Past Present Podcast: Presidential Debates, Stop and Frisk, and Fat Shaming


In this week’s episode, Niki, Natalia, and Neil discuss the presidential debates, the constitutionality of stop and frisk, and obesity and medical care.

Presidential Debates

Do presidential debates change election results? Natalia pointed to research that showed debates had only small electoral effects. Neil discussed how the Lincoln-Douglas Senate debates of 1858 set the model for political debates in the country. Niki commented on how moderators fact-checked candidates in the 1976 and 2012 debates. Natalia and Niki live tweeted the first presidential debate this year at #PSLive.

Stop and Frisk

Donald Trump defended the controversial stop-and-frisk police program in the presidential debate, and Rudy Giuliani followed with his own endorsement in the Wall Street Journal. Neil noted the controversy owed to how the policy was disproportionately directed at African-American males. Niki commented on the policy’s 1950s origins, noting that cities implemented it before crime rates rose in the late 1960s. Niki also commented on the 1968 Supreme Court case Terry v. Ohio that ruled stop and frisk constitutional.

Fat Shaming

The New York Times recently reported that obese patients receive less medical care from their doctors. Neil remarked this resembled the inferior medical treatment African Americans receive, as demonstrated in the anthropologist Carolyn Rouse’s research. Natalia recommended the books the Fat Studies ReaderFat Shame, and Fat Blame for recent works in the discipline of fat studies. Natalia also commented on the “Fat Liberation Manifesto” that declared fatness a category of oppression.

What’s Making History

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