Racism should be called racism, AP Stylebook changes journalistic guidelines

NBC NEWS — The Associated Press has announced that the AP Stylebook will now advise journalists to use the word racism to refer to acts of racism instead of evoking euphemisms like “racially charged,” and “racially motivated.”     “The terms racist and racism can be used in broad references or in quotations to describe the hatred of a race or, assertion of the superiority of one race over others,” the AP states. The new guidelines also encourage journalists to “think broadly about racial issues before having to make decisions on specific situations and stories.” Read the full article >>   

Alabama newspaper editor calls for KKK “to night ride again”

NBC News — Goodloe Sutton, publisher of the Democrat-Reporter newspaper in Linden, Alabama, confirmed on Monday that he was the author of an editorial calling for the Klu Klux Klan to night ride against “Democrats in the Republican party and Democrats [who] are plotting to raise taxes.” The editorial titled, “Klan needs to ride again,” ran in a printed edition of the Democrat-Reporter on February 14. When reporters with the Montgomery Advertiser asked Sutton to elaborate on his statements, he responded:
“We’ll get the hemp ropes out, loop them over a tall limb and hang all of them.”
In response to the editorial, Sen. Doug Jones, D-Ala. tweeted “I have seen what happens when we stand by while people – especially those with influence – publish racist, hateful views. Words matter. Actions matter. Resign now!” Read the full article >>

Gucci sweater resembling racist blackface, $890

Gucci's $890 Sweater

Photo: Gucci via CNN

NBC News — In recent years, clothing brands around the globe have been caught in the public’s moral crosshairs following accusations of using racist imagery in marketing. Fashion powerhouse Gucci is in the hot seat this week after they released an $890 sweater that bears an uncanny resemblance to blackface, a derogatory characterization of black people that was used by white actors in the early 19th century. The jet black sweater featured a pull-up turtleneck with bright red lips for a mouth cutout. Gucci’s creative director, Alessandro Michele, released a statement on Wednesday saying that the sweater was not intended to be received as a semblance of racism. Read the full article here >>

Living while black: CNN’s year-end report on racial profiling

CNN — It’s happened yet again.
An African-American man in suburban Cleveland says a bank teller called police on him this month when he tried to cash a check from his employer. Although the man didn’t explicitly cry “racial profiling,” many observers see the incident as another in a dispiriting and all-too-familiar series.
In 2018, police across the United States have been urged to investigate black people for doing all kinds of daily, mundane, noncriminal activities.

Lawsuit filed: Police chief condones white officers’ racism, abuse

ASSOCIATED PRESS — According to a federal lawsuit filed Wednesday, white police officers in a Washington, D.C., suburb have used racist slurs, circulated text messages expressing a desire to “reinstitute lynching” and put a black face and Afro wig on a training dummy.  Civil rights groups sued Maryland’s Prince George’s County and its police chief on behalf of several current and former officers. The suit accuses police officials of condoning racist, abusive behavior by white officers and retaliating against black and Hispanic officers who complain about misconduct. The suit claims the county’s police chief, Henry Stawinski, has allowed racism to “thrive” in his department since his appointment nearly two years ago. Read the full article >>

Saks Fifth Avenue accused of race and age discrimination in lawsuit

Saks Fifth Avenue   NBC NEWS — Eight men, the majority of whom are older and black, say they were subject to age and race discrimination while employed at Saks Fifth Avenue in New York City, alleging in a lawsuit filed Nov. 20 that they couldn’t advance because of a “glass ceiling” for people of color.

The ex-employees, who are represented by The Cochran Firm, worked at the high-end department store’s flagship location in midtown Manhattan. Some of them were hired back in 2010 and 2011, and were placed in sales in the men’s department with “limited customer traffic and far removed from the department’s front entrance” — putting them at a disadvantage, according to the suit.

Read the full article here >>

Veterans Affairs official hung portrait of Ku Klux Klan’s first grand wizard in his office

Painting of Nathan Bedford Forrest hanging in VA Officer's office, obtained by ABC News ABC NEWS — A senior official at the Veterans Affairs Department hung a painting of the first Ku Klux Klan grand wizard and Confederate general in his office but removed it after some employees circulated a petition to force him to take it down. David Thomas, a deputy director in the VA office that verifies small businesses for government contracts, never directly received complaints from his coworkers about the painting, a spokesman for the federal agency said Wednesday. The portrait depicts Nathan Bedford Forrest, a Confederate Army general turned inaugural KKK leader, posing on the back of a horse. The words “No Surrender” and the date 1862 are written on a title card below the painting. Read the full story >>

Florida governor’s debate gets heated: ‘The racists believe he’s a racist’

ABC NEWS —  A topic now engrained in the dynamics of the Florida gubernatorial debate, both candidates had a lot to say when it came to the controversies regarding racism. Republican Ron DeSantis was asked about his affiliations with political donors and figures who have at various points made questionably racist remarks, including a donor who once called President Obama the N-word and his own use of the phrase “monkey this up” when referring to Democrat Andrew Gillum, his African-American opponent. DeSantis got very testy on the topic, at one point saying he can’t know everything his supporters or people he is affiliated with could have said at one time or another. He instead said he would represent all Floridians, regardless of race, but would not participate in political correctness. Gillum responded saying “I’m not calling Mr. DeSantis a racist, I’m simply saying the racists believe he’s a racist.” Read the full article >>  

Louisiana might finally get rid of its racist jury system

Louisiana State Penitentiary SLATE — On Nov. 6, Louisiana voters will decide the fate of a Jim Crow–era law that allows juries to convict people on felony charges with only 10 of 12 jurors agreeing on a guilty verdict. Roughly 2,000 inmates are currently serving life sentences as a result of nonunanimous verdicts in Louisiana.

The split-jury rule was adopted in 1898 in response to the equal protection rights awarded to black citizens by the 14th Amendment. To minimize the influence of black jurors, lawmakers made the change. At the constitutional convention where the law was instituted, its proponents made their motivation abundantly clear—white supremacy.

“Our mission was, in the first place, to establish the supremacy of the white race in this state to the extent to which it could be legally and constitutionally done,” reads an excerpt from the convention’s Official Journal of Proceedings.

Read the full article >>

John Legend wants Louisiana to remove ‘white supremacy’ from its constitution

CNN reports, that as part of his continued work in criminal justice reform, John Legend is calling on Louisiana to change its constitution.

In an opinion piece published by the Washington Post Tuesday headlined “It’s time for Louisiana to strip white supremacy from its constitution,” the singer writes about the state’s continued acceptance of non-unanimous jury decisions, which he calls “a 120-year-old measure put in place to suppress the rights of African Americans.”