Archive for the ‘Shorts’ Category

FILE - In this March 12, 2015 file photo, people demonstrate across the street from the Ferguson Police Department. Whites in the United States approve of police officers hitting people in far greater numbers than blacks and Hispanics do, at a time when the country is struggling to deal with police use of deadly force against men of color, according to a major American trend survey. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)
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FILE – In this March 12, 2015 file photo, people demonstrate across the street from the Ferguson Police Department. Whites in the United States approve of police officers hitting people in far greater numbers than blacks and Hispanics do, at a time when the country is struggling to deal with police use of deadly force against men of color, according to a major American trend survey. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Whites in the United States approve of police officers hitting people in far greater numbers than blacks and Hispanics do, at a time when the country is struggling to deal with police use of deadly force against men of color, according to a major American trend survey.

Seven of 10 whites polled, or 70 percent, said they can imagine a situation in which they would approve of a police officer striking an adult male citizen, according to the 2014 General Social Survey, a long-running measurement of trends in American opinions. When asked the same question — Are there any situations you can imagine in which you would approve of a policeman striking an adult male citizen? — 42 percent of blacks and 38 percent of Hispanics said they could.

These results come as Americans grapple with trust between law enforcement and minority communities after a series of incidents, including the deaths Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner on Staten Island, New York, both black men. Thousands of people protested in the streets last year after the deaths of 18-year-old Brown and 43-year-old Garner, who gasped “I can’t breathe” as police arrested him for allegedly selling loose, untaxed cigarettes. But the survey shows the gap between whites, blacks and Hispanics long predates the recent incidents.

The poll results don’t surprise experts on American attitudes toward police, who say experiences and history with law enforcement shape opinions about the use of violence by officers.

“Whites are significantly more likely to give police officers the benefit of the doubt, either because they have never had an altercation with a police officer or because they tend to see the police as allies in the fight against crime,” said Ronald Weitzer, a George Washington University sociology professor who has studied race and policing in the U.S. and internationally.

However, blacks and Hispanics “are more cautious on this issue because of their personal experiences and/or the historical treatment their groups have experienced at the hands of the police, which is only recapitulated in recent disputed killings,” he said.

The General Social Survey is conducted by the independent research organization NORC at the University of Chicago. Because of its long-running and comprehensive set of questions about the public, it is a highly regarded source of data about social trends. Numbers from the 2014 survey came out last month, and an analysis of its findings on attitudes toward police and the criminal justice system was conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and the General Social Survey.

Deep racial divides exist in other law enforcement areas as well:

— A larger number of blacks could approve police striking a murder suspect who is being questioned: 24 percent, compared to 18 percent of Hispanics and 12 percent of whites.

— At more than half of whites, 69 percent, and half of Hispanics approve of police hitting suspects trying to escape from custody but only 42 percent of blacks approve.

— Two-thirds, or 66 percent, of whites say they favor the death penalty for convicted murderers, while 44 percent of blacks and 48 percent of Hispanics agree.

— Almost everyone seemed to approve of police officers hitting suspects back when attacked with fists, but whites again outpaced blacks and Hispanics with their approval. Nine in 10 whites approved of police hitting a person when attacked by fists, with 74 percent of blacks and Hispanics agreeing.

Charles R. Epp, a University of Kansas professor and author of the book about race and police stops, said the majority of whites believe they are going to get “reasonable and fair” treatment from officers, and that encounters ending in violence are caused by the suspect.

“My strong sense is that African Americans and Hispanics have too often experienced or have heard of experiences of police officers acting unfairly, so they’re less willing to support the use of force by police officers,” Epp said. “They’re not sure it will be used fairly.”

There were areas of agreement: Similar small percentages of whites, blacks and Hispanics approved of police hitting suspects for using vulgar or obscene language toward an officer (9 percent for whites, 7 percent for blacks and 10 percent for Hispanics). Similar percentages agreed there is too little spending on law enforcement (47 percent of whites; 49 percent of blacks; 40 percent of Hispanics).

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Yesterday at GDC 2015, professor and game designer Derek Manns and Dennis Mathews of Revolution Interactive Studios held a roundtable discussion on black stereotypes in gaming. Early in the talk, Manns clarified that they wanted to discuss to talk about characters in games, but also stereotypes about black developers and gamers.

Manns also said that it was important for this to be a roundtable rather than a talk, because other people in the industry needed to share their experiences as well.

“Blacks in gaming should not just be about developing positive characters,” Manns said, “but also about what can be created by diversity in development.”

Manns noted that while the industry has seen some improvement in the last decade in its distribution of demographics, the percentage of black developers has increased a measly .5 percent — from 2 to 2.5 percent of all developers. Those stats come from the IGDA, which Mathews said is the only organization in gaming that is actively gathering analytics on demographics.

“stereotypes tie into publisher decisions of what should be put into games”

Taking over the roundtable, Mathews said that they’ve held a diversity talk through the IGDA every year. This year’s attendance — a very diverse group of around 50 or so —was the largest audience they’ve ever had.

Mathews said one of the sources of stereotypes in gaming comes early in the process, stemming from the very concept of a “target audience.” Developers attempt to pinpoint who will be playing their game and, in doing so, turn to stereotypes, even unknowingly.

“Those stereotypes tie into publisher decisions of what games get picked up and what should be put into games,” Mathews said.

As the roundtable opened up to audience participation, they started with stereotypes of what black people play. Manns brought up the notion that black people are primarily interested in sports games, like the Madden and NBA 2K series.

One audience member brought up the fact that the fighting game community is very diverse. Another audience member identifying himself as a developer working on a fighting game revealed that, according to his statistics, some 60 percent of people who play fighting games in the U.S. are African American.

“It’s not just about the genre,” said one audience participant. “It’s about what you get out of it.” He went on to say that many African Americans bought RPGs like Mass Effect and Dragon Age when he worked at GameStop years ago; we just don’t hear about it as much because those don’t inspire big public events such as fighting game tournaments.

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Another attendee noted that one of the reasons stereotypes in gaming and a lack of black developers may exist is because of early console and PC distribution.

“First iterations of PCs and consoles like the PlayStation were missed in poorer, urban communities,” he said. “The developers inspired by those first iterations were white. They’re the ones making games now, and it shows in what they create.”

Mathews moved the conversation on to the question of what diversity is as a whole. He noted that issues dealing with African Americans are a narrow slice of diversity. “Diversity includes women, transgender, accessibility, disability,” he said.

Mathews summed up the biggest reason why diversity is needed in one phrase: “People don’t know what they don’t know.” He explained that often developers who aren’t black don’t even realize when they’re drawing on stereotypes because they don’t have any black coworkers to call it out.

“Hiring is done via word of mouth,” Mathews said. “It’s people you know you work well with, which often means people who are like you, which often means people who are the same race.”

“Can you trust yourself to create something about a type of person you’re not familiar with?”

For the last portion of the roundtable, the group moved onto a complex discussion of whether developers should try to create characters of other races, genders and cultures if they might not know or understand those races, genders and cultures themselves.

“Can you trust yourself to create something about a type of person you’re not familiar with?” one audience participant asked. She conceded that it’s possible, but you have to commit to doing the right research.

“You have the ability to create something that’s outside your culture,” another audience member said. “You just need to understand that it’s not your culture. We spend too much time trying to analyze if you’re authentic to an experience. Don’t be scared of trying something new and getting rejected.”

Others argued that said research should include specifically reaching out to and talking to people. “It’s not enough that you’re researching on the internet,” said one participant.

Another audience member shared an anecdote of his experience playing through the first Dead Space, where the main character was wearing a helmet for most of the game. “I wanted Isaac to be black so bad that I just assumed he was until he took off his helmet,” he said. “It doesn’t change the game, but it would have made it more special to me.”

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Assassin's Creed Freedom Cry screenshot 1400

Someone else in the audience agreed. He told a story about talking with a major triple-A developer about how much he liked the Freedom Cry downloadable add-on for Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag. “But it’s just more of the same,” the developer said.

“It might have been the exact same game, but it was a completely different game for me,” the audience member said. “I was a black guy saving other black guys from slavery.”

One audience member pointed to The Walking Dead’s Lee as a great black character specifically because he’s both African American and an “everyman” character. “Blackness is not a monolith,” he said.

Finishing with a discussion on how the industry can better address these issues, Manns said that more opportunities need to be given to black developers, especially by platform operators like Microsoft and Sony.

“Give us a deal for one game,” Manns said. “I have plenty of friends in this industry who are black developers and very talented, but I don’t have the money to pay them.”

“There’s no critical mass”

Some members of the crowd seemed hopeful that a “paradigm shift” in the industry is about to happen, especially with recent announcements about so game development engines like Source and Unreal being available for free.

Others were cautious. “There’s no critical mass,” said one audience participant. “There’s no line that says, ‘Hey, we’re good.’ It’s a constant gradient. As things grow, you have to keep pushing forward.”

Another audience member noted that change needs to start on an individual level, particularly with hiring managers. “If you’re a hiring manager, come to events like this, and if someone says something that impresses you, introduce yourself and exchange cards,” she said. “You have to realize that you yourself have a bias to hang out with people like you and hire people like you, so you have to actively fight against that bias.”

As the roundtable ended, Manns and Mathews highlight Blacks in Gaming, an organization in its first year of existence that is seeking talented people to fill leadership positions. They also promised more panels throughout the week further discussing the issues facing African American portrayals and representation in gaming.

FILE - This undated file photo provided by the Philadelphia Police Department shows Padge Gordon, also known as Padge Victoria Windslowe. Windslowe, an aspiring hip-hop artist who boasts about her talent for underground "body sculpting," has one last chance to impress a jury before the panel weighs murder charges against her in a dancer's death. Windslowe has been testifying since Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015, and faces more cross-examination this week. (AP Photo/Philadelphia Police Department, File)
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FILE – This undated file photo provided by the Philadelphia Police Department shows Padge Gordon, also known as Padge Victoria Windslowe. Windslowe, an aspiring hip-hop artist who boasts about her talent for underground “body sculpting,” has one last chance to impress a jury before the panel weighs murder charges against her in a dancer’s death. Windslowe has been testifying since Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015, and faces more cross-examination this week. (AP Photo/Philadelphia Police Department, File)
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A transgender “body sculptor” is back in prison after spending two days in a Philadelphia hospital in the midst of her colorful murder-trial testimony.

Padge-Victoria Windslowe is accused of killing a 20-year-old London dancer with illegal buttocks injections at an airport hotel in 2011. Doctors have said the low-grade silicone spread to the victim’s lungs and stopped her heart.

Windslowe, 45, complained of chest pains at the courthouse Monday as she prepared to return to the witness stand. She was released late Wednesday and back in custody at a Philadelphia prison where she has been held since her arrest in 2012, prison spokeswoman Shawn Hawes said Thursday.

It’s not clear if court or medical officials were concerned about potential damage from the many silicone injections the Rubenesque former madam and hip-hop artist said she has given herself. A gag order prevents lawyers from discussing the case. Some witnesses injected by Windslowe have said they fear the future medical problems they may face.

Windslowe, who used the stage name “the Black Madam,” is expected back on the stand for a third day Friday if courts reopen after a winter storm. She has been engaged in a fiery showdown with Assistant District Attorney Carlos Vega during cross-examination.

After name-dropping the likes of model Amber Rose and rappers Nicki Minaj and Kanye West, Windslowe was asked if Rose was at a hotel the Christmas Eve night the defendant claimed to run into former Gov. Ed Rendell.

“You’re so sarcastic, Mr. Vega,” Windslowe cooed. “Amber Rose wasn’t there that night.”

Windslowe told jurors she learned how to do buttocks injections from overseas doctors who performed her sex-change surgeries. She said she has performed thousands of the procedures and earned the name “the Michelangelo of buttocks injections.”

Two witnesses have said they were left critically ill. One woman spent months in a coma.

The jury could get the case next week. Windslowe faces 20 to 40 years if convicted of third-degree murder. She is also accused of aggravated assault and practicing medicine without a license.

Ferguson’s Jokes Not Funny!

Posted: March 5, 2015 in Shorts

I am a black man and if you continue to read you will understand why I am telling you that I am a black man. Ferguson’s racial jokes bring back memories of the time when I was sitting on a parked bus while taking a break with a group of white bus operators. Apparently they had forgotten I was on the bus because I fell asleep in the back of the bus.

I woke up during a conversation that they where having about the black bus operators passed and present at our depot. They were saying things like those coons don’t know how to talk and who do they think they are trying to come in here and take our jobs. They also used words like black Sam-boo  and jungle bunnies and the N word. Finally I could not take it any longer so I clear my throat and said don’t worry guys I know who you are I grew-up around people like you. While I was exiting the bus they were apologizing. unfortunately once someone says the things that where said that day, the pain never goes away it frozen in your mind and heart forever.

That kind of pain is chronic, yes chronic. How do we move forward with pain that continues to be inflicted upon us from birth until the day we died? I don’t have the answer, but I do know one thing if we don’t continue to have conversation all hell is going to break loose. I don’t want to be around to see it.

Two Million

Posted: February 8, 2015 in Shorts

There are two million African American males in prison, more than the number of African American males in college. The question is how many African American men are in jails that are innocence?

How long do we have to wait for society to change the way it views African American males? How long before we start investing in the future of our children?

Who does Obama Care really help?

Posted: February 4, 2015 in Shorts

Obama Care helps White Americans who are in poverty and in the middle class in America.

I am remind several times a week and sometimes a few times a day that I am black man.