Coming Up On Viewpoints 18-13

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A Spy in the Civil Rights Movement

Ernest Withers is a famed Civil Rights photographer who took some of the iconic photos that propelled the movement to the front pages across America. He was also working as a spy inside the movement for the FBI. Author Marc Perrusquia joins the show to tell Withers’s story and help us parse through what it all means

Practicing Kindness

Often, it can seem like bad news outweighs the good. But one expert says that connecting with ourselves and practicing kindness can make it all a lot more bearable.

Culture Crash: Spoilers in Trailers

Movie trailers are more hyped than ever. Studios announce their release days in advance and fans pour over every screenshot and detail included in them… but what happens when some of the trailer turns out to be a spoiler?

18-12 Segment 1: Racism In 2018

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Even though America’s founding fathers established in the Constitution that all men are created equal, and slavery was abolished not long after, many still question if we truly do live in a society guided by true equality. While some people would argue that we do, studies have shown that may not entirely be true. Paul Kivel, activist and author of Uprooting Racism: How White People Can Work For Racial Justice, states that there are persistent levels of racism that are deeply-rooted in American society from the education system to job markets and housing. Racial discrimination and marginalization still seem to play a large role in determining an individual’s ability to reap benefits and be successful in American society.

One reason that racism is still found in society today is that some people believe we live in a post-racial era. Kivel believes this idea stems from the fact that the United States had a two-term black president. Since Obama was elected as president, it has been hard for some people to understand that placing a person of color in a position of power was not the beginning of a post-racial society. Bruce Haynes, professor of sociology at the University of California-Davis and author of Down the Up Staircase: Three Generations of a Harlem Family, explains that this is a flawed belief because it is more of an exception in current culture rather than a much broader rule. Simply because one person of color was given an advantage that made them capable of maneuvering upwards in politics; it’s not an indication that all people of color have similar opportunities for success. Haynes explains that there are instances where white skin enables an individual to walk certain paths, while black skin often cannot. In order to achieve a post-racial culture, all people need to become less racially biased in all instances, not just in a few. 

So, what should people be doing in order to be an ally to people of color? Kivel explains that it is usually people of color who are educating the public on movements, but that there has never been a majority of white individuals, in powerful positions working together. He states that silence in the white community is doing more harm than overt racism. Yet, it is difficult for people to identify an appropriate way to be more active. Kivel explains that one way to begin overcoming the issue of silent complacency is to not let other people’s comments that have racist undertones be overlooked. At the time that it happens, the person may not understand the problem with their comment, but by addressing the racist statement that individual may later reflect on the comment, or it could even encourage others who heard the interaction to think about the repercussions of their own comments in the future. Despite the strides that have been made to combat racism, it is more important than ever to continue to fight the racism and silence in the United States. 

Guest:

  • Paul Kivel, activist and author of Uprooting Racism: How White People Can Work For Racial Justice
  • Bruce Haynes, professor of sociology at the University of California-Davis and author of Down the Up Staircase: Three Generations of a Harlem Family

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18-12 Segment 2: The Benefits of Music Education

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Over the years, school budgets have faced detrimental cuts that have forced schools to eliminate programs that are not necessary in meeting state curriculums. In many instances, one of the first programs removed from schools is music education. While music education is not a requirement in many state curriculums, researchers believe that educators may want to rethink this decision because of the many benefits that learning an instrument can have on the development of a child.

While learning how to play an instrument is a good hobby for children to take on, it can actually have many more positive benefits than simply being an activity. Dr. Nina Kraus, Director of the Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory at Northwestern University, explains that there is evidence that supports the belief that music education can help students become better learners in a number of tasks. Furthermore, Dr. Aniruddh Patel, Professor of Psychology at Tufts University, states that learning a musical instrument can enhance the brain’s ability to process the sounds of speech which can play a role in the development of reading abilities, hearing and noise, and memory and attention. This is caused by a biological effect that music can have on the nervous system, as well as the brain. In one study conducted by Dr. Kraus, it showed that trained musicians were better at interpreting emotional sounds which Dr. Kraus explains is due to aspects of music, such as pitch and timing, having a role in speech, too. Dr. Patel supports this evidence by stating that many people who have taken music education have a larger capacity with some verbal and linguistic tasks.

However, in order to cultivate these different developments, it is not enough to just hear music. Dr. Kraus explains that the biological changes found in studies are more prevalent in individuals who actively participated in playing and creating music. Even a minimal amount of music training has been shown to impact brain development. Dr. Kraus states that less than five years of music education still had an impact on many individuals. In order to obtain the most from music, an individual must embark on the task of learning an instrument instead of just listening to it.

Guest:

  • Dr. Nina Kraus, Director of the Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory at Northwestern University
  • Dr. Aniruddh Patel, Professor of Psychology at Tufts University

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Culture Crash 18-12: Hype for The Crimes of Grindelwald and Jude Law as young Dumbledore

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This year has no shortage of movies with a lot of hype. Already, Black Panther has dominated online conversation, shattered box office records, and given us an early contender for next year’s award season.

And fans are already buzzing for the April 27 release of Avengers: Infinity War and the May 18 unveiling of Deadpool 2.

Now, Warner Brothers has pushed JK Rowling’s latest Wizarding World film, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindewald into that fray. Though fans will have to wait until November, the much-anticipated sequel to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them has fans eagerly anticipating its release because the new entry will feature something the previous installment didn’t: Jude Law as a young Professor Dumbledore.

Law’s Dumbledore made his debut in the teaser trailer, and, if the trailer is to believed, he will be the lynch-pin of the story, firmly tying the Fantastic Beasts series to the Harry Potter series set in the same Wizarding World expanded universe.

Fans have been wondering what the character would look and sound like in this series, and Law’s starring role in the trailer have answered some of those questions. In the trailer, Law delivers his lines slowly and calculating, letting every character in the room, and every viewer watching the trailer, that he is up to much more than he’s letting on.

It’s an exciting feeling for fans delving deeper into the magical universe they know and love so well. After years of waiting, we finally get to see Dumbledore up to his old tricks and surely, at the height of his magical powers.

It’s not as if the trailer is without issue, though: there was an uproar online at the fact that it appears ministry officials apparate right onto Hogwarts grounds, which Hermione would remind us isn’t possible.

But in all, Potterheads are whipping themsleves into a frenzy analyzing the short, 1 minute and 57 second trailer.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindewald will be released November 16, but there were surely be more trailers to analyze in the meantime.

 

I’m Evan Rook.

Coming Up On Viewpoints 18-12

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Racism in 2018

We talk to two experts on sociology and racism who say that racism still exists in 2018. We discuss what racism looks like in our modern world and what we all can be doing to help make the world more tolerant and less racially biased.

The Benefits of Music Education

Often during a budget crunch, music education is the first thing to go from our schools. But we talk to two experts who give us some insight into the many benefits learning music can have on our brains and how our children develop.

Culture Crash: Hype for The Crimes of Grindelwald and Jude Law as young Dumbledore

A new installment to JK Rowling’s Wizarding World is coming in November. With it comes a new portrayal of an old favorite. We look into the film’s teaser trailer and what to expect of our Judge Law’s take on Professor Dumbledore.

18-11 Segment 1: Studying School Shootings and Gun Violence

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The recent shooting in Parkland, Florida has ignited a public debate over gun reform, but what are the real facts about gun violence in America? And, who is actually researching the phenomenon?

Adam Pah, Clinical Assistant Professor at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and gun violence researcher, has attempted to cut through the rhetoric and organize the essential data points, which he says should be used in policy decision-making. Pah explains the Federal Government not only does not but also cannot fund research on gun violence, due to the 1996 Dickey Amendment. The Amendment, which bars the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) from funding any research on gun violence, lobbied for by the National Rifle Association (NRA) and, ultimately, passed by Congress. Due to these restrictions, Pah began researching gun violence independently, assisted by a research team at Northwestern University. What he found was the statistics on school shootings were scarce and had no consistent standard of what constituted an incident. Pah and his team decided the definition of school shooting should entail there was actual danger present to the people on a school campus, not just the discharge of a weapon, which was the standard for most of the previous research, or violence on the way to or from a school campus.

Pah and his team ultimately concluded there was a strong correlation between the shootings and indicators of economic security, such as unemployment and consumer confidence. He argues these indicators can and should be used to predict rises in mass shootings. Further research is desperately needed. Mainly, research into what types of intervention can be used once the violence is predicted. Without Federal funding, independent researchers like Pah are all that we have to uncover the facts associated with the devastating reality of gun violence in America.

Guest:

  • Adam Pah, Clinical assistant professor at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University

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18-11 Segment 2: Spring 2018’s Biggest Books

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As the season’s change, the thought on a lot of minds may be warmer weather or Spring-cleaning, but recently this time of year has also been marked by a surge in book releases. One such book is Matt Haig’s How to Stop Time. It is based on the premise of the main character being burdened with a disease that causes him to age extremely slowly, so that every fifteen years he ages roughly one year. Haig said this allowed him to delve into the topic of depression, an issue with which the author has had personal struggles. Haig has a specific interest in how mental health was viewed and treated in previous time periods and, because the protagonist ages so slowly, Haig was able to visit fourteen different time periods. He took the time to meticulously research all the settings and their stance towards mental health, so take the time to check out How to Stop Time this Spring.

A second book that will grab your attention this Spring is The Immoralists, written by Chloe Benjamin. Benjamin explores the psychology of mortality, as well as the complex nature of sibling bonds. This is just Benjamin’s second published piece, but she displays a maturity of a very experienced writer. Benjamin says the best part of the response to her book is the discussion it’s sparked among readers. She hopes it will continue to serve as a bridge to an in-depth discussion about the issues we often choose to ignore.

The final book you can’t miss out on this Spring is The Chalk Man, from the first-time author, CJ Tudor. With a backdrop of 1980’s Britain, Tudor described a group of adolescents who find themselves in a very precarious situation. The author then refocuses the reader on the same group, but now in modern times, as they attempt to fully understand what went wrong so many years ago. The thriller has been compared to recent hits, such as Stranger Things and It. Tudor chalks this up to her multiple 1980’s influences, such as The Goonies, Stephen King, and Spielberg. She makes sure to mention that her book isn’t simply another story piggybacking on the recent crime/thriller phenomenon. In fact, Stephen King himself gave the seal of approval to Tudor’s debut novel. For more information on all three books, see the links below.

Guest:

  • Matt Haig, author, How to Stop Time
  • Chloe Benjamin, author, The Immortalists
  • CJ Tudor, author, The Chalk Man

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