Inequality in the Equality State: Race, Racism, and Identity

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Latinx isn't a new term, and neither are the debates around its use.

According to a recent Pew Research Center national survey of Latinos, Latinx has not caught on. Only 3% say they use the term and it's mostly young people, ages 18 to 29, who have embraced it.

Sarah Collins Rudolph was 12 years old when the explosion of a bomb, planted by the Ku Klux Klan, ripped through the basement of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala., in 1963.

Her sister and three other young girls were killed by the dynamite blast, and although she survived, she lost an eye and was hospitalized for months. Since then, the medical bills and the trauma of that violent Sunday have haunted her.

Updated at 3:30 p.m. ET

A judge has granted Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron's request for more time to release a grand jury recording in the Breonna Taylor case.

The new deadline to release the recording is this Friday at noon ET, Jefferson Circuit Judge Ann Bailey Smith said in a court order on Wednesday. The order said the defense counsel had no objection to the request.

Updated at 1:55 p.m. ET

President Trump claimed to have the backing of the "Portland sheriff" during Tuesday night's debate with Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. But the sheriff of that jurisdiction in Oregon immediately responded by saying that's not true.

"As the Multnomah County Sheriff I have never supported Donald Trump and will never support him," said Mike Reese, in a tweet that was also shared by the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office.

The campaign to remove Confederate statues and other symbols of white supremacy in the United States is resonating in Latin America, where protesters have destroyed monuments to European colonizers who brutalized Indigenous populations.

The latest target was a statue of Sebastián de Belalcázar, a Spanish conquistador. He founded the Colombian cities of Popayán and Cali in 1537, while leading a military campaign that killed and enslaved of thousands of Misak Indigenous people.

President Trump's hesitation, once again, to denounce white supremacy during Tuesday's presidential debate is drawing quick condemnation from anti-racism activists — as are his unusual comments directed at a white supremacist group called the Proud Boys.

During an exchange on the debate stage, moderator Chris Wallace repeatedly asked Trump if he would condemn white supremacists. Trump initially sidestepped that question, claiming that he mostly sees violence "from the left wing."

The recording of grand jury proceedings in the Breonna Taylor case will be released this week — an unusual step that comes after a juror disputed Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron's public explanation for why no charges were filed that are directly related to Taylor's killing by Louisville police.

Jefferson Circuit Judge Ann Bailey Smith has "ordered attorneys to file a recording of the grand jury proceedings" by Wednesday, member station WFPL reports. It's not yet clear when the recording might be released to the public.

Military names can echo down through the ages, a fact underlined by the current fight in Washington, D.C., between President Trump and Congress, which has voted to strip the names of Confederate generals from several Southern Army bases.

The president has vowed that won't happen, but the battle might not be resolved before Election Day.

The Navy, meanwhile, has quietly charted a new course. A supercarrier now on the drawing boards will be christened the USS Doris Miller.

Former Louisville Metro Police officer Brett Hankison pleaded not guilty on Monday to three counts of wanton endangerment in his initial court appearance related to the botched raid that led to the death of Breonna Taylor.

A Texas sheriff has been indicted on felony charges of tampering with evidence in the case of Javier Ambler, a Black man who was killed by police last year during a traffic stop that escalated into a high-speed chase caught on film by a reality television show.

Sheriff Robert Chody, who turned himself in, was arrested and booked on Monday. He was released shortly after posting $10,000 bail.

Years ago, Al Sharpton was a young preacher and civil rights activist. The New York City tabloids portrayed him as a questionable figure, who was ultimately sued for defamation when he accused a prosecutor of racism.

He shared New York City tabloid space with another New York figure — Donald Trump.

Today, of course, Trump is president. And Sharpton, gray-haired, is a kind of elder statesman.

Editor's note: NPR will be continuing this conversation about Being Black in America online and on air.

Bruce Tomlin, a 63-year-old truck driver from New Mexico, said he was never really a "gun person." Then he saw a video of three white men following and fatally shooting Ahmaud Arbery while he was jogging.

A Seattle police officer seen on video posted to social media earlier this week walking his bike over the head of a protester lying on the ground has been suspended while authorities investigate the incident.

The justice system failed Breonna Taylor, says Tamika Palmer, the mother of the emergency room technician whom police shot and killed in her own apartment in March. She says Kentucky's attorney general was not up to the job of achieving justice for Taylor.

Outraged and angry and, at times, wailing protesters renewed their cries for justice for Breonna Taylor on Wednesday, following the Kentucky grand jury's decision to not charge the police officers for killing her.

Meanwhile, the Taylor family have been much more restrained with their anguish over the killing of the 26-year-old by Louisville Metropolitan Police officers during a botched drug raid, since the decision was announced. For the most part they've remained out of the spotlight, issuing a series of brief statements on social media.

A Maryland man was sentenced to 25 years in prison on Wednesday over a 2018 incident in which he shot a Black man in a Baltimore suburb and reportedly told him to "go back to Africa."

Brandon Higgs, the white man sentenced, was found to have links to white supremacist groups during the investigation, according to John Magee from the Baltimore County State's Attorney's Office.

Demonstrations in downtown Portland, Ore., turned violent as skirmishes broke out between protesters and law enforcement officials in the wake of a Kentucky grand jury decision not to directly charge police for the killing of Breonna Taylor. Police arrested 13 people in Portland.

Two police officers who were shot Wednesday night as protesters marched in Louisville, Ky., to demand justice for Breonna Taylor are expected to recover from their wounds, Mayor Greg Fischer says. A man has been arrested and faces multiple charges in connection with the shooting.

Tensions are running very high in Louisville, after a grand jury delivered a limited indictment against one officer who was present when police shot Taylor to death in her apartment.

Updated at 1:10 p.m. ET

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is seeking information to identify those responsible for an incident of racist vandalism at a park entrance in Tennessee over the weekend.

A black bear skin — including the head — was left draped over the entrance sign, next to a cardboard sign that said "Here To The Lake Black Lives Don't Matter."

Kentucky attorney general, Daniel Cameron, announced on Wednesday that none of the three police officers involved in the killing of Breonna Taylor would be charged directly over her death. One of the men was indicted for shooting into neighboring homes.

In response, protests emerged nationwide, demanding charges against the officers. Here's a selection of pictures from around the country, as demonstrators called for justice for Taylor and respect for Black life.

Demonstrators took to the streets in downtown Atlanta on Wednesday night to voice anger over a Kentucky grand jury's decision not to charge three Louisville police officers directly in the killing of 26-year-old Breonna Taylor in March.

Police said they arrested 11 people while dispersing crowds, according to NPR member station WABE in Atlanta.

Denver police detained a man after a vehicle plowed through a crowd of people demonstrating for justice in the Breonna Taylor case. The protesters were gathered near the Colorado state Capitol. Some of them had blocked the vehicle, which then sped away.

Democratic Kentucky State Representative Charles Booker says "justice failed us" when only one of the three officers who were involved in the killing of Breonna Taylor in Louisville was charged.

Updated at 5:20 a.m. ET Thursday

Two Louisville Metropolitan Police officers have been shot as protesters marched to demand justice for Breonna Taylor following a limited indictment by a Jefferson County grand jury.

The officers were fired on after responding to a separate "shots fired call" at about 8:30 p.m. ET, Chief Robert Schroeder said in a brief press conference Wednesday evening.

One suspect has been taken into custody, Schroeder said.

Updated at 7:20 p.m. ET

Following months of outrage, activism and anticipation, a Kentucky grand jury has decided to indict one of the three Louisville Metro Police Department officers involved in the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor in March.

Brett Hankison, who was terminated in June, has been charged with three counts of wanton endangerment over shooting into neighboring apartments. Bond was set at $15,000.

Uncle Ben's will now be known as Ben's Original.

Food giant Mars, Incorporated said Wednesday that it is changing the rice brand's name, which has faced criticism for racial stereotyping. It said the change signals "the brand's ambition to create a more inclusive future while maintaining its commitment to producing the world's best rice."

Mars also said it will remove the image of the elderly Black man in a bow tie from its packaging.

Swastika, New York, Is Keeping Its Name

Sep 23, 2020

Michael Alcamo lives in New York City but loves cycling through the Adirondack Mountains in northern New York, with their tiny towns and hamlets and historical cemeteries.

He was on a trip like this, winding through a remote stretch this summer, when he noticed something else, a small brown street sign with the name "Swastika."

At a time when symbols and place names with links to white supremacy are being debated across the U.S., Alcamo found the name of the unincorporated hamlet he had crossed into unsettling.

Greg Fischer, the mayor of Louisville, Ky., said Tuesday he has declared a state of emergency for the city "due to the potential for civil unrest."

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron is poised to announce whether his office will bring charges against the police officers who fatally shot 26-year-old Breonna Taylor during a botched narcotics raid at her home on March 13.

The mayor reiterated he has no insight about when Cameron's decision will be announced, but he said the city must be prepared.

NBA legend Michael Jordan, arguably the greatest basketball player and known for his elite competitiveness, is taking another big challenge: trying to make NASCAR more inclusive.

The hoops icon announced on Monday that he and NASCAR superstar Denny Hamlin have teamed up to form a new racing team. They've recruited Bubba Wallace to be its driver.

On a street in Rochester, N.Y., earlier this month, police and demonstrators clashed violently, with marchers shouting and coughing as officers in riot gear fired pepper balls at the crowd.

As tear gas fogged the intersection, a Black protest leader urged white demonstrators forward.

"If you're a white person, you're getting to the perimeter, you're putting your body on the f****** line right now!" she shouted to a group of protesters wearing goggles, filter masks and bicycle helmets.

They responded by hustling forward, forming a line with homemade shields.

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