Straight talk for white men

In this piece, Nicholas Kristoff explores the unconscious biases than rule our daily lives from supermarket music to the weather. He notes that white men, one of the most privileged groups in the world, tend to feel largely indignant about the attribution of privilege, claiming that it does not exist in supposed level playing field. He explores gendered biases, down to the way professors are judged on ratemyprofessor.com. He cites several studies, proving that race and gender on the same resume affects call back rates, even if all that is different is the name (for example, Evan Smith as opposed to Lakisha Jones). The writer invites people with privilege, especially white men to work towards acknowledging systemic biases and the institutional power they hold over marginalized groups.

Read an excerpt of the article written by Nicholas Kristoff:

Supermarket shoppers are more likely to buy French wine when French music is playing, and to buy German wine when they hear German music. That’s true even though only 14 percent of shoppers say they noticed the music, a study finds. Researchers discovered that candidates for medical school interviewed on sunny days received much higher ratings than those interviewed on rainy days. Being interviewed on a rainy day was a setback equivalent to having an MCAT score 10 percent lower, according to a new book called ‘‘Everyday Bias,’’ by Howard J. Ross. Those studies are a reminder that we humans are perhaps less rational than we would like to think, and more prone to the buffeting of unconscious influences. That’s something for those of us who are white men to reflect on when we’re accused of ‘‘privilege.’’ White men sometimes feel besieged and baffled by these suggestions of systematic advantage. ...read more


When we lynched Mexicans

This Op-ed by William D. Carrigan and Clive Webb explores some of the lesser known racial tensions that have rocked the past century. Lynching, the act of publicly hanging, burning or flaying of marginalized people, in a spectacle of white supremacy, has historically targeted black people, given the history of slavery in the US. This piece sheds light on the fact that lynchers targeted many other ethnic minorities as well, especially Mexican people. Mexican immigrants in the southern and western US have been uniquely dispossessed, colonized minorities in their own historical lands. Local authorities and deputized citizens were usually the perpetrators of the lynchings of Mexican people. Under the guise of halting revolutionary actions, rangers in Texas and surrounding states have razed entire towns of Mexicans, lynching thousands. This history of racial violence has carried into the 21st century, if not in public records then at the very least, in cultural consciousness.

Read an excerpt of the article written by William D. Carrigan and Clive Webb:

The recent release of a landmark report on the history of lynching in the United States is a welcome contribution to the struggle over American collective memory. Few groups have suffered more systematic mistreatment, abuse and murder than African-Americans, the focus of the report. One dimension of mob violence that is often overlooked, however, is that lynchers targeted many other racial and ethnic minorities in the United States, including Native Americans, Italians, Chinese and, especially, Mexicans. Americans are largely unaware that Mexicans were frequently the targets of lynch mobs, from the mid-19th century until well into the 20th century, second only to African-Americans in the scale and scope of the crimes. ...read more