race

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April Ryan is the ranking member of the White House Press Corps. She joins us to talk about covering President Donald Trump. Ryan shares about her writing on discussion of racial issues in America. Named "Journalist of the Year" recently by the National Association of Black Journalists, Ryan is the author of "At Mama’s Knee: Mothers and Race in Black and White."


Elbert Gillory
elbertguillory.com

State Senator Elbert Guillory of Opelousas is running for Lieutenant Governor, and while his campaign budget is minimal, he’s been putting some slickly-produced 2-minute videos up on the internet. One of the most recent ones is raising eyebrows.

“The term ‘nigger’ is part of the American culture,” Guillory states in the video, titled “Let’s Talk About Race.”

Confederate flag for the Second Louisiana Cavalry.
Public Domain

The confederate battle flag is coming down from the South Carolina statehouse. And New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu has asked the city council to consider removing four monuments commemorating confederate leaders and battles from public spaces in that city.

Controversy bubbled up across the country after a mass shooting at a black church in Charleston last month. The suspected shooter had posted pictures of himself holding a confederate flag.

But, Maxine Crump, director of Dialogue on Race Louisiana, says most of the people around her aren't talking about it.

Lacey Schwartz grew up in Woodstock, N.Y., a mostly white, middle-class community. But even as a child she sometimes questioned why her deeper skin tone and curly hair didn't look like every one else in her family. Her parents, who are white and Jewish, explained that her inherited looks came from a Sicilian grandfather with darker features and coarse hair.

The number of people who identify as belonging to two or more races keeps climbing with each Census. The number of people identified as both black and white, for example, more than doubled between 2000 and 2010, from about 780,000 to 1.8 million.

The voices in the Whiteness Project vary by gender, age and income, but they all candidly express what it is like to be white in an increasingly diverse country.

"I don't feel that personally I've benefited from being white. That's because I grew up relatively poor," a participant shared. "My father worked at a factory." These are the kinds of unfiltered comments that filmmaker Whitney Dow was hoping to hear when he started recording a group of white people, and hoped to turn their responses into provocative, interactive videos.

The straight white men of Straight White Men aren't what you might expect. Near the beginning of the new off-Broadway play, two adult brothers play a homemade, family board game, refashioned out of an old Monopoly set. Because the family is liberal and progressive, it's called "Privilege." It makes fun of their own straight-white-male privilege.

"Ah, 'excuses' card!" one of the brothers exclaims. The other reads it aloud. "What I just said wasn't racist/sexist/homophobic because I was joking," he deadpans. "Pay $50 to an LGBT organization."

A monument outside 730 Riverside Drive in Harlem, N.Y. — writer Ralph Ellison's longtime home — commemorates his life and his work. The marker, and many biographical sources, list his birth date as being 1914. But in fact, he was born a year earlier.

Still, events in Oklahoma City — his birthplace — and New York City, where he spent most of his life, are celebrating the centennial of his birth this year.

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