#KnowYourFacts (Black Male Criminal)
by Christopher Petrella, Ph.D. & Ameer Hasan Loggins
Despite routinely being victims of anti-Black racist violence at the hands of U.S. law enforcement officials and white citizen vigilantes, Black men are often reflexively cast as dangerous criminals by mainstream white America.
Recall that Officer Darren Wilson of the Ferguson, Missouri Police Department described Mike Brown as a “demon” in his court testimony shortly after the fatal shooting. Further recall when one member of the Tulsa, Oklahoma Police Department on the scene of Terence Crutcher’s murder described him as looking like a “bad dude.” Though Mike Brown and Terence Crutcher—and countless other unarmed Black men and boys—posed no immediate danger to public safety, they were shot and killed.
How did we—as a country—get here? Why are Black men, for instance, often thought to be dangerous criminals by mainstream white America despite evidence to the contrary?
To begin, Black men are not “naturally” more or less dangerous than non-Black men. The fact that Black men are criminalized at higher rates than non-Black men does not reflect differences in “innate criminality” but rather slanted applications of justice. The U.S. Department of Justice proves this claim when it finds that whereas Black drivers are three times more likely than white drivers to have their cars searched, white drivers are considerably more likely in the same scenario to turn up with guns or drugs. Often, the reflex to criminalize certain bodies over others hinges on perceived—not actual— danger. And perceptions of danger are inherited through historical narratives aimed at producing and sustaining a white-dominant racial order.
So where and how did the manufactured linkage of Blackness, maleness, and criminality emerge? And further, how is it sustained?
Black people—and especially Black men— have been cast as the preeminent outlaws of the American imagination. Even before the… [read more…]
What to Know when Debating Immigration Reform
by Christopher Petrella, Ph.D.
In a political climate dominated by xenophobic and nativist stereotypes, it becomes difficult to engage in evidence-based discourse on issues of national concern. Political debate over the contours of immigration reform is one such area where false knowledge proliferates.
In order to challenge such fact-free and fear-centered immigration narratives, please consider the following studies conducted and published by non-partisan think-tanks and research centers.
1) According to the Pew Research Center, approximately 11 million people without up-to-date legal documentation live in the United States, a figure that accounts for 25.5 percent of the foreign-born U.S. population. Stated differently, immigrants with up-to-date legal documentation account for 74.5 percent of the foreign-born U.S. population.
2) Today, longtime residents (10 years or more) without up-to-date legal documentation vastly outnumber new arrivals. According to Pew Research, 65.7 percent of those without up-to-date legal documentation have lived in the United States for ten years or more. Moreover, less than 5 percent of “unauthorized immigrants” have arrived within the past five years… [read more..]
An Overview of recent Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Raids
by Christopher Petrella, Ph.D.
Over the last week, federal agents arrested at least 680 undocumented people living in the United States in a series of raids conducted across at least 12 states. ICE’s recent actions represent the first major escalation on an estimated 11 million undocumented migrants residing in the United States since President Donald Trump signed an executive order on January 25 pledging to increase immigration enforcement activity and to enhance security along the U.S.-Mexico border. According to Pew Research, 79 percent of undocumented migrants living in the United States are from Latin America and 52 percent are from Mexico.
Though ICE claims the raids had been planned long before Trump Administration released its executive order, immigration lawyers are skeptical, as then-candidate Trump repeatedly made clear his intention to deport 2-3 million undocumented immigrants if elected president.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement—or ICE—was created in the aftermath of the attacks September 11, 2001 when the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) was divided into U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The reorganization shifted immigration enforcement responsibilities from the Department of Justice to the newly created Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
On Monday, the DHS noted that “approximately 75 percent of those arrested were criminal aliens.” When asked to provide further clarification, one DHS official confirmed that the term “criminal aliens” includes anyone who has entered the United States illegally or overstayed or violated the terms of a visa.” One, then, is left to assume that the remaining 25 percent of those arrested in ICE raids were in the United States on valid green cards and/or visas.
The Trump administration has repeatedly claimed the danger undocumented immigrants pose to U.S. citizens. Such fears, however, appear more grounded in nativism and xenophobia than in fact. According to figures from the U.S. Sentencing Commission, undocumented migrants accounted for 6.9 percent of federal murder cases in 2013, a figure equivalent to six homicides. Several other studies addressing the relationship of crime and undocumented immigrants found “[they] are less likely to commit crimes than people born in the United States.” [read more…]
Source: Twitter (mycielski)
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*Exclusively for adults and youth who attended #KnowYourRightsOakland*
As a thank you and form of encouragement for the adults and youth who attended Know Your Rights Oakland, our incredible Holistic Health Coach for the event, Yareli Quintana, has put together exclusive offers, videos and free downloads for everyone who attended! If you’re looking to create better eating habits, find local resources for healthy food or seeking educational services — This is without a doubt the best resource for you!
PLEASE NOTE: This resource is password protected, as it is exclusively for people who attended #KnowYourRightsOakland. To retrieve the password and gain full access:
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