RACISM

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh speaks at a news conference on Aug. 15, 2017, about a planned free speech rally Saturday. Gov. Charlie Baker looks on.
Jesse Costa / WBUR

Following the fatal violence at a white supremacist gathering in Virginia, public safety officials in Boston are preparing for weekend demonstrations on Boston Common. But they admit they're unsure just what to expect, partly because city officials have been unable to contact organizers of a controversial rally planned for Saturday.

"All we know is what we're seeing on social media," Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said at a Monday press conference during which he and Gov. Charlie Baker denounced the message of hate groups.

Scenes from a rally in Northampton, Mass., on Aug. 13, 2017, opposing white supremacists.
Nancy Eve Cohen / NEPR

Rallies sprang up around New England Sunday in solidarity with the anti-Nazi protestors in Charlottesville, Virginia.

It's A School's Job To Acknowledge Race

Jul 31, 2017
Author Grace Lin.
Courtesy of Grace Lin

A few years ago, commentator Grace Lin joined the Diversity Committee of her child's preschool in western Massachusetts . When one of the members asked dubiously whether race really needed to be addressed with young children, Lin knew the answer instantly.

When I was a child, the way adults dealt with race in my community was by not talking about it.

I remember in fifth grade, after I'd answered a question correctly, a boy burst in saying, “She just knows that because she’s Chin—,” only to be cut off by our teacher.

A person wearing a Confederate flag jacket, outside Easthampton High School on May 3, 2017.
Submitted Photo / NEPR

Can a school prevent students from wearing the Confederate flag? The school committee in Easthampton, Massachusetts, did just that this week, raising questions about the rights of students and responsibilities of educators.

A person attaches a Confederate flag to a truck in this photo, which a parent said was snapped outside Easthampton High School on April 24, 2017.
Submitted Photo / MassLive

The Easthampton School Committee will decide Tuesday night whether to continue a temporary ban  that prohibits students from wearing clothing with a symbol of the confederate flag to school.

Western New England University in Springfield awarded 581 bachelor degrees during its commencement ceremony in 2015.
File Photo / MassLive

Western New England University is looking into statements allegedly posted by a member of the women's lacrosse team calling on President Trump to "build that wall."

Friday was Cinco de Mayo, May 5th, a Mexican holiday celebrating the country's victory in a battle against the French in 1862. In the U.S., it's become a celebration of Mexican American culture.

In November 2016, Damien Johnson was one of several people who painted a solvent on rocks atop Mount Tom to get rid of racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic messages.
Nancy Eve Cohen / NEPR

Anti-Semitic incidents in the United States increased by more than a third in 2016 over the year before, according to an annual audit from the Anti--Defamation League. The jump was especially steep in Massachusetts, with a 150 percent increase.

Compared to other states, Massachusetts had the fifth highest number of anti-Semitic incidents last year, with a total of 125 episodes -- topped by only California, New Jersey, New York and Florida.

The campus of UMass Amherst.
File photo / The Daily Hampshire Gazette

Hate groups are on the rise in the U.S. and they increasingly see college campuses as prime recruiting ground.

UMass Amherst and Holyoke Community College are just two of dozens of college campuses to have been targeted by white nationalist propaganda in recent months. But finding the right way to respond to these groups can present a challenge to college administrators.

Paul Keleher / Creative Commons

Students at Holy Cross will gather next week to better understand the history behind the name of the college’s mascot and school newspaper.

Some on campus have pointed out that “The Crusader” is also the name of a newspaper affiliated with the Ku Klux Klan. And it’s not like the Crusades are all that popular either.

Kevin Madigan from the Harvard Divinity School said the meaning of the word “Crusader” has evolved since Holy Cross adopted it in 1925.

When Not-Bad People Obey Not-Good Orders

Feb 17, 2017
Shaheen Pasha teaches international journalism at UMass Amherst.
UMass

Commentator Shaheen Pasha has a passport full of stamps from Muslim nations as well as European countries and far-flung Asian destinations. It’s always been a source of pride to have been able to see the world. Now it’s a source of concern.