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Monday, May 11, 2015

On the Perennial Nature of U.S. Urban Riots

 – An Analysis (9 May 2015 ) by Lawrence Davidson

Part I – Almost Normal

If one goes to Wikipedia under the subject of “mass racial violence in the United States,” one will find a “timeline of events” running from 1829 to 2015. There are so many race-related riots listed for these 186 years that, from a historical point of view, rioting appears almost normal. Prior to World War II these outbreaks mostly involved ethnic, racial or religious groups going after each other: Germans, Italians, Poles, Jews, Hispanics, African-Americans, Chinese, Catholics, Protestants were all involved in these set-tos. Often the causes were economic with a territorial overtone – one group moving into the neighborhood of another group and/or taking their jobs. When the violence came, it was one group against group.

In the post-World War II era, the nature of the still numerous instances of rioting changed. The group-versus-group scenario gave way to group-versus-state. Most of the categories listed above had successfully assimilated under the heading “caucasian,” and religious affiliations no longer seemed worth bloody murder. Immigrants could/can still instill anger in citizens who mistake foreigners for the cause of problems they themselves have caused, but the result, of late, has rarely been rioting.

Actually, in the present era, the cause of rioting has mostly been black resentment over prevailing inequality: why the distribution of wealth seems never to work to satisfy the needs of African- American poor. Thus all too many African-Americans, particularly men, have little opportunity for a decent life, while simultaneously having every opportunity to end up in confrontations with the police and then land in prison. It is these ubiquitous confrontations with agents of the state that are now the standard trigger to the phenomenon of modern American rioting.

Part II – The Inadequacies of the Civil Rights Acts

The ongoing phenomenon of urban riots involving African- Americans suggests that the civil rights acts that followed the widespread unrest of the mid-1960s have proved inadequate. In part this is so because their enforcement, such as it has been, was restricted to the public realm. That is, the effort to do away with discrimination went no further than preventing such acts within institutions serving the public: public schools and housing, restaurants, hotels, theaters, and the like. There were other aspects to the civil rights acts – grants to minority businesses, for instance – but they all just scratched the surface. As a result the number of African-Americans made upwardly mobile by this legislation was less than optimal. A black middle class did emerge, but it was small relative to the numbers who needed help.

To say that the civil rights acts proved inadequate in the fight against nationwide discrimination is to say that they proved unable to reorient America’s discriminatory cultural mindset. That mindset was the product of, among other things, nearly three hundred years of institutional racism. To change things was going to take the consistent reinforcement of the idea of racial equality over at least three or four generations. This would have to be done mainly through the educational system, yet no specific efforts were made to this end. Indeed, even attempting to integrate the public school systems could provoke their own riots, as the “Boston busing crisis” of1974 proved.

Another sign of this problematic cultural mindset is that, as far as I know, there is nowhere in the U.S. where one can find serious empathy for the fate of the inner cities amongst the vast, mostly white, population of the suburbs. For instance, in the wake of the recent riots in Baltimore, the mayor of Philadelphia, Michael Nutter, commented, “local government cannot itself fix problems of violence and unemployment.” This is absolutely true, but Nutter has looked in vain for any meaningful help from a state legislature controlled by a hinterland of conservative whites who may not feel they belong to the same species, much less the same broader community, as those in the inner cities. The suggestion that they should send their tax money to help the residents of Philadelphia appears to be beyond their understanding. I doubt very much if it is different elsewhere in the country.

Part III – The Police

The police, of course, cannot stand outside the general discriminatory orientation of the culture. So the limited impact of the civil rights acts meant that the police were not reeducated to the new standards of public behavior now sanctioned by law. To do so would have required more than simply increasing the number of black officers to at least match the racial demographics of American cities. It would have required extensive retraining and testing of those who sought to be part of law enforcement.

There is an entire industry out there to train and test people to safely drive cars. I know of nothing beyond piecemeal efforts to train police to act in an equable and lawful manner toward all the different sorts of people they come into contact with (plus to handle other problems that seem to affect the police as a group, such as stress and anger management). Nor are standardized ways of testing candidates applied so as to make sure that only the trustworthy in this regard are on the street. Because we do not do this, we risk having police who themselves may act in a criminal manner toward economically disadvantaged classes, thus expressing discrimination in a way that is violent enough to trigger mass unrest.

Indeed, as of now the preferred personality type for the position of police officer seems to be the same as that for professional soldier, which may be why it has been so easy to “militarize” American police forces. This effort, along with the “home security” business, has become a multibillion-dollar industry (major players in which are Israel companies, which now train an increasing number of U.S. police departments in techniques developed while enforcing the occupation of Palestine). Police departments and their suppliers have teamed up to lobby cash-poor municipalities for all manner of lethal gewgaws ranging from automatic weapons to armored cars. Military grade riot-control equipment is now de rigueur for most large police departments. So great is the demand for these deadly toys that the Defense Department now has a committee appointed by the president to look into what constitutes appropriate equipment to hand out to the cop on the beat.

Part IV – Conclusion

What this sad story tells us is that the United States has a very big problem of discrimination and exploitation of the urban poor that goes beyond the ideologically induced greed of a capitalist class. That is not to say that the capitalist structure of the American economy hasn’t played havoc with the aspirations of poor blacks to get out of poverty. There is a very good essay by Richard Rothstein of the Economic Policy Institute that provides insight into the government’s role in this aspect of the problem.

However, it is wrong to believe that after three hundred years of racist acculturation the problem of endemic discrimination would disappear if, however unlikely, the nation turned socialist. Americans would still have retrain themselves in order to overcome the racist cultural addictions acquired over their history.

It is relatively easy to write down some of the things that would have to be done to break these addictions. For instance:

– Tolerance and an attitude of community inclusiveness has to be taught to American children and done so consistently for multiple generations. This has to be done with consistency and not interpreted by the political efforts of those who believe teaching kids tolerance of other racial, ethnic and religious groups is doing the work of the Devil.

– The educational opportunities (including affirmative action programs), job training and meaningful low-cost housing programs that have been implemented piecemeal for the last fifty years have to be carried on seriously, and seriously funded by taxing the wealthy upper 20% of the population. Alternatively, the money can be taken from the bloated defense budget.

– No one should become a police officer (and while we are at it, a prison guard) without undergoing rigorous screening. And that screening should look to eliminate all those who have authoritarian personalities underlain with problems of impulsive anger. This is such a no-brainer that one wonders why it is not already being done. Perhaps part of the problem is that, in most cases, the police set their own criteria for admission into what has become a trade organization with the characteristics of a college fraternity.

Cultures can be both wonderful and horrible things. They tell us who we are and how we should act. To exercise some control over cultural evolution to accentuate commonsense beneficial ends such as tolerance and community inclusiveness is a worthwhile undertaking. But isn’t it a restraint on individual freedom to insist that people not behave in racist and intolerant ways? Sorry, that sort of “freedom” has already been made illegal at the institutional level within the public sphere. But it is not enough. We must insist that the effort go further until, slowly, the culture is wholly transformed.

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Thursday, May 07, 2015

Kill Indians Save The White Men - Illegal Organ Harvesting Of Aboriginal Foster Kids Happening In Alberta Canada

Alberta has a use for children who die in foster care — harvesting their organs. A press release from the Treaty 8 First Nations of Alberta draws attention to the problem, along with a correction three days later. Fixcas made local copies [1] [2]. Even in the milder corrected version, organs can be harvested without the knowledge of the real family.


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Tuesday, May 05, 2015

The Ontario Government Urged to Stop The Free Reign Of The CAS System In Ontario

Take control of CAS system, Ontario urged

Provincial child advocate says “stunning” differences among 46 children’s aid societies, revealed by Star analysis, are result of government’s hands-off approach.


By: 

 News,  Social 

justice reporter,  Feature reporter, Staff 

Reporters, 

The provincial government must grab control of a child protection system that is “at best fragmented and at worst confused” when caring for Ontario’s most vulnerable children, the province’s child advocate says.
“This is about the well-being of children,” says Irwin Elman. “And if we’re not going to take that seriously and be concerned about how we are doing that job, I don’t know what as a province we are going to consider seriously.”
Elman, Ontario’s provincial advocate for children and youth, was responding to an unprecedented analysis of data on the performance of children’s aid societies published a week ago. Conducted by the Toronto Star, the analysis found stark differences in how Ontario’s privately run, non-profit agencies treat children taken from parents due to abuse or neglect.
Whether children are placed with relatives or in group homes, how often they change foster or group homes, how likely they are to rejoin their families, and even whether they receive regular medical and dental checkups are all influenced by where they happen to live and which of the province’s 46 children’s aid societies takes them into care.
The “stunning” differences are the result of the government’s “hands-off approach” to child protection, Elman argues. Yet the Ministry of Children and Youth Services is responsible for regulating societies, and thousands of children in care become wards of the government.
“No child who is in the care of our government should receive different services based on where they live. That’s a huge problem,” Elman says, “and it needs to be dealt with immediately.”
The Star’s analysis comes from budget reports sent to the ministry — detailing how each society spends its portion of $1.5 billion a year in government funding — and from ministry case audits of children in care for two or more years.
Elman accuses the ministry and the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies, the agencies’ lobby group, of “passing the buck.” They each blame the other, he says, for a system that has no idea why the differences among regions exist, or which practices lead to the best results for children, youth and families.
The government is installing a centralized computer system to standardize the inconsistent data societies collect, but it won’t be fully ready until 2019. And comparing each agency to promised performance benchmarks is many years away, Elman says.
Factors that can affect how children are treated include a lack of social and health services in remote areas, ministry-imposed budget cuts, availability of foster homes and demographic differences, such as poverty levels in a society’s district.
The differences are at times philosophical. Several societies place a significant number of their children in group homes, often seen as less desirable and nurturing places. But Valoris for Children and Adults of Prescott-Russell, east of Ottawa, has less than 2 per cent of them there — the lowest in Ontario. It believes children are better off with families and provides extra services to foster parents to make sure there are enough of them willing to do the job.
The ministry responded to the Star’s 31-page analysis with a one-paragraph statement defending the system as giving children “every opportunity to reach their full potential regardless of where they live or come into care.”
The OACAS instead credited the Star with raising important questions about wide-ranging differences, including the number of times children are returned to their parents only to bounce back into care, raising questions about whether some are being returned to unsafe environments.
Societies contacted by the Star were studying their rankings carefully — from Orangeville-based Dufferin Child and Family Services, which has the fewest children in the care of kin, to the Children’s Aid Society of Toronto, which scored below the provincial average in several key areas of care.
David Rivard, the Toronto society’s chief executive officer, cites the challenges of serving the city’s culturally diverse population. He says, for example, that it is difficult to place children with kin when many newcomers don’t have relatives in the country.
Bruce Grey Child & Family Services, based in Owen Sound, scored lowest in annual medical checkups for Crown wards, and in using mandatory questionnaires that a child or youth’s history when deciding on his or her plan of care.
Phyllis Lovell, Bruce Grey’s executive director, notes it’s the first time she saw the society ranked with others.
“That’s not information provided to us by our sector” or the children and youth ministry, she says. “It should be.”
Lovell describes Ontario’s hospital sector as “light years ahead” of societies in using data to inform the public and improve quality of service. If the ministry considers that important, it should provide funding to make sure small societies like Bruce Grey have the expertise on staff to crunch the data, she adds.
In the meantime, the society has put in place a “quality improvement plan” that makes sure staff understand the standards of care expected.
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Saturday, May 02, 2015

C.I. & The Awakening

Artist: C.I. (Central Intelligence) (@CI206Music)

Song Title: Awakening

Produced By: Key
Label: New West Music

Genre: Hip Hop/Seattle Hip Hop

Twitter: @CI206Music

C.I. is back in the loop with the second single from their new album The Awakening".  Their new single Awakening weighs in at 92 BPM which will definitely give some light. For more info on Key and Big City be sure to visit www.ci206music.com.

 NEW ALBUM THE AWAKENING AVAILABLE ATwww.ci206music.com on 4/20 & ALL DIGITAL RETAIL OUTLETS ON 4/22/15!
Soundcloud Link Below:


NEW ALBUM "THE AWAKENING" AVAILABLE 4-20-15 at www.ci206music.com / AVAILABLE  4/22 at all digital retail outlets
For Promo & Licensing Info Contact: Greg Burke 804. 446. 1781
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