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Understanding Racism in America

Illustration by Alex Nabaum

It seems like every week there’s news of a white person run afoul of racial etiquette. It often happens that he or she is compelled to apologize, resign, or be fired. Cliven Bundy, Donald Sterling, and a Utah legislator claiming the NAACP is a racist organization are just a few recent examples. But are these men outliers or symptoms of deeper cultural problems? Thursday we’re examining how racism in America has changed, asking where we’ve made progress on race relations where we’ve fallen short.


  • Theodore Johnson, IIIis a US Navy Commander and commentator on race and politics whose articles have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, Salon, and NPR.com.
  • Debby Irving is a racial justice educator and writer who teaches at Wheellock College. Her new book is called Waking Up White [Amazon|Indiebound]

Doug Fabrizio has been reporting for KUER News since 1987, and became News Director in 1993. In 2001, he became host and executive producer of KUER's RadioWest, a one hour conversation/call-in show on KUER 90.1 in Salt Lake City. He has gained a reputation for his thoughtful style. He has interviewed everyone from Isabel Allende to the Dalai Lama, and from Madeleine Albright to Desmond Tutu. His interview skills landed him a spot as a guest host of the national NPR program, "Talk of the Nation." He has won numerous awards for his reporting and for his work with RadioWest and KUED's Utah NOW from such organizations as the Society of Professional Journalists, the Utah Broadcasters Association, the Public Radio News Directors Association and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.