Race Inquiry Digest (July 15) – Important Current Stories On Race In America

Featured – It Was Never About Busing. By Nikole Hannah-Jones / NYT 

A crowd in South Boston protested federal court-ordered busing of black students to all-white neighborhood schools in 1975.  The term “busing” is a race-neutral euphemism that allows people to pretend white opposition was not about integration but simply about a desire for their children to attend neighborhood schools. Court-ordered desegregation worked. But white racism made it hard to accept. Must read  

It Can Happen Here: The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum’s decision to speak out against Holocaust analogies is a moral threat. By Timothy Snyder / Slate

A federally funded museum is telling Americans not to think. On June 24, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum instructed the public not to consider the relationship between its subject, other historical events, and the present, implicitly reprimanding Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for calling American detention centers “concentration camps.” In doing so, it has made nonsense of the slogan “never again” and provided moral cover for ongoing and oppressive American policies. Must read

George Takei has talked about his family’s internment before. But never quite like this. By Michael Cavna / Wash Post

“I know what concentration camps are,” George Takei, the actor-activist turned social media rock star, tweeted last month to his nearly 3 million followers. “I was inside two of them, in America. And yes, we are operating such camps again.” Takei, still best known for playing Sulu in the Star Trek franchise, has turned his experience into a riveting graphic novel-memoir. “They Called Us Enemy”— co-written with Justin Eisinger, Steven Scott and artist Harmony Becker — arrives Tuesday as a necessary testament to what stoked fear and federal racism looked like eight decades ago within America’s own borders. Read more

Why No One Is Discussing the Rise in Africans Migrants Piled at U.S.-Mexico Border. By David Love / AtlBlackStar

The subject of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border conjures images of people from Latin America, particularly Central America, who are fleeing poverty and violence. However, the dynamics of migration into the U.S. are changing. Increasingly, many migrants crossing the border are from nations in Africa and the Caribbean, particularly Haiti, making asylum seekers and the border a Black issue as well. Read more

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee Honors KKK Grand Wizard With Proclamation. By Andy Campbell / Huff Post

Despite public outcry, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee (R) re-signed a proclamation Thursday declaring July 13 as Nathan Bedford Forrest Day in the state, honoring the Ku Klux Klan grand wizard and former Confederate general. Read more Also see , Tennessee Is Celebrating Nathan Bedford Forrest Day, So Here’s the Original Congressional Report About Fort Pillow

Trump tells Ocasio-Cortez and other female progressives to ‘go back’ to ‘original’ countries. By Martin Pengelly / The Guardian

Donald Trump used racist language to attack “the Squad” on Sunday, saying four progressive Democrats who have clashed with party leaders should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came”. Read more

Buttigieg Proposes Broad Plan To Counter Racial Inequality. By Rachel Martin and Josh Axelrod / NPR

His “Douglass Plan” aims to establish a $10 billion fund for black entrepreneurs over five years, invest $25 billion in historically black colleges, legalize marijuana, expunge past drug convictions, reduce the prison population by half and pass a new Voting Rights Act to further empower the federal government to ensure voting access. Read more

Is Hawaii’s Racial Harmony a Myth? By Moises Velasquez-Manoff / NYT

In my essayWant to Be Less Racist? Move to Hawaii,” I explore why race might be perceived differently in Hawaii from how it is on the mainland United States. As several readers noted in the comments, even though race may be seen differently in Hawaii, prejudice clearly exists. Readers, including people born in Hawaii and mainland transplants, wrote about these contradictions in their comments. I responded to several in order to share more about my research and observations. Read more

How White Nationalists See What They Want to See in DNA Tests. By Heather Murphy / NYT

On the hate site Stormfront, one of the largest online discussion forums dedicated to “white pride,” sharing DNA results with fellow members has become a rite of passage for some members. But what happens when users’ results show that they fail to meet their own genetic criteria for whiteness? Are they still willing to post them? And if so, how do other users respond? Read more

McConnell’s boyhood town shows the lasting impacts of slavery. By Sandy Mazza / USA Today

Like so many long-standing Southern white families, Mitch McConnell’s forebearers built their wealth with free slave labor and cheap land. Two of his great-great-grandfathers owned more than a dozen slaves, census records reviewed by the USA TODAY Network show. As a child during segregation, McConnell lived on the white side of Athens, Georgia, where black residents were only allowed to visit for work and were typically paid very low wages. Read more

The forgotten history of segregated swimming pools and amusement parks. By Victoria W. Walcott / The Conversation

When a group of white and African American integrationists entered a St. Augustine, Fla. segregated hotel pool in 1964, the hotel manager poured acid into it. Municipal swimming pools and urban amusement parks flourished in the 20th century. But too often, their success was based on the exclusion of African Americans. As a social historian who has written a book on segregated recreation, I have found that the history of recreational segregation is a largely forgotten one. But it has had a lasting significance on modern race relations. Read more

Bill Russell, activist for the ages. By Martenzie Johnson / The Undefeated

A celebrated champion who single-handedly revolutionized the game of basketball, Russell used his heightened platform as an NBA star to fight back against the same overt racism and inequality that plague the country today. Read more

The Man With the $13 Billion Checkbook. By John Leland / NYT

From a tidy glass office in Midtown Manhattan, Darren Walker gives away $650 million a year of other people’s money, and is paid nicely to do so. When he got this job in 2013, as president of the Ford Foundation, he set his sights on tackling inequality. Read more

Miami’s Little Haiti wasn’t a target for developers. Until the seas started to rise. By Bill Weir / CNN

In working-class, immigrant neighborhoods like Little Haiti, year-to-year sea level rise gets lost in the day-to-day struggle, and most had no idea that they live a lofty three feet higher than the wealthy folks on Miami Beach. They found out when developers started calling, from everywhere. Read more

Beyoncé will lift your spirit with new song from ‘The Lion King’ soundtrack. By Sondra Gonzalez / CNN

The Lion King” won’t hit theaters for more than a week, but Beyoncé and Disney celebrated the world premiere screening on Tuesday night by releasing a new song from the film that’s sure to lift your spirits. In “Spirit,” Beyoncé masterfully showcases her power and vocal acrobatic skills. Listen here

Author Michael Eric Dyson’s New Book Will Focus on Jay-Z’s Cultural Impact: ‘This Was the Perfect Time’ By Daryl Nelson / AtlBlackStar

Georgetown sociology professor Michael Eric Dyson isn’t just a fan of Jay-Z, he taught the course SOCI-124-01, also known as “Sociology of Hip-Hop — Urban Theodicy of Jay-Z.” And now he’s writing a book on him. It’s called “Jay-Z: Made In America,” and Dyson is explaining why it’ll be important for everyone to read. Read more

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