speak out against federal immigration policy, about 4,000 people surrounded city hall, according to a police estimate.

The anti-Islam rally organizers were nowhere to be found.

WCAI Canada president Joey De Luca, who told media this week he was flying to Vancouver from his hometown Calgary for the rally, did not return a request for comment before deadline.

It seemed all but a handful of the 4,000 people at city hall had shown up to speak against the anti-Islam rally, which a Facebook event page indicated was expected to draw two dozen people.

Those with dissenting voices who made themselves heard about a half dozen men who exercised their Charter right to freedom of expression on public property took turns engaging in debates with counter-protesters while each was surrounded by dozens more who shouted, “Let him speak,” just as often as “Kick him out.”

Often, these heated debates were drowned out by the sounds of bagpipes, accordions, saxophones and kazoos, which counter-protesters brought for that purpose.

Police guarded the dissenting speakers, watching that they didn’t resort to hate speech or that the debates didn’t turn physical. In some cases, when the discourse became too nasty, police escorted these speakers off city hall property to the jeers of the counter-protesters.

The dissenting speakers expressed a range of world views from advocacy for free speech to hate for Islam and overt displays of Nazism.

Near the statue of Capt. George Vancouver at the north entrance to city hall, a man holding a copy of the Qur’an drew a crowd when he condemned its contents and engaged in a shouting match with a Mtis man. The Qur’an hater was escorted away by police.

There was a President Donald Trump supporter wearing a T-shirt marked with the Infowars logo the far-right U.S. radio show hosted by conspiracy theorist Alex Jones who engaged more calmly in a debate that lasted about an hour, during which a protester showered him with blue sparkles and others screamed at him.

Nearby, another man carried two signs bearing popular images often used by the so-called “alt-right” to troll the left “Sad Pepe” and the flag of “Kekistan.” He appeared thrilled by all the attention he was getting.

Southeast of city hall, a notorious local Holocaust denier, Brian Ruhe, raised his right hand in the Nazi salute as police surrounded him. Ruhe smiled and laughed as counter-protesters shouted anti-Nazi slogans and profanity at him. He was immediately escorted away by police.

WARNING: Video contains graphic language

Sgt. Jason Robillard said officers made five arrests Saturday for breach of the peace, while two other people were escorted away from the rally to “prevent a disturbance.” There were no reported assaults or injuries.

Annie Ohana, who with her group Stand Up To Racism Metro Vancouver helped organize the counter-protest, said she felt vindicated after seeing such a turnout for an event that proved mostly peaceful.

Ohana said she faced criticism by those who felt a counter-protest could lead to a violent clash, but said she felt it was important that people spoke out and didn’t feel intimidated.

Scores of police and other first responders were stationed throughout city hall property.

Ohana said she respected the need to protect people’s right to freedom of expression “within reasonable limits of the law,” and said she hoped people would go home thinking on their experience and what they heard from Muslim, Jewish, Indigenous, black and other people Saturday.

“Overall, it was love and it was joy, and I saw people listening,” Ohana said.

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson addressed the counter-protest, saying he was proud of the people of Vancouver for their show of strength and diversity in response to the planned anti-Islam rally.

“There’s lots of problems around the world,” Robertson said. “We’ve got to take care of home base and make sure we’re a beacon of that positive love and respect.”

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Far-right protest in Quebec City worries anti-racism advocates – CBC.ca

A far-right protest that drew several hundred people to the streets of Quebec City over the weekend is raising alarm among those who have devoted their life to opposing racist views.

“It’s averydifficult moment to live,” says Marcel Tenenbaum, a Holocaust survivor originally from Belgium who immigrated to Montreal in 1951.

He told CBC Montreal’s Daybreak on Monday he was “disturbed’ by thewhite nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., that left three people dead and dozens more injured, and further troubled by the tumultuous events that unfolded Sunday inQuebec City.

Marcel Tenenbaum is a Montrealer and survivor of the Holocaust. (Gregory Todaro/CBC)

Among the group inCharlottesville,at least two members of Quebec group LaMeute,a far-right group that believes Quebec culture and society are currently threatened by radical Islam.

And while La Meute(Wolf Pack),has distanced itself from last weekend’s events in Virginia, supporters came out in full force Sunday protesting against what they termed “illegal immigration.”

Tenenbaum, who wasfive years old at the beginning of the Nazi invasion of Belgium, said it makes no difference to him that La Meutedoesn’t openly target Jewish people.

“They select their target,” said Tenenbaum, author ofOf Men, Monsters, and Mazel: Surviving the Final Solution in Belgium.

“They say ‘you’re acceptable, but we don’t want people who are Muslims.’ To split your beliefs, either you believe in what’s right for people or you don’t believe. But you cannot be like, ‘I like you better than I like the other half.”

On Sunday, members of La Meutefound themselves penned inside a parking garageas counter-demonstrators tried to block themfrom proceeding on their planned march to the National Assembly.

Four hour laters, after the counter-protesters had been dispersed,members of La Meute marched through the streets with a police escort.

The counter-demonstration was attended by a mix of concerned residents and smaller group dressed in black, afiilliated with the so-called antifa, or anti-fascist,movement.

The rallybegan peacefully, but was declared illegal by Quebec City police whenprotestors jostled with authorities and threw projectiles at La Meute members.

Jaggi Singh, Montreal-based activist who works with Solidarity Across Borders, was arrested but not charged.

He said he was released in a Quebec City suburb with the promise of getting ticket in the mail.

Activist Jaggi Singh was arrested during an anti-racism demonstration, in Quebec City. (Jacques Boissinot/Canadian Press)

In his view, thegoal of the counter-protesters was to “prevent racists andIslamophobesfrom having a public platform.”

Singh condemned La Meute, saying their anti-Islamic position is “linked to the increasing climate ofIslamaphobiaand hatred of Muslims in a city where we had the Quebec city mosque shootings.”

But he wouldn’t go so far as to condemn the violence initiatedby some protesters, saying that it wasn’t his place to speak for everything that happened at the demonstration as a whole, and that “sometimes these protests get messy.”

“I think we need to evaluate it and be more effective the next time,” he said.

The violence of the counter-protest contrasts withsimilar demonstrations in Vancouver and Boston where planned rallies by the far-right were vastly outnumbered by peaceful anti-racismdemonstrations.

The far-right protests in Quebec City were condemned byPrime Minister Justin Trudeau and Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard. But Couillard was also critical of the tactics of the counter-protesters.

People march during an anti-racism demonstration, in Quebec City on Sunday. (Jacques Boissinot/Canadian Press)

Following the violence on Sunday, the premier took to Twitter,saying that people have the right to demonstrate peacefully with zero tolerance for violence.

“We condemn violence and intimidation. We live in a democracy where respect must be the norm and not the exception,” he wrote.

David Poitras, a spokesperson for Quebec City police,said police will be looking through videotape and photo evidence as well as gathering officer testimony.

There is a strong possibility people will be arrested and charged, he said.

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ADL, US mayors launch new anti-racism initiative after Charlottesville violence – The Times of Israel

WASHINGTON The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the US Conference of Mayors (USCM) announced Friday that they are launching new initiative to address the intensifying currents of racism and bigotry in America following the deadly white supremacist rally last weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia and after US President Donald Trumps decidedly equivocal response.

The two organizations launched The Mayors Compact to Combat Hate, Extremism and Bigotry, with more than 240 mayors signing on to a joint plan of action to deal with the white nationalist groups that are lashing out now in greater force than they have in decades.

Charlottesville made clear that we have a lot more work to do in our communities and we cant wait a minute longer to step up our efforts, said Jonathan Greenblatt, who heads the ADL, in a conference call with reporters on Friday.

A common theme that dominated the call, in which several mayors participated, was the groups frustration with Trumps reaction to what unfolded in Charlottesville. We cant wait any longer to act, said Steve Adler, mayor of Austin, Texas.

Since the rally took place, which culminated in a 20-year-old Nazi sympathizer ramming his car into a crowd of counter-protestors, killing one person and injuring at least 19 others, Trump has repeatedly sought to equate the white nationalists, neo-Nazis and KKK members with those who oppose them.

US President Donald Trump speaks to the media in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York, Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

You had a group on one side that was bad and you had a group on the other side that was also very violent and nobody wants to say that but Ill say it right now, Trump said in the gilded lobby of Trump Tower in New York on Tuesday, adding that there were very fine people on both sides.

One of the mayors on the call said that not only has Trump failed to provide the moral leadership necessary for the moment, but that he has endangered communities across the country and damaged the standing of the Republican Party.

When the president fails to exhibit moral clarity in times of national crisis, it reverberates across our entire country and it causes fear within our neighborhoods and in our children, said Shane Bemis, the GOP mayor of Gresham, Oregon.

As a Republican mayor, I can tell you right now that President Trumps actions and inactions have consequences in addition to adding fuel to the fire of hatred and intolerance and instilling fear among our residents, he added. His lack of moral clarity in a time of crisis is destroying a storied political institution.

A vehicle drives into a group of protesters demonstrating against a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, August 12, 2017. (Ryan M. Kelly/The Daily Progress via AP)

The compact itself is a 10-point plan that includes collective commitments to denounce acts of hatred and bigotry whenever they arise and ramp up law enforcements resources to tackle extremist violence.

The Fourth Point is a vow to ensure the publics safety without revoking the First Amendment free speech rights of even the most odious voices.

Mayors will protect public safety while safeguarding free speech and other basic constitutional rights through the use of appropriate time, place, and manner restrictions, the plan says. This might include encouraging alternative rally sites and placing limits on the rights of protestors to bring weapons to political rallies.

Other points include elevating anti-hate and anti-bias programs in American schools, promoting increased reporting of hate crimes and strengthening hate-crime laws when in specific jurisdictions when necessary.

The announcement of the compact comes one day before the so-called alt-right a loose collection of far-right groups that includes among its ranks neo-Nazis, white supremacists and others has rallies planned for at least nine American cities this Saturday.

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Beitar Jerusalem wins anti-racism award for reducing anti-Arab chants – The Times of Israel

An Israeli soccer team known for anti-Arab chants and far-right hooligans was awarded an anti-racism prize by President Reuven Rivlin on Monday, after improving its behavior.

Beitar Jerusalem, known for the often violent behavior of a group of ultra-nationalist fans, was awarded the ground-breaking achievement at the Shield of Honor awards by Rivlin in Jerusalem.

The club, which finished third in the Israeli Premier League last year, was recognized for its youth work and the establishment of a forum to deal with incitement and racism.

I hope that Beitar will continue on the right and proper way, and your success will have a positive impact across the public, said Rivlin, a Jerusalem native and longtime Beitar supporter.

Fans of the Beitar Jerusalem soccer team hold up a sign reading Beitar forever pure, on January 26, 2013. (Flash90)

The club has a controversial history in Israel.

Its fans often sing anti-Arab chants at matches, including Death to Arabs.

They have also chanted support for Yigal Amir, a far-right Jewish nationalist who assassinated prime minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1995.

Many of its most extreme fans are part of the far-right La Familia fan group.

Last year, 19 members of the group were charged with attempted murder, including of rival supporters.

Beitar is also the only club in the Israeli league that has never had an Arab Muslim player.

In 2013, some Beitar supporters were angered by the signing of two Muslim players from Chechnya, forcing the team to hire bodyguards to protect them.

Beitar Jerusalem fans protest the decision to sign two Chechen Muslims players Zaur Sadayev and Gabriel Kadiev, February 1, 2013. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

But Uri Levy of the Jerusalem-based football website Babagol told AFP the fans had made strides to improve Beitars anti-Arab reputation.

He said the club significantly reduced the number of racist chants after a series of fines.

If we take the international reputation of the club, of course it would sound weird for this club to get an anti-racism award, Levy said.

But the truth is in the past year the fans have put in a lot of work and have sought to change.

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Beitar Jerusalem wins anti-racism award for reducing anti-Arab chants – The Times of Israel

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‘Anti-Arab’ Israeli team wins anti-racism award – Yahoo News

President Reuven Rivlin (C) presents the Shield of Honour to Beitar Jerusalem chairman Eli Ohana (L), as Yitzhak Kornfein (R), Jerusalem municipality’s head of sport and a former Beitar player, looks on (AFP Photo/MENAHEM KAHANA)

Jerusalem (AFP) – An Israeli football team known for its anti-Arabic chants and far-right fan base was awarded an anti-racism prize by the president on Monday after improving its behaviour.

Beitar Jerusalem, known for its often violent ultra-nationalist Jewish fans, was awarded the “ground-breaking achievement” at the Shield of Honour awards by President Reuven Rivlin in Jerusalem.

The club, which finished third in the Israeli Premier League last year, was recognised for its youth work and the establishment of a forum to deal with incitement and racism.

“I hope that Beitar will continue on the right and proper way, and your success will have a positive impact across the public,” Rivlin said.

The club has a controversial history in Israel.

Its fans often sing anti-Palestinian chants at matches, including “Death to Arabs”.

They have also chanted support for Yigal Amir, a far-right Jewish nationalist who assassinated Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1995.

Last year, 19 members of Beitar’s ultra-nationalist La Familia fan group were charged with attempted murder, including of rival supporters.

Beitar is also the only club in the Israeli league that has never had an Arab Muslim player.

In 2013, some Beitar supporters were angered by the signing of two Muslim players from Chechnya, forcing the team to hire bodyguards to protect them.

But Uri Levy of the Jerusalem-based football website Babagol told AFP the fans had made strides to improve Beitar’s “anti-Arab” reputation.

He said the club had “significantly reduced” the number of racist chants after a series of fines.

“If we take the international reputation of the club, of course it would sound weird for this club to get an anti-racism award, Levy said.

“But the truth is in the past year the fans have put in a lot of work and have sought to change.”

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‘Anti-Arab’ Israeli team wins anti-racism award – Yahoo News

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Anti-Racism Author Tim Wise: Injustice Is Not a Glitch, It’s a Feature: Reflections on the Murder of Philando Castile – AlterNet

Photo Credit: YouTube Screengrab, via Raw Story

If, as the saying goes, insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result, then hoping against hope that this timesurely this timean officer who shot a black man in cold blood would be held to account, is a type of insanity most profound. Or at the very least, evidence of an overactive imagination rivaling that of the most creative screenplay writer. But rest assured, this movie does not have an alternate ending. It has been screen-tested before jury after jury, and it is quite clear by now which conclusion the audience prefers. Expecting anything different is to expect the things that have always happened to stop happening, like believing any day now, hummingbirds will walk and preschoolers take flight.

Philando Castile is dead because Officer Jeronimo Yanez shot him, within less than 40 seconds of approaching him at his drivers side window. Yanez claims he feared for his life, and he feared for his life, supposedly, because Castile informed him he had a gun and was ostensibly reaching for it, even as the dash cam recording suggests Castile was calm and polite to Yanez. Of course, this makes no sense, and surely in a society less infected with the pathogen of what Jody David Armour calls “Negrophobia,” we all would see why. Aside from the fact that Castile had no criminal history that would suggest he posed a threat to Yanez (something Yanez could not have known at the time), there is one thing the officer most assuredly should have been able to discern: Namely, that when a man intends to shoot you, he does not announce the presence of his weapon first, to give you time to draw yours. This was not, I beg to remind you, a duel.

So we are left with the ineluctable conclusion that Yanez feared for his life because Philando Castile was a black man with a gun, and for no other reason. Although licensed to carry it, such a thing means little, either to police, the NRA or those All Lives Matter folks. By their silence over Castiles killing and the acquittal of the one who killed him, they have made quite clear who they meanand dont mean, or includein their definition of all.

This fear of black menif indeed we should even call it that, rather than the contempt it more closely resemblesis a fascinating pathology, unmoderated by even the most elementary logic. And yet we regularly ratify the pathology with the stamp of rationality, pronouncing it understandable even if tragically unfortunate. So the very same logic that says it makes sense for Yanez to think Castile would have told him about his gun before proceeding to shoot him with it, leads large numbers to believe Tamir Rice would have pointed a toy gunwhich presumably he must have known held no real bulletsat police who carry actual guns, which most assuredly do have real bullets. Its the same logic that allows still more to believe John Crawford would have pointed an air rifle at the officer who killed him at Walmart. And even though we have video in the cases of Rice and Crawford, demonstrating that neither pointed their fake guns at anyone, it is apparently easier to believe in the rationality of anti-black fear than to believe in what our own eyes are telling us.

But what is perhaps even more maddening than the facts of the case alone, more grotesque than a man being killed in front of a child, more sickening than the nonchalance with which the jury saw fit to return Yanez to the free world, it is the well-intended naivet of those who would conclude from this, as I gather many do, that such things prove the American system of justice is failing. They are shocked (shocked,I tell you!) to be confronted with still more evidence that the notion of liberty and justice for all carries no more weightand is far less likely to be proved accuratethan a fortune-cookie aphorism or the Lotto numbers your uncle played this week. But the idea that awfulness is evidence of system failure is the kind of conviction one could only afford to fall back upon were they previously fortunate enough to have faith in the system to begin with.

It is precisely this kind of conceit that columnist David Brooks displayed in the wake of Katrina and the inundation of New Orleans, when he wrote:

“The first rule of the social fabricthat in times of crisis you protect the vulnerablewas trampled. Leaving the poor in New Orleans was the moral equivalent of leaving the injured on the battlefield. No wonder confidence in civic institutions is plummeting.

Brooks, who somehow manages to always be surprised at how terrible his country can be, despite possessing an affect most resembling constipation made fleshwhich might lead one to believe he already understood this kind of thingis nearly a perfect representation of the naivet we can ill-afford to indulge. To believe we have ever protected the vulnerableespecially the poor and vulnerable of color, who it should be said are in a state of perpetual crisisis to call into question ones entitlement to have matriculated past the eighth grade, let alone to find oneself firmly ensconced within the literary confines of the nations paper of record. Leaving such folks behind is not a violation of the nations social compact; it is this nations social compact, the manifestation of that compact in real time. And to lose confidence in our civic institutions as a result of it is only possible for those who already found themselves possessed of such confidence; which is to say a damn few black people but an awful lot of white ones.

So too with yet another acquittal in yet another case in which yet another black man finds himself on the business end of a cops firearm or perhaps chokeholdand as with Rice and Crawford and Eric Garner, among others, on video no lessand yet, nothing is done. No one should be shocked, and I suspect most folks of color are not. They know that the so-called justice system was not established for them, but to protect others from them; that modern policing traces directly to slave patrols, which were the first iteration of real law enforcement in the colonies. They know that this society was quite literally established on the pretext that black peoples were dangerous and needed to be controlled, dominated, subordinated, even killed if need beand that when they were, there would be little or no consequence for those who had done the deed.

Its really quite simple: If a system is established to produce certain outcomes, and then proceeds to regularly and routinely produce them, upon what basis can we rationally suggest that the system is malfunctioning? Quite the opposite: If a system is established on the basis of unfairness and inequity, the only actual malfunction would be if that system suddenly and inexplicably began to produce justice. It would only be under such an odd and almost incomprehensible scenario that one might inquire as to why the machinery seemed to be breaking down. Or put a bit differently: If youre standing at the end of a conveyor belt in a sausage factory and find yourself perplexed as to why it continually sends sausage in your direction rather than, say, chicken nuggets, it is quite apparent that you neglected to read the sign. Its a sausage factory. Sausage is what it does. Expect sausage.

Put still another way: If America were an app, the devaluing of black life would not be a glitch, but a feature, programmed in from the beginning, with no patch or fix coming in a later editionat least not courtesy of the folks who designed it.

Please spare me the insistence that because Yanez is Latino, his treatment of Castile cannot have been rooted in race. Anti-blackness is no respecter of melanin count. It, like the overarching paradigm of white supremacy for which it serves as the most potent of fuels, is a contagion against which not only brown but even black too often prove defenseless. Nearly half of African Americans demonstrate implicit or subconscious biases against themselves in tests designed to ferret out such things, so the fact that a Latino maleespecially one serving in an overwhelmingly white suburban police forcemight internalize the same fears or dehumanizing biases of a white cop should hardly be a revelation. It was James Baldwin, after all, who insisted that the worst cops he remembered growing up in Harlem were black, because they were the ones who had the most to prove; specifically, to those above them, ever on the lookout for any evidence that their sympathies might reside with the people.

Whether or not a phenomenon deserves the label of racism is not always dependent upon the color of the perpetrator. More so, it is dependent on the color of those disproportionately victimized by it. Were this not true then even the American system of chattel slavery could be acquitted on the charge of racism, since, after all, there were some black slave owners, as well as some who were Native American. So too, Nazism could be acquitted on the charge of racism because there were Jewish kapos in the camps and some Jews in the German army fighting for the Reich. But to deny the racist provenance of slavery here or the Holocaust of European Jewry there would be to assassinate language. What makes both examples of racism is not that whites were the only ones implicated in the suffering but that the targets in each case were racialized others. What made American slavery racist was the fact that although some blacks owned other blacks, they didn’t also get to bid on whites down at the auction block. The system of chattel subordination did not run both ways. What made Hitlerism racist was the fact that although there were Jews who assisted in the oppression of Jews and fought for the government oppressing them, there were no Jews also allowed to march SS men into the gas chambers and slam the doors shut.

And what makes the killing of Philando Castile, and so many others, a result of racism, is that although sometimes the killers are people of color, the victims are disproportionately black and brown, especially in cases where there is no direct threat posed, but fear is allowed to serve as an affirmative defense. What makes it about racism is that although there are plenty of white people killed by police, it is almost only white people who are able to brazenly brandish weapons without concern that they might be killed by police for doing so.

Earlier this year in Dearborn, Michigan,two white gun fetishists walked into a police station, masked, armed and wearing body armor, to file a complaint over a traffic stop to which they had previously been subjected. It was a traffic stop, one should note, from which they had managed to emerge unscathed, despite being armed (like Castile), and despite cursing at the officers (quite unlike Castile). Semi-automatic rifles in tow, and with faces covered, in a way no black man or identifiably Muslim male could be without being seen as a gang member or terrorist, the men proceeded to ignore police commands for several minutes when told to lay down their weaponry. And they are still breathing in a manner Philando Castile is most certainly not.

And please, spare me the racist apologetics masquerading as social science about how police shootings of black folks are justifiable because of the higher crime rates in black communities. First and most importantly, research indicates that there is simply no correlation between local crime rates in given communities and the rates at which persons (white, black or otherwise) are shot and/or killed by members of law enforcement. If disproportionate killings of blacks by police were the simple result of blacks committing more crime, then we would expect those shootings to be more prevalent in places with higher rates of crime, and especially black crime. But this is not the case. According to a study spanning the years 2011-2014, which looked at county-level data across the country, controlling for crime rate differences has almost no independent effect on the rates at which police disproportionately shoot African Americans.

Second, by definition the only issue for any given shooting is whether or not the person shot by police could be reasonably perceived as posing a genuine threat to an officer or others. Crime rates have no role to play in assessing individual incidents. After all, if a white man pulls a gun on a cop and points it at them, the fact that in the aggregate black guys are seven times more likely than white guys to commit homicide (thanks to the correlation between homicide and various economic conditions disproportionately experienced by blacks) would hardly make it rational for the officer to calmly holster their weapon in deference to FBI statistical tables and abstract mathematical probabilities. Likewise, if a cop confronts a black person like Philando Castile who is courteous and actually informs the officer about his weapon and his license for itwhich again, is not what a cop-killer does, ever the fact that other black people who are not Philando Castile commit homicide seven times more often than white people would be irrelevant to what the officer should do in that moment. To suggest otherwise would be to allow cops to approach blacks on the street and blow their brains out on the daily, and so long as they only did it, say, six times as often as they did it to whites, there would be no evidence of racial unfairness under the logic of the racism denialists and cop apologists who populate the far-right.

And please, no more questions about “Why don’t black people just respect authority, or do as they’re told by law enforcement? Because even when they do, this is what happens. This is why they run, cross the street, turn around and walk the other way, or engage in some other furtive movement as the police like to call it. Because even when theyve done nothing wrong, they cannot stake their lives on the dubious possibility that the officer they encounter will presume that. Indeed, the insistence for black folks to respect authoritywhen that authority has such a long history of disrespecting themis more than a tone-deaf stretch. It amounts to a demand that the African-American community ignore its history entirely, and by history I mean even those things that happened last week, let alone last century. It amounts to a demand that some 40 million people adopt amnesia as a cultural virtue, and that their failure to do so will then be used against them when they fail to show sufficient deference to the very forces that have operated as their enemies for so long. Or even when they do.

And finally, no more insistence the next time this happens that the deceased was no angel. Because in the eyes of the schoolchildren who knew and loved Philando Castile as a valued, trusted and caring staff member who made their days brighter, he was very close to that. And yet he is still dead. Because anti-blackness doesn’t care how you sag your pants or if you wear a tie to work. It doesn’t care if you hustle CDs from the back of your car to help support your family or punch a clock every day. It doesn’t care how you play your music or if you say “Yes, sir,” and “No, sir.” It doesn’t care that you’re a doting father. It doesn’t care that you’re 12 years old. It doesn’t care if you’re an honor student or a dropout. It only cares that you’re black.

And if you are, it only seeks to remind you of two things: First, that according to the founding logic of the culture in which you reside, you have no rights that white men are bound to respect; and lastly, that you are the sausage, and the machinery is operating exactly as designed.

Dash cam recording ofOfficer Jeronimo Yanez shootingPhilando Castile:

Tim Wise is an antiracism educator and author of six books on race. His website iswww.timwise.organd he tweets @timjacobwise.

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Anti-Racism Author Tim Wise: Injustice Is Not a Glitch, It’s a Feature: Reflections on the Murder of Philando Castile – AlterNet

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June 22, 2017   Posted in: Anti Racism  Comments Closed

Is PayPal violating its own anti-racism policy? – Fast Company

PayPal remains the biggest conduit for online payments, but its Acceptable Use Policy rules out whole classes of business. Most verboten dealings are illegal, like selling stolen goods; others are risqu, such as “items that are considered obscene.” PayPal also prohibits customers promoting “hate” or “racial intolerance.” But as I learned reporting on tech companies’ involvement with controversial sites, several PayPal customers are classified as “hate groups” by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).

Examples include:

VanguardAmerica: Which advocates replacing the United States with a fascist empire.

Mission to Israel: Whose founder teaches that white Europeans, not Jews, are the descendants of Israel.

National Policy Institute (NPI): White nationalist/supremacist organization headed by alt-right scion Richard Spencer.

Radix Journal: NPI’s publication, with articles criticizing Jews and arguing the genetic superiority of whites.

Identity Evropa: A white nationalist youth movement closely tied to Spencer and NPI.

Nuwaubian Nation Of Moors: Whose jailed founder teaches that blacks are a supreme race and has called white people “the devil.”

VDARE: White nationalist U.S. site that opposes nonwhite immigration and argues for whites’ genetic superiority.

PayPal reviewed these and other sites from the SPLC list and concluded that they do not violate its Acceptable Use Policy. (In fact, since many are nonprofits, they would have required pre-approval to use PayPal for fundraising.) In a statement, PayPal said, “As individuals and as a company, we may disagree with the attitudes expressed by some of our account holders, but we also take into account and respect the right to free expression and open dialogue.” See my full reporting here. SC

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Is PayPal violating its own anti-racism policy? – Fast Company

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Corbyns New Anti-Racism Campaign Star Sent N-Word, Jew …

Jeremy Corbyn has taken part in an event for the Show Racism the Red Card charity, giving an interview to Corbynista YouTube star David Vujanic for the Guardian website yesterday. Jezza and Vujanic got on famously, bumping fists and discussing, among other things, why fighting racism is so important and how there should be zero tolerance to those guilty of racist abuse. Labour did vet the Twitter feed of Corbyns new pal, didnt they? Oh no Not the first Eastern European bloke with questionable views whoAgent COBhas come to regret meeting

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Protests Force Starbucks to Ditch ADL From Leading Anti …

After a video of the arrest of two African-American men sitting in Starbucks without buying anything went viral, Starbucks scheduled anti-racism training. But their inclusion of the Anti-Defamation League in the training provoked another outcry and Starbucks capitulated. On April 12, Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson were arrested for trespassing at a Philadelphia Starbucks. A manager called the police because the men, who had been in the coffee shop for just a few minutes, hadnt bought anything. Melissa DePino, a Starbucks customer who recorded the video of the arrest that went viral on social media, said: These guys never raised their voices. They never did anything remotely aggressive. …I was sitting close to where they were. Very close. They were not doing anything. They werent. In an attempt to avert a public relations disaster after the racist incident became public, Starbucks announced it would close most of its 8,000 locations on May 29 for racial bias training. But, adding insult to injury, Starbucks included the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), with its notorious history of racism, as a primary participant in the anti-racism training. Community outrage at ADLs central role in the training was swift and strong. Starbucksdemoted ADLto a consulting role, and named representatives of three prominent African-American-led civil rights organizations to lead the training. ADL: Anti-Muslim, Anti-Palestinian, Anti-Black, and Anti-Activist After Starbucks had initially announced the composition of its anti-racism trainers, there was a powerful backlash in the civil rights community against ADLs leadership role. Tamika Mallory, co-chair of the Womens March and Black Lives Matter, called for a boycott of Starbucks. Mallory, a nationally prominent organizer for gun control and womens rights, and against police violence, is the 2018 recipient of the Coretta Scott King Legacy Award. Mallory tweeted that Starbucks is NOT serious about doing right by BLACK people! because of the prominent role it gave ADL, which is CONSTANTLY attacking black and brown people. Cat Brooks, co-founder of the Anti Police-Terror Project, said she agrees with Mallory. You cant be a piece of an anti-bias training when you openly support a racist, oppressive, and brutal colonization of Palestine. Linda Sarsour, also co-chair of the Womens March, wrote on Facebook that ADL is an anti-Arab, anti-Palestinian organization that peddles Islamophobia and attacks Americas prominent Muslim orgs and activists and supports/sponsors US law enforcement agents to travel and get trained by Israeli military. Palestinian-American comedian, activist and professor Amer Zahr grew up in Philadelphia. Zahr told this reporter that ADL and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) were the architects of the anti-Arab and anti-Islamic industry in America for the last 50 to 60 years. Zahr said that welcoming groups like ADL into the family of civil rights organizations…is a real slap in the face to Palestinians, Arabs, and Muslims who have been the victims of ADL rhetoric for decades. Asked to respond to Starbucks decision, a spokesman for the ADL who was contacted refused to comment. Spied on Leftists ADL was established in 1913 to defend Jews, and later other minority groups from discrimination, Robert I. Friedmanwrotein 1993. It led the struggle against the Ku Klux Klan and the American Nazi Party, and supported the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s. But in the late 1940s, ADL spied on leftists and Communists, and shared investigative files with the House Committee on Un-American Activities and the FBI. The ADL swung sharply to the right during the Reagan administration, becoming a bastion of neoconservatism. In 1993, the San Francisco District Attorney released 700 pages of documents that implicated ADL in an extensive spying operation against U.S. citizens who opposed Israels policies in the Occupied West Bank and Gaza, and apartheid in South Africa. ADL then passed the information to Israels Mossad and South African intelligence. The documents revealed that ADLprovidedinformation to South African intelligence shortly before Chris Hani was assassinated. Hani was a leader of the African National Congress, which led the struggle against apartheid, and was considered the successor to Nelson Mandela. Hani was killed soon after returning from a speaking tour in California, where he had beenspied onby ADL. Fifteen civil rights groups and seven individuals filed a federal lawsuit against ADL in 1993 for violation of their civil and privacy rights by spying on them. Six years later, federal Judge Richard Paez issued an injunction permanently enjoining ADL from illegallyspyingon Arab-American and other civil rights organizations. But ADLs hateful activities continue. Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) executive director Rebecca Vilkomerson said in an interview with Consortium News that ADL, which calls itself a civil rights organization, is in truth playing a really damaging role in a number of communities. She noted that ADL is promoting and complicit in anti-Muslim, anti-Palestinian, anti-Black and anti-activist campaigns. Vilkomerson criticized ADL for honoring the St. Louis Police Department one year after their officers killed Michael Brown, an unarmed African-American man in Ferguson. Arielle Klagsbrun of the St. Louis JVP explained: The ADLs side is the side of police. As someone whose family members are Holocaust survivors, the lessons I learned from the Holocaust for today are that black lives matter and that we must stand against systemic racism. Soffiyah Elijah, executive director of Alliance of Families for Justice, said in an interview that if one were crafting a training program against anti-Semitism, you wouldnt go to the NAACP for sensitivity training, adding, as a black person, I found [the inclusion of ADL] further insulting. Vilkomerson called ADL one of the biggest purveyors of exchanges between Israeli and US law enforcement, where American police go to Israel to learn counter-terrorism measures to be applied here. That encompasses racial profiling, spying, mass surveillance and collective punishment. But U.S. police dont really need a lesson in racism, Vilkomerson added. Starbucks Backs Down After Anti-ADL Backlash JVP circulated a petition against inclusion of ADL, which garnered 11,000 signatures in 72 hours. According to Vilkomerson, the enormous outpouring on Twitter of opposition to ADLs initial central role in the training and the week-long pushback, including JVPs petition, led Starbucks to back down. Starbucks issued astatementidentifying the leaders of the training as: Bryan Stevenson, founder and executive director of Equal Justice Initiative; Sherrilyn Ifill, president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund; and Heather McGhee, president of Demos, a civil rights organization. The three leaders will provide advice, counsel, connections to other experts, and recommendations to Starbucks for the May 29 training, which will launch the multiphase effort for the company. Starbucks said it will also consult with a diverse array of organizations and civil rights expertsincluding The Anti-Defamation League, The Leadership on Civil and Human Rights, UnidosUS, Muslim Advocates, and representatives of LGBTQ groups, religious groups, people with disabilities, and others. JVPs deputy director Ari Wohlfeiler stated in a press release: Starbucks will never say it publicly, but because of the huge public outcryabout the ADLs unyielding pro-Israel position, their refusal to condemnpolice violence, their incessant Islamophobia, and the convergence of allthose retrograde positions in their active facilitation of US/Israeli policeexchange programs, Starbucks had no choice but to demote them. It was an excellent outcome, Vilkomerson said.

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Anti-racism demonstrators overshadow planned alt-right …

VANCOUVER In the end, the organizers of a planned anti-Islam rally Saturday in Vancouver only spurred a celebration of diversity, anti-fascism and tolerance of Islam so massive it spilled onto the streets outside Vancouver City Hall and shut down a nearby street. At the peak of the counter-protest at around 2 p.m., when organizers from the Worldwide Coalition Against Islam Canada and the Cultural Action Party of Canada had been expected to speak out against federal immigration policy, about 4,000 people surrounded city hall, according to a police estimate. The anti-Islam rally organizers were nowhere to be found. WCAI Canada president Joey De Luca, who told media this week he was flying to Vancouver from his hometown Calgary for the rally, did not return a request for comment before deadline. It seemed all but a handful of the 4,000 people at city hall had shown up to speak against the anti-Islam rally, which a Facebook event page indicated was expected to draw two dozen people. Those with dissenting voices who made themselves heard about a half dozen men who exercised their Charter right to freedom of expression on public property took turns engaging in debates with counter-protesters while each was surrounded by dozens more who shouted, “Let him speak,” just as often as “Kick him out.” Often, these heated debates were drowned out by the sounds of bagpipes, accordions, saxophones and kazoos, which counter-protesters brought for that purpose. Police guarded the dissenting speakers, watching that they didn’t resort to hate speech or that the debates didn’t turn physical. In some cases, when the discourse became too nasty, police escorted these speakers off city hall property to the jeers of the counter-protesters. The dissenting speakers expressed a range of world views from advocacy for free speech to hate for Islam and overt displays of Nazism. Near the statue of Capt. George Vancouver at the north entrance to city hall, a man holding a copy of the Qur’an drew a crowd when he condemned its contents and engaged in a shouting match with a Mtis man. The Qur’an hater was escorted away by police. There was a President Donald Trump supporter wearing a T-shirt marked with the Infowars logo the far-right U.S. radio show hosted by conspiracy theorist Alex Jones who engaged more calmly in a debate that lasted about an hour, during which a protester showered him with blue sparkles and others screamed at him. Nearby, another man carried two signs bearing popular images often used by the so-called “alt-right” to troll the left “Sad Pepe” and the flag of “Kekistan.” He appeared thrilled by all the attention he was getting. Southeast of city hall, a notorious local Holocaust denier, Brian Ruhe, raised his right hand in the Nazi salute as police surrounded him. Ruhe smiled and laughed as counter-protesters shouted anti-Nazi slogans and profanity at him. He was immediately escorted away by police. WARNING: Video contains graphic language Sgt. Jason Robillard said officers made five arrests Saturday for breach of the peace, while two other people were escorted away from the rally to “prevent a disturbance.” There were no reported assaults or injuries. Annie Ohana, who with her group Stand Up To Racism Metro Vancouver helped organize the counter-protest, said she felt vindicated after seeing such a turnout for an event that proved mostly peaceful. Ohana said she faced criticism by those who felt a counter-protest could lead to a violent clash, but said she felt it was important that people spoke out and didn’t feel intimidated. Scores of police and other first responders were stationed throughout city hall property. Ohana said she respected the need to protect people’s right to freedom of expression “within reasonable limits of the law,” and said she hoped people would go home thinking on their experience and what they heard from Muslim, Jewish, Indigenous, black and other people Saturday. “Overall, it was love and it was joy, and I saw people listening,” Ohana said. Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson addressed the counter-protest, saying he was proud of the people of Vancouver for their show of strength and diversity in response to the planned anti-Islam rally. “There’s lots of problems around the world,” Robertson said. “We’ve got to take care of home base and make sure we’re a beacon of that positive love and respect.”

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Far-right protest in Quebec City worries anti-racism advocates – CBC.ca

A far-right protest that drew several hundred people to the streets of Quebec City over the weekend is raising alarm among those who have devoted their life to opposing racist views. “It’s averydifficult moment to live,” says Marcel Tenenbaum, a Holocaust survivor originally from Belgium who immigrated to Montreal in 1951. He told CBC Montreal’s Daybreak on Monday he was “disturbed’ by thewhite nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., that left three people dead and dozens more injured, and further troubled by the tumultuous events that unfolded Sunday inQuebec City. Marcel Tenenbaum is a Montrealer and survivor of the Holocaust. (Gregory Todaro/CBC) Among the group inCharlottesville,at least two members of Quebec group LaMeute,a far-right group that believes Quebec culture and society are currently threatened by radical Islam. And while La Meute(Wolf Pack),has distanced itself from last weekend’s events in Virginia, supporters came out in full force Sunday protesting against what they termed “illegal immigration.” Tenenbaum, who wasfive years old at the beginning of the Nazi invasion of Belgium, said it makes no difference to him that La Meutedoesn’t openly target Jewish people. “They select their target,” said Tenenbaum, author ofOf Men, Monsters, and Mazel: Surviving the Final Solution in Belgium. “They say ‘you’re acceptable, but we don’t want people who are Muslims.’ To split your beliefs, either you believe in what’s right for people or you don’t believe. But you cannot be like, ‘I like you better than I like the other half.” On Sunday, members of La Meutefound themselves penned inside a parking garageas counter-demonstrators tried to block themfrom proceeding on their planned march to the National Assembly. Four hour laters, after the counter-protesters had been dispersed,members of La Meute marched through the streets with a police escort. The counter-demonstration was attended by a mix of concerned residents and smaller group dressed in black, afiilliated with the so-called antifa, or anti-fascist,movement. The rallybegan peacefully, but was declared illegal by Quebec City police whenprotestors jostled with authorities and threw projectiles at La Meute members. Jaggi Singh, Montreal-based activist who works with Solidarity Across Borders, was arrested but not charged. He said he was released in a Quebec City suburb with the promise of getting ticket in the mail. Activist Jaggi Singh was arrested during an anti-racism demonstration, in Quebec City. (Jacques Boissinot/Canadian Press) In his view, thegoal of the counter-protesters was to “prevent racists andIslamophobesfrom having a public platform.” Singh condemned La Meute, saying their anti-Islamic position is “linked to the increasing climate ofIslamaphobiaand hatred of Muslims in a city where we had the Quebec city mosque shootings.” But he wouldn’t go so far as to condemn the violence initiatedby some protesters, saying that it wasn’t his place to speak for everything that happened at the demonstration as a whole, and that “sometimes these protests get messy.” “I think we need to evaluate it and be more effective the next time,” he said. The violence of the counter-protest contrasts withsimilar demonstrations in Vancouver and Boston where planned rallies by the far-right were vastly outnumbered by peaceful anti-racismdemonstrations. The far-right protests in Quebec City were condemned byPrime Minister Justin Trudeau and Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard. But Couillard was also critical of the tactics of the counter-protesters. People march during an anti-racism demonstration, in Quebec City on Sunday. (Jacques Boissinot/Canadian Press) Following the violence on Sunday, the premier took to Twitter,saying that people have the right to demonstrate peacefully with zero tolerance for violence. “We condemn violence and intimidation. We live in a democracy where respect must be the norm and not the exception,” he wrote. David Poitras, a spokesperson for Quebec City police,said police will be looking through videotape and photo evidence as well as gathering officer testimony. There is a strong possibility people will be arrested and charged, he said.

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ADL, US mayors launch new anti-racism initiative after Charlottesville violence – The Times of Israel

WASHINGTON The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the US Conference of Mayors (USCM) announced Friday that they are launching new initiative to address the intensifying currents of racism and bigotry in America following the deadly white supremacist rally last weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia and after US President Donald Trumps decidedly equivocal response. The two organizations launched The Mayors Compact to Combat Hate, Extremism and Bigotry, with more than 240 mayors signing on to a joint plan of action to deal with the white nationalist groups that are lashing out now in greater force than they have in decades. Charlottesville made clear that we have a lot more work to do in our communities and we cant wait a minute longer to step up our efforts, said Jonathan Greenblatt, who heads the ADL, in a conference call with reporters on Friday. A common theme that dominated the call, in which several mayors participated, was the groups frustration with Trumps reaction to what unfolded in Charlottesville. We cant wait any longer to act, said Steve Adler, mayor of Austin, Texas. Since the rally took place, which culminated in a 20-year-old Nazi sympathizer ramming his car into a crowd of counter-protestors, killing one person and injuring at least 19 others, Trump has repeatedly sought to equate the white nationalists, neo-Nazis and KKK members with those who oppose them. US President Donald Trump speaks to the media in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York, Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais) You had a group on one side that was bad and you had a group on the other side that was also very violent and nobody wants to say that but Ill say it right now, Trump said in the gilded lobby of Trump Tower in New York on Tuesday, adding that there were very fine people on both sides. One of the mayors on the call said that not only has Trump failed to provide the moral leadership necessary for the moment, but that he has endangered communities across the country and damaged the standing of the Republican Party. When the president fails to exhibit moral clarity in times of national crisis, it reverberates across our entire country and it causes fear within our neighborhoods and in our children, said Shane Bemis, the GOP mayor of Gresham, Oregon. As a Republican mayor, I can tell you right now that President Trumps actions and inactions have consequences in addition to adding fuel to the fire of hatred and intolerance and instilling fear among our residents, he added. His lack of moral clarity in a time of crisis is destroying a storied political institution. A vehicle drives into a group of protesters demonstrating against a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, August 12, 2017. (Ryan M. Kelly/The Daily Progress via AP) The compact itself is a 10-point plan that includes collective commitments to denounce acts of hatred and bigotry whenever they arise and ramp up law enforcements resources to tackle extremist violence. The Fourth Point is a vow to ensure the publics safety without revoking the First Amendment free speech rights of even the most odious voices. Mayors will protect public safety while safeguarding free speech and other basic constitutional rights through the use of appropriate time, place, and manner restrictions, the plan says. This might include encouraging alternative rally sites and placing limits on the rights of protestors to bring weapons to political rallies. Other points include elevating anti-hate and anti-bias programs in American schools, promoting increased reporting of hate crimes and strengthening hate-crime laws when in specific jurisdictions when necessary. The announcement of the compact comes one day before the so-called alt-right a loose collection of far-right groups that includes among its ranks neo-Nazis, white supremacists and others has rallies planned for at least nine American cities this Saturday.

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Beitar Jerusalem wins anti-racism award for reducing anti-Arab chants – The Times of Israel

An Israeli soccer team known for anti-Arab chants and far-right hooligans was awarded an anti-racism prize by President Reuven Rivlin on Monday, after improving its behavior. Beitar Jerusalem, known for the often violent behavior of a group of ultra-nationalist fans, was awarded the ground-breaking achievement at the Shield of Honor awards by Rivlin in Jerusalem. The club, which finished third in the Israeli Premier League last year, was recognized for its youth work and the establishment of a forum to deal with incitement and racism. I hope that Beitar will continue on the right and proper way, and your success will have a positive impact across the public, said Rivlin, a Jerusalem native and longtime Beitar supporter. Fans of the Beitar Jerusalem soccer team hold up a sign reading Beitar forever pure, on January 26, 2013. (Flash90) The club has a controversial history in Israel. Its fans often sing anti-Arab chants at matches, including Death to Arabs. They have also chanted support for Yigal Amir, a far-right Jewish nationalist who assassinated prime minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1995. Many of its most extreme fans are part of the far-right La Familia fan group. Last year, 19 members of the group were charged with attempted murder, including of rival supporters. Beitar is also the only club in the Israeli league that has never had an Arab Muslim player. In 2013, some Beitar supporters were angered by the signing of two Muslim players from Chechnya, forcing the team to hire bodyguards to protect them. Beitar Jerusalem fans protest the decision to sign two Chechen Muslims players Zaur Sadayev and Gabriel Kadiev, February 1, 2013. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90) But Uri Levy of the Jerusalem-based football website Babagol told AFP the fans had made strides to improve Beitars anti-Arab reputation. He said the club significantly reduced the number of racist chants after a series of fines. If we take the international reputation of the club, of course it would sound weird for this club to get an anti-racism award, Levy said. But the truth is in the past year the fans have put in a lot of work and have sought to change.

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‘Anti-Arab’ Israeli team wins anti-racism award – Yahoo News

President Reuven Rivlin (C) presents the Shield of Honour to Beitar Jerusalem chairman Eli Ohana (L), as Yitzhak Kornfein (R), Jerusalem municipality’s head of sport and a former Beitar player, looks on (AFP Photo/MENAHEM KAHANA) Jerusalem (AFP) – An Israeli football team known for its anti-Arabic chants and far-right fan base was awarded an anti-racism prize by the president on Monday after improving its behaviour. Beitar Jerusalem, known for its often violent ultra-nationalist Jewish fans, was awarded the “ground-breaking achievement” at the Shield of Honour awards by President Reuven Rivlin in Jerusalem. The club, which finished third in the Israeli Premier League last year, was recognised for its youth work and the establishment of a forum to deal with incitement and racism. “I hope that Beitar will continue on the right and proper way, and your success will have a positive impact across the public,” Rivlin said. The club has a controversial history in Israel. Its fans often sing anti-Palestinian chants at matches, including “Death to Arabs”. They have also chanted support for Yigal Amir, a far-right Jewish nationalist who assassinated Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1995. Last year, 19 members of Beitar’s ultra-nationalist La Familia fan group were charged with attempted murder, including of rival supporters. Beitar is also the only club in the Israeli league that has never had an Arab Muslim player. In 2013, some Beitar supporters were angered by the signing of two Muslim players from Chechnya, forcing the team to hire bodyguards to protect them. But Uri Levy of the Jerusalem-based football website Babagol told AFP the fans had made strides to improve Beitar’s “anti-Arab” reputation. He said the club had “significantly reduced” the number of racist chants after a series of fines. “If we take the international reputation of the club, of course it would sound weird for this club to get an anti-racism award, Levy said. “But the truth is in the past year the fans have put in a lot of work and have sought to change.”

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August 7, 2017   Posted in: Anti Racism  Comments Closed

Anti-Racism Author Tim Wise: Injustice Is Not a Glitch, It’s a Feature: Reflections on the Murder of Philando Castile – AlterNet

Photo Credit: YouTube Screengrab, via Raw Story If, as the saying goes, insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result, then hoping against hope that this timesurely this timean officer who shot a black man in cold blood would be held to account, is a type of insanity most profound. Or at the very least, evidence of an overactive imagination rivaling that of the most creative screenplay writer. But rest assured, this movie does not have an alternate ending. It has been screen-tested before jury after jury, and it is quite clear by now which conclusion the audience prefers. Expecting anything different is to expect the things that have always happened to stop happening, like believing any day now, hummingbirds will walk and preschoolers take flight. Philando Castile is dead because Officer Jeronimo Yanez shot him, within less than 40 seconds of approaching him at his drivers side window. Yanez claims he feared for his life, and he feared for his life, supposedly, because Castile informed him he had a gun and was ostensibly reaching for it, even as the dash cam recording suggests Castile was calm and polite to Yanez. Of course, this makes no sense, and surely in a society less infected with the pathogen of what Jody David Armour calls “Negrophobia,” we all would see why. Aside from the fact that Castile had no criminal history that would suggest he posed a threat to Yanez (something Yanez could not have known at the time), there is one thing the officer most assuredly should have been able to discern: Namely, that when a man intends to shoot you, he does not announce the presence of his weapon first, to give you time to draw yours. This was not, I beg to remind you, a duel. So we are left with the ineluctable conclusion that Yanez feared for his life because Philando Castile was a black man with a gun, and for no other reason. Although licensed to carry it, such a thing means little, either to police, the NRA or those All Lives Matter folks. By their silence over Castiles killing and the acquittal of the one who killed him, they have made quite clear who they meanand dont mean, or includein their definition of all. This fear of black menif indeed we should even call it that, rather than the contempt it more closely resemblesis a fascinating pathology, unmoderated by even the most elementary logic. And yet we regularly ratify the pathology with the stamp of rationality, pronouncing it understandable even if tragically unfortunate. So the very same logic that says it makes sense for Yanez to think Castile would have told him about his gun before proceeding to shoot him with it, leads large numbers to believe Tamir Rice would have pointed a toy gunwhich presumably he must have known held no real bulletsat police who carry actual guns, which most assuredly do have real bullets. Its the same logic that allows still more to believe John Crawford would have pointed an air rifle at the officer who killed him at Walmart. And even though we have video in the cases of Rice and Crawford, demonstrating that neither pointed their fake guns at anyone, it is apparently easier to believe in the rationality of anti-black fear than to believe in what our own eyes are telling us. But what is perhaps even more maddening than the facts of the case alone, more grotesque than a man being killed in front of a child, more sickening than the nonchalance with which the jury saw fit to return Yanez to the free world, it is the well-intended naivet of those who would conclude from this, as I gather many do, that such things prove the American system of justice is failing. They are shocked (shocked,I tell you!) to be confronted with still more evidence that the notion of liberty and justice for all carries no more weightand is far less likely to be proved accuratethan a fortune-cookie aphorism or the Lotto numbers your uncle played this week. But the idea that awfulness is evidence of system failure is the kind of conviction one could only afford to fall back upon were they previously fortunate enough to have faith in the system to begin with. It is precisely this kind of conceit that columnist David Brooks displayed in the wake of Katrina and the inundation of New Orleans, when he wrote: “The first rule of the social fabricthat in times of crisis you protect the vulnerablewas trampled. Leaving the poor in New Orleans was the moral equivalent of leaving the injured on the battlefield. No wonder confidence in civic institutions is plummeting. Brooks, who somehow manages to always be surprised at how terrible his country can be, despite possessing an affect most resembling constipation made fleshwhich might lead one to believe he already understood this kind of thingis nearly a perfect representation of the naivet we can ill-afford to indulge. To believe we have ever protected the vulnerableespecially the poor and vulnerable of color, who it should be said are in a state of perpetual crisisis to call into question ones entitlement to have matriculated past the eighth grade, let alone to find oneself firmly ensconced within the literary confines of the nations paper of record. Leaving such folks behind is not a violation of the nations social compact; it is this nations social compact, the manifestation of that compact in real time. And to lose confidence in our civic institutions as a result of it is only possible for those who already found themselves possessed of such confidence; which is to say a damn few black people but an awful lot of white ones. So too with yet another acquittal in yet another case in which yet another black man finds himself on the business end of a cops firearm or perhaps chokeholdand as with Rice and Crawford and Eric Garner, among others, on video no lessand yet, nothing is done. No one should be shocked, and I suspect most folks of color are not. They know that the so-called justice system was not established for them, but to protect others from them; that modern policing traces directly to slave patrols, which were the first iteration of real law enforcement in the colonies. They know that this society was quite literally established on the pretext that black peoples were dangerous and needed to be controlled, dominated, subordinated, even killed if need beand that when they were, there would be little or no consequence for those who had done the deed. Its really quite simple: If a system is established to produce certain outcomes, and then proceeds to regularly and routinely produce them, upon what basis can we rationally suggest that the system is malfunctioning? Quite the opposite: If a system is established on the basis of unfairness and inequity, the only actual malfunction would be if that system suddenly and inexplicably began to produce justice. It would only be under such an odd and almost incomprehensible scenario that one might inquire as to why the machinery seemed to be breaking down. Or put a bit differently: If youre standing at the end of a conveyor belt in a sausage factory and find yourself perplexed as to why it continually sends sausage in your direction rather than, say, chicken nuggets, it is quite apparent that you neglected to read the sign. Its a sausage factory. Sausage is what it does. Expect sausage. Put still another way: If America were an app, the devaluing of black life would not be a glitch, but a feature, programmed in from the beginning, with no patch or fix coming in a later editionat least not courtesy of the folks who designed it. Please spare me the insistence that because Yanez is Latino, his treatment of Castile cannot have been rooted in race. Anti-blackness is no respecter of melanin count. It, like the overarching paradigm of white supremacy for which it serves as the most potent of fuels, is a contagion against which not only brown but even black too often prove defenseless. Nearly half of African Americans demonstrate implicit or subconscious biases against themselves in tests designed to ferret out such things, so the fact that a Latino maleespecially one serving in an overwhelmingly white suburban police forcemight internalize the same fears or dehumanizing biases of a white cop should hardly be a revelation. It was James Baldwin, after all, who insisted that the worst cops he remembered growing up in Harlem were black, because they were the ones who had the most to prove; specifically, to those above them, ever on the lookout for any evidence that their sympathies might reside with the people. Whether or not a phenomenon deserves the label of racism is not always dependent upon the color of the perpetrator. More so, it is dependent on the color of those disproportionately victimized by it. Were this not true then even the American system of chattel slavery could be acquitted on the charge of racism, since, after all, there were some black slave owners, as well as some who were Native American. So too, Nazism could be acquitted on the charge of racism because there were Jewish kapos in the camps and some Jews in the German army fighting for the Reich. But to deny the racist provenance of slavery here or the Holocaust of European Jewry there would be to assassinate language. What makes both examples of racism is not that whites were the only ones implicated in the suffering but that the targets in each case were racialized others. What made American slavery racist was the fact that although some blacks owned other blacks, they didn’t also get to bid on whites down at the auction block. The system of chattel subordination did not run both ways. What made Hitlerism racist was the fact that although there were Jews who assisted in the oppression of Jews and fought for the government oppressing them, there were no Jews also allowed to march SS men into the gas chambers and slam the doors shut. And what makes the killing of Philando Castile, and so many others, a result of racism, is that although sometimes the killers are people of color, the victims are disproportionately black and brown, especially in cases where there is no direct threat posed, but fear is allowed to serve as an affirmative defense. What makes it about racism is that although there are plenty of white people killed by police, it is almost only white people who are able to brazenly brandish weapons without concern that they might be killed by police for doing so. Earlier this year in Dearborn, Michigan,two white gun fetishists walked into a police station, masked, armed and wearing body armor, to file a complaint over a traffic stop to which they had previously been subjected. It was a traffic stop, one should note, from which they had managed to emerge unscathed, despite being armed (like Castile), and despite cursing at the officers (quite unlike Castile). Semi-automatic rifles in tow, and with faces covered, in a way no black man or identifiably Muslim male could be without being seen as a gang member or terrorist, the men proceeded to ignore police commands for several minutes when told to lay down their weaponry. And they are still breathing in a manner Philando Castile is most certainly not. And please, spare me the racist apologetics masquerading as social science about how police shootings of black folks are justifiable because of the higher crime rates in black communities. First and most importantly, research indicates that there is simply no correlation between local crime rates in given communities and the rates at which persons (white, black or otherwise) are shot and/or killed by members of law enforcement. If disproportionate killings of blacks by police were the simple result of blacks committing more crime, then we would expect those shootings to be more prevalent in places with higher rates of crime, and especially black crime. But this is not the case. According to a study spanning the years 2011-2014, which looked at county-level data across the country, controlling for crime rate differences has almost no independent effect on the rates at which police disproportionately shoot African Americans. Second, by definition the only issue for any given shooting is whether or not the person shot by police could be reasonably perceived as posing a genuine threat to an officer or others. Crime rates have no role to play in assessing individual incidents. After all, if a white man pulls a gun on a cop and points it at them, the fact that in the aggregate black guys are seven times more likely than white guys to commit homicide (thanks to the correlation between homicide and various economic conditions disproportionately experienced by blacks) would hardly make it rational for the officer to calmly holster their weapon in deference to FBI statistical tables and abstract mathematical probabilities. Likewise, if a cop confronts a black person like Philando Castile who is courteous and actually informs the officer about his weapon and his license for itwhich again, is not what a cop-killer does, ever the fact that other black people who are not Philando Castile commit homicide seven times more often than white people would be irrelevant to what the officer should do in that moment. To suggest otherwise would be to allow cops to approach blacks on the street and blow their brains out on the daily, and so long as they only did it, say, six times as often as they did it to whites, there would be no evidence of racial unfairness under the logic of the racism denialists and cop apologists who populate the far-right. And please, no more questions about “Why don’t black people just respect authority, or do as they’re told by law enforcement? Because even when they do, this is what happens. This is why they run, cross the street, turn around and walk the other way, or engage in some other furtive movement as the police like to call it. Because even when theyve done nothing wrong, they cannot stake their lives on the dubious possibility that the officer they encounter will presume that. Indeed, the insistence for black folks to respect authoritywhen that authority has such a long history of disrespecting themis more than a tone-deaf stretch. It amounts to a demand that the African-American community ignore its history entirely, and by history I mean even those things that happened last week, let alone last century. It amounts to a demand that some 40 million people adopt amnesia as a cultural virtue, and that their failure to do so will then be used against them when they fail to show sufficient deference to the very forces that have operated as their enemies for so long. Or even when they do. And finally, no more insistence the next time this happens that the deceased was no angel. Because in the eyes of the schoolchildren who knew and loved Philando Castile as a valued, trusted and caring staff member who made their days brighter, he was very close to that. And yet he is still dead. Because anti-blackness doesn’t care how you sag your pants or if you wear a tie to work. It doesn’t care if you hustle CDs from the back of your car to help support your family or punch a clock every day. It doesn’t care how you play your music or if you say “Yes, sir,” and “No, sir.” It doesn’t care that you’re a doting father. It doesn’t care that you’re 12 years old. It doesn’t care if you’re an honor student or a dropout. It only cares that you’re black. And if you are, it only seeks to remind you of two things: First, that according to the founding logic of the culture in which you reside, you have no rights that white men are bound to respect; and lastly, that you are the sausage, and the machinery is operating exactly as designed. Dash cam recording ofOfficer Jeronimo Yanez shootingPhilando Castile: Tim Wise is an antiracism educator and author of six books on race. His website iswww.timwise.organd he tweets @timjacobwise.

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June 22, 2017   Posted in: Anti Racism  Comments Closed

Is PayPal violating its own anti-racism policy? – Fast Company

PayPal remains the biggest conduit for online payments, but its Acceptable Use Policy rules out whole classes of business. Most verboten dealings are illegal, like selling stolen goods; others are risqu, such as “items that are considered obscene.” PayPal also prohibits customers promoting “hate” or “racial intolerance.” But as I learned reporting on tech companies’ involvement with controversial sites, several PayPal customers are classified as “hate groups” by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). Examples include: VanguardAmerica: Which advocates replacing the United States with a fascist empire. Mission to Israel: Whose founder teaches that white Europeans, not Jews, are the descendants of Israel. National Policy Institute (NPI): White nationalist/supremacist organization headed by alt-right scion Richard Spencer. Radix Journal: NPI’s publication, with articles criticizing Jews and arguing the genetic superiority of whites. Identity Evropa: A white nationalist youth movement closely tied to Spencer and NPI. Nuwaubian Nation Of Moors: Whose jailed founder teaches that blacks are a supreme race and has called white people “the devil.” VDARE: White nationalist U.S. site that opposes nonwhite immigration and argues for whites’ genetic superiority. PayPal reviewed these and other sites from the SPLC list and concluded that they do not violate its Acceptable Use Policy. (In fact, since many are nonprofits, they would have required pre-approval to use PayPal for fundraising.) In a statement, PayPal said, “As individuals and as a company, we may disagree with the attitudes expressed by some of our account holders, but we also take into account and respect the right to free expression and open dialogue.” See my full reporting here. SC

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May 18, 2017   Posted in: Anti Racism  Comments Closed


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