Race Inquiry Digest (March 11) – Important Current Stories On Race In America

Featured – Curtis Mayfield’s Marriage of Heaven and Hell. By Jason Heller / The Atlantic

By 1969, Mayfield—the lead singer and primary composer of The Impressions—was exhausted. The group’s touring schedule had hampered his ability to write songs, produce other artists, and run his label, Curtom Records. So he made the decision to leave the band, resulting in his 1970 solo debut, Curtis, which was just reissued as part of the Rhino Records box set Keep On Keeping On. The album’s only two singles, “Move on Up” and “(Don’t Worry) If There’s a Hell Below, We’re All Going to Go,” paralleled Mayfield’s crossroads: one song a hymn to empowerment, the other an ode to Armageddon. Read more

( We digress) God Offers People of Alabama New Bibles to Replace Ones Trump Signed. By Andy Borowitz / The New Yorker

In a rare public statement from the famously mysterious deity, God said that He was furious at Trump “for defacing My book,” calling Trump’s signature “a wanton act of vandalism.” Read more

The Manafort Sentence Is a Lesson in White Privilege. By Elie Mystal / The Nation

The US Sentencing Commission found that black men received 19.1 percent more prison time than similarly situated white felons. That report adjusted for criminal history, violence, and plea bargains. Read more

A black lawmaker and mother refused to back down in opposing a ‘stand your ground’ bill. The measure was defeated. By Christina Maxouris and Michelle Krupa / CNN

One black lawmaker refused to retreat when her white, male colleagues moved to cut off debate on a bill that would let Arkansas residents use lethal force as the first line of self-defense if they felt threatened. Watch here

The Case for Reparations. By David Brooks / NYT

“Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman’s 250 years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said 3,000 years ago, so still it must be said ‘the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.’” Abraham Lincoln Read more

Why Sacramento is still protesting Stephon Clark’s death, one year later. By Gabe Schneider / Vox

After officials announced the officers who shot the unarmed 22-year-old won’t be charged, his family and community are demanding reforms. Read more

Ilhan Omar’s Victory for Political Sanity. By David Dayen / The New Republic

The freshman congresswoman was right: The pro-Israel lobby uses financial muscle to influence Congress. That shouldn’t be a controversial statement. Read more

New York City will be home to three new monuments honoring black women. by Gwen Aviles / NBC News

Announcing the statues Wednesday at the Brooklyn Museum, the Big Apple’s first lady Chirlane McCray said they will celebrate the lives of teacher and civil rights activist Elizabeth Jennings Graham and singer Billie Holiday. Last November, she announced a monument for civil rights activist and politician Shirley Chisholm. Read more

Is ‘Latinx’ elitist? Some push back at the word’s growing use. By Stephen Nuno-Perez and Gwen Aviles / NBC News

The gender-neutral “Latinx” is becoming the preferred term over “Latino” or “Latina” in some circles — but Hispanic-Americans are debating among themselves about whether it should be. Read more

Her ancestors were enslaved in the U.S. Now a Trump decision could lead to her deportation to Africa. By Orion Donovan-Smith / Wash Post

Afomu Kelley was just 11 years old when she left Liberia with her mother in the early days of a civil war in 1990. She remembers standing in a crowd jostling to board an airplane to the United States for what she thought would be a six-week vacation. Instead, the war in Liberia escalated and Kelley, now 40, never returned to the West African country. She grew up in Northern Virginia, where she finished high school early, and attended the University of Maryland. She has an American accent. Sometimes she doesn’t feel like an immigrant. Read more

Why Birthrates Among Hispanic Americans Have Plummeted. By Sabrina Tavernise / NYT

As fertility rates across the United States continue to decline — 2017 had the country’s lowest rate since the government started keeping records — some of the largest drops have been among Hispanics. The birthrate for Hispanic women fell by 31 percent from 2007 to 2017, a steep decline that demographers say has been driven in part by generational differences between Hispanic immigrants and their American-born daughters and granddaughters. Read more

House passes sweeping voting rights, electoral reform bill. By Addy Baird / ThinkProgress

HR 1 aims to make Election Day a federal holiday, help publicly finance elections, and require presidents to release their tax returns. Read more

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp Faces Investigation by House Panel. By Maggie Astor / NYT

The House Oversight and Reform Committee is investigating allegations of voter suppression in Georgia under Secretary of State Brian Kemp, who has since become governor. Read more

75 Percent of Republicans Say White Americans Are Discriminated Against. By Peter Wade / Rolling Stone

The victimization of white America put forth by conservatives and right-wing media has taken hold, according to the results in a new poll from Hill-HarrisX. A whopping 75 percent of registered Republican voters said that white Americans face discrimination. Read more

The Aftertaste of Slavery Still Haunts American Cooking. By Tom Philpott / Mother Jones

On top of grueling labor, rough living conditions, and the agony of being someone else’s property, enslaved cooks had to constantly perform hospitality and polite subservience to the planter family and their guests—a formidable psychological burden, Deetz says. Read more  

Ole Miss students vote unanimously to remove Confederate statue from campus center. By Phil McCausland / NBC News

The University of Mississippi student government voted unanimously to remove a statue of a Confederate soldier from the center of their campus Tuesday, fewer than two weeks after a pro-Confederate rally unfolded at the school. Read more

The racist online abuse of Meghan has put royal staff on high alert. By Max Foster / CNN

Britain’s royal family is beefing up its social media operation amid a rise in racist online abuse targeting the Duchess of Sussex in the months after the announcement of her pregnancy, sources have told CNN. Watch here

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