Tag: Racism

Agonizing over Sports Teams’ Mascot Names »

I have written several columns on current controversies involving the apparent offensiveness of the Washington Redskins’ nickname, the most recent of which was published by the Washington Times. A later contribution to the same debate, by Hayley Manugia at FiveThirtyEight, finds 2,128 such American monikers, all of which should be equally offensive to people…
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The Ferguson Protesters vs. the Liberal Left »

The protests that began in Ferguson against a government and a legal system that systematically work to oppress minorities and the disadvantaged have continued, now inflamed by the decision not to indict the New York police officer who killed Eric Gardner by placing him in a chokehold (because he was suspected of selling cigarettes)….
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Small Business Suffers: The Riots, Past and Present »

Several years ago, I wrote an article for The Independent Review on the urban riots of the 1960s (and the Rodney King riot of 1992). Watching the events unfold in Ferguson, it seems those in charge of riot control learned nothing. Once again, the victims were small business owners—many of them African Americans (as…
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Obama’s Undisciplined School Discipline Reforms »

Keeping kids safe at school should go hand in hand with ensuring high-quality academics. The U.S. Department of Education’s record on both fronts has been poor at best. During the No Child Left Behind era of George W. Bush, parents were supposed to have an Unsafe School Choice Option. Partisan politics and perverse incentives…
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California Lawmakers Mandate Students Study about Obama »

You know your presidential popularity must be tanking when a state legislature has to pass a mandate requiring students to study about you in school. Recently the California State Legislature passed a new law (AB 1912) requiring the Instructional Quality Commission, which helps oversee the state’s Common Core standards, to consider revising the social…
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Classifying America: Government’s Power to Define Is the Power to Discriminate »

In one of the most famous phrases uttered by a Supreme Court justice, Potter Stewart defended his ruling in an obscenity case (1964) by refusing to offer a clear definition. Instead, he stated: “I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be [hard-core pornography]; and perhaps I could…
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The Economics of Offensive Trademarks »

My fellow blogger William Shughart recently gave a good critique of the Patent and Trademark Office’s decision to rescind protection of the Washington Redskins’ name. I agree with him that whether some people view a trademark as offensive should not be a criterion for determining whether it should be protected. If a large number…
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Gary S. Becker, R.I.P. »

I first met Professor Gary Becker (1930-2014) about 15 years ago, when he came to Oxford, Miss., to present a public lecture at the University of Mississippi sponsored by the Robert M. Hearin Foundation. My coauthor and then-colleague Bob Tollison and I breakfasted with him early on the morning of Dr. Becker’s visit, after…
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Global Poverty and the Tyranny of Experts »

Recovering former World Bank economist William Easterly has a new book on the folly of top-down development aid, The Tyranny of Experts: Economists, Dictators, and the Forgotten Rights of the Poor. As its title suggests, Easterly emphasizes the pernicious role played by technical “experts” from international development agencies in crafting policies that encourage authoritarian…
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TSA Vet Admits Scanners Are a Joke. And So Are You (to the TSA). »

In a recent coming-out piece for the longtime anonymous blogger behind the site “Taking Sense Away”, “Dear America, I Saw You Naked. And yes, we were laughing. Confessions of an ex-TSA agent,” Jason Edward Harrington details his six years as a TSA agent at Chicago’s O’Hare airport. We knew the full-body scanners didn’t work…
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