African-Americans, Education, Race, Wisconsin

The video was created to show off the University of Wisconsin. Instead, it set off a furor, and a reckoning over what it means to be a black student on campus. By Julie Bosman, Emily Shetler and Natalie Yahr. Jan. 1, 2020 MADISON, Wis.

— The video was just two minutes long: a sunny montage of life at the University of Wisconsin’s flagship campus in Madison. Here were hundreds of young men and women cheering at a football game, dancing in unison, riding bicycles in a sleek line, “throwing the W” for the camera, singing a cappella, leaping into a lake. “Home is where we grow together,” a voice-over said. “It’s where the hills are. It’s eating our favorite foods. It’s where we can all harmonize as one. Home is Wisconsin cheese curds. It’s welcoming everyone into our home.” Advertisement Continue reading the main story Days before Homecoming Week, the student homecoming committee, tasked with producing the video, posted it online. The outrage was almost instantaneous. Virtually every student in the video was white.

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African-Americans, criminal justice, Police, Social Problems

Opinion: The Injustice of This Moment Is Not an ‘Aberration.’ From mass incarceration to mass deportation, our nation remains in deep denial. By Michelle Alexander Opinion Columnist Jan. 17, 2020. Ten years have passed since my book, “The New Jim Crow,” was published. I wrote it to challenge our nation to reckon with the recurring cycles of racial reform, retrenchment and rebirth of caste-like systems that have defined our racial history since slavery. It has been an astonishing decade. Everything and nothing has changed.

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African-Americans, Race, Social Problems

Opinion: How to Convince a White Realtor You’re Middle Class. Black people expend daily energy to counteract racial stereotypes and get fair treatment. By Karyn Lacy Dr. Lacy is a professor of sociology. Jan. 21. When the front desk clerk at a Portland, Ore., hotel told Felicia Gonzales, a black woman, that guests were required to sign a two-page “no party” agreement in order to check in, she thought the request was so strange that she decided to sit in the lobby to see if white guests were asked to do the same. They weren’t.

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African-Americans, Race, Social Problems, Stratification

Opinion: Black People’s Land Was Stolen

Any discussion of reparations must include how this happened, who did it, and the laws, policies and practices that allowed it.

By Andrew W. Kahrl

Dr. Kahrl is an associate professor of history and African-American studies at the University of Virginia.

June 20, 2019

A House Judiciary subcommittee on Wednesday held the first hearing in over a decade on the issue of reparations for black Americans. The hearing took place, fittingly, on the Juneteenth holiday, commemorating the announcement of the end of slavery in the United States, and five years after the writer Ta-Nehisi Coates, who testified, reignited the debate with his 2014 essay “The Case for Reparations.” Once a fringe topic, reparations has emerged as an issue in the 2020 presidential campaign, with several leading candidates for the Democratic nomination expressing support for various measures to atone for America’s racist past.

Thanks to Mr. Coates and others, today’s movement for reparations places as much emphasis on the racist public policies of the 20th century, which denied black Americans opportunities to build wealth and left them vulnerable to all manner of economic exploitation, as it does on the crimes of slavery.

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African-Americans, Race, Social Problems

California Poised to Become First State to Ban Discrimination Based on Natural Hair

The state’s Legislature approved a measure banning the form of racial discrimination. It now heads to the desk of Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat.

Image: A woman getting her hair braided at Djene Hair Braiding in Harlem.

By Liam Stack

June 28, 2019

California is poised to become the first state to ban racial discrimination against people based on their natural hairstyle.

The State Assembly voted unanimously on Thursday to approve the measure, which the State Senate approved in April. It now heads to the desk of Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, to be signed into law.

The bill would update the definition of race used in existing law to be “inclusive of traits historically associated with race, including, but not limited to, hair texture and protective hairstyles.”

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African-Americans, criminal justice, Race

Black People Are Charged at a Higher Rate Than Whites. What if Prosecutors Didn’t Know Their Race?

George Gascón, San Francisco’s district attorney, said the lopsided number of African-Americans in the city’s criminal justice system had compelled him to try something new.

By Timothy Williams

June 12, 2019

While riding the train in San Francisco three years ago, a white man told an African-American man that he smelled bad and should move away from him. An argument followed, and the African-American man, Michael Smith, was eventually tackled by police officers and accused of assaulting them.

The San Francisco District Attorney’s Office charged Mr. Smith with seven counts, including battery on a police officer and resisting arrest. But after viewing body camera footage, a jury acquitted Mr. Smith, then 23, on most of the charges, and the prosecutors dropped the other counts. Mr. Smith’s lawyer said he does not believe a white person would have been arrested or prosecuted.

While the district attorney’s office disagreed with that assessment of the case, George Gascón, the district attorney, has acknowledged that a disproportionate number of African-Americans are prosecuted in the city, which led him to ask a troubling question: To what extent does bias affect the work of prosecutors?

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