Special education clash: Supreme Court sides unanimously for student with disability

CC™ Legal Buzz

By Linda Jacobson, The 74

Students can seek monetary damages even if they accept a settlement under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the court said....

A deaf man can sue his former school district in Michigan for monetary damages because he was denied appropriate services and left unable to communicate in school, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously Tuesday. 

The justices reversed a decision by the Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit that prohibited Miguel Luna Perez from seeking financial relief under the Americans with Disabilities Act because his family accepted a settlement under special education law.

“We clarify that nothing in that provision bars his way,” Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote in the opinion, referring to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. He added that the court took the case because it has consequences for “a great many children with disabilities and their parents.”

In a statement, Roman Martinez, Luna Perez’s attorney, said the family now plans to pursue a lawsuit against the Detroit-area Sturgis Public Schools under the Americans with Disabilities Act. 

The “court’s ruling vindicates the rights of students with disabilities to obtain full relief when they suffer discrimination,” he said.

The case focused on whether Congress intended for families to relinquish their rights to sue for monetary damages when they agree to a settlement under IDEA to get their children services as quickly as possible. But advocates for school districts, such as AASA, the School Superintendents Association, argued that districts could be facing multiple lawsuits from the same family.

“This is a significant ruling, and an unsurprising decision based on the oral argument,” said Sasha Pudelski, advocacy director for AASA. “We have deep concerns with injecting a legal battle over money into the IDEA process and how this ruling may undermine parents’ willingness to collaborate with districts in crafting an appropriate special education program for a child.”

Luna Perez, whose family emigrated from Mexico, entered the Sturgis schools in 2004, when he was 9. He didn’t know American Sign Language or English. The district assigned him an aide who couldn’t sign, invented hand signals to communicate with him and often left him alone for hours. 

He received good grades, but before graduation in 2016, the district told his parents that he would not be eligible for a high school diploma — only a certificate of completion. The family sued under IDEA, which resulted in a placement in the Michigan School for the Deaf. But the family also argued that their son should be compensated for being left without the skills to get a job. IDEA includes a number of procedural steps before a case can go to court and doesn’t provide financial relief. 

The only remedy available under IDEA is compensatory education services. But Rebecca Spar, a special education attorney with the New Jersey-based Education Law Center, said that’s less important to an adult who needs to support himself.  

“It was the kind of case where appropriate education going forward could not remediate the harm to the student,” she said.

Advocates for English learners said there are lessons in the case for how districts serve immigrant families whose children have disabilities. Schools need to ensure immigrant families understand their rights and provide interpretation and translation services, said Cady Landa, a researcher at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign who has studied the obstacles facing such families.

In the Sturgis schools, things have changed since Luna Perez was a student, said Superintendent Art Ebert, who has been with the district since 2018. The district has an interpreter and is expanding its special education department. Depending on their needs, some students with disabilities attend programs offered by county-level intermediate districts if local schools can’t provide the services.  

“I do believe that every experience provides us with an opportunity to learn and grow,” Ebert said.

This story was produced by The 74, a non-profit, independent news organization focused on education in America. 


A nuclear attack would most likely target one of these 6 US cities — but an expert says none of them are prepared

RS-24 Yars Russian ICBM - MITT

CC™ Spotlight

By Aria Bendix and Taylor Ardrey

The chance that a nuclear bomb would strike a US city is slim, but nuclear experts say it's not out of the question.

A nuclear attack in a large metropolitan area is one of the 15 disaster scenarios for which the US Federal Emergency Management Agency has an emergency strategy. The agency's plan involves deploying first responders, providing immediate shelter for evacuees, and decontaminating victims who have been exposed to radiation.

For everyday citizens, FEMA has some simple advice: Get inside, stay inside, and stay tuned.

But according to Irwin Redlener, a public-health expert at Columbia University who specializes in disaster preparedness, these federal guidelines aren't enough to prepare a city for a nuclear attack.

"There isn't a single jurisdiction in America that has anything approaching an adequate plan to deal with a nuclear detonation," he said.

That includes the six urban areas that Redlener thinks are the most likely targets of a nuclear attack: New York, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Washington, DC. These cities are not only some of the largest and densest in the country, but home to critical infrastructure (like energy plants, financial hubs, government facilities, and wireless transmission systems) that are vital to US security.

Each city has an emergency-management website that informs citizens about what to do in a crisis, but most of those sites (except for LA and New York) don't directly mention a nuclear attack. That makes it difficult for residents to learn how to protect themselves if a bomb were to hit one of those cities.

"It would not be the end of life as we know it," Redlener said of that scenario. "It would just be a horrific, catastrophic disaster with many, many unknown and cascading consequences."

Nuclear bombs can produce clouds of dust and sand-like radioactive particles that disperse into the atmosphere — what's referred to as nuclear fallout. Exposure to this fallout can result in radiation poisoning, which can damage the body's cells and prove fatal.

The debris takes at least 15 minutes to reach ground level after an explosion, so a person's response during that period could be a matter of life and death. People can protect themselves from fallout by immediately seeking refuge in the center or basement of a brick steel or concrete building — preferably one without windows.

"A little bit of information can save a lot of lives," Brooke Buddemeier, a health physicist at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, told Business Insider. Buddemeier advises emergency managers about how to protect populations from nuclear attacks.

"If we can just get people inside, we can significantly reduce their exposure," he said.

The most important scenario to prepare for, according to Redlener, isn't all-out nuclear war, but a single nuclear explosion such as a missile launch from North Korea. Right now, he said, North Korean missiles are capable of reaching Alaska or Hawaii, but they could soon be able to reach cities along the West Coast.

Another source of an attack could be a nuclear device that was built, purchased, or stolen by a terrorist organization. All six cities Redlener identified are listed as "Tier 1" areas by the US Department of Homeland Security, meaning they're considered places where a terrorist attack would yield the most devastation.

"There is no safe city," Redlener said. "In New York City, the detonation of a Hiroshima-sized bomb, or even one a little smaller, could have anywhere between 50,000 to 100,000 fatalities — depending on the time of day and where the action struck — and hundreds of thousands of people injured."

Some estimates are even higher. Data from Alex Wellerstein, a nuclear-weapons historian at the Stevens Institute of Technology, indicates that a 15-kiloton explosion (like the one in Hiroshima) would result in more than 225,000 fatalities and 610,000 injuries in New York City.

Under those circumstances, not even the entire state of New York would have enough hospital beds to serve the wounded.

"New York state has 40,000 hospital beds, almost all of which are occupied all the time," Redlener said.

He also expressed concern about what might happen to emergency responders who tried to help.

"Are we actually going to order National Guard troops or US soldiers to go into highly radioactive zones? Will we be getting bus drivers to go in and pick up people to take them to safety?" he said. "Every strategic or tactical response is fraught with inadequacies."

In 1961, around the height of the Cold War, the US launched the Community Fallout Shelter Program, which designated safe places to hide after a nuclear attack in cities across the country. Most shelters were on the upper floors of high-rise buildings, so they were meant to protect people only from radiation and not the blast itself.

Cities were responsible for stocking those shelters with food and sanitation and medical supplies paid for by the federal government. By the time funding for the program ran out in the 1970s, New York City had designated 18,000 fallout shelters to protect up to 11 million people.

In 2017, New York City officials began removing the yellow signs that once marked these shelters to avoid the misconception that they were still active.

Redlener said there's a reason the shelters no longer exist: Major cities like New York and San Francisco are in need of more affordable housing, making it difficult for city officials to justify reserving space for food and medical supplies.

"Can you imagine a public official keeping buildings intact for fallout shelters when the real-estate market is so tight?" Redlener said.

Redlener said many city authorities worry that even offering nuclear-explosion response plans might induce panic among residents.

"There's fear among public officials that if they went out and publicly said, 'This is what you need to know in the event of a nuclear attack,' then many people would fear that the mayor knew something that the public did not," he said.

But educating the public doesn't have to be scary, Buddemeier said.

"The good news is that 'Get inside, stay inside, stay tuned' still works," he said. "I kind of liken it to 'Stop, drop, and roll.' If your clothes catch on fire, that's what you should do. It doesn't make you afraid of fire, hopefully, but it does allow you the opportunity to take action to save your life."

Both experts agreed that for a city to be prepared for a nuclear attack, it must acknowledge that such an attack is possible — even if the threat is remote.

"This is part of our 21st-century reality," Redlener said. "I've apologized to my children and grandchildren for leaving the world in such a horrible mess, but it is what it is now."

Source - Business Insider



Lagos State Governor coasting to victory while Seyi Makinde is re-elected in a landslide…..

CC™ Global Watch

Chief Editor’s Desk

Incumbent Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu appears to be coasting home to victory against his Labor Party opponent, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour.

Also, incumbent Oyo State governor, Seyi Makinde seems to have reaped the fruits of excellent leadership, as he has been re-elected with almost 70% of the votes. It appears a landslide victory was always a possibility for the PDP standard bearer, in light of how popular he has been over the last four years.

See more real time results here


UPDATE: Sanwo-Olu’s ‘victory’ has been officially ratified by INEC, Nigeria’s electoral body. His victory is however extremely tainted unlike that of Seyi Makinde, the incumbent Oyo State governor. There are widespread (and documented) reports of killings, voter suppression through intimidation, as well as various well documented irregularities related to the snatching of ballot boxes and manipulation of results before being uploaded onto the INEC portal

The Labor Party candidate, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour has refused to congratulate Sanwo-Olu, and has indicated he will mount an aggressive legal challenge to  ‘reclaim the people’s mandate’.


Goodbye, Google Maps: Apple’s “New” Alternative Quietly Launches for More Users

CC™ MobiliTech

By Bogdan Popa

The rollout of the new so-called Detailed City Experience is taking place in stages. On the other hand, Apple never seemed to be in a rush to reach the broad availability stage, especially as the company seems to focus particularly on delivering an upgraded experience.

The new maps come with an impressive level of detail. They include road markings, trees, elevation, crosswalks, and everything else you typically find on the road.

3D landmark models play a major role in the new Apple Maps version. Apple has been working around the clock on the 3D makeover, and the release in Boston embraces the same direction.

Fenway Park, the Museum of Fine Arts, and other landmarks in Boston are all part of the new Apple Maps with 3D versions. They can be explored on both the iPhone and Mac using an up-to-date version of Apple Maps.

The navigation provided to drivers is also getting a facelift. The 3D component is expanded on this front as well, so users can see further road details, including the approaching crosswalks and the nearby buildings. So, figuring out which way they need to go is more straightforward given the Apple Maps version accurately reproduces the real world.

The new Apple Maps also includes traffic lights and stop signs as drivers approach an intersection.

The debut of Apple’s new-generation Google Maps alternative in Boston is living proof the company is committed to building a better mapping service.

This incredibly slow rollout seems to be the main shortcoming that prevents Google Maps users from jumping ship. Google typically releases new features at a faster pace, and as such, Google Maps adopters get a chance to try them out quicker.

In the case of Apple Maps, the Detailed City Experience was announced in 2021, whereas the “new” version of the service based on Apple’s own maps was confirmed in mid-2018. Since then, the company has been working mostly on expanding the availability, but a big part of Europe is yet to get the new experience.

Apple needs to continue the work on improving Apple Maps from a feature perspective. Apple Maps is lacking essential features that are otherwise available in competing products like Google Maps. 

Oddly enough, Apple Maps does not sport satellite map navigation, despite the satellite maps actually being available in the app. Offline maps are missing as well, so right now, the only way to get route guidance with Apple’s solution is to keep your device connected to the Internet all the time. Apple has so far remained tight-lipped on whether it plans to add these features to Apple Maps in the long term or not.



Drone Attack Shows Russia to Be both Desperate and Dangerous

CC™ VuewPoint

By Jason Simpkins

The U.S. military has the most extensive reach of any military in the world. 

We can get anywhere at any time. 

We also routinely conduct aerial surveillance operations and freedom of navigation missions around the globe, even — or rather, especially — in contested territory. 

It’s a projection of strength and resolve, and it often yields vital information and data.

Of course, that also means U.S. forces are harassed on a fairly routine basis. 

For example, as far back as 2020, the Pentagon estimated that roughly 90% of U.S. reconnaissance flights over the Black Sea were being intercepted by Russian jets. 

However, what’s discomforting about this week’s confrontation is that the MQ-9 Reaper drone being harassed was knocked out of commission and crashed into the Black Sea.

That much is fairly certain, because on Thursday the Pentagon released declassified footage of the incident corroborating their claims. 

What’s not clear is whether or not the collision was intentional. 

On the one hand, it may not have been…

Yes, the Russian pilots were obviously dispatched to harass the Reaper. That’s something they accomplished by dumping gallons of fuel on it. 

But they weren’t necessarily meant to disable it. That might have been the accidental result of human error — a drunk Russian pilot just getting a little too close, you know?

Or maybe they did mean to do it. 

After all, Russia is losing a war to a supposedly inferior enemy thanks in large part to the financial and military assistance being provided by the United States and its allies.

Of course they’re pissed. Pissed and desperate. 

But rather than straightforwardly shoot the drone down, creating an even bigger incident and further antagonizing the United States, it makes more sense to “accidentally” bump into it.

In that context, even if it were a mistake, it’s one Vladimir Putin would probably term a “happy accident.”

Especially when you consider Russian forces immediately raced to the area of the crash in an effort to recover the wreckage.  

Or attempt to, anyway. There’s no sign yet that they’ve been successful in that endeavor. And if their vessels loiter too long 70 miles off the coast of Crimea, they could become targets for Ukrainian forces.

Speaking of which, the highly hyped Russian counteroffensive that was supposed to come this spring has so far been a dud. 

After months of bloody battles, Russian forces have still been unable to capture the Ukrainian city of Bakhmut, which isn’t even an especially vital stronghold. 

Russia’s mercenary group Wagner has been throwing waves of bodies at the city but Ukrainian forces claim to be killing them at a ratio of 5-to-1. 

Now, with the effort waning, Wagner Group founder Yevgeny Prigozhin is accusing Russia’s regular army and officials in Moscow of sabotaging his group by withholding information. 

At this point, the only thing that could salvage the battle for Russia is Ukrainian forces running out of ammunition. 

And that’s the direct result of Putin’s willingness to forfeit so many soldiers’ lives — a policy that is equally as unsustainable as non-stop artillery barrages.

More than 200,000 Russians are estimated to have been wounded or killed since the start of the war. The Wagner Group in Bakhmut consists largely of convicts drawn from the prison population and promised pardons in exchange for their service. 

But elsewhere, poorly equipped and under-trained Russian conscripts are being mowed down by the dozens. And their loved ones back home are getting increasingly vocal.

Putin’s regime doesn’t tolerate protests, but with so many Russians dying in such a questionable mission, it’s hard to keep the outrage muted.

Of course, Putin himself is unlikely to be moved by such protests or accept the fact that his misguided attempt to cement his legacy as a conqueror and reunifier of Russian lands has failed. 

So he’s more likely to put more pressure on his generals and advisers and to take more drastic measures to win some kind of face-saving victory. 

Lost in the uproar over the downed Reaper drone was news that Russia deployed advanced and powerful hypersonic missiles to destroy a Ukrainian power plant. 

The missiles are long-range, are highly maneuverable, and fly as fast as Mach 5, which is more than a mile per second. 

These missiles are difficult to detect because they move so quickly that typical air defense systems are useless against them.

In fact, they’re so advanced that the United States doesn’t have any that match them. 

And that’s why the Pentagon has launched a multibillion-dollar effort to get our armed forces up to speed.

Let the arms race begin once again!


The culture of indiscipline

CC™ Editor-in-Chief
--- Boyejo A. Coker

It is rather easy to lay the blame for Nigeria's lack of progress and development to as many factors as one can come up with...but the most obvious impediment to Nigeria's forward progression is the apparent culture of indiscipline that has become part and parcel of the society as a whole. We like to ascribe to ourselves the title "Giant of Africa" without realizing the attendant incumbencies that accompany such a position.

At 63 (this year), we seem more lost than ever. Take a look at the various sectors of Nigerian life and you will see a true representation of the present deplorable state of affairs, in a country that holds so much promise, but bears so much despair.

The history of Nigeria is replete with several notable accomplishments, more notably in the arena of international politics (with Africa as our frame of reference). We have been unflinching and resolved in our commitment to the total liberation of Africa from the clutches of imperialism and neo-colonialism. In as much as we have succeeded in this high-order endeavor, we have fallen short miserably in not realizing that true freedom in all its peculiarities must be absolute and comprehensive.

Freedom does not only entail "political emancipation" but more importantly must include economic, psychological, emotional, cultural and spiritual emancipation. Please note that when I say spiritual emancipation, I am not referring to religiosity, religiousness or religion for that matter, I am in fact referring to a thorough cleansing of the "impurities" that may serve to inhibit the process whereby potential is transformed into reality through self-actualization.

As several African countries such as Zimbabwe and Namibia, to name a few, have gained independence, so also have their African leaders become worse than their original European subjugators. Why you ask? Well, let's look at the "Big Brother" (Nigeria, that is). Is it unrealistic to expect the "Younger Siblings" to follow in the footsteps of the "Eldest Child?"

I mean, we are the "Giant of Africa" right? As such we expect the rest of Africa to follow our lead. But what example have we shown the rest of Africa so far...what, a culture of pernicious graft, moral decay, spiritual bankruptcy, political crookery, self-aggrandizement and an ominous lack of transparency and accountability in all tiers of government.

Worse still, in the West African sub-region that had until now been known for its relative calm and stability, chaos is now the order of the day. A careful examination of the events in several of these countries such as Liberia and Sierra Leone will reveal that Nigeria (through its murderous dictators...Babangida and Abacha) in one way or the other, had a hand in the disintegration of civil society in these countries. The indiscipline that had become the order of the day under the regimes of both Babangida and Abacha permeated into the social and political fabric of these countries.

Now, more than ever, we as Nigerians must not only resolve to change our ways for the better, we must embrace the spirit of humility and a culture of personal discipline. For all that was wrong with the Idiagbon-Buhari administration, there was one thing they did right; they made Nigerians think before we talked, they made us reflect before we acted, they made us resolve to imbibe a sense of moderation and comportment in all facets of our lives. If only they hadn't arrogated so much power and knowledge to themselves, in addition to sectionalizing the execution of their agenda (the Yoruba and other non-Fulani ethnic nationalities bore the disproportionate majority of their wrath) we may well have turned the corner by now.

It is indeed time for a rebirth of a True War Against Indiscipline (TWAI), as no nation, no matter how blessed, can aspire to true greatness under false pretenses. True greatness has its rewards, but the sacrifices must be such that they are commensurate with the expected rewards.

The rest of Africa needs a truly strong and vibrant Nigeria, a Nigeria that represents the true values and ideals of accountability, transparency and human dignity. No nation, I reiterate once more, can aspire to true greatness without inculcating in its people, a strong sense of this is the basic (but most important) foundation upon which a truly just, equitable and civil society is built.

God Bless Nigeria!


How Argentina Erased Its Black People From History

CC™ Histography


British Imperialism: Argentina ends deal but the UK still insists the Falklands are British

CC™ Global News

The UK has insisted the Falkland Islands are British after Argentina broke a co-operation deal and pushed for talks on the islands' sovereignty.

In 2016, both sides agreed to disagree on the sovereignty of the Falklands in favor of improved relations. 

Argentina pulled out of the pact this week and informed UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly.

The Falkland Islands were subject to a bloody war in 1982 when Argentina tried to stake a territorial claim.

In response, Mr Cleverly tweeted: "The Falkland Islands are British.

“Islanders have the right to decide their own future - they have chosen to remain a self-governing UK Overseas Territory."

The 2016 agreement between Argentina and the UK pledged to "improve co-operation on South Atlantic issues of mutual interests".

Mr Cleverly was informed about the decision by his Argentinean counterpart Santiago Cafiero when the pair met at the G20 summit in India earlier this week.

Mr Cafiero called for talks on the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands, known in Argentina as the Malvinas.

The UK's minister for the Americas, David Rutley, said it was a "disappointing decision" after he had had a "constructive visit" to Buenos Aires. 

"Argentina has chosen to step away from an agreement that has brought comfort to the families of those who died in the 1982 conflict," he said.

The Falkland Islands are a British overseas territory in the south-west Atlantic Ocean. Argentina has long claimed sovereignty over the islands.

Argentina invaded in 1982 in a bid to reclaim sovereignty and said it had inherited the Falkland Islands from Spain in the 1800s. 

A brief but bitter war lasting 74 days followed - with 655 Argentinian, 255 British and three Falkland casualties - before British forces regained control on 14 June 1982.


RACISM: An evil and methodical global system of oppression and consequent decimation.....

W.E.B DuBois
By Contributing Editor - Ayodeji Komolafe

"A system cannot fail those it was never meant to protect"..... W.E.B. DuBois

The afore-stated quote with the requisite attribution to the great W.E.B. DuBois essentially sums up the crux of the piece. Racism, as I have always stated is not a behavior, nor is it a word, action or an attitude. Racism at its very core is an institution with its attendant benefactors as well as victims.

There is nothing more disheartening than to hear people of an ethnic background in particular refer to an individual, an action or a statement as racist. The institution is what is racist. Yes, the institution that deemed the black man and woman as less than human and forced people of African descent in particular into an artificial class, then proceeded to accuse them (to this day regardless of geographical location) of all manner of sin with the sole intent of damning and systematically subjugating them.

Whether it is in South Africa (pre or post apartheid), Brazil and other parts of South America, the United States of America or countries in Europe like France and England, the system has always ensured that "people of color" (blacks in particular) remain at the bottom. Brazil for example, has the second largest concentration of people of African descent (blacks) after Nigeria. In Brazil, the poverty level among its black or "colored" population is terrifying with the unemployment rate among the latter in Brazil well over the 50% clip. The same scenario plays out in the United States with black unemployment rate nearing 10% (blacks make up only 13% of the US population) and 1.6 times the US national unemployment average. The same pattern of subjugation is also found in South Africa where the majority population of close to 90% is black (African) but the broad unemployment rate among South African blacks (who are the majority) stands at a staggering 45% and should be more if the unemployment among the "mixed-race blacks" (designated as coloreds by the former racist apartheid regime) is also taken into consideration.

The sole intent of racism (as an institution) as designed by White Anglo-Saxon Protestants (WASP) was to ensure the continued dominance of other ethnic (non-white) groups by minimizing the traditional ways, religion, ideals and institutions of non-white racial groups, while promoting those of the colonialists and western imperialists as superior to those of the former.

It is not surprising that countries like Japan, China and the Asian Tigers, who have maintained their core culture and traditions are the ones that have been able to compete and even out-duel the global WASP economic powers. The Chinese, Japanese and the Asian Tigers have kept their culture and institutions the way they have always been even in the face of some of the most debilitating wars and conflicts with the West, as they understand its existential importance to their survival.

African countries on the other hand continue to imbibe the alien cultures and values of the West with its attendant negative consequences. As a people, we (Africans) have essentially abandoned our traditional institutions including our language, thus embarking on a journey that may not augur well for the future survival of our people. The debilitating effect of colonialism and racism continue to take its toll on our people, our institutions and our way of life. In sports for example (soccer or football for one), we disregard our best local talent and seek even the most unqualified white expatriates to fill the same role while paying them exorbitant amounts of money, a fraction of which the local handlers would gladly take, and produce better results than the white mercenary.

Our women have been told that their natural beauty is not enough, and that they must purchase and wear human hair procured from dead women in India and other parts of Asia and Europe to be considered beautiful. The same racist institution also tells them they must bleach their skin so they can be light skinned like BeyoncĂ© (the white held ideal of black beauty) and inculcates the black woman with anti-male propaganda that has inevitably seen the black man and the black woman increasingly at odds with one another.

The most obvious example of the effects of racism is the most recent US elections in 2016 that saw Donald J. Trump elected as the 45th POTUS. There is no question that Donald Trump's election was in response to the election of his predecessor, Barack H. Obama as the 44th POTUS. Obama (who is half white and half black/African) was elected in 2008, against all odds as the so-called first black POTUS. He (Obama) endured some of the most contentious times any POTUS has ever endured in the history of the United States and by the end of his tenure, the majority white population already had enough and any white person, no matter how unqualified, would do. The election of Donald Trump was essentially a white backlash to the election of the first black POTUS!

When you see all these scenarios, it is clear to see that racism is an institution, an evil and methodical system of continued oppression, marginalization and consequent decimation of a class of people by and with the apparatus of national and global economic, executive, judicial, legislative and military power.

Africa must realize that the second scramble for the continent is already in effect and those who forget history are condemned to repeat it.

#racism #imperialism #neo-colonialism #white supremacy


Science and the transgender phenomenon

CC™ VideoScope 


MIT confirms Lagos LP Gubernatorial candidate Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour attended school and bagged a Masters Degree

CC™ Global News

American university, the Massachusetts Institute Technology (MIT), has confirmed the certificate of Labour Party’s (LP) governorship candidate in Lagos State, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour.

Rhodes-Vivour has been at the center of a certificate forgery allegation after an email that purportedly came from the office of MIT registrar appeared on social media claiming he was not a student of the institution.

However, MIT has refuted the claim and confirmed that Rhodes-Vivour attended MIT between 2005 and 2008 and bagged a Master’s Degree in Architecture, Premium Times report disclosed.

Deputy Director, Media Relations, at MIT’s News Office, Sarah McDonnell, said Rhodes-Vivour indeed attended the school and earned a Master’s degree.

“Thank you for reaching out. The MIT Registrar’s Office can confirm that Rhodes-Vivour attended MIT from 2005 to 2008 and earned a Master of Architecture degree,” Ms McDonnell wrote.

In another email, Ms McDonnell was asked if the initial one that claimed that Rhodes-Vivour did not attend the school emanated from the record office.

McDonnell confirmed the authenticity of the mail, noting that it indeed emanated from MIT. She, however, claimed that the record office initially ran a search using a “variation of Mr Rhodes-Vivour’s name that did not match the information in MIT’s database.”

Meanwhile, Rhodes-Vivour had himself via his Twitter handle reacted to the forgery allegation as fake news and another attempt by his opponents to divert attention from issue-based campaigns.

“This is untrue and another failed strategy the opposition is using to divert your attention from having an issue-based campaign,” Rhodes-Vivour tweeted.


The Black history of the United States of America

 CC™ VideoScope 



CC™ Flashback: Every bad encounter with a white person does not constitute racism.....

Dr. Akabogu-Collins
By Dr. Akabogu-Collins

..... But as they add up, run-ins become harder to see past. 

Before delving into this sumptuous piece by Dr. May Akabogu-Collins, a Nigerian-American economics professor as well as freelance writer, it is rather timely to note that while the afore-headlined article will be the main crux of my piece, in reading her entries, she also talks about the "prejudices" harbored by African immigrants against African-Americans and how over time, she has come to realize that the majority culture does not necessarily view blacks from a nationality perspective, but essentially as one-in-and-of-the-same. 
In her piece "Coming to Black America" she states with regard to her initial prejudiced opinions about African-Americans....

"My sister Agnes was visiting from Harvard Law School in 1989. At that time, I was a doctoral student of economics at USC and we were strolling through the streets of Korea-town that summer of 1989. We entered a video store and were excited to find a copy of the movie "Coming to America". What do we need to rent a movie? Agnes asked the cashier. The Korean cashier then told us to hold on for a minute while she disappeared to the backroom to ostensibly ask what it would take to get this done. Moments later, she emerged from the backroom and said in a thick accent.... Sorry, only Koreans. Not even the owner of the store could accede to our desire to rent the movie in question as he declared: One hundred dollars cash deposit and you leave license here."
This experience made her realize that the Korean, much like the Caucasian did not exactly see her as different from the African-American as her equally ignorant (much like the Korean store owner and attendant) father had told would be the case as she prepared to come to the United States in the early eighties, saying:

"If you look for racism in America, you'll find it. But prove to them that you are a tribal African, not one of those addle-brained former slaves. And do steer away from them; they're nothing but trouble."
"But the Korean video store was a turning point. As a target of old-fashioned explicit racism, for the first time I felt the rage and frustration of black Americans. As I watched Korea-town go up in flames during the L.A. riots of 1992, I understood the motivation."

You can read more on her piece "Coming to Black America" on her page, it is quite a read and shows how we all have a prejudiced bone in our bodies, and it is only to the extent that we either nurture or regulate it that determines through which prism we view not only our world, but the world around us.
Now to the original piece I wanted to talk about, Dr. Collins talks about her aggregate experiences in the United States as both an intellectual and a black person. She talks about how the same father who had a well nurtured but debilitatingly ignorant opinion of African-Americans was the first to intimate her of the need to not view every encounter with a white person in America as racism. Quite an irony and the various twists and turns in her piece (reproduced with permission) below would go to show, it is not really quite as simple as that.
"Vista, Calif. – I was about to kick my white neighbor out of my house. Then the memory of my dad's voice intercepted me.
In 1980, when I was coming to America from Nigeria to attend grad school, my father told me, "Not every unpleasant encounter with a Caucasian constitutes racism. It might just be ignorance – stupidity, in fact."
When I arrived at the University of Southern California, the dynamics of black-white politics were still alien. That first semester, I received the highest score on a test. As he handed back my paper, the professor publicly announced, : "You surprised me; I kept slowing down for you, thinking you were lost." A compliment, I thought.
"An insult," said a classmate later. "The professor had presumed you were dumb because you're black." I wasn't convinced. But events moved on. Sometimes preposterously.
A year later, I was walking back to my hotel room in Baltimore when another hotel guest stuck her head out her room and addressed me: "I need extra soap and a towel." I smiled and replied, "Me, too." At that point, she flushed and disappeared. I chalked it up to rational discrimination.
Soon after grad school, I arrived at a college for an interview and introduced myself as "Dr. Collins." The secretary replied, "And I'm the president." She later apologized profusely, adding, "You look too young to be a PhD." "It's the melanin," I deadpanned, adding with a wink, "Black don't crack." She cracked up.
Never having been a target of old-fashioned, explicit racism, I still couldn't distinguish between imaginary and real racism. That changed when my sister and I entered a video store in Korea Town in Los Angeles. We were excited to find the Eddie Murphy comedy, "Coming to America." The clerk, without batting an eye, announced unequivocally, "Only Koreans." That was the turning point in my assimilation to my new environment.
For the first time, I felt the frustration of being black in America. "It's an Asian thing," a friend explained later. "They tend to be clannish." For a while I shunned Asians – and consorted with Caucasians.
In Africa we attended the same schools as the Caucasians. There was no built-up animosity and, I suppose, the Caucasians in West Africa never had a reason to draw racial lines or feel superior. Hence, I had no self-consciousness among Caucasians. The O.J. Simpson verdict in 1995, however, changed all that.
I was the only black professor at a small college in Pennsylvania. When I heard my all-white colleagues denouncing the verdict at the department lounge, I stepped outside my office to join them. The lounge immediately went silent. Everyone froze, like a still frame in a movie, and the tableau resonated with the unspoken, "You're black, therefore..." I spun on my heel and fled campus.
I'd spent 15 years in America resisting racializing my feelings, but that incident at the faculty lounge gave me a new pair of glasses.
In San Diego 10 years later, as I was walking my dogs (Akitas) one Monday morning, I encountered an elderly white woman. "They are absolutely gorgeous!" she declared. Before I could thank her, she added, "Are they yours?"
Here's the thing: After 25 years in America, as such encounters accumulate, subconsciously, resentments also accumulate. "Fat chance," I replied, "I'm dog-sitting for a rich white family." And I strode away wondering if I was becoming racially paranoid.
I was still wondering that when my white neighbor knocked on my door that same day. She was having an off day, so she took the day off and came over to vent. "It's like," she began, tears welling. "How can I put it? I feel like I've little black people inside my stomach."
Huh? I'd had three little black people inside my belly and those were the happiest months of my life. So what could I say?
"What do you mean?"
A litany of woes ensued: hubby's worsening Alzheimer's, facing foreclosure, teenage turmoil – my mind strayed.
Black market, black sheep, Black October, Black Sunday, black Monday, black weekend, the blackest day in history (9/11). Granted, those held no racial connotations – they were just terms for bad things.
People having a bad day often say they're having a black day. But little black people in her stomach? Why, that's racist! I should just kick her out, I thought. Then I heard my father's voice: "It might just be ignorance...."
"Hel-lo-o?" my neighbor reeled in my attention. "Yeah, I'm listening," I said.
She continued, but my mind kept wandering: Had I just been insulted? Should I demand an apology at least? Or was I becoming one of those "overly sensitive blacks" – you know, the ones who criticized David Howard, a former Washington, D.C., mayoral aide, for saying "niggardly" (which means "miserly") at a budget discussion in 1999?
I still can't, be certain, of course. And I'm still not convinced that kicking my neighbor out would've been wrong. Yet, I'm bothered that my feelings are now colored by race.
I now empathize with blacks born here who, due to the country's history, are sensitive to these issues. But at the same time, I sympathize with the uninformed whites who must watch their language lest they inadvertently offend our sensibilities.
That's where America is. And until whites make the extra effort to understand the source of "black rage," that's where America will remain.
Why didn't I approach my neighbor later to tell her that I felt insulted by her metaphor?
I was afraid she would consider me "overly sensitive," and that it might cause a strain between us. Race discussion is uncomfortable. And that's exactly the problem in America – the lack of trust between blacks and whites and hence the inability to engage in an open and frank discussion about the causes and effects of racism that can clarify our different reactions to the same racial landscape.
As President Obama has said, for America to progress, both blacks and whites must listen to one another with an open mind. Only then can we understand where the other is coming from. Yet it has to come from our hearts. And that requires mutual trust.
Blacks must be able to talk to whites about their fears and resentments without presuming that whites would consider them racially paranoid.
Whites must trust that blacks won't label them racists for expressing their frustrations. This is the way toward a more racially tolerant America. And in order to get there, we must be open with ourselves and compassionate with others.
Until then, these incidents will proceed with black – oops – bleak predictability: Ignorant white says something racially insensitive. Sensitive blacks overreact. And we're all tired of that broken record."