In this groundbreaking history of the modern American metropolis, Richard Rothstein, a leading authority on housing policy, explodes the myth that America's cities came to be racially divided through de facto segregation-that is, through individual prejudices, income differences, or the actions of private institutions like banks and real estate agencies. Rather, The Color of Law incontrovertibly makes clear that it was de jure segregation-the laws and policy decisions passed by local, state, and federal governments-that actually promoted the discriminatory patterns that continue to this day.
Through extraordinary revelations and extensive research that Ta-Nehisi Coates has lauded as "brilliant" The Atlantic , Rothstein comes to chronicle nothing less than an untold story that begins in the s, showing how this process of de jure segregation began with explicit racial zoning, as millions of African Americans moved in a great historical migration from the south to the north. As Jane Jacobs established in her classic The Death and Life of Great American Cities, it was the deeply flawed urban planning of the s that created many of the impoverished neighborhoods we know.
Now, Rothstein expands our understanding of this history, showing how government policies led to the creation of officially segregated public housing and the demolition of previously integrated neighborhoods. While urban areas rapidly deteriorated, the great American suburbanization of the post-World War II years was spurred on by federal subsidies for builders on the condition that no homes be sold to African Americans.
Finally, Rothstein shows how police and prosecutors brutally upheld these standards by supporting violent resistance to black families in white neighborhoods. The Fair Housing Act of prohibited future discrimination but did nothing to reverse residential patterns that had become deeply embedded. Yet recent outbursts of violence in cities like Baltimore, Ferguson, and Minneapolis show us precisely how the legacy of these earlier eras contributes to persistent racial unrest. Ibram X. In fact, racist thought is alive and well in America--more sophisticated and more insidious than ever.
And as award-winning historian Ibram X. Kendi argues in Stamped from the Beginning, if we have any hope of grappling with this stark reality, we must first understand how racist ideas were developed, disseminated, and enshrined in American society. In this deeply researched and fast-moving narrative, Kendi chronicles the entire story of anti-Black racist ideas and their staggering power over the course of American history. Stamped from the Beginning uses the life stories of five major American intellectuals to offer a window into the contentious debates between assimilationists and segregationists and between racists and antiracists.
Du Bois to legendary anti-prison activist Angela Davis, Kendi shows how and why some of our leading proslavery and pro-civil rights thinkers have challenged or helped cement racist ideas in America. Contrary to popular conceptions, racist ideas did not arise from ignorance or hatred. Instead, they were devised and honed by some of the most brilliant minds of each era. These intellectuals used their brilliance to justify and rationalize deeply entrenched discriminatory policies and the nation's racial disparities in everything from wealth to health.
And while racist ideas are easily produced and easily consumed, they can also be discredited. In shedding much-needed light on the murky history of racist ideas, Stamped from the Beginning offers us the tools we need to expose them--and in the process, gives us reason to hope. Coming of Age in Mississippi. Anne Moody. Born to a poor couple who were tenant farmers on a plantation in Mississippi, Anne Moody lived through some of the most dangerous days of the pre-civil rights era in the South.
The week before she began high school came the news of Emmet Till's lynching. Before then, she had "known the fear of hunger, hell, and the Devil. But now there was An all-A student whose dream of going to college is realized when she wins a basketball scholarship, she finally dares to join the NAACP in her junior year. Through the NAACP and later through CORE and SNCC she has first-hand experience of the demonstrations and sit-ins that were the mainstay of the civil rights movement, and the arrests and jailings, the shotguns, fire hoses, police dogs, billy clubs and deadly force that were used to destroy it.
A deeply personal story but also a portrait of a turning point in our nation's destiny, this autobiography lets us see history in the making, through the eyes of one of the footsoldiers in the civil rights movement. Ronald Takaki. Upon its first publication, A Different Mirror was hailed by critics and academics everywhere as a dramatic new retelling of our nation's past.
The list included television hosts, radio stars, think tankers, and an adviser to the Trump campaign. The point was partly to get feedback. But more than that, the company wanted to make a show of apologizing for its sins, lifting up the back of its shirt, and asking for the lash. According to a Facebook employee involved in planning the meeting, part of the goal was to bring in a group of conservatives who were certain to fight with one another.
The power went out, and the room got uncomfortably hot. But otherwise the meeting went according to plan. The guests did indeed fight, and they failed to unify in a way that was either threatening or coherent. Some wanted the company to set hiring quotas for conservative employees; others thought that idea was nuts.
Black Lies Matter
As often happens when outsiders meet with Facebook, people used the time to try to figure out how they could get more followers for their own pages. Afterward, Glenn Beck, one of the invitees, wrote an essay about the meeting, praising Zuckerberg. Inside Facebook itself, the backlash around Trending Topics did inspire some genuine soul-searching.
But none of it got very far. A quiet internal project, codenamed Hudson, cropped up around this time to determine, according to someone who worked on it, whether News Feed should be modified to better deal with some of the most complex issues facing the product. Does it favor posts that make people angry? Does it favor simple or even false ideas over complex and true ones?
Ultimately, in late June, Facebook announced a modest change: The algorithm would be revised to favor posts from friends and family. To outsiders, though, the document came across as boilerplate. The most important consequence of the Trending Topics controversy, according to nearly a dozen former and current employees, was that Facebook became wary of doing anything that might look like stifling conservative news. And so a summer of deeply partisan rancor and calumny began with Facebook eager to stay out of the fray.
But Rupert Murdoch broke the mood in a meeting that took place inside his villa. The two tech giants had taken nearly the entire digital ad market and become an existential threat to serious journalism. They had helped to make things very hard for Google in Europe.
And they could do the same for Facebook in the US. Facebook thought that News Corp was threatening to push for a government antitrust investigation or maybe an inquiry into whether the company deserved its protection from liability as a neutral platform. Inside Facebook, executives believed Murdoch might use his papers and TV stations to amplify critiques of the company. News Corp says that was not at all the case; the company threatened to deploy executives, but not its journalists.
Back in , Facebook had come under criticism from 49 state attorneys general for failing to protect young Facebook users from sexual predators and inappropriate content. Concerned parents had written to Connecticut attorney general Richard Blumenthal, who opened an investigation, and to The New York Times , which published a story.
When it comes to Facebook, Murdoch has been playing every angle he can for a long time. When Zuckerberg returned from Sun Valley, he told his employees that things had to change. And they had to communicate better. One of his jobs was to help the company think through how publishers could make money on the platform. Shortly after Sun Valley, Anker met with Zuckerberg and asked to hire 60 new people to work on partnerships with the news industry.
Before the meeting ended, the request was approved. But having more people out talking to publishers just drove home how hard it would be to resolve the financial problems Murdoch wanted fixed.
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News outfits were spending millions to produce stories that Facebook was benefiting from, and Facebook, they felt, was giving too little back in return. Instant Articles, in particular, struck them as a Trojan horse. Publishers complained that they could make more money from stories that loaded on their own mobile web pages than on Facebook Instant. They often did so, it turned out, in ways that short-changed advertisers, by sneaking in ads that readers were unlikely to see. After all, he would often ask, how exactly do walls and toll booths make the world more open and connected?
The conversations often ended at an impasse, but Facebook was at least becoming more attentive. In late August, everyone on the team was told that their jobs were being eliminated. Simultaneously, authority over the algorithm shifted to a team of engineers based in Seattle. Very quickly the module started to surface lies and fiction. Twitter was a tool for communicating directly with supporters and yelling at the media.
The campaign uploaded its voter files—the names, addresses, voting history, and any other information it had on potential voters—to Facebook. That allowed the campaign to send ads to people with similar traits. The money rolled in. Inside Facebook, almost everyone on the executive team wanted Clinton to win; but they knew that Trump was using the platform better.
If he was the candidate for Facebook, she was the candidate for LinkedIn. Through trial and error, they learned that memes praising the former host of The Apprentice got many more readers than ones praising the former secretary of state. A website called Ending the Fed proclaimed that the Pope had endorsed Trump and got almost a million comments, shares, and reactions on Facebook, according to an analysis by BuzzFeed. Some of the posts came from hyperpartisan Americans. Some came from overseas content mills that were in it purely for the ad dollars.
By the end of the campaign, the top fake stories on the platform were generating more engagement than the top real ones. Even current Facebookers acknowledge now that they missed what should have been obvious signs of people misusing the platform. Management was gun-shy because of the Trending Topics fiasco; taking action against partisan disinformation—or even identifying it as such—might have been seen as another act of political favoritism.
Facebook also sold ads against the stories, and sensational garbage was good at pulling people into the platform. And then there was the ever-present issue of Section of the Communications Decency Act. If the company started taking responsibility for fake news, it might have to take responsibility for a lot more. Facebook had plenty of reasons to keep its head in the sand. Roger McNamee, however, watched carefully as the nonsense spread. First there were the fake stories pushing Bernie Sanders, then he saw ones supporting Brexit, and then helping Trump.
By the end of the summer, he had resolved to write an op-ed about the problems on the platform. But he never ran it. I really want to help them. Now I am disappointed. I am embarrassed. I am ashamed. Then, at a conference two days after the election, Zuckerberg argued that filter bubbles are worse offline than on Facebook and that social media hardly influences how people vote.
Zuckerberg declined to be interviewed for this article, but people who know him well say he likes to form his opinions from data. But the analysis was just an aggregate look at the percentage of clearly fake stories that appeared across all of Facebook. It was a number, but not a particularly meaningful one.
They seemed clueless and self-absorbed. Right after he landed in Lima, he posted something of a mea culpa. He explained that Facebook did take misinformation seriously, and he presented a vague seven-point plan to tackle it.
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At the conference in Peru, Zuckerberg met with a man who knows a few things about politics: Barack Obama. But according to someone who was with them in Lima, it was Zuckerberg who called the meeting, and his agenda was merely to convince Obama that, yes, Facebook was serious about dealing with the problem. One employee compared Zuckerberg to Lennie in Of Mice and Men —a man with no understanding of his own strength. Meanwhile, at Facebook, the gears churned. For the first time, insiders really began to question whether they had too much power. Within a few weeks the company announced it would cut off advertising revenue for ad farms and make it easier for users to flag stories they thought false.
In December the company announced that, for the first time, it would introduce fact-checking onto the platform. If Facebook received enough signals that a story was false, it would automatically be sent to partners, like Snopes, for review. She immediately became the most prominent journalist hired by the company.
Soon Brown was put in charge of something called the Facebook Journalism Project. But sheer anxiety was also part of the motivation. People started panicking and getting afraid that regulation was coming. If you joined an antivaccine group on Facebook, she observed, the platform might suggest that you join flat-earth groups or maybe ones devoted to Pizzagate—putting you on a conveyor belt of conspiracy thinking. Harris had by then gained a national reputation as the conscience of Silicon Valley.
He had been profiled on 60 Minutes and in The Atlantic , and he spoke eloquently about the subtle tricks that social media companies use to foster an addiction to their services. Harris read the article, was impressed, and emailed her. And before long they found receptive audiences in the media and Congress—groups with their own mounting grievances against the social media giant. Even at the best of times, meetings between Facebook and media executives can feel like unhappy family gatherings.
News executives resent that Facebook and Google have captured roughly three-quarters of the digital ad business, leaving the media industry and other platforms, like Twitter, to fight over scraps. The social network is roughly times more valuable than the Times. And journalists know that the man who owns the farm has the leverage.
If Facebook wanted to, it could quietly turn any number of dials that would harm a publisher—by manipulating its traffic, its ad network, or its readers. News makes up only about 5 percent of the total content that people see on Facebook globally. The company could let it all go and its shareholders would scarcely notice. The editors of major media companies, on the other hand, are worried about their next quarter—maybe even their next phone call.
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When they bring lunch back to their desks, they know not to buy green bananas. This mutual wariness—sharpened almost to enmity in the wake of the election—did not make life easy for Campbell Brown when she started her new job running the nascent Facebook Journalism Project.
“Black Lies Matter” Author Taleeb Starkes – Tami Jackson Show 6/7 [Podcast] – The Media
The first item on her to-do list was to head out on yet another Facebook listening tour with editors and publishers. I think the point was really to show up and seem to be listening. He had spent the previous three months, according to people who know him, contemplating whether he had created something that did more harm than good.
Shortly after issuing the manifesto, Zuckerberg set off on a carefully scripted listening tour of the country. He began popping into candy shops and dining rooms in red states, camera crew and personal social media team in tow. He wrote an earnest post about what he was learning, and he deflected questions about whether his real goal was to become president. One of the many things Zuckerberg seemed not to grasp when he wrote his manifesto was that his platform had empowered an enemy far more sophisticated than Macedonian teenagers and assorted low-rent purveyors of bull.
As wore on, however, the company began to realize it had been attacked by a foreign influence operation. Early in the campaign season, Facebook was aware of familiar attacks emanating from known Russian hackers, such as the group APT28, which is believed to be affiliated with Moscow.
Stamos was something of an icon in the tech world for having reportedly resigned from his previous job at Yahoo after a conflict over whether to grant a US intelligence agency access to Yahoo servers. According to two people with direct knowledge of the document, he was eager to publish a detailed, specific analysis of what the company had found. But members of the policy and communications team pushed back and cut his report way down.
Sources on the politics and communications teams insist they edited the report down, just because the darn thing was hard to read. But there were few specific examples or details, and there was no direct mention of Russia. It felt bland and cautious. The article quoted an unnamed senior intelligence official saying that Russian operatives had bought ads on Facebook to target Americans with propaganda. Around the same time, the security team also picked up hints from congressional investigators that made them think an intelligence agency was indeed looking into Russian Facebook ads.
Eventually, by sorting transactions according to a series of data points—Were ads purchased in rubles? Were they purchased within browsers whose language was set to Russian? There was, for example, a page called Heart of Texas, which pushed for the secession of the Lone Star State. And there was Blacktivist, which pushed stories about police brutality against black men and women and had more followers than the verified Black Lives Matter page.
Numerous security researchers express consternation that it took Facebook so long to realize how the Russian troll farm was exploiting the platform. After all, the group was well known to Facebook. A staffer on the Senate Intelligence Committee likewise voiced exasperation with the company. When Facebook finally did find the Russian propaganda on its platform, the discovery set off a crisis, a scramble, and a great deal of confusion.
First, due to a miscalculation, word initially spread through the company that the Russian group had spent millions of dollars on ads, when the actual total was in the low six figures. Once that error was resolved, a disagreement broke out over how much to reveal, and to whom. The company could release the data about the ads to the public, release everything to Congress, or release nothing. Much of the argument hinged on questions of user privacy.
Members of the security team worried that the legal process involved in handing over private user data, even if it belonged to a Russian troll farm, would open the door for governments to seize data from other Facebook users later on. Every sentence in the post seemed to downplay the substance of these new revelations: The number of ads was small, the expense was small. She had long felt that Facebook was insufficiently forthcoming, and now it seemed to be flat-out stonewalling. A couple of weeks later, while waiting at a Walgreens to pick up a prescription for one of her kids, she got a call from a researcher at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism named Jonathan Albright.
He had been mapping ecosystems of misinformation since the election, and he had some excellent news. Albright had started digging into CrowdTangle, one of the analytics platforms that Facebook uses. And he had discovered that the data from six of the accounts Facebook had shut down were still there, frozen in a state of suspended animation. There were the posts pushing for Texas secession and playing on racial antipathy. Albright downloaded the most recent posts from each of the six groups.
He reported that, in total, their posts had been shared more than million times. To McNamee, the way the Russians used the platform was neither a surprise nor an anomaly. Then, in September, they were joined by DiResta and began spending all their free time counseling senators, representatives, and members of their staffs. One of the early questions they weighed in on was the matter of who should be summoned to testify. Harris recommended that the CEOs of the big tech companies be called in, to create a dramatic scene in which they all stood in a neat row swearing an oath with their right hands in the air, roughly the way tobacco executives had been forced to do a generation earlier.
And so on November 1, Colin Stretch arrived from Facebook to be pummeled. During the hearings themselves, DiResta was sitting on her bed in San Francisco, watching them with her headphones on, trying not to wake up her small children. She listened to the back-and-forth in Washington while chatting on Slack with other security researchers. She watched as Marco Rubio smartly asked whether Facebook even had a policy forbidding foreign governments from running an influence campaign through the platform.
The answer was no. Rhode Island senator Jack Reed then asked whether Facebook felt an obligation to individually notify all the users who had seen Russian ads that they had been deceived. The answer again was no. After the hearings, yet another dam seemed to break, and former Facebook executives started to go public with their criticisms of the company too. The numbers were terrific, as always, but his mood was not.
Zuckerberg took a different approach. We build these tools to help people connect and to bring us closer together. And they used them to try to undermine our values. What they did is wrong, and we are not going to stand for it. Other signs emerged, too, that Zuckerberg was beginning to absorb the criticisms of his company. The Facebook Journalism Project, for instance, seemed to be making the company take its obligations as a publisher, and not just a platform, more seriously. In the fall, the company announced that Zuckerberg had decided—after years of resisting the idea—that publishers using Facebook Instant Articles could require readers to subscribe.