This past week saw Americans out on the streets en masse to protest police violence, in particular race-based discrimination practiced by police throughout the nation. Non-white individuals get harassed more, suffer more violence, and are treated worse by the judicial system than white people. This has been proven time and time again, with people getting increasingly sick of it with every passing year. 2020 has seen many needless deaths due to racist and untrained officers – Americans have had enough. We can show solidarity (and many already have with rallies) while calling for systemic change in the USA and in our own countries. A few years ago Scientific American looked into ways we can change American policing.
If implicit bias workshops may not be the answer, what can police departments do?
We don’t know how to de-bias people because the culture is so saturated with those stereotypes. My general recommendation is—and I think it’s consistent with what the Center for Policing Equity is generally proposing—that departments find ways to reduce the rates at which these interactions are occurring.
Police have a lot of discretion on who they can engage with and who they detain, and that can result in wild variation in discretionary stops. You can reduce the amount of contacts without compromising public safety and then the chance for biased outcomes gets reduced dramatically. We have seen that in NYC: The number of stops are way down and the racial disparities are mathematically necessarily reduced because there is less room for disparity.
War is a messy business with the victorious side usually cleaning up how it all looks to outsiders. This is obviously problematic, particularly as we ought to hold people accountable for crimes they commit. When one rogue state let’s their war crimes go unpunished it calls into question the international agreements on how to handle the people who committed such grievous acts. In her new books Rebecca Gordon calls on the USA to not let the crimes that have occurred in the war on terror to go unpunished.
In American Nuremberg, author Rebecca Gordon indicts several high ranking U.S. officials for war crimes. Those who helped facilitate America’s torture and assassination programs are named and their crimes are exposed in great detail. Writing the book and naming the war criminals is merely step one for Rebecca Gordon, who is currently a mission to work with several human rights groups to formally charge those officials who have broken human rights laws.
The United States helped establish the international principles guiding the prosecution of war crimes – starting with the Nuremberg tribunal following World War II, when Nazi officials were held accountable for their crimes against humanity. American Nuremberg is a call to put our own officials on trial – those who constantly refuse to apply these same international principles to the War on Terror.
Violent video games get attacked a lot. Media and news companies are quick to blame the influence video games have on youth to be the reason that youth commit acts of violence. This is not the case though. Every year there is more evidence that it’s not true that violent entertainment leads to real-world violence. In fact, it can be stingily argued that playing violent video games can be a good thing in your life.
First, an international research team from the USA and Canada found that by playing a game together we can change attitudes of players towards others. They had people kill zombies with someone who the player thought was from the States (and in the USA they thought they were playing with a Canadian).
The research concluded that having people play with someone they thought was from another country increased player’s opinion of people from said country.