public space

Assata, White Nationalists, and Twitter

Last week there has been a twitter argument centered around Assata Shakur, a black feminist who was convicted of the murder of a state trooper, escaped prison, and now has political asylum in Cuba.  The Women’s March tweeted a happy birthday message to Assata on July 16th.

assata

Jake Tapper, generally liked by the moderate left, responded to the tweet.

jake

Assata Shakur is a bit of a flash point for the “alt-right.”  This tweet was seen as legitimizing arguments of white supremacists.  The Women’s March responded with a series of 20 tweets explaining who Assata is and why they support her.  COINTELPRO, or the counter intelligence program of the FBI, became a talking point and some other journalists entered the discussion.

Shaun King

The Politically Reactive podcast with W. Kamau Bell and Hari Kondabolu was in an interesting situation.  On July 13th they aired an interview with Linda Sarsour, the most well known of the Women’s March organizers, and the following week were scheduled to air an interview with Jake Tapper.  The podcasters reached out to both after the twitter argument but did not hear back.  They thought it would be inappropriate to simply air the second interview and instead made an episode “Hold Up, Wait a Minute: Twitter Feuds & Threat Models” featuring Prof. Jessie Daniels of Hunter College and CUNY College and cyber security expert Nicholas Weaver.

pol reactive.jpeg

Relative Deviance & Sex

Though there are objective and critical views of deviance, subjective views look at how deviance is constructed relative to cultural norms.  Deviance is then a behavior that is defined as deviant within a cultural context. 

In the United States, we tend to see violence and guns as more socially acceptable and sex as less socially acceptable than other industrialized countries.  In Texas, this line became clear when university students carried out a ‘Cocks not Glocks‘ protest, bringing sex toys around campus in protest of a new law allowing concealed weapons on campus.

dildo protest.jpgimage from Newsweek

The relative deviance of sex and sexuality can also be seen in how various countries rated the film Fifty Shades of Grey.

In / Out Groups: Cyclists

In Sociology and “in group” is a social group toward which a member feels respect and loyalty, or ‘we.’  An “out group” is a social group toward which a person feels a sense of competition or opposition, or ‘them’ and ‘those people.’  These groups can foster loyalty and generate conflict.  In groups generally hold overly positive view of themselves and unfairly negative view of out groups, with traits seen as virtues in an in group seen as vices in an out group.

The following clip from the Australian television show The Weekly examines the tensions between cyclists and drivers as in and out groups.  Unfortunately, you will need a VPN set to Australia to view the video.