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How we realized we needed to question other people's biases

43 minutes ago
Early in her career as a college administrator, Yoshiko Harden gave a professional presentation and this is the response she got. Her daughter, Leila Abe, interviews her for this podcast
KUOW PHOTO

Everyday we encounter things we don’t question and just accept. Things like stop signs: why are they octagons? And fire trucks: why are they red? At first, these things don’t seem significant, but do they give us an inside view on how we see the rest of the world?

Take awkward social interactions, for example. How do we know if they're awkward because of race? In this RadioActive podcast, we explore the concepts of implicit bias and social behavior, and how that plays out for different people in everyday life.

"Hearing it changed everything for me," former White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman told NPR on Friday.

Manigault Newman was referring to what she calls the "N-word tape" — a long-rumored but never surfaced tape of Donald Trump on the set of The Apprentice allegedly using the racial slur. In her interview with NPR's Rachel Martin, Manigault Newman claims to have heard the tape and heard Trump using that slur on the tape.

But that's not what it says in her tell-all book, Unhinged, due out on Tuesday.

Salenna Green, second from left, waits backstage before performing at the Respect The Culture fashion show during the Umoja Fest on Saturday, August 4, 2018, at Judkins Park in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

As the Blue Angels flew overhead, hundreds gathered on Saturday to attend the Umoja Festival and African American Day parade. Umoja, which means "unity" in Swahili, is a festival that began as a tradition in the 1940s to honor African heritage and culture. 

Author Robin DiAngelo
Courtesy of Beacon Press

The term “white fragility” was coined by the Seattle-based educator and author Robin DiAngelo.

She defines it as “a state in which even a minimum amount of racial stress becomes intolerable, triggering a range of defensive moves. These moves include the outward display of emotions such as anger, fear and guilt, and behaviors such as argumentation, silence and leaving the stress-inducing situation.”

A walk in Seattle with my father, who was born a slave

Jul 12, 2018
Horace Cayton Jr., the author of Long Old Road, as an adult.
Library of Congress

Horace Cayton was an African-American sociologist born in Seattle in 1903. His father was born a slave; his mother was the daughter of the first black U.S. Congressman. This is an excerpt from his autobiography, The Long Old Road, published in 1963.

Seattle’s first black cop meets a killer over checkers

Jul 12, 2018
Horace Cayton was the first black deputy in Seattle.
KUOW Illustration/Teo Popescu

Horace Cayton was an African-American sociologist born in Seattle in 1903. His father was born a slave; his mother was the daughter of the first black U.S. Congressman. This is an excerpt from his autobiography, The Long Old Road, published in 1963.

Horace Cayton Jr., center, as an adult. Cayton worked many jobs before becoming an esteemed sociologist in Chicago — longshoreman and Seattle's first black deputy, among others.
Library of Congress

Horace Cayton was an African-American sociologist born in Seattle in 1903. His father was born a slave; his mother was the daughter of the first black U.S. Congressman. This is an excerpt from his autobiography, "The Long Old Road", published in 1963.

Kyana Wheeler and Robin DiAngelo
KUOW Photo/Alison Bruzek

Robin DiAngelo has studied issues of racial and social justice and whiteness for decades. Her new book is, "White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism."

Ben Rhodes at the Seattle Public Library Central Library
KUOW Photo/John O'Brien

Ben Rhodes was a 24-year-old aspiring writer living in New York on 9/11. What happened that day made him want to be part of the response.  As you’ll hear in this talk, when his visit to an Army recruiter didn’t pan out, he looked for a way to get involved politically. 

Terrance Hayes.
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

"In a second I'll tell you how little writing rescues." That promise, from the opening poem of Terrance Hayes' "American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin", is only partially kept. 

The poems in the book are in constant motion. They shuttle back and forth between Emmett Till and Maxine Waters, slavery and hip hop, the nation's future and the past it can't bear to look at. 

Mintwab Zemeadim, Rohena Khan, and Kamari Bright.
KUOW Photo/Adwoa Gyimah-Brempong

Now more than ever, many people's relationship with America is... complicated.

Three Seattle artists want to hear more about your relationship status with America. How would you describe it to your friends? (How do you describe it to yourself?)

The author (left) with his sister. They were adopted from South Korea by white parents.
KUOW PHOTO/Brian Freeland

I've always known I was adopted because I have white parents. 

In school, people talked about what traits they got from each of their parents: their eyes from their mom, their hair from their dad, their personality a mix of both. I envied them.


wage gap BTSW
KUOW Graphic/Teodora Popescu; Source: AAUW

There isn't one wage gap all women experience. There are several. Allow us to demonstrate: 

Imagine this jar of 100 Skittles is how much a white cis male coworker — let's call him Gary — is being paid.

A division of the American Library Association voted unanimously Saturday to strip Laura Ingalls Wilder's name from a major children's literature award over concerns about how the author referred to Native Americans and blacks.

The Association for Library Service to Children says the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award will now be known as the Children's Literature Legacy Award.

The shooting death of a black teenager by police in the Pittsburgh area on Tuesday night has sparked protests from angry residents demanding to know why Antwon Rose Jr. was killed.

Rose, 17, was riding in a vehicle that had been pulled over because officers suspected it had been used in a shooting that happened minutes earlier Tuesday.

Video taken by a nearby witness shows two people running from the car; the sounds of three shots ring out right as another police car arrives.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017, at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Trump administration officials recently retreated on a policy to separate families at the border. Some have blamed past administrations for the stories of chaotic separations and traumatized children; others have pointed to Congress. And then one official claimed divine authority on the matter.


Whenever you bring together dozens of different countries from around the globe, there's bound be some cross-cultural confusion. The World Cup is no exception.

And if you're Shin Tae-yong, coach of the South Korean national team, you figure out how to work that confusion to your advantage. In a press conference Sunday, Shin explained the unusual tactic he'd employed against scouts from the Swedish team: He'd had his team members swap jersey numbers for the warm-up games, in hopes that scouts wouldn't be able to tell the players apart.

James Baldwin, in the documentary 'I Am Not Your Negro.'
DAN BUDNIK / MAGNOLIA PICTURES

Last week was the 50th anniversary of Robert F. Kennedy's assassination. Bobby Kennedy was remembered as a civil rights advocate, but it's more interesting than that. 

The stars-and-bars of the Confederate flag painted onto a Juanita senior's face in 1999. Two years earlier, Juanita students shouted racial slurs at the mostly black Garfield High School football team. They sent an apology banner and students had to atten
KUOW Photo/Casey Martin

The Rebel remains.

Students at Juanita High School, in Kirkland, have voted overwhelmingly to keep their controversial mascot.

Anthony Bourdain is being mourned, of course, by fellow chefs and foodies for his sardonic exposés about what really happens in the kitchens of some of America's best restaurants. And for his travels to explore the world's cuisines. But communities of color, women, people who are gender-different from the perceived norm — those people sent heartbroken tributes, too.

The stars-and-bars of the Confederate flag painted onto a Juanita senior's face in 1999. Two years earlier, Juanita students shouted racial slurs at the mostly black Garfield High School football team. They sent an apology banner and students had to atten
KUOW Photo/Casey Martin

A Kirkland high school voted today, Thursday, on whether to drop their mascot: the Rebels.

Updated at 11:40 a.m. ET

Actress Roseanne Barr says she was "Ambien tweeting" at 2 in the morning when she posted a racist tweet about Valerie Jarrett, a former senior adviser in the Obama White House, that caused ABC to cancel her TV show.

In the wake of outrage over the April arrest of two black men in a Philadelphia store, Starbucks has closed 8,000 US stores for racial bias training.
Flickr Photo/Iain Farrell (CC BY 2.0)/flic.kr/p/dVJijp

If you went in search of a mid-afternoon pick-me-up, you may have come up empty-handed. Across the nation, Starbucks stores closed for a 4 hour training session on racial bias. 


A simultaneous training session for 175,000 employees, across more than 8,000 stores — that's what Starbucks is doing Tuesday, urging its workers and managers to discuss racial bias and respect following the arrest of two black men at a Philadelphia store last month.

For the sessions, many Starbucks stores will shut down in the afternoon and stay closed for several hours. A sign at one location in Chicago, for instance, says the store will be locking its doors at 2:30 p.m. and reopening on Wednesday. Other stores have posted similar notices.

Since the arrests of two black men at a Philadelphia Starbucks in April, several more instances have been documented of mostly white people calling the police on people of color for various reasons, none involving breaking the law — like sleeping in a dorm's common room, shopping, leaving an Airbnb or golfing too slowly.

At Columbia Drive United Methodist church in Decatur, Ga., the congregation bowed their heads under a brightly lit cross and prayed for their fellow worshiper — Stacey Abrams, the former minority leader in the Georgia legislature now running for governor.

Cartoonist and speaker Vishavjit Singh.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

After 9/11, Vishavjit Singh experienced an uptick in discrimination. "Al Qaeda," people hissed as he passed them on the street.

"Terrorist."

"Go back to your country."

The tall, gangly man twists a cone of paper in his hands as stories from nearly 30 years of addiction pour out: the robbery that landed him in prison at 17; never getting his GED; going through the horrors of detox, maybe 40 times, including this latest, which he finished two weeks ago. He's now in a residential unit for at least 30 days.

Being a kid who defies gender norms is tough. It can be tougher when you're also contending with pressures — and stereotypes — tied to your race.

This week on Ask Code Switch, we're taking on a question from a couple in Raleigh, North Carolina. They wrote in to ask about how race and gender expression play out in their own family:

Starbucks Executive Chairman Howard Schultz said Thursday that Starbucks' bathrooms will now be open to everyone, whether paying customers or not.

"We don't want to become a public bathroom, but we're going to make the right decision 100 percent of the time and give people the key," Schultz said at the Atlantic Council in Washington, D.C. "Because we don't want anyone at Starbucks to feel as if we are not giving access to you to the bathroom because you are 'less than.' We want you to be 'more than.' "

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