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Category: Informed

The Nation: A Weekend of Trumpian Cruelty: Remember, That’s the Point

Reading Time: 5 minutes

My first reaction to seeing the horrifying photos of desperate immigrants detained in McAllen, Texas, as they were “visited” by Vice President Mike Pence and a posse of GOP senators Friday, was disbelief: Surely the powers that be could have created a Potemkin Pueblo on the border—kids with bunk beds and toys, maybe; adults in a no-frills barracks-style setting, but with cots and clean bedding and toiletries—to create reassuring photo ops for the media traveling along with Pence.

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Vox: Donald Trump’s long history of racism, from the 1970s to 2019

Reading Time: 12 minutes Meanwhile, white supremacist groups have openly embraced Trump. As Sarah Posner and David Neiwert reported at Mother Jones, what the media largely treated as gaffes — Trump retweeting white nationalists, Trump describing Mexican immigrants as “rapists” and criminals — were to white supremacists real signals approving of their racist causes. One white supremacist wrote, “Our Glorious Leader and ULTIMATE SAVIOR has gone full-wink-wink-wink to his most aggressive supporters.”

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Vox: How your brain invents morality

Reading Time: 8 minutes Of course, we always care about the consequences. But the important thing is that’s only one constraint among many. Moral decision-making is a constraint satisfaction process whereby your brain takes many factors and integrates them into a decision. According to utilitarians, it’s not just that we should care about consequences; it’s that we should care about maximizing aggregate utility [as the central moral rule].

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Reading Time: 17 minutes
Research from Harvard University suggests that children as young as three years old, when exposed to racism and prejudice, tend to embrace and accept it, even though they might not understand the feelings. By age 5, white children are strongly biased towards whiteness. To counter this bias, experts recommend acknowledging and naming race and racism with children as early and as often as possible. Children’s books are one of the most effective and practical tools for initiating these critical conversations; and they can also be used to model what it means to resist and dismantle oppression.

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Huffpo: Far-Right Extremists Wanted Blood In Portland’s Streets. Once Again, They Got It.

Reading Time: 5 minutes Each of these storylines is a distraction from the wider issue of ongoing, extremist-hosted fights meant to distort the conversation about the rising body count in the name of the American far right and shift the focus onto the anti-fascists who meet them in the street. Since Trump’s election and the rise of extremist groups like the Proud Boys, the number of people killed by anti-fascists at these rallies remains zero.

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