things that matter

A Judge Told Him To Stop Racially Profiling Latinos. He Refused. Now He Might Go To Jail

This is Joe Arpaio. He’s the racist sheriff of Maricopa County, Ariz., on a crusade against illegal immigration.

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Credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

His views earned him a speaking spot at the Republican National Convention.

Credit: FOX 10 Phoenix/YouTube

Arpaio is so concerned with illegal immigration that he violated the civil rights of Latinos in his pursuit of catching ’em all. As a result, he got sued and lost.

Credit: ABC 15 Arizona/YouTube

Specifically, Arpaio and his deputies had a class action lawsuit filed against them because they were allegedly detaining people who they thought looked like undocumented immigrants, or who looked like smugglers. In other words, they’re pulling over brown people. The federal government agreed that Arpaio and the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office were being unlawfully racist, so the justice department ordered them to stop. Spoiler alert: They didn’t.

Instead of complying with federal law, Arpaio started investigating the wife of Phoenix Federal District Court Judge G. Murray Snow, the judge who ruled against him.

Credit: ABC 15 Arizona/YouTube

Judge Snow, fed up with Arpaio’s refusal to change his racist ways, has asked another judge to rule on whether Arpaio should be held in criminal contempt for willfully disregarding Snow’s previous order to stop profiling Latinos.

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Credit: ReactionGIFs

If he’s found guilty, Arpaio could be fined or even face jail time. He could also lose his position, which has us like:

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Credit: “Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights”/Tumblr

Even if Arpaio gets away with it, he might lose his job anyway. The racist sheriff is currently up for re-election, and the polls have him narrowly losing to his opponent, which means that this Latino nightmare could soon be over.


READ: Donald Trump to Black Voters: “They’re Taking Our Jerbs!!!”

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Researchers At A University Really Did Just Take The Time To See How Racist White People Can Be

Things That Matter

Researchers At A University Really Did Just Take The Time To See How Racist White People Can Be

Delmaine Donson \ Getty Images

It’s something we’ve long suspected and finally confirmed. A new study revealed what many people of color probably already know – that white people are more likely to not be able to differentiate people outside their race. For the study, scientists used MRI tests to understand how nonpeople of color register Black faces. The scientists examined the MRI brain results of 20 people around 20 years old while they looked at images of faces of black people and white people that gradually changed from looking identical to different. 

What they discovered was that the face recognition part of the brain showed increased activity even when presented with the smallest change in the white faces proving they noted a difference.

Meanwhile, the changes in the black faces elicited a slower response indicating they were more likely to view them as similar despite the same changes that were used on the white faces. 

Essentially, the study found that all of the images of black faces appeared the same to the white participants, despite the fact that they were different. 

“Here, we show that race biases extend as far down as our sensory processes, such that what our senses pick up isn’t necessarily a perfectly accurate representation of the world around us,” Brent Hughes, from the University of California, Riverside said, as reported by Cosmos Magazine. 

These tendencies can have serious real-world consequences in situations like identifying someone in a police lineup or describing an attacker to the police. “If we quite literally ‘see’ other race individuals as more similar to each other, this may serve as an early mechanism of stereotyping,” Hughes added. 

The research journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), recently published “Neural Adaptation to Faces Reveals Racial Outgroup Homogeneity Effects in Early Perception,” by scientists from the University of California, Berkeley, Stanford University and the University of California, Riverside.

During the study, scientists investigated “the tendency to view members of social outgroups as interchangeable.”

“What it tells us is that our tendency to see members of our own [racial] group as individuals and de-individuate members of other racial groups, that is something that happens on sight,” Nick Camp, a co-author from Stanford, told The Guardian.

There were additional experiments that didn’t include technology including one where participants had to rate how different they thought a series of faces for a certain race actually were, whether a pair of faces were different, and if they had seen a certain face before. 

What they found was that the participants believed all the black faces looked like each other or they had seen them before, more so than the white faces even though both races had been created to be equally similar. 

 It’s important to note the limitations of the study since it was a small test group since there were only 20 participants who were all white and were only shown black and white faces.

They also didn’t take into account how diverse the social groups of the participants which could potentially influence their views. 

The idea that people of a certain racial or ethnic group all look the same is not new, though this study provides scientific backing for long-standing assumptions. The cross-race effect, as it is known, is when an individual is more likely to recognize faces of a race they’re most familiar with, presumably their own. 

In a 2001 study, 231 witnesses participated in cross-race versus same-race photographic line-ups identifications, in the former, 45 percent were identified correctly versus 60 percent in the latter.

“The problem is not that we can’t code the details of cross-race faces–it’s that we don’t,” Daniel Levin, a cognitive psychologist at Kent State University explained to the American Psychological Association Forbes reported. 

In cross-race effects studies, there are two types of facial recognition processes: featural, literally a person’s features, and holistic, which extends beyond what a person’s face looks like.

This study seems to show that the white participants used holistic processes due to familiarity when looking at white faces and featural with the black faces. 

 In the PNAS study, they state that the results also suggest that biases for the faces of other races likely begin during the earliest stages of sensory processing, which can have an influence on “intergroup perceptions.” 

 “Individuals should not be let off the hook for their prejudicial attitudes just because we see evidence of biases in visual perception,” Hughes added. “To the contrary, these race biases in perception are malleable and subject to individual motivations and goals, and as such are subject to change.”

 To put it plainly, saying “I don’t see race” can now be scientifically debunked but it also can’t be used as an excuse for prejudice.

The ultimate takeaway? Get your babies around people who don’t look like everyone in their family folks, and you’ll build a better world.

A Doctor Was Removed From A Plane For Wearing A Romper And Only Allowed Back On When She Covered Up In A Blanket

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A Doctor Was Removed From A Plane For Wearing A Romper And Only Allowed Back On When She Covered Up In A Blanket

Dr. Latisha “Tisha” Rowe, a family medicine specialist, was removed from an American Airlines plane because her outfit was viewed as “inappropriate” by flight staff. Dr. Rowe was directed off the plane, as she and her eight-year-old son were about to take their seats.

On the jetway, Dr. Rowe was confronted by a different flight attendant, who asked Rowe if she had a jacket, suggesting that she would be allowed on the plane if she were to cover up.

Dr. Rowe stated that she is both conscientious about what she wears and aware of double-standards in dress when it comes to women and people of color, but she was still surprised when approached by a flight attendant about her outfit: a romper. Dr. Rowe, who noted that there were other women wearing similar outfits on the plane from Jamaica to Miami, believes that her curves and the color of her skin may have been the real problem after a flight attendant told her that flight crew had flagged her outfit.

Taking care not to upset her son, Dr. Rowe attempted to deescalate the situation, during a series of insistent exchanges with the flight attendant, who she said was “embarrassed and fighting back tears.”

The flight attendant told Dr. Rowe that she would not be allowed back on the plane if she didn’t change her clothes or cover up.

Dr. Rowe and her son were only allowed back on the plane when the doctor covered herself with a blanket as she boarded the plane which she did, feeling “humiliated.” She was instructed to stay covered during the duration of the flight.

“If I were a white woman, you would have not asked me to get off the plane,” Rowe told the flight attendant during their series of exchanges.

Recent research study findings concerning black women and their bodies could shed some light on Dr. Rowe’s recent experience with American Airlines.

  • The Pacific Standard article “Research Suggests Black Women are More Likely to Be Objectified And Dehumanized” which summarizes recent study findings learned asserts that the findings support the perceptions of black women who believe that they are looked at differently than others.
  • Using eye-tracking technology, one study gathered these findings by tracking how long study participants gazed on black women’s breasts and groin areas.
  • The study found that black women are objectified more often and seen as less human.

After arriving at her destination in Miami, Dr. Rowe took to Twitter to share a photo of herself wearing the romper that ostensibly got her removed from the plane. In her tweet, she implies that she was asked to cover herself with the blanket because the romper shorts which did not cover her legs or shoulders caused her to be sexualized:

“Here is what I was wearing when @AmericanAir asked me to deplane for a talk. At which point I was asked to ‘cover up’ When defending my outfit I was threatened with not getting back on the flight unless I walked down the aisle wrapped in a blanket. #notsofriendlyskies” 

Other doctors on twitter were quick to reply to the post.

The following day Twitter user Traci Marie commented on Dr. Rowe’s post stating that she had recently flow wearing much less than Rowe, saying “My frame is smaller, my skin is fair & that’s not a coincidence.”

Others were quick to agree that the decision to boot Dr. Rowe from the plane had to be related to her race.

@RighteousVnger asked,  “@AmericanAir why did I IMMEDIATELY know upon reading the headline that the woman in the romper was black? #notsofriendlyskies shame on you and you lost a client (that you never had) for life.”

Twitter user Sunit Sanghrajka also supported Rowe and condemned American Airlines, saying that it was the airline that was inappropriate and not Dr. Rowe: “This is so inappropriate. American Airlines are now the “Fashion Police” #notsofriendlyskies. This is discrimination!

Erin Turnigan said, “You would think a company that is “#ClearedForLove” would be cleared for allowing women to wear whatever they please on their flights,” implying that the airlines showed no love to Dr. Rowe at all.

American Airlines spokeswoman Shannon Gilson, said in a public statement, that the airline has attempted to reach out to and apologize to Dr. Rowe and her son Chase.

Perhaps fearing further public backlash, in the statement, Gilson stated that the company has refunded Rowe for her travel. In 2017, the NAACP issued a travel warning about the airline that stated in part ” booking and boarding flights with American Airlines could subject them disrespectful, discriminatory or unsafe conditions.” This ban was not lifted until 2018 sometime after Dr. David Dao was assaulted by flight crew and dragged bloodied from the plane after refusing to give up his seat when he and a few other passengers were randomly selected to be removed from the flight to make room for additional flight staff.

Regarding this most recent incident Shannon Gilson made the following statement:

“We were concerned about Dr. Rowe’s comments, and reached out to her and our team at the Kingston airport to gather more information about what occurred,” Gilson added. “We want to personally apologize to Dr. Rowe and her son for their experience, and have fully refunded their travel. We are proud to serve customers of all backgrounds and are committed to providing a positive, safe travel experience for everyone who flies with us.”

Given its track record, it is unclear whether refunding Dr. Rowe’s flight costs is an attempt from American Airlines to manage their reputation and avoid a lawsuit.  Still, Dr. Rowe, who has sought legal counsel in this matter, has said, through her lawyer that she will give the airline an opportunity to “make it right.”

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