College Sports Remain Predominantly White, but Amherst Has a Plan

November 8, 2019, 5:57 PM UTC

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Here’s your week in review, in haiku.

What would I do with
my leftover billions? Would
six be enough to

run for president?
The world is expensive! A
nice portrait will set

someone back at least
two million, much more if you 
count the legal fees. 

How much does it cost
to be likeable? (Also

I think I’d try to
save the world from all of us.
How much will that cost?

Have an unimpeachably wonderful weekend.

Ellen McGirt


On Point

Amherst is leading the way for diversifying their sports program While Amherst College has done an extraordinary job diversifying their student body, until recently, their sports program has stayed largely white. As the cost to play youth sports has ballooned, middle and low-income students can’t afford to participate in the kinds of programs that get them seen by recruiters. So, Amherst president Biddy Martin authorized and funded a unique scheme that encourages coaches to scout talent at unlikely places—youth clubs, small urban gyms, and foreign countries. It’s working and it’s replicable. And Amherst faculty are doing the extra, necessary work: The soccer coach did an analysis and found that in twelve seasons of play, athletes of color have been on the field for 42% of games but have received 62% of yellow card and 90% red card penalties. "So, yes, we rightly celebrate our diversity, but there’s also things that come along that aren’t as positive." A must read. (Hat/tip David Sutphen.)
New York Times

Breaking: Women and professionals of color paid less at the Washington Post A new study released by the Washington Post Newspaper Guild shows that the pay disparity affects both the newsroom and the company’s commercial division, and "women as a group are paid less than men" and that "women of color in the newsroom receive $30,000 [per year] less than white men." Pulitzer Prize-winning data journalist Steven Rich led the study and says that he hopes the data will help the company begin to address the disparities. You can’t manage what you don’t measure, after all.

In television roles, LGBTQ women outnumber LGBTQ men for the first time That’s according to this year’s GLAAD "Where We Are on TV" report, which tracks the scripted roles for LGBT actors on primetime television. Overall, LGBTQ characters account for 10.2% of regular roles on a series—an all-time high. And, marking another record, LGBT women made up 53% of those roles. It’s also the second year where the majority of roles are held by LGBTQ people of color (52%). “Last year, GLAAD called on the television industry to increase the number of LGBTQ characters and more accurately reflect the world we live in, and they responded by exceeding this challenge,” says Sarah Kate Ellis, president and CEO of GLAAD. Here’s hoping the film industry is paying attention.
The Guardian

An 89-year-old Holocaust survivor given police protection It’s all due to an influx of “online and offline anti-Semitic threats in Italy,” reports CNN. Liliana Segre, who was deported to Auschwitz at 13, is a life senator in Italy. And since taking the lead on creating a committee in parliament to combat racism, anti-Semitism, and hate, she’s received around 200 attacks on social media, per day. She was appointed two police officers after far-right Forza Nuova (“New Force”) members hung a banner near an event where she was speaking. "Every time prominent Jews are at the center of media attention in Italy, they get subjected to online anti-Semitic abuse," says Stefano Gatti, of the Foundation Jewish Contemporary Documentation Center, which is based in Milan. In general, says the Center, anti-semitism (especially online) has been on the rise in Italy. The Segre commission, as it’s known in Italy, was approved last week.

On Background

Re-enacting the slave revolt nobody ever learned about It was among the largest in the nation, fueled in part by news of the Haitian Revolution in 1791, and it took place 208 years ago, just upriver from New Orleans. Artist Dread Scott is producing a full-scale re-enactment of the 1811 German Coast rebellion this weekend, using actors in period costumes and weaponry. The event will begin at the Woodland Plantation, once owned by a man named Col. Manuel Andry, who was well known for his cruelty. The project has been four years in the planning and will be filmed. “This is a project about freedom and emancipation,” he tells “You can’t understand American history unless you understand slavery. And you can’t understand slavery unless you understand slave revolts.”

The white supremacists next door ProPublica has published a chilling investigation into Patriot Front, a white supremacist group that was formed in the aftermath of the 2017 "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Va. It initially attracted members who saw the violence as a public relations nightmare for their cause. "Patriot Front aspired to help chart a new way forward: spread propaganda espousing its version of a nascent American fascism; quietly recruit new members worried about a nation overrun by immigrants and a world controlled by Jews; avoid talking about guns or violence online but engage in a mix of vandalism and intimidation to foster anxiety; wear masks in public and communicate secretly," says ProPublica. Thomas Rousseau, their charismatic founder, sees the group’s work as political activism: Their signature moves include public disturbances like masked flash mobs and vandalism, always with an ugly propaganda element. But now they appear to be morphing from fringe group to true domestic terrorists, as they attract more dangerous members who are unwilling to simply lobby for a race war to come. 

What would Mr. Rogers do? Tom Junod wrote the definitive profile of Fred Rogers for Esquire back in 1998. That experience sparked an unusual friendship that lasted for years. Now that story and that friendship is the basis of a new movie starring Tom Hanks. Well, sort of. I’m not going to tell you anything about this extraordinary new piece by Tom Junod that looks back that relationship, except to implore you to read it. Trust me on this. (Thank you @wendiaarons.)
The Atlantic

Mister Rogers with puppets race ahead
Bettman via Getty Images

Tamara El-Waylly helps write and produce raceAhead.


“I know how tough it is some days to look with hope and confidence on the months and years ahead. But I would like to tell you what I often told you when you were much younger. I like you just the way you are. And what’s more, I’m so grateful to you for helping the children in your life to know that you’ll do everything you can to keep them safe. And to help them express their feelings in ways that will bring healing in many different neighborhoods. It’s such a good feeling to know that we’re lifelong friends.”

—Fred Rogers in a video good-bye to his now-adult fans, recorded a few months before his death on Feb 27, 2003.


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