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This Week In Race: New Doc, New Pols, New Race Game

Ilhan Omar, a candidate for state representative for District 60B in Minnesota, gives an acceptance speech on election night in Minneapolis.
Stephen Maturen
AFP/Getty Images
Ilhan Omar, a candidate for state representative for District 60B in Minnesota, gives an acceptance speech on election night in Minneapolis.

Lots went on, per usual. Let's get to it.

A new documentary challenges the narrative we've heard for the past two years about the late Michael Brown. Stranger Fruit, which debuted at the SXSW Film Festival earlier this week, re-examines the hours leading up to Brown's death at the hand of officer Darren Wilson. And gives rise to questions for many. Not, apparently, the St. Louis police, who didn't release the footage earlier because they deemed it irrelevant to the investigation.

In another police-related story, a young white man juggles himself out of a parking ticket, while recording it on his phone. April Reign points out in The Washington Post what would likely happen if the juggler had been black.

Remember last week we talked about the new sports hijab Nike has developed for observant Muslim athletes? Many athletes seemed to like it fine. Not so much a slew of young, presumably white, feminists who began voicing their outrage on social media. Teen Vogue says some are threatening to boycott Nike for aiding in the oppression of Muslim women. Doesn't look as if any of the protesters are themselves Muslim, though. (Maybe we should send them last week's podcast on allies?)

On the Muslim-related front, this mini-doc from the news site AJ+, features Indian-Americans and immigrants talking about how rising Islamophobia is worrying them. Even though they're from an entirely different religion.

And in a counter-Islamophobic note, a terrific story from The Fader about the Minnesota House's first Somali Muslim elected official. Muslim ban? Rep. Ilhan Omar's not having any of that.

One of our favorite literary heroines, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, says we're all women, but we're not all the same kind of women. She argued that trans women have had one thing cis women haven't: male privilege before they became women. There was immediate outrage from several trans women. And Adichie has walked that back a little bit.

Because words mean something, we're pleased to point out we're now an official part of the language. Kind of. Word of the Day, people.

Back in the high life again: Snoop Dogg dropped a video this week that clowned POTUS and his supporters, focusing, really, on a clown figure with a recognizable blond helmet of hair. There's some faux gun violence (the squirt variety) and after an angry tweet from the White House, it's gone viral. Watch — but not around young people. (And if you watch at work, use headphones.)

Ah, the race card — where would we be without it? Our own Leah Donnella has this splendid little nugget about a game where players decide who is blacker than whom. And I'll just leave it at that.

Don't worry about who is what: you do you. We'll see you next week.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Corrected: March 16, 2017 at 11:00 PM CDT
A previous version of this story described Ilhan Omar as the first Somali Muslim elected to Congress. She was elected to Minnesota's state House. Also, a previous version misstated Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's name as Chimanda Adiche Ngozi.
Karen Grigsby Bates is the Senior Correspondent for Code Switch, a podcast that reports on race and ethnicity. A veteran NPR reporter, Bates covered race for the network for several years before becoming a founding member of the Code Switch team. She is especially interested in stories about the hidden history of race in America—and in the intersection of race and culture. She oversees much of Code Switch's coverage of books by and about people of color, as well as issues of race in the publishing industry. Bates is the co-author of a best-selling etiquette book ( Basic Black: Home Training for Modern Times) and two mystery novels; she is also a contributor to several anthologies of essays. She lives in Los Angeles and reports from NPR West.
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