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Author: TheConversation

American Refugees: When loyalists fled the newly sovereign states after independence from Britain

By G. Patrick O’Brien, Lecturer in History and Philosophy, Kennesaw State University The U.S. has long been a destination for people fleeing war-torn regions of the world. But in 1783, the tables were turned. Between 60,000 and 100,000 disaffected colonists from diverse backgrounds were fleeing the American states newly independent from Britain. The leaders of these exiles referred to themselves as “loyalists,” a title they chose to underscore the debt they believed the British Empire owed them. The largest group of refugees, around 32,000 people, went elsewhere in North America, to British-controlled Nova Scotia and the newly created British...

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A tool of White Supremacy: Why Christian factions deny the existence of structural racism

By Tiffany Puett, Adjunct Professor of Religious and Theological Studies, St. Edward’s University The debate over critical race theory has played out in TV studios, school board meetings and state legislatures across the United States. It has also found its way into churches. The theory comprises a set of concepts that frame racism as structural, rather than simply expressed through personal discrimination. Scholars point to racial discrepancies in educational achievement, economic and employment opportunities and in the criminal justice system as evidence of how racism is embedded in U.S. institutions. But as its critics tell it, critical race theory...

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Lee Atwater’s Legacy: How the Texas voting law builds on a long history of racism from GOP leaders

By Chris Lamb, Professor of Journalism, IUPUI Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law a bill on September 7, 2021, that reduces opportunities for people to vote, allows partisan poll watchers more access and creates steeper penalties for violating voting laws. The Republican governor argued that the legislation would “solidify trust and confidence in the outcome of our elections by making it easier to vote and harder to cheat.” Democratic opponents of the measure, however, said Republican legislators presented no evidence of widespread voter fraud during debate on the bill. Civil rights organizations immediately filed suit, calling the law...

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Burning Out: COVID-19 and insufficient support continues to exacerbate the nursing workforce crisis

By Rayna M Letourneau, Assistant Professor of Nursing, University of South Florida The fourth wave of COVID-19 is exacerbating the ongoing crisis for the nursing workforce and has led to burnout for many nurses. As a result, many are quitting their jobs in substantial numbers all across the country, with 62% of hospitals reporting a nurse vacancy rate higher than 7.5%, according to a 2021 NSI Nursing Solutions report. But the global pandemic has only worsened problems that have long existed within the nursing profession – in particular, widespread stress and burnout, health and safety issues, depression and work-related...

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Privatizing Discrimination: Texas deploys Jim Crow tactics by deputizing citizens to enforce dubious laws

By Stefanie Lindquist, Foundation Professor of Law and Political Science, Arizona State University The new Texas law that bans most abortions uses a method employed by Texas and other states to enforce racist Jim Crow laws in the 19th and 20th centuries that aimed to disenfranchise African Americans. Rather than giving state officials, such as the police, the power to enforce the law, the Texas law instead allows enforcement by “any person, other than an officer or employee of a state or local governmental entity in this state.” This enforcement mechanism relies solely on citizens, rather than on government...

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A Right to be Forgotten: Largest American news agency changes policy for crime reporting to do less harm

By Maggie Jones Patterson, Professor of Journalism, Duquesne University; and Romayne Smith Fullerton, Associate Professor, Information and Media Studies, Western University When the names of suspects appear in crime stories, their lives may be broken and never put back together. For years, people have begged The Associated Press, known as the “AP,” to scrub their indiscretions from its archives. Some of those requests “were heart-rending,” said John Daniszewski, standards vice president at AP who helped to spearhead the worldwide news service’s new policy. Acknowledging that journalism can inflict wounds unnecessarily, AP will no longer name those arrested for minor...

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