As the 50th anniversary of Selma is commemorated, a video is posted showing members of the University of Oklahoma’s chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon gleefully engaged in a racist chant on a bus. Just a few days later, the chief of the Ferguson Police Department resigned, continuing a wave of high-profile exits following a scathing Department of Justice report on the city’s courts and police department. Nationwide scrutiny has been focused on the small Missouri city, since white police officer Darren Wilson shot and killed unarmed black teen Michael Brown. A Missouri grand jury declined to indict Wilson in November. These are just two of an alarming list of racist incidents making headline-news during the last 12 months.
Why does racism exist? Is ignorance the same as racism? Is the non-stop disrespect of Barack Obama unabashed racism? Can there be a future without racism? Next on Life Elsewhere we ask these and more inconvenient questions about Racism In America 2015, with special guests, Professor Gary Lemons, author of Black Male Outsider: Teaching As a Pro-Feminist Man, A Memoir and Fanni Green, Associate Professor of Theatre, Acting and Voice.
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Photograph of James & Jerrod by Norman B © 2011