Why Do Black Activists Care About Palestine?
The Atlantic
Last Thursday, the Movement for Black Lives got together for an emergency conference call. One week after the drafting committee released its political platform—a long document that covers everything from U.S. policing to education reform to mass incarceration—the activists felt they needed another “deep internal discussion,” as they called it, on one small section toward the end: their statement on Israel and Palestine. Of all the positions included in the platform, this is the one that has generated the most backlash. The conflict is largely one of language: Jewish groups have been most upset about its use of the words “genocide” and “apartheid” to describe Israel’s actions against the Palestinians, describing the terms as “offensive and odious.” … Yet others would say that this represents a slide of meaning: “Genocide” is not just a charged word to use in the context of Israel, they argue; applying it requires redefining it. “‘Genocide’ means the deliberate wiping out of a group of people based on their ethnic or racial background,” said Cheryl Greenberg, a professor of history at Trinity College who has written about the history of black-Jewish relations in the U.S. “But in the past 20 years, the word ‘genocide’ has become much broader, and it has come to mean any kind of massive, racialized oppression.” …

Home Games: The Strange Overlapping Borders of Sports Fandom
Vice Sports
… Fandom choice comes down to one factor above the others. “Class is the biggest thing,” says Jack Jen Gieseking, assistant professor of Public Humanities in American Studies at Trinity College. “I grew up very working middle class, and it split it in that way. My family is third-generation Orioles fans.” Maybe that’s why you generally end up delving into class-based terms when describing neighboring fans. White Sox fans are drunk trash; Cubs fans are drunk preppies. Mets fans are bodega ham-and-cheesers; Yankees fans keep luxe steakhouses in business. A’s and Raiders fans are longshoremen; Giants and 49ers fans are tech bros. The Warriors make an interesting case in that the perception of their fan base has shifted with their success: when they sucked, they were Oakland, but now that they’re one of the greatest teams of all time, they’re Bay Area. For the most part, those stereotypes reflect how the team’s fans themselves want to be seen. “Teams are the representation of an area,” Gieseking says. “It’s a very old-school idea, a gladiator fighting on your behalf, for your homeland.”…

What is the point of the Olympics? A philosophical answer
The Olympics can be uplifting, entertaining, and distracting. But what, exactly, is the point of watching a group of people get together to compete over running quickly or lifting big weights? When you consider that Yursa Mardiini, an Olympic swimmer on the refugee team who last August had to swim for her life through the Mediterranean, competing for shiny gold medals can seem a little, well, futile. … Drew Hyland, philosophy professor at Trinity College in Connecticut, points out the ancient Greeks competed at the Apollo temple in Delphi, where the forecourt was inscribed with the slogans “know thyself,” and “nothing in excess.” This is closely intertwined with Socrates’ notions of self-knowledge, which was focused on knowing what you don’t know. “If you’re an athlete and you’re thoughtful at all about what you’re doing, you’re constantly learning about yourself in exactly the sense Socrates was talking about, namely coming up against your limits,” says Hyland…

BevMax Joins Fight Against State Minimum Liquor Pricing
Hartford Courant
A second major liquor retailer has joined the effort to undermine the state’s minimum pricing rule for wine and spirits by openly disregarding the law. BevMax, a Stamford-based superstore with 13 locations in Connecticut and New York, is advertising and selling liquor below the price set by wholesalers, an apparent violation of Connecticut law. … Mark E. Stater, associate professor of economics at Trinity College in Hartford, said the liquor superstores are taking the same approach that big box booksellers, home improvement stores and other so-called “category killers” take: “They have lower costs of production, they can carry a huge variety of goods and they are typically able to charge a lower a price and that has a bad effect on traditional retailers,” he said. But liquor isn’t books or hammers and the state may have an interest in keeping the prices of liquor high, Stater said. “If prices are lower, alcohol consumption could go up and the social costs of alcohol abuse could go up too,” he said.”

A Look Back At Our Puritan Past (podcast)
“Where We Live” – WNPR
Connecticut is among the least religious states in the country according to the Pew Research Center. While the number of churchgoers might not be high, religion is a pillar of our state’s history. Faith in Connecticut is rich and diverse, but this hour, we zoom in on our Puritan past and find out how, if at all, that past still influences our communities today. We speak to a professor and historian and we get the perspective of a pastor from the United Church of Christ — a protestant denomination that can trace its roots to the Puritan religion. … GUESTS: Andrew Walsh – Associate Director of the Greenberg Center at Trinity College; Reverend Jeff Lukens – Pastor of Lordship Community Church in Stratford, Connecticut; Kevin Starr – Coordinator of the Open House and Dedication Committee for the Hartford, Connecticut Temple; Kelly Jacobs – Public Affairs Representative for the Hartford, Connecticut Temple