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    social justice Tag

    What could be seen as the final act in Venezuela’s worsening economic crisis, the Latin American country has begun selling its remaining gold reserves. Just three year after the death of its socialist leader, Venezuela -- once a leading oil producer -- is on the verge of bankruptcy. It is yet another 'miracle of socialism' that a country with the world's largest oil reserves can go almost broke. Venezuela's total oil reserves stand at an estimated 296.5 billion barrels, which is higher than Saudi Arabia’s 265.4 billion barrels. But the cash-strapped country is struggling to get investments and technical expertise to convert its oil reserves into revenue. Socialist leader Hugo Chávez got elected as country’s President in 1999 and introduced the ideology of “Socialism of the 21st Century”. Chávez enacted a new constitution, taking control of the state and the economy to carry out his “socialist revolution”.

    Last week we covered the story of three students at the University at Albany who were facing charges for staging a race hoax. The school has now expelled two of the students and suspended another. FOX News reports:
    Two New York college students who claimed to be victims of racist attack expelled Two black female college students who claimed to be victims of an assault by a group of white men and women reportedly were expelled from the University at Albany. University at Albany President Robert J. Jones said in an email to The Albany Times Union Thursday that Ariel Agudio and Asha Burwell were dismissed from the college. A third student, Alexis Briggs, was suspended for two years.

    A decidedly progressive student group at Cornell University called Black Students United has sent a letter to school administrators saying they want the entire faculty to undergo training in diversity and a host of other garden variety issues in identity politics. The Cornell Daily Sun has the story:
    Cornell Black Students United to Submit Faculty Training Resolution to Student Assembly Black Students United will present a resolution prompting the Faculty Senate to examine how Cornell’s faculty members are educated in diversity issues at the Student Assembly’s meeting on Thursday. The resolution originated from one of the demands BSU delivered to Cornell’s administration last semester regarding faculty training, according to a BSU facebook post.

    In a world in which universities apologize for serving Mexican food because doing so smacks of cultural appropriation and is deemed culturally insensitive, the student-organized "Wear a Hijab Day" at a Paris university was bound to cause controversy. Although February 1st is the "official" World Hijab Day, these students were apparently not interested in waiting until early next year to express their "solidarity" with women who "choose" to wear the hijab; unfortunately for them, their gesture backfired. The Telegraph reports:
    Students at an elite Paris university sparked fierce debate on Wednesday by inviting classmates to wear the Muslim veil for a day in a bid to "demystify" a practice that is highly divisive in France. Students at Sciences Po urged women to take part in Hijab Day "if you too think all women should have the right to dress as they wish and have their choice respected". A dozen students handed out flyers at the university by a table covered in colourful headscarves with a sign reading: "France got 99 problems but Hijab ain't one", adapted from a hit by US rapper Jay Z.

    Tuesday, Tennessee's General Assembly passed a bill that would defund the University of Tennesee's Office For Diversity and Inclusion. The bill has been passed to the state Senate. Legislators would divert funds currently allocated to the Office of Diversity, "to minority scholarships for engineering students. It would also bar the university from using state funds to support the annual Sex Week programming or gender-neutral pronouns," reports The Tennessean. This year's Sex Week agenda:

    Last week, a self-identified gay pastor claimed a cake he purchased from grocer Whole Foods bore the message, "Love Wins Fag," in blue frosting. This story smelled funny from the get go. Why? Because Austin is one of the most LGBT-friendly locals in the country. It's basically Portland, Texas. Chances of this kind of thing happening in Austin are maybe .00001%. Not saying it's impossible, just improbable. In any case, accuser Pastor Jordan Brown made a video showing the cake in what he claims was a sealed box, unopened since he returned home from the store. Despite the clear window atop the cake box, Brown claims he did not notice the word "fag" until he reached his vehicle in the grocery store parking lot.

    We have a new contender in the nationwide contest for Most Ridiculous Student Protest -- University of New Mexico. Native American students at UNM have decided the university seal is offensive because it bears a conquistador and a frontiersman. They argue, "it glorifies the violent European treatment of natives." Or, it could be part of you know, history. But these days, all history is racist. According to the Albuquerque Journal:
    The protesters want the seal – whose roots can be traced to the university’s fourth president, Edward Dundas McQueen Gray, and was most recently updated in 1969 – relegated to the dustbin of history.

    Intersectionality is all the rage these days, but what is it? The Factual Feminist, Christina Hoff Sommers explains. "If you have wondered why there are so many millennials on campus telling people to check their privilege, demanding trigger warnings, calling people out for micro aggressions, and retreating to safe spaces, the Factual Feminist has the answer: Intersectional feminism," writes AEI. Are safe spaces part of one massive conspiracy theory? Is intersectionality a cult?

    Trump Derangement Syndrome hits another American college campus. Last week, Aleister blogged about the hubbub at Emory University where students took chalk markings reading "Trump" as a hate message:
    The latest example of Trump induced psychosis is unfolding at Emory University where students were horrified this week to find someone took a piece of chalk and wrote pro-Trump messages on campus sidewalks. The horror! Rather than simply ignoring this like any normal person would do, certain activists within the student body are demanding that the university president denounce this message of hate.

    Last month, the city council in Charlotte, North Carolina passed an ordinance that included allowing transgendered persons to use bathrooms, locker rooms, showers, etc. for the gender with which they identify. This did not sit well with North Carolinians, nor with their state legislature, and in a special session, the state passed a bill that would make it state law--thus over-turning the Charlotte ordinance--that people can use such facilities only for the gender with which they were born, not the one they identify with or claim to be.  North Carolina governor (and former mayor of Charlotte) Pat McCrory signed the bill into law late Wednesday. https://twitter.com/PatMcCroryNC/status/712825004312829952 Watch the report:

    The University of Iowa has an interesting take on Disney's latest animated feature. Evidently, Zootopia is laced with racist, coded language.
    Zootopia is a film about a young rabbit, Judy Hopps, and her dream to join the police force in the world populated by anthropomorphic mammals. Judy is denied a high position in the police force and is assigned meter-maid duty. All animals are bipedal regardless of their species. The animals that are usually prey in the animal kingdom are the dominant force and look down upon the predators. Throughout the whole world of Zootopia, the predators are bullied by the prey, and this is an amazing shift from reality. There is a strange occurrence happening in the film that involves many predators disappearing and going “savage.” Going savage includes going back to their natural state, which means going back on all fours and attacking prey. I believe the message present in the film is an allegory to the current status of the white population in contemporary society. The majority of the people who were involved in the writing of this film were white. This aligns with my idea of the allegory present in the movie. The prey are akin to minorities of the world, in the way that they get preyed on by the predators, which are white people.

    The American Association of University Professors (AAUP) serves as a de facto authority on academic freedom, having published the guidelines by which most higher education institutions agree to abide, at least in principle if not legally. AAUP, however, has no legal power to enforce its guidelines. The most it can do is put an institution on a "Censure List," which supposedly impacts the ability to recruit top faculty. I don't know whether it actually has that impact, but that's what's claimed. The University of Illinois - Urbana Champaign (UIUC) was put on AAUP's Censure List after it refused to give a tenured position to controversial hate-tweeting Prof. Seven Salaita. There was a lawsuit by Salaita that was settled for less than the cost of defense without any job. AAUP now is considering whether to remove UIUC from its Censure List. AAUP is jumping to the defense of Melissa Click, the world-famous "muscle prof" who recently was terminated by the University of Missouri after she was caught on video bullying a student journalist and calling for some "muscle" from the crowd to deal with him.

    Melissa Click, the Missouri professor who famously advocated for "using muscle" against student journalists at a campus protest has lost her termination appeal. Following the encounter that was captured on tape, Click was charged with third-degree assault and suspended with pay before being canned. The Wall Street Journal reports:
    The board of curators said the appeal, which Melissa Click filed shortly after her Feb. 24 firing, “brought no new relevant information.” Ms. Click’s job paid $58,000, and she was up for tenure this year.

    I was a Russian Studies Major in college. It involved the study of Russian language, literature and culture, as well as the Soviet State. Among other things, I studied in Moscow. It was an academic endeavor, not political activism. That was old school "ethnic" studies. New school ethnic studies is social justice warfare. Student's at San Francisco State University's College of Ethnic Studies are upset that there might be some programming cuts as a result of overall budget problems. And true to their curriculum, they took up protest. Golden Gate Express reports on a meeting hosted by SFSU President Leslie E. Wong, Potential Cuts Loom for Ethnic Studies:
    Within an hour, the courtyard in front of Ethnic Studies was flooded with students, faculty and other members of the community, many wearing black with red accessories in solidarity with the potential faculty strike in April. Peppered among the sea of black and red were white signs and banners with messages of unity....
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