Gene Demby http://wemu.org en What We Talk About When We Talk About Violence In Chicago http://wemu.org/post/what-we-talk-about-when-we-talk-about-violence-chicago We have a default template for the way we process mass shootings. We scour through every available scrap of the perpetrators' interior lives – Facebook postings, YouTube videos, interviews with former roommates — to try to find out what drove them to kill. The sites of the massacres become a kind of shorthand: Columbine, Sandy Hook, Fort Hood. Sat, 12 Jul 2014 12:03:00 +0000 Gene Demby 48687 at http://wemu.org What We Talk About When We Talk About Violence In Chicago Dress Codes Are Open To Interpretation — And A Lot Of Contention http://wemu.org/post/dress-codes-are-open-interpretation-and-lot-contention <a href="http://www.myfoxtwincities.com/story/25951237/bar-louies-dress-code-policy-denounced-as-overtly-racist">A Minneapolis nightspot</a> called Bar Louie landed in the news after some local residents took issue with its new dress code.<p><em>No flat-billed hats. No long white T-shirts. No large chains. No sleeveless under shirts. No athletic apparel. No sports jerseys without collars. Thu, 10 Jul 2014 18:17:00 +0000 Gene Demby 48587 at http://wemu.org Dress Codes Are Open To Interpretation — And A Lot Of Contention Some Of Us Sacrifice More To Stay In Home Sweet Home http://wemu.org/post/some-us-sacrifice-more-stay-home-sweet-home If it seems like we talk about housing a lot on Code Switch, it's because we do. But the fact is it's really hard to talk about all the ways race correlates to different outcomes — in health or education, say— without talking about where people live. Take household wealth, for example: The major reason whites have so much more of it is because of how much likelier they are not just to own homes, but to own homes in places where that property might appreciate in value. Sat, 21 Jun 2014 18:41:00 +0000 Gene Demby 47684 at http://wemu.org Some Of Us Sacrifice More To Stay In Home Sweet Home What Is Your Race? For Millions Of Americans, A Shifting Answer http://wemu.org/post/what-your-race-millions-americans-shifting-answer <em>This post has been updated. </em><p>We tend to think of a race as a static thing, but it's always been much more slippery. American history has seen lots of immigrant groups that were the targets of suspicion and even racial violence — Jews, the Irish, Germans, Italians — gradually subsumed into the big, amorphous category of whiteness. The trajectory of that shift has been a little different for each of those groups — and, notably, was informed by the fact that they were <em>not</em> black — but that's been the general template of immigrant assimilation. Mon, 09 Jun 2014 13:43:00 +0000 Gene Demby 47026 at http://wemu.org What Is Your Race? For Millions Of Americans, A Shifting Answer In Historic First, Native American Brothers Win Lacrosse Trophy http://wemu.org/post/historic-first-native-american-brothers-win-lacrosse-trophy The Tewaaraton Award is college lacrosse's equivalent of the Heisman Trophy, given to the best player in the country each year. The award takes its name from the Mohawk word for lacrosse, as a way to honor the sport's Native American origins. The bronze trophy depicts a Mohawk man with a lacrosse stick, surging forward.<p>But no Native player had ever won the award before Thursday night's ceremony at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. Fri, 30 May 2014 16:45:00 +0000 Gene Demby 46627 at http://wemu.org In Historic First, Native American Brothers Win Lacrosse Trophy In College Lacrosse, Two Brothers Flirt With Making History http://wemu.org/post/college-lacrosse-two-brothers-flirt-making-history <em>UPDATE: The Tewaaraton Award was given Thursday night to both Miles and Lyle Thompson. Wed, 28 May 2014 23:15:00 +0000 Gene Demby 46547 at http://wemu.org In College Lacrosse, Two Brothers Flirt With Making History How Donald Sterling Violated The NBA's Unspoken Social Contract http://wemu.org/post/how-donald-sterling-violated-nbas-unspoken-social-contract <em>We play for each other, for our fans, and for our families — not Donald Sterling.</em><p>That was the general message that players for the Los Angeles Clippers reiterated, off-mic, when the Sterling fiasco blew up over the weekend. They were being buffeted by questions about how, exactly, they might respond to allegations that Sterling, the team owner, had been recorded saying that he did not want black people to attend his team's games. <em>Would they boycott? Would they be focused enough to be able to play? Tue, 29 Apr 2014 20:16:00 +0000 Gene Demby 45113 at http://wemu.org How Donald Sterling Violated The NBA's Unspoken Social Contract What Exactly Qualifies As 'Racist,' Anyway? http://wemu.org/post/what-exactly-qualifies-racist-anyway Meet Cliven Bundy, a 67-year-old Nevada rancher and the latest person in public life recorded making pretty racist comments, only to later insist that<a href="http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2014/03/paul_ryan_s_inner_city_males_comment_the_republican_congressman_says_he.html"> they lack racist bones</a>.<p>Over the past few weeks, Bundy has garnered huge amounts of media coverage and plaudits among some conservatives for defying the federal government. Fri, 25 Apr 2014 11:03:00 +0000 Gene Demby 44928 at http://wemu.org What Exactly Qualifies As 'Racist,' Anyway? Revisiting Pulitzer Nominees That Touch On Issues Of Race http://wemu.org/post/revisiting-pulitzer-nominees-touch-issues-race This week, Columbia University handed out the Pulitzer Prizes, which are widely considered among the highest honors in journalism. The occasion gives us a good excuse to shout-out some of the finalists and winning entries that touch on issues of race and culture. Wed, 16 Apr 2014 13:32:00 +0000 Gene Demby 44461 at http://wemu.org Revisiting Pulitzer Nominees That Touch On Issues Of Race Remembering Buddy Esquire, The King Of Hip-Hop Flyers http://wemu.org/post/remembering-buddy-esquire-king-hip-hop-flyers Forty years after its birth, hip-hop is everywhere, a global signifier of youthfulness and subversion and opulence and Americanness and blackness and menace, sometimes all at once.<p>But for all the glorification of hip-hop's early days in the South Bronx — the brilliant improvisation, the block parties — there isn't a whole lot of supporting documentation. A lot of what we know is from the fading memories of aging b-girls and b-boys who were present at the creation.<p>Some of the most important surviving documents from that period were the party flyers. Mon, 24 Feb 2014 15:41:01 +0000 Gene Demby 41981 at http://wemu.org Remembering Buddy Esquire, The King Of Hip-Hop Flyers Another Murder Case In Florida Sparks National Outrage http://wemu.org/post/another-murder-case-florida-sparks-national-outrage The Michael Dunn case is of a type that we see with harrowing regularity. An unarmed black man is shot and killed by a police officer or a white person. The shooter says he felt threatened.<p>The way we talk about those cases follows a pattern, too. The conversation quickly becomes about politics, about race, and the messy intersection of the two. Stand Your Ground. Stop and Frisk. The War on Drugs. All these things snowball into each other, and while the trials of their shooters are about the particulars of their cases, they are also about all the other gruesome cases that came before them. Wed, 19 Feb 2014 09:58:00 +0000 Gene Demby 41743 at http://wemu.org Another Murder Case In Florida Sparks National Outrage The Best Of Code Switch In 2013 http://wemu.org/post/best-code-switch-2013 <em>Everyone else is doing their year-end lists, and we didn't want to be left out. The Code Switch crew compiled our favorite and best-received coverage from the past year: a novel revisiting of a pivotal year a half century ago; attending homecoming at a historically black college that is now nearly all-white; and rounding up some alternately hilarious and excruciating stories our readers told us about race. </em><p><strong>When Our Kids Own America</strong><p>America's seismic demographic shifts is upending life in our suburbs, cities and our popular culture. Mon, 30 Dec 2013 12:59:33 +0000 Gene Demby 39605 at http://wemu.org The Best Of Code Switch In 2013 Is A 'Pathway To Citizenship' The Right Concern? http://wemu.org/post/pathway-citizenship-right-concern Much of the debate over whether and how to overhaul the country's immigration policy has hinged on whether and how to create a pathway to citizenship. But a majority of Latinos now say that's less important for unauthorized immigrants than giving them relief from the threat of deportation.<p>That finding comes from a Pew report based on <a href="http://www.pewhispanic.org/2013/12/19/on-immigration-policy-deportation-relief-seen-as-more-important-than-citizenship/">new surveys of Latinos and Asian-Americans</a>, who together make up about two-thirds of all the legal immigrants in the U.S. Thu, 19 Dec 2013 20:50:00 +0000 Gene Demby 39244 at http://wemu.org Is A 'Pathway To Citizenship' The Right Concern? Taking A Magnifying Glass To The Brown Faces In Medieval Art http://wemu.org/post/taking-magnifying-glass-brown-faces-medieval-art The Tumblr sounds a bit like a college course: <a href="http://medievalpoc.tumblr.com/">People of Color in European Art History</a>.<p>And its goal is pretty ambitious. The blog's author, Malisha Dewalt, says that her goal is to challenge the common perception that pre-Enlightenment Europe was all white, which she argues is a much more recent and deliberate invention.<p>"All too often, these works go unseen in museums, Art History classes, online galleries, and other venues because of retroactive whitewashing of Medieval Europe, Scandinavia, and Asia," she writes. Mon, 16 Dec 2013 06:42:32 +0000 Gene Demby 39046 at http://wemu.org Taking A Magnifying Glass To The Brown Faces In Medieval Art Dolphins' Story Is About Race And Bullying, But Not The Way You Think http://wemu.org/post/dolphins-story-about-race-and-bullying-not-way-you-think <strong></strong>Over the last few days, the sports media has been transfixed by the story of Jonathan Martin and Richie Incognito, two burly offensive lineman who play for the Miami Dolphins. Martin, a 24-year-old, second-year pro, abruptly walked away from the team last week after an incident with Incognito, 30, his frequent tormentor and the offensive line's unofficial leader. Fri, 08 Nov 2013 17:48:38 +0000 Gene Demby 37472 at http://wemu.org Dolphins' Story Is About Race And Bullying, But Not The Way You Think Code Switch Roundup: Status Symbols, Sriracha And Soul Food http://wemu.org/post/code-switch-roundup-status-symbols-sriracha-and-soul-food <em>Here are some things we've been musing on over the last few days. Share yours on Twitter or shout us out in the comments below.</em><p><strong>"We shine because they hate us/floss 'cuz they degrade us.</strong>" After two young, black customers accused the high-end retailer Barneys of racially profiling them after they made expensive purchases there, those customers themselves came in for criticism. Thu, 31 Oct 2013 17:09:00 +0000 Gene Demby 37087 at http://wemu.org Code Switch Roundup: Status Symbols, Sriracha And Soul Food When Will We Stop Side-Eyeing Relatives Who Don't 'Match'? http://wemu.org/post/when-will-we-stop-side-eyeing-relatives-who-dont-match Last week, <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/codeswitch/2013/10/25/240865629/roma-children-removals-make-us-wonder-what-family-looks-like">folks told us that that they found odd resonances in their lives</a> with the stories of several Roma children in Europe who'd separated from their families. Like those blond, blue-eyed Roma children in darker-skinned, dark-haired families, people said that their own familial bonds had occasionally come under suspicion from strangers, who thought there was a "racial mismatch" between parent and child. Tue, 29 Oct 2013 18:22:00 +0000 Gene Demby 36981 at http://wemu.org When Will We Stop Side-Eyeing Relatives Who Don't 'Match'? Remembering The Woman Who Gave Motown Its Charm http://wemu.org/post/remembering-woman-who-gave-motown-its-charm In 2007, decades after Maxine Powell had retired from training a generation of black artists at Motown, <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vIZCG0auxzY">a reporter from a Cleveland television station asked</a> her whether anyone had been particularly difficult to work with.<p>Powell cut her off before she finished. "I don't have that," she said. "No one is difficult. Each person is a beautiful, unique human being. So if you have a problem and you're acting negative, you have been conditioned."<p>She went on. Tue, 15 Oct 2013 19:57:00 +0000 Gene Demby 36357 at http://wemu.org Remembering The Woman Who Gave Motown Its Charm A Rapid Shift For Jews Away From Religion, But Not Jewishness http://wemu.org/post/rapid-shift-jews-away-religion-not-jewishness A <a href="http://www.pewforum.org/files/2013/10/jewish-american-survey-full-report.pdf">big survey by the Pew Center</a> is out today on Jewish life in America, and it shows a stark shift away from religious belief and toward cultural identification.<p>Nine in 10 American Jews born before World War II identify themselves as Jewish by religion, but nearly a third of Jewish millennials — that is, people born after 1980 — identify as having no religion at all.<p>And just as starkly (and perhaps relatedly), the rate of Jews marrying outside the faith has been steadily on the uptick. Fri, 04 Oct 2013 13:46:32 +0000 Gene Demby 35882 at http://wemu.org A Rapid Shift For Jews Away From Religion, But Not Jewishness Howard's President Steps Down Amid Tumult And Uncertainty http://wemu.org/post/howards-president-steps-down-amid-tumult-and-uncertainty Is Howard University facing an existential crisis?<p>The Washington, D.C., institution, which is arguably the country's most prominent historically black university, has been buffeted by a tough economy and seeming dissent amongst its leadership. Tuesday, Sidney Ribeau, who'd been the university's president since 2008, <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/howard-university-president-ribeau-retires/2013/10/01/8d2f4004-27ac-11e3-b75d-5b7f66349852_story.html">announced he was stepping down</a> but maintained that Howard was in solid shape. Wed, 02 Oct 2013 22:20:00 +0000 Gene Demby 35815 at http://wemu.org Howard's President Steps Down Amid Tumult And Uncertainty What Parents Tell Their Kids About Race http://wemu.org/post/what-parents-tell-their-kids-about-race Like so much of the advice that parents give their children, conversations about race often say a great deal about the values parents hold most dear. And like so much other parental advice, kids are often keen to reject it outright — or remix it for themselves. Thu, 26 Sep 2013 19:04:48 +0000 Gene Demby 35536 at http://wemu.org What Parents Tell Their Kids About Race What Did Your Parents Tell You About Race? http://wemu.org/post/what-did-your-parents-tell-you-about-race Earlier this week, a school in Hartford, Conn., made headlines<a href="http://articles.courant.com/2013-09-19/community/hc-hartford-parent-complaint-0920-20130919_1_parent-files-complaint-hartford-schools-classroom"> after parents complained about its</a>, uh, novel approach at making America's racial history resonate with seventh graders.<p><blockquote><p>Sandra Baker said Thursday that her daughter, who is African American, and fellow classmates at Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy were essentially "terrorized" during the nighttime Underground Railroad exercise that was part of a field Tue, 24 Sep 2013 17:13:58 +0000 Gene Demby 35428 at http://wemu.org Who's Really Left Out Of The CrossFit Circle http://wemu.org/post/whos-really-left-out-crossfit-circle Last week, the headquarters for CrossFit, the popular — and polarizing — workout genre, shared an item on its Facebook page from a blog called Stuff Black People Don't Like.<p>And according to an <a href="http://stuffblackpeopledontlike.blogspot.com/2013/02/787-crossfit.html">entry from February</a> on the Stuff Black People Don't Like blog, CrossFit is anti-black:<p><blockquote><p>"Crossfit 'boxes' usually charge expensive membership fees and boast a mostly white clientele. A list of Crossfit Games champions and competitors reveals a veritable whitopia. Sun, 15 Sep 2013 20:18:00 +0000 Gene Demby 35022 at http://wemu.org Who's Really Left Out Of The CrossFit Circle New York Man Killed By Attacker In Possible Hate Crime http://wemu.org/post/new-york-man-killed-attacker-possible-hate-crime Jeffrey Babbitt <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/10/nyregion/friends-mourn-man-fatally-assaulted-in-union-square-park.html">was walking through Union Square last Wednesday</a>, near the Manhattan comic book store that he'd been going to for years, when he had a fatal chance encounter with a stranger.<p>The stranger was a man named <del>Lashawn Marten</del>Martin Redrick, who had a history of trouble with the law and had been living in a facility for homeless people with mental illnesses. Tue, 10 Sep 2013 19:36:00 +0000 Gene Demby 34795 at http://wemu.org New York Man Killed By Attacker In Possible Hate Crime College Enrollment Drops Overall, But Spikes Among Latinos http://wemu.org/post/college-enrollment-drops-overall-spikes-among-latinos Here's the latest dispatch from our country's changing classrooms: Overall, there were half a million fewer students nationwide enrolled in colleges between 2011 and 2012, but the number of Latinos enrolled in college over the same period <em>jumped </em>by 447,000. The numbers come from <a href="http://www.census.gov/prod/2013pubs/p20-571.pdf">a recent U.S. Census Bureau report</a>.<p>That brisk uptick in Latino college enrollment is part of a trend that began in the mid-2000s: The share of college students who were Latino grew from 11 percent in 2006 to 17 percent last year. Wed, 04 Sep 2013 23:37:00 +0000 Gene Demby 34553 at http://wemu.org College Enrollment Drops Overall, But Spikes Among Latinos