July 13, 2020

In the News

  1. June 24, 2020
    • Headshot of Jon Wells

    Black New Yorker David Ruggles, who led the charge against the kidnapping of runaway slaves and free-born people in the 1830s, shows “that police violence has been part of the DNA of New York and the nation from its earliest days. … In recent weeks, the protesters demanding justice for African Americans, who have marched through the very Manhattan neighborhoods where Ruggles made his stand … have proved once again that such a change is possible,” wrote Jon Wells, professor of Afroamerican and African studies, history and in the Residential College.

    TIME
  2. June 24, 2020
    • Headshot of Shea Streeter

    “These protests have really pulled out into the open the way that police act really aggressively against peaceful protesters. There’s something about experiencing that for the first time, for many white folks who have only had positive interactions with police, and they’re out there being beaten with a baton or tear gas or had rubber bullets shot at them for the first time,” said Shea Streeter, postdoctoral fellow and assistant professor of political science.

    MLive
  3. June 24, 2020
    • Headshot of Stephanie Fryberg

    “We are very much in a moment of reckoning around equity concerns in this country. At some point, the NFL as an organization is going to have to make a decision whether teams like the Kansas City Chiefs and the Washington football team should be allowed to continue to systematically discriminate against Native people,” said Stephanie Fryberg, professor of psychology, whose research shows that about half of Native Americans find the “Redskins” name offensive.

    The Associated Press
  4. June 24, 2020
    • Headshot of Shachar Pinsker

    “The props and spaces that developed in the past 200 years to enable conviviality and sociability in commercial businesses will have to be re-created alongside the new health and safety measures and business models. If owners and policymakers fail to understand the experience is as important as the food and drink, our attempt to reopen restaurants, cafes and bars may flop,” wrote Shachar Pinsker, professor of Middle East studies and Judaic studies.

    The Washington Post
  5. June 24, 2020
    • Headshot of Kira Thurman

    “So instead of asking the question, ‘Was Beethoven Black?’ ask ‘Why don’t I know anything about George Bridgetower?’ I, frankly, don’t need any more debates about Beethoven’s blackness. But I do need people to play the music of Bridgetower. And others like him,” said Kira Thurman, assistant professor of history and Germanic languages and literatures, who believes that Polish-born Afro-European musician George Bridgetower should be better known.

    Newsweek
  6. June 17, 2020
    • Headshot of Alford Young

    Calls to defund the police are less “a dollars and cents issue” and more an issue of “social control and regulation.” That’s why the majority of those calling to defund the police aren’t actually asking to disband all law enforcement, said Alford Young, professor of sociology, Afroamerican and African studies, and public policy: “I think for a lot of people, there’s a feeling that the police department, functioning effectively, can contribute to the public good.”

    Bridge Magazine
  7. June 17, 2020
    • Photo of Arnold Monto

    While experts scramble to find a reason — such as reopening or protests — for coronavirus spikes in several western and southern states, Arnold Monto, professor of epidemiology, says the explanation is rarely so simple: “It’s usually people doing risky things they shouldn’t be doing, and those states (seeing an uptick), I don’t think they have been as scared as we have been by what we experienced a couple months ago.”

    WWJ Radio
  8. June 17, 2020
    • Headshot of Karyn Lacy

    “Scholars have spent a lot of time documenting the racial discrimination blacks experience. … But there is very little attention to all the good things about being black,” said Karyn Lacy, associate professor of sociology and Afroamerican and African studies. “We’re left with the impression that black people wake up every morning thinking, ‘Ugh, I’ve got to be black today, and it’s going to be awful.’”

    FiveThirtyEight
  9. June 17, 2020
    • Photo of Kiyoteru Tsutsui

    Kiyoteru Tsutsui, professor of sociology and director of the Center for Japanese Studies and Donia Human Rights Center, says Black Lives Matter protests in Japan are an interesting phenomenon, particularly since Japanese see police more as “caring guardians,” which in turn makes it easier for the Japanese public to feel offended about police brutality in the United States.

    The Diplomat
  10. June 17, 2020
    • Headshot of Michael Esposito

    Michael Esposito, research fellow at the Institute for Social Research, said black men are 2.5 times more likely to be killed by police than white men, and police killings make up about 9 percent of all adult male homicides in the United States — an exceptionally high rate compared to other countries: “That comparison means we can do something to prevent this entirely. I think people are taking that a little bit more seriously now.”

    Michigan Radio