politics

Texas Is Becoming More Latino, So White Conservatives Are Making Sure They Don’t Vote

This is how those in power stay in power.

Texas, a state whose origin story is pretty much white supremacy fan fiction, will likely become majority Latino (read: Mexican-American) by 2020. That’s one presidential election away. That means that given the Latino community’s penchant for voting Democrat, Texas is as few as four years away from becoming a swing state. Let that fact sink in. I’ll wait.

That’s the upside. The bad news? Instead of adapting to the inevitable browning of Tejas (Oh, didn’t you hear? We agreed at the last Latino meeting to go back to the OG name), Republican politicians are doing everything in their power to prevent us from voting. That includes whack voter ID laws that have repeatedly been struck down because lol the U.S. Constitution. But despite justice getting in the way, Republicans have still been successful in making it really hard for Latinos and other minorities to register to vote. Proof: the video above from Vice. The news organization went down to Houston, Texas, to speak to Daniel Ybarra, an organizer trying to get as many Latinos registered. Spoiler alert: the state makes his job very difficult.

Unfortunately for the Tejanos among you, it’s too late to register to vote if you haven’t done so already (the deadline was October 11). But for those of you living elsewhere, you might still have time. New Yorkers (October 14), Floridians (October 18), and Californians (October 24), get registered. Your vote does matter.


READ: America Ferrera Explains How She Went From Actor To Activist

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Despite A Video, Mike Pence Attempts To Minimize The Horrendous Conditions In Detention Centers

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Despite A Video, Mike Pence Attempts To Minimize The Horrendous Conditions In Detention Centers

@jdawsey1 / Twitter

After hundreds of organized protests around the country, we would hope the Trump administration would send someone to a detention center in a sincere effort to address the problem. Instead, Vice President Mike Pence was sent in a political move to combat the assertions of Democratic Congress members Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib from their visit.

Reporters were allowed into the detention facility for 90 precious seconds. Pence wasn’t able to maintain his initial statement once he saw the unsanitary conditions migrants were kept in.

“What people are going to see is not the situation many Democrats have described,” Pence told reporters on Thursday.

Credit: @VP / Twitter

His full statement was actually this: “What people are going to see is not the situation many Democrats have described, but actually a situation where our CBP agents are providing humanitarian care, health care, shelter, food, sustenance in a way that would make the American people proud.

But afterward, he said, “I was not surprised by what I saw. I knew we’d see a system that was overwhelmed.”

Credit: @jdawsey1 / Twitter

While he wasn’t able to reiterate that the conditions would “make the American people proud,” or offer any hope that he or his administration would do anything about it, he did try to blame Democrats for the conditions.

“The DHS facility in McAllen is a prime example of why we need to secure our borders,” he tweeted out after the visit. “The facility is overcrowded and our system is overwhelmed. It is time for Democrats in Congress to step up, do their jobs, and end this crisis.”

White House pool reporter Josh Dawsey was only allowed in for 90 seconds, and this is what he saw.

Credit: @jdawsey1 / Twitter

Dawsey said “the cages were so crowded that it would have been impossible for all of the men to lie on the concrete. There were 384 single men in the portal who allegedly crossed the border illegally. There were no mats or pillows—some of the men were sleeping on concrete.”

Agents were seen guarding the cages wearing face masks.

Credit: @jdawsey1 / Twitter

That’s likely because Dawsey reports that “the stench was overwhelming.” After talking with some of the people, they told him that they hadn’t showered in weeks. They wanted toothbrushes and food. In response, CBP said, “They were fed regularly, could brush daily & recently got access to shower.” Dawsey followed that up with asserting that “many hadn’t [showered] for 10-20 days.”

Reporters didn’t feel any air conditioning in a room where the outside temperature was already 97°F.

Credit: @passantino / Twitter

CBP said it was air-conditioned but Dawsey reports that the “heat was sweltering.” The facility doesn’t have a shower, but CBP says they all showered the day before “in an outdoor trailer.” What CBP told reporters directly contradicts much of what the migrants themselves had a chance to report to the outside world.

For example, CBP told reporters that nobody had been there longer than 32 days, but this man told reporters he had been there for 40 days.

Credit: @jdawsey1 / Twitter

He wasn’t the only one who told reporters that they’d been there longer. The migrants told reporters they wanted to brush their teeth and were hungry. CBP told reporters they brush their teeth daily and are fed three times a day. In Dawsey’s own words, the “stench was horrendous. CPB said it was cleaned 3x a day.” 

This is the scene that Vice President Pence saw.

Credit: @jdawsey1 / Twitter

When migrants told reporters they were thirsty, CBP said the water was outside the fence and that they could leave the barrier to get water after the press left. 

But this is the image he tweeted out to his followers.

Credit: @VP / Twitter

Conveniently, this image seems to have chairs. What Pence was directly staring at much of the time was human beings sleeping on concrete, in an environment so foul CBP agents were wearing face masks.

Dawsey reported that the children’s facility was “new and relatively clean and empty.”

Credit: @VP / Twitter

“There were cots & medical supplies & snacks,” Dawsey tweeted. “Children watched TV and told Pence through translator they were being taken care of. But at least two said they’d walked for months to get here.”

Is America proud yet?

@jdawsey1 / Twitter

The people in this image allegedly crossed the border illegally. We don’t know if they claimed asylum. We don’t know if these are people who have broken the law because they are effectively jailed without trial, in conditions worse than jail

Trump is the man behind it all. It was he who decided to enact a policy that, instead of allowing asylum seekers to set up roots in American society while awaiting trial, to detain them in facilities that are overcrowded with a judicial system that is backlogged.

Watch the video below of migrants letting reporters know what has happened to them in detention.

READ: Woman Pays The Bond Of A Woman Being Held In ICE Detention Center And The Internet Is Living For This Moment Of Kindness

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

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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.

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