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White supremacy is alive and well: Ta-Nehisi Coates and the case for reparations

Ta-Nehisi Coates, a senior editor at The Atlantic magazine, thinks it’s time for a bold step to change the way we talk and think about race in America. This week, Bill speaks to Coates about his June cover story for the magazine, provocatively titled “The Case for Reparations.” In it, Coates argues that we have to dig deeper into our past and the original sin of slavery, confronting the institutional racism that continues to pervade society. From the lynching tree to today’s mass incarceration of young African-Americans, he says we need to examine our motives more intently and reconcile the moral debt and economic damage inflicted upon generations of black Americans.

For one, Coates points to a century of racist and exploitive housing policies that made it hard for African-Americans to own homes and forced them to live in poorer neighborhoods with unequal access to a good education, resulting in a major wealth gap between black and white. In fact, the median wealth of white households is 20 times that of black households, according to a Pew Research Center study.

Omar Akbar aka Labtekwon: Swinging Swords & Fighting Off the Gentrification of Hip Hop

We sat down with Omar for an insightful interview focusing on both his long tenure in Hip Hop and how he has evolved himself and his craft over the years. For those who don’t know he’s 40 albums deep and celebrating his 20th anniversary producing and recording music. Yes you read that right he’s 40 albums deep in the game and has for most part has kept it independent. He noted its important to keep growing and not be caught in a time matrix of the Golden Era which he claims far too many are stuck in.

So will Labtekwon show up on the Billboard charts or at the next BET Awards show? Probably not, but step into the City of Baltimore and they know his name well. He’s a fixture in the city and his music and overall vibe that reflects its long and rich music history and traditions.

Emory hires first African-American woman to lead top business school

Erika Hayes James, a former senior associate dean for executive education at the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration at the University of Virginia, will assume her new role at Emory on July 15. James earned her Ph.D. in organizational psychology from the University of Michigan and built a career by connecting her knowledge of organizational psychology with executive leadership. She also has served as a consultant to several Fortune 500 companies, according to the Emory announcement.

While three minority women are currently deans at American colleges of business, James will be the first to lead a full-time MBA program at a top-25 business school, according to the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. The full-time MBA program at Goizueta is ranked No. 1 by Bloomberg BusinessWeek for job placement. Four of the school’s degree programs rank in the top 25.

Claire Sterk, the provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at Emory, made it clear that James’ race and gender were not driving factors in the school’s hiring decision. Breaking a glass ceiling of sorts by bringing her into the top business school role is just a bonus, she said.

White People Commit the Most Heinous Crimes, So Why Is America Terrified of Black Men?

Underlying much of that subconscious racial bias is the most enduring, corrosive racial stereotype in America: the black-as-criminal mindset. Historian David Levering summarizes it: “W hites commit crimes but blacks are criminals.” While whites can and do commit a great deal of minor and major crimes, the race as a whole is never tainted by those acts. But when blacks violate the law, all members of the race are considered suspect. I used to anchor a show on Court TV, and when we heard about a new arrest for some horrific crime, my African American co-host would whisper, “Please don’t let him be black.” It would never enter my mind to wish that a bad guy not be white, because no matter how sick the crime, other members of the white race are not impugned.

Remember Zimmerman’s false syllogism? A few blacks committed burglary, Trayvon was black, therefore Trayvon was a criminal. Similar logic is used daily in the assumptions police and citizens make about African Americans, especially young males.

The black-man-as-criminal stereotype runs deep. The archetype is so prevalent that the majority of whites and African Americans agreed with the statement “blacks are aggressive or violent” in a national survey. In support of these findings, other research indicates that the public generally associates violent street crime with African Americans. Other nationwide research has shown that the public perceives that blacks are involved in a greater percentage of violent crime than official statistics indicate they actually are.

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