For the first two attached files

White Resentment and Brooks Editorial:

The questions are above the readings

For the third attached file the questions are below:

In this essay, the authors describe people’s attachment to a particular place even when that place may be dangerous or at risk of serious damage again – just like the devastation that have just experienced.Using our concept of Mental Models, identify

a) the mental model(s) that seem to be leading people to stay in a community that just got devastated by severe weather and

b) the mental model that the social scientists want the members of the community described in this essay to accept.What would you do if you and your family were in this situation? Why? What would you want the government to do in this situation if you were simply a taxpayer in another part of the state that was not likely to be hit by a similar storm?

For the first two attached files White Resentment and Brooks Editorial: The questions are above the readings For the third attached file the questions are below: In this essay, the authors describe pe
In this essay, the author discusses why we don’t “have nice things” in this country and what we might have to do to change that situation. Describe the authors explanation for the situation we find ourselves in. Describe her solution to the problem. How might we turn things around. Relate both the problem and the solution to the issues and concepts that we have discussed in this course. New York Times Opinion Section 10_14_2022 By Heather C. McGhee Ms. McGhee is the author of “The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together,” from which this essay is adapted. Over a two-decade career in the white-collar think tank world, I’ve continually wondered: Why can’t we have nice things? By “we,” I mean America at-large. As for “nice things,” I don’t picture self-driving cars, hovercraft backpacks or laundry that does itself. Instead, I mean the basic aspects of a high-functioning society: well-funded schools, reliable infrastructure, wages that keep workers out of poverty, or a comprehensive public health system equipped to handle pandemics — things that equally developed but less wealthy nations seem to have. In 2010, eight years into my time as an economic policy wonk at Demos, a progressive policy research group, budget deficits were on the rise. The Great Recession had decimated tax revenue, requiring more public spending to restart the economy. But both the Tea Party and many in President Barack Obama’s inner circle were calling for a “grand bargain” to shrink the size of government by capping future public outlays and slashing Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare. Despite the still-fragile recovery and evidence that corporations were already paring back retirement benefits and ratcheting down real wages, the idea gained steam. On a call with a group of all-white economist colleagues, we discussed how to advise leaders in Washington against this disastrous retrenchment. I cleared my throat and asked: “So where should we make the point that all these programs were created without concern for their cost when the goal was to build a white middle class, and they paid for themselves in economic growth? Now these guys are trying to fundamentally renege on the deal for a future middle class that would be majority people of color?” Nobody answered. I checked to see if I was muted. Finally, one of the economists breached the awkward silence. “Well, sure, Heather. We know that — and you know that — but let’s not lead with our chin here,” he said. “We are trying to be persuasive.” The sad truth is that he was probably right. Soon, the Tea Party movement, harnessing the language of fiscal responsibility and the subtext of white grievance, would shut down the federal government, win across-the-board cuts to public programs and essentially halt the legislative function of the federal government for the next six years. The result: A jobless recovery followed by a slow, unequal economic expansion that hurt Americans of all backgrounds. The anti-government stinginess of traditional conservatism, along with the fear of losing social status held by many white people, now broadly associated with Trumpism, have long been connected. Both have sapped American society’s strength for generations, causing a majority of white Americans to rally behind the draining of public resources and investments. Those very investments would provide white Americans — the largest group of the impoverished and uninsured — greater security, too: A new Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco study calculated that in 2019, the country’s output would have been $2.6 trillion greater if the gap between white men and everyone else were closed. And a 2020 report from analysts at Citigroup calculated that if America had adopted policies to close the Black-white economic gap 20 years ago, U.S. G.D.P would be an estimated $16 trillion higher. In Montgomery, Ala., I walked the grounds of what was once a grand public pool, one of more than 2,000 such pools built in the early 20th century. However, much like the era’s government-backed suburban developments or G.I. Bill home loans, the pool was for whites only. Threatened with court action to integrate its pool in 1958, the town drained it instead, shuttering the entire parks and recreation department. Even after reopening the parks a decade later, they never rebuilt the pool. Towns from Ohio to Louisiana lashed out in similar ways. The civil rights movement, which widened the circle of public beneficiaries and could have heralded a more moral, prosperous nation, wound up diminishing white people’s commitment to the very idea of public goods. In the late 1950s, over two-thirds of white Americans agreed with the now-radical idea that the government ought to guarantee a job for anyone who wants one and ensure a minimum standard of living for everyone in the country. White support for those ideas nose-dived from around 70 to 35 percent from 1960 to 1964, and has remained low ever since. It’s no historical accident that this dip coincided with the 1963 March on Washington, when white Americans saw Black activists demanding the same economic guarantees, and when Democrats began to promise to extend government benefits across the color line. It’s also no accident that, to this day, no Democratic presidential candidate has won the white vote since the Democrat Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts. Racial integration portended the end of America’s high-tax, high-investment growth strategy: Tax revenue peaked as a percentage of the economy in 1969 compared with the average O.E.C.D. country. Now, America’s per capita government spending is near the bottom among industrialized countries. Our roads, bridges and water systems get a D+ from the American Society of Civil Engineers. Unlike our peers, we don’t have high-speed rail, universal broadband, mandatory paid family leave or universal child care. And while growing corporate power and money in politics have certainly played a role, it’s now clear that racial resentment is the key uncredited actor in our economic backslide. White people who exhibit low racial resentment against Black people are 60 percentage points more likely to support increased government spending than are those with high racial resentment. At the base of this resentment is a zero-sum story: the default framework for conservative arguments, rife with references to “makers and takers,” “taxpayers and freeloaders.” In my travels, I also realized that those seeking to repair America’s social divides can invoke this sort of zero-sum framing as well. Progressives often end up talking about race relations through a prism of competition — every advantage for whites, mirrored by a disadvantage for people of color. In my research and writing on disparities, I learned to focus on how white people benefited from systemic racism: Their schools have more funding, they have less contact with the police, they have greater access to health care. These hallmarks of white privilege are not freedoms that racial justice activists want to take away from white people, however — they’re basic human rights and dignities that everyone should enjoy. And the right wing is eager to fill the gap when we don’t finish the sentence. For an entire generation of American politics, racist stereotypes and dog whistles have strengthened the hand that beat progressives in the fight against rising inequality. But did white people win? No: Many of them lost good jobs, benefits and social mobility along with the rest of us not born into wealth. The task ahead, then, is to unwind this idea of a fixed quantity of prosperity and replace it with what I’ve come to call Solidarity Dividends: gains available to everyone when they unite across racial lines, in the form of higher wages, cleaner air and better-funded schools. I’ll never forget Bridget, a white woman I met in Kansas City who had worked in fast food for over a decade. When a co-worker at Wendy’s first approached her about joining a local Fight for $15 group pushing for a livable minimum wage, she was skeptical. “I didn’t think that things in my life would ever change,” she told me. “They weren’t going to give $15 to a fast food worker. That was just insane to me.” But Bridget attended the first organizing meeting anyway. And when a Latina woman rose and described her life — three children in a two-bedroom apartment with bad plumbing, the feeling of being “trapped in a life where she didn’t have any opportunity to do anything better” — Bridget, also a mother of three, said she was struck by how “I was really able to see myself in her.” “I had been fed this whole line of, ‘These immigrant workers are coming over here and stealing our jobs — not paying taxes, committing crimes and causing problems,’” Bridget admitted. “You know, us against them.” Soon after she began organizing, the cross-racial movement had won a convert. “In order for all of us to come up, it’s not a matter of me coming up and them staying down,” she said. “It’s the matter of: In order for me to come up, they have to come up too. Because honestly, as long as we’re divided, we’re conquered.” Ms. McGhee is the author of “The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together,” from which this essay is adapted. 6
For the first two attached files White Resentment and Brooks Editorial: The questions are above the readings For the third attached file the questions are below: In this essay, the authors describe pe
Assignment: 10 points After reading this opinion piece from David Brooks: Reflect on the two mental models that the author sees as in opposition to each other – a) Racial categories as fixed identities with shared beliefs and commitments, and b) Racial categories as fluid collections of diverse ideas that are subject to change. Choose an example of each mental model in action: from the news, social media, or personal experience and briefly describe what behaviors and attitudes are involved in each instance. Then discuss how people might move from mental model a to mental model b. By David Brooks Opinion Columnist. New York Times Opinion Section 10/14/2022 Besides being offended by the racist comments made by members of the Los Angeles City Council — as so many people were — I was also struck by the underlying worldview revealed during their leaked conversation. Council President Nury Martinez — who has since resigned from the Council — along with two colleagues and a labor ally talked about a range of subjects, including redistricting, but two assumptions undergirded much of what they said. Their first assumption was that America is divided into monolithic racial blocs. The world they take for granted is not a world of persons; it’s a world of rigid racial categories. At one point Martinez vulgarly derided someone because “he’s with the Blacks.” You’re either with one racial army or you’re with another. The second assumption was that these monolithic racial blocs are locked in a never-ending ethnic war for power. The core topic of their conversation was to redraw Council districts to benefit Latino leaders. “It’s real simple,” one of the participants in the conversation said at one point. “You got 100 people, right? Fifty-two of them are Mexicano. I feel pretty good about it. I feel pretty good about my chances of beating your ass.” Those two assumptions didn’t come out of nowhere. We have had a long-running debate in this country over how to think about racial categories. On the one side there are those, often associated with Ibram X. Kendi and others, who see American society as a conflict between oppressor and oppressed groups. They center race and race consciousness when talking about a person’s identity. Justice will come when minority group power is used to push back on white supremacy. “The only remedy to racist discrimination is antiracist discrimination,” is how Kendi puts it. On the other side, there are others, like Thomas Chatterton Williams, Coleman Hughes and Reihan Salam, who argue that racial categorization itself can be the problem. The concept of systemic racism is built upon crude racial categorization. As Williams puts it, America should fight racism while over the long term getting rid of “the categories that come out of the collision of Africa and Europe in the slave trade and the New World.” You do that by emphasizing how much all humans have in common and by emphasizing how complex each person’s identity is — that it includes race but so many other things, too. The last thing you want to do is traffic in the sort of racial essentialist categories that were so rampantly on display during that conversation among the City Council members. That conversation is what happens when the assumptions of the former school of thought are embraced as a matter of course. You don’t get a righteous struggle against oppression. You get a bunch of people who assume that public life is a brutal struggle of group against group, and who are probably going to develop derogatory views of people in rival groups. Los Angeles is a version of the American future. America is diversifying rapidly, and before long there will be no single majority group. On the ground, groups are mixing and blending. About three in 10 Asian newlyweds were married to someone from a different race or ethnicity in 2015, as were around one in four Hispanics and roughly one in five Black Americans. Six years earlier, 35 percent of Americans said that one of their close kin was married to someone of a different race. As this blending continues, racial and ethnic categories get a lot more fluid. In an essay for The Atlantic, Richard Alba, Morris Levy and Dowell Myers noted that by 2060 40 percent of the Americans who will say they are white will also claim another identity. Fifty-two percent of the individuals categorized as nonwhite will also identify as white. But while all this complex pluralism is happening on the ground, many politicians and conflict entrepreneurs like Tucker Carlson revert to crude racial binaries in order to justify their status and gain power. Sadly, history shows us how ridiculously easy it is for people to whip up in-group versus out-group hostilities, especially if they can spread a worldview that asserts that life is essentially about a zero-sum war of group against group. “The essential challenge that diversifying states face is the evolution of their identity,” Justin Gest writes in his recent book, “Majority Minority.” That means the crucial struggle is in the realm of ideas and the imagination. What stories do we tell or what rhetoric do we use to define who we are? If we use rhetoric and tell stories that expand the definition of “we,” if we continue to emphasize how complicated personal and national identities are, if we emphasize overlapping and inclusive identities, then we have a shot at making something special out of all this diversity. If we use rhetoric that assumes that we’re all locked into rigid racial blocs and that group conflict is the essential element of public life, then group conflict is what we will get — Balkanization on a continental scale. That’s not just about L.A. City Council members. That’s about a set of ideas and a way of talking too readily accepted in this society. 4
For the first two attached files White Resentment and Brooks Editorial: The questions are above the readings For the third attached file the questions are below: In this essay, the authors describe pe
OPINION GUEST ESSAY Losing Your Neighborhood to Climate Change Is Sometimes Necessary Aug. 24, 2022 Friendswood, Texas, a Houston suburb, was flooded by Hurricane Harvey in 2017. Five years later, efforts to move families out of flood zones in the area have been sluggish.Credit…Kevin M. Cox/The Galveston County Daily News, via Associated Press Top of Form Bottom of Form By Anna Rhodes and Max Besbris Dr. Rhodes and Dr. Besbris are the authors of “Soaking the Middle Class: Suburban Inequality and Recovery From Disaster.” When it hit Houston five years ago, Hurricane Harvey dropped more rain than any other U.S. storm since reliable record-keeping began in the late 19th century, causing $125 billion in direct damage. More than 150,000 homes flooded and over 80 Texans lost their lives. In Friendswood, a middle-class Houston suburb of about 40,000 where we interviewed residents immediately after the storm and followed them for the next two years, more than 3,000 homes, one-third of the city’s total, flooded. A majority of these homes were not in officially designated floodplains when the storm hit, so few owners had flood insurance. The flood caused tremendous damage. One resident told us that his house looked like a “giant blender,” while another said, “Everything was turned upside down.” Clearing out waterlogged possessions was especially emotional. “That was probably the worst day of my life,” one woman told us. “I got to watch everybody gather up all of my belongings to throw them to the curb like trash.” The federal government has warned that Hurricane Harvey could be a harbinger of climate change. Warming temperatures are making rainstorms more intense and hurricanes wetter, and they increase the risk of severe flooding not only for coastal areas but inland communities as well. The Houston region could also see more extreme heat, drought and sea-level rise as climate change accelerates. To prevent loss of lives, livelihoods and property, some scientists and planners are supporting a strategy called managed retreat, in which communities get government aid to move away from places most vulnerable to extreme weather. Managed retreat remains rare in practice — for example, a recent Houston Public Media report found that home buyouts in the Houston area have been sluggish, with only 750 completed and 5,000 properties still on Harris County’s post-Harvey buyout list. We believe managed retreat must become more common so communities can avoid the worst consequences of climate changes. But even as academics and think tanks refined ideas on how to best relocate communities, leaving was not on the minds of Friendswood residents we spoke to after Hurricane Harvey. They struggled to imagine moving away from a place they called home even though their homes had just been destroyed and studies suggested that a growing number of houses in the area were susceptible to flooding. Instead of driving people away, the devastation caused by disaster often has the opposite effect. Flooded residents described an increasing sense of connection to their neighbors in the immediate aftermath of the storm; an outpouring of assistance confirmed for them that Friendswood was a caring and supportive community. But it was not simply their experiences right after the storm that kept Friendswood residents in place. Many said they did not want to uproot their lives. Parents often planned to stay until their children graduated from high school. Others who had moved to Friendswood for a job wanted to wait until retirement to decide whether to move. And some had purchased what they viewed as their “forever home” and said nothing would push them out. As one longtime resident told us, “They’ll probably take me out of here in a box!” Home prices in the area didn’t decline at all after Hurricane Harvey, making it possible for many people to sell their damaged homes and buy somewhere less prone to flooding. But they did not know where they would go even if they wanted to move. They questioned whether other nearby communities had schools that were as good or neighbors who were as friendly. Many told us that Friendswood was too special to leave. The town had what one resident called a “Friendswood feel” — an ineffable quality that perhaps couldn’t be reproduced anywhere else. Image Friendswood during Tropical Storm Beta in 2020.Credit…Steve Gonzales/Houston Chronicle, via Associated Press The people we spoke to also referred to Hurricane Harvey as a “freak storm” and told us that a similarly intense deluge was unlikely to occur again for decades, if not a century. And they struggled to understand whether climate change was making them more vulnerable. Many didn’t think so, and even those who did were uncertain how to assess the threat to themselves. Without clear information about this kind of risk, it’s not surprising that residents didn’t have any plans to relocate. What does this mean for managed retreat in a future where more and more places will face floods made more severe, and in some places more frequent, by climate change? Currently, the money spent by the federal government on moving away from vulnerable places pales in comparison to that spent on rebuilding damaged properties. Programs like the Small Business Administration’s disaster loan assistance for homeowners instead encourage people to stay by providing money to repair their houses. More resources for managed retreat could certainly help motivate relocation. But policymakers must also consider the emotional attachments people have to particular places. Encouraging mobility will require better information on the risks of staying put and the resources residents would have access to in less flood-prone neighborhoods. It will also require more equitable investments in those resources — like schools and other social services — before disasters strike, so that people feel they won’t be giving anything up by moving. In the short term, far more needs to be done to communicate risk. While some residents may never want to leave their homes, our interviews in Friendswood show that few people have clear information about their vulnerability to future flooding. The federal government should mandate that flood risk is made clear in every lease, deed and mortgage contract and that this information is updated annually. Residents also need to know about alternative places to live before, and immediately after, their homes are damaged — the period when people are most open to accepting buyouts. Efforts to expand managed retreat won’t be easy. But any costs for supporting managed retreat will ultimately be made up in savings from not having to repair homes that are just going to flood again and again. Anna Rhodes is an assistant professor of sociology at Rice University. Max Besbris is an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. They are the authors of “Soaking the Middle Class: Suburban Inequality and Recovery From Disaster. In this essay, the authors describe people’s attachment to a particular place even when that place may be dangerous or at risk of serious damage again – just like the devastation that have just experienced. Using our concept of Mental Models, identify a) the mental model(s) that seem to be leading people to stay in a community that just got devastated by severe weather and b) the mental model that the social scientists want the members of the community described in this essay to accept. What would you do if you and your family were in this situation? Why? What would you want the government to do in this situation if you were simply a taxpayer in another part of the state that was not likely to be hit by a similar storm?