Maine town manager promotes racial segregation

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(Jackman Town Manager Tom Kawczynski)

(From Bangor Daily News) — The town manager of Jackman calls Islam “the scourge of Western civilization” and suggests that the United States would be better off if people of different races “voluntarily separate.”

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This article punctuates how “principled” thinking by a person setting or attempting to set policy in a system or institution can be harmful. In this case, harmful due to a lack of critical analysis of their position, and an apparent ignorance of history. Essentially what is being promoted here is a veiled version of the “Separate but Equal” doctrine. Fortunately, townspeople and other municipal officials disagree with their Town Manager. Back in 1896, the doctrine was affirmed in the Plessy v. Ferguson Supreme Court decision. It sanctioned state-sponsored segregation that propelled the U.S. into the Jim Crow era, fueled by the infamous Black Codes (government sanctioned policies and laws that restricted the civil rights and liberties of African-Americans). It wasn’t until the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision in 1954, that the process started for overturning segregation laws across the nation — a process that spanned decades. Helping individuals and organizations gain a deeper understanding of how racism (and other forms of oppression) operates in systems is vital. That’s because the ripple effects of apparently benign decisions and policies can have devastating results in our institutions and businesses. Learn more at the Beyond Diversity Resource Center.


The Heartbeat of Racism Is Denial

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(Photo: Evan Vucci/Associated Press)

(From the New York Times) — When our reality is too ugly, we deny reality. It is too painful to look at. Reality is too hard to accept.

Mental health experts routinely say that denial is among the most common defense mechanisms. Denial is how the person defends his superior sense of self, her racially unequal society.

Denial is how America defends itself as superior to “shithole countries” in Africa and elsewhere, as President Trump

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This essay highlights one of Beyond Diversity‘s tenants for the anti-oppression work it engages in. That is, the ability to admit to being racist, sexist, ableist or which ever -ism applies. Reflexive denials inescapably fuel the very thing that is being denied, which in turn enables systematic oppression to woefully persist.


Black NFL Coaches Appear Much More Likely To Be Fired With A Winning Record

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(From Forbes) — In the history of the NFL, there have only been 17 black head coaches who have coached at least one entire season (minimum 16 games) with a team. But four of these — or 23.5% — were fired from winning teams.

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This article illustrates the destructive force of unconscious bias, which is the bane of an open society. It stifles progress and opportunities for those in the minority. What’s worse, it is a precursor to bigotry. Unconscious bias by definition is invisible, and can be a hard pill to swallow for many who consider themselves free of racist tendencies. Yet it is there. And it is ever present – embedded in all forms of oppression and prejudice. How do you combat it? At Beyond Diversity, we believe doing your own work is essential. It begins by admitting unconscious bias lurks within you. Then open a book on the subject. When you’re ready, take a course or enroll in a workshop. In the end, you’ll be glad you did. And be better for it.  

New York City Subways A Hurdle For Disabled Riders

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(From National Public Radio) — A round of renovations on New York City subway stations should make the system more wheelchair accessible under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Critics say officials seem to be ignoring the law.

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This story illustrates the endless struggles people who are disabled must face. They live in a world that is essentially oblivious to the lack of access nondisabled people take for granted. This, despite laws and policies in place. Two of the culprits: a lack of genuine empathy and absence of awareness – both enable oppression of the disabled to fester throughout our culture. Learn more at Beyond Diversity.


10 things we learned about gender issues in the U.S. in 2017

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gender gap


(From the Pew Research Center) — Allegations about sexual misconduct by prominent men in politics, entertainment, media and other industries have reverberated across the United States in recent months, drawing attention to issues of gender equality in the workplace and in broader American society. As 2017 comes to a close, here are 10 key findings about gender issues that are in the news today, drawn from Pew Research Center surveys conducted over the course of the year.

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Racism and Intolerance Alive and Well Among Our Youth

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                      (Credit: Noe Hernandez/Battle Creek Enquirer)

(From the Battle Creek Enquirer) — Audra Granger says her 15-year-old son was harassed, cyber bullied and assaulted twice by his Harper Creek High School classmates for taking a stand against hatred toward black people. It got bad enough that, within about a week, she transferred him…

To read more click here


This story illustrates just how much racism continues to permeate our society. Even as the United States continues to coalesce into a blended society, in too many regions and communities, the scourge of oppression remains unacceptably high. Youth are especially susceptible – both as oppressors and the oppressed. That’s because of a sore lack of perspective; they just don’t know this nation’s complete, unvarnished history. Learn more about racial oppression and what you can do about it at Beyond Diversity.

When Bias Corrupts Critical Thinking

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(Video from Vice News) —


Many of the people in this clip from a broader HBO report are no doubt good, well meaning Americans. However, where they fall short is by not actually testing the statements they’re making and looking only through their own personal lens’ of life. Politics aside, and with respect to their comments on African Americans, if they paused to actually check their assumptions, they no doubt would have to reevaluate their perceptions about the state of race relations. Learn more about unconscious bias at Beyond Diversity.

Women Cite a History of Sexism in State Capitol

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“When our population is much more than 10 percent, why do we have only 10 percent of the senators as women?” — Sen. Margaret O’Brien, R-Portage, Mich.

(From Deadline Detroit) — With females accounting for more than half the population, oppressive acts of sexism remains a persistent issue among state legislatures. At its center is the stereotyping of gender roles and according to many, it’s not a Republican issue or a Democrat issue.

(To read more, click here.)



Native American demonstrators push back against oppressive questioning by reporters

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(Credit: Global News) – Indigenous demonstrators who led a protest and erected a teepee on Parliament Hill on Wednesday held a press conference this morning, in which they accused media of being disrespectful.

Sensational headline aside, this video clip illustrates how misunderstanding cultural ways of being and unconscious oppressive language can interrupt conversations. Learn more at Beyond Diversity.


America’s Deep Rift on Gender Issues

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(From: The Atlantic) – The headline on the big new gender survey from the Pew Research Center begins, “On Gender Differences, No Consensus”— and that could have been the report’s entire conclusion, too. The survey, released today, reveals deep divides in Americans’ perspectives on gender norms, including by political affiliation.

To read more, click here.

Feminist Writers Retire Because of Abuse

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Feminist writers, particularly those who criticize sexism in the video game world, have suffered nasty public abuse. Threats, fake sex ads in their names, and Twitter harassment are just some of the devices that have forced some into silence.

To read the Washington Post article, click here.

New York City Legalizes Sex Change On Birth Certificate Without Surgery

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Curtis M. Wong of The Huffington Post reports: “Members of NYC’s transgender community and advocates are praising the city council’s vote to pass legislation, making it easier for residents to correct the sex designation on their birth certificates without surgery.” To read more, click here.

“Sexual Preference” Or “Sexual Orientation?”

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Jesse Bering in the website, The State of the Universe, states: “There are some phrases that should just be done away with, but over time they are used and heard so routinely that we develop a sort of soft spot for them and can’t bear the thought of chopping off their heads. The term ‘sexual preference’—at least when it’s used interchangeably with ‘sexual orientation’—is one of these seemingly harmless phrases whose cultural execution…is long overdue.” He goes on to point out “the obvious fact that sexual orientation is not a choice….” To read more, click here.

Why It’s So Hard For Whites To Understand Ferguson

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Robert P. Jones in The Atlantic states: “One reason for the racial divide over Michael Brown’s death is that white Americans tend to talk mostly to other white people.” He goes on to say: “The shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri…has snapped the issue of race into national focus…causing many Americans to question just how far racial equality and race relations have come, even in an era of a black president and a black attorney general.” To read more, click here.

The Red Carpet Look

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On the website, RadioTimes, Sarah Millican, a comedian, said, “A funny thing happens when female celebrities hit the red carpet: The world tends to forget that they are actual human beings, with feelings and everything.”

She continues: “I thought I had been invited to such an illustrious event because I am good at my job. Putting clothes on is such a small part of my day. They may as well have been criticising me for brushing my teeth differently to them.” To read more, click here.




Chinese Americans In The Deep South

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From the Abagon blog, we learn that Chinese labourers were imported into the American South after the Civil War to replace emancipated black slaves. However, the plan failed as the Chinese left the plantations and moved north. Some of those who stayed in the South became grocers to black sharecroppers, and plantation commissaries gave way to Chinese grocery stores. To read more, click here.

Universal Protections For All

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In her last opening statement to the United Nations Human Rights Council, outgoing High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, stressed  the need for all countries to ensure universal protection of individuals and groups from abuse. To read more, click here.

Disabled Characters In Fiction

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Susan Nussbaum in the Huffington Post states:  “On the whole, I do my best to avoid books and movies with disabled characters in them. Of Mice and Men, Forrest Gump, and A Christmas Carol all make me cringe….All sorts of interesting stories can be written about a disabled character, without the disability ever being mentioned. You know, just like real people.” She adds: “The vast majority of writers who have used disabled characters in their work are not people with disabilities themselves.” As a writer who is herself disabled she believes “there’s an authenticity to characters that are written by someone who embodies the experience of oppression….” To read more, click here.

Anti-Semitism in Greece: How Real?

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w.goldendawngreece-052214In a recent article in The Jewish Daily Forward, Gavin Rabinowitz discusses the ADL (Anti-Defamation League) report that Greece is the most anti-semitic nation in Europe. Reporting on a global anti-Semitism survey Gavin states, “With 69 percent of Greeks espousing anti-Semitic views, according to the survey, Greece was on par with Saudi Arabia, more anti-Semitic than Iran (56 percent) and nearly twice as anti-Semitic as Europe’s second-most anti-Semitic country, France (37 percent). To read more, click here.

Mobility And The Black-White Gap

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Victoria Stilwell of the Bloomberg News reports that Black Americans remain less likely to climb the income ladder and more likely to drop than whites, according to research published by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago last month. Thomas Piketty, whose best-selling book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, has spurred debate over income inequality, said in an interview that “the whole structure of inequality of income and wealth in the U.S. is very much related to race.” To read more, click here.

Unemployment and Black Resilience

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Rebecca J. Rosen, writing in The Atlantic, points to a compelling theory advanced by Valerie Wilson at the Economic Policy Institute: Black unemployment is high, not only because black joblessness is high, but because black Americans stick to their job search longer. Because the unemployment rate reflects only unemployed people who are actively looking for jobs, the black unemployment rate is inflated. To read more, click here.

Most Students Aren’t White

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As reported by Chris Hoenig on the website, DiversityInc, the National Center for Education Statistics projects that Latinos, Blacks, Asians and Pacific Islanders, American Indians and biracial students will, when added together, represent 50.2 percent of the 2014–2015 student population. To read more, click here.

What Does It Mean To Be White?

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In The Seattle Times, guest columnist Robin DiAngelo writes about  the roots of racial illiteracy. He points out that mainstream sources—schools, textbooks, media and anecdotal evidence—do not provide whites with the multiple perspectives needed to understand white racial identity. Such socialization renders whites racially illiterate. DiAngelo also states that people cannot understand how racism functions in the U.S. today if they ignore group power relations. To read more, click here

Ferguson: The Untold Story

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In an article in the  Huffington Post, Arianna Huffington points out that there are many positive things happening in the wake of the Michael Brown shooting that have gone largely unreported:

  • Many people protected stores from being looted and helped people affected by looting.
  • There have been many recent donations to local food pantries.
  • Community members have offered protection and shelter to reporters.
  • Religious leaders have worked hard to bolster an sense of community in Ferguson.
  • The Wisconsin Hope Lab helped secure college scholarships for the three siblings of Michael Brown.
  • Ferguson residents have been acting as humanitarians by giving food and offering shelter and first aid to those in need.

To read more about the untold story of Ferguson, Missouri click here.

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Recent Book: Ann Inner Roadmap of Gender Trasformation

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In her latest book, Dr. Lee Ann P. Etscovitz, a marriage and family therapist specializing in LGBTQ issues,  takes an unflinching look at her personal struggles with gender identity.

… I asked myself how long I could possibly go on living with my particular life-long secret, namely, my gender confusion. How long could I continue to hide it? How long could I deny myself the gender fulfillment which only I could bring about and which the precariousness of life could deny me before I ever acted?

Etcovitz’s book is available for preview and sale on and will be available for Kindle readers in July 2014.

1960 Civil Rights Icon Meets Former Protector

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As reported by Rick Callahan of The Associated Press, Civil rights icon, Ruby Bridges, is praising a now 91-year-old former federal marshal for escorting her more than a half-century ago to and from a previously all-white elementary school as she helped end segregation in New Orleans’ public schools. In this November 1960 photo, U.S. deputy marshals, including Charles Burks, top left, escorted six-year-old Ruby Bridges from William Frantz Elementary School in New Orleans, La. To read more, click here.


Are Orchestras Better With A Man In Charge?

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Louise Jury, Chief Arts Correspondent for the London Evening Standard,  points to a genuine issue of sexism in classical music where the dearth of women on the podium is a subject of fierce discussion. To read more, click here.




Anti-Semitism Still A Reality

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According to a report by the Vienna-based European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), anti-Semitism remains a reality for many Jews in Europe. To read more, click here.

Sexism And Consumerism: A Warning To Parents

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Laura Finley, Ph.D., writing online in The Gilmore Mirror, warns parents of the sexism and negative stereotyping that infects the marketing items such as t-shirts and board games for children. Finley points out that this irresponsible corporate activity should be brought to the attention of stores carrying the  items. Children should also be made aware of the offensive content, which will give them teachable moments that might resonate for a lifetime. To read more, click here.

Poverty-Busters: Native American Success

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Christina Rose, reporting in Indian Country Today Media Network, says that, according to the Bureau of Indian Affairs, South Dakota is home to some of the harshest poverty-stricken areas in Indian country. While the sluggish economy throughout the United States has been part of the problem, Indian organizations and individuals are working to change the status quo.  To read more, click here.

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