Race Inquiry Digest (May 27) – Important Current Stories On Race In America

Featured – What Reparations for Slavery Might Look Like in 2019. By Patricia Cohen / NYT

The reparations issue raises profound moral, social and political considerations. Still, the economic nuts and bolts of such a program have gotten scant public attention: Who would be paid? How much? Where would the money come from? Through the decades, a handful of scholars have taken a shot at creating a road map. Here’s what has to be reckoned with. Read more

Is America Ready to Make Reparations? By David Remnick / The New Yorker Radio Hour

David Remnick talks with Ta-Nehisi Coates and Susan B. Glasser about how reparations has become a major focus in the 2020 Democratic primary contest. And we’ll visit Georgetown University, where students have chosen to take reparations upon themselves. Listen here

Denial of racist history isn’t really in the past. It lives in the present, too. By Sam Fulwood III / ThinkProgress

Two disparate stories this week expose America’s past and present inability to come to grips with its racist heritage: The Alabama Historical Commission this week announced its discovery of the Clotilda, the last known ship to import enslaved Africans into the United States. And, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the Trump administration would not move ahead with plans to replace the image of President Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill with that of black abolitionist and former slave Harriet Tubman. Read more

How Black Farmers Are Trying To End Centuries Of Racism In America’s Food System. By Marissa Evans / HuffPost

Prejudice, violence, and poverty have pushed black farmers off their land. A growing movement is calling for reparations. Read more

Overcoming a History of Bias in a Budding Industry. By Bianca Flowers / The Progressive

The marijuana industry is blossoming, along with multiple challenges to correcting decades of injustice around the plant. Read more

Look Good, Do Good: Madam C.J. Walker and Rihanna’s Beauty Politics. By Tiffany M. Gill / AAIHS

As the summer of 2017 drew its last breath and the fashion world gathered in New York City for fashion week, global superstar Rihanna launched her cosmetics line, Fenty Beauty.  Fenty Beauty earned a staggering $72 million in sales in its first month and was named one of the 25 Best Inventions of 2017 by Time Magazine. Considered a groundbreaking moment in the beauty industry, Rihanna’s success drew comparisons with another Black female entrepreneur, the beauty pioneer Madam C. J. Walker. Read more

Black Capitalism Won’t Save Us. By Aaron Ross Coleman / The Nation

Celebrities like the late Nipsey Hussle, Killer Mike and Jay-Z equate black ownership with liberation—but you can’t end racial inequality with consumerism. Read more

LeBron James’s Partnership With Walmart Sparks Criticism. By Dave Zirin / The Nation

LeBron James’s commitment to using his platform for the greater good is damn near beyond reproach. However, The basketball superstar is trying to fight food insecurity alongside a corporation that aggravates that very problem. Read more

Hispanic Unemployment Has Hit Record Lows. But Does That Mean Progress? By Jasmine Garsd / NPR

Despite low unemployment numbers, economists urge caution. Yes, joblessness is down, and that’s great. But Hispanics earn about one-fourth less than white workers do. And for some 7 million Central American and Mexican immigrants who don’t have legal status, it’s even harder to move up. Being undocumented often leads to exploitation. It makes it harder to get an education. It forces people to work for low wages in the informal economy. It makes it difficult to start and build a company. Read more

Behind the Lines of America’s Educational Civil War. By David C. Bloomfield / The Daily Beast

The New York Times headline warns school segregation is “Threatening the Future.” Spoiler: The future is now, as parents looking to protect their children from, well, other children, are increasingly trying to create new school districts to ensure “our” tax dollars don’t go to “their” kids. Read more  

An Imperfect SAT Adversity Score Is Better Than Just Ignoring Adversity. By Richard D. Kahlenberg / The Atlantic

Last week, the College Board announced a long-overdue innovation: It will try to put students’ SAT scores in context by providing colleges with an adversity measure that summarizes—on a scale of one to 100—the disadvantages that students suffer when they grow up in troubled neighborhoods and attend high-poverty schools. Read more

Malcolm Nance: Mueller gave Trump a pass for “the greatest scandal in American history.” By Chauncey DeVega / Salon

A frequent guest contributor on MSNBC, Nance is the author of several books, including two bestsellers directly addressing this crisis: “The Plot to Hack America: How Putin’s Cyberspies and WikiLeaks Tried to Steal the 2016 Election” and “The Plot to Destroy Democracy: How Putin and His Spies Are Undermining America and Dismantling the West.” Read more

Inside the U.S. military’s battle with white supremacy and far-right extremism. By Jeff McCausland / NBC News

There is a strong historical connection between the rise of far-right nationalism and the American military community. The Ku Klux Klan, founded in 1866 by a group of Confederate war veterans, offers perhaps the best example of the symbiosis that can and has existed between extremists and members of the military. Read more

Black people are still suffering from police violence. Is America still listening? By P.R. Lockhart / Vox

It’s been nearly five years since several high-profile incidents of police violence spurred racial justice protests in Ferguson, Missouri, and chants of “black lives matter!” began to echo across the country. But recent developments in two high-profile cases raise questions about whether police violence is still a flashpoint issue — or if national attention to the problem has faded. Read more

Discriminatory housing practices linked to higher pollution and asthma rates, new report finds. By E.A. Crunden / ThinkProgress

The findings link higher rates of asthma to historically redlined communities in California. These communities who were subjected to discriminatory lending and mortgage practices decades ago now have higher rates of asthma, according to new research out Wednesday. These predominately low-income communities and communities of color also suffer from increased exposure to pollutants. Read more

For the unsinkable Serena Williams, the last step is proving the hardest. By Tumaini Carayol / The Guardian

Coming back from childbirth was always going to be her biggest challenge, but the baggage of trying to become the all-time great is proving a formidable haul even for Serena. Read more

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