🎧 Introducing ‘Charm City,’ a 5-Part Audio Series from ‘The Daily’ | New York Times

Listened to Introducing ‘Charm City,’ a 5-Part Audio Series from ‘The Daily’ by Sabrina Tavernise from nytimes.com

A year after the killing of Freddie Gray, a teenager in Baltimore was fatally shot by the police. This is the story of his life and death, and of a grieving family looking for answers.

[Read a transcript of Part 1 of the series.]

As soon as I heard Davetta Parker’s voice, I knew I had to meet her. Her grandson Lavar Montray Douglas, known as Nook, was among seven young people from one high school in Baltimore who were killed in the spasm of violence that shook the city after the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man who died of a severe spinal cord injury while in police custody.

I cold-called her. She was sitting at her desk in a Baltimore public library. She said, “I think God sent you to me.” She said that she had so many questions about the death of her grandson, who had been shot by a police officer, and that she needed someone to help investigate, because the police never did. She said that she had written letters to news channels and newspapers, but that no one had written back. And there I was on the phone.

My colleague Lynsea Garrison and I spent four months examining Nook’s case. It took us on a journey from a quiet back room in the central library, where we first met Ms. Parker and her daughter Lashanda Douglas, known as Toby, into the streets of Baltimore, to drug corners, living rooms and grand homes in the county.

We wanted to tell his story for the simple reason that events like these are rarely told, even though they have become ordinary. Nook and his friends — many of whom have also been killed — were typical for homicide victims in Baltimore. They all had records with serious crimes. But they were boys. Most hadn’t even turned 18. And the deeper question in our minds was: How did things get like this for them?

You’ll meet Ms. Parker and Ms. Douglas in Part 1. Every day this week, we’ll bring you a new chapter in the life of Nook and his family’s search for answers about his death.

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🎧 Introducing ‘Charm City,’ a 5-Part Audio Series from ‘The Daily’ | New York Times

Listened to Introducing ‘Charm City,’ a 5-Part Audio Series from ‘The Daily’ from nytimes.com

A year after the killing of Freddie Gray, a teenager in Baltimore was fatally shot by the police. This is the story of his life and death, and of a grieving family looking for answers.

[Read a transcript of Part 1 of the series.]

As soon as I heard Davetta Parker’s voice, I knew I had to meet her. Her grandson Lavar Montray Douglas, known as Nook, was among seven young people from one high school in Baltimore who were killed in the spasm of violence that shook the city after the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man who died of a severe spinal cord injury while in police custody.

I cold-called her. She was sitting at her desk in a Baltimore public library. She said, “I think God sent you to me.” She said that she had so many questions about the death of her grandson, who had been shot by a police officer, and that she needed someone to help investigate, because the police never did. She said that she had written letters to news channels and newspapers, but that no one had written back. And there I was on the phone.

My colleague Lynsea Garrison and I spent four months examining Nook’s case. It took us on a journey from a quiet back room in the central library, where we first met Ms. Parker and her daughter Lashanda Douglas, known as Toby, into the streets of Baltimore, to drug corners, living rooms and grand homes in the county.

We wanted to tell his story for the simple reason that events like these are rarely told, even though they have become ordinary. Nook and his friends — many of whom have also been killed — were typical for homicide victims in Baltimore. They all had records with serious crimes. But they were boys. Most hadn’t even turned 18. And the deeper question in our minds was: How did things get like this for them?

You’ll meet Ms. Parker and Ms. Douglas in Part 1. Every day this week, we’ll bring you a new chapter in the life of Nook and his family’s search for answers about his death.

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🎧 ‘The Daily’: Was Kevin Cooper Framed for Murder? | New York Times

Listened to ‘The Daily’: Was Kevin Cooper Framed for Murder? by Michael Barbaro from nytimes.com

The sole survivor of an attack in which four people were murdered identified the perpetrators as three white men. The police ignored suspects who fit the description and arrested a young black man instead. He is now awaiting execution.

On today’s episode:

• Kevin Cooper, who has been on death row at San Quentin State Prison in California for three decades.

• Nicholas Kristof, a New York Times columnist who has written about Mr. Cooper’s case.

Background reading:

• The evidence against Mr. Cooper has largely been discredited, but Gov. Jerry Brown of California has refused to allow advanced DNA testing that may shed light on the case.

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👓 ‘Roseanne’ Canceled by ABC Hours After Racist Tweet by Roseanne Barr | New York Times

Read Roseanne Barr Incites Fury With Racist Tweet, and Her Show Is Canceled by ABC (nytimes.com)
Ms. Barr cited “The Planet of the Apes” in discussing Valerie Jarrett, a black woman and former adviser to President Barack Obama. ABC Entertainment’s president called it “abhorrent.”

 

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👓 As He Heads Back To Prison, A Nashville Man Says 'Goodbye' To The New Life He Hoped To Build | Nashville Public Radio

Read As He Heads Back To Prison, A Nashville Man Says 'Goodbye' To The New Life He Hoped To Build (nashvillepublicradio.org)
When a Nashville man named Matthew Charles was released from prison early in 2016 after a sentence reduction, he’d spent almost half his life behind bars.
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🎧 ‘The Daily’: A Life-or-Death Crisis for Black Mothers | New York TImes

Listened to ‘The Daily’: A Life-or-Death Crisis for Black Mothers by Michael Barbaro from nytimes.com

Black mothers and infants in the United States are far more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than their white counterparts. The disparity is tied intrinsically to the lived experience of being a black woman in America.

On today’s episode:

  • Linda Villarosa, a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine.
  • Simone Landrum, a young mother in New Orleans.

Background reading:

The story in this episode is a superb and emotional follow-on of an excellent NPR/ProPublica story I read back in December. We need more stories like this.

I nearly had a panic attack while listening to this. The disparities in parts of America are so painful and distressing and we can, could, and should be doing more to improve them.

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🎧 Episode 09 Generous Orthodoxy | Revisionist History

Listened to Episode 09 Generous Orthodoxy by Malcolm GladwellMalcolm Gladwell from Revisionist History

A pastor officiates at the wedding of his son—under ordinary circumstances, an affirmation of family and community. But what if the son is gay? And what if the pastor belongs to the most traditional of religious communities?

“Generous Orthodoxy” is the story of Chester Wenger, a 98-year-old Mennonite minister who chose to confront his own church over a question of deepest principle. It asks: What do you do when the institution that has defined your life comes between you and your family? Wenger offers all of us a master class in the art of dissent.

Chester Wenger’s Letter

Generous orthodoxy is a truly intriguing idea.

I like the example he also provides regarding Princeton University and Woodrow Wilson, whose reputation is now waning in comparison to where it was just a few decades ago. I suspect that Gladwell’s protest idea would have worked much better, particularly in light of the recent 60 Minutes segment I saw recently: ‘60 Minutes’ features Princeton’s transformative efforts to increase socioeconomic diversity

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🎧 Mitch Landrieu | The Atlantic Interview

Listened to Mitch Landrieu by Jeffrey Goldberg from The Atlantic Interview
A white southern mayor confronts the history in his city.

"There is a difference between remembrance of history and reverence of it," said New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu in his now-famous speech in May of 2017. As Landrieu said those words, city workers a few blocks away uprooted an enormous statue of Robert E. Lee – the last of four Confederate monuments the mayor removed from the city after a years-long process. In a conversation with The Atlantic's editor in chief Jeffrey Goldberg, Landrieu discusses the politics of race in the south, his grappling with history as a white southerner, and his own family’s connection to the story of civil rights in America.

I miss the days when I had a seemingly unending backlog of episodes to listen to. Now I just wait with bated breath for them to be released.

I love extended interviews on small topics like this one. This does a really good job of taking a look at some of the broader details behind removing Confederate statues in New Orleans.

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🎧 ‘The Daily’: Racism’s Punishing Reach | The New York Times

Listened to ‘The Daily’: Racism’s Punishing Reach by Michael Barbaro from nytimes.com
For decades, Americans have believed that the best way to end racial inequality is to end class inequality. But a landmark 30-year study is debunking that logic.



On today’s episode:
• Emily Badger writes about cities and urban policy for The Upshot, The New York Times’s data-driven venture.
• William O. Jawando worked in the Obama administration on My Brother’s Keeper, a mentoring initiative for black boys.

Background reading:
• Extensive data shows the punishing reach of racism for black boys.

Is there no humanity left in the world? The more I see and hear of the world, the more I want to remove the positive connotation that the word humanity is frequently assigned.

This story is both very powerful and painfully depressing for me, and yet I know there are many that are still far worse. I hope we can find something in these statistics that can help drastically improve the paying field.

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👓 Florida Teacher Says Her Racist Podcast Was ‘Satire’ | New York Times

Read Florida Teacher Says Her Racist Podcast Was ‘Satire’ by Matt Stevens (nytimes.com)
School officials called the podcast “concerning” and said the teacher had been removed from the classroom.

Sure it was satire–that’s why you quickly deleted ALL of your social media profiles when contacted by the press the first time. Sad to hear that your 15 minutes of fame is going to be so damaging to your career.

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👓 Exclusive: Florida Public School Teacher Has A White Nationalist Podcast | Huffington Post

Read Exclusive: Florida Public School Teacher Has A White Nationalist Podcast by Christopher Mathias, Jenna Amatulli, and Rebecca Klein (HuffPost)
Dayanna Volitich suggests Muslims be eradicated from the earth, believes anti-Semitic conspiracy theories ... and teaches middle school social studies.

We need a whole lot more reporting like this to get people out of the dark corners of society.

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👓 Black Mothers Keep Dying After Giving Birth. Shalon Irving’s Story Explains Why | NRP

Read Black Mothers Keep Dying After Giving Birth. Shalon Irving's Story Explains Why (NPR.org)
Black women are three times more likely to die from complications of childbirth than white women in the U.S. Racism, and the stress it causes, can play a leading role in that disparity.

What a painful story…

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👓 Las Vegas Is Only the Deadliest Shooting in US History Because They Don’t Count Black Lives | The Root

Read Las Vegas Is Only the Deadliest Shooting in US History Because They Don’t Count Black Lives by Michael Harriot (The Root)
News reporters and anchors have repeatedly referred to the recent tragedy in Las Vegas as the “worst mass shooting in U.S. history.” Like all things that are constantly repeated, the proclamation has become fact.

There’s some great history here. It reminds me about the podcast Seeing White which I’ve been listening to recently.

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🎧 Seeing White, part 7: Chenjerai’s Challenge | Scene on Radio (episode 37)

Listened to Seeing White, episode 37: Chenjerai’s Challenge from Scene on Radio
“How attached are you to the idea of being white?” Chenjerai Kumanyika puts that question to host John Biewen, as they revisit an unfinished conversation from a previous episode. Part 7 of our series, Seeing White.

Relistened to this episode as a prelude to getting back into it after a long summer. Glad that there are so many more episodes to catch up on.

Composite image: Chenjerai Kumanyika, left; photo by Danusia Trevino. And John Biewen, photo by Ewa Pohl.

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👓 White nationalists are flocking to genetic ancestry tests — but many don’t like their results | Stat News

Read White nationalists are flocking to genetic ancestry tests. Some don’t like what they find by Eric Boodman (Stat News)
It was a strange moment of triumph against racism: The gun-slinging white supremacist Craig Cobb, dressed up for daytime TV in a dark suit and red tie, hearing that his DNA testing revealed his ancestry to be only “86 percent European, and … 14 percent Sub-Saharan African.” The studio audience whooped and laughed and cheered. And Cobb — who was, in 2013, charged with terrorizing people while trying to create an all-white enclave in North Dakota — reacted like a sore loser in the schoolyard. “Wait a minute, wait a minute, hold on, just wait a minute,” he said, trying to put on an all-knowing smile. “This is called statistical noise.”
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