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Author: TheConversation

Milwaukee’s minority-majority population reflects the fading national demographics of white identity

By Dudley Poston and Rogelio Sáenz, • Professor of Sociology, Texas A&M University • Professor of Demography, The University of Texas at San Antonio Since the settlement of Jamestown in 1607 and the start of the Colonial period, the United States has been predominantly white. But the white share of the U.S. population has been dropping, from a little under 90% in 1950 to 60% in 2018. It will likely drop below 50% in another 25 years. White nationalists want America to be white again. But this will never happen. America is on its way to becoming predominantly nonwhite....

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A Spectrum of Entitlement: With great privilege comes likelihood of unethical behavior

By David M. Mayer, Professor of Management & Organizations, University of Michigan Federal attorneys have arrested 50 people in a college admission scam that allowed wealthy parents to buy their kids’ admission to elite universities. Prosecutors found that parents together paid up to US$6.5 million to get their kids into college. Some might ask why did these parents fail to consider the moral implications of their actions? Research in moral psychology over the past 20 years suggests many reasons why people behave in an unethical manner. When it comes to the wealthy, research shows that they will go to...

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Cinco de Mayo: How American beer companies cashed in on a minor Mexican holiday

By Kirby Farah, Lecturer of Anthropology, University of Southern California – Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences Contrary to popular belief, Cinco de Mayo does not mark Mexican Independence, which is celebrated on September 16. Instead, it is meant to commemorate the Battle of Puebla, which was fought between the Mexican and French armies in 1862. In Mexico’s long and storied history, the Battle of Puebla is generally considered a fairly minor event. But its legacy lives on a century and a half later, particularly in the United States. BEATING BACK AN EMPIRE After Mexico won independence from...

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Decades of government-supported discrimination fuels case for African American reparations

By Joe R. Feagin, Distinguished Professor of Sociology, Texas A&M University For the first time, most major Democratic presidential contenders are talking about whether the U.S. government should consider paying reparations to the descendants of African Americans who were enslaved and suffered from large-scale racial discrimination. At least three of these candidates, Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey, former San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro and Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, support the creation of a commission that would study the impact of slavery and the Jim Crow discrimination against black Americans that continued after emancipation. The commission would make...

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Environmental contamination pushes cities to cut plastic waste within a decade

By Chelsea Rochman and Diane Orihel, Assistant Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Toronto Assistant Professor, School of Environmental Studies, Queen’s University, Ontario Global and local community leaders from more than 170 countries have pledged to “significantly reduce” the amount of single-use plastic products by 2030. Success would result in significantly less plastic pollution entering our oceans, lakes and rivers. Societies around the world have a love affair with disposable plastics. Just like some love stories, this one has an unhappy ending that results in plastic bags, straws and takeout containers strewn about the global environment. As...

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Proliferation of fake photos drives social media hoaxes and spurs polarizing misinformation

By Hany Farid, Professor of Computer Science, Dartmouth College Advances in artificial intelligence have made it easier to create compelling and sophisticated fake images, videos and audio recordings. One month before the 2016 U.S. presidential election, an “Access Hollywood” recording of Donald Trump was released in which he was heard lewdly talking about women. The then-candidate and his campaign apologized and dismissed the remarks as harmless. At the time, the authenticity of the recording was never questioned. Just two years later, the public finds itself in a dramatically different landscape in terms of believing what it sees and hears....

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