According to Reports

The New Crisis, January/February 2003 | Go to article overview

According to Reports


CIVIL RIGHTS

Study Finds Four-fold Increase in Workplace Noose Incidents

Convinced that race doesn't matter in America? A new report proves otherwise, finding that over the past six years noose incidents in the workplace have increased 400 percent. The Center for Democratic Renewal (CDR) in Atlanta has documented 112 incidents reported from 1996 through 2002. Last year 28 incidents were reported, up from seven in 1996. Ninety-eight percent of the incidents were directed toward African Americans. In 31 of the cases, 11 where a judgment or consent decree had been entered," more than $15.1 million has been awarded to the harassed parties. Victims have discovered nooses at their desks, in their lockers, in restrooms and in boardrooms. Often the nooses were accompanied by racial slurs and offensive graffiti. In more extreme cases, supervisors have brandished nooses or co-workers have placed them around the victim's neck. The three-month study, using data collected from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and public records, revealed noose discrimination in primarily blue-collar environments, although incidents were periodically reported in white-collar situations. The incidents occurred in 27 states. Georgia (23), Colorado (11) and Michigan (9) topped the list. The reported incidents involved a number of airline, utility and construction companies. Among the employers that settled noose incidents during the period studied are some familiar names - Adelphi ($1.05 million), Best Buy ($250,000), Ford Motor Co. ($330,000), General Motors ($1.25 million), Linens 'n Things ($25,000), Lowe's ($48,000), Mitsubishi Motors ($1.4 million) and Xerox ($242,000). CDR is a multiracial organization established more than two decades ago to monitor White supremacist activity.

HOUSING

Housing Discrimination Down Slightly, But Persists

Incidents of housing discrimination have generally declined since 1989, but African Americans and Hispanics still "face a significant risk of receiving less information and less favorable treatment than comparable White customers," according to the authors of a new Urban Institute report. The findings are based on results from the latest Housing Discrimination Study sponsored by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and conducted by the institute. In the summer and fall of 2000, the Urban Institute conducted 4,600 paired tests (in which one minority and one White person pose as otherwise identical home seekers) in 23 metropolitan areas. Hispanics were slightly more likely to be treated unfairly in both the rental and homebuying markets than African Americans. …

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