|SOTU Could Be Postponed|
The State of the Union was scheduled to be delivered in less than two weeks, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has announced that she wants it rescheduled or submitted in written form, as was once customary. Security and logistics surrounding the speech would be complicated, she argues, given the current government shutdown. In order for there to be a State of the Union address, both the House and the Senate must pass separate resolutions inviting the president to address Congress and the nation. After asking Trump to reschedule, CNN’s Chris Cilizza argues that it is unlikely that Pelosi would let a resolution sail through. President Trump would go on to send his own letter to Pelosi, postponing the speaker’s planned international trip, which was set to include a stop in Afghanistan. According to PRRI data from 2018, just 36 percent of the public feels optimistic that Americans who hold different political views can come together and solve the country’s problems. Republicans (39 percent) are slightly more likely than Democrats (33 percent) to feel optimistic. Further data shows that “nearly seven in ten say they would like his speech and behavior to be more consistent with his predecessors (69 percent) or that he has damaged the dignity of the presidency (69 percent.)
|How Businesses Can Help Black Workers|
Adia Harvey Wingfield, a sociology professor at Washington University in St. Louis, argues in the Harvard Business Review that companies are failing black workers—and that they can do better. Wingfield writes, “I’ve been studying black workers for nearly 15 years, and the research and data in this area show that organizations are failing black workers in three key ways, especially if they are employed in professional occupations.” Wingfield explains that many career advancements come from connections and uses PRRI numbers to illuminate how racial homogeneity in social groups can harm black workers during the hiring process. “Even today, neighborhoods, peer groups, and schools remain largely racially homogenous; in fact 75 percent of whites polled in one 2014 survey from the Public Religion Research Institute had no friends outside of their racial group,” she writes. According to Wingfield, organizations that do make efforts to hire more black workers often relegate them to smaller jobs without prestige. By encouraging diversity at the top and holding executives accountable, Wingfield argues that there will be smaller disparities in the future.
|Is There a Backlash Against Being Traditionally Masculine?|
An upcoming Super Bowl advertisement from Gillette has become the target of criticism from Fox News and others. The commercial shows several scenarios in which men bully or sexually harass others and asks, “Is this the best a man can get?” According to detractors, the ad promotes a “war on masculinity.” Meghan McCain of The View has said that the ad is emblematic of a broader cultural “backlash against being traditionally masculine.” Writing in The Washington Post, Eugene Scott uses PRRI data to argue that the notion of a “war on masculinity” is in part what drives many male voters support for President Donald Trump. “Surveys show Trump won the male vote in 2016, in part, because many of his supporters hoped he would restore men to a status in society they felt they were losing,” Scott writes. “An October 2016 poll by the Atlantic and the Public Religion Research Institute showed that supporters of Trump were more likely than supporters of Hillary Clinton to believe that society punishes men simply for behaving like men. According to the poll, nearly two-thirds of Republicans agreed that society has become too soft and feminine.”