Sunday, February 16, 2014

Our Role in Solving the Problems We See

This week's Tungsten Hippo post is more like what I write here than most. It is about why I have a problem with solutions to society's problems that start with "they should just...." It is long by Tungsten Hippo standards, but short by Wandering Scientist standards, so I hope you'll all go over and read it.

It was interesting to notice the difference between writing a post like that for Tungsten Hippo versus writing it to post here. Even though my audience here is much bigger, I think I took more care writing the post for Tungsten Hippo, perhaps because I do not know my audience there as well. That is a bit ridiculous, because I of course have no control over who reads my posts regardless of where I publish them. But being ridiculous doesn't make it any less true.

Since I spent so much time agonizing over word choice on my Tungsten Hippo post, I don't have much more to write here. The verdict in the Dunn trial in Florida reminded me of the post I wrote after George Zimmerman was found not guilty. The essential point remains: we white people have skewed perceptions of black people, and those perceptions are all too often deadly for innocent people. It is our responsibility to fix this.

Once again, I would rather point people to things written by others than try to say anything meaningful myself.

Paul Campos' writes in Salon about the role of Stand Your Ground laws in this travesty. This actually links back to my Tungsten Hippo post- if you are looking for something concrete you can do to make things safer for young black men (and indeed, for everyone) in this country, working to overturn Stand Your Ground laws would be a good place to start.

Ta-Nehisi Coates is his usual eloquent self.

Stacia L. Brown wrote a brilliant and sad essay.

The #DangerousBlackKids hashtag juxtaposes beautiful kids with the ignorant stereotypes they will face as they get older.

Please feel free to leave more reading suggestions in the comments.

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