Race Inquiry Digest (July 18) – Important Current Stories On Race In America

Featured – “White Identity Politics” and white backlash: How we wound up with a racist in the White House. By Chauncey DeVega / Salon

Today’s Republican Party is the largest, most powerful and most dangerous white racist organization in the United States — if not the world. Donald Trump, the president of the United States, is its leader. These are plain if not understated facts. No embellishment is needed. Donald Trump and the Republican Party’s racist agenda is in service to white identity politics and a foundational assumption that white people should always and forever be the most privileged and dominant group in the United States. But what are the specific contours of white identity politics, and why has it been so politically effective and personally seductive for Trump, the Republican Party and their voters? Is white identity politics an existential threat to America’s multiracial democracy? What does it mean to be “white” in post-civil rights America? Are white men and white women invested in white identity in the same way? In an effort to answer these questions I recently spoke with Ashley Jardina, a professor of political science at Duke University and author of the new book “White Identity Politics.” This conversation has been edited for clarity and length. Must Read

Racism Comes Out of the Closet. The dog whistle days are apparently over. By Paul Krugman / NYT

In 1981 Lee Atwater, the famed Republican political operative, explained to an interviewer how his party had learned to exploit racial antagonism using dog whistles. “You start out in 1954 by saying ‘Nigger, nigger, nigger.’” But by the late 1960s, “that hurts you, backfires. So you say stuff like, uh, ‘forced busing,’ ‘states’ rights,’ and all that stuff, and you’re getting so abstract. Well, the dog whistle days are over. Republicans are pretty much back to saying “Nigger, nigger, nigger.” Read more

Trump’s Tweets Prove That He Is a Raging Racist. By Charles Blow / NYT

Donald Trump keeps trying to convince any disbelieving holdouts that he is a raging racist. At least, that’s how I imagine his motives. In truth, it is more likely that his truest nature is simply being revealed, again and again, and he is using his own racism to appeal to the racism in the people who support him. Read more

Jon Meacham: Trump Now Tied For ‘Most Racist President In American History.’ By Ed Mazza / HuffPost

A Pulitzer Prize-winning historian says President Donald Trump is now tied for number one in a category he may not want to brag about. “He has joined Andrew Johnson as the most racist president in American history,” Jon Meacham said on MSNBC on Monday, referring to the leader who routinely finishes at or near the very bottom of presidential rankings by historians. Read more and watch the interview

‘The agenda of white nationalists’: AOC, other congresswomen respond to Trump’s attacks. By Dareh Gregorian and Adam Edelman / NBC News

The four progressive congresswomen of color attacked by President Donald Trump responded on Monday afternoon at a joint news conference, saying his “blatantly racist” assault on them is nothing more than an effort to distract from his corrupt administration and inhumane policies. Read more

READ: Here’s The Resolution Condemning Trump’s Racist Comments About Congresswomen. By Brian Naylor / NPR

The House passed a resolution condemning President Trump’s “racist comments” on Tuesday evening. The nonbinding resolution states that Trump’s remarks directed at members of Congress “have legitimized fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color.”  Read more

Am I an American? By Ibram X. Kendi / The Atlantic

President Trump’s tirade against four minority congresswomen prompts the question: Whom does he consider to be American? This blend of nativism, racism, and nationalism is central to Trumpism, to their worldview. They view me as, they disregard me as, an illegal alien, like those four progressive congresswomen of color. I am tolerated until I am not. I can dine on American soil until I demand a role in remaking the menu that is killing me, like those four progressive congresswomen of color.   Read more

Against Multiracial Authoritarianism. By Dan Berger / AAIHS

Concluding her stunning essay on the racist and sexist representations of Anita Hill’s testimony against Clarence Thomas as he alighted to the US Supreme Court, literary scholar Wahneema Lubiano asked “What is a black politics—absent class and/or gender specificity?” Across several publications in the 1990s, Lubiano was one of several critical commentators attuned to the problems of Black conservatism. Numerically small but highly visible, Black conservatives were highly popular among an increasingly revanchist right. Read more

How to Close Heirs’ Property Loopholes. What to consider to avoid losing land that has been passed down through generations without a will and is shared among heirs. By Lizzie Presser / ProPublica

Through interviews and courthouse records, I analyzed more than three dozen cases from recent years in which heirs’ property owners lost land — land that, for many of them, was not only their sole asset but also a critical part of their heritage and their sense of home. African-Americans are particularly vulnerable to this kind of land-grab. Read more

The Postcolonial Case for Rethinking Borders. By Tendayi Achiume / Dissent 

A close look at the experiences of immigrants should lead us to the conclusion that First World nations have no right to exclude Third World migrants, including the unauthorized economic migrants that dominate contemporary political debates. Read more

William Barr’s decision in Eric Garner’s case is a disgrace. By Joey Jackson / CNN

The Justice Department announced on Tuesday that it would not be pursuing federal charges against Daniel Pantaleo, the NYPD officer accused of fatally choking Eric Garner, who was approached by police for allegedly selling loose cigarettes. The decision was apparently made by Attorney General William Barr himself, after the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division favored an indictment while a competing faction in the New York office felt otherwise. Read more

North Carolina Gerrymandering Trial Could Serve As Blueprint For Other States. By Jeff Tiberii / NPR

Weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that federal courts can’t intervene in cases where state lawmakers have aggressively drawn political boundaries to benefit one political party over another, a new front in the nation’s redistricting battles opens Monday in a North Carolina courtroom. The case has the potential to significantly alter how political maps are drawn in North Carolina and could serve as a blueprint for legal challenges in other states. Read more

Democrats’ not so secret weapon to fix America’s insanely rigged election map. By Danielle McLean / ThinkProgress

It’s based at a Washington, D.C. WeWork. Its staff numbers little more than a dozen. It’s Democrats’ best hope to save democracy as we know it. Eric Holder, the former US attorney general and a Democratic elder statesman, is the public face of the ambitious effort, which he says is a no-holds-barred attempt to fix a badly skewed election map that has become one of most serious problems facing the party. Read more

New York is second state to ban discrimination based on natural hairstyles. By Janelle Griffith / NBC News

New York became the second state to ban discrimination based on natural hairstyles after Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill Friday amending the state’s Human Rights Law. For much of our nation’s history, people of color, particularly women, have been marginalized and discriminated against simply because of their hair style or texture,” Cuomo said in a statement Friday. “By signing this bill into law, we are taking an important step toward correcting that history and ensuring people of color are protected from all forms of discrimination.” Read more

He Emerged From Prison a Potent Symbol of H.I.V. Criminalization. By Emily S. Rueb / NYT

Michael L. Johnson, a gay athlete convicted of not disclosing his H.I.V. status to sexual partners, was released 25 years early and has become a galvanizing force to overhaul laws.
Mr. Johnson, 27, was released on parole on Tuesday after an appeals court found that his 2015 trial was “fundamentally unfair.” His original sentence was longer than the state average for second-degree murder. Read more

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