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What To Do When You're Stopped By Police - The ACLU & Elon James White

What To Do When You're Stopped By Police - The ACLU & Elon James White

Know Anyone Who Thinks Racial Profiling Is Exaggerated? Watch This, And Tell Me When Your Jaw Drops.

This video clearly demonstrates how racist America is as a country and how far we have to go to become a country that is civilized and actually values equal justice. We must not rest until this goal is achieved. I do not want my great grandchildren to live in a country like we have today. I wish for them to live in a country where differences of race and culture are not ignored but valued as a part of what makes America great.

Friday, May 15, 2020

Opinion | Ahmaud Arbery, Race and the Quarantined City - The New York Times

"White people are protesting against being trapped at home. Black people know what it feels like to really be trapped.

Dr. Summers is an assistant professor of geography and global metropolitan studies at the University of California, Berkeley,

On Feb. 23, a 25-year-old black man named Ahmaud Arbery left his home in Brunswick, Ga., to go for a Sunday afternoon run. As he entered a nearby subdivision, he was followed and later shot dead by a father and son while their neighbor recorded the incident on his phone.

Mr. Arbery’s crime of running while black speaks to a history of racial surveillance and containment enforced by the American state and supported by white people with the means and opportunity to cause great harm.

Credit...Dustin Chambers/Reuters
Lately, the coronavirus has got me thinking a lot about the racial dynamics of containment. Under the quarantine, much has been made of Americans’ regulated lack of mobility. But our cities have long kept their black residents contained and at the margins. Populations trapped in place are easier to price-gouge and police. Capitalism and immobility work hand in hand.

The American state has restricted black people’s mobility at least since the time of slavery. These regulations included convict leasing, Black Codes, loitering laws, redlining, racial zoning, redistricting (legal and illegal), the prison-industrial complex and increased surveillance. This history has given us entire cities built to shepherd black labor and presence.

One might even consider the black experience as a kind of never-ending quarantine — and indeed Jim Crow laws that grew partly out of concerns that black people spread “contagion,” like tuberculosis and malaria, affirmed as much. The eugenics movement, popular in the early 20th century, led many doctors and scientists to attribute the precarious state of black health to physiological, biological and moral inferiority, instead of structural causes like poverty and racism.

Nearly a century ago, my grandparents fled the Jim Crow South, joining the millions of black families that moved north and west as part of the Great Migration. No matter how many thousands of miles they crossed, they met the same thing: not freedom, but constraint. Even in some of America’s most “progressive” cities like San Francisco, where my family ended up, black people were relegated to parts of town with limited housing, overcrowded schools and low-paying jobs. The police were everywhere.

So black folks have been educated in a kind of quarantine since Day 1.
Yet mobility remains a big part of America’s narrative about freedom. The tone and complexion of the anti-quarantine protests shouldn’t surprise us when white people have been accustomed to boundless freedom of movement.

Consider the glaring contrasts between the architecture and development of the large-scale public housing units and suburban bedroom communities of the 1950s. Two very different outcomes — one black, one white — from one ostensibly shared aim of creating affordable housing.

Black people were trapped in poorly maintained towers, like the notorious Pruitt-Igoe homes in St. Louis, that kept them far away from the city’s arteries and public transportation. The 33 buildings of the complex were so uninhabitable that they had to be destroyed after only two decades.

Meanwhile, all-white suburbs like Levittown, N.Y., which also received government subsidies, were designed expansively with front lawns, public parks and wide sidewalks.

The same freeways and boulevards that made it easy for suburbanites like those from Levittown to zoom in and out of cities destroyed black neighborhoods, either by cutting them off or by bulldozing them entirely.

Now many of these roads are being retooled in the spirit of “new urbanism” to make way for more bike lanes and wider sidewalks. But who will these benefit the most? A wealthier and whiter population that wants better access to a walkable, gentrified city.

When black people can move freely about the city, that movement is often controlled by housing location, surveilled by the police and private security measures and allowed only in the service of providing cheap labor.

Today cities are asking, demanding and even coercing black people to shoulder the burden of work that is fundamental to their functioning, but without protecting those people in return. Whatever mobility people have is largely for executing low-wage jobs, which are now recognized as “essential” because they directly benefit white infrastructures.

This, in addition to the crowding in black neighborhoods, is one reason we see an overrepresentation of black people among the Covid-19 dead in places like Detroit; Chicago; St. Louis; Richmond, Va.; and Washington, D.C. Another reason is racial disparities in testing and treatment. In Illinois, just under 10 percent of those tested for the coronavirus are black. But among those who test positive, 18 percent are black. And among those who die, a stunning 32 percent are black.

Furthering the problem, some hospitals have turned black residents away, only for them to die, despite their showing the same symptoms as white people who receive testing and treatment. This suggests that bias is playing a role. If cities were to test all residents, treatment would not depend on any preconceived notions about who is deserving of care and who is not.

The historian Nikhil Pal Singh recently observed that the “pandemic will not create the social transformation we need, but it will set the terms for it.” The history of black quarantine provides us with our plan in reverse. Colorblind responses only make the problems worse.

Rather than corporate bailouts, we need a public bailout, one that involves an increase in public spending to support equal access to education, affordable housing and transportation. One that provides paid sick leave and health insurance for all.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development has declared a temporary moratorium on foreclosures of Federal Housing Administration-insured mortgages and evictions from public housing units. Several cities have offered similar solutions for their most vulnerable residents, and more should follow. Evictions disproportionately burden black people, especially black women, who experience homelessness at alarming rates.

Cities and the federal government should also come up with a plan for comprehensive debt forgiveness. This will make it easier for essential workers to pay for the increasing costs of education, food and transportation. Measures like these would actually contribute to the growth of our economy by freeing up capital for people to lead healthy lives.

We ask our cities to be smart, but are we asking them to be just? We talk about access in symbolic ways, but don’t think about the core geographies of inequality that emerge in the making of a mobile, technologically driven city. The creative, progressive city — with its fine dining, bike shares and crowded parks — relies on the same workers of color that it relegates to the margins.

We can even take a lesson from the protesters demanding, wrongly, an end to the quarantine. We can fight for opening our cities — politically, economically and racially — with the same energy they are putting toward opening our streets. We must create solutions that benefit the masses, not a select few. A true end to quarantine demands ending the quarantining city. It may not be the best we can do, but it’s the least we can ask.
Brandi T. Summers, an assistant professor of geography and global metropolitan studies at the University of California, Berkeley, is the author of “Black in Place: The Spatial Aesthetics of Race in a Post-Chocolate City.”

Opinion | Ahmaud Arbery, Race and the Quarantined City - The New York Times

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