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jerryking : institutional_path_dependency   6

No Racial Barrier Left to Break (Except All of Them) - The New York Times
JAN. 14, 2017 | NYT | By KHALIL GIBRAN MUHAMMAD.

The future is no longer about “firsts.” It is instead about the content of the character of the institutions our new leaders will help us rebuild....The U.S. can’t create a more just nation simply by dressing up institutions in more shades of brown. Now there must be an effort to confront structural racism.....for African-Americans, Obama's travails are proof positive that MLK's contention that the content of one’s character would be the perfect antidote to racism is necessary but--by itself--insufficient to heal the gaping wounds of racial injustice in America.....in a post-assimilation America where there is no racial [occupational] barrier left to break, [African] Americans must turn to confronting structural racism and the values of our institutions....Obama's pedigree and character couldn’t protect/save him from the Tea Party revolution, Republican obstructionism, police brutality, voter suppression and Islamophobia.... individuals, no matter how singular, cannot bend the moral arc of the universe....In a post-assimilation America, recognize that institutions are far more powerful than individuals, no matter how many people of color can be counted in leadership. Structural racism is immune to identity politics....history matters. Black people in charge of, or embedded in, institutions that have not atoned for their history of racism can make it easier for those institutions to ignore or dismiss present-day claims of racial bias. That’s because the path to leadership has often meant accepting institutions as they are, not disrupting them.....people of color can inherit or perpetuate structures of inequality. Many institutions of government, finance and higher education were built on the backs of enslaved African-Americans and remain haunted by that history. Diversity and inclusion policies, therefore, should grow out of truth and reconciliation practices as well as strategic hiring plans. Intentional transformation, even reparations, one government agency, one company, one college at a time moves us past the denial and the empty promises....In post-assimilation America, people of color must continue to pursue leadership roles as the demographics of the nation inexorably change. But they must also reject their personal achievement as the core measure of progress and instead use history as a tool to measure systemic change.
African-Americans  assimilation  farewells  Georgetown_University  GOP  history  identity_politics  institutions  institutional_change  institutional_path_dependency  leaders  legacies  MLK  Obama  obstructionism  reconciliation  structural_change  systemic_change  systemic_discrimination  systemic_racism  Tea_Party 
january 2017 by jerryking
Those who focus on police reform are asking the wrong questions - The Globe and Mail
AMANDA ALEXANDER
Contributed to The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Jul. 29, 2016

The deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile underscore two truths about the United States: We make it difficult for people to get by and harder yet to care for each other. After decades of slashing welfare budgets and increasing investments in prisons, federal and state governments have charted a path for the country’s poorest: aggressive policing and incarceration. We’ve locked people out of the formal job market and criminalized their survival.

It is not coincidental that officers in New York and Baton Rouge killed Eric Garner and Alton Sterling, respectively, in the course of policing informal economies (selling loose cigarettes and CDs). We simply make life hard for people – until we extinguish it entirely....Each day, we require black people to risk their lives to be cafeteria workers, teachers, therapists. The United States demands impossible sacrifices from black people to sustain its economy, and has since slavery.

What does this have to do with police reform?

Very little. Reformers are asking the wrong questions. They have turned to increased police training and altered use-of-force protocols to end this nightmare. Fortunately, some among us demand another way. Young black activists are not just asking, “How do we make cops stop shooting us?” but instead, “What do our communities need to thrive? How do we get free?” They’re not begging for scraps; they’re demanding the world they deserve. If there’s a future for any of us, it’s in asking these questions, demanding fundamental shifts in resources and organizing like hell.....Meanwhile, cash-strapped cities continue to raise revenue from policing and fining the poor. And because of insufficient social service investment, Americans rely on police to be first responders to crises of mental health, addiction and homelessness.
policing  African-Americans  reform  informal_economy  mental_health  addictions  existential  foundational  homelessness  community_organizing  incarceration  institutional_path_dependency  structural_change  questions  Black_Lives_Matter  cash-strapped  cities  reframing  political_organizing 
july 2016 by jerryking
Why black Canadians are facing U.S.-style problems - The Globe and Mail
DOUG SAUNDERS
The Globe and Mail
Published Saturday, Jul. 16, 2016

What’s the root of this discrimination, which takes place even when officials are racially diverse and liberal-minded? In part, it’s institutional path dependency: Police and judges have always responded to suspects based on traditional patterns (and on patterns learned from the U.S. media and justice system), and it’s hard to break those ugly traditions.

That’s dangerous, because black Canadians are also inordinately excluded from home ownership, neighbourhoods with good public transit and key employment markets. That’s partly due to the timing and economic circumstances of Caribbean immigration, partly due to racism.

Either way, it creates a spiral of discrimination: A group of Canadians who live in fringe rental-only neighbourhoods, with less secure employment and access to resources, who face a more hostile police and justice system, hurting their chances of advancement.
African_Canadians  Canadian  Doug_Saunders  geographic_segregation  racial_disparities  systemic_discrimination  systemic_racism  racial_discrimination  institutional_path_dependency  exclusion  marginalization 
july 2016 by jerryking
A half-century of progress and black America’s still burning - The Globe and Mail
DOUG SAUNDERS
The Globe and Mail
Published Saturday, May. 09 2015

When it comes to race relations, America is better than it’s ever been,” the Washington journalist Jamelle Bouie writes. “With that said, we shouldn’t confuse optimism about race relations (or, again, how whites view blacks and other groups) with optimism about racial progress, or how groups fare in relation to each other. There, the news isn’t just bad – it’s bleak.”

Why have the huge improvements in American racial attitudes and general social measures not brought about an improvement in racial equality? Why do police attack and discriminate against black Americans disproportionately – even when, as is the case in Baltimore, most of the police force, its chief, its mayor and its president are African-American?

This is the paradox of the United States today: A population of voters and leaders who have largely moved beyond racial discrimination continue to produce often grotesquely racist results. Why does the reality not change with the attitudes toward it?

The answer is found in the cities and towns where these explosions of violence and deprivation are taking place: Once an institution (a city, a police force, a school system, an economy) is set up to create a racial divide, it will continue to do so, regardless who’s running it, unless there’s a dramatic intervention.
Doug_Saunders  African-Americans  race_relations  institutions  institutional_path_dependency  systemic_discrimination  disproportionality  institutional_racism  deprivations 
may 2015 by jerryking
America’s racial divide widens under Obama’s watch - The Globe and Mail
KONRAD YAKABUSKI
The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, May. 07 2015,

African-Americans are sliding down an economic ladder they had been gradually climbing. Millions of black people who moved north during the Great Migration of the mid-20th century found jobs in bustling factories. Millions more found public-sector jobs – as teachers, postal employees or city workers – as black people took over city governments and congressional seats in places such as Baltimore and Detroit. These workers formed the basis of a black middle class.

But the previous recession hit black people harder than any other group. Manufacturing was shedding jobs before the crash; governments and the post office followed suit when it hit. As Bard College professor Walter Russell Mead has noted, black people accounted for less than 12 per cent of the U.S. work force in 2011, but 21 per cent of postal employees and 20 per cent of all government workers. But with government and manufacturing in retreat, black people faced bleak job prospects.

The new economy is largely a black-free zone. A USA Today analysis last year found that African-Americans occupied only 2 per cent of the jobs at seven big Silicon Valley companies. That’s not hard to understand given the state of public schools in places such as Baltimore, Detroit and Washington, where political nepotism and unions have stood in the way of reform.

Meanwhile, systemic racism in the U.S. criminal justice system – black people are far more likely than white people to be sentenced to jail for minor drug violations, ending up with criminal records that make them virtually unemployable – is so deep as to cry out for a national inquiry.
racial_disparities  Silicon_Valley  Ted_Cruz  Konrad_Yakabuski  Campaign_2016  digital_economy  race_relations  Obama  downward_mobility  African-Americans  public_sector  middle_class  Walter_Russell_Mead  systemic_discrimination  criminal_justice_system  joblessness  public_schools  Great_Migration  sentencing  downward_spirals  institutional_path_dependency 
may 2015 by jerryking
What I learned in Ferguson - The Globe and Mail
OMAR EL AKKAD
What I learned in Ferguson
SUBSCRIBERS ONLY
The Globe and Mail
Published Sunday, Dec. 07 2014

...the underlying, centuries-old imbalances that allow such a thing to happen. ...an entire urban structure built on inequality....Last weekend, the Globe published a story on how the Ferguson protests have become an American phenomenon, sparking a nationwide conversation on race, poverty and violence. But where there is a story about breadth, there is also a story about depth....the fault lines of segregation exist not along one axis but two: race and wealth....To make ends meet, municipalities such as Ferguson have resorted to more direct means – namely, fees and court fines. Jaywalking and speeding citations aren’t just a tool for enforcing public safety, they’ve increasingly become a financial necessity.

But beyond creating a sense of resentment among the citizenry, these revenue tools have direct and sometimes life-changing consequences. In a place where the median household income is about $37,500 (roughly $10,000 less than the state average), tickets often go unpaid, leading to a warrant, which in turn can lead to arrest, destroying job prospects in the process.

But there’s more. In Missouri, those on parole or probation are not allowed to vote. That means a fine that started out as a financial measure for the municipality can end up as a tool of political disenfranchisement.
Omar_el_Akkad  Ferguson  life-changing  resentments  police_brutality  structural_change  inequality  segregation  disenfranchisement  fault_lines  municipalities  institutional_path_dependency  imbalances 
december 2014 by jerryking

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