Race Inquiry Digest (October 15) – Important Current Stories On Race In America

Feature – Group hopes confronting Maryland’s history of lynchings will help with path forward. It was midway through a brutal accounting of lynching in Maryland and elsewhere in America — the lack of humanity, the mob attacks, the bodies burned  — and Toni Pratt wasn’t sure this is what she needed.  “It seems like it’s opened up some wounds I’d rather have still closed,” Pratt said.The Maryland Lynching Memorial Project, which organized a “day of remembrance, reflection, and reckoning” in Baltimore on Saturday, is trying to nudge forward a conversation that has been going on, in fits and starts, since George Armwood, the state’s last recorded lynching victim, was killed 85 years ago this week.  Michael Laris / Wash Post Read more

Alabama memorial reveals horrors of racism, honors victims.  Stevenson created the 11,000-square-foot memorial in the capital city through his organization the Equal Justice Initiative. The memorial features over 800 steel monuments with the names of over 4,400 black people who were lynched from 1877 to 1950. Over 200,000 people have visited so far, according to the organization. Stevenson and Lester Holt look back on a painful past to create a better future. Chandelis R. Duster / NBC News Listen here

What Civil Rights History Can Teach Kavanaugh’s Critics. A week after the justice’s controversial swearing-in, the African-American activists I study offer a lesson to those who are in despair: Failure is part of the process. Shown are people who watched Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony. Blair L.M. Kelley / NYT Read more 

U.N.C. Chancellor Apologizes for History of Slavery at Chapel Hill. Ever since the cornerstone of the nation’s first public university building was laid in 1793, the legacy of slavery has been inextricable from the history of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Jacey Fortin / NYT Read more

Washington State Strikes Down Death Penalty, Citing Racial Bias. The Washington Supreme Court has struck down the state’s death penalty, saying that it is imposed arbitrarily and with racial bias. “We are confident that the association between race and the death penalty is not attributed to random chance,” the justices wrote in a majority opinion. Merrit Kennedy / NPR Read more

How racism shapes jury selection. Four years after the death of Laquan McDonald, Jason Van Dyke — the white Chicago police officer who shot the black teenager 16 times — faced his day in court. But in a trial where race was central to the case, there was only one black person on the jury. That’s in Cook County, where nearly a quarter of people are black. How did that happen? And how much does the racial makeup of a jury matter? Ranjani Chakraborty / Vox Read more

A New Study Shows White Families Getting Four-Fifths of Trump’s Tax Cut. Under President Donald Trump’s tax cuts, white Americans are the big winners, and the existing wealth gap between them and minority households will continue to grow. That’s the conclusion of a new report released this week on the racial implications of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the bill championed by Trump and passed by congressional Republicans in December 2017. Hannah Levintova / Mother Jones Read more

Watch the Georgia Minority Vote Disappear Before Your Eyes.  Brian Kemp, the Republican running against Democrat Stacey Abrams, is blocking more than 53,000 people from the polls over a technicality, continuing his history of voter suppression. Jamil Smith / Rolling Stone Read more 

Democrats have a Latino problem. Can they fix it in time? Given Trump’s rhetoric about immigrants and his border policies, you’d think Hispanics would be leading a march to the polls. They aren’t. Alex Seitz-Wald / NBC News Read more

No, Affirmative Action Has Not Made Asian-Americans The ‘New Jews.’ When the U.S. District Court in Boston convenes on Monday to consider the case of Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard, conservative activists may be on the verge of accomplishing what more than four decades of relentless effort has failed to do: the elimination of affirmative action for blacks and Latinos. Jerome Karabel / HuffPost Read more

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