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Out Loud: Northern Ireland’s Tenuous Peace

Earlier this month, TCF fellow Patrick Radden Keefe published a long-form feature story in the New Yorker on the I.R.A. and the period of turmoil in Northern Ireland known as the Troubles. Radden Keefe discussed his recent piece and his time spent in Belfast while researching the story.

There’s a common misconception in the United States, Keefe says, that the Irish conflict was largely resolved by the 1998 Good Friday Agreement. “I was really shocked,” he says, “when I spent time in Belfast for this story, to find a society that’s still really profoundly divided, and in which some of the terrible things that have happened in the past stubbornly refuse to stay in the past.”

Listen to Radden Keefe on the New Yorker's podcast, Out Loud.

Tags: patrick radden keefe, new yorker, ireland, ira

A Ted Cruz Loss Would Help GOP Recover

This week, Senator Ted Cruz announced his intentions to run for president in 2016. TCF fellow Michael Cohen weighed in on Cruz's campaign launch, explaining why as a Democrat and progressive, he hopes to see Cruz become the Republican Party's presidential nominee next year.

The only hope — and it’s a faint one — of returning the GOP to normalcy is by nominating the most extreme, yet still representative, member of the party and having him suffer a monumental electoral loss.

Cohen's full commentary can be found in the Boston Globe.

Tags: ted cruz, tea party, republican party, presidential race, michael cohen, gop, boston globe

Gerry Adams and Hillary Clinton in New York

March 17, 2015 BY: Patrick Radden Keefe TOPICS: Additional Focus

The day before St. Patrick's Day, Hillary Clinton and Gerry Adams, president of the Irish Republican political party Sinn Fein, met at the Essex House in New York. TCF fellow Patrick Radden Keefe wrote on the meeting, discussing the decades-long history between Clinton and Adams.

There is no way of knowing whether Clinton, dressed in Kelly green, felt any distaste at the prospect of sharing a table with Adams. There are some thirty-five million Irish Americans, a great many of whom regard Adams as a kind of Nelson Mandela, and no prospective Presidential candidate can decline a St. Patrick’s Day invitation. And, to be sure, the I.R.A. is not alone in standing accused of atrocities during the Troubles: loyalist paramilitary groups and British government forces also perpetrated war crimes for which they have not been brought to account. But Clinton did indicate, obliquely, that the transition in Northern Ireland is not entirely complete. “There is still work to be done,” Clinton acknowledged. “You cannot bring peace and security to people just by signing an agreement.” 

Radden Keefe's piece can be found in The New Yorker.

Tags: patrick radden keefe, new yorker, ireland, ira, hillary clinton, gerry adams

Stephen Colbert and George Lucas in Conversation at the Tribeca Film Festival

March 16, 2015 BY: Barton Gellman TOPICS: Additional Focus

With the Tribeca Film Festival just over a month away, festival organizers have begun to announce the details of various discussion panels that will take place during the nine-day celebration of film. TCF fellow Bart Gellman will participate in one such panel discussion, entitled "Secrecy & Power," with the former C.I.A. operative Valerie Plame Wilson and filmmaker Alex Gibney.

Find out more about the festival in the New York Times.

Tags: new york times, film industry, cia, barton gellman

Why White People Freak Out When They’re Called Out About Race

March 12, 2015 BY: Sam Adler-Bell TOPICS: Additional Focus

TCF policy associate Sam Adler-Bell spoke with Robin DiAngelo, race relations and white racial identity expert, to discuss what she's termed "white fragility" and how this defensiveness influences conversations about race.

SAB: What causes white fragility to set in?

RD: For white people, their identities rest on the idea of racism as about good or bad people, about moral or immoral singular acts, and if we’re good, moral people we can’t be racist – we don’t engage in those acts. This is one of the most effective adaptations of racism over time—that we can think of racism as only something that individuals either are or are not “doing.”

In large part, white fragility—the defensiveness, the fear of conflict—is rooted in this good/bad binary. If you call someone out, they think to themselves, “What you just said was that I am a bad person, and that is intolerable to me.” It’s a deep challenge to the core of our identity as good, moral people.

Read more from Adler-Bell and DiAngelo's conversation at AlterNet.

Tags: race discourse, race, alternet

Immobile in America

TCF fellow Rick Kahlenberg reviews author Robert Putnam's work, Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis. Kahlenberg explains how Putnam describes the gaps in class and race, as well as how these gaps take effect on an individual's education and future accessibility to success.

One study Putnam cites finds that after controlling for family and academic background and school inputs, students who attend a high school with classmates from a high socioeconomic status have a 68 percent higher probability of enrolling in a four year college than a student who attends a school where classmates have a low socioeconomic status.

Read Kahlenberg's full review.

Tags: socioeconomic diversity, race inequality, class segregation


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