Despite the long history of police violence against racial minorities in the United States, recent high-profile shooting incidents of unarmed racial minorities have gained national attention, such as the shooting deaths of African Americans Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown. The resulting social movements, led by Black Lives Matter, have refocused media attention on the roles that race and racial stereotypes play in police behavior. What causes both officers and community members to shoot unarmed racial minorities? What role do racial stereotypes play in this process?
Holding a sign she couldn’t read, Megan Phelps-Roper stood at her first picket line at age 5, and for the next twenty years joined her Westboro Baptist Church family in spreading hate against groups from Catholics to Muslims to LGBT people. To most people, what Phelps-Roper did sounds biased, and it can be tempting to think of her as a irredeemable.
Elvis counsels, “Before you abuse, criticize, and accuse … walk a mile in my shoes.” Dylan wishes, “For just one time, you could stand inside my shoes.” Paul McCartney asks us once again to try to see it his way. If you are The King, a Nobel laureate, or a knight—not to mention a rock star—perhaps it is reasonable to expect that everyone else should take your perspective. For the rest of us, if we hope that “we can work it out,” it seems vital for us to try harder and try smarter to understand others—especially these days.
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The Binewskis are no ordinary family. Arty has flippers instead of limbs; Iphy and Elly are Siamese twins; Chick has telekinetic powers. These traveling circus performers see their differences as talents, but others consider them freaks with “no values or morals.” However, appearances can be misleading: The true villain of the Binewski tale is arguably Miss Lick, a physically “normal” woman with nefarious intentions.
What's funny, why some people like fear, and the complexities of failure are a few of the topics on this week's ICYMI roundup. See what you may have missed in the world of personality and social psychology.
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