Race Inquiry Digest (Sept 9) – Important Current Stories On Race In America

Featured – How to help the victims of Hurricane Dorian. By Nicole Spector / NBC News

Hurricane Dorian made landfall in North Carolina early Friday morning, but it was the Bahamas where Dorian gave its most brutal beating. There, the death toll has reached 43, and destroyed as many as 13,000 homes. The United Nations said that at least 76,000 people are in need of urgent aid, but we are just beginning to understand the severity of the damage. Read how you can help

Nation’s failed weed war turned many into prisoners and others into moguls. By Eileen Rivers / USA Today

Ferrell Scott is spending life in a federal prison for selling large amounts of marijuana. Entrepreneurs are making millions now doing the same thing. Must read

Lester Holt Q&A: In prison, I learned about hope and resilience. By Eileen Rivers / USA Today

Most of us will likely never spend time inside a prison cell. NBC News anchor Lester Holt embedded himself inside the Louisiana State Penitentiary known as Angola for two nights as part of Justice for All, a special report focusing on criminal justice. He traveled to fields where inmates pick crops, spent time with convicted killers and walked away with a sense that hope, even inside a maximum security prison, is hard to wipe out. Read more

How Joe Biden attracts both black voters and racially ‘resentful’ voters. By Alexander Agadjanian / Wash Post

Democratic voters who score high on a scale that measures sexism, for example, gravitate toward Biden and Sanders and away from Warren and Harris — which is not shocking. But another Biden metric is more surprising and even paradoxical: He attracts the largest proportion of voters who score high on a scale that measures anti-black prejudice, while also garnering the most support, by far, among black voters. Read more

Black unemployment rate falls to a record low. By Chris Isidore / CNN

Black unemployment fell to a record low in August, helped by a jump in the number of black women on the job. The unemployment rate for black workers fell to 5.5% from 6%, according to the Labor Department data. The previous record low of 5.9% was set in May 2018. Read more

The Lost Promise of Reconstruction. By Eric Foner / NYT 

Among the unanticipated consequences of the election of Donald Trump has been a surge of interest in post-Civil War Reconstruction, when this country first attempted to construct an interracial democracy, and in the restoration of white supremacy that followed. Many Americans feel that we are living at a time like the end of the 19th century, when, in the words of Frederick Douglass, “principles which we all thought to have been firmly and permanently settled” were “boldly assaulted and overthrown.” Read more

What’s Missing From “White Fragility.” By Lauren Michele Jackson / Slate

Robin DiAngelo, the author of White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism , is a professor at the University of Washington who specializes in whiteness studies and critical discourse analysis. She first introduced the concept of white fragility to an academic audience in a 2011 article published in the International Journal of Critical Pedagogy. In her formulation, white fragility encompasses the range of physiological responses white people exhibit when so much as nudged to consider the racial implications of their existence—when forced to see themselves as white with the worldview to match, regardless of political affiliation. Read more

‘Aryan’ and ‘Octoroon’: Couples challenge racial labels to get married in Virginia. By Rachel Weiner / Wash Post

In Arlington, where plaintiffs Ashley Ramkishun and Samuel Sarfo tried to apply for a marriage license, a clerk told them if they didn’t want to identify by race they would have to choose “other.” “When I have to put down my race, most of the time I’m kind of forced to stick myself in a box I don’t necessarily fit in. . . . I’m not Asian, I’m not American Indian, I’m not black, I’m not white,” said Ramkishun, 26, who is of Asian Indian and Guyanese descent. “We don’t want to put ‘other’ because we’re not ‘other. ’ We are human beings.” Read more

Isiah James Wants to Take Brooklyn’s Fight for Affordable Housing to Congress. By Aaron Freedman / The Intercept

It’s a hot, humid summer evening in Brooklyn, the kind that would keep most people inside with the air conditioner blasting. But not Isiah James. The towering 32-year-old veteran who’s running for Congress in New York’s 9th District, in the heart of Brooklyn, is walking with me down Flatbush Avenue, talking a mile a minute as he points to the luxury developments that have sprouted up amid the modest row homes and small shops of the Prospect Heights neighborhood. Read more

Dismissed for too long, black chefs are seizing their moment. By Nick Charles / NBC News

A few months ago, Jessica B. Harris, the expert of African American culinary history and writing, was inducted in the Cookbook Hall of Fame of the James Beard Foundation. She seized the moment to remind the foundation’s audience of something: “I was in food before food was cool,” Harris, who lives in Marigny, Louisiana, told the assembly. “I was definitely in food before food was diverse. I was in food before food was not diverse. I will repeat that!” Read more

It’s Time for Black Athletes to Leave White Colleges. By Jemele Hill / The Atlantic

They attract money and attention to the predominantly white universities that showcase them, while HBCUs struggle. What would happen if they collectively decided to go to black schools? Read more

Opinion: Antonio Brown will learn there is no enabling by Bill Belichick in New England. By Mike Jones / USA Today

In today’s episode of The Adventures of Antonio Brown, our protagonist has a change of heart less than 24 hours after issuing a tearful apology to the members of his football family for the embarrassment he caused them. Suddenly, he finds his situation undesirable, and his bosses disloyal. Angered by the punishments they dole out for his antics (acts of injustice in our friend’s mind), Brown plots an escape. We do know that financially, he’s quite all right having signed a one-year deal worth $15 million, including a $9 million signing bonus to cap off a wild Saturday. Read more

The Power of Serena Williams. By Tera W. Hunter / NYT

Serena Williams’s legacy is sealed, whether or not she ever hits a tennis ball again. Of course it’s sad she didn’t beat Bianca Andreescu at the finals of the U.S. Open Championships and match Margaret Court’s record of 24 Grand Slam singles titles. But her contributions to the game are much bigger than reaching another Grand Slam final. Read more

Venus showed Serena how to win. By Nikki Giovanni / The Undefeated

Poet Nikki Giovanni meditates on Venus and Serena’s bond and reflects on her own relationship with her late sister, Gary Ann. Read more

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