KGOU

race relations

The University of Oklahoma’s first chief diversity officer starts his new job soon, three months after the university kicked out a fraternity and expelled two students who were seen on video leading a racist chant.

University president David Boren was praised for acting swiftly once the video was made public last month. But the University of Oklahoma is one of only four schools in the Big 12 Conference without a chief diversity officer.

Some minority students at the university are asking, what took the university president so long to hire one?

We've done a lot of writing and reporting at Code Switch over the past year on deadly police shootings of unarmed black people, cases that have become such a part of our landscape that they have a tendency to melt into each other. Indeed, sometimes the pattern of facts seems to barely change: Just last fall, we followed the story of an unarmed black man in South Carolina who was shot following a police traffic stop.

The San Francisco-based group Culture Clash started some 30 years ago at a Cinco de Mayo event with six members, eventually winnowing down to three: Richard Montoya, Ric Salinas, and Herbert Siguenza. Though they had a brief foray into television in the 1990s, Culture Clash finds its primary home in the theater.

The group often skewers stereotypes of Latinos and other minorities. They also enact the stories of people they interview, including a Muslim cab driver, a survivor of priest sexual abuse, and a transgender AIDS health worker.

Over the past few months, a light has been shined on the African-American man’s experience, especially in relation to law enforcement.

Throughout the conversation, much attention has been given to statistics: how many African-American men go to jail, graduate high school and go to college.

Many of these statistics reflect African-American men’s experiences in a negative light, but what if the statistics focused on their positive accomplishments?

Beyond The Racist Chant: The Facts About Black Inequality In Oklahoma

Mar 11, 2015
Predominantly black northeast Oklahoma City is plagued by abandoned and vacant homes.
Shawntel Brown / Oklahoma Watch

Recent controversy over a racist chant at a University of Oklahoma fraternity focused attention on the state’s race relations. But the numbers beneath the headlines perhaps cast a longer shadow.

By almost every metric, blacks struggle in most of the quality-of-life factors in the state. Oklahoma is first in the nation, per capita, for blacks to die at the hands of police officers among states reporting. Blacks are about half as likely to own a home, are more likely to go to prison, less likely to go to college and less likely to graduate.

This week Apple unveiled a new set of emoji with five different skin tones, after complaints that the old emoji weren’t racially diverse. But many people think that the entire technology industry needs to become more diverse.

Erica Baker is a site reliability engineer at Google, and as an African-American woman, she’s a rarity in the company and in her field.

She spoke with Here & Now’s Robin Young about her experiences working in tech all over the country.

Oklahoma Representative George Young, District 99, D-Oklahoma City
Oklahoma House of Representatives

State police officers would go through increased racial sensitivity and diversity training if a bill filed for this session is approved by lawmakers.

HB2047, by Rep. George Young, D-Oklahoma City, would require the Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training to, by Jan. 1, 2016, to include a number of requirements.

The bill requires basic training courses for law enforcement certification to include a minimum of four hours of diversity training and racial sensitivity education.

The families of Michael Brown, the 18-year-old who was shot last month by a police officer in Ferguson, Mo., and Eric Garner, who died in July after being placed in a chokehold by an officer in New York, called on the Justice Department to take the lead in the investigations into the two deaths.

More than 100 people turned out at the Oklahoma Capitol on Thursday to rally and discuss race-related issues and seek ways to educate themselves and police.

The rally comes in response to the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and subsequent protests. Brown, who is black, was unarmed when he was shot to death by a white police officer.

Two journalists were arrested and detained in Ferguson, Missouri, last night, amid high tensions following the death of teenager Michael Brown, who was shot by a police officer.

NPR Media Correspondent David Folkenflik joins Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson to discuss what these arrests say about the media covering the situation in Ferguson, and what this could reveal about how police are treating locals.

Reporter Recounts His Arrest In Ferguson

Aug 14, 2014

Governor Jay Nixon is expected to visit Ferguson, Missouri, today, in the aftermath of last night’s volatile confrontations between police and protesters — and journalists.

There have been escalating clashes in Ferguson since police shot Michael Brown, an unarmed teenager, in the town on Saturday. Last night, police ratcheted up their response, firing tear gas into the crowd, and using sonic cannons.

NPR continues a series of conversations about The Race Card Project, where thousands of people have submitted their thoughts on race and cultural identity in six words. Every so often NPR Host/Special Correspondent Michele Norris dips into those stories to explore issues surrounding race and cultural identity for Morning Edition.

Before he became famous — and infamous — for calling on black power for black people, Stokely Carmichael was better known as a rising young community organizer in the civil rights movement. The tall, handsome philosophy major from Howard University spent summers in the South, working with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, known as SNCC, to get African-Americans in Alabama and Mississippi registered to vote in the face of tremendous, often violent resistance from segregationists.

NPR continues a series of conversations about The Race Card Project, where thousands of people have submitted their thoughts on race and cultural identity in six words. Every so often NPR Host/Special Correspondent Michele Norris will dip into those six-word stories to explore issues surrounding race and cultural identity for Morning Edition.

"Where are you from?"

"No, really, where are you from?"

World Views: September 6, 2013

Sep 6, 2013

Joshua Landis, Rebecca Cruise and Suzette Grillot talk about the fear in Japan that the amount of contaminated water at the Fukushima nuclear power plant is getting out of hand, and increasing number of attacks and violence against women in India.

Later, a conversation with about indigenous people and issues in Guatemala with Francisco Calí. He’s the only indigenous member of the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

John Isaac / UN Photo

In 1996, Guatemala ended a 36-year civil war that devastated the country’s indigenous community. Seventeen years later, indigenous people in the Central American country are still seeking justice after the decades-long conflict.

“They agreed to sign not only a peace agreement, but also an amnesty law which says that all those people who committed human rights violations will not be prosecuted legally,” says Francisco Calí. He’s the only indigenous member of the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

In April of 1963, a Baltimore mailman set off to deliver the most important letter in his life — one he wrote himself. William Lewis Moore decided to walk along Highway 11 from Chattanooga, Tenn., to Jackson, Miss., hoping to hand-deliver his letter to Gov. Ross Barnett. Moore wanted Barnett to fundamentally change Mississippi's racial hierarchy — something unthinkable for a Southern politician at the time.

We've decided to take a weekly look at a word or phrase that's caught our attention, whether for its history, usage, etymology or just because it has an interesting story.

NOTE TO READERS: This is a post about one of the harshest racial slurs in American English. In the interest of forthrightness, we're going to use the slur throughout this essay. In other words, you'll see "nigger" used throughout the essay. We understand that the word is upsetting, so we wanted to offer people a chance to opt out now

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