Race Inquiry Digest (February 25) – Important Current Stories On Race In America

Featured – Democrats welcome an increasingly diverse America; Republicans aren’t so sure. By Matthew Yglesias / Vox

The United States is unquestionably becoming a more racially and ethnically diverse society. And new data from the Public Religion Research Institute shows that Americans have a fairly stark partisan disagreement in terms of how to feel about that. Few Republicans say outright that they wish the country would maintain its white, European majority forever, but only 29 percent say they prefer the idea of a more diverse ethnic mix in the country. Among Democrats — who are disproportionately likely to be nonwhite themselves — 65 percent welcome an increase in diversity, with independents somewhere in between. Read more

Workplace Diversity Is a Poor Substitute for Having It in Your Real Life. By Rachelle Hampton / Slate

According to the study, “About one in five Americans say they seldom or never interact with someone who does not share their race or ethnicity (21 percent) or religion (22 percent), nearly one quarter (23 percent) say they seldom or never interact with someone who does not share their political party, and nearly one third (31 percent) say they seldom or never interact with someone who does not share their sexual orientation.” Read more

America Needs an Education in Whiteness. By Jordan Lindsey / Slate

Not a white equivalent of Black History Month—but a better understanding of the concept of whiteness and the harm it inflicts on race relations. W.E.B Du Bois and James Baldwin provide some critical texts on whiteness. Read more

Why empathy is the key to dismantling white racism. By Susan Lanzoni / Wash Post

Kenneth Clark’s analysis of the destructive psychology of white prejudice drew on the work of psychoanalyst Alfred Adler to show that white supremacy helped to mask deeper feelings of social inferiority among white Americans. As they struggled with their own failures and inadequacies, a belief in racial superiority boosted their egos. The reason? They lacked empathy. Clark held empathy to be something quite different from sentimentality or pity, which were delivered from a position of superiority. Empathy, in contrast, acknowledged the underlying similarity of the human condition and, thus, created a foundation of mutual respect that could reach across racial lines. Read more

U.S. Hate Groups Rose 30 Percent In Recent Years, Watchdog Group Reports. By Leila Fadel / NPR

For the fourth year in a row, the Southern Poverty Law Center, a civil rights organization that tracks hate groups, reports that hate and domestic extremism are rising in an unabated trend. Read more

Arrested Coast Guard Officer Allegedly Planned Attack ‘On A Scale Rarely Seen.’ By Greg Myre / NPR

Federal prosecutors say Christopher Paul Hasson, a self-described white nationalist living in Silver Spring, Md., was amassing firearms since at least 2017, while cultivating plans to launch a widespread attack on prominent Democratic lawmakers, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and several high-profile television anchors from MSNBC and CNN.  Read more   Also see, The Grave Threats of White Supremacy and Far-Right Extremism.  

2020 Democrats Embrace Race-Conscious Policies, Including Reparations. By Astead W. Herndon / NYT

From the very first day of the 2020 presidential race, when Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts blamed “generations of discrimination” for black families earning far less than white households, Democratic hopefuls have broadly emphasized racial justice and closing the wealth gap in their policy platforms. Read more

Defying US Borders, Native Americans Are Asserting Their Territorial Rights. By Michelle Chen / The Nation

We didn’t cross the border, the border crossed us.” That’s the message from communities who live with the troubled legacy of colonialism today—the descendants of Native peoples who have survived in defiance of the national divides that strafe their lands and run counter to their cultural inheritance. Read more

Opioids claiming more African-American lives as overdoses spread from Rust Belt to East Coast. By Corky Siemaszko / NBC News

“Although opioid-related mortality has been stereotyped as a rural, low-income phenomenon concentrated among Appalachian or Midwestern states, it has spread rapidly, particularly among the eastern states,” the researchers reported in the study that was published in JAMA. The result is “a wider range of populations being affected, with the spread of the epidemic from rural to urban areas and considerable increases in opioid-related mortality observed in the black population.” Read more

Why Does Obama Scold Black Boys? By Derecka Purnell / NYT

“If you are really confident about your financial situation,” Mr. Obama told the crowd, “you are probably not going to be wearing a eight-pound chain around your neck.” “Because you know,” he continued, “‘Oh, I got a bank account.’ I don’t have to show you how much I got. I feel good.”
Such remarks by Mr. Obama reflect his administration’s failure, and to an extent that of My Brother’s Keeper, to tackle the systemic inequality that shapes black people’s lives in America. Read more

Ole Miss Basketball Players Kneel During National Anthem as Pro-Confederacy Groups Hold Rally On Campus. By Nick Greene / Slate

A number of Ole Miss basketball players knelt during a performance of “The Star Spangled Banner” before their game against Georgia on Saturday. Their silent protest occurred as two pro-Confederacy groups staged a rally in Oxford and marched to campus. The Mississippi Clarion Ledger reports that those groups, Confederate 901 and The Hiwaymen, were rallying against the university distancing itself from Confederate mascots and imagery. Read more

When hair breaks rules: Some black children are getting in trouble for natural hairstyles. By Janelle Griffith / NPR

Rules on hair at work and school are not new, but more black people are coming up against them now than in the past due to the popularity of leaving hair natural, said Ama Karikari-Yawson, a lawyer and diversity trainer on Long Island, New York. Read more

Jeremy Lin: ‘There’s definitely some bittersweetness to my career.’ By Cary Chow / The Undefeated

When I was growing up playing basketball, I didn’t see much color. I didn’t really think it made a difference. After I went through Linsanity, I learned the world wasn’t quite ready or didn’t know how to handle Asian-Americans, Asian-Americans in sports, Asian-American masculinity and a lot of different Asian-American issues. Read more

Overlooked No More: Dorothy Bolden, Who Started a Movement for Domestic Workers. NYT Obituraries

For Dorothy Bolden and other African-American domestic workers in 1960s Atlanta, the simple act of riding the bus to their jobs in white neighborhoods became much more than just a way to get to work. The women were fed up. Every day, they worked long hours for little pay, and less respect, with few worker protections. So Bolden turned the buses into a setting for de facto union meetings, talking to other passengers about organizing a labor group that could fight for workplace rights. Read more 

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