Richland County District 2

The school officer seen grabbing a South Carolina high school student in a video has been fired. Deputy Ben Fields is no longer an employee of the Richland County Sherriff’s office in Columbia said Sheriff Leon Lott Wednesday. 

Sarah Delia / WFAE

A video from a Columbia, SC, high school has gone viral, and it’s a hard one to watch. It all started Monday when a black student at Spring Valley High School was asked to get up and leave her math class after both her teacher and the assistant principal asked her to stop disruptive behavior—texting on her phone. 

Lisa Worf / WFAE

The trial of Randall Kerrick, the former CMPD Police officer who shot and killed an unarmed black man, begins next week. Police and local community groups have been trying to build relationships hoping to head off any violence. They held one such event Sunday.    

The tragic event at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, SC, has become a focal point for a wide variety of issues confronting not just Charleston and the Palmetto State, but more likely the entire nation.

As the funerals begin for the nine black victims, slain at the hands and gun of a white-supremacist terrorist, the echo of an all-too-familiar question abounds yet again: how and why could this have happened?

dbking / Flickr/https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

A City of Charlotte fire investigator is out of a job because of a Facebook post in the aftermath of the Ferguson, Missouri riots. It’s the first time a Charlotte city employee has been fired over a posting on social media. An attorney for the investigator says the city overreached.

So what are the First Amendment rights of public employees?

Rick Najera: 'Almost White'

Oct 8, 2014

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Rick Najera calls himself "almost white,” which is his way of saying he’s Latino. As a performer, he noticed that Hispanics are under-represented on TV, so he decided to take matters into his own hands. Realizing writers control the ethnicity of TV characters, he started writing more roles for non-whites. We discuss all this and his one-man show, Almost White: Forced Confessions of a Latino in Hollywood.

Debby Irving And Waking Up White

Apr 8, 2014
Debby Irving

Debby Irving grew up thinking of herself as someone who didn’t see color. She believed she didn’t have a racist bone in her body but, despite her best efforts, all her best friends were white.  Still, she didn’t think herself a member of any race.  And that, she says, was the biggest problem.  She joins us to talk about Waking Up White and finding herself in the story of race.

From Carolina Room, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, courtesy of Levine Museum.

Fifty years ago, a Charlotte Civil Rights activist led a march through Charlotte to call for desegregation in the city. That march triggered an "eat-in" at Charlotte restaurants with African American leaders, led by then Mayor Stan Brookshire. That action in Charlotte helped set the stage for the nation's 1964 Civil Rights Act. Fifty years after that action, we'll gather with historians as well as people who were there to talk about those historic events, how Charlotte has progressed since, and where we still need to go to fully achieve desegregation in Charlotte, when Charlotte Talks.

  Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once wrote "worship at its best is a social experience with people of all levels" His vision for more integrated churches has not truly come to fruition but several area religious leaders hope to change that. We'll meet a Sociologist studying the divisive nature that can pervade churches in our region as well as two Pastors working to diversify their own congregations. On the week of the celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. we look at his hope for integration of the church experience in America.

Martin Luther King, Jr. said "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character." There is evidence that children form attitudes and opinions about race as early as six months old. In a recent study by our guest Dr. Melanie Killen (commissioned by CNN), a white child and a black child look at the exact same picture of two students on the playground and see very different things. How do children interpret our differences and form racial attitudes? We'll find out how to talk to kids about race with a researcher into children's social development and the author of a children's book about race.