Officer there is a black man…!

I mentioned a while ago how upset I was when watching the Amy Cooper video in central park. It became plain and clear if you call the cops and say the words “black person is doing X

Heck who could forget the guys sitting in Starbucks?

Heck when I was working in Starbucks (yes it happened believe it or not) there was a older white woman who came every day to read the free paper and rearrange her baggage, using the toilet and all while pouring free milk for herself. Did we ever call the police? Nope, never!

Trevor Noah covers a lot of cases, but he’s got zero on on the hashtag #Airbnbwhileblack. Although Airbnb has made changes, its not enough in a system of racism.

Estonia to implement a digital nomad Visa

My Estonian e-residency ID

How on earth did i miss this!?

The Estonian parliament on 3 June adopted amendments to the current laws to create a digital nomad visa that would allow people to come to Estonia as a tourist and at the same time continue working for a foreign employer or as a freelancer independent of location.

This is the step I’ve been dreaming about… Digital ID becomes useful for physical ID

Would I work in another country while doing my current job? You darn right I would. The last few months have made it super clear that I could work completely remotely quite well. A tourist visa is about 90 days within a 6 month period, I just spent 3 months mainly in my flat!

This is very doable and heck if I can also wonder across into other parts of Europe?! Now that would be incredible..!

 

It started with a subscription and a email…

I started subscribing to the Dyslexic Advantage, as I have gotten much benefit from the book and decided it would be good to digest much more.

After looking at their premium section, which has a lot of media I started thinking there is maybe too much and they are adding more to it all the time. I started thinking if they have RSS, I could subscribe and get updated media without having to go to the site to check.

Looking at their RSS it was the generic one for the blog no matter which page I went to. There was a note at the end of the podcast section saying if you have troubles or would like it another way ask.

So I did and got into a discussion with Dr. Fernette Eide and Dr. Brock Eide the researchers and writers of the dyslexic advantage. I talked about the advantage of RSS and explained you can have http authentication on RSS to keep their premium content secure.

They were using some other system which was costing them a bit and there was extra step of uploading content to the other system from their dropbox drive, which they nicely shared with me.

Dropbox drive I thought… sure I saw a service which will take a directory of files and generate a RSS feed? I remembered it was called Justcast.com

I set up a account and tried out Justcast for myself and was impressed with how easy it was to get up and running. The one thing which seemed to be missing was authentication on RSS feeds. So I ping them a support request.

Josh from Justcast wrote back pretty quickly… They were on it!

Thanks so much for your suggestion and interest on JustCast, and you know what, we are actually going to work on implementing this Authentication to the feed feature in July. I will definitely keep you in the loop on our development progress.

Following that email we went back and forth and he showed me what it would look like. Then a day ago (29th June) a email

Adding authentication to the feed feature went live. You will able to find the config under the Settings > Advanced. Please give it a try.

I did and it worked exactly how I specified previously. https://user:password@www.justcast.com/mypodcast/blah/index.rss

Perfect…  and the Justcast team have so many features, check out their blog. If I was creating podcasts not on archive.org. This would be my number one option now.

In the meanwhile I was equally impressed to see the dyslexic advantage team had taken my advice, converted their whole premium content to Justcast and were asking me to test the RSS feed.

Dyslexic advantage rss podcast with justcast

It worked perfectly, no need to have access to the dropbox anymore. I was able to subscribe to the RSS feed (theres a button called subscribe which gives you the full RSS feed link). I was able to add it the feed to my complex setup.

I was impressed with both sides and everything seems so much easier for all now. It reminded me how important it is to take advantage of those opportunities.

Justcast got a new client, dyslexic advantage cut their costs and time to upload and share new premium content. I got my RSS feed(s) with a automated drip of new content as they come.

Another nice unexpected thing came out of the whole thing. The dyslexic advantage team wanted to know my story and may turn it into a recording…!

IC3 means excessive force, seems to be the call always?

There is a trend. When IC3 (police code for black male) is mentioned, excessive force is somehow authorized.

From the Guardian

Huugo Boateng was taking part in a charity bike ride with his father along the River Lea in north London when he says he was grabbed from his bike by a plainclothes police officer, threatened with a stun gun and fell face first into thorny bushes.

The 13-year-old told the Observer: “I’d turned around to see if my dad had caught up behind me, and suddenly this man came out of nowhere. He was crazy angry and shouting. I got scared because I thought he might be mugging me or trying to give me corona so I ran, but there was nowhere to go but in the bushes.”

While he was down on the ground, the teenager says the officer pointed a Taser at him and threatened to shoot. The officer then arrested Huugo and put him in handcuffs. Further down the towpath, his father, Andrew, 43, was told to get on his knees and put his hands behind his back. Andrew was also handcuffed. The two were detained, suspected to have been involved in a stabbing in the area.

The most ironic thing about the whole incident is…

The family were visited by a community officer later that evening. “Huugo didn’t want them to come in so they stayed on the doorstep and asked if we were OK,” said Andrew, who works at City University. He is also active in local projects including coaching a youth football team and volunteering for the outreach programme Kickoff@3 , which is co-run by a black Metropolitan police officer, Michael Wallace.

“I couldn’t vouch for a more humble and more dedicated member of the community,” said Wallace. “The irony is that Kickoff@3 is about building good relationships with youth and the police, and Andy is instrumental in helping with that programme. The bike ride he was doing was organised by us – we were raising money for a homeless charity and a domestic violence one.

If there was any doubt about the UK being less racist, its simply not. The racism is different but its still there

#blacklivesmatter, why I know this time we may see lasting change

John Carlos and Tommie Smith made headlines across the world when they raised the black power salute on the podium after winning in the 1968 Olympics

A couple of things confirmed to me this time we may see some changes. The question is will there be enough change?

White middle class people protesting in white middle class spaces

I was surprised last Wednesday afternoon, riding through Cholton in Manchester the amount of white people actively protesting on the side of road sides with signs. It was deeply humbling to see people even giving the black power salute and taking a knee.

Its never been a black only problem, and I have a lot of time for protests in places which don’t make the press.

The true horror of the Atlantic slave trade

There has been so many calls to educate people about the horrors of the Atlantic slave trade and people of colour’s history.

Its being taken more seriously and the white fragility which held it back is being pushed a side for the better of society and the future.

 

The deconstruction of systematic racism block by block

Trevor looks at how depictions of police in film and TV can skew public perception of cops and glorify officers who break laws and use violence unnecessarily on the job

Its incredible the long history of the rouge police people who get the job done with violence, pressure and intimidation. We have gotten so numb to it that we just can’t/don’t connect whats happening in cases like the central park 5 and the excessive force in the cop dramas.

The deconstruction of these cultural programming is so important in the take down of systematic racism.

A understanding its not just about the police

Systematic racism will happily throw the police under the tracks, when a good number are actively anti-racist.

The amount of positive searches

Google hasn’t released the exact figures and of course this is well produced in their favor, but its telling and interesting to see if it grows beyond summer?

Finally watched When they finally see us….

I first watched the first episode of When they finally see us and couldn’t watch further episodes. It was a difficult watch and didn’t get around to finishing the show. Part of the reason is I remember the case as I grew up, it was just before the murder of Stephen Lawrence from memory.

When they finally see us

If you have not seen the series, go watch it and look out for the Opera interview with the 5. You will be in tears…

Curve cards are temporarily suspended

The Curve Card

Bad news, with all the joy I have had using my curve card. I was slightly shocked to see this email from Curve yesterday. To be fair I thought it was a phishing email till I checked the site myself and looked at the twitter account.

YOUR CURVE CARD IS TEMPORARILY SUSPENDED – PLEASE CARRY A BACK-UP

Dear Curve Customers,

Your Curve card and all associated Curve transaction and money transfer services will be temporarily suspended with immediate effect. Please be assured, we expect to be up and running again shortly but it may take a few days. Your money and card details held at Curve are safe and secure.

This has happened because the Financial Conduct Authority* has this morning suspended its permission for Wirecard Card Solutions Limited (the company who currently issues Curve Cards) to operate, without prior notice. This action is not related to Curve – but Curve currently depends on Wirecard for operation of the Curve card.

We are already well on the way to migrating away from Wirecard but have not fully completed this process. We are now working round the clock to achieve the migration as quickly as possible and therefore expect this disruption to last for only a limited period of time.

We will continue to communicate the details of what this means for you during this interim period.

For now, please carry a backup card.

We’ll be back,
Team Curve

*Curve currently relies on Wirecard Card Solutions Limited for all its financial transactions. Until we fully migrate, we are impacted by this suspension (as are all Wirecard’s other clients to whom they provide financial transaction services).

Hopefully they can get it up and going soon, as I couldn’t remember my pin for my old card.

Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man

Emmanuel Acho sits down to have an “uncomfortable conversation” with white America, in order to educate and inform on racism, system racism, social injustice, rioting & the hurt African Americans are feeling today.

Its still early days but I quite like it, especially the discussion with Matthew McConaughey who brings up the notion of “White Allergies” – I have never heard the term

Where we were raised and how we were raised in our history growing up, there’s certain just imported obvious ways that we’re prejudiced in ways that we don’t even understand. We got white allergies and may not even know it. And so, I was sitting there, you know, looking at my own life, and I go, all right. To me, Longview High School, it’s over 50% Black. I applied to Grambling (a historically Black college). I was the first white [person] to ever work at Catfish Station, [a] Black blues bar on 6th Street. I am married to a non-white immigrant. I have Black friends all through my life and still do. But, what prejudices may I have via white allergies that I may not even be aware of?

I think like myself Acho hadn’t heard the term but got it…  He pointed to a example of backhanded compliments, such as “You don’t talk Black,” or ”You’re pretty for a Black girl.”

This reminded me of an experience I had in America on the road while getting some food, I think I was in Iowa or Wisconsin

I walked in to a takeaway place, the white woman with blonde hair  behind the counter. Says to me

“Yo yo brother, whatsup, how ya doin, whatdu want?”

I looked shocked and said in my normal English accent…

Ummmm what….!?

She was so shocked like I had suddenly changed my form completely. I can’t forget the way her face and posture changed.
It was clear she hasn’t heard a black man with a British accent and you could see her world view evaporate like a magician.blowing a puff of smoke.

Systematic racism, a look at the prison system

13th

I recently watched 13th and learned a lot including about ALEC (plus the companies which have dropped support) and the effect of systematic racism on the crime & punishment systems.

Some quotes to think about…

Prison industrial complex, the system, the industry, it is a beast. It eats black and Latino people for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

I think a beast is exactly right. The beast no one wants to talk about?

Police violence, that isn’t the problem in and of itself. It’s reflection of a much larger,brutal system of racial and social control known as mass incarceration, which authorizes this kind of police violence.

Exactly what I’ve been saying. This isn’t about the police, its about the system which encourages excessive force as black lives don’t matter.

People say all the time,
“I don’t understand how people could’ve tolerated slavery. How could they have made peace with that? How could people have gone to a lynching and participated in that?
How did people make sense of the segregation, this white and colored-only drinking…
That’s so crazy.
If I was living at that time, I would have never tolerated anything like that.”
And the truth is, we are living at this time, and we are tolerating it…

Its a quote which sums it up. Its hard to see how the status-quo is the problem when you are in it.

Updated

Just today John Oliver from Last Week Tonight, makes clear the threat of Covid19 and people stuck in Jail and Prison where social distancing isn’t an option and nor is soap! As most people in American prison’s are people of colour, it doesn’t take a lot to realize how devastating this virus is in a prison.

Well worth watching if you have access to HBO or a VPN.

Systematic racism

I think this says so much…

Black communities have been telling the nation, for more than a century, that they have been targeted, beaten, falsely accused and killed by the police and other institutions meant to protect them.

They have not been believed until recently, when the rise in camera phones and social media finally enabled them show and disseminate proof.

Even after the video of George Floyd’s death on May 25, 2020, there remains defensiveness and denial among white Americans and institutions—a defensiveness that prevents change to the root of the problem: systemic racism. In this video, eight powerful voices share perspectives on blackness in America, and why white inaction and white politeness must end.

To learn more about what you can do to end the racist status quo, educate yourself and take action. Here is Robin DiAngelo’s list of resources: https://robindiangelo.com/resources/

How to make people of colour’s life a little easier

Wedding
Photo by Slim Emcee on Unsplash

I saw this piece from Vice and was shaking my head in agreement going through the list.Heres some key ones for me…

2. Don’t assume that all people of color share the same views. We are not a monolith.

Absolutely… Can’t tell you how many times people assume they know what my views are simply because of my race

6. Oh, and rest assured that literally no person of color ever wants you to get back from holiday, show off your tan and excitedly exclaim, “Look, I’m almost as dark as you!” Cease and desist.

I always find tans super strange, especially when people compare them to my skin. Stop doing it…

20. Understand that some days are even more mentally exhausting for people of color thanks to the news cycle. Try not to badger us for our opinions on the latest atrocity that has occurred. Leave us to grieve.

I generally ignore the news cycle as I know it doesn’t help my mental health. If you want thoughts on news items, let it sink in first and see what other people of colour are writing.

22. Share articles relating to the everyday experiences of race and racism written by people of color.

There is the hashtag #everydayracism, use it, repost, retweet and retoot. Just like there is #everydaysexism. More people see it the more peopel will realise.

23. But don’t be that person who is weird and sycophantic and loves to demonstrate their wokeness constantly to the people of color around them. Be thoughtful.

You don’t think I notice when you say Yo to me but not to anyone else? We notice

26. Have a critical eye when watching TV and movies. How are they portraying people of color and why? What purpose does it serve?

Just like the Bechdel test you should check out the DuVernay test

31. If you have kids, buy them dolls of color and books with characters of color.

I don’t have kids but I was very happy when a friend bought his daughter a black doll. That child will hopefully grow up being much more comfortable with people of colour

42. People can be Black and gay and disabled and trans and middle class. Blackness is expansive. It doesn’t look one way. Keep this in mind.

Indeed! This is why we need to start thinking much more intersectionaly.

Mixed race couple
Photo by Creative Hina By.Quileen on Unsplash

48. Never try and pull any uninvited “race play” shit in the bedroom. Seriously, what the fuck?

I had quite a few times while dating, discussions about never having sex with a black man. Its massively upsetting and is like number 50, being called exotic! If this happened in the bedroom it would be over in a heartbeat.

59. Look around your workplace—are the only people of color cleaners or assistants? What can you do to change that? (The answer is almost never “nothing.”)

One of my biggest problems, companies who have a diverse workforce but all the people of colour are cleaners, security guards, assistants, etc.

70. Don’t? Vote? For? Racist? Politicians? Can’t believe I need to say this one but it seems like possibly, maybe, some of y’all did not get this memo.

Its simple, don’t vote for those who make their views clear about which side of the fence they sit. People seem to forget this when election time comes around.

78. If you have ever thought a phrase like “Black lives matter” is too assertive, consider why you’re so uncomfortable with Black people standing up for our humanity.

Absolutely… You need to check your white fragility because people of colour of dying

90. Care about race on the 364 days that aren’t Martin Luther King Jr. day.

Black history month is something which bugs me, I get there are seasons but it feels so insulting that everything is held to then or not bundled together because of that month.

96. Understand that nothing in your life has been untouched by your whiteness. Everything you have would have been harder to come by if you had not been born white.

Its hard to discuss but we are getting closer to the point when we can finally have those conversations. That is progress

99. Recognize that fighting racism isn’t about you, it’s not about your feelings; it’s about liberating people of color from a world that tries to crush us at every turn.

The problem is systematic racism, we need each other to make things better for everyone.

Family stands for black lives matter
Photo by Koshu Kunii on Unsplash

NHS sees sense and adopts the decentralised model

 Matt Hancock, UK health secretary

After all the discussions about the NHS’s contact tracing app being centralised (you would have thought Germany’s decision would convinced them), what on earth did they think they were doing, finally they have changed their minds. I’m sure the pressure from the likes of the open rights group had something to do with it.

As I heard they had worked on two apps and of course the centralised one was a logistical flop. Now the government had to make the painful U turn.

Ouch! What a joke…!

Well at least they didn’t see the joke through to the bitter end.

“We are delighted that the Government listened to our and others advice in ditching the NHS’s ‘world-beating‘ App and to follow the successful model of other countries. “People need to trust the App, and it needs to work. Some countries using decentralised matching have already released their Apps. It will also work across borders. “Decentralised matching makes the App much easier to trust, as it doesn’t track you.
 

Racial microaggressions I have heard in the past

Racial microaggressions

I found this on the black leaders facebook network which I was invited to a while ago. I have had at least a couple of these thrown at me in the past. Usually with people who just met me. I do tend to look up thinking here we go again…

Most minorities face microaggressions. If you are woman, LGBTQ+, have a disability, are neurodiverse, etc.

Its tiresome and the people who say it just don’t think. But its certainly time to start making super clear its not alright by playing the question back on the other person.