Race Inquiry Digest (January 31) – Important Current Stories On Race In America

Featured – Closing the Gulf Between Black and White Christians. By Emma Green / The Atlantic

In a new book, The Color of Compromise by Jemar Tisby, a black evangelical challenges his white counterparts to take full responsibility for their complicity in racism, and to commit to changing America. Many conservative Christian denominations have spent the past several years reckoning with their legacy of white supremacy. The darkest parts of American history are full of Christian characters, including scores of pastors and theologians. A number of still-existing denominations, among them the Southern Baptist Convention, were first formed to defend slavery*. Some well-respected Christian scholars dedicated their lives to rationalizing racial hierarchies with the Bible. And terrorist groups such as the Ku Klux Klan claimed an explicitly Protestant identity, with some pastors openly supporting their cause. Read more

It’s not that Tom Brokaw is racist. It’s that he’s wrong. By Isaac Bailey / CNN

Tom Brokaw, the famed NBC News journalist, is very likely not a racist, as many have accused after comments he made on national television about Hispanic-Americans. I suspect the same is true of Duke University professor Megan Neely. Still, each of them recently proved they are blinded by tradition bias and a belief that being white is the default right, true and wise way to live in America. Read more

Ignorance about the Holocaust is growing. By Harry D. Wall / CNN

Ignorance about the Holocaust is growing, particularly among young people. In the United States, a 2018 survey showed that 66% of millennials could not identify what the Auschwitz concentration and death camp was. These studies paint a disquieting picture of widening gaps in the knowledge and understanding of the Holocaust with the passing years. The concern isn’t only that the Holocaust is fading from memory, it’s that the lessons that can be applied to the ongoing human rights abuses and threats to democracy are also being lost. Read more

Social justice, unspoken truths, and Bradley Cooper: inside Kamala Harris’s book. By Lois Beckett / The Guardian

Hollywood stars never tell you what they’re actually allowed to eat, and political memoirs never tell you how a politician actually got elected. Senator Kamala Harris’s new autobiography, released just before she announced her presidential campaign, reveals very little about the California senator’s fascinating, historic rise in Democratic politics. But readers can learn a lot from what she doesn’t say. Read more

The Family Business That Put Nashville Hot Chicken on the Map. By Paige Williams / The New Yorker

An African-American-owned restaurant began making the spicy dish eighty years ago. Now it’s a viral sensation. Who’s getting the big money? Read more

Kentucky is disenfranchising black voters at a higher rate than any other state in the country. By Addy Baird / Thinkprogress

One out of every four African American voters is disenfranchised in the state of Kentucky, a higher rate than any other state, as a result of the state’s law barring people with felony convictions from voting, according to a new report from the Kentucky League of Women Voters released Tuesday. Read more

Lisa Murkowski Revives Bill Targeting Missing And Murdered Native Women. By Jennifer Bendery / HuffPost

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) reintroduced legislation on Monday to help law enforcement respond to a horrifying and largely invisible crisis: Hundreds of Native American women are simply disappearing or being murdered. Read more

Latino Turnout Surged. Then Texas Questioned 98,000 Voters’ Citizenship. By Roque Planas / HuffPost

Hispanics helped put Texas in play for Democrats in November. Now, Republicans leaders want nearly 100,000 people to prove they’re allowed to vote. Read more

Housing market racism persists despite ‘fair housing’ laws. By Keeanaga-Yamahtta Taylor / The Guardian

In the US, where homeownership speaks to class, African Americans are being denied mortgages at rates much higher than their white peers. Read more

Elite Law Firm’s All-White Partner Class Stirs Debate on Diversity. By Norm Scheiber and John Eligon / NYT

The post appeared on LinkedIn in early December: Paul, Weiss, one of the country’s most prominent and profitable law firms, said it was “pleased to announce” its new partner class. What followed, however, was nothing to smile about. In short order, people across the industry began to comment that all of the faces were white, and only one was a woman’s. Read more

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