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.

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

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military

 

(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

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.

Gay Parades Banned In Moscow For 100 years

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Nikolay Alexeyev has been campaigning for years for the right to stage gay parades in Russia

Nikolay Alexeyev has been campaigning for years for the right to stage gay parades in Russia

Moscow’s top court has upheld a ban on gay pride marches in the Russian capital for the next 100 years. Earlier Russia’s best-known gay rights campaigner, Nikolay Alexeyev, had gone to court hoping to overturn the city council’s ban on gay parades. The Moscow city government argues that the gay parade would risk causing public disorder and that most Muscovites do not support such an event. To read more, click here.

Boycotting a Cookie

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The makers of Oreos posted on their Facebook page a special cookie in honor of gay pride. Some commenters have gone so far as to proclaim that eating Oreos is now a sin. Click here to read the comments on BuzzFeed

“I Don’t Care If You’re Offended”

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In an article from his blog, Fineness & Accuracy, Scott Madin talks about the difference between saying something that is “offensive,” and saying something that harms others because of racism, sexism, homophobia, and the like. The article adds clarity to the “you’re-being-offensive-too” argument often made when people are rebuked for remarks that reinforce oppression. To read the article, click here.

Microaggressions Blog

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Microaggressions are brief and commonplace verbal, behavioral, or environmental indignities—whether intentional or unintentional—that communicate hostile attitudes, slights, or insults toward members of marginalized groups, including people of color, women, and members of the LGBTI community. The Microagressions blog collects and publishes reader-submitted descriptions of microaggressions and the impact the microaggressions had on the people who endured them.  Here are two examples:

Look at her. That’s no fair. Why do I have to walk? She’s taking advantage.

I’m a wheelchair user in a large museum. I felt like my struggles with accessibility were nothing and the young, able-bodied man who said this expected pity.

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Excuse me, do you speak English?

—Man at the bus stop. I am an Asian American woman. I was reading Jane Austen. In English.

To read the many posts on the blog and perhaps to submit your own, click here.

Groundbreaking Study Finds Pervasive Discrimination Against Transgender People

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The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) today released a comprehensive new report, “Injustice at Every Turn,” revealing the depth of discrimination against transgender and gender non-conforming people in a wide range of areas, including education, health care, employment, and housing. To read more click here.

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