Race News in Vogue

By Malena Amusa Feb 16, 2007

Affirmative action, strike a pose! After reading dozens of news stories for the past few weeks, it seems talking about race has become all the rage on the InterWeb. (We won’t take all the credit.) Affirmative action debate is rising to the top of that heap. The best news packages I’ve seen so far I found on MSNBC.com. The site recently launched an incredibly interactive report on civil rights looking at race and gender inequities and old discriminating laws still on the books. MSNBC got it down. Here’s a quick overview: –Its multimedia affirmative report has viewers select students for college admission based on a brief summary of their AP classes; test scores; race and ambitions. How would you choose students from a stack of hundreds of applicants? Suddenly, things like race start to stick out. The applicants evoke stereotypes, for instance, the black male applicant performed the poorest on his test scores, came from the largest school and a single-parent household. He soared in sports. Another applicant is a really smart white male who despite all his worldly engagements has absolutely no clue what he wants to do in life. –The racial profiling report takes readers on a cop patrol in a Cincinnati hood. The cop is unapologetic when he stops a black man with a hooded sweatshirt after he turned the other way when he saw the cop. The bully cop later denies the black man his right to file a complaint and suddenly MSNBC.com is looking more like a race accountability forum. If this is the cop on good behavior a la video recording then we can imagine the number of n-words flying off camera. –We also learn that Arizona voted to keep a law banning Asians from owning land; and also that Alabama allowed inter-racial marriage as early as 2000. But I won’t give it all away. Go see this race catwalk live!