“The antidote to feel-good history is not feel-bad history, but honest and inclusive history,” sociologist James W. Loewen writes in “Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong.”
The feel-good history most of us have learned about Thanksgiving depicts grateful Pilgrims breaking bread with Indigenous people. The honest, inclusive truth is a lot more complicated than that. Indeed, so much of Indigenous peoples’ history is a footnote in textbooks: the forced relocation to reservations and the territorial land-grab by European settlers, the nationwide genocide of Native people and the ongoing ramifications of that history for them today (Read more).
By Jeannie Stone (dallasnews.com)
Words have great power. It’s something I’ve known since my earliest days as a high school English teacher. Now, in my fourth year as superintendent of the Richardson Independent School District, I’ve witnessed firsthand how the words I choose can inspire, enrage, injure and uplift in equal measure. Sometimes it all happens in response to the same phrase.
In 2017, our district made national news for a terrible reason: a spate of abhorrent, racist memes ahead of a rivalry football game. We moved quickly to investigate and address the incident, but what went unexamined at the time was how the legacy of segregation in our district created the conditions in which students from a largely white school could feel comfortable disparaging students of another school within their own district largely comprised of students of color (Read more).
By Michelle Fox, CNBC
This story originally ran on CNBC.
The coronavirus pandemic is causing financial stress and anxiety for many Americans, yet it is people of color who are feeling it the most, according to an analysis of the American Staffing Association’s latest survey on the workforce.
“The pandemic has disproportionately affected lower-income groups, especially those in occupations that do not lend themselves to remote work,” said the group’s CEO, Richard Wahlquist (Read more).
By Adedayo Akala
Nationwide protests have cast a spotlight on racism and inequality in the United States. Now a major bank has put a price tag on how much the economy has lost as a result of discrimination against African Americans: $16 trillion.
Since 2000, U.S. gross domestic product lost that much as a result of discriminatory practices in a range of areas, including in education and access to business loans, according to a new study by Citigroup. It’s not an insignificant number: By comparison, U.S. GDP totaled $19.5 trillion last year (Read more).
By Ben Hecht
As protests sweep the United States, it’s clear that returning to “business as usual” will not be good for business. In just a few days, countless companies that don’t talk about racism publicly have spoken out to condemn racism and police brutality. Employees of color have openly called out racism in their own institutions. On this critical issue, neither consumers nor employees are looking for vague platitudes about change; they want to see companies committing to action within their own walls. Achieving racial equity in the workplace will be one of the most important issues that companies will tackle in the coming decade.
This became evident to me months ago, when I spoke with almost two dozen executives of Fortune 500 companies. My goal was to understand if and how they were thinking about racial equity as part of my work at Living Cities, a nonprofit focused on closing income and wealth gaps in America. The vast majority affirmed that racial equity was an obvious business imperative. But less obvious was what to do about it. With traditional diversity interventions failing, these leaders — the majority of whom were white — reported feeling ill-equipped, even afraid, to act (Read more).
By Alonzo Plough, Gail C. Christopher
The social upheaval we’ve seen as thousands of protesters fill our streets is indicative of American culture being challenged. States are passing new laws, cities are considering calls to defund the police, Confederate statues are being removed, and holidays like Juneteenth are being more formally recognized. From the symbolic to the substantive, culture is where lasting change begins, and where it is sustained.
We are collectively experiencing the combined burden of the disproportionate health and economic impact of COVID-19 on Black and brown populations as well as systemic racism resulting in unarmed people of color being targeted, brutalized, and killed by citizens and law enforcement at alarming rates. Our nation seems to be waking up to a fact we’ve long known: A culture of racial injustice and a culture of health cannot co-exist. Culture reflects and embodies the most deeply held values and beliefs of those in power. The most persistent, yet tacit and denied, belief in US culture is the permission to value some people more than others. This belief has led to systemic disinvestments in communities of color, which have increased vulnerability to COVID-19 and allowed police to continue to unjustly kill Black and brown people (Read full article).
By Brad Plumer and Nadja Popovich
RICHMOND, Va. — On a hot summer’s day, the neighborhood of Gilpin quickly becomes one of the most sweltering parts of Richmond.
There are few trees along the sidewalks to shield people from the sun’s relentless glare. More than 2,000 residents, mostly Black, live in low-income public housing that lacks central air conditioning. Many front yards are paved with concrete, which absorbs and traps heat. The ZIP code has among the highest rates of heat-related ambulance calls in the city.
There are places like Gilpin all across the United States. In cities like Baltimore, Dallas, Denver, Miami, Portland and New York, neighborhoods that are poorer and have more residents of color can be 5 to 20 degrees Fahrenheit hotter in summer than wealthier, whiter parts of the same city (Read more).
By Elie Mystal
Now comes the part where white people abandon us. Now comes the part where the white majority impatiently demands a return to normalcy. Now comes the part where white people say, “I believe that Black Lives Matter, but…” Now comes the part where white people start literally telling Black people to stop protesting because some “bad” people are also protesting.
In the immediate aftermath of George Floyd’s murder, white people seemingly joined Black people in their calls for justice and change. But that support was always soft. It was entirely predictable that most white people would abandon the movement long before justice was done or change achieved. It was so predictable that I, in fact, predicted it back in June. I knew a majority of white people would revert to form and regress to their mean, because a majority of white people were always going to value their own comfort over justice for Black people (Read more).
By Elizabeth Gulino
On Wednesday, August 5, Detroit Governor Gretchen Whitmer officially signed an order declaring racism a public health crisis, reports The Detroit News. The Michigan city joins 19 states, including Texas, Colorado, and California, and a growing number of cities and counties across the U.S. that have also pointed to racism as a determinant of health, according to the American Public Health Association (Read more).
By Althea Legaspi