Covert Racism: Discrimination in the American Workplace
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Everyone’s a little bit racist, sometimes

Everyone’s a little bit racist, sometimes | Covert Racism: Discrimination in the American Workplace | Scoop.it
Dean Burnett: Many recent news stories report an increase in racism in the UK, but analysis of the data behind this suggests this conclusion is questionable
Ben Geffner's insight:

Option Broccoli

 

What is this article about?

 

This article primarily speaks to the inherent illegitimacy of reports that discuss the prevalence of racism in society. As the reports only take into consideration incidences of self-reported racism, it's only marking down those who self-identify as racists in the data set. There are many people who internalize their racism and are not comfortable proclaiming themselves to be racists. The other primary issue is that the reports make racism into a binary issue, where there are those who are racist and those are not, there's no middle ground. Lastly, the article discusses the fault in discussing racism in the first place, that it is unclear whether or not these racist beliefs actually manifest in people's behavior, considering that racist actions are almost universally outlawed.

 

What are the people/commenters saying about the article?

 

Ironically, most people in the comments were people claiming that "I'm not racist, but...", which is exactly what the author speaks out against in the article. Most commenters tried to justify their prejudice by saying that they did not have these prejudices because of race, but rather, their prejudices had more to do with dress code/cultural values/speech/etc. Which I think is a load of baloney.

 

What do you think about the article, the comments, and why?

 

I think this is a great final scoop to end on, because it epitomizes everything that's wrong with institutionalized racism in the first place: many people deny that it exists! I liked the article because it pointed out how faulty racism reports truly are, which is actually scary when you think about it. How many more "closet racists" are out there that didn't mark themselves down as racist? The comments pretty much aggravate this fear. Lots of self-justification for their prejudices, but at the end of the day, prejudice is still prejudice.

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Confronting Racial History Head-On

Confronting Racial History Head-On | Covert Racism: Discrimination in the American Workplace | Scoop.it
Is it a vehicle of discussion or a perpetuation of turn-of-the-century racism?
Ben Geffner's insight:

Option Ginger Root

 

Why did you choose this piece and what do you currently know about it?

 

Well, I didn't choose this piece because of my knowledge of the "human zoo" phenomenon that took place in Norway during the early 1900's. I chose it because I thought this project invoked discussions about racism in an innovative way. I was curious to see how people would respond to such a controversial yet thoughtful project.

 

What did you learn?

 

I was surprised to learn that the overwhelming reaction to this project was of negativity and embarrassment. In a country that has internalized the notion of a tolerant, racism-free society, many people felt that this only perpetuated the racism it sought to destroy. There's even been a movement on Twitter (with the hashtag #someonetellnorway) to emphasize the "crudeness" of the project.

 

What do you want to learn more about?

 

On a broader level, I'm intrigued to learn more about these "human fairs" that took place all across Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries, as it's a piece of history I was not aware of. As it pertains to my project, though, I am curious how this response to such a public display of racism correlates with what the creators intended. Obviously, opposition was welcome, but how could this project have opened more people's eyes without inherently making them feel guilty? Is guilt a part of the process in terms of reconstructing the political and economic fabric of this country?

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Gentrification Annihilation

Gentrification Annihilation | Covert Racism: Discrimination in the American Workplace | Scoop.it
'Then comes the motherf*ckin Christopher Columbus Syndrome. You can't discover this! We been here.'
Ben Geffner's insight:

Option Broccoli 

 

What is this article about?

 

To put it lightly, this is Spike Lee's incredibly passionate account of his feelings towards the gentrification that is occurring in New York. Addressing the influx of white people moving into the boroughs, Lee talks about "Christopher Columbus Syndrome", saying that, "you can't just come in the neighborhood and start bogarting and say, like you're motherf*ckin' Columbus and kill off the Native Americans...you have to come with respect. There's a code. There's people". Although he does not necessarily oppose people moving into the boroughs, what he does oppose is the apparent desecration of culture that comes with it. Being a man who is very prideful about his New York roots, it is no surprise that he feels his identity is being compromised by gentrification.

 

What are people/commenters saying about the article?

 

I was surprised to find that most of the commenters dissented Spike Lee's views. Most of the responses centered around the fact that they felt that there's no double standard here: Spike Lee, a black man, is antagonizing white people, but if a white person were to have similar comments about black people, there would theoretically be a national outrage. A very few minority of commenters supported Lee's arguments.

 

What do you think about the article, the comments, and why?

 

Well, I agree with certain aspects of both perspectives - Lee's and the commenters'. I agree that gentrification generally has more cons than it has good - look at the negative impact it's had on the community in the Mission district - but I think this argument could be made without such condemning and pretty hateful prose. 

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What does the color barrier look like today in baseball, 67 years after Jackie Robinson?

What does the color barrier look like today in baseball, 67 years after Jackie Robinson? | Covert Racism: Discrimination in the American Workplace | Scoop.it

chose this As the number of black players has declined, baseball has seen a rising share of white players.

Ben Geffner's insight:

Option Ginger Root

Why did you choose this piece and what do you currently know about this issue?

I chose this issue primarily because of my interest in sports - specifically baseball, which I have a lot of knowledge about. Baseball has evolved into a game with immense amounts of diversity, but at the same time, most of this diversity is coming from Latin countries.I have spent most of my research looking at the American workplace, and I wanted to delve into other areas - I am not going to focus on sports, but I wanted to at least acknowledge institutionalized racism in sports.

 

What did you learn?

 

Essentially what I expected: that the amount of black players in the MLB has decreased from a high of 18.7% in 1981 to about 8% this year. This starkly contrasts both whites and Latinos, who are seeing growing numbers despite making up less of the population.

 

What do you want to learn more about?

 

I mean, the big question here that the article does not answer is WHY - how could a game that preaches itself on diversity see such a substantial decrease in black players in the last 30 years? What factors contribute to the fact that baseball is simply less commonly played amongst black youth nowadays?

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Michigan Upholds Ban On Affirmative Action

Michigan Upholds Ban On Affirmative Action | Covert Racism: Discrimination in the American Workplace | Scoop.it

Party for Socialism and Liberation
Institutional Discrimination and Racism: US Supreme Court Delivers Blow to ...

Ben Geffner's insight:

Option Yucca

 

Golden ideas:

 

- Obviously the main focus of the article is the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the affirmative action ban in Michigan, essentially delegitimizing institutionalized racism.

 

- Sotomayor's perspective was particularly interesting: she believed that we shouldn't take a backseat and ignore racial issues, we need to confront them head-on. Inaction is not the solution.

 

- Article also focuses on the deceiving, well-financed campaign that got many people to unknowingly support a ban on affirmative action.

 

Thorns:

 

- This is another article that makes generalizing statements such as "most whites still do not understand the historic national oppression of Latinos and African-Americans in this country". While this is probably true, it still causes a bit of a thorn in my side by virtue of employing "white guilt".

 

- I agreed with the author's assertion that as a country we need to take a stand against institutionalized racism...but I definitely do not think a militant approach is the way to go, I'll leave it at that.

 

What do I want to learn more about?

 

- What is the context behind this ground-breaking decision? Why is there so much uproar in other states calling for an affirmative action ban?

 

- How successful has affirmative action traditionally been?

 

- What is the correct approach towards solving institutionalized racism? Is acknowledging the issue of institutionalized racism inherently subject to racism?

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The Most Racist Part Of Donald Sterling's Legacy Can't Be Solved With A ... - Huffington Post

The Most Racist Part Of Donald Sterling's Legacy Can't Be Solved With A ... - Huffington Post | Covert Racism: Discrimination in the American Workplace | Scoop.it
The Most Racist Part Of Donald Sterling's Legacy Can't Be Solved With A ...
Ben Geffner's insight:

Option Broccoli

 

What is this article about?

 

This article is focuses on the allegations of Clippers' (former) owner Donald Sterling, but instead of focusing on his recent allegations, the author chooses to divert our attention to the bigger picture, which is that despite this lifetime ban, there are still many people like Sterling out there. Focusing on the theme of housing discrimination, the article points out that minority home owners are still shown and sold substantially fewer units than their white counterparts. 

 

What are people/commenters saying about the issue?

 

Seeing that this has become such a publicized issue, I was expecting somewhat unanimous support in favor of Sterling's lifetime ban. What I found instead, though, was that the top-rated comments mostly argued that the punishment breached the First Amendment but that Sterling should still be condemned for his housing discriminations. They seemed more upset that it took this long to finally expel him from the highest ranks than they were about his actual comments.

 

What do you think about the article, the comments, and why?

 

For me, the comments were more powerful than the actual article. While the article elaborated upon the bigger picture, I still did not really feel that it captured the essence of it. It only discreetly mentions at the end of the article, "Donald Sterling's racism has been roundly rejected by everyone fromSnoop Dogg to the president -- but when it comes to everyday acts of insidious, life-ruining racism, there are many more like him out there" - and I just feel that the comments did a better job of extrapolating upon this.

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Racism in the Canadian Job Market

Ben Geffner's insight:

Option Ginger Root

 

Why did you choose this piece and what do you currently know about the issue?

 

I chose this piece because I was curious about how institutionalized racism manifested in Canada, one of the most racially diverse countries in America. Obviously, having done background research on institutionalized racism, I am fairly aware of the issues surrounding it, but I only have the perspective of being an American. This article gave me concrete statistics that I will eventually be able to compare to the numerous American statistics that I will gather.

 

What do you want to learn more about?

 

In general, I am curious to learn more about how the Canadian job market works and how income inequality comes into play. I feel that, in America, we attach this stigma to Canada that it's a more lackadaisical, free environment but we forget that they have their own economic, social, and racial issues. Thus, this article had the dual benefit of enlightening me about institutionalized racism and how the Canadian job market works.

 

What did you learn?

 

This article highlighted the glaring differences between whites and minorities in Canada with regards to job opportunities. Although 67.5% of the racialized population in Canada participates in the job market, they only account for about 15% of the labor force. This is starkly contrasted by the amount of white people in the job market, who account for the other 85%. Other glaring differences are seen within individual job sectors, such as the business, financial, and administrative sector. In that sector - one that we often associate with power - only 5.5% of jobs are occupied by minorities.

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CLARKE: Liberal policies have destroyed the black family - Washington Times

CLARKE: Liberal policies have destroyed the black family - Washington Times | Covert Racism: Discrimination in the American Workplace | Scoop.it
The latest attempt by liberals to help black people is underway in our K-12 urban public schools. These do-gooders are now defining down socially acceptable behavior for black students in school. (Milwaukee, Wis.
Ben Geffner's insight:

Option Broccoli.

 

Social Liberalism is the New Racism

 

This article is a very emotionally charged account of the author's sentiments towards the liberal empathy that African-American families receive from the federal government. He believes that turning over historically individual responsibilities such as parenting over to the government has created a perverse environment where African-American kids are not held accountable for their poor behavior, for fear of seeming racist. Policies directed to help African-American families have only worsened the situation, as "black men have been estranged from their families and emasculated by welfare policies". To my surprise, this article received a lot of support from the commenters. Expecting that he would receive a lot of liberal backlash, I instead found that many commenters supported his "hands-off" ideas with regards to black families. This had a profound effect on me, because I come from the liberal background that Clarke antagonizes in this article. It was a huge wake-up call for me because, coming from a position of power, I never truly understood the idea that empathy could be a bad thing. 

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The Drug War as Race War

The Drug War as Race War | Covert Racism: Discrimination in the American Workplace | Scoop.it
The Drug War as Race War
Ben Geffner's insight:

Option Ginger Root

 

Why did you choose this piece and what do you currently know about it?

 

I chose this piece because thus far, I have not talked about the institution where racism traditionally manifests the most: the criminal justice system. Specifically, the piece about crack cocaine sentencing resonated with me because I did my Recent America paper on it. On a broader scale, though, I was eager to get a more expansive look on how recent drug policies have affected the disproportionate sentencing of African-Americans within the judicial system.

 

What did you learn?

 

There were many statistics that jumped off the page for me, specifically that African-American males are 7.7 times more likely to be incarcerated than white males, while 18-year old African-Americans are 8.8 times more likely. This is a direct manifestation of the policies that emerged during the War on Drugs era in the late 1980's - early 1990's. Specifically, the disparities in the crack cocaine/powdered cocaine sentencing seem to be at the crux of this issue. Although whites constitute 64% of the cocaine-using population, around 70-80% of all cocaine-related arrests were made on African-Americans. 

 

What do you want to learn more about?

 

- Does this narrative remain consistent if we look past just cocaine-related arrests? Do the same trends hold up with traditionally less harmful drugs such as marijuana?

 

- Despite the disproportionate sentences, have the anti-drug policies succeeded, for the most part, in getting drugs off the street? Or has it only perpetuated the issue?

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A Call For Affirmative Action

A Call For Affirmative Action | Covert Racism: Discrimination in the American Workplace | Scoop.it
Ben Geffner's insight:

Option Yucca

 

Golden Ideas:

 

- The Obama Administration's My Brother's Keeper initiative does nothing to eradicate the systemic racism that governs our country. Analysis of the impact that federal policies and legislations have on youth of color are just beating a dead horse, and relying on private funding to empower youth of color will not move the needle.

 

- A different approach needs to be taken in confronting institutionalized racism, whether it be the revival of affirmative action, better public schools, or the nationalization of healthcare.

 

- The author provides a backdrop for what has traditionally allowed institutionalized racism to take place, a bit of context that had been absent in all of the other article I've read. One point he brought up that resonated with me was that the U.S. has had over 400 years to "fine-tune its instruments of race discrimination and divide-and-conquer tactics."

 

Thorns:

 

- Well, I got this article from a site called socialism.com, and it was not difficult to predict what the author was going to talk about. Nationalization of health care, massive public jobs programs - all of these ideas strongly illustrated the author's socialist beliefs. I didn't have a problem with this until the author become more confrontational and militant, calling for a radical dismantling of the U.S. political and economic infrastructure through "the leadership of the most oppressed youth of color."

 

- I don't think the article fully elaborates on why he disagrees with the My Brother's Keeper initiative - he provides a surface understanding of it and why he believes it won't work, but I wished he could have backed those claims up more strongly.

 

What do I want to learn more about?

 

- What exactly is the context for the My Brother's Keeper program taking place? Why haven't I heard more about it?

 

- Is there really a way to thwart institutionalized racism without a militant, combative overthrowing? 

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Ideal Hispanic Enrollment Lacking in Affordable Care Act

Ideal Hispanic Enrollment Lacking in Affordable Care Act | Covert Racism: Discrimination in the American Workplace | Scoop.it
With a high uninsured rate and a younger population, Hispanics are seen as a key enrollment demographic.
Ben Geffner's insight:

Option Yucca

 

Golden Ideas

 

- Hispanics have a disproportionately low amount of representation in terms of health care coverage, as 29% of Hispanics are without health care in comparison to 17% for African-Americans and 10% for whites.

 

- The reason for this lack of representation - at least in California - could be due to the lack of Spanish-speaking counselors or the fact that legal US residents do not want to report their potentially "unlawfully wanted relatives".

 

- The silver lining in the clouds is that Latino enrollment surged late in the process, during March, as they ultimately represented 28% of overall sign-ups.

 

Thorns

 

- The article itself mentions the inherent faultiness of collecting racial data. The issue is complicated by the fact that many people do not choose to identify with a particular race, leading to a data set that does not reflect about 31% of all sign-ups, a substantially high number.

 

- The article uses a large data set, composed of all sign-ups across the country, and only briefly mentions the individual case of California. Personally, I have a pet peeve against "national statistics" because they present a saturated understanding of the topic at hand.

 

What do I want to learn more about?

 

- Going off of the previous comment, I would like to see more data reflecting a particular state or even county, to see if it matches up or disagrees with my own preconceived notions. I would like this data to be more personalized.

 

- Why is there not a bigger push from the Obama administration to resolve this issue? It seems pretty substantial to me.

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More Hispanics, blacks enrolling in college, but lag in bachelor’s degrees

More Hispanics, blacks enrolling in college, but lag in bachelor’s degrees | Covert Racism: Discrimination in the American Workplace | Scoop.it
From 1996 to 2012, college enrollment among Hispanics ages 18 to 24 more than tripled (240% increase), outpacing increases among blacks (72%) and whites (12%).
Ben Geffner's insight:

Option Kale

 

Strengths of the article

 

- The article does not use statistics to portray a single narrative - it does the opposite, by first acknowledging that there are more minorities enrolling in college, but in terms of achieving a bachelor's degree, they are still underrepresented.

 

- It uses historical data that spans back about 20 years, as opposed to using a smaller sample size that might have enforced or strengthened their narrative. 

 

- Discusses the public school to college pipeline in great detail, while simultaneously describing how this pipeline collapses (in the sense that more minorities do not achieve their bachelor's degree in comparison to whites).

 

Weaknesses of the article

 

- Doesn't answer the bigger picture of what it all means. Like most Pew articles, it presents a slew of statistics suggesting a particular narrative, but never actually stating it.

 

- Makes a brief mention of affirmative action at the end of the article, but never delves into it with great detail - only discusses its popularity and acceptance amongst different races.

 

Opportunities for improving the article

 

- Like I suggested previously, diving into what the big picture is would be helpful for this article. It could discuss how this underrepresentation in bachelor's degrees correlates to employment rates or annual salaries.

 

- The article focuses on the public school-to-college pipeline, how would be the data be skewed if they incorporated private school students into the data set? Traditionally, private schools have been white dominant, so leaving them out of the picture paints a different story.

 

- Finally, the article could discuss what these trends mean moving forward - what does this say about our college system? About financial aid?

 

Threats or obstacles that may potentially arise

 

- Comparing degree attainment rates with annual salaries or employment rates may not be the best barometer, because these are trends we expect to hold regardless of race - if you get a degree, you'll earn more money. Essentially, does this really move the needle?

 

- Generalizing such large groups of people and analyzing them in the framework of "college acceptance" is not very helpful, considering how large that sample size is. How many minorities/whites are attending public institutions vs. privates ones? State colleges, community colleges, online colleges, etc...

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Where Education Has Failed

Where Education Has Failed | Covert Racism: Discrimination in the American Workplace | Scoop.it
Politics Versus Education
RealClearPolitics
Of all the cynical frauds of the Obama administration, few are so despicable as sacrificing the education of poor and minority children to the interests of the teachers' unions.
Ben Geffner's insight:

Option Yucca

 

Golden ideas:

 

- Teachers' unions are being prioritized over the education of minority youth, as exemplified by the suppression/general attitude towards charter schools.

 

- Stereotypes of the violent minorities have detracted from the the majority who value education.

 

- Author believes there's an animus or cynicism towards charter schools with well-performing students.

 

Thorns:

 

- The author is quite obviously entering this article with a bias - he sensationalizes the issue by making unsubstantiated claims such as "the whole teachers' union hates charter schools".

 

- He dismisses the usefulness of racial statistics, which I do think hold some merit.

 

What do I want to learn more about?

 

- How does the performance of kids in charter schools compare with those in public schools?

 

- Basic question: who is Eric Holder and why does the author have such strong disagreements with him?

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Aspiring black history teachers rejected - The Voice Online

Aspiring black history teachers rejected - The Voice Online | Covert Racism: Discrimination in the American Workplace | Scoop.it
The Voice Online Aspiring black history teachers rejected The Voice Online A spokesperson for UCAS, the body responsible for the GTTR, told The Voice: “All the statistics in the report are straightforward summary tables, and therefore do not take...

Via Monique
Ben Geffner's insight:

Option Ginger Root

 

Why did you choose this piece and what do you currently know about the issue?

 

I chose this piece because of centered in on a very specific group - black history teachers. I was not going to get some broad overview on institutional racism, I was going to get a more personalized account of it. As it pertains to the actual issue, I am not too aware of the shortcomings in the history department, but I am aware of the lack of diversity on faculty staff as a whole throughout private schools.

 

What do you want to learn more about?

 

I would primarily like to learn more about how diversity comes into play in other fields of study - i.e. biology, English, etc. I would also like to have a more historical account that provides further context as to why there is typically a lack of diversity within administrative faculty.

 

What did you learn?

 

Well, even though it's a small sample size, the numbers stick out to you immediately - only 3 black applicants received acceptance for postgraduate history training courses in the UK, while 526 white applicants received acceptance. Across all fields, white applicants had an acceptance rate of about 30%, but for black applicants, only 16-17% received acceptance despite having a substantially smaller group. The article also begins to shed light on the fact that the reason there are so few black applicants could be due to the racial discrimination they may face while in school.

 

 

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Feminism and Institutionalized Racism

Feminism and Institutionalized Racism | Covert Racism: Discrimination in the American Workplace | Scoop.it
Canadian immigration favours highly educated individuals; yet, upon arrival to Canada highly educated immigrants are often pushed into low paying and insecure jobs. Many jobs demand Canadian...
Ben Geffner's insight:

Option Yucca

 

This article expresses the author's frustration with regards to the lack of equitable opportunities for immigrants in the Canadian job market. Supported by the fact that 27.5% of immigrants with university degrees are below the income cut-off line, she comes to the conclusion that the biggest problem in the Canadian job market is that the success of job programs is measured in the quantity of jobs provided as opposed to the quality of them. She also ties job inequity back to feminism, where women face similar, if not worse, disadvantages in the job market. However, I felt that the author let her own personal experience as a Canadian women get in the way too much at times. For example, at one point she generalizes by deducing that "it is hard to be a woman in Canada". That being said, this article made me more intrigued to find out more about how feminism intertwines with institutionalized racism. It was not a connection that I initially made, but after thinking about it for a bit, there are lots of overlap between the two issues.

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Republican Bad Acting Can’t Hide The Racism Behind Their Obama Outrage

Republican Bad Acting Can’t Hide The Racism Behind Their Obama Outrage | Covert Racism: Discrimination in the American Workplace | Scoop.it
There is a recurring theme in Republican outrage over President Obama's executive actions that centers on an African American President doing the same thing a white president (George W.
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