The Sociology Department is proud to be involved in the University's U.S. Anti-Black Racism Course. This 1-credit course introduces students to foundational history and concepts related to systemic and anti-Black racism.
Congratulations to Noel Cazenave, recipient of the Faculty Excellence in Research and Creativity-Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences Award!
The Faculty Excellence in Research and Creativity Awards are given to individual faculty who have made significant and or creative contributions to a field of knowledge or area of inquiry. These awards recognize research excellence and the highest levels of creativity that enhance the University’s academic and creative reputation. Individuals who are nominated for this award must have a distinguished record of ongoing scholarly and/or creative productivity and must have worked at UConn for at least 10 years.
“‘It is BECAUSE concepts like defunding and dismantling the police are so contentious and ambiguous that we are now having a much broader and deeper conversation than we did before they was introduced into the discourse,’ he wrote in a Facebook post June 9.
He compared it to how ‘Black lives matter’ was a contentious term three or four years ago, but now corporations and Republicans have joined in saying it, ‘because people pushed the term’ and educated others about it.
Cazenave added that because dismantling police could mean police unions aren’t recognized, unions now have a reason to come to the negotiating table to support other, smaller reforms.
With calls to dismantle and defund the police, Cazenave indicated that people are asking for more than what they think they can get, an important strategy because it leaves room to negotiate, and there need to be people pushing further than liberalism.
When there is conflict, liberals ‘want it to be resolved very quickly, so they tend to be conflict-aversive, so they want nice language,’ Cazenave said. ‘They want a social movement that’s nice. Social movements are not nice. Social movements by definition involve conflict.'”
Host, Marceen Burgher has open dialogue with her guests on Indignation, Necropolitics and The Racial State. With special guest, Dr. Noel Cazenave, author of Killing African Americans: Police and Vigilante Violence as a Racial Control Mechanism and Professor at University of Connecticut. He discusses his book and the current racial climate surrounding deaths of George Floyd and others. Also on the Podcast is guest Adam Kaplan, Licensed Clinical Psychologist briefly discussing his thoughts on how to communicate race relations with our children and when.
Read Noel Cazenave's commentary on vigilante attacks on Black Lives Matter activists in Philadelphia published in The Guardian, "The armed white men who terrorized Philadelphia’s Black Lives Matter supporters."
"'I am absolutely not surprised this happened,' said Noel Cazenave, a sociologist at the University of Connecticut and author of Killing African Americans: Police and Vigilante Violence as a Racial Control Mechanism.
‘Race relations have been very intense in Philadelphia,’ said Cazenave, who lived in the city for 13 years. ‘When my family and I drove down to try to find housing in Philadelphia, let’s just say we had some interesting encounters in the north-east.'
…'Chasing someone with golf clubs or what have you – I’d say that is a form of non-lethal lynching that maintains white racial control,' he said. 'It sends a message that states: You’re not supposed to be in this area. It’s justified by the notion that Black people, no matter what they’re doing, are criminals.'"
Ph.D. – Professor of Sociology, University of Connecticut
What accounts for low levels of voter turnout among African Americans?
A major problem is the lack of candidates and platforms that truly articulate our concerns. Having to continuously vote for "the lesser of two evils" is not a great motivator; neither is fear. All too often the only choice we have is to vote AGAINST someone who we fear rather than to vote FOR someone we are actually excited about. That fear-driven strategy did not work for the Democrats in 2016 and it won't work in 2020.
Do voter ID laws disproportionately affect voter turnout for African Americans relative to other groups?
Yes, of course, they do. That is what they are intended to do, and they work fairly well.
Why are blacks and other minorities underrepresented in political office? For example, there are currently only 3 African American senators and there have only been 4 black governors in U.S. history.
Racially targeted gerrymandering is a major cause here; and, of course, racial bigotry is the major factor.
What strategies have proven effective in increasing voter participation and civic engagement among African-Americans?
Passing laws that make voter registration easy, voter registration drives, and offering dynamic and courageous candidates and platforms that can significantly improve the quality of our lives, would all be helpful.