Race Inquiry Digest (July 1) – Important Current Stories On Race In America

Featured – Trump remains dominant among white voters — Democrats can’t afford to be complacent. By Chauncey DeVega / Salon

Trump remains remarkably popular among white voters, especially white men. In a Quinnipiac University poll released on June 11, Trump trailed all the leading Democratic candidates. Among white voters, however, Trump beat every major Democratic presidential candidate by a margin of six to 10 points — with one exception. Biden and Trump were in a statistical tie, with the latter leading by 47% to 46%, within the survey’s margin of error. Other national polls have consistently shown that Donald Trump wins among white voters by an average of 10 points. Must read

MSNBC’s Joy Reid: How America can save itself from Trump and Trumpism. By Dean Obeidallah / Salon

“I open by calling Donald Trump the Joker because chaos is what Donald Trump can do,” said Joy Reid, author and host of MSNBC’s “AM Joy,” during our Salon Talks interview. Reid was describing the opening passages of her new book “The Man Who Sold America: Trump and the Unraveling of the American Story.” Must Read

Democrats must just bring down Trump – for the sake of the world. Robert Reich / The Guardian 

The stakes in the 2020 election are larger than any election in living memory. The Democrats’ selection of a candidate therefore is no ordinary thing. In a very real sense, the fates of America and the world depend on it. The question is whether the Democratic party is up to the task. Must read

The deep American roots of white supremacy. By Fareed Zakaria / CNN

The fact that these views are so deep-seated, subconsciously part of the modern psyche, is perhaps why we have been unable to see the growing danger in our midst. The number of white militants has grown; they have attacked more often and with greater brutality. And yet the authorities have always seemed to be surprised and unprepared, perhaps unable to fully internalize the nature of this ideology and its violent ambitions. Read more

Joe Biden’s record on school desegregation busing, explained. By P.R. Lockhart / Vox

The second round of the first Democratic primary debates on Thursday included a revealing — and at times tense — discussion of race between several candidates. But a defining moment was when Sen. Kamala Harris took former Vice President Joe Biden to task over his recent comments about segregationist senators, as well as his opposition to using federally mandated busing to racially integrate schools in the 1970s. She pointed directly to how it affected her life as a young child. “I did not oppose busing in America,” Biden responded. “What I opposed is busing ordered by the Department of Education. That’s what I opposed.” Read more

Kamala Harris Is Surging and Birtherism Is Back. By Will Sommer / Daily Beast

“As the only black person on this stage, I would like to speak on the issue of race,” Harris said. That’s when she was attacked on Twitter by a conservative provocateur for not being an “American black.” It’s a play straight out of the racist birther playbook used against Barack Obama when he ran for president a decade earlier. This time, though, those kinds of allegations don’t have to circulate for years on obscure right-wing forums before they reach a mainstream audience. On Thursday night, spammers and even one of President Trump’s sons spread the attack to millions of people within hours. Read more

There’s still a ban on federal funds for school busing. By Zachary B. Wolf / CNN

Joe Biden’s efforts against federal involvement in school busing were discussed at the Democratic debate like some kind of unearthed policy of the past. But language that mostly bars the use of federal funds for transportation costs related to desegregation efforts is still on the books, as Politico recently reported. Read more

Frederick Douglass would be outraged at Trump’s Fourth of July self-celebration. By Colbert I. King / Wash Post

“This Fourth July is yours, not mine,” said Frederick Douglass in his 1852 oration of anger in Rochester, N.Y. Douglass, the great abolitionist, author and former slave, had been asked to speak on the occasion of the nation’s 76th birthday. He told the audience at Corinthian Hall that he could not avoid noting that “the rich inheritance of justice, liberty, prosperity and independence” being celebrated was not shared by millions of others held in slavery. “What, to the American slave,” Douglass demanded, “is your Fourth of July?” Nearly 170 years later, Douglass’s bold declaration and haunting question resonate with new meaning. Read more

Democrats’ Cautious Return to the War on Poverty. By Osita Nwanevu / The New Yorker

The 2020 Democratic-primary candidates already seem to be thinking bigger about poverty in America, not only appearing at Barber’s forum but also releasing ambitious proposals aimed at addressing poverty more directly than the Democratic Party has in many years. Read more

Want to Be Less Racist? Move to Hawaii. By Moises Velasquez-Manoff / NYT

Hawaii has the highest percentage of mixed-race people by a long shot in the country. (Among them was our first mixed-race president, Barack Obama, who was born there.) Mixed-race people, who make up nearly a quarter of Hawaii’s population of 1.4 million, serve as a kind of jamming mechanism for people’s race radar, Dr. Pauker thinks. Because if you can’t tell what people are by looking at them — if their very existence blurs the imagined boundaries between supposedly separate groups — then race becomes a less useful way to think about people. Read more

California to become first state to ban discrimination against natural hair. By Doha Madani and Janelle Griffith / NBC News

California’s state assembly voted 69-0 to pass a bill Thursday that includes hair texture and hairstyles under its equal rights protections, becoming the first state to ban discrimination against natural hair. The bill now goes to the desk of California Gov. Gavin Newsom to be signed into law. Read more

Boycott by Whites of South African Restaurant Reflects Growing Sense of Grievance.  By Kimon de Greef and Norimitsu Onishi / NYT

For many white children growing up in apartheid South Africa, the Spur Steak Ranches restaurant chain was a home away from home, offering kid-friendly meals and play areas with an American Wild West theme. For their parents, the chain’s outposts served as the social center in many rural towns and in suburbs like Strand, a once-popular beach resort about 30 miles from Cape Town. But some of Spur’s most ardent fans have been staying away, supporting a boycott now entering its third year that has highlighted the underlying racial tensions in South African society. Read more

Supreme Court Hands GOP Big Victory on Gerrymandering, Ensuring “Massive Election Rigging.” By Ari Berman / Democracy Now

The Supreme Court hands down two major decisions. The first is a victory for Republicans, allowing extreme partisan gerrymandering to continue. The other temporarily blocks the Trump administration from adding a citizenship question on the 2020 census. We get response from Ari Berman, senior writer at Mother Jones. Listen here

Poverty Doesn’t Make You Racist. By Nathan Newman / Dissent

Since the 2016 elections, Democrats have endlessly debated how to reach the “white working class”—a demographically imprecise group alleged to have gone for Trump in big numbers. As multiple studies have shown, all white voters are in fact intensely polarized into two groups: one, open to progressive appeals, that recognizes racism is a reality in our society, and a second group, unfortunately larger, that thinks racial inequality barely exists and was mobilized by Trump’s racist appeals. Read more

Not all Americans have a fair path to a good death – racial disparities are real. By Jason Ashe and Danielle L. Beatty Moody / The Conversation  

As scholars who study social health and human services psychology, we found something missing in these conversations – how race impacts life span. It’s important to recognize that not everyone has an equal chance at “dying well.” Take the disease burden of the African American population. Read more

Frances Tiafoe: The story behind tennis’ unlikely hero. By Jerry Bembry / The Undefeated

Tiafoe, the son of immigrants from the African nation of Sierra Leone, was the poor kid who fell in love with a rich man’s sport. He was the son of a tennis center custodian, wearing hand-me-downs while the kids in his orbit arrived at the JTCC in chauffeur-driven Rolls-Royces. Read more

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