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

Featured – Rich white men rule America. How much longer will we tolerate that? By Nathan Robinson / The Guardian

The core democratic principle is that people should have a meaningful say in political decisions that affect their lives. In Alabama, we’ve just seen what the opposite of democracy looks like: 25 white male Republicans in the state senate were able to ban almost all abortion in the state. The consequences of that decision fall exclusively on women, who will be forced to carry all pregnancies to term if the law comes into effect. White men have never made up the majority of the US population, and yet from the country’s beginnings they have made up most of its political decision-makers. Read more

The Mobile Resistance. By Manisha Sinha / The Nation

At long last, The Common Wind, Julius Scott’s classic in African-American history and studies of resistance, has found a publisher in Verso. The Common Wind started out as a history of the Caribbean and the informal communication networks that emerged among people of African descent during the Age of Revolution. But the project ended up doing so much more: Through traditional archival work and innovative interpretation, Scott—who is now an emeritus historian at the University of Michigan—unearthed an entire underground world. Read more

What Do Native Americans Want From a President? By David Montgomery / Wash Post

Madonna Sitting Bear’s sons, Keya Little Elk, 6, left, and Tokala Little Elk, 3, were born on the Rosebud Sioux reservation in South Dakota. Because the local hospital stopped delivering babies, Wase Little Elk, 10 months, was born off the reservation. Tribes have had the same hopes and dreams for generations. Will the 2020 presidential candidates hear them? Read more

Going Native: ‘The Struggle to Care for Our Own.’ By Mark Anthony Rolo / The Progressive

The biggest challenge facing tribal communities is the lack of real, widespread support that connects people to health care. During my mother’s generation American Indians were terrified of going to the hospital. This was especially true of native women who feared they would be sterilized without their consent. And those women included my mother. Things have changed in Indian Country. Indians will go to the hospital. But still, it’s often too late. They end up in the emergency room for health problems that have reached a crisis because of a lack of preventive healthcare. Read more

Racial wealth gap is vast: 2020 Democrats have plans to close it. By Benjy Sarlin / NBC News

Candidates are regularly bringing up the fact that the typical black family has only one-tenth the assets of the typical white family — a divide that has grown larger than it was 35 years ago. Far from a niche concern, candidates have incorporated it into their signature proposals. They’ve addressed it in speeches not just to black churches in South Carolina, but also to mostly white town hall crowds in Iowa and New Hampshire. Read more

A billionaire will pay off debt of Morehouse College’s 2019 graduates. Here is what that gesture means. By Darran Simon / CNN

African-American students are more likely than their peers to take out federal student loans regardless of whether they attend public or private institutions or community colleges, according the Center for American Progress. The Center’s analysis in 2017 of data from the National Center for Education Statistics shows more than 80% of black students took out loans for their undergraduate education within 12 years of entering school in the 2003-2004 school year at public and private institutions compared with more than 60% of white and Latino students. Read more

Elizabeth Warren Takes a Different Strategy to Court the Black Vote. By Adam Harris / The Atlantic

“Race matters,” Senator Elizabeth Warren told me in an interview last Wednesday, “and we need to face it.” She ran down the stats. “Students of color are more likely to have to borrow money to go to college, they borrow more money when they’re in college, and they have a harder time paying for it when they get out of college,” Warren said. There was a difference, a systemic one, she argued, and the policy makers needed to fix it. Read more

New poll shows black voters want 2020 candidates with big policy plans, not just big names. By P. R. Lockhart / Vox

Black voters are expected to play a key role in the 2020 Democratic primary, and in a large primary field, reaching these voters will be important to any campaign that wants to stay competitive. A new poll shows exactly what black voters want and what candidates will need to do to reach them. Read more

The Brown v. Board of Education case didn’t start how you think it did. By Charise Cheney / The Conversation 

The story behind the historic Supreme Court case, as I plan to show in my forthcoming book, “Blacks Against Brown: The Black Anti-Integration Movement in Topeka, Kansas, 1941-1954,” is much more complex than the highly inaccurate but often-repeated tale about how the lawsuit began. For example, while school desegregation may have symbolized racial progress for many blacks throughout the country, that simply was not the case in Topeka. In fact, most of the resistance to the NAACP’s school desegregation efforts in Topeka came from Topeka’s black citizens, not whites. Read more

Russian documents reveal desire to sow racial discord — and violence — in the U.S By Richard Engel, Kate Benyon-Tinker and Kennett Werner / NBC News

The documents — communications between associates of Yevgeny Prigozhin, a Kremlin-linked oligarch indicted by special counsel Robert Mueller for previous influence operations against the U.S. — laid out a new plot to manipulate and radicalize African Americans. The plans show that Prigozhin’s circle has sought to exploit racial tensions well beyond Russia’s social media and misinformation efforts tied to the 2016 election. Read more

One big NBA family: How the Curry and Rivers clans are deeply related. By Marc J. Spears / The Undefeated

Stephen Curry and Austin Rivers have known each other’s games well for years, but they’ve gotten to know each other on a more personal level. Reason being, their siblings are engaged to be married next year. Two of the NBA’s most well-known and successful families are now actually one big family. Read more

Black women start a walking movement to battle the obesity epidemic. By Christopher Dawson / CNN

Across the US, obesity rates have risen and life expectancy has declined. Our national health crisis has been especially dire for African-American women. Nearly half have heart disease and 40% have high blood pressure, according to the American Heart Association. Their risk of stroke is almost twice that of white women, reports the CDC. They are more likely to die at a younger age than women of other ethnicities, the heart association said. Read more

African samurai: The enduring legacy of a black warrior in feudal Japan. By Emiko Jozuka and Natalie Leung / CNN

When feudal Japan’s most powerful warlord Nobunaga Oda met Yasuke, a black slave-turned-retainer, in 1581, he believed the man was a god. Oda had never seen an African before. And like the locals in Japan’s then-capital of Kyoto, he was awed by Yasuke’s height, build and skin tone, according to Thomas Lockley, the author of “African Samurai: The True Story of Yasuke, a Legendary Black Warrior in Feudal Japan.” Read more

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