Race Inquiry Digest (Apr 19) – Important Current Stories On Race In America


Minnesota Is One of the Best Places to Live in America. Unless You’re Black. By Samuel L. Myers Jr. / NYT

Minnesota is one of the best places to live in America. It has good schools, excellent housing and low unemployment. It regularly appears near the top of indexes for livability. But all of that matters much less if you’re Black. Across a whole host of measures — unemployment rates, wages, incarceration rates, test scores, homeownership rates — the gaps between white Minnesotans and Black Minnesotans are among the widest in the country. So while Minnesota is a great place to live for white people, for Black people, it’s just like everywhere else — and sometimes worse. This is what I’ve termed the Minnesota Paradox: huge racial disparities masked by aggregate outcomes, and it’s an issue that I’ve been studying since moving to Minnesota in the 1990s. Read more 

Related: What ‘Minnesota Nice’ Sweeps Under the Rug. By David Lawrence Grant / NYT

Related: Brooklyn Center In The Spotlight After Shooting Of Daunte Wright. By Becky Sullivan / NPR 

Political / Social

Black Leaders Warn Of Fallout If Derek Chauvin Acquitted: By Jemina McEvoy / Forbes

As a verdict nears in the trial of Derek Chauvin amid renewed outrage over police killings, multiple Black leaders involved in calls for reform are emphasizing the necessity that the former Minneapolis Police officer be convicted for George Floyd’s death—and warning of the fallout if he is not. Shown is Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) who joins demonstrators in a protest outside the Brooklyn Center police department.   Read more

Related: Rage Is the Only Language I Have Left. By Charles M. Blow / NYT

Chicago Releases Video Of Police Fatally Shooting 13-Year-Old Adam Toledo. /HuffPost

Chicago’s police oversight group released footage Thursday of an officer fatally shooting a 13-year-old boy more than two weeks ago. Police pursued, shot and killed Adam Toledo early March 29 in the primarily Latinx neighborhood of Little Village on the southwest side of the city. Police said the shooting followed an “armed confrontation” and that the child had a gun. However, video footage shows no gun in Toledo’s hand and that he complied by putting his hands up. Read more 

Related: Police shooting of 13-year-old in Chicago leads to calls in the city for radical police reform. By Kim Bellware, Mark Guarino and Robert Klemko / Wash Post 

Police Hold ‘Extraordinary’ Power In Traffic Stops, Law Professor Says. By Noel King and Avie Schneider / NPR

A law professor and former federal prosecutor argues that police in Brooklyn Center, Minn., didn’t need to pursue Daunte Wright, who was killed by an officer who said she mistakenly shot him instead of using her Taser. “They have his license plate. They know where he lives,” says Georgetown law professor Paul Butler, author of the book Chokehold: Policing Black Men. Read more 

Related: Get police out of the business of traffic stops. By TJ Grayson and James Forman Jr. / Wash Post

Republicans, Saying the Quiet Part Loud, Discuss Plans for “Anglo-Saxon” Traditions Caucus.  By Pema levy / Mother Jones

Congress might be getting a new caucus. What makes this one different? It explicitly favors white supremacist ideas. Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) and Paul Gosar (R-AZ) are reportedly behind a new caucus to promote “Anglo-Saxon” values. A draft proposal for the caucus was first reported Friday by Punchbowl News. Unsurprisingly, it’s called the America First Caucus. UPDATE, 7:57 p.m.: After pushback, the American First Caucus has been, according to CNNscrapped. Read more

Related: ‘Nativist Crap’: Critics Erupt In Fury Over New Conservative ‘Anglo-Saxon’ Caucus. By Mary Papenfuss / HuffPost

History shows we ignore Tucker Carlson at our peril. By  Nicole Hemmer / CNN

Avlon compares Tucker Carlson’s comments to George Wallace. Tucker Carlson knew what he was doing when he launched into a diatribe against immigration during an appearance on Fox News Primetime last week, he preemptively struck out at his critics. “I know that the left and the little gatekeepers on Twitter become literally hysterical if you use the term ‘replacement,'” he said, “if you suggest that the Democratic Party is trying to replace the current electorate — the voters now casting ballots — with new people, more obedient voters from the Third World.” Read more 

Related: Why Tucker Carlson Is Obsessed With Kristen Clarke.

Related:  The GOP’s gradual descent into ‘replacement theory’ and ‘nativist dog whistles.’ By Aaron Blake / Wash Post 

Related: The GOP Is Raising Money Off Tucker Carlson’s Racism. By David Corn / Mother Jones 

Related: Tucker Carlson Is Giving ‘Red Pills’ To Millions. White Nationalists Are Thrilled. /HuffPost

Merrick Garland rolls back Trump-era restrictions on forcing local police reforms. By David Nakamura / Wash Post

Attorney General Merrick Garland on Friday rescinded a Trump-era near-ban on the Justice Department’s use of consent decrees to force the restructuring of local law enforcement agencies, signaling a push from the Biden administration to resume use of the tactic amid a continued outcry from liberal groups about abusive policing. Read more 

Florida Senate passes controversial ‘anti-riot’ bill pushed in wake of Black Lives Matter protests. By Dartunorro Clark / NBC News

The Florida Senate on Thursday passed, largely along party lines, a controversial anti-riot bill that was pushed by GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis in the wake of Black Lives Matter protests last summer. The bill would increase criminal penalties for assaulting law enforcement officials while engaging in a “riot” and defacing monuments and other public property during riots. It would also penalize local governments that interfere with law enforcement efforts to contain riots and set up a citizen’s appeal process when cities and counties try to reduce police budgets in response to riots. Read more 

Related: DeSantis Vaccine Slogan Is ‘Seniors First’ – But ‘Rich, White Seniors First’ Is What Happened. / HuffPost 

U.S. Suicides Declined Over All in 2020 but May Have Risen Among People of Color. /NYT

Ever since the pandemic started, mental health experts have worried that grief, financial strain and social isolation may take an unbearable toll on American psyches. Some warned that the coronavirus had created the “perfect storm” for a rise in suicides. But while the number of suicides may have declined over all, preliminary studies of local communities in states like Illinois, Maryland and Connecticut found a rise in suicides among Black Americans and other people of color when compared with previous years. Read more 

America desperately needs a Truth and Racial Healing Commission. By Mitch Landrieu / CNN

Racism remains this nation’s Achilles’ heel. If we do not face it and fix it, we will continue to suffer. The news in the past few weeks, from the police shooting of Daunte Wright to the debate about voter suppression, underscores once again that we have a long way to go to fulfill America’s promise of justice and equal opportunity for every American. To get closer to fulfilling that aspiration, we first need a consensus about the history of racism in the US and the effect it still has today. Read more 

Flagship universities say diversity is a priority. But Black enrollment in many states continues to lag. By Lauren Lumpkin, Meredith Kolodner and Nick Anderson / Wash Post

Alarms sounded at the University of Maryland when the Class of 2022 arrived at College Park. Seven percent of freshmen in fall 2018 were Black, down from 10 percent the year before and 13 percent in 2014. It marked a nadir for a metric crucial to the flagship university’s commitment to diversity in a state where about a third of public high school graduates each year are Black. Fifteen state flagships had at least a 10-point gap between the percentage of Black public high school graduates in their states in 2019 and the Black share of freshmen they enrolled that fall, according to federal data analyzed by the Hechinger Report and The Washington Post. Read more 

Related: Affirmative action and the diversity dilemma. By CBS News  

Black doctor speaks out about infant son’s death: Why Black babies are more at risk. By Katie Kindelan / GMA

Babies born to Black women in the U.S. have two times the infant mortality rate of babies born to non-Hispanic white women, according to the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Minority Health. Black babies are also nearly four times as likely to die from complications related to low birthweight and have over twice the SIDS mortality rate as non-Hispanic whites, according to the Office on Minority Health. Read more 

VMI selects first Black superintendent as racial climate comes under scrutiny. By Ian Shapira / Wash Post

The Virginia Military Institute, under scrutiny over its treatment of minorities, has selected its first Black superintendent in the school’s 182-year history. Cedric T. Wins, a retired Army major general and 1985 VMI graduate, was appointed Thursday to the top job in a unanimous vote by the college’s Board of Visitors, the body that oversees the Lexington school. Read more 

Why ‘Karens’ Are a Threat to Racial Progress. ByAgunda Okeyo / TheProgressive

I have white women in my life whom I like and love but, for some white women, a predatory element lingers just under the surface of their smiling faces. Because in many ways, white womanhood is the secret weapon in the perpetuation of white supremacy: When a white woman feels “unsafe”—particularly in situations that involve a  Black woman conscious of an injustice or a Black male simply existing—whatever solution that follows cannot be questioned. Read more

Restorative Justice in Indian Country. By Michelle Chen / Dissent

When Kris Loring stepped into the Penobscot Nation’s Healing to Wellness Court on Indian Island in Penobscot, Maine, around four years ago, he immediately felt the difference. This wellness court is an example of innovations in justice that some tribal governments have created to oppose two disturbing trends: Native Americans are disproportionately vulnerable to violent crime, and they are also more likely to caught up in a criminal justice system that fails to serve their communities’ needs for security and social stability.  Read more 

Historical / Cultural

40 acres and a mule: How the first reparations for slavery were reversed.  By DeNeen L. Brown / Wash Post

At 8 p.m. on Jan. 12, 1865, days after his “march to the sea,” Maj. Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman met with 20 Black ministers on the second floor of his headquarters in Savannah, Ga. The Civil War would soon end, and the matter at hand that night was urgent. Sherman had called the Black ministers to confer with him and President Lincoln’s Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton. On the agenda were pressing questions: How would the country provide for the protection of thousands of Black refugees who had followed Sherman’s army since it invaded Georgia? How would thousands of newly freed Black people survive economically after more than 200 years of bondage and unpaid labor? Read more 

Documentary highlights Chinese Titanic survivors barred from U.S., erased from history. By Kimmy Yam / NBC News

A film about the Titanic’s little-known Chinese survivors, scheduled to premiere Friday in China, reveals the rampant anti-Asian attitudes of the time. And experts say that a century later, the survivors’ story continues to be chillingly relevant. Executive-produced by “Titanic” director James Cameron, the documentary, titled “The Six,” revolves around the six passengers who were barred entry into the U.S. after the tragedy on April 15, 1912, and were smeared in the press because they survived. Steven Schwankert, the film’s lead researcher, said the message remains relevant. Read more 

From Emmett Till to Daunte Wright, the eerie ties among Black victims of violence. By Sydney Trent / Wash Post

The connections are as revealing as they are disturbing. Daunte Wright, who was killed by police Sunday at a traffic stop in Minneapolis by a White police officer who confused her gun for a Taser, knew George Floyd’s former girlfriend. Caron Nazario, a Black Army officer threatened by White police officers during a traffic stop in Windsor, Va., considered Eric Garner, who died in a police chokehold on Staten Island in 2014, his uncle. Yet the bonds of trauma have tethered Black people together long before now. Read more 

Trevor Noah On The Grim Reality Of Having ‘The Talk’ In Black Families.

Trevor Noah spoke Thursday night about the disturbing conversations Black parents have with their young children in an effort to prevent them from falling victim to police violence. “The Daily Show” host’s comments came in the wake of the death of Daunte Wright, a Black man who was shot by Minnesota-area police during a traffic stop on Sunday. “For Black people in America, these traffic stops are scarier than any Jordan Peele movie,” Noah said. Watch here 

Did the Music Industry Change? A Race ‘Report Card’ Is on the Way. / NYT

Last summer, as protests roiled over the death of George Floyd, the music industry began to take a hard look at itself with regard to race — how it treats Black artists, how Black employees fare at music companies, how equitably money flows throughout the business. Major record labels, streaming services and broadcasters pledged hundreds of millions of dollars in donations, convened task forces and promised to take concrete steps to diversify their ranks and correct inequities. Artists like the Weeknd and BTS donated money to support social justice, and Erykah Badu and Kelis signaled their support for economic reforms in the music industry. Read more 

Long excluded from country music, Black women are finally breaking through. By Amna Nawaz and Gretchen Frazee / PBS

This weekend, Mickey Guyton will become the first Black woman to co-host the Academy of Country Music Awards. She was the only Black woman to be nominated for an award this year. But as Amna Nawaz reports, a number of Black women are starting to gain traction in the genre. It’s part of our ongoing arts and culture coverage, CANVAS. Watch here

Related: Mickey Guyton will be the first Black woman to host Academy of Country Music Awards.  By Gabrielle Reed / NBC News 

A Black high school baseball team won a championship in 1969. Their hometown waited 50 years to celebrate. By Gregory S. Schneider / Wash Post

The old-timers stood along the first-base dugout Saturday on Little League opening day. The base lines were crisp, grass and dirt perfectly groomed, home plate glowing white. Most of these men, squinting under the brims of blue Brookvale High School caps, had never been on this field before. When they played more than half a century ago, Black people weren’t allowed through the gates. And when they won their big state championship game on May 21, 1969, down in Petersburg, they returned home to . . . nothing. No celebration, no commendation from Lancaster County, which they had represented in a decisive 11-5 victory over a team from outside Richmond. On Saturday, this rural county aimed to make amends. Read more 

Dwyane Wade purchases ownership stake in Utah Jazz. By Ben Golliver / Wash Post

After a storied career that made him synonymous with the Miami Heat, Dwyane Wade has found a new franchise in retirement. The Utah Jazz announced Friday that Wade will join its ownership group under tech billionaire Ryan Smith, who purchased the franchise in October. In a statement, the charismatic South Beach icon said his unexpected union with one of the league’s model small-market organizations was a “perfect fit.” Read more 

Do I Really Belong Here?’: Korean Americans in the N.B.A. Wonder.

It was significant that Stephen Curry had 53 points on Monday night. It was significant that Golden State won the game at home, over a tough Denver Nuggets squad, as it fights for a playoff spot. But long after the single-game scoring outburst and this year’s playoff race are forgotten, the night will be remembered as the one when Curry passed Wilt Chamberlain as the Warriors’ career scoring leader. His postgame total of 17,818 surpassed Chamberlain’s 17,783. Rick Barry, Paul Arizin and Chris Mullin trail them. Read more 

‘We Have No Right to Destroy Them.’

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