George Lipsitz - "Inured to Suffering: Ferguson as a Failure of the Humanities"

On 1 May, George Lipsitz gave a talk at Harvard University entitled "Inured to Suffering: Ferguson as a Failure of the Humanities".  In August 2014, police in Ferguson (Missouri) shot dead an unarmed black teenager, Michael Brown. The New York Times has a detailed run-down of the events and aftermath, including protests which spread across the US and intense political debate on institutional racism, here. In his talk, Lipsitz, a professor of sociology and  black studies at the University of California Santa Barbara, relates events in Ferguson to failures of academia (and academics) in tackling systemic racism and racist ideologies, and also discusses contemporary racial politics in America more generally. The video runs to about 90 minutes, of which some is Lipsitz' responses to audience members' questions at the end. I know it's long, but it is well worth your attention. This is inordinately important stuff which must be talked about, both inside and outside of academia. For a very brief overview of the talk, read also The Harvard Crimson's coverage of the event.

(My thanks to Prof  Christie McDonald for bringing Lipsitz's talk to my attention by  discussing it during her plenary at this year's SFS conference.)