Race Inquiry Digest (December 27) – Important Current Stories On Race In America

Featured – We Are All Riders on the Same Planet. Seen from space 50 years ago, Earth appeared as a gift to preserve and cherish. What happened? By Matthew Myer Boulton and Joseph Heithaus / NYT

When the Apollo 8 commander, Frank Borman, addressed Congress upon his return, he called himself an “unlikely poet, or no poet at all” — and quoted MacLeish to convey the impact of what he had seen. “To see the Earth as it truly is,” said the astronaut, quoting the poet, “small and blue and beautiful in that eternal silence where it floats, is to see ourselves as riders on the Earth together, brothers on that bright loveliness in the eternal cold — brothers who know now that they are truly brothers.”  Read more

White evangelical Christians need Jesus — not Donald Trump — if their movement is going to survive. By David B. Gowler / Salon

Amidst the chaos of relentless, mind-numbing corruption, lies, and malfeasance by Donald Trump and his administration, Adam Serwer’s brilliant essay reminds us of a common element: “The Cruelty Is the Point.” Serwer argues that Trump and his supporters thrive on cruelty against those “outsiders” who, in their eyes, “deserve it.”. Read more 

‘Wow, I’m racist’: In time of viral encounters, ‘white spaces’ are used to confront biases. By Erik Ortiz / NBC News

A stream of viral videos this year involving white people — them calling police on black people doing ordinary activities perceived as suspicious, threatening to call ICE on Spanish-speaking workers or in racist rants — resonated in ways that have frustrated and disturbed not only minorities but white Americans who want to make sense of what they’re watching. Read more

The Path to the Presidency Could Be Harder for White Democrats in 2020. By Jemelle Bouie / Slate

In Identity Crisis: The 2016 Presidential Campaign and the Battle for the Meaning of America, political scientists John Sides, Lynn Vavreck, and Michael Tesler provide a short but useful summary of what happened: “In 2016, the presidential campaign focused on issues tied to racial, ethnic, and religious identities and attitudes. The two candidates took very different positions on those issues, and voters perceived those differences. People’s attitudes on these issues were then ‘activated’ as decision-making criteria and became even more strongly associated with white voters’ preference for Clinton or Trump.” Read more

Latinx voters showed up and helped usher in a blue wave, new data continues to confirm. By Gabe Ortiz / Daily Kos

The historic Democratic takeover of the House of Representatives was fueled by voters of color, and in particular, Latinx voters, researchers have continued to find. The University of California Los Angeles’ Latino Policy and Politics Initiative (LPPI) tells NBC News correspondent and political scientist Stephen Nuño that among a number of states, “the largest growth in ballots cast occurred in majority Latino precincts.” Read more

Which boxes to check? College hopefuls weigh race, identity and affirmative action. Nick Anderson / Wash Post

Sabria Kazmi’s background defies easy classification. She has grandparents from Tennessee, Iraq and two countries in South Asia. So when the 18-year-old filled out her college application, she puzzled over what boxes to check. The task is all the more sensitive this year amid the mounting debate over the role of race and ethnicity in admissions. Read more

NAACP Launches Boycott of Facebook: Platform Is Unhealthy for African Americans & U.S. Democracy. By Amy Goodman / Democracy Now

Facebook is under fire again, this time for new revelations that Russian trolls targeted African Americans on social media in an effort to influence the vote ahead of the 2016 election. The NAACP has launched a Facebook boycott in response, demanding the social media giant be held responsible. We speak with Derrick Johnson, president and CEO of the NAACP. Watch video here

Ben Carson’s HUD dials back investigations into housing discrimination. By Tracy Jan / Wash Post

At a training last month for hundreds of fair-housing advocates, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson crowed about his suspension of an Obama-era rule mandating that communities fix long-standing patterns of segregation. Read more
To Save Their Endangered Language, 2 Cherokee Brothers Learn As They Teach. By Liz Schlemmer / NPR

Like many other Native Americans, the Swimmers have been struggling to save their language from extinction. According to UNESCO, their Eastern Band Cherokee dialect is “severely endangered.” “If we’re not speaking Cherokee, then what are we?” Read more
NCAA needs a reality check when it comes to grad rates for black athletes. By Derrick Z. Jackson / The Undefeated

The NCAA’s sugarcoating of black academic success cannot hide its blatant acceptance of racial disparities in my 23rd annual Graduation Gap Bowl. The gulf between black and white players has not changed in a decade, although you wouldn’t know that from the shameless paternalism of this governing body. Read more

From 1968 to 2018: Angela Davis on Freedom Struggles Then and Now, and the Movements of the Future. By Amy Goodman / Democracy Now

Legendary scholar and activist Angela Davis’s work around issues of gender, race, class and prisons has influenced critical thought and social movements across several generations. Amy Goodman sat down with her in Washington, D.C., in October to discuss freedom struggles over the past 50 years, and where people’s movements are going next. Read more

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