Race and class and heat in cities

Hot temperatures in cities and towns are not experienced the same by residents. Neighborhoods with more minority residents (especially), neighborhoods with lower-income residents, and neighborhoods with residents with lower education levels “experience hotter temperatures during summer heatwaves than nearby white residents” and residents with higher incomes and more formal education. This trend has been documented for years in major cities but research also shows that…

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Sleep, health, and race/ethnicity

Sleep is inextricably tied to our health. Getting enough sleep, the amount of uninterrupted sleep, how deeply we sleep. Are our sleep patterns tied to race, gender, how we are treated, where we live, etc.–social as well as biological factors? What does the research say? This is an update to The importance of sleep and its impacts (physical and mental health) bibliography; for the most…

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Voter suppression and nonvoting is a social norm in the United States

Read this — it’s important! The United States prides itself on being a model for democracy. And, yet, widespread (and increasing) voter suppression and high rates of nonvoting have occurred for so long in the US that they have become accepted and a social norm. As a representative democracy, the US compares unfavorably with many places in the world. If you are a minority or…

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Updated: The psychological origins of prejudice, discrimination, and racism

Are people “hard-wired” to discriminate based on skin color, ethnicity, religion, place of origin, gender, sexual identity, etc.? Is it hereditary? Do we have no choice? Or, is it learned? As children, are we taught to discriminate by our parents, our greater family, in school, in church, by our friends? If we learn to be racist, can we learn not to be racist? If so,…

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Revisiting: Politics and Fear

Whipping up fear is a common tactic in politics. Providing stark, seemingly life or death choices, us versus them, scapegoating, creating a false bogeyman to distract from real problems, using lies and disinformation … fear is used because it often works. The invoked fear is often based on racism and bias. It’s those “other people”–with a different skin color, from another place, who follow a…

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Essential workers: economic and health vulnerability

We live in a very unequal society in the United States. Many have pointed this out for years and the COVID-19 pandemic has starkly illustrated this inequality. The poor, the sick, the old, the young, those who are “different”, those with little political power, and on and on … these people have borne the brunt for decades. These people have seen little benefit from economic…

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