$15 Million Pledged for Computer Science Education

Are Trump and Pence ‘A Match Made in Hell’?

Nice Carnage Could Spark Debate About Alienation

Black Journalists Long Sounded Alarm on Killings

Thousands Grieve Death of Alton Sterling in La.

Court Rules Feds Can Withhold Criminal Mugshots

Hollis Towns Wins McGruder Diversity Award

Inquirer’s Sandra Clark Heading to Public Radio

A. Scott Walton, Sports, Feature Writer, Dies at 51

Short Takes

Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg rings the NASDAQ bell at the company's initial public offering on May 18, 2012 (Credit: Facebook)

Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg rings the NASDAQ bell at the company’s initial public offering on May 18, 2012. (Credit: Facebook)

$15 Million Pledged for Computer Science Education

Facebook says it’s having trouble hiring people of color because public schools are failing to educate them properly,” Damon Beres reported Friday for the Huffington Post.

“The company is 52 percent white, 38 percent Asian, 4 percent Hispanic and 2 percent black, according to diversity numbers released Thursday. Sixty-seven percent of Facebook employees are male overall.

“In a blog post about the data, Maxine Williams, Facebook’s global head of diversity, offered an excuse that belies the social network’s status as one of the most valuable and resource-rich companies in the entire world.

“ ‘It has become clear that at the most fundamental level, appropriate representation in technology or any other industry will depend upon more people having the opportunity to gain necessary skills through the public education system,’ Williams wrote.

“The so-called ‘pipeline’ problem is a familiar argument, and it’s valid to an extent. It’s true that computer science isn’t a requirement in many public high schools, which theoretically means the populations most dependent on public education are less well-equipped to pursue engineering in college.

“Facebook’s blog post explains that minorities and females were less likely to take the College Board’s Advanced Placement exam in Computer Science, for example.

“ ‘In 2015, seven states had fewer than 10 girls take the Advanced Placement Computer Science exam and no girls took the exam in three states,” Williams wrote.

“ ‘No Black people took the exam in nine states including Mississippi where about 50% of high school graduates are Black, and 18 states had fewer than 10 Hispanics take the exam with another five states having no Hispanic AP Computer Science (CS) test takers,’ she added.

“Then again, Facebook isn’t hiring high school students. And it also has a whole lot of jobs that have nothing to do with computer science. Those roles are also mostly occupied by white people, though the genders are close to balanced.

Leslie Miley, director of engineering at Slack and an outspoken advocate of diversity in Silicon Valley, said in an interview with The Huffington Post on Friday that Facebook’s statement was a ‘fucking insult.’

“ ‘You can quote me on that,’ he added.

“Facebook has pledged to do better. Black representation in non-tech roles grew from 3 percent last year to 5 percent now. And the company is promising $15 million (or .004 percent of the company’s $336 billion market value today) to the nonprofit Code.org for computer science education over the next five years.

“Code.org has supplied training and resources to public schools for years, but it also offers unconventional online courses that anyone can access if, say, they aren’t in a position to take an AP test. . . .”

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence's trip to a black neighborhood in Indianapolis Tuesday drew praise and criticism. (Credit: WHTR-TV)

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence’s trip to a black neighborhood in Indianapolis Tuesday drew praise and criticism. (Credit: WTHR-TV)

Are Trump and Pence ‘A Match Made in Hell’?

As Donald J. Trump was contemplating naming Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as his vice presidential choice — one the presumptive GOP presidential nominee confirmed Friday — two writers for the Indianapolis Recorder, the city’s black weekly, debated whether the two were “a match made in Hell,” as Ebony Chappel wrote in the Recorder on Tuesday.

This morning, while scrolling my newsfeed I stumbled upon the following headline; ‘Governor Pence hits the streets of Indianapolis to talk about lowering crime,’ ” Chappel wrote. “The sight of him, in that neon colored crossing guard vest caused my jaw to clench. Reading further that it was Ten Point Coalition, who allowed for this Twilight Zone-esque occasion made me nauseous. . . .

She also wrote, “Pence is currently one of top choices to be named Trump’s running mate and his little walk through the hood was just one of a handful of stops he plans to make this week. . . .”

After recounting Trump’s disqualifications, Chappel wrote, “We also know that Pence, has exhibited some of these same problematic behaviors. Anyone remember RFRA [the Religious Freedom Restoration Act]? What about when he wouldn’t support pre-K funding? Or how about the time he tried to block aid to Syrian refugees or the time he attempted to pass what has been referred to as a ‘sadistic’ and ‘draconian’ abortion law. Thankfully on those last two, we had a true leader in the Hon. [U.S. District Judge] Tanya Walton Pratt who ruled both attempts unconstitutional.

“I know why Pence and Trump are a match made in Hell but what I don’t understand is why Charles Harrison would think it’s ok to whore out his platform and influence to someone who has quite literally shown that he does not give a damn about the marginalized. . . .” The Rev. Harrison is president of the board of directors for Indianapolis Ten Point Coalition.

On Friday, fellow writer Abdul-Hakim Shabazz, who is also a radio host and publisher, defended Pence’s visit.

I know the Recorder got e-mails from both the Governor’s Office and Ten Point about the walk and I wish Ebony could have been there,” Shabazz wrote. “I was. She would have seen the Governor interact and visit with the neighborhood residents who enjoyed meeting him. Most telling was two little boys who at first were scared of the cameras and covered their faces as if they were doing a perp walk. I wonder where they learned that.

“But after spending a few minutes with Pence and getting some words of encouragement they smiled and actually were happy to meet him. Who knows what impact that might have down the road? And then there was the trip to 37th and Illinois where the Governor talked to a couple who hire ex-offenders and he talked to the business owners about what the state could do to help them. Ebony, I think you would have been pleasantly surprised.

“I also think if you took a closer look at Pence’s record you will see it’s a lot more than RFRA and refugees. It’s providing school choice and educational opportunities to families in those neighborhoods so their kids can succeed. It’s been about criminal justice reform so we do a better job of dealing with those we are angry with versus those we should be afraid of and put behind bars.

“I can also talk about Indiana’s job creation that has more Hoosiers working now than ever before. And if you really want to have a debate over pre-K and funding let’s do it. And you can explain how spending millions of dollars on unproven early childhood education programs is a good idea, as opposed to finding out which programs work and strategically targeting those dollars so the kids who need the help the most actually get it. . . .”

Nice Carnage Could Spark Debate About Alienation

This third major terrorist incident in France in 18 months will trigger more debates about why so many young immigrant men are alienated from French society and how best to combat a foe who can turn a ubiquitous object like a car or a truck into a deadly weapon,” Joel Dreyfuss, the veteran black journalist who is approaching the fifth anniversary of his move from New York to Paris, wrote Friday for the Washington Post.

Joel Dreyfuss

Joel Dreyfuss

“But for most of us, the concerns will remain a lot more personal.

“The slaughter in Nice is a reminder that security in our daily lives is an increasingly rare commodity anywhere we live. Back in New York this past week, I found myself making the same calculations about train stations to bypass and crowds to avoid.

“I’ve accepted that this caution is going to be the new normal in New York, Paris and countless other cities. Nice is just the latest battleground in a pop-up war that we don’t know how to end. In the meantime, we will be looking over our shoulders, mistrusting our neighbors and changing our routines in our efforts to stay off the list of victims.”

Colleen Barry and Lori Hinnant reported for the Associated Press, “France called up thousands of reserve security forces Friday as authorities tried to determine why a Tunisian deliveryman known only to be a petty criminal took the wheel of a 19-ton truck and plunged through a terrified seaside crowd on Bastille Day, leaving 84 people dead and more than 200 wounded. . . .”

Black Journalists Long Sounded Alarm on Killings

‘IS IT TIME FOR BLACK MEDIA MEMBERS TO PUBLICLY CONDEMN THE BLACK OWNED MURDER OF BLACK CHILDREN IN CHICAGO?’Laura Washington wrote Sunday for the Chicago Sun-Times.

“The email plunked into my inbox last week. Journalists get these missives regularly. Anonymous notes, dispatched in frustration, anger and, sometimes, hate.

“Generally, I don’t respond to rude and disrespectful correspondents. And it’s been a very bad time for black folk.

“This time, I will.

Washington also wrote, “Every African-American journalist I know, and countless more that I don’t know, have been responding. We know that gun violence and street crime have become an inexorable fact of black life. For decades, with infinite heartache, we have been writing, reporting and condemning these crimes. . . .

“We have typed, scrawled, blogged and videotaped stories about our babies, society’s utmost responsibility, as they are shot, maimed and killed, like animals in the street, by their own. . . .”

(Credit: NBC News)

Thousands Grieve Death of Alton Sterling in La.

Thousands of mourners gathered Friday to grieve the death of Alton Sterling in a public funeral where comforting words for his family and reflections on his life mixed with demands for justice and calls to reinvigorate the political fight for equality,” Steve Hardy and Della Hasselle reported Friday for the Advocate in Baton Rouge, La.

“More than a dozen people took the stage to speak during the televised memorial service at Southern University, a group including well-known civil rights leaders such as the Revs. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, local and national politicians, and people who knew Sterling personally, like the shop owner who took a widely circulated video of his death earlier this month.

“The message from many was clear: The nation must address its racial divide. . . .”

Mourners embrace before services for Philando Castile in St. Paul, Minn., on Thursday. (Credit: St. Paul Pioneer Press)

Mourners embrace before services for Philando Castile in St. Paul, Minn., on Thursday. (Credit:  Pioneer Press, St. Paul)

Court Rules Feds Can Withhold Criminal Mugshots

A federal appeals court has ruled that federal authorities can withhold criminal mug shots, concluding that the Internet and social media have made booking photos more ’embarrassing and humiliating’ than ever before for defendants, and that the accused are entitled to privacy rights,” Tresa Baldas reported Thursday for the Detroit Free Press.

” ‘Twenty years ago, we thought that the disclosure of booking photographs, in ongoing criminal proceedings, would do no harm,’ the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals wrote in today’s 23-page opinion.

” ‘But time has taught us otherwise. The internet and social media have worked unpredictable changes in the way photographs are stored and shared … they can be instantaneously disseminated for malevolent purposes … these images preserve the indignity of a deprivation of liberty, often at the (literal) expense of the most vulnerable among us.’

“In a 9-7 decision, the 6th Circuit ruled in favor of a longstanding Department of Justice policy to keep mug shots private, concluding that criminal defendants ‘enjoy a non-trivial privacy interest in their booking photos.’

“The Detroit Free Press, which is the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit and has the backing of about 60 news organizations nationwide, adamantly disagrees. Mug shots have been released by state jurisdictions, including Michigan, for over 100 years, argue the newspaper’s lawyers, who are considering an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

” ‘People have a right to know who the government is prosecuting, and for what. Booking photos tell the “who” story in a way that a (defendant’s) name alone can’t. They literally put a face on the government’s prosecution, all the better for the public to see what the government is up to,’ Free Press attorney Herschel Fink has argued. . . .”

Hollis Towns Wins McGruder Diversity Award

Hollis R. Towns

Hollis R. Towns

Hollis R. Towns, executive editor and vice president of the Asbury Park Press in Neptune, N.J., is the winner of the 15th annual Robert G. McGruder Award for Diversity Leadership, awarded by the Associated Press Media Editors and the American Society of News Editors, the organizations announced on Friday.

The announcement also said, “Towns is being honored for championing diversity in both hiring and news coverage at the Asbury newspaper. He raised minority employment at the Press from less than 10 percent in 2008 to 25 percent in 2016. The senior management team at the newspaper is 44 percent women and 33 percent minority.

“In addition to leading a diverse newsroom, Towns has led his news team in tackling difficult issues of race, ethnicity and bias. The coverage has included exposing the imbalance of the state’s property tax system; ending the abusive use of police mug shots that stereotyped minorities; and exposing inequities in local school districts. . . .”

Towns is the last African American top editor at a Gannett, Inc., newspaper. The company was once the news industry’s diversity leader.

Members of Philadelphia Media Network, publisher of the Philadelphia Inquirer, learn that Sandra Clark, center, has accepted a position at public broadcaster WHYY. (Credit: Clem Murray/Philadelphia Inquirer)

Members of Philadelphia Media Network, publisher of the Philadelphia Inquirer, learn that Sandra Clark, center, has accepted a position at public broadcaster WHYY. (Credit: Clem Murray/Philadelphia Inquirer)

Inquirer’s Sandra Clark Heading to Public Radio

Sandra M. Clark, an Inquirer managing editor overseeing features, operations, and digital, is replacing Chris Satullo as the top news executive at the public-broadcasting affiliate WHYY,” Bob Fernandez reported Friday for the Philadelphia Inquirer.

“Satullo, also a former top Inquirer editor, left WHYY last September after a budget dispute with his superiors, shocking staffers who work at the radio and television studios on Independence Mall.

“There are 60 WHYY journalists, about triple the size of the features department in the combined newsroom of the Inquirer, Daily News, and Philly.com.

“Clark will hold the title of vice president for news and civic dialogue at WHYY, the main PBS and NPR affiliate in the Philadelphia area. She begins Aug. 22. . . .”

A. Scott Walton, Sports, Feature Writer, Dies at 51

A. Scott Walton

A. Scott Walton

Anthony Walton, who wrote under the byline A. Scott Walton as a columnist for the Detroit Free Press, Atlanta Journal-Constitution and other publications, died July 4 in Atlanta. He was 51 and suffered cardiac arrest in April following kidney failure, Tangela Gibson Walton, his ex-wife, told Journal-isms on Friday.

“In 1987, after graduating from Vanderbilt, he joined the Detroit Free Press as a Sports Statistician/Writer and Columnist,” according to a death notice on legacy.com placed in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the South Bend (Ind.) Tribune.

“Scott later became a Fashion and Features Columnist for the Detroit Free Press. It was from this role that he found his passion and would ultimately be recognized as a Fashion and Lifestyle ‘Guru.’ In 1993, Scott joined The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and held a variety of positions that include Fashion and Features Reporter, Writer/Editor for the Daily Peach-Buzz, Olympic Boxing Reporter, Features/Nightlife Columnist, Fashion Editor/ Lifestyle Columnist and Online Sports/Arts/Entertainment Producer.

“You may have also heard or seen Scott as a guest on Q-100 radio-The Bert Show, CNN Fashion segments, TBS’s “Movie and a Makeover” or attending a New York or European Fashion Week event. Following Scott’s 15 years career with the AJC, he worked with several major and local print and digital newspapers and magazines as a freelance writer. Scott also had his own blog, eyeseestyle.blogspot.com and was involved with the Atlanta Association of Black Journalists. . . . .”

Services are scheduled for Saturday at Living Water Church, 1922 Milburn Blvd., Mishawaka, Ind.

Short Takes

  • U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch told lawmakers Tuesday her office would investigate apparent lapses in federal oversight of private prisoner transportation companies, the subject of a recent Marshall Project investigation that revealed a pattern of deaths and abuses in the industry,” Eli Hager reported for the Marshall Project. “. . . A review of thousands of court documents, federal records and local news articles and interviews with guards and executives revealed a pattern of deaths, neglect, escapes and accidents in the industry. Four people have died since 2012 on vans run by the largest company in the business, Prisoner Transportation Services. . . .”
  • A major labor lawsuit over unpaid internships in the entertainment and media industry has reached a proposed settlement,” Eriq Gardner reported Tuesday for the Hollywood Reporter. “On Tuesday, court papers were filed revealing that Fox has agreed to pay many of those who completed an unpaid internship at its film, television and digital divisions. If approved by the judge, the deal would bring an end to a case that resulted in a landmark 2nd Circuit opinion that provided guidance on when unpaid internships might violate minimum wage and overtime standards in the Fair Labor Standards Act. . . .”
  • Back in college, NPR reporter Sonari Glinton studied with the Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel, who died this month at the age of 87. Here, Glinton reflects on Wiesel’s profound influence on his life and work. Glinton also issues a challenge to young journalists at Youth Radio and beyond: tell courageous stories, including the ones others don’t want to hear,” Youth Radio — Youth Media International wrote Thursday in introducing an essay by Glinton.
  • In the last 13 years, 160 immigrants have died in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the federal agency that detains and deports people who are in the country without legal status, according to the agency’s own records,” Latino USA reports in a two-part investigation produced with assistance from the Marshall Project. Of the at least seven suicides of ICE detainees since 2005, five happened at the Eloy Immigrant Detention Center in Arizona, “prompting questions from advocates about the detention center’s readiness to provide mental health services to the immigrants detained there. . . .” The report is produced by Fernanda Echávarri, Marlon Bishop and Maria Hinojosa.
  • Wendy Williams found herself in a social media firestorm after questioning the need for institutions like the NAACP and Historically Black Colleges and Universities,” LaToya Cross reported Thursday for Ebony. “. . . Once Roland Martin caught wind of Williams’ rhetoric, he went all the way in. ‘When you’re on TV and have no idea what you’re talking about, shut the hell up,’ Martin said in a fiery critique. ‘Don’t open your mouth. Don’t embarrass yourself. Because you sound silly.’ Thankfully, Martin’s fierce criticism led to the talk show host to extend an invitation to her show. Martin accepted, and class began. . . .”
  • As CNN’s vp of digital programming, S. Mitra Kalita will head a team of up to 18 that will program for mobile and social as well as the homepage and alerts,” Lucia Moses reported Thursday for digiday. “It’s part of a bigger shift by CNN to digital from TV, for which it’s spending $20 million and hiring 200 people. . . .Kalita has 12 people on her team now, with plans to hire as many as six more. . . .”
  • There are at least 1 million reasons why people all over love Lynda Baquero,”
    Lynda Baquero

    Lynda Baquero

    Don Kaplan reported Wednesday for the Daily News in New York. “The WNBC/Ch.4 newswoman and host of the channel’s popular ‘Better Get Baquero’ investigative franchise, has helped recover more than $1 million from scammers and callous companies as a result of the daily segment that debuted as part of the newscast in 2013. . . .”

  • “This Saturday, July 16, at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT, Telemundo presents the documentary ‘Cosecha de Miseria,’ a co-production of Noticias Telemundo and The Weather Channel, which exposes exploitative child labor practices on coffee plantations in the Mexican state of Chiapas,” the Spanish-language network announced on Tuesday. “The documentary will also be available the same day on NoticiasTelemundo.com, the Telemundo News App and YouTube channel, as well as weather.com, the website of The Weather Channel, a consumer brand of The Weather Company, an IBM Business. . . .”
  • Chicago television is about to lose one of its Ponces,” Robert Feder reported on his Chicago-based media website. “Anthony Ponce has resigned as reporter and weekend morning news anchor at NBC-owned WMAQ-Channel 5 to pursue other opportunities outside of TV news. Frank Whittaker, station manager and vice president of news at NBC 5, said Ponce’s last day on the air will be July 24. . . . Ponce, who joined the station in 2007, recently was passed over for promotion to weekday morning news anchor after the departure of Stefan Holt. Ponce’s brother, Dan Ponce, continues as morning news anchor at Tribune Media WGN-Channel 9. Their father, Phil Ponce, hosts ‘Chicago Tonight’ on Window to the World Communications WTTW-Channel 11. . . .”
  • The rest of the world remains interested in our raw materials and now in our people as part of their consumer markets,” Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who chairs the African Union Commission, said Thursday at the 27th African Union Summit in Kigali, Rwanda. “For Africans, the real narrative should be about how a growing Africa contributes to eradicate poverty, by skilling its people, industrializing, building infrastructure, increase access to basic services and creating jobs. He also said, “The other single story, I want to talk about, is the narrative about the importance of overseas development aid and foreign direct investment for African development. And yet, the continent already funds . . . over 85% of its development. Out there, this part of the story is not told. This plays into our own understanding that without help and from a benevolent other, we can achieve nothing. . . .”

 

 

Facebook users: “Like” “Richard Prince’s Journal-isms” on Facebook.

Richard Prince’s Journal-isms originates from Washington. It began in print before most of us knew what the internet was, and it would like to be referred to as a “column.” Any views expressed in the column are those of the person or organization quoted and not those of any other entity.
Send tips, comments and concerns to Richard Prince at journal-isms-owner@yahoogroups.com

To be notified of new columns, contact journal-isms-subscribe@yahoogroups.com and tell us who you are.