BIAS

Which Kanye Is It That Thinks Slavery Was A Choice?

May 23, 2018
Kanye West performing in 2011.
Rodrigo Ferrari / Creative Commons / flickr.com/photos/rodrigoferrari

“That’s just Kanye being Kanye.”

That’s what we said when he ran up on stage to interrupt Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech to say Beyoncé deserved it.

The tall, gangly man twists a cone of paper in his hands as stories from nearly 30 years of addiction pour out: the robbery that landed him in prison at 17; never getting his GED; going through the horrors of detox, maybe 40 times, including this latest, which he finished two weeks ago. He’s now in a residential unit for at least 30 days.

Evan Lewis of Northampton, Massachusetts, with a photo of his great-grandfather Lent Shaw.
Joyce Skowyra / NEPR

The country's first national memorial to the victims of lynching opens April 27 in Alabama. One of the thousands of victims was Lent Shaw, a successful black farmer in Colbert, Georgia, accused -- many believe falsely -- of assaulting a white woman. 

Editor's note: This story contains content some may find upsetting.

Editor's note: This report contains language and an image some may find offensive or upsetting.

The National Memorial for Peace and Justice stands high on a hillside overlooking downtown Montgomery, Ala. Beyond the buildings you can see the winding Alabama River and hear the distant whistle of a train — the nexus that made the city a hub for the domestic slave trade.

Wyatt Cenac knows his aesthetic, and his aesthetic seems to be "PBS in the 1970s."

The logo of his new HBO series Wyatt Cenac's Problem Areas looks precisely like the public television of a couple decades ago, with its friendly-looking sans serif lowercase letters in earthy colors. The set is the same way, looking much like one that a host might have wandered around to talk about the beginnings of the world or the ways of the penguin.

Police at the University of Rhode Island say more than a dozen cars have been vandalized over the last two weeks on the school’s campus in Kingston.

A total of 14 vehicles have had swastikas or pornographic images scratched into them. Some of the vehicles sustained additional damage including broken mirrors and slashed tires.

URI Chief of Police Stephen Baker says so far, police are still looking for a suspect.

When he visits rural villages, fans shower him with rose petals. A YouTube user calls him a "rock star activist." It's an unlikely epithet for a 26-year-old from a remote, conservative Pakistani village who sometimes wears a traditional turban.

One of Sonya Clark's previous flag unraveling performances.
Taylor Dabney / Courtesy of Sonya Clark

A performance artist at Amherst College on Thursday uses the threads of a confederate flag to draw attention to the United States' history of racism.

A student at the Ralph C. Mahar Regional School in Orange, Massachusetts, reads the names of 17 victims in last month's school shooting in Parkland, Florida. A chime was sounded after each name.
Jill Kaufman / NEPR

A big story this week was the student walkouts across the region and the country, on the one-month anniversary of the high school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

The main entrance at Westfield State University, where last semester almost two dozen incidents of bigotry were reported.
Jill Kaufman / NEPR

It seems every few weeks there is a hate crime reported on a college campus in New England. The groups that keep track of these kinds of incidents say there is, in fact, a marked increase in the number of racist slurs found scrawled on campus walls and an increase in white supremacist group activity.

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