Thursday, August 13, 2020

School-to-prison pipeline has deep roots in tangled history of tribal schools

Posted By on Thu, Aug 13, 2020 at 2:00 PM

The Chilocco Indian Agricultural School in northern Oklahoma, one of hundreds across the country in the 19th and 20th centuries that that worked to forcibly assimilate Native American children into Western culture, separating famlies and often punishing use of tribal language and traditions. (pcol / Creative Commons)
  • The Chilocco Indian Agricultural School in northern Oklahoma, one of hundreds across the country in the 19th and 20th centuries that that worked to forcibly assimilate Native American children into Western culture, separating famlies and often punishing use of tribal language and traditions. (pcol / Creative Commons)
PHOENIX – In the early 1930s, Robert Carr, a member of the Creek Nation, was expelled for “incorrigible behavior” from Chilocco Indian Agricultural School near the Kansas-Oklahoma border.

By the time he was 21, Carr had been incarcerated in three different institutions. He died in a Kansas state prison where he was held for stealing $30 worth of food, said his niece, K. Tsianina Lomawaima, a professor and Indigenous studies scholar at Arizona State University.

It was the height of the Great Depression and, according to Lomawaima, Carr said he committed the crime because he couldn’t get a job and was hungry.

The school-to-prison pipeline – a trend of school discipline pushing children into prison – is recognized to have started developing at the end of the 20th century, experts say. But Carr’s story is an example of this phenomenon from decades earlier, when the U.S. government sanctioned, and sometimes operated and financed, hundreds of boarding schools for Native American children that relied on military and carceral practices to forcibly assimilate them into Western culture.

Modern juvenile incarceration disproportionately affects Native American youth, and experts on U.S. Indian policy trace the disparity back to the U.S.’s Native American assimilation policies of the 19th and 20th centuries – which included boarding schools. Not only were boarding schools often little better than prisons, they intentionally broke up Native American families and triggered trauma that has compounded over generations, leading to many of the disparities Native Americans face today, according to a report by the National Congress of American Indians.

However, Lomawaima said the history of boarding schools is nuanced.

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City of Tucson provides $3 million in grants to local workers and families

Posted By on Thu, Aug 13, 2020 at 12:30 PM

Tucson Skyline - COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy photo
  • Tucson Skyline

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Tucson received about $95 million from the federal CARES Act. Mayor Regina Romero and the city council members recently approved $3 million of that funding to be distributed to local workers and families that have been negatively impacted by the crisis.

The grant program, named the “We Are One | Somos Unos Resiliency Fund” will focus on individuals and households that have not received any state or federal COVID-19 relief money and whose income does not reach Pima County’s self-sufficiency standard.

The self-sufficiency standard measures how much money an individual or family needs to earn to be able to meet their basic needs with no public or private financial assistance. In 2018, the self-sufficiency standard for a single adult in Pima County was $9.66 per hour or $1,700 per month. For a household with two adults and two young children, the standard was $13.22 per hour for both adults, or $4,711 per month.

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Your Southern AZ COVID-19 Roundup for Thursday, Aug. 13: Total Cases Top 190K; Pop-Up Testing in Marana Today; In-Person School on Hold Until Spread of Virus is Under Control

Posted By on Thu, Aug 13, 2020 at 8:58 AM

The number of Arizona’s confirmed novel coronavirus cases topped 190,000 as of Thursday, Aug. 13, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.

Pima County had seen 19,001 of the state’s 190,794 confirmed cases.

A total of 4,383 Arizonans had died after contracting COVID-19, according to the Aug. 13 report.

The number of hospitalized COVID cases continues to decline. ADHS reported that as of Aug. 12, 1,411 COVID patients were hospitalized in the state, down from a peak of 3,517 on July 13.

A total of 1,026 people visited ERs on Aug. 12 with COVID symptoms. That number peaked at 2,008 on July 7.

A total of 497 COVID-19 patients were in ICU beds on Aug. 10. The number in ICUs peaked at 970 on July 13.

Pima County sees downward trend in cases following mask mandate

Following the passage of an ordinance on June 19 requiring people to wear masks when out in public, Pima County has seen a dramatic drop in the number of new positive COVID-19 tests.

The number of cases dropped from a high of 2,368 new cases in the week ending July 4 to just 865 in the week ending Aug. 1, according to a Pima County Health Department report.

Fewer people are dying as well. Deaths related to COVID-19 peaked the week of July 4 with 51 people. The week ending Aug. 1, Pima County saw just 20 deaths.

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Claytoonz: Pootie Juice

Posted By on Thu, Aug 13, 2020 at 8:30 AM

For more Claytoonz, click here.

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Wednesday, August 12, 2020

It’s Illegal for Federal Officials to Campaign on the Job. Trump Staffers Keep Doing It Anyway.

Posted By on Wed, Aug 12, 2020 at 5:00 PM

  • Courtesy of Flickr
Stay up to date with WNYC and ProPublica’s investigations into the president’s business practices.
This story is co-published with WNYC.

President Donald Trump’s recent musings about staging his Republican National Convention speech at the White House drew criticism from government ethics watchdogs and even one Republican senator, John Thune of South Dakota.

The suggestion wasn’t an isolated blending of official presidential duties and the campaign. It was part of a yearslong pattern of disregarding such boundaries in the Trump White House. There is a law, called the Hatch Act, that prohibits most government officials from engaging in politicking in the course of their official work.

The law does not apply to the president or vice president. While other presidents took campaign advantage of the trappings of the office, something that came to be known as the “Rose Garden strategy,” they typically refrained from explicit electoral appeals or attacks on their opponents at official presidential events. Federal election law and measures governing appropriations prohibit using taxpayer dollars for electioneering.

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Kamala Harris Reading Guide: The Best Reporting on the Vice Presidential Candidate

Posted By on Wed, Aug 12, 2020 at 4:00 PM

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ProPublica is a nonprofit newsroom that investigates abuses of power. Click here to read their biggest stories as soon as they’re published.

On Tuesday, former Vice President Joe Biden selected Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., as his vice presidential running mate. We’ve collected some of the best stories on Harris to get you up to speed on the candidate.

The 2020 Campaign Trail

How Kamala Harris Went From ‘Female Obama’ to Fifth Place,” Politico, November 2019

Drawing on interviews with people inside and outside her campaign, Christopher Cadelago charted Harris’ parabolic bid for president, from its initial momentum to its floundering final month. He connects her past races, particularly her 2010 bid for California attorney general against Republican Steve Cooley, to help explain her present. Cadelago followed up in December for a look at how Harris’ campaign eventually unraveled, both financially and with clashing advisers.

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Talking ‘the talk’: Black leaders in Arizona recall sobering rite of passage

Posted By on Wed, Aug 12, 2020 at 3:00 PM

  • Alan Scott Davis
PHOENIX – For any teen, getting a driver’s license is a rite of passage – a small taste of freedom in their adolescent lives.

But for Black teens in America the little bit of freedom that comes with car keys also comes with “the talk”: The time when Black parents sit their children down and explain to them what to do if stopped by a police officer.

It’s been happening for generations. Sometimes the talk comes earlier in life. Sometimes it’s in response to a headline-grabbing death of a Black person who had been stopped by police.

In the wake of recent deaths of Black people at the hands of police – George Floyd in Minneapolis, Dion Johnson and Muhammad Muhaymin Jr. in Phoenix and Breonna Taylor in Louisville, the latest in a history of such killings – Cronkite News asked Black leaders in Arizona to talk about the time they had the talk.

Tempe Mayor Corey Woods remembers details of “the talk” with his dad nearly three decades later. For Flagstaff Mayor Coral Evans, it brought memories of being talked to by her mother – then having the talk with her own daughter.

Arizona State University football coach Herm Edwards said the talk with his father was not one specific event but what he called a series of small life lessons. That was the case for Arizona Rep. Geraldine Peten, D-Gila Bend, who knows that those are lessons and talks that will continue for generations to come.

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Health officials report increases in drug overdoses, suicides during COVID-19 pandemic

Posted By on Wed, Aug 12, 2020 at 2:00 PM

  • Courtesy UA News
PHOENIX – As social distancing and isolation continue throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, many states across the country are reporting an increase in reported drug overdoses and suicides, including Arizona.

The Arizona Department of Health Services has observed an increase in deaths due to suicide and drug overdose during the COVID-19 epidemic, according to Dr. Cara Christ, the department’s director.

“We are seeing an increase in drug overdose and in suicides, not just here in Arizona but nationally. Could some of that be associated to the isolation and loneliness? That was one of the things that we were worried about,” she said during a July 16 news conference.

Arizona health officials declined requests for further comment on the subject. While publicly available data reveals that in Arizona there had been 48,120 suspected opioid overdoses between June 15, 2017, and Aug. 7, 2020, the health department does not share data that isolates the number of suicides since the start of the pandemic.

Nationally, there had been a 17.59% increase in drug overdoses from March 19 to May 19, as reported by the Overdose Detection Mapping Application Program.

Health officials in other states, such as Illinois and Washington, are voicing similar concerns, as the number of incidents continues to grow.

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