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Not Buying Conservative False Equivalency Arguments

One of the favorite argument styles of conservatives is the false equivalency. A Democrat gets pregnant, a Republican gets arrested for molesting a child in a Hotel room. In the picayune conservative mind these are equivalent…Because they both involve children.

Here, Larry Sabato of the University of Virginia calls out CNN Hosts on that game.

I am sticking this one under the category “Faux News” because it is an example of CNN behaving like liar centre – Fox News.

 
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Posted by on May 31, 2017 in Faux News

 

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Black Student, Teacher Have Heated Debate Over Use of N*Word

A white teacher defended the use of the N-Word as being commoditized and meaningless anymore. A black student was having none of it.

Seems to me, it is a valid academic discussion. Here is hoping that the administration uses this as a teaching moment instead of penalizing either the Teacher or Students.

‘It’s f*cking racist’: Watch a black teen confront his white teacher who insists on using the N-word

Students angrily confronted a white New Orleans teacher who insisted he could use the most notorious racial slur because it had been drained of its meaning through overuse.

Video recorded Thursday by students at Ben Franklin High School, recently ranked as Louisiana’s top public high school, showed the permanent substitute teacher explaining his position as students angrily and profanely challenged him, reported The Times-Picayune.

“That’s racist as sh*t,” one black student says to the teacher, identified only as “Coach Ryan.” “Why can you not understand that it’s racist for a white man to say ‘n****r’ to a black man? It’s f*cking racist.”

The student then turns to a white classmate and asks if he’d ever use the racial slur, and the other boy agrees he would not, and the black teen then rhetorically asks the rest of his classmates if they would.

“F*ck no, they wouldn’t say ‘n****r,’” he tells the teacher.

The teacher asks the teen if he knows what a “commoditized word” means, and the student asks him to explain the term.

“It’s a word that’s used so many times that it doesn’t mean its original meaning,” the teacher says. “The word has been commoditized so that anyone can use it, and it’s not a negative connotation.”

The student argues that it would have a negative connotation for the teacher to use it to describe him, but the teacher asks why rappers use the racial slur in songs.

“If you say the word, it means friend, but if I say the word, it means something different,” the teacher says.

The teen says the meaning changes, based on the speaker’s race, and the teacher insists that’s not true.

“Not if you want the world to move on,” the teacher says. “If you want this world to be the way it was 50 years ago, then you’re true — you’re right.”

The teenager tries to explain the difference between the full word, n****r, and the truncated colloquialism, n***a.

“Nobody says n****r,” the teacher says, as the teen explodes and his classmates giggle nervously.

“Don’t f*cking say that,” the boy says. “You can’t say ‘n****r’ or ‘f*cking n****r’ … you’re my f*cking teacher, don’t say that sh*t.”

The teacher tries to argue that he could use the word as part of an academic lesson on its history, but the student angrily slams a book down on a desk and tells the teacher to stop using the racial slur.

“Please, it’s a word,” the teacher says. “You cannot go through life acting like a word can affect you.”

Students went after class to the principal’s office to stage a sit-in, but that turned into an impromptu, hour-long assembly on race and racism, the newspaper reported.

The school, which is overseen by the Orleans Parish School Board, is one of the most diverse in New Orleans — with 40 percent white students, 31 percent black, 16 percent Asian, 7 percent Hispanic and 6 percent multi-racial.

Another Franklin teacher also used a racial slur during this school year, students said on social media.

Franklin alumni started an online petition after the latest incident pledging to withhold donations until meaningful action was taken by the school.

The teacher was not on campus Thursday afternoon, and school officials said an investigation of the incident could take several days before any potential disciplinary action was taken.

 
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Posted by on May 6, 2017 in Black History, The Post-Racial Life

 

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Black History Month

 

Racist conservatives and their Lawn Ornaments have a new argument – that Black History Month is no longer relevant because it has been absorbed into mainstream American History. That is yet another racist myth.

Proof?

The Texas School Board which is run by right wing racists…

Texas Makes Changes to History Textbooks: No Mention of KKK or Jim Crow, and the Civil War Was Fought Over States’ Rights, Not Slavery

A change is coming to public school education in Texas, a change that was voted for in 2010 and will take effect when students go back to school come fall.

It’s happening in history class—in the new social studies textbooks that students will be using to learn U.S. history. New state academic guidelines changed some of the black American history content that students typically learn. For instance, the new textbooks will “barely address racial segregation,” the Washington Post explains; nor will they make mention of the Ku Klux Klan or the Jim Crow laws put in place to continue what began with slavery.

Oh, and with regard to what got the Civil War going: Texas’ new academic standards mandate that students learn that the war was about a debate regarding states’ rights. Slavery will reportedly play second fiddle on the list of explanations used to teach why some states seceded from the Union. …

 Texas officials: Schools should teach that slavery was ‘side issue’ to Civil War

Five million public school students in Texas will begin using new social studies textbooks this fall based on state academic standards that barely address racial segregation. The state’s guidelines for teaching American history also do not mention the Ku Klux Klan or Jim Crow laws.

And when it comes to the Civil War, children are supposed to learn that the conflict was caused by “sectionalism, states’ rights and slavery” — written deliberately in that order to telegraph slavery’s secondary role in driving the conflict, according to some members of the state board of education.

Slavery was a “side issue to the Civil War,” said Pat Hardy, a Republican board member, when the board adopted the standards in 2010. “There would be those who would say the reason for the Civil War was over slavery. No. It was over states’ rights.”

Why does it matter what some right wing racist redneck types do to their schools in Texas? Texas buys 48 million textbooks every year. No other state, except California, wields that sort of market clout. As such, the Texas KKK version of American History gets printed, and distributed to other states. Meaning, the Texas board gets to erase people like Caesar Chavez, and the existence of Jim Crow from not only their textbooks – but those bought by other states.

So…There is an active movement in America…Still…To erase Black History. The argument against Black History Month is based on CHarles Woodson – who believed black history would be absorbed into the context  of Amrican History – ergo American Historians, textbook publishers, and Schools –  “would willingly recognize the contributions of black Americans as a legitimate and integral part of the history of this country.”

Obviously…That isn’t happening.

Black History Month in Schools—Retire or Reboot?

Now in its 40th year, questions remain about the value of commemorating it in classrooms.

The seed of what is now known as Black History Month was planted in the doctoral thesis of Carter G. Woodson, a noted scholar, author, and co-founder of the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History. The son of former slaves, Woodson received a Ph.D. in 1912 from Harvard University, where he studied under renowned historians who minimized the importance and vitality of black history. But Woodson would not be deterred. He believed the heritage and contributions of black Americans was excluded from history, and he saw this knowledge as essential to social change.

Woodson’s dedication to the research and promotion of black history has been memorialized by his actions—in 1926 he declared the second week of February Negro History Week—and his words:

If a race has no history, if it has no worthwhile tradition, it becomes a negligible factor in the thought of the world, and it stands in danger of being exterminated.

Today Woodson’s brainchild is the entire month of February. First celebrated in 1976, Black History Month was the result of a growing racial pride and consciousness of black Americans and Woodson’s association pushing to expand the weekly celebration. Now a well-entrenched, nationally recognized observance, Black History Month is a commemoration that might be short in days but is increasingly long on controversy. In the last month—in examples that cross racial boundaries—the black actress and conservative commentator Stacey Dashcalled to eliminate Black History Month, labeling it a vestige of segregation, while Republicans in the Kansas legislature questioned if an entire month dedicated to honoring black history was “too long.”

In one corner, advocates of Black History Month argue that a special month is needed to celebrate and recognize the achievements of black Americans in a country where European history dominates historical discourse. In the other corner, critics cast doubt that Black History Month is still relevant with the gains made in race relations—a black U.S. president the most visible sign—anddetractors charge it is detrimental in the long term to pigeonhole black history into a month-long observance. Somewhere caught in the middle are educators and schools.

A driving force behind Woodson setting aside time to study and reflect on black culture was his frustration that children—black and nonblack students—were deprived of learning in America’s schools about black achievements. Yetaccording to the NAACP, even the creator hoped the time would come when a black history week was unnecessary. Woodson was optimistic that America “would willingly recognize the contributions of black Americans as a legitimate and integral part of the history of this country.” But research shows this goal is far from complete.

Teaching Tolerance, a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, in 2014 graded all 50 states and the District of Columbia on how well their public schools taught the civil-rights era to students. Twenty states received a failing grade, and in five states—Alaska, Iowa, Maine, Oregon, and Wyoming—civil-rights education was totally absent from state standards. Overall, the study found less teaching of the civil-rights movement in states outside the South and those with fewer black residents. The report paints an unfavorable picture of schools where a crucial event in black history is largely ignored…Read the Rest Here

 
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Posted by on February 22, 2016 in The New Jim Crow

 

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At Last! Science Confirms What All Husbands Knew!

If you have ever been on a car trip with your wife/significant other, and gotten lost or try to find someplace and she thinks you are a complete dingbat at finding places…And she is screaming for you to go in what you know is the wrong direction, or to stop and ask someone for directions when you know perfectly well  where you are going…

Hand her this! I suggest keeping a (multiple) copy in the glove box.

Study Says That Men Have The Better Sense Of Direction

The idea that men have a better sense of direction than women is one of the oldest gender cliches. But new research suggests that men really might employ better navigational strategies than women.

Previous studies — including many decades-old experiments on rats in mazes — have shown that men tend to outperform women on tasks requiring spatial awareness and way-finding. Now, the new findings offer a glimpse into why this is the case.

In a new study currently under review, neuroscientists at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, asked 18 male and 18 female participants to use 3D goggles and a joystick for one hour to orient themselves in a virtual maze game. Then, they were given 30 seconds for each of 45 various navigational tasks (for instance, finding a yellow car from different starting points). Meanwhile, the researchers measured their brain activity using fMRI.

“Men’s sense of direction was more effective,” Carl Pintzka, a Ph.D candidate in neuroscience at the university and the study’s lead author, said in a statement. “They quite simply got to their destination faster.”

The researchers found that men used cardinal directions more in their navigation. That means that men tended to use a “world-centered strategy,” going in the general direction of where something was located.

“World-centered strategy means the use of a cognitive map and cardinal directions to find your way,” Pintzka told The Huffington Post in an email. “Women on the other hand used a more egocentric strategy (self-centered), which means they relied more on a route of landmarks to get to the target.”

The world-centered strategy, which the men used, is more flexible since having a sense of direction is less dependent on the starting point. It’s likely that this is why the men ended up completing 50 percent more of the tasks than the women did.

The fMRI scans revealed a number of brain activity differences between the sexes. In men, the hippocampus — a brain region that helps us make sense of cardinal directions — was used more, and a larger hippocampus was associated with better navigational skills. Women relied more on the pre- and orbitofrontal cortex of the brain, which is involved in decision-making. Additionally, men had increased connectivity and synchronicity between important areas for navigation compared to women.

In a second study, which will be published on Feb. 1 in the journal Behavioral Brain Research, 21 women who were given testosterone and 21 women who were not given any hormones underwent the same navigational tasks. The results showed that the women who took testosterone didn’t perform any better, but they did use the hippocampus more when navigating, just like the men in the first experiment.

What does it all mean? Well, the gender differences have more to do with behavior and brain differences than hormones. 

“Our results demonstrate that testosterone had an enhancing effect on certain aspects of spatial cognition in healthy women, but that complex behaviors such as navigation, relying more on learned strategies, are not altered despite increased neuronal activity in relevant brain regions,” Pintzka told HuffPost. “These findings suggest that the male navigation advantage mainly reflects sex differences inbehavioral strategy.”

The researchers simply chalk up these differences to our evolutionary past.

“In ancient times, men were hunters and women were gatherers. Therefore, our brains probably evolved differently,” Pintzka said. “In simple terms, women are faster at finding things in the house, and men are faster at finding the house.”

 

 
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Posted by on December 8, 2015 in Men

 

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