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Author: TheConversation

From Oak Creak to Indianapolis: Sikh communities struggle to heal after latest mass shooting

By Simran Jeet Singh, Visiting Professor, Union Theological Seminary On April 16, 2021, a gunman opened fire at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis killing eight people and injuring several others before taking his own life. Four members of the Sikh community were among those gunned down. The site was reported as having a significant number of Sikh employees, and the massacre has left the community shaken and in grief. “I have sat with families from our community and so many others at the Holiday Inn Express as they wait to hear the fates of their loved ones,” said Maninder...

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Firearm Fatalities: Understanding the endemic nature of gun violence in American culture

By Lacey Wallace, Associate Professor of Criminal Justice, Penn State The U.S. has suffered yet another mass shooting, with a deadly attack in a FedEx facility in Indianapolis. This was the fifth mass shooting in five weeks, including a shooting at a supermarket in Boulder, Colorado that took the lives of 10 people on March 22 and just days earlier, eight people were killed in a series of shootings at spas in Atlanta, Georgia. Public outcry about gun violence, gun rights and racism and what to do about these issues is high. As a criminal justice researcher, I study...

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A Confidence Gap: Study finds that Black students have far less trust in their colleges than peers

By Kevin Fosnacht, Associate Research Scientist, Indiana University; and Shannon M. Calderone, Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership, Washington State University Black undergraduates consistently said they trusted the people who run the colleges they attend – and society overall – substantially less than their White peers did. We have termed this difference the racial trust gap, and it was not a trivial difference. The trust gaps we observed were of a size rarely seen in education research. We also observed sizable trust gaps for Asian and Latino students, relative to White students. However, the magnitude of the differences were up...

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Derek Chauvin’s trial stirs questions about the legal, moral, and political legitimacy of any verdict

By Lewis R. Gordon, Professor of Philosophy, University of Connecticut There is a difference between enforcing the law and being the law. The world is now witnessing another in a long history of struggles for racial justice in which this distinction may be ignored. Derek Chauvin, a 45-year-old White former Minneapolis police officer, is on trial for third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter for the May 25, 2020, death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old African American man. There are three questions I find important to consider as the trial unfolds. These questions address the legal, moral, and political legitimacy of...

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The 1848 Capital Riots: An unsuccessful mass escape by enslaved Blacks that entangled a nation

By Michael David Cohen, Research Professor of Government, American University The summer of 2020 was not the first time America saw protests and violence over the treatment of African Americans. Long before the demonstrations over Black Lives Matter, long before the marches of the civil rights era, strife over racism convulsed the nation’s capital. But those riots in Washington DC, were led by proslavery mobs. In the spring of 1848, conspirators orchestrated one of the largest escapes from slavery in U.S. history. In doing so, they sparked a crisis that entangled advocates for slavery’s abolition, white supremacists, the press...

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Paying a Price: People also gave up on pandemic safety measures a century ago when they got tired of them

By J. Alexander Navarro, Assistant Director of the Center for the History of Medicine, University of Michigan Picture the United States struggling to deal with a deadly pandemic. State and local officials enact a slate of social-distancing measures, gathering bans, closure orders and mask mandates in an effort to stem the tide of cases and deaths. The public responds with widespread compliance mixed with more than a hint of grumbling, pushback and even outright defiance. As the days turn into weeks turn into months, the strictures become harder to tolerate. Theater and dance hall owners complain about their financial...

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