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

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The Minneapolis City Council on Friday unanimously approved a proposal to eliminate the city's police department, marking the first step toward establishing a new "holistic" approach to public safety.

The move follows more than a month of national outrage and protests against police brutality in the wake of the killing of George Floyd, a Black man who died after an officer pressed his knee into his neck for more than eight minutes.

Updated at 5:20 p.m. ET

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp on Friday signed a hate crimes bill into law.

The killing of Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old Black man shot dead while jogging in February, drew nationwide attention and energized efforts to pass this law.

Ahead of the signing on Friday, Kemp called House Bill 426 a "silver lining" amid difficult and stormy times.

Updated at 8:05p.m. ET

Facebook will put warning labels on posts that break its rules but are considered newsworthy, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced Friday. The new policy marks a reversal for Zuckerberg and comes as more brands pledge to stop advertising on the social network until it does more to curb hate speech and harmful content.

When, on June 7, nine members of the Minneapolis City Council went onstage at a rally organized by Black activists and took turns reading a pledge to dismantle their city's police department, many in the crowd at Powderhorn Park let out not just cheers, but full-throated screams.

In the liner notes to John Coltrane's 1964 album Live At Birdland, Amiri Baraka (then writing as Le Roi Jones) contemplated the gift the saxophonist and his band offered with this music inspired by the horrific deaths of four Black girls in a Birmingham church bombing inspired by white supremacist hatred. "Listen," Baraka wrote. "What we're given is a slow delicate introspective sadness, almost hopelessness, except for Elvin [Jones], rising in the background like something out of nature... a fattening thunder, storm clouds or jungle war clouds.

What does it take to reopen an investigation into a police-involved death of a young Black man after the district attorney refuses to press criminal charges and the officers have been cleared of any wrongdoing?

Splash Mountain, a Disney Theme Park staple ride, is undergoing a design change in response to complaints about its association with the film Song of the South. Disney announced in a statement on Thursday that the ride would be "re-themed" to focus on the 2009 animated film The Princess and the Frog.

America's reckoning on race has come to TV animation, as stars Jenny Slate and Kristen Bell, who are white, have agreed to stop voicing characters who are biracial.

And while some fans may be disappointed to see their favorite performers leaving TV shows they enjoy, the moves also end a subtle way in which actors of color have been marginalized. It's an attention-getting moment when performers have recognized their white privilege and moved to end it.

The police department in Wilmington, N.C. has fired three police officers after investigators say footage from one of their patrol cars showed them exchanging racist and sometimes threatening remarks.

Those include one of the officers saying he was ready for a "civil war" against Black people.

On Tuesday, the Wilmington Police Department fired officers James Gilmore and Kevin Piner and Corporal Jesse Moore after a routine review of video by the department triggered an investigation.

Tucson Police Chief Chris Magnus is offering to resign over the death of Carlos Ingram-Lopez – a man who died after being restrained by Tucson officers in April. Ingram-Lopez was handcuffed and kept face-down in a garage for some 12 minutes.

While the man was being restrained, police body cam video shows, he often cried out — repeatedly asking for water, and at times for his grandmother. At one point, he is heard saying he can't breathe.

NASCAR has finished its investigation and says it still doesn't know who tied a noose that was discovered this past weekend in the garage stall used by African American stock car driver Bubba Wallace at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama.

The country trio Dixie Chicks have changed the group's name to The Chicks in an apparent distancing from a name associated with the Confederate-era South.

Generations of South Asians have grown up with grocery aisles full of Fair & Lovely skin-lightening products. The brand's TV commercials feature Bollywood stars and equate pale, fair skin with beauty and success.

Those are racial stereotypes many find to be the opposite of fair.

Two decades of life experience made a mental-health activist of Kai Koerber. When he was 16 and a student at a Parkland, Fla., high school, a gunman killed 17 people, including one his friends.

"I really did suffer a domestic terrorist attack, and that's not something that happens to you every day," Koerber says.

Gone With The Wind has returned to the streaming service HBO Max after it was removed earlier this month because of its benign portrayal of American slavery. The film now features a new introduction by film scholar and Turner Classic Movies host Jacqueline Stewart.

In the introduction, Stewart addresses the film's problematic depiction of the Antebellum South.

On a recent morning, Kim Gates helped hand out free boxes of fresh fruits and vegetables in an underserved area of Grand Rapids, Mich.

Lately, the retired schoolteacher from the nearby tiny town of Caledonia has been trying to volunteer with minority communities and read more about racism.

The 63-year-old white woman had always voted for the candidate she thought was best for the job — like, for instance, Michigan's recent Republican governor, Rick Snyder. She said she never considered herself political until Donald Trump's victory in 2016.

Updated 5:29 PM ET

The Los Angeles Times is moving to settle a proposed class-action lawsuit filed by six Black, Hispanic and female journalists at the paper contending that the under-representation of people of color there is a result of longstanding discriminatory pay practices.

Three former staff members of a Michigan youth home have been charged in the death of a 16-year-old Black boy. He died last month after employees sat on his chest, abdomen and legs in an effort to restrain him.

Boston is poised to ban its use of facial surveillance technology, becoming the second-largest community in the world to do so.

The city council unanimously voted on Wednesday to ban the use of the technology and prohibit any city official from obtaining facial surveillance by asking for it through third parties. The measure will now go to Mayor Marty Walsh with a veto-proof majority. Walsh's office said he would review the ban.

Former NASCAR driver Bill Lester, one of only seven Black drivers to race in NASCAR's top-tier cup series, wanted the Confederate flag gone when he raced more than a decade ago, but the time wasn't right, he says.

"There was no way that I could affect change during the time that I was racing," Lester says. "This is a different day."

The three white men accused in the death of Ahmaud Arbery, a Black man who was shot while he was jogging through a Glynn County, Ga., neighborhood this year, were indicted by a grand jury Wednesday.

Gregory and Travis McMichael, a father and son, as well as William "Roddie" Bryan, were charged in May in the Feb. 23 killing of Arbery.

Cobb County District Attorney Joyette Holmes announced the indictment on nine counts, including malice murder, felony murder and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment.

Two statues toppled, including one of an abolitionist. Several windows smashed at the state Capitol. A state senator attacked by a group of demonstrators. A small fire set outside a local jail.

Those are some of the scenes that played out late Tuesday and early Wednesday in Wisconsin's capital of Madison.

The arrest of a Black man earlier Tuesday sparked the unrest. He was taken into custody after bringing a megaphone and a baseball bat into a restaurant on the city's Capitol Square.

Updated 9:05 p.m. ET Wednesday

Police in Detroit were trying to figure out who stole five watches from a Shinola retail store. Authorities say the thief took off with an estimated $3,800 worth of merchandise.

Investigators pulled a security video that had recorded the incident. Detectives zoomed in on the grainy footage and ran the person who appeared to be the suspect through facial recognition software.

A hit came back: Robert Julian-Borchak Williams, 42, of Farmington Hills, Mich., about 25 miles northwest of Detroit.

Crowds gathered early Wednesday in Charleston, S.C., as crews began preparing to remove the statue of former Vice President John C. Calhoun from Marion Square.

The removal comes less than 24 hours after the Charleston City Council's unanimous vote on the statue's fate. Calhoun's statue is the latest in a wave of removals throughout the nation following protests for racial justice sparked by the police killing of George Floyd.

Late-night ABC host Jimmy Kimmel issued an apology on Tuesday for his previous use of blackface impressions in comedic sketches.

"There is nothing more important to me than your respect, and I apologize to those who were genuinely hurt or offended by the makeup I wore or the words I spoke," Kimmel said in the statement.

Updated at 12:58 p.m. ET

Senate Democrats, emboldened by a national outcry for reform of the country's law enforcement departments, blocked debate Wednesday on a Republican police reform bill that they said did not go far enough to address racial inequality.

The CEO of Macmillan — one of the Big Five book publishing houses — has announced he'll step back from day-to-day responsibilities, following an industry-wide day of action protest against racism organized by five Macmillan employees.

The official name of the smallest U.S. state is Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. Some of its residents have been trying for the past three decades to drop the phrase "and Providence Plantations," which they consider an offensive reminder of the state's once-dominant role in the trade of enslaved Africans.

What's in a name?

In the current climate, a lot. And enough to force change when that name offends.

On Tuesday, the University of Cincinnati board of trustees voted unanimously to take down the name of Marge Schott from the school's baseball stadium, effective immediately.

The board cited Schott's "record of racism and bigotry" in making its decision.

President Trump vowed via Twitter on Tuesday morning that anyone who vandalizes "any monument, statue or other such federal property" will be arrested and face up to 10 years in prison, citing a little-known 2003 piece of legislation.

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