from the world's big
8 powerful voices share what it's like to be black in America, and why white people must break the racist status quo.
- Black communities have been telling the nation, for more than a century, that they have been targeted, beaten, falsely accused and killed by the police and other institutions meant to protect them.
- They have not been believed until recently, when the rise in camera phones and social media finally enabled them show and disseminate proof.
- Even after the video of George Floyd's death on May 25, 2020, there remains defensiveness and denial among white Americans and institutions—a defensiveness that prevents change to the root of the problem: systemic racism. In this video, eight powerful voices share perspectives on being black in America, and why white inaction and white politeness must end.
According to Harvard economists, Democrats and Republicans both perceive reality very wrong.
Different views, equally wrong<p>The paper is being written by Stefanie Stantcheva, a professor of economics at Harvard University, and Armando Miano, a doctoral candidate. Famed economist <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alberto_Alesina" target="_blank">Albert Alesina</a> also worked on the paper until his tragic death earlier this year.</p><p>According to Stantcheva, the impetus for the research was to get into people's heads to see what really drives their policy views. As she told <a href="https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2020/06/study-finds-political-bias-skews-perceptions-of-verifiable-fact/" target="_blank">the Harvard Gazette</a>: </p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"One thing that we've been doing a lot is to study what we can observe...like what people actually do, what people learn, and what people decide. What we really have not known until now so much is: What's going on in the background? How do people think about their decisions? How do they decide which policies to support or not? How do they reason about these?"</p><p>To answer those questions, the researchers sent detailed surveys to thousands of respondents. The surveys covered topics such as social mobility, tax policy, social inequality, and immigration. </p><p>To the surprise of no one, Republicans and Democrats sported different views. The difference proved even wider when comparing respondents who did or did not vote for President Donald Trump. But which group had a more distorted view of reality?</p><p>As Stantcheva summed it up, "One group is not necessarily more wrong than the other. Everybody's quite wrong."</p>
Signals lost in political white noise<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzM5NjA1NS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYwMjQxMDM1MH0.izd_yLgBtQdEQROoq9TU2KAfpVzypce9RXp6XTBU_n8/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=0%2C0%2C0%2C46&height=700" id="19e83" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="3f694896ae3f8937ad34ac3e4725716a" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
A graph showing Democrat and Republican perceptions of politically-charged facts against the reality of those facts.
The persistence of misperception<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="8be3c16e88bab308b601df69402188cb"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/kyioZODhKbE?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p>How do misperceptions persist despite verifiable facts being a mere Google search away? </p><p>One reason, the researchers note, is that such issues are permeated by political narratives. Even if a signal cuts through that noise, we're operating on different frequencies. As shown in the social mobility survey, our perceptions will lead us to weigh its value based on its narrative use, not its empirical merit. </p><p>They also note that <a href="https://bigthink.com/politics-current-affairs/media-bias-chart" target="_self">the demand for accurate information is politically charged</a>, too. In one experiment, respondents were allowed to pay a randomized amount to receive accurate information about immigration in the United States. Care to guess who was least likely to pony up?</p><p>"The people who most need the information are going to be the least likely to seek out that information. It seems that either they don't realize that they're wrong, or they're just very entrenched in their beliefs, and do not want their beliefs to be changed," Stantcheva told the Gazette.</p><p>But Stantcheva and her fellow researchers aren't entirely pessimistic about the future. By understanding the political thought process and how we create our own reality barriers, we may be able to intervene in that process and let a more accurate picture of reality seep through.</p>
Expert opinion is divided on how effective riots can be on causing social change. However, these five examples show they can do something.
- We often hear that riots are not an effective means towards social change, but what do the experts say?
- Experts are still working on it, but it is agreed that it is at least occasionally effective.
- We include five cases of when rioting clearly led to desired social change.
Stamp Act Riots<div class="rm-shortcode" data-media_id="d6Ik9KKW" data-player_id="FvQKszTI" data-rm-shortcode-id="2b28e9d9088a65b7dc9d23592c74bdbe"> <div id="botr_d6Ik9KKW_FvQKszTI_div" class="jwplayer-media" data-jwplayer-video-src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/d6Ik9KKW-FvQKszTI.js"> <img src="https://cdn.jwplayer.com/thumbs/d6Ik9KKW-1920.jpg" class="jwplayer-media-preview" /> </div> <script src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/d6Ik9KKW-FvQKszTI.js"></script> </div> <p>The Stamp Acts were the first attempt at directly taxing the American Colonies by the British Parliament. Like the later taxes that would directly lead to the American Revolution, these were imposed without the representation of the colonists. The act required that all printed materials in the colonies be on specially printed paper that carried a revenue <a href="https://www.massmoments.org/moment-details/boston-mob-protests-stamp-act.html" target="_blank">stamp</a>.</p><p>Shortly after the law passed, the protests and riots started. Street protests of unprecedented size broke out from New Hampshire to Georgia. In Boston, an effigy of the appointed tax collector Andrew Oliver, who didn't know he had been appointed to the role, was beheaded by an angry mob who then threw rocks at his house and raided his wine <a href="https://www.history.com/news/the-stamp-act-riots-250-years-ago" target="_blank">cellar</a>. A few weeks later, the same group stormed the mansion of the Lieutenant Governor and took everything not bolted down, including the slate roof. </p><p>Similar riots broke out in every colony. Ships bringing in the stamped paper were turned back at harbors. Every designated tax collector resigned within eight months of the law's passage. The act was repealed after only one year of existence and without having raised much money at all.</p><p>Groups that had organized to resist the act formed the <a href="https://constitutioncenter.org/blog/the-seeds-of-revolution-stamp-act-protests-in-boston" target="_blank">Sons of Liberty</a>, which would play a large part in the beginnings of the American Revolution. <br> <br></p>
The Dorr Rebellion<div class="rm-shortcode" data-media_id="XKp7qfki" data-player_id="FvQKszTI" data-rm-shortcode-id="ee40aa273a6fdb6b56c2bfb6e0113132"> <div id="botr_XKp7qfki_FvQKszTI_div" class="jwplayer-media" data-jwplayer-video-src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/XKp7qfki-FvQKszTI.js"> <img src="https://cdn.jwplayer.com/thumbs/XKp7qfki-1920.jpg" class="jwplayer-media-preview" /> </div> <script src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/XKp7qfki-FvQKszTI.js"></script> </div> <p>In 1660, when the colonial charter of Rhode Island was drawn up, it included an uncontroversial requirement that all voters own <a href="https://newengland.com/today/living/new-england-history/dorr-rebellion/" target="_blank">property</a>. After all, when they wrote it, most people were farmers who owned their land. Nearly two hundred years later, however, this situation was intolerable. Only 40% of the state's white male population could vote, and even this group was far more rural than the white male population as a whole. </p><p> Given that most other states had near-universal white male suffrage by 1840, the people of Rhode Island tried to peacefully replace the colonial charter with a more liberal state constitution. However, these attempts all failed at the hands of the misaligned state legislature. In 1841, having given up on working within the system, a group of supporters led by <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorr_Rebellion" target="_blank">Thomas Dorr</a> had a people's convention that drafted a liberal constitution granting universal white male suffrage, which was supported by considerable margins in a later referendum.</p><p>Both Dorr's supporters and the original government of Rhode Island held elections for governor the next year, with neither party recognizing the other. Predicting trouble, the old state government instituted martial law. Dorr's supporters later attempted a raid on the Providence Arsenal but were driven back. After the state militia was called out to battle a collection of armed Dorr supporters who gathered for another convention, Dorr dissolved his forces and fled the state.<br> <br> Shocked by the strength of Dorr's supporters, the old state legislature passed a new constitution that expanded suffrage even further than the one Dorr suggested. Dorr was arrested, given a harsh sentence, and then released after a public outcry. He is traditionally listed as a governor of Rhode Island in recognition of his popular support.</p>
The Lager Beer Riot<div class="rm-shortcode" data-media_id="ANVxwtyC" data-player_id="FvQKszTI" data-rm-shortcode-id="9be87e899047dd31a0f0554f80fdf17a"> <div id="botr_ANVxwtyC_FvQKszTI_div" class="jwplayer-media" data-jwplayer-video-src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/ANVxwtyC-FvQKszTI.js"> <img src="https://cdn.jwplayer.com/thumbs/ANVxwtyC-1920.jpg" class="jwplayer-media-preview" /> </div> <script src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/ANVxwtyC-FvQKszTI.js"></script> </div> <p>In 1855 as the temperance movement began to pick up steam, it was not uncommon for legislatures to limit which days alcohol could be purchased and who could sell it. In Chicago, under <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Know_Nothing" target="_blank">Know-Nothing</a> mayor Levi Boone, the city increased the price of liquor licenses from $50 to $300*. It also reduced their term of validity to three months, down from one year, in an attempt to reduce the number of saloons in the city. </p><p> This action had a distinctly anti-immigration tone to it, as the legislation most impacted German and Irish immigrants. They enjoyed a drink on their one day off at saloons in their own, often more impoverished neighborhoods. </p><p>Saloon owners ignored the law, and two hundred were quickly arrested. On the day of the first criminal trial related to the law, immigrants swarmed the downtown area. After several arrests, an armed group of German immigrants marched on the area from the North Side to rescue the prisoners. The bridges across the Chicago River were <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swing_bridge" target="_blank">swung</a> to prevent crossing and allowing the police time to gather. When the bridges were turned back, the immigrants charged and were fired upon, killing one.</p><p>As a result of the rioting, the licensing fee went back down to <a href="http://www.encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org/pages/703.html" target="_blank">$50</a>, residents of Chicago started to pay attention to who was running the city, and the Sunday law went back to infrequent enforcement. Those charged with violating the law were not released, but the rioters got off scot-free.</p>
The Detroit Riot/King Assassination Riots<div class="rm-shortcode" data-media_id="Pp0GgyYV" data-player_id="FvQKszTI" data-rm-shortcode-id="d0abe4734f5ed640cf5f10bb37ecd17b"> <div id="botr_Pp0GgyYV_FvQKszTI_div" class="jwplayer-media" data-jwplayer-video-src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/Pp0GgyYV-FvQKszTI.js"> <img src="https://cdn.jwplayer.com/thumbs/Pp0GgyYV-1920.jpg" class="jwplayer-media-preview" /> </div> <script src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/Pp0GgyYV-FvQKszTI.js"></script> </div> <p>Two riots separated by less than a year, which led to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1968.</p><p>Sparked by a police raid on a bar hosting a party to celebrate the return of two GI's from Vietnam, the <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1967_Detroit_riot" target="_blank">Detroit riot</a> soon spread all over the city. The national guard was quickly called in by Governor Romney. However, the guardsmen's lack of professionalism and experience led to several deaths and did little to stop the rioting. So many people were arrested that the Windsor, Canada police stepped in to help process fingerprints. Several <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Algiers_Motel_incident" target="_blank">instances</a> of <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1967_Detroit_riot#Tuesday,_July_25" target="_blank">incredible</a> police <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1967_Detroit_riot#Deaths" target="_blank">brutality</a> took <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/retropolis/wp/2017/08/04/detroit-and-the-police-brutality-that-left-three-black-teens-dead-at-the-algiers-motel/" target="_blank">place</a>. This did nothing to help restore order- nearly 500 fires blazed on the second day of rioting.</p><p>Around midnight on the third day, President Johnson sent in federal troops. While the army proved more effective than the National Guard, it took another 48 hours for the riots to end. Dozens of people died, hundreds were wounded, more than a thousand buildings burned, several thousand people were arrested, and the images of tanks in the streets of a burning American city graced screens worldwide.<br> <br> While the riots were still ongoing, President Johnson formed the <a href="https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/1968-kerner-commission-got-it-right-nobody-listened-180968318/" target="_blank">Kerner Commission</a> to investigate the causes of the riots and suggest solutions. Their report found that African Americans did, in fact, endure problems related to what we would now call "systemic racism." It called for a variety of policy changes, including fair housing laws, job programs, and more public housing. As has been a theme in the American history of addressing racism, Johnson and Congress proceeded to ignore these suggestions.</p><p>One month after the release of that report, when Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was struck down, riots broke out in more than <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_assassination_riots" target="_blank">100 American cities</a>. President Lyndon Johnson pressured Congress to act. With the sound of rioting audible from within their smoke-filled meeting rooms, Congress found the votes to pass the previously stalled <a href="https://erlc.com/resource-library/articles/5-facts-about-the-civil-rights-act-of-1968" target="_blank">Civil Rights Act</a> in six days.</p>
Stonewall<div class="rm-shortcode" data-media_id="MuTBZMQj" data-player_id="FvQKszTI" data-rm-shortcode-id="c6c5d281069a0a484dc76425580d7671"> <div id="botr_MuTBZMQj_FvQKszTI_div" class="jwplayer-media" data-jwplayer-video-src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/MuTBZMQj-FvQKszTI.js"> <img src="https://cdn.jwplayer.com/thumbs/MuTBZMQj-1920.jpg" class="jwplayer-media-preview" /> </div> <script src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/MuTBZMQj-FvQKszTI.js"></script> </div> <p>The dawn of the LGTBQ+ rights movement, <a href="https://www.history.com/topics/gay-rights/the-stonewall-riots" target="_blank">Stonewall</a> was a standard police raid on yet another gay bar that went in a very different <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stonewall_riots" target="_blank">direction</a>.</p><p>At 1:20 on the morning of June 28, 1968, the police knocked down the door of a mafia owned gay bar in the Village without running water to clean glasses with. The patrons of the bar refused to cooperate with police demands for identification and verification of what sex they were, resulting in the decision to arrest them all. A crowd began to form outside the bar, which dramatically outnumbered the police.</p><p>After witnessing the police strike an unknown woman* with a baton, the crowd attacked the police vans, slashing the tires and helping the arrested escape. The police barricaded themselves inside the bar, which was then besieged by the assemblage with an impromptu battering ram. The officers who brought the paddy wagons fled.</p><p>Police reinforcements arrived, but the situation only deteriorated from there. Nightstick wielding officers attacked a singing kickline, police were chased down the street by the crowd, and the Stonewall Inn was laid waste. Rioting continued over the next few days before dissipating. </p><p>Unlike the other riots on this list, the immediate effects of Stonewall were oriented more towards psychological and activist outcomes rather than changes in the legal system. Raids on gay bars continued, but gay newspapers, organizations, and activist groups sprang up like flowers in the spring. Two years to the day of the riot, the first Pride parades took place. Gay rights activists Randy Wicker and Frank Kameny, who were both initially embarrassed by the riot, went on to claim that there was a definite psychological effect caused by the event, which "stirred an unexpected spirit among many homosexuals."</p><p>The results of that psychological change and the fruits of that post-riot organization are evident today in the robustness of the LGBTQ+ movement and its successes. </p>
The associations of civil society give us freedom to find systems that meet our needs.
- There are three subsets of civil society: primary, secondary, and tertiary associations.
- Rochester Institute of Technology professor Lauren Hall says there are two arguments for expanding civil society and limiting the power of government, and they include elements of efficiency, morality, and coercion.
- Ideally in civil society, secondary associations give you more freedom to meet your needs in various ways. If we relied more heavily on civil society rather than government, we'd have more wiggle room to find systems that work for us.
How will the current challenges to the global economy pressure it to change?
- Life is different everywhere—it is determined by the context of a unique culture and a unique geography. The same goes for economies. Local economies are unique to their contexts, says John Fullerton, founder and president of Capital Institute.
- "[I]magine if you thought about human economic development from a place-based perspective," says Fullerton. "You would have, instead of a global corporation like Apple, thought of as a single thing, you would have Apple's manufacturing plant in China as part of the Chinese bioregional economy."
- The pressure on the current global economy will cause it to shift and evolve into a healthier state of community-based economic development.