Select Page

Author: TheConversation

Leaving despair behind: Why holding on to hope is hard even with the end of the pandemic in sight

By Rachel Hadas, Professor of English, Rutgers University – Newark As we begin to glimpse what might be the beginning of the end of the pandemic, what does hope mean? It’s hard not to sense the presence of hope, but how do we think of it? Hope is fragile but tough, fugitive but tenacious, even adhesive. It sticks: Hope “stayed behind/in her impregnable home beneath the lip/of the jar,” wrote the ancient Greek poet Hesiod in his poem “Works and Days.” While the evils released from the jar by Pandora fly out into the world, hope remains. Written in...

Read More

Food Apartheid: How urban planning helped create institutionalized food insecurity for people of color

By Julian Agyeman, Professor of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning, Tufts University Hunger is not evenly spread across the U.S., nor within its cities. Even in the the richest parts of urban America there are pockets of deep food insecurity, and more often than not it is Black and Latino communities that are hit hardest. As an urban planning academic who teaches a course on food justice, I’m aware that this disparity is in large part through design. For over a century, urban planning has been used as a toolkit for maintaining white supremacy that has divided U.S....

Read More

Abuse of Power: Why corporate domination of the U.S. food system is creating widespread hunger

By Philip H. Howard, Associate Professor of Community Sustainability, Michigan State University; and Mary Hendrickson, Associate Professor of Rural Sociology, University of Missouri-Columbia Agribusiness executives and government policymakers often praise the U.S. food system for producing abundant and affordable food. The fact is, however, food costs are rising, and shoppers in many parts of the U.S. have limited access to fresh, healthy products. This is not just an academic argument. Even before the current pandemic, millions of people in the U.S. went hungry. In 2019 the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimated that over 35 million people were “food insecure,”...

Read More

Racism is still the cause of anti-Asian American violence even when not legally defined as hate crimes

By Pawan Dhingra, Professor of Sociology and American Studies, Amherst College Over the past year, attacks on Asian Americans have increased more than 150% over the previous year, including the March 16 murders of eight people, including six Asian American women, in Atlanta. Some of these attacks may be classified as hate crimes. But whether they meet that legal definition or not, they all fit a long history of viewing Asian Americans in particular ways that make discrimination and violence against them more likely. I have researched and taught on Asian America for 20 years, including on the pernicious...

Read More

White people need not be White Supremacists to benefit from how racism still shapes American society

By Ursula Moffitt, Postdoctoral Fellow in Psychology, Northwestern University “Stop pretending your racism is patriotism.” – Internet Meme Among the Trump supporters who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 were members of right-wing groups, including the Proud Boys, Oath Keepers and Three Percenters. The increasing violence and visibility of these groups have turned them into symbols of White Supremacy and racism. They were involved in the deadly Unite the Right march in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017 and street clashes with racial justice protesters in Portland, Oregon, last year. At a Trump rally in Washington DC, in December, Black...

Read More

The “Melting Pot” Narrative: Why America’s history of migration coexisted with xenophobia

Claire L. Adida, Associate Professor, Political Science, University of California San Diego Adeline Lo, Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison Lauren Prather, Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of California San Diego Melina Platas, Assistant Professor of Political Science, New York University Abu Dhabi Scott Williamson, Postdoctoral Associate, Division of Social Science, New York University Abu Dhabi Which was the first generation in your family to arrive in America? Do you know why your family came to the United States? Members of President Joe Biden’s administration, and key nominees, have answered these questions in their first days...

Read More