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Episode 178 - Dr. Devonya Havis: "Stand Your Ground" Legislation and Implications for State-Sponsored Racism

Monday, October 26, 2015, 7:50:57 AM

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In this episode, Dr. Devonya Havis describes how "Stand Your Ground" legislation, intended to safeguard our society's most vulnerable members, has been utilized in ways that perpetuate and even exacerbate existing disparities experienced by persons of color. She discusses implicit bias, the bidirectional relationship between blackness and crime, "reasonable belief", and how these forces combine to shape individual behavior as well as societal institutions and systems.

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Average Rating: 4stars  stand your ground legislation and racial disparities, Monday, February 15, 2016

By Marjorie Brinson :

In this podcast Dr. Havis discusses stand your ground legislation and how it overwhelmingly, and disproportionately affects people of color. Dr Havis addresses issues such as implicit bias and its relationship with reasonable belief, which is a major part of stand your ground legislation. Stand your ground legislation gives citizens the authority to use deadly force if they believe that their lives are in danger, to prevent a felony from occurring, or to disrupt a felony that is taking place. She discusses how behaviors are driven by beliefs and assumptions, which is rooted in implicit bias. She explains that this legislation, which was put in place to protect vulnerable persons, has actually been used as a method of defense in criminal cases. The majority of these cases have included victims of color. Dr. Havis shared research that supports her stance of the perpetuation of racial disparities due to Stand your ground legislation. Research shows, that in criminal cases involving Stand your ground legislation, if the defendant is white, and the victim is black, the defendant is more likely to be acquitted. Dr. Havis spoke briefly about how people of color are also affected by state sponsored violence,and systemic racism. This podcast exemplifies the importance of social work via social action at the Macro level of social work practice.

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Average Rating: 5stars  add - it - up, Sunday, February 07, 2016

By Robert H :

Robert H

After listening to Dr. Havis I really became angry about the unjust treatment my black brothers & sisters have received on a constant basis in our society.I was so glad that she mentioned the importance of changes that has to be made on a macro level. The racial disparities pertaining to institutional prejudices and violence that my people experience is very important for many reasons. being an Afro – American male I believe the laws that are in place must be changed. Dr. Havis concentrated on stand your ground laws that exist in states and the acts of violence that happens without any reprecaution. For 400 years my people have lived a life of discrimination slavery and death and now when every American should be considered equal we find ourselves being oppressed, murdered and mistreated. I was amazed about her insight pertaining to stand your ground laws and discovered that there are several states that have stand your ground laws and when one examines these laws it is found they were created in order to allow any person the ability to use force in self – defense or presumed dangerous threats before retreating assuming that this behavior will prevent death or bodily harm In some of the present situations that America has witnessed recently there has been clear evidence that changes must take place on a macro level in our states We have witnessed innocent men and women being singled out because of the color of their skin Dr Havis pointed out how social workers can make a difference in the changes that have to take place in the laws that are in place and that as social workers it is very important for us to fight for these changes. The podcast reminded me of the everyday life of a black man. I have had to deal with prejudices because of the color of my skin my whole life. I try to teach my son to treat everyone equal. But how do I do this when he has constantly witnessed innocent people being murdered because of the color of their skin.






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Average Rating: 4stars  ideal and politics, Monday, February 01, 2016

By Adrienne Garr :

This podcast was very enlightening. Dr.Havis discussed how philosophy can be useful to the social work profession specifically with regard to the transformation of how stand your ground laws which had the intent of protecting victims of intimate partner violence have turned into a defense for those that commit homicide under a perceived or reasonable threat against POC. This kind of threat to POC in the US is also a form of disciplinary power even though citizens have not been trained like police officers stand your ground gives any citizen the same power and authority to act as a stand in under perceived threatening circumstances.It is quite scary. One thing that social workers can also take from this podcast is that the ideas - ie- implicit bias effect how communities are policed and how other polices are implemented. The silver lining in all of this is that research indicates that implicit biases can be unlearned once they have been revealed to and recognized by the individual that has them. There is hope.


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Average Rating: 4stars  dr. havis, Friday, January 29, 2016

By Amanda Martell :

This podcast was very informative especially concerning "Stand Your Ground Legislation" and the effects of such legislation. It was interesting to hear about the study that found people more readily recognizing weapons on people of color than otherwise, showing the bidirectional relationship between blackness and crime. This topic is incredibly relevant at this time in our society as there are multiple incidents occurring, constantly talked about on social media and covered in news about this very topic. Dr. Havis' own experience with police made her discussion more real. Dr. Havis gives listeners much to think about when bringing up how evil occurs when people act thoughtlessly. She is a very good and interesting speaker and I would definitely be interested in listening to other discussions by her. I also can appreciate that Dr. Havis is someone local (teaching at Canisius).

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