Equity & Justice

Race, Ethnicity, Gender, Culture, Income, and Justice

School Technology: Pros Outweigh Cons?

Sep 23, 2013

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Is A Government Shutdown Good For Anyone?

Sep 23, 2013

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Who Is al-Shabab?

Sep 23, 2013

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Escaping The Kenya Mall Attack

Sep 23, 2013

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Is It Racist To 'Call A Spade A Spade'?

Sep 23, 2013

What happens when a perfectly innocuous phrase takes on a more sinister meaning over time?

Case in point, the expression "to call a spade a spade." For almost half a millennium, the phrase has served as a demand to "tell it like it is." It is only in the past century that the phrase began to acquire a negative, racial overtone.

Omar Hammami grew up in the small of town of Daphne, Ala., but ended up in southern Somalia on the FBI's Most Wanted Terrorist list. Last week, Hammami was reportedly killed by members of al-Shabab, the al-Qaida-linked militant group, after a falling out with its leadership.

Earlier this week, a school in Hartford, Conn., made headlines after parents complained about its, uh, novel approach at making America's racial history resonate with seventh graders.

A white supremacist has plans to take over a tiny town in North Dakota and turn it into one for whites only. This weekend, members of one of the nation's largest neo-Nazi organizations will descend upon the town in a step toward making that vision a reality — and several residents are trying to stop them.

Grand Theft Auto's Music Sets The Tone

Sep 20, 2013

The latest entrant into the Grand Theft Auto franchise dropped this week, raking in an obscene $800 million in sales in just its first day. That's a whole lot of money and ignored spouses.

Tell Me More: Dispatches From #Latism

Sep 20, 2013

Hundreds of bloggers, coders and tech enthusiasts are in New York this week attending the Latinos in Tech Innovation & Social Media #LATISM conference. Here's a dispatch from Tell Me More's senior producer, Davar Ardalan

Oscar Torres

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Insider: 'Nobody Wins' In Budget Showdown

Sep 20, 2013

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Is Public Numb To Mass Shootings?

Sep 20, 2013

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If you're on Twitter, you might want to think twice before bragging about all those followers you've been racking up. Some of the people who follow you might be fake — and there are now websites designed to expose them.

NPR's product manager for social media, Kate Myers, talks to Tell Me More's Michel Martin about how to spot fake accounts, why they might be following you and what you can do to stop them.


Interview Highlights

On tallying fake Twitter followers

Don Cheadle may be one of Hollywood's quietest superstars. He was known for having high impact in supporting roles before Hotel Rwanda catapulted him to fame. He earned an Oscar nomination for playing the real-life hotel manager who protected more than a thousand Tutsis from the Hutu militia during the Rwandan civil war. Cheadle appeared in other critical and box office hits like Crash and Flight. He's now earned an Emmy nomination for his role in the TV show House of Lies.

The little plastic sample tray is empty, but the man behind the counter quickly replaces it with one full of a mooncake cut into teeny-tiny pieces. I grab a piece (OK, a couple) before the jostling crowd behind me can get to it. Samples are, after all, the only reason to visit Costco in the middle of a Sunday. There's a large display of square tins, each decorated with a painting of a Chinese man. I take one back to my mother and ask, "Can we get one?"

War On Poverty Still Worth Fighting?

Sep 19, 2013

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Sesame Street kicked off its new season this week, and it's putting a special focus on Hispanic heritage. There's also a new character on the block: Armando (also known as Mando). He's played by actor Ismael Cruz Cordova, who was born and raised in Puerto Rico. He earned a bachelor's in fine arts from New York University and has appeared in several films and the CBS drama The Good Wife. He's currently performing off-Broadway.

During one of our morning editorial meetings here at Code Switch, we chuckled heartily at this bit from Dave Chappelle's ongoing comeback tour. In this recording, Chappelle was recalling a conversation with a mixed-race couple in the front row of a recent performance. The comedian wanted to know: Where are you from?*

"The wife was obviously Asian. The husband his [expletive] was more mysterious. Might have been Mexican, might have been from Bangladesh — could have gone a lot of different ways.

What Does 'American' Beauty Look Like?

Sep 18, 2013

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Pitbull On Music From His Latino Side

Sep 18, 2013

Cuban-American rapper Pitbull shares some of his favorite songs for Tell Me More's regular 'In Your Ear' segment.

One of his favorite songs is Nuestro Dia (Ya Viene Llegando) by Willy Chirino. "It's all about the story, the struggle and the hustle that a lot of Cubans go through to enjoy the freedom, liberties and opportunities that the United States has to offer," says Pitbull. He's proud of Chirino, and says the song keeps him grounded.


Pitbull's Playlist

September by Earth, Wind & Fire

Miss New York, Nina Davuluri, took the crown in this year's Miss America beauty pageant. It was the 87th year of the competition, and Davuluri was one of two Asian-Americans in the final round. Although she's just a few days into her reign, Davuluri has already made history. She's the first Indian-American Miss America.

Her win highlights how far the U.S. has come, but also how far the country has to go: Racist tweets flooded in on Twitter right after her victory.

Students at the University of Alabama and community leaders are reacting to allegations that white sororities denied access to black women because of their race.

The student newspaper in Tuscaloosa, the Crimson White, ran a story that quotes sorority members who say they wanted to recruit at least two black candidates but the students' names were removed before members could vote on them.

Editor's note: Fair warning — this essay is, in part, about Spanish profanities, and it includes several.

The man who taught me to swear in Cuban died last week.

This story comes to us from our friends at the science desk. They produced the 7-minute video documentary you see above.

"Modern-day rappers — all they talk about is money, and all these unnecessary and irrelevant topics," says Victoria Richardson, a freshman at Bronx Compass High School. Richardson's rhymes tackle a much less-popular subject: DNA.

We Need to Talk

Aug 7, 2013

Do you code switch?

Is the way that you speak to a business associate different than how you catch up with a friend?  Do you talk to the opposite sex differently?  How do you address people of other races?  NPR has launched a new effort examining the overlapping themes of race, ethnicity and culture, how they play out in our lives and communities, and how all of this is shifting.

Who, Exactly, Is A Gringo?

Aug 7, 2013

A college classmate asked me, "Where are you from?"

I gave him the long answer: I was born in Guatemala, but my mother is from Nicaragua, and I have lived in the U.S. my whole life.

"So, you're Guatemalan," he said. No, I'm not.

I may have been born in Guatemala, but I was raised in Florida. Regardless of the fact that I have lived in the U.S. since I was 2 years old, most Americans would find it strange to hear my grandma occasionally call me media gringa -- a half-gringa.

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