This Week in Diversity: History, Alternate Reality, and the Future

Last Friday haiku
Thirty days of poetry
Ending with a verse.

Let’s start the week’s links with some history! It turns out that there have been biracial people for a long time, and we’re not just talking homo sapiens of European descent with those of African descent: a recent genetic study found evidence of interbreeding between early humans and Neanderthals. Pretty cool!

In more recent history, Ta-Nehisi Coates talks about a history professor in college who taught him to honestly grapple with history, and not to get into racial myth-building just because we want our ancestors to have been blameless. (Warning: contains adult language.)

A new neurological study looked at how race relates to empathy, and found that how we identify ourselves affects how we react to other people in distress.

Tim Wise provides an exercise in alternate reality: what if the Tea Party protesters were black? (Warning: contains adult language.)

And looking to the future, the Brookings Institution looks at the immigration issue in relation to demographics—as a generational shift in a state where eighty percent of seniors are white, but only forty percent of children.

One Comment

  1. Posted May 3, 2010 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    Your last comment, about the changing demographics of seniors vs. children, is very familiar to me!

    In addition to being a writer of children’s books, I am on the school board of my local public school district. Many of our residents have an idea of what the “demographics” of our city look like, but the image they hold in their minds is essentially the demographics of the adults – the ones they see at the grocery store, or work. But I see the demographics of our students, which are much different, and realize the disconnect. It means that there must be more education for the public, to realize that changing demographics start at the school level.


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