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Textbook Diplomacy: Why the State Department Shelved a Study on Incitement in Saudi Education Materials

March 27, 2014 Comments off

Textbook Diplomacy: Why the State Department Shelved a Study on Incitement in Saudi Education Materials (PDF)
Source: Foundation for the Defense of Democracy
From press release:

Though first noted as problematic more than a decade ago by the Department of State, incitement and hatred continues to be taught from government textbooks to students in Saudi Arabia. Today, the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) released a monograph exploring why a 2011 U.S. government-commissioned study on the subject has been withheld from the public, what is being taught in Saudi schools today, and how official incitement impacts U.S. national security.

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The Year in Hate and Extremism 2013

March 6, 2014 Comments off

The Year in Hate and Extremism 2013
Source: Southern Poverty Law Center

After four years of stunning growth, the number of groups on the American radical right dropped significantly for the first time in 2013. The decline in hate groups and, especially, antigovernment “Patriot” groups was driven by a legal crackdown, the failure of various nightmarish radical predictions to materialize, the co-opting by politicians of the extreme right’s issues, and the re-election of President Obama.

Racial Discrimination: How Far Have We Come?

March 5, 2014 Comments off

Racial Discrimination: How Far Have We Come?
Source: Harris Interactive

In the midst of Black History Month, it is perhaps an appropriate time to examine some of our nation’s historical racial divides and reflect on changes that we as a country have seen over time. As far back as 1969 and 1972, The Harris Poll measured perceptions among U.S. adults as to whether blacks were discriminated against in a variety of areas of American life. A new Harris Poll revisits the same line of inquiry and finds that, 45 years later, there have been some sizeable changes – along with a disparaging lack of change in some regards.

ERC Documents Discrimination against Older Same-Sex Couples

February 28, 2014 Comments off

ERC Documents Discrimination against Older Same-Sex Couples
Source: Equal Rights Center

Today the Equal Rights Center (ERC) —a national non-profit civil rights organization headquartered in Washington, D.C.— published the results of a 10-state testing-based investigation documenting adverse differential treatment against older same-sex couples seeking housing in senior living facilities.

The report, titled “Opening Doors: An Investigation of Barriers to Senior Housing for Same-Sex Couples,” documents the results of 200 matched-pair telephone tests conducted by the ERC in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Washington. In 96 of the 200 tests (48 percent), a tester inquiring about housing in a senior living facility for a same-sex couple experienced at least one form of adverse differential treatment, as compared to a counterpart tester inquiring about housing for a heterosexual couple.

Ethnic Cleansing and Sectarian Killings in the Central African Republic

February 21, 2014 Comments off

Ethnic Cleansing and Sectarian Killings in the Central African Republic
Source: Amnesty International

“Ethnic cleansing” of Muslims has been carried out in the western part of the Central African Republic, the most populous part of the country, since early January 2014. Entire Muslim communities have been forced to flee, and hundreds of Muslim civilians who have not managed to escape have been killed by the loosely organised militias known as anti-balaka.

“They killed my children heartlessly,” said Oure, a Muslim woman whose four sons were killed by anti-balaka fighters on 26 January. She, her two sisters, their 75-year-old mother, and seven of the family’s children had gone out early in the morning, trying to reach a church in the northwest town of Baoro, when they were caught by an anti-balaka militia unit. “The children were slaughtered in front of our eyes,” Oure continued, sobbing: “both my children and my sisters’ children.” One of Oure’s sisters, Aishatu, was wounded on her hand when she tried to protect the children, who were boys ranging in age from 8 to 17 years old.

Amnesty International has documented large-scale and repeated anti-balaka attacks on Muslim civilian populations in Bouali, Boyali, Bossembélé, Bossemptélé, Baoro, Bawi, and the capital, Bangui, in January, and has received credible information regarding additional attacks in Yaloke, Boda, and Bocaranga. Some of these attacks were carried out in revenge for the previous killing of Christian civilians by Seleka forces and armed Muslims.

Anti-social media

February 21, 2014 Comments off

Anti-social media
Source: Demos

How to define the limits of free speech is a central debate in most modern democracies. This is particularly difficult in relation to hateful, abusive and racist speech. The pattern of hate speech is complex, but there is an increasing focus on the volume and nature of hateful or racist speech taking place online.

This study aims to inform the discussion over free speech and hate speech by examining specifically the way racial, religious and ethnic slurs are employed on Twitter.

Categories: bigotry, Demos, social media

Intolerance in Western Europe: Analysis of trends and associated factors

February 4, 2014 Comments off

Intolerance in Western Europe: Analysis of trends and associated factors
Source: RAND Corporation

This study, commissioned by the Open Society Foundations, aimed to situate the widely-shared perception of rising intolerance in Western Europe in the context of empirical evidence on high-level trends in intolerant attitudes in Western Europe. Through analysis of European datasets, a review of empirical literature, and assessments of trends in selected individual countries, we explored whether intolerance has risen more in some countries than others, whether it has risen more against particular groups, if such attitudes are particularly prevalent among subgroups of the population and if there are clear patterns of association with trends in wider political, social, economic and cultural factors.

FBI Releases 2012 Hate Crime Statistics

December 11, 2013 Comments off

FBI Releases 2012 Hate Crime Statistics
Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation

According to statistics released today by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, 5,796 criminal incidents involving 6,718 offenses were reported in 2012 as being motivated by a bias toward a particular race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity/national origin, or physical or mental disability. The statistics, published by the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program in Hate Crime Statistics, 2012, provide data about the offenses, victims, offenders, and locations of the bias-motivated incidents reported by law enforcement agencies throughout the nation. Due to the unique nature of hate crime, however, the UCR Program does not estimate offenses for the jurisdictions of agencies that do not submit reports.

The Size of the LGBT Population and the Magnitude of Anti-Gay Sentiment are Substantially Underestimated

November 25, 2013 Comments off

The Size of the LGBT Population and the Magnitude of Anti-Gay Sentiment are Substantially Underestimated (PDF)
Source: National Bureau of Economic Research

Measuring sexual orientation, behavior, and related opinions is difficult because responses are biased towards socially acceptable answers. We test whether measurements are biased even when responses are private and anonymous and use our results to identify sexuality-related norms and how they vary. We run an experiment on 2,516 U.S. participants. Participants were randomly assigned to either a “best practices method” that was computer-based and provides privacy and anonymity, or to a “veiled elicitation method” that further conceals individual responses. Answers in the veiled method preclude inference about any particular individual, but can be used to accurately estimate statistics about the population. Comparing the two methods shows sexuality-related questions receive biased responses even under current best practices, and, for many questions, the bias is substantial. The veiled method increased self-reports of non-heterosexual identity by 65% (p<0.05) and same-sex sexual experiences by 59% (p<0.01). The veiled method also increased the rates of anti-gay sentiment. Respondents were 67% more likely to express disapproval of an openly gay manager at work (p<0.01) and 71% more likely to say it is okay to discriminate against lesbian, gay, or bisexual individuals (p<0.01). The results show non-heterosexuality and anti-gay sentiment are substantially underestimated in existing surveys, and the privacy afforded by current best practices is not always sufficient to eliminate bias. Finally, our results identify two social norms: it is perceived as socially undesirable both to be open about being gay, and to be unaccepting of gay individuals.

An Experiment in Hiring Discrimination Via Online Social Networks

November 21, 2013 Comments off

An Experiment in Hiring Discrimination Via Online Social Networks
Source: Social Science Research Network

Surveys of U.S. employers suggest that numerous firms seek information about job applicants online. However, little is known about how this information gathering influences employers’ hiring behavior. We present results from two complementary randomized experiments (a field experiment and an online experiment) on the impact of online information on U.S. firms’ hiring behavior. We manipulate candidates’ personal information that is protected under either federal laws or some state laws, and may be risky for employers to enquire about during interviews, but which may be inferred from applicants’ online social media profiles. In the field experiment, we test responses of over 4,000 U.S. employers to a Muslim candidate relative to a Christian candidate, and to a gay candidate relative to a straight candidate. We supplement the field experiment with a randomized, survey-based online experiment with over 1,000 subjects (including subjects with previous human resources experience) testing the effects of the manipulated online information on hypothetical hiring decisions and perceptions of employability. The results of the field experiment suggest that a minority of U.S. firms likely searched online for the candidates’ information. Hence, the overall effect of the experimental manipulations on interview invitations is small. However, in the field experiment, we find significant discrimination against the Muslim candidate compared to the Christian candidate among employers in more politically conservative states and counties. These results are robust to controlling for firm characteristics, state fixed effects, and a host of county-level variables. We find no evidence of discrimination against the gay candidate relative to the straight candidate. Results from the online experiment are consistent with those from the field experiment: we find more evidence of bias among subjects who self-reported more conservative political party affiliation. The online experiment’s results are also robust to controlling for demographic variables. Results from both experiments should be interpreted carefully. Because conservative states and counties in our field experiment, and conservative party affiliation in our online experiment, are not randomly assigned, the result that discrimination is greater in more conservative areas and among more conservative online subjects should be interpreted as correlational, not causal.

Hat tip: PW

EU — Combating antisemitism: more targeted measures needed

November 8, 2013 Comments off

Combating antisemitism: more targeted measures needed
Source: European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights

FRA is today presenting the first comparable figures on Jewish people’s experiences of antisemitic harassment, discrimination and hate crime in the EU. On 8 November, the eve of the anniversary of the anti-Jewish pogroms that took place 75 years ago, it needs to be acknowledged that while Member States have made sustained efforts to combat antisemitism, the phenomenon is still widespread.

This report, which covers responses from 5,847 Jewish people in the eight countries in which some 90% of the estimated Jewish population in the EU live, will thus be a vital tool for EU decision makers and community groups to develop targeted legal and policy measures.

Racism, Gun Ownership and Gun Control: Biased Attitudes in US Whites May Influence Policy Decisions

November 1, 2013 Comments off

Racism, Gun Ownership and Gun Control: Biased Attitudes in US Whites May Influence Policy Decisions
Source: PLoS ONE

Objective
Racism is related to policies preferences and behaviors that adversely affect blacks and appear related to a fear of blacks (e.g., increased policing, death penalty). This study examined whether racism is also related to gun ownership and opposition to gun controls in US whites.

Method
The most recent data from the American National Election Study, a large representative US sample, was used to test relationships between racism, gun ownership, and opposition to gun control in US whites. Explanatory variables known to be related to gun ownership and gun control opposition (i.e., age, gender, education, income, conservatism, anti-government sentiment, southern vs. other states, political identification) were entered in logistic regression models, along with measures of racism, and the stereotype of blacks as violent. Outcome variables included; having a gun in the home, opposition to bans on handguns in the home, support for permits to carry concealed handguns.

Results
After accounting for all explanatory variables, logistic regressions found that for each 1 point increase in symbolic racism there was a 50% increase in the odds of having a gun at home. After also accounting for having a gun in the home, there was still a 28% increase in support for permits to carry concealed handguns, for each one point increase in symbolic racism. The relationship between symbolic racism and opposition to banning handguns in the home (OR1.27 CI 1.03,1.58) was reduced to non-significant after accounting for having a gun in the home (OR1.17 CI.94,1.46), which likely represents self-interest in retaining property (guns).

Conclusions
Symbolic racism was related to having a gun in the home and opposition to gun control policies in US whites. The findings help explain US whites’ paradoxical attitudes towards gun ownership and gun control. Such attitudes may adversely influence US gun control policy debates and decisions.

NCAI Releases Report on History and Legacy of Washington’s Harmful “Indian” Sports Mascot

October 16, 2013 Comments off

NCAI Releases Report on History and Legacy of Washington’s Harmful “Indian” Sports Mascot
Source: National Congress of American Indians

Just days after President Obama joined the growing chorus of those calling for the Washington NFL Team to consider changing its name, the team’s leadership justified the use of their “Indian” mascot as a central part of the team’s “history and legacy.” A new report released today by the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), titled Ending the Legacy Of Racism in Sports & the Era of Harmful “Indian” Sports Mascots also outlines the team’s ugly and racist legacy, while highlighting the harmful impact of negative stereotypes on Native peoples.

The report details the position of NCAI, the nation’s oldest, largest, and most representative American Indian and Alaska Native organization.

International Migration Outlook 2013

September 18, 2013 Comments off

International Migration Outlook 2013
Source: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

This publication analyses recent development in migration movements and policies in OECD countries and some non member countries including migration of highly qualified and low qualified workers, temporary and permanent, as well as students. This edition also contains two special chapters on topical issues: fiscal impact of migration and discrimination.

A Systems Approach to Identifying Structural Discrimination Through the Lens of Hate Crimes

September 17, 2013 Comments off

A Systems Approach to Identifying Structural Discrimination Through the Lens of Hate Crimes
Source: Asian American Law Journal at Berkeley Law

This article outlines a methodology for addressing issues of structural discrimination in the context of hate crimes. Part I of this article explores how a systems approach can be used to identify issues of structural discrimination that perpetuate the U.S. government’s failure to respond to bias-motivated violence against vulnerable communities. Part II discusses the latent defects in the U.S. government’s documentation of hate crimes and efforts to combat hate crimes. Lastly, Part III introduces a holistic approach to address the U.S. government’s failure to adequately protect minority communities. This section outlines domestic and international strategies to ensure that the state is held accountable for failing to protect vulnerable communities.

Remarks by the President at the “Let Freedom Ring” Ceremony Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington

August 29, 2013 Comments off

Remarks by the President at the “Let Freedom Ring” Ceremony Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington
Source: White House

To the King family, who have sacrificed and inspired so much; to President Clinton; President Carter; Vice President Biden and Jill; fellow Americans.

Five decades ago today, Americans came to this honored place to lay claim to a promise made at our founding: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

In 1963, almost 200 years after those words were set to paper, a full century after a great war was fought and emancipation proclaimed, that promise — those truths — remained unmet. And so they came by the thousands from every corner of our country, men and women, young and old, blacks who longed for freedom and whites who could no longer accept freedom for themselves while witnessing the subjugation of others.

Across the land, congregations sent them off with food and with prayer. In the middle of the night, entire blocks of Harlem came out to wish them well. With the few dollars they scrimped from their labor, some bought tickets and boarded buses, even if they couldn’t always sit where they wanted to sit. Those with less money hitchhiked or walked. They were seamstresses and steelworkers, students and teachers, maids and Pullman porters. They shared simple meals and bunked together on floors. And then, on a hot summer day, they assembled here, in our nation’s capital, under the shadow of the Great Emancipator — to offer testimony of injustice, to petition their government for redress, and to awaken America’s long-slumbering conscience.

We rightly and best remember Dr. King’s soaring oratory that day, how he gave mighty voice to the quiet hopes of millions; how he offered a salvation path for oppressed and oppressors alike. His words belong to the ages, possessing a power and prophecy unmatched in our time.

Perceived Weight Discrimination and Obesity

July 25, 2013 Comments off

Perceived Weight Discrimination and Obesity
Source: PLoS ONE

Weight discrimination is prevalent in American society. Although associated consistently with psychological and economic outcomes, less is known about whether weight discrimination is associated with longitudinal changes in obesity. The objectives of this research are (1) to test whether weight discrimination is associated with risk of becoming obese (Body Mass Index≥30; BMI) by follow-up among those not obese at baseline, and (2) to test whether weight discrimination is associated with risk of remaining obese at follow-up among those already obese at baseline. Participants were drawn from the Health and Retirement Study, a nationally representative longitudinal survey of community-dwelling US residents. A total of 6,157 participants (58.6% female) completed the discrimination measure and had weight and height available from the 2006 and 2010 assessments. Participants who experienced weight discrimination were approximately 2.5 times more likely to become obese by follow-up (OR = 2.54, 95% CI = 1.58–4.08) and participants who were obese at baseline were three times more likely to remain obese at follow up (OR = 3.20, 95% CI = 2.06–4.97) than those who had not experienced such discrimination. These effects held when controlling for demographic factors (age, sex, ethnicity, education) and when baseline BMI was included as a covariate. These effects were also specific to weight discrimination; other forms of discrimination (e.g., sex, race) were unrelated to risk of obesity at follow-up. The present research demonstrates that, in addition to poorer mental health outcomes, weight discrimination has implications for obesity. Rather than motivating individuals to lose weight, weight discrimination increases risk for obesity.

HUD Announces First-Ever Same-Sex Housing Discrimination Study

June 19, 2013 Comments off

HUD Announces First-Ever Same-Sex Housing Discrimination Study

Source: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today released the nation’s first-ever national study examining housing discrimination against same-sex couples in the private rental market. The study, An Estimate of Housing Discrimination Against Same-Sex Couples, measures the treatment same-sex couples receive from rental agents when inquiring about apartments advertised online, as compared to how otherwise similar heterosexual couples are treated.

According to HUD’s study, same-sex couples experience unequal treatment more often than heterosexual couples when responding to internet ads for rental units, and findings show that gay male couples experience more discrimination than lesbian couples.

Exposing Housing Discrimination

June 11, 2013 Comments off

Exposing Housing Discrimination

Source: Urban Institute/U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

The Department of Housing and Urban Development, in partnership with the Urban Institute, has released its 2012 Housing Discrimination Study: Housing Discrimination Against Racial and Ethnic Minorities. The study’s findings confirm a hard truth: that America’s long journey to end housing discrimination remains unfinished. Real estate agents and rental housing providers recommend and show fewer available homes and apartments to minority than equally qualified whites.

Although the most blatant forms of housing discrimination have declined since the first national paired-testing study in 1977, the forms that persist raise the costs of housing search for minorities and restrict their housing options. Looking forward, national fair housing policies must continue to adapt to address the patterns of discrimination and disparity that persist today.

New From the GAO

March 25, 2013 Comments off

New GAO Reports
Source: Government Accountability Office

2020 Census
Local Administrative Records and Their Use in the Challenge Program and Decennial
GAO-13-269, Feb 21, 2013

Critical Infrastructure Protection
DHS List of Priority Assets Needs to Be Validated and Reported to Congress
GAO-13-296, Mar 25, 2013

High-Containment Laboratories
Assessment of the Nation’s Need Is Missing
GAO-13-466R, Feb 25, 2013

Worker and Family Assistance
Summary of Proposals to Address Income Eligibility Requirement for Federal Foster Care Reimbursement
GAO-13-323R, Mar 25, 2013

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