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Re: “First round of police race data is in

This study on police and race is immensely crucial for multiple reasons. A major one has to do with the reality of the experience of current Spokane Police Chief Frank Straub in policing. Per his resume, from 2001 to 2002 Straub was the New York City Police Department's Assistant Police Commissioner for Training and for Counter-Terrorism and in that role led all police recruit, in-service, promotional, and executive training for a sworn and civilian members of the NYPD. In the immediate aftermath of this period in which Straub led all NYPD training, the NYPD began its notorious stop-and-frisk policy which grew in numbers (eventually into the millions) of young men of color being racially-profiled, stopped-and-frisked, and arrested. Rather incredibly, Straub went straight from his position with the NYPD to a job consulting to the Mexico City Police for Giuliani, Inc. Straub's history has been too little considered in the two years in which he has been given the benefit of the doubt. The SPD's long and notorious history cannot be reversed by one flawed man and certain not by two years.

The participation of Ed Byrnes in this study inspires confidence and the report acknowledges its short-falllings given the inadequacy of Spokane Police data gathering, though it fails to fully acknowledge the legacy of conquest and racism in the Spokane area.

Finally, one of its most egregious failings is its failure to address definitional issues related to "white" and "Hispanic/Latino" self-identification and officer discretion in categorizing. The issue can be seen in an a 9/3/2000 Spokesman-Review article which found that of counties within a certain size Spokane was the 20th whitest in the US while Cameron County and Hidalgo County, Texas were the whitest in the US. It also states that the population of Yakima County was 91% white. Of course, this has to do with the practice of classifying anyone who self-designates as Hispanic as "White" unless they also designate "Native American" or "Black" or "Asian". Thus the two counties at the southern most point in the continental US - Hidalgo and Cameron Counties, become the two whitest for their size in the US and Yakima becomes at 91% white county. Therefore without the kind of rigor that the Spokane Police Department does not have, the numbers related to Hispanic/Latino populations in this report are not valid.

(Referenced article from the Idaho edition of the Spokesman-Review)

Minorities on the rise Nonwhite populations have grown, but local counties still homogenous
Rob McDonald Staff writer
Publication Date: September 3, 2000
Page: B1 Section: THE HANDLE Edition: IDAHO

Spokane and Kootenai counties may not be the whitest places in the country, but they're close.
Spokane County is in the top 20 for similar-sized counties. Kootenai County is in the top 10.

The U.S. Census Bureau released annual state and county population estimates Wednesday. The figures show that 94 percent of the people in Spokane County are white; Kootenai County is 98 percent white.

However, since 1990, minority communities have shown tremendous growth in the greater Spokane area, according to census estimates from 1990 data. These are not numbers from the Census 2000 effort, which is still preparing its first report, due by Dec. 31. The Hispanic population in Spokane County went up 82 percent. Hispanic and black populations doubled in Kootenai County.

But unlike California, where combined minorities now outnumber whites, minority communities in the Inland Empire are still quite small.

The numbers come as no surprise to Bob Bartlett, director of multicultural education at Gonzaga University. ``I've had students, white and of color, say to me, `This is the whitest place I've ever lived,''' Bartlett said. But the raw numbers don't tell the whole story, Bartlett said. ``It's all a matter of your frame of reference,'' he said. Anyone who comes here can go shopping in a mall, Bartlett said, and be lucky to see more than a few minorities.

But at the same time, during a minority student orientation at Gonzaga this year, a student looked around and noticed the group was bigger than in years past.

Spokane's minority community has grown faster by percentage than the white population. In Spokane County, the number of Hispanic residents grew to 12,733, and Asians grew 57 percent to 10,473. African American and American Indian populations also grew faster than white populations.

In Kootenai County, black and Hispanic groups have doubled, with Asians increasing by 82 percent. The white population also grew by 50 percent, which kept Kootenai County among the most white places in the country.

Ranking the whitest counties in America based on population and size, Spokane is the 1,721 whitest place in this country. Kootenai County is 900th.

In all, 190 U.S. counties were 100 percent white. But that can be misleading because many counties have very low populations, such as Loving County in Texas (population 113), and none of those counties had populations of more than 60,000.

Comparing like-sized counties gives a different perspective. For U.S. counties with populations 300,000 and higher, Spokane is in a tie for the 20th most white county in America with six counties, including Salt Lake County in Utah and Clark County in Washington.

The whitest similar-sized county in America is Hidalgo County, Texas, with a 1999 population of 534,907 that was 99 percent white. It's followed by Cameron County, Texas; Luzerne County, Penn.; Waukesha County, Wisc.; and Westmoreland County, Penn.

Among U.S. counties with populations 100,000 and higher, Kootenai County is tied for ninth with 30 other counties, all at 98 percent. Only one Montana county, Yellowstone County, had a population above 100,000. It is 96 percent white.

Numbers may not lie, but they can be misleading. For example, when guessing which county in Washington state is the most diverse, many people name Yakima, King or Pierce counties. According to the numbers, Ferry County is considered the most racially diverse, with the lowest white population at 80 percent. The Colville Indian reservation is partly in Ferry County. King County is 82 percent white, Pierce is 83 percent, Yakima is 91 percent.

Numbers don't mean everything, but rather are reflections that tell some truth of who is in a community, said Raymond Reyes, co-chair of the Task Force for Race Relations. ``It's not only important who you are, but what you do with who you are. So, OK, we're all white. What are you doing with it?''

Reyes said. Are there non-minority allies working for better understanding and acceptance of minorities? he asked. ``That's why race relations is important,'' Reyes said. ``Whether you are 94 percent white or 50 percent white, what you have to determine is not how white you are, but how human.''

This sidebar appeared with the story: FAST FACT Minority communities Since 1990, minority communities have shown tremendous growth in the greater Spokane area, according to census estimates from 1990 data. The Hispanic population in Spokane County went up 82 percent. Hispanic and black populations doubled in Kootenai County.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by DavidBrookbank on 03/19/2015 at 12:20 AM

Re: “Face to face with Spokane's CIA torture architect

Bruce Jessen is prosecutable under US and international law, whether he is an honest, nice and giving human being. It doesn't matter whether or not he is a US citizen, a father of a few children who attended District 81 schools, a psychologist, a member of the US Air Force, a CIA contratista, and an accomplice in torturer, all of which he is. He is prosecutable under US and international law.

And unlike this reporter, Bruce Jessen is a coward, hiding behind CIA secrecy agreements. I challenge Bruce Jessen to come forward and openly describe the role he, James Mitchell, Roger Aldrich and Randall Spivey played in the US crimes during the bloody US Iraq and Afghan fiascos.

(Spivey, former policy chief for SERE's parent organization JPRA, still runs CIA/DOD front organizations - including Center for Personal Protection and Security - out of the American Legion Building at Washington and Riverside in Spokane. Dial Mitchell Jessen Associates' former phone number and you will reach Spivey's operation @ 509-468-4128).

David Brookbank
Spokane Socialist Alternative

6 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by DavidBrookbank on 12/20/2014 at 3:02 PM

Re: “Q&A with Seattle venture capitalist, minimum-wage activist and one-percenter Nick Hanauer

My question for Mr. Hanauer, who has declared that $15/hour is too good for Spokane, is about the supposedly amoral nature of capitalism. That amoral nature - encapsulated in Milton Friedman's dictum, "the social responsibility of business is profit" - resulted in Warren Buffett's Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad building a leaking diesel refueling station over Spokane's sole source aquifer in 2005 and has Hanauer promoting himself in the film "Inequality for All" as a millionaire pillow maker while minimizing his role (in fact not even mentioning it) as board member and venture capitalist for Hood River, Oregon military drone manufacturer Insitu, maker of the world's most deadly drones for the US Air Force and Marines.

Following is my response to Nick Hanauer's "The Pitchforks are coming ... for us Plutocrats" published in Politico, June 2014:

My reaction to Nick Hanauer's "The Pitchforks are coming ... for us Plutocrats" (Politico, June 2014) is similar to my reaction to the movie "Inequality for All", Clintonite Robert Reich's primer on capitalism. That movie clearly documents the cyclical failures of capitalism, despite the spin put on it for Democrats to whom it is pitched. Nick Hanauer is a central figure in that movie.

In the movie as in the article, Hanauer begins by saying that he is an unapologetic capitalist. This piece is essentially a warning to the class with which Hanauer clearly and unapologetically self-identifies - the capitalist class which he hopes and intends to see survive. Hanauer's warning? You are about to kill the goose that laid the golden capitalist egg. Don't.

The other part of this article which disturbs me is Hanauer's incomplete and careful presentation of his personal history. Both in the article and in the movie, Hanauer essentially presents himself as a humble millionaire pillow-maker who has come to the, for him apparently, mind-opening realization that he can only buy so many pillows himself, only so many blue jeans, and only so many Volvos and other consumer products from his fellow capitalists.

Hanauer does mention his relationship with Amazon. But in neither the movie nor the article does he mention that among his venture capitalist endeavors was being on the board of and an early investor in Hood River-based Insitu, Inc., the manufacturer of the most deadly drones in the world for the US Air Force and Marine Corps, now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Boeing.

What is even more disturbing about that fact is that in the movie Hanauer makes the absurd and incredible statement that he doesn't really know where his money comes from. Again that is in the context of presenting himself as a humble pillow-making millionaire (as he say here "not the smartest, not the hardest working", just the most opportunist), rather than a drone manufacturing billionaire.

If he doesn't watch it, Hanauer's honesty will result in him taking a pitch fork, not from the 99.99%, but rather from his 0.01% colleagues, who at least as of today seem to be far from being convinced by his true confessions, as far as they go.

Perhaps Hanauer's intentions here are noble but I still find it rather peculiar and find myself scratching my head in large part because of his glossing over his understanding of how capitalist exploitation works and his unmentioned involvement with Insitu. To me, having watched the movie twice with Democrat audiences bubbling over with approval and gushing with hope, it is abundantly clear that this "Inequality for All" construct is part of the liberal-progressive Trojan horse the Democrats are climbing into already in advance of the 2016 US presidential election, the early stages of the campaign for which are already under way.

David Brookbank


2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by DavidBrookbank on 10/02/2014 at 6:30 PM

Re: “Spare Your Change

I took a large fall from grace after high school in Spokane. I ended up homeless on the streets of Seattle. I was lucky to be a white male from a middle class background with a high school diploma. When things took a turn for the better, society brushed the dirt off me and said essentially, "Get back in there, white boy, we need you." Given my white male status I have failed and been given more than one second chance others would be unlikely to get. Despite Mark Richard, DSP, and the private police forces (euphemistically called private security companies) harassing people in the shadows and in broad daylight, I will continue to reach my hand into my pockets and hand coins and bills to any human being I choose.


5 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by DavidBrookbank on 08/16/2014 at 1:50 AM
Posted by DavidBrookbank on 08/16/2014 at 1:33 AM

Re: “DSP’s Mark Richard on delaying the STA Plaza renovations

Here is a suggestion to help the malcontents like Mark Richard of Downtown Spokane Partnership (DSP) and his counterparts like Steve Stevens of Greater Spokane Incorporated (GSI) with their constantly negative voices. It is clear that some of these big prowling dogs of Spokane capitalism like Richard and Stevens are too close to these issues to see straight and objectively. They are, after all, spokespersons and enforcers for elements of Spokane with only one goal in mind, i.e., their own personal wealth, though of course they will always frame it in terms of their purported concerns for the larger community. They are also the ones most antagonistic to anyone interested in anything else -- public spaces, civil rights, compassion in a society in severe crisis -- outside that corporate economic bottom line and "Spokane for profits above people". And they also demand influence and power out of proportion to their numbers, largely based on their money and the sway they hold in our money-corrupted, so-called democratic system.

Both these organizations and their leaders will do themselves and all the rest of us great good by getting some distance from these issues. They can best do this by physically moving themselves and their organizations from of the core of Spokane's downtown and to some area where they can feel safe and sheltered, where they don't feel distressed day after day by the presence of the diversity of ordinary people who visit downtown Spokane and use its facilities and taxpayer-funded streets and sidewalks.

Richard, in particular, with DSP and its very own security operation, Downtown Ambassadors, needs not to be so close to the public that seems to troubled him so profoundly and makes him work so diligently to replace with a better class of "paying customers" for even the most human activities like eating, breathing, walking, sitting, and watching the clouds float by on a beautiful Spokane day. I am sure that Mr. Richard will find many a Spokane property management company more than willing to show him a piece of property or two in some location where he will feel like the people of Spokane are not an ever-present affront to his superior standards.

The fact that Mark Richard can say that he doesn't think that the sit-and-lie ordinance has increased problems at the Plaza is a clear evidence that, despite his physical proximity to the Plaza and the people affect across the downtown core by the sit-and-lie ordinance, he simply does not understand the impact the sit-and-lie ordinance has on ordinary people - long time downtown area employees, out-of-town visitors, shoppers who just take a notion to lean on a planter, and others harassed by police and private police forces. It is also an indicator that, unfortunately, area media and politicians have allowed monied interests and their spokespeople to dominate issues like this and frame them in the religion of the day: business and profit.

Unfortunately we are also seeing not a few "church interests" preaching this same gospel of "corner and convert" or else employ an ordinance and security-enforced approach to chase away the economically poor and politically disenfranchised (often one and the same) from the downtown core. Shape up and clean up or get the hell out. Not very Christian and, when enforced by police and private security, likely unconstitutional. This harassment has been witnessed by many who have then publicly spoken against it in community forums and written about it letters to the editor, as well as organizing and participating in protests of the sit-and-lie ordinance.

What kind of problems have been increased by the attitude of Richard and Stevens and their organizations? Both organizations are the proponents of a 21st century version of discriminatory red-lining, using the sit-and-lie ordinance, panhandling ordinance, and noise ordinance to red-line the downtown core on behalf of business interests. So explicit is the redlining for business that many now habitually refer to the "downtown business core". The red-line is spelled out in ordinances as Division west to Monroe and Maple and 4th Avenue north to Spokane Falls Boulevard. In effect, the red-line zone is larger than that, as evidenced by the radius of patrolling by Richard's Downtown Ambassador security operation and their Green Ford Ranger.

But beyond that, problems certainly have increased in terms of constitutional and civil rights, some of them just awaiting the proper test cases by civil rights attorneys. One example is the anti-personnel noise weapons known as "mosquitos" placed on downtown buildings like the Peyton Building at 10 N. Post Street which contains both US Rep Cathy McMorris Roger's offices and the Federal Defenders' Office. The use of these devices are a rights-violation directed indiscriminately at young people, emitting a disturbing ultrasonic tone frequency intended to drive young people under age 25 from the vicinity. In a variety of instances involving young adults engaged in political action and constitutionally protected speech and assembly, these devices have affected their well-being, including causing headaches and nausea. The "mosquito" at 10 N Post Street can be seen in its small metal cage mounted to the right and above the entrance to the Peyton Building. This location is directly across the street to the east of Stevens' GSI.

As for these private policing operations - like Mark Richard's personal Downtown Ambassadors as well as others like Northwest Protective Services, Phoenix, Kodiak, Securitas, and a plethora of other private security firms - their role in this community and their discriminatory, red-lining tactics and policies need to quickly come under direct public scrutiny, including by the Spokane City Council, the Public Safety committee of the City of Spokane, the Police Ombudsman, the soon-to-be selected Ombudsman Commission, the Center for Justice; the Spokane Police Accountability and Reform Coalition (SPARC), the Department of Justice as part of its ongoing review, and the Center for Naval Analysis (CNA - the outfit DOJ brought to Spokane with them to study the Spokane Police Department and its relationship to this community), NCAAP, the Peace and Justice Action League of Spokane (PJALS) and other organizations concerned about policing, civil rights, justice and diversity in Spokane. And of course, the Spokane area media interests, both corporate and community media, need to begin covering this issue.

These everyday more visible and more numerous security firms operate in a nebulous space between community civil rights and the law, a space that the police have consciously abandoned to these private police forces and that the likes of Mark Richard and his Security Ambassadors have occupied with disturbing relish. Though the Downtown Ambassador Fact Sheet 2009 (1) states that they are "not Police", the Fact Sheet makes clear that Richard's DSP views them as police and that they act as police. According to the fact sheet, the Downtown Ambassadors act to "augment the Police", "intervening in all street disturbances", "patrolling 80 blocks of the Business Improvement District" "in a Green Ford Ranger", "increasing police efficiency" to "serve the businesses and patrons of Downtown with all of their security needs" and "ensure that the environment is conducive to business activities and tourism" "through collaborations with the police".

In its most basic form, this privatized policing translates into harassing youth, the homeless, the poor, and those seeing downtown as an area to come to relax and walk or pause to people watch or to meet up with friends or to shop at a level of consumption not of interest to GSI and DSP and their core backers like Bryn West and Claudia Kirkebo. One can observe this harassment most intensely in the areas within a few blocks of the offices of Stevens' GSI and Richard's DSP with its private police force. This "soft policing" is tolerated by Spokane businesses, the Spokane Police Department, the Mayor and the City Council. The fact that Spokane Police have in numerous instances had to intervene to prevent private security companies - including RPS (River Park Square) Security - from harassing and going after community members engaged in constitutionally-protected activity is a clear indicator that these security forces are out of control. In fact, some of their activities constitute vigilantism. And one should not be surprised that someone as extraordinarily controversial as Jack Lindell, who has done security for Homeland Security's Federal Protective Service at the Federal Building through Inter-Con Security (3) and also for River Park Square, has a history doing private policing for Downtown Ambassador (4)

And you may want to immediately download and save the following two DSP documents (1 and 4 below) before they are edited and/or removed from the DSP website:

(1) Downtown Ambassador Fact Sheet - http://www.downtownspokane.org/documents/S…

(2) The Mosquito - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Mosquito

(3) Inter- Con Security - http://www.icsecurity.com/

(4) Downtown Ambassador Jack Lindell - http://www.downtownspokane.org/documents/D…

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by DavidBrookbank on 08/08/2014 at 8:16 PM

Re: “Raising wages in Seattle has reanimated old conversations about the value of work

The first link in my last post should be this one from the website Business for A Fair Minimum Wage with multiple reference to research on the benefits of an increased minimum wage. My apologies.

Posted by DavidBrookbank on 06/11/2014 at 12:41 AM

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