raceAhead: Apple’s Diversity Chief Leaves, Homeland Security Official Resigns After Racist Comments, We’re All Nigerian Now

Your week in review, in haiku


Dear public servants:

No touching. Stop race-baiting.

Be welcome at malls.


The sexiest man?

At Cracker Barrel, maybe.

“If that,” sniffs Twitter.


Got any Russian

backdoor overtures lying

around? Just asking.


One leaky Keystone.

Two hundred thousand problems.

No Native respect.


Kicking the tires:

Wherefore art thou Koch brothers?

Reclaiming our Time.

Reclaim your weekend, everyone.

On Point

Apple’s diversity chief is leaving her post after six months
Denise Young Smith, the company’s most recent vice president of diversity and inclusion, is leaving her post and the company. The 20-year Apple veteran will be replaced by Christie Smith, a longtime Deloitte human resources executive. While Denise Young Smith reported directly to CEO Tim Cook, Christie Smith will report to Deirdre O’Brien, Apple’s human resources officer.
Department of Homeland Security official resigns after racist comments come to light
Jamie Johnson, director of the Center for Faith-Based & Neighborhood Partnerships at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), resigned last night after a CNN report revealed public comments he made disparaging African Americans and Muslims during numerous talk radio appearances. On one occasion, Johnson blamed black people for turning “major cities into slums because of laziness, drug use and sexual promiscuity.” During another appearance he said, “all that Islam has ever given us is oil and dead bodies over the last millennia and a half.” Johnson, who is a pastor, apologized on his way out. “I regret the manner in which those thoughts were expressed in the past, but can say unequivocally that they do not represent my views personally or professionally,” he said.
The Hill
Some DACA applications were lost in the mail and rejected, despite meeting a crucial deadline
Though the administration now says it will reconsider some applications that it processed incorrectly, it’s not clear how they’ll be able to keep that promise. At least 4,000 out of more than 130,000 renewal applications were rejected for barely missing the deadline, but advocates think the true number could be much higher. The Trump administration plans to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which protects nearly 700,000 young immigrants from deportation, in 2018.
The Nigerian women’s bobsled team is going to compete in the Olympics
The three women, Seun Adigun, Ngozi Onwumere and Akuoma Omeoga finished their fifth and qualifying race yesterday, and are officially heading for the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang next February. They are the first African bobsled team in Olympic history, and their remarkable quest has already delighted an exhausted and cynical world. We are all Nigerian now, o.

The Woke Leader

For your weekend viewing pleasure: Mudbound
Mudbound, an extraordinary film by Dee Rees with co-writer, Virgil Williams, debuts today on Netflix. The film was adapted from Hillary Jordan’s 2008 first novel, “Mudbound” and is the story of two families during World War II, one black and one white, whose lives are intertwined on the same dusty, brown patch of farmland. It also features a resplendently bare Mary J. Blige, in a performance that is sure to generate buzz. Even the reviews are epic: “The radicalism of “Mudbound” thus lies in its inherently democratic sensibility, its humble, unapologetic insistence on granting its black and white characters the same moral and dramatic weight,” says film critic Justin Chang. “In a film industry that has only begun to correct its default position of presenting black suffering almost exclusively through a white gaze, this is no small achievement.”
LA Times
What sexual harassment looks like
The Washington Post has collected stories from women who were harassed at work and then reported the incident. The employers are not named, and the women are identified by first name and age only. But what becomes quickly apparent is how diverse and widespread the behavior is, and how economically vulnerable female employees often are. If you were a person who laughed off or misunderstood the meaning of “hostile workplace” in the past, consider this a painful primer. Oh, and the kicker? When women report, things often get far worse.
Washington Post
On the meaning of macaroni and cheese
If you think of mac and cheese as an easy, weeknight side dish that starts in a blue box, then you’re probably white. But if you think of macaroni and cheese as a made-from-scratch culinary event, then you’re probably black. And that’s part of the fascinating difference between a black and white Thanksgiving celebration.  “In black culture, for the most part, macaroni & cheese is the pinnacle, the highest culinary accolade. Who makes it, how it’s made and who’s allowed to bring it to a gathering involves negotiation, tradition and tacit understanding.” A delightful look at how a “simple” dish defines a culture.
Charlotte Observer

Maria Dehn

Maria Dehn has held editorial management positions for numerous print and Web publications. She has more than 17 years of Information Technologies and journalism experience and has written many reports on cloud computing. You can reach her on Twitter @MariaDehn

Maria Dehn

Maria Dehn

Maria Dehn

Maria Dehn

Published by

Maria Dehn

Maria Dehn has held editorial management positions for numerous print and Web publications. She has more than 17 years of Information Technologies and journalism experience and has written many reports on cloud computing. You can reach her on Twitter @MariaDehn