Prof. Rodney Coates Interviewed About Critical Race Theory

Author: [wpuf-meta name=”author”] Source: [wpuf-meta name=”source”] Comments: According to a #GallupPoll released this week, over 25% of Americans admit they know nothing about #Juneteenth. Dr. Rodney Coates, professor of Critical Race and Ethnic Studies at Miami University, discusses on #PRIMEwithCharlesBlow. URL: https://fb.watch/6ej15QIKCZ/ Viewing time: 10:24 Views: 358

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The (Only) Ten Basic News Stories

Lots of people consider the news industry cynical and committed to pandering to the lowest common intellectual denominator. But few have noticed the curious irony that lies at the very core of the news paradigm. This irony may offer a better explanation of why the news is the way it is than any speculations about the ethics and motives of the news producers.

The curious irony is that, in this so-called Third-Wave age of information, as futurist Alvin Toffler named it, the commercial news process is actually imprisoned in a Second-Wave model, i.e. an industrial model of news production.

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Let’s Rethink the Environment: Caring for the Commons

Global Warming: that phrase has become an emotionally charged shorthand—a handle for a whole grab-bag of controversies, conflicts, issues, problems, and—for some people—opportunities to bring the American Republic into the modern age.

Few themes in the national conversation have generated so much heat and so little light, and few topics have tribalized Americans so intensely around competing ideologies.

We need to unpack this relatively simple concept, look at its components, and get some sense of its politics—how Americans currently think and feel about it, if they think about it at all.

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Let’s Use Tiger Teams to Get the Big Things Done

The appalling casualty rate of ideas and initiatives on Capitol Hill has become intolerable. We can no longer afford to watch our biggest and best ideas die of asphyxiation. These are dangerous times and the stakes are much too high.

We need another way to get the big things done—a way to bypass the legislative “sphincter” and turn good ideas into actions.

We have such a way. It’s called the “tiger team” approach, and it’s been proven in lots of successful organizations, including the US military, some federal agencies, and in business enterprises.

In a nutshell: whenever an organization is too sluggish, too ponderous, too arthritic, too incompetent, or too conflicted to handle a difficult challenge, we need to build a “work-around.” We leave the bureaucracy to its own bureaucratic paralysis and set  up a separate, temporary enterprise, laser-focused on one assigned mission.

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Let’s Rethink Commerce: Survival of the Fittest or Shared Fate?

According to Milton Friedman, professor of economics at the University of Chicago business school:

“There is one and only one social responsibility of business—to use its resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits, so long as it stays within the rules of the game, which is to say, engages in open and free competition without deception or fraud.”

The billionaire capitalist Malcolm Forbes, founder of the Forbes Magazine publishing empire, agreed with Friedman. Forbes put it even more simply:

“The only sin in business is not making a profit.”

A century earlier, the legendary robber baron John D. Rockefeller had shown the way to fabulous riches in the oil business by amassing capacity and exterminating his smaller rivals. He expressed his philosophy in equally blunt terms:

“The day of combination [monopolies, mergers, acquisitions, and trusts] is here to stay. Individualism has gone, never to return. Competition is a sin. The American Beauty Rose can be produced in the splendor and fragrance which bring cheer to its beholder only by sacrificing the early buds which grow up around it. This is not an evil tendency in business. It is merely the working-out of a law of nature and a law of God.”

Before we take up the question of whether, how, and how much to rein in corporate expansionism, let’s pause to acknowledge a very big truth:

The corporation, as an economic entity,
probably surpasses all other human inventions
in terms of the benefits it has brought to modern societies.

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Our National Conversation: Healthy Discourse or Shouting Match?

Unless you’ve chosen to live a life isolated from the rest of society, you probably experience the national conversation every day, during much of your waking time. Your conversations with your family; your significant other; your neighbors; your close friends; your colleagues, co-workers, or fellow students; your casual acquaintances; the people in the shops you patronize—all influence the way you think about the Republic that you co-own and co-inhabit.

In addition to our own personal microcosm of relationships, we modern citizens live our lives deeply and unavoidably embedded in an information environment. Let’s pause for a moment to think about this all-pervasive field of ideas and influences. What can we observe about the never-ending tide of messages swirling around us? How does it affect us? And, do we have the power—and the means—to influence it?

 

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Let’s Rethink Foreign Relations: America’s Deal With Our Neighbors

The Foreign Relations component of our Republic, more than most of the others, seems to involve the greatest sense of uncertainty, ambiguity, and unease in the minds of Americans.

Throughout our history our leaders, big thinkers, activists, and citizens have struggled with two conflicting streams of thought. The national conversation has almost always involved some version of the same argument: should we engage actively with the other nations of the world or should we mind our own business and stay out of their affairs?

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Let’s Rethink Public Services: The Rights and Entitlements of the People

When Americans consider the matter of public services—assistance of various kinds provided to citizens by government agencies—the national conversation tends to polarize around two contrasting views. One holds that government should provide a wide range of services for its citizens, especially those facing financial hardship and the effects of disadvantaged environments. The other holds that government should stay out of people’s lives and let them fend for themselves.

On one side of the debate, the eternal bogeyman quickly raises its head: “Socialism.” The “nanny state.” “Do we want the government to do everything for us?” And, “Who pays for …

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