Concerns About Race Relations Hit Record High

For a third consecutive year, a Gallup poll reports a significant increase in concerns about race relations. The research group said 42 percent of American worry a “great deal” that racial tension is running too high. That’s a 7 percent increase from 2016 and a new record in Gallup’s 17-year trend.

Concern about race relations bottomed out in 2010, which was a continuation of a decline that began near the end of George W. Bush’s presidency.

The numbers began to skyrocket by 2014. In that year, 17 percent of respondents expressed serious concerns. In 2015, 28 percent said they were worried about race relations, and last year it reached 35 percent.

Gallup researchers said the surge likely stems from the high-profile police killings of unarmed Black men, nationwide protests about those killings and the fatal shootings of police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge.

They also pointed a guilty finger at President Donald Trump, who’s campaign rhetoric drew the support of White nationalist groups.

According to Gallup, Democrats express the greatest worry about race relations, which has risen by 33 percent in the three-year span to reach 59 percent.

Concern among Republicans, on the other hand, increased sharply between 2014 and 2015, but has leveled off at 29 percent.

SOURCE:  Gallup


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Indiana Man Uses GoFundMe To Launch ‘Send Me Back To Africa’ Campaign

An Indiana man identified a clear-cut solution for racists who believe he doesn’t belong in America: pay for my exit.

Larry Mitchell created a “Send Me Back To Africa” GoFundMe page on July 7, one day after the police shooting death of Philando Castile and two days after an officer fatally wounded Alton Sterling. In the wake of the shootings, the nation has deepened a widening divide over race relations and policing.

Mitchell describes his frame of thinking by writing the following:

“Send me “back” to Africa fund… If you want me to go back to Africa I will gladly go… you can help make your dream and mine come true… accepting  all donations… KKK, Skin Heads and anyone else with like mind thinking are welcome to donate… Thank you.. God bless you and America…”

He ends with the hashtag, #putyourmoneywhereyourhateis.

So far, he’s raised over $700, a few thousands short of his $100,000 goal. Donations start as low as $5, and go as high as $100. Commentators have weighed in on Mitchell’s page, sparking dialogue ranging from KKK-levels racist, to unapologetic agreement.

One woman named Maire Stanley wrote:

But whatever will you do without the welfare system of this country?!?!?! And who will you blame for all the blacks getting shot by white cops! Oh my…you have a dilemma on your hands!!!! Your ancestors brought you here and sold you……go back if you’re not happy! BUT WHY SHOULD OTHER PEOPLE PAY FOR IT? You need to read the news – you think life is bad here…….Oh my! And tickets are NOT going to cost you 100K – always looking for a free hand out on this sight which makes it hard for the SERIOUS people!

Another commentator identified as Elena Love left one word, #BLAXIT, referencing Brexit, the UK’s recent vote to leave the EU.

NewsOne, do you think Mitchell will reach his goal?

SOURCE: GoFundMe | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty, Twitter


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Barry Bonds Posts Video Of Daughter’s Classmates Using N-Word During Rap Song

The “N-word” topic comes up frequently when discussing race relations in America. There are people who think everyone should say it, folks who think only black people can say it, and some who think nobody can say it. As rap, a black music platform where the “N-word” is easily tossed around, has been brought to the mainstream, the conversation about the word tends to heighten. One of the alleged drawbacks of rap infiltrating society’s spaces, is whether white people singing along to a song should avoid using it then, too. Does it make someone racist for only using it in a song? Does it not matter if it’s just being sung? Who gets to make the rules?

Barry Bonds posted this video featuring a bunch of students that goes to his daughter’s school. In the video, while rapping along to A$AP Ferg’s “Dump Dump,” the N-word wasn’t omitted. Bonds wasn’t happy and cited some statistics about the school at the beginning of the video.

The video Bonds shared was originally posted to YouTube on Sunday by a group called Brentwood Students Against Racism and includes stats about the school. According to the group’s video, there are only three black 10th grade students out of a class of 120 at Brentwood, which the video claims is a 50 percent drop from the 2014-15 school year.”

The Brentwood Students Against Racism group filed a petition about the video due to the school’s lack of action.

“The administration has refused to take action about Brentwood students using the n-word,” and posted a link to a petition they’ve started to try and compel the school’s administration to act on the incident.”

After the petition, the school said they’d “reflect on our response as a school administration and identify what Brentwood School can do better in the future to help all of our students understand the harm that this type of conduct causes to themselves, to others, and to the community.”

SOURCE: Change.Org, Complex | VIDEO: Twitter

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WATCH: Fight Between Black & White Men Over Confederate Flag Decal Could Be Investigated As Hate Crime

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A brawl between a group of White and Black men over a Confederate flag decal could be investigated as a hate crime, Fox2Now reports.

The incident happened outside of a hotel near Salt Lake City, UT on Nov. 1, where two Wyoming natives were attending a Garth Brooks concert. Kelly Leeper said the truck he and his friend were driving had a magnet of the Confederate flag on it.

Leeper said he looked out his hotel window and noticed a group of African-American men eyeing the vehicle. He and his friend then went to confront them. The conversation, which you can watch in the short video above, is laced with profanities and name-calling from both sides. At one point, one of the White men calls one of the Black men a gay slur. A Black man who has not been identified punches Leeper’s friend in the face, knocking him out. The rest of the men then begin to fight.

Police are still on the hunt for the men involved in the brawl.

While police are investigating the incident, they have yet to label it a hate crime. Leeper said if the tables were turned, the fight would have been immediately labeled as such.

Deseret News reports:

“If the situation was reversed, and if there was a large group of white males who confronted two black gentlemen who, hypothetically, had a sticker on their vehicle that said, ‘Black lives matter,’ it would be dubbed a hate crime in a heartbeat,” Leeper said in the Deseret News. “So where’s the double standard there?”

Leeper believes the Confederate flag represents independence and fighting for your rights, not racism. “I’ll be damned if I ever come to Salt Lake again without bringing my gun,” he added.

“Everybody’s interpretation of what that flag means is different,” Leeper said. “And obviously there’s a gap there on what the black community believes the flag stands for and what I or anybody else believes what the flag stands for. I guess that’s the beauty of the First Amendment is that it doesn’t matter what anybody else thinks, you have the right to do, or believe or speak or say or display any type of thing you want,” he said. “There was four of us total, and one of them was African-American. I don’t want to be labeled as a racist.”

Leeper and his friend sustained cuts and bruises as a result of the fight.

Could the brawl be labeled a hate crime? Weigh the facts and sound off in the comments below…

SOURCE: Fox2NowDeseret News | VIDEO CREDIT: Inform


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Mac Miller & Vince Staples Discuss Race & White Rappers In Hip-Hop

2012 Hangout Music Festival - Day 2

As charged as America’s political and social landscape is today, it’s no surprise that race is a recurring theme in hip-hop culture.

The good folks over at The FADER invited Pittsburgh rapper Mac Miller and Long Beach native Vince Staples to have a discussion about race and White people’s involvement in the genre. Mac and Vince break down the difference between a rapper who happens to be White and a “White rapper.” They also discussed whether race matters in hip-hop and how White rappers like RiFF RaFF, Iggy Azalea, Macklemore, Eminem, Action Bronson, and Paul Wall became popular.

Mac Miller said, “There was a lot of white people like, ‘I love white rappers because I can identify with them.’ The reason white rappers can do what they do is because white people be hoorah-ing the shit. It’s like when there are white people on an NBA team.”

“When you’re white and you rap, you’ve gotta have bars. It’s all about the bars,” Vince countered.

Both agreed that when it comes to showing respect and appreciation, White rappers should give credit where it’s due.

“There are people that created things, and who made things, but if we’re talking about someone’s ability to participate in something, then the color of a person should not be in the conversation, period…..Without the Beastie Boys, there’s no Vince Staples music. So I don’t care about some white rapper sh*t,” said Vince.

Read the entire discussion over at The FADER.


I Came For The Caffeine, Not The Race Chats


Source: JEWEL SAMAD / Getty

It’s 7:00 a.m., you’re feeling barely alive, and you need a mighty jolt of caffeine to properly prepare you for the morning. Is that the best time to talk to your server about institutionalized racism and white supremacy? Would you like a shot of espresso coupled with a brief chat about the tenets of racial equality? Or that Oprah chai I keep hearing about?

I don’t want any of these things, so for all of CEO Howard Schultz’s intentions, I’m not sure what pushing Starbucks baristas to talk race with the stores’ customers will accomplish.

On the company’s website about the #RaceForward initiative, the site explains that Schultz saw what was happening in cities like Ferguson, New York, and Oakland and felt that, “We at Starbucks should be willing to talk about these issues in America.” However, “Not to point fingers or to place blame, and not because we have answers, but because staying silent is not who we are.”

So, you’d like to discuss race in America based on instances of racial unrest tied to discrimination in the aforementioned cities, but “not to point fingers or to place blame.” In essence, this is encouraging banter but not serious or arguably meaningful conversation.

How American, indeed.

To have a real conversation about race in America is to discuss racism. Without looking at an issue wholly, you are having nothing more than superficial dialogue. It would be like first date conversation, only the kind the results in you never seeing that person again. Ever.

To be fair to Starbucks, the store does notable charity work and is now helping some of its baristas cover the costs of college. This comes across as an extension of their commitment to community. Even so, for many a working class or poor neighborhood resident, a new Starbucks is the first sign that a change is going to come — that will more than likely displace them. The CEO of Starbucks would probably find himself in an awkward conversation discussing this reality. Can you imagine what a barista might face if they write “Race Forward” on a cup and someone dares to inquire?

Speaking of these baristas, already there is a hashtag #StarbucksRaceTheory in which someone and likely others will share their experiences with uh, racially insensitive Starbucks workers. Most of them are not equipped to discuss such complicated matters. They’re collecting a check (that should probably be bigger) and the customers just want caffeine (to go collect a check that should probably be bigger, too).

We should not complicate this formula to assuage the guilt of white liberals. White liberals who are diverse in their worker base, but not in their executive offices. Per the Starbucks website, one partner said, “The current state of racism in our country is almost like humidity at times. You can’t see it, but you feel it.” Many of us feel it damn near every day of our lives. What is your barista going to do about it? What makes you think I want to talk about it anyway?

Again, it is nice in theory, but execution matters. I like the idea of the company having an “all-hands meeting at the Starbucks Support Center, where people of various backgrounds congregated to share their experiences.” That sort of dialogue does matter and is effective, but that is a prime example of having a proper forum.

For those that do want to talk about race during a coffee run, have at it. However, if I see “Race Forward” written on my cup, I’m running past that convo. This is why I stick to the bodega coffee anyway. It’s cheaper, just as effective, and conversation is limited to telling each other to have a good day. That’s all I need in that moment.

Michael Arceneaux hails from Houston, lives in Harlem, and praises Beyoncé’s name wherever he goes. Follow him @youngsinick.


So This Is Happening: Starbucks Plans To Serve Side Of Race Relations With Coffee

So This Is Happening: Starbucks Plans To Serve Side Of Race Relations With Coffee


Source: (Andrew Francis Wallace/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

You know that list of companies that are outspoken about gay marriage? The ones that tell gun advocates to put their firearms away when walking into their stores? The ones that pay your tuition and boast unity from their liberal boardrooms?

Starbucks is that company.

So it was only a matter of time before the inevitable came. Tackling race. And that’s just what CEO Howard Schultz is encouraging his employees to do.

Sparked by open forums for workers to discuss race in the wake of national protests to dismantle police violence and confront racial tensions, the company has launched their newest initiative Race Together — a campaign to foster healthy racial dialogue between baristas and customers.

The Washington Post reports:

In partnership with USA Today, Starbucks has launched a week-long campaign under the banner “Race Together” to get staff and customers talking about race. In a video message, Schultz urges “partners” to write the phrase on their paper cups “to facilitate a conversation between you and our customers.” A USA Today supplement, set to be published March 20, includes a number of “conversation starters,” including the fill-in-the-blank question: “In the past year, I have been to the home of someone of a different race ___ times.”

Interesting, given that you can see what types of interactions customers of color are having with their baristas just by clicking the insightful hashtag #StarbucksRaceStory.

And on the flip side, some people aren’t too happy about engaging in dialogue with a company that many are critically examining as the problem, not the solution.

But Schultz, who wants to “promote a new level of understanding and sensitivity about the issue,” according to CNN Money, says the forums and discussions aren’t created to point fingers. No Sway, Starbucks isn’t claiming to have the answers. But for Shultz, “staying silent is not who we are.”

“We have problems in this country with regard to race and racial inequality and we believe we’re better than this and we believe the country is better than this,” he said.

In any case, the campaign isn’t going over too well with those directly affected by racism. Especially since teaching privileged customers who come to buy $7 lattes isn’t in a barista’s job description. We’re guessing that’s the last thing they want to do.

This can go a bunch of different ways and none of them are pointing up. Except for this clever hashtag that brilliantly mocks Starbucks’ effort. Because it’s great. And we can’t stop laughing.

Starbucks may want to employ Twitter to do the job for them. We’re just saying.

SOURCE: Washington Post, CNN Money, Twitter | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty


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President Obama Takes His Message To “106 & Park”


President Barack Obama (Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images)

Yesterday, on a very special edition of 106 & Park, the focus was on recent events surrounding the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, featuring an interview with President Obama. (Well, they teased an interview with President Obama throughout the show only to build towards a BET News special that basically reran much of what we had already watched via excerpts. Even when seeking depth, never forget that there are advertising dollars to make).

In between the excerpts were the airings of quasi-political videos like Lil’ Wayne’s “God Bless Amerika.” (It’s awful and Wayne still sings like Gargamel the Evil Wizard from The Smurfs.) There were also talks with young people, whom we couldn’t really hear via technical difficulties; plus emcees like B.o.B., who uh, did their best.

Now, there were more informative portions that reminded us of the need for a show like Teen Summit. This would include interviews with youth activists Tef PoeAshley YatesT-Dubb-O, plus a segment with an attorney named Mic Sean, who explained what’s transpired from a legal standpoint in layman’s terms.

As for President Obama’s interview with Jeff Johnson, it was the same President Obama we’ve watched in recent weeks. He stressed, “This is not just a Black problem or a Brown problem, but an American problem.” That was him last night, but that is Obama every night. It is effectively Obama wasting his breath.

Yes, Black and brown men are Americans, too; and therefore, must be spoken of as Americans.  However, it has long been an American tradition to persecute Black men. Many young people of color may not think about race in the same terms as their older peers, but reality is making it clear that others are thinking in those terms. After all, Eric Garner’s killer was 29.

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Perhaps President Obama can never speak candidly to this truth, given his position. Obama noted this in explaining to Johnson that when it comes to grand juries failing to indict Darren Wilson and Daniel Pantaleo, he cannot say anything that would compromise ongoing Justice Department investigations. Fair, but when discussing those protestors, must he so ardently stress that they remain “peaceful?”

The protests that have taken place across the country have been overwhelmingly peaceful. The same cannot be said of the police departments who respond to protests about police brutality with gross displays of aggression. To put them on equal footing is to play into a false media narrative — the kind Obama so often deems inaccurate and distracting.

In any event, President Obama was encouraging to peaceful protestors, adding, “A country’s conscience has to be triggered by some inconvenience.” He went on to note for tackling the issue on a federal level, “In some ways we’ve made some progress over the last six years over a wide range of criminal justice issues.” Obama also spoke of his record as a state legislator in Illinois, where he helped pass a law that required the taping of murder confessions to thwart coercion.

And yet, he stressed that “change happens in increments, in stages,” as a means to “stay the course,” and “not to give up.”

I’m curious to know whether or not that point truly resonates with the young people who were watching. A friend of mine mentioned of the interview, “Soooo he can do 106 & Park but can’t take his ass to Ferguson? Got it.”

Interestingly enough, during a teleconference held by the youth activists that were invited to the White House, when asked if it’s too late for Obama to visit Ferguson, Ashley Yates said,“That’s too little, too late. What we need him to do now is him use the power of his position, the power of the highest office of the land to enact some real change.”

Even here, this interview felt too little, too late. Those among the very age group to which 106 & Park appeals most already have started mobilizing on their own. It would’ve been more powerful if Obama did a live, televised forum with the Black kids who actually have to live with the threat of police brutality on a daily basis.

That moment may have since passed, but as Yates said, what is needed of him now is to use the power of his position to enact some real change. Words matter, but poor timing can lessen how much they do.

Michael Arceneaux hails from Houston, lives in Harlem, and praises Beyoncé’s name wherever he goes. Follow him @youngsinick.


PM BUZZ: Chris Rock Calls White People Crazy; North West Is Adorable In Fur; Mel B Admits To Being A Lesbian & More

mel-bGirl Power (the original Spice Girls mantra) has taken on a whole new meaning with former Spice Girl, Mel B. The beautiful mother of three recently opened up about her admittedly very open sex life, co-parenting with superstar Eddie Murphy and how she got the name Scary Spice. The interviewer must have kept the drinks flowing because Mel B was def loose lipped about loving sex so much, she couldn’t limit herself to just one gender in the bedroom:

“People call me lesbian, bisexual or heterosexual, but I know who’s in my bed and that’s it… I have a huge libido and a great sex life.” “Which is true,” she says. “Well, I did have a four-year relationship with a woman. But I’ve been very happily married for seven years to a penis. Ha ha! An amazing guy.” Does he know she refers to him as a penis? “Well, you know what I mean. But I’ve definitely not been shy or been one to hold back. If I wanted to try something, I did. I had a girlfriend. So what?”

Welp. To each her own. Do your thing Mel B! Read the full (read: lengthy) interview on The Guardian.

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