race | KUOW News and Information

race

Dr. Jonathan Kanter, associate psychology professor at the University of Washington
KUOW/Megan Farmer

Racism takes many forms — it could be a white supremacist rally or a racial slur — but more subtle forms, called microaggressions, happen every day.

Dr. Jonathan Kanter wanted to learn more about microaggressions from a white person's point of view. The associate psychology professor and his research team at the University of Washington found that people who are more likely to make subtle racist statements are also more racist in other ways.

He told KUOW's Emily Fox that the researchers began by asking black students what they thought were microaggressive behavior.


Turns out Siri might be racist

Sep 19, 2017
Siri on an iPhone.
Flickr Photo/Karlis Dambrans (CC BY 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/njdYn7

We use speech recognition every day, like providing captions on video for the hard of hearing and voice-to-text apps on our smart phones. But when it comes to how well the software understands various accents or dialects, Caucasian speakers are understood much better than people of color. 

Editor's note: Language featured in this piece may be considered offensive to some.

With the police shooting of Michael Brown in 2014, "Ferguson" became shorthand for racial strife and police shootings of unarmed black men.

But years before the protests and chants of "Hands up, don't shoot," there was something amiss in the Ferguson, Mo., police department.

Before Michael Brown, there was Fred Watson.

Race is again proving to be the sharpest dividing line of the Trump era.

This week, President Trump and conservatives went after ESPN, the cable sports network, for comments made by Jemele Hill, who hosts one of the flagship SportsCenter shows.

It all started on Monday when Hill, who is black, tweeted in reply to someone else: "Donald Trump is a white supremacist who has largely surrounded himself w/ other white supremacists."

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders called Hill's comment a "fireable offense."

Former Mayor Ed Murray at a press conference in the University District in September 2016.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Let’s be clear. The mess that culminated in the resignation of Seattle’s ex-Mayor Ed Murray should not be celebrated as vindication that “the process works.”

Air pollution can contribute to asthma and heart disease. And it puts children at greater risk of developmental and behavioral problems.

But not everyone is equally likely to be exposed to air pollution.

While regulations and cleaner energy have meant the air’s getting a little cleaner for everyone, a new study by University of Washington researchers shows that, at every income level, people of color are still exposed to more air pollution than white people.

White supremacy is behind America's original sin

Sep 14, 2017
Dr. Jim Wallis, author and social justice advocate
JP Keenan

Katherine Banwell of KUOW's Race and Equity team talks with author and social justice advocate Jim Wallis about white supremacy which features in his latest book, "America's Original Sin: Racism, White Privilege, and the Bridge to a New America."

Wallis will speak about racial reconciliation at 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 16 at Seattle's McCaw Hall. 

Seattle police officers observe marchers moving down 4th Avenue during the Black Lives Matter rally in Seattle on Saturday.
KUOW Photo/Daniel Berman

The Seattle Police Department says bias and hate crime reporting continues to rise in Seattle.


The Department of Justice will not bring civil rights charges against six Baltimore police involved in the arrest and death of Freddie Gray, the young black man whose death caused widespread violent protest in that city in 2015.

R
Eduardo Munoz/Reuters

Every day, Seshat Mack wakes up and takes the bus to school. She’s a doctoral student in science, from Harlem. Every morning, the bus drops her off in front of a statue of a man looking down kind of heroically, kind of benevolently at passers by.

Seshat can’t stand the statue.

Dr. J. Marion Sims, born in South Carolina, is considered the father of modern gynecology — a status memorialized in that statue. He started his work in the mid 19th century.

Kent schools act after Muslim staffers get hate mail

Aug 31, 2017

Hate mail sent to Muslim staffers at Kent schools prompted a response from the district this week as students returned to class.

This past weekend a Muslim woman who is an assistant principal at an elementary school received a hateful email.

Candles surround a photograph of Charleena Lyles after a vigil was held at Solid Ground Brettler Family Place on Tuesday, June 19, 2017, in Seattle, Washington.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Seven bullets riddled Charleena Lyles’ body earlier this summer when she was shot by Seattle police.

Those bullets struck her chest and arm and dug into into her hip, back and side.

And her uterus, blowing through a four-month old fetus.

It would have been a boy.

Marchers held signs at the Black Lives Matter rally in Seattle on Saturday, April 15, 2017.
Daniel Berman for KUOW

To mark the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Detroit rebellion, Seattle Public Library hosted a discussion of the factors that create inequality, repression and resistance.

Screenshot of interaction between motorcyclist, Alex Randall, and King County Sheriff Detective Richard Rowe, August 16, 2017.
Screenshot from YouTube video by Alex Randall

Update 8/31/2017: The King County Sheriff's deputy placed on administrative leave after drawing his gun on a motorcyclist earlier this month has been identified as 53-year-old Richard Rowe. He's been with the sheriff's office for nearly 19 years.

The sheriff's office is investigating the incident.


A mostly peaceful demonstration turned violent in Berkeley, Calif., when left-wing counterprotesters clashed with right-wing protesters and Trump supporters on Sunday.

Thousands of people held a Rally Against Hate in response to a planned right-wing protest that never got off the ground.

During the hours-long event, counterprotesters marched and chanted "No Trump, no KKK, no fascist USA," among other slogans. But several Trump supporters and right-wing demonstrators were also chased away by groups, who chanted "Nazis go home."

Updated at 8:42 p.m. ET

Organizers of what was being called a "freedom rally" Saturday in San Francisco had hoped to draw an audience for their conservative causes.

Instead, they say rhetoric from politicians and groups on the left compromised their safety by attracting extremists. On Facebook Friday afternoon, one of the organizers, Joey Gibson, announced that the event at San Francisco's Crissy Field was canceled and would now be a news conference at Alamo Square Park.

There are more than 60 schools in the U.S. with names tied to the Confederate South. One school, Robert E. Lee Elementary, is right here in the Northwest.

Confederate flag
Flickr Photo/pixxiestails (CC BY NC 2.0)

Jeannie Yandel talks to Melanie McFarland, T.V. critic for Salon, and Mike Pesca, host of The Gist, about a proposed HBO show called Confederate. The show imagines a world where the South won the Civil War, slavery still exists in parts of the United States and the country is on the brink of it's third civil war. 

Daryl Davis is a blues musician, but he also has what some might call an interesting hobby. For the past 30 years, Davis, a black man, has spent time befriending members of the Ku Klux Klan.

He says once the friendship blossoms, the Klansmen realize that their hate may be misguided. Since Davis started talking with these members, he says 200 Klansmen have given up their robes. When that happens, Davis collects the robes and keeps them in his home as a reminder of the dent he has made in racism by simply sitting down and having dinner with people.

Why more Native Americans are homeless in Seattle

Aug 18, 2017
Colleen Echohawk, executive director of the Chief Seattle Club.
KUOW Photo/Katherine Banwell

The number of Native Americans on King County streets is greater than ever. A recent survey found that there are more American Indians and Alaska Natives than a year ago.

Colleen Echohawk said there are many reasons for that, but the most important is that Natives are nervous about trusting the current system of finding houses for them.

Editor's Note: This story contains a quote where a racial slur is used.

Francine Anderson grew up in a small town in Virginia in the 1950s. As a young black girl, she knew all too well about racism in the Jim Crow South — but it wasn't until one night, driving back home from her grandmother's house, that she truly understood the danger she faced because of the color of her skin.

Spotify and other streaming services have begun removing white supremacist content from their platforms, as websites and musicians alike scramble to distance themselves from the white nationalist movement.

In a statement on Wednesday, Spotify blamed the labels and distributors that supply music to its database but said "material that favors hatred or incites violence against race, religion, sexuality or the like is not tolerated by us. Spotify takes immediate action to remove any such material as soon as it has been brought to our attention."

How the Old South is felt in the Northwest

Aug 17, 2017
The gates are locked at Lake View Cemetery on Thursday, August 17, 2017, in Seattle, where a monument to the Confederacy has become controversial after protests turned violent in Charlottesville last weekend.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

We originally aired this story on January 19, 2007. Statues commemorating Confederate figures have been the source of tension, protests and removal this last week – making an argument that can feel far from the Northwest top of mind.

Storme Webber's  'I Cover the Waterfront', a 1950s photograph of the artist's grandmother, 2016. Digital prints modified from original.
Courtesy of Frye Art Museum/Storme Webber

For much of the 20th century, Pioneer Square was the heart of Seattle’s gay community.

Artist Storme Webber grew up lesbian in Seattle and often went to Pioneer Square with her mother – who was also gay.


Flickr/Daniella Urdinlaiz (CC BY 2.0)

Comedian George Carlin is funny and serious as he talks about white privilege, things he could do without, and why he dislikes the label Native American. 

"They're not natives, they emigrated here. They came from Asia. And putting the word American on them is the supreme insult. After you steal their cultures, put them on the worst land possible, give them blankets with smallpox then turn around and give your name. It's repulsive." 

Carlin was interviewed by KUOW's Steve Scher on the occasion of publishing his book "Brain Droppings." 

Jared Taylor was not in Charlottesville, Va., on Saturday. But Taylor, one of the leading voices for white rights in the country, says it was clear what really happened at that rally.

"So this week it's Robert E. Lee. I noticed that Stonewall Jackson's coming down. I wonder, is it George Washington next week? And is it Thomas Jefferson the week after? You know, you really do have to ask yourself, where does it stop? ... [Jefferson] was a major slave owner. Are we going to take down his statue?" — President Trump, Aug. 15, 2017

Updated at 7:26 p.m. ET

In a stunning reversal from comments he made just one day prior, President Trump said on Tuesday "there's blame on both sides" for the violence in Charlottesville, Va.

Co-director of HYPE, Charissa Eggleston, center, shows off a yogurt parfait that she made during the Federal Way Youth Action Team program HYPE, at the Federal Way Boys & Girls Club on Saturday, August 5, 2017, in Federal Way
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Last summer, worried parents gathered at Federal Way City Hall. There had been an uptick in violence in the city -- including three gun deaths that May.

Most of the kids being referred to the courts were black. The chatter was that the city was ill-equipped to reach kids of color, and it was time for the community to step in.


Pearce Tefft wrote a letter to members of his community in Fargo, N.D., to set the record straight about his family and the current state of his relationship to Peter Tefft, calling his son "an avowed white nationalist" who attended the "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Va., over the weekend.

Pages