Race Inquiry Digest (January 17) – Important Current Stories On Race In America

Featured – The House Votes to Reprimand Steve King for Racist Comments. By Nihal Krishan / Mother Jones

“White Supremacy” vs “White Power.” Easy to oppose the former, not so the latter. Editor’s perspective.

The House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a resolution Tuesday condemning comments that Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) had made about white supremacy—with even King himself voting for the measure, in an odd turn of events. The resolution begins by citing King’s remarks to the New York Times from last week: “White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization—how did that language become offensive?” King said. The resolution the House passed goes on to state that white supremacy and white nationalism are “contrary to the ideals of the United States of America” and gives various examples of the increase in bigotry and hate crimes over recent years. Read more

Why Republicans took so long to call out Steve King’s racism. By Jane Coaston / Vox

King, whose lengthy history of saying racist things while being very bad at his job never seriously threatened his role in that job until two other things happened: He said those racist things in a very obvious way to the New York Times, and he finally became seen as politically expendable by his fellow Republicans. Read more

Trump Quotes ‘Hitler Lover’ In Latest Attempt To Push His Border Wall Plan. By Ed Mazza / HuffPost

In a CNSNews column claiming Democrats were hoping to “reduce the number of white men” in the country, political commentator Pat Buchanan urged Trump to declare a national emergency and use military money to build the wall. Read more

‘A crisis like we’ve never seen’: Native communities shed light on government shutdown’s impacts. By Michelle Gomez / Thinkprogress

Many groups — including veterans, TSA employees, and law enforcement — have been impacted with lapses in pay and shortages in key resources, but it has been particularly disastrous for Native communities that are supposed to receive a wide-range of federal services due to treaty obligations. Read more

White Nationalism Loses in Court. By David Leonhardt / NYT

Ross claimed, laughably, that the citizenship question would help the Trump administration enforce voting rights. In truth, it was designed to intimidate Latinos — both legal and illegal — into not responding to the census. Read more

Trump’s reference to Wounded Knee evokes the dark history of suppression of indigenous religions. By Rosalyn R. LaPier / The Conversation 

In 1890, the U.S. military shot and killed hundreds of unarmed men, women and children at Wounded Knee, South Dakota, in an effort to suppress a Native American religious ceremony called the “ghost dance.” Religion historian Tisa Wenger explains that before the 20th century, many Americans believed that “indigenous practices were by definition savage, superstitious and coercive.” They did not consider them to be religion. In part because of this belief, the U.S. government decided not to recognize Native Americans as citizens of sovereign governments in the 19th century, but as colonial subjects. Read more

“At Root a Radical.” A New Book Re-Examines Martin Luther King’s Quest for Economic Justice. By Norman Stockwell / The Progressive

Had he lived, the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. would have turned ninety this January 15. A new book looks back on one of his final efforts, the Poor People’s Campaign, and how it fit into King’s larger views on economic inequality. Read more

Black Mississippi News Anchor Says She Was Banned from Wearing Natural Hair Because Viewers Want to See a ‘Beauty Queen.’ By Tanasia Kenney / Atlanta Black Star

A Black television news anchor claims she was unjustly fired after filing complaints against her TV bosses, who allegedly refused to let her wear her natural hair and pressured her to look like a “beauty queen.” Brittany Noble-Jones, a former co-anchor for WJTV This Morning in Jackson, Miss., detailed the allegations in a Medium post Monday explaining why she hasn’t been on air of late. It has been eight months, however, and the seasoned reporter is still struggling to find work. Read more

Brothers Of ‘Beale Street’: A Conversation About The Power Of Black Male Vulnerability. By Taryn Finley / HuffPost

In partnership with Annapurna films, HuffPost Black Voices hosted a panel on Dec. 13 in New York City ahead of the national release of the film. The seven panelists (Dandre East, Joshua DuBois, Bishop Darren Ferguson, David Johns, Rashid Shabazz, Jason Wilson and the Rev. Alphonso Wyatt) had a powerful conversation about their struggles in conforming to — and breaking free of — the social norms that have historically been imposed on black men. Read more 

‘The lunch counter now has two empty seats:’ She is the only one left who can describe what it felt like to sit there that hateful day. By Theresa Vargas / Wash Post

You have likely seen the photo. You might have even stared at it, too. It was taken on May 28, 1963, and it captures the nonviolent tactic that civil rights activists employed at that time to fight for equal access to space for all people: a sit-in. In it, three people sit at a segregated lunch counter at a Woolworth’s department store in Jackson, Miss., as an angry crowd of white men stands behind them. Joan Mulholland is the white woman sitting in the middle, her hair pulled up in a bun, her face turned away from the camera. Read more

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