Race

At long last — the first episode of the Code Switch podcast! We decided to start off with a question we've been fixated on over the past few months: Why is it so hard to talk about whiteness?

My dad, who came to the U.S. in 1969 from Hong Kong, who speaks English-lilted-with-Taishanese, who has lived in Connecticut for two-thirds of his life — three times the length of his time in Asia — still uses the word "Oriental."

It's always a casual reference. "This place used to be a Oriental restaurant," he'll say, as we drive by a boarded-up storefront that once was a Chinese take-out joint.

He doesn't use it in a derogatory way. It's just his go-to term for anything Asian, whether that's food, a business, a person, an idea. But I keep trying to get him to stop.

Documentary filmmaker Ken Burns has been chosen to deliver this year's Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities, the highest honor bestowed by the federal government for work in the field. He will talk about race in America.

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A new film by a Houston director is examining a dark period of Texas history. “The Example” is a fictional story, set during the 1943 race riots in Beaumont, a small city in southeast Texas.

The movie tells the hypothetical story of a black family trying to flee the riots and having a nearly tragic encounter with a couple of white policemen on a quiet country road after dark.

From Texas Standard:

Fifty years ago, the NCAA men's basketball tournament started with just 22 teams in the first round. When it came down to the championship game: on one side was the all-white Kentucky basketball team, as most college basketball teams were at the time; the challenger was Texas Western, an all-black team from El Paso – the university has since become the University of Texas at El Paso, or UTEP.

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