New York lawyer Urooj Rahman gets only 15 months in prison for firebombing a police car during the George Floyd riots

https://www.yahoo.com/news/lawyer-gets-15-months-behind-193513360.html

Lawyer gets 15 months behind bars for firebombing police car

By Tom Hays

November 18, 2022

NEW YORK (AP) — A New York City attorney was sentenced to 15 months behind bars on Friday for firebombing an empty New York City police vehicle with another lawyer during protests over the murder of George Floyd.

Before hearing her sentence, Urooj Rahman asked a judge to spare her prison time and give her a “second chance” to redeem herself for what she called a momentary lapse of judgement.

“I’m so incredibly sorry for my reckless and wrong actions,” a tearful Rahman said in federal court in Brooklyn. “I don’t think there’s enough words to express my sorrow and regret. … I completely lost my way in the emotion of the night.”

U.S. District Judge Brian Cogan praised her for choosing a career in public interest law to fight against social injustices.

“You’re a remarkable person who did a terrible thing on one night,” Cogan said.

However, Cogan also scolded her for thinking she could get away with violent protest.

“It displays an amazing amount of arrogance. … It’s just a very arrogant way to think,” he said.

Federal prosecutors had recommended a sentence of 18 to 24 months as part of a plea deal.

Rahman and Colinford Mattis were arrested amid clashes between protesters and police on May 30, 2020, during an eruption of demonstrations following Floyd’s killing by a police officer in Minnesota.

Surveillance cameras recorded Rahman hurling an incendiary device into a parked police vehicle, setting fire to its console. No one was injured in the attack, but the vehicle was severely damaged.

Officers arrested the lawyers a short time later and said they found a lighter, a Bud Light beer bottle filled with toilet paper and a gasoline tank in the back of a minivan driven by Mattis, a corporate attorney. Prosecutors alleged the lawyers planned to distribute and throw other Molotov cocktails.

While other lawyers condemned their conduct, some objected to the severity of the charges, arguing that the case was improperly handled as if it were an act of domestic terrorism. When the U.S. attorney in Brooklyn asked that the lawyers be detained without bail, 56 former federal prosecutors sent a legal brief to the court criticizing the government’s handling of the case.

Rahman and Mattis have been disbarred. Mattis is scheduled for sentencing next month.

November 18, 2022. Tags: , , , , , , , . Black lives matter, Racism, Rioting looting and arson, Social justice warriors. Leave a comment.

Democrats said it was a hate crime when someone set a black church on fire in Mississippi. But the suspect who got arrested is black.

https://www.foxnews.com/us/mississippi-police-arrest-suspect-church-arson-democrat-called-tactic-suppress-votes

Mississippi police arrest suspect in church arson that Democrat called ‘tactic to suppress’ votes

The Mississippi Democrat Congressional candidate said that the incident ‘invoke[d] historical acts of terrorism’

By Adam Sabes

November 11, 2022

Mississippi church fire suspect

The Hinds County Sheriff’s Office says Delvin McLaurin was arrested Tuesday in Terry, Mississippi following a tip from the public. (Hinds County Sheriff’s Office)

Police in Mississippi arrested a 23-year-old old suspect thought to be associated with seven fires across Jackson, with two of them being at churches, in what one Democrat Congressional candidate called an attempt to suppress votes.

Among the two churches set on fire, one of them was destroyed in the fire. All the fires took place around Jackson early Tuesday morning.

Shuwaski Young, a former candidate for Mississippi’s 3rd Congressional District, said that the fire was an attempt to suppress votes in the area and said it invokes acts of terrorism. 

“This morning several churches were burned in Jackson, Mississippi on Election Day. These cowardly actions invoke historical acts of terrorism when people are fighting for their right to vote and live peacefully as Americans and Missisippians,” Young said. “We will not be deterred and will not be intimidated. We will not allow domestic terrorists to suppress our right to vote. I ask all Mississippians to GO VOTE regardless of this decades old intimidation tactic to suppress our votes today. Just Go VOTE.”

https://twitter.com/shuwaskiyoung/status/1589979730081906690

Beginning on Tuesday at around 2:45 a.m., officials received calls regarding six fires around the city. By 6 a.m., six of the seven fires were put out by firefighters.

Epiphany Lutheran Church, a predominantly Black church in Jackson, was among the churches burnt and was on fire for over four hours.

At Jackson State University, a historically Black school, a fire began in the area surrounding the baseball practice field.

The Hinds County Sheriff’s Office said that Devin McLaurin was arrested in relation to the arson incidents, but didn’t add what his motivation was.

McLaurin is being charged with felony malicious mischief, and is also being questioned by the Federal Bureau of Investigations.

Patrick Armon, assistant fire chief with the Jackson Fire Department said that this is unusual for the area.

“I’ve been here for 30 years. This is a major occurrence,” Armon said. “This is not something we normally go to. We have about a third of our department on sites.”

Lloyd Caston, 73, who is an elder at Epiphany Lutheran Church, said that she woke up to a call at around 4 a.m. stating that the church was on fire.

When Caston arrived to the church, he saw that it was “fully enflamed.” He said that he “was hurt” when he saw the church on fire.

“It destroyed the church and everything in it,” Caston said.

Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba said that no polling locations were impacted by the fires.

“We don’t yet know who or why, but I want to thank the firefighters because they were able to respond to that and still get back to the stations, so that people could set up for voting precincts,” Lumumba said.

Fox News has reached out to Young.

November 11, 2022. Tags: , , , , , , , . Fake hate crimes, Racism, Social justice warriors. Leave a comment.

Video and transcript: Derrick Wilburn, a black father, criticizes critical race theory at a school board meeting in Falcon, Colorado

https://www.foxnews.com/us/black-father-slams-crt-colorado-school-board-meeting-video

https://dailycitizen.focusonthefamily.com/colorado-school-board-bans-critical-race-theory-after-black-fathers-impassioned-speech/

https://thebluestateconservative.com/2022/10/20/epic-black-dad-unloads-on-woke-school-board-over-crt-gets-standing-ovation-from-room-video/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SnJNujTKdVA

I’d like to begin my comments tonight by reading a quote, which in essence is the genesis of all of this Black Lives Matter, social justice CRT conversations we’re having in our country today, quote, I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color, close quote, Colin Kaepernick, August 2016.

I am the direct descendant of the North American slave trade. Both of my parents are black, all four of my grandparents are black, all eight of my great great grandparents all 16 of my great greats. On my mother’s side, my ancestors were enslaved in Alabama. On my father’s side, we were enslaved in Texas.

I am not oppressed. I’m not oppressed, and I’m not a victim. I’m neither a press nor a victim. I travel all across this country of ours. And I check into hotels and I fly commercially. And I walk into retail establishments, and I order food and restaurants. I go wherever I want, whenever I want. I am treated with kindness, dignity, and respect, literally from coast to coast. I have three children. They are not oppressed either.

Although they are victims, I’ve taught my children, they’re victims of three things, their own ignorance, their own laziness and their own poor decision making. That is all my children. We are not victims of America, we are not victims of some unseen 190 year old force that kind of floats around in the ether.

Putting critical race theory into our classrooms is taking our nation in the wrong direction. racism in America would by and large, be dead today, if it were not for certain people and institutions keeping it on life support. And sadly, sadly, very sadly, one of those institutions is the American education system.

I can think of nothing more damaging to a society than to tell a baby born today that she has grievances against another baby born today, simply because of what their ancestors may have done two centuries ago. There is simply no point in doing that to our children. And putting critical race theory into our classrooms, in part does that putting critical race theory into our classrooms is not combating racism.

It’s fanning the flames of what little embers are left. I encourage you to support this resolution. Let racism die the death it deserves.

October 20, 2022. Tags: , , , , , . Education, Racism, Social justice warriors. Leave a comment.

A Los Angeles judge sentenced a black man to be locked up in a mental institution for one year because he hugged a stranger on a bus without her permission

https://www.yahoo.com/news/dismantle-prison-system-viral-justice-154216500.html

To Dismantle the Prison System, We Need Viral Justice

By Ruha Benjamin

October 18, 2022

My younger brother, Jamal, and I grew up the same. Same home, same parents, same neighborhoods. But as a young Black man, the police have been chasing him all our lives. “Chasing” is the wrong word. Hunting…he is hunted. Tender meat feeding a rapacious quota system—another deer head an officer can mount on his wall.

In his late teens, Jamal began showing signs of mental illness—schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, paranoia—we weren’t sure yet. Things came to a head after he had gone missing and we found him collapsed, dehydrated, and emaciated, after hearing voices that told him not to eat. My brother is over six feet tall, and when we located him, he weighed less than 100 pounds.

A few years went by; then, during one of his episodes, Jamal grabbed a woman sitting next to him on the bus and held her for a few seconds in a bear hug. The woman screamed and my brother let go. But suddenly the bus driver stopped the bus, and cops boarded and arrested my brother for attempted kidnapping.

The cops took Jamal to the Twin Towers Correctional Facility, L.A. County’s notorious jail. With nearly 20,000 employees, including more than 10,000 sworn deputies, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is the largest sheriff’s department in the world, and its website boasts that the Twin Towers are “the nation’s largest mental health facility.” But after being caged in the Twin Towers, Jamal was so traumatized that he couldn’t stand trial.

The Twin Towers, where approximately 15,000 people await trial, yet to be convicted of any crime, is part of what has become known as the “Abu Ghraib of Los Angeles.” In a 2011 report titled Cruel and Unusual Punishment: How a Savage Gang of Deputies Controls LA County Jails, the ACLU’s National Prison Project spells out a “pattern of brutal abuse…which at times crossed the line into torture.” The report includes eyewitness testimony of Los Angeles County Sheriff deputies humiliating prisoners with sexual and racial epithets, and punching, kicking, and beating non-resisting inmates to the point of their needing surgery and hospitalization. It is a level of inhumanity that observers say exceeds even that of maximum-security prisons.

After reviewing testimony by inmates, former inmates, chaplains, and civilians, as well as reports, correspondence, media articles, and legal filings, even Thomas Parker, a former FBI agent who worked in the bureau’s Los Angeles Field Office, came to a damning conclusion: “Of all the jails I have had the occasion to visit, tour, or conduct investigations within, domestically and internationally, I have never experienced any facility exhibiting the volume and repetitive patterns of violence.” Now imagine your own loved one trapped inside this den of brutality.

Jamal was held in Twin Towers for several weeks before he was sent to Patton State Hospital in San Bernardino County for three months to be medicated so that he could take the stand. He was brought back to the Twin Towers, and it was several more weeks before he was brought before a judge, who eventually ruled that it wasn’t a criminal case that needed to go to trial.

At the hearing, when the judge asked the woman on the bus whether Jamal had hurt her in any way, she said no, that he had held her for a few seconds. In that moment, she seemed remorseful that it had come to this. The judge, in turn, ordered that my brother be admitted into a mental health facility for one year followed by several more years of court-mandated psychiatric treatment. In exchange for an unwanted hug, our punishing institutions squeezed their tentacles around Jamal tighter and tighter.

The day my brother’s criminal record was eventually expunged felt bittersweet. It came after years of harassment, profiling, jail, imprisonment, shame, trauma, and so much more that typing these words reignites a burning rage. Is it possible to wipe off a brand? How else can I describe the “mark of a criminal record,” as the sociologist Devah Pager calls it, but as a modern-day brand? Rub…rub…rub… as much as you can, the scar left behind refuses to disappear.

Each time the carceral system brands a loved one, an entire family is marked. We feel the iron of a vicious system whose appetite seems limitless. When the beast decided it had had enough, it spit my brother back out. Record expunged. But not before forcing him to sit for years in its repulsive belly, corroding his spirit and consuming his mind. The stench of that beast snakes around us, tightening and releasing, squeezing and pulsing in what clinicians term post-traumatic stress, anxiety, and depression.

In an essay titled “Collateral Damage,” sociologist Alyasah Sewell and public health researcher Kevin Jefferson explain, “People do not have to be inside the criminal justice system to feel the effects of the criminal justice system. In fact, the surveillance policies of the criminal justice system reach so far as to shape the health of people who have not yet entered into its gates.” Is it any wonder that the health of entire communities is adversely affected by being criminalized? Higher blood pressure, higher rates of asthma, diabetes, and more—health conditions born of a ritualized pattern of terror and trauma. Even when we are not the prey, we feel hunted.

So, what is there to do? How do we create justice that is not just vital, but also infectious?

The concept of “viral justice” offers a fresh orientation, a way of looking at (or looking again) at all the ways people are working, little by little, day by day, to combat unjust systems and build alternatives to the oppressive status quo. It invites us to witness how an idea or action that sprouts in one place may be adopted, adapted, and diffused elsewhere. Rather than a strict focus on macro processes and “structural change,” viral justice reminds us how individual volition maintains or transforms the status quo. Social systems, after all, rely on each of us playing along or questioning the rules of the game.

Transforming the rules in this context is not about police reform. Instead, it refers to the upending of an entire system—the gradual abolition of an institution born of slave patrols, one that protects property over people, and is kept alive by the myths of virtuosity and necessity. But those larger goals take shape in the small print of city, state, and federal budgets where individuals, groups, and coalitions—like the Seattle Solidarity Budget—are calling for investment in social goods like housing, education, work, and community.

Viral justice is also about creating communities of care—articulating the kind of world we want out there in our relationships and interactions with strangers and friends right here. It requires that we answer educator and abolitionist Mariame Kaba’s vital question: “What else can we grow instead of punishment and suffering?”

Last month, I spoke at the Fifth Annual #FreeHer Conference in Detroit, Michigan, organized by the National Council for Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls. Those gathered are engaged in a range of organizing efforts including mass clemencies for women who are aging, sick, survivors of sexual violence, and those who have served decades already—those hunted, captured, and maimed by the system. They are fighting for housing, counseling, higher education, and other support services for people returning from prison. They are advocating against the construction of new jails and prisons, including “pressuring architectural firms not to bid on the multimillion-dollar job.” For example, in Massachusetts, formerly incarcerated women got the state legislature to pass a bill, which now sits on the governor’s desk, imposing a five-year moratorium on any new construction.

This is viral justice at work. Starting in their own backyards, those gathered at the #FreeHer Conference are working with neighbors, friends, and family members—like the mother-daughter duo who co-founded Families for Justice as Healing—to uproot the soul-sucking conditions that tear us apart and seed the resources that we all need to thrive.

#FreeHer reminds us that the work of crafting more caring social relations isn’t charity work or work to be done on behalf of others. Falling from a burning building, I might hit the ground first, but you won’t be far behind. My wellbeing is intimately bound up with yours. We don’t need allies—we need everyone to smell the smoke. Together, we can change our world from one in which our loved ones are hunted, our families torn apart, and our communities surveilled, to one in which people like my brother, like me, and like you will be fully embraced and empowered.

October 18, 2022. Tags: , , . Police state, Racism. Leave a comment.

An athlete says she was “targeted and racially heckled throughout the entirety of the match,” but the video and audio recordings say otherwise. The New York Times says fake claims like this are so common that a black writer wrote a book about them.

https://web.archive.org/web/20221014203005/https://www.nytimes.com/2022/10/14/opinion/racism-byu-volleyball.html

What a Report of Extreme Racism Teaches Us

By John McWhorter

October 14, 2022

It’s time for a few words on what we might learn from a Black volleyball player’s claims about what happened at a match she participated in at Brigham Young University this past August. I have refrained from commenting on this for a spell, in case there were further revelations. As there have been none yet, I shall proceed.

Rachel Richardson, a Black member of Duke’s volleyball team playing in a match at Brigham Young University, claimed that she and other Black teammates were “targeted and racially heckled throughout the entirety of the match,” such that they had to face a crowd amid which slurs “grew into threats.”

But a sporting match such as this one is attended by thousands and is well recorded, both professionally and also by anyone in attendance with a cellphone. To date, no one has offered evidence that corroborates Richardson’s claims of racist verbal abuse, either independently or as part of an investigation by B.Y.U. There is nothing comparable in the security footage or in the television feed the school took of the match. No one at the match representing either school has described hearing such a thing happening. No witnesses have been reported as coming forward.

To be clear: It is possible that some racist spectator shouted a racial slur at Richardson at some point during the match. But it seems apparent that no rising tide of slurs and threats occurred during that match — that would be clear in the recordings. And Richardson’s having possibly exaggerated what happened casts into doubt whether there were any slurs at all, given that people leveling such words tend to do so with the intention of being heard by others, and no one present has come forward and explicitly said they heard it. Richardson and her representatives have presented no explanation as to why recordings via modern technology do not reveal what she claimed.

We cannot know why Richardson made this claim. Maybe she misheard common volleyball chants, as some have suggested. Or perhaps there were members of the crowd who did in fact resort to racist slurs that others either did not hear or are not willing to corroborate. But it’s hard not to sense that all of this is discomfitingly ambiguous — the likelihood that Richardson’s basic claim of being continuously heckled with racist slurs from the stands seems rather infinitesimal.

But this is why the B.Y.U. story is important. The message from this story is not just that interpretations of events will differ, or that in some fashion racism persists in America even if the details on this case are murky. We must also engage with the unfortunate possibility that the B.Y.U. story may be a demonstration of a pattern, one that we must be aware of to have an honest debate about racism in America today.

I have long noticed, in attending to episodes of this kind in our times, that claims of especially stark and unfiltered racist abuse, of the kind that sound like something from another time, often do not turn out to have been true. Accounts of this kind, I have realized, should be received warily. Not with utter resistance, but with a grain of salt.

The people making such claims appear to be thinking of horrors of the past and claiming that what supposedly happened to them shows that those horrors persist. It is difficult not to notice, for example, the parallel between Richardson’s claim and Jackie Robinson’s being called the N-word from the stands in the 1940s.

But while we have not remotely reached a point where racism does not exist, we have reached a point where some people are able to fabricate episodes of racism out of one unfortunate facet of being not Black, but human — crying wolf and seeking attention. This kind of thing was probably less likely when actual episodes of this kind, including lethal ones, were ordinary. Who would, on top of legalized segregation and lynching, make up racist violence? It would have seemed too trivializing of what actual people regularly went through. But today? Things are, while imperfect, quite different.

The classic, and perhaps officially inauguratory, example — and this is in no way to equate Richardson’s possible exaggeration to the prior, extraordinary event — was Tawana Brawley’s claim in 1987 to have been kidnapped and raped by a group of white men and then left in the woods wrapped in a garbage bag, covered with feces and scrawled with racial slurs. The sheer luridness of that scenario was always a clue that Brawley staged the whole thing, which she was proved to have done. A U.S. Justice Department report concluded that in Ferguson, Mo., in 2014, Officer Darren Wilson did not callously shoot Michael Brown dead despite his having his hands up in surrender, despite Brown’s friend Dorian Johnson’s claim to that effect.

White lacrosse players at Duke did not rape a Black stripper at a party, despite the 88 Duke professors who published a newspaper ad implying the lacrosse players were guilty. And of course, the actor Jussie Smollett’s story that MAGA-hatted homophobic racists jumped him in the wee small hours and put a noose around his neck has not held water. Nor is it an accident that the scenario sounds less like real life than something that would have happened on the television soap opera “Empire” that Smollett was starring in.

Cases like these are not eccentric one-offs. It is painful to have to write that they are a pattern. The incidents could fill a whole book, and they have: “Hate Crime Hoax” by Wilfred Reilly, a Black political scientist, covers over 400 cases primarily in the 2010s that were either disproved or shown to be highly unlikely. It isn’t that discrimination never happens. But the more extreme and ghastly the story, the less likely I am to believe it.

It is a kind of good news. Today’s hoaxes are often based on claims of the kinds of things that actually happened to people and went unpunished in the past. That today such things are sometimes fabricated shows, oddly, that in real life, progress has taken place.

My point is not remotely to ignore claims of racism. It is to be wary of the especially bizarre, antique-sounding cases. And so: Indeed, the racially offensive trash talk by the Los Angeles City Council members that surfaced this week was egregious, but talk like that, when speakers are unaware anyone else will hear, is common, sad though that is. That story does not disprove my point, because it happened in an ordinary rather than outlandish manner. Grotesque, racist private talk certainly still persists.

While we must always be maximally aware that racism does still exist, we must also know that not all claims of racist abuse hold water and that being aware of this does not disqualify one from being an antiracist. True antiracists know that Black people exhibit the full scale of human traits and tendencies, including telling tall tales — and yes, even about matters involving racism.

October 14, 2022. Tags: , , . Fake hate crimes, Racism, Social justice warriors. Leave a comment.

Texas Wesleyan Cancels Play After Students Say Use of Slur Is Harmful [The writer of the play is black]

https://web.archive.org/web/20221006141216/https://www.nytimes.com/2022/10/06/us/texas-wesleyan-play-racism.html

Texas Wesleyan Cancels Play After Students Say Use of Slur Is Harmful

The play’s author, who is Black, said he crafted its language to be historically accurate in representing civil rights struggles. But the theater program at the university heeded the call of students.

By April Rubin

October 6, 2022

Texas Wesleyan University halted its production of “Down In Mississippi,” a play about registering voters in the 1960s, after criticism from students who said racist epithets in the script could contribute to a hostile, unwelcoming environment. Its author said he was using that language to represent the reality of the period.

The play by Carlyle Brown, a Black playwright based in Minneapolis, focuses on the efforts of a movement that led to passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which outlawed racial discrimination and protected Black voters. The plot, which is set during the Freedom Summer campaign, centers on three student activists as they travel from New York City to the South to register Black voters.

In telling that story, the playwright included a scene in which a white character used a racial slur, repeatedly, to refer to Black people, opening up a controversy on campus that also spotlighted a larger rift in American society over discussions of race and the portrayal of the struggles of people of color in media and the arts.

Two students who were not part of the production, and were described as a Latinx woman and a Black woman, heard about the scene through word of mouth and submitted bias reports to the university’s administration on Sept. 23, said Chatashia Brown, the university’s assistant director for student diversity and inclusion programs.

Their complaints prompted administrators of the university, in Fort Worth, to host a “listening session” on Sept. 29, which had been previously scheduled as the opening night of the play. Students, actors and members of the university’s faculty and staff joined the open forum, as did Mr. Brown.

Black students said that the explicit language in the play would further aggravate problems on a campus that they said did not cater to the needs of its significant population of students of color. As of fall 2021, 58 percent of students at Texas Wesleyan identified as Asian, Black, Latino or biracial.

“They wanted to kind of come in and be able to see the story and understand its impact without being triggered by it,” Ms. Brown said.

The students who expressed their concerns said that the repetition of the racial slur, spoken about a dozen times in the play, would have caught them off guard and negatively affected their mental health. They worried that the play could lead other students who are not Black to feel more comfortable repeating the slur.

“We pretty much all understand what harmful language is and how it’s been used because a lot of them still deal with that today,” Ms. Brown said. “So they just thought the timing and the place of it was pretty upsetting.”

The playwright said that his intentions were for the performance to be historically accurate. To him, the past shouldn’t be sanitized — and he said that the racial slur was used provocatively, for audience members to feel the impact it has had in real life. The scene portrays one of the play’s three students, who is white, showing the Black student how he would be treated on their journey. Training sessions like the one portrayed were common at the time and were intended to help people understand the severity of the behavior they could face.

Mr. Brown, who joined the listening session on a video call, said the play seems to have become a catalyst for a discussion about racial relations on campus that is separate from his work

“As the conversation went on, a couple students went up and looked at my image on the screen and said, ‘It’s not your play, Mr. Brown; it’s just not the play at this place, at this time,’” he said in an interview.

Last school year, the president of the Black Student Association went on a hunger strike to raise awareness of the lack of diversity on Texas Wesleyan’s campus. Among the sources of her discontent: The university didn’t have substantial classes focused on ethnic or racial studies, despite having a diverse student body; and no established multicultural center existed for students to convene.

The protest, along with other feedback from students about concerns with the campus climate and diversity, prompted the university to announce earlier this year that it would emphasize “community, engagement and inclusion” through a strategic plan, which included measures such as incorporating multiculturalism, inclusion and anti-intolerance in its curriculum; engaging in culturally relevant teaching to connect with students of diverse backgrounds; and identifying a space on campus for multicultural student programs.

However, the discussions around the play showed that students’ grievances had not been addressed to the extent they wanted, said Jaylon Leonard, president of the student body.

“It was not the play itself, but about some things that we had dealt with in the past with the school in regard to diversity and inclusion recently that weren’t unanswered,” he said, adding that “for this to be thrown on top of those issues, it was something that we were not ready to accept.”

Production dates for “Down in Mississippi” were first delayed, and the theater program considered hosting the play off campus at the Jubilee Theatre, a Fort Worth venue that puts on plays that highlight African American experiences. But the faculty of the Texas Wesleyan theater department decided not to put on the play at all, after students involved expressed their discomfort, said Joe Brown, theater chair and professor of theater arts.

The theater program has produced plays about the Holocaust, the gay rights movement, religion and political extremism, and they have been well-regarded in the campus community, Professor Brown said. All of the upcoming plays this season will examine the theme of exclusion.

“Our motivation was what’s happening in the United States right now is pretty scary with women’s rights and L.G.B.T.Q. rights and voter suppression and Black rights,” he said. “There’s some scary things happening in different states, so we felt the timeliness of ‘Is history repeating itself?’”

Students in the play sought the guidance of D. Wambui Richardson, the artistic director of the Jubilee Theatre, early in the production process, since he has put on several other plays with similar themes. He has heard the critique that the approach of a play could be glorifying negative aspects of the Black experience, citing an act on police brutality as an example, Mr. Richardson said.

“Our response was if we’re not creating a space for the conversations to be had in a safe and nurturing environment, then those conversations are not being had,” he said.

He offered for the production of “Down In Mississippi” to be moved to his theater, but Mr. Richardson came to understand that the Fort Worth student community did not seem ready for it.

“A message is only as important and vital as the lips that will repeat it, the ears that will hear it and the legs that will carry it,” Mr. Richardson said.

As the only Black person on the production team, Mya Cockrell, who was responsible for the scenic design, had reservations but felt that she had to come to terms with a show that was moving forward.

She appreciated that members of the cast went out and spoke with people involved in the civil rights movement and learned about the history, but she said that the greater campus community would have benefited from that discussion.

“I personally don’t think that the theater was in a place to put on a show like this,” Ms. Cockrell said, “because I think there’s a lot more that we can do as a community to help people, and I don’t think we were necessarily doing that or educating people outside of the theater.”

October 7, 2022. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Cancel culture, Dumbing down, Education, Racism, Social justice warriors. Leave a comment.

Laura L. Morgan in the Wall St. Journal: ‘Implicit Bias’ Training Cost Me My Job – States are forcing medical professionals to make false confessions of racism. I refused to go along.

https://archive.ph/LuVpq

‘Implicit Bias’ Training Cost Me My Nursing Job

States are forcing medical professionals to make false confessions of racism. I refused to go along.

By Laura L. Morgan

September 30, 2022

I was fired from my nursing job this year for refusing to take “implicit bias” training. After 39 years of providing equal care to all my patients without regard to their race, I objected to a mandatory course grounded in the idea that I’m racist because I’m white. I fear every healthcare professional will soon be forced to make the same awful decision I did: Falsely admit to being racist or abandon the medical field.

My ordeal started in September 2021 when my employer, Dallas-based Baylor Scott & White Health, rolled out its annual training modules for clinical educators. The list included “Overcoming Unconscious Bias.” After viewing the interactive course, I contacted my supervisor and asked for a meeting with the chief nursing officer and the human resources director. The former sent a surrogate; the latter didn’t attend. After two meetings, it was clear that I wouldn’t be given an exemption. My supervisor told me, “I don’t want you to die on this cross.”

But I did. The idea of implicit bias is grounded in the belief that white people treat those who aren’t white worse than those who are. It’s part of the woke assumption that society, including healthcare, suffers from “systemic racism.” Accordingly, my own supposed implicit bias, which is a euphemism for ingrained racism, must be rooted out. Not only that, it must be replaced with preferential treatment for the nonwhite. I fail to see how real racial discrimination is justified by my nonexistent racism.

I knew it was coming, but I was still devastated when I was fired in February. I went from a six-figure job to zero income. The day I was fired I sold my car to make sure I’d have enough money to live on. When I tried to find a new healthcare job, no one would hire me. No doubt if they contacted my old employer, they were told why I was let go.

States are increasingly requiring implicit-bias training as a condition for obtaining medical and nursing licenses. As of July, the Kentucky Board of Nursing requires that all registered nurses take a continuing-education course on implicit bias. In July, as a journalistic exercise, I paid $5 and signed up for the recommended course, created by the Kentucky Nurses Association. Nurses are told that “implicit bias kills,” and that white privilege is a “covert” form of racism. The course walks nurses through their possible contributions to “modern-day lynchings in the workplace.”

In June, Michigan started requiring all professional-license holders to take two hours of implicit-bias training. That’s everyone from doctors and nurses to dentists and counselors. The training must be taken at every license renewal, which sends the message that racism is essentially permanent and incurable. Massachusetts also mandated implicit-bias training for doctors in June, connecting doctors’ supposed racism to lower-quality care for minority patients. Maryland will enact its rule for “all healthcare practitioners” on Oct. 1.

No state board of medicine or nursing provides sufficient evidence to support the claim that all white people are implicitly biased, and there’s plenty of scholarly research that shows that implicit-bias testing is flawed. Policy makers don’t seem to be considering the unintended consequences of these mandates. Accusing my peers and me of racism will contribute to soaring levels of burnout, causing many to leave the medical profession. Some, like me, will surely be forced out. Patients, especially minorities, will experience the most harm. Their caregivers are being told to admit to unconscious racism. Why would you see a physician who supposedly hates you and will hurt your health?

More state mandates are surely on the way, including in red states. Most state medical associations, which exert a powerful influence over policy, have bought in to the belief that their own members are racist. The Texas Nurses Association declares the existence of “racial biases in healthcare” and supports implicit-bias training for nurses. The national Federation of State Medical Boards urges state boards to take a bigger role in addressing the “systemic racism and structural inequities” that it says are “embedded” in American healthcare.

Before I was fired, I wrote the following to the leadership of Baylor Scott & White Health: “Treating patients, coworkers, family members, and my superiors in a fair and respectful manner is the practice I have subscribed to during my entire 39-year nursing career.” The same is true of most of the medical professionals I’ve worked with. No one – not me, my peers or our patients – will be better off if more states call us liars and racists.

September 30, 2022. Tags: , , , , , , . Health care, Racism, Social justice warriors. Leave a comment.

Here’s the latest example of something that was considered perfectly acceptable by most people when we were children. Now it’s considered racist.

https://www.theroot.com/wheel-of-fortune-under-fire-for-televising-racist-puzzl-1849586248

Wheel Of Fortune Under Fire For Televising Racist Puzzle

The outrage comes days after host Pat Sajak was seen in a controversial photo with right wing politicians.

By Candace McDuffie

September 27, 2022

Can y’all buy a – damn clue? The long-running television show Wheel of Fortune has recently come under fire for televising a racist puzzle. “Rhyme Time” was the category it was featured under and the answer turned out to be:“EENIE MEENIE MINY MOE CATCH A TIGER BY THE TOE.”

The dark nursery rhyme has racist origins, where the word ‘tiger’ was swapped out for the N-word. It didn’t take long for Twitter users to call out the disturbing episode and implored Wheel of Fortune to do better, according to The Sun.

This is the latest controversy to follow host Pat Sajak. Earlier this month, a photo came to light of him alongside Right Side Broadcasting Network personality Bryan Glenn and Georgia representative Marjorie Taylor Greene.

The picture was shared on the Twitter account PatriotTakes, which according to its bio consists of “dedicated researchers monitoring and exposing right-wing extremism and other threats to democracy.”

Marjorie Taylor Greene has been covered previously by The Root for her hateful rhetoric and featured in “9 Political Karens Who Spew Nothing But Trash:”

“She was banned from Twitter was banned for a reason. The QAnon Queen has been famous (and not in a good way) for spewing racist, homophobic, transphobic trash online. Her tweets are polluted with spreading COVID-19 misinformation, boasting about participating in the insurrection and accusing trans people of buying up the tampons. She’s been openly and repeatedly racist while simultaneously insisting the party she belongs to is not. Greene been the model conservative, standing hatefully against anything associated with the Left.”

Fans may be shocked by these revelations, but when it comes to politics and certain white celebrities it is par for the course.

September 27, 2022. Tags: , . Racism, Social justice warriors. Leave a comment.

Barack Obama quote in the New York Times: “We know the statistics – that children who grow up without a father are five times more likely to live in poverty and commit crime; nine times more likely to drop out of schools and twenty times more likely to end up in prison.”

“We know that more than half of all black children live in single-parent households, a number that has doubled – doubled – since we were children. We know the statistics – that children who grow up without a father are five times more likely to live in poverty and commit crime; nine times more likely to drop out of schools and twenty times more likely to end up in prison. They are more likely to have behavioral problems, or run away from home, or become teenage parents themselves. And the foundations of our community are weaker because of it.”

– Barack Obama, New York Times

Original source: https://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/15/us/politics/15text-obama.html

Archived version: https://web.archive.org/web/20190218103937/https://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/15/us/politics/15text-obama.html

September 21, 2022. Tags: , , , , , . Barack Obama, Education, Parenting, Racism, Violent crime. 2 comments.

Sahar Tartak in the Wall St. Journal: My High School’s ‘Antiracist’ Agitprop: Teachers tried to bully me into signing a $375 student government check for a group promoting critical race theory. I refused.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/my-schools-antiracist-curriculums-education-teachers-students-open-minded-free-speech-racial-equity-systemic-racism-11663254720

My High School’s ‘Antiracist’ Agitprop: Teachers tried to bully me into signing a $375 student government check for a group promoting critical race theory. I refused.

By Sahar Tartak

September 15, 2020

I was educated in the school district ranked by Niche.com as America’s third-best. Immigrants from around the world come to Great Neck, N.Y., to raise their children. My best friend’s father was at the Tiananmen Square massacre. My classmates left behind their families in El Salvador. My mother escaped revolutionary Iran, and my grandfather escaped the Nazis.

Lately, though, the area’s diverse and liberal-minded residents may have reason to think their local school officials aren’t as open-minded as they thought. In 2021 Great Neck North High School directed the student government to give $375 of student funds to a “racial equity” group to speak to the student body about “systemic racism.” I was the student government’s treasurer, and I felt we didn’t know enough about the organization and its mission to disburse the funds. So I refused to sign the check.

In response, the teachers who advise the student government berated, bullied and insulted me at our next meeting, which took place over Zoom for my parents to overhear. They began by announcing that my social studies teacher would be present. Together, the three adults told me that the principal himself found my stance “appalling.” I had made them and the school “look bad,” they told me. One teacher said the situation gave her “hives.”

When I suggested that students might not need or want a lecture on systemic racism, my social-studies teacher asked whether I’d also oppose a Holocaust survivor’s presentation.

I objected to that comparison, but she cut me off: “If you’re not on board with systemic racism, I have trouble with that, girlfriend.”

When I didn’t back down, she made a bizarre accusation: “The fact that you think slavery is debatable . . .”

I logged off Zoom and started crying. My parents comforted me, and I decided I wasn’t going to sign that check.

That’s when I noticed how illiberal my liberal high school had become. I once expressed disagreement with the narrative of the “1619 Project,” and that same social-studies teacher snapped that I was opposed to hearing other perspectives. I had signed up for her class because it was described as “discussion-based,” but certain discussion seemed forbidden.

Later, a friend showed me a lesson from his English class—a Google Slides presentation urging that students pledge to work “relentlessly” in the “lifelong process” of “antiracism.” According to these slides, America is a place where racism is “no better today than it was 200 years ago.” I disagreed but didn’t mind the debate. Yet this wasn’t about debate: Immigrant children were being told to “pledge” to defend a view many of them don’t hold.

I doubt students could have comfortably objected in class. The lesson pre-empted criticism by imputing to them “white fragility,” which means they “close off self-reflection,” “trivialize the reality of racism,” and “protect a limited worldview.” The adult presenting this accusatory material was a teacher who had the power to grade them and affect their prospects of getting into college.

When parents caught wind of this presentation, their group chats exploded: “I feel like I live under a rock.” “I did not realize the extent of this at all.” “If you too are troubled by this, join us at the upcoming school board meeting.”

I decided to tell the school board about my treatment at the hands of teachers and school officials. I was nervous but I made my case. The response, to my shock, was a standing ovation. I also received many expressions of support from fed-up parents, from teachers who silently abhorred their one-sided “professional development” courses, and from students who had been punished by administrators for questioning the orthodoxy of systemic racism. (One of those students had been sent to the principal’s office for refusing to sign an “antihate” pledge.)

That experience prompted me and a few like-minded others to look into our school’s curriculums. What we found was an arsenal of lopsidedly race-obsessed lesson plans. One was about the American Psychological Association’s “Apology to People of Color” for its role in “Promoting, Perpetuating, and Failing to Challenge Racism.” Another was titled “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack.” My favorite: “A Critical Race Theory Approach to The Great Gatsby.”

The schools in our district had always followed the guidelines of New York state’s comprehensive social-studies curriculum, which included teaching about the pervasiveness and evils of slavery, mistreatment of Native Americans, discrimination against Chinese immigrants and so on. What we discovered was something else—partisanship and race essentialism, mixed in with administrative intimidation and bullying that our officials refused to address.

District officials responded in the way school officials often do when criticized. They ignored us for as long as possible, then delayed taking action for as long as possible, clearly hoping everybody would forget the controversy and move on. They didn’t respond to my father’s freedom-of-information request until the day before a contentious school-board election. The board then promised to further investigate the curriculums, but we never heard anything after that. My school brought in a member of the state Education Department’s Board of Regents, to discuss curriculums, but that resulted in nothing.

I graduated last spring, but no one has moved on. Students and parents across the country are finally asking tough questions about anti-American curriculums. Immigrants like my mother and grandfather found refuge in America because for all its problems, it’s a wonderful place full of generous and open-minded people. The nation’s schools have a duty to teach students that basic truth.

Sahar Tartak is a freshman at Yale and a fellow at the Foundation Against Intolerance and Racism.

September 17, 2022. Tags: , , , , , . Education, Racism, Social justice warriors. Leave a comment.

I wish that Democrats would answer my question: Why are Democrats funding student debt forgiveness with money from innocent taxpayers, instead of with money from the fraudulent colleges that sold worthless degrees?

By Daniel Alman (aka Dan from Squirrel Hill)

September 5, 2022

I’m against student debt forgiveness.

But since it is happening, I have one question:

Why are Democrats funding student debt forgiveness with money from innocent taxpayers, instead of with money from the fraudulent colleges that sold worthless degrees?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, between 1980 and 2020, regular inflation has caused average prices to increase by 228%.

However, during that same time period, college tuition has increased by 1,184%.

Source: https://www.reddit.com/r/dataisbeautiful/comments/hni7zy/us_college_tuition_fees_vs_overall_inflation_oc/

college tuition inflation

The student debt bailout is paying for hot tubs, spas, rock climbing walls, steaks, and movie theaters.

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/caranewlon/2014/07/31/the-college-amenities-arms-race/

Another area where colleges waste money is in the worthless policy known as “diversity, equity, and inclusion.”

The Federalist wrote:

“Some universities had strikingly large numbers of people with DEI responsibilities in their job titles. At the University of Michigan, for example, 163 people have formal responsibility for providing DEI programming and services. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has more than 13 times as many people devoted to promoting DEI as providing services to people with disabilities. Georgia Tech has 3.2 times as many DEI staff as it does history professors. The University of Virginia boasts 6.5 DEI staff for every 100 professors.”

The Center Square wrote:

“UC Berkeley employs 150 professionals and 250 additional students dedicated to addressing “systemic inequities,” according to a document obtained this week by The College Fix. The public research institution’s Division of Equity and Inclusion spends $25 million annually to support the 400 full and part-time staff to run diversity and inclusion-related programs, according to the document, an eight-page job description for a new Vice Chancellor for Equity and Inclusion.”

So the real problem isn’t a lack of bailout money.

The real problem is that colleges are spending money on frivolous luxuries that have nothing to do with education, such as hot tubs, spas, rock climbing walls, steaks, and movie theaters, as well as on left wing brainwashing known as “diversity, equity, and inclusion,” with its overbloated budgets to pay huge numbers of employees who job duties have nothing to do with education.

Bailing out student loans doesn’t address these huge wastes of money.

On the contrary.

The bailout only gives colleges an incentive to raise their tuition even more.

I wish that Democrats would answer my question: Why are Democrats funding student debt forgiveness with money from innocent taxpayers, instead of with money from the fraudulent colleges that sold worthless degrees?

September 5, 2022. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Dumbing down, Economics, Education, Equity, Government waste, Racism, Social justice warriors. Leave a comment.

You Can’t Make This Up: Terrence Williams Put His Own Picture on the Box of his Pancake Mix — Facebook Labeled it as ‘Racist’

https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2022/09/cant-make-terrence-williams-put-picture-box-pancake-mix-facebook-labeled-racist/

You Can’t Make This Up: Terrence Williams Put His Own Picture on the Box of his Pancake Mix — Facebook Labeled it as ‘Racist’

By Jim Hoft

September 5, 2022

pancakes

We live in an upside-down world.

According to actor and comedian Terrence K. Williams, Facebook is now flagging accounts for buying and sharing pictures of his Pancake Mix, Cousin T’s.

“So according to Facebook, my Pancakes are racist!” Williams wrote on his Instagram Sunday.

“I’m on a 90-day restriction and now they are also flagging accounts for buying or sharing pictures of my Pancake Mix. This is absolutely crazy and it has everything to do with me being MAGA! I won’t apologize for it. Anyways go load up on some “racist” Pancakes,” he added.

Last month, Facebook restricted the comedian’s account for at least 90 days.

Williams shared the absurd information with his fans in a Facebook live session.

“I’m not happy right now. Facebook is threatening to delete my account in 90 days! If I don’t behave. Why are they coming for me? All I do is make people laugh and sell pancakes,” Williams explained.

“All I do is make people laugh, is behaving. Does that mean being nice to Joe Biden? Does that mean being nice to Kamala Harris? They want me to behave. Then they said the independent fact checker said that all I do is post fake news. I tell jokes. How are you gonna fact-check a joke?” he quipped.

“So my face being on a pancake box is also racist. People’s accounts have been deemed for posting pictures of my pancake box. Now my account is about to be deleted in 90 days if I don’t behave like Facebook wants me to.”

“Hell no. I won’t stop selling pancakes, and I’m not taking my face off… Look at that racist black face. The hell is this racist? How am I racist to put my own face on the box? If I was a liberal, they would have me on every TV,” he added.

“This is harassment Facebook dinged My Pancake Box as racist because my face is on it. I won’t remove it. I added new flavors. Buckwheat, Chocolate Chip, & Blueberry is back in stock!” Williams wrote in the caption of his live video.

It can be recalled Quaker Oats announced last 2020 that Aunt Jemima, its 131-year-old syrup, would be renamed and rebranded  amid outrage that the syrup is based on a “racial stereotype.”

“We recognize Aunt Jemima’s origins are based on a racial stereotype. While work has been done over the years to update the brand in a manner intended to be appropriate and respectful, we realize those changes are not enough,” Kristin Kroepfl, vice president and chief marketing officer of Quaker Foods North America, said in a press release.

Last 2021, Mars Food changed the name Uncle Ben to Ben’s Original in light of BLM protests after the death of George Floyd.

“It comes after frequent accusations of racism against Uncle Ben’s logo – an illustration of a black rice farmer – and name. In plantation-era US, white people in the southern states would often refer to a black man as ‘uncle’ to avoid using the more respectful ‘mister,’ Grocer reported.

September 5, 2022. Tags: , , , , . Media bias, Racism, Social justice warriors. Leave a comment.

Is Joe Biden A Racist?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lew50oNV6dM

August 22, 2022. Tags: , . Joe Biden, Racism. Leave a comment.

Lauren Chen: The Left Hates Asians (The Affirmative Action Debate)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VkRB-X0vWlU

August 20, 2022. Tags: , , , , , , , . Dumbing down, Education, Racism, Social justice warriors, Violent crime. Leave a comment.

Los Angeles public schools training teachers that ‘merit,’ ‘individualism’ rooted in ‘whiteness’

https://www.yahoo.com/news/los-angeles-public-schools-training-161055638.html

Los Angeles public schools training teachers that ‘merit,’ ‘individualism’ rooted in ‘whiteness’

By Jessica Chasmar

July 5, 2022

The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) is training teachers and staff that “merit” and “individualism” are concepts rooted in “whiteness” that must be challenged in schools.

LAUSD required all employees to undergo “implicit/unconscious bias training” guided by Tyrone Howard, a critical race theory (CRT) advocate and professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, prior to the 2021-2022 school year.

The training materials, which were obtained by Fox News Digital through a California Public Records Act (PRA) request, instructed educators to work toward being “antiracist” by challenging whiteness at school, which Howard argued exists in the concepts of “merit” and “individualism.”

“This idea that white is the standard, white is the norm, white is our default has to be challenged,” Howard said in the training video.

Merit, or meritocracy, “assumes that each person operates and achieves based on his or her own personal capacity,” the training handout reads. “It incorporates the notion that the work put forth, the effort invested, explains why some groups and individuals do well and others do not. It does not consider historical factors or account for opportunities, advantages, and privileges to which some groups have access both historically and in the present.”

“The idea of meritocracy,” Howard said in the video, “I think we have to challenge that because we have to recognize that some groups have had much more opportunities, some groups have had far more advantages, and some groups have certain types of privileges that other groups have not had.”

Meanwhile, individualism, according to the training handout, “proposes that each person is responsible for his or her outcomes. It is very much tied to merit, wherein group responsibility and accountability are not goals. Personal success and achievement are the goals. This belief operates from a survival-of-the-fittest approach that stresses singular pursuit and accomplishment.”

Howard argued in the video that “the notion of individualism runs counter” to many LAUSD students’ “own cultural norms, which say ‘it’s not about me, it’s about we.’”

The training handout included a section about dismantling the “myth of meritocracy” that included examples of “microaggressions,” including the statement, “Everyone can succeed in the society if they work hard enough,” and “men and women have equal opportunities for achievement.” The training then offered an intervention example for dealing with the microaggressor, such as, “So you feel that everyone can succeed in the society if they work hard enough. Can you give me some examples?”

LAUSD employees who underwent the training were also required to “identify the specific ways the constructs of privilege, whiteness, merit and individualism may be present in your setting” and “determine the immediate changes you will personally make, small or large, to promote increased racial and cultural sensitivity, inclusiveness and awareness in your work.”

LAUSD mandated the training last May, saying in a memo that its goal was to create inclusive schools and to eliminate bias in the classroom.

July 9, 2022. Tags: , , , , , , , . Dumbing down, Education, Racism, Social justice warriors, War against achievement. Leave a comment.

Under Obamacare, black women “have insurmountable challenges just getting health care in this country”

By Daniel Alman (aka Dan from Squirrel Hill)

July 4, 2022

Under Obamacare, black women “have insurmountable challenges just getting health care in this country.”

And you don’t have to take my word for that.

NBC News just reported: (the bolding is mine)

Black women are underserved when it comes to birth control access. The Roe decision could make that worse.

Discrimination, stigma and systemic barriers in the health care system have already led to a gap in contraceptive access for Black women.

The Supreme Court’s ruling to gut nationwide rights to abortion last week has highlighted the importance of access to birth control, which already proves difficult for many women of color due to discrimination, stigma and systemic barriers in the health care system. 

While the decision does not directly impact access to contraception, legal experts say that states and municipalities that are aiming to ban abortion at the point of conception may also challenge contraceptives like Plan B and intrauterine devices. Some state legislators have already taken steps to try to restrict birth control. In Tennessee, U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn, a Republican, earlier this year called Griswold v. Connecticut, the 1965 case that ensured birth control access to individuals who were married, “constitutionally unsound.” (A spokesperson for Blackburn told The Washington Post in June that she “does not support banning birth control, nor did she call for a ban.”)

The hardest burden is going to largely fall on Black women who already have insurmountable challenges just getting health care in this country,” Jennifer Driver, senior director of reproductive rights for the State Innovation Exchange, a national resource and strategy center, said about the impact of the decision. “And now it’s going to be even harder.”

So there you have it. NBC quoted a health care expert as saying that, “Black women who already have insurmountable challenges just getting health care in this country.”

Obamacare has been in effect since 2014.

What percentage of black women voted for Obama? Well, the Washington Post reported:

“… black women have been Obama’s most loyal supporters at the ballot box. They accounted for 60 percent of all black voters in 2008 and supported Obama to the tune of 96 percent. In 2012, 98 percent of black women under 30 voted for Obama, compared to 80 percent of young black men.”

So 96% of black women voted for Obama in his first election.

And 98% of black women under 30 voted for Obama in his second election.

Liberals refer to this as “diversity.”

But I don’t see any “diversity” there.

Instead, all I see is conformity.

Anyway, the fact that under Obamacare, black women “have insurmountable challenges just getting health care in this country,” is a direct result of the fact that elections have consequences.

The vast majority of black women voted for the President who gave them Obamacare.

So the fact that these same black women “have insurmountable challenges just getting health care in this country” is a direct result of their own voting choices.

July 4, 2022. Tags: , , , , , , , . Abortion, Barack Obama, Health care, Racism, SCOTUS, Sexism. Leave a comment.

Harassing people at the library is a “protest” when it’s done by idiots on the left, but a “hate crime” when it’s done by idiots on the right

This video was filmed in 2015 at a library at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire. Dartmouth is an Ive League college which will be charging $60,687 in tuition (plus an additional $1,971 in “fees,” $10,881 for housing, and $7,218 for food) for the 2022-2023 school year.

$7,218 for one year’s worth of food? When I went to college, I had peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch. Maybe instead of forgiving student debt, we should stop colleges from price gouging.

Anyway, the left wing people in this video are described as “protestors.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a5WhrFh1Wx8

Meanwhile, in 2022, at San Lorenzo Library in Alameda County, California, some right wing people decided to harass people. But their actions were described as a “hate crime.”

This news video includes video footage of the incident:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0e_3vlKUfc

I think both of these incidents were totally inappropriate.

What I don’t agree with is that it’s OK to call one a “protest” while calling the other one a “hate crime.”

We should hold the left and the right to the same standards.

Harassing people in the library is always wrong, regardless of the political affiliation of the harassers.

June 13, 2022. Tags: , , , , , , , . Black lives matter, LGBT, Proud Boys, Racism, Social justice warriors. Leave a comment.

University drops sonnets because they are ‘products of white western culture’

https://www.thecollegefix.com/university-drops-sonnets-because-they-are-products-of-white-western-culture/

University drops sonnets because they are ‘products of white western culture’

By Margaret Kelly

May 18, 2022

The form has appealed to major poets for five centuries

The University of Salford, a public university in Greater Manchester, England, removed sonnets and other “pre-established literary forms” from a creative writing course assessment, The Telegraph reported.

Course leaders of a creative writing module titled “Writing Poetry in the Twenty-First Century,” removed an exam section that required students to write the traditional forms, including sestinas and sonnets, according to the newspaper.

The sonnet, a poetic form that likely originated in Italy in the 13th century, has been taken up by writers such as Petrarch, Shakespeare and John Donne, according to Britannica.

“The sonnet is unique among poetic forms in Western literature in that it has retained its appeal for major poets for five centuries,” the encyclopedia stated.

A University of Salford slideshow shared with staff stated that teachers have “simplified the assessment offering choice to write thematically rather than to fit into pre-established literary forms…which tend to the products of white western culture,” according to documents cited by The Telegraph.

The slideshow affirmed the change as an example of best practice in “decolonising the curriculum.” The Telegraph defined “decolonising” as “a term used to describe refocusing curricula away from historically dominant Western material and viewpoints.”

Instead, the course will incorporate “inclusive criteria” that better “reflect and cater for a diverse society,” according to internal training materials review by The Telegraph. The materials also showed that the courses could be upgraded by utilizing “a choice of assessment methods” allowing students to be tested “in a way that suits them.”

British historian: assuming sonnets alienate non-white students is ‘hugely patronising’

The Telegraph quoted Oxford-trained historian Zareer Masani’s statement that the course overhaul was “outrageous.”

“It is hugely patronising to assume non-White students would be put off by Western poetic forms,” he said. “Poetic forms vary widely across the world, but good poetry is universal.”

Scott Thurston, leader of the creative writing program at Salford, said the course was “often updated to take account of new trends and development in contemporary writing,” according to The Telegraph.

Thurston said that teachers would still instruct creative writing students in traditional forms in their first year and give them exercises in writing them. However, the curriculum would also include creative experimentation with students’ “own forms.”

May 20, 2022. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Books, Cancel culture, Dumbing down, Education, Racism, Social justice warriors, War against achievement. Leave a comment.

Judge rules against school that had lowered its admissions standards in order to admit more black students

https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:Bcgl11-9bNcJ:https://www.washingtonpost.com/education/2022/02/25/judge-thomas-jefferson-high-admissions/+&cd=12&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

Judge calls Thomas Jefferson High admissions changes illegal

The prestigious Fairfax school ‘disproportionately deprived’ Asian Americans of a level playing field, according to the ruling

By Hannah Natanson

February 25, 2022

A federal judge ruled Friday that a new admissions system for Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, a prestigious magnet program in Fairfax, discriminates against Asian American applicants and must end.

U.S. District Judge Claude Hilton concluded that an effort to boost African American and Latino representation at TJ, as the school is known, constitutes an illegal act of “racial balancing.” He added that the school board’s alterations to the admissions process — including eliminating a notoriously difficult test and a $100 application fee, and choosing instead to evaluate students on “experience factors” such as socioeconomic background — took place in a rushed, sloppy and opaque manner.

Hilton wrote that “emails and text messages between Board members and high-ranking FCPS officials leave no material dispute that, at least in part, the purpose of the Board’s admissions overhaul was to change the racial makeup to TJ to the detriment of Asian-Americans.”

“The proper remedy for a legal provision enacted with discriminatory intent is invalidation,” Hilton wrote, before issuing a stark order: “Defendant Fairfax County School Board is enjoined from further use or enforcement of” its revised admissions system.

An attorney for Fairfax County Public Schools, John Foster, said Friday that he believes “the ruling is not supported by law.” He said Fairfax “will consider asking a federal appeals court to review the decision.”

Foster said officials were studying what the ruling will mean for how the school conducts admissions for the next cycle of TJ applicants, those destined for the Class of 2026.

The plaintiff, the Coalition for TJ — a group of TJ parents, students and alumni that formed to oppose the admissions changes — celebrated Friday afternoon. Asra Nomani, who is co-founder of the coalition and parent to a TJ student who graduated in 2021, said in a statement that Hinton’s ruling is thrilling.

“Today’s decision is a victory for all students, all families and the United States of America,” she said. “It is victory for equality under the law, merit education and the American Dream.”

The case, filed in March of last year by the Coalition for TJ, was supposed to go to trial Jan. 24. But Hilton chose to issue a ruling and avoid a trial because, he said, no facts were in dispute.

The Fairfax school board voted to revise admissions at Thomas Jefferson in 2020, a move meant to boost diversity at the school, which has long enrolled single-digit percentages of Black and Hispanic students.

The new admissions system is a “holistic review” process that, in part, judges students on four “experience factors”: their income status, their English-speaking ability, whether the applicant has a disability and whether the applicant comes from a historically underrepresented high school.

In 2021, the first year the admissions changes took effect, officials at TJ enrolled the most diverse class in recent memory. The TJ Class of 2025 includes far more Black, Hispanic and low-income students than any class in recent memory. But Asian American representation dropped from roughly 70 percent to around 50 percent of the class.

The changes were controversial from the start; they inspired two swift lawsuits. In November 2020, a group of parents sued to stop the revisions, arguing that they violated a Virginia law. That suit, filed in Fairfax County Circuit Court, is ongoing.

In March 2021, members of the Coalition for TJ — some of whom were also plaintiffs in the November lawsuit — sued in federal court over the admissions changes. They are being represented pro bono by the Pacific Legal Foundation, a California-based conservative legal group that opposes affirmative action.

The coalition claimed that the TJ admissions changes were specifically designed to drive down the number of Asian American students. As proof, the lawsuit cited presentations, documents and comments given or made by the superintendent and school board in the months leading up to the admissions changes.

Fairfax officials denied every allegation. Foster repeated those denials Friday: “The new process is blind to race, gender and national origin and gives the most talented students from every middle school a seat at TJ,” he said. “We believe that a trial would have shown that the new process meets all legal requirements.”

But in his 31-page ruling Friday, Hilton, a Ronald Reagan appointee, sided with the Coalition for TJ on almost every count.

He wrote that throughout the revision process, Fairfax school board members and the superintendent made clear that their goal was “to have TJ reflect the demographics of the surrounding area, described primarily in racial terms.” Hilton wrote that this aim amounts to “racial balancing for its own sake,” and as such is “patently unconstitutional.”

He pointed to text messages and emails exchanged between school board members and some of the highest-ranking school officials in the Fairfax district. These communications, he wrote, prove that the school system’s goal was always to decrease the percentage of Asian American students enrolled at TJ — to increase the number of Black and Hispanic students.

“The discussion of TJ admissions was infected with talk of racial balancing from its inception,” Hilton wrote.

What’s more, Hilton said, Fairfax’s use of racial data and attempt to consider the racial composition of TJ’s student body demonstrates “discriminatory intent.”

“Discriminatory intent does not require racial animus,” he wrote. “What matters it that the Board acted at least in part because of, not merely in spite of, the policy’s adverse effects upon an identifiable group … The Board’s policy was designed to increase Black and Hispanic enrollment, which would, by necessity, decrease the representation of Asian-Americans at TJ.”

He also criticized the revisions process more broadly, writing that the changes were rushed and that the decision-making process lacked transparency. School officials, he charged, did not properly engage the public.

He concluded by noting that Asian American students have been “disproportionately deprived of a level playing field” in competing for a spot at TJ.

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R), who said during his campaign last year that he would work to undo the new admission system, tweeted Friday evening to praise Hinton’s ruling. He posted that “today’s decision reaffirms that TJ’s admissions should be based on merit.”

But another school advocacy group — the TJ Alumni Action Group, which supports the admissions changes — criticized Hilton’s ruling Friday. In a statement, the group said “this decision will make TJ less accessible once again for underrepresented students, including Asian American students who are low-income or English Language Learners.”

April 21, 2022. Tags: , , , , , . Dumbing down, Education, Racism, Social justice warriors, War against achievement. Leave a comment.

San Diego’s largest high school eliminates advanced English, advanced history, and advanced biology, and says it’s because of “equity”

https://web.archive.org/web/20220410124259/https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/education/story/2022-04-10/san-diegos-largest-high-school-quietly-eliminated-several-honors-courses-parents-are-outraged

San Diego’s largest high school quietly eliminated several honors courses.

Parents are outraged.

Principal wanted to eliminate stigma of non-honors courses, but parents say their kids need the courses for a competitive edge.

By Kristen Taketa

April 10, 2022

SAN DIEGO — Pamela Broudy was set on enrolling her eighth-grade daughter at Patrick Henry High School this fall. Her older son, a junior, is already enrolled there, and the school has done well for him — he’s enrolled in five AP classes and he has been in the school’s gifted program.

Then Broudy learned last month that the high school’s principal had quietly eliminated several advanced courses from the school’s catalog, including advanced English, advanced history and advanced biology, according to the school’s course listings.

If the principal doesn’t bring them back, Broudy said, she will enroll her daughter at a private school instead.

“My daughter’s coming from a private school who didn’t have learning loss (during the pandemic), and now she’s going to be bored to tears,” she said.

Broudy is one of many parents who are up in arms after they found out Patrick Henry High School’s principal, Michelle Irwin, has been cutting several honors, advanced and gifted education courses without their knowledge or input.

Irwin cut the courses for equity reasons, according to an email she wrote to parents. She told parents she wanted to move away from “stratifying” classes and remove the stigma from non-honors courses. She has also cited racial disparities in honors course enrollment — a problem that is mirrored nationwide.

But parents question whether cutting honors courses is the right solution.

The controversy has rattled Patrick Henry, a racially diverse school in the middle-class neighborhood of San Carlos that is also San Diego’s largest high school, with more than 2,500 students.

Parents emailed complaints to the principal, San Diego Unified School District leaders, journalists and school board members. They created a Facebook group that now has 300 members to exchange information. Some parents, like Broudy, said they are planning to leave Patrick Henry for a charter or private school, which parents say may cause a “brain drain” of high-achieving students from the campus.

“Parents who have the means to send their kids to another school are going to do so … because they’re losing faith that their kids will be prepared to be successful,” said Happy Feliz Aston, a parent of a fourth- and sixth-grader in the Patrick Henry High School cluster.

Parents are concerned that the course cuts will hurt their children‘s chances of getting into their preferred colleges. Honors courses boost grade point averages with a weighted credit, and college admissions officers consider how many advanced courses a student has taken.

“Unilateral decisions to eliminate these classes unfairly disadvantage the students at Patrick Henry because their competition around the nation, not just in California, is having these classes,” said Lauren Hotz, a parent of two Patrick Henry sophomores.

Irwin and district officials argued that the advanced and regular classes share a curriculum and are essentially the same, so district officials said it was disingenuous to have one class labeled “advanced” and another labeled “regular.”

While advanced classes may cover the same material as regular classes, advanced courses typically go at a faster pace and often cover more material or go more in-depth into the content.

Irwin didn’t ax all of Patrick Henry’s advanced courses. There are still honors and advanced math and science classes, according to the school’s course catalog. The high school also offers more than 20 Advanced Placement classes, plus several dual-enrollment community college classes, all of which offer weighted GPA credit.

But parents argue it’s still important for the school to offer a range of honors courses because they provide a less-overwhelming alternative to AP classes and still give students weighted GPA credit. They say honors courses are also a stepping stone that can prepare ninth and 10th graders for the rigors of AP and college classes.

And some of the advanced courses that were eliminated are prerequisites for AP classes, parents noted.

Some parents argue that it’s not equitable to cut the courses when students at other San Diego high schools, like La Jolla and Crawford, still have access to them.

“If this is about equity, then it seems to fly the face of that argument because your zip code shouldn’t determine your access to classes, and in this case it appears to do so,” Aston said.

San Diego Unified School Board Trustee Richard Barrera said that in the district’s efforts to address inequities, the district is not taking anything away from students — it’s not watering down curriculum, it’s not lowering standards and it’s not taking away chances for students to earn weighted GPA credit, he said.

“We believe in expanding access to opportunities for all of our students, and when we expand access … that doesn’t mean that we’re taking anything away from students who have already had access to those opportunities,” Barrera said.

“I understand parents are worried about that, and when they hear we’re making a change from … decades of existing stratification, and if your students are part of the higher stratification … of course you’re gonna be concerned about that. But that’s not what we’re doing.”

A problem of representation

Experts have long known that honors, gifted, Advanced Placement and other selective academic programs enroll disproportionately lower numbers of students of color.

Latino students made up 54 percent of California’s public school students in 2017 but they represented only 43 percent of students who were enrolled in at least one AP course, according to the U.S. Civil Rights Data Collection. Black students made up 6 percent of the state’s enrollment but just 4 percent of students who were enrolled in at least one AP course.

A similar trend is happening at Patrick Henry, according to limited data presented by Irwin at a school council meeting earlier this year. White and Vietnamese students made up a disproportionately higher percentage of enrollment in Honors American Literature and Honors U.S. History, while Latino students were disproportionately lower, according to Irwin’s data.

The underrepresentation is a problem because enrollment in advanced courses is associated with a host of academic benefits, such as better attendance, fewer suspensions and higher graduation rates. Participation and success in honors and AP courses are also key factors considered in college admissions.

Experts say the disparity in enrollment is not because Black and Latino students are less capable, but because educators often enforce prerequisites, such as a teacher’s recommendation, for honors courses that end up shutting out students of color due to bias.

“A lot of times it happens … because of the implicit or explicit biases of the adults who are making decisions about either who to enroll in these courses or who to encourage to enroll in these courses,” said Allison Socol, assistant director of P-12 policy at Education Trust, a nonprofit that focuses on education equity.

San Diego Unified leaders have not recently announced any system-wide policy changes on honors and advanced classes. But in recent years they have taken other steps that move away from the classification of students.

For example, the district has cut classes specifically for gifted students, and enrollment in the district’s gifted programs has shrunk over time. And the district rolled out a new math initiative called “enhanced math,” which is meant to make general math instruction more rigorous for all students without using an “honors” or “accelerated” label.

District officials said they are wary of labels such as “honors” and “advanced” that could be excluding students of color.

“Now whether … it’s labeled in a certain way, that’s a question of, is that label getting in the way of expanding opportunities of access to more students?” Barrera said.

But some parents said it seems like the district is cutting programs that cater to students’ different needs, and is instead trying to put all students of different learning styles in the same classroom.

San Diego Unified officials said the district expects all of its educators to differentiate their teaching to cater to all students’ needs within the same class. But some parents said it’s unrealistic for all teachers to do that.

“If you put everybody in the same class, your distribution of needs of the students is going to be wider and one teacher is going to have to address those needs — which they can’t,” Hotz said.

Expanding access

Patrick Henry parents suggested other ways to address inequities in course enrollment besides cutting classes.

Hotz said she wants to see the school invest more in counseling and tutoring, while Aston suggested that Patrick Henry enroll more students in AVID, a program that helps underrepresented students hone study skills and prepare for college.

“How about we up the actual representation in those classes, and give students options?” Hotz said. “Killing the classes … it’s actually a disadvantage to the entire population.”

Education Trust recommends expanding eligibility to advanced courses, adding advanced courses to schools that serve the most Latino and Black students, and providing more support to prepare students for advanced courses.

“In general, what we want to see is more access to rigorous, engaging, culturally relevant courses that prepare students for college and meaningful careers,” Socol said.

April 19, 2022. Tags: , , , , , , , . Dumbing down, Education, Equity, Racism, Social justice warriors, War against achievement. Leave a comment.

Fake hate crime at C.K. McClatchy High School in Sacramento

https://www.sacbee.com/news/local/article258524378.html

Student admits to racist graffiti at Sacramento school: ‘A prank that went sideways’

By Rosalio Ahumada and Nathaniel Levine

February 18, 2022

Investigators have identified a Black student is responsible for racist graffiti found over a water fountain at C.K. McClatchy High School with a message that alluded to segregation, community leaders announced Thursday.

Mark Harris, a community liaison with Sacramento City Unified School District, said the student confessed to writing “colored” on one side of the dual water fountain and “white” on the other side. He said he saw video that showed the student writing the graffiti that corroborates her confession.

“I’ve been practicing law for 40 years, people typically don’t confess to things they didn’t do, unless they’re under duress or coercion. And nobody has claimed that; not her, not her family,” Harris told reporters Thursday afternoon during a news conference outside McClatchy High. “There is video corroborating her confession.”

Harris, an attorney with an expertise in social justice and civil rights matters in Sacramento, was appointed last month to help the school district address racism and improve on equity, social justice and civil rights. He said Thursday that it shouldn’t matter whether the student responsible was Black or any other ethnicity.

“It was a prank that went sideways is my characterization of what the young woman said in her confession,” Harris said while standing along side Black community leaders. “It should be a moment for our community to come together and make sure this doesn’t destroy this person’s life.”

A photo of the graffiti was taken last week and circulated on social media. Soon after, the school district announced plans to investigate the graffiti with the Sacramento Police Department.

“We don’t know why she did it,” said Harris. “This is not a situation that is the same as an overt deliberate move to do something that is racist, destructive, negative, etc.”

School district announcement

In a news release issued Thursday, district officials said the student will face “appropriate disciplinary action.”

“Sac City Unified takes any instance of racial intolerance extremely seriously because such acts harm our students and our entire community,” Superintendent Jorge Aguilar said in the news release. “While identification of the person involved in this incident has been addressed, we also will remain focused on supporting the healing of students and staff who have been impacted by this troubling act of vandalism.”

Betty Williams, president of the Greater Sacramento NAACP, said she’s troubled the investigation at McClatchy High came to a conclusion a week later, while the investigation into racist graffiti at West Campus High School continues to linger months later unsolved.

“Why is it when you find something like this we find the Black students quicker than we find the white students,” Williams said. “I want you to put that same energy into West Campus. I want you to put that same energy into every school district that’s dealing with these issues. It’s a problem. We have racism that’s rooted in this school district.”

West Campus High incident

West Campus Principal John McMeekin has said that the racially derogatory vandalism was directed at Assistant Principal Elysse Versher, who told The Sacramento Bee she found a racial slur written five times on a wall near her assigned parking spot on campus on Nov. 6.

In mid-December, the Sacramento Police Department announced that investigators reviewed “several hours” of security camera video and spotted three people who detectives are seeking to “identify and interview” regarding the West Campus High incident.

This week, the district announced racist graffiti was discovered at Abraham Lincoln Elementary School. The school district pledged to “fully investigate” the racist vandalism and is consulting with the Rancho Cordova Police Department on what to do next there.

Williams said she wants more transparency from the district as it conducts these racist incident investigations, and she wants community groups and students to be involved in coming up with solutions.

Berry Accius, founder of the Sacramento community activist group Voice of the Youth, said there should be consequences for writing the graffiti at McClatchy High, calling it an “ignorant” act. But he said the school district should not lose sight of the problems with racism and privilege at McClatchy High.

Accius pointed to the West Campus incident as well as a Kit Carson International Academy teacher who used a racial slur in front of her students. Last month, officials announced the district had fired the seventh-grade teacher for her conduct.

“Because of the racism here in this school, the microaggressions here in this school, makes me feel like I do not belong. This is a problem; not only with the school but the district,” Accius said. “And this is why we’ve been loud.”

April 3, 2022. Tags: , , , , . Fake hate crimes, Racism, Social justice warriors. Leave a comment.

Fake hate crime at Rosemont High School in Sacramento

https://sacramento.cbslocal.com/2022/03/29/graffiti-rosemont-high-african-american-girls/

Two Girls Accused Of Writing Racist Graffiti On Wall At Rosemont High School

March 29, 2022

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office has identified two students, who, they say, are responsible for writing racist graffiti on a wall at Rosemont High School.

The incident happened on March 22 near the end of the school day. The graffiti read: “All n******* should die.”

It was referred to detectives who worked closely with the school district and administrators, the sheriff’s office said Tuesday. Rosemont High School administrators say they obtained video surveillance footage showing two African-American female juveniles clearly writing the graffiti on the wall.

From the video, school officials and sheriff’s office detectives learned the identities of both students. The sheriff’s office says it will consult with the Juvenile Division of the District Attorney’s Office if criminal charges are warranted.

When the graffiti was first found, Sacramento Unified School Dist. Superintendent Jorge A. Aguilar said,

“As a community, we need to loudly condemn this hateful act. Racist incidents will not be tolerated in our schools. We will work to provide the support needed for our students and staff experiencing trauma from this incident as soon as possible.”

Several similar incidents have happened at district schools over the last few months.

In February, a Black student wrote the words “White” and “Colored” on water fountains at McClatchy High School.

A few days before that, hateful graffiti featuring the n-word, “KKK” and swastikas were found on multiple buildings at Abraham Lincoln Elementary in Rancho Cordova.

Rosemont High School 1

Rosemont High School 2

April 3, 2022. Tags: , , , , . Fake hate crimes, Racism, Social justice warriors. Leave a comment.

VMI will change honor system that expels Black cadets at disproportionate rates

https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:w2r3GFRr3jwJ:https://www.washingtonpost.com/education/2022/02/05/vmi-honor-court-reforms/+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

VMI will change honor system that expels Black cadets at disproportionate rates

By Ian Shapira

February 5, 2022

Virginia Military Institute will make changes to its student-run honor court to make the system fairer to cadets accused of lying, cheating, stealing or other transgressions that can lead to expulsion.

VMI detailed the reforms in a progress report Friday in response to a state-ordered investigation into racism and sexism at the nation’s oldest state-supported military college.

The 70-page report, which the college gave to General Assembly members and the Virginia secretary of education, describes initiatives approved, enacted or begun last year, including mandatory diversity, equity, and inclusion training for administrators and members of VMI’s Board of Visitors, and changes to the Lexington school’s one-strike-and-you’re-out honor court system.

Black students at VMI were expelled by the honor court at a disproportionately high rate, according to data obtained by The Washington Post for the three academic years between the fall of 2017 and the spring of 2020. Though Black cadets made up about 6 percent of the student body, they represented about 43 percent of those expelled for honor code violations. Twelve out of the 28 VMI students dismissed in those three academic years were Black. When students of color were included in the count, the number of expelled rose to 15, or about 54 percent of the total, even though minorities made up about 21 percent of the student population in that three-year period.

Barnes & Thornburg, the law firm hired by the state to investigate racism and sexism at VMI, recommended in its final report that the college “consider changing” its policy of allowing convictions without unanimous verdicts by student juries.

But VMI, which received $21.6 million in state funding for the 2021-2022 academic year, reported Friday that it will keep allowing student prosecutors to win cases with non-unanimous verdicts. The school did make one major concession: The student juries will expand in size and guilty verdicts will require nine out of 11 jury votes instead of five of seven votes.

The move, the college said in its progress report, “increases the Court’s burden of proof and further reduces the potential (real or perceived) of forcing a guilty verdict based on insufficient or circumstantial evidence.”

Another key honor system change will allow cadets to use pro bono attorneys during their trials. VMI used to allow lawyers to represent cadets during the proceedings, but stopped about a decade ago because of complaints that the professional litigators prosecuted the system itself and that only affluent students could afford them.

Now, VMI will draw up a list of pro bono lawyers willing to work with cadet defendants and their “defense advocates” — typically VMI faculty or staff members — before and during trials. But the attorneys will be allowed only to observe and consult their client or their defense advocate during the hearing, not argue the case themselves.

The college also said it will begin retaining “key demographic data” to “monitor the fairness of the system.” VMI’s chief diversity officer, Jamica Love, the report said, will help “facilitate annual reviews” of the honor system.

All of the new honor court changes will go into effect in August 2022, at the beginning of the next academic year.

Though there has been intense resistance from some alumni, students and parents to VMI’s cultural makeover, the progress report chronicled the college’s efforts to “temper” its links to the Confederacy.

The 182-year-old school sent many of its cadet to fight for the South during the Civil War. More than 250 cadets fought at the Battle of New Market in May 1864, and 10 were killed in battle or died later from wounds. Confederate Gen. Stonewall Jackson taught physics at VMI before the Civil War.

The reported noted the school’s decisions to remove many of the tributes to Jackson, including his 108-year-old statue that stood at the campus’s center, plus his name that was emblazoned on the student barracks.

But VMI is still deciding whether to preserve many more Confederate tributes, including an award and another monument partially named after and honoring Jackson, and a bronze statue of its first superintendent, Francis H. Smith, who enslaved nine people and served as the commander at abolitionist John Brown’s execution in December 1859.

The progress report noted that VMI’s new commandant, retired Col. Adrian Bogart III, has instituted an “open-door” policy on Fridays that the school hopes will encourage students of color “to discuss participation in any activity that has the potential to stir cultural or other demographic sensitivities.”

The school also detailed numerous trainings for cadets meant to crack down on racist jokes, slurs, misogyny and sexual violence.

VMI’s chief diversity officer, Love, has also begun training freshmen on “inclusive excellence” and will educate the remaining students later this academic year.

According to a survey the college conducted on the sessions, three-quarters of the freshmen were “mostly or completely satisfied” with the program; 88 percent found that it helped “connect them with their peers;” and 94 percent said the activities “helped initiate dialogue about inclusivity.”

Much of the racism and sexism at VMI is also found online, especially via the social media app Jodel, where cadets anonymously denigrate one another day-in, day-out. The report said the school’s communications and marketing team monitors Jodel’s traffic and said that “there has been a noticeable decrease” in inflammatory posts on the app and an uptick in “corrective or regulating” posts when provocative comments surface.

“Both the Superintendent and the Commandant have clearly and publicly – on numerous occasions and in various venues – expressed to the Corps of Cadets and the greater VMI community what is and is not acceptable behavior,” the report said. “These incontrovertible statements by VMI leadership establish straightforward expectations for moving VMI forward to a more diverse and inclusive environment that is also a physically and emotionally safe place of higher learning.”

VMI completed the progress report at the behest of Barnes & Thornburg. In its final investigative report, released in June, the law firm the said that school suffered from an “overall racist and sexist culture.”

Barnes & Thornburg said the college should issue these reports every quarter for three years to its Board of Visitors, the General Assembly and the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, an agency that makes higher education policy proposals to the commonwealth’s lawmakers.

“VMI will likely follow through on its promised reforms only if it is forced to do so,” the Barnes & Thornburg report said. “For the betterment of the school, VMI must be held accountable to its promises and plans to change the current culture.”

March 27, 2022. Tags: , , , , . Education, Military, Racism, Social justice warriors. Leave a comment.

Liberals think using a racial slur is worse than killing someone

https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:6eF198K7WocJ:https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2022/03/09/corey-pujols-sentence-dunkin-punch/+&cd=6&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

A Dunkin’ manager fatally punched a customer after being called the n-word. He was sentenced to house arrest.

By Julian Mark

March 9, 2022

Vonelle Cook was angry about his service at a Dunkin’ in Tampa last May, so the 77-year-old marched into the store, berated the manager and called him the n-word, according to police.

The manager, Corey Pujols, 27, is Black — and he told Cook not to say it again.
 
But Cook did anyway, so Pujols swung a right hook, hit Cook in the jaw and knocked the septuagenarian unconscious, causing him to fall and hit his head on the floor, according to an arrest affidavit.

Three days later, Cook was dead, according to court records obtained by WTVT.

Pujols was originally charged with aggravated manslaughter, a crime that carries a maximum of 30 years in prison. But on Monday, a judge sentenced Pujols to two years of house arrest followed by three years of probation, as well as 200 hours of community service, after Pujols pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of felony battery.

Attorneys listed for Pujols did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Washington Post late Tuesday, nor did the Hillsborough County state attorney’s office.

Grayson Kamm, a spokesman for the office, told WTVT that the “outcome holds the defendant accountable while taking into account the totality of the circumstances — the aggressive approach and despicable racial slur used by the victim, along with the defendant’s age, lack of criminal record, and lack of intent to cause the victim’s death.”

Around 1:30 p.m. on May 4, Cook was going through the drive-through at the doughnut shop when he became angry with the service, the Tampa Bay Times reported at the time. Cook was a regular there, and despite employees asking him to leave, Cook parked and started arguing with Pujols inside the store.

That is when he called Pujols the n-word twice, according to an arrest affidavit, and Pujols punched the man unconscious, causing him to fall, hit his head and bleed on the floor. Cook was hospitalized in the intensive care unit of Tampa General Hospital and died there days later, according to the Times.

An autopsy found that the fall resulted in a skull fracture and brain contusions, WTVT reported. The death was ruled a homicide, and Pujols was arrested on the manslaughter charge.

March 9, 2022. Tags: , , , , . Racism, Social justice warriors, Violent crime. Leave a comment.

Top female scientist canceled over 13-year-old ‘Michael Jackson’ Halloween costume

https://www.thecollegefix.com/top-female-scientist-canceled-over-13-year-old-michael-jackson-halloween-costume/

Top female scientist canceled over 13-year-old ‘Michael Jackson’ Halloween costume

By Jennifer Kabbany

March 7, 2022

‘UW Medicine is helping to ruin a woman who devoted her career to finding a cure for HIV’

Highly decorated virologist Julie Overbaugh has been forced out of a position of leadership at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and resigned her faculty affiliate position at the University of Washington School of Medicine due to accusations of racism and investigations involving her decision to wear a Michael Jackson costume to a Halloween party in 2009.

A picture of the 13-year-old incident, in which she is accused of wearing “blackface,” has prompted peers to accuse her of racism despite the fact that her research has focused on aiding Africans for the last three decades.

“Overbaugh has devoted her professional career to studying viral pathogens that cause HIV. But amid publishing papers, running her own research lab, and flying back and forth from Kenya, she has also pursued another professional passion: mentoring. Overbaugh is one of two recipients of this year’s Nature Award for Mentoring in Science, which is awarded to select scientists in one country or region each year,” a 2016 report in GeekWire reports.

Last year, Overbaugh was elected to National Academy of Sciences.

“I am really happy to see gender balance in this year’s elected members and hope this signals a future trend,” Overbaugh said at the time. “In my field, HIV, which is a very large field, there have only been a couple of women elected — hopefully, there will be more in the future.”

But Overbaugh’s accomplishments during an age in which female STEM recruitment and retainment is a social justice priority apparently could not outweigh the 2009 incident of emulating the King of Pop at a party that was reportedly themed after Jackson’s famous “Thriller” album.

Members of the Overbaugh lab apparently enjoy celebrating Halloween and have posted pictures of its themed parties every year. In past years they have dressed as emojis, bumble bees, fish — and even as “Binders of Babes” — a riff on Republican Mitt Romney’s gaffe while running for president.

The picture from the year 2009 is conspicuously missing from the webpage.

“The act depicted in the photo is racist, offensive and hurtful, and we offer our sincere apologies to anyone who has experienced pain or upset because of the act or this photo,” the cancer center announced in mid-February, adding Overbaugh was put on administrative leave and placed under investigation.

“Dr. Overbaugh has stepped down from her senior vice president role at Fred Hutch. She will continue working in her lab and will take a hiatus from her leadership duties in the Office of Education & Training. During this time, she will engage in an intensive education and reflection process.”

The Federalist reports:

Though the incident didn’t occur at UW Medicine, its CEO and equity officer also waded into the faux controversy. UW Medicine CEO Dr. Paul Ramsey and Chief Equity Officer Paula Houston notified UW Medicine staff in an email that Overbaugh was punished for engaging in the “racist, dehumanizing, and abhorrent act” of “blackface.” During a separate formal review process for UW faculty, the email confirmed, Overbaugh resigned from her UW affiliate faculty member appointment.

Overbaugh released a short statement to me. “I did not know the association of this with blackface at the time, in 2009, but understand the offense that is associated with this now,” she said. “I have apologized for this both publicly and privately and beyond that have no other comments.”

Ramsey and Houston claim that the UW Medicine community was “harmed” by the 13-year-old photo that most staff didn’t know existed until reading about it in the Feb. 25 email. “We acknowledge that our community has been harmed by this incident and the fact that 13 years elapsed before action was taken,” they wrote. “We are convening a series of affinity group meetings in the next few weeks to provide spaces for mutual support, reflection, and response.”

Neither Ramsey nor Houston explained how the photo “harmed” anyone. Indeed, beyond one confirmed complaint, it’s unclear if anyone even cared about the old photo.

The full memo from UW Medicine was republished by journalist Jesse Singal on his Twitter page. The memo notes that Overbaugh resigned her post at the university once administrators began their own probe into the incident.

Her faculty bio is no longer on the UW School of Medicine website, although its Department of Global Health has, as of Monday afternoon, yet to strip her from its webpage.

“A U. Washington doctor who has dedicated her career to fighting HIV in Africa, including research w/sex workers, is having her reputation and career incinerated because she dressed up as Michael Jackson, in blackface, once in 2009,” Singal noted.

https://twitter.com/jessesingal/status/1497289911996760064

“Just to situate everyone, the event in question happened several years before the most recent instance of 30 Rock airing blackface-oriented comedy to tens of millions of people. What she did was a bad idea but at the time was obviously not seen as too risque even for network TV,” he added.

Writing for The Federalist, Jason Rantz points out that “UW Medicine is lashing out against Overbaugh to show its wokeness and earn social currency.”

“That UW Medicine is helping to ruin a woman who devoted her career to finding a cure for HIV is immaterial to its leaders. To progressive activists, highlighting one’s virtues is more important than curing a deadly disease.”

March 8, 2022. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Cancel culture, Dumbing down, Education, Equity, Health care, Political correctness, Racism, Science, Sexism, Social justice warriors, War against achievement. 1 comment.

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