Wednesday, December 28, 2005

More evidence of stupid bias against black men -- this time in California's Alameda County

This is from the Oakland Tribune. I wish Alameda County would spend a little money for a 30 second commercial reminding all that housing discrimination is immoral and illegal. As to the pattern of discrimination in the county, it's clear that the farther away from the urban center -- Oakland -- one gets, the more likely they're going to be discriminated against if they're black.

Audit finds blacks face rental bias

Fair-housing group finds some landlords in county treat African Americans differently

HAYWARD -- Black men seeking to rent apartments in some Alameda County communities face unfair treatment from prejudicial landlords, according to an undercover audit conducted by the Eden Council for Hope and Opportunity.
The Hayward-based fair-housing advocacy group, more commonly known as ECHO, sent four men -- two white, two African-American -- to 53 apartments in Hayward, Livermore, Pleasanton and Union City.

What they found after a seven-month investigation, ECHO counselor Angie Watson-Hajjem said, was that despite identical tenant profiles, prospective tenants who were African Americans faced discriminatory treatment on about 26 percent of the tests.

"We tried to match them up identically, except for the race thing," Watson-Hajjem said. "If the black tester had an appointment at 1 o'clock, the white tester tried to go in at 1:30. We feel the testers should be treated the same."

She said that on many occasions, it was apparent that testers were not treated the same.

And while Hayward property managers fared well on the tests, many Livermore-area property managers and those in Union City fared poorly, she said.

"Discrimination is still out there. It's still illegal," Watson-Hajjem said. "I don't know if I want to say it's a lot, but it's definitely there."

In Hayward, ECHO sent employees pretending to beprospective tenants to 20 apartments and found differential treatment at only one. In that case, a property manager offered the white tester -- but not the black tester -- about $200 off the first month's rent.

Some encounters in other cities were more egregious, the study says. The two black men were less likely to receive follow-up calls and more likely to receive different -- and more discouraging -- information about rental terms and conditions.

Barry Nielsen was killed by the coldness of San Francisco's community; an SF Chronicle story that will anger you -- or it should

I just saw this a few seconds before I posted it. This is an excerpt. Two things angered me: the report of people stepping over -- rather than helping -- this man, and the very slow response of the SF Police Department. It seems San Francisco's finest can spend more time making racist videos than solving crimes. Mr. Nielsen eventually died from what was finally identified as an attack -- but by whom, no one knows to this day.

Barry Nielsen curled on the corner, a head wound oozing blood, as his iPod hissed the soundtrack to a mystery in the foggy night
Mike Weiss, Chronicle Staff Writer
Wednesday, December 28, 2005

It began with a man crumpled on a nighttime pavement, his knees pulled protectively under his chin and blood pooling beneath his head. Something bad had just happened to Barry Nielsen. Exactly what remains a mystery.

Moments earlier he had been acting as a greeter outside an open studio at 1890 Bryant St., an industrial-chic home to artists, architects and a wine broker. He was dancing exuberantly. Now his iPod was still playing, but on this Friday night with fog dampening the air, he could no longer hear the music.

But this is San Francisco, where a man curled on a sidewalk means a homeless person. Even though the intersection with Mariposa Street was bathed in light from a Muni yard on the northeast corner, people stepped around him.

It was 7:25 p.m. on Oct. 21, and the neighborhood was well-trafficked. People came and went at KQED; there were clubs and restaurants nearby; and on the southwest corner, Starbucks was crowded, mostly with deaf people at a get-together. Finally a woman out for a smoke saw Nielsen's body and grew alarmed. She ran to Starbucks, where a pair of cops had parked their black and white and were on a coffee break.Officer Angel Lozano inspected Nielsen, saw the blood, and summoned an ambulance. When paramedics arrived, Nielsen no longer showed vital signs, Lozano said, but they revived him with CPR.

"We interviewed a few people," Lozano explained outside the same Starbucks a few weeks later, "and nobody saw what happened."

"The gentleman still had his iPod and his wallet," Lozano said. "It didn't appear there was a crime involved. First impression -- he had fallen down." So the officers did not create a crime scene or begin a thorough canvass of the area or summon detectives.

The building at 1890 Bryant is roughly halfway between San Francisco General Hospital, where Nielsen, 48, was rushed in a wailing ambulance, and the Hall of Justice. Over the days and weeks ahead, conflicting versions of what had befallen the dying painter and puppeteer -- had he fallen or been assaulted? -- would emerge from the two edifices...

By Saturday afternoon, when the police had not contacted Nielsen's friends or family, one friend, Dwight Horn, went to Mission Station and was told, "'What investigation? It was a fall, not a crime."

"We were hearing from every doctor we spoke to" that Barry had been assaulted, Hallquist said, "and the cops were doing nothing."

New Orleans Police Shooting - Why is it that 12 white guys with guns feel they need to shoot one black guy sporting a knife?

I'm watching CNN, and they keep showing a video of 12 -- yeah, 12 -- white New Orleans Police officers with guns drawn and pointing at one black guy who reportedly has a knife.

These idiots -- yep dummies -- killed that man.

I'm looking at this and thinking "Did anyone bother to just shoot the guy in the foot?" Why not? All of those cops and not one had the presence of mind to think outside the box of organized mob-rule that seems to govern New Orleans Police activity, especially after The Katrina Problem. Are they just plain robots?

I'll bet if the person was a blond woman they'd have not fired a single shot. These guys need to be off the force, ASAP.

I'm starting to think the New Orleans police hire emotionally disturbed people or that the job itself makes them that way. There's no -- no good excuse for what they did.

They should all be fired.

New SBS Online Gaming blog

Yep, it's too big to ignore, so I created a blog on online gaming. Click the post to check it out!