Tag Archives: African-American

Global Event: Anti-Police Violence Protests

Global Protests:
#BlackLivesMatter / Anti–Police Violence

Nearly four years ago, Outlas published a catalog of media coverage focused on global protests connected to the burgeoning #BlackLivesMatter movement. Today, the murder of Black American George Floyd by the police has re-galvanized demonstrations across the world’s continents, promoting diverse forms of solidarity across movements focused on affirming Black lives, eliminating racism, and ending police violence.

Floyd’s death is one among many that have pushed people into the streets of cities from Honolulu to East Jerusalem, drawing together accounts of the criminalization of people of color and other minority groups around the world. Despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, protesters around the world have gathered to interconnect their causes, demonstrating the resilience of a global anti-racism and anti–police brutality movement despite the lull in media coverage in recent years. This collection has gathered more than 150 articles, statements, and multimedia stories documenting the recent surge in protests and their interconnection.

Key Global Cases
Global/Interregional
U.S.
Canada
Latin America and the Caribbean
Europe
Africa and the Middle East
Asia and the Pacific


Key Global Cases

Global/Interregional

Source: The Telegraph

A number of media outlets have mapped the development of demonstrations around the world and compiled media and accounts from protests, summarizing the connections between the diverse sites and expressions of solidarity journalists have uncovered.

U.S.

Source: NBC News

The U.S. has experienced more than a week of protests in the wake of George Floyd’s murder. His death was the latest in a series of events that had drawn attention to ongoing violence and threats of violence faced by Black people in public space across the U.S., from racist vigilantism in Georgia to a dead-of-night police break-in and murder in New York. Protesters across all 50 states mobilized to contest police violence, prompting spectacular forms of police repression—including tear-gassing, beatings, tasing, and shootings—captured on video and circulated across social media platforms.

Local Protests

Canada

Source: Global News

Canada has experienced its own widespread condemnation of police violence in the U.S., organizing massive demonstrations from Vancouver to Halifax in honor of the memory of George Floyd. Participants have also drawn attention to recent fatal incidents involving police—including the recent death of Afro-Indigenous woman Regis Korchinski-Paquet—and the disproportionate effects of police violence experienced by Black and Indigenous Canadians and other Canadians of color.

Latin America and the Caribbean

Source: Agence France-Presse

Afro-Latinx, Afro-Caribbean, and allied Latin American communities have also expressed solidarity with Black Americans, highlighting both the ongoing forms of marginalization experienced by Afro-descendant people in Central American countries and the complex relationships to racism across the Caribbean. Brazil, in particular, has been grappling with an entrenched police brutality problem that overwhelmingly threatens Afro-Brazilians—particularly those living in poor communities. The recent killing of 14-year-old João Pedro has reignited protests, with demonstrators drawing explicit connections to anti-Black police violence in the U.S.

Transnational

Brazil

Mexico

Europe

Source: France 24

Massive protests across Europe have centered not only the injustice of George Floyd’s death, but also ongoing forms of racism across the continent. In France, George’s death scratched at the wound of the 2016 murder of Adama Traoré in a suburb of Paris. In the UK, protest participants were quick to shut down any attempt to distance the UK from U.S.-style racism, highlighting ongoing discrimination experienced by Black communities in the country. Whether in the commemoration of colonial leaders responsible for the death of millions of Africans or stubborn denials of institutional racism, contemporary manifestations of racism drew the ire of demonstrators of all backgrounds.

Transnational

Belgium

France

Germany

Italy

The Netherlands

Spain

U.K.

Africa and the Middle East

Source: France 24

Solidarity with protesters in the U.S. found diverse expression across Africa and the Middle East, from a mural in the rubble of an obliterated Syrian building to an open letter signed by dozens of African writers demanding accountability and pressuring African governments to do more. African political leaders, for their part, took the rare step of condemning the situation in the U.S.. But activists across the region also worked to draw attention to local police brutality problems as well, including the killing of autistic Palestinian Iyad Halak by Israeli border security and high levels of violence against women (both by police and by others not held to account by police) in Nigeria.

Transnational

The Gambia

Israel and the Palestinian Territories

Kenya

Nigeria

South Africa

Turkey

Asia and the Pacific

Source: The New Zealand Herald

In the Asia-Pacific region, a range of responses to unrest in the U.S. has emerged. In a tit-for-tat with the U.S. government, Chinese officials have used the situation to draw attention to human rights violations in the U.S. as the U.S. has condemned China for its crackdown on protesters in Hong Kong. Elsewhere, police brutality has been a longstanding issue with respect to the treatment of indigenous communities. Thousands of protesters across Australia and New Zealand expressed solidarity with the #BlackLivesMatter movement while also integrating the long history of anti-Indigenous violence into their calls for change. Similarly, the outbreak of protests in U.S. and the resurgence of global anti-racism consciousness provided an opportunity for activists and members of the Papuan diaspora to highlight the ongoing discrimination and violence experienced by indigenous Papuans at the hands of the Indonesian government.

Australia

China

India

Indonesia

Japan

New Zealand

China News | Black

People of African descent in Guangzhou face heightened discrimination amid COVID crisis

  • Afro-descendant residents of Guangzhou, home to one of the largest Black populations in China, have reportedly been evicted and rendered homeless, had businesses targeted, been profiled by police, and subject to other discriminatory responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • As the country has reported an overall decline in COVID-19 transmission, anti-Black discrimination has been tied to increased fears about the reintroduction of the virus from foreigners driven by misinformation.
  • The situation has ignited a diplomatic firestorm, with African political leaders expressing outrage on social media and the U.S. Consulate General cautioning Black Americans against travel to Guangzhou.

Read

Africans in Guangzhou are on edge, after many are left homeless amid rising xenophobia as China fights a second wave of coronavirus” (CNN | April 2020)

How foreigners, especially black people, became unwelcome in parts of China amid COVID crisis” (ABC News | April 2020)

China fails to stop racism against Africans over Covid-19” (The Guardian | April 2020)

U.S. Research | Incarcerated Black & Latinx

Mixed Optimism in New U.S. Incarceration Statistics

Racial and ethnic disparities in incarceration in the U.S. have long been the target of research, with the gaps an indicator of the effects of unevenly policed populations and legacies of bondage, segregation, and criminalization. Nevertheless, the difference in rates of incarceration in federal and state prisons between groups has shrunk, and criminal justice reform advocates hope that the last decade has been an indication of a turning of the tide towards de-incarceration and the decriminalization of communities of color.

New data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics continue to enliven those hopes as they show continuing gains in 2016 in the wake of the incarceration apex in 2009, and analysts have begun offering a number of reasons for the tightening numbers, including changes in drug-related law enforcement and an increased focus on sex crimes. However, disparities at the the juvenile level have widened, and advocates and researchers continue to worry over the growth of contributing phenomena including the school-to-prison pipeline.

1,458,173 (2016) vs. 1,553,574 (2009)

Total number of prisoners (decrease of 6%)

486,900 (2016) vs. 584,800 (2009)

Number of black prisoners (decrease of 17%)

339,300 (2016) vs. 341,200 (2009)

Number of Latinx prisoners (decrease of <1%)

439,800 (2016) vs. 490,000 (2009)

Number of white prisoners (decrease of 10%)

33% (black) vs. 23% (Latinx) vs. 30% (white)

Percentage of prison population by race/ethnicity

12% (black) vs. 16% (Latinx) vs. 64% (white)

Percentage of overall population by race/ethnicity

1,604 (black) vs. 856 (Latinx) vs. 274 (white)

Number of incarcerated people per 100,000 adults in racial/ethnic group


Study

Prisoners in 2016 (Bureau of Justice Statistics | January 2018)

Read

The gap between the number of blacks and whites in prison is shrinking” (Pew Research Center | January 2018)

A Mass Incarceration Mystery” (The Marshall Project | December 2017)

Black Disparities in Youth Incarceration” (The Sentencing Project | September 2017)

Mass Incarceration: The Whole Pie 2017” (The Prison Policy Initiative | March 2017)

There’s been a big decline in the black incarceration rate, and almost nobody’s paying attention” (The Washington Post | February 2016)

U.S. News | Racial & Religious Minorities and Allies

Attackers connected to white supremacist groups kill 3, wound another in Oregon and Maryland
  • In College Park, MD, black college senior Richard Collins III was stabbed and killed in an unprovoked attack by a 22-year-old white man on the University of Maryland-College Park campus.
  • In Portland, OR, two white men were killed and another injured after intervening as a neo-Nazi white supremacist yelled anti-Muslim rhetoric at two Muslim women on a train.
  • The attacks follow a number of high-profile incidents and an uptick in reported identity-based terrorism following the election of President Donald Trump, whose campaign was marked by anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim rhetoric and a willingness to court and promote white-supremacist supporters.
Read

University of Maryland Fatal Stabbing Investigated by FBI as Possible Hate Crime” (NBC News | May 2017)

Man shouting ‘anti-Muslim slurs’ fatally stabs two men in Portland” (The Guardian | May 2017)

Spread of Hate Crimes Has Lawmakers Seeking Harsher Penalties” (The New York Times | April 2017)

(Image Credit: via The Baltimore Sun)

Global Events: Black Lives Matter Protests

Black Lives Matter Globally

As a series of controversial shootings of African-American men by police has renewed attention to the Black Lives Matter movement in the U.S., people around the world have stood in solidarity with black Americans seeking to root out racial profiling, excessive use of force, and lack of accountability in U.S. law enforcement. For some, the demonstrations have been defined mostly by a kind of international allyism, but in many parts of the world, the American movement has prompted reflection on the treatment of local black communities—native, historical, and immigrant—by law enforcement, politicians, and broader society. Here is a look at the global demonstrations and solidarity movements in the name of Black Lives Matter: Continue reading Global Events: Black Lives Matter Protests

U.S. Feature | Black

The Precarity of Black Urban Farming in Detroit

“If we want a stake in the process of controlling our own life, we’ve got to own land. If we are to create a society that values black life, we cannot ignore the role of food and land.”

With de-urbanization over the last few decades having freed up tracts of land both large and small, Detroit would seem to be prime real estate for local urban farmers, a rare chance to bring significant agriculture to a mid-sized American city. Given Detroit’s predominantly black population, it would also appear to be a golden opportunity to reconnect urban African Americans with their agricultural history. Urbanization, proprietary exclusion, and cultural shame from centuries of forced and coerced labor have contributed to a widening gap between African Americans and agriculture. Black land ownership, one of the few historical forms of intergenerational black wealth, has decreased dramatically over the last century, from 20 million acres in 1910 to 8 million today. The situation in Detroit, which opens access to farming without ownership, doesn’t look posed to fix that.

Public Radio International features the stories of the black urban farmers of Detroit facing difficult odds as the city hoards land titles and wealthy outside speculators buy up the remaining deeds in controversial deals that further marginalize Detroit natives.

Read more:
Black farmers in Detroit are growing their own food. But they’re having trouble owning the land.” (Public Radio International)

Additional:
D-Town Farm
Keep Growing Detroit
Earthworks Urban Farm
7 Urban Farmers You Should Know” (The Root)
Black Farmers to buy from instead of Whole Foods” (Blavity)

(Image Credit: Cybelle Codish/PRI)

U.S. Research | Black

The Ongoing Arrest Disparity in Marijuana-Legal States

A recent study conducted by YouthFacts analyzing FBI Criminal Justice Information Services data has found that although arrests in states that have legalized marijuana possession have dropped dramatically, a disproportionate number of black people continue to be arrested relative to non-black peers. While arrests for marijuana in both marijuana-legal and marijuana-illegal states have been trending downward, the ongoing post-reform disparity continues to point to enforcement- rather than law-based problems in the U.S. criminal justice system.

877.8 (2008) vs. 57.2 (2014)

Black arrest rate in Washington (per 100,000)

390.5 (2008) vs. 27.3 (2014)

Non-black arrest rate in Washington (per 100,000)

601.3 (2008) vs. 242.2 (2014)

Black arrest rate in Colorado (per 100,000)

293.3 (2008) vs. 103.8 (2014)

Non-black arrest rate in Colorado (per 100,000)

2.7 (marijuana-legal) vs. 3.0 (marijuana-legal)

Disparity in arrest rates across states

-76% (marijuana-legal) vs. -15% (marijuana-illegal)

Decrease in arrest rates across states from 2008 to 2014

Marijuana-legal states included: Colorado, Washington
Marijuana-illegal states included
: California, Connecticut, Massachusetts

Read more:
Are Young People and African Americans Better Off under Marijuana Reform? (YouthFacts)
Pot legalization hasn’t done anything to shrink the racial gap in drug arrests” (The Washington Post)
Black People Twice As Likely To Be Arrested For Pot In Colorado And Washington — Where It’s Legal” (ThinkProgress)

U.S. News | Racial & Ethnic Minorities

Students lobby Portland school board for ethnic studies class
  • The Asian Pacific Islander Leaders for the Liberation of Youth (ALLY) have lobbied the Portland Public Schools Board of Education for the creation of at least one ethnic studies class in all 10 of the public high schools in Oregon’s largest city.
  • Asking that the class count towards the social studies graduation requirement, the group has called for a course that covers the contributions of Asian, Pacific Islander, African, Latino, Arab, and Native Americans and LBTQ Americans of color to American history and culture.
  • Students supported their curriculum-based arguments with data indicating increased academic performance, attendance, and graduation rates for students who have taken similar courses in other schools.

Read more:
Students Call For Ethnic Studies in Portland High Schools” (NBC News)
Textbooks don’t tell the history of minorities, students say. Teenagers want to change that” (The Oregonian)

(Image Credit: Casey Parks/The Oregonian)

Sweden News | Black Swedes

UN report finds increasing “Afrophobia” and discrimination against African-Swedes
  • A new UN report countered Sweden’s diversity-friendly image with data on discrimination faced by African-Swedes, who make up 2% of Sweden’s 9.6 million people.
  • In addition to discrimination in housing and employment, a national crime study found that hate crimes against people of African descent increased by more than 40% between 2008 and 2014, with a fifth of last year’s incidents involving violence.
  • Sweden has come under fire for several measures anti-racism advocates argue undermine their work, including removing the word “race” from the country’s Discrimination Act and the country’s failure to own up to its role in the transatlantic slave trade.

Read more:
Sweden’s liberal reputation tarnished as race attacks rise” (The Guardian)
Sweden’s liberal image is a mirage that hides a very ugly problem” (Quartz)
Afrophobic hate crimes on the rise in Sweden” (The Local)

(Image Credit: Anders Wiklund/AFP/Getty Images, via The Guardian)

U.S. News | Black Americans

Thousands gather in Washington D.C. for “Justice or Else” rally commemorating 20th anniversary of the Million Man March
  • Black leaders, celebrities, and community members joined in a march to the National Mall as a return to the public forum on Black community issues, with black women and children joining men in the movement for social justice.
  • As he did twenty years earlier, Louis Farrakhan fronted the event, touching on the issues of communal responsibility, reproductive rights, and economic boycotting in his speech.
  • Other speakers spoke about the current movement for criminal justice reform and inter-communal and international issues, including women’s rights, Native American solidarity, and Palestine.

Read more:
‘Justice or Else’ Rally Marks 20th Anniversary of Million Man March” (Voice of America)
History in the Making: Million Man March 20th Anniversary” (The Root)
20 years after the Million Man March, a fresh call for justice on the Mall” (Washington Post)
Million Man March Activists Chant Kendrick Lamar’s ‘Alright’ on 20th Anniversary” (Billboard)

(Image Credit: AP, via Voice of America)

U.S. News | African Americans & Journalists

Protests and arrests in Ferguson, Missouri, mark the anniversary of Michael Brown’s death
  • Police have arrested more than 30 over two nights (including reporters) as hundreds of protesters have marched, stopped highway traffic, and clashed with police in memory of the events that transpired last summer.
  • Nearly 60 more were arrested for a sit-in outside of the St. Louis federal courthouse.
  • The county executive declared a state of emergency following the outbreak of gunfire and police response during demonstrations that led to the critical wounding of an 18-year-old male.

“Charging a reporter with trespassing and interfering with a police officer when he was just doing his job is outrageous. … You’d have thought law enforcement authorities would have come to their senses about this incident.”

Read the full story at BuzzFeed News.

(Image Credit: Jeff Roberson/AP, via BuzzFeed News)

U.S. News & Feature | Nonbelievers of Color

Arian Foster: Freethinking in the NFL

Image Credit: Josh Goleman/ESPN
Image Credit: Josh Goleman/ESPN

NFL running back Arian Foster, currently playing for the Houston Texans, has come out as a freethinker and nonbeliever, one of very few professional players to have ever professed nonbelief. With little to no separation between church and field in the NFL, Foster sits down with ESPN to share his experiences being out to teammates, the evolution of his belief, and the ubiquity of Christianity in football.

Read the full profile at ESPN.

U.S. News | African Americans

Cincinnati community speaks out on ongoing police harassment following killing of unarmed black man
  • A University of Cincinnati police officer was indicted on murder charges following a traffic stop involving a missing front-end license plate.
  • Residents decried targeting by campus police at the University of Cincinnati, where only 7% of students are black compared to 45% in the city population.
  • Off-campus patrols were increased in 2013 following a statement by the UC president that community residents and student activists believe inflamed town-gown relations.

“Instead of inclusion, there’s this culture of class that UC has created. … It’s like the people in the outside communities are voiceless to the administration and the administration just wants them to stay out of the way.”

Read the full story at BuzzFeed News.

(Image Credit: William Philpott/Reuters, via BuzzFeed News)

U.S. Research | Race Sentiment

Black Attitudes on U.S. Race Relations

The New York Times released the results of a recent New York Times/CBS News poll surveying individuals’ attitudes on white-black relations in the U.S.. Here are highlights of the level of security expressed by black respondents only:

Belief in real progress made in eliminating racial discrimination
56% believe vs. 41% do not believe

Who has the better chance of getting ahead in today’s society?
Whites do: 60% (2015) vs. 46% (2014)
Blacks do: 1% (2015) vs. 4% (2014)
Both do equally: 35% (2015) vs. 46% (2014)

Feelings about personal interactions with the police
58% mostly safe vs. 37% mostly anxious

Belief that race has ever caused police to stop him/her
41% race-motivated experience vs. 57% no race-motivated experience

Further Reading
“A Growing Divide on Race” (NYT: full results)

“Poll Finds Most in U.S. Hold Dim View of Race Relations” (NYT: analysis)
“How the Poll Was Conducted” (NYT: methodology)

U.S. News & Feature | Black Women

The March of Impropriety in the Arrest of Sandra Bland

The New York Times has published a multimedia feature breaking down the legality of the police interaction with Sandra Bland, a black woman with professed mental health afflictions found dead in a Houston-area jail cell under contested circumstances three days after her arrest.  Legal experts find improper police behavior involving statement of cause, escalation, and use of force as ongoing investigations have revealed a range of behaviors that have pushed and breached the boundaries of police power leading up to her death.

View the feature at the New York Times.

(Video via the Texas Department of Public Safety YouTube channel; the Sandra Bland interaction begins at 1:30)