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News items related to racial disparities

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Susan Sarandon: Colorado Was Just the Beginning

Actress Susan Sarandon supports the legalization and regulation of marijuana and asks others to do the same.

California Assembly Holds Hearing on Building Safe and Successful Schools

On Wednesday, June 12th, the California State Assembly Select Committee on the Status of Boys and Men of Color brought together policymakers, grassroots advocates, youth, educators, and concerned parents to offer their perspectives on school safety and education needs for youth of color. The hearing elevated voices, which need to be raised more often in Sacramento and across the state. 

Racial disparities in arrest practices merit closer attention

Nationally, African Americans are 4 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana use than their white counterparts, despite using the drug at approximately the same rate, according to a new report. 

Race and the Drug War

As so many have noted time and again, young black males have received the brunt of the “war on drugs.”

Racial gap in pot busts extends to SF

In San Francisco, a city that prides itself on a progressive attitude toward marijuana, authorities have been arresting fewer and fewer people for pot possession. But African Americans are arrested at far higher rates than whites.

The rich get richer while everyone else struggles

A couple of interesting news stories appeared today in the Los Angeles Times.  The first one is titled “Forbes' tally of billionaires jumps 16%; Buffett drops in list.”  The second is called “Nearly half of Americans are one emergency from financial ruin.”

SFPD and Police Commission tackle racially disparate arrest trends

On January 23, 2013, the San Francisco Police Commission held a public hearing to discuss the city’s arrest data. The result was a refreshing openness to examining the city’s arrest trends for racial disparities and a willingness to work with independent researchers in the community.

Police Commission Hearing, Jan. 23, 2013

CJCJ's testimony to the San Francisco Police Commission regarding the city's 40-year history of increasingly racially disparate arrest practices.

Plunge in black-youth crime threatens politics of scapegoating
FBI and California statistics showing a huge drop in violence and crime by young people of all races--particularly African Americans--to record low levels threatens the simplistic, often crazed gun-violence debate.    The desperate need of interest groups for ever-rising epidemics of youthful gun violence was epitomized yet again by sports pundit Bob Costas's irresponsible commentaries (borrowed secondhand from pundit Jason Whitlock with no evident fact-checking by either) berating "gun…
Human Rights Day: A cause for reflection
December 10th marks the annual celebration of Human Rights Day , a special anniversary in the global fight for human rights.  On that day, in 1948, the United Nations passed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) .  The document was born out of the unprecedented violence and dislocation from World War II.  It codified values of human equality, political freedom, and socio-economic dignity.  As such, the UDHR preamble begins: "Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the…
The state of disproportionate minority contact: San Francisco & beyond
The execution of justice is not always neutral.  Unfortunately, racial discrimination remains deeply imbedded in the policies and practices of the justice system, and not merely a relic of the past.  For example, minority youth are disproportionately affected with higher arrest and confinement rates than White youth.  Experts identify this phenomenon as Disproportionate Minority Contact/Confinement (DMC).  This is a widely recognized problem, one already given considerable attention by law…
SFPD Recorded Nearly All Asian Arrestees as 'Chinese'
SFPD Recorded Nearly All Asian Arrestees as 'Chinese' KQED News, September 26, 2012
San Francisco Police Department upgrading data collection system
On Wednesday, September 12, 2012, the San Francisco Police Commission met to discuss a range of issues, including the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD)'s faulty and problematic system of collecting arrest data. Recently highlighted by the Bay Citizen , San Francisco County is the only county of 58 in California that does not accurately report the arrests of Hispanic residents. CJCJ noted this data limitation in an April 2012 publication documenting a 40+ year pattern of racially…
Why a Curfew in Oakland Is Still a Bad Idea
Why a Curfew in Oakland Is Still a Bad Idea East Bay Express, August 16, 2012
Bringing stop-and-frisk to SF?
Bringing stop-and-frisk to SF?, July 11, 2012
Slavery's legacy alive and well in Louisiana
Douglas Blackmon's best-selling book Slavery by Another Name dispels one myth after another as he reveals the continuing of a system of slavery under a different name: convict leasing. This was a system whereby former black slaves were routinely rounded up on minor charges (or no charges at all) like vagrancy, placed in local county or town jails, brought to court and fined a small amount ($25 or $50).  Since they could not pay the money (as they were too poor and were traveling from town to…
Who's crowding California's jails
Who's crowding California's jails KPCC, May 15, 2012
Could bail reform bail out California's overcrowded jails?
Could bail reform bail out California's overcrowded jails? KALW radio, April 30, 2012
San Francisco's war on drugs, "Stop chasing my children"
The Human Rights Commission hearing on the Human Rights Impact of the War on Drugs last week provided a broad spectrum of perspectives and information on how San Franciscans are affected by drug law enforcement. The hearing commenced with testimony from Alice Huffman, President of the California NAACP, who underlined the racially targeted history of the drug war, beginning in 1914 and including the 1920's failed prohibition of alcohol.   Following, Dorsey Nunn, Executive Director of Legal…
The Human Rights Impact of the War on Drugs
The Human Rights Impact of the War on Drugs, April 12, 2012
The Pacifica Evening News
The Pacifica Evening News KPFA Radio, April 12, 2012
Should We Rename It "Selma Francisco"?

Should We Rename It "Selma Francisco"? California Progress Report, April 13, 2012

CJCJ presents at SF-HRC hearing on Drug War, Apr. 12th
On Thursday April 12, 2012, in City Hall room 416, at 5:30 pm , the San Francisco Human Rights Commission is holding a public hearing on The Human Rights Impact of the War on Drugs .  CJCJ's Selena Teji will be providing testimony on "Racial Disparities in Drug Law Enforcement in San Francisco" alongside Professor William Armaline from San José State University.  The hearing will also be televised on . This hearing is designed to solicit feedback from people who have…
San Francisco considers human rights impact of drug war
This Thursday, April 12th, 2012 , residents of San Francisco will have an opportunity to discuss the impact of the war on drugs in the city and make recommendations as to what should be done to address it.  The San Francisco Human Rights Commission is holding a public hearing on The Human Rights Impact of the War on Drugs in City Hall room 416, at 5:30 pm to discuss the impact of drug policy on the city's individuals and families.  Interested members of the public are encouraged to attend…
The "Zimmerman Dilemma": How afraid should we be of young black men?
While commentators led by no less than President Obama  have blamed violent crime on "the entire generation of young men in our society" and have warned us to fear young black men in particular, those Americans more thoughtful than politicians running for office, exploitative interest groups, sensationalist reporters, and racist fear-mongers know that "entire generations" don't commit violence; individuals do. If the individual approaching you is a black teenaged male, how much more likely are…

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