culture of racism

Overt racism is increasing in the Trump era

And that includes joking about lynching:

The owner of a North Carolina racetrack advertised “Bubba Rope” for sale in a social media marketplace days after NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace, who is Black, announced a noose had been found in his garage at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama.

Mike Fulp, the owner of the half-mile (0.8 km) 311 Speedway in Stokes County, made the pitch Wednesday on Facebook Marketplace: “Buy your Bubba Rope today for only $9.99 each, they come with a lifetime warranty and work great.’’

This idiot started out by posting a picture of a regular pull-rope (with one knot) on his garage door, implying Bubba Wallace had been overreacting. But the rope in Bubba's garage was a full-on noose, with 9-10 loops tied. This is just one of many instances of overt racism recently, coming on the footsteps of 3 Wilmington Police being fired for their violently racist conversations. But now it looks like 2 of those 3 had been in trouble before:

Chief public defender in Fayetteville resigns over racist social media post

With friends like this, black defendants don't need enemies:

Cumberland County Chief Public Defender Bernard Condlin submitted a letter of resignation Wednesday after coming under scrutiny for posting a meme on his personal Facebook page showing people being assaulted with water cannons. His resignation is effective June 30.

The words “The next riot at the Market House” appeared with the post before it was removed. It appeared to refer to a May 30 incident at the Market House that followed a peaceful march held to protest the death of George Floyd while in police custody.

It's even worse than just the firehose gif. In the comment section on the Facebook post, he jokes about them setting themselves on fire, and then getting the government to pay for their medical treatment. Trump has really brought the racists out of the closet, hasn't he? People are saying and doing things they would have been way too ashamed to do in the past, and these apologies just don't cut it:

GOP Onslow School Board candidate referenced "ignorant darkies" on Facebook

Jim Crow would be proud:

Eric Whitfield, who was one of four Republican candidates for Onslow County Board of Education to win the party’s nomination in Tuesday’s primary, posted a comment on Facebook that used the term “ignorant darkies” in a reference to black people.

Whitfield’s page has apparently been taken down but a screenshot of the comment has been circulating heavily since Thursday evening. Jacksonville Christian Academy posted on its Facebook page just before midnight Thursday that an employee of the school had been terminated from his job due to a social media statement made.

Okay, aside from the fact this relatively young white dude is trying to resurrect a racial epithet commonly used a hundred years ago, why (in the name of all that's holy) would voters choose a public school board member who works at a private Christian school? Whatever experience he has is somewhere between irrelevant and counterproductive. And before he screwed up and got fired, electing him would have created a massive conflict of interest (destroy public schools, parents choose private schools). Anyway, back to the jaw-dropping racism:

Contemptible Icons: Thomas Ruffin portrait removed from Orange County courthouse

There are heroes, and there are villains:

The defendant in the case was John Mann, a North Carolinian who had been renting a slave named Lydia. When she committed a trifling offense, Mann whipped her. During the whipping, Lydia attempted to escape, so Mann shot her, gravely wounding her. North Carolina authorities deemed his response to her escape attempt disproportionate and charged him with assault and battery. In the criminal trial, the jury ruled against him. He appealed, claiming that assault on a slave by her master could not be indictable since a slave was property of her master.

Ruffin concluded that “the power of the master must be absolute, to render the submission of the slave perfect.” He argued that inhuman punishment of slaves was indeed legal in North Carolina.

Before you say, "But that was the law of the land back then" or something along those lines, both the local authorities *and* a jury deemed his actions were criminal. There is some evidence that suggests Mann was not well respected in the community, and his jury conviction may have had more to do with getting rid of a local nuisance than concern over the slave's injuries. But I also can't help noticing that John Mann was *not* the owner of Lydia, he was merely renting her. Which sounds absurd enough. The slave's real owner was a teenage girl, whose uncle rented out Lydia to whoever could pay. But apparently none of that mattered to Ruffin, which is one more reason to pull those portraits down. Note: the portrait hanging right behind Chief Justice Beasley in the above photo is of Thomas Ruffin...

Culture of Racism: Wake Forest faculty get barrage of hateful e-mails

whitesupremacist.jpg

White Supremacy rears its ugly head once again:

The Wake Forest Review, an independent newspaper at Wake Forest, reported Tuesday night that the sociology department wrote that the emails “praised the white male founding fathers, dismissed our undergraduates with ugly vile language, and called for our land to be ‘purged’ of people of color and members of the LGBTQ+ community.”

The department continued, “The call to ‘purge’ categories of persons, is a white supremacist call for genocide,” the Wake Forest Review reported. The sociology department wrote in its response to the emails: “We live in a society plagued by racism, sexism, and gun violence. We will do all we can to carry forward our scholarship, teaching, and our public engagement for social justice.”

But as usual in cases like this, the administration has deemed there was no "explicit" threat, so there likely won't be any call for a criminal investigation. Nevermind the fact the UNC Charlotte shooter is taking a plea deal to avoid the Death Penalty for his deadly actions, we're still splitting hairs over "implicit vs. explicit" threats. Somebody (SBI or FBI) needs to track down the sender of these e-mails and make a real determination of that threat. Because these folks are downright scared:

Marching against hate: A tale of two NC communities

Hillsborough has become a battleground against bigotry:

Hillsborough gathered together Saturday afternoon as part of the March Against White Supremacy. Hundreds of people participated by walking through downtown. They gathered at the Old Slave Cemetery to get ready to march. Without knowing exactly what to expect a crowd of about 700 began the walk from the Cemetery to the Courthouse.

The rally comes a week after members of the KKK came to the town while Democrat presidential candidate Kamala Harris was in Durham to speak at an event. Officials in Hillsborough said the KKK's presence wasn't expected and there was no documentation filed to gather and protest. People from all walks of life came together to show solidarity.

Several people I know were involved in this march, and it has to have been one of the largest gatherings downtown Hillsborough has ever seen. My Facebook feed was inundated with updates and photos of the march, but then I noticed something else happening. Some of my friends are also in Eastern North Carolina, and in Greenville there was another march taking place in defense of The Squad:

White Supremacist propaganda is littering college campuses

Looking for new (pure) blood to fill out their ranks:

During the previous academic year, ADL found at least 292 incidents of white supremacy propaganda. Generally, white nationalists who are not connected to the university are responsible for the material.

They have been increasingly targeting colleges and universities since January 2016, and began appearing in larger numbers in the fall semester of that year, according to the ADL. More than three years later their materials -- fliers, stickers, posters -- continue to proliferate on campuses.

These groups are evolving somewhat, although that evolution isn't heading in a "better" direction, just more clandestine. Especially since the Charlottesville debacle, the general public has become more aware of the potential dangers, and less inclined to tolerate outright Nazism. So Identity Evropa has given itself a makeover:

Culture of Racism: Beaufort County Sheriff's Department

Welcome back to the 1950's:

According to the lawsuit, Franks, who served in the U.S. Army for four years, began working for the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office in July 2015. Beaufort County is on the North Carolina coast, about 120 miles (193 kilometers) east of Raleigh. In November 2016, Franks said he was in a "deputy room" when Ragland pointed his loaded service weapon at his head for approximately 15 seconds and said "What's up (N-word)?"

Every time Ragland pointed his weapon at Franks, the lawsuit said, Ragland used the racial slur. Also, Ragland often referred to Franks as "monkey boy" and described his hair as "rhino lining" because of its color and texture.

And in case you're wondering if this is a he said/he said incident, another deputy got in trouble for reporting the harassment:

Commission to study reparations for Slavery on the move in U.S. House

And it's a long time coming:

With the support of a string of 2020 Democratic presidential candidates, the idea of reparations for African-Americans is gaining traction among Democrats on Capitol Hill, where Speaker Nancy Pelosi backs the establishment of a commission that would develop proposals and a “national apology” to repair the lingering effects of slavery.

Nearly 60 House Democrats, including Representative Jerrold Nadler, the powerful chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, support legislation to create the commission, which has been stalled in the House for 30 years.

I read the bill last night and noticed a couple of depressing aspects, which combined together severely undercuts the potential of this Commission. First, they're only budgeting $12 million for its entire operation, which would barely scratch the surface of what needs to be researched. And then there's the timeline. One year to make their report to Congress, and then the Commission will be dissolved shortly after. And considering the Commission will also be studying the years that followed the end of slavery (critically important), that budget low-ball is even worse:

If you're reading a Nicholas Sparks novel, you might want to burn it

That message in a bottle is likely to be tainted with hate:

Sparks reportedly wrote in a November 2013 email that “we’ve spent way, way too much time … talking about ‘tolerance, diversity, non-discrimination, and LGBT’ in these first twelve weeks.” Benjamin also claims in the lawsuit that Sparks told him “black students are too poor and can’t do the academic work” asked of the school’s students, A separate November 2013 email from Sparks obtained by The Daily Beast appears to support that claim, with the writer saying the school’s lack of diversity “has nothing to do with racism” but rather “money” and “culture.”

According to Benjamin’s 2014 complaint, Sparks supported a group of students who bullied the school’s LGBTQ students. The former headmaster also alleged that Sparks referred to a school club for LGBTQ students as “the Gay Club” and that two bisexual instructors were threatened with termination when they came forward to support the LGBTQ students.

It's been years, but I've read several of his books, and moderately enjoyed them. Had I known at the time that the money I spent on said books would partially fund such a school, I would have been furious. It's direct connections like this that demonstrate how important it is to be aware of what and who you are funding with your commerce. The days of not caring are over.

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