NYC Police Spend a Lot of Time Arresting Students of Color

From July to September, a period of time that covers summer break for New York City students, the police arrested 63 students in schools. 59 of those students were Black or Latino.

Just saying.

And for some reason the police department was reluctant to release the demographic breakdown of their in-school arrests. They have not provided similar information regarding the 182 summonses they issued during this period, though the Student Safety Act requires it.


The Exciting Times V.9

More Hispanics Identifying Themselves as Indians

“Hispanic is not a race, ” said [activist and blogger Carlos A.] Quiroz, whose ancestors were the Quechua people, of the Central Andes. “Hispanic is not a culture. Hispanic is an invention by some people who wanted to erase the identity of indigenous communities in America.”

Sarah Nyakuoth William

Sarah Nyakuoth William

South Sudan war widow: ‘I will have a country at last’
On the occasion of South Sudan’s independence from the Republic of Sudan, Sarah Nyakuoth William said, “I knew we’d get here in the end, but I didn’t know if I would ever see the day. Finally the day is here. I’m happy, happy for the future for my children, and all of South Sudan.”

No “boys” and “girls” at gender-neutral preschool in Sweden

At the “Egalia” preschool [in Stockholm], staff avoid using words like “him” or “her” and address the 33 kids as “friends” rather than girls and boys.

Kansas Sued Over Nonsensical Abortion Clinic Guidelines
…which seem oddly more intended to prevent women from accessing abortion than making abortion safer. Huh, how about that.

Under the new requirements, the three remaining clinics in the state would have to make enormous structural changes to their buildings and obtain new certifications in just two weeks or face possible closure.

Lawsuit pending!

NYPD Celebrates Gay Pride by Raiding a Gay Bar Minutes After Gay Marriage Victory
The Eagle patron Christopher J. Borras said, “I find interesting the timing. I would just like to know from the police: `Why did they do that?’ To me, it is a blatant sign of intimidation and harassment, I mean, 42 years after the Stonewall riots and we still have to live in fear of the police disturbing our quiet enjoyment of life?”

Seattle Police Beating Up People of Color

From VivirLatino:

Here is a a video of a white police officer trying to arrest some black teenage women for jaywalking. He punches one in the face. You can read from the police transcript of the event here.

Here is an earlier incident where a white police officer, Shandy Cobane, kicked a young Latino man in the head while calling him racial slurs. The young man was eventually allowed to go free and was charged with no crime.

Arizona Bans Ethnic Studies

I’m too upset to write my own post, so I’ll let the AP do it for me! (FYI as of the posting of this piece, Governor Jan Brewer has neither signed nor vetoed this bill.)

[HB 2281] targets an ethnic studies program from a Tucson school district. It would prohibit classes that advocate ethnic solidarity, that are designed primarily for students of a particular race or that promote resentment toward a certain ethnic group.

The Tucson Unified School District program allows students to take history and literature courses that include information about the influence of a particular ethnic group.

Arizona Superintendent Tom Horne…Arizona’s Superintendent of Public Instruction, Republican Tom Horne — who’s running for attorney general — has been trying for years to pass a bill limiting the program after learning that Hispanic civil rights activist Dolores Huerta told Tucson high school students in 2006 that “Republicans hate Latinos.”

Horne said he believes the district’s Mexican-American studies program teaches Latino students that they are oppressed by white people. Public schools should not be encouraging students to resent a particular race, he said.

“A fundamental American value is that we’re all individuals, and what race we were born into is not relevant,” Horne said.

What I like about this scenario is that Mr. Horne, a white Republican, is pissed off that a particular school district is teaching classes that challenge his racial superiority, and even once had a speaker who criticized Republicans! Being obviously disinterested, Mr. Horne, a white Republican, lobbies aggressively for a bill that will ban ethnic studies for the whole state, just to shut down a particular program that he doesn’t like because it challenges his prejudices. But his not liking it had nothing to do with this sensible, racially-neutral law, I’m sure. You know what else I’m sure of? That this has nothing to do with Mr. Horne’s search for more personal power as he runs for AZ attorney general. He is definitely not pandering to the obviously large segment of the white population who is racist.

What’s weird(ish) here is that the language of HB2281 isn’t, on the surface, too controversial. The bill bans classes that:

• Promote the overthrow of the U.S. government.

• Promote resentment toward a race or class of people.

• Are designed primarily for pupils of a particular ethnic group.

• Advocate ethnic solidarity instead of treating pupils as individuals

But apparently Arizonans in the know are well aware of Mr. Horne’s true intentions. Something to do with comments about ethnic studies promoting “ethnic chauvinism” or that Mexican-American studies at Tuscon Unified School District promote “racial warfare“. Also, it seems Mr. Horne has made it rather clear that he is punishing TUSD for “a defiant finger gesture“, i.e. continuing to have Mexican-American studies inspite of the fact that Mr. Horne has a personal problem with such classes. You know what I see here? Good governance.

So what we’ve learned here is:
A) Arizona is particularly good at re-proving that race is “not relevant”. To anything.
A.1) …and therefore Arizona wins the post-racial prize.
B) White makes right.
B.1) History focusing on the accomplishments of whites is nonracial and truly American.
B.2) History focusing on the accomplishments of latin@s promotes racial resentment and anti-Americanism.


Global Comment puts it this way:

Observing Arizona right now is like looking into America’s future after the next terrorist attack, should reactionary parties prevail and the police state completely take over. The state possesses a radically right-wing agenda that is openly hostile to gays, women, and ethnic minorities. A rogue sheriff has set up a camp tent city for prisoners, leaving them to bake in 110 °F weather. Police are permitted to harass citizens on the suspicion they might be illegal immigrants, even though the governor herself admitted she has no idea what an illegal immigrant looks like.

Take a gander at the Tuscon Civil Rights Coalition call to action.

Oh, and here’s two more post-racial actions going on in Arizona government. SB 1097 would establish mechanisms for denying school funding for non-citizen students. Also, “The Arizona Department of Education recently began telling school districts that teachers whose spoken English it deems to be heavily accented or ungrammatical must be removed from classes for students still learning English.” Guess who’s in charge of the DOE!

Arizona at Forefront of Illegalizing People

I’d hate to be a cop in Arizona about now. The Arizona state Senate just passed a bill that requires cops, under threat of lawsuit, to enforce federal immigration laws. … They’re not supposed to use race to develop reasonable suspicion but how could they avoid using the color of a man’s skin as a preliminary determinant?

Aside from recent changes in Arizona law basically making it illegal to be brown in that state, there are also changes that could even effect white (i.e. good) Arizona inhabitants:

It’s also now illegal in Arizona to pick someone up in your car if you “know or recklessly disregard the fact” that they are an illegal immigrant. Thankfully, the Arizona House added “a prosecution exemption for people who drive illegal immigrants to church.”

Whew. So if you’re Christian the laws don’t apply. Thank God.

Jan.16: March on Phoenix for Immigrant Human Rights! Be There.

Arpaio’s America is not my America!

Joe Arpaio

Organizers in Arizona are planning a huge action next Saturday in Phoenix against shithead Sheriff Joe Arpaio, pictured above. Be there if it is at all possible! It’s going to be awesome.

The lead organizers are the National Day Laborer Organizing Network.

The march starts at 10:00am in Falcon Park at 3420 W. Roosevelt St. in Phoenix and ends at Tent City. To get fired up, take a gander at this delightful video. (For some reason, I can’t embed vimeo videos.)

Day of Action Against Joe Arpaio March Poster

Starting at 5pm there will be a huge concert at 2nd Ave & Grant in downtown Phoenix.
Pachanga for Justice

Here’s how you can find out more, get involved, and/or make donations.

Stop the Hate March Poster

Joe Arpaio Swears That He Isn’t a Racist, Either

Sheriff Joe Arpaio
Thank Jesus that the Obama Administration has taken away Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s authorization to enforce federal immigration laws. This means he will be curtailed in his ability to terrorize Latino communities. Naturally, he is enraged.

Here are some interesting tidbits from Alexander Provan’s recent piece on America’s Toughest Sheriff, Joe Arpaio. I recommend reading the whole thing.

Since 2007, Arpaio’s deputies have arrested 33,000 illegal aliens (only 300 of whom were picked up on “crime suppression sweeps”), but they’ve failed to catch any drug kingpins, break up any smuggling rings, or stanch the Mexican drug gang violence spilling over the border. (In fact, the sheriff’s immigration crackdown has coincided with a surge in violent crime and the accumulation of over 40,000 outstanding felony warrants.)

…I ask him why he’s arrested so many immigrants who’ve come to the country to take on menial jobs, but hasn’t caught any major smugglers…[T]hese are not drug dealers; they’re gardeners and dishwashers and men paid six dollars an hour to stand in the sun wearing sandwich boards.

“We’re going after those that have violated laws—they are illegal,” he insists.

Sheriff Arpaio and chain gang

…“All these people that come over, they could come with disease. There’s no control, no health checks or anything. They check fruits and vegetables, how come they don’t check people? No one talks about that! They’re all dirty. I sent out 200 inmates into the desert, they picked up 18 tons of garbage that they bring in—the baby diapers and all that. Where’s everybody who wants to preserve the desert?”

With all of this, you would think he was a dyed-in-the-wool anti-immigrant vigilante who burst out of the womb ready to profile some brown people. The thing about Alexander’s article that surprised me the most is that he has only been this rabid about “illegals” for the last four years. Arpaio is 77 years old. What changed after over seven decades of not hating immigrants?

[In 2005} a 24-year-old Army reservist named Patrick Haab pulled a gun on seven suspected illegal immigrants at a rest stop in the desert, forcing them to lie face-down on the ground until the sheriff’s men arrived. “You don’t go around pulling guns on people,” Arpaio said after arresting him. “Being illegal is not a serious crime. You can’t go to jail for being an illegal alien.”

Nativists did not take kindly to this position, and in a matter of days they had thrust Haab into the national spotlight. He played the hero on conservative talk shows, where he denounced Arpaio for letting the country turn into “Americo.” All charges against him were soon dropped, and a chastened Arpaio embarked on a campaign to remake his image. Within the year, he emerged as an anti-immigration crusader.

h/t cp

Examining an Anti-Immigrant Chain Letter

Thank you to Hector Tobar of the LA Times for debunking “Just One State”, an email forward bashing “illegals” that is making the rounds. The email lists 10 *shocking* facts about how “illegals” harm California. Hector does a little research and comments on the truthiness of each FACT.

1. “40% of all workers in L.A. County are working for cash and not paying taxes. . . . This is because they are predominantly illegal immigrants working without a green card.”

The source of this information seems to be a 2005 study by the Economic Roundtable on the informal economy in Los Angeles County. Its findings were reported in The Times and other papers.

But the chain-mail’s author more than doubled the figures in that study, which estimated that 15% of the county workforce was outside the regulated economy in 2004. Illegal immigrants getting paid in cash, it said, probably made up about 9% of the workforce.

A later Economic Roundtable report, by the way, credited immigrants with keeping the local economy from shrinking in the 1990s.

Read the other 9 FACTS here to learn exactly how much you should fear the “Mexicans”.

Arpaio in Hot Water for Abuse of Latin@ Prisoners

John Conyers

For Immediate Release
February 13, 2009
Contact: Jonathan Godfrey (Conyers)
Pedro Riberio (Lofgren)
Ilan Kayatsky (Nadler)
Larry Dillard (Scott)

WASHINGTON – House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.), and Immigration Subcommittee Chairwoman Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), Constitution Subcommittee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), and Crime Subcommittee Chairman Bobby Scott (D-Va.) called on Attorney General Eric Holder and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to investigate allegations of misconduct by Maricopa County (Arizona) Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Sheriff Arpaio has repeatedly demonstrated disregard for the rights of Hispanics in the Phoenix metropolitan area. Under the guise of immigration enforcement, his staff has conducted raids in residential neighborhoods in a manner condemned by the community as racial profiling. On February 4, 2009, Arpaio invited the media to view the transfer of immigrant detainees to a segregated area of his “tent city” jail, subjecting the detainees to public display and “ritual humiliation.” Persistent actions such as these have resulted in numerous lawsuits; while Arpaio spends time and energy on publicity and his reality television show, “Smile… You’re Under Arrest!”, Maricopa County has paid millions of dollars in settlements involving dead or injured inmates.

“Racial profiling and segregation are simply not acceptable.” said Conyers. “Media stunts and braggadocio are no substitute for fair and effective law enforcement.” Continue reading