Female professor and activist sues UNC for sex discrimination
A female geography professor has sued officials at UNC-Chapel Hill, claiming gender discrimination and retaliation for raising concerns of sex and racial discrimination at the university.
The faculty member, Altha Cravey, filed a complaint this week in Middle District of U.S. District Court against the university and three administrators — Chancellor Carol Folt, College of Arts and Sciences Dean Kevin Guskiewicz and Geography Department Chair Michael Emch. She is seeking back wages and benefits, promotion, compensatory damages and attorney’s fees.
She claims she has been denied promotion to full professor while male professors with similar or lesser credentials and experience have been promoted. A university spokeswoman declined to comment on the lawsuit Friday.
Cravey is an associate professor of geography at UNC, where she has been on the faculty for 23 years. Her teaching includes courses on globalization, migration, trans-nationality, feminist geography, Latino studies and Latin American geography. She is also an activist and a frequent presence at student protests on campus, where she has been a critic of Folt, the UNC Board of Governors and UNC President Margaret Spellings.
“Dr. Cravey has been a vocal advocate for the equal and fair treatment of women and minority faculty and students within the UNC system throughout her career at UNC-CH,” the lawsuit said. “Dr. Cravey has frequently exercised her right to free speech and free expression by speaking publicly at rallies and meetings, by publishing op-ed articles and letters, and, at times, by bringing her concerns directly to officials of UNC-CH and Department employees.”
She first received tenure in 2000 and applied for promotion to full professor in 2005, when she was denied, the lawsuit said. Later, she was removed as chair of a diversity committee within the department in 2014.
The year before in a meeting of UNC department chairs, the lawsuit said, Emch discussed a “difficult problem” he was having with a female associate professor who had “no research agenda” yet sought a promotion to full professor. The suit claims that Emch also said a female faculty member was encouraging graduate students to complain about “perceived inequities” and that it posed a problem for his leadership.
No, whites do not face discrimination en masse today
A recent poll conducted by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and Harvard’s School of Public Health found that a majority of white Americans, 55 percent, feel there is discrimination against them in today’s world. Smaller percentages are able to pinpoint a specific example where they were personally discriminated against, for instance, when applying to jobs or being considered for promotions.
The idea of anti-white discrimination is not just untrue, it is spectacularly wrong. Whites are overrepresented in pretty much every area of life – government, media, academia, and the corporate world are all filled with white people. There are some professions where minorities have more representation, such as professional sports, but these are extreme and rare exceptions to the rule. It’s tempting to chalk the belief in white discrimination up to the grievance politics of political correctness in the last several decades, but this anti-white fear goes much deeper than that. This belief in anti-white discrimination runs deep in American history.
Emily Ekins, a research fellow and pollster at the Cato Institute, recently released an extensive report on the state of free speech and political expression. There are many telling things about the report: For one, about 58 percent of people feel that political correctness prevents them from expressing their beliefs. Along this same line, 73 percent of Republicans have felt the need to self-censor.
This fear on the part of conservatives is fed by a sense that conservative opinions, particularly those of straight, white men, are being marginalized on college campuses. It’s no secret that college campuses are overwhelmingly liberal, as roughly nine percent of faculty members identify as either conservative or very conservative. There have been some egregious cases of academic malfeasance at places like Middlebury College and University of California, Berkeley, among others. This doesn’t mean there is an actual bias against straight, white men, but given man’s propensity for tribalism, it can definitely feed the perception of one.
Black-on-Black Racism at Cornell
A Rasmussen poll taken in 2013 asked American adults, “Are most white Americans racist?” “Are most Hispanic Americans racist?” and “Are most black Americans racist?” Of the three groups, the winner was blacks.
Thirty-seven percent said most blacks were racist; 18 percent felt most Hispanics were racist, and 15 percent said most whites were racist.
Thirty-eight percent of whites felt most blacks were racist. Even blacks agreed, with 31 percent saying most blacks were racist, while 24 percent of blacks thought most whites racist and 15 percent believed most Hispanics were racist.
This brings us to the Cornell University’s Black Students United and whether the organization is engaging in racism — against blacks. The BSU complains that the prestigious Ivy League school admits too many blacks — from Africa and the Caribbean. “We demand that Cornell Admissions to come up with a plan to actively increase the presence of underrepresented Black students on this campus,” the BSU student group said in its demands. “We define underrepresented Black students as Black Americans who have several generations (more than two) in this country.”
Hold the phone. Isn’t the mantra of modern higher education “diversity,” “inclusion” and “overcoming disadvantage”? If so, the black African and Caribbean students would seem to nail all three.
Maybe the problem is that it is tough to explain why so many black foreign applicants outperform America-born blacks on what some call “culturally biased” standardized tests. A 2007 study by Princeton and University of Pennsylvania sociologists examined the standardized test scores of black students enrolled at 28 selective universities. As to the SAT, the test most colleges use as an important factor in offering admission, the study found that foreign-born black college-bound students earned a statistically significant advantage on SAT scores, averaging a score of 1250 (out of 1600) compared to 1193 average points for their American black counterparts. This explains, in large part, why first- or second-generation black immigrants made up 27 percent of the black student bodies at colleges nationwide. In the Ivy League, black immigrants comprised 41 percent of black students.
Woman ‘raped 43,200’ times speaks out about Mexico’s human trafficking rings
A woman who became coerced into Mexico’s lucrative human trafficking industry has spoken out about her torment at the hands of the country’s ruthless organised crime rings.
Karla Jacinto believes she has been raped around 43,200 times after being forced to sleep with at least 30 men every day for 4 years, CNN reports.
At 12, she recalls being targeted by a trafficker who lured her away from a dysfunctional home life with gifts, money and fast cars.
The 22-year-old trafficker convinced Ms Jacinto to leave with him to Tenancingo, a Mexican town in the state of Tlaxcala, known as a major centre for human trafficking rings and a common place for victims to be taken before being forced into prostitution.
Ms Jacinto told CNN she lived with her trafficker for three months before being taken to Guadalajara, one of Mexico’s largest cities, where she was forced to work as a prostitute.
“I started at 10am and finished at midnight,” said Ms Jacinto, “Some men would laugh at me because I was crying.”
“I had to close my eyes so that that I wouldn’t see what they were doing to me, so that I wouldn’t feel anything.”
During her ordeal Ms Jacinto was attacked by her trafficker after he saw kiss marks on her neck from a customer.
“He started beating me with a chain in all of my body,” said Ms Jacinto. “He punched me with his fists, he kicked me, pulled my hair, spit at me in the face… he also burned me with the iron.”
She also claims a police operation to rescue her and a group of girls being held at a hotel descended into horror when the officers began filming the girls, some as young as 10, in compromising positions.
Anglicans and Protestants welcome Pope Francis’ visit to Myanmar
Anglicans and Protestants in Myanmar are looking forward to Pope Francis’ visit to the country next month. Pope Francis will visit Yangon and Nay Pyi Taw at the end of November, ahead of a visit to Bangladesh. Nant Myat Noe Aein, a 21-year-old youth leader in the Church of the Province of Myanmar, told AsiaNews that “the apostolic journey of Pope Francis to Myanmar, a Buddhist majority country, shows that its society is more open now than before.
“Our country used to be a closed society for decades. With the new democratic government since last year, society is gradually opening up for change. And the visit of Pope Francis is a blessing.”
The Myanmar Council of Churches (MCC) unites the Anglican Church of the Province of Myanmar with a number of other Christian denominations in the country. Its general secretary, Lal Puia, also welcomed the Pope’s intended visit, saying that it “has put Myanmar in the limelight of the world, which is interested to know more about the country and its people.
“The country faces many problems,” he said. “With the visit, Pope Francis will urge all to work for the progress and prosperity of the country. I have registered to attend the function of Pope Francis in Yangon. I will take part in his Mass. I am excited about the event.”
MCC’s president, Patrick Loo Tone, said: “Many people in the country do not know much about Christians in the country. With the Pope’s coming, both inside and outside, people and the world are interested to know about the nation, people, and their issues and concerns.”
Myanmar is a Buddhist-majority country, with adherents making up almost 89 per cent of the population. Christians make up around 6.3 per cent of the population while Muslims account for 2.3 per cent.
The Pope’s visit next month will be the fourth significant Christian event in the country in two months; and it follows the Asian Mission Conference, the diamond jubilee celebrations of the Christian Council of Asia, and the Bishop’s Meeting of the Council of the Church of East Asia.
Tillerson: ‘Heartbreaking’ reports of suffering in Myanmar
WASHINGTON — Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is condemning reported atrocities committed against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, and he says those responsible — perhaps the country’s military — will be held accountable.
Tillerson says accounts of the suffering of the Rohingya are “heartbreaking” — and that if those reports are true, then “someone is going to be held to account for that.”
Tillerson — who’s set to visit South Asia next week — is urging the Myanmar government to improve humanitarian access to the population in western Rakhine state.
Amnesty International has accused Myanmar’s security forces of killing hundreds of men, women and children during a systematic campaign to expel the Rohingya. More than 580,000 refugees have fled to neighboring Bangladesh since late August.
“We really hold the military leadership accountable for what’s happening,” Tillerson said at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington think tank. “What’s most important to us is that the world can’t just stand idly by and be witness to the atrocities that are being reported in that area.”
He also called Wednesday for the U.S. and India to expand strategic ties. He pointedly criticized China, which he accused of challenging international norms needed for global stability.
He said the world needed the U.S. and India to have a strong partnership. The two nations share goals of security, free navigation, free trade and fighting terrorism in the Indo-Pacific, and serve as “the eastern and western beacons” for an international rules-based order which is increasingly under strain, he said.
Both India and China had benefited from that order, but Tillerson said India had done so while respecting rules and norms, while China had “at times” undermined them. To make his point, he alluded to China’s island building and expansive territorial claims in seas where Beijing has long-running disputes with Southeast Asian neighbors.
“China’s provocative actions in the South China Sea directly challenge the international law and norms that the United States and India both stand for,” Tillerson said.
Right-wing extremism is Canada’s number one domestic threat, but we have no organization to track and counter the more than 100 active hate groups in Canada. With no anti-racist watchdog organization, hate groups have had some success in putting on a façade of respectability, and have become part of our political landscape.
We need three things. First, we need in-depth and courageous reporting on these right-wing extremist groups. It takes little effort to expose their racism, and Canada’s media need to accurately characterize these hate groups. Second, we need leaders from every community to come together to counter the growing anti-Muslim and so-called alt-right movements that focus on Muslims, but are also anti-Semitic, anti-Black, anti-Sikh, etc. This is an opportunity for inter-community dialogue. Third, and most importantly, Canada needs a professional organization to track, document and counter right-wing extremism and racist groups.
Over the past 35 years, there have been at least 120 documented “aggressive incidents” related to right-wing extremist groups, including assaults, weapons charges and murder. These are just the incidents we know about. Now, some groups are arming themselves, conducting paramilitary training and staking out mosques. Anti-Muslim and so-called “alt-right” and racist attitudes have become more socially acceptable. Muslim and Jewish community organizations tell us that hate incidents have spiked in the past year.
Over the past 35 years, there have been at least 120 documented “aggressive incidents” related to right-wing extremist groups, including assaults, weapons charges and murder. These are just the incidents we know about. Now, some groups are arming themselves, conducting paramilitary training and staking out mosques. Anti-Muslim and so-called “alt-right” and racist attitudes have become more socially acceptable. Muslim and Jewish community organizations tell us that hate incidents have spiked in the past year. Anti-Muslim and so-called “alt-right” and racist attitudes have become more socially acceptable. Muslim and Jewish community organizations tell us that hate incidents have spiked in the past year.
US: Myanmar’s military accountable for Rohingya crisis
Rex Tillerson, however, stopped short of saying on Wednesday whether the US would take any action against Myanmar’s military leaders over an offensive that has driven more than 500,000 Rohingya out of the country.
“The world can’t just stand idly by and be witness to the atrocities that are being reported in the area,” Tillerson told Washington’s Center for Strategic and International Studies think-tank.
Forty-three US legislators urged the Trump administration to reimpose US travel bans on Myanmar’s military leaders and prepare targeted sanctions against those responsible for the crackdown.
The request, in a letter to Tillerson from members of the House of Representatives, said Myanmar authorities “appear to be in denial of what has happened”, and called for Washington to take “meaningful steps” against those who have committed human rights abuses.
Rohingya have fled Myanmar in large numbers since late August when Rohingya rebel attacks sparked a ferocious military response, with the fleeing people accusing security forces of arson, killings and rape.
Tillerson said Washington understood Myanmar had a problem with armed groups, but the military had to be disciplined and restrained in the way it dealt with this and to allow access to the region “so that we can get a full accounting of the circumstances”.
“Someone, if these reports are true, is going to be held to account for that,” Tillerson said. “And it’s up to the military leadership of Burma to decide what direction they want to play in the future of Burma.”
Tillerson said Washington saw Myanmar, which is also known as Burma, as “an important emerging democracy,” but the Rohingya crisis was a test for the power-sharing government.
Rohingya not native, Myanmar army chief says
Rohingya are not native to Myanmar and were brought by British colonialists, the country’s powerful army chief told the US ambassador.
Senior General Min Aung Hlaing gave his most extensive account of the Rohingya refugee crisis in the meeting with American Ambassador Scot Marciel, according to a report posted on his Facebook page on Thursday.
The general is the most powerful person in Buddhist-majority Myanmar and his apparently uncompromising stance would indicate little sensitivity over the crisis, in which more than 500,000 people have fled into neighbouring Bangladesh.
Min Aung Hlaing, referring to Rohingya by the term “Bengali”, which they regard as derogatory, said British colonialists were responsible for the problem.
“The Bengalis were not taken into the country by Myanmar but by the colonialists,” he told Marciel, according to the account of the meeting posted on Thursday.
“They are not the natives and the records prove that they were not even called Rohingya but just Bengalis during the colonial period.”
The UN human rights office said on Wednesday that Myanmar’s security forces had brutally driven out half a million Rohingya from northern Rakhine state to Bangladesh, torching their homes, crops and villages to prevent them from returning.
Coordinated Rohingya rebel attacks on some 30 security posts on August 25 sparked a ferocious military response.
The UN rights office said in its report, based on 65 interviews with Rohingya who had arrived in Bangladesh, that abuses had begun before the August 25 attacks and included killings, torture, and the rape of children.
The country’s civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi is due to make a speech on television later on Thursday.
“Local Bengalis were involved in the attacks under the leadership of ARSA. That is why they might have fled as they feel insecure,” Min Aung Hlaing said, referring to the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army fighters.