Friday, January 16, 2009

white weekend links

"Detroit's Top Lawyer Resigns Over 'Ghetto' Remarks" (Zachary Gorchow and David Ashenfelter @ Detroit Free Press)

The City of Detroit’s top lawyer resigned Thursday, a day after she allegedly said the city’s predominantly black 36th District Court was “acting like a ghetto court.”

Deputy Mayor Saul Green accepted her resignation Thursday, the same day that 36th District Court Chief Judge Marylin Atkins sent a letter to Kathleen Leavey and other city officials protesting her alleged remarks.

Leavey said in an interview this morning that her remarks were taken out of context.

Leavey, who is white, said she got into a heated discussion Wednesday with a court administrator about the court’s handling of a lawsuit against the court in which it asked the city to pay the judgment of $400,000 against it without warning.

“I told her people regard this as a ghetto court because of the way they treat people,” Leavey said.

Leavey said she was referring to long lines and slow service at the court – not it’s predominately African-American group of judges and rejected Atkins’ labeling of her as a racist. The administrator contacted Atkins, who contacted Deputy Mayor Saul Green, Leavey said.

“In her mind it was racist, and the mayor and deputy mayor also felt it was racist and felt I had to resign,” she said.

"From Mississippi to Gaza: Killing Children With Impunity" (Henry A. Giroux @ Counterpunch)

Is any military strategy justified when it results in the killing of over 300 defenseless children? And what does it mean when the issue of military disproportionality is simply treated by the media as an obvious fact and not understood as part of the equation used to define state terrorism, particularly when the most sophisticated military weapons are used unchallenged against densely crowded civilian populations that have no comparable military technology? Why are the shocking images of Emmet Till or the bloated bodies of Katrina victims any more moving or a cause for outrage and collective action among Americans than the image of a two year-old child hit by an Israeli shell while running for safety? One such image was described by an aid worker in the following terms: "It was like charcoal. ... Also without any limbs, because some of the animals ate some of his limbs." Is it conceivable that Palestinians are now viewed as a population so disposable and without any redeeming value that even images of Palestinian children being blown apart by rockets and gunfire no longer elicit a need for moral outrage and rigorous political criticism?

What is it that connects the death of Emmett Till, the abandonment of largely poor African-Americans in New Orleans, and the deaths of innocent children in Gaza? All three are tied together by the racialized logic of disappearance and disposability implemented under the practices of a modern state. . . .

All three embody the ideology of a racial state in which it is assumed that in the absence of African-Americans and Palestinians, including children, there would be no police violence, threats, insecurity, checkpoints, blockades, economic problems, immigrants—just a racially cleansed society no longer at war with itself and others. What unites all three events is the shame of racist violence and the practices of state terrorism . . .

"Agent Orange Devastates Generations of Vietnamese" (worldfocusonline @ YouTube)

During the Vietnam War, the U.S. dropped millions of gallons of Agent Orange, a toxic defoliant, on Vietnam in an attempt to remove the jungle used for cover by communist forces.

Decades later, civilians still suffer the consequences. Dioxin still lurks in Vietnams soil, causing deformities which are passed on from generation to generation. Worldfocus correspondent Mark Litke and producer Ara Ayer travel to Vietnam and witness the devastating effects the toxin has left behind. For more information on efforts to aid the victims of Agent Orange, visit the Vietnam Friendship Village

"Ending racism: should children be taken away from racist parents?" (Aisha Ali @ Detroit)

In a state intolerable of child abuse, children are removed from their abusive parents’ home, ultimately becoming wards of the state. There have been instances where children have been removed from their parents' home due to mental or emotional harm. When concerning racism and its effects, many forms of abuse are directed toward children of color. Children of color have been and continue to be harassed, beaten, and/or killed by racists. People who commit such crimes are obviously abusing children, but has anyone ever considered the racist parent who also indoctrinates his/her child with prejudiced cult- or clan-like ideology? Should this be considered child abuse? If so, should children be removed from their parents’ home and placed under state supervision?

(Rock-On's Weblog)

"Adolf Hitler Campbell Mystery: Why Did Authorities Take Him And His Sisters?" (Huffington Post)

It has been a few days since little Adolf Hitler Campbell and his sisters were taken from their parents by New Jersey's Division of Youth and Family Services. The mystery remains over why they were taken. Fox News reports on the possibility that their infamous names are to blame:

"A state official was adamant Friday that a child would never be removed from his parents based solely on his name. But a First Amendment expert said that the boy's name might have had something to do with it...

"Although privacy laws prevent authorities from discussing specifics of the case, DYFS spokeswoman Kate Bernyk reiterated Friday that the agency 'would never remove a child simply based on that child's name.'

"But a name like Adolf Hitler could have contributed to their removal, said Rod Smolla, dean of the Washington and Lee Law School."

"German Minorities Still Fight To Be Seen, Heard" (Sylvia Poggioli @ NPR)

In a small theater club in Berlin's Neukoelln district, author Sharon Otoo stands on a small stage and, in front of a young, mixed-race audience, reads a work about the lives of black Germans.

The daughter of Ghanaian parents, Otoo is angered that German society labels her and the estimated half-million Afro-Germans as foreigners — or treats them as nonexistent.

"When you take white as the norm, and everything else is deviant from that, and your advertising is always targeted at white people, or when you write school books and they're targeted at white children, this is, for me, a racist experience," she says.

"White Firefighters' Race Case Headed to U.S. Supreme Court" (Chicago Tribune)

The U.S. Supreme Court has decided to hear a case that could strike down laws that give special protections to minorities in the workplace. The case, Ricci vs. Destefano, is an appeal brought by a group of white firefighters in New Haven, Conn. Here’s the background: The white firefighters had earned the best scores on a civil service test, but didn’t get the promotions they believed they deserved. New Haven later threw out the civil service test and promoted three African Americans to supervisory jobs in the city’s fire department.

The white firefighters sued and a federal judge and the U.S. appeals court ruled for the city, saying federal civil rights law prohibits the use of tests that have a “disproportionate racial impact” on minorities.

But the firefighters took their case to the U.S. Supreme Court, accusing the city of playing “race politics.” The firefighters want the high court to rule that the city must follow an equal treatment standard, without regard to race in testing or promotion policies.

"Racial Profiling Charged after Texas Man Shot in Own Driveway" (CNN @ YouTube, January 8, 2009)

The family of a young black Texas man who was shot in his own driveway by a white police officer believes that racial profiling was the cause and are asking for criminal charges to be filed against the officer.

According to family members, Robbie Tolan and his cousin were returning to Tolan's home in the mostly white Houston suburb of Bellaire in the early hours of December 31, when they were approached by officers who suspected the SUV they had just gotten out of was stolen.

Tolan's parents, who own the SUV, came out of the house to explain the situation. An altercation ensued and Tolan's mother was thrown against the garage door by an officer. According to Tolan's uncle, "Her son was on his back at the time, and he raised up and asked, 'What are you doing to my mom?' and the officer shot him -- while he was on the ground."

1 comment:

  1. this article: "German Minorities Still Fight To Be Seen, Heard"

    There is one thing Americans shouldn't do: Judging Germany with an American point of view. It doesn't make sense.


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