#black-america Tag

#BlackLivesMatter

Apple announces new projects related to its $100 million pledge for racial equity and justice

I was very happy to hear about Lisa Jackson leading Apple’s Racial Equity and Justice Initiative.

From the Apple’s press release yesterday:

Apple today announced a set of major new projects as part of its $100 million Racial Equity and Justice Initiative (REJI) to help dismantle systemic barriers to opportunity and combat injustices faced by communities of color. These forward-looking and comprehensive efforts include the Propel Center, a first-of-its-kind global innovation and learning hub for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs); an Apple Developer Academy to support coding and tech education for students in Detroit; and venture capital funding for Black and Brown entrepreneurs. Together, Apple’s REJI commitments aim to expand opportunities for communities of color across the country and to help build the next generation of diverse leaders.

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Re: These Black Capitol Police Officers Describe Fighting Off "Racist Ass Terrorists"

From Emmanuel Felton of Buzzfeed News:

“That was a heavily trained group of militia terrorists that attacked us,” said the officer, who has been with the department for more than a decade. “They had radios, we found them, they had two-way communicators and earpieces. They had bear spray. They had flash bangs … They were prepared. They strategically put two IEDs, pipe bombs in two different locations. These guys were military trained. A lot of them were former military,” the veteran said, referring to two suspected pipe bombs that were found outside the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee and the Republican National Committee.

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Re: Confederates in the Capitol

Clint Smith, from an article in The Atlantic:

The fact that this photo was taken the day after voters in Georgia chose the first Black person and the first Jewish person in the history of that state to serve in the Senate; that it shows a man walking past the portrait of a vice president who urged the country to sustain human bondage and another portrait of a senator who was nearly beaten to death for standing up to the slavocracy; that it portrays a man walking with a Confederate flag while a mob of insurrectionists pushed past police, broke windows, vandalized offices, stole property, and strolled through the halls of Congress for hours, forcing senators and representatives into hiding and stopping the certification of the electoral process—it is almost difficult to believe that so much of our history, and our current moment, was reflected in a single photograph.


For everything I know about this country’s history, it’s still hard to believe I watched a man break into the United States Capitol and walk around with a Confederate flag with the encouragement of the President.

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Re: Face recognition vendor vows new rules after wrongful arrest in U.S. using its technology

From Reuters:

Robert Williams, who is Black, spent over a day in Detroit police custody in January after Rank One’s face recognition software connected his driver’s license photo to surveillance video of someone shoplifting, the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan (ACLU) said.

Terrible.

I want to talk about this line from the article:

In a video shared by the ACLU, Williams says officers released him after acknowledging “the computer” must have been wrong.

This shows some of the stupid thinking behind this mess. Anyone who thinks the computer should be the one to be “right” or “wrong” about identifying a person is very confused. Computers can help you do analysis, and might support a conclusion, but they should not determine who committed a crime or who goes to jail.

Trusting software (which is always buggy and about two wrong variable states away from falling apart completely) to decide people’s guilt or innocence is not only stupid, but a well known sci-fi trope that ALWAYS ends badly, especially in the hands of organizations who are generally lazy, racist, corrupt, and/or ignorant.

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Defund The Police

Apparently people think “defund the police” is a bad slogan and needs to be reworded to be more attractive as a policy.

But you know what? I don’t give a shit. Defund the police.

Vox:

A three-word slogan is not a detailed policy agenda, and not everyone using the slogan agrees on the details. The basic idea, though, is less that policing budgets should be literally zeroed out than that there should be a massive restructuring of public spending priorities.

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Thousands Of New Yorkers Protest Police Killing Of George Floyd As NYPD Responds With Batons And Pepper Spray

Gothamist:

By the time the evening’s protests were over, the frustration of the New Yorkers gathered had run headlong into the aggressive mass-arrest protest-policing tactics of the NYPD. Some protesters were in the hospital. Police vehicles were on fire. And with more protests scheduled over the weekend and in the days ahead, there was every indication that the outpouring of anguish over police violence, and the violent police response to it, will only continue.

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Re: The Coronavirus Was an Emergency Until Trump Found Out Who Was Dying

America’s Racial Contract

The implied terms of the racial contract are visible everywhere for those willing to see them. A 12-year-old with a toy gun is a dangerous threat who must be met with lethal force; armed militias drawing beads on federal agents are heroes of liberty. Struggling white farmers in Iowa taking billions in federal assistance are hardworking Americans down on their luck; struggling single parents in cities using food stamps are welfare queens. Black Americans struggling in the cocaine epidemic are a “bio-underclass” created by a pathological culture; white Americans struggling with opioid addiction are a national tragedy. Poor European immigrants who flocked to an America with virtually no immigration restrictions came “the right way”; poor Central American immigrants evading a baroque and unforgiving system are gang members and terrorists.

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Re: Coronavirus Numbers Reflect New York City’s Deep Economic Divide

Every single map of NYC that shows some kind of negative effect (violence, poverty, sickness, food availability, etc) on New Yorkers always looks exactly the same. The same “poor” and “wealthy” regions are always highlighted in exactly the same way. Inequality is how the city operates. It’s how the country operates. This is America.

https://theintercept.com/2020/04/09/nyc-coronavirus-deaths-race-economic-divide/

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Re: Come On, People, Enough With These Covid Conspiracies

We have to be the ones who double-check information from valid sources, picking through every headline and paragraph — because nobody will do it for us. Unfortunately, there just aren’t enough of us who have either the media literacy or the internet know-how to spot the jig. That’s why I’m so disappointed by the people who should know better — who already understand the invisible hands stirring up fear and distrust. Watching these people share articles from ThisNewsIsFakeDotCom is the truly infuriating and inexcusable new development to come out of all of this.

https://level.medium.com/come-on-people-enough-with-these-covid-conspiracies-9129679a4562

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