Journalist explores history of racism in America, connection to modern-day

first_imgJournalist Jelani Cobb explored America’s history of racism as well as its present existence Tuesday night. Cobb, a professor in the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, has been published in The Washington Post and has written a series of articles centered on race, the police and injustice for The New Yorker.Kathryne Robinson His lecture, titled “The Half-Life of Freedom: Race and Justice in America Today,” was hosted by the Dean’s Fellows of the College of Arts and Letters. Cobb said race replays itself constantly as a theme in history.“It’s not simply an issue,” Cobb said. “We can’t fundamentally understand how the country came into existence or what the country is without looking at this subject. … This idea of ‘We the People,’ this founding creed, that the ultimate authority is ‘we.’ But the more important question is who is this ‘we’? It’s a question we have never reconciled.”Cobb said he previously taught at Moscow University, and it was there that one of his colleagues mentioned a particular optimism he thought defined Americans. He said it’s this sense of optimism that is applied to our understanding of the past. However, he said he stands firm on the belief that progress is not permanent, and there’s always the potential of moving backwards.“Progress doesn’t look like a straight line,” Cobb said. “It looks more like an EKG. We’ve seen these great moments of peaks which have been followed by valleys with the hope that the peaks are higher and the valleys are shallow.”Cobb said the rise of hateful organizations like the Ku Klux Klan and acts such as lynching was fueled by an underlying objective to eliminate a sense of racial progress and was part of the resistance to racial integration and equality.Cobb said discrimination was not limited to African Americans and cited examples through history such as the Chinese Exclusion Act. He talked about inequality for African Americans among areas such as health care, life expectancy and unemployment rates.“We find that race matters in all these kinds of ways and that it continues to replicate the hierarchies that are baked into this country’s history,” Cobb said.Cobb said it is people’s responsibility to move the world in a desired direction. He said 2.9 million people took to the streets to protest after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, which demonstrates that movements come about when “abstract principles become concrete concerns.”“Despair is the ally of the people who you are fighting against,” Cobb said. “The whole point is to break people’s will and to leave people dispirited. But keep in mind the victories people have achieved against really large odds. Optimism is the fundamental building block of anything that comes after.”According to Cobb, that optimism is tragic because he believes racism will never fully disappear, but that it will turn from a fatal illness to a chronic ailment as people find better ways of addressing it.Cobb said there is no notion of a “post-racial society.” According to Cobb, there was an anxiety felt among some white groups who felt other racial groups were becoming more advantaged after the election of President Barack Obama in 2008, but that anxiety was a result of racism.“[If] you are defining your citizenship by your cumulative advantages over this group of people, then yes you will find progress to be threatening,” he said. “There’s no other word for that than racism.”Cobb said it was particularly the testing times of racism and injustice that acted as an impetus of moving forward with social progress.“The place where I find optimism is in each moment where we have encountered these values, where we find ourselves moving backward [that] has had a catalyzing effect on people of conscience who have come together and demand that we create a more decent, equitable and more democratic world,” he said. “We have seen that shockingly small number of people summon the will to perform acts of importance far beyond their numbers.”Tags: Discrimination, Jelani Cobb, Journalism, Obama, Politics, post-racial, Racismlast_img read more

Credit unions: Big believers in small business

first_img 11SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr by: Christina PontissoA Smarter Choice would like to give special thanks to Lancaster Red Rose Credit Union for contributing the article below to our blog. They provided a very insightful article focused on how credit unions are focused on working with small business start-ups by providing financial assistance. Enjoy!The benefits of doing your personal banking with a credit union over a large financial corporation have been outlined numerous times.  And the public has been ready to make the move, as credit unions passed the 1 million member mark in 2014.  But it’s not only personal savings and lending where credit unions can make a difference.   Credit unions are big fans of small business!Small business optimism is at it’s highest in several years.  In addition to an increase in the overall optimism index score, small businesses have big plans for capital investments. Half of all small-business owners surveyed said they plan to make investments next year, up from 43% in 2013 and 41% in 2012. continue reading »last_img read more

Amba Etta-Tawo earns 1st-team All-ACC honors from ACSMA; 3 Syracuse players named to 3rd team

first_imgSyracuse receiver Amba Etta-Tawo was named to the first team All-Atlantic Coast Conference team, the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association announced Monday. Linebacker Zaire Franklin, specialist Brisly Estime and punter Sterling Hofrichter earned third team honors while wide receiver Ervin Philips and linebacker Parris Bennett were honorable mentions.Etta-Tawo, a graduate transfer from Maryland, had a record-setting year in his first and only with the Orange under Dino Babers’ new offense. He finished the year with 94 receptions (first in program history) for 1,482 yards (first in program history) and 14 touchdowns (tied for first in program history). Etta-Tawo currently ranks second in yards in the NCAA. His receptions and yards totals are both tops for Power 5 receivers currently. Honorable mention ?— Ervin Philips (@Ambition1_) November 28, 2016 AdvertisementThis is placeholder textFranklin finished the year with 101 tackles (second on the team) and 10 tackles for a loss (best on the team). Estime’s average of 17.7 yards per punt return is the best in the country. Though he never returned one for a score, he did have a long of 74 yards. Hofrichter’s 42.7 yards per punt are fourth-best in the conference and his 77 punts are fourth-most in the nation. He hit 23 kicks more than 50 yards and 24 pinned inside the 20.Philips missed the third team by one point. He is third in the conference with 7.5 receptions per game and sixth with 68.5 receiving yards per game. Philips and Etta-Tawo became the first pair of teammates in ACC history to finish with 90 catches in a season. Bennett led the Orange with 110 tackles and three forced fumbles. He ranks third in the ACC in tackles per game (9.2). Commentscenter_img Published on November 28, 2016 at 3:38 pm Contact Jon: | @jmettus Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Jamaica to spend billions on border security

first_imgThe Andrew Holness-led administration in Jamaica is taking steps to improve the country’s border security.On Wednesday, National Security Minister Robert Montague announced that the government is spending US$11 billion to among other things obtain six additional helicopters and four aircraft for the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF).The helicopters, which come with five year’s supply of spare parts and maintenance service, are being acquired at a cost of US$47.4 million. Current fleet nearly 20-years oldIn a release on Wednesday, Montague said the current JDF helicopter fleet is nearly 20 years old noting that industry standards recommend replacement at between seven and 10 years.He says a surveillance plane has also been purchased at a cost of US$16.9 million and that is now being outfitted with a suite of equipment.The National Security Minister says the surveillance plane will be commissioned into service later this year.Last year, two ships were acquired at a cost of US$26.4 million for the JDF Coast Guard.Several guns and ammunition seizedHe notes that over 850 illegal guns and nearly 22,000 rounds of ammunition were seized by the security forces last year. He also said the country’s 145 illegal points of entry offer a gateway for guns, ammunition as well as un-customed goods to enter the island. Montague says the money being spent on border security is part of the government’s five-pillar crime reduction strategy.last_img read more

Sports Ministry denies flying supporters to watch final AFCON match

first_imgSports Minister, Mahama Ayariga has denied claims that his ministry sponsored supporters to watch the final match between Ghana and Ivory Coast in Equatorial Guinea last Sunday.He said his ministry had nothing to do with the system which flew some 500 supporters to cheer the Black Stars.Speaking on Peace FMs’ Morning Show ‘Kokrokoo’, Mr Ayariga said “the ministry of Youth and Sports did not spend money on any supporter to go to Equatorial Guinea. We did not make any provision for anybody, not one pesewa from the ministry was approved for anybody to go watch the football.”He said he was only informed about the decision to fly supporters to Equatorial Guinea but is unaware of and does not know what company it was and the processes involved in sponsoring the trip.According to the Minister, the only role he played was to inform the supporters unions to send their documents to the Equatorial Guinea Embassy for processing.Mr Ayariga also denied reports that some supporters who were sent to watch the Ghana – Equatorial Guinea match were stranded after the match and had to spend the night at the Ghanaian Embassy and the ambassador’s house. He explained that the violence that erupted during the game made it impossible for the supporters to return to the airport in time to take the flight back to Ghana.“With that incident that happened at the stadium, we couldn’t leave the stadium. We were held up in the stadium for about 3 hours so the government there had to use security to clear the whole town before we were able to drive to the airport.“By the time our fans drove to the airport, the airline said they could not fly again because there are regulations on how many hours the pilot and crew should sleep and because we had delayed at the stadium, those times had been exhausted and the flight crew had to go and rest; so we could not fly that night”, he continued.The safest place for the supporters in view of the violence that had already occurred was the ambassador’s residence and the embassy, which had been provided with security by the Equato Guinean government, he indicated.He said the supporters were flown back to Ghana the next morning. AFCON Budget Prior to the AFCON tournament, there were several calls on the Sports Minister to release the approved budget before the matches began, but he failed to do so.Editor-in-chief of the Insight Newspaper Kwesi Pratt, yesterday called on the ministry to render a transparent account of the budget to Ghanaians.However, Mr Ayariga said “I refuse to discuss the budget but I will put out the report to the Auditor General and Parliament and it will be made known to the public.”He blamed the media for distracting the ministry from concentrating on its job during the tournament and said that although the distractions had been ignored, they have not relented. The most appropriate thing to do, in his view was to congratulate the players for the patriotism and hard work they displayed at the tournament.“Some people have made it their business to try as hard as they can to take attention away from the great effort of the boys and to see to what extent they can use useful airtime to discuss matters that I thought in other places will not be the subject for discussion.”last_img read more