racism

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The term "critical race theory" has made its way into public debates over education in the Mountain West, and how students should be taught about race and racism. But it's not clear that any K-12 schools in our region actually employ the decades-old academic framework. And as right-wing officials portray it as radical, those who study critical race theory say its meaning is being misconstrued.

Critical race theory is, in short, an approach to understanding structural racism in the United States.

No More Normal: Walking Back Extremism

May 9, 2021
Courtesy of Tony McAleer

  Humans are peculiar. We are capable thoughts, feelings, and expressions ranging from unconditional love to insidious hate. It begs the question: where do we learn those concepts? And then: How do we unlearn them? Here is a good one: How does someone who has been a member of a group that professes hatred of other humans leave that community and ideology behind? What are the steps? What’s the process like? Who are the people that can help them?

No More Normal: Legal Cannabis Takes Root

Apr 18, 2021
Jurassic Blueberries via CC

After many attempts over what seems like forever, New Mexico has finally passed a law making recreational cannabis use legal for adults. But the rollout is not as simple as lighting a match as special considerations for how this new law will impact New Mexicans must be addressed. It raises a lot of questions: What happens to people with prior cannabis convictions? Who will have access to the emerging industry? How will equity be enacted? And how will this affect you if you don’t have citizenship status?

No More Normal: Revolutions Per Minute

Apr 12, 2021
The Seafarer via Flickr CC

The illness of racism was here long before Covid-19, but the pandemic brought it out into a brighter focus. It is too blinding not to see it. It is too loud to be silent in its presence. So we are going to make some noise of our own—the kind of noise you can dance to. On Episode 26, we highlight the dialogues we’ve had over the past year with anti-racist educators and leaders. As the country loops back through a national call to self-destruct on Sunday, April 11, NoMoNo spins remixes of conversations and wall-to-wall beats.

Megan Kamerick


 


University Showcase, 2/19, 8a: On this episode we explore the concept or reparations with Kathy Powers, who has been studying transitional justice and reparations around the world for years. She’s an associate professor of political science at the University of New Mexico.

No More Normal: How We Got Here

Jan 17, 2021
Sharon Chischilly for the Daily Lobo

Anyone who’s been paying attention to racism and white privilege in this country knows that what happened in D.C. has been brewing a long time. There’s a lot of good research and reporting happening right now outlining what’s been missed, suppressed and ignored when it comes to the rise of extremist militias in the U.S. We get into it in episode 17.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

Air Force veteran Barbara Jordan led the Black New Mexico Movement in Rio Rancho in the summer, organizing for equality and justice for Black and Brown people. Demonstrators there encountered angry pushback  from hundreds of residents at some events, but she pressed on. KUNM’s Khalil Ekulona reached out to Jordan to get her views on what she saw take place at the nation's Capitol last week, where a mob of people attempted an insurrection of the United States government—with notably less reaction from law enforcement than at BLM protests in 2020.  

Amid America’s racial reckoning spurred by the killing of George Floyd, a number of controversial historical monuments were torn down by protesters or removed by authorities this year, including some in the Mountain West.


Vanessa Chavarriaga loves to be outside, whether it's floating down a river in the desert or ice skating on a frozen alpine lake. And when she posts photos of her adventures, she includes information about where exactly she was.

courtesy of Dr. Assata Zerai / University of New Mexico

On Wednesday, the University of New Mexico Board of Regents approved a new official seal design. The decision comes after years of advocacy by Native American students and faculty who said the old seal, featuring a conquistador and a frontiersman, celebrated genocide and colonial oppression. But the Regent’s final selection is not the design that won a popular vote, and that has many people feeling left out of what was supposed to be an inclusive process. 

Ty Bannerman

 

Protests against racial injustice have taken place in communities across the country this year, some focusing on calls to remove monuments to racist figures. Last week, on Indigenous People’s Day, an obelisk in the Santa Fe plaza that commemorated colonial violence against Indigenous people was pulled down by demonstrators. As part of our Voices Behind The Vote series, Santa Fe writer Darryl Lorenzo Wellington spoke with KUNM about what that community action meant to him in an election cycle that has seen racism take center stage.  

No More Normal: The Real Crime

Oct 18, 2020
Lonnie Anderson

Attack ads and contemporary political rhetoric about crime have a disturbing campaign ancestor: The Willie Horton ad that may have cost Michael Dukakis the presidential election in 1988. It relied on racism for its efficacy, and it ushered in an era of so-called "tough-on-crime" laws and posturing that nearly broke criminal legal systems, like the one in Albuquerque. Executive Producer and longtime criminal justice reporter Marisa Demarco navigates in Episode 13 how racist, fear-based electioneering warped the country's approach to crime. That continues to this day, favoring quick vengeance over long-term solutions that might have a real impact on crime rates. It's an addictive cycle: These methods, in fact, might be a big part of creating the problem candidates are promising to solve with them when they're counting on fear to salvage their flagging campaigns. 

Hannah Colton / KUNM


Leaders with the Black New Mexico Movement have been out multiple times in the leadup to this election demonstrating for racial justice and working to get folks registered to vote. That’s what they were doing last month at a rally in Rio Rancho when their event was overtaken by counter-protestors. No More Normal executive producer Marisa Demarco spoke with BNMM organizer Barbara Jordan about her priorities this election season and racism in the city she calls home.

No More Normal: What's At Stake

Oct 11, 2020
Bert Benally

Let’s take a breath. In episode 12, we try to fend off that wild pandemic election news cycle we’ve been living inside of, which can feel like a deluge of disorganized tragedies and failures. And we put the focus on what’s hanging in the balance these next couple of weeks as we cast our ballots.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

During the presidential debate a week ago, moderator Chris Wallace asked President Trump to denounce white supremacy. Trump sidestepped the question and instead told a white supremacist group to “stand back and stand by.” The next day, I caught up with Art Simoni, who once would have called himself conservative, and who was my editor when I was a student reporter nearly 20 years ago.

Transcript:

twbuckner / CREATIVE COMMONS

Rev. William Barber has travelled to New Mexico and around the country, organizing with the Poor People's Campaign: A National Call For a Moral Revival. The movement extends from the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., as well as Cesar Chavez, with a vision of poor and low-wealth people and their “moral allies” coming together to make systemic change. Reporter Russell Contreras spoke with Rev. Barber for New Mexico PBS and asked him why poverty should be on the agenda during the 2020 election in New Mexico. 

Nate Hegyi, rural reporter for the Mountain West News Bureau, is embarking on a 900-mile cycling trip crisscrossing the continental divide in August and September, interviewing and listening to Americans ahead of the 2020 election. You can follow along on social media, an online blog and this "Where Is He Now?" map.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

The Black New Mexico Movement held a rally on Saturday, Sept. 12, in Rio Rancho, the more conservative, smaller city that neighbors Albuquerque. Fifty or 60 people gathered to speak out against racism, marking the 24th anniversary of Tupac Shakur’s death and continuing the hip-hop artist’s activism against police brutality and racial injustice. A larger crowd of opposing demonstrators showed up and antagonized the group. 

Jason Risner / CREATIVE COMMONS

Late last year, Nahje Flowers, a lineman for UNM’s football team, died by suicide after a long battle with depression noted by family and friends. His family is suing the university, the NCAA and former head coach Bob Davie, who they say ignored Flowers’ pleas for help and time off and forced him to keep playing. They’re represented by Ben Crump, the nationally known lawyer, who’s also bringing cases forward on behalf of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, among others. KUNM’s Khalil Ekulona spoke with Crump and Mica Hilaire, who is the lead attorney on the lawsuit.

A new report shows that the COVID-19 recession has households in the Mountain West facing high hardship rates, especially when it comes to rent and food security.

 


No More Normal: This Will Be On The Exam

Aug 23, 2020
Photo by Nani Chacon

In the old days—like last year—mid-August was a time when students prepared to get back to class. A time to reconnect with friends and compare summer vacation stories and to show off the fashion of your new school outfits, if you were so lucky. In 2020, instead of students worrying about who has a crush on who, they’re thinking about who has COVID and who doesn't. Parents are concerned with how their kids will get a quality education. Teachers are not only focused on the adjustment to teaching remotely but on the health risks of being called back to campus. In Episode 6, we hear from a panel of teachers, students in three different levels of school, a union rep for college instructors, Khalil’s mom Olufemi Ekulona, as well as renowned anti-racism educator Jane Elliott. Break out your notebooks. There’s a lot to learn, and what is covered today will be on the exam.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

State Republicans had planned on featuring the New Mexico Civil Guard as special guests at a rally in Clovis on Aug. 22, before the militia group pulled out, citing racist remarks by one of the invited speakers. The Civil Guard, whose members have showed up heavily armed at several protests in Albuquerque this summer, also had their Facebook page removed this week as the platform culled hundreds of pages it says are tied to violence. 

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

Demonstrations against racism and police violence continue around the United States and here in New Mexico. KUNM’s team has been to nearly all of them in Albuquerque and reports that protesters are pretty much always peaceful. On Thursday, Aug. 6, organizers with the Black New Mexico Movement gathered Downtown to speak out against what they said is biased news coverage about them and an inadequate police response to militia threats.

No More Normal: Disappearing Acts

Jul 27, 2020
Leslie Granda-Hill / 2020

This week, we get into what has disappeared from our lives—good or bad—during the pandemic. Episode 2 is all about what’s going, going, gone, maybe for good. We learn of attempts to erase people from the Census. We talk to Sen. Martin Heinrich about the erosion of our civil liberties. We reflect on what’s fading from our relationships and mental wellness. We hear from a COVID-19 survivor, so the realities of the virus don’t slip away. We examine the consciousness of community and the loss of a collective future with an international futurist. We reflect on a disappearing chicken and what life was like pre-pandemic. And we try to see and hear a vanishing Rio Grande.

No More Normal: Lessons Of Endurance

Jul 20, 2020
Zack Freeman

 

No More Normal is a new show brought to you by the same crew behind YNMG. On episode 1, we’re talking endurance. In the last few months, how many times have you heard someone say, “We’re in this for the long haul”? It’s going to take all kinds of gritty willpower to keep each other alive and to make it through the changes in our world. This week we learn from younger folks. We get lessons, advice and stories from civil rights activists. We talk about the endurance of people who’ve been fighting racist mascots and imagery for decades. And we tag along for a long run in the brutal heat.

Hannah Colton

University Showcase 7/17 8a: On this episode we talk with Associate Professor Finnie Coleman about the origins and the goals of the Black Lives Matter movement and how Afrofuturism can inform the creation of a more just society. 

pexels.com via CC


Let’s Talk New Mexico 7/16, 8a: Journalism is changing. All reporters are both living in the pandemic and reporting on it. Local student journalists are calling on newsrooms to acknowledge the racism hidden in how objectivity plays out in newsrooms. On this week's Let's Talk New Mexico, we’re discussing decision-making in news and reckoning with a history of racism in media.

And we want to hear from you!  How do you decide whether you can trust a New Mexican news source? What might make you lose that trust? Join the conversation by emailing letstalk@kunm.org or calling in on the day of the show.

Researchers have released a new guide for parents about how to keep their kids from being recruited by extremists online.

This story was powered by America Amplified, a public radio initiative.

As Black Lives Matter rallies continue across the country, some counter protesters and militia members are giving new life to an old racist myth – that white Irish people were enslaved in the Americas just like Africans and Indigenous people.

 


Protests are unfolding across the country over the death of Elijah McClain at the hands of police in Aurora, Colo. Now, frustration is also building over local law enforcement’s use of force this past weekend at a vigil in Aurora honoring him — frustration that was visible at a city council meeting Tuesday night dedicated to the response. 

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