Columnists Say Reaction Would Be Far Different

Election Day Produces Diverse Array of Winners

Resentment of Black Wealth Seen in Anthem Debate

Trump Appears to Pursue Vendetta Against CNN

Calderon Becomes First Afro-Latina Evening News Anchor

Worldwide, Youth Being Taught News Literacy

HuffPost Talks to 13 Asian Americans About Eyes

A Random Street Survey on Like, Dislike of ‘Latinx’

Lawyers, Legislators Fight Criminalization of Poverty

Stigmatized Pygmy Teens Trained as Reporters

Short Takes

Family members at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, fight back tears Wednesday as Vice President Mike Pence speaks at Floresville High School to pay respects to the victims of Sunday's church shooting. (Credit: Kin Man Hui, San Antonio Express-News)

Family members at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, fight back tears Wednesday as Vice President Mike Pence speaks at Floresville High School, paying respects to the victims of Sunday’s church shooting. (Credit: Kin Man Hui/San Antonio Express-News)

Columnists Say Reaction Would Be Far Different

Two African American columnists of different generations and temperaments came to similar conclusions on Tuesday: If Devin Kelley, the apparent killer of 26 worshipers Sunday in Sutherland Springs, Texas, were Muslim or black, the nation’s reaction would have been far different.

White privilege continued to protect him in case after case,Shaun King, the Black Lives Matter activist and former columnist for the Daily News in New York, wrote for BlackAmericaWeb.com after reviewing Kelley’s history.

Leonard Pitts Jr., the syndicated Miami Herald columnist, asked, “Do you think that if the Texas killer had had an exotic name or begun his attack with a cry of ‘Allahu Akbar!’ our responses would be limited to thoughts and prayers and lawmakers would be content to mouth impotent pieties?

King recalled the Las Vegas attack that killed 58 people in October. Like the attack in Texas, it, too, ranks among the deadliest mass shootings in modern American history.

“Soon after that shooting, I wrote a column stating that white privilege in America is so strong that even Stephen Paddock, the deadliest single mass shooter in American history, was getting preferential treatment in death that virtually any shooter other than a white man would ever receive had they done something similar,” King wrote.

“Well, it’s happening again in Texas, but this time I actually think it’s worse. Devin Kelley shot and killed multiple children. He shot and killed a pregnant woman. He killed senior citizens. The man had absolutely no regard for human life when he strapped on black tactical gear, loaded up rounds and rounds of ammunition, and walked straight into that church and rained down horror on that close-knit congregation.

“We had warning signs galore. . . .

“Kelley was given break after break in life. And we must investigate why that is. For the past six months I’ve spent nearly every waking moment of my life either in The Bronx or studying it. I’ve taken a deep dive into neighborhoods where families and children never get a break. If you break the law, you go to jail, then you go to prison, normally for a very long time. If you are even suspected of breaking the law, it doesn’t matter if you are a child or a grown man, you go to Rikers, where you may wait for months or even years just to see a judge. In The Bronx, I’ve uncovered case after case of people, always black or brown mind you, who’ve spent years in jail or prison for crimes they never committed.

“Somehow though, the harsh judgment and punishment of America’s justice system never really visited Devin Kelley. He should’ve served hard time for fracturing a child’s skull, but he didn’t. He could and likely should have served hard time for domestic violence and sexual assault and animal cruelty, but he lives in a universe altogether different than black and brown families in The Bronx — one in which he gets a perpetual pass for violence and intimidation. . . .”

Pitts wrote:

“Why are we OK with this?

“Not you and me as individuals, perhaps. But America, as a corporate body? It seems ever more obvious that for all the lip service we pay to ‘thoughts and prayers,’ for all the candles we light and tears we weep, this is a thing we accept. As opposed to Islamic terror, which we don’t. You can read the distinction starkly in Donald Trump’s tweets.

“After a Muslim shot up a nightclub in Orlando, the then-candidate decried our lack of toughness and demanded a ban on Muslim travel.

“After a non-Muslim killed nearly 60 people in Las Vegas and wounded over 500 more, he said the killer’s ‘wires were crossed pretty badly in his brain.’

“After a Muslim killed eight people in New York City, he mused about sending him to Gitmo and demanded the ‘DEATH PENALTY.’

“After Sunday’s murders by a non-Muslim, he promised to stand with the people of Sutherland Springs.

“It’s not that Trump won’t condemn a non-Muslim killer, but that he saves his greatest energy and outrage for the killer who claims to worship Islam, even though the former is the far deadlier threat.

“And though Trump is often an outlier, his moral inconsistency here seems to reflect America’s own.  . . .”

Election Day Produces Diverse Array of Winners

CBS News, the Los Angeles Times and NPR were among the news organizations that noted the diversity of the winning candidates in Tuesday’s election.

Racial and religious minorities and LGBTQ candidates picked up historic wins in races across the country Tuesday,” Jaweed Kaleem reported for the Los Angeles Times. “They included two openly transgender politicians, African Americans who prevailed in several mayoral races and the first Sikh mayor in New Jersey. . . .”

Brian Naylor of NPR added:

In the northern Virginia suburb of Prince William County, Danica Roem became the first openly transgender candidate to win a statehouse seat anywhere in the country. She defeated the long-time Republican incumbent, social conservative Robert Marshall. . . .

“Also in Virginia, Kathy Tran, a refugee from Vietnam, became the first Asian-American woman elected to the House of Delegates. And Elizabeth Guzman and Hala Ayala both defeated Republican incumbents to become the first Latina women elected to the chamber.

Andrea Jenkins won election to the Minneapolis City Council, becoming the first openly transgender person of color elected to office in the U.S. Jenkins was a policy aide on the city council and won more than 70 percent of the vote.

“Across the Mississippi River, Melvin Carter was elected the first African-American mayor of St. Paul.

“In Hoboken, N.J., Ravi Bhalla was elected mayor, making him the city’s first Sikh American chief executive. . . .”

“Some of the other firsts:

Wilmot Collins, a refugee from Liberia, was elected mayor of Helena Mont., becoming the state’s first black mayor.

“Seattle elected its first female mayor since 1926. Jenny Durkan will also be the city’s first lesbian mayor, winning the post vacated by Ed Murray, who resigned after several men accused him of sexually abusing them.

“Charlotte, N.C., elected its first female African American mayor, Democrat Vi Lyles.

“Manchester, N.H., the state’s largest city, elected its first female mayor in its 266-year history, Joyce Craig. She defeated Republican incumbent Ted Gatsas. . . .”

Separately, Latino Rebels reported, “An Election Eve poll about the Virginia race from Latino Decisions [PDF], CASA in Action, NextGen America, and America’s Voice reported that an ‘over-reliance on anti-immigrant race-baiting’ from Republican candidate Ed Gillespie failed with voters of color.

“Gillespie [lost] the governor’s race by nine percentage points to Democrat Ralph Northam.

“Other takeaways from the poll included the following:

“ ‘Voters were aware the campaign had become heavily racialized and moved from Gillespie, towards Northam.’
“ ‘In the final three weeks, there was a significant increase in outreach with communities of color.’
“ ‘Among people who reported seeing ads or discussions of Gillespie as anti-immigrant, there was an overwhelming vote in favor of Northam.’
“ ‘Virginians are pro-immigration and support welcoming policy towards immigrants.’ ”

“In July this year, I interviewed the American white supremacist Richard Spencer, for a documentary on the roots of white anxiety in America,” Gary Younge wrote for Britain’s Guardian. “In the course of our exchange he claims that Africans contributed nothing to civilisation (they started it), that Africans benefited from white supremacy (they didn’t) and that, since I’m black I cannot be British (I am). A clip of that interview that has now gone viral.” (video)

Resentment of Black Wealth Seen in Anthem Debate

When A. Scott Bolden appeared on Fox News to defend National Football League players who protest racism by kneeling during the national anthem, he instead found himself under attack,” Vanessa Williams reported Oct. 31 for the Washington Post, in a story published on the front page of the print edition Wednesday.

“ ‘You’re wearing thousand-dollar cuff links; don’t give me the victim card!’ host Tucker Carlson told Bolden, who is black and a partner in an international law firm. ‘Those cuff links cost more than my first car!’

“After the September appearance, Bolden said racist messages flooded his voice mail and email.

“ ’ “You n-word, S.O.B.,” ’ Bolden recounted from one voice mail, censoring the caller’s language. ‘ ”You’re making millions as a lawyer while I’m making $10 an hour, and you have the audacity to complain about racism in this country.” ‘

President Trump has said his fight with NFL players is about respecting the flag and honoring veterans — not race. But the president and some conservative commentators have made wealth a part of the debate, inflaming racial resentment among Trump’s white working-class supporters who express no tolerance for black athletes raising concerns about institutional racism while making millions of dollars a year. . . .”

Trump Appears to Pursue Vendetta Against CNN

On Oct. 22, 2016, Donald J. Trump made his own history in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, where he was holding a campaign rally just weeks before his election,” Jim Rutenberg reported Wednesday for the New York Times.

“ ‘AT&T is buying Time Warner, and thus CNN,’ he told his audience, calling the proposed merger an example of a media ‘power structure’ that was working to suppress his vote and the voices of his supporters. It was, he said, ‘a deal we will not approve in my administration.’

“He specifically cited media concentration. But his singling out of CNN in the context of an alleged plot against him was lost on no one.

“Now, CNN is at the heart of a dispute between the Justice Department and AT&T and Time Warner. Three people from the companies said Wednesday that the department insisted that AT&T divest either CNN’s parent company, Turner Broadcasting, or its valuable DirecTV service in return for approval.

“This raised the chilling possibility that Mr. Trump was making good on his threatening statements in Gettysburg. . . .”

Ilya Calderon

Ilia Calderon

Calderon Becomes First Afro-Latina Evening News Anchor

Ilia Calderon will replace Maria Elena Salinas as co-anchor with Jorge Ramos of Univision’s flagship 6:30 p.m. newscast Noticiero Univision in mid-December, the network announced Wednesday,” Marisa Guthrie reported Wednesday for the Hollywood Reporter.

“Calderon, a native of Colombia, becomes the first Afro-Latina to anchor an evening newscast for a major broadcaster in the U.S.

“It is a distinction she also achieved in Colombia, where she was the first black woman to host a . . . national [news] program.

“Calderon will also serve as co-host of Univision’s Sunday night newsmagazine, Aquí y Ahora (Here and Now), which airs on Sunday nights, alongside Teresa Rodriguez. . . .”

As part of its global Media and Information Literacy (MIL) Week in late October, UNESCO challenged 250 young people from 10 countries at a special workshop in Jamaica to be the first to sign a MIL CLICKS PACT pledging to closely review content before sharing or posting. (Credit: UNESCO)

As part of its global Media and Information Literacy (MIL) Week in late October, UNESCO challenged 250 young people from 10 countries at a special workshop in Jamaica to be the first to sign a MIL CLICKS PACT pledging to closely review content before sharing or posting. (Credit: UNESCO)

Worldwide, Youth Being Taught News Literacy

Last month, “The Gleaner daily in Jamaica hosted a timely forum about news literacy,” the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers reported Tuesday.

“Ten secondary students had been suspended after they launched social media challenge . . . encouraging people to describe the extent to which they would go for sexual pleasure.

” ‘These youngsters tend to be very creative and talented,’ Clement Lambert, a University of West Indies education professor, told The Gleaner. ‘So sometimes when some schools are giving up the aesthetics for other subjects because they want the high passes in the sciences, while ignoring other talents for the children, we’re at fault, too.’ . . . ”

The association cited the forum as one way that “News organizations around the world are finding new ways to show young audiences how to critically examine content for its credibility — and have some fun in the process.”

“By means of a set of free reports and an extensive database, both commissioned by the American Press Institute, WAN-IFRA suggests more than 100 ways news organizations can get started on the crucial task of helping young audiences learn to use the news and navigate all kinds of content,” Aralynn McMane reported.

Sita Borahm Chay poses for a portrait in New York (Credit: Damon Dahlen/HuffPost)

Sita Borahm Chay poses for a portrait in New York (Credit: Damon Dahlen/HuffPost)

HuffPost Talks to 13 Asian Americans About Eyes

When we talk about Asian eyes, we talk about slantedness, roundness, smooth monolids and deep eyelid folds. But what we’re also talking about is Westernization, beauty standards and self-acceptance,” Jessica Prois wrote on Oct. 31 for HuffPost.

Her story was part of “Listen to America,” in which HuffPost hit the road “to interview people about their hopes, dreams, fears — and what it means to be American today.”

“To talk about Asian eyes is to have a unique lexicon,” Prois continued. “There are clinical terms — like the epicanthal folds. There are secret tools and routines — like eyelid tape. And there are hushed ways to talk about permanent changes — like ‘getting your eyelid surgery.’

“For Asians and Asian-Americans, eyes are the literal portal through which we perceive beauty standards — and they’re often the physical feature we use to measure ourselves against these benchmarks.

“In America, there’s a history of Asian eyes, racism and disenfranchisement. Propaganda signs at the time of Japanese-American imprisonment during World War II or when the Chinese Exclusion Act was in force during the 19th and 20th centuries depicted characters with hyperbolized slanted eyes to dehumanize Asians. And these stereotypes persist today.

“Asian-Americans who spoke to HuffPost expressed everything from dissatisfaction to ultimate acceptance of their eyes and appearance. Their feelings about Asian eyes were fraught with centuries-old, cross-continental beliefs about attractiveness. They described a confluence of factors informing how they see their eyes — including a history of war, Westernization, an unforgiving media and unattainable beauty standards.

“Below, hear from 13 Asian-American men and women about slants, folds, taunts and self-acceptance. . . .”

A Random Street Survey on Like, Dislike of ‘Latinx’

What is Latinx and why do so many people dislike the term?” NBC Latino asked on Tuesday. “NBC Latino went out to the streets of New York to ask people what they think about the term.” (video)

Lawyers, Legislators Fight Criminalization of Poverty

While most people in this country believe that debtors’ prisons are a thing of the past, Americans are in jail by the thousands for no other reason than being unable to pay a fine and its accompanying fees — which is unconstitutional, in many instances,” Peter Edelman wrote Friday for the Nation.

“Yet even when jail doesn’t ensue, the courts’ policy of garnishing wages and seizing tax refunds creates a prison of another kind. An estimated 10 million people currently owe a collective $50 billion in court debt.

“Meanwhile, even more people are locked up pending trial on low-level misdemeanors or violations because they can’t afford the bail set for them.

“Altogether, roughly 500,000 people are in jails across the country simply because they are poor. These men and women haven’t been found guilty of any crime. Rather, most of them have merely been accused of low-level infractions that shouldn’t be crimes at all and that often don’t carry jail time. One result is that many low-income people plead guilty just to get out even if they are innocent, leaving them with a lifetime of collateral consequences. (For more on this, see ‘The Injustice of Cash Bail,’ by Bryce Covert, in the November 6 issue of The Nation.)

“The criminalization of poverty has metastasized into other areas as well. . . .”

However, Edelman wrote later in the piece, “Across the country, a growing movement is pushing back, using everything from law to legislation to policy to dismantle the vicious circle of debt and incarceration that traps so many poor people.

“Lawyers have been at the forefront of this push. . . .”

Elisée Nyanokonzo, a16-year-old Pygmy youth reporter, sits inside the recording studio at Radio Mwana, Mbandaka, Democratic Republic of Congo, (Credit: Christopher Clark/Thompson Reuters Foundation)

Elisée Nyanokonzo, a 16-year-old pygmy youth reporter, sits inside the recording studio at Radio Mwana, Mbandaka, Democratic Republic of Congo. (Credit: Christopher Clark/Thompson Reuters Foundation)

Stigmatized Pygmy Teens Trained as Reporters

Radio Mwana aims to empower the province’s indigenous people by training pygmy teenagers as youth reporters,” Christopher Clark reported Tuesday from Mbandaka, Democratic Republic of Congo, for the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

“Sixteen-year-old Elisée Nyanokonzo used to be afraid to walk alone around the streets of Mbandaka, the crumbling provincial of Équateur Province in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

“As a Batwa pygmy, Nyanokonzo was constantly fearful of being taunted or attacked by someone from the majority Bantu population, known to routinely stigmatise the Batwa minority.

” ‘I never felt comfortable approaching a Bantu. I’d been made to believe I was less than them, that we pygmies weren’t whole people,’ Nyanokonzo told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

“But that changed last year, when Nyanokonzo was recruited into a project at a community radio station called Radio Mwana — meaning ‘child’ in the local Lingala language.

“Launched in late 2014 with the support of Congolese non-profit groups Secteur Media and Children’s Radio Foundation, Radio Mwana aims to empower the province’s indigenous people by training pygmy teenagers as youth reporters.

“Together with young Bantu reporters, Nyanokonzo and other teenage Batwa reporters now produce eight radio programmes a month, drawing a sizable listenership across Mbandaka and in the forested countryside that surrounds the city. . . .”

Short Takes

British Vogue for December

British Vogue for December

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