Trump at 6 months.

donald-trumpI have tried to avoid making blanket statements about our president because there is just so much talk about him. You get the usual stuff about presidents, but the amount of noise about this president is unprecedented.

I mean every day, this man has something going on. Whether it’s bullying his staff, pretend fighting with the media or trying to flex non existent influence of congressional republicans, it’s really just a constant stream of Trump. It’s hard to get through the day without some kind of mention of him. I believe this is the part of his current situation that he likes the most. He doesn’t seem to care much about actual governing, but he does realize that he will be in the news each and every day and seems to do whatever he can maintain that focus upon himself.

Once he was over the fact that he actually won without any real interest in having the job, he settled into the reality of the position he was in and then set on a course to make the most out of the platform. He likes the pomp and circumstance, the reverence and the adoration from his base. He also has rancor and disdain for his detractors and those that disagree, their concerns and views are summarily ignored until a microphone is put in front of him and then begins the lips service.

my evaluation at 6 months? Irresponsible Entitled Narcissist.

His lack of regard for governing, the rule of law or the judicial process should be offensive to any conscientious adult, no matter what side of the aisle you reside upon especially if you have any experience with children. At 71 years old there is little hope that his behavior or level of respect is going to change over the next 42 months, but at least we know that his time in the spent diminishing the honor of this lands highest elected office will end, eventually.

Missouri school fight felony

If we allow children to be charged with felonies for fighting at school, we are opening up the floodgates for hundreds of thousands more incarcerated individuals. Disproportionate numbers will continue to include: girls/women and boys/men of color.

New Missouri Law Makes Grade School Fights A Felony

Let’s all just be cool.

I know it seems extremely bad, quite horrible, depression worthy and an utter catastrophe of unprecedented proportion, but…
We’ve been through worse and we will get through this. As a matter of fact this is an opportunity. An opportunity to see the depths of what we are dealing with. Now that it’s been laid bare with great anger, vitriol and malice there can be no mistaking on the depths to which the divisions in this country run.
It’s been said,

The problem is not the problem, it’s the way that you see the problem that’s the problem.

So how are we going to see this problem and better yet, what are we going to do? That’s what I implore everyone who is upset by the outcome of this incredibly long and demoralizing election, to think about what you are going to do. Think about the reasons why this happened and what you can do to stop it from happening in the future. It takes all of us to participate in this democracy in order to make it what we want it to be.

I am not happy with the outcome, but experts have said that in this election, no one was actually going to be happy because we disliked both candidates. Both candidates were weak and the lowest of the low won out because they’re stuck in a time warp and the republican candidate told them all the things they wanted to hear with full knowledge that he couldn’t deliver, nor is he actually interested in doing so.

Big Black Scholar would like to let you know that, yes it is ugly, but it will make it. So let’s all grieve, regroup and keep moving forward.

Reflections on Racism: PWIs and minority students Part I

Photo from the NY Times

Photo from the NY Times

It has been about a week since the  incident at Texas A&M University. As I read more about how the incident is being “handled” I wonder why there is still such a lack of proactive education and awareness on diversity and inclusion at PWIs (Predominately White Institutions)?  Like many institutions, A&M has diversity officers and a multicultural/diversity office- and like many institutions, they do well in handling situations that occur on campus and impact the campus community. But one thing that I have also seen and experienced (as a higher education professional who has worked at multiple PWIs), is a lack of campus-wide education and awareness regarding diversity and inclusion in a way that impacts more than just minority students, faculty, and staff.

Implementing initiatives to attract, recruit and admit students of color, means nothing without initiatives aimed at retaining and supporting them. And now we have reached a point where the support must include educating non-minority faculty, staff, and students about how to understand and work with them. Celebrating Hispanic Heritage month, Black History Month, Women’s History Month, and having organizations for black, hispanic, international, and asian students is not enough. Especially, when members of these organizations make up most of the participants at their events, programs and educational workshops. It is great support for these students, and a celebration of their cultures. But…as I have observed, there is a lack of a white (and particularly a white-male) presence at many of the events, programs, training sessions, and workshops related to cultural competence, diversity, and inclusion.They are preaching to the choir.  Continue reading

“Qatar out of our schools”- Arabic Immersion in Texas

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Last week was the first week of school for many K-12 and college students across Texas. In Houston, last week was the first week of school for HISD’s new Arabic Immersion Magnet School. Though the district and superintendent Terry Grier were proud of the new school and its potential unique educational value for students, some Houstonians opposed and protested the opening of the school.

On Monday August 26th, students and parents were welcomed by protesters who believe the school’s half Arabic, half English immersion structure to be “anti-American.” The Arabic Immersion school is not the first immersion school in the district, but it is however the first that has been met with such opposition. In 2012 there were no protesters at the site of the opening of HISD’s Mandarin Immersion School.

According to the Chron.com, “Arabic was the second most common language other than English spoken by HISD families last school year.”  The Arabic-speaking population in the greater Houston area has increasingly grown since 2009 to over 20,000 people. Also, Houston is the nation’s energy capital, and most people believe it is beneficial to have graduates who can speak multiple languages, in particular those popular among countries included in the energy industry.

On August 26th, there were about 30 adult protesters outside of the school, who held signs including phrases such as “Qatar out of our school,” “American Schools American Kids,” and “Everything I ever cared to know about Islam was taught to me by Muslims on 9-11-2001.”

As expected, many people including school officials took to social media (twitter) to voice concerns, opposition, and support of Arabic Immersion education as well as increasing immersion programs across the district.

Personally, I think immersion programs are a huge benefit to students, families, society, and the business industries. It is unfortunate that students, teachers, and parents were subjected to this ignorance from the “protesters.” There signs indicate a lack of knowledge regarding the current and growing diversity in Houston…
Arabic 2 Arabic 3 Arabic 4 Arabic 5

 

Photo and Information Sources: The Houston Chronicle

Rachel Dolezal steps down from NAACP Leadership Role

JEROME A. POLLOS/Press Rachel Dolezal, director of education & curator of the Human Rights Education Institute, discusses the offering of Human Rights Education Institute flags Monday in response to flags flown by local hate groups.

Photo By: JEROME A. POLLOS

 

On June 12, 2015 The NAACP released a statement on their website naacp.org, regarding Rachel Dolezal, the President of the NAACP Spokane Branch. Within the statement was the following:

One’s racial identity is not a qualifying criteria or disqualifying standard for NAACP leadership.

 

As of June 15, 2015 Dolezal has officially resigned from her leadership role with the chapter. Her full statement can be found below:

Dear Executive Committee and NAACP Members,

It is a true honor to serve in the racial and social justice movement here in Spokane and across the nation. Many issues face us now that drive at the theme of urgency. Police brutality, biased curriculum in schools, economic disenfranchisement, health inequities, and a lack of pro-justice political representation are among the concerns at the forefront of the current administration of the Spokane NAACP. And yet, the dialogue has unexpectedly shifted internationally to my personal identity in the context of defining race and ethnicity.

I have waited in deference while others expressed their feelings, beliefs, confusions and even conclusions – absent the full story. I am consistently committed to empowering marginalized voices and believe that many individuals have been heard in the last hours and days that would not otherwise have had a platform to weigh in on this important discussion. Additionally, I have always deferred to the state and national NAACP leadership and offer my sincere gratitude for their unwavering support of my leadership through this unexpected firestorm.

While challenging the construct of race is at the core of evolving human consciousness, we can NOT afford to lose sight of the five Game Changers (Criminal Justice & Public Safety, Health & Healthcare, Education, Economic Sustainability, and Voting Rights & Political Representation) that affect millions, often with a life or death outcome. The movement is larger than a moment in time or a single person’s story, and I hope that everyone offers their robust support of the Journey for Justice campaign that the NAACP launches today!

I am delighted that so many organizations and individuals have supported and collaborated with the Spokane NAACP under my leadership to grow this branch into one of the healthiest in the nation in 5 short months. In the eye of this current storm, I can see that a separation of family and organizational outcomes is in the best interest of the NAACP.

It is with complete allegiance to the cause of racial and social justice and the NAACP that I step aside from the Presidency and pass the baton to my Vice President, Naima Quarles-Burnley. It is my hope that by securing a beautiful office for the organization in the heart of downtown, bringing the local branch into financial compliance, catalyzing committees to do strategic work in the five Game Changer issues, launching community forums, putting the membership on a fast climb, and helping many individuals find the legal, financial and practical support needed to fight race-based discrimination, I have positioned the Spokane NAACP to buttress this transition.

Please know I will never stop fighting for human rights and will do everything in my power to help and assist, whether it means stepping up or stepping down, because this is not about me. It’s about justice. This is not me quitting; this is a continuum. It’s about moving the cause of human rights and the Black Liberation Movement along the continuum from Resistance to Chattel Slavery to Abolition to Defiance of Jim Crow to the building of Black Wall Street to the Civil Rights and Black Power Movement to the ‪#‎BlackLivesMatter‬ movement and into a future of self-determination and empowerment.

With much love and a commitment to always fight for what is right and good in this world,

Rachel Dolezal

Source: naacp.org; The Washington Post

Higher Ed. professional fired over Assata Shakur mural

Mural

If college is the marketplace of ideas that should be open to freedom of expression and diversity of ideals, was it really right to remove a mural depicting Assata Shakur from a “remote” area on the campus of Marquette University? Furthermore, was it appropriate (or right) to fire  the Director of the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center (who was responsible for the creation of the mural)? Some regard Shakur as a terrorist, cop-killer, and dangerous black militant, especially after her murder conviction and escape from prison in the 70’s. However, some regard her as a powerful black activist, a leader, and a feminist leader.

A statement was released on behalf of Marquette University recently regarding the removal of the mural and the dismissal of a well-respected campus administrator:

“This is extremely disappointing as the mural does not reflect the Guiding Values of Marquette University. It is being removed immediately. We are reviewing the circumstances surrounding the mural and will take appropriate action.”

Continue reading

The “Devil” made her say those things…

travis_gordeluk_facebook-800x430

I usually do not post or disseminate information like this, but honestly, this made me sigh, shake my head, and honestly chuckle a bit so I had to share:

A video of a Georgia Principal went viral over the weekend after a graduation ceremony where she looked to have become upset with the attendees. Apparently she skipped over the valedictorian’s speech during the ceremony and became upset when people attempted to leave before she could make up for it by allowing him to give his speech. The situation escalated when she made a remark about “Black people leaving” in front of the entire audience and several people left in an uproar.

Later, she went on to apologize stating that “the devil made me say those things”…and ironically, her son posted a comment on twitter addressing the “niggers” who had an issue with her comment….What a wonderfully, well trained, diverse group of professionals we have in education (yes, that is sarcasm). Feel free to post thoughts and comments! Links to the video from the commencement ceremony and a story regarding the young man are available below.

Graduation Video

Son’s Twitter Reaction

 

 

A History of Violence Part One

In lieu of recent protesting and more specifically, the “riots” in Baltimore, let us take some time to think back on the birth of our nation and the struggles that people had to endure for the American Revolution. We do indeed have a history of violence in this country. There were protests, riots, and looting. Remember this? Sons of Liberty

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Closing the Literacy Gap: Barbershop Books

Barbershop Books 2

Alvin Irby (former educator) created the “Barbershop Books” program, as an initiative to promote literacy for young black males. The program is also targeted at helping Black boys associate books and reading as a part of their identity. According to Irby, the idea is simple: identify barbershops that Black families frequent, and set up a shelf of children’s books. Continue reading