Equity & Justice

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

As of Jan. 20, 2021 — Inauguration Day — the federal government is about to get much more involved in health care and the COVID-19 pandemic response. Exactly how much more involved, now that Joe Biden is president-elect, depends on whether Republicans keep control of the Senate. And that likely won't be determined until early January, when Georgia's two Senate run-off races are held.

President Donald Trump and Joe Biden this year both looked to rally support among religious Americans, but the faith vote largely broke along familiar lines.

"The religious landscape in terms of voting has been remarkably stable," says Robert P. Jones, CEO of the Public Religion Research Institute. "Since Reagan, we have essentially seen this: white Christian voters have tended to support Republican candidates, and Christians of color and everyone else, including the religiously unaffiliated, have tended to support Democratic candidates."

Ruby Bridges is a real person who became an indelible image of American history.

She was that six year-old girl, painted by Norman Rockwell, who was escorted into school by stout U.S. marshals, when she became the first Black student at the William Frantz Elementary School in New Orleans on November 14, 1960.

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A top official at the New York City Police Department has been relieved of his command. As Sally Herships reports, he stands accused of posting racist and anti-Semitic messages to an online forum used by police.

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The four former Minneapolis police officers charged in the death of George Floyd will be tried together, a judge decided Thursday. He also rejected the former officer's requests to move the case outside of the Minneapolis area.

Who Is The White Vote?

Nov 5, 2020

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With the end of campaign season, we're going to hear a lot of conversation about the Latino vote or the Black vote. What you won't hear a lot about is the white vote. So I asked Gene Demby from NPR's Code Switch podcast team to come on the program and talk about why.

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Democrats' long-term hopes for electoral success have long cited the growing Latino population in the country. But former Vice President Joe Biden's performance in heavily Latino areas of key states has concerned members of his party — and may have cost him Electoral College votes, according to groups and activists working to mobilize Latino voters.

Nationally, Biden appears to have gotten support from roughly twice as many Latino voters as President Trump, but that support looked very different depending on where you looked in three key states with large Latino populations.

Philadelphia city officials on Wednesday released "traumatic" bodycam footage worn by the officers who fatally shot Walter Wallace Jr. last week, urging the public to remain calm as the city comes under national scrutiny for the shooting.

The Philadelphia Police Department also released multiple 911 calls made by neighbors and Wallace's own family, pleading for help as the 27-year-old experienced a violent psychological episode.

First-year medical student Sean Sweat "didn't want to tiptoe around" issues of race when she sat down with 11 of her classmates to write a new version of the medical profession's venerable Hippocratic oath.

"We start our medical journey amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, and a national civil rights movement reinvigorated by the killings of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery," begins the alternate version of the oath, rewritten for the class of 2024 at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

Elections come and go, but Supreme Court decisions can last forever. One of those potentially pivotal cases is before the court Wednesday. A case both poignant and profound, it pits the rights of a city to enforce its anti-discrimination policies in contracting against the rights of religious groups.

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This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross.

Civil rights groups in North Carolina are suing law enforcement in Alamance County over the police's pepper spraying of people in a march to the polls last weekend, alleging the action was taken to intimidate voters.

Two lawsuits — one by the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and the ACLU of North Carolina and the other by the NAACP Legal Defense Fund — were filed on Monday evening on behalf of some of the marchers, ahead of a repeat of the get-out-the-vote rally on Election Day in Graham, N.C.

A Wisconsin court commissioner on Monday set bail at $2 million for Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old accused of killing protesters in Kenosha, in his first court appearance in the state after being extradited from Illinois last week.

Rittenhouse is accused of fatally shooting two demonstrators and injuring a third during protests on Aug. 25 that followed the shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man who was shot several times at close range by Kenosha police and is now paralyzed.

Updated at 6:33 p.m. ET

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced parliament's newest ministers Monday, including the appointment of Nanaia Mahuta to the role of Minister of Foreign Affairs; the nation's first Indigenous woman to hold the position.

Updated on Friday, Nov. 6, 2020, at 3:30 pm ET:

After this article was published, a spokesperson for American Airlines told NPR in a statement that the airline is reviewing its weight limit on wheelchairs: "We apologize for the confusion and will ensure all customers can travel wherever American flies."


John Morris calls himself an "aviation geek." He's a frequent flyer who, in his power wheelchair, has traveled to 46 countries. His goal is to visit every country.

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In April, Yuh-Line Niou, a member of the New York State Assembly, was passing out KN95 masks in front of a Kosher deli in her district when she was verbally harassed by a stranger who approached her on the street.

"He said something like, 'You're the one who brought the virus here. I hope you die,' " she recalled. "It's horrifying. You're doing what you can to help people and everyone else wants you to die."

Police in Graham, N.C., moved in on a march and rally to drive voter turnout, using pepper spray and making several arrests on the state's last day of early voting.

According to video, police and participants, deputies with the Alamance County Sheriff's Office and Graham police officers twice used pepper spray on the "I Am Change" march to the polls.

On her new album, Uncivil War, blues singer Shemekia Copeland tells the story of what's thought to be the last slave ship to smuggle African captives to American shores, the Clotilda. On the centerpiece track, she sings:

She's coming for you, hear the chains rattle,
Turn you into a slave, another piece of chattel

This summer's massive protests over police brutality, spurred by the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others, demanded significant changes in policing.

Those protests have moved some cities and states to "reimagine" what departments could look like through changes in funding and legislation. Some efforts stalled, like in Minneapolis where George Floyd was killed.

Anthony McGill is a musician's musician. You might remember his performance with Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman and Gabriela Montero at President Obama's inauguration in 2009. You might have seen him leading the clarinet section at the New York Philharmonic, or as a soloist on stages around the world.

As some protesters smashed storefront windows to make off with merchandise during the chaos of Monday night's Walter Wallace Jr. protests, some Philadelphia Police officers smashed an SUV's windows and violently yanked out its driver and a teenaged passenger, threw them to the ground, then pulled a small child from the back seat.

The incident was captured on video and streamed live by Aapril Rice, who watched the "surreal" scene from a rooftop across the street.

Raleigh, N.C.'s mayor issued a citywide curfew Friday afternoon ahead of two planned protests over racial justice and police brutality.

Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin announced the curfew will begin at 10 p.m. and continue through Saturday, 5 a.m. citing the desire to keep the demonstrations under control. The curfew doesn't apply to law enforcement, medical personnel, delivery workers, and the media.

When Pope Francis named Archbishop Wilton Gregory as a future cardinal this week — making him the first Black American appointed as one — Gregory said he was "surprised" and "certainly deeply grateful."

Gregory, who currently serves as the archbishop of the Archdiocese of Washington, notes that he will be the first Black American cardinal in the Catholic Church, but not the first Black cardinal.

Every 30 seconds, a Latino turns 18 and becomes eligible to vote — and that's a huge reason why this year, for the first time, Latinos are projected to become the largest nonwhite voting demographic. This week's episode of Code Switch focused on these Generation Z Latinos — a fast-growing group of voters who could have a huge impact on the 2020 presidential election.

The Louisville police officer who was shot during the botched narcotics raid on Breonna Taylor's apartment has filed a countersuit against Taylor's boyfriend, Kenneth Walker.

The lawsuit, filed by Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly, says Walker committed battery, assault and intentional emotional distress.

Walker, a licensed gun owner, has said he believed intruders had entered the home.

But in the complaint, Mattingly's attorney says that Walker "willingly or maliciously" fired at the officer, who was struck in the femoral artery in his upper thigh.

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode Warped Reality

Data, numbers, algorithms are supposed to be neutral ... right? Computer scientist Joy Buolamwini discusses the way biased algorithms can lead to real-world inequality.

About Joy Buolamwini

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