Men Are Responsible for Mass Shootings

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AR15(From harpersbazaar.com) — Shootings, whether they’re in Parkland, Orlando, Las Vegas or Sutherland Springs, all tend have one thing in common. It’s not that they’re done by mentally ill people (there is no true connection between people with a mental health diagnosis and mass shootings, according to experts), or that they’re…

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Discrimination against persons with a disability is an age old problem. The latest cascade of scapegoating them involve the mass shootings happening across our country. In fact, persons with a mental disability are no more likely to be violent than nondisabled people. Yet society engages regularly in knee-jerk blaming of violent actions as a mental health issue – particularly when the perpetrator is a white male. This false narrative fuels oppressive ways of thinking about mental health and those with disabilities.

Click here to learn more about systemic oppression, how to recognize it, how it affects us, and how to interrupt it.

How East and West Think in Profoundly Different Ways

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(From the BBC) – Psychologists are uncovering the surprising influence of geography on our reasoning, behavior, and sense of self.

Until recently, scientists had largely ignored the global diversity of thinking. In 2010, an influential article in the journal Behavioral and Brain Sciences reported that the vast majority of psychological subjects had been “western, educated, industrialized, rich and democratic”, or ‘Weird’ for short. Nearly 70% were American, and most were undergraduate students hoping to gain pocket money or course credits by giving up their time to take part in these experiments.

The tacit assumption had been that this select group of people could represent universal truths about human nature – that all people are basically the same. If that were true, the Western bias would have been unimportant. Yet the small number of available studies which had examined people from other cultures would suggest that this is far from the case.”

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When it comes to cultural identity and difference, bias plays a huge role – not just in how you perceive others, but also how you view yourself and those like you. This cultural bias is especially problematic when one limits oneself to interacting only with people who think and look like you. It creates a false sense of understanding rooted in a very limited experience. There are all sorts of barriers that contribute to these conditions. The above article highlights the very real issue that arises as a result of geographic barriers. Towering mountains, expansive oceans and vast distances all contribute to groups of people being separated. In such cases, “truth” becomes a real matter of perspective that is largely driven by experiences within that group. Such matters of truth are also apparent closer to home, even within the same city or community.

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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.

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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.

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Beyoncé’s father takes on ‘colorism’: He dated her mother because he thought she was white

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(Mathew Knowles and Tina Knowles-Lawson at a fashion show in Beverly Hills, Calif., in Feb. 2007. [Matt Sayles/AP])

(From the Washington Post) — Racism is a common topic in the mainstream media. But an insidious cousin, colorism, gets less attention. Novelist Alice Walker defined colorism an 1982 essay as “prejudicial or preferential treatment of same-race people based solely on their color.” In other words, it’s the concept of prejudice within a race against someone because of their skin tone. It’s a particularly important and controversial topic in the…

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The concept of colorism dates back as far as chattel slavery in the United States, with its earliest origins emerging as a grotesque outcome of white slave owner rape. As the article suggests, same-race prejudice evolved side by side with racism. It was a learned phenomenon, passed down through the generations and fueled by persistent external forces such as the Black Codes, Jim Crow statutes, and stereotypic misrepresentations of African Americans in media. It was also marked by a condition defined by the Beyond Diversity Resource Center and others as internalized racial oppression. Understanding its often self-defeating mechanisms, both conscious and unconscious, require education, empathy and deep reflection. Yet much like racism is in the white community, colorism among African Americans is a painful and often taboo topic. Addressing and interrupting colorism requires methods of critical exploration on the subject that must be tempered with brave compassion.

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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…

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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

 

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…

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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) —

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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.

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.

 

 

 

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.

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