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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.

The president of the WSU College Republicans, James Allsup of Bothell, Washington, said Monday he would resign after attending the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

KUOW PHOTO/DANIEL BERMAN

"What surprises me is, quite frankly, the outrage of our white progressives who continue to be surprised. For people of color, this is our life every day."

Christian Picciolini says he was a "lost and lonely" teenager when he was recruited by a white nationalist group. Picciolini immersed himself in the organization's ideology and by age 16, he had emerged as the leader of a group called the Chicago Area Skinheads. He even helped recruit others to the cause. That is until, he says, he had an awakening after the birth of his first child.

Dr. Sapna Cheryan, Psychology Professor at the University of Washington
Courtesy of Nikki Ritcher

People who are chubby or fat often experience prejudice. 

But a recent study out of the University of Washington found that for Asian Americans, being fat correlates with being viewed as belonging in the U.S. Dr. Sapna Cheryan is a psychology professor at the UW. She talked to Kim Malcolm about the study's results.  


Less than a month away from the start of the regular season, NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick remains a player without a team.

Kaepernick took a knee during the playing of the national anthem before games last season. He said he was protesting treatment of people in black communities during a time of great tension sparked by police shootings of African-Americans.

Marty Jackson
KUOW Photo/Katherine Banwell

Marty Jackson runs the Southeast Area Network of the Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative. For years, she had worked with Stephan Stewart, trying to keep him off the streets.

And her efforts appeared to be working.


Updated 11:30 p.m. ET

A senior software engineer reportedly has been fired by Google after a memo he wrote criticizing diversity initiatives was leaked and sparked protests on social media.

The 3,300-word document that has been shared across Google's internal networks says "biological causes" are part of the reason women aren't represented equally in its tech departments and leadership. The senior engineer also cited "men's higher drive for status."

Ijeoma Oluo
Courtesy of Ijeoma Oluo

Editor's note: Salty language ahead.

We are now less than two months away from the ascendency of the Great Orange Hate Clown. 

Former King County Executive Ron Sims speaks at a news conference where he announced that President Barack Obama would nominate him to be deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Monday, Feb. 2, 2009, in Seattle.
AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

I have been stopped eight times by the Seattle Police Department. I wasn't speeding nor did I have an issue with my car.

Four stops occurred in my neighborhood: two on Beacon Hill and one near the intersection of Rainier Avenue and Martin Luther King Way. I was never ticketed but always asked, “Do you live in this neighborhood” or “Where are you going?”

Dr. Bob Hughes of Seattle University and Yoshiko Harden of Seattle Central. Hughes and Harden were meeting at a Starbucks on Broadway in Seattle when someone came in and unfurled a string of racial slurs and explicitives at Harden.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

So my colleague and I were catching up after not seeing each other for a while.  

She’s just accepted a new position as an administrator at the community college up the street from where I work. I wanted to welcome her to the neighborhood and her new job.  

Comedian Hari Kondabolu at the Museum Theatre in Chennai on January 5, 2012.
Flickr Photo/US Consulate Chennai (CC BY-ND 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/b8hDHa

Bill Radke talks to comedians Liz Miele and Hari Kondabolu about representation and race in comedy. Is it okay to make fun of Anthony Scaramucci? What's the problem with the Simpson's character Apu?  

The NAACP has issued a travel advisory for the state of Missouri, citing recent "race-based incidents" and new state legislation that makes it harder for fired employees to prove racial discrimination.

It's the first time the national civil rights organization has issued a travel warning for an entire state, the Kansas City Star reports.

The group warns "African American travelers, visitors and Missourians" to "exercise extreme caution" in the state.

African-Americans are disproportionately more likely to be the victims of gun violence, but new research shows that more black women are becoming gun owners.

Here & Now‘s Robin Young speaks with firearm instructor Marchelle Tigner, assistant director of training for the National African American Gun Association.

Dumi Maraire, the hip hop artist better known as Draze, will be performing at Northwest Folklife Festival this weekend.
Facebook Photo/Draze

Seattle hip hop artist Draze is known for lamenting the gentrification of the Central District. Now, he has an idea for how to turn things around.  

He wants to help launch 100 African-American-owned businesses in one calendar year. 


Washington’s state Department of Health will remove a billboard deemed offensive after public backlash. The billboard in question was an initiative from the Department’s Marijuana Prevention & Education Program.

Diontae Moore-Lyons, 17, right, is escorted back to his unit by manager Shawn Northcutt at Green Hill School in Chehalis, Wash., on Wednesday, May 10, 2017. Green Hill School is a medium/maximum security, fenced facility for teenage male offenders.
KUOW Photo/Dan DeLong

When black youth enter the criminal justice system, most of the people in authority they come into contact with — social workers, lawyers, the jury — are white.

Diontae Moore-Lyons, 17, is currently incarcerated at Green Hill School in Chehalis, Washington, the state's maximum security facility for juveniles.

When Black Hair Violates The Dress Code

Jul 17, 2017

Raising teenage girls can be a tough job. Raising black teenage girls as white parents can be even tougher. Aaron and Colleen Cook knew that when they adopted their twin daughters, Mya and Deanna.

As spring came around this year, the girls, who just turned 16, told their parents they wanted to get braided hair extensions. Their parents happily obliged, wanting Mya and Deanna to feel closer to their black heritage.

Earl Lancaster of Earl’s Cuts & Styles, used to be surrounded by other black-owned businesses, and a working-class community. Today, most of those businesses are gone.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Earl Lancaster has been cutting hair at the corner of 23rd and Union for a quarter of a century.

"Some of the highlights have been cutting some of the Sonics, Mariners. Cutting young kids and turn into fathers and cutting their kids’ hair. It’s been amazing," Lancaster said as he glided his clippers along a man's scalp.


A march protesting the Seattle police shooting of Che Taylor on Feb. 21, 2016 moves through downtown Seattle on Feb. 25, 2016.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Seattle is a step closer to getting a law that prohibits biased policing.

The proposed legislation would take the Seattle Police Department's bias-free policing policies and incorporate them into city law.

Kendra Roberson, lecturer at the University of Washington School of Social Work.
KUOW photo/Megan Farmer

When 30-year-old Charleena Lyles was shot and killed by Seattle Police, her death became part of a legacy of trauma absorbed by the black community. Brain scientists are only now researching impacts this kind of violence has on the psyche of African-Americans and their involvement in the criminal justice system.  

Kendra Roberson, a lecturer at the University of Washington School of Social Work, provides therapy services for black school-age girls. She told reporter Patricia Murphy that young people experiencing long-term trauma can begin to believe that bad things will happen to them.

Day becomes night when industrial smog is heavy in North Birmingham, Alabama, as on this day in July of 1972. Sitting adjacent to the U.S. Pipe plant, this is the most heavily polluted area of the city.
LeRoy Woodson for the EPA via NARA https://catalog.archives.gov/id/545397

The Trump administration has proposed cutting the EPA's budget by 30 percent. What does that mean for polluted communities in the U.S.? 


Octavia Butler used to say she remembers exactly when she decided to become a science fiction writer. She was 9 years old and saw a 1954 B-movie called Devil Girl from Mars, and two things struck her. First: "Geez, I can write a better story than that!" And second: "Somebody got paid for writing that story!" If they could, she decided, then she could, too.

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