« The Weeds

Talking about talking

2020-06-23

Jane, Dara, and Matt explain “intersectional,” “structural” and the new language of identity discourse.

Resources:

"The intersectionality wars" by Jane Coaston, Vox

"The Origins of “Privilege”" by Joshua Rothman, The New Yorker

"Toward Black Liberation " National Humanities Center

White paper

Hosts:

Matt Yglesias (@mattyglesias), Senior Correspondent, Vox

Jane Coaston (@cjane87), Senior politics correspondent, Vox

Dara Lind (@DLind), Immigration reporter, ProPublica

Credits:

Jeff Geld, (@jeff_geld), Editor and Producer

The Weeds is a Vox Media Podcast Network production

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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Hello! Welcome to another episode of the weeds, humming boxing media podcast network. I met weeklies use here with Jane coasted Republic as terrorists. And feeling I have noticed in mind. The increasing old age is that, I feel like something that has happened in media over the past few years, which I think is mostly good. Is that a lot of sourdough, more sophisticated academic type concepts, a bow issues of race and identity have come more into mainstream dialogue, which is largely aim like it
It is a sign of progress made in some people are trying to deploy increasingly sophisticated ideas at the same time, some of these can be confusing because it introduced a people not in the context of light and academic seminar, but in a political free for all, and has always been my observation that there isn't a lot of sort of explicit acknowledgement, that there is this kind of conceptual shaped, and sometimes things look around me to me. The most clear one of this is guilty of intersection reality which is what I actually like. I learned this school. I took a women studies class with thing about it.
Sexuality. I, like like red the books. I think I know what that means in its precise original form, but conservatives have really taken up that work, which is the kind of use to me in left wing. Stop. I dont like right. It's in a relatively obscure legal concept that when I wrote a piece about it that we can drop in the show nets that, when Kimberly Crenshaw the professor behind the term, which appointed in the late nineteenth eighties people did not either find it objectionable I think it was really worth vis the level of widespread attention, but it has become this catch all term that for some on the right just means things I dont like that. Make me mad or you didn't even be more generous in its becomes descriptive terms. Like you might say, if somebody was like bury left wing and economics, like he's a social one,
and so they ll say. If somebody is I'm very left, wing on questions of recent identity are that's the intersection of wept, and if you look at what I'm shot was originally riding, at least like you didn't mean lank further left wing that so many of you want the peace data remain very seriously about either get discreet and I think useful concept and then the charge like leaped out of the box and has run all over the universe, and I think we see that. I think that this is one of those cases ethic Matt you ve talked about this. A lot is that, in the cases of terms like privilege, in the ideas of intersection reality as systemic institutional racism, these ideas that have been debated by scholars generally within
if your specific fields of social studies in universities and colleges across the country and around the world, but its being largely debated among them and then attempting it's one of those moments at when you take a concept that exists in academia and take it outside of the halls of academia and see how people respond to it or think about it or either project all of their fears onto it or project their desires? aren't you it's right, but there was she's saying basically you know we have a civil rights ACT, any bars racial discrimination and you know it what about that and then there's a title: title: seven, which bars gender discrimination but disorder.
Poor. Initial example was wool. What if I want to say that a company has done something that constitutes discrimination against black women and that's not racial discrimination, and it's not sex discrimination is an intersection. All discrimination like it is discrimination that rises at the intersection of race and gender and I don't know like gives it the decision important thing for lawyers to talk about, because you can actually file a lawsuit claiming racial discrimination or you could file a lawsuit claiming gender discrimination. And can you claim well black women are being discriminated against in a way that I think the specific example had to do with the use of a seniority rule and either it was pretextual or was it
but the impact was like all of the lay offs we're gonna be of black women, or all the black women can be laid off what one or the other, but you know so that sank it is both an idea that valuable, but is also something like actually kind of concrete Ray situations can arise, and you want to know why as our legal system does our political system. Does the media acknowledges the ordinary english language like ok, they did something and it had have usually disproportionate impact on black women, like that's perfectly cogent rattling without me, saying intersection all or, like other unfamiliar words, But you know it's legal. Let's academia requires a specialised, nor can at the same time, no. I think it's important to note that even in this kind of original setting theirs some necessary, but still like you can and stand, how it can get out of control.
Ambiguity in terms of our we describing something in its effects, agnostic of its intent? Or are we talking about the intent of something by labeling its effects right? The idea that, to identify something that has a wildly does impact on a particular group of people who have like multiple marginalized identities to like label that group. As view losers, They situation so to speak is to say that there is something specific going on here does have like in the kind of common english language connotation at a sense that very their deliberately being targeted, even though that's not actually what the term is designed to imply- and I think a lot of
the reason that it can be hard for people who are already fully ready in awe and that the political philosophy of identity can find concepts like this alienating is that you know if you look at something like ok, this ends up having a particular impact on like black people with disappear bodies. For example, like you it's hard to imagine that some one twirling their moustache and going. I am going to particularly screw over black people with disabilities today, but of course that's even its it can. It gets into these existing problems of you know, white people seeing everything seeing racism is intrinsically a matter of what in someone's heart but also just kind of a general difficulty where, if you're talking about structural inequity, you aren't too
about something vit primarily exists in individual intent by you are talking about things that individuals. I should feel a certain amount of responsibility for if they are going to get addressed and that tension in like how not not like how guilty should a typical person feel but House should the relationship between this is a structural issue. Not an individualist. You end. None, the less you are individually like responsible for helping change. It is something that I think we ve you know we ve seen. Continued tension around both among people who are sceptical of it, and people who are trying to like really throw themselves into anti racism work without necessarily having you know. It is now kind of newly throwing themselves into that works. Artistic garroway, starting it to shift us too, like another word that is sort of in the air which is structural.
Racism about that's one that, like I don't remember when I heard that initially it was like. A while ago, you know like I it is that new to me in this current explosion of things, but I also don't think anyone ever sat down and explain to be like man. This is what I mean: structural racism- and this is where I do billing dessert misunderstanding, my guy. I think this word is used by some people as if to say that its light really like deep down extra difficult racism like you, might need like a dentist defined the structural racism or you know, really you get to scrutinise yourself like much more intently to see. Where were you,
Racism is, and I think it's almost meant to be the opposite of that. Like I saw a young, I think was the city council bench from the city of Beverly Hills and he was committed himself to fighting structural racism and its Beverly Hills is structural races, life. This is little enclave, from the city of LOS Angeles, that its own, like special, wider Richard, city and of course they will tell you what we'll luck. It's on a segregated sitting, which is true. It is two percent african American, I think five percent, but you know but they're like here in them, surrounded by this very diverse city, but they have cut themselves off from it. They have their own school district. They dont contribute to the taxation base
You know, I'm sure it's it's nice people living there ass, the city, councilman perception for a reason, is like expressing his desire to fight structural racism. But then you have to ask yourself: it's like how committed are people? Who are saying this, because we're talking about struggling structural reasons. Amidst structural right, I went back and looked up the first time that the term institutional racism, orb systemic racism was used and it comes from nineteen sixty seven from the activists. Stukely carmaker, who later is known as climate hurry, and I want to quote quickly aid
he's a nice and sixty seven and what she says when a black family moves into a home in a white neighbourhood nest, stoned, burned or rooted out there, the victims of an overt act of individual racism, which most people will condemn, but it is institutional racism that keeps black people acted, dilapidated, some tenements, subject to the daily private split, exploitative some large merchants, loan sharks and discriminatory real estate agents. The society either pretends it does not know this a situation or as in fact incapable of doing anything meaningful about it, and so that idea that so much of our focus and how we think about racism and one of the challenges of talking about racism, where it does become a personality flaw and individual cudgel against the other. The idea that you have to say certain magic words for its accounts as racism. I think we ve seen that in a couple of instances recently and which the racial or Rachel S, motivations of police, are
sir or the people who killed I'm in Armenia and Georgia were very much debated until in the case of the F Ahmad Ivory, when there was recording and evidence that the people who kills him use racial slurs at the time and afterwards, and then you saw some concern of commentaries being oh, they were racist and, yes, I think that we should have gotten thereby now and I think, a lot about business ethics of the ways in which media has intentionally or unintentionally, given perhaps increase life to this idea, is that the stories of racism that we grew up with- or I think many people group with where the stories of Mississippi burning or gulfs of Mississippi Organ The stories of the civil rights movement in which it was this little girls trying to go to school and hear all these angry races, white people screaming at her trying to stop her from going to school, in which racism becomes the
visible evil that it is by the idea of systemic institutional racism is that it is normal. It isn't a normalized practice, Red lining becomes a normalized idea. That is, as you, it's not as DORA put it. Someone saying I really want screw over black people with disabilities its while it just so happens that the people who live in this area happened to share these particular characteristics. And it also happens that maybe we aren't going to put a metro station or a bus stop there because of undesirable elements, or something like that. I was sick of em in see the Georgetown area around Georgetown University does not have a metro stop, and there are various. There are a number of very specific reasons for that, mostly that people who campaigns hot against Georgetown having a metro, stop were very concerned about elements arriving in.
The rest of Washington, and so is that the normalization of racism is common practice in institutions do which then allows that kind of racism. The separate itself from the ghosts of Mississippi Edwards kind of racism that most people think of when they think about racism. As a subject, the problem here, of course, is that the kind of interpersonal overt racism, also does not go away, like I remember, being kind of frustrate ed during the you know, during the Obama administration, when the Jason Voorhees division will in a release its investigations into police departments and the things that everyone focused on, would always be the most overtly racist, like emails that got sent within that apartment, or you know the acts of overt racism that could be identified,
and you know, I definitely remember, I'm pretty sure that I wrote some pieces they, like that's the tip of the iceberg. That's not the real story here. Looking at b, you know, patterns and practices and policies that affected numerically a lot more people than you know anyone who came into contact with an individual officer who used or racial slur over email, like that's the story here, but you can't separate the two clean a lot of the reason that these policies and practices have continued unabated are people in the system who Fervently believe that it's ok to put the black man down so to speak, and so it can be hard to usefully shift the lens on systemic racism when INA with making. It seem like you're in denial about the role that interpersonal racism continues to play or without kind of reflecting accurately. The relationship between
in people who are unwittingly perpetuating structural issues and people who are fully wittingly. Perpetuating that I think the other thing about this is as Estonia said, but you know to some extent. The other side of it is that it's wrong. I think, for some people to feel like there is a little bit of a big switch, where, like society, reached a consensus that racism is bad with one understanding of what that means, and then but want to say well, I said of other things is also racism and therefore were you have to buy into that being bad and they are different. Thing right. There is a real difference. I was talking about Beverly Beverly Hills before Jane you were quoting eyes took the car I got on this like there is an actual difference between
like people are not allowed to live in this town, like people are not allowed to attend this school and we have various structures of economic excuse gin that operate in a practical sense to leave the majority of the african american population explicitly that those are the same and convincing people that one thing is bad. Is it the same? Misgivings and people that another thing is banned And it's part of the reason we had such a, I think, Why national breaking point after Barack Obama's election, because for once, employment rights Obama rising to become president of the United States, was the ultimate signpost after congolese arise after Colin Powell, after a million other things that the United States has developed with it used to calling in Revolutionary France
careers opened it out. Nobody is going to be formally excluded from the possibility becoming a ceo of a major american corporation of becoming the president of the United States of serving the FED Board because of the racial background and everything huge change from how America wise the past, but like that distant parts, like lots of me, we're alive today when that was really not the cakes so to one group of people, that's like the proof that we have like solve the races problem and then to another group of people. It shows exactly how little that accomplishes to address ass. The structural issues right that, like the fact that you like it really should have been solved, demonstrates there's more emptiness too that achievement, then you might have thought or hoped
if you are sitting round in eighteen, sixty two, like will there ever be a black president, unlike boy going, they dared things It would be hard and they would have to be a lot of changes to make that happen. But since it was like the changes that are necessary to make that happen seem a little bit superficial and I think that's why it's become so it's why, like far from it, like post racial. We ve had a more rational dialogue than ever in the past ten years. I think, because that tension has become so a key, and I do think that there is a rhetorical wave of like some people who are interested in like improving racial equity in their own. You know in its institutional contexts, some pundits etc. Who
ITALY during the Obama era were using the idea of structural racism as a way to bridge. That rightly took to say, look, we are not saying it's your fault white people, but there is more work to be done. That's the kind of rhetoric that leads like our diversity, is better for everyone, because you have a diversity of ideas. The idea that you could somehow that this would yea win win situation both for white people and for everybody else was, you noticed something that you could bit vit by talking about. Structural is opposed enter into personal racism. You could kind of addressing that's not where we are any more both because it very clear that, as a matter of fact, if you as an individual benefit, wittingly or unwittingly, from generations historically accumulated privilege that that does to a certain acts.
Mean that you are taking opportunities that other people could have an because I think there is just a sense of of theirs, there's a an earned impatience in the kind of the FAO. Then there was a lot of racial dialogue during the Obama era? That does not. You know that has had a lot of impact. In a certain segment of professional left, leaning, white people, but not a whole lot of obvious imperial achievement in the world at large. There's a certain him well, we ve tried to be nice and we ve tried to be conciliatory and lake. It hasn't gotten us anywhere, so we might as well be honest and say. Yes, we are asking you as an individual person to give up some of your power. Yes, we are asking you to give your money to people of color. We are asking you to like think about the extent to which you are the beneficiary afforded opportunity,
is, and that is, I think, a more honest way to talk about structural racism. But it's for obvious reasons, away that doesn't easily lend itself to a broad coalition building right. I think that that's one of the challenges that we have an these conversations is that when I personally, Jane Coastal and talking about racism on twitter or in my work, I am not doing so with the objective of attempting to get a political coalition formed that would then be able to pass legislation or get people into office through then pass legislation that I like, I am
relieved that is not my responsibility, I thank God every day that that is not my responsibility, but it does mean that how I can talk about race and racism is very different from the way that Chuck Schuman can talk about recent racism. But I want to go back to something that dark mentioned, which I think is really important. I went back and we dropped it. I'll drop in does show notes after this episode, but the person who is credited with coming up with the concept of white privilege and this idea of privilege theory more broadly. Her name is Peggy Macintosh and in nineteen eighty eight. She is a women's studies professor at well, and she writes a paper called white privilege and male privilege, and she comes at it thinking about how a few years before she publishes this paper, she had read these essays by black women in the Boston area, who were talking about the challenges they've had working with white women and I'll
her that she says my first response was to say, I don't see how they can say that about us. I think we're nice and my second response was deeply racist, but this is why I wasn't one thousand eight hundred and eighty. I thought I especially think we're nice if we work with them, and so this idea of racism as something that again very difficult to get across in Detroit in political coalition building terms. But I think pretty easy to understand is that as she says, and this new Yorker interview. Niceness has nothing to do with the racism is not a synonym for being mean, it is
a synonym for being cruel or being a big jerked. It is a specific thing and is a specific thing that exists in every aspect of how we think about the structures that shape our lives, how we think about the structures that shape our culture, how the structures that shape our politics. So one of the things I spoke with Kimberly Crenshaw, she talked about how she was responding to a world in which the courts thought of themselves. As we no longer have these specific discriminatory policies, we no longer have to quote her the irrational distortions of bias, and now we can exist in this neutral, benign state of impersonally apportion justice, which she understood, that Britain
did not end with the passage of the Civil Rights ACT. Racism at you. I think that there are some people who seem to think that in nineteen sixty four racism, racism ended and then Malcolm X was mean, but she was understanding that oh racism, decoupled from a moral argument, is still racism. I think about that in terms of how that is a message that if it makes a lot of sense to me, a message that I think is correct, but I also understand that it is not a politically salient one. I guess a question that comes to mind when I hear this way is that if we are talking about really a political topic, because we're talking about structures, not individual people's feelings, then why do you look point of talking about it in a way that isn't designed
to maximize political epochas right, because, if you're talking about individual people and their sort of feelings and things like that, it's like well, ok, that's like that's sort of pre political. The push to get more lgbt people to be out was very potent and, I think, very effective on an interpersonal love because he's like confronted people with the reality of the lives of people in their personal lives and then
quite awhile later that lead to political change, because sentiments were changed and so that the Gatt worked as a strategy but like. Why is thus ran a g for addressing sources of systemic disadvantage, if not political college and building with all the sordid shitty compromises that entails. I mean I guess that the answer to that might be, or one answer to that might be, that there is it since between institutional politics and national electoral politics right that a lot of what we're seeing right now is in Indonesia industries and institutions. Obviously this is happening like very visibly in media, because people throughout the kind of wrongs of organizational ladder have independent platforms, which makes it a little easier to see kind of revolts happening from below that these are issues that people are asking their own
workplaces, their own organisations too. Would grass and isn't a political like it's obviously put political in the pure sense of politics as the collective life of a committee Eddie, but it does involve because it smaller scale and less mediated. A little more of the hey. You know what you care about us. This is what we're, saying. What we need you to do is is first listen and, secondly, give us what we ask for, because you trust us, and so that I think, is some of the. If you want to take a particularly optimistic view toward this moment, that's what you would to start seeing right like there are ways in which the current moment feel similar. The opening months of me too, which is something I think I've you know, I think I think, is kind of in percolating beneath us, Has it hasn't been addressed? You know things that a lot of people on short end of power dynamics, understood to be wrong, are fully erupting interview. There were none
a lot of institutions that lake made policy changes. As a result, of me too. There were a lot of kind of high profile cases and not necessarily work. I've, hey, how're, we you know a few years out making sure that these problems are not recurring. You can. He's a new rumblings of men who have been abusive toward women, partly, I think, because of white women's frustration with the fact that that never got resolved fully so there is an outcome here that doesn't necessarily rely on the kind of breads of coalition building that you would need to succeed in national politics. The question is: how much is that can benefit anybody who is an already in a white collar professional? Invite because non white collar professional environments are structured by totally different
forms and realities of power than just hey. You know me you care about me, I'm asking you to fix this and, if you're looking at that, you know labour really this isn't exactly the same Rome as national electoral politics. But it's hard to imagine you know the fight for fifteen movement being able to easily pivot. It is clear demands that are going to address the intersection of lake, low wage labour and intergenerational racial wealth gaps. Without thinking more bout, how do you build a coalition to talk about racism that I acknowledge that the white people who are suffering in the Bible, who, like our heading four, fifteen dollar minimum wage are still in a different position
Then the people of color and specifically black people who are fighting for a fifteen dollar minimum wage ray it's interesting because I've been, I think, one of my biggest issues with how we're handling the current moment is that media is reflecting on itself and talking about itself and in general. We are talking about race and racism existing among institutions in which would you, and I and other people and habit, and not the institutions in which structural racism I say, causes the most real harm. I think that structural racism is bad anywhere its poisonous anywhere, but we don't get to hear from the folks who are
working in the service industry, because we're not listening to them. We don't have to hear from folks who are simultaneously over policed and under police, because their stories are not as interesting to us. I was struck by peace and then your terms by Thomas chattered and Williams. Re talked about the whole incident with the burden of Harvard educated birder in central park, and he was struck by the fact that so much of the commentary on that incident noted that day lack man in question had attended Harvard and it was really enter. It was a met. The member of the Ottawa and society and you're really spoke to what some would say would be kind of quota quote white interests. I think that that's not really a thing that exists YO. I think it's high time
black people are allowed to enjoy birding or formula. One are doing any other serious of things that white Americans may also enjoy, but there is a sense it this. This focus on one making the victims of race, racism and the victor, of racist policies seem more like that, liberal whites, who we feel as if we need to get their sympathies in order to make change. That's why I think that there is a big you see, there's so much I'm kind of the fringes of the far right, where any time that a black person is on
by police or any time a black person experiences anything there's an idea of like well, they were bad people. So that's why this happened as if the police officer killed. George Floyd was well aware of his entire criminal history at the time and that's why he did it, but I think that there's a sense in which this is a conversation that touches the lives of so many people who are not right now being permitted to take part in it. But this is I'm gonna, be I'm gonna, be provocative, oh no about the bird watching guy. No, I mean this is where I think, where we started with intersectionality, is very relevant because part of the point that people were trying to make about that. I am one of the reasons why police violence has become such a centre for discussion of this issue is that this is a clear example of a situation in which obtaining class privilege
is not helping black men and that you, don't you see these stories like I have heard if, if you work in a professional setting that is even so integrated integrated, like you, will black black men who have college degrees and good jobs and work with you, and they have stories about their treatment please that are both very painful to them One of the reasons it so painful- is that it is not something did they were able to escape. By going to good school, by getting a good, even by moving to a good neighbourhood, because you moved Good neighbourhood with the police are routinely hassling people and have you don't believe in that name right? So it's it's a kind of an intersection of politics, of blackmail professionals that is different from the experience
working Class, black man or working class latino men for that matter, who also experienced this kind of thing, but have like many problems, many of which are specifically associated with economic circumstances and could potentially be transcended by a minimum wage increase or different housing policy or millions of other things, and so like that's, why people are talking about the fact that he was a burger and he went to Harvard that and the other thing, because it's like there, you are in central park right, which is like the middle of the fancy part of Manhattan, trying to do your like bushy, ridiculous hobby and your being hassled on account of your brains were right, and that is both absolutely like. Less typical, then a million other things like just not having much money.
But also more like you, reduce, simply racial right? The idea of this is that there is no bar one- can clear ETA, which one stops being perceived as a black man or a black woman. There, no degree you can get no job. You can win, rightfully in which you that pay in some way accused of having gotten that job on because of your race. It's really a damned. If you do Dempsey down, if you get the job, it's because you're an affirmative action. Can then, if you don't get the job, it's because you won't get enough because your black, but I would actually in some ways on this, on this framing alone, compare
in some ways to how the conspiracy theory, that is Anti Semitism, in which wealthy secular Jews are oh, that's an example of its of jewish power. But religious Jews are also examples of jewish power, and all of this is used as a cudgel against jewish Americans or jewish people in general, and you think about kind of that stories. We tell ourselves about success in this country and are a lot of other areas that there would be this moment where you could surpass not just your own consensus, no matter what they may be, but the expectations or understandings of other people, but for many african amount
in this country. There is no point where that happens. There is no point in which you cannot be seen from far away ass. Being like that, I went to Harvard back as member of the Audubon society that guy has a lot to say about this specific subjects. It's like. Oh, that's, a black eye, and then that's all that comes with it, and I think that that's one of the hardest things about this for me personally or for a lot of people, is how much of this becomes about the flattening of individual identity to such an it by people who are not you or by structures that are not you that had really have nothing to do with your internal life, but have a lot to do with how your life gets to play out. This done. Kind of bring me back to the question of like, but the quickest avenue for progress is, though, because when we're talking about you know, we are again talking about individual people who are in positions of tremendous power right like the decisions,
made by each our departments the decisions. Made by prosecutors in terms of what charges to assess- and you know how much there go, to allow our past contact with police to serve as a proxy for criminal history, like those are both cases in which, actual racism in interpersonal. Racism can like coincide to great detriment and peace. All who are not the most easily reachable like people who are not necessarily the ones who are now reassessing their role in white supremacy and particularly amenable to listening to that. Like brow, during the whole like wave of progressive prosecutors. That's kind of something that has that is existed this. There are a whole lot of I'm not seeing a whole lot of hr departments, for example saying, We are as an industry taking another look at what our accepted best practices are doing to perpetuate white supremacy. Like this conversation is conversation,
when people live, in other words, high cultural capital and low social cap or like relatively low economic capital, and so there is, I think, a productive extent to which an opportunity hoarding lens can be helpful here, like young white people who are up upwardly mobile professionals like and I'm implicating myself. Your hugely you know should be thinking about to what extent the their career success is going to buy necessity, crowd out people of color because they are gone. To be in positions that other people could. It could be holding that's necessary, but that only gets us so far and I do get a little bit stuck on are the most easily PETE movable people in this conversation, the ones that can actually fix the problem is being assessed. Yes,
I think that is good, but the Pacific about, let's not stated ringlets. What's your white paper quickly before everyone's gonna go if the last year's harvest anything it's that we don't know what will happen next, but there's one thing we can all be sure of the only future is one we can all share and leading the charge in building a future his mercy corps. With over forty years of humanitarian work under its belt building together is a mercy course. Dna and as the climate crisis increases their partnering with those on the front lines making resources more accessible to farmers across the globe. Strengthening community is again escalating natural disasters and ensuring people have the tools they need to thrive. Mercy course doing the work of matters, but they can't do alone. That's where you and I commend together. We all have the power to reshape the world when it seems like every day brings a new crisis when every news alert makes you want to throw your phone across the room? We may say to feel a little powerless mercy. Court Here to remind us, we don't need to Turkey
communitybased action. We can make change. We are nothing if not in this together. What's next is up to all of us learn how you can be a part of what possible at mercy core dot. Org, that's our see y see p s, dot. Org this week's white paper is another entry in a minor, ongoing we'd series of wow. It's really hard to get good data on local and state governments. The paper is called the partisan lie. Of city mobilization evidence from state lobbying disclosures, it's written by Julia Basin of New York University and the defining of the paper is fairly intuitive. It's about when cities decide that they're going to hire lobby Ass to lobby in their state legislatures, right, like you, can imagine lots of circumstances in which a city might need funding to happen in a
way- or you know, budgets not to get cut. That kind of thing, and this looks at when cities make the decision that it's worth it to hire somebody as opposed to just go using their existing influence to lobby the representatives who are making decisions, and it finds not that again like not that counter intuitively, that when there is a disconnect between the partisanship of the people running the city and their rights incentives in the state legislature that the city is more likely to spend the money on hiring somebody to like make their case that this is a good way to communicate. What are the really high priorities for the city, and so, if you imagine that the state legislator may not have super strong appeal on every single issue coming before them, the hiring a lobbyist is a good way to signal to the state legislator. What are some easy ways? They can work with the city on things that might be more important to the city.
They are to the legislator representing them. The thing that makes this paper interesting is that the result of meeting together fifty different state lobbying databases, because every state is required to public aid or every state has disclosure laws requiring lobbyists to register their interactions. But there isn't an integrated databases. There are different standards, how often for fur how restrictive they are and how they have to report. There are different standards for what kind of lobbying you know has to get disclosed in when, for example, like the governmental affairs office within a city government has to disclose, when its lobbying the state, as opposed to you, you know somebody working for a private company bet by knitting violet nearing all of these databases together and cross referencing them with a bunch of different data sets. The author is able to demonstrate that this fairly intuitive conclusion is, in fact true that your
or likely to weather the city is being run by republicans are Democrats if the if their representative in the state legislature is a democratic Republican respectively, more likely like go the extra mile to make sure that waste is being heard. Gagnon, you know, I thought there was a good one and it was. It was interesting to see it sort of what you would think. I must have been interested in this because I happen to have known personally a few different people who worked in Washington as lobbyists for really big city and they have all been incredibly cynical about their work mostly feeling like they are there to advance their bosses, personal larger political aspirations and, having very little to say about their actual work. On behalf of the
and you know sometimes I think people people who work in politics professionally, like put on a bigger front of sort of cynicism than is really warranted. Does it will gain a slightly different thing about bore commenting of municipalities, lobbying in state legit Nature is like the basic message here is that they do it for like a pretty good reason why this is how you gay people will you might expect to be sympathetic to do what you actual need them to do, rather than just sort of their best guess what you need them to do any connected way too early discussion. But it's like you need from the people in power what you actually need, not just their sympathy, you don't like having a lobbyist there to be like you is what we want like that. That works. It helps agreed
so rapid up their thanks to Jane and dare thanks, as always to our producers, Jeffrey Gold and the weeds, we'll be back on Friday,.
Transcript generated on 2021-05-19.