“The final Senate race of 2018 was expected to be a sleepy affair — a formality, really, with a special election runoff in deep red Mississippi. Instead, the race has been upended in the final days thanks to multiple stumbles by the GOP nominee that have dredged up the state’s history of racial violence.” That NPR lede on Tuesday’s Senate runoff couldn’t be less surprising. Racism and prejudice are core themes in America’s longest running storyline; and from national borders to local political races, those same topics dominate our headlines in 2018. The New Republic’s Erika Hayasaki on what neuroscience tells us about the persistence of hatred. “Individuals who believe in equality and fairness, or who are aware of their own biases, she explained, seem to be exercising a kind of self-control, evident in the prefrontal cortex, over their behavior—keeping prejudicial associations in check when they are thinking about or interacting with people of different races.” (Other individuals do not exercise that self control.)

+ Adam Serwer in The Atlantic on those “whose community is built by rejoicing in the anguish of those they see as unlike them, who have found in their shared cruelty an answer to the loneliness and atomization of modern life.” The Cruelty Is the Point.