Nathalie Baptiste

Nathalie Baptiste is a writing fellow at The American Prospect

Recent Articles

Closing the Racial Wealth Gap

The goal of wealth equality in America is a long way off.

Viktor Gladkov/Shutterstock
Viktor Gladkov/Shutterstock T he racial wealth gap has gotten so wide that if the average wealth of black families continues to grow at the same pace it has over the last 30 years and the average wealth of white families remained stagnant, black families would still need a stunning 228 years to amass the same amount of wealth that the average white family has today. For Latino families, the picture isn’t much better: it would take 84 years for a Latino family’s average wealth to match average wealth of white families. The goal of wealth equality in America is a long way off, and according to a recent Institute for Policy Studies report, if no action is taken on the racial wealth gap, it may never close. The primary way to build wealth in the United States is through homeownership, and the federal government spends billions of dollars on mortgage interest deductions . But for decades, discriminatory housing policies essentially prevented families of color from buying homes, so they did...

Community Policing in a Time of Crisis

Community policing programs can improve relations between police officers and residents, but current tensions underscore the challenges.

(Photo: Sipa USA via AP)
(Photo: Sipa USA via AP/Max Herman) Protesters march through Chicago on August 7, 2016, in response to the shooting of teenager Paul O'Neal. T wo years ago on August 9, 2014, Darren Wilson, a white police officer, shot and killed Michael Brown, a black teenager, in Ferguson, Missouri, setting off months of unrest that brought into full view the longstanding tensions between police departments and communities of color in the United States. Since Brown’s death, police conduct and racial injustice have remained in the headlines, while the national conversation has shifted to community policing, accountability, and transparency. But in some communities across the country, little has changed. The Guardian estimates that police have shot and killed more than 600 people so far this year, including Philando Castile in Saint Paul, Minnesota; Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana; and Paul O’Neal in Chicago. Attorney General Loretta Lynch and law enforcement officials discussed police...

Korryn Gaines and the Criminalization of Disabilities

A new study released in July asserts that the criminal justice system discriminates against people with mental disabilities.

AP Photo/Morry Gash
AP Photo/Morry Gash A prisoner stands in an isolation cell in the Dane County Jail in Madison, Wisconsin. O n Monday morning, Korryn Gaines joined the growing list of black people killed by police this year. Baltimore County police officers shot the 23-year-old mother inside her suburban Baltimore home after arriving to serve her a warrant for failure to appear in court for a traffic violation. Police officers say they shot Gaines, who was cradling her son, because she pointed a shotgun at them. In the immediate backlash over her death from the wider black community and activists, The Washington Post reported that Gaines might have suffered from lead poisoning as a child , which can lead to cognitive and behavioral disabilities. She also appeared to be suffering from some sort of mental breakdown in the months leading up to her death. A new study released in July asserts that the criminal justice system discriminates against people with mental disabilities, putting them at more risk...

Black Lives Matter Movement Splintering at DNC

Protests against police violence worked their way through downtown Philadelphia, in opposition to Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Convention.

(Photo: AP/John Minchillo)
(Photo: AP/John Minchillo) Black Lives Matter demonstrators participate in a protest march in Philadelphia on Tuesday, July 26, 2016. W hile Democratic delegates were busy nominating the first woman to lead a major-party presidential ticket, Black Lives Matter protesters were downtown outside Philadelphia City Hall driving home a message their own: “Don’t vote for Hillary, she’s killing black people.” The contrast between the chanting activists outside on the gritty, hot Philadelphia streets and the cheering delegates inside the festive, air-conditioned convention hall are the starkest indications yet that that the Black Lives Matter movement is poised to split between people who support more vigorous protests and those who favor working within the political system. Tuesday’s Black DNC Resistance March attracted hundreds of people of all ages and races. Marchers wore “Stop Killing Black People” T-shirts and waved signs depicting the names of the scores of black men and women killed by...

Latinos Remain Skeptical of Democrats’ Immigration Policy

For activists in Philadelphia, simply not being Donald Trump may not be enough.

Nathalie Baptiste
Nathalie Baptiste Immigration activists march toward Philadelphia City Hall on Day 1 of the 2016 Democratic National Convention. H undreds of immigration activists of all races and ages chanted “¿ Cuándo?¡Ahora! ” or “When? Now!” as they began walking in the sweltering mid-summer heat. They had come together in a predominantly Latino neighborhood in South Philadelphia near the site of the Democratic National Convention for the nearly two-mile march north toward Philadelphia City Hall to call for an end of the federal deportations that are currently tearing families apart. The backlash against Donald Trump’s fear-mongering surrounding Mexican immigrants was swift, but Latinos and their allies haven’t necessarily cozied up to the Democrats just yet. President Barack Obama has presided over an unprecedented era of deportations. Philadelphia immigrant activists and other advocates from around country fear that the deportations will continue under a President Hillary Clinton and Vice...