In the past few years, we’ve celebrated the 50th anniversaries of many seminal events and landmark achievements of the civil rights movement, from the nonviolent direct action campaign waged in Birmingham, Alabama, to the March on Washington and Freedom Summer. An award-winning play devoted to Lyndon Johnson’s shrewd stewardship of the Civil Rights Act ran on Broadway for most of 2014. And next year, we will commemorate the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which restored to Southern blacks the franchise that had been unconstitutionally denied them during the Jim Crow era. These are all, certainly, accomplishments to celebrate.
But the legacy of the all these landmarks is much more complicated and tinged with—make that drenched in—irony than the conventional story of courage and triumph lets on. It is time to state the obvious. Forget about weak explanations for today’s deep political divisions like “the culture of Washington,” gerrymandering or the rise of cable TV: The civil rights movement, while a victory on many levels, was also the origin of our present morass. It spawned a powerful national “white resistance” countermovement that decisively altered the racial geography of American politics, pushing the national Democratic and Republican parties off center and toward their ideological margins, undermining the centrist policy convergence of the postwar period and setting the parties on the divisive course they remain on today. Many will blame today’s unprecedented political polarization on recent events, such as the rise of the Tea Party or Obama’s election in 2008, but they will be wrong. The seeds of America’s dysfunction were planted 50 years ago. And the ugly politics of race had everything to do with it.
This is an old article from the NYT, from 2008-- it’s very interesting to reread it now, with all the hatred of Obama over the past few years:
Consider, for starters, this paradox of social psychology, a problem for myth busters everywhere: repeating a claim, even if only to refute it, increases its apparent truthfulness. In 2003, the psychologist Ian Skurnik and several of his colleagues asked senior citizens to sit through a computer presentation of a series of health warnings that were randomly identified as either true or false — for example, “Aspirin destroys tooth enamel” (true) or “Corn chips contain twice as much fat as potato chips” (false). A few days later, they quizzed the seniors on what they had learned.
The psychologists expected that seniors would mistakenly remember some false statements as true. What was remarkable, though, was which claims they most often got wrong — the ones they had been exposed to multiple times. In other words, the more that researchers had stressed that a given warning was false, the more likely seniors were to eventually come to believe it was true. (College students in the study did not make the same mistakes.)
I’ve often thought this about internet trolls- if you repeat their claims, even if only to refute them! —it just increases people’s willingness to believe the claim, and there’s some kind of weird feedback mechanism where the troll gets joy out of the repetition of their slander.
The states with the highest number of abortion restrictions also have the fewest policies in place to support women and children’s health and well-being, according to a new report released Wednesday by reproductive rights groups.
The study, conducted by Ibis Reproductive Health and the Center for Reproductive Rights, found that a state’s performance on indicators for women and children’s health and well-being is inversely proportional to the amount of anti-abortion laws in that state. States with mandatory ultrasound laws, mandatory waiting periods and shorter gestational limits on abortion, for example, generally have higher rates of obesity, child and maternal mortality, teen births and women and children without health insurance.
In light of recent news about domestic violence, looking back at a 1964 study that extols its benefits
In the last month, issues of domestic violence in the news have spurred discussion about why women stay in abusive relationships. The Twitter campaign #WhyIStayed allowed victims to share their rationales: some felt too scared to leave, some had grown up with domestic abuse and others always thought that their partners would finally change.
Though the NFL’s handling of domestic violence scandals suggests that our society still has a long way to go when it comes to understanding domestic abuse, we’ve made a lot of progress since 50 years ago when doctors thought “wife beating” was therapeutic. An article in the issue of TIME dated 50 years ago today — Sept. 25, 1964 — highlights a mind-boggling study that concludes couples stay in abusive relationships because their fighting can “balance out each other’s mental quirks.”
READ THE ARTICLE AT TIME: Psychiatry: The Wife Beater & His Wife
Study on Reproductive Rights and Domestic Violence: Being Denied an Abortion ‘Tethered Women to Violent Men’
Demographer Diana Greene Foster studies the effects of unintended pregnancy on women’s lives. Foster and a team of researchers have spent years interviewing women who were able to terminate their pregnancies close to the cut-off date, usually around 20 weeks, to demographically similar women who wanted an abortion but — often because their pregnancies exceeded gestational limits for the procedure — were turned away by clinics. (This is a reality that more women will be forced to confront as state legislatures continue to pass laws designed to shutter clinics and place time, economic and geographical barriers between women and basic medical care.)
The interviews cover topics from physical and mental health to employment and relationships. On Monday, findings from the study on intimate partner violence, pregnancy, parenthood and abortion were published by BMC Medicine, and those findings were striking.
Incidents of intimate partner violence by the man involved in the pregnancy went down among women who were able to have an abortion, but remained consistent for women who carried their pregnancies to term. The reason, according to Foster, was that “being unable to have the abortion tethered women to violent men, while women who have the abortion were more able to escape abusive relationships.”
Illinois Votes for Birth Control Campaign
Take the pledge to vote “Yes” on election day.
The November 4, 2014 General Election ballot in Illinois will include an advisory referendum on birth control. Voters can answer “Yes” or “No”. The ballot will ask this question:
“Shall any health insurance plan in Illinois that provides prescription drug coverage be required to include prescription birth control as part of that coverage?”
The Birth Control Referendum gives Illinoisans an opportunity to voice their opinion about the issue of birth control coverage in health insurance.
Gloria Steinem Speaks Out About Domestic Violence at a Screening of HBO Documentary ‘Private Violence’
When Gloria Steinem starts talking, you listen. And when she starts talking about domestic violence, she uses her voice to make you listen to the stories of others. Both of those things happened at a Sept. 29 screening of HBO’s moving documentary, “Private Violence,” which Steinem executive produced and is set to air on television Oct. 20.
The film follows the stories of two survivors of domestic abuse: Deanna Walters, a single mom who is trying to get the courts to prosecute her estranged husband for brutally beating her, and Kit Gruelle who has long worked as an advocate for victims of intimate partner violence. Their stories weave together for a glance into the long, rocky road toward justice that women (and men) who experience violence at the hands of their partners face.
“When I was growing up in Toledo, there was no such crime as domestic violence,” said Steinem. “It was called life.”
The tagline of the documentary, which rings especially true in light of recent conversations, is: “It’s not always easy to just leave.”
A whole new perspective on motherhood…
“How Not to Calm a Child on a Plane and Other Lessons in Parenting from a Highly Questionable Source” by Johanna Stein — AVAILABLE HERE: amazon.com
Johanna Stein: writer/performer/editor
Suzanne Luna: director/editor
Daniel Weinkauf: music
Dave Gassman: producer
Metro Development Group is partnering with Crystal Lagoons Corp. to bring the giant swimming pools or “lagoons” to four planned communities in Hillsborough, Pasco and Lee counties. The first is set to break ground at the end of the year on the old Epperson Ranch property in Pasco, bought by Metro about five years ago.
Accessible to 10,000 homes altogether, the four lagoons in the Metro communities will range from 5 to 10 acres in size. On the low end, that’s about the same size as four football fields, and on the high end, 71/2. To get a sense of the scale: an Olympic-size swimming pool occupies 0.3 acres.
Though the Metro pools won’t be quite as big as Crystal Lagoons’ San Alfonso del Mar seawater pool in Chile (19.77 acres, with enough water to fill 6,000 regular pools, which currently holds the record for biggest pool in the world), residents can still kayak, paddleboard and swim in the waters.
A school and a public transit bus were shelled in war-torn eastern Ukraine on Wednesday, leaving at least 10 people dead, officials in the country’s Donetsk region said.
The shelling in the city of Donetsk, held for months by pro-Russian rebels, came despite a ceasefire that Ukraine’s government reached with separatist leaders last month.
Donetsk’s School 57 was shelled at 10 a.m. (3 a.m. ET), killing four people and injuring at least seven others, according to the Donetsk regional authority’s website.