Race Inquiry Digest (August 13) – Important Current Stories On Race In America

Feature – The path to autocracy is all too familiar. How do democratic countries get to the point where they give up on self-rule? Under what circumstances do demagogues capture large audiences through irrational, emotional appeals unmoored from fact, logic or morality? When do politicians responsible for maintaining a democratic system surrender to dictators? These questions are more pertinent to us in the early 21st century than we would wish. Read more 

Study: 11 million white Americans think like the alt-right. According to Hawley, a political scientist who specializes in demography and the far right, roughly 5.64 percent of America’s 198 million non-Hispanic whites have beliefs consistent with the alt-right’s worldview. Whether or not they would describe themselves as alt-right, Hawley argues, they share the movement’s belief in a politics that promotes white interests above those of other racial groups. Read more 

White anxiety finds a home at Fox News. The Fox News audience is almost 100% white, according to Nielsen. And on the channel’s highest-rated shows, the politics of white anxiety play out practically every day, as hosts and guests warn about the impacts of immigration and minimize or mock the perspectives of people of color. The talk show segments are clearly intended to appeal to people who perceive they are losing their grip on power. Read more 

As Poor White People Seek To Justify Their Anger, the Demonization of Poor Black People Has Backfired. A study from Carol Graham at the Brookings Institution revealed that poor Black people are three times more likely to be more optimistic than poor white people. Black and Latino people are also more likely to say their lives are better than those of their parents. This does not discount the stress and challenges that visit the Black community, but this stark difference across racial groups in poverty is instructive. Read more 

“BlacKkKlansman” and white women: Spike Lee’s new film indicts their investment in white supremacy. White women’s stake in white nationalism has been, at times, a quieter presence. The sea of white men in collared shirts and cropped haircuts carrying tiki torches in Charlottesville one year ago bolstered a narrative that the racist belief and movement is primarily single-gendered. But Charlottesville came after the 2016 election when 53 percent of white women voters pulled the lever for Donald Trumpdespite his overt misogyny, and despite his alleged history of sexual abuse. Read more 

Before civil rights activist Medgar Evers was killed for his work there was Elbert Williams. His case is being reopened. The investigation into Williams’ death almost 80 years ago has been reopened, a Tennessee prosecutor said Thursday. Williams is thought to be the first NAACP member to be killed for his civil rights work. Read more 

How 911 calls on blacks are a new twist on something old: white flight. When the courts outlawed overt segregation in the 1950s and ’60s, many whites reacted by trying to “privatize” public spaces. They wanted to carve out melanin-free zones in parks, pools and sidewalks to avoid what some folks called “interracial intimacy.” Read more 

The historic blackness of Tyler Mitchell and Beyoncé’s Vogue cover. This image is history, and not just for the selection of Mitchell. The blackness of this art, art capable of being created only by a black photographer, pays historic tribute, too, to all the women of our community’s past who never could have dreamed of a cover. Read more 

Chicago’s deadly summer: guns, gangs and the legacy of racial inequality.The Chicago police department recorded 70 shootings and 16 murders across the city from Monday 30 July to Sunday 5 August, reaching a terrifying crescendo as 40 people were shot during seven hours last Sunday. Charlene Carruthers, Chicago-based activist and national director of BYP100, a black youth radical activist organisation, said: “What you saw this past weekend was an example of what happens when you crowd people into a space where there is little to no resources, where there have been decades of divestment, where there is hyper-policing but not hyper-education or access to mental health care. Read more  

Ben Carson Declared Mission Accomplished in East St. Louis — Where Public Housing Is Still a Disaster. The HUD secretary came to town last year and declared residents were no longer at risk, three decades after the federal government took over public housing here. In fact, the complexes are falling apart and a woman was killed in the weeks before his visit. Read more 

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