Racial Bias and Police Shootings: “The Mind of the Village”

Here is an episode from The Hidden Brain, of one of my favorite radio programs that uses social science and storytelling to explain the hidden patterns behind our behavior and beliefs (it’s also a podcast). In this segment the host explores the role unconscious racial bias might play in recent police shootings of unarmed black […]

America’s Never-Ending War on Drugs

One of the most valuable sources of news and analysis I’ve found in recent years is a program called “On The Media”.  It’s a weekly show produced by WNYC, a public radio station in New York.  The show offers insightful analysis of current events and critically examines how the  media covers them.  I learn something […]

Inequality and Unions

Ever wonder why income inequality in the U.S. is so extreme? Here is one big reason why: This graphic compares the portion of income received by the richest 10% and the portion of the workforce who are union members. Note that those at the top earners take a larger share of the nation’s income when […]

Renewing Democracy in Trumpland

Less than an hour before it began, I posted a last-minute announcement on Facebook to alert my local friends about a rally to support immigrant rights and religious freedom in opposition to Donald Trump’s recent orders.  No big deal, right? Well, maybe it was a big deal after all, here’s why: My Facebook announcement about […]

Remembering the Losses of 9/11

Today marks the 14th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 when 2,977  Americans lost their lives.  As we pause to remember the tragic events of that day, and the senseless loss of life associated  with it, now may be a good time to reflect on some of the losses suffered since then […]

Drinking the Kool-Aid

On a recent trip to the grocery store my daughter spotted a colorful Kool-Aid display, strategically placed at the eye level of a five-year old.  I generally resist her demands to buy  everything she sees at the store but the product placement professionals are much better at this game than I am. In any case, […]

Students Protest Decision to Ban Protest

A School Board in Colorado seeks to ban the teaching of dissent and protest in the public school curriculum in favor of celebrating free enterprise, respect for authority and a particular brand of patriotism.  In response the students stage a walk out and protest. (Click here or photo for link) My students of social movements […]

This is How Power Works: A Primer and Illustration

To my students who are inspiring me, Summarizing power in 1000 words is nearly impossible; to apply this analysis in the same 1000 words is a fantasy. But, my students are engaged in social change and don’t have time for long-winded academic treatments; they need understanding that will be helpful to them right now.   Thus, […]