With Mia Love's Election We're Still Not Post-Racial

Mia Love is likely just the beginning of a new wave of Democratic, independent, and Republican elected officials of color. . . . But it would be a mistake for us to take their post-racial, colorblind politicking to mean that the country is actually post-racial. This point was illustrated crudely and clearly by a recent Republican caller to C-SPAN who stated, "This is about race. The Republicans hate that n***** Obama." [Read more]


Black Drivers More Likely to Be Pulled Over by the Police

"A black driver is about 31 percent more likely to be pulled over than a white driver, or about 23 percent more likely than a Hispanic driver. "Driving while black" is, indeed, a measurable phenomenon." [Read more]


New Report on Race and Punishment in the Criminal Justice System

Key findings of the report include: 
  • White Americans overestimate the proportion of crime committed by people of color, and associate people of color with criminality. For example, white respondents in a 2010 survey overestimated the actual share of burglaries, illegal drug sales, and juvenile crime committed by African Americans by 20-30%. 
  • Studies have shown that whites who associate crime with blacks and Latinos are more likely to support punitive policies – including capital punishment and mandatory minimum sentencing – than whites with weaker racial associations of crime. 
  • These patterns help to explain why whites are more punitive than blacks and Latinos even though they are less likely to be victims of crime. In 2013, a majority of whites supported the death penalty for someone convicted of murder, while half of Hispanics and a majority of blacks opposed this punishment.
  • Racial perceptions of crime not only influence public opinion about criminal justice policies, they also directly influence the work of criminal justice practitioners and policymakers who operate with their own often-unintentional biases.

Black Neurologists vs. Black NBA players

Factoid: "Get this: In 2012, there were more black neurologists (411) and black cardiologists (690) by far than all of the black men playing in the NBA (350)!" [Read more]


More on the Importance of Racially-Segregated Networks to Explain Labor Market Inequality

NPR's Tell Me More discusses the findings of The Long Shadow: Family Background, Disadvantaged Urban Youth, and the Transition to Adulthood. This book joins Race and the Invisible Hand: How White Networks Exclude Black Men from Blue-Collar Jobs in showing that social networks are a key mechanism by which low-income and less-educated whites find jobs. Similar blacks are largely excluded from these networks, and, thus, they do poorly in the labor market.

From the description of The Long Shadow: "white men in the study, despite attaining less education on average, were more likely to be employed than any other group due to family connections and long-standing racial biases in Baltimore’s industrial economy."


The Male Black-White Disparity in Incarceration by Education from 1960 to 2010

. . . the considerable economic progress among black men between 1940 and 1980 has halted, and in many cases reversed. A major driver of this shift has been the rise of more punitive treatments for criminal offenders, resulting in skyrocketing incarceration rates. These changes "have had a much larger impact on black communities than white communities because arrest rates have historically been much greater for blacks than whites," the authors write. [Read more]


Big Hatred meets Big Data

I recently analyzed tens of thousands of the site’s profiles, in which registered members can enter their location, birth date, interests and other information. Call it Big Hatred meets Big Data. [Read more]


If Affirmative Action Is Doomed, What’s Next?

Two new books aim to fill the void. They lay out detailed visions of an affirmative action that would combine racial and economic diversity – in contrast to the current version, which has done little to promote economic diversity. Above all, the books answer the common liberal concern that economic-based affirmative action is a bad substitute for race-based affirmative action. [Read more]


New Study of Racial Discrimination in Lending

The Hispanic and black business owners were provided far less information about loan terms, offered less application help by loan officers, less frequently handed a business card, and asked more questions about their personal finances.
One question they weren’t asked as frequently? Their name. [Read more]


Too Poor to Pay, You Go to Jail

In Augusta, Ga., a judge sentenced Tom Barrett to 12 months after he stole a can of beer worth less than $2.
In Ionia, Mich., 19-year-old Kyle Dewitt caught a fish out of season; then a judge sentenced him to three days in jail.
In Grand Rapids, Mich., Stephen Papa, a homeless Iraq War veteran, spent 22 days in jail, not for what he calls his "embarrassing behavior" after he got drunk with friends and climbed into an abandoned building, but because he had only $25 the day he went to court.
The common thread in these cases, and scores more like them, is the jail time wasn't punishment for the crime, but for the failure to pay the increasing fines and fees associated with the criminal justice system. [Read more or listen]


The Benefits of Mixing Rich and Poor in Preschool

A 2007 Connecticut study found that poor children who attended economically mixed prekindergarten classes progressed from well below the national average in crucial language skills to just above it during the course of the school year, while those in low-income-only classes remained below the norm. A new evaluation of Boston’s heralded preschools reaches the same conclusion — peers matter. “Vocabulary and background knowledge play a major role in student learning,” says Jason Sachs, who runs the Boston program, “and interacting with mixed-income students allows for richer discussions among students.” (In achievement and other measures, well-off kids in integrated settings do neither better nor worse.) [Read more]


Minorities Understand the Threat from Climate Change

"Latinos and African-Americans have taken the lead on recognizing the need to address climate change because they are most affected by it." [Read more]


Evidence Of Racial, Gender Biases Found In Faculty Mentoring

"Faculty at private schools were significantly more likely to discriminate against women and minorities than faculty at public schools. And faculty in fields that were very lucrative were also more likely to discriminate. So there was very little discrimination in the humanities. There was more discrimination among faculty at the natural sciences. And there was a lot of discrimination among the faculty at business schools." [Read more]


The Failure of School Desegregation

This young lady, when she graduates this year, she will have never had a white classmate.

. . .

. . . what I felt was very critical was to show that this isn't a benign process, this isn't just a matter of well, people live in neighborhoods that are segregated and that's why schools are segregated. School officials take very specific actions that lead to re-segregation and I think it's important to show that this is a process, it's not something that just happens naturally.
[Read more]


African-American Boys Are More Likely to Be Viewed as Adults Than White Boys

"black boys are 18 times more likely to be tried as an adult than are white boys . . . for the exact same offenses." [Read more]


Weaker Background Checks Leads to Spike in Gun Homicides

In 2007, Missouri repealed a law requiring gun buyers to obtain a license demonstrating they'd first passed a background check. In the years that followed, the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research tracked the results. In the forthcoming issue of Journal of Urban Health, the center will release it's findings: The law's repeal was associated with an additional 55 to 63 murders per year in Missouri between 2008 and 2012. For more on the report, Audie Cornish speaks with Daniel Webster, the director of the center. [Listen to the story]

Jeopardy Contestants Avoid Black History Like the Plague

Happy Black History Month, everyone, courtesy of last night's all-white College Jeopardy panel! In the second round of play, the contestants sailed through five of the categories—including "International Cinema Showcase," "Weather Verbs," and "Kiwi Fauna"—but avoided the sixth like the, ahem, black plague. That category was "African-American History."
In other words, these kids were more confident in their knowledge of weird animals in New Zealand than black human beings in America. [Read more]

The Bias Against Black Bodies

Charles Blow provide a good overview of the biases in the criminal justice system against blacks (among other things) here.


Violent Crime Continues to Decline

The Federal Bureau of Investigation said Tuesday that violent crimes, including murders, fell by 5.4 percent in the first six months of 2013 compared with the same period in 2012, continuing a long reduction in violent crime across the country. [Read more]


How Inequality Hurts Marriage

The problem is not that poor people fail to appreciate the importance of marriage, nor is it that poor and wealthy Americans differ in which factors they believe are important in a good marriage. The problem is that the same trends that have exacerbated inequality since 1980 — unemployment, juggling multiple jobs and so on — have also made it increasingly difficult for less wealthy Americans to invest the time and other resources needed to sustain a strong marital bond. [Read more]


Crist: Race was a reason GOP panned Obama hug

Former Florida governor Charlie Crist cited three reasons the hug with President Obama was so devastating to his standing in the Republican Party: "The fact that Obama was in Florida to talk about his stimulus plan, the president's Democratic Party affiliation and his race." [See the video.]


Howard U. makes Peace Corps top college list

Howard University, a school that prides itself on a history of social engagement, on Tuesday landed on a national list of colleges that send the most volunteers to the Peace Corps.

The university in Northwest Washington ranked 16th among medium-size schools in the number of undergraduate alumni volunteers serving in the corps. [Read more]

President Obama to launch major new effort to help young men of color

Obama on Thursday will announce a new White House initiative called “My Brother’s Keeper,” which will bring foundations and companies together to test a range of strategies across the country to support young male minorities, taking steps to keep them in school and out of the criminal justice system, a White House official said. He will also announce that his administration will launch a more vigorous evaluation of what policies work best and publicize results to school systems and others across the country. [Read more]


Intensive Small-Group Tutoring and Counseling Helps Struggling Students

A new paper being released Monday by the National Bureau of Economic Research suggests a promising approach for helping the most challenged students, who often arrive in high school several years behind their peers.

The study, which was conducted by a team led by Jens Ludwig, the co-director of the University of Chicago Urban Education Lab, provided a program of intense tutoring, in combination with group behavioral counseling, to a group of low-income ninth- and 10th-grade African-American youths with weak math skills, track records of absences or disciplinary problems. Those students learned in an eight-month period the equivalent of what the average American high school student learns in math over three years of school, as measured by standardized test scores, over and above what a similar group of students who did not receive the tutoring or counseling did. [Read more]


Racism May Accelerate Aging in African American Men

A new University of Maryland-led study reveals that racism may impact aging at the cellular level. Researchers found signs of accelerated aging in African American men who reported high levels of racial discrimination and who had internalized anti-Black attitudes. Findings from the study, which is the first to link racism-related factors and biological aging, are published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. [Read more]