Who counts as a victim?

Innocent, passive, apolitical: after the Holocaust, the standard for ‘true’ victimhood has worked to justify total war A Dirk Moses is Frank Porter Graham Distinguished Professor of Global Human Rights History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His latest book is The Problems of Genocide: Permanent Security and the Language of Transgression (2021). Edited by Sam Haselby In September 1945, a month after the foreign ministers of the Soviet Union, Great Britain and the United States issued the Charter of the Nuremberg Trials, the chief US prosecutor, Robert Jackson, wrote an article for The New York Times Magazine to explain the impending proceedings … Continue reading Who counts as a victim?

Hopelessness and the Continued Use of Deadly Force

People march for Black life. But who marches for the principle of non-harming and non-killing?  By Zenzele Isoke While mourning the life of Daunte Wright, yet another Black man killed by a Minnesota police officer, people in the Twin Cities are now waiting for a verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial. Chauvin’s killing of George Floyd sparked massive, multigenerational peaceful protests, the burning and destruction of cities and neighborhoods, and citizen-led attacks against police and governmental structures, banks, and local businesses in and around the Twin Cities, helping to initiate a long-overdue 21st-century reckoning with the ugly and death-dealing reality of race and anti-Blackness … Continue reading Hopelessness and the Continued Use of Deadly Force

After slavery

Abolition in Africa brought longed-for freedoms, but also political turmoil, economic collapse and rising enslavement Toby Green is professor of precolonial and lusophone African history and culture at King’s College, London. He is the author of A Fistful of Shells: West Africa from the Rise of the Slave Trade to the Age of Revolution (2019) and The Covid Consensus: Edited by Sam Haselby On one of my first visits to West Africa, more than 20 years ago, I went to the Fuuta Djalon (also known as Fouta Djallon) mountains of Guinea-Conakry. These beautiful mountains range across high waterfalls, cliffs and lonely paths leading from one village … Continue reading After slavery

The science of terrible men

The pioneers of social genetics were racists and eugenicists: should we give up on the science they founded altogether? Kathryn Paige Harden is a professor of psychology at the University of Texas at Austin. Her first book, The Genetic Lottery: Why DNA Matters for Social Equality, will be published by Princeton University Press in Fall 2021. Edited by Pam Weintraub ‘What’s your favourite Woody Allen movie?’ Dylan Farrow asked the readers of The New York Times, before giving her account of Allen molesting her when she was seven years old. She challenged the continued acclaim for Allen’s movies: ‘Imagine your seven-year-old daughter being led … Continue reading The science of terrible men

Architecture has a racist past. These artists radically reimagined it

A new MOMA exhibit explores architecture and Blackness. BY NATE BERG It’s no revelation that Black Americans have been underserved by architects and urban planners. Systemic racism pervades the built environment–from segregated communities and freeways built on top of Black neighborhoods to prejudiced housing practices and a lack of Black representation in the development process. It doesn’t help that just 11% of architects identify as a racial minority. The question is not how this happened, but what to do about it. Reconstructions: Architecture and Blackness in America is a new exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York that seeks to bring this question into new light. It focuses less … Continue reading Architecture has a racist past. These artists radically reimagined it

Gulf slave society

The glittering city-states of the Persian Gulf fit the classicist Moses Finley’s criteria of genuine slave societies by Bernard Freamon, adjunct professor at New York University School of Law and emeritus professor at Seton Hall University School of Law. He is the organiser of a website on the Islamic law on slavery, ijma-on-slavery.org. His most recent book is Possessed by the Right Hand: The Problem of Slavery in Islamic Law and Muslim Cultures (2019). He lives in New York City. Edited by Sam Haselby The six city-states on the Arab side of the Persian Gulf, each formerly a sleepy, pristine fishing village, are now … Continue reading Gulf slave society

The harms of gentrification

The exclusion of poorer people from their own neighbourhoods is not just a social problem but a philosophical one Daniel Putnam is a Furman Scholar at the School of Law at New York University. Edited by Sam Dresser In the Mission District in San Francisco, there’s a popular soccer field nestled between elegant Victorian homes and neighbourhood taquerías. Over the years, an informal system for using the field developed among locals. If there wasn’t enough space for everyone, some played while others watched from the sidelines. Once one team scored, the losing team would trade places with those who’d been on the … Continue reading The harms of gentrification

The three faces of racism

Inadvertent, habitual, explicit Why are black people stopped by police more than white people? Is it simply the actions of an explicitly  racist contingent? Or is there something more nuanced at play? Cognitive dissonance is at the heart of this insidious prejudice. By Berit Brogaard and Dimitria Gatzia.  Imagine that Max claims to be a committed environmentalist but continues to consume animal products. Since animal agriculture is one of the main causes of climate change, you may be inclined to think of him as a hypocrite. A hypocrite, after all, is someone who professes to hold beliefs one does not … Continue reading The three faces of racism

Inside the Lives of Immigrant Teens Working Dangerous Night Shifts in Suburban Factories

During the day, immigrant teenagers attend high school. At night, they work in factories to pay debts to smugglers and send money to family. The authorities aren’t surprised by child labor. They’re also not doing much about it. by Melissa Sanchez ProPublica Illinois is a nonprofit newsroom that investigates abuses of power. This story was co-published with Mother Jones and El País. It’s a little before 6 a.m. and still dark when Garcia gets home from work this October morning. The apartment where he lives with his aunt and uncle is silent. They’ve already left for their own jobs. After nine … Continue reading Inside the Lives of Immigrant Teens Working Dangerous Night Shifts in Suburban Factories

The Psychology Behind Police Brutality

By Arlin Cuncic  Have you ever wondered about the psychology behind police brutality? Why is it that some police officers can go their whole careers without ever using excessive force, while others seem to be caught in a cycle of using more force than is required sometimes leading to death? Furthermore, what are the factors that influence a police officer to use excessive force? These questions and more have been on the minds of many as acts of police brutality seem to be occurring more regularly, and racial tensions over the inequality regarding the victims of police brutality have emerged. What … Continue reading The Psychology Behind Police Brutality