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THE RACE RELATIONS REPORTER
Weekly Bulletin
August 14, 2002


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NEWS OF THE WEEK

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* BLACKS MAKING SLOW PROGRESS GAINING BOARD SEATS AT THE NATION'S FOUNDATIONS: According to a survey conducted by the Council on Foundations, blacks hold 507 seats on the board of directors of the nation's foundations. Blacks hold 6.3 percent of all board seats. Black men hold 3.6 percent of all foundation board seats and black women hold 2.7 percent of all seats.

Blacks hold 7.3 percent of the seats on community foundations, 9 percent of the seats on public foundations, and 6.3 percent of the seats on independent foundations. But blacks hold only 2.1 percent of the seats on the boards of family foundations.

The percentage of all board seats held by blacks improved by only 0.2 percentage points since the Council on Foundation's previous survey, which was conducted five years ago in 1997.

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* POLLING AFRICAN AMERICANS ON POLITICAL TOPICS OF THE DAY: A new poll by Black America's Political Action Committee found that 47 percent of African-American males surveyed believe that they had been unfairly targeted by law enforcement officers due to racial profiling in traffic stops.

The poll also found that 41 percent of African Americans now have a favorable opinion of President Bush. This is up from 19 percent in a similar survey conducted last summer, prior to the September 11 terrorist attacks. Secretary of State Colin Powell has an 80 percent approval rating among black Americans, the highest of any political figure.

The survey also found that 63 percent of all black parents would place their children in private or charter schools if they had the choice.

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* RACIAL DISPARITY IN ASTHMA RATES FOR CHILDREN: New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that 5.4 percent of all American children now suffer from asthma. After steadily rising from 1980 to 1996, the percentage of all children with asthma has now decreased.

While overall rates of asthma have gone down, racial disparities remain. The most recent data shows that 7.4 percent of all black children have asthma compared to 5 percent of white children and 4.4 percent of Hispanic children. Over the past 20 years, the asthma rates for both blacks and Hispanics have risen significantly whereas the rate for whites has remained constant.

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* MIXED-RACED ADULTS ARE MOST LIKELY TO LIVE IN RACIALLY DIVERSE NEIGHBORHOODS: New data from the Fannie Mae Foundation shows that people who marked off more than one race on the 2000 U.S. Census are more likely than blacks or whites to live in diversified neighborhoods. The study found that the average white citizen lives in a neighborhood that is 81 percent white. The average black household is located in a neighborhood that is 54 percent black. But people who identified themselves as multiracial are likely to live in a neighborhood that is 61 percent white, 19 percent black, and 20 percent of other races.

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RECENT RACIAL INCIDENTS IN THE UNITED STATES

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* PLAINFIELD, INDIANA: A black man returning to his home in Plainfield, Indiana, found that a racial slur had been spray-painted on his garage door. Three other racial slurs were found painted on the back of the house. In addition, a flammable liquid was thrown onto the roof of the house. Some windows were broken and some window screens were slashed. The house's heat pump was also vandalized. (The Indianapolis Star, 8-3-02)

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* PAWHUSKA, OKLAHOMA: The Church of the American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, based in Butler, Indiana, is planning to hold a rally on the steps of the Osage County Courthouse in Pawhuska, Oklahoma, on September 21. In papers filed with the county clerk, the KKK described itself as a "Christian, civil rights, white supremacist" organization. (Tulsa World, 8-4-02)

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* OSCEOLA, INDIANA: The Church of the National Knights of the Ku Klux Klan held a White Pride Fest on a farm near Osceola, Indiana. About 120 Klan members and supporters attended the event. Racist collectibles were available for sale at the event including books, music, lapel pins, and a T-shirt with a picture of a tree with nooses hanging off the branches. Above the picture was the legend, "Nigger Family Tree." Tom Metzger, founder of White Aryan Resistance, and Matt Hale, founder of the World Church of the Creator, addressed the gathering.

A counterevent promoting racial diversity was held on the campus of Bethel College that was attended by 240 people. (South Bend Tribune, 8-4-02, 8-5-02)

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LIVONIA, MICHIGAN: After a white couple in Livonia, Michigan, was slain in their restaurant by a black disgruntled employee, the Michigan branch of the National Alliance distributed racist leaflets trying to generate antiblack feelings in the community. The fliers showed pictures of the victims and the black man accused of committing the murders. The flier warned about an "influx of minorities in the suburbs." The accused man was called a "savage" and a "beast."

Among cities with at least 100,000 in population in the United States, Livonia has the highest percentage of white residents at 96.5 percent. (Detroit News, 8-4-02)

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* CINCINNATI, OHIO: The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has concluded that black workers at a Xerox facility in Cincinnati, Ohio, were subjected to a racially hostile work environment. The EEOC says that racial slurs were routinely used in the workplace and that black dolls with nooses around their necks were placed at the workstations of black workers. The complaint also alleges that black workers were more severely disciplined than white workers. It is expected that a class action lawsuit will soon be filed by black employees against Xerox. (The Wall Street Journal, 8-7-02)

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* PASADENA, MARYLAND: Two white teenagers were arrested on vandalism charges in Pasadena, Maryland. The teens were accused of painting swastikas and the letters "KKK" on the garage door and on a fence on the property of a black family. (The Baltimore Sun, 8-7-02)

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* PHOENIX, ARIZONA: A black man walking home on a street in Phoenix, Arizona, was approached by two police officers. The officers thought the black man had emerged from an alley which they knew was routinely used for drug transactions. The black man was punched in the stomach and the officer applied a choke hold. As the black man struggled to breathe, he was hit with pepper spray by the second officer. Witnesses said the black man was beaten with flashlights and fists even after he had been handcuffed. The charges of resisting arrest were later dropped by police.

The black man's shoulder was injured during the arrest, requiring seven different surgeries. He could no longer perform his job and was placed on permanent disability. He has $90,000 in medical bills. (Phoenix New Times, 8-8-02) __________________________________________________________________

* MOCKSVILLE: NORTH CAROLINA: A white teenager was charged with a hate crime when he hacked the Web site of the Davie County School District, based in Mocksville, North Carolina. The white teen posted pictures of Confederate flags and changed the school's mission statement from "Providing an education for all students" to "Providing an education for white students." (Associated Press, 8-9-02)

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* ST. PETERS, MISSOURI: A biracial couple, who live in a mobile home park in St. Peters, Missouri, found racial slurs painted on their home and surrounding property. The vandals painted the words, "Niggers Get Out" on the side of the mobile home, on a nearby tree, and on the couple's car.

The woman, who is white, worked as a lifeguard at the park's pool. One day her black husband delivered her lunch. She was told by an office worker at the park that she should not have her husband make an appearance "because people might talk." The woman was fired as a lifeguard a few days later and no reason was given for her dismissal. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 8-10-02)

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* MONROE TOWNSHIP, NEW JERSEY: A black couple in Monroe Township, New Jersey, awoke in the middle of the night to find a six-foot cross burning in their yard. The black couple had lived in the home for 22 years without any prior racial incident. The township has a population that is 3 percent black. (The Newark Star-Ledger, 8-10-02)

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* TRACKING HATE CRIMES: For week August 4-10, the term "hate crime" appeared in the nation's major newspapers and magazines 133 times. This was up from 109 times in the prior week. As of August 10 the term hate crime has appeared 6,318 times this year. This is down considerably from the number of times hate crime was mentioned last year to this date. From January 1 to August 10, 2001, there were 8,424 mentions of the term hate crime.
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