Race Inquiry Digest (July 23) – Important Current Stories On Race In America

Feature – In Mandela speech, Obama offers nuanced approach to dealing with white anxiety and resentment. President Barack Obama gave a powerhouse speech this Tuesday in Johannesburg, South Africa, in honor of Nelson Mandela’s 100th birthday. As Jelani Cobb summarized it: “[Obama] offered the sharpest possible contrast between himself and his successor—between statesman and demagogue—and, crucially, the distinction between a man who grasps history as the living context of our lives and one unburdened by the knowledge of how we arrived at the present and what that means for the future.” Read more 

‘Twice as good as them’ to get half what they have: Racism and the subpar presidency of Donald Trump. It is the dream of many black parents that their children will possess the twice-as-goodness of Barack Obama. In contrast, Donald Trump and his subparness is the very reason that black parents warn their children about the need to overachieve in the first place. It is because they know full well that not only does race matter in America, it matters so much that wholly unqualified, unintelligent, dangerous and underachieving white men like Trump can ascend to the presidency, fuck it up time and time again and still be regarded as competent and doing a good job. Read more 

In ‘Blindspotting,’ Daveed Diggs wrestles with gentrification and race in Oakland, California. Rafael Casal (left) and Daveed Diggs play best friends in “Blindspotting.” Directed by newcomer Carlos López Estrada, Blindspotting provides an immersion into what it feels like to be black, feared and constantly watching your back. Read more 
These 2 psychologists are dismantling the myth of white intellectual superiority. “Our theory was that if you created a test where the person taking the test couldn’t rely on their schooling and upbringing . . . but had to rely on their pure, raw intelligence, then we’d see much less difference between the races.” Read more 

NFL Owners Blink, Suspend Their Anthem Policy. A firestorm over the Miami Dolphins’ penalties forced pro football to pull back on punishing players for national-anthem protests. The cabal of alt-right, morally decrepit billionaires that run the National Football League has officially blinked. The league, in a joint statement with the NFL Players Association, has announced that it is suspending—for now—its own recently adopted policy of fining or suspending players who don’t stand “at respect” for the national anthem, until further review. Read more 

The Stand Your Ground Law Protects Shooter Who Killed Black Man Over Parking Space, Sheriff Says. Two men, Markeis McGlockton and Michael Drejka, got into an argument in a convenience Circle A Food store parking lot in Clearwater, Fla., over a parking spot. It’s been reported that Drejka was arguing with McGlockton’s girlfriend about them being parked in the handicap spot without a proper tag. That argument ended with McGlockton, who is black, being fatally shot. But now we’ve found out that Drejka, the man who pulled the trigger, won’t even be arrested. Read more 

When Native Americans Routed the Ku Klux Klan in the Battle of Hayes Pond. Lumbee men Simon Oxedine and Charlie Warriax, both veterans, with captured KKK flag at VFW convention. On July 5 a historical marker was erected in Maxton, North Carolina, to commemorate an event that occurred sixty years ago, when the Ku Klux Klan tried to rally in the heart of Lumbee Indian territory. The Klansmen were run out of town, and the 1958 event made the national news, including in The New York Times and Life magazine. The conflict became known as “The Battle of Hayes Pond.” Read more 

‘Traveling while black’ guidebooks may be out of print, but still resonate today.  In the summer of 2017, the NAACP issued a travel advisory for the state of Missouri. Modeled after the international advisories issued by the U.S. State Department, the NAACP statement cautioned travelers of color about the “looming danger” of discrimination, harassment and violence at the hands of Missouri law enforcement, businesses and citizens. When I first read about this news, I thought of the motoring guidebooks published for African-American travelers from the 1930s to the 1960s – a story I explore in my book “Republic of Drivers: A Cultural History of Automobility in America.” Read more 

The Black Cop Who Went Undercover in the KKK, Exposing Its U.S. Military Ties. Ron Stallworth, subject of the upcoming Spike Lee film ‘BlackKlansman,’ opens up to how he successfully infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan and the many disturbing things he found. Read more 

Voter purges are on the rise in states with a history of racial discrimination. Voting rights advocates have argued that purging practices can disproportionately affect minorities and low-income voters — and add yet another barrier to people’s efforts to head to the polls. Read more 

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