RNC sides with Trump ban of transgender people in military

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(From the Chicago Tribune) — The Republican National Committee is siding with President Donald Trump on his order to bar transgender individuals from serving in the U.S. military.

Click here to read more.

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Intolerance and oppression walk hand in hand. Transgender soldiers have served in the military with distinction for generations. The United States Armed Forces is an institution whose systems, though flawed, have steadily pushed the boundaries of acceptance (albeit slowly), and often paved the way for women, gay males and females, African Americans and other persons of color to serve and rise through the ranks. In turn, its policies have trickled into nonmilitary employment sectors. Interrupting attempts to walk back the freedom and equitable treatment of oppressed groups of people through training and education is Job One of the Beyond Diversity Resource Center.

To learn more click here.

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Disabled athletes make full-court press at SDSU

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(From the San Diego Union-Tribune) — Akheel Whitehead is proud to have earned 12th place in the long jump at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. But to train for the games, the 22-year-old San Diego State University alumnus had to look off campus for coaching and support. Now, he’s hoping to change the game for other disabled athletes who…

To read more click here

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This article reports on efforts to promote the equitable inclusion of everyone in college athletics, including those who may be disabled. And rightly so. Equity is about more than skin color. Its fabric extends to nearly all dimensions related to human identity. It is especially relevant at a systems level, particularly when there exists a dominant identity (i.e., male, white, straight, etc.) that inevitably expresses its “norms” in injurious ways. Whether this happens consciously or unconsciously to a non-dominant group, the outcome is similar: oppression. Identities involving physical and mental ability are no exception. In fact, ableism is one of the most invisible forms of oppression that exist. This makes it a center point for examination. Because of a general lack of awareness (or worse, denial) of even the most common issues associated with persons who have different abilities, it’s critical to acknowledge that ableism is real. Painting persons with a disability in just one dimension is common among even the most well-meaning nondisabled person. It reinforces discrimination and speaks to a dreadful bias that limits the incredible potential of tens of millions of people – approximately one in five, according to the 2000 U.S. Census.

Learn more at Beyond Diversity

 

It’s up to the Pentagon to set things right for transgender service members

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(From the Washington Post) — As of Jan. 1, the United States military finally began accepting transgender recruits. That’s despite President Trump’s tweets over the summer demanding a ban on all military service by transgender Americans. Barred multiple times by federal judges from implementing the president’s order, the…

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A salient issue in this opinion piece not central to the author’s point, yet is glaring in its magnitude, is the reality of bias and how it plays out. Bias exists in all of us. It can operate at both a conscious and unconscious level. Some biases are harmless (i.e., favorite color or vacation location, dislike of winter or chocolate ice cream, etc.). It is when bias operates without our awareness that it is particularly problematic — especially when it comes to perceiving people who are different than one’s self. Its deleterious effects can range from distasteful prejudicial thoughts to discriminatory action or inaction against an individual or group of people. Both are toxic. With respect to the issue of military service and other professional vocations, personal bias in the workplace is unproductive and limits human resource capacity. It’s the same in the education sector. Unhealthy forms of bias thrives on negative stereotype narratives, which are reinforced through self-fulfilling prophecy. Bias (especially the unconscious kind) can trick us into believing our opinion is fact, no matter the evidence to the contrary. This distorted mental storytelling diminishes our ability to see others different from us as they truly are: fully formed human beings. And it begs the question, how do we work on something that can operate outside of our conscious awareness? Here are three concrete ways: 1.) Talk about it; 2.) Move with compassion; 3.)  Practice empathy.

Learn more at the Beyond Diversity Resource Center

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.

 

 

 

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.

How We Teach Our Kids That Women Are Liars

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Soraya Chemaly, in her blog, “Role Reboot,” tells how the message that women are untrustworthy liars is everywhere in our culture—from TV and music, to politics and religion. So how exactly are we teaching children that women lie and can’t be trusted to be as competent or truthful as men?  First, lessons about women’s untrustworthiness are in our words, pictures, art, and memory. To read more, click here.

 

Flextime For Men, Inflexible Time For Women

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According to a new study published in the Journal of Social Issues, bosses favor men over women when employees request flextime. Child care and family care by women are seen by managers as eroding quality work. Biased decisions, lack of trust, and a pile of refused requests for flex time serve to create a workplace where employee motivation, commitment, and loyalty sour. To read more, click here.

Diversity Programs May Give Illusion Of Corporate Fairness

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Corporate cultural diversity programs may lead people to believe that work environments are fair even when there is evidence of hiring, promotion or salary inequities, according to findings by psychologists at the University of Washington. To read more, click here.

Ask a Woman Who Uses a Wheelchair

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Ask A Woman Who Uses A Wheelchair

Ableism is prejudice against people with disabilities, and like every other -ism, can take on many gnarly forms. Whether it’s negative societal attitudes, the dearth of accessible housing, job discrimination, or targeting an individual for a crime, in her post on The Harirpin blog Caitlin Wood speaks frankly about aspects of ableism. To read more, click here.

AP Poll: Majority Harbor Prejudice Against Blacks

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According to an Associated Press poll, racial attitudes have not improved in the four years since the United States elected its first black president.  Fifty-one percent of Americans have anti-black attitudes and fifty-seven percent have anti-Latino attitudes, increases over previous year. To read more, click here.

Oppression of LGBT People in Russia Draws Condemnation

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Injured Gay Protestors Surrounded By Russian Police

A recent law signed by President Vladimir V. Putin has ignited international condemnation. The new law, nominally aimed at “protecting” children by banning “propaganda on nontraditional sexual relationships,” is widely understood as an effort to suppress homosexuality and Russia’s fledgling gay rights movement. Russia remains a country where discrimination and even violence against gay people are widely tolerated. To read more, click here.

Prince Harry Defends Gay Soldier From Attack

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To one gay soldier, Prince Harry lived up to his duty to protect those in need. A former fellow infantryman is praising the royal for reportedly saving him after six soldiers supposedly threatened to assault him due to his sexuality while their squad was stationed in Canada back in 2008. To read more about the incident, including an excerpt from Lance Corporal James Wharton memoir, Out in the Army, click here.

Diversity Effectiveness of White Male Managers

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White male managers see themselves as being more effective in terms of diversity, but that view is not shared by their non-white and female counterparts.  Communication and a lack of candor are seen as basic issues. To read more, click here.

Congressional Gold Medal Awarded To Four Girls Killed In 1963 Civil Rights Bombing

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President Barack Obama has signed a bill into law granting the United States’ highest civilian honor to four black girls killed in a civil rights-era church bombing that shocked the nation in 1963. To read more, click here.

Seattle Teacher Under Fire for Teaching About Racism and Discrimination

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Is there a right or wrong way to teach students about discrimination?

A popular teacher for ten years helped students explore various significant social issues. Because a student became upset about a discussion on racism,  some parents and then the school board turned against the teacher, who was transferred to another school and asked to stop discussing upsetting issues. Another Seattle teacher expressed concern:  “Student discomfort will become the arbiter of curriculum.” To read more, click here.

Gross Medical Ethics Violations in 1940’s Syphilis Testing

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According to a White House bioethics panel, the U.S. government and experts at Harvard and other top medical schools approved venereal disease experiments on people in the 1940s, which led to the deliberate infection of Guatemalan prisoners and mental patients with syphilis. What is especially startling is the high level of approval that the experiments received. The Attorney General, Army and Navy medical officials, the president of the American Medical Association, the president of the National Academy of Sciences and experts from Harvard, Johns Hopkins, and the Universities of Pennsylvania and Rochester gave approval. The experiments were a violation of the medical standards of today and of the time the experiments were carried out.

To read the article from the New York Times, click here.

Discrimination Can Cause Poor Health

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Just as the constant pressure soldiers face on the battlefield can follow them home in the form of debilitating stress, people who face chronic exposure to discrimination may have an increased likelihood of suffering a kind of  discrimination battle fatigue according to Penn State researchers. To read more, click here.

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