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White woman calls police on Black man’s dog

ROLLINGOUT.COM — The confrontation happened at the Attleboro Dog Park in Massachusetts.

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#DogParkDebbie. Photo: Facebook/Franklin Baxley

By Terry Shropshire

A White woman in Massachusetts has already been doused with the derogatory nicknames #DogParkDiane and #DogParkDebbie after she called police on a Black man whose canine humped her dog at the community dog park.

The confrontation happened at the Attleboro Dog Park in Massachusetts, about an hour drive south of Boston. Former attorney Franklin Baxley, a Black male, angrily recorded the episode and posted the camera video on Facebook.

“I visit this park twice a day and all the dogs get excited when a new one is here,” former attorney Franklin Baxley told Yahoo Lifestyle. “When the woman came in, my dog Dusse ran over and humped hers, so I immediately removed him and apologized, explaining that he’s a puppy.”

When Baxley’s pup “Dusse” humped the White woman’s dog a couple of more times, both Baxley and the woman pulled Dusse off. She then ordered Baxley to vacate the premises.

“She said, ‘I think you need to leave because your dog keeps doing that,’” he recalls. “I said I wasn’t leaving, and she took out her phone and called 911. It escalated quick.”

When the woman, whose identity was not made public, called the police, Baxley took out his cell phone to record the situation as it unfolded (it can be viewed below). With irritation in his voice, Baxley asks the woman whether she had heard of the infamous “BBQ Beck,” the laughable Oakland resident who was blasted last year after she was recorded calling the police on a group of black people barbecuing at a local park.

Baxley barks at the woman, “this is the newest” version of BBQ Becky.

Baxley told the publication there is only one reason she decided to get the authorities involved: “Because I’m black,” he can be heard saying the video. “I bet if I was white you wouldn’t have called the cops.”

The police, as can be seen in the camera video below, did respond to the park, but Baxley was not charged and he was not given a citation. He was not even told to leave.

Baxley defiantly told Yahoo that the unpleasant experience will not deter him from making his twice-daily visits with Dusse to the dog park.

“This woman wanted to impress upon me that she was superior,” said. “Her first instinct was to call the police when in conflict with a black person.”

Check out Baxley’s account of the circumstances as he posted the video on his Facebook page:

Why did this lady just call the cops on me claiming my dog “assaulted” her dog when it tried to hump her dog 🤔😂😂😂

Posted by Franklin Baxley on Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Here is the one where she starts behaving as if she is threatened by me and is accusing me of following her around the park as I am following my dogs like any other dog owner. I was annoyed, so I began mocking her. Sorry, not sorry.

Posted by Franklin Baxley on Thursday, February 28, 2019

This article originally appeared in Rollingout.com.
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Entertainment

Cardi B. Sets the Record Straight about Her Race and Ethnicity

NEW ORLEANS DATA NEWS WEEKLY — The conversation surrounding Latinos regarding ethnicity vs. race is an ongoing theme. Cardi B, a Black Latina who speaks Spanish, set the record straight for fans who may have been confused about her ethnic, racial, and national identity. The Grammy-Winning Rap Star took to her Instagram account to talk about the subject.

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Cardi B (Photo by: Eric Moore | Wiki Commons)
Cardi B (Photo by: Eric Moore | Wiki Commons)

By Keka Araujo

The conversation surrounding Latinos regarding ethnicity vs. race is an ongoing theme. Cardi B, a Black Latina who speaks Spanish, set the record straight for fans who may have been confused about her ethnic, racial, and national identity. The Grammy-Winning Rap Star took to her Instagram account to talk about the subject. On June 26th, Cardi addressed fans after a recent incident in California when someone told her she ought to represent for Mexican people.

She clarified that Latinos are not a monolith.

“A lot of people don’t know the difference between nationality, race, ethnicity and that’s not nobody’s fault,” she said on Instagram Live. “That’s actually the schools’ fault because schools don’t be teaching this s— to people.”

Elsewhere in the video, she said, “I’m not Mexican at all. I’m West Indian, and I’m Dominican. I speak Spanish because I’m Dominican. And it’s like, so what’s the difference between Dominican and Mexican?’ And it’s like, everything!”

Cardi went on to elaborate on her race in particular. She reiterated that being light-skinned does not mean that she isn’t a Black woman.

“People just don’t be understanding s–t,” Cardi said “It’s like, ‘Cardi’s Latin, she’s not Black.’ And it’s like, bro, my features don’t come from…White people f—ng, okay?’ And they always wanna race-bait when it comes to me…I have Afro features. ‘Oh, but your parents are light-skinned…all right, but my grandparents aren’t.” This situation isn’t the first time the rapper, who is Dominican and Trinidadian, has had to address comments about her race.

A common misconception about Latinos is because of the fact they speak Spanish they can’t be Black. Latinos are a group of people from different races brought together by Spanish or Portuguese colonization. It’s also a well-documented problem within the Latin community. Racism is prevalent among Latinos who are of African descent by other Latinos.

Quite often, Black Latinos have to prove their latinidad due to their race. It’s an ongoing challenge many Black Latinos face given the fact that countries like Brazil, Cuba, Puerto Rico, The Dominican Republic, Colombia, and Panama have the highest populations of afrodescendientes in the Western Hemisphere.

Conversations from non-racially ambiguous Black Latinos have to continue so that people are more aware of the differences between ethnicity, race, and nationality.

This article originally appeared in the New Orleans Data News Weekly.

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Pediatricians: Black Children Suffer Significantly From Racism

NEW TRI-STATE DEFENDER — Surprise! Racism—that “thing” white people say doesn’t exist—has dire long-term effects on the health of black children and adolescents, according to a report released by the country’s largest group of pediatricians.

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Photo by: rawpixel.com
Photo by: rawpixel.com
By The Tri-State Defender

Surprise! Racism—that “thing” white people say doesn’t exist—has dire long-term effects on the health of black children and adolescents, according to a report released by the country’s largest group of pediatricians.

The report, crafted into a first-of-its-kind policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics, calls racism “a socially transmitted disease passed down through generations, leading to the inequities observed in our population today.” It draws on 180 studies to reach its conclusions and includes specific recommendations.

It also notes that in Trump’s America (read: “the current political and cultural atmosphere,” according to the Washington Post), the danger to children is more acute and the work more urgent.

“If you look at what’s in the news today, in social media, on Twitter, there is so much kids are exposed to,” said Jackie Douge, a pediatrician who co-wrote the policy, to the Post. “As much as you want to keep it in the background, it’s not in the background. It’s having direct health effects on kids.”

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The effects of racism have long been documented by the medical community and has dire effects on our health, as The Post reports:

Exposure to racism in adults has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, depression and other ailments. And researchers have increasingly identified dangers racism presents to the development of babies and children. Studies have found lower birth weights in babies born to African American mothers who experience discrimination. A recent analysis found an increased risk of premature birth among Latina women following Trump’s election, part of a pattern of poorer health outcomes among Latinos during his administration. Other recent studies have found an increased risk of depression, obesity and greater susceptibility to sickness among children who are exposed to racism. Researchers have linked racism experienced by children to worsened sleep, higher rates of doctor visits and lower self-esteem.

One of the main mechanisms responsible for those effects, researchers say, is the way prolonged stress wears away at people’s bodies. Experiences of discrimination can flood the body with stress hormones such as cortisol — a chemical that readies the body to fight or flee. Studies have show that even the anticipation of discrimination can trigger the stress response. Over time, stress hormones can lead to inflammatory reactions that make the body more susceptible to chronic diseases.

Though it can sometimes be difficult to parse out racism from all the other structural inequalities, including a disproportionate number of black children being jailed, poverty, violence and food insecurity, clearly there is a link to health outcomes in black children, according to researchers.

As Kyle Yasuda, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics notes to the Post: “It’s more than just medicine and genetic makeup. It means looking at all the determinants of health. And science has shown us racism plays a part in that equation.”

The new report will be issued to the AAP’s 67,000 members with an extensive list of recommendations, reports the Post. The AAP News and Journals, in summarizing the report, says that doctors of providers “might ask about recent events in the community that may have had an impact on the patient and family, determine the need for counseling or alternative forms of support such as affinity groups at school, and provide anticipatory guidance on effective communication and strategies to keep children and adolescents safe. Pediatricians can collaborate with local schools, school health systems and justice systems to ensure that all patients meet their developmental and vocational milestones.”

In addition to diversifying the field and training pediatric staff to be more “culturally competent,” the policy also recommends that “pediatricians reflect on their own biases and integrate structural and individual-level strategies that optimize professional practice.”

From the report:

“By engaging patients and families in clinical care settings and through effective anticipatory guidance, pediatricians can help parents raise children and adolescents who can do the following:

  • identify racism when they see (bystander) or experience it (target);
  • differentiate racism from other forms of unfair treatment;
  • oppose the negative messages or behaviors by others; and
  • replace it with something positive or constructive to prevent the observed longitudinal health and developmental consequences associated with internalizing those experiences.”

Ultimately, although we know racism has an adverse effect, we simply don’t know how deeply it affects our children.

“It’s a new age of racism,” said Nia J. Heard-Garris, a pediatrician at Northwestern University, to the Post. “I see them trying to shut it out and tune it out. I think they’re trying to figure out ways of coping that previous generations didn’t have to. And I don’t think we’ll know what the consequences are going to be for a while.”

This article originally appeared in the New Tri-State Defender

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Ex-UCLA Employee Awarded Nearly $1.6M in Harassment Suit

LOS ANGELES SENTINEL — A Black former UCLA phlebotomist who said she was subjected to racial harassment that included use of the N-word was awarded nearly $1.6 million in damages by a jury.

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Royce Hall, UCLA (Photo by: Wiki Commons)
By City News Service

A Black former UCLA phlebotomist who said she was subjected to racial harassment that included use of the N-word was awarded nearly $1.6 million in damages by a jury.

The Los Angeles Superior Court jury rejected Nicole Birden’s claim that she was fired in 2016 due to her race, but the panel determined she was subjected to severe or pervasive harassment because she is black and that her supervisors failed to take corrective actions.

The jury awarded the 48-year-old Birden $500,000 for past emotional distress and mental harm, $800,000 for future emotional distress and mental harm, more than $190,000 for past economic loss and more than $86,000 for future economic loss.

“We are thankful that a diverse Los Angeles jury could come together and give Ms. Birden the justice she deserved after a hard-fought jury trial,” Birden’s attorney, V. James DeSimone, said.

Lawyer Stephen Ronk, on behalf of the UC Board of Regents, argued during the trial that Birden was fired because of a “clear pattern of performance issues.”

UCLA Health issued a statement Tuesday saying it was disappointed in the verdict and reviewing its legal options.

“UCLA Health is committed to maintaining a workplace free from discrimination, harassment and retaliation of any kind,” according to UCLA Health. “Ensuring a respectful and inclusive environment is essential to the university’s mission, and employees are encouraged to report any concerns so that they can be reviewed and appropriately addressed consistent with UCLA and University of California policies.”

According to her lawsuit, filed in May 2017, Birden began working at UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica’s clinical laboratory in 2015 and was employed on a per diem basis. She was one of about five or six black employees in a mostly Latino department, according to the suit.

According to her complaint, one of Birden’s Latino co-workers used the N-word in her presence by calling her “my n—a.” The language bothered Birden, as did his playing of rap music in which singers used the offensive term, according to the suit, which alleges that other Latino employees called her “lazy,” “dark woman” and “liar” in Spanish.

In addition, some co-workers called Birden “the Black girl with the attitude,” DeSimone told the jury.

“There was a culture of discrimination and harassment unfortunately at the lab,” DeSimone alleged.

Birden was a dedicated worker who drew blood from as many as seven patients an hour, DeSimone said of his client, a single mother of a 28-year-old and 21-year-old twins.

“She was good at her job, she loved her job,” DeSimone said.

He said Birden made numerous reports to management about her alleged mistreatment, but “her complaints fell on deaf ears.”

Birden has suffered financial losses as well as emotional distress, DeSimone said. She now works for Kaiser Permanente, but has fewer benefits, he said.

Ronk told jurors during the trial that Birden never said in her initial complaints to management that she believed she was being treated different because she is Black.

“All of that came after the fact,” Ronk said.

Ronk said it is crucial that phlebotomists immediately answer calls from dispatchers to draw blood from patients because, depending on the situation, it can be a matter of life and death. Some of those dispatchers complained that Birden would “disappear for long periods during her shift,” according to the defense’s court papers.

“The number one goal is to make sure patient care comes first and foremost,” Ronk said.

Birden had a “clear pattern of performance issues” and “none of it had to do with race,” he said.

Birden described the co-worker who allegedly used the N-word “a good guy,” Ronk said.

“He wasn’t doing it to try and offend somebody,” Ronk said.

This article originally appeared in The Los Angeles Sentinel.

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NAACP San Diego Joins Lawsuit Against San Diego Housing Commission’s Racial Segregation Policies

SAN DIEGO VOICE AND VIEWPOINT — The NAACP, the nation’s oldest and most well known civil rights organization, has just joined a housing discrimination lawsuit against the San Diego Housing Commission. The lawsuit relies on extensive data to show the city agency intentionally administers federal housing voucher funds in a manner to further San Diego’s already extreme racial segregation.

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Photo credit: Robert Tambuzi

By San Diego Voice and Viewpoint

SAN DIEGO — The NAACP, the nation’s oldest and most well known civil rights organization, has just joined a housing discrimination lawsuit against the San Diego Housing Commission. The lawsuit relies on extensive data to show the city agency intentionally administers federal housing voucher funds in a manner to further San Diego’s already extreme racial segregation.

The plaintiffs and their attorneys held a press conference Wednesday, June 26 on the steps of City Hall and displayed a map showing the extreme concentration of poverty and racial segregation in the areas where San Diego Housing Commission limits housing voucher holders—disproportionately minorities—to living.

“Across the nation segregation levels today mirror those in the 1960s, and San Diego is one of the most racially segregated cities. The data compiled in our lawsuit illustrates how San Diego Housing Commission’s voucher policies directly and intentionally perpetuate racial segregation and the concentration of poverty in the City of San Diego,” states poverty attorney Parisa Ijadi-Maghsoodi, who drafted and is lead counsel on the lawsuit.

The plaintiffs condemn statements made by San Diego Housing Commission’s CEO who referred to voucher level setting policies aimed at de-segregation as “social engineering.”

The lawsuit is San Diego Superior Court case number 2019-12582. The plaintiffs are NAACP San Diego Branch, San Diego Tenant Union, and Darlisa McDowell. The plaintiffs’ attorneys are Parisa Ijadi-Maghsoodi, Bryan Pease, and James Crosby.

This article originally appeared in San Diego Voice and Viewpoint.

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Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder

Studies expose destructive housing inequities

MINNESOTA SPOKESMAN-RECORDER — On the heels of the most recent “Anti-Poverty Soldier” piece(June 20, 2019) — about a Duke University study that chronicled the systematic plundering of more than $3 billion in wealth from Chicago’s African American homeowners from 1950 to 1970 — comes a new report from the United Nations that paints an equally troubling picture of the current state of housing in America.

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Photo by: MSR News Online
By Clarence Hightower

From the rapidly urbanizing cities of the global South to the former Rust Belt cities in the Midwestern United States, millions of people face housing insecurity and/or live in substandard housing.         — Jackie Smith and Emily Cummins

The Government of the United States of America has provided financial support primarily through tax breaks and benefits to encourage the institutional investment in housing as an asset class and yet has failed to take measures to ensure access to adequate housing for the most vulnerable populations.    — Surya Deva and Leilani Farha

On the heels of the most recent “Anti-Poverty Soldier” piece(June 20, 2019) — about a Duke University study that chronicled the systematic plundering of more than $3 billion in wealth from Chicago’s African American homeowners from 1950 to 1970 — comes a new report from the United Nations that paints an equally troubling picture of the current state of housing in America.

During the past few years, independent experts working on behalf of the United Nation’s (UN) Human Rights Watch have cited a number of violations in the U.S. across a myriad of categories (criminal justice, health care, racial disparities, gender equality, the rights of children and seniors, etc.). They have also declared that the U.S. must overhaul the policies and practices that continue to criminalize poverty.

And now, some of the latest findings with regard to housing further demonstrate how insidiously destructive these policies are. Writing on behalf of the UN, Special Rapporteurs Surya Deva and Leilani Farha reveal that when it comes to government spending, high-income households (those with annual incomes at or above $200,000) receive federal housing subsidies that are “four times greater” than what low-income households get.

What is more, according to the UN report, between 2010 and 2016 federal agencies auctioned off nearly 200,000 homes with delinquent mortgages. Almost all of these homes were purchased — for significantly less than they are worth — by private equity groups “who now earn rent on these properties.”

And, while average rents in the U.S. have increased by approximately 25 percent in the last decade or so, average annual incomes have decreased during that same period of time.

Finally, the UN notes that every day in America almost 7,500 renter families are evicted from their homes. Not surprisingly, the overwhelming percentage of evictions are occurring in African American neighborhoods.

Here in Minnesota — despite supposed efforts to increase the number of affordable housing units — the data suggest housing costs are continuing to rise unabated, which again disproportionately affect communities of color. In a report from May of this year, the Minneapolis-based Family Housing Fund (FHF) indicates that housing in the Twin Cities is on pace to become as expensive as cities like Chicago, Denver, and Seattle.

Likewise, a Minnesota Housing Partnership Study, also from this spring, tells us that more than 100,000 Minnesota households have no affordable housing options at all, while another half-million households are classified as cost-burdened, a number that continues to grow.

Similar to the national statistics, as inflation-adjusted rents rise throughout the state (in all but one Minnesota county since 2000), adjusted incomes among renter households have continued to decline.

Clearly, though, not everyone is suffering. Lisa Sturtevant, who authored the FHF report, says that for those households earning more than $85,000 per year, “There is an excess of available housing” in the Twin Cities. I suppose that’s typical; those who need, don’t have, and those who don’t need, have too much.

Still, as I think about these studies and how important they are — after all, they give us insight into the real condition of the world around us — I can’t help but think of something the late author and Kansas City Star columnist William E. Vaughn once said.

To paraphrase him: Wouldn’t it be something if low-income and working people in America were to get half the money that universities, government agencies, and others spend on studying them?

This article originally appeared in the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder

Clarence Hightower

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COMMENTARY: There is Not a Racist Bone in My Body

NNPA NEWSWIRE — Send her back is a turning point, “With Trump’s naked hatred and cruelty captured on live television, and along with it, so was the seething anger of the hard-core Trump base. The whole nation saw in dramatic fashion that Trump voters understood his meaning perfectly well and watched them not just agree with it but also amplify it, with as ugly and hate-curdled a chant as one could imagine.”

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Racism in 2019 is out in the open, with the election of President Trump leading the way. It is easy to argue what constitutes the act, and whether someone is a racist sometimes. But President Trump does not care what Blacks and people of color think. (Photo: iStockphoto / NNPA)
Racism in 2019 is out in the open, with the election of President Trump leading the way. It is easy to argue what constitutes the act, and whether someone is a racist sometimes. But President Trump does not care what Blacks and people of color think. (Photo: iStockphoto / NNPA)

By Roger Caldwell, NNPA Newswire Contributor

In 2019, most Blacks and people of color would like to believe that, “There is Not a Racist Bone in My Body” was an accurate statement in America. With the first African American President, Black businesses in every major city, and Black political officials in federal, state, and local municipalities, diversity is a reality. With all these achievements in one of the greatest countries in the world, there is a major divide.

This major divide is based on the color of an individuals’ skin, which makes no sense, until you study economics, politics, and business. Power is based on what you own and control, and if you close your eyes, power may also be based on what you take by force.

Last week, President Trump attacked four freshmen federal Congresswomen by claiming they are un-American, they should go back to their country, and everyone is asking the question, “why?”

This started as a tweet-storm on that weekend, and it has turned into a nasty battle of words, where the majority of the media is calling President Trump a “racist.” This tweet-storm appeared to be racist and personal, very little was discussed by the president about the ladies’ policies.

“In America, if you hate our Country, you are free to leave. The simple fact of the matter is, the four Congresswomen think America is even more wicked now, that we are all racist and evil. They’re entitled to their opinion, they’re Americans. Now I’m entitled to my opinion, & I just think they’re left wing cranks,” says President Trump.

It is obvious, that the first thing the President thinks comes out of his mouth, and it does not matter if it makes any sense. The president is not fit or mentally stable to manage America as Commander-in chief, but over 40% think he is doing a good job.

As this new social media and campaign rally from the President attacked the four Congresswomen escalates to a higher level of insanity, everyone in America is picking a side. The four Congresswomen at the beginning of the week called a press conference to denounce the President and asked for a draft to be drawn up to condemn President Trump’s racist language and tweets. The resolution was passed in the House last week to condemn the President.

The amazing issue about this battle is that over 40% of Americans believe that the President is correct, and at a campaign rally during the week, a packed house with the majority being White Republicans chanted, “Send her back.”

With the media claiming that President Trump initiated and supported the yelling, the President is being forced by the Vice President and some of his consultants to distance himself from the chant. “After smearing Rep. IIhan Omar (D-MN) as anti-Semitic – and letting the crowd at his Greenville, North Carolina rally roar “send her back” for more than 10 seconds – President Trump has falsely claimed he continued his speech immediately after the crowd started yelling,” says Tana Ganervo –reporter at Raw Story.

Send her back is a turning point, “With Trump’s naked hatred and cruelty captured on live television, and along with it, so was the seething anger of the hard-core Trump base. The whole nation saw in dramatic fashion that Trump voters understood his meaning perfectly well and watched them not just agree with it but also amplify it, with as ugly and hate-curdled a chant as one could imagine.”

Racism in 2019 is out in the open, with the election of President Trump leading the way. It is easy to argue what constitutes the act, and whether someone is a racist sometimes. But President Trump does not care what Blacks and people of color think.

He is only concerned with his base, and he feeds them red meat on a daily basis. There is something fundamentally wrong when the president does not care about values and inappropriate statements, because his goal is to only make America White again.

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