Wandering Eye: WaPo profiles 300 Men March founder, Buzzfeed polls teens, and more

Paul Schwartzman of the Washington Post has a profile of Munir Bahar, founder of the 300 Men March that encourages young men to stop killing each other. Perhaps the most remarkable and encouraging thing about Bahar, a tax consultant who runs a martial arts studio, is his consistency. Bahar appeared at City Council meetings years ago to announce his project, which recruits young men into what he hopes will be a movement for peace. He's still at it. The Post piece details Bahar's criminal past. He shot a kid with a BB gun as a teenager, spent time in juvi, and sold drugs, according to the story. He has rigid ideas about the roles of men and women, and he makes his volunteers do sets of push-ups. "We're only addressing the violence," he tells his men. "Whatever to get them away from the idea of using a gun." Bahar tells the Post that he was inspired by God to do this work while studying at Morgan State. "It's not explainable, because it's not common," he said, recalling the moment. "You may understand it, you may not. There's no science about it. It's when a human being develops or matures, when you reach a certain point of clarity." Of course he still has doubters, but no self-doubt. "We are the last hope this city has," the Post quotes him saying. "If the community doesn't step up, the military will come in." (Edward Ericson Jr.)

 

Breaking news: American politics are dictated by the views of rich white men. That might not be too surprising to any cynical leftists out there, but the degree to which that's the case, as detailed in a new study by Nicholas Stephanopoulos, is depressing. As Sean McElwee explains at Salon, Stephanopoulos' study shows that the preferences of women, people of color, and low-income people have almost no effect on public policy—in fact, women's support for a policy means it's less likely that policy-makers will pass it. Meanwhile, "As male support increases from 0 percent to 100 percent, the odds of policy enactment rise from about 0 percent to about 90 percent." What this means for current policy debates: "there is still strong support for redistribution and policies to reduce inequality among Americans. The problem is that support for these policies is concentrated among the poor, people of color and women–the groups policymakers are least likely to listen to. The net result of the preferences of women, people of color, youth and poor people being ignored is to push American policy in a more conservative direction." (Anna Walsh)

 

While most people are starting to obsess over 2016 election polls, BuzzFeed took the time to poll one of the most important groups in America today: teens. What they found out will shock you. This being BuzzFeed, the results are posted as a listicle. Natch. Among the trends: Note passing is dead (OMG!), text lingo is bae, MTV is for olds ("I don't even bother tbh," said one respondent), Kim Kardashian is in and Justin Bieber is out, and Instagram is cooler than Facebook. But the last item of the post tugs at the heart strings. "Even though there were a variety of responses, there was one common theme: They want to be taken seriously." It's OK, teen bbs. (Brandon Weigel)

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