Race Inquiry Digest (April 11) – Important Current Stories On Race In America

Featured – Salon talks to Gates about American history and his new PBS doc “Reconstruction: America After the Civil War.” By Melanie McFarland / Salon

For anyone desiring to understand the basis of the long-seething racial animosity dividing our nation in 2019, getting to know the Reconstruction time period is essential. The four-hour documentary series “Reconstruction: America After the Civil War,” debuting its first two parts Tuesday, April 9, at 9 p.m. on PBS member stations, is professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr.’s effort to correct that shameful omission, not merely out of a matter of pride, but with purpose. Read more

Why Kyle Korver’s words on white privilege and racism matter. By Marc J. Spears / The Undefeated

Veteran NBA guard Kyle Korver stunned the sports world on Monday by acknowledging the issues of white privilege and racism in his first-person story in The Players’ Tribune. The rousing response to the words of a white player not known for saying much was a necessary reminder that white words matter in the fight against racism and social injustice. Read more

What does ‘white fragility’ mean? Facebook discussions about race add new words to dictionaries. By Jessica Guynn / USA Today

In 2011, sociologist Robin DiAngelo coined “white fragility” in an academic paper. Five years later, in a tense political climate fraught by divisions over race following the 2016 presidential election, Oxford Dictionaries put the term on its word of the year short list. Last week, it was added as a new entry on Dictionary.com, meaning “the tendency among members of the dominant white cultural group to have a defensive, wounded, angry, or dismissive response to evidence of racism.” Read more

Pew Survey: 67 Percent of Whites Have Never Experienced Racial Discrimination, While 76 Percent of Blacks Have. By David Love / Atl Black Star

A new survey from Pew Research Center shines a light on what Americans across the racial spectrum are thinking about the state of racial progress, and the findings are not encouraging. Moreover, most people identify Trump as a part of the problem in an era of worsening race relations. Read more

The fight against white supremacy could learn something from America’s first war on terror. By Charles Lane / Wash Post

Congress duly passed the Ku Klux Klan Act, and President Ulysses S. Grant signed it into law on April 20, 1871. The federal government could suspend the writ of habeas corpus in Klan-dominated areas and use federal marshals and troops to arrest Klan terrorists and bring them to trial in federal courts. Read more

‘Our country is FULL!’: Trump’s declaration carries far-right echoes that go back to the Nazi era. By Isaac Stanley-Becker / Wash Post

“The echoes do indeed remind one of the Nazi period, unfortunately,” John Connelly, a historian of modern Europe at the University of California at Berkeley, said in an interview with The Washington Post. “The exact phrasing may be different, but the spirit is very similar. The concern about an ethnic, national people not having proper space — this is something you could definitely describe as parallel to the 1930s.” Read more

Texas Tech Medical School To End Use Of Race In Admissions. By Richard Gonzales / NPR

Texas Tech University’s medical school has agreed to end its consideration of race in selecting candidates for admission, an outcome actively sought by the Trump administration. Read more

Journalists Should Call Something Racist When It’s Racist, Associated Press Says. By Marina Fang / HuffPost

People have criticized news outlets for using euphemisms like “racially charged” or “racially tinged,” particularly in reporting on President Donald Trump. Read more

Inside 100 million police traffic stops: New evidence of racial bias. By Erik Ortiz / NBC news

Stanford researchers found that black and Latino drivers were stopped more often than white drivers, based on less evidence of wrongdoing. Read more

A Landmark Concert 75 Years Ago. By Brian Gilmore / The Progressive

It was 75 years ago that Marian Anderson gave her famous outdoor performance at the Lincoln Memorial. The concert, known today as the “Freedom Concert,” occurred on Easter Sunday, April 9, 1939. It was a moment of great symbolic importance for racial progress in the United States. Read more

‘Old Town Road,’ by Lil Nas X, is forcing Billboard — and country music — to reckon with its roots. By Christopher Mosley / NBC News

Late in March, Billboard decided to remove a song called “Old Town Road” from its Top Country 100 list. The publication claimed it had removed the song, sung by Lil Nas X, because it lacked “elements of today’s country music in its current version” — however it provided no real examples of said elements in the context of the song other than some vague references to “cowboy imagery.” Read more

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