What happens when a mayor of a major U.S. city points at a resident while posing for a photo? If that mayor poses with a black male, police officers might accuse that mayor of throwing up gang signs. That’s what happened when Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges, while canvassing for GOTV (Get Out the Vote) activities … Continue reading »
Why Gov. Nixon has to remove prosecutor
We are a long way from knowing precisely what happened in Ferguson, two weeks ago, but one thing is clear: The town’s name has become yet another synonym for the chasm of experience dividing white and black America. Time and again, young African-American men have been fatally shot by police under ambiguous circumstances: Amadou Diallo, … Continue reading »
What does prejudice reveal about what it means to be human?
The questions raised by racism and xenophobia go straight to the heart of what it means to be human, for they involve dehumanization. Prejudice means we implicitly embrace a definition of humanity that includes some — usually those who most resemble us — and excludes others. That’s why Susan T. Fiske was invited to speak … Continue reading »
Five reasons why it’s a good time to be a dad
Are you feeling fed up and burned out, Dad? You’re not alone — a recent study from the Pew Center finds that most men are struggling to juggle work and family, just like moms. But believe it or not, that’s a sign of progress. And in many ways this is the best of times to … Continue reading »
Minority students, self-esteem, and education
Check out this video: No, seriously, click on the link above before reading the rest of this post. Like many of the students I have shared this clip with, this video may have inspired in you a strong sense of the inherent injustice of stereotypes; negative stereotypes that lead African American children to reject a Black … Continue reading »
Subtle stereotypes and their negative effects on targets
Long before the movie Avatar, the filmmaker James Cameron captured the nation’s imagination with The Terminator. By now, of course, the wonder of the premise has worn off– but at the time, the notion that a machine would come from the future to destroy the mother of the leader of the Resistance was so deliciously … Continue reading »
Racism against whites: So what’s the problem?
This story about whites claiming to be the victims of racism was briefly the lead story on CNN.com over the weekend. The article notes that whites are beginning to engage in forms of collective action (e.g., courses, rallies, consciousness raising) that follow in the historical footsteps of other minority groups in this country. That should tell … Continue reading »
Why are stereotypes so difficult to eradicate?
In a number of previous posts (e.g. this one, and this one) I have talked about the conditions under which people are most likely to apply stereotypes. A question that I’m often asked, however, is why stereotypes persist, even when so many people explicitly disavow them. It’s almost as if we were addicted to stereotypes: we … Continue reading »