Riding a car while black

White and black Floridians wear their seat belts at roughly the same rates [however] … According to a new report by the American Civil Liberties Union, police in Florida were nearly twice as likely in 2014 to stop and ticket black drivers for seat belt violations — and that may be an underestimate, since at least one county with a history of racial disparities in seat belt citations stopped reporting its stats altogether. [link]

Florida seatbelt citation rates

43% of British said their empire was a good thing

This empire:

Between 12 and 29 million Indians died of starvation while it was under the control of the British Empire, as millions of tons of wheat were exported to Britain as famine raged in India.

In 1943, up to four million Bengalis starved to death when Winston Churchill diverted food to British soldiers and countries such as Greece while a deadly famine swept through Bengal.

Talking about the Bengal famine in 1943, Churchill said: “I hate Indians. They are a beastly people with a beastly religion. The famine was their own fault for breeding like rabbits.” [link]

The idea that car deaths are inevitable and blameless is a real problem

Richard West on why he hates cars:

I loathe cars. To begin with they kill lots of people, 3,431 last year in the UK and seriously injure more (35,976). Then I object to the effect they have on my daily life, the cities I have lived in, the noise, atmospheric pollution and domination of public space. How much of Belfast is given over to space for leaving the things on, never mind driving them around. But most of all I hate the weary, powerless apathy that cars generate in the population. Very likely, if you even got past the first sentence, you have probably already muttered, ‘Yes, we know, people die on the roads, so what.’ Well this apathy is no accident, if you will excuse the pun, it happens for a reason…

This conclusion is obvious when you consider even how many people are killed and the supreme indifference with which this is treated. Taking the subject a little more seriously one might note how few prosecutions there are for killing people with cars. Plainly this suggests no one is ‘to blame’ for these deaths, or when they are, say in the case of drunk driving, the sentences are light. But more striking still is the discovery that ALL motorists pay into a fund to compensate the victims of negligent, uninsured and untraced motorists. Any of the various people who have run me over might therefore have very reasonably protested that they had already paid once for the privilege and they were not going to pay twice. [link]

Lee Child’s writing process? 19 cups of coffee in a day

A scholar watched a novelist write a best-seller, and then wrote a book about it

Martin contacted Child and asked whether he could observe the entire writing process for the 20th Reacher novel, Make Me. Amazingly, Child said yes.

‘So far I have no title, no real plot…. I don’t have a clue about what is going to happen,’ Child tells Martin on the first day. This, for most novelists, would be a startling admission, especially in crime fiction where plotting is paramount. Martin perches on a couch as Child sits down, lights a cigarette, and begins to write. By the end of the day, Child has smoked 26 Camels, drunk 19 cups of coffee (‘I’m writing on the verge of a stroke,’ he quips) and written 2,000 words. It’s fascinating to watch the process of writing unfolding in real time — the hours Child spends agonising over a particular word choice, the weighing up between different types of POV, the slow accretion of plot and forward momentum. [link]

Schools often punish victims who report sexual assault

The girl reported that during school hours the day before, a 17-year-old senior had forced her to perform oral sex in a car in the school parking lot, according to a police report..Because the girl was younger than 16, she was not able to legally consent to sex under Michigan state law. But the boy was never charged: The Macomb County prosecutor denied a request for an arrest warrant, citing “prosecutor discretion, consensual act.”

The school suspended both students. The boy was allowed to graduate. Goodman’s daughter was expelled for 180 days and is being homeschooled while she tries to find another school to attend.

“I feel like I’m in a prison,” she said by telephone. “I just want this all to be over with. I just want to be a normal kid doing normal things.” [link]

White teachers discriminate against black students; black teachers are fair

A new, national study finds that black students are about half as likely as white students to be put on a “gifted” track — even when they have comparable test scores.

Only one factor erased this disparity between students: the race of their teachers.

Nonblack teachers identify black students as gifted in reading 2.1 percent of the time. Black teachers are three times more likely to identify black students as gifted in reading: 6.2 percent of the time. That’s the same rate as for white students, no matter the race of their teacher.