Race Inquiry Digest (March 21) – Important Current Stories On Race In America

Featured – Democrats Have Long Been Terrified of the White Moderate. Elizabeth Warren Apparently Has No Such Fear. By Ben Mathis-Lilley / Slate

Here’s Elizabeth Warren answering a question about slavery at a CNN town hall on Monday night in Jackson, Mississippi. Here, meanwhile, is Ta-Nehisi Coates, in a new interview with Eric Levitz at New York magazine, discussing the way he thinks the argument outlined in his 2014 Atlantic article “The Case for Reparations” could fit practically into the current political discourse: Read more

Reparations are overdue: “Confronting the truth” about slavery means paying for it. By D. Watkins / Salon

The topic of slavery reparations is finally trending again, nearly five years after Ta-Nehisi Coates’ essay in The Atlantic making the case. Even 2020 presidential candidates are talking about it — or displaying creative ways to avoid the issue. But before we talk about why reparations are necessary, let’s knock out some light housekeeping. What are slavery reparations? Reparations can be defined as the act of repairing something, or the making of amends — financially or otherwise — for a wrong done to another. Slavery reparations would be the U.S. government paying money to the descendants of African slaves.  Read more

Excellent James Baldwin speech in Berkeley (1979) 

Watch here (You Tube)

The New Zealand Shooting and the Great-Man Theory of Misery. By Jelani Cobb / The New Yorker

The macabre harvest of innocents, this time claiming fifty lives in two mosques, in Christchurch, New Zealand, is a double-edged form of madness. It is both the product of an absence of human empathy and a drain on the reserves of those who possess it: decency these days requires the ability to stare barbarism in the face, repeatedly, randomly, intensely, without ever becoming inured to the ugliness of its features. Read more

New Zealand Shooting: White Supremacists and Jihadists Feed Off Each Other. By Rita Katz / The Daily Beast

From jihadists’ attacks in France and Florida to white nationalists’ attacks in Quebec City and Christchurch, each adds fuel to extremists’ stories of Crusades and ethnic invaders. Read more

The internet is radicalizing white men. Big tech could be doing more. By Alex Koppelman / CNN

People could easily become radicalized before social media. Many are still radicalized without it. But social media, often in combination with other factors, has proven itself an efficient radicalizer, in part because it allows for the easy formation of communities and in part because of its algorithms, used to convince people to stay just a little longer, watch one more video, click one more thing, generate a little more advertising revenue. Read more

Fewer Than 20 Percent Of Americans Say Trump Opposes White Nationalism. By Ariel Edwards-Levy / HuffPost

Just 19 percent of Americans say they believe that President Donald Trump personally opposes white nationalism, a new HuffPost/YouGov survey found. Thirty-nine percent said he supports white nationalism, while 20 percent said he doesn’t have a strong opinion on the movement either way. The rest said they weren’t sure. Read more

Admissions scandal reveals ‘aristocracy masquerading as a meritocracy.’ By Ronald Brownstein / CNN

With its toxic blend of arrogance and entitlement, the college admission cheating scandal has touched a deep nerve across the country. But it represents only the most visible inequity in a higher education system that many critics believe now does more to stratify privilege than to expand opportunity. Read more

The college admissions scam opens a new front in the affirmative action debate. By John Blake / CNN

Could revelations from the cheating scandal actually save affirmative action, if and when the US Supreme Court takes up the issue again? So far, there’s little indication to think the scheme uncovered by the feds could sway the court’s conservative majority — which has been shaped by a legal movement long opposed to affirmative action. Read more

New York’s Most Elite High School Admits Just Seven Black Students in a Class of 900. By Molly Olmstead / Slate

New data released by New York City on Monday revealed that the city’s most elite public high schools admitted just a tiny number of black and Hispanic students, according the New York Times. The numbers are stark: New York’s top school, Stuyvesant High School, admitted just seven black students for a freshman class of 895. That is down from 10 last year and 13 the year before. The Bronx High School of Science had similarly dismal numbers: 12 offers for black students out of a class of 803. Read more

Justices take up racial bias in Mississippi jury selection. By The Associated Press

The Supreme Court is hearing arguments over a Mississippi prosecutor’s decision to keep African-Americans off a black death row inmate’s jury in a murder trial. The appeal before the court Wednesday comes from inmate Curtis Flowers, who has been tried six times for the same crime. Read more

Donna Brazile and Fox News are a bad pairing in the Trump era. By Rem Rieder / ThinkProgress

It’s like Donald Trump teaming up with Elizabeth Warren, Derek Jeter leaving the Yankees for the Red Sox, Mick Jagger joining the Beatles. Donna Brazile going to Fox News? It’s hard to believe, but on Monday, the longtime Democratic political operative and liberal television commentator joined Fox to offer political analysis on Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network. What is she thinking? Read more

Can Florida go from swing state to blue? Andrew Gillum wants to try. By Addy Baird / ThinkProgress

In an effort to flip the Sunshine State in 2020, former Florida gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum (D) is launching a voter registration group, according to news reports on Wednesday. Read more

Excluded by banks, minorities in California became their own lenders. By Frank Shyong / LATimes

If you’ve ever been to a Cambodian-owned doughnut shop, fried chicken restaurant or jewelry store, there’s a good chance it was financed by a tontine. In Cambodia, “tontine” is the name given to a rotating savings and credit association, or ROSCA, an ancient practice that has different versions all over the world. The general concept is that by contributing to a monthly pool that pays a lump sum to a single member, people can make and receive loans as well as earn interest on savings. Read more

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