05-21-2018  7:39 pm      •     
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

NEWS BRIEFS

Raina Croff to Speak at Architectural Heritage Center

'When the Landmarks are Gone: Older African Americans, Place, and Change in N/NE Portland’ describes SHARP Walking Program ...

Portland Playhouse Presents August Wilson’s ‘Fences’ Through June 10

May 20 performance will include discussion on mental health; June 10 performance will be followed by discussion of fatherhood ...

Peggy Houston-Shivers Presents Benefit Concert for Allen Temple CME

Concert to take place May 20 at Maranatha Church ...

Family Friendly Talent Show, May 18

Family Fun Night series continues at Matt Dishman Community Center ...

Settlement reached in LGBT school harassment

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — An openly gay couple was walking in their Oregon high school parking lot when the principal's son drove up, veered away at the last second and shouted an anti-gay slur at the two girls. In class, a teacher equated same-sex marriage with bestiality.The girls complained to...

The Latest: Settlement reached in LGBT school harassment

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The Latest on the case of LGBTQ discrimination at an Oregon high school.6:30 p.m.:The principal of an Oregon high school will resign and its school district will commit to improving the climate for LGBTQ students as part of a settlement reached between the American Civil...

Paul Allen donates jumiM to Washington gun initiative

SEATTLE (AP) — Microsoft co-founder and Seattle Seahawks owner Paul Allen has donated jumi million to a campaign seeking to raise the age to purchase semi-automatic rifles from 18 to 21 in Washington state.Allen made the announcement on Twitter Monday.The Alliance for Gun Responsibility says...

Man accused of trying to kill woman with opioid spray

MUKILTEO, Wash. (AP) — An Everett man is accused of holding down his ex-girlfriend at a Mukilteo hotel, shoving Xanax down her throat and forcing a fentanyl spray up her nose in what police say was attempted murder.The Daily Herald reports the woman survived and was able to escape and alert...

OPINION

Golfing While Black Is Not a Crime

Grandview Golf Club asks five Black women to leave for golfing too slow ...

Discovering the Best of Black America in 2018

Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis discusses the DTU Journalism Fellowship & Scholarship Program ...

Will Israel’s Likud Party Ever Respect the Rights of Palestinians?

Bill Fletcher weighs in on the precarious future of the two-state solution between the Israeli government and the Palestinian people ...

The Future of Medicinal Marijuana in Pets

Dr. Jasmine Streeter says CBD-derived products show beneficial therapeutic benefits for pets ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Settlement reached in LGBT school harassment

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — An openly gay couple was walking in their Oregon high school parking lot when the principal's son drove up, veered away at the last second and shouted an anti-gay slur at the two girls. In class, a teacher equated same-sex marriage with bestiality.The girls complained to...

Correction: 2018 Midterms-Endorsements story

ATLANTA (AP) — In a story May 20 about potential Democratic presidential candidates and their campaign activity in 2018, The Associated Press reported erroneously that former Vice President Joe Biden was planning to campaign in North Carolina on behalf of a congressional candidate Dan...

Border agent questions 2 women for speaking Spanish

HAVRE, Mont. (AP) — U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials are reviewing an encounter between a Border Patrol agent and two women who were speaking Spanish at a gas station in northern Montana, the agency said Monday.Allegations have been made before of law-enforcement officers in...

ENTERTAINMENT

Netflix says it has signed Barack and Michelle Obama

NEW YORK (AP) — Barack and Michelle Obama are getting into the television business with Monday's announcement that they had signed a multi-year deal with Netflix.The former president and first lady have formed their own production company, Higher Ground Productions, for the material. In...

Artist Robert Indiana, known for 'LOVE' series, dies at 89

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Pop artist Robert Indiana, best known for his 1960s "LOVE" series, has died at his island home off the coast of Maine. He was 89.Indiana died on Saturday from respiratory failure at his Victorian home in a converted Odd Fellows hall, a fraternal order lodge, where he...

Miss Nebraska wins Miss USA competition

SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) — Miss Nebraska has been named Miss USA.Sarah Rose Summers beat out 50 other women from all the states and the District of Columbia.At the start of the two-hour broadcast, the field was immediately narrowed down to 15 contestants according to how they performed during...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

What is lava haze? A look at Hawaii's latest volcanic hazard

PAHOA, Hawaii (AP) — Lava from Hawaii's Kilauea volcano is pouring into the sea and setting off a chemical...

Syrian government declares capital fully under its control

BEIRUT (AP) — Syria's military on Monday captured an enclave in southern Damascus from Islamic State...

Divided Supreme Court sides with businesses over workers

WASHINGTON (AP) — A divided Supreme Court ruled Monday that businesses can prohibit their workers from...

Congo Ebola vaccination campaign begins with health workers

KINSHASA, Congo (AP) — Congo began an Ebola vaccination campaign Monday in a northwest provincial capital...

Social media under microscope in emotive Irish abortion vote

DUBLIN (AP) — In homes and pubs, on leaflets and lampposts, debate is raging in Ireland over whether to...

Aide: Palestinian leader making swift recovery in hospital

JERUSALEM (AP) — Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is alert and making a swift recovery after being...

Julianne Malveaux NNPA Columnist

When George Orwell wrote the novel 1984, he envisioned a character, real or imagined "Big Brother" who was a know-all, see-all, omnipotent and elusive presence that intruded into lives because he could.  Those who knew about "him" were told that they did not exist, but in many ways, Big Brother may not have existed, either. The omnipotence had taken on a life of its own.

Orwell's book was a book ahead of its time. At a different time, his book could have been dismissed as psychedelic fantasy.  Today, he is just a step behind the reality in which we live.  Verizon is sharing telephone records.  The Department of Justice is monitoring journalists, and the IRS is playing games with those who seek nonprofit status.  People pulled over for a minor traffic violation will have to submit fingerprints to find out if they have broken other laws. Big Brother is alive and well in too many layers of our lives,

Meanwhile, market researchers are segmenting populations by zip code and consumer patterns.  They can tell you what percentage of Whites, African Americans or Latinos live in a certain zip code. They can tell you what you earn, what you are worth, and how many of your neighbors have criminal records.  The zip code data drives marketers. Does it also drive law enforcement?

A recent study indicated that African Americans are between 2 and 6 percent more likely to be arrested for marijuana violations that Whites.  I guess it is easier to arrest from a corner than from a country club.  The rate of arrests for marijuana possession is 716 per 100,000 for African Americans, compared to 192 per 100,000 for Whites.  The disparity is much higher in some counties.

Does this mean that African Americans are breaking more laws, or that law enforcement officers are targeting some zip codes or communities more regularly?  It is a lot easier to pick up a few citizens enjoying marijuana in a park than banging down the doors of an elite country club.  Yet data about marijuana usages suggests that there is little to distinguish the habits of African Americans from those of Whites.  The only difference is the arrest rate.

Big Brother knows.

Big Brother has driven the kind of demographic that will tell you where you can find low-income, highly unemployed individuals, regardless of race.  Big Brother can tell you who can afford lawyers and who cannot.  Big Brother can drive police to investigate the least and the left out, those who are most vulnerable, while deciding to allow others to slink behind their space of class and privilege.  Big Brother can play bang for buck games that make it more profitable to arrest those with few resources in the hood instead of those with home-based protection.

Data collection seems to be a race-neutral process.  While data collection is an input, arrests are an output.  Between input and output there is the opportunity for racial bias to show up.  If White folk and Black folk take an equal toke, why are Black folk more likely to be arrested?  Are zip codes driving public safety officers to one place and deterring them from another?

Differences in marijuana arrests raise real questions about the many ways that data may be used to discriminate.  Instead of structural racism, intrinsic racism, and other forms of racism, we now have a data-based racism that is only logical when we ask how data is collected.  Simply put, the zip code data leads people to discriminate, if only because they are being led to single out a certain population.

In other words you can be a non-racial racist.  You can let the data, warped though it may be, lead you to biased conclusions.  Data-based racism is as corrosive as emotion-based racism.  Big  Brother's racial biases is nothing more than par for the course.

 

Julianne Malveaux is a Washington, D.C.-based economist and writer.  She is President Emerita of Bennett College for Women in Greensboro, N.C.

Oregon Lottery
Calendar

Photo Gallery

Photos and slide shows of local events

The Skanner Report

repulsing the monkey