In The News #BigIsms #CriticalRaceTheory
In the NewsOur New Postracial Myth
Ibram X. Kendi, June 22, 2021, The Atlantic
The signposts of racism are staring back at us in big, bold racial inequities. But some Americans are ignoring the signposts, walking on by racial inequity, riding on by the evidence, and proclaiming their belief with religious fervor. “America is not a racist country,” Senator Tim Scott said in April.
Black babies die at twice the rate of white babies. Roughly a fifth of Native Americans and Latino Americans are medically uninsured, almost triple the rate of white Americans and Asian Americans (7.8 and 7.2 percent, respectively). Native people (24.2 percent) are nearly three times as likely as white people (9 percent) to be impoverished. The life expectancy of Black Americans (74.5 years) is much lower than that of white Americans (78.6 years). White Americans account for 77 percent of the voting members of the 117th Congress, even though they represent 60 percent of the U.S. population.
‘Critical race theory’ is the right’s new bogeyman. The left must not fall for it
Cas Mudde, 25, June 2021, The Guardian
There is a specter haunting America – the specter of critical race theory. That, at least, is the impression you would get from rightwing media. Fox News has mentioned the term close to 1,300 times since March – including almost 250 times last week alone.
If you don’t know, critical race theory (CRT) is a school of legal thought that argues that racism is not only a problem of prejudices held by individual human beings, but a structural problem that can be embedded in ostensibly neutral laws and government institutions. Thanks in part to efforts by conservative activists to turn this previously esoteric academic idea into a catch-all phrase for the excesses of anti-racist politics, critical race theory has become an overnight bogeyman of the right. Conservative politicians in at least 20 states are pushing legislation to ban its teaching in schools.
The Emancipation Proclamation did not end slavery. Here’s what did.
Clarence Lusane, June 25, 2021, The Washington Post
The legal designation of Juneteenth as a federal holiday recognizes a pivotal moment in U.S. history. While nearly every state and many cities previously celebrated Juneteenth, President Biden’s signing this into law on June 18 provided the nation’s highest approval and recognition.
Unfortunately, most of the reporting on Juneteenth erroneously conflates the arrival of Gen. Gordon Granger and Union troops in Galveston, Tex., on June 19, 1865, with the official end of slavery in the United States. That’s a misreading of the Emancipation Proclamation.
A recent Gallup Poll reported that 37 percent of adults say they know “a lot” or “some” about Juneteenth, and that 69 percent of African Americans made those claims. But it is not clear what respondents actually know.
The Photographer Who Captured the Beauty in Blackness
Adam Bradley, June 17, 2021, The New York Times
In 2004, while sifting through a box of files with his son, the pioneering photographer Kwame Brathwaite, who chronicled Black life across seven decades, beginning in the 1950s, pulled out a long-forgotten black-and-white image from a manila envelope. It captured a resplendent Roberta Flack in a flowing chiffon gown, John Lennon’s left arm draped atop her shoulder, his right clutching Yoko Ono, with a “plastic soul”-era David Bowie looking on bemused and the Righteous Brothers thrown in for good measure.
“Baba, where did you shoot this?” Kwame Samori Brathwaite, now 47, known by friends and family as Kwame Jr., asked.
His father responded matter-of-factly: “Backstage at the Grammys. Gershwin Theater. 1975.”