Venus Sings by Reza Rites


May 2014

It reminds me of the “bike to work” movement. That is also portrayed as white, but in my city more than half of the people on bike are not white. I was once talking to a white activist who was photographing “bike commuters” and had only pictures of white people with the occasional “Black professional” I asked her why she didn’t photograph the delivery people, construction workers etc. … ie. the Black and [Latin@] and Asian people… and she mumbled something about trying to “improve the image of biking” then admitted that she didn’t really see them as part of the “green movement” since they “probably have no choice” –

I was so mad I wanted to quit working on the project she and I were collaborating on.

So, in the same way when people in a poor neighborhood grow food in their yards … it’s just being poor– but when white people do it they are saving the earth or something.

comment left on the Racialious blog post “Sustainable Food & Privilege: Why is Green always White (and Male and Upper-Class)” (via deald)




Portland drivers ‘clearly’ show racial bias at crosswalks, PSU study says | Oregon Live

Racial bias doesn’t stop with education, employment, health care and criminal sentencing. It’s also prevalent at crosswalks in Portland, according to a new study of traffic psychology.

Conducted in downtown Portland, the joint Portland State University and University of Arizona study found that twice as many drivers failed to yield for black pedestrians than those who were white. Meanwhile, black pedestrians typically had to wait a third longer for cars to stop for them when they had the legal right of way.

With fewer motorists yielding for them, minorities are more likely to take greater risks to cross the street, which might factor into why they’re disproportionately represented in U.S. pedestrian fatalities, the study concluded.

“In a fast-paced activity like driving, where decisions may need to be made in a fraction of a second, people’s’ actions can be influenced by these subtle attitudes,” the study said.

The results come at the same time as the Smart Growth America’s annual “Dangerous by Design 2014” report (PDF) showing the most dangerous U.S. Cities for pedestrians. Despite a string of deaths in the final weeks of 2013, the Portland metro area was ranked the seventh safest for walking, according to the group’s “pedestrian danger index.”

Between 2003 and 2012, 47,025 pedestrians died along American roads — 16 times the number killed in earthquakes, floods, hurricanes and tornadoes, the report showed. Another 676,000 pedestrians were injured.

Nationally, African-Americans have a 60 percent higher rate of pedestrian deaths than whites, the Smart Growth America study shows. Meanwhile, it’s 43 percent higher for Hispanics.

For their study on racial bias at crosswalks, PSU researchers Kimberly Barsamian Kahn and Tara Goddard, and Arlie Adkins, of the University of Arizona, chose an unsignalized but clearly marked crosswalk near Southwest Park Avenue and Clay Street.

It’s one of downtown’s most used midblock crossings, where yielding isn’t influenced by cross traffic or turning.

Kahn, Goddard and Adkins dressed the six test subjects – three white men, three black men, all in their 20s with the same height and build — in the same clothing and had them approach the crosswalk in the same manner. “Each pedestrian did 15 crossing trials,” the study said.”These trials resulted in 168 driver subjects.”

The research team stood out of sight and recorded whether the first car to approach yielded, how many cars passed before someone yielded and the number of seconds that elapsed before the pedestrian was able to cross.

The black pedestrians got passed by twice as many cars and waited 32 percent longer than white pedestrians, the researchers said.

Goddard said she had expected to see some differences, but the stark contrast in how pedestrians of different races are treated shocked her.

“It’s amazing to look at something you thought might be subtle and to see it instead so clearly,” Goddard said.

She added, “Racial bias applies to so many areas of life, so it makes sense that it takes place in traffic. But nobody has looked at it like this before.”

At the same time, Goddard said it would be wrong to say many Portland drivers are racist just because they didn’t yield for a black man waiting at a crosswalk.

Rather, driving is a fast-moving activity “with tons of stimuli” that relies heavily on reflexes and motorists are are likely acting on subconscious impulses, she said.

The researchers said they understand the small study’s limitations.

Goddard said she and her fellow researchers hope to acquire a grant to collect more data on driver demographics, which were only collected for the driver who yielded during the pilot study. They also want to test different types of crosswalks and the inclusion of gender as a possible influencing factor.

How many studies need to be done to show non Black folks that racism is real! It is real! Very, very real! No we are not playing the race card nor do we want to be victims, this is our life. The proof is in the pudding and its looking very white.

These studies are so insulting. Black people’s livi l ed experiences don’t count.. got to “scientifically” prove racism is real to then do what with this information?

International Call for Peace: Bring Back Our Girls Activists in RI Join Extraordinary Rendition Band for Rally for Peace in Providence TODAY on May 22

Picture 35 Providence-based band members and activists from Extraordinary Rendition Band, who originally planned the march in response to gun violence in Providence, have joined forces with the Rhode Island Young Professionals and Take 5 with Reza Rites to link today’s event with organizers around the country who are rallying on May 22 to “Bring Back Our Girls.”

PROVIDENCE, RI – Following Providence’s 6th Homicide of 2014, the Extraordinary Rendition Band is teaming up with concerned Providence students and families and inviting community members, activists, students, musicians, families, politicians and everyone in between to take part in a ‘Rally for Peace’ on Thursday, May 22nd from 5-7pm. With the addition of RI activists working on the Bring Back Our Girls Campaign (including the Rhode Island Young Professionals – RIYP – and Take 5 with Reza Rites), organizers are gathering for a comprehensive “International Call for Peace.”

“Whether it’s sex trafficking in Nigeria or gun violence here in Providence, families and communities are losing their sons and daughters – all to senseless violence,” said Mary Gwann, a community member active in RI’s Bring Back Our Girls campaign and the Vice President of RIYP. “It’s time to stop the violence and it’s to time to call for peace.”

The demonstration will begin with a meet-up at the steps of the Cranston Street Armory on Parade St followed by a parade through the West End – the neighborhood most recently affected by violence. The rally will be held on the same day as events being held all over the country as part of the #bringbackourgirls efforts for the nearly 300 girls kidnapped last month while at a school in northeastern Nigeria.

It is time to unite as a community and say ENOUGH IS ENOUGH to violence in Providence, Nigeria and all over the world.


UPDATED 5/22/14:





Duende, a new literary journal has extended their submission deadline to JUNE 1st!! Submit your work! We’re especially seeking Non-Fiction, Fiction, and Hybrid Art. Visual Artists Submit! Writers Submit! Repost!!

“Duende is committed to having a majority of the writers and artists in our journal come from groups that are underrepresented in today’s U.S. literary ecosystem. That is to say, most of the work we publish will be from writers and artists who are queer, of color, differently abled, immigrant, working class, youth, elder, and /or otherwise from communities that are too often overlooked by literary gatekeepers.”

Call for Submissions at Duende Literary

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