Racism

Commentary: Why Support For The Death Penalty Is Higher Among White Americans

Nov 30, 2019
Protesters hold signs proclaiming Rodney Reed's innocence.
Julia Reihs / KUT

Sentencing a person to die is the ultimate punishment. There is no coming back from the permanence of the death penalty.

In the U.S., the death penalty is currently authorized by the federal government, the military and 29 states. The primary rationale for using the death penalty is deterrence.

Carlos Morales/Marfa Public Radio

From Texas Standard:

An arraignment hearing will be held next week for the suspect accused of targeting Hispanics, and killing 22 people, at an El Paso Walmart in August. But covering legal proceedings for those who’ve committed mass violence poses a problem for news organizations: How do they identify the shooter?

Armando Morales

Eighty-one percent of Latino voters in Texas are concerned about racism-motivated gun violence and that the Latino community might be targeted again in attacks similar to the mass shooting in El Paso, according to a survey sponsored by the gun control group Giffords and the progressive group Latino Victory Project.

Gabriel C. Pérez/KUT

The local health care district Central Health is asking for input from the public on how to spend $290.8 million next year to help people with low incomes access health care in Travis County. The next opportunity to share your ideas with Central Health's Board of Mangers is Sept. 11.

Democratic presidential candidate Julián Castro
Michael Minasi for KUT

Julián Castro, a Democratic candidate for president, plans to release a television ad Wednesday on Fox News connecting President Donald Trump to a recent attack in El Paso that federal law enforcement officials have classified as an act of domestic terrorism.

Beto O'Rourke
Michael Minasi for KUT

As authorities investigate a mass shooting at an El Paso Walmart that left 20 people dead and more than two dozen others injured Saturday, police say the 21-year-old North Texas man arrested may have written a manifesto revealing that the crime was racially motivated.

Congressman Chip Roy
Robin Jerstad for The Texas Tribune

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Will Hurd called Donald Trump’s tweets “racist and xenophobic.” Pete Olson and Chip Roy were also critical, with Olson saying the president should “disavow his comments.”

Illustration by Brandon Formby / The Texas Tribune

It’s been more than two decades since an infamous hate crime in East Texas, where three white men were convicted of chaining a black man to the back of a pickup truck, dragging him for miles and then dumping the remains of his body in front of a church.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Austin’s Equity Office is considering how to make good on a report published last April that laid out more than 200 recommendations for how the city can combat institutional racism.

INEGI

From Texas Standard.

I don’t want to downplay how complicated issues of race are, but in a way, race in the United States is a pretty easy to understand concept. As Michael Jackson put it, it’s about whether you’re black or white.

Max Krochmal, a History, Race and Ethnic Studies professor at Texas Christian University, says, “The American understanding of race has been largely dictated along the lines of a black-white racial binary.”

Audrey McGlinchy via Twitter

Flanked by city colleagues and leaders in both academia and the nonprofit world Wednesday, Mayor Steve Adler introduced the city of Austin to its newest task force: a group that will combat “institutional racism.” The group will be made up of local community leaders in education, immigration and housing.

Hate Map

Language on social media is honest, instant and, sometimes, inappropriate.  And the Internet’s elephantine memory holds on to every last questionable comment.  

Researchers at Humboldt State University used Twitter’s geo-coding to tag over 150,000 tweets from the better part of the past year to map what they call the “Geography of Hate,” an interactive database of hateful language all over the US.

flickr.com/islespunkfan

Wednesday, Oct. 10, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear Fisher v. The University of Texas. The case asks whether including race as a factor for admission is constitutional. Debate around the issue has been heated.

Minority groups held a conference at the Texas Capitol on Tuesday and said affirmative action is necessary to right historic wrongs. They argued that underprivileged minorities remain underprivileged if they can’t attend flagship universities. And they argued that diversity in the classroom will help students deal with diversity in the real world.

But Lino Graglia, a constitutional law professor at UT who specializes in race and education (and is no stranger to controversial remarks on the topic), says affirmative action won’t fix this. He says the real problem is that many minority students aren’t ready for college when they graduate high school.

KUT News

Racial issues are one again simmering the University of Texas at Austin.

Students marched on the UT campus earlier this week to protest what some are calling racially motivated attacks, where balloons allegedly filled with bleach were dropped from apartment balconies in the West Campus area near UT.

While the perpetrator or perpetrators of the attacks is unknown, and therefore their intentions are unclear, KVUE reports Austin police “have spoken to victims who were involved in four separate and similar incidents involving liquid-filled balloons dropped on people of color.” And the incidents have once again created a focus on racial climate for African-American students on campus.

“I won’t say that it’s easier being on campus, because people still look at you like you don’t belong here,” says Reva Davis, vice president of the Black Student Alliance. “And you can walk into a classroom and you’ll still feel uncomfortable — whether you’re a freshman or senior — being a person of color. It doesn’t get easier, you just find ways to deal with and cope with it.”

Flickr.com/brendel

Justice Department Supports UT’s Admissions Process

The Obama Administration says the University of Texas at Austin's consideration of race in admitting students is constitutional. 

The U.S. Justice Department revealed its support in a brief filed yesterday with the U.S. Supreme Court. The Department says UT does not use race as an absolute deciding factor and that it comes into play in relatively few admission decisions.

Supreme Court justices will hear arguments on the case, known as Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin in October. Abigail Fisher is challenging the university’s admission policy, claiming that she was denied admission to UT in 2008 because she is white.

Liang Shi for KUT News

The University of Texas at Austin filed a brief Monday with the U.S. Supreme Court defending its use of race as a factor in admissions.

An applicant to UT filed the suit because she says she was denied admission in 2008 because she’s white.

The university says race is just one of many factors considered in admissions and that its use is necessary and constitutional.

UT-Austin President Bill Powers released a short video discussing the case. In it, he says officials are “confident the university will prevail.”

KUT News

The U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear arguments in October in a case challenging the use of affirmative action at the University of Texas at Austin.

Abigail Fisher filed a lawsuit against UT-Austin in 2008. She says she wasn’t admitted to the university because she’s white.

The Supreme Court will hear the case October 10.

Still image from The Strange Demise of Jim Crow documentary
Screen capture from The Strange Demise of Jim Crow

Texas' shameful, racist past might seem like ancient history to some people, but it was only a generation ago that it was illegal for a white person to marry an African-American.