[cw: crime]

Reminder: there's no such thing as a "high crime neighborhood." The whole concept is entirely made up based on our notion of what we consider a crime.

You may be thinking: Not true! A high crime neighborhood has more drug use and sales, theft, and even murder!
But let's dig into that and unpack the racism a little.

Drugs are easiest to understand. At this point everyone should know that white Americans do more drugs than Black Americans. They also do more hard drugs. We don't consider Drs. offices to be high crime, and yet, opioids.
Black neighborhoods only seem like they have more drug use, because of how we've decided to define crimes around drug use, and how we choose to enforce.

The war on drugs allows micro-dosing and dispensaries, but criminalizes possession for poor Black folk.
But what about theft? If you park your car in a high crime area, you're likely to get your windows smashed.

But, most theft in this country, is wage theft. Mostly rich white business owners, stealing wages from poor Black and brown service workers. Between $8B and $15B a year.
But we don't define wage theft as a crime the same way as we define an employer stealing from the cash register, or a homeless person smashing a window. You don't go to jail for wage theft.

Again, this is an arbitrary decision around how we choose to define crime.
Civil asset forfeiture is cops taking cash and other property from folk who are too poor to mount a defense against the theft. Most victims are never charged with a crime. Victims of this theft are disproportionately Black. ~$2B in 2016.

Civil asset forfeiture is not a crime.
Cops stole more stuff from citizens in 2015, than all burglaries in the US combined.


So the 2 forms of theft with mostly Black victims, that make up the vast majority of theft, are not even considered crimes.

Our definition of theft is arbitrary.
OK, but what about murder? Clearly there are more murders committed in "high crime" areas?

Again, it depends on our definition of murder and even our definition of location. If I stand on block A, and shoot someone across the street on block B, where did the crime occur? A or B?
Do we define murder as where the body fell? Or where the shooter pulled the trigger? Victim focused? Or killer focused?

This distinction becomes important once we explore how we have arbitrarily decided to define murder.

Shooting folk? Murder!
Operating unsafe factory? Maybe?
Lying about public health data during a pandemic? Not murder!

Grifting supplies needed by FEMA? Not murder!

Cops shooting unarmed folk in the back? Not murder!

So the forms of victimization disproportionately suffered by poor Black folk, don't even register as murder.
Even in the highest gun crime cities in the US, there are a *very* small number of shooters doing most of the killing. Typically fewer than 50 killers in a city of millions.

But we consider entire cities high crime because of them, because they rack up *astronomical* bodycounts.
🤔But... By astronomical we mean 500 to 1000 murders a year, 80% of which will likely be committed by this pod of killers, most of the victims young, Black, male.

But we don't consider *intentional* negligence leading to 10K or 100K deaths, as creating a high crime neighborhood.
Of all the things that police do with their billions of dollars of budget, the one thing they don't do well at all, and the one thing that some residents of supposedly high crime communities (AKA, Black communities) would actually want them to do, is stop these pods.
Dallas PD has a budget of ~$500 MM, and has 3,000 officers and around 500 civilian workers. They only have ~15 homicide detectives.

The other 2,985 officers do a lot of policing of "high crime" neighborhoods. Arresting lots of poor Black folk for drugs and other minor crimes.

I'm not going into assault, other than to say: If in 2020 your definition of assault is "Men beating up men that they don't know," then I don't know what to tell you.

If you know that most assault is "Men harming women that they do know," then no explanation needed

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More from @mekkaokereke

19 Sep
This is for my friends outside the US that have a hard time processing just how racist and terrible the US justice system is, and why SCOTUS matters.

The US convicts a lot of innocent people. Most of them Black. Most of these folks can't prove their innocence, but some can.
[cw: assault, attempted murder]

Imagine you are falsely accused of a heinous assault and murder. You weren't even there! But unreliable eyewitness testimony says the perp looks kinda like you, and a loose forensic test says you and 20% of your demographic are a match.
You're Black, so that's enough to convict. You are sentenced to 26+ years in jail.

Deep into your sentence, you want to get out of prison on parole. A condition of parole is that you must admit to the crime that you didn't do. Keep professing your innocence? Or lie and go home?
Read 14 tweets
31 Aug
Hiring managers and job seekers, almost every piece of follow up info on that "short stints considered harmful," thread is wrong. From the ageism to the bias against career switchers. But I want to talk about the bad suggestion that better HMs let you "explain" short stints.
"Why did you leave your last role?" Is a bad question and everyone should stop asking it.

"What are you looking for in your next role?" Is a much better question, and gets at what the 1st question thinks it's asking.

A real example might help explain...
A very close friend left her job in Higher Ed fundraising to try a new adventure in FinTech. She moved to the Bay Area for the job.

This friend had a fashion blog, and was in great shape from running track in college.

For the 1st 6 months at the new job everything was great.
Read 16 tweets
8 Aug
But... this. This is the most common reason that VCs pass. By far.

And yes, you should take it personally. Because statistically, it's impossible that a big part of the reason they *don't* believe in you, is just because of your race and gender.
The flip side of "We invest in people! We believe in the founders!" Is "We don't invest in other people. We don't believe in the founders."

Something else VCs won't tell you (until you get them drunk and monologuing) Is they fear the "racist next round."

Let me explain...
If a Black woman pitched Uber as a startup back in the day, (or Tesla, or We Work), a VC might have been willing to cut the tiny $1.57M Uber seed round check. They might have been able to see her

🤔 But... they'd know that a C round around $272MM is coming. D at $1.35B.
Read 11 tweets
1 Aug
Watch folk's brains explode when they learn that in 535 BC, Pythagoras went to Africa to take some math and philosophy classes with priests that knew triangles, and hated beans and animal skins.

He came back to Greece hating beans and leather, and knowing more about triangles.🤷🏿‍♂️
Pythagoras did Egyptian mathematicians like the Kardashians do Black women designers on Instagram. 🤷🏿‍♂️

The weakest sauce defense of the Pythagorean theorem is "OK, the Egyptians, Babylonians, Assyrians, Sumarians, and maybe even Nubians, knew it... but they didn't *prove* it!"
Everyone thinks Black folk can't do advanced math. Until you're in a class with Black folk that haven't been told the lie that Black folk can't do math their whole lives.

That's when we learn what Prep for Prep and A Better Chance are. And where Lagos is. And what Trini means.
Read 5 tweets
8 Jul
This is why I'm so obsessed with HBCUs and drop-out rates.

Years ago I tried to give an HR SVP grief for not hiring more Black CS PhDs.

They shared that there were only 4 CS PhDs awarded to Black folk in the nation that year.🤯

They interviewed all 4.

2 passed. Both accepted.
Rabbit hole...

I volunteer for an amazing program that brings CS profs from HBCUs and HSIs to silicon valley. I got a bunch of them in a room and asked them,
"What would have the greatest impact on increasing the number of Black women CS PhDs?"

About 5 of them said, "Money!"
I asked if they meant scholarships. They said that's not enough. I asked them to clarify.

They said, "Most of our best students drop out! ☹️ Financial hardship. What you think are our top students, are just the intersection of 'good students' and 'has financial support'"
Read 12 tweets
27 Jun
🤗Read this! Exclamation marks make messages seem more friendly! Use lots of them! Also, emojis! ❤️

When women write at work, they often use more exclamation marks and snuggly writing! 🥰

Is this because of a difference in women? Or a difference in how we treat women? *Hugs!*😺
What is the penalty for *not* writing in a way that coddles the reader enough? ⭐🌈🐶 Lash back from dudes?

What is the penalty for seeming *too* cheery and deferential? 💙💚💛💜 Not enough "leadership presence?"

Thread that needle!
🌸Some of your co-workers are literally incapable of taking feedback from a Black woman, no matter how valid!🌸 There's literally no way for her to phrase it that doesn't generate rage from him!🐣

But her job requires her to review other people's code. Every day!🐰

Smile more!
Read 7 tweets

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