Race Inquiry Digest (July 26) – Important Current Stories On Race In America

Feature – A Sociologist Examines the “White Fragility” That Prevents White Americans from Confronting Racism. In 2011, Robin DiAngelo coined the term “white fragility” to describe the disbelieving defensiveness that white people exhibit when their ideas about race and racism are challenged—and particularly when they feel implicated in white supremacy. Why, she wondered, did her feedback prompt such resistance, as if the mention of racism were more offensive than the fact or practice of it? In a new book, “White Fragility,” DiAngelo attempts to explicate the phenomenon of white people’s paper-thin skin. Read more 

Backlash : What Happens When We Talk Honestly about Racism in America. When George Yancy penned a New York Times op-ed entitled “Dear White America” asking white Americans to confront the ways that they benefit from racism, he knew his article would be controversial. But he was unprepared for the flood of vitriol in response. Read more 

America is in the middle of a battle over the meaning of words like ‘diversity.’ To one group, diversity initiatives mean allowing unqualified people to get an easy pass. To another, it fulfills an educational ideal of bringing people of different backgrounds and circumstances together. These different understandings make it that much harder to have a real debate. Read more 

Half of Republicans say increased racial diversity will be “mostly negative.” A recent survey from the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) and the Atlantic asked Americans how they feel about the possibility, based on US Census data, that in the next few decades black, Latinx, Asian, and other minority groups will together surpass white Americans as the demographic majority. Sixty-four percent of Americans, including 85 percent of Democrats, said this will have “mostly positive” results. But half of Republicans said it will produce “mostly negative” outcomes. Read more 

New study shines light on the racial ‘anger bias’ of educators. We’re starting to learn more about why black students have long been disciplined more harshly than their similarly-behaving white counterparts. Read more 

How Elite Schools Stay So White. Who deserves to get an elite education? That question is being debated in Massachusetts, where court papers argue over Harvard’s use of race in its “holistic” admissions process, and in New York City, where politicians are trying to increase the number of black and Latino students at top public high schools. But the answer has always been obvious: only the elite. Read more 

The Republican Base Might Not Be As Scary As It Looks. What if that fear is misplaced? Yes, polls show high Republican support for President Trump, but those polls don’t measure change in party identification. Most Republicans back Trump, but there might be fewer Republicans. If so, the dreaded GOP base might be less fearsome than it appears. Read more 

Historian Rick Shenkman on Donald Trump: “All the worst things in American history piled together.” Shenkman is the founder of the History News Network and is a regular guest commentator on CNN, MSNBC and Fox News. He is the bestselling author of six previous books, but his latest was the impetus for our conversation. It is called “Political Animals: How Our Stone Age Brain Gets in the Way of Smart Politics.” Read more 

There are many rich minorities. So why are there no black Koch brothers? Media mogul Oprah Winfrey is worth nearly $3 billion. Basketball legend-turned-businessman Michael Jordan’s net worth is a reported $1.65 billion. Businessman and philanthropist Robert Smith is worth more than both of them with an estimated net value of $4 billion-plus. All three black billionaires are known as generous philanthropists, but not big political givers. Read more 

Trump, ‘He’s Like a Rapper.’ In particular, he was a young man in the city when the hip-hop cultural movement was born here in the 1970s. He witnessed the birth and ascendancy of hip-hop in the city, the moguls it made, the bravado it brandished. He liked it, envied it, aped it. He created of it something all his own: He learned to assert white privilege and emulate black power. Read more 

Visit our home page for more articles, and at the top of this page register your email to receive notification of Race Inquiry Digest updates.  Click here for earlier Digests.