Calls to defund the police ask us to imagine safety from the perspective of those who are the frequent targets of policing and understand that it is the world that is built from that perspective that will be a better world for us all.
Black lives matter across any geographical border. My research and my own racial encounters confirm what I have known in my soul: our fates are inextricably linked. And they depend upon the recognition of Black humanity and dignity.
If you read no further, understand this: Black Lives Matter = if anyone kills a Black person, their punishment should be the same as if they killed someone from any other race.
We need to remember that policing is but a single component of the larger system of oppression so acutely felt in the Black community.
This is cross-posted from the Haas Institute Blog of the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society. This week people all across the world are pausing to acknowledge the incredible life and the tragic death of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I always deliberately include the “Reverend” in his title as we … Continue reading »
The gender disparity in the economics discipline is no secret. For UC Berkeley undergraduates, a glance around the classroom is enough evidence of an imbalance. As a part of the nationwide Undergraduate Women in Economics (UWE) Challenge, we attempted to quantify this apparent disparity. The data collection described below is a first step in this … Continue reading »
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 »
How can the Democratic Party best respond to Donald Trump’s election? The current debate rages around whether to unify around class or instead to build a coalition of identity groups, key among them racial minorities. We reject as fundamentally flawed the implicit assumption that class and race are incompatible bases for moving forward. Race is … Continue reading »
“America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.” – President Abraham Lincoln. Our nation as at a breaking point. Race relations in America have hit rock bottom. We have work to do and it is long overdue. Beyond undoing the damage and human … Continue reading »
Twenty five years ago this month, the video of Rodney King being beaten, clubbed, kicked, and stomped by a gang of police went viral before going viral was a thing. Eighty-nine seconds of unmistakable brutality repeatedly looped, dissected, and discussed. A year later, the defense attorney’s frame-by-frame deconstruction of King’s beating successfully convinced an all … Continue reading »
Two of the most important books on race released in 2015, the exhumed novel, Go Set A Watchman, Harper Lee’s sequel to the award-winning classic, To Kill a Mockingbird, and journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates’ long-form letter to his teenage son, Between the World and Me, were published the same day. This fortuitous historical footnote is all … Continue reading »
“Identity” — Dictionary.com’s “Word of the Year” — was undoubtedly one of the most popular topics of 2015. As what has been called “the year of identity” draws to a close, issues of race remain at the forefront of our nation’s consciousness and reality when it comes to identity. In the past few weeks alone we’ve … Continue reading »
How does one make sense of a US presidential candidate calling for the banning of Muslims entering the country and the tracking and profiling of those who live here? How does one make sense of a US Supreme Court justice suggesting that Blacks should not go to top-tier universities? We live in strange times and … Continue reading »
A couple of weeks back, we witnessed two quite different but intriguing cases of people laying claim to an African-American identity without having the lineage that we generally assume provides that identity – biological descent from African slaves in the United States. These two people were, in effect, asserting that they could choose to be … Continue reading »
Recently, I was watching television and became captivated by the story of a fascinating woman. She was born to parents who claimed one racial identity, which was affixed to her through infancy, childhood, and adolescence. When she grew to be a woman, she made a choice to become someone else. She divorced herself from everyone … Continue reading »
In a recent publication in the journal Demography, Patrick Sharkey analyzed patterns of geographic migration of black and white families over four consecutive generations. In prior generations, the NYU sociologist observed patterns of migration consistent with conventional wisdom, with massive outflows of blacks from the South toward cities in the Northeast, Midwest, and eventually the … Continue reading »
One issue sparking off from the fiery debate around the police shootings of black men is the extent to which Americans simply react negatively to seeing black – whether it is a police officer making a life-and-death split-second decision about the threat a black man poses, a store clerk tracking a black customer in a … Continue reading »
Last night, like many across the world who were watching, we experienced deep disappointment in the decision by the St. Louis County grand jury not to indict Ferguson, Mo. police officer Darren Wilson for fatally shooting Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenage boy, on Aug. 9. Our thoughts are first with the family of Michael Brown and the … Continue reading »
Although the “facts” are still in dispute, it’s not presumptuous to add Michael Brown of Ferguson, Missouri to the list of young black men and boys killed by overzealous police or armed civilians: Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Sean Bell, Amadou Diallo, Oscar Grant, Jordan Davis and so many more, including young women like Renisha McBride. The … Continue reading »
Last week the House of Representatives Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan issued a report on opportunity and poverty in America that has sparked an important national conversation. As a putative Presidential contender for 2016, Rep. Ryan’s report will help shape a discussion that will frame future election cycles as well as the direction of … Continue reading »