Code Switch

Code Switch
1:40 pm
Wed April 1, 2015

How IL "Religious Freedom" Law Differs From IN

Bernard Cherkasov
Credit Equality Illinois

LGBT supporters have been in an uproar since Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signed a Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law. Illinois has had a similar law on the books for years but it never raised a stir. The leader of Equality Illinois explains why.

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Noteworthy
12:00 am
Wed April 1, 2015

Muslims, Latinos Overrepresented In Crime News, UIUC Study Reports

Travis Dixon

National television news may overrepresent terrorists as Muslims or immigrants accused of crimes as Latino. 

Using media archives from the University of California at Los Angeles from 2008 to 2012, University of Illinois professor Travis Dixon found that breaking news on cable and national network news often disproportionately broadcast stories that portrayed terrorists as Muslim and immigrants accused of crimes as Latino, but also underrepresented African-Americans as both victims and perpetrators of crime. 

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Code Switch
9:33 am
Tue March 31, 2015

The Fear Of Black Men In America: Join Our Twitter Chat #FearAndRace

Chat with us on twitter today at 12:30 p.m. ET using the hashtag #FearAndRace.
Andreas Eldh Flickr

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 4:56 pm

NPR's Michel Martin led two challenging conversations about race this week, focusing on fearful perceptions of African-American men and how these fears play out in people's everyday lives. Guests including author and Georgetown University Law professor Paul Butler examined the research and the complicated emotions behind this fear.

"When you're in an elevator or walking behind somebody and you feel like you have to perform to make them feel safe, it's like apologizing for your existence," Butler says.

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Code Switch
12:22 pm
Mon March 30, 2015

The Director Of 'Home' On Its Immigration Storyline

Tip (Rihanna) shares a moment with her mom Lucy (Jennifer Lopez).
DreamWorks Animation

There's no place like home. Or is there? At least, that seems to be the premise of the new animated film Home, which is about a "Boov" alien named Oh who flees to Earth and meets Tip, a 12-year-old girl (voiced by Rihanna), and her mother Lucy (voiced by Jennifer Lopez), who both recently moved from Barbados to the U.S.

Home director Tim Johnson talked with The Huffington Post's Latino Voices about the film's "immigrant theme."

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Code Switch
4:04 am
Mon March 30, 2015

In New York's Multinational Astoria, Diversity Is Key To Harmony

Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens holds classes for people who are learning English as a second language. A teacher leads the class in a rendition of Eric Clapton's "Wonderful Night."
Alexandra Starr NPR

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 6:36 pm

Queens, N.Y., is one of the most diverse urban spaces in the world, and one of the most diverse neighborhoods in Queens is Astoria, across the East River from upper Manhattan.

Astoria has a reputation as New York City's Greektown, but it's more like an urban United Nations. People from nearly 100 countries live there, according to census data.

They coexist pretty peacefully, but that wasn't always the case. The explosion of diversity has helped foster a more tranquil community.

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Code Switch
7:06 pm
Fri March 27, 2015

Southern Baptists Don't Shy Away From Talking About Their Racist Past

Russell Moore preaching during the first plenary address, "Black, And White And Red All Over: Why Racial Reconciliation Is A Gospel Issue."
Alli Rader

Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 9:52 pm

Southern Baptist leaders were supposed to be talking about bioethics this week at a summit in Nashville, Tenn. That changed in December after a New York grand jury declined to return an indictment in the police choking death of Eric Garner.

When Russell Moore, the president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, sent out tweets expressing his shock, there was pushback. Should the church get involved in a divisive political issue?

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Code Switch
2:16 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

Wonderful, Ridiculous, Head-Scratchingly Pointy Mexican Boots Are Now A Designer Item

A man wearing his extra long pointy boots stands next to women at a nightclub in Matehuala, Mexico, in 2011.
Dario Lopez-Mills AP

Originally published on Mon March 30, 2015 1:53 pm

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Code Switch
11:00 am
Thu March 26, 2015

Some Messy History Behind A Fight Over A Restaurant Called 'Chop Chop Chinaman'

The logo of Chop Chop Chinaman restaurant sits on a window outside the dining area Thursday in Chicago.
Armando L. Sanchez Chicago Tribune/TNS/Landov

Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 1:02 pm

Over in Chicago, a restaurant called Chop Chop Chinaman has been getting a lot of heat for its name. In February, Chicago-area resident Jeannie Harrell was arrested for scrawling "F*** this hate crime s***. It's 2015" in lipstick on the restaurant's window, right next to the shop's decal sticker of a rickshaw and a man wearing a triangular hat.

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Code Switch
7:03 am
Thu March 26, 2015

Why It's So Hard For Us To Agree About Dong From 'Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt'

The gesture Kimmy's making doesn't mean the same thing to Dong.
Eric Liebowitz Netflix

Originally published on Thu April 9, 2015 9:35 am

The very first time we encounter Dong Nguyen, one of several hotly debated characters in Tina Fey's Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, he has just introduced himself to Kimmy in their GED class. And, as surely happens to Dong all the time, ever since he immigrated to New York from Vietnam, she's stifling a giggle over his name.

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Code Switch
1:30 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

Takeaways From The Federal Report On Deadly Force By Philadelphia Cops

Two years ago, Charles Ramsey, Philadelphia's police commissioner, called for a federal review of the city's police practices. Ramsey called for a similar federal inquiry during his tenure as Washington, D.C.'s police chief.
Matt Rourke AP

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 5:55 pm

Even before the unrest in Ferguson, Mo., or the Eric Garner incident in New York City last summer, Charles Ramsey, Philadelphia's police commissioner, called on the federal government to look into how the officers in his department used force, and how their use of force might contribute to the department's often strained relationship with the city's residents.

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Code Switch
7:35 pm
Tue March 24, 2015

Retired Oakland Police Officer Recruits Locals To Police Their Own City

File photo of the Oakland Police Department as they salute at the public memorial service for slain Oakland police officers.
Michael Macor-Pool Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 3:42 am

Police departments around the county are under more and more pressure to diversify. In Oakland, Calif., officials say police-community relations also might be improved by increasing the number of cops who actually live in the city.

Margaret Dixon, a fiery retired Oakland police officer, grew up in a rough part of this city of 400,000. These days she's teaching classes at Merritt College, an Oakland community college — including one on policing and community relations.

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Code Switch
1:48 pm
Tue March 24, 2015

From A Congresswoman To A 'Queen,' Girl's Dress-Up Photo Series Rolls On

Lily Bushelle (right) dressed up as Shirley Chisholm. In 1968, Chisholm became the first African-American woman elected to Congress.
Courtesy of Marc Bushelle

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 3:18 pm

Janine Harper and Marc Bushelle's photo series of their daughter Lily dressed up as different African-American heroines started as a Black History Month project.

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Code Switch
11:51 am
Mon March 23, 2015

Expert Hones In On Illinois Sex Trafficking

Jody Raphael

Sex traffic in the US isn't exclusive to people forced to come here against their will. Illinois residents and natives have also become part of the black-market industry. So says Jody Raphael, a DePaul University law professor and researcher. She'll speak Tuesday night at 7pm at UIS (info HERE). She recently spoke with us about her work:

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Race
4:01 am
Mon March 23, 2015

Family Secret And Cultural Identity Revealed In 'Little White Lie'

Lacey Schwartz grew up believing she was the daughter of white, Jewish parents. It wasn't until a university labeled her as black that she decided to explore the doubts she's always had about her race.
Courtesy of Independent Lens

Originally published on Mon March 23, 2015 2:39 pm

Lacey Schwartz grew up in Woodstock, N.Y., a mostly white, middle-class community. But even as a child she sometimes questioned why her deeper skin tone and curly hair didn't look like every one else in her family. Her parents, who are white and Jewish, explained that her inherited looks came from a Sicilian grandfather with darker features and coarse hair.

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Code Switch
6:31 pm
Fri March 20, 2015

From Selma To Eisenhower, Trailblazing Black Reporter Was Always Probing

Ms. Payne interviewing a soldier from Chesapeake, Va., in Vietnam in 1967.
Courtesy of the Moorland-Spingarn Research Center/Harper Collins

Originally published on Tue March 24, 2015 8:39 am

When Ethel Payne stood to ask President Dwight Eisenhower a question at a White House press conference in July 1954, women and African-Americans were rarities in the press corps. Payne was both, and wrote for The Chicago Defender, the legendary black newspaper that in the 40s and 50s, was read in black American households the way The New York Times was in white ones.

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Code Switch
12:22 pm
Fri March 20, 2015

The Time A Cartoonist Was Told To 'Lighten Up' A Character

Cartoonist Ronald Wimberly was told to "lighten up" a Mexican and African-American character.
Ronald Wimberly The Nib

Originally published on Fri March 20, 2015 3:02 pm

In a beautifully illustrated comic over at The Nib, cartoonist Ronald Wimberly relays the story of working with an editor who asked him to lighten the skin tone of a character he was working on, Melita Garner, who has been described as Mexican and African-American, a reporter, and Wolverine's ex-girlfriend.

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Code Switch
2:16 am
Fri March 20, 2015

'A Proud Walk': 3 Voices On The March From Selma To Montgomery

Demonstrators of different races and religions from across the country united to take part in the historic march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala., 50 years ago.
AP

Originally published on Fri March 20, 2015 3:39 pm

Fifty years ago, civil rights protesters began their successful march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala., two weeks after a crackdown by police at the Edmund Pettus Bridge on Bloody Sunday. NPR talked with three people from different parts of the country, of different races and religions, who answered the call from Martin Luther King Jr. to join the marchers.

Todd Endo:

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Code Switch
8:15 am
Thu March 19, 2015

From Hot Sauce To Diapers, 'Superconsumers' Of Color Buy More Of, Well, Everything

Fox's soapy hit "Empire" has rocketed to the top of the TV ratings in large part because of its eye-popping performance in black and Latino households.
Chuck Hodes FOX

Originally published on Fri March 20, 2015 1:29 pm

What do Fox's runaway hit Empire and booming sales of Goya rice and beans have in common? They're examples of the growing clout a segment of hyper-engaged, hyperconnected consumers of color, according to a new report from Nielsen.

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Television
4:02 am
Thu March 19, 2015

Swagger On Display At 'Empire' Season Finale Parties

Jamal (played by Jussie Smollett) and Cookie (played by Taraji P. Henson) attend the all white party in the "The Lyon's Roar" episode of Empire.
Matt Dinnerstein FOX

Originally published on Fri March 20, 2015 11:18 am

Last night was Empire's season finale, and at one of D.C.'s biggest Empire watch parties, a sharply dressed crowd of hundreds is huddled around every flat-screen in The Stone Fish Grill Lounge downtown.

"Here we go! Here we go! Here we go, come on everyone! Round of applause!" shouts one of the hosts for the night. "It's Empire time!"

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Code Switch
3:47 pm
Wed March 18, 2015

Starbucks Campaign Already Inspiring Awkward Conversations About Race

"It's also interesting because I'm actually black, but you assumed otherwise," Jay Smooth told Nancy Giles.
MSNBC's All In With Chris Hayes

Originally published on Wed March 18, 2015 4:12 pm

Starbucks' campaign to get people talking about race has already birthed a very public, very cringeworthy conversation about race. Jay Smooth, a radio DJ and video blogger, was on MSNBC's All In With Chris Hayes Tuesday night, discussing the coffee company's "Race Together" campaign with fellow guest Nancy Giles, a contributor to CBS Sunday Morning.

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Code Switch
7:18 pm
Tue March 17, 2015

Old Land Battle Resurfaces In Georgia Between The Gullah And The Government

Hundreds of adult wood storks gather on the tops of trees at the Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge.
Stephen B. Morton AP

Originally published on Wed March 18, 2015 3:19 pm

More than 70 years ago, the federal government took land from descendants of West African slaves, known as the Gullah, living in Georgia. Now they're fighting to get it back.

In 1942, they were given just weeks to leave marsh property on the Georgia coast so that the U.S. military could construct an air base for training pilots and conducting anti-submarine flights. Twenty years later, the former base and the land around it were converted into the 2,762-acre Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge.

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Code Switch
5:04 pm
Tue March 17, 2015

Can New York Police Build Trust Among Public Housing Residents?

Reginald Britt first moved into the Taft Houses, a public housing complex in East Harlem, in 1976
Alexandra Starr

Originally published on Wed March 18, 2015 2:42 pm

In New York City, the police department has been re-examining the way it patrols public housing since the shooting of Akai Gurley late last year. Gurley, who was African-American, was unarmed when he was fatally shot by a rookie officer in a Brooklyn housing complex. His death highlighted tensions between police and the people who live in public housing.

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Code Switch
1:43 pm
Tue March 17, 2015

Here's What People Are Saying About Starbucks' 'Race Together' Campaign

Me: "My name is Rigoberto." Starbucks barista: "Giorgio?"
Elise Amendola AP

Originally published on Wed March 18, 2015 7:49 am

If your name isn't traditionally white-sounding, there's a good chance it's been misspelled by a coffeehouse barista. It's awkward when that happens, but is it the perfect time to engage in a dialogue about race and ethnicity? Starbucks seems to think so.

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Race
6:25 am
Tue March 17, 2015

A Chinese Immigrant Gets His California Law License, 125 Years Later

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 6:56 pm

The state Supreme Court in California has posthumously admitted a Chinese immigrant to the state bar, 125 years after his application was denied. The law license application was rejected back in 1890.

Hong Yen Chang was sent to United States from China in 1872 to be groomed as a diplomat, a bridge between East and West. His training took him through Andover, Yale and Columbia Law School.

"So he really was about as integrated as one can be in the establishment at the time," says Gabriel Chin, a professor at the University of California at Davis School of Law.

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U.S.
4:55 am
Mon March 16, 2015

Once Lost, Internment Camp In Hawaii Now A National Monument

Hawaii's Honouliuli Internment Camp held thousands of prisoners of war and hundreds of Japanese-American citizens during World War II
Courtesy of Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii

Originally published on Wed March 18, 2015 1:39 pm

The Honouliuli internment camp, not far from Hawaii's Pearl Harbor, held as many as 4,000 prisoners during World War II, including hundreds of Japanese-Americans.

In February, President Obama named the location a national monument.

The camp became known by prisoners as "jigokudani," or "Hell's Valley," says Carole Hayashino, the president of the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii.

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Code Switch
8:03 am
Sun March 15, 2015

Univision Race Gaffe Shows Culture Gap

Originally published on Mon March 16, 2015 7:33 am

It happened again. The Spanish-language, Miami-based Univision — the fifth-largest television network in the U.S. — has another racial insensitivity mess to clean up.

On Wednesday, Univision talk show host and fashion commentator Rodner Figueroa said that first lady Michelle Obama looks like an apocalyptic ape.

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Code Switch
6:48 am
Sat March 14, 2015

These Nightclub Entertainers Paved The Way For Asian-Americans In Showbiz

Mai Tai Sing dances with her husband, Wilbur Tai Sing, in 1942.
Courtesy DeepFocus Productions Inc.

Originally published on Tue March 17, 2015 1:27 pm

As a kid growing up in San Francisco, filmmaker Arthur Dong often walked by a nightclub just outside of Chinatown. "I remember distinctly looking at the marquee and looking at the glass display case [with] all these wonderful black and white photos of Chinese people, but dressed in zoot suits and 1940s kind of gowns and tuxedos," he says. "And I had never seen Chinese dressed like that."

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Code Switch
6:03 am
Sat March 14, 2015

Reverend Willie T. Barrow, A 'Little Warrior' For Civil Rights, Dies

Rev. Willie Barrow, a 'superdelegate,' attending the opening night of the 2008 Democratic National Convention. The long-time activist, who was a mentor to President Obama, died on Thursday.
Melanie Stetson Freeman Christian Science Monitor/Getty

Originally published on Mon March 16, 2015 4:01 pm

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Code Switch
4:29 am
Sat March 14, 2015

Off The Menu: Realness Is A Matter Of Taste

What kind of red wine pairs well with Chinese takeout?
Matthew Mead AP

Originally published on Sat March 14, 2015 6:47 pm

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Code Switch
2:03 pm
Fri March 13, 2015

North Carolina Looking Into 'Black Tax' At Charlotte's Ritz-Carlton

North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper in 2010.
Jim R. Bounds AP

Originally published on Fri March 13, 2015 5:30 pm

North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper has directed his Department of Consumer Affairs to look into reports that some African-American customers at the Ritz-Carlton in Charlotte were recently subjected to unwarranted fees.

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