When Cephas Williams, a London-based artist, visited the House of Lords, he went through all the usual security procedures and was asked to take a seat.
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Williams, a Black man, was then approached by a white woman who asked him why he was sitting there. She asked him to move and, believing that he was sitting in a restricted area, he agreed. Williams said he was calm throughout the incident, which took place in Parliament is working hard to improve its processes for reporting and handling bullying and harassment. We know there is still work to be done, and we would encourage anyone who has experienced bullying or harassment in Parliament to report their experience to our Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme.
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Given such experiences, Williams was not surprised by recent events in the U. The country has been rocked, and also inspired, by protests over the death of George Floyd. Floyd, who was Black, died on May 25, after a white Minneapolis policeman kneeled on his neck with the full weight of his body for 9 minutes and 29 seconds.
Last month, former police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Earlier that same day in New York, Amy Cooper, a white woman who was walking her dog without a leash in Central Park, called on a bird watcher, Christian Cooper, who is no relation, after he asked her to put her dog on a leash.
They both left the rambles in the park before the police arrived. Politicians have used language with roots in that fear. We are recycling it over and over and over. Fitzgerald said the U. It really underestimated the situation.
It was played in the White House for Woodrow Wilson. This false narrative was passed down from generation to generation. The hypersexed Black male, known for violence against white women.
Inthe Equal Justice Initiative documented 4, racially motivated lynchings of African-Americans in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia between and — at least more lynchings of Black people in these states than had ly been reported. The all-white, all-male jury took 67 minutes to acquit the two men accused of the crime.
According to a news report at the timeone of the defense lawyers, J. Last year, police in the U. Louis found. At the time of his death, George Floyd was one of 44 people that Minneapolis police rendered unconscious with neck restraints in the last five years, according to an NBC News analysis of police records, and three-fifths of them were Black.
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Minneapolis Police Lt. Johnny Mercil testified during the trial of former officer Chauvin last month that restraining a person with neck restraints was not a procedure taught by the police. It is an age-old narrative, Fitzgerald said. InSusan Smith, a South Carolina mother of two, told police a Black man had driven off with her young children strapped into the back of the car.
After her car was found in a lake, she was sentenced to 30 years in prison for the murders of her 3- and 1-year-olds. Other fictitious allegations caught on like wildfire. In in Boston, a pregnant Carol Stuart was killed and her husband, Charles, was shot after he said they were set upon by an African-American man. During the manhunt, police were accused of harassing Black men in their search for the killer, while some politicians called for the death penalty.
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The Myopia Hunt Club? Every Black male the police had run into were seen as guilty, [with] particular men [told] to strip down in public as they were searching them. It was about humiliation and control. It could even come out as policies and programs that discriminate, and stop one having access to resources. Johnson in Racial disparities also permeate the criminal justice system. What can be done to undo years of systemic discrimination?
Understanding how deep it goes is a start, observers say. In New York City, during the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic last year, Black and Latino people were being hospitalized at twice the rate of Caucasians, data released by the City of New York showed.
Black New Yorkers were hospitalized at a rate of perpeople, followed by Latinos perpeoplewhile Caucasians were hospitalized at a rate of perpeople.
Oxiris Barbot said. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, said at the time, when the figures on racial disparity began trickling out at the beginning of the public-health crisis. He said the same pattern was found in major cities across the U. Why is that? Some point to cases like those of George Floyd and Christian Cooper as merely a glimpse into the disparities people of color face in other aspects of American life, including health care, housing, the media, schools and corporations.
Seventy-five percent of all frontline workers during the coronavirus pandemic are people of color, according to the New York City comptroller. Others say elementary and high schools are places of systemic discrimination. Research in Texas found that suspended students are more likely to be held back a grade and drop out of school, the Justice Policy Institute reported.
The economic disadvantages continue long after people of color have graduated from college. Common in the first half of the 20th century, redlining was outlawed through legislation in the s and s. The practice continues to this dayand housing in many redlined areas is still worth ificantly less than similar homes in a nonredlined neighborhood. So what happens now? What can you do?
Racial-justice campaigners say systemic change is needed to deal with systemic racism. Williams said change will have to come in all aspects of society. You can follow him on Twitter quantanamo.
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