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Page 8 • January 12 - January 18, 2015 • Insight News



‘Whites-only’ strategy demographically doomed By The Center for American Progress Washington, D.C. — The political implications of the nation’s changing demographics are already being felt in many states across the country. These implications are addressed in a new issue brief, “The Changing Face of America’s Electorate,” released today by the Center for American Progress, which examines 2016 election trends and patterns for voters of color. The CAP analysis identifies what the electorate is projected to look like in 2016 for key battleground states— including vital states such as Ohio, Florida, Colorado, Virginia, and North Carolina—and estimates the racial and ethnic makeup of the 2016 eligible voting population. Based on those projections, the brief demonstrates the potential political impact of electoral

Race From 1 determined by DNA as a racial group. The major indicator of “race” is color, as in Black, white, yellow, red and so forth. Thus, skin color is perceived to be intrinsically linked to a person’s intelligence, morality, behavior, and spirituality. Common sense observation and historical experience should tell us that people don’t exist with clear delineated colors. These are arbitrary definitions imposed by power and pseudo-science or by false science. According to a “race” thinker, every “race” is born with a predisposition to do certain things; white people to be scientists, black people to play basketball, dance, sing and make people laugh at best, certain yellow people, Japanese for instance, are predisposed to do well in science and mathematics. According to “race believers,” history, culture, or environment plays no real role in shaping a people’s destiny. Experience is always subject to a certain set of genes. The argument over genes is the most recent tenet to be added

Sole From 4 life chronologically from a bright kid with a troubled home life to his dissent into crime, followed by his journey out of the system to where he is today. Now, Sole teaches as an adjunct professor at Metro State University and runs a firm that offers training to help with at-risk-youth and criminal justice agencies in Minnesota. In an interview, Sole said he wishes he could go back and choose not to sell drugs when he was young. With a father who was a heroine addict and a mother that tried to make ends meet, Sole was angry and saw selling drugs as a way to obtain things in life he couldn’t otherwise afford.

Phones From 6 paid to prisons from phone companies. Prisons and phone companies enter into contracts for phone services. As a result,

demographic changes through two election simulations. “Demographic changes have only become more acute in the United States since 2012,” said Vanessa Cárdenas, Vice President of Progress 2050 at the Center for American Progress. “As people of color become a larger share of states’ electorates, the political implications for both political parties are evident: To win the presidency and many of the U.S. Senate races in the 2016 election, candidates will need to substantially engage voters of color.” The first simulation explored in the CAP analysis looks at how the demographic shifts will affect the 2016 election if voters across all racial and ethnic groups turn out and have the same party preferences as they did in 2012. In the second simulation, CAP holds voter turnout rates constant from 2012 but assumes that racial

and ethnic groups revert to party preferences they showed in 2004. This second simulation highlights that a Republican presidential candidate will have to make even greater inroads among voters of color than President George W. Bush’s high-water mark in 2004 in order to win a number of key states. “Already by 2016, demographic shifts will be influential in states such as Florida, where voters of color are an increasingly significant share of the electorate, as well as in states such as Ohio, where elections are close and growth among voters of color is rapidly outpacing the growth of the non-Hispanic white electorate,” said Patrick Oakford, Policy Analyst at the Center for American Progress and author of the brief. Key findings for the first election model illustrate that if Democrats are able to maintain

high levels of support among voters of color in 2016, as they did in 2012, they will more easily win swing states such as Virginia and Colorado and flip other states, such as North Carolina, from red to blue. Additionally: Demographic changes alone could increase Democrats’ margin of victory in Virginia by more than 30 percent. Under the first election simulation, Democrats would win Virginia 52 percent to 46 percent. By 2016, people of color will make up 31 percent of eligible voters in North Carolina, up from 29 percent in 2012. If the 2016 Democratic candidate is able to retain the level of support that President Barack Obama secured in 2012 among voters of color, then these demographic changes would translate into enough support to overcome the Republicans’ hold on white non-Hispanic voters and flip the state blue.

Key findings in the second simulation highlight that even if Republicans are able to make inroads with voters of color and regain the levels of support that President George W. Bush obtained in 2004, that would still not be enough for the GOP to win back the following states: Ohio, Nevada, Iowa, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. Furthermore: By 2016, people of color will make up more than 17 percent of eligible voters in Ohio, a noticeable increase from when President Bush won the state in 2004. In 2004, President Bush won Ohio by a margin of 2 points and with noticeable support among voters of color. Even if the 2016 Republican presidential candidate is able to regain the level of support among voters that Bush obtained in 2004, the GOP would still lose the state by 3.6 percentage points. In what might be the GOP dream

scenario, if the 2016 Republican candidate is able to maintain the high level of support among white voters that former Gov. Mitt Romney received in 2012 and regained 2004 levels of support among voters of color, the GOP would still lose the state. “The demographic shifts that are changing the face of America are also rapidly changing the composition of the electorate,” said Marshall Fitz, Vice President of Immigration Policy at the Center for American Progress. “The ‘whites-only’ strategy of trying to squeeze even more votes out of a shrinking portion of the electorate is demographically doomed, not to mention morally bankrupt. Politicians who want to lead this country must recognize and embrace the demographic shifts under way by pursuing inclusive policies that promote prosperity for all Americans.”

to “race” thinking. The study of genes is a recent additive science, which did not exist until barely 100 years ago. A well-trained medical doctor of the 1890s had little or no knowledge of genes. Now, we have the science of Eugenics that surfaced in the laboratories of England and the U.S. after World War I. Eugenics was later used by scientists in Hitler’s Germany. The conspicuous reality of systematic and instinctual oppression, subjection, or isolation from ongoing progress never enters the equation when discussing the achievement or lack thereof, of a given group of people e.g. why people who were enslaved read less well than people who were free, or why human beings who are segregated know less science or math or any given thing called knowledge than people who are not segregated or isolated by legal apparatus, which leads to a caste system. A caste system is when a person’s social class is determined by birth into a particular cultural/ ethnic group. That cultural group is positioned or caste on a particular hierarchal rung, which is a “race”/color-based system.

Social mobility for all individuals in that group is frozen, no matter how brilliant or not, gifted or not, or even endowed or not; he or she may be. To view “race” as an unscientific idea is now gaining wider public acceptance. More and more freethinking people are beginning to rethink and understand that “race” violates the first two laws of scienceobservation and consistency. Most of what we think we know about “race” is either too simple-minded or complicated nonsense. People cannot exist as just a “race.” Ability is random among populations. There is a genius here, or an idiot over there, but most of us are just ordinary people. Frederick Douglass said it best – “The mind does not take its complexion from the skin.” Suffice it to say, that “race” is nothing more than a powerful myth, a modern superstition, a belief that is widely shared to which the facts of the matter is no match. People not only see with their eyes, they also see with their beliefs. While “race” is a myth, it is just as true that racism, the by-product

of fallacious “race” thinking, is a reality, which manifests itself in every department of American life. Racism functions around power. Racism is rooted in economics, politics, and control of other powerful social institutions, such as controlling the sources of information. Racism is driven by aggression, domination and greed. Racism, in order to be racism, must have some operative relationship to oppression, exploitation and the institutional expression of power. Individual racism and cultural racism, while alive and well, does not affect the lives of victims as comprehensively as does institutional racism over many generations. Slavery was a racist institution based on the doctrine of white supremacy. Segregation was a racist institution. These two kindred institutions are divided by time and space yet they are from the same foundation – “white supremacy.” The modern phenomenon springs from modern Europe; it is international in scope and is the result of European exploration, conquest, colonialism and imperialism. What follows are powerful structures of domination imposed differently on different

people encountered by modern Europeans in the wider world. The idea of whiteness evolves from this experience. Finally, again, it must always be born in mind that the idea of “race” was invented by very clever people, and not the simple-minded hangman, Klansmen, militant groups or storm troopers. They do not cause racism, they are its most visible expression of it. The intelligentsia of Europe invented all of these categories that we are bound to … Caucasian/white, Negro/Black, mongoloid, halfbreed and indigenous people. And further, Mulatto, Quadroon, Octoroon, Mestizos, Zambos, etc. All of the data, all of the many books, tracts, treatises, and major papers propagating the idea of “race” can be traced to the European and by extension the American intelligentsia. Every “race” law, or social policy, or governmental regulation, regarding “race” can be traced from the academy to the legislators and then to the masses. “Race” laws were mostly written by lawyers in America or Nazi Germany, the Republic of South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, etc. “Race” was first

conceptualized by the intellectual and passed down via cultural institutions to the common “nonthinking” masses. Academic writers, yesterday and today, setup the violence, psychologically and physically, by shaping ideas, which ultimately promote “race” hatred. Of all people, believe it or not, Adolph Hitler once acknowledged that, “I know as well as those pointy-headed intellectuals at the universities that in a scientific sense, there is no such thing as race. But I need a conception to recast the world.” He went on to exploit the powerful Aryan, “master race” myth so widely shared by critical masses of German people. The rest is history. One could argue that the likes of “Cotton” Ed Smith, “Pitchfork” Ben Tillman, Theodore “The Man” Bilbo, Strom Thurman, Bull Connor, Lester Maddox and George C. Wallace, and other more recent notorious “race” baiters are America’s Nazi’s or next of kin. The temperament is the same; only the scene and the means are different.

“I chose to sell drugs because I was tired of being poor,” Sole said. “I was tired of not having things, and it was material things. My mom provided but I wanted more than just the basics. I wasn’t a kid that went hungry. I wanted to shine.” It wasn’t long after Sole started selling drugs that he eventually joined the Black Stone Rangers, a gang in Chicago. In a particularly harrowing passage of the book, Sole describes the day he was joined, when he saw the gang members beat up a young woman who had gotten pregnant from a rival gang. At fourteen years old, his mother caught him with a kilo of crack, and sent him to live with his aunt in Iowa. It was there that he experienced overt racism for the first time, having previously

grown up in Chicago’s segregated South Side, where nearly everyone in his community, including his teachers and school principals were Black. He excelled in basketball, held down a job and did well in school, but his tumultuous relationship with his Aunt led to him getting kicked out of the house, sometimes for a month at a time. Finally as a senior, Sole saw a way out by joining the Air Force. He was accepted but it was not to be, because of the Asthma he had when he was a child. “It just ruined me,” Sole said. He threw himself into drug dealing and gang life full force and moved to the Twin Cities. Soon after, he got caught with a firearm “because I pretty much had checked out,” he said. Sole’s book details how he

ended up in prison three times and how he eventually was able to find the strength within himself to reenter society, find housing and go back to school. Today, Sole has found a way not only to excel in his own life, but to help ensure other young people don’t get caught in the system. Last year, he was awarded a Bush Fellowship for a twoyear project aimed at reducing recidivism for juvenile offenders. The problem, Sole said, is that the juvenile justice system separates young people from their communities. “A lot of kids get released from a correctional setting and all too often end up in a system,” Sole said. “Too many kids with potential and great abilities are not given a chance when they are released.”

As a Bush fellow, he wanted to reduce that number of repeat offenders. One of his projects included having Family Night at the Juvenile correction center in Red Wing, where only five percent of young people receive visits. Sole rented a 14-passenger vehicle and picked up families, and provided cars as an incentive to come out to the event. They held a barbecue and allowed families a chance to connect. “Even with small changes you can see a difference,” he said. Sole has long had a passion for activism. Even as a kid, he was socially conscious, giving speeches of the first Black Mayor of Chicago, Harold Washington at competitions. As a student back in 2004, he used to volunteer for Angela Davis and for years has been active in breaking the

school-to-prison pipeline, giving trainings with the Children’s Defense Fund and working as a Freedom School Teacher. More recently, he has been involved in the response to police brutality, traveling to Ferguson and participating in activism here in the Twin Cities. “When I see something that’s not right, I speak about it,” he said. Part of his reason for putting out his book is that despite mistakes he’s made in the past, what’s on his record doesn’t show the person he is today. “In putting out the book, I wanted to show my humanity,” he said. “People look at someone with a felony background and see them by their worst deed. What’s on paper doesn’t match who I am.”

these phone companies pay commissions to the prisons. In Minnesota, state prisons receive 59% commissions on phone calls made from prisons, which generates over $3 million dollars in revenue each year. In turn, families must bear the burden of choosing

between accepting a loved one’s call from prison and meeting their basic budgetary needs, like food and shelter. Many families will be forced to make these difficult decisions over the holiday season and throughout the upcoming year. The Federal Communications

Commission has opened a period for public comments in order to hear from families and community members who have been impacted by the high cost of in-state prison phone calls (calls received from loved ones in state prisons and county jails). Let your voice be heard by submitting your

comments today! https://docs.google.com/forms/ d/1MIpUMsj7O5Lj3ZwibJQpr_ iGc70vB3FN8NW3RK0xOZ4/ viewform By lifting your voice, you can promote strong families and safe communities.

Dr. Artika R. Tyner is a speaker, writer, and change agent. At the University of St. Thomas School of Law, Dr. Tyner serves as Clinical Law Faculty and Director of Diversity. She teaches in the Community Justice Project, an awardwinning civil rights clinic.

Worried that your past will determine your future? A new law may help you to make a fresh start. Recent changes in Minnesota’s Expungement Laws may allow you to have your records sealed from public view. The newly expanded eligibility for a legal expungement of some misdemeanor and felony convictions may apply to you.

New rules mean new options. The new Minnesota law also requires that background check companies promptly remove the record of a case once they know it has been expunged. Expungement of records can bring new options for employment, housing and other opportunities.

Time to put your past behind you? Call us today to learn more.


Part 3 next week.

© 2014 Sheila Regan

Profile for Insight News, Inc

Insight News ::: 01.12.15  

News for the week of January 12, 2015. Insight News is the community journal for news, business and the arts serving the Minneapolis / St. P...

Insight News ::: 01.12.15  

News for the week of January 12, 2015. Insight News is the community journal for news, business and the arts serving the Minneapolis / St. P...