Race Inquiry Digest (April 18) – Important Current Stories On Race In America

Featured – Demonizing Minority Women. By Charles M. Blow / NYT

Last month at an event hosted by the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Representative Ilhan Omar, a Minnesota Democrat and one of the first Muslim women elected to Congress, delivered a speech in which she correctly derided Islamophobia, a real and persistent problem in this country and others. In that speech, Representative Omar invoked the attacks of Sept. 11, saying the council was created “because they recognized that some people did something and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties.” Read more

Review: Essential History in ‘Reconstruction’ on PBS. By Mike Hale / NYT

How’s this for a state of emergency: An entire region of the country takes up armed resistance against the federal government, brazenly murdering and raping its African-American citizens in a decades-long campaign of terror that subverts and then rewrites the law. More dire, certainly, than an invasion of criminal migrants at the border. And it actually happened. Read more

When Slaveowners Got Reparations. By Tera W. Hunter / NYT

On April 16, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed a bill emancipating enslaved people in Washington, the end of a long struggle. But to ease slaveowners’ pain, the District of Columbia Emancipation Act paid those loyal to the Union up to $300 for every enslaved person freed. Read more

Vanderbilt Student Senate Approves Bill to Rename Calhoun Hall, Two More Buildings Due to Slave-Owning Past. By Jenni Fink / Newsweek

Calhoun, a supporter of the Confederacy and slave owner, was arrested and imprisoned by the Union Army in 1863, The New York Times reported. Given his past support of slavery, Vanderbilt students argued he’s an inappropriate namesake for a campus building. Read more

Has Germany Forgotten the Lessons of the Nazis? By Paul Hockenos / NYT

“We were so sure that we’d learned our lesson, and what is not allowed cannot happen. We thought serious anti-Semitism was the past,” said Andreas Eberhardt, director of Remembrance, Responsibility and Future, a Berlin-based foundation concerned with historical remembrance. “But now we’re rethinking things.” Read more

Robert Reich on America’s inequality crisis: Trump’s “greedy enablers” will “reap the whirlwind.” By Chauncey DeVega / Salon

Some plain facts and hard truths: The top one percent of Americans own 40 percent of the country’s wealth and 90 percent of its income. When adjusted for inflation, the average income in the United States has remained approximately the same for the last 40 years. By comparison, over the last two decades the richest Americans have seen their income increase by three times, relative to those of the poorest Americans. Read more

When Medical Schools Become Less Diverse. By Adam Harris / The Atlantic

Texas Tech recently announced it will no longer take race into account in admissions to its medical school—a move that might affect not only aspiring doctors, but many of their would-be patients as well. Read more

Facing Segregated Schools, Parents Took Integration Into Their Own Hands. It’s Working. By Eliza Shapiro / NYT

For months, in two of New York City’s most politically progressive neighborhoods, parents debated what to do about their deeply segregated schools. Now, after adopting a series of initiatives last year following many spirited and emotionally charged discussions, these neighborhoods are starting to see swift changes in enrollment, according to city data released on Monday. Read more

Aretha Franklin wins posthumous 2019 Pulitzer Prize. By Associated Press

Aretha Franklin is still getting R-E-S-P-E-C-T after death: The Queen of Soul received the Pulitzer Prize Special Citation honor Monday, becoming the first individual woman to earn a special citation prize since the honor was first awarded in 1930. The Pulitzer board said the award was given to Franklin for her indelible contribution to American music and culture for more than five decades. Read more

Trump and Pence tweeted about Notre Dame fire but said nothing when 3 black churches burned. By Eugene Scott / Wash Post

President Trump tweeted about the fire twice. Vice President Pence also shared his thoughts and prayers. He tweeted that “it is heartbreaking to see a house of God in flames.” But neither man had responded to the recent fires that destroyed three predominantly African American churches in Louisiana. Read more

Can a Prosecutor Ever Truly Be Progressive? Ferguson May Be the Ultimate Test Case. By Jacob Rosenberg / Mother Jones

On the night Wesley Bell unseated longtime St. Louis County prosecutor Bob McCulloch, Kayla Reed celebrated a progressive electoral victory and a personal promise fulfilled. Reed has been protesting and organizing in the St. Louis area ever since Darren Wilson, a white cop, shot Michael Brown, a black 18-year-old, in 2014. Read more

Jackie Robinson was asked to denounce Paul Robeson. Instead, he went after Jim Crow. By Johnny Smith / The Undefeated

On the morning of July 18, 1949, Jackie Robinson, dressed sharply in a tan gabardine suit, arrived at a packed room in Washington, D.C., to testify before a congressional committee about the loyalty of black Americans. Flashbulbs popped as Robinson raised his right hand and swore to tell the truth. The subject was stage star Paul Robeson, a prominent Communist sympathizer and one of the most outspoken black men in the country. Read more

Tiger Woods in plain sight. By William C. Rhoden / The Undefeated Video

We’ve seen so many versions of Tiger since he burst onto the golf scene 25 years ago. In light of his great comeback at Augusta on Sunday, which Tiger will we see now? Watch here

White Coaches Pick the Wrong Side When They Talk Down to Their Black Athletes. By Andre Perry / The Root

Head coach Tom Izzo of the Michigan State Spartans glares at Aaron Henry after a play during their game in the First Round of the NCAA Basketball Tournament against the Bradley Braves at Wells Fargo Arena on March 21, 2019 in Des Moines, Iowa. Read more

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