“Quick Takes” offers a mix of interesting news, opinion, and research related to race, privilege, and inequality.

Today’s “Quick Takes” includes discussion of Europe and reparations for slavery, Native American team mascots, the contributions of immigrants to Arizona’s economy, questions about the Tea Party and race, and the media’s negative portrayal of single black women.

Readers are encouraged to share these stories and to comment at the end of the post.

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Slavery in New England was brutal and lasted, in its official form, for 150 years. Enslavement greatly enriched the colonists and, later, citizens of New England, and only died out gradually and fitfully.

This is the proposition of an op-ed appearing in tomorrow’s Boston Globe, entitled “New England’s scarlet ‘S’ for slavery,” in honor of the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The op-ed suggests that the northern states lag behind the South in acknowledging the difficult truths of race buried in our past, and that we cannot skip this step if we are to make progress on race relations.

The essay is written by C. S. Manegold, who is the author of Ten Hills Farm: The Forgotten History of Slavery in the North (2009), published last month by Princeton University Press.

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The U.S. Senate has approved a measure which would apologize to Native Americans, on behalf of the people of the United States, for a history of official misdeeds by the federal government and “many instances of violence, maltreatment, and neglect”by U.S. citizens.

The apology takes the form of an amendment to the 2010 defense appropriations bill, and would require the House and Senate to concur on a version of the appropriations bill which includes the amendment before it would take effect.

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Queen LiliuokalaniThe U.S. Supreme Court is poised to rule on the issue of whether apologies issued to Hawaii give native Hawaiians a legal claim to lands seized in the 19th century.

The Court will have to judge whether an apology was a mere statement of regret, or whether, even without additional language, the apology creates legal responsibilities.

The case has important implications for native Hawaiians and for other groups, such as native Americans, which may have historic claims to seized territory. It also bears directly on the politics and legal implications of the growing number of state and federal apologies for the nation’s history of slavery and discrimination.

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