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THE RACE RELATIONS REPORTER
Weekly Bulletin
April 16, 2003

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NEWS OF THE WEEK

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* LEADING GOLF CLUBS REMAIN ALMOST LILY-WHITE: This past weekend Mike Weir of Canada won the Master's Golf Tournament in Augusta, Georgia, displacing African-American Tiger Woods as champion. This year the tournament was marred by protests from women's groups who demanded that the Augusta National Golf Club admit women members.

In recent years blacks have been permitted to join Augusta, but at the present time there is only one black member. At many other stops along the Professional Golfers Association tour, hosting clubs are almost exclusively white. For example, according to a survey conducted by USA Today, at the Doral Golf Resort in Miami, Florida, there are 900 members. Not one is black. The Tournament Players Club in Scottsdale, Arizona, has 90 members. Not one is black. At the Indian Well Country Club in Palm Springs, California, host of the Bob Hope Desert Classic each January, there are 620 members. Only two are black. At the Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio, there are 900 members. Only 10 are black.

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* IRS CRACKING DOWN ON ILLEGAL CLAIMS RELATING TO REPARATIONS FOR SLAVERY: In 2002 a Treasury Department investigation revealed that the Internal Revenue Service had mistakenly allowed more than $30 million in claims to tax filers who claimed a tax deduction for reparations from slavery. Some tax preparers in southern states were using the false claims in an effort to drum up business from black taxpayers who normally would not use the services of a professional tax preparer.

According to statistics from the Internal Revenue Service, as of the beginning of April, 108 people in Mississippi filed their federal income tax return claiming a credit for slavery reparations. The next highest state with such claims was North Carolina. Nineteen people in North Carolina had claimed a deduction for slavery reparations.

In March a federal judge permanently prohibited a 79-year-old man in Durant, Mississippi, from preparing individuals' tax returns. The IRS claims that the man had prepared 4,000 returns since 1996 that included a deduction for slavery reparations.

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* RACIAL DIFFERENCES IN RESPONSES TO TREATMENT FOR HEPATITIS C: Researchers at the University of Maryland are conducting research to determine why African Americans inflicted with hepatitis C do not respond to treatments as well as whites who have the disease. Hepatitis C is a blood-borne viral disease that attacks the liver.

Blacks are twice as likely as whites to contract the disease. Researchers found that one treatment using antiviral proteins was effective in killing the disease in 37 percent of whites but in only 21 percent of blacks. Another common treatment effectively treated the disease in 52 percent of whites but in only 32 percent of blacks.

Researchers at the University of Maryland believe that there may be racial differences in how medications are absorbed into the bloodstream and metabolized.

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RECENT RACIAL INCIDENTS IN THE UNITED STATES

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* CAHOKIA, ILLINOIS: A white teacher at the high school in Cahokia, Illinois, was suspended for the remainder of the school year after a black student claimed that she was told to "go back to Africa." It was the second incident in a month in which a white teacher was accused of making a racially insensitive remark. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 4-9-03)

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* SANTA FE, TEXAS: The Knights of the White Camelia of the Ku Klux Klan held a meeting in a community center in Santa Fe, Texas. About 100 anti-Klan protesters gathered to demonstrate against the white supremacists. About 100 people attended the Klan gathering. A few were dressed in traditional Klan robes and hoods. (The Houston Chronicle, 4-6-03)

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* PARKWAY, MISSOURI: An African-American woman who served as principal of a high school in Parkway, Missouri, has filed a race discrimination lawsuit against the school district. The suit claims that white employees were favored over blacks in hiring and promotion decisions. After she was removed from her post and reassigned to a teaching position, she was told that white parents had complained to administrators that she used poor grammar. The principal position was then given to a white man with lesser qualifications, according to the lawsuit. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 4-7-03)

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* BAY SAINT LOUIS, MISSISSIPPI: A building and zoning officer for Hancock County, Mississippi, was fired for using a racial slur during a public meeting. At a zoning hearing, the white officer said that the owner of a building should be allowed to do as he wished with the property even if it meant "dividing the building into a four-plex and renting it to niggers." (Associated Press, 4-8-03)

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* TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA: Fred Brummer, a Republican state legislator from Apopka, Florida, came under fire for racial remarks he made on the floor of the Florida House of Representatives. Brummer remarked to a colleague on the floor that an upcoming basketball game between members of the two parties would be unfair because Democrats "would have all the black players." Brummer later apologized for making the comment. (Associated Press, 4-10-03)

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* SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA: A race discrimination lawsuit was filed in San Francisco against the finance arms of Honda and Toyota, as well as against WFS Financial Corporation. The suit charges that black car buyers were charged higher interest rates than white car buyers with similar credit ratings. (Associated Press, 4-10-03)

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* EUGENE, OREGON: The student government association at the University of Oregon in Eugene received a packet of hate mail literature directed against blacks, Jews, and homosexuals. The mailing said it was distributed by the Institute for Historical Review, an organization based in Newport Beach, California. (Oregon Daily Emerald, 4-10-03)

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* WASHINGTON, D.C.: Republican congresswoman Barbara Cubin came under fire for racially charged remarks made on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. Criticizing an amendment to gun control legislation that would have prohibited the sale of firearms to anyone who was undergoing drug rehabilitation treatment, Cubin said, "Does that mean that if you go into a black community you can't sell guns to any black person?" (The Washington Post, 4-10-03)

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* CEDAR GROVE, FLORIDA: The city of Cedar Grove, Florida, has ordered its police chief to apologize to a 17-year-old white girl for telling her to stay away from black men. The police chief reportedly told the white teen, "You need to stay away from black boys. You are lucky you didn't get your throat cut, because that's what they do to white girls." (Associated Press, 4-11-03)

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* DELAND, FLORIDA: The student newspaper at Stetson University in Deland, Florida, was shut down for the remainder of the school year by the administration. The student editors were fired. The action was taken after the students published an April Fool's Day edition that included racist jokes. (Associated Press, 4-11-03)

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* ARDMORE, OKLAHOMA: A white firefighter in Ardmore, Oklahoma, was charged with hate crime violations for using racial slurs and threatening a black police officer. The firefighter is accused of making the threats in a recorded telephone call to a police dispatcher. (Associated Press, 4-11-03)

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* SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA: A member of the Franchise Tax Board in Sacramento, California, was victimized by arson. The black man found a fire had been set by his front door but it had burned itself out before engulfing the entire home. Small crosses were scratched into the front door. (Sacramento Bee, 4-11-03)

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* TRACKING HATE CRIMES: For week April 6-12, the term "hate crime" appeared in the nation's major newspapers and magazines 196 times. This was down slightly from the 202 mentions of the term in the prior week.

So far this year, the term hate crime appeared in print 3,365 times. This is higher than the 3,072 mentions of hate crimes from January 1 to April 12, 2002.

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