Here is a link to a PDF file of a paper written by NYU's David Amodio. In it, Amodio describes "the social neuroscience approach" towards understanding intergroup relations, which encompasses racism, and "then reviews research that has used this approach to advance theories of (a) implicit racial bias and their eﬀects on behaviour, (b) the self-regulation of intergroup responses, and (c) prejudice reduction."
Don't feel like reading? Here are a couple of videos from Baylor's David Eagleman, discussing empathy between different groups of people. In the second video, around the 7 minute mark, he provides an in-depth but quaint explanation about an experiment whose results displayed how a person will consistently empathize more with people in their in-groups compared to those in their out-groups.
Now, compare that level of insight on a very touchy and heavily studied topic to what you saw on TV or read on the Internet last night/today in regards to Mark Cuban's comments on prejudice, comments which essentially correspond with the above.
A timeline of the early fallout was provided by Awful Announcing early this morning. As of my typing this, Mark Cuban has apologized for implicitly bringing up Trayvon Martin, but he stands by everything else he said in the interview.
Jim Cavan and Bleacher Report, by way of chasing a scandal while not actually knowing the context of Cuban's remarks, garnered 100k reads since releasing their post last night, which was originally titled "Mark Cuban Says He's Bigoted Against Black Kids Wearing Hoodies HERP DERP" because CLICK! FOR THE LOVE OF GOD CLICK AND USE YOUR ARROW KEYS TO BROWSE MORE STORIES! [UPDATE: The headline appears to have been crafted by a B/R editor, not Jim Cavan.]
From there, after being cued that this was a story by the Internet, ESPN ran with its usual embrace debate schtick (Should Mark Cuban be fined? Did you agree or disagree with his comment that has been historically and scientifically observed? Our pundits opinions really matter here). The topic was presented this way to the immense audiences of Around The Horn and PTI, causing Bomani Jones to even question why Around The Horn was leading off with it. There is also a YouTube clip of this morning's First Take that bears the title "Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban Defends Donald Sterling" because CLICK!
TMZ, as they tend to do, covered the scandal of Cuban's scandalous comments, even posting an article about how ESPN's Stephen A Smith, who was covering the scandal by providing his opinion of the scandalous comments, agreed with Mark Cuban. They drew their usual immense audience.
The videos and articles posted above? Maybe a little over 10k views/reads... combined.
No real discussion was had today. But the 24 hour cycle was fulfilled, and man, it was exciting.
TMZ not withstanding, today provided us with indices of the inherent problem with all 24 hour cable news stations or sites that have a 100+, or 1000+ in the case of Bleacher Report, article quota to meet. Scandal and debate are the ultimate catalysts for most news entities across various mediums, and they have to be produced quickly and often. In-depth research and reflection takes too long, so it's for the birds. It's a problem that knows no limits, even lending itself to the issue of something as important as reporting on climate change.
None of this is new, but it's always terribly disheartening to witness, and it feels like it's getting worse. These platforms have voices that reach so many people. There is one responsibility with which the public tasks them: Educate people about whatever it is that you are supposed to be covering.
And they fail miserably on a remarkably consistent basis. Today, progress was squandered in favor of the cycle.
Because really, who's kidding who? More times than not, talking heads, showrunners, and writers for media companies are not paid with any responsibility to the public in mind. They are paid to feed and fulfill the cycle, and organically discussing things can be hard, especially when many audiences seem content with listening to and learning from people who really provide no more insight than their average bar buddies.
If we're lucky, maybe Mark Cuban will share his views on the VA in an interview tomorrow, and we can hear what a bunch of professional sportswriters think about what he said.
After all, the NBA playoffs don't resume until Saturday...