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cbabe

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Member since: Wed Jun 2, 2021, 01:24 PM
Number of posts: 921

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Caste discrimination in America

https://southseattleemerald.com/2022/05/20/hidden-discrimination-casteism-persists-in-south-asian-spaces/



The caste system has existed in various iterations on the Indian subcontinent for over 2,000 years. Informed by religious and customary traditions, it divides people based on their family’s ancestry, assigning social status, occupations, obligations and sanctioning privileges, and repression to different castes depending on their place within the social hierarchy. According to Ambedkar, the essence of the caste system is endogamy — the refusal to intermarry with other castes.


Because caste-privileged people in South Asia had benefited from centuries of preferable treatment before, during, and after colonial rule, they owned a disproportionately large share of the wealth of the country, and thus were able to more easily qualify under U.S. immigration rules.


As a result of gains made during the civil rights movement, South Asian immigrants don’t face as much racism, with many coming to Seattle to work in the technology sector. However, casteism remains a factor, even in the diaspora. A local tech worker and community organizer, who wished to remain anonymous, said casteism shows up a lot in tech worker communities, influencing who is let in or out of people’s social circles.

“You almost never see people who are from Dalit backgrounds or Bahujan backgrounds or Adivasi backgrounds make it to the U.S.,” they said. “But even if they do make it, I’ve since learned that there’s a lot of casteism in how South Asians interact with each other.”


In its 2018 report Caste in the United States, Equality Labs said that 1 in 3 Dalit students reported being discriminated against in the education system, while two-thirds of Dalit workers in the United States said they were treated unfairly at their workplace.

In 2020, the state of California sued the communications technology company Cisco, alleging that the company allowed managers to harass a Dalit worker and then retaliate against him when he complained to HR. Since the lawsuit was filed, other workers across Silicon Valley have come out with similar complaints of caste discrimination.


“It’s telling that the universities and the tech companies haven’t recognized caste as a protected category in the anti-discrimination policies until recently,” they said.

Some within the South Asian community, such as the Hindu nationalist-aligned lobby group Hindu American Foundation (HAF), are opposing the new anti-caste discrimination efforts. According to Deutsche Welle, the HAF said that the recent CSU anti-discrimination measures “will cause more discrimination by unconstitutionally singling out and targeting Hindu faculty of Indian and South Asian descent.”

Amazon, which is headquartered in Seattle, posted a webpage detailing its “human rights principles” in 2020, which included equal protection for people based on a number of criteria, including caste.

Amazon and Microsoft, a tech company based in Redmond, have not answered requests for comment.

…more…

Report: Nearly 80% of 911 calls made to Seattle police in 2017-19 were for noncriminal events

https://www.seattlepi.com/local/seattlenews/article/911-calls-to-Seattle-police-17185684.php



Of the 1.2 million calls made to Seattle police during that time, only 6% involved felony activity, the agency said in its analysis. Just over 14% of calls involved misdemeanor activity.


Activists argue that most work can be done by someone other than an armed officer, who they say can escalate a situation. In turn, they say trained professionals should respond to calls alone or with an officer, as long as the officer keeps their distance.

The agency’s report appears to validate the activists’ argument, at least in Seattle.



The agency recommends that Seattle police assign each call type to one of these four tiers and respond to 911 calls accordingly. However, whether Seattle’s current mayor, Bruce Harrell, will implement these recommendations is unclear. On the campaign trail, Harrell said he understood the need for alternatives to policing but also pledged to augment the department’s presence within the city.

Pro-Israel lobbying group Aipac secretly pouring millions into defeating progressive Democrats

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2022/may/17/pro-israel-lobby-defeat-democrats-palestinians-2022

The US’s most powerful pro-Israel lobby group is pouring millions of dollars into influencing Democratic congressional primary races to counter growing support for the Palestinian cause within the party, including elections today in

(More long read)

Thanks Citizens United.

Amazon's 'astronomical' misuse of customer data could ruin company

Source: Seattle Times/tech story

A shareholder is suing Jeff Bezos, Andy Jassy, and 17 other Amazon executives for intentionally allowing the business to violate state laws, in a novel strategy to draw attention to how Amazon utilizes individuals’ data.

Amazon has already been chastised for its usage of biometric data, such as fingerprints and face photos. It has been accused of collecting and utilizing people’s photos without their permission, as well as breaking state laws that restrict firms from profiting from people’s biometric data.

Typically, legal steps are taken against the firm. This time, shareholder Stephen Nelson is suing on behalf of the company against Amazon’s top executives.

Nelson claims that the defendants, which include executives such as founder and Executive Chairman Bezos, CEO Jassy, Chief Financial Officer Brian Olsavsky, and General Counsel David Zapolsky, as well as all 11 members of the board of directors, knowingly allowed Amazon to make false statements about its use of biometric data. According to his attorneys, company executives “made a conscious choice to turn a blind eye to Amazon’s conduct.”

(More)



Read more: https://techstory.in/amazons-astronomical-misuse-of-customer-data-could-ruin-company/

DISTRICT COURT JUDGE WHO USED RACIST LANGUAGE HAS BEEN TAKEN OFF CASES, COURT SAYS

King County District Court Judge Susan Mahoney will not appear in court or hold supervisory positions following her use of racist slur on an online call with court employees earlier this year, the court’s presiding judge has announced.

“I want to assure court users, court staff, and the public that the Court has taken the necessary steps to resolve this matter appropriately,” Chief Presiding Judge Matthew York said in a statement released Thursday, April 21. “Judge Mahoney will not have any supervisory role with staff and will not appear in court until this matter is settled.”



Sadé Smith, a Seattle lawyer who focuses especially on representing People of Color and whose firm’s Dismantle project works pro bono on behalf of Black Lives Matter and other equity protesters, told the Emerald that the court’s expression of regret over a single judge’s use of the N-word overlooks the court’s fundamental role in structural racism that does “much more harm than the word.”



King County’s population is about 7% Black, according to a county audit released last year, while more than 36% of people in King County Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention facilities are Black. An April 2021 report from the King County Auditor’s Office also found “significant racial disparities in housing and discipline that harm Black people and benefit White [sic] people, on average.”



Let’s address how to make this better and whole,” Smith said, “instead of centering [Mahoney’s] feelings, which is what happens with white people constantly. It’s really exhausting for Black people, you know, for us to constantly have to hear about people’s reasons why they do horrible things.”



The other person who spoke anonymously said that they overheard Mahoney make an inappropriate comment at least one other time, when the judge allegedly referred to a Black employee as loving watermelon. That source said they later filed a complaint about the comment.

(More)

https://southseattleemerald.com/2022/05/10/district-court-judge-who-used-racist-language-has-been-taken-off-cases-court-says/

DISTRICT COURT JUDGE WHO USED RACIST LANGUAGE HAS BEEN TAKEN OFF CASES, COURT SAYS

King County District Court Judge Susan Mahoney will not appear in court or hold supervisory positions following her use of racist slur on an online call with court employees earlier this year, the court’s presiding judge has announced.

“I want to assure court users, court staff, and the public that the Court has taken the necessary steps to resolve this matter appropriately,” Chief Presiding Judge Matthew York said in a statement released Thursday, April 21. “Judge Mahoney will not have any supervisory role with staff and will not appear in court until this matter is settled.”



Sadé Smith, a Seattle lawyer who focuses especially on representing People of Color and whose firm’s Dismantle project works pro bono on behalf of Black Lives Matter and other equity protesters, told the Emerald that the court’s expression of regret over a single judge’s use of the N-word overlooks the court’s fundamental role in structural racism that does “much more harm than the word.”



King County’s population is about 7% Black, according to a county audit released last year, while more than 36% of people in King County Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention facilities are Black. An April 2021 report from the King County Auditor’s Office also found “significant racial disparities in housing and discipline that harm Black people and benefit White [sic] people, on average.”



Let’s address how to make this better and whole,” Smith said, “instead of centering [Mahoney’s] feelings, which is what happens with white people constantly. It’s really exhausting for Black people, you know, for us to constantly have to hear about people’s reasons why they do horrible things.”



The other person who spoke anonymously said that they overheard Mahoney make an inappropriate comment at least one other time, when the judge allegedly referred to a Black employee as loving watermelon. That source said they later filed a complaint about the comment.

(More)

https://southseattleemerald.com/2022/05/10/district-court-judge-who-used-racist-language-has-been-taken-off-cases-court-says/

Nobel Peace Laureate Maria Ressa on Return of the Marcos Dynasty & Social Media Disinformation STORY

Source: Democracy Now

We go to Manila to speak with Filipina Nobel Peace Prize winner Maria Ressa about Monday’s presidential election in the Philippines, where Ferdinand Marcos Jr. — the only son of the late Filipino dictator Ferdinand Marcos — appears to have won in a landslide alongside his running mate, the daughter of current President Rodrigo Duterte.

Ressa says the Marcos campaign used social media to cover up the historical memory of the family’s brutal policies and the uprising in 1986 that ultimately ended Marcos’s two-decade dictatorship. “These elections are emblematic of the impact of concerted information operations of disinformation where it literally changed history in front of our eyes,” says Ressa. Her forthcoming book is titled “How to Stand Up to a Dictator: The Fight for Our Future.”

Read more: https://www.democracynow.org/2022/5/11/maria_ressa_philippines_ferdinand_marcos_jr



How Facebook is killing democracy

Maria Ressa: Nobel Peace Prize winner, founder, CEO and executive editor of the acclaimed Filipino news website Rappler.

‘A Thousand Cuts’: Where to Stream the Documentary About Nobel Peace Prize Winner Maria Ressa

The Philippine president has said journalists “are not exempted from assassination.”

https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/article/a-thousand-cuts-maria-ressa-nobel-peace-prize-winner-where-to-stream-the-documentary/

Amazon fires 2 union organizers tied labor win

Source: Seattle PI/AP

Amazon fires 2 union organizers tied to first U.S. labor win
HALELUYA HADERO
,
AP Business Writer
Updated: May 10, 2022 8:24 a.m.

Amazon has fired two employees with ties to the grassroots union that led the first successful U.S. organizing effort in the retail giant’s history.

The company confirmed Tuesday that it fired Michal, or ‘Mat,’ Cusick and Tristan Dutchin of the Amazon Labor Union on Staten Island, New York. But it claims the “cases are unrelated to each other and unrelated to whether these individuals support any particular cause or group.”

Read more: https://www.seattlepi.com/news/article/Amazon-fires-2-union-organizers-tied-to-first-17162061.php

The physics of oreo cookies

WEEKEND READS: WHAT A TWIST!
MAY 7, 2022 EDITOR
by Kevin Schofield



For while it is indeed a paper on fluid mechanics with the required complicated mathematical formulas and squiggly-line Greek letters, it probes one of the deepest, darkest problems of the universe: predicting what happens to the creme filling when you twist apart an Oreo.

In fact, the authors, two MIT researchers, coined a new term for the study of this phenomenon: “Oreology.” This is a clever twist (no pun intended) on “rheology,” the official term for the study of the flow of materials with complex viscosity, such as Oreo creme. This isn’t the first time rheologists have applied their craft to food; for many decades, food scientists have studied how to thicken sauces, sweeten chocolate, tune the flow of fondue, and give ketchup and mayonnaise just the right texture. But twisting apart an Oreo goes one step further, into “parallel plate rheology,” or what happens when a thickened fluid is sandwiched between two moving parallel plates (e.g., chocolate wafers).



These outcomes didn’t vary by the flavor of the creme, the rotation rate, or by the amount of “stuf” in the creme layer. What did seem to matter, though, was the age of the Oreos and how they had been treated over the course of their short-but-oh-so-tasty lives. The researchers noticed that in some Oreos, the creme had creeped out to the edges of the cookie, as one might expect over time or if the package was stored in a hot room: The creme is still a liquid, albeit a very thick one, and will still spread under the right conditions. Those cookies that showed signs of the creme spreading out were more likely to split the creme between the two wafers.

The researchers then proceeded to the next critically important topic: what happens when an Oreo is dunked in milk…


https://southseattleemerald.com/2022/05/07/weekend-reads-what-a-twist/







Chicago's criminal cop crews

Chicago police data study yields index for identifying networks of criminal cops



The study detected approximately 160 potential "crews" of officers, networked by formal or informal work assignments and co-allegations. "Crew" officers comprise less than 4% of all Chicago police officers, yet they account for approximately 25% of all use-of-force complaints, city payouts for civil and criminal litigations and police-involved shootings.

Detected "crews" also contribute disproportionately to racial disparities in arrests and civilian complaints, generating nearly 18% of all complaints filed by Black Chicagoans and 14% of complaints filed by Hispanic Chicagoans.



"This paper shows we can identify possible crews of bad cops using historical examples, like the Ronald Watts case, as a point of calibration," Papachristos said. "The Watts case is shaping up to be one of the largest police corruption scandals in U.S. history, and our paper shows what we're learning here can possibly help us find other groups of criminal oriented cops.'"

"We know that more than 200 convictions have been overturned because of the Watts case alone," Papachristos said. "If our results hold, we are talking about possibly thousands of Chicagoans who have been directly subjected to such cop crews—and even more that have been indirectly impacted."



https://phys.org/news/2022-05-chicago-police-yields-index-networks.html
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