Tag: blacks

Newsy Race Matters

DID YOU KNOW?: Black Teens Have Lower Rate of Drug Use Compared to Whites

A study found that Black and Asian teens have the lowest rate of drug use, so why are black teens arrested for drugs nearly three times more than whites? Could it be that black teens are portrayed as drug-addled hoodlums in the media?

Here is an article Good published on the matter:

A study published today in the Archives of General Psychiatrysays that black and Asian teens are less likely to use drugs and alcohol than white people their age. In a survey of more than 72,000 young people conducted by Dan Blazer, a psychiatry professor at Duke Medical Center, 39 percent of white teens and 37 percent of Latinos reported having abused substances in the past year, compared to 32 percent of blacks and 24 percent of Asians. When it came to drugs alone, 20 percent of whites, 19 percent of blacks, and 12 percent of Asians reported using.

Blazer called the relatively low rate of substance abuse among black juveniles “surprising”: “The public perception is that that’s not the case,” he said. Also surprised should be American police, who continue to arrest black kids for drug use at far greater rates than whites. Consider this chart from the federal Office of Juvenile Justice:


In the 1990s, the juvenile black drug arrest rate was nearly three times that of whites, and in 2008 it remained almost double. The fact is that cops bust blacks kids markedly more for a crime they commit slightly less often. This is especially unfair because petty drug offenses are how thousands of black kids per year end up in the U.S. justice system. Their criminal records then haunt many of them for the rest of their lives, ruining their employment and educational opportunities and all but forcing them to turn to more crime to stay afloat.

We’ve argued before that America’s nonsensical drug laws leave a lot to be desired when compared with those of other Western nations. But when police don’t enforce those laws evenhandedly, they go from being just nonsense to racist as well.

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Art Race Matters

Black History Museum Opening This Fall in Little Rock

Arkansas’s Mosaic Templars Cultural Center opens this September on the site of the Mosaic Templars of America, a fraternal organization founded by two former slaves, according to the AP.

“It’s everyone’s history. It’s everyone’s center,” director Constance Sarto said of the museum which is honoring African-American heritage.

The four-story building, which is located at what used to be the black business district of Little Rock, is another in a line of recent museums dedicated to African American history. (The Smithsonian Institution is also opening the National Museum of African American History and Culture in 2015).

Admission to the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center will be free year-round.


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Politics Race Matters

House Set to Apologize for Slavery & Jim Crow

The House of Representatives is set to pass a resolution that would apologize to African Americans for slavery and Jim Crow, according to CNN.

Rep. Steve Cohen, a white lawmaker who represents a majority black district in Memphis, Tennessee, introduced the nonbinding resolution. If passed, it will be the first time a branch of the federal government will apologize for slavery.

By passing the resolution, the House will acknowledge the “injustice, cruelty, brutality and inhumanity of slavery and Jim Crow,” an aide to Cohen said.

This piece of legislation has the Internet buzzing, with the Washington Post‘s readers sparking serious debates on Ben Pershing’s “Capitol Briefing” blog.

In response to another Pershing reader–who asked why we can’t “just move on” since it’s been 140 years since slavery–a commenter, who calls him/herself “Black and Bitter Like Coffee,” said:

We can “just move on” when America owns its role for slavery in America and the results of forcibly taking men, women and children from their native continent so that white America can become the privileged class. When white America learn to refuse and give up their benefits of “white privilege”, then we can “move on.” Until then, the division will exist. It’s that simple.

PHOTO: Karen Walker’s “The End of Uncle Tom and the Grand Allegorical Tableau of Eva in Heaven” (1995)

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Race Matters

Hate Crimes At Five-Year High in Los Angeles

Hate crimes in L.A hit their highest level in five years in 2007, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The largest number of racial hate crimes involved Latino suspects against black victims, followed by black suspects against Latino victims.

Although blacks made up nearly half the hate crime victims, Latinos made up the largest number of suspects in hate crimes based on sexual orientation, while whites were the leading suspects in religion-based incidents.

“What we’re seeing is the democratization of hate crimes,” said Brian Levin, who directs the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at Cal State San Bernardino. “We’re not only seeing a diversification of victims but also increased diversification of offenders.”


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Race Matters

Blacks in Military: More High-Ranking Officers Needed

Although great accomplishments have been made since the US military was integrated 60 years ago, there still needs to be strides taken in the higher ranks. While blacks make up 17 percent of the total force, they are only 9 percent of all officers, with less than 6 percent of U.S. general officers being black.

“My hope and expectation is that, in the years ahead, more African-Americans will staff the armed forces at the highest levels,” Defense Secretary Robert Gates told a crowd at a ceremony commemorating the day President Harry Truman ordered the desegregation of the armed forces.

Best known among the four-stars is retired Gen. Colin Powell, who later became the country’s first black secretary of state.

“They no longer cared whether I was black or white, immigrant kid or not,” Powell told the crowd. “The only thing my commanders ever told me from 1958 for the rest of my career, is ‘Can you perform?’ And that’s all we have ever asked for.”


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