Racism

University of Kentucky Alumni Association

As the U.S. House and Senate consider legislation to finally make lynching a federal crime, a Kentucky historian who has written a book on racial violence said the shameful actions of the past have lessons for us today.

In 1978, Ron Stallworth was working as a detective in the Colorado Springs Police Department when he came across a classified ad to find out more about the Ku Klux Klan — and answered it. Two weeks later, he got a call on the police department's undercover operations line. It was the local KKK organizer. He asked why Stallworth wanted to join the Klan.

"I said I wanted to join because I was a pure, Aryan, white man who was tired of the abuse of the white race by blacks and other minorities," Stallworth recalls.

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.

Editor's note: This post refers frequently to the use of a racial slur.

Professor Emeritus Lawrence Rosen opened his course last week with a question. The anthropologist, who has spent four decades teaching at Princeton University, was introducing a class called Cultural Freedoms: Hate Speech, Blasphemy, and Pornography — and his question was meant to shock.

An armed man who stopped an Amtrak train in Nebraska is facing a terrorism charge after the FBI discovered ties to "an 'alt-right' Neo-Nazi group," a cache of weapons and allegations that the suspect, Taylor Michael Wilson, had talked about a desire to kill black people.

Federal authorities have filed a terrorism charge against Wilson, 26, of St. Charles, Mo., who was arrested in October after Amtrak personnel said he entered a restricted area of a train and applied the emergency brake in Furnas County, Neb.

The United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination has urged the U.S. government to reject racist speech and ideology and criticized its "failure at the highest political level" to unequivocally condemn the racist violence in Charlottesville, Va., earlier this month.

Last weekend, when white nationalists descended on Charlottesville to protest, it was clear that almost exclusively white, young males comprised the so-called alt-right movement — there were women, but very few.

So where were the white women who weren't out protesting in the streets?

For the most part, journalist Seyward Darby discovered, they're online.

President Trump is only the latest man in the White House to see his plans, his governing coalition and his popular standing all at risk because of a racially charged issue.

Spotify and other streaming services have begun removing white supremacist content from their platforms, as websites and musicians alike scramble to distance themselves from the white nationalist movement.

In a statement on Wednesday, Spotify blamed the labels and distributors that supply music to its database but said "material that favors hatred or incites violence against race, religion, sexuality or the like is not tolerated by us. Spotify takes immediate action to remove any such material as soon as it has been brought to our attention."

Updated at 7:26 p.m. ET

In a stunning reversal from comments he made just one day prior, President Trump said on Tuesday "there's blame on both sides" for the violence in Charlottesville, Va.

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