In an effort to get her small-town, all-white class to experience what it was like to walk in someone else’s shoes, she created the eye-color experiment. “I decided the next day that I was going to do what Hitler did. I was going to pick out a group of people on the basis of a physical characteristic over which they had no control, separate them… treat one group badly and treat the other group very well, and see what would happen,” Elliott says.
Someone please remind me again why I live in this city…
Most readers will probably not know that Manchester is quite an experimental city. The first free electric intercity metroshuttle buses in the UK began operating in Manchester. Manchester is set to have a 100MBps fibre optic network corridor interconnecting homes, businesses and universities along the famous Oxford Road. Manchester is home to one of a handful of Fablabs [small-scale workshop offering (personal) digital fabrication] across the world, complete with 3-D printers and such kit, an outfit that helps innovators seamlessly bring their ideas to life. Manchester is now home to Media City, the home of the BBC, a futuristic Media installation that is undeniably as state of the art as it gets. It was in Manchester that Graphene was first successfully isolated in 2004, at the University of Manchester, (and the scientists who discovered it won the Nobel Prize in Physics), and the invention (touted a ‘miracle material‘ and the next big thing) is set to transform technology in ways never imagined before. Beetham Tower, which is home to the Hilton hotel, restaurants and apartments was the tallest building in the UK outside London when it was completed in 2006, and is currently the tallest residential building in the UK. Manchester was the first city in the UK to get a modern light rail tram system when the Manchester Metrolink opened in 1992. Manchester will introduce a water taxi service between Manchester city centre and MediaCityUK at Salford Quays, the only one of its type in the UK. And now, they are building an Airport city, right next to the airport:
If you want to do something new and fresh to your town and city, or if you want to push the boundaries, you should look to Manchester, because the chances are, if it’s not been done around here before, it’s either not worth doing, or is about to be done.
At this point I must state the obvious. Yes, you saw it coming, here it goes: Manchester is also home to two of football’s greatest clubs (and recently a National Football Museum), although we can probably argue about the ‘greatest’ bit forever, since curiously enough, despite my unashamed infatuation with this city, I happen to be an Arsenal fan :-).
Oh, and Manchester is the third-most visited city in the UK by foreign visitors, after London and Edinburgh.
But that’s not even half of what makes this city great…
As with most things, it didn’t just start yesterday. Anthony Burgess, Manchester born writer and composer (best known for A Clockwork Orange), recalled in his autobiography published in 1986 how London “was an exercise in condescension. London was a day behind Manchester in the arts, in commercial cunning, in economic philosophy” For Burgess, Manchester was the real deal. And I think he had a point. This city, in the somewhat narrow frame of liberty in which its officials have been allowed to operate has been a pioneer for many years. During the industrial revolution, German writers and scientists came to Manchester, to observe first hand what these things called ‘factories’ were. With cotton mills springing up everywhere across Manchester, the city’s economy boomed, and created wealth for the industrialists. Manchester became the world first industrialised city, not least because of the textile factories and the Port of Manchester. During this time, it was dubbed ‘Cottonpolis’. Despite the city’s reliance on cotton, and the ‘pro-slavery spirit of America‘ which Sarah Redmond, a free African American Activist and Abolishionist talked about in 1859 when she visited to raise awareness about slavery, the pioneering spirit of Manchester soon had a welcome outcome: In 1862, Lancashire mill workers, at great personal sacrifice,took a principled stand by refusing to touch raw cotton picked by US slaves.
With the cotton industry on its knees, [President] Lincoln acknowledged the self-sacrifice of the ‘working men of Manchester’ in a letter he sent them in 1863. Lincoln’s words – later inscribed on the pedestal of his statue that can still be found in Lincoln Square, Manchester – praised the workers for their selfless act of “sublime Christian heroism, which has not been surpassed in any age or in any country.
It will zealously enforce the principles of civil and religious Liberty, it will warmly advocate the cause of Reform; it will endeavour to assist in the diffusion of just principles of Political Economy. – Prospectus outlining the aims of the Guardian [Spartacus]
In 1878 the GPO (which became British Telecom, the telecommunications giant BT) provided its first telephones to a firm in Manchester. The world’s first stored program-computer was built in Manchester, at the Victoria University of Manchester by Frederic C. Williams, Tom Kilburn and Geoff Tootill, and ran its first program on 21 June 1948.
And it’s not just inventions and infrastructure that defined the city’s dynamism. Manchester has also been home to some great minds including the Chemist and Physicist John Dalton, Physicist J. J. Thompson, Engineer and Philanthropist Joseph Whitworth, and the Textile Merchant and philanthropist John Rylands.
Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels began to write the Communist Manifesto at Chetham Library (the oldest public library in the English-speaking world) in Manchester. As Luke Bainbridge of the Guardian puts it:
This is the home of the industrial revolution and the city that split the atom, the birthplace of the computer and the Guardian, the suffragette movement, the free trade movement, the co-operative movement, the anti-corn law league, vegetarianism, the nation’s first free library, the world’s first intercity railway and the engine room of rock’n’roll that has produced the country’s best bands of the past 30 years, from Joy Division to Take That.
Basically, without Manchester, and a lot of its creativity, innovation and history, it’s quite likely that much of the world as we know it wouldn’t be where it is today. Certainly not in the shape that we know. We’d probably still be in the dark ages. Or worse. 😉
And that thought alone, whether you agree with it or think it is far-fetched, is enough reason to learn from what this city has achieved, and continues to achieve.
Khaya Dlanga: Does race distort the scales of justice? via Mail & Guardian
Did Pistorius’s race play a subconscious role in the judgment and sentencing? Masipa is a black South African woman who herself has endured prison time under apartheid. But we must not assume that because a person is black that they don’t play into the rules of whiteness even though they may think they don’t.
A study commissioned by the United States Sentencing Commission found that black prisoners’ sentences were 20% longer than those of white prisoners for the same crimes
White judges are more lenient towards whites
Just to warn you, I am about to sound like that guy who says: “Some of my best friends are black, but … ”
I lived for a long time with a white lawyer friend years ago. He told me that judges in South Africa, and white ones in particular, are more lenient when it comes to sentencing white people who have been found guilty of crimes.
He said that the judges may never admit it and would never actually say it out loud, but it does happen.
Nine things white people can do to help transform South Africa via Mail & Guardian
“The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off.” ― Gloria Steinem
“The truth is rarely pure and never simple.” ― Oscar Wilde
While I can’t see anything wrong with her statements, what surprises me is the hostility she seems to have ignitied / received online, with others clearly taking it personally, as can be seen below?? What a scary world… no wonder racism continues.