Women Struggle to Get the Right Fit in Their Racecars
The last woman to appear on a Formula One Grand Prix entry list was Giovanna Amati of Italy, who entered three races for Brabham in 1992 but failed to qualify for any of them.
Susie Wolff became the last woman to take part in a Formula One weekend in 2014, when she ran in Friday practice for Williams at the British Grand Prix. Wolff retired from competitive racing in 2015 and is now team principal of the Venturi Formula E team.
This decade has had several women affiliated with Formula One teamsas test, reserve and development drivers. Simona de Silvestro, the 2010 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year, worked with the Sauber F1 team in 2014, but was dropped before driving during a race weekend.
Beginning in 2015, the Lotus F1 team (now Renault) had a multiyear association with Carmen Jordá of Spain.
Tatiana Calderón, 25, a Colombian racing for Jenzer Motorsport in GP3, a feeder series to Formula One, has been Sauber’s development driver since 2017, and spent two days testing the team’s racecar last weekend.
“I did four or five seat fittings with my first team in GP3,” Calderón said. “It’s difficult to find the right angle for your arms to give them the most power, and because GP3 has no power steering, it’s critical. That’s when I learned that two centimeters (0.8 inches) can make a hell of a difference.
“Finding the right position was tough. I’m quite short, so my pedals were too far away. I couldn’t put anything on the back of the neck because it’s in the regulations — you cannot put something to rest your head. Then we were too close; I was hitting my legs when steering.”
The time spent finding her ideal seat position cost Calderón half of her first GP3 season.
“Finding the right spot was really tricky,” she said. “Here is the best strength-wise, but I crush my legs, so I have to move the pedals. If you’re not comfortable, you cannot focus on what the car is doing, or on really breaking those limits and pushing for more.”
When a driver reaches Formula One, they are “couture fitted” to their car. Teams customize seats and steering wheels, ensuring that controls are easy to use at racing speeds.
Female Indigenous law school dean sues for racial discrimination
A woman who became the first female Indigenous dean of a Canadian law school has launched a lawsuit against the university, alleging it racially discriminated against her and forced her to quit her post earlier this year.
Angelique EagleWoman, who was appointed head of the law school at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay in May 2016, resigned in June.
She alleges in an unproven statement of claim that she was consistently micromanaged and undermined by the university, which she says subjected her to regular oversight and monitoring.
The lawsuit claims EagleWoman encountered resistance from a small segment of the faculty, staff and students who suggested to her that “she was not deserving of the position of dean and was not hired on merit.”
EagleWoman is asking for $2.67 million in damages.
Lakehead University said it had received the statement of claim but would not comment on ongoing litigation.
Angelique EagleWoman, who was appointed head of the law school at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay in May 2016, resigned in June.She alleges in an unproven statement of claim that she was consistently micromanaged and undermined by the university, which she says subjected her to regular oversight and monitoring.The lawsuit claims EagleWoman encountered resistance from a small segment of the faculty, staff and students who suggested to her that “she was not deserving of the position of dean and was not hired on merit.”EagleWoman is asking for $2.67 million in damages.Lakehead University said it had received the statement of claim but would not comment on ongoing litigation.
Final gender discrimination case at Salk Institute ends in settlement
The prestigious Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California, has settled the final of three high-profile gender-discrimination lawsuits filed last year. The latest agreement was announced on 21 November.
Molecular biologist Beverly Emerson filed the suit in July 2017, arguing that discrimination against women at the Salk had limited her wages, laboratory space and research funding. Two other senior female scientists brought similar suits against the institute, and settled their cases out of court in August 2018.
Emerson had worked at the Salk for more than three decades, but in December last year, the institute declined to renew her contract. She is now at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland.
“Salk recognizes Dr. Emerson’s more than thirty years of service to the Institute and looks forward to her continued contributions to the scientific community,” says a joint statement from Emerson and the institute, e-mailed to Nature.
The statement does not provide any further information on the settlement. Alreen Haeggquist, Emerson’s lawyer, says that neither she nor Emerson has further comment.
The three gender-discrimination cases were important for the field, says Nancy Hopkins, a molecular biologist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, where she led an effort to investigate gender discrimination in the 1990s. She says that the Salk cases are a reminder of how difficult it is to tackle discrimination. Such cases can fester for decades, she says.
“When they finally do erupt, it can cause so much damage to the reputation of the institution,” says Hopkins. “Hopefully, institutions will learn from this that they must deal with these situations.”
The discrimination cases have been part of a period of turmoil for the Salk. This June prominent cancer biologist Inder Verma resigned from the institute amid allegations of sexual harassment.
Malaysia backtracks on anti-discrimination convention
Malaysia’s government has gone back on a decision to ratify a UN anti-discrimination convention, according to a statement issued by the prime minister’s office.
“The government will continue to defend the federal constitution, which contains the social contract agreed upon by the representatives of all races during the formation of this nation,” read the statement.
The Mahathir Mohamad-led administration had originally vowed to ratify all UN conventions at the UN General Assembly in September, including the International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD).
The change of heart “will damage Malaysia’s reputation among international nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) that thought human rights would take a higher priority under the new government,” Prof. James Chin, an expert on Malaysian affairs at the Asia Institute in Australia, told Arab News.
Malaysia is among a small number of countries, including North Korea, Myanmar, Brunei, South Sudan and a few small island-nations in the Pacific, which have neither signed nor ratified the treaty.
Chin said this will embolden right-wing Malay groups and pressure the government to drop plans to reform repressive laws.
“They’ll now double down on the racist ideology of ‘ketuanan Melayu’ (Malay supremacy),” he added.
The issue of ethnic homogeneity, dubbed “Bumiputra,” has long been a sensitive topic and a pretext for nationalists to push for a more right-wing political agenda.
Indeed, nationalists have intensified campaigns against ICERD in recent months. The Malaysia Islamic Party and the United Malays National Organization (UMNO) recently staged anti-ICERD protests and social media campaigns under the pretext of safeguarding ethnic and religious principles.
Last week, UMNO President Zahid Hamidi, who is currently facing numerous corruption charges, said ratifying ICERD would be “a new form of colonialism” that could “jeopardize racial harmony.”
Right-wing groups claim that by signing ICERD, ethnic Malays, who constitute slightly more than half the country’s population, may no longer enjoy “Bumiputra” rights and privileges.
Chin said the treaty will not affect national agendas, adding: “These groups are lying to the public.”
He said: “Don’t forget that 90 percent of Muslim countries, including Saudi Arabia and Indonesia, have signed ICERD.”
Hillary Clinton says curbing immigration can halt racism. She’s dead wrong
The Alt Right has mainstreamed xenophobic discourse to such an extent that even Hillary Clinton is borrowing talking points from them.
Just in time for the Thanksgiving family fighting season, American political maverick Hillary Rodham Clinton has served up a recipe for disaster by suggesting Europe should stop offering “support and refuge” to people fleeing death in wars she supported.
Clinton’s callousness marks a new low point in loathsome victim blaming that assumes the worst about human beings and tries to appease fascism rather than confront it.
Beyond the moral cowardice and indifference to suffering, her plan wouldn’t even work. Europe’s nationalists will not settle for a halt to immigration, just as Hitler did not settle for Czechoslovakia.
The former secretary of state, who famously lost the race for president to Donald Trump in 2016, believes that the rise of right-wing populism in Europe and the United States was the fault of immigration policies that let in too many Syrian refugees, and encouraged racist and xenophobic views to take over politics and push out moderates, such as herself.
“I think Europe needs to get a handle on migration because that is what lit the flame,” she told The Guardian.
“I admire the very generous and compassionate approaches that were taken particularly by leaders like Angela Merkel, but I think it is fair to say Europe has done its part, and must send a very clear message – ‘we are not going to be able to continue provide refuge and support’ – because if we don’t deal with the migration issue it will continue to roil the body politic.”
And let’s just examine, for a moment, what in fact “lit the flame” of right-wing populism?
Was it the onslaught of Russian propaganda and disinformation that still bounces across the European and American electromagnetic spectrum? That was certainly her line of reasoning in 2017 after she lost to Trump. But now she says the inciting incident was migration itself.
She’s saying that Donald Trump was right: migrants are the problem and racism is just a fact of life. But giving into racists will not satisfy racism.
I am going to go out on a limb here and say that Clinton does not get out much. She hasn’t seen mothers and fathers carrying their babies hundreds of miles to escape violence and bloodshed. Nor does she have the courage to tell this to their faces, but only in an interview, a safe place, where there are no helicopters bearing barrel bombs looming overhead. She appears to see suffering as a political inconvenience, rather than as a moral outrage.
Clinton’s cowardice is not without precedent in American politics.
There was a general during the American Civil War named George McClellan, first selected by President Abraham Lincoln to fight the pro-slavery Confederacy, the rebels who wanted their own country in the southern states. Lincoln eventually fired McClellan because he was unwilling to confront the Confederacy, replacing him with the far more determined Ulysses S. Grant, nicknamed Unconditional Surrender Grant.
In the presidential election of 1864, in the middle of the brutal and merciless civil war, McClellan mounted an unsuccessful challenge against Lincoln on a platform that would have ended the war against the Confederacy and allowed it to keep slavery but remain part of the United States. It would have been a negotiated settlement that kept millions of black people in chains. Luckily, McClellan lost.
Clinton is like McClellan, willing to sell out people whose existence they see as inconvenient, whose pain is a political headache.
Millions of Syrians did not leave their homes because they just felt like it. That the Syrian Civil War is in a state of a grisly stalemate now was not the case in 2015, when the largest caravans of refugees arrived.
Hundreds of thousands still languish in Greece, and millions more wait in Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan, unsure if they’ll ever see their homes again.
Indeed, most Syrian, and Afghan, refugees are not even in the European Union, so it’s absurd to say that the EU has “done its part.”
It’s like McClellan saying that the Union army tried to end slavery, a moral abomination, but it was too hard so why not give up?
Clinton’s attitude also reminds me of something Alt Right Twitter personality Richard Spencer told me in 2016.
First, he said his goal was to slowly introduce white nationalism and identitarianism into the mainstream of DC. Clinton’s statement shows how successful he has been.
Second, is his response when I asked him what if refugees sent back to war go back and die.
“Tough shit,” he said. Clinton seems to agree.
On this Thanksgiving, a distinctly American holiday that began in its current form after the Civil War, I am personally grateful that there was an America for my ancestors to flee to, as refugees from the Great Irish Famine of the 1840s.
Just like the Syrian Civil War, the Famine was not just some accidental natural disaster, but a calculated work of racist British imperialism that used libertarian justifications to deny food to starving Irish people. Although the potato crop failed, Ireland remained an exporter of grain throughout the Famine, but few Irish people could afford it. Ireland has never recovered its pre-famine population; Syria might never recover its pre-war population.
The Irish who fled famine also “roiled the body politic” of the United States.
As Yemen today stands on the brink of famine, thanks to war beyond the control of the Yemeni children wasting away from hunger and poverty, let us redouble our efforts to help them however we can, and not shrink away from our duty to protect the helpless and homeless, bleeding at our doorsteps.
Discrimination trial starts next week
A discrimination suit filed against Heartland Regional Medical Center is scheduled to begin in Dec. 3 and could last five days.
Dr. Ann Riggs sued the Heartland Clinic of Platte City in 2013 for gender discrimination and retaliation after she was put on leave and eventually fired.
In a petition filed by her attorneys, Riggs claims that she was understaffed while a male co-worker was given more staff members.
“The discrimination was in the form of unequal terms and conditions of employment in that she was consistently assigned fewer staff members than her male counterpart,” the filing reads. “(Riggs), however, saw more patients than him on an average daily basis.”
Riggs complained to the clinic administrator that the assignment of staffing was not equal in 2011.
Heartland denied those allegations and, in a response, claimed that an investigation was done into “the many allegations from female staff members that (Riggs)” had created a hostile work environment for others.
In December 2012, a meeting was allegedly held to inform Riggs that staffing would not change.
Later that month, an additional LPN (licensed practical nurse) was added to Riggs’ staff, but she claims no other staff was added after that date.
Heartland claims that no other staff was needed and the addition of the LPN proved that.
“(Heartland) admits that a trial LPN was utilized to test (Riggs’) theory that she allegedly needed more staff support, but when the LPN reported back that she was not needed and had no work to perform, the trial was not continued,” the answer reads.
Riggs also claims that Heartland deducted a very large loan payment from her check when they are usually forgiven or “very minimal.”
Heartland denies that allegation.
Riggs was escorted out of the clinic and put on paid leave in February 2013.
What to do if you face age discrimination at work
People get teased all the time at work. Spill your coffee and you’re a klutz. Order a rich dessert and you’re a glutton. Brag to the CEO and you’re a showboat.
If you’re older, colleagues might poke fun at your “advanced age” or label you a “geezer.” Such comments might seem like mild joshing but carry a sting.
Ageism manifests itself in myriad ways in the workplace. Sometimes, it’s subtle: a passing reference to your supposedly fading memory, false flattery about your retro hairstyle, how you’ll surely meet the high deductible on your health insurance.
More serious cases can deliver a gut punch. You get overlooked for a promotion in favor of a less qualified (but younger) co-worker. You’re excluded from serving on a high-profile project team. You feel marginalized at meetings when trying to ask questions or offer suggestions.
It can get lonely feeling like you’re always the oldest person in the room, especially if you notice a wave of millennial newcomers coming aboard.
“When you see everybody getting hired is younger and everybody getting pushed out the door is older, you feel like you have a target on your back,” said Dara Smith, an attorney with AARP Foundation in Washington, D.C.
It’s fine if your boss asks about your retirement plans, Smith says, as part of succession planning. But if the question arises repeatedly (“Are you sure you’re not ready to retire yet?”), that’s more worrisome.
Combating ageism requires tact and assertiveness. As long as you update your skills, keep pace with technology and maintain passion for your work, you’re on the right track.
“If you’re being bypassed for promotional opportunities and getting passed over for someone with less experience or skills, talk to your human-resources representative,” said Sara Czaja, director of the new Center on Aging and Behavioral Research at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City.
If the resulting internal investigation doesn’t lead to what you deem a fair resolution, you can escalate matters by filing a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or hiring an attorney, Czaja says. But she urges individuals initially to “take a gentler approach” of voicing concerns within the organization and seeing if that works.
A trickier challenge becomes fending off flippant remarks. Hearing that you’re “set in your ways”, “change averse” or “slow on the uptake,” even if said with a smile, can convey age-based prejudice.
“A lot of people don’t recognize common stereotypes,” Smith said. “Those stereotypes can be so ingrained. The biggest red flag we see is work that was previously valued and it seems everything is fine and then you suddenly hear, ‘You’re not flexible enough’ or ‘You’re not versatile enough.’ You might think of that as a dog whistle.”
A racial discrimination suit against a leading cable company may move forward, U.S. appeals court says
An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported that the case had been decided. In fact, the case has not yet been argued, and the ruling by the Ninth Circuit decided a procedural question that will allow the lawsuit to continue.
A racial bias lawsuit involving one of the nation’s largest cable companies will be allowed to proceed after a black-owned provider of television programming alleged it had been discriminated against, a federal appeals court has ruled.
Not only did racial animus pose a plausible factor when Charter Communications repeatedly rejected negotiations with Entertainment Studios, the TV programmer, but the First Amendment cannot be used to throw out the suit, according to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
The three-judge panel’s decision on the free speech issue holds particularly sweeping implications, some legal experts say, because it could undercut a rising trend of companies citing the First Amendment to defend business practices or to attack regulation.
The opinion on Charter’s motion to dismiss also marks a victory for the 25-year-old programming firm founded by comedian Byron Allen, which bought the Weather Channel in March and accused Charter executives in court of hurling racist insults at Allen and other black Americans in numerous encounters.
In one alleged instance, Charter chief executive Tom Rutledge called Allen, who is black, “boy” at an industry conference and advised him to change his behavior, according to court documents. In another alleged example, the court said, Charter’s senior executive in charge of programming, Allan Singer, approached a group of black protesters outside Charter’s offices to tell them to “get off of welfare.”
Charter told the court that its decision not to carry Entertainment Studios was not related to race but rather other factors, such as that the company lacked operational resources.
Discrimination faced by non-religious at alarming levels worldwide, new report shows
People who leave a religion, criticise a religion or god, or who are simply non-religious, have this last year experienced serious persecution in many countries, including several where they face the death penalty, according to a new report released today.
The Freedom of Thought report, published by the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU), highlights the discrimination and persecution faced by the non-religious including humanists, atheists, and agnostics.
Humanists UK has welcomed the report saying it highlights the extreme persecution that non-religious people face worldwide and reinforces the need for urgent global action.
For the first time, the report also singles out the top 10 worst countries to be non-religious. The five worst countries to be non-religious are Saudi Arabia, Iran, Afghanistan, Maldives and Pakistan. United Arab Emirates, Mauritania, Malaysia, Sudan and Brunei Darussalam round off the worst 10.
In 13 countries blasphemy or apostasy is punishable by death.
IHEU president Andrew Copson said: ‘This report paints a dark picture, with significant discrimination faced by our non-religious friends and colleagues around the world. At a time of growing nationalism, we continue to see those who are brave enough to criticise and critique conservative religious leaders demonized as “unpatriotic” and “subversive”.’
Humanists UK Director of Public Affairs and Policy Richy Thompson added: ‘In too many countries around the world, the situation is going backwards for humanists and other non-religious people. We will be working with the UK Government and other partners here in the UK to help combat this increasing discrimination.’
Countries are measured against a list of criteria under four key categories: constitution and government; education and children’s rights; family, community, society, religious courts and tribunals; and freedom of expression, advocacy of humanists values. Then the countries are ranked by severity from ‘free and equal’, ‘mostly satisfactory’, ‘systemic discrimination’, ‘severe discrimination’ and ‘grave violations’.
How to beat hate crime in London
With anti-Semitism making headlines and hate crime on the rise, Sophie Wilkinson investigates how the capital is responding.
We often talk about the need to learn from history, but increasingly the present is echoing the worst of the past,’ said Home Secretary Sajid Javid, the UK’s most powerful Muslim, at a vigil for the 11 Jews murdered in Pittsburgh two days before.
In a heartening display of unity, he stood alongside London Mayor Sadiq Khan, Jewish religious and community leaders and Londoners of all faiths, including US Ambassador, Woody Johnson.
The victims of the shooting, congregants of the Tree of Life synagogue, were murdered by a suspect who cried out ‘All Jews must die’. Their loved ones’ torment has since reverberated with Jews and their allies across the world, including London, where anti-Semitic crime has risen in recent years (2.6 times higher in the 12 months to July 2018 than the 12 months to March 2011). Meanwhile, last week Metropolitan Police chief Cressida Dickannounced her officers have launched a criminal inquiry into allegations of anti-Semitic hate crimes within the Labour Party.
The Community Security Trust (CST), a charity providing security advice and assistance for British Jews, records 100 incidents of anti-Semitism every month. Until 2016, ‘you could identify one trigger event, usually it’s if Israel has a war,’ says Dave Rich, head of policy at the CST. He cites 2014’s Gaza conflict, after which incidents of anti-Semitic abuse recorded by the Met Police rose 178 per cent. ‘But for the past two years, it’s just month after month, the same daily grind of anti-Semitic incidents on the streets.’ These incidents tend to be, Rich explains, ‘old-fashioned bigotry towards Jewish people’, unleashed by men, mostly young, shouting ‘stuff about the Holocaust, the Nazis, Israel’.
The typical victim is a man, perhaps because Jewish men — like Muslim women — are more likely to be identifiable by their religious dress. And if he’s ‘unlucky’, Rich says, ‘Someone might throw something at him, or try to beat him up.’ Against a backdrop of a rise in all hate crime post-Brexit, an anti-Semitic incident can be in response to something as innocuous as taking too long to park a car. Jemma Levene, deputy director of Hope Not Hate, an advocacy group campaigning against racism and fascism, tells me, ‘In north-west London, children in Jewish school uniform are being abused on buses.’