Race Inquiry Digest (September 6) – Important Current Stories On Race In America

Feature – How Democrats Can Make Race A Winning Issue. Democrats need to back new and recurring claims for social justice, while never forgetting to define and emphasize commonalities. Nobody has navigated these tricky shoals better than the senior senator from Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren. Here is what she had to say in a speech to the Netroots Nation annual gathering Aug. 3: “In Trump’s story, the reason why working families keep getting short end of the stick isn’t because of the decisions he and his pals are making in Washington every day. No, according to Trump, the problem is other working people, people who are black, or brown, people born somewhere else … and it comes in all sorts of flavors, racism, sexism, homophobia … It all adds up to the same thing ― the politics of division. They want us pointing us fingers at each other so that we won’t notice that their hands are in our pockets. That stops here. That stops now. We say, no, you will not divide us.”   Read more

Ayanna Pressley’s Upset Victory Shows Power Of Women Of Color In Democratic Politics. In a surprise defeat that reflects a changing Democratic Party, Boston City Council member Ayanna Pressley has defeated 10-term Democratic Rep. Mike Capuano in Massachusetts’ 7th Congressional District. Pressley is poised to become the first African-American woman to represent Massachusetts in the state’s congressional history. Read more 

New York’s Schools Chancellor Is Talking About Integration. Can He Make It Happen? Richard Carranza inherited one of the country’s most segregated systems, where officials have avoided change and where entrenched policies feed the problem. Read more 

Behind Nike’s Decision to Stand by Colin Kaepernick. While some people rage that yet again in America an ingrate-rebel has been rewarded, there is another narrative that Kaepernick conjures—that of an individual, driven by conscience, fighting a lonely crusade against forces more powerful than he is. Read more

Author and activist Tim Wise: “The Republican Party is a white identity cult.” Donald Trump is a political necromancer who uses racism to control the millions of white Americans who subscribe to his political cult. The Republican Party generally shares Donald Trump’s racism and bigotry against nonwhites and Muslims, whatever its leading figures may protest. Read more 

How Well-Intentioned White Families Can Perpetuate Racism. The sociologist Margaret Hagerman spent two years embedded in upper-middle-class white households, listening in on conversations about race. Read more 

Black student activists face penalty in college admissions. Back when I taught at a predominantly white, selective liberal arts college, I came across a book called “Acting White? Rethinking Race in ‘Post-Racial’ America.”  In the book, legal scholars Devon Carbado and Mitu Gulati argue that in the “post-racial” era, white-controlled organizations prefer to hire “‘good blacks’ who will think of themselves as people first and black people second.” Their critique made me wonder: Do America’s colleges and universities act the same way toward black students in the admissions process? Read more 

How the Trump Administration Went Easy on Small-Town Police Abuses. The Obama Justice Department thought Ville Platte, Louisiana — where officers jail witnesses to crimes — could become a model of how to erase policing abuses that plague small towns across the nation. Jeff Sessions decided not to bother. Read more 

Criminal Justice Reform Is on the Midterm Ballot. Andrew Gillum wants to fix his state’s broken carceral system. He’s not alone among Democratic nominees for governor. Read more 

Black Lives Matter activist Darnell Moore looks back on the movement 5 years from its creation. Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi founded #BlackLivesMatter after George Zimmerman’s acquittal for the killing of Trayvon Martin back in 2013. Since then, the movement has gone beyond viral, changing the dynamic of contemporary politics, evolving the conversation around race in America and inspiring generations of activist like Darnell Moore. Read more 

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