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Confederate monuments are a contested piece of the public landscape. Debates generally focus on the division between “heritage” and “hate,” but some scholars have argued that the meaning of monuments is more complex. There is little research examining variation among Confederate monuments, but this may be critical to understanding their social foundations and consequences. We provide insight into Confederate monuments and their complexity by examining their inscriptions and how the use of different inscriptions changed over time and varies between the Upper South and Deep South. We employ content analysis to organize the inscriptions associated with 856 Confederate monuments located in public spaces throughout the U.S. South into common themes. Our results suggest three distinct types of inscriptions: those connected to the lost cause ideology that glorifies the Confederacy and its cause; those that were comparatively plain in their description of people, places, and events; and others that focused exclusively on mourning the death of Confederate soldiers. The majority of monuments (59%) contain a Lost Cause inscription. Plain monuments comprise 35%, and only 6% of public Confederate monuments were dedicated purely to the dead. Our descriptive analysis also indicates substantial temporal and spatial variation in the use of these different types of inscriptions. Despite sharing a connection to the Confederacy, we assert that the specific messages associated with a monument are more varied and, in part, reflect the social conditions of the time and place in which they were built.
Many White Americans believe that individual rather than structural factors explain racial inequality, yet there is substantial variation in Whites’ perceptions. Using data from the Portraits of American Life Study, we exploit this variation to provide insight into the processes driving Whites’ perceptions of the causes of racial inequality. Specifically, we assess how social boundaries inform Whites’ explanations for the disadvantage of two racial groups: Blacks and Asians. First, we examine how each group’s position in the racial hierarchy relates to the types of explanations employed by Whites and find that Whites use individual explanations more often for Blacks than Asians. Second, we assess the extent to which the importance given to race in one’s overall identity affects how Whites explain racial disadvantage. Whites who see their Whiteness as being important to their identity are more likely to use individual rather than structural explanations to explain Black disadvantage. Together, these findings provide insight into the social psychological processes that contribute to Whites’ perceptions of racial inequality and suggest increased attention to how perceptions of out-group boundaries shape individual perceptions of inequality. Addressing this dimension of how individuals view inequality will be critical to future efforts to reduce it.
We investigated an increase in Trichosporon asahii isolates among inpatients. We identified 63 cases; 4 involved disseminated disease. Trichosporon species was recovered from equipment cleaning rooms, washbasins, and fomites, which suggests transmission through washbasins. Patient washbasins should be single-patient use only; adherence to appropriate hospital disinfection guidelines was recommended.
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