We’ve Been Here Before!

What Academics Can Learn from Black Sociology’s Response to Jim Crow America.

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Guest Contributor: Earl Morris II, UC Africana Studies Professor

On November 8, 2016 Donald J. Trump was elected the 45th President of the United States of America. Many Americans greeted this fact with trepidation Trump’s presidential campaign garnered the favor of groups including, but not limited to, the Ku Klux Klan, Neo-Nazis and other White supremacists. Trump became their candidate of choice because of his divisive rhetoric on such groups as Muslims, Mexican Americans, and African Americans. In the aftermath of an election where he won the Electoral College but lost the popular vote by nearly three million, this nation has witnessed a surge in hate crimes.

Trump’s shocking win dismayed not only by the groups mentioned above, but also by many academics experiencing unease and anxiety from campus environments altered in new, troubling ways since the election.  Conservative groups have launched an aggressive aggressive campaign that encourages college students to “out” liberal/progressive faculty. Essentially, encouraging and promoting a “hit list” of “unpatriotic” faculty, which places the lives of many faculty engaged in social justice work, whether in the class or via research, in jeopardy.

While events surrounding the 2016 presidential election are causing some to literally fear for the lives and livelihood of themselves and their family and friends, I would be remiss if I did not remind you that, “we’ve been here before!” What I suggest in this brief essay is that contemporary academics can learn from Black Sociology, or Jim Crow sociology, how to navigate this current era of “Trumperica.” Continue reading “We’ve Been Here Before!”

Beyond Policing: “From Re-entry to No Entry”

Experts explain that structural reforms are necessary to stop police killings at Cincinnati Law/Cincinnati Project event.

How can the University of Cincinnati prepare for the trial of Ray Tensing?  That’s the question audience members are contemplating after today’s panel discussion, “DOJ Reports on Policing in Ferguson and Baltimore:  What They Mean for Cincinnati and the Country.”

The Cincinnati Project, UC’s Center for Student Affairs, and Cincinnati Law’s Center for Race, Gender, and Social Justice collaborated to  present five experts to discuss police killings across the nation.  Using the Department of Justice’s reports on Ferguson and Baltimore as a springboard, panelists examined such issues as the root causes of police violence against people of color, challenged the existence of a just criminal justice system, and urged a re-examination of the meaning of “public safety” that includes input from affected communities.   Continue reading “Beyond Policing: “From Re-entry to No Entry””

Ferguson, Baltimore…and Cincinnati: Lessons from DOJ Investigations

Terence Crutcher. Keith Lamont Scott.  Korryn Gaines. These are just some of the most recent additions to the growing roll of people killed by police. Communities across the nation struggle for answers, strategies, and, most importantly, an end to the violence.  On October 4, 2016, the University of Cincinnati will host this important discussion, building upon lessons learned from Department of Justice (DOJ) investigations in Ferguson, Missouri, and Baltimore, Maryland.

DOJ found patterns of racial discrimination in stops, detentions, and use of force in both places.  In Ferguson, DOJ  said the police viewed African Americans “less as constituents to be protected than as potential offenders and sources of revenue.”  In Baltimore, DOJ found that the systemic constitutional violations stemmed from structural failures. What do these findings mean for other cities, including Cincinnati?

To be sure, Cincinnati has been cited as an exemplar for reform for troubled cities because of the collaborative agreement between the police and communities.  What can Cincinnati’s experience add to our understanding of race, class, and policing, particularly when it comes to addressing endemic inequities?

Co-sponsored by the Cincinnati Project of the College of Arts and Sciences and Cincinnati Law’s Center for Race, Gender, and Social Justice,  a panel discussion will address these and other issues. Participants include the following: attorney Alphonse Gerhardstein, law professor Janet Moore, activist Iris Roley, history professor Tracy Teslow, and Africana Studies professor Earl Wright II.

The event begins at 3:30 p.m. in room 450 of the Lindner Center.  Please join us.