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Speaker discusses “White Rage”, voter suppression at PA event

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Speaker discusses “White Rage”, voter suppression at PA event

Dr. Carol Anderson speaks to a gathering of Lab community members.

Dr. Carol Anderson speaks to a gathering of Lab community members.

Olivia Griffin

Dr. Carol Anderson speaks to a gathering of Lab community members.

Olivia Griffin

Olivia Griffin

Dr. Carol Anderson speaks to a gathering of Lab community members.

Olivia Griffin, Midway Reporter

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On the eve of Chicago’s mayoral election, Dr. Carol Anderson, a professor at Emory University, discussed her books and issues such as voter ID laws at an event hosted by the Parents’ Association in Gordon Parks Assembly Hall on Feb. 25.

Faculty, administration, and parents came to hear Dr. Anderson explain concepts from her books “White Rage” and “We Are Not Yet Equal.”

Dr. Anderson said she believes that America is “so focused on the flames we’ve missed the kindling,” of racial divisions. This “kindling,” she outlines in her books, includes police brutality, voter suppression, court decisions, school boards and legislation.

Dr. Anderson said that policymaker arguments stressing the issue of voter fraud are made to look rational, but the issue was not large enough to press such extreme policy.

The professor explained that voting rights were subdued by instituting photo ID regulations, which have disproportionately harmed black communities. For example, 71% of residents in Alabama public housing, which issues IDs, are black. Legislation to combat voter fraud decreed that public housing-issued ID was not acceptable for voting, which “created an obstacle based on a lie around that obstacle,” Dr. Anderson said.

In addition to her lecture, the professor responded to audience commentary.

Amanda Norton, who chairs the speakers series for the Parents’ Association, arranged for Dr. Anderson to speak.

“We try to bring people that can be resonant with lots of parents and lots of members of the community,” Ms. Norton said.

Kenny Newman, a 1976 U-High alumnus and audience member, previously heard Dr. Anderson speak and was interested to see what she would say this time. Mr. Newman said his interest in Dr. Anderson’s talk was sparked by his past engagement in the Police Athletic League when he lived in Florida, and attempts to implement the same program into the Chicago Police Department.  

The UCLS Black Family Forum, an organization that’s designed to enhance the experience of black children at Lab, hosted a series of artists before Dr. Anderson spoke. To continue the theme of Black History Month, Edith Yokley, a DJ Violinist, Chuck Webb, Miguel De La Cerna and MADD Rhythms Tap Dance performed before Dr. Anderson spoke.

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