Tag Archives: African-American

Do People Feel The Pain Of Other Ethnic Groups?

Do you feel anything?

Do you feel anything?

I thought this was a very interesting study that I read about on Slate:

Let’s do a quick experiment. You watch a needle pierce someone’s skin. Do you feel this person’s pain? Does it matter if the person’s skin is white or black?

For many people, race does matter, even if they don’t know it. They feel more empathy when they see white skin pierced than black. This is known as the racial empathy gap. To study it, researchers at the University of Milano-Bicocca showed participants (all of whom were white) video clips of a needle or an eraser touching someone’s skin. They measured participants’ reactions through skin conductance tests—basically whether their hands got sweaty—which reflect activity in the pain matrix of the brain. If we see someone in pain, it triggers the same network in our brains that’s activated when we are hurt. But people do not respond to the pain of others equally. In this experiment, when viewers saw white people receiving a painful stimulus, they responded more dramatically than they did for black people.

The racial empathy gap helps explain disparities in everything from pain management to the criminal justice system. But the problem isn’t just that people disregard the pain of black people. It’s somehow even worse. The problem is that the pain isn’t even felt.

A recent study shows that people, including medical personnel, assume black people feel less pain than white people. The researchers asked participants to rate how much pain they would feel in 18 common scenarios. The participants rated experiences such as stubbing a toe or getting shampoo in their eyes on a four-point scale (where 1 is “not painful” and 4 is “extremely painful”). Then they rated how another person (a randomly assigned photo of an experimental “target”) would feel in the same situations. Sometimes the target was white, sometimes black. In each experiment, the researchers found that white participants, black participants, and nurses and nursing students assumed that blacks felt less pain than whites.
You will definitely find the rest of the article and more on the study interesting. Read it here. So interesting how deep and subconscious discrimination can go.
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Republican Once Again Puts Foot In Mouth With Minorities

They can't help themselves sometimes.

They can’t help themselves sometimes.

And Republicans still wonder why they have such a hard time attracting minorities to their party:

ABC News’ Jeff Zeleny reports:

A former Miss America winner who is now a GOP candidate for Congress was called a string of profane names today, including “street walker,” “love child” and “Miss Queen. ” Her attacker? A local Republican Party chairman in central Illinois.

Erika Harold, the 2003 winner of the Miss America contest, announced two weeks ago that she was running from Illinois’ 13th District. Her decision to challenge Rep. Rodney Davis in the Republican primary has divided some local party members and prompted the name-calling. A full account of the episode first appeared in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Harold, a 33-year-old graduate of Harvard Law School, is black. The criticism against her – from Jim Allen, chairman of the Montgomery County Republican Party – carried strong racist overtones.

He launched his criticism in a letter today to Republican News Watch, a local conservative news site. He derided her Miss America platform of advocating for abstinence and against school bullying.

“The little queen touts her abstinence, and she won the crown because she got bullied in school – boohoo, kids are cruel, life sucks and you move on,” Allen wrote. “Now, Miss Queen is being used like a street walker, and her pimps are the DEMOCRAT PARTY and RINO REPUBLICANS.”

He went on to call her “the love child of the DNC.”

The editor of Republican News Watch, Doug Ibendahl, said the comments were “outrageous” and underscored “why we as Republicans fail to gain any respect from minority voters.

“If officials in my party fail to understand how destructive it is to attack an impressive person like Erika Harold merely because she dares to challenge the good old boys, the GOP will remain a losing party for decades,” Ibendahl wrote. “This stay-in-the-back-of-the-bus mentality destroys any hope the Republican Party has for regaining momentum in future elections.”

Allen did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Davis, 43, was elected to Congress last fall by a slim margin. His district runs across central Illinois, from Champaign to the Illinois suburbs of St. Louis.


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So What Determines Your “Race”?

So is skin color the key to what we are now?

So is skin color the key to what we are now?

Good Lawd.

From Gawker:

Former Democratic strategist Karen Finney, who was once the first African-American spokeswoman for the Democratic National Committee, was revealed today to be the new host of a 4 p.m. weekend show on MSNBC. Good for her, and good for MSNBC, which adds Finney, pictured at left, to an already diverse roster of talking heads that includes Chris Hayes, Melissa Harris-Perry, and Al Sharpton.

Don’t mention Finney’s race to Tim Graham, however. Graham, a so-called media “watchdog” for the conservative Media Research Center, doesn’t think it’s fair for MSNBC to herald Finney’s entrance as an arrival of another African-American host—y’know, considering her skin is so light and all.




Finney has a black father and a white mother so she is actually mixed. However, much like President Obama, Finney has the right to self-identify however she chooses. What is most interesting to me though in situations like this, that show once again how silly our “race” notions are, is that the key to determining if is is ok for her to be called black (or African-American) is her lighter skin and straighter hair. But Graham has no problem labeling Obama as black (also black father and white mother) presumably because he has darker skin and less straight hair.

So I guess this is kind of an admission that what your parents are has nothing to do with your “race.” Just how you look.

Just silly. I say again people, there are no different “races,” just different blendings.


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Blacks and Latinos Born Dangerous – According To Texas

Texas is a special place.

Texas is a special place.

Little did I know that by simply being born black I was prone to commit murder.

This from a news report last week:

Duane Buck is guilty of murder. Of that, there is no question. In 1995 he shot and killed his then-girlfriend as well as her male companion in her Houston, Texas, apartment. Not surprisingly, in execution-prone Texas, Buck was sentenced to the death penalty for his crime.

What seems on the surface to be an open-and-shut murder conviction, however, has become one of the most racially explosive cases of the past several decades—unveiling evidence of systemic racial discrimination in Texas’s criminal justice system.

The problem with Buck’s case is this: During the penalty phase of the trial, Harris County prosecutors benefitted from the testimony of controversial psychologist Walter Quijano.

Asked in open court if “the race factor, black” increased Buck’s risk of reoffending, Quijano answered “yes.” The so-called expert went on to testify that being either African American or Latino “increases the future dangerousness for various complicated reasons.”

In Texas, “future dangerousness” is one of the key factors in determining whether a person is eligible for capital punishment. By allowing Quijano’s testimony to stand, Harris County has established that race can be used as a significant justification for meting out the death penalty.
I tell people all the time, there is a reason I don’t live in Texas anymore.
The full story is here. Still smh.
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The Power of Good People Crossing Racial Lines

Game changed history.

Game changed history.

This is a great video. Very moving and well worth the few minutes to watch it. Shows the power of sports and of good people who are willing to cross “racial” and ethnic lines.

See the video here.

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Dang Those Slaves Were So Ungrateful

How someone thought that CPAC, one of the most conservative gatherings in America, was a good place to hold a panel on reaching out to minorities is beyond me. So I am not surprised this happened:

A panel discussion on race at the Conservative Political Action Conference turned into a debate over slavery and segregation when an attendee from North Carolina said that “young, white, Southern males” are being disenfranchised by Republicans.

Scott Terry, 30, rose from his seat to question the discussion leader, K. Carl Smith, from the Frederick Douglass Republicans, over the role of race in the Republican Party. Terry said that the growth of diversity in the party and outreach to black conservatives has been “at the expense of young, white, Southern males like myself.”

“I think my demographic is being systematically disenfranchised,” Terry said.

Smith responded by telling a story about a letter that abolitionist leader Frederick Douglass wrote to his former slaveowner forgiving him for holding him in servitude.

“For giving him shelter and food?” asked Terry, as some members of the audience gasped and others laughed.

Think Progress reported that Terry later said he supports segregation.

Terry told Think Progress following the panel discussion that he believed that whites have been “systematically disenfranchised” by the federal government. He also told Think Progress he’d “be fine” with a society with blacks subservient to whites. African Americans, he said, should vote in Africa. He claimed the tea party agrees with him.

Good heavens. Slaves should have been grateful they were provided room and board?! And the guy was serious. Wow.

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Oberlin College Takes Stand Against Bigotry Once Again

Oberlin has been on the right side of issues for a long time.

Oberlin has been on the right side of issues for a long time.

Something very strange is going on at Oberlin College. Why someone is targeting Oberlin, of all places, since it is one of the most progressive colleges in America, is hard to figure out. According to a Yahoo News story:

Oberlin College canceled classes on Monday after a person wearing what appeared to be a KKK outfit was spotted on campus, sparking a police investigation at the Ohio school.

“Early this morning, there was a report of a person wearing a hood and robe resembling a KKK outfit between South and the Edmonia Lewis Center and in the vicinity of African Heritage House,” Oberlin President Marvin Krislov wrote in an email to the school’s 2,800 students, faculty and staff. “This event, in addition to the series of other hate-related incidents on campus, has precipitated our decision to suspend formal classes and all non-essential activities for today, Monday, March 4, 2013, and gather for a series of discussions of the challenging issues that have faced our community in recent weeks.”

According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, nearly 500 students, staff and community members gathered at the center of campus Monday afternoon for a planned unity rally. Other events, including a “solidarity dinner” at the African Heritage House, were scheduled throughout the day.

The Oberlin Student Senate issued its own email, which read in part:

This has been another event in a string of several reflecting a terrible pattern of racism, prejudice, queerphobia, anti-semitism and other bias attacks that are happening on Oberlin’s campus. At this time, advocacy, support and solidarity are necessary emotionally, physically and spiritually.

According to the Oberlin Review, the latest string of hate-related incidents began in February:

Feb. 9: Vandalism in the Science Center included the replacement of “Black” with “Nigger” on Black History Month posters, drawings of swastikas, damage to the “Year of the Queer” posters and reported destruction of the Chinese calendar.

Feb. 12: LGBTQ Community Coordinator Lorena Espinoza found a note in the Multicultural Resource Center that read “Nigger + Faggot Center.”

Feb. 16: Students found a number of offensive notes written around Burton Hall. “Whites Only” was written above a water fountain, “Nigger Oven” was written inside the elevator and “No Niggers” was written on a bathroom door.

Feb. 17: The Office of Safety and Security released a Special Alert of a strong-arm robbery of a student near West College Street and Cedar Street. The student reported that he was approached by an individual who made a derogatory remark about his perceived ethnicity and then physically knocked him to the ground.

Feb. 26: Posters were defaced in King including those advertising “Year of the Queer” and the Affirmative Action panel, at least one of which had a swastika drawn on it.

Feb. 27: A swastika drawn onto the outside window of West Lecture Hall in the Science Center was seen being removed by custodial staff.

The liberal arts college, founded in 1833, was the first in America to educate women alongside men,according to its Website. The New York Times notes it was “one of the first to admit black students,” and that “before the Civil War, it was an abolitionist hotbed and an important stop on the underground railroad.”

Kudos to Oberlin for taking a stand immediately. I doubt this is a large group of people causing this trouble, but rather one or two individuals who are in the wrong place for this sort of thing.

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How Dare A Black Cosplayer Take On A “White” Character?

The characters are not real people.

The characters are not real people.

Read this over at Racialicious. What a very interesting and thought-provoking piece. It is something I can relate to because my kids are somewhat into cosplay. Here is an excerpt:

Once upon a time, I inadvertently started a cosplay race war on Tumblr. Whoops.

So, here’s the deal: I’m a cosplayer. If you don’t already know one of us in person, (and you probably do–we’reeverywhere) you’ve probably seen people like me on the news–all dolled up in a rainbow of face paint and eye-popping wigs, 50 shades of spandex, and skyscraper shoes, for the sake of expressing love for and bringing our favorite characters to life at sci-fi, comic book, video game, and anime conventions.

Since I started cosplaying in 2008, I’ve traveled the country, hitting up as many cons as financially possible, all the while making incredible friends, unforgettable memories, and lugging hard-to-get-through-airport-security props along the way. (Have you ever tried to fly with a dress made out of plastic bubbles? Fun fact: you can’t. But you can ship it to your hotel!)

Here’s the second deal: I’m also black. Which is fine by most everyone…until I have the audacity to cosplay a character who isn’t.

After my pictures started making the rounds on deviantArt, Tumblr, and 4chan, it became pretty clear that my cosplay brings all the racists to the yard, and they’re, like, white cosplay is better than yours…

What kills me is that, in person, nobody has the balls to say a word about whether or not they think darker-skinned people should cosplay lighter skinned characters–but online is a completely different animal. Online, I was “Nigger Venus,” and “Sailor Venus Williams” because I am black.

My nose was too wide, lips were too big; I had a “face like a gorilla” and wasn’t suited for such a cute character….because I am black. My wig was too blonde, my wig wasn’t blonde enough, or, my wig was “ghetto” because I was making it “ghetto,” by being black and having it on my head.

And furthermore, if I was going to insist on “ruining characters,” I could have at least picked one with black hair so it looked more “natural.” I should have worn blue contacts–but if I had, it would have looked “ghetto.” Because I am black.

The depths that the insults sink to are enough to scare many interested cosplayers away from even trying. I had an Indian friend who refused to cosplay anything other than Indian characters after watching the way people tore into my costumes online…
Wow. But trust me as someone who goes to Comic Con, the big daddy of all cos-play events, every year with my kids, who participate in the role playing themselves, this stuff is a BIG deal. It is also when you most wish there were more comic book characters of other colors for kids of color to choose from. But even if there were, people should be allowed to play Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman or whomever, regardless of how much they look like the character.Kudos to the young woman in the article for being so strong.
Here is the full article. It is really worth the read.


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Latino Gang Terrorizes Black Family In Compton

Two ArrestedThis is just so stupid on so many levels:

Two Latino gang members have been arrested on suspicion of hate crimes after allegedly waging a campaign to force a black family to move from Compton, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said.

The suspects allegedly beat a family member with metal pipes and gathered gang members in front of the family’s house to threaten them, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s detectives said the two also rode by the family’s house repeatedly yelling insults and threats and insisting that they move.

The confrontations allegedly began on Dec. 31, the day the family moved into a house on 153rd Street in Compton. That day, one member of the family, walking on the street, was confronted by four Latino gang members who drove up in a black SUV, according to a sheriff’s report.

They told the man that they were gang members and that his family was not allowed to live in their area because they were black, the report said. They shouted racial insults and violent threats until the man ran for home, according to the report. He was chased by the gang members, who then climbed from the SUV and began beating him with metal pipes, according to the report.

Marquez allegedly pointed a gun at the man, while Aguilar allegedly beat the victim with a pipe, the sheriff’s report said.

The gang members drove off, but returned to the family’s home accompanied by 15 to 20 more gang members who swore at the family, used racial insults and told them that blacks were not allowed in the neighborhood, authorities said. One gang member allegedly threw a beer bottle through the family’s front living room window.

Idiots. Such ignorance of discrimination and history. Gangbanging is bad enough but this is just so beyond words. They shouldn’t have such an attitude towards any group, but for a group that is discriminated against to discriminate against another darker skinned group is just beyond making any sense. They just don’t get it.

Here is the Los Angeles Times article.

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“What Would Django Do?”



Wow these pro-gun people will stop at nothing in their efforts to protect their beloved guns. On the heels of their just-completed “Gun Appreciation Day” last Saturday, in an effort to woo minorities they are planning a new campaign they intend to call “What Would Django Do?”


Larry Ward, the man behind the organization who led “Gun Appreciation Day” and that will lead this new bright idea, said this:

Django is perfect for what we’re trying to do, which is to promote gun rights to minorities. We’ll tackle the issue on the Democrats’ own turf.”

His effort is based on the idea of another fellow who wrote this in an article:

Martin Luther King Jr. applied for a gun permit, but pro-segregation authorities denied him, and he says influential black Americans like Frederick Douglass and Malcolm X argued in favor of the Second Amendment. Slavery in America wouldn’t have existed if blacks were armed, he argues, and in the article he notes that when a Negro Rifle Club was to be organized in Cleveland during the Civil Rights Movement, local racists rioted, even killing a man with a bulldozer.

What a crazy argument. As I said, these people will stop at nothing.

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