Gene Demby

Gene Demby appears in the following:

Donald Sterling Says He Isn't A Racist. Is Anyone?

Monday, May 12, 2014

Last week, I was having a conversation with a woman who said that her father was distrustful of people of other races. When I asked her if she considered her father a racist, she balked at the premise of the question. When I think of a racist, I think of ...


After 6 Decades, 'Jet' Magazine Decides To Go All-Digital

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

When I was growing up, my aunt used to stack dozens of magazines high on a side table at the top of her stairs. It was an accidental library of black magazines — lots of Ebony and Essence, the stray Black Enterprise here and there, but especially the digest-sized Jet. ...


European Soccer Tackles Racism But Slips On A Banana Peel

Thursday, May 01, 2014

While sports fan in the U.S. have been focused this week on the Donald Sterling scandal, European soccer fans have been talking about another racial incident. At a match between FC Barcelona (popularly known as Barça) and Villareal CF in Spain this past weekend, Brazilian player Dani Alves was ...


How Donald Sterling Violated The NBA's Unspoken Social Contract

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

We play for each other, for our fans, and for our families — not Donald Sterling.

That was the general message that players for the Los Angeles Clippers reiterated, off-mic, when the Sterling fiasco blew up over the weekend. They were being buffeted by questions about how, exactly, they might ...


For Donald Sterling, A Spotty Reputation Further Tarnished

Monday, April 28, 2014

If you're a basketball nut, last week was heaven. Nearly all of the series in the first round of the NBA playoffs have been intense affairs with dramatic finishes. Several teams that barely squeaked into the postseason might upset some of the league's powerhouses. It was an uncommonly exciting week ...


What Exactly Qualifies As 'Racist,' Anyway?

Friday, April 25, 2014

Meet Cliven Bundy, a 67-year-old Nevada rancher and the latest person in public life recorded making pretty racist comments, only to later insist that they lack racist bones.

Over the past few weeks, Bundy has garnered huge amounts of media coverage and plaudits among some conservatives for defying the ...


Two Justices Debate The Doctrine Of Colorblindness

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Supreme Court ruled Monday that Michigan voters' 2006 decision to ban affirmative action in the state's higher education system passed constitutional muster.

But much of the attention on the decision has zeroed in on a specific exchange between Justice Sonia Sotomayor and Chief Justice John Roberts on ...


The Golden Arch Of The Universe Is Long ...

Sunday, April 20, 2014

A member of the Code Switch team — who shall remain nameless, but whose name rhymes with Tatt Mhompson — was recently winding his way through the recesses of Amazon when he stumbled across an ad for McDonald's that appeared in Ebony back in 1972. (Don't trouble yourself trying to ...


Revisiting Pulitzer Nominees That Touch On Issues Of Race

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

This week, Columbia University handed out the Pulitzer Prizes, which are widely considered among the highest honors in journalism. The occasion gives us a good excuse to shout-out some of the finalists and winning entries that touch on issues of race and culture. (Fair warning: These stories are very good ...


Sometimes Getting Along Comes Down To How You Say 'Gravy'

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

In the hectic days before we went live one year ago (hooray!), we somehow missed the news of the passing, at age 91, of John Gumperz — a hugely influential linguist who contributed reams of research on the ways people from different cultures communicate. Had we been paying attention, ...


Step Behind Closed Doors And Into The LBJ Library's Time Machine

Thursday, April 10, 2014

This week, the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library and Museum in Austin, Texas, is holding a major conference on civil rights. It's a big deal. This year marks the 50th anniversary of Johnson's signing of the Civil Rights Act. The legacy of the landmark legislation is as significant and ...


How Stereotypes Explain Everything And Nothing At All

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

A few days ago, I wrote a post in which I was mulling just why so few Asian-Americans played Division I basketball in the 2012-2013 season. The numbers were striking. Of the 5,380 men's players in the top tier of college basketball, only 15 were Asian-American. Asian-American ballers weren't ...


Why Aren't Asian-Americans Getting Their 'One Shining Moment'?

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

While we were looking at some NCAA stats on student athletes for a story last week, we came across a couple of numbers that made our eyes bulge: of the 5,380 men's basketball players in Division I basketball last season, only 15 were Asian-American. Fifteen.

That's 0.2 percent ...


In Search For Missing 8-Year-Old, A Grim Turn

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Washington, D.C., police chief Cathy L. Lanier said Thursday the search for Relisha Rudd, a missing 8-year-old girl, "may be best described as a recovery operation." Lanier's comments suggest authorities fear she is no longer alive.

Earlier this week, the FBI released a Feb. 26 surveillance video showing Relisha and ...


Poll Finds Big Racial Gap On Compensating College Athletes

Thursday, March 27, 2014

A decision yesterday by the National Labor Relations Board found that football players at Northwestern University were, in effect, employees of their school. That means that Northwestern players can move forward with plans to form a union — a move that sent shock waves through the world of college ...


Redskins' Team Owner Launches Program For Natives, Flotilla Of Side-Eyes

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

On Monday, Daniel Snyder, the Washington Redskins' polarizing owner, doubled down.

Snyder sent a letter to the team's fans in which he announced that he was starting a philanthropic project to aid Native American communities. He said he'd spent months traveling through Indian country, getting to know tribal leaders and ...


The Most Powerful Nerd In The Universe Is A Scientific Anomaly

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Neil deGrasse Tyson — astrophysicist, irreverent tweeter, vanquisher of Pluto, frequent Stephen Colbert foil — is America's "It" Nerd.

A lot of people have held that title before, acting as evangelists for science and discovery. Ben Franklin. Our buddy George Washington Carver. Stephen Jay Gould. Carl ...


Black Preschoolers Far More Likely To Be Suspended

Friday, March 21, 2014

Here's what the education data show: kids who are suspended or expelled from school are more likely to drop out, and those dropouts are more likely to end up with criminal records. In many places, school discipline pushes kids directly into the juvenile justice system. Take just one example:


'Street Fighter II': Most Racist Nostalgic Video Game Ever?

Sunday, March 16, 2014

The video game magazine Polygon recently published a fascinating oral history of the creation of Street Fighter II, the glitchy, addictive, incredibly influential arcade game from the 1990s created by Capcom. The story rounded up all of the game's developers and artists and programmers — a group of eccentrics ...

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For Player At Center Of NFL Bullying Story, A New Opportunity

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

When Jonathan Martin abruptly left the Miami Dolphins in the middle of last season after alleging harassment by his teammate, Richie Incognito, it sparked media discussions about everything from the use of the word "nigger" in N.F.L. locker rooms to the construction of masculinity.

From the beginning, the story was ...