Race Inquiry Digest (April 4) – Important Current Stories On Race In America

Featured – Scholar Kathleen Belew on New Zealand, Donald Trump and the rise of “white power.” By Chauncey DeVega / Salon

Should we see white supremacy as a cultural, social and political problem rather than just the pathology of the relatively small white power movement? What does the white power movement want, in practical terms, and what are its activists and foot soldiers willing to do to achieve their goals? Can we explain the New Zealand terror attacks as part of a decades-long plan by the white power movement in America and around the world? How did white hate groups pioneer the use of the early internet and social media to radicalize, recruit and coordinate the actions of their members? In an effort to answer these questions I recently spoke with Kathleen Belew, an assistant professor of U.S. history at the University of Chicago. Her new book is “Bring the War Home: The White Power Movement and Paramilitary America.” Read more

How Blackface Feeds White Supremacy. By Brent Staples / NYT

The white men who donned tattered clothing and blackened themselves with burned cork introduced working-class patrons who had never so much as met an African-American to the dimwitted stereotype whose bulging eyes, rubbery lips and mangled speech would become ubiquitous in newspapers, radio, television, movies and advertising. Read more

In ‘Stony The Road,’ Henry Louis Gates Jr. Looks At The Period After Reconstruction. By Michael Schaub / NPR

Gates’ book is a fascinating social and intellectual history of the time between Reconstruction and the rise of the Jim Crow period of American history. It’s an absorbing and necessary look at an era in which the hard-fought gains of African-Americans were rolled back by embittered Southern whites — an era that, in some ways, has never really ended. Read more

Homeland Security shuttered a domestic terror intelligence unit despite rising threats. By Luke Barnes / ThinkProgress

The number of reports outlining the threat posed by white nationalists and other extremists has dropped significantly following the dissolution of a counterterrorism unit within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), The Daily Beast reported Tuesday. Read more

Facebook Says White Nationalist Video Doesn’t Break New Policy Against White Nationalism. By Andy Campbell / HuffPost

Facebook vowed last week to curb hateful content on its platform by extending its policies against white supremacy to cover posts that praise white nationalism and separatism. Now it’s unclear what that new policy actually means, if anything. On Tuesday, HuffPost showed a Facebook spokesperson a video on Facebook in which prominent Canadian white nationalist Faith Goldy laments white “replacement” and demands that Jews and people of color repay the white European countries they’ve “invaded.” Read more

High school students of color are protesting racism and inequality. By P.R. Lockhart / Vox

After racist incidents at schools in Charlottesville and the Bronx, students have taken action to make school officials address deeper inequities. Read more

American Meritocracy Is a Myth. By Rajan Menon / The Nation

Recent scandals in politics and higher education show how the rich perpetuate inequality in the US. Read more

Senate Bill Pushes The Feds To Focus On Violence Against Native Women. By Jennifer Bendery / HuffPost

A bipartisan group of senators unveiled legislation Wednesday to make the federal government step up its response to the largely overlooked crisis of Native American women going missing, being murdered or being forced into sex trafficking. Read more

Poor, mostly black Tennessee county has highest rate of IRS audits, while wealthy skate. By Igor Derysh / Salon

A poor, rural, and mostly African American county in Tennessee is the most heavily audited county in the United States while tax evasion in wealthier counties goes largely unpoliced, according to a study published in Tax Notes. The study found that Humphreys County, Tennessee, where the median annual household income is $26,000 and more than a third of its mostly black residents live below the poverty line, has the highest rate of tax audits in the country. Read more

Lori Lightfoot Wins Chicago Mayor Race, Will Be First Black Woman In Role. By Sanjana Karanth / HuffPost

Lightfoot, who is openly gay, won Tuesday’s runoff in Chicago against Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. Read more
‘Why Aren’t Democrats Winning the Hispanic Vote 80-20 or 90-10?’ By Thomas B. Edsall / NYT

The future success of the Democratic Party depends on the crucial — but unsettled — allegiance of the nation’s growing Hispanic electorate. Read more

On Equal Pay Day, A Reminder That The Gap Is Far Greater For Women Of Color. By Ryan Grenoble / HuffPost

The American Association of University Women data shows Hispanic and Latina women earned 47 percent less than white men; black and African American women earned 39 percent less; American Indian and Alaska Natives earned 42 percent less; and Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders earned 32 percent less. Read more

Michelle Obama’s Trump bump: Is nostalgia key to the historic sales of ‘Becoming’? By Jessica M. Goldstein / ThinkProgress

Becoming was the best and fastest selling book for Tattered Cover that Miller can remember, save for Harry Potter. And that trend has borne out not just nationwide but around the world, as Obama’s memoir is on track to become the best-selling memoir of all time. Read more

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