Race Inquiry Digest (January 10) – Important Current Stories On Race In America

Featured – White right? How demographics is changing US politics. By Monica Duffy Toft / The Conversation 

Though economic opportunity – and specifically the decline in blue-collar jobs capable of supporting a family – affects the popularity of white nativism, it does not explain its timing. The “why now” of white nativism is due to decades of demographic decline for white Americans combined with a serious decline in public education standards that leads to unwarranted nostalgia and openness to conspiracy theories. Add to that the charismatic leadership of Donald J. Trump, who attached white majority fears of status loss with criminalizing immigrants of color. That has stoked the flames of an already smoking fire. Read more Also see, Trump’s Oval Office Address Was Classic Stephen Miller.

Russia Is Exploiting American White Supremacy Over and Over Again. By Spencer Ackerman / The Daily Beast

Russia’s troll army was not interested in stirring up generic ‘chaos’ in America. The Kremlin is strategically tapping into the inexhaustible fuel source of white grievance. Read more

Two Native women in Congress isn’t enough to end the systemic violence Native girls face. By Michelle Chen / NBC News

For a Native American girl growing up in Trump’s America today, there seem to be more paths to an early death than to a positive future. While the White House crusades to restore the nation to its supposed past greatness, the lost lives in Indian Country speak to how our history is still lived differently by the land’s first inhabitants. Read more

Traveling While Negro. By Cynthia Tucker / The Bitter Southerner

Peter Farrelly’s movie “The Green Book” just won the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy. But the film has already spurred vigorous debate about elements of its self-proclaimed “true story” that aren’t exactly on the up-and-up. We asked Cynthia Tucker, who grew up in the days of Jim Crow, to find the stories of black people — from regular folks to Hammerin’ Hank Aaron — who traveled America when law and custom made the Green Book essential. Read more

Why a Revoked Civil Rights Award for Angela Davis Is Causing an Uproar in Alabama. By Molly Olmstead / Slate

In October, the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute’s board announced it would be honoring Davis with its Fred Shuttlesworth Human Rights Award. The Institute praised Davis as an educator who “gave to those who are powerless to speak.” But in December, the magazine Southern Jewish Life published an article about the decision in which it pointed out Davis was “an outspoken voice in the boycott-Israel movement.” On Saturday, the institute announced it had decided early in the month to revoke the honor and cancel the February gala at which it would have been awarded. Read more

‘I Love My Skin!’ Why Black Parents Are Turning to Afrocentric Schools. By Eliza Shapiro / NYT

“I love myself!” the group of mostly black children shouted in unison. “I love my hair, I love my skin!” When it was time to settle down, their teacher raised her fist in a black power salute. The students did the same, and the room hushed. While New York City schools are deeply segregated, some black families are choosing an alternative to integration. Read more

“Get Out”: Black Families Harassed in Their Own Homes. By Rahima Nasa and Rachel Glickhouse / ProPublica

For close to two years, ProPublica has been compiling reports of hate crimes and bias incidents as part of our Documenting Hate project. One of the more common entries involves people being harassed or threatened at their place of residence, often by neighbors, the people who live next door or down the hall or around the corner. Of course, this isn’t new. The integration of neighborhoods in the U.S. has been as fraught as the integration of the country’s schools. Read more

Austin Rivers: ‘It’s the happiest I’ve been in my career.’ By Marc J. Spears / The Undefeated

The classic hip-hop hit “Just to Get a Rep” by Gang Starr blared out of the Oracle Arena speakers as new Houston Rockets guard Austin Rivers completed his pregame workout. The song was fitting. Since his childhood, Rivers has tried to get his own basketball rep and emerge from the shadow cast by his father, NBA head coach and former All-Star Doc Rivers. Read more

Women of Color Service Workers Take Their Cause to the Ballot Box, and Win. By Simon Davis-Cohen / The Progressive

How voters outside the halls of power are circumventing their local political establishments and pushing through new legislation that will directly improve their lives. Read more

Surviving R. Kelly By Willa Paskin / Slate

Over the three days that I watched Surviving R. Kelly, a six-episode Lifetime documentary about the decades of sexual abuse R. Kelly has perpetrated against black girls and women with both the active and passive help of large swaths of American society, I had Kelly’s “Ignition (Remix)” looping through my head. Surviving R. Kelly persuasively argues—proves, really— that, societally speaking, we have made an unforgivable pact with Kelly, a musical genius who was able to hide his evil behavior in plain sight for decades because he committed his crimes against black girls. Read more

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