Race Inquiry Digest (April 15) – Important Current Stories On Race In America

Featured – People are again talking about slavery reparations. But it’s a complex and thorny issue. By Doug Criss / CNN

If you feel like you’re hearing more about slavery reparations these days, it’s not your imagination. Compensating the descendants of American slaves is suddenly a hot topic on the campaign trail, with presidential candidates voicing support for slavery reparations. New proposals also seek financial redress for decades of legalized segregation and discrimination against African-Americans in employment, housing, health and education. But why now? And just how would reparations, focused specifically on slavery, work? Here’s what you need to know about this most controversial of subjects. Read more

Georgetown students vote to raise tuition by $27 per semester to pay slavery reparations. By Abigail Hess / CNBC

On Thursday, students at Georgetown University voted to raise tuition at the school by $27.20 per semester to provide reparations to the descendants of 272 slaves owned and later sold by the school in the 1800s. The vote was part of a nonbinding student referendum. Approximately 66% of students voted in favor. Read more

How the 2020 Democrats Responded to Trump’s Attacks on Ilhan Omar. By Astead W. Herndon / NYT

President Trump had escalated his political attacks on Ilhan Omar, the Minnesota Democrat who is also one of the first Muslim women to serve in Congress, tweeting an inflammatory video that implied she trivialized the horror of the Sept. 11 terror attacks. Ninety minutes later, Mr. Sanders called the video “disgusting and dangerous,” and an example of “Trump’s racism and hate.” Read more

‘Not a racist bone in his body’: The origins of the default defense against racism. By Christopher Petrella and Justin Gomer / Wash Post

Every few weeks, it seems, a public figure accused of practicing or condoning racism invokes the “racist bone” defense. “I don’t have a racist bone in my body,” they say. And if they do not say it, they have a friend say it for them. Read more

Trump’s Other Base. By Charles Blow / NYT

Donald Trump’s dogged, Captain-Ahab-like obsession with immigrants and asylum seekers crossing the southern border is many things. It is an open appeal to white-nationalist xenophobia among the many members of his overwhelmingly white base. Check. But I believe that it is also something more sophisticated and tactical than that: It is a play to the other, smaller part of his base, the black and Hispanic people who voted for him in 2016. Read more

A Few More Black Students Are Offered Spots at Stuyvesant, Fanning Fresh Uproar. By Eliza Shapiro / NYT

The news last month that only seven black students were offered seats at Stuyvesant High School, New York City’s most selective public high school, incited a national uproar about merit, race and class in education. Read more

Scholar Jonathan Metzl: White supremacy is literally killing white people. By Chauncey DeVega / Salon

Metzl is the author of several books, including “Prozac on the Couch” and “The Protest Psychosis.” His new book is “Dying of Whiteness: How the Politics of Racial Resentment is Killing America’s Heartland”. Read more

Former ‘Ebony’ Publisher Declares Bankruptcy, And An Era Ends. By Karen Grigsby Rates / NPR

Ebony magazine was more than a publication — to black America, it was a public trust. It held a place of prominence in millions of African-American households whose members did not otherwise see themselves in the mainstream media. So back in 2015, when Johnson Publishing Company announced it was spinning off its flagship magazine, Ebony, and also its news magazine sibling, Jet, people knew something was up. Read more

Letters from Joe Biden reveal how he sought support of segregationists in fight against busing. By Jeff Zeleny / CNN

It was more than four decades ago as a battle raged across the country — and in Congress — over sending white students to majority-black schools and black students to majority-white schools often far away from their own neighborhoods. Biden forcefully opposed the government’s role in trying to integrate schools, saying he favored desegregation, but believed busing did not achieve equal opportunity. Read more

The Utter Inadequacy of America’s Efforts to Desegregate Schools. By Alana Semuels / The Atlantic

In 1966, a group of Boston-area parents and administrators created a busing program called METCO to help desegregate schools. They thought of it as a quick fix to a passing problem. But the problem hasn’t passed, and METCO isn’t enough to fix it. Read more

Trump blocks U.S. from nominating anyone to U.N. racism committee. By Casey Michel / ThinkProgress

For the first time in years, the United Nations’ committee on racism will not contain anyone from the U.S. According to a report from POLITICO on Saturday, the White House blocked the renomination of human rights lawyer Gay McDougall, who had served on the committee since 2015. Read more

It’s time for blacks to forgive Tiger Woods. By Michael A. Fletcher / The Undefeated

This story was originally published on Aug. 31, 2018 and has been updated to reflect Tiger’s Masters win, his first major victory in 11 years. I know rooting for Woods can be controversial — particularly among African-Americans, who felt betrayed by his long-ago declaration that he is not black but Cablinasian. But if we are honest with ourselves, we would acknowledge that it should not be. Read more

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