raceAhead: NFL Players Continue Protest During Pre-Season

Here’s your week in review, in haiku.



Charlottesville trembles;

unite-the-white, say pundits.

Kanye eats (Jim) crow.



Guessing the Gates’s

might skip the “update” note this

holiday season



With elan, Musk moves

markets, not board members. Four-

twenty unfriendly?



The hate in our mouths

grows bigger online, while it

makes our hearts so small.



Idris Elba for

Bond! And: Santa, Papa John,

anything he wants


Have a happy and fulfilling weekend!

On Point

The NFL pre-take-a-knee season is hereSeveral players have already either taken a knee for, raised a fist during or sat out the national anthem entirely, a pretty clear sign that the quiet protests are not going to stop. The league recently suspended a policy barring these demonstrations, which are clearly designed to draw attention to racial injustice, particularly in the criminal justice system. "I just think it's important to keep this conversation going, that we don't let it get stagnant," Eagles captain Malcolm Jenkins, told NFL.com. President Trump fired off two tweets in response. "Numerous players, from different teams, wanted to show their 'outrage' at something that most of them are unable to define. They make a fortune doing what they love," he wrote.CNN

The price we pay for rationalizing white supremacy
Adam Serwer has done the Lord’s work in his latest piece for The Atlantic, first documenting the personal downfalls of many of the messier Unite the Right organizers since last year’s deadly rally. These clowns will never be able to truly launch a mass movement, he declares. But, he says, those individual consequences pale in comparison to the wreckage the infiltration of racist talking points in mainstream news has done to the Republican party. For one, average voters now see immigrants as invaders, not recruits. “White nationalists win by activating white panic, by frightening a sufficient number of white people into believing that their safety and livelihoods can only be protected by defining American citizenship in racial terms,” he says, a tactic as old as America itself. It gains traction “by convincing them that American politics is a zero-sum game in which white people only win when people of color lose.”
The Atlantic

Here’s why the Unite the Right anniversary rally is going to be in Washington DC instead of Charlottesville
The answer is a mixed bag of legal protections, loopholes, and luck. White supremacist groups are prevented from re-rallying in Charlottesville because of a subsequent legal settlement based on Virginia’s “constitutional subordination clause,” which helped establish that the paramilitary “militia” groups who assembled last year far exceeded First Amendment protections. That precedent is giving beleaguered state managers hope to better control future rallies since all 50 states have similar language in their constitutions. But the District of Columbia is not a state and the rallies technically fall on federal land. The National Park Service issues the permits and is preparing a strategy with Park Police and local officials. “We’ve had those types of high-tension assemblies in the District before,” says D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham. “We 100 percent are going to make sure that groups remain separate.”

The world’s top empathy researcher is in trouble for bullying in the workplace
It’s a tale as old as time: The love guru who can’t get a date, the stock-picking genius without a dime to their name. But as a self-proclaimed schadenfreude expert, this is a twist I hadn’t seen before. Tania Singer, a neuroscientist and director at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig, Germany is under fire for her terrifying workplace behavior. “Whenever anyone had a meeting with her there was at least an even chance they would come out in tears,” one colleague who insisted on anonymity. Her work has been vital to the field of social neuroscience, and she’s long been lauded for her vision and ability to generate support for complex projects -which is really why the story should sound familiar. At what price, success? “It appears the Max Planck Society decided it would rather sacrifice another generation of students than risk a scandal,” says one former colleague.


The Woke Leader

What hate looks like in school
Education Week, along with nonprofit news organization ProPublica, analyzed three years of public news reports and self-reported incidents of hate and bias in K-12 schools in the U.S. The resulting project, Documenting Hate, is a grim look at the rise in hate speech in school settings, and the scramble to identify both reasons and solutions. Most incidents between  January 2015 and December 2017 targeted black and Latino students, though plenty of Jewish and Muslim students were targeted as well. Most of the incidents were spoken or written hate speech incidents. The speech in question will shock but not surprise: the most common words involved the n-word, “build the wall” or “go back to Mexico”, and the most common hate symbol was the swastika. The largest number of reports on a single day was November 9, 2016—the day after Trump’s election. “I don’t think my classmates and teachers really grasp the pain we feel,” says one student.
Education Week

In the future, all punishment will be meted out by the fashion police
Even if high fashion isn’t really your thing, you can still enjoy the uniquely vicious critique that fashion legend, Vogue contributing editor and caftan-wearer André Leon Talley delivers on former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort’s now-famous wardrobe. First, he puts him into the context of history, as the “alpha gangster of the moment.” In some ways, he’s an over-achiever. “He has taken lavish luxury and gangster greed to the highest level,” he begins. And yet, he falls short. After reviewing photos of the clothes used by prosecutors in Manafort's trial, he says, “these are not the clothes…one would aspire to.” The price tag smacks of money laundering, he says. “People just don’t spend that kind of money in their clothing.” You’ll never look at plaid the same way, or ostrich clothing, for that matter. “An ostrich baseball style jacket. Where do you wear that when you’re Paul Manafort. Where do you go?”
Vice News

About bias in the court system, by design
The Radiolab Presents: More Perfect podcast is a terrific mini-series about the Supreme Court. They’re all great, but start with “Object Anyway” a lively segment on the life and trial of Louisville, KY’s James Batson, a “fast money,” breaking-and-entering type of guy who became Supreme Court famous when the white prosecutor, in front of a white judge, eliminated all the black jurors from his jury pool, including one who had been sympathetic to his case. The argument, which made it all the way to the Supreme Court, challenged the practice of using “peremptory strikes,” which allow lawyers to remove jurors from service without reason. The problem, his ragtag legal team discovered, was that prosecutors were doing it all over the country to racially stack juries.
WNYC Studios


In the wake of similar high-profile police shootings where wrongdoing seems so clear but goes unpunished, the Slager trial crystallizes what many believe — that police officers can kill black Americans with impunity. The greatest obstacle to freedom and equality thus appears to be a society in which citizens are habituated to recognize some among themselves as worthy of care, concern, and justice, while believing they can withhold these important moral goods from others. Black Americans thus find themselves living in a society in which they are asked to follow the law, and yet, are simultaneously unprotected by political and legal institutions. The direction of loyalty goes from black Americans to the state, but not the other way.
Melvin Rogers

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