The Science of Your Racist Brain Ψ MoJo

The Science of Your Racist Brain

Neuroscientist David Amodio on subconscious racial prejudice and why we’re still responsible for our actions.

| Fri May 9, 2014 6:00 AM EDT  
The amygdala 

When the audio of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling telling a female friend not to “bring black people” to his team’s games hit the internet, the condemnations were immediate. It was clear to all that Sterling was a racist, and the punishment was swift: The NBA banned him for life. It was, you might say, a pretty straightforward case.

When you take a look at the emerging science of what motivates people to behave in a racist or prejudiced way, though, matters quickly grow complicated. In fact, if there’s one cornerstone finding when it comes to the psychological underpinnings of prejudice, it’s that out-and-out or “explicit” racists—like Sterling—are just one part of the story. Perhaps far more common are cases of so-called “implicit” prejudice, where people harbor subconscious biases, of which they may not even be aware, but that come out in controlled psychology experiments.

Much of the time, these are not the sort of people whom we would normally think of as racists. “They might say they think it’s wrong to be prejudiced,” explains New York University neuroscientist David Amodio, an expert on the psychology of intergroup bias. Amodio says that white participants in his studies “might write down on a questionnaire that they are positive in their attitudes towards black people…but when you give them a behavioral measure, of how they respond to pictures of black people, compared with white people, that’s when we start to see the effects come out.” You can listen to our interview with Amodio on the Inquiring Mindspodcast below:

Welcome to the world of implicit racial biases, which research suggests are all around us, and which can be very difficult for even the most well-intentioned person to control. But that doesn’t mean we can’t do anything about them: We can draw attention to the insidious nature of these subconscious influences, and we can work to prevent them from exerting harmful effects not only on interpersonal behavior, but also on policy, employment practices, and public life. That’s what Amodio’s research (and that of many other social psychologists and neuroscientists who study prejudice) is centrally aimed at achieving.

David Amodio Karin Foerde.

How do we know implicit biases exist? In a number of classic studies, research subjects are asked to complete a seemingly simple task, such as watching words pop up on a screen and quickly categorizing those words as either positive, like “happy,” or negative, like “fear.” But right before the word appears, a face, either black or white, flashes on the screen. “What we find over and over again in the literature,” explains Amodio, “is that if a black person’s face was shown really quickly, then people are quicker at categorizing negative words than positive words that follow it. Versus if a white face was shown really quickly, people are usually quicker to categorize the positive words, compared with the negative words.”

These types of biases are quite prevalent.According to a research summary by Stanford University’s Recruitment to Expand Diversity and Excellence program, “about 75% of whites and Asians demonstrated an implicit bias in favor of whites compared to blacks.” In other words, despite your best intentions, you might be a little bit racist. (Similar unconscious biases have been documented in people’s views of those of different genders, the elderly, and other groups.)

And why do these split-second negative responses exist? The underlying problem is that our brains have evolved to see patterns in things that are complex, and to categorize the world in order to simplify it. Thus, when we encounter another person, our brains rapidly and subconsciously try to figure out if he or she is friend or foe: in-group or out-group.

We make these calculations based on many factors, but if we know very little about the person, we often categorize her based on race. What tells us how to do so? The culture in which we live. According to Amodio, while a general categorizing tendency has been with us for “as long as there has been a human mind,” the specific categories that we use—Latino, black, white, Asian American, and so on—and how we feel about them, are a social phenomenon. As such, they’re heavily shaped by the strong prevalence of stereotypes in our society, stereotypes that are so common that even children pick them up at a very young age.

“What we find over and over again in the literature,” explains Amodio, “is that if a black person’s face was shown really quickly, then people are quicker at categorizing negative words than positive words that follow it.”

And thus, while our society has made progress when it comes to matters of race, subliminal categorization tendencies still permeate human behavior. This much has been demonstrated in the lab multiple times, but here are some noteworthy findings on the psychology of implicit racial bias:

1. Associating skin color with physical, rather than mental, abilities: In a 2006 study of more than 150 white college students, Amodio and his colleague Patricia Devine asked them to categorize words as either pleasant (such as “peace,” “heaven,” and “honor”) or unpleasant (“cancer,” “vomit,” “poverty”) and as either mental (“math,” “brainy,” “scientist”) or physical (“basketball,” “agile,” “dance”). Before each categorization task, the subjects were shown black or white faces. The result? These largely liberal college students were faster at categorizing unpleasant and physical words when shown a black face, and faster at categorizing pleasant and mental words when they were preceded by a white face. Once again, implicit biases shone through in the results.

2. Keeping their distance: Amodio and Devine then went a step further, seeking to identify other ways in which a subtle bias against members of a different race might manifest themselves. So in a new experiment, they told study participants that they were going to work, with a partner, to answer a variety of questions. In fact, when the subjects first arrived for the study, their name was called out along with that of their supposed partner (who had not yet arrived). The partner’s name was either “Tyrone Washington” or “Darnell Stewart.”

After this cue had been planted, the participants were then asked to decide which study tasks they would do and which their partner should do, after being informed that some of the tasks involved answering questions similar to those found in the math and verbal sections of the SATs, and others involved answering questions about sports and popular culture. Sure enough, study participants who had shown higher implicit bias were more likely to assign their (presumably black) partner to answer the questions about sports and popular culture, rather than academics.

But that was just the beginning: Then the study subjects were taken to a waiting room, and told that their partner had arrived but had just gone to the bathroom. A coat and backpack, supposedly belonging to the partner, was placed on a chair and the study participant was told to sit and wait. Once again, the unconscious bias came out: Subjects who had ranked higher on implicit biases now showed different seating choices. “They’ll sit further, in a row of chairs, away from the jacket and backpack of what they think is a black person,” says Amodio.

Among white doctors, as their implicit bias increased, their medical decision-making about black patients also changed.

3. Not voting for Obama: In a very different context, these tendencies also cropped up in the 2008 presidential election, pitting a white candidate (John McCain) against a black one (Barack Obama). In a 2009 study, B. Keith Payne of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and his colleagues compared explicit and implicit bias scores for a large number of individuals with their self-reported voting behavior in the election. Not surprisingly, the conscious racists, those showing explicit anti-black bias, tended to vote against Obama and for McCain. But after controlling for explicit bias, the study found that the remaining implicit bias had a surprising effect. It didn’t push voters towards McCain, but it did take votes away from Obama, because these people either tended to favor a third-party candidate or were less likely to vote at all.

4. Racial bias at the doctor’s office: Implicit bias can also affect how white doctors treat black medical patients. In one disturbing 2007 study, 220 medical residents took an implicit association test, to detect subtle racial bias, and also read a medical history of a patient (either black or white) experiencing chest pain, with clinical details suggestive of a heart attack. The result was that among white doctors, as their implicit bias increased, their medical decision-making about black patients changed as well. In particular, their likelihood of treating a black patient with thrombolysis, a drug treatment to reduce blood clots (and prevent heart attacks), decreased. In other words, they were less likely to administer a potentially life-saving treatment.

And that’s just the beginning. Other studies have shown that doctors are more likely to recommend and perform unnecessary surgeries on racial and ethnic minority patients than on their white counterparts. They’ve also shown that Latina and Chinese women are less likely to receive hormone therapy (which decreases the risk of recurrence of breast cancer) than white women.

An fMRI image of amygdala activity during a study of implicit racial bias David Amodio

So what’s happening in the brain that’s causing these unconscious biases to affect behavior? It turns out that we can distinguish between brain activities that are associated with implicit racial biases, of the sort described above, and those associated with the self-regulation or cognitive control processes that kick in to prevent most of us fromconsciously behaving like bigots.

When we look at faces of individuals of a different race, a part of our brain called theamygdala often gets active. The amygdala is involved in learning and, specifically, in a type of learning called fear conditioning—tracking what kinds of things predict bad outcomes, much like a rat learning that a specific tone will lead to an electric shock. Essentially, its job is to figure out what parts of the environment are threatening and remind us to stay away from them.

The problem is that because our culture is filled with racial stereotypes, many of us “learn” inaccurate and prejudicial information about those who look different. And the amygdala operates extremely rapidly, long before our conscious thoughts have time to react. Thus, the operations of this and related brain regions, “if left unchecked, they might lead to the expression of some bias in a way that you don’t intend,” says Amodio.

Fortunately, the amygdala alone doesn’t drive all of our behavior. Our brains have evolved such that we have a large and highly-complex frontal cortex, which allows us to inhibit impulses, make complicated decisions and behave in socially appropriate ways. It’s the frontal cortex that helps most of us tamp down our gut reactions and, in our conscious behaviors, strive to treat members of all races equally. “The human mind is extremely adept at control and regulation,” Amodio says, “and the fact that we have these biases should really be seen as an opportunity for us to be aware and do something about them.”

That’s why, in the end, Amodio doesn’t think that the mere existence of implicit biases provides any excuse for the display of overt or explicit racism. After all, stereotypes are ubiquitous. We all perceive them in our culture, but we do not all act upon them. In other words, we have the ability—and the responsibility—to regulate our own behavior.

“I don’t really think humans have any good excuses for acting on their automatic biases,” says Amodio.

For the entire Inquiring Minds interview with David Amodio, you can stream below:

This episode of Inquiring Mindsa podcast hosted by neuroscientist and musician Indre Viskontas and best-selling author Chris Mooney, also features a discussion of how scientiststurned to a group of video gamers to help solve a complex problem involving how the human retina detects motion, and of the release of the groundbreaking National Climate Assessment.

To catch future shows right when they are released, subscribe to Inquiring Minds via iTunes orRSS. We are also available on Stitcher and on Swell. You can follow the show on Twitter at@inquiringshow and like us on FacebookInquiring Minds was also recently singled out as one of the “Best of 2013” on iTunes—you can learn more here.

Diversity in the Workplace Help or Hinder Teamwork?

 

Excellence in Government
Diversity in the Workplace Help or Hinder Teamwork?

By Evan Apfelbaum

Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock.com

Companies promote diversity in the workplace as a moral imperative with “bottom line benefits.” But research on the value of diversity is mixed. Some studies have found diverse teams—meaning workgroups comprised of employees of different races, genders, and backgrounds—promote creativity, nurture critical thinking, and tend to make better, more thoughtful decisions because they consider a wider range of perspectives. Other studies indicate diverse teams fuel interpersonal conflicts, reduce cohesion, and slow the pace of learning.

The trouble with past research is it assumes only diverse settings are capable of changing how people behave, form impressions, and make decisions. The research has created a convention in which homogeneous groups are considered a “control condition.” Think, for instance, about how we talk about topics related to diversity—we ask whether diversity influences perception, decision-making, and performance. When we digest results, we focus on whether diversity helped or hurt, strengthened or weakened, increased or decreased a given outcome. On the other hand, we view the homogeneous condition as a baseline: a reference point from which we can understand how diversity has changed behavior or what type of response is “normal.”

Homogeneity, however, is not a baseline. My colleagues, Katherine Phillips at Columbia Business School and Jennifer Richeson at Northwestern University, and I recently sampled 240 research articles on group diversity. We found that while the vast majority of research pays no heed to the effects of homogeneity, it may play a profound—and at times negative—role in shaping group behavior. Studies show, for instance, that homogeneous groups tend to make oversimplified judgments that can result in over-confident, even objectively inaccurate, decisions.

Take, for instance, one study that involved giving case information—potential clues to solve a murder mystery—to individuals assigned to either a homogeneous or diverse group. In diverse groups, people’s confidence about their group’s performance corresponded with how well their group actually performed. That is, diverse groups that identified the correct murder suspect reported higher levels of confidence than diverse groups who did not. People in homogeneous groups, on the other hand, tended to report high levels of confidence irrespective of how their group performed. In other words: homogeneous groups were further, not closer, than diverse groups to an objective index of accuracy.

In a different study, participants were randomly assigned to all-white or racially diverse juries and asked to deliberate over the same trial. Results revealed that the all-white juries made more factually inaccurate statements and considered a narrower range of information when discussing a trial than did racially diverse juries.

Why may homogeneous groups be more prone to make less accurate decisions, but feel more confident about them?

One reason may be that homogeneity leads people to assume that other peoples’ behavior is more predictable than it actually is. People in homogeneous groups assume that because others look like them, they are like them in terms of having similar perspectives, knowledge, and values. This assumption of like-mindedness feels comfortable. We feel good when we think we’re around people like us. It happens in the school cafeteria, at cocktail parties, and also in hiring situations.

But that sense of comfort comes at a cost. It creates blind spots in our judgments and decision-making. People in homogeneous groups seem to underestimate the potential for seemingly similar others to have substantively different perspectives, which can lead them to make oversimplified, perhaps even objectively inaccurate, decisions. It’s as though homogeneous groups operate on cruise control. Without people who look different, there’s no “social prompt” to snap team members out of their comfort zone and remind people there may be a different way of looking at an issue. Everyone goes on blithely presuming that all others are all thinking the same thing.

It’s worth noting that the effects associated with homogeneity—lack of accuracy in processing information and an absence of objectivity in making decisions— hark back to one of the most widely-popularized phenomenon in the psychology of groups: groupthink. Groupthink scenarios traditionally are characterized as ones in which a group’s consensus-seeking tendencies detract from the quality or morality of their decisions. There is a distinct possibility that homogeneity plays an underappreciated role in producing some effects typically ascribed to groupthink.

My point isn’t that diversity has no effects on behavior. Of course it does. But homogeneity does, too. Much more work remains to be done, but it may be that the strongest business case to be made for diversity in the workplace has less to do with what diversity adds, and more to do with what homogeneity takes away.

Reprinted with permission from Quartz. The original story can be found here

Government Executive

The Irony Behind Tim Wise and White Privilege

SOUL LATTE

A strong dose of soulful thought.

 

The Irony Behind Tim Wise and White Privilege

Tim_WiseLast week, renowned anti-racist advocate, Tim Wise, came to UMass for a screening of his new documentary, “White Like Me,” followed by a question and answer period with the audience. I won’t go into details about the actual documentary, y’all can check that on your own time, but during the post-screening  period, Wise was confronted about some online beef that occurred after a post on his blog in remembrance of the 50th anniversary of the Birmingham 16th Street Church bombing that killed 4 African-American girls on September 16th, 1963. His post not only acknowledges the tragedy, but also pays tribute to a man named Charles Morgan, Jr, a white southerner who lived in Birmingham at the time, but who opposed the bombings and was ultimately chased out of the South because of his willingness to speak out against racism.

Following the post, a stream of opposition came. In general, they criticized Wise’s emphasis on the need for white allies. After all, they said, if it wasn’t for white people making the lives so hard for Black-Americans to begin with, they wouldn’t need white partnership in the first place. Wise retaliated to the responses through his Facebook page, the status update wasn’t so friendly.

Wise admitted to the audience at UMass that he was wrong for how he reacted, saying that he is “only human,” and he can’t be perfect all the time. Once the applause ended after the apology, a man of color rose and told his own story of dealing with anger. He was a professor at Hampshire College, from the Bronx, and he explained how living in western Massachusetts is never easy for men of color. He told Wise of the discrimination he deals with on a regular basis. Despite being a college professor, it was the color of his skin that was seen first, and it would always put him in a disadvantage. Any man of color knows, he said, that we don’t get the luxury of “being only human,” because being of color, any outburst could be your last–you don’t need to read a James Baldwin novel to come to that realization.

Tim Wise, a renowned expert on white privilege, could recognize he was a product of white privilege, but he could never fully understand how it manifested itself in his own life. If I he could, then he would never have been so openly accepting of the fact that he can have angry outbursts over issues as sensitive as the Birmingham bombing, and so easily get applause over it.

It was a year ago on my college campus when I had first met Tim Wise. I had no idea how famous Tim was, I had never heard of him before. As I sat down to hear him speak to a packed auditorium, I was impressed and unimpressed all in one. I remember being amused by his delivery, you cannot deny he wouldn’t fair too badly as a stand up comedian. He has a way of fusing irony and raw facts through stating just the obvious reality. That is always refreshing to hear from someone who isn’t of color. But then that becomes the real issue: Tim Wise isn’t a person of color. What he was saying wasn’t anything new or profound, but it was the fact that he was white which was why people gave him so much praise. So to put it ironically: In the same way Tim Wise goes around raising awareness on white privilege, he also benefits from it–he is white privilege.

At the end of the lecture, a friend who helped organized the event asked if I would go with him to take Tim to the airport. I couldn’t turn down an opportunity to get some one one one with Tim Wise after hearing everything he just said. We covered a lot of ground in that 40-minute car ride. He told me about where he grew up, what he studied in college, why he does the work he does, he even told me how he met his wife. We talked about my own studies, intellectual curiosities, and some of the research I was currently working on. It was an inspirational car ride, one that influenced the direction of a lot of the research I did that semester, along with many of the things I write on this blog.

And then he did admit what I had been thinking all along: that his whiteness was the reason for his success. He knew why he was getting called to speak all over the country. He knew why he was able to get through to white people. He was aware of his whiteness, and how that created so many privileges that automatically put him ahead of blacks who were saying much of the very same things he was, and who were also working in the field of anti-racism. And for me, my criticism of Wise doesn’t come from the fact that he is a white guy discussing racism. It’s how he utilizes his whiteness. He continually makes mention of how he is a “white ally” for Black America, and then goes on to expect us to give him a gold star. As stated in the blogGroupThink:

It’s great that that guy stood up for what was right, but to try to piggy back on a very significant and painful part of AA history to sing the praises of a white guy who did the right things is… missing the point. It’s great he did that. It’s awesome, but he doesn’t get a cookie. Why is it so hard for people to understand that you don’t get applause for being a decent person?

I don’t have issues with Tim Wise wanting to stand up against racism, it’s quite commendable when anyone–white or black–stands up for racial justice. My issues are with the fact of how righteously he goes about parading his whiteness when speaking about these issues, and then expects us to view him as some kind of “white knight.”

I don’t care if he goes around speaking to large audiences, it’s the fact that he has become more than just a spokesperson on white privilege and that he feels he can also become a spokesperson for Black America, as well. I don’t have any inner-conflicts being upset when people ask Tim Wise to speak on national television over issues of race when there is a sea of well qualified black scholars who can say the same things Tim says, if not better.

My words to Tim Wise: Black-America could use a few white allies, but we don’t need white leaders attempting to claim some sort of moral medal for doing what every human being should be expected to do: the right thing.

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At the Very Least, Your Days of Eating Pacific Ocean Fish Are Over

At the Very Least, Your Days of Eating Pacific Ocean Fish Are Over

 

Radiation

Opinion by Gary Stamper

The heart-breaking news from Fukushima just keeps getting worse…a LOT worse…it is, quite simply, an out-of-control flow of death and destruction. TEPCO is finally admitting that radiation has been leaking to the Pacific Ocean all along. and it’s NOT over….

I find myself moving between the emotions of sorrow and anger.

It now appears that anywhere from 300 to possibly over 450 tons of contaminated water that contains radioactive iodone, cesium, and strontium-89 and 90, is flooding into the Pacific Ocean from the Fukushima Daichi site everyday. To give you an idea of how bad that actually is, Japanese experts estimate Fukushima’s fallout at 20-30 times as high as as the Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear bombings in 1945

There’s a lot you’re not being told. Oh, the information is out there, but you have to dig pretty deep to find it, and you won’t find it on the corporate-owned evening news.

  • An MSNBC article in April of 2012 reported that seals and polar bears were found to have “external maladies” that consisted of fur loss and open sores, obvious signs of radiation burns from the Fukushima meltdown, despite the conclusions of the article.
  • Fukushima radiation appears to be causing an epidemic of dead and starving Sea Lions in California and the FDA has refused to test for radiation
  • Since the summer of 2011, U.S. scientists have observed several dozen living and dead Pacific Ocean marine mammals with a strangely similar condition of skin sores and hair loss. These animals may be suffering from ‘beta burns,’ which are caused by significant external exposure to ‘beta emitters’ such as radiostrontiums, which were released in copious quantities to the Pacific Ocean at Fukushima Daiichi in 2011
  • .Almost a third more US West Coast newborns may face thyroid problems after Fukushima nuclear disaster
  • Contaminated water from Fukushima reactors could double radioactivity levels of US coastal waters in 5 years — “We were surprised at how quickly the tracer spread”

Radiation

IS THE PACIFIC OCEAN FOOD CHAIN DOOMED? – May 2013 – Incredibly worrisome levels of cesium, including short-lived radioactive cesium-134, have been found near Hawaii in the LOWEST part of the marine food chain: plankton. Levels up the food chain, i.e. fish, whales, seals, due to bioaccumulation, MUST be magnitudes higher in contamination now or soon – stop eating Pacific wild seafood now – Researchers find high cesium in some Pacific plankton

SEAFOOD LOVERS ACROSS THE WORLD – The ‘levels’ of radiation in the seafood you are eating now and in the future certainly contain Fukushima radiation but will be considered ‘safe’ by government scientists. Let’s boil it down quickly: Scientists say the only safe level of radiation is zero. YET, governments set ‘limits’ for radiation in food well above zero. These limits actually increase every decade or so. If you love nuclear power and nuclear weapons complexes, then you should accept these limits as well as the fact that a fraction of our cancer epidemic is blamed on nuclear emissions. If you don’t want people (or yourself) to die of cancer to preserve nuclear power and nuclear weapons, then you should heed the scientific consensus conclusion that the safe level of radiation is zero becquerels of anything. Unless you are a nuclear nut, please protect your own health and regulate your genetic stability for the sake of your children, grandchildren, etc…by NOT EATING SEAFOOD OR CONSUMING ANYTHING MADE IN THE SEA. Learn more about food safety.

KEYPOINTS ABOUT FISH CONTAMINATION

  • Bluefin tuna will grow in radioactivity over years with each migration back to West Pacific; older caught fish will be hotter
  • Media is neglecting March (2012) lab study find that North Pacific albacore ‘tuna fish’ has same Fukushima cesium contaminant
  • All Pacific migratory fish are probably Fukushima contaminated – why isn’t this all over Twitter?
  • Alaska Halibut also found with same Fuku-cesium contaminant – but did not migrate to Japan’s waters. How did cesium-134 get into Alaska halibut?
  • Bluefin tuna in 2012 study aren’t all equally radioactive; sample #8 contained 50% higher cesium concentrations than the average of the 15 samples
  • Bluefin scientists did a most non-stellar job. They cherrypicked isotopes for dose comparison.
  • FDA is telling media and consumers it is ‘testing fish.’ It is testing imports and not testing U.S.-caught wild seafood (billions of pounds caught annually in U.S.) More
  • Cesium-134 is marker for strontium-90 – causes bone cancer and immune-disorders; babies are ‘sponges’ for calcium and strontium
  • Levels in bluefin tuna are similar to record food concentrations in 1960s
  • ECRR (Busby) predicts ’61,600,000 deaths from cancer’ (and 3.5 million baby deaths) ‘from the nuclear project since 1945,’ mostly the 1960s.
  • Bulk of 1960s exposure was internal, largely from ingested FOOD made radioactive from hydrogen bomb test fallout.
  • FDA saying levels are safe is a lie. FDA says its intervention levels will kill people. Downplays risk as ‘small’ compared to our ~40-50% cancer rate. But much of that rate is prolonged fallout effects from 1960s.
  • Baseline levels of manmade-radionuclides in Pacific seafood pre-Fukushima caused some genetic defects and cancers in world population
  • FDA uses faulty dose calculations that lowball rate of cancer carnage by several magnitudes. Genetic harm from cesium’s gamma rays ignored in dose models
  • Alvarez asks would a 1950′s NPR ‘trivialize’ ‘impacts of open-air hydrogen bomb testing?’ You bet. Our government and media is herding us into rail-cars destined for another radioactive holocaust.

Hawaii Is Hot

Hawaii is Hot with Radiation

 

5 CONSPIRACY THEORIES WHICH TURNED OUT TO BE TRUE Truth Theory

5 CONSPIRACY THEORIES WHICH TURNED OUT TO BE TRUE

There are types of stories called “conspiracy theories” and the people who teach them are considered by “society” as crazy fanatics who often need medical treatment. What if I tell you that “society” should take some of that medical treatment, because sometimes such incredible stories, nobody believed in, turn out to be 100% true.

What if I tell you that the doctors did not treat us, just wait until we die to cut our bodies?

1. Tuskegee syphilis experiment

In the years 1932-1972, there were a series of experiments on about 400 syphilis-infected black citizens of the United States. The study selected the poor, simple and uneducated – most of them did not even know about their illness. U.S. Public Health Service had promised free treatment to patients. In fact, they were given aspirin. The purpose of this “experiment” was to observe a progressive disease in representatives of the black race, and the scientific autopsy of deceased participants in these studies. As a result, 28 people died directly of syphilis, 100 died as a result of complications directly related to the disease, 40 women were infected by unconscious patients, and 19 children were born with congenital disease.male_blood_testThe sad truth about the Tuskegee Experiment was confirmed in 1997 by President Bill Clinton, who officially and publicly apologized to the eight surviving participants in these studies.

What if I tell you that the U.S. government itself commits “acts of terror” on its land, just to have an excuse to invade another country?

2. Operation Northwoods

In 1997, as a result of the murder of J.F. Kennedy, fifteen hundred pages of documents entitled “Operation Northwoods” were declassified. In the 60s, the United States was preparing for war with Cuba. To fire up the war machine public support was needed. In turn the defense secretary presented a paper called “Justification for U.S. Military Intervention in Cuba” so they had a whole range of interesting provocations, such as terrorist attacks involving the blowing up military bases, starting fires, aircraft hijacking, “landing” of Cuban troops , bombings, and even the sinking of a boat full of armed Cubans.
 see the full document for yourself: http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/news/20010430/northwoods.pdf

see the full document for yourself here

These false flag terrorist attacks were to be carried out by the CIA on a massive scale so that the citizens of the United States would feel threatened by Fidel Castro and the government had an excuse to start a war. The plan was never implemented however, as president Kennedy met with the General Lyman Lemnitzer the plan for the operation was rejected. This time it did not work …

What if I tell you that it is just about oil?

3. Nayirah Testimony

In August 1990 there was conflict between Iraq and Kuwait, mostly over oil fields as Saddam Hussein accused Kuwaitis of theft of these resources. On October 10th the whole world turned its eyes toward a fifteen-year old girl named Nayirah, who wept profusely as she talked about inhumane crimes committed by Iraqi soldiers. The young Kuwaiti was to witness the killing of more than 300 babies in a hospital. The dramatic speech touched the hearts of viewers and managed to drum up overwhelming support for the involvement of the United States in this conflict and the outbreak of the Gulf War.
liar1When the battle dust settled, someone took a closer look at Nayirah. Quickly it became apparent that the sobbing girl in front of millions of viewers was the daughter of Sheikh Saud Nasser Al-Saud Al-Sabah – Kuwaiti Ambassador to the United States and a member of the royal family. The child was handed to PR whizzes – Hill & Knowlton company, where she passed a course in comprehensive acting training. It had to work out – the company bosses signed an $11.9 million contract with the Kuwaiti royal family. The task was simple — to persuade the U.S. military to take action against Iraq. Nayirah lied. This time it worked …

What if I tell you that the leading Nazi scientists got a job in the USA after the war?

4. Operation Paperclip.

World War II was coming to an end and nothing more could change the situation of the Third Reich. American special forces had acknowledged that it would be a pity if some people lost their lives, especially those whose knowledge and experience could potentially serve the interests of the United States. As part of Operation Paperclip, they smuggled into the U.S. a group of gifted scientists from the Nazi rocket industry, medicine and chemical weapons divisions.
operation-paperclip-picIn the safe arms of Uncle Sam there were, among others, Wernher Von Braun (SS-man, the creator of the famous missile V-2), Kurt Blome (a doctor specializing in biological weapons, which tested their inventions on prisoners in Auschwitz) and Hubertus Strughold (“father of space medicine” who examined the effect of extremely low temperatures on the human body in camp Dachau). In total, 700 German “men of science”, found their new home on American soil.

What if I tell you that the government controls your mind?

5. MK-Ultra

It turns out that playing with people’s minds was actually done by the CIA a good half a century ago! In the 60s, thanks to the NY Times reporters, details of the MK-Ultra project came to light, which was aimed to investigate the human ability to be controlled by the use of certain chemicals, subliminal messages, electrical impulses and psychoactive substances. The project itself consisted of a number of sub-projects. For example, MK-Search was designed to create the perfect truth serum that could be used on captured Russian spies.
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They also looked into research on the practical use of LSD. Experiments were conducted on prostitutes, prisoners and people with mental illness. Often times without their knowledge or consent. One such experiment was to give the drug to seven volunteers continuously for 77 days … Among the substances, with which the CIA dealt was alsoamphetamines, psilocybin and mescaline. They also experimented with hypnotic seances. When information about MK-Ultra was released to the public, a number of committees of inquiry were established and this research was formally and publicly condemned.

It is often said that the infamous project was one of the factors which resulted in the generation of the hippie movement. Ken Kesey – author of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”, as a volunteer, was participating in one of the experiments, prepared by the CIA. The effect of LSD on the human mind intrigued the writer so much, that he became one of the first proponents of the use of psychedelic drugs in the context of recreation. Another member of psychedelic experimentation was Robert Hunter of the Grateful Dead …

 

We know that these theories turned out to be true. And how many more are waiting to be revealed? There are some people who do a lot to hide the truth.

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ID Theft AND CC PROTECTION – Preparedness for Tragedy

PhotoFunia-a349ATTORNEY’S ADVICE – NO CHARGE

Facebook Friend pass this along.

Read this and make a copy for your files in case you need to refer to it someday. Maybe we should all take some of his advice! A corporate attorney sent the following out to the employees in his company:

1. Do not sign the back of your credit cards. Instead, put ‘PHOTO ID REQUIRED.’

2. When you are writing checks to pay on your credit card accounts, DO NOT put the complete account number on the ‘For’ line. Instead, just put the last four numbers. The credit card company knows the rest of the number, and anyone who might be handling your check as it passes through all the check processing channels won’t have access to it.

3. Put your work phone # on your checks instead of your home phone. If you have a PO Box use that instead of your home address. If you do not have a PO Box, use your work address. Never have your SS# printed on your checks. (DUH!) You can add it if it is necessary. But if you have It printed, anyone can get it.

4. Place the contents of your wallet on photocopy machine. Do both sides of each license, credit card, etc. You will know what you had in your wallet and all of the account numbers and phone numbers to call and cancel. Keep the photocopy in a safe place.

I also carry a photocopy of my passport when I travel either here or abroad. We’ve all heard horror stories about fraud that’s committed on us in stealing a Name, address, Social Security number, credit cards..

Unfortunately, I, an attorney, have firsthand knowledge because my wallet was stolen last month. Within a week, the thieves ordered an expensive monthly cell phone package, applied for a VISA credit card, had a credit line approved to buy a Gateway computer, received a PIN number from DMV to change my driving record information online, and more.

But here’s some critical information to limit the damage in case this happens to you or someone you know:

5. We have been told we should cancel our credit cards immediately. But the key is having the toll free numbers and your card numbers handy so you know whom to call. Keep those where you can find them.

6.. File a police report immediately in the jurisdiction where your credit cards, etc., were stolen. This proves to credit providers you were diligent, and this is a first step toward an investigation (if there ever is one).

But here’s what is perhaps most important of all: (I never even thought to do this.)

7. Call the 3 national credit reporting organizations immediately to place a fraud alert on your name and also call the Social Security fraud line number. I had never heard of doing that until advised by a bank that called to tell me an application for credit was made over the Internet in my name.

The alert means any company that checks your credit knows your information was stolen, and they have to contact you by phone to authorize new credit.

By the time I was advised to do this, almost two weeks after the theft, all the damage had been done. There are records of all the credit checks initiated by the thieves’ purchases, none of which I knew about before placing the alert. Since then, no additional damage has been done, and the thieves threw my wallet away this weekend (someone turned it in). It seems to have stopped them dead in their tracks.

Now, here are the numbers you always need to contact about your wallet, if it has been stolen:

1.) Equifax: 1-800-525-62851-800-525-6285

2.) Experian (formerly TRW): 1-888-397-3742 1-888-397-3742

3.) Trans Union : 1-800-680 7289 1-800-680 7289

4.) Social Security Administration (fraud line):

1-800-269-0271 1-800-269-0271

We pass along jokes on the Internet; we pass along just about everything.

If you are willing to pass this information along, it could really help someone that you care about.

2013 Black History Note l From Footnote to Fame in Civil Rights History

From Footnote to Fame in Civil Rights History

By BROOKS BARNES

Published: November 25, 2009

On that supercharged day in 1955, when Rosa Parks refused to give up her bus seat to a white passenger in Montgomery, Ala., she rode her way into history books, credited with helping to ignite the civil rights movement.

Nicole Bengiveno/The New York Times (left), The Montgomery Advertiser, via Melanie Kroupa Books/Farrar, Straus & Giroux

Claudette Colvin in a portrait taken in November (left) and as a child around 1953.

Nicole Bengiveno/The New York Times

Claudette Colvin’s historic stand preceded that of Rosa Parks.

Michael Appleton for The New York Times

Phillip Hoose, with Claudette Colvin, accepting a National Book Award last week for “Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice.”

The Montgomery Advertiser, via Melanie Kroupa Books/Farrar, Straus & Giroux

 

But there was another woman, named Claudette Colvin, who refused to be treated like a substandard citizen on one of those Montgomery buses — and she did it nine months before Mrs. Parks. The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. made his political debut fighting her arrest. Moreover, she was the star witness in the legal case that eventually forced bus desegregation.

Yet instead of being celebrated, Ms. Colvin has lived unheralded in the Bronx for decades, initially cast off by black leaders who feared she was not the right face for their battle, according to a new book that has plucked her from obscurity.

Last week Phillip Hoose won the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature for “Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice,” published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux. The honor sent the little-selling title shooting up 500 spots on Amazon.com’s sales list and immediately thrust Ms. Colvin, 70, back into the cultural conversation.

“Young people think Rosa Parks just sat down on a bus and ended segregation, but that wasn’t the case at all,” Ms. Colvin said in an animated interview at a diner near her apartment in the Parkchester section of the Bronx. “Maybe by telling my story — something I was afraid to do for a long time — kids will have a better understanding about what the civil rights movement was about.”

Ms. Colvin made her stand on March 2, 1955, and Mrs. Parks made hers on Dec. 1 that same year. Somehow, as Mrs. Parks became one of Time Magazine’s 100 most important people of the 20th century, and streets and schools were named after her, Ms. Colvin managed to let go of any bitterness. After Ms. Colvin was arrested, Mrs. Parks, a seasoned N.A.A.C.P. official, sometimes let her spend the night at her apartment. Ms. Colvin remembers her as a reserved but kindly woman who fixed her snacks of peanut butter on Ritz crackers.

“My mother told me to be quiet about what I did,” Ms. Colvin recalled. “She told me: ‘Let Rosa be the one. White people aren’t going to bother Rosa — her skin is lighter than yours and they like her.’ ”

Ms. Colvin said she came to terms with her “raw feelings” a long time ago. “I know in my heart that she was the right person,” she said of Mrs. Parks.

Ms. Colvin was riding the bus home from school when the driver demanded that she give up her seat for a middle-age white woman, even though three other seats in the row were empty, one beside Ms. Colvin and two across the aisle.

“If she sat down in the same row as me, it meant I was as good as her,” Ms. Colvin said.

Two police officers, one of them kicking her, dragged her backward off the bus and handcuffed her, according to the book. On the way to the police station, they took turns trying to guess her bra size.

At the time, the arrest was big news. Black leaders, among them Dr. King, jumped at the opportunity to use her case to fight segregation laws in court. “Negro Girl Found Guilty of Segregation Violation” was the headline in The Alabama Journal. The article said that Ms. Colvin, “a bespectacled, studious looking high school student,” accepted the ruling “with the same cool aloofness she had maintained” during the hearing.

As chronicled by Mr. Hoose, more than 100 letters of support arrived for Ms. Colvin — sent in care of Mrs. Rosa Parks, secretary of the Montgomery branch of the N.A.A.C.P.

But Ms. Colvin was ultimately passed over.

“They worried they couldn’t win with her,” Mr. Hoose said in an interview from his home in Portland, Me. “Words like ‘mouthy,’ ‘emotional’ and ‘feisty’ were used to describe her.”

Mrs. Parks, on the other hand, was considered “stolid, calm, unflappable,” he said. The final straw: Ms. Colvin became pregnant by a married man.

A second Montgomery teenager, Mary Louise Smith, was also arrested for refusing to give up her bus seat — after Ms. Colvin’s arrest but before Ms. Parks’s — and she was also deemed an unsuitable symbol for the movement partly because of rumors that her father had an alcohol problem.

Although Ms. Colvin quickly left Montgomery, she returned during the peak of the bus boycott that Mrs. Parks had subsequently sparked, and testified in federal court in Browder v. Gayle, the landmark case that effectively ended bus segregation.

“It’s an important reminder that crucial change is often ignited by very plain, unremarkable people who then disappear,” said David J. Garrow, a Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer of Dr. King.

Even Mrs. Parks was forgotten for the better part of 20 years, only re-emerging as a world-famous figure in the early 1970s after magazine articles and attention in several children’s books.

Ms. Colvin, who relies on a cane to steady herself, retired in 2004 after 35 years as a nurse’s aide at a Manhattan nursing home. She contributed to her own obscurity: after settling in New York, she never talked about how her arrest helped prompt the famous bus boycott.

“She continued to heed her mother’s advice, and worried that drawing attention to herself would result in the loss of her job. “I wasn’t going to take that chance,” she said.

So she settled into living an average life. She never married. The son she had in Montgomery died at age 37; a second son is an accountant in Atlanta. She watches television — “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” is a favorite — and is a regular at the diner.

Ms. Colvin said she reads two newspapers every day to keep up on current events, chatting about recent Nobel Prize winners. She likes Chris Rock and Alicia KeysAretha Franklincould stand to lose a few pounds, but she wore a good hat to President Obama’sinauguration. Don’t get Ms. Colvin started on Sarah Palin.

She has fond memories of Dr. King. “He was just an average-looking fellow — it’s not like he was Kobe Bryant or anything,” she said, fluttering her eyelashes. “But when he opened his mouth he was like Charlton Heston playing Moses.”

Mr. Hoose said he stumbled across Ms. Colvin’s story while researching a previous book, “We Were There, Too! Young People in U.S. History.” Several sources told him to investigate what had almost become an urban myth: that a teenager had beaten Mrs. Parks to the punch in Montgomery.

He eventually tracked down Ms. Colvin, who has an unlisted telephone number. She refused to talk to Mr. Hoose for almost four years.

Mr. Hoose won over his reluctant subject over a long lunch at the diner. It was clear, he said, that she yearned to have her story told despite protests to the contrary. “It was easy to find the rebel girl inside of her,” he said.

One of her first questions: “Can you get it into schools?”

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: December 4, 2009
An article on Nov. 26 about Claudette Colvin, who protested segregation on theMontgomery, Ala., buses nine months before Rosa Parks did and is the subject of a book for young people that won a National Book Award last month, referred imprecisely to Mrs. Parks’s protest. While the boycott that followed her arrest for refusing to give up her seat to a white passenger was planned by civil rights leaders who were waiting for the right case, her protest itself on Dec. 1, 1955, was not “carefully planned.”

More Articles in Books »A version of this article appeared in print on November 26, 2009, on page A1 of the New York edition.

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