Jawad Mian Profile picture
17 Oct, 38 tweets, 7 min read
1) I haven’t been satisfied with the coverage of renewed race tensions in America. So, I decided to take it on.

I’m surprised more people aren’t looking in and connecting the dots between historical facts. There are obvious clues for America’s future history.

2) In July 1967, President Lyndon Johnson established the Kerner Commission to study the surge of Black urban uprisings.
3) Until the early 1960s, race riots were ubiquitously white terror campaigns against Black people, which never led to any comparable study.

The investigation was to understand the Black people’s problem.
4) Seven months later, rather than sanitize America’s ugly racial realities, the commission delivered an unflinching indictment of “white racism” as the fundamental cause of urban unrest.
5) The rioting, the report said, was “in large part the culmination of 300 years of racial prejudice.”

See image.
6) The commission called for far-reaching reforms in housing, education, employment, and policing, to prevent America becoming “two societies, one black, one white—separate and unequal.”
7) Martin Luther King Jr. pronounced the report a “physician’s warning of approaching death, with a prescription for life.”

The report warned, in stark terms, that America stood on the “brink of race war.”
8) The authors foresaw “the beginnings of guerilla warfare of black youth against white power in major cities” as armed white vigilantes rally behind overstretched police forces.
9) In time, “we will in fact see civil war in the streets” with young black people “preferring to die on their feet than living on their knees.”
10) President Johnson was infuriated.

He canceled the White House ceremony to accept a bound copy of the report from his hand-picked panel and avoided public commentary on the matter.

As James Baldwin said, “There are too many things we do not wish to know about ourselves.”
11) The main recommendations of the Kerner Commission were effectively shelved.

A grim, 176-page report titled, The Harvest of American Racism, found later in the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library archives, had the word “Destroy” hastily scrawled out in green ink.
12) A month later, on April 4, Martin Luther King Jr. was gunned down on a Memphis balcony.

The nation engulfed in violent protests from coast to coast.
13) “What did you expect?” President Johnson told an aide.

“I don’t know why we’re surprised. When you put your foot on a man’s neck and hold him down for 300 years, and then you let him up, what’s he going to do?

He’s going to knock your block off.”
14) In many instances, the National Guard was required to quell the violence. In Washington, Chicago and Baltimore, it took tens of thousands of army soldiers and Marines.

When the riots were over, some 39 people were dead, more than 2,600 injured and 21,000 arrested.
15) In “A Nation On Fire: America in the Wake of the King Assassination,” @risenc wrote:

“The riots gave impetus to a new domestic militarism that saw the ghetto as an alien entity within US borders, a cancer that had to be isolated from the rest of the body public.”
16) President Nixon, who pledged “law and order,” used that revulsion to cut funds for housing support, small business loans, inner-city schools, and job training.

He funneled money to police departments to buy anti-riot weaponry: body armor, tear gas, even surplus tanks.
17) Nixon disparaged the Kerner Commission’s repeated emphasis on the role of police brutality in alienating black citizens.

He, and subsequent presidents, stood for semi-militarizing policing programs.
18) “By the early 1970s,” @risenc wrote, “an anti-riot urban infrastructure was in place, one that psychologically, bureaucratically and even physically severed the ghetto from the rest of the city, and the city in turn from the suburbs.”
19) Not coincidentally, America’s incarcerated population began to rise rapidly.

The Reagan administration’s sensationalized “War on Drugs” in the 1980s led to the hyper-criminalization of blackness.
20) Discriminatory enforcement of drug laws—aggressively targeting drug use in black communities despite similar levels of drug use in white society—caused incarceration of legions of black men.
21) By 1990, for every 100,000 white Americans, 289 were in jail or prison; for every 100,000 black Americans, 1,860 were in jail or prison.
22) A 1994 federal crime bill to “Make America Safer” ushered another wave of intensified policing and harsher sentences that fueled mass incarceration.

America's prisoner population exploded to 2 million by 2000, from 300,000 in 1982.
23) America incarcerates more people than any country in the world, including repressive regimes like China and Russia.

The US has 5 percent of the world’s population but 25 percent of its prisoners.
24) What comes as a shock is realizing America imprisons a larger share of its black population than South Africa did at the height of apartheid.

One in three Black men can expect to spend time in prison during their lifetime.
25) What we are seeing is the political disempowerment of Black people.

Most states block people with criminal records from voting in some way
26) More than 20 percent of Black voters in Florida, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia are legally banned from voting.

In 2016, 7.4 percent of the Black voting-age population was disenfranchised.
27) In The New Jim Crow, a book about racial disparities in the criminal justice system, Michelle Alexander explains this systematic effort to subjugate the Black minority.

See image.
28) “Slavery is not abolished until the Black man has the ballot,” abolitionist movement leader Frederick Douglass said in 1865, a month after the Civil War ended.

Some 4 million enslaved Black men, women and children had been granted their freedom.
29) Early in 1866, Congress passed the Civil Rights Bill, which gave Black Americans the rights of citizens, including voting rights.

What happened next has parallels in the present.
30) State legislatures passed discriminatory criminal laws or “black codes,” which created new criminal offenses such as “vagrancy” and “loitering.”

This led to the mass incarceration of Black people. Private planters and business owners then leased Blacks as prison laborers.
31) Essentially, the solution to re-enslave the Black population had become criminalization.

And the criminal justice system became the central institution for sustaining racial hierarchy in America.

There are tragic echoes of that history in our own time.
32) Looking at the sheer number of Black Americans damaged today by mass incarceration relative to the total population makes it hard to view it strictly through any other lens than racial control.
33) A white dominance first achieved through slavery and continued through convict leasing was still attained through a racialized War on Drugs and “tough on crime” policies.
34) This is the current state of Black America.

The typical black household earns a fraction of white households—just 59 cents for every dollar.

Persistent segregation created large disparities in the quality of secondary education, leading to worse economic outcomes.
35) The median net worth of white families is $171,000. That’s 10 times the median net worth of black families, which is only $17,100.

A 2019 study found that over 97 percent of respondents estimated that the gap to be 80 percentage points smaller than the actual divide.
36) A college education does not help decrease the wealth gap.

The median net worth of college-educated black families is $68,200, while it is $399,000 for white families.
37) Over the past 50 years, the unemployment rate for blacks has consistently approximated twice that of whites.

Even in a strong economy, the labor market for black Americans is what white Americans experience during a recession.
38) There are deep inequities across nearly every social and economic indicator.

As @DrTedJ put it, “Black America is a fragile state embedded in the greatest superpower the world has ever known.”

More to come.

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More from @jsmian

15 Oct
1) The world is clearing its karmic debt.

How else can we explain these monumental and globally felt shifts?
2) People in the public eye or a position of power are being held to account.

Karma topples hubris.
3) Harvey Weinstein sentenced to 23 years in prison, taken down by the #MeToo movement; repeated sex-offender Jeffrey Epstein arrested and died in jail last year; and Hollywood celebrities caught in the College Admissions Scandal.
Read 11 tweets
14 Oct
1) If you're stressed because stocks are rising and you still think we are in a bear market... 🤬

Or you're stressed because we are in a new bull market and you didn't buy the dip... 🤦‍♂️

This THREAD is for you.
2) Prospective hindsight, also called the pre-mortem technique, is one way to prepare for stress before it happens.

By looking into the future and imagining how it may unfold, we can overcome blind spots and evaluate a course of action to deal with any situation.
3) Our brain under stress releases cortisol, which increases our heart rate, it modulates adrenaline levels, and this clouds our thinking.

The pre-mortem technique gives us a chance to be objective and feel secure enough in our decision making in real time.
Read 11 tweets
12 Oct
1) In the Hindu pantheon, there is a tale about Ganesha, the elephant-headed god who is the scribe of storytellers, and his brother, Kartikeya, the athletic warlord of the gods.

The two brothers decided to race one day: three times around the world.
2) Kartikeya leapt on his peacock and flew around the continents, the mountains, and the oceans. He went around once, he went around twice, he went around thrice.
3) But his brother Ganesha simply walked around his parents—once, twice, thrice. And said, “I won.”

“How come?” said Kartikeya.
Read 4 tweets
10 Oct
1) As tennis demi-god Rafael Nadal's quest for a record-equalling 20th Grand Slam title continues, take a moment to reflect on his human side.

This is from a 2014 FT profile by John Carlin. ft.com/content/28ff29…
2) Rafa Nadal does not believe it. He never has and he never will. And that, he maintains, is the secret of his success.
3) What does he not believe?

“The acclaim, the success. That I am as good as people seem to think, or as the numbers say I am.”
Read 15 tweets
8 Oct
1) The global macro seas are disarmingly clam for a stretch and then, without a glimpse of warning, can turn dangerously stormy.
2) The path to better returns therefore isn’t necessarily about trying to control the seas.

It’s rather about assuming the ebbs and flows are going to happen and they will inevitably require quite a lot of time and thought to address.
3) Anxiety makes us curious and curiosity leads to understanding. Our progress is painfully limited and imperfect, but it is genuine.
Read 11 tweets
12 Sep
1) If you could choose one person to learn from in the past 100 years, who would it be?

My choice is Bruce Lee. Watch this 1971 interview for his wisdom.

2) “All type of knowledge, ultimately means self-knowledge. But knowing is not enough, we must apply.”

Martial arts for Lee was a spiritual practice. It taught him how to be a human being and everything in life.
3) Martial arts is the art of expressing the human body in combative form.

But Lee did not believe in the concept of styles or systems of fighting. “Because of style,” he explains at one point, “people are separate.”
Read 11 tweets

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