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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.

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Donald Trump in Even More Legal Hot Water After Lying to Judge Arthur Engoron

Trump in Even More Legal Hot Water After Lying to Judge

Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

"Former President Donald Trump appears to have lied in sworn court records, opening him up to severe sanctions by a New York judge who has already lost his patience and threatened to punish him before.

Trump claimed he wasn’t the president of the Trump Organization during his four years at the White House, despite previously testifying that he was an “inactive president.” And he claimed that he didn’t have a financial stake in a partnership with the real estate company Vornado, even though he previously testified that he did.

On Tuesday, the New York Attorney General’s Office asked Justice Arthur F. Engoron to intervene quickly to ensure that the former president still faces a trial later this year that could bankrupt his company.

New York AG Letitia James sued the Trump family and their real estate empire for at least $250 million last year, the end result of a three-year investigation that documented how the Trumps have routinely faked property values to score better bank loans and cheat taxes. The civil lawsuit threatens to yank the company’s credentials, seize its bank accounts, and choke off its access to any banks in New York City—the global finance capital.

The Trumps, desperate to avoid the collapse of their company, initially tried to disqualify the AG and stop her from accessing company records. But when Judge Engoron threatened to sanction lawyers for incessantly making “frivolous” legal arguments, the Trumps last week were finally forced to answer James’ lawsuit with actual defenses.

The result was a legal document that read like a joke, with Trump attorney Alina Habba going as far as claiming there is formally no such thing as the “Trump Organization’—a ridiculous position, given that it’s a billion-dollar company Trump used to build his reputation over decades.

On Tuesday, the AG’s office called her out on that too, noting that in November she began a court hearing before this very judge by introducing herself as an attorney for that company.

“Good morning, Your Honor. Alina Habba for Trump Organization, Donald Trump, et cetera,” she said on Nov. 22 in a New York City courtroom.

The AG’s office also pointed out how Trump, in a separate case involving how his security guards beat up protesters in Manhattan, testified behind closed doors that while at the White House he “was an inactive president and now I’m active again.” The testimony shows that he remained atop the Trump Organization.

“Was there a period of time that you were not the president of the Trump Organization?” asked the protester’s lawyer, Benjamin Dictor.

“Well, I wasn’t active during the time I was at 1600,” Trump said, referring to the White House address. “I would say that I was an inactive president and now I’m active again.”

By contrast, in court documents last week, Trump swore that he “specifically denies the definition of ‘Trump Organization’” and “each and every allegation” that he was ever the inactive president of the company during four years in public office.

At the bottom of the 300-page document, Trump signed his name using his usual thick, black marker beneath an affirmation that says his list of responses “is true to the best of [his] own current knowledge.”

Lying in court documents is a red line that could result in hefty fines and serious blowback in court.

In Tuesday’s filing, the lawyer at the AG’s office leading the case asked the judge to drag the Trumps into court again to punish them for pulling the stunt—and to not give them a second chance.

“The Court has already admonished defendants and their counsel for their continued invocation of meritless legal claims but exercised its discretion in not imposing such sanctions,

‘having made its point.’ It does not appear that this point was taken, however, and [AG’s office] would ask the court to renew the issue,” attorney Kevin Wallace wrote."

Donald Trump in Even More Legal Hot Water After Lying to Judge Arthur Engoron

Trump REACTS to News that COULD Put him in JAIL for very LONG TIME

DeSantis' Black history course ban is part of his 2024 plan

Polls reveal the real reason Ron DeSantis is fighting the teaching of Black history

"Over the last two decades, Republican voters have become increasingly convinced that too much Black history is being taught in public schools.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in Daytona Beach Shores on Jan. 18, 2023.

The backlash is rightfully growing to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis blocking a proposed Advanced Placement course on African American studies from being taught in Florida high schools. Black leaders held a rally in Florida denouncing DeSantis; prominent lawyer Ben Crump threatened to sue DeSantis and his administration on behalf of Black students; and Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, a Democrat, called out DeSantis as an “extremist.”

In DeSantis’ view, banning a Black history course will make him more popular. This is what toxic white identity politics looks like.

If you think this backlash will cause DeSantis to back down, then you don’t understand what’s at play. Despite his claim that he wants to ensure that Florida’s students are not “indoctrinated," that’s not what his opposition is about. It is solely about DeSantis making himself more popular with the GOP base in order to win the 2024 presidential nomination. That’s why parsing through his stated objections to this AP course is a waste of time. In DeSantis’ view, banning a Black history course will make him more popular. This is what toxic white identity politics looks like.

After all, the legal basis for the ban on this AP African American studies course is the “Stop WOKE” Act DeSantis championed and signed into law in 2022. Portions of the Florida law that deal with employers and public colleges have been put on hold in two separate federal court decisions. In the November ruling addressing public universities and colleges, the judge slammed the law by quoting the first sentence of 1984, George Orwell’s famous novel about life under a totalitarian government: “‘It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen,’ and the powers in charge of Florida’s public university system have declared the State has unfettered authority to muzzle its professors in the name of ‘freedom.’” The judge added, “This is positively dystopian.”

The "Stop WOKE" law was part of the national GOP’s war on what they dubbed “critical race theory” (“CRT”) designed to curtail, and even ban, discussions on race in schools. Florida is one of 18 GOP-controlled states that enacted such law between 2021 and 2022. So-called CRT bans are supported by supported by 80% of Republicans nationwide, which the ambitious DeSantis fully grasps.

Republican voters’ hostility to teaching Black history in school did not happen overnight but has been building over the past two decades. As Michael Tesler, a political science professor at the University of California at Irvine noted in a 2018 analysis for The Washington Post, in 2000, the percentage of Americans who thought too much Black history was being taught in public schools was in the single digits for Democrats and in the single digits for Republicans. Tesler noted that “Democrats haven’t changed in the past two decades. Republicans, however, are now 30 points more likely to say schools should teach less black history.”  

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For that analysis, Tesler also cited a February 2018 poll which found that a third of people who’d voted for Donald Trump in 2016 believed “American children should solely be taught about Western civilization and European / US History.”

Republican voters’ hostility to teaching Black history in school did not happen overnight but has been building over the past two decades.

Why do so many white Republicans oppose teaching about Black history and racism? Recent polls that find white Republicans are increasingly describing themselves as being equally subject to discrimination as people of color. In 2015, only 38% of white Republicans responded that white people face a lot of discrimination. That’s the year that Trump lauched a presidential campaign that was also a white grievance campaign. More recent polls suggest a massive change. Last year, CNN referred to the work of Emily Ekins of The Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank. She found that 73% of those who voted for Trump in 2020believe “today discrimination against whites has become as big a problem as discrimination against blacks and other minorities.”

This rise of perceived white victimhood in the GOP helps explain why DeSantis is publicly defending the ban on the AP African American studies course, claiming that somehow the course “is somebody pushing an agenda on our kids.” Don’t be surprised if we soon learn of Republicans pushing to ban all Black history from being taught in schools. In fact, the next logical step is for politicians such as DeSantis to push for courses that teach how white people have suffered unjustly in American because of their race!"

DeSantis' Black history course ban is part of his 2024 plan

“Every Community Has a Tyre Nichols”: New Jersey Activists Demand Justice for Carl Dorsey

Yale honors Black girl, 9, wrongly reported to police over insect project

Yale honors Black girl, 9, wrongly reported to police over insect project

Bobbi Wilson’s efforts to rid her town of the spotted lanternfly unwittingly touched off a national discussion about racial profiling

Bobbi Wilson, who had the police called on her by a neighbor as she worked to eradicate invasive insects from her home town, was honored by Yale in January 2023.
Bobbi Wilson, who had the police called on her by a neighbor as she worked to eradicate invasive insects from Caldwell, New Jersey, was honored by Yale. Photograph: Courtesy of Andrew Hurley, Yale University

“A nine-year-old girl who had a neighbor call the police on her as she worked to eradicate invasive insects from her home town has earned honors from one of the US’s most prestigious universities.

The Yale School of Public Health earlier this month held a ceremony citing Bobbi Wilson’s efforts to rid Caldwell, New Jersey, of the spotted lanternfly, according to university officials.

The 20 January gathering also recognized Bobbi for bestowing her personal collection of lanternflies to Yale’s Peabody Museum, which entered the collection into its database and listed the child as the donating scientist.

An assistant professor at the public health school, Ijeoma Opara, told those at the ceremony that she organized the event to bring attention to Bobbi’s “bravery and how inspiring she is”.

Yale doesn’t normally do anything like this,” Opara said, according to the university. “This is something unique to Bobbi.”

Bobbi, who is Black, unwittingly touched off a national discussion about the sometimes mortal danger associated with racial profiling on 22 October, when a neighbor called the police on her as she used a homemade repellant spray of water, dish soap and apple cider vinegar to kill spotted lanternflies feeding on trees near her home.

Lanternflies are invasive pests which are native to Asia and harm trees in a variety of ways, including by sucking their sap and causing holes through which harmful substances can then enter them. Scientists – whose ranks Bobbi has long dreamed of joining – advise people to kill the insects to protect the environment.

Yet that day, police stopped and questioned the girl whose loved ones have nicknamed “Bobbi Wonder” after being summoned by a neighbor who considered the girl a suspicious person.

“There’s a little Black woman walking, spraying stuff on the sidewalks and trees,” the caller told police, CNN reported. “I don’t know what the hell she’s doing. Scares me, though.”

The caller later reportedly apologized to Bobbi’s mother, Monique Joseph. But, with research showing Black and Hispanic children are significantly more likely to be shot to death by police than their white counterparts are, Joseph said the neighbor’s call put her daughter in lethal peril.

In an interview with CNN, the executive director of the Georgetown Law Center on Poverty and Inequality, Rebecca Epstein, said that the episode starkly illustrated the bias that Black girls like Bobbi face in the US.

The center in 2017 released an analysis which showed grownups in general perceived Black girls as not as innocent and less deserving of protection than white girls, in a sense “adultifying” them and leaving them more vulnerable to harsh treatment from police.

After Opara saw national news coverage of the police being called on Bobbi, Yale officials said, she contacted Joseph and invited her to bring Bobbi as well as her older sister, 13-year-old Hayden, to meet Black women who were pursuing successful careers as scientists. Hayden’s appearance at a local government meeting about Bobbi’s police encounter was a large reason why the national media paid attention to the case.

Bobbi and her family accepted the invitation, and they toured Yale in November. When Bobbi returned with her mom, sister and dad, Dale Wilson, more recently, the Yale Peabody museum’s entomology collection manager, Lawrence Gall, thanked the nine-year-old for the 27-specimen collection of spotted lanternflies that she had amassed and donated.

“We’re so grateful for all of the work you’ve done … in New Jersey, and your interest in conservation and checking out the lanternflies’ advance,” Gall said. “They are just starting to come up here … So we’re very happy to have these specimens.”

Opara added: “We just want to make sure [Bobbi] continues to feel honored and loved by the Yale community.”

Bobbi, for her part, placed a label on the collection that identified it as hers and – for future researchers – reported where as well as when she had assembled it. The public can already view the collection in the museum’s database.

Meanwhile, Joseph thanked Yale for its support and pledged that her family would make sure “Bobbi lives up to her fullest potential”.

“This happened because of what happened to Bobbi, but it also happened because the whole community, the science community, got together and said, ‘She’s one of us and we’re not going to let her lose her steam,’” Joseph reportedly remarked. “I just appreciate it. It means the world.”

The Police Cannot Be a Law Unto Themselves

The Police Cannot Be a Law Unto Themselves

A man raises a fist in a crowd of protesters standing in front of an electronic American flag.
Andrew Kelly/Reuters

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In 2020, during the weeks of protest and civil unrest that followed the murder of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer, I argued that the problem of police violence and misconduct was a problem of democracy. And this week, in the wake of yet another police killing caught on camera, I think it’s worth saying, again, that the institution of American policing lies outside of any meaningful democratic control.

You can think of accountability for public institutions in two ways: on the back end and on the front end.

Back-end accountability takes place, as the name would suggest, after the fact. It is aimed at making sure that the rules were followed. In the context of policing, this means civilian review boards, officer discipline and judicial review. Back-end accountability provides recourse for misconduct.

Front-end accountability, according to the legal scholars Maria Ponomarenko and Barry Friedman, who founded The Policing Project at N.Y.U., takes place when there are “rules in place before officials act, which are transparent, and formulated with public input.” With front-end accountability, the public has a direct say in the rules that govern an agency or institution. “Public participation can improve the quality of rules by ensuring that officials have all of the information they need to make sensible policy,” Ponomarenko and Friedman contend. “It also helps to make clear that government officials are, to the extent possible, responsive to the popular will.”

Back-end accountability is, you could say, legal accountability while front-end accountability is democratic accountability. The two are linked, and in American policing we see the collapse of the former and the almost total absence of the latter. “Police departments are too often insulated from legitimate citizen challenges,” Amy E. Lerman and Vesla M. Weaver write in “Arresting Citizenship: The Democratic Consequences of American Crime Control.” Citizens, they continue, “are denied effective mechanisms for ensuring that the police are held accountable.”

American police officers have extraordinary power to work their will as they see fit. Local rules vary but generally speaking they can stop and frisk on the “reasonable suspicion” that you are “armed and presently dangerous.” They can stop and conduct a warrantless search of your vehicle with only “probable cause” that someone in the car or truck or van is committing a crime. The police have no obligation to either protect or assist you, even in the face of a credible threat to your life, and they are virtually immune to legal consequences for their actions under the doctrine of “qualified immunity,” with so few exceptions — like the almost immediate arrest of the offending officers accused in the killing of Tyre Nichols in Memphis — that it essentially proves the rule.

What little accountability exists for American police is easily subverted. Internal-affairs departments are often more interested in exonerating colleagues than investigating misconduct, and police unions do everything they can to shield bad actors, attack critics and secure more due process for cops accused of abuse than their victims ever get.

On those occasions when voters try to bring police departments under greater public control — by seeking to elect reform-minded mayors or district attorneys — police officers will do everything to undermine the officials in question. In 2019, San Francisco’s police union spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on campaign ads attacking Chesa Boudin, a progressive critic of law enforcement who was running for district attorney, as the best choice of “criminals and gang members.” In 2020, likewise, police unions spent millions trying to defeat a reformist candidate for district attorney in Los Angeles. And in Albuquerque, police unions and their allies fought a yearslong battle to try to stymie a proposed civilian oversight board that would have greater oversight authority.

The absence of legal and, especially, democratic accountability is, or should be, an existential problem for any police reform agenda. Without a strategy to curb or break the cartel power of police departments — meaning their ability to undermine, neuter and subvert all attempts to regulate and control their actions and personnel — there is no practical way to achieve meaningful and lasting reform, if that is your goal. Indeed, anything resembling a root-and-branch transformation of American policing will only ever occur after the public is able to exercise real control over the institution itself.

Put a little differently, the only reforms that can take hold in the absence of direct democratic accountability — where the public itself can shape the rules that govern policing and police officers — are those that don’t actually alter the status quo of police culture and police institutions. There is a reason, after all, that most police departments issue body cameras to their officers without serious pushback; the footage is theirs to control, in the main, and withhold from the public, should they desire to do so.

With great power should come greater responsibility and accountability. The more authority you hold in your hands, the tighter the restraints should be on your wrists. To give power and authority without responsibility or accountability — to give an institution and its agents the right and the ability to do violence without restraint or consequence — is to cultivate the worst qualities imaginable, among them arrogance, sadism and contempt for the lives of others.

It is, in short, to cultivate the attitudes and beliefs and habits of mind that lead too many American police officers to beat and choke and shock and shoot at a moment’s notice, with no regard for either the citizens or the communities we’re told they’re here to serve and protect.“

Ron DeSantis Wants to Erase Black History. Why?

Ron DeSantis Wants to Erase Black History. Why?

Ron DeSantis standing at a lectern with a sign reading, “Freedom from indoctrination.”
Gov. Ron DeSantis addresses a crowd before publicly signing H.B. 7, also called the Stop Woke law.Daniel A. Varela/Miami Herald, via Associated Press

By Janai Nelson

“Ms. Nelson is the president and director-counsel of the Legal Defense Fund (LDF).

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An unrelenting assault on truth and freedom of expression in the form of laws that censor and suppress the viewpoints, histories and experiences of historically marginalized groups, especially Black and L.G.B.T.Q. communities, is underway throughout the country, most clearly in Florida. The state’s Department of Education recently rejected a pilot Advanced Placement African American studies course from being offered in Florida’s public high schools.

Under Gov. Ron DeSantis’s “Stop WOKE” law — which would limit students and teachers from learning and talking about issues related to race and gender — Florida is at the forefront of a nationwide campaign to silence Black voices and erase the full and accurate history and contemporary experiences of Black people. The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund Inc., the American Civil Liberties Union, the A.C.L.U. of Florida and Ballard Spahr filed a lawsuit on behalf of university professors and a college student opposing the “Stop WOKE” law and, along with a second lawsuit, won a preliminary injunction blocking Florida’s Board of Governors from enforcing its unconstitutional and racially discriminatory provisions at public universities.

Florida’s rejection of the A.P. course and Mr. DeSantis’s demand to excise specific subject areas from the curriculum stand in stark opposition to the state-issued mandate that all students be taught “the history of African Americans, including the history of African peoples before the political conflicts that led to the development of slavery, the passage to America, the enslavement experience, abolition and the contributions of African Americans to society.”

While litigation continues, the various provisions of “Stop WOKE” and now the rejection of A.P. African American history could have devastating and far-reaching effects on the quality of education for Florida’s 2.8 million students in its public K-12 schools. The same reasons that the “Stop WOKE” law is blocked from enforcement in university settings hold for elementary and secondary schools. As a federal judge ruled in November, the law strikes “at the heart of ‘open-mindedness and critical inquiry,’” such that “the State of Florida has taken over the ‘marketplace of ideas’ to suppress disfavored viewpoints.”

Mr. DeSantis’s “Stop WOKE” law relegates the study of the experiences of Black people to a prohibited category. The canceling of any students’ access to accurate, truthful education that reflects their diverse identities and that of their country should chill every American. Not only do these laws offend First Amendment freedoms of speech and expression; to the extent they harm certain groups on the basis of race, gender or other protected status, they also violate principles of equal protection. And they are a chilling precursor to state-sponsored dehumanization of an entire race of people.

This disturbing pattern of silencing Black voices and aggressive attempts to erase Black history are one of the most visible examples of performative white supremacy since the presidency of Donald Trump. In 2019 the Florida legislature undermined Amendment 4, which a supermajority of Floridians supported and would have restored the voting rights of more than a million formerly incarcerated people. In its place, lawmakers put in place a pay-to-vote system that redisenfranchises hundreds of thousands of those citizens, many of them Black. Similarly, Florida’s antiprotest law, H.B. 1, was enacted in 2021 in response to the 2020 protests against police violence, when Black organizations and peaceful demonstrators in Florida — along with their allies — took to the streets with demands for justice.

What is happening in Florida is also happening in other states. Fifteen states now have active educational gag orders — and similar censorship measures are making their way through several state legislatures — with punishments including fines, civil suits, firing and criminal penalties for those who violate the broadly defined provisions. From July 2021 to June 2022, PEN America’s Index of School Book Bans listed 2,532 instances of individual books being banned, affecting 1,648 book titles. The content in most of the banned books involves prominent characters of color, L.G.B.T.Q. protagonists or themes and subject matter related to race and racism.

It’s no coincidence that these attacks are targeting not just historically marginalized people but also our very experiences of intersectionality. Mr. DeSantis recently rubbished the inclusion of “queer theory” in the A.P. African American studies course that was rejected, seeming to deny the need for future generations to learn about the contributions of queer Black American icons like Pauli Murray, Bayard Rustin, Audre Lorde and James Baldwin. Florida’s H.B. 1557, more widely known as the “Don’t Say Gay” law, also limits conversations about sexual orientation and gender identity in Florida classrooms and, like “Stop WOKE,” makes clear that the State of Florida seeks to suppress and target people’s identities.

Meanwhile, teachers, librarians and school officials providing guidance on diversity, equity and inclusion are said to have been pushed out of their jobs and gotten death threats. Last year ProPublica reported the chilling story of a Black educator who was chased out of Cherokee County in Georgia by a group of people incensed that she was bringing diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives to the school district.

Several book bans and other antitruth measures introduced in the past two years target The New York Times’s 1619 Project (and curriculum), which was created by Nikole Hannah-Jones — who won a Pulitzer Prize for her work — and is a linchpin in today’s conversations about the role of systemic racism in America’s history and its enduring impacts. In Wyoming and Texas, lawmakers and school officials have proposed measures mandating that objectively horrific historic events like the Holocaust and the trans-Atlantic slave trade be presented to American children neutrally and without judgment. (The Wyoming measure failed to pass the state’s legislature.) But why would we want our children to look at these atrocities without judgment?

Contrary to those advancing a false morality of ignorance and hollow patriotism as justification for barring students from discussing uncomfortable facts, we know that young people of all races benefit from an accurate and inclusive education. Students who are taught factual history don’t see themselves as victims or villains; in fact, research into the effects of ethnic studies K-12 curriculums found that discussing race and racism in school increases academic outcomes for students, reduces prejudice among white students and students of color and improves feelings of belonging in students of color and even their beliefs about their academic abilities. On the other hand, research shows that education that ignores students’ awareness of race, racism and stereotypes leads to increased prejudice.

The losses to our nation, if this broad attack on our shared history is allowed to continue, are incalculable. Not only will it breed a generation of Americans indoctrinated by ignorance; it will deny them the analytical skills to understand the complex history of this experimental democracy, as well as the historical grounding to sustain it. Students will arrive at institutions of higher learning wholly ill equipped to engage with the historical foundations of this country, which include and are inextricable from the history of Black Americans. Moreover, it will deny future generations the full story of turmoil and triumph that is America. It will also sow the racial divisions that enable white supremacy, which the F.B.I. has identified as a major domestic security threat, to thrive.

The good news is that most Americans oppose policies like book bans and support teaching the history of race in America — positions that indicate they value and understand the importance of truth. However, we must also respond to the urgency of this moment. While civil rights lawyers won’t rest in our fight against “Stop WOKE” and similar laws in courts and state legislatures across the country, we all have a role to play. It starts with recognizing what is happening: This is bigotry and erasure aimed at robbing America’s children of their educational birthright and all of us of a better shared future. Recognize what is happening, call it out and resist erasure.“

Why Black Families Are Leaving New York, and What It Means for the City

Why Black Families Are Leaving New York, and What It Means for the City

“Black children in particular are disappearing from the city, and many families point to one reason: Raising children here has become too expensive.

A family sits around a kitchen table playing a game of Uno.
Athenia Rodney at her new home in Snellville, Ga., with her husband Kendall and three children. They moved away from New York City last summer.Nicole Craine for The New York Times

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Athenia Rodney is a product of the upward mobility New York City once promised Black Americans. She grew up in mostly Black neighborhoods in Brooklyn, graduated from public schools and attended a liberal arts college on a full scholarship. She went on to start her own event-planning business in the city.

But as Ms. Rodney’s own family grew, she found herself living in a cramped one-bedroom rental, where her three children shared a bunk bed in the living room. It was hard to get them into programs that exposed them to green spaces or swim classes. As she scrolled through friends’ social media posts showing off trampolines in spacious backyards in Georgia, the solution became clearer: Leave.

Last summer, the family bought a five-bedroom home in Snellville, Ga.

“I felt like it became increasingly difficult to raise a family in New York,” Ms. Rodney said.

The Rodneys are part of an exodus of Black residents from New York City. From 2010 to 2020, a decade during which the city’s population showed a surprising increase led by a surge in Asian and Hispanic residents, the number of Black residents decreased. The decline mirrored a national trend of younger Black professionals, middle-class families and retirees leaving cities in the Northeast and Midwest for the South.

The city’s Black population has declined by nearly 200,000 people in the past two decades, or about 9 percent. Now, about one in five residents are non-Hispanic Black, compared with one in four in 2000, according to the latest census data.

The decline is starkest among the youngest New Yorkers: The number of Black children and teenagers living in the city fell more than 19 percent from 2010 to 2020. And the decline is continuing, school enrollment data suggests. Schools have lost children in all demographic groups, but the loss of Black children has been much steeper as families have left and as the birthrate among Black women has decreased.

The factors propelling families like the Rodneys out of the city are myriad, including concerns about school quality, a desire to be closer to relatives and tight urban living conditions. But many of those interviewed for this article pointed to one main cause: the ever-increasing cost of raising a family in New York.

Harlem lost 5,000 Black residents between 2010 and 2020, according to census data. During the same time, 9,000 white people moved in.
Hilary Swift for The New York Times

Black families drawn to opportunities in places where jobs and housing are more plentiful are finding new chances to spread out and build wealth. But the exodus could transform the fabric of New York, even as Black political power surges. It has alarmed Black leaders, as well as economists who point to labor shortages in industries like nursing where Black workers have traditionally been overrepresented.

The filmmaker Spike Lee, a longtime New York booster, said he worries about the city becoming more expensive and less accessible to people of color in particular, who have contributed so much to the city’s culture, from the birth of hip hop in the South Bronx to artists like Alvin Ailey and Jean-Michel Basquiat.

“It’s is really sad because the reality is New York City is not affordable anymore,” Mr. Lee said. And if Black people can’t afford to live in the city, “you could seriously say New York City isn’t the greatest city in the world,” he said.

Eric Adams, New York’s second Black mayor, has vowed to create a more affordable city to stem the “hemorrhaging of Black and brown families.” Mr. Adams’s own bid for mayor was partially built on a biography that reflects the Black community’s roots in the city: His parents traveled north from Alabama during the Great Migration, climbed their way from poverty in Brooklyn to middle-class homeownership in Queens and relied on public schools and colleges to lift their children to greater success.

Younger Black families say that trajectory has become more elusive. High inflation and a turbulent rental market as the pandemic has subsided have hurt New Yorkers across the board. But Black families lag far behind white families in homeownership and in building wealth. Black households have a median income of $53,000, compared with roughly $98,000 for white households, according to the most recent census data.

Ruth Horry, a Black mother who bounced through cockroach- and rodent-infested Brooklyn apartments for years, has repeatedly been priced out by rising rents. Eventually, Ms. Horry, 36, and her three daughters, landed in the shelter system. At a shelter in Queens, the sink was so small Ms. Horry washed her children’s hair in the bathroom at a nearby McDonald’s.

“The conditions for what you could afford were mind-blowing,” she said. “I was just so tired of that.”

In late 2019, Ms. Horry moved to Jersey City through a New York City voucher program, known as the Special One-Time Assistance program, which relocates vulnerable families into permanent housing with a full year’s rent upfront. The drop in living costs has been life-changing, Ms. Horry said, and she is considering moving to the South to save even more.

“I have no food stamps, no welfare, no rental assistance,” said Ms. Horry, who now lives in a two-bedroom apartment and pays the $1,650 monthly rent through her earnings at a nonprofit that helps families in Brooklyn’s Brownsville neighborhood. “I don’t qualify for those programs, and that is an amazing feeling.”

New York City’s loss of Black residents has been a gain for the South especially. The region’s economy has boomed as newcomers from the city and other urban areas in the North flock there.

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Still, Regine Jackson, a professor at Atlanta’s Morehouse College who studies migration patterns, said that as more Black Northerners make what is often a bittersweet decision to leave, it remains unclear whether the South will ultimately provide the greater opportunities they seek.

They may have become disillusioned with life in the North, said Ms. Jackson, but in the South, “there’s still problems.”

“There’s been a lot of progress since the civil rights movement, yet there’s still a lot left to do,” Ms. Jackson said.

As New York’s housing shortage persists and rents stay high, Gov. Kathy Hochul recently pledged to build more than 800,000 new units of housing statewide over the next decade, double what went up in the past 10 years. In his own housing agenda, Mr. Adams has stressed expanding several programs to make homeownership more affordable for families of color.

While the Black homeownership rate — roughly 27 percent in New York — rose slightly during the pandemic, it has far to climb to catch up with other demographic groups. That is partly because of historical disparities, including racial biases that have held back Black homeownership. The national foreclosure crisis hit many middle-class Black families especially hard, and Black households still often face discrimination and the devaluation of their properties.

The departures have transformed neighborhoods across New York. In Southeast Queens enclaves like Jamaica and St. Albans, more Latino and South Asian residents are moving in. Harlem and Bedford-Stuyvesant, two iconic Black neighborhoods, have grown in population even as they experienced steep declines in the number of Black residents.

Harlem, for example, lost more than 5,000 Black people over a decade, while nearly 9,000 white people moved in, according to census data analyzed by The New York Times. Bedford-Stuyvesant lost more than 22,000 Black residents while gaining 30,000 white residents.

Christie Peale, the executive director of the Center for New York City Neighborhoods, a nonprofit that promotes affordable homeownership, said more aggressive efforts are needed.

“Our fear is that the city will become whiter and wealthier, and the only opportunities for realizing the upside of a strong market will be for investors, people with high-income jobs,” Ms. Peale said. “It really will be that tale of two cities.”

Citywide, white residents now make up about 31 percent of the population, according to census data, Hispanic residents 28 percent and Asian residents nearly 16 percent. While the white population has stayed about the same, the Asian population grew by 34 percent and Hispanic population grew by 7 percent, according to the data.

A row of brownstones in Bedford-Stuyvesant.
Bedford-Stuyvesant is an iconic Black neighborhood, but thousands of Black residents have left in recent years for the suburbs and beyond.Elias Williams for The New York Times

The loss of Black families has already had major implications for the education system. Some schools have shrunk, and teachers have had to be moved around to account for drops in enrollment. Overall, the public schools have lost more than 100,000 students in the past five years, a crisis facing other urban districts like Boston and Chicago. In 2005, Black children comprised 35 percent of K-12 students in New York City; they now make up closer to 20 percent.

Just since 2017, about 50,000 Black students have left K-12 district schools, a decline of nearly 22 percent. The drop among white children in the same period was 14 percent, while the overall Latino and Asian student populations declined at lower rates. Some Black students enrolled at charter schools, but many more left the city altogether. About one in four Black children at district schools who left last year moved to the South, Education Department data shows.

School enrollment has also been affected by a steady drop in birthrates, another national trend. Black women accounted for more than 30 percent of citywide births in 2000; their share was below 20 percent in 2019, state data shows.

Some of the Black families that left the city were seeking better educational opportunities for their children. 

Michelle Okeke moved from Bedford-Stuyvesant to Mansfield, Texas, in 2021 to be closer to relatives who could help raise her two children. But she also worried about obtaining a good education for them in what she called New York City’s “insane” and complex system. Selective academic programs and top middle and high schools accept few Black children each year. Stuyvesant High School, the city’s crown jewel, made offers to just 11 Black students for its freshman class of more than 750 this academic year.

“There was always a part of me that was like, ‘How are we going to deal with schools?’” Ms. Okeke, whose children are 2 and 4, said. “It was a looming consideration: Should we move to Jersey? Do we go to another area where there’s more opportunities?”

The administration has sought to increase access to selective pathways like the city’s gifted and talented program. But parents worry that schools serving primarily Black children in a deeply segregated system could face larger losses in future rounds of school budget cuts, and that shrinking resources and cuts to programs may prompt further departures.

The continuing loss of Black New Yorkers may also disrupt the city’s job market. Melva Miller, the president of the nonprofit Association for a Better New York, pointed to labor shortages in industries that have long relied on a disproportionate share of Black employees, like the building trades and civil service.

Some families who have left say there are things they miss about the city, but that the opportunities they have found elsewhere have made the move worth it.

Alisha Brooks, 36, a Bronx native, had always envisioned raising her children in the city, clinging to her identity as a New Yorker. But as a young Black mother, she sometimes felt out of place in her Brooklyn Heights neighborhood, which is predominantly white and higher income.

Her oldest son’s Brooklyn Heights school was largely white. In his final year there, fewer than 5 percent of the students and only a small number of teachers were Black. She noticed him growing increasingly insecure about his natural hair; classmates would sometimes try to touch it.

Nicole Craine for The New York Times

“He was starting to feel different,” Ms. Brooks said. “He needed to be around more diversity and see more kids who looked like him.”

After a trip to North Carolina in the spring of 2020 revealed how much cheaper life could be elsewhere, the Brooks family chose to move to Charlotte, where a growing Black population makes up more than a third of residents. Most of her sons’ new teachers, and more of their classmates, are Black.

Mihir Zaveri contributed reporting. Susan C. Beachy contributed research. Robert Gebeloff contributed data analysis.“