Arizona Cracks Down on Accents

It seems we’ve reached a new type of nadir in American race relations. The status quo has been threatened. All of this talk about a new majority has roused some sort of fear down in Arizona and it doesn’t seem like that State is enthusiastic about joining the new Post Racial America. And the legislation they’ve been passing this year has made it very clear that they don’t intend on going down without a fight.

Arizona is simply not having it. First, racial profiling a blow against illegal immigration (strike 1). Then, an eradication of ethnic studies (strike 2). And now the Arizona Board of Education is demanding that school districts remove heavily accented teachers from the classroom (strike 3).


Disclaiming “Gay”—New Black Men

This past week I read New Black Man, by Mark Anthony Neal. (Which is generally an awesome book). However, I do have my criticisms (as I usually do for almost everything). Mark Anthony Neal in New Black Man examines the contemporary paradigms of what it means to be black and masculine/male. He also positions these things in the greater context of black feminist thought, parenting as a father, and anti-homophobia (he does a great job doing this). He goes through moments in pop culture where we will find situations antithetical to what the New Black Man metaphor is moving towards. Neal goes further to explain that he has not achieved—at least not in totality—what New Black Man is arguing for.

Georgia Teacher Suspended After Pupils Don Klan Robes

Georgia Teacher Suspended After Pupils Don Klan Robes
BBC, May 25, 2010

A teacher in Georgia has been suspended after allowing students to dress in mock Ku Klux Klan robes for a project.

The teacher had asked four students, none of whom were black, to re-enact scenes from history for a class film.

Officials said the teacher had used poor judgement. Georgia has a history of violent racial tension and students and parents were upset by the incident.

The teacher, who is white, acknowledged it was a mistake to allow the students to film the scene at school.

“It was poor judgement on my part,” Catherine Ariemma told the Associated Press news agency.

The class at Lumpkin County High School near Atlanta included no black children, and the school system is roughly 90% white. (Read the full article)

La Huelga, The Strike: Month-long Struggle in Puerto Rica

Eleven out of eleven campuses of University of Puerto Rico (UPR) are closed. The strike began on UPR’s Rio Piedras campus and has now spread to all the others. Students are in the fifth week of their strike in resistance of the budget cuts and reduction and elimination of financial aid in the UPR system. Students will not accept cut backs in tuition waivers as the only way to account for the $100 million dollar budget gap. They have pointed out tens of millions of dollars set aside for non-academic dinner parties, galas and other events that are very foreign to the working class majority that currently benefit from varying types and levels of financial aid. Administrators are certainly wrong to take from scholarship money. This should be the last place to cut back from.

It's Getting Hot In Here….So Wear A Bulletproof Vest?

“The roof, the roof is on fire we don’t need no water let that muthafucka burn, burn, burn mutha burn”.  Although this quippy party catch phrase is a bit antiquated, I believe it still carries relevance today, specifically in Chicago. For a city that has risen like a phoenix from the ashes of the Great Chicago fire of 1871, it seems that an arsonist has poured kerosene on Lakeshore Drive and is attempting to raze the land of Dusable. Let me just cut to the chase and skip all the Chicago historical allusions, people “act a fool” when the weather warms up. Clearly, my assertion is a truism. Nevertheless, I believe this widely accepted fact needs further interrogation. In light of the upcoming season where the sun finally decides to make a full commitment to being present instead of cutting and running like a father derelict in his duties, I thought it was more than appropriate to at least shed light (no pun intended) on the correlation between warm weather and crime in Chicago.

5 Myths About College Admissions

5 Myths About College Admissions
Richard D. Kahlenberg, Washington Post, May 23, 2010

This spring, more than 3 million students will graduate from America’s high schools, and more than 2 million of them will head off to college in the fall. At the top colleges, competition has been increasingly fierce, leaving many high school seniors licking their wounds and wondering what they did “wrong.” But do selective colleges and universities do a good job of identifying the best and brightest? And is the concern about who gets into the best colleges justified?

1. Admissions officers have figured out how to reward merit above wealth and connections.

A 2004 Century Foundation study found that at the most selective universities and colleges, 74 percent of students come from the richest quarter of the population, while just 3 percent come from the bottom quarter. Rich kids can’t possibly be 25 times as likely to be smart as poor kids, so wealth and connections must still matter. (Read the full article)

May 17, 2010 – May 23, 2010

Diversity is more than race
Casey Peeks, LA Youth, May 23, 2010

How Equal Was This Separate School?
Neil Genzlinger, New York Times, May 23, 2010

Communists demand jobs for young people
Khethiwe Chelemu, Times Live, May 23, 2010

Which students suffer most from teacher layoffs? Anyone surprised it’s poor, minority students?
Maureen Downey, Atlanta journal Constitution, May 21, 2010

The Crisis of the Educated and Conscious Black Student
Lucette Jefferson, Black Voices, May 21, 2010

Prevent Bullying in Schools
Staff Writer, All Voices Local News, May 21, 2010

Chattanooga Youth March to End Violence
Reneé LaSalle, CBS News, May 21, 2010

Performer making a difference for at-risk youth
José Villa, Senior Editor, Hawaii Hispanic News, May 21, 2010

Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Charles W. Cherry II, The Crime Report, May 21, 2010

The right direction for action on youth crime and violence
Gazette Staff Writer, Maryland Gazzette, May 20, 2010

D.C. Students Connect with South Africa
Joseph Young, The Washington Informer, May 20, 2010

Black students excel beyond expectations
Bill Maxwell, Standard-Times, May 20, 2010

Obama Parrots Bill Cosby and Visits Detroit Schools to Encourage Mentoring
John Byk, Detroit Examiner, May 20, 2010

Empowering Youth One ‘Step’ At a Time
Bessie A. Winn-Afeku, Huffington Post, May 19, 2010

YMCA Black Achievers encourage students to succeed in and out of the classroom
Rebecca Clark, North Carolina Star, May 19, 2010

Youth group finds a site
John Brasier, The Hartwell Sun, May 19, 2010

Reaching out to kids at risk, one by one
Royson James, Toronto Star, May 19, 2010

White Families Now $95K Richer Than African-American Families On Average, According To New Study
Ryan McCarthy, Huffington Post, May 18, 2010

Ohio putting too many kids behind bars
Tracey Read, The News Herald, May 18, 2010

A look through the archives at Northwestern’s road to diversity
Kaitlyn Jahelka, North by Northwesten, May 18, 2010

Commencement Season: Summer M.'s Graduation Address

Good morning, and congratulations to the class of 2010.  I know you’re wondering what inspiring words of wisdom I might impart on to a new generation of graduates.  Well, frankly, I have none, which is probably why my commencement address is coming to you via this blog and not as you sporadically doze your way through your younger brother’s graduation.  It’s true.  I offer you no pithy quotations to upload to your Tumblr account, no nuggets of sagacious wisdom crafted by some young, anonymous speech writer who not long ago sat where you were, unsure of his employment possibilities until his girlfriend’s father hooked him up with this gig before he applies to law school.  There is nothing Twitter worthy here.  Still, narcissism compels me to keep typing.