Arif Hasan and Ben Natan use the Berkeley protests as a jumping off point to discuss the place violence has in politics and how the lens with which we should view violence should start at the structure of politics. Is it ethical to punch Richard Spencer but protest the violence of Nathan Damigo, and what contexts separate the two acts? They also discuss the conflicting definitions of white supremacy and why that distinction is critical to this discussion.

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Show Notes

There’s a good summary of the Berkeley protests at Esquire, which does a good job breaking down the nuances of the situation and avoiding the pro-Trump, anti-Trump angle that many outlets took.

[S]uch accounts missed the most crucial aspects of what was at stake in the Berkeley clashes, and thus fail to explain why there were aggressive altercations at all. To frame Saturday’s events as a fight between supporters of the president and his denouncers roundly misses the key tensions undergirding the confrontation: that of anti-fascists versus white nationalists.

If you’re interested in the allegations of planned violence by white supremacists, check out the thread from RVAWonk, who did much of the Twitter legwork to identify it.

Here’s the article from the Nation on how the primary switching factors for Trump voters was a fear of diversity.

[R]eminding whites who have high levels of ethnic identification about rising diversity leads them to view Trump more favorably. (This finding is supported by other similarresearch.) We find evidence for the idea that rising diversity helped fuel Trump’s rise in the Cooperative Congressional Analysis Project data set, a survey that interviewed respondents during both the 2012 and 2016 elections (a panel survey). Because the survey includes data on multiple elections, we can compare how views have shifted support for political candidates.

. . .

Fears about immigration were also linked to Trump support. However, we find little evidence to support the idea that concerns about trade deals or a rigged system contributed significantly to a Trump victory. Neither the trade-policy baseline question nor a scale of questions about trade policy predicted Trump support.

Questions about whether the political system benefits wealthy elites predicted vote choice—but in the wrong direction. People who agreed that the system benefited powerful elites were more likely to reject Trump. Increasingly, class is simply not a meaningful dimension along which American politics is fought. In our regressions, income predicted support for McCain and Romney, but not Trump.

We referred to the myth of the ‘Welfare Queen’ (erroneously referred to in the podcast as the “Welfare Mother”) and the Atlantic published a piece recently that broke down the pervasive nature of the myth, its impact on public policy.

At a campaign rally in 1976, Ronald Reagan introduced the welfare queen into the public conversation about poverty: “She used 80 names, 30 addresses, 15 telephone numbers to collect food stamps, Social Security, veterans’ benefits for four nonexistent deceased veteran husbands, as well as welfare. Her tax-free cash income alone has been running $150,000 a year.”

The perception of who benefits from a policy is of material consequence to how it is designed. For the past 40 years, U.S. welfare policy has been designed around Reagan’s mythical welfare queen—with very real consequences for actual families in need of support.

Though it was Reagan who gave her the most salient identity, the welfare queen emerged from a long and deeply racialized history of suspicion of and resentment toward families receiving welfare in the United States. Today, 20 years after welfare reform was enacted, this narrative continues to inform policy design by dictating who is “deserving” of support and under what conditions.

For an even deeper dive, check out Josh Levin’s piece at Slate on the history of the myth and the woman behind it.

We’ve linked it before, but it deserves to be linked again: white evangelical Christians feel that they are more discriminated against than are Muslims.

Bernie Sanders’ hiring of Symone Sanders resulted in a much more comprehensive public platform with regards to racial justice and white supremacy, and as a result his campaign website still has an impressively thorough executive summary on the problems of white supremacy pervading the United States. He addresses direct physical violence, economic violence, the violence inherent in the legal and penal systems and political violence. Though his site itself doesn’t link to scholarly studies, it’s a good summary of many of the issues surrounding the problems faced by people of color in the United States.

At some point late in the show, Arif quotes a piece from University of Dayton School of Law and their page on the way health care and systemic racism interact covers a variety of interactions. Their initial web portal is here and the specific portion of the site quoted is here.

The institutional/structural racism that exists in hospitals and health care institutions manifests itself in (1) the adoption, administration, and implementation of policies that restrict admission;(70) (2) the closure, relocation, or privatization of hospitals that primarily serve the minority community;(71) and (3) the continued transfer of unwanted patients (known *56 as patient dumping) by hospitals and institutions.

Areas that are heavily populated by minorities tend to be medically underserved.(74) Disproportionately few White physicians have their practices located in minority communities.(75) Minority physicians are significantly more likely to practice in minority communities, making the education and training of minorities extremely important.(76) Yet, due to discrimination in post-secondary education, racial biases in testing, and quality-of-life issues affecting school performance, minorities are seriously underrepresented in health care professions.(77) The shortage of minority professionals affects not only access to health care, but also access to the power and resources needed to structure the health care system, leaving its control almost exclusively in White hands.(78) The result is an inadequate, ineffective and marginalized voice on minority health care issues.

Differences in health status reflect, to a large degree, inequities in preventive care and treatment. For instance, African-Americans are more likely to require health care services, but are less likely to receive them.(79) Disparity in treatment has been well documented in a number of studies, including studies done on AIDS,(80) cardiology,(81) cardiac surgery,(82) kidney disease,(83) organ transplantation,(84) internal medicine,(85) obstetrics,(86) prescription drugs,(87) treatment for mental illness,(88) pain treatment,(89) and hospital care.(90) Certainly, difference in treatment can be based on a number of different factors, including clinical characteristics, income, and medical or biological differences. However, race plays an independent role.(91) There are marked differences in time spent, quality of care and quantity of doctor’s office visits between Whites and African-Americans.(92) Whites are *58 more likely to receive more, and more thorough, diagnostic work and better treatment and care than people of color — even when controlling for income, education, and insurance.(93) Differences also exist in the number of doctor’s office visits between Whites and African- Americans, even when controlling for income, education, and insurance.(94) Furthermore, researchers have concluded that doctors are less aggressive when treating minority patients.(95) Thus, the most favored patient is “White, male between the ages of 25 and 44.”(96) In fact, at least one study indicated a combined effect of race and gender resulting in significantly different health care for African-American women. (97)

For something written to be more readable than that text, Alternet has a good discussion on the problem in the health care system that speaks specifically to ignoring black pain.

That’s one aspect of social interaction that deals with one institution of society. It doesn’t address systemic racism in education, the job market, criminal justice, environmental policy and so on.

We mentioned that qualified black students were three times less likely to be identified by teachers to be selected for gifted and talented programs. And here’s a followup on the famous resume experiment, this time contextualized in the framework of a black Harvard graduate. Incidentally, one should be skeptical of the working paper produced by Roland Fryer, an economics professor at Harvard studying police shootings.

Instead of reading sympathetic profiles of white supremacists who continue to practice white supremacy as an explicit practice, check out the Washington Post’s profile of Derek Black, a former white supremacist who now engages in anti-racist politics.

Also, something for two sportswriters talking about politics—a piece (and video) by Vox that highlights the fact that CNN treats politics like sports and why that legitimizes white supremacy and falsehoods as fact in everyday American life.

And here’s the YouTube video (again, provided by Vox) on Ta-Nehisi Coates’ reparations solution.