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Kerner@50: Why the Kerner Report matters for racial equity today

Stephen Menendian, assistant director, Othering & Belonging Institute at UC Berkeley | February 25, 2018

Fifty years ago this week, a special commission assembled by President Lyndon B. Johnson released a blockbuster report. Tasked with investigating the causes of more than 150 civil uprisings that erupted across the nation in 1967, the “National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders,” led by Governor Otto Kerner, squarely placed the blame on white racism. … Continue reading »

Protests in Iran: not a crushing end

Mahmood Monshipouri, Lecturer in Global Studies/International and Area Studies | January 22, 2018

Several days of protests in cities small and large around Iran in the recent eruption of political unrest served as yet another reminder that Iran’s Islamic Republic titanic vessel has collided with an iceberg of new protest waves. The Islamic Republic of Iran, which has traditionally relied on recruits from smaller towns and villages and … Continue reading »

Explaining Orthodox Jews’ growing support for the Trump presidency

David Henkin, professor of history | November 9, 2017

(This is cross-posted from the site, Public Books, where it appeared as the 24th installment of The Big Picture, a public symposium on what’s at stake in Trump’s America, co-organized by Public Books and NYU’s Institute for Public Knowledge.) Exit polls conducted during the 2016 election yielded a fact about the political allegiances of American Jews that … Continue reading »

Some basic truths and ways to think about ‘free speech’

William Turner, Lecturer in media studies | October 15, 2017

To make sense of this year’s battles over free speech in Berkeley, Charlottesville and elsewhere, it helps to keep in mind four basic First Amendment truths. First: The First Amendment means what the Supreme Court says it means. To be precise, it means what at least five justices on the current court say it means. … Continue reading »

Taxpayers, indirect subsidies and influencing America’s gun lobby

Brian DeLay, Associate professor of history | October 10, 2017

After Stephen Paddock opened fire on Las Vegas concertgoers on Oct. 1, many people responded with calls for more gun control to help prevent mass shootings and the routine violence ravaging U.S. neighborhoods. But besides a rare consensus on restricting the availability of so-called bump stocks, which Paddock used to enable his dozen semi-automatic rifles to fire like machine guns, it’s unclear if anything meaningful will … Continue reading »

It’s the German economy, stupid! Economic inequality, not immigration, explains far right rise in Germany

Beverly Crawford, Professor emerita, Political Science and International and Area Studies | September 27, 2017

The surprise showing of the far-right nationalist party, Alternativ fuer Deutschland (AfD) in Sunday’s German election has struck fear in the hearts of many analysts. Is Germany’s liberal democracy and society simply a thin veneer covering the monster of virulent nationalism that has long been crouching in the dark, waiting for its chance to attack? … Continue reading »

The false media focus on violence: If it bleeds it still leads

Jen Schradie, research fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse | September 7, 2017

On Sunday, August 27, in downtown Berkeley, I witnessed thousands of protesters raising their voices against a planned white supremacist “Patriot Prayer” rally. In my decades as a documentary filmmaker of activism and now an academic studying movements and media, it was one of the most positive, diverse and unifying gatherings I ever experienced. While … Continue reading »

Canada should welcome America’s ‘dreamers’

Irene Bloemraad, professor of sociology | August 29, 2017

By Irene Bloemraad and Ratna Omidvar This commentary is reposted from The Globe and Mail in Canada, where it originally appeared in February 2017. We are now witnessing the casualties of new United States policies arriving at Canadian borders. More might soon follow as those who lack residence documents face a grim future and the … Continue reading »

On sexism in economics

Emily Eisner, eeisner | August 24, 2017

An undergraduate honors thesis written by UC Berkeley economics major Alice Wu exposes the rampant misogyny cluttering Economics Job Market Rumors, an anonymous forum.

Working outside the tech bubble

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | August 21, 2017

Annual note to self – most of the world exists outside the tech bubble. —– We have a summer home in New England in a semi-rural area, just ~10,000 people in town, with a potato farm across the street. Drive down the road and you can see the tall stalks of corn waving on other … Continue reading »

On statues, and what can and cannot be said

Andrew Shanken, professor of architecture | August 18, 2017

I’ve been loath to write about what’s happening with Confederate statues, but a few sleepless nights cured my diffidence. As an architectural historian who works on memorials and has dabbled in the history of historic preservation, I’ve vacillated over the years between a Ruskinian position (“let it moulder”) and a Rieglian position, trying to establish … Continue reading »

Trump and race

john a. powell, director, Othering & Belonging Institute | July 21, 2017

Many months after the election of Donald Trump, new data and research findings continue to provide fresh light on that critical historical moment. The main strand of this research is a search to understand who voted for each candidate, and what motivated their vote. The results are not entirely intuitive, increasingly complex, and, as pundits … Continue reading »

Senate Republicans’ health bill especially hurts the lowest-income Californians

Laurel Lucia, Labor Center Health Care Program director | June 22, 2017

Co-authored by Ken Jacobs, chair of the UC Berkeley Labor Center The health bill released by Senate Republicans today would be devastating to low-income Californians and their access to health coverage. While the proposed Senate bill, the Better Care Reconciliation Act, is largely similar to the American Health Care Act passed by the U.S. House … Continue reading »

Jane Marple meets Donald Trump

Malcolm Potts, professor of population and family planning | June 13, 2017

Agatha Christie’s sometimes dithery but always profoundly insightful sleuth, Miss Marple, maintained that there are only two reasons for murder — sex and money. As we watch our social norms and legal frameworks destroyed by one man, one way to keep our spirits up is to put bets on what might happen next. I suggest Miss Marple’s analysis applies to the question, Why is trump so eager to please the Russians? Did they help bail him out of his usual financial mistakes? Or should we look more carefully at Miss Marple’s other explanation — sex.

Manchester: The newest terrorism, and the future of terrorism

Bruce Newsome, Lecturer in International Relations | May 24, 2017

The suicide bombing of a concert in Manchester, England, is indicative of the latest trends in terrorism — trends that have emerged as recently as the last few years, and will continue in the wrong direction for years to come. The tragedy illustrates the new normal in terrorist motivations and behaviors; unfortunately, you would not … Continue reading »

Why I invited Ann Coulter to speak at Berkeley

Pranav Jandhyala, Founder of BridgeUSA at Berkeley | April 27, 2017

I founded BridgeUSA, the nonpartisan organization that invited Ann Coulter to the University of California at Berkeley’s campus. Our organization hopes to create a future in which our campus and our country are venues for free and fair political discussion and debate from all sides. We stand for the preservation of spaces where political ideas … Continue reading »

Lessons from the movement for marriage in a fractious age

Martin Meeker, mmeeker | April 10, 2017

The jury is still out with regard to what the Trump administration will mean for hard-won protections for lesbians, gay men and transgender people. Surely no one is anticipating an expansion of protections, such as the passage of the long-proposed Employment Nondiscrimination Act, so the question is asked in terms of how much retrenchment can … Continue reading »