Racism | KCUR

Racism

Phil Dixon is more than an expert on the Negro Leagues. He's an ambassador for stories that might've been lost without him. 

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Negro Leagues, we're taking some time to get to know one of the people who knows more about its history and players than anyone else. Before Phil Dixon was the author of nine books and a cross-country traveler, he was just a kid playing baseball in segregated Kansas City, Kansas obsessed with baseball cards.

Segment 1: Missouri looks to start opening medical marijuana dispensaries in June.

Missouri's Department of Health and Senior Services has issued licenses for 192 medical marijuana dispensaries since a voter approved initiative for medical cannabis passed in 2018. Once patients are able to start purchasing, and in some cases growing, the product, the state could look to issue more dispensary licenses based on supply and demand.

Segment 1: What does it mean to be presidential?

Imagine a world in which campaigning for president was considered beneath the dignity of the office. That world used to be the United States! It's also one of the many takeaways from a recently published book from the University Press of Kansas that looks into how the office of the president has evolved in America's history. 

Segment 1: A KU professor's book explores the sense of place created by our technology.

Where do you live? What is your neighborhood? Is it a physical place — or a digital one? "The Digital City: Media and the Social Production of Place" argues that smartphones are replacing cities. It also looks into how smart cities, like Kansas City, privilege people who already have a lot of resources.

Segment 1: Kansas lawmakers are debating a bill to end hair discrimination.

The idea behind the CROWN Act is to ban employers and schools from expecting people of color to adopt "white hair norms" in the workplace and the classroom. 

Segment 1: Why the Shawnee Mission School Board authorized controversial teacher contract.

Failed contract negotiations between teachers and administrators in the Shawnee Mission School District resulted in the district's Board of Education unilaterally approving a three-year contract. Members of the school board explained some of the complexities of the situation and discussed what options remain for teachers.

Charlie Riedel
AP Photo

The Kansas City Chiefs will face the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl in Miami, giving Kansas City a moment of relative unity in a divisive time for the country. But the good feelings are tempered for Native Americans, some of whom find the imagery surrounding the team racist and demeaning.

Union Station is festooned with banners and signs honoring the Chiefs. Cheery fans filled the historic train station over the weekend, trading phones to take pictures of each other’s families.

Segment 1: The link between sports and social justice is stronger than some people think.

The fight to end discrimination against black folks is ongoing, and Harry Edwards, who has spent the majority of his life as an activist and leader in the world of sports, says there are no final victories in such a dynamic struggle. From Muhammad Ali to Colin Kaepernick, he has played a role in some of the greatest stories in athletics and activism. 

How do we honor America's most recognized Civil Rights leader, and what does it say about us?

Segment 1: The group is pushing against any new abortion amendment and for probation reform

Segment 1: A new kind of Women's March in Kansas City aims to include more diverse voices.

What motivates a Baptist pastor to provide AIDS education, a fitness center and other unconventional services.

Reverend Eric Williams has been at the forefront of AIDS outreach since 1991, when he held a funeral for an openly gay man after a colleague refused to do it. Today, he continues to focus his ministry on health as a way of helping his congregant achieve the "abundant life" he preaches about. Hear his story, beginning with a childhood in zipcode 64130.

Logan Action

Artist Hugh Merrill, who is white, had troubling memories from what he saw growing up in the Jim Crow South of the 1950s and '60s. And when he started looking into his family history, he was shocked by what he found out.

"It's a little bit like finding out that not only, if you were German, that your ancestors, that your uncles, were guards at Auschwitz — it's like finding out they ran Auschwitz," he says. "I had to make a decision about what to do with this. And it was absolutely clear what had to be done. I had to tell the truth."

Segment 1: 2019 report shows black Kansas Citians are still separate and unequal.

By comparing things like poverty and homeownership rates by race, a report from the Urban League of Greater Kansas City found black people are only 73% as equal as whites in Kansas City. The report is released every few years, and is used to educate community members and elected oficials about progress in economics, education and social justice. 

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Black residents of Kansas City are still "separate and unequal," according to the latest report from the Urban League of Greater Kansas City.

The 2019 State of Black Kansas City, from the Urban League in collaboration with local law, policy, health and education experts, measures the racial gap in areas such as economics, criminal justice and education. Based on statistical analyses of factors such as the median net worth for black versus white households and the rate of homeownership, the report found the equality index for black Kansas Citians is only 73% of their white counterparts.

Segment 1: The woman who coined 'white fragility' unpacks the meaning of the term.

Robin DiAngelo first started noticing what she now calls 'white fragility' about twenty years ago, when she worked alongside people of color as a diversity trainer. The resulting research culminated in a book that's been a New York Times Bestseller for more than a year. It's also elicited death threats.

Segment 1: Jackson County legislators answer questions of current budget, property tax and working with county executive Frank White.

Jackson County lawmakers say recent budgeting and property tax issues have caused county residents to distrust their local government. Legislator Jalen Anderson attributed the root of the problem to a lack of transparency and communication between the legislative and executive branches. "The time for talking is done. There needs to be change now," Anderson said. 

Elle Moxley / KCUR 89.3

This story was updated at 2:03 p.m. with a comment from the school district.

Another lawsuit has been filed against the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District alleging racial discrimination during the hiring of spokeswoman last year.

In the lawsuit, Danielle Nixon alleges she did not get the job because of her race. According to court documents, former Superintendent Dennis Carpenter “told the selection committee that he would never hire an African American female for that key role.”

Segment 1: "All genocides ... begin with words," says one Emory professor concerned about a rise in anti-Semitic rhetoric. 

Anti-Semitism is on the rise around the world, concerning scholars and Jewish communities. Money that could be spent in programming and outreach is being redirected to security measures for area Jewish Centers. "The fear in the community is palpable," says Gavriela Geller, executive director for Jewish Commuity Relations Bureau-American Jewish Committee.

Segment 1: CEO of the Health Forward Foundation stepping down but says "I won't be disappearing, I will continue to be a troublemaker in some way."

Seg. 1: Simon Tam | Seg. 2: Chiefs' Name

Aug 20, 2019

Segment 1: On taking a bandname all the way to the Supreme Court.

Is it possible to be offensive to oneself? That's a question Simon Tam, frontman for a band called The Slants, brought before the U.S. justice system. He's using his story to encourage Asian American professionals in leadership positions to "lean into" their values. 

Segment 1: The fact and fiction of mass shootings.

Last week's shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, highlighted misconceptions when it comes to these tragedies. Is there a profile of a mass shooter, can red flag and gun laws reduce the number of incidents and are all the perpetrators mentally ill? Three Guns & America reporters discussed what they have discovered in covering the firearms issues in this country. 

Segment 1: Kansas City area residents react to the president's Twitter attack

President Trump's tweets telling four Democratic congresswomen to "go back" to their countries of origin sparked outrage. A panel of women of color shared their thoughts on the president's remarks and the message his words send to minorities in this country. 

Segment 1: Why integration is still important in modern society and how students are positivey affected by it. 

Integration was most prevalent in the 1970s and 80s, but professor Rucker Johnson believes it has disappeared in modern society and needs to make a come back. Hear his thoughts on past integration efforts and the current segregation of schools. 

Elle Moxley / KCUR 89.3

Lee’s Summit voters will pick two new school board members Tuesday in an election that could be a referendum of the district’s equity and inclusion work.

The seven-member school board unanimously approved an equity plan in February, and last month they offered Superintendent Dennis Carpenter a one-year contract extension.

Segment 1: What draws people to hate movements and how to escape 

Mindy Corporon, whose father and son were murdered by a neo-Nazi outside the Jewish Community Center in 2014, hopes to promote understanding and encourage kindness with her SevenDays Foundation. Hear the story behind her relationship with former white supremacist Christian Picciolini

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

At the end of Friday prayer, dozens of worshippers at Masjidu Nuur Islamic Community Center in Kansas City, Missouri, said an extra one. They prayed for Allah to take the victims of the New Zealand shooting to paradise. 

Courtesy of William Bird

Chester Owens Jr. remembers bucking the laws of Jim Crow that said a black man had no right to eat where and when he wanted.

In 1952, one of those places was a restaurant at Kresge's department store on Minnesota Avenue in Kansas City, Kansas.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3 file photo

Segment 1: We hear from the man responsible for getting stuff done in Kansas City.

From the future of a downtown ballpark to "pothole management" to streetcar expansion, we talked with the city manager about several big issues on the minds of Kansas Citians. Schulte also addressed caller questions, and says of rising water costs in Kansas City, "we're hopeful we can get a new environmental agreement done for the next 17 years of the plan, and the days of double-digit rate increases are over."

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

In a strongly-worded email to the school board, the Lee's Summit teachers union urged the board not to extend Superintendent Dennis Carpenter's contract.

In the email, the Lee's Summit chapter of the National Education Association (LS NEA) said Carpenter shouldn't have pushed for diversity training during a contentious boundary change process.

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