Connecting California, Featured, Joe Mathews »

To Make California a True Democracy, Give Non-Citizens the Right to Vote

By | August 10, 2017

President Trump claims that California allowed millions of non-citizens to cast ballots in the 2016 elections. This allegation, while totally bogus, has put California and its political leaders on the defensive. They are forced to respond as Trump and his allies use the lie to justify a new federal commission devoted to making it harder for all Americans to vote.
Californians should go on offense—by embracing …

Featured, Nexus »

The LAPD Is Here to Protect and Serve Immigrants, Not Help ICE Deport Them

By | August 9, 2017

Given the history of our City and our Department, the Los Angeles Police Department makes it a priority to build relationships with our diverse communities.
Since last November’s election, and the widespread protests and fears we’ve seen and heard in its aftermath, we’ve had to step up relationship-building and do even more, especially in our immigrant communities where the anxiety has been greatest.
That has meant a …

Featured, Nexus »

While ICE Tries to Deport My Father, My Family Stays Strong

By | August 9, 2017

My life has drastically changed since February 28, 2017, when my father was arrested by ICE agents as part of President Trump’s effort to fulfill his campaign promise to deport immigrants with criminal records. While my dad sits in a detention center, I wake up every morning with an upset stomach and a nervous, worrisome feeling. I describe it as like getting knocked down by …

Featured, Poetry »

words like heat rose #poem

By | August 4, 2017

Oscar Mancinas is a Ph.D. candidate at Arizona State University.

Featured, Poetry »

to know how to call myself beautiful #poem

By | July 28, 2017

Because I could not pull the homesickness
from my clothes with all my teeth,
the skins of foreign cloth dead in my mouth,
I am the savage who tried to sew
a skirt for herself in another man’s english
and wore his eyes, like daisies, in my hair.
A jury of hands to tell me the weight of hair,
to measure my blood and its red homesickness.
Blue eyes and vomit …

Featured, The Takeaway »

Hawaii’s Identity Is Powerful–and Endangered

By | July 26, 2017

America’s youngest state, Hawaii, isn’t known for making Texas-sized boasts about its greatness, or for aggressively pushing its brand on its neighbors, the way that, say, Florida and California do.
Yet Hawaii may have the strongest sense of identity of any U.S. state—a fierce cultural pride and feeling of exceptionalism that flow from its unique island heritage.
That was the premise of a Smithsonian/Zócalo “What It …

Featured, Nexus »

Sorry, Reading Jane Austen Doesn’t Make You a Better Person

By | July 20, 2017

In 2013, Science published a study with the intriguing title, “Reading Literary Fiction Improves Theory of Mind.” The authors (David Comer Kidd and Emanuele Castano) claimed to have proven that literary fiction—not “genre” fiction, not well-written nonfiction, but literary fiction—develops our “theory of mind,” which means our ability to recognize other peoples’ thoughts and feelings. This ability, in the words of the authors, “allows successful …

Featured, Nexus »

Is Our Culture of Empathy Perpetuating Inequality?

By | July 19, 2017

We desperately need more empathy. At least, that’s what we are told—in political rhetoric, in bestselling popular science books, in international development discourse, in feminist and anti-racist activism. Among current political antagonisms, especially the rise of Trumpism, many are worried about the deleterious effects of “empathy erosion.”
Empathy has been touted as a necessary quality in leadership, the solution to a wide range of social …

Featured, Nexus »

No, Empathy Isn’t a Universal Value

By | July 19, 2017

Empathy varies a lot among people, psychological research has found. But it also varies widely among countries and cultures. When my colleagues and I set out to analyze the largest study on empathy ever done—104,365 people from 63 countries—we expected to learn whether the extent to which we tune into others’ emotional cues clearly differs by culture. Instead, we were left with a number of …

Featured, Nexus »

How Our Evolving Understanding of Individual Autonomy Led to Human Rights for All

In Inventing Human Rights: A History, UCLA historian Lynn Hunt traces the modern concept of Human Rights to a series of mid-18th century epistolary novels with a strong first person perspective, including Julie by Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Samuel Richardson’s Pamela and Clarissa. Male and female readers got passionately engrossed in the experience of being “in” the body and position of the heroines of these novels. …