Race Inquiry Digest (January 24) – Important Current Stories On Race In America

Featured –  Nathan Phillips and the boys from Covington: What does this ugly encounter say about America? By Chauncey DeVega / Salon

There has been considerable back and forth over the last few days about this encounter, but the boys’ behavior has been widely condemned as another example of the ways Donald Trump’s presidency has encouraged racism in America. This disgust is good and necessary, but we cannot overlook the extent to which racism and white supremacy are foundational, centuries-old aspects of America’s national character and political project. Read more  Also see, “How conservative media transformed the Covington Catholic students from pariahs to heroes”  

Most young white men are much more open to diversity than older generations. By Phillip Bump / Wash Post

It’s clear from Friday’s incident on the Mall that the young men who confronted the Native American protester had somehow internalized that their behavior was acceptable. It’s hard to read from that one scenario how they look at issues of race more broadly. But if part of the incident on the Mall reflected opposition to diversity, those views would be in the minority. Read more

Native American Leader: ‘A Wall Is Not The Answer.’ By David Greene and Ashley Westerman / NPR

For one Native American tribe whose land straddles the U.S.-Mexico border, President Trump’s proposed border wall would, literally, divide its people. “It would be as if I walked into your home and felt like your home was not safe, but I want to build a wall right smack in the middle of your home and let me divide your family,” Verlon Jose, vice chairman of the Tohono O’odham Nation, tells NPR’s David Greene. Read more

The US is still not ready to look at the ugly racism against Native Americans. By Julian Brave NoiseCat / The Guardian

Early coverage of Phillips and Sandmann’s encounter was, for me, in a small sense, encouraging: outrage suggested that maybe the media and the multitude could grapple with anti-Indian racism. That my experience – what I and many other Native people felt when we watched that clip – could be met with compassion and perhaps even a moment of reflection on the enduring psychology of racial entitlement that snatched this continent out from under our ancestor’s feet and still today deprives elders like Nathan Phillips of their dignity. Read more

Two Years In, The Republican Party Faces An Uncertain Future In Trump’s Image. By S.V. Date / HuffPost

Whether by resignation, impeachment, a 2020 loss or finishing a second term, Donald Trump one day will no longer lead the GOP he has so radically transformed. So then what? Read more

Two years after Trump asked black voters what they have to lose, the answer is clear: Plenty. By Sam Fulwood III / Thinkprogress

What the hell do you have to lose?” Trump asked black voters, who for the most part couldn’t be found in that night’s crowd. “Give me a chance. I’ll straighten it out. I’ll straighten it out. What do you have to lose?” Now, two years into his disastrous presidency, black Americans have the same answer as when Trump initially asked the question: Plenty. Read more

Trump is undoing the diversity of the federal bench. By Derrick Johnson / Wash Post

Trump’s hostility to diversity in his judicial appointments becomes increasingly apparent. Last week, the White House announced a new slate of white male nominees, consistent with its record over the past two years. Of more than 150 Trump nominees to lifetime positions, only three have been African American. No African Americans or Latinos have been nominated to federal circuit courts. Read more

Analysis: How The Rise Of The Far Right Threatens Democracy Worldwide. Pallavi Gogoi / NPR

A new president is elected. Within days of being sworn in, he pulls his country out of a U.N. migration pact. His path to power has been pockmarked by disparaging comments about women, including a congresswoman. His preferred choice for top posts are members of the armed forces. When he appoints a fifth military official to his cabinet, he makes the announcement via Twitter, his favored means of communications. Sound familiar? These are the tactics of Brazil’s new president, Jair Bolsonaro, who was sworn in to office on Jan. 1, 2019. Read more

Kamala Harris to run for president in 2020. By Maeve Reston / CNN

Kamala Harris announced Monday that she is running for president in 2020, arguing that the time has come to fight against what she views as the injustices of the past two years of the Trump presidency. In a brief video from her campaign that was released on social media Monday morning at the same time she appeared on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” Harris called on her supporters to join with her to “claim our future.” Read more

These Atlanta neighbors no longer wanted to live on Confederate Avenue. Here’s what they did about it. By Dakin Andone / CNN

What happened in this neighborhood is not unlike the discussions playing out in cities across the South, where officials are debating what to do with streets and monuments that honor the legacy of the Confederacy. But residents here decided they weren’t going to wait for city officials to act. Read more

Tim Scott’s influence grows in a less diverse Republican Party. By Leigh Ann Caldwell / NBC News

In a city where there is power in numbers, Tim Scott has come to occupy a rare and singular position. As the lone black Republican in the Senate, the South Carolinian is increasingly emerging as a crucial voice for his party on issues of race, a topic that has hovered over the GOP for decades and have only grown more pronounced in the age of Trump. Read more

How the Poor People’s Campaign Is Building a ‘New Electorate.’ By Greg Kaufmann / The Nation

Now established in 40 states and the District of Columbia, the Poor People’s Campaign is focused on changing electoral politics by targeting districts where poor and low-wealth people who are less likely to vote could potentially swing elections. Read more

LeBron James, the most important athlete in America, explained. By Dylan Scott / Vox

The 34-year-old James is much more than a living sports legend. He is an actor, a media mogul, and a cultural icon. He rose to the top of his sport at the same time that America was forced to confront its systematic violence against black people, especially young black men, and James has taken up that cause as one of the most famous young black men in the nation. He is perhaps the most socially and politically influential athlete since Muhammad Ali. Read more

R. Kelly Hasn’t Really Been ‘Dropped’ by Anyone in Music. By Amy X. Wang / Rolling Stone

In the short time since Lifetime’s release of a bombshell documentary detailing R. Kelly’s alleged years-long history of sexual assault, everything has changed for the R&B singer — and nothing has. R. Kelly is no longer represented by his label or publisher, but both events have helped — rather than dimmed — his money and influence. Read more

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