Tearing Down Walls

Tearing Down Walls



Monday, June 26, 2017

White People Keep Finding New Ways to Segregate Schools

For the past few years, residents in the city of Gardendale, Alabama, have been pushing to take over a county high school, a middle school, and two elementary schools from the greater Jefferson County school system, one of several districts still bound by a federal desegregation order. 

Residents argue that they want local control. The city’s mayor went so far as to tell the Washington Post that it was about “keeping our tax dollars here with our kids, rather than sharing them with kids all over Jefferson County.” 

Opponents of the plan, though, claim the move is mired in racial overtones and the pursuit of a divided system that benefits Gardendale’s families at the expense of others in the county. 

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Sunday, June 25, 2017

Let's Declare Civility, Openness, And Common Sense

In the course of human events it is necessary, now and again, to renew our commitment to the principles and practices that made our country great in the first place.
Our country has always held what the Declaration of Independence says about certain “Truths”: They are “self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Regrettably, we forget these simple truths sometimes.
To renew our passion for the free and equal pursuit of life, liberty and happiness, we need a new declaration that promotes civility, open conversation and common sense.
To keep reading this article, click here.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

10 Myths About Immigration That Need Debunking

Myths about immigration and immigrants are common. Here are a few of the most frequently heard misconceptions—along with information to help you and your students separate fact from fear.
When students make statements that are unfounded, one response is to simply ask, "How do you know that’s true?" Whatever the answer—even if it’s "That’s what my parents say"—probe a little further. Ask, "Where do you think they got that information?" or "That sounds like it might be an opinion, not a fact." Guide students to find a reliable source for accurate information and help them figure out how to check the facts.
To keep reading this article, click here.

Friday, June 23, 2017

'GLOW' Star Wrestles with Hollywood Sexism

In her first ever on-screen role, Alison Brie played a woman possessed by her demon fetus in the horror B-movie Born. The experience was clearly memorable—Brie quickly switches into the high-pitched voice of her scared mother-to-be and the gravelly growl of the body invader trying to force her to commit nefarious deeds as she recalls the plot—and it was admittedly a fun job to have right out of theater school. But still, it wasn’t quite the role she imagined she would be playing when she became An Actress.
“When I was standing on set at like three in the morning in a cemetery with a weird contraption strapped around my body to shoot green ooze out of myself when my water breaks… I was like, ‘Huh. This is not maybe what I pictured working as an actress to be like,’” Brie laughs, recalling the experience for The Daily Beast.
To keep reading this article, click here.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Feds Must Do More to Fight Ageism

AARP on Wednesday urged the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to exercise its regulatory power to strengthen protections for the nation’s older workers and to step up enforcement of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), enacted in 1967 to protect workers age 40-plus. Testifying at a hearing marking the 50th anniversary of the ADEA, Laurie McCann, senior attorney at AARP Foundation Litigation, said it “has become a second-class civil rights law.”
She said that “both in terms of statutory language and how that language has been interpreted by the courts,” there is far less protection than other civil rights laws for older workers. “Age discrimination is no less harmful than other forms of discrimination,” said McCann.
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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Science of Sexism

The recent case of man in a powerful position making a sexist comment — during a company meeting aimed partly at addressing discrimination against women — raises the question of why gender issues in the workplace are so difficult to quash.
During an Uber staff meeting on June 13, board member Arianna Huffington said that having one woman on a company's board often leads to more women joining the board.
David Bonderman responded, "Actually, what it shows is that it's much more likely to be more talking," according to The New York Times.
To keep reading this article, click here.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

For Sake of Civility, Can Violent Speech Be Changed

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama should “suck my machine gun.” When President Obama was running for reelection in 2012, the rocker said during the National Rifle Association convention that, “If Barack Obama becomes the president in November, again, I will either be dead or in jail by this time next year.” The statement attracted the attention of the Secret Service.
But after Wednesday's shooting at a congressional baseball practice, Nugent has decided to be “more selective with my rants and in my words.”
“At the tender age of 69, my wife has convinced me I just can’t use those harsh terms,” he said on the 77 WABC radio program Thursday. “I cannot and will not and I encourage even my friends, slash, enemies on the left, in the Democrat and liberal world, that we have got to be civil to each other.”
“I'm not going to engage in that kind of hateful rhetoric anymore.”
To keep reading this article, click here.

Monday, June 19, 2017

A Look at Civility in the 2 Years Since Trump Announced for President

It was two years ago Friday when Donald Trump descended an escalator inside Trump Tower to announce his candidacy for president. Did he drag the country's political conduct with him? "Any debate about civility in politics begins with Trump," New York Times reporter Glenn Thrush tweeted on Thursday. "No one has degraded discourse more, while embracing the fringe."
There is ample, unique evidence to back the second half of Thrush's claim. It would require a cumulonimbus word cloud to condense all the vulgar bluster Trump said on the campaign trail. He has legitimized the likes of InfoWars and Gateway Pundit: demonstrable peddlers of conspiracy theories and falsehoods. Trump's Twitter feed, often mad as hell, could be ghostwritten by Paddy Chayefsky some days. Just look what he said Friday morning:
To keep reading this article, click here.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Girls Say School Dress Codes Are Sexist

Jane Minor was wearing a V-neck shirt in gym class when a teacher called her out for violating the school’s dress code, which prohibits low-cut tops. The boy next to her was wearing a similar tee. The teacher didn’t say a word.
A rising senior at Owen J. Roberts High School in Pottstown, Minor received just a warning. But as far back as elementary school, she said, she and her friends have gotten busted for what they consider to be unfair and sexist dress code violations.
Shoulder straps too thin. Shorts and skirts too short. A sliver of bare midriff. Leggings. Bare shoulders. Bra straps.  With schools locked in fights over budgets, immigration, and weapons in the classroom, the cut of a collar or a peek of bare shoulder shouldn’t warrant a second look, let alone a reprimand. At least that’s the stand of a vocal movement of teen girls across the country who have started petitions, staged walkouts, made videos, and — often with their parents chiming in — used social media to criticize schools for body-shaming and promoting sexual harassment.
To keep reading this article, click here.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Pain of Racism Can Still Sting When Source Is Familiar

Timothy Welbeck remembers being 24 and at work venting to colleagues in his majority white office about how police had pulled him over 22 times in 19 months — a phenomenon known among African-Americans as “driving while black.”
A white female co-worker whom he’d known for four years listened to his story and replied: “You drive too fast.”
Welbeck felt betrayed. He considered her enough of a friend “to know that I don’t drive recklessly and I’m not a threat to law enforcement.”
“This idea that you could know me, I express a legitimate experience to you, and somehow I’m to blame. I would expect a stranger to do what she did,” said Welbeck, now 35, a lawyer and Temple University professor living in Philadelphia.
Racism in any form is painful enough for black Americans. But when prejudice comes from someone they trust, or consider an ally, it adds salt to the wound. Experts call this the stress of racial disappointment: When people who are expected to understand injure minorities with offensive words or behavior.
Some blacks wrestled with this feeling June 2 when Bill Maher, host of the late-night cable television show “Real Time With Bill Maher,” jokingly referred to himself as a “house nigger” during an interview with a congressman.
To keep reading this article, click here.