Race Inquiry Digest (August 9) – Important Current Stories On Race In America

Feature – We look back at the deadly rally in Charlottesville with a new documentary by Frontline PBS and ProPublica titled “Documenting Hate: Charlottesville.” We speak with A.C. Thompson, the reporter who produced the investigation, which premiered  on PBS. Part 1: Documenting Hate: New Doc Lays Bare the Violent White Supremacy that Exploded in Charlottesville. Part 2: New Charlottesville Doc Exposes Neo-Nazi Leaders & Their Ties to U.S. Military & Weapons Contractors. Watch here 

With BlacKkKlansman, Spike Lee Sounds the Alarm About America’s Past and Present. On August 11, 2017,  various white-nationalist groups gathered in Charlottesville, Virginia, to kick off their so-called Unite the Right rally. At the time, Lee was getting ready to make his next film, a 1970s-set true story of an African-American Colorado Springs cop who infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan. The director decided he couldn’t ignore the contemporary echo of hate groups roaring back into public life, so he made that connection as loud as possible in BlacKkKlansman—to wrenching effect. Read more 

Researchers are finding Confederate memorials faster than they’re being taken down. This effort, which grew after a white supremacist rally and the death of a counterprotester in Charlottesville, Virginia, last year, has led to a new realization: More Confederate memorials are being discovered faster than they can be removed. Since 2016, the Southern Poverty Law Center has added 237 more memorials to its database. Read more 

Historian on comparing Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler: “My resistance … is being overcome.” Ultimately, history teaches many lessons. The question then becomes whether we are willing to learn them. How is Donald Trump similar to, or different from, authoritarians and fascists such as Adolf Hitler? In what ways are “regular people” and Trump’s “average” supporters implicated and responsible for his assault on democracy and campaign of cruelty? Historian Richard Frankel, an expert on Nazi Germany, says history doesn’t have to repeat itself — if we stop it. Read more 

Think Confederate monuments are racist? Consider pioneer monuments. In San Francisco, there is an 800-ton monument that retells California history, from the Spanish missions to American settlement. Several bronze sculptures and relief plaques depict American Indians, white miners, missionaries and settlers. A female figure symbolizing white culture stands atop a massive stone pillar. Read more 
On a Civil Rights Trail, Essential Sites and Indelible Detours. The new United States Civil Rights Trail is a rewarding starting point, but a history tour is even more meaningful when you don’t follow the map. Monroe Elementary School, one of the city’s four segregated schools for blacks, is now converted to the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site.  Read more 
The next step in criminal justice reform is fewer laws. Right now we have both an over- and an under-incarceration problem. The over-incarceration problem is that too many people are sent to jail for things that shouldn’t carry much jail time. At the same time, people who commit serious violent crimes often get out too soon. Read more 

Forget the ‘glass ceiling,’ Women of color face a concrete ceiling.  The term ‘glass ceiling’ originated because you could look through it and see what was possible, but you hit against a barrier as you pushed up, so the aspiration was there and the expectation was there.” “But think about a concrete ceiling — if you’re in a bunker, you don’t even know there’s a sky out there. That’s meant to be a very visceral metaphor.” Read more

It Took Until Today for a Black Woman to Make, on Average, What a White Man Made in 2017. A body of research by the Economic Policy Institute shows that black women are consistently paid less than their white male counterparts, regardless of educational level, skill set, or occupation. And the pay gap between black women and white women is the fastest growing income disparity overall. The consequences of the pay gap go well beyond bank accounts, affecting the health, wealth potential, and motherhood experiences of both the women and their families. Read more 
The Bamboo Glass Ceiling. A recent report on Silicon Valley from the Ascend Foundation revealed that Asians, though the largest racial cohort in the industry, are the racial group least likely to be promoted to manager and executive positions. In the legal field, Asian Americans have the highest attrition rate and rank at the bottom in the ratio of partners to associates, according to a report from Yale Law School. Read more 

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