Trayvon Martin’s family watches the announcement of a second degree murder charge against George Zimmerman. (From @trymainelee)
The AP reports that Trayvon Martin’s shooter George Zimmerman is currently in police custody and will be charged with murder in the second degree, a more serious crime than the manslaughter charge many analysts speculated Zimmerman might face.
Under Florida law, second degree murder is…
Arizona Official Considering Banning Ethnic Studies In Universities Too
Two years ago, Arizona outlawed the teaching of some ethnic studies courses in K-12 schools, and now it may expand the prohibition to universities too.
Just weeks after the state passed its infamous immigration law, it also passed a law aimed at scuttling Tucson’s Mexican-American studies program, which critics claimed taught kids to resent white people. The argument, at the time, was that teaching subjects like critical race theory to kids in high school amounted to indoctrination because they were not old enough to question the teaching critically, like university students.
But now, Arizona’s chief education official sees university-level Mexican-American sudies programs as a danger too:
Arizona’s superintendent of schools, John Huppenthal, says Tucson’s suspended Mexican American studies curricula teaches students to resent Anglos, and that the university program that educated the public school teachers is to blame.
“I think that’s where this toxic thing starts from, the universities,” Arizona Superintendent of Schools John Huppenthal said in an interview with Fox News Latino. “To me, the pervasive problem was the lack of balance going on in these classes,” Huppenthal said.
Not surprisingly, a long list of Latino groups and education activists have protested the move, as they did when the state shut down Tucson’s program, decrying the imposition on free speech. “What we’re trying to do is expose children to a much broader perspective, so that we’re not indoctrinating,” said Augustine Romero, the former director of Tucson’s Mexican American Studies Department.
The ethnic studies law, which bans schools from offering courses designed for a specific ethnicity, had far-ranging consequences, including banning books like Shakespeare’s The Tempest and other seemingly anodyne works of literature.
And while many call the state prohibitions unprecedented, Devon Peña, the former director of the National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies said, “There is a precedent, and it’s called McCarthyism.” “It’s just a witch hunt of a different color. Now, instead of going after the reds, they’re going after the browns.”
its a university people should be able to pay for what education they want to have - if it was a high school or other public institution - id say fuck it - can the program - but people pay for their college education they should get what they want for the money they pay
Because banning Ethnic Studies in High School is totally justifiable, just as long as you’re not paying for school.
Why are people so ignorant?
Opposition activists accused Syrian troops of shelling two cities on Tuesday in a campaign to weaken forces fighting President Bashar al-Assad’s government before a ceasefire deadline next week.
Rebel fighters also kept up their attacks, killing three soldiers in separate actions in northern Syria, activists said.
Assad has agreed to a ceasefire negotiated by international peace envoy Kofi Annan from April 10, the latest effort to end a year of bloodshed stemming from an uprising against his rule.
An advance team from the U.N. peacekeeping department is due in Damascus this week to see how observers can monitor the truce, Annan’s spokesman said in Geneva.
But Syrian opposition figures as well as Western governments have made clear they are not convinced that Assad, who has failed to honour past commitments, would keep his word.
“He is a liar,” said Waleed al-Fares, an opposition activist in Homs, a city which came to symbolise the anti-Assad struggle as opposition-held areas endured weeks of bombardments and sniper fire.
Fares said Assad was playing for time to gain the upper hand over poorly armed rebel forces which have been driven from city strongholds in the past two months.
Targets in Homs were coming under shelling on Tuesday, he said. Another opposition activist, Mortadha al-Rashid, told Reuters from Damascus that the western border town of Zabadani was also taking a pounding.
“The regime shows no signs of stopping. There are people being shelled in Zabadani right now,” Rashid said.
When will it end?
Bahraini Villagers Fear Effects of Tear Gas
Many towns are blanketed nightly with the gas, raising fears of cancer and other long-term health problems.
Shoqqi Abdulnabi’s daughter, Zainab, was born three months premature; she was healthy but frail when he brought her home in March of last year to this village, a cheerless warren of concrete buildings in an industrial area just outside of Sitra. Weeks later, she was blind.
The village, like so many others in Bahrain, has become a flashpoint for clashes between riot police and angry protesters, signs of which were evident on a visit earlier this month. Makeshift barricades - branches, large rocks, dumpsters - lined the roadside, ready to be pulled into place on short notice.
Residents had gathered more than twenty empty tear gas canisters near the entrance to the village. They were all from the previous night, one resident said, though his claim could not be independently verified. The sharp, sour smell of the gas lingered in the air.
Abdulnabi blames the almost nightly tear gas for blinding his daughter, now almost 18 months old, and for causing a range of other health problems, including asthma.
“Two weeks after her discharge from the hospital, there was so much toxic gas in this area, so much of it that she suffocated,” he said. “I thought my daughter would die. She wasn’t able to breathe. She choked.”
Abdulnabi took Zainab to the hospital in Sitra, which referred him to Salmaniya Medical Complex, the largest hospital in Bahrain. She spent a week there; Abdulnabi said he was afraid to visit her because of rumors that police were arresting people inside the hospital.
So it was only after her discharge that he realised his daughter was blind, a diagnosis he said the doctors refused to acknowledge. “None of the medical staff would give us a report that my daughter was blind, we could not prove anything,” he said. “This was caused by the wrongdoing of the government… and they won’t take responsibility.”
Mohawk Gaz wears a picture of Trayvon Martin in his hair as he and other supporters gather for a rally in his honour at the Bayfront Amphitheatre in Florida. Thoughts?
If my followers don’t mind, please click on my ad (once daily). I’m booking the hotel/plane and buying the equipment to stream the Chicago protest. I will be streaming the May 1st General Strike in NYC as well if I can purchase everything needed on time.
Family Seeks Name of Racist White Plains Officer in Chamberlain Shooting
The son of Kenneth Chamberlain Sr., a 68-year-old who died two hours after being shot by police during an incident in his apartment in November, petitioned White Plains City Hall on Monday to pressure police into publicizing the name of the officer who shot him. The Chamberlain family also asked city hall to urge the Westchester District Attorney’s Office to release audio and video of the incident.
Kenneth Chamberlain Jr. said not knowing which officer responding to a medical alert at the Winbrook Public Housing complex shot his father, a former U.S. Marine and corrections officer, crippled his trust that an investigation presented to a grand jury would be dealt with in a “transparent” manner.
“In the other incidents that you have out here of questionable shootings, the officers’ names were given out. So it only makes my family and I wonder why isn’t this officer’s name released?” said Chamberlain Jr.
“Had that been myself or any other citizen inside here that shot and killed someone, our whole life history would be on television, on the radio and in the newspaper. I feel that it’s only right, it’s only fair that that officer’s name be released.”
Mayor Thomas Roach spoke on behalf of his six fellow Democratic Common Council Persons, offering his condolences to the Chamberlain family. Roach wouldn’t discuss his thoughts on releasing the officer’s name and recordings of the Nov. 19 incident. He told the dozens of supporters, the Mount Hope A.M.E. Zion Church Pastor and other civil rights leaders he had confidence that Westchester District Attorney Janet DiFiore would thoroughly investigate the matter.
“A full investigation is owed to the late Mr. Chamberlain, his family, the police officers involved and our community,” said Roach. “This is a nightmare. And you wake from a nightmare with truth. And that’s what we’ll all pursue here.”
The Chamberlain family was allowed to view audio and video of the shooting as a courtesy. The family is now calling on the district attorney’s office to publicly release the recordings, which their attorney said documents officers taunting Chamberlain Sr. and using a racial slur before breaking down his door. The recordings, the Chamberlain family said, question police’s claims that Chamberlain Sr. was armed when police entered his 135 S. Lexington Ave. apartment.