race

A student finds a small space to work during the sit-in at Seattle University.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Some professors at Seattle University have come out in support of a student protest about curriculum. The students have called for more diverse material, and fewer books by “dead white men.” The campus sit-in is now in week three.

My dad, who came to the U.S. in 1969 from Hong Kong, who speaks English-lilted-with-Taishanese, who has lived in Connecticut for two-thirds of his life — three times the length of his time in Asia — still uses the word "Oriental."

It's always a casual reference. "This place used to be a Oriental restaurant," he'll say, as we drive by a boarded-up storefront that once was a Chinese take-out joint.

He doesn't use it in a derogatory way. It's just his go-to term for anything Asian, whether that's food, a business, a person, an idea. But I keep trying to get him to stop.

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that a Georgia man sentenced to death is entitled to a new trial because prosecutors deliberately excluded all African Americans from the jury based on their race. The 7-to-1 ruling was one of three high court decisions issued Monday involving racial discrimination.

In announcing the jury selection decision, Chief Justice John Roberts used unusually harsh words to describe the prosecutors' conduct. He labelled their proffered non-racial justifications for excluding all the black prospective jurors "nonsense," and "not true."

Asian-Americans are shifting toward the Democratic Party in record numbers, according to a new poll conducted by a consortium of Asian-American organizations — AAPI Data, Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote and Asian Americans Advancing Justice.

In fact, since 2012, there's been a 12 point increase in the percent of Asian-Americans who identify as Democrat — from 35 percent to 47 percent.

An inventory by public radio of Northwest geography found more than 200 places with names some people might consider ethnically or racially offensive. For instance, there's Negro Ben Mountain in southwest Oregon, Chinamans Hat in western Idaho, Jew Valley in southern Oregon and Redman Creek in north central Washington.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled today that a black Georgia man convicted of murder by an all-white jury should have a new trial because the prosecution deliberately excluded African-Americans from the jury based on their race.

The court's decision reversed as "clearly erroneous" an earlier ruling by the Georgia Supreme Court, which had said the defendant had not proved racial discrimination in the selection of his jury.

Baltimore police Officer Edward Nero has been found not guilty of all four misdemeanor charges he faced in connection with the arrest of Freddie Gray.

Gray died on April 19, 2015, after suffering injuries while in police custody.

Following the ruling, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said in a statement, "This is our American system of justice and police officers must be afforded the same justice system as every other citizen in the city, state, and country."

Demands posted in a window of the occupied space at Matteo Ricci College.
Courtesy of Liberation News/@comradevitaly

Bill Radke speaks with Fiza Mohammed, a fourth-year undergraduate student who helped to organize the occupation of Matteo Ricci College at Seattle University. 

On a recent March morning at his home in a New Jersey suburb, Anthony Mendez was on his living room couch with his 9-year-old daughter. He was watching the previous night's episode of Jane the Virgin, studying his own performance as the show's unseen narrator.

Students and staff march through Suzallo Library during a walkout on Thursday, May 12, 2016, to protest racial inequity on campus.
KUOW Photo/Ann Dornfeld

Students and staff at the University of Washington held a walk-out Thursday to protest racial inequity they see on – and off – campus.

They chanted: “Whose lives matter? Black lives matter! Whose lives matter? Black lives matter!”

What's behind all these college protests?

May 12, 2016

Deborah Wang speaks with Chronicle of Higher Education reporter Sarah Brown about the inspiration behind protests against racial inequality on college campuses across the nation. Such protests have been happening on the University of Washington and Seattle University campuses this week.   

Updated 6:15 p.m. ET

George Zimmerman, who fatally shot unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin in 2012 and was acquitted of all charges in the case, said Thursday that he was auctioning off the gun that he says he used in that incident.

Public schools in the U.S. now have a majority of nonwhite students.

That's been the case since 2014, and yet children of color — especially boys — still lag behind their white peers.

This story has been all over the media. It's topic No. 1 at education conferences on university campuses. Even the White House is all over it.

But what Ron Ferguson wants to know is why. And he says there's a big group of experts out there who never get asked about it: boys and young men of color.

Germaine J. Kornegay is the first black city council member for Sedro-Wolley, a small town north of Seattle. Although she supported Barack Obama in 2008, she now supports Hillary Clinton.
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

Germaine J. Kornegay is the only black city council member for Sedro-Woolley, a tiny timber town about an hour north of Seattle.


Every year at the Kentucky Derby, crazy hat-wearing, mint julep-guzzling horse-gazers break into a passionate rendition of Kentucky's state song, "My Old Kentucky Home." As tradition goes, the University of Louisville Cardinal Marching Band accompanies the crowd as they croon a ballad that seems to be about people who miss their happy home. "The sun shines bright on my old Kentucky home/'Tis summer and the people are gay," begins one version.

But Frank X Walker, Kentucky's former poet laureate, suspects that most people are missing the point.

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