Gene Demby http://wrvo.org en What We Talk About When We Talk About Violence In Chicago http://wrvo.org/post/what-we-talk-about-when-we-talk-about-violence-chicago We have a default template for the way we process mass shootings. We scour through every available scrap of the perpetrators' interior lives – Facebook postings, YouTube videos, interviews with former roommates — to try to find out what drove them to kill. The sites of the massacres become a kind of shorthand: Columbine, Sandy Hook, Fort Hood. Sat, 12 Jul 2014 12:03:00 +0000 Gene Demby 58776 at http://wrvo.org What We Talk About When We Talk About Violence In Chicago Dress Codes Are Open To Interpretation — And A Lot Of Contention http://wrvo.org/post/dress-codes-are-open-interpretation-and-lot-contention <a href="http://www.myfoxtwincities.com/story/25951237/bar-louies-dress-code-policy-denounced-as-overtly-racist">A Minneapolis nightspot</a> called Bar Louie landed in the news after some local residents took issue with its new dress code.<p><em>No flat-billed hats. No long white T-shirts. No large chains. No sleeveless under shirts. No athletic apparel. No sports jerseys without collars. Thu, 10 Jul 2014 18:17:00 +0000 Gene Demby 58677 at http://wrvo.org Dress Codes Are Open To Interpretation — And A Lot Of Contention Some Of Us Sacrifice More To Stay In Home Sweet Home http://wrvo.org/post/some-us-sacrifice-more-stay-home-sweet-home If it seems like we talk about housing a lot on Code Switch, it's because we do. But the fact is it's really hard to talk about all the ways race correlates to different outcomes — in health or education, say— without talking about where people live. Take household wealth, for example: The major reason whites have so much more of it is because of how much likelier they are not just to own homes, but to own homes in places where that property might appreciate in value. Sat, 21 Jun 2014 18:41:00 +0000 Gene Demby 57714 at http://wrvo.org Some Of Us Sacrifice More To Stay In Home Sweet Home In Historic First, Native American Brothers Win Lacrosse Trophy http://wrvo.org/post/historic-first-native-american-brothers-win-lacrosse-trophy The Tewaaraton Award is college lacrosse's equivalent of the Heisman Trophy, given to the best player in the country each year. The award takes its name from the Mohawk word for lacrosse, as a way to honor the sport's Native American origins. The bronze trophy depicts a Mohawk man with a lacrosse stick, surging forward.<p>But no Native player had ever won the award before Thursday night's ceremony at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. Fri, 30 May 2014 16:45:00 +0000 Gene Demby 56591 at http://wrvo.org In Historic First, Native American Brothers Win Lacrosse Trophy In College Lacrosse, Two Brothers Flirt With Making History http://wrvo.org/post/college-lacrosse-two-brothers-flirt-making-history <em>UPDATE: The Tewaaraton Award was given Thursday night to both Miles and Lyle Thompson. Wed, 28 May 2014 23:26:00 +0000 Gene Demby 56496 at http://wrvo.org In College Lacrosse, Two Brothers Flirt With Making History How Donald Sterling Violated The NBA's Unspoken Social Contract http://wrvo.org/post/how-donald-sterling-violated-nbas-unspoken-social-contract <em>We play for each other, for our fans, and for our families — not Donald Sterling.</em><p>That was the general message that players for the Los Angeles Clippers reiterated, off-mic, when the Sterling fiasco blew up over the weekend. They were being buffeted by questions about how, exactly, they might respond to allegations that Sterling, the team owner, had been recorded saying that he did not want black people to attend his team's games. <em>Would they boycott? Would they be focused enough to be able to play? Tue, 29 Apr 2014 20:16:00 +0000 Gene Demby 55027 at http://wrvo.org How Donald Sterling Violated The NBA's Unspoken Social Contract What Exactly Qualifies As 'Racist,' Anyway? http://wrvo.org/post/what-exactly-qualifies-racist-anyway Meet Cliven Bundy, a 67-year-old Nevada rancher and the latest person in public life recorded making pretty racist comments, only to later insist that<a href="http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2014/03/paul_ryan_s_inner_city_males_comment_the_republican_congressman_says_he.html"> they lack racist bones</a>.<p>Over the past few weeks, Bundy has garnered huge amounts of media coverage and plaudits among some conservatives for defying the federal government. Fri, 25 Apr 2014 11:03:00 +0000 Gene Demby 54829 at http://wrvo.org What Exactly Qualifies As 'Racist,' Anyway? Revisiting Pulitzer Nominees That Touch On Issues Of Race http://wrvo.org/post/revisiting-pulitzer-nominees-touch-issues-race This week, Columbia University handed out the Pulitzer Prizes, which are widely considered among the highest honors in journalism. The occasion gives us a good excuse to shout-out some of the finalists and winning entries that touch on issues of race and culture. Wed, 16 Apr 2014 13:32:00 +0000 Gene Demby 54354 at http://wrvo.org Revisiting Pulitzer Nominees That Touch On Issues Of Race Another Murder Case In Florida Sparks National Outrage http://wrvo.org/post/another-murder-case-florida-sparks-national-outrage The Michael Dunn case is of a type that we see with harrowing regularity. An unarmed black man is shot and killed by a police officer or a white person. The shooter says he felt threatened.<p>The way we talk about those cases follows a pattern, too. The conversation quickly becomes about politics, about race, and the messy intersection of the two. Stand Your Ground. Stop and Frisk. The War on Drugs. All these things snowball into each other, and while the trials of their shooters are about the particulars of their cases, they are also about all the other gruesome cases that came before them. Wed, 19 Feb 2014 09:58:00 +0000 Gene Demby 51564 at http://wrvo.org Another Murder Case In Florida Sparks National Outrage Is A 'Pathway To Citizenship' The Right Concern? http://wrvo.org/post/pathway-citizenship-right-concern Much of the debate over whether and how to overhaul the country's immigration policy has hinged on whether and how to create a pathway to citizenship. But a majority of Latinos now say that's less important for unauthorized immigrants than giving them relief from the threat of deportation.<p>That finding comes from a Pew report based on <a href="http://www.pewhispanic.org/2013/12/19/on-immigration-policy-deportation-relief-seen-as-more-important-than-citizenship/">new surveys of Latinos and Asian-Americans</a>, who together make up about two-thirds of all the legal immigrants in the U.S. Thu, 19 Dec 2013 20:50:00 +0000 Gene Demby 48831 at http://wrvo.org Is A 'Pathway To Citizenship' The Right Concern? Code Switch Roundup: Status Symbols, Sriracha And Soul Food http://wrvo.org/post/code-switch-roundup-status-symbols-sriracha-and-soul-food <em>Here are some things we've been musing on over the last few days. Share yours on Twitter or shout us out in the comments below.</em><p><strong>"We shine because they hate us/floss 'cuz they degrade us.</strong>" After two young, black customers accused the high-end retailer Barneys of racially profiling them after they made expensive purchases there, those customers themselves came in for criticism. Thu, 31 Oct 2013 17:09:00 +0000 Gene Demby 46462 at http://wrvo.org Code Switch Roundup: Status Symbols, Sriracha And Soul Food When Will We Stop Side-Eyeing Relatives Who Don't 'Match'? http://wrvo.org/post/when-will-we-stop-side-eyeing-relatives-who-dont-match Last week, <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/codeswitch/2013/10/25/240865629/roma-children-removals-make-us-wonder-what-family-looks-like">folks told us that that they found odd resonances in their lives</a> with the stories of several Roma children in Europe who'd separated from their families. Like those blond, blue-eyed Roma children in darker-skinned, dark-haired families, people said that their own familial bonds had occasionally come under suspicion from strangers, who thought there was a "racial mismatch" between parent and child. Tue, 29 Oct 2013 18:22:00 +0000 Gene Demby 46349 at http://wrvo.org When Will We Stop Side-Eyeing Relatives Who Don't 'Match'? Remembering The Woman Who Gave Motown Its Charm http://wrvo.org/post/remembering-woman-who-gave-motown-its-charm In 2007, decades after Maxine Powell had retired from training a generation of black artists at Motown, <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vIZCG0auxzY">a reporter from a Cleveland television station asked</a> her whether anyone had been particularly difficult to work with.<p>Powell cut her off before she finished. "I don't have that," she said. "No one is difficult. Each person is a beautiful, unique human being. So if you have a problem and you're acting negative, you have been conditioned."<p>She went on. Tue, 15 Oct 2013 19:57:00 +0000 Gene Demby 45679 at http://wrvo.org Remembering The Woman Who Gave Motown Its Charm Howard's President Steps Down Amid Tumult And Uncertainty http://wrvo.org/post/howards-president-steps-down-amid-tumult-and-uncertainty Is Howard University facing an existential crisis?<p>The Washington, D.C., institution, which is arguably the country's most prominent historically black university, has been buffeted by a tough economy and seeming dissent amongst its leadership. Tuesday, Sidney Ribeau, who'd been the university's president since 2008, <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/howard-university-president-ribeau-retires/2013/10/01/8d2f4004-27ac-11e3-b75d-5b7f66349852_story.html">announced he was stepping down</a> but maintained that Howard was in solid shape. Wed, 02 Oct 2013 22:20:00 +0000 Gene Demby 45077 at http://wrvo.org Howard's President Steps Down Amid Tumult And Uncertainty Who's Really Left Out Of The CrossFit Circle http://wrvo.org/post/whos-really-left-out-crossfit-circle Last week, the headquarters for CrossFit, the popular — and polarizing — workout genre, shared an item on its Facebook page from a blog called Stuff Black People Don't Like.<p>And according to an <a href="http://stuffblackpeopledontlike.blogspot.com/2013/02/787-crossfit.html">entry from February</a> on the Stuff Black People Don't Like blog, CrossFit is anti-black:<p><blockquote><p>"Crossfit 'boxes' usually charge expensive membership fees and boast a mostly white clientele. A list of Crossfit Games champions and competitors reveals a veritable whitopia. Sun, 15 Sep 2013 20:18:00 +0000 Gene Demby 44192 at http://wrvo.org Who's Really Left Out Of The CrossFit Circle New York Man Killed By Attacker In Possible Hate Crime http://wrvo.org/post/new-york-man-killed-attacker-possible-hate-crime Jeffrey Babbitt <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/10/nyregion/friends-mourn-man-fatally-assaulted-in-union-square-park.html">was walking through Union Square last Wednesday</a>, near the Manhattan comic book store that he'd been going to for years, when he had a fatal chance encounter with a stranger.<p>The stranger was a man named <del>Lashawn Marten</del>Martin Redrick, who had a history of trouble with the law and had been living in a facility for homeless people with mental illnesses. Tue, 10 Sep 2013 19:36:00 +0000 Gene Demby 43933 at http://wrvo.org New York Man Killed By Attacker In Possible Hate Crime The Dream 9 Pushes The Envelope (And Their Allies' Buttons) http://wrvo.org/post/dream-9-pushes-envelope-and-their-allies-buttons The national conversation around immigration has shifted dramatically over the past decade. That's in large part because of activists who have pushed to change the narrative around the undocumented.<p>"If you asked your typical soccer mom what she thought of an unauthorized immigrant, she says, 'Well, I think of Mexicans running across the border on Fox News,' " said Tamar Jacoby, who runs <a href="http://www.immigrationworksusa.org/">ImmigrationWorks USA</a>, a think tank that advocates for changes to immigration law. Tue, 20 Aug 2013 15:29:00 +0000 Gene Demby 42892 at http://wrvo.org The Dream 9 Pushes The Envelope (And Their Allies' Buttons) For a Stop-And-Frisk Plaintiff, A 'Heartbreaking' Birthday http://wrvo.org/post/stop-and-frisk-plaintiff-heartbreaking-birthday Not long ago, <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/codeswitch/2013/07/15/202049199/What-Did-You-Tell-Your-Kids-After-The-Zimmerman-Acquittal">we wrote about The Talk</a>, the conversation that many young men of color get from their parents about how to manage being seen as suspicious and navigate fraught encounters with police officers. It's why Nicholas Peart's story resonated with us. Peart, who lives in Harlem, was one of the plaintiffs in New York City's big stop-and-frisk case. Tue, 13 Aug 2013 21:54:00 +0000 Gene Demby 42586 at http://wrvo.org For a Stop-And-Frisk Plaintiff, A 'Heartbreaking' Birthday Read The Most Important Bits From NYC's Stop-And-Frisk Ruling http://wrvo.org/post/read-most-important-bits-big-stop-and-frisk-ruling Judge Shira Scheindlin <a href="http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2013/05/27/130527fa_fact_toobin">has earned a reputation</a> as an outspoken defender of civil liberties and a recurring foil for the New York City police. In her ruling in the closely watched stop-and-frisk case, Scheindlin criticized the police, and said the department discriminated against blacks and Latinos. She also said the police force has long ignored complaints about the way the tactic has been carried out. Tue, 13 Aug 2013 20:11:00 +0000 Gene Demby 42573 at http://wrvo.org Read The Most Important Bits From NYC's Stop-And-Frisk Ruling How Would You Kill The N-Word? http://wrvo.org/post/how-would-you-kill-n-word <em>We've decided to take a weekly look at a word or phrase that's caught our attention, whether for its history, usage, etymology or just because it has an interesting story. </em><strong></strong><p>NOTE TO READERS:<em> This is a post about one of the harshest racial slurs in American English. In the interest of forthrightness, we're going to use the slur throughout this essay. In other words, you'll see "nigger" used throughout the essay. We understand that the word is upsetting, so we wanted to offer people a chance to opt out now</em><p>You can set your watch to it. Tue, 13 Aug 2013 12:08:00 +0000 Gene Demby 42547 at http://wrvo.org How Would You Kill The N-Word? Who Will Be Our First Fake Latina President? http://wrvo.org/post/who-will-be-our-first-fake-latina-president Jamie Foxx is Hollywood's latest black president.<p>In <em>White House Down</em>, which opened last Friday, Jamie Foxx plays the president of the United States, who teams up with a Capitol police officer, played by Channing Tatum, and battles terrorists who have taken over the White House. (As the A.V. Club <a href="http://www.avclub.com/articles/white-house-down,99467/">points out</a>, this is at least the third time that director Roland Emmerich has laid waste to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.)<p>The list of black presidents in Hollywood is actually pretty long. Fri, 05 Jul 2013 11:03:00 +0000 Gene Demby 40587 at http://wrvo.org Who Will Be Our First Fake Latina President? Jeah! We Mapped Out The 4 Basic Aspects Of Being A 'Bro' http://wrvo.org/post/jeah-we-mapped-out-four-basic-aspects-being-bro <em>What up, bro? What's good, brah?</em><p>This is the chant of the bro, an equally parodied and celebrated genus of young men. (They've been designated "bros" mostly because, well, they say "bro" a whole lot.)<p>The usage of "bro" as a term of endearment isn't new, obviously. Fri, 21 Jun 2013 11:44:00 +0000 Gene Demby 39929 at http://wrvo.org Jeah! We Mapped Out The 4 Basic Aspects Of Being A 'Bro' The Many Different Faces Of Marijuana In America http://wrvo.org/post/many-different-faces-marijuana-america On Tuesday, Vermont moved to decriminalize the possession of marijuana for quantities up to an ounce, replacing potential prison time for arrests with fines.<p>Peter Shumlin, the state's governor, made a telling <a href="http://news.yahoo.com/vermont-moves-toward-decriminalizing-small-amounts-marijuana-185348721.html">distinction between weed and "harder" drugs</a> when he announced the move. Wed, 12 Jun 2013 14:26:00 +0000 Gene Demby 39409 at http://wrvo.org The Many Different Faces Of Marijuana In America So Single Black Men Want Commitment. Really? http://wrvo.org/post/so-single-black-men-want-commitment-really We recently found that single black men were much more likely to say they were looking for a long-term relationship (43 percent) compared to single black women (25 percent).<p>Those numbers come from our <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/codeswitch/2013/06/04/188301149/new-survey-takes-a-snapshot-of-the-view-from-black-america">big poll of African-Americans</a>' views of their lives and communities (the poll was conducted by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health). Sat, 08 Jun 2013 11:03:00 +0000 Gene Demby 39213 at http://wrvo.org So Single Black Men Want Commitment. Really? After A Mass Shooting, New Orleanians Rally Around A Local Tradition http://wrvo.org/post/after-mass-shooting-new-orleanians-rally-around-local-tradition <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owAvYNY6WPc</p><p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0YRGxNFxLig</p><p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1XS4znegAFE</p> Tue, 14 May 2013 19:56:00 +0000 Gene Demby 37819 at http://wrvo.org After A Mass Shooting, New Orleanians Rally Around A Local Tradition