Get Our Newsletter



Links

Columnists



Site Search


Entire (RSS)
Comments (RSS)

Archive Calendar

April 2019
S M T W T F S
« Mar    
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
282930  

Guides

How to Become a Bounty Hunter



Tag: African Americans

Russian Troll Farms Disproportionately Targeted African Americans, Congressional Reports Show

An image posted by a Russian troll farm, Black4Black.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Russia’s campaign to spread misinformation during the 2016 presidential race disproportionately targeted African Americans on numerous social media platforms, more than previously known, according to reports commissioned by the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Two reports show the extent to which the Russian Internet Research Agency, a troll farm, sought to divide Americans with misinformation and meme content during the election.

One of the primary goals of the campaign, which was launched on every major social media platform, was to support Trump and to stir up racial tensions, according to the reports. 

The social media accounts were designed to look like Africans Americans were running the accounts, when in fact Russians had created and ran them on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Vine, Google+, Tumblr, Pinterest, YouTube and Reddit. The reports emphasized that Russia made an extraordinary effort to target African Americans.

“The most prolific I.R.A. efforts on Facebook and Instagram specifically targeted black American communities and appear to have been focused on developing black audiences and recruiting black Americans as assets,” one of the reports reads.

Black4Black, an account and website created by Russian troll farms.

The report adds that while “other distinct ethnic and religious groups were the focus of one or two Facebook Pages or Instagram accounts, the black community was targeted extensively with dozens.” 

Some of the examples include Facebook ads targeting users interested in black history, Malcolm X and the Black Panther Party. The most popular was an Instagram account called @blackstagram that gained more than 300,000 followers.

In addition, the troll farm created a dozen websites that looked like they were run by African Americans, with names like blackmattersus.com, blacktivist.info, blacktolive.org and blacksoul.us. 

Russian-created YouTube accounts played a big role in covering the Black Lives Matter movement and police brutality, creating channels called “Don’t Shoot” and “BlackToLive.”

Simultaneously, the Russians created “Southern pride” accounts with Confederate flags.

The tactic of sowing racial divisions is nothing new with Russians, who decades ago exploited the sensitive topic of race in the U.S. to turn Americans on each other.

Many Trump voters cited anti-brutality protests as a reason they supported the president.

Alarmingly, the reports warned that Russians continue to use the social media platforms and plant to launch similar propaganda during the 2020 elections.

Marijuana Use and Disorders Double

By Ross Parker
ticklethewire.com

Marijuana use has doubled in the last decade, and with that has come a doubling in the use disorders associated with it, according to a recent medical study by a Columbia University epidemiologist published this week in The Journal of the American Medical Association Psychiatry and in Medscape Medical News.

Dr. Deborah Hasin reported that the attitude of increasing numbers of the population is that the drug is a harmless natural substance. Because of that shift in perception, the prevalence rates of use have increased from 4.1% in 2001 to 9.5% in 2014. This increase was greatest among women (2.6% to 6.9%), African Americans (4.7% to 12.7%), Hispanic Americans (3.3% to 8.4%), and older people (.04% to 1.3%). Lower income groups showed the greatest increase.

The study’s findings were based on two nationally representative, face-to-face interview surveys of US adults aged 18 years and older: the 2001 National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions, and the 2013 National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions.

marijuana-istock

The prevalence rates of marijuana use disorders among the general population nearly doubled from 1.5% to 2.9%. Among marijuana users, however, that figure declined from 35.6% to 30.6%. The difference lies in the increased number of users in the general population as more states legalize its use in one way or another and more people consider its use as having no risks. Currently 23 states authorize use for medical purposes and 4 for recreational use.

If the number of states legalizing use continues to rise, the authors of the study advise that we should be prepared for greater numbers of addiction, vehicle crashes, emergency room visits, psychiatric symptoms, poor quality of life, cognitive decline, and use of other drugs, according to other published medical studies.

1975 Video Shows How Extensively FBI Investigated Black Culture in 1960s

A 1975 video shows how extensively the FBI investigated African Americans in the 1960s.

The video features an interview with Darthard Perry, a former FBI agent, who said the bureau examined every aspect of black culture, from music to books.

“To understand the people, you have to understand culture,” Perry said in the video.

DEA Group Apologizes for Tweet Commemorating Black History Month with Arrest

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A group affiliated with the DEA has apologized after tweeting a photo of a Harlem drug dealer to commemorate Black History month, The Washington Post reports.

The DEA said the tweet was a misunderstanding.

“The focus of original tweet was to be invaluable hard work of African American DEA agents, not the target of the investigation,” the DEA Educational Foundation said in an apology Monday.

The tweet was offensive because of the discorporate impact the drug was has had on black families and communities, The Post wrote.

“With the Justice Department and politicians from both political partiestaking active steps to reduce racial disparities in drug sentencing, and many states taking steps to reduce penalties for drug possession or legalize the use of some drugs altogether, the DEA has, at times, appeared out of touch with public sentiment in recent years.”

 Other Stories of Interest


Justice Department to Release Highly Critical Report of Ferguson Police

Michael Brown

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department is preparing to release a highly critical report of police in Ferguson, accusing them of making discriminatory traffic stops and creating an environment that bred animosity among African Americans, The New York Times reports.

The report, which could be released as early as this week, says Ferguson police disproportionately ticketed and arrested African Americans, while also relying on them for fines to help balance the budget.

The report follows the police shooting death of Michael Brown in August, which led to months of protests.

But the Justice Department does not plan to charge the officer, Darren Wilson, following a civil rights investigation.

What’s different about this report is it will “give the context for the shooting, describing the mounting sense of frustration and anger in a predominantly black city where the police department and local government are mostly white,” The New York Times wrote.

Delaware Voice: Comey’s ‘History-Making Speech’ Reveals Important Truths

Director James B. Comey speaking in Orlando.

Leland Ware
Delaware Voice

On Feb. 12, FBI Director James B. Comey made what will be remembered as a history-making speech at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

In the speech, “Hard Truths: Law Enforcement and Race,” Comey said, “With the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, the death of Eric Garner in Staten Island, the ongoing protests throughout the country, and the assassinations of NYPD Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos, we are at a crossroads.”

He went on to say, “Serious debates are taking place about how law enforcement personnel relate to the communities they serve, about the appropriate use of force, and about real and perceived biases, both within and outside of law enforcement.”

The most important point Director Comey made was about unconscious discrimination. He explained that “Much research points to the widespread existence of unconscious bias. Many people in our white-majority culture have unconscious racial biases and react differently to a white face than a black face.” The research to which Comey referred consists of numerous studies conducted over the last 30 years that have shown that racial prejudice is pervasive among many who consciously subscribe to a belief in racial equality. Many individuals who believe they have positive attitudes about racial minorities harbor unconscious racial prejudices.

Prejudice and stereotypes are the byproducts of ordinary perceptions, categorization, learning, memory and judgment. “Categorization” is the process by which ideas and objects are recognized, differentiated and understood. It is an essential brain function that enables individuals to reduce the enormous amounts of information they encounter every day to a manageable level. Categorization allows individuals to relate new experiences to old experiences; the unfamiliar becomes familiar. Each object and event is perceived, remembered, grouped into a category and identified. The process is automatic and operates in milliseconds.

To read more click here. 

Comey to Become First FBI Director to Speak Publicly About Race at Length

FBI Director James Comey

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

No FBI director has spoken publicly and at length about the issue of race.

Until today.

FBI Director James B. Comey plans to discuss the strained relationship between police officers and African Americans at a speech at Georgetown University, the New York Times reports.

Comey is expected to discuss how well-intended law enforcement can unconsciously discriminate against black people by more closely scrutinizing them.

The decision to address race shows that Comey is beginning “to show how he’s a much different F.B.I. director than the previous ones,” said Chuck Wexler, the executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum.

“Not to take anything away from the previous directors, but it was almost as though they thought, ‘This is something we shouldn’t weigh into.’ The F.B.I. director is looked upon by police chiefs who have been talking about this issue for years as a very important person, but they haven’t used their position as a bully pulpit to underscore how important civil rights and race is in policing.”

Records: FBI Spied on Numerous African American Authors, Scholars for Decades

J. Edgar Hoover

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI and its notoriously paranoid director J. Edgar Hoover spied on prominent African American writers for decades, monitoring their activities and critiquing their work.

The Guardian reports that newly declassified documents from the FBI show extensive surveillance of black writers and scholars, including Langston Hughes, James Baldwin and Claude McKay.

The records were obtained by William Maxwell, an associate professor at Washington University in St. Louis, who was shocked when the FBI turned over 1,884 pages of documents on 51 well-known black writers. His request included 106 black writers, which means nearly half were monitored by the feds.

“I suspected there would be more than a few,” said Maxwell. “I knew Hoover was especially impressed and worried by the busy crossroads of black protest, leftwing politics, and literary potential. But I was surprised to learn that the FBI had read, monitored, and ‘filed’ nearly half of the nationally prominent African American authors working from 1919 (Hoover’s first year at the Bureau, and the first year of the Harlem Renaissance) to 1972 (the year of Hoover’s death and the peak of the nationalist Black Arts movement). In this, I realised, the FBI had outdone most every other major institution of US literary study, only fitfully concerned with black writing.”

Maxwell is revealing the findings in a book entitled, “FB Eyes: How J Edgar Hoover’s Ghostreaders Framed African American Literature.” The book hits the shelves on Feb. 18.

The book says the surveillance was prompted by Hoover’s “personal fascination with black culture.”

What was Hoover afraid of?

“Hoover was exercised by what he saw as an emerging alliance between black literacy and black radicalism,” Maxwell said.

“Then there’s the fact that many later African American writers were allied, at one time or another, with socialist and communist politics in the U.S.”