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WhiskeyGrinder's Journal
WhiskeyGrinder's Journal
March 29, 2018

How my restaurant successfully dealt with harassment from customers


Erin Wade is a chef, restaurateur and co-author of “The Mac + Cheese Cookbook.”

We decided on a color-coded system in which different types of customer behavior are categorized as yellow, orange or red. Yellow refers to a creepy vibe or unsavory look. Orange means comments with sexual undertones, like certain compliments on a worker’s appearance. Red signals overtly sexual comments or touching, or repeated incidents in the orange category after being told the comments were unwelcome.

When a staff member has a harassment problem, they report the color — “I have an orange at table five” — and the manager is required to take a specific action. If red is reported, the customer is ejected from the restaurant. Orange means the manager takes over the table. With a yellow, the manager must take over the table if the staff member chooses. In all cases, the manager’s response is automatic, no questions asked. (At the time of our meeting, all our shift managers were men, though their supervisors were women; something else we’ve achieved since then is diversifying each layer of management.)

In the years since implementation, customer harassment has ceased to be a problem. Reds are nearly nonexistent, as most sketchy customers seem to be derailed at a yellow or orange. We found that most customers test the waters before escalating and that women have a canny sixth sense for unwanted attention. When reds do occur, our employees are empowered to act decisively.

The color system is elegant because it prevents women from having to relive damaging stories and relieves managers of having to make difficult judgment calls about situations that might not seem threatening based on their own experiences. The system acknowledges the differences in the ways that men and women experience the world, while creating a safe workplace.
March 27, 2018

Breaking: LA AG Jeff Landry declines to charge officers in Alton Sterling case, family says


Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry declined to criminally charge the two white Baton Rouge police officers involved in the fatal shooting of Alton Sterling, a 37-year-old black man, in July 2016 outside a convenience store, according to Sterling's family.

Veda Washington-Abusaleh, Sterling's aunt, confirmed that Landry will announce Tuesday he will not charge the officers.

Landry is expected to announce his decision at 10 a.m.

The U.S. Department of Justice last May rejected federal civil rights officers against the two officers, Blane Salamoni and Howie Lake III. Landry then took over the investigation to determine if any state charges should be filed against the officers.
March 22, 2018

When Black Voters Exited Left: What African Americans lost by aligning with the Democratic Party


Democratic lawmakers drafted civil-rights legislation that would challenge Jim Crow laws in the South while leaving de facto segregation in the North intact. When NBC News asked the civil-rights organizer Bayard Rustin why many African American communities rioted the summer after the bill passed, he said, “People have to understand that although the civil-rights bill was good and something for which I worked arduously, there was nothing in it that had any effect whatsoever on the three major problems Negroes face in the North: housing, jobs, and integrated schools…the civil-rights bill, because of this failure, has caused an even deeper frustration in the North.” Today’s protest movements against second-class citizenship in Baltimore, Ferguson, Oakland, and elsewhere are in part a legacy of the unresolved failures of civil-rights legislation.

Unfortunately for black voters, most white politicians and voters assume that the civil-rights revolution not only leveled the playing field, but also tilted it in favor of African Americans. The white backlash to civil rights helped resurrect the Republican Party after the disastrous Goldwater campaign in 1964, and, over the last five decades, the Democratic Party has followed the electorate to the right.

This poses the biggest problem for black voters today, which is that Democrats running for state or national office aspire to win black votes without appearing to be beholden to black voters. This is especially true of the three Democratic presidents since Kennedy and Johnson. Black support was crucial to the elections of Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton (each received over 80 percent of black votes), but both distanced themselves from policies that might seem to disproportionately help black people. Urban League Director Vernon Jordan outlined his concerns a year into Carter’s presidency: “We have no full employment policy. We have no welfare reform policy. We have no national health policy. We have no urban revitalization policy. We have no aggressive affirmative action policy. We have no solutions to the grinding problems of poverty and discrimination.”

Hard to excerpt because it's all good.
March 20, 2018

Mpls police officer Noor turns himself in on murder, manslaughter charges in Justine Damond killing


Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor has been charged with murder and manslaughter charges in the July shooting death of Justine Ruszczyk Damond.

Noor is charged with third degree murder “perpetrating eminently dangerous act and evincing depraved mind” and second-degree manslaughter, “culpable negligence creating unreasonable risk.”

County attorney Mike Freeman announced a 2:30 p.m. news conference Tuesday to discuss the case, which drew international attention and led to the ouster of former police chief Janeé Harteau. Noor was booked into Hennepin County jail at 11:16 a.m., according to jail records, on a Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension warrant for third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Bail was set at $500,000.

Damond, 40, a native of Australia, was shot and killed July 15 after calling police to report a possible assault behind her south Minneapolis home. Noor was in the passenger seat and fired across his partner, Matthew Harrity, killing Damond. Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said he would decide whether to charge Noor in Damond’s death, but convened a grand jury to gather additional evidence. A spokesman for Freeman declined to comment, as did Noor’s attorney Thomas Plunkett.
March 19, 2018

Extensive Data Shows Punishing Reach of Racism for Black Boys


Black boys raised in America, even in the wealthiest families and living in some of the most well-to-do neighborhoods, still earn less in adulthood than white boys with similar backgrounds, according to a sweeping new study that traced the lives of millions of children.

White boys who grow up rich are likely to remain that way. Black boys raised at the top, however, are more likely to become poor than to stay wealthy in their own adult households.

Even when children grow up next to each other with parents who earn similar incomes, black boys fare worse than white boys in 99 percent of America. And the gaps only worsen in the kind of neighborhoods that promise low poverty and good schools.

According to the study, led by researchers at Stanford, Harvard and the Census Bureau, income inequality between blacks and whites is driven entirely by what is happening among these boys and the men they become. Though black girls and women face deep inequality on many measures, black and white girls from families with comparable earnings attain similar individual incomes as adults.

Devastating and breathtaking. Also some fantastic data visualization at the link.

March 9, 2018

U.S. deports paraplegic boy's stepfather, caregiver

CINCINNATI — After more than three months of legal calisthenics, a suburban Cincinnati man who had been one of two caregivers for a 6-year-old paraplegic boy was deported earlier this week to his native Dominican Republic.

Yancarlos Mendez, 27, of Springdale, Ohio, was moved from the Jena/LaSalle Detention Facility in Jena, La., and flown Tuesday to Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic about 1,700 miles southeast of his U.S. home. He had been held for three weeks in Louisiana after his transfer from another federal holding center in Mount Gilead, Ohio, north of Columbus.

"We are sad, but unfortunately we cannot do anything else," said his wife, Sandra Mendoza.

Mendoza said Wednesday she has not told her son, Ricky Solis, that his stepfather is now out of the country.
March 3, 2018

When a woman or person of color becomes CEO, white men have a strange reaction


When Barbara Krumsiek took over as chief executive of a socially responsible investment firm 20 years ago, she came in armed with a “game plan.”


But despite her efforts, Krumsiek wasn’t able to convince everyone to buy into her leadership, at least initially. Some of her direct reports reacted enthusiastically to her appointment, some appeared outwardly positive, but maintained some skepticism, and some were just altogether unsatisfied.


New research adds some context to Krumsiek’s experience. When companies appoint a woman or person of color as CEO, white men, on average, don’t appear to react very well, according to a study set to be published in the Academy of Management Journal’s April issue. Instead, the examination of 1,000 executives working at large and mid-sized public companies found that top white male leaders tended to become less helpful to other workers — particularly women and people of color — after the appointment of a minority-status CEO.

“They actually identify less, psychologically, with the organization after the appointment of a minority CEO and that reduces their propensity to help their colleagues,” said James Westphal, a finance professor at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business and one of the authors of the study. “Our theory is that the appointment of minority CEOs triggers biases.”

I guess I wouldn't call it "strange" -- some of us have been witnessing it our whole lives.

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