I have a confession to make: I am a crier. I cry very easily. Not when someone insults me or yells at me, but when I watch others experience great joy or pain. I cry at movies — even happy movies. I cried during Hidden Figures (and that movie is not supposed to be sad!) (by the way, if you still haven’t seen it, you should).
I’ve never teared up while, say, questioning a witness. I think in that kind of performance situation, the adrenaline, competitiveness, and focus on the task at hand probably interfere with any crying reflex. When I sit in court as an observer, though, and watch a defendant’s remorseful allocution or a victim’s recounting of the harm she’s suffered, I really have to fight to maintain my poker face. I’m an empathy crier. I can’t help it. Read more
“The unexamined life is not worth living.”
Handcrafted wood sign available from shopthepaintedplank on Etsy.
The following information is not intended as legal advice. Please see the disclaimer posted above.
If you’ve ever heard the saying, “Don’t make a federal case out of it,” you may have been left with the impression that federal cases are the most serious kinds of legal cases. Actually, federal cases aren’t inherently more serious than cases in state courts. In the U.S., some kinds of cases will always be heard in federal court, while others will always be heard in state court, and some can be heard in either.
I listen to a lot of podcasts while driving, working out, and doing chores around the house. In this weekly feature, I’ll tell you about one episode I particularly enjoyed that week.
My recommendation for this week is On Being’s episode Eula Biss–Let’s Talk About Whiteness. You may have heard On Being on your local public radio station. It’s a Peabody Award-winning show hosted by Krista Tippett that explores the question, “What does it mean to be human, and how do we want to live?”
In this episode, Krista and writer Eula Biss talk about race, the language we use to discuss it, aspects of privilege like opportunity hoarding, and how we might start conversations about these things. It’s a thoughtful, frank, and insightful discussion.
Race is a subject that often provokes strong feelings. I encourage you to approach this interview with an open mind and to observe any emotional reactions that arise in you as you listen, whatever they may be.
Is there a podcast you think I should be following? Let me know in the comments, send me an email, or tweet using #LexListens.
Implicit bias is a tricky thing to root out. It’s a naturally occurring psychological phenomenon that helps us to navigate a complicated and ever-changing world. We all harbor biases and stereotypes based on our past experiences and socialization. Even young children exhibit implicit biases. Most of us are unaware of our biases because they operate at a subconscious level.
Implicit bias has been the subject of research for years, but lately, it has generated a great deal of attention from journalists, commentators, and the public, especially in relation to race. Fearing that the term “implicit bias” has taken on a particularly negative connotation in recent times, some experts have begun referring instead to “implicit associations” or “unconscious associations” in an effort to avoid defensive responses to the topic. This topic should not be as polarizing as it is. Getting beyond the defensiveness is so important because, left unchecked, our implicit biases can lead to dire consequences not only for the people to whom we are reacting, but to us, the ones who harbor the biases.
I am not a psychologist or sociologist and I have not read all of the extensive research on this topic. Based on my limited knowledge, however, here are a few key things to understand about implicit biases.