News & Updates

  • This is what white supremacy looks like in 2022

    Posted by · November 03, 2022 8:53 AM

    Fast Company - In the past several weeks, Kanye West—or Ye, as he is now known—has come under fire for anti-Semitic remarks released on his social media as well as in a string of news interviews. Despite the indignant cries of Kanye West fans and apologists, who cite his mental illness as an excuse for this behavior, hate groups like the anti-Semitic Goyim Defense League were quick to capitalize on the massive social media reach of the musician and parade their hate on- and offline.

    The signs in the image above hung over the 405 freeway in Los Angeles, a typically liberal and progressive city. It sent shockwaves through the country as yet another reminder that white supremacy is alive and well in pockets of the country. But it’s also a reminder to me that “white supremacy,” as an ideology, has a much longer and more complex history than the blatantly racist pageantry of hate groups would suggest.

    What is white supremacy?

    White supremacy is a term that tends to offend people’s sensibilities much more immediately than the word racism. That’s because white supremacy today presents itself to the American consciousness in offensive, alienating forms. The KKK, hate crimes, neo-Nazis, and now the Goyim Defense League in the photo above—these are the proud examples of white supremacy in the 20th and 21st centuries. Most people condemn them unequivocally, and they have become a sort of sinister “other,” against which non-racist people may define themselves.

    The truth is, white supremacy has a much longer, much uglier history than contemporary white supremacists would suggest. As a pseudoscientific theory of race, a justification for worldwide colonialism and imperialism, and eventually an explicit call to mass genocide, white supremacy has been responsible for some of the most heinous crimes against humanity in modern history.

    As a result, it leaves behind an ugly legacy that stretches across much of our society, including law, politics, economic policy, education, arts and culture, and even language. White supremacists may have diminished in number, but the historical effects of white supremacy have a much longer tail.


    White supremacy today

    The history of white supremacy runs long and deep. And even though the ideas behind it are no longer socially acceptable, it still guides racially biased thinking in almost every field of human experience. The strength of its influence on earlier periods in history is reflected in the ubiquity of its legacy today.

    Cultural white supremacy

    A few weeks ago, I wrote about the cultural white supremacy implicit in the backlash against a Black actress playing the live-action Little Mermaid in 2023: Halle Bailey. To me this is a subtle example of white supremacist gatekeeping when it comes to arts and culture. Even fictional characters have to adhere to our very real sense of racial hierarchy. But in this domain, you could also think about our Eurocentric approach to history, literature, and art in schools and museums, which inevitably privilege Western art. Even tokenism—the practice of symbolically adding characters of color into works of art as a superficial nod to racial equality—could be viewed as an aftereffect of white supremacy.I’ve also written about cultural appropriation in the past—to me, the practice of borrowing or stealing from other cultures’ artistic output for profit is a perfect example of white supremacist imperialism still in action. Western (and particularly American) culture remains globally dominant: to assimilate other cultures into its systems of power without due credit or profit-sharing is a practice steeped in white supremacist ideology.

    The economics of white supremacy

    As an ideology that privileges whiteness and white people’s well-being, white supremacy has also had economic effects on our society. The old practice of “redlining” is a classic example: Mortgage lenders used to (literally) outline African American neighborhoods in red and mark them as higher risk. These neighborhoods did not receive comparable benefits from the various housing and mortgage programs of the New Deal in the 1930s. As a result, Black neighborhoods stayed Black, relatively poor, and unable to access good credit. Discriminatory lending of this kind was one of the major issues addressed by Civil Rights legislation in the 1960s, and it originates in a white supremacist logic of economic exclusion.I myself have experienced this as a Black founder; just this past quarter, Black founders received a paltry $187 million in funding (0.43% of the $43 billion deployed in Q3 2022). There are many reasons behind this kind of inequity, but most of them are rooted in disparities of access to capital, education, wealth, and entrepreneurship—most of which trace their roots back to white supremacist ideas as well. Perhaps the most significant of these is the continued wealth and income inequality between Black and white people, which has barely changed since the 1950s, when white supremacy supposedly came to an end.

    White supremacy in politics and law

    From a legal perspective, white supremacy was coded into Jim Crow laws almost as soon as the Civil War ended. These laws created a different America for Black people, in which it was far easier to be criminalized and much harder to gain wealth or access education. Segregation ended formally with the legal victories of the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s, but it continues in schools and housing up to the present day in more covert forms. The idea that Black and white people cannot share space is obviously a direct corollary of the white supremacist belief that white people are superior.

    Politically, white supremacy has shown up more, and more overtly, since the growth of the Tea Party and its conversion into Trump’s presidential base of support. “Make America Great Again” is only the most memorable example. Trump calling COVID-19 the “Chinese” virus was equally white supremacist—not just because it’s a racist taunt, but because it designates Covid-19 as the creation of a foreign, hostile power rather than a globally shared public health crisis. The implication, of course, is that America—white America—was blameless in its response to COVID-19; all culpability lies with the unknown, but probably malicious, Chinese “Other.”

    by Kathleen Davis for Fast Company

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  • Anti-Asian hate crime drives spike in number of incidents reported to Dallas police

    Posted by · October 25, 2022 2:06 PM

    Dallas Morning News - At a heated town hall meeting in May, Caroline Kim stood in front of city leaders and some of the highest-ranking officers at the Dallas Police Department and called on them to do more to keep the Asian American community safe.

    Just a few days before, a man who later shared with police investigators that he had racist delusions about Asian Americans targeted a hair salon in Dallas’ Koreatown, a neighborhood that Kim’s family has contributed to for more than two decades.

    “If you are truly representing us in this neighborhood, if you’re truly here to help our safety, we need you to recognize and know the leaders in this community, you need to know who the small-business owners are, and you need to ask us if we see something and you need to help us find resources proactively,” Kim said.

    Dallas police Chief Eddie García initially said no evidence showed the shooting was a hate crime, a move that caught the ire of many local Asian American advocates. He reversed course after evidence surfaced that the van used in the shooting matched the description of a suspect vehicle in at least two other incidents.

    At the time of the town hall meeting, García recognized the rise in anti-Asian hate incidents reported across the country, but contended that it was too early to say whether the trend had reached North Texas. Recent data from Dallas police, however, shows a dramatic increase in hate crimes.

    Kristin Lowman, a Dallas police spokeswoman, said there were 17 total hate crime incidents in 2021 that affected 19 victims, as some incidents have multiple victims. This year so far, there have been 27 incidents and 38 victims linked to hate crimes. Those are the crimes that were reported and vetted by police to be prosecuted as hate crimes.

    But more incidents were reported to police as hate crimes. Between January to October last year, Dallas police investigated 14 potential hate crime offenses, according to department data. In the same time span this year, there were 39 possible hate crime offenses, according to the department, and 15 were related to anti-Asian and Pacific Islander incidents.

    Police say their efforts to educate and improve communication with the community contributed to the increase in reported hate crimes, but they stopped short of recognizing the spike as part of a trend that has been seen across the country in the past two years.

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  • Antisemitic Flyers Appear In Concord, Walnut Creek Driveways

    Posted by · October 19, 2022 11:43 AM

    Patch - Concord resident Tammy Helman's grandfather was an Auschwitz survivor. Her other grandfather hid in an attic while he watched his family taken by Nazi soldiers.

    "As Israeli-born and raised, it's heartbreaking to see that hatred and lies that people in the U.S. still believe in," Helman said Wednesday. "It's very concerning to see that people, even though they are (an) extremist minority, still believe that, and even more when they pass this to the next generation."

    Last week, Helman found antisemitic leaflets on her driveway and around her neighborhood, packed in plastic bags.

    "People around the neighborhood didn't even want to see them," Helma said. "For me, silence is a kind of violence."

    Walnut Creek City Councilmember Kevin Wilk brought up the leaflets at Tuesday's council meeting. The flyers were left near the Walnut Creek/Concord border near Oak Grove Road.

    Wilk — Walnut Creek's first Jewish mayor and city councilmember — said the literature was left in the neighborhood sometime during Sept. 27-30, during the Jewish High Holidays between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

    Wilk called them "awful, vile leaflets" and said he mentioned them because "we must unite as one community to push back on this."

    "We've made great strides in our city to be inclusive and all-welcoming, and we refute this kind of anti-Semitic and any hate material in every way, shape and form," Wilk told the council. "There's more work to be done, but we as a council need to expose racism, ant-Semitism and hate crimes for what they are."

    The flyers say "every aspect of the Ukraine-Russia War is Jewish," speculate Jews were responsible for 9/11, blame Jews for slavery, and say they control the United States government and media, among other claims.

    Similar leaflets have been found in Danville, Palo Alto and Berkeley earlier this year. Marin County District Attorney Lori Frugoli on Monday released a statement saying she wanted to assure the public that appropriate action is being taken following similar flyers appearing in her county.

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  • Support for Confederate symbols and monuments follows lines of race, religion, and education rather than geography.

    Posted by · October 11, 2022 6:09 PM

    The United States of Confederate America

    By David A. Graham

    The Atlantic - Several years ago, I was driving on a rural road when I came up behind a pickup truck with a Confederate-flag sticker on the back window. This isn’t such an unusual sight in some parts of the United States, but this instance surprised me: The truck had Pennsylvania plates, and the road was in Gettysburg, where an invading force of tens of thousands of Confederates, formed to defend Black slavery, arrived in summer 1863 on a pillaging expedition.

    But though the Civil War was a battle between two regions of the country, sympathy for the Confederacy is no longer confined to states that seceded and border states. Support for Confederate symbols and monuments now exists across the country, following lines of race, religion, and education rather than geography. This is one of many ways in which the South is no longer simply a region: A certain version of it has become an identity shared among white, rural, conservative Americans from coast to coast. That’s one takeaway from a new survey about Confederate symbols from the Public Religion Research Institute and E Pluribus Unum.

    “We’ve had hints of this in the ways that campaigns get run: It used to be that all politics are local, and it’s seeming more like all politics are national,” Robert P. Jones, the president and founder of PRRI, told me. “When you look at the predictors on Confederate monuments, they are much more about race and partisan affiliation and education levels than they are about region.”

    Some of the survey’s findings are unsurprising: Southerners are more likely to report Confederate monuments or displays of the flag in their community; Black southerners report especially acute awareness of such monuments. White Americans are more likely than Black Americans to see Confederate symbols as expressions of southern heritage rather than racism.

    Where things get interesting is when the survey measures support for reforms, whether destruction of these markers or removal to a museum: Across race, party, and education levels, numbers diverge, but views about reform are nearly identical in the South and in the rest of the country. Nearly identical portions of southerners and Americans elsewhere (22 percent versus 25 percent) back reform, and nearly identical portions oppose it (17 percent versus 20 percent). The remainder are split between leaning one way or another, again closely mirrored. In other words, non-southerners feel the same way about Confederate monuments that southerners do.

    This would surely come as a surprise to the men who professed fidelity to state and region above national identity when they sided with the Confederacy in 1861. But it’s the product of a dynamic in which white, rural Americans around the country have adopted the culture of white, rural southerners. This is only one piece of the region’s heritage, a rich, cosmopolitan, and multiracial mix that has shaped the entire country’s music, food, and culture, though it is also the one that has become the go-to stereotype of the region’s identity.

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  • Little progress combating systemic racism against people of African descent: UN report

    Posted by · October 03, 2022 7:19 AM

    More than two years since the murder of George Floyd by a police officer in the United States sparked the global Black Lives Matter movement, there’s been only “piecemeal progress” in addressing systemic racism, the UN human rights office (OHCHR) said on Friday, in a new report.

    While more people have been made aware of systemic racism and concrete steps have been taken in some countries, the Acting High Commissioner for Human Rights called on States to demonstrate greater political will to accelerate action.

    “There have been some initiatives in different countries to address racism, but for the most part they are piecemeal. They fall short of the comprehensive evidence-based approaches needed to dismantle the entrenched structural, institutional and societal racism that has existed for centuries, and continues to inflict deep harm today,” said Nada Al-Nashif, who will present the report to the UN Human Rights Council on Monday.

    She specifically pointed to key recommendations made in OHCHR’s Agenda towards Transformative Change for Racial Justice and Equality.

    Triggering change

    The report describes international, national and local initiatives that have been taken, towards ending the scourge of racism.

    These include an Executive Order from the White House on advancing effective, accountable policing and criminal justice practices in federal law enforcement agencies; an Anti-Racism Data Act in British Columbia, Canada; measures to evaluate ethnic profiling by police in Sweden; and census data collection to self-identify people of African descent in Argentina.

    The European Commission has issued guidance on collecting and using data based on racial or ethnic origin; formal apologies issued, memorialization, revisiting public spaces, and research, to assess links to enslavement and colonialism in several countries.

    ‘Barometer for success’

    The report notes that poor outcomes continue for people of African descent in many countries, notably in accessing health and adequate food, education, social protection, and justice - while poverty, enforced disappearance and violence continues.

    It highlights “continuing…allegations of discriminatory treatment, unlawful deportations, excessive use of force, and deaths of African migrants and migrants of African descent by law enforcement officials”

    The barometer for success must be positive change in the lived experiences of people of African descent,” continued Ms. Al-Nashif.

    “States need to listen to people of African descent, meaningfully involve them and take genuine steps to act upon their concerns.”

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  • Fetishized, sexualized and marginalized, Asian women are uniquely vulnerable to violence

    Posted by · September 12, 2022 12:22 PM

    CNN - Of the eight people who were killed when a White man attacked three metro Atlanta spas, six were Asian women.

    Investigators said it was too early to say whether the crime was racially motivated, and instead pointed to the suspect’s claim of a potential sex addiction.

    But experts and activists argue it’s no coincidence that six of the eight victims were Asian women. And the suspect’s remarks, they say, are rooted in a history of misogyny and stereotypes that are all too familiar for Asian and Asian American women.

    They’re fetishized and hypersexualized. They’re seen as docile and submissive. On top of that, they’re often working in the service sector and are subject to the same racism that affects Asian Americans more broadly.

    The way their race intersects with their gender makes Asian and Asian American women uniquely vulnerable to violence, said Sung Yeon Choimorrow, executive director of the non-profit advocacy group National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum.

    And those factors came together this week in a dangerous, and ultimately deadly, way.

    These perceptions are rooted in US history

    The perceptions of Asian and Asian American women as submissive, hypersexual and exotic can be traced back centuries.

    Rachel Kuo, a scholar on race and co-leader of Asian American Feminist Collective, points to legal and political measures throughout the nation’s history that have shaped these harmful ideas.

    One of the earliest examples comes from the Page Act of 1875.

    That law, coming a few years before the Chinese Exclusion Act, was enacted seemingly to restrict prostitution and forced labor. In reality, it was used systematically to prevent Chinese women from immigrating to the US, under the pretense that they were prostitutes.

    US imperialism has also played a significant role in those attitudes, Kuo said.

    American service members, while abroad for US military activities (including the Philippine-American War, World War II and the Vietnam War), have a history of soliciting sex workers and patronizing industries that encouraged sex trafficking. That furthered denigrating stereotypes of Asian women as sexual deviants, which were memorialized on screen.

    All of those perceptions “have had the effect of excusing and tolerating violence by ignoring, trivializing and normalizing it,” Kuo said.

    They’ve affected Asian women economically

    Those stereotypes also feed into perceptions of “Asian women as cheap and disposable workers,” said Kuo. That’s made them economically vulnerable, too.

    Asian American businesses have already been hit especially hard during the pandemic, fueled both by unemployment and xenophobia.

    Asian women, in particular, made up the highest share of long-term unemployed workers last December, according to a January report from the National Women’s Law Center.

    And many Asian American women work in service industries, such as beauty salons, hospitality and restaurants.

    “The narrative gets lost because we’re seen as the ‘model minority,’ where they think we’re all lawyers and doctors and engineers, but look into it a little deeper and many of the women in our community work in frontline service-based sectors,” Choimorrow, of the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, said.

    Other advocates also called attention to the recent victims’ employment situations.

    “That the Asian women murdered yesterday were working highly vulnerable and low-wage jobs during an ongoing pandemic speaks directly to the compounding impacts of misogyny, structural violence, and white supremacy,” Phi Nguyen, litigation director at Asian American Advancing Justice - Atlanta, said in a statement.

    Massage parlor workers and sex workers are especially at risk, according to Esther Kao, an organizer with Red Canary Song, a New York-based collective of Asian and Asian American advocates for massage parlor workers and sex workers.

    She said those workers not only face stigma, but are also often migrants. Some may fear they risk deportation should authorities investigate violence or crimes against them.

    It’s also important to note that not all massage businesses provide sexual services, Kao said. To suggest as much, as the suspect in the Atlanta area attacks did, is a “racist assumption,” she said.

    “It ties specifically to the fetishization of Asian woman,” Kao added.

    They’re showing up in the violence seen today

    The recent attacks come as Asian Americans are experiencing a rise in incidents of hate and violence since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, echoing a historical pattern that has seen Asian Americans targeted during times of crisis because they are viewed as foreigners.

    Groups that track violence and harassment against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders say that their data shows that women are disproportionately affected.

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  • Black Americans see racism as a persistent challenge, and few say the country's racial reckoning has brought change

    Posted by · September 06, 2022 11:17 AM

    CNN - Two-thirds of Black Americans say that recent increased focus on race and racial inequality in the US has not led to changes that are improving the lives of Black people, according to a new report from the Pew Research Center.

    The finding marks a pessimistic turn: In September of 2020, a majority of Black adults (56%) felt the added attention to issues of race and equality following a summer of protests sparked by the murder of George Floyd would lead to changes that improved the lives of Black people.

    In the new survey, however, 65% of Black adults say that such changes haven't materialized. Just 13% see it as extremely or very likely that Black people in the US will achieve equality, with little variation in that figure by age, gender, region or education level.

    The survey -- which included interviews with more than 3,000 Black Americans nationwide conducted last fall -- finds 82% consider racism a major problem for Black people in the US. About 8 in 10 Black Americans report having personally experienced discrimination because of their race or ethnicity (79%) -- including 15% who say they experience such discrimination regularly. And roughly 7 in 10 (68%) say racial discrimination is the main reason why many Black people can't get ahead these days.

    "Overall, Black Americans are clear on what they think the problems are facing the country and how to remedy them," write Kiana Cox and Khadijah Edwards, the report's authors. "However, they are skeptical that meaningful changes will take place in their lifetime."

    A broad majority (85%) of Black adults say Black people in the US today are significantly affected by the legacy of slavery, and 77% say descendants of people enslaved in the US should be repaid in some way. But just 7% of Black adults see the payment of reparations as very or extremely likely in their own lifetimes. Among the overall US adult population, just 30% favor such reparations.

    Racism ranks as the most pressing problem for Black people living in the US out of six issues tested in the survey. Almost two-thirds of Black adults, 63%, say it is an extremely big problem for Black Americans, while 60% say the same of police brutality, 54% of economic inequality, 47% affordability of health care, 46% efforts to limit voting and 40% the quality of K-12 schools.

    A narrow majority of Black adults say that racism in the law is a bigger problem than racism by individual people (52%), while 43% feel individual racism is a bigger issue than that built into the law. Opinions are polarized, with 56% of Black Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents saying racism in the law is the bigger issue, while 59% of Black Republicans and Republican-leaning independents say racism by individuals is a bigger problem.

    Most Black Americans say that major changes are needed in American institutions to enable Black people to be treated fairly. That sentiment is strongest when it comes to the criminal justice system, where about half or more say the prison system (54%), policing (49%) or courts and the judicial process (48%) need to be completely rebuilt for Black people to receive fair treatment. Fewer feel a complete rebuild is in order for the political system (42%), the economic system (37%) or the health care system (34%), even though most say those systems merit major changes or more. Across each of these areas, few who think changes are needed expect to see them happen in their own lifetime.

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  • "New America": Avowed white nationalist, LGBTQ-hater pushes vision to Catholic right

    Posted by · August 29, 2022 11:45 AM

    On Aug. 18, the Catholic-right media outlet Church Militant featured a half-hour interview with John Doyle, a young YouTube streamer who drew national attention this June for helping to lead a uniquely ugly protest against an LGBTQ Pride Month event in downtown Dallas. The 22-year-old Doyle, whose YouTube show "Heck Off, Commie!" has an audience of some 300,000 subscribers, has openly referred to himself as both a "white nationalist" and "Christian fascist." But to his interviewer, Church Militant founder and president Michael Voris, he was a "saint in the making." And as the conversation brought Doyle's message to a new and different audience, the alignment of right-wing Catholicism with some of the most extreme voices on today's far right only grew. 

    For years, Church Militant has served as an angry gadfly within the world of right-wing Catholicism, objecting not just to moderate and progressive Catholics and Pope Francis, whom the outlet sees as a heretical liberal, but also to more mainstream conservative Catholic outlets it views as insufficiently critical of church hierarchy. 

    For his part, Doyle is a prominent member of online far-right youth circles aligned with the white nationalist America First/groyper movement and its leader, the gleefully racist and antisemitic livestreamer Nick Fuentes, with whom Doyle led a "Stop the Steal" protest in 2020. On his livestream show, where Doyle promotes an authoritarian form of Christian nationalism, he has attacked figures like Martin Luther King, Jr., claiming that "being assassinated was like the best thing that could happen to him" and said that "the destruction of white racism is ultimately code for the destruction of American society." Last October, Doyle taunted students at the University of North Texas by asking, "What is wrong with Christian fascism?" and warning that "when we and all my friends take power, bad things are going to happen to you."

    In February, Doyle appeared as a special guest at Fuentes' third America First Political Action Conference (AFPAC III) in Orlando, alongside far-right politicians like Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Arizona state Sen. Wendy Rogers, who called for hanging the movement's political enemies. In April, after keynoting an event hosted by the University of California, Santa Barbara, chapter of Turning Point USA, Doyle praised the group for being brave enough to invite "white nationalists" like "yours truly" to speak. 

    And this June, as Salon reported, Doyle attacked a family-friendly drag queen brunch at a Dallas gay bar, declaring that LGBTQ people are "the symptom of a dying society," that he aimed to take away "every single one" of their rights and that Texas sheriffs should enter the bar "and put bullets in all their heads" because "That's what the badge is for." 

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    Posted by · August 21, 2022 6:28 PM

    Sunday August 21st 9:00PM

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  • Videos Show Man Attacking Women Minutes Apart in San Francisco's Richmond District

    Posted by · August 15, 2022 10:33 AM

    NBC - San Francisco police are searching for a man who attacked two women minutes apart in the city's Richmond district.

    The assaults have left some businesses and residents even more afraid in a normally safe and quiet area that has now become the scene of the most recent attacks on the Asian community.

    One of the attacks happened just past 11:30 a.m. Wednesday. Surveillance video shows a man in a black hoodie speaking to himself as he makes his way east on Geary Street. Another angle from a different surveillance video shows he turns around and points at an elderly woman wearing a hat. The woman glances at him and that's when the man turns and attacks, running her down and repeatedly punching her in the face.

    A car alarm is set off as the woman falls, which caused the attacker to run away. A witness who ran out to help, but did not want to be identified, told NBC Bay Area the 65-year-old Asian woman was left with a bloody lip, bloody teeth, and damaged glasses.

    The witness said what makes all this worse is the incident was the suspect's second attack.

    The first attack occurred minutes earlier and was also caught on surveillance video. The same man is seen punching another woman - also believed to be Asian - as she crosses the street.

    A nearby business owner said the attacks leave her even more afraid and even less sure about how to protect herself.

    "If you carry pepper spray - what are we going to do if they're going to attack you? They're faster than us and we are only women," the business owner said. "What should we do?"

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