race

In 1933, faced with a housing shortage, the federal government began a program explicitly designed to increase — and segregate — America's housing stock. Author Richard Rothstein says the housing programs begun under the New Deal were tantamount to a "state-sponsored system of segregation."

The government's efforts were "primarily designed to provide housing to white, middle-class, lower-middle-class families," he says. African-Americans and other people of color were left out of the new suburban communities — and pushed instead into urban housing projects.

Twenty-five years ago this week, four Los Angeles policemen — three of them white — were acquitted of the savage beating of Rodney King, an African-American man. Caught on camera by a bystander, graphic video of the attack was broadcast into homes across the nation and worldwide.

Fury over the acquittal — stoked by years of racial and economic inequality in the city — spilled over into the streets, resulting in five days of rioting in Los Angeles. It ignited a national conversation about racial and economic disparity and police use of force that continues today.

The latest logo by GV Art + Design for a Cleveland Indians hat features just the letter C intertwined with a single feather.
GV Art + Design

Vendors of Cleveland Indians apparel seem to be preparing for a change. This comes in reaction to a statement this week from Major League Baseball that commissioner Rob Manfred is working with the Cleveland Indians to transition away from the Chief Wahoo logo.

How important is it to have a role model?

A new working paper puts some numbers to that question.

Having just one black teacher in third, fourth or fifth grade reduced low-income black boys' probability of dropping out of high school by 39 percent, the study found.

And by high school, African-American students, both boys and girls, who had one African-American teacher had much stronger expectations of going to college. Keep in mind, this effect was observed seven to ten years after the experience of having just one black teacher.

Mellena Jackson/Facebook

On Monday night, Mellena Jackson, together with her father and young son, was visiting her grandfather at Grant Medical Center in downtown Columbus. As Jackson sat parked outside, she happened to see a black man exiting the hospital followed by three guards.

"He said, 'Leave me alone, what do you want?'" Jackson recalls. "And that's when I started recording."

Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King, who has a history of controversial statements on immigration and race, is drawing condemnation for a Sunday tweet in support of a right-wing Dutch politician, in which King wrote, "We can't restore our civilization with somebody else's babies."

A record number of people, at least 166, were exonerated last year after being wrongly convicted of crimes, according to the most recent annual report from the National Registry of Exonerations.

Ohio State Highway Patrol cruiser driving
Raymond Clarke / Flickr

A state certification process will require that all Ohio police departments for the first time collect data on the race and gender of people they pull over in traffic stops or take aside for questioning.

Esther Honig

Mayor Andrew Ginther at his State of the City address on Thursday is expected to announce plans to extend a controversial summer policing program year-round.

The Summer Safety Initiative targets higher-crime areas with increased patrols - something that activists say unfairly targets minority neighborhoods. 

While trying to catch a bus to school, Emilio Mayfield, 16, jaywalked. When he didn't comply with a police officer's command to get out of the bus lane, a scuffle ensued. Mayfield was struck in the face with a baton and arrested by nine Stockton, Cal. police officers. The arrest was captured on video by a bystander and the video went viral.

Two decades ago only about 9 percent of children's books published in the U.S. were about people of color. Things have changed since then, but not by much.

On Wednesday, the Cooperative Children's Book Center at the University of Wisconsin, Madison's Education School revealed that in 2016, it counted 427 books written or illustrated by people of color, and 736 books about people of color out of about 3,400 books it analyzed. That adds up to 22 percent of children's books.

The racial wealth gap has been measured and studied for decades. One fact has remained the same: White families build and accumulate more wealth more quickly than black and brown families do.

You've probably heard someone complain about an automated voice system that requires the caller to "Press 1 for English." The gripe usually includes a complaint about this being America and English being the official language.

Not quite; the U.S. does not have an official language. Never has. But it seems that a wide swath of the country strongly associates being "truly American" with speaking English.

Education Week

New figures from the non-profit education news organization Education Week detail the number of arrests in the nation's schools during the 2013-2014 school year.  Those figures include schools in Columbus and the rest of Ohio and show a disparity in the races of arrested students.

Barack Obama took to the podium in the press briefing room on Wednesday, the second-to-last day of the first black presidency, and after eight years of that becoming increasingly normal, the moment made it all start to seem strange again. So this whole black leader-of-the-free-world thing really happened, huh?

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